YMMV: Cracked


From the website:

  • Acceptable Targets: Depends on the writer, really. Usual subjects include teenagers, hipsters, Canadians, or Phil Collins. It's pretty widely accepted that most of these are just running gags, and not really meant to offend anyone (except maybe hipsters).
    "[H]omeless, alone and dead. And ass-worm mouthed. Or worse. (You could be Phil Collins.)"
    • Played for Laughs, but Nerds and Fandoms are common targets for quick jokes. Cue Flame War in the comments between people offended by this, Trolls, people who simply see it as a joke and others who legitimately hate nerds.
    • They also don't seem to be shy about letting Jenny McCarthy have it. Ever since she jumped on the bandwagon of "Medical Vaccines Cause Autism," the writers have had multiple articles calling her an untalented moron who's talking about subjects way out of her depth and potentially endangering a lot of people in the process.
      • The commentators don't like her either, considering how any article with her in an entry will have 90% of the comments saying how stupid she is. It helps that a lot of them have some form of autism, thus finding her views insulting.
    • Half the time Japan is mentioned, the writers can't resist the urge to put "Japan" and "weird" in the same sentence. And that includes the times they mock themselves for the racism involved!
    • Aquaman is considered a useless joke by most of the comic articles, particularly his Superfriends incarnation.
    • At the time of typing, 99% of hate is directed at "Title Guy" or "the Title Editor", due to the horribly mismatching titles he/she uses for Photoplasties, and a gradual tendency towards click-baiting.
    • Some writers have a tendency to talk about contested sequels or other adaptations as if they are, or at least deserve to be, universally reviled. X-Men: The Last Stand and The Dark Knight Rises have recieved a lot of this.
    • The most consistent of the site's Acceptable Targets, by far, is Thomas Edison thanks to Tesla being a favorite of a lot of writers.
    • Complaining about Adam Tod Brown and his articles in the Comments section is less likely to get bombarded by dislikes than complaining/bashing the writings of other editors would be.
    • Most articles that bring up men's rights will probably make fun of MRAs, and articles that discuss the Most Common Superpower will mock comic fans that get defensive about it. On that note, the elements of Fan Dumb that cry They Changed It, Now It Sucks at every adaptation are also generally fair game.
    • The commenters consider both photoplaster Auntie Meme and the site's failure to properly indicate her solo articles to be open targets. She even likes collecting angry responses.
  • Adaptation Displacement: "Hey, that site with those funny lists used to be a magazine?"
  • Archive Binge: Those little "Recommended" links at the bottom of each page are diabolical. Even worse now with the "This day in Cracked" sidebar that shows articles released on that day, going back to the site's formation.
  • Anvilicious:
    • Some Articles have a tendency to come out as being poorly researched, reactionary, or just plain bashing the reader with over the head with an "X IS WRONG" message, and even to the point of mocking the people who disagree with them preemptively. Thankfully, since there are so many editors and writers on the website, this is uncommon, but sadly, not unheard of. In particular, a recent trend of articles talking about sexism/feminism, racism, or other social issues are often accused of lacking subtlety.
  • Author's Saving Throw: Recently Cracked got in hot water with its fans over this article, which outright made fun of male abuse victims and male soldiers and employees who die in their professions, and has in general been accused of taking a Straw Feminist stance on gender politics. Three months later they published this article, which treats Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male as a serious issue without a hint of sarcasm. No matter who you are, being raped is awful, and playing Misery Poker doesn't help anyone. Many readers were pleased.
  • Broken Base:
    • The Photoplasty contest, an old tradition of the site, as of late 2012 or so. The main reason for the divide is an increasingly large number of the contests being 'true fact' style contests that amount to posting some fact over a picture. Themes tend to run either into the pop culture spectrum (little known facts about movies or music) or shocking facts like statistics on corporations or social justice issues. The divisive bit is that, as of lately, the fact-based ones will feature facts previously mentioned in Cracked articles.
    • There is a divide between the fans that come strictly for the humor, and the fans that come to be entertained and informed. Often, one set lambasts the other when they complain about an article's Critical Research Failures and misleading claims in the comments.
    • J. F. Sargent and Luke McKinney for their polarizing social justice articles, leading to frequent accusations of White Knighting. Sargent also gets hate for his occasional lapses in research and contemptuous opinion of many Contested Sequels and their fans, while McKinney is often seen as trying way too hard to make obscure female superheroes look cool. Even some non-radical feminists think he's a bit of a tool, due to his contributions to feminism amounting to little more than reading comics and watching movies. Nonetheless, they have their fans, due to their bitingly sarcastic sense of humor and willingness to direct it at segments of the fandom many consider Acceptable Targets.
