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Writer's Room => Research => Topic started by: Schriscoe on June 08, 2017, 04:20 AM

Title: Types of harmless pranks
Post by: Schriscoe on June 08, 2017, 04:20 AM
I am looking for some harmless pranks that a 9 or 10 year old would think is hilarious and it would get them in trouble yet no one get hurt.

All thoughts and suggestions welcomed and appreciated. Thank you in advance!! :stars3
Title: Re: Types of harmless pranks
Post by: JodyJS on June 08, 2017, 04:32 AM
How about something like putting a fake snake in someone's chair? Or a whoopie cushion? Or loosening the lid on the salt shaker? Or putting celophane over the top of the shaker, then putting the lid back on?

Wow. Why do I know so many of these?
Title: Re: Types of harmless pranks
Post by: Schriscoe on June 08, 2017, 04:50 AM
How about something like putting a fake snake in someone's chair? Or a whoopie cushion? Or loosening the lid on the salt shaker? Or putting celophane over the top of the shaker, then putting the lid back on?

Wow. Why do I know so many of these?

Ha! Love these Jody!! Thank you!!   And Lol I so  wished we could have hung out in Middle School!! I bet you were a riot!!
Title: Re: Types of harmless pranks
Post by: JodyJS on June 08, 2017, 04:58 AM
See, that's the thing, Sharon. I never did any of these things, straight-laced, rule-follower that I was. Perhaps it's my personal aversion to practical jokes that makes them stick in my head.  :shrug Still, yes on hanging out in middle school.  ;)
Title: Re: Types of harmless pranks
Post by: Schriscoe on June 08, 2017, 05:58 AM
I think that one of the beauties of us being writers.  We get to allow our characters to do the things we never did. :)

Still open for lots more ideas. My MC needs lots of them to accomplish his goal.  :muahaha
Title: Re: Types of harmless pranks
Post by: Vijaya on June 08, 2017, 07:21 AM
How about something like putting a fake snake in someone's chair? Or a whoopie cushion? Or loosening the lid on the salt shaker? Or putting celophane over the top of the shaker, then putting the lid back on?

Wow. Why do I know so many of these?

Piggybacking on Jody ... reversing salt and sugar, catching frogs and putting them in backpacks, those school desks that open, hiding your sister's favorite socks, shoes, dress, changing jackets on book covers, bonus points for having an adult book, locking someone in a closet (this is mean but not dangerous), sliding a hair clip in your brother's hair, would cutting hair be going too far? I mean, it is hair and it grows back, stuffing snow in boots.

Looks like you're going to have lots of fun with your characters, Sharon.
Title: Re: Types of harmless pranks
Post by: Pons on June 08, 2017, 09:29 AM
Arranging all of his siblings stuffed animals so that their backs are facing their owner or facing front holding a sign that says something negative: We don't like you - or something else.

Putting something teasing on a sibling's laptop as a screensaver that scrolls across the screen.

Putting anonymous clues to a fake treasure hunt in sibling's room in order to get his hopes up and waste his time.

Photobombing in sly and sneaky ways.

Getting a group of people to go up to someone in school and ask repeatedly throughout the day, "Do you fell all right? You look sick?"
Title: Re: Types of harmless pranks
Post by: JFriday on June 08, 2017, 09:34 AM
Stacking empty boxes across a room to make a wall, or in a doorway so when the person opens the door, there's a wall. Shaving cream on someone's hand who is sleeping, then tickling their nose (okay, that one's an old camp trick). Putting a mirror in an unexpected place to startle someone. Poking part of a piece of money through a crack, like under a door or between deck planking, and yanking it away when someone reaches for it.
Title: Re: Types of harmless pranks
Post by: Schriscoe on June 08, 2017, 10:03 AM
Okay, can I just say that you guys are a tad bit on the scary side!  :lol4 Memo to self : NEVER get any of you on my bad side. :grin3

This is all fantastic!! EXACTLY what I was looking for! I see so many of these that will work perfect in the book I am drafting!!

All of you =  :yourock :love5 :love5 :love5 :thankyou
Title: Re: Types of harmless pranks
Post by: Barbara Etlin on June 08, 2017, 11:06 AM
Never did a prank when I was a kid; I waited until I was at my second fulltime job, where it was part of the culture.

