A prank should only be funny insofar as the reaction you get from the person being pranked.
At best, they laugh with the prank and everyone has a good time. On the other hand, it’s really easy for a prank to go wrong and the other person to not find it funny at all.
Reddit user 807990__345907 explained to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit how a prank pulled on her by her fiancé and his sister affected her to get feedback on her reaction.
The original poster (OP) asked:
“AITA For leaving after my fiancè handed me a pack of toothpicks as a ‘gift’?”
“I F[emale]30 been engaged to my fiancè M[ale]37 for 6 months. He is a pediatrician and I work as a hairstylist.”
“For this year’s holidays I saved up for months and had a very difficult time buying my fiancè the gift he always wanted but never bothered to buy.”
“I bought him a ps5 from a relative that cost +money since I couldn’t find it anywhere else. I can’t tell you how much of a struggle that was.”
“My fiancè recently opened a private practice with his colleagues and his financial situation is better than it used to be.
“This year he gifted his parents his old apartment (he didn’t tell me about that) and gave his brother his old Mercedes after spending money on customization. He got busy a few days before Christmas and didn’t ask what I wanted as a gift.”
“I brought up the things that I might need/use and the possibility of getting them as a gift for this year. He was listening and understood what I was saying.”
“At that point I thought that he got an idea.”
“On Christmas day the family came to celebrate with us. Everyone got their gifts and I saw that he got me a pack of toothpicks.”
“He handed it to me and I was so confused I asked him and he said it was for me.”
“His younger sister started laughing quietly like it was funny.”
“I blinked in astonishment. Like what is this? He acted like I was making it awkward.”
“He looked serious and asked if I was going to accept it or wether he should just give it to his niece. I couldn’t believe he just said that.”
“I asked if he was serious and he insisted that I just take it and thanked me for the ps5 I got him and told me he loved me.”
“At that point I lost it. I went to the bathroom while his family were giggling for some reason.”
“And I felt so awful I almost cried.”
“He knocked on the door and told me that he was just messing with me. That it was just a prank. And that it was his sister’s idea.”
“I lost it. I started yelling at him and the whole family gathered near the bathroom and watched when I was yelling at him and calling him an a**hole for doing this to me.”
“What’s worse is that his sister recorded my reaction for the lols so she could laugh about it later.”
“I told him he was childish and insensitive. He argued that it was no big deal when he embarrassed me in front of his parents like that. We argued and then I left to my mom’s house.
“He called me saying I overreacted and that he didn’t think this would be my response. His mom berated me for ‘ruining dinner and everyone’s mood and causing a scene’ during a phone call saying I upset my fiancè by leaving all of a sudden.
“My mom thought they were all in the wrong for being part of this and I had no idea what the joke was honestly. The next day he showed up with my ‘actual’ gift and started apologizing to me saying it was his sister who came up with this idea. And used it as an excuse.”
“This was not okay and I don’t think anyone would be okay with this.”
“His sister is 23 she’s the youngest of four. He’s the oldest.”
“I’m a plant lover and my gift was something to do with Gardening. I grow a lot of plants in the backyard. It’s what I love to do.”
On the AITA subReddit, people are judged with the use of acronyms.
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
The judgement rendered upon OP is that she is NTA.
“NTA: so he thinks it’s a good thing to humiliate you in front of his family and his family thinks it’s okay to humiliate you even more. Especially the sister for recording your reaction?”
“Honestly I’d throw his ‘actual’ gift at him and take back the PS5 and say that’s my Christmas gift to myself. Santa doesn’t give presents to naughty people.”
“I’d also tell him this shows you how much he respects you and how much his family respects you and you should rethink about being apart of his family.” – Elizis
“NTA. His sister’s TA. He’s either an idiot for going along with this or he’s an AH too.”
“Look, are you sure you want to be tied to a family that thinks this kind of thing is funny?” – ohyerasofa
“NTA. He’s a 37 year old man acting like a 12 year old. How old is his sister? I would have left too. I’d rethink the engagement as well.”
“His sister was being childish and cruel and he just went along with it. He just showed you that he doesn’t respect you and neither does his family.”
“If my kids did something like that, and it wasn’t appreciated, I’d have yelled at them.” – herreramom31
“NTA. It smells like some kind of ‘test’ and I don’t believe that people should be given bogus tests.” – Maleficent_Ad_3958
Not everyone was in agreement however.
Others felt OP was overreacting to a bad joke.
“YTA: now you know why he works in medicine and not comedy.”
“He made a very, very small joke. You REALLY overreacted. Yes, the joke was terrible.”
“But it wasn’t cruel. A healthy reaction, even if perplexed, would be to accept the toothpicks and move on.”
“There is almost no circumstance where that would be your gift from him. Any reasonable person would have deduced that you were going to get something else.”
“If you didn’t? Then on the drive home, that’s the time to say, ‘Look, if this is a joke, it’s gone on long enough. What is going on here, because I’m ready to leave you if there’s not more to this’.”
“But screaming at a person at a family gathering? You need to get control of your emotions.”
“HE was guilty of being a dipsh*t with a bad sense of humor. But he DID, apparently, get you a gift.”
“YOU lost your mind at a bad joke.” – drdpr8rbrts
“I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought she went way overboard with her reaction. It was a crappy ‘joke’ sure but everyone telling her to dump him is ridiculous.” – kbhinz
“I can’t believe people have unironically been telling her to change her locks.” – kobakoba
“She did lose her mind and MAYBE overreact. But he let his sister record her and laugh at her and then let his mom yell at her on the phone.”
“At best this is an ESH. That stuff is more concerning than a dumb joke” – orangegold97
For her part, OP is unsure how to respond to this situation. The prank was physically harmless, but she feels very hurt by her fiancé and his family, his little sister especially.
She’s even reconsidering if she wants them as family.
“I’m not sure how many of them were part of his prank. I feel so hurt especially since it’s the holidays and I cooked for them, prepared things for his family and treated them well.”
“I didn’t go to work just to cook for them and brought them what they needed.”
“After this, and after humiliating me like this I’m taking a huge step back to think about what the hell I’m getting myself into with this family of his, no respect no appreciation for me after being in the kitchen for hours preparing their meals.”
“And his sister is so mean and disrespectful.”
If you’re going to pull a prank on someone like this, it’s best you know for certain how they’ll react to your joke. If you can’t answer that honestly, it may be best not to do the prank to begin with.
Otherwise, you may destroy a relationship for a few laughs.