Prank. Not Even Once.
March 31, 2015 3:13 PM   Subscribe

John Oliver on April Fool's Day Pranks: "STOP BEING A DICK."

Some pranks you must NOT do if you don't want to be a dick are here and here plus BuzzFeed's examples of child abuse. Meanwhile, the "Scandinavia and the World" comic recreates the "spaghetti tree broadcast", that shamed the BBC so much that, years later, they had to air disclaimers that "Daleks are not real".
posted by oneswellfoop (94 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
The greatest april fool's day ever was the one where Metafilter would slowly... slowly... change colors.
posted by Justinian at 3:20 PM on March 31, 2015 [40 favorites]


Been to maps.google.com lately? select an area and click the Pac-Man button on the lower left....
posted by pjern at 3:22 PM on March 31, 2015 [8 favorites]


OMG I'm stuffing my kids' shoes full of toilet paper.

So. lame.
posted by GuyZero at 3:25 PM on March 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


Google Maps PacMan hit a little early, unless they really wanted the Australia/Japan internet to get it.

Another collection of office pranks you MUST NOT DO. If any of these had been played on Ellen Pao, she probably would've won her lawsuit.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:26 PM on March 31, 2015




Been to maps.google.com lately? select an area and click the Pac-Man button on the lower left....

I'm actually starting to wonder if Google Maps Pacman is just a prank on me, alone, as I seem to not be able to get it and see no button at all.
posted by corb at 3:39 PM on March 31, 2015


I know I sound like a grump but those posts in /r/AskHistorians are really annoying to me. It just seems so incongruous with their strict moderation policy that keeps it one of the very few subreddits with a good signal-to-noise ratio. When a place has built up a reputation for being one of the few places you can trust not to waste your time, it feels weird for it to suddenly go the other way. Yes, I'm no fun, and I like it that way.
posted by glhaynes at 3:44 PM on March 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


Wow, when they say random they really mean it. When pacman complained that my home town doesn't have enough roads to play (TELL IT TO THE CITY WE KNOW ALREADY) it dropped me in Bankok, Thailand.
posted by localroger at 3:45 PM on March 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'm grateful to John Oliver for this video. I love the observation "April Fools' Day is to comedy as to St. Patrick's Day is to Irish Culture". I never ever go out to a bar on St. Patrick's Day, I know it's going to be a shitshow. Maybe I should avoid the Internet on April 1.
posted by Nelson at 3:51 PM on March 31, 2015 [9 favorites]


Also, my favorite web prank was the year metafilter and kuro5hin swapped formatting.
posted by localroger at 3:53 PM on March 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


Also, my favorite web prank was the year metafilter and kuro5hin swapped formatting.

AT LAST A PROFESSIONAL WHITE BACKGROUND
posted by entropicamericana at 3:57 PM on March 31, 2015 [6 favorites]


Phooey. Tomorrow is when my kids help me get my wife back for all the times she's enlisted them to pull pranks on me.

The beauty is, my kids are just-turned-four and not-quite-six, so the pranks are awesome all around. Nothing like walking in the door and having your kid yell, "Daddy, we pulled a prank on you! You're gonna be so surprised!"
posted by nickmark at 4:03 PM on March 31, 2015 [19 favorites]


Nothing like walking in the door and having your kid yell, "Daddy, we pulled a prank on you! You're gonna be so surprised!"
Sometimes getting it wrong is getting it perfectly right.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:08 PM on March 31, 2015 [13 favorites]


Imagine being annoyed at a day when people make jokes.
posted by HarveyDenture at 4:13 PM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Google Maps PacMan hit a little early, unless they really wanted the Australia/Japan internet to get it.

Why should they care any less about them getting it than anyone else?
posted by silence at 4:13 PM on March 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


I was amused by how John Oliver singled out fake engagement announcements as something to avoid on April Fools'. My co-worker has just done that, posting a picture on FaceBook with a former co-worker, saying that she was carrying his love child and they were getting married. He's already getting congratulations from relatives in California and other far-flung places. Meanwhile he's getting ready to drop the bomb tomorrow, and he breaks out into giggles every time he goes over the story.