- rigged a small stuffed mouse on a string to climb a cubicle wall
- made a collage, cutting out letters using one of my colleagues' name, and inserting it into an embarrassing newspaper headline, and tacking it onto his bulletin board
- My boss rigged a cuckoo clock to chime unexpectedly while someone (usually the department head) was talking in his office. It seemed like an editorial comment. 
Title: Re: Types of harmless pranks
Post by: Schriscoe on June 08, 2017, 11:11 AM
Hehe, I think I'd die of a heart attack on that mouse prank, Barbara! I don't do mice. AT ALL. lol

But it most definitely could work awesomely in my book!!  :thanx
Title: Re: Types of harmless pranks
Post by: Melissa K on June 08, 2017, 02:58 PM
Superglue a coin to the ground and laugh at people who try to pick it up. Write a fake note from someone's crush and arrange a meeting that's never going to happen. Sign a classmate up for an activity he or she doesn't actually want to do.
Title: Re: Types of harmless pranks
Post by: sophielynette on June 10, 2017, 08:04 AM
Replace a hard boiled egg in someone's lunch with a raw one. 
Put something gross like lotion on the underside of a doorknob. 
Title: Re: Types of harmless pranks
Post by: June Smalls on June 10, 2017, 08:28 AM
Practical jokes are a 'thing' at our work place.
Most common are:
Hiding under a desk (or in the kitchenette) to jump/scare.
Cutting a hole in their straw, just under the lid so they suck air-no drink.
Stabbing a hole in their soda can, just under where your mouth covers so you get chin dribble (Everyone at work carries box cutters, hence the many cutting jokes.)
One girl plastered Justin Bieber photos all over the office of our supervisor. He's very rock/metal so especially fun!
We also had about a dozen whoopee cushions at one point making their way around the office. You can get them in bulk at a party supply store.
Good luck with your WIP!
Title: Re: Types of harmless pranks
Post by: JFriday on June 11, 2017, 02:11 PM
Reading through these is like having minor nightmares... :aah
Title: Re: Types of harmless pranks
Post by: marla-lesage on June 11, 2017, 04:36 PM
My friends & I taped a dead garter snake to the neighbours mailbox...
We had free run of a network of trails in the woods behind our house & one at least 2 occasions took friends into the woods then ran as fast as we could away so they would get "lost".  Also strung yarn across the trails to "booby trap" them.  God, we were horrible!
Title: Re: Types of harmless pranks
Post by: Arona on June 11, 2017, 06:27 PM
Most places I've worked, and relationships I've had, were big on pranks, so....

I stuffed a found dead mouse in the toe part of someone's sneakers they'd taken off.

I stuffed a biology lab rat in someone's potato chip bag. (Every morning she put a big bag in the side drawer of her desk and munched on/off; when it got low enough but not empty, in went the rat.)

I enlisted help in emptying out a boss's office (desk, everything) and shut the door.  Boss walked into his office with HIS new boss before we could give him a head's up.

A guy once smeared the underside of my car door handle with chocolate frosting-----we worked in a zoo so your mind instantly went to poop! To get even, I had to orchestrate the event and organize other people to help with the timing, but I hid in a big garbage dumpster (cardboard-only dumpster) waiting for him to slide open the door, where I simultaneously screamed bloody murder and threw cardboard out at him.  He FLEW back, screeching like a little girl.

Glued someone's office door shut.

Saturated a co-worker's fabric chair with water; they couldn't see it was wet b/c the fabric was black.

This took two of us, each armed with huge rolls of heavy-duty packing tape in commercial tape dispensers:  took our victim by surprise (shock and awe), wound him up in the tape mummy-style, and then taped him to a wall.

Taped a sign to a new part-timer's back, a young, shy teen:  "Help me. I'm new and I'm shy. Please say, "Hi, Mike!" (Came a point in time he asked how people knew his name. I said, "Think about it....").

Sent the same kid (alone) up the new tiger trail at dusk the first day the exhibit opened but after the zoo closed, knowing he didn't know about the life-sized tiger model that growled, sensing any motion, that sat on a blind corner of the trail.

Co-workers Gorilla-taped the bottoms of all the telephone receivers in their cradles in both of my departments on a morning they knew I was working alone, and then kept calling. (This is how World Wars begin.)

Replaced someone's milk with buttermilk. (It shot through their nose.)

