15 Funny April Fools' Pranks to Play on Parents

You're going to crack yourself up with these jokes to play on Mom or Dad.

Updated February 17, 2023
Kids playing an April Fools Day prank

This year, don't settle for the same old April Fools' pranks for your parents. It's time to unleash your evil creativity (okay, not that evil, but it just sounds cool). And don't worry if planning ahead isn't your thing; a lot of these jokes are perfect for last minute pranks and use stuff you already have around the house.

If you've decided that pulling pranks on your parents is worth the risk of getting grounded, then you want to pick a good, funny one. These ideas offer some inspiration for safe practical jokes to play at home for April Fool's Day - or just because.

How to Prank Your Mom or Dad at Home on April Fools' Day

One word: surprise. The single biggest factor in your pranking success is doing something unexpected. If your mom or dad tend to forget dates and don't know it's April Fools' Day, that's awesome for you. But if they're on the organized side, you're going to have to do something no one expects. These tricks are perfect.

Trick Your Parents With Jell-O Water

Startle your parents with potentially "contaminated" drinking water using a little Jell-O and some creativity.

Sink Pouring Out Jell-O Water
  1. Get some Jell-O in a color like green or orange.
  2. Unscrew the mesh cap on the underside of the tip of the bathroom sink faucet. Use the pliers if it's on too tight.
  3. Fill the mesh cap with powder.
  4. Replace the cap on the faucet.

When Mom turns the water on to get a drink or brush her teeth, she'll be shocked by what she sees.

Make Some Lighting Problems

With a few choice purchases (or even some things you scrounge up around the house) and some stealthy moves, you can turn your house into a dimly lit space straight out of a horror movie.

  1. Purchase low watt or flickering light bulbs - or find the dimmest bulbs you guys have around. Homes usually use 60 to 100-watt bulbs, so look for something with 40 watts or less. (Flickering bulbs can be found at Halloween stores or online. Get them in advance so you have them when the time is right.)
  2. When your parents are asleep, sneak around the house and replace commonly used lights with the new bulbs. Start with places like the bathroom where light is most important.
  3. Hide the regular bulbs in your room.

When your parents wake up and turn on the lights, they'll be really confused. This prank also works when your parents go out and come back late at night. It's an all-around great April Fools' Day prank for your parents.

Do a Soap Swap

A simple and easy prank to irritate any mom or dad is the soap swap. All you need is an empty container and some food coloring.

  1. The next time your parent runs out of dish soap or hand soap, swipe the container.
  2. Fill it with water and food coloring to match the fluid color.
  3. Replace their normal container with the water.
  4. Wait for them to give it a try.

They're definitely going to be irritated. If you want to really get them, you could drink the water from the dish soap container and see their reaction. Just be sure to clean the container out really well before attempting this one.

Go for the TikTok Upside Down Mug Prank

Looking for a fun way to get your parents in the epic prank war? Try the upside-down mug trick.

  1. Fill a mug with water, sprinkles, etc.
  2. Put a cutting board on top of it and flip it upside down.
  3. Wipe up any spills.
  4. Put whipped cream on the top of the mug.
  5. Tell your parents you made them some hot chocolate.

When they lift the mug, the fluid or sprinkles are going to spill out and surprise them. This is also a fun prank to do to your sibling.

Swap Some Unhealthy Vitamins

If your parents take vitamins every day, try this fun switcheroo.

  1. Buy small candies that look like your parent's vitamins - Tic Tacs, Mike and Ike's, Good and Plenty's, or mini M&M's work depending on the shape, size, and color you need
  2. When you have a few minutes without your parents around, get out their vitamin containers.
  3. If they take multiple vitamins, choose just one to start with. Label a baggie with the name of the vitamin and dump all the ones from the container into the baggie. Fill the container to the same level with the candy.
  4. Repeat Step 2 for each vitamin.
  5. Hide all the baggies in a safe place where little kids or pets won't find them.

Wait and watch as your parents realize what you've done. Once the prank is over, make sure to return all the real vitamins to their containers.

Switch Out Their Clothing

This tricky practical joke takes some expert planning on your part. You'll need to strike at a time when your parents aren't around, but also before they get dressed in the morning or change into pajamas at night.

  1. Take everything out of his top drawer and put it in hers, then put her clothes in his drawer.
  2. Continue all the way down their dressers.
  3. If they don't have a dresser, you can swap clothing in their closets as well.
  4. If you want to get a little more complex, mismatch their shoes.

While this prank isn't the kind that will fool them instantly, it will elicit a chuckle to watch them scramble looking for their clothing items.

Make Some Frozen Hot Chocolate

You've probably seen the frozen cereal in milk trick for parents to play on kids. This prank flips the script on parents who use a single-cup coffee maker.

Boy holding mug in the kitchen
  1. Make hot chocolate according to package directions in a mug your parents typically use for morning coffee.
  2. Hide the full mug in the freezer overnight.
  3. In the morning, pull out the frozen hot chocolate and drizzle a little hot water on top to melt a tiny bit.
  4. Place the coffee cup on the coffee maker in the correct position. Tell them you've made their coffee for them.
  5. Make conversation with your parents as they add sugar and cream to their coffee; try not to laugh!
  6. Watch as they try to stir or drink the frozen "coffee."

