Joke’s on Them: 5 Fun, Friendly and (Mostly) Free April Fools’ Day Pranks

April fools day pranks
Heather Comparetto/The Penny Hoarder
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April Fools’ Day ranks as one of my favorite events of the year, right after my birthday.

I was about 4 years old when my grandmother gave me an “ice cream” sundae made of mashed potatoes. I was properly indignant until she gleefully announced it was April Fools’ Day and explained that fun pranks are just simply what you do.

I was immediately hooked.

Even though I’m well into adulthood now, I still look forward to the first day of April so I can goof around trying to trick my friends and family.

Pranks Should Be Silly, Not Spendy

There are lots of fun April Fools’ Day pranks floating around the internet, but some of them are kind of hard on the wallet.

For instance, I love the idea of replacing Oreo filling with toothpaste, but once the jig is up you’re out the cost of the cookies and the toothpaste.

If you want to use up a bag of Oreos, make these easy truffles instead. They’re no joke.

Or try one of these inexpensive (or free) pranks instead. They’re cheap, easy and fun for anyone on your tomfoolery hit list.

The “I Only Have (A Million) Eyes For You” Gag

Heather Comparetto/The Penny Hoarder

This goes down in history as one of the best pranks I’ve ever played on anyone.

While my husband was out one day, I spent three hours affixing googly eyes to everything in the house.


The food in the fridge, the TV remotes, coffee mugs, framed family pictures, the inside of the toilet seat lid, my husband’s shoes and toiletries.

Nothing was safe.

Because I like a long con, I even put googly eyes on our stashes of extra shaving cream and boxes of cereal. My husband will be finding those beady little eyes for months. (Love you, honey!)

The “I A-door You” Gag

Heather Comparetto/The Penny HoarderHere’s a great trick to play on someone who has their own bedroom, dorm room, apartment or office.

Simply stack disposable plastic drink cups on top of each other to fill up the entire door frame. When the door is pulled open — whoosh — cups everywhere.

This one’s particularly funny to play on kids because the cups tend to tumble down around their little heads and make them squeal in delight.

The “My Computer Isn’t Working” Gag

This prank is fun to play on anyone you share a computer with. The joke is in making it seem like the computer is malfunctioning without doing anything that actually harms it in any way.

To make this work, you’ll need access to the computer’s password and settings.

Here’s what to do next:

  • Step One: Minimize or close any open windows and applications.
  • Step Two: Take a screenshot of the desktop. Here’s how to do it for Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems.
  • Step Three: Move all the files and folders on the desktop into a separate folder.
  • Step Four: Replace the current desktop image with the screenshot you just took.
  • Step Five: Wait for hilarity to ensue.

The next time your victim fires up the computer, the desktop will look normal. However, when they try to click on an app or file, nothing will work because they’re just clicking a picture and not actual files or app icons.

The key to this prank is letting your victim in on the joke fairly quickly. Waiting until they’ve called the office tech guru or hauled it over to a computer repair shop crosses the line from funny to uncool.

The “April Showers” Gag

Here’s a fun trick for little pranksters to play on other family members. It’s easy for young kids to set this up, and the visual effect keeps them howling for hours.

Simply place a rubber band on the button of your sink sprayer so it’s permanently depressed. As soon as someone turns on the sink, they’ll get doused with a blast of water.

If you’re the intended victim of this trick and you happen to spot the rubber band before you get sprayed, here’s a way to turn the tables and blast somebody else — preferably a grown-up who set you up to get wet.

Pretend the faucet isn’t working or that there’s something strange in the sink. When the other person walks up to see for themself, flip on the faucet, jump out of the way and let them take the fall for you.


The “Anti-Lather Soap” Gag

Heather Comparetto/The Penny Hoarder

This prank requires a little lead time to set up.

Cover a bar of soap in clear nail polish and let dry completely. Then leave it in the shower or next to the sink.

The next person to use the soap won’t get any lather, no matter how hard they try.

Who doesn’t love a good, clean joke? (Get it?)

Whether you choose one of these April Fools’ Day pranks or devise some of your own, remember to keep it lighthearted and friendly.

Every time someone plays a mean prank, another Elf On a Shelf comes to life.

By the way, your shoe’s untied.

Disclosure: You wouldn’t believe how much coffee The Penny Hoarder team goes through. This post contains affiliate links so we can keep the grinds stocked!

Lisa McGreevy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She used to be a circus tightrope walker until she developed a fear of clowns. Only one of these statements is true. April Fool!