I have a very awful feeling it's going to get REAL UGLY for the guy, real fast. And I really hope I'm proven wrong.
posted by spoobnooble II: electric bugaboo at 4:18 PM on March 31, 2015 [6 favorites]


Maybe I should avoid the Internet on April 1

I wish I could. NPR, as well.
posted by Rash at 4:21 PM on March 31, 2015


Imagine being annoyed at a day when people make jokes.

Not a problem where April Fools Day is concerned. Also Talk Like A Pirate Day and caps lock day.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 4:30 PM on March 31, 2015 [7 favorites]


Just avoid NPR all the time. It will make your life better.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 4:33 PM on March 31, 2015 [7 favorites]


Imagine being annoyed at a day when people make jokes.

You know, looking back on it, those pranks we all play - they're meaner than we think.

I once played a 'prank' on April Fool's that I was re-enlisting in the military. I thought it was funny, because who would believe it? I was so obviously done, I would never deploy again. I was going to keep it going for the whole day and tell everyone the next day. Except the answer was everyone, and by the time I got back to Facebook I had impassioned pleading with me to reconsider, voice mail from my parents, ex-lovers, everyone, trying to get me to come to my senses. And I felt rightfully terrible, and pulled it down.

People aren't wrong to want that kind of shit to stop.
posted by corb at 4:34 PM on March 31, 2015 [24 favorites]


Imagine being annoyed at a day when people make jokes.

It's a shame that April Fools Day and "a day when people make jokes" have absolutely nothing in common. (Hint: Saying something that isn't true is not automatically a joke.)
posted by IAmUnaware at 4:37 PM on March 31, 2015 [18 favorites]


My co-worker has just done that, posting a picture on FaceBook with a former co-worker, saying that she was carrying his love child and they were getting married.

I adore April Fools' Day, and I think John Oliver couldn't be more wrong here, but I will agree that there are hoaxers out there who don't get how it works.

The fun of April Fools' Day, on the one side, is seeing how ludicrous a claim you can make seem plausible without people catching on. (The more ludicrous—and the more blatant hints you slide past that things aren't on the level—the better.) On the other side, it's seeing how quickly you can suss out the Foolishness from the truth, without mistaking the latter for the former.

But there are standards. An April Fools' Day prank needs to be done on April Fools' Day. (There is latitude in the case of non-daily publications; e.g., a monthly magazine with an April cover date gets the April Fools' stuff, even if it hits newsstands in March, while a weekly newspaper that comes out on Fridays could justifiably choose either the March 27 or the April 3rd issue this year.) Unless your co-worker is in Australia or some other place where it's already April 1, she's doing it wrong.

Also (and this isn't in play here, but I've seen it elsewhere), if you say "this is not an April Fools' joke," it had better not be an April Fools' joke.
posted by Shmuel510 at 4:40 PM on March 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


So wait... is Amazon Dash... not one of those April 1 hoax product announcements, but a real actual thing? Because it really should be a hoax. But if it is, then it's squarely in the uncanny valley of hoaxes where it seems too real, and yet horrifying because it does seem like something that could be real...
posted by Naberius at 4:44 PM on March 31, 2015 [19 favorites]


(Shmuel510: my co-worker has been planning this for a month. He posted the photos over the weekend. The fake name for the woman in the picture is a play on the words "April Fools". April 1st is the day when he's going to break the news that the engagement is fake. Again: I may be wrong about his family's willingness to take a joke, but I've seen other families break apart for less.)
posted by spoobnooble II: electric bugaboo at 4:44 PM on March 31, 2015


Amazon Dash is all too real unfortunately.
posted by GuyZero at 4:47 PM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


(Shmuel510: my co-worker has been planning this for a month. He posted the photos over the weekend. The fake name for the woman in the picture is a play on the words "April Fools". April 1st is the day when he's going to break the news that the engagement is fake. Again: I may be wrong about his family's willingness to take a joke, but I've seen other families break apart for less.)

