April Fools' Day Pranks That Went Horribly, Horribly Wrong

Here's a lesson in not what to do.

April Fools' Day is always a busy day of japes, scams and inevitable confusion as it unleashes itself upon us.

You may have had fun, but remember that tricks always have a risk of backfiring - and sometimes in a pretty horrible way.

Here are our top April Fools' pranks which went terribly awry:

1) Puppy persecution

Tell your daughter you're giving her a puppy.... and then tell her that was just a big joke. Guess what happens next?

2) No smoke without fire


Quite unbelievably, a local TV station in Massachusetts managed to convince people that Great Blue Hill, in the town of Milton, was a volcano that was possibly going to erupt in 1980.

Great Blue Hill is certainly not a volcano and is not even very tall, and the segment even had a message at the end saying April Fools, but the journalists at WNAC-TV in Boston must have been delighted when residents fell for their trick anyway. Until, that is, police received many calls asking if families should evacuate. The show's producer was fired.

3) Easily pleased

These parents thought it would be hilarious to give their son a banana as a gift on April Fool's Day - but how wrong they were.

4) Killing the laughter

This woman's prank ended in her being surrounded by police and handcuffed after she 'joked' that she had killed her husband.

5) Robbing the bank

Once again, we learn that April Fool's jokes involving crime rarely work out well. And often end in arrest.

6) What was he thinking?


It wasn't your standard April Fools when American football player Bruce Irvin decided to tell fans the he was convicted for drunk driving. No-one found it funny, and the Seattle Seahawks player later said he was taking a break from Twitter because he was being trolled so much.

7) Costly joke


One 1999 prank cost its orchestrators dearly. Jokers wanting to mock the booming dot com bubble make a pretend website called WebNode, and started selling "nodes" for $100. They claimed to have raised $4 billion from the government. We don't understand what the idea was either, but bizarrely thousands of people wanted to invest in the new "nodes". They were inverstigated by the FBI and paid a huge fine after being sued by the news service Business Wire.

8) Double bluff


Hayleigh McBay went viral when she sent her boyfriend a message on WhatsApp as a joke, saying, "I don't want to be with you anymore. I'm not happy." Imagine her horror when he replied, "Thank God you said it first." Luckily, it turned out in the end that it was a double bluff: he realised she was setting him up, so turned the tables on her. The pair are happily still together.

9) Fighting talk


According to The Economist, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko challenged Russian leader Vladimir Putin to a one-off judo match to decide the future of Eastern Ukraine, where violence and uncertainty were plaguing residents after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. We're not sure this was an appropriate joke considering there were at least 14,400 Russian soldiers in Eastern Ukraine at the time, according to US expert Stephen Blank, and more than 5,000 people had died.