NEW YORK — Be careful who you single out on April Fools’ Day this year – for one in three Americans, it’s “always” fair game to prank somebody who pranked you first.
That’s according to a recent OnePoll survey, which asked 1,000 people to reveal whether they thought certain pranks were “always,” “occasionally,” or “never” appropriate to pull on others.
Some pranks are out of bounds
The most taboo prank on the list is “pantsing” someone in public, which 29 percent of respondents say is “never appropriate.” Other unsavory prank ideas included faking a proposal or breakup (28%), changing someone’s phone settings (28%), and tampering with another person’s food (27%).
While four in 10 (39%) think it’s more than OK to go after a family member on April 1, another one in seven (15%) believe that no one deserves to be a perennial target for pranks. Another 63 percent believe it’s possible to go “too far” with a prank or practical joke.
“I don’t like them and wouldn’t do it to someone,” one person says. “I just remember how awkward it feels when someone does something like that to me and I don’t ever want to make anyone else feel that way. It’s not that I’m a bad sport, I just don’t think it’s funny to mess with others’ emotions.”
April Fools’ pranks are for the youngsters
Despite the potential for hurt feelings, April Fools’ Day still remains a popular holiday for the 64 percent of respondents who enjoy it. Age may also play a factor, as Gen Zers are overwhelmingly more keen on the idea compared to other demographics, particularly boomers (83% vs. 43%).
Overall, more than half the poll (57%) think the rise of the internet has made April Fools’ Day a better experience. Fifty-six percent get a kick out of prank-themed YouTube channels, and 60 percent like it when brands participate in the fun – so long as no one gets hurt.
“A good prank is one that the ‘victim’ will also laugh at as well when all is said and done,” one respondent writes. “If the target is left angry, sad, or embarrassed, then your prank was no prank, more a form of bullying or hazing and never appropriate.”
In that case, you probably can’t go wrong filling a room full of balloons (58%) – so long as you can handle the payback afterward, of course.
MOST TABOO PRANKS:
- “Pantsing” someone in public (29%)
- Catfishing someone (29%)
- Faking a proposal or breakup (28%)
- Changing someone’s phone settings or contacts (27%)
- Tampering with someone’s food or drink (27%)
MOST ACCEPTABLE PRANKS:
- Filling a room full of helium balloons (58%)
- Putting googly eyes on unexpected household objects (42%)
- Posting something false or fake on social media (40%)
- Messing with someone who’s fallen asleep (38%)
- Intentionally scaring someone (37%)