Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Fed up with nagging her kids to do the dishes, 19-year-old Alyssa Perez's mum Patricia decided to do what every mum has only ever threatened to do - she got rid of all the cutlery and dishes in the house.

So, when Alyssa went in for a metal fork from the cutlery drawer, this is not what she expected to find.

Face to face with a kitchen filled with plastic utensils and paper plates, Alyssa soon realised this was her mother's doing.

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Speaking to BuzzFeed News, she explained that while her mum would often complain that she hadn't done the washing up, she didn't expect to ever come home to a house void of any real utensils and plates.

"I was surprised at first because my family isn't the wasteful type and I know washing the dishes would be much better for the environment."

Once she'd gotten her kids' attention and made her point, Patricia said she hadn't actually thrown all the dishes out, she had just hidden them to really drive home the point she wanted to make.

Did it work? In more ways than one.

"I apologised to her and promised I'd help more around the house. She's just glad her point got across," said Alyssa.

Patricia's prank also served as inspiration for frustrated parents in similar predicaments.