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8 Hilarious Real Life Prank Stories for April Fool’s Day

In need of inspiration this April Fool’s Day? From prank calls made by mischievous dads to satirical headlines gone viral, Canadians share their funniest real life prank stories.

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Real-life prank storiesPhoto: Shutterstock

The Classic April Fool’s Prank

One year when I was in middle school, April Fool’s fell on a Friday. Ian, my 11-year-old brother, had the day off for parent-teacher conferences at his elementary school. (Sadly, I still had class.) While eating breakfast, my dad asked if I’d be up for messing with Ian. I answered yes—as would any older sister in her right mind. To execute our prank, we typed up a fake letter announcing that conferences had been cancelled due to “low attendance” and classes were back on. It was a flimsy excuse, but we banked on my brother being too groggy to notice. My dad woke him up, crumpled letter in hand, claiming he’d found it in my brother’s backpack. Ian was confused, but Dad moved quickly, pulling clothes out of my brother’s dresser and telling him to get ready. Bleary-eyed, Ian ambled down the stairs minutes later, and Dad ushered him to the car.

We only got a couple of blocks before Dad, way too pleased with himself, burst out laughing and yelled, “April Fool’s!” Ian was mad that we’d ruined his chance to sleep in. The joke was ultimately on me, though: I still had to go to class. —Anna Fitzpatrick

These funny sleep jokes will have you laughing in bed!

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Opened oysters on platePhoto: Shutterstock

The Workplace Prank Gone Wrong

Six years ago, I worked at a bar in Montreal, bussing tables and washing dishes. Once a year, the place would throw a lavish party, with all-you-can-eat oysters. The best oyster shuckers in the city would come to compete to see who could open the most the fastest. The winner got free drinks for the night and bragging rights for a year. My job was far less glamorous: I had to haul dripping bags of shells to the dumpster. During one of my trips, I had a bright idea. I returned to the kitchen, proudly (and falsely) proclaiming, “Guess what! I found a pearl!”

Production in the kitchen ground to a halt. As everyone clamoured to see my discovery, I was overcome with regret. I was forced to dash their hopes with a feeble “just kidding,” and quickly became a staff pariah. During my next trip to the garbage, I seriously considered joining the empty shells in the dumpster. —Jackie Pirico

In need of some professional motivation? This hilarious collection of work jokes should banish even a serious case of the Mondays.

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Astronaut Chris HadfieldPhoto: 306b/Shutterstock

The Accidental Celebrity Prank

In May 2013, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield had just returned to earth after a 145-day mission. Writers at The Beaverton—the satirical news site for which I work—were searching for a funny way to cover this historic event. We settled on an issue many Canadians can relate to: high cellphone bills. I came up with a brief post titled “Hadfield comes home to $1.37-million Rogers phone bill.” To our surprise, tens of thousands of people shared it online, some even falling for the headline.

Later that year, satirist Ian MacIntyre wrote a story about Hadfield being kicked out of a movie theatre for heckling. The piece claimed the astronaut had been pointing out inaccuracies in the portrayal of the space program in the film Gravity. The response was once again dumbfounding. A major news website in Australia reported it as fact; TMZ and a number of other outlets reached out to Hadfield’s son and social media manager, Evan, for comment. Ian and I felt like jerks, but fortunately, the Hadfields have an excellent sense of humour. They were amused by the second article and didn’t demand we take it down. From that point on, though, we decided to leave the commander alone. —Alex Huntley

Indulge your inner Einstein with these hilarious math jokes!

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Dialing telephonePhoto: Shutterstock

The Practical Joke That Inspired a Life of Pranking

At 18, I was accepted to college—it was a miracle considering my less-than-great (read: terrible) grades. I called my dad to tell him. He congratulated me repeatedly, and I ended the conversation feeling accomplished.

Then the phone rang. On the other end was a man who explained that there’d been a mistake: the acceptance was a clerical error and I wouldn’t be admitted after all. He apologized and hung up. I immediately started crying. Too devastated to answer the phone when it rang again, I paused my meltdown only when I heard my mom yelling: it turns out the mystery registrar was actually just my dad’s friend at work. Since I’d announced my news on April 1, I was eligible for pranking—regardless of how traumatic the experience might be. My dad’s joke (and its flawless execution) wound up significantly influencing the kind of person I became: an inveterate prankster. But perhaps most importantly, April Fool’s 2004 taught me to never, ever trust anybody who calls you on the phone. —Anne T. Donahue

Discover the mysterious origins of April Fool’s Day.

