Top Ten Office Pranks

Status: April Fool Pranks has issued a press release listing what they have determined to be the top ten office pranks, based on a survey of 2500 office workers. Here they are:

1. Change the caller ID on a co-worker's phone to read Mr. Kitten every time he calls someone.
2. Place random objects from people's desks in the vending machine.
3. Place a live goldfish in an IV bag in a clinic.
4. Sneak onto someone else's computer and send out an "I love you" email to the entire office.
5. Wall-paper someone's entire cube with headshots of his co-workers.
6. Pull the shelves out of the break room refrigerator, hide inside and jump out at co-workers as they open the door.
7. Sit on the copier and place the copies back in the paper bin. Anytime co-workers make copies, they have the image of the prankster's backside in the background.
8. Turn all the clocks in the office one hour back to make the work day seem longer.
9. Lock all the doors, shut off the lights and put a "Closed" sign in the window when the boss went out for lunch.
10. Place fake rubber chocolates in the break room and watch as co- workers try to chew them.

Which reminds me of another office April Fools prank someone told me about. (They swore they participated in it.) On April 1st everyone in the office quit, filing into the HR person's office one after another. Almost caused the boss to have a heart attack. Of course, the danger with that prank is that you might not get rehired.

April Fools Day Pranks

Posted on Tue Mar 28, 2006


How do you get into the vending machine? What kind of fool hides in a fridge? How would you not know a chocolate is rubber when you picked it up? These seem pretty far fetched. There seems to be a need for access, audacity, and foolishness most people are not going to have.
Posted by Lonewatchman  on  Tue Mar 28, 2006  at  03:35 PM
I think my favourite
was to take a screenshot of someones desktop
then set it was wallpaper on their machine
and then delete all their icons.
Posted by Sharruma  on  Tue Mar 28, 2006  at  03:35 PM
The only one of these we should encourage is #6.
A few weeks of that should cut way down on the office prankster population.
Posted by Big Gary in Old Dime Box, Texas  on  Tue Mar 28, 2006  at  04:29 PM
I tried one I got from a Scott Adams book - call someone in the department, then quickly forward the call to someone else thereby confusing both people into thinking the other called them. It was mildly humorous.
Posted by Charybdis  on  Tue Mar 28, 2006  at  04:43 PM
#6 will get you dead. Refrigerators are air tight. There should be a warning next to it, lest someone actually try it.
Posted by Terry Austin  on  Tue Mar 28, 2006  at  04:48 PM
#6 reminds me of that Pink Panther movie where Inspector Clouseau instructs his houseboy, Cato, to make surprise attacks on him to keep his reflexes sharp. Clouseau comes home and searches the whole apartment expecting an attack. When he doesn't find him, he opens the refrigerator for something and out jumps Cato. Classic Peter Sellers!
Posted by Captain Al  on  Tue Mar 28, 2006  at  05:28 PM
I've done the snapsot of the desktop thing, though it's easier to use a graphics display program set to fullscreen. Some people get their desktop icons set *just* right, you know.

Changing startup or shutdown sounds is another good one. If you've got some expertise, have a false error message pop up advertising a PEBKAC error...
Posted by Robin Bobcat  on  Tue Mar 28, 2006  at  10:17 PM
Some university pranks I pulled:

1) If a tutor was ever late, I'd forward his phone to a random extension.

2) Phone system had a 'ring-back' feature where you could call another number and if you pressed #6 before it was answered whenever the other user stopped using their phone, yours would ring, then when you picked it up, so would theirs. I was working with two postgrads who shared an office. On every trip to their office I'd add a random ring-back to the phone. Time and again the phone would ring and ring until answered, at which point it'd dial some complete stranger. In the end they stopped answering it, just picked up the phone and slammed it down again... which of course didn't cancel the ring-back, hence it started again next time the other user put their phone down.

3) The simplest, but hardest to get away with, was to forward a phone extension to itself. When on the hook it'd ring, when picked up it gave the busy signal. Constantly. Someone else, not me, managed to set this up on the phone of a Prof who'd just gone for a three-week conference tour. The phone rang non-stop for several days!
Posted by David B.  on  Wed Mar 29, 2006  at  06:21 AM
That sounds like a fun prank, David!

