Muck-Up Day is a proud British tradition where final year students can relieve their revision-derived stress by filling classrooms with balloons, corridors with shaving foam and letting loose into the school grounds any type of livestock they can get their hands on, all under the (often somewhat naïve) hope that they won’t be punished. But preparing for Muck-Up Day can be a long, complicated and often militant process, so to help you lift the end-of-summer blues, and give you something to look forward to as the year goes on, why not start planning your own anarchist celebration now?
We offer one word of advice, however: if you’re going to do it – do it properly. We’ve all heard about letting sheep labelled 1, 2 and 4 loose in the school and watching as the staff search high and low for number 3 before realising it doesn’t exist; everybody knows somebody’s brother’s friend-of-a-friend who put the school for sale on eBay for 50p; and even your grandparents knew somebody who put laxatives in the drinking water. Besides the fact that most of these pranks are more legend than truth: they’re old and boring, and aren’t going to make any teachers or students laugh. So as a bit of alternative inspiration, we’ve brought you a list of new pranks – or classics ones with a twist – to help you make your Muck-up Day clever, creative and above all calamitous.
This one is an adapted classic – you’ll have seen pictures of classrooms with the floor layered in cups filled with water and as a popular prank, but it’s probably been done before at your school. The twist, however, is that you’re nice enough to lay down some newspapers underneath the cups to soak up any spillage… what your teachers don’t know is that you’ve actually glued the cups to the newspapers, so lifting up one cup to clear it away will knock over 20 more. Remember though: use water rather than sugary drinks. A soggy carpet isn’t the end of the world but you won’t be forgiven quickly if the teachers spend the rest of the year unsticking their shoes from the staff room floor.
This particular prank takes a while, but the more effort you put in the greater the return. The idea is to wrap everything in the staffroom up in newspaper like a present. But when we say everything… we mean everything. You can even go as far as individually wrapping all of the pens & pencils in your teachers’ pencil cases, as well as each tea bag in the box of PG Tips in the staff kitchen. The only difficult part is getting access to the staff room in the first place – one strategy is to have one student hide in the staff room during the day and let everyone else in to set up the prank at night. In fact, the more difficult part may be getting hold of volunteers…
The Gnome Invasion
The gnome prank is a favourite as lets you annoy your teachers, gets the whole school involved and raises money for charity. Students can elect to pay a sum of money to a chosen charity to have a teacher of their choice annoyed by a gnome for one class period (a gnome, in this instance, is a final year student dressed in a hat with bells on their shoes). There’s only one rule – no gnome-teacher physical contact – everything else goes. Just imagine how much more interesting history class would be with a gnome twerking in the background or singing The Song That Never Ends.
The “It’s All in Your Mind”
All of the best pranks involve a psychological factor, and this one is a prime example. The plan? Do nothing. The twist? Make your teachers think that you’re doing everything. In the months before Muck-up Day, ‘accidentally’ leave maps of the school plumbing systems around classrooms; ‘forget’ to collect a copy of blueprints for a highly powered slingshot from the computer room printer; if you’re very dedicated, get someone to call the front office asking “I just need to confirm the delivery of live locusts for (insert date of Muck-Up Day here)”. Finally, come Muck-up Day, all you need to do is be on your best behaviour – smile sweetly, open doors and pull out chairs for your teachers. Then just sit back and watch as they panic more and more throughout day waiting for the proverbial bomb to hit, safe in the knowledge that you won’t be getting in any trouble at all.
The Thank Prank
This one is less prank, more present. It can be fun to do something a bit naughty on your last day, and if you can make the rest of the school laugh with your antics, then any time put into planning, or clearing up a mess afterwards will be well worth it. But as you come to the end of your time at school, you might start to notice all of the time, effort and dedication your teachers and peers have put into helping you get to where you are now, whether you’re moving on to study A-Levels, going to University or simply starting out in the big wide world. So why not take this opportunity to thank them? Classic ideas are getting all of the leaving classes to chip in to buy ice cream for the rest of the school or throwing an after school party; at my school we rented out some bouncy castles for the students to play on in-between classes and for us to play on during them.
What pranks are you planning to pull on your Muck-Up Day?
Written by Sophie Valentine
An A-Level tutor