Overly smooth prank nearly costs us an arm and a leg.

Our writer Masanuki Sunakoma has been trying out various viral pranks and experiments he came across on social media. This time it was the disembodied arm on the shoulder prank that caught his eye, where one person pretends to put their hand over the victim’s shoulder. However, the hand actually belongs to a third person, so when the first person walks away, the victim gets quite a fright.

Thanks to the matching shirts used in our rubber hand illusion experiment Masanuki was able to give it a try with the help of our boss, Yoshio. As for the victim, Go Hatori was once again chosen because the head in a jar prank showed him to be at least somewhat susceptible to trickery.

▼ Masanuki (standing left), Go (sitting left), and Yoshio (standing right)

The main problem was how to divert Go’s attention while Masanuki and Yoshio pulled the old bait and switch. To accomplish this they came up with a fake article premise in which Yoshio would pay for anything Go ordered from Amazon, provided he could get it in his shopping cart within three minutes.

With the plan set, everyone got into position. Yoshio approached Go and explained the three-minute challenge to him, while Masanuki hung around behind them, wearing a sweatshirt to cover up the fact that he was wearing the exact same shirt.

Once Go firmly took the bait and excitedly prepared for his challenge, Masanuki got ready by removing his sweatshirt.

Yoshio prepared the timer as Go brought up Amazon on his phone. Little did he know this was all just an elaborate plan to give him such a startling.

Meanwhile, Masanuki psyched himself up for the moment he had to jump in. His timing needed to be flawless and one small slip-up would ruin the entire prank.

The timer began and Go hurriedly searched through the e-commerce site but the pressure of the time limit made it hard for him to think straight.

At the same time, Masanuki struggled to continuously feign interest in the various items on the rack behind Go as he waited for Yoshio to get into position.

Just as he saw Yoshio inch closer to Go, Masanuki sprang into action.

Like clockwork, Yoshio pretended to put his arm around Go just as Masanuki stuck his similarly sleeved arm over his shoulder.

The prank was afoot and Go seemed none the wiser.

Yoshio: “How’s it going?”

The next phase would involve Yoshio detaching from his false appendage, again without Go noticing. This was to be another crucial moment that could make or break this prank, but by the looks of things, Go was totally engrossed in his smartphone.

Go: “Oh… The time’s going so fast!”

And just like that, Yoshio pulled back and walked away without Go taking his eyes off his phone for a moment. He also seemed totally unaware that Masanuki’s arm was still dangling around his shoulder.

Go: “I wish I had something bookmarked…”

Go: “Ah, I’m running out of time!”

As Masanuki stood bent over in an awkward position behind Go, he wondered if their plan to fool him was working too well.

Go should be shrieking like a little girl at the seemingly severed limb on his shoulder by now. But instead, he was completely diverted by his diversion of trying to make an Amazon purchase.

Go: “Why isn’t it letting me add to my cart?!”

Finally, the timer counted down to zero, and Go looked up from his smartphone dejectedly.

Go: “Stupid… That was so stupid of me.”

Go: “Huh?”

Go: “What are you doing there?”

Far from terror, the only emotion Go expressed was mild confusion about what Masanuki was doing behind him. Go later explained that he was so focused on what he was doing, that he never even noticed Yoshio put his arm around him in the first place.

Go: “What’s wrong?”

▼ The video shows how excruciatingly long that must have felt for Masanuki.

Even worse, they had given Go a blank check to buy whatever he wanted on Amazon but with nothing to show for it.

Yoshio: “So, what did you get?”
Go: “A pair of orange Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66 Slip-on Sneakers, but…”

Go: “They were all sold out in my size so I couldn’t add them to my cart!”

So, it looks like all’s well that ends poorly for everyone involved, but Masanuki learned a valuable in that it’s possible to be overly prepared. Pranking is certainly a delicate art and he’ll take this as a lesson learned for the next time he spots a funny gag on social media.

Photos ©SoraNews24
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
[ Read in Japanese ]