Last month, Egyptian TV presenter Ramez Galal pranked Paris Hilton into thinking her plane was about to crash. She witnessed people -- actually skydivers IRL -- jumping off the plane and understandably freaked out (as any of us would).
Now, TMZ reports that Hilton was allegedly in on the plane prank, which is confusing given the news that she's also planning to sue Galal and the Egyptian TV show "Ramez in Control" for the stunt that Hilton says "went too far."
That got us thinking of all the other times people have gone a bit too far in playing jokes on people, like...
The teen who allegedly called President Bush's private lineBrendan Hoffman / Stringer
Truth is stranger than fiction sometimes. In 2007, an Icelandic 16-year-old boy named Vífill Atlason somehow convinced several White House officials that he was Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, the actual president of Iceland at the time. He even got so far that President George W. Bush’s personal secretary told him that he should expect a call back from the President himself.
That’s when the police showed up at Atlason’s door and questioned him extensively. When asked how he even had the Secret Service Uniform Division’s phone number -- they handle security for the President -- he answered that his friend gave it to him when he was 11 or 12. New mystery: who is this child super-spy friend?
The man who faked his suicide to scare his ex-wifeGary John Norman / Getty Images
This one is pretty dark, but in the end everyone ends up OK -- at least, physically. It’s not hard to imagine that when a marriage breaks up there are hard feelings, but Randy Wood, 33, took these emotions to a whole new level of extreme.
The Washington Post reported in 2004 that Wood, a resident of West Monroe, New York, called his ex-wife and told her to come over because he had “something to show her”. When she arrived, she found Randy swinging from a noose as if he had killed himself and wanted her to be the one who found him.
In reality, he was wearing a stuntman's harness -- like they use in movies and TV -- and was 100% alive and 200% a jerk. His ex-wife, not realizing he was alive, called an ambulance. The police and fire departments also showed up. When paramedics checked on Wood, they realized he was very much alive.
The two brothers who fake kidnapped a childJordan Parks Photography / Getty Images
But TwinzTV, a channel with a modest 365,000 subscribers, decided it would be ... funny? I guess? ... to pretend to kidnap a child and capture how people would react. It didn't go over well, and the brothers behind the prank apologized for their actions.
The YouTube star who pretended to throw his son off a balcony
Last year, famous YouTube prankster Roman Atwood played a prank on his wife that some considered going too far. In the video, he is playing with his youngest son on the second floor of their house near an indoor balcony. As his wife comes to join her family, he throws a dummy dressed like his son off of it onto the tile floor below.
His wife obviously didn't find this very funny and kicks him where it hurts. I mean, he even titled the video “Killing My Own Kid PRANK!!" I'd still be mad at him if I was her.
The DJs who prank called a hospital with tragic resultsJohn Stillwell / PA Wire
It seems like this one happened a million years ago, but in 2012 Kate Middleton was preggers with sweet little George. Mel Greig and Michael Christian, Australian DJs from the radio station 2Day FM, thought it would be hilarious if they called up King Edward VII Hospital, where Duchess Kate was staying at the time, to see how she was doing. Pretending to be Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles, they made it all the way to the pregnancy wing that Kate was staying in and got answers about her condition.
Jacintha Saldanha, the nurse who answered their questions about the royal pregnancy, later found out it was all a hoax and tragically took her own life three days later. As a result, those two DJs became the focus of worldwide criticism and lost their radio show.
The woman who was stalked by ToyotaGetty Images
In 2009, Amber Duick claimed she suffered emotional distress when she was stalked by a fictional man named Sebastian Bowler. In reality, Bowler was the advertising entity Saachi & Saachi (Toyota is one of their clients). How can you be stalked by someone who isn't real? Welp, here's how:
For five days, Duick received emails from Bowler claiming that he was “on the run from the law” and "coming to her house" to hide from the police. She even received a bill in the mail when the imaginary criminal trashed a hotel room. At the time, Saachi & Saachi were attempting to run a viral marketing campaign for the then brand new Toyota Matrix. When Duick found out that it was all a joke, she sued. It’s unclear how pretending to stalk a woman for five days advertises a car, but here we are talking about it.
Unfortunately for future "dupe potential customers by scaring them to death" pranks, Duik won her case against Toyota in 2011.