The 7 Most Memorable Episodes of ‘Punk’d’, Ranked
7. Tyler, the Creator
The best elements of Punk’d tend to be natural reactions to manufactured shenanigans; Tyler’s didn’t disappoint. After a taco truck explodes at a children’s charity event, the former Odd Future frontman smiles ear to ear while running toward a man engulfed in flames — not to offer help, but to capture footage on his phone. Fake reality sets in when he’s blamed for the blast. “Yo, is he okay?” asks Tyler, the destroyer. “I can’t go to jail if I fucked up, right?”
Leave it to Ashton Kutcher to turn racial profiling into a riotous prank. When stopped by two pseudo police officers, Brandy and Ray J (who was in on the gag) are busted for riding around with “stolen” jewelry. From real-life tears to playing the race card, Brandy tried every trick in the book to keep her brother from being apprehended — all before doing a Maury-style sprint of shame once she realized it was a joke. That cameraman had stamina!
All Jadakiss wanted to do is read his King magazine in peace and take his ass to a film premiere. Which seemed simple enough, until his chauffeur left him stranded in an SUV, completely blocking traffic. The peak moment: Kiss losing his cool, shouting, “It’s no keys!” after a pissed-off motorist demands that he move the vehicle, later calling his reading material “porno.” A Jadakiss laugh has never felt more appropriate.
A pregnant woman. A pregnant woman inadvertently tased by her husband. An earthquake. Secret service. A would-be linkup with then Vice President Joe Biden. Punk’d really pulled out all of the stops to dupe Drizzy, which, as Kutcher remembers, led to MTV editing out footage of the budding superstar “fetaled up” in his homie’s lap. What a time to be alive — and not buried in the rubble of a parking garage.
3. Justin Timberlake
An IRS property seizure due to unpaid taxes turns into an all-out roasting session, as the phony feds claim they’re repossessing Justin Timberlake’s house, his cars, and even his two dogs, all while savagely disparaging the pop star’s unmowed lawn. This instantly classic, very first prank filmed for Punk’d damn near brought J.T. to tears — which is understandable considering he was higher than the federal deficit during the filming (and the dogs actually belonged to his mother). “At one point I sat down on my porch and looked at my friend and I was like, ‘I’m so high, man,’” Timberlake told the Armchair Expert podcast earlier this year. “Is this real? Is this really happening? I am so high.”
2. Kanye West
For this adventure, a bogus organization called the Los Angeles Film Commission told ‘Ye he didn’t have the proper paperwork to film a visual for his College Dropout single “Jesus Walks.” No one quite expected a full-blown meltdown before Yeezy went rogue, hopped in a whip, and attempted to peel off with his allegedly contraband film reel, at one point wrestling it from a prankster’s grip. Can’t tell him nothing — except that his ass got punk’d.
Remember that time Beyoncé ruined Christmas by crushing a human under a giant, toppled tree? Those crying, whining, annoying-ass kids; the singer’s nervous smile that gave way to a look of complete mortification. Sure, it was staged, but this episode has been living in our heads rent-free for years. A gift that’s good for all seasons.