12 Best April Fools’ Pranks Over Text to Play on Your Friends

Updated: Mar. 27, 2024

Not seeing your prankee in person? Luckily, we have the best April Fools' pranks over text!

Who couldn’t use a good laugh right about now? April 1 is a much-needed reprieve from the long and gloomy winter, giving us license to play April Fools’ pranks on our parents and silly practical jokes on our unsuspecting kids (like having them call these funny numbers to prank call). However, it’s not always possible to prank people in person. What’s the next best thing? April Fools’ text pranks!

We’ve rounded up some of the best April Fools’ pranks over text for everyone on your prankee list! There are just a few things to keep in mind. Some people will get a kick out of being fooled and laugh right along with you, but some may be put off, so choose your target wisely. And because you don’t know what your recipient’s reaction will be, let these pranks serve as inspiration; be ready to improvise and go with the flow.

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Unexpected spam

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Ever wanted to prank your friend with some classic spammy annoyance? Try mimicking those pesky bot messages by sending them a hilariously fake subscription text about anything (in this case, FUN FACTS). Block your number for that extra touch of mystery. Keep the messages rolling until you’ve got your friend scratching their head, then reveal that it was an April Fools’ prank and watch the laughter unfold!

You: Thank you for joining FUN FACTS! With this subscription, we’ll send you some of the coolest fun facts worldwide. To STOP, reply with STOP.

Them: STOP.

You: Thank you for continuing FUN FACTS! Did you know your nose gets warmer when you lie? To opt out of these messages, reply OPT OUT.

Them: OPT OUT.

You: Thank you for continuing FUN FACTS! Did you know that it’s impossible to sneeze with your eyes open?

Countdown to nothing

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Ready to keep your friend guessing all day long? Start by sending them a cryptic text like “5 hours left,” or wait until they message you before starting the countdown. Keep the suspense building hour by hour until the end of the day, and then hit them with the ultimate surprise: absolutely nothing! It’s the perfect twist ending to a day filled with anticipation and confusion.

You: 5 hours left.

Them: What do you mean?

You: You’ll see after 5 hours.


You (after 5 hours have passed): The countdown is now ending. Ready for the big reveal?

Them: Yes.

You: Hi!

Who is this?!

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To do this April Fools’ prank, wait for someone to text you. When you get a text from someone who is a good candidate for a joke, pretend you don’t know them. For inspiration, we’re pretending the person texted you to go for a walk, but you can play along with whatever subject comes up. Continue the ruse and try to convince them you don’t know them. Before it gets too heated, text them “April Fools!”

Them: Hey, whatcha doin’?

You: Not much. Who is this?

Them: What do you mean, who’s this? It’s me, Chloe! Wanna grab some coffee and go for a walk?

You: Chloe who? I don’t know anyone named Chloe.

Them: Stop messing with me! Do you want to grab a coffee or not?

You: Sorry, I’m not getting coffee with a complete stranger!

Keep them guessing

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Text a friend that you have something to tell them. Wait for them to respond, and then send a GIF of the texting dots—the familiar symbol that lets us know the person is typing their response. (It’s almost like sending an April Fools’ meme!) They’ll keep looking at the phone, anxiously waiting for what you’re about to confess. Once they take a closer look, they’ll realize it’s actually a GIF of the texting dots.

You: I know this is long overdue, but I really have to get this off my chest.

Them: Huh? What are you talking about?

You: Ugh. This is so hard. I don’t know where to begin.

Them: You’re freaking me out a little.

You: (GIF of texting dots …)

Them: C’mon. What is it? Can you just call me?


There’s something under the fridge!

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Here’s the gist: You’re home alone and there’s a “mouse” under the fridge. You text a member of the house, frightened. This April Fools’ text prank requires the “tail” of a rodent. It could be a toy rodent, a piece of frayed shoestring or something similar, as you won’t be taking a close-up of the “tail.” Position the “tail” under a cabinet, leaving a portion exposed. Text a picture of the tail to a member of your house, and let the fun unravel.

You: There’s something under the cabinet in the kitchen! What do I do?

Them: What is it?

You: I don’t know!

Them: Is it alive? Is it moving?

You: I can’t tell. I’m NOT going near it!!!

Them: Get a broom, and touch it to see if it moves.

You: No way! I’m not getting off this chair!

Them: I’ll try to get home as soon as I can.

You: (Text a selfie holding the “tail.”) HA! Got ya!

Breaking news!

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It’s the classic meme from 2008 that still has prankster power. Text your friends that something unbelievably crazy is happening in your town and include this “Breaking News” link for them to click.

Once they click the link, they’ll see a 2008 video of Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” instead of watching a breaking news story and realize they just got Rickrolled with a funny prank video!

You: Holy crap! You won’t believe the crazy stuff happening downtown right now! (Insert link)

Them: LOL! I can’t believe I fell for this! I just got Rickrolled!

Karma Karma Chameleons Daily

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An unsuspecting friend gets a text that they have subscribed to something outrageously ridiculous. To pull this off, you need to change your contact information to match the subscription service. For this example, let’s say the subscription service is Karma Karma Chameleons Daily. Don’t forget to change your contact photo to a chameleon for authenticity. And be sure to download one chameleon picture from Google to include in the final text.

