Spring showers overhead, flower blossoms ready to bloom and the sounds of people venturing outside for exercise and much needed sun - these are all elements that you'd include among the "sights and sounds" of April. Well, as most of us have come to recognize, April just isn't April without one other sacred element as well. Which might that be? The April Fools' joke, of course! April Fools' (or All Fools' Day, as it's otherwise known) has been around for some time. Some date early origins of the springtime shenanigans to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales from the 14th century! That's a rich history of kidding. So, with that in mind, we've selected a few of our favorites from the recent past. Which of these do you remember? Better yet, which ones did you briefly...ever so briefly...fall for?
One of my old favorites is the April Fools' prank that Burger King pulled on April Fools' Day in 1998. The hubbub was around the release of the first ever left-handed Whopper, built to serve the specific needs of the more than 30 million left-handed Americans. The new burger was set to have all condiments assembled at 180 degrees difference from the typical "right-handed Whopper." Not surprisingly, thousands of customers are said to have headed to their local Burger King looking for this one-of-a-kind burger. People certainly seemed to think that they could "Have It Your Way".
Ok, while I'm sure nearly everyone knows this one, I still can't help but list it. I still laugh when I watch the Gmail Motion Introductory Video, which in a completely deadpan manner takes the prospective user through a new way for them to navigate and use Gmail with the help of their webcam. No more use of the keyboard for you! Instead, stand up and get ready to bend, move and look absurd. From some simple moves of the hand to "Open Mail," to the simulated licking of a stamp to "Send Mail" to even nearly breakdancing in order to construct flowcharts, this is one of the more hysterical examples I've come across. Oh, Google...
In 2010, the coffee giant poked fun at its sizes by introducing the plenta (weighing in at 128oz) and the micra (2 oz.). A cup bigger than a Slurpee would be pushing the boundaries for any coffee lover. And unless you want espresso, 2 oz. is not gonna cut it. "The post on the company's blog also suggested alternative uses for the new cups, such as a rain hat for the Plenta and a kitten dish for the Micra."
If you've ever clicked on a link only to be taken to a video of Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up," then you've been Rickrolled. This expression was cemented in 2008 by the video giant which linked every video on their homepage to this video. Genius!
With an early Easter this year, you have to salute the companies that integrated the two holidays. One of my favorite yogurts took the opportunity to introduce a new flavor to their Facebook fans: Easter Egg Greek yogurt!
Here's a prank that I wish was true: Virgin launches glass-bottomed planes. Imagine the view!
Being a true email and technology enthusiast, Imgur's addition of a "snail mail" feature to their image uploader was a favorite of mine. They include a video showcasing the satisfaction of a snail mail transfer, it really gets you excited to lick that stamp!
And you can't forget House Party's joke! Who doesn't love free air for their family and friends? We even include recipe cards in the party pack so you can make your own air at home. Breathe easy at this House Party.
The War of the Worlds
Okay, so this wasn't an April fool's joke per say, but I still think it's one of the best pranks in history. In 1938, a reporter on CBS radio interrupted the musical performance to alert listeners and tricked them into believing aliens were attacking. Listeners hid in cellars and packed their cars in efforts to flee. It was really just a dramatized version of H.G. Well's, "The War of the Worlds," played in honor of Halloween.
BBC Flying Penguins
In 2008, BBC launched a trailer where penguins could fly.
More current, this year Twitter announced you'll no longer be allowed to use vowels in tweets and in order to do so, you'll have to pay five dollars a month to upgrade to twitter premium.
What are some of your favorite April Fool's Day pranks?
Image courtesy of Michael Grunow