(I stand by "he's doing it wrong," albeit correcting my pronoun confusion. April 1st is the day you try to get the story past people, not the day you reveal it. If you need to cheat, your game isn't good enough.)
posted by Shmuel510 at 4:49 PM on March 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


Can't we just a another free pancake day and skip the joke thingy.
posted by shockingbluamp at 4:50 PM on March 31, 2015 [6 favorites]


If April Fool's jokes don't have to actually be done on April 1, just announced as having been jokes on that date... well, I've got a whole lifetime's worth of things I'm going to announce were "just jokes" in a few hours!
posted by glhaynes at 4:52 PM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


....I think I may be a terrible person, because I have just realized that April 1st is the perfect time to change my relationship status to married. Which I did a year ago last March, but had avoided changing my relationship status based on not actually being out to most of my extended family and also based on having only gotten married in the first place to sponsor my partner for immigration, what with that being an issue, and therefore not actually having "normal" reactions to the whole thing since it's not like we actually got to live together afterwards or anything. (Still in that process, actually.) And now it's gotten awkward and weird that my Facebook still says 'single' and basically anything I do is going to get a lot of "huh wait what you have a partner WHAT?" reactions, so this way I actually get to have fun with those.

The best part is that it's not a prank at all, but I still get to fuck with people! Win win win.

(I am normally one of those people who hates April Fool's because I am a little gullible for a few minutes and I just feel betrayed and cranky afterwards. Sooo.)
posted by sciatrix at 4:56 PM on March 31, 2015 [10 favorites]


Several years ago for April Fools, I convinced a friend there was a colony of goat-men living in Central Park. I don't regret it one bit.
posted by mochapickle at 5:01 PM on March 31, 2015 [21 favorites]


STOP BEING A DICK

*looks at plutonium and high explosives*

Well, damn.
posted by happyroach at 5:02 PM on March 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


If there were no April Fools pranks that would be fine by me.
posted by tommasz at 5:10 PM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Wow, that Buzzfeed list is a lot tamer than I expected from the link text.

(Sticking googly eyes on everything is a totally awesome thing to do, any time of the year.)
posted by aubilenon at 5:14 PM on March 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


Some people are confused about the difference between pranks that are actually fun and pranks that are mean-spirited. I mean, I guess that there's an ambiguous area there in the middle where people's opinions will differ, but I think there's definitely a personality type who's drawn to pranking because of the potential for being mean-spirited. I have an aunt who is a pretty cool person otherwise, but who has a history of doing elaborate pranks that are not actually funny at all. The one I think about the most was when she was a young adult and claimed to her mother that she'd come home to her apartment and found it burglarized. She pretended to be distraught, my grandmother came over, it was a big deal and she carried it on for a couple of hours. And it wasn't actually funny when she revealed it as a prank. She's also done the major-unhealthy-life-decision thing, too.

And then there's stuff that's just dumb. All in all, April Fool's annoys me, but that wouldn't be the case absent the mean-spirited group and that incredibly-lame group.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:16 PM on March 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


I love April Fools on the internet even though I'm still super mad that I can't buy the Garrus body pillow
posted by NoraReed at 5:30 PM on March 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


(Sticking googly eyes on everything is a totally awesome thing to do, any time of the year.)
posted by aubilenon at 8:14 PM on March 31 [+] [!]


You wouldn't think there could be a way for that to go wrong, would you? And about 7 or 8 years ago, when my niece and I went to the craft store and glued half a bag of googly eyes all over my husband's old (really really old) truck, that joke seemed bulletproof. He laughed; we laughed; the cat laughed.

But then he decided he wanted to sell it.

Yeah, that was me, scraping googly eyes off a 1986 isuzu and scrubbing the glue residue with acetone, for like 3 or 4 hours.
posted by toodleydoodley at 5:36 PM on March 31, 2015 [11 favorites]


nothing is stopping you from getting one specially made though
posted by poffin boffin at 5:37 PM on March 31, 2015


pro tip: googly eyes are available with mild adhesive backing so no glue is necessary, and you can buy bags of 100 or 500 or even iirc 1000 on amazon
posted by poffin boffin at 5:38 PM on March 31, 2015 [7 favorites]


I honestly clicked the Amazon Dash invitation link only because I couldn't find the "gotcha" message anywhere else, and now I want to cry or something. I could only just think that they were trying to be first or something.
posted by Sequence at 5:38 PM on March 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


*looks at plutonium and high explosives*

Well, damn.


Dude, that's not being a dick, that's being a supervillain. Carry on.
posted by localroger at 5:45 PM on March 31, 2015 [6 favorites]


Yeah, there are some jokes - like the freezing a bowl of your kid's cereal poured into milk - that would have struck me as kind of mean when I was a kid, especially if they were something someone did to me. But the "food that looks like other food", or stuff like the joke items Think Geek comes up with every year, that's awesome.

