What are all of these illegal immigrants doing in my bed?
December 8, 2008 6:02 PM   Subscribe

Help my friends play an epic prank on their vacationing roommate! Ideas, please.

He's gone for the next six weeks. The remaining two residents of the house want him to return to something truly awesome...but can't think of anything good enough. They just don't want to do anything smelly. Other than that, the sky's the limit. What would you do?

They want to do something to his bedroom, and they like this guy (so nothing mean....nothing too mean anyway).
posted by troika to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (24 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
i once knew a couple of guys who, while their roommate was away, decided to surprise him by covering the floor of his room with strips of sod. they had spent the summer working on a sod farm together so maybe it was funnier in context. the pictures were pretty great, though.

these were the same guys who started the underwear club - they stole a pair of another roommate's skivvies and had every girl he knew sign their name with a sharpie. only works if he wears white, of course....
posted by janepanic at 6:10 PM on December 8, 2008

Carefully pull his door, and the wood trim around his door. Sheetrock over the gap. Tape, texture, paint.

What room? I don't know what you're talking about .
posted by JimmyJames at 6:11 PM on December 8, 2008 [17 favorites]

Mr. Aetg says that you should make his room a "crime scene" with a chalk outline, fake blood, etc.

I think it would be doubly cool if you told him he couldn't get into his room for an extended period of time when he got back. You wouldn't want to disturb the evidence!
posted by aetg at 6:11 PM on December 8, 2008

Move all his stuff out and make it look like someone else moved in. Tell him that in the 6 weeks he was gone they decided on getting a new roomie. Tell him that they are sure he will understand that they had to do what they had to do cuz the new roomie is AWESOME. Then, have an accomplice play the new roomie as an absolutely obnoxious twit.
posted by ian1977 at 6:11 PM on December 8, 2008 [2 favorites]

The best prank on a vacationing roommate I have ever seen, may be hard to replicate:

While a friend was away on a mountain climbing trip, new people moved into the apartment across the hall. His roommates became friends with the new neighbors, and the day before he came back, they switched apartments, moving all the furniture.

For 24 hours everyone insisted that nothing had changed, and my friend would swing between complete skepticism and belief, like "Didn't we use to have a view of the corner store out the window? No, I kind of remember seeing that tree, yes. It must be the jet lag". It helped that they got him a bit drunk upon his arrival. Next day, while he was at work, they switched back. He was confused for months, and everyone was sure he had not figured out what had happened.

Next time he left on a climbing trip, he released a few thousand live crickets into the apartment. When he came back, he insisted there had always been crickets there.
posted by dirty lies at 6:18 PM on December 8, 2008 [31 favorites]

Installing a lawn is something I've always wanted to do to my own living space; that could definitely be fun.

How destructive are you willing to be? You could mount all of his furniture to the ceiling. That would require, of course, also gluing everything down to his desk so that they don't fall off.

Probably overdone - wrapping everything in tin foil/wrapping paper/etc.

Fill it with packing peanuts? Make a ball pit in his room?

You could very carefully remove all the hardware from everything in his room, but leave it all (mostly) assembled - sit in a chair and it falls apart, phone disintegrates in his hand, lie in the bed and it collapses.
posted by backseatpilot at 6:34 PM on December 8, 2008

dirty lies: your story is fantastic.

+1 for ball pit. You can use several large balls (like the 3 ft diameter balls they sell at mal★wart or wherever) to eat up space. 2nd thought: balloon sandwich. That is, have helium balloons floating at the ceiling and plain air balloons filling the floor. 3rd thought: recruit his mom to help you decorate his room in a manner that is full of spooky reminders of his 3rd grade year.
posted by tarheelcoxn at 7:05 PM on December 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

ballons, 1/3 filled with glitter. been there, done that.....
posted by raildr at 7:11 PM on December 8, 2008

If you had the time, willing labor and temporary storage space, you could move EVERYTHING out of the entire apartment for the day he's willing to arrive, and leave "moving"-related detritus around the place (a couple of unassembled U-Haul boxes, a roll of tape, etc.) to make it look like you just upped and left. Tack a convincing-looking notice of eviction (or three) to the door. Watch and wait for the commencing freakout.

