15 Times The Onion Was Mistaken For Actual News

ALWAYS make sure the breaking news you're reading isn't from The Onion.
15 Times The Onion Was Mistaken For Actual News

The Onion is world-renowned for sitting atop the throne of all modern-day satirical writings. Well, at least we think world-renowned. Apparently, a fair amount of people still have not gotten the memo that not a single headline on the website is actual news. Here are 15 examples of people who don't like researching their sources.

Ex-FIFA Vice President Outraged At US Hosting Fictional 2015 World Cup

The former FIFA vice president, Jack Warner,  was indicted in 2015 for alleged crimes of corruption. In a video Warner made to defend his innocence, he cited an Onion article that claimed the US was chosen to host the non-existent 2015 World Cup. 

Warner later had the video re-edited and the citation removed, but the internet is way too quick to be fooled. 

Chinese Publication Announces Kim Jong-Un As People's Sexiest Man Alive

Trump and Kim Jong Un

The White House

In 2012, the China's People's Daily Online was fooled by an Onion article claiming that Kim Jong-Un was People Magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive.” Although this may seem easy to catch as satire, what makes it difficult is that everyone in North Korea completely agrees and is very happy according to the North Korean government.

Skater Falls Through Ice

ice skate the onion


This poor guy who 100% heard about this before.

Iranian News Agency Falls For Fake Poll

In 2012, Iranian news agency Fars News re-ran an article by The Onion headlined “Gallup Poll: Rural Whites Prefer Ahmadinejad to Obama.” The fake poll fake reported that "77 percent of rural Caucasian voters ... would much rather go to a baseball game or have a drink with Ahmadinejad than spend time with Obama.”

The reveal that this was satire was surely a big hit to all the Ahmadinejad-heads out there.

Bangladesh Newspaper Fooled By Neil Armstrong Story

Apollo Team


Bangladeshi news outlets The Daily Manab Zamin and The New Nation had an article citing The Onion article "Conspiracy Theorist Convinces Neil Armstrong Moon Landing Was Faked." The story revolved around the idea that NASA had tricked Armstrong into thinking he was on the moon when in reality it was all a hoax. The news outlets later retracted the citations assumedly after talking to their little brother who knew what The Onion was.

Tech Company Falls For Satirical Olympic Sex Story

Chinese Tech company Tencent fell for the Onion video headlined "Olympic Village Tour: See Where The Athletes Live, Train And F--- Each Other." According to ABC News, Tencent released a video commenting on the headline “saying ‘Western media’ released ‘explosive’ footage of a ‘crazy sex party’ in the Olympic village.” 

This is not the first time in history that someone obsessed with tech has guessed something wrong about sex.

Peter Jackson: Serial Killer

Peter Jackson kills hobbits


This person who thinks Peter Jackson needs to have an example made of him. Perhaps we throw him into Mount Doom?

ESPN Announcer Outraged At Fake Story About Himself

When The Onion ran a profile on famously combative ESPN Announcer Stephen A. Smith entitled “Stephen. A. Smith Thinking Son Is Finally Ready for the Sex Argument," Smith was appalled. Smith ran to Twitter saying

“I thought I'd heard enough despicable lies about myself. Now there's some article out that I have a 9-yr-old son and I'm going to have a conversation with him about Sex. Mind you, I neither have a son nor a 9-Year-old. Some ppl are beyond despicable. No end! Sad what extent people will go to. Amazing how folks try to tear cats down, primarily due to perceived power of the spoken word. Damn Shame, but too bad.”

Now how could anyone call this guy argumentative when he has such a good sense of humor?

The New York Times Posts A Fake Obama Tiger Beat Cover

Obama Tiger Beat

The Onion

When the New York Times released an article honoring the deceased creator of Tiger Beat magazine, they accidentally included a fake cover created by The Onion which included President Obama saying “I sing in the shower.” 

An easy mistake to make when you’re putting together a slide show, but the obvious giveaway is we all know Barack is a bubble bath kind of guy.

Louisiana Congressman Tricked By ‘Abortionplex’

Republican U.S. Representative from Louisiana John Fleming was flabbergasted when he read the headline "Planned Parenthood Opens $8 Billion Abortionplex." It was going to feature "coffee shops, bars, dozens of restaurants and retail outlets, a three-story nightclub, and a 10-screen multiplex theater." He posted the news urging his followers to read the story, and later deleted the post when someone probably slipped him a note explaining what The Onion is.

U.S. Cowers From Fake Capitol Attack Tweets

Capitol Building


The Onion once ran a story entitled “Congress Takes Group Of Schoolchildren Hostage” in 2011. In an effort to push the story further they began tweeting from their socials concerning tweets like, “BREAKING: Witnesses reporting screams and gunfire heard in the building” and “Capitol building being evacuated. 12 children held hostage by group of armed congressmen.”

While this may have been a little more far-fetched in 2011, in 2022 it’s easy to understand why people took this seriously.  Capitol police had to respond to the public saying everything was alright, but they were investigating the claims.

California Town Confused Concerned By Satirical Study

Onion article “Study Finds Every Style Of Parenting Produces Disturbed, Miserable Adults” cited real-life organization The California Parenting Institute in its fictitious story, leading concerned/gullible readers to flood the center with calls. The director of marketing and development did not find the humor in the situation and said  “It’s obviously not OK to list our agency, even in satire.”

Serena Williams Becomes Darth Maul

Serena Williams Two Rackets


This gullible tweeter who thinks the refs need to get their eyes checked!

Fox Nation Doesn’t Acknowledge Obama Article Is Fake


Pete Zousa

A few Foxycotton-addicted readers were fooled when FoxNation.com reposted a fake Obama-related Onion article and failed to mention it was fake in 2010. The article entitled “Frustrated Obama Sends Nation Rambling 75,000-Word E-Mail” was met with comments like “HAHAHAHAHAHA OBUMMA – Un-raveled. EPIC FAILURE. IMPEACH it” and “Hey, you fraud: Get out. Your presidency is an affront to the exceptionalism of America. Pathetic loser.”

Subway’s Tasteless 9/11 Deal

9/11 Subway Deal


This patriot who is just trying his best.

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Top Image: The Onion

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