The Ultimate List of Practical Jokes
One joke that we did in residence was
The Chinese Fire Drill
The victim is on the pot in the dorm washroom. Everyone grabs a bucket (we used the
waste baskets from our rooms) and fills the buckets with water. Take a paper bag and
set it on fire, toss it under the door into the stall. Yell fire as everyone tosses the water
into the stall. Needless to say the fire as well as the victim get very wet.
This one fellow in the house was hit a number of times and took to relieving himself in
other locals. We followed him a couple of times and nailed him in many parts of the
Later of course we conspired with our victim to get back at the original instigator of the
drill. The guy in the stall had a bucket of water, and when the the instigator tossed the
bag in we all hit him.
It is common for draftsmen to sprinkle SCUMEX (powdered rubber eraser) on tracings
prior to doing any drawing on it. This reduces smearing of the pencil marks and such
and results in a cleaner tracing.
At a former employers we had replaced the Scumex at one draftsmans desk with dried
parmesian cheese. It looked about the same. It was extremely interesting watching him
draw for a while and then begin to smell the paper. Took the poor dude almost 10
minutes to guess that he had been gigged!
I just pulled one on somebody -- I slipped some of those anti- shoplifting strips into the
lining of the victim's favorite jacket. I was set to pull another one, but didn't get the
chance - to cut out a silhouette of a gun from metal and hide it in a piece of carry-on
Two teachers at my high school started a practical joke war that culminated in a junk
mail war of huge proportions. They finally called a truce and got it cleared up and the
mail stopped, except for the military mail that one had signed the other one up for. He
wrote (honestly) that he had graduated from a fine college and was interested in the
Marines, Air Force, etc. etc.
When I left, about two years after this, he was still getting phone calls from 2-4 times a
month.... they were very persistant even over he (loud) objections that he was 45 and
not interested in a career change...
New secretary (second day on the job) answers telephone as is told in official tones:
"This is the phone company. We are testing a new circuit wiring scheme in your offices.
Please keep everyone off the phones for the next 10 minutes. We will be verifying the
correct wiring of your system by passing hot steam through the wires. Instruct your
employees to place their phones on the floor, or, better yet, wrap them in towels to
avoid scalding themselves. We will advise you when the tests are complete click." After
momentary panic, the secretary begins a frenzied "Paul Revere" routine, running from
desk to desk while glancing frequently at her watch. Just as the 10 minutes are about up,
she bursts into her boss's office (while he is in the midst of an important long-distance
call) and, screaming, grabs the receiver from his hand and flings the whole phone under
Tell someone you can pin a glass of water to the wall -- a real glass, not a paper cup,
using an ordinary straight pin. Naturally they won't believe, so you set out to prove it.
Get a glass of water and a pin. Hold the glass up to the wall and start to pin it up. And
then drop the pin. You've got the glass in position just right, so you ask your victim real
nice to get the pin for you. When they bend down to pick it up, dump the water on their
This works especially well when there's a crowd of people watching. It can also be very
dangerous for the joker, so be careful if you try it.
one time in my undergrad days, it was snowing like mad out. someone decided it was
time a make a snowball. then someone else suggested that we should put this snowball
in this one guy's room-- nobody liked this guy-- so when the word got around, half the
people in our dorm section came out and help! we got this sucker so BIG that it must be
at least 4 feet in diameter. it took about 6 person to haul the darn thing up 3 flights of
stairs. we got the snowball into this guy's room while he was out, turn off the heat in the
room and left all the windows open, so the snowball won't melt too fast. well... the
turkey came back 3 hours later and found a HUGH snowball sitting in the middle of his
room, and started melting! I still have the picture of the snowball. (if you really wonder
how big the snowball is, just imagine a snowball the size of a normal dinning room
This reminds me of a similar stunt we used to enjoy at the dining hall in my undergrad
days. The food service used opaque plastic salt and pepper shakers with pop-off tops
that could be pried off with a knife blade if you were persistent enough.
