Staged robberies, allergic reactions and false alarms: An exclusive insight into the Rootes’ prank wars

Flat pranks, tried and tested

Rootes' reputation is a staple of Warwick life. A place filled with infamous freshers, a place where the party never stops. If only the walls could talk…

It has enough mischief and scandal to challenge Oxford's Bullingdon Club. But have this years freshers taken it too far?

With over 900 students in Rootes to torment, a select group of freshers decided to make it their mission to prank everyone, initiating what is now being called the "Rootes' Prank Wars."

'Late to a lecture'

The prank war started out tame, a warm up prank you will. It was the third day of Freshers' Week when a Rootes resident was woken by a violent knock on his door at 9am and told he was supposed to be at a lecture.

He got up, threw on his clothes from the night before and ran to the lecture hall. It wasn’t until he got to his lecture theatre that he realised it was Week 0, and lectures didn't start for another whole week. As if 9am lectures couldn’t get any worse…

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'Staged robbery'

Things soon escalated with a "staged robbery". The scene was set with whisperings about someone in the building who didn't appear to be a fresher. Everyone else thought nothing of it.

Several hours later, a flatmate ran into the kitchen, tears rolling down her face claiming everything in her room had been stolen. From pictures to makeup – it was all gone.

Even after her relentless accusations to her male flatmates, they all managed to keep a straight face – staying true to the war they had started. It wasn’t until hours later that one of the boys caved and told her. She hasn't left her door unlocked since.

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'Welcome to the upside down'

Obviously payback was needed. When the main culprit of the "staged robbery" went into Leamington for the day, he stupidly left his door unlocked giving his flat the perfect opportunity to turn every single thing in his room upside down. Literally, everything. His bed, his cupboard, even every poster on his wall and every book on his shelf. If it wasn’t nailed down, it got turned upside down.

He wasn’t impressed, but they gave him a nice job for the afternoon of turning everything back around. Who said first year is just a waste of time?

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Even the TV, turned.

'The mayo incident'

The mayo incident came from the bright idea to fill a Rootes fresher's shampoo bottle with egg mayonnaise. A guaranteed laugh – or so they thought. It wasn't until halfway through the prank did they realise their victim had a severe egg allergy.

Monday mornings are bad enough, but this prank took that to a whole new level. As everyone was getting ready for their morning lectures, he came running out as if he were on fire (his eyes looked like they were). He didn’t recover for a full 12 hours and didn't forgive his flatmates for a week. But what's a mild anaphylactic shock between pals, aye?

'Locked out of every single toilet'

This prank brings a new meaning to Rootes' flat vs. flat notorious annual beef.

On the final day of Freshers', one Rootes flat decided to pay a visit to all the surrounding floors in the building, and lock all the doors of the toilets and showers from the outside, using a 50p coin.

Imagine waking up in the middle of the night desperate for the toilet, only to find that they’re all "occupied". Or thinking you can roll out of bed at 8:45am for your 9am seminar but not being able to shower as they're all "being used". A classic. Absolutely brutal.

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'Hidden alarm clock'

Every person dreads the sound of their alarm going off, especially after a night out. So imagine the heartbreak of it going off at 5am and having no idea where it is.

The story goes that one flatmate snuck into the other's room, put an alarm on for 5am, and hid his phone in the wardrobe, in a shoebox, covered in clothes. There was no chance he was finding this.

Understandably, he had no idea what was going on when it went off, and he told The Warwick Tab it took him a whole ten minutes to find the device and turn it off. Any hope this student had of being productive for the day was shattered the moment the alarm clock went off.

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These are only some of the pranks that have being going on in Rootes over the first couple of weeks of uni. Friendships have been damaged, as have sleeping patterns. I am sure these aren’t going to be the last either…God help the next victim.

Do you have any funny stories about your time in halls? We'd love to hear them. Please get in contact with us confidentially either by messaging our Facebook page or emailing