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April Fools' Plot

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APRIL FOOLS! What's up with that?!

Utahraptor: Hey, T-Rex!
T-Rex: Hey! Don't try to trick me!
Utahraptor: Huh? Oh, April Fool's. No, I just wanted some help moving something heavy.
T-Rex: Sorry, I'm busy.
Utahraptor: Oh. [beat] OK.
[Utahraptor leaves]
T-Rex: April Fool's.

Ah... April the first. It is the day where everyone can pull tricks at someone without worry. It is the time of the year where you let yourself loose and have light-hearted fun.

Some works will have plots based on April Fools' Day, much like the Christmas Episode. Plots will revolve around characters pranking each other. It might be just a bunch of harmless fun. Very often, however, what was intended as a harmless prank might spiral out of control and create real problems.

If the show has a resident Jerkass or Bully, that character might use this celebration to be a douchebag to everyone around them and simply yell "April Fools!" to be immediately immune from any form of criticism. They use the freedom of the day to be abusive towards others by pulling pranks and get away with it scot free! If that is the case, the episode will probably end with the jerk getting his comeuppance ending with "April Fools!" being uttered by the former victim as they pull a prank on the prankster. Of course, there have been variations, with even the prankster getting away with it.

Escalating Wars are not uncommon with these stories. When a whole plot centers around an elaborate April Fools prank played on the protagonist, this also classifies as Friendly Scheming.

Note that this is NOT about episodes that simply aired during April Fools' Day. This is simply about episodes with a story that focuses on April Fools' Day, hence this trope's name. While it is possible for them to air during early April, that is not a requirement.

This trope is for In-Universe Examples Only. For examples of Real Life April Fools' pranks by creators, see April Fools' Day.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Haruhi-chan has an April Fool's day episode where Achakura tries and fails to trick Nagato several times.
  • The ninth episode of Smile PreCure! had Yayoi attempt to pull an April Fool's prank by saying that she was transferring to a new school. However, she ended up telling this to Miyuki, who promptly panicked and began telling the other girls, with Yayoi being unable to get an word in edgeways, mostly because they kept assuming she was going to talk about them separating. When they do find out the truth, they aren't happy... until they realize that the whole thing started because Miyuki believed her.
  • Sgt. Frog has a chapter where the Platoon fools Fuyuki and Natsumi into thinking they have gotten serious about their invasion of Earth — they even hijack some news broadcasts and internet sites to amplify the effect of their supposed attacks on the population. It even includes a number of Shout Outs to Orson Welles' radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds.
  • An episode of Lucky Star has a few.
    • A phone call between Konata and Kagami has Konata claiming to have finished her homework by herself, shocking Kagami... until Konata revealed that it was an April Fools' Day lie.
    • After the call, Kuroi-sensei called Konata, tricking her into thinking she'd saved over game data:
      Ms. Kuroi: Sorry, Izumi. I deleted all your saved data.
      Konata: WHAT?!
      Ms. Kuroi: Fooled ya, fooled ya, today is April Fools!
      Konata: She must be so bored calling up this late.
    • Then Konata told Kuroi that Miyuki had used her as an example of why being a teacher must be an easy job.
    • Meanwhile, when asked, Tsukasa tries her hand at a recursive April Fool's lie, confusing Kagami a bit:
    Tsukasa: What I said just now... I lied... when I said I lied?
  • Doraemon:
    • It has an April Fool's plot beginning when Nobita uses the excuse of April's Fools to avoid getting beaten up by Giant for tricking him. Giant then asks if he's sure it's April 1st, causing Nobita to doubt if it's actually April 2nd, so Giant gets the right to beat him up. When all said and done, Giant revealed that it's REALLY April 1st so he gets away for bluffing Nobita about the date.
    • Another episode started with Giant, Suneo and Shizuka playing April Fool's joke on Nobita. One of the jokes include ''his house is on fire'', so he has the right to be panic being the paranoid kid he is. Enraged by his friends fooling him, Nobita pleads to Doraemon for a device that makes its user able to make all April Fool's joke become reality. And since this is Nobita we're talking about, he's going to abuse it for his own good.
    • The plot point of the Retcon used by the manga (first story in Volume 7) and the second part of the two-parter anime special to bring Doraemon back. After getting tricked by Gian and Suneo that Doraemon has returned (and a couple more pranks) due to it being the said date, Nobita remembers that Doraemon has left behind a special box that would grant him one more gadget that should only be used in case of an emergency. The box grants him a potion that would make anything he says become a lie. He quickly uses it to unleash revenge on Gian and Suneo, but then on the way home, muses about the prank Gian and Suneo pulled on him and how Doraemon would never return. Naturally, Doraemon returns at the end of the chapter/anime. This scenario was featured in an OVA in the mid-90s as well as the final act of Stand by Me Doraemon.
  • My Monster Secret manages to play one of these pranks on the reader: In one chapter, Nagisa receives a message from her higher-ups informing her that her mission on earth is over and she has to return to her homeworld. The next couple of chapters revolve around her preparing for her departure, finally coming to a head in one of the most emotional moments in the series, where she and Youko say their final goodbyes. Then on the very last page of the last chapter in the arc, it's revealed that the whole event was an April Fools Day Prank by her brother that had Gone Horribly Right thanks to Akane, and the initial departure order was just a joke, turning one of the most dramatic chapters in the entire manga into a "Shaggy Dog" Story. note 
  • Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku has a chapter where Narumi comes to work to find that her coworker Hanako has swapped bodies with her boyfriend Tarou, and that her own boyfriend Hirotaka has been exchanged for his brother Naoya. And then Tarou turns up acting normally and lays into Hanako for pulling a ridiculous prank. It all ends with Narumi being told to check the calendar.
  • The Tamagotchi episode "Surprise! Tama-April-Fools Day" takes place on April Fools' Day and is about Memetchi coming up with a prank where she tries to convince the others she's moving away. They not only take her joke seriously, but they even go as far as to give her a little good-bye party, which shocks her pretty hard.

