The views have been tallied. The critics have been ignored. Nothing but the hits: the 25 most crazy popular articles we put up this year.
I have been ruined by the Internet. I was exposed to the dark and musky depths of its depravity too young. The Internet crawled inside me and laid eggs. Those eggs hatched and birthed terrible proclivities that slowly devoured the better parts of my brain until all that was left was a filthy layer of reeking cynicism. One of the many horrible side effects of this ruination is that it now takes a lot to make me laugh. And sometimes what does the trick is horrifically dark and disturbing stuff that should in no way cause a human being to giggle. I am not telling you it is right that I laugh at these things. I am not saying they are objectively funny to any other sensible human being. I am not seeking forgiveness. I am just showing them to you so that when the time comes, nobody will say, "He seemed like such a nice man. We had no warning."
Listen, I'm most likely going to lose my job over this, and I will almost certainly deserve it, so maybe just ... go. Just go before it's too late for all of us. Oh God, it's starting, remember me as a better man than I actually was-
The Internet loves hating on "the friend zone," because the Internet sees friendship as the highest form of torture a horrible woman can impose on a sweet and infallible man, because the Internet is 14 and a stupid piece of s**t.
I'm not here to explain that "being in the friend zone" says less about the person who "put" you there than it does about the skewed way you view relationships (although, yes, someone should teach you that at some point). I am here to tell you that you're focusing so much energy on avoiding the friend zone that you're missing the REAL threats ...
Eating a spoonful of sugar will cure your hiccups. Picking up a toad will give you warts. These little dubious tips are commonly called old wives' tales -- you usually hear them from your superstitious grandparents, and they're usually bullshit.
Usually, but not always. Some of these folk cures and bizarre warnings have stuck around for a reason, and it just took science a while to catch up ...
Porn star is one of the few professions that comes with its own cultural shorthand: Whenever someone mentions the job, a very specific picture pops in our minds, just like when someone says "cowboy" or "gangster."
Too bad these images in our head are often ridiculously off the mark. The stereotypical cowboy look was made up by movies, and most Internet comedians are actually rather less attractive than that (Soren Bowie notwithstanding). Likewise, that standard "Stripperella with daddy issues" image we as a society tend to mentally assign any and all porn stars is actually pretty damn far from the truth.
Here, let's take a closer look at people who are probably distracting you from work in another browser window ...
Spend five minutes with any random person and you soon realize that humans are goddamned horrible at talking to one another. And this is never more apparent than when we're trying to help someone in crisis.
When a friend or family member is down, we usually have a few stock replies that sound good because we're pretty sure somebody said them to us in the past, or maybe we heard them in a movie. Strangely, we know that when we're on the receiving end of this generic advice that it's about as helpful as a Windows error message, but we just can't help it. I mean, what else are you going to say?
Well, let's at least agree to stop and think before telling someone ...
Sex shops seem like the kind of antiquated institution the Internet would have killed off by now -- who would go in person to buy vibrators and porn DVDs and jerk off in a public booth where another dude was jerking off 10 minutes ago? Lots of people, it turns out.
We spoke to sex shop veterans Audra Carr and Devan Thayer Lund to find out what life is like down in the trenches, and discovered that our local porn clerk knows more about the most intimate aspects of our lives than we ever imagined -- and for the most part, they wish they didn't.
You love kung pao chicken and Jackie Chan, and now, with so many jobs supposedly going to China, it's time to pack your bags, hop on a plane, and go live where you truly belong. Surely this hasty adventure based on ill-informed stereotypes will pan out where all those others have failed!
Before you start boning up on kung fu films, however, hear me out: My name is Michael Pearce, and during my career as a teacher and writer living in Shijiazhuang, I've discovered that moving to China has its own unique challenges that in no way involve kung fu, pandas, or kung fu pandas.
I was diagnosed with clinical depression about two years ago. Sadly, this didn't lead to me beginning a wacky romance with a free-spirited girl who taught me to embrace life and love myself for who I am. I just started taking prescription drugs, made a few lifestyle changes, and felt smugly justified about listening to Joy Division.
All the time I spent not Silver Linings Playbook-ing it up made me realize that a lot of what I thought I knew about depression was about as accurate as what elementary school children know about where babies come from. If you haven't experienced mental illness for yourself, there's a chance you believe ridiculous things like ...
