I request a single checkbox and definite option in the user settings to disable all forms of April Fools, Easter eggs, Winter hats and similar annoying stuff that only distract a user.

I have no problem with an existence of such "jokes", but I would like that to be done without me knowing.

  • 16
    Why bother? The april fools only lasts for a day, and winterbash was an opt-in already. Apr 1, 2013 at 20:46
  • 3
    @RichardJ.RossIII You still see the Winter bash buttons and hats everywhere. These things slow down your computer if it's older, too.
    – yo'
    Apr 1, 2013 at 20:49
  • 8
    @RichardJ.RossIII If I remember correctly, winterbash was opt-in only on Stack Overflow, it was opt-out on all other sites where it happened at all. Apr 1, 2013 at 20:49
  • 1
    @DanielFischer I only used non-SO SE sites during Winter Bash, and it was definitely opt-out there.
    – user158781
    Apr 1, 2013 at 20:52
  • 5
    @tohecz Where do you still see Winter Bash buttons and hats? (Just curious) Apr 1, 2013 at 20:54
  • 3
    @DanielFischer Not now. I speak about any future stuff that might appear, like Winter bash for the next winter.
    – yo'
    Apr 1, 2013 at 20:58
  • 3
    There was a "never" link provided. We determined that it doesn't work for you because you're using an unsupported browser. So, even if we implemented an "opt out of all fun" link, why would we guarantee that it worked on unsupported browsers? Apr 1, 2013 at 21:11
  • 2
    There are new things showing up all the time. Like local storage, which isn't supported by obsolete browsers. Makes sense why this wouldn't work, if you think about it. Where should that "I'm a Grinch" preference be stored? Local storage seems like a good place. Whoops! You ain't got it. Apr 1, 2013 at 21:15
  • 2
    @CodyGray In the user profile stored on the server, so that I don't have to bother, and it does not bother my slow PC.
    – yo'
    Apr 1, 2013 at 21:17
  • 2
    Bah humbug at all ye fun & games - in my day we only smiled on our birthdays. Now all just crave circus-hood Apr 2, 2013 at 2:49
  • 2
    Got to smile on your birthdays did ya, ya happy-go-lucky bunch! Back in my day, we were expected to sit and somberly contemplate our mortality; smiling was reserved for staring down rabid dogs.
    – Shog9
    Apr 4, 2013 at 17:20
  • 1
    Yeah, I agree; in fact the only reason I suggest it is because Tim Post suggested it, and I've successfully used it (without getting a stern reply or admonition) on multiple rather minor requests. Apr 2, 2018 at 15:22
  • 1
    Why would you tag this fun? Shouldn't this be anti-fun? :)
    – DonielF
    Apr 1, 2019 at 16:54
  • 1
    @RichardJ.RossIII Coding a permanent opt out feature would take a lot less coding effort than the April Fools pranks each take to pull off. Why bother spending all of that effort coding this stuff if it only lasts a couple of days?
    – Ed Grimm
    Apr 2, 2019 at 3:52
  • 1
    @gnat Still, there's a difference: HNQ can be hidden by a userscript. Unknown easter eggs and such cannot.
    – yo'
    Apr 9, 2019 at 14:17

6 Answers 6


It's reasonable to have an option to disable this sort of thing. It would make a significant minority happy, and the existence of the option, implemented correctly, wouldn't likely really upset anyone.

We could call it something like turn off non-essential seasonal functionality. That's simultaneously professional sounding and silly-easter-eggish, so it's an appropriate name for a feature like this that resides on the border between them.

Named well and placed unobtrusively in the user's profile settings, the existence of the option shouldn't get on anybody's nerves too much.

I don't think this option should be enabled by default. If it's there, people who want it can use it.

  • Except that if it weren't enabled by default, we'd be right back where we started. Apr 1, 2013 at 22:36
  • 10
    @CodyGray No, currently disabling one seasonal fun-feature doesn't affect other or future such features. Furthermore, this could be implemented so it's easy for the OP to apply it network-wide. (Whereas, some features, including this year's April Fools joke, are not so easy to disable network-wide.) Apr 1, 2013 at 22:41
  • 3
    If this is implemented, then when an individual seasonal opt-out action is taken the site should ask a follow up question to see if the user wants to disable them all as well. That way it surfaces this option to users who would want it, but might no be aware of it without doing some sort of further advertising or instruction, forcing them to wade through meta, or their user options screen. It would also satisfy most people's desire that the option be "on" by default - opt out of one such celebration, and you're given the opportunity to pre-preemptively opt out of all future celebrations.
    – Pollyanna
    Apr 2, 2018 at 15:12

All of the extras you mentioned except for the April Fools day joke are already entirely optional. Regarding today's little joke, this problem will solve itself once April 1st is over. Adding an opt in/opt out feature sort of defeats the purpose; it would be like asking for a person's consent to be pranked. You can already click "never" to dismiss The Expert forever.

In the meantime, the site's not going anywhere. Take a day off if the humor is getting on your nerves.

