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Old 24 October 2009, 05:03 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
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I think the CalTech undergrads have done some of the most creative, and difficult, pranks of all time.

Rewired the scoreboard at the 1984 Rose Bowl football game (UCLA vs. Illinois) to read CalTech 38 -- MIT 9.

Hacking the card display of Washington Huskies, again at a Rose bowl, to read CALTECH instead of Washington.
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Old 25 October 2009, 02:44 AM
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wontbeverylong wontbeverylong is offline
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Maybe it's just my bad grasp of slang, but how exactly does one hack a card display?
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Old 25 October 2009, 05:09 PM
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Black Belt and Socks Black Belt and Socks is offline
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The best one I ever heard of was during half time of an Army-Navy football game during the Carter administration. President Carter attended, and sat on the Navy side for the first half, switching at halftime. As the crowd watched, three black limosines were allowed access to the field and pulled up in front of the Army bleachers. All were brought to attention and saluted as a Secret Service agent opened the door on the middle limo and out popped the Navy goat.

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Old 25 October 2009, 05:21 PM
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Astra Astra is offline
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Originally Posted by wontbeverylong View Post
Maybe it's just my bad grasp of slang, but how exactly does one hack a card display?
Caltech and MIT both have long histories of crazy pranks and while I'm not sure about Caltech, MIT has referred to them as "hacks" for a long time. See MIT's Hack page for more information and a timeline of pranks.
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Old 28 October 2009, 05:48 AM
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lioness lioness is offline
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There's a legendary April Fool's prank that the student-run newspaper at my university alma matter did once, they put in an article about the new parking structure being finished when it wasn't. As a result of that article, there was a line of cars waiting at the entrance which wasn't opened yet. That structure opened the following fall semester without any problems. The student-run newspaper still does April Fools issues, but they've been more careful about the types of pranks they come up with.
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Old 30 October 2009, 06:39 PM
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Mother of Nanaballis Mother of Nanaballis is offline
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Whalephant Prank at Baylor U

My father attended Baylor University, a Baptist school in Texas. He told us that during his time there, one of the most ingenious pranks involved a dead elephant. Apparently the elephant died while the circus was in town. Some creative students stole the elephant's body and placed it on the roof of the science building (5 stories up). School officials couldn't figure out how to get it down, and the campus reeked for weeks.
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Old 12 November 2009, 10:14 PM
Broken Sword Broken Sword is offline
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The football game ones are some of my favorites, since they get a national tv audience for their prank.

This one was fantastically good too, and a good example of one of the great pranking schools getting pranked themselves. I'm surprised they even thought they'd ever be able to pull it off in the first place.
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Old 11 December 2009, 03:09 AM
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missy_pooh_1997 missy_pooh_1997 is offline
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the best one I've witnessed was when these 2 guys in my jr high super glued the principals sister to a chair. she was extremely mean and basically could treat the kids like crap b/c her sister was principal. she would leave to go get her a cup of coffe at the same time so they smeared tubes of glue and waited. she came back and plopped down. she didn't realize she was stuck until she went to get her next cup of coffee. she started screaming and flailing. they had to call an ambulance. the emts had to take her and the chair. the principal tried to expell the entire class and get who she thought did it arrested,but noone would tell and parents raised hell so nothing happened.
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Old 17 December 2009, 10:44 PM
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mouse goddess mouse goddess is offline
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My dad swears this one is true, but it sounds very UL-ish.

When he was at Navy, there was a coach (or prof possibly) who was love/hated. They collected a couple of bucks from the entire student body, and bought him a new car. At a pep rally, or possibly at a football game (it's been a while since dad told me this one) they drove his old car out to the middle of the field, and the students just started demolishing it in front of him with sledgehammers while he was held back, only after it was completely smashed, revealing the new car they'd bought him.

The stuff Black Belt mentioned is pretty standard. They have an "exchanging of prisoners" ceremony at the beginning of the game, where they exchange students from each school get to watch the game with their home team, usually something gets painted on them, before they get paraded across.

Lamest prank: While I was at A&M, (and we were good, which seems SO long ago) UT students put oranges in one of the fountains. Whole oranges, which float, and there were only about 20 of them. They were easily scooped out of the water, and the prank was over.
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Old 29 December 2009, 01:19 AM
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lyriccoloratura lyriccoloratura is offline
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My husband tells me that some late spring Friday afternoon, after thoughtfully sealing his friend's books up in plastic, he left a large bucket of yeast dough in said friend's locker. On Monday morning, it was like a scene out of The Blob.

