I got TP'ed. It's time to return the favor.
June 26, 2008 2:09 PM   Subscribe

After having my yard toilet papered and forked (not my yard in the link), it's time to get back.

Unfortunately, the soon-to-be-victim's yard has almost no trees, so returning the TP favor is out. One idea we're throwing around is attaching a giant cardboard movie cutout to to roof. We'll probably go with that, but in the spirit of going big or goingstaying home, I'd like to hear about other pranks in the same spirit. This is a pretty good sized yard, if it matters.
Apologies if this falls under ChatFilter, but this will be put to practical use, so as I understand it this should be good.
posted by niles to Grab Bag (35 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
You can TP their house - no trees required. It's pretty fun, just have one person on each side of the house and throw the TP over the roof. Of course, this is more difficult if you're dealing with a McMansion - but on a normal sized home it's quite doable.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 2:17 PM on June 26, 2008

Perhaps some sort of net or bag over the door full of packing peanuts and rigged so when they see whatever you are up to and go out the front door, they get covered in the peanuts?

It's a bit of an investment, but you could go with the old-fashioned pink flamingos or maybe some grotesquely huge inflatable Santa left over from Christmas. Nothing says tacky than Christmas decorations 5 months too early.

If they park outside, you could wrap their car in toilet paper.

Investigate to make sure there wouldn't be any lasting effects, but I imagine you could use Kool-Aid or food dye to paint humorous pictures on the lawn. I imagine that it would soak into the soil or spread out during the next watering.
posted by lockle at 2:22 PM on June 26, 2008

if their cars are outside you might could saran wrap or shrink wrap them
posted by meeshell at 2:25 PM on June 26, 2008

Post-It notes.
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 2:27 PM on June 26, 2008 [3 favorites]

Have a yard of manure/compost dropped in front of their house after they go to work.
posted by zerobyproxy at 2:28 PM on June 26, 2008

Popcorn / leaves (or whatever) placed between main door and screen door. When main door opens, mess enters house. Old school, always use in conjunction with another prank.
posted by maxpower at 2:29 PM on June 26, 2008

Response by poster: Oh yeah...they dropped their van key in my yard while they were at my house (ending up having to call home to get the spare at 3am), so that will probably be coming into play as well.
posted by niles at 2:36 PM on June 26, 2008

Do they have a chimney you can get easy access to? You could suspend a bag of whatever fetid material you choose down in there for a lovely odoriferous experience.
posted by ZaneJ. at 2:38 PM on June 26, 2008

Once upon a time, some friends engaged in what is now known amongst us as the Garlic Wars. How it started didn't matter, but how it escalated did. From initially hiding cloves of garlic around the house on visits to beautifully framing pictures of garlic and presenting them as gifts for Christmas, to arranging for servers at restaurants to present platters of garlic to us instead of our dinners - my all-time favourite battle episode was when once, in the middle of the night, they left a "HONK IF YOU LOVE GARLIC" sign on our front lawn. It actually took us a while to figure it out. I think people honked even if they didn't love garlic, for what it's worth. The neighbours thought it was funny - once.
posted by peagood at 2:51 PM on June 26, 2008 [6 favorites]

Send letters to all their neighbours apologizing for the amount of noise they make during sex.
posted by unSane at 2:55 PM on June 26, 2008 [13 favorites]

Van key? A bit of Limburger in the heating duct will do the trick. So as not to ruin the van, put it into a little cup, like the condiment cup that comes with delivered Chinese food. and tape it down so that it won't actually touch the duct and can later be removed.
posted by caddis at 3:05 PM on June 26, 2008 [1 favorite]

Some of these may go beyond harmless prank, but:

If you have access to the house, get some limburger cheese (which is soft like butter), smear a small dab in interesting locations. It's stinky, even moreso in the summer heat. (underside of the kitchen table, bathroom, headboard, etc.) Could also do this if you're limited to outside, like the front door's, possibly in their van if you can access the interior with the key.

Other car-centric pranks: the styrofoam peanuts, balloons, a fish under the driver's seat, banana in the tailpipe.

For a time-delay prank, 'draw' a giant smiley face in their lawn with salt, water lawn. Will take a day or so to show up.

There's also the recently popular fad of wrapping everything in aluminum foil, but aluminum foil has gotten expensive lately.
posted by MarkLark at 3:11 PM on June 26, 2008

Put up a Lost sign on local streetposts, with their address, and a blurry photo of a guy in a Gimp mask a la Pulp Fiction. "Escaped from basement. Answers to the name of: Slave Boy Bob. Please return to concerned owners."

