32 of the Best Office Pranks & Practical Jokes to Use at Work

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Lindsay Kolowich Cox
Lindsay Kolowich Cox


We asked our friends and combed the internet for examples of some of the funniest office pranks, and pulled together this list virtual April Fool's pranks and in office pranks to serve as inspiration for your own.

Office pranks involving an inflatable flamingo, a dinosaur costume, and fencing

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Every company has a story about that funny office prank of yore. Whether you're doing some early April Fool's Day research, or just feeling a little tricksy, it's time to get a prank of your own in the books. Here are some ideas.

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    Remote Pranks for Virtual Teams

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

    1. Flash Mob

    Here at HubSpot, we love flash mobs. That's why Head of SEO Aja Frost and Blog Manager Christina Perricone jumped at the chance of organizing a virtual flash mob for one of our quarterly meetings.

    This is a perfect prank for a large gathering but requires a bit of prep — from choosing a song, selecting the dancers, and teaching the choreography. However, the end result is worth it for the shocked and delighted expressions on coworkers' faces alone.

    HubSpot's virtual flash mob on Zoom

    2. Virtual Background Shenanigans

    There's a lot of pranking potential using the virtual background feature in Zoom and other video conferencing platforms. For example, one Twitter user creates a virtual background with the shocking appearance of a doppelgänger... or maybe a time warp?

    virtual april fools pranks: Zoom doppelgangerImage Source

    3. Jump Scare

    One way to take the virtual background prank to another level is by impersonating a horror movie director and relying on one of the oldest scary movie tricks in the book: the unexpected jump scare. The video below walks through the steps for executing this prank successfully:

    Just make sure that you know who you're presenting to. The wrong audience may not appreciate the humor in this one!

    4. You're Not on Mute

    We've all heard the horror stories of users who thought they were on mute and went on to say something embarrassing. One prank would be to stage this situation and make your coworkers think that you think you're on mute. You could enlist someone in your household to say really embarrassing or completely outrageous, the goal being to see how long your coworkers will watch in horror before letting you know you're on mute.

    5. Stolen Identity

    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.

    virtual april fools pranks: stolen identity

    6. 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:

    virtual april fools pranks: Zoom water prankImage Source

    Funny Office Pranks to Pull on Your Coworkers

    7. Caramel Onions

    When Halloween is around the corner, these caramel onions are no match for other tricks (or treats). Dip each onion in caramel — maybe some red food coloring first, if you need to further disguise them — and stick popsicle sticks down the center. Your colleagues won't know the difference, but they will wonder why these caramel apples are making them cry so much...

    Caramel onions office prankImage Source

    8. Nicolas Cage Toilet Seat

    Speaking of Halloween, here's what nightmares are truly made of. Nicolas Cage is easy to come by in the meme community. Print a picture of him at his most, well, enthusiastic — and allow him to greet everyone who takes a bathroom break.

    Office prank with picture of Nicolas Cage on toilet seatImage Source

    9. Fish Drawer

    There's something fishy about this office prank... Just be sure to include fish food; experts suggest you should feed this prank twice a day.

    Office prank with desk drawer filled with water and fishImage Source

    10. Pants in the Stall

    Usually, when you see feet underneath the stall, you just have to wait your turn. In this case, you might be waiting forever. Set this guy up in your office bathroom and see how long it takes for people to start talking. We just hope nobody called the paramedics on this poor, empty suit.

    Office prank with empty pants and shoes in bathroom stall
    Image Source

    11. Febreze for Days

    Tighten the zip-tie, throw it, and run for your life. Or, leave it in your coworker's office when they're on break. They're sure to return to a potent workspace.

    Febreze office prankImage Source

    12. Vehicular Sticky Notes

    This is the perfect use for those sticky notes that keep piling up — especially if they're all for someone who just won't finish his or her tasks. The prank below is a wonderful way to remind them before they take off for the day.

    Office Prank: Sticky note covered car
    Image Source

    13. Foghorn Entrance

    Haven't you ever wanted to get a room's attention the second you walk through the door? Well, the prank below will even get the person entering to stand up straight. This is certainly one way to make sure everyone's alert before a meeting.

    Office prank with foghorn on door bumperImage Source

    14. Ballooned Conference Room or Hallway

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

    office prank:  ballon filled conference room
    Image Source

    15. Desk Trolls

    For trolls, by trolls. Luckily, you can buy many of these trolls in bulk. Click here if you're serious about trolling your coworker's workstation -- just keep in mind you will have to buy more than one pack of trolls to make this stunt worth it.

    Office desk full of pink troll dolls
    Image Source

    16. Water Works

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    Establish an inclusive organization with our free Company Culture Code Template. Outline your...

