Extra! Extra! Read All About It!
"Extra! Extra! You're frickin Extra! Extra! Read all about it!
Cliché stock phrase
from the 1890s through the 1940s used to denote breaking news! Sometimes uses "extry" or "wuxtry" to denote a New England
accent! Often shouted by overzealous newsies and paperboys! A Dead Horse Trope
nowadays owing to television and the internet! Related to Spinning Paper
! Extra! Extra!
But what does it mean?
In the old days before TV, radio, and the Internet, most people who followed the news got their information from the newspapers, which were (and still are) normally published at best on a daily basis. If a major story (such as the death of a President or a declaration of war) broke after the day's deadline, a newspaper might choose to print an "Extra" edition on top of their regular edition. Sometimes they were short and carried only the story itself, but more often they were identical to the earlier main edition with just the first few pages replaced. By the 1940s, though, newspapers were in competition with radio for advertising dollars, and big-city papers like the New York Times
and the Montreal Gazette
published four or five regular editions a day, taking any possible opportunity to publish an "extra" so they could boost circulation. Even now, papers infrequently publish short "extra" editions if a really
big story breaks; many did after 9/11, for instance.
For extra cliche points, this trope is frequently trotted out for minor happenings and other news events that wouldn't normally warrant the printing of an extra edition, particularly ones exhibiting the Worst News Judgment Ever
Compare This Just In
, which is this for News Broadcasts
Examples, Examples! Read all about 'em!
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Anime and Manga
- Used for a gag in Transmetropolitan—the newsboy (a stubble-faced dwarf for some reason) not actually proclaiming a story, but loudly expressing his opinion of The Word's decision to fire Spider Jerusalem.
- Used by the Newsboy Legion in DC Comics, back in the days when they were actually newsboys.
- Ubiquitous in The Golden Age of Comic Books. In his very first appearance (1940), Robin disguised himself as a newsboy, complete with catchphrase.
- The Poor Little Rich Girl (1917): "Wuxtra! Wuxtra! Panic in Wall St.!" Used as exposition to indicate that the rich girl's father is having some problems with his investments.
- Invasion U.S.A. (1952). One of the most bizarre and badly staged in film history. As the Vincent and Carla stare lovingly into each other's eyes, a newsboy walks in, yelling, "Extra! Paper! Read all about it!", stares directly at the two characters (who continue to stare into each other's eyes like zombies), then turns around and walks off from the same way he entered.
- Used in Newsies, and that's set in 1899!
- Overnight Delivery:
Ivy: Extra, Extra. Read all about it. Kim can shake her pom-poms but she won't go at it!
- The newsboy in Chicago says this when Roxie Hart's verdict is revealed.
- Mocked, because they have stacks of newspapers with pre-written articles delaring "Guilty" or "Innocent" and use a kid signaling from the courthouse window to tell them which one to sell.
- There is a running gag involving a newsie shouting this in the movie Johnny Dangerously.
- The 2008 movie Changeling has this, but it does make sense as the movie is set in the 1930s.
- The Town Cryer in Corpse Bride precedes this tropes natural occurrence by about a century or two, and proceeds to play around with it...
"Hear ye, hear ye! Victor Van Dort seen last night on the bridge in the arms of a mystery woman! The dark-haired temptress and Master Van Dort slipped away into the night! And now the weather: scattered showers..."
- In Silent Movie, the stack of newspapers is thrown at the vendor.
- Used word-for-word in Doughboys, as Elmer's ineffectual courting of Mary is interrupted by newsboys selling papers announcing American intervention in World War I.
- He shouts "Check it out!" instead of "Extra! Extra!" - but the loud and aggressive Gotham City vendor who sells papers on the bridge overlooking Gotham Plaza in Batman Returns otherwise fits this trope. In a neat modern twist, he's hawking tabloid newspapers.
- The Wolfman (2010) used it, complete with the classic little Victorian British boy in a cap on the corner of the sidewalk selling newspapers.
- Angels with Dirty Faces has a paperboy selling them this way, with the "extry" variant.
