Everyone has a phone on them, which means lucky for you, everyone is susceptible to a classic text message prank.
The art of pranking has seen a lot of growth with the rise of technology — but the days of prank phone calls or farting noise apps are already long gone. Sorry to break it to you, but the same old jokes aren't going to cut it anymore.
These days, texting pranks requires a subtle cunningness to throw your target off guard. You don't have to resort to digitally cloning yourself to expertly prank someone. Thanks to smartphones, you have all you need in your pocket. With a few seconds and some pre-planning, you can become the master of text message pranks that you've always dreamed of being. Here are some of our favorites to pull out in times of need.
1. Take advantage of the shortcut feature
The most underutilized function of the shortcut feature is for texting pranks. Sure, you can adjust your settings to turn a quick "omw" into "on my way!" or you can sneak into a friend's phone and change "lol" to the lyrics of Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" or whatever you see fit.
Just go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Text Replacement, and go wild.
2. GIFs are a prankster's best friend
If you don't know what to say, sometimes the best thing to do is respond with a GIF. The same thought process can be applied to pranks — but unfortunately this one only works for iPhone users.
The texting bubble is an anxiety-riddling sight, but try texting your friend a GIF of one. They'll be staring at the phone wondering what in the world is taking you so long to respond, and it'll take them way too long to realize that you've actually just sent a GIF.
Here's where you can download the texting bubble.
3. Horrify your grammar-enthusiast friend
In a similar vein of replacing shortcut words, iPhones make it easy to change up some words that will drive the grammar enthusiast in your life crazy. Add a shortcut that switches words like "you're" to "your" or "too" to "two."
4. Transform yourself into a bot
This texting prank requires the utmost dedication and isn't something that can necessarily be pre-planned, but it's worth it. Craft a message that can easily be mistaken for a bot and when a friend texts, copy and paste your drafted statement as a response over and over again until the jig is up.
5. Get lyrical
This texting prank has been floating around on social media for awhile, but keeps coming back because the results are sometimes that good. Pick a song, any song — preferably one with questions or short sentences — and find a poor soul in your contact list to slowly text lyrics to, one by one.
It's a slow burner but it's worth it.
6. Sign them up for a text list
Everyone from Kathy Griffin to activists have texting lists that you can sign up for. Do your friend a favor and prank them by alerting them to the latest comedy shows or protests going on in their area. They'll be so confused, and while you might not be there to see the look of confusion, knowing the feeling will be there is what's important.
7. Change contact names
This prank is not for the faint of heart. If you're brave enough, a funny thing to do is switch names of contacts in a friend's phone. Try changing your name to "Mom" and see the hilarious messages roll in.
Don't do it too long or you'll ruin a good thing, but fair warning: If you've got friends who gossip a lot via text though, this might not be the one for you.
8. Any one of Nathan Fielder's text pranks
For years, the Nathan For You star has been tweeting texting pranks. He asks his fans to tweet out the reactions to said prank, and the results are 10/10 hilarious. Here are a couple to try out first:
9. The power of Airdrop
Sorry, Android users, this one is also strictly for the iPhone folks.
Airdrops are underutilized tools that have plenty of prank capacity. Try sending a random funny photo to a friend out of context and watch their face light up across the room — just please, if you try this with strangers, do *not* Airdrop them inappropriate photos, thank you very much.
However, with the right image, it can be the perfect prank. Case in point:
10. The old wallpaper switcharoo
There are two ways to go with this prank: after moving the first page of apps to a second page, you can download an image of a fake cracked screen and make that your friend's wallpaper. Or, as suggested by Buzzfeed, you can replace their wallpaper with a screenshot of their normal home screen. With all their real apps on the second page, your friend will be tapping away to no avail.
11. Never responding to your text messages
The loneliest prank of them all.