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Harmless Dorm Room Pranks to Pull on Roommates

Take advantage of that captive audience!

If you find yourself in the presence of room mates, either in college dorms or elsewhere, it is your moral obligation to mess with them.

That said, I am not the biggest fan of pranks that...

  • Damage property
  • Cause injury
  • Traumatize victims

Such pranks are a bit harsh, but more importantly, they have the potential to jeopardize your living arrangements, which is certainly not ideal!

What I propose is selecting harmless but nonetheless strange pranks to pull on your roomies. Here are some ideas for simple dorm room pranks to get you started. Let the games begin!

Fill your roommate's room with balloons!

Talk about visual impact!

Talk about visual impact!

Doodle on eggs

This simple and creative prank is a great way to surprise whoever reaches for the communal carton of eggs in the morning to make an omelette. All you need are some basic art skills, some eggs, and a permanent marker. Have fun with this one. It's fun! It also makes breaking eggs surprisingly violent and dramatic.

Leave the toilet seat up... right before bed

I never quite understood the effectiveness of this prank until it was pulled on me.

When we get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, we rarely look where we're going. Hence, when toilet seats are... misplaced, we don't see them. And we fall right into the toilet. And let's be honest- it is HILARIOUS when half-asleep people fall into insidious traps.

Cover stuff on Post-Its!

It's cheap and easy... but effective!

It's cheap and easy... but effective!

Stage action scenes on shelves with toys and action figures

Chances are someone in your dorm, house, or apartment has some toys laying around. It is your mission to find said toys and arrange them in epic battles throughout the house.

The longer you can do this undetected and the more elaborate scenes you can create, the better. Note: doing this same thing with childrens' toys is also exceedingly fun, mostly because the kids think the toys have moved on their own.

Decorate the plunger

Another anonymous activity that will just weird people out is decoration of the plunger, or other neglected (and hated) cleaning implements. In addition to the randomness of this action is the inevitable speculation that arises surrounding the motivation for doing such a thing. Is it a passive aggressive gesture? Has the plunger been somehow booby trapped? Everyone shall find themselves wondering this... and more!

Wrap your roomie's furniture!

This is a great prank to pull after the holidays- when there's a ton of left over wrapping paper to play with!

This is a great prank to pull after the holidays- when there's a ton of left over wrapping paper to play with!

Put creepy photos inside cabinets and drawers

Clip art is a wonderful, wonderful thing. Utilize it to your heart's content by placing it all over the dorm/house/apartment in random places. See a photograph of a strange facial expression? Tape it to the inside of your roommate's sock drawer. Find a weird photo of a dancing sandwich? Tape it to the back door. The longer you can do this without being discovered, the better.

Wake your roommates up in a creepy manner

This is one of my favorite things to do. As your roommate peacefully drools onto his or her pillow, quietly loom over him/her and wait for a scheduled alarm to go off. As the alarm is activated, assume the most creepy facial expression possible.

Note: if your roomie is the type to throw punches when alarmed, wear protective gear (this could enhance your creepy demeanor) or keep a safe distance.

Tin foil it up!

This variation of the wrapping paper prank never ceases to amuse

This variation of the wrapping paper prank never ceases to amuse

Put marbles and other odd objects in your roomie's shoes

This is a simple but perturbing prank, since folks typically put on shoes when distracted and somewhat rushed. If you really want to freak out your roomie, place fake spiders / tarantulas inside his or her shoes instead of marbles.

Talk to yourself - and answer back

My old music teacher Mr. Ergot used to say that it was fine if you talked to yourself so long as you don't answer back.

If you want to weird out your roommate over a prolonged period of time, make a habit of having conversations with yourself. For extra effectiveness, use different tones of voice, or utilize a sock puppet.

The Food Switcheroo Prank

You can always swap out the food in your roomie's favorite packaging for something odd! This skittles trick is brilliant.

You can always swap out the food in your roomie's favorite packaging for something odd! This skittles trick is brilliant.

