Most absurd Wikipedia articles

Traditionally encyclopedias were associated with seriousness: serious people writing serious articles about serious topics. Pick up the Britannica or Columbia Encyclopedia or any of the scores of other encyclopedias out there and you don’t find much in the way of humor and levity. After all, the purpose of an encyclopedia was to cover a topic exhaustively. In print, space is limited. Any sentences spent on frivolous topics means sentences not spent documenting the length of a river in Africa or the career of a Swedish biologist.

With Wikipedia, space limitations are not an issue. Nonetheless humor is generally not a factor in Wikipedia. For all that the writers are thousands of people scattered around the earth editing articles while (in some cases) wearing pajamas, rather than academics with grey mustaches in tweed coats, the authors of Wikipedia articles seem determined to imitate the just-the-facts-and-not-even-the-slightest-attempt-to-provoke-a-smile style of older print encyclopedias.

However, because Wikipedia has space to write about absolutely everything, there are some articles where the contrast between the serious encyclopedia style and the nature of the topic just make the whole thing absurd. For example:

Dewey, Cheatem & Howe is the gag name of a fictional law or accounting firm, used in several parody settings. The gag name pokes fun at the perceived propensity of some lawyers and accountants to take advantage of their clients: the name of the firm is a pun on the phrase “Do we cheat 'em? And how!” This gag name is also used more broadly as a placeholder for any hypothetical law firm.

The second name varies somewhat, with regards to spelling (Cheetem, Cheater, Cheethem, Cheatham…) but also to the word it is based upon (Screwum, Burnham…)


“You have two cows” refers to a form of political satire involving variations of a scenario, where what occurs to the eponymous cows is used to demonstrate how certain political systems function.

And my personal favorite:

“Weasel Stomping Day” is a song by American parodist “Weird Al” Yankovic, which appears on his 2006 album Straight Outta Lynwood. It is also one of six songs on the album to have an animated music video, created for the Adult Swim show Robot Chicken. It is the shortest track on the album.

This video appeared in “The Munnery”, the twelfth episode of the second season, which aired on September 24, 2006, two days before the album was released. Al has jokingly said that Weasel Stomping Day falls on June 31, a day that does not exist in the Gregorian calendar.

The lyrics describe a fictitious holiday, which involves putting on hiking boots and a Viking helmet, spreading mayonnaise on one’s lawn and stomping weasels to death. It’s indicated that the participants don’t know the history behind it and are at peace with the violent nature of holiday, doing it anyway because it’s “tradition” (similar to The Simpsons episode “Whacking Day” and Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”). The song’s cheery melody, reminiscent of animated musical specials of the 1960s, is contrasted by sounds of weasels being flattened; A splattered crunch, followed by a squeal. (The sounds were made by Al recording audio of himself smashing and biting into fruit.) Robot Chicken’s stop-motion music video generally follows the lyrics, and graphically depicts weasels being crushed, smashed, and pulverized in various ways. A character wearing a PETA T-shirt takes part in the weasel-stomping activities.

Any others?

I present to you, Toilet Paper Orientation.

An extremely long, in-depth article. It includes a survey, a section called “Social consequences,” and a mathematical equation. Someone (or some people) had fun with this article.

I don’t see why this is absurd. I recently sent this very link to a foreigner to explain the significance of the sign in Harvard Square. He speaks some English, but not enough to get this pun without explanation.

I remember this article. The original editor, Melchoir, spent a lot of time with this article in userspace before copying it to articlespace nearly fully-formed one day. Here’s what it looked like when it was first created. I first encountered it a couple days later when some well-meaning editor slapped a speedy deletion tag on it. I didn’t see any reason for the article not to exist, so I removed the tag. Good to see it’s been maintained, expanded, and improved since then.

The articles for some TV shows run absurd, last I checked. See lengthy, detailed articles for single episodes of Buffy.

Simply the fact that there is an encyclopedia article about a silly pun. I find that absurd. Other people may have a different opinion.

I don’t know if you can still access the articles that were rejected. They got pretty weird.

Yes, wikipedia is like an encyclopedia. More important, it’s the place that people go when they’ve found something online or in popular culture that they don’t understand.

Does an encyclopedia really need an entry for every city? For every politician? Every sports figure? No. But people expect wikipedia to have one.

Dunno if it counts, but wasn’t it Star Trek: Into Darkness that had the pages-long argument on whether to include the colon or not? That is absurd.

An on-line encyclopedia should. There’s no reason to limit the number of entries or the scope of the subject matter.

this is pretty far out: About 650 items named. Thankfully, no links to each one.

Over 15,000 players have played at least one game in major league baseball, and every one of them has his ownb separate Wikipedia page.

Here’s a Wikipedia article about weird Wikipedia articles:

I guess this article shouldn’t surprise me much.

[Miles v. City Council of Augusta, Georgia](Miles v. City Council of Augusta, Georgia) is a United States federal court case in which the court found that the exhibition of a talking cat was an occupation for the purposes of municipal licensing law.

United States v. 11 1/4 Dozen Packages of Articles Labeled in Part Mrs. Moffat’s Shoo-Fly Powders for Drunkenness

Gef the talking mongoose

I was just looking through that. There are some good ones in there.
Fart lighting.
Unusually shaped vegetables.
The dog ate my homework.
The moon is made of green cheese.

BTW, is it just me, or is the article on human penis size a bit excessively thorough?

And, wow, check this out: The Straight Dope is referenced in there, apparently defending the smaller penis:

Huh. If I didn’t happen to know that Cecil is hung like Pegasus, I might have suspected that someone was feeling insecure.

I am disappointed. I read that as Fart Lightning, and thought it would be pretty damn interesting. Fart lighting is a bit less so.

I love it! That is so meta.

List of fictional ducks

I was a victim of the same misreading. Fart lightning should be real.


Here’s one on the court case that decidedthat X-Men figures weren’t dolls.

It’s not useless, but the Bristol Stool Scale may be absurd.