Pranks are positive

Sophia Woods, Feature Editor

From office pranks to April Fools’ Day, practical jokes are an innocent way to have fun. Pranks allow friends and family to replace verbal jokes with real life amusing scenarios. 

Good-humored antics have been a form of entertainment and amusement from nearly the beginning of time and  have had an undeniable mark throughout history.

According to, pranks date back all the way to 222 AD. Roman Emperor Elagabalus would place deflatable leather pillows as seats, giving the illusion of comfort, when really guests quickly found themselves  sitting on the hard floor.  The article even provides the origin of a “Kick me” sign, which dates back to the 18 century. 

Even without the advantage of modern technology, people from centuries ago created their own ways to goof around with each other. 

Small-scale practical jokes were quite popular in England in the 1700s,” Julie Winterbottom from Mentalfloss said. “Tricks from that era included tying a string to a purse, placing it in the street and then yanking it away when someone tried to pick it up and sending someone on a ‘sleeveless errand’ to buy a non-existent product.”

Not only does pranking have a long history to back it up, it also plays a role in key relationships. Inside jokes are something valued in relationships and being able to establish that bond is key.

“Being able to joke and poke fun with others helps to build social relationships, and laughter itself is stress relieving and can be good for your health,” according to 

Though some people have been known to take these shenanigans a little too far, when done in a healthy way, pranks can actually provide psychological benefits. 

“Pranking can be good when the outcome is laughter for everyone, including the pranked person,” psychiatrist Mark Cross said when interviewed for,  “It can be a great release of stress. When you laugh, you breathe deeper, which helps anxiety.”

This phenomenon is also proven in the popularity of pranking in the media. From funny Youtube videos surfacing online to Kris Jenner faking a run for presidency, pranks really are everywhere. 

Not only is this shown in views and likes across all social media platforms, money made from videotaping them proves the outstanding public approval.

Take truTVs’ hit show, “Impractical Jokers’” for example, a show that got its wealth from the thrill and excitement of pranking strangers with four hosts; Joseph Gatto, James Murray, Brian Quinn and Salvatore Vulcano, whose combined net worths are $20 million, according to has been running since 2011.

Pranking is so much more than whoopie cushions and rubber snakes. It is a gateway to trust and entertainment backed up by years of history. So, the next time a pesky sibling or funny relative pulls a “Got you!” moment, thank them.