PREPARATION (in a restroom nearby): (1) Empty salt ( or pepper) from a previously
'acquired' container and fill about 1/3 full with concentrated lemon juice. (2) Place a thin
tissue across the opening, poke it down a bit to form a depression, and fill the
depression with about a teaspoon of baking soda. (3) Cover (from the inside) the holes
of the top with tape of the appropriate color. (4) Replace top on container and trim
visible tissue from around the top.
Carry the device to dining hall (upright and as stable as is possible... for your own sake).
After discretely placing the shaker on your table (only place it near to you... see caveat
\#1 below), observe the next person to use the salt (pepper). (S)He will shake lightly at
first, then harder as nothing comes out. Due to the breakdown of the tissue and the
pressure resulting from the classic acid/base reaction, the top will pop off (quite
spectacularly) amidst a shower of foam. Your victim (as will as everyone around) should
have quite a reaction, since one does not usually observe this type of behavior in a salt
CAVEATS: 1. The top will come off with some force. If the holes are sealed well, this
will happen on about the second or third shake. Once, though, due to poor sealing, it
took about 5 seconds, during which time our victim started looking at the shaker to
examine the "foamy stuff coming out" of the holes... we quickly grabbed the shaker from
her to direct the top towards the ceiling before it went off. So, watch carefully!
2. The "foam shower" (lemon juice \& soda) may ruin you victim meal... be prepared to
pop for another one.
3. Don't do this if your victim or anyone near ground zero is dressed up (this joke will
flop at board meetings and the like).
This joke has been done 50 (yes, 50) years ago by my father-in-law.
First, a little background:
He lived in a small village, north-west of Quebec City along the St-Laurent river. In
those days, toilets were located outside the house in what we call in good ol' french
canadian 'becosse', from 'back house' I think. These are a little wood shack with no
floor over a hole in the ground where you ... You can guess.
Now, for the joke:
He and a friend were thrown out of a party by the doorman.
When it was really dark,, the doorman went to investigate what was knocking at the
window. They had suspended a rock to the window frame so it hung right it the middle
and tied another string to the rock and hid behind the 'becosse' where they pulled that
second string to make the rock knock in the window. That's an old trick. The doorman
wouldn't fall for that one. So he followed the second string in the dark and soon
concluded that they were hidding behind the 'becosse'.
He ran toward the merely visible wood structure...
But my father-in-law and his friend had taken care of moving the shack six feet ... Boy
he fell in the shit !!
This one hasn't come up despite the presence of UCLA on the net. I'm led to the sad
conclusion that the tradition has died.
In the mid '70s, just before it was overrun by fanatic Dungeons \& Dragons (tm)
players, the UCLA Computer Club was host to a long series of "glitter traps." Example:
joke subject sits at a desk, pulls out a drawer. A string runs from the back of the
drawer, up the wall, into the false ceiling, over to a spot directly over the subject's head,
where it triggers the trap: a mousetrap whose action snaps a card away from its position
covering a funnel, releasing a handful of glitter, which flows down the funnel, through its
spout, through a hole in the ceiling acoustic tile, onto the subject. It was wonderful to
watch: a muffled snapping noise, a quiet "chuff," and the slow, glittery descent of a cloud
of brightly colored dust, to settle over the head and shoulders of a club member who by
now has assumed an expression of appreciative resignation.
Another, more short-lived ploy was to suspend a wooden horseshoe by a string from
the ceiling in the corridor, such that the horseshow dangles a couple of inches above the
top of an upright broom. Most conventional brooms will stand on their straws with a
little coaxing. We attached a sign labeling the horseshow "wood magnet." Quite a few
people took it at face value.
Another Cow joke I attribute to my 'Ol chemestry prof was the placement of a cow
onto the roof. I would presume a fairly storng roof, but once up there it would be hard
to hide the fact to the cow that any direction would be down.
