This is one of the world’s greatest, funniest practical jokes.


“Wait. Is Nathan trying to say that having your car broken into is funny?”

No. Having your car broken into is not funny. Theft isn’t funny.

I recently had a car STOLEN from me, while it was parked in my driveway overnight. It was locked, the windows were up, and the keys weren’t in it. Fortunately, it was only an old, inexpensive, kinda shitty car… but still a huge inconvenience that certainly didn’t help my paranoia and cynicism.

So, no, I do not think that having your car broken into is funny. It sucks.


Pranking your friend into THINKING that his vehicle was broken into, window smashed, and belongings stolen (when in reality his window is NOT broken, and his belongings are SAFE)?


But, first, before we get too deep into this:

warning-exclamation WARNING warning-exclamation

This information is intended for entertainment purposes only. This prank involves sharp glass and potentially a friend who will freak out. Use good judgement. Be very cautious.

Only use this prank on a close friend with a good sense of humor. Seriously. If you target the wrong person, there could be trouble.

If you doubt your ability to handle sharp glass or a potentially violent friend safely and responsibly, DO NOT EVEN READ THIS.

I don’t even know if this disclaimer is legally valid, but… ya know what? I don’t care. It’s good enough for my conscience.

First, Select Your Target

Select your target: a friend who desperately needs to be freaked out.

In addition to being able to take a joke, this person should also drive a vehicle that they habitually leave unlocked (or, you should have easy – and LEGAL – access to their keys), because you do not actually want to break into the vehicle… although that IS the impression they’ll get.

What You’ll Need

You will need something heavy & hard, which could feasibly be used to break a window: a brick, a large rock, a hammer, a crowbar, etc.

You’ll also need several decent-sized pieces of clear broken glass.

You should be able to get a piece of glass from a home-improvement-type store, or maybe you know a construction contractor or window installer who can hook you up with some scrap chunks.

Prepare Your Materials

Wear Gloves When Handling Sharp Stuff.

Handle the glass with caution, especially after it’s broken. I suggest wearing some thick leather gloves throughout this whole process.

Take your glass outdoors – away from children or animals – and wrap an old towel around it. Be sure you have your gloves on (and maybe safety goggles, too, if you’re particularly accident-prone), and tap the glass (through the towel) firmly with your hammer.

The idea is you want a number of kinda-large, yet haphazardly-jagged, pieces of glass.

Carefully unwrap the towel from the glass, carefully lift the larger pieces out, and carefully brush the itty-bitty pieces of glass off the larger pieces.

You’ll want to use large pieces of glass because you do NOT want tiny shards of glass to end up lying around all willy-nilly.

You’ll never be able to get all the tiny pieces of glass out of the towel, so don’t even try. Shaking the towel, in an attempt to clean it out, would just send tiny (SHARP!) chunks of glass flying around. So don’t do that.

Now, We Wait.

The opportunity to pull this prank off might not present itself immediately, so squirrel away your broken glass pieces (and your hammer), in a safe location where you won’t likely cut yourself, preferably in a container of some type to prevent accidental ouchies. Throw your gloves into that container, too, so everything’s right there when you need it.

The Time Has Come.

The best time to prank your friend with this is when he is (obviously) away from his car, not paying attention to what you’re doing, and is unlikely to catch you red-handed. Maybe he’s sleeping until noon with a hangover. Maybe he’s watching football. Maybe he’s banging his girlfriend. Maybe he’s banging YOUR girlfriend. Or your boyfriend. Or both. Or all three. Whatever. Doesn’t matter.

In any case, you’ll need him to be preoccupied for a minute or two while you work.

When the time is right, snag his keys, open his car door, and get in.

Collect His Stuff

If he has any belongings inside, collect them carefully into a container of some type so you can return them later… things like phone chargers, CDs, GPS, etc. Be careful with his stuff. Don’t break it. Don’t lose it. You just want to get it out of sight. If the vehicle has a trunk, lock the stuff in the trunk so it stays with the vehicle, but can’t be seen easily. (If there’s nowhere out of sight to hide his stuff, just take it with you – but REMEMBER to return everything later… we don’t want to turn this PRETEND burglary into an ACTUAL burglary).

