'Tis the Season to Be Naughty: 10 Awfully Inexcusable Office Pranks

10 Awfully Inexcusable Office Pranks

Tomorrow's the 1st of April which means it's the one day of the year you can put aside the daily grind, and go at it Dwight Schrute and Jim Halpert style. Yes, there are easy apps to do your dirty work, but if you're old school and you like to do it the old fashioned way, here are 10 simple pranks for torturing your co-workers.

1. The Jello Mouse

The stapler encased in Jello is a classic, but let's face it—staplers are rarely used these days. Why not immerse something your co-worker actually uses, like a mouse? You'll need about 5 boxes of Jello, a tupperware container, and some dental floss.

  1. Make your Jello (follow the boxed instructions—easy)
  2. Use dental floss to suspend the mouse in the middle of a tupperware container. Tape the floss to the outside of the container. Cut hole in container for mouse cord, or leave mouse cord hanging out, over the side. Pour your Jello mixture into the container. If you're having difficulty with the dental floss, you can also first create a solid, refrigerated layer of Jello, and then place the mouse on top, pouring another layer over it.
  3. Once your mouse is completely submerged, place the tupperware in the refrigerator until the Jello has solidified.
  4. Hours later, you should have solid Jello. Take off the tupperware lid, cut the floss, remove the excess string/tape. Remove the Jello mold by sliding a butter knife around the edges, or worst case scenario—cut the tupperware container off with a knife.
  5. Replace victim's mouse with Jello mouse. Plug cord into USB.

2. The Mysterious Fishy Smell

The greatest thing about the mysterious bad odor prank is the simplicity. Just open a can of tuna (or several) and dexterously conceal them in your co-worker's cubicle or desk area. Before long the entire office will be wondering why a fishy smell is wafting over from the victim's desk.

3. Fake the BSoD (Aka the Blue Screen of Death)

There are several ways to fake the BSoD, but the video below shows a very simple method that is quite convincing and doesn't require any trick wallpapers. You'll need a free application called iPanic, which you can download here. iPanic simulates a Mac OS X kernel panic; see it demonstrated below.

4. Mouse Traps

There's more than one way to kill a mouse:

  1. Simply switch the left and right buttons on the mouse in My Computer>Control Panel for Windows, or System Preferences>Mouse for Mac.
  2. Disable the optical (the little ball in the center) by covering with White Out.
  3. Disable the optical with Scotch tape.
  4. Glue the mouse to the mouse pad.
  5. More challenging: If your computer is adjacent to the victim's, try unplugging their mouse and plugging yours into their computer instead. As they go to move their unplugged mouse, imitate their movements with the real connected mouse—allowing them to think they have control—and then erratically move the mouse when they least expect it.

5. The Fake Toilet Paper Roll

Have you got a coworker who drops a #2 like clockwork everyday? (Um, when you work with the same person for a couple years...you sadly pick up on these things). Instructables user ATTILAtheHUNgry shares a HowTo for creating a fake roll of toilet paper out of cardboard, with a removable prank message inserted inside for that victorious moment of truth—when your victim is forced to use a magazine...or worse, his hand.

6. Hotkey Manipulation

This one may require a bit more technical know-how than the others (you must know how to create scripts), but the fruits of your evil labor are endless and can get quite sophisticated. A program called AutoHotKey allows you to convert your co-worker's basic commands into pretty much any action of your choosing—like using a simple command like Ctrl+C to open Outlook and sending yourself a congratulatory message on your pranking finesse. Don't worry—there's a tutorial to get you started.

7. The Mug Shot

From Cubicle Warfare: 101 Office Traps and Pranks by John Austin, an incredibly simple way to humiliate your co-worker: Trace the bottom of his mug onto an embarrassing photo, cut it out and seamlessly attach with glue.

8. Keyboard Hell

Once upon a time a man named August Dvorak created an alternative keyboard layout to the QWERTY keyboard, intended for one-handed typing. The layout completely boggles the 2011 QWERTY keyboard trained-brain (and probably boggled the QWERTY keyboard trained-brain back then, too—1940ish). The good news is you can still access the layout and make your co-worker's typing completely impossible. To remap their keyboard Dvorak style, simple go under the Languages tab, click Details and Add.

9. AutoCorrect Isn't Just for Typos...

You can easily add all sorts of naughty words to your co-worker's AutoCorrect if you have access to their computer for a just a brief amount of time. Here's what you do:

  1. Open Microsoft Word.
  2. Find the Tools menu. Under Tools, choose AutoCorrect (see above).
  3. Change existing entries and replace with any naughty words you please. Choose the most commonly used words (perhaps your co-worker's name, your company's name or simply "the").

10. The Classic Coffee Cup Prank

Last but not least, an old classic, and perhaps the greatest of the bunch. It's simple, it works like magic, and it's sure to make a giant mess.

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Photos by ChefMattRock/Flickr, fenderloving/Flickr, sroemerm/Flickr, myoldpostcards, and Robert Parkinson.

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