April 1 should be the most difficult day of the calendar for a prank, yet almost every year some cunning trickster is able to pull one off in a big way.

Perhaps the most famous April Fools' prank was in 1957, when the BBC ran a report on "The Swiss Spaghetti Harvest" along with images of farmers picking pasta from trees. Right after the segment ended, the station's switchboards were jammed with viewers wanting to get more information on how to grow this magnificent spaghetti plant.

Of course, we don't have to wait till April Fools' Day to pull a fast one on somebody. We scoured through the prankster annals to find the biggest doozies in recent memory. Check out the gallery below to see some of our favorite pranks of all time. Got any good pranks that we missed? Let us know in the comments.

Greatest Pranks of All Time

    Motorists Warned About Zombies
    Pranksters in Austin made news earlier this year by hacking a digital roadside sign to flash "Caution! Zombies! Ahead!!!" in bright, orangish lights. Now, much to the chagrin of the authorities (and the undead), this trend seems to be catching on in other cities.

    AP

    Fake Georgia Tech Student Created. Graduates. Goes To war.
    There must not have been a whole lot for a college student to do in the 20s. That is the only explanation for why a group of George Tech undergrads created a fictional student named George Burdell, and then proceeded to do all of his school work. Burdell officially graduate with his class in 1930, and earned a Masters degree a few years later. During World War II, Georgia Tech alumni would add Burdell's name to bombing crew lists so the fictional creation would get to see combat with his classmates.

    AP

    Commuters Stunned by Frozen People
    http://www.gadling.com/2008/02/01/best-prank-ever-stopping-time-at-grand-central-station/
    Last year the comedy troupe "Improv Everywhere" caused confusion all over New York's Grand Central Station when they got 207 volunteers to freeze right their tracks at exactly 2:30 PM, and then hold their poses. As these type of "flash mob" antics get more clever and elaborate, cities such as San Francisco are considering requiring their organizers to get permits before having their fun.

    Getty Images

    The College Humor Prank Wars Get Vicious.
    Amir and Streeter of College Humor have been entertaining the Internet with their ever escalating prank wars for the last few years. One prank in particular stands out, mostly for its ruthless viciousness. Streeter was attending a Yankees game with his girlfriend. Little did he know, Amir had rigged it so Streeter would propose marriage to his special lady via the stadium jumbo-tron. The poor girl accepted right there on the big screen, only to be shot down by Streeter frantically explaining he had no idea what was going on. The slap that followed lives forever in Youtube infamy.

    collegehumor.com

    Pranks are a part of baseball. Especially during spring training. Phillies pitcher Kyle Kendrick knows that better than else, after he fell victim to an epic grapefruit league punking. Summoned into his manager's office, the right hander was told he had been traded to Japan. With the rest of the Phillies and the press playing along, Kendrick faced the music with a look of utter bewilderment. The prank was an enormous hit on YouTube, but it ultimately didn't work out so well for the Phillies, as Kendrick hasn't been the same pitcher since.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nKKqPOiJxI

    youtube.com

    Deep Throat Exposed, Briefly.
    Following the Watergate scandal, America was a nation vulnerable - vulnerable to pranks. Noted trickster Alan Abel exploited this soft spot by hiring an actor to pose as the notoriously mysterious Deep Threat for a press conference. The predicable frenzy and big dollar book offers followed, and Abel assured things stayed crazy by having the imposter fake a passionate quarrel his "wife" during the media event. Then the actor feigned fainting, and was whisked away in ambulance, never to be heard from again.

    alanabel.com

    RickRolling Becomes Prank Within A Prank
    You've probably been RickRolled. But did you hear about the time an entire college basketball game was RickRolled? You may have, since it was reported in the New York Times, and the video was quite popular on Youtube. But it never happened. While the famous clip shows a man dressed as Rick Astley dancing about the arena and lip synching, as the PA system blasts "Never Going to Give You Up," the sound was actually added in post-production of the video. Making this the odd prank about a prank.

    youtube.com

    Caltech Wins Rose Bowl Without Playing In It.
    While Caltech's hapless football program never so much as sniffed a post-season birth, the university made an indelible mark on Rose Bowl history with an epic prank in 1961. The night before the big game a few Caltech students broke into the hotel room where the flip cards to be distributed to those sitting in the University of Washington student section were, and then used their superior mathematical skills to rearrange them so any attempt to spell "Huskies" would read "Caltech. The plan went off without a hitch, much to the entertainment of the crowd and those watching on TV.

    AP

    Trickster Methodically Set Ups Central Park Theft
    Hugh Troy, an early 20th century artist, had an unusual habit of carrying a park bench around Central Park. Police would occasional arrest the eccentric, suspecting he was trying to steal the bench. But Troy would always be able to produce a bill of sale once they brought him in. Then, once the cops had been conditioned, Troy struck. He rounded up his friends and told them to begin steeling benches from the park. Soon Central Park had a lot less benches than before.

    Wikipedia.com

    Prank Gets Out Of Hand For Joke Politician
    Danish Comedian Jacob Haugaard had been running for national office on a platform of ridiculousness such as better weather, better Christmas presents, and the right to impotency every term since 1979. Then the impossible happened in 1994: the prankster actually won. Not only that, he became what was often the deciding vote in a split parliament. Instead of investigating ways to manipulate the seasons, Haugaard tried his best to take his job seriously, and did not seek re-election.

    wikipedia.com



Take a look at some other classic tales of trickery that we admired (and dread):

Cubicle War Is Hell -- Office pranks are a force of nature. Nothing short of divine intervention can keep the 9-to-5 shenanigans from happening.

Taco Bell Victimized by Criminal Prank -- The vagaries of the drive-through speaker has always been a fertile source of material for comedy sketches and movie gags.

Brit Superglued to a Public Toilet Seat -- Here's the painful reality: There are easily acquired adhesives on the market that can put your rear end in certain jeopardy.

Prank Airline Security with X-ray Messaging
-- Who says we shouldn't have more fun at security?

Pantsless Riders Hit the NYC Subways -- Mass transit can be a pretty demoralizing place.....