There was one slightly mean prank that one of my college crowd came up with against another that I still wish they'd have figured out a way to pull off (one of the guys in our crowd had longish hair, and a couple of the girls were figuring out a plan to break into his dorm room in the middle of the night and cornrow it while he slept).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:46 PM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


I look forward to the *internet* April Fool's jokes and the clever NPR stories (although if you haven't learned to expect them, I'm sure it's unpleasant to find out they were fakes). Real-life stuff can easily cross the line into the sort of thing Oliver is talking about.

Also, I went to one of the "lesser Ivies" that Ted Cruz wouldn't have tolerated in his law school study group, and they made a practice of *not* publishing their April Fool's stories on April 1st, which naturally made them more effective. One year, quite a few students were devastated to learn we'd been kicked out of the Ivy League.

personally I've always thought about putting "stty erase t" into my coworkers' .login files
posted by uosuaq at 5:52 PM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


I enjoy April Fool's solely because on this day, I can write fake news. Every news outlet here does at least one on this day. Protocol is the story tricks people into going to a place where something compelling is happening, but there is in fact nothing there. More successful pranks included:
- the Minister of Justice had reportedly started accepting recruits to train for the Icelandic army, should parliament ever decide to make one. Featured video footage of about 20 guys marching, running, doing pushups and such, and an interview with the MoJ at the time, who wasn't exactly known for his mirth, and has publicly advocated for an Icelandic military. That's what fooled me.
- In non-fool news, a skeezy private military contractor from Holland was trying to start doing business at the international airport. Also, a infamous volcano was erupting. Fake news was the contactors were offering fly-bys over the volcano in their transport planes, I think for a fair admission. Included an interview with a local anti-war group chairperson. Not as convincing as the army one, to me, but I thought it was funny.

Fake news is great fun to do, speaking from the motives we expect of particular people and institutions in the news. But this year my co-workers and I decided to break fron tradition, and do all fake news, but one real story.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 6:09 PM on March 31, 2015


I think I'm okay with obvious Internet fakeouts as an April Fool's thing. But IRL, pranking just doesn't seem to work well.

For example: two of the managers at my volunteer job are good pals. He's been working from about 5-8 and she'd come in from 8-10. And several times he attempted to set up some kind of prank--like a fake bloody saw to make it look like an accident occurred. She fell for it not at all. Then there was the week when he taped some clear tape around eye level on the door when she walked in...the idea was she'd see that but not the clear tape he taped around knee level. Then she rolled in on Rollerblades and he frantically ran to remove the tape. The final week of shifts, he spent hours trying to think of what to do to her by 8...and when she walked in at 7:40 he was still stumped. I say she pranked him.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:12 PM on March 31, 2015


It's too late for me to do it this year, but my favorite April Fool's prank is to bake some delicious cookies, put them in a metal can, write "do not open until April 1" on it, and then mail it to a friend so it gets there a few days early.
posted by aubilenon at 6:14 PM on March 31, 2015 [5 favorites]


Well, one prominent MeFite (in a time zone where it is past Midnight, April 1st) has gone all in with the pranksters, so, in response to the controversial Clean Reader, MeFi's Own cstross introduces... the Dirty Reader App.
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:38 PM on March 31, 2015 [6 favorites]


April Fools hasn't started here yet but people are still posting things in defense of the Indiana no gays bill to Facebook.
posted by ckape at 6:45 PM on March 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


It's too late for me to do it this year, but my favorite April Fool's prank is to bake some delicious cookies, put them in a metal can, write "do not open until April 1" on it, and then mail it to a friend so it gets there a few days early.

That's just cruel.
posted by NoxAeternum at 7:24 PM on March 31, 2015


Google Maps PacMan is not the only (or even the most awesome) April 1st Thing from Google this year.... thanks to all the New TLDs, here's what you get by typing http://com.google

Google: April Fools Gags even John Oliver would like.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:23 PM on March 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


> (Sticking googly eyes on everything is a totally awesome thing to do, any time of the year.)

I have photographic proof that you really believe this! (They were delicious.)
posted by rtha at 9:38 PM on March 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


I have just purchased online a packet of 100 one centimetre googly eyes in anticipation of the perfect and wonderful buzzfeed fridge exploit and my son's 11th birthday that's rapidly approaching.

I cannot ever recall having pranked anyone before, in any degree. Far from discouraging me then, this glorious thread has done the opposite.

