Back to Art School: Happy April Fool’s Day!

Welcome back to school!

No, that’s not a joke. Classes at our art school have resumed after Spring Break, but that doesn’t mean we stop having fun. So let’s start off the week with a good laugh at some Hall of Fame college pranks.

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a… Campus Security Car?

When most people think of M.I.T., they think of overachievers. In this case, they’re spot-on, because very few college pranks could ever top this hilarious, harmless, and highly inconvenient heist.

In 1994, M.I.T. students mounted a fake campus security car—along with a fake security officer—on top of the Great Dome. The hack was the talk of not only the campus, but also news stations around the country.

Mark Your Words, Because Some Might Take Them Literally

As a Bay Area art school, we can’t not mention the rivalry between UC Berkeley and Stanford. From Cal students hacking the sound system at the infamous Big Game to Stanford students distributing Daily Cal newspapers with fake game results, there seems to be a new prank every year.

Today, we’re going back in time to 1960, when Cal students painted bear paw prints on Stanford’s Hoover Tower. The original paw prints pointed upward, as if a bear climbed the tower. However, after demands for the tracks to be taken down, the pranksters painted new paw prints pointing down instead!

DIY Dorm Room Horror

Obviously, the above pranks all took a lot of effort. But who’s to say that easy tricks aren’t just as fun and much more doable?

For example, the fake spider trick works 99% of the time. Toss a leftover Halloween decoration or dollar toy imitation into a friend’s lap, or leave it behind their shampoo bottle, coffee mug, or toilet paper roll. Then sit back, relax, and wait for the resulting scream.

You can also try printing out the face and hand of the girl from The Grudge. Taping your print-outs to a window, curtain, door, or closet is sure to win you a reaction, especially if the person you’re pranking just watched a horror movie.

And for easy laughs, try taping a meme-worthy picture under the lid of a scanner. Be sure to stick your picture toward the edges of the usual 8”x11” scan zone, so your image will be partly visible whenever someone uses the scanner. You’d be surprised at how most people don’t actually look at the lid!

Don’t Forget to Play Nice

Above all, remember to be kind to each other this April Fool’s Day. Pranks can easily spiral out of control, so keep in mind that everyone has a different prank threshold.

Enjoy campus life during the last stretch of your semester, and once again, welcome back!


M.I.T. car prank images courtesy of IHTFP Hack Gallery.