King Kai: Let me check. Let’s see here. [checks Wikipedia entry on Planet Vegeta] "Stupid monkeys hit by falling rocks. (Not Deathball thrown by Freeza) Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. P.S. Freeza rules you." That doesn’t seem right...
A character edits a wiki - be it Wikipedia or any other free info source - and adds 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.
May provoke some viewers/readers to ape the fictional Wiki Vandal by vandalizing the real-life Wikipedia article 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:
- Empowered: Capitan Rivet checks his Wikipedia page and is annoyed to find it was edited to claim he assassinated President John F. Kennedy, even though he wasn't born yet when that happened.
- In Transformers: More than Meets the Eye, the Scavengers edit their own entries in the Decepticon registry for fun, making themselves sound like insanely powerful elite troops when they're actually a bunch of wacky, barely competent slackers. This is actually useful when they run into Fortress Maximus: Maximus's partner sees the fake profiles and warns him about how dangerous they are, so he falls for their silly bluff, letting them escape the murderous Autobot.
- In Worm, the first thing the main character Taylor does after meeting the Undersiders, a local supervillian team, is to look them up on Parahumans Online (PHO), the Worm universe's wiki/forum combination for all things superpowered. She quickly discovers that Tattletale's article doesn't even exist, Regent's barely contains anything, and Grue has clearly edited his own article to obscure the details of his power.
- 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 30 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.
- On The Newsroom, Mackenzie finds out that her Wikipedia article states her to have graduated from another university than she did. She tries to fix it. Hilarity Ensues
- 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 Chapter 2 of Deltarune, the heroes find a copy of Cyberpedia in Cyber Field, which Ralsei edits to add in a tutorial about recruiting enemies. Checking the Cyberpedia again after reading the tutorial shows that Susie vandalized it to read "From now on, ralsay drools Susie rules."
- Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth features a few subquests where the player haves to fight Digimon that are vandalizing an online encyclopedia called Digipedia. In the first one a Tentomon is rewriting all the pages about Kansai and its traditions in the local dialect, while in a later one a MetalEtemon rewrites many pages about Japanese mythology and culture to make them about Digimon.
- Guilty Gear: Leo Whitefang, the King of Illyria, is apparently allowed to edit the national dictionary at his leisure. He replaces cool-sounding words like "invincible" and "inimitable" with his own name, "defeat" reads "the fate of those who fight Leo Whitefang", Chipp Zanuff is under "irritating" and Johnny is under "fool", and, of course, "hospitality" is not present.
- 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."
- The page is now edit-locked, though that may or may not be due to fans vandalizing it.
- One 8-Bit Theater strip implies that Black Mage vandalised Wikipedia to win an argument with Red Mage.
- In one of the prequel comics for The Order of the Stick, Eugene's postmortem interview has his bureaucratic Deva bring up as one of his minor sins 'editing his own Wikipedia article'.
- In High School Lessons, a student sets up a wiki for the school. Most users ignore its intended purpose, which is how it ends up with twenty-nine articles about fictional squid species.
- Dragon Ball Z Abridged's Freeza is apparently a Space Wiki Vandal, changing the Saiyan page to say "Stupid monkeys hit by falling rocks. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! P.S. Freeza 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 CollegeHumor, Superman edits Clark Kent's Wikipedia.
- In Half-Life but the AI is Self-Aware, Benry edits the page for All Dogs Go to Heaven 2 to mention Gordon Freeman's death. This ultimately led to a lot of vandalism on That Other Wiki leading the article on All Dogs Go To Heaven 2 needing to be locked.
- Schaffrillas Productions briefly mentioned the Wikipedia page for the Presidential Service Badge in his 2023 Black Friday theory video about the main protagonists of Free Birds actually being the skeleton brothers from Undertale. He read off the introductory quote, at the bottom of which was a poorly edited passage claiming that, aside from members of the U.S. Military and its various branches, it could also be awarded to the Great, uh, I mean the Pardoned Turkey. Needless to say, someone did indeed go out of their way to edit the page to include this, which was very quickly reverted afterward.note
- American Dad!: The episode "Black Mystery Month" has Steve discover the Government Conspiracy behind peanut butter,note but he ends up losing the evidence. Wanting to expose the truth, he goes to the one place where people can get away with making outlandish claims without having any real proof to support them: he edits the Wikipedia page on peanut butter.
- An Instagram promotional video for BoJack Horseman had the titular horse edit his Wikipedia page to call himself an "esteemed thespian," remove any reference to his career decline, and claim that "smart people" prefer him to the "hack" Mr. Peanutbutter.
- Rick and Morty: Higher-ups once tried to expose Rick to a "rare element" known as Sanchezium. It had no effect because it doesn't exist. Cue lampshade.
Rick: I made Sanchezium up, dumbasses! Don't believe everything you read on Wikipedia.
- Replacing everything on Wikipedia's article on Earth with "Mostly harmless." is a bannable offence, as that particular act of vandalism, inspired by a line in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy where the titular guide describes the planet as such, was done way too many times.
- Any mention of Wikipedia in a popular piece of media tends to have this effect:
- This xkcd strip depicts the Wikipedia article on wood filled with fancruft examples of wooden things in media. Shortly after it was published, the page had to be locked due to repeated additions of similar examples.
- In some of the older ProtonJon livestreams, a viewer would edit the Wikipedia page for whatever game was currently being played on stream, and then link the article in chat. This happened so often it'll now get you timed out or even banned, depending on how tired the moderator is.
- Whenever Joel from Vinesauce showcased a Wikipedia page on stream to riff on it, it'd result in a deluge of viewers editing the page to add jokes related to Joel's content, much to his chagrin. This was especially common if he pretended to vandalize it through inspect element.note
- The Wikipedia page for All Dogs Go to Heaven 2 had to be restricted to trusted editors after a wave of netizens started adding in mentions of Gordon Freeman dying in it, inspired by a joke about Benrey doing exactly that in Half-Life but the AI is Self-Aware.
- At one point, Wikipedia had to block edits coming from IP addresses inside the US Capitol Building due to congressional staffers vandalizing the articles of their political opponents.