People relish the opportunity to play pranks on everyone they come in contact with once a year, and brands are no exception. From creating parody dating apps to adding obscure slang words to the dictionary, companies really gave it their all this year, unleashing some new products and ads that would actually be pretty great IRL. The funniest 2016 April Fools' jokes from brands will have you giggling quietly at your desk and help you avoid falling for the tempting tricks.
While normal folks were busy brainstorming April Fools' tweets and Facebook posts just clever enough to dupe a few friends and Mom, companies around the world put a lot of time and effort into fake inventions purely for a few laughs (and a little attention, of course). Some were just subtle enough that they seemed real after a quick glance, others were so outrageous you'll be glad they were only a joke, and a few went terribly wrong and led to very annoyed customers.
Here are 12 of this year's best April Fools' jokes that might make you want to work for a company that values silliness and satirical commentary on society — you could be the mastermind behind next year's greatest April Fools' prank.
Gmail quickly removed its April Fools' joke that had users accidentally sending Despicable Me minions to their colleagues. Next to the normal "Send" button, the Email provider installed a "Mic Drop" button that allowed you to send a GIF of a minion dropping a mic in order to end an email chain and get the last word in. After taking it down, the Gmail blog said: "Well, it looks like we pranked ourselves this year. 😟 Due to a bug, the Mic Drop feature inadvertently caused more headaches than laughs. We're truly sorry."
Sister sites Jezebel and Deadspin switched staff for a day, with the women's blog team manning the sports site and vice versa. Jezebel Editor-in-Chief Emma Carmichael claimed it wasn't a prank, just a fun experiment, writing: "Don’t be alarmed. We love sports. Some of us have even played them before. Others have even covered them before. We're doing this because we think it'll be fun, and because we have lots of sports opinions to share with you. This is not a prank; it's simply a staff swap."
Google went all out this year, also announcing Google Express's new delivery method — parachutes. The video about the new technology shows a water bottle, axe, and birthday cake all falling into the hands of customers from the sky via parachutes.
Restaurant reservation app OpenTable created an innovative new feature that allows users to actually taste food before choosing a restaurant. After selecting a certain food, a circle appears over it that says "lick here," giving you a real taste of what the restaurant has to offer.
In an almost cruel prank, Boxed offered to deliver "endless hot guys & kittens" along with your groceries. Sadly, when I tried to order hotties and kittens, the listing was gone, so the company either ran out (endless hot guys are hard to find), or took it down Friday morning.
Adobe released a tutorial explaining how to turn any ordinary photo into an Ansel Adams lookalike. After demonstrating how to make your image back and white, decrease the highlights, increase the shadows, and up the contrast, the video shows you how to reveal an "Ansel-o-matic" option that transforms a food photo into a gorgeous landscape.
Yahoo published a fake news story claiming all Trader Joe's grocery stores would close by 2017. "At this point there isn't enough cookie butter in the world to pave the road ahead," the article quoted Trader Joe's CEO Dan Bane saying. The article was quickly taken down after Trader Joe's enthusiasts freaked out about losing their beloved stores.
The dating app Zoosk joked about creating a new app that matches singles based on their burrito preferences called Burrit-OH! After answering questions about your favorite burrito ingredients and whether you eat burritos from the top or bottom, the app will find your burrito soulmate.
As a critique of millennials who can't put their phones down, T-Mobile released Binge On Up, a hands-free contraption that allows you to watch videos on your phone anywhere and any time. In the video announcement, T-Mobile says AT&T and Verizon "make you hold your device in your hand, like an idiot" and show people using Binge On Up in the bathtub, on hikes, and during a yoga class.
Oxford Dictionaries jokingly added new word to the dictionary on April Fools', including LOYO (laughing on your own), Obamacar (a scheme under which President Obama provides free cars for every American), and Instayam (Instagram photos of Thanksgiving food).
H&M and Mark Zuckerberg hilariously teamed up to put together a #MarkForHM collection pack of seven gray T-shirts and one pair of jeans, replicating the Facebook creator's signature look.
John Stamos completely took over Netflix Friday, with an ad for the upcoming John Stamos: A Human, Being to be released April 31, the "Continue Watching" category changed to "Continue Watching With John Stamos," and other suggestion titles altered to include the actor, such as "Dramas That Make John Stamos Feel Emotions."
If only every day were this fun.
Images: Gmail (1); Google (1); OpenTableVideo (1); Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (1); T-Mobile (2); H&M (1)