    • Dan O'Brien is generally pretty funny, but he tends to recycle jokes, and as a self-admitted Fan Boy, has very rigid and narrow opinions about his franchises of choice (Die Hard and Spider-Man in particular), to the point of expressing sneering contempt for anyone who doesn't share them.
  • Browser Narcotic: The trope actually got its name from this XKCD's alt-text, which used the term to describe Cracked.com (although TV Tropes itself was used to illustrate the phenomenon). Now especially true with Cracked's Random Article button.
  • Cowboy Bebopat His Computer: One of the egregious is this article's #1 spot. It lists three Sonic games in reverse chronology, calls Sonic Unleashed a spinoff when it's a mainline game, and claims Shadow from Shadow the Hedgehog is Sonic with a dark redesign. Not accusing Shadow of being a palette swap, but claiming that Shadow is literally Sonic, whom Sega tried to reinvent as a gun-wielding badass.
  • Critical Research Failure:
    • The list "4 Insane Pieces of My Little Pony Fanart (By Grown Men)" reads like it was written by spending 5 minutes on Google, some highlights are:
      • Saying Fallout: Equestria has graphic rape and sex scenes.
      • Having a entry on a trollfic/crackfic writer who's not even active anymore, and presenting it as said author being serious.
    • Apparently in Wreck-It Ralph, Vanellope's game is called ''Candy Crush''. The author apparently also thinks Calhoun is a Player Character in a home video game, even though she's the main NPC in an arcade.
    • This article, at best, contains some hypotheses that are still hotly debated amongst linguists, and flagrant falsehoods at worst.
      • #5 claims that gendered languages are directly related to sexism... despite that it was disproved already. For example, German, Icelandic and Dutch are gendered languages, yet Germany, Iceland and the Netherlands are egalitarian countries.
      • #4 cites a study of very loose intellectual rigor that tries to prove Language Equals Thought, but ends up simply asking the same question in a different context.
      • #2 says that culture and opinions are a product of language, not the inverse.
      • #1 also contains the patent nonsense that some languages don't contain any future tense. To elaborate, some languages may not have any verb conjugation for the future, but it's still evident which time period is being referred to by virtue of context.
    • The article "5 Movie Happy Endings That Are About to Go Horribly Wrong" has this to say about Monsters, Inc.: "First of all, we're explicitly told that the energy produced by laughter is '10 times more powerful than screams.' That's all well and good, but the monster world doesn't exactly appear to be in the grips of an energy crisis." Except we're told several times that they are, and this was part of the villain's motive.
    • In 5 Insane Ways People Trolled The System (And Won) the title for entry #4 calls the man Dutch, while the text calls him Norwegian. The man in question is actually Belgian.
    • #1 from this article is actually from the Brazilian equivalent of The Onion ("Jornal Sensacionalista", literally "Sensationalist News"). A bit of an understandable mistake though because not only was there a language barrier, but apparently their source was a US site that also thought the incident was real.
    • This articleclaims "You'll note that, despite having one-tenth of the population of New York, you're a lot more likely to be the victim of a violent crime in Columbus, Ohio." when the graph directly above shows the opposite.*Note .
      • In addition, the article was written in 2014. It contains the line "They voted the controversial Proposition 8 into law in 2008, and same-sex marriage has been illegal in California ever since." The very Other Wiki article it links to states that the Supreme Court found it unconstitutional in 2013.
    • This article has some math errors/Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics, such as using graphs that extrapolate linearly from 2 or 3 data points.
    • Four Irrational Fears That Aren't As Irrational As They Seem sorely misrepresents the infamous pesticide DDT.
      • It claims that the original study linking it to thinness in the egg shells of peregrine falcons was false, without providing a link. In truth multiple studies have shown the egg shell link (in multiple bird species), and other toxic effects of DDT build up in ecosystems.
      • It claims that DDT was banned world wide when only the agricultural use of it was banned. It is still sprayed in house-holds in many malaria afflicted countries.
      • Although malaria deaths did rise after the partial ban on DDT, there were other factors involved, such as the insects becoming resistant to the chemical.
