Wikipedia is the greatest collection of knowledge humanity has ever assembled, but some of that knowledge didn’t need to be collected. Among the articles about key moments in history and great works of art, lie pages that document the inane and irrelevant in painstaking detail. Are they tributes to man’s insatiable thirst for knowledge, or are they evidence in a psychiatric evaluation? You be the judge.
10. Barbie’s Careers
Anyone who plays with Barbie dolls is too busy enjoying their childhood to browse Wikipedia, and the only people who would have it otherwise are sex offenders. They’re also the only other people that could make use of a list of Barbie’s various careers. “I see you’re playing with X Barbie, would you like to see Y Barbie?” they’ll say, and then something terrible happens.
But what if you’re not just a sex offender, but also a Barbie collector? Well, don’t use Wikipedia to track your completion rate because, while somebody thought it was important to write an article about Barbie’s work history, they didn’t think it was important enough to complete it.
The careers Wikipedia does list are weird. Paratrooper? Yeah, girls will love playing “Barbie gets captured and tortured by the Viet Cong.” McDonald’s cashier? Reach for the stars, kids! Starfleet Officer? You just know that the person who added that one has written Barbie/Captain Kirk erotic fanfiction. Thanks for the mental image, Wikipedia.
No, we didn’t have a seizure. Lopadotetc. is a fictional food mentioned in Assemblywomen, an ancient Greek play about how women be crazy. This landmark in sexism is best known for containing the longest word in Greek, one that has no doubt been abused by sadistic spelling bee organizers everywhere.
It’s an interesting piece of trivia, but does it deserve an article almost as long as the article about the play itself? No, of course not. The only reason it exists is so some Wikipedia user can brag about creating it. “Yeah, your article on mashed potatoes is okay I guess, but it’s kind of boring compared to my article about Lopadotemachoselachogaleokraniolei-psanodrimhypotrimmatosilphioparaome-litokatakechymenokichlepikossy-phophattoperisteralektryonopteke-phalliokigklopeleio-lagoiosiraiobaphetraganopterygon.” He might as well have written an article called “My Dick is Huge, Guys. No Seriously, You Can’t Even Imagine.”
Although we have to admit that Lopadotemachoselachogaleokraniolei-psanodrimhypotrimmatosilphioparaome-litokatakechymenokichlepikossy-phophattoperisteralektryonopteke-phalliokigklopeleio-lagoiosiraiobaphetraganopterygon is great for padding. See how much longer this list looks when we say Lopadotemachoselachogaleokraniolei-psanodrimhypotrimmatosilphioparaome-litokatakechymenokichlepikossy-phophattoperisteralektryonopteke-phalliokigklopeleio-lagoiosiraiobaphetraganopterygon a few times?
Okay, we’re done…
8. Character Mask
Character mask sounds like a piece of cosplay equipment, but it’s actually a concept in Marxist theory. It’s also a perfect example of what happens when obsessive Wikipedia users run rampant.
This article is 26,000 words. That’s 10,000 words longer than Marx’s most famous work, The Communist Manifesto, which suggests that maybe they should trim it a little.
Anyone who’s studied Marx knows how dense his work is, but we could get through Das Kapital in the original German faster than this monstrosity of an article. If you try to read it all you’ll either quit after 1000 words, or shoot yourself.
The page, which includes 265 references, is mostly maintained by two people who are probably mentally ill. This is Wikipedia at its worst: experts ruin a topic by making it incomprehensible to anyone but themselves. That’s the exact opposite of what Wikipedia is supposed to accomplish. The audio version could be recorded by Charlie Brown’s teacher, and it would still make more sense.
7. Mathematical Joke
Why was six afraid of seven? Because number seven on our list is about terrible math jokes! Did that make you laugh? No? Well tough, because it’s funnier than anything in the Mathematical Joke article.
The only people who think mathematical jokes deserve their own article are mathematicians. Everyone else would have it redirect to the gonorrhea Wiki, because they’re of equal comedic value.
We get that they’re trying to explain these jokes to the layman, but it comes off as some eggheads having a circle jerk over how clever they are. We write for the Internet; we already know you’re way smarter than us. Don’t rub it in.
Just because mathematicians have jokes so abstract you need an encyclopedia to explain them, doesn’t mean they deserve their own article. If you find them funny, great. But the rest of the world doesn’t need to know—as far as we’re concerned, the pinnacle of mathematical humor is spelling “boobs” on a calculator.
6. Fictional Last Words in Video Games
Wikiquote is like that distant cousin we keep forgetting to visit, if there was a chance of that cousin randomly vomiting on you. You’re brushing up on your Shakespeare quotes to impress cute English majors, but then you stumble across video game last words and get cockblocked by the Internet. You’ll forget your Hamlet, and also basic sentence structure.
We love video games but, for every well-written one, there are dozens penned by people we’re pretty sure didn’t finish high school English. So learn great quotes like “What? Huh? What’s happening?” and “POISON!…TREACHERY!!!” Wikiquotes helpfully informs us that this was uttered when the character drank poison. Damn, who needs Hamlet with lines like that?
