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Food Pranks

I just saw a video of a woman pranking her daughter in law who had bought the Thanksgiving turkey. When the MIL stuffed the turkey, she included a cornish game hen then asked the DIL to carve the turkey after it was cooked, instructing her to make sure she removed all of the stuffing. The DIL found the game hen and freaked out and the MIL convinced her that she had bought a pregnant turkey.

So it made me wonder, have any of you Chowhounds ever pulled a food prank?

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  1. This one never gets old - pull an Oreo apart and scrape out the icing. CAREFULLY replace the icing with toothpaste. Of course you have to use white regular toothpaste. Then stick the cookies back together, await your victim's response. My kids used to drink koolaid (OK, this was WAY back in the day) and we made it in a translucent pitcher. On April Fools day, I would make jello in the pitcher, then watch them try to pour it out. OK so not diabolical, but nobody gets hurt, either.

    1. Prankee, not the prankster. Chili Mac where the chili came from the pet food aisle. I did spit it out. Many did not. I'm sure that was directly related to the amount of alcohol consumed prior to the eating.

      My palate may be heightened. I consider canned tuna catfood. No matter which aisle it comes from.

      1. Not exactly a prank... more a pay-back. Was in college living in a big old house with 15 other girls. Had relatively decent kitchen on each floor that was shared. One pair of room-mates decided that "someone" was drink milk from their gallon jug in fridge. They decided to put a mark with permanent marker on a gallon with maybe 2 cups gone... almlost full. I added just enough WATER so the level ended up ABOVE the original line.

        1. This did not start out as a prank ............... a photo shoot/cooking demo.............. I'd made and plated a very large Greek salad; clearly explained that it was NOT to be eaten; the feta was substituted with crumbled Ivory soap since it holds up better under the hot lights. I left to go to the loo and returned to find indignant thieves who'd ignored my instructions and dove into the lucious-looking salad. It still makes me smile these many years later.

          1. The one I recall best involves sushi. Have a few nigiri but load one up with wasabi. The green might show through, but the unsuspecting fellow might as well expect each nigiri to have at least a bit of wasabi.

            I'd say not being able to converse/read another language is a food prank in itself. During my first days living in Indonesia and China, I was probably served a complete animal- great for storytelling, but for dignity, not so much.


            1. I still feel bad about the prank I pulled on my kids one April Fools' Day when they were about 7 and 9. I baked meatloaf in a cupcake tin, then "frosted" it with mashed potatoes I'd dyed blue. I told them we were having cupcakes instead of a real dinner.

              My daughter was delighted when she realized what I'd done, but my son burst into tears and has refused to eat meatloaf to this day. I felt like the world's crappiest mom.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Isolda

                Oh poor baby. My brother had the same reaction when my mom dyed the milk green on St Patrick's Day. Refused to drink milk after that.

                1. re: Isolda

                  Shows who has the sense of humor between your 2 kids! Love this! lol

                  1. re: Isolda

                    You're not a terrible mom because of the meatloaf cupcakes. Our kids can really surprise sometimes, can't they? I wish I could take back the time I told them to not eat the jelly beans. Of course they did... I thought the garlic jelly beans would have been funny.

                  2. My older brother's prank on my younger sister. She detests peas - always has. One time when she wasn't looking, he dropped a few peas into her glass of milk at dinner. The glasses we used at the time were frosted charcoal blue, so she couldn't see them while she was slowly drinking the milk. Until she got to the bottom of the glass - and saw them there (after having drunk the entire glass of milk).

                    The ear-piercing shriek from Sister could be heard next door, as the mother who lived there called to ask if Sis was OK. :-)

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      When I was living on campus at college twice a year we got two good meals at the cafeteria. In the summer it was steaks and in the winter it was fan-tailed fried shrimp (real shrimp, not shrimp patties or the popcorn shrimp). Anyway, after the shrimp dinner I put my hands in my coat pockets and they were full of shrimp tails. The next morning was a Saturday and I put a single cherry tomato into my roomate's hot chocolate. When it hit his lip you would have thought it was a green pea.

                    2. My husband was a sous chef years ago at a large hotel where everything was made from scratch, including the delicious sweets and pastries. The bellmen would constantly swipe treats off the pans so one day hubby took hard boiled egg yolks, molded them into the shape of a Hershey's kiss and dipped them in chocolate. One bite and no one swiped treats anymore after that!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: lseavey

                        for April Fool's one year, one of my coworkers (who regularly brought homemade goodies into the office) dipped cocktail onions and gherkins in chocolate.