    • This article makes tons of mistakes with animal relationships (claiming that Gastornis is close to kiwis and ostriches when it's really closer to ducks, and Hyaenodon close to raccoons when it's equally close to all carnivorans), confuses the "classic" saber-toothed felids with the saber-toothed sparassodont ("marsupial", in the article's words) Thylacosmilus, serves up an unhealthy serving of Anachronism Stew (Gastornis and Andrewsarchus actually died out long before the Pleistocene), makes unwarranted assumptions about ancestor-descendant relationships, and implies that dinosaurs are cold-blooded. In their video on the cassowary, they insinuate that pterosaurs were the ancient ancestors of modern birds, when anyone with a passing knowledge of paleontology will know that birds are directly descended from maniraptorian dinosaurs and that pterosaurs went extinct and left no known descendants. Even worse, the narration indicates that they think pterosaurs and dinosaurs are one and the same.
    • The article "5 Weird Directions Human Evolution Could Have Taken" treats the existence of "the Boskop Man" as a fact, which in reality it most likely isn't.
    • This article closes by saying "when The World Cup inevitably makes its way to the United States"... half the comments section is sure to point out it already did in 1994.
    • This article about life in South Korea attempts to make a point about plastic surgery, showing a picture of a group of girls with highly identical faces. However, that picture was actually photoshopped to make all of the girls look similar, and in reality they actually look completely different. Which was explained on a page that the Cracked article put a link to, directly underneath the picture.
    • This article tries to give readers tips on how to react to tragedy by using James Bond films with tragedy in them... and gets several facts wrong:
    • The article 6 Insane Meltdowns By Actors on Set of Their Greatest Movies briefly mentions Marlon Brando sending "a fake Native American woman" to reject an Oscar on his behalf. The very article it links to talks about how the woman, Sacheen Littlefeather, IS Native American and how much the accusations of being "fake" hurt her.
    • 5 Ignorant Jokes From the Last Comedians You'd Expect features Jason Iannone criticizing George Carlin for saying that Christopher Columbus' statement of the Native Americans being "un gente en dios" (a people in God) is wrong because Carlin's Spanish is wrong. Anyone with even basic knowledge of Spanish vocabulary knows that "gente" does mean people and also that Iannone's source, Google Translate, is not a reliable source for translating any language.
    • #3 on 4 Obnoxious Behaviors The Modern World Made Worse compares Kickstarter to begging in the streets, completely ignoring the mechanics behind it, such as providing greater rewards for higher investments and refunding any donations if the target funding is not met on time.
    • #1 on "6 Insane Discoveries That Science Can't Explain"—one of the most popular articles in the site's history—claims that the "Bloop" recorded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in 1997 was determined to be from an animal, and that the sound's source is a "mystery" because there aren't any known aquatic animals big enough to have made a sound that loud. Actually, the link to the NOAA's website clearly explains that the sound was from a cracking iceberg (known as an "icequake" to geologists).
    • Five Classic Geek Debates That Were Settled A Long Time Ago claims that the Enterprise will win against a Star Destroyer because the Empire never encountered transporters and therefore, won't be able to defend against them. The Star Trek series contain boatloads of cases where transporters are blocked by everything up to transformer substations.
    • 6 Sexist Video Game Problems Even Bigger Than the Breasts, among its many errors, says that Ellie from The Last of Us has "daddy issues". Thing is, she doesn't, really. If anything, her father figure, Joel, has severe issues related to the loss of his daughter. It also fails to mention that she's pretty bad-ass and able to take care of herself and one time she breaks down in Joel's arms is because she had just violently killed a man that was attempting to rape her.
    • The "Today's Topic" video on Pokémon repeatedly called Dugtrio "Digtrio" and referred to the plot of Pokémon Black and White as Pokémon X and Y. It would be acceptable if the video wasn't about two die-hard Pokemon fans trying to prove who's the bigger fan.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: If Daniel O'Brien did any of the things he writes about in his column, Charles Manson would be freaked out. Swaim is the Only Sane Man in comparison, which is kinda funny considering the role reversal in the web series Agents of Cracked. Case in point: his apology to the Pennsylvania town where he recreated The Hunger Games at the youth center.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: The article where Soren makes fun of the kids he tutors was considered this by some users, but it's not exactly clear whether the kids in the article are his actual students.
    • The public's general reaction to this, notably where it makes light of woman abusing men, even if the woman uses a weapon.
  • Ear Worm: "Sex as Understood by Adolescent Boys"
    We're gonna have some fun tonight, 'cause you can touch my boobies!
    Don't be shy, yeah, it's alright! 'Cause you can touch my boobies!
