Unless you work for Michael Scott, your florescent-lit office life is no laughing matter. You can hem and haw about it, or you can take that daily grind by the balls and pull some pranks that’ll tickle your chuckle hut but won’t get you fired. A few general rules: keep the pranks rated “G” and steer clear of anything that could even hint at sexual innuendo. As long as The Man doesn’t get slapped with a sexual harassment suit, he’s sure to laugh along with the rest of you underlings.
1. Jell-O Vision. Change your world view from grim to rose-colored by encasing a co-worker’s stapler, tape dispenser, or overused coffee mug in jiggly red J-e-l-l-o. This does require some covertness since you may need to kidnap said object(s) overnight if you’re not sneaky enough to jellify them in your office’s kitchen. This is a classic that anyone familiar with Jim Halpert is sure to love…or hate.
2. Pining For Change. Car air fresheners come in a wide array of scents. Choose the classic pine kind for this practical joke. Buy a large pack and slip an air freshener underneath each computer monitor. Before long, the warmth of the appliances activates the pine scent and the office odor will change from stale coffee to pine forest; from there it will go to obnoxious. The boss needs to have a serious sense of humor for this one.
3. Repeat Until Satisfied. Toy stores sell annoying parrot toys that record and replay everything they hear. The recorder works on a sentence-by-sentence loop. Buy a small number—plan this prank with other office mates to defray the costs—and place them in the break room, meeting room or training area. When people talk, these parrots continue to repeat them. Pair them with a Big Mouth Billy Bass, and the boss or coworkers won’t be able to get a word in edgewise.
4. Straight Ballin’. This is definitely one of the office pranks that won’t get you fired. In fact, it will endear you to the parents on staff. Do this when it is “Take Your Child to Work Day.” Fill up one or two workers’ cubicles with plastic balls (the kind you find in the McDonald’s play pits). It’s a variation on the packing peanuts prank, but the kids will enjoy the sight of the balls and the fact that they will go everywhere as the workers try to clear out the cubicles. Let the kids keep the balls.
5. Water Kegger. Get an empty keg and fill it up with water; replace the water cooler with the keg. Make this joke go even further by placing empty beer bottle packs into the break room fridge. Get cartons to keep the food and lunches in. Replace packing boxes with beer bottle boxes as well.