20 best April Fools’ Day Short Stories
April Fools’ Day, celebrated on the 1st of April each year, is a day filled with laughter, practical jokes, and humorous pranks. It’s a time when people play tricks on one another, all in good fun. In this article, we’ll dive into the delightful world of April Fools’ Day short stories, exploring the history, traditions, and ten entertaining tales that capture the essence of this light-hearted holiday.
Everyone was has lived their life outside a rock and the shade will tell you that they have many stories, both short and long,, about April fools’ day and the pranks that they played and the pranks that were played on them! Not just people, but companies such as the ever respectable BBC or the mighty Taco Bell have played superb pranks on people and have had them fooled. In this blog post we will read about a few of the legendary April Fools day short stories that are famous across the internet!
Richard Nixon running for US President
“I never did anything wrong, and I won’t do it again,” people heard who they thought was Nixon on the Talk of the Nation radio programme in 1992, as NPR announced that he was running for the President’s post.
Listeners called NPR to register their protest. Nixon, the 37th US President, was forced to step down in 1974 as he faced certain impeachment for his involvement in the infamous Watergate scandal.
It was only during the second half of the programme that the callers realised they fell victim to one of the best among funny pranks.
The collapse of the Wisconsin State Capitol
This prank is really old; it happened on 1 April 1933. On that day, readers of The Capital Times, a Wisconsin daily, woke up to the news that the state Capitol dome collapsed from “a series of mighty blasts.” There was a photo of the ruined dome on the front page of the newspaper.
“A Capital Times cameraman arrived just in time to snap this unusual and sensational photograph of the mass of granite and steel as it fell,” the report said.
Of course, the picture and the headline came as a shock to the readers. But thankfully, the paper was good enough to explain later in the same article that it was a joke.
BBC (again!) pranks people with digital Big Ben story
BBC Overseas Service (now known as BBC World Service) played an April Fools’ day prank with its listeners around the world in 1980 when the broadcaster announced that the historic Big Ben was to undergo a face-lift and will be converted to a digital installation.
To top it all, BBC said that the hands of the old clock will be given away to the first persons who called in. The broadcaster soon came clean on the story, revealing it to be a prank.
One of the most popular pranks ever, it was also one of those which gave the prankster some trouble. As Associated Press reported at the time and BBC itself admitted that the broadcaster had to apologise for weeks to many of its foreign subscribers who got in touch to claim Big Ben’s hands.
Sidd Finch, the mystic baseball pitcher who never existed
This was one of the funniest pranks ever that was carried out by Sports Illustrated in their 1 April 1985 edition.
The publication ran a long and detailed story on who they called a rising baseball pitching star named Hayden (Sidd) Finch.
Sidd was described as a fast pitcher, whose throws broke the then world records at trials. His ‘friends’ were interviewed and their photographs splashed through the article. Sidd was described as a mystic person and very secretive. To readers believing it to be true, he would have appeared as some kind of Jedi of baseball.
The whole story was obviously fake but it was so well written that it is still hailed as one of the best pranks ever played in the world.
When BBC convinced viewers that spaghetti grows on trees
In 1957, the BBC news programme, Panorama, aired a three-minute broadcast showing farmers in Switzerland plucking spaghetti from trees.
Following a very precisely scripted plot, the programme ‘informed’ viewers that in “Ticino, on the borders of Switzerland and Italy, the slopes overlooking Lake Lugano have already burst into flower, at least a fortnight earlier than usual.”
And then it went on to add that the mild winter that preceded the spring season “resulted in an exceptionally heavy spaghetti crop” adding that part of it was because of the ‘virtual disappearance of the spaghetti weevil’ — a kind of insect. The footage also showed ‘harvesters’ pulling spaghetti strands from the trees and laying them for drying in the warm Alpine sun.
The programme also went on to explain how each strand of spaghetti always grows to the same length. Courtesy the “many years of patient endeavour by plant breeders who have succeeded in producing the perfect spaghetti.”
From the presentation to the voiceover, everything which was done by the legendary Richard Dimbleby was perfect enough to make people believe that it was true.
Following the broadcast, viewers called up the BBC office to inquire about how to grow spaghetti on trees. In return, the BBC told every caller: “Place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.”
