How To Pull A Prank On Your Coworkers Without Getting Fired

July 11, 2018

Okay, you’ve been at the new job long enough that you’ve ingratiated yourself with most of the employees. Which means it’s time to let loose a little and show them your real side. No, no, don’t whip our your diary and read the poetry you’ve been toiling over for weeks. That’s not what I meant. Don’t take this the wrong way, but if you can’t find a word that rhymes with ‘Buick” maybe you shouldn’t be writing poetry about your car.

What I was trying to say was, it’s time to prank someone in your office. It’s bad enough that we spend eight hours a day at work, but most of that time is entirely humorless. Business meeting after boring business meeting, maybe a performance review from you boss explaining why you’re not getting a raise this year. Look, it’s time to loosen up, live a little and show your coworkers you’re not just the quiet, vaguely weird guy who drums along to the music he’s listening to while walking to the bathroom. You’ve got more to offer then just that. It’s time to show them what you’re made of!

But slow down, slow down. Don’t go pulling down someone’s pants in front of the whole office while they’re blowing out their birthday cake candles. That would get you fired. The reality is, there are lots of pranks that could get you fired. The trick is, choosing a prank that will highlight your sense of humor, yet doesn’t cross a line. That way, the prank builds your reputation as the office clown without resulting in a pink slip. So let’s just take this one step at a time. The key to pulling an epic office prank is to first choose your target wisely.

The trick to a successful prank is to either make it entirely indiscriminate (anyone who opens up a file folder gets sprayed with shaving cream therefore no one can feel like they were singled out) or target someone who can certainly take a joke. That means cross anyone off your list who’s really insecure, doesn’t talk much, keeps to themselves, or is always ranting about vendettas. Trust me, you don’t want to make it onto that guy’s vendetta list. The last thing you want to do is embarrass someone who already has a handwritten list of people who needs to “get even” with. A few examples of bad targets: anyone who doesn’t readily make eye contact, someone who you’ve never seen laugh, perhaps a coworker who farts occasionally during board meetings, take them off the list. What does that leave you with? The classics: boss, office clown, confident guy/girl.

I know what you’re thinking. “I can’t pull a prank on my boss! He’ll fire me!” You’re only partly correct. Sure you can pull a prank on your boss! And the best part is, he or she will certainly want to fire you! But he can’t act out on it because then he’ll look like a bad sport. Plus, at the same time, every can see how fearless you are by taking dead aim at the top dog in the office. With that said, since it’s your boss, it still makes sense to be conservative. Nothing too harsh or dehumanizing. Make it so he won’t even mention the prank next time he’s in the elevator with Karen from Human Resources. Here’s a great example of a prank for a boss. Try something simple, like this:


See how simple that is? The only thing the woman in that video did wrong was not insist the entire office sit by the window and watch her coworker struggle with his automatic trunk opener. See, a light hearted prank like that is perfect. No one could be mad about that. Which leads me to my next lesson: you gotta know what kinds of pranks to pull on what kinds of people. Sure, the boss receives a silly but innocuous prank. But you can get a little more risqué with your coworkers, especially if you already have a good report with them. So perhaps do a little due diligence and research which coworker in the office is the jumpiest. You know, someone who really gets scared easily. Even better, it might be fantastic if you found out who hated snakes the most. Just like the person who made this video did.

That’s pretty much the perfect reaction. Look, everyone can get behind a prank that makes their coworker scream, twitch, shout, run, stumble out of the room. It’s such a polarizing time, I think we can all get behind a video like that one!

My personal favorite target is to pull a prank on the office clown. The office clown is someone who, by default, has to be on board with getting pranked or at least pretend he is. He’s probably already teased you about the bad job you did giving yourself a haircut last week, or how you’re always eating baked potatoes for lunch which is “weird.” These moments might make you very uncomfortable, frankly they’re making me uncomfortable recounting right now! But at least we know he’s owed a little retribution. Office comedians are the folks who you can pull out the big guns on. Here’s just one example:

Sure, it looks easiest when there’s a classroom of students watching, but believe in yourself. You could easily recreate that prank in any office that has more than one doorway! And do yourself a favor, assemble a crowd of coworkers to watch. You don’t want to get stuck retelling it over and over. Also, the beauty of pulling a prank on the office comedian is that everyone feels like they’re kinda getting what they deserve! “Remember the time Randy convinced you a dog ate opened the refrigerator, rummaged through and at your lunch? Well, then you’ll really enjoy what’s about to happen to him…”

Okay, so those are my pieces of advice. Choose the right target, know your audience, and make sure other coworkers are watching! Now go, prank your office! Have fun out there everyone!

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