Point/Counterpoint: Is April Fools’ Day a good holiday?

Against: Katie Parker

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more convinced that life is hard, stressful and startling. The only thing that makes life harder, more stressful and more startling is a prank.

Pranks practically require invading someone’s boundaries. From physically harming them, throwing food on them or stealing an object, I don’t see the great fun in watching the ensuing hurt, mess or stress.

When I encounter the lost souls who love pranks, I just have to ask — “why?” Pranksters claim to love the surprise and reaction of their victim umm, I mean, friend. I can sympathize with the excitement a prank provides, but other activities, like gift-giving, provide the same exhilaration.

Executing low-brow pranks requires no ingenuity or wittiness; the funniest people I know aren’t funny because they threw a pie in someone’s face once. 

The prank sector of the internet has always been particularly disturbing to me. A scroll through YouTube trending pages will show videos screaming “DROPPED OUR BABY PRANK!!” or “CHEATING on my girlfriend prank!!” I can’t help but wonder, who is watching these unreasonably popular videos, and why?

While a “kick me” sign or whoopie cushion is morally dubious, emotional pranks are downright devious, especially when they exploit a sensitive relationship dynamic. Frankly, I have to question the person who takes pleasure from perverse “jokes.”

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For: Henry Hays

There’s a reason April Fools’ Day has been celebrated by various cultures for centuries — people enjoy deceiving their friends while having a good laugh. When done correctly, pranks can be harmless fun and allow people to tap into their inner youthfulness. 

For most days out of the year, people spend their hours focused on working, school or other serious subjects. But for just one day, everyone can forget that seriousness and embrace some playfulness. 

Pranks have a negative connotation and there is no denying that some people take it too far. However, we shouldn’t let a few bad examples represent all pranks. In all honesty, pranks are a rarity in everyday life. The furthest most people go is hiding a friend’s phone or putting a sticker on someone. What’s the harm in that?

April Fools’ Day is a tradition and the more everyone gets involved, the better it gets. Fake ad campaigns and false news headlines are just a few ways national companies and media can get in on the fun of April 1. It’s only when over-sensitive, prank haters get involved that the joy of April Fools’ Day gets lost. 

The best part of April Fools’ Day is the mutual understanding that nothing is personal and that the only consequences are a potential retaliation prank. This is what separates the first of April from other days: you don’t have to live in fear of repercussions, and you can simply enjoy the deception of your friends. 

Additionally, pranks foster collaboration. When everyone is playing pranks, there is a desire to have the biggest, best prank; this leads people to work together to create the greatest deception. Teamwork can grow friendships and bolster relationships; if you don’t take it too far, it can just be a fun game with your friends. 

April Fools’ Day is more than just a day of pranks. It represents a time when people can take a break from the seriousness of life and have a little fun. The expectation that you can prank and will get pranked makes the day a lighthearted time of jokes. Whether it strengthens friendships or breaks them, April 1 is the one day it’s acceptable to laugh at someone else’s expense.