That might be taking it a little bit far, though.
posted by anonnymoose at 7:22 PM on December 8, 2008

(Pardon, "willing" = scheduled. Long day.)
posted by anonnymoose at 7:23 PM on December 8, 2008

One of my friends in college pulled a great prank on his neighbor who left on vacation. He broke in and then ran very small magnet wires to the poor sap's stereo speakers from his own stereo. While the sap was away he played suicide talks etc. out the window, but that was just childish kid stuff. After the sap returned he would do awful things like play the sound of a fly buzzing around the room, in the middle of the night. As soon as the lights came on - silence. It was weeks if not months before the tiny wires (painted over) were discovered.
posted by caddis at 7:41 PM on December 8, 2008

Remove his room from the house completely.

Take his door off the hinges, remove the molding around the door, fill it in with sheetrock, then spackle and paint. Put the entertainment center in front of where his door used to be. When he comes home, deny knowing him, or that he ever lived there.

The best part is, this can be used in conjunction with another one - I personally like the idea of putting down sod in the bedroom.
posted by god hates math at 7:47 PM on December 8, 2008 [2 favorites]

Fill the entire room with balloons, floor to ceiling.
posted by lemonade at 7:48 PM on December 8, 2008

I just remembered another one, involving the same group of friends. When living in a small city of Mexico, 5 friends were sharing a house. The clean freak roommate went to visit his family, the rest discovered he had a secret stock of cleaning and personal hygiene products, canned and dry food, soda, laundry stuff. They were pissed, since everyone shared everything with the rest.

One of the guys had 2 friends coming to visit from Norway, and he sent them a quite long shopping list. When Mr. Clean Freak came back, every single thing in his secret stash had been replaced with the Norwegian equivalent. The roommates emptied the liquids to the same level as the original ones, opened and half consumed the appropriate cereal boxes, etc.

This was years before the internet, something like this would be a lot easier to do now.
posted by dirty lies at 8:23 PM on December 8, 2008 [5 favorites]

Move everything about six inches to the left.

It's not destructive, but it's JUST subtle enough to give him the sense that "SOMETHING'S different, but I don't know what..."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:32 PM on December 8, 2008

Paint it, either a slightly different value, or a completely different hue with the same value.
posted by piedmont at 9:22 PM on December 8, 2008

* Use a fan or hairdryer to blow a couple of bags of those beanbag beans around the room. They will be turning up in random places for months, years even. Make sure to lift the bedding and blow some between the sheets, within pages of books, etc.

* On the night he gets back, have a series of alarm clocks rigged and hidden in his room to go off at 15-minute intervals in the middle of the night.

* Swap rooms with someone else, setting everything up exactly as it was in his room. Act like nothing has changed.

* We once collected bags and bags of empty drink cans and built a wall of them in front of a mountain-climbing friend's door. We strategically placed one full can at about chest height in the middle and taped his icepick to the wall with a note saying he'd have to hack his way in. The first can he struck with the icepick was the full can of beer. When he finally got the wall down, he found that we'd climbed in the window (2nd floor) and pushed all his furniture against the door, and wrapped it in newspaper.

* When one of the Batman movies came out, the one with The Riddler, we made a giant spiderweb out of wool, rope, whatever we could find in another guy's room (the reasoning escapes me right now) with a spider made of black pantyhose stuffed with newspaper, and hung a green sweater from it with a big black question mark on the front.