Making a career out of ripping people off takes a special kind of a*****e. But to make a career out of defrauding the general public, get exposed as a fraud, and then keep right on defrauding people as if nothing ever happened takes a special kind of a*****e with balls of industrial steel. Either that, or a sociopathic lack of self-awareness. Here are five people who just can't stop making s**t up (and are inexplicably rewarded for it).
Cartoon writers have the unenviable task of creating something a toddler will love, without it making mom or the babysitter want to blow their own brains out. So, the way they do this is by throwing in little racy jokes they know will go over the kids' heads.
But, as we've mentioned before, some of the stuff they slip past censors is pretty shocking ...
When I was 14, I lived with my grandparents in a wealthy gated community and went to a very prestigious private school. This was the first time I had access to the Internet on a daily basis, and it changed my life forever. I discovered metal music and culture, which inspired me to learn the guitar. My yearbook ambitions quickly went from "become a judge like my grandfather" to "become a rock star."
This was not a popular change in Tori Jane, and before long my grandparents decided the best way to reverse it was to ship my ass off to a camp for "troubled" teens in Montana. In short order I learned some terrifying truths about an industry dedicated to taking America's at-risk youth and f*****g them up in the worst way possible.
For the majority of people, sex is the most compelling thing in the world, for obvious "perpetuation of the species" reasons. Sex sells. Sex rules. Sex draws the eyes to this paragraph like a tractor beam, because the word "sex" is in it like a million times. But there are people out there with no interest in sex at all. They aren't sick, or drugged, or suffering from any sort of disorder; they're asexual. Cracked sat down with two of these people to learn a little bit more about what life is like when your anaconda don't want none, period.
In 2006, The Biggest Loser was in its third season. This hit reality show focused on a group of 14 people sent off to live in a complex together, with the goal of losing weight via the fastest possible methods that weren't amputation or amphetamines. However, behind the hasty weight loss, trumped-up drama, and dramatic music, there lurked a dark side. Cracked talked to The Biggest Loser Season 3 runner-up Kai Hibbard, who told us ...
Anyone who's danced the airport waltz is probably familiar with random delays, overpriced everything, and security precautions that flirt with idiotic excess. The only thing that could make this ordeal any more infuriating is if the people working at the airport conspire like some fraternal order of travel trolls to worsen everyone's experience with all kinds of juvenile stunts and stupid behaviors.
SPOILER ALERT: This totally happens all the time.
Editor's Note: A few weeks ago our message board and general inbox were bombarded with demands we address something called the "GamerGate Scandal," posts written with the urgency and rage one would associate with, say, discovering that Chipotle burritos are made entirely from the meat of human babies. It's apparently a big deal in some circles, so we followed the links and read the piles of data presented, and had to stop and take a deep breath just to grasp it all. "Gentlemen," we said amid the stunned silence, "do you realize that if what they're saying is true, then this is still the most pointless f*****g bullshit anyone has ever forced us to read?"
The "scandal" turned out to be an excuse for an Internet harassment campaign against a random indie game developer who, like many such targets, was a female and a feminist.
It was all sparked by a single forum post from a jilted ex-boyfriend, but the ensuing outrage was so fierce and relentless that the story made it all the way to The New Yorker. This kind of spontaneous shitstorm is depressingly common these days, so we reached out to Zoe Quinn to see what it's like to be the Internet's Most Hated Person (well, for a couple of weeks, anyway). Here's what she told us ...
Filmmaking is such a chaotic, haphazard process that it's nearly impossible for the people involved to tell if the movie is going to be good or not. Scenes are filmed out of order, much of what you shoot is going to get cut, and you have to trust that whatever effects fill in the big green wall behind you are going to look good.
So maybe it's not all that surprising that some of the stars of your favorite movies had no goddamned idea what film they were even making. For example ...
Like many people from my generation, I was raised by the streets: Sesame Street, Street Sharks, Street Fighter. I've spent so many years obsessively watching those shows, and hundreds of others like them, that television is now the first thing that comes to mind when I think back to my childhood ... which is why I can never, EVER learn how my favorite TV series were made. Whenever I do, I discover that the same shows that brought me so much joy when I was a kid have brought nothing but pain and misery to the people making them, like how ...
Nestled in a cozy grey area between "pornography" and "prostitution" is one of the Internet's strangest cottage industries: selling dirty underpants online. It's the new media answer to a fetish that's existed since the invention of panties -- some men enjoy sniffing spoiled thongs, and the Internet has given them a way to indulge their fetish without stealing any hampers.
