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Fool-Proof Pranks for the Office

Fool-Proof Pranks for the Office

Hamsa Ramesha | HRPeople

March 25, 2010

April Fools is here, and that means you’ve either got a nefarious prank up your sleeve, or are taking some PTO to avoid being pranked. Whatever type of funny business you choose for April Fools’ Day, make sure that you don’t cross the line and get yourself fired or involved in a lawsuit! Follow these guidelines when thinking up your practical joke to protect your career, and possibly, your colleagues.

- Consider the level of embarrassment or disruption your prank could cause at work.

- What kind of consequences will your joke have? Anything that could be potentially long term or career-damaging should be avoided.

- What’s your motive? If it’s revenge, it’s not a prank. Back off now.

- Who is your victim? If your boss is your target, tread carefully. Be extra cautious when fooling employees who are higher up the corporate ladder. The higher they are, the harder they fall.

In the meantime, check out these five office-friendly pranks that you can use to laugh it up come April 1st! We’ve put together a mixed batch of humorous pranks that won’t get you fired, but will get you laughs.

What are you waiting for? Start pranking:

1. Office Ransom

The Prank:
Steal an item of value from your victim. Objects of value such as special writing tools, a nice mouse, an ergonomic keyboard, or a personal coffee cup, work well. Take a picture of the item and leave it on their desk along with a ransom note. Extra points for wearing a wicked mustache!

Level: C This prank is simple, and to the point. You can’t go wrong with this practical joke, but you aren’t impressing anybody either. Points for trying, but you lose on actual cleverness.

2. The Pen is Mightier

The Prank:
The say the pen is mightier than the sword. Have you tried testing that theory? Take all the pens from your colleague’s desk and paint some of the tips with clear nail polish so that they won’t write. With the remaining pens, glue the caps to the pens so that they won’t come off! Sit back and watch as your coworker goes through everything, trying to find something to write with! (Note: You can remove the nail polish by dipping the pens in nail polish remover. No harm, no foul.

Level: B High points for hilarity and public embarrassment; but this also lacks difficulty and complexity.

3. Office conspiracy

The Prank:
Gather a group of coworkers who will be in on the joke. Have each of them call the victim’s office throughout the day asking for a mysterious employee called “Joe.” Of course, your poor coworker will have no idea who they are asking for and will proceed to become increasingly frustrated by the end of the day. To top it off, at the end of the day, have one last person call in as “Joe” and ask the victim for any messages!

Level: B You get major points for the extended time frame of the prank, coordination of a larger group, but the level of public embarrassment could be higher. Try again.

4. Foiled Again!

The Prank:
Go out and by lots of aluminum foil. Wait until your intended victim leaves for the day on March 31. Once you’re sure he’s left the premises, you and your fellow colleagues start covering everything in aluminum foil. And we mean everything, like his desk, pens, books, phone, and chair. (Note: You can also try shrink wrap or other similar materials if you prefer.)

Level: A- Points for involving more people, and creating a small conspiracy! While it’s not the most devious prank in the world, it is pretty hilarious. Kudos for a job well done!

5. Bathroom Bait

The Prank:
This complex office joke will guarantee you as the reigning prank master if you can pull it off successfully! You’ll need a pair of pants, socks, shoes, and something to stuff them with, like a large doll or crushed newspaper. Go into a bathroom stall at work and place the stuffed pants on the toilet seat, so that it looks like someone is using the stall. Lock the stall door and get out of there! Set up a fake bathroom dummy for however many stalls your office bathroom has. If you really want to go for it, hide a tape recorder in the bathroom with sounds of flushing and other bathroom-appropriate noises! Sit back and laugh it up as coworkers wait, and wait, and wait for an empty stall. Level: A

Congratulations for pulling off a masterful prank without getting caught and successfully frustrating your fellow coworkers. You win major points for pulling off a pretty complicated prank that required a lot of planning, stealth and sheer nerve. You are a prank king!