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Melbourne’s most cringe-worthy April Fools’ Day jokes
Written by
Rebecca Russo

This day. This godforsaken day. April Fools’ Day is upon us again, and as the tradition goes, we’re invited to prank friends, play jokes on unsuspecting family members and annoy the general public with insufferably lame publicity stunts disguised as high-concept japery.

Maybe I’ve become jaded after years and years of dumb April 1 pranks, or maybe I'm incensed by the idea that brands plan these elaborate comical jokes for weeks in advance for free publicity. Lucky for them, we’ve decided to collate some of Melbourne’s lamest April Fools’ Day jokes so these "hilarious" "jokes" can live on forever. 

And, yeah, we’ll jump in before you say it. We at Time Out aren’t unfamiliar with being lame. We’ve certainly had our fair share of dank memes. But let's face it: if you like April Fools’ Day, you’re probably the same Melburnian who loves hook turns and loves calling it the “Paris end” of Collins Street.

Below we’ve ranked Melbourne April Fools’ Day jokes, from a little cringe to extremely dad-joke-level-I’m-shaking-my-head-in-shame-while-reading-this terrible.

Zoos Victoria

Is this is the kind of jokery you find charming? If yes, then you’re a) a huge nerd, and b) going to love Zoos Victoria’s new dinosaur exhibition that this tacky but cute video is promoting.

Cringe rating: 1 dinosaur-fighting Jeff Goldblum out of 10.

Peninsula Hot Springs

After a $13 million expansion last year, Peninsula Hot Springs is continuing to expand, and according to an April 1 press release, this means drilling 637 metres underground to create a labyrinthian system of caves you can stay in that are “naturally heated thanks to their closeness to the earth’s core”. 

Cringe rating: 3 burning hot springs out of 10.

Red Balloon

Online experience marketplace Red Balloon sent out a press release launching its new hot air balloon flights between Sydney and Melbourne. These long-haul flights are estimated to take around nine hours one way, and can only happen if there are some seriously strong northerly or southerly winds. Sound fun? It’s standing room only, there’s no real room for luggage, and you’ll only be provided “light snacks”. You’ll probably have to keep warm by hugging one of those fiery gas chambers, too.

Cringe rating: 4 arse-freezing hot air balloons out of 10.

Virgin Australia

Virgin Australia has launched Fly Foods, a “world-first service that will deliver top quality restaurant meals to any metropolitan area across Melbourne”. So it’s like Uber Eats but Australia-wide. The sad thing is is that I would legitimately use this. We’ve all eaten cold day-old pizza or pad see ew, so what’s the issue here?

Cringe rating: 5 probably dangerous health code violations out of 10.


This April 1, hotel chain Travelodge announced a new ‘bedshare’ service, which gives you a significant discount if you're willing to share half of your room with a stranger. That means sharing a bed, room, meals and all amenities (including towels and toilet paper). Funny, yeah, but it’s almost like the Travelodge has never spent a night in a dank European hostel or had a particularly crummy, needy or unemployed housemate. We’ve all lived this, mate! And to be honest, we don’t want to relive it, thankyouverymuch.

Cringe rating: 6.5 “can I borrow your toothpaste?” bunkmates out of 10.

Melbourne Museum

The most famous horse resident of the Melbourne Museum is turning animatronic! Err, well, maybe not. Imagine riding on a taxidermic horse stuffed with motors and electronics. This actually gets bumped up a higher on the list simply because of this response...

April Fools Day twitter reply

Is it too soon for Phar Lap jokes? It's been 87 years. And it's a horse. 

Cringe rating: 6.5 beaten dead horses out of 10.

Gelato Messina

Get outta here with your chocolate fondant or your panna cotta with fig jam and amaretti. Everybody knows Messina’s best flavour is the salted caramel and white chocolate. Messina tried to announce today that it would be reducing this best-selling flavour from 15,000 scoops a week to only 10 to 15 scoops a week. The reason? Messina wants to go back to basics and create some micro-batch gelato – just like Nonna used to make. To be honest, I thought this was real when I first read it, but the video is what sells it.

Cringe rating: 8 Make Gelato Great Again hats out of 10.

City of Melbourne

And here we have it. Our worst April Fools’ Day prank. To be honest, calling this a “prank” would be an insult to the word prank. I just can’t with this one. I’m done. Goodbye, April 1. Until 2020. 

Brands, we beg of you, leave it to the professionals. The Melbourne International Comedy Festival is on now until Sunday, April 21. Check out our top picks here.

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