Retconning the Wiki
A character edits a wiki - be it Wikipedia or any other free info source - and adds an information which is gibberish or they know to be false, to make a practical joke, to mislead someone who's been using this source without testing it, or just for the sake of it. Hilarity Ensues... but only for the person in question. See also Wiki Vandal for info on people who actually do this in real life and ways to counter them. Please note: no Real Life examples, unless they were directly caused by media.
Examples of this trope in media:
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Live Action TV
- Stephen Colbert's "wikiality".
- On a related note, Wikipedia locks down any page mentioned by Colbert due to the number of times he's gotten fans to edit certain pages.
- One time, Colbert deliberately used this to Troll Andrew Schafly's Conservative Bible Project, by asking viewers to turn it into a Self-Insert Fic starring Stephen himself.
- On Thirty Rock, Jenna was set to play Janis Joplin on a movie, so the guys vandalized the Wikipedia article on her to mess with Jenna and get her to do silly stuff.
- Raj on The Big Bang Theory admits to vandalizing Wikipedia.
- A running joke on Talkin' 'bout Your Generation is Shaun Micallef quoting some 'facts' about the topic at hand he claims he got from Wikipedia, all of which are hilarously wrong.
- In Community members of the Save Greendale Committee add the term "Fat Dog" as an expression meaning something akin to taking it easy. They're trying to convince everyone that it's a real expression so they can use it as the theme of the dance. It had previously been "Bear Down" which, while a real expression, still doesn't make any sense as a dance theme (Chang insisted). But that had to be changed because of a recent unfortunate incident involving an escaped bear and a children's birthday party, requiring them to hastily disguise all the bear decorations.
- The music video for "Weird Al" Yankovic's song "White And Nerdy", in which he replaces the entire text for Atlantic Records' wiki page with huge type reading YOU SUCK!!!!! This was a personal Take That from Al for slights the company had done him in the past. His fans thought it was so funny, they started doing it for real, resulting in That Other Wiki having to lock the Atlantic Records page.
- Bucky from Get Fuzzy edits Wikipedia to say that he won Wimbledon and that his "album" went "fourple platinum", as well as that he beat up Fungo.
- In a great show of self-fulfilling prophecy, FoxTrot mentions Jason vandalizing the Wikipedia article for "Warthog" by replacing the image with a picture of his sister Paige. This prompted some FoxTrot readers to go onto Wikipedia and replace the image with a picture of Paige.
- One Dilbert cartoon has the character Topper make a string of implausible claims about his achievements. When the other characters ask for proof, he replies "Give me ten minutes, then check Wikipedia."
- In Penny Arcade, both Tycho and Gabe. Gabe does that for fun, Tycho out of grudge.
- Dinosaur Comics suggests that we solve this problem on Wikipedia by only vandalizing the article about chickens, because "dudes already know about chickens."
- One Eight Bit Theater strip implies that Black Mage vandalised Wikipedia to win an argument with Red Mage.
- This was seen at least once in Shortpacked!.
- Dragon Ball Z Abridged's Frieza is apparently a Space Wiki Vandal, changing the Saiyan page to say "Stupid monkeys hit by falling rocks. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! P.S. Frieza rules you."
- "Wikipedia Brown and the Case of the Captured Koala." Changes to Wikipedia - basically vandalism - cause Wikipedia Brown angst, Rewriting Reality around him.
- From College Humor, Superman edits Clark Kent's Wikipedia
- American Dad!: Steve once wrote an article about "Truth of peanut butter". Adding such information would probably also be called vandalism.
- Replacing everything on Wikipedia's article on Earth with "Mostly harmless." is a bannable offence, as that particular act of vandalism, inspired by a similar act in the book, except it was done by editors, was done way too many times.
- Any mention of Wikipedia in a popular work tends to have this effect. For example, this xkcd strip depicts the Wikipedia article on wood filled with examples of wooden things in media. Shortly after it was published, the page had to be locked due to repeated additions of similar examples.