Most workplaces have an office clown. That person that loves a little mischief, a little drama to spice up the mundanity of the 9 to 5. It’s a tough job, walking the line between lovable rogue and annoying nuisance, but someone’s gotta do it right? Because no matter what, it’s entertaining at least (unless it’s you on the end of the practical jokes).
Bored Panda has compiled a list of devilishly clever office pranks that get dangerously close to crossing the line. Scroll down to check them out below and don’t forget to vote for your favourite!
One of my Co-Worker has a ton of family pictures all over his desk and walls. I was slowly changing them all to pictures of me. I worked really hard to find similar pictures to replace them. I even traveled to some of the places to replicate them. I just about had them all when another guy we worked with asked him why he had so many pictures of me. He thought this married guy had a crush on me or something.
Made a new folder on his desktop called Russian Dwarf Porn and then took a screenshot. Set the screenshot as his desktop background.
For an engineer it took him a ridiculous amount of time before he realised why he couldn’t delete the folder.
This is only to my bosses, but when I know I’m due for a raise/promotion and they tell me they don’t have budget/I need to wait a while, I start wearing suits to work. Not everyday, but maybe once a week, maybe twice, skip a few, repeat.
Looks like you’re going to interviews during lunch or after work.
Everyday I would get into the locker room before him and place one penny in his right boot. This went on for 2 months. After about a week and a half I could see him getting frustrated. After a while it just became the norm for him to shake the penny out of his right boot everyday. He wasn’t frustrated anymore, he was defeated, and just accepted it now. So, one day I decided to put it in his left boot. He came in shook his right boot out like usual, but nothing fell out. He looked so relieved, like a huge weight had been lifted. Then he put on his left boot on, and just f*ckin lost it. He slung that boot across the locker room with all his might, cussing and calling out whoever did this to him. I stopped f*cking with him after that. I plan on putting a penny in his boot once a year from now on just to remind him. Nobody knows it was me placing the penny and I plan on keeping it that way.
I have hidden a tiny speaker in an adjacent cubicle wall that emits a soft cat meow every 2 hours.
I installed “cloud to butt” on my coworker’s pc.
It’s a Chrome addon that changes all instances of the word “cloud” being displayed to “butt”.
He didn’t notice for months. Last week he finally asked me what that customer could possibly mean by “uploading files to my butt”.
We have this old crotchy hyper religious nut at my job. Very annoying, sits on her butt all day. I put a remote control speaker, loaded a 30kb sound file of demonic voices whispering.
When she starts hearing and looking around, I cut it off with the remote. Ive been doing this shit for years. She keeps adding more bible calandars to ward “it” off. Taking this one to the grave, Cathy, you cunt.
I sit beside a guy who is a good friend of mine and our desks are separated by a moveable divider. Since I moved beside him 2 weeks ago I’ve been moving the divider a centimetre towards him each day. We’re at 13cm and he hasn’t noticed yet.
I have to shift his monitors soon though so that will be interesting.
Every time this one girl mentions something her kids did, I mention something my dog did.
There’s a guy in my office who often comes to work in jeans and a t-shirt and changes into his work clothes in his office. He’s taken over half of a closet next to my cubicle with his dress clothes.
A few years ago, on March 31, I came into the office around midnight and swapped his clothes for some Hawaiian shirts, checked pants, basically a whole wardrobe of the loudest clothes I could find at a thrift store.
When I got there the next morning, he was closed up in his office. His secretary told me that he’d been having a pretty rotten week in terms of workload and was in a foul mood. Finally, he emerged wearing his jeans and t-shirt. He sort of grunted a hello at me, opened the closet door, and just stood there for probably 10-15 seconds trying to wrap his brain around what was in front of him. Finally he just started cracking up laughing, and put on one of the more “understated” outfits. He spent the rest of the day trying to figure out who had done it; meanwhile, people from all around the office came to behold my handiwork. I finally fessed up at the end of the day. He swore revenge although he still hasn’t made his move.
Best April Fool’s prank I’ll probably ever play.
My coworkers think I have a cat. I’ve named him Winston.
I’ve pleasantly avoided many after-work happy hours and other work events with “I have to get home and feed the cat”.
I even have a photo of some random cat on my phone in case anyone inquires further.
I don’t have a cat, of course. But I do chuckle to myself at the thought of Winston, My Imaginary Cat.
I whistle Christmas songs in months other than December. Just the first few lines once or twice an hour. Give it a few hours and they’re questioning why jingle bells is stuck in their head mid June.
