April Fools’ Day marks the day when people play jokes on each other (like using fake spiders and whoopee cushions such as these on Amazon), but you can agree that it is not always a cup of tea for everyone. Whether you’ve had a long stressful day or your day is just starting, you might not enjoy being the butt of someone’s practical joke, just because the calendar says, April 1st! So what to do if you have April Fools’ Day jokes and pranks?
I hate April Fools’ Day jokes and pranks just like most people do at some point or another. But, in reality, most people are just kidding and can enjoy a prank even at their own expense on April 1st. The main thing is that jokes and pranks should be within reason, or they lose comedic appeal.
This day gets on the nerves of many especially looking at the kind of jokes that people tend to release nowadays. However, most people can laugh off a joke, if it’s reasonable. Though I’m more less inclined to pull good pranks, I still try, to the chagrin of my family.
In this article, I’ll highlight some history about April Fools’ Day and why most people have a love and hate relationship with it.
April Fools’ Day- An Overview
April Fools’ Day occurs on April 1st each year. This is a day for playing (and receiving) jokes and pranks. But what’s the history behind this particularly nuisance holiday?
One of the earliest accounts of April Fools’ Day is possibly from Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales in 1392. In this compilation of tales, Chaucer writes about something occurring on March 32nd. Well, of course, there wasn’t and still isn’t a ‘March 32nd’, so some speculate that Chaucer meant ‘April 1st’, his April Fools’ prank.
Though it’s speculation about Chaucer’s April Fools’ prank, others give credence to April Fools’ history in the mid-1500s. This was when the Catholic Church switched calendars from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian, moving the new year from March (Julian) to January 1st (Gregorian).
Apparently word came late to some (no Facebook then!), so those who continued to celebrate the new year at the old time (last week of March into April 1st) became the jokes of others.
It truly seems the origins of April Fools’ is somewhat muddy, and that seems appropriate given the context. Regardless, it’s known worldwide and even a national holiday in one country (that’s you, Ukraine!).
In countries around the world, pranks and jokes occur every April 1st. This makes April Fools’ quite an international phenomenon, really.
Ways April Fools’ Day is Celebrated Globally:
- Paper fishes are stuck on the backs of targets in both France and Italy. With a play on the English word ‘fools’ and French for ‘fish’, kids call out ‘Poisson d’Avril!’, which means ‘April fish!’
- In the United Kingdom, April Fools’ pranks occur but it’s expected mainly by kids and to be over by noon.
- The Scottish make two days out of the April Fools’ fun. While they observe April 1st like others around the world, they also do a ‘tailie day’ of sticking tails on each other on April 2nd. This makes me think of the ‘pin the tail on the donkey’ childhood game!
- Like the US, Brazilians pull jokes and pranks all day long on April 1st. And the news and entertainment world get in on the fun, too. So, if you find yourself in Brazil on April 1st, don’t pay too much attention to what you hear online or on TV that day!
Everyone Hates April Fools’ Day (Sometimes)
Though there is research that supports using humor for depression, stressful situations, and even scary events, it can be taken too far. So what is it about April Fools’ that makes some people hate it?
If you hate April Fools’, it is safe to say that you are not alone. Many people are not fans because it can be a hard day to get through. While jokes and pranks can often be funny, they can just as likely be annoying, crude, and a nuisance, causing a lot of people to want to move on to April 2nd.
Reason Number 1 that People hate April Fools’: The pranks and jokes are inconvenient!
For instance, while a teacher at my last school, I once witnessed an April Fools’ prank example of this. A co-worker came into her classroom right at 8AM, running late as usual, on April 1st to find that her entire desk was saran-wrapped! Truly, it felt like a Jim-Dwight moment from The Office. From her swivel chair to her stapler, everything was covered in sticky, plastic wrap. And she was not laughing, not even a smirk! After spending too much time unwrapping her items, she flew off an email to ‘all staff’ relaying her dissatisfaction of being the butt of the “joke” and inconvenience it caused for her morning, not to mention the disruption of instruction for her students (and of course, with testing coming up, she reminded us all that her “kiddos didn’t have education time to waste”). Needless to say, it’s memorable for all staff to this day, and no one ‘fessed up to pulling that one!
And there are other examples of April Fools jokes that should be avoided because they are too inconvenient or a nuisance. For instance, letting the air out of tires might seem like a funny prank, but causing someone to be late for work is not!
Also, switching someone’s decaf coffee with a caffeinated kind is not funny, since it’s likely to cause a big effect in their sleep routine that day!
