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10 April Fools' pranks that went very, very wrong.

10 April Fools' Pranks That Went Very Wrong
April Fools' Day, the day prank lovers everywhere come out to show the best they've got, and the day the rest of us are reminded how not amusing most of those shenanigans end up being.

10. The Taco Liberty Bell, 1996. People love tacos and the Liberty Bell, but apparently not together. When the fast food chain announced via full-page newspaper ads that they'd purchased and renamed the national icon, a whole lot of protesting ensued. Taco Bell went public with their prank later in the day.

9. Playboy Romania's wife beating instructions, 2000. The article that ran was titled "How to Beat Your Wife Without Leaving Marks" and written as if it had been penned by a police officer. The magazine's deputy editor initially defended the piece. Playboy Enterprises soon stepped in and issued an international apology.

8. Hooters' Toyota contest, 2001. A waitress who was told she'd win a Toyota if she sold the most beer was instead given a toy Yoda doll. She sued the restaurant and, according to her lawyer, got an undisclosed settlement that would enable her to "pick out whatever type of Toyota she wants."

7. Murdered husband, 2013. A Tennessee woman called her sister in a panic and said, "Helen, I shot my husband, I'm cleaning up the mess, let's go bury him in Blackwater." Instead of rushing over with a shovel, Helen told another family member who in turn called the police. The prankster was taken into custody.

6. Athens Pollution Disaster, 1982. A broadcaster for the Greece's National Radio Network called for a full evacuation of the center of Athens due to the high pollution levels. Chaos and 6-figure lawsuits followed.

5. Superglued Walmart toilet seat, 2011. In a prank attempt that had no chance of being funny, somebody put superglue on a toilet seat in a Walmart public restroom. The unfortunate victim required the assistance of several emergency crews and medical professionals.

4. Dihydrogen monoxide scare, 2013. Two morning radio show hosts announced that area residents had dihydrogen monoxide coming out of their faucets. While those who took a moment to Google the term learned that it meant water, most didn't and soon the local utilities were flooded with panicked calls. The duo was quickly removed from the air, but put back on 2 days later.

3. Romanian Prison Release, 2000. After reading a piece in a newspaper, 60 people thought their friends and loved ones were getting out of prison. They arrived, only to be told, 'April Fools'.

2. Racially offensive office prank. Somehow, a group of grown professionals thought it would be hilarious draw one of their coworkers as a drug-addicted monkey and they post it for all to see.

1. Erupting Hill in Boston, 1980. With some clever edits, broadcasters from a local television station were able to convince people that a hill was erupting like a volcano. The April Fools part of their prank didn't come until the end of the segment. It was too late, as viewers had already started to react as if it were real.

What's the biggest April Fools prank fail you've ever heard of?

Join the discussion

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Fran Bishop April 01 2014 at 9:51 AM

Why do people overreact about everything. If you have any degree of intelligence research what you hear especially on the super prank day of the year.

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kmar1 April 01 2014 at 2:06 PM

While I absolutely loved the Taco Bell ad, I think my favorite April Fools day prank was the Sports Illustrated story about fictitious baseball pitcher Sidd Finch, written by George Plimpton. I got suckered in hook, line, and sinker by that one.

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Donna April 01 2014 at 8:26 AM

That stupid prank AOL pulled that had something to do with Jupiter? Can't remember if it was supposed to have been hit by an asteroid or what, but they did it back in the days before AOL became unlimited. People were running up their bills by researching it, and there were tons of users who were MAD about it! I see they conveniently left that one out of their story!

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Preston April 01 2014 at 8:42 AM

I told my secretary several years ago, when she arrived for work, that due to unforeseen expenses, we were forced to close down. Her face turned white and she seemed short of breath. I still haven't lived that one down.

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jnogrimes April 01 2014 at 8:39 PM

7. Murdered husband, 2013. A Tennessee woman called her sister ... who in turn called the police. The prankster was taken into custody.

What would the charges have been? She didn't call the cops and it's not against the law to lie to your sister (yet).

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2 replies
lacdenis jnogrimes April 01 2014 at 9:55 PM

Disturbing the peace.

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david.konen jnogrimes April 01 2014 at 10:35 PM

Well, I would HATE to be hearing from anyone that they just MURDERED someone, and wanted me to HELP them murder the body. I'd have done the same thing which was done here (more or less).

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1 reply
dlcox56 david.konen April 01 2014 at 10:48 PM

I guess it depends who calls and who they murdered... (Just kidding, everyone).

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rogerwilcoaka April 01 2014 at 8:46 AM

Old college trick... put a couple blue RIT dye tablets in the shower head = Instant Smurf...

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1 reply
stephanietlatelpa rogerwilcoaka April 01 2014 at 8:58 AM

lol i want one jkjk

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kerabaerbarr April 01 2014 at 2:12 PM

You show the BBC's "Flying Penguins" but the wonderful folks who gave us "Doctor Who" and "Match Of The Day" also gave us the Great Spaghetti Tree hoax of 1957. Richard Dimbleby reported on who spaghetti was grown on trees on the April Fools Day 1957 edition of the news programme "Panorama." Initially, people were furious with him since he was Britain's most respected news correspondent, responsible for reporting the liberation of Begen-Belsen Concentration Camp in 1945. The anger wore off. Also, in the mid-1980s, Sports Illustrated brought us the story of Sidd Finch, a super fireballing (130 mph fastball) pitcher that the Mets had discovered in some monastery. The first letter of each word in the subtitle spelled out "Happy April Fools Day!" It was one of George Plimpton's classics.

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Marcy April 01 2014 at 8:30 PM

I e-mailed my daughters that one of their sisters was pregnant. April fools joke was on me, when one of them announced a month later that she was three months pregnant.

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1 reply
david.konen Marcy April 01 2014 at 10:42 PM

ROF(L)MAO - This is a GREAT example of how one mother chose to e-mail her daughter that ONE of them was PREGNANT - turns out, she KNEW (one way OR another) one of her daughter was ALREADY pregnant.

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vwmeow April 01 2014 at 8:56 AM

Several years ago a local radio station announced that our state was banning people from smoking in their cars-the station was flooded with calls from irate smokers!

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sam April 01 2014 at 8:29 PM

I worked in a Canadian school as volunteer I switched the Canadian national anthem that was played each morning and put in the American national anthem, I thought they were going to break a leg trying to get that tape out. Still funny to me :)

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1 reply
david.konen sam April 01 2014 at 10:43 PM

Sam, be CAREFUL here - you'd be treading on a "thin line" changing national anthems for one country for another's.

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