Rick-Roll3

April Fools On The Internetz

April 1, 2011

April Fools Day is a magical time of year when we are encouraged to put on our thinking caps, get creative, and mess with people’s heads (all for the lulz of course). It also marks the one day a year when brilliant tech heads behind some of the largest online destinations get to troll their users, becoming the ultimate pranksters. The past few years have seen some awesomely clever online April Fools day pranks and jokes, with some companies consistently outdoing themselves year after year. Below is a collection of a few great online April Fools Day jokes.

Bieber or Die (Funny or Die, 2010)


It seemed the whole world had Bieber fever last year, providing the perfect set up for a great prank from Funny or Die and good ol’ JB himself. Funny or Die announced on April 1, 2010 that Justin Bieber had bought the website and subsequently replaced all their videos with videos of himself – even recreating some of the years best memes (including David After The Dentist). While Funny or Die was applauded for the creativity and effort behind the prank, the real winner was Mr. Bieber who earned some serious cred from nerds and comedy lovers alike.

Friday or Die (Funny or Die, 2011)

Funny or Die continues their April Fools Day Takeover this year with the latest YouTube sensation Rebecca Black (who’s song Friday became an unlikely hit due to it’s inane lyrics, ridiculously literal video, creepy rap star cameo, and excessive use of autotune). While Rebecca didn’t completely take over the site (you can still access other Funny or Die videos from the homepage), the exclusive videos are hysterical and feature full participation from Ms. Black (so you feel less bad about making fun of her song, since she’s doing all the mocking for you!) Who knew one terrible song could spawn so much hilarity?!

Reddit Looks Like Digg (Reddit, 2009)


GMAIL Paper (Google, 2007)

I’ll admit it, when April 1st, 2007 rolled around I didn’t realize the significance of the date. So when I saw that Google was launching Gmail Paper I genuinely believed them (for just a moment, I swear!).

Google Translate for Animals (Google, 2010)

Google Helvetica (Google, 2011)

Google has become something of a April Fools Day beast, using the day to pull pranks all over the place – targeting everyone they can. It seems Hipsters and designers everywhere have been incredibly vocal recently in announcing their love for Helvetica juxtaposed to their hatred for comic sans. This has lead Google to a simple – yet fun – prank: google ‘Helvetica’ and the entire google search page changes its typeface to comic sans. Well played, Google, well played.

Rick Roll (YouTube, 2008)

In 2008 YouTube set out to capitalize on the years running online joke by Rick Rolling EVERYONE. They accomplished this by making every featured video on their home page link to Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up”.

Flying Penguins (BBC, 2008)

Facebook Live Poke (Facebook, 2007)

I have a distinct memory of this April Fool’s joke as it was probably one of the most successful pranks – users either genuinely believed that Facebook was going to offer a ‘live poke’ service or they loved the joke so much they were keen to convince others it was absolutely true. I suppose the benefit to being one of the largest social networks on the net is having an entire community of people to support you in your pranks!

The Bronx Zoo Cobra (Ryan Seacrest, 2011)

Ryan Seacrest’s twitter and website was hijacked by the Bronx Zoo Cobra (who’s apparently searching for freedom…or a date). A great April Fools Day win – a ridiculous concept that is well executed.

For a comprehensive list of every online April Fool’s joke from 2004 – 2011, click here and let me know some of your favourite April Fool’s jokes.

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