The Onion is one of the most popular satirical sites on the web. They're known for mocking everything from politics to entertainment. They also enjoy targeting their readers. They can take a mundane, everyday situation and make them seem bigger than they are. The Onion does this often and with super scary accuracy.
While the NSA may be constantly monitoring us, The Onion just KNOWS how to get under our skin. The articles they write are as if they’ve been stalking us from the dark recesses of our minds. They've been quietly judging while taking multiple notes of our internal monologues and hidden fears.
Then, their writers take these notes and use them to write up directed attacks on us. This is actually how they do things over at The Onion. I will not be convinced otherwise. Here are 15 times this scary accurate website used their ill-gotten info to personally attack its audience.
15 Social Awkwardness put to the test
Anyone who’s been to a work or school gathering knows this feeling. We, along with many other poor fools, have been suckered into an office/gym/auditorium/hotel meeting room. There are several people that are familiar to us, and some we might even be on a first name basis with! Outside of those, we're trapped in a room with strangers.
This scenario can range from annoying to mildly amusing for those with good interpersonal skills. Those who lean more towards being introverted are now living in their own personal hell. Their distaste for these situations may go so far as “social anxiety,” but it's still pretty uncomfortable. To cope, the plan is simple. Avoid eye contact. Speak when spoken to, bypass any conversations. Attempt to blend into the background and muscle through this. Think of it as Neo, except he's not dodging shots, he's dodging social interaction with strangers.
As this Onion article has noted, there is one fatal flaw. The speaker is in charge of this gathering, not the audience member. The speaker has the power and they want to break the ice. “Everyone turn to the right and speak to the person in that chair! It's time for introductions!” or “Ask and answer one question about one another.” It doesn’t matter what the next bit of instruction is. The invisibility we were craving is now gone. Time to act like we're a normal, well adjusted member of society who doesn’t want to jump out the nearest window.
14 Disobedient Wi-Fi
The night has been a success. Everyone's been having pleasant conversation and no one is debating politics or religion. Suddenly, someone mentions a YouTube video that only half of those attending know about. Not a problem! It can be streamed on the fancy smart tv that cost a lot of money!
It starts normally. Television boots up, YouTube is selected from the menu and the app is ready to go. Then, while trying to enter the name of said video into the search bar, a problem arises. The infuriating red circle in the middle of the screen keeps spinning. What is taking so long? The host crack a joke or two to hide the panic rising from within. "Haha classic YouTube. Always taking its time," the host would say. But in reality they're probably internally panicking.
It’s about this time the realization has set in. It's not an issue with the TV, it’s the Wi-Fi. What was to be a hilarious moment for everyone there has now turned into a mess. Sweat begins to glisten on the host's brow as the modem is unplugged and reset. The Wi-Fi password is triple checked. There are only two options at this juncture. Abort mission or shut down the TV and pass the whole thing off with an excuse like, “It wasn’t that funny anyway.” Or keep trying. Fair warning, though. If anyone decides to keep trying, that video better be worth it. Few things are as bad as struggling to show a “funny” only to have it bomb.
13 Sliding back into the conversation
The party has been going on for a while. Groups formed, each discusses their respective topics. The group you've chosen started on an interesting note, but the conversation has since grown stale. It took a while, but finally the opportunity came to ditch this group. It’s time to hunt for a more interesting discussion. Now a lone wanderer, the search begins for a better cluster of partygoers. You could just barge into a random group and take charge, but his rarely has the desired effect. Unless the intruder is the host or someone of importance, you will always come across as an obnoxious jerk if you try this.
One must orbit a group while listening to the topic before jumping in.
If the subject is interesting, slowly work your way in, strategically laughing and wait for the moment to jump into the conversation. Trouble is, none of the other groups have been as interesting as the first. It's time to somehow slip back into that old conversation again. If you're lucky, the same discussion you left has since picked up the pace. Depending on how long you’ve spent wandering the party for something better, you may have missed some good talking points. These are land mines that you need to avoid at all costs. Your absence was certainly noted but shrugged off. If you try to add a point that's already been discussed in your absence, they’ll know. Good luck, wandering partygoer.
