It’s ok to admit it—we’ve all been there. Your favorite actor just announced they are doing a sequel to a movie that you never thought would happen. Or maybe your best friend just told you they are having quadruplets. Or, my personal favorite, your 35-year-old sister just gave you the good news that she is moving into your spare bedroom! After you catch your breath and begin to realize that your life will never be the same again, you look at your calendar and realize what day it is…April 1st.
Well, the good news is you can use that spare bedroom for the pottery room you’ve wanted to create for so long. The bad news is that you are about to spend the next 24 hours deciphering every single thing your friends say in attempts to determine whether they are telling you the truth or just a clever little white lie.
In reality, April Fool’s Day is a harmless, fun holiday that gives us an excuse to have a little more fun on a Tuesday than we would normally have. It’s a day that helps remind us that we don’t always have to take ourselves so seriously, and sometimes a little joking and laughter is the perfect remedy for an otherwise dull day.
In honor of this sly day of trickery, we’ve scoured the Internet to locate some of the greatest April Fool’s jokes of all time!
Have it the right left way. Back in 1998, Burger King decided they wanted to pull a fun trick on their burger-loving customers. They announced that they were now going to be offering their beloved Whopper with an option for southpaws. The new “Left-Handed Whopper” featured all of the same condiments as the infamous Whopper sandwich they were known for, but all of the ingredients were rotated 180 degrees to accommodate lefties! Obviously this wasn’t true, so for the 10% of those people out there who never mastered basic tasks using their right hands, it looks like you will just have to conform yet again to the needs of the 90%.
Houston, we have a liar. Who doesn’t dream of going to space someday? The zero gravity feeling of weightlessness is something we can only access in our wildest dreams. Well, back on April 1 of 1976, British astronomer Patrick Moore convinced the listeners of BBC Radio 2 that for one brief moment, they could all experience that very sensation. He announced that at 9:47 AM, the planet Pluto (or, the rock formally known as the planet Pluto) would pass directly behind Jupiter. When this happened, a very rare gravitational pull would occur, causing the gravity on Earth to become slightly less “withholding” for just a few seconds. Now, of course this wasn’t actually true, but that didn’t stop dozens of listeners from calling in to the radio show telling them about their “zero-gravity experiences!”
Yo quiero el Liberty Bell. So apparently fast food restaurants really enjoy pulling a fast one on their faithful customers. Just two years before the “Left-Handed Whopper” fiasco, Taco Bell decided they wanted to get in on the April Fool’s fun, and they wanted to do it up big. On April 1, 1996, Taco Bell bought out full-page ads in major newspapers across the United States declaring that the company had just purchased the Liberty Bell! To add to the chaos, they even announced that the precious American artifact would be renamed to the “Taco Liberty Bell”. This enraged hundreds of citizens who called the Philadelphia National Historic Park complaining that this was an outrage. Taco Bell eventually came clean about the joke, and they even donated $50,000 for the upkeep of the Liberty Bell.
Locally grown, organic…spaghetti? Looks like the Brits are at it again! All the way back in 1957, the British news show Panorama showcased a news story unlike any the world has never seen. They broadcast a three-minute segment about different spaghetti farms in southern Switzerland that had begun their harvest. The reason they were able to do this? They had just experienced a very mild winter, and of course, they didn’t have those pesky “spaghetti weevils” damaging their crops. Between the show’s beloved and trusted anchor Richard Dimbleby selling of the story so convincingly and video footage of a Swiss family pulling pasta off of “spaghetti trees,” Panorama received hundreds of phone calls from viewers asking how they could begin growing their own spaghetti! They were told to “place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.” Delicious.
Bonus round. This April Fool’s joke is ongoing, and has been annually tricking gullible New Yorkers since 1986! Every year, the city of New York publishes press releases advertising the New York City April Fool’s Day Parade. The catch? You guessed it—it doesn’t even exist! Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me 28 years in a row? Shame on me.
April Fool’s Day is a great reminder that it is ok to have a little fun every now and then. This year on April 1, remember to keep your guard up, your senses alert, and maybe, just maybe, you can even trick a few friends of your own into believing that you just got chosen to be one of the first America citizens to go visit Mars…or something like that.