The Definitive April Fool's Prank Bracket

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

March Madness is old news, guys. It’s April now, and you know what April 1 brings? Madness. Absolute madness. And the worst type of madness, as anyone who as been on or heard of the Internet knows, is #brand madness.

So, of course, we made a bracket about it. We rounded up 16 pranks from 16 #brands and divided them into four categories: media, tech, stuff you can buy, and other, because some pranks are just so special that they defy categorization. Fill it out yourself, if you like! But also know that this is objectively correct and definitive. Enjoy!

(April Fool’s! No one enjoys this.)


  • The New York Times announced it will stop publishing crossword puzzles. “There are plenty of perfectly good crosswords out there,” wrote the Times’ “puzzle constructor,” Deb Amlen. “They’re not the New York Times Crossword, but like I said, you’ll adjust.” This is probably the daddest joke in the bracket.

  • National Geographic tweeted that it would “immediately stop publishing nude animal pictures,” an announcement that was accompanied by an embarrassed-looking hedgehog thing (as Caroline noted earlier). Shows that Playboy can still be an industry leader.

  • GQ replaced every image on its homepage with a photo of Jason Alexander, perhaps better known as George Costanza from Seinfeld. We’ll give him this: the man knows how to wear a raincoat.

  • Writers for sister sites Deadspin, which focuses on sports, and Jezebel, which is geared toward women, switched roles for the day. Jezebel’s writers did a better job, occupying their colleagues’ homepage with headlines like “Man Achieves Adequacy” and “I’m Pretty Sure Most Straight Men Would Have Sex with The Rock.”


  • Samsung announced a new line of “intelligent trousers,” which ostensibly monitor their wearer’s vital signs and send them a smartphone notification to keep their pants on if they get too excited. Coming from a company that recently released a 5,000 dollar refrigerator with a 21.5’’ touchscreen crammed into it, we weren’t at first sure if this was a joke.

  • Google showed off its latest virtual-reality headset, the see-through Cardboard Plastic. “What’s realer than real?” the voiceover deadpans in an announcement video. “Probably nothing. Or maybe something. I doubt it, though.” Points for self-parody.

  • Google tried a little too hard with a cutesy addition to Gmail it called MicDrop, which added a new button to the email screen. When clicked, it appended a mic-dropping gif of a minion (from the Despicable Me movies) to outgoing messages and muted the responses. The prank went over very, very poorly, and Google pulled the feature last night.

  • In a better, happier world, Zoosk’s dating site that matches users based on their burrito preferences—delightfully named Burrit-OH!—would be real. And it would be a smash hit, and it would save all kinds of bickering on the Chipotle line, and the people would rejoice. Alas, it’s not actually happening. To all you tofu-bean aficionados tryna make it with a carnitas lover: Godspeed, you crazy kids.


  • Cultural powerhouse H&M teamed up with fashion icon Mark Zuckerberg to bring his signature look to the masses. Yep, it’s a box of seven identical gray t-shirts and a pair of blue jeans. Check out the lookbook for photos of Zuck doing his thing.

  • You’re a freshman about to show your dorm rooms to your mom for the first time, and it smells, um, less than presentable. Time-honored tradition says you reach for a candle or five. But forget that lavender honey Yankee candle. Show some personality with a Sbarro pizza candle. That’ll make mama proud.

  • Waffle House may have falsely promised waffle delivery, but there’s hope yet for all those who are really jonesing for some waffles right now but also don’t want to get up: Pick up the shattered pieces of your heart and rejoice in the new UberEats.

  • If you thought Quilted Northern’s new line of “rustic weave” artisanal toilet paper made from tree bark was real, you probably deserve the butt splinters.


  • That annoying acquaintance on your Facebook feed who’s announced that they’re engaged or moving or pregnant or something. Spoiler: This will always lose. You’re the worst. You know who you are.

  • The Amherst Police Department’s faux-newest member is Dusty, the Narcotics Detection Rabbit, complete with official police harness and adorable lil’ tail. If you have to suffer through an April Fool’s prank, at least you get to look at a picture of a bunny.

  • Unfortunately, no, Mattel did not purchase Juneau, Alaska, and rename it after everyone’s favorite slumber-party card game, but they made a hell of a logo. (Uno-fied April 1, 2015). (Uno-fied!) (Fine, we’re suckers for wordplay.)

  • Trulia, the real-estate website, jumped on the hipster-hating bandwagon (“Hipsters are the WORST”) and made a map to let house-hunters know where to avoid if they can’t stand to look at their “skinny jeans and perfectly coiffed mustaches and mermaid hair.” But Trulia may be helping out their enemy here: Hipsters across the country are gathering their belongings to conquer the last remaining pristine landscape.