They also sell a neat little beeping thingie at Thinkgeek. Inside a van would be a /great/ place for such a thing.
posted by LucretiusJones at 3:18 PM on June 26, 2008 [1 favorite]

Forks? Seems like that would take more time to set up than it would to clean up.
posted by meta_eli at 3:18 PM on June 26, 2008

Curse you, caddis. Although good call on keeping it in a cup.

Oh, and there's always Liquid Ass. Smells horrible but it goes away after a certain period of time.
posted by MarkLark at 3:20 PM on June 26, 2008

Best answer: I wouldn't put stinky cheese in anyone's house as a prank.

One of our perennial favorites is to get those cardboard cut out figures of people from a video store or wherever and place them as the whim strikes. Feel free to use props. Don't give anyone a heart attack by sneaking a 6' tall cutout of a man with a gun into the bathroom while they're in the shower or anything (good thing I was young and healthy at the time because I'm pretty sure my heart did stop briefly).

TP ing the inside of cars and houses makes for a nice change and you can really get creative with it.

Woolite and other cleaners glow in blacklights and don't harm most surfaces (or can be applied to a sheet which is hung on a wall). If you replace a porch or interior bulb with a blacklight you can give people quite a show when they hit the switch.

Good pranks are really specific to the person you're playing them on though. You want to startle them but you also want to make them laugh. And hopefully not plan too much revenge. One of my friends once broke into my house and replaced all my light switch covers with kids ones in a sequence had meaning for us as an in joke. I laughed so much I left them there for months.
posted by fshgrl at 3:24 PM on June 26, 2008

Get one of the cheap wireless doorbell remotes and hide the receiver in their house. Then, once a day or so, drive by and ring the bell. You will be gone by the time they get to the door, and if you do it irregularly enough, they probably won't find the receiver/speaker.
posted by HighTechUnderpants at 3:30 PM on June 26, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Don't write on the yard with salt, it's destructive and hard to get rid of.

But do write on their yard with fertilizer. Will take longer to show up but is the opposite of destructive, which makes is an excelent prank IMHO.
posted by Ookseer at 3:34 PM on June 26, 2008

If you have a van key, then surely the van is begging to be filled with something! balloons, newspaper, packaging.....
posted by kjs4 at 4:25 PM on June 26, 2008

Wait until they are away. Have an accomplice lie down in their driveway. Draw a chalk outline around the accomplice. Surround the area with yellow tape; "POLICE CRIME SCENE - DO NOT CROSS" tape, if available. Wait for their return.
posted by SPrintF at 4:31 PM on June 26, 2008 [2 favorites]

Put glitter and/or confetti down the A/C vents of the van.
It's a prank that is invisible until the air turns on, is entirely non-destructive, and takes about three car trips for it all to come out.

Or instead of making the van smell bad, why not make it smell REALLY good?
I'm thinking a few dozen pine tree fresheners hung all over the car, a la se7en.

sidenote: glitter is also really awesome for the lawn, because it's pretty much impossible to get up, but it does seem to go away after a while. (until they mow.)
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 5:02 PM on June 26, 2008

If you can get into the place when they are not at home, follow a naked man through their house with a video camera as he walks around and reclines on the sofa, sits at the kitchen table, looks through the fridge. Bonus if you can get a cool sound effect to dub over for every time he touches his penis to or teabags specific items in the house--knick-knacks, pillows, perfume bottles. (I mean, make sure the guy is clean and all.) Then leave the video on the front porch, or give it to them for the holidays.
posted by troybob at 5:08 PM on June 26, 2008 [1 favorite]

Take out a small announcement in the classified section of the local paper. Explain that you're a sex offender and that this is part of your "community notification" ... and list their address as your place of residence.
posted by wfrgms at 5:11 PM on June 26, 2008

Best answer: 1) Buy an annoyatron.
2) Epoxy said annoyatron into van, behind dashboard, late at night.
3) Return keys, saying, "All is forgiven!"
posted by chairface at 5:14 PM on June 26, 2008

When I was in college our neighbors started a war by blowing up our mailbox with a quarter stick of dynamite. It escalated when a water balloon slingshot filled with leftover spaghetti was used against their unlucky roommate who answered the door after dinner the next night. There were a few more battles involving bottle rockets and potato guns, but it all ended when one of my roommates combined a gallon of syrup, an old Hustler magazine and one of their cars to create the Porn Mobile. The next day the police were not amused and arrested my roommate who, stupidly, confessed. That was one of three times that year we made the local newspaper's police blotter, and that one actually made the year end "best of". I miss college.
posted by alpinist at 7:11 PM on June 26, 2008 [1 favorite]

Put glitter and/or confetti down the A/C vents of the van.
It's a prank that is invisible until the air turns on, is entirely non-destructive

Non-destructive unless they drive around town with the windows open and don´t turn on the AC until they´re merging on the freeway in heavy traffic at 75 mph, you mean.

