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Our Favourite Childhood Pranks

It's time to let your inner trickster out! April Fools' Day is fast approaching, so arm yourself by refreshing your memory with some classic pranks


Not everyone grows up with a mischievous uncle who encourages them to 'short-sheet' the bed, or rig up a bucket of water outside the front door. But if you did, there were surely moments of uncontrollable laughter and, potentially, some consequences.

Know your prank audience

As children grow up - and in a lot of cases, adults attempting to be young - pranks are a way of testing the waters, seeing what you can get away with, who you can trick, and who can out prank who!

A prank is intended to be funny but not malicious, and it's important to teach children the difference. Switching Dad's morning coffee for a hot cup of coke, doesn't hurt anyone - but replacing shampoo with hair remover is downright mean and has lasting effects.

With April Fool's Day on our minds, we've been reminiscing about the best pranks we pulled - or had pulled on us - as children, or in some cases, adults...

Some very practical jokes

Just egg-cellent!

"When I was little I used to help my mum put the food in the fridge - I was a model child. Once I'd emptied the egg carton into the fridge door, I'd casually tell my mum to catch as I launched the carton at her. She freaked out - I usually ended up in trouble. The best part was I got her with this prank more than once." (Rebecca)

The Matchmaker

"I'm a divorced father of three and about 18 months ago my little brother decided to orchestrate an elaborate prank in an effort to find me a date. He developed a marketing campaign, roped our employees into helping him, and took to the streets. I have thick skin and I did find it funny - eventually. However, his skills as a matchmaker were less than perfect!" (Ben)

All stand for Sesame Street

"I used to volunteer in our school office in the morning - we answered the phones and helped photocopy worksheets. One April Fool's Day, I swapped the National Anthem cassette for Rubber Ducky (from Sesame Street). We got a whole 30 seconds into the song before the secretary could figure out how to turn it off. Unfortunately, as there were only two of us with access that morning, we both had to stay late - it was well worth it!" (Michelle)

Immaculate conception

"I remember when I was younger, my grandma called me really early in the morning and told me that she was pregnant. She was about 68, and seeing that she didn't have a partner, I was really baffled. As it was first thing in the morning and I wasn't thinking straight, It took me a minute or two but I was relieved when I realised it was April 1st." (Kirsty)

A salty surprise

"When I was a nanny, the children I took care of were mischievous and desperate to play pranks on their Grandfather - he liked to return the favour! He was a bit of a sugar fiend so they emptied out the sugar bowl and filled it with salt - in the dim light of the dinner table it looked the same.

As the meal came to an end, and tea and coffee was circulated, the children got giggly with anticipation. Grandpa's yogurt bowl sat in front of him and he spooned one, two, three heaped tablespoons of "sugar" onto his dessert.

Grandma made her usual comment about how much sugar he was using and the children were nearly bursting. To this day I'm convinced Grandpa knew what they were doing, but he took a very large scoop of yogurt and made a face so contorted that the children were almost scared!" (Kristen)

Transfer trick

"When I was about 18 I stuck a fake tattoo of the Harley Davidson Emblem on my arm. It was April Fool's Day, and I'd just arrived back from America. I had always talked about getting a tattoo and I was obsessed with Harley Davidson bikes so I told my parents it was real and that I'd had it done in New York before I left. My parents didn't go completely mad at me, but they were really upset - ok it was pretty ugly and huge! I managed to string them along for a while... until it started to peel off!" (Amanda)

The Classic

"We were horrible boys when we were at school; our favourite prank was to put cling film between the bowl and the toilet seat - the splash effect was hilarious and, well, I'll let you imagine the other results!" (Johnny)

School's out!

"We used to wash the blackboards with a sopping wet sponge before math class - not only could the teacher not write on the board, but neither could we." (Artemis)

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