Having a disability can be empowering, especially once you learn how to screw with able-bodied people. Of course, some disabilities are invisible - so don't judge.

Midolesi asked disabled people of Reddit: What's something you do on purpose to mess with people?

Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.


I have a friend whose mom has a plate in her head from a tumor she had when my friend was young. She used to sneeze at parties and drop a handful of tiny screws.


Something something she had a couple screws loose lol.


14. Quit pulling our legs.

I used to take my prosthetic leg off, turn it around and wear it backwards in school to get out of lessons with a substitute teacher. They'd always look horrified when I said that I'd "sprained my ankle" though.

The teachers caught on quickly enough once they mentioned it to other staff members though lol.


You should do a prank with some friend, play fight. Make sure the substitute sees him twist your leg around, and when he comes to break you up, just discretely put your leg into position and walk. Your friend could also say something like "oh just walk it off!"


I'm 27 and work as a web developer now. Unfortunately, I've got to be a little more professional; and nobody would buy it in my office lol.


13. I bet it never gets old.

One of my moms best friends has one arm and uses a prosthetic arm. She likes to unlatch it at bars and then shake hands with men and then they pull off her arm. My mom and her friends greatly enjoy this prank.


This is a nice arm, I gotta hand it to ya.


12. Show 'em.

I'm a wheelchair user but not a paraplegic. I also have restless leg syndrome (unrelated). People mention my leg moving in relation to my wheelchair a lot, like a "you can move your legs, so obviously you can walk." I put away my glasses, stand up, take a few steps and fall hard.


A lot of people don't realize that someone can be in a wheelchair for a variety of reasons. I've met people who could walk fine but still needed a wheelchair because they had a heart condition that caused them to pass out randomly.


11. Meat.

My friend's father lost his leg just below the hip in a motorcycle accident and always wears a prosthetic; if you didn't know better, you'd think he just has a limp. Occasionally during Halloween he'll participate in the neighborhood haunted house. There was one year that he stuffed ground beef between his stump and the prosthetic and then shackled his prosthetic to the wall. When some kids wandered into his room of the haunted house he chopped through the ground beef with an axe and hopped toward them on one leg. They wet themselves.


That reminds me of a story I was told by a re-enactor. Someone he knew lost a leg to a misfiring cannon. They have a realistic prosthetic most of the time, now.

So they would arrange to be carried off the battliefield screaming and with their fake leg covered in fake blood, past the watching crowd and into the medical tent. Then the physician would drop the flaps on the tend and saw through a piece of wood while the guy screamed some more. Then they would open the tent and chuck the blood covered fake leg into a bucket, and the guy would hop out on a peg leg! Apparently people in the audience would faint!


10. Curb your expectations.

Yaaay I finally get to tell this story: not really something I've done multuple times but it still fits here.

I have Cerebral palsy which most noticably affects lower limb function as well as upper limb fuction in a less visible manner. I can still walk short distances with crutches or a walker, but need to be pushed in a wheelchair for anything longer then say 25 meters?.

In any case, a friend and I had been hanging around downtown with me in a wheelchair, having my crutches with me out of habit. When we were just about home I asked if he minded letting me walk for a bit, so I got out and toddled on with my crutches. Not having anything better to do with the wheelchair my friend decides to get in and try some wheelies or whatever.

I don't mind so of we went. For whatever reason we decide to cross the street. I struggle a bit but manage eventually. My able-bodied friend however, did not. In trying to get off the sidewalk, he keels over (presumably spectacularly as my back was turned and I didn't get to see this part, but he landed like a meter away from the wheelchair). Some people who had just come around the corner however did see the whole thing and rushed toward him to help. They had almost reached my friend when he simply (but swiftly) got up on is feet, and started pushing what those people presumed was his own wheelchair, making his way toward me as nonchalantly as he could muster. Needless to say that was not something you'd expect to happen, and this surprise was plain to see on their face

I still remember the look, as I could barely hold in my laughter.


9. I wanna go.

In the town of Pushkar, India there's a teashop off the street coming from the train station. When young tourists walk by with their backpacks, the tea seller comes lurching out of the shadows like f*cking Quasimodo growling, "Chai, chai, chai!" with one eye screwed up, terrifying them. If you go into his shop, though, suddenly he's acting normal - he has a deformity in one leg that gives him a limp, which he massively exaggerates for effect. Once you're in on the joke, it's fun to drink tea there and wait/hope for him to scare more backpackers.


8. Didn't see it coming eh? Also, these are a thing.

I had a blind guy come into the movie theatre and ask for the closed caption glasses. I got them out and handed them to him before I realized he was messing with me.


I had no idea these were a thing either. " Sony Entertainment Access Glasses are sort of like 3-D glasses, but for captioning. The captions are projected onto the glasses and appear to float about 10 feet in front of the user. They also come with audio tracks that describe the action on the screen for blind people, or they can boost the audio levels of the movie for those who are hard of hearing. "


8. Must be immensely satisfying.

I'm hard of hearing (deaf through my left ear), and whenever I meet new people or when I'm new somewhere like school, I don't immediately inform people about my hearing. Then, when they start talking to me or asking questions and I don't hear them, they often get upset/mad and say "What are you? Deaf?" And then I answer "Yes."
You should see their faces once they realize I'm not joking.


