For those of us who grew up watching The Office and thinking that funny office pranks happened every day in the adult world, actually entering the workforce was kind of a disappointment.
But, after reading these 24 Reddit stories about people’s best office pranks, you might be inspired to get out there and be the chaos you want to see in the world!
These pranks might give you ideas you can use in your office to have a good laugh and refresh the office environment.
“Photocopied a single paperclip. Randomly placed copies back on the tray. Watched in delight as the machine was taken apart later that day in an attempt find the rogue paperclip that mysteriously appeared on important office memos. To this day, I have never said a word.”
“Joe always sped in the store on the forklift. He’d been talked to several times about it and how he could seriously hurt someone. One night he came up to me apologizing that he hit an end cap on the forklift and shifted the entire 50-foot aisle a good foot. Not cool. It’s time to teach this guy a lesson. The store had been dead and we were getting ready to close. I found a stuffed animal and put some random clothes on it and a hat. I clipped it into the seat of the shopping cart and tucked it down an aisle. We made sure the store was empty and I locked up. That’s when we paged him to a certain area knowing he would bring the forklift. Sure as shit he sped through the main aisle and right before he passed me I pushed the cart in front of him.
A coworker screamed “MY BABY!” just as he hit the cart. The “baby” shot out of the cart, flew about 10 feet and landed in a crumbled mess on the floor. Joe screamed and started crying. We came out laughing and told him that’s why he shouldn’t drive so fast and carelessly. He agreed he would be more careful in the future and if it would be okay for him to take off a little early. He sh*t himself when he hit the cart and needed to clean himself up.
Didn’t speed after that.”
“My first job out of college was as a microbiologist at a food testing lab. They screwed me around on pay and hours, and I just generally had a bad boss.
We had a huge 200-gallon reservoir of water in the back room, which had multiple lines running from it that served de-ionized water to several faucets throughout the facility. So, on my last day, I dumped a container of grape Kool-Aid mix in the reservoir and peaced out.
I didn’t hear anything else about it until 2 years later when I started dating a girl who I had worked with there, and she said nobody could ever figure out why the water had turned purple, and my boss had to go in on a Saturday and empty out the tank and rerun lines through the whole building.”
“Years ago, I worked in a small office of 5 people. I changed everyone’s desktop clocks ahead one hour and changed the wall clock. Everyone left work an hour early and no one had any idea that I’d done it. I just put my coat on and walked out with everyone else, amazed that it worked and dying inside.” (meltez4lyfe)
“I opened the lift bar on an office chair of a work buddy. I then zip tied an air horn to the post under his chair.
When he sat down the chair level dropped and the air horn went off! HILARIOUS! He sat down for maybe 5 seconds before he realized what the hell was going on!
“Change the Autocorrect on their email but just for a word or two every few days.
I did this for a coworker and started out with somewhat unused words and it always corrected to “nom” or “noom” or “nerm”(without quotes). So he’d type “anticipated” and it would turn into “we nom that the order would have arrived by.”
I added more and more words every couple days and, after a few months, he complained to the boss about his nomnom virus (direct quote).”
“My favorite of all time was simple: Post It notes. After work one day, I went into a coworkers cubicle and labeled every single thing in there. Wall said “WALL”. Each paper clip had a post it. His post it pile had a post it. Every single file he had was labeled.
He found it funny initially, though he changed his mind about a month into finding labels.”
“I am a nurse practitioner who used to work with a doctor in an urgent care office. She was super laid back, and we liked to play pranks on each other over the years. One time, I attached a fishing line to her chair and a large, square tile in the ceiling right above her desk (with confetti resting just above it), so that when she moved her chair, tons of confetti/torn up paper bits fell on her head when she tried to sit down at her desk.”
“Not sure if this will apply, but I was working for a telemarketing company at the time. I was the new guy and they gave me a “lead” to call that was a funeral home.
The name … Myra Maines … my remains … I called a funeral home and asked for my remains. They got me.”
“Whenever someone left their computer open we would sneak a desktop sheep pet program somewhere into their system startup. One guy ended up with 20 of them walking around his desktop and the top of window frames. He didn’t know how to close the program, so he was constantly hurling sheep out of the way with his mouse when he was working.
You can get rid of them by right-clicking. He never figured that out.”
“My mom is a software engineer for Southwest Airlines. One of her favorite stories is that her entire team got together and pretended to have this huge error that they couldn’t figure out called “ID10T” (read: I D ten T). Their manager spent awhile going around asking about the error. When someone finally wrote it out for him, he had a good chuckle about it. Pretty harmless and it got a good laugh from the entire office.”
“I don’t work in an office, but my dad tells me stories frequently of his funny office pranks. The other day, he said that he bought a bunch of car air fresheners and taped them to the bottom of a chair. The victim kept swiveling around trying to figure out the smell but never checked under the seat. He said he put about 10+ air fresheners under it and the guy still never figured it out.”
“Most of the team I was on called in sick one morning, as previously arranged among ourselves. We were actually across the hall, calling from an office phone. The one person who didn’t call in sick related later that the supervisor’s voice got more depressed with each call. We all walked in a couple of minutes after the last person called him, and he was quite relieved to discover it was a joke (apparently he thought we were all on strike).”