Thanks Metafilter (thatafilter)
posted by Plutocratte at 10:10 PM on March 31, 2015


If you ever read the book Tainted Blood by M.L. Brennan, she has one character who googly eyes everything, including the eggs in the fridge and halfway into a roll of toilet paper.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:48 PM on March 31, 2015


My favourite prank from my university was the announcement of the "Semester in Space."

There was a great video, and even a clever application form. Students really wanted to believe, too.
posted by wenat at 12:32 AM on April 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


I will be pleased to comment in this thread once I'm done stretching saran wrap across all the toilets and applying vaseline to all the doorknobs, shortsheeting all the beds, putting powdered RIT dye in all the showerheads, mixing Nair into the shampoo, and swapping out the combination locks for identical-looking locks with "unknown" combinations.

Yes, I went to summer camp for many years while growing up. Why do you ask?
posted by hippybear at 12:33 AM on April 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Really. With the colors?
posted by Justinian at 1:22 AM on April 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


The Mother of All April Fools... the BBC's spaghetti trees documentary, 1957.
posted by Mister Bijou at 2:05 AM on April 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


When I was younger, my parents would get me lego sets, and inevitably it would be they who would end up building them for me. My lego pirate ship had recently suffered a grave injury, not for the first time, and my mother had spent a considerable amount of time the previous evening reconstructing it. I thought it would be a very clever April fools joke to wake her up early in the morning and tell her mournfully that my lego pirate ship had again been torn asunder. She... did not find it as funny as I thought she would.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 2:22 AM on April 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


My dad was the kind of father who liked pranks that were not really funny to the people who were pranked. I can't remember if it were April 1st or not, but one time he made a "special" dessert for me and my step-brother. He made a Chinese type dessert a few times, I think cubed egg whites floating in a sweet almond liquid, which he knew we totally loved and had begged him over and over to make again. IIRC, we were maybe 10 years old... Anyway, after dinner one night, we were beyond excited to see him bring out two bowls of the almond float dessert we had asked for. Turns out he cut up a bar of soap into cubes and poured clear liquid dish soap over it, which looked similar enough to the almond float that we eagerly plowed our spoons in and took huge bites. As soon as the taste hit us, we both started crying in shock and disappointment while my dad laughed and tried to get us to understand it was supposed to be a funny prank. I remember running to the bathroom and seeing our faces in tears while we attempted to rinse the soap out of our mouths (soap in our mouths was my step-mom's punishment for us swearing, incidentally). I recall us going to bed still feeling betrayed and hurt over it, and my dad apologizing as he tucked us in, but he still thought it was hilarious and told everyone the story about his prank for many years, the punchline being our crying. We later laughed about it, but looking back, I really don't think it was funny at all.

I mean, thinking about it now, it sort of adds to the evidence of the underlying reality that he was abusive - not simply for pranks - but it was his nature to be cruel and find it amusing when others suffered by it. I was diagnosed with PTSD a few years back after the words, "My dad abused me," unexpectedly spilled out of my mouth during a session with my therapist. Of course, I had known already but had been unable to admit it to myself or anyone else until that moment. It took a several years in therapy to get to that point where I felt safe enough to speak my truth, and I only recently began to feel that I am well along the path of healing where I am mostly grounded and like who I am as a person, that I finally feel happy, which is new to me. I have good tools and practice self-care now. But to get where I am now, I had to learn how to be my own parent, to heal the part of me that was still a hurt child inside, to learn how to put up boundaries and protect myself, because my dad couldn't see how much pain he caused. He thought it was funny.

Wow. I hadn't thought about that prank in a long time... Hadn't really planned to get into all that history when I started this comment. I kind of thought it might be funny from my grown up perspective... But it's part of a continuum of abusive behavior that I can see much more clearly now, so it's important I recognize it and speak about it without fear, and without shame, so it can be named, so I can continue to heal.

Hurting your kids is not something to laugh about or tell stories to amuse your friends. It's not funny.
posted by krinklyfig at 2:25 AM on April 1, 2015 [23 favorites]


How did the spaghetti broadcast "shame the BBC"? It worked wonderfully at the time and is now a treasured memory and still regarded as the benchmark media April Fool story.
posted by epo at 2:49 AM on April 1, 2015


Today's chainsawsuit is very apropos.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 3:04 AM on April 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, oneswellfoop's "shame the BBC" puzzled me too.

