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10 office pranks for you to use on your colleagues

If you've ever watched the hit TV show "The Office", you'll be well versed in office antics that can add a bit of fun to the working day.

Kit Out My Office surveyed 1,594 adults aged 18-65 in full or part-time employment to find out how many of us take part in office pranks at work. Our results found that 83% of workers from the North of England stated that they often take part in workplace pranks in comparison to only 69% from the South of England.

In addition to the above, 90% of workers who responded in favour of pranks said they will continue doing them despite hearing stories of people being fired as a result of a prank.

Don't take the fun too far!

Office pranks can be seen in both a positive and negative light. Pamela Rogerson, HR Director for the ELAS Group, who has 27 years' experience in employment law and HR, had this to say:

"Pranks in the workplace lighten the mood and, for the most part, can have a positive effect on morale so why not? A little laughter and joviality helps build team spirit and corporate identity; if a workplace is staid and boring then I’m sure that staff retention could be an issue. That being said, as with anything you do, whether in the workplace or at home, any pranks should be harmless".

If you’re looking to prank your colleagues, we've pulled together our favourite list of practical jokes for the workplace as inspiration. From a dry shower to a sea of cups, your bound to find an idea below to prank an unsuspecting culprit.

Choose a prank to read more about how to pull off it off sucessfully. We've also provided a list of tools and equipment required for each practical joke. Our pranks are ordered by difficulty and also give an idea of how long you'll need to prepare for each. Pick your favourite now and get started to really show your coworkers who's boss!

Mouse Mayhem Prank

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Description: Watch your colleague's frustration as they have their mouse disrupted twice - which issue will they solve first?

Items/Tools Required:

  • Wired mouse
  • Tape
  • Stick note / paper


  1. Cover the sensor of the bottom of the mouse with a piece of tape, sicky note, or paper
  2. Unplug the mouse from the back of the computer
  3. See which they solve first and watch them think they’ve solved the problem!
Internet Devil Prank

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Description: Pranking your colleagues doesn't have to use a mouse, umbrella or 100 cups - simply download an extension to their web browser and watch them blame their "broken machine"!

Items/Tools Required:

  • Google Chrome


  1. Visit the Google Chrome App Store
  2. Download the extension (this will only work for chrome users)
  3. Set the options on the 'Prank Toolkit'. You can choose from options such as:
    • Upside down images
    • Redirect Google to Bing
    • Randomly reload tabs
    • Hidden cursor
Dry Shower Prank

Preparation Time: A week (depending on how often you use your hole punch)

Description: Make it rain tiny pieces of paper with this harmless yet effective office prank.

Items/Tools Required:

  • Umbrella
  • Hole punch


  1. Collect the contents of a hole punch over time
  2. Empty the contents of the hole punch into the culprit’s umbrella (the more the better!)
Toilet Paper Spider Prank

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Description: Give an unsuspecting colleague an unpleasant fright with this easy office prank.

Items/Tools Required:

  • Toilet Paper
  • Black Pen


  1. On your next trip to the toilet, unroll the toilet paper slightly
  2. With a black pen, draw a small spider on the paper
  3. Roll the paper back so no one can see it
Snack Surprise Prank

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Description: Get your colleagues excited by bringing in a box of snacks, only to see their faces drop at the contents.

Items/Tools Required:

  • Popular Snack Box (such as Krispy Kreme’s)
  • Healthy Snacks


  1. Buy a box of doughnuts and remove them (or recycle an old empty box)
  2. Fill the box with healthy snacks, such as:
    • Tomatoes
    • Carrot Sticks
    • Apple Slices
  3. Present the box to your colleagues
Stray Mouse Prank

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Description: Watch your culprit get highly frustrated and blame their "broken mouse" when things aren't going their way.

Items/Tools Required:

  • Wireless Mouse


  1. Acquire a wireless mouse
  2. Plug in the sensor to the culprit’s computer (keep the wireless mouse handy at your own desk)
  3. When your colleague is using their mouse, give the wireless mouse a wiggle
Pen Surprise Prank

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Description: Surprise your favourite colleague with a handful of glitter... all over them and the floor.

Items/Tools Required:

  • Pen
  • Glitter or Confetti
  • Glue


  1. Take the culprits pen and pull it apart, removing all the insides
  2. Fill the pen hollow with glitter (this only works with opaque pens!)
  3. Put a small amount of glue on the lid and place the lid back on the pen (this will make it a little harder to remove the lid!)
  4. Watch as they shoot glitter everywhere when forcing open the pen
Phone Strength Prank

Preparation Time: 2-3 days (depending on how often your culprit uses the phone)

Description: Give your colleague a thorough arm workout with this weighty office prank.

Items/Tools Required:

  • Mini Weights
  • Telephone Handset


  1. Gather an amount of small weights
  2. After the culprit has used their phone and left the room, carefully take apart the handset and pop one of the weights in (this only works for users with handsets that are easy to take apart and put back together!)
  3. Repeat this process until all the weights have been used – watch them begin to wonder why the phone is getting heavier
  4. Finally, on the next turn, take all of the weights out. The culprit will expect their phone to be really heavy, and lift it with force, hitting them self in the face!
Sea of Cups Prank

Preparation Time: 2 hours

Description: Take your pranks to the next level with a seascape of plastic/paper cups - watch your colleagues disbelief when they can't get to their desk!

Items/Tools Required:

  • Plastic/Paper Cups
  • Water


  1. Buy enough plastic/paper cups to cover the culprit's desk and surrounding area
  2. Ensure all electrical hazards are out of the way before setting up the prank to avoid any accidents
  3. Place the cups all over the culprit's desk and surrounding area, not putting them too close, or too far apart
  4. Fill each cup to the top with water (this is best to do when the office is empty, either on a weekend or out of hours)
Fish Tank Drawer

Preparation Time: 1 hour (it is best to do this prank out of hours or while the culprit is out of the office so you don't get caught)

Description: Give your culprit the gift of an office pet with this intricate, yet effective prank.

Items/Tools Required:

  • Large Plastic Bag / Plastic Wrap
  • Water
  • Fish Tank Accessories (such as stones and ornaments)
  • A Small Fish


  1. Pick a draw from the culprit's filling cabinet and line the drawer using the large plastic bag
  2. Fill the plastic bag around half full of water
  3. In the water, place all the objects, putting the fish in last (if the culprit is going to be out of the office for some time, put the fish in just before they get back to the office – we wouldn’t want the fish to suffer) - if you don't have a real fish, a plastic fish or even a duck will do!
  4. Close the drawer!

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