College Prank Videos

I hope The Chronicle of Higher Education won’t mind sharing this light-hearted article.  Please subscribe to the Chronicle for excellent coverage of the higher education sector.

 An article by Thomas Bartlett describes the best college prank videos from YouTube.  The article entitled “The College Prank as Viral Video” has been published in  the issue dated April 06, 2007, Volume 53, Issue 31, Page A6. Bartlett’s summaries of the videos are given below.


Compilation of college prank videos noted below.

All descriptions below are from Thomas Bartlett’s article for the Chronicle.

Drinkin’ Time

The needlessly long set-up is annoying, but the prank itself makes the wait worthwhile. The victims are a group of prospective students on a tour of Dartmouth College. In the video, the tour guide is droning on when suddenly there comes a primal scream: “It’s drinking time!”

Students stop their conversations, drop their books, and begin running down the street. Then a character called Keggy the Keg appears. And a marching band. And oh, just go watch it yourself. Credit for the prank belongs to the Dartmouth Jack-O-Lantern Humor Society, which, according to its Web site (, has been around since 1908.

Start-Up Sound
VideoThe setting is a library, and the prank involves a computer start-up noise that crescendoes into a symphonic resonance. It’s a subtle stunt, and it’s unlikely that most of those present even knew what was going on. But thanks to YouTube, we can all enjoy its quiet, goofy charm.

It’s all the work of Columbia University’s Prangstgrüp. Their videos can be found at

Upside-Down Room
VideoAccording to the video, this Brandeis University prank took nine days, 12 people, and 600 screws.

I believe it. Attaching all of your roommate’s possessions to the ceiling is hard work.

This prank even has its own Web site ( On the list of frequently asked questions is: “Why?” The answer: “Why not?”

A Lecture Musical
VideoAnother offering from Prangstgrüp, and arguably the best college prank on YouTube. In the middle of a classroom lecture, in front of maybe 200 students, a young man stands up and begins singing. The song is a Broadway-worthy ditty about the need for professors to inspire their students. As the song continues, other students stand up and start singing too, in what is obviously a carefully choreographed scene. Brilliant.

Fun With Yellow Books
VideoFilling a dorm room with crumpled paper or carefully wrapping every itemdown to the toothbrushes and alarm clocks is a time-honored college prank. There are numerous such videos online, but this one, at Tufts University, is particularly well done. The real fun is watching the pranksters do their work, which suggests a general truth about pranks: The anticipation is often better than the actual thing (this is also true of life).

The roommate’s reaction is perfect. He is mildly upset but mostly good-natured. Other videos prove that if you react poorly to a prank, you end up looking like the jerk.

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