Longtime ago, we asked our regular contributors through e-mail, How do you subtly f**k with people? We got many interesting responses. Here are some of them. We have just copied and pasted their responses, not editing them in any way and most of the respondents have requested to stay anonymous, so no names will be published.
1-5 Subtle Ways to F**k with People
1. I look over people’s shoulders when they’re unlocking their phone so I can see their four-digit code. Then I pretend I’m making a phone call and VERY LOUDLY use their number in my fake conversation. “Yeah, the address is 8319 Main Street.” It’s so much fun to see their neck snap back with this WTF look, and then watch them mentally process the depth of such a remarkable coincidence. It’s even more fun to do it with people you know and don’t really like.
2. My wife used to play a couple of computer puzzle games (win95 vintage), and was quite proud of beating my high scores. What she didn’t realize was the high score table was a plain text file in the directory, so every time she beat my score, I edited the file to put myself on top again. She would play for days trying to top me, lol.
3. I’ve been slowly increasing the mouse sensitivity on both of my roommates’ computers. In 2 weeks I’m going to put them back to the default and pretend like mine is slow too. I’m interested to see the conclusion that they will come to.
4. When someone is a close talker, I like to take small steps backwards to see how far across the room I can get them to walk
5. Calmness! I work with the public. Dramatic and entitled adults hate a soothing voice and a slow condescending head nod. I’m not a jerk but when people are unreasonable I absolutely refuse to argue. This approach will get under peoples skin 10 times out of 10.
6-10 Subtle Ways to F**k with People
6. I like to walk at the same speed as total strangers. One time in college I was walking home across campus after a night of drinking. This guy walking behind me eventually caught up to me and started to pass, but instead of letting him pass me, I sped up to keep pace. We walked next to each other without saying a word for the next 2 minutes. He then started slowing down, so I started slowing down. Then he sped up. So I sped up. Then he finally turns to me and says “Are you ****ing with me?” I burst out laughing and said yes and let him walk the rest of the way home without me.
7. I asked a guy at work if he’d ever got “that creepy déjà vu feeling”. A week later, I did it again.
8. Say “no pun intended” occasionally after saying something normal in conversation. Most people don’t want to look stupid and will laugh awkwardly while trying to figure out what the pun was. I also like to randomly say “Hey, that rhymes!” when other people are talking. It completely destroys their train of thought.
9. When someone I don’t like is being sexist/racist/gossiping, I just pretend not to understand what they mean, and keep asking questions and making them explain what they’re saying, until they get so uncomfortable they have to stop. Wide eyes and an innocent look help here.
10. At my school you have to login to use the computers. Sometimes on the computers next to me I put a space where the username goes and then press the left key so it looks like there is nothing there. When anyone tries to login it doesn’t work because there is a space after their username. They never notice and assume the computer is broken. Yes, I get satisfaction out of watching people struggle.
11-15 Subtle Ways to F**k with People
11. There’s this guy who sits opposite me who is a salesman and a bit of a tough talker. Think of a mix of Hank Schrader from Breaking Bad and Dwight Shrute from the Office, toned down a bit. One day, after a great series of sales, he notices that whenever he makes a sale this 50 cent coin he has on his desk is standing on its side (Australian 50c coins have 12 flat sides). Whenever he loses a sale the coin is sitting face down. This becomes his lucky coin and he is very protective of it. It must be standing on its side at all times. For whatever reason I decide to subtly f**k with his coin. Every day for about 3 weeks I get to work early and add another identical 50c coin to his desk, right next to his lucky coin. I get to about 15 coins all up. What made this funny for me is that he just had no way of dealing with it. This big tough guy would come in everyday and see this small army of coins standing to attention on the side of his desk. He would stare at them perplexed for a few moments not knowing what to do. He wouldn’t ever talk about it and just go to work awkwardly surrounded by coins. I don’t know why but I found this really funny. Eventually I got bored so started adding googly eyes to them and making them into little tableaus.
