The 418 I’m a Teapot is a whimsical HTTP status code that started as an April Fools’ joke among web developers.

Here’s a brief history:

  • In 1998, the IETF published an April Fools’ Day Request for Comments (RFC) document about a fake protocol called the Hyper Text Coffee Pot Control Protocol (HTCPCP). This outlined a way for devices to remotely control coffee pots over the internet.
  • Within this cheeky RFC, they introduced status code 418 I’m a Teapot as one of the error messages. It was meant to be returned by teapots that have been asked to brew coffee. The code indicates the teapot received a request it cannot fulfill because it is a teapot and not a coffee maker.
  • Although it started as a joke, over time major HTTP servers and frameworks have adopted 418 as a recognized code that can actually be returned. It’s seen by some developers as a fun way to show they have a sense of humor.
  • While most browsers display a standard 404 Not Found or 400 Bad Request error, some may return the 418 error and display a teapot.