Digital Diaries Season 3 Episode 2: Pranks, jokes, scams and swindles

Anita Li, Development and Recruitment Editor



On Season 3, Episode 2 of Digital Diaries, Northwestern students share times they’ve pranked others.

ANITA LI: Content warning: This episode contains explicit language.


ANITA LI: From The Daily Northwestern, I’m Anita Li. This is Season 3, Episode 2 of Digital Diaries, a weekly podcast following the college experience and asking students a question about life at Northwestern.

[scribble noise]

ANITA LI: April Fools’ Day was a little over a week ago, and that sparks the question: Are NU students pranksters?

ANNA SIMMONS: I love a prank. I will take any excuse to make a day fun.

ANITA LI: That’s Weinberg sophomore Anna Simmons.

ANNA SIMMONS: Last year my roommate and I, shoutout to Helena Schatzki, we decided we were gonna take April Fools’ Day by storm and prank our two friends, Gabe and James. We stole Gabe’s mattress —

[sound of mattress dragging]

ANNA SIMMONS: And hid it in the lounge. We wrapped James’s entire room in Saran Wrap–

[sound of plastic wrap]

ANNA SIMMONS: And then covered it in lotion–

ANNA SIMMONS: So it was like difficult to take off.

ANITA LI: This year, they didn’t think they had energy for another grand scheme.

ANNA SIMMONS: On April 1, it didn’t feel right to not do something. And then it hit me — or maybe it was Helena’s idea — to prank people that I was pregnant.

[suspenseful music]

ANNA SIMMONS: Because I’m a responsible female college student, I have pregnancy tests in my room, so I sacrificed a pregnancy test and I took a marker—

[sound of marker cap coming off]

ANNA SIMMONS: And I drew the lines on it to make it look positive.

[sound of marker on paper]

ANNA SIMMONS: So then we FaceTimed many friends.

[ringing sound]

ANITA LI: “Hello?”

ANNA SIMMONS: “Oh my god, I’m freaking out right now. I don’t know what to do.”

ANNA SIMMONS: And then I would show them the test, really briefly. But enough that they could see that it was a clear positive. They all believed it. One friend is like, “Anna, I’m coming over right now. I’ll drive you anywhere you need to go.” Another friend — he was in Main Library, and I showed him the test and he just screamed, “HOLY SH*T!”.

ANITA LI: While the next April Fools’ Day is over 11 months away, Simmons is already thinking about her next prank.

ANNA SIMMONS: I’d love something elaborate. I haven’t peaked yet. I’m still on the up and up for sure.


ANITA LI: Before McCormick senior Refilwe Kebadireng came to Northwestern, she was bored in boarding school. So she decided to pull a prank on her class with her friends.

REFILWE KEBADIRENG: We took all these cookies that had cream in the middle and we removed all the cream —

[sound of scraping off the cream]

REFILWE KEBADIRENG: — and then we put in toothpaste. And then we went to a science class and we just gave them out to everybody in the class to eat.

ANITA LI: Kebadireng said her classmates reacted well.

REFILWE KEBADIRENG: It was disgust at first, but then (we were) just laughing about it afterwards. Nobody had expected it.


ANITA LI: When Communication junior Alison Casler was 12, she tried to prank her dad. She wasn’t quite as successful as Kebadireng.

ALISON CASLER: I really liked George Lopez. I went onto his Facebook—

[sound of mouse clicking]

ALISON CASLER: and changed his profile photo to George Lopez. He used Facebook to connect with people from work and clients, and people were reaching out to him like, “I think you’re hacked.” He made me go on his Facebook again and change everything back and then write out an apology.

[typing sounds]

ANITA LI: Keep in mind, this was written by a sixth grader.

ALISON CASLER: “Sorry people, this is Geoff’s daughter, and that creepy picture was part of a prank I pulled on my dad. I’ve changed them back to better pictures. So if you all could just ignore that, I would be very grateful.”

ANITA LI: While the people they tricked may beg to differ, these Northwestern pranksters said they had a lot of fun.


ANITA LI: From The Daily Northwestern, I’m Anita Li. Thanks for listening to another episode of Digital Diaries. This episode was reported and produced by me. The audio editor of The Daily Northwestern is Mika Ellison, the digital managing editors are Ava Mandoli and Erica Schmitt, and the editor in chief is Alex Perry. Make sure to subscribe to The Daily Northwestern’s podcasts on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or SoundCloud to hear next week’s episode on Monday.


Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @lifeisfab02

Digital Diaries Season 3 Episode 1: Curing the Real Freshman Flu — Homesickness
Digital Diaries Season 2 Episode 9: To jet set or bed rest over spring break
Digital Diaries Season 2 Episode 8: Sleepy and sleepless nights with NU students