Google's 7 best April Fool's Day hoaxes


Adam Cecil

Adam Cecil

Former Staff Writer

Adam Cecil is a former staff writer for Policygenius, a digital insurance brokerage trying to make sense of insurance for consumers. He is a podcast producer, writer, and video maker based in Brooklyn, NY.

Published March 31, 2015|2 min read

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Google loves to play tricks. Since 2000, Google has played an April Fool's Day trick (sometimes multiple!) on its now-expectant users almost every year. 2015's April Fool's Day jokes are already starting to roll out (Pac-Man in Google Maps, website selfies). You can see the full history of them on Wikipedia, but wouldn't you rather have a curated list of Google's 7 best hoaxes? The answer is yes. Yes you would.Check out the list below for the 7 best April Fool's Day tricks Google ever played on the world.Who's better at April Fool's Day: Google or Microsoft? Check out our favorite Microsoft jokes from 2015.

7. Google Gulp (2005)

An invite-only energy drink that makes you smarter? Google Gulp might seem like a weird concept for a joke here in 2015, but back in 2005, Google Gulp was a great parody of their just-released Gmail service. (You might not remember, but back in the day, Gmail was invite-only.)Google lampooned the whole idea of invite-only products on the Google Gulp product page: "You can pick up your own supply of this 'limited release' product simply by turning in a used Gulp Cap at your local grocery store. How to get a Gulp Cap? Well, if you know someone who's already been "gulped," they can give you one. And if you don't know anyone who can give you one, don't worry – that just means you aren't cool. But very, very (very!) soon, you will be."Despite making fun of the idea, Google is still very into the invite-only model, using it for their latest email product, Inbox.

6. MentalPlex (2000)

Ah, the very first Google prank. How simple, how... unsophisticated, even, compared to the tricks Google would pull in the future. For this hoax, Google asked users to project a mental image of what they wanted to find while they showed the following animated gif:

And when you reached the results page, you'd get one of several hilarious answers. "Error 666: Multiple transmitters detected. Silence voices in your head and try again," "Error 008: Interference detected. Remove aluminum foil and remote control devices," "Error CKR8: That information is protected under the National Security Act," and so on and so forth. Despite being simple, this prank has to be respected for being the first, and for that awesome animated gif.

5. Google TiSP (2007)

It stands for Toilet Internet Service Provider, in case you couldn't figure it out from the diagram. The idea is totally ridiculous - flush a cable down the toilet and get free internet! - but at the same time, how awesome would that be? Of course, Google couldn't help but add their own creepy touch to it: Google promised to analyze your "personal bodily output" to suggest ads to you based on culinary interest and personal health.

4. Catch Pokemon in Google Maps (2014)

3. Google shuts down Google Reader (2013)

Oh wait, that wasn't a joke. Why, Google, why!?

2. The YouTube Collection (2012)

1. YouTube's best video contest

Honorary Dad Joke: Gmail Blue (2013)