Tech Pranks to Play on Your Parents for April Fools' Day

You know how everyone is always talking about how many options technology gives people? Well, that's true when it comes to pranking too. These April Fools' jokes all use basic technology you probably have in your home.

Cause Some TV Troubles

Mess with your television image controls to make shows look wacky. You'll need to find the picture settings menu on your TV to start. From there, you can change many elements of the picture quality.

  1. Before you start, take a picture of the current settings or write them down so you can restore the quality later.
  2. Play with different controls to make the picture on the screen look as strange as possible.
    • Tint - changes the look of different colors
    • Brightness - increases or reduces the amount of black in the picture
    • Contrast - how bright the white is in the picture
    • Sharpness - how clear the picture looks

Exit the settings menu and wait for someone else to turn on the TV.

Have Some Computer Screen Fun

Parents aren't always tech-smart, so get them good with this creative prank. You'll need a basic understanding of computer screen images.

  1. Take a screenshot of your parent's desktop background on their computer.
  2. Place all of their desktop icons in a folder. Make sure you keep a note of where the folder is saved.
  3. Set the screenshot from Step 1 as the new desktop or lock screen background. It will look like there are icons there, but they are just part of the image!
  4. When your parent gets on the computer they'll try to click on the icons and get concerned their computer is broken.

Once the prank is over, be kind and reset the desktop.

Make Some Mouse Troubles

Do your parents work from home? Make them all flustered by thinking their mouse isn't working.

  1. While they are still sleeping, cut out a small square of paper.
  2. Write Got Ya! on it.
  3. Tape the paper over the light on the bottom of their mouse.
  4. Set it back down.
  5. The wait begins.

If you know when they start work, you can watch as the frustration begins.

Do a Phone Swap

This trick only works if two people in your household have the same phones, or the same size and shape phones, and use phone cases.

Cheerful woman with mobile phone in kitchen
  1. Take the phone cases off both phones and swap them so they are on the wrong phones.
  2. If you have a little money to spend, you could buy a new phone cover and replace your parent's phone case with the new one.

See how long it takes them to realize what happened.

Be a Battery Bandit

This one is sure to elicit a groan from the parentals.

  1. Remove the batteries from all household remotes, including those for the TV and your parent's car.
  2. Make sure you replace the battery compartment covers before putting the remotes back in their usual spots.

At first, parents might not think much of the living room TV remote not working, but as they discover all the remotes are "broken," they'll be baffled.

Last Minute April Fools' Pranks to Pull on Parents

Didn't plan ahead? No big deal. These hilarious April Fools' pranks are easy to do with things you already have handy.

Prank Them With Stuck Toilet Paper

You've probably seen the trick of drawing a spider on the toilet paper and even leaving a message as it unravels. But what if the toilet paper roll doesn't unravel at all? All you need is a little clear tape to make this happen.

  1. Sneak into the bathroom when no one is around, bringing some clear tape with you.
  2. Put a ton of tape on the toilet paper so it won't unroll.
  3. Adjust the toilet paper so the taped section doesn't show.

While you can't actually witness the shenanigans, you can listen on the outside of the bathroom door to hear your parents being disgruntled.

Trick Your Mom and Dad With a Key Swap

Your parents won't even be able to leave the house when you swap all their keys onto each other's keyrings.

  1. Take advantage of a moment where your parents are preoccupied and snag their keys.
  2. Remove all the keys from each ring, keeping track of which one they came from.
  3. Put all the keys from the first ring onto the second and repeat for the other keys. When your parents go to start their cars, they won't have the right key!

This trick works best in the morning or whenever your parents typically leave the house. They each need to have their own car and specific key ring or the prank won't work.

Be a Confetti Fan

If you think your mom or dad will tolerate a bit of a mess (clean-up just takes a vacuum), this is a festive and funny April Fools' prank to try at the last minute.

Cheerful man with laptop talking on mobile phone while catching confetti
  1. Cut up a bunch of paper in tiny pieces.
  2. When your mom or dad leave the room, put the confetti you just made on the blades of the ceiling fan.
  3. When they return, complain about being hot and wait for them to turn on the fan.

You can use glitter for this too, if you have some around, but glitter is a little harder to clean up.

Put a For Sale Sign on Their Car

Your mom or dad will get a ton of calls from people interested in buying their car, and unless they notice the sign, they won't know why. This prank is super easy too.

  1. Grab a piece of paper and write a For Sale sign. List a cheap price and your parent's phone number.
  2. When they aren't looking, run out and tape the sign in the back window of their car.

You're sure to hear about this one at the dinner table (if not before).

Hilarious Pranks to Pull on Your Mom and Dad

Playing pranks on parents and family members can be a fun way to beat boredom. All you need to trick your parents is some creativity and a few resources. For more practical jokes, think about how you could use pranks you'd pull on your friends to trick your parents. Become the legendary prankster everyone will be talking about!

15 Funny April Fools' Pranks to Play on Parents