Nearly half of Americans plan to spend money on April Fools’ Day, found a recent GOBankingRates survey. But who says you have to spend money in order to pull off a brilliant prank?
April Fools’ Day — which takes place on the first of the month — comes around every year, yet many people still fall victim to hoaxes and pranks. There’s no short supply of possible tricks to play on your friends and family. But if you’re looking to top last year’s gag without spending any money, click through for free ideas to plan a memorable April Fools’ joke.
1. Place a Free Craigslist Ad
April Fools’ Day occurs on a Saturday this year, and like most Saturday mornings, many people want to sleep in. To prank these individuals, Travis Sevilla, marketing manager at GOShare — a site that “connects people who have a truck or cargo van with businesses and people who need help moving or hauling” — suggests listing an item on Craigslist. Instead of including your contact number, include the contact number of the person you’re trying to prank.
“An easy prank my friends and I have done is selling a hot item on Craigslist for really cheap,” said Sevilla. “For example, we posted AirPods for sale for $100 and [said] the buyer should contact the seller by phone. Needless to say, the phone number posted belong to the prankee. He woke up early to a bunch of text asking about AirPods.”
To time this prank perfectly, wait until after midnight on April Fools’ Day to post the classified ad.
2. Fake Person in Bed
This prank is best played on someone who normally sleeps or lives alone. If you have a key to a friend or family member’s house, sneak into their home during the early morning hours carefully and quietly. If you own a blow-up doll, carefully position the doll in bed with the prankee or position pillows underneath the blanket to make it appear as if another person is in bed with them.
Once you’ve set up this April Fools’ Day prank, hide on the opposite side of the sleeping person and use a long item — such as a broomstick — to gently poke and wake up the prankee. The person will go crazy when he turns over and sees someone in bed with him.
3. Swap Deodorant for Cream Cheese
For an April Fools’ Day prank at home, Instructables offered this suggestion using items already in the house. Sneak into the bathroom when the prankee isn’t looking, scoop out his deodorant from the container and replace it with cream cheese. Once you’re finished, clean up the bathroom and return the deodorant to its exact spot. The next morning while getting dressed, the prankee will grab the container and smear cream cheese all under his arm.
4. Soap That Doesn’t Lather
One YouTube prank uploaded by Black and White requires access to someone’s shower or bathroom sink. Wait until the prankee leaves for the day or is occupied. Go into the bathroom with a bottle of clear nail polish. Make sure the soap is completely dry, and then brush a few coats of nail polish over the soap.
Once you’re finished, place the soap back on the shelf. While taking a shower or washing his hands, the prankee will scratch his head trying to figure out why the soap doesn’t lather. Since the nail polish is clear, it’ll take a while for him to realize it’s been tampered with.
5. Gardening Prank
If you have a gardener and you’re scheduled for services on April 1, Deemer Cass, a gardening expert at Fantastic Christmas Tree Delivery, explains how to prank a gardener. Pull off this prank with everyday items around your house.
“Get an item like a toy of some kind — it’s best if they all look the same — and place them in not-so-obvious places around the garden, such as in the bushes or in large- leaf plants,” said Cass. Take the prank a step further, and make it spookier by burying or hiding fake creatures like a toy tarantulas or perhaps the heads of bodiless dolls.
6. Fake Spider
If you want to give your friends a mini-heart attack this year, wait until they’re calm and relaxed and place a fake spider on their shoulders or on the armrest on their chairs. They might not immediately notice the fake insect, but they’ll jump 5 feet out of their skin when they turn around and see the insect staring back.
This is meant to be a harmless joke, so avoid playing this prank on people who have a severe phobia of insects. Also, only pull this prank if your victims can jump without hurting themselves.
7. Scary Hand in the Shower
If you have a scary hand among your collection of gag gifts or decorations, prank unsuspecting victims when they’re most vulnerable, such as when they’re lathering up and enjoying 10 minutes of alone time in the shower.
Sneak in the bathroom with a creepy, fake hand. Stick the hand in the shower as if you’re about to pull back the shower curtain. The person might not see the hand at first but will have a freak out moment once he looks toward the curtain and finds the hand.
