Pranks are an interaction where one Sim uses physical humor to amuse—or annoy—another Sim, or an interaction involving objects. They were first introduced under that name in The Sims 2: University, though some of the abilities Sims could gain from Crystal Clear Ability Rocks in The Sims: Makin' Magic are essentially pranks. Pranks were also reintroduced in a different form in The Sims 3: Generations, one in The Sims 3: Seasons, and again in The Sims 4.
The Sims 2
The Sims 2: University introduced three new pranks that Sims can pull on each other. With the addition of rugs in The Sims 2: Nightlife, children can do a static charge prank. PlantSims have a special prank of their own. While the prank is taking place, other Sims in the room will gather around to watch it. Playful Sims will laugh and nice Sims will watch worriedly. Sims with low playful and nice scores may boo the prankster.
- Ventrilo-Fart[TS2:U] - The prankster will break wind and blame it on the victim, causing humiliation.
- Joy Buzzer[TS2:U] - The prankster will shake hands with the victim, and "electrocute" them with a joy buzzer. The shock is not lethal.
- Water Balloon[TS2:U] - The prankster distracts the victim, and then quickly whips a water balloon at their head. A puddle will form nearby.[n 1]
- Static Charge[TS2:NL] - Requires a rug, and can only be done by kids. The prankster must be standing on a rug first before the option will appear. The Sim will generate static electricity from the rugs and then shock the victim. The shock is not lethal.
- Pollen Cloud[TS2:S] - This prank is unique to PlantSims. The PlantSim will blow a cloud of pollen into the victim's face.
Pranks can have a positive or negative effect on two Sims' relationships, depending on how high it is. For example, if a Sim's good friend pulls a prank on them, the outcome will have a positive effect on their relationship. When a Sim's enemy pulls a prank on them, it will have a negative effect on their relationship. The same goes for acquaintances—the higher the relationship, the higher the chance of a positive effect. Therefore, it is best not to do pranks on other sims you have a low relationship with unless you intend on making enemies.
There are also pranks which involve objects. These pranks will attract the attention of other Sims on the lot, but will not affect their relationship with the prankster.
- Fire sprinkler prank[TS2:U] - The prankster will take out a lighter and put it under a sprinkler, causing it to go off. All Sims in the room will react negatively to the sprinklers, and a watery mess will be left behind.
- Soap in fountain prank - The prankster will take out a box of soap and pour some into the fountain, which will cause bubbles to form. Other Sims on the lot will go over to look at the suds, and may either laugh or watch disapprovingly, depending on their personality. If this prank is done to the Temple of Jumbok IV, lava will start pouring out of the fountain.[TS2:BV]
The Sims 3
The Sims 3: Generations adds a prank system for teenagers. An early game trailer showed a number of pranks, including a Sim letting off a "stink bomb" in a library. Sims can be punished if they are caught preparing a prank, depending on the severity of the prank. Domestic and misdemeanor pranks are punished by scolding or timeouts; school pranks are punished by detention; and neighborhood delinquent behavior are punished by police involvement. Only children and teens can pull pranks. Children can plant booby traps, and teenagers can also prank neighbors and their school. Sims will get a negative moodlet if they fall victim to a prank, unless they have a good sense of humor. Children and teens caught pranking will get grounded by their parents.
In The Sims 3: Supernatural, fairies are introduced, which are the creatures known for mischief. Fairies can use their magic to prank other Sims, which manifest once after turning into teen. In addition to normal and magic booby traps, they can pull a prank directly to a Sim when socializing.
These pranks can be set up on objects, which trigger when a Sim uses it.
- Whoopee Cushion - The prankster will rig the target chair to make a farting noise when another Sim sits in it.
- Hair Dye in Shower - The prankster will rig the target shower to briefly dye their victim's hair a lurid color. Fairies can also do this.
- Exploding Sink - The prankster will rig the target sink to squirt all over Sims who try to use them.
- Scary Computer - The prankster will program a scary pop-up (similar to that of an internet "Screamer") on the victim's computer that lasts for a few seconds before reverting back to the original desktop. The pop-up in question contains a close-up, moving image of Bigfoot from The Sims 2: Bon Voyage accompanied by loud growling.
- Overflowing Toilet - The prankster will purposely clog the toilet to make it overflow when flushed.
- Tan Dye[TS3:S] - The prankster will rig the dye in the Tanning Booth to give their victim an ugly tan.
- Outdoor Trashcan[TS3:SN] - the fairy will set a fairy trap on the object to jump on the Sim rummaging through it, as well leaving trash piles laying around nearby.
- Mailbox[TS3:SN] - the fairy will set a fairy trap on the object, which will release a swarm of bees on the Sim that retrieves mail from the mailbox.
- LLAMA[TS3:SN] - the will set a fairy trap on the object.
Teenagers can pull off these pranks on the homes of other residents. These can be initiated by clicking on the target house. If the teen gets caught by the residents, they will be warned or be escorted home by the police, where they will be grounded by their parents.