Here´s what I think you should do:

Occasionally move their van small distances, a few feet. If you see it parked away from their house, move it one or two parking spaces over. If they don´t always park in the same spot at home, occasionally move the van to one of their other usual parking spaces overnight. Pull another minor obvious prank on them that does not involve the van in any way, like the a few small Christmas decorations in their yard, in a way that makes it seem like you retaliated without upping things at all. Act like you think this minor thing was extremely funny, and that now you´ve showed them. Keep moving the van. Deny everything. Keep moving the van. Don´t give into the temptation to move it further and further. Keep moving the van.
posted by yohko at 10:49 PM on June 26, 2008 [2 favorites]

First off, Yohko is 150% correct about moving the van occasionally and randomly, if your goal is truly to make them go apeshit. Even more subtle yet annoying: move the seat close to the steering wheel, over and over and over and over.

Or for a quick one, if it has power seats, find a way to push the seat-forward buttons in and stick them there, so that when they start the car it slowly but inexorably shoves them towards the steering wheel (not recommended unless they're young and healthy and not overweight; you want to freak them out, not injure them.)

However, if you're looking for more of a buddies-messing-with-buddies thing, I know we had much luck with covering a friend's Subaru station wagon from nose to tail with maxi-pads, via the adhesive strip...

...thinking about that for the first time in at least 20 years, WTF were we thinking? It seemed hilarious at the time, though.
posted by davejay at 12:09 AM on June 27, 2008

I like the crime scene one, but just leave a chalk outline rather than an accomplice, or better yet, a chalk outline of a lower body, and three feet away an outline of a torso.

Also, for the love of God, do nothing time activated or random that could affect them while driving the van.
posted by BrotherCaine at 2:50 AM on June 27, 2008

I've *heard* that if you put massive amounts of instant oatmeal all over the lawn right before a good rain, it'll look like the heavens puked on their yard.
posted by Alpenglow at 7:49 AM on June 27, 2008

Paint their mailbox in neon colors. Attach stick-on letters with someone else's name.

Place an ad on Craigslist for the van, a threesome, seeking slave boy, etc., with their phone number.

Burn a CD of Yoko Ono singing, put it in the van's player, crank up the volume, turn off van, exit stage right. Another good option is dogs singing Christmas carols.

Rig a cardboard cutout so that when they open the front door, Han Solo or someone pops into view from the roof, awning, side, column, etc.
posted by notashroom at 7:57 AM on June 27, 2008

Also - for the winter months and it snows in your area - if they have a snowman in the front yard, find a big stick, jam it into the snowman where his heart would be, add ketchup liberally.
posted by Alpenglow at 8:04 AM on June 27, 2008

A friend hid an alarm clock in the attic, then one in the crawlspace of another friend's house. The first was rigged to go off at an ungodly night hour, the second was set for like 20 minutes later.

Same friend would leave yard art on lawns - installations of sorts that made fantastic scenes or played on silly themes. He also once porned a friend's car - taped hot naked men's photos all over this very straight man's car, inside and out. He found a babydoll that played a recording of the lord's prayer and switched the box of a dog toy that played a recording of a frog - dog played with toy, out comes creepy recording of kid saying the prayer. Man, I miss him.

Gift-wrapping the van, or filling it with BBs or bouncy-balls would be fun, too.
posted by sadiehawkinstein at 3:29 PM on June 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

I've always thought that if you covered someone's yard in those expanding water crystals just before it rained, the whole yard would be a couple of inches deep in weird gelatinous goo. Once the rain stopped and everything dried up, they would disappear. Then, once it rained, they would return.
posted by tomble at 6:50 PM on June 28, 2008

Put glitter and/or confetti down the A/C vents of the van.
It's a prank that is invisible until the air turns on, is entirely non-destructive

Non-destructive unless they drive around town with the windows open and don´t turn on the AC until they´re merging on the freeway in heavy traffic at 75 mph, you mean.

To be clear, in my mind this prank would involve first turning the air on high blast in the van, then turning the van off (to the air is set to blast when the van turns on), then putting the glitter/confetti in. Didn't really make it clear, but it was not my intent for it to happen while the van was moving at all.

Also, I just wanted to say that tomble, I love that idea, and am going to order some of this stuff tomorrow to play around with.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 10:41 PM on June 30, 2008

Response by poster: Due to extenuating events, this has had to be postponed a few days, but I've marked the ones that seem appropriate and doable. Thanks!
posted by niles at 12:19 PM on July 2, 2008

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