- The paperboy in The Hudsucker Proxy, saying "The man from Muncie, a Moron after all! Read all about it!"
- The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), the original version, used it.
"Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Spaceman still at large. Army put in charge!"
- Reflecting the 1930s period it's set it, The Rocketeer played this straight.
- From the Broadway play within a film in The Muppets Take Manhattan:
"Extra! Extra! Somebody's getting married!"note
- Played straight in The Shadow, which is set in the 20s/30s: A young man calls out "Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Madman threatens to blow the city sky-high!"
- The movie version of Damn Yankees has newsboys shouting headlines about Joe Hardy being in trouble.
- In Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, one such newsboy appears shouting "Bombing in Strausbourg! Read all about it!" in the very beginning.
- In Underworld (1927), the gangster's break is loudly advertised by a paper boy.
- Parodied (along with every other newspaper trope) in the Discworld novel The Truth. William de Worde, editor of the Discworld's first mass-circulation newspaper, the Ankh-Morpork Times, hires some beggars to act as newsies. Since the beggars in question are Foul Ole Ron and his friends, all of whom have a somewhat weak grip on reality, they manage to mangle the newsie stock phrases further, turning them into shouts of "Hoinarylup!" and "Squidaped-oyt!"
- Made all the funnier when Lord Vetinari buys a newspaper and upon reading it remarks, quite dryly: "I see no mention of Hoinarylup or Squiaped-oyt."
Live Action TV
- The Monkees episode "The Devil and Peter Tork":
Micky: [dressed as a newsboy] Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Rock and roll group gains fame and fortune by introducing harp into act!
- That '70s Show:
Eric: Extra. Extra. Read all about it.
Steven Hyde: "Skinny Dillhole Talks Like An Idiot"?
- Gets used in a host segment or two in MST3K. Notably, the one in Horror Of Party Beach where Tom provides incredibly up-to-date newspapers with headlines like "Mike buys another paper from Tom".
- Also for the short Hired!: "Extry, extry, Pearl Harbor bombed, Roosevelt declares war!"
- Big Lipped Alligator Moment from Invasion U.S.A. (1952), after a scene ending with the Official Couple staring into each others' eyes:
Paperboy: (From offscreen) Ex-tra, Pa-per, America invaded, read all about it!
(Comes onscreen from behind the couple, stares openly at the couple, turns around, walks offscreen while repeating previous line.)
Mike: Now that's a walk-on!
- Sesame Street did it as a Running Gag. "Extra! Extra! Four people fooled!" Then Ernie buys the newspaper, discovers there's no such article, and the newsboy shouts, "Extra, Extra! Five people fooled!" This joke is sometimes used by other children's media.
- Used in the X-Play Musical.
- Filthy Rich & Catflap:
"Extra! Extra! I'm an extra!"
- Batman TV series: A very old newsboy is cleverly used to Hand Wave a Plot Hole at Zelda The Great:
(handling the Gotham City Times Extra with the lines: “Big joke on bank bandit: stolen cash was counterfeit!: Extra! Extra! Get your newspaper here! Read about the bandit’s stolen counterfeit money, Yes that’s all what he did, steal counterfeit money!
- Subverted in the The Green Hornet, when Britt Reid gets a call from his old school reporter, Mike Stanford, about a hot news story that they should run an extra on. Reid immediately shoots him down noting that his paper doesn't run extras; his business' radio and TV broadcasting sections handle the breaking news.
- El Chavo del ocho was once selling newspapers and shouting the trope to announce about cops chasing smugglers and a female domestic servant strike. Watching a cop stalk a woman in maid attire made him mix up. Later, he played on the old joke mentioned in The Simpsons example and shouted an announcement about thirteen deceived people. Don Ramon bought a newspaper and complained it was a week-old one. He updated it to fourteen. Then Quico, who had previously asked to read a Chapulin comic book to check if he hasn't already read it, returned it, claiming he had already read it. As Quico shouted about fifteen deceived people, Don Ramon laughed at how the trick was turned on Chavo.