12. Rotate my friend’s TV a little to the left each time I visit.
13. I can tell when someone needs to merge into my lane. I’ll intentionally not let them over until they turn on their blinker. I’m trying to Pavlov’s Dog everyone, one driver at a time.
14. Holding the door open for them while they are an awkward distance away.
15. When meeting people for the first time I say, “Nice seeing you again!” Sometimes they’ll go along with it so they don’t appear rude for not remembering me. Other times they respond, “Yeah nice seei- wait, what?”
16-20 Subtle Ways to F**k with People
16. My co-worker has one of those framed postcard size motivational posters on his desk. I photocopied it one weekend while catching up on extra paperwork. I then photoshopped sponge bob surfing into the background. Days went by and he never noticed, so I changed the quote as well. He STILL didn’t notice. Now I add one new thing each week. Everyone in the office knows and they all chuckle when near his desk. Visitors give him odd looks but he’s so freaking oblivious…. I can’t wait to see how long I can stretch this out.
17. I sell cameras in a high-end store. I try to always use the worst comparisons possible when a client asks me to compare two models… “Well, the Olympus E-M1 is like an all-dressed pizza and the Fuji XT-1 is like a screwdriver, you see?” My new favorite is guaranteeing things that are obvious. Gluten-free cameras, no preserving agents in a bag, etc.
18. When I hate someone, I make sure to have it seem obvious to them that I could care less what’s going on or what they have to say… then make sure in other’s company to really sing their praises… really go on about how much I admire this person… so when she is bitching about me to someone else, they think she’s a terrible person. I’m slowly breaking a coworker this way. She can’t figure out why she doesn’t like me, people think she’s such a b**ch for hating on me, especially since I just think the world of her.
19. When I’m having a cigarette at the pub and someone asked if they can bum one I tell them I don’t smoke.
20. A fun thing, when someone is walking behind you and you turn a corner, sprint as far as you can before they turn the corner. Before you went around the corner, you were like twenty feet ahead, when they turn around the corner and see you, you’ll be like a hundred feet ahead and look like you teleported.
21-25 Subtle Ways to F**k with People
21. My mom was doing the toothpaste tube roll up thing and was amazed at how long the tube was lasting. What she didn’t know was that my dad was constantly squeezing more toothpaste into it just to f**k with her. They are in their 70s.
22. I play a lot of billiards. Every once in a while you will run into the guy that likes to distract you during your shot. It is quite possibly the most irritating thing that I will experience in the game but I usually don’t say anything because they are entitled to play however they choose as long as they aren’t physically touching the table, balls or myself. In order to get back at them I wait until it is their turn, make sure that I am in their field of vision while keeping my distance from the table to make it clear that I respect their shot and then at the exact moment they shoot I will quickly look up at the television or something. I ONLY do this against those types of players and it usually has a larger impact than their tactics.
23. In high school computer lab I would always quickly turn off my computer monitor when my teacher would come around the corner and go “oh sh*t” and he would make me turn it back on to see what I was doing and it would always just be the spreadsheet or whatever it was I was working on and he would demand to know what I was doing that I had to hide. This went on for weeks and then one day while at the computer I see out of my peripherals this little Asian man (my teacher) slowly sneaking up beside my desk on his hands and knees trying to get a look at my screen. All I could see was the top of his head. I couldn’t stop laughing so he made me go sit in the hallway to laugh it off.
24. I worked at an ice cream shop when I was in high school. I would frequently ask customers “would you like penis on that?” Then they would freak out and ask me to repeat myself and I would say “I said would you like peanuts on that?” The look on their face was always hilarious.
25. When I’m ordering from a fast food place or a Starbucks, when they ask for my name, I’ll respond with the name of the person taking my order regardless of gender. They’ll usually kind of give you a sideways look of confusion, and I just continue making eye contact, dead serious. It makes for a great response considering I’m a smaller Asian girl claiming my name is George. Haha that guy definitely kept glancing over at me as if I was going to suddenly change into a man.