Eat raw pasta

Maybe it's just me, but it scared the heck out of me whenever my college roommate (who is awesome BTW) would sit on the couch and eat raw pasta. It just freaks me out. Maybe it'll freak your roomie out, too!

Put an unidentified box in the freezer and DEMAND that it not be opened

If you really want to freak your roomie out, get a gross-looking shoebox, put some rocks inside, get it dirty, wrap it in duck tape, and put it in the freezer. Demand that it not be touched or opened, and be adamant about keeping the freezer temperature constant- to protect the contents. Refuse to say what is inside the box, and get defensive whenever it is brought up.

Move furniture around, but just slightly

People travel for thousands of miles to see the Devil's Racetrack in Death Valley, where large boulders have moved inexplicably across a vast expanse of desert.

Why not recreate this natural wonder by gradually moving the furniture around your dorm/house/apartment? Make a habit of shifting chairs, couches, and tables just slightly every day and see if your roommate notices.

Go for the classics!

You could always pull the ol' kick me sign. It's an oldie but goodie- and relatively harmless!

You could always pull the ol' kick me sign. It's an oldie but goodie- and relatively harmless!

Leave embarrassing notes

Remember how your mother sometimes left embarrassing, sappy notes in your lunch box? I LOVED those notes, but a lot of folks find the practice kind of weird.

Even if your roomie loved getting cutesy notes from his/her mum, it'll probably freak him/her out if you start leaving them in bags, purses, and backpacks. If lovey-dovey and cutesy don't work for you, you can always go with more obscure, strange notes saying things like "LAUGH IT UP, FURBALL" and "ONLY YOU CAN PREVENT FOREST FIRES."

Put weird notes on food

Another fridge-related prank involves putting strange notes on food. This may involve labeling EVERYTHING to which you claim ownership, or putting a note on certain containers saying "THIS IS MINE I SPIT IN IT SO DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT HAVING SOME!"

You'll roomie shall think you're a nutter for sure.

Speak up!

What are your favorite roommate pranks?

Many of the above pranks are pretty lame, but the important thing is that they'll not endanger your living arrangements, cause any serious bouts of violence, or lead to physical or monetary damage.

I've had enough experiences of pranks gone too far (or bouts of escalating retribution and payback that get out of hand) to know the downsides of extreme pranking. All I'm trying to do here is encourage some responsible shenanigans.

Can you think of any other harmless dorm room pranks to play on roommates? Share them in the comments below!

Heck, I'd like to hear about any prank you've played- or any prank that someone else has played on you! Did any of them end poorly? Or did everyone take it in good humor? I'd like to know!


Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on November 08, 2011:

I'm all for minimizing damage, randomcreative!

That's a pretty brilliant prank, jcoop! I figure if one gets one's hands on a large watering can with a narrow spout it could be done pretty quickly :D

And WOW! It sounds like you knew a pretty hardcore pranker, anglnwu! That tape prank is pretty hilarious- though I agree I wouldn't want to be the victim!!

Tina Truelove, that college prank is THE BEST!!! How perfectly convenient that that crawl space was there!! Oh man, if I were in your position, I would fail terribly because I'd laugh like a madwoman beneath those floorboards and give myself away!

Tina Truelove on October 31, 2011:

My college dorm had a legendary ghost. When she was alive, she supposedly lived in my high school friend's dorm room which was located down the hall from mine. My roommate and I (also high school friends) found an old pathway in the basement which led to a crawl space underneath her room. We found brooms, reached under there and banged underneath her floor in the middle of the night. We had a blast. Til this day (more than 20 years later), she doesn't know we were the ones doing that.

