Is prank calling for fun sinful?

I sometimes like to prank call certain stores to crack jokes but all in good humor and I certainly don’t mean any harm. For example, the other week I prank called Pizza Hut by saying “Is this Pizza Hut? More like Pizza Butt!” Is this gravely wrong?

Not a mortal sin. Rude. Disrespectful. Annoying. But certainly not a mortal sin. I’d just skip it from now on. Those poor people answer phones all shift long, last thing they need is a crank call. :shrug:

The only way sin enters in is if you say something mean or disrespectful about the person or their job.

Also never NEVER crank call 911 or any medical or emergency assistance places! That could be a serious sin if you know what you are doing, as lives are on the line if you tie up the operators for such rude silliness.

No, not a mortal sin. But it’s far from perfect.

Look. You sound like you’re probably young. Don’t beat yourself up too much about things. But the older I get, and the further I go, I begin to see that when we are satisfied and pleased by things which are not godly, it is a reflection of our own ungodliness. That’s when we stop liking to swear, stop liking to play violent games, watching tv where sex is every other punchline, stop making crude and vulgar jokes, etc…

You’re not on the fast-track to Hell because you like to make prank calls. But as you grow older, remember that a holy life should look holy. Try to imitate the saints. Read a lot about them.

Don’t overdo it. You’re also likely, as a younger person, to want to go too far and too fast. Then you create some sort of caricature of holiness and wind up doing harm to yourself and those around you. Always be light, and loving, and sensitive, as much as you can, to those who depend on that aspect of you. Prank calling is a symptom, albeit one that is better gone than here, of your lightness of heart. Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water. When you grow older, maintain your lightness of heart, but find more perfect ways of expressing it.

May God bless you.

Jesus told us to love one another.

In fact, in some places, prank calling 911 would be a crime, and as such the further sin of flouting lawful authority.


The seventh commandment: Thou Shalt Not Steal


Certainly it is sinful…
If you call a business, you are stealing the time, resources, and income that the business owner is paying for or expecting to receive, by taking the time of their employee away from paying customers, away from performing their job responsibilities, and preventing legitimate customers from contacting that business.
Is it a mortal sin - not for me to judge. However, keep in mind, the gravity of sin can change due to the circumstances of those you harm.

The Eighth Commandment: Thou shalt not bare false witness.

When one calls 911 you are reporting to a civil authority that there is an actual event or situation that requires the use of civil resources and you testify to that fact. This is one reason 911 calls are recorded, to be potentially used as tapped testimony in a legal proceeding.

GEddie has hit this nail directly on the head!
In all 50 of the USA it is a criminal offense to prank call 911 to one degree or another.
Worse, say that prank call results in preventing a true emergency from being properly handled such as a fire, burglary, medical event! A prank call could potentially result in harm or even death to someone, loss of property, or both.

Depending on the prank, Federal Government Agencies such as the FBI can become involved… normally not a person who bets; however, I’d lay odds that someone is either going to jail or facing sever financial penalties when this happens!

Prank calling 911 is also theft of service from the citizens who have paid in taxes to purchase and maintain the 911 system.

So again, I am no position to say if this is mortal or not; however, IMHO, it is certainly a very serious sin to prank 911.

A prank call to Pizza Hut is not objectively mortally sinful. Prank calls to Domino’s are another matter :wink:

In all seriousness, though, considering you took the time to post about this, perhaps you feel something within your conscience about your behavior that you should listen to. Frankly, have you thought about how you would feel in their shoes? You mentioned that you call in good humor not intending harm, but from whose perspective are you making this judgment? That sounds to me like an attempt at excusing behavior that you know you shouldn’t be doing.

Anyway, think about it. It’s good that you’re pondering these things. Looking back at my younger self, I’m amazed at how easy it was for me to justify some of my behavior without a second thought because I knew* I *had good reasons for why it was okay :blush:

Vivat Jesus!

It’s probably not gravely sinful. But it’s darned immature.

Think about it – you can’t see who you are calling, or what they might be going through. They might be a person who’s just been fired, and is reeling from the news,
They might have just lost a loved one.
They might be feeling very insecure or have low self esteem.
They might be in great need of comfort or support – and you give them vulgar jokes?

