“Stabbed Himself In The Back”: 35 Horrible Pranks That Ended In Tragedy

Many of us have likely witnessed a prank in action or perhaps planned one at some point in our lives. They’re supposed to be harmless, like taping off someone’s mouse sensor or replacing family photos with those of Danny DeVito. However, sometimes, even with the best intentions, jokes go south. And in extreme cases, it can threaten the well-being of others. 

Recently, the AskReddit community was discussing exactly that – practical jokes that went horribly wrong and almost ended up in tragedy. From lighting up hairspray to swerving cars, these stories now serve as cautionary tales for anyone who might think of pulling one.

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A friend of mine’s dad once decided to jump out of an empty wardrobe and scare his wife when they were house shopping. He didn’t see a downward facing hook at the back of the wardrobe and when he jumped up to leap out he caught his back on the hook and ripped his skin open. They had to go to A&E to get stitches and the police showed up as the doctors were concerned it was a stab wound. So he had to explain to the police how he had f****d up a simple prank so badly he had basically stabbed himself in the back.

Image credits: silentarcher00


Few years ago 2 guys went to a pub. They got drunk. There was a random guy who fell asleep on the patio of the place sitting in his chair. 
The 2 men decided they gonna prank him and tie him to the chair with tapes. They asked the bartender girl for tapes and tied him. 
This was close to closing time and they decided to leave him there for the night, cuz how funny it’ll be when he wakes up taped to the chair in an empty bar. The bartender girl was fully in. So she closed the place and they left him there.
This was in November and the man froze to death at night. It was clear he woke up and tried to break himself free, so he didn’t freeze to death in his sleep. He froze to death while being completely concious and awake.
All 3 were sentenced.

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99% of tiktok/social media challenges/pranks. Just the other day I saw some kids climbing up a construction crane and filming themselves. I suppose that that is not really a prank but a few months ago, I heard about senior students in high school who thought it would be funny to criss-cross the hallway of toddlers with fishing line for them to trip over and film.

Call me a boomer (I’m not) but social media really brings out the worst in human group behavior.

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A kid at school whose dad flicked a towel in his face. It got his eye really bad and he had permanent damage. The kid was an up and comer in the local tennis league as well. Really sad.

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I was in my senior year of college. Some guy threw a grad party at one of his parents houses. I ended up going, cause why not?

Three guys who were wasted as f**k had this idea to shoot Roman candles at one their buddies who was coming out of the poolside bathrooms. It was two bathrooms attached to a small closet with pool chemicals and the door happened to be ajar.

One of the rounds went right into the closet and started a fire while there was a girl passed out drunk in the next stall. Everyone freaked out and called the cops, but nobody knew the girl was passed out.

Luckily, she survived with minor burns, but the guy’s parents got sued. The girl was only 19 and had half her arm burned and a lot of her hair singed off.

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When I was younger my mom was out on a walk with her friends and my dad thought it would be funny to pelt them with water balloons when they came around the corner. As soon as they rounded the bend, we ran out with our water balloons and my dad tripped and fell and broke his foot, his leg, and his arm.

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Decades ago, a neighbour’s brother was getting married and went out for his stag night with his friends. There was a tradition at the time of getting the stag really drunk and then doing something like stripping them, tying them to a lamp post and throwing flour/sugar/eggs/paint at them and leaving them like that for hours. The stag was absolutely terrified of this and was waiting for it to happen the whole night long. When they finally made a move to grab him he started to run. They gave chase. He ran into a chip shop, drunkenly leapt the counter, and fell right into a vat of boiling oil. The wedding had to be postponed, and he eventually got married on day release from hospital whilst covered in bandages. He required skin grafts and was left with permanent scarring and disabilities.


I was in grade 1 if we had to use the washroom we had to go in pairs teachers rules. Some girl from a much older grade thought she’d prank her friend by “hanging” herself in a bathroom stall. She slipped off the toilet when we came in. Opened the door and saw her struggling. My friend grabbed her legs and tried to hold her up to keep her from choking to death while I ran to find my teacher. I remember running out of the bathroom down the hall, and seeing kids lined up peering into the windows. I don’t know how many were in on it. The girl was helped by the teacher. The girl was not injured seriously but it must have been traumatic for me because I would wake up middle of the night screaming. I remember my mom visiting the girls home and losing it on the girls father a few days later. The nightmares continued for years afterwards.

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Some years ago, a staff party for a brokerage, everyone in costume including a young guy wearing plastic bags. Took his girlfriend into a cubicle in the gents for a shag. Guy in the next cubicle thought he’d playfully flick a lighter under the door. Exploded in flames, guy died screaming and the girl had massive life changing burns. The guy that did this had a huge nervous breakdown and never worked again.

