April Fools is a time-honored tradition where you prank unsuspecting people at home, work, or even just randomly on the street. It's a trickster's holiday for sure, and if you're looking for some ideas, take a look at some of the best April Fools pranks below.
History of April Fools
First, some history: April Fools originated as far back as the Middle ages, and became associated with pranks or assigning silly tasks to servants as early as the 1500's.
There is some evidence that the holiday may be connected to when Europe began adopting the Gregorian calendar as the standard. April 1st was considered New Year's Day when the pre-Gregorian calendar was in wide use, so it could be said that those who still celebrated the New Year on this day were “fools.”
Like a lot of origin tales for holidays however, this story may be dubious, and there is no single confirmed origin for April Fools. It's quite possible it is simply a custom that organically evolved throughout the culture over time and spread throughout Europe and then later other continents. Regardless, the best April Fools pranks remain much the same in modern times: they have an element of surprise, and a "victim" who can laugh along with you.
Pranks Are Good-Natured Fun
“It's just a prank, bro!”
Before we dive into all of the fun, let's get something clear: pranks are supposed to be enjoyable for everyone! The best April Fools pranks are the ones that even the “victim” can laugh at, so remember to keep things safe and good-natured.
Avoid pranks that:
This should go without saying, of course, but far too many Internet prank videos focus on annoying people until they get angry—which isn't really a prank. A prank is a joke, something lighthearted.
Anatomy of a Prank
The best April Fools pranks are original ones that you construct yourself, so before we move into our list of examples, let's go over the elements of a prank that really make them hilarious.
Good practical jokes:
Practical jokes can be really simple—as easy as pulling out the old fake vomit—but the best April Fools pranks are the ones that push people's emotional buttons without going too far. For example, while it may be hilarious to call your coworker and pretend to be a difficult customer, it's probably not a good idea to pretend to be your boss and fire them. Keep things sane! You have to work with these people on April 2nd, after all.
Best April Fools Pranks: Epic Ways to Troll Your Coworkers
So what are some of the best April Fools pranks that you can use to troll your coworkers? Use some of the tools around the office and get some laughs on this silly day.
1. The Mouse With a Mind of Its Own
When your coworker isn't looking, take the receiver of a wireless mouse and plug it into their computer. Try to put it in a USB port that's not that visible, but if the wireless receiver is small enough, they probably won't notice anyway.
Sit nearby with the wireless mouse at your own station and pretend to be working. Move the mouse around randomly while they're using their computer. Don't be too obvious about it at first. Start with little jerks of the cursor and watch them huff with frustration and eventually grow confused about why their mouse is moving by itself.
If they ask you about it, tell them that their computer must have been hacked!
You can also do this prank with a wireless keyboard. Type random things while they're trying to fill out that report.
2. What's That Smell?
Get some stink perfume or stink bomb and sprinkle it around a strategic area. You might try the bathroom, but that is a bit obvious. You could also leave a subtle stench in random places, making people wonder where it's coming from. Your coworkers might even start cleaning the place up to try to get rid of it.
If you're really cruel, you could pour some in the break room.
3. Nobody Wants to Touch It
Find the most pristine restroom in the building. If there's only one bathroom at your office, this works even better. Get some very realistic-looking fake poop and drape it over the toilet seat.
See how long it takes for someone to say something. Watch to see who runs out and decides to go find a bathroom on a different floor instead.
4. Toilet Lid Surprise
Speaking of toilets, if you want to really freak someone out, make sure that there's a face to greet them when they lift the seat. Print out a picture of a creepy horror movie villain—especially one with a disturbing face—and tape it onto the bottom of the toilet lid. When someone lifts it up, they'll definitely be startled.
5. Donut Disappointment
Get a box of donuts from a local donut shop that everyone likes. Eat them all yourself, then fill the box with carrot sticks and celery, or other similarly disappointing snacks, then leave it in the break room. There may be one or two coworkers that appreciate your helping them stick to their diet, but most people will be thoroughly pranked.
If you want to be nice, you could also buy real donuts for your office, and hide them somewhere unexpected. It could be like a scavenger hunt!
6. The Dummy
When your coworker has gone to lunch, put a mannequin or life-sized doll in their seat to take their place. This is extra funny if it's some scary character that might startle them when they walk in.
7. Shaving Cream Drizzle
Wait until your coworker goes off to the bathroom or to talk with the boss, then smudge some shaving cream on the underside of their desk. When they sit down, they may not notice right away, but as the cream gets warmer, it will start to drip on them.
8. Call IT
There's one cruel prank that works particularly well if your victim uses Windows. Take a screenshot of their desktop and make it the wallpaper. Then, hide all of their desktop shortcuts and hide the taskbar. When they try to click around as usual, nothing will happen.
9. Switching Keys
If you really want to mildly infuriate people without too much work, take the keys off your co-worker's keyboard and rearrange them in a random order. For a personal touch, try spelling out different words with the keys.
10. Disturbing Homepage
Go to your coworker's computer and change the default homepage on their browser to something weird or embarrassing. This is more effective if you do it to more than one coworker at a time, so that everyone's homepage is mysteriously redirected.
If your office uses shared computers, this is even better.
11. The Mystery Hair
Go to the photocopier and put a hair on the scanning bed. Make a few dozen copies of this little hair and then feed those pages back into the copier, as if they were fresh pages. Now take the hair off and watch the fun begin.
Your coworkers will go crazy trying to figure out why this mysterious hair is showing up on all their documents. They'll make copy after copy and search every inch of the glass, scratching their heads when they can't figure out why.
12. Stall Hog
Leave a dummy, or even just a stuffed pair of pants with some shoes, on the toilet in the stall of a restroom. People will wonder who it is that has been sitting on the throne for hours. This one might take a while to figure out, so it's one of the best April Fools pranks to pull if you like being able to slowly watch some drama unfold.
13. Watch Where You Sit
Tape an air horn to the bottom of your coworker's office chair so that they get the surprise of their life when they sit down.
14. Duct Tape TP
This one's a bit cruel, but it's pretty simple: replace all the toilet paper rolls in the bathroom with rolls of duct tape. See who is desperate enough to make use of it. You can also try rolls of sandpaper.
15. Prank Chrome Extensions
Finally, if you want an easy way to troll people harmlessly, there are some Chrome extensions that you could try. One popular prank extension is nCage, which replaces all of the photos on the websites that your victim is viewing with pictures of Nicolas Cage. This can indeed be frightening, so resort to this at your own risk!
Pulling the best April Fools pranks at the office can be a great way to bond with your coworkers. Work doesn't always have to be so serious and injecting some fun into the day can put people in a good mood. Just remember to keep your pranks safe, sane, and good-natured. Don't do any permanent damage and try not to freak your boss out too much!