[[quoteright:300:[[WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/faux_to_guide.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300:[-[[StatingTheSimpleSolution In that case...]] what do all the other pages say?-]]]

[[{{Satire}} Satirical]] "How To" guides. The [[TheBlindLeadingTheBlind instructions are faulty]], or the person following them does it horribly, or the instructions are loaded with {{irony}} about how ''not'' to do it. One sure thing, [[RuleOfFunny the point is to laugh]], not to teach.

Compare {{Mockumentary}}, LittleKnownFacts, TropesForDummies, FauxtivationalPoster, FauxDocumentary, {{Sabotutor}}, AntiAdvice.

Contrast: {{Documentary}}.


[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Though the earliest issues of ''Magazine/{{MAD}}'' sold poorly, by 1954 it had [[FollowTheLeader attracted a slew of imitators]] (one of them, ''Panic'', published by EC Comics, MAD's own publisher). ''MAD'' took notice and showed its readers how to make a "typical-type lampoon" of ''Theatre/JuliusCaesar'', with captions [[LampshadeHanging pointing out]] all the clichés routinely used (and in this case exaggerated) in such parodies.
** In summary, the routines are:
### [[FunnyBackgroundEvent Background details!]]
### [[AnachronismStew Anachronisms!]]
### [[MajorInjuryUnderreaction Victims always act like gaping holes in their bodies are no big deal!]]
### You must have a SmallReferencePools of detectives, like [[ComicStrip/DickTracy Trick Dacy]], Martin Walkingkane, [[Literature/SherlockHolmes Shermlock Shomes]], or [[Creator/MarlonBrando Marlon Branflakes]]!
### [[TotallyRadical Bop talk!]]
### Lampoon women can be [[MsFanservice incredibly beautiful]] or [[{{Gonk}} incredibly ugly]], but never in between!
### [[OcularGushers Tear-induced floods!]]
### [[Series/{{Dragnet}} The Domm-Da Dom-Domm routine! No explanation necessary!]]
### An over-the-top array of weapons!
### Creator/MarilynMonroe... wherever possible!
### Lampoon violence should have exaggerated sound effects, people HammeredIntoTheGround, people [[ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice impaled all over the body]], InstantBandages (no lampoon is complete without one), and of course, [[EverythingMakesAMushroom atomic explosions]]!
### Have characters [[NoFourthWall read and enjoy your magazine]] to show how marvelous it is!
### [[TheUnmasking Everyone throws off rubber masks at the end to reveal they're not as they seem!]]
* One of the tie-in books with the ''[[ComicBook/JokersLastLaugh Last Laugh]]'' storyline has a two-page strip featuring ComicBook/TheJoker demonstrating how to manufacture his Joker venom, and repeatedly killing his assistant Multi-Man in the process.

* The Robert Benchley "How To" shorts from the 1930s and 1940s (''How to Eat,'' ''Film/HowToSleep'', etc.).
* Also some of the Pete Smith shorts were How Tos. (How to prepare a meal for guests at the last minute.)
* Tim Conway's straight-to-video ''Dorf on Golf''.
* Tyler Durden's versions of the airline safety instructions card in ''Film/FightClub''.

