Fortune Cookie Prank

The original idea for this gag came from a (now out-of-print) Penn and Teller book, "How to Play with Your Food". Inside the book was an insert of "fortunes" that you were to cut out and use when you go to a Chinese restaurant. You were to substitute the fake fortune for the real fortune when opening your fortune cookie. I've taken this idea and updated it for Panda Express. Here's what to do.

The file linked HERE is a Microsoft Word file. It shouldn't matter what version of MS Word you have, it should print out just fine. The document is a template of 39 fortunes which look VERY close to an actual Panda Express fortune cookie fortune. If these are printed on a color printer, you have a very convincing substitute.

I have filled in 12 of the fortunes, you can make up the other 27 - but a suggestion: be very subtle. Make your fortune very significant for you - use something that will make sense ONLY to you and/or the person or people you're out to dinner with. If you make the fortune so obvious that it's not real, everyone will think something's fishy (besides the lemon halibut).

Fill in the sheet, print it out on a color printer - cut them up (on the lines) and hide 'em. When you go to Panda Express, only take ONE. If you are trying to convince your date that he/she is special, you won't make very many points if you have a pocketful of fortunes. Again, make it subtle or obscure.

When it comes for the cookies, take the fortune out of your pocket or hiding place, then grab your cookie (get your mind out of the gutter). Break the cookie over your lap, and with a quick smooth move, substitute the one you printed for the one inside the cookie. Drop the real fortune that was inside the cookie on the floor, of course! It's very easy to do this move, and nobody expects you to switch fortunes anyway.

When everyone reveals their fortunes, you reveal the "subtle" one you created, and everyone will marvel in the accuracy/humor/craziness of your fortune. Don't let anyone know the secret. I kept this trick going for a few visits before I confided to my significant other. Make each trip to Panda Express a bit less subtle, it'll still be believable. Just start out very subtle!

Penn and Teller (in their book "How to Play with Your Food"), suggest doing a card trick before you go, forcing the person to pick the 3 of clubs. You, of course, choose the WRONG card when doing the trick. Then you go to Panda Express and the fortune says, "The three of clubs is your card". That's a very cool effect, but obviously not too subtle.

Note: ONLY replace the fortune on your fortune cookie. Trying to stuff a fake fortune into other diners' cookies will really take the fun out of it. Also, don't eat the fortune (either the real one or the fake one). Enjoy!




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