Headline - Unusual Headlines

Unusual Headlines

A number of newspapers use humour, puns, alliteration or other word play devices in their headlines. Equally, the need to keep headlines brief occasionally leads to unintentional double meanings, if not double entendres. For example, if the story is about the president of Iraq trying to acquire weapons, the headline might be IRAQI HEAD SEEKS ARMS, or if some agricultural legislation is defeated in the United States House of Representatives, the title could read FARMER BILL DIES IN HOUSE.

  • WALL ST. LAYS AN EGG – Variety on Black Monday (1929)
  • STICKS NIX HICK PIX – Variety writing that rural moviegoers preferred urban films (1935)
  • DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN – Chicago Tribune reporting the wrong election winner (1948)
  • FORD TO CITY: DROP DEAD – New York Daily News reporting the denial of a federal bailout for bankrupt New York City (1975)
  • HEADLESS BODY IN TOPLESS BAR – New York Post on a local murder (1983)
  • SAM SLEEPS! – New York Post over a front-page picture of mass-murderer David Berkowitz ("Son of Sam") asleep in his jail cell.
  • SICK TRANSIT'S GLORIOUS MONDAY – New York Daily News reporting a state transit bailout (1980)
  • GOTCHA! – The UK Sun on the torpedoing of the Argentine ship Belgrano and sinking of a gunboat during the Falklands War (1982)
  • FREDDIE STARR ATE MY HAMSTER – The UK Sun (1986), claiming that the comedian had eaten a fan's pet hamster in a sandwich. The story was later proven false, but is seen as one of the classic tabloid newspaper headlines.
  • GREAT SATAN SITS DOWN WITH THE AXIS OF EVIL – The Times (UK) on US-Iran talks (2007)
  • SUPER CALEY GO BALLISTIC CELTIC ARE ATROCIOUS – Sun on Inverness Caledonian Thistle beating Celtic in the Scottish Cup

While editor of The New Republic, Michael Kinsley began a contest to find the most boring newspaper headline. According to him, no entry surpassed the one that had inspired him to create the contest: "WORTHWHILE CANADIAN INITIATIVE", over a column by The New York Times' Flora Lewis.

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Famous quotes containing the words headlines and/or unusual:

    There’s a long story, my friend. I never did like the idea of sitting on newspapers. I did it once and all the headlines came off on my white pants. On the level, it actually happened. Nobody bought a paper that day. They just followed me around over town and read the news off the seat of my pants.
    Robert Riskin (1897–1955)

    ... it was not very unusual at Washington for a lady to take the arm of a gentleman, who was neither her husband, her father, nor her brother. This remarkable relaxation of American decorum has been probably introduced by the foreign legations.
    Frances Trollope (1780–1863)