6 Office Pranks That Went Horribly Awry

#3. Flaming Mechanics


If you're like the rest of us, you recognize the innate hilarity of fire. It burns stuff, destroys stuff, and hurts like hell. It's like nature's Silly String. Any workplace prank involving fire has to be at least a third again as funny as one that only involves blunt objects and diseases of a venereal nature. Toss in some Australians, and you've got yourself a funny prank stew, baby.

In this case, a new kid at the olde mechanic shoppe was suffering some good-natured ribbing from three of his co-workers -- probably they called him things like "noob" and "greenhorn" and "boner pilot." And then they sprayed him with brake fluid and set him on fire. Chortle!

The apprentice lived through his impromptu barbecue, and afterward the other three were prosecuted for not fully grasping what a prank is. Also for man arson, but the lack of prank understanding was kind of wrapped up in it. The judge in the case also made a statement that includes the line, "It's of concern you were told and formally warned that what you were doing was dangerous." This implies two things -- one, that someone knew that a torching was imminent and, at this place of business, simply warning your employees not to immolate each other is not enough to stop it from happening, and two, that these employees need a stronger influence than that of management to prevent them from lighting another man on fire. This wasn't an accident -- they planned it, were caught about to do it, were told not to do it, then did it anyway. And at no point did they fully appreciate or understand that lighting a dude on fire might not be the best idea. And that's why everyone is afraid of Australia -- because even comedy will kill you there.

#2. The Wedding Pranksters


Picture it: You work in construction, so you're a bit of a tough, rough-around-the-edges kind of guy. Your co-worker is going to get married soon, and before he does, you want to pull off a good prank on him as a way to say congratulations, and we, being manly men, can't understand feelings or intimacy, so we want to emotionally and physically scar you to show that we care. What do you do?

If you answered, "Engage in a chain of increasingly Saw-like forms of torture," then you heard this story once already! The day before his wedding, Gianni Catanzaro was grabbed by two co-workers and immediately plowed right in his nuts. So far, so hilarious. They then used duct tape to tape him to some fencing by his wrists and ankles. Then all of his clothes were cut off down to his underwear. At this point, the prank was still known as an Abu Ghraib Surprise Party. Then they started pelting him with eggs. And then they sprayed the floor with gasoline and set it on fire. While Catanzaro struggled to get away from the fire, duct taped to a fence as he was, he managed to get loose enough to actually fall into the fire. And he ended up spending so much time in the hospital recovering from his burns that he had to cancel his wedding and his honeymoon. And he lost his job. We can only assume that the pranksters planned to also bury his elderly parents alive and maybe pimp out his wife to dockworkers before forcing her to chain smoke her way to cancer as a final act, but the duct tape giving way ruined it for them.

In case you were wondering, yes, this also happened in Australia.

#1. That Escalated Quickly


Because Australia is obviously a hub of good choices, let's stay back there for another prank. This one starts in Leave It to Beaver fashion with a blue-collar prankster gluing together a few screws so that, when his co-workers reached for them, they'd be hard to pick up. That is a 100 percent perfectly mundane office prank. We do the same thing in the Cracked office, only instead of screws, it's Adam Brown we glue down. Every time Kristi Harrison tries to make him dance, it's a slapstick rumpus we all have a good giggle over. I just mentioned two other columnists! It's like when The Golden Girls crossed over with Empty Nest. God, those were good shows.

This prank took a predictably Australian turn, however, when the victim of the prank tried to pick up the screws. Unable to do so, he approached the prankster. The prankster, perhaps basking in the glow of his own hilariousness, fired point blank at the other man with a nail gun. You guys remember that prank? The old "glue a screw, nail gun someone" prank? The nail went right into the other man's arm and fractured his humerus. Get it? His humerus! Because the prank was humorous! But really it probably hurt like hell. Don't shoot a guy with a nail gun.

The prankster's defense was that he didn't know that the nail gun's air supply was still connected, but as any fan of '80s soft rock knows, Air Supply is always there when you need it. It's inside every one of us. Even when we're all out of love.

Hey. You're welcome.

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Felix Clay

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