April Fools’ 2016: A roundup of this year’s best and worst pranks

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April Fools’ 2016: A roundup of this year’s best and worst pranks

For better or worse, it’s April 1st again. Happy April Fools’ Day! The day when up becomes down, cats become people, and the Internet loses its collective mind for about 24 hours.

As is tradition, we’re digging up all the best, worst, weirdest, and most ill-planned April Fools’ jokes from around the Internet and sticking them in one place for your easy perusal. We’ll be updating the list throughout the day as new stuff pops up — so come back often.

1/27

ThinkGeek's Useless Wall Switch

ThinkGeek always kills it on April Fools’, so we’ll start there. Their stuff is always great: creative, fun, and mostly harmless. Plus, sometimes the gags get turned into real products.

Like this one, I imagine. You know that one random light switch in your house? The one that doesn’t seem to actually do anything when you flip it? Replace it with this, everyone wins.

2/27

ThinkGeek's BaRPG

It’s like Settlers of Catan, except instead of trying to get that sweet, sweet wheat… you just drink beer.

3/27

ThinkGeek's Flavor Of The Day Calendar

EVERY DAY TASTES LIKE PAPER also my tongue hurts.

4/27

ThinkGeek's Diet Coke and Mentos Rocket Kit

Quick, someone do the math on how many of these I’d need to get to the moon also someone build me a spacesuit.

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5/27

ThinkGeek's Towering Lawn Titan

Because who wouldn’t want a massive, inflatable titan looming over their house, terrifying neighbors and threatening to eat your loved ones?

(Don’t get it? Go watch “Attack On Titan” on Netflix. It’s good. Gory, but good.)

6/27

Google Search for your Socks

And now for the next annually-great gagster (though this year they made some big missteps — more on that later): Google

This one takes basically no explaining. Who hasn’t wished they could Google for things they lost in their house? Press a button, and your sock will let out a catchy tune to let you know where it’s run off to.

I give it a decade, at most, before this is real.

7/27

Google Play Books introduces realBooks

If we take all of our books digital, what will we fill our shelves with?

The answer, clearly, is more eBook readers.

8/27

Google Cardboard Plastic

Addicted to virtual reality, but need to leave the house sometimes? Google Cardboard Plastic lets you experience lame old actual reality …through the comfort of a headset. A clear, plastic headset.

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9/27

Google's Self Driving Bike

Love the idea of a self driving car, but don’t like the whole “car” part?

Google Netherlands “announced” a product just for you: a self balancing, self driving bike. Forget the bike at home? Push a button, and it’ll find its way to you.

You can even work on your laptop while on the bike (meaning, of course, that some dude at Google is watching this prank and realizing they should actually make it for their own campus)

10/27

Google's Smart Reply Emoji

Google’s actually-real-and-not-a-joke Smart Reply is neat — it uses neural networks to understand the contents of an email and offer up brief, one-click responses, keeping you from having to type all those damned words yourself.

Smart Reply Emoji, meanwhile, skips the words altogether, instead offering up 2016’s preferred method of communication: emoji.

11/27

Google Photos Emoji Search

Google seems to be all about the emoji this year. In addition to Smart Reply Emoji, they also introduced the ability to search your Google Photos library for emoji. Searching for 🐶, for example, should bring up all your pup pictures.

And yeah, it totally actually works.

12/27

Biggest Backfire: Google's Mic Drop

Seemingly forgetting that they have a billion users and that a lot of them use email for serious stuff, Google briefly introduced a “Mic Drop” button that sent a GIF of a minion dropping a mic and irreversibly muted an email thread.

After complaints of job firings and rampant misinterpretation, Google pulled the prank down.

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13/27

Hulu Becomes A Dating Site

Being in a modern romantic relationship basically just means that you like binge-watching the same shows, right? Hulu’s Datr embraces that, matching singles based on their viewing preferences.

(Best part? People would totally actually use this if it were real.)

14/27

Lyft's Prank Mode

From 11 am to 5 pm today, you can call a Lyft that’ll play a joke on an unwitting friend. What exactly that entails is still a mystery — though I’d expect some videos to be released before too long.

For now, Lyft has released this video of Golden State Warriors’ Andre Iguodala going to great lengths to convince teammate Festus Ezeli he’s been booted off the team, down to a fake radio bit playing in the car.

15/27

Opera Paper

If Google can make a cardboard virtual reality headset, why can’t Opera make paper laptops? Complete with literal drag-and-drop bookmarks.

16/27

Razer's Project Breadwinner: A toaster for gamers.

Fans of Razer’s gaming gear tend to be pretty obsessed. They love their matte black keyboards, their blindingly-bright LEDs, and… they really, really love Razer’s logo. They get tattoos of it, paint their gaming rooms to match, etc. Why wouldn’t they want to eat it for breakfast?

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17/27

T-Mobile's BingeOnUp

Want to watch your Netflixes and your Hulus but dont want to use your hands to hold your phone like some chump? T-Mobile’s new accessory slash cool-guy hat holds your phone in front of your face for you.

(We’ll just ignore that this is sort of already a reality in the form of Samsung Gear VR/Google Cardboard etc.)

18/27

Sony Builds A Ghost Catcher

It’s water and slime resistant and conveniently doubles as an ad for a movie series reboot thats coming out in three months!

19/27

YouTube's Snoopavision

“Today I’m excited to announce a feature that people have been asking about since we launched: the ability to watch every video in 360. With Snoopdogg.”

Your favorite YouTube videos, now with more Snoopdogg commentary. Why? Because Snoopdogg.

Alas, it’s not actually enabled on every video — just a handful. 

20/27

Y Combinator announces "its intent to acquire Sequoia Capital"

“The new YC logo will be changed from orange to green as it is the color of sequoia leaves and money.” writes YC’s Sam Altman

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21/27

Adobe's Ansel-o-matic

This one was a bit hidden, tucked away as a tutorial on one of Adobe’s YouTube channels — points for subtlety there, Adobe.

Did you know Adobe’s Lightroom has a hidden developer-only feature that can make any photo into a landscape masterpiece?

22/27

Backblaze becomes Catblaze

Backblaze, the file backup service, becomes Catblaze, the file backup service… for your cat photos.

It’s not the most complicated of today’s jokes, but it’s worth it if only for this GIF of that dude petting a cat with a hard drive.

23/27

OpenTable's Lickable Photos

This one went out as an e-mail to OpenTable subscribers.

Note: Don’t actually lick your phone. Scientists (!) have proven that phones are covered in butt germs and that humans are disgusting.

24/27

Pornhub becomes Cornhub

In this week’s episode, Greg considers just how much he can write about this prank without getting a call from HR.

I’ll let the screencap do the talking.

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25/27

Duolingo's Language Learning Pillow

Imagine if this existed. And that it worked.

We’d probably all use it to memorize fantasy football stats and to catch up on garbage about the Kardashians while we slept, but still.

26/27

The Mark Zuckerberg HM Collection

Aaaand one of the best gags in tech ends up coming from a company that avoided even having an online store for ages.

HM’s Zuckerberg collection is about as Zuck as it gets: seven simple grey shirts and a pair of jeans. Throw a few stray strands of sheepdog hair on the shirt for accuracy, and you’re set.

27/27

The end (for now!)

We’ll be updating throughout the day, so check back in a bit for more.

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