- "One practical joke after another, and always on me."
- - Captain James T. Kirk, 2267
A practical joke was a trick played on someone in which humor was derived from the victim's embarrassment or discomfort. They were called "practical" jokes because they were practiced, instead of being related in oral or written form.
Practical jokes were known to occur at Starfleet Academy.
James T. Kirk
During his time at the Academy, Captain James T. Kirk fell victim to one practical joke after another at the hands of Finnegan, an upperclassman. Kirk later recounted the types of pranks Finnegan was prone to play (always on Kirk):
- "He's the kind of guy to put a bowl of cold soup in your bed or a bucket of water propped on a half-open door. You never knew where he'd strike next." (TOS: "Shore Leave")
During Wesley Crusher's first week at the Academy, Cadet Adam Martoni reprogrammed Crusher's sonic shower to cover him with mud. Crusher returned the favor by somehow rigging an anti-matter regulator to spray chili sauce (presumably) on Martoni. (TNG: "The Game")