Another pratical joke involved the use of outhouses. Once the target has established
himself you take up the slack on the attached rope which has been measured to set up
tremendious harmonics in the structure. When the rope transfers your strumming to the
outhouse, it usually falls apart with a most revieling nature..
I was once in a nice family-style restaurant when I observed some kids supergluing the
dishes to the table. They also attached the silverware, napkins, salt, pepper, etc. If it
wasn't already nailed down, it was now. They stayed long enough to let the glue set, and
then paid and left. They watched as the poor busboy tried to get the stuff off of the
Also funny is supergluing a quarter to the sidewalk. I know its old, but in the city, with
the diverse types of people around, it gets really amusing. I watched this old lady whack
at it with her cane for about 10 min. cursing......
A few months ago I saw a newspaper clipping which told of a newspaper in Illinois (I
think...) which ran a story warning consumers that, on such-and- such day, Illinois Bell
would be "blowing the dust out of the phone lines" and that all phone owners should
cover the earpiece of their phones with a bag to catch the dust.
Bell made them print a retraction, after receiving numerous calls asking what sort of bag
to use ...
People, they are amazing.
When I was in college our RA told us of a good one that (supposedly) some friends had
pulled a couple of years earlier. These two guys made up a concoction of all kinds of
left overs, semi-pureed it in a blender, and filled a hot water bottle with it. One of them
took the hot water bottle, taped it to his stomach inside of his shirt and put a short piece
of hose into the top so that it came up to the front of his shirt collar, but not visible. They
both went to a local pub and sat at the bar, acting already slightly intoxicated. After
having a couple of beers the guy with the hot water bottle says that he is feeling sick a
couple of times and "barfs" VERY loudly all over the bar to attract attention. Naturally
this causes the patrons to move away from him, all except his buddy, who calmy pulls a
fork out of his coat pocket and begins EATING the stuff. ;-) I don't know how true it is,
but I'd love to have been there watching faces if it was...
Two very hot-headed people lived directly across the halls from each other. Dave got a
piece of 1/2" rope and tied their doors together with about a 6" gap of slack. Waited
until 2:30am and knocked REALLY HARD on both doors.
Interesting way to wake up...having two steaming mad football jerks slamming each
other's doors open and shut. The Resident Advisor was NOT pleased :-)
I can't resist a few:
1. Once you have stolen a dormmate's room keys, the room is yours to plunder. As a
variation, steal the dorm keys but reverse the lock (so the keyhole faces INTO the
room); we had a mechanical engineer who got this down to about 20 seconds. Then
loudly announce to the victim you own the keys, but "let" them win the race back to their
room. PRESTO! Locked inside their own room (with no keys). If you've fixed the
phone to continually ring, they get very pliable after about 10 minutes.
2. We connected our secretary's electric typewriter to a variac (can vary the line
voltage). At about 40-50 volts (out of the 110) the little ball makes three or four jerky
attempts before finally striking a faint imprint. Fairly pathetic looking, actually.
3. Reverse the horizontal yoke leads on terminals (so the text comes out backwards
from right to left). This works best on a software team who thinks they have just
released the firmware for screen drivers. Besides, hardware people figure it out too
4. Hand lotion inside of an air hose on the final assembly line is effective, but very
vindictive. Use with caution (now, I'm not saying I ever did this, but I "saw" it done once
And the standard saran wrap across women's toilets, Karo syrup, flour in the shower,
water-filled surgical tubing jammed in a drawer....ah, for the good old days!!
One night when you have a few friends around, take turns calling the same phone
number, a really obnoxious acquaintance that won't recognize your voices is always a
good choice. When the person answers, try to leave a message for John Smith (or any
name that sounds real). Insist that you have the right number and even read their number
to them. Have a bit of fun here, and stretch this on as long as possible. Repeat several
times, once or twice an hour. Let everybody have a turn at calling. Just as the party is
breaking up, call one last time. Tell the poor soul answering the phone that you are John
Smith, and ask "Are there any messages for me?" This is sure to get a groan.