    Asian Animation 
  • King Shakir: The aptly-named episode "April Fools" is about Shakir, Necati, and Remzi pranking everyone on April Fools Day. Then, they discover an invisible door that leads to the hideout of a bunch of evil candy suckers who want to go to Shakir's neighborhood and pour smelly fish on everything.
  • In Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Joys of Seasons episode 9, Mr. Slowy pretends to be dying to get back at the other goats for playing an April Fools prank on him. The other goats try to find a Fountain of Youth they see on a map to make him younger.

    Comic Books 
  • The Batman story Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth takes place during April Fools' Day. Early in it, The Joker tells Batman that he's going to shove a pencil in a girl's eye (which later inspired a Joker in a different adaptation), only to later reveal he was just April fooling Bats and the girl is fine. According to Word of God, Two-Face doesn't shoot Batman in the comic's last page despite getting tails from his coin because it was April Fools' Day.
  • The Batman series The Long Halloween involves a serial killer—nicknamed Holiday—who kills once a month, always on a holiday. Except when April rolls around. Holiday commemorates April Fools Day by not killing anyone that month, but instead cornering The Riddler in an alley and shooting a bullet outline around him.
  • A classic Superman story from the Silver Age, "The Night of March 31st," opens with Superman going to bed on March 31, then waking up to utter chaos on April 1. Villains who know his secret identity, Lana Lang trying to kill him, Superman flying around the city in Clark's glasses, and so forth. The story asked the readers if they could "guess the solution of the astonishing story that began on the night of March 31st!"
  • Wonder Woman (1942): Etta Candy is a prankster who celebrates her birthday annually on April 1st, and insists every year that she's turning 16. One year she ended up beating and capturing some criminals while looking for the dentist prior to the party and it seems the Holliday Girls thinks she's just telling a story.

    Comic Strips 
  • Peanuts:
    • One strip has Lucy coming up to Charlie Brown at school recess and telling him the little red-haired girl wants him to come over and eat lunch with her. Charlie Brown nervously walks off, then — after a Beat panel — returns to shoot a Death Glare at Lucy as she says, "April Fool!"
    • In another strip, Lucy tells Charlie Brown she's going to play an April Fool's trick on him, making sure he's absolutely clear on the concept, and then says the little red-haired girl is at the door and wants to give him a hug and kiss. He falls for it.