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Robert Evans is not a part of Cracked's official columnists, but his "insider" articles are one of the more popular contributions to the site, and most readers appreciate his ability to track down and interview people who has very interesting stories to tell, and edit them with enough gentle humor to overcome Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy for sometimes truly horrible subject matter.
  • Estrogen Brigade: Soren has a MASSIVE one.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: "5 Ignorant Jokes From the Last Comedians You'd Expect" has a section about Louis CK where he believes vagina is too harsh a word for such a beautiful organ. The entry opens with lambasting him for using vagina and vulva interchangeably, which is valid enough. However, the majority of the entry takes an odd turn when it instead focuses on offensive it is for him to think vaginas/vulvas are beautiful, accusing him of only thinking that because he sees them as objects to give him pleasure. On the flip side, the author claims Louis should be focusing on the toughness due to how they can take childbirth. That's right, ladies, your genitalia aren't beautiful, and they just exist for childbirth! Anyone who says otherwise is a misogynist.
  • Freud Was Right: We can't count how many dick jokes there are, and the writers regularly mock themselves for going Back to the Penis Well.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Hype Aversion: Cracked's in-article plugs for their De-Textbook (mostly added in by editors) became so common that, more often than not, the top comments for any given article utilizing them consisted of complains about it.
    • Their article titles more and more frequently use certain phrases to entice a click, to the point that it's very easy to get sick of it. "6 Myths About X (You Probably Believe)" and "5 Things You Didn't Know About X" are huge offenders. Worse, sometimes the articles are actually funny and interesting, while other times they're just lazy and derivative.
  • Internet Backdraft:
    "Drinking game: While reading the comments, take a shot whenever you see a comment complaining about the Iron Giant entry."
    • After Adam Tod Brown posted the article "6 Holiday Traditions No One Actually Enjoys", there was a moderate backlash in regards to a contentious joke he'd made in the article itself. There was also some annoyance with the fact that saying that no one actually enjoys the things put on the list is not entirely accurate, to the point where it can be argued that people who don't like some of the entries are in the solid minority.
    • The jokes about autism in this article generated plenty of angry comments.
    • Christina H's early articles generated a great deal of backdraft, with many complaints about her writing style and subject matter (especially feeling like they were under-researched and repeatedly played on the fact that she's an Asian woman for cheap laughs). She became much more accepted later on.
    • 21 Photos that shatter your image of famous things. turned out to be a Photoplasty where every single entry was by AuntieMeme. Many were angry because the photoplasty implied that AuntieMeme was the best image manipulator ever and didn't bother to give other people a chance, as well as recycling images from previous Cracked articles, but more were angry about David Wong's response to the feedback about it. (For the response, it's the third and final post). Since then, there have been AuntieMeme plasties every week, getting even more backlash with each one. Even people that don't mind the fact the plasties are by one person, but fed up with the fact they say "By Cracked Readers" and think they deserve to know what the plasty is before they click it. Making matters worse are Photoplatsies that have entries from Cracked readers and AuntieMeme at the same time, despite the fact that she gets entire Photoplatsies to herself once a week and is paid for it.
    • The article "5 Ignorant Jokes From the Last Comedians You'd Expect" managed to actually unite the commenters in a way that not even AuntieMeme could hope for. The nicest thing anyone said about it was that it was pure clickbait and that Cracked probably didn't believe some of the claims it made. The rest... well, were pretty unimpressed with the article and the author, to say the least.
    • The video titled "Why the Justice League Movie Will Beat 'Captain America 3'" is such blatant clickbait that it immediately received a great deal of scorn. The (intentionally) controversial opinion espoused by the title has nothing to do with the video, which was simply about how a crossover between properties (DC, Marvel, and Sony's Marvel properties) would be mutually beneficial. Neither of the movies in the title were so much as mentioned. This led to significant backlash in the comments and mockery on other sites.
    • Five Classic Geek Debates That Were Settled A Long Time Ago was lambasted because it's more "Five Classic Geek Debates that Luke McKinney Has an Opinion On." Readers expecting examples settled by Word of God or fans who have done extensive research into the matter were disappointed when the examples were basically just the same arguments given by one side on the message boards, just in the format of a Cracked Article.
