Radio Station WSNX once made a woman prank call her husband, live on air, to tell him “our son isn’t really yours,” and for doing so, she’d win them a pair of Kayne West tickets. Naturally, he lost it, but to get back at her, he confessed he’d been sleeping with her sister for a year. That’s when the radio host butted in, “Sorry, sir, this has gone horribly wrong, you’re live on air.”
In 1996, Taco Bell thought it’d be funny to buy several full page newspaper ads throughout the country, claiming they’d bought the Liberty Bell and renamed it the “Taco Liberty Bell.” It was clever marketing to play into April Fools’ Day, and a funny joke, but it was not well received. Uproar and PR nightmares ensued. No one got the joke.
In 2001, a Hooter’s waitress was told she’d win a Toyota if she sold the most beer. She took the promise very seriously and in fact sold the most beer that night. But instead of a Toyota, she was given a Toy Yoda Star Wars figurine. Her boss said, “April Fools!” and she said, “I’m Suing!” And she did and she won.
In 2013, a woman in Tennessee thought it’d be funny to call her sister and say with panic, “Helen, I shot my husband, I’m cleaning up the mess, let’s go bury him in Blackwater.” But her sister called another family member for advice, and it wasn’t a sibling who came running to this woman’s door. It was the police. She was taken into custody. Awkward.
In 2000, close to sixty people rushed to a prison in Romania after reading in a newspaper that all prisoners in the jail would be released. Upon arriving they were told “April Fools!”