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The Best April Fools’ Day Office Pranks Anyone Can Pull Off

You don’t have to be the office jokester to partake in these funny office pranks on the big day!

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April Fools Day written on grey pegboard, jester hat decorates the lettering on gray background.
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Hilarious office pranks your co-workers will love

Playing April Fools’ pranks at work can be tricky … but oh-so-worth-it when you get it right. The best office pranks are ones that (obviously) won’t get you fired, or even close to it. But at the same time, you still want something that makes people laugh enough or confuses people enough to merit “prank” status and not fall flat.

We’ve rounded up 20 of our favorite funny office pranks to try this April Fools’ Day. If you’re not sure whether your co-workers will be good sports about this, maybe opt for these funny pranks to play on your parents or try these funny text pranks on your friends instead.

When is a good time to pull an office prank?

Make no mistake about it: There’s an art to pranking, and a big part of that is knowing when (and where) to pull a prank. Lunch break? Could be a major hit. That super important all-staff meeting in the conference room? Maybe not the best idea.

Of course, the appropriateness of these office pranks will also depend on the atmosphere at your workplace—you may be better off telling April Fools’ Day jokes in the break room. But if you know an April Fools’ office prank will be the perfect way to get your co-workers to laugh more and have a little fun together, we’ve got you covered.

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a goldfish floating in water for an office april fools prank
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Gone fishing

This is a great office April Fools’ prank because they’ll never see it coming. And hey, who wouldn’t want to open a boring, old filing cabinet and find it filled with colorful fish? Actually, don’t answer that. Instead, find out how to pull it off:

Step 1: Remove the files from a frequently used filing cabinet.

Step 2: Line the drawer with a thick-ish plastic lining.

Step 3: Fill it with water, and place goldfish inside. If that’s too messy, place a small tank filled with fish in the drawer.

Step 4: Close the drawer and wait for your colleagues to find their new office pets.

For something with a little less effort (and upkeep), try one of these April Fools’ Day pranks you can pull off on Facebook.

small silver portable radio on gray background
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“I hear voices”

“Do you hear something?” “No, I don’t hear anything.” “You sure?” “Yeah, I’m sure.” Liar! You hear something—a radio playing. And you know you hear it because you’re the one who set up this trick! Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Find a small radio, set it to a station guaranteed to irk any sane person and put the volume on low.

Step 2: Remove a ceiling tile from above your victim’s desk.

Step 3: Hide the radio inside, then replace the tile.

Step 4: Keep denying that you hear any noise. “No, I still don’t hear anything. You sure you’re OK?”

Not quite your style? Try this list of the perfect pranks to pull based on your zodiac sign for something that will be right up your alley.

multiple outfits hang on a clothes rack against a gray background
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Outfit parade

Attention, fashionistas! Mess with a co-worker’s head by bringing in multiple outfits and changing your clothes every 30 minutes or so. It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3.

Step 1: Bring multiple outfits to the office.

Step 2: Change your outfit every 30 minutes, making sure the same co-workers see you wearing each outfit.

Step 3: When they ask what’s up, give them one of those, What’s wrong with you? looks. Then, change your outfit again.

Back at home, choose which of these funny April Fools’ pranks to play on your kids.

hand holding a horn on gray background
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Sound the horns!

With most office pranks, you have to hover nearby to know when someone’s been victimized. But with air horns, you’ll definitely know when someone’s been punked. This is a terrific prank for quiet offices—and also the perfect trick to pull on someone who has the office that should have been yours.

Step 1: Remove the office-door bumper.

Step 2: Replace it with an air horn. Make sure the air-horn knob is situated where the door will hit it.

Step 3: Shut the door, ensuring your victim will open it.

Step 4: Cover your ears when you spot your victim about to open the door.

For a more subtle way to make people laugh, check out this list of the funniest jokes.

Women's white underwear on white background
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“I believe these are yours?”

It started when we were kids—that dreaded fear of one’s underwear being exposed. Here’s how to exploit the anxiety with a funny office prank:

Step 1: Find a pair of old granny bloomers.

Step 2: Tear a few holes, and muss them up a bit.

Step 3: Write your co-worker’s name in them.

Step 4: Leave on the bathroom floor.

