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25 of the Best April Fools’ Pranks to Play on Your Parents

The best pranks for parents are ones that are easy, fun, and won’t get you grounded. Who said mom and dad can't get in on the fun of April 1st?

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Gotcha, mom and dad! These April Fools’ pranks for parents are genius

April Fools’ Day is a treasured holiday for kids around the world. Telling April Fools’ Day jokes  and pulling pranks on your parents is good, clean fun—especially if your family members can take a joke! We’ve rounded up 25 of the very best April Fools’ practical jokes you can pull on your parents to pull this year. Keep in mind that not everyone thinks April Fools’ pranks are funny, so proceed with caution and prepare to clean up any messes you make. Warning: Don’t be surprised if they turn the tables and try one of these April Fools’ pranks for kids or April Fools’ text pranks on you.

Female Hand set up white bed sheet in bedroomSuphansa Subruayying/Getty Images

Short the sheets

Here’s a good April Fools’ prank for your parents that is equal parts hilarious and frustrating: Short sheet a family member’s bed. Simply remove the top sheet, tuck one end under the mattress at the top of the bed, then fold it over so that it acts as both the fitted sheet and top sheet. When mom or dad hop into bed, their feet will hit the fold in an abrupt surprise!

Homemade French Bread. SlicedKatrin Ray Shumakov/Getty Images

Bread gone bad

This April Fools’ prank for parents will have them thinking the bread they just bought at the grocery store has already gone moldy. With clean hands, take the top slice of bread off of the loaf. Dab a drop of two of green food coloring on the next slice. Replace the top slice so that the colored smudge is hidden, then wait for a disgusted reaction when they think they’ve gotten a moldy loaf! At least they can have a laugh when you tell them these food jokes.

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Juicy surprise

Does your mom like to sip a glass of cranberry or grape juice in the mornings? April Fools’ Day is the perfect opportunity to shake up her juice routine with Jell-o! On March 31, mix up a package of Jell-o (just follow the instructions on the back of the box) and pour the liquid into a clear cup with a straw in it. Refrigerate the cup overnight. The Jell-o will solidify, holding the straw in place and setting the stage for a jiggly surprise in the morning. If your mom gets annoyed, share these April Fools’ Day memes to make her laugh again.

Stack of chocolate sandwich cookies on the rustic wooden backgroundMindstyle/Getty Images

Kookie cookie

Do your parents have a sweet tooth? If they’re a fan of Oreos or other sandwich-style cookies, this is the prank for you! Grab an Oreo and slowly twist the cookies so that they come apart. Use a butter knife to scrape off the icing, then replace it with white toothpaste. Carefully put the Oreo back together, offer it to your parent, and watch them react to the minty surprise! This would also make a funny April Fools’ prank for boyfriends (if you’re old enough to have one).

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Soap no more

Anyone whose family uses bar soap in the bathroom sink or shower will enjoy pulling this classic April Fools’ prank for parents! When they’re not looking, take the bar of soap and dry it off completely. Then carefully paint the whole thing with clear nail polish. Next time a family member tries to lather the soap, nothing will happen!

Close-Up Of Colorful Balloons Hanging At HomeAsk Goldstein/EyeEm/Getty Images

Balloons in the pillow

When your parents aren’t looking, take their pillows out of their pillowcases and hide them in a closet or dresser drawer. Then fill their pillowcases with blown-up balloons instead. They’ll get a squeaky, airy surprise when they go to bed for the night. Depending on how heavy their heads are, they might even get scared with a pop!

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Colored water

Make your parents worry about the water quality with this harmless prank. Use a cotton swab to wipe gel food coloring around the rim of the faucet spout, right where the water comes out. (Choose red for a particularly spooky touch!) Then watch and wait for them to freak out when they fill up their glass.

coffee with sugar on table best april fools pranks for parentsMelica/Shutterstock

Salty shocker

If your parents drink their coffee or tea with a touch of sugar, replace the sweetener in their sugar bowl with salt for a not-so-sweet surprise. (Note: Don’t forget to replace it before you need a little sugar for your oatmeal!)

Closeup of young female hand holding remote control and changing channel at home watching television aloneLyndon Stratford/Getty Images

Wrong channel

Take the batteries out of every remote in the house to make it impossible to change the channel. (Bonus points if you switch the TV to your favorite channel before you shut it down.) If your parents are tired of being pranked, try these April Fools’ Day pranks on your co-workers.

best april fools pranks for parents cling wrappingSwapan Photography/Shutterstock

Shrink-wrapped shampoo

This is the best April Fools’ prank for parents who love their bath products. Get them into a lather in the shower by sealing off their shampoo, conditioner, or body wash. To do this, unscrew the cap and place a small piece of plastic wrap over the bottle opening before you screw the lid back on. They’ll have no idea why they can’t get their cleaning products out.

photos wall best april fools pranks for parentsOndroM/Shutterstock

Turn their world upside down

This April Fools’ prank for parents will have them wondering why their world was flipped upside down! Sneak downstairs before your parents get up and set all the small objects in the house (picture frames, clocks, books, and other doodads) upside down or backward. You can also turn jackets and other items inside out. If you don’t feel like putting in all this effort for a silly prank, try memorizing one of these funny jokes.