Taco Bell’s ‘purchase’ of Liberty Bell
Liberty Bell is one of the most enduring symbols of American freedom. In 1996, newspapers such as The New York Times and The Washington Post ran full-page ads announcing that fast-food chain Taco Bell had purchased the iconic bell and was planning to rename it “Taco Liberty Bell”.
Broadcasters told people that the company was going to relocate Liberty Bell from Philadelphia to its California headquarters. The reason given was that Taco Bell purchased it “in an effort to help the national debt.”
When the office of two US senators called up Taco Bell and the National Park Service about the news, the company issued a statement confirming that it was an April Fools’ prank. The company also reportedly pledged to donate USD 50,000 for the maintenance of Liberty Bell. It claimed that the hoax had helped drive up the sales by USD 1 million in 24 hours.
As to why people fell for such a prank, The Washington Post noted in an article on 2 April 1996 that it was because of an increased fear among the public that corporate giants were increasingly interfering in the everyday life of people.
The new value of Pi
The scientific world was up in arms when the April 1998 issue of New Mexicans for Science and Reason claimed that the Alabama legislature had narrowly passed a resolution for changing the value of Pi.
According to the report, the value of Pi, which is 3.14159, was changed to 3.0 as per the Biblical concept of the mathematical constant.
News doing the rounds was that Leonard Lee Lawson (R, Crossville) was the one who proposed the bill and Governor Guy Hunt was supposed to sign it into law.
This was enough to trigger debates among experts outraging against the Alabama legislature’s ‘decision’. Thanks to a growing popularity of emails at that time, the story went viral on the internet. It was only when the legislature started receiving calls of protest, it emerged that the whole thing was an April Fools’ hoax.
The question is: who played it? Certainly not the legislature. According to the fact-checking website, Snopes, the harmless prank was played by a person named Mark Boslough as a humorous protest against New Mexico legislators and school board members who opposed the theory of evolution and supported creationism.
Boslough took real statements by the legislators and others to create the fictional story of Alabama passing the bill on Pi. The story was posted on 1 April 1998 on the newsgroup talk.origins. Its writing style was so good that readers took it as a real story. A day later, another post on the newsgroup revealed the truth.
Turn a black-and-white TV into colour
In 1966, Sweden’s Sveriges Television (SVT), which was the only television network in the country at the time, pulled off a fantastic April Fools’ prank. It aired a news program on how to convert a black-and-white TV in color.
SVT called in a ‘technical expert’ and guru, Kjell Stensson who told the viewers that all they have to do is place thinly stretched nylon stockings in front of their television. Stensson went on to explain technically that the nylon stocking would bend the wavelengths of the TV and turn them into color. He asked people to sway their heads to experience it better.
Reportedly many people did try it and soon realized that they had been fooled.
Iceberg in Sydney Harbour
This is a short story with a massive impact!!! An Australian super rich businessman called Dick Smith fooled people played a prank on 1 April 1978, which fooled almost every person in Sydney. He brought his huge boat and towed in what looked very much like a massive iceberg.
This was not sudden. This was an elaborately done April Fools’ prank. Smith had announced the arrival of the iceberg in advance, without giving away the exact date. He announced 3 hours before the prank that it was being brought in. People were astounded. In order to make the news more believable, he had Radio reporters air the news from the iceberg.
Things went out of hand when the Australian Navy asked Smith if he needed help with mooring his iceberg. As it came closer everyone could clearly see that it was just a barge covered in white plastic sheets, fire-fighting foam and shaving cream.
“The whole prank only cost me 1,450 dollars,” Smith told NYT. “I just do these things for kicks. It takes the boredom out of everyday work.” This April Fools’ day short story made the headline of every single newspaper the next day.
An astronomer’s prank
This is a short story of how the legendary Australian astronomer Sir Patrick Moore convinced people of something absolutely insane!! He was a guest speaker on BBC Radio 2 on 1 April 1976 and said that for the first time in many centuries the planets Jupiter and Pluto were very aligned.
