Great April Fool's Jokes and Tricks Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

Great April Fool's Jokes and Tricks

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We asked you for your tips on how to execute the perfect April Fool's Day trick - and you told us. In fact, you shocked us, you nasty terrible people you. How could you be so cruel... yet so deliciously funny?

Here's how...

Office Pranks

Does your office have desks with drawers that can easily be removed? If so, try this; when there's no-one else in, swap a few drawers around. It doesn't matter who they belong to, although the effects are best if the victims don't know each other. Don't swap too many because the effect is best when most people are oblivious to the trick!

Hiding a sticker with 'April Fool!' on it at the bottom or the back of each drawer and keeping a poker face will also help to keep suspicion away from you. Especially, if you swap one of your own drawers!

The Office Romeo

Gentlemen, have you been playing the cad in the office? Beware, this particular Researcher's trick will shame you in front of your co-workers and is great payback for any erring Romeo.

Here's an old prank from the office where I used to work. Every Valentine's Day the reception area would be filled with flowers from ever-loving boyfriends to their girlfriends. We thought it would be hilarious to get one of the girls in our office to phone up one of the chaps and say, 'Hello this is reception, we have some flowers here for you'. On receiving the call, this chap then announced to the whole department that he'd got some flowers waiting for him and promptly wandered off to 'collect' them! Imagine his embarrassment when he got to reception and they had no clue who he was or why he might think there would be flowers there for him.

And they talk about the evil that men do...


One of the easiest (and arguably most effective) computer tricks to set up is this. It will only work if you are in an office where the computers are arranged so that one is opposite another on the same desk; ie if the computers weren't there, you'd be looking straight at the person opposite you.

All you do is swap either the keyboards or monitors between two computers that are back-to-back - but you don't unplug them. So if you swap keyboards, the keyboard you have is now plugged into the computer on the other side of the desk, and vice versa. When the person opposite you types something, nothing comes up. Until you start typing...

Changing the keyboard settings to use the 'Dvorak' layout is also a good prank. Most people don't know that the keyboard layouts can be switched at all, and the only keys that are common between the Dvorak and standard 'Qwerty' layout are 'a' and 'm', so people spend a lot of time typing gibberish and running virus-checks.


Basically, this is the same gag as above, but change the mice over instead of the keyboard/monitor.

You could also try the following: Windows has a setting to set the mouse up for left-handed users, swapping the buttons over. That's evil to do to someone who's right-handed.

Another one is that with some computers, the mouse options include a facility which allows you to designate the orientation of the mouse, so that if you are more comfortable holding the mouse at, say, 32°, you can. We don't need to describe what you can do with that.


Cars are an obvious target for any and every April Fool's Day prankster - especially if your victim is male. There's only one thing men cherish more than their motors... Here's a few suggestions:


If you can get the keys to the car, park it by a busy road with a prominent 'For Sale' sign in the window (front and rear). Then put a really low price on it and the number of the victim. They will get calls all day.

The following is one Researcher's experience of just how effective this can really be:

... the conductor of my choir stopped dead in the middle of a rehearsal, looked us all in the eye' and said, 'If I ever find out who put my car in 'Loot' (a popular London daily small-ads paper), I will f*****g kill him!'. And then carried on with the rehearsal.


The old classic of gift wrapping a car is simply the best. Get lots of plastic foodwrap - industrial strength if possible - then just wrap it round the car, several times, making sure to cover all areas thoroughly. You might like to add a ribbon for that special, personal touch.

This researchers experience is definitely one for those in the know...

I have an associate's degree in automotive technology (I'm a well-educated grease monkey). While in school, an April Fool's Day came around. I walked into class after everybody else (the instructor had me doing other work in the shop) and found a small parts box sitting on my table - a common occurrence in an automotive class. Curious, I opened it up and found a condensor inside (a capacitor used in the ignition system - that should have been my first clue). I pulled it out and examined it while talking to a friend. I'm used to dealing with electrical pieces, and I have a habit of only touching insulation if possible. While talking, my attention slipped. I touched the body of the condensor and the end of the wire brushed against a finger. My arm straightened right out and my body jerked. '@#$%!' was my reply as the whole class burst into laughter. They had waited in anticipation for about five minutes while I jabbered, waiting for me to make the mistake.

Other Drivers

It's all well and good playing tricks on your friends, but there's an added sense of malicious glee when you play a trick on someone you don't know. Try these for size:

  • When you've stopped at traffic lights, glance over at the driver next to you and do a double-take. Then, with a panicked expression on your face, lock all the doors.

  • Try talking to the empty passenger's seat.


A teacher's lot is a tough one. To compensate, and maybe to inspire, here's a great trick to play on unsuspecting pupils.

