Instructables

A Collection of Easy Office Pranks

Picture of A Collection of Easy Office Pranks
When I saw this contest, I knew I had to enter!  But which prank?  I have over the years witnessed and participated and researched thousands of pranks, from the simple to the extreme.  In my humble opinion, a good prank can be set up and excecuted quickly and effectively.  Sure, it would be funny to wallpaper someone's office with post-it notes, or fill their cubicle with packing peanuts, but who has the time or resources for that?  My favorite prank is the one where nobody is hurt or overly humiliated, and that everyone can enjoy a good laugh afterward.  I realized I couldn't narrow it down to just one.  Therefore, I am submitting my compilation of low-tech easy office pranks that are sure to annoy.  The computer based ones are factored off of Windows XP, and any other software may not work or require different steps.  Enjoy!
 
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Step 1: Prank 1: The Impossible Desktop

Picture of Prank 1: The Impossible Desktop
This one is amazing in it's simplicity to execute and the results it yields.  If you have access to your targets computer, it can be pulled off in about 1 minute if you're quick.  Here's how it goes down:

Step 1: From the regular desktop screen of the computer, press the "PrtScn" button on the keyboard.  This takes a snapshot, or screenprint, of what is on the screen at that moment.

Step 2:  Open Paint (Start > Accessories) and either select Edit > Paste, or press Ctrl + V to paste the screenshot into Paint.  Then choose File>Save As and call it anything, but change the file type to .jpg, and save it to the Desktop.

Step 3:  Close out of Paint, and back on the desktop, Right Click and create a new folder, of any name.  Set it to one edge.  Any icon on the desktop that doesn' t have a white square with an arrow is an actual file or program, and can be moved into this folder.  The rest are icons, which once you move into the folder need to be deleted off the desktop.  You can remove everything from the screen EXCEPT the Recycle Bin.

Step 4:  Right click on the Start/Taskbar, and uncheck "Lock the Taskbar" if it is checked.  Now, if you put your mouse over the top edge of the Start/Taskbar it'll turn into a double ended arrow.  Drag it down until there is no Start/Taskbar on the screen.

Step 5:  To finish up, right click on the now empty desktop, and set the screenprint picture you took to be the wallpaper and walk away.

The Result:  Your target will not suspect anything is wrong with their computer until they go to click on something.  Anything really.  The only responding icon on the desktop now is the Recycle Bin (if they try to move it, they may figure you out, but who ever messes with the Recycle Bin?).  Once you've had your laugh, and maybe taken a video, undo your damage before your mark loses it.
ocarver2 months ago

This Miley Wrecking Ball Doll prank would be a great addition to this list! It's not an old classic one but gets points for trending pop culture. http://allinwebpro.com/wrecking-ball-office-doll/

cgosh6 months ago
A lazy co-worker finally found his telephone mouthpiece had a very tiny piece of clear tape over the microphone hole, but only after he was forced to shout into his phone for days. The pranksters giggled with every word.

The soda pop trick sounds messy, but there are nasty laws about food tampering that could get the cops involved.
 Cool!   Heh heh heh....  actually that's a cool desktop even for myself...
yep
Saturn V4 years ago
If they have a laptop, just close the lid and then take a picture.
"Regular" cola won't work; they tried it on Mythbusters. It's something in the Diet Coke that reacts with the Mentos.

It's the artifital sweetener in the Diet Coke and nucleation cites in the mentos.

Coliflower4 years ago
 Wow!  Great list!
lukeea4 years ago
You don't need both -r and -s commands. Keep -r if you want the computer to restart or -s if you want it to shutdown. This is pretty funny. I've had the shortcut link to something else such as paint or solitaire, but I never thought of using the shutdown command. Good work.
A simpler way to do this is to just right-click the desktop, go to the View -> menu, and uncheck Show Desktop Icons. Then set the wallpaper as you said.
hey, I never knew you could do that! muhahahahahahaha!!!!!1!!!!
also, you should make it so the task bar auto hides so even that is useless
ludionis (author) 4 years ago
After submitting, I thought of another favorite, but am unsure if I can/should ammend my submission for the contest.  Take a glass (clear is best so you can see what is inside), fill it with any liquid (ice water, soda, etc).  Place an index card or piece of cardstock over the top of the glass, and invert it onto vicim's desk or table.  While holding the cup in place, carefully slide the card out from what is now the bottom.  The liquid will form a seal, and air pressure keeps it from spilling unless that seal is broken.  If you are VERY careful and quick, you can re-slide another card underneath the cup with a minimal of mess.  Otherwise, there is virtually no way to righten the cup without all the contents spilling out all over the table/desk.  I've known people to do this at restaurants to the waitress if there is not a cloth tablecloth and they had very bad service, but I personally would just leave a very low tip (low tip is worse than no tip, cause no tip means you might have forgotten.  A low tip, like $0.25 means you deliberately underpaid).
Kozz4 years ago
I'd like to add an easy one to this list.  For Windows users, try the key combination CTRL+ALT+(arrow key) where the arrow key is your desired desktop orientation/direction.

So try CTRL+ALT+(DOWN/LEFT/RIGHT) to make things more interesting.  (CTRL+ALT+UP will correct it.)

This is a simple, harmless and completely reversible prank to pull on those IT co-workers who ought to know better to lock their console when they walk away from their desk!

Side-note:  If you have multiple monitors, this key combo only changes the orientation of the display where your mouse cursor resides, so if you want to turn primary & secondary upside down, you'll have to do the key combo once for each.
Huntman00 Kozz4 years ago
what does it do?
ludionis (author)  Huntman004 years ago
On computers whose video cards support screen orientation, that combination rotates the screen 90, 180, or 270 degrees.  The Ctrl+Shift+Up corrects, or sets the orientation back to normal settings.
ludionis (author)  Kozz4 years ago
At work, our computers use an Intel graphics card, and if we open the Intel graphics controller icon in the system tray and enable screen rotation, that trick indeed is great.  We have a very strict policy on locking workstations when you walk away from them, and that is a favorite, along with emailing the boss saying "I quit" from that person's email account.  I didn't include it, because it doesn't seem to work on every computer, mine at home for instance does not rotate with those commands.  After further research, I found that the screen rotation is display adapter determined, not all possessing the ability.  To check, you can go to Control Panel>Display>Settings>Advanced button and look for an Orientation tab to see if your video card will support screen rotation.
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