    • An article ('4 Religions You've Got All Wrong (Because Of Hollywood)') in April 2015 received a ton of backlash because one of the topics focused on was the Church of Happyology. The article spoke very positively of the religion, glossing over a lot of the issues and crime the church has been involved with, which is especially baffling because Cracked has repeatedly run articles dealing with people who have left the church talking about the cult abuse they experienced. Some believed the article was made to appease ChurchOfHappyology representatives who threatened to sue Cracked due to a negative article written about the religion a few days earlier. The article was removed from Cracked the same day it was published.
    • An article about being a prostitute in Vietnam was criticized by many people for romanticizing several aspects of illegal prostitution in the area, such as saying that families are "perfectly fine" with prostitution (while in reality it often varies between being disowned by one's family or grudging acceptance because the alternative is poverty) The most criticized aspect of the article was the mention of the prostitute he interviewed in the article was only 15 when she started in sex work. The writer of the article had no discomfort mentioning it and still portrayed her work as positive, despite the fact that she often had sex with tourists from other countries (many where she would be under the age of consent) who, according to their own standards, would be having sex with a child.
  • Magazine Decay: Not so much "decay" as a shift, since the content is generally still good, but the website seems to get less and less humor-based every day.
  • Misaimed Fandom:
    • "5 Reasons Why Women Will Rule the Future." It's (hopefully) just a joke, but judging from some of the comments, not everybody saw it that way.
    • There's a large amount of people that take the writers' harmless (if sometimes a little mean-spirited) jabs at various fandoms seriously and agree. The most blatant example would have to be their various stabs at the Star Wars' Expanded Universe.
    • The writers themselves have fallen victim to this on occasion as in this article which uses Alec Baldwin's scene from Glengarry Glen Ross to describe how one might become a "better person", when David Mamet has openly said he intended that scene to show what was wrong with rampant capitalism and cutthroat sales tactics.
      • More specifically: David Wong's point in the article ultimately boils down to "You are only the sum total of the valuable skills that you can provide the world." A valid message, but he apparently missed the fact that Glengarry Glen Ross is all about salesmen knowingly selling worthless real estate to gullible customers, and Alec Baldwin's big speech is meant to inspire them to sell more worthless real estate. The whole point of the speech is that the salesmen only care about how much they can outdo each other, and never question whether or not their work is valuable. Sure, Death of the Author and all that, but it's still a fundamental misunderstanding of context.
  • Memetic Badass:
  • Memetic Sex God:
  • Memetic Molester: A Running Gag is that writing for Cracked can turn you into one.
  • Memetic Psychopath: Popsicle Pete. "NONE OF YOU ARE SAFE".
  • More Popular Spin Off: of the magazine. The website is both more popular and well-known (see Adaptation Displacement and Surprisingly Improved Sequel).
  • Nausea Fuel: Michael Swaim outright admits it.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: On this article, they posted a trigger warning due to the disturbing material contained in the arcticle (the article was written after Cracked interviewed a woman who was a child sex slave and beaten severely for most of her childhood). They stated that they don't usually put warnings on their articles as a policy, but decided to make an exception in that case thanks to the exceptionally triggering subject matter.
  • Paranoia Fuel:
  • Periphery Demographic:
    • While Cracked is an American site, with much of its content revolving around American culture, a substantial number of readers are from other countries.
    • A fair number of people enjoy Cracked not for the comedic articles, but the more introspective and philosophical articles. And while they're never taken seriously, there are quite a few scientific and technology based articles which are actually rather informative.
  • Retroactive Recognition: A strange example: one Photoshop contest featured someone who looked very much like Soren Bowie. A few days later, Soren made an article explaining that yes, it was him in the photo (he'd made it during one of his previous jobs).
  • The Scrappy: Adam Tod Brown is generally seen as one, for his strong, contentious opinions, contemptuous view of people who don't share them, and an aggressive, confrontational writing tone. It may be intentional; he used the tagline "Adam Tod Brown vs. the People" even before he became fully infamous for it. Of course, as with most of these things, it's hard to say for sure.
    • Photoplaster AuntieMeme has recently fallen into this status thanks to her low effort submissions (usually just pictures with text), recycling of information used in previous articles, lack of research for the ones that ARE original (repeating the site's analysis of Ellie in The Last of Us mentioned below despite contention as to its accuracy). The fact that Cracked has started running Photoplasties consisting entirely of her submissions at least once a week just made it worse.
  • Seasonal Rot:
    • Many fans dislike the fact that the site has become less comedy-oriented over time. By 2013, a lot of articles were more like opinion pieces or philosophical treatises than humorous stories or lists of factual information (like bizarre animals, or legends, or suchlike) presented in a funny way. Accusations in 2014 that the site was becoming host to Soap Box Sadies with political axes to grind didn't help their case.