I remember many years ago when I was about 11 (must have been 1 April, 1983) our school was undergoing redevelopment. Our teacher told us there was a meeting in the hall at breaktime about what would be happening to our classroom the next year. Sure enough we all went and stood there for about 10 minutes before realising we'd been had!

Cultivate Paranoia

Days before 1 April, select your target (it could be anyone you know, family member, friend, partner, your ex) and persistently tease them about how much you're going to make their life hell on April Fool's Day with your winding up.

When April Fool's Day finally does arrive, you just have to sit back and do nothing around your target, they will be so paranoid about what you're going to do that they don't realise you've already got them.

The Old Ones are the Best


The old sticker-on-the-back routine of the 'Kick Me' variety is not big and it certainly isn't clever - but it's still funny.


What about the classic old joke that will be ringing out in every school on April Fool's Day? 'Your shoelaces are undone', followed by 'April Fool!' when your victim looks down to see which one has come untied. This is especially effective if your victim doesn't actually have laces in their shoes

In a similar vein is the 'What's that on your jumper/shirt front/coat?', pointing to the area, forcing the victim to look down. Naturally there is nothing there.

Where the Heck Are You?

If ever a Researcher deserved to be pitied, it's this one - this prank is cruel, but very, very funny.

At approximately 4.30am Pacific Daylight Time (I live on Canada's West, or as we say 'Wet' Coast) I received a phone call. Now, Daylight Savings actually began this day, making it an especially evil trick. The call was from my boss wondering where the 'heck' (not really her words, but they'll do) I was. I was supposed to be at work, didn't I read the schedule or re-set my clock, I'd really screwed it up this time etc. Not being one to think clearly at this time, I did not check to see what time it was, merely started fumbling for my clothes and apologising profusely. I had also stayed up late the night before, not believing I had to work. Fear gripped me, as I realised I'd annoyed the one person in management who didn't think I was a complete idiot. She let me go on for a couple of minutes before saying 'April Fool'. Amazingly (since I'm a Scorpio, and we don't like to be messed with) this person is still my friend. I do appreciate brilliant deviousness.

... and so do we. Thank you for embracing your shame and sharing it with us. Here are some notes for performing this trick:

  • It is best if your subject lives alone. Spouses, parents, children and/or significant others do not appreciate being disturbed early in the morning, and bad things may be wished upon you. This trick works best if the subject is too sleepy to think straight.

  • If you are doing this to an employee (as the prankster above did), make sure your subject has a good sense of humour and isn't going to press harassment or other like charges. Be on normally good terms with this person. Oh, and don't call when it's still dark out if this employee never works early shifts. They won't believe you.

  • Variations include:

    • You were supposed to meet me at...
    • I'm in big trouble... (only do if you're not reliant on this person for emergency help).
    • Do you remember what day this is? I can't believe you've forgotten what day this is... (this is really good, because if they have forgotten, they've set themselves up brilliantly for the punchline, It's April Fool's Day. Ha, Ha, ha!)

  • You must, however, pick something that will make them believe they've forgotten to do something very important. It's the only way to instill that momentary panic that makes this prank so effective.

The Bouncing Mouse Trick

For this amazing trick you will need a fake furry mouse (the kind a cat might play with), a bouncy ball and a door.

First, open up the mouse and take all the stuffing out, then put the bouncy ball inside. Balance the bouncy mouse on top of the door so that it would fall off the side that the victim will be opening the door from. Turn off the lights in the room (that bit is important otherwise they might uncover your perilous trap) and close the door - almost fully - but in a way that the mouse doesn't fall off. If you're lucky, it might produce some strange squeaky noises (the person, not the mouse).


You can always swap the sugar and salt over. Or loosen the lid of the salt cellar, so that it comes off when someone tries putting salt on their food.

This is one for the vinegar bottle which must be opaque. Firstly, unscrew the cap and top, so you are left with just a bottle with vinegar in. Make sure the top of the bottle is completely dry and place a piece of tissue paper over the top, and pour on some bicarbonate of soda. Then place another layer of tissue paper on top, and screw the lid back on. Carefully cut or tear off the tissue that protrudes from the lip. The next person to use the vinegar will trigger off a chemical reaction, causing the bicarb to froth up!

If you think that you are the victim of an April Fool's Day prank, take heart from this Researcher's experience. Revenge, remember, is a dessert best served cold.

The best trick I can remember in our house was when Mum decided to put grease proof paper in everybody's sandwiches but I suspected she might be up to something and put the paper that was in mine in her lunch instead. And, of course, because she had thought of it she never expected that her lunch might also be sabotaged.

The Best April Fool's Day Joke Ever

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