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Straight talk, from straight faces UnNews Friday, December 1, 2023, 05:09:59 (UTC)

UnNews Style Guide UnNews Logo Potato.png
UnNews Logo Potato.png

UnNews is satire: It takes true stories and makes them funny. Or you may write an article that is partially or completely made up. In this case, the trick is to make it appear to be news.

This article is one of Uncyclopedia's "Ignorable policies." We are looking for funny articles, not for compliance with rules; and the purpose of this article is to help you write some, not to provide section and verse with which to delete your work and ban you. Gifted use of the English language can make even a concept pulled from a bodily orifice fun to read; and violating any of these rules, for a deliberate comic effect, can be successful. In which case: What rule book?

Edit an existing article[edit]

This is a wiki, which means that any user is entitled to edit articles. With rare exceptions, we eagerly hope you will correct mistakes wherever you find them. However, do not edit an existing article until you understand why it was written. It is not enough that your contributions be funny! They must support the intended comedy effect of the original article.


In an UnNews article that claims that politicians of one party are playing a manipulative trick — but politicians of the other party are falling for it — your contribution that this or that politician is a space alien will not be welcome. It might be a good joke, but it will detract from the theme of the article.

Rather than pull a funny article in a different humor direction, write your own UnNews article (see below). As elsewhere in Uncyclopedia, we welcome multiple UnNews articles on the same news, even articles with contradictory facts. We are not creating an alternate universe with a "canon" that all writers must follow consistently.

When golfer Tiger Woods gave a public apology for adultery, one author wrote an UnNews based on the mistaken impression that the golfer was Tigger from Winnie the Pooh. Another author wrote an UnNews to suggest that the apology was insincere. You can't pull this in both directions in the same news story, and multiple articles was the solution.

Create a new article[edit]

New articles based on real news[edit]

Check a news web site or a newspaper. Find the most interesting article and rewrite it in a humorous fashion. Cite your sources, as explained below. (You can find the news on radio or TV, but it's harder to cite your sources.)

How do you rewrite the news to be funny? There are hundreds of ways; here are a few:

  • Mash together two news events. The legislature is deadlocked on the budget? A gorilla escaped from the zoo? Geