The Thin Line Between the Prank and Bullying

Categories: BullyingSociety


When does pranking become bullying? A prank is a light hearted, playful action, a joke meant to make people laugh. Bullying on the other hand is a behavior that is unwanted, aggressive, meant to cause damage to another person, and potentially could be repeated. The line is extremely thin and can be crossed easily, so when the prank becomes harmful and causes mental or physical harm to the person who is being pranked, is when the prankster becomes a bully.

The Harmful Nature of Pranks

A prank that has went too far is not always noticeable to the prankster, so they might not even know that they have harmed their victim. Some pranksters might not mean to hurt their victims, it just happens they picked the wrong prank and/or victim. It does not necessarily mean that they are completely innocent, the consequences of their action can still be harmful to the victim. But there're some prankster who know but absolutely do not care how it effects their victim, when they completely disregard their victims' feelings, that would be considered bullying.

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Pranking as Bullying

A prank for the prankster could be a funny joke, but could be considered bullying to the victim, for example giving meat to a friend who does not eat meat because eating it is against their religion. If knowingly they give a meat to a person whose religion doesn’t allow a certain meat, then letting them eat it, then telling them what it was, is bullying.

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The prankster is completely disregarded the morals, harming their mental health, and emotional wellbeing of the victim.

Another prank, that turned into bullying, could be joking around about a person's appearance. For example, a student once made fun of another student's appearance, they had unfashionable and older clothing, even if the prankster thought it was a joke. The other students kept it going and made it seem like it was funny, but it had a harmful effect on the victim. The prank had detrimental effect on that person's mental health and had long-term effects on the victim, lowering their self-esteem and making them think they were not good enough.


The prankster must be careful not to cross, knowingly or unknowingly, the fine line between the two. When pranking another always ask yourself, will the prank harm or can it have a negative and long-term effect on the victim. It is always better to be careful if you are not certain the prank will not harm another then do not perform the prank.

Updated: Feb 02, 2024
Cite this page

The Thin Line Between the Prank and Bullying. (2024, Feb 07). Retrieved from

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