It worked wonderfully? Yes. Treasured memory? Ditto. Benchmark? Yep.

Thanks, epo
posted by Mister Bijou at 3:11 AM on April 1, 2015


Most people aren't as funny as they think they are. When it's just bad jokes, that's one thing - although it's not a great thing. When it spills out into actions that usually expose tension in power relationships and place strain on credibility with people you should trust? Not funny becomes bloody stupid.

You don't get to choose how you humiliate other people <== that's one of the key problems people have with setting tone.

Almost all pranks are cruel because you are deliberately deceiving someone to enjoy the their dismay or embarrassment for your own benefit. Dress it up how you like but that's not a great way to behave.

Hilarious. Ha ha. Moving on.
posted by nfalkner at 3:12 AM on April 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


Also, my favorite web prank was the year metafilter and kuro5hin swapped formatting.

Now you made me go check kuro5hin to see if that site was still around. That was a questionable idea.
posted by effbot at 4:02 AM on April 1, 2015


I'm starting to think that John Oliver's April Fools prank is to convince people to tell other people they're dicks for pulling April Fools pranks.

But that level of conspiracy thinking means I am re-reading this thread obsessively trying to work out whether everyone else has gotten the joke and I am just slow.

CURSE YOU JOHN OLIVER AND YOUR REVERSE PRANKING!
posted by pulposus at 4:18 AM on April 1, 2015


Pranks work if and only if everybody is laughing at the end. There are many ways to do this, in the right contexts. You don't necessarily have to trick people - just surprise them with something bizarre and funny. (On my own end, I note with mixed emotion that law firms are typically, categorically not the right context for pranks.)

Contrast with those interminable "IT'S A PRANK IT'S A PRANK IT'S A PRANK" YouTube videos, in which the prankster just treats people like shit.
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:24 AM on April 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


That was a questionable idea.

Sorry, should have warned you. Or should I say "ha ha April Fools?"
posted by localroger at 5:07 AM on April 1, 2015


Oh come on, it's Christmas April Fools.
posted by comealongpole at 5:46 AM on April 1, 2015


I could totally see doing those shepherds pie/mashed potato frosted meatloaf "cupcakes" for dinner and the toasted pound cake and yellow frosting "grilled cheese" for dessert as an April Fool's supper.
posted by Karmakaze at 5:47 AM on April 1, 2015


Sorry, should have warned you. Or should I say "ha ha April Fools?"

No worries, I stumbled upon the ruins of Advogato a bit back ("one of the earliest social networking websites" according to Wikipedia), and that was even weirder.
posted by effbot at 5:55 AM on April 1, 2015


It's not a good prank if the prankee is forced to clean something up, IMO.
posted by ymgve at 6:23 AM on April 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I could totally see doing those shepherds pie/mashed potato frosted meatloaf "cupcakes" for dinner and the toasted pound cake and yellow frosting "grilled cheese" for dessert as an April Fool's supper.

Yeah, see, that's fun. Replacing one edible thing with another edible thing is cute. Or a delicious thing that looks yucky (like that "dirt cupcake" thing you sometimes see where you crumble chocolate cookies on top and stick a couple gummy worms in it or something).

I also like how Think Geek polls its fans about all its joke product listings, asking "is this something you'd actually want to see us do" and so sometimes it becomes a real thing (the Tauton sleeping bag, for example; I've also seen something in this year's roster that looks like a likely candidate).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:32 AM on April 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


The Swarm Simulator redesign is amusing....
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:30 AM on April 1, 2015


Well. MetaFilter, the color change prank was mildly amusing at first, but is now a PITA.

ha.ha.

Enough already.
posted by BlueHorse at 7:41 AM on April 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Check MeTa for a way to turn it off.
posted by Etrigan at 7:55 AM on April 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yeah, it's discussed on MeTa. Or just click this link. I'm very grumpy this morning because both Metafilter and the League of Legends subreddit went with an April Fool's prank which does nothing amusing, just makes the site harder to read. "You come here for intelligent discourse but ha ha we made it hard to read the words. You're such a fool for taking this site seriously!". Harumpf. At least the MeFi thing is very easy to turn off; I just gave up on the subreddit.
posted by Nelson at 8:19 AM on April 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


I've just spent an amusing few minutes reading the Guardian's liveblog of April Fool's Day, and their frustrated grumbling that "some of these aren't even TRYING my god" is quite funny.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:31 AM on April 1, 2015


@jon_bois totally got me with this one.
posted by mazola at 8:32 AM on April 1, 2015




Jokes are annoying, I wish people would stop making them.

