Anyone who has been the victim of a prank call and while it may hit your ego, nothing is better than beating pranksters at their own game. If you don’t know how to prank call, it is time you learn how.
So, How Do You Do A Prank Call?
A convincing prank call requires more work than you think. Yes, most of them are filled with bad jokes and forced punchlines. But if you want to set yourself apart, you need to put a bit more effort than that.
Funny prank calls are meticulously planned like a good comedy show. You have to change your voice, keep them engaged, and be funny. Like most things, it is easier said than done, here are step-by-step instructions for how to prank someone:
1. Brainstorm Your Prank Ideas
Every good prank call starts from an idea. You can take your pick from rehashing the classics, adding your spin, or making your script from scratch. Whatever you choose to do, make sure your prank call idea covers everything, so you don’t fumble on the phone.
Who Is Calling?
Most pranksters create character personas for their calls. In order to really sell the joke, your victim must never suspect it’s you on the other end of the phone. A character is the perfect mask - pretend to be someone else and put on a show. If you are unsure how to do it, you can check out our Youtube Channel.
Your character doesn’t need a complicated backstory. In fact, the simpler, the better. It’s easier to stick to your persona. You should be able to summarise who you are in a couple of words. Bubbly, preppy, and sweet? Sassy, spirited, and loud? Invasive, creepy, and coy? You can have fun with it. Give yourself 3 adjectives/qualities then work it into your character’s job.
Alternatively, you can do it in reverse and figure out their job first. Most prank calls are dependent on this. Are you a radio host? Realtor? Reporter? Psychic medium? Delivery driver? People don’t entertain phone calls from strangers anymore. However, when you have the right job as your cover, that doesn’t have to be the case. After you decide your character’s job, you can give them qualities that are sure to make other people laugh.
You can see this thought process in action in our own prank calls. If you check out our prank soundboard, we have several characters like Juan the Hispanic Guy, John the Nerdy Guy, Bill the Hillbilly, Tyrone the Black Guy, among many others. When you check their lines, you can see that they were created with a bit in mind.
Why Are They Calling?
After you have your character in place, figure out the intent of the call. What is your front? For example, when you play a radio host, you could be holding a contest, looking for the next winner of the station’s anniversary celebration.
Figuring out the purpose of your call makes it easier for you to deal with the person on the other end. When they ask who you are and why you are calling, you have an excuse in place. Identifying the reason why you are calling can also help when you are writing the prank script or outline.
For example, if you are playing a salesman, you can add buzzwords like “limited-time offer,” “affordable price,” and “money-back guarantee.” Remember, always let the person on the other end think it is a real phone call at first before you have your fun. This means dropping off some official sounding words.
What’s The Punchline?
After you lead them in circles, you can end the phone call on a high note. An example of a solid punchline is the “Lost and Found” bit. After they ask you about what you lost, you can hit them with classic lines like “my friend’s virginity” or “my sanity,” then hang up. It is sure to get a couple of laughs.
You can opt to work with classic bits, or you can create your own punchline. Writing jokes and punchlines is not easy, so most newbie prank callers tend to shy away from them. However, while not all prank calls have them, the best ones always do. You might want to take a chance and work one in your bit.
If you are looking for other prank ideas, you can check top picks in “13 Ideas To Make The Best Phone Prank Call.”
2. Bring The Elements Together
Once you have a plan in place, it’s time to make your prank call a reality!
Create A Character
After you figure out who you are going to be and how you are going to act - practice, practice, practice. Things like accents, slang, voice, and mannerisms are elements that help create a convincing character. During your prank call, you should be able to do the bit with a straight face. No laughing. No slips. No breaking character.
If you have an accomplice, you guys can take turns calling each other and testing out the character on the phone. It has to be seamless if you want to prank someone you know, especially if they’re a prankster themselves.
Write A Script
While great prank callers can work without a script, newbies should always have one on hand. You can make it as detailed as you like. If you are good at improv, stick to a general outline. Have topics that can help you steer the conversation listed down, and have several punchline options, so you don’t miss any opportunities.
If you aren’t great with thinking on the fly, you need a proper script on hand. It should have a compelling hook so the target doesn’t drop the call, as well as responses for any questions or concerns they may have. You need to be able to strike a balance between being serious and being funny.
Find A Soundboard
You can make your prank call more interesting by adding other characters and sounds to your call. Ownage Pranks has several free character soundboards you can use. They can be the main character, or you can have them “interrupt” your conversation midway.
Besides our character soundboards, you can look for other sound effects online to make the call more convincing. Some examples of sounds you can look for are rain falling, people chatting, cars passing by, and background music. They add a feeling of authenticity that generic pranks lack.
You can also use them to build your scene. If you are calling trapped from an airport, it wouldn’t feel real without the sound of planes taking off and PA announcements.
When you have all the elements of your call, you could give it a couple of test runs. You can work with a friend who is in on the joke, or try it on a random stranger. Work on your material until you are ready for the final boss.
3. Stay Anonymous
Whether you are calling a random number or getting back at a close friend, you should always stay anonymous. Having your phone number out in the open is a big no-no. This is one rookie mistake you must avoid. If you claim to be calling from a different country, having a phone number with a local area code would be a dead give away. Not to mention your family and friends probably have your number saved on their phones. Prank calls are all about catching them unaware.
Secondly, it can protect you. While light-hearted prank calls are not illegal, you wouldn’t want to have your number in the hands of the wrong person. Best case scenario? They prank you back. Worst case? They call the authorities and charge you with harassment. Yikes. To avoid all that trouble, it's best to hide your phone number.
There are different ways of staying anonymous. You can get a sim that you exclusively use for pranking, or you block caller ID. For most phone companies, you just need to dial *63 before calling their phone number. However, it is best to stay on the safe side. Do your research and see if there are other ways for blocking caller ID and always test it out first before making prank calls.
Tip: It might be a no brainer for most people, but remember never to give your personal information during a prank call. Always use an alias and provide fake information.
Also never make prank calls to emergency services, police stations, or fire departments. Steer clear of these government services, because they can get you into serious trouble. Keep the fun between friends, family, and maybe the occasional stranger here and there.
4. Make Your Prank Call
With everything in place, you can make your prank call! Now, don’t expect to get it right the first time around. Your nerves might get the best of you and ruin. It before you even get to the joke. But don’t worry! After you make a couple of calls, you are sure to be a pro.
If you are ever on the other end of an annoying telemarketer call or a prank call from another friend, you can put these skills to work and get back at them. If you need to up the ante with professional help, you can request a prank call with us. With our years of experience and a bit of background information, we can make a prank call that you’ll never forget!
Read next: 13 Ideas To Make The Best Phone Prank Call