Happy April Fools’ Day! Did you get pranked? If so, you’re in good company. Check out these infamous pranks from history:
1. The Trojan Horse
In my opinion, those Trojans were way too trusting. Really? You thought the Greek army just gave up and sailed away, leaving you a victory present to boot? Are “victory presents” even a thing? Not anymore, I’m guessing. Lesson learned: always look a gift horse in the mouth.
2. D.B. Cooper
D.B. Cooper was one stylish prankster. In 1971 the guy hijacked an airplane, took $200,000 in ransom, then made his exit via parachute. He’s never been found, and according to this sketch, he looks exactly like Jimmy Stewart. That would’ve made a great Hitchcock film. I think D.B. must stand for Da Badass. He’s got to be living it up in South America, right?
3. The Boston Tea Party
Oh, Boston. Your bro culture once inspired the birth of a nation, back when people still cared about tea. When the Sons of Liberty donned Mohawk costumes and started tea-bagging Boston Harbor, was anyone sober? And did those disguises really fool anybody? Or was it like when Clark Kent cleans his glasses and everyone pretends to look away? Hilarious, bro.
4. The Lumière Brothers’ Dynamic Film
People have always been freaked out by new technology, like when I tried to teach my Dad how to use iTunes. Did you know that when movies were first invented, people found them terrifying? At the premiere of the Lumière Brothers’ L'arrivée d'un train en gare de La Ciotat (Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat), much of the audience ran out of the theater screaming. The film? Footage of a train entering a station, moving towards the camera. I know: public transit is a nightmare.
5. Joan of Arc
Whether you believe she received visions from God or think she was just another teenage girl looking for attention, you've got to admit: Joan had guts. A poor peasant girl leading the French army to victory? Who would’ve seen that coming? Joanie wore male armor so her fellow soldiers wouldn’t hit on her, and has since become the patron saint of drag kings (I’m assuming). Sure, the whole burned-at-the-stake thing wasn’t great, but hey, sometimes pranks turns ugly.
Get this: the ancient Druids put a bunch of rocks in a circle, and it’s mystified people for hundreds of years. I suspect that this was the world’s first tourist trap, an attraction to lure people out into the middle of nowhere and boost the ancient Druids’ bed and breakfast industry. Does that sound stupid? Well, you know what else sounds stupid? Rocks in a circle. Rocks. In. A. Circle.
7. Oops! All Berries
The Cap’n Crunch cereal factory experienced manufacturing mishaps resulting in boxes of all Crunch Berries in 1997, 2008, 2009, and again in 2010. The origin of this catastrophe remains a mystery, but fortunately Quaker Oats was able to think on its feet. Oops! All Berries has gone down in history as a moment that could have destroyed a giant food corporation, but instead revolutionized marketing. Truly, the joke is on us for not trusting the Cap’n to make it happen.
Credit: Flickr user stevendepolo. Used with a Creative Commons license.