    Fan Works 
  • Calvin & Hobbes: The Series has "Let Us Prank the Fool", which involves Calvin trying to prank resident prankster Socrates before April 1st.
  • Subverted in Who Silenced Elly Patterson, April thinks Brad is trying to pull this on her, but when he confirms he's not joking, and that her mother Elly is dead, she screams and faints.
  • The April Fool's entry of Holidays with Holmes chronicles Watson's nerves as he deals with an April Fool's Day in the company of the bored and mischievous Sherlock Holmes. However, he manages to one-up the detective with a carefully prepared prank in the guise of a new mystery to solve.
  • Being a Slice of Life story, My Family and Other Equestrians has one of these in Interlude 9 and chapter 60, in which Discord pranks Blade Star and Lizzie by gluing fake wings onto Blade Star (making him an alicorn) and turning Lizzie into a pegasus. (The first chapter shows the pranks from Lizzie's point of view, and the second chapter shows them from Blade Star's. This is not Simultaneous Arcs, however, as the second chapter is immediately after the previous one.) Blade Star eventually gets rid of his wings, but Lizzie's transformation stuck (mainly because Lizzie wanted to stay a pegasus, she was originally given the option to change back).
  • At the end of Chapter 14 of The Tangled Princess Bride, The King drops the book and loses his place. When he starts reading again, he's in a totally different story, Tangled Die Hard. Quickly realizing his mistake, he closes the book and flips back to the right story. The kids beg for that to be the next story read to them, but Grandpa refuses as to avoid the wrath of the kids' Mom and Grandma.
  • In The Secret Origins of Scrappy-Doo, the entirety of Scrappy's "Secret origins" are actually an April Fool's day joke cooked up by Shaggy, Fred, and Scrappy to dupe Daphne into thinking the titular character is Fred.
  • The Punch-Out!! fanfic Ma Fille chapter "Clowning Around", where the boxers pull jokes on each other. The name comes from the guest appearance of Super Punch-Out!! alumna Mad Clown.
  • "April Fool's", a story in the Strong and Steady AU, where mischievous Yo-Kai get up to mischief at Springdale Elementary School.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In the 1939 film Goodbye, Mr. Chips, the boys of Brookfield school play pranks on the masters on April first, and the eponymous Mr. Chipping's wife goes into labour. Sadly, both Kathie and the baby die.
  • Featured in the Slasher Movies April Fools' Day and Slaughter High, plus the lesser known ones April Fools and Killer Party.
  • In The French Connection II, Popeye arrives in Marseilles on April 1 to find the police gutting a shipment of fish, searching for drugs. It's soon after revealed the anonymous tip about the fish was a prank, much to the narcotics head's frustration.

