Childhood Pranks & Practical Jokes You Will Still Remember

There resides a joker in all of us. There is something truly cruel about childhood pranks in that we happily laugh at other people’s pain, fright, shock, surprise, embarrassment, etc. Maybe it is a self defence or coping mechanism because we know we are just as vulnerable and we are secretly glad it is them suffering and not us.
No one knows this better than a adolescent boy both how to reap joy out of other people’s misery and also how to dish it out. Ahh boredom… the birthplace of ingenuity.

Enter the whimsical world of Childhood pranks, gags and practical jokes.


***DISCLAIMER*** most childhood pranks  you may have gotten away with as a youth will get you punched, charged, sued, arrested, or shot as an adult. The words criminal mischief, destruction of property, propelling incendiary devices from a moving vehicle, throwing missiles, criminal trespassing, possession of explosive devices, assault, mayhem, etc. come to mind.
When I was a kid we used to make dry ice bombs among other things. Now-a-days it is a felony at least where I live to possess or manufacture any explosive device whether it is a chemical reaction explosion or an incendiary one.

The level of our pranks gags and practical jokes rose to a whole new level of Machiavellian scheming and cruelty the older I got through high school and then college. I am not here to tell you about all of the mean things I did to others some of which I truly regret and others of which are sure to land me a spot in the local penitentiary. Remember a joke is not funny if someone actually gets hurt, Well properly hurt anyway!  A little pain is always funny. I want to tell you about the more innocent times and pranks of my youth. So if you lack a conscious and your moral compass is not always pointed to true North follow me into the realm of my favorite pranks gags and practical jokes and some of the more common tricks of the trade. Let’s start out simple…

Fly/bug  in ice cube

pranks gags and practical jokes

In actuality the plastic cube did not look anything like an ice cube unless it was frozen cream soda or something. It was usually a sickly yellowish color but some of the better ones actually had a real fly corpse inside. They would have fooled no-one except the legally blind and most people quickly snatched them out of their glass not because of the fly but because of the yellow cube. It was the idea that counted though after several failed attempts with the store bought gag we eventually started making real ones by collecting dead flies from windowsills and freezing them in ice cube trays. It was a mixture of feelings as some never even got noticed in the glass, and some actually got swallowed, but payoff when one was noticed with a disgusted, “Eccchhhhh!!”.

Disappearing Ink

pranks gags and practical jokes

This prank would have had a much more practical use in a Victorian setting when people were still using things such as quill pens. However kids could still come up with ways to make it work. The premise is simple spill the ink on someone or something and giggle fiendishly as the owner worries endlessly about never getting out the dark blue ink stain from the rug or favorite shirt. Then watch after a few minutes as the stain slowly disappears by itself usually just in time to save the prankster from a beating. Coupling it with a squirting pen to be able to propel the ink onto unsuspecting classmates or victims is always fun. Not to be confused with invisible ink from spy pens that needed UV light to be able to read the secret message.

Itching powder

pranks gags and practical jokes

Itching powder is great fun to sprinkle down the back of some unsuspecting victim’s shirt or dump into the cast covering the broken limb of some unlucky or clumsy kid and laughing uproariously as they attempt to scratch the itch in a hard to reach place. I never did get the desired effect on the package of growing an extra limb but I’ll bet the victims were wishing for an extra arm to scratch with. Be careful however because some people can have allergic reactions to rosehips or cloves (common ingredients in the powder) and a trip to the emergency room is never fun.


pranks gags and practical jokes

Not really a prank so much as a necessary accessory to pull off other pranks to appear as if you are not observing the results of the prank and could not possibly be the guilty one as the victim looks for someone to blame. These glasses had mirrors on the outside edges of the lenses on the side toward your face allowing you to use your peripheral vision to see behind you. My favorite application was the dollar bill attached to a nearly invisible fishing line carelessly dropped on the floor of the mall or other public place and watch as people would stoop to pick it up and you would jerk the line to whisk it out of reach. I had it down pat so that instead of looking for the prankster they thought it was a gust of wind blowing it away from them and they would stoop again and again to pick it up. Some of them chasing it for several yards at nearly a dead run. Others doing the one leg tango down the walkways as they attempt to stamp on the bill. Meanwhile you sit serenely eating your pretzel at the nearby food court using your glasses to look the opposite direction. You could stand at the corner of a building with your back to the wall and use the glasses to see around the corner, great for acting as look-out while more elaborate pranks were being set up by your cohorts in crime.

x-ray specs

pranks gags and practical jokes

Without doubt one of the funniest chilhood pranks  to play on other people. The prank will be on you if you purchase these worthless specs. The lure of actually being able to see through clothes or walls is undeniable and you probably bought a pair and were duped out of your money also. In reality they usually had fuzzy lenses that distorted your vision to something like being knocked senseless by a prize fighter. The double or triple images of whatever you were looking at would produce a sensation that you could see through the outside images to what was behind or that the image in the center was darker and skinnier and the outline of the object say your finger became the bone in your hand on the outer image. You can produce the same effect by holding a finger close to your nose and staring directly at it. Your dominant eye will see the finger while your other eye will see the background behind it.

Never ending candles

Happy birthday to you!!! Make a wish and blow out a candle oh wait they sparkle then relight. Ha you must be getting really old you can’t even blow out all of the candles. Mostly entertaining for very young children.

