Yesterday’s post about the Annoy-a-tron brought back fond memories from long ago when I worked in an office where people actually liked one another and we all used to pull practical jokes.
In fact, we were very competitive about our pranks, with each of us attempting to out do the other. Here now is a list of the top pranks from the ‘good old days’.
Jack the Scotch tape.
- Get a box cutter.
- Remove tape from dispenser.
- Cut deep slit across tape one time.
- Reinsert roll into dispenser.
Every time they try to get tape it will keep tearing when they don’t want it to.
Can You Hear Me Now?
This one works on any phone that will allow you to remove the cover from the microphone area.
- If your target has a headset, pull the foam cover off the microphone and wrap a single layer of tape around the microphone, then replace the cover.
- If your target has a handset, remove the mouthpiece and put a small piece of tape over the holes on the inside, then replace.
Whenever they take a call, everyone will complain that it’s hard to hear them. They’ll be practically screaming to get people to hear them!
Black and Blue
This one works exclusively with headsets.
- Stop by the office store, or a secretary’s desk, and pick up an ink pad.
- Blot the earpiece of your target in the ink pad thoroughly.
Sit back and watch the fun.
The Hunt and Peck Typing Challenge
So, your target isn’t a touch typist huh…?
- The keys will pop off of any keyboard on the planet. Take some scissors and pop several of them off, then re-install them in the wrong places.
- For extra maliciousness, don’t move them very far, that way it isn’t entirely noticeable.
You’ve got two options here.
- Simply reach around to the back of your target’s computer and unplug the mouse cable.
- Remove the trackball on the bottom of the mouse and put a piece of double sided tape up under there, then replace.
Your target will try EVERYTHING to get it to work. When they finally call IT over and discover it’s just unplugged they’ll feel like a complete idiot.
Romeo and Julie… Yet?
Most people foolishly leave their office PC unattended and unlocked. That is a serious mistake…
- Wait till your target leaves for lunch, then sneak over to their computer and send a romantic invitation to a colleague.
- WARNING: this one can get you fired, so make sure you keep it between people who are in on the pranks and won’t rat you out!
While you are messing with their unlocked computer here are a few other things you can do if you are a bit computer savvy:
- Set their Microsoft Word to auto-correct their name or other words to something completely different. For example their name = moron.
- Create desktop shortcuts to several “NSFW” Web sites, then move them all into the Start menu under Programs-Startup . About 10 or so will do. Then shut down their PC and wait till you see the look on their face when they restart it.
- Set their keyboard language setting to Japanese, or Greek.
- Move their task bar to the top of the screen, then set it to auto-hide. Works even better if you first take a screen capture of the desktop and set it as the wallpaper.
The Junk Mail Problem
Do you know someone that needs to feel loved?
- Mosey on over to Google Groups, Yahoo Groups, or similar and sign them up for a few mailing lists.
- Some classic favorites would include PETA and NAMBLA.
- You can also go to Catalogs.com and sign them up for a few free goodies.
Depends… Check em’ Out
The most important part of this prank is subtlety. If you go overboard with it, you’ll ruin it.
- Go get a small cup of water.
- When your target isn’t around pour about 1/4 cup into the very center of their cloth office chair.
- If it’s been scotch guarded you may need to take a push pin or a writing instrument and make tiny little holes to try to get the fluid to soak in.
- Don’t overdo it or they may notice the big wet spot.
If you did it right, they’ll sit in that puddle for an hour before realizing they are all wet.
Dear Fax Machine… Try Again!
- Send a fax to your target’s desk phone.
- Make sure the machine is set to auto-redial in case of a failure.
Other random simple pranks:
- Drop a rubber duckie into the water cooler when you are changing the bottle.
- Superglue quarters to the floor. Watch people try to pick them up.
- Hang a small weird photo of a stranger in their office where it won’t be noticed by the target, but where it will likely be seen by others.
- Place a fresh car scent evergreen trees under a computer or monitor.
- Finally, you could always fill their office with balloons / packing peanuts; or wrap everything in aluminum foil / shrink wrap / post it notes.
Here is also a long thread on MetaFilter on the subject. A few good ones in there too.
If you’ve got any good ones, drop them in the comments section below!
EDIT 9/3/2007: I just came across this video which shows a great prank involving a lot of cardboard. Watch and see:
This one might just possibly take the cake though. These guys actually walled off the CEO’s office!
I took the defibrillator and shocked my coworker while he was sleeping. That was funny!
Had a fellow worker played a good prank on me the other day. Asked me to help him move some boxes, one of which was in the cupboard, he asked me to grab the one in the cupboard and then walked off to grab the other as I reached round to grab the box he shut the door and then locked it. Good prank can’t believe I fell for it. Best played on a friend as it may annoy some people. Some people you can leave in there for longer and it’s good if you get a few people on in the joke so that he victim does not know who did it. Don’t forget to let them out though!
