18 Naughty Elf On The Shelf Ideas

You can’t help but laugh.

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Christmas is just a little over a month away and you know what that means: Time for Elf on the Shelf to make an appearance. A Christmas tradition since 2005, Elf (or Elfie as some kids call him/her) is the work of mother-daughter writing duo Carol Aebersold and Chanda Bell and is all about an Elf who comes to check on kids on Santa’s behalf in the lead up to Christmas. Each morning kids find Elfie around the house in various frozen poses. And while these can be silly or simple, say Elfie swinging from the kitchen light fixture or hiding in the cookie jar, some parents choose to go next level with their Elf on the Shelf’s hijinks. Naughty elf on the shelf ideas range from putting elves in just slightly mischievous scenarios (like drawing on a family member’s photo), to situations that are definitely not kid-friendly and probably better suited to prank a roommate or spouse.

Depending on how extra (or in some cases crass) you care to go, the trouble your Elf on the Shelf can get into is only limited to our imagination. Proud Elf orchestrators the internet over have posted their scary, silly, and sometimes unsettling scenes for everyone to enjoy. Want your prank-loving elf to exhibit his or her sense of humor? Try covering the entire toilet in wrapping paper. Prefer to go even more over the top? Have Elfie shave Dad’s head. No joke, these are actual concepts some people came up with. Take a look at these naughty Elf on the Shelf ideas.


A Halloween candy bandit

Looks like you have a little bit of competition for your kid’s Halloween candy overflow. Have the elf get caught red handed stealing some sweets from your kid’s trick-or-treating bag. Make sure they’re holding one unwrapped item (for less clean-up, stay away from chocolate), and leave a few empty wrappers around the elf as “evidence” that they were the ones dipping in the candy stash, not you.


Elfie vandalizes photos

Elf on the Shelf

On the more PG end of bad Elf on the Shelf hijinks, you can have Elfie take part in some mischievous graffiti in your house by drawing on a framed photo of someone. Plus, you can make Elfie’s artwork as light-hearted, goofy, or inappropriate as you want. All you’ll need to carry out this bad Elf behavior is a family photo, picture frame with glass, and a dry erase marker (this last one is key, unless you want to actually ruin a picture frame with permanent marker). Who knows what they’ll draw.


Special Elf apple juice

When it comes to naughty Elf ideas, bathroom humor is an immediate go-to. For this one, fill some cups up with pee-colored drinks, such as apple juice or lemonade, and face Elfie toward the mysterious liquids as if they are peeing into the glass. To make it even clearer, consider putting up a cheeky sign like the one AdventElf. Once people are sufficiently grossed out, maybe even offer up some taste tests — here’s to hoping it’s juice...


A toilet paper party

Another easy Elf idea, turn to the hijinks of teens for ideas. In this case, that means relying on the good old pastime of TPing. Throw a roll all over a room and put Elf at the bottom clutching the roll. You can do this in your child’s actual bedroom to make them super surprised that the sneaky little imp was able to do this without waking them up. Or take it to a communal space where all the kids can find it at once.


A game of spin the bottle

Elves like to play party games from time to time, too! Take things back to middle school with this silly set-up. To execute this Elf on the Shelf shenanigan, set up your festive figures with a few of their friends — such as Bratz, Barbie, and Ken dolls — sitting in a circle with a bottle in the middle. To make the game a bit more kid-friendly, you can always use a soda bottle instead of a wine or beer bottle.


Little Elfie drummer boy

Who knew Elf was a rockstar? Turns out that all he needs is a couple over turned pots and pans and some tiny drum sticks and he’s ready to go full Ringo Starr on your household. If you’re feeling even more extra, give him some backup vocals from a couple of Barbie dolls or add in some action figures on guitar and bass. Bonus points to all the parents who write Elfie’s band’s name on the bass drum.


Naughty chef Elf

Uh oh. Looks like Elf decided to do a little baking. But boy, that’s not the way most people make Hershey kiss cookies. If poop jokes are allowed in your house, expect this scenario to elicit all kinds of giggles from your kids. Basically Elfie hovers over a cookie as if, well, read between the lines. Is it gross? Sure. Is it funny? Ask a 6-year-old. But beware, they’ll probably also want to eat the cookies for breakfast too.