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My buddy thought it would be funny to swerve his car towards the ditch and turn away at the last second. We wound up going into the ditch, slamming into a culvert, and flipping end over end. There’s still debate amongst a few people whether he meant to do it or not. Apparently he was the butt of a lot of jokes and I just hadn’t been around the group of people long enough to understand how deep it went. So, maybe a prank gone wrong, maybe attempted crime. I have no idea.

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Medical student graduated. They tied him naked to the bridge. Died of exposure.

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Wasn’t there some couple that made a “prank” in which the girl shot her BF because they thought a book would stop the bullet (it didn’t)? I think they tried shooting a different book before trying to do it. The other book stopped the bullet, the one they used did not and it ended up with the guy dying.

Image credits: Olveyn


So a group of the big beefy football jocks grabbed the dweeby nerdy kid under his arms and escorted him, against his will, to the rear of the football field / track / stadium. There was a drainage cistern there, covered by a heavy grate, built as a catchment for the water running off the sports complex. It was normally dry unless it was raining.

It was nicely dry when they dumped the dweeby kid in the hole and let the grate fall, trapping him there. Well, it was just a prank, just a joke, but they failed to tell him that they intended to return at the end of the day to let him out. Meanwhile the dweeby nerdy kid had a big exam he’d been studying for and he didn’t want to miss the class. So after the beefy dudes left him there in the hole, he tried to climb out on his own.

The grate was too heavy for him to lift from below. It fell on him, breaking his neck.

It was the scandal of my high school career and the beefy dudes, though kicked off the football team, expelled from school, and brought before court, never served any time for this accidental murder.

That was in 1971; the dead kid would be retired by now had he lived through the prank, and he probably would have had a stellar intellectual career.

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The guy who tried to jumpscare his family at the Grand Canyon and instead slipped and fell to his death.

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Don’t push someone head into a cake “randomly”. By randomly I’m saying without knowing anything about the cake. Sometimes to make big cake pastry chief put big wood pointy thing in it so the cake doesn’t fall.

It can be VERY messy.

Just assume every cake have theses in it.

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There used to be this video series on Youtube called ‘Hood Pranks’ or something like that – not sure if it’s still around, but plot of every show was these geeky guys going into some of the toughest neighborhoods of NYC and playing stupid pranks on people where they got beat up in half the episodes. I recall one prank where one of the hosts got knocked out with a single hook to the jaw.

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My great grandfather got his chair pulled out from under him by his best friend at work on April Fool’s Day. My great grandfather broke his neck and died, his friend never forgave himself.

We never celebrated April Fools at my house, and everyone always thought it a prank when I explained…

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I was at a swimming pool with friends as a kid maybe 10 or 12 years old. We were in the deep end, and diving down to 12ft, picking up coins off the bottom of the pool. I was coming up from the bottom, and one of the kids thought it would be funny to hold me head underwater with his foot. I gasped as I broke the water, then got shoved back down and inhaled a s**tload of water, and panicked, and two other kids had to drag me out of the water onto the concrete where I coughed and vomited for what felt like 10 minutes.

Image credits: Fy_Faen


Recently my coworker pranked my friend and I by removing the wheels on our desk chairs. Unfortunately she removed two wheels right beside each other and thought we would notice before sitting down. Then she had this crazy elaborate scavenger hunt for us that ended with us finding our wheels in jello at the end like something out of the office. It was an amazing prank on paper but I had been having a rough morning when I got to work and didn’t notice and just sat right down…suffice to say I fell right backwards off the chair and hit my head on the ground. Luckily it wasn’t bad and I just got a bit of a bump, but that certainly changed the pranking dynamics in the office.


This isn’t my story, but David Dobrik hit Jeff Whittek with an excavator. He was a part of his vlog crew and they were supposed to be filming a video where the excavator would swing them around. David ended up slamming Jeff into the side of the excavator after going too fast and then abruptly stopping. It broke lots of bones including his skull and caused lasting damage.

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Dumb kid thought it was a funny idea to push his friend from a sidewalk towards my car.

Good thing i was driving slowly so i was able to stop in time.

Since that day i’m always afraid someone is going to push a person under my car, when i drive near sidewalk with people on it.

Image credits: Drogovich


Compressed air up the butt. Destroys the gut and ends lives…saw a few of those and people never learn.

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Dumb neighbor kid thought it was a good prank to hide behind parked cars along the side of the road and jump out at approaching cars…. Didn’t get hit because the first car was driving very slowly and the owner got pissed enough that he never dared to do it again.

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I once had an hammer in my hand, and pranked my sister by “throwing” it on her. Unfortunately,  the hammer head detached from the handle it flew straight to her head, thankfully missed by few cm. .

Image credits: Crazy__Donkey


When my dad was a kid, he thought it would be fun to shoot open safety pins at stuff with a slingshot fashioned out of a rubber band. Eventually, he aimed at his older sister and she ended up with a safety pin stuck in her forehead. It’s a good thing he didn’t hit her in the eye.

