The Lost Art of the April Fools’ Prank

April FoolNext to Halloween, I’ve always found April Fools’ Day to be the most delightful celebration. To pull a good, clean April Fools prank that doesn’t hurt anyone is high art. These days, a high, lost art.

So if I give you some ideas will you help me on this? Will you go out there and bring some fun to your little corner of the world? Manic Impressives everywhere are counting on you.

Shave Something

Self-deprecating pranks never hurt anyone else. If you do something goofy and get people laughing at you, you’ll be their hero for the day. And if we need more of anything in the world right now, it’s heroes.

So try doing something unexpected this April Fools’ Day. Shave something off. If you’re a dude, don’t be conventional. Don’t shave off your beard. Shave off half your beard.

I did this one April Fools’ Day at work. At lunchtime I went to the Men’s room, shaved the right side of my face, snuck back into my office and called my admin to come help me with a document.

When she walked into my office, I pretended to be on the phone. Holding up a finger in the universal “just a second” signal, I pretended to finish my call and hung up the phone. With the right side of my face suddenly exposed, her face went from normal, to stunned, to hilarious. She could not stop laughing and told all her friends. I shaved the rest of the beard that night and that was that.


You Too Ladies

Oh yes you can. Shave off an eyebrow and see what happens. You can paint it in for a while til it grows back, but you’ll never lose the points you’ll score for being audacious, original, and hilarious.


Trust me on this ladies, it will be worth it. You won’t pay for any of your drinks for a long, long time. This April Fools’ Day, be memorable!

Serve Something Unexpected, Blow Some Minds

One year at Thanksgiving, I took a roasted turkey to a potluck. It looked totally normal, but when I went to carve it, something wasn’t right. The knife went straight through, cutting solid turkey. No bones, no hollow, no gizzards.

People couldn’t believe what they were seeing. It seemed so normal they didn’t even notice at first. Then they were confused, then amazed, impressed and delighted.  My friend, a chef, de-boned two turkeys for me and stuffed one inside the other. It was the coolest bird ever.

So serve an April Fools’ Day treat to someone who won’t expect it. Offer your workmate a hard-boiled egg with banana pudding where the yolk should be. Or make a slit in the side of a banana, hollow it out, fill it with marshmallows, then place it innocently in the break room fruit basket and watch what happens.

Or empty your kid’s cornflakes box and refill it with Frosted Flakes. They’ll be confused for a bit, but they’ll think you’re greeeeaaaaat!

Put Something Up For Sale

This annoyed a principal and over a dozen real estate agents, but when I was 17, a friend and I put our high school up for sale. We went around town late on a Sunday night and snatched for-sale signs off a whole bunch of lawns.

When everyone showed up for school Monday morning, they found their school up for sale. By every real-estate agent in town. The school was abuzz all day, and it made the front page of the student paper. The for-sale sign on the pitcher’s mound of the baseball diamond was the picture they featured, as the varsity baseball team was in last place and everyone thought it was hilarious. It was.

Okay, that was a big production and it inconvenienced some innocent business people. Yes, it was an awesome April Fools prank, but you don’t have to go that far. Put a For-Sale-By-Owner sign on a tree, slap a price tag on your car that says $800,000 Or Best Offer, or offer something on Craigslist free to a good home, or $25 to a crappy home. You never know.

Commit to April Fools’ Day

Do your homework, put in a little creative effort, and delight your family and friends this year. It’s a tradition worth observing and everyone will appreciate you for it.

And you never know, you might wake up Sunday a real-life hero.

Or a real-life Her-o.


2 thoughts on “The Lost Art of the April Fools’ Prank”

  1. If there’s a time to delight in humor it could be on April Fools’ Day. After all I was crazy enough to get married on this day. We even had groucho glasses–no foolin’. It’s time to embrace a case of the sillies and be a hero. I hope heroes revisit this and post their stories.

    1. Groucho glasses down the isle – that’s impressive! So is getting married on April Fools’ Day. You are my Her-o!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.