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Five Harmless Practical Jokes

Updated on February 16, 2008

I love to play jokes on people, as my old roommates can grimly tell you. Don’t worry, I’m not an evil practical joker (no buckets of pig blood for me). I simply get a kick out of messing with other people. I’ve gotten my payback—I lived with my aunt and uncle for a few years in my late teens and early twenties. Their three young boys learned my joking ways from an early age. Now that they are entering their teenage years, I have to watch out for their jokes. All I can say is that I’m glad I no longer live with them after all they learned from me!

Practical Jokes of Yesteryear

#1 Turn Everything Upside Down

The beauty of this joke is that it is so unexpected. You can make it a big job by doing it to everything in the house, or one specific room. This includes turning pictures and posters, pieces of furniture, and even rugs upside down. Or, you can just hit certain areas: turn everything in the refrigerator upside down, turn all of the books on a bookshelf upside down, or turn all of the contents inside the kitchen cupboards upside down. Sometimes it takes people a while to notice, but once they do, they will be surprised and you will get a laugh.

#2 Move Things Around

Reorganizing someone else’s stuff can really throw them for a loop. Go switch the contents of their sock drawer with the silverware drawer. If someone methodically lays their shoes out in pairs, switch them around so half of the left shoes end up on the right. Or, replace all of the shoes in one person’s closet with all of the shoes in someone else’s closet. As long as it is silly and doesn’t seriously invade someone else’s privacy, go for it. Put the toothpaste where your dad’s reading glasses go, and the glasses where the toothpaste goes. Put rugs where blankets go, and blankets where rugs go. Use your imagination.

#3 Switch Your Voicemail or Answering Machine Announcement

You can do this to your own voicemail, or to that of someone else. Be sure to gauge the practicality of this one—if your cousin runs a daycare out of her house, don’t replace her announcement with something unprofessional. If you pull this prank, just be silly. My uncle once changed their announcement to: “This is Butch’s Gun Shop. We aren’t here right now, so leave a message.” He disguised his voice, so that even my aunt thought she had dialed the wrong number when she called home. My grandpa went so far as to call the phone company and request them to make sure the phone lines hadn’t been crossed, and then he insisted they credit him for the long distance charges he incurred when trying to call my aunt and uncle. Find something silly that your friends and family will get, and have fun.

#4 Create Funny Labels

Print out funny labels, and put them on things around the house. For example, you can attack the spice rack by sticking labels onto the different spice bottles. Place a “Warning: Keep out of reach of children. For external use only, not to be swallowed. If certain body parts become spontaneously combustible, consult your doctor immediately” label on the cinnamon jar. Stick a “For Erectile Dysfunction” label on the cumin jar. Make an “Add to your cooking so it doesn’t taste so bad” label to the oregano jar. Use your imagination—and let me know what you think of!

#5 The Quarter Coordination Test

This joke is different from the rest because you are actually doing something to another person. The other four practical jokes can be done when nobody is around—and, chances are that you can try to remain anonymous. That’s not case for this one. I remember watching my mom play this one on other people when I was a kid. Tell your victim that this is a coordination test you recently learned about. Give him or her a piece of paper, a quarter, and a pencil. Have your jokee hold the quarter down with one hand, and use the pencil to trace circles around the quarter with the other hand. After a little while, have your victim roll the quarter in patterns around his or her face. Repeat. You will get a kick watching your victim mark up his or her face. After a few times, shrug and announce it must not work. See how long it takes before your victim looks in a mirror.

These are just a few of the many fun and harmless jokes you can play on people. If you end up laughing more than everyone else when you play these jokes, have no fear. Practice makes perfect. Before you know it, other people will be laughing too. Or, they will start avoiding you and looking wary whenever they see you coming. Happy joking!


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    • Anjo Bacarisas II profile image

      Anjo Bacarisas II 

      7 years ago from Cagayan de Oro, Philippines

      i love this so much, your great! keep hubbing.. voted up :)

    • profile image

      shorty luhv 

      8 years ago

      one really good harmless prank that i have pulled is get a handfull of salt and go to that persons room and sprinkle it on there pillow and when they go to bed that will go up there nose or if u stand at the door laughing he will lick his pillow and get a rewally bad taste and go crazy its so funny i recoreded it and put it on youtube got 50 million hits

    • profile image

      Indian jokes 

      8 years ago

      nice jokes.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I tied down the nosel on the Kitchen sink. My sister got squirted so badly. She was soked.

    • profile image

      Hindi chutkule sms 

      9 years ago

      nice jokes..

    • Michael Shane profile image

      Michael Shane 

      9 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

      Good pranks! I like em' all! Fun hub!

