The Onion is a satirical, comic newspaper. It does not report on real stories, or at least it doesn’t on purpose. Two out of three of the following news stores were created by The Onion only to later come true in reality. The third story is made up, false through and through. Can you guess which Onion story didn’t come true? Answer is at the end of the post.
In 2013, The Onion ran an article with the headline “Overstock.com Announces Plans To Develop Original Programming.” The piece poked fun at the just-announced idea that Amazon.com, an online merchant that peddles everything from clothes to toilet paper, would soon be making TV programming to distribute online. (Overstock.com, a competitor of Amazon, is a wholesaler and bargain reseller.) And in early 2015, a competitor of Amazon announced plans to produce its own programming. That competitor? Overstock.com.
The Onion periodically runs an article about a fictional version of Vide President Joe Biden, imagining him as something of a degenerate who hangs out with bikers, loves to get drunk, and set off fireworks. One 2009 article reported that Biden kept trying to get White House visitors to go up to the roof with him to drink a six-pack of beer. In 2011, Biden really did ask Japanese prime minister Naoto Kan to check out the White House roof.
In 2004, The Onion ran a mock editorial by James M. Kitts, the CEO of The Gillette Company, recklessly announcing that the company was following up its Mach3 three-blade razor by skipping ahead to an absurdly complex five-blade razor. In 2010, Gillette announced a new razor breakthrough. It wasn’t five blades, though. It was six.
Want more fakes? Check out Uncle John’s Fake Facts. (Really!)