Life can get boring. If you’re in between vacations, break-ups or Netflix binges, you’ve got to pump life into the doldrums. What to do? You could try a new coffee roast, call yourself by a different name while you’re talking to yourself, or you can pull a trick out of your bag of straight up solidly good pranks.
So, if you lack ideas for good pranks, we'll share some fun and easy pranks you can pull on your friends or family members.
WHAT IS A PRANK?
A prank is defined as a practical joke or mischievous act. We’d like to think it’s more than that. If laughter is the best medicine, then anything that adds a little laughter to your life and the lives of the people surrounding you is medicine.
There are proven health benefits to laughing. How your body reacts:
So, when the person you’re pranking asks you why you did it, you can answer it’s because you love them and want them to live a long, healthy life.
WHY YOU NEED TO KNOW HOW TO PRANK
Everyone should know how to deliver one of these good pranks funnily and healthily. Studies show that good pranks can pull people into a group. Whether they’re the person being pranked or someone who just feels “in on it” because they witnessed it or knew about it beforehand, there’s a sense of belonging that comes from being involved in a prank.
PRANKS SHOULD BE FUN
Sure, there may be some shock and awe involved, but it shouldn’t leave anyone feeling bad about themselves. Never use a prank to point out something negative about a person—you want to be considered a hero of pranks, not a bully. Avoid pranks that:
The point of good pranks is to get the person being pranked to laugh. Everyone is just doing the best they can, so pranks should never tip the balance of power. Before you pull a prank, ask yourself how this person will feel when they tell their family about it that night. You don’t want them to be embarrassed when they tell it or so embarrassed the won’t talk about it at all.
IF YOU’RE THE PRANKED
Ok, so you’re the one that just got pranked. How you react will determine the success of the prank. It’s good first to note that being pranked generally means you’re a wanted member of the bigger group. If you take it well, it can be the beginning of a fun, healthy prank culture at work, school or home.
If you’re not in love with the prank but can fake it, do it. Make a concerted effort in front of the group. Once the dust has settled, approach the prankster and tell him why you weren’t a fan of what just happened. You get what he was going for, but it fell a little flat for you. He’ll appreciate the sidebar, and we can bet it won’t happen again.
If it’s just an awful prank that leaves you feeling awful and horrible, don’t laugh. If it’s that bad, chances are other people will agree and won’t laugh. It’s ok to call someone, professionally, to the carpet. If their goal was to humiliate you, a taste of their own medicine isn’t an awful idea. Let them know how you feel, with as few words as possible and let it go.
HOW TO PRANK
No, it doesn’t have to be April Fool’s Day, Father’s Day or someone’s birthday to prank them. How about a Tuesday afternoon? Good pranks are done when nobody expects it. In fact, one of the best April Fool’s Day pranks is to tell everyone how excited you are for the day because you’ve come up with so many ideas—and then do nothing.
There are considerations when devising your plan.
Who will get pranked? It can be one person, a couple or an entire office or neighborhood. It’s good to pick a good sport or someone you know well. Pranking a stranger or someone you just met feels weird. You don't know how they will react and, well, you’re not Sacha Baron Cohen.
Do you want the prank to be simple? Most good pranks are. You can go elaborate—there’s a time and place for that. If you want the maximum wow factor, then go big. Just remember the payoff time is about the same as your usual pranks.
If it’s a simple prank, you can make it happen any time, just have a couple things ready to go. If it’s elaborate, you will need time. Get in the office on Sunday and prep it for a Monday prank. If mom’s coming home from a trip in two days, you might need to start now.
What will you need to execute this prank? You don’t want to be in position and realize you left the most crucial ingredient in your car, don’t be that guy. Make a list if you need to and have all your supplies at the ready.
20 Good Pranks You Should Know
Ok, we’re here. A list of solid, good pranks for you to take with you wherever you go. We’ve got a good mix of easy with little setup time to difficult with months—ok, hours—of prep.
1. NEW RIDE
You need pads of sticky notes in as many colors as you can find. You also need to know where the prankee parks his car. Place sticky notes all over his car. You can get super creative here. Make doors a solid color, and door handles a different color. Cover everything. The tires, wheels, mirrors, license plates and all windows.
Now you need patience. You can’t do this at 1 pm and run in saying, “Gary, have you checked your car lately?”. That’s lame. Just wait for Gary to leave then leave too. Record his reaction—it will be gold. We caution you not to do this in a hot and sunny place, the glue could do damage, and you’re the sucker with paper cuts all over your hands.
2. HANDS DOWN
This is one of those good pranks you can do anywhere. At a table with a friend, put your hand palm down on a table, and balance a glass of liquid on the top of your hand. Make it look like it’s more difficult than it is. Bet your friend she can’t balance a glass on each palm down hand.
Help her get two, easy to balance glasses filled with water on her hands. Act impressed. Then get up and leave the room. She’s stuck, and you’re laughing.
3. JUST DO YOUR BUSINESS ALREADY
This is for those of you that have a bathroom with only one stall—generally the men’s room. Sneak an extra pair of pants, socks, and shoes in to work one day. Grab a newspaper, your bag of extra clothes and head to the bathroom.
Once there, stuff the pants and socks with newspaper. Configure it as best you can on the toilet in the stall, so the legs look like someone sitting, doing his business. Lock the stall door and crawl out the bottom. People will eventually break the door down or call security.
4. SIMPLE SCARE
This works anywhere. Get a white paper cup and mangle it up just a little. Write, in a shaky hand “Be prepared to kill it if you lift this.” It’s one of the good pranks for a house or office that fears bugs.
