Jay’s Favorite April Fools Day Pranks
Ah, April Fools TDay. The day of the year when people take the time out of their day to celebrate practical jokes and harmless mischief. I may not be able to spend the time to pull pranks, but I love this holiday, nonetheless!
This year, to celebrate April Fools Day, I thought I would talk about some of the best pranks that I’ve ever seen or heard of. Buckle up, people, we’re going in hot.
Toonami’s Back, Baby!
If you haven’t seen Adult Swim’s April Fools Day pranks, then you have been missing out. Every year since 2004, Cartoon Network’s late night adult block has gone out of their way to play some hilarious pranks. This one, though, was less of a prank, and more like an awesome gift.
If you’re a 90’s kid and love anime, then chances are you got that love from watching Toonami on Cartoon Network. So when it was cancelled in 2008, fans were so upset.
Then, for April Fool’s Day 2012, Adult Swim surprised everyone by bringing Toonami back from the dead for one night only. The next day, it was all anyone could talk about. The overwhelming support for the prank led to Adult Swim announcing the return of Toonami. Since May 26th, 2012, Toonami has aired nearly every Saturday. Best. Prank. Ever.
Rick and Morty Returns
You may recall how, two years ago, people were clamoring for McDonald’s to bring back the szechuan teriyaki dipping sauce they used to promote the Disney film Mulan. If you didn’t know what led to that, the answer can be found with Adult Swim’s hit animated show Rick and Morty.
For their April Fools Day prank for 2017, Adult Swim gave fans of Rick and Morty a huge surprise. With no prior announcement or marketing, they aired the Season Three premiere of Rick and Morty. Long story short, it sees Rick break out of an intergalactic prison and then single-handedly topple the intergalactic government. And Adult Swim aired it over and over all night long.
This is the best part: at one point in the episode, Rick talks about his love for the Mulan szechuan sauce and how he wants to bring it back. The fan base proceeded to turn it into a viral movement that McDonald’s ultimately gave into. They brought back the sauce for one day, but their inability to provide enough of the sauce for customers led to fans freaking out.
Wait, I wonder if the people from Rick and Morty did it because they knew fans would start a movement and that McDonald’s would screw up? Maybe that was the real prank. Either way, I loved it. I didn’t even care that Samurai Jack and Dragonball Super didn’t come on that night!
Google Maps Pac-Man
Every year, Google likes to get in on the April Fools Day Pranks, and a few years back, they gave us one of the best pranks I’ve ever seen: Google Maps Pac-Man.
On April Fools Day and a few days afterwards, Google Maps got an added feature allowing people to play games of Pac-Man. Unlike the traditional version, this one relied on the real world locations of streets. Go to major cities and it was amazing. I just wish they brought it back for this year!
Toonami in Japanese Subs!
You may be noticing a trend here, but I can’t help it. Adult Swim does some good pranks. And when Toonami happened to coincide with April Fools Day last year, they decided to do something fun.
They aired everything in Japanese! For one night, Toonami was a part of the Enligsh subtitle camp. This wasn’t as epic as when Toonami came back for one night, but it was still a lot of fun. Fans even got a sneak preview of FLCL: Alternative. Months before it was supposed to air. That is amazing.
This one was so good, it had thousands of people convinced that it was true. In 1957, BBC aired a three minute broadcast on a Swiss family harvesting spaghetti noodles from spaghetti trees. At the time, a lot of people in the UK didn’t know that spaghetti was a pasta because most didn’t eat it. Thousands of people ended up calling in asking them how to grow their own spaghetti trees. To this day, this elaborate prank is considered to be one of the greatest April Fools Day jokes of all time. Given the level of detail that BBC put towards this hoax, it’s easy to see why its so good.
South Park Terrence and Phillip Prank
Back when South Park was still a new show on the block, it ended up attracting a lot of controversy. And not in the good, South Park way. The Season One finale to the show left viewers with a cliffhanger, as it was about to reveal the identity of Eric Cartman’s father. Despite promising that they would learn the truth with the Season Premiere on April 1st, Matt Stone and Trey Parker decided to air a special starring the fictional Canadian duo, Terrence and Phillip.
While the fake out itself isn’t that funny, what was funny was how the fans weren’t amused by Stone and Parker’s stunt.
To be fair, though, it’s far from the worst decision that the show’s ever made.