Follow TV Tropes


Magazine / The New Yorker

Go To
Eustace Tilley with butterfly.

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. Charles Addams, Woody Allen, John Cheever, Roald Dahl, Shirley Jackson, Pauline Kael, Stephen King, Steve Martin, Alice Munro, Ogden Nash, Dorothy Parker, S. J. Perelman, J. D. Salinger, William Steig, James Thurber, John Updike, E. B. White, and Gahan Wilson are among the more famous of the contributors it has employed or published over the decades.

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 television series called The New Yorker Presents, available via Amazon Prime and featuring 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.


Features examples of:

  • 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, hypenating 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.
  • The Burlesque of Venus: The May 25, 1992 and August 4, 2014 covers emulate The Birth of Venus.
  • Caption Contest: Runs one every week with one of its cartoons.
  • Caustic Critic: Many of the magazine's arts critics were of this type, including possibly the most caustic of them all, Pauline Kael.
  • 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).
  • Joisey: Like any good Manhattanite.
  • 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 examining a butterfly through his monocle as depicted in the aforementioned inaugural cover.
  • 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 Mommies.
  • 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!