                        1. re: sunshine842

                          In today's world of fad chocolate, he should go into business. He'll be buried in money!

                      2. I feel like hot sauce pranks are the fart jokes of food pranks but I like fart jokes.

                        I also like to huck a slab of wasabi onto friend's green tea ice cream. You cannot tell the difference if art directed correctly.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Notorious P.I.G.

                          I brought a couple of tubes of wasabi from Japan and gave them to friends as gifts, saying it was "Japanese toothpaste."
                          You should have heard the howls the next morning as people were brushing their teeth.

                            1. re: Tripeler

                              Awesome idea for stocking stuffers. Teens always have such a great sense of humor when it comes to pranks played on them.....

                          1. we had an exchange student from Finland who would pull the string and tag off his tea bag, and place the tea bag into his napkin. He would then surreptitiously put the end of the string in his mouth, with the tag hanging out, pretending he swallowed the tea bag. You should have seen my mother's face. it was his first night with us, so we didn't realize what a prankster he was. :)

                            1. Penn and Teller have a great one, that I've done once to friends. At breakfast in a diner or somewhere they have the small cream containers, palm one when no one is looking. Put it in your left hand with the paper side out. Take your fork, and start to place it near your eye, then CAREFULLY, you put your left hand to your eye, puncture the paper of the cream with the fork (carefully to not go through the plastic part). Just as the tines break the paper, squeeze the cream in your left hand and scream. Works every time.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: kimfair1

                                I don't get it. It looks like milk is spurting from your eye?

                                1. re: ttoommyy

                                  It looks like you stabbed yourself in the eye, the cream container should be concealed by your hand.

                                  1. re: hyacinthgirl

                                    "It looks like you stabbed yourself in the eye..."

                                    But creamer is white, not red.

                                    1. re: ttoommyy

                                      I think the shock component is supposed to make the viewer suspend their disbelief. In their mind, you stabbed the white of your eye and the white liquid is now spurting out. Probably wouldn't work as well if your audience was full of doctors.

                              2. There's an old trick I learned to slice a banana inside its skin. You hand one to somebody and tell them its a new breed of banana that's grown pre-sliced. They say no way. Peel it and then begin to pick off individual slices. Never fails to get a shocked look. There is then a very thorough examination of the banana. No one has ever been able figure out how its done until I explain it.

                                7 Replies
                                1. re: Bkeats

                                  Don't keep me in suspense... 'splain yourself.

                                      1. re: PotatoHouse

                                        Thanks. I sort of get it. Maybe if someone did it in front of me I might be shocked. Still, white liquid spurting from an eye is kind of suspect and might make me think twice.

                                        1. re: ttoommyy

                                          Believe me, it works. I'm a medical person, and there were at least 2 medical people at the table when I did it. It's still pretty shocking, and by the time the logic sets in, the trick is exposed.

                                    1. re: Bkeats

                                      I learned that trick from an episode of Lamb Chop's Play Along, when I was a kid.

                                    2. 1. On a hot summer day, my brother served an iced glass of white vinegar to a very thirsty friend who had just pranked him.

                                      2. A woman at my brother's place of work got tired of people constantly thieving her jelly beans from her desk drawer, and on April Fool's Day, she replaced them with sugar-free ones. The culprit cursed her out violently after his violent diarrhea, but he never stole them again.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Karl S

                                        LOL! I had to Google that about the Jelly Beans, never knew that. That is hilarious, and definitely one I will keep on hand.

                                        1. re: Karl S

                                          Sugar free candy is no joke. My diabetic boss gave me some sugar-free gummy bears that she didn't like, and warned me not to eat too many. (I was 18.) I figured the effects wouldn't be THAT bad, so the whole bag was gone that evening.

                                          I rolled around on my bed yelling that I was dying all night.

                                        2. squeeze the jelly out of a donut and fillit with hot sauce then put some jelly back in the hole

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Locutus

                                            In high school, each grade all ate at the same table. Once they stuck the tip of a mustard bottle in the bottom of a student's chicken pot pie and squeezed hard. The poor look on the kid's face when we took a big bite was pretty funny.

                                          2. Personally, no but I do recall hearing about one incident at the University of Alberta where one of the sororities brought out the Ex-Lax and Mary Jane brownies for their reception guests.

                                            1. Three words-kitty litter cake. My sons friends went crazy!


                                              1. Two thoughts: A) An old Jay Leno routine, about how to explain Mr. Potatohead to a starving third world child. 'Kimba eat?' "No no, we're going to *play* with it!" B) Back in cul school, my pastry teacher told about the time he was persuaded to make a giant priapic cake. The next day, the hotel manager was giving a kitchen tour to a visiting group of nuns (I know, I know!), opened the fridge, and *GASP*....

