April 1 is the silliest time of the year, also known as April Fools’ Day. For television, especially sitcoms, the April Fools’ or prank-themed episodes are a great way to change up the formula of the show for a week. These episodes sometimes end up being some of the best of the entire series. Here are the best of these episodes:
“iGet Pranky” from “iCarly” (Season 4, episode 3)
This episode from the hit Nickelodeon show “iCarly” shows Carly asking her brother Spencer to help her prank because she has never pranked before. Spencer, on the other hand, was deemed “king of pranks” in high school and stopped after taking it too far. Of course, he ends up taking it too far again, and chaos ensues. The episode consists of fun “iCarly” antics with Spencer as the main focus. The most iconic part of this episode is the pranking sequence where Spencer dances after each prank to the song “The Joke Is on You” by Niki Watkins. The song’s catchy chorus while Spencer dances so manically is something that everyone needs to experience.
“Love on the Rocks” from “Full House” (Season 7, episode 19)
“Full House” was a classic ’80s sitcom that had the classic character tropes. Uncle Jesse was the cool guy, Danny Tanner was the nerdy father and Uncle Joey was the jokester of the family. This episode sees the family trying to dethrone Joey as the best at pranking. They try multiple things but eventually trick Joey into thinking he won the lottery and then dumping water over his head. These silly moments showcased the fun, jovial tone of the show as a whole.
“The Science of Illusion” from “Community” (Season 1, episode 20)
Dan Harmon’s smartly written program “Community” has garnered a hardcore fanbase following seven friends in a study group. The show knows how to subvert sitcom tropes and provide fresh perspectives in the sitcom genre. This episode shows a prank gone wrong when Britta tries to use a frog to imitate their Spanish professor. The whole thing goes very badly and leads to an investigation by “prank” officials, Annie and Shirley. Britta only tries to pull off this prank so she would look more fun to the other study group members, which is a great way to deepen the character through something as trivial as pranks.
“Fools in April” from “SpongeBob SquarePants” (Season 1, episode 19A)
“SpongeBob SquarePants” is iconic. It is a show children and adults alike can agree has a giant impact on pop culture. How fitting is it that SpongeBob’s favorite holiday is April Fools’ Day? This episode has the twists and turns that every April Fools’ Day episode should have. It begins with SpongeBob pulling pranks on Squidward and the customers, which are harmless and good-natured jokes. Squidward loses patience and sets up a violent trap that ends up embarrassing SpongeBob to the point of tears. The next part is wonderfully written, showing Squidward eventually admitting due to guilt that he does actually like SpongeBob and the other characters in Bikini Bottom, a huge revelation. The amazing twist is that this supposedly private conversation was heard by everybody, meaning SpongeBob pulled off another prank. This episode is a prime example of how clever “SpongeBob SquarePants” was in its early seasons, being actually thought-provoking at times but still tailored to children.
“New Beginnings” from “Parks and Recreation” (Season 6, episode 11)
“Parks and Recreation” follows characters working for that division of the local government in Pawnee, Indiana. Ben Wyatt, who becomes the new city manager, is usually very tightly wound and even more so with the new position, so April, Andy and Donna pull a fake arrest prank on him. Obviously, Ben is not happy with the joke and threatens suspension if it happens again. Andy helps Ben plan a prank on April and Donna to come off more like a cool boss but fails spectacularly to execute the plan. The acting by Adam Scott as Ben Wyatt and Retta as Donna Meagle make this entire part hilarious to watch. This prank-themed episode teaches the lesson that pranking is not for everyone, and that is OK.
Check these episodes out while you’re enjoying the April Fools’ holiday and remember to prank safely!