It’s that time of year when holiday season is right around the corner and everyone is about to be so joyous and cheerful. What better time to pull a devastating prank on someone and watch the happiness fall from their eyes? Okay, you got me…I’m a horrible, horrible person.
The following Ask Redditors were the butt of the joke and share the times they got pranked during the holidays.
Interested in reading more holiday prank stories? Find the original thread at the end of the article.
It was New Years Eve 1999 (turning into the year 2000 at midnight) and the whole extended family had gathered for a party.
If you recall correctly at the time people were kinda wigging out about Y2K making everything on the power grid freak out. Our family had not really bought into any of it except an aunt or two being slightly nervous (which they tend to be about EVERYTHING). So the time comes to watch the ball drop…3…2…1..HAPPY-OH CRAP!
The T.V snaps off, the whole house goes black and my aunt starts to lose it. All you can hear is silence besides my aunt freaking out for a few seconds until I hear some laughter coming from the garage. While my family tries to light a candle and are all chattering about what to do, I go to find my father and uncle crouching behind the truck right next to the circuit breaker laughing their butts off as quietly as they could.
When I was 10, my mother’s family decided to come up from Guatemala and pretend to be Americans so they could “experience” Thanksgiving just for fun. There were about 12 mouths to feed.
When it came time to prepare the turkey I was ecstatic. My train of thought the entire time was “HOLY CRAP!! I’M MAKING DINNER AND IT’S GONNA BE A-MAZ-ING!! YEAH!!”
After all was said and done, I went out to play with my friends and came back to the house at around 4:30pm to start getting ready. I’m chilling in my room when my mom bursts through the door screaming, “ADMIRALNANO!! COME!! COME TO THE KITCHEN QUICK!! SOMETHING HAPPENED!! SOMETHING BAD!!”
I panic. I just knew something happened to the turkey. I yell at her “DID IT CATCH ON FIRE?! OH MY GOD!! IT CAUGHT ON FIRE!! DID IT CATCH ON FIRE!?!?! TELL MEEEEE!!!” We stop right at the entrance to the kitchen and my mom dramatically turns to me and whispers in a panicked voice “I….I…don’t know what we’re going to do. We don’t have a backup plan.” I push through her and open the oven. The foil that covered the turkey is still over the dish hiding my nightmare. My mom steps next to me and lifts it with a pair of tongs unveiling a baked cornish hen. I screamed bloody murder.
“WHAT THE HECK MOM?! IT WAS A 24 POUND TURKEY WHEN WE SHOVED IT IN THERE!! WHAT HAPPENED?! OH MY GOD!! WE HAVE 10 OTHER PEOPLE TO FEED BESIDES YOU AND ME!!!! WE DON’T HAVE ANY OTHER FOOD TO OFFER!! THEY FLEW UP JUST FOR THIS!! OH MY GOD!! OH MY GOD!! THANKSGIVING IS CANCELLED!! WE’RE GOING TO HAVE TO ORDER PIZZA OR SOMETHING!! WHY DID YOU LET THE TURKEY SHRINK?!!!?!”
At that point, I was crying freaked out beyond belief that my “perfect” family Thanksgiving had to be cancelled. I turn away and start heading towards the balcony to tell our family when suddenly my mom grabs my arm and sinks to the floor in a hysterical fit of laughter. I looked at her puzzled and followed her into the kitchen where she opened a bottom cupboard revealing the 24 pound animal cooked to perfection. She continued laughing for another 20 minutes while I just sat on the floor questioning my family’s sanity and my own.
To this day, I still don’t know how she didn’t crack and break character.
Man, I don’t know if this is a prank so much as a mystery.
So when I was little my mom would go all out for holidays in very creative ways. Every holiday “deity” was on par with Santa, complete with elaborate back-stories and explanations for every inconsistency (although to be fair the explanation was usually “magic!”)
“On Easter we each got a basket filled with treats, but had to go through elaborate treasure hunts to get them. My mom would write hints on notecards, which led us all throughout the house, the yard, maybe even the whole neighborhood. We later realized she would hide the baskets while we were out of the house and well into our hunt, in order to guarantee that we wouldn’t accidentally find them before going through all the hints. Also, in order to back up the story that the Easter Bunny was somehow able to fit through the mail slot to deliver said goodies, she bought a giant rubber rabbit foot stamp and made chocolate paw prints all over the doors and walls. Now, that’s commitment, people.
