Internet Culture

April Fools' Day 2018: Elon Musk, Google get in on the fun

Elon Musk passed out against a Tesla, an AI-powered ATM, an Airbnb-like service for renting out part of your bed. Keep up with the best hoaxes of 2018.

Are you on your toes? You need to be. April Fools' Day is here and plenty of companies are trying to pull fast ones. 

The timing of April Fools' Day is particularly weird this year since it falls on Easter Sunday. Companies looking to make a splash before everybody got distracted by Easter egg hunts and chocolate rolled out their hijinks on the early side, but more kept coming throughout the weekend. 

We combed the internet for the best, weirdest and wildest pranks and jokes and discovered everything from Elon Musk drunk on "Teslaquilla" to Google Maps sending us on a search for Waldo.

Tesla goes 'bankwupt'

Elon Musk showed up late to the April Fools' party with a series of tweets that started by promising important news and followed up with the declaration that Tesla "has gone completely and totally bankrupt" despite a "last-ditch mass sale of Easter Eggs." This plays on news reports speculating on possible bankruptcy for the electric-car company. What firmly puts this into joke territory is the crowning tweet featuring Musk passed out against a Tesla Model 3 with a sign reading "Bankwupt!"

Virgin Australia Spin Class

Everybody likes to stretch their legs when on a long flight. Virgin Australia also wants to give you a workout with its first ever in-flight spin classes. The fake advertising video imagines an entire section of the airplane housing a bicycle gym.

IPA, now in balloons

Angel City Brewery in Los Angeles chose to shake up the world of beer packaging for April 1 with the joke introduction of IPA in 12-ounce green balloons. Sure, you could just untie and sip them, but it's more fun to toss them.

Netflix acquires Seth Rogen

Writer, actor and director Seth Rogen signed his life over to Netflix in an exclusive deal announced on April 1. "In the end we settled on a price a little higher than a standard Chili's To-Go entree, but I'll be damned, not by that much," Netflix development executive Jareth Chumley is quoted as saying in a release. Netflix says Rogen is considering a live-action "Shrek" remake. 

Jurassic World Dinosaur Detection System

Retailer ThinkGeek's annual line-up of fake products features some delightful new entries this year. The Jurassic World Dinosaur Detection System is just a fancy glass of water, but it's pretty good at letting you know a dino attack is imminent. ThinkGeek also unveiled a Rick and Morty Screaming Sun Alarm Clock, Star Trek Klingon Alphabet Fridge Magnets and an Alien Facehugger Snorkel Mask.

Where's Waldo in Google Maps

Google Maps is aiming for fun and whimsical this April Fools' Day with a playable Where's Waldo game. Waldo pops out and beckons you to seek out him and his friends across the globe. 

Google Maps' April Fools' prank lets you search for Waldo across the globe.


Adobe Cat Prodigy

Christopher Timmons is just 7 years old, but he's a master of Adobe Photoshop CC. Adobe Creative Cloud introduces us to the talented digital artist in a mini-documentary that plays out like a Christopher Guest film. 

Pokemon Go 8-bit

Your Pokemon Go experience is about to get a serious downgrade. The app team announced its cutting-edge all-new graphics engine that renders your virtual monsters as pixelated 8-bit creatures. "Registering approximately twice the definition of 4K, the chunky squares of each pixel provide realistic detail and unbelievable definition," reads the fake announcement.

So lifelike. 

Pokemon Go

REI Co-op ZipAll

Outdoor retailer REI has created the perfect all-purpose outdoor outfit with the ZipAll, a suit covered in over 30 zippers that lets you customize and ventilate to match your activities. You can zip on or zip off as much material as you like, even stripping down to bikini shorts if you prefer. Naturally, it's made with a waterproof and moisture-wicking fabric.

Google Cloud Hummus API

Google's April Fools' jokes are international. Google Israel's introduction of a high-tech system that analyzes your personal taste to find your perfect hummus match plays out like a serious product-introduction video. It's full of engineers dropping buzzwords and wearing lab coats. Google Australia also weighed in this April Fools' Day with a joked re-branding to "Googz."

Logitech BS Detection

Logitech is implementing a useful new feature into its video-conferencing technology with the introduction of Business Speak Detection software, more succinctly known as BS Detection. It analyzes language and alerts you to BS phrases such as "corralling key decisioneers into a real-time thought shower." 

Josh Ultra

Josh, a maker of smart home systems, has hit on a radical innovation for voice-activated assistants. Josh Ultra can handle your every home task and whim with a level of personal service that the Alexa assistant or the Google Home speaker could never achieve. Naturally, this sort of sophistication won't come cheap.

Adam, an AiTM

At first blush, a smart ATM powered by artificial intelligence sounds like a decent idea. And then you meet Adam, the AiTM from banker F&M Trust. Adam learns about your preferences and talks back to you... a little too much.

