The Greatest April Fools’ Day Hoax of All-Time

The Great Spaghetti Hoax
The Great Spaghetti Hoax

A blast from the past:

Happy April Fools’ Day, everyone! Although plenty of great hoaxes have been played throughout the years, this one still holds its number one spot for the most famous and most popular April Fools’ Day hoaxes of all-time.

Back in 1957, the BBC broadcasted a short clip about “pasta farmers” in Switzerland harvesting a bumper crop of spaghetti.   It featured a short video of a Swiss peasants pulling strands of spaghetti off of some trees.

The Swiss Spaghetti Harvest hoax produced a huge response. Hundreds of people contacted the station to figure out how to start growing their own spaghetti crops. The BBC responded to these queries by telling people to “Place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.”

To date, this broadcast remains one of the most famous April Fool’s Day hoaxes of all time. It also thought to be the first time television was used to stage a hoax. April Fools’ is a fun day for everyone, but it’s also a day when you’ll have to pay attention. You don’t want to be the next April Fool!

For more on this story, please visit The Museum of Hoaxes.

Post Author: Carrie Kellenberger

I'm a chronically ill Canadian expat who has been living abroad in Asia since 2003. I moved from China to Taiwan in 2006. My husband and I have owned our own business in Taiwan since 2012. In addition to my own work, I've been writing professionally about Asia, travel and health advocacy since 2007, providing regular content to several publishing companies and travel publications in Asia and North America. Follow Carrie on on Twitter @globetrotteri or on Instagram at

14 thoughts on “The Greatest April Fools’ Day Hoax of All-Time


    (April 1, 2009 - 9:32 am)

    And I was expecting something boring like pandas. 🙂

    chris schmidt

    (April 1, 2009 - 3:02 pm)

    where on earth did you unearth such story? Research and humanism are most certainly your gifts dear friend


      (April 3, 2009 - 5:32 am)

      Hi Chris,
      You\\'d be amazed at the number of wasteful hours I spend on the Internet. Inquisitiveness is my middle name. 😉


    (April 3, 2009 - 5:26 am)

    Ha! You know, I missed this story. I was deep in the land of test writing and didn\\'t have time to catch up on the news. I read about it on Snarky Tofu. Good thing I\\'ve got friends who keep me well-informed!


    (April 5, 2009 - 8:10 pm)

    I've never heard this story before. Hilarious!

    Byteful Traveller

    (April 5, 2009 - 9:11 pm)

    You know, it's times like this that I wish it were that easy.

    Money Tree hoax next! Anyone up for it? 😀


    (April 6, 2009 - 10:05 am)

    Ha! That\\'s because it\\'s way before our time. I thought it was interesting not only because people fell for it, but because it\\'s supposed to be one of the first times the televised media has been used to play a practical joke. Did the media play any good jokes near you? We had a couple of doozies here in Taipei.


      (April 6, 2009 - 5:22 pm)

      Surprisingly not. This year I read more good jokes on blogs around the world than in newspapers.


        (April 9, 2009 - 4:14 am)

        Come to think of it, I didn\\'t see anything on TV, either.


    (April 6, 2009 - 10:09 am)

    Byteful Traveller,

    HA! That\\'s a great one. I\\'d with you all the way!


    (April 8, 2009 - 5:23 pm)

    That's hilarious. I'm gonna go plant me a pasta tree.


    (April 9, 2009 - 3:23 am)

    You along with how many others? If I could, I\\'d grow me one, too.

    Darren Melrose

    (April 11, 2009 - 4:27 am)

    I have two personal favourites. First was from a Sports Illustrated I read in junior high (I think).
    The other is one of the more famous hoaxes, done by the Guardian


      (April 11, 2009 - 6:04 am)

      Hi Darren,
      Thanks for stopping by. I\\'m really enjoying your portrait tutorials at the moment. Those are great links!

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