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The prank is performed when the prankster wraps up the fake vomit in a handkerchief or tissue paper and mixes with a crowd. The prankster would draw attention to himself/herself by putting the handkerchief or tissue to his/her mouth, concealing the fake barf from view. The prankster would then pretend to sneeze or throw up in the handkerchief or tissue. When he/she is done, the prankster would reveal the fake vomit, disgusting the crowd watching the prank.
Fake vomit may also be made as a concoction of liquid non-staining substances made to look like more realistic human vomit. Children sometimes make fake vomit and leave it in the toilet or sink to convince their parents that they threw up so they can get a day off of school.
Originally marketed under the name "Whoops", fake vomit was designed in the 1950s by an employee of Marvin Glass and Associates, the design company that also created Chattery Teeth, for novelty manufacturer H. Fishlove & Co. Marvin Glass initially rejected the concept on the grounds of bad taste. He changed his mind only when, at the end of a presentation with Fishlove that went badly, the designer burst into the conference room and dropped his prototype on the table, to Fishlove's delight.
In popular culture
In the 1985 film The Goonies, the character Chunk describes in detail his character's history with fake vomit:
[T]he worst thing I ever done - I mixed a pot of fake puke at home and then I went to this movie theater, hid the puke in my jacket, climbed up to the balcony and then, t-t-then, I made a noise like this: hua-hua-hua-huaaaaaaa - and then I dumped it over the side, all over the people in the audience. And then, this was horrible, all the people started getting sick and throwing up all over each other. I never felt so bad in my entire life.
- Chinese finger trap
- Joy buzzer
- Snake nut can
- Chewing gum bug
- Whoopee cushion
- List of practical joke topics
- Newgarden, Mark; Picturebox Inc. (2004). Cheap Laffs: The Art of the Novelty Item. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. pp. 28–29. ISBN 0-8109-5599-7.
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