He said that the alignment of planets Jupiter and Pluto would be so strong that it would reduce Earth’s gravity at exactly 9:47 AM! He provided a lot of scientific proofs and then told listeners to experience this by jumping at exactly that time. He even said that they would experience what was dubbed the ‘Jovian-Plutonian Gravitational Effect’.
Many of the listeners fell for the prank. They were eager to try this seemingly impossible thing and did what he said. To some even called up BBC to ‘reveal’ how they felt floating in the air. They were told that Moore pulled off a prank on them.
In 2015, a similar attempt was made to recreate the classic April Fools’ prank when an internet hoax doing the rounds claimed that people will experience the ‘Jovian-Plutonian Gravitational Effect’ on 4 January, which was ‘Zero Gravity Day.’ But you cannot pull the wool on people’s eyes twice!
Left-handed toilet paper
The Fake Lottery Ticket
April Fools’ Day was fast approaching, and I couldn’t resist the temptation to play a prank on my unsuspecting brother, Mark. With mischievous excitement bubbling within me, I hatched a plan that would leave him bewildered and full of mixed emotions.
A few days before the big day, I ventured into a novelty store and purchased a convincing fake lottery ticket. Holding it in my hands, I marveled at the authentic design and scratch-off surface. This was going to be epic.
On the morning of April 1st, the anticipation gnawed at my insides. With a sly smile, I stealthily placed the fake ticket in Mark’s jacket pocket, awaiting the moment of truth.
As the day unfolded, Mark went about his routine, completely unaware of the surprise I had in store for him. When the time was right, he reached into his pocket and discovered the crumpled paper. His eyes widened with excitement as he saw the numbers on the ticket. The elation in his voice was palpable as he shouted, “Alex, you won’t believe it! I just won the lottery!”
Suppressing my laughter, I played along, my heart racing with anticipation. I examined the ticket with faux seriousness, prolonging the suspense. Finally, unable to hold back any longer, I burst into laughter, revealing the truth. “April Fools’!” I exclaimed, joy bubbling out of me.
We both were soon rolling on the floor, laughing!! This is my best April Fools’ Day short story
The Office Switcheroo
We did a good old-fashioned office switcheroo. The night before on March 31st, my friends (or accomplices in this case) and I stealthily entered Sarah’s workspace. We carefully rearranged her office, moving furniture, swapping items, and transforming the space into a weird configuration.
The next morning, Sarah arrived, and was stunned! She stood frozen in the cubicle wondering what on earth was going on. You could see that she was struggling to make sense of the new arrangement. All desks were turned at odd angles, many of the files were misplaced, and even the art on the walls had been switched.
I approached Sarah and asked, “Did something happen in your office? It looks slightly different,” I was fighting back my laughter but my sentence was a dead giveaway.
She chuckled and said “Alright, you got me! This is a brilliant April Fools’ Day gag”
I’ve done many pranks across the years but this this was our April Fools’ Day short story!
A loud fart
Recently, I went to purchase speakers. Of course being from Canada I headed to a Best Buy store. I tested some Bluetooth models using my phone. Then I had a hilarious idea since it was April Fools’ day: I stood at a distance and played fart noises on my phone through the speaker. No one would know I was the one connected to the bluetooth and were laughing loudly.
I walked a few meteres away and played a track called “The world’s largest fart sound”. I knew it must be good stuff. When I pressed play, nothing happened. I moved closerto check the bluetooth connection. Turns out there was a 10 second delay before the fart. I was standing directly in front of the speaker and bending over when it produced a loud fart. Everyone looked at me. Blushing, I darted out of Best Buy, and drove home, with no speakers and very little dignity. Never going there again!! EVER AGAIN!!! This is my story of a brilliantly backfired April Fools’ Day gag.
The College Acceptance
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.
The crumpled letter
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
Short Story: April’s Fools day prank gone wrong
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.
April Fools’ Day is a day of joy, laughter, and harmless pranks. Engaging in April Fools’ Day stories allows us to celebrate the humor and playfulness that this holiday embodies. From the mischievous pranks to the hilarious surprises, these stories bring smiles to faces and create lasting memories. So, embrace the spirit of April Fools’ Day, share a tale or two, and let the laughter echo through the day as you revel in the joy of playful camaraderie. Happy pranking!