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15 Things Not to Joke About on April Fools

15 things not to joke about on april fools

April Fool’s Day is dedicated to lighthearted fun and playful deception. But with great comedic power comes great responsibility, especially when choosing your prank. While well-placed sarcasm might cause a hilarious jump, there are things not to joke about on April Fool, specifically topics that are simply off-limits for a good-natured joke.

Gentle Reminder on April Fools’ Pranks 

It is all fun and games until we make pranks that are unacceptable. Ensure the pranks aren’t harmful and won’t ruin someone’s living. Laughter is a powerful tool for connection and joy.  However, we must set some ground rules to ensure your April Fools’ Day shenanigans stay lighthearted and avoid hurting or traumatizing anyone. The limit exists. 

Things Not to Joke About on April Fools

  1. Someone Else’s Insecurities

April Fools’ Day is for lighthearted fun, but jokes about someone’s insecurities can backfire. Insecurities are personal struggles; a prank highlighting them can cause hurt and embarrassment. 

  1. Coming out

Coming out as LGBTQ+ can be a very personal and emotional experience. Joking about it on April Fools Day undermines the seriousness of the situation for several reasons. First, it minimizes the courage it takes for someone to come out. Second, it can make people who are questioning their sexuality or identity hesitate to come out for fear of being ridiculed.  Third, it can be hurtful to those who have already come out and faced negative reactions. Overall, it’s just not a funny topic and can create a negative atmosphere for LGBTQ+ people.

  1. Mental Health and Illness

Mental health struggles are very real for many people, and jokes about them on April Fools’ Day can be insensitive and hurtful. It can make light of serious challenges people face, discourage them from seeking help, and even trigger anxiety or depression.

  1. Somebody Else’s Death 

Death is a universally sensitive topic, and a prank like this can cause immense pain and worry, especially for those who are recently bereaved. It’s disrespectful to the deceased and their loved ones and can easily backfire into a cruel and upsetting experience.

  1. Cheating 

Trust is a cornerstone of healthy relationships, and a playful “prank” about infidelity can plant seeds of doubt or insecurity. It can also be hurtful to those who have experienced cheating firsthand, triggering past pain, and remember, jokes are half meant.

  1. Fake Proposals

Proposals are a big deal, symbolizing commitment and a future together. A prank proposal can be hurtful and confusing, primarily if the partner has ever expressed a desire to get engaged. It can also cheapen the significance of an actual proposal later on.

  1. Fake Orders

Delivery drivers often work long hours for unpredictable pay, and a fake order can waste their time and effort. It can also be frustrating and disrespectful, especially if they’re dealing with real order delays or difficult customers.

  1. Fake Food

Firstly, it can be confusing for people with dietary restrictions or allergies who might take the prank seriously and miss out on a safe meal option. Secondly, it can be frustrating for restaurants and stores that work hard to maintain accurate menus and labels.

  1. Someone Else’s Trauma

Trauma is a deeply personal experience that can leave lasting scars. A prank that triggers those memories can cause emotional distress, reopening old wounds and making light of something serious.

  1. Contracting Virus

It can cause unnecessary panic, especially for those with vulnerable family members or who have personally dealt with viruses.  Furthermore, it can highlight the ongoing efforts of healthcare workers and first responders.

  1. Other Relationship Pranks

Faking a breakup, cheating, or engaging can cause real emotional distress. Imagine the confusion and hurt your partner might feel, questioning the foundation of your relationship based on a “joke.”

  1. Confessing Love

Confessing love as an April Fools’ joke is a recipe for mixed emotions. First, it can lead to confusion and an emotional roller coaster for the person on the receiving end.  Their feelings might be genuine, and the joke can cause disappointment or even humiliation.  Second, it cheapens the meaning of love itself.  Love confessions should be sincere and hold weight, and a prank can make them seem frivolous and insincere. 

  1. Pregnancy and Miscarriage

Many couples struggle with infertility or baby loss, and a lighthearted prank can be a painful reminder of their struggles. It minimizes the emotional weight of both experiences and can be hurtful to those who have faced them.

  1. Rape and Sexual Assault

These are serious crimes that cause lasting trauma for survivors. A prank about them can be incredibly triggering, bringing back painful memories and minimizing the impact on victims. It also creates a lighthearted atmosphere around a grave issue, making it seem less severe and potentially discouraging survivors from coming forward.

  1. Racist Jokes

Racist jokes, even as pranks on April Fools’ Day, are hurtful because they perpetuate negative stereotypes and make light of the very real struggles of people. These jokes can cause offense, create tension, and undermine efforts toward racial equality. 

The Golden Rule

The key to a successful April Fools’ prank is simple:  Would you find this funny if it were done to you? 

To you, those might be an “April Fools joke” that lasts an hour, but your partner will forever question if anything you said was true, which leaves them wondering if you’re happy with them or if you’re just going to drop a bomb that you’re leaving them or cheating on them. Your friend/family will forever sit with the back thought of wondering if you’re in a car wreck whenever you’re late to plans with them.

A prank is small, light, and funny, like tossing a water balloon at someone or handing them a glitter bomb. It isn’t something that’s going to cause lasting damage or embarrassment mentally for the rest of their life. It’s supposed to be something you can both laugh about, not something that will cause them to cry and break down, thinking their entire world has just fallen apart. A prank should never cross the line into something hurtful or disrespectful.  Consider your target’s personality and sense of humor.  If they’re easily scared or dislike a specific joke, steer clear of that territory.

Every day may not be April Fools Day, but please let us make it a daily habit not to prank these people.

The Power of Laughter

April Fools’ Day is a celebration of lighthearted fun, a day to share a laugh and connect with friends and family. Keeping your pranks playful and avoiding sensitive topics ensures everyone involved can enjoy the day’s spirit. Sometimes, the line should be visible. We must remind ourselves that even though this day is customary for pranks, jokes, and whatnot, we must remain sensitive, empathetic, and kind with the jokes we try to crack.

So, get creative, have fun, and remember – the best April Fools’ Day jokes are the ones that leave everyone smiling in the end.

Sources: (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7)

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