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The Outsiders Cast Once Played A Hilarious Hotel Prank On C. Thomas Howell

Stay gold, Ponyboy! It's been over 50 years since S.E. Hinton's novel "The Outsiders" was published and 40 years since the popular film adaptation was released, featuring a cast of many breakout stars, including Ralph Macchio, Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, and Tom Cruise.

For those who didn't read the novel or watch the film following the Curtis brothers during their middle school years, or for those who did but need a refresher, "The Outsiders" is a tale of empowerment, a divide in social class, brotherhood, and love. Hinton's story shows the love and affection between the three Curtis brothers, Darrel (Swayze), Sodapop (Lowe), and Ponyboy (C. Thomas Howell), who have recently been orphaned. Together with their friends Johnny (Macchio), Two-Bit (Estevez), Dally (Matt Dillon), and Steve (Cruise), they are referred to as "greasers," and are "outsiders" due to having little in common with the rich and snotty "Socs" (short for "socials").

Young Ponyboy, the main protagonist, becomes caught in a war between the two groups. When he is nearly killed at the hands of Soc Bob (Lief Garrett), Johnny kills Bob in self-defense, and the pair goes on the run to avoid both the law and the angered Socs. This accidental slaying is the spark for a bloody conflict that the outsiders will never forget. The greasers had a tried-and-true affection on-screen, and it seems they stayed in character during their hijinks off-screen as well.

After a long day on set, C. Thomas Howell was rewarded with a carefully calculated prank

While Ponyboy's brothers, Sodapop and Darry, and friends Dally and Steve express their admiration through name-calling and playful punches, the actors who play them showed their affection for C. Thomas Howell differently off-screen.

It can get pretty boring in between takes; after all, how many times can one recite their lines? The young cast needed to find a way to entertain themselves — and they sure did when left to their own devices: Enter pranking. And since he was on set most of the time, Howell was the perfect pranking victim.

In an interview with Variety, the cast reflected on this amusing pastime, with Howell commenting on one particularly extravagant prank. "I remember one early morning, probably having worked all night. I stumbled into my hotel room ready to go to sleep and literally everything in my hotel room, from a penny to my bed, had been turned upside down," he shared. Imagine the discipline and dedication needed to pull off such an elaborate prank.

It's fitting for Howell to have been the target; not only was he the busiest, but he was also young, at 15. Howell described the set in an interview on "The Rich Eisen Show": "There was a real fraternity atmosphere." That certainly checks out with the pranks involved! Luckily, it seems that Howell does nothing but laugh and treasure that special time together with the cast, even years later.