    • fits4life profile image

      Cherri Brown-Jett 

      9 years ago from Richmond

      This is funny. I love joking around too. I don't enjoy it to the point of hurting someone. But its nice to surprise people and to get them to loosen up! Nice Hub.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      With Jeremy now. I am a work colleague that arranged this with Hotel Jeremy was at on business.I arranged it as he laughed so much as joke was done to us on our wedding night and as we all in office were sick of him boasting about sleeping as soon as his head hits the pillow.

      Joke is harmless and I speak out strongly about making it harmful.Idea is to surprise somebody that is hopefully very tired and make him make a bed fully before he can have a sleep.

      1.You need Flat Sheet,Fitted Sheet and traditional bedding such as blankets and covers

      2.First of all you either hide fitted sheet,but only somewhere he`ll easily find it or hide it in between blankets.Just make sure his bed looks normally made when he enters his room.

      3Put flat sheet on bed and neatly fold sheet from bottom to top of bed tightly tucking it in at sidde,when folded sheet reaches top of bed,folded it over so it looks like top sheet of bed.

      4.If posible hide dried rice inside apple pie bed and betwwen blankets.

      5.Carry on making bed normally now with blankets and top bedspread.Top sheet over blanket as it normally is.

      6.Joke is victim won`t be able to get into the bed.

      7.He`ll have to totally dismantle bed,find fitted sheet and remake completely and clear dried rice if you manage to add that as a bonus.

      What do others think?Great wedding prank,friend,brother,sister,your son???/

    • profile image

      Jeremy Child 

      9 years ago

      Being caught out with a variety of an apple pie bed is a right nuisance when somebody is really tired at the end of the day,but can be exceptionally funny.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      9 years ago from south Florida

      This is one of my favorite pranks to play on someone else (if they have a sense of humor). Hold a white napkin or handkerchief close to someone's face and quickly ask, “What color is this?” The other person will reply “white.” Then ask, “What do cows drink?” Almost everyone you ask will promptly answer, “milk.” You then quickly reply, “No, all the cows I know drink water."

    • frogyfish profile image


      10 years ago from Central United States of America

      Great pranky ideas that aren't mean. Have you ever short-sheeted a bed? We did that some in college. I did it a lot, finally got it done to me, and was I surprised! Ha. Thanks for fun!

    • jdeschene profile image


      10 years ago from Boston, Massachusetts

      Excellent hub! Very good suggestions. I think I'll be trying number one very soon! :)

      Thanks for the great ideas.

    • biglnet profile image


      10 years ago

      Hi Stacie

      Love the hub. I have just written one on practicl jokes as well feel free to take a look

    • misterpm profile image


      11 years ago from Netherlands

      fun..already applied them in practice ;)

    • Gadzooks profile image


      11 years ago from United Kingdom

      Funny stuff maybe, but I also think it could be very irritating... choose your subject carefully!

    • raguett profile image


      11 years ago

      that's great stuff, funny!

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      I was a victim of a practical joke before. My aunt, during a birthday party at our house, asked me if I had a pen. I went immediately to my room, looked for a pen that took me five minutes, went back to her and handed her the pen. When she saw me with the pen, she said "oh good, me too."

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      These are all really great! I could have used them yesterday if I had remembered that it was April Fool's Day!

    • compu-smart profile image


      11 years ago from London UK

      some of these jokes would be soo much fun....i used to love playing jokes on people but the problem was that when something really happened to them they would think it was me playing a joke that is why i never play pratical jokes anymore, as it was like the cry wolf syndrome!! sorry to sound like a party pooper lol,

    • WeddingConsultant profile image


      11 years ago from DC Metro Area

      Love it Stacie, thank you!

    • 2Honest profile image


      11 years ago from Texas

      #4 about the Cumin is priceless! I'm going to try that on my husband =)!

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile imageAUTHOR

      Stacie Naczelnik 

      11 years ago from Seattle

      I've heard of that happening, but never witnessed it! It must have been a very small car.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish MS 

      11 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      I think I saw that on TV!

      Soemone picked up a small car I had and moved it two rows over the in the mall parking lot once. LOL

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile imageAUTHOR

      Stacie Naczelnik 

      11 years ago from Seattle

      That sounds hilarious! The comedian Howie Mandel once had his entire audience move seats when someone left to use the bathroom. She couldn't find her seat when she came back, and he kept asking her to sit down because she was ruining his show. She had a great sense of humor, so it was really funny.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish MS 

      11 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Number 1 and Number 2 are really great.

      Red Skelton did a comedy sketch in which a wife was fed up with her drunk husband. On the next binge, she got help and nailed his bed and night stand, along with pictures halfway up the wall. After 10 minutes of trying to jump up and cling to the bed after he thought he's lost his sense of gravity, the husband was sober. The audience was laughing so much that it was hard to hear the dialogue and the drunk talking to himself.


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