Grabbed a roll of stickers from the pharmacy that say “For rectal use only” and randomly attach them to pens, phones, staplers, the water cooler.
It’s all good till our director comes in and loses his shit and can’t help but laugh.
I teach elementary music. Once, I had a rivalry with the gym/PE teacher. She would send the kindergarten class to mine and tell them it was my birthday and I loved birthday hugs. She would do this about twice a month. I sent them back to her and told them she loved it when people would step on her foot. They rushed her and started stomping. She also told the kids to go into my class, say nothing, and just stare at me. It was the creepiest damn thing. She won.
Change their auto-correct settings in Outlook so when they type their name it adds a ridiculous title.
Tom Smith = His eloquence, master of ceremonial duck herding, and debater of microwave etiquette, Thomas “The Velvet Hammer” Smith, Esq.
Not me, but my husband’s story. They had a candy dispenser in their work area that made a particular noise when it dispensed candy. Well, he noticed that a particular employee would, whenever he heard the somone else getting candy, would get up and get himself some candy. Like a Pavlovian response to the sound.
So he did what anyone would do, recorded the sound and rigged a speaker up. Randomly throughout the day he would make the sound go off and sure enough, his coworker would get up and go get himself candy.
I made 20 copies of a paperclip and put them in the paper tray of copier. A woman in my office made a copy and got the paperclip in the pictures and thought there was a paperclip in the copy machine somewhere. She was searching and searching and even went and got a flashlight and started looking everywhere in the machine. She was opening up drawers and panels for 20 minutes. It was pretty fun to watch.
I put my co-workers stapler in jell-o and it took me so many tries to get it to work. He didn’t really get it because he hadn’t seen the office. But it’s okay, because I laughed enough to make it worth it.
Found a little script a while back that would randomly open and close the disc drive on my coworker’s computer. Not incredibly often, but enough to the point where it was annoying. He requested a new computer, I reinstalled the .scr as soon as he left that day.
Our old HR director was notorious for having a messy desk. My manager and I made it our mission to add an additional 1,000 random sheets of paper to his desk over the course of a few weeks without him noticing. Every morning he’d come in and 10-15 more sheets would be added to the mess. It took a long time for him to suspect something was up.
Coworker. I have very tiny printouts of just his head. I sneak them all over the office in inconspicuous places. This has been going on for 2 years. He still doesn’t know it’s me.
There was this girl sitting next to me in an open plan office and we were always joking with each other. One day, she had a meeting scheduled at her desk with a male coworker I knew she had a crush on. So while she was in the bathroom getting ready, I went on her PC, found the guy’s photo on the company website and made it her desktop background. Then I tabbed back to whatever programme she had been using so she wouldn’t notice right away. She comes back. Guy arrives for the meeting. They’re talking away for about ten minutes before she goes to check something on the computer and just let an enormous shriek out of her and goes bright red when she sees the desktop.
In a way, that prank almost worked too well. Because her shock was so obviously genuine, it was obvious she was the victim of a prank (rather than a crazy stalker, which is what I was aiming for.)
I screen shot their desktops, put all their shortcuts in one folder, then set that screen shot as their wallpaper. I find it amusing listening to their call to IT.
You know how you can fray Duct tape and pull off long little sticky threads of it?
So I pulled off a single long piece of it, and put it down the side of my manager’s brand new car. Looks like a deep, horrifying scratch on the paintwork.
The look on his face when we went out for a smoke. He threw his hands onto his head, his knees went weak and he basically crawled over to it, and pulled the thread of sticky duct tape off easily.
Harmless and fun, that one.
Not me, but a guy I know. He stole a coworker’s novelty giant pencil, then started emailing said coworker in-character as the pencil, with photos of the pencil in different locations around Europe.
He even got another coworker in on the act to deflect suspicion away from himself, and used proxies to ensure the emails couldn’t be traced back to him.
The original owner of the pencil got so pissed off, it initiated a company-wide hunt for the perpetrator. So far as I know, it was never resolved, and Pencil McPencilface roams the world to this day.
My colleague left his screen unlocked, I went in to his email settings and changed the word ‘regards’ in his email signature to ‘retards’.
On a windows machine, go into the mouse settings and enable “Click Lock”.
This changes a primary button click into a toggle on/off instead of the standard press and release for highlighting and click and drag operations.
It’s infuriating as hell and obscure enough that most people assume the mouse is broken and will request a new one. The new one will do it too.
Or just microwave some fish.
