20 practical jokes and pranks to try at work

Work is dull so its a good thing that practical jokes and pranks can liven up even the most mundane workplaces. Here are 20 you can try that probably won't get you fired.

practical jokes at work

Work is a mundane and boring thing that we do every day in order to get money to buy exciting things that enrich our home lives.

At least that’s what my girlfriend tells me anyway. She gets excited by things like Tupperware, plant pots and placemats for the dinner table. I am yet to be convinced of the joy of these things, but apparently they make our home look pretty and inviting or something.

If you think about it, work is really just a place that buys your time on this planet from you. They give you money but in return they make you do what they want, however boring and soul sucking it may be.

You need to have a bit of fun in the workplace to keep morale high. A couple of office pranks never hurt anyone… Except for one guy at my old workplace who now drinks through a straw, but you know what they say, out of sight out of mind.

Anyway, it has been proven that employees who enjoy work and have a bit of fun will be more productive in the long run.

Last time I pranked a co-worker

There were plenty of workplace pranks and practical jokes at my old office. People got their entire desk and everything on it wrapped in foil, somebody else had their entire cubicle filled with the contents of a beanbag. One prank I pulled didn’t turn out quite how I had hoped though.

There was a girl who was pretty slow on computers which lead to me nicknaming her a ‘computard‘. At the end of one day, I thought it would be hilarious to sticky tape a piece of paper over the laser of a workmates mouse so that moving the mouse had no effect on the screen when she tried it the next morning. Turns out that it was hilarious… but I was the only person laughing. I had forgotten that I had taken the next day off work and in my time away, things got a little bit out of hand. The day after, when I returned, I got called into the bosses office and found out that it had taken 2 people from the IT department 3 hours to figure out what the problem was.

My first concern about this was why it took the IT department so long to figure out what was wrong. Regardless, I was lectured about wasting company time. At least I think that is what I was lectured about anyway, because I was too busy thinking about other things to distract myself from laughing out loud.

You need to have a bit of fun at work so that the monotony doesn’t drive you to kill yourself with a computer cord or a coffee mug. You shouldn’t do that by the way, not in the workplace, there are OH&S rules against it. Plus it’s unfair on your co-workers who will have to clear up the mess in the morning.

Practical jokes and pranks to try at work

You could obviously go all out with a practical joke at work but the danger with that is that if you go too far you may find yourself looking for a new job. Here is a list of 20 things you can do to liven things up and have a bit of fun around the workplace which hopefully won’t get you fired:

  1. Leave the copy machine settings to reduce 200%, extra dark, 17 inch paper, 99 copies.
  2. Hide a cellphone in the ceiling tiles then randomly call it and watch people go crazy trying to find it.
  3. Stick a piece of paper under the laser of a co-workers computer mouse so that it doesn’t work.
  4. Move people’s food around in the fridge and hide it behind things. People go crazy over missing lunches.
  5. Bring in an office snack like chocolate covered tuna balls or something else with a hidden surprise. Leave them in the lunch room with a note for people to help themselves.
  6. Replace the staples in the stapler with those little poppers and wait for the loud bangs when someone tries to staple something.
  7. Reply to everything someone says with “that’s what you think, but” then stop talking.
  8. Sit at your desk and make fax and modem noises. If anybody asks what you are doing tell them “you are practising for your promotion to the Xerox room.”
  9. Highlight irrelevant information in scientific papers and “cc” them to your boss.
  10. Wrap every item at someone’s desk in foil. Make sure that you take things apart and wrap them before assembling again.
  11. Take a screenshot of someone’s computer desktop the set it as their wallpaper, then delete all their shortcut icons.
  12. Signal that a conversation is over by clamping your hands over your ears and saying “lalalalalalala”.
  13. Swap 2 keys on someone keyboard (the M and N keys work particularly well for this)
  14. Staple pages in the middle of the page instead of the edge.
  16. As much as possible, skip around the office rather than walk.
  17. Ask people what gender they are.
  18. While making presentations, occasionally bob your head like a parakeet.
  19. When in meetings talk in rhyme.
  20. Ask your co-workers mysterious questions and then scribble their answers in a notebook. Mutter something about “psychological profiles.”
Have you got any others? Let me know in the comments.
I'm an ex breakfast radio DJ who no longer hosts a breakfast radio show so I created this website to give myself somewhere new to make jokes and rant about life, pop culture, celebrities and stupid people.


  1. Frost a couple of 7″ round styrofoam pieces, grate a chocolate bar over the top, great bday cake

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