Whether you’re aware of the date on the calendar or not, today is April Fools’ Day; the day that us gullible folks fear the most. Today is the day when the Internet will be full of pranks and social media accounts will be flooded with hilarious jokes meant to trick people. Even our friends, family, and those closest to us will be going out of their way to try and fool us. You might also have some devious plans in mind to prank your friends and family. In other words, nobody is safe!
However, April Fools’ jokes are largely harmless. They’re meant to instill a quick laugh. Some are as innocuous as Blizzard posting “updates” for World of Warcraft that include changing “assassination” rogues to “sneaky stabby guy” because apparently their audience are children and can’t help themselves when it comes to shortening the assassination rogue title. Others are a little more elaborate in nature. BBC once tricked the nation into believing pasta actually grows on trees in Switzerland. They came out with a whole newscast and everything.
Regardless of how much time is spent coming up with the prank, one thing is for certain: April Fools’ Day will remain a tradition for centuries to come.
The origin of April Fools’ Day
Despite its popularity, the true origins of April Fools’ Day aren’t really known. We can trace its origins back, but there are multiple times in which April 1st has been a day of pranks so the original date is unknown. We also can’t say for sure what prompted this day out of all of the others available to become the day of jokes.
Some believe that the original April Fools’ Day occurred in 1698, when people in London were tricked into venturing out to see “the Lions get washed.” Many received an invitation that read, “view the annual ceremony of White Lion Washing on Sunday April 1st. No gratuities should be given to attendants or wardens and admittance is only available through the White Gate.” Ticket in hand, a large crowd gathered outside of the tower around noon in hopes of catching a glimpse of the white lions. However, it quickly became clear that they had been pranked and the mass went home disappointed. The prank made national headlines.
Others argue that the original April Fools’ dates back to 1381. “You can see evidence of April Fools’ in Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales,” many scholars argue. In particular, they are referring to the passage in “The Nun’s Priest’s Tale” in which Chauntecleer is tricked by a fox on April 1st. Chauntecleer is a proud rooster in the tale and he dreams of being tricked and eaten by a fox. When he confesses his dream to Pertelote, his favorite wife, she tells him that it is just a dream and not to worry about it. However, Chauntecleer is in fact confronted by a fox. The fox uses the proud rooster’s ego against him and asks him to “crow majestically, just as his father did.” Unable to resist, Chauntecleer does just that and is quickly snapped up by the fox. He eventually escapes, but not before he realizes that he has been tricked.
Other historians weigh in on the matter suggesting that April Fools’ Day dates back to 1582. At this time, France was switching to the Gregorian calendar, previously they had used the Julian calendar. Unfortunately, the news was slow to travel and the switch was failed to be recognized. The start of the new year was now January 1st instead of the last week of March. People continued to celebrate the last week of March as the start of the new year and April 1st became a day of hoaxes and jokes at the expense of those who messed up.
Pranks were played during this time and the most popular was to place a paper fish on the back of those that were deemed gullible. The fish was called “poisson d’avril’ or April fish and was meant to symbolize that the person was as easily caught as the fish.
Even corporations are getting in on the fun
April Fools’ pranks aren’t just limited to individuals looking for a laugh either; many corporations are getting in on the action and it’s hilarious. Each year, Blizzard puts together an elaborate video or section of upcoming “features/changes” that they’re making to the game. In the past, these have included all mobs aggroing from a significant distance when mining and some of the “patch notes” have even suggested removing certain classes altogether.
Google even got in the action and introduced an 8-bit version of their Google maps. Using this map system, you could find your destination in the same manner that you were able to find hidden artifacts in the Legends of Zelda or the first Mario games. Even though it was a prank, we gotta admit that we kind of hoped it would have been a feature that we could download and use.
Back when Romney and Santorum were running against each other, Forbes.com put up an article that stated that Romney had dropped out of the race and was no endorsing Santorum. Even though it was only up for half an hour, it shot to the top of Google News and spread through Twitter like wild fire. It was quickly pulled and a retraction was printed, but the damage was done.
The company behind Rock Band also decided to hop aboard the April Fools’ bandwagon. They posted an advertisement for their latest Rock Band game: a board game edition! Here, devoted fans could travel with their favorite game and play it on the go.
Hulu really upped the ante when they took everybody back to the 90s. In 2011, they took everyone back to April 1, 1996. The homepage was slow to load and they advertised new episodes of NewsRadio, X-Files, and other shows that were popular around this time. And the best part? The refresh speed was that of the 1996 speeds.
Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin, announced in 2011 that he was going to buy Pluto for an amount hat would remain undisclosed. He said that in all of his years with the company that they’ve never owned a planet before. He hoped that this would expand their horizons. Many took him seriously, but others were quick to point out that the announcement took place on April 1st.
Last minute pranks you can do yourself
For a lot of people, April Fools’ Day is one of those days that you spend months preparing for. It begins with researching some of the best pranks around and planning from there. Or perhaps you’ve come up with your own original idea that you’re sure will go down in the history books. You carefully plan for months and start the preparations for the prank. Then you execute it at precisely the right time and reap the rewards of having pranked your target. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but for some of us we’re all about last minute.
