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With April 2013 rapidly passing by it already feels like April Fools’ Day was an age ago. Perhaps this is because the pranks pulled by tech companies were so lame that none are memorable enough to stick with us for more than a few days. Or perhaps I’m an aging misanthrope who needs to let his hair down once in a while. It’s possible. I guess.

Real-world April Fools’ Day pranks 5 Websites To Get Hilarious Practical Joke Ideas 5 Websites To Get Hilarious Practical Joke Ideas Read More seem to be lessening in popularity these days, but the Internet is awash with them each and every April 1. I’m personally not a fan, but we wanted to know what you, the loyal and (often lovely) MakeUseOf readership think of April Fools’ Day. Hence the discussion we enjoyed for last week’s We Ask You column.

The Results

We asked you, Do You Love Or Hate April Fools’ Day Online? The number of responses was disappointing, but as usual I have to blame myself for the poor choice of question. I obviously didn’t think it was poor when I asked it, but you fine people have shown me the error of my ways.

Those who did answer the question gave their views on April Fools’ Day and explained why they either love it, hate it, or don’t have any strong feelings either way. Shockingly — well, it shocked me at least — the MakeUseOf readership appears to be in favor of April Fools’ Day and the pranks tech companies play on the unsuspecting public across the Web.

The split was about 60/40 in favor of April Fools’ Day, with several people maintaining neutrality by sitting on the fence and not committing to either side. I guess I myself am a fence-sitter on this particular issue. I like some of the pranks, especially the well-planned, well-executed epic pranks from Google, but the number of jokes is spiraling out of control.


Even when it comes to Google there’s a part of me that wonders how much could have been achieved with the time and energy the company and its employees put into its April Fools’ Day pranks. And then there are the lesser-known April Fools’ Day jokes 8 April Fools' Day Pranks You May Have Missed 8 April Fools' Day Pranks You May Have Missed April Fools' Day is, depending on your individual point of view, either a pathetic waste of everyone's time and energy that you try to avoid as much as possible or 24 hours of fun that... Read More , many of which fail to raise even a slight titter.

Comment Of The Week

We had great input from the likes of Abhishek Rai, Graham Richardson, and Ashwin Ramesh, to name just a few. Comment Of The Week goes to ‘G W’, who receives the respect of myself and hopefully everybody reading this:

I think the pranks are passe. What good is a prank when you can countdown to when they are going to be pulled?
What would happen to if a company, like Google, DIDN’T participate next year? I feel it would probably create a backlash.
I’m sure it helps foster some creativity for companies, but they’re now more of an expectation than anything. They’re almost like the quarterly business updates.

For us this comment hits the nail on the head in terms of why April Fools’ Day is losing its luster. When Google started pulling pranks on April 1 people were pleasantly surprised. Now, they expect it. It’s become so ingrained in Web culture that it’s virtually impossible to actually catch anyone out.

We will be asking a new question tomorrow, so please join us then. We Ask You is a weekly column dedicated to finding out the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. We ask you a question and you tell us what you think. The question is open-ended and is usually open to debate. Some questions will be purely opinion-based, while others will see you sharing tips and advice, or advocating tools and apps for your fellow MakeUseOf readers. This column is nothing without your input, all of which is valued.

Image Credit: Sean MacEntee

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  1. hotdoge3
    April 29, 2013 at 4:58 am

    Yes Love it good fun ):-

  2. Lisa Santika Onggrid
    April 10, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    It wasn't really a poor question, but rather, I think, that people thought the comments posted had represented their stances.
    I personally missed the whole week and forgot to answer that question.

    • Dave Parrack
      April 10, 2013 at 2:32 pm

      Perhaps you're right. It's been an interesting column to write though, as there's no telling how well the question is going to be received. I've been surprised by which ones have exploded and which have fizzled out with barely a whimper.

  3. Scott M
    April 10, 2013 at 11:09 am

    I find that as the years pass,the thrill of any April Fools day prank has lost any of the fun it once evoked within me.

    • Chris Marcoe
      April 10, 2013 at 2:39 pm

      You're not planning enough. Everyone knows that one person who can never be pranked. you need to start a few days in advance and really get that person. call in their friends to help get em. That will put some life back into it for you.

      Good luck and have fun.

  4. Chris Marcoe
    April 10, 2013 at 4:21 am

    I missed it this year. I was on vacation and wasn't around a computer. So, I literally saw no online April Fool's jokes. though, going to my mother's beach house and telling her how the water heater had exploded was one of the best I have ever pulled.

    • Lisa Santika Onggrid
      April 10, 2013 at 2:22 pm

      Same with me, though I wasn't on vacation. My finals were on that week. The 1st of April just went by and I couldn't understand what people were joking about when I finally got on the 'net.

      • Dave Parrack
        April 10, 2013 at 2:30 pm

        Excuses, excuses ;)

        • Chris Marcoe
          April 10, 2013 at 2:40 pm

          I know, right?

    • Dave Parrack
      April 10, 2013 at 2:30 pm

      How did your mother react? I have to saw you probably did the right thing staying offline this year. I know a couple of other people who did the same thing in order not to get caught out.

      • Chris Marcoe
        April 10, 2013 at 2:37 pm

        Well, I have come to this house before and had to replace the water heater for here because it was broke and leaking. So, she was kind of going crazy about it being out agan. I told her it looked like it had been leaking for a long time. "Like, maybe since April fool's day." And she replied: Well, today is April Fool's...OH YOU!!" And she is a tough one to get. I made for a great day.

        • Nihar
          June 2, 2013 at 2:03 pm

          you are right