For most of us mere mortals, a prank on one of our buddies involves something pretty basic and low budget (plastic wrap on the toilet seat, anyone?). But when you have mega bucks and mega star power, it must be tempting to take things up a notch. Or several notches, as the case seems to be.
These ten celebrities took pranking to a whole new level, whether that be looping in an audience of millions, duping paparazzi, or conspiring with a film crew. At least we can all live vicariously through their hilarious shenanigans (and, for once, be glad that we’re not BFF with a celeb so we’re unlikely to be on the receiving end of one of these doozies). Here are ten of the funniest celebrity pranks.
10. Jimmy Kimmel vs. Matt Damon
We start off with the prank that just won’t quit. For years, Jimmy Kimmel ended his show by pretending that he ran out of time for a segment with Matt Damon and had to bump him from the show. He’d apologize for the bump, and, of course, never actually have Damon on the show.
Damon sought his revenge in two ways. One: he looped in Kimmel’s then-significant other, Sarah Silverman. Together, Damon and Silverman released a video for a song called “I’m F***ing Matt Damon,” in which Silverman claimed to be…well…you know. Two: Damon took over Jimmy Kimmel’s entire show, renaming it “Jimmy Kimmel Sucks.” It only lasted one episode, but Damon got his point across.
9. Ashton Kutcher Punks Kanye West
Thanks to his former show Punk’d, Ashton Kutcher has pranked more than his fair share of celebrities. The “Justin Timberlake cries when his stuff gets repossessed” incident is arguably the most famous Punk’d prank, but for our money, it’s hard to beat the time Kutcher shut down one of Kanye West’s video shoots.
The Punk’d team claimed that West didn’t have proper permits for the shoot. West reacted by, well, being Kanye West. He (literally) danced around in a fit of frustration and yelled to anyone who would listen that he had PAID for this shoot and, thus, permits be darned.
8. Joel McHale hacks Ryan Seacrest
We’ve heard plenty of tales of celebrities hacking their friends’ Twitter accounts, but Joel McHale took things to a whole other level. The host of The Soup on E! has a longstanding, (presumably) friendly rivalry and prank war with “the guy who hosts everything,” fellow E! employee Ryan Seacrest. We’re not sure how he pulled it off, but McHale once hacked into Seacrest’s website and took over the whole thing, renaming it JoelMcHale.com. Just to kick things up a notch, McHale also took the liberty of superimposing his own face on the photos of Seacrest that appeared on the site. Of course, the website wasn’t quite enough, so McHale simultaneously took over Seacrest’s Twitter account and unleashed at least one fake Tweet claiming to have just interviewed singer Selena Gomez. Seacrest reportedly retaliated by being a bazillionaire. (Just kidding. Kind of.)
7. Jennifer Lawrence and the little blue box
If you’ve ever dated a girl — or been a girl — you know how excited many of them get about receiving a little blue jewelry box from Tiffany & Co. On the set of The Hunger Games Trilogy: Mockingjay Part I, actor Jeffrey White presented star Jennifer Lawrence with just such a box. The only problem: Instead of something shiny, the box was filled with crickets. The only thing that lasted longer than the riotous laughter from J-Law’s costars were the crickets themselves, who reportedly took over the star’s trailer for “months.”
6. Tom Brady pulls an April Fool’s joke on Patriots fans
For diehard Patriots fan, no image could possibly be more horrifying than the site of quarterback Tom Brady in a full body cast. For one April Fool’s day, that’s exactly what they got. Brady posted the hilariously photoshopped image on Facebook, accompanied by a caption claiming that a pick-up basketball game against Michael Jordan in the Bahamas had gone terribly wrong.
“Jordan’s crossover is no joke,” Brady said. The photo even showed Michael Jordan’s signature on one of Brady’s leg casts. (At least it was April and not during football season, right? We’re betting there were still a few minor coronary events in the Boston area attributable to this photo.)
5. Daniel Radcliffe gives the paparazzi dèja vu
In the celebrity photography industry, snapping new, original, buzz-worthy photographs is the name of the game. Nobody wants to see the same image over and over again. That’s exactly what Daniel Radcliffe (a.k.a. Harry Potter) had in mind when he decided to seek revenge against the paparazzi who camped out near his house and relentlessly followed his every move. Radcliffe thwarted their “original photo” potential by insisting on wearing the exact same outfit every single day for five months straight. So much for new and buzz-worthy!
4. Seann William Scott secretly messes with costar’s wardrobe
Oh, Stifler. We would expect nothing less than childish pranks from Seann William Scott’s most famous character, American Pie‘s Stifler, but it turns out that Scott himself has a seriously mischievous side. While filming the comedy Role Models, Scott conspired with the wardrobe department to prank his costar, Christopher Mintz-Plasse (best known as the nerdy guy from Superbad). Scott arranged for Mintz-Plasse’s pants to be both taken in at the waist and hemmed too short. He also had the wardrobe department to sew coins into the pants pockets so Mintz-Plasse’s pants would jingle but there wouldn’t be anything he could do about it.
3. Taylor Swift rushes the stage at a Keith Urban concert
Mega-star Taylor Swift is no stranger to being on stage at a packed concert hall, but in this case, she wasn’t exactly invited. While wrapping up a tour with fellow country superstar Keith Urban, Swift decided to prank him during his final performance. He has a song called “Kiss a Girl,” and Swift reinterpreted the meaning in a big way. She and her band donned full, head-to-toe make-up and costumes to look like the band KISS and rushed the stage during Urban’s performance. Hilarity ensued.
2. Brad Pitt convinces film crew to walk on eggshells around George Clooney
We’ve all heard stories of movie stars acting like total divas on set. From outrageous demands to taking themselves far too seriously, men and women alike develop reputations for being incredibly difficult to work with. George Clooney doesn’t really have that type of reputation, but Brad Pitt went out of his way to change that.
While filming a chapter of the Ocean’s Eleven franchise in Italy, Brad Pitt secretly distributed a note to the local film crew, ostensibly on behalf of Clooney. It was even written in Italian. The note explained that Clooney demanded certain treatment on set, including never making direct eye contact with him and never bothering him unless it was extremely urgent. It also stated that Clooney felt that his role as Danny Ocean was exceptionally difficult and required him to focus so much that he required being addressed as “Mr. Ocean” at all times.
The crew dutifully obeyed with the note’s demands, and for two weeks, things were reportedly very weird for Clooney on set. Meanwhile, we can just picture Pitt cackling in his trailer.
1. George Clooney tricks paparazzi by throwing a fake wedding for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
George Clooney may have been on the receiving end of a few of Brad Pitt’s shenanigans, but Clooney himself is arguably the master of celebrity pranks — many of them aimed at Pitt. Clooney has pulled off some doozies, but perhaps none more elaborate and hilariously devious than the time he convinced the paparazzi that he was hosting a wedding for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie at his luxurious Italian compound in Lake Como.
He leaked word to the press and even went so far as to set up some high-top tables around his property to make it look like a wedding would be taking place soon. This was early in the Pitt-Jolie relationship, and the press went nuts.
The first clue that this was a prank should have been that the supposed nuptials were taking place in February. Lake Como is a summer getaway in every sense, and is reportedly rather unpleasant (rainy and cold) in February. But the paparazzi were fooled anyway. Clooney confessed that, for two weeks straight, “hundreds and hundreds” of paparazzi swarmed his chilly compound waiting for the big event — which, of course, never happened. (At least, not at Lake Como.)