An extra special package

This next naughty Elf on the Shelf antic only works if you have more than one toilet in your house. Lord knows no parent needs to deal with an accident at 6 a.m. in the morning. That said, if you have a back up potty, your kid will be blown away to find that Elfie has wrapped the entire toilet in wrapping paper overnight. In this case, Elfie left a message for its kiddo. Grab a small grease board to make your own note.


A sticky Elf scenario

Don’t want to mess with wrapping paper? Grab a couple packs of sticky notes then and go wild. Here, elves took a pack of sticky notes and put them on everything in one family’s play room. We’re talking floor to ceiling sticky note action. In fact, they even wrote a message in notes: “Hi.” For any child that’s on the fence about whether Elf is real, this mega redecorating trick will probably convince them.


On a toilet paper roll

Here’s an easy Elf on the Shelf scene you can throw together late at night after your child has fallen asleep. Grab a toilet roll. Put Elf in it. Then fashion it on the stairs as if Elf was caught mid roll. If your child has an upstairs bedroom, waking up to this will have them squealing before the sun comes up. And likely wishing they were small enough to fit inside a TP roll too.


A trip to the dark side

As any Star Wars fan will tell you, you don’t want to mess with the Dark Side. Darth Vader does not play. As illustrated here in this hilarious naughty Elf on the Shelf scene in which he’s taken hold of dear Elf and has him levitating in a corner. Will Luke and Leia arrive to save him? You can make that tomorrow’s Elf situation a rescue mission if you want to keep the intergalactic theme going.


Elf joins Squid Game

Gotta love a family that incorporates pop culture into Elf on the Shelf’s visit. For one little girl’s birthday, Elf showed up in a Squid Game costume. You know, the super popular show all about contestants who compete in children’s games in order to survive. Perfect kid fodder. It’s the cupcake body suit that really takes this scene to the next level, no?


An Elf-endorsed haircut

Really ready to make a statement with Elf this year? Brace yourself. You have to really, really want it. OK, here it is. Have Elf give you or your partner a haircut in the night and have your child find the character holding the hair clippers. Cue: All the screams! What you do with your new hairstyle after the initial reaction is over is up to you, but you’ll kids will have a story to tell their classmates for years.


An Elfie rager

Hey, even elves need to let loose now and again. How or what that looks like is up to you. But take some bad Elf on the Shelf inspo from this Twitter user who awoke to find Elf had thrown down the night before: they found “Santa was Here” graffiti on the wall, cups strewn about, and party hats akimbo. Wanna make this more PG? Trade the wine stains for chocolate milk stains. What kid hasn’t returned from an epic birthday party looking just like this. They’ll relate.


Nacho Libre Elf

Does your family love wrestling or WWE? Put Elf in the ring to show his skills. You can fashion his own Nacho Libre look with a little bit of fabric for a face mask and cape. Then build a DIY ring out of straws or sticks. Grab one of your children’s action figures to face off again Elf and wait for the sounds of shock and surprise the next day when they uncover the newest title champion.


Merry ‘Prankmas’ Elf-style

Thanksgiving is just weeks away and if your Elf has already been released onto your house, why not let him get in on the feast? For this idea, you might need a stunt turkey in order to not let any good birds go to waste. Here, Elfie is caught inside the fowl with the stuffing! You could use a fake turkey to make this happen or even put him inside a cold bird before the big event. Just keep hygiene in mind and clean him up as necessary.


Xerox buns

Bun copies! Oh no, Elfie, no. Looks like this bad little elf decided to have some fun with the Xerox machine. But don’t let the boss find those. We don’t know what Santa’s HR policy is, but one imagines it doesn’t include making inappropriate copies of one’s bottom on the clock. This little elf better prepare for a stern talking to and possible leave without pay. For an office laugh, try this naughty elf scene.

Ready to get a little naughty with this year’s Elf antics? Take a cue from these creative people to pack your elvish scenes with a punch.

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