Prank Safely On April Fool’s Day!

You might hear some crazy things today! A friend might announce that she is moving to a faraway country. An unlikely couple may suddenly share that they’re dating. Maybe you’ll see an exciting but unbelievable update from a favorite store or product. You might hear that a local business is shockingly leaving the area.

At the end of all these crazy things, though, there is one phrase you’re likely to hear . . .

April Fool’s!

April Fool’s Day, which is celebrated every year on April 1st, is a holiday devoted entirely to practical jokes, hoaxes, and generally foolish behavior.  This tradition dates back all the way to medieval times, when Geoffrey Chaucer associated April with foolishness in The Canterbury Tales. Its origins can also potentially be linked back to the Roman festival of Hilaria, which celebrated the March equinox.

In modern days, April Fool’s Day is associated with innocent pranks. Sometimes pranks and hoaxes can get a little elaborate. In one famous example, England’s BBC network aired a broadcast about spaghetti growing from trees, resulting in thousands of calls from people who wanted to know how to grow their own spaghetti trees. Similarly, a Swedish TV network tricked viewers into holding a nylon stocking in front of their TVs in the 1960s after insisting that the stocking would change the TV from black-and-white to color.

Pranks Gone Wrong

Generally, April Fool’s Day is harmless. However, it can easily get out of hand. Pranks can quickly spiral out of control. Sometimes, April Fool’s Day is even used for vengeful or malicious purposes. In extreme cases, this leads to real emotional and physical harm.

One mean type of prank, particularly common among teenagers, is called “swatting.” It involves calling the police to say that there is a dangerous person with a weapon or a hostage situation, and giving them the address of an innocent and unsuspecting person. When the police show up, often with weapons and intense equipment, the person will definitely be fooled — but they could also be seriously injured or killed if they don’t understand the situation.

When pranks and hoaxes turn cruel and dangerous, it wrecks the fun for everyone. That why it’s important to be both silly and safe on April Fool’s Day.

Tips To Keep In Mind

  • Avoid any pranks or hoaxes that could cause harm. This includes emotional harm, too! Don’t toy with people’s emotions by announcing a breakup, pregnancy, death, or divorce.
  • Don’t joke about drinking and driving, illegal drugs, or any other criminal behavior — it’s insensitive to the actual victims.
  • Avoid jokes that are offensive to any genders, sexual identities, races, countries, or any groups. If you wouldn’t make the joke any other day, don’t make it on April Fool’s Day, either.
  • If you plan to mess with someone’s car, make sure it can be easily fixed or removed before they have to drive.
  • Test out pranks before you try them on someone else. Plan everything in advance, and give yourself plenty of time to set up for a physical prank.
  • Know the person you are playing a joke on. If you know someone well, you likely know their sense of humor, too. Don’t play pranks on strangers, because you don’t know how they’ll react.
  • Before posting anything online, think about how a future employer, your grandmother, or a lawyer might interpret it. Even if it’s a joke, it might not seem so funny later. Remember that online posts can be saved or taken out of context.

Above all, just don’t be mean! Stick to harmless and silly pranks, and ensure that everyone in your workplace, classroom, or family has a fabulous April Fool’s Day!


The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

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