Although the origins of April Fool’s Day remain uncertain as there are several cultures that have been celebrating their own versions of April Fool’s Day for centuries, what we do know is that this day of pranks and silliness has become entrenched in today’s American culture. As such, we tend to see trickery everywhere on April 1st, including the workplace. Needless to say, April 1st is not the time to put your job in jeopardy by participating in inappropriate, harmful or offensive pranks. April Fool’s Day IS the ideal time to lighten the mood around the office and bring the team together for a good laugh. As you are planning your gags, consider limiting the amount of cleanup and level of distraction that you could cause in addition to keeping them appropriate for the workplace.

If you are struggling to come up with a prank to play in your office, here are some appropriate shenanigans that are sure to get a laugh out of your colleagues this April Fool’s Day!


Mayo for Lunch


A simple (yet effective) gag that may actually make your coworkers gag, and doesn’t require elaborate planning, is called “Mayo for Lunch”. To set up this prank, simply clean out a mayonnaise jar and fill it with vanilla pudding or vanilla Greek yogurt for a healthier option. Once lunchtime comes, grab your jar of “mayo” and dig in while enjoying watching your coworkers’ facial expressions.

Sweet or Savory?



If practical jokes aren’t your thing but you want to contribute to the April Fool’s festivities, try taking a sweet approach by making some spaghetti and meatball cupcakes made of piped frosting, hazelnut chocolate balls and strawberry preserves for your coworkers. Or present them with a plate of meatloaf, mashed potatoes and peas that are actually chocolate Rice Krispy treats covered in chocolate sauce, a vanilla cupcake covered in vanilla icing with a Starburst candy on top, and Applehead candies!  Unlike the mayonnaise prank, this goof will leave your coworkers smiling instead of gagging.



Bait and Switch


A simple and easy prank that has been gaining popularity in recent years is the good ole bait and switch. Simply grab an empty pizza or donut box, fill it with veggies and set it in the break room (with the lid closed of course).  Sit back and enjoy watching your coworkers’ reactions as they open the box expecting a tasty treat and finding a much healthier alternative instead.


Spilled Coffee




The “Spilled Coffee” prank is perfect to use if you have a coworker who is a self-proclaimed neat freak. Strategically stage an area on their desk, phone, or computer with fake spilled coffee and watch them try to clean it up! Once they realize that it is only a prank, you can all have a good laugh.  You can find the supplies for a fake coffee spill at a joke store, online, or you can make it by mixing glue with brown paint, pouring it on a plastic surface to form the desired shape, waiting for it to dry, and peeling it off to use on April Fool’s Day!


Voice Automated Copies



While this prank requires very little set up, it does get hilarious results. Simply post a sign similar to the one above near your copier at work, station yourself nearby, and enjoy watching your coworkers talking to the copier throughout the day.




Keep in mind that the last thing that you want to do is to offend a coworker and cause a division in the team, so make sure that you pick your targets wisely and avoid pranks that are overly disruptive or out of line.