Once a year, we get a free pass on malicious behavior at the expense of our loved ones.
Whether it dates back to our transition out of the Gregorian calendar or to the Roman end-of-winter celebration, the history around April Fools’ Day remains shrouded in mystery. However, that doesn’t stop the trickster from rising up to partake in this annual world renowned activity of expending some pent up, childish energy.
As it goes, pranksters do all they can to be unique and elusive, but I’ve never found it funny when an April Fools’ joke goes too far. I have, though, been a fan of harmless, yet slightly inconveniencing fun since I was young.
So, without further-adieu, I have compiled a short list of low-risk April Fools’ ideas for you to either use, or work off of:
- Bugs: In Chapman University’s 2016 Survey on American Fears, 25 percent of respondents said they were afraid of insects and/or spiders. Personally, I’m often startled by insects when they show up unexpectedly, but my step-dad hates bugs with the kind of passion that might drive a person to burn their house down. Anything involving insects is a solid route to take. They’re small and can be placed anywhere that might get a rise out of the victim. Freeze them in ice cubes, slip them under bed sheets, hide them in cabinets. When I was young, my sister and I found a very real looking rubber cockroach and placed it strategically in our step-dad’s basement shower, for which he probably never trusted us again.
- Plastic wrap: For every left-over being saved by plastic wrap, there’s an equally brilliant prank to be had. Plastic wrap can be stretched across a doorway at eye level, tape it on either side, then wait for the magic. Another idea is to seal shampoo/conditioner bottles by securing the plastic wrap at the mouth of the bottle and then replacing the cap. Will they figure it out or will they give up on washing their hair entirely?
- Solid Liquids: If you don’t mind planning ahead, solid liquid pranks are fun to play on kids especially. You can make jello in their juice cups with a straw and watch their mind work to wrap itself around that. Another idea is to pour their cereal the night before and freeze it. You could say that it took so long for them to come to the table, their milk froze. They might even believe you.
- Airhorns: These can be affixed behind a door or attached to the underside of an office chair. If you do this, take a video, because you’ll want to watch it again and again.
- Money: Everyone likes money. You can superglue a quarter to the ground and stick around to see how many folks struggle to pick up. Or you could take the corner of a $20 bill and leave it sticking out from underneath a laptop, book, or an oven mitt on the counter; they will definitely be disappointed to not have found a hole twenty bucks.
- Candy Combos: Fill a bowl with skittles, M’n’Ms, and Reese’s Pieces, then leave it in the kitchen or in the breakroom at work. I wonder how many people will grab a handful and just throw the whole lot in their mouth at once?
- Sugary Swap Out: Maybe you bring a box of donuts to share at work. Maybe you replaced the kryptonite with a tray of veggies and dip. Maybe you tell everyone that there’s a donut box in the breakroom for them to share. And maybe they won’t speak to you for a few days. Another twist on this one is to make your family ice cream sundaes and use cold mashed potatoes and gravy instead.
- Balloons: Whether you fill up their bathroom, bedroom, vehicle, or office, balloons take up a lot of space and the victim will have to deal with it.
- Jell-O: You can put really any small necessity into Jell-O. Car keys. Glasses. A stapler.
- The Text Test: I love this one. Choose some of your contacts (or all of them) and send out this text “Hey, I lost my phone. Can you call it?” Do you realize how funny this will be? Just wait and see how many of your friends and family might actually ring your phone. It may surprise you and will determine how many of them are oblivious to the irony.
When April Fool’s day rolls around, people think their pranks should be elaborate, but I encourage a long game. If you can, fill your kids, parents, significant others’ day with a plethora of minor inconveniences. By the end, they may question the truth of their entire reality.
Will ice come out of the ice machine? Or will it have been replaced with jelly beans? Perhaps they open the fridge to find googly eyes staring at them from every container. Or maybe the furniture all turns up slightly out of place.
Regardless of what you decide to do with your April Fools’ Day, be safe but have fun. And who knows? You might take it one step further and use these pranks all-year round, just to shake things up.
By Rian Dicke-Michels