* ''The Compleet Idoit's Guied for Dumies'' (sic)
* The ''Literature/CompleteWorldKnowledge'' series includes hobbies for asthmatic children, how to [[OurWerewolvesAreDIfferent tell the different types of werewolf apart]], information on hermit crab racing, advice on cons, advice on de-lousing your children, advice on de-axolotling your plumbing ([[BrownNote do not look for too long]] at an axolotl or [[TheVirus you will become one]]), how to buy a computer, how to cook an owl, how to remember any name (especially the name John Hodgman), the secret of your identity and how you got that terrible scar, etc.
* ''Literature/HowNotToWriteANovel'' is a self-help book that is written like one of these.
* ''How to Ruin Your Life'' by Ben Stein is an inversion, in that it actually describes [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin how people ruin their lives]] to help people avoid such pitfalls.
* ''Literature/TheZombieSurvivalGuide'' offers practical advice, albeit for a completely fictional [[ZombieApocalypse situation]].
* ''Taming of the Screw'' by Creator/DaveBarry is a guide of this kind for DIY home improvement projects. He also used to write a recurring column called ''Ask Mr. Language Person'' which did this for grammar.
** Also ''Dave Barry's The Only Travel Guide You'll Ever Need''
* ''Literature/HowToBeASuperhero'' was part this, part satire of SuperHero tropes.
** Similarly, inversely, there is also ''How To Be A Villain''.
* Literature/TheActionHerosHandbook -- The information is fairly accurate, but it advises you for situations you'll probably never run into yourself, and it's not a good idea to try any of it yourself.
* ''Theatre/HowToSucceedInBusinessWithoutReallyTrying'', though some of the advice seems like it might work.
* In the computer world, ''Mr. Bunny's Big Cup o' Java(TM)'' and ''Mr. Bunny's Guide to ActiveX'' by Carleton Egremont, Jr. describes those technologies in the style of a children's book. Both are funny only to those who already understand how they work.
* ''Oh, the Humanity: A Gentle Guide to Social Interaction for the Feeble Young Introvert''. You can obtain great results just by taking its instructions and doing the opposite.
* Likewise, Kaz Cooke's ''Little Books Of X''. At one point, ''The Little Book of Beauty'' advises the use of wood glue in a hair care regime.
* The [[ShowWithinAShow Book Within A Book]] ''Witchhunting for Dumb People'' in ''Discworld/{{Wintersmith}}'' is actually a very useful and helpful book ... if you're a witch who wants a village full of dumb people to let you have a good night's sleep and wake you with a cup of tea in the belief this will rob you of your powers, rather than [[BurnTheWitch burning you]].
* ''Literature/HowToSurviveAHorrorMovie'', which also helps you determine if you're ''in'' one, and if so, what kind. Very ''very'' trope-savvy.
* ''How to Lose Friends and Alienate People'' by Irving Tressler is a 1937-vintage guide to making oneself obnoxious.
* ''[[Series/TheMuppetShow Miss Piggy]]'s Guide to Life'', "as told to" Henry Beard. Chock-full of hilarious "advice" such as the suggestion that people with crow's feet should wear scarecrow earrings.
* The eponymous book-within-a-book in ''Literature/HowToTrainYourDragon''. The book is two pages long, one of the pages reading simply "YELL AT IT" and the other being an "about the author".
* Humorist Dan Greenburg wrote several books like that, such as ''How to Make Yourself Miserable'', ''How to Avoid Love and Marriage'' and most notably ''How to Be a JewishMother''.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Dick Loudon in ''Series/{{Newhart}}'' wrote how-to guides. They were straight how to guides, but one episode had the town ready to burn them because they thought it helped a man escape from prison. Then they read the books, and wanted to burn them because they were boring. Fortunately, they realized that that was setting a bad precedent.
* "Stephen's Sound Advice" on ''Series/TheColbertReport'' includes such advice as, "Wash your computer thoroughly to avoid viruses." The advice frequently focuses on [-[[RunningGag BEES!]]-], whether they're relevant to the situation or not.
** All-purpose advice for any situation: [-FUCK 'EM!-]
* Parodied in ''Series/{{MASH}}'', with a guide on how to disarm a bomb.
-->'''Guide:''' Cut the blue wire.
-->'''Hawkeye:''' ''*Cuts wire.*''
-->'''Guide:''' [[CueCardPause But first]] [[OhCrap remove the fuse.]]
* Similarly, from ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'':
-->'''Crow:''' (reading from bomb instruction manual) "Cut the blue wire."
-->Joel cuts the wire, and gets silly-stringed in the face.
-->'''Crow:''' "But first, cut the red wire. Got you, scrawny man." (gets a glare from Joel) But that's what it said!
** Other instructions included "Most very kindly, find the Lookie Switch which is nice and sitting there with green label which leaves you singing" and "Carefully disregard and do not do the very wrong thing or much confusion will result...with sparks, flowers and loud report on some models."
* The ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'' sketch 'How to Do It', which consisted of extremely vague instructions on how to do particular things, such as cure the world of all disease ('Well, first of all become a doctor and discover a marvelous cure for something, and then, when the medical profession really starts to take notice of you, you can jolly well tell them what to do and make sure they get everything right so there'll never be any diseases ever again.')
** Also, there's "How Not To Be Seen", among others.
** Also also, the flexi-disc "Teach Yourself Heath" was a guide to imitating the speech mannerisms of UsefulNotes/EdwardHeath.
** Pre-Python, John Cleese starred as the host of a short called "How to Irritate People".
** "How to Recognise Different Trees From Quite a Long Way Away" consists of a picture of a larch, and the voiceover repeating "Number one. The larch. The. Larch." Eventually they move on to number 3, which is ''also'' the larch, and then the horse chestnut.
* The old sketch comedy show ''Series/OutOfControl'' had a reoccurring segment called "How Not to Do Things".
* A good deal of the humor on ''Series/LookAroundYou'' involves startlingly unsound or dangerous procedures for science experiments.