Warning: Save office pranks like this for co-workers who don’t get embarrassed easily. And, of course, if your pranks didn’t go over well last year, you may want to rethink trying again this year so they don’t cross the line into unprofessional work habits.

Directly Above Of Computer Keyboard On Table
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Ghost typing

Here’s a fun way to slowly drive the guy or gal in the next cubicle insane. Write or rewrite whatever they’re working on without them knowing who’s doing it. Here’s what to do:

Step 1: Thread your keyboard wire under the cubicle wall.

Step 2: Plug it into the victim’s computer.

Step 3: When you hear them type, that’s your cue to type too.

Step 4: Keep it simple at first—one keystroke or so, making them backspace and delete a few times. Then go for it.

Bonus points if you set up specific keyboard shortcuts to really mess with them.

open sleeve of Chocolate sandwich cookies for april fools prank
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Snack-time surprise

Work in an office where food is always in the kitchen? You can use that to your advantage on April Fools’ Day!

Step 1: Buy a pack of Oreos, then carefully twist the halves apart and scrape off the creamy inside.

Step 2: Eat the creamy inside yourself. (Optional, but highly recommended.)

Step 3: Squirt a dab of mint toothpaste on one half, and place the other half over it.

Step 4: Leave a tray of cookies where everyone will see it.

After your office pals fall for this prank, make peace by sharing these funny April Fools’ Day memes.

Upside down Glass Of Water Aprils Fools Prank
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The upside-down glass of water

This is an office prank that could get messy, so beware!

Step 1: Fill a glass with water.

Step 2: Place a thin piece of cardboard over the lip of the glass.

Step 3: Holding the cardboard tightly over the glass, turn it over and quickly place the upside-down glass in the middle of your victim’s desk.

Step 4: Carefully slide out the cardboard to remove it. Be a nice prankster and move paper and valuables out of harm’s way.

Step 5: Watch your victim figure out how to turn the glass over without causing a tsunami.

Just make sure this prank doesn’t end up like these April Fools’ pranks that went terribly wrong.

A simple white wall clock above a sunny window, in the afternoon
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“I’m waiting …”

This one may be the cruelest trick of all: Don’t pull off any office pranks on the big day. Yep, you read that right. This non-prank prank is easy:

Step 1: Leave cryptic notes warning that the big one is coming.

Step 2: Every so often, cast a furtive eye toward your victim, smirk ever so slightly, then continue with your work.

Step 3: At the end of the day, tell them they’ve been fooled.

Then, take a break and laugh over these funny work cartoons that will get you through the week.

Christmas gift wrapping materials on a white table
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All wrapped up

Because who doesn’t love getting a present (or 20) wrapped up with a big bow? It’s like Christmas came early! Here’s how to pull off this silly office prank:

Step 1: Get to the office early, armed with wrapping paper, scissors and tape.

Step 2: Choose your victim’s desk (carefully!).

Step 3: Wrap up all their office supplies using your tools. We’re talking every single pen and paperclip box. Bonus points if you wrap up their computer, monitor, mouse and entire desk!

doors from toilets
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Bathroom break

This easy office prank requires little effort but is sure to get a ton of laughs. Here’s what to do:

Step 1: Print out some hilarious memes.

Step 2: Tape them to the inside of the bathroom-stall door.

Step 3: When a co-worker goes to use the restroom, they’ll swing the door shut—and voila! A silly meme is there to greet them while on the toilet.

Group of small balloons
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It’s a party

This prank may require a partner in crime … and one with a lot of lung capacity, at that! Filling a conference room with balloons is no easy feat, but it sure is an easy way to get your co-workers to laugh.

Step 1: Buy a pack of multicolored balloons.

Step 2: Blow, blow, blow!

Step 3: Watch as people attempt to enter the conference room—only to find it occupied by something very different.

Note: If you have a very important meeting in the big conference room scheduled on April Fools’ Day, this may not be the best idea.

Halloween black spider
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Spider, man!

No actual spider will be harmed (or even required) in the making of this prank. All you’ll need is a cup, a pen and some spooky words to execute this April Fools’ office prank.

Step 1: Write a note on a paper cup. Something like, “Beware! Big spider underneath—only lift when ready to squash.”

Step 2: Place the cup on your co-worker’s desk.

