The great Australian tradition of muck up day has been passed down through the generations, littered with embellished stories of years past, like the Mini Cooper on the roof or the painted pigs on the loose.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that when Australians start high school in Year 7, we are already thinking of the legendary pranks that will make our grade the school heroes. It’s in our blood.
These days, however, schools are starting to crack down on violent, disgusting and criminal behaviour (which is, you know, pretty fair) and a few have even changed the name to euphemisms such as ‘Celebration Day’ or ‘Dress Up Day’ (ha). Nevertheless, our spirit cannot be dampened. The show must go on in a fun and non-violent way, as the old saying clearly goes.
But it can be hard to think of ideas to carry on the tradition that are more creative than cross-dressing, but less likely to get you thrown out of school than a cow that can’t climb down the stairs (seriously- where are people getting all these animals from???).
We’ve compiled a little list of fun and (mostly) harmless ideas for your enjoyment, but be responsible with them- if your school has told you you’re not allowed a muck up day, then maybe you should heed their advice.
1. The watermelon experiment
This is a great- if a little messy- game that everyone in the grade can participate in. Each student is assigned a watermelon that they are to carry to school and treat as their baby for a week. You can name them, dress them up, but don’t, under any circumstances, drop them- the aim of the game is to have the last watermelon standing.
While protection of your own watermelon is key, all kinds of malicious sabotage are on the cards to try and take down your classmates’ fruits. You might want to get the okay from your teachers before you go off purchasing a hundred watermelons, and I’d suggest they’d appreciate if you only played outside, please and thank you.
2. Ride bicycles
Get your grade to meet in a secret location the morning of muck up day and ride to school. Pick a dress code or a theme- it works best when everyone is looking pretty similar (like the Santa bike ride). Imagine 100 hooting seniors rocking up to school? Don’t forget your helmets cause while you may not be kicked outta school for it, you might get a fine from the coppas.
3. Photo booth
Everyone loves a photo booth and it’s a fun way to create some lasting memories of the final weeks of school that comes with a memento to take home (trust me, you’ll treasure that one).
If you’re not keen on spending the money to hire a photo booth you can set up your own backdrop and have someone who’s handy with a camera to take some photos for you. Make sure you provide dress-ups and props!
Graffiti is wrong and illegal and everything else. But chalk will wash away. Let the quad be your canvas.
Get ready for a week spent looking over your shoulder in paranoia every five seconds… Randomly assign everyone a target (i.e. another classmate), whom over the course of the week they must eliminate with something like a Nerf gun, water pistol, or even just your hands held like a gun, if your teachers are particularly strict.
You have to get them when you’re alone- just you and them. Get shot/wet/clipped, and you’re eliminated from the game. Manage to eliminate your target unscathed, then you must take on your victim’s assigned targets and continue playing. The game goes on until there is only one player left standing.
Warning: even the most solid of friendships may be tested with this one.
6. Placing garden gnomes in increasingly obscure places
This one is pretty self-explanatory, and also pretty hilarious. Set them up as if they’re having lunch at the tables in the quadrangle. Place them in the absolute hardest-to-reach spots you can find. Imagine Year 7s opening their lockers to find a tiny ceramic man inside. Imagine the canteen ladies opening the fridge to see a small fishing Santa staring back at them. Incredible.
Bonus points go to the grade who placed the mysterious and foreboding ‘they’re coming’ signs all over the school in the weeks leading up to the gnomes’ arrival- pure genius.
7. Water fight
A classic for the last day of school. Get the hose, bring your super soakers and crack out the tarps- it’s summer baby!
8. Confetti on the fans
This is a slightly less messy variation of flour on the fans and a much less disgusting version of… um, other stuff on the fans. A harmless bit of celebratory fun, and they might not even find out about it until well after you’ve left, depending on the weather!
9. Flash mobs & classroom skits
An oldie but a goodie, the flash mob always works for some giggles, especially if someone can film it and add it to your graduation video. There are plenty of great skits you can perform on unsuspecting audiences (aka. the younger grades) as well.
All you need is a crowded school yard and a couple of improv masters to perform a host of entertaining skits- Jedi fights with lightsabers, rap battles, anything that’s funny and/or shocking.
Check out Improv Everywhere for some ideas.
10. A guy with a saxophone going into random classrooms playing ‘Careless Whisper’
This is the funniest thing I’ve ever heard of in my life. Get that one guy from band to learn the iconic riff from the classic George Michael song (he probably already knows it, if we’re being honest) and then send him on his merry way.