“The most recent one I did was to my co-worker’s wallpaper. It’s a picture of his little boy in the woods holding some leaves and there are trees in the background out of focus. We had just done our group photo at work. I had photoshopped a lady in our office that no one likes in the background peering from behind one of the trees out of focus. Not really groundbreaking. But then I decided to change his wallpaper settings to cycle through a gallery, I set it to change photos every 15 seconds randomly and had 10 normal photos duplicated in there and 1 photoshopped. When it changed she just faded in and the rest of the photo stayed the same, it was awesome! When he finally realized it a week later he thought he was crazy because, by the time he got my attention, she was not in the photo anymore.
Some of my best work I’ve done at this job.”
“This one was incredibly simple, but it nearly drove the office into a frenzy.
One Friday morning, I got up early and bought a few dozen donuts. These were left in the break room, along with a sign that read as follows:
“Free” donuts! Please take “one!”
That was it. That was the whole thing… and yet, because of those quotation marks, people didn’t know what to think. Oh, sure, there were a few individuals who simply ignored the sign, but the vast majority of the folks who approached wound up discussing the implications with one another before heading off to find someone in a position of authority. The general consensus seemed to be that someone was raising money for some charity or another and that everyone was expected to donate something before taking one of the sugar-coated snacks.
When there was a lull in activity, I switched the sign to another:
No more donuts! Sorry!
This, despite the fact that there was still at least a full box of pastries, kept most people from investigating any further… and those who took the time to examine the boxes’ contents would wander away without taking anything from them.
Now, I’ll grant you, it wasn’t a particularly spectacular prank, but I thought it was absolutely hilarious, since the donuts (and whatever they supposedly represented) became the talk of the office.
I never did get around to confessing, come to think of it…”
“I like to zip tie small objects like sharpies, pliers or spanners to the phone cord, about 4 inches down from the receiver.
When someone picks up the phone, the weight of the attached item causes the cord to stretch, until the weight is overcome and the item is thrown into the (usually open) mouth of the operator.
The most hilarious thing about this prank is watching them try to play it off to the caller without sounding like they just got hit in the face.
Extra points for larger, more elaborate items.”
“I’ve pulled off some funny office pranks, but this one is my favorite. First, I created a new Hotmail email address. Next, I waited for my co-worker to be away for the day (though a lunch break would have sufficed). While he was away, I logged on to his machine (our passwords are not very hidden here), and set up a rule in his outlook to play Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’ and then delete the message, any time it gets a message from my fake account. Now I just wait for my coworker to return, and whenever I want I send him an email from that fake account, and he’s ‘looking forward to the weekend.’ Nobody ever expects Outlook to be the offending program.”
“Many years ago, we all started asking our supervisor if he was growing, as we thought that he looked taller. We would then sneak in early every few days and cut 1/4″ off the four legs of his wooden desk.
After a week or so, he agreed with us.”
“I once convinced a girl I worked with that she could lighten her eye color with lemon juice. “Yeah, it’s just like with hair. You know, how you can put lemon juice in your hair and go out in the sun. Put lemon juice in your eyes and look at the sun and it will lighten your eye color.” She bought it. Manager caught wind of it before the fateful experiment and put a stop to it, but the moral of the story is: you might be able to convince someone to squirt lemon juice in their eyes then look directly at the sun.”
“I used to work with this guy who was… well, he was a jerk. And he didn’t know it. He thought he was cool and hilarious. He was not. He was a jerk.
One time I stole his nametag from outside his cubicle, and hid it inside one of the books in his cube. Guy came over and demanded I return his nametag. I denied everything and told him he probably lost it in his cube. When he finally found it I demanded he apologizes for accusing me.
Then at some point, someone started a joke about him being on heroin. The guy showed up with track marks and claimed he gives blood “a lot”.
So I took his nametag and made him a new one with his middle initial replaced with “H”.
Took him a couple of weeks to notice, then he came over and blamed me, and I went “Oh, you’re still accusing me of things after you lost your own nametag in your cube?”
The last thing I did when I quit that place was I stole his nametag and put it through the shredder.
Then I got on the internet and talked to friends I’ve made all over the world.
Then I mailed them each a piece of his nametag, and had them all mail them back to him. Once piece at a time, from like 20 different countries.
Naturally I couldn’t see his response, but I had friends who still worked there and reported back that the guy would kind of go temporarily insane whenever a new piece arrived.”
“Haven’t done it yet, but I bought a remote controlled fart machine (remote works from up to 70 feet away). I plan to glue it under the boardroom table, wait till there are a bunch of people in there, and then let it rip. Just once per meeting. Our boardroom has glass walls so it will be tough not to look in the room to see their reactions but I’m pretty sure it will be hilarious.”
“Here’s what you do: You’ve got to have those plastic coffee cups and little plastic stirring sticks. Before you pour in the coffee, use a lighter to heat up the end part of the little stirrer and stick it to the bottom of the inside of the cup so they melt together. Then you just pour in the coffee and give it to your victim. If they try to pull the stirrer out they’ll tear a hole in the bottom of the cup so all the coffee spills out of the bottom.”
“I once worked in a 24-hour call center at night, there was maybe 12 employees total and we seemed to get along alright. Then it started happening, food started missing, I’d order a pizza and eat half of it and save the remainder for the next day’s meal, only to find it gone. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one targeted because signs got posted on the door of the fridge with threats of harm if it happens again. A few days later it occurred to me an easy way to expose the culprit, I stuffed half a calzone with a 5x dose of laxative. Timmy called in sick the following day with a supposed stomach virus.”
“I’ve pulled some pretty funny office pranks, but my favorite was the time I convinced coworkers that a new temp was an undercover federal agent investigating fraud. The guy drove a really expensive car that cost about double what his annual salary would have been so that made it seem more believable somehow.”