Trick gum

pranks gags and practical jokes

They made gum that was blazing hot for a second or two that you could offer to your friend. Better yet was snap gum with a minuscule spring like a mouse trap ready to snap on your friend’s finger when he pulls out the stick. The first thing for either trick was to get rid of the lame packaging and put the trick gum into a pack of Wrigley’s or Fruit Stipe gum. i just love pranks gags and practical jokes

Hand buzzers

pranks gags and practical jokes

I guess I pictured something in between the smoking corpse produced by the Joker’s ring in the 1989 Batman movie and the static shock produced by walking in socks on carpet and touching an unsuspecting victim. Needless to say I was more than disappointed when I found out all that it really was is a wind up vibrator. The weird thing was that sometimes it actually worked because the sensation of the quick vibration in the handshake actual feels like an electric shock.

Baby rattlesnake eggs

Pranks gags and practical jokes

First of all rattlesnakes are viviparous, meaning that the embryo develops inside a fertilized egg inside the animal and then after gestation there is a live birth. Oviparous animals lay eggs, some snakes do but not rattlers. There is your Cliff Clavin fact for the day. For those who never watched Cheers he was a know it all mailman who always spouted random facts. The same actor and same random facts are found in Toy Story from Hamm the pig. But seriously how many people actually know that about rattlers as kids? This little heart stopper was basically a rubber-band with a washer on it that was wound taught and when the package would open it would quickly unwind causing the washer edges to pound the paper envelope and cause a startle response from the “rattle” sound.

Squirting Ring

pranks gags and practical jokes

The flowers never did much unless you were dressed as a clown. The rings on the other hand were easily concealed in your hand to deliver a little jet of water at your prey. The true function of course was to show off your gaudy jewelry or flower hoping someone would lean close and squirt them in the face. I always removed the junk jewelry and just had the squirter. My best one was a small accordion squirter from a cereal box prize that fit inside my hand with the nozzle between fingers. It delivered about three times as much water as the rings and was simply awesome on yearbook signing day when one year my junior high school had everyone also wear white shirts to sign if we wanted. Let me just tell you it was pure chaos as all of the girls in white shirts ran away screaming clutching themselves and wondering where the water came from as you nonchalantly passed by. What were they going to do suspend us? It was the last day of school!

Which brings up Water balloons! The best childhood pranks you could throw at people

pranks gags and practical jokes

Who didn’t chuck balloons at unsuspecting passers-by from a lofty perch or at vehicles on the highway. Now that I think about it that was kind of dumb because we could have caused a major car wreck. However most of the time we never even saw the victims because we had a launcher that could chuck the balloons or eggs about a half block. Our spotter would locate victims: girls laying out on towels, people reading papers, picnics, etc. We would set up the artillery and anything in our predetermined bombing range was history.


pranks gags and practical jokes

Bullet hole stickers were pretty cool if you got the higher quality ones and placed on car windshield looked real. We also used to get fly stickers with a realistic picture of a fly on them and then watch people try to swat the fly.
Remember Lunchables? I remember they came with this little container of Dijon mustard you could squeeze onto your “sandwiches”. We always used it to squirt some on peoples’ car windows from about one foot above the glass. The color, the little spice dots, and the perfect splat technique made for an excellent faux bird dropping. Man I would be pissed if someone did that to my car today. I was a mean little turd.


Pranks Gags and Practical jokes

Ah these little beauties were worth their weight in gold. Basically an extension of placing a rotting fish in a car or a bag of dog poop in a locker, without the mess to clean up of course and you could throw them for long distance attacks. I still remember the sulfurous smell when you broke the vial. My most favorite of childhood pranks was to perch on the roof of an apartment building and launch the stink bombs close to unsuspecting victims. There was one guy who used to come out to smoke a cigarette like clockwork. We would pepper his porch and watch from the bushes when he came out at first he just went back in. His wife however would not let him smoke in the house so sometimes he just suffered through it making the most outrageous faces of disgust. Another good one was to wait until your friend bought a pack and tackle him to the lawn then smash them while still in his pocket. Then you had to run as fast as possible to avoid the stench and also his swift retribution if he caught you. A rather mean time we put them on the seat of a UPS truck while the driver was inside delivering packages.

Fake vomit

pranks gags and practical jokes

The rubber fake puke you could buy never really looked real enough although we tried. The only place we could ever pull it off was to place it in the school restroom close to the toilet. It was much better was to fabricate your own fake puke. A can of mashed up beef stew mixed with a can of creamed corn makes great fake puke. You can then deposit it where ever you like. One of my genius friends once thought to enhance the effect by making noises then depositing the fake puke into his mouth to let it fall out to gross people out. Little did he realize the texture and smell of the cold beef stew with creamed corn would really make him vomit shortly after putting it in his mouth. He achieved his goal of grossing people out but didn’t expect to be one of them.


The Fart Machine

Pranks Gags and Practical Jokes

There were also sound activated or remote controlled fart machines that could be hid around the toilet or in couch cushions.
Along the same lines was the classic Whoopie cushion.

pranks gags and practical jokes

Placed on a teachers seat or under a loved one as they sat down at the dinner table it was sure to get a laugh.

Fake dog doo

Pranks gags and practical jokes

I never purchased it but I definitely remember them I think a friend may have had one. You obviously placed them on the carpet or in someone’s path where a dog was likely to have been.


We hope you liked our collection of childhood pranks gags and practical jokes . If you loved this then don’t forget to share it with your friends and family. But not before Pranking them first.

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