How to plan the best April Fools' day prank

Hone your active funny bone!

Published Date
01 - Apr - 2014
| Last Updated
01 - Apr - 2014
How to plan the best April Fools' day prank

Considering this is April, the most obvious thing to do this month would be to sharpen your funny bone and hone your 'pranking' technique.

A good prank is like making lasagne. You need layers of pasta-like subtlety to truly appreciate the flavour of the filling within, and when it’s over, both the chef and the customer walk away feeling satisfied.


Timing is everything

You need to have your heart in the prank. There’s no point in playing a prank just because you’re bored. Though there’s nothing wrong with that either. There’s nothing like a good prank to get you out of a rut. What the heck – forget the fire! Prank if you feel like it. There’s never a bad time when it comes to playing a prank. (Though we’d stay away from funerals and similar sombre situations, if we were you.)

Make a list
Everyone’s got their ideal targets. Get organized. Sit down and make a list of people you would like to play a prank on. Friends and enemies alike. Take your mind through your past and dig out the names of people you’ve wanted to get back at. And give those names a physical form. Write without hesitation, without discrimination, and when you’re done, take a moment to admire your handiwork.

Then start with the shortlist
Presuming you want to play a prank that won’t lead to a multi-generational blood feud, slash off all the people with no sense of humour. If you want it to be appreciated, cut off the people too far flung from your own age bracket. This includes the annoying aunty from next door and the crotchety old man with the rabid pet dog. Cut out the physically/mentally handicapped. Because, seriously – that's not cool. This should bring you down to your top 5, at least.

Put some thought into it
Innovation is the not-so-secret secret behind a good prank. Think it through. Take your time to plan it out. If it helps, take inspiration from some successful and well-known pranks if you need to, but constantly ask yourself the question ‘how can I do this differently?’. Remember – a prank can only be well-received if a majority of the people involved can laugh at it afterward. Think of contingencies. Don’t ever perform a prank that gets out of your control. Factor in the variables and stay on your toes once the prank commences.

Make it large
If you’re tired of the small-time stuff, take a leaf from the McDowell’s book and make it large. ‘Large’ in this case doesn’t necessarily  mean ‘large scale’, it also means making it big on the 'brilliance' scale. A real prankster should learn how to leave a mark on the pranked. Keep it interesting and memorable. Think out of the box, push your creative limits.

Cover your tracks
This is for all those who intend to prank from within the shadows. Some pranks are just too risky to leave your fingerprints on. Especially if you completely disregard our previous suggestion of picking your battles tastefully. So before you try something shady, first, be careful and think twice. If you do intend to go ahead, cover your tracks like an intelligence agent. Make a list of all loose ends and make sure you soak them in water and reef knot them tight.

Have a sense of honour
This is an important point. It’s great if you pull off a prank successfully, but at times there are innocents who get caught in the crossfire. If despite all your efforts, things do take a bad turn – own up. Don’t let someone else take the fall for your actions. Have a sense of honour to go with the humour.  That being said and done – Have an eventful April!

Some memorable pranks

Spaghetti tree

In 1957 the British television programme Panorama, broadcasted a documentary segment about a bumper spaghetti harvest in southern Switzerland.  It is believed to be the first time television was used to stage an April Fool’s prank.

Colour TV prank

Back in 1962, the Sweden’s Sveriges Television, brought up a “technical expert” on air to explain — in thoroughly technical terms — how stretching a thin nylon stockings in front of a television would bend light’s wavelengths and produce a color image. Kudos!

Planetary alignment


In 1976, BBC Radio 2 astronomer Sir Patrick Moore explained. how, at 9:47 a.m., Pluto and Jupiter would align in such a way as to temporarily reduce Earth’s gravity. He told people they had a once-in-a-lifetime chance to jump at exactly that moment to experience the  effect.

Google autocompleter

This was one of Google’s most hilarious pranks. Meet the man who completes your sentences when you search on Google. They’re looking for more employees of this kind. Interested?

Left-handed burger?

The joke’s an oldie, but when people actually fall for it in hordes, it starts feeling funny all over again. Burger King’s ‘left-handed whopper’ brought this joke to an audience that seemed exasperated and kept trying to assure the waiters at Burger King that they were, in fact, right-handed.