Pranking is a timeless pastime where it is simultaneously a hysterical and terrifying experience depending on your role in a given scenario.
Over the years, we've seen our share of elaborately staged situations on TV where prank victims are caught unawares and are either startled or fooled into believing what they're witnessing is actually happening in real life.
Some go too far. Remember Scare Tactics, where loved ones' worst fears were realized and exploited for TV viewers to laugh at?
Or Ashton Kutcher's hidden camera show Punk'd–which relentlessly humiliated victims?
We may have laughed watching these programs, but we know full well that we would never want to be the clueless participants.
Curious to hear of effective but more preferable ways of tricking people, Redditor jacree8678 asked mischievious Redditors:
"What are some harmless ways to f'k with people?"
People would be stumped upon hearing these.
"My dad used to have this game with a friend. They embarrassed me endlessly when I was a teen (but that was a bonus)."
"Basically, when they were walking in the street, whenever they were passing someone, they would say things like:"
"Remember, when you pushed your mother-in-law down the stairs...?"
"I mean, it wasn't that much drug, usually I carry way more than that!"
"Where did you hide the knife after stabbing him?"
"You get the idea, anything absolutely awful as if they were having an entire conversation about drugs, murder, whatever."
"My dad and his friend had the whole hippie look as well, so innocent passersby would quickly cross the street."
"I mispronounce Famous peoples names constantly then say it correctly randomly so they never know what to expect."
"Billie Eleash, John Legends, Jason Ackles."
"When at work, tell someone: I’m going to the bathroom do you need anything?"
Some pranksters like to set the scene and observe for their viewing pleasure.
"Buy a set of 'Voice Activated' or 'Motion Activated' stickers from Amazon, and the possibilities are endless."
"I'm a huge fan of just handing somebody something without any explanation and walking away."
Hidden April Fool's
"I put a tiny piece of masking tape over my co-worker’s mouse laser on April fool’s day one year, wrote 'April fool’s' on it. He troubleshot every single thing except examining the mouse. He eventually called IT who simply turned the mouse over and pointed it out to him."
"I know someone who always takes an item to a party & leaves it somewhere in the house, ie a trinket/tchotchke."
Throwing someone off when they expect something else that's totally different is a classic favorite.
"I saw someone on Facebook comment on a picture that 'The three of you look great!.' There were 4 people in the picture."
Punking The Siblings
"Every year on National Sibling Day, I post about my two great siblings. I have three siblings."
"When you shake someone's hand, move yours left to right. As they do the traditional up and down, a hilarious circle ensues."
"When driving I like to wave at random people as if I knew them. Hilarious to see instant confusion on their faces."
This isn't really a prank, per se, but it is a tactic I've used to ward off harassers on the streets of New York city.
Every time I encountered an individual who would pester me as I was walking alone at sundown and either antagonize me or relentlessly hit me up for drugs I never had, I would tell them immediately, "I'm allergic to bananas."
The nonsequitur statement literally paralyzes them as their brain tries to process what it just heard. And in those moments, I manage to gain more time to further the distance.
I have no idea how I came up with that combination of words but it has worked every time.
Maybe even saved my life.