But I digress.
Every year on St. Patrick’s day, my mom dyed everything green. Green milk, green pancakes – everything is GREEN! She said that we had to do this because the impish leprechauns would be out and about causing mayhem all day and the only way to catch them was to bait them with their favorite color. We’d set traps with a dish of food set under a shoebox, propped on a string, and our gullible butts parked around the corner waiting for the telltale “flash of sparkly green” because leprechauns are apparently too fast to see with the naked eye and also very small.
My parents would sit and watch our shenanigans, no doubt holding back their hysterical laughter.
So here’s the thing. While we were waiting for the leprechauns to take the bait, there would inevitably be a loud clatter somewhere else in the house. When we ran to see what the noise was, there would be a bunch of chocolate wrapped gold coins all over the floor. We lived in a very large, old and noisy house, so we could easily hear this happening from any floor.
Keep in mind that every single member of our household was present and accounted for at the leprechaun baiting.
The places where the coins fell were too far from us for my mother to have simply tossed them over our heads while we were distracted.
They also often fell in very stark, empty areas of the house where hidden stashes of coins or other complicated methods of coin dispersal were impossible to hide. The go-to spot seemed to be our upstairs hallway, which had all hardwood floors, sparse track lighting, absolutely no furniture, and only one entry point…which my mother would have had to pass us to use.
As we grew older, we grew more suspicious. We started to investigate our mother all year long. Middle of August? Let’s go figure out where the heck mom was hiding her method of chocolate coin dispersal. These witch-hunts caused some unfortunate and untimely discoveries… like all of our baby teeth stashed in mom’s nightstand (no more tooth fairy, womp womp). We also solved the riddle of the missing Victoria’s Secret catalogs…thanks for the mental image, dad. But we never figured out how the heck my mom managed to be two places at the same time every year on St. Patrick’s day.
We’re all in our 20’s and 30’s and she still refuses to tell us how she did it.
I was pretty excited to experience Christmas when I first moved to England, and in the weeks leading up to it I asked my family various questions about the food and customs and so on.
About a week before the big day my uncle casually mentioned that, due to government budget cutbacks, John Major (the British Prime Minister at the time) had cancelled Christmas that year. I bought the whole thing, and the next day at school I gravely informed my friends that the economic downturn had knocked Christmas off the schedule and that the lights in our town centre were only staying up because there was no budget for contractors to remove them.
It set off a minor riot in the classroom which was only quelled when my teacher informed us that my uncle was probably pulling a prank on me.
Every Christmas, my brother and I would inspect the gifts under the tree to see what looked like it belonged to who and tried to guess what each gift could be (since we weren’t allowed to touch or rearrange them).
One year, there was a big box all the way in the back that didn’t have a name on it, so we asked our mom who it was for. She said “It’s for your dad. It’s a piece gift set for men; you know, with a wallet and a flask and stuff.” We thought it was a pretty cool idea and we let it go.
On Christmas morning, we hand him the box excitedly, waiting to see his reaction to this gift. He goes to start opening it, then says “Hey, why don’t you guys help me open it?” *shrug* Sweet, more wrapping paper to shred. Finally the paper comes off and it’s a Playstation 2. We lost our minds for a good minute or so, before we turned on our mom (with a video camera in hand) and start hysterically screaming “YOU LIED! YOU LIED TO US! YOU’RE A LIAR!” She thought it was hilarious. And it was. We were beyond ecstatic.
I love watching that tape years later and hearing our childish, squeaky voices.
My parents gave me socks for Christmas when I was little.
I was supremely upset but I knew they’d discipline me hardcore if I complained, so I accepted it and pretended to be grateful. I started to begrudgingly check out my bland new socks out when a 50 popped out of them, and they started laughing their butts off while I looked at the bill dumbfounded.
I’m 23 now, and they’re still fantastic.
One year on April Fool’s day, my mom doctored an entire meal to look like other kinds of foods.
