April Fools Day provides the perfect opportunity to test the bounds of your roomie status. Having a roommate is part of the college experience, but that doesn’t mean sharing personal space comes easily. A good laugh on April Fool’s Day should cure any rough roomie relationship, as long as you don’t push it too far. Students share their opinions and stories of the best roommate pranks. Because this holiday makes a great excuse to pull a fast one on your roommate, here are the top 12 best practical jokes.
These 12 April Fools pranks have your roomie’s name written all over them, just like their leftovers you want to steal from the fridge.
1. Sticky Sweet Struggles
Let’s face it: The most diabolical pranks take place in the bathroom. Particularly when messing with someone’s shower. Is nothing sacred? This practical joke uses foods to clog the shower head and create a tainted stream of water. Some people suggest chicken bouillon cubes to create a broth like shower; however, you can take a sweeter approach. “I unscrewed the shower head, and placed a few [Jolly Ranchers] in. It took [my roommate] a couple days, and multiple showers, to figure it out,” said Penn State senior Kyle Watson. “The watermelon coloring didn’t discolor the water to the point where it was entirely noticeable. The added bonus of using Jolly Ranchers is that they will also make you super sticky.”
2. Disappearing Mattress
A mattress makes such a great target to garner the biggest reaction from your roommate. As finals approach those classes start to drag and you can only focus on crawling into bed. Imagine this student’s surprise when she got to her room to find her mattress missing freshman year. “I was studying when they took it so I have no clue how long it was gone. When I got home and saw it wasn’t there I laughed,” said Penn State sophomore Nicole Ambruch. “I knew it wasn’t too far away; it was a big mattress. I found it in my friend’s room across the hall… it wasn’t too hard to drag back because they helped me.”
3. Plastic wrap: useful in more ways than one
A household item found in almost every kitchen, plastic wrap always comes in handy for pranksters. Another bedroom prank involves plastic wrapping your roommate’s bed, pillows and all. In this case, you would need to wrap the entire mattress so that your roommate will have to cut their way in. This might take a couple pairs of hands to lift the mattress up and down so make sure you have a partner in crime. Try going to sleep on an oversized plastic-wrapped burrito.
4. Freezing hot?
The bathroom continues to hold strong for best pranking location. Hot showers melt away the stress of the day. Of course, this can change depending on the mood of your roommate. A bucket of ice-cold water makes a cheap prank that can quickly ruin your roommate’s night and shower. Made even easier by the public bathrooms provided in most dorms, you can sneak right in to dump some artic temperatures to their steamy shower. “[My roommate would] probably yell and then start laughing about it and crack up about it for weeks,” said Lander University sophomore Brookelyn Garner. “But I’d definitely be more cautious about showering when she wasn’t in the room or I’d start closing the door all the way [if I pulled this prank on her].”
5. Watch your head… and face
You can always use more plastic wrap. In this scenario, you pick a doorframe that your roommate is sure to walk through, preferably in the morning when he or she hasn’t quite woken up yet. Then you go to just above shoulder level on the frame and run a couple layers of plastic wrap so that when your roomie walks out in the dark, he or she hits it face first. Make sure you have the camera rolling for this one. Remember, what goes around comes around and you might face some serious retaliation.
6. Hidden treasures
Even the less extreme pranks can provide a good laugh depending on how much you’ve already had to drink. Classic practical jokes can be as simple as hiding something from your roommate. Especially something that they use almost constantly… say a Juul? “The only time I’ve really pranked [my roommate] Lorissa is when I took her Juul and replaced it with a black USB that I had,” said Wofford College sophomore Kelly Bossert. “I asked if I could hit it and when I gave it back and she tried to hit it nothing happened and she got all confused.”
You can even hide something for your roommate to find. This generally consists of fake spiders, bugs and other creepy crawlies. “Freshman year I thought it was funny to put fake worms on [my roommate’s] bed to freak her out and she actually believed they were real worms,” said Penn State sophomore Taylor Rodrigues. “I put most of them on her pillow.”
7. Gifted Wrapped
If you have the patience to wrap every item your roommate owns, your time and effort will earn you a great reaction. You just need a lot of wrapping paper. Pick a strong pattern and stick with it so the whole room is uniform like a package for a greater effect. The dorm setting makes this even more dramatic because you can do half the room. Make sure you plan enough time for your roommate to be out of the space because this can take a while.
8. Naked and Afraid
Many college students have streaking on their bucket list or have participated as a dare. This prank gives streaking virgins a little push to do it too. Ambruch learned this the hard way when her freshman roommate and friends stole her towel from outside the shower stall. “I knew exactly who did it and my first thought was ‘oh my god… my room is so far away!’ I started yelling at them and of course they were just laughing,” she said. “I was quite innovative and I took the shower curtain and went back to my room. They were so mad that I finessed them when they thought they got me.”
Running low on funds and energy? Stick to the basic but hilarious prank of cutting out of a funny television show character or a picture of someone you know and then attaching it to the outside of the window looking in. That way when your roommate opens the curtains or lifts the blinds, they get the shock of someone spying on them. This can work with taping a picture of a face to the outside of someone’s peephole. Then start knocking frantically. You might need to stand by to catch them if they faint because a jump like that can cause your heart to flutter.
If you have a particularly sensitive roommate, don’t go for getting shock or anger out of your April fools pranks. Try simple inconvenience instead. In this extremely delicate prank, the ambitious prankster gets hundreds of plastic cups, fills them with water, and places them about one inch apart all over the room including the floor, desk and windowsill. ”I would do it to the two roommates who live on the other side of the apartment, placing cups in front of and around their bedrooms,” said University of South Carolina sophomore Brandon Ratterree. “I would definitely expect retaliation just based off knowing my roommates, maybe not with the same prank but it would either be worse or something equally as bad.”
11. No Escape
This one only works for people in apartments or dorms directly across the hall from another group of roommates. Take a short string or rope and tie it around each doorknob while outside in the hallway. Make sure that the length doesn’t allow for either door to open on its own or in tandem with the one across the way. Then let the fun begin by knocking on both doors to see which household tries to escape first. This prank makes for a cheap and easy way to meet the neighbors this April Fools Day.
12. Preying on the Drunk
Everyone is at their most gullible when under the influence of alcohol so it comes as no surprise that a few drunken tales of leading roommates astray have surfaced. “Someone on my doom floor came back one night from the frats super drunk. We knew we had a great opportunity [to prank him]; he was pretty tired but instead of going to his room, we lead him to the bathroom. We told him to lay down in [the public bathtub] and go to sleep,” said Anthony Termini about going to Penn State freshman year. “He was a little doubtful, but ultimately did it. Although, he told us he was uncomfortable. We went to his room, grabbed his blanket and pillow, and brought it back to the bathtub so he was all snuggled up asleep in the bathtub. We got pictures.”