* ''The Journal of Irreproducible Results'' cheerfully offered instructions for how you can build a thermonuclear device in your own home in ten easy steps.

[[folder:Stand Up]]
* One Creator/GeorgeCarlin comedy routine consisted of a list of nonsensical "how-to" books, including "How to Annoy Everyone" and "How to Kill a Rat With an Oboe".
* Creator/BrianRegan has a bit making fun of how the pop-tart microwave & toasting instructions start out by telling the person to open the packet.
** He even pokes fun at the fact that the microwave instructions for pop-tarts is to cook it on High for ''three seconds''.
-->'''Regan''': If you have ''that'' little time in the morning, [[SkewedPriorities you need to rethink your life]].

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}: ''The Imperial Infantryman's Uplifting Primer''. A tactical manual so chock-full of propaganda, misinformation, misunderstandings and outright lies, no-one in-'verse thinks of it as anything other than a glorified roll of toilet paper.

* The musical ''Theatre/HowToSucceedInBusinessWithoutReallyTrying'' (based on a satirical book of the same name) is built around one of these.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* It's possible to make one of these in the ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}''. When working with Moira, you can give her "evil" answers when she asks how your exploits went. Popular answers include heavy radiation poisoning actually feels quite good, and is healthy for you, and that disarming a mine is surprisingly easy if you just step on it. Needless to say, the resulting survival guide ends up being a how-to guide for killing yourself.
* A fake guide to a video game is sometimes called a "FWAK"[[note]]False Wisdom And Knowledge[[/note]]. See UrbanLegendOfZelda for more information.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''The Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries''[[note]][[ScrewedByTheLawyers retconned after a copyright claim by the people Tayler was parodying in the first place]][[/note]] from ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'', including such - admittedly sage - advice as "Pillage, THEN burn." and "A soft answer turneth away wrath. Once wrath is looking the other way, shoot it in the head."
* ''Webcomic/BasicInstructions'' (as seen above) runs on this. The advice text is usually genuine, while the pictures usually show it applied badly.
* ''Webcomic/DMOfTheRings'' has author comments that occasionally do this, generally in a [[DeadpanSnarker deadpan]] or sarcastic way.
** As does ''Webcomic/DarthsAndDroids''.
* [[http://kevinbolk.deviantart.com/art/Sucks-2B-Weegie-Daisy-s-Book-198874497 This strip]] of ''Webcomic/ItSucksToBeWeegie'' has Princess Daisy buying a book titled "How to be Thin and Pretty" by Princess Zelda. The book's contents? "GENETICS, BITCH!!"
-->'''Daisy:''' [[ActuallyPrettyFunny Well played, Princess...]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Creator/LittleKuriboh did the video "Dan Green Presents [[{{Subject101}} Abridging 101]]". Just search for it on Website/YouTube.
* ''WebAnimation/RoseOfVersaillesAbridged'': "Hello, Maria Theresa here, with your new rule for writing a Period Anime."
* The main schtick of Mark Erickson's [[http://www.youtube.com/user/infinitesolutions Infinite Solutions videos]]. They're all played just straight enough that the occasional Website/YouTube comment will still ask if the Empire State Building really ''does'' offer [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvF_nxXJO5s Firearm Fridays]], or correct his assertion that [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brdmnUBAS00 electrical tape conducts electricity]].
* ''[[http://www.cracked.com/article_14782_so-youve-been-pushed-naked-out-plane.html So You've Been Pushed Naked Out of a Plane]]''.
* [[http://u63r.deviantart.com/art/how-to-be-a-furry-31135582 How To Be a Furry]] ([[http://www.vivisector.org/archive/tutorial/ mirror]])
* Destructoid's [[http://www.destructoid.com/ten-golden-rules-of-online-gaming-64474.phtml Ten Golden Rules of Online Gaming]] teaches you how to be the stereotypical JerkAss portrayal of the average person playing an online shooter. Accurate, but not something you should aspire to.
** Encyclopedia Dramatica's "tips" on playing ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' follow a similar route, explaining exactly what ''not'' to do.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJ2_avaK_W4 A Beginner's Guide To Faking Your Death On The Internet]] and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMFDs-NmeHM A Beginner's Guide To Commuting]] are satirical instructional videos for, well, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Exactly What They Say On The Tin]].
* The 100th episode of ''WebVideo/{{Unskippable}}'' was how to make cut scenes just as bad as the ones they riff.