It's also given a small, creative, and very open-minded cadre of women an opportunity to make a decent living while significantly reducing their laundry bill. This raised many, many questions in our minds, so Cracked sat down with one of these women and asked her to walk us through the business of selling one's underwear online.
In an era of lazy adaptations and slapped-together reality shows, it's cool to see creators go above and beyond, inserting Easter eggs into their work that they know 99 percent of viewers won't even notice. We've made it our mission to stop and appreciate these hidden little nuggets -- we've covered movie Easter eggs, video game Easter eggs, and even Easter eggs in famous literary publications.
With television, though, you almost have to admire it more when creators make the effort, considering the vast majority of TV viewers are barely paying attention, leaving the TV on in the background while they eat, masturbate, or wrestle with the dog (or all three at once). So for all of you who missed them the first time ...
When that one kid back in high school told us that he'd heard that you could get pregnant from blow jobs or that the chlorine in hot tubs means you can't catch STDs, we were smart enough to call bullshit. But it turns out that we probably shouldn't have been so quick to laugh and tell him what a virgin he was, because some of those ridiculous sex myths turned out to be terrifyingly close to the truth. For example ...
When you hear about modern-day slavery, you probably picture some third-world brutality occurring in Africa or Southeast Asia (and if you just muttered something about your unpaid office internship, go ahead and slap yourself right now). When you hear about sex trafficking, you imagine a gang of Eastern European thugs kidnapping women and getting chased down by Liam Neeson.
But, incredibly, human trafficking is a multi-billion-dollar industry in the United States today. Statistically, Liam Neeson is more likely to sell his own daughter into slavery than have her stolen by some mysteriously brown Parisians. Cracked wanted to know how the hell this was possible, so we sat down with "Jane," a former sex slave, and asked her about her life.
NOTE: We don't have a policy of putting trigger warnings on articles, but if there exists anywhere on Earth an article that needs such a warning, here it f*****g is. In fact, if this doesn't disturb you, there is a good chance you are a crazy person.
From the 1940s to the 1970s, civilization apparently gave up on traditional recipes and decided to be creative. And by "creative," we mean they labored under the philosophy that if you had but a few completely random ingredients in your cupboard, you were culturally obligated to combine them Frankenstein-style into a weeping pile of nightmare food.
We decided to have our brave researcher Evan test seven of these recipes from the "temporary insanity" era of cooking and see if he survived. (He did, as he doled the recipes out over a week of misery, instead of in one singularly fatal banquet of the damned.) Were these foodstuffs disgusting or simply misunderstood? Here are the results ...
Porn stars have it made. On the surface, "have sex with beautiful people for money" sounds like a no-brainer, but while it can be a "dream," not enough people put emphasis on the "job" part. Cracked sat down with Lance Hart, veteran porn star, pornographer, and all around porn-type guy, to get the lowdown on getting down for a camera. Here's what we learned:
As a child of the Internet and confirmed weirdo, imagine my relief when they finally took that last bastion of in-person awkwardness -- dating -- to my laptop instead. I've been using one of the major dating sites, OkCupid, on and off for about five years now. While it has its perks, being a woman on a dating site means immersing yourself in a disgusting cesspool of exposed nerves, unfiltered testosterone, and daily propositions to engage in sex acts so horrifying, I hadn't even heard of them before, and I'm from the Internet.
I got the feeling that a lot of men on that site would message literally any woman who had a profile, but the optimist in me wanted to believe that there was a limit. Maybe there was a woman so awful, so toxic, so irredeemably unlikeable that no one would message her, or if they did, at least they would realize they never, ever wanted to meet her. So I made the OkCupid profile of the Worst Woman on Earth, hoping to prove that there exists an online dating profile so loathsome that no man would message it.
I did not accomplish my goal.
You ever have that funny friend, the class-clown type, who one day just stopped being funny around you? Did it make you think they were depressed? Because it's far more likely that, in reality, that was the first time they were comfortable enough around you to drop the act.
The ones who kill themselves, well, they're funny right up to the end.
You don't make astonishing amounts of money without ending up a jerk in some way.
Criminal behavior can be influenced by some very weird, seemingly random factors.
Even our most popular forms of entertainment can treat their employees like absolute trash.
The news spent weeks reporting on these giant scandals without bothering to mention the stupidest parts.