You: Hey! Welcome to Karma Karma Chameleons Daily! We’re psyched you signed up to receive daily pics from the most unique and colorful chameleons of the world!

Them: I didn’t sign up for this.

You: These cute and irresistible chameleons won’t come and go—they’ll keep arriving daily!

Them: I don’t want these. Please stop texting.

You: Thank you for confirming your subscription to Karma Karma Chameleons Daily. Starting today, you’ll get pics of chameleons in their natural habitat doing what chameleons do!

Them: How do I cancel this? I did NOT subscribe!

You: We can’t thank you enough for subscribing. Here’s your first picture of a four-horned chameleon eating a live yummy mealworm!

I adore you

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This is one of the best April Fools’ pranks over text for your partner or spouse. For this prank, choose a love song with the lyrics nearby (unless you have them memorized) for the text exchange. In this example, we’re using the lyrics from the song “Adore You” by Harry Styles. This works best if you can work it into an existing conversation. Of course, their reaction may be slightly different than ours. Just keep texting the lyrics. If they don’t catch on, let them off the hook and say “April Fools!”

You: You don’t have to say you love me.

Them: But I do love you.

You: You don’t have to say nothing.

Them: OK.

You: You don’t have to say you’re mine, honey.

Them: OK, I guess. Where is this going?

You: I’d walk through fire for you. Just let me adore you.

You had one job!

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We’ve all been there—made an unintentional mistake at work and botched things up royally. Text a co-worker you’re chummy with for this April Fools’ text prank. Keep them on the edge of their seat guessing, building upon the “mistake” without actually telling them what you did.

You: I’m so fired.

Them: Oh, no! What happened?

You: I had one job. ONE job, and I totally blew it.

Them: lol ONE job! Wait. For real? What did you do?

You: A little voice inside me kept telling me it wasn’t right, but I did it anyway and now I’m toast.

You: What am I going to do? Should I tell the boss?

Them: Tell me what you did first!

You: Maybe I can cover my tracks. Ughh agony!

Them: Out with it. What the heck did you do???

You: I ate the boss’s yogurt from the fridge by accident. April Fools!

Delete the pic

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Choose a person who has a million friends and doesn’t go a day without posting at least one picture on social media. Next, change your contact information and delete your photo (if it appears with your contact info). Since the person has so many friends, they probably won’t be fazed that someone they might not even know that well is texting them. Text the person and ask them to delete a post that has a photo with you in it, but be vague about the details.

You: Hey! Sorry to be a buzzkill, but can you delete that photo of me from the group shot?

Them: ??? What photo?

You: You know, the one where we met up with everyone.

Them: Um … OK. But I’m not sure who you are???

You: I was the only one wearing blue! Plus I was taking a sip of my beer when someone snapped the pic. It just looks bad. Can you delete … like now plz?!

Them: I guess … maybe? I don’t even know who you are!

Broken-screen wallpaper

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We had to include this idea as one of the best April Fools’ pranks over text. You just have to get your hands on the other person’s phone to pull it off. Once you have their phone, change their wallpaper to a picture of a cracked phone screen. Do a Google search for an image. Make the photo even more realistic by fine-tuning the search for a cracked screen on Android or iPhone and the phone carrier. If you want to witness the person’s reaction when they see the cracked screen, text them when you are nearby. Your friend will be stumped and wonder how their phone got cracked, but they’ll realize it is fake soon enough.

Hilarious text replacement

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OK, this one requires some coordination—but if you can pull it off, the results are beyond funny. Next time you’re with your prankee, snag their phone and find their text replacement settings (here’s how to find them in an iPhone). Then, choose a word you want to replace with another word, set it up in their phone and let chaos ensue. Try choosing a popular word, like “hey” or “yeah,” to replace with a funny word, like “pickles.” That way, when they text one word, the other will pop up instead! Example:

You: Hey! Are you free tonight?

Them: Pickles (trying to respond “yeah”)

You: … what?

Them: That’s weird, I meant to say pickles

Them: Pickles


You: What is happening right now lol

The jig has to be up eventually, though—after a bit, text them “April Fools!” and help them remove that text replacement and resume normal text conversations.

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Reader’s Digest has been telling jokes for more than 100 years, curated and reviewed over the last 20 years by Senior Features Editor Andy Simmons, a humor editor formerly of National Lampoon and the author of Now That’s Funny. We’ve earned prestigious ASME awards for our humor—including comical quips, pranks, puns, cartoons, one-liners, knock-knock jokes, riddles, memes, tweets and stories in laugh-out-loud magazine columns such as “Life in These United States,” “All in a Day’s Work,” “Laughter Is the Best Medicine” and “Humor in Uniform,” as well as online collections such as short jokesdad jokes and bad jokes so bad, they’re great. You can find a century of humor in our 2022 compendium, Reader’s Digest: Laughter, the Best Medicine. Read more about our team, our contributors and our editorial policies.

Also, don’t forget to check this list of other holidays and observances in April.