Tom, mir ist langweilig. Lass uns irgendwas anstellen, was Spaß macht!

English Translation

Tom, I’m bored. Let’s do something fun.

Native speakers: is this actually a plausible conversational use of anstellen?

Most commonly in conversation you hear it used to refer to standing in line or acting dumb, or more rarely in a (written) formal context for “to engage in something”, but never have I heard anyone use it as a way of saying “let’s do something”. (Been living in Germany for a year now.)

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“Etwas anstellen” could maybe translated as “shenanigans” or “to be up to no good”.
It’s usually associated with children, e.g. when they break something and get scolded for it by their parents. A typical parents’ sentence would be “Was hast du jetzt schon wieder angestellt?”

So the german sentence has that slight flavor of “Let’s have fun by doing something mischievous”, but it does not necessarily mean that they will actually do such things. It may just be meant to be funny by using a little exaggeration.

Getting in line would be reflexive “sich anstellen”.