7 of the worst moments from Ashton Kutcher's 'Punk'd' that would never happen today.

I have a theory that you're either the kind of person who LOVES pranks or the kind of person who absolutely hates them. There is no in between.

For me, I land smugly in the hating pranks column. I can admit, some pranks are harmless, but the ones that get the most attention tend to be mean at best, and straight-up traumatising at worst.

Ashton Kutcher's wicked reality show Punk'd was about as bad as pranks could get. In its original and purest form, Punk'd aired on MTV from 2003 to 2007 with Kutcher as host and producer. 

On the show, celebrities would be pranked by Kutcher, who was watching from a control room, with the celeb's famous friends or loved ones often helping orchestrate the chaos.

"When I did the show, every single person that got 'punk'd' signed a waiver and said, 'Yes, you can air this,' and I destroyed tapes on anybody who said, 'You can't,'" Kutcher said in a 2022 interview.

The series is being looked at with a more critical view right now after some stories involving Kutcher have been doing the rounds online, in light of the actor submitting a character letter vouching for Danny Masterson in his rape trial. 

From Ashton joking about tongue-kissing a 14-year-old Mila Kunis to a clip of him saying creepy things about a teenage Hilary Duff, Ashton's past is under a microscope.

Which brings us back to Punk'd – the least politically correct show of the early '00s. And, shock horror, there are some pranks that went down that could never – and should never – happen today.

These pranks have aged like a rotten egg. 


Zach Braff attacks a 12-year-old.

A prank on Scrubs star Zach Braff went awry when a bunch of kids spray painted his new car. In the episode, the TV star is seen chasing a child before he screams expletives at him, but in reality, what happened was even worse.

Zach actually punched a 12-year-old child in a scene which was cut out of the episode.

“They choreographed the whole thing and I wasn’t supposed to catch the kid, but I caught him and I’m not a big fighter or anything, but with the adrenaline and everything, I just started pummeling him,” Braff told

“It turns out it was fake spray paint. They edited [the fight] out, because apparently you’re not supposed to punch people on Punk’d.”

This disturbing moment was discussed on Mamamia's podcast Cancelled.

@mamamiaaus After revisiting Punk'd, we realised it's just the celebrity version of Border Security… #ashtonkutcher #zachbraff #ashtonkutcherpunkd #mtvpunkd #mtv #punkd #celebrity #celebrityprank #celebrityscandals #realitytv #pranks #hiddencameraprank #tvshowprank #prankshow #florencepugh #prankgonewrong ♬ original sound - Mamamia

Jessica Alba is harassed by a naked Dax Shepard.

Jessica Alba is shopping at a clothing store when a completely naked actor (who happened to be Dax Shepard) starts talking to her and following her around the shop. Even by early '00s standards, this is sexual harassment.

Justin Long encourages two underage girls to drink alcohol.

"The law in these United States of America is that you cannot consume liquor until you are 21 years of age. There's somebody that doesn't know that, and his name is Justin Long," Ashton giggled to himself as he introduced the prank.

In the scene, Long is pranked with the help of Jonah Hill, and the entire segment is just... wrong.

Jonah takes Justin to a table where two underage girls (oddly including future Twilight actor, Ashley Greene) are sitting.

A waiter asks if everyone at the table is over 21, and Justin curiously replies, "Of age, yes. Consensual." Then when the manager asks for their IDs, Justin says, "Let's just say, hypothetically, they don't have IDs. We pay the tab and then we'll leave, and we don't have to worry about it."


The segment ends with one of the girl's 'fathers' arriving to tell the men that she is only 17 years old. "I didn't know, I just met her tonight," Justin responds.

Taylor Swift thinks she's ruined someone's wedding by blowing up a yacht.

In one of the biggest budgets pranks in Punk'd history, Justin Bieber was enlisted to prank Taylor Swift into thinking the fireworks he fired off had set a nearby yacht ablaze.

In the scene, a couple in wedding attire are seen fleeing by boat, as a faux groomsman swims for his life.

"I feel like we're going to die," Taylor tells Justin.

Watch the scene below. Post continues after video.

Video via MTV.

Shannon Elizabeth is threatened with her intimate videos being leaked.

American Pie's Shannon Elizabeth was led to believe someone had photographed or filmed her on holiday having sex.

In the scene, Shannon calls her husband at the time, Joseph D. Reitman, who – part of the prank – says that people are "claiming they have a Mexican sex romp video" of her.

The moment is made worse by her support team telling her that an intimate video being released is a "good thing", and even suggesting distributing the video to boost her career.


"I disagree. They've invade my privacy, this isn't right," Shannon replies. "This is bulls**t, my rights have been violated."

Shannon's husband taking part in the prank was reportedly one of the reasons the couple divorced a year after the segment aired.

Hugh Jackman thinks he burns down his friend's house.

Hugh Jackson got the shock of his life when he was led to believe he burnt down his friend's house. After helping turn on a new grill, the whole house went up in flames, and the fire chief said that the grill was to blame. 

As the prank unfolded, Hugh looked like a shell of a person. 

Watch the scene here. Post continues after video.

Video via MTV. 

Brandy and Ray J are racially profiled by police. 

Singer Brandy and Ray J (who was in on the prank) are pulled over by police before Ray J is busted for stashing stolen jewellery. "We need to figure out what you're going to say," a panicked Brandy tells Ray J. 

Ray J is taken by a white police officer, as Brandy bursts into tears and cries, "That's my brother!" As Brandy cries, the prank crew finally roll in to put her out of her misery. 

It's a nope from me!

Feature image: MTV. 

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