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Ingenious cheap pranks to play on your housemates

  1. Take the labels off their tins

    tin label prank
    This one is great because it only takes a couple of minutes and causes months of headaches.

    Break into your flatmate's kitchen cupboard and peel all the labels off their tins.

    Suddenly their cupboard becomes a Russian roulette of foody surprises – will it be baked beans or custard? The only way they'll be able to find out is by opening the tins – meaning they'll have to use up whatever's in there pretty quickly.

    So simple but so effective.

    Elite prank tip: Add in other tins, such as pet food or something equally gross, and remove the labels off those too.

  2. Try the classic wrapping paper prank

    the office wrapping paper prank

    There are loads of pranks like this – causing serious disruption to someone's bedroom in various different ways.

    However, half the time they take a lot longer to create than they do for the victim to put right, so you're just pranking yourself really.

    You can fill their bedroom with hundreds of balloons (fill some with baked beans, talcum powder or custard for added ‘pop' factor), cover the floor with millions of water-filled cups, or sellotape everything to the ceiling.

    The classic uni prank is the wrapping paper one, though. If you're going to do it, you have to do it properly and that means wrapping the floors, walls, ceiling, bed, furniture and anything else on show.

    You can use wrapping paper, tinfoil or newspaper but keep it consistent.

    If nothing else it's good practise for when Christmas rolls around…

  3. Fake a computer casualty

    broken laptop prank

    As every laptop loving student's absolute worst nightmare (aside from getting hacked…), a broken screen is guaranteed to send your victim into a momentary meltdown.

    Download an image like the ones here and set it as their desktop picture – make sure to hide desktop icons for the full effect!

  4. Hide an alarm clock in their room

    alarm clock prank

    Housemate not a morning person? Buy a mini alarm clock, set it for 5:00am, and hide it somewhere in their room.

    You can then enjoy sweet dreams of them stumbling around trying to find the source of noise in the early hours.

    Ramp up the evil genius factor by hiding multiple alarm clocks, with their alarms set an hour apart.

    Just be aware that depending on how sound proof your house is, you could disgruntle quite a few housemates with this one.

  5. Mess with their social media

    evil laugh prank

    Getting your hands on someone's Facebook profile if they accidentally leave themselves logged in is old news – you probably did it hundreds of times back in school.

    But avoid the obviously fake statuses confessing undying love for someone, and go more subtle for maximum impact.

    Try changing the day of their birthday – it's something they'll be unlikely to check themselves, and there's no way every one of their Facebook friends will know their date of birth off by heart. Watch as the birthday greetings start rolling in and your friend has to awkwardly reveal it's not actually their special day.

    If you do want to go down the status route, choose something believable. Announcing that they've got a place on a TV game show, for example, is bound to draw lots of attention and could feasibly be true.

    Change their name to something really weird – they'll have to wait 60 days to change it back!

    Change their privacy settings to ‘Only Me' – watch at how frustrated they get when they don't get any likes on their posts.

  6. Autocorrect their words

    evil uni pranks

    This one is best to play on more technologically-incompetent parents, but works well at uni too.

    You basically set autocorrect on their phone or laptop to replace certain words with another phrase.

    If you manage to get hold of their iPhone,  go to Settings – General – Keyboard and click ‘Text Replacement'. There, you can make words they type autocorrect to something totally different.

    You can do the same on Google docs or Microsoft too. In ‘Tools' select ‘Preferences' for Google docs or head to File – Options – Proofing – AutoCorrect Options in Microsoft Word.

    You'll then be given the option to enter a word that you'd like to be replaced with something different.

    If they're studying Medicine, something like replacing ‘health' with ‘butt' would work well (e.g. ‘smoking is bad for your butt') or if they're doing a teaching course, switch ‘education' with ‘toilet paper'. Mwhahahaha.

    This one is particularly effective if you're on the same course, as you'll get to watch the confusion/frustration/embarrassment unfold like the cruel master prankster you are.

  7. Paint all their pens with nail varnish

    uni pen prank


    Clear nail varnish is a god-send when it comes to pranking – try lacquering up a bar of soap so it doesn't lather in the shower, for example.

    Our favourite prank in this department is the disabling pens prank. Go through whichever bag they take to uni and paint the ends of every pen and pencil they have in there with a dot of clear nail varnish.

    They'll have a hard time trying to take notes in lectures the next day.

  8. Freeze or jellify their stuff

    the office jelly prank

    Taking inspiration from The Office here, steal something really important and either put it in a big blob of jelly or freeze it. It's easy to do, and super inconvenient for your victim.

    Try it with their keys, student card or (the classic) stapler. You could even lock up their rucksack with a padlock and freeze the key.


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