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Silly spiders

If one of your family members is freaked out about creepy crawlies, this April Fools’ prank will definitely get a reaction. Unroll the toilet paper slightly and draw a creepy spider a few sheets in with a marker. Roll it back up and wait for your victim to get a surprise.

The phone screen is cracked.Thanit Weerawan/Getty Images

Cracked screen

If you have your own smartphone or tablet, you can really get your parents fooled by pretending your screen has been cracked. You can download images or even find online apps that will make your screen look like it’s shattered. Your parents will totally be relieved when you scream “April Fools’.”

Vertical storage of clothing. Clothing folded for vertical storage in the linen drawerNestea06/Getty Images

Underwear switcheroo

This is the best April Fools’ prank for parents who have a rigid morning routine. Make getting ready in the morning a little more challenging by switching the underwear from one person’s drawers to another family member’s. (It’s especially funny if you put a kid’s teeny pair of underwear into the biggest family member’s dresser.)

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Iced over

This is the best April Fools’ prank for parents who love their morning tea or coffee. There are a few different ways you can bring a little April Fools’ fun to their drinks. Try hiding a little food coloring beneath some ice cubes, so when you pour in water or another drink, you’ll get a colorful beverage. Or create a creepy ice cube by freezing a plastic bug into an ice cube and slipping it into their drink.

photo album family best april fools pranks for parentsHalfpoint/Shutterstock

Picture prank

Looking for a more subtle prank to pull on your parents? Print out (or snip out) pictures of your favorite characters or cartoons and replace your family photos with these silly shots. (Let’s see how long it takes for your parents to see that Harry Potter has replaced you in the portrait.) Speaking of, if you have wizarding fans in the family, don’t forget about these Harry Potter jokes and puns every muggle should know.

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Habla Español?

Swap the settings on the TV or their phone so they see everything in Spanish or French instead of English. (Then maybe they can help you with your language homework too!)

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Sprays on you

This one is an oldie, but a goodie: Use a rubber band on the sink sprayer handle to keep it pressed down. When the next unsuspecting person goes to turn on the faucet, your prank will make a big splash as the sprayer soaks them.

masking tape best april fools pranks for parentsgmstockstudio/Shutterstock

Don’t get stuck

If your parents constantly ask you to replace the roll of toilet paper, here’s the perfect opportunity to do it—but with something funny. Put a roll of duct tape on the holder instead of toilet paper.

White wireless mouse pad best april fools pranks for parentsColin Hui/Shutterstock

Mouse no more

This is the best April Fools’ prank for tech-savvy parents. Stick a Post-It or a piece of clear tape over the tracking ball on the computer mouse to keep it from moving. Watch your parents’ confusion as they try to figure out why their computer is on the fritz.

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Ducks in a row

Is there such a thing as too many rubber ducks? You’re about to find out! Get an outrageous number of rubber ducks (the more the merrier). Start hiding the ducks everywhere: cupboards, drawers, desks, car glove boxes… Go big or go home!

USA, New Jersey, Jersey City, Morning in bedroomTetra Images/Getty Images

Never-ending alarm

Want to really prank your parents? This one’s perfect for you. Gather up all the alarm clocks in your house, set them all to go off at different times, then hide them all over. Be warned though, your folks will be mad at you. Help them laugh it off with these bad jokes people can’t help but laugh at.

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Here’s looking at you

Less is more, which is what makes this prank so fun. Buy a bunch of googly eyes and glue them on everything you can find. It might not be the most original prank out there, but it surely is one that will make people smile.

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Bubble fun

Use bubble wrap! Place bubble wrap under an area rug or a bathmat. This one’s particularly effective first thing in the morning, before your unsuspecting victim has had any coffee—nothing like a loud, unexpected noise to wake someone up real quick!

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Confetti explosion

Party poppers are great—so grab one and affix it to the jamb of a closed door, with the string stretched across the door. When someone turns the knob, they’ll find themselves surprised by a loud noise and a mini-explosion of confetti. Talk about making an entrance! Now that you’ve read up on April Fools’ pranks for parents, get a laugh out of these dad jokes that are actually pretty funny.

Submit your best joke here and get $25 if Reader’s Digest runs it.

Leandra Beabout
Leandra is a lifestyle writer covering health, travel, and literature. A former high school English teacher, she covers books, words, and grammar for When she’s not on deadline, you can find her curled up with a new library book or road-tripping through Europe or the American West.