Practical jokes, shenanigans and other general mischief

Pulling off a great prank can make you a legend on your campus. Unfortunately, most students are too lazy to think of something creative and end up just drawing genitalia on their passed-out roommates. Come on, college kids. You can do better than that.

Dorm Room Dandies

Huge pranks like moving your dean’s car to the roof of the student center or letting a herd of cattle loose during an exam are great, if you can manage to pull them off. Unfortunately, they take a lot of planning, effort and money (three things that college students aren’t exactly known for).

The following pranks can all be performed on unsuspecting victims in your residence hall with very little effort and for under $10. You can follow our exact instructions or, for extra fun, you can come up with your own unique take on these classic pranks:

  • “Dorm-valanche.” Tape sheets of newspaper across the frame of your victims’ door while they’re inside their dorm room (it’s easiest to do this when they’re asleep). Then, fill the space between the newspaper and the door with balls of crumpled-up newspaper, styrofoam packing peanuts, golf balls, etc. When your victims open their door, they’ll be faced with a mountain of unexpected things falling into their room.
  • “The Blockade.” Build a wall outside your victims’ door, preventing them from leaving their room. You’ll earn bonus points if you go to great lengths, like making a real brick wall or disassembling a bathroom stall and reassembling it right outside someone’s door.
  • “Tug-of-War.” Find two dorm rooms that are directly across from each other and tie a rope between the two doorknobs. Knock on both doors at the same time and watch as the victims try to open their doors and find themselves in the middle of a tug-of-war.
  • “Shaving-Cream Surprise.” Fill an accordion folder with shaving cream. Slide most of it through the crack under your victims’ door and then stomp on it. Shaving cream will shoot out into their room. Talcum powder can be substituted for shaving cream.

The Greatest Prank Ever

The year was 1961. Fans packed the Rose Bowl stadium in Pasadena, California, for the college football game between the Washington Huskies and the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Members of the audience had been given colored cards that were supposed to form pictures of animals and then spell out “HUSKIES.”

Before the game, students from the California Institute of Technology, who were angry about the fact that their school had been ignored in all the Rose Bowl hype, had snuck into the stadium and changed the instruction sheets that were given to the fans. They had worked for months to perfect their prank, and they were about to see it realized, in all its glory, on national television in front of 30 million viewers. The first few flips went off as planned, and the stadium marveled at the pictures that the cards displayed. However, as the fans flipped their cards for the last time, a stunned silence spread through the stadium. There, spelled out by thousands of Washington Huskies fans, were letters that spelled out “CALTECH.” The prank, now known as the Great Rose Bowl Hoax, was a complete success.

In 2004, Yale pulled off a similar prank when they were able to trick over 1,000 Harvard fans into spelling out “WE SUCK.”

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