Sprint Magic Ball

Riffing on its cell-boosting Magic Box device, Sprint unveiled the Magic Ball for April Fools' Day. It's a standard-sized soccer ball (football for the non-US crowd) that can do everything the Magic Box can, but you can also kick it around (and even take it to the moon).

Beautiful Bond Salon

We all know some pet owners bear an uncanny resemblance to their furry friends. With the Beautiful Bond Salon, Petco wants to help people who don't have such luck. This April Fools' salon concept offers makeovers to match you to the look of your cat, dog, fish or snake. This goes beyond getting your hair done and can include the application of makeup and theatrical prosthetics, so you can get scaly if you need to.

T-Mobile Sidekicks

T-Mobile took its April Fools' inspiration from its classic Sidekick phone that flipped open horizontally for access to a tiny keyboard. The company bills its new Sidekicks as the world's first smartshoephone. 

The laces are earphones, there's a screen on the bottom of one shoe and speakers on the other. T-Mobile CEO John Legere voices the phone's digital assistant. Naturally, the kicks come in a screaming shade of magenta. You can even order a pair, minus all the smartphone features.

Chocolate Whopper

Burger King had to live up to last year's Whopper toothpaste prank. So it took a cue from Easter treats and introduced the Chocolate Whopper, a sweet abomination featuring a cake bun, flame-grilled chocolate patty, white chocolate rings, candied blood oranges and vanilla frosting. 

BlaqPaks Zero Strap Backpack

Welcome to a whole new world in backpack design. BlaqPaks, a purveyor of handmade backpacks, has come up with a Velcro-based attachment method for a strapless backpack. It sounds pretty convenient at first, but there are drawbacks.

Roku Happy Streaming Socks

Roku has an answer to the problem of not wanting to touch your streaming-video remote when your hands are a greasy mess from your binge-watching snacks. Happy Streaming Socks have motion sensors that let you swipe to browse, tap to select and click your heels to play. Hey, these actually sound pretty awesome. 


Amazon, Google and Apple are getting a digital assistant challenger from an unlikely place: The labels retailer introduced Labelie, a voice assistant with a one-track mind. 


Voice biometrics company Pindrop has a smartphone authentication concept that goes far beyond Apple's Face ID. With Tongueprinting technology, you lick your phone screen to gain access. Convenient? Maybe. Gross? Yes.

Honda CR-V Roadster

Honda UK got a little trigger-happy with a saw and removed the roof from a CR-V to create a Concept CR-V Roadster. "The structural rigidity of the car has been reduced overall by approximately 100 percent, currently rendering it completely undrivable," the Honda team noted. It definitely won't go over well in the UK's rainy climate.

Honda chopped some bits off its CR-V.


Porch Piracy Protection

Few criminals would dare brave the wrath of an ill-tempered baboon just to steal a package off your porch. Men's gifting company Man Crates developed its deeply satisfying Porch Piracy Protection program to keep package thieves from nabbing your stuff. The service includes options for a pissed-off baboon, camouflage by way of a fake CRT TV with a "free" sign, a chatty solicitor and a creepy clown. Your packages will be plenty safe.


Cryptocurrency is on the mind of home design, decorating and remodeling site Houzz, which says it's offering a bitcoin-style ICO on April 1. HouzzCoinzz plays on the volatility of digital currency with a buzzword-filled ad that drops phrases like "private key authentication" and "immutable transaction ledger." Just watch out for the fine-print warning that your investment could be worth $0 tomorrow.


Forget plastic, rubber or silicone for your next smartphone case. Case maker Tech21 has a tastier idea, the FlexChoc chocolate case. The edible case combines dark and milk chocolate with 10 feet (3 meters) of drop protection. Tech21 says it "strikes the perfect balance between flavor and durability."  


Chances are you don't take up your whole bed when you sleep. Mattress retailer Lucid Mattress combines that idea with an Airbnb concept to offer ShareBED for April Fools' Day. ShareBED encourages you to rent out the spare space in your bed to strangers, a practice the fake ad promises is "completely safe." This April Fools' entry is both creepy and funny.

Ramen Opticals

Online glasses retailer Zenni Optical and iconic noodle brand Nissin Cup Noodles joined forces to create eyewear designed to help you clearly see your ramen while you eat. The Ramen Opticals glasses have a built-in fan that prevents steam from gathering on the lenses and a removable fork to let you chow down with ease. Even better, Zenni and Cup Noodles actually built a prototype. 

These special glasses have a built-in fork and steam-dispersing fan.

Zenni/Nissin Foods

Scentsible Wallpaper

Online retailer Wayfair came up with an April Fools' concept for home decor that you'll wish were real. Scentsible Wallpaper is digital wallpaper that can change with a simple app adjustment. To make it officially weird, the wallpaper is also scented, so it can smell like anything from lemons to a beach.