  • 1
    You can click the button that does not work for me, probably because my computer is older (3 years), which means that every such thing slows down the browsing. Sorry, I'm rarely a person to appreciate things which other people consider funny. Having to disable every such thing is annoying.
    – yo'
    Apr 1, 2013 at 21:11
  • @tohecz What OS, browser are you using?
    – user200500
    Apr 1, 2013 at 21:12
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    It wouldn't be so bad if it was actually funny. It's just blooming annoying.
    – TRiG
    Apr 1, 2013 at 21:13
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    @tohecz On a more serious note, it doesn't matter how old your computer is. That's not keeping you from upgrading your browser to one that is supported by this and most other sites. Google Chome and Firefox are both good candidates. IE 10 is out now, and IE 9 is still supported as well. Apr 1, 2013 at 21:13
  • @CodyGray Fedora 12, FF 3.5. I'm not a person to manually upgrade my programs just because the upgrades are not provided in the repros. The fashion in having new versions of everything as fast as possible is annoying and time-consuming.
    – yo'
    Apr 1, 2013 at 21:16
  • 4
    @TRiG I didn't think it was outright hilarious, but hey, someone put in the effort to make me laugh, so I'm not going to complain about it incessantly. I had a chuckle, realised it was getting in my way, clicked never, end of story. It isn't like this is a permanent feature.
    – user200500
    Apr 1, 2013 at 21:18
  • 12
    I agree that the april fools thing is annoying and should be opt-in, but FF 3.5 is now four years old and there have been literally dozens of updates since then. It's not reasonable to expect that the site would support obsolete software.
    – JJJ
    Apr 1, 2013 at 21:26
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    @Juhana Which does not make the request unjustified to opt me out from whatever annoying STUFF the SE staff invents.
    – yo'
    Apr 1, 2013 at 21:56
  • 3
    The majority of the responses I have found to people who dislike the AF prank is to "blame the user".
    – taz
    Apr 1, 2013 at 22:31
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    "it would be like asking for a person's consent to be pranked." An option to opt out from substantially visible joke functionality would not get in the way of "pranking" people who haven't actively decided they don't want to be pranked. Allowing people to say they don't want to be pranked and then respecting that ...it would be like treating people with basic human decency. Apr 2, 2013 at 5:07
  • 2
    @tohecz: Note that older browsers are anyway not supported by SE. If your main argument is that it wreaks havoc with your browser, you're not going to get far. Apr 4, 2013 at 7:54
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    @Manishearth My main argument is that I hate silly jokes on serious sites.
    – yo'
    Apr 4, 2013 at 8:21
  • @tohecz: ...which is rebutted rather well by Asad's post here^ Apr 4, 2013 at 8:23
  • @Manishearth Which is not, as explained in Eliah's answer and comment.
    – yo'
    Apr 4, 2013 at 9:52
  • @tohecz: Hm, right. I do agree with this, I just think that you need to be more convincing. Apr 4, 2013 at 11:49

I'd like the opposite functionality: a button to turn on the April Fool's joke so that I get to see it (I wasn't here on Monday)!


I can't say whether this is a new permanent move, or if this will be rolled back after this year, but Stack Exchange did just announce that this year's April Fool's joke Easter egg will be opt-in:

Next week is April Fools in many countries around the world. Traditionally, Stack Overflow goes all out with a big joke. Given the current climate we are taking a different approach, and giving you this year’s “prank” as more of an Easter egg. You’ll have the opportunity to check out something new, and to opt-in to the tongue-in-cheek feature if you feel like it.

There's only one way to find out, though.


I'd support this...

...if it was enabled only by entering the Konami Code while viewing the timeline of this question.

  • 3
    Why have I done it?!! Apr 4, 2013 at 4:07
  • E0 48, E0 48 + E0 50, E0 50 + E0 4B, E0 4D + E0 4B, E0 4D + A, A + B, B ;)
    – iLuvLogix
    Apr 1, 2019 at 15:30

This idea does not work. Firstly, "Similar annoying stuff" is subjective. So fine - stuff that "only distract a user."

I may agree with you on April Fool's - yes, a user can opt-in to not see the April Fool's joke while still maintaining the spirit and positive benefit thereof.

But nothing else you named "only distracts users." Winter hats increases participation, and actually, does so long term - users are encouraged to explore a wide range of functionality they might not dabble in otherwise, much like badges do. This is the general spirit of these innovations.

  • 5
    It's clear what the OP means by "similar annoying stuff." It's seasonal functionality that is not essential to the site's operation. Furthermore, while I'm not aware of any hard evidence that the cool winter hats increased participation (compared to what? the last year when the site was less popular? the week before when people were busier with their jobs in preparation for taking time off?) suppose it did. So what? The benefit of empowering those who want to opt out proactively from all such "cheer" outweighs any disadvantages. Apr 2, 2013 at 5:05
  • My annual April Fools day downvote for this 6 year old answer lol
    – djechlin
    Apr 1, 2019 at 20:05

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