Dedication to a long-running prank isn't for the weak of heart. Like Christian Bale's character in The Prestige, you have to know that you're more than likely going to be forced to step out of your comfort zone. You're going to have to keep up the facade no matter what the cost. Full faith in the bit and never breaking it is imperative.
This is hard enough for one person to pull off — now imagine trying to get an entire family in on it. That's what TikTok user Kenzi Lynn Smith (@kenzilynnsmith) managed to do when she had her fiance convinced that she and her relatives all visit the local American Legion to pledge allegiance to the flag every single night before they eat dinner.
She recorded snippets of this long-running prank in a viral TikTok, which has garnered more than 3.4 million views, as of this writing, on the popular video sharing app.
The text overlay in her TikTok reads: "Our family has had a running joke on my fiance that at the lake house it's etiquette to drive to the legion in town & say the pledge every night b4 dinner."
"How long till dinner?" someone can be heard asking off camera as they record their family as they sit on a boat in the sun.
"I don't know, ten, fifteen minutes?" another person responds.
"Okay," the recorder asks.
"Why, you gonna go do the pledge?"
"Yeah, we'll be back," she says, playing off the joke.
A quick cut in the video shows an older man smiling and laughing while shaking his head, presumably in response to finding out that Kenzi is still going through with the running joke.
Another cut shows her talking to someone else who is picking up a plastic lawn chair, "Just tell him, you're a------ it's been too long," they say to the recorder, who is more than likely Kenzi herself.
"I'm gonna tell him today I promise," Kenzi vows.
So how long has the pledge of allegiance prank been going? Another overlay caption in the video reveals the answer: "This has been going on for 3 years."
Kenzi's video then transitions back to sitting in her car, presumably on her way to go with her fiance to give the pledge of allegiance.
Towards the end of the clip, she records her significant other along with her cousin as they stand outside in the parking lot of the American Legion in order to pay their respects to the flag. She recites the pledge, writing in another overlay: "My cousins are also all in on it..he will be finding out it has been a prank all along by watching this tik tok," she writes as she chuckles and the video ends.
This isn't the first time Kenzi's recorded the pranks she's pulled either: previously, her and her fiance pretended that they had just gotten engaged while on vacation so they could try and finagle free stuff.
And then there was the time she wanted to prank her in-laws by hanging up a sign with offensive messaging on it and see what their reaction would be. The text she decide to put on the board? "We r Swingers"
It went over just about as well as you would think of someone's in-laws discovering their son and his wife are swapping out their intimate time with other people.
Different commenters had different responses to the clip. There was one TikTok user who argued that since they've performed the practice for so long, that her family has technically made it a tradition by this point: "After 3 years it literally is a tradition"
Another expressed how impressed they were by her and her family's devotion to the gag over the years: "The commitment to the bit is everything"
Someone else wanted her to keep it going for as long as possible: "Please don’t tell him until you’re at the altar," they penned.
There was someone else who said that the prank, and his acceptance of it says more about Kenzi's family than it does his gullibility: "How crazy is your family that he thought to himself yeah, this tracks"
One TikToker replied that there wouldn't be any way for them to recover from the humiliation of being caught in the gag: "I think I’d be so embarrassed I fell for it that I’d never return to the house"
And there were others who, again, expressed that they believe she began a new family tradition: "I think you flew too close to the sun and actually started a new family tradition"