Easter Prank: Where DO Peeps Come From?




peepsMy prank combines surprise and misdirection to deliver Easter laughs. Using this Instructable, you can create an ordinary egg or Easter egg with a peep inside.
For readers outside the U.S.A., peeps are shaped marshmallows dyed and coated with colored sugar. They began as Easter treats, in the shape of yellow baby chicks and pink bunnies. Then came orange Halloween peeps and green Christmas trees. I'm sure there are peep mad scientists out there inventing new shapes for new holidays even as we speak.

{Photo courtesy Urtica (http://www.flickr.com/photos/urtica/105497918/), and published under a CreativeCommons license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/deed.en).}

Step 1: Getting Ready

You will need:

A pokey thing - ice pick (best), toothpick, clean, long finish nail, or similar.
A bowley thing - cup or bowl big enough to hold the egg guts.
Two sticky things - a Popsicle stick and a piece of clear cellophane tape - you'll use about 1" or so.
A flexy thing - an index card or similar paper stock. It needs to be flexible enough to fold up yet still spring back, and firm enough to provide a little support.
A spackly thing - to camouflage the holes you will make, you'll need white spackle, plaster of paris, white glue (such as Elmer's), or whiteout.

For each "surprise" you'll need:

An extra-large or jumbo egg (raw) - If you want to make an Easter egg surprise, you'll need to dye the (raw) egg before using it. A better idea is to paint the eggs afterward, using acrylic or tempura paints. You can leave them white, depending on how you're going to deliver them.
A peep - try to find long and narrow yellow chicks

You'll also need a place to work and a lot of patience. I'd recommend doing 3-4 eggs at once. With any luck, you'll have one to make mistakes on, one that looks ok, and one that looks pretty good.

{Photo courtesy jeanieforever (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeanieforever/204425837/) published under a creative commons license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/)}

Step 2: Prep the Eggs

Using the pokey thing, carefully put a hole in the top (narrowest) and bottom of the egg. You can enlarge the bottom hole just a little bit at this time.

Blow gently into the top hole so the egg goops out the bottom. Oh yeah, it's supposed to go in the bowley thing, not the table. You may need to poke far enough into the top or bottom hole to break the yoke - I didn't, others have said they had to. Hollow each egg now.

Set the egg goop side. Using cool water, gently rinse the inside of the eggs. Swirl the water around and dump it out the bottom. Voice of Experience: warm water will cause the egg white to congeal, and you'll never get it out. If you're not planning on eating the peep, you don't have to be too picky.

Set the eggs aside to fully dry - if you are impatient, use a hair dryer to speed the process. Voice of Experience - if they're not fully dry inside, the sugar and color will bleed off and the peep will smear.

While you're waiting for the eggs to dry, why not have a nice omelet? Don't be sqeamish, you didn't really think eggs came out of the EggBusters carton, did you?

{Photo courtesy KitchenContraption (http://www.kitchencontraptions.com/archives/2006_04.php) published under a CreativeCommons license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd-nc/1.0/)}

Step 3: Peep the Eggs

When the eggs are fully dry, take a small piece of tape. Using the ice pick, or a Popsicle stick place the tape inside the egg against the top hole. Again, if you're not eating the peep, you don't have to be too picky. If you are, you want a good seal so that whatever you use to hide the hole does not leak into the egg.

Enlarge the bottom hole just enough to get the peep in. I'd suggest between the size of a dime and nickel for the first one, then play it by ear. Remember the peep is springy - you're going to compress it as you put it in. Be vary careful around the edges of the hole - they flake easily. If you paint the inside of the egg with white glue, it will be stronger. I have not tried this.

Gently roll the peep between your hands. You want to compress it slightly, without knocking off the sugar or permanently distorting it.

Carefully feed the peep into the egg, pinching each bit before it goes through the hole. A friend suggested putting tape around the outside of the hole while stuffing, then removing it afterwards. I have not tried this.

When the peep is completely in the egg (by the second or third egg :-) ), cut a small strip of index card and feed it into the hole. Using the ice pick, position it so it covers as much of the hole as practical. It will provide backing for the camouflage on the bottom of the egg.

Using your spackley stuff, fill the top hole of the eggs. It's better to have a little too much than too little, but way too much is worse. Read that sentence until it makes sense.

Set the eggs aside. Go have a glass of orange juice and practice deep breathing - you were holding your breath for most of this step.

When the top hole is dry, fill the bottom hole. Get it as close a possible, but it doesn't have to be perfect - that's where the misdirection comes in.

