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7 funny pranks to play on your housemates

No uni experience is complete without a good old prank war. Here's the best of the best...

box with fake teeth and woman scheming

Credit: Leriaphoto (left), Anatoliy Karlyuk (right) - Shutterstock

As a student, you're basically in the prime of your pranking life. You're living with your best mates, and never again will you get such an opportunity to wind them up, night and day.

Having multiple housemates means you're spoilt for choice when choosing who to target (if you can't choose, prank them all).

If you pull off some good pranks, they're bound to create some of your funniest uni memories – just remember to keep it safe...

Do you live with one of these nightmare flatmates? We've got tips on how to deal with them.

Funny pranks to do at home

Here are our best pranks to play on your housemates without ruining friendships:

  1. Wrapping paper on furniture prank

    A classic uni prank! Use old newspapers or used wrapping paper to wrap everything in your housemate's bedroom. If you're going to do it, you have to do it properly, and that means wrapping the floors, walls, ceiling, bed, furniture and anything else on show.

    If nothing else, it's good practice for when Christmas comes around...

    Other great bedroom pranks include covering the floor with millions of water-filled cups, or sellotaping everything to the ceiling.

    You may find these pranks take a lot longer to create than for your friend to put right, so you're just pranking yourself really. But if you're a true prankster, it'll be worth it.

  2. Fake cracked computer screen desktop prank

    broken screen screensaver

    Credit: Collin Anderson - Flickr

    For any laptop-loving student, a broken screen is an absolute nightmare.

    Download an image like one of these and set it as their desktop picture – make sure to hide desktop icons for the full effect!

  3. Hide an alarm clock in their room

    Is your housemate not a morning person? Buy a mini alarm clock, set it for 5am, and hide it somewhere in their room.

    You can then enjoy sweet dreams of them stumbling around trying to find the source of noise in the early hours.

    Ramp up the evil genius factor by hiding multiple alarm clocks, with their alarms set an hour apart. Just be aware that depending on how soundproof your house is, you could annoy quite a few housemates with this one...

  4. Mess with their social media

    Getting your hands on someone's Facebook profile if they accidentally leave themselves logged in is old news – you probably did it hundreds of times back in school.

    But avoid the obviously fake statuses confessing undying love for someone, and go more subtle.

    For example, an easy one is to go on your friend's Instagram profile and like all of their posts at the same time. This prank is even more effective if all your housemates like their posts as well so they get hundreds of notifications in quick succession.

  5. Autocorrect their words

    Two friends on a bus looking at phone

    Credit: Dusan Petkovic – Shutterstock

    This one is best to play on more technologically-incompetent parents, but works well at uni too.

    You basically set autocorrect on their phone or laptop to replace certain words with another phrase.

    If you manage to get hold of their iPhone, go to Settings > General > Keyboard and click 'Text Replacement'. There, you can make words they type autocorrect to something totally different.

    You can do the same on Google Docs or Microsoft too. In 'Tools' select 'Preferences' for Google Docs or head to File > Options > Proofing > AutoCorrect Options in Microsoft Word. You'll then be given the option to enter a word that you'd like to be replaced with something different.

    If they're studying Medicine, something like replacing 'health' with 'butt' would work well (e.g. 'smoking is bad for your butt') or if they're doing a teaching course, switch 'education' with 'toilet paper'.

    This one is particularly effective if you're on the same course, as you'll get to watch the confusion/frustration/embarrassment unfold like the cruel master prankster you are.

  6. Paint all their pens with nail varnish

    Clear nail varnish is a godsend when it comes to pranking – try lacquering up a bar of soap so it doesn't lather in the shower, for example.

    Our favourite prank in this department is the pen prank. Go through whichever bag they take to uni and paint the ends of their pen with a dot of clear nail varnish.

    They'll have a hard time trying to take notes in lectures the next day... until they work out they need to remove the nail varnish.

  7. Freeze their things or put them in jelly

    Taking inspiration from The Office here, get something small of theirs and either put it in a big blob of jelly or freeze it. It's easy to do, and super inconvenient for your friend.

    Try it with things like their keys or (the classic) stapler. You could even lock up their rucksack with a padlock and freeze the key.

    Evil but funny.

Pranks can be great fun and create some really funny stories – but don't take them too far! Shared living can be tough anyway, never mind when you throw brutal pranks in the mix. Make sure you know where the line is, and never use them for bullying.

Are your housemates in the habit of doing any of these annoying pet peeves?

Jessica Murray

WRITTEN BY Jessica Murray

As an Editor of Save the Student, Jessica Murray has written extensively on student money news and money-saving tips. She was co-host of our podcast, No More Beans, and is now a journalist at the Guardian. Her tips and insights range from fun guides for freshers, to information for graduates entering the workplace.
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