Why Tori Spelling’s April Fools’ Joke Has The Internet Seeing Red

April 1 is traditionally the time for lighthearted pranks and jokes. Some antics are as simple as switching out sugar for salt (and waiting for the victim to taste that morning coffee), while others are much more elaborate. Among the most ingenious April Fools’ jokes of all time are Burger King’s “Left-Handed Whopper” ad, Taco Bell’s claiming to have bought the Liberty Bell, and the comic-strip switch of 1997, when the artists of such comics as Dilbert, Garfield, and Family Circus drew one another’s strips (via The Museum of Hoaxes). 

But there are some times when joking just isn’t appropriate. For example, Google canceled its annual prank this year, as it did in 2020, in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the many lives lost over the past year (via the New York Post). And there are some topics that are simply no laughing matter. Tori Spelling is finding this out the hard way. On the morning of April 1, the Beverly Hills 90210 star posted a photo of herself on Instagram wearing a floral robe and cradling what appeared to be a prominent baby bump. Her caption: “No. 6.” 

The apparent pregnancy announcement sent followers into a tizzy. Was it possible that Spelling was expecting again? At nearly 48, the odds seemed doubtful. And with five children between the ages of 14 and 4, her family seemed complete. Then people remembered the date.

Pregnancy announcements are no laughing matter

Although Tori Spelling hasn’t yet confirmed this was an April Fools’ joke, the evidence suggests it is. Not only do her earlier posts show no signs of a bump, her good friend, stylist Laura Rugetti, also posted the same photo to her stories, captioning, “Did you not tell me something this morning?” (via the Daily Mail) A recent sighting of her without a wedding ring has also raised questions about the status of her marriage to husband Dean McDermott.

Fake pregnancy announcements, once a popular seasonal prank, are now considered to be in poor taste. As the American Adoptions site explains, joking about being pregnant can be extremely hurtful to couples who are trying to conceive — infertility affects more than one in ten women —  or who have suffered a miscarriage or stillbirth. The angry reactions to Spelling’s post included comments like, “I have struggled for years to conceive, after several miscarriages. If this is in fact a joke…shame on you TORI! Becoming pregnant and conceiving is an amazing blessing.” Another woman wrote, “As someone who lost my baby at 40 weeks from a cord accident, this kinda ‘joke’ isn’t funny and is in bad taste PERIOD.”

Other respondents were less harsh on the actress. One woman explained that even though she has struggled with infertility, she didn’t feel triggered by the post. “Tori is allowed to make a classic April Fools’ joke if she wants to,” she wrote. “You’re not the boss. Just stop.”

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