When the top and bottom are dry, remove the excess spackley stuff. When I use spackle, I wet my finger and lightly rub the area. Don't take off too much at any one time - repeat the process as necessary.

Step 4: Delivery

When the eggs are dry and as smooth as you'd like, you're ready for the real fun.

You want the element of surprise, and you want to keep the mark from having time to examine the egg. Here are a few suggested methods.

I was cooking breakfast with my sons. I casually asked, "Do you suppose peeps are laid by giant marshallow chickens?" We joked about that, and off course, they observed that since rabbits didn't lay eggs, rabbit peeps must be poop from a marshmallow rabbit. (Boys are like that.) I handed the egg to my oldest to crack into the bowl. The look on his face when the peep fell out was priceless.

Another time, I hide a colored peep egg under a cloth on an easy chair. When a friend plopped down in the chair, I said, "Oh my gosh - I hid one of the kids' eggs there!" He jumped up, flipped the cloth off, and laughed his a** off when he saw the peep.

If you're sitting around with friends, say "Think fast!" and whip the egg at the mark. It'll either explode in his hand, or on his chest. (Be sure it is a he - boys think this is funny, many wives do not. Girls are like that.)

Hide the egg in the bottom of the Easter basket. When the mark finds it, distract them by asking a question as they break it. I suggest, "Why do we celebrate the saving sacrifice of our lord and savior by biting the heads off of chocolate bunnies?"

Step 5: Epilogue

A friend suggested filling a painted egg with jelly beans or malted milk eggs.

A few peeps go a long way. Each of my boys wants his own box of every kind of peep the store has. Then they eat about two peeps a day until they get crunchy.

Sorry for the stock pix. This is pretty messy, and my wife is picky about "her" camera.

To those of you complaining about my spelling, incorrect homonyms (to, too). Lighten up go read W.F. Buckley or H.L. Mencken if you want to worship the English language. (Pedants are like that).

If the fact that I use "carefully" and "gently" 50 times on every step bothers you, try the Instructable and it will make sense.

Be nice.

{Photo courtesy Wikipedia (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:JellyBellyBeans.jpg) published under a Creative Commons license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)}



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    18 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    ok, cool idea and all and i bet the kids love it but if you eat the peep, couldnt you get salmonella since you arent actually getting ALL of the raw egg out of the shell? (only what "ploops" out)?


    10 years ago on Step 5

    As men do like to burn things, a suggestion for your "crunchy" peeps. They make the most delicious treat when roasted over fire aka marshmallows on sticks. I hate peeps too, but they are scrumptious that way!

    5 replies

    Option 2: You can put two of the "crunchy" peeps into a microwave about 3 inches away from each other and about 5 inches away from the walls of the microwave. You can then stick a toothpick into each of the peeps, making sure to leave about an inch of toothpick sticking out of each peep. turn on your microwave for about 1 minute. For those of us who know about the affects of microwaves on microscopic air bubbles (such as those found in marshmallows) then you know that microwaving peeps will cause them to expand 5 fold. The first peep to stab the other with it's toothpick wins. Tada!!! Peep Jousting!

    miadragonChocolate Moose

    Reply 7 years ago on Step 5

    My kids loved the idea. They are all preteen and up so it was great fun. I was also able to teach a principle in our home school and they did not know they were learning. thanks for the fantastic afternoon with my kids.


    10 years ago on Step 5

    sweet. I'm totally doing this to my cousins!


    As I'm currently observing at a clinic far away from my college friends this semester, the days leading up to the first of April have been nothing short of torture, as I was accustomed to pulling plenty of pranks in their midst. Searching high and low for a trick that could be made at home and then mailed through the postal system without causing suspicion (or a bomb threat, at worst), I thought I wouldn't find anything in time for the occasion. However, thanks to you, this will not be the case. :D


    10 years ago on Step 4

    I did this when I went camping with my scout troop. My friends sister, her firend, and my friends mom were in the cabin. i told them we were having an egg fight and they should come out. I pulled out the egg yelled think fast and whipped it at the girls. you should have seen their faces when the peep popped out of the smashed egg. Priceless.

    Awesome! My mom got some peeps that look like flat little frogs and cows (who thinks of this stuff?) I'll have to try this next easter.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    +1 points. This is a very original prank. Using that spackle stuff is a great idea.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    sounds amazing - i cant wait to try this one! i would love it if you could add some pictures to the steps though, i would like to see how big the hole is and so on.