A practical joke
is a humorous practice (usually in action, not just in words) in which another person is fooled, annoyed, or embarrassed in what the perpetrator imagines to be a mild and light-hearted fashion. Some types of practical jokes include:
- hoaxes, especially ones perpetrated on or by the media (See also: culture jamming).
- physical types of practical jokes, such as causing someone to:
- get wet (ex: using water-filled balloons),
- unknowingly wear embarrassing signs (ex: a 'kick me' note on the back),
- get soiled (saran wrap on the toilet seat) or
- produce unpleasant sounds (ex: a whoopee cushion)
- forms of mild harassment (ex: soaping someone's windows, decorating their yard with toilet paper, sending them on a snipe hunt).
Practical jokes are features of various kinds of holidays, such as April Fool's Day
, and in Spanish-speaking cultures the Day of the Holy Innocents
. They also feature in various rites of passage, such as stag nights.
see also: joke, prank, humour, sadism, laughter, hack (MIT student pranks)