How to Pull the Burning Pen Prank

No one will ever ask to borrow your pen again after you pull this hair-raising hoax.


Up next in How to Pull Pranks (16 videos)

Put one over on your friends and co-workers on April Fool's Day, or any day, with the funny pranks in this Howcast video series. You'll learn how to make a dissolving bikini, do the refrigerator handle switch prank, play a Halloween computer prank, pull the burning pen prank, make a prank phone call, wrap a toilet seat as a prank, short sheet a bed, flip a computer screen, gleek, and much more.

You Will Need

  • A ballpoint pen with a cap
  • Scissors
  • Two matches and a match box
  • An unwitting victim


  1. Step 1

    Dismantle pen

    Dismantle the pen and remove and discard the ballpoint tip and the ink. Set aside the empty tube and cap.

  2. Step 2

    Cut match strip

    Cut a small square from the strike pad on the matchbox and contour it inside the cap, strike side out.

  3. Step 3

    Cut matches

    Cut the ends from the matches so they fit inside the tip of the pen tube, match heads facing out. Let them stick out about ¼- to ½-inch.

  4. Step 4

    Fill tube with water

    Fill the tube with water before reassembling as a safety precaution. Replace the end with the matches in the tube and carefully replace the cap.

  5. This gag won’t harm your victim or cause a fire. The water inside will extinguish the fire almost immediately.

  6. Step 5


    Watch in amusement as your unwitting victim removes the cap, causing the matches to light and the pen tip to burst into flames.

  7. French Baron Marcel Bich founded the BIC Company in 1945 after developing popular gravity-flow inks. In 1958, BIC introduced its pens to the American market.