Gotcha! What's the Best Prank you ever Pulled?

Have you ever pulled a prank so preposterous that all involved couldn’t help but pat you on the back and absolve you of any consequences? Or, have you ever been the one pleasantly punk’d? They say the true evidence of a great sense of humour is the ability to take a joke, not make one—but we’ll take either. Here are a few of the best ones shared by RD readers

RD Readers Published Jul 8, 2024 18:35:51 IST
Gotcha! What's the Best Prank you ever Pulled? illustrations by Serge Seidlitz

An Exercise in Futility

My best friend has always been competitive. Once, while we used adjacent ellipticals, I set mine to age 99 and 999 pounds so the display showed I was burning three times more calories than she was. She rode that machine like a bronco, trying to match me, until I gave in and told her what I’d done. Now we both mess with the settings to amuse each other. —From S.C.

The Dairy Queen’s Jester

We live next to a Dairy Queen that, naturally, we frequent. My sister-­in-law told us that if we saved enough of the little red spoons that come with the ice cream treats, we’d get a free Blizzard. I saved and saved, but when I went to redeem my spoon collection, the cashier was confused. The manager broke it to me that there was no such promotion, then gave me a free cone anyway. My sister-in-law couldn’t believe I fell for it—and considering she’s a notorious prankster, neither could I. —From Gerald Maynard

Health Nut Glut

My aunt and uncle were religiously healthy eaters. So when they visited my medical office on April Fools’ Day, I knew a prank was in order. I forged a medical article extolling white bread, eggs and red meat, and warning of the dangers of whole grains and excessive vegetables. The longer they read, the lower they sank in their chairs. Until they got to the last line: “What can we conclude from this research? Never trust an article handed to you on April Fools’ Day.” —From Gary Auxier

The Ol’ Switcherflu

My new boyfriend and I both scheduled flu shots. Mine was first, and before I got home I moved the bandage from my arm to my derriere. He was distressed at the thought of receiving a shot there. When we returned for his shot, he was relieved when the pharmacist told him to roll up his sleeve instead. We both laughed hysterically on the way home. We’ve been together for four years now, so I guess he can take a joke. —From Peggy Squires

Getting an Earful

A prankster in my office thought it would be funny to put a big glob of hand cream on the receiver of another co-worker’s landline so the goo would squish in his ear the next time he answered the phone. But the instigator didn’t think it was so funny when he found out­—the hard way­—that someone had switched the phones when he wasn’t looking. —Fred Moore


A Lightbulb Moment

I stayed home while my parents went on vacation. Back at home, they dragged their luggage through the door and began turning on lights. Except the lights weren’t working. My dad checked the breaker panel: No blown fuses. They checked the electric bill: It was paid. Finally, my dad reached into a lamp to change the bulb. That’s when they discovered that all bulbs in the house had been unscrewed just enough so they wouldn’t work. —David Shelton

Phoning It In

I work in a corporate IT department. One April Fools’ Day I forwarded the phone calls for everyone in the entire office to one co-worker’s line. Her phone blew up for hours with callers trying to find out why they couldn’t reach their intended parties and asking when the situation would be fixed. It wasn’t until the afternoon that she finally figured it out. Everyone else had a great day! —Bella Williams

Putting the ‘Gas’ in Gaslighting

Years ago, all my boss could talk about was the fantastic gas mileage of his new Volkswagen Beetle. We got so tired of hearing about it that we decided to help—by adding a gallon of gas to his car’s tank every day. He was getting 402 km per gallon by the time he learned what we had been up to. —Richard Peluso

A Prank for the Books

If a lost library card turned up at the branch where I worked, the no-nonsense head librarian would get on the intercom and announce the owner’s name so the person could come to the desk and retrieve the card. That gave me an idea: I made a bunch of fake library cards and scattered them around the stacks on April Fools’ Day. All day, famous literary characters—Anna Karenina, Ramona Quimby, Sam Spade, even Winnie “DaPou”—were getting paged to come pick up their lost cards. When I returned to the library years later, the head librarian recognized me and said, “You’re the one who did the April Fools’ prank.” Then I saw something I’d never seen in all my time working there—the head librarian’s smile. —Violet Levoit


Calling all clowns, comedians, rascals, jesters and jokers! Share your best prank with us at Double points if it’s a wholesome one!


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