The lazy person's guide to April Fools' Day pranks. Every year I add more and more pranks to my growing list of ways to surprise, scare and sneak attack your husband, wife, kids, friends or teachers. This doesn't feel like a particularly funny year though. So now what?
Classic The Art of Doing Stuff April Fools' Day prank
Every year I update my April Fools' Day post with more pranks. Usually easy, mostly free and always pretty harmless. It used to be that April Fools' Day was the one day your inner gremlin could wreak havoc on anyone you like. You could fool, prank, joke and pretend up is down and down is up.
Yup. That used to be called April Fool's Day. Now it's called Tiktok. Or Marjorie Taylor Greene.
There's horror in Ukraine. Do we still joke when there's horror in the world? I think we do, yes. I think 10 minutes of respite from everything that's weighing down the collective conscience of the world is not only O.K. - it might be necessary.
It's known for being funny but April Fools' Day is actually the scariest holiday because it has an incredibly difficult apostrophe placement. It's also much more frightening than Halloween.
What is more terrifying? A kid dressed up like Batman politely knocking on your door between the hours of 6 and 8 p.m. or worrying all day that someone is planning to terrify you with an April Fools' Day joke? The later obviously. No one even has to do anything, it's the notion that it might be coming.
The fact that April Fools' day is always on April 1st immediately takes a certain amount of surprise out of the whole situation. People are on edge and generally twitchy that day because we are all the same.
They laugh when we fall, point out pimples and consistently bring up our worst and most embarrassing moments around strangers.
Oh Jim! I'd like you to meet my sister Karen. Karen, Jim's a medical physicist. And Jim you'll be interested to hear that Karen once peed her pants in grade 9 on a park swing set.
But because everyone is kind of expecting something on April 1st, your April Fools Day pranks either have to be so over the top (covering an entire car in sticky notes or filling someone's office with balloons) that they're obviously done just for the hilarity of it, orrrrrrr they have to be so smart, so subtle that the victim doesn't know immediately that they've been pranked.
The last reaction you want from an April Fools Day prank is for someone to just roll their eyes. Or even worse - have no reaction at all.
There's nothing more pathetic than a joke that falls flat. The easiest way to really get someone on April Fools' Day is to celebrate it on August 17th.
If you're not into that, then feel free to take your chances and celebrate it on April 1st with the rest of the world.
This is my newest list of easy pranks that pretty much anyone can do. They won't cost $125 for post-it notes or balloons, and they won't end in lawsuits or heart attacks.
Table of Contents
1. Add a "Voice Activated" sign to pretty much anything new in your workplace. Toaster in the break room, equipment, new TV …
I’d personally take this one step further with the toaster in the break room. I’d go buy a cheap toaster at a thrift store and remove the levers for lowering the toast. So there is literally no way to push the toast down, reinforcing the ridiculous nothing that it’s voice activated.
- Slip something into a stranger's grocery cart when they aren’t looking. They'll find it during the checkout. Hemorrhoid cream and condoms are small enough to casually toss in.
- Add food colouring to milk or cream that’s in a cardboard container. I LOVE this idea.
- Fill a mayonnaise jar with vanilla pudding and casually eat the whole thing with a spoon in front of someone.
- Put googley eyes on everything in the fridge. EVERYTHING.
- The old raisin in the toothpaste trick. My sister Fish Pedicure did this to me a few years ago. It seems so innocuous, but when you squeeze your toothpaste and something brown comes out of it, … it’s alarming in a way that’s difficult to describe.
Just push a raisin into the neck of the toothpaste and squeeze a bit of the toothpaste up so you can’t see it in there.
- Poopy toilet. Partially melt a chocolate bar and leave it on the toilet seat. Extra points for wiping your hands on the toilet paper roll.
- The sleep mask This one is a perform at your own risk prank. Before whomever you sleep with wakes up, put a Halloween mask on yourself and snuggle into them. They'll open their eyes and see ... whatever you want them to. Richard Nixon, a gorilla, clown ... Yep. It's terrifying just before it's hilarious.
- Shark in the toilet. Print it out and tape it to the toilet seat. (as seen at the top of this post)The best part about this is the shark actually flutters a bit when you lift the toilet lid from the air movement. I’ve taken the liberty of creating a PDF that you can print out right now. It’s printed on 2 pieces of standard printer paper. You just need to tape them together and then tape them under the toilet seat. Just click on the links and print away. (They need to print on the paper with a horizontal orientation, not vertical which is what you would normally use)
PRINTABLE TOILET SHARK
Shark Top of Mouth Shark Bottom of Mount
- Cover someone's front lawn with mushrooms. Just buy bags of them and go nuts.
- Empty the fridge. COMPLETELY empty the fridge so when your family members open it in the morning it’s a vast hole of emptiness. (just put everything truly perishable like meat, milk or mayonnaise in a cooler, everything else like condiments, drinks and vegetables can go in a box for an hour.)
Pranks To Play On Your Family
- Rearrange the contents in your kids or partner’s dresser drawers so when they wake up to get dressed, nothing is where it should be.
- Turn all the settings in your partner's car to maximum: radio, heat, windshield wipers … ALL of it. Do this the night before.
- Replace family photos around your house with photos of strangers or celebrities.
- The old bed switcheroo. If you have kids that share a room, when they’re sound asleep switch their places so they wake up in the other one’s bed.