                                                1. Sharing my dad's story:

                                                  When he was in 6th grade or so, he would eat one chocolate bar everyday. His family didn't have much money, but he would save up his few cents to buy one daily treat. The girl who sat behind him in class would nag him everyday to share. He never did, until one day he bought a laxative chocolate bar and switched them out. He gave laxatives to the little girl behind him! She was in the bathroom for the rest of the day.. and she never asked him for another piece of chocolate again.
                                                  It's still one of his proudest moments.

                                                  1. I put vanilla pudding in an empty mayo jar and proceeded to eat it with a spoon in front of my kids. They thought I was totally disgusting until I got my daughter to take a bite. ;)

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. Many years ago after making a ton of beef stock,we let it cool in 20 ltr pails.The next day the fat had congealed into a solid, orange colored, perfect circle on the top of the pail.I carefully removed the "disk o fat" and cut a wedge resembling a piece of pie,added whipped cream some coulis and mint and put it on the pass.within a few minutes the waitstaff( and one of the managers) was all over it.hilarity ensued.. :D

                                                      1. Does putting blue food coloring in the new kid's (opaque) water bottle count? How about freezing his overcoat (dumped in a pail of water and hung in the freezer)? Lots of rites of initiation in that kitchen.

                                                        1. Every October for a few years now I have thought about making some caramel onions. I have not made them yet, maybe I will this year.

                                                          1. During our drinking days, we used to keep large bottles of gin and vodka around. We had the idea to partially fill one of the empty bottles with water and then challenge a friend to a drinking contest. One person had a bottle of gin and the other had the water in a vodka bottle (which the first person did not know).

                                                            After a few rounds of chugging, the gin person was looking a little blue around the gills, so we offered to switch the bottles. When he took a swig of the water and realized what we had done, the look on his face was priceless.

                                                            1. I've forgotten more than I can remember. Let's start with roasting ducks, straining the fat into custard cups, putting in a slightly cool setting to congeal, garnishing with whipped cream and a cherry, and setting it out for food thieves. Duck pudding was not one of my employees' favorite foods, but was a rite of ritual. Another time a young family member asked if I knew how to make Chicken Fried Steak, which was one of her favorite meals at the ripe age of 12. The restaurant was very high end, but, I boasted that I made the best and would make an exception to the dining room and serve it to her if she promised not to moan in pleasure, thus disrupting the other diners. She agreed. I then cut a like-size chunk of cardboard from one of the boxes, soaked it in water to make it pliable, then double breaded it. I fried it crispy, topped it with cream gravy, Yukon mashed,and fresh asparagus. I personally served it. It took a while, as she trusted her uncle and didn't want to hurt his feelings, but, eventually she commented on the toughness, to the delight of the 10-top! Gotcha!

                                                              1. When I worked at a pizza shop, we would sometimes take the old dough and form it into "dough dicks" and other obscene sculptures then send them through the conveyor belt oven to the person on the other end.

                                                                I've swapped out booze for vinegar in old liquor bottles at parties. We'd leave the fake bottles out on the counter and keep the real stuff some place else like in our bedrooms. Some of my friends are insufferable cheapskates and tend to show up empty handed - then discreetly start helping themselves to other's booze as the night goes on, thinking nobody will notice. We all notice when they go to sake a swig and their face puckers up, lol.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: Atomic76

                                                                  when I was in college, a professor went to a local higher-end eatery (white tablecloths) - the prof was a well-known oenophile.

                                                                  One of my classmates was working as a waiter that night, and paid one of the busboys to run across the street and buy a bottle of Mad Dog.

                                                                  They poured the MD into a high-end bottle and brought it to the prof, compliments of the house. The prof thought it was hilarious...after he quit choking.

                                                                2. That was not a prank.That was just mean.Shame on the M-I-L and rude too.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: Candy

                                                                    They also didn't pull it off well enough for the video to be remotely funny. It was odd and uncomfortable to watch. They seemed pleased about it though.

                                                                  2. Last year I introduced my son to the nuanced flavors of unripened persimmons.

                                                                    Later on that morning, he gave his mother a freshly picked persimmon, and told her to try it.

                                                                    I enjoyed the show...

                                                                    1. Another food prank would be giving an "A" rating to a street cart in Jakarta, Cairo or Guangzhou.

                                                                      Then again, those ratings haven't stopped me before, but I wonder what local reactions would be.