12 Not a morning person
Things don’t always go the way we wish. For some of us more than others. At these times we just want to stay in bed and let the day roll on by. Hopefully the world will get a little bit better by the time we wake up. There's only one problem. Very few of us live a life where that option is on the table.
The rest of us are required to suck it up, get our sorry butts out of bed and face the day. This sets us on a collision course with the problems that pushed us so deep into our beds in the first place. Certainly, there's a chance that things'll change for the better on this day. When we show up at work, we'll face our problems and attack them head on. Today is a new day! And you've woken up a brand new person!
All that may be true, but it's also equally possible for the exact opposite to happen. Facing the day also opens you up to a whole assortment of problems. Had the bed won out and you'd just taken a sick day, things may not have gotten better at all. Alternatively, they wouldn’t have gotten worse either. Clearly, whoever wrote this article is well versed in the latter. And we're right there with them.
11 Working for the weekend
Bills. Taxes. Entertainment. Kids. More bills. These are all things which require money. Americans feed an unfathomably hungry beast which is forever devouring our hard-earned paychecks. You cannot ignore it. It will not let you ignore it. To ignore it would bring dire consequences to yourself and the well being of those around you. How does one continue to feed this monster called “Expenses”? There are few options available to those born without a silver spoon inserted into their mouths.
One must either find someone to pay them for their services, or find some niche to exploit to become an entrepreneur.
Either way, you're giving up a significant portion of your life in order to bring home the bacon. There's nothing wrong about working for a paycheck. In modern society, it's not only expected but applauded. Still, the daily grind chips away at our allotted days on this planet. No one says “I wish I spent more time at work” in their final moments of life. As Loverboy says, we're all “Working for the weekend.” Doesn’t make it right for The Onion to rub that in our face, though. This ‘Troubling Report’ isn’t giving us any information we didn’t already know. This is just rubbing salt in the wound, man.
10 Waiting for your turn to complain
Your co-workers have been particularly annoying the past few weeks. Your boss at work has been pushing you to get that one project done. On top of all that, someone keeps taking your parking spot! Dammit! Work issues have been piling up and the pressure has been building.
Finally, some potential relief. A lunch date with a friend. The appointed time has come and soon you’ll unload your burdens. While looking for an appropriate opportunity to unleash hell, it happens. Your friend opens up about her marital problems. She's got all the hallmarks of a marriage on the rocks. Signs of infidelity, daily fights for no apparent reason and disagreements on how to raise the kids. Sounds like she really needs a friend in her darkest hour, huh? You want to be there for her, its your duty as her friend and confidante to be there. But how're you supposed to complain about your own personal issues when they're clearly diminished by your friend's crumbling marriage?!
The Onion recognizes this struggle and knows your pain. Oh, your friend is going through a much darker time than you. Being the good friend, you’ll willingly be that shoulder to cry on. But all that built up stress and anxiety about your own daily grind isn’t going to disappear. This outlet has been closed. How are you going to follow marital problems with work issues? The answer: You’re not.
9 Don’t know or care why demons are attacking.
There are many RPGs (Role Playing Games) which can easily last over 300 hours when played until completion. Be it a fantasy adventure or a Sci-fi space epic, the action needs some purpose. A story to move the narrative forward to justify why you’ve offed a thousand space orcs. This is where cutscenes come in. Online games are shoving aside the single player experience. Game companies are leaning towards selling their products online rather than in-store, which has proven very profitable.
To combat this, RPGs rely on creating compelling stories to draw in the gamers.
This typically requires a long opening intro with sporadic narrative cutscenes peppered in throughout the game. There's a subsection of gamers who aren't interested in the who’s and why’s of a game's story. They're just interested in the fighting most of the time! These gamers will spend hundreds of hours squeezing every ounce of enjoyment from the game, blissfully unaware of why they're doing what they are doing. These people simply want more loot to enhance their character’s gear. Once that’s done, they’ll level up their character by fighting random mobs for the experience. All so that they can fight another boss for even more loot. Rinse, lather, repeat. Thanks for making us feel guilty for playing video games, Onion...
