10 Hilarious School Pranks

Since it’s April Fools’ Day, I thought it would be fun to list out some of the funniest school pranks . . .

Lord of the Rings Prank
During the week that the first Lord of the Rings movie was released, the gold ring appeared around the Great Dome at MIT (inscribed in Elvish).


Yale’s “We Suck” Prank
During the November 2004 Yale-Harvard football game, Yale students used a card stunt to trick more than 1,800 Harvard fans into holding up placards that spelled “We Suck.” This is based on the Great Rose Bowl Hoax – designed by Caltech students.


Disney Buys MIT for $6.9 Billion
On Apirl Fools’ Day of 1998, hackers changed the MIT homepage announcing that Disney had purchased MIT.


Robot Rights Protest
During the 6.270 Autonomous Robot Design Competition, MIT students set up a Robot Rights Protest, featuring disabled veteran droids – R2D2, K9 from Doctor Who, Hal 9000 from 2001, and Johnny Five from Short Circuit. Read the hilarious tract asking you to repeal the Second Law of Robotics and end slavery.




Halo 3 Prank at Harvard
The night before the release of Halo 3, MIT hackers transformed the statue of John Harvard into the Master Chief character.


MIT Newspaper Hacked by Caltech Students
Some gutsy Caltech students hacked a copy of the MIT newspaper The Tech and passed it around to prospective students. Headlines include: Architects Deem Campus ‘Unfortunate.’ You can download a full pdf of this publication.


Linux Prank on Bill Gates
On the day of the dedication of the William H. Gates Building, the internet kiosks in the lobby at MIT were changed to temporarily boot linux.


Bonsai Kitten Hoax by MIT Students
Some students at MIT developed BonsaiKitten.com – a website that showed how you can grow kittens in bottles as a decoration – like a Bonsai tree. The site was taken down.


Study on the Effect of Tinfoil Hats on Blocking Mind Control Satellites
Some MIT grad students “published” a paper on the effect of tinfoil hats on blocking mind control satellites. They measured the attenuation of radio signals . . .


R2D2 Prank
Two days before The Phantom Menace was released, MIT students turned the Great Dome into the head of R2D2.



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14 Responses to “10 Hilarious School Pranks”

  1. The John Harvard/Master Chief one has to be my favorite. I don’t even play Halo, but it has the perfect combination of creativity, juxtaposition, and pure balls. It seems like MIT is the place to be for nerdy pranksters.

    You have a great site here. Consistently excellent content.

  2. The list is missing two of the best (interesting and challenging) hacks I’ve heard of:
    * Cross-country transport of the Caltech Cannon
    * Army of pigeons trained to disrupt the Harvard football games

    “MIT has hit the jackpot by stealing the Fleming Cannon, transporting it cross country, and placing it on their campus in Cambridge, with a huge MIT class ring decorating it.”

    “Taking a page from the playbook of behavioral psychologist Pavlov, an MIT student spent one summer training hundreds of pigeons to flock to the Harvard field whever they heard a referee’s whistle. The student did this by going to the field every day to blow a whistle as he scattered bird seed all over the field. Eventually, just like Pavlov’s dogs, the pigeons learned to associate the sound of the whistle with the promise of food. When Harvard’s football team eventually came back to train during the fall season, they found that just one whistle-blow would cause hundreds of pigeons to descend onto the field, making the field unplayable.” (http://wso.williams.edu/wiki/index.php/Pranks_involving_rooms#Pranks_Involving_Rooms)(http://www.yaledailynews.com/articles/view/15731)

  3. hacks.mit.edu, um, Caltech’s Tech hack was OK. Does not compare to the Cannon heist it was supposed to rebut (http://hacks.mit.edu/Hacks/by_year/2006/mitcannon/) [especially since MIT hackers have faked the tech many times before]

  4. Second that. Like the Harvard one. How’d they match the Bronze up so Well? Also Love the Knickers on Master Chief.

  5. The Master Chief has to be my favorite also. The statue has the perfect halo stature and when people remove them mask they finally know what he looks like. Those are some great pranks.