Our personal favorite is “NOOO!” which you may recognize from every game ever made. Some franchises even get their own article. Like Call of Duty, which features the death quote of that beloved video game character, Unnamed Medic.
5. Fictional Last Words in Webcomics
Dear God, there’s more. And the writing is even worse. There are great webcomics out there, but most are created by people who shouldn’t legally be allowed to own a computer. Watching them try to tell a serious story is like watching Carlos Mencia try to tell a joke—they understand the basic idea, but they could do nothing but yell racial slurs and be more successful.
Thankfully, Wikiquote’s ruthless editors trimmed this page down to only truly classic lines, like “NRRH. HHMN. GRRAARGH!”, “Oh no-” and “Oh…NO!!!” We’re sure we don’t have to tell you what iconic comics those are from.
There are a few famous comics here, but the rest were added by either the comic’s creator, or a creepily obsessed fan. You can tell because there are more typos on this page than there are in, well, a badly written webcomic. And that’s why quotes from a comic about an 18th-century Caribbean island populated by rebellious furries, that’s so popular it doesn’t even have its own website, are just a click away from a collection of Aristotle quotes.
4. High Five
Wikipedia articles about mundane subjects come across like they’re written by aliens. Anyone who needs Wikipedia to learn about high fives is going to use them to implant hundreds of eggs in your palm. Quadriplegics know more about high fives than this article’s target audience.
The history of the high five is a legitimate topic, although we’re not sure why it needs half a dozen origin stories, especially since the article itself says some of them are fake. And it definitely doesn’t need a montage of high five variants.
Anyone who needs four pictures to understand the “down low, too slow” joke had their brain cells replaced with spiders. If you pull it on them, you’ll be arrested for assaulting the mentally handicapped. Then there’s this monstrosity:
Wikipedia calls it a “wi-five,” which is why we’re embarking on a worldwide journey to punch all Wikipedia writers, until we find the person responsible for this term. See their facial expressions? They’re not even trying to be silly—people who say “wi-five” look stupid all the time.
3. List of YouTube Celebrities
Making a list of YouTube celebrities is like making a list of the shortest mountains—it’s a collection of (oxy)morons that nobody could possibly care less about. We could write a list of the people most likely to rape you, and Wikipedia readers would be more enthusiastic to meet them.
Frequent YouTube users may recognize as many as two of the dozens of names on the list. Do you know who Ben Going is? Do you care? Wikipedia says his claim to fame is that he’s known as “boh3m3.” That’s not a celebrity, that’s a license plate. But that’s better than Melody Oliveria, Paul Robinett, or any of the other “celebrities” that are on the list without any explanation as to why. Apparently there are two criteria for becoming a YouTube celebrity: a YouTube account, and the ability to edit Wikipedia.
2. Penile Subincision
A penile subincision is when a man has the underside of his penis and his urethra slit open lengthwise. This is something he does voluntarily. Why? “For the purpose of sexual pleasure or aesthetics.” This is understandable; nothing gets a lady hot-and-bothered like severe genital mutilation, and your penis will look fantastic when you’re sticking a tube in it to urinate.
But we don’t want to talk about the procedure (because that makes our genitals shrivel in terror). We want to talk about Wikipedia’s image policy. Look, Wikipedia, we understand that visual aids are an important learning tool. But for the love of all that’s good in the world, don’t show us a picture of a penis that’s been sliced in half. Consider that your NSFW warning, by the way, if you wish to view this abomination of an article.
THIS is the picture that should accompany a penis cutting article:
Yes, some people will be curious about what it looks like. Include a picture for those that must know, but hide it behind a freaking warning.
We’re not prudes—we understand that an encyclopedia is going to have some dongs in it. But biology is one thing, and hardcore penis modification is another. And since the surgery “is often self-performed,” you just know that penis belongs to the guy who wrote the page. “This is something the Internet needs to see!” he said to himself, before awkwardly masturbating to his own article. Sorry, guy, but we don’t. We really, really don’t.
1. Toilet Paper Orientation
There are some debates that will simply never be settled. Theism versus Atheism. Republican versus Democrat. And, of course, hanging toilet paper over the roll versus under it.
What’s that? You don’t care about toilet paper orientation? Well, according to Wikipedia, it’s tearing society apart—the article on the topic is almost 5500 words long. For context, the article about actual toilet paper is only 2100 words. Or how about this: the article on physics, one of our most fundamental academic disciplines, is 4800 words long. Isaac Newton would be rolling in his grave, if such a thing were possible. Although as much as Wikipedia’s writers know about physics, it might as well be.
How do you write 5500 words about toilet paper, you ask? First there are the arguments for both sides, and how they affect everything from your sense of symmetry to your cat. Then you bring in socioeconomic status, political beliefs, gender dynamics, and Jungian archetypes. Throw in the opinions of everyone from Ann Landers to Princess Diana’s butler, elaborate mechanical and behavioral modification solutions, and a freaking mathematical equation, and you’ve pretty much wrapped up the most useless Wikipedia page ever.
Oh, but remember to make 129 citations, and include a bibliography of over 100 references and a dozen recommendations for further reading. Otherwise people might not take it seriously.