Some people go all out for April Fools' Day, staging the kind of elaborate pranks that require days, if not weeks, of planning. Then there are those of us who winds up searching for April Fools' Day pranks to play on Facebook the night of March 31, because planning ahead takes way too much effort. But your prankster procrastination doesn't mean you can't successfully pull the wool over your friends' virtual eyes.
The nature of social media is that we take things at face value — when has anyone ever lied on the internet? — so playing pranks on Facebook is almost too easy. A true prankster, however, won't settle for the usual fake pregnancy or relationship announcements. (Those were played out in 2007. Please stop.) This year is your chance to get creative, so even cynical Facebook veterans will believe your prank.
Some Facebook pranks are actually so successful they wind up on the news. A personal favorite is Ryan Roy's profile picture mimicry; back in 2013, he explained on Reddit that he would search for people with his same name, recreate their profile picture, and friend them on Facebook. Despite clearly being the work of a genius, people did not take it well.
So will your prank end up in the April Fools' Hall of Unofficial Fame this year? Only time will tell. Here are nine pranks to get you inspired.
1Get A Fake Tattoo
People post about their tattoos all the time — honestly, it's pretty much required — so take April 1 as the opportunity to announce a "new" tattoo to your Facebook friends. You have a couple options here: If you're an artist or happen to know one, you can draw a deliberately poor-quality tattoo on yourself. Otherwise, you could head to the nearest purveyor of fake tattoos and pick out the tackiest you can find.
Next, slap a filter on a photo of the tattoo and share it to Facebook. Be sure to pretend you're super excited about the tattoo, and watch as the comment section fills up with awkward congratulations.
2Photoshop Nicolas Cage Into Your Profile Picture
Photoshopping actor-turned-living-meme Nicolas Cage into things has become a time-honored tradition. For April Fools' Day this year, edit your profile picture to include
3Move To Canada
Did you threaten to move to Canada after the results of the 2016 election? Create a life event saying you moved to the land of hockey and politeness, preferably blaming some recent political mishap. For added verisimilitude, round up a few moving boxes and Instagram your "packing" process. Keep up the charade as long as you feel like it, or until your mom calls in a panic.
4Like Everything Someone's Ever Posted
For those truly dedicated to the art of annoyance, choose a victim and like as many of their photos and posts that you can stomach. If you want to be truly irritating, start from their first post or photo on Facebook, and be sure to comment on the more embarrassing stuff so it shows up in other people's news feeds. Just try and choose someone you know well, so you know your relationship will withstand the strain of the prank.
5Change Your (Or Someone Else's) Birthday
It's simple but guaranteed to confuse people: Sometime before the end of March, change your birthday to Apr. 1. Watch as your profile is flooded with well-wishes. To add another layer to the prank, change someone else's birthday without their knowledge if they leave themselves logged into Facebook while you're around.
6Pretend You Met Someone Famous
Mashable came up with this prank: Find a fan-encounter photo of someone famous and post it to Facebook, claiming you randomly met the celebrity/artist/politician on the street. You'll definitely get called out, but it's harmless fun while it lasts.
7Tag A Friend In Irrelevant Photos
Facebook lets you tag other people in photos, which is useful when someone forgets to tag your BFF in an Instagram where they look super cute. It's even more useful on Apr. 1, when you can tag your BFF in a bunch (but not too many) random Facebook photos where they're not actually present. Better yet, pick a random category of object, like a sock or a hat, so the tagging is consistent.
8Write Up A Caricature Status
Esquire wrote about this particularly brilliant prank, and having been the victim of it before, I can say with certainty that it works. If you can find a way to log into someone's Facebook account, post a status that seems normal on the surface, but slightly exaggerates your victim's attributes. "Are they generally upbeat and full of vim? Then make them look like a nauseating narcissist," Esquire explains. The result is pure, reasonably plausible genius.
9Pretend You Took A Mini-Vacay
If you have vacation photos you've never posted to Facebook, now is the time to put them out there. Pretend you decided to take a spontaneous vacation somewhere amazing, complete with photographic evidence. Nobody needs to know the photos are from 2014.