Geez, the list goes on and on. And on.
Title: Re: Types of harmless pranks
Post by: June Smalls on June 11, 2017, 07:19 PM
I bow down to you, Arona!

Reminded me of a few.
Praying mantis on boss's rearview mirror.
Guy at work taped a beard hair to a phone so it tickled the victim's chin every answer.

We send new kids at work to get the key to the basement. Each manager says the other has it. 4 to 5 managers all send them searching. We have no badement.
Title: Re: Types of harmless pranks
Post by: Debbie Vilardi on June 11, 2017, 09:19 PM
Just a quick heads up, some of the above might be dangerous. I'm thinking about situations where the person has an allergy, say to the chocolate or the tape glue. Also, the raw egg could be dangerous if the recipient was too young to know about salmonella and clean up effectively or accidentally ate even a small amount. (I've had it. Not fun or funny.)

Now back to the regularly scheduled programming. Food dye added in any opaque container where the item gets used on skin or eaten. (Purel, soap, water bottle--This is why the container has to be opaque.)
Title: Re: Types of harmless pranks
Post by: Arona on June 12, 2017, 05:30 AM
Oh, for the days before allergies ran amuck. When your parents had you eat dirt to boost your immune system and PBJ sandwiches were either on the school menu or in every other kids' lunch box. Never considered the responsibility a writer may or may not have writing about peanut butter or glue tape in kidlit.
Title: Re: Types of harmless pranks
Post by: JFriday on June 12, 2017, 07:32 AM
Arona, I never want to work with you. Ever.


...unless we're on the same side... :naughty
Title: Re: Types of harmless pranks
Post by: Long Hair on June 12, 2017, 08:23 AM
As an immature male adult, I second any snake pranks. I recently tied a rubber snake to the inside of a co-workers office closet so when he opened the door, it looked like the snake was lunging from the shelf to strike him.  Rubber bugs, mice, spiders... all are winners - guilty of them all.  This week my son hung a zombie mask inside my closet right at eye level, that was a good one. 
Title: Re: Types of harmless pranks
Post by: AnnH on June 12, 2017, 08:41 AM
See, that's the thing, Sharon. I never did any of these things, straight-laced, rule-follower that I was. Perhaps it's my personal aversion to practical jokes that makes them stick in my head.  :shrug Still, yes on hanging out in middle school.  ;)

Same here! :D
Title: Re: Types of harmless pranks
Post by: Schriscoe on June 12, 2017, 09:42 AM
You guys are wickedly awesome!! I am loving reading all of these pranks!!! SO fun!

And well, I'm thinking that a BB party would be super cool, and scary all at once. lol

Thank you all SO much! I have to say this thread have been a hoot to read! :exactly
Title: Re: Types of harmless pranks
Post by: Barbara Etlin on June 12, 2017, 11:11 AM
Here's one more we did in my office.  In the art director's office, there was a shelf at the back.  We took an old long-sleeved sweater, a pair of boots,  a basketball, and a hat.  We stuffed the sweater etc. with newspaper, and turned it into a "person" sitting on her back shelf. She screamed and jumped when she saw it.  :naughty

I'm enjoying reading about all the pranks. I need some for my historical MG. Thanks!
Title: Re: Types of harmless pranks
Post by: Debbie Vilardi on June 12, 2017, 11:49 AM
Oh, for the days before allergies ran amuck. When your parents had you eat dirt to boost your immune system and PBJ sandwiches were either on the school menu or in every other kids' lunch box. Never considered the responsibility a writer may or may not have writing about peanut butter or glue tape in kidlit.

Our schools still serve PB&J. I think it's all in the age of the audience and in how well the prankers know the person they're pranking. Stuffed people in the closet of the 80 year old granny with the heart condition might not be the best plan. But the chocolate or PB could be fine for a kid you know well enough to know is allergy free. Sharon is going to have to do some real thinking about which of these fit best and where, and whether, any harm might be done. Safety was one of the parameters set up in her original post.