- The Who's Rock Opera Tommy: "Extra! Extra! Read all about it: Pinball Wizard in a miracle cure! Extra! Extra! Read all about it, extra!" Yeah, that's the whole song.
- The 1975 film adaptation even has another song set to the tune of "Miracle Cure" called (what else?) "Extra Extra".
- "Want Ads", first popularized by Honey Cone and later covered by Taylor Dayne. "Extra, extra, read all about it / Wanted: Young man, single and free"
- The Aesop Rock and Rob Sonic song Dark Heart News contains the line, "Extra, extra, read all about me!"
- The Blue Öyster Cult song Morning Final, about the murder of a drug addict in a subway, ends with a paper boy shouting the headline Extra Extra! Police say no motive for murder in subway. Extra! Read all about it! No motive for murder in subway...
- The Genesis song "Paperlate" derives its title from at least one of the British equivalents of the phrase.
- Monopoly has a boy saying this during certain Chance cards.
- The Newsboys' song in Gypsy:
Extra! Extra! Hey, look at the headline!
Historical news is being made!
Extra! Extra! They're drawing a red line
Around the biggest scoop of the decade!
A barrel of charm, a fabulous thrill!
The biggest little headline in vaud-e-ville!
- Used in The Simpsons episode featuring the B-Sharps. The kid claimed the newspaper had an article on them sitting on a rooftop, but a guy who took one from him exclaimed that there was nothing of the sort, and then chased after the kid who ran away laughing.
- Schoolhouse Rock's "Walking on Wall Street" opened with "Extra! Extra! Latest Wall Street prices!"
- There's also a newsboy during "Fireworks", who would be holding newspapers headlining the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
- From the Screwy Squirrel cartoon Happy-Go-Nutty, after Screwy has tricked Meathead the dog into walking off a cliff:
Screwy Squirrel:' [At the bottom of the cliff, holding a newspaper] Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Dumb dog falls for corny old gag! Extra! [Meathead lands] Paper, mister? [Hands Meathead paper; headline reads "Sucker!"]
- "Coconut Fred's Fruit Salad Island!":
Coconut Fred: Extra, Extra! Mr. Greenrind denies booger farming. Read all about it!
- Arnold the newsboy in The Flintstones did this on occasion.
- From Futurama:
Tinny Tim: Extra! Extra! Greatest opera of all time sucks!
Zoidberg: I'll take eight!
- Pops up often in Looney Tunes. One appears during the opening titles of "Porky in Wackyland", and in one Pepe LePew short a Parisian newsboy shouts "Le wuxtry! Le wuxtry!"
- One appears in SpongeBob SquarePants, "Hall Monitor".
- Adventues in Care-a-Lot attempted to use this phrase in one episode, but since the characters were announcing new stories on a website, it was changed to "Extra! Extra! hear all about it!" Just doesn't have the same ring to it.
- Parodied in Robot Chicken:
Paper Boy: Extra! Extra! Newspaper boys are anachronisms in modern-day society! Read all about it!
- One of the So Bad, It's Good poorly animated and dubbed animations from Dingo Pictures called Mouse Police, played it straight, despite being relatively new, thus reviving dead horse trope.
- The Legend of the Titanic has paperboys shouting that, too.
- Tony Toponi becomes a paperboy in An American Tail: The Mystery of the Night Monster, though he really wants to be a reporter and when he becomes discouraged and his rant begins to show it. *in a flat monotone voice* "Hey, get your paper here, whoop-dee-do paper here..." When someone passes him by he yells "Fine! So stay ignorant!"
- Recurring theme in Rocky and Bullwinkle.
- Has been used in Histeria with Loud Kiddington as the paper boy in question.
- One episode of Phineas and Ferb had a paper-boy attempt this, until realising it didn't work any more and giving up.
- Present in the DuckTales episode "Master of the Djinni".
- TaleSpin: Featured in "From Here to Machiney" before a News Reel starts.
- Ultimate Spider-Man: A paperboy was shouting that in "Spidah Man" and Spidey found himself surprised there were still people doing that.