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Practical Jokes

There’s a lot of downtime on a film set.  Sometimes you play games.  Sometimes you play practical jokes.  Here are some of my favorites–

A friend of mine had one of those screensavers that plays a slideshow of pictures from your computer.  Naturally, he chose a file that consisted mostly of Rebecca Romijn in a swimsuit.  So, I downloaded a gay porn photo and changed the file name to Rebecca010.jpg.

The dude had so many photos that it was weeks before he even happened to be sitting in front of the computer when the picture came up.  It took him an hour to find the right one.

A week later, I Googled “naked fat chick” and did the same thing.  In retaliation, he randomly reassigned the keys on my keyboard.

– – –

At a game testing company, one of my friends left his Myspace profile open during lunch.  Another guy saw this, and decided to send a mass e-mail to all of my friend’s buddies, saying he was coming out of the closet.

The gag was kind of a misfire, in that my friend received e-mails from many a distressed female admirer, expressing their dismay.  Quite an ego boost.

– – –

My roommate liked to print out the word “Gullible,” and tape it to the ceiling.  He’d say to people, “You know, ‘gullible’ is written on the ceiling.”

No one would ever look up.  “Oh, yeah, sure.  And I bet it’s not in the dictionary, either.”

It was awesome.

– – –

And now I hope to harness the power of the internet.  I’m writing a script that involves a guy playing a practical joke on another guy.  It’s actually a running gag, as they play jokes on each other throughout the movie (including some of those above).

Unfortunately, I’ve run out of ideas.  I need a musician playing a joke on a computer nerd, in a house, in the early morning.  I am totally stuck.

If you have any funny practical jokes, post them below.  You might read it in a script some day!

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10 Responses

  1. I’m an Aussie news camera op/editor and the pranks of the newsroom are often the same kind of thing. One Journo took a Camera Ops wallet and got a new roll of black fabric ‘gaffer’ tape (technically not gaffer tape but they call it that anyway) put the wallet in a paper pocket, and wrapped the whole thing as tight as he could, with the entire roll. It backfired however when it became apparent that the journo and the cam op had the exact same type of lether wallet…the journo had wrapped his own by mistake. Using a stanley knife to get it out, he managed to shred his own wallet too. Karma’s a bitch ha!

  2. I work in VFX so everyone’s on computers for 12 hours a day, sitting next to each other in neat rows. All the computers are of course, working on a network so that we can all work on individual projects but on the same files. So one day some artists decide to fuck with the lead lighter, who they can see his back and computer screen from their desk, and they started replacing files he was currently using, they knew what he was doing because they were watching him. So every time they saw him load up the program and have images of smiley faces, he’d get confused, search for the file, but then the file would be gone. The guys kept this up for a good twenty minutes, they could hardly contain their laughter as they watched him freak out.

  3. one of my favorite office pranks is to change the auto correct in microsoft word so when they type there name (denise) it replaces it with something else (nipple).

    months before the first x-men movie was released we frequented a comic book store. we always used the owners computer and one day he had a file on his desktop marked “x-men trailer.” my friend immediatly clicked it with fanboy enthusiasm of a five year old at christmas to find…

    *** NOT FOR THE EASILY OFFENDED ***

    … a well-endowed naked man defecating into the willing open mouth of another naked man.

    i still hear my friends screams.

  4. It’s not a real prank per say, but hiding some kind of speaker in the gamer’s environs to interfere with his gaming would be bothersome. Possibilities might be:
    -speaker in the gamer’s room, playing convincing real world noises during tense game moments (someone calling for him, cell phone ring). Especially if the gamer wears headphones and can’t determine how fake it might sound. When a real call comes through, he ignores it.

    Or if you can manage giving him a ridiculous pavlovian response to game situations game (teammate calling for help, being shot at, a prompt for a cheer, dying), triggering that with a recording of the right sound effect or alert in a public space could be a flexible and recurring prank.
    -a variation: inserting “you have died” into the middle of his mp3 tracks/playlist so that he swears and tosses his headphones public spaces.

  5. my friends had a prank war last year:
    1) a guy left for the weekend and found his entire room covered in plastic cups all filled with water..even the dirty laundry pile where the cups were at an angle. he retaliated by:
    2) taking a cheese grater to a styrofoam block and making crumb-sized styrofoam pieces all over the other guy’s room, in the sheets, etc. He retaliated by:
    3) sticking those neon office use dots all over the other guy’s car in patterns such as flowers, paisley, love etc. Over 2,000 dots. He retaliated by:
    4) taking saran wrap and saran wrapping all the first guy’s stuff together in a giant katamari

  6. I once worked with a bunch of electricians, and one of their favorite tricks was to hook up a small metal box so that it had a buzzer inside hooked up to a motion sensor. Then they would leave it laying around in a certain supervisor’s office and wait for him to pick it up to move it out of his way. Of course, as soon as it was moved, the motion sensor caused the very loud buzzer to go off. They tack welded the box shut, so that it couldn’t be opened. The noise would continue relentlessly, until finally one of the electricians would take pity and use the secret method of shutting it off. (Er…I wasn’t privvy to the secret method of shutting it off, nor the parts list for making one, so I can’t help with that, but as an innocent bystander, I can attest to the maddening noise it would make when triggered.)

    There’s also the classic but oh so simple, black ugly grease on the door knob.

    If there are any offices or cubicles involved, how about filling it to the brim with foam peanuts?

    I take it your writing a screenplay about stupid juvenile guys, eh?

  7. I’ve got a couple. A buddy of mine and his wife went on honeymoon and came back to an apartment with all of the canned food missing their labels and glow in the dark solar system glued to the bedroom ceiling, which of course they didn’t notice till they crawled in to bed. I also once switched the mattress and boxspring on my buddies bed, boxspring on top, he was a little surprised when he jumped in bed.

  8. I’ve heard a story (possibly apocryphal), about a guy who waited until he had a job on the road to break up with his girlfriend. The night before he left, he said, “I’ll be gone for three weeks. You have that long to move out.”

    He came home expecting to find his apartment trashed, but the place was immaculate. She had gone through the place and cleaned everything before leaving. So, a couple of hours go by while he’s unpacking and settling in but he keeps thinking he’s hearing voices speaking in gibberish. Eventually, he finds his phone is off the hook. It turns out she had called “Time of Day” in Tokyo and left the connection open for a week.

    (First one that occurred to me off the top of my head.)

  9. something i’ve always wanted to pull is getting one of those tiny speaker on a circuit board you can buy online (or pull the board from one of those annoying talking greeting cards) and place it in a bedroom or office space. there’s nothing more frustrating to a nerd than not being able to figure a puzzle or solve the mystery of the “happy birthday greeting card” sound.

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