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I heard this story around where I live where during a wedding, the groom was “abducted” as a prank by a bunch of friends, made extremely drunk and then had boots put on his feet that said friends then filled with construction foam. The foam hardened, sealing both of his feet inside so tightly that it cut off the blood flow, which ended with him needing to have both of his feet amputated.

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I remember my classmates and me wanted to prank our teacher who’s like 57 years old, it’s like a fake pregnancy prank that a girl in my class would do. We set up a fake pregnancy test on the bathroom bin while the girl tried to act all nervous, once the teacher entered the room, she goes out to the bathroom acting like she wanted to take a p**s. She waited for like 5 to 10 minutes, and when she came back, a girl “snitched” on her and brought the fake pregnancy test. He went to her actual boyfriend and punched him in the face until his node bleed. He went to the ER and got like a broken nose, black eyes. He got fired and we got suspended for the prank. Honestly one of the most stupidest thing I’ve ever participated in.


When I was young I went to a friends house for a sleepover where they had a prank planned. They dressed up in creepy clothing and makeup, and one of the girls (we didn’t get along) had a real knife and was planning to slam me against the wall and hold it up to my neck when I came downstairs. Luckily one of the girls got scared before I got there and ran upstairs to tell me what was about to unfold before I went downstairs. She was so scared she asked me when I went down there to ‘play along’. Wasn’t going to take that f*****g chance. I think I dodged something that would have gone VERY wrong.

Image credits: Bumblebees_99


I am so terrified of bees, well especially now because when me and my brother were kids.. My brother thought it would be funny to p**s off bees, he found a beehive and decided it would be funny to throw rocks at it and run away.
Just as he did I came walking and well he forgot to tell me to run and you can guess where it went, I had bees in my hair, my jacket basically everywhere.. I had no idea he did that until we both became adults and he finally confessed to me, I was convinced that I was just at the wrong time and place, but guess I have found out who caused me my phobia of bees ?.


I used to do this trick with a butterfly knife when I was a dumb 13 year old, where I would flip it around like I was gonna open it but keep flipping to where it would be closed again and then thrust it at your face like I was going to stab you in the face.

This one time I did it with this other kids plastic handled knife where the handles were a bit fatter and rounder than the normal brass handled ones and it didn’t fit my hand quite as well as the knives I was used to.

I did my twirly twirl and thrust with the knife but because the handles were fatter than normal I missed the catch and as I was thrusting towards the kids face the knife folded open. Stabbed that poor f****r right in the bone at the bottom of the eye socket/top of the cheek bone.

Stabbed him good. There was a knife point hole there and It was leaking blood. Would have been worse if the blade had a proper point on it.

I was a couple of mm away from taking out that guy’s eye. Needless to say, neither the kid it happened to nor the people watching me thought it was anything less than deliberate.

Never played my butterfly knife trick in anyone ever again.


When I was in 8th grade, a buddy of mine and i decided to prank his little brother by making him think that the camper he loved to play in was on fire. We had a glass jar of gasoline and poured some gas near the camper on the ground and lit it to freak him out. We assumed he would grab the water hose to try to put it out. As you can probably guess, he didn’t grab the hose. He of course grabbed the jar of gas and chucked it on the fire thinking it was water. Huge flames shot up and we truly did almost burn the camper down. Thankfully we knew to throw dirt on it along with water and got it out. His parents were PISSED!


Me and some friends were spraying hair spray down a tube with someone lighting the other end. Between sprays, one of the guys looked down the tube to see if there was flame inside the tube. As he did this, someone sprayed more hair spray into the tube.

It turns out there *was* still flame in the tube, because my friend’s head was engulfed in a ball of flame. He didn’t end up with any major burns or other injuries, but he had no more eyebrows, eye lashes, or fringe for a while.

Image credits: sapperbloggs


When I was in third grade a first grade kid thought it would be funny to walk around the school and rub peanut butter on people

Had two people go to the hospital that day it was not Pretty.


Dared a guy to jump/leapfrog a garbage bin. Another guy opened it last second (not planned).

He only ended up with stitches near his eye but could have gone a lot worse.

Image credits: Maerutis


When I was in the restaurant business there was a waiter who used to prank people by pretending to drink a hot cup of coffee, then pretend to throw it in someone’s face. The cup was empty, and it was looped to his finger with a thick rubber band, so it actually was kind of funny. The cup would come toward your face, and then bounce right back in his hand instead of hitting you. BUT OK so this other guy tried to do with with a weak skinny rubber band, which broke, and the ceramic mug hit me full force in the forehead. Had to go to the hospital for xrays, it was ok except for a bad headache for a day or two. So the ER trip would be covered by workers comp, we said the cup fell off a tray and hit me. That’s when I learned that “horseplay” is a legal term.
Source: boredpanda.com

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