Pranks That Completely Backfired

Pranks are practical jokes played on unsuspecting victims. A well executed prank often ends in much laughter and a funny story to tell. However, this isn’t always the case. While the mastermind behind the prank often finds it funny, pranks sometimes don’t go as played and they backfire terribly. In these cases, the prank victim is often left confused, shocked, angry, embarrassed or worse and the prankster is left to face the consequences. Here are 5 pranks that completely backfired.

1. Alien Invasion

In 2019, in the Jordanian town of Jafr, a newspaper published a front page story saying that flying saucers with aliens 10 feet (3 meters) tall had landed in the town. Of course, this was a prank, but everyone in the town believed it including the mayor, Mohammed Mleihan. He considered evacuating the town after realizing how fearful the residents were. Troops were dispatched to identify traces of aliens but efforts were futile. When everyone found out that this was a prank, the mayor threatened to sue the newspaper. An apology was issued by the managing editor of the newspaper who claimed that their intention was solely entertainment.   

2. Topless Barber

George Birko, a barber from Columbus, Ohio, posted a sign outside his barbershop which read, “Topless Stylist on Duty Today.” This was meant to be a joke and to attract more customers. A crowd of curious onlookers and potential clients came in to see the topless barber with a tuxedo tie. This caused a traffic jam and police asked that the sign be removed. The Barber Licensing Board came and the vice squad contacted him to ensure there were no violations. Birko met his goal, as his clientele grew thereafter.

3. The Titanic Replica

A DJ on Brighton radio announced that a replica of the Titanic would pass by East Sussex which could have been seen from Beachy Head, a chalk headland. A curious crowd assembled at the spot to get a glimpse of the ship, only to realize that it was a prank. This joke put the lives of hundreds of people at risk as the cliffs are dangerous, there was fog on that day and a five foot crack was identified on one of the cliffs. The people had to be evacuated and the area was cordoned off. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency did not appreciate this joke.

4. Super Mario Mystery Boxes

Five girls of Ravenna, Ohio soon realized that what they thought was a cool trick landing them in trouble. They made 17 Super Mario style question mark boxes and placed them in front of important buildings in the town. In the video game, these mystery boxes contain level- ups. The people became suspicious of the boxes and believed that they were explosive devices. Upon investigation, the Hazardous Material Unit and the Bomb Detection Unit confirmed that the boxes were harmless. One of the girls turned herself in to the police and revealed that it was a joke and they only wanted to see the response of the people.

5. A Mouse in An Egg

Nineteen year old, Edith Walrach, was known to have a “nervous temperament” while her fiancé was a joker. One morning he placed a live mouse in an eggshell and concealed the opening with plaster of paris. When Walrach broke the egg, the mouse jumped out. She screamed in terror and fainted. That day, she had three nervous fits and the doctor confirmed that her condition was critical. This incident took place in 1900 in Binghamton, New York.

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