Practical joke device

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A practical joke device is a manufactured prop or toy intended to confuse, frighten, or amuse individuals as a prank. Often, these objects are harmless facsimiles of disgusting or terrifying objects, such as vomit or spilled nail polish. In other instances, they are created as seemingly harmless items designed to humorously malfunction in such a way as to confuse or harm the target of a prank. The devices are frequently sold in magic or specialty shops, purchased over the Internet, or crafted for oneself. Perhaps the most notable such device is the Whoopee cushion.

Fake vomit

Though commonly employed at events and gatherings, practical joke devices are sometimes seen in everyday life, either as a mechanism of play by children, or among adult co-workers in a work environment. In addition to commercially manufactured practical joke devices, everyday objects have been converted into joke devices by purveyors of pranks.

History[edit]

Historical accounts of practical joke devices date as far back as Xenophanes (570 - 480 BC), who wrote of such gags.[citation needed]

Types of practical joke devices[edit]

Excrement[edit]

Fake excrement

Body parts[edit]

Artificial body parts can be, for example, attached on or under autos (to pretend as if someone's lost a limb after they're run over).

  • artificial arm
  • artificial foot
  • jammed finger
  • oversized feet
  • protruding eyes (accessory or on glasses)
  • Truck nuts

Horror devices[edit]

  • Arrow in head
  • Arrow and fake blood[2]
  • Nail through finger or head
  • Knife in head

Animals[edit]

Fake rat
  • Predators
    • A fake shark fin to appear to onlookers as a live shark pursuing a swimmer at a public beach
  • Vermin
    • Mice, rats
    • Snakes
    • Spiders
    • Bugs (ants, roaches)
    • Worms, etc.
  • Partial (or injured) stuffed toy animals
    • A stuffed-animal tiger's tail as a promotional gimmick for "a tiger in your tank" (Esso oil company slogan)
    • Partial animals such as a half cat, designed to appear so that the rest of the animal is trapped in a closed/latched door or storage compartment
    • Roadkill animals or fake remains of injured animals. One such "Dead Dog Prop", billed as a "foam filled latex prop of a skinned dog with large tire track squished through its mid torso, chain attached for dragging purposes," was pulled from Sears, Walmart and Amazon websites a few days before Halloween 2013.[3][4]
  • Costumes for animals, in order to dress them up for seasonal events such as Halloween or Christmas.

Clothing[edit]

Smoking articles[edit]

  • Lit cigarette lookalike device
  • Bang-producing matches
  • Exploding cigars
  • Exploding cigarette inserts
  • Cigarette burn sticker
  • Squirting cigarette
  • Lighters (with electric shock, squirting, or bang-producing)
  • Everlasting ash (the ash does not fall off)
Nail polish

Liquids[edit]

  • Fake blood
  • Magic ink (disappears after a short time)
  • Stink bomb
  • Broken egg with shell
  • Fake spilled liquid with container, such as nail polish, chocolate syrup, red wine, etc.
  • Squirting flower or camera

Embarrassing[edit]

  • Whoopee cushion
  • Fart Machine (a remote controlled 3" battery powered speaker that sets off sounds of various farts)
  • Fart spray
  • Fart Salt & Pepper
  • Sneezing Powder
  • Itching Powder
  • Exhaust pipe whistle tips (for the muffler of an auto)
  • Fart powder
Fake leg
Breast-shaped shower gel/shampoo dispenser

Everyday objects[edit]

Toiletries[edit]

  • Novelty soap
    • Soot soap - turns hands black
    • Blood soap
    • Butt/Face soap (large bar soap one side white with the word "FACE" and the other side brown with the word "BUTT")
  • Toilet paper

Documents and currency[edit]

  • Fake lotto tickets
  • Fake traffic tickets
  • Fake or novelty currency
    • Coin glued to a sidewalk or bogus currency glued inside a toilet bowl where hapless finders will attempt to retrieve it
    • Banknotes printed on one side only or one half of the page, so as to look valid when folded. Once unfolded, the remainder of the document is blank or carries a message or promotional advertisement
    • Fake denominations of currency such as the three dollar bill or the pink pound.[5] Another variant is the use of unrealistically-large fictional denominations such as one million or a billion dollars.[6]
    • Currency depicting recent incumbent politicians instead of historical leaders, usually casting them in an unfavourable light. A Pierre Eliott Trudeau "fuddle dollar" may identify itself as inflated and worthless currency, or a non-standard denomination with Nixon or Bush presidential likenesses may infer itself to be unreliable, untrustworthy, or worthless as a means of parodying these figures.
    • Currency issued by fictional, defunct, or non-sovereign entities, such as a reprint of the now-worthless Confederate dollar or a parody "Quebuck" purporting to be issued by Québec separatists.
    • Currency issued on non-standard media (such as rubber "to stretch a dollar" or bog roll as an implicit acknowledgement the money being parodied is worthless) or marked on its face as "funny money" issued by counterfeiters.
  • Camouflage passports from fictional nations or planets.
  • A bogus charge card entitled "Major Credit Card" and purporting to be "for major purchases only".
  • A bogus charge card whose name and branding is a clear parody of an existing, well-known card and slogan. A Yakov Smirnoff book cover depicting a Russian version of American Express with slogan "Don't leave home" is one example.

Others[edit]

  • Bullet hole or glasscrack
  • DVD rewinder
  • Covert TV Clicker (a miniature remote that controls TVs). These differ from standard universal remote controls in that they blindly, without interruption, send the turn-off code for every maker of telly in sequence. No attempt is made to determine which is the valid code or provide any useful control other than turning the TV off.
  • Hot candy
  • Cheap inflatable dolls. Inflatable sheep or goats are manufactured solely as a practical joke item.
  • Pie (to be sat on or thrown at the face of a victim)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ A yellow dye puck for toilet tanks is sold by peepuck.com and various resellers.
  2. ^ An arrow with fake blood appears in Phil Collins - Don't Lose My Number (Official Video) at the 0:04:24 mark.
  3. ^ "Dead dog prop pulled from Walmart, Sears websites". KSDK NBC 5. 2013-09-17. Retrieved 2013-10-27. 
  4. ^ "Americans will spend nearly $7 billion on Halloween". MSN Money. Retrieved 2013-10-27. 
  5. ^ "Bush Phony As A $200 Bill". The Smoking Gun. September 12, 2003.  reports a bogus-denomination $US200 depicting George W. Bush having been accepted at a Food Lion store; other reports list a Dairy Queen in Danville, Kentucky as a victim of this hoax.[1]
  6. ^ "Attention Messrs Gates, Buffett: $1B Bank Notes Discovered". Forbes. 2006-03-15. Retrieved 2013-10-27. 

External links[edit]