Follow TV Tropes


Magazine / The New Yorker

Go To
Eustace Tilley with butterfly, shown on the debut issue's cover.

The New Yorker is a weekly literary, cultural, and news magazine published in New York City by print media giant Condé Nast. Since its debut on February 21, 1925, it has produced more than 4,000 issues. Its website features more expansive content, including videos, podcasts, and additional short news articles that did not get published in the print edition.

The magazine has gained a reputation for being both painfully highbrow (or high-middlebrow, at least) and politically liberal, and for devoting a significant portion of its contents to cultural and lifestyle explorations of New York and its environs. However, despite these characteristics it is read widely by non-New Yorkers, and is recognized throughout the United States as a kind of shorthand signifier of metropolitan and urbane sensibilities, similar to broadcasting's NPR and PBS.

The New Yorker is also renowned for its iconic cover art, as well as the short fiction, essays, poems, and one-panel cartoons that are included in every issue.

It is also noted for its long nonfiction articles, such as John Hersey's 31,000-word piece on the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, which was published as the only article of the August 31, 1946 edition of the magazine.

In 2016 it spun off a one-season video series called The New Yorker Presents, available via Amazon Prime and offering a format not entirely unlike the magazine's, presenting short segments covering a variety of topics and using the magazine's iconic cartoons as intermissions.

Contributors with TV Tropes pages:

    open/close all folders 

The New Yorker has featured examples of:

  • Alliterative Title: "Steve King and the Case of the Cantaloupe Calves", a 2013 article responding to then-congressman King's comment about illegal immigrants with "calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling seventy-five pounds of marijuana across the desert".
  • Antiquated Linguistics: In addition to being sticklers for grammar and omitting needless verbiage, the magazine's copy-editing department is known for their old-fashioned stylistic choices, like spelling out all numbers in full no matter how convoluted they are, "closed" punctuation (i.e. using way more commas and periods than what is probably strictly necessary), hyphenating words that have long dropped the hyphen in common usage (e.g. "to-day" and "teen-ager"), using old spellings of words that are almost never used (e.g. "focussed" instead of "focused") and using a diaeresis instead of a hyphen (e.g. "coöperate", instead of "co-operate" or "cooperate").
  • Big Applesauce: One of the major promoters of the trope, and even national subscribers will be hearing about events that are obviously only in New York, as the rag has a section devoted solely to arts and entertainment in the Big Apple.
  • The Burlesque of Venus: Seen in the covers from May 25, 1992 and August 4, 2014.
  • Canines Gambling in a Card Game: In this case, Santa's reindeer, on the December 17, 2012 cover.
  • Caustic Critic: Many of the magazine's arts critics were of this type, including possibly the most caustic of them all, Pauline Kael. Richard Brody, one of the current (as of 2023) film critics, dismissed Whiplash for having the gall to have a main character worship a jazz drummer derided as not being actually jazz with a "Buddy fucking Rich".
  • Creator Provincialism: Lampshaded in "View of the World from 9th Avenue", Saul Steinberg's cover illustration for the March 29, 1976 issue (seen as the page image for the aforementioned Big Applesauce trope).
  • Kids Hate Vegetables: A famous 1928 cartoon, drawn by Carl Rose and captioned by E. B. White, showed a mother trying to get her young daughter to eat her vegetables:
    Mother: It's broccoli, dear.
    Daughter: I say it's spinach, and I say the hell with it.
  • "Last Supper" Steal: Seen in this cartoon, and this one.
  • Logo Joke: For decades it was traditional for the magazine to commemorate its anniversary each February by reproducing Rea Irvin's iconic cover illustration from the inaugural issue, shown above. However, in recent years the anniversary issues have featured new cover art that re-imagines or parodies the original. (Examples here, here, here, here.)
  • Mantis Mating Meal: Frequent fodder for cartoons.
    • From Joe Dator, the female mantis tells the male she's going to have him help her assemble some shelves between sex and killing him.
    • Jason Chatfield once posted an uncaptioned picture of two male mantises at a cafe, one of whom was missing his head, and let the readers submit captions. For example:
      "So, does she have a sister?"
  • Mascot: Eustace Tilley, the top-hatted Regency-era dandy first depicted in the aforementioned inaugural cover examining a butterfly through his monocle.
  • Our Fairies Are Different: In this comic, the warrior from a previous comic comes upon a legendary sword in a stone and is told that only one with a pure soul can lift it, by a tiny Winged Humanoid and Pointy Ears being that's called a "fairy".
  • Phony Article: House cartoonists are sometimes used to advertise products.
  • Punctuation Changes the Meaning: A cartoon has a teacher object to a child's drawing subtitled "Happy Mothers' Day" instead of "Happy Mother's Day." The child clarifies that he has two mothers.
  • Satire: The Borowitz Report is a comedy section of the magazine written in the style of its own more factual fare, leading to much confusion among unfamiliar readers, though there is a disclaimer at the head of every article telling the reader that it is satire.
  • Scout-Out: A 1951 cover illustration by Rea Irvin depicts a group of scouts sharing a spooky story around the campfire. (It's used as the page image for Ghost Story, in fact.)
  • Serious Business: The proper rules of grammar must always be observed!
  • The Shrink: A staple of the cartoons. A (by no means complete) selection of examples through the decades can be found here.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Parodied in this comic. A fantasy hero fights his way to a demon lord, having slain his minions along the way. When the demon lord hears this, he starts wondering aloud about how to deal with the aftermath.
    Demon Lord: Like, what's the process here? Do I contact their families? This is going to be, like, a whole thing, isn't it? Y'know, I gotta say, man, they call me the lord of all evil, but I've never killed fifty people....
  • YouTuber Apology Parody: Tucker Carlson gets one in The Borowitz Report where he tearfully apologizes for leaked texts where he tells the truth "in a moment of weakness."