I'm not sure what I'm going to do this April Fools day. Maybe I'll try the one where you take a screen shot of the desktop and delete the icons. I can just imagine my co-worker's screams of frustration when they click on an icon over and over and it does nothing. He has a rather bad reputation for losing it when it comes to dealing with computers. 😊
Posted by Sakano  on  Wed Mar 29, 2006  at  11:56 AM
I would do that one to a few people here, but I'm the one they'd call to fix it. It's not as fun then.
Posted by Charybdis  on  Wed Mar 29, 2006  at  12:12 PM
I have a couple planned. One will be wrapping a colleague's entire cubicle in plastic wrap. Yeah, I know it's wasteful...

Another involves hooking up an extra wireless mouse to a co-worker's computer. Periodically, as they are working or mousing along, use the wireless mouse to make their cursor do all kinds of things.

One I haven't used in a while is to add "fun" things to the Word or WordPerfect "Auto-Correct" feature so that common words and phrases get changed to more colorful language. You'd be surprised how long someone will get frustrated by having "the" replaced by "duh" or "Sincerely" replaced by "Screw You!" everytime they type it.
Posted by Robbity-bobbity-boo  on  Wed Mar 29, 2006  at  08:22 PM
One year, we labeled our classroom -- this could easily be adapted for an office environment. Printed labels, taped to things, saying "desk" "door" "chair" "pencil" "pencil" "pencil" "computer monitor" (best if large enough to cover the screen) and so on.

There's also covering the nearest ceiling lights with cellophane for a weird color effect, and other decorating options.

Another one I've done is set out a bowl of the starch-derived biodegradeable packing peanuts and labeling it "low calorie snack food."
Posted by cvirtue  on  Thu Mar 30, 2006  at  07:24 AM
The best April Fools joke I ever did was to call in sick ... from the lunchroom. I dialed an outside number and called the lead in my office. I walked in all cheerful as she turned around and said "GODDAMN ERIC ISN'T ..."

And then she saw my smiling face.
Posted by Eric  on  Thu Mar 30, 2006  at  02:38 PM
My mom & her best friend brought fake chocolates to work sometime in the late 40s or 50s. One of their co-workers was a particularly annoying man who would take from people's candy dishes but never brought anything himself, so they covered a rectangular pencil eraser and a round typewriter eraser with chocolate and put it in the candy dish. It cured him real quick.

This was the same man who used to pull on my mom's bra strap. He did it one too many times & she reached around and whomped him with her stapler.
Posted by Isabeau  on  Thu Mar 30, 2006  at  06:26 PM
I did the desktop screenshot one last year. I just set up this year's tricks. Messing up the keyboard layout, switching the modifier keys etc.
Posted by Ian  on  Sat Apr 01, 2006  at  12:44 AM
a few simple ones:

1-put a piece of tape over the sensor on the bottom of somebody's optical mouse.

2-another i've done is to tape down the hang up button on someone's phone so that when they pick up the receiver there's no dial tone.
Posted by jennie  on  Sat Apr 01, 2006  at  05:27 PM
I've done both of those. Other good ones are writing 'God Hates You' on their adding machine tape, then rewinding it. Either that or tape it down in back so it won't feed. Also, take the tape out of their dispenser and put it back in sticky side up.

Also, if they still use liquid paper, paint the threads then screw the cap back on. It pretty much glues it shut. Oh, and taping their staples really jams things up good, too.
Posted by Charybdis  on  Sat Apr 01, 2006  at  08:02 PM
These seem kind of stupid, a good one to do is one i found on a site. if anyone in the office has ever watched the ring before, it is great to pass off. here, the instructions are written on the site...

this one is so funny for sending it at night, plus you can send a call to their phone every night up to 7 days. haha its so good try it.
Posted by Gato  on  Mon Apr 24, 2006  at  08:32 AM
fun to watch:
one of our coworkers types while looking at her keyboard - when she went on vacation, we popped the letters off of her home row and rearranged them to spell her name, and also reversed the numbers on the numberpad. She spend a good 15min trying unsuccessfully to log in when she came back, and couldn't understand why the wrong letters were being typed. She eventually called IT in, and was completely mortified when the tech pointed out that the home row sequence is asdfghj - not "lindsay".
Posted by Nina  on  Tue Jun 06, 2006  at  08:00 AM
Use a pin to make small holes around the neck of you colleagues water bottles. It should take a couple of goes before they realise that they are not dribbling and it is really the bottle.
Posted by Andy  on  Tue Jul 25, 2006  at  01:31 AM
Here's a couple that I've done:

Called a colleauge that tends to want to leave and go home early everyday from his boss' phone and leave a voice mail message saying (try to sound like him/her) that he'd be leaving the office for the day at lunch time. When the boss left the office for lunch wait until the colleauge is walking out the door to tell them the truth (or not, depends how much the colleauge annoys you) or just happen to spread the rumor that the boss is leaving at lunch via common communication.

