9 April Fools’ Day 2019 Pranks You Should Avoid No Matter What

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Playing pranks on people on April Fools' Day has been a tradition since before the 1800s. In fact, some historians believe that the holiday started back in 1582, when many people in France didn't realize that the country had switched the calendars from Julian to the Gregorian, believing the new year still started during the last week of March through April 1. Those people became the butt of jokes and pranks, including having paper fish put on their backs to symbolize that they were gullible. Today, Apr. 1 is still all about fooling and pranking people... but on a slightly different scale. April Fools' Day has became a lot more elaborate, and sometimes the pranks go a little too far.

There are plenty of pranks that perfectly harmless on April Fools' Day: dipping Brussels sprouts in chocolate and giving them out as if they're real chocolate truffles, taping paper bugs to the inside of a lamp so they look like they're real, buying a silly little toy that makes fart noises so that every time someone sits it sounds like they're farting. These things are goofy, funny, and aren't going to hurt anyone. But sometimes, people get pranking confused with straight-out lying, and those lies can do more harm than good.

If you're going to play a prank on someone on April Fools' Day, you want to pick something that isn't going to hurt them in some way, physically or emotionally. So, there are a few pranks you shouldn't do on April Fools' Day - but for some reason, they happen every year. Here's what not to do if you want to have an enjoyable Apr. 1!

1. Tell People You're Pregnant

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One common prank is telling other people that you're pregnant, or that your girlfriend/wife/friend is pregnant with your child. Here's why this prank is the worst: it plays on the emotions of the people who care about you in a serious way. Don't lie about something like pregnancy. It's not cool, and it's also insensitive to any woman trying to get pregnant who can't.

2. Tell Everyone You're Engaged

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If it seems like someone on your Facebook feed announces their fake "engagement" on April Fools' Day every year, you're not alone. This "joke" keeps happening, but it's not even funny. Again, you're playing on people's emotions, and it's just... weird.

3. Act Like The World Is Ending

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Back in 1940, the Franklin Institute Science Museum in Philadelphia thought it would be funny to prank everyone by having their spokesperson make a press release saying the world was ending. It caused widespread panic and he ended up getting fired. Don't try this, even on a smaller scale. Climate change is real! People are genuinely afraid of stuff like this. It's not funny to joke about it.

4. Fake An Illness or Death

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It shouldn't even need to be said, but seriously: don't try to prank people by faking a serious illness or acting like you died. It's not amusing to anyone, especially the people you're lying to and those who are going through illnesses.

5. Tell Your Partner You're Cheating

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Do yourself a favor and don't try to prank your significant other by telling them that you cheated on them. First of all, that's really, really mean. Second of all, what if it backfires and they end up admitting that they cheated as well? That's horrifying! This is just not a fun or funny joke in any way.

6. Potentially Mess With Someone's Job

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Playing pranks at the office can be a good way to make the day a little bit more exciting and less boring. But please make sure they're harmless. Don't try to do anything crazy that could potentially mess with someone's job, like something that affects their email, their work, or their reputation. It's just not worth it.

7. Tell Everyone You and Your Partner Broke Up

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There are many horror stories out there about what happens when you decide to prank your family and friends by saying you and your partner broke up. One is that you tell people that, and they start telling you how much they disliked the person in the first place. Not exactly what you were going for! This is another prank that just makes people upset for no reason, and it's not funny.

8. Make Someone Eat Something Dangerous

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It can be funny to prank people by making fruit or vegetables look like candy or desserts, so that when they bite into what they think is, say, a candy apple, they discover it's actually a candied onion. But it's not funny if you're making them eat something that could make them sick. Also, be weary of food allergies if you're going to do something like this.

9. Play On Their Worst Fears

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Any joke that plays on someone's biggest fears isn't going to be funny to them. For example, if your friend is deathly afraid of spiders, don't plant fake ones all over her car and expect her to still want to talk to you at the end of the day. If your mom is always worried you're going to get in a car accident, don't call her pretending you just got in one. That stuff just isn't nice, plain and simple.