30 Best Harmless April Fool’s Pranks to Pull This Year
Hey, no harm, no foul, right?
April Fool’s Day is the perfect opportunity to try out all those pranks you’ve been dying to pull on your friends, family, and coworkers—just without any of the guilt. Since it’s essentially a pranking holiday where everybody gets advance warning, no one can claim to be caught by surprise with your April Fool’s pranks. It’s April 1st, fool! Look at your darn calendar! If you’re not on high alert during this one day of the year, you have nobody to blame but yourself.
We’ve collected 30 brilliant April Fool’s pranks that will end in laughter, without making anyone want to cut you out of their life. These are ideas for people who realize that April Fools is just one day, and come April the 2nd, not all jokes will be as funny. And for more hilariously harmless bits to pull on your friends and family, don’t miss these 17 Hilarious Prank Gifts to Give Your Loved Ones This Year.
Krispy Kreme Veggies
You’ll be a hero when you show up at the office with two-dozen delicious doughnuts for your coworkers. Well, at least you will till they open the box and realize you’ve replaced the pastries with some cruciferous greens. Nothing tastes as sad as cauliflower when you were expecting something glazed with sprinkles.
Tape Over the Sensors
Want to mess with somebody’s favorite TV or computer without doing any permanent damage? It’s all about the sensors, baby. Just attach a tiny piece of tape over the laser sensor on the underside of their remote or mouse, which will (temporarily) block the signal. Make sure it’s the right color—if the remote is black and you don’t have any black tape, use a sharpie to color in it—and then leave it out and wait for the confusion.
Calls for Franklin
Here’s one of those April Fool’s pranks to play as a group. Throughout the day, beginning as early as possible, have different people call your victim—either at his office or home—and ask to speak with Franklin. If possible, have someone new call him every 30 minutes, so it really starts to become tiresome for your victim to keep saying, “There’s nobody named Franklin here, you have the wrong number.”
At the end of the day, it’s time for the grand finale. He gets a call and the voice on the other end tells him, “Hi, this is Franklin. Have there been any calls for me?”
Fake Milk Spill
The old adage “Don’t cry over spilt milk” isn’t as easy when the milk is splattered all over your laptop. You obviously wouldn’t want to actually destroy somebody’s computer for an April Fools’ prank, but you can briefly trick them into thinking you did. All you need is a glass surface and some glue, which will fill in for the milk. Follow these step-by-step instructions and you’ll be ready to go.
Chicken Nugget Soap
If you’ve got kids that refuse to eat healthy, this may be the April Fools’ prank that changes their mind. It looks like a delicious plate of chicken nuggets, but once they bite into one, they’ll realize it’s really a cleverly disguised bar of soap. That sudsy mouth feeling will remind them, they should’ve tried the fruit salad instead. (And yes, this April Fool’s prank is somewhat mean; but trust us, no one will get hurt.)
Turn All Their Apps to Kittens
If you can get access to a friend or coworker’s phone, just launch the website Iphoneception on their browser and switch all of their app shortcuts into adorable kitty faces. This is an especially brutal April Fool’s prank for somebody who isn’t a big fan of cats. But, at the end of the day, who can really be mad at a cute kitty?
Bubble Wrap Under a Rug
Measure out just enough bubble wrap to hide under the rug of a frequently-visited stretch of hallway. Once somebody steps down on it, it’ll make such a bang that they’ll dive for cover.
Fill a bowl with your victim’s favorite cereal and milk, then slip it into the freezer overnight. Serve them breakfast in bed on April Fools’ morning, and watch as they try in vain to scoop up a spoonful. For extra hilarity, half-submerge a spoon in the milk before freezing the whole bowl. They’ll pull and pull and pull at the spoon before finally figuring out what’s going on.
Tin Foil Office
This is a classic April Fools’ prank for a reason. It takes a lot of artistry to cover everything in somebody’s office with aluminum foil, and it looks really impressive when you’re finished, like you’ve turned their desk and computer and lamp into some kind of futuristic alien workstation. But it’s also easy enough to return everything back to normal after the big reveal.
Lamp Bug Silhouettes
You don’t even have to be that precise with your scissor work. Just cut out a shape on black paper that vaguely looks like a frighteningly large insect, and then attach it to the inside of a lampshade. When somebody comes in and flips on the light, the first thing they’ll see is the shadow of a bug that looks like it could bite off a finger. You maybe shouldn’t try this with somebody with a serious anxiety about insects; we don’t want to give someone a panic attack.
Who’s Hogging the Bathroom?
