Practical joke device

Last updated
An overinflated whoopee cushion Exploded Whoopee Cushion.jpg
An overinflated whoopee cushion

A practical joke device is a prop or toy intended to confuse, frighten, or amuse individuals as a prank. Often, these objects are harmless facsimiles of disgusting or terrifying objects, such as vomit or spilled nail polish. In other instances, they are created as seemingly harmless items designed to humorously malfunction in such a way as to confuse or harm the target of a prank. The devices are frequently sold in magic or specialty shops, purchased over the Internet, or crafted for oneself. Perhaps the most notable such device is the whoopee cushion.


Though commonly employed at events and gatherings, practical joke devices are sometimes seen in everyday life, either as a mechanism of play by children, or among adult co-workers in a work environment. In addition to commercially manufactured practical joke devices, everyday objects have been converted into joke devices by purveyors of pranks.

Types of practical joke devices


Fake excrement Kot2.jpg
Fake excrement

Body parts

Artificial body parts can be, for example, attached on or under autos (to pretend as if someone's lost a limb after they're run over).

Horror devices

Fake animals


Smoking articles

Nail polish Nagellack.jpg
Nail polish



Fake leg Scherzbein.jpg
Fake leg
Breast-shaped shower gel/shampoo dispenser Plasticboobs.JPG
Breast-shaped shower gel/shampoo dispenser

Everyday objects


Documents and currency


See also

Related Research Articles

Condorito is a Chilean comic book and comic strip that features an anthropomorphic condor living in a fictitious town named Pelotillehue—a typical small Chilean provincial town. He is meant to be a representation of the Chilean people.

Scambaiting is a form of Internet vigilantism primarily used towards advance-fee fraud, IRS impersonation scam, technical support scams, pension scams, and consumer financial fraud.

Joy buzzer Practical joke device

A joy buzzer is a practical joke device that consists of a coiled spring inside a disc worn in the palm of the hand. When the wearer shakes hands with another person, a button on the disc releases the spring, which rapidly unwinds creating a vibration that feels somewhat like an electric shock to someone not expecting it.

A parody advertisement is a fictional advertisement for a non-existent product, either done within another advertisement for an actual product, or done simply as parody of advertisements—used either as a way of ridiculing or drawing negative attention towards a real advertisement or such an advertisement's subject, or as a comedic device, such as in a comedy skit or sketch.

Energizer Bunny

The Energizer Bunny is the marketing icon and mascot of Energizer batteries in North America. It is a pink mechanical toy rabbit wearing sunglasses and blue and black striped flip-flops that beats a bass drum bearing the Energizer logo.

<i>Drawn Together</i>

Drawn Together is an American adult animated television sitcom created by Dave Jeser and Matt Silverstein and premiered on Comedy Central on October 27, 2004. The series is a parody of The Real World and follows the misadventures of the housemates in the fictional show of the same name and uses a sitcom format with a reality TV show setting.

Mischief Night is an informal holiday on which children and teenagers engage in pranks and vandalism. It is known by a variety of names including Devil's Night, Gate Night, Goosey Night, Moving Night, Cabbage Night and Mat Night.

Counterfeit money

Counterfeit money is imitation currency produced without the legal sanction of the state or government, usually in a deliberate attempt to imitate that currency and so as to deceive its recipient. Producing or using counterfeit money is a form of fraud or forgery. The business of counterfeiting money is almost as old as money itself: plated copies have been found of Lydian coins which are thought to be among the first Western coins. Before the introduction of paper money, the most prevalent method of counterfeiting involved mixing base metals with pure gold or silver. Another form of counterfeiting is the production of documents by legitimate printers in response to fraudulent instructions. During World War II, the Nazis forged British pounds and American dollars. Today some of the finest counterfeit banknotes are called Superdollars because of their high quality and likeness to the real US dollar. There has been significant counterfeiting of Euro banknotes and coins since the launch of the currency in 2002, but considerably less than for the US dollar.

Soren Sorensen "Sam" Adams was a Danish-American inventor and manufacturer of novelty products, including the joy buzzer.