-Metafilter, today
posted by Hoopo at 8:48 AM on April 1, 2015


Our little 8-year-old sociopath LOVES pranks, and we really, really don't. We finally had to put our collective foot down and declare that she is allowed one prank per parent on April Fool's. She was actually running around the place this morning yelling "April Fool's!!" with the same enthusiasm that she would have for Christmas morning.

While I was driving her to school, she asked me what prank I was going to pull on her, so now I am trying to brainstorm something she'll love. I wish I'd run across that Buzzfeed article one day earlier.
posted by moira at 8:53 AM on April 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Nelson: " both Metafilter and the League of Legends subreddit went with an April Fool's prank which does nothing amusing"

Perhaps your estimation of what is amusing is not universal.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:55 AM on April 1, 2015


While I was driving her to school, she asked me what prank I was going to pull on her, so now I am trying to brainstorm something she'll love.

"Oh no," I said. "Disneyland burned down."
posted by Etrigan at 8:56 AM on April 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


hippybear: "I will be pleased to comment in this thread once I'm done stretching saran wrap across all the toilets and applying vaseline to all the doorknobs, shortsheeting all the beds, putting powdered RIT dye in all the showerheads, mixing Nair into the shampoo, and swapping out the combination locks for identical-looking locks with "unknown" combinations.

Yes, I went to summer camp for many years while growing up. Why do you ask?
"

This is April Fool's Day, not Hippybear's Kink Day. Just sayin'.
posted by Samizdata at 9:21 AM on April 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


At our office a couple of bigfunpranksters came in early and put a bunch of "PLEASE SEE ME - [OUR BOSS]" notes on random desks.

It was just ever so slightly undercut by someone actually being abruptly fired today.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 9:31 AM on April 1, 2015 [6 favorites]


I don't care, this one made me smile.
posted by Mchelly at 11:19 AM on April 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


How did the spaghetti broadcast "shame the BBC"?
It was a joke. I thought "years later, they had to air disclaimers that 'Daleks are not real'" was an adequate payoff. *sigh* Must work on my delivery.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:36 PM on April 1, 2015


Such a bunch of Strongbads.
posted by bonehead at 2:49 PM on April 1, 2015


Another no-nonsense (or no-sense-of-humor) response: Editor to PR Flacks - Prank Us on April Fools' and You're Banned
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:59 PM on April 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Someone at BuzzFeed doesn't understand how IR remotes work. Covering the remote with transparent tape isn't going to stop the IR light from passing thru to the TV. Even painters tape probably wouldn't work. Probably like black vinyl electrical tape...
posted by MrBobaFett at 10:48 AM on April 2, 2015


Covering the remote with transparent tape isn't going to stop the IR light from passing thru to the TV.

You can convert a black-and-white television set to a colour set by covering the screen with a pair of tights, though (scroll to the bottom of that article for details).
posted by effbot at 11:18 AM on April 2, 2015


Just avoid NPR all the time. It will make your life better.

Well, let's not get too extreme.
posted by typical npr listener at 12:43 PM on April 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Okay, so the aforementioned pranking I mentioned? They were back at it again tonight. He tried the tape again this time after she'd been in the building (skateless) for awhile and I briefly saw her land into the tape--sadly he missed seeing it! Later she taped another door, but he checked it first.

He also got the bright idea to claim that one of the instructors had a question and told her this over walkie-talkie, and then was all, "Hey, who here can imitate that guy?" Uh, none of us girls here buddy, YOU try it.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:51 PM on April 2, 2015


Tesla Stockholders Can't Take a Joke: publicly traded company's press release moved the market cap over $100M (briefly).
posted by Nelson at 11:29 AM on April 3, 2015


Today’s “joke” from the Python Software Foundation was not funny. "I am writing this because I know that, somewhere out there, there’s a Cuban programmer, or a kid who will grow up to be one, who might see that blog post, and think that the Python community, or the software industry, thinks that they’re a throw-away punch line."
posted by Nelson at 1:22 PM on April 3, 2015


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