Tis’ the season! Office Halloween pranks are about to hit—if you’ve got that kind of work environment. (No reason to lose your day job over a prank). If you’re lucky enough to work in a place that doesn’t mind a zombie hand in the fridge, then you may be brainstorming what this year’s prank could be. Fun jokes can be a great way to boost team morale, contribute to a fun work environment, and add a little zest to the 9-5.
If you’re unsure of whether your workplace is a place that can appreciate a tasteful, practical joke, simply ask your manager. Don’t take a co-worker’s word for it. If there’s any issue, you’ll receive the blame—not a well-meaning colleague. Better to ask permission than ask forgiveness in this case.
Here are a few suggestions to keep your office mates on their toes come Halloween time.
1.(Printed) head in a jar
Instead of a creepy prosthetic hand in the fridge, mix it up with some spooky familiarity. A few weeks before your chosen day, ask a few coworkers for their photo. Ask them to close their eyes and scrunch up their face or make a funny face. Be sure to come up with a good excuse why you need their photos. Then, print out the photos on photo paper. On the morning of, grab a few glass jars and stick the photo paper with faces on the back of the jar. Fill with water. Add a few drops of food coloring. Stick in fridge. When you coworkers open the fridge, they’ll see some familiar faces.
2. Dress up veggies as candy
Veggies can also do a costume change for Halloween. Everyone loves candy—and will be eager to indulge in some treats. A great way to prank coworkers is to convince them is that they’re indulging their sweet tooth, but actually serve up a healthy bite. Grab a few yellow onions. Douse them in caramel. Stick the familiar popsicle stick. Voila! A phony candy apple! They’ll be second guessing all treats after a bite.
3. Classic spider
Who doesn’t love a good scary spider? Okay, fair. No one really likes spiders. But Halloween brings out the spiders, including at the workplace. Grab a realistic, plastic spider. Tie tooth floss to the body of the spider. When your coworker is typing away at their desk, pull the floss so it runs across their knuckles or brush along their hand. Some classics never die.
4. Hold-A-Hand candy bowl
This one requires a bit more set up, but can be a pretty great prank. Take three slabs of plywood that are a bit taller than you when you’re sitting down. You’re building a wannabe side table that will be placed against the wall—with you hiding in the box-like table. Create a hole on the slap that will sit atop of you. Find a plastic bowl that will fit the slab hole, wide enough to fit your hand in, but not wide enough that candy will fall through. You’ll need a partner-in-crime. Ask them to push the “side table” to the side and position the bowl over the slab hole and fill the bait bowl with candy. Be sure to create a poster above that exclaims “Happy Halloween! Free treats!” When eager candy-eaters reach for a piece, grab their hand with a fierce yell. Could be a pretty good time.
5. Googly eyes
This is an easy prank to implement. Less of a practical joke, but more of a fun way to add some humor to your team. Head to your local craft store and purchase loads of googly eyes. If you want more variety in size or color, Amazon has a wide selection. You can print out photos of your coworkers or photos of funny or spooky animals or celebrities—can be anything—and simply glue googly eyes! That’s it! Go for unexpected spaces, like back of bathroom doors or wall baseboards.
6. Clowns, clowns, clowns
Like spiders, most people don’t feel exactly comfortable around clowns. The storyline of It didn’t help either. What makes the general populace uncomfortable means a boon for you in pranks. Print out creepy clowns (try to keep it tame given it’s the workplace) and place them in strange places, like ceilings, windows, or behind computer monitors.
7. Mummify the office
Mummification is easy as buying toilet paper. Given its your prank, be sure to purchase your own toilet paper—don’t want to look irresponsible bumming prank supplies from your employer. What to do with the toilet paper? Imagine that everything is a mummy—coworker chairs, desks, filling cabinets, and the office couch. What really takes this joke to the next level: wrapping everything with toilet paper, from telephones to conference desks to the vending machine. You may want to ask a few colleagues to join in on the prank.