- Ding-Dong Ditch - The prankster will ring a neighbor's doorbell before running away.
- Egging - The prankster will throw eggs at a neighbor's house.
- Flaming Bag - The prankster will leave a flaming bag filled with an unspecified mess on a neighbor's porch. When the neighbor sees the flaming bag, they will attempt to stomp out the flames, getting the mess onto their shoes.
- Stink Bomb - Using the chemistry set, teen pranksters can set off stink bombs.
- Prank calls - Teen pranksters can make a prank call to any random neighbor in their phonebook.
Teenagers can also prank their school in a variety of ways. Getting caught pranking the school will result in both a detention from the school, and a grounding from the teen's parents.
- Flood the school
- Toilet paper the principal's office
- Steal tests
- Deface the mascot
- Release frogs from the science classroom
As the fairy progresses with fairy magic hidden skill, they unlock new fairy tricks that can be performed on other Sims. Playing them on other fairies or witches are susceptible to getting backfired on the prankster.
- Chattering Cheeth.
- Hot Head.
- Tummy Twister - available at level 4 of fairy magic.
- Skivvies - available at level 6 of fairy magic. As the name suggests, casting it causes the Sim to change temporarily into humiliating underwear and in response embarrassingly try cover themselves up.
- Gold and Toads - available at level 7 of fairy magic. Grants the "Gold and Toad" moodlet to victim of the prank, which will have the Sim frequently cough out either only a toad or fairy coin. As they collect the item it will accumulate over time in their inventory. This cannot be casted on Sims that are in their werewolf form.
- Inner Beauty - available at level 10 of fairy magic. Projecting onto another Sim will change their facial features to zany deformed face. This effect lasts until Inner Beauty moodlet expires, but will be prelonged for another 24 hours for every mean interaction the Sim initiates. This cannot be casted on Sims that are in their werewolf form.
The Sims 4
Pranks return again in The Sims 4 and are found under the mischief social category, with the exception being the prank call. While some basic pranks are already available to Sims, most of the other pranks are acquired by raising the mischief skill. Although pranks are usually successful, target Sims who have either a high mischief or logic skill are able to stop pranks, causing them to backfire. Pranks can also be considered as a funny interaction, if the target Sim is in a good mood and the current conversation is going nicely. Children can also pull various pranks on other children and can gain more pranks by raising their mischief skill, after mastering the social skill.
- Scare - The prankster distracts the victim to look away, and then scares them immediately.
- Trick with Hand Buzzer - The prankster will shake hands with the victim, and "electrocute" them with a joy buzzer. The shock is not lethal.
- Noxious Cloud - The prankster will fart and blame it on the victim.
- Air Horn - The prankster starts whispering to the victim, and then quickly blows an air horn into their ear.
- Make a Prank Call... - The prankster gives false information to a selected Sim through their phone, causing a notification to appear and tell the player if the prank was successful or not.
When either an adult or a child Sim reaches a high mischief skill, they can become partners in crime with their friends. Both Sims then have the possibility to prank their workplace or school in variety of ways. The prank will happen when the Sim has gone to work or school, and have either a positive or a negative outcome. Having a negative outcome results in a decrease of work/school performance and an embarrassed moodlet.
- Wrap Bacon around everything - Fills the workplace with bacon, costing the prankster §50.
- Lure a Llama into the workplace - Brings a llama into the workplace to wreak havoc.
- Fake alien contact - Found in Astronaut career. Spread false information to the co-workers with the video and the alien puppet.
- Fill bosses office with balloons - Found in Criminal career. Will either cause a party to start or make the boss angry.
- Free the frogs - Found in Culinary Career. Release the frogs into the workplace to wreak havoc.
- Re-arrange keys on the keyboard - Found in Writer career. Re-arrange the keys on the keyboard to confuse the co-worker.
- Mustaches for art - Found in Painter career. Deface all paintings with mustaches.
- Sticky clay in the mic - Found in Entertainer career. Put a sticky clay in the mic which cause the audience unable to hear what the co-worker is saying.
- Make all invisible ink visible - Found in Secret agent career. Cause a chaos by making all invisible messages visible.
- Hack into co-workers e-mail - Found in Tech guru career. Hack an email which cause a laughter at the workplace or earn §300 by discovering a co-worker sharing company data.
- Sell test answers - Sell test answers to students earning §300.
- Unleash the gerbils - release a flurry of gerbils into the hall.
- Barricade classroom with water cups - Stack hundreds of full cups of water in front of the classroom.
- Start a food fight - Fling the first tomato which either start a food fight or get intervened by the school staff.
- Stuff geeks in locker - set up a trap for geeks that led directly to an open locker.
- Stuff jocks in locker - collectively attack the jocks and stuff them into the locker.
- Prior to the FreeTime patch, neat Sims would become furious at the victim when they were instructed to mop up a puddle created as a result of this prank, even if the neat Sim was the prankster themselves.