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

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

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.

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.

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?

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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.

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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
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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
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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
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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
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16. Water Works

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.

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office prank: water themed cubicle
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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
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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
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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
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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"

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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
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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
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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.

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adding seeds underneath keyboard
sprouts growing from between keyboard keys
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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
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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
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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.

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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

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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

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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?

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

company culture template



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MARKETING

6 martech contract gotchas you need to be aware of

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6 martech contract gotchas you need to be aware of

Having worked at several organizations and dealt with many more vendors, I’ve seen my share of client-vendor relationships and their associated “gotchas.” 

Contracts are complex for a reason. That’s why martech practitioners are wise to lean on lawyers and buyers during the procurement process. They typically notice terms that could undoubtedly catch business stakeholders off guard.

Remember, all relationships end. It is important to look for thorny issues that can wreak havoc on future plans.

I’ve seen and heard of my share of contract gotchas. Here are some generalizations to look out for.

1. Data

So, you have a great data vendor. You use them to buy contacts and information as well as to enrich what data you’ve already got. 

When you decide to churn from the vendor, does your contract allow you to keep and use the data you’ve pulled into your CRM or other systems after the relationship ends? 

You had better check.

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2. Funds

There are many reasons why you would want to give funds in advance to a vendor. Perhaps it pays for search ads or allows your representatives to send gifts to prospective and current customers. 

When you change vendors, will they return unused funds? That may not be a big deal for small sums of money. 

Further, while annoying, processing fees aren’t unheard of. But what happens when a lot of cash is left in the system? 

You had better make sure that you can get that back.

3. Service-level agreements (SLAs)

Your business is important, and your projects are a big deal. Yet, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll get a prompt response to a question or action when something wrong happens. 

That’s where SLAs come in. 

It’s how your vendor tells you they will respond to questions and issues. A higher price point typically will get a client a better SLA that requires the vendor to respond and act more quickly — and more of the time to boot (i.e., 24/7 service vs. standard business hours). 

Make sure that an SLA meets your expectations. 

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Further, remember that most of the time, you get what you pay for. So, if you want a better SLA, you may have to pay for it.


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4. Poaching

Clients and vendors alike are always looking for quality people to employ. Sometimes they find them on the other side of the client-vendor relationship. 

Are you OK with them poaching one of your team members? 

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If not, this should be discussed and put into writing during the contract negotiation phase, a renewal, or at any time if it is that important.

 I have dealt with organizations that are against anti-poaching clauses to the point that a requirement to have one is a dealbreaker. Sometimes senior leadership or board members are adamant about an individual’s freedom to work where they please — even if one of their organization’s employees departs to work for a customer or vendor. 

5. Freebies

It is not unheard of for vendors to offer their customers freebies. Perhaps they offer a smaller line item to help justify a price increase during a renewal. 

Maybe the company is developing a new product and offers it in its nascent/immature/young stage to customers as a deal sweetener or a way to collect feedback and develop champions for it. 

Will that freemium offer carry over during the next renewal? Your account executive or customer success manager may say it will and even spell that out in an email. 

Then, time goes by. People on both sides of the relationship change or forget details. Company policies change. That said, the wording in a contract or master service agreement won’t change. 

Make sure the terms of freebies or other good deals are put into legally sound writing.

Read next: 24 questions to ask ABM vendors before signing the contract

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6. Pricing factors

There are many ways vendors can price out their offerings. For instance, a data broker could charge by the contact engaged by a customer. But what exactly does that mean? 

If a customer buys a contact’s information, that makes sense as counting as one contact. 

What happens if the customer, later on, wants to enrich that contact with updated information? Does that count as a second contact credit used? 

Reasonable minds could justify the affirmative and negative to this question. So, evaluating a pricing factor or how it is measured upfront is vital to determine if that makes sense to your organization. 

Don’t let contract gotchas catch you off-guard 

The above are just a few examples of martech contract gotchas martech practitioners encounter. There is no universal way to address them. Each organization will want to address them differently. The key is to watch for them and work with your colleagues to determine what’s best in that specific situation. Just don’t get caught off-guard.


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.


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About The Author

Steve Petersen is a marketing technology manager at Zuora. He spent nearly 8.5 years at Western Governors University, holding many martech related roles with the last being marketing technology manager. Prior to WGU, he worked as a strategist at the Washington, DC digital shop The Brick Factory, where he worked closely with trade associations, non-profits, major brands, and advocacy campaigns. Petersen holds a Master of Information Management from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Brigham Young University. He’s also a Certified ScrumMaster. Petersen lives in the Salt Lake City, UT area.

Petersen represents his own views, not those of his current or former employers.

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