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April Fools' Day 2021: Duolingo toilet paper, Velveeta skincare and more pranks

Most brands gave 2020 a pass for April Fools' jokes, but Lego, Monoprice, the Canadian Space Agency and others had fun this year.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
5 min read
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You'll wish TaskRabbit's April Fools' TaskRabbits service was real.


April 1 is typically a day for silly jokes, and companies have put a lot of effort into trying to make people laugh. Last year was an exception (and Google sat this year out again), but some brands ventured back into the realm of April Fools' Day for 2021. From Porsche to TaskRabbit, brands brought a diverse array of refreshing fun.

Monoprice Sit-Squat Desk


Sit or squat. It's up to you.


If you're not sure if a standing desk is right for you, perhaps you'd prefer the Workstream by Monoprice Dual Motor Sit-Squat Desk which for some reason was out of stock on April 1. It entirely removes standing from the equation, but your thigh muscles will get a workout.

Cyngn Horse

Cyngn, a company focused on technology for autonomous vehicles, took its April Fools' inspiration from transportation history with the introduction of the Cyngn Horse. The environmentally friendly option runs on hay. "Unlike traditional vehicles, Cyngn Horse was designed with flexibility in mind," the ad said. Sounds like a reasonable alternative to a Toyota.

Porsche Patina Paint

A deadpan documentary-style marketing video from Porsche introduced a joke option for a patina paint that'll make your expensive sports car look like it's been sitting in a field for thirty years.

Aspen Snowmass Après Skis

Here's one for the ski fans. Aspen Snowmass introduced Après Skis that go from the slope directly to cocktail hour. A classy advertising video highlighted the joyful absurdity of the product, including a stylish high-heel variation.

Fluidmaster Emergency Wiping Rock


Um, no.


With toilet paper shortages still lurking in our recent history, toilet repair brand Fluidmaster offered an evergreen solution: the Emergency Wiping Rock. "Leveraging technology from simpler times, the Emergency Wiping Rock is available in both petite and grande sizes and features either smooth or coarse grit levels," the company said.

Firehouse Subs Meatball of the Month Club


One meatball.

Firehouse Subs

When the Hot Sauce of the Month Club isn't cutting it anymore, there's Firehouse Subs' joke Meatball of the Month offering that promised to deliver a solitary themed-meatball on a regular basis. There was even a vegan option.

Jack Link's Jerky cologne

How much do you love jerky? Enough to bathe your body in jerky-scented cologne? Jack Link's gave away a limited-edition jerky-scented cologne via Instagram for its April Fools' Day efforts.

Lego SmartBricks

Lego knows the pain fans have felt when accidentally stepping on a plastic brick with bare feet, so it introduced a dreamy new concept for the building toys: SmartBricks that automatically slide away from you as you walk, leaving a clean, brick-less path.

Canadian Space Agency Mars surprise

The Canadian Space Agency decided to engage in a little image manipulation to connect NASA's Perseverance rover mission on Mars to all the single socks that have gotten lost in dryers on Earth.

Bud Light Seltzer Pizza Variety Pack

The hard seltzer craze sweeping the nation finally reached its apex with Bud Light Seltzer's gag-inducing gag for April Fools' Day: a pizza variety pack featuring fizzy flavors like anchovy, pepperoni, extra cheese and veggie.

Razer Rapunzel Chroma Hair Dye

Gaming company Razer stepped into the high-tech haircare realm with Rapunzel, an app-controlled nanotech hair dye guaranteed to get you more streaming viewers. "Get your hair in the game," the ad said. If you want an idea of what it might look like if it were real, you can play with Razer's AR filter on Instagram.

Newegg Hydrator PC

It's too bad the Newegg Hydrator Drink and Beverage Dispenser Work and Gaming PC is just a joke product because it looks awesome. "We realize that there are two major biological needs that take you away from your PC, and while we haven't mastered our strategy for one of them yet, we have conquered the need to get up and grab a drink," the product listing said.

V by Velveeta Skincare

Velveeta cheese is often described as creamy. Moisturizers are also often described as creamy. Put the two ideas together and you get the distinctly unsettling V by Velveeta skincare line for April Fools' Day.

Blue Kazoo 100,000-piece all-blue jigsaw puzzle


Blue Kazoo wants to stress out jigsaw puzzle fans.

Blue Kazoo

Jigsaw puzzle fans are often looking for a new challenge, and Blue Kazoo's $100,000 "100,000 pieces of unadulterated azure agony" puzzle would probably take a lifetime to complete if it was real.

Satechi Cybermouse

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The Satechi Cybermouse April Fools' joke plays on Elon Musk's Cybertruck design.


If you think Elon Musk's Cybertruck is a looker, you'll love the angular lines of Satechi's joke Cybermouse. The accessory maker said it's constructed with a unibody aluminum casing and an EV battery. It might be a gag product, but it actually looks kinda cool.

TaskRabbit TaskRabbits

TaskRabbit, the freelance labor marketplace, decided to make a play on its name and introduce TaskRabbits, a service that delivers real live cuddly bunnies to your door along with the Tasker who is providing work. Honestly, it sounds like a dream come true. TaskRabbit was just joking about the bun-buns, but it pledged to donate up to $4,000 to nonprofit rabbit rescues, so this April Fools' joke had a charitable component.

Duolingo Roll

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Duolingo made some real roll to help bathroom-goers learn a new language.


Language-learning app Duolingo knows people like to read on the loo, so it created the three-ply Duolingo Roll that "turns your bathroom into a classroom." The Roll website is a spot-on parody complete with reviews like "Keeps my language learning on a regular schedule." In a show of commitment to the joke, Duolingo actually produced some rolls for English, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese and Chinese speakers to give away via social media channels.

Surfshark for Windows 95

VPN provider Surfshark went way retro with an ad for a Windows 95 version of its software delivered by way of five floppy disks. It truly captured the zeitgeist of the time. Let the modem jokes fly.

Green Giant Cauliflower Peeps


Nobody asked for Cauliflower Peeps.

Green Giant

People tend to have strong opinions about both cauliflower and Peeps marshmallows, so vegetable company Green Giant decided to meld the two concepts through an April Fools' joke press release. Fortunately, the companies didn't actually make the hybrid food, but just the thought of it is enough to make some stomachs flip.  

Chosen Foods GuacPaste


Chosen Foods jokes that kid-friendly flavors garlic, pesto and harvest fresh are coming soon.

If the cauliflower Peeps didn't phase you, you might enjoy Chosen Foods' gag concept of GuacPaste, a guacamole toothpaste made with "hand-scooped Hass avocados." The package design looks like it would fit right in at Whole Foods.

We'll update this post as April Fools' Day jokes appear, so check back for the latest developments.