Seven friends once pulled this at my college cafeteria. One put a hot water bottle filled
with pea soup down his chest; he sat at the head of a table, with the other six friends
sitting along the sides. When the cafeteria was pretty full of people, he made a loud
noise (to attract attention), stood up, bent over and squeezed his chest. This caused a
huge gush of green liquid to spew all over the table; the other six immediately began to
eat this green liquid. I think a lot of food went uneaten that night.
Here's one that my roommate and myself did to a residence buddy. One morning (early)
we taped together a bunch of sheets of newspaper to cover the victims doorframe. Then
taped this big sheet over the doorframe which left a gap of about two or three inches
between the sheet and the door. Then we filled the gap with paper balls right to the top
of the doorway. When he opened the door he was showered with a barrage of paper
balls (makes a nice mess too!) Of course, the door has to swing in for this to work!
My roommate was (and is) rather inventive and can be quite nasty. He buttered all of
the toilet seats in our wing of the residence (fortunately told me first). He also buttered
doorknobs at one point. We wrapped celophane over the toilet bowl then replaced the
seat: this one can be really messy!
Try this: hang a shower curtain out a window. When the person below reaches out and
pulls it in, pour a bucket of water onto the shower curtain. Listen to hear the results.
Requires a nosy neighbor below you.
Six friends of mine and myself tried a less complicated version of the classic dismantling
of a car and putting it back together somewhere strange. We lifted a friends car that was
parked between two other cars and turned it so that the front and back end were facing
the neighboring cars. This posed quite a problem for our friend when he decided to go
home. Requires either a small car or a lot of very strong people! :-) I take no
responsibility for any back injuries that result from this. Of course I take no
responsibility for any of my actions. :-)
There are, of course, some fairly standard pranks that are pulled in residence. Typically,
people are shafted on their birthday which is therefore a hazardous date to reveal. Total
demolition of a room is quite common, but lacks any real humor. A common shaft is to
remove everything from the victims room and set it up somewhere else exactly as it was.
The best examples I saw of this were: a room moved to the roof of a science building, a
room moved to the front courtyard of the residence (really funny when it started to
snow!) and a room moved to the dining hall.
When I was younger, I had a practical joke genius for a working companion. We both
worked in the same computer store for a while. He left and became manager of another
store. I remember receiving an envelope with his firms return address on it. Inside was a
very silly brochure. I said aloud "There has to be something else in this envelope". So I
looked and of course there was a sheet of paper. It read "No there is nothing else in this
envelope!" I could never get him back for anything that he pulled but he was an
inspiration. The last practical joke that I will relate was one that he taught me and it
requires a bit of time to prepare. First you need: iodine cristals and some amonium
hydroxide. Mix the two together and a brown sludge will form. Drain off the excess
liquid and let the sludge dry. The result? Snap powder, a pressure sensitive explosive.
Just sprinkle this on the floor and watch people's reactions. Its quite amusing.
I have lived in several different houses with a bunch of guys. Needless to say things got
pretty rowdy sometimes and many were victims of some pretty funny jokes. One of the
favorites as I recall (and still is) is to go into the bathroom while the victim is taking a
shower, and pour a bucket of extreeeemmmlly cold water on them over the top of the
shower curtain. This is quite a shocking experience, and if you are fast enough you can
get away before the victim finds out you did it.
I remember one guy I lived with getting this all the time. One time he got sick of putting
up with it and jumped out of the shower into the hall squirting shampoo at everyone in
sight. The next time this happened the guys were ready with a camera to take pictures of
him as he ran out of the bathroom. These pictures were later shown at his bachelor
1) Got a neighbor that's a real pain in the ass? Do they have a lawn? Do they have a
garden that's accessible? Yes to all the above? Great! Go out and get yourself some
grass-killer and fill the suckers hose with the stuff. Then sit back and wait for them water
their lawn! Nuff said?