Step 3: Knock it over to make it look like the spider escaped.

Step 4: Watch as your co-worker frantically searches their immediate work area for the imaginary missing spider.

Break out the cellphone camera for this one! And check out these other prank videos for more laughs and inspiration.

Skittles candy on the table, colorful sweet candy background
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Sweet surprise

This office prank is as sweet as it is silly. Because really, what can go wrong with a candy-covered prank?

Step 1: Clear out a co-worker’s desk drawer.

Step 2: Line it with a plastic bag.

Step 3: Fill it to the brim with the candy of your choice—preferably something easy to scoop in and out, like M&Ms.

Step 4: Watch as your co-worker opens their drawer and finds a sweet surprise.

Hopefully they’ll share!

spilled cup of coffee
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Spill in aisle 4!

It would be horrible if those very important documents got soaked with coffee right before the big meeting, wouldn’t it? Give your co-workers an office fright by faking spilled coffee.

Step 1: Get your hands on a fake coffee spill. (Bonus: This is a gag gift that can be used again and again.)

Step 2: Set it up on a pile of important documents.

Step 3: Step away from the scene of the crime, and watch your co-workers’ reactions.

Red jello mold
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“What’s in that Jell-O?”

Are there any fans of The Office here? If you’re a Dunder Mifflin aficionado, chances are you know all about Jim’s famous prank, when he put all Dwight’s office supplies in Jell-O. Simple to execute … messy for your victim to clean up. It very well may be the perfect April Fools’ office prank!

Step 1: Grab some office supplies off your co-worker’s desk. (We recommend a stapler, tape dispenser or something close to that size.)

Step 2: Make a bowl of Jell-O, placing the stolen office supply smack-dab in the middle of the clear bowl.

Step 3: Let cool and turn to proper Jell-O.

Step 4: Serve your delicious (and diabolical) gift, leaving it on your co-worker’s office desk for them to find. Surprise!

car key with remote control on blank textured red background
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The case of the missing keys

This simple but effective prank is sure to stop your co-workers in their tracks—literally. After all, how are they supposed to get home without their car keys?

Step 1: Snag a co-worker’s car keys.

Step 2: Tape them to the ceiling.

Step 3: Watch as your co-worker looks everywhere for their keys. Well, everywhere except right over their head.

Forget working from home—it looks like this co-worker will never leave the office!

modern white office desk table with laptop, smartphone and blank notebook and cup of coffee, flatlay, top view workspace, business
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Informal signature

Email signatures tell your recipient your job title, company name and contact information—you know, everything you need to get in touch when closing out a major deal. But what if, on April 1, it said something a little different? This is the perfect office prank to pull when a co-worker goes into a meeting or off to the bathroom.

Step 1: Open your co-worker’s email.

Step 2: Add something silly to their email signature, like “#1 Dog Dad.” Just make sure it’s not inappropriate or embarrassing enough that it could negatively affect their work.

This tip on how to unsend an email will come in handy!

Delicious Powdered Jelly Donut on a White Plate with a White Background
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Doughnut delight

Because who doesn’t get excited when they see a big box of doughnuts in the break room? With this April Fools’ office prank, though, their tasty treat is about to turn into a healthy but incredibly weird surprise.

Step 1: Buy a box of Boston Cream or jelly doughnuts.

Step 2: Remove the doughnuts (and maybe eat one or two, yourself).

Step 3: Stuff with veggies.

Step 4: Watch as your co-workers bite into their “treats.”

Transparent bubble wrap roll for packaging fragile items on white background
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What’s poppin’?

A quiet office is a productive office … but not on April Fools’ Day! Cause a co-worker to cause a ruckus by taping bubble wrap to their chair, desk and keyboard.

Step 1: Find some bubble wrap.

Step 2: Apply to any big surfaces of a co-worker’s desk.

Step 3: Watch as they’re momentarily stunned … and then start popping before removing the bubble wrap. (Who doesn’t love doing that?!)

Take April Fools’ Day (or any other day) to the next level with these funny numbers to prank call.

Additional reporting by Andy Simmons.

Lucie Turkel
Lucie Turkel is a lifestyle and culture writer covering the latest in holidays, books, movies and television, and e-commerce for RD.com. She graduated with an individualized major in Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies from the University of Connecticut.