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The 5 best pranks in Facebook history

A good Facebook prank, like a good bank heist, requires more than opportunity. Elaborate planning and perfect execution are needed to pull off the maximum lulz.


Fidel Martinez


Posted on Nov 30, 2012   Updated on Jun 2, 2021, 6:24 am CDT

Pranking someone on Facebook is easy. All it takes is for a careless friend to leave his or her computer unattended and logged on.

That’s bush-league.

A good Facebook prank, like a good bank heist, requires more than opportunity. Elaborate planning and perfect execution are needed to pull off the maximum lulz. Below are five examples of people whose trolling went above and beyond the call of duty. 

1) Ryan Roy: There can only be one

If your name is Ryan Roy and you’re on Facebook, chances are Reddit user CasinoRoy had some fun at your expense. The redditor, whose name is also Ryan Roy, searched for people who shared his name, replicated their profile picture, and then friend-requested them.

The results are hilarious: 

Photos via Ryan Roy/Reddit

How did your average Ryan Roy react? Not so well.

“Mostly ‘who the fuck are you’ or ‘what the hell man,’” he wrote. “None of them really got it, they just got really creeped out and changed their profile pic immediately.”

Some people can’t take a joke.

2) Photos of James

Oli Beale is no stranger to Internet fame. The London-based creative is responsible for various viral sensations. Amongst his hits are a letter sent to Virgin Airlines complaining about the food, a letter/critique of his neighbor’s karaoke performances, and a Darth Vader parody video.

Beale’s Facebook prank on his friend James Bennett is also one for the ages. Beale decided to mess with his friend by taking Bennett’s Facebook photos, slightly modifying them, and then reposting them on the social network. 

Photo via Oli Beale/ Oli + Alex

Like any good online prank, Beale’s stunt made it to the front page of Reddit a year ago, receiving over 3,500 karma points.

3) Emma From Aberdeen

Liverpool fans are terrible people.

Just ask Stuart Slann, a Manchester United supporter and victim of a pretty elaborate prank.

In November 2008, Slann vacationed in Cancun, Mexico, where he met his soon-to-be tormentors. Slann and the two unnamed Reds supporters had a series of lively exchanges over which soccer club was better. One such discussion ended with the Liverpool fans throwing Slann into a pool.

That was just the beginning. 

Back in England, Slann friended a Scottish woman named Emma on Facebook. The two flirted and talked over the social network for about a month, until Emma suggested that Slann pay her a visit. Slann agreed and drove nine hours to Aberdeen, Scotland.

There was only one problem, though. Emma wasn’t a real person. Her Facebook account was a fabrication of the two Liverpudlians. After making Slann wait in his car for three hours, one of the two pranksters called the poor sap and told him that he was just pranked. The entire conversation was recorded, which you can hear above.

The kicker? Slann’s wife Louise found out what was going on and promptly divorced him.

“It was a cruel thing to do. I’ve been taken for a ride,” Slann told The Telegraph. “They wound me up good and proper.”

4) Arash Derambarsh, Facebook’s first president-elect

Photo via

In early 2008, Arash Derambarsh, a first-generation Franco-Iranian politician, became the first president-elect of Facebook. The then-28-year-old ran on a platform that pushed for religious tolerance, declared war on illiteracy, and made a promise to promote France’s rich culture across the globe. 

Sounds great, right?

Turns out it was nothing but a hoax. 

Derambarsh was elected to be the first “Facebook Worldwide President.” Except that it wasn’t the social network behind the vote. The election was held through Facebook President, a third-party application that ran the equivalent of an online popularity vote.

That didn’t stop the French media from taking the news of Derambarsh’s election at face value. The 28-year-old became an immediate celebrity in his native France, being featured in various publications like L’Express.

It’s unclear whether Derambarsh was in on the hoax. We’re choosing to believe that he was and that he was just trolling.

5. We are all Ash Jolliffe

This particular prank is a little bit complicated. It’s somewhat similar to the first entry on this list, but much more elaborate. Thankfully, the “victim” behind it has made our job easier and created a long image explaining what transpired.

Photo via Ash Jolliffe/Reddit

Jolliffe, who goes by invisible39 on Reddit, submitted the above image to the r/funny subreddit. The post immediately took off on the social news site, garnering 1,138 karma points. The prank jumped from Facebook and into the comment section of his specific post. Various novelty Reddit accounts were created claiming that they were the real Ash Jolliffe. The joke became so meta, that it spawned its own subreddit, r/AshJolliffe. Given its extensive nature, one could argue—and we will—that this is the best Facebook prank to date.

Oh, and for the record, Ash Jolliffe looks nothing like Paul Rudd.

Main photo via Ryan Roy/Reddit

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*First Published: Nov 30, 2012, 11:21 am CST