We took everything out of our bosses desk drawer and lined it with clear contact paper that fit perfectly, put in fish tank gravel, water, and live goldfish! He came in the next morning and reached back to his drawer for a pen and water went everywhere. That was the best prank I had ever heard of. The next day (Friday), before he could get anyone back, I went out and put a suggestive magnetic bumber sticker on his car. He had a family reunion that weekend and didn’t notice it for days. Funniest part about that was the freeway between work and his home was under construction and everyone had to slow down to 55 and people were pretty much bumper to bumper…I laughed at the thought of whoever got stuck behind him on his 1/2 hour drive home.
The best one I did was to write a script (did this for the mac, but works equally well on PC’s) to turn off another computer, then write a script to turn off the first computer and place those scripts in the user’s startup folder. Took them about 10 minutes to figure out what was happening.
The best prank that we ever pulled was to use the “blue screen of death” screen saver from Sysinternals (or Wininternals, can never remember). We had a policy not to leave admin pc’s unlocked, and my co-worker left for lunch, so my supervisor and I set up the screen saver….. he came back from lunch, and read it, and by the time we could come over to chastise him and ask him if he liked the joke, he was already formatting his computer. Felt bad after the fact, but darn its funny now :D
Hey everybody, I am watching porno over here, woohoo:
We always flip the screen upside down and then hold the shift key down to turn off the filter keys and many people don’t know how to get the screen back in the right side position! LoL, One guy even wanted to change his keyboard!
Autoshutdown every time the computer boots, that is just mean :)
Steve Elliott says
Ten years ago we could get away with all sorts of pranks but the office is so much more serious now.
The best were joke phone calls. You know the ones, recorded messages with appropriate pauses – class !
did you ever find the HEY, EVERYONE! IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m LOOKING AT PORNO OVER HERE! WOOHOO! file? I would love to find this again. Thanks
I once was rudely asked to be silent in the universities computer center by a moron, having hacked (actually cracked the admin password) the computers there from day 1, I ran that HEY EVERYONE prank remotely on his pc by putting it in his computers scheduled task ;) then I politely asked him to be silent hehehe he didnt have a clue what hit him, the place was packed and there was not one person who wasn’t laughing at him hehehe poor sucker.
I also used to create a batch file with shutdown -r in it, and put this file in the startup of windowz, every time the computer booted, it restarted hehehe that was fun to do with the teachers pc… fun days :)
Do you know where I can get the prank HEY, EVERYONE! IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m LOOKING AT PORNO OVER HERE! WOOHOO!Ã¢â‚¬Â The Ã¢â‚¬Å“woohoo ?
The Man says
Yes Travis, that one is a classic. I think it’s my second favorite one to loading up their startup folder with URLs so that every time they turn the PC on their web browser spawns a ton of windows.
Oh crud I didnt see the wallpaper desktop comment. Oh well. IT WORKS GREAT! :) Keeps employees from using the “anonymous logon” and surfing for porn and getting everyone ELSE in trouble when they saved to shared “My Pictures” folder. Dummies!
I have the Mother of all Computer Desktop pranks, I’ll let you have it here.
Take a screenshot of their desktop, and save it as their background. Hide or delete all their icons (If certain permissions are locked, move them off-screen or hide offscreen using the recycle bin as the “corner” item selected so the others will move offscreen as a group. You must turn off icon auto-arrange or your target will figure it out fast. Disable in the registry if you know how).
When they come back, they will be clicking all their shortcuts, trying to open ANYTHING… but all they are really doing is left-clicking on the desktop and nothing is clickable.
You might have to play with this one a bit if you’re capturing the taskbar – can also set it to keep windows on top of the task bar, then HIDE the taskbar… so the time never changes
There was a flash application going around that blinked the screen, turned your volume up all the way and played a .wav “HEY, EVERYONE! I’m LOOKING AT PORNO OVER HERE! WOOHOO!” The “woohoo” made it hilarious.
Ahhh… The good ol’ days. I did notice one important one you missed.
How could you forget about shrink wrapping someoneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s (Dale) car? I can still remember looking out the window as he walked to his car.
The ink on the headset is a great idea. I’ve been using shoe polish for that little jewel, but the smell gives it away sometimes.
Back in the day, I managed a small inside sales group for a software company. I had a certain employee that I couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get rid of so I went in to her account deck and randomly changed some of her contact phone numbers to 911. We were using a contact manager program named telemagic that would auto dial your phone for you. You can figure out what happened nextÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.