The Only Good April Fools’ Celebration Is on Reddit

A knight holding a sword and shield

r/AskHistorians, a famously meticulous and thoughtful forum for historical discussion on Reddit, has somehow managed to land on a non-annoying way to celebrate April Fools’ Day. On Wednesday, the subreddit’s “flaired” (most trusted) users are posting in the style of r/AmITheAsshole. r/AmITheAsshole—if you’ve never had the pleasure—is a subreddit where people who aren’t sure whether they were in the wrong in a given situation can seek judgment on their actions from the crowd. These “April Fools” AITA posts are written from the point of view of prominent historical figures, and some of them are pitch-perfect, deploying the shorthand and storytelling devices common to mainstream AITA posts to hilarious effect.

Here are some of the best so far. (If you’re clueless—and curious—the usernames of the posters should give you a clue to the historical identities of these maybe-assholes.)

AITA for imprisoning a man until he agreed to marry me?: “In the last fifteen years, we have had eleven children and have enjoyed a largely happy union.”

AITA for using “cowardly” javelins to destroy Spartan hoplites? How else am I supposed to do it?: “Now people are telling me that the javelin is a coward’s weapon! Me, I don’t come from money; I don’t have time for these delusions.”

AITA because I slapped a soldier who was a lily-livered, goddamn COWARD in order to try and put some fighting spirit back into him, and then did it again? Obviously not, but why are they, I mean?: “The real controversy is the coddling we’re giving these cowards! The Army isn’t their goddamn mother!”

AITA for defying the Cuban governor, setting up a colony to grant me the position of adelantado, going on to conquer an entire native kingdom, and exaggerating the cultural practices of the natives in the hope I could justify my actions, retain my riches, and avoid being tried and executed for my crimes?: “After having sunk so much money into getting ships, men, equipment, and horses, I wasn’t about to let this opportunity pass me by.”

AITA FOR KICKING A PERSIAN MESSENGER DOWN A WELL?: “MY NIECE WIFE SAID IT WAS ALL RIGHT! WHY ARE THE GODS ANGRY WITH ME?”

I did an interview with a newspaper now everyone is mad at me, AITA?: “I couldn’t be bothered to edit it because I’m the Kaiser.”

WIBTA if I (m18) challenged my friend (m18) to a duel because he wouldn’t concede that I laid claim to the trout at dinner first?: “UPDATE: Thank you for the advice everyone. I took it and challenged him. However now I am dead. Unfortunate, but my honor remains intact so it is really a win in the end, right?”

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