Fool Me Once… Or As Often As Possible

There was a time when posting a fake story was fun for all involved. But in this age of constant trolling, it’s near impossible to pull it off with our savvy readership. Instead of letting you down with a really poorly advised how-to, we’re putting in a call to hear what you’ve got in your own bag of pranks. Consider this another holiday theme and tell us what you’re planning for April Fools’ Day.

As always, we’re looking for your own posts on the topic. We always want to give credit where it’s due so post your prank on your blog or other favorite corner of the interwebs and send us the link. Don’t have a place to put it? You can always start a thread in our project log forum, or check out this for additional spots to stake your claim.

In case you need some help coming up with something, we’ve got a few examples to get you thinking. You can go the route of fake video demonstrations like this Gmail gestures hoax, or the more recent Human BirdWings Project. But those require a lot of production time and a clever seed idea. Perhaps something really simple will go a long way with the roommates. We’re thinking soap covered in clear nail polish to prevent sudsing, or perhaps you want to reconfigure your router to render pages upside down. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

45 thoughts on “Fool Me Once… Or As Often As Possible

    1. Signed it, posted on Reddit, and emailed some friends! I love being a good citizen and taking part in the political process!

      Also, am I the only one getting really tired of The Hunger Games (awesome) being compared to Twilight (which I’ve never seen, but assume is not)?

    2. I almost wish I was American so I could sign that, almost.

      Somebody needs to bring back some REAL vampires to the big screen to counteract the shite the Twilight movies have been doing by portraying them as pathetic lovesick creatures.

  1. Hmmmm, if I had access to a family member that still uses an electric razor… I think it would be awexome to use the motor as a speaker… and make it play some Rick Astley… steaming from a microSD memory card when powered, and continuing on from where it left off each time it’s powered up.

      1. Hahaha! Nice.

        Just had another thought along the lines of an electric razor… what about leaving the motor run so you can trim your face-off, but modulate it to the melody of your Buddy Rick A.? More subtle…

      1. On unixes, /dev/null is write only memory. There are other dev entries that correspond to that description (simple devices that take control as character streams but lack feedback, for instance)

  2. Recently, I replaced my father-in-law’s rotating desktop background (10 pictures, rotating every 10 minutes) with a folder of the same pictures, with three pictures from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. I duplicated his original files ten times each and set it up so that each of the three MLP pictures would only show for one minute before switching back to one of his usual desktops.

    It took him TWO WEEKS to notice, but when he did it was HILARIOUS! (I am NOT a Brony, I just thought his reaction to a brony friend was funny) Last time I went to visit I ‘fixed it’ but gave him an MLP screensaver instead. He hasn’t seen it yet, or at least he hasn’t said so.

  3. Since I finally have IP based door stations, I am planning to collect a list of free hotline numbers. Then I will add a few lines to my asterisk dial plan to randomly dial one of those numbers whenever a certain extension is called. After re-configuring the door stations a bit, I will be able to record a video file every time an unsuspecting mailman or pizza delivering man comes by, rings and gets connected to a hotline ;)

  4. I modified a cheap bullhorn so you can choose between the microphone or a line in for input (instead of the dj jack), and am going to play an air raid siren at full volume outside my school XD It’s great because it’s extremely loud, it sounds just like the real deal.

  5. Good Old internet cleaning day spam broadcast to everyone here at work, Screenshots of desktops full of icons replaced as wallpaper and all icons hidden. Maybe installing some BSOD screen savers.

    Problem is most are windows users, so they wont notice.

  6. I’ve been thinking of putting a force-sensitive resistor tied to an Arduino and MP3 shield on a toilet seat (I wanted to do it here at work, but seeing as April Fool’s Day is a Sunday, it’ll have to wait a year).

    The MP3 shield would play things such as the “Who does Number 2 work for?” from Austin Powers after a semi-random delay after someone sits on the john.

