Prank Encounters

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Prank Encounters TV Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Uneven but fun prank show can be brutal, has cursing.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 11 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The pranks feature lots of made-up stories, but overall the series is designed to scare people for laughs. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Host Matarazzo and the actors have a good laugh after it's over. Most of the victims are good sports about it after the shock wears off. 


Pranks range from spooks by Bigfoot-like beings to murderers, surgeries gone wrong, and other bloody events. Conversations include references to dead people, including children. Lots of screaming as a result. 


Cursing ("s--t," "f--k") is sometimes audible. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some pranks feature actors pretending to be nurses and medicating people. References are made to drugs like morphine and fentanyl. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Prank Encounters is a hidden-camera series hosted by Stranger Things' Gaten Matarazzo that features people being terrorized during well-orchestrated pranks. There's lots of violent (albeit fictitious) events, ranging from attacks from monster-type beings to people being murdered or found dead. Blood and gore is often visible, and there's a discussion about the death of a child. When people get pranked, they often respond with lots of screaming and strong cursing including "s--t" and "f--k." Some gags include the simulated administration of narcotics. There's definitely a conversation to be had between parents and kids about pranks in general, and when they can go too far. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bymoviefan12456 November 11, 2019

you cant blame me

if you have a near fearless child watch this and if you have a little shaker let em wait 1 yr or 2
Adult Written byRandomacc March 6, 2021
Kid, 11 years old June 9, 2020

pretty good

theres some swears other then that its pretty good.
Kid, 12 years old August 21, 2021

For tweens

This tv series is scary but funny at the same time there is some swearing but in my opinion its rlly good

What's the story?

PRANK ENCOUNTERS is a hidden-camera show that places people in their own personal tale of horror. Stranger Things' Gaten Matarazzo sets up elaborate pranks with the help of actors, "hiring" two unsuspecting victims to do jobs at two separate locations. As the events unfold, the two complete strangers cross paths, and find themselves having to deal with some weird and scary circumstances together. Matarazzo follows all the events from a remote location, but reveals himself at the height of the fray. 

Is it any good?

This fun but uneven comedy series gets its laughs by showing how unsuspecting people react to the weird, outlandish, and downright freaky events they are made to face while doing what they believe is their job. The gags are well developed, but a few unfold a bit slowly, and others seem more goofy than scary. While some of the victims of these hijinks seem truly overwhelmed by what is happening, others don't appear as convinced. Nonetheless, Prank Encounters has its share of funny moments and is amusing enough to keep prank lovers entertained. There's definitely a conversation to be had with kids about pranks in general, and when they can go too far. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about pulling pranks on people. How do you know when you're being funny, and when you're taking it too far? 

  • How much time and organization does each gag featured on Prank Encounters require in order for it to go smoothly? What is the hardest part of each prank to pull off? 

TV details

  • Premiere date: October 26, 2019
  • Cast: Gaten Matarazzo
  • Network: Netflix
  • Genre: Comedy
  • TV rating: TV-MA
  • Available on: Streaming
  • Last updated: July 19, 2021

Our editors recommend

For kids who love comedy

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate