YMMV / A Modest Proposal

  • Acceptable Targets: The Irish. By a side-effect, eating the Irish will mean reducing the number of Catholics. Everyone wins! And the idiotic youth of the upper class who contribute in no way to society — they can be grilled, too.
    • Although the Proposal was more of a jab at the English. It was a parody of the attitude of the day: let's strip them of their rights, steal their land, burn what they have left, then whine about how poor and lazy they are.
    • Portraying the Proposal as a combination of ideas from an American and the cannibalistic practices of Formosa (modern-day Taiwan) is backhanded criticism of how both groups were dismissed as barbaric by European society.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: The number of people who thought that Swift may have been serious...
  • Crosses the Line Twice
  • Nightmare Fuel: Let's eat Irish babies! Then again, this is the whole point.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure: It's not uncommon for people to preface their suggestion with the title "A Modest Proposal"...except they're using the term entirely seriously with an actually modest proposal with no insinuations of baby-eating whatsoever.
  • "Weird Al" Effect: Many modern kids probably wouldn't know of it, if not for the Sealab 2021 episode "Chickmate".
    Sparks: Like veal....only babies.