2011’s Best April Fools Web Pranks


However fun it may be to shrilly shout “APRIL FOOLS!” as many times as possible today, our favorite part of this holiday will always be the onslaught of clever jokes the internet delivers us. Although some lame sites aren’t participating in the irreverent fun (talk to the hand, nytimes.com!), this year’s turning out to be one of our favorites. In the grand tradition of sharing the laughs, we’ve rounded up the best jokes the internet has to offer for the occasion and given them completely arbitrary, made-up awards after the jump. Be sure to link us to your picks in the comments.

Best “Party Like It’s 1999” Prank

Hulu is channeling AOL 3.0 for the day and has taken on a front page that just screams Geocities chic: scrolling banners with flashing text, big promos for “The X-Files” and “Murder One,” and a waiting screen before any video it plays that hisses and screeches those glorious modem-connection noises from the internet’s not-so-distant stone age.

Best Hurr Durr Prurrnk

Every square inch of Urlesque has been conquered by the Lord of the Hurr Durrs, and, what’s more, they’ve launched hurrdurr.it so the same can be said for any website you choose. For the record, we will be doing this all day.

Best “I Want to Go to There” Prank

Wanderfly‘s got one-day-only deals on some excursions we’ve just been dying to take: the quaint town of Charlie Sheen’s Brain, USA, the scenic Jersey Shore (via the GTL airport), and, our favorite, Mom’s house.

Best “Is This Really a Prank?” Prank

Finally, the Angry Birds follow up we’ve been waiting for: Happy Owls! We rushed to check if Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of GaHoole” was also a prank, but it turns out we were pushing our luck on that one.

Best Pet Pun Prank

April Fools’ Day took The Webbys’ Netted and gave us one better, Petted: the Internets’ premier objective source on the textural quality and overal awesomeness of petting the world’s cutest animals. We even submitted a William Carlos Williams poem we thought was relevant to the cause — not many people know that the big guy was actually a prolific kitten and bunny petter.

Best Repeat Prank

We’re kind of bored with Rebecca Black now that her 15 minutes have spanned epochs, but we’ve got to hand it to FunnyOrDie’s FridayOrDie, featuring Rebecca Black’s “Betwixt The Music” and other sketches starring the viral tween. Following up last year’s BieberOrDie definitely isn’t an easy thing to do.

Best “Gotcha Liberal Media” Prank

The perpetually funny someecards is spoofing the NY Times paywall today with their announcement of a reverse paywall: for every site you visit that is not someecards, you’ll be charged “a nominal and deeply annoying fee.” Oh, Internet. You’re too much sometimes.

Best Font Nerd Prank

Be careful if you Google “Helvetica” today: the search engine will give you all your results in Comic Sans, which is, as everyone knows, cruise control for typographical cool. Definitely our favorite of the gaggle of 2011 hoaxes.

Honorable mentions: Google Autocompleter job posting; Yelp Rent-A-Puppy; Jezebel’s new Daily Fail columnist announcement; Serious Eats’ new sites, Serious Wheats, Serious Teets, and — wait for it — Serious Beets