Since shower floors are slippery and you don’t want to hurt the prankee, this joke is safer when there’s a mat on the shower floor. This way, the person can jump in fear without losing his balance and falling.
8. ‘Sorry for the Fender Bender’
You’ll need a partner in crime to pull off this April Fools’ Day prank. Ask the prankee to accompany you to a movie or suggest walking around the mall for a little bit. Maneuver the situation so that the prankee ends up driving his car. While inside, have your accomplice place a note on the car saying, “Sorry for the fender bender.” To make it real, leave a fake email address. Of course, there’s no actual fender bender. Even so, the prankee will spend a good amount of time examining every inch of the car looking for damage.
9. Fake Toilet Paper Roll
If you’re expecting guests on April Fools’ Day, there’s no better trick than a fake toilet paper roll. Replace your regular toilet paper roll with a homemade dummy. The website Instructables has step-by-step instructions on how to make your own. The only supplies you’ll need are an empty toilet paper roll, a few sheets of toilet paper, cardboard, glue, tape and scissors.
Unsuspecting victims are left with a roll that looks like real toilet paper, but it’s nothing more than a cardboard imitation. As a result, prankees will spend a few extra minutes in the bathroom contemplating their next move. The person might have no choice but to call for help.
10. Tape a Fake Bug on the Inside of a Lampshade
Use a fake bug you already have or cut out the shape of a giant bug, and tape it to the inside of a lampshade. Make sure the image isn’t visible when the light is off. The moment people reach their hands under the lampshade and turn on the light, the shadow of the bug taped to the inside will make them run in the opposite direction.
11. Broken Screen Wallpaper
To give your friends a (virtual) heart attack, Oliver Haslam offered this suggestion on Redmond Pie. It’ll take several minutes to pull off this trick. First, download a broken screen wallpaper app to your phone. Choose a broken screen image, and save this image to your phone.
Grab the victim’s phone when he’s occupied or asleep and send this image as a text message from your phone to the prankee’s phone. Once the message is sent, save the image to the prankee’s photos, and then set the image as their new wallpaper. Return the phone to its original locked position.
Upon unlocking the phone, the prankee will see the image of shattered glass and panic. For this trick to work, you must know the phone’s lock code. Therefore, it might be easier to pull this prank on your kids or spouse.
12. Eyes on Food in the Refrigerator
YouTube user Atobaka offered this suggestion for a gag. The night before April Fools’ Day, head into the kitchen with a bunch of fake cutout eyes or a magic marker. Tape or paint eyes onto all the food in the refrigerator and then go back to bed. When your roommates or family members open the fridge, they’ll find dozens of eyes staring back. This is also a fun, harmless April Fools’ Day prank for kids.
13. Photo of a Face Looking Through the Window
If the prankee’s bedroom is on the first floor, print a photo of a life-size face and tape the face to the outside of his bedroom window looking inside. When the person wakes up and pulls back the curtains or opens the blinds, he’ll be greeted with the face and jump in horror thinking it’s an actual person looking into the bedroom. As a side note: It doesn’t need to be a scary face. Print a photo of the prankee’s favorite actor, singer or entertainer for kicks.
14. Oreo Filled With Toothpaste
If you have a bag of Oreos in the house, here’s a trick that Savannah Guthrie played on the “Today” show’s anchors. Remove the cream filling from a couple of cookies and replace it with toothpaste. When you’re hanging out with someone, put a few Oreos on a plate and then walk into the room eating a normal Oreo. Offer the prankee an Oreo. In most cases, the person will grab a cookie without thinking twice and bite down. It’ll only take half a second for the person to realize something isn’t right with the cookie.
15. DIY Fake Spill Cup
If you know someone completely obsessed with keeping her carpet or couch in pristine condition, a fake spill might be the absolute perfect April Fools’ Day joke. The darker the color of the spill, the better the joke.
Rather than buy a fake spill cup at a gag gift store, follow instructions on the Clumsy Crafter and make your own using basic materials around the house. You only need a mug, white glue and brown or red food dye. Once the person is out of sight, place the fake spill cup on the sofa or carpet and walk away. The person will walk into the room and freak out thinking someone ruined their furniture or carpet.
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