32 of the Best Office Pranks & Practical Jokes to Use at Work
We asked our friends and combed the internet for examples of some of the funniest office pranks, and pulled together this list virtual April Fool’s pranks and in office pranks to serve as inspiration for your own.
Every company has a story about that funny office prank of yore. Whether you’re doing some early April Fool’s Day research, or just feeling a little tricksy, it’s time to get a prank of your own in the books. Here are some ideas.
Remote Pranks for Virtual Teams
The above pranks are awesome, but what about pranks that are inclusive for remote employees or teams that are 100% virtual? These pranks are ideal for the digital office:
This is a perfect prank for a large gathering but requires a bit of prep — from choosing a song, selecting the dancers, and teaching the choreography. However, the end result is worth it for the shocked and delighted expressions on coworkers’ faces alone.
2. Virtual Background Shenanigans
There’s a lot of pranking potential using the virtual background feature in Zoom and other video conferencing platforms. For example, one Twitter user creates a virtual background with the shocking appearance of a doppelgänger… or maybe a time warp?
One way to take the virtual background prank to another level is by impersonating a horror movie director and relying on one of the oldest scary movie tricks in the book: the unexpected jump scare. The video below walks through the steps for executing this prank successfully:
Just make sure that you know who you’re presenting to. The wrong audience may not appreciate the humor in this one!
4. You’re Not on Mute
We’ve all heard the horror stories of users who thought they were on mute and went on to say something embarrassing. One prank would be to stage this situation and make your coworkers think that you think you’re on mute. You could enlist someone in your household to say really embarrassing or completely outrageous, the goal being to see how long your coworkers will watch in horror before letting you know you’re on mute.
5. Stolen Identity
If you have a workplace chat system, a simple and effective prank is to “steal” someone’s identity by changing your display name and picture to match theirs. The more coworkers you get to follow suit, the more effective, hilarious, and chaotic this prank becomes. Best of all, it’s easy to reverse at the end of the day: Just revert back to your original display name and photo.
6. Think Outside the Box
With video conferencing apps, we’re limited to our own little square of digital real estate… or are we? This Twitter user subverts expectation by dumping water on a coworker in another square, surprising all the other meeting attendees:
When Halloween is around the corner, these caramel onions are no match for other tricks (or treats). Dip each onion in caramel — maybe some red food coloring first, if you need to further disguise them — and stick popsicle sticks down the center. Your colleagues won’t know the difference, but they will wonder why these caramel apples are making them cry so much…
Speaking of Halloween, here’s what nightmares are truly made of. Nicolas Cage is easy to come by in the meme community. Print a picture of him at his most, well, enthusiastic — and allow him to greet everyone who takes a bathroom break.
Usually, when you see feet underneath the stall, you just have to wait your turn. In this case, you might be waiting forever. Set this guy up in your office bathroom and see how long it takes for people to start talking. We just hope nobody called the paramedics on this poor, empty suit.
This is the perfect use for those sticky notes that keep piling up — especially if they’re all for someone who just won’t finish his or her tasks. The prank below is a wonderful way to remind them before they take off for the day.
Haven’t you ever wanted to get a room’s attention the second you walk through the door? Well, the prank below will even get the person entering to stand up straight. This is certainly one way to make sure everyone’s alert before a meeting.
Hey, at least it’s not glitter? This prank works two ways: You can either surprise the next team who reserves this room, or have a day-long meeting in here without anyone knowing your business. You will of course have some static electricity when you exit the room.
For trolls, by trolls. Luckily, you can buy many of these trolls in bulk. Click here if you’re serious about trolling your coworker’s workstation — just keep in mind you will have to buy more than one pack of trolls to make this stunt worth it.
Oh look, a budget trip to the beach. This prank gives a whole new meeting to the term, “staycation.” Surprise your coworker when he/she comes back from a beach getaway with, well, another beach getaway. The downside is it’ll be nothing like where they were. The upside is they won’t need a towel.
“I don’t know, I feel like my boss is always watching me,” your coworker might say. Change their perception of micromanagement when this colorful prank. Suddenly a “quick check-in” doesn’t seem all that bad.
Simple, yet brilliant. Change the terms of breakfast ever so slightly, and the kitchen becomes the most confusing room in the office. This little note pranks the entire office — a true masterpiece of prank-dom.
As Ron Burgundy from Anchorman says, “I’m not even mad. I’m just impressed.” Help your coworker who loves taking his/her work home, take their home to work instead. As you can tell, you might need to stay late the night before to get this prank just right.
This could actually make your cat-loving coworker’s day. Or, it could make for the greatest prank of all time against the coworker who’s violently allergic to cats (that is, as long as they’re not allergic to photos of cats, too).
Work with your IT department to fertilize this prank perfectly. Soon enough, its user will wonder why their keyboard is growing. We suggest targeting someone who sits close to the window — some pranks just need some sunlight. “You said you wanted to spend more time with nature,” you might say in your defense.
You could freak out just looking at the photo of this horrifying prank. It might be a little too much for your jumpiest colleague, but for the person who can’t stop talking about scary movies, it’s just the revenge you deserve. (Hint: paper mache, white paint, and a black wig. Done.)
About that whole, “At least it’s not glitter” thing in prank #9? Well, this prank can’t make that promise. For the coworkers who don’t yet know the permanence of getting glitter on yourself, this prank is sure to set them straight.
28. Substitute Worker
Sometimes, you’re not sure how to ask for another day off. For those days where you simply can’t come into work, but don’t have the heart to call out again, the cardboard cut out who looks just like you is the perfect substitute. Or, just put ’em at your colleague’s desk and give them a much-needed identity crisis.