If there's one day of the year when you can put your coworkers' staplers in Jello and get away with it, it's April Fools' Day. These April Fools' Day office pranks are perfect for "office use," because they're kind of mean, but they're also kind of funny. I mean, you probably won't get fired for them, but they're still ridiculously hilarious. (Disclaimer: I said "probably.")
If you want to pull one of these pranks and actually get away with it, though, it's important not to remind your coworkers of the looming day ahead. You may say "duh" now, but when the day approaches, you incessantly giggle every time you walk by your future victim. That's not going to cut it. If an office mate is on to your trail, chances are you aren't going to get very far. So play it cool, keep everyone's minds off the "holiday," and make sure you choose some accomplices you can trust.
And of course, please choose your victim responsibly. You don't want anyone getting offended. Find a coworker who is not overly sensitive, not an egomaniac, and obviously, not your boss. Oh, and make sure they have an amazing sense of humor. That will go far on a day like April Fools'. Everything in good fun, right? Right.
1. Post-It their car
It's a classic. You did it in high school, and it's time to do it again. Make sure you have someone watching your victim in the office who can alert you if they are headed out of the building. If you work somewhere that has a parking garage, this prank was basically made for you.
2. Rubber band their phone
Then, obviously, start calling your coworker's office number incessantly once they arrive at their desk.
3. Fill their office with balloons
Let's be real you guys, everyone wants their office/cubicle/workspace to be covered in balloons. It's kind of a sign of coworker love. Save yourself some breath, and purchase a couple small balloon pumps that you and your coworkers can use before your victim arrives. Bonus: For the rest of the day, you'll be throwing balloons at each other while you work.
4. Make some caramel onions
I think this is the meanest prank on this list, so only go for it if you have coworkers with a great sense of humor. Make a tray of caramel onions disguised as delicious caramel apples. Yes, caramel onions. I told you, it's bad.
5. Wrap your coworker's cubicle in newspaper
Have a coworker who's a daily newspaper subscriber? Help him or her out by covering their workspace with the columns. For an extra special detail, wrap up individual items (keyboards, folders, mouse) like Christmas presents.
6. Put their stapler in Jello
I mean, come on. It's a classic.
7. Web their cubicle with string
Transform your coworker's cubicle into a spider web. I recommend using something stretchy so you can make it tight. The more difficult it is to remove, the more fun it is (for you).
8. Mess with their desktop wallpaper
I had a coworker who used to do this to me every time I left my desk to go to the bathroom. It never got old — at least for him. If you're a Photoshop expert, make up something special (your coworker's head on Miley Cyrus' wrecking ball body?), and if you're not, just find a freaky photo on the web. You can also try out the "transparent screen" effect (as seen above) by taking a picture of your victim's office and quickly uploading it.
9. Foil their work space
Yes, they might hate you for it. But if they're smart, they'll save all that foil. (It's expensive!).
10. Mess with the photo copying machine
Find the scariest picture you can (or the funniest), cut it out, and tape it underneath the top cover of your office scanner. The first person to use the machine will have a nice little surprise waiting for them on their printouts.
Images: Jean-Philippe Daigle, Scott Ableman, Tim, Paul Mayne, therealbridgetpalmer, Dennis Miyashiro, Chris Chan, Daryl Fox, Jeremy Vandel, Matt Reinbold, Michael Newman/Flickr