21 Parents Whose Holiday Pranks Went Too Far

We all love spending tons of time with family during the holidays, but it’s easy to go a little crazy cooped up with the lot of them when holiday fever’s in full swing. To blow off some steam, nothing works better than pulling a Christmas prank or two.

These parents staged some of the funniest practical jokes ever. Some pranks were groan-inducing, while others could’ve only been dreamed up by true Grinches of the holiday season. Either way, these moms and dads show that sometimes the best Christmas elves are actually trolls…

1. These parents found a creative use for some clothes their kids grew out of: they built a child-eating snowman! It’s a pretty scary sight, which could come in handy for keeping away any unwanted guests on Christmas Day.

Daily Haha

2. This kid went online to tell everyone what happens when your grandparents don’t understand what you want for Christmas. However, we suspect they knew exactly what an iPad was, and just couldn’t resist the pun.


3. Judging by the size of her stocking, Rosie has been extra good this year. She’s bound to get ten times the amount of gifts of anyone else in her family! Alternatively, maybe she just has really big feet?


4. Who says you shouldn’t play with your food? This hilarious dad livened up a holiday meal by getting creative with some food scraps. He stuck a few strawberry tops on his face and asked his kids if he had an acne problem.

Twitter / Samantha Smith

5. On occasion, even good parents can be straight-up evil. This young girl gladly accepted a Fanta from her mom, but didn’t think that there might be something else inside. Regular apple juice would be cruel enough, but this mom used light apple juice. The horror!

Reddit / Fannie1157

6. Be careful what you wish for! If only this kid had enunciated a bit more clearly that he wanted an Xbox 360, he might’ve wound up with an actual video game console. At least he’s got the ingredients to cook a nice holiday brunch.

7. It’s normal to put aside your diet during the holidays, right? When this woman’s daughter requested a “surprise snack,” she made sure she stuck to the food pyramid by stuffing this cookie bag with nothing but broccoli. Surprise!

Reddit / Skunkdrunkpunk

8. This girl got invited to a holiday ball with her boyfriend, but her dad felt a little bit left out. He didn’t get to attend the dance, but at least he made a cameo appearance in their photos. Just look at that happy smile!

Reddit / MommyDearest30

9. Just about everyone has trouble falling asleep on Christmas Eve. To make it even harder for a guest, this family snuck a giant gingerbread monstrosity under the covers. Once they turned the lights on, you can bet it was a scare big enough to keep them awake all night.

Instagram / LucyBishop2012

10. This guy’s grandma really digs his sense of humor, so she bought him a toilet mug she knew he’d be all over. She figured the gag gift would work because “it looks like poop, and I know you think that’s funny.” Spot on, granny!

Imgur / mordibala

11. Once again, parents will stop at nothing to get kids to eat their vegetables. These devious adults hid Brussels sprouts inside delicious Ferrero Rocher wrappers. Even if you ethnically don’t agree with this trick, you have to admire the attention to detail!

Instagram / melborsato

12. If your child asks for something too expensive, you can always just settle for a pun instead. One mom chose to skip the pricy headphones her daughter wanted an instead gift her “Beets by Dre.”

Twitter / Rick Slusher

13. For a personal gift, nothing tops a nice photograph. However, this mom upstaged her teenage son’s photo with a frame featuring Disney princesses. When he asked her why she gave him the photograph like this, his mom told him it was the only frame available.


14. Lots of us are bad at wrapping presents, but this guy is bad to the bone. Before his sister can enjoy her special Christmas gift, she’ll have to cut through a criss-crossed layer of zip ties. Hopefully another relative gave her a pair of scissors!

Instagram / redbankplaza

15. This little girl asked for nothing but Frozen gifts for Christmas. As you would expect, she was none too pleased when she received a bag of frozen peas. She was able to “Let It Go” in the end, as she opened up plenty of other great presents.


16. When a 27-year-old returned home for the holidays, he never expected to see his childhood superhero sheets laid out for him. His mom definitely found it hilarious, however, plus superheroes are super-in these days.

17. If you were impressed by the last iPad pun, then you’ll love this dad joke: One mischievous father put his extraordinary arts and crafts skills to create this prank gift for his daughter. At least she thought it was funny enough to pose for a picture.

