Go Prank Happy! How to Pull The Ultimate April Fool’s Joke


Pulling the ultimate prank, like duct-taping all your friend’s stuff to the wall, is totally worth the time and effort. (Nadine Deninno/The Observer)

Published: April 1, 2010

Sure April Fool’s Day (my personal favorite holiday) is all about fun and games, but you have to get serious if you really want to get someone good. Pulling off the perfect prank is a combination of the skills we’ve been learning our whole lives: researching, planning, creating, designing, persevering and responding. The exact execution of the day depends on your own personal style and the personality of those you choose to bamboozle. But no matter what route you take, this day is meant to be shared with loved ones, to put a smile on their faces, possibly after they punch you in yours.

So, you’re ready to attack but stumped on what kind of prank to pull? Here are some tried and true suggestions from an expert pranker, yours truly!


Make a Fake: This is the one day each year where lying, deception, cheating and forgery are totally acceptable. You can lie to a classmate and tell them that you have a test five minutes before the class starts or fake a break-up (or maybe a pregnancy, if you’re hardcore and a good actress) with a significant other. The best deceptive prank that I’ve ever come across was when a friend of mine hid a pair of panties in her boyfriend’s room and accused him of cheating on her. Whatever you do, think like a liar.


Go Classic: Sometimes it’s funnier when you succeed through the use of well-known cliché pranks. This includes the ole’ whoopee cushion gag, hiding duct tape or a rubber band under a sink faucet so it sprays the culprit, hiding all toilet paper supply except an almost entirely used roll with one sheet left where you can write a message (“Shit happens” is always a classic) and the old-fashioned door tug-of-war by finding two doors directly across from one another and connecting them with a rope or bungee cord cable (perfect for McMahon Hall pranksters).


The Ole’ Switch-a-Roo: This is perfect for a public space: switching signs for women’s and men’s bathrooms, the push/pull signs on a door or perhaps one of your roommate’s keys. This not only aggravates people, but you can standby and voyeuristically watch from a safe distance without getting blamed. The switch-a-roo also works well in private spaces. My favorite choice? Food. There are countless food doppelgangers out there that definitely ruin a meal if altered. The best ones? Vinegar for apple juice, salt for sugar and slipping Tabasco in anything. If you’re the type of person that typically cooks for your roommates, this could be your lucky day and their unlucky one.


Less is more…: Keep it simple. You can tape a cell phone underneath a chair or table, call it a bunch of times and watch the person looking for it in desperation. Putting a raisin in a drink, if left to soak for a few minutes, appears like a bug in the bottom (best at restaurants). Or you may choose to simply hide cotton in the tip of someone’s shoes before they run off to class.


Practical Jokes, Impractical Methods: Robert Frost once said: “And I, I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” You might have to do something out of the ordinary for shock value. For example, unscrewing the shower head and placing Kool-aid in it before rescrewing creates a sticky situation for someone. Putting food coloring in liquid hand or body soap seems whack, but it produces a colorful outcome. (Extra points to anyone who can pull off Smirf April Fools Day).


“Ayo, I’m tired of Using Technology…” :Well, you can’t use it if you lose it. You can flip the display on a computer screen by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Arrow. Taping a piece of paper to the sensor on a remote control or underneath a corded-mouse disables its usage. Hiding a baby monitor and randomly making noises from another room could drive a person crazy if they can’t figure it out. Make sure you can hear their reactions; most people wind up talking to themselves and that is simply blackmail for life.

Making Messes : This, ideally, should be done to someone who can handle situations without stress or anxiety. Squirting a ton of dish soap in the toilet creates quite the mess, but a clean one at that. Baby powder in the hair dryer works every time. Gluing anything is the most frustrating and possibly results in the best pranks ever. (Shampoo to shelf, cap of toothpaste to the tube with a hole in the bottom so that too thpaste shoots everywhere when squeezed, money to the ground, etc.) My favorite prank, however, is to fill rooms. The best objects to fill a room with are: helium balloons, old-fashioned mousetraps, thumbtacks, explicit photos or feathers. Rule of Thumb: April Fool’s Day is about never offering to help clean afterward.