Maybe stick to friends your own age that may be on the same wavelength as you.
Good for you for posting to ask about this. Hopefully you will find something more constructive to do with your time.

To some people, this playful way is showing love. Some people may think a prank call is funny and gives them a laugh to overcome the hard day they have had … Others may be offended … It’s always a hard call … But non-the-less a form of love.

In a world where caller I’d is everywhere and thy can find you easy, I’m amazed anyone would try prank calling.

It is 100% unquestionably wrong and potentially gravely wrong depending on how far your lack of respect goes. Asking the question on this forum, for example, is going to increase your culpability for doing it. You are doing violence to the person you are calling by making them feel uncomfortable and petty, instead of like the human being that they are. There is practically no way that the stranger on the other end is laughing with you. More than likely they’ll either 1) be openly annoyed, or 2) they’ll give an uneasy, fake laugh because your rudeness intimidates them, and because you can tell them to “lighten up” as a cop-out.

Certain “prank humor” as a charitable kind of humor, can’t really effectively exist except among friends that know you. Among strangers, the laughter is a one-way street. You get to laugh, and the other person is pinned down against their will while you have your way with them.

I think prank calling in the way the OP has described sounds just like a childish joke. I can’t really see how it’s a fun thing to do, but then, I’m not young!

If the OP is a grown adult, it’s a strange thing to do.

Prank calling is very immature and could lead to other sins.
It is not just for the person you are calling. They sre running a business and don’t have time to answer prank calls. I think you already know it is wrong. Not a mortal sin but you need to do something more constructive with your time.

I don’t know the level or degree of sinfulness involved, but if you are calling up businesses and doing this, you are disrupting the operation of their business by tying up their phone lines when their employees are in the middle of trying to do business, if you think about it. It’s definitely not the right thing to do.

Probably not gravely wrong but definitely falls in the “Get A Life!” category.

Is there any difference to the same businesses cold calling me when I’m at home and trying to have quality time with my family?

Given, Pizza Hut doesn’t do that. But there are banks, insurance brokers and the like who don’t miss a trick in soliciting new business. I had three calls within 20 minutes yesterday.

I would say it’s OK to prank call them to get even. They waste my time. I waste theirs.

Whenever I get some junk through my letter box asking me to apply for some bonus club or credit card membership i always return the form filled in (with junk information of course). I didn’t want that form. They sent it to me. So let them waste time and money processing it only to ultimately discover the information is bogus.

If enough people did this. they would stop doing that and seek business by more respectful methods.

What is your motive for asking this question?
What use do you intend to make of whatever answers people give you?

So you waste even more of your time filling out a form that you are annoyed you got in the first place because it wasted your time??? Ripping it in half and throwing it in the recycling bin takes much less time then filling out the form.

good luck convincing enough people to do this on a regular basis to have the desired effect. I bet you will be wasting more of your time then the businesses will.

That’s what you think maybe. And I respect your point of view.

Several companies have already confirmed to me that I am on their no-call list. One company accused me of having caused them costs in excess of 1000 dollars and threatened to sue me (they never did). The manager who called me was really wound up and shouted lots of rude and insulting expletives at me. A pity I didn’t record that conversation as I could have got him fired. I have no idea how it is at all possible that they could rake up that sort of a bill over a couple of minor bits of misinformation and I imagine there is some exaggeration somewhere. But it shows these companies are not as invulnerable as many think.

If one million people could each cause 1000 dollars worth of damage, we could take down a billion dollar credit card business.

Maybe not a serious sin, but, as others have said, it’s pretty immature and a nuisance to the people being called.

Maybe some 12-year-old boys think it’s funny, as some did when I was that age. It’s NOT, and nowadays with caller ID you could even get in trouble for it.

As others have said, do something worthwhile.

Getting off the original post topic here but… That was a rather quick jump from a goal of stopping junk mail to taking down a business. Do you really wish to ruin a legitimate business that provides jobs for many people simply because you were inconvenienced by getting junk mail?

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