  • In Billy and Howard, the twins play jokes on each other. Hilarity Ensues, for certain values of hilarity.
  • In The Confidence-Man, it is April Fools' Day when a mysterious man sneaks onto a steamboat and tests each passenger's confidence through moral questioning while conning them out of their money one by one.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid has one moment set on April Fools' Day. Greg remembers other April Fools Days and talks about a time when he was being pranked into being shot in the behind with a paintball gun by Rodrick and about two pranks he played on his friends: convincing Chirag Gupta that he was losing his hearing and convincing Rowley Jefferson that a random man standing at a urinal was a professional athlete.
  • Brown's Pine Ridge Stories: This is one of Jerome's favorite holidays as it provides him the opportunity to pull as many pranks as possible, such as saying that the store is on fire... except he's telling the truth this time.
  • Roys Bedoys: In “It’s April Fool’s Day, Roys Bedoys!”, the kids prank one another on April Fool’s Day, and Roys tricks Wen into thinking there is free food, which he learns is inappropriate due to her informed poverty.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In a first season episode of Community the plot is centered around Britta's attempt at an April Fool's Prank, after being called a 'killjoy' one too many times. Britta's prank horribly backfires (as do the rest of the group's antics) and so the April Fool's episode ultimately ends with all the characters in tears.
  • An episode of Not Going Out has Lucy claim she's pregnant in a ruse to get Lee to admit he masturbated in her bath water. She reveals this by declaring "April Fool's!", although the events of the episode appeared to take place over several days.
  • Mama's Family, has an April Fools episode where Thelma gets prank by members of her family and even her friend and next door neighbor. She is able to turn the tables by creating a brilliant prank of her own. She gives a call to the house from an outside phone and pretends to be the main judge of a gardening competition who will come by later to the house and judge her garden. Thelma then gets all of them to work hard on her yard during the whole day, only to reveal the prank in the end when she does the same fake snobbish voice she did on the phone when calling the house earlier that day.
  • A M*A*S*H episode has the 4077th staff playing April Fools' pranks on each other. Col. Potter is vainly trying to stop them with a hardass inspector coming around on that very day. The inspector starts riding everyone hard to the point of bringing Hawkeye, Houlihan and Winchester up on Insubordination charges. Incensed with nothing to lose, they plan a really cruel April Fool prank on him that apparently stresses him out into a heart attack. As they frantically work on him, the officer calls Hawkeye to him and whispers "April Fool!" At that, Potter reveals that it was all an elaborate prank and the marks for this prank all praise it as a masterful one.
  • A NewsRadio episode has Jimmy James doing February.
  • In a Season One Red Dwarf episode, Holly tells Lister that an attack fleet from the Norweb Federation is after him for his crimes against humanity — he left two sausages to go mouldy three million years ago, and they now cover nine tenths of the Earth's surface. They also have a final electricity demand for £180 billion.
    Lister: A hundred and eighty billion pounds? You're kidding!
    Holly: [suddenly wearing Groucho glasses] April fool.
    Lister: But it's not April!
    Holly: Yeah, but I could hardly wait six months with a red hot jape like that under me belt, could I?
  • The Price Is Right has been renowned for pulling some hilarious April Fools shenanigans.
  • The penultimate episode of Kenan & Kel (if you don't count the movies) is this trope, with the titular duo performing many pranks including getting the mailman to hit Kenan's mom in the face with a pie.
  • In The Worst Year of My Life, Again, the episode "April Fools Day" revolves around the pranks played on and by Alex.
  • Castle combines this trope with Birthday Episode in "The Lives of Others"; Castle's birthday is April 1. The whole plot, in which Castle is convinced that a tenant in the apartment across the street is a killer is an elaborate birthday surprise staged by Beckett.
  • Victorious did one where it proceeded as a normal episode with clearly not normal things happening around the cast.
  • In the Shining Time Station episode, "The Joke's on Schemer", on March 31st, the kids dread Schemer's April Fool's Day pranks, so they decide to prank him by making him think it's April 1st. At first, they find it funny when Schemer's pranks confuse bystanders, but then he starts mistaking serious things for pranks, like JB King trying to get him to renew the lease on his arcade.
  • The Noddy Shop also had an April Fool's episode called "April Fool".
  • In the Big Bang Theory episode "The Gates Excitation", Bill Gates is visiting Penny's company on April 1st. When he hears the news, Sheldon mistakes it for an April Fool's Day joke. He then has second thoughts about it and spends the rest of the episode freaking out over whether Gates is actually coming or not.
  • Modern Family has a twist on this trope by combining it with a Christmas Episode. Gloria wants to incorporate some Colombian traditions, which includes pranking, into their Christmas celebration, but Jay would rather stick to typical American traditions. Eventually he comes around and pulls a prank on Gloria and Manny.
  • Hank Zipzer: In "Operation: Prank Adolf", April Fool's Day is looming and Hank is pulling out all the stops to prank the unprankable Miss Adolf. Can Hank really come up with a way to outwit Westbrook's toughest teacher? Can he succeed without ruining Mr Rock's chances of winning the new top teacher award? Meanwhile, Rosa plans to teach Emily the joy of April Fool's pranks - whether Emily wants to learn them or not.
  • Odd Squad combines this trope with a Welcome Episode and a Time Travel Episode in "Back to the Past". Oona, a Scientist that serves as Oscar's apprentice, meets Olympia and Otis for the first time. Once everyone's introduced, she shows Oscar some things that she cleaned out of the back room of the lab, including the Day-inator gadget, which can send anyone backward or forward in time. Despite Oscar's warnings for her to be careful, she ends up pulling the ever-so-smart move of throwing the gadget to him instead of handing it to him, where it lands on the floor and activates, sending everyone forward in time from March 1st. As they split up into pairs to look for clues about what day they time-traveled to, Otis in particular is subject to all sorts of pranks from his co-workers, and he eventually snaps after biting into a hot dog and finding out it's a squeaky toy, saying that he's glad there will be no future if it's just full of pranks. Him doing so makes everyone realize that they time-traveled to April Fool's Day, and with this knowledge, they travel back in time to March 1st before their alternate selves can see them (which causes a time-tastrophe).
  • The Cousin Skeeter episode "April Foolish" mixes this trope with Yet Another Christmas Carol, of all things. Skeeter's love of pranking gets on everyone's nerves, but he refuses to stop—until he starts falling victim to all kinds of practical jokes. He accuses Bobby and Nina of being behind the tricks, but that night, his conscience manifests and explains that he pulled them on Skeeter, warning that if he doesn't change his ways, he'll face dire consequences. Skeeter brushes this off until the next day, when he suddenly starts shrinking away to nothing (while the conscience gives an epic Evil Laugh). Fortunately, it was All Just a Dream, so Skeeter renounces his joking ways while there's still time.
  • Our Miss Brooks:
    • The plot in the radio and tv episodes "Cure That Habit" result from Walter Denton sending a postcard to the titular organization in principal Osgood Conklin's name. "Cure That Habit" is a firm that provides treatment for alcoholism. Hilarity Ensues when the president of "Cure That Habit" informs the head of the board of education of Mr. Conklin's "drunkenness".
    • Again, the radio episode "Free TV From Sherry's", and its Sound-to-Screen Adaptation "Wild Goose" centers on another of Walter Denton's April Fool's Day jokes on Mr. Conklin. This time, Walter tricks Conklin into thinking he's won a free television set from Sherry's Department Store. Hilarity Ensues when Conklin sends Miss Brooks to pick up the television set.

