Holidays usually signal traditions — and for some, they also signal the perfect opportunity to pull a prank on an unsuspecting victim.
In that spirit, u/admiralnano shared the best prank their mom played on them during Thanksgiving and asked others to share their own best holiday pranks. So without further ado, here's u/admiralnano's story, followed by several other gut-busters:
1. "When I was 10, my mother's family came from Guatemala to 'experience' Thanksgiving. We had 12 people to feed. I was ecstatic to prepare the turkey. After it was in the oven, I was in my room when my mom burst in, shouting, 'Come to the kitchen! Something bad happened' I panicked and yelled, 'Did the turkey catch on fire? Oh god, it caught on fire!' In the kitchen, my mom dramatically whispered, 'I don't know what we're going to do. We don't have a backup.' I opened the oven, saw a seriously shrunk turkey, and screamed, 'What the hell? It was a 24-lb turkey when we shoved it in! What happened? We don't have any other food! Why did you let the turkey shrink?!' I'm bawling, freaked out that my 'perfect' Thanksgiving had been canceled. Suddenly, my mom sank to the floor in a fit of laughter. She then opened a cupboard, revealing the 24-lb turkey cooked to perfection. She stuck a cornish hen in the oven."
2. "New Year's Eve, 1999. My whole extended family had gathered for a party. If you recall correctly, at the time, people were wigging out about Y2K making everything on the power grid freak out. Our family hadn't bought into any of it (save an aunt who was slightly nervous). The time comes to watch the ball drop: Three, two, one! Happy—OH, SHIT! The TV snaps off, and the whole house goes black. My aunt starts to lose it. Silence, besides my aunt freaking out, until I hear laughter coming from the garage. While my family tries to light a candle and chatters about what to do, I find my father and uncle crouching behind the truck right next to the circuit breaker, laughing their asses off as quietly as they can."
3. "My parents gave me socks for Christmas when I was little. I was supremely upset, but I knew they'd discipline me hardcore if I complained, so I accepted it and pretended to be grateful. I started begrudgingly checking out my new socks when a $50 popped out of them. My parents started laughing their asses off while I looked at the bill dumbfounded."
4. "When I was a kid, we went to a farm for Thanksgiving, and they slaughtered our turkey. They cut the feet off, so I took them and put them inside my sweater. I could hold them as if they were my hands; I was small enough that the ratio was such that it could've looked like I really did have scaly, reptilian hands. My mom was laying on the couch taking a nap, so I went up to her quietly and touched her cheek with one of my new hands. When she started to stir, I started screaming, 'I'M CHANGING! I'M CHANGING! IT HURTS SO BAD!" She freaked the fuck out and started screaming. She tried to back up against the back of the couch and fell over the edge of it."
5. "When I was little, for my birthday, I told my parents that all I wanted was the new Kirby's Dream Land game for GameBoy. When it came time to give me presents, there was this huge one wrapped for me. After pulling the wrapping off, I discovered it was a Kirby vacuum cleaner box. I started freaking out as my tiny mind starts putting pieces together. Meanwhile, my parents were acting all concerned, saying things like, 'I thought you wanted a Kirby?' Of course, after a while of me dying inside, they began to laugh and told me to open the box. Inside, after enough digging and cardboard, I found the cartridge waiting at the bottom."
6. "One of my uncles loved to make the younger cousins chase after 'leaf crabs': Little crabs that made the leaves run across the pavement (AKA the wind). When the kids would pick up the leaves, the leaf crabs would be 'gone,' and he'd say they buried themselves because they were scared."
7. "Every St. Patrick's day, my mom dyed everything green; green milk, green pancakes, green. She said we had to do this because impish leprechauns would be out causing mayhem, and the only way to catch their speedy, little asses was by baiting them with their favorite color. We'd set traps, and while waiting, there would inevitably be a loud clatter somewhere else in the house. When we ran to see the noise, there would be a bunch of chocolate-wrapped gold coins on the floor. The places where the coins fell were too far for my mother to have tossed them over our heads while we were distracted. They also often fell in very stark, empty areas of the house where hidden stashes of coins or other complicated methods of coin dispersal were impossible to hide. The go-to spot seemed to be our upstairs hallway, which had all hardwood floors, sparse lighting, no furniture, and only one entry point — which my mother would have had to pass us to use."
8. "Every Christmas, my brother and I would visually inspect the gifts under the tree to see what belongs to who and guess what they could be. We weren't allowed to touch or rearrange them. One year, there was a big box all the way in the back that didn't have a name on it. We asked our mom who it was for, and she said, 'It's for your dad. It's a three-piece gift set for men, you know, with a wallet and flask and stuff.' We thought it was a pretty cool idea, and we let it go. Tune in to Christmas morning, we hand him the box excitedly, waiting to see his reaction to this gift. He goes to start opening it, then says, 'Hey, why don't you guys help me open it?' Sweet, more wrapping paper to shred. The paper comes off...and it's a PlayStation 2. We lost our minds for a good minute or so before we turned on our mom — with a video camera in hand — and started hysterically screaming, 'YOU LIED! YOU LIED TO US! YOU'RE A LIAR!'"
