4 Harmless Pranks to Liven Up Your Next Road Trip (and 2 Friendship-Ending Ones)

Road trips are the nation’s favorite way to get off the couch and sit down somewhere else for extended periods of time without feeling guilty. Every summer, I take a road trip with my best friend. We go from state to state, checking out a concert in each place we stop, until our summer allowance dries up. It easily ends up being the highlight of my summer: getting to hear new music, meet new people, and get a good feel for the nightlife away from home – it’s always different in each place we stop!

Generally, I hate car rides, as a lot of people do, but there’s always fun to be found in planning the absolute worst ways to annoy your fellow passengers. If you’re a prankster, this article might prove useful. For the rest of you, here are some things to watch out for while on the open road.

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The Switcheroo

One for the most fundamental tools for keeping sane on long drives is music. If you’re lucky, the people you’re stuck in the car with listen to similar music — if not, there are always alternatives. For example, swapping out all the CDs in the car with mixtapes featuring some of the most universally hated bands all time. Darude’s “Sandstorm”? Tolerable for a minute or two, right? Why not fill a whole disc with copies of that song? Justin Bieber remixed with Nickelback? Instant headache.

Personally, I like to make a playlist of generally agreeable songs with Rick Astley somewhere in the middle, but feel free to put your own flair on this classic formula. Remember, country music is a good fallback. Nobody likes country.

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Fake Parking Ticket

This prank is fairly self-explanatory. Search online for a parking ticket template, fill it in with all the information you need, and jam it between the windshield and the wiper. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll find a template for the region you’re in. (Extra points if you have a government envelope lying around from your last parking ticket.)

Be sneaky — try to leave a breadcrumb of doubt with the driver about their parking job at the last couple stops. If all your plotting works out, you’ll have one beautiful crescendo of shock, bewilderment and blinding anger. Be sure to have something planned to calm the driver down afterwards, or the rest of the ride will be a silent and awkward one. Maybe draw a heart around the price listed at the bottom!

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Hubcap Rattler

Assuming the car you’re riding in has hubcaps (I won’t judge), you only really need one other ingredient: Rocks. Naturally, you’d never want to damage your ride home, which is why this is perfect. If you’re capable of dislodging the front of the hubcap, try putting a pair of small rocks in the housing and closing it back up. This won’t damage the car at all, (probably – we won’t be held liable, though) but it’ll sure sound like something’s wrong. Do this to either the driver’s side or the back tire on the opposite side and you’re guaranteed to get a reaction. A perfect time to do this is while stopped for gas, or on a bathroom break.

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Lip Sync for 7 Straight Hours (True Test of Patience)

Not much needs to be said about this prank. Just watch, and you’ll know what to do.

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