I feel sorry for her family if she's one of those authors who likes to see how things really work before writing them. Yep.
Title: Re: Types of harmless pranks
Post by: June Smalls on June 13, 2017, 05:05 PM
Once my brother swapped out green kool aid for pickle juice. THAT was a shock! :twitch
Title: Re: Types of harmless pranks
Post by: Helen on June 20, 2017, 04:27 AM
April Fools Day is quite an event at my house especially when my daughters where younger. Here are a few of their pranks:
Mint toothpaste in an Oreo. (Yes. I fell for that one. Ate the whole cookie. Wondered, "Huh, did I buy mint Oreos?")
Saran wrap under the toilet seat. (Did not fall for that one. Was on the lookout.)
Ketchup blood. (We were visiting in Louisiana. Daughter claimed an alligator  bit her hand. I asked you, "Do you want fries with that ketchup?" )
Fake cockroach on my pillow. (Shrieked and attacked it with a vengeance.)
Title: Re: Types of harmless pranks
Post by: Vijaya on June 20, 2017, 07:51 AM
Nice comeback with the fries, Helen :grin3 
Fun thread.
Title: Re: Types of harmless pranks
Post by: Schriscoe on June 20, 2017, 10:55 AM
I am LOVING the responses here!! Thank you SO much everyone!! Not only am I finding awesome material but you guys are hilarious (and a bit scary  :grin3)!!
Title: Re: Types of harmless pranks
Post by: Venessa Ann Schwarz on June 20, 2017, 12:44 PM
Ahhhhhhh!!! Ha! Ha! You guys. Too funny.  :lol5

Great thread, Sharon!!
Title: Re: Types of harmless pranks
Post by: EricJ on June 20, 2017, 03:48 PM
Most of the "classic" pranks are a bit pointless, and not really sympathetic with the reader.   
(In HS/college, I never could understand the point of the "Fake pizza order", if he had an extra twenty, and he ended up with the pizza and you didn't.)

Something harmless that would get a kid in trouble would be something making fun of a favorite common comic target, like a hated teacher's nickname:
I remember hearing the story of one teacher who was referred to as "Batman" because of the thick black coat he always took off of class in winter, and arrived one day to find a yellow-and-black Bat-signal on the blackboard.    :batman   :lmao
Title: Re: Types of harmless pranks
Post by: Barbara Etlin on July 27, 2017, 09:48 AM
I'm reviving this thread for my own evil purposes...  :naughty

I need to establish my main character as being flighty and  irresponsible in the first half of my WIP so that, when he saves the day during the climax, it surprises the reader. I need some pranks he can play on the antagonist. But the setting is a medieval ship on the ocean in the 1400s. I can use the mouse in a boot prank, but I need one or two others that don't contain anachronisms. Tea and coffee haven't been discovered yet. (Or Batman.)
Title: Re: Types of harmless pranks
Post by: carrots on July 27, 2017, 12:43 PM
Ooooh, I love the medieval period, Barbara!!

Instead of being tarred and feathered, how about honeyed and feathered?

And with a mouse in one boot, how about a wet sponge in the other?

Could he put something on the lens of the antagonist's spyglass so he thinks he's seeing something (land, mermaids, sea monster, two moons, etc.)?

Will bring this up at the dinner table as a challenge for my children (to think of, not perform!!)!!
Title: Re: Types of harmless pranks
Post by: Barbara Etlin on July 27, 2017, 07:51 PM
Thanks, carrots!  :thankyou
Title: Re: Types of harmless pranks
Post by: Debbie Vilardi on July 27, 2017, 08:54 PM
He could still move things around while someone is sleeping. Perhaps use smoke to make someone think there's a fire.
 
Frankly, I think Carrots had better ideas, but these may do.
Title: Re: Types of harmless pranks
Post by: Barbara Etlin on July 27, 2017, 09:50 PM
Thanks, Debbie. You both got me thinking productively. I think there's something I can use from each of you.  :yourock
Title: Re: Types of harmless pranks
Post by: carrots on July 28, 2017, 04:56 AM
You're so welcome, Barbara!

My children want to chime in with their thoughts.

Teen son: the old bucket over the door trick (but maybe containing something other than water...)

Tween daughter: a fish (rotten?) in someone's bunk

(And your ideas are brilliant, Debbie!!! The smoke would create so much havoc, while not actually harming anyone or anything.)
Title: Re: Types of harmless pranks
Post by: Barbara Etlin on July 28, 2017, 09:32 AM
carrots, your kids' ideas are awesome!!! Please thank them for me. I can definitely work with those.

 :lightbulb    :write5    :carrot    :running