April Fools – the 1st of April – is a fun day of the year where people try and trick everyone else, or share a joke. This tradition has naturally extended to the internet, and video gaming franchises are not immune to this effect either. In this article we share some of our favourite April Fools jokes that had a Pokémon aspect to it, as well as share the April Fools jokes we’ve had on our forums. You ought to check out what we’ll do throughout the day on our forums this year too!
We herd u liek mudkipz
The above phrase is one of the better known silly expressions across the internet. But why is that? While it had existed for years beforehand (as documented here), Its popularity was helped by an April Fools joke in 2008 by art site DeviantArt.
All members on the website had their avatar set to this image by DeviantArt member Chimpantalones. Users were stuck with the avatar for the full day, regardless of if they were even vaguely familiar with the Pokémon franchise or not. It’s fair to say that a lot of people learnt a new thing about Pokémon. Other starter Pokémon may be envious of the free publicity Mudkip received.
Pokémon Fighting Ring
This prank also occurred in 2008. The website Feminist Gamers (which no longer exists) ran an article about a police operation which busted an illegal Pokémon fighting ring. The story described an underground Pokémon battling network which ran across the United States. The article cited the “extremely small red-and-white balls” Pokémon are kept in, without food and water, as well as the prizemoney that comes with Pokémon battles, likened to “illegal gambling”, as examples of the inhumane treatment of Pokémon. References were also made to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Pokés (SPCP) as the organisation which has taken in the Pokémon involved in these battles, drawing comparisons to similar organisations which exist in the real world for protection against animal cruelty.
This article was reposted around the internet on numerous other forums and websites back in 2008, and it’s still just as humorous today in the way it exposes some of the more questionable elements of the Pokémon games. Give it a read below:
There’s only one Wayne Rooney
Many other Pokémon fansites get on the April Fools train. Many opt to advertise new (and fake) games, while others do the obvious set of jokes on Digimon. Some are more outlandish than others, however. For example, the website pkmn.net decided to announced a new direction their website – hosting a range of content on a ‘secret Pokémon addict’, the footballer Wayne Rooney.
One wonders what his favourite Pokémon actually is.
Another Pokémon fansite is Serebii.net, which hosts a range of Pokémon information and news. His site doesn’t really do April Fools jokes for a long while. But back in 2007, before Pokemon Diamond and Pearl had come out outside of Japan, he suddenly put up all the official English names for places, characters, attacks and items on April Fools. (See the bottom of this page).
People were naturally sceptical given the date, but it then turned out that he had put up the real names and had merely waited for that date to do so. A pseudo-April Fools!
Study to be the very best
Even The Pokémon Company has gotten into the spirit (and more than once!). For instance, back in 2013, the official Pokémon Twitter Account shared the following schedule for a university:
— Pokémon (@Pokemon) April 1, 2013
Alas, there are no real-life degrees in Pokémon. Not yet, anyway.
We’re featuring the best Internet-wide April Fools prank for the end, but our very own PokéCommunity Forums have also been keen on trying April Fools jokes. Here’s a quick summary of the April Fools jokes done over the years, organised by the forum staff members.
2005 – Mod Swap
The beginning of PC’s April Fools pranks! This day had most of the moderators switch accounts, with everyone acting completely opposite of how they usually did. An example of this is Mr Cat Dog (moderator of Pokémon General at the time), who created the member account BritneyPikachu119 to spam up the forums. This also meant that they were moderating sections that some of them had never looked at before, which we’re sure caused a mess of things. To add to the members’ frustration, the Daily Chit-Chat thread was closed.
2006 – The Todoroki Community
PokeCommunity’s 2006 prank was probably the most memorable to user Forever, and for good reason. Here is her recap of the event:
At this point I had only been a member for six months. I remember early that morning I was posting in Mixed Community Groups, and suddenly the entire forum went black. Within an hour (cue me freaking out due to not realising it was an April Fools prank) the forum style changed to what is now PokeLink 2.0. The forum banner changed “The Todoroki Community” and I realised we’d been hacked. Some users tried to bargain with the hacker… and ended up getting banned. Secret forums were apparently leaked by Todoroki, too. I, on the other hand, tried to not leave Mixed Community Groups, afraid of being banned by Todoroki.
Later on we discovered it was a prank. There was no hacker, and although people were saying “praise Todoroki, we’ll do anything for you”, some people took it too far and were permanently banned (last I checked). Rest in peace guys. Here’s hoping you forgot the whole incident?
There was no April Fools Day prank played on PC.
2008 – Gotta mod them all!
This April Fools prank had every members’ dream come true: they all became moderators!
They actually didn’t. Instead, every regular member’s post bit had them displayed in the moderator colour, but they didn’t have any staff power. Many members did try to see if they did have staff powers though, just in case one of them was actually a mod.