7. Scars tell stories.

I have what they call an "invisible disability" (it's not visually obvious right away.) I've had a lot of surgeries to correct various things wrong with my body, though, and I sometimes worry what people will say when I'm at the beach or the pool.

Usually some little kid will ask me or point me out to their parents, and I try to come up with an excellent reason for the scars. A bear attack, a shark attack, a llama attack (that got some laughs), fighting off 27 knife-wielding criminals, etc.


Same. I have a lotta surgical scars on my lower back/upper ass and a few of the scars poke up above my waist line. So when someone asks about the scars I like to tell them "They gave me a new butt because the one I had a crack in it." Never fails to get a few laughs.


6. Hero powers.

I have a hearing disability, and I'm a middle school teacher. A lot of my students don't understand that "hearing disability" does not mean the same thing as "zero sound 100% completely stone deaf."

That means that occasionally, students will talk in my classroom about things they wouldn't tell a teacher. Then I can quietly take action on the things I hear, when it's needed. HOW did the assistant principal find out who took that embarrassing video of one girl and started passing it around the school? WHY did the bully's schedule get changed so she's no longer in the same class as her victim?

Magic, that's how, kids. MAGIC.


The hero we need.


Thank you for making your disability to your super hero power! I know that the bully victims definitely appreciate it!


5. Perfect.

Oh man my go to story for this is the first week of Infinity Wars in theaters.

So I have cystic fibrosis, long story short ended up with a port in my chest. It's a device used to deliver medicine, and it leaves a pretty sizeable bump there.

Okay so throughout the movie these two absolute jackholes just keep blabbing, won't shut up after multiple times asking. Probably should have gotten the concierge to kick them out now that I think about it, but hindsight is 20/20. So after the movie ends and everyone is walking out I walked up behind them and coughed really loud on them. They turned to me, I apologized and said "oh my God I'm so sorry. Make you sure you go sanitize right away." I pull down my shirt revealing the bump. "Technically I shouldn't even be out if the hospital, they still don't know what this is."

Brushed past them and left, so I have no idea how they reacted but I like to think I gave em a scare.


4. The best lessons need only be taught once.

Favorite story about my s.o.b. uncle: He lost his leg above his knee years and years ago. Nowadays, the prosthetics are a bit more comfortable, and can use suction to stay in place - long time ago though, he'd have to wear a special belt, and buckle his prosthetic to it. It was really uncomfortable. If he knew he was going to be sitting for a while, he'd unbuckle his leg to relieve some of the pressure. He'd usually sit on the outside of the table/booth when going out, to stretch it out a bit.

He and my aunt were eating dinner at a diner in their small town, and there was an unruly small child running amok. Kid was running around, getting into things he shouldn't etc, and nobody did anything because: small town diner. My uncle was getting irritated. So, from his spot on the outside of the booth, he stretches his leg a little further than normal, and sure enough the kid takes the bait. He comes over and kicks my uncle's leg... Which flops like 90 degrees to the side, amid my uncle's (fake) screams of pain.

Kid didn't bother anyone else that night.


3. Might as well.

I am pretty much legally blind in one eye and vision is going in the other, my glasses help a bit but not much. I always have people ask me how many fingers I'm holding up and I always say "I don't know, 23?" because I'm just tired of hearing people ask.


You should flip them off and say "how many fingers am I holding up"


2. Super humor.

When I was in college, I shared a few classes with a guy who was severely disabled. I don't remember what the nature of his disability was exactly, but he was confined to a wheelchair with very limited use of his body and had a caretaker who took notes for him. His outward appearance was no indication of his intelligence, wit, and humor though. The guy was sharp as a tack and funnier than hell. We became great buds that semester. Anyway, in one class we had a very old school professor that ran the class like an angry Catholic nun. In addition to this, the professor constantly treated my buddy as if he was mentally disabled just because he was in a wheelchair. But rather than taking direct offense to the professor's condescending attitude, my buddy saw it as an opportunity to flip the script and just played into it by randomly yelling out, "TIMMAY!!!" every 15 minutes or so. All. Semester. Long. It never didn't get a laugh, and the professor would be seething by the end of every class session with zero recourse.


Partied with a similar dude- a college grad but wheelchair bound because of childhood injury who had some vocalizations. But he could communicate better with a text to speech computer that looked like a keyboard (just before smart phone/tablet era). Dude would get hammered drunk (sipping drink via a straw) and then start screwing up his keyboard input so the computer voice would mess up. Imagine a computer voice like from Stephen Hawking but gone drunk and wonky. He was a hoot.


1. We are what we are.

A paraplegic friend of mine always makes purposefully awkward handicapped jokes. It would work better if he didn't do it in a discord chat with new people, but the reactions he gets are pretty funny anyway.


I'm nearly legally blind/deaf and I do the same. It's always enjoyable to see people's reactions and then get the usual questions. Glad to know someone else does it as well!


Have you ever been disabled?

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