The pig story gets around -- it allegedly happened here, but involved chickens instead.

Lyric-aaaarrrgghh! nooooooorrrrgghhhhmmphmmmfff-coloratura

ETA Technically, this was high school, but it counts, doesn't it?

Last edited by lyriccoloratura; 29 December 2009 at 01:25 AM.
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Old 26 July 2010, 07:28 PM
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Icon19 Professor's office coated in tinfoil

A Minnesota college professor said students pulling an annual prank while he was away on vacation made his office sparkle by coating everything in tinfoil.
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Old 26 July 2010, 08:00 PM
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Richard W Richard W is offline
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Originally Posted by TimC View Post
I have no idea if it's true, but one of our teachers told us about a prank that he and some other students pulled his senior year - they disassembled a VW bug and reassembled it somewhere inside the school overnight.
I've heard several variants of this story (some of which might have happened) but I found a good version earlier this year.

It appears in La Rabouilleuse / The Black Sheep by Honoré de Balzac, which was first published in 1842 (and set a few years earlier). Maxence Gilet and his friends disassemble the cart of Old Fario, hoist it up a (steep bank surrounding a) tower and put it back together at the top. Then, when Fario discovers it and demands that they get it back down, Max pushes it over the edge and it falls and shatters.
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Old 26 July 2010, 08:28 PM
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lynnejanet lynnejanet is offline
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My husband once pranked our friend and neighbor by wrapping his car in several layers of plastic wrap (it was an expensive prank). He was furious.
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Old 26 July 2010, 08:37 PM
lavender blue lavender blue is offline
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Originally Posted by snopes View Post
A Minnesota college professor said students pulling an annual prank while he was away on vacation made his office sparkle by coating everything in tinfoil.
A bunch of us did that to a fellow student after she passed her prelims for her PhD. She went on a (well deserved) vacation after the exam, and we wrapped up everything on her desk and bookshelves while she was gone. Some of her books stayed wrapped until she graduated, because if she didn't need them, she didn't bother to unwrap them. I forget how many rolls we used.
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Old 26 July 2010, 08:51 PM
lavender blue lavender blue is offline
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I think she was gone for a couple of weeks, and we had about 10 people pitch in for various amounts of time. She also was in a shared office and a fairly neat person, so we only did her stuff, not the whole office. I think it took pretty much the whole vacation, but we'd only do a few things a day, like a coffee break or something.

And really, unless you're being perfectionist about things, it doesn't take much time to slap some foil around things. We weren't too worried about freezer burn.
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Old 27 December 2010, 05:15 PM
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Icon19 In 1961, Caltech pulled off a prank for the memory banks at Rose Bowl

A lot of planning and flawless timing went into the infiltration and hijacking of Washington's card stunts by a group of Caltech students before the 1961 Rose Bowl. But on game day, Lyn Hardy and the 'Fiendish 14' executed perfectly in the clutch.
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Old 23 January 2011, 12:07 AM
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Wet Blanket Wet Blanket is offline
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One night, my husband and some fellow music majors moved several large potted plants and trees from the music department office into the front of their main choir room. In an act of sheer genius, one of them posted a sign that read "Do Not Move These Plants." Their poor choir director directed around the greenery for several days before the prank was discovered. I always thought this was not so much as prank as a sociological experiment.
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Old 23 January 2011, 12:53 PM
kismet kismet is offline
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Almost every Monday that I was in college, I would walk to class in the morning past the tumbleweeds of foam blowing off the school fountain and often past the maintenance crew using large push brooms to remove the foam before draining and scrubbing and refilling the fountain. I was actually surprised when there was no foa in the fountain on rare Monday mornings.

In my high school, we had a teacher who was not qualified to teach anything but study hall, and barely even that, but had tenure. It was an old school building, and one of my classmates loved to unscrew the doorknob sometime during class and hide it. This meant we were all stuck in the classroom, and the teacher would scramble around looking for it. The windows of the room were enormous, and reached down to about 4 feet off the ground. One day when the bell rang, all the students left through the windows and left the teacher stuck in his classroom. The thief went back and let the teacher out less than a minute later. The teacher was too embarassed by all of this to report the doorknob thief or the other students who were all complicit.

I look back on that time and am amazed that every last one of us was such an insufferable brat and so full of ourselves. Ah, teenagers.
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