Of course jell-o up the stapler and clock radio in a colleauge's office - need tips?, it's not that easy. email me. aluminum foil works too

move around people's mail into other people's boxes or rearrange someone's office furniture so they can't get behind their desk without clearing the stuff out of the way

Here's a devious one. Colleauge's son has a myspace page. Colleauge tells everything that his son does - even the bad stuff. Create a fake myspace account and contact his son occasionally mentioning the fact that "my friend" stole the number of my dad's credit card and purchased dave matthews tix, my friend's sister is a slut, etc. of course "my friend" would be my colleauge's son's actions

fill up a colleagues voice mail (when they are out to lunch or on vacation) with the annoying fax machine beeps and whistles by calling it from the office fax. Doing it 30 times is such a chore but well worth the effort. Redial helps.

grease up the entrance door handle with crisco or olive oil

connect a wireless number pad to a colleagues computer and keep hitting enter or 9 until he finds out

ton's more......
Posted by Kevin - Master of Evil  on  Fri Oct 13, 2006  at  08:00 PM
Heres one: Change all of their pens and pencils out for crayons.
Posted by Car Wallpaper  on  Wed Feb 06, 2008  at  11:51 PM
At my sister's office they replaced all the boss's Family pictures with pics of them (the employees) in the poses of the family members. My sister ended up posing as her granddaughter sitting cross-legged on the floor with pigtails. One of the guys ended up posing as her grandson with blacked out teeth and a huge cheesy smile. I think it took her a while to notice it.
Posted by Kelly  on  Tue Apr 01, 2008  at  12:47 PM
I LoL'd at nina's comment. She gotta be a computer noob by not noticing the keys arrangement. lol

Guess that it wont work on my keyboard since all the alphabets are worn off. Now there's only empty buttons on my keyboard.
Posted by Clyde  on  Tue Aug 05, 2008  at  06:11 AM
My keyboard is so worn out that not only are some of the letters missing, but the A, S and R keys have holes in them.
Posted by Sakano  on  Tue Aug 05, 2008  at  06:25 AM
The replace-background-with-screenshot-then-delete-icons is old, boring and rubbish. However, it can be improved upon. Write a simple script to cycle the background image with ones where different icons are selected. They'll think the computer has a virus.

Alternatively, write a batch file called "help.bat" containing the following:
start /r help.bat
edit con
This will create a recursive loop opening millions of copies of the batch file at highest processing priority (that bit only works on NT based systems, so it can't be used on 9x/ME), each of which will immediatly freeze up when they try to open up the keyboard input in dos editor. Expect the system to crash very soon...

The traditional way of doing the above is with an infinite loop, however that can be stopped by killing the original copy. With recursion, they have to kill every single one whilst each one clones itself. This is not exactly possible.
Posted by DH  on  Thu May 21, 2009  at  05:10 AM
Very good concept about top ten office pranks. I think the traditional way of doing the above is with an infinite loop. Thanks!
Posted by Mark Waugh  on  Wed Mar 16, 2011  at  05:54 AM
Valuable concept about top ten office pranks. Every points those are you noted here is so much informative and obviously,the danger with that prank is that I might not get rehired. Thanks!
Posted by Ali Hicks  on  Thu Mar 31, 2011  at  07:01 AM
David B., you are my hero. The best I was able to do was loop the voicemail into itself so callers would be answered by other peoples' messages.
Posted by Phone System  on  Wed Jun 29, 2011  at  05:28 PM
Your tips areawesome!!! very funny))I take tham into account) And right now I'm going to turn all the clocks in the office one hour back)))
I have a little addition to your humorous kit: Let's have a look))
Posted by Rebecca Smith  on  Wed Jul 13, 2011  at  04:13 AM
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