You’ve done it, we’ve done it—you’re in someone’s bathroom, and their medicine cabinet beckons you to take a peek. So why not give them something to talk about? Things you can put in a medicine cabinet:
The possibilities are endless. Sit back and wait to see if they will bring it up.
6. RUBBER BANDS EVERYWHERE
This works at home or the office. You will need every rubber band you can get your hands on. Get someone’s laptop or phone and take your time wrapping it in rubber bands.
Make sure they go every which way, so they don’t come off easily. You get extra points for immediately calling the person once they see their touchscreen behind 1000 rubber bands.
7. NIC CAGE
There are two phases of this prank. One is the subtle Nic Cage. Get a small picture of the great thespian Nicolas Cage and tape it to the underside of the copy machine’s lid. When anyone makes a copy, that famous mug will be in the corner of each paper. You’re welcome, office.
The second phase is not subtle. Print out 100 different pictures of Nic Cage and plaster someone’s office space with them. Get him to the bottom of their drawers, wrapped around their pens, and covering every inch of their desk and cabinet surface. They’ve been Caged.
8. AW, MAN…
We’ve yet to hear a much different response for one the most timeless of good pranks. You need as many rolls of duct tape as there are toilets in your house. You see where we’re going with this one. Replace the toilet paper with duct tape, remove all tissues or other absorbent materials and walk away. We recommend not doing this one at work. It’s an HR nightmare.
9. FROSTY THE SNOW CAR
If you live in a snowy climate, this one cracks us up just thinking about it. Pick a friend, co-worker or family member’s car that’s parked outside. Grab a friend and bury that sucker. Once you’ve got the snow sculpted around the car, have fun with it. Make a large snow animal out of it or create a miniature scene on the hood.
Plan on sticking around and helping your buddy dig his car out from underneath the snow bank you’ve created. Don’t do this to your grandma; her heart can’t take it.
10. YOUR STUFF’S UP THERE
This takes a couple of people and some elbow grease, but the payoff is toats worth it. Whether it’s your brother’s room or your friend’s office, grab a buddy, a ladder and some duct tape. Take everything that’s not bolted down and tape it to the ceiling. When the person comes in and asks where his stuff is, just shrug. How long until he looks up to find his clock?
11. STAY THIRSTY
This is good for all those people in the office that have endless bottles of water and soda on their desk. Bring superglue to work and hit as many desks as you can on the way to yours. Untwist the cap, apply superglue to the threads at the top of the bottle and twist the cap back on. Watch as people run around the office trying to get other people to open their bottles of water.
12. SWEET TREAT
This is one of the good pranks with a lot of “Eww” factor. Bake a homemade cake and bring it to work… that’s sweet, right? Well, not so much.
Put a little sign attached to a toothpick in the cake that says, “Find the fingernail.” Sit back and see who’s willing to risk it. You can substitute fingernail with anything disgusting: hair, band-aid, tooth—you get it, we’re gagging.
13. IT’S TIME TO GET UP
This is one of the best pranks to play on your teenagers. You’ve heard of setting a few alarms and placing them in their room. We want you to ratchet up a notch. Buy as many cheap, dollar store alarm clocks as you can and set them all, to the same time. Hide two or three in the teen’s room while they’re sleeping.
They’ll be annoyed but happy when they’ve found the last one—in their room. What they don’t know is that you’ve hidden at least ten more all over the house. Get the most annoying ones you can find. Don’t hide them so far away they could ignore them and go back to sleep. Prepare yourself for the annoying call.
14. BABY MONITOR FUN
Tape the speaker of a baby monitor under the chair of the most easily spooked or quickly annoyed co-worker. Make sure they have glass walls, so you can see this unfold. Start by just making a quick, subtle sound every five minutes or so—a click, snap or tap. Slowly up your game to a whisper and see what happens.
15. THE BIRDS!
If you live in an area where birds are plentiful, this is a funny prank for a neighbor. Once the world has said “goodnight, moon,” you’ll get to work with a bag of birdseed. Spread birdseed all over their front yard, sidewalk, and car (only if they’re fantastic sports and don’t own a Porsche). In the morning, head to your porch with a cup of coffee and watch the horror unfold.
16. JUST GUYS JOKIN’ AROUND
When you meet your brother’s, a friend’s or co-worker’s girlfriend for the first time and her name is Holly, say “Great to finally meet you, Julie.” When she corrects you, look at him confused and say “Was I not supposed… um, sorry. Hi, Holly”. He’ll laugh when you come clean but good luck to him getting her convinced it was a joke.
The reason this is one of those surprisingly good pranks is that nobody thinks anyone will really do it. Take basic office supplies of a coworker home—a stapler, scissors, pens, pencils, nameplate and put them in molds of Jell-O. Bring them in the next day and place all the "desserts" on their desk.
Be ready to replace anything that doesn’t work properly afterward. You’re a real-life Jim Halpert now.
18. GET THE PHONE
Every time your co-worker walks away from their desk quickly call their phone to get them back. Hang up as soon as they answer. Keep doing it and see how long it takes before they give up or you give yourself away.
Have a couple easy to rip pieces of cloth in your pocket. At a meeting, anytime someone nearby sits down take a piece out and rip it. That person will stand up quickly and either check their pants or excuse themselves to the bathroom to make sure their pants aren't ripped. Either way, you’re a pranking hero.
Saving the grossest of the good pranks for last. When you’re near someone, dip your pinkies in your water bottle, pretend to sneeze and flick those pinkies out. Yeah, you’re going to get your “sneeze” on the other person, and that’s disgusting—and brilliant.
Pranks are fantastic, and now you have good pranks at the ready should the mood strike you or if that Tuesday just gets too boring. Hey, somebody has to be the life of the party—it might as well be you.