Humorous Headlines

Logical fallacies can be humorous, especially the linguistic ones based on ambiguity which is often the source of puns. Headlines are particularly prone to ambiguity because of their brevity. This page collects together humorous headlines based on such logical fallacies.

The main purpose of this page is to have a few laughs, but you can also learn something about fallacies while doing so. After each headline there is a link to the relevant fallacy in the files. You can test your understanding by trying to figure out what fallacy the humor in an example is based on, then clicking on the word "Fallacy" beneath it to see if you are right. The important thing is to understand what went wrong logically in the examples, rather than to be able to identify fallacies by name―though there's nothing wrong with that, either!

Have fun!


Case of Stolen Whiskey Expected to Go to Jury1

Alcohol Frequently Seen in Cases2

Key Witness Takes Fifth in Liquor Probe2

Jury Gets Drunk Driving Case Here1

Fallacy


Head Lines
Jane Fonda to teens: Use head to avoid pregnancy
3

Flaming Toilet Seat Causes Evacuation at High School4

Fallacy


Pandas married with city-wide ceremony in Thailand

Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over2

Panda's wife files case against him5

Fallacy


Headline: New openings for gynecologists
6

Fallacy


Taking gay marriage too far3:
Dean appears with his wife, Jimmy Carter

Volunteers needed to help torture survivors
3

Fallacy


Researchers Track Boobies for Climate Change Data7


Little white butts litter beach

In a little while they'll be little red butts.3

Fallacy


Yellow snow studied to test nutrition

Don't eat the yellow snow!8

Fallacy


Notes:

  1. Richard Lederer, The Bride of Anguished English (2000), pp. 97 & 101
  2. Bob Levey, "Headlines That You Just Have to Hang On To", The Washington Post, 11/22/2002
  3. "Headlines", The Tonight Show
  4. Richard Lederer, The Bride of Anguished English (2000), p. 108
  5. James Taranto, "Best of the Web Today", The Wall Street Journal, 12/2/2005
  6. "Headlines", The Tonight Show, 12/1/2003
  7. Alex Chadwick, "Researchers Track Boobies for Climate Change Data", NPR, 10/24/2007
  8. Jay Leno, Jay Leno's Headlines, Books I, II, III (1992), p. 39