Those are all more minor things I was involved in or had done to me when I was a student. There's a TV show on here where every week a couple of guys do something to a well-known sports newsreader's car or house. Recently they got a bunch of farmyard animals and set up a farmyard scene on his property. There was another where they put something in his suits at work so they itched while he was reading the news (I don't know what it was but I bet you could find out), another where they put dead fish in his desk drawers (but ew, you'd have to live with the smell too), another where they filled his car with ball-pit balls.
posted by tracicle at 9:35 PM on December 8, 2008

A couple of rich guys in Houston got into this game, and one of them finally topped it all off by having a roller coaster built in the other guys backyard when the guy was vacationing in Europe -- I just think that's the best, it's damn sure the best I've ever heard about. They started small, escalated into tons of gravel dumped into the middle of the driveway and I think tons of horseshit also, on and on it went but finally the roller coaster topped it off.

Guys are dicks.

I'm liking the tin foil thing -- I've seen that online, and it's cool. And the little stryofoam balls of shit everywhere also -- cool. Walling off the door -- also very cool but quite a commitment if you're not good with tools etc and etc. Maybe walling off a window inside his room, from the inside, just run sheetrock over it, same as the doorway?

Maybe take his entire music collection off his hard drive? (Keep a copy, obviously.) Maybe pull the plug off his hard drive, take his puter apart and unhook the power to the drive? Maybe put a different drive in the machine with windoze 98 loaded on it, or windoze 95 -- imagine how fast that'd boot in todays machine? man... Or remove most all of the memory from the puter, put in one 128 stick of memory in it, or maybe 256 stick. Turn the image on the screen upside down? Mess with the keyboard, make it register different keys than struck? Change all his fonts to Chinese or whatever? Polish? German? Maybe figure a way -- we'd need help from the geeks here, the uber code stallions -- maybe figure a way to keep all his song titles the same but have each of them replaced by songs off Michael Jacksons Thriller album?

Stick with basic fun stuff, a smallish plastic bucket of water balanced on the doorway to his room -- I did that to my ex-wife once, ice cold water, she got all mad. Maybe fill his bathtub with dog hair, if you've a few friends with Akitas or other hairy dogs, his bathtub or maybe the closet in the john.
posted by dancestoblue at 11:30 PM on December 8, 2008

Also, think carefully about what ever prank you choose. Creative pranks are good, destructive pranks are for people who can't come up with creative pranks.

Don't be a Officer Farva.
posted by JimmyJames at 11:34 PM on December 8, 2008

Some pranks are funny (the Norwegian cleaning products, reversing all the furniture, repainting the walls) but if someone filled my room with crickets or plastic peanuts, or filled my bathtub with dog hair, or messed with my computer, I would no longer be friends with them.

There's pranks that are funny, and then there's pranks that are downright malicious. Don't stoop to that fratboy level.
posted by dunkadunc at 3:02 AM on December 9, 2008

All Too Flat has write-ups of apartment pranks.

I like the photo-replacement idea the best.
posted by the latin mouse at 5:14 AM on December 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

Another one that's kind of small, but I'm proud of:

A coworker and I got into a prank war at work. He had a bunch of those party popper things - you pull a string on the back and a little cap inside blows out a bunch of confetti everywhere. I managed to rig one underneath a (very expensive) computer board he was working on, and when he picked it up to move it, the popper went bang. He almost had a heart attack thinking he blew up the electronics.

So, you can get a bunch of these and lay traps all over his room - drawers, inside books?, anything that moves somewhat frequently. They're a little hard to set (use strong tape), but it's pretty hilarious.
posted by backseatpilot at 6:16 AM on December 9, 2008

In college some friends of mine replaced every file in their roommate's mp3 music collection with... I think it was a Dolly Parton song. They all still had the original file name, but each was a copy of this song. It was pretty funny.
posted by Jupiter Jones at 7:39 AM on December 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

The most impressive prank I've ever seen (and I kind of hate pranks) was the slow and careful wrapping of every single object in the room with newspaper print. The pillows on the bed were individually wrapped, the computer monitor, the chair. It was easy to see what everything had been, it was in its own small way a work of art. It took them 2 days, they were fairly committed to it.

You may want to switch all electric off first though...
posted by Augenblick at 7:49 AM on December 9, 2008

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