    Video Games 
  • Each of the Animal Crossing games has some sort of special event on April 1:
    • In the original, Tortimer gives you a copy of the fake NES game Super Tortimer (no, you can't play it).
    • In Wild World, you get a letter from your parents with a joke.
    • In City Folk, Tortimer gives you a furniture leaf. Not a piece of furniture. Just a leaf.
    • April Fools' Day in New Leaf is much more involved than April Fools' in the earlier games. The recurring NPC Blanca appears in your village to pull pranks; she enters the villagers' houses one by one to impersonate them, and you have to guess who is the real villager and who is Blanca in disguise. If you correctly identify Blanca, the real villager will give you their picture, and if you correctly identify every villager, Blanca will send you her picture in the mail.
    • Additionally, in all the games, villagers will try to trick you with various lies (with varying degrees of believability).
  • In Elona, when the in-game calendar reaches April, all generic NPC dialogue is replaced by Blatant Lies (as well as a few lies that may be plausible enough to fool uninformed players).

    Web Animation 
  • Etra-chan saw it!:
    • There's a video that had Tachibana and Akamatsu playing a prank on April 1st by spreading rumors that a magazine will be limited edition and very valuable. They didn't bother to retract the rumor and got into a lot of trouble.
    • Azami attempts to use April Fool's Day as an excuse to get revenge against Akane for telling on her to their boss for taking expired food home with her despite it being against the rules of the convenience store they worked for. Her "prank" involved framing her for stealing money from the manager by slipping it into her bag and then revealing that she was the one who'd done so after he yelled at Akane and made her cry. Naturally, no one else thought this was a very good prank.
  • The Strong Bad Email episode "April 1st" is about Strong Bad playing April Fool pranks in person, after lamenting that the internet ruined the holiday.

  • One Dinosaur Comics strip had T-Rex playing an April Fool's prank on Utahraptor simply by claiming he is busy.
  • One April 1st Arthur, King of Time and Space strip had Arthur, Guenevere, Lancelot and Tristam (under their MMO aliases of ursus, never, Lakeboi and sadslacker) discussing how none of them like pranks. Then Arthur says there was the one time he swapped logins with a friend to see if anyone noticed, and Guenevere says she did that once as well.
    ursus: Wait - that was today!!
    never: You know what, you're riught!!
    Lakeboi: I hate you both
  • Trans Girl Next Door: Kylie pulls a prank on April Fool's Day.
    Friend: That was extremely unoriginal
    Kylie: Maybe I am the Fool.