Reason Number 2 that People hate April Fools’: The pranks and jokes are mean!
Often people who pull pranks and jokes on April 1st do it as an excuse to be mean or rude to someone. Whether it’s to get back on them for something they did, or some passive-aggressive attempt to one-up someone, mean jokes on April 1st are quite prevalent, unfortunately.
Mean Jokes usually make fun of someone’s appearance or personality, and while that’s ‘mean’, sometimes these April Fools’ ‘mean jokes’ go even farther! Some people actually use April 1st to pull a prank about relationships or health.
They’ll try to make someone think their relationship is over or that their significant other is having an affair. I’ve even heard of mean jokes that make someone think they’ve destroyed property or have cancer! None of that is actually funny for the target.
Even if an April Fools’ joke makes a few people laugh, that doesn’t mean that the joke is actually funny (or fun), especially if it hurts someone.
One particular mean April Fools’ Day prank that comes to my mind was a viral video where someone pretended the target won the lottery. They had a fake lotto card printed and let the recipient think they won. After several long minutes of watching the target celebrate, they finally explained it ‘April Fools.’ This was simply excruciating to watch and not the least bit funny!
If you’re April Fools’ joke or prank hurts someone’s feelings or them physically, then it’s mean and you shouldn’t do it! A good gauge is to ask yourself, ‘how would you feel about it being played on you?’
Reason Number 3 that People hate April Fools’: The pranks and jokes are boring!
On April Fools’ Day, some people just feel compelled to pull a prank or joke, even if they aren’t actually funny people or have a good sense of humor. So while one reason to hate April Fools is because of mean jokes, another reason is that too often the jokes are just boring and un-funny!
Sometimes people make up stories that are boring and the joke falls flat. Other times the jokester can’t really pull off the joke so the target figures it out early, again causing the joke or prank to fail.
We’re all familiar with the silly dad (or mom) jokes, too. So cheesy jokes on April 1st can just get to be a day full of dad (and mom) jokes that you just want to be done. If you attend a comedy show and the jokes are bad, you can just walk out early, but on April 1st, you can’t walk out. You have to endure the bad humor until, well, April 2nd!
Reason Number 4 that People hate April Fools’: The media gets involved!
The fact that the media is also taking part in April Fools’ day means that most people are aware of the happenings of this day. Therefore, there are few people you can joke with on this day because they’re ‘ready for it’
Another problem with media getting involved is that many companies and brands use it for advertising. Doing April Fools’ pranks means free publicity to them, which takes the fun out for many people.
But of course, most of us don’t really hate April Fools Day all the time.
Sometimes the jokes are actually funny! Sometimes it’s nice to break up the boredom of the day and add in some doses of humor. This is especially true if the jokes are in good taste, not hurtful or harmful, and not too much of a nuisance.
I think you might also enjoy reading these related holiday articles after this one:
- Who Needs April Fools’ Day? (Everyone!)
- I Hate Christmas Shopping Reasons and Tips
- What to Do If You Think ‘I Hate 4th of July’ (Explained)
People Say ‘I Hate Pranks’ Mean ‘I Hate Pranks On Me’
Even though pranks can be great and make life less serious, it is good to note that they are not everyone’s favorite way to spend their day, especially if the prank is on them. Even when the pranks are lighthearted, some people cannot stand them, which is okay since everyone has their personality. Most people hate pranks if on the receiving end!
People who hate pranks really mean they hate pranks on them. Targets of pranks usually react by screaming, jumping, or crying and sometimes all three. Rarely do targets of pranks laugh. Usually the only people laughing from pranks are the people who pulled them.
To some extent, pranks are a mean or cruel way to get laughs. It makes sense then that most people hate pranks played on themselves.
Pranks are one example of ‘it’s better to give than receive’.
Because some pranks cause such emotional reactions it can be seen as emotional abuse. Some people even get hurt physically, even if the prankster didn’t intend that.
So on April 1st, also known as ‘April Fools Day’, some people will execute pranks of all kinds in order to get laughs, but for it to really be funny, it’s wise to consider the prank and make sure it’s reasonable. If you think there’s a high potential for someone to be hurt, it’s best to avoid that kind of prank.
Wrapping Up Why I hate April Fools’ Day Jokes and Pranks
To wrap it up, most people can take a joke, especially on a well-known ‘joke’ day like April Fools Day. However, good jokes and pranks should not cause major inconvenience, harm, or hurt people.
While some jokes are best avoided even if they’re just boring, the important thing to remember about April Fools jokes and pranks is to keep them reasonable.
I recommend reading these related holiday articles next: