You know what day is coming up, right? Just to get you up to speed:

So, what about 2011? Well, while we do have some ideas, we'd be stupid not to ask the probably largest accumulation of… special… creativity on the Internet – and that's obviously Meta*!

So, offer your ideas! Of course you won't know until April 1st what actually happens (and we don't promise anything), but be sure that we plan to reward great ideas with a little more than just a Meta rep bounty!

Except that your suggestions should be a) funny (at least in the eyes of most people), b) doable, and c) awesome, there are no restrictions. C'mon get crazy!

*cue obligatory "the sites are run by you" :)

  • 22
    Changing reputation scoring once again would be nigh hilarious – random Mar 1 '11 at 17:24
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    Cut everybody's rep in half, and close Meta for the day. – Pekka Mar 1 '11 at 17:26
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    Multiple all gained rep * a random negative number for that day, that will surely scare some users :P – Ivo Flipse Mar 1 '11 at 17:27
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    Captcha lottery: Those who guess both words are automagically moderators – Dr. belisarius Mar 1 '11 at 17:35
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    Open PoliticsOverflow and forbid **subjective and argumentative**** questions. Everything closed :) – Dr. belisarius Mar 1 '11 at 17:44
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    @GeorgeEdison: I thought we finally got the community wiki police off of Meta. I guess not... Anyway, let people get some reps for their good ideas, at least for a while. This'll be auto-CW'ed because of answer count in no time anyway. – balpha Mar 1 '11 at 18:08
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    I just passed 15k rep thanks to this question. And this is a question in need of protection if I ever saw one.... – Pops Mar 1 '11 at 18:35
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    @Ivo I see the question coming in SO: What is a random negative number? – Dr. belisarius Mar 1 '11 at 18:52
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    This is too small to be the official network-wide plan, but: post an unsolvable problem -- like my "solve P=NP" question from last year -- and attach a 100k rep bounty. – Pops Mar 1 '11 at 20:05
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    The time is right. Let's bring back the dead. – Pollyanna Mar 2 '11 at 0:35
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    @balpha, in all seriousness, I wonder whether whatever the joke ends up being, it might be best not to implement it on math.se – Benjol Mar 2 '11 at 6:44
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    @Benjol - If Math.SE doesn't want an April Fool's joke played on them, they should start lobbying against it on their meta, specifically requesting that the line, "Bring your sense of humor." be stricken from the FAQ. Yes, a lot of people will be confused and frightened by the joke, but we're going to ask them to put up with it and embiggen their cultural awareness to include the silly American thing. The day they remove teh funneh from stackexchange will be a sad day indeed. – Pollyanna Mar 2 '11 at 17:03
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    Please note that in NO WAY will earnest users of the various sites be impeded in their usage of the site. You'll still be able to ask questions, add answers, and vote. The moderators and people who can vote to close won't allow any significant amount of fun having in terms of real questions and answers. The question and answer pool won't be polluted. And, frankly, if it's a problem for some users, will it really hurt them to take a break from the site for a day? – Pollyanna Mar 2 '11 at 17:05
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    maybe apply a dark theme... – Jin Mar 3 '11 at 5:16
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    @Benjol @jjnguy Having recently read through some of meta.math.se and math.se I now understand the point of your suggestion. On the other hand, when your brother is so easily annoyed, it's wrong not to poke him once in awhile. – Pollyanna Mar 3 '11 at 17:49

75 Answers 75

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I would agree with the answer for anonymous user names and user images, but adding also an experiment, by hiding the reputation, tags, recent questions/answers, bio, etc.; basically no Profile/Users pages.

Everything will continue to work the same (unless you will also add some random unicorns.. like everywhere), just nobody will be able to see who is who behind the answers/questions. Every user should be able to see their own points and profile page though, since not showing the votes for questions/answers is not an option as it might affect the overall quality of Q/A that day.

With this little experiment maybe Jon Skeet will stop getting upvotes for his unfinished answers for at least a day.. :) Also it would be fun to see the leagues the day after and how the top users were affected by this. Many believe that high-ranked users are getting more points just because they are high-ranked, so let's put it to a test.


A site-wide summon (Jon Skeet) button, just like Batman's bat signal. It produces various fun interactions, like:

  • a blank answer generated into your question with the text "pending Jon Skeet".

  • a message indicating that Jon Skeet is busy at the moment "Please wait while Jon Skeet, finishes his call | returns from the moon | eats his pizza | flushes | etc."

  • Show random facts from Jon Skeet facts on meta Jon Skeet Facts

  • etc.

(Feel free to update this list with other suggestions).
A designer could have some fun with this.


Vaguely inspired from this list.

  • Private messaging: let anyone @ anyone (shows in the notification bar)
  • Rep transfer: make people think they can transfer rep between sites (provide a fake exchange rate too :)
  • Pretend to open-source something, provide code with subtle errors :)
  • DIY colour schemes (i.e. not themes, people change individual colours)
  • Add some new pluralization bugs
  • Pretend to let people buy 'rep-boost' - you get double rep for any upvotes for a limited period
  • Temporarily add some esoteric formatting option (<blink> :)
  • Something like this? (more of an Easter egg than an April Fools)
  • Reverse the infamous enter-to-submit-comment functionality, randomly (ducks)

Launch a new SE site for questions pertaining to life as a professional clown

Clown Overflow

enter image description here

Top Questions

  • How do you cope with long shifts as a clown
  • Recommendations for top quality clown car
  • How to tell your family you want to become a clown
  • 3
    I don't see the joke. This is a perfectly valid StackExchange site. Even the example questions make sense. You don't think professional clowns exist? – fretje Mar 2 '11 at 13:58
  • @fretje, sorry, my mistake. Meant to post it in area 51. – Tom Mar 2 '11 at 14:04
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    @fretje I believe this request is redundant; we already have a clown overflow and we're all on it right now. – Jeff Atwood Mar 3 '11 at 5:23
  • Hey everybody... stop laughing with clowning! This is serious business! As a matter of fact, is there already a proposition for circus arts in general? Let's check it out... – fretje Mar 3 '11 at 9:39
  • Olrightie! – fretje Mar 3 '11 at 10:23

Dual Screen Stack Overflow Easter Egg:

Shifted off the main content in the browser window by about 1200 pixels shows all the related and linked questions in a summary view. So the total content is about 2400 wide, the main content on the left half, and the additional content on the right half, with a large enough whitespace gap in between that people won't see it unless they have their window stretched very wide. Pull the browser window open wide enough and you can see the question and answers on the left as normal, and the blurbs for the linked and related questions on the right.

Enabled by konami code or other typical easter egg enabler.

  • This could be combined with some Newegg or Dell ad for a cheap 2nd screen, if they are in to that! (Getting a browser window to position off screen might be hard for some browsers, like Safari on a Mac, if I recall correctly...) – Arjan Mar 2 '11 at 16:19
  • @Arjan I worded that incorrectly. I meant to indicate that the same browser window holds all the content, but if you don't open the window wide enough you won't see the new content off to the right. It won't necessarily appear off screen, or require the window to be off screen, merely that the content is, say, 2400 pixels wide, but most people only open it to 1200 pixels wide, so they won't see the content between 1200 and 2400. – Pollyanna Mar 2 '11 at 16:40
  • Aha, okay! Still, I would not mind if SE would earn some bucks with ads related to any April 1st joke. – Arjan Mar 2 '11 at 17:26

Put an ad on the site. And when I say "ad" I mean AD. One of those skins that are so popular now. Adblock doesn't block it because you actually make it the background image. Maybe an ad for Keeping Up With the Khardasians or something.

  • 1
    or -shudder- jersy shore. something like the aol.co.uk homepage does? – tombull89 Mar 3 '11 at 8:37
  • What's "Keeping Up With the Khardasians"? No matter. An ad for the hyphen site would be far scarier. – Pops Mar 5 '11 at 22:35
  • I read that as "Keeping Up With The Cardassians." – Borror0 Mar 15 '11 at 3:02

Turn SO into an old-skool BBS.

Text mode console screen, preferably black background with white or green text for authenticity.

Would look something like this:

Welcome to StackOverflow. You are logged in as Spudley.
Please enter a command to continue.
Example commands: 'listquestions [active|featured|hot]', 'showquestion <id>', 'askquestion'
Type 'help' for more.


Calculate all reputation values on the site relative to Jon Skeet.

Any other day

Skeet 285,539
Me 6,811

On April 1

Skeet 100%
Me 2.39%

You could throw a client script in place to effect this without affecting the server code base.


Grant everyone the precognitive badge for the day.


Close meta. Link back to uservoice.


It'd take a bit to do, but basically let everyone have diamond moderator privileges and run free. It's a joke that creates itself :)

Of course, you'd want to make a backup before and restore the backup afterwards, as well as put up a banner explaining that any questions asked will not be there tomorrow and also of course explaining that everyone has diamond unicorn powers.

  • @wai I don't mean making users think they have diamond power, I mean actually giving it to each and every user :) Except for maybe the email visibility part. Wouldn't want people to see that – Earlz Mar 10 '11 at 1:42

To join in with the Paywall jokes, a Paywall on answers from people with over 1k rep.

But my original idea was instead of "1 other answers" replace it with "Jon Skeet already beat you to it." Or your high ranking username of choice (or even, the username of the people who actually did beat you to it.)


Change the FAQ displayed to new users and claim that all questions must be written as answers as in Jepordy.

Prevent everyone with 10k or more to answer questions until one hour have passed since the question as asked.


Introduce a new feature - answer tagging.

Just like questions, answers can now be given up to five tags.


Put a Katamari button on every page of the site.


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