9. "Christmas time: My father and my stepmother were preparing a big meal for seven or eight people. My dad works 50+ hours a week. I attend school and work on the side. Both of us are pretty tired but happy to relax during the break. My stepmother stepped out and told my father that the ham will be done cooking in an hour, and she should be home around then, but to take it out if she's not home in time. I could see the wheels in my father's head spinning. He let the ham finish, took it out, and hid it out in the dining room, but left the oven on to pretend it was still cooking. He then pretended to be asleep on the couch as my stepmother got home. She went to take the ham out and, needless to say, started freaking out, yelling, 'Jeff! Where on Earth is the ham?! Did you take it out?!' After a couple of seconds of silent giggling, he 'wakes up' and walks her to the dining room to show her the ham — the dog had been chomping on for about 10 minutes."
10. "Every year since I can remember, on Thanksgiving, my mother wakes me up by dangling the uncooked turkey over my head."
11. "In 2001, I broke my leg and was pretty miserable hobbling. I'd wait in the principal's office after school, waiting for a parent to pick me up since I couldn't take the bus with a cast and crutches. I couldn't hang out with friends because I was immobile, and my friends wanted to horse around outside. Miserable ol' me begged my parents to get Tony Hawk 2 for the GameBoy Advance as my Hanukkah gift. They'd known I really wanted a PlayStation 2, but it was expensive, so I turned to the GBA game. Come Hanukkah, I get my gift on the first day, and it's Tony Hawk 3 for the PS2. I, of course, didn't have a PS2. My mom apologized profusely and said we'd go out the next day, and she'd let me get Tony Hawk and any other game from the store. I got into bed that night, and there was a big box under the covers. Inside that box was a PS2 that my parents got me for Hanukkah and to help me be less miserable while my leg healed."
12. "Two Thanksgivings ago, my dad got an alert on his iPhone that said, 'Congratulations: You have been selected to beta test the new iPhone 5. Check your AppleID email address for more information.' Probably a scam, but when he checked his email, lo' and behold, he had an email from Apple with details about when and how to pick up the phone from the local Apple Store. My little brother has always been the family tech guy. The alert and the email were both part of a prank he was trying to play. My brother is technically savvy enough that everything from the alert (sent from the FindMyPhone app) and the email (a doctored version of an old iTunes receipt email with some fancy concept art added in) looked believable. He even included a doctored Gizmodo post that 'verified' rumors of an iPhone 5 beta test — but failed to account for the fact that my dad had a lifetime of pranking experience under his belt. My dad played the role of the fool expertly."
13. "It's Christmas day some year in the 90s. We had a rule that I couldn't wake my mom before 7 a.m. to open presents. One year, my uncle put all the clocks forward three hours. I woke up super early, as usual, saw it was 7 a.m., and woke up my uncle first. He had been out clubbing the night before and had returned with literal whistles. I tried to wake my mom, but she refused to get up and said it was too early. Cue 20 minutes of me and my uncle running around blowing whistles and shouting wildly."
14. "On April Fool's Day one year, my mom doctored an entire meal to look like other kinds of foods. She mixed vanilla ice cream and some yellow food coloring to make 'mashed potatoes,' molded green beans out of taffy, and made some kind of incredibly convincing 'lasagna' out of cheesecake bits and red frosting in a casserole dish."
15. "It was the year the Nintendo 64 came out. I don't know if any of you remember this, but they were nearly impossible to get your hands on that year. About a week before Christmas, my mom braced me for the fact that the N64 likely wouldn't be coming. I was upset but told her I understood. On Christmas morning, I hoped a miracle had occurred, and an N64 awaited me under the tree. It did not. We continued our day as we traditionally did, when my mother came into the living room excited: 'I just checked the mail, there was a letter for you. It doesn't say who it's from.' I opened the letter. It was a clue. I followed it, and it led to another clue. An hour later, I finally arrived at the dryer. I opened it, and, hidden under a pile of clothes, was my N64. Turned out, my mother wasn't lying for this epic surprise. My granddad managed to get his hands on one for himself. When he heard my mom couldn't find one, he insisted that she give me his."
16. "One Christmas, when my siblings and I were young, my mom decided to troll me as no one has trolled before. I had wanted a puppy, being the little girl I was. Christmas Day came, and there was a giant box with holes poked in the sides and top. There were even scratch noises inside! I knew it was my puppy, but the box was overly large. I ripped it open and...my fat-ass uncle sat inside with a collar and a stuffed animal."
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