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Pregnant womanPhoto: Shutterstock

The Terribly Timed Prank

I’d gone to bed the night before knowing I’d planned everything right. The lady who’d applied my temporary tattoo told me that by morning, it would be dark enough to fool anybody into thinking it was real. The next day, as my wife began getting ready for work, I strategically moved my arm so that my fake tattoo of birds in flight would be visible.

A couple seconds went by, and then—success! She spotted it.

“What’s that?” she asked apprehensively.

“Oh, this? I was meaning to tell you, I got this a couple of—”

“You didn’t!” she interrupted. As we talked, the panic in her voice grew, and I wondered whether to continue. The wise move was to come clean.

“Yeah, I did! I got the tattoo on Wedne—”

At that point, my trick really backfired. My poor partner, who happened to be six months pregnant and had been having a stressful morning, began crying silently.

Tearfully, she said, “I can’t believe you didn’t talk to me about it. We talk to each other about these things!”

There’s nothing quite like the guilt of making your stressed-out, pregnant wife cry. I felt terrible! I rushed to explain that it was fake and I’d been planning the prank for days. This made her more upset: why, she wondered, didn’t I just back down after witnessing her shock?

In the end, I learned that when it comes to pranks, context is everything.

A couple of days later, I went to visit my mother. I rolled up my sleeves and turned my arm around slowly.

“What’s that?” she asked apprehensively. —Elamin Abdelmahmoud

Don’t miss these bad jokes you can’t help but laugh at.

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Best Buy store signPhoto: Niloo/Shutterstock

The Prank That Got Embarrassing—Fast

Recently, while looking to purchase speakers, I headed to a Best Buy, where I tested some Bluetooth models using my phone. Then I had a hilarious idea: I would stand at a distance and play fart noises on my phone through the speaker. No one would know I was the one causing the racket. I walked 15 metres away and found a track on Spotify. It was called “Fart Sounds—Over 1,000 Farts,” so I knew it must be good stuff. When I pressed play, nothing happened, so I moved closer, assuming I was out of range. Turns out there was a 20-second delay before the first noise. I was standing directly in front of the speaker when it produced a thundering sound. Everyone looked at me. Blushing, I darted out of Best Buy, and drove home, with no speakers and very little dignity. —D.J. Demers

Here are more famous hoaxes that almost fooled everyone!

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Halloween party at housePhoto: Shutterstock

The Mom Prank

When I was 24, my then-girlfriend and I threw a Halloween party. The holiday fell on a Wednesday, though, so only 10 people showed. Sitting around, we heard a knock on the door. I was initially excited, thinking more guests had arrived, but my enthusiasm faded when I saw who—or what—was there: a stranger wearing hockey gear and a monkey mask.

“Who’s this?” I asked. There was no answer, just a bunch of grunts as the creature ventured inside. Each time we asked the simian Sidney Crosby to identify itself, it simply jumped around making monkey sounds. After 20 minutes, the ape placed a plastic bag of candy and an unsealed bottle of vodka on our table. As the room debated whether or not the liquor was safe to drink, the interloper slowly peeled off its mask. It was my mom.

“Are you nuts?” I yelled. But she seemed unfazed.

“I thought you’d know it was me,” she said. With that, she told us to enjoy the treats and lumbered back to her car, still wearing my dad’s hockey equipment. —Chris Locke

It doesn’t have to be October 31 for you to enjoy these corny Halloween jokes.

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Remote controlPhoto: Shutterstock

The Bait and Switch

I have a friend who built an elabor­ate home theatre. The centerpiece was a coffee table full of remotes. It occurred to me on April Fool’s Day, as I was leaving my home for his, that while he might become confused if I hid one of these, he would probably be more confused if I added one. So I brought an old remote of mine and snuck it into the pile. About 45 minutes later, he spotted the foreign clicker, stared at it, then started pointing it at equipment and pressing buttons. Naturally, it had no effect, and over the next few hours this morphed into a full-fledged obsession. After exhausting all the devices in his home theatre, he took the remote upstairs to see if it worked on any of his machines there. When that didn’t pan out, he started hauling out older units from his closet to test it on them. Twice I had to head for the washroom because I couldn’t hold back my laughter. By the end of my visit, he still hadn’t figured out that I’d planted the clicker.

A few days later I was back at his place. During a moment alone, I took out a key to an apartment I was no longer living in and added it to his key chain. —David Acer

Next, check out these short jokes anyone can remember!

Originally Published in Reader's Digest Canada