Pranks on April Fools’ Day have a longstanding history and some BYU students go to great lengths to honor the tradition.
“You should have heard their screams,” BYU alumna Samantha Jones said as she described a prank she witnessed on campus housing years ago.
Jones was walking home from church with her roommates when she spotted a guy with a camera on the roof across from where Jones lived. “We also noticed some other guys walking out of our neighbors’ apartment, which was a girls’ apartment.”
Jones watched as her neighbors walked inside.
“We heard them scream, we walked over and looked into their apartment,” Jones said. “All of their furniture was gone. Everything was gone and sod was covering the whole apartment.”
To the women’s surprise, sod wasn’t the only thing covering the floor. “There were trees placed all over the apartment so it looked like a garden,” Jones said. “They had placed flower stickers all over the wall and there were at least five live bunnies and 20 live baby chicks running around this apartment.”
Jones and her roommates joined the commotion and played with the animals in the apartment.
“It was so fun, but they took everything out (of the apartment) that night,” Jones said. The pranksters spent up to five months of planning the stunt, but the reaction had made it all worth it.
However, not every Aprils Fools’ prank includes chicks and bunnies. For BYU student Kjirsten Collins, a fake parking ticket was foolish enough.
“It was freshman year and my friend Kalli had been getting parking tickets the whole year,” Collins said. “On April Fools’ Day I found a parking ticket online and I put it on Kalli’s car … I put $500 on it. When she saw it her heart just dropped.”
Though Collins was successful in her scheme, karma kicked in months later.
“I walked into the bathroom and there was a fake clown on the floor. He was stuffed so it looked like a real man … I didn’t scream — it was too early — I was just super scared,” Collins said.
From the prankster to the prankee perspective, Collins said she thinks pranks are funny if people keep them among their group of friends. “I think (April Fools’ Day) is great,” she said. “It lightens the mood right before finals.”
April Fools’ Day may lighten the mood for some, but for BYU student Sarah Clifford it has done just the opposite.
“My brother put flour in my hair dryer and when I turned it on it just smelled like burnt flour,” she said. “I had to buy a new blow dryer.”
Clifford’s older brother jumps right into the April Fools’ Day spirit each year.
Clifford once tried walking to her bathroom on April Fools’ day when she was greeted by “100 to 200 red solo cups full of water,” Clifford said. The cups made it impossible to get to the bathroom without knocking them over and flooding the floor.
Another year Clifford was surprised with a prank when she was in the shower.
“I turned on my shower and this weird broth stuff started coming out of my shower head and it smelled like chicken,” she said.
Her older brother had put beef bouillon in the shower cap.
The pranks have become something Clifford expects annually. “Pretty much he does (April Fools’ pranks) without a doubt every single year,” Clifford said.
Clifford said as long as the pranks don’t leave a permanent mark and don’t cross the line, no harm is done.
BYU Police Lieutenant Lemmon explained what “crossing the line” can mean during April Fools’ Day.
“(Crossing the line is) when your activities become disruptive to the education process or your activities violate the law,” Lemmon said.
He said when preparing for April Fools’ Day the best piece of advice is “just to use common sense.”