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    "And That's Why You Don't Prank Your Parents": People Share The Best Pranks Their Family Pulled During The Holidays

    "My mom had gifted it to me. I threw it across the room and screamed — as my mother howled with laughter."

    Holidays usually signal traditions — and for some, they also signal the perfect opportunity to pull a prank on an unsuspecting victim.

    ABC Productions / ABC Entertainment / Vin Di Bona Productions / Via

    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."

    person pulling a cooked turkey from the over
    Gmvozd / Getty Images

    "She continued laughing for another 20 minutes while I just sat on the floor, questioning my family's sanity and my own. I thought we were going to have to order pizza at that point and was freaking out since the family had flown up just for this. To this day, I still don't know how she didn't break character and crack up. I got both drumsticks that year." —u/admiralnano

    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."

    John Koskinen speaking for the president's council on y2k conversion
    Michael Smith / Getty Images

    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."

    feet in christmas socks
    Julia Martyniuk / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    "I'm 23 now, and they're still fantastic." —u/Dickfore

    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."

    two wild tom turkeys
    Davidsdodd / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    "It took several members of my family to calm her down. Still, nobody took my new hands away." —u/Crotalus

    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."

    a little boy digs through a birthday box as he unwraps it
    Sally Anscombe / Getty Images

    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."

    kids running through fallen leaves
    Solstock / Getty Images

    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."

    gold St. Patrick's day coins
    Syntheticmessiah / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    "We'd set traps with a dish of food set under a shoebox, propped on a string, and our gullible butts parked around the corner waiting for the telltale 'flash of sparkly green' (because leprechauns are apparently too fast to see with the naked eye and also very small). My parents would sit and watch our shenanigans, no doubt holding back their hysterical laughter.

    We lived in a very large, old, and noisy house, so we could easily hear this happening from a floor up or down. Every member of our household was present and accounted for at the leprechaun baitings, so as we grew older, we grew more suspicious and began investigating our mother all year long. 

    These witch-hunts caused some unfortunate and untimely all of our baby teeth stashed in mom's nightstand (no more tooth fairy, womp, womp). We also solved the riddle of the missing Victoria's Secret catalogs...thanks for the mental image, dad. But we never figured out how the hell my mom managed to be two places at once, every St. Patrick's day. We're all in our 20s and 30s now, and she still refuses to tell us how she did it." —u/PagingDoctorLove

    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!'"

    happy boys looking at presents under a christmas tree
    Fg Trade / Getty Images

    "She thought it was hilarious, and it was. We were beyond ecstatic. My favorite part is watching that tape years later and hearing our childish, squeaky voices." —u/KinotoUpInDisBeeotch

    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."

    MGM/UA Entertainment Co. / Via

    "That ham was completely chewed up and eaten by our American Fox Hound. We went and had Chinese food for Christmas dinner instead. It didn't exactly turn out in full giggles as it should have, but I still thought it was humorous." —u/ThatOneJewYouNo

    10. "Every year since I can remember, on Thanksgiving, my mother wakes me up by dangling the uncooked turkey over my head."

    raw turkey on a pan
    Boris Sv / Getty Images

    "I am not joking." —u/faustsgamble

    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."

    man lighting the first candle for hanukkah
    Wundervisuals / Getty Images

    "I'll never forgive my parents for waiting until 10 p.m. to give me a new game console though. The next day of school felt like the longest of my life." —u/frank_n_bean

    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."

    a person walks by a large ad for the iphone 5
    Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images

    "He obnoxiously bragged about how he was going to get the iPhone 5 before anybody else all throughout Thanksgiving dinner; how he was going to be a beta tester while my brother, a loyal Apple enthusiast, wasn't going to get shit; it how it couldn't be a scam because Gizmodo verified it.

    That night, he 'called' Apple support to verify that he could pick up the phone in person the next day. And by called, I mean dialed and then clicked 'Cancel' before holding the phone up to his ear. His acting throughout the entire 'conversation' was worthy of a Tony. He yelled for my brother, 'Quick! Come here! You won't believe what's happening. It turns out the iPhone thing is a scam. I'm on hold with Apple right now. They're transferring me to their legal department. They said that they want to investigate and bring suit against the scammer.'

    My brother is getting noticeably flustered, going, 'DAD, DON'T GIVE THEM ANYTHING!' Meanwhile, my dad continues his performance, 'Yes, sir. No, sir. Yes, sir, I can send you all the information I have. No, sir, it's a family computer. Yes, other people might have access to it. Sure. Sure. Yes, my sons are in town. Uh-huh.' My 21-year-old brother is turning red. He's on the verge of tears: 'DAD, STOP. STOP, DAD, STOP. HANG UP THE PHONE!'

    My dad finishes, 'Thank you very much. Please let me know if there's anything else I can do to help you catch this guy,' then turns to my brother and goes, 'I just sent Apple the email. It's in their hands now.' My brother freaks out until my dad is able to calm him down enough to tell him it was a joke. And that's why you don't prank your parents." —u/PresidentWhitmore

    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."

    living room decorated for christmas with a clock over the mantle
    Availablelight / Getty Images

    "It was glorious." —u/WildVariety

    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."

    a plate of lasagna
    Boblin / Getty Images

    "We were thrilled, but then she brought out an actual meal." —u/[deleted]

    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."

    the box of an Nintendo 64 with a controller
    Yvonne Hemsey / Getty Images

    "I screamed like a little girl. BEST. CHRISTMAS. EVER. People were paying three to four times the store price to make sure their kid got an N64 that year. So when my mom told me I probably wouldn't be getting one, I was naturally sad. However, my parents informed me that they'd buy me one once one came available. Not bad, huh? Just gotta wait a little while longer. 