She mixed vanilla ice cream and some yellow food coloring to make “mashed potatoes,” molded green beans out of taffy and made some kind of incredibly convincing “lasagna” out of cheesecake bits and red frosting in a casserole dish.
We were thrilled but then she brought out an actual meal.
I’ve got a prank story, but it didn’t exactly turn out in full giggles like it should have.
It was Christmas time two years ago, and my father and my step-mother were preparing a relatively big meal for about seven or eight people. My dad works over fifty hours a week, and I heavily attend school and work on the side, so both of us are pretty tired most of the time, but were happy to be relaxing during the break. My step-mother steps out and tells my father that the ham will be done cooking in about an hour, and she should be home somewhere around then, but to take it out if she doesn’t get home in time. I can see the wheels in my father’s head spinning.
He let’s the ham cook and then proceeds to take the ham and hide it out in the dining room, leaving the oven on to pretend it’s still cooking. My dad then pretends to be asleep on the couch as my step-mother gets home and goes to the kitchen to take the ham out. Needless to say she started freaking out, yelling, “Jeff! Where on Earth is the ham?! Did you take it out?!” and so on. After a couple of seconds of silent giggling he “wakes up” and walks her to the dining room to show her the ham…
… that the dog had been chomping on for about ten minutes. That ham was completely chewed up and eaten by our American Fox Hound. We went and had Chinese food for Christmas dinner instead.
This happened around the year I was born, actually, but it’s a famous little joke my parents played that is still talked about in my family.
Anyway, my older brothers really wanted an NES. It was the only thing they wanted for Christmas, but my family was pretty poor and my parents told them over and over that it wasn’t likely they’d get it, but their little hearts just refused to give up hope.
Christmas day they open their presents and… nope. No NES. My one brother was upset the most – he’d been the one most vehement about getting the system, but he was trying to be happy with what he got. After a couple hours my parents told him to scrub out the oven so they could get the ham going, and my brother was pissed. Come on, having to do stuff? On Christmas? Can’t they just cook it in the oven as it is? My dad basically to him to shut up and do what he was told.
So my brother glumly went over to the oven and opened it up… and there was the Nintendo, with a couple games. He was ecstatic.
He couldn’t play it until after he scrubbed the goddamn oven, though.
This didn’t happen to me but my sister. For a long time my sister was a big fan of Mini Coopers so for Christmas we told her she was getting a big surprise.
We stacked about 100 boxes in the shape of a Mini and wrapped them and left it outside after she had gone to bed on Christmas Eve. Next morning we wake up head downstairs and my dad hands her his car keys and says it’s outside.
She starts screaming and crying, goes outside and (for reasons unknown) attempts to hug the car. She goes straight through the boxes and sits for about five minutes before looking at my parents as if they had killed her bunny.
I didn’t get much that Christmas but that memory was pure gold.
I was in 3rd grade and I didn’t know the true meaning of April Fool’s day.
It started off like any other morning but as I was grabbing my backpack my mom tells me I won’t need it today because she is taking me to Six Flags instead of school.
Biggest disappointment of my life.
This was Christmas in the 80s.
Christmas Eve for my 10-year-old twin brother and I was the usual unbearable excitement, we always wanted to get the night out of the way before we could see what Father Christmas had brought with him. This particular christmas eve, we heard the sound of sleigh bells outside our (shared bedroom) window around midnight.
Rushing to the window we swept the curtain to one side, only to see nothing. Disappointed but excited, we went back to bed. 5 minutes later, a light appeared rushing across the window behind the curtains with the same sleigh bells sound. Far too excited to move, we saw the light slow down, the sleigh bells slow to a standstill and the sound of hoofs landing on the extension roof outside our window.
By this point we were convinced that Santa had arrived on his sleigh literally metres from us. Turns out it was my dad with a bell, a torch and two halves of a coconut. He completely had us for years and finally told us when we were 18.
Great thing is I did the same thing to my kids and they believed it so much that when their school friends told them that Father Christmas didn’t exist, they argued for hours based on the false evidence they witnessed.
Eventually I had to break the news to them that it was a prank. I felt oddly ashamed and proud at the same time.