60 Memorable April Fool’s Day Pranks
You’ll feel giddy and accomplished with these classic and unique ideas.
While it’s unclear exactly when and where April Fools’ Day originated, we do know that it’s been around for a very long time. So while it might seem like a silly holiday, it’s kind of a tradition at this point. And if you’re a goofball who likes to partake in jokes, then it’s the perfect time to do that. There are plenty of funny April Fools’ pranks out there that will leave everyone laughing, whether it’s your kids, your partner, your friends, or your colleagues. You just need to put in a little effort, and you can trick them all.
The key to pulling off a good April Fools’ prank is to keep things silly and harmless. You don’t want to do something that’s just going to annoy someone, or pull a prank that leaves someone inconvenienced (think swapping the sugar for salt. It’s a waste of coffee and money!) You also don’t want to do something that could potentially hurt someone (no jokes that you’re cheating or that you have some horrible illness, please). Keep it light and easy, and do something that will leave people more confused than anything else. Need ideas? The below April Fools’ pranks are perfect for everyone in your life.
Family-friendly April Fools pranks to play on kids
The key to successfully pranking your kids is to do something they’ll find funny. You definitely don’t want to make them cry or panic. Only pull pranks on kids that will get it — you might want to skip making the effort for a toddler.
- Rearrange your kids’ room while they’re sleeping. Quietly move some furniture around in a wacky way, swap out some toys, turn picture frames upside down... make it obvious so that when they wake up, they notice right away.
- Write a joke on the toilet paper roll. Unravel it a bit, write a joke on there with a Sharpie marker, then roll it back up. When they go to use it, they’ll catch the joke.
- Make them think they had a growth spurt. Set out some clothes that are a size too small and act like those are their normal sizes, and stuff their shoes with tissue paper so that they seem like they don’t fit. When they ask what’s going on, tell them they must have grown overnight.
- Swap out their snacks. Open up their favorite bag of chips, and replace the chips with veggies. Or swap out cookies for something like carrot sticks. When they go to open their snack and realize it’s full of veggies, act like you have no idea how it happened.
- Fill their shoes with bubble wrap. Got some spare bubble wrap laying around? Put it inside your kid’s shoes so that when they put their feet in, they start popping it. They’ll find this hilarious.
- Serve them frozen breakfast. If they normally eat cereal in the morning, fill a bowl with cereal and milk overnight, then place it in the freezer. Do this with yogurt or fruit too. In the morning, put it out frozen as if it isn’t, and watch them get super confused.
- Make meatloaf cupcakes for “dessert.” Surprise your kids with dessert before dinner — or so they think. Make these meatloaf cupcakes from Recipe Tin Eats (the frosting is mashed potatoes) and serve them as though they’re regular cupcakes. Who knows? Maybe they’ll end up loving them.
- Swap juice for Jello. When they go to bed the night before April 1, make some Jello in individual cups with straws in them. The next day, when your kids ask for juice, serve them the cups of Jello and watch their surprise when they realize they can’t sip it with a straw.
- Make a pan of brownies... kind of. Grab some brown construction paper and cut it into the shape of an “E.” Put that into the pan you normally make brownies with. When your kids get home from school, tell them you made a pan of brown Es... AKA brownies.
- Add fake bugs to their food. If you think your kid won’t totally freak out, buy some fake bags from the dollar store. Add them to their drink, or hide them in their food for dinner, and watch the panic unfold.
- Do the basic Whoopie cushion trick. Stick a Whoopie cushion on their chair so it elicits a farting noise when they sit down. It’s a classic for a reason.
- Add eyes to everything. Making them lunch for school? Add tiny eyes to all of their food with a note that says “I’m watching you.”
- Make sneaky “cake pops.” Another fun dessert swap: roast some Brussels sprouts, then dip them in melted chocolate. Add sprinkles and freeze. When your kids come home, tell them you made cake pops.
