Does Ellen DeGeneres have a 'tell' before pranks on air? (Matt Lauer thinks so)

by Ree Hines / / Source: TODAY

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When Eric Stonestreet turned the tables on the usual scare prank during a visit to "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" earlier this week, Matt Lauer paid close attention.

After all, the TODAY anchor has been on the receiving end of the host's gags a few times. (And a few more times.) So he was pleased to notice what might be "a tell" from his prank-war pal just before the Stonestreet stunt started.

Now Ellen's wondering why Matt never saw the clues before.

"You know, Matt, if you're so clever, why didn't you pick up on the signals when we scared you?" she asked on her show Thursday.

To illustrate her point, she then shared a hilarious — and digitally manipulated — clip that revisited the last time she had one of her cronies jump out of a box and give Matt a fright.

In the flashback footage, Matt spoke to Ellen while she offered up a few not-so-subtle hints at what was to come, ranging from elaborate hand signals to firing off a starter's pistol.

Then came the gotcha moment!

After that aired, she simply smiled at the camera and told Matt, "You should have seen that coming."

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