a practical joke

a practical joke

A mischievous trick typically involving some physical action or object intended to make someone look or feel foolish. We hid a rubber snake in the fridge as a practical joke so that it would scare Mom or Dad when they went in for something to eat.
See also: joke, practical

(play) a ˌpractical ˈjoke (on somebody)

play a trick on somebody which involves physical action, using an object, etc: They put a frog in his bed as a practical joke. ▶ a ˌpractical ˈjoker noun a person who plays practical jokes
See also: joke, practical
References in classic literature ?
Obviously they had decided to treat the whole matter as a practical joke and to brave it out, for outside the gates in an open fly were the whole party.
Sir Dinadan the Humorist was the first to awake, and he soon roused the rest with a practical joke of a suffi- ciently poor quality.
Candy, the doctor, on the sore subject of his profession; and he plays you a practical joke, in return, with a dose of laudanum.
BUT what about if I played a practical joke on you now and it took ages and was not funny and made no sense and I laughed and you did not?
Judge of the Sverdlovsky District Court of Bishkek sentenced all defendants accused of organization of a practical joke on talent of the Public Service Broadcaster (OTRK) Nazira Aitbekova.
Washington, Jan 287 ( ANI ): George Clooney, who is notorious for playing practical jokes on his co-stars, has admitted he is putting together a practical joke that will have huge repercussions for Brad Pitt.
Gervais said: "It was a little bit of a practical joke on my part in the sense that I think Karl is fascinating.
When he considers the bed trick in All's Well That Ends Well in another chapter, he insists that it is not really a practical joke because Helena is too solemn and just not funny; but that of course depends entirely on the players, and especially on the loathsomeness of Bertram.
A MAN told a court he left a hoax bomb on a bus as a practical joke because he was bored.
NOW footballers aren't usually renowned for their great sense of humour, but how about this for a practical joke on Liverpool striker Peter Crouch?
TWO Midland teenagers have been given fixed penalty notices after posting a friend's details on a dating website as a practical joke.
Surely playing him against France in Euro 2004 was enough of a practical joke.
A federal appellate judge ruled last week that the city of Albuquerque and its police department can be sued for a practical joke played on a new Southwest employee at the New Mexico city's airport in 2002.
Mr Ferreira added: 'We spent a while looking for him and realised it was more serious than we thought it was.' 'JOKE' ENDS IN TRAGEDY: A 29-year-old man died after he leapt from a hotel balcony as part of a practical joke, an inquest heard today.
"It is believed this person may have thought the man was playing a practical joke and carried on walking.