2) Does the person that you want to get even with drink red wine? If so, have I got one
for you! Get yourself some Neutral Red, a water soluble, crystalline, red dye. Mix some
into the persons wine and wait for them to take a leak. (Nuetral Red comes out as red
as it goes in, and people have a tendancy to get really nervous when they start pissing
what they think is blood!
3) (I'm surprised nobody mentioned this one yet.) Go to a pet shop and buy a fancy
looking pet collar and leash. Then, the next time you see a dead animal in the road,
attach the leash and collar setup to its neck. Attach the whole thing to revengees rear
bumper, making sure to toss dead animal under the car so it won't be seen. When
revengee drives away, chances are he/she will be stopped by either a cop or a member
of some animal lovers group for draggin some poor defenseless pet down the road.
Either way, they are gonna have some awful quick explaining to do!
4) Last, but certainly not least, is a great stink bomb. This one takes a bit of time for
preparation, so it's not too good for spontaneous revenge. (But it's worth the time!) Get
a quart jar with a rubber seal. (Mason jars work quite well.) Pour about 1/4 to 1/2 inch
of crystal Drano along with about an inch or so of warm water into the jar. Place the lid
on the jar and allow the mixture to sit in a warm place for about an hour. Take the lid off
and add six egg whites, (no yokes). Add a quarter cup of Methylene Blue, then fill the
jar to within an inch of the top with water. Seal the jar tightly and allow to sit for four to
six weeks. (I warned you it takes a while!) When the 'bomb' is ready to use, you can
either throw it like a molitov(sp?) cocktail, or shake it up and pour the contents out,
making damn sure you don't get any on yourself. The results have to be seen, or is that
smelled, to be beleived!
Is everyone out in net land familiar with Sensormatic? They are the company that make
the large plastic clips that set off alarms when you exit a department store. I used to
work for a department store and the is what we did.
Open up the clip and remove the shiny piece of paper. It is about an inch long and about
half an inch wide. This is the "thingy" (that is the technical word for it) that sets off the
alarm. This "thingy" is easy to insert into a pen case, lining of a jacket ...
We did this to a co worker and needless to say, he had problems wearing a particular
jacket to work.
We have various local spots where the teenagers park, cruise, hold drag races, drink
beer etc. We happen to own a white 1983 Dodge Diplomat, the exact kind of car used
by the State Patrol around here as well as many law enforcement agencies nationwide.
(Actually our car WAS a state patrol car, but that's another story). Anyway, my brother
in law, who is a cruiser, would occasionally borrow this car and drive it down to the
cruising spots. Needless to say, when they saw him coming there was brief but furious
activity. He finally had to stop doing this because it made his friends so mad.
People hate to pass us on the freeway too. It is not unusual to see some Camaro or
Porche come zipping along through traffic until he is about 2 car lengths behind us, then
decelerate to a perfect 55.00 miles per hour. It takes him about 10 seconds to look us
over, decide we aren't in uniform, notice that we don't have state license plates, and
make up his mind. He will then typiclaly test how fast his car will accelerate to about 90
They had a 'witchy' old lady next door that was constantly complaining about everything
and everyone in the neighborhood. After one really good round about kids and pets
messing up her spotless front yard, my buddies planned what turned out to be a better
joke than they originally thought. Juvenile as we all were, they planned to write some
dirty words in her meticulously-groomed front lawn with some kind of powder that
would stand out. The only thing they could find was some Ortho Super-Gro Lawn Food
(white powdery stuff). They wrote the message in the dead of night, and next morning it
was bold and white for the world to see. The 'kicker' came after. She came out, saw the
graffiti, and immediately grabbed a hose and WATERED IT OFF!
To this day, those sections of grass are just a little bit greener than everything around
them, and the words can STILL be read!