- Change the color of the water. Add some bright food coloring all along the inside of the faucet of the bathroom sink or bath tap. When the water runs out, it will be a different color and your kids will be alarmed.
- Do a toothpaste swap. Instead of putting toothpaste on your kid’s toothbrush, put something sweet: cream cheese, butter, or even the cream inside an Oreo. They might actually love this one.
- Color the milk. Add a few drops of food coloring to your carton of milk. When you or your kids pour it out, it will unexpectedly be a different color.
- Act like the remote control is broken. Place a small clear place of tape over the sensor of the remote control. When they go to turn the TV on, it won’t work, and you can act like you have no idea why.
- Make them “eggs.” Do they love eggs for breakfast? Instead of your typical fried egg, cut a canned peach slice in half and put it in the middle of some vanilla yogurt so it looks like an egg.
- Set the clocks an hour ahead. If your kids are old enough to pay attention to the time, then mess with the clocks. Set them one hour ahead so that when they wake up, they think they’re running late.
- Have them plant donut seeds. Give your little one some Cheerios, tell them to plant them outside, and then later replace them with donuts. They’ll get a kick out of it.
Funny pranks to play on your partner/spouse
Add some spice back to your relationship with a silly prank. Avoid cliched ideas like “I lost my engagement ring” (which could cause real panic) or “I’m pregnant” (which is just a huge no all around). Instead, opt for something funny and not super annoying.
- Ask if they want some nudes. Text your partner during the day and ask if they want you to send them some nudes. When they say yes (because obviously they will), send some photos of your nude lipsticks or a bowl of noodles.
- Make them think you went Amazon crazy. This one requires a bit of preparation. Save up some Amazon boxes and envelopes, then put them back together and play them all right inside the door on April Fools’ Day. Make sure there’s a lot — that’s the way to get them.
- Change the auto correct on their phone. Get their phone, go into settings, and go into Auto Correction. Change some of their most commonly used words to automatically correct to something else. You can even do a simple word like “the” or “like” to really drive them nuts.
- Make them think a big prank is coming. Leave cryptic notes laying around that warn them of a big prank coming up. On April Fools’ Day, they’ll be waiting for that prank — and you’ll never pull one. They’ll be left wondering when it’s coming all day.
- Make a glitter bomb. Fill an envelope with glitter without letting them know. Tell them a love note is inside, so when they open it, they get glitter everywhere.
- Paint their soap with clear nail polish. Putting a layer of clear nail polish on their soap bar will render it pretty useless, and they’ll have no idea what’s going on.
- Change outfits every 30 minutes. Make them wonder what’s going on by changing your clothes every 30 minutes on the dot. You can see just how much they notice, and act like nothing is going on when they ask.
- Text them “we need to talk” in the middle of the day. Then don’t answer their texts and calls the rest of the day. When they get home, act like nothing weird is going on, and if they ask about the text, tell them something silly.
- Do an ice cream sundae swap. Offer to make them an ice cream sundae after dinner. Instead of using ice cream, use mayo or mashed potatoes, then top it off with chocolate syrup.
- Wear an out of character wig. Before April Fools’ Day, buy a good wig in a color or style you normally would never try. Tell them you’re going to get your hair done, then come back a little bit later wearing it as if it were real.
- Ask him to check out the “leak” under the sink. Go out and buy some leeks, and then place them under the sink. In the morning, tell your partner that there’s a leak under the sink and ask if they can take a look. See how long it takes before they notice the actual leek.
- Move around the items they use every day. While they’re sleeping, move around the things they use every single day so that they end up searching for something they thought they put in the right spot. Just make sure this doesn’t make them late for work.
- Swap clothes in drawers. While they’re sleeping, swap their entire underwear drawer with your underwear (or shirts or pants — or everything!). They’ll be super confused in the morning.
- Tell them you’ve done an oil change on your car. Leave out some tools and an empty bottle of canola oil, and tell them you decided to try changing the oil yourself. Watch the panic ensue.