Gross out describes a movement in art, which aims to shock and disgust the audience with controversial material such as toilet humour, nudity, or any sexual topic.

Practical joke Trick played on someone generally using physical action, and generally causing embarrassment, confusion, or discomfort

A practical joke, or prank, is a mischievous trick played on someone, generally causing the victim to experience embarrassment, perplexity, confusion, or discomfort. A person who performs a practical joke is called a "practical joker" or "prankster". Other terms for practical jokes include gag, rib, jape, or shenanigan.

Promotional fake United States currency is faux "currency" that makes no assertion of being legal tender. This money is often created by individuals as a way to promote practical jokes, or social statements. It is legal to print so long as it makes no assertion, whether by appearance or statement, of authenticity. Promotional United States fake currency is not to be confused with counterfeit currency or conflated with legitimate currency that has been demonetized.

<i>The Magic Christian</i> (novel) 1959 comic novel by Terry Southern

The Magic Christian is a 1959 comic novel by American author Terry Southern (1924–1995) about an odd billionaire who spends most of his time playing elaborate practical jokes on people. It is known for bringing Southern to the attention of filmmaker Stanley Kubrick, who had received a copy as a gift from Peter Sellers, and subsequently hired him as co-writer for Dr. Strangelove (1964) when Kubrick decided to make that film a black comedy/satire, rather than a straightforward thriller. In 1969, The Magic Christian was made into a film starring Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr; the story was much altered and relocated from New York City to London.

Shocking gum Practical joke

Shocking gum is a practical joke device that delivers a mild electric shock. The victim is offered a stick of gum from a box, and touching this triggers the shock. A few novelty companies in the 1950s produced these 'Shocking gum' packages. The most popular brands of Shocking Gum are Fruit Juicy and JB.

An exploding cigar is a variety of cigar that explodes shortly after being lit. Such cigars are normally packed with a minute chemical explosive charge near the lighting end or with a non-chemical device that ruptures the cigar when exposed to heat. The customary intended purpose of exploding cigars is as a practical joke, rather than to cause lasting physical harm to the smoker of the cigar. Nevertheless, the high risk of unintended injuries from their use caused a decline in their manufacture and sale.

A prank call is a telephone call intended by the caller as a practical joke played on the person answering. It is often a type of nuisance call.

Nanas Party 5th episode of the second season of Inside No. 9

"Nana's Party" is the fifth episode of the second series of the British dark comedy anthology television programme Inside No. 9. It was first broadcast on 23 April 2015 on BBC Two. Written and directed by Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith, the episode starred Claire Skinner as the obsessive-compulsive and aspirational Angela, who is hosting a party for the 79th birthday of her mother Maggie, played by Elsie Kelly. Angela's husband Jim, played by Pemberton, is keen to play a prank on Pat, Angela's brother-in-law, who is a practical joker. Pat is played by Shearsmith, while Carol, a recovering alcoholic who is Pat's wife and Angela's sister, is played by Lorraine Ashbourne. The episode also features Eve Gordon as Katie, Angela and Jim's teenage daughter, and Christopher Whitlow as a paramedic seen at the beginning and end of the episode.


  1. A yellow dye puck for toilet tanks is sold by and various resellers.
  2. An arrow with fake blood appears in Phil Collins - Don't Lose My Number (Official Video) at the 0:04:24 mark.
  3. "Dead dog prop pulled from Walmart, Sears websites". KSDK NBC 5. 2013-09-17. Archived from the original on 2013-10-27. Retrieved 2013-10-27.
  4. "Americans will spend nearly $7 billion on Halloween". MSN Money. Archived from the original on 2013-10-26. Retrieved 2013-10-27.
  5. "Bush Phony As A $200 Bill". The Smoking Gun. September 12, 2003. reports a bogus-denomination $US200 depicting George W. Bush having been accepted at a Food Lion store; other reports list a Dairy Queen in Danville, Kentucky as a victim of this hoax.
  6. "Attention Messrs Gates, Buffett: $1B Bank Notes Discovered". Forbes. 2006-03-15. Retrieved 2013-10-27.