This reminds me of a story that a former roommate related to me. In college he and a
group of friends got revenge on complete strangers. ....Well, let me set up the situation.
Y'know how sometimes you gotta park real far away from your destination because
certain types of people like to take up two parking spaces...? Well, he and his friends
got a little ticked about this, especially during weekends at the school. One day, they
decided to get even with every \verb+"#@@#\$#@$&&"+ that took up "their" space.
They turned the car sideways. As he said, "He wanted that space so bad, now he can
have it for a loooong time!"
In a similar vein, tell your victim that you have a test of coordination you would like him
to try with you. Find a door with a fairly large crack between the door and the wall
when the door is open. (You know, over by the hinges; across the width of the door
from the doorknob...) You need an egg (NOT hard-boiled), and a wood floor (you
don't want the egg cracking on carpeting, do you??). Now, have your victim get on the
opposite side of the door from you, and put 2 fingers through the door. Hand him the
egg, in those two fingers. Working with him, trade the egg back and forth a couple of
times, moving UP the door frame. After you have his confidence, leave. He will be
trapped there, holding this egg by two fingers through the door. If he lets go and nobody
takes the egg, it will crash to the floor. Best to do in the person's own room.
A few years ago some members of the infamous Dartmouth Outing Club pushed an
occupied one-seat outhouse off its foundations, onto its door. The victim tried in vain for
a few minutes to roll the entire building onto a different side, but soon gave up, as it was
too heavy. She then was forced to climb out through the seat, and over the pit near the
bottom (now side) of the outhouse.
The followup to this episode was that some `friends' seized me in the middle of the night
and tied my feet in a noose suspended in a tree. But that's another story.
This practical joke is hearsay. A fellow student some years ago related the following.
Apparently another student was a bit of a braggar. His favourite topic was his car, and
one sub-topic was the terrific gas milage (pre-metric) it got.
So it began one evening. Fill up a one-gallon container of gas each night and pour it into
the victim's gas tank. Wait for the story each day to get better and better. Repeat until it
cannot be taken any more. I believe 2 weeks was sufficient.
Finally the moment (days) of truth. Each night for 2 weeks, the effect was reversed, and
one gallon of gas was REMOVED from the victim's tank. It was amazingly effective at
reducing some of the stories. I suspect the truth was never revealed to the victim.
Another harmless practical joke to be played on people living in multiple story
apartment buildings is as follows: Knock on victim's door. Say, "I've got to use your
window, someone's about to jump from an apartment above yours." Run to window
and look outside, but don't let victim look. At this point your accomplice dumps a
rag-filled dummy either from the window above or from the roof. The dummy should be
fully closed; for added realism put some plastic bags of fake blood inside the clothes.
On the sidewalk below, a third accomplice puts down a plastic sheet, then covers it with
a sheet painted to resemble the sidewalk. After the body hits, let the victim see the gore,
then convince him to run down and help while you stay and call the ambulance. As soon
as the victim has left, signal your accomplice to remove the sheets and the dummy and
head for some prearranged hiding place. Then you leave the apartment and disappear
somewhere in the building; later, you make your way downstairs and leave. The victim
will race downstairs expecting to find a dead bloody body and will instead see only
clean, empty pavement. Of course, it is best done late at night since the joke would be
spoiled by a passer-by who informed the victim of the "body's" fate. The fun comes
imagining the victim trying to convince the police or anyone else of what happened!
In our residence the lounge door can be locked (or unlocked) by any room key from
the floor. You can also remove the handles from a door (ie the lock comes too) and
switch the handles.
We did this to one guy, he was the only one who could lock the door to the lounge (we
never locked anyway) but everyone could get into his room. Every night for a week (at
about 3:30 am) someone would go in and do something to him while he was asleep
(nothing really nasty). As he was a sound sleeper, it actually took him a week to figure
out what was going on.