Flipping: Is it a new prank or an old one?

The Wilmington, Delaware News Journal reports that there's a new prank that's all the rage in America's high schools. It's called backpack-flipping. The idea is simple. You take someone's backpack, remove all its contents, turn it inside out, and then restuff it with everything that was originally in there. Students are divided on whether or not this is amusing:
Sophomore Tim Southerland, whose backpack has been flipped 15 times, thinks backpack-flipping is "like a drug."
"There are three rules to flipping," he said. "Number one, don't talk about backpack-flipping. Number two, you only flip once. Number three, once you join the flip club you don't get out. It's just like Fight Club. Everyone who doesn't do it is stupid." Many students think that backpack-flipping is an annoyance.
"I think it's stupid because it's not even funny," sophomore Brad Simon said.
I think it sounds as annoyingly stupid as wet-willies or giving people wedgies. But is it a new prank? That's the question. Some believe it is:
According to physical education teacher Harry Walker, backpack-flipping is a relatively new occurrence. "They didn't do it when I was a kid," he said.
I don't recall ever seeing this occur when I was in high school either. So maybe it is new.


Posted on Tue May 15, 2007


It was around 6 years ago when I was in high school, but we called it "nuggeting". The worst type was when someone used one of those plastic zip-ties to hold the two halves of your backpack zipper together inside the bag.
Posted by luckygerbils  in  Seattle, WA  on  Tue May 15, 2007  at  03:48 PM
We used to do this at my school - except we just called it "Turning someone's bag inside out". Forgive the simple minded approach. If you want to go the whole hog, you also turn everything in there inside out that you possibly can - pencil cases, clothes if it's a gym bag, that sort of thing.

The Technology labs had no space for bags so they had to be left outside the classrooms - on muck up day someone turned an entire class's bags inside out and left them lined up neatly outside the room next to a giant inflatable penguin.
Posted by Owen  on  Tue May 15, 2007  at  04:23 PM
At my high school it's called "turtling" and it's been going on for at least the past two years, though I don't recall it happening in freshman year.
Posted by flatluigi  in  Massachusetts  on  Tue May 15, 2007  at  06:34 PM
backpack flipping tu cam pakai seluar tebalik lah kut
Posted by bujang  in  m'sia  on  Tue May 15, 2007  at  08:19 PM
I don't think it's anything uber new... it just seems like a particular area took it out of control. I've seen and heard of it being done, but it's not a game like Fightclub, like that one person is trying to make it out to be... it's just a stupid prank people do when they're bored. Also, it doesn't happen that often, because it takes too much time to do it, and it's only partially funny once.

I think some kid just got excited and tried to make it sound liike a bigger deal than it was, or it was a REALLY slow news week in Delaware.
Posted by Mera  on  Wed May 16, 2007  at  01:45 AM
I remember doing this to a guy when I was in 6th year at school (Glasgow) but it went on before that in my school. And since I'm now in 2nd year of University that would make it 3 years ago I did it.
Posted by Renquist  in  Glasgow, Scotland  on  Wed May 16, 2007  at  06:57 AM
It can't be too old, backpacks in schools aren't that old. It sounds to me like something a "cool" kid would do to prove how cool he is and since he is "cool" the stupidity continued. And I think Mera is right, the time it would take makes it unlikely to be done all that often.
Posted by Christopher Cole  in  Tucson, AZ  on  Wed May 16, 2007  at  02:43 PM
That sounds stupid

I don't remember it (I'm 24)
Posted by Josh  in  Texas  on  Wed May 16, 2007  at  08:03 PM
It'd be funny the first time, but if you had it done to you 15 times like that kid had done to him then you'd start wanting to punch someone in the spleen
Posted by MangaBottle  on  Wed May 16, 2007  at  10:01 PM
I remember flipping being done when I was a freshman in 2003. Sure, I can see where its annoying, but I think the concept is inately funny for some reason. I don't know about all this fight club buisness though 0_o
Posted by Bill  in  Maryland  on  Sat May 19, 2007  at  04:16 PM
Reminds me of the Steven Wright joke:
While I was gone, somebody rearranged all the furniture in my bedroom. They put it in *exactly* the same place it was. When I told my roommate, he said: "Do I know you?"
It's not as bad as wedgies and wet willies. I guess since there is no physical contact.
Posted by Lina  in  Miami  on  Mon May 21, 2007  at  03:52 PM
Yes, this is real. We call it nuggeting at my high school but in no way is it as widespread or dramatic as the student portrayed it in the article. (e.g. - it's not something that I believe is "sweeping the nation.") As to whether it's new or not I would assume it's new as I had never heard of it before last year or so.
Posted by Matt  in  Massachusetts  on  Tue May 22, 2007  at  05:08 PM
There's tons of information on turtling bags on this site:
Posted by Lance  on  Fri Jun 29, 2007  at  05:27 PM
We did this a lot sophomore year of high school and i graduated back in 97
Posted by MHatter106  on  Sat Jul 28, 2007  at  01:40 AM
Hhaha yeah. WE used to do that all the time. On muck-up we flipped all the year seven bags except for one. The one that wasn't flipped had shaving sprayed everywhere on the inside :D
Posted by alvin  in  detroit  on  Mon Dec 01, 2008  at  04:07 AM
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