Real Headlines that Sound Like Mad Libs

Note: I’m making this post sticky (hence the “Featured” flag), because it’s the one I edit the most often. I’ll keep adding new ones at the top as I find them. There is nothing erudite here; these just all cracked me up. (Also this post is PG-13, or maybe R, depending on how you feel about the existence of a certain word that begins with c. And I don’t mean “corgi”.)

February 24, 2023: Playing Rage Against the Machine’s ‘Killing in the Name’ on Slide Guitar Against a Gorgeous Montana Backdrop (h/t Lyra who posted this on Facebook).

Also February 24, 2023: On this day [in] 1313: Scots forces disguised as cows seize castle from English

February 23, 2023: Backlogging! Corgi-sized meteor as heavy as 4 baby elephants hit Texas – NASA. h/t to Jenn Huff, who posted this to Facebook with the comment “Today in ‘Americans will use any unit of measurement other than metric’!” Another news outlet said this meteor was “only about two feet wide but weighed as much as seven full kegs of beer”.

September 19, 2022: Doctors in Ireland remove 55 batteries from woman’s stomach and gut

August 17, 2022: Scientists blast atoms with Fibonacci laser to make an ‘extra’ dimension of time

March 21, 2022: Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites are helping Ukraine’s elite drone unit destroy Russian tanks and trucks in the night. There’s a whole series of stories after this about the role of Starlink in Ukraine and Elon Musk’s thoughts about it. I am a little bit torn about posting this one because it might seem to make light of the war, which is not my intention. In this specific case, I’m just here for the agglutination of unexpected words.

February 27, 2022: Dolly Parton wants Taco Bell to bring back the Mexican pizza

From 2017 but I saw it on February 1, 2022: Depeche Mode call Richard Spencer a ‘c***’ after white supremacist branded them ‘official band of the alt-right’. Extra points for the URL replacing “c***” with “c-word”.

From July 2016 but I saw it on Jan. 28, 2022: Scientists fight crab for mysterious purple orb discovered in California deep. I too would fight scientists for a mysterious purple orb. #TeamCrab.

January 13, 2022: Machine Gun Kelly Proposed To Megan Fox Under The Very Banyan Tree Where They Drank Each Other’s Blood. I hesitate to add the awareness of this relationship to anyone’s mental health landscape, but it is Peak Celebrity Mad Libs.

December 30, 2021: Woman caught with knives hidden in Darth Vader teddy bear

From 2018 but posting Sept. 2, 2021: Why the Heck Do So Many Koalas Have Chlamydia? I didn’t see this story in 2018. I saw it just now because it came up on a thread from the (highly recommended) Facebook group “Crap wildlife photography.”

August 7, 2021: “People think you’re an idiot”: Death metal Irish baron rewilds his estate

July 28, 2021: The Green Knight is This Summer’s Best Medieval Meditation on Death. With this headline, Vanity Fair seems to be implying that there is a plethora of medieval meditations on death hitting the screens this summer. I skimmed through the article (with semi-closed eyes, as I haven’t seen this movie and I want to) and saw no mentions of other medieval meditations on death. Get it together, Vanity Fair.

July 18, 2021: A two-fer! I can’t remember what I was reading, but these were two of the three suggested-next-articles (which I did not read and am only posting for the mad-lib-iness): Wine Theme Park Would Be A Perfect Bucket List Trip With The Girls and Mom Who Ate Her Placenta With Chilli And Beef Burrito Says She Recovered From Birth Quicker.

June 8, 2021 (h/t Brooke Parkhurst with an assist from Tara Osbourne-Ward): Danish PSA for wearing bicycle helmets is the best Viking movie in 63 years

May 28, 2021: Headstone for woman who died at 97 includes her signature fudge recipe

May 18, 2021: Fungus full of psychedelic drugs could cause Indiana Brood X cicadas’ butts to fall off

May 14, 2021: K-9 bites cow, SC deputy tases K-9, cow kicks deputy. This story is from January 2020, but it recirculated because someone on Twitter (handle @sticky_ssb) re-posted it on May 13 with the comment “New rock paper scissors just dropped”, which my friend Jeff Yaus then posted on Facebook on May 14. (Also this one has earned itself a Snopes entry, rated “True”, which notes that the photo accompanying the tweet is from an unrelated incident in Germany in 2016.)

May 3, 2021 (h/t Colin MacDonald): Kate Beckinsale Works Out In Tiny Pink Shorts And A White Sports Bra As Her Cat Licks Her Easter Treats: This story appeared on April 13. Kate Beckinsale then posted it to her Instagram, and then apparently had some commenters try to make gross innuendo, because her top comment (from herself) is “Just to be clear, I almost never refer to my vagina as ‘Easter treats’—I pretty much exclusively address it as ‘Sir Paul McCartney’ or ‘You little blighter.'” (I saw the original headline on May 3 when Colin added it to a Facebook comment thread about this post.)

