When are practical jokes bad?

A clown.

Practical jokes gone wrong

Some jokers have cause much harm by deceiving or giving false alarms to others.

Especially those using the phone feel safe in their anonymity, thus they can very cruel at times.

For example, one woman picked up her ringing phone one day and was told by a solemn voice:

"This is the city morgue. Would you please come down and identify your husband’s body?”

The woman had hardly turned and relayed the message to her daughter when she dropped dead of a heart attack.

She did not live long enough to learn it was all a “Joke”!

This is how fatal are such deceptive jokes can be. 

Such misguided humor can be at times dangerous.

As a joke, pulling a chair away from a person about to sit down may provide a big laugh, but it also lead to a big medical bill.

Putting a match or wadded paper into a shoe of a sleeping or unsuspecting person and then setting it a flame may be viewed by some as extremely funny.

But is it really funny when a person is burned?

In one case a man given a so called “hotfoot” suffered third degree burns on his legs and foot. 

Are jokes worth it when they can cause injury to others?

A certain millionaire enjoyed “practical jokes,” especially tricks to frighten others.

For a hearty laugh he installed an electric shocking device in a seat of his home movie room.

When his guests were absorbed in the film, he would delight in pressing the button, sending an electric jolt to the person sitting in the victim’s seat. 

The shocked person would jump up, yelling.

But one day the guest who sat in the trick seat was a pregnant woman. 

The electric shock frightened her so severely that it resulted in a miscarriage. 

The millionaire, sued for a large sums of money, settled out of court for his prank. 

Was the joke worth the intended fun?

It thus comes as no surprise that reports indicate that practical jokes cost innocent lives, thousands of injuries and a vast amount of needless medical expense.

In view of such reports, one might well think twice about playing seeming “safe” practical jokes.

Take for instance, such as apparently innocent joke as a “the cheese trick” can become dangerous.

The joker places a piece of plastic that looks like a piece of cheese between two slices of real bread.

Then offers it to unsuspecting victim as a delightful looking sandwich. No doubt this trick has provoked many laughs.

But in one case the laughter soon turned into grief. 

The victim swallowed “the trick cheese” causing death.

When pieces of the swallowed “trick cheese” came into contact the gastric juices, the pliable plastic material became hard and the sharp edges cut into the intestines of the victim.

Some stores are abound with joke devices, such as electric shockers, cigars that explode, devices that squirt water into one’s eye, itching power, stink bombs and real looking snakes and spiders.

It is to be noted that many of this devices are designed to frighten a person. 

Before using such devices it would be wise think about the consequences.


Certainly there is a place for humor in our stressful modern life.

But if it is not done in the right moderation and manner, it can end up causing more harm than the intended good.

Even though the majority of jokes will not cause injury or death, we do well to consider the reactions they provoke.

This is because many practical jokes gone wrong or bad started as a joke. 

A joke may have fatal consequences, even when one’s intentions are only fun.

Remember, after injury is done, no healing or rectification can be achieved from saying: 

“It was only a joke!”