    Web Videos 
  • Geography Now: Paul talks about Bandiaterra (a country that doesn't actually exist) in the same semi-serious way he speaks about any country he covers. Only at the end we discover it's actually an April Fools' Day episode.
  • sillypplproductions2: Breez says that since Furno is turning evil, and Nex looks like the better choice to date, and Surge is going to go to school note .
  • StacheBros: Played With in "Wario's Maypril Fools Day". After chugging an entire bottle of whiskey at an intense party in March, Wario blacks out through the entire month of April. When he asks Waluigi what the date is, he tells him that it's the first of May. However, because Wario's still hungover from the party, he misinterprets it as April Fools' Day and decides to pull pranks on the Mushroom Kingdom.
  • In the SuperMarioLogan episode, "April Fools!", Bowser Junior and Toad play a series of April Fool's pranks, including telling Chef Pee Pee his Mom died of a stroke. As retribution, Chef Pee Pee tricks Junior into thinking his Thomas & Friends toy was destroyed. When Junior finds his Thomas toy, he decides to get revenge on Chef Pee Pee, with the help of Toad. Toad pours bleach into Chef Pee Pee's sprite, killing him when he drinks it. When Toad rushes to dial the emergency number, he notices the date was April 2nd.
  • Came up in Twitch streamer Beaglerush's XCOM: Long War campaign of all places. After losing some of his best soldiers in an eleventh hour base defense mission, an irate Beagle passed the game's Point of No Return, which was unfortunate since he needed to build some equipment for his replacement team. Since passing time normally was no longer an option, Beagle spent ten minutes real-time and a week in-game running the clock by flying a Skyranger to the final mission site, aborting the attack, flying back to base, and repeating the process until the equipment was ready. In a hilarious coincidence, this meant that the final battle took place on April 1st, making it all one overly-elaborate April Fool's joke at the aliens' expense.
    Beagle: By the 121st attempt, the aliens will have stopped defending the Temple Ship, believing that we will never actually attack it.