* ''Wiki/{{Uncyclopedia}}'' has [[http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/Category:HowTo its own series of these]]. Including [[AuthorExistenceFailure how to saw your own head off with a chainsaw]].
* [[Webcomic/HyperboleAndAHalf Allie Brosh's]] ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CW-5-1WK9dc How To Put Yourself Inside Of A Coat]]'', although the humor is more about making something no one should ''need'' an instruction video for seem complicated.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fUi1EYq6Rs How To Boil Water The EASY Way]], a humorous-but-serious account of how autism can affect self-care skills.
* Ryan Higa's "How to Be a Ninja/Gangster/Emo/Nerd" videos.
* ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'' did a few PSA's like this, the most notable being the Fire Saftey PSA. [[CompletelyMissingThePoint Don't take their advice if you want to live]].
--> [[MemeticMutation "What am the sky? How does eat food?"]]
* Video series TheJapaneseTradition usually includes a little bit of fact in each video, but not too much.
* ''Website/{{Everything2}}'' has quite a few, including (but not limited to):
** Detailed [[FauxToGuide instructions]] on how to [[BlackComedy gather]] [[http://everything2.com/title/Pixie+dust#DonJaime pixie dust]].
** [[http://everything2.com/title/How+To+Become+a+Mighty+Pirate How to become a mighty pirate]].
** [[http://everything2.com/title/How+to+Write+Bad+Poetry How to write bad poetry]].
* In ''WebAnimation/StrongBadEmail'', "the process" pokes fun at the occasionally-formulaic nature of [=SBEmails=] as Strong Bad shows the viewers how to "answer emails like a true Strong Bad".
* In ''WebVideo/HowToBasic'', Mr. Basic shows [[DarthWiki/WorseThanItSounds his audience how to solve different problems]]. Common steps include: Punching baby dolls, smashing eggs, rubbing food all over your naked body and making a mess of your house.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Classic [[WesternAnimation/ClassicDisneyShorts Goofy cartoons]] used to do this with a number of subjects (mostly sports). It was given a ShoutOut in a ''WesternAnimation/GoofTroop'' episode, and there are several examples in ''House of Mouse'' (such as "How to Haunt a House," which begins with Goofy getting hit by a car and dying), and "WesternAnimation/HowToHookUpYourHomeTheater" showed before ''Film/NationalTreasure 2''.
** According to the story, the narrator for the original "How to" cartoons wasn't told he was doing voicework for Goofy cartoons, but instead voicing serious how-to films (out of a fear that [[SeriousBusiness he'd reject doing voicework for comedy]]). He supposedly got quite angry when he found out what he'd done the work for.
** Goofy is not the only Disney character who has done this. WesternAnimation/DonaldDuck appeared on "How to Have an Accident in the Home" and "How to Have an Accident at Work". What makes these ones different from Goofy's is that instead of a faceless narrator, we have J.J. Fate, a fantastical duck dwarf.
* An entire episode of ''WesternAnimation/HarveyBirdmanAttorneyAtLaw'' ("Sebben and Sebben Employee Orientation") features the cast in a sendup of cheesy workplace orientation videos.
* The ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants'' episode "Krusty Krab Training Video".
* The ''WesternAnimation/PrivateSnafu'' cartoons prepared by Creator/WarnerBros for the Army-Navy Screen Magazine. A series of training films that show how to behave during wartime by showing how the [[ArmedFarces worst soldier in the army]] gets it wrong.
* Troy [=McLure=] from ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' has apparently done a few of these. In "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS5E7BartsInnerChild Bart's Inner Child]]", he introduces himself on ''[[ShowWithinAShow Adjusting Your Self-O-Stat]]'' with "[[MadLibsCatchPhrase You might remember me from]] such self-help videos as ''Smoke Yourself Thin'' and ''Get Confident, Stupid''."
* In the run-up to ''{{WesternAnimation/Archer}}'''s 5th season, they've released a number of these (styled as "Isis Orientation" videos) on YouTube.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'' episode "Sworn to the Sword", Steven reads a book titled, "How to Talk to People" with only two steps. Step 1: Think of what you want to say. Step 2: Say it.
** Another example from "Log Date 7 15 2" sees [[spoiler: Peridot]] reading a book entitled "JOKES! How to Make People Laugh Around You Instead of Feel Bad".
* ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' has a RunningGag where Stan reads how-to books about subjects shortly before trying it out himself. For example, "How to Look Pensive" or "How to Take Off Glasses Angrily". He only succeeds some of the time.