Pranks are a delicate topic when they are done in the same place you work. There is a fine line between taking some time to annoy or amuse your colleagues and giving your boss reasons to fire you.
We want to help you on this mission of squeezing more fun out of a lifeless workplace with the 13 best office pranks that are safe to perform.
If you think that practical jokes are just for Halloween or April 1st, it means you are either a sad person or a pure breed workaholic. Numerous studies are suggesting that companies allowing employees to prank each other are more performant that those enforcing strict etiquette.
We do not know if being the victim of a joke makes you more aware of traps and decoys while doing business, but it helps to cheer things up.
After reading this article, you will probably acquire the reflex to check your office for malicious setups each morning
It can be as simple as looking under your optical mouse or checking that suspicions looking toilet paper in the bathroom. Better let people call you a maniac than to allow your cubicle mates a good laugh.
1. Caramel Onions
via Bored Panda
Everyone loves sweets! Given the office rule that any of them left unsupervised for more than a couple of minutes are fair game, sweets are the excellent bait.
Do you often think of ways to get back to those who savagely depleted your donut box? Well, this is your chance.
Caramel apples are one hell of a treat, and every employee knows how a taste of caramelized sugar can wash away the bitterness of a long complaint mail. Just imagine the void in their hearts when they realize onions replaced the apples.
Indeed some of your colleagues might be freaks regarding food, and your onion delicacy might ring an unexpected bell. However, the bet is on people rushing to the toilet to throw up.
While this will likely not get you fired, the others will learn to think twice before stealing your food.
2. Rubber Band Phone
Fixed phones might be extinct from your home, but they are still used by many companies.
Imagine the silence of your office ruined by a phone calling continuously. Add an unfortunate colleague next to it, looking desperate and hopeless at the same time. Do you feel good?
You can get such a thrill after just a couple of minutes of pranking and many rubber bands.
The rubber band trick works best in the kind of office where people rely on phones to do their job. While this might not be a bright idea in a call-center, any other scenario works.
To make things even worse, dial the volume all the way up and add as many rubber bands as the time allows. Coming early to work is the only way to do this properly, and you shouldn’t count on the breaks.
Chances are your boss would be mad about this, but it is certainly not something to get you fired. Losing a day or two of vacation is worth seeing your colleague turn all colors.
3. Air Horn Under Office Chair
Air horns belong to stadiums, but it’s funny to bring them to work.
The sharp noise works best to scare people when it is unexpected. Putting an air horn under the chair of someone in your office is one of the evilest things you could do.
You do need to make sure the device gets activate when someone sits on that chair, so a bit of testing is usually required. Not all office chairs are the same, and again you would need to come early to pull this off correctly.
Don’t imagine that slim new girl intern would detonate this “sound bomb.” Her chair is not even aware when her cute derriere is sitting in it.
Surprise is the key here, and this works almost like one of the bombs terrorists use. The more unsuspecting victims standing nearby, the better.
4. Grass Growing in Keyboard
via Dead State
Grass growing out of someone’s keyboard was not along the universal clue that you have a lazy worker in the company.
However, things have changed, and a bit of Facebook chatting is enough to disturb the delicate ecosystem thriving on the bits of food stuck there from your past lunches.
This prank takes more time to produce the desired effects, and you have to know a couple of things about seeds and how they germinate. The best scenario is the one in which you plant the seeds just before the victim goes on holiday.
A week of delicate and secret watering is enough to create a green oasis right inside the cubicle.
Chances are your boss will like your commitment to such a “green” idea. Next thing you know, he/she will ask to take full responsibility for the plants in the restroom.
Firing the gardener will help the company reduce costs and you, the “expert,” will probably be assigned with mowing the lawn. That sure beats searching for another job!
5. Aluminum Foil Wrap
via Robert Kaplinsky
Aluminum foils are usually used in cooking or by people fearing alien invasion or electromagnetic terrorist attacks.
However, most employees are not aware that the material is excellent for a prank that is both easy to set and shocking for the victim.
Imagine coming one day to your cubicle, just to find it wrapped in aluminum. Would you be mad?
Some pranks like won interior design contests. There are some reports of employees working in offices like this and being too afraid to ask management what is happened while they were gone.
Aluminum foil wrap is one trick that will never get old.
