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Practical joke

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A practical joke

"One practical joke after another, and always on me."
- Captain James T. Kirk, 2267

A practical joke was a trick played on someone in which humor was derived from the victim's embarrassment or discomfort. They were called "practical" jokes because they were practiced, instead of being related in oral or written form. The person who performed the practical jokes was called a practical joker. (TAS: "The Practical Joker")


After suffering from the pranks of Trelane, James T. Kirk compared them to the actions he erroneously assumed Spock had performed in his youth ("Dipping little girls' curls in inkwells. Stealing apples from the neighbours' trees. Tying cans on-") Upon seeing Spock's look of dismay, Kirk realized who he was talking to and asked him to forgive him. (TOS: "The Squire of Gothos")

Starfleet AcademyEdit

Practical jokes were known to occur at Starfleet Academy.

James T. KirkEdit

During his time at the Academy, Captain James T. Kirk fell victim to one practical joke after another at the hands of Finnegan, an upperclassman. Kirk later recounted the types of pranks Finnegan was prone to play (always on Kirk):

"He's the kind of guy to put a bowl of cold soup in your bed or a bucket of water propped on a half-open door. You never knew where he'd strike next." (TOS: "Shore Leave")

Wesley CrusherEdit

During Wesley Crusher's first week at the Academy, Cadet Adam Martoni reprogrammed Crusher's sonic shower to cover him with mud. Crusher returned the favor by somehow rigging an anti-matter regulator to spray chili sauce (presumably) on Martoni. (TNG: "The Game")


Lieutenant Commander Data fell victim to several practical jokes during his Academy years. (TNG: "The Game")

Aboard the Enterprise-D Edit

In 2367, Jake Potts pretended that his brother Willie had killed him with a toy laser pistol by popping a balloon filled with red pillion dye. This prank backfired when Willie hid and ate a cove palm fruit, thereby infecting himself with a dangerous parasite. Later, when asked by Doctor Beverly Crusher if he'd ever pulled a prank on someone, Willie said he hadn't, explaining that he didn't think it was funny to be tricked like that. (TNG: "Brothers")

Alternate RealityEdit

In 2258 of the alternate reality, Spock mistook Christopher Pike's promotion of James T. Kirk to first officer in his absence for a prank, pleading confusion over their complexities. (Star Trek)

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