  6. Me and some buddies pulled a prank back in our school days. Not quite in the same league as these pranks, but we still a laugh, so did everyone else at our school. Our school had its own chapel for the daily indoctrination, and the pews inside had 2 hymn books for each person… 3 of us moved them all to the upstairs gallery bit of the chapel that wasn’t routinely used, about 600 or 700 books. The next day, funnily enough, we didn’t have any singing in chapel. The headmaster stood at the front and said that no-one would be in trouble for the books, they just want them back (I don’t think they knew where the books were – we placed them all out of sight from downstairs).

    We didn’t own up straight away, but whilst we were still thinking about it 3 or 4 of the girls that we were all friends with very kindly went into the chapel and put all the books back, as they were concerned we’d get shit on if we didn’t own up soon! We ended up confessing for the prank, and the headmaster said that if he had looked into it, us 3 would have been on his list of people that would have done something like that :)

  7. I love the fact you’ve included the “WE SUCK” and Master Chief pranks. Both brilliant in themselves, but they’re also both at Harvard’s expense, which makes them that much better. Great work.

  8. ok this is probably the funniest prank that i will ever play. so theres this guy in our skool who is in charge of fun stuff like feild trips. Problem 4 him is that he left his password really obvious, so i hacked his account and announced that there would be a no-uniform day. problem was that somebody replied 2 days later and it got canceled :(

  9. I like how all but 2 of these school pranks are by mit. Also nice to see that there are some artists at MIT-that bronze sure matches nice.

  10. One of the best pranks that I have ever for sure not been a part of was one that went a little like this. At a certain rivaling private university to remain unnamed to protect the guilty, some guys noticed one day when visiting a friend that with the call to mass or service and at noon, the campus bells rang out loud and clear…only they weren’t moving like a bell would if it were being rung. So these guys decided to find out why, and one dark night in October they found that the bells weren’t being used anymore, it was all just piped through a speaker system… Well, they wondered, “we have got to let the rest of the world know about this”, so on Parents Day, which also happened to be Homecoming as well as Alumni Day, they switched the tape that was used to play the glorious bells over the speaker system, with a different tape that played a different type of glorious music…by ACDC…Hells Bells…lol The reaction was one of pure panic, chaos and pandemonium, especially since they boarded the access door shut and went out via rope repel…lol They were unable to turn off ACDC until they were well through their 4th greatest song, Thunderstruck, and by this time, the campus was almost riotous…lol They had to actually turn off the power to the tower, which also turned off the power to the adjoined campus science building, which set off several other alarms tied to the “life support” systems of several University sponsored science experiments, which was told may or may not have delayed several of their findings several months, and called into question the results and error listings of several others… Little did these guys know that the poor security offered the bell tower actually jeopardized the integrity of the science department… The offenders where never found, though rewards were offered. I’m sure teh security for the tower is no longer in question.

  11. Here’s a great prank me and my friend pulled. FYI, I’m in 5th grade, so it’s not as good as these but it rocks. So, my friends are in advanced math, and I’m in reguler math, so they go somewhere different. There’s these big dark steps that go into the basement, so I made a note saying danger do not go down steps. I made it look really old by soaking it in water with yellow food coloring. My other friend put it on the railing and got them to see it.

    They freaked.
    At first they wouldn’t show me it because I wasn’t in ad math.my friend lives on a farm so 2 days later, he got 3 small bones and put them on the step. It was so funny.

  12. okay so I’m in 6th grade and I have pulled a super funny prank on my teacher ’cause you know she’s evil, so me and my best friend started this thing that the next day we’d all be Goths, then the next day we would be stupid pop-stars and then wednesday we’d be normal and pretend we had no idea wat was up

  13. One time some kids in my in 5th grade a kid was moving, he was the class clown and we would really miss him, so we decided to make his last day memorable So at lunch we had a kid Scream “1,2,3!” and we all started singing “WE WILL ROCK YOU” but said “WE WILL MISS YOU Anthony” and we banging on the table.He was totally embarresed! The teachers couldn’t make us stop, and they couldn’t put us all into detention. SO WE GOT OFF FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT WAS SOO FUNNNY!!!

  14. Hey fellas!!!!!!!!!!!!!1