6. Water Glass Prank
via Robust Dad
Before you dismiss this prank as impossible to pull off without getting yourself wet in the first place, we will tell you how it’s done. All you need is one sheet of paper to cover the glass while you flip it, and water will do the rest.
As for the victims of the prank, the only way to remove the glass from the desk is by releasing the water from it. Yes, this is not a cute thing to do, and chances are the pranked one will seek revenge.
Water is no good when it meets official company papers or when it renders laptop unusable. However, such accidents happen rarely, and there is an almost complete guarantee you will not lose your job for this one.
7. Mouse Problems
Computer mice might be small, but they keep the office going.
If you still think you can do your job with the keypad of your laptop, you are in for at least one extra hour at the workplace.
Rendering an optical mouse unusable is one basic trick anyone can learn and perform. You don’t need technical knowledge, and this prank can be done even by senior employees that still miss the typewriter.
An optical mouse works by receiving reflected beams of light from a still surface. However, when that reflective surface moves at the same speed with the mouse, nothing happens.
Duct tape, a small sticky note, and anything small enough to be hidden under the mouse will make this work. Just make sure no one is watching. If you feel inspired, you can even add a small message.
Most professional prankers have a signature that coworkers associated and can recognize with ease.
8. Confusing Keyboard
via Robust Dad
Keyboards are the tools of the trade when it comes to an office.
What happens when they don’t work properly? Chaos is the word to describe it, pure and beautiful chaos.
Switching letters on a keyboard is one idea probably developed by a criminal mastermind. Or maybe someone got so bored at the office and though it is cool to press “d” and get “f.”
The secret for a successful prank is moderation. The less obvious the switch, the more it will take for the victim to figure it out. Everyone knows where “A” should be, but chances are other letter positions are less obvious.
And this leads us to our next prank which takes things to a whole new level.
9. Extra Input Device
Some days feel productive, and you wish you could use an additional keyboard or even an extra mouse.
This fantasy of yours can become a reality with the help of an industrious colleague.
Wireless devices are now dominating the workplace environment and it is just a matter of plugging in the USB receiver. With ranges of the signal going as far as 15 – 20 meters, anybody can have a good laugh as you struggle to get the work done.
Inputting strange and creepy messages in the fraction of a second the eyes are not focused on the monitor can make weaker souls asks for an exorcist or a priest at the office.
10. Toothpaste Oreo
via Dead State
Everyone loves Oreo, but not when the biscuits are filled with toothpaste.
Again, this is one prank to dedicate to those greedy office bullies that steal your food or sample your bag of chips without receiving permission.
This prank is evil because it plays with one of the most significant forces – craving sweets. If a woman is the target, chances are this will not end well for you, and you would have to buy her chocolate just to avoid being told.
Some of your office mates might see the useful side of your prank and convert the failed snack into a tooth brushing session. We are talking perspective here.
Eating toothpaste is not exactly ideal for human health so avoid telling your victims that Oreo changed the cream recipe. Adding manslaughter in your CV will not land you any job outside the county jail.
11. Stapler in Jello
via The Office Wikia
This one here is a classic prank, which was also featured in “The Office,” the primary source of inspiration for everything workplace-related.
If you never tried before, jello is easy to make, and the prank can be altered to incorporate any other object people typically use in a day of intense work.
There is a strong human instinct telling you not to ruin the perfect consistency of gelatin, but chances are your boss’s cry will seed sense into you.
The maneuver is not pretty, and a lot of cleaning is usually required.
12. Bear in The Office
Your typical office has a no-animal rule.
Nevertheless, this prank is so good it goes above the law. Of course, no one should get hurt by the bear roaming from one cubicle to another.
Do not even think of taming a wild bear for extra special effect. This prank should be left to the professionals – bears brought from the circus or specially trained to perform office pranks.
With the animal around, it is probably the best moment to ask for a raise or to negotiate more days of paid vacation. You will never put more pressure on management than with a bear ready to do anything you command.
We are sure this prank originated in Russia.
13. Sexy New Secretary
This prank will toy with your emotions and instincts more than anything else imaginable.
The sexy new secretary scenario ruined lives, especially in workplaces where the female workforce is scarce. Even your boss can play this to you, and all that is needed is an attractive girl eager to earn some easy money.
Sit and watch how the whole office is turned upside down by the unexpected apparition. Men will soon fill her desk with offerings while women will not stop chattering about her.