I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I have a few co-workers (myself included) that run on post-it notes. Seriously, some of our desks look like that Pepe Silva scene in Always Sunny.
That said, I take advantage of this. I do fairly well at copying other’s handwriting. I’ll do my best facsimile of something innocuous or mildly ominous and place it among their other post-its.
My notable favorites were: “Ask Linda about the bees.” and “Knife Parade?”
I plant evil questions in their lectures and tutorials, seeding them to students we have in common.
I’ve been doing it for years, and they have no idea it’s happening. They’re just constantly baffled that the same kids each year keep asking obscure, graduate-level, often borderline unanswerable questions in person, but never quite manage that level of insight in their writing.
Once I plugged in a wireless mouse into their computer without them knowing. And a few times a day I would just jiggle the mouse. Just enough to hear them slamming down the mouse and muttering under their breath and I’d stop. This went on for several days. Sometimes I’d stop by to chat, and I would bring the mouse. When they we go to click on something I would just move the mouse just slightly so they couldn’t actually hover over what they wanted to click. It was brilliant!
I’m a 28 year old dude and I used to put up one new kitten photograph in my cubicle per week to see if any of my managers would say anything. After putting up enough pictures to cover my whole cube wall, and no one commenting, I started to feel like I was going crazy. I guess the joke was on me, or else all my managers were just super accepting.
Put a strip of scotch tape on the underside of their computer mouse.
It’s transparent enough that the mouse will still function, it will just kind of suck and annoy them slightly for the rest of the day. They likely won’t even notice, just be subconsciously frustrated.
Add an additional strip each day until they notice.
The former big boss of my oil plant works in the office with me. I noticed anytime I would mention an interesting storey he would immidiatly fact check it and point out how wrong I was. So, If I wanted to know something , rather than look it up myself, I would just throw out a claim. Me- xyz stock is $4.40 today Him- NO ITS NOT – its $2.17
Me – Thank you
Me- Chicago is a 8 hour drive from here. Him- NO ITS NOT – its 12 if you do Route A, and 10.5 if you go Route B ect,
Long time ago I worked the late night/closing shift at a convenience store/gas station. Another co-worker and I closed up around 11 each night.
I amused myself by taking a little white ziploc type baggie… or sometimes a piece of plastic wrap… and would put sugar or a sugar substitute in it, then wander out just before closing and drop it by the pumps. Looked like a customer had their nose candy fall out of their pocket when they’d pulled out their keys or wallet or whatever.
Then I’d watch as whomever I was working with would go out to shut down and lock up the pumps. I’d look distracted but would watch as they’d spot it, look around, look at me, then subtly reach down and pick it up as they “tied their shoe” or “picked up change” something. Then of course they’d volunteer to clean the bathrooms so they could privately check out their new coke stash. Good times.
Of course, sometimes a customer would find it first, then come in and get the bathroom key. Even better times.
Gradually change the sensitivity settings on their computer mouse and leave leaflets about Multiple Sclerosis and Motor Neurone Disease lying around in the break room.
Reply all to say “tank you,” then reply all again to your previous reply all to say “*thank”
If anybody complains about using reply all, reply all to apologize for using reply all.
Slowly add new post it notes to their desk, among their real ones, that say “Urgent! Call _put another co-workers number here_”. Sometimes a word like “evaluation” or “meeting” or upcoming dates and times causes hilarious interactions. If you plant three different notes that cause three people to go into a meeting at the same time it’s fun to see how long they stay before realizing there is no meeting.
We moved all items on a friend’s desk to the left half an inch each day after lunch. Originally his computer was pointed into the cube’s corner. Eventually it was far along one side of the cube and bunching his knees up against the desk cabinets. We even slowly moved all his tacked-up cube wall papers. He didn’t figure it out until he was unable to sit comfortably.
Another time I placed blue M&M’s in another coworker’s French coffee press. When he was away, I’d place them between the top of the filter and the lid of the container. He didn’t press down on the filter until the water was already in, so he wouldn’t find them until he poured the coffee. It took him a while to figure out how I got them into his cup.
In my first job out of college I worked at a small tech company. One of the bosses was a very sweet woman. She had borrowed pens a few times and forgot to give them back. At one point one of my coworkers accused her of intentionally hording pens because they knew she would be embarrassed.
Thus began the gas lighting.
I began to steal every pen in office over the course of a month (100+ pens). I targeted the specific people who had made the original joke to make sure that there was good visibility to the prank. I made sure that the nicer pens that people associate as “theirs” were always specifically found in her desk. She would always deny it only to find them right there.