This is a great one for work: Depending on how many stalls there are at the shared bathroom on your floor, create some fake lower legs and feet, using shoes and pants stuffed with towels. Place them inside the stalls before the workday begins, then watch as your coworkers get increasingly annoyed that every toilet in the bathroom has been occupied all day. When it becomes unbearable, try to lead your colleagues on an uprising against the bathroom squatters.
Cream Cheese Deodorant
This April Fool’s prank will cause a mess and may annoy your intended victim, but otherwise it’s mostly harmless. Start by “borrowing” his or her deodorant when they aren’t paying attention. Twist at the bottom of the container until around two inches of deodorant comes out. Remove it with a spoon and replace it with cream cheese, which you then mold and shape with your hands. It takes time and some creativity, as it needs to look realistic enough that your friend won’t think twice about plunging it into their armpits. But if you do it right, be prepared to hear a blood-curdling scream coming from the bathroom.
Head in a Jar
Guaranteed to scare the living daylights out of them, especially if you go the extra yard and really make it look real. Take a photo of your head, print up a quality color copy, and slip it into a waterproof plastic sleeve. Then dump it into a big jar filled with water, and add some faux fur that matches your hair color. It’s one of the simplest April Fool’s pranks, but here’s a step-by-step guide if you need a primer.
Elvis Is Stalking Me
One of the best April Fool’s pranks for people who love conspiracy theories. Tell your friend that you’re pretty sure Elvis has been stalking you. Yes, the King of Rock n’ Roll, who passed away at Graceland in 1977. Your friend, being a reasonable person, will think you’re joking. But continue to confide in him that you’re almost positive it’s the real Elvis, and he’s been following you for weeks. Give it the full day for your paranoid ramblings to feel like old news, and then invite them to a pre-dinner drink. What they don’t know is, you’ve arranged for a guy dressed like Elvis—the late ’70s, over-the-top Vegas Elvis—to hover nearby, watching you from behind a tree. Hopefully, your friend notices him first.
Add a thin layer of clear nail polish to a bar of soap and you’ve instantly made it useless. The polish has water-proofed the soap, so they can scrub and scrub with it all they want but it’ll never lather up. Hopefully they’ll give up before scrubbing themselves raw. If they’re the stubborn sort, you might want to give them a time limit before knocking on the bathroom door and shouting, “April Fools!”
Add a secret message to the bumper of your friend’s car, which reads: “PLEASE HONK. Driver doesn’t know. April Fool’s Day.” The trick will be getting the sign on there without the driver noticing. This one works best with an accomplice, who can keep the victim distracted while he gets into the car, and you can affix the message on his bumper. (Make sure it’s something that can be easily removed so the joke doesn’t become a permanent part of his morning commute.)
Fake Bluescreen of Death
Any Windows user will get instantly freaked if they see this infamous blue screen, a dire warning that all of their computer memory is about to be dumped with extreme prejudice. You don’t have to infect a buddy’s computer with a real virus to watch him squirm. Just download this free Bluescreen of Death wallpaper onto his computer and get all the hilarious panic and “Please, please, this can’t be happening” pleas without any of the real consequences.
The Sloppy Sneeze
Fill a spray bottle with some mildly warm tap water, and wait for your moment to strike. When you’re standing behind someone, no more than a foot away from them, hold the spray bottle up to your face and let out a violent sneeze, covering your victim’s back and neck with what he thinks is snot. Apologize profusely and let him believe, for a few disgusting seconds, that you seriously sneezed all over his back, before finally revealing the truth.
Push, Don’t Pull
Find a door that can only be opened by pulling it, then add an official looking sign to the door that reads “PUSH ONLY PLEASE.” You’ll be surprised how many people keep pushing despite the repeated evidence that it’s just not going to work. Why do we blindly follow signs even when they defy all logic? There’s a psychology thesis in there somewhere, but you just have to decide how long to let them struggle before reminding them about April Fool’s.
Never-ending Daylight Savings Switches
This prank takes devotion, but if you’re willing to make the commitment (and have a team of jokesters willing to assist you), you could very well pull off the prank of the year. Move all the clocks forward by two hours in your office or home, letting one specific target think it’s actually much, much later than they originally believed. (If you can get access to their smartphones to change the time, even better.)
Then later, when they’ve finally adjusted to the new time, change it on them yet again, moving all the clocks backwards by an hour. Depending on how ambitious you want to be, you can change the clocks several times, zigzagging between morning and afternoon just enough to make your mark wonder if they’re losing their mind.
