I don’t like April Fool’s Day that much. A lot of April Fool’s jokes are just mean — they scare people, get people’s hopes up and then crush them, or get them to eat something disgusting. Why would I want to do that?

Besides, I am a really trusting person. And I like trusting people! Don’t make me spend a whole day being suspicious of everybody.

John Oliver feels the same way, and last year he led people in taking a no-prank pledge. (Warning for some foul language.)

But here’s the thing: it is fun to surprise people.

So I’m trying to brainstorm good April Fool’s Day jokes that overlap with random acts of kindness. They would be appropriate for any day of the year, actually. Here are the positive pranking ideas I’ve got so far!


Carefully place stacks of quarters in the change slot of a vending machine. When someone buys a Coke and the machine deposits change, maybe bunches of quarters will start falling out of the machine? That’s what I’m hoping, anyway. But at the very least, they’ll go to get their change and find themselves with a huge handful of quarters. Ha!


Steam open an envelope that a bill comes in, so that you don’t tear it, and save it. Print out the person’s name and address in a small, business-y font on a piece of paper and position it in the little clear window, so it looks like a bill addressed to them. Put a gift card for a coffee shop or bookstore or something like that inside.

Now seal it up and put it in their mailbox. They’ll be like, “Whaat, why am I getting a bill from this hospital I didn’t even go to,” and then they’ll open it and be surprised.


This is actually one I’m going to pull on Mr. Donovan sometime, since we drive in to work together. I might do it on April Fool’s Day, if he doesn’t read this post (he sometimes reads my blog, but not always!)

I’m going to say we have to leave an hour early for a meeting, and then tell him on the way that we’re actually just going to our favorite breakfast place for some leisurely omelets. A die-hard morning-hater would not appreciate this, but he will.


This is more of an office prank. Determine what your co-worker’s favorite snack food or soft drink is. On April Fool’s Day, hide cans of their favorite soft drink, or packages or bags of their favorite snack, everywhere… in their desk drawers, behind their computer, in their mailbox, and even in conference rooms (labelled “for (their name).”) Never own up to it.

The home version of this: fill the cupboard up with twenty packages of their favorite treat. (This really only works for things with a long shelf life, obviously.)


This is one you can do if you know a person’s computer password… so, probably a family member, unless you’re a very devious person. Design a computer desktop wallpaper with a long list of all of the reasons why the person is fantastic, and put it up on their computer when they’re not around. You can do a bunch and use them for screensavers.


What do you think about April Fool’s Day? Are you okay with the traditional pranks, or do they annoy you? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for reading!