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10 Pranks Kids Seem to Always Pull in Movies
February 12, 2012 | in Babysitting Jobs
Kids and teenagers in film are notorious pranksters; whether the target is an adult or another student, there are no shortage of practical jokes in cinematic history. From the well-intended joke to the humiliating stunts of movie bullies, here are ten of the classic film pranks kids pull.
- Short Sheeting a Bed – A staple of boarding school and summer camp movies, the act of short sheeting a bed makes the surface look perfectly normal, until the target attempts to get in and finds that they can’t extend their legs.
- The Falling Bucket – The contents of the bucket can vary, but it’s almost always placed over a door so that an unsuspecting victim attempts to enter the room and finds themselves coated in the substance of a prankster’s choosing. Popular choices include water, flour and even blood in the horror classic Carrie.
- Flaming Bag on the Porch – Films that rely on gross-out humor often include this perennial favorite; a bag of excrement is placed on a porch and set aflame, then the doorbell rings. The victim’s first instinct is to stomp on the fire, leaving them with a foul surprise on their feet.
- Ding-Dong Ditch – Ringing a doorbell and then running away to hide is known as “Ding-Dong Ditch,” and is a staple in the bag of kid tricks. For maximum effect, the process is repeated several times to the growing frustration of the target.
- Shaving Cream and Feathers – Sleepovers, summer camp and boarding school films often feature this standby; a sleeping victim’s hand is filled with shaving cream, then pranksters use a feather to tickle the sleeper’s nose, leaving them with a face full of shaving cream when they bat the feather away mid-slumber.
- Hand in a Bowl of Water – Another prank perpetrated against an unsuspecting, sleeping victim is placing their hand in a bowl of warm water. Film lore states that the victim will wet the bed as a result.
- Toilet Papering Houses – Petty vandalism is another staple of kid and teen cinema, with the toilet-papered house being one of the more popular variations. Within a short scene, young characters are able to wreak paper-covered havoc on a lawn and home.
- The Wedgie – Film bullies for decades have been fans of the Wedgie; this humiliating and painful tactic is usually a plot device that indicates the mean spirit of a character in order to inspire viewer sympathy for the tormented kid, who will inevitably rise up and get revenge on their tormentor.
- The “Kick Me” Note – A slapstick variation on the embarrassing bully prank, youth-cinema protagonists can often be seen walking unsuspectingly down school hallways with a “Kick Me” sign taped to their back. Laughter follows him or her until they discover the sign; on occasion, this discovery will prompt their vow of revenge.
- Shoe-Lacing – Falling asleep in a movie classroom opens one up for this slapstick prank; a clueless victims shoelaces are tied together; when they wake up and attempt to walk away, the restraining laces cause them to lose their balance and tumble to the ground.
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