Thank you for posting your great harmless ideas. I no longer have a college roommate, but these pranks would be great to play on anyone. The best part is that there are no lasting negative effects on the "prankee". I'm pretty sure my high school friend was forever changed by the legendary ghost who haunted her at night.

anglnwu on October 30, 2011:

I don't have any pranks to share but I know of a serial prankster, who would sometimes stay up at night to waylay his rommmate with all kinds of pranks. One time, he duct-taped his roommate to the bed and when he woke up in the middle of the night, he couldn't get up. I don't know if it's funny but I sure would like to have another roommate. Enjoyed the hub, as usual.

jcoop from Long Beach, California on October 29, 2011:

One that I have used a few times is to fill one hundred or more dixie cups with water and place them throughout the victim's room. It is a little time-consuming, but well worth the work.

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on October 29, 2011:

I love that so many of these ideas are simple and don't end up hurting anyone. If you have a roommate who enjoys this kind of thing, it can be a lot of fun.

Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on October 29, 2011:

Oh, the old fake snake trick, eh ktrapp? Love it! And I'm glad grandma had a sense of humor about it.

Because they *shouldn't* be, zi143!

Thanks, AliciaC! Happy pranking!

I hope you have fun with them, nikashi_designs. Let me know how it goes if you try any of 'em!

What an awesome peanut prank that is, missolive! Your friend is a real smart cookie! I mean.... it's so simple, so inexpensive... and yet so effective! That's awesome. Thanks for sharing!

janikon, that is a positively brilliant prank- and just my style! Gosh, now I kind of regret living alone. Perhaps I can adapt this one for use at HubPages HQ.

Hahaa, that's a pretty harsh prank SuperheroSales. I can imagine that shower bottleneck reducing the group to mass panic in two shakes of a lamb's tail!

Well Susan36, the nice thing about these is they're far less radical than many pranks, so if you're ever looking for a gateway prank to pull, here's the place to start!

LOL I know what you mean by 'almost' drbj! Have fun with the toilet seat prank ;)

Just Ask Susan, that is gorgeously simple. I shall just carry rubber bands with me and booby trap any hose-enabled sinks I can find! Huzzah!

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on October 29, 2011:

If your sink has one of those spray hoses on it....take a rubber band and wrap it around the part that you push to make it spray and turn the hose pointing forward. When your roommate turns on the faucet they'll get soaked.

Loved your hub!

drbj and sherry from south Florida on October 29, 2011:

Now that you have shared all these precious pranks, Simone, I almost long for the days when I had dorm roommates. Almost, that is.

Particularly fascinated by the open toilet seat mischief ... I can still use that one. Heh, heh.

Susan36 from India on October 29, 2011:

ha ha the pranks are super...but excepting some i dont think i would play them on anyone...scaredy puss- that's me:)

Marisa Hammond Olivares from Texas on October 28, 2011:

HILARIOUS! I loved this!

I had a friend that whenever he would visit he would leave a random peanut SOMEWHERE in my apt. It drove me Nuts! (pun intended!) This went on for a few months before I finally figured it out. To this day he sends me random peanut comments or jokes creatively inserted in e-mails and texts. Too funny.

janikon on October 28, 2011:

lol. okay, i shall share with you Simone but only because you asked nicely, you'll need a pen and paper for this one ...

you create potato-people likenesses of your roommates, really draw attention to them and talk to them a lot. choose one of your roommates to prank and continue fiddling with their potato-character before finally throwing it in the trash, in front of them or where they are sure to see it. then when they ask about it, you simply turn and quietly say, 'he/she just didn't belong with the rest"

and go back to what you were doing. it will freak them out. just be sure to tell them it was a prank before they start buying locks for their bedroom door.

nikashi_designs on October 28, 2011:

Always good for a laugh...really funny and creative hub. Will have to try some of these out. Thanks.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on October 28, 2011:

I don’t have any good pranks to share, but your very funny hub has given me some great ideas for pranks to play on the people in my house!

zi143 on October 28, 2011:

why are thoses balloons there

Kristin Trapp from Illinois on October 28, 2011:

Very FUNNY! When my kids were young they put fake snakes (the kind that look real) under the covers of their visiting grandma's bed. Luckily, she is a young grandma who found it funny.

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