34 of the best office pranks and practical jokes for work

If you’ve watched the TV show “The Office” as religiously as I have, the classic “Stapler in Jell-O” trick is sure to sound familiar. It’s pretty much what the name describes: just make a batch of Jell-O, but make sure your colleague’s stapler is hidden in the mold.

It’s a classic prank. But what other, less conventional, pranks are there to kick an otherwise average day at the office?

We asked our friends and searched the internet for more examples of some of the funniest office pranks, and compiled this list to inspire you to create your own work pranks.

Every company has a story about this hilarious office prank from yesteryear. Whether you’re doing Fool’s Day research in early April or you’re just feeling a little tricky, it’s time to get your own prank in the books. Here are a few ideas.

Funny office pranks to attract your co-workers

1. Caramel onions

When Halloween is around the corner, those caramel onions can’t compete with other tricks (or treats). Dip each onion in caramel – maybe some red food coloring first if you need to dress them up further – and glue popsicles in the center. Your coworkers won’t know the difference, but they’ll wonder why those caramel apples make them cry like this …

Office prank for caramel onions Source: Instructables

2. Nicolas Cage toilet seat

Speaking of Halloween, here’s what nightmares are really made of. Nicolas Cage is easy to find in the meme community these days. At most, print out a picture of him and let him greet anyone who takes a toilet break.

Office prank with picture of Nicolas Cage on toilet seat Source: Pinterest

3. Fish drawer

There’s something wrong with this office prank … just be sure to include fish food. Experts recommend feeding this prank twice a day.

Office prank with a desk drawer filled with water and fish Source: Reddit

4. Pants in the stable

Usually, when you see feet under the stall, all you have to do is wait for your turn. In that case, you may be waiting forever. Put this guy up in your office bathroom and see how long it takes before people start talking. We just hope no one called the paramedics on that poor, empty suit.

Office prank with empty pants and shoes in the bathroom Source: BuzzFeed

February 5th for days

Tighten the zip tie, throw it and run for your life. Or leave it in your coworker’s office when he’s on break. You will be sure to return to a high-performing job.

Febreze Office prank Source: Emlii

6. Vehicle sticky notes

This is the perfect use for sticky notes that keep piling up – especially when they’re all meant for someone who just doesn’t get their jobs done. The prank below is a wonderful way to remind them before they take off for the day.

Office prank with sticky notes on the employee's car Source: Reddit

7. Misspelling Macro

Never ask your work colleague to unlock your iPhone for you or you will look like the worst spell ever typing text or an email. the settings > General > keyboard > Add a new link will make this prank against your most detailed colleague a reality.

Keyboard shortcut prank Source: Gottabemobile

8. Nebelhorn entrance

Never wanted to attract the attention of a room as soon as you walk through the door? Well, the prank below will even make the person stand up straight. This is surely a way to make sure everyone is vigilant before a meeting.

Office prank with fog horn on door bumperSource: Reddit

9th balloon conference

Hey, at least it’s not glitter? This prank works two ways: you can either surprise the next team reserving this room, or you can have a day-long meeting here without anyone knowing your business. You will of course have static electricity when you leave the room.

Office conference room filled with balloons Source: Reddit

10. Desk troll

For trolls, by trolls. Fortunately, many of these trolls can be purchased in bulk. Click here if you are serious about trolling your coworker’s workstation. Keep in mind, however, that you will need to buy more than one pack of trolls for this stunt to be worthwhile.

Desk full of pink troll dolls Source: CollegeHumor

11. Waterworks

Oh look, a cheap trip to the beach. This prank gives the term “residence” a whole new meaning. Surprise your colleague when they come back from one beach vacation with another beach vacation. The downside is that it won’t be what they were. The advantage is that you don’t need a towel.

Beach vacation prankSource: Imgur

12. Anti-gravity desk

“That’s it – you’re suspended.” Just make sure the person who arrives at a floating desk in the morning doesn’t try to sit down …

Hanging chair prankSource: Daily Mail

13. Nailed the cake

Hello everyone, there is cake to be won in the kitchen! The prank, however, is written in frosting. This is a good gesture for someone who loves the phrase “needle in a haystack”. Happy hunting.

Find the toenail swipeSource: Reddit

14. Psychedelic surveillance

“I don’t know, I have the feeling that my boss is always watching me,” your colleague could say. Change your perception of micromanaging when doing this colorful trick. Suddenly, a “quick check-in” doesn’t seem so bad anymore.

Pictures of the boss around the office are papered in different colorsSource: Imgur

15. Voice toast

Simple yet brilliant. Modify the breakfast conditions slightly and the kitchen becomes the most confusing space in the office. This little note puts a prank on the entire office – a true masterpiece of the prank.

Toaster with label saying

Source: Tumblr

16. Work from home

As Anchorman’s Ron Burgundy says, “I’m not even mad. I’m just impressed.” Help your coworker who loves to take their work home with them and take their work home with them instead. As you can see, you may have to stay late into the night to get this prank just right.

Paper mache house for employees cubicle Source: Reddit

17. You became ‘Felined’

This could actually mean your cat-loving colleague’s day. Or it could be the biggest prank ever on the colleague who is severely allergic to cats (that is, as long as he is not also allergic to photos of cats).

Pictures of cats on the computer desktop and papered on the desk Source: Reddit

18. The seedboard

Work with your IT department to fertilize this prank perfectly. Before long, the user will wonder why the keyboard is growing. We recommend approaching someone who is sitting near the window – some pranks just need some sunlight. “You said you wanted to spend more time in nature,” you might say in your defense.

Adding seeds under the keyboard Rungs grow between the keyboard keys Source: BoredPanda

19. Healthy cream

Who said you couldn’t be helpful while being joking at the same time? “The bad news is we are out of donuts. The good news is you have all of these nutritious alternatives to help your immune system cope with the donut shortage.”