So whether you’re a last minute planner looking for something simple to prank your friends/family with or you completely forgot what day it was, we have a list of some awesome pranks that take hardly any setup and are sure to make you to laugh.
1. Mouse problems
This is one of the easiest pranks to pull. In fact, this has been on our fiancé’s mouse since early this morning. It’ll sit there until he gets home. For this prank, all you need to do is tape a piece of paper over the laser spot on your mouse. This presents the mouse from making a connection with the surface underneath it so it won’t work. You can also take it a step further by writing something hilarious on it.
2. A new Oreo flavor
This one is sure to prank your target! Simply scrape off the icing between the Oreo cookies and replace it with white toothpaste instead. If you’re worried about the minty smell attracting their attention, leave some of the icing behind and opt for a dollop of toothpaste in the middle. This is one surefire way to ruin “milk’s favorite cookie.”
3. Bombs away
If you’ve never seen the effects that Mentos has on Coke, then you’re in for a real (and messy) treat! Following the images above, all you have to do is install a Mentos into the cap and then wait for your soda-loving target to undo the cap. This will plop the candy into the drink and create an obnoxious amount of fizz!
4. Snake in the food
It’s no secret that a ton of people are afraid of snakes making this the perfect prank to try. You can slip a toy snake found in the children’s section of your local Wal-Mart into a pile of produce like above. Hang around closely because when someone goes to grab a head of lettuce, they’re going to freak out! You can also buy a cheap toy snake and hide it in your target’s clothes, food, or any other area that they frequent to give them a good scare.
5. Soap that won’t clean
This super simple prank is one of the most frustrating ones out there and we’re speaking from personal experience! Paint a bar of soap with clear nail polish, allow it to dry, and then leave it out for the victim to use. Regardless of how much they try to lather it up, the soap won’t foam. And because the clear nail polish blends perfectly with the soap, they won’t be able to tell that there’s something wrong with it.
This one might look complicated, but we assure you that it’s easy to do. It’s a little difficult to explain, so we recommend doing a YouTube search on how to set it up. It’s hilarious to watch people struggle with trying to put the glass upright without making a mess.
You can also opt for the “coin in bottle” prank. This is another one that you’ll need to YouTube, but it’s hilarious. We’ve had great success with it in the past and we’re sure that you will too!
7. Chicken soup for the body
Putting a chicken or beef bullion cube into the showerhead is a super easy and hilarious prank to pull on your target. Once they turn the water on and get in, the bullion will start to melt, turning the water stream into a chicken broth. Even if your target has a tendency to let the water run for a good duration before getting in, bullion cubes have a long release time so don’t worry about the chicken broth running out anytime soon.
8. It doesn’t rub the lotion on its skin
Another simple but effective prank. Take your target’s lotion or shower gel and cover it with plastic wrap underneath the cap. You can also use tape. Cut the excess off and watch them try to use it and fail.
April Fools’ faux pas
Of course, not all April Fools’ pranks are created equal. Some go above and beyond while others are simple and instill a quick laugh. However regardless of how much time/effort you put into your prank, there is still a list of things that you should NEVER use as an April Fools’ joke. They’re wildly inappropriate and can cause harm. So steer clear of them and opt for something lighthearted instead.
1. I’m pregnant
Posting a picture of a positive pregnancy test on social media or sending it to your significant other/ex might seem like a funny idea, but it’s really not. Pregnancy will not only freak your loved one out, but if posted on social media, it can be a sore reminder to those who can’t get pregnant or have miscarried. Don’t be that person.
2. We’re breaking up
This is another one that isn’t cool to do. Not only does it cause a state of panic in your loved one, but they might also opt to not take you back after you reveal that it was a prank. Plus, nobody likes to be broken up with; even if it’s a joke so don’t do this.
3. I have an STD
This one is seriously not funny and while it probably goes without saying that you don’t want to pull this kind of prank, the fact that we’ve had it pulled us means that it belongs on the list. STD’s are serious things; they’re with you for the rest of your life and telling your significant other that they now have one is something that is life changing. It’ll completely freak them out and even when you callously yell “April Fools’”, you’ll be the only one laughing.
4. I am in the hospital/was in a wreck/seriously injured/etc.
Another popular prank that many thing is harmless is to post on social media or tell their loved ones that they’ve been seriously injured or involved in a wreck. “I’m in the hospital right now; please keep me in your thoughts” is NOT a post to be made on April Fools’. It’s inappropriate and can cause your friends and family to seriously worry about you. It’s not funny.
5. I cheated on you
Just like the breaking up prank, this is not something you want to do to your significant other. Cheating really hurts; regardless of how long you’ve been in the relationship. And we guarantee that if you use this one against your loved one, they won’t be laughing; even when you tell them it was just a joke.
Do you have any pranks in mind?
We want to know whether or not you have any pranks in the works. Is this day something you’ve been preparing for or are you more of a last minute pranker? Or perhaps you don’t join in on the festivities at all. Either way, let us know why you celebrate the holiday or why you don’t. We also want to hear about the best prank that you’ve pulled and the best one that you’ve had pulled on you. We also want to know whether or not people have pulled the faux pas pranks listed above on you and what your reaction to them were. Let us know in the comment section below and stay vigilant and alert dear readers!