  7. I just plan to drive around my town with my ultra tv bgone and turn off people’s tvs in their homes. Especially great at all the gas stations as they all use Samsung 40 inchers. But for that I use my hopped up sammy remote. It has a 1200foot range.

  8. I will do this April Fool’s, joke to my friend!

    This practical joke is best done to people who are truly anal about their car, truck, whatever. The type that parks their car 20 hectares away from the mall to avoid it getting touched by human kind. When your buddy leaves the car, get your friend to place a note on the windshield that reads “Sorry, about the scratch. We will take car of any damage.” and add a fake phone number. Then as you come out with your buddy from the mall, and they read the note, let the search for the non-existent scratch begin. You can help by point out “potential” scratches, watching him or her run over to see, only to realize it’s just dirt. This one can done from afar so that you can have practical fun watching the owner of the survey for damage rather than you helping out, can be even more hilarious.

    1. One of my favourite fire station pranks we play is putting zip ties on the drive shafts of unsuspecting rookies trucks. Leave a long enough tail so it slaps the undercarriage. We did this to a guy every shift for several weeks. He would leave then come back and tell us about the sound. One of us would go cut the tie straps off while he was talking about it. Then one of us would drive his truck to figure out whats wrong with it (of course it didn’t make a sound any more). He would go home and next shift we would do it again. We finally got board of playing the prank and no one told him about it till 2 years later when we decided to do it to a new rookie.

  9. I’ve always loved ‘anti-jokes’. One of my favourites involves everyone at one location except the victim. Simply get them to laugh every time they see one particular feature; his/her back, face, etc. It won’t take long before paranoia sets in, and the laughter will stop being pretend. (When we did it, his expression made us almost choke, laughing, even before lunch. When he came back from lunch after clearly having a shower and changing his clothes, we almost killed ourselves laughing.)

  10. My favorite AFJ was when we took a screenshot of a person’s Windows desktop, and set it as the background image. We then set his network profile to hide the real icons and taskbar.

    Every time this person logged in, he would get a desktop where nothing worked (because the “icons” were just part of the screenshotted background). When a support person (or anybody else) logged in, the machine would work normally. The desktop setup followed the user wherever he went, so he never could find a computer for him to do his work on.

    Unfortunately, he got so frustrated that he quit his job and left forever before we could let him in on the joke.

      1. Heh. If you want to go back *that* far, did you know that COMMAND.COM and COMMAND.COM look identical if you type DIR? :evilgrin: I drove a guy *crazy* because he couldn’t figure out how I was able to get his system running when he couldn’t. Another one was to use XCOPY to create an empty folder structure of someone’s drive, then use SUBST in the last line of their AUTOEXEC.BAT to redirect C: to the (empty) root. I’ve also slipped three digital watches under someone’s computer, and told them that the alarms were from the computer, and meant that the computer was working too hard, and needed an hour or so to cool down. It took him three *days* to figure it out.

        Ah, good times.

  11. hid a small uC project at my brothers house that is similar in code to the tvbgone, except instead of just issuing off commands, it issues random commands at random times. May get spooky with it, and have it ghost surf some channels too!

  12. Following the upside-down-ternet idea I wrote used a simple script with a regex to search/replace text in all web pages. The word list consisted of all of the common grammatical errors I could think of, like:

    their -> they’re
    they’re -> there
    there -> their
    its -> it’s
    it’s -> its
    grammar -> grammer
    to -> too
    too -> to
    i.e -> e.g.


    I used a random number generator so that each word had a 50% chance of being swapped (to make it less obvious).

  13. I also love ‘educational’ pranks. For example, the next time you see a roll of toilet paper sitting loose, smear a bit of peanut butter or chocolate pudding inside the tube. You’ll never see them sticking their fingers in the tube again. :evilgrin:

  14. It may be late at this point to comment, but I didn’t want to give it away prior to the actual April fools day.

    I sent a notification to the entire department telling them that part of the network drive was never intended to be used for permanent storage, so we deleted everything under that folder so that the department could start from a fresh, clean slate. Got a few people with that one.

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