Skip to main content

Google pulls ill-advised ‘mic drop' April Fools' joke from Gmail

Google pulls ill-advised ‘mic drop' April Fools' joke from Gmail

Share this story

Google has retracted its 'mic drop' option from Gmail after complaints from its users, just a few hours after the feature was added for April Fools' day. "It looks like we pranked ourselves this year," the company said on its official blog, apologizing for the feature, and blaming a bug for causing "more headaches than laughs." Those still seeing the option are advised to reload Gmail.

The option was added to the service last night and allowed users to "send and mic drop" their emails, automatically attaching a gif of a minion — those irritating yellow monstrosities — disdainfully tossing away a microphone. The message was intended to humorously convey that the sender is vacating the conversation, but some users were said they accidentally sent it to bosses, clients, and other people who might not appreciate a mic-dropping minion.

READ MORE: April Fools' pranks from across the internet, ranked from best to worst

The problem was not so much with the content (although a minion in 2016, Google? Really?), but the execution. The new button replaced Gmail's "send and archive" option, an actually helpful option that lets you close out conversations and file the email string away in your records. Regular users of Gmail's send and archive feature could have found that their muscle memory betrays them, sending an awkward gif to an unexpected recipient. Bugs were also reported that saw people send the gif even when using the regular "send" option.

Designer Andy Baio mocked up a worst-case scenario for the feature, in which funeral proceedings planned over email were interrupted by the gif, but real people have already arrived in Google's help forums, claiming the feature has ruined their lives. One Gmail user blames his inadvertent minion-sending for the loss of his writing job, while another says they attached the gif in a serious mail meant for 30 recipients. Many were asking how to turn the feature off even before the US wakes up to the full force of April Fools', but now you don't need to worry — Google has killed it for you.

Update April 1st, 4:00AM ET: Google has now pulled the mic drop feature.