prank

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Related to pranking: practical joke
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play a prank (on one)

To carry out a trick, deception, or practical joke (at one's expense). It turns out that the supposed alien visitors that people had been seeing were just a bunch of teenagers playing an elaborate prank. I've got a great plan to play a prank on the school for April Fools' Day.
See also: play, prank

pull a prank (on someone)

To carry out a trick, deception, or practical joke (against someone). It turns out that the supposed alien visitors that people had been seeing were just a bunch of teenagers pulling a prank on the town. I've got a great plan to pull a prank on the school for April Fools' Day. The fake article had been in print in the renowned scientific journal for more than a week before its author revealed that he had pulled a prank when he decided to submit it.
See also: prank, pull
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

play a trick on someone

 and play a prank on someone
to do a trick that affects someone. Somebody played a trick on me by hiding my shoes. The little boys planned to play a trick on their teacher by turning up the heat in the classroom.
See also: on, play, trick
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Pranking is entertaining on multiple levels because it serves to manipulate social power, cultural norms and status hierarchies while initiating strong human emotional responses.
Since pranking is heavily influenced by societal and cultural norms, they function as a release of pent-up societal tensions.
But it is imperative to not just look at pranking through rose-colored glasses, as it can deeply affect and emotionally scar some victims.
In Dinosaur Danger, the twins separate from their class during an excursion to a museum and finish by pranking their whole class with a remote controlled dinosaur.
Mobile social entertainment company FunMobility announced on Thursday the North American launch of FunChat, a cross-platform chat, gaming and pranking smartphone app.
FunChat also features a mobile pranking engine that allows users to push audio pranks to smartphones even if the phone is in standby mode.
Andre Johnson was excited for Halloween in this week's episode of "Black-ish." He explained that it's his favourite holiday due to the John Wu action movie decorations but most importantly because of the family tradition of pranking each other.
Meanwhile, at the office, the annoying co-worker Josh was also in a pranking mood and he hid in a trash can to startle everyone.