18. Never underestimate the devotion of a grandparent. When one guy joked with his grandma that he wanted 100 different items from the dollar store for Christmas, she delivered. The cost of wrapping paper had to be even higher than that of the gifts.

Reddit / AceWayne4

19. Baked goods are a must around the holidays. Most of the time, we exchange them to show other people that we care, but these parents gave their son a cake to get him to find his own place. There’s no room at the inn for you, Keith!


20. Some pranks are crueler than others. For the kids who came across this gift-wrapped toilet, we can only hope they didn’t find it during a bathroom emergency. To add insult to injury, the Elf on the Shelf is also there to watch them unwrap it in agony.

21. For every successful parent prank, however, there are plenty of parent fails around the holidays. As you can tell from this envelope, one well-meaning mother didn’t quite get how Secret Santa works. Better luck next year!

Reddit / proxima

Pranks like this one are why you want one of your buddies to be a trained mixed martial artist. Even though this is a mannequin, only someone trained to kick butt should even attempt to approach it.

2. Hopefully the look on the face of this vehicle’s owner was worth the price of all the sticky notes. They should just take the paper off the windows and drive around in a classy sticky note-mobile.

3. Air horns are terrifying when you don’t now they’re about to blow, which is why this prank is pure evil. After listening to your boss drone on all day at work, you can come home and have your eardrums blown out by your front door!

4. Pee-Wee Herman might be a welcome addition to his colorful playhouse, but not when you’re wearing your birthday suit ready to jump in the shower. Hop on that magic scooter and get outta here, Paul Reubens!

5. It looks like the hot dog SWAT team came dropping in to save the day. This apartment was apparently in dire need of some tasty Oscar Meyer meats, so the company left it up to their specially-trained operatives to handle the crisis.

6. While practicing some super sweet karate kicks, one wannabe Bruce Lee kicked their roommate’s door off the hinges. This remodeling job doesn’t look like a project Bob Vila would sign off on.

7. There’s nothing that absorbs body odor better than cream cheese deodorant! The heavy-duty coating prevents any scent from escaping. Plus, if you buy lox and a bagel, you can make yourself a meal on the go.

8. Man, there’s nothing quite like coming home after a long day at work and diving spoon-first into a pint of butter crunch ice cream. Someone’s not going to be happy when they eagerly pop that lid off only to discover their “ice cream” is all ice and no cream.

9. Everyone knows the best part of the Oreo is the creamy frosted center, especially the evil genius behind this prank. The next time someone snoops into his batch of cookies they’ll meet a mint-filled doom.

10. When you’re trying to buy presents on a super-tight budget, just invest all of the money into superhero wrapping paper and give the recipient all of their own belongings. It’s cheap, creative, and shows them you really care!

11. When that craving for a midnight snack hits, you have to satisfy it. One person wanted to put a stop to their roommate’s nighttime fridge raids by planting this horrific toy front and center. The Yoplait can wait until morning.

12. Covering a bedroom in fake grass is a prank that takes some serious time and resources, but the pranksters pulled it off beautifully. Now no one has to leave the house to play a game of croquet; they just need to inconvenience one person.

13. Someone better have the ambulance on speed dial because the first person to walk into this nightmare is gonna have a heart attack. No one gets in between Smeagol and his precious sink. No one!

14. After a nice relaxing weekend away from the apartment, one person came back to find a couple hours worth of work. His “friends” weren’t about to let him get away without the labor of removing red cups from the floor!

15. This is just awesome. Sure, it took a lot of time and planning, but the look on the face of whoever lives in this bedroom had to have been epic. Especially when they Hulked their way through the faux closet wall.

16. No one is ever getting clean with a bar of soap covered in clear nail polish. By the time everyone finds out, the apartment will stink so badly the landlord might have to evict them!

17. Don’t be alarmed, it’s just Shia LeBeouf peeking in to make sure all is well! While you have his attention, maybe you can give him pointers about the next Transformers movie to pass on to Michael Bay.

18. The lifelong debate of whether or not the toilet paper is supposed to drape over the front of the roll or hang out of the back was solved: just jam the roll into the spool sideways and say nothing.