    • Culture code.
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    • Company policies.
    • And more!
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      All fields are required.

      You're all set!

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      Oh look, a budget trip to the beach. This prank gives a whole new meeting to the term, "staycation." Surprise your coworker when he/she comes back from a beach getaway with, well, another beach getaway. The downside is it'll be nothing like where they were. The upside is they won't need a towel.

      office prank: water themed cubicle
      Image Source

      17. Tiki Desk

      Sick of those open office layouts? Create a tiki-themed hut for jokes and a bit of privacy.

      Office Prank: Tiki desk
      Image Source

      18. Nailed the Cake

      Hey everyone, there's cake up for grabs in the kitchen! The prank, however, is written in frosting. This is a good gesture to someone who loves the expression, "needle in a haystack." Happy hunting.

      Office Prank: Find the toenail cake
      Image Source

      19. Psychedelic Supervision

      "I don't know, I feel like my boss is always watching me," your coworker might say. Change their perception of micromanagement when this colorful prank. Suddenly a "quick check-in" doesn't seem all that bad.

      pictures of the boss papered all around the office in different colors
      Image Source

      20. Voice Toast

      Simple, yet brilliant. Change the terms of breakfast ever so slightly, and the kitchen becomes the most confusing room in the office. This little note pranks the entire office — a true masterpiece of prank-dom.

      toaster with label that says "it's voice activated"

      Image Source

      21. Work From Home

      As Ron Burgundy from Anchorman says, "I'm not even mad. I'm just impressed." Help your coworker who loves taking his/her work home, take their home to work instead. As you can tell, you might need to stay late the night before to get this prank just right.

      paper mache house covering coworkers cubicle
      Image Source

      22. You've Been 'Felined'

      This could actually make your cat-loving coworker's day. Or, it could make for the greatest prank of all time against the coworker who's violently allergic to cats (that is, as long as they're not allergic to photos of cats, too).

      pictures of cats on computer desktop and papered across desk
      Image Source

      23. The Seedboard

      Work with your IT department to fertilize this prank perfectly. Soon enough, its user will wonder why their keyboard is growing. We suggest targeting someone who sits close to the window -- some pranks just need some sunlight. "You said you wanted to spend more time with nature," you might say in your defense.

      adding seeds underneath keyboard
      sprouts growing from between keyboard keys
      Image Source

      24. The Ceilings Have Eyes

      You could freak out just looking at the photo of this horrifying prank. It might be a little too much for your jumpiest colleague, but for the person who can't stop talking about scary movies, it's just the revenge you deserve. (Hint: paper mache, white paint, and a black wig. Done.)

      horror movie photo hidden in drop ceilingImage Source

      25. Chair Scare

      Similar to the Entrance Foghorn, this prank will probably scare more than just the person who sits down. Of course, it'll be a lesson to anyone who, I suppose, tries to sit too low at their desk.

      office pranks: chair airhorn prank
      Image Source

      Funny Pranks to Pull on Your Boss

      26. No Stalling

      For the employee who never has enough time. Or, for the coworker who takes way too many bathroom breaks during the day. Prank them with their very own throne the next time nature calls.

      bathroom cubicle prank
      Image Source

      27. Glitter Bomb

      About that whole, "At least it's not glitter" thing in prank #9? Well, this prank can't make that promise. For the coworkers who don't yet know the permanence of getting glitter on yourself, this prank is sure to set them straight.

      28. Substitute Worker

      Sometimes, you're not sure how to ask for another day off. For those days where you simply can't come into work, but don't have the heart to call out again, the cardboard cut out who looks just like you is the perfect substitute. Or, just put 'em at your colleague's desk and give them a much-needed identity crisis.

      April fools office prank: Cardboard twin Image Source

      29. Crushed It

      When you finally learn about your colleague's celebrity crush, make sure they know how much you care.

      April fools office prank: Celebrity Crush Image Source

      30. World's 'Best' Boss

      When words just aren't enough to express your sentiment, give your manager the perfect way to say "thank you" every time they go to take a sip of coffee.

      April fools prank: best boss ever mug prankImage Source

      31. Cup o' Spiders

      "Hey chief, I found a spider on your desk, but don't worry, it's been handled." This prank doesn't have to have an actual spider in it -- the mystery, alone, is all you need to prank your employee.

      Spider office prank

      Image Source

      32. That's a Wrap

      For the boss who has everything, it's the gift that keeps on giving.

      Dwight Schrute from The Office sitting on gift wrapped chair only for it to collapse

      Image Source

      Show Off Your Prank Skills

      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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