                                                                      1. I have done the April fools pranks..bake the brownie in the the egg shell.. and colored noodles.. juice cavier.. .

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: girloftheworld

                                                                          You'll have to explain these to me. I think I get the juice caviar, you are referring to fruit juice mixed with agar-agar and dropped into water to make "caviar", molecular gastronomy right? The other two I am not sure of what you speak.

                                                                        2. Penn and Teller --- the parsley game! The goal is to take all the decorative parsley and dump it onto someone else's plate, without getting caught. When we took the family out to dinner after our son's high school graduation, he bribed the waitress to put extra parsley on everyone's dessert. Really confused my aunt and cousins.

                                                                          1. Years ago mom made mashed potatoes on St. Patrick's day and tinted them green with food coloring. I don't think she meant it as a joke, but us kids took it that way at the time. ;-)

                                                                            1. Back when commercial air travel was quite young, we took an office trip to Houston, in a Southern Airways Martin 404.

                                                                              The guys across the aisle from me, were both pranksters. One feigned air sickness, and asked for a bag. While the stewardess (they were called that, back then) was away, he emptied a can of beef stew into the bag. When the stewardess stopped back by, his seatmate reached into the bag, grabbed a piece of beef and ate that! The poor stewardess was speechless, until the cabin erupted in laughter.


                                                                              1. Food pranks that I've actually performed? Okay... Here are a couple...

                                                                                When I was around 15, my best friend and I were ALWAYS being picked on and put down by her 19 year old sister. So... We had a birthday party for her and gave her a box of her favorite chocolate covered cherries prepared especially for her... We had cut a small opening on the bottoms, drained the liquid and replaced it with cod liver oil, then resealed the bottoms with milk chocolate. We dared her to eat the first one in front of everyone. She did! And damn her! She never blinked an eye, but went on to eat the whole box in front of everyone. Ruined our joke! See? I told you she was always bugging us!

                                                                                And then... I grew up in a 3 generations under 1 roof family. When I was around ten or so, I sneaked into my grandfather's bathroom where he soaked his dentures every night while he slept. I dyed them green with food coloring in honor of St. Patrick's Day! I kept waiting for him to smile or show his teeth at the breakfast table the next morning. I suffered through the entire meal while he ate, talked, and drank coffee, all without showing a glimpse of his teeth! When the meal was nearly finished, he looked across at me and said, "I have something special to show you." He smiled! But... His teeth were normal. He must have used bleach or something to get the food coloring out. Ruined my St. Patrick's Day!

                                                                                hmmm... Does this make me a complete failure at food jokes?

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                  Well, at least you tried...

                                                                                  Keep it up, and maybe the next time will do the trick?


                                                                                  1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                    "hmmm... Does this make me a complete failure at food jokes?"


                                                                                    But you certainly are inventive and have some very sly relatives! :)

                                                                                  2. Dinner in Chinatown with 10 friends. The check comes along with lots of fortune cookies. My wife (now ex) gets up to use the bathroom. We carefully folded all of our fortunes and slipped them in her cookie. She came back to the table, popped the cookie in her mouth without breaking it open and chewed and chewed and chewed. No one said a word.

                                                                                    1. In my much younger years we'd end up at a late night pizzeria after hitting several parties. Some of us would be drunk.
                                                                                      While our friend Jack went off to relieve himself of some of the beer he drank we carefully lifted the cheese on his slice of pizza and poured on massive amounts of hot red pepper. I can still see the look on his face.

                                                                                      1. When I was in college I shared a house with three guys, and the four of us were able to come to a great cooking agreement: we each agreed to cook a communal meal one night a week (Mon through Thursday), and we shared shopping and cleanup duties. Of course, some of us were better cooks than others, but at least we knew we would eat. Well, one day two of us were shopping and noticed that our roommate had put "red snapper" on the list, without being more specific. We knew he was the least adventurous cook and eater of the group, and we were pretty sure (and correct, as it turned out) that he would NOT know what to do with a whole fish. So we presented a HUGE whole snapper to him to cook that night, and when he whined "What the hell am I supposed to do with THAT?" we then gave him the fillets we knew he really wanted (and placed the whole fish in the freezer thinking we would cook it some day....). Well, that was all well and good, except that the next morning when I groggily went to brush my teeth I was faced with the sight of a large and rather smelly red snapper hanging upside down from the light fixture over the sink, with its glassy eyes staring at me in reproach.......

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: janetofreno

                                                                                          Sounds like a scene from the Godfather!!