Monkey Business


April Fools’ fools

Hooters’ “Win a Toyota Contest” a costly joke 

A manager at a Hooters Restaurant in Florida decided to celebrate April Fools’ Day 2001 by offering a “free Toyota” to the employee who sold the most beer that day. At the end of the day, the manager blindfolded the winning employee and led her outside to the parking lot where he presented her with her prize: a “toy Yoda”— a plastic doll of the popular character from Star Wars. The waitress, upset, sued for breach of contract and fraudulent misrepresentation, and was ultimately awarded enough money to pick out any real Toyota she wanted.

When it’s real, but no one believes it

  • I was staying at a friend’s Las Vegas home. His water-heater exploded early in the morning on April 1, creating standing-water several inches deep. I did everything I could to convince him that it really happened, including video, multiple phone calls and a detailed repair-estimate. He didn’t believe me until he arrived a month later, even after seeing me in person. 
  • BMW has been doing April Fools’ pranks longer than any other car manufacturer. One year, they decided to turn the tables and do a reverse April Fools’ Day prank in New Zealand! For its 2015 April Fools’ campaign there, BMW ran a newspaper ad that said that the first person to come into a BMW dealership and “ask for Tom” could swap their old BMW for a brand new one, free of charge. Of course, most people thought it was just a joke. One person went to test it out, though, and ended up walking out of the dealership with a free new BMW! While this one didn’t backfire in the traditional sense of it not being funny or annoying someone, it did backfire in that everyone thought it was yet another joke. BMW wouldn’t really give a free car away on April Fools’ Day, right? How wrong those people were!
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