Rent the Runway for Dogs

Online fashion rental service Rent the Runway knows pets are a perfect theme for April Fools' Day pranks. So it launched Rent the Runway for Dogs, which promises to let customers rent matching outfits for their pups. The fake service includes reviews from fluffy fashionistas who praise the stylish pooch clothes. Rent the Runway says it would consider making this a real service if enough customers request it.

This dapper dog poses for Rent the Runway's April Fools' joke.

Rent the Runway

Google Shrine

Car-shopping site iSeeCars is looking to appease the Google gods this April Fools' Day with Google Shrine, a place to offer prayers, links, AdWords dollars and 2,000-word blog posts in exchange for better search engine rankings.

Rabbit-foraged herbs

In keeping with April Fools' Day falling on Easter this year, online grocer FreshDirect went all-in on bunnies for its joke, which includes a mini-documentary about a rabbit trainer named Ned Hopper who collects fresh herbs harvested by his herd. The FreshDirect blog also features a series of adorable bunny biographies.


Fast-food chain Carl's Jr. probably takes the prize for earliest joke this year for its March 25 Twitter announcement that it would rename its charbroiled slider sandwiches "SpielBurgers" in honor of director Steven Spielberg's "Ready Player One" opening this weekend. 

Spielberg didn't exactly play along, posting his own response telling Carl's Jr. the sliders were "pretty good," but that the chain would need to "cease and desist." Still, it seems likely this is just all part of the marketing around the movie.

Genetic Select by Lexus

Car maker Lexus teamed up with DNA-analysis company 23andMe to help customers find the perfect vehicle to match their genetics. Lexus promises to deliver a custom-built Lexus within 48 hours after your spit-test DNA analysis. The vehicle even comes with a genetically personalized new-car smell. The kicker comes at the end of the ad when the driver starts the car using a very unusual method.


Sparkling-water machine-maker SodaStream applied its carbonation technology to a fake product called SodaSoak that adds bubbles to your bath water. It even recruited "Game of Thrones" actor Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, who plays The Mountain, for the faux commercial.


BBC and ITV's BritBox streaming-video service knows the accents on its shows can be hard for some Americans to understand. Its April Fools' joke, called Interp-Brit, adds a button to the video player that switches all the dialogue over to American voices. Just wait until you hear a "Doctor Who" Dalek utter "exterminate" in a bored American accent.


Language app Duolingo is getting a little sudsy for April Fools' Day with the introduction of Brewolingo, a lineup of fictional beers that will help you learn a language just by imbibing them. "True fluency comes from a mix of consistent studying, cultural immersion, and getting tipsy," a press release quotes Duolingo co-founder Luis von Ahn saying. The joke plays on actual research showing alcohol consumption can improve foreign language skills.

Sip some beer and improve your language skills at the same time.


Howie the Smart Storage Smart Bot

Self-storage company Life Storage introduced a sweetly goofy-looking AI-powered storage valet robot named Howie. Howie looks like a moving box, but is eager to help people pack and stash their gear. The robot's charming incompetence puts this one in the running for cutest April Fools' joke of the year.

WArby's onion-ring monocle

Eyewear brand Warby Parker got together with fast-food giant Arby's to explore the synergy between glasses and meat through a WArby's collaboration. The joke video about the partnership promotes an onion-ring monocle. 

There is a crossover into reality with this prank as some real WArby's merchandise will be available at Warby Parker stores in New York over April Fools' weekend. The monocles will also be available at a couple of New York "WArby's" locations for a limited time.

Chegg Osmosis Pillow

Online textbook rental company Chegg introduced the Osmosis Learning Pillow, a memory-foam pillow that pounds knowledge into your head while you sleep. All you have to do is put your textbooks underneath it and snooze. 

We'll update this post as April Fools' Day jokes continue to arrive, so keep an eye out for the latest and craziest prank developments.

First published, March 28, 12:04 p.m. PT.
April 1 at 5 p.m. PT:
Adds Elon Musk, Virgin spin class and IPA balloons.
April 1 at 9:31 a.m. PT:
Adds Netflix, Google Maps, Adobe, ThinkGeek, Hummus API, Pokemon Go and REI ZipAll.
March 31 at 11:11 a.m. PT:
Adds Josh Ultra, Adam, Sprint Magic Ball, Logitech and Beautiful Bond Salon.
March 30 at 9:26 a.m. PT:
 Adds T-Mobile, Chocolate Whopper, Roku, BlaqPaks and Labelie.
March 29 at 4:06 p.m. PT: Adds HouzzCoinzz, FlexChoc, Porch Privacy Protection, Honda CR-V Roadster and Tongueprinting.
March 29 at 8:36 a.m. PT: Adds ShareBED, Ramen Opticals, Scentsible Wallpaper, Rent the Runway for Dogs, Google Shrine and rabbit-foraged herbs.

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