20. The blankets have eyes

You might freak out just looking at the photo of this terrible prank. It may seem a little too much for your most nervous coworker, but for the person who can’t stop talking about scary movies, it’s just the revenge you deserve. (Note: paper mache, white paint and a black wig. Done.)

Horror movie photo hidden in a suspended ceiling

Source: Tumblr

21. Chair fear

Similar to the entrance foghorn (prank # 8 above), this prank is likely to scare more than just the person who sits down. Of course, it will be a lesson for anyone who tries to sit too deep at their desk.

Foghorn chair prank Source: Reddit

Funny pranks to attract your boss

22. No stalling

For the employee who never has enough time. Or for the colleague who takes far too many toilet breaks during the day. Stroke them with their own throne the next time nature calls.

Bathroom cabin prankSource: 22 words

23. Glitter bomb

On the whole, “At least it ain’t no glitter” in Prank # 9? Well, this prank can’t make that promise. For those employees who don’t yet know how permanent it is to sparkle themselves, this prank is sure to make them clear.

24. Substitute workers

Sometimes you are not sure how to ask for another day off. For those days when you just can’t get to work but don’t have the heart to call again, the doll that looks just like you is the perfect replacement. Or just put them on your coworker’s desk and give them a much-needed identity crisis.

25. Crushed It

When you finally find out about your coworker’s celebrity crush, make sure they know how much you care.


A post shared by Alice Lei (@ alicerabbit1) on Aug 1, 2015 at 4:04 pm PDT

26. The best boss in the world

When words just aren’t enough to express your feeling, give your manager the perfect opportunity to say thank you every time they have a sip of coffee.

27. Cup of Spiders

“Hey boss, I found a spider on your desk, but don’t worry, it has been treated.” This prank doesn’t have to contain an actual spider – the secret alone is all you need to prank your coworker.

28. This is a wrap

For the boss who has everything, it is the gift that he gives again and again.

Dwight Schrute, from the office, sits in a gift-wrapped chair only to collapse.

Source: Giphy

Remote pranks for virtual teams

The above pranks are awesome, but what about pranks that are inclusive for remote workers or teams that are 100% virtual? These pranks are great for the digital office:

29. Flash mob

Here at HubSpot, we love flash mobs. Aus diesem Grund nutzten SEO-Leiterin Aja Frost und Blog-Managerin Christina Perricone die Gelegenheit, einen virtuellen Flash-Mob für eines unserer vierteljährlichen Meetings zu organisieren.

Dies ist ein perfekter Streich für eine große Versammlung, erfordert aber ein wenig Vorbereitung – – von der Auswahl eines Liedes über die Auswahl der Tänzer bis hin zum Unterrichten der Choreografie. Das Endergebnis lohnt sich jedoch allein für die schockierten und erfreuten Gesichtsausdrücke der Mitarbeiter.

HubSpots virtueller Flash-Mob bei Zoom

30. Virtueller Hintergrund Shenanigans

Die Verwendung des virtuellen Hintergrunds in Zoom und anderen Videokonferenzplattformen bietet viel Potenzial für Streiche. Zum Beispiel erstellt ein Twitter-Benutzer einen virtuellen Hintergrund mit dem schockierenden Aussehen eines Doppelgängers … oder vielleicht einem Zeitsprung?

Also habe ich einen benutzerdefinierten Zoom-Hintergrund für mein nächstes Meeting erstellt, bei dem ich mir eine Tasse Tee bringe. pic.twitter.com/DJBxrH5Cqv

– Graham / Jaws 19 (@ Jaws19show), 7. Mai 2020

31. Sprungangst

Eine Möglichkeit, den virtuellen Hintergrundstreich auf eine andere Ebene zu heben, besteht darin, sich als Horrorfilmregisseur auszugeben und sich auf einen der ältesten Gruselfilmtricks im Buch zu verlassen: die unerwartete Sprungangst. Das folgende Video zeigt die Schritte zur erfolgreichen Ausführung dieses Streichs:

Stellen Sie einfach sicher, dass Sie wissen, wem Sie präsentieren. Das falsche Publikum mag den Humor in diesem Film nicht zu schätzen wissen!

32. Du bist nicht stumm

Wir haben alle die Horrorgeschichten von Benutzern gehört, die dachten, sie seien stumm und sagten etwas Peinliches. Ein Streich wäre, diese Situation zu inszenieren und Ihre Mitarbeiter glauben zu lassen, dass Sie stumm sind. Sie könnten jemanden in Ihrem Haushalt dazu bringen, wirklich peinlich oder völlig unverschämt zu sagen. Das Ziel besteht darin, zu sehen, wie lange Ihre Mitarbeiter entsetzt zuschauen, bevor Sie wissen, dass Sie stumm geschaltet sind.

33. Gestohlene Identität

If you have a workplace chat system, a simple and effective prank is to “steal” someone’s identity by changing your display name and picture to match theirs. The more coworkers you get to follow suit, the more effective, hilarious, and chaotic this prank becomes. Best of all, it’s easy to reverse at the end of the day: Just revert back to your original display name and photo.


34. Think Outside the Box

With video conferencing apps, we’re limited to our own little square of digital real estate… or are we? This Twitter user subverts expectation by dumping water on a coworker in another square, surprising all the other meeting attendees:

I pulled off my own lil #AprilFools prank today in our daily virtual meeting 😂☔️ pic.twitter.com/RjGW2RhgRT

— Phang (@PhilaUnionPhang) April 1, 2020

All you have to do is find someone who will be in on the joke with you.

Pranking can be extremely good for morale and company culture. After all, why not have a little fun to break up the workday?

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in October 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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