Another Benign Violation: Scare Pranks

At some point we have all been the victim of an unexpected scare by a friend or family, which often ends with one or both parties laughing.

This Mannequin Scare Prank shows how fear is typically replaced by laughter:

According to the Benign Violation Theory, humor arises when something is wrong yet okay, threatening yet safe, or what we call a benign violation.


Scare pranks begin with a “victim” reacting negatively to a physical threat. However, when the person realizes he or she is not in danger, the situation becomes benign. This balance can be skewed in either direction – too benign or too much of a violation.

Unfortunately, some people take these pranks too far (especially in the eyes of the victims)…viewer discretion advised:


Funny or not, I doubt you could do this prank in the USA. Too many guns…