May 2, 2021: Yesterday this headline read “Normality returns to Cornwall as giant crow killed three times.” Today it has been edited to: “May Horns returns to Penzance as Cornwall takes another step towards normality: A giant crow wearing a crown died three times, whilst horn-blowers made as much noise as possible to drive out the devil of winter.

October 20, 2020: [Jean-Claude] Van Damme saves life of chihuahua after row over fake passport: Actor known for his martial arts action films intervenes in Norway-Bulgaria tussle

September 17, 2019: I’m sure I have a backlog, but I’m not going to look for it: Today has offered two gems of the genre, so rich that they deserve to jump the queue and be posted immediately:

‘Mass Explosion’ of Bull Semen After Fire at Genetics Lab

Ohio deputies pull over Amish buggy with stereo system

July 11, 2019: Rattlesnake, uranium, whiskey found during traffic stop

May 30, 2019: New Hampshire man bitten by rabid bat hiding in iPad case

April 15, 2019: Woman does karate, son gets nude, dog steals cornbread mix from Walmart

March 25, 2019: Dogfish Head and Kodak Team Up to Create Beer That Develops Super 8 Film

March 6, 2019: Elite Canadian Wolves Airdropped Into Michigan to Kill Moose and Have Babies

March 3, 2019: Australia’s Oldest Man, Who Knitted Jumpers for Penguins, Has Died at 110. (This story is from 2016 but for some reason it’s circulating again.)

February 28, 2019: The 1970s Movement to Reclaim Pretzels for God

January 13, 2019: Woman riding cart while drinking wine from Pringles can barred from Texas Walmart, police say (H/T Derek Nestell). This links to News and Guts, which links to USA Today, but I don’t know who broke the story originally.

December 19, 2018: Former NASA Engineer Builds Farting Glitter Bomb to Teach Porch Pirates a Lesson. There is video. It is worth your time.

November 2, 2018:  Llama blood clue to beating all flu. Important note: This is about doing complicated stuff with viruses and antibodies, not some kind of Elizabeth Báthory thing.

October 9, 2018: Gecko butt-dials ‘bazillion’ times from Hawaii seal hospital (H/T Sarah Skwire)

September 20, 2018: Two in one day!

Texas grandma kills 12-foot gator, says she’s finally avenged her miniature horse (paywall?)

Why Snail Sex is Like a Box of Chocolates (H/T Shannon Davis)

September 17, 2018: Spiders blamed after broken siren played creepy nursery rhymes randomly at night to UK townsfolk (H/T Della Leffler)

February 19, 2018 (found and posted in May): A coffin, mayor, poetry, bagpiper: Beloved bisexual goose’s funeral draws community. This one is special, and I hereby grant it a Special Award for Mad Libs Hilarity. A goose named Thomas died at age 38 in New Zealand in February 2018. He had been in a relationship with a swan named Henry for 18 years, when (with the arrival of a female swan) the relationship became an apparently stable interspecies domestic triad. Over six years with Henry and Henrietta, Thomas helped to raise 68 cygnets. He was also blind. This story was the basis for so many headlines eligible for this post that I couldn’t choose one—until today. I think we have reached Peak Mad Lib Headline (noun, public official, art form, occupation, adjective, adjective, animal, event, verb, noun).

April 27, 2018: Fajita heist: Texas man sentenced to 50 years for stealing $1.2 million worth of food

April 24, 2018: Goose levels golfer, reasserting dominance over all humankind

April 18, Sequel!  ‘Angry badger’ leaves tunnel at 500-year-old castle

April 17, 2018:  ‘Angry Badger’ Terrorizes Scottish Castle, Forcing Closures

Unknown date—it says “four years ago”, so circa 2014, but I saw it circulating on social media in March 2018: Man Cooking Up Ramen In A Speedo Accidentally Shoots Himself In The Nuts With 20 Bottle Rockets

January 26, 2018: Curlers upset with American Airlines after agent allegedly denies curling is a sport.

January 10, 2018: Charlie Daniels Issues Grim Warning to Taco Bell about the Illuminati. (I find this one disappointing because it’s not really an article; it’s just paraphrasing a tweet. But the headline is gold.)

Also January 10, 2018: Alligators in North Carolina are trapped in swamp ice–but they’re OK

January 6, 2018: Aggressive wild turkeys in Rocky River interfere with mail delivery (H/T Sarah Skwire)

November 17, 2017: Gene Simmons Banned for Life by Fox News (H/T Derek Nestell)

May 28, 2017: Osprey rescued after toe caught in clam. This story was brought to my attention by Thomas Krueger, who posted it from his local paper. The online news story is here, but the print headline is so much better.

April 18, 2017: Bewildered Beaver Becomes Accidental Leader of 150 Curious Cows

September 8, 2016: Errant Cannon Fire from Niagara Deflates World’s Largest Rubber Duck

July 12, 2016: US government plans to use drones to fire vaccine-laced M&Ms near endangered ferrets

April 29, 2016: A weasel has shut down the Large Hadron Collider