    When my mom gave me that letter, it said it was from Santa. I knew the truth by then, but she still liked giving credit to the big man. Plus, she didn't want to spoil it for my little sister. The clues had me going from the freezer to the back yard, then to the garage, and back inside again.

    My parents were awesome at Christmas time. They always made an effort to make each year as special as possible. This one Christmas, however, has to be my favorite." —u/Fromunda_Cheese

    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 fat-ass uncle sat inside with a collar and a stuffed animal."

    stuffed dog plushie with an antler hood
    Fotostorm / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    "I didn't get the puppy." —u/myownbau5


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    17. "One Christmas, my mother bought my cousin the Asteroids game for the Atari. We had an Atari, as well, and really wanted Asteroids, too. Well, we found out our cousin already had the game and told my parents. At this point, we didn't believe in Santa anymore, so my parents would wrap gifts as they were bought and torture us by leaving them under the tree days and weeks before Christmas. In the days leading up to Christmas, we were all sitting around the tree, trying to guess the presents. All three of us kids were like, 'This is Asteroids,' pointing to what we believed was our new game. My dad was like, 'How do you know? It's not Asteroids.' He got all three of us to say, 'Yes, it is! I'll bet you $20 it is!' Come Christmas, we open our Asteroids to find a picture frame box with a piece of wood inside. Taped to the wood were three $20 bills, which we all had to give to my dad for losing the bet."

    Atari, Inc.

    "Asteroids was wrapped and hidden under the kitchen sink." —u/jbelmonte11

    18. "When I was about 10 or 11, both my little brother and I had the flu during Christmas. We both still got up and went straight to the Christmas tree that morning, but there were no presents. After a couple of hours, my parents woke up and 'found' a note taped to the front door. It was from Santa. It said that he left our gifts in the garage because he didn't want to get the flu."

    house with garage decorated for christmas
    Bauhaus1000 / Getty Images

    19. "Christmas Eve for my 10-year-old twin brother and I was the usual unbearable excitement. We wanted to get the night out of the way so we could see what Father Christmas had brought. On one particular Christmas Eve in the '80s, we heard the sound of sleigh bells outside our (shared bedroom) window around midnight. Rushing to the window, we swept the curtain aside, only to see nothing. Disappointed but excited, we went back to bed. Five minutes later, a light appeared, rushing across the window behind the curtains with the same sleigh bells sound. Far too excited to move, we saw the light slow down. We heard the sleigh bells slow to a standstill and hooves landing on the roof outside our window. We were convinced that Santa had arrived on his sleigh literally meters from us. Turns out, it was my dad with a bell, a torch, and two halves of a coconut."

    Buena Vista Pictures / Via

    "He completely had us for years and told us when we were 18. The great thing is that I did the same thing to my kids. They believed it so much that when their school friends told them Father Christmas didn't exist, they argued for hours based on the false evidence they had witnessed. Eventually, I had to break the news to them that it was a prank. I felt oddly ashamed and proud at the same time." —u/[deleted]

    20. "Ever since I can remember, my parents have let my sister and I open one present on Christmas Eve. One year, there were two giant boxes under the tree. I was 11, my sister was 10, and these things were up to our chests. We could only imagine what was inside! We knew those boxes would be the ones we open on Christmas Eve and could not wait. When the time came, my mom threw us a curveball. She said we could open one present each, but she got to pick which presents. To our surprise, she picked the two big boxes. The first thing we saw was crumpled up newspaper, covering whatever was inside. We threw it everywhere, anxious to see what glorious present resided in such a giant box. More newspaper. It seemed to go on forever. Once we got to the bottom of the box, we stopped. My sister and I looked at each other in silence, confused as to why there was a brick duct-taped to the bottom of the box, while my mom pissed herself laughing in the kitchen for 15 minutes."

    little girl looking into a giant christmas box
    D-keine / Getty Images

    "Now, you have to understand that Christmas Eve used to be a big deal in my house. We would have a ton of family members over (my dad was one of nine, so you get the idea). Everyone watched as my sister and I tore through the wrapping paper and ripped open the boxes to find nothing but a brick." —u/marisaannn

    21. "On Christmas morning, as my brothers and I gathered around the tree, my mom excitedly pointed out one lumpy present and said, 'That's the one I think you'll like most, sweetie. Open that one last.' We opened presents together, and each was amazing and just what I wanted — which made me even more excited about this mystery present. Finally, all the presents were opened, and my mom was beaming with anticipation as she slid the final bundle across the rug to me. I'd never seen her this excited for me to open a present. I tore the paper and saw a glimpse of red, two sinister eyes, and a cloying, yellow hat splashed with polka dots. My mom had given me a fucking clown statue — not your run-of-the-mill clown but the very horrifying clown statue I had cringed upon viewing at my grandma's house years ago. It made clowns unsettling for me. I threw it across the room and screamed as my mother howled with laughter."

    wrapping paper on the floor
    Gorlov / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    "She'd apparently gotten it from my grandma (who was going to throw it away) and saved it for months just to give to me. That was the year I stopped trusting that crazy bitch. Just kidding, I love my mom and her wild sense of humor.

    Bonus: I hid the clown under my mattress and gave it back to her the next year. She'd spent that whole year searching for it because she wanted to give it to me again." —u/MrsJetson

    Did you bust a gut (or at least crack a smile)? Better yet, do you have your own holiday prank to share? Let us know in the comments below!