    Western Animation 
  • The final episode of The Angry Beavers was going to have Norbert and Daggett realizing that they're cartoon characters, and then they vanish from existence. At the end, Norbert says to Daggett, "There's just something I want to say..." Then Daggett asks, "What?" And Norbert yells, "APRIL FOOLS!!!"note 
  • Batman: The Animated Series: The episode "The Last Laugh" has April Fools Day as a theme.
    • Alfred actually pulls a prank on Bruce, with Bruce in a Modesty Towel walking to the bathroom, eager for the bath Alfred "drew" for him... only to find the bathtub empty and Alfred proceeds to give Bruce an actual literal drawing of a bath as a prank. Bruce retaliates by the episode's end by pretending to take the Priceless Ming Vase Alfred broke out of his salary.
    • In a more serious note, the Joker unleashes a supply of laughing gas on Gotham City as his "prank", incapacitating its populace and allowing him to steal things at his leisure.
  • Beetlejuice: "Scare And Scare Alike" had Beetlejuice and Lydia playing practical jokes on each other for Scary Fools Day.
  • CatDog has "Kooky Prank Day", where Cat is on the receiving end of every prank in Nearburg, but eventually gets everyone back by faking an alien invasion.
  • Dragons: Riders of Berk has the [fictional] viking version with "Loki Day", in honor of Trickster god Loki. Due to the nature of the day Fishlegs' discovery of an unusual dragon turns into a "Peter and the Wolf" scenario.
  • Donkey Kong Country has the episode called "Just Kidding," which involves a special day on Kongo-Bongo similar to April Fool's Day called All Fool's Day, which involves jokes similar to April Fool's Day, and the one who was pranked has to say "Well I'll be a monkey's uncle." Cranky constantly pranks DK, Diddy and Candy, (Cranky makes an agreement to set up the prank with the latter two, only to betray them with another prank) which causes DK, Diddy and Candy to use a K. Rool suit to prank Cranky, but it backfires when the real K. Rool uses the prank to his advantage. In the end, after DK gets the coconut back from K. Rool by using some pranks that Cranky used on DK, DK and Diddy finally prank Cranky with a fake Crystal Coconut while Diddy has the real Crystal Coconut.
  • Family Guy: In "April in Quahog," the infamous, appalling stunt pulled by Channel 5 newscasters Tom Tucker and Diane Simmons, claiming — via use of seemingly legitimate news stories — that the Earth was being sucked into a giant black hole and everyone would be killed.
    Tom Tucker: Yes, April Fools. We, at Channel 5 News conducted the whole black hole story as part of our commitment to be festive around the holidays.
    Diane Simmons: And with only eighty-seven suicides and widespread looting, we think this was a pretty successful practical joke!
    Brian: You... DICKS!
  • The Guardians of the Galaxy (2015) episode "It's Tricky" is set on the Xandarian equivalent, the Feast of the Three Grinning Moons. Quill is completely banned from the planet for the duration of the event, after a childhood prank went horribly wrong. (Prior to that, it was the Feast of the Four Grinning Moons.)
  • The House of Mouse episode "Donald's Pumbaa Prank" took place on April Fool's Day and had Pete trick Donald into helping him clear out the House of Mouse with Pumbaa's flatulence by taking advantage of Donald's desire to get back at Mickey's pranks. One of the Mickey MouseWorks shorts used in the episode was "Mickey's April Fools", which had Mickey play pranks on Minnie and Mortimer, only for them to bite him in the ass when his prank on Mortimer results in him having to prove he's not dead when he tries to collect his inheritance (although that turned out to be a prank in of itself, with Mortimer getting run over by one million bucks after he claims it as Mickey) and Minnie leaving him tied to a pole as payback for tricking her into thinking he was proposing to her.
  • Jimmy Two-Shoes
    • Happens in the episode "Best Prank Ever". On Miseryville's Alternative Calendar, the holiday is Lucius Fools Day, where Lucius pulls mean-spirited pranks on everyone (as opposed to his usual Kick the Dog mentality). But when Jimmy decides Lucius shouldn't "have all the fun", everyone in Miseryville pitches in to prank Lucius in every way possible. This climaxes in Heloise turning the entire town into Smilesville, which works so well Lucius goes insane.
    • A Season 2 episode titled "Heinous vs. Clown" was also set on Lucius Fools Day. However, this time Lucius is in a prank war against the Rodeo Clowns and trains Jimmy and Beezy in the ways of practical jokes to help him in his endeavor.
  • In the Johnny Bravo episode "Fool For A Day", Johnny becomes the butt of everyone's jokes and pranks on April Fool's Day. The next day, he retaliates with his own highly effective pranks, only to be informed that since it's not April Fool's Day anymore, it's no longer appropriate. He gets in trouble and is beaten up.
  • Tex Avery's 1940 Looney Tunes cartoon "Holiday Highlights" is a series of vignettes depicting selected holidays. When it gets to April 1st, the picture is completely blank, much to the hilarity of the announcer ("Fooled ya! Fooled ya! There ain't no picture!") and the irritation of the theater management (card slide reads "T'ain't funny, McGee!")
    • When Porky Pig's attempt at a career in movies doesn't pan out (1940's "You Ought to Be in Pictures"), he returns to Leon Schlesinger's studio, pleading "April Fool!" (Leon knew he'd be back.)