8 Seriously, R.R. Martin. It’s been 7 years.
The phenomenal series, A Song of Ice and Fire, began way back in 1996 with the novel A Game of Thones. Martin originally had a respectable distance between book releases. Game of Thrones was released in August 1996, A Clash of Kings in February 1999 and then A Storm of Swords in November in the year 2000. It was after this book that the train went off the rails.
In the last book, A Storm of Swords, Martin wrote that he was breaking this book into two halves. The next book would be released in the following year. BUt the year came and went and we got no book. It would be another FIVE years before the release of A Feast of Crows hit the shelves! This was before the Game of Thrones picked up some momentum, so the book got very little attention under the shadow of its prdecessor.
April 17, 2011 brought the first episode of Game of Thrones on HBO. The furor hit, and it hit hard. Americans ran to their nearest bookstore and purchased the entire run. Martin was fortunate, for he had the next novel ready for release. A Dance with Dragons hit the shelves July of 2011. Of course, that book ended in a cliffhanger. Fans were concerned that the TV series would catch up before the next book release. Their fears were well founded. Seven years have now passed and still no sign of a new book from Martin. This is one of those times we fear that The Onion knows something we don’t.
7 Could you be anywhere but right here right now?
Children are our future. There will come a day where we will pass into the great beyond and these little tykes will control the world. Thing is, that’s in the future. Hopefully far off into the future. But it’s not then, its now, and currently these snot-ridden children are standing right where you don't need them. Your son or daughter isn’t at the adorable age where they're simply talking nonsense or parroting things they’ve heard. These small humans are forming their own thoughts now, sharing their own opinions and interacting with people around them in a meaningful way.
It’s too bad their lack of life experience renders nearly everything they say meaningless and boring. To be clear, we're not calling children stupid. Oh, there are plenty of dumb kids out there, but that’s not the point. Even the smartest kid only has a finite understanding of the world around them and what's out there. Despite their limited cache of knowledge, they feel the need to share their expertise. Like a needy cat, they are directly next to you, talking non-stop as you pretend to listen. Clearly the writer of this Onion piece has a child or niece/nephew. One who just can’t wait to let them know how Superman could turn back time to stop the most recent disaster by spinning the Earth in the opposite direction. No, he can’t Timmy, that would destroy all life on Earth.
6 Internet Detective
Something interesting has popped up on your Facebook feed. Someone you haven’t spoken to since high school or college has unexpectedly passed away. Their passing doesn’t impact you outside of a “huh...” This doesn’t make you heartless, its just been years since the two of you have spoken or seen each other. If you're being honest with yourself, you’d forgotten that this person had even existed. Occasionally you’d throw them a like for some post. but past that, nothing.
Now that person is gone. Whoever was responsible for the announcement has committed the worst sin for the curious mind. They didn't give any further details. Was it an accident? Was it a disease? They're the same age as you! Was it health related? How healthy were they in comparison to how healthy you are?? Curiosity turns into slight panic about your own impending doom.
The Onion knows this panic. They know it’s time to put aside that important project or email that you were dealing with and begin to dig. The obituary is as vague as the Facebook post. Google isn’t pulling up any news articles about the deceased. It’s time to quietly reach out to other sources who may be closer to the departed. After several private messages the mystery is solved. Hit by a bus. Not a heart attack. Now you can delay facing your own mortality for a little longer.
5 That’s not trash…yet
It’s time for dinner. Not the fancy kind, it’s the type of dinner that one gets from the supermarket that any moron can throw together with minimal effort. Be it a frozen pizza, mac and cheese or hamburger helper, this “meal” was designed to be easy. The instructions are so simple it’s been printed on the side of the box. The need to throw away or recycle any piece of trash is second nature to most of us. Without thinking, we toss packaging away. Wait…how long were the noodles supposed to cook for? At what temperature was the oven supposed to be set at?
The answer is located on that packaging that now resides in the garbage bin.