Confetti Ceiling Fan
Get some paper and cut it up into hundreds of tiny confetti pieces. Carefully place them on top of a ceiling fan—make sure the fan is off, obviously, and that nobody will walk in and catch you in the act—and then stealthy leave as if nothing has changed. Wait for your unsuspecting mark to walk in and flip on the ceiling fan, and then wonder why he’s being showered with confetti like it just struck midnight on New Year’s Eve.
It’s not that you’ve filled a co-worker’s office with balloons, it’s that you filled every available square inch with balloons, so it’s impossible to enter without popping them one by one. The exact amount of balloons depends on the size of their office, and the size of balloons you’re using. Luckily, we have the Internet, and there’s actually a Reddit thread devoted to figuring out the math of this topic.
Flip the Screen
It’s so easy, it’d be an April Fools’ crime not to use it on somebody. All you have to do is get access to their computer—wait until they’re at lunch or on a bathroom break—and hit Ctrl+Alt+Down Arrow. It instantly flips everything on their PC screen so it’s upside down. (Don’t worry, it’s just as easy to reverse. Just hit Ctrl+Alt+Up Arrow.) For a Mac, go to their System Preferences, open the Displays option and click on the “Rotate” menu.
Fake Toilet Paper
Imagine being in a bathroom stall and reaching for some toilet paper, only to discover that what appeared to be a full roll is actually a decoy, which contains just a taunting sign that reads “APRIL FOOLS’!” Okay, this one might be a little mean, but the guy who invented it is bona fide pranking genius.
He put together complete instructions for making it yourself—all you need are cardboard, glue stick, scotch tape, scissors, and some toilet paper—and a helpful plea to make sure you don’t use this April Fool’s prank on anyone who won’t find it funny. Maybe keep a second roll nearby, for some post-pranking relief?
The TV is Calling the Shots Now!
Buy a universal remote and get it synced to your TV. Then wait till your friends or family are watching TV and think they’re in full control. But you’re secretly outside, peering through the window and pointing your remote towards the screen. The key here is to build the tension slowly. Don’t suddenly go haywire and change channels on them randomly. Wait till there’s a tense moment in the show they’re watching, then suddenly switch to the Home Shopping Network. Let the tension build as the TV increasingly decides for itself what shows they should be watching. Practice makes perfect on this, so make sure to do a few dry runs before your moment of April Fools’ glory.
Bake Some “Brownies”
Announce to a few of your friends or family that you’ll be making some “brownies” for everyone. Then, while your friends and family think you’re baking away in the kitchen for them, cut out multiple letter “E’s” from brown construction paper, fill a pan with them, cover with tinfoil, and then announce that you’re done making them. Stand aside and watch everyone’s faces fall when they uncover the tinfoil and realize there’s no actual dessert. Make sure to only announce it through word-of-mouth, however, because then they can’t be mad that you actually gave them what you said: brown Es.
This prank is simple, but it’s sure to provide day-long laughter. Bring a toaster or coffee pot into the office, and put it in the office kitchen. (Don’t worry: the joke isn’t that you’re giving away a free appliance.) Put a label on the toaster or coffee pot that says “voice activated” and enjoy the dulcet sounds of frustrated people shouting at random kitchen appliances all day.
What better way to break up the long work day than with some harmless fun? When your coworker is away from their desk, leave them a note saying they missed a call from “Mr. Baer” or “Mr. Lyon.” And don’t forget to leave a number! The number to the local zoo, that is. Either your coworker will realize it right away—and you’ll get to see the annoyance on their face for being so gullible—or you’ll get to laugh as they repeatedly ask for Mr. “bear” or “lion” to a group of endlessly amused zoo employees.
“Slash” the Tires
This one will require some acting, so get your game-face ready. Print out four photos of Guns N’ Roses’ guitarist Slash and tape one to each tire on your friend’s car. Run back inside in a panic and announce that someone slashed their tires. Your friend will most likely run outside immediately—both angry and panicked. However, they’ll be instantly relieved to see photos of Slash on their tires. Rock on.
A classic prank, but one that typically never fails. Buy a pack of Oreos, remove the cream, replace it with white toothpaste, and reassemble. If anyone spots an already opened pack of Oreos, c’mon, who can possibly resist sneaking one? Unfortunately for this unassuming little thief, when they bite down into this treat, the new “mint” flavor they find couldn’t be described as “delicious.” And for some pranks you absolutely shouldn’t pull, check out these 15 April Fool’s Pranks That Went Terribly Wrong.
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