      • A lot of people accused many newer article titles of being clickbaitnote . It doesn't help that many of the titles use attention-grabbing words/phrases like "Mind Blowing", "You Won't Believe", and "Horrifying" even if it isn't an accurate description of the article.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped:
    • While some are more contentious than others, most of the things written by David Wong can count. Just go see the Moment of Awesome page.
    • Most of Cheese's more-philosophical articles, particularly this article where he spells out quite clearly that parents can't control their kids indefinitely. The most you can do is educate them and recognize that they will make their own choices.
      • And then there's 5 Things Nobody Tells You About Being Poor, which is pretty much required reading if you buy into any of the various bits of mythology on poverty, like the poor being lazy. The article explains, in brutal clarity, how poverty is a self-enforcing cycle that manages to claw back any gains those trapped in it make.
      • 6 Things Rich People Need to Stop Saying explains why people are so angry at the rich; it's not because the poor are envious, it's because the rich are hypocrites and distant from the masses. Also: any well-off person in the modern world who honestly believes that they've never gotten any help from anyone is completely delusional. Civilized society wouldn't exist if people didn't help each other.
  • So Cool It's Awesome: So far, the reaction to Insider Perspective articles, mixing fascinating stories with the odd joke to help the more depressing ones go down easier..
  • Squick:
    That's right: Your kidneys are super freaky.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: For something that started out as a cheap MAD Magazine rip-off, the Retool to being a list-based humor website has really helped them a lot.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: The site's redesign that was introduced in late June 2013 originally prompted this response from a lot of its users.
  • They Just Didn't Care: The Top 8 Video Games of 2012. Eight different Cracked writers chose a game they feel represents 2012. Almost every entry admits they either aren't gamers or they haven't actually played the game they chose. Some games on the list didn't even come out in 2012 (One came out in 2009, and another came out in 2013.)
  • This Is Your Premise on Drugs: The Choose Your Own Drug Fueled Misadventure series of stories by Robert Brockway involve plots on a lethal overdose of drugs. Literally.
  • Ugly Cute: The Jerboa as seen in this article. It's a species of a tiny fuzzy things with bunny-like ears and big eyes. But they also look like they have only two (hairless/thin/long) limbsnote , backward-bending knees, and a rat-like tail. This causes them both cute and unusually creepy at the same time.
  • Unfortunate Implications: Their article on retarded supervillain schemes included the line: "Marvel's relationship to the Spider-Man Clone Saga is like Germany's relationship to WWII: They like to pretend they never did anything so horrible, because its the only way they can continue living." All very funny, adequately sums up how mind-bendingly idiotic the Clone Saga was, except for one thing: Germany doesn't "pretend" that it never did anything so horrible, rather facing up to its atrocities and donating billions of Euros to Jewish groups and to Israel in "we're really sorry" aid. In fact, a huge part of German culture and national life is Vergangenheitsbewältigung (lit. "coming to terms with the past"), and it's something of a Berserk Button for Germans to suggest that Germany has denied its crimes under Adolf Hitler, as the article seems to imply.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: The 10 Most Perverted Old School Video Games brings this up a few times.
  • The Woobie: Alf is considered this in articles that discuss his .


From the magazine:

  • Harsher in Hindsight: Take a look at the main page image. Back in 1975, that could easily be Played for Laughs (and was indeed a dig at the then-current big-budget disaster movie Earthquake). After 9/11? Try looking at the plane hitting what looks like the WTC, complete with the all-too familiar ring of smoke and fire around the tower's midsection, without cringing.
  • Magazine Decay: The constant Executive Meddling in the later days, followed by the switch to a copycat of Maxim, followed by the outright termination of the mag.
  • Nausea Fuel: The last few years of the mag were rife with bodily function jokes, including a whole article on different types of farts and another on different types of puking.
  • Padding: The 2000s issues were rife with this: repeats from classic issues, a second Godzilla (1998) parody more than two years after the fact, several song parodies...
  • So Bad, It's Good: Let's face it, most of the "jokes" were lame...
    • Narm Charm: ...But the very same lameness that made you groan is also what made the magazine funny.
  • Ugly Cute: Sylvester P. Smythe evolved into this once John Severin started doing almost all of the covers.


From the TV show

For the audience reactions to the TV show that's unrelated but of the same name, click here.