19. Okay, Steven Spielberg, the Jaws franchise has gone on for long enough. A story about a great white shark who can travel through plumbing systems and attack people in the shower is too far-fetched.

20. This prank is a true classic. A little shaving cream in one hand and a gentle tickle to the face is all you need to pull this off. Don’t take a nap around this guy; he’s perfected the art of shaving cream naps.

21. Pranking your roommates is one thing, but it takes a true master to pull off hilarity in the workplace. Replacing your colleague’s family photos is a classic prank, but when you Photoshop handsome animal faces on their children’s school pictures, it’s bound to get a couple of laughs. “Hey Carol, I think your kids need haircuts!”

22. Covering floors or desks in cups creates a giant pain in the keister for whoever needs to pass through, but here’s the catch: it takes even more effort to set it up! Better not spill or the computer goes down!

23. Being a nurse can be chaotic one moment and really slow the next. So how do they pass the time? Naming every gummy bear color of course. This makes us want to take a break from Haribo for a little while…

24. Never leave your computer logged in while you’re away from your desk. Just don’t do it. You may return to a desktop that was exactly the way you left it, but chances are you’ll find a giant blue monster holding a cookie.

25. How long will it be until he notices? A police officer should have an eye for detail, but it looks like this cop is too busy filling out arrest reports to spot the new furry astronaut hanging from his wall.

26. This is the 4th-floor stapler. It is not to be removed. Except it was moved. First to the 6th floor, then out of the office, and before it could say “copy machine,” it found itself in Disneyland. It may be homesick, but this was probably the most excitement any stapler has ever seen.

27. Ahh, cubicles. An office setup created for isolation, especially to those who cannot look over them. This girl was too short to look at her colleagues when they chatted, so she created a cutout of her head that really captured her presence.

28. To create the illusion that these people don’t work in an artificially lit concrete box, this office installed forest wallpaper. One Star Wars fan must have found it too plain because he added this little Ewok to the scenery. Honestly, it’s an improvement.

29. While most bathrooms now have a hands-free soap dispensers, toilet flushers, faucets, hand dryers, and paper towel dispensers, we’ve never seen a voice-activated version of these items. How many people do you think screamed at the paper towels before they realize the sticker was a prank?

30. Shane, for the love of chicken, stop offering warranties on cooked food! While management must be quite frustrated with Shane, we can’t blame him for having a little fun while serving fried chicken all day.

31. This business ordered an artificial Christmas tree to get into the holiday spirit, but nobody bothered to open the box. Just when it seemed like all hope was lost, on Christmas Eve, a Yuletide miracle happened, and it was decorated after all… kind of.

32. Honestly, this seems like a solid evacuation plan, even if you’re not really sure where you’re supposed to run to. It’s certainly better than waiting around to see what you ought to be fleeing, right?

33. On his very last day of work at PetSmart, this guy made himself the employee of the month — forever. With such raving reviews, we’re sure the company will miss him heaps.

34. Is there anything worse than someone spoiling an episode of your favorite TV show that you haven’t gotten around to checking out yet? Sure, but that doesn’t mean you want it to happen! Case in point, this dude.

35.  First, there were tiny houses, then tiny cooking, and now we bring you: a tiny desk. This employee thought he could take a vacation and come back without consequences, but he might need to eat some Alice In Wonderland cake to fit into his chair again.

36. It’s important to be able to express your personality at work. This guy puts on a different costume every week, or maybe he’s just experimenting with cultures. What will it be? Dutch farm girl or Trekkie? With colleagues like this, every day is an adventure.

37. Who doesn’t love a Mitch Hedberg joke? The late, great comedian might have shuffled off his mortal coil, but his punchlines remain, entertaining hungry office workers the day over.

38. It’s really a 50/50 chance of whether your coworker will notice the giant bright red horn before sitting down, or whether they’ll have a heart attack when they’re trying to get back to work. The only way to find out is to pull a prank like this!

39. Have you ever been really sad when you’re favorite coworker is leaving the company? Make a pillow with their face on it so they’ll always be with you! It may creep them out to their core, but it’s totally worth it.

40. On a similar note, if your buddy moves cubicles or departments, make sure they know they are remembered in your heart. This little memorial speaks a thousand words, even if it is vaguely creepy.

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