Some people spend the whole year planning the perfect April Fools’ pranks, while those unfortunate souls whose only thoughts on the first day of April are about bills being due and turning a page on the calendar are doomed to be their victims. Of course the key to pulling off really good April Fools’ pranks is making sure no one gets hurt—physically or emotionally. Follow those rules and hilarity will ensue. As Plato said: “Even the gods love jokes”.
The origins of April Fools’ day are rather mysterious but it’s been celebrated in many cultures for centuries—some say it may date back to the ancient Roman festival Hilaria, which was celebrated at the end of March. According to the Museum of Hoaxes (It’s real! Maybe…), the Swiss Spaghetti Harvest tops the list of all-time great April Fools’ pranks. In 1957 a BBC show aired a story about how Swiss farmers were harvesting spaghetti trees and received hundreds of calls from viewers wanting to know how to grow their own crop of noodles.
If you’re still searching for the perfect practical joke, here are 15 totally harmless but really good April Fools’ pranks.
1. Deceptive Dinner
We found this clever dinner idea on Meet the Dubiens and the kids will totally love it. Cupcakes for dinner and fried eggs for dessert! Except the cupcakes are meatloaf with mashed potato icing and the eggs are vanilla yogurt with half a peach in the center. The best part of this prank meal is that it’s actually delicious and healthy.
2. Suds-less Soap
Although bars of soap are becoming a rarity, with liquids and foams adorning most sinks, this is a great gag. All you need is a bar of soap and clear nail polish. Coat the soap with the nail polish and the unsuspecting user won’t be able to get a speck of lather.
3. Cat Apps
If you can secretly get your hands on a friend or family member’s iPhone, iPhoneception allows you to temporarily turn all of their apps into kittens. It’s totally temporary and everyone loves kittens!
4. Head in a Jar
Don’t try the Head in a Jar prank on anyone with a weak heart! If you’re good with Photoshop, you can try putting your own head in a jar or just print out one from Instructables, which has all of the steps for creating this ghoulish prank.
5. Linkedin CYMK (Cats You May Know)
Cats do rule the Internet! Linkedin created this hysterical hoax last year but you can still fool friends and coworkers with this announcement about their new project: “Cats You May Know was designed to give pawed professionals an opportunity to brand themselves, share their unique skills, and network with both humans and other relevant cats in their breed.”
6. False Pregnancy Test
The false pregnancy test prank is teetering on the brink between harmless fun and pure evil. Gonna Be a dad.com is actually selling real positive pregnancy tests using urine from pregnant women. The site claims the tests are then sanitized and repackaged.
7. Chia Keyboard
It’s a little too late to make a cress keyboard this year—you need a few days for it to grow—but it’s a fantastic office prank. You will have to sacrifice a keyboard.
8. Scary School Lunch
My Mix of 6 came up with this creepy-crawly April Fools’ prank to pack in your kids’ lunch. All you need are a few fake insects, gummy worms and an empty water bottle to fill with Sprite (or any other clear beverage).
9. Nicolas Cage!
Google Chrome has a few ingenious extensions that make good April Fools’ pranks and nCage is one of our favorites. It turns every image on your browser into a photo of Nick Cage. You just need a few minutes alone with their computer to install this little gem. There’s also Millennials Begone! which replaces every instance of the word ‘millennial’ with ‘pesky whipper-snapper’.
10. Toothpaste Oreos
This classic prank is very easy and just a teeny bit mean. Just scrape out the Oreo creme, replace it with toothpaste and wait for the gross out.
11. Undrinkable Juice
Undrinkable juice is a prank that turns into a treat for your kids so it’s really a win/win. After the little ones are in bed, whip up a batch of Jell-O and let it set in juice glasses with straws. When they try to take a sip…but then Jell-O!
12. Fake IRS Audit
The Fake IRS Audit is another practical joke that borders on cruel…but it’s also kind of genius. Pretty Prudent supplies you with all of the necessary paperwork to customize a fake audit notice. You may lose a friend or two over this one.
13. Tape on the Remote
This is a great prank if you live with an obsessive channel surfer. Put a tiny piece of tape over the sensor on your remote.
14. Food Coloring on the Toothbrush
Put a drop or two of food coloring on your victim’s toothbrush and watch the fun. Of course, don’t use red unless you really want to scare someone!
15. Face Tattoo
Take advantage of the temporary tattoo craze and get yourself a bold temporary face tattoo. This one’s especially good for teens who want to terrify their parents.