Most of us have fond memories from junior high or high school of making prank phone calls. Remember huddling around the person holding the receiver, covering your mouth to smother the giggles? My friends and I had our share of prank call evenings, until one of our parents picked up the other extension and we were busted. Talk radio hosts and comedy DJs have taken prank calling to a whole other level, but that doesn’t mean that amateurs can’t still get a few chuckles out of pranking some unsuspecting person on the other line. Of course, be sure to use your phone’s *67 feature to block your phone number from the person’s caller ID. These top 10 prank calls are guaranteed to give you a laugh or two.
1. Ask for someone with a funny name. Anyone familiar with “The Simpsons” knows all about this popular prank. This can be as simple as calling and asking for “Harry Butts” or it can be taken to a whole different level, like Bart does. Some of his funniest, but least obscene, pranks involve asking for these fictional people (if you don’t get any of these, just read them out loud and it will come to you):
- I.P. Freely
- Ivanna Tinkle
- Maya Buttreeks
- Al Koholic
- Seymour Butts
- Ivan Nuglibutt
- Eura Snotball
- Anita Bath
2. Call from “Pizza Hut.” Inform your caller that you are “Bob” or “Jane” from Pizza Hut, and their credit card was declined. Ask them to come down to the store to make other payment arrangements. When they protest that they don’t know what you’re talking about, get huffy and say, “Hey, ten deluxe combination pizzas were delivered to your house this evening, and you now owe us $150 plus tax.” Keep this going as long as you dare, or until your call-ee gets too angry.
3. Use a phony accent. Call your victim and begin talking in a phony accent. Think Swedish Chef from “The Muppets” or Fronk (Martin Short) from “Father of the Bride.” Tell your victim that you are their great-aunt Olga or great-uncle Igor calling from Turkey-slovakia, and that you’re planning a visit next weekend and you need someone to pick you up at the airport.
4. Call from the US Department of Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Identify yourself to the caller as someone from the Department of Sexually Transmitted Diseases, and then ask them if they are experiencing any unusual symptoms. When they protest or ask “why,” inform them that a former sexual partner has been diagnosed with the deadly Melman Virus, and all of his/her partners need to be tested.
5. Call from the Immigration Department at your local airport. For this one, you need to call a man. Tell your victim that you work in the immigration department at your nearest major airport. Inform him that his new wife has arrived from Bangkok, and ask when he is planning to come get her.
6. Call from the IRS. Identify yourself as a tax auditor for the IRS, and inform your victim that a discrepancy has been discovered in his/her tax return from two years prior. Their back taxes, plus the fine for being delinquent, comes to a total of … and insert an astronomical number.
7. Call from an irate father. Again, this call will only work on a man. Tell the man who answers the phone that you’re Mary Lou’s father, and now that she’s turned up pregnant, you want to know when exactly he’s planning on marrying the poor, seduced young lady.
8. Call from the phone company. Identify yourself as an engineer with your local phone company, and tell him/her that you need some help calibrating the line. When the person agrees to help, ask him/her to repeat some words for you. Start with innocuous words: house, lobster, apple. Then move on to the funny ones: doody, horny, lust, etc., and see how long they stay on the line.
9. Do an impersonation. If you’re good at a particular celebrity impersonation, call as that celebrity. Inform your victim that you are filming a movie (or music video, TV episode, talk show, etc.) in the person’s town, and you’re looking for locals to fill some walk-on parts. If they take the bait, ask the person to repeat some famous lines from movies. “Show me the money!” “I’ll have what she’s having.” “You complete me.” “You talkin’ to me?!” When he/she repeats the line, give some direction, like “more passion,” “angrier,” “more desperate.” Keep it going as long as they’re playing along.
10. Reverse prank a telemarketer. Everyone hates getting a phone call from a telemarketer. They usually manage to call in the middle of dinner or a favorite television show. Next time, be prepared to turn the tables. Ask for the telemarketer’s full name. Then ask how to spell it. Ask for their home phone number, and inform them that you will call them back. When they protest that you can’t call at their home, tell them they can’t call at yours either, and hang up.
Another idea is to use my husband’s favorite telemarketer tip. When our son Noah was three, he had a huge collection of plastic dinosaurs that he absolutely loved. When a telemarketer called, my husband would say, “Could you hold on just a minute?” Then he’d hand the phone to Noah and tell him that someone was calling and wanted to hear all about his dinosaurs. Noah would gleefully pick up the receiver and start, “I have a T-rex, and four long-necks, and a velociraptor…” He would keep going until the person got tired and hung up. It never took long.
Keep in mind when trying these top 10 prank calls, that pranking can easily slip over the line into harassment. If the person who answers the phone is extremely young or elderly, best to hang up and try another number. And never prank call 911 or other emergency services; it’s against the law.