10 great April Fools’ Day pranks of all-time

Which one was your favorite?

Stock image. Polina Kovaleva (Pexels)

Once again, April Fools’ Day is here, so people are likely going to spend Monday dodging pranks and hearing jokes from family, friends, co-workers, or whoever else thinks they’re funny.

But with the day here, it brought to mind a question. What are the greatest April Fools’ Day pranks of all-time?

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That’s an impossible question to answer, given the list can be as long as the distance between the two ends of this flat earth — April Fools’! Ha! We know the Earth is round!

OK, that was kind of a lame April Fools’ joke, but what is a lot funnier is some great April Fools’ pranks ever conducted. We’ve narrowed this list down to 10 below, but we know there have probably been others.

If there’s another one of your favorites that we missed, just point them out below. Just don’t mess with us by letting us know of a prank or joke that never happened, only to scream “April Fools!”

Here are 10 of the most popular April Fools’ pranks of all time, according to CNN.

Drinking and the internet

Back in 1994, PC Magazine decided to run a column saying Congress was considering a bill that would prohibit the use of the internet while intoxicated. The name of the contact person on the bill was Lirpa Sloof (backwards for April Fools). Enough people took the article seriously that Sen. Edward Kennedy’s office had to release an official denial that he was a sponsor of the bill.

A new Google drink

Ever heard of Google Gulp? In 2005, some thought that Google was coming out with a new drink. It wasn’t true, but some were intrigued.

Space Needle falls

A Seattle comedy show in 1989 went to the airwaves to say the famed Space Needle had fallen down. There were even pictures to back up the story. Hundreds were fooled and called the TV station in a panic. Of course, it was a joke. Click or tap here for this video and fast forward to the 2:25 mark to view the hoax.

A different way to get color TV

Those who desired color TV back in Sweden in 1962 became happy when a technical expert told the public that black-and-white broadcasts could be made color by viewing the TV through nylon stockings. Those who fell for it were obviously bummed when finding out it wasn’t the case.

BBC and Big Ben

One of the most famous landmarks in the world is Big Ben in London, so the public was understandably none too pleased when the BBC put out a hoax in 1980 saying the iconic clock was going digital. The BBC apologized for the joke.

Taco Liberty Bell?

In 1996, Taco Bell took out newspaper ads saying it had bought the famous Liberty Bell. It obviously wasn’t true, but fooled enough people that the National Park Service had to hold a press conference to deny the news.

Left-handed power

Both Cottonelle and Burger King have had fun on April Fools’ Day when it comes to introducing products specifically for left-handed people. In 2015, Cottonelle said it was introducing left-handed toilet paper. In 1998, Burger King said it had a new “left-handed Whopper.”

Trying to simplify Pi

Pi and April Fools’ Day intersected back in 1998, when Alabama lawmakers tried passing a bill that would redefine 3.14159 to 3. Or at least that is what was thought by the public when the hoax was spread. There was no such bill being considered, but it made for a good laugh.

Talk about fastball!

One of the famous writers of all time, George Plimpton, got into the spirit of April Fools’ Day in 1985. It was then that he wrote a story for Sports Illustrated on a pitcher for the New York Mets named Siddhartha Finch who could throw 168 miles per hour. The first letters in the word’s of the story’s secondary headline read “Happy April Fools’ Day.” That didn’t stop some Mets’ fans from believing they had the next great pitching star in the fold.

Pasta growing on trees

What is it with the BBC and its love for April Fools’ Day? In 1957 on a show called “Panorama,” a segment was run on BBC about how Switzerland was enjoying a great spaghetti harvest. It showed pasta literally growing on trees, which obviously doesn’t happen. But with TV a relatively new invention back then, many were fooled. To view the hoax, click or tap here.

About the Author

Keith is a member of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which produces content for all the company's news websites.

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