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These ‘Classic’ April Fools’ Day Food Pranks Need to Stop

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April Fools' day food pranks

Photo: Africa Studio (Shutterstock)

Tomorrow is April 1, a day when brands have too much fun and your most annoying friend tries too hard to be funny. To these pranksters, we say: Have fun, but stay the hell away from our food.

Yes, I know some of you are going to say I should learn to take a joke, but some pranks are just an insult to the joy of food. They’re not fun, they’re not funny, and they amount to a lot of waste (or wasted meal potential). Here are some of the April Fools’ Day antics we wish would be banished forever.

Swapping sugar for salt

Pouring out the sugar in a container and swapping in salt is not only a waste of the two best ingredients in your pantry, but it also wastes whatever food the imposter seasoning is sprinkled onto. The general aim of this prank is to ruin someone’s morning coffee—and ruining such a sacred part of the day is downright cruel.

For many of us, that first cup of coffee in the morning sets the tone for the entire day. Throw some unexpected salt into my morning pick-me-up, and you’re going to end up with a sour attitude from me all day long. The only way to make this an acceptable prank is if you are prepared, as the prankster, to buy or make the victim a backup coffee immediately afterward. It’s only fair, right?

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Serving inedible jelly beans

Jelly Belly, a jelly bean company that’s supposed to exist to make children happy, has an entire game centered on the “fun” of potentially tasting a barf- or booger-flavored jelly bean instead of, say, green apple or pear. And sure, if you’re playing BeanBoozled, then you’ve already surrendered to the possibility of ingesting something that tastes absolutely disgusting. However, these beans often end up in the hands of pranksters, meaning we must consider the worst case scenario. Some people have extremely sensitive gag reflexes, for example, and unexpectedly popping an “old bandage” flavored bean into their mouth could lead to a mess. As the perpetrator of the prank, are you willing to take that risk? If you are, then good luck—keep a mop nearby for the fallout.

Replacing sandwich cookie filling with toothpaste

When executing any prank, the beauty lies in the fact that it takes extra effort to do something so pointless. That said, replacing Oreo filling with toothpaste seems more like a waste of time than anything else.

To carry out this prank at the most expert level, making your efforts undetectable, requires a lot of work. First, you’d have to buy a pack of cookies and open them carefully enough to reseal them afterward, without the result looking as if it was previously opened. During all the time it takes to carefully scrape away the filling from each cookie, you might start to wonder what else you could be doing with all this free time, and why you chose to spend it deceiving your fellow snackers.

Beyond that, you have to make sure you purchase toothpaste that is purely white, and which also doesn’t carry a strong minty scent lest you be found out immediately. You must then delicately spread the toothpaste onto the cookie in a uniform circle, sandwich the cookies back together without breaking them or spurting toothpaste out the sides, and repackage it all in a way that looks untampered with. Even if you manage to do all of that successfully, the person you are pranking will only need to take a single bite of one cookie to know what’s up. They might even figure it out sooner, if you look at them too expectantly.

The payoff of this prank just isn’t worth the effort you put into it, and likely wouldn’t even garner the laughs you’d hope it would. But there is one hefty upside to this rather painstaking prank: destroying the evidence by eating all the delicious real Oreo filling you’ve scraped away.

The lesson here is: Don’t commit April Fools’ Day pranks, jerks. But if you do, be prepared to make good with a coffee or a non-compromised cookie afterward. And to the gullible among you, try to avoid any offers of free food or drink on April 1. You can never be too careful.

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