Not every practical joke is a massive scheme that takes months to plan and ends up with one very embarrassed (and sometimes disgusted) victim. Sometimes, practical jokers prefer the more psychological approach to mess with people.
These stories from Reddit range from innocent things like pronouncing words wrong, to forcing a sudden belief in the supernatural and just prove that there’s no limit to how people can mess with each other.
Source at the end of the article. Comments edited for clarity.
When I’m walking in front of a stranger and turn a corner, I sprint for the couple of seconds when they can’t see me. By the time they turn the corner, I’m 15-20 metres in front of where I should be.
When I reply to a coworker’s email, I edit the copy of their message to add misspellings, punctuation mistakes, and things like that. If it turns into a long email conversation, their original message ends up looking like it was written by a monkey.
At parties, I like to introduce myself as my boyfriend’s sister and then kiss him in front of whoever I introduced myself to. It has to be a peck on the lips, but drawn out just enough to gross them out. It’s become a really awful inside joke. He’s a good sport about it, though. Once he wrapped his arms around me as I was talking to one of his ex-coworkers and whispered, “Did you text mom?”
I make up phrases that are supposed to sound profound and deep but are actually just nonsense.
For example, I might say, “Well, as they always say, the grass doesn’t care how close it grows to the fence post”. The person will attempt to interpret it and perhaps, on some superficial level, the analogy might make some sense.
I was a teenager working as a cashier in a supermarket.
If I saw someone leave my line to wait in a shorter one, I was immediately on a mission to get through my customers as fast as possible. I wanted him/her to see that leaving my line was the wrong decision.
My wife used to play a couple of computer puzzle games (win95 vintage), and was quite proud of beating my high scores. What she didn’t realize was the high score table was a plain text file in the directory… so every time she beat my score, I edited the file to put myself on top again. She would play for days trying to top me.
I’ve been slowly increasing the mouse sensitivity on both of my roommates computers. In 2 weeks I’m going to put them back to the default and pretend like mine is slow too. I’m interested to see the conclusion that they will come to.
When people are talking to me, I very slowly open my mouth until they just start to notice, then I close it.
I look over people’s shoulders when they’re unlocking their phone so I can see their four-digit code. Then I pretend I’m making a phone call and VERY LOUDLY use their number in my fake conversation.
“Yeah, the address is 8319 Main Street.”
It’s so much fun to see their neck snap back with this “Whaa?” look, and then watch them mentally process the depth of such a remarkable coincidence. It’s even more fun to do it with people you know and don’t really like.
My wife is a heavy sleeper. Every Saturday we go out for an adventure, like a trip to the beach or something like that, and we got into the habit of “no phones, no clocks” to make the day even more enjoyable. I wake up early, but she refuses to stir before 9 or 10.
So I bought a duplicate alarm clock from Walmart. On Friday nights, I swap the two. I’ve been setting the time back by an hour. She wakes up and the time reads 9am, but it’s actually like 8 or 7:30. We’ll have a really enjoyable morning adventure, then come back 4 hours later for lunch, and she’ll check her phone and get the correct time then. It’s a lot earlier than expected, but it’s like she gets an extra hour, which is a nice thing, so she hasn’t questioned it.
I’m 8 months pregnant, and in the grocery store yesterday I stood over a spill and went “Ow ow ow”… like 10 people flipped out.
Also recently a woman who I didn’t know walked up to me and put her hand on my basketball belly and asked “When are you due”, I responded with “September…I’m not pregnant though…this is a tumor.”
I will make someone’s pictures crooked. If they don’t notice, I’ll make it a little more askew until they do. When they fix it, I’ll shift it in the other direction to make them think they over-corrected.
Calmness! I work with the public. Dramatic and entitled adults HATE a soothing voice and a slow condescending head nod. I’m not a jerk but when people are unreasonable I absolutely refuse to argue. This approach will get under peoples skin 10 times out of 10.
I asked a guy at work if he’d ever got “that creepy dj vu feeling”. A week later, I did it again.
When someone I don’t like is being sexist/racist/gossiping, I just pretend not to understand what they mean, and keep asking questions and making them explain what they’re saying, until they get so uncomfortable they have to stop. Wide eyes and an innocent look help here.
I like to play a little game called “How much can I hand you before you really notice.” Whatever is around while we’re talking, I hand it to you, you hold it for a second. We’re still talking, I hand you something else, you set the first thing down, I hand you yet another thing. Pretty soon you’re surrounded with salt shakers and staplers and cups and pens and eventually you stop and notice and you’re all like “Stop this!” and I snort and laugh excessively loud.
When I’m eating out with someone and they get up to get another drink or answer the phone, etc, I turn their plate 180 degrees.
At my school you have to login to use the computers. Sometimes on the computers next to me I put a space where the username goes and then press the left key so it looks like there is nothing there. When anyone tries to login it doesn’t work because there is a space after their username. They never notice and assume the computer is broken. Yes, I get satisfaction out of watching people struggle.
I like to walk at the same speed as total strangers.
One time in college I was walking home across campus after a night of drinking. This guy walking behind me eventually caught up to me and started to pass, but instead of letting him pass me, I sped up to keep pace. We walked next to each other without saying a word for the next 2 minutes. He then started slowing down, so I started slowing down. Then he sped up. So I sped up. Then he finally turns to me and says “Are you messing with me?” I burst out laughing and said yes and let him walk the rest of the way home without me.
When my neighbors leave notes in the common areas, I add exclamation marks.
Just to make every note look a bit more passive-aggressive.
I work at Starbucks and get stuck in the drive through answering a lot. I like to see how many times I can fit “yummy” into a conversation. My most is 6.
I have a lazy eye, but I can control it when I have my glasses on. Sometimes I just let it drift away in the middle of talking to people but act all casual like.
Every Wednesday or Thursday I’ll leave the office and say to the boss/workers “See ya Monday” they never know if I’m serious.
Wrong name. If they’ve ticked me off, they get a different wrong name every time I meet them.
I hate people who stalk me in parking lots, waiting for me to get to my car. So, when I notice a car stalking me I take out my keys (the bait). I then slow down just a little and cut through the cars to the next lane.
If they rush up to circle around into the new lane I know I have them. I start zig-zagging through the parking lot until I’m near the very end. Then I look around as though I forgot where I parked. I then ‘notice’ my car down at the other end of the row and beeline for it. Once I’m at the end of the row I pull out my phone and lean against the car. Sometimes I just keep walking to see if they’ll double back to rows I’ve already been in. The object of the game is to see how long you can drag them along until they give up.
I once got a guy to follow me for over ten minutes.
Rotate my friend’s TV a little to the left each time I visit.
I teach a college composition course and am relatively young for a college instructor. On the first day, I sit in one of the student chairs, reading a book and smiling at students as they arrive.
About five minutes into class, when students start getting restless about the lack of instructor, I just walk to the front and start teaching.
If I’m outside in a crowded city, I’ll look up at the sky and wait for a few people to just stare aimlessly with me.
If somebody asks me to take a picture for them, I’ll take a selfie first.