The FINANCIAL -- Maybe you convinced your husband that you were pregnant, years after that was even an option, just to see the terrified look in his eyes. Or perhaps your parents woke you up on a weekend claiming you were late for school.
Then again, it's possible you're one of the 24% of Americans who still think "Kick Me" signs are funny. But whether you're the prank-er, the prank-ee, or just the bystander laughing in the background, April 1st marks the height of practical jokes every year as Americans celebrate April Fool's Day.
Nearly two-fifths of Americans anticipate being the target of at least one prank this April Fool's Day (37%), while over a third will attempt to pull off at least one prank of their own (35%). Additionally, 18% of Americans affirm that they have a family tradition of pranking one another on April Fool's Day.
Because 70% of Americans believe men are more likely than women to pull pranks, women pranksters have a greater element of surprise on their side. In reality, men and women are almost equally likely to participate in April foolery (36% men vs. 34% women).
These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,221 U.S. adults surveyed online in February 2015.
Should you be worried?
Anyone with a best friend, spouse/significant other, or sibling beware: more than seven in ten adults consider these people to be potential targets (76% best friend, 73% spouse/significant other, 72% siblings) and around a quarter consider each a "prime target" (22%, 25%, and 22%, respectively). Teenagers and co-workers should also be on their guard, as 69% and 64% of Americans, respectively, have them on their target lists.
As for parents, it's pretty much a coin toss as to whether they're considered potential targets, as 47% of Americans are open to pranking them, while 53% believe they're off-limits. In addition, the majority of Americans see young children (56%) as off-limits. Bosses and Teachers/Professors are likely to be the safest, as most Americans consider them off-limits as well (64% each).
In-person pranks trump digital deeds
This may be the digital age, but only 19% of Americans prefer digital pranks to pranking someone in person. Still, a majority (56%) of those Americans planning to attempt a prank this year expect to use at least one of the following to aid in their hoax: a phone (37%), a text message (33%), social media (20%), email (18%), voicemail (9%), and video chat (5%).
When asked to recount the best April Fool's Day prank they have ever been a part of, some standout responses included:
• "Somehow getting salt into spouse's coffee each year and then not doing it one year and watching her looking for it and never finding it all day."
• "Replacing my kid's computer desktop with a screenshot of their desktop and then hiding their actual files out of sight."
• "My whole class at college in an honors program didn't show up to class. Instead, we left dozens of drop slips on the professor's desk, saying we'd decided to drop the class. Each one was signed with a different name - so Mickey Mouse and Gandalf and God all decided to drop the honors class that day!"
• "I 'baked' a cake for my brother, but in reality it was a balloon covered in frosting, which consequently blew up in his face."
• "I had a friend call my husband, so he would not recognize the number, and told him it was the White House and it was very important he return the call (she left the phone # to the White House). He called the White House and they told him they did not call him. I was in the kitchen laughing."
• "Made my little brother cry (this was YEARS ago) when I called him at home from an outside line, convinced him I was in charge of Santa Claus's travel arrangements, and unfortunately I was taking his house off the itinerary for Christmas Eve that year."
Year-round media mayhem
Unfortunately, pranks don't turn all frowns upside-down: 57% of American adults say they have a lower appreciation for pranks now that they're adults. Still, not all hope for humor is lost since 41% of Americans do think pranks are funny as long as they are not the target.
So it's no big surprise that when it comes to big digital shenanigans, Americans don't always feel the need to pull the prank themselves to reap the enjoyment of seeing others fooled. Forty-seven percent of Americans enjoy at least one type of media prank. Three in ten Americans get a kick out of listening to radio stations helping listeners pull-off prank calls (31%), one-fifth each appreciate television shows encouraging participants to prank each other for reward money (21%) and news outlets posting fake/satirical stories (18%), and 13% like it when celebrities make false announcements via social media.