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April Fools' Day Gags, Pranks and Hoaxes

Updated on April 1, 2011

Loved by teenage boys and pranksters of all ages, April Fools' Day is a strange holiday. Celebrated (?) on the first of April, its also known as All Fools Day. And April Fool's Day. The origin of the holiday day and the tradition of playing pranks seems to go back to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.

Some of the best practical jokes and hoaxes have been done by news sources and websites, but then there's always the co-worker who super-glues you stapler, generic souvenir mug, and tape dispenser to your desk, or the ol' "cover all surfaces of your cubicle with post it notes" joke. Then there's that hilarious guy that says everyone is going to be laid off that afternoon. Yeah, that's funny as a heart attack. Also, the "I have some bad news––I'm pregnant!" That little gem has probably ended a few relationships, especially if said by a wife whose husband had a vasectomy.

Google has pulled off a few good hoaxes over the years, the launch of "auto-pilot" being one of my favorites.

One year, if you had a Gmail account, it had a new option, named "Gmail Autopilot" in which the service would analyze an email. And then with that option, you could automatically adjust tone, amount of typos, and preferred punctuation. And it could respond to a message from a friend––for instance if someone wrote something that was aggressive or offensive, even sarcastically (which I suppose it could "detect"), the system would "terminate relationship." I think they've done a least one prank like that per year since the mid-2000s. I have to admit I fell for the 'autopilot" prank.

Update: they did it again with Google Motion today.

Wikipedia created its own hoaxes, and of course contributors used April Fools to revise entries on that day to let loose on on misinformation.

Morning radio hosts seem to also have a propensity to report false news, sometimes pretty offensive. Some have even been fired for reporting deaths and other tragedies. And apparently there was some hilarity involved when game show hosts switched shows as a prank that day. Huh?

Amazingly, it seems people fall for these hoaxes every year, forgetting the day and its tradition, flaming on message boards and calling in their outrage to radio and TV shows in pretty big numbers regarding the reports.

So, if you read this hub before tomorrow, It's just a friendly reminder to take anything said with a grain of salt. And hide your stapler tonight before you go home from work.

And lastly, I'd like to throw my hat into the ring and announce that I'm running for president, April Fools!


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    • Katharella profile image

      Katharella 6 years ago from Lost in America

      OH MY GOSH, I'M SO UPSET LOL.. I thought my friend was coming over tonight, so I got the board and put it up right at face level on the back porch so he'd see it if he went out back, like to let the dog in/out.. and he called and has to go to a FUNERAL.. ugh! So maybe that means he'll show up with ice cream cake or my April Fools joke with the board will be gone to waste ::hummph:: LOL!

    • Taylorwise profile image

      Taylorwise 6 years ago from Austin, TX

      thanks for the have a great one too!

    • Cogerson profile image

      Cogerson 6 years ago from Virginia

      Great hub...very funny stuff that the print media has come up with....enjoy your April Fool's Day

    • ChristineVianello profile image

      ChristineVianello 6 years ago from Philadelphia

      hahah! Love it.... Happy April Fools day to you!

    • Taylorwise profile image

      Taylorwise 6 years ago from Austin, TX

      very nice to meet you too, I like your hubs and interests...I'll have to go digging for my Ouija board in the attic. I know it is hidden up there somewhere!

    • Katharella profile image

      Katharella 6 years ago from Lost in America

      Hi, nice to meet you! Oh woah, I LOVE a good April Fools joke. I have a goodie in store for my friend tomorrow! (today I suppose) hehe.. *evil giggle* I have an Ouija board, that really has caught me off guard FOR REAL - NO JOKE. Did some research, and saw either there's more good actors out there than we realize, or the thing isn't just a toy! Well, a truck ran over mine and it didn't so much as bend, it got rained on, didn't pucker with water, it was in the garbage bin, but when I went outside (nobody had been here) it was upside down on a cooler! Off to check out that cheap casket deal, could come in handy if I get bit by a Vampire LOL