It's rare that you're lucky enough to not have it sitting on something disgusting. The worst is when the package isn’t a box, but plastic wrap with a sticker that’s been crammed with information. Brand name, list of ingredients and the glorious instructions all share the same space written in the tiniest font possible. Upon locating the ripped and tattered plastic amongst the garbage, revulsion hits. Holding the dirty and wet instructions between two fingers, you read the vital information. Then promptly drop it back into the trash. Moments later, you need the instructions again. You hear that sound? It's the universe laughing at you.
4 Longing for the Other End of the Table
The table was reserved for a large party weeks ago. There isn’t a seating chart, it's first-come-first-sit. Unless there's a specific someone you wish to sit next to, it’s up to chance to decide who will be your dining partners for the evening. Hopefully, there will be some lively conversation for the next couple of hours.
Sadly, this doesn’t appear to be the case. Somehow the current discussion revolves around the various types of hand trucks and their many uses. It isn’t possible for you to be more bored. Meanwhile, raucous laughter bursts from the other end of the table. What are they talking about?? Certainly not hand trucks!
Wish as you might, there is no chance to join in on that conversation. Unlike a party that would allow you to mosey on over, this is a seated situation. You're stuck in that seat for the duration of your time here. There is one hope, though. Eventually, a better topic will come along. One that won’t have you staring off into the abyss. If you're stuck at the end of a table with children, God help you. Just resign yourself to your fate and prepare for a heated discussion about Pokemon.
3 Weak and Small
Humans love sweet things. This statement is simple to prove. One just needs to look at the average sugar intake throughout history to understand how much we love our sweets. In the 1700s, the average person consumed about 4.9 grams of sugar each day. This measure includes all food, not just sweets. Using this same scale, the average American consumes an average of over 100 grams a day. Why the massive uptake in sugar consumption? The Onion’s opinion is quite simple.
We as a species are weak, we are weak and small.
Desserts are so good and come in so many varieties that it's difficult to resist their tastiness. Perhaps if humans were stronger willed, we could resist the temptation to eat another handful of M&Ms. Of course, this doesn’t apply to everyone. There are certainly those out there who stand above the rest of us and resist. These people are better than the rest of us. They should be applauded for their strength and resistance. That said, they also need to keep their pride to themselves. No one wants to hear how they managed to lose 150 pounds i six months just from cutting sugar for the hundredth time. Stop that.
2 Smile and Nod
It happens to everyone. It’s happened to you and it’s happened because of you. Everyone gathers stories as they move through life. These stories are no good if kept to oneself. Your anecdotes need to be molded, elaborated on and performed to perfect the delivery. For these reasons, we seek someone to listen to our stories.
Sometimes, we forget who we’ve told our stories to. Especially if it’s a good one. Two friends may be idly chatting when something catches their interest. This sparks a memory within one of them and gets the ball rolling for a whopper of a story. Trouble is, this is not the first time that this has happened.
What does one do in a situation like this? Cutting the speaker off mid-story can be awkward. Some consider this to even be rude. Most people will just suffer through the retelling. It’s easier to hear a story for a second, third or possibly fourth time. Allow your mind to drift, nod when needed and think about what to talk about next. If you occasionally ask a question, the story may go in a new direction. Outside of this, The Onion has it right. You must helplessly sit there and wait until it’s over.
1 Just Back and Ready to Leave
Vacations are meant to help us cope with the reality of working for the rest of our lives. The daily grind wears away the soul and siphons the joy from our lives. Few people claim to absolutely love their jobs. These individuals actually feel guilty about taking home a paycheck. They see every day there as a joy. It's safe to assume that these people are either very fortunate or very insane. The return from a vacation does nothing but reenergize the hatred that one has for their job.
Those tiny irritations that you had temporarily forgotten about now come flooding back to you.
This is especially true if you’ve returned to face a large backlog of work left just for you. It's no surprise that no one bothered to shoulder any of the responsibilities while you were gone. Instead, they simply waited for your return. Of all The Onion articles on this list, this one is the oldest. Written back in 2013, it continues to make the rounds in social media. The article's subject will never not be true. The image chosen is perfect as well. It’s as if they caught the moment where this man realized that he’s trapped in his own personal hell. Behold the quiet despair on his face. It speaks to us all. I foresee this article still making the rounds a good twenty years from now, as true then as it is now.