- Send them random texts throughout the day. A few times during the day, send them completely random texts (like, “did you ever find my gold bracelet?”). When they respond, just don’t answer.
- Pretend to adopt an animal. If you’ve been bugging them for a pet, this is the perfect prank. Send them a photo of you with a little puppy or kitten, and say, “Sorry, I couldn’t help myself! You’ll love them when you meet them!”
- Change their ringtone to something embarrassing. Think a funny rap song or kid’s music.
- Get them some Oreos, but swap the cream. Offer them some Oreos, but first swap the cream out for something like toothpaste or yogurt.
- Tell them your parents have to stay with you guys for a few weeks. Make this one as realistic as possible so that they don’t think you’re joking.
- Replace household photos with photos of a celebrity. See how long it takes them to notice. Bonus points if it’s a celebrity they dislike.
Fun and classic pranks to play on friends and colleagues
If you’re planning to prank your colleagues, be sure you let management or someone know so that you don’t get in trouble. And remember: harmless pranks only less you want a one-on-one with your HR department.
- Rotate your colleague’s computer screen. If possible, turn their computer screen upside down so they feel super confused when they start working.
- Make them think the printer is voice activated. Hang a sign that says “printer is now voice activated.” Then sit back and watch as everyone talks to the printer that is definitely not voice activated.
- Make veggie pops. Roast some Brussels sprouts, put them on a lollipop stick, then wrap them in the wrapper. Voila: veggie pops. Of course, act like they’re regular lollipops before giving them out.
- Stock the fridge with fake food. If your kids have play food at home, bring it into the office. Adjust the food so all of the real stuff is in the back, then fill the whole front with fake food.
- Put the stapler in a Jello mold. This classic prank is now funny because it’s so ridiculous — and it’s easy to accomplish.
- Send random facts about cats or dogs to your friend’s phone all day long. Don’t respond if they ask what you’re doing, and send as many as you can.
- Leave a pile of fake poop outside their door. This is silly and kind of a traditional prank, which is why it works.
- Text your friends “OMG” and then don’t respond. Instead of answering, send a picture of those three little texting dots to confuse them.
- Mix together M&Ms and Skittles in a bowl. Offer it to whoever is around and say it’s either Skittles or M&Ms, but not both.
- Write something silly on a post-it note, then put it on someone’s back. Another traditional prank, this one will never go out of style. Make sure the note doesn’t say anything rude.
- Post something out of pocket on Instagram. Maybe it’s a photo of a tropical destination with a caption that makes it seem like you just bought a plane ticket to go that day, or maybe it’s something ridiculous you know your friends will question you about. Just make sure they see it.
- Sprinkle some fake spiders around the office. Act just as shocked as everyone else when you see them.
- Put a fake parking ticket on your friend’s car. Going out with your friends? Place a fake parking ticket on their car when they’re not paying attention.
- FaceTime with your friend and pretend it’s muted. Either lip synch your whole story and act like you can’t hear them when they’re telling you they can’t hear, or keep telling them you can’t hear them when you can.
- Tape a computer mouse. Place tape over the sensor on someone’s computer mouse so they can’t use it — just be sure to tell them when they start getting frustrated.
- Put a “push” sign on a door that needs to be pulled. Spend the rest of the day watching people get frustrated.
- Make caramel onions. Dip whole onions in caramel and put sticks in them to make them look like apples. Then ask people if they want a caramel apple.
- Tape a photo of something ridiculous to the top of the photo copier. See how many people notice it’s there.
- Text a friend “you got pranked” even though you didn’t prank them. They’ll spend the whole day wondering what the prank was.
- Walk around the office flipping random things upside down. It’s a subtle but annoying mind trick.
Remember: keep April Fools’ Day fun and light by playing these harmless April Fools’ pranks. You’ll definitely get some good laughs, but you might also have to watch your back next year.