- Cover the sensor on remote controls with a piece of tape so they don’t work.
- Ringtone change. If you’re fluent in iPhone you can change someone’s phone ring to a person screaming. Or a cat meowing. Your choice. Then of course make sure you call them.
- Sticky Note Hug Hug your kid or partner and send them on their day with a note stuck to their back that says "I twirl for applause."
Office April Fools Pranks
- Stuck Money. Glue a quarter (or loonie or toonie) to the sidewalk outside and watch from a window.
- Lost underpants. Write a co-worker’s name on a pair of underwear with a Sharpie and leave them somewhere in the office bathroom.
- Smelly office. Hide Scented air fresheners all over someone’s office.
- Change your bosses screensaver to something like this. Works especially well if your boss miserable.
- Spider in pocket/purse. Drop a fake spider into your mother’s/daughter’s/friend’s/co-worker’s purse when they aren’t looking. For your husband drop it in his pocket. I know more men who are afraid of spiders than women fyi.
- Spider in toilet paper. Unroll a toilet paper roll a few times. Using two sided sticky tape tape a small fake spider onto the top of the toilet paper and roll it back up.
- Silly String Sneeze. I don't know why it took me this long to remember the silly string sneeze. Get a can of silly string and land a big fake silly string sneeze on someone.
I think you're sufficiently armed now. I hope those in Ukraine are as well.
→Follow me on Instagram where I often make a fool of myself←
I worked in a hospital lab where we had some air plants that had round 1/2" brown lava rocks as the "dirt". We sprinkled a few in the sink where the specimens were brought in and when Dr Clean came in one of the girls said, "Oh sorry, let me clean this up" and she picked up the balls with her hands. He almost had a heart attack thinking she was picking up poo! I love this list. You are too fun! Texans prank a lot!
For #21, smelly office, please make sure they don't have allergies FIRST.
Asthma attacks, migraines, hives, etc, are NOT fun, or funny.
And stay away from me. Lol (prankers)
For the office if two stories make a sign for the elevator/ stairs that says it’s under maintainence and watch people grumble all day.
My mother, God Bless her, was the Queen of April Fools pranks. From filing an empty pop bottle with colored water to baking grits to look like yummy cake, she out-pranked my dad and six brothers.
Even in her 80s, she was placing prank calls to family.
Mind you, as a child, she filled her aunt's prized goldfish bowl with marbles.
I do miss her.
I'm going to try the mayo/ice cream trick.
In the early '80s I was senior analyst in a group that did special projects to solve management problems in a large government agency. Once a week I wrote a progress report for the branch manager for each project we were working on. On April 1st I checked with each analyst for the report and, after preparing the real one, wrote one up that showed every single project had disaster happening all at the same time. One person had left the folder with the only copies of three months worth of confidential interviews on a bus stop bench. Another had entered data incorrectly on 75% of the new database they were developing. Our most important project had failed completely after 7 months of work because the project director forgot to notify another agency that we needed input from them and now they're reporting us to the legislature. Etc. The whole office, including our section chief, loved it and contributed to it to make everything so over the top that you couldn't keep from laughing after the initial item concerned you and every item was worse than the last. The final line was that the Branch Manager should contact me for an updated report after he had enjoyed this April Fools' version.
I turned it in and we all waited with cheerful anticipation. Five minutes later he stormed into our office and loudly berated the first person mentioned in the list, literally screaming and calling her incompetent and worse. I jumped up and went to her desk, trying to get his attention. He waved me off and kept blowing a gasket. Finally he took a breath and I said, "This is my fault. It's supposed to be an April Fools' joke -- nothing on that list happened. I thought you would laugh at that report because it's so over the top. Here's the actual progress report for this week." He said nothing (no apology to the woman he had been screaming at), took the paper I handed him, and left us without a word. I'm sure he was embarrassed at his display, but he never mentioned it again.
Somewhere in an archival box for that government agency is that hilariously funny progress report because all of us decided it should be placed in the official files instead of the boring one that said everything is fine. I'd like to think it's been scanned for digital archival along with all the other files. I haven't played any pranks for April Fools' since.
Many years ago, my two boys that are 3 years apart in age, were in a band with a singer that was a bit older than they were. It was Myspace days and they for some reason posted that he had died. Well to say the least they all thought it was hilarious but it didn't go so well with his parents, girlfriend and many of his friends. To this day they still don't understand why everyone thought it wasn't funny when they called out April Fools.
These are great. Glitter bombing paper file folders was funny too when we worked in offices, together. Looking for some solid ideas to get at remote colleagues, not too nuts since I can't be there to defuse if it goes all south.
I did your shark in toilet a couple years ago on my teenage daughters - it worked - VERY well. I cried laughing tears. Laughing just remembering it. Now I am going to go emails my daughters with a screenshot of "remember this" ....
Love it! :) ~ karen
My favorite has been to switch the W and Q keys on someone's keyboard. Not a big deal for touch-typists, so it can go undiscovered for months.
Thank you so much for this outstanding list. My family know I'm a huge prankster but I usually surprise them every year on the 1st. I've been searching for some good, easy new jokes and now I have plenty! Bwahahaha.....
Excellent! (it's July when you're reading this so I know you are very very serious about practical jokes, lol) ~ karen!