This U.S. mom had called to say that she was on her way back home. Expecting only to find her boyfriend and kids when she got there, instead she had the shock of her life. Because as she opened the door, she found that her partner had been causing mischief all day long.
Roman Atwood is a father who lives in Ohio with his girlfriend and three kids. But it’s what he chooses to do with his free time that has made him internet-famous. Atwood has a YouTube channel where he documents everything that he gets up to.
That’s because he’s a prankster who has pulled off some awesome practical jokes on his nearest and dearest. And one of his pranks in particular set the internet alight. He filmed the whole thing, of course, and uploaded it to his YouTube channel for his followers to see.
The video was so spectacular, in fact, that it has received more than 87 million views since it was uploaded in January 2015. And the idea itself was beautifully simple. Indeed, all it took to create the incredible prank was a significant amount of plastic balls and a wild imagination.
The beginning of the viral video shows the prankster sitting at home with one of his kids. He then calls his girlfriend on speaker phone and asks her when she is likely to be home. When she says, “Dinner time,” a glint appears in Atwood’s eye.
He tells his partner that he’s planning on “doing something with the kids” because he doesn’t want to sit around all day. Atwood’s girlfriend sounds pleased by this prospect, but just a matter of hours later, she would be astonished to see exactly what they’d been up to.
The next clip shows a big truck pulling up to the family’s house. As dramatic music plays, large bags are unloaded from the back of the vehicle and placed in the garage. Before long, in fact, the space is filled with giant bags – but their contents are still a mystery.
We then see a group of men in the house who seem to be assembling something out of pieces of metal. A time-lapse segment of the video ensues, and it quickly becomes clear that the men are building a trampoline, which is left in the middle of the living room.
Only then is it time to reveal what was delivered to the Atwoods’ household in the giant plastic bags. Hundreds of red plastic balls suddenly pour into the living room. And then hundreds of green balls fly into the room, too, which sends Atwood’s kids into a frenzy.
All of the giant bags that were delivered earlier that day contained hundreds of multi-colored plastic balls – exactly like the kind that you’d find in a kids’ ball pit. And the plan was to turn the house into one such giant ball pit, before Atwood’s girlfriend arrived home.
With the help of plenty of friends, the Atwood household slowly fills up with more and more of the colorful balls. Further time-lapse footage shows the work that went into creating the giant playpen. And before long, all the adults in the video are knee-deep in plastic balls.
Atwood then appears on the upstairs landing in preparation for an awesome stunt. He takes a running jump at the bannister before hurtling over the top of it, towards the living room below. But he doesn’t land in the ball pit – he lands on the trampoline.
The next part of the video shows all of Atwood’s friends and kids having a great time in the indoor ball pit. Some of the adults take daring tumbles from the landing to the trampoline, while others try surfing along the top of the ball pit using a body board.
Amidst all the fun, Atwood receives a call from his girlfriend, who tells him that she’s on her way home. When she asks what they’ve all been up to all day, Atwood responds by saying, “Absolutely nothing,” as he sits in the middle of his homemade ball pit.
Before his partner gets home, though, Atwood has one final idea to make the surprise even better. He and his friends quickly board up the area around the doorway, piling the space in front of the door with hundreds of plastic balls, ready for her arrival.
Then, when Atwood’s girlfriend returns to the house, she opens the door and a wall of plastic balls fall on her. “Welcome home,” are the words that she hears coming from the house. In her shock, the only reply that she can manage is, “Are you kidding me?”
She then enters the house to find the whole place covered in plastic balls, which her kids and their friends are rolling around in, clearly having the best time. She still seems shocked, but also amazed by her husband’s ability to pull off such a spectacular prank.
The video ends with Atwood’s girlfriend playfully pushing the prankster over into the ball pit. And he’d created such a happy atmosphere in the house by creating the giant playpen that it would have been impossible to be mad at him.
There’s no doubt that Atwood won some brownie points with his kids that day, something that the YouTube community applauded. “You’re such a good dad,” read one comment, while another simply stated, “This is brilliant.”
The thought of having to clear all those plastic balls out of the house again might fill some people with dread. However, it seems as though everyone involved in the prank – adults and kids alike – thought that it was worth the effort. And they certainly “had a ball” making it happen.