  • The Loud House is the current reigning champ of April Fools' episodes in Western Animation series, having four of them so far. They mostly focus on Luan going from a friendly comedian to a merciless prankster with her excessive pranks on each April Fools' Day.
    • In "April Fools Rules", Luan unleashes an arsenal of pranks on April Fools' Day, and Lincoln tries to avoid whatever she may have in store.
    • In "Fool's Paradise", the Louds send Luan to a clown camp so they won't have to deal with her pranks, but it turns out that Luan had planned the whole thing to lure them into a Saw-like trap.
    • In "Fool Me Twice", the rest of the Loud family hire stunt doubles to take their places on April Fools' Day. Luan had anticipated this, and she uses the stunt doubles to ruin her family's reputations. When it seems as though the pranks have gone too far, the family decides to leave Royal Woods and move to the Florida Panhandle, but this was all a joke they arranged for Luan out of revenge for her merciless pranks, especially since all of the stuff they loaded into the moving truck belonged to Luan while the other boxes were empty.
    • In "Silence of the Luans", Luan has been locked in a cell in the basement in a similar manner to Hannibal Lecter, yet her brand of extreme pranks keeps happening anyway, and Lincoln has to team up with her to find the real culprit.
  • In The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh episode "April Pooh", Pooh finds out about April Fools' Day from Christopher Robin. Pooh thinks "the April Fool" is a person, and the one who keeps playing tricks on him and his friends. They try and capture the April Fool, and it turns out to be Christopher Robin, who tells them that they played the biggest trick of the day on him.
    Pooh: And just in time for breakfast!
    Rabbit: But Pooh, it's almost sunset!
    Pooh: April Fool! I knew it was dinnertime all along.
  • Nicktoons:
    • The Wild Thornberrys had an episode about April Fools' Day with Eliza and Tyler pulling pranks at each other.
    • The Fairly OddParents! had a semi-recurring character called The April Fool who is the personification of April Fools' Day (like The Easter Bunny or Baby New Year for Easter and New Years) and talks like a Jerry Seinfeld stand-up act ("What's up with that?").
    • Hey Arnold! had the aptly named "April Fool's Day" episode where Helga and Arnold tried pranking each other...then Arnold took it a little too far. Then Helga used his guilt to fool him even further. At the end, thanks to Gerald, Arnold finally gets one up on Helga, with plenty of over-the-top flirting on Arnold's part as he does so - probably influenced by the post-movie feelings inferred that Arnold has for Helga starting to surface.
    • Rocko's Modern Life had "Pranksters", where Heffer is obsessed with pulling practical jokes on April Fools' Day, including doing one on Filburt at the start (whom loathes the holiday due to always falling for such pranks), and when he ends up being Rocko's only option to pick up Granny Rocko from the airport, Heffer then suspects she's really Rocko out for revenge. She turns out to be Filburt in a Full-Body Disguise, seeking revenge for the earlier practical joke.
  • In The Penguins of Madagascar, King Julien learns of April Fools a little too late, so he decides to prank everyone to make up for lost time, even if it's not April 1.
  • In an old Paramount-Famous Studio short called "Cookin' with Gags", Popeye had to deal with Bluto abusing him because it was April Fools. He will try to get back at the big guy, but Olive scolds him for not celebrating the day. He of course eats his spinach, but Bluto trades it with a toy snake inside a spinach. However Popeye still managed to win by scaring Bluto with an inflatable toy.
  • Recess: "The Big Prank" and "The Madness of King Bob" (not set in April Fool's Day, but were often rerun around the time).
  • Rocky Kwaterner: The episode "Crackadoodle Day" is set on april fools day and focusses on Luna and Theo pulling a prank on Rocky where they make him think a science experiment by Theo has gone wrong and turned them both into cavemen.
  • The Simpsons: The first clip show used April Fools' Day as a framing device. Bart, trying to outprank Homer, puts a can of Duff in a paint shaker. The ensuing explosion of high-pressure beer puts Homer in the hospital, where the family talking about his past experiences triggers the Flashbacks.
    Lou: We need pretzels. Repeat, pretzels.
  • The Smurfs (1981) episode "April Smurf's Day" is this trope in action.
  • The SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Fools in April" focuses on SpongeBob pulling a prank on everyone (who actually enjoyed the pranks because they were pretty much harmless) including Squidward, who finds it irritating. Eventually, Squidward gets fed up and pulls a prank on SpongeBob that rather crosses the line, causing SpongeBob to flee the Krusty Krab in tears and have everyone think of him as a jerk. He does apologize to SpongeBob, but it ends up with the latter joking about getting hurt from the joke.
  • The Vampirina episode "April Ghoul's Day" has the Transylvanian version of this, with the Hauntley family playing fun pranks on each other. Vee invites Poppy and Bridget to take part in the holiday.
  • What's with Andy? has an episode "Gooey Chewies", in which April Fool's Day falls on Lori Mackney's birthday party, to which Andy is invited, but he's not allowed to pull pranks. That doesn't stop him, Danny, and Lori's dad from pranking, though. In fact, even Lori eventually joins in with the pranks.

Alternative Title(s): April Fools Day Episode, April Fools Episode