April Fool Day has been celebrated for so long and it is difficult even up to this day to pinpoint an exact origin story for it. One thing for sure however is that the day has generated some of the best pranks ever known to man. Everyone from individuals to large corporations seem to take it as a daring challenge to prove that they have a top-notch sense of humor. A site dedicated to documenting pranks and hoaxes records the top 100 April Fool pranks of all time and here we have 10 of our favorite, some that will make you laugh out loud and others that will simply inspire wonder.
#5: The Blue Can Warning: In 1996, Virgin Cola proved their supreme sense of humor, running an ad in British papers on a new technology that was supposedly meant to guarantee consumer safety. The technology was to cause any cola which had passed it’s sell-by-date to react with the metal in the can and turn the can a bright blue. Consumers were therefore warned to refrain from purchasing blue cans where Pepsi had coincidentally unveiled it’s newly designed cans that were bright blue.
#4: Why Doesn’t America Read Anymore: A more recent offering occurring in 2014 saw NPR News sharing a link to an an article it titled; “Why Doesn’t America Read Anymore?” on it’s Facebook page. The link generated hundreds of comments with some agreeing and others disagreeing. The respondents however only worked to prove the relevance of the question when it was revealed that the link opened up to a page featuring a paragraph which stated; “We sometimes get the sense that some people are commenting on NPR stories that they haven’t actually read. If you are reading this, please like this post and do not comment on it. Then let’s see what people have to say about this ‘story.'”
#3: The Interfering Brassieres: In 1982, the Daily Mail reported the sale of 10,000 “rogue bras” by a local manufacturer. The bras were said to be causing a rather unique problem, not to the wearers (as one would expect) but to the public at large. The gist was that the support wire in the bras had been made out of a kind of copper that was intended for fire alarms. When said copper came in contact with nylon and body heat, static electricity was produced. This static electricity was said to be causing interference with local television and radio broadcasts. After reading the article, a chief engineer of British Telecom apparently ordered all his female laboratory employees to disclose what type of bra they were wearing.
#2: Thomas Edison’s Food Machine Invention: In 1978 a year after Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877 and had Americans convinced of his genius, New York Graphic announced that Edison had invented a machine that would transform soil directly to cereal and water to wine, thereby ending the problem of world hunger. The report was so widely believed, causing newspapers throughout America to copy the article and heap praises on Edison. The conservative Buffalo Commercial Advertiser was particularly effusive in its praise, waxing eloquent about Edison’s brilliance in a long editorial. The Graphic subsequently took the liberty of reprinting the Advertiser’s editorial in full, placing above it a simple, two-word headline: “They Bite!”
#1: Pregnancy Revealed via Speakerphone: On April 1, 2014, Stephen Barrows a professor of economics at Aquinas College, enforced his strict rule that forced any student whose phone rang during class to answer it on speaker phone in front of everyone. Taylor Nefcy’s phone rang and on the Professor’s insistence, the entire class proceeded to hear this, “Hi, this is Kevin from the Pregnancy Resource Center. Per your request, I’m calling to inform you that the test results have come back positive. Congratulations!” Professor Barrows’ face immediately turned red, and he muttered, “OK, you might want to shut that down.” When the call finally ended, he gravely apologized to her, but she assured him it was okay. She had been expecting the news. In fact, she already had a name picked out for the baby. Its first name would be April, and the middle name Fool. A video of the prank was uploaded to YouTube a few days later and quickly racked up over 25 million views and was featured on multiple national news programs. It’s been hailed as the best classroom April Fool prank ever, and at this point it’s certainly the most widely shared and celebrated one ever.