March 24, 2015
SVT #28, April Fool!: Joke’s On You
Summary: Even though most normal places don’t care about April Fools’ Day, Sweet Valley considers it a big deal. And the twins consider it an even bigger deal. Usually they switch places, but this year they want to do something different, since everyone will be anticipating a twin swap. Jessica comes up with the idea to PRETEND to switch places, so the real trick is that there is no trick. They’ll be somewhat exaggerated versions of themselves, to make people think they’re trying to accentuate the swap. I don’t know, it sounds pretty clever to me.
Elizabeth agrees to the plan, so on April Fools’ Day, the girls just act like they normally would. Their parents and Steven think they’ve swapped like they always do. At school, everyone plays pranks on each other. The ghostwriter seems to think that April Fools’ Day is this big event, like Valentine’s Day. There’s even a party scheduled for that evening. Any excuse for a party in this town, right? Anyway, everyone, including the teachers, thinks the twins are pretending to be each other, no matter how much they insist they’re themselves.
It’s all fun and games until Elizabeth is announced as the winner of an essay contest, but Jessica is given her prize. The prize is a subscription to any magazine the winner wants, and Jessica picks Teen Rock. Elizabeth is devastated, since she wanted a magazine about horses. Then she’s given detention for a note Jessica wrote about a teacher. Liz is a little upset, but also thinks it’s great that her and Jessica’s scheme has fooled everyone.
Late to class because she was being punished, Elizabeth runs into the vice principal, who gives her another detention. I think normally he’d let it slide, but last week he chastised Jessica for running in the halls, so he thinks this is a second offense. Elizabeth’s like, “Whatever, I’m already in trouble; another detention isn’t a big deal.” She goes to cooking class and makes a perfect soufflé while Jessica goofs off and screws hers up. The girls are given each other’s grades, so now Elizabeth has her very first C in the class (though I suspect she doesn’t get many C’s in other classes).
After school, Elizabeth reports for detention, but her teacher has an emergency dentist appointment and the vice principal has a meeting, so she’s off the hook for both. She heads to the gym to help decorate for the party that night, but everyone thinks she’s Jessica and doesn’t want her there. Also, they’re ticked that Elizabeth hasn’t shown up.
At this point, I would probably start developing an identity crisis. But Elizabeth doesn’t have time, since the Unicorns whisk her away for a fundraising car wash. They all say they’ve already washed cars and there’s only one left (though their clothes are suspiciously dry). Elizabeth is ticked but washes the car so Jess won’t get in trouble with her friends. Dude, Liz, you already almost had to serve detention for her. It’s time to put your foot down. This is why Jess always gets away with everything – Elizabeth is the world’s biggest enabler. Anyway, it turns out to be an April Fools’ joke on “Jessica.”
Liz heads home, where Steven warns that Alice is angry that Jessica didn’t mail some plans for her. Her punishment is that she can’t go to Amy’s house to swim and have dinner, and she has to miss the party to go to a town council meeting with her parents. Geez, really? Also, when Jessica gets home, she says she mailed the plans, so Alice’s overreaction is ridiculous. Why give Jessica a task if you’re not going to believe her when she says she’s accomplished it?
Jessica wants to keep up the scheme even though Elizabeth is fed up. Jess, of course, is having a great day, because every day is great for Liz, and even greater when people just think you’re Liz. She even goes to Amy’s house in Elizabeth’s place, as if Jessica would want to hang out with pre-high school Amy. Elizabeth goes to the town council meeting with her parents, hating that it’s held at the school, which means she might run into her friends. At this point I’d be furious with Ned and Alice for supposedly not being able to tell the twins apart.
When Elizabeth gets to school, Alice sends her into the gym with a change of clothes for Jessica. As soon as she walks in, everyone applauds. Jessica announces that the entire day was a trick – everyone knew there was no switch. It was just a big joke Jess was playing on Elizabeth. The only person who wasn’t in on it was the vice principal, but Jess filled him in, so Elizabeth won’t have to serve her detention.
Instead of screaming at Jessica or pulling a Carrie on everyone, Elizabeth is just relieved that her horrible day was all a joke. The Unicorns make her an honorary Unicorn, like, way to kick her while she’s down, girls. Elizabeth gets a tiny bit of revenge on Jessica by telling her that Bruce called to ask her out and Elizabeth turned him down in her place. (Jess, she did you a favor.) Here’s hoping Liz spends the next 364 days coming up with a scheme to get Jessica back.
Thoughts: Of course Elizabeth irons her jeans.
Ned’s idea of a joke is to wear his tie backwards. Stop trying, Ned.
I think it’s a little much to grade 12-year-olds on how well they can make soufflés on the first try. If every 12-year-old could make a perfect soufflé the first time out, no one would need to go to culinary school.