2009 – Todoroki’s revenge
Consider this the sequel to 2006’s prank in which a ‘Todoroki’ took over the forums. Everyone was renamed to Todoroki. And we mean everyone.
Avatars, signatures, user titles, and user bars were all disabled, meaning that there was no easy way to tell who was posting. Todoroki continued his reign of terror, leaving his mark on the forums for a long time. A fun aspect to this event was the day after, when everyone could see who had made which post.
2010 – You’re too slow
Sometimes, April Fools Day pranks don’t happen on the actual day. Sometimes time zones are to blame with when the joke is executed, while other times it’s just tough to think up a joke. PC’s staff had this problem in 2010, where they were unable to finalize a prank in time for April 1st. To go with this, the staff created the SlowpokéCommunity, where the entire site celebrated the Slowpoke species. The forum skin was changed to one dedicated to Slowpoke, and everyone had avatars of the dopey Pokémon.
There were a few members who weren’t happy about the prank because it happened a day later. Can’t please everyone!
2011 – Embrace the Green
Forever offers up another recount, but this time what she experiences was from the pranking side.
PokeCommunity’s 2011 April Fools prank was the first prank I was involved in staff-wise (and therefore the most fun for me!). It had three layers. The forum had a forced Serebii style, followed by word replacements, and then swapping around the forums everyone moderates.
The Serebii.net style mentioned was a forced forum skin change based on the default forum skin of the serebiiforums website.
You’ll notice that the above image also has some strangely named forum sections and descriptions. Some of the word replacements included the following (replacement = original word):
THE GREATEST PEOPLE EVER = they, tacos = emblems, Stunfisk and Herdier = Black and White, applesauce = April Fools, Plasbad = bad, Blanket = game, hotel room = Discussion, Arrest = battle, crazy = other, Smugleaf = Snivy, Bacon = Tepig, Wotter = Oshawott, INVISIBLE MAGIC = trade, England = anime, Pickle = Reshiram, Cucumber = Zekrom, Fresh Meat = New Users, Fish = Welcome, and Vuvuzela = Media.
Other forums had individual stuff too! Game Development had how to ride a WAILORD, Black and White had an event announcement of three rare Pokemon and Battle Stadium had a Stunfisk tournament.
2012 – All Hail Lerroux
Lerroux was an admin “invited” to the forum by the current owner of Pokémon (Rukario) prior to April Fools. On the fateful day he suddenly forced PC to become more like Facebook. Many members of staff quit over this. Because of these new open positions, Lerroux started to accept moderator applications from members. The staff forums were even opened to the public (and can still be accessed today!)
When the prank ended, it was revealed that Lerroux was a character played by a few members of staff. and there was no Facebook takeover. Anyone who sent in a moderator application received the Ley Roo emblem.
2013 – Mystery Dungeon
To keep things simpler after the events of 2012, PC’s staff decided to go back to confusing members. Each time any member posted, their user name and avatar would be replaced with a Pokémon. Their post count numbers would also reflect which Pokémon they were, removing that hint as to who was posting. On rare occasions, the member would become a shiny Pokémon, and their user name would have sparkles added to it.
2014 – Describe this section
Nearly every forum had a rotating name and description that changed each time PC’s main page loaded. Some were rather… extravagant.
2015 – ‘Sup
This April Fools Prank hit tha streets wit Gizoogle! PC had a filter to change many words to make it sound like PC’s members were a little more gangsta. Especially the staff, whose names were spiced up.
Even some of the staff got confused by this, like one previously named ‘Red’s Hawt Chibi Pellipers’:
To add to the confusion, the colours of PC’s forum skins were inverted. (There was a toggle to remove this, since many members complained that the inverted colours caused headaches and other issues. We like to have fun without causing harm here!)
What are we doing this year? You probably should check out the PokéCommunity forums and see for yourself. Meanwhile, you should check out other articles posted today as well.
The Ultimate April Fools: Google Maps
We finish up by touching on what may be the greatest April Fools joke done execution wise. It helps when you work for Google.
Google loves April Fools, something evident from the long documented history of their work. In 2014, The division behind Google Maps partnered up with The Pokémon Company and Nintendo to allow people to catch Pokémon while using Google Maps.
You can find the official page here. It was a fun event, but what is even cooler about it is what followed. The Niantic company started out within Google, and had a hand in this prank. They later on developed the game Ingress, a Augmented Reality mobile phone game. And what are they working on right now? Pokémon Go.
An April Fools prank that leads to an official Pokémon game to be developed is an impressive end result.
Written by Astinus, bobandbill, Charlie Brown, Forever, Karnavaly and Lisia.