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Top 10 best Dutch April Fools’ jokes in history

Classic April Fools’ jokes that are generally executed on April 1 usually consist of simple ruses, such as telling someone their shoe laces are untied and making them look down, or sending someone on an impossible errand, like fetching dried snow, or a glass axe.

Besides the standard tricks and gags, it's also common to come across some fake public announcements and news items, created to fool as many people as possible. We have made a selection of our favourite ones.

Top 10 best Dutch April Fools’ jokes

Have a look, maybe you can reuse some this year:

  • The Tower of Pisa fell over

1960, Nederlands Journaal
Many people were very upset to read that the Leaning Tower of Pisa had finally toppled over, having collapsed under the stress of its tilting structure.

  • Cow spots to be manipulated for commercial use

2003, Axis Media Partners
A design agency in Enschede presented a ground-breaking new advertising opportunity: new DNA developments would allow them to manipulate the spots of cows so well that their hides could sport almost any logo or text.

  • Road tax for cyclists

2004, Amsterdam news
News sources in Amsterdam sparked a local outrage, when they announced that the municipality of Amsterdam would be enforcing a road tax for cyclists in the city.

  • How to connect Senseo to the internet

2004, XS4ALL
Internet Service Provider XS4ALL brought cruel, baseless hope to coffee lovers across the nation by writing a step-by-step guide on their website, explaining how to connect a Senseo coffee machine to the internet.

Senseo® Speed would allow commuters to arrive home and instruct the machine online to have a hot cup of coffee waiting for them, although a slow connection would affect the flavour.

  • Prime minister Balkenende was cast in the new Harry Potter movie

2004, Jeugdjournaal
Dutch children’s news sparked a political interest among its young viewers by claiming that the Dutch prime minister of the time, Jan Peter Balkenende, had been cast to play the role of Harry Potter’s father in the famous movie series.

This joke sprung from the man’s bespectacled countenance, which had been compared to that of the beloved teen wizard.

  • Blocked zebra born

2005, Emmen Zoo
Emmen Zoo led hordes of visitors to the cage of newly-born baby zebra Vitumbiko, who had been born with a block pattern on his fur, instead of the regular zebra stripes.

The checkerboard wonder turned out to be a ruse, however, and the cage only contained a photoshopped picture, and a note saying April Fools’.

  • Tony’s Chocolonely presents a chocolate bar containing marijuana

2016, Tony’s Chocolonely
The Tony’s Chocolonely space bar was claimed to be consisted of milk chocolate and crumbled-up marijuana. Keeping up with the Dutch company’s sustainability principles, the ganja would of course be purely biological, and locally grown.

  • Car insurance will be raised depending on driver’s weight

2012, Nederlanden van Nu
A rather vicious announcement by insurance company Nederlanden van Nu came out, stating that they would be the first to connect their car insurance costs to the weight of the driver. Skinny people would have to pay up to 25 percent less.

The company asserted that a Scandinavian research study proved that heavier people negatively affected the breaking distance, making it likelier to end up in an accident.

  • Track and trace chip for your children

2016, Media Markt
Electronics shop Media Markt added a handy little device to their web shop, called the PROTECTY RFID S4 Easy Chipper. A "Tag&Trace system" would allow you to insert a microchip under your child’s skin (virtually painless), through which you would always be able to locate your child with a special app.

"Customer reviews" on the page included comments like:

  •  "I used to lose my child at least once a week, forcing me to keep him locked up in the basement. This fantastic product saves me the trouble, but I do recommend administering quite some sleeping pills before inserting the chip, as it can be painful."
  •  "I’ll use it on the cats, I’m afraid my ex wife will steal them. I also got one for my new girlfriend. She’s a heavy sleeper and she didn’t notice a thing. The app shuts down sometimes but it restarts, no problem."
  • Self Driving Bicycle by Google Netherlands

2016, Google Nederland

Did you fool someone?

If you manage to trick a Dutch friend with one of these, or other quips, here is a rhyme you can chant at them:

"1 April, kikker in je bil, die er nooit meer uit wil!"
"April Fools’, frog in your bum, that will never come out!"
 

Let us know your favourite pranks in the comments below!

Alexandra

Author

Alexandra van Kampen

English and Japanese theatre and culture are my forte. My mother was raised in England, and my grandmother in Japan. I studied Japanese Language and Culture, and Film and Photographic...

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