Christmas rolls around and we have the company Christmas party. I package up the pens for the white elephant gift exchange making sure to place my present in the exchange pile without having anyone see who placed it there. When it’s opened the room explodes with laughter and accusations.
For a while my favourite thing was to unplug their mouse & put a sticky under the mouse sensor.
Was great when people plugged it back it and it still didn’t work…
Screen capture the desktop, rotate image so it’s upside down and set as background. Hide desktop icons if there are any and start bar. Reverse mouse direction and then set graphics card to turn desktop upside down.
I like to incorrectly correct people’s pronunciation. Like they’ll say beignet “ben-yay” and I’ll say, “actually, it’s ‘bang-yet’.”
Most of the time it’s obvious I’m just messing with them or they already know the schtick and they laugh it off. But every so often I’ll actually convince someone they’re wrong. And it’s glorious. It’s a pretty low success rate but when you hear someone use the wrong pronunciation in a conversation months later and you know you did that, it makes it all worth it.
This genuinely just happened.
My company has just moved to a new office, and everybody’s internal phone number has changed. I kindly print everyone a little phone extension matrix, about the size of half a page of A4. Everyone says thanks and sticks it to their PC monitor so we can transfer calls / call colleagues etc.
One guy in the office, probably in his 40s, really nice dude but a little bit old school sits a couple of seats away from me is selected as my victim.
After he’s gone home one night I print out 10 new versions of the phone extension matrix, each one a font size smaller than the last, cutting the paper size so everything is to scale, just smaller. Every other day I replace his piece of paper stuck to his desk until it’s practically unreadable.
Dude didn’t even notice for about 2 weeks before we saw his squinting at it when he tried to transfer a call. Still we said nothing, come in the next day to find him printing off a regular size one himself. Lunchtime comes and I replace his new one with a full sheet of A3.
Finally he twigs. Great stuff would recommend.
The door to my shared office (me and my boss behind one door) has a cipher code rather than a key. Looks like this.
It’s 100% mechanical, and I always get into work before him. So I enter the correct code, enter the office, and “pre-enter” the wrong code. Then I close the door and wait for him to come to work.
Every time he tries the code, he “gets it wrong”. And has to do it twice.
I worked as an Expediter in a restaurant. One week I had a new person training so at the end of the night when we are cleaning I told the new girl to make sure she empties ALL the hot water from the coffee machine and dump it out. Little did she know it was just a hot water line connected to the coffee machine. She filled over 5 pitcher fulls of water before she figures it out! Everyone had a good laugh over it!
Helped my friend move an entire cubical up a space. It was difficult because they wanted it to be perfect not like they just switched desks. To achieve it we actually took the cubical apart and moved the walls so none of the decorations moved even an inch, next we took up the 9 carpet squares (why I was brought it) and switched them that way the big coffee stain and whiteout explosion stayed.
Everyone then shuffled so guy in seat one was now in 2, 2 in 3, … 20 in one’s spot. Now the only thing to cue him off was that his cubical was directly under the fan and he hated being cold.
A friend told me he worked for 2 days before starting to claim that they moved the fan. took him almost a month to notice that the “other row shifted because the guy directly next to him before was now one desk back”. During this time he started wearing jackets and sweaters because of the fan.
Leaving stickie notes on their desk that says “Come see me” but no sign as to who its from.
I work in an open office without walls. Only the higher ups get an office, rest is all flex workplaces.
Most people consistently sit at the same desk. There’s 2 women who always sit across of me and instead of using the big gap to enter this section of the office, they use a small gap that is inbetween book cases and a pillar.
So every friday when they are not here, I move the bookcases a little closer to the pillar until they reach the point where they struggle to get through. This way they will think they are getting fat and it will mentally destroy them, I noticed that one of them stopped drinking coffee and brings salads into work instead her usual turkey-mayo sandviches.
No one knows I do this since theres barely anyone at the office on a friday afternoon.
Emptied out my boss’ largest desk drawer (1 ft x 1.5 ft x 1 ft), used heavy-duty-staples to secure a shower liner to the inside of the drawer, and filled it with water and aquarium rocks. Then I placed 4 live goldfish and a crab in the drawer, and partially closed it.
I also bought him a fish tank and fish food, so after he dismantled his fish tank drawer, he would have new office pets.
It worked out perfectly. No damage to his desk or office. All fish survived the overnight drawer life. And I did not get fired. It was a part of a long and well-fought prank war that lasted several years, but this was definitely my favorite prank.