Open The Window

Roll down the window, all the way, so the window is wide open. Get out and close the door.

Decorate The Seat

Now, place your brick (or rock, or hammer, or crowbar, or whatever) onto the driver’s seat, and surround it with several of your broken glass pieces.

Now, for the icing on the cake – the part that really “sells” it…

Add The Window Dressing

You see that groove where the window sank down into? Those rubber “lips” that kinda pinch and seal around the window glass when it’s in the closed position? I’m not sure what that’s called, exactly, so I’m calling them… “window lips.”

Take two or three (or, if you’re really feeling wild and crazy – FOUR) large pieces of the broken glass and gently wedge them into the window lips. You will want to use the larger pieces so they don’t fall down inside the door and actually cause damage to the vehicle.

Just wedge a few of the pieces into the window lips, carefully.

The goal is to make it look like the window was shattered, but several pieces of the original window are still “stuck” in the window edges.

Look At What You’ve Done

Step back and admire your handiwork. It looks as though someone has broken into his car by smashing the window!

Car Window Smashed By A Thief
What He’s Gonna *THINK* Happened


If this actually WERE auto glass that had been shattered, it would look differently. Most vehicles use tempered glass in the side windows. If broken, tempered glass is designed to disintegrate into small pieces of glass about the size of rock salt. This is called “dicing” or “crazing” and tends to prevent serious injuries, because there should be no large, jagged pieces of glass to injure the driver or passengers.

Shattered car window glass looks like this:


BUT… this is more of the visual effect we’re getting with THIS particular prank:


Do not worry your pretty little head about this discrepancy.

Your friend will be so hopped up on adrenaline when he sees his car window “broken” that his capacity for logic and reason will be “out the window,” so to speak.

He will NOT notice that he is seeing an entirely different type of glass than there should be.

Waiiiiit For It…

Now, simply wait for your friend to discover his car.

NOTE: Unless you live out in the sticks, you’ll want to covertly keep an eye on the car so no opportunistic jackass ACTUALLY tries to steal the vehicle. Again… we do NOT want to turn this PRETEND burglary into an ACTUAL burglary (this is also the reason we removed his valuables from inside the car – so they didn’t get stolen for realsies).

Anyway, when your friend eventually comes out to his vehicle, the rest of the prank will probably play out in one of three ways:

  1. FUNNY FREAK OUT (Best Case Scenario)
    You film your friend’s lunatic – yet hilarious – reaction, and post it on YouTube, where it quickly goes viral worldwide and – since you had the foresight to monetize the video with ads – it earns you some coin. You split the ad revenue with your friend, and all is right with the world.
    Your friend is bummed out, but needs to take care of the problem. He takes the car to an auto repair shop… and later gets a call from the mechanic who says all they had to do was roll up the window. Your friend is a little irritated at you due to the public humiliation, but still thinks it was a helluva good prank. You pay his mechanic bill
    Your friend immediately calls the cops, and when they show up you have to explain how you wasted their time with a prank.
    (Actually, you should probably prevent this one if at all possible, so you’re not wasting their time – they have more important things to do… Hide your friend’s phone or something, so he can’t call them.)
  4. THE VIOLENT REACTION (Worst Case Scenario)
    Your friend, already having a dreadful day, sees his “broken” window. He violently snaps and immediately blames the nearest (innocent) passer-by and beats the shit out of them. He goes to prison, his life ends up in shambles, and he spends the rest of his days mumbling to himself.

Well, that’s it. That’s how to prank your friend into (at least momentarily) thinking that his vehicle has been burglarized.

And, of course, use good judgement and immediately diffuse any unpredictable / angry / violent outbursts, if he is starting to fly off the handle. It’s just a prank. As I said earlier, use this prank VERY CAREFULLY, and choose your victim VERY WISELY.

And if you can get video of your friend’s reaction when you do this, please share it with me. I’d love to see it.

Oh… and remember to return his belongings that you took from inside his car.


Have fun!