While April Fools’ Day pranksters might just be looking for a bit of fun, these stunts proved to be no laughing matter.
InsideEdition.com is taking a look at some April Fools’ Day gags that quickly went awry.
Firecracker Prank Goes Up In Smoke
On April 1, 2015, students at an apartment complex near Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan, were victims of a prank gone wrong.
According to the captain of the Allendale Fire Department, some female college students were joking around and tossed a lit firecracker at another roommate. The firecracker landed on a hamper full of clothes, sparking a fire inside the apartment.
The building was evacuated and no one was hurt. Students were able to return the apartment a few days after the incident.
No charges were brought in the incident.
Be Careful What You Tweet
The social media staff at a British police department found themselves in hot water when a series of April Fools’ tweets offended parents whose children were incarcerated in 2015.
The Greater Manchester Police in Radcliffe tweeted:
Know someone in prison? You can get them released early by voting for them on here .The prisoners with the most votes also wins a holiday.— GMP Radcliffe (@GMPRadcliffe) March 31, 2015
Later in the day, the police tweeted an apology after uproar from locals who took offense to the gag.
Regarding the April Fool prank this morning if i upset or distressed anyone i sincerely apologise.— GMP Radcliffe (@GMPRadcliffe) April 1, 2015
Fake Pregnancy Announcement Ends With Fists Flying
In 2012, a teenager secretly hid cameras in his bedroom and sat his parents down the day before they headed on a family ski vacation. He told them his girlfriend was pregnant and they were going to be grandparents.
He wrote on his YouTube page: “I held their hands and asked them if they loved me, to my dismay they said yes and I said I got my girlfriend pregnant and then buried my head in my hands and began to fake cry.”
He added on YouTube: “I was surprised how calm they were even though they had no idea it was a prank, I felt bad so I ended the prank quickly and as my mom was telling me "remember how I told you we would be there for you no matter what?" I said "yeah but it’s a good thing it’s April Fool’s Day!"
He says his mother did not take kindly to the joke and smacked him to the ground and ordered her husband to “beat him up.”
The video has been viewed almost two million times on YouTube and even landed the teen on The Tonight Show a year later.
The Barber Who Took Off More Than Hair
In 1980, an Ohio barber named George Biko went to work on April 1 and wanted to surprise the customers, passersby and locals in the best way he knew how – by working shirtless and with a bowtie around his neck.
According to reports, he put a sign in the window that read: “Topless Stylist on Duty Today.” The incident caused so much traffic to back up within the city of Columbus that the state’s barber licensing board had to come down and check on the situation.
Biko told The Wilmington Morning Star newspaper at the time: “He decided to inspect me, and look for topless girls. All he found was me, without my shirt on. He said that wasn’t a violation... It was fun. I guess. My business was more than double for a usual Tuesday.”
There’s Something in the Water… Or Is There?
On April 1, 2002, a pair of Kansas City radio DJ’s pulled off a prank that showed the power of the airwaves.
Johnny Dare and Murphy Wells announced on air that the water in nearby Olathe had high levels of a “naturally occurring substance” known as dihydrogen monoxide. The side effects of the substance included sweating, urination and pruney skin.
The substance, dihydrogen monoxide, is the chemistry term for H2O or water. Meaning, there was no substance anyone needed to be afraid of.
More than 150 concerned citizens called into the water department and more than two dozen called 911. A city official thought it was a “terrorist act.”
The radio station issued an apology and pulled the plug on the gag.
City Manager Michael Wilkes called the joke irresponsible and said it jeopardized public safety.
Drunk Driving Is Nothing to Ever Joke About
In 2015, Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin thought it would be funny to tweet that he was caught drinking and driving on April Fools’ Day.
Before this hits the media I just wanna apologize to my fans and the @Seahawks organization once again. I made a terrible decision b driving— Bruce Irvin (@BIrvin_WVU11) April 1, 2015
After I had a few drinks. I will do everything to get ur trust back and will become a better person after this.— Bruce Irvin (@BIrvin_WVU11) April 1, 2015
After about a half hour, Irvin tweeted that it was a gag.
How many of yall thought I was serious ?! Haha April fools!!!— Bruce Irvin (@BIrvin_WVU11) April 1, 2015
Irvin was slammed with nasty tweets from fans for his actions and later had to apologize.
Ok it was a joke didn't meant to disrespect anybody. Damn relax— Bruce Irvin (@BIrvin_WVU11) April 1, 2015
I apologize to all the 12's and my wvu fam if I offended u didn't mean to at all. So yea that's pretty much all the people that matter.— Bruce Irvin (@BIrvin_WVU11) April 1, 2015
I'm banning myself from Twitter the rest of day. U trolls have fun killing my mentions i got work to do— Bruce Irvin (@BIrvin_WVU11) April 1, 2015
When A Prank Sparks International Uproar
One of the most surprising April Fools’ pranks to ever be pulled off came in 1986 when Israel’s state-run radio reported that Lebanese Muslim leader Nabih Berri had been killed.
The hoax was planted by an Israeli intelligence leader who wanted to watch the news spread across the radio and to trick then Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin. While it was intended to be a joke, it triggered an international uproar.
The announcement of Berri’s death was then picked up by his country’s state radio, which reported the news on their airwaves.
Once it was revealed that the report was a prank, the radio stations of both countries had to retract the story. There were also apologies from all sides for the misinformation.
The intelligence officer, who was never identified, was threatened with court martial.
Despite apologies from Israeli heads of state, spokespeople for Berri condemned the prank and Israel.