Each year, as April 1 approaches, children and pranksters around the world begin gleefully planning the hoaxes and practical jokes they will play on unsuspecting friends, coworkers and family members. While not exactly an international holiday, April Fools’ Day is recognized in many different countries, and it’s more than just a day of cheap laughs: When you prank your friends and family, you’re actually carrying on a time-honored tradition that has been handed down through cultures and centuries for well over 500 years. What’s the best trick to play on your child, best friend, spouse or coworker? If you really want to push their buttons, tailor your prank to their Sun sign! Read on to find out the best tricks that are sure to get the goat of your Zodiac sign.
Aries (March 20th - April 19th)
It can be tough to trick an Aries; inventive and quick on their feet, the Ram is usually the one pulling the pranks. But you can pull the wool over this sign’s eyes if you capitalize on their competitive nature. Show your Aries victim how you can balance a full glass of water on the back of your hand (be sure to practice this before you try it!). Then, bet them that they can’t do the same — but challenge them to do it with two glasses of water, one balanced on the back of each hand. Once you’ve helped them get the glasses in place, leave the room. Aries will be forced either to sit there, hands out and as steady as possible, until you return, or to spill the water if they want to move. (Warning: Use plastic cups that won’t break, in case Aries chooses to spill the water so they can come after you!)
Taurus (April 20th - May 20th)
Sensual Taurus adores luxury and relaxation, and values little more than quality sleep in a soft, comfortable bed. Trick them on April Fools’ Day by sprinkling graham cracker crumbs in their bed. They’ll toss and turn, wondering why their normally soft sheets feel so scratchy. You can also slip a sheet of crinkly plastic beneath their pillowcase, so they hear a loud crinkling noise every time they shift positions. Another good trick for this food-loving sign: Replace the sugar they use in their morning coffee with salt, and watch them pucker up when they take that first, much-anticipated sip. (If you want to be sweet, have a normally sweetened cup ready for them to drink.) Another great prank to play on a Taurus is to box up all the food in the refrigerator and cupboards and hide it in another room, and then giggle as the hungry Bull searches in confusion for something to eat.
Gemini (May 21st - June 20th)
Intellectual Gemini is all about words and communication. On April Fools’ Day, give your Gemini victim a word search puzzle that doesn’t actually contain any of the words listed in the search key. Wait until they’re extra frustrated at not being able to find even one word on the list; then lean in to help — and circle the words “April” and “Fools” in the puzzle. Another way to trick a Gemini is to change the language setting in their cell phone to a foreign language (just be sure you know how to change it back!). And finally, try switching their computer keyboard from the usual QWERTY key layout to the lesser-used Dvorak layout. When they go to surf the Web or write an email, nothing but nonsense will result when they start to type! See how long it takes this clever sign to figure out what has happened. Chances are, it won’t be long; they might even enjoy learning the Dvorak layout and trying it out for a while.
Cancer (June 21st - July 21st)
The Crab has a strong attachment to their home, and especially to their kitchen. A great April Fools’ Day joke for this sign is to scatter fake ants or, better yet, cockroaches throughout the kitchen, hiding them inside dishes, pots and cupboards. Cancer will think there’s an infestation when they go to make dinner. Another great prank is to swap Cancer’s house key with one that looks very similar, but doesn’t fit the lock. They’ll become more and more frustrated and confused as they keep trying and failing to unlock their door. Finally, try boiling all the eggs in the refrigerator and then replacing them in their carton. When Cancer goes to make scrambled eggs or bake a cake, they’ll be shocked to find the eggs don’t run out of their shells as expected.
Leo (July 22nd - August 21st)
When playing practical jokes on stylish, attractive Leo, go for pranks that will prick their vanity — all in good fun, of course. For example, the Lion will be extra embarrassed when someone finds a pair of frumpy, oversized, highly unattractive underwear — clearly marked with Leo’s name inside the elastic waistband — left on the bathroom floor at work, school or home. Another great way to trick this sign is to swap out the contents of their dresser drawers and stuff the toes of all their shoes with cotton balls. When they go to get dressed in the morning, none of their shoes will fit, and they won’t be able to find their clothes in the usual places. They’ll wonder if they’re still asleep and dreaming!
Virgo (August 22nd - September 21st)
Practical Virgo always wants to be punctual. Here’s a great practical joke for this sign: Late at night on March 31, after your Virgo victim has gone to bed, set all the clocks in the house forward by an hour, except the one Virgo uses as an alarm clock in the morning. When they wake the next morning at the regular time, they’ll go about their morning routine, just like usual — until they spot one of the other clocks in the house (you can point out the time, if you need to). They’ll suddenly “realize” they’re an hour late, and will scramble around trying to get ready for work or school in double-time! Another great prank for clean, refined Virgo is to pretend to smell something foul every time Virgo approaches. Get other people in on the joke, so it isn’t just you sniffing and wrinkling your nose. Soon Virgo will start to suspect their personal hygiene isn’t up to snuff!
Libra (September 22nd - October 22nd)
Stylish, genteel Libra could stand a little “dirtying up” every once in a while — at least as an April Fools’ Day joke. Prank them by leaving an old gym bag someplace prominent in the house or office that is filled with noticeably smelly clothes and other embarrassing items (try grossly oversized underwear, a jumbo-sized tube of hemorrhoid cream, or a half-eaten, rotting food item). Then nab their driver’s license or ID card and place it right on top. Whoever finds the bag will know exactly whose it is, and can return it to its supposed owner (who will be extremely embarrassed to be associated with such an unpleasant array of odors and other unpleasantness).
Scorpio (October 23rd - November 21st)
Mysterious, enigmatic Scorpio lives to uncover secrets. One simple way to trick this sign is simply by leaving a note reading “April Fools’!” on their desk chair or in the driver’s seat of their car — but don’t play any tricks on them at all. They’ll drive themselves crazy throughout the day, trying to figure out what the joke is, who might be playing it and when it might be coming. You can also prank them by leading them on a scavenger hunt of sorts: Leave clues for them to follow, with the final “surprise” being you as you jump out and yell, “April Fools’!” You can also leave your journal out someplace where they’re sure to find it, open to an entry where you’ve written something truly scandalous (and, of course, completely untrue). Be sure to write “April Fools’!” at the end of the entry!
Sagittarius (November 22nd - December 20th)
Adventurous Sagittarius loves learning about and experiencing unfamiliar cultures. Have a friend call their phone and leave a voicemail claiming that Sagittarius has won an all-expenses-paid vacation to someplace exotic. Leave your number as the call-back number, so that when Sagittarius phones you to claim their prize, you can holler “April Fools’!” into the receiver. Sagittarius is also a lifelong learner; if you attend school with your Sag victim, ask them on the morning of April 1 if they’re ready for the big exam that day (when there’s actually no exam scheduled). This prank works even better if you can get several friends in on it. Everyone can confirm there is definitely a test that day, one everyone has supposedly known about and been preparing for for weeks. Another great prank for honest Sagittarius: Leave a fake apology note on their car’s windshield for a hit-and-run accident that didn’t happen. Then watch and laugh as your friend searches for a dent that doesn’t exist.
Capricorn (December 21st - January 18th)
Frugal Capricorn will find it tough to pass up a ten-dollar bill left lying on the floor, so drop one where you’re sure they’ll see it — but first, rub mashed banana on the underside. When they pick it up, they think they’ve gotten something truly nasty on their fingers. (Warning: This prank may cost you ten dollars! Once Capricorn figures out it’s just banana and nothing worse, they might simply wash off the bill and keep it rather than returning it to you.) If you work with your Capricorn victim, invite them on a trip to the office water cooler, and hand them a paper cup that has pinholes poked into the bottom of it. You’ll get a laugh as water drips onto their clothes! And finally, here’s one more prank that takes a bit of planning, but which can really get the Goat’s goat: Burn a candle in its holder on top of a piece of wax paper, letting the wax drip down onto the paper. Once it dries, peel the paper off very carefully. Now you can place the candle on one of Capricorn’s favorite pieces of furniture — preferably a precious antique or an expensively upholstered chair — and watch poor Cap blow their top, thinking the finish is ruined.
Aquarius (January 19th - February 17th)
Most Aquarians are all about the latest tech gadgets, but that doesn’t mean they can spot an April Fools’ joke before they’ve fallen for it. Prank this sign by (very carefully!) saving a copy of their latest important computer file that they’ve been working on, and giving it a different name (one you’ll remember, so you can find it easily once the prank is revealed). Then create a new document and give it the old file’s name — but fill it with nothing but senseless characters, strings of numbers and other gobbledygook. Be sure to type in “April Fools!” at the very end of the document! Another great way to trick an Aquarius is to take a screenshot of their computer desktop and then leave the image open. It will appear as if their desktop is just as they left it, but when they try to click on folders or pull-down menus, nothing will happen. They’ll quickly grow frustrated, thinking their computer is frozen.
Pisces (February 18th - March 19th)
Fanciful, imaginative Pisces is so pure-hearted, they may be the most gullible of all the Zodiac signs. That just makes the Fish the most fun to prank! If you live in a warmer climate, spray fake snow around the edges of Pisces’s bedroom windows early in the morning on April 1, and dump powdered sugar or instant mashed potatoes on any bushes outside. Then wake them up, exclaiming that a freak winter storm passed through in the night. Whimsical Pisces is sure to believe it, and will still have fun with the idea of a “winter wonderland” even once the prank is revealed. For other great prank ideas to fool the sign of the Fish, just read through the other tricks listed in this article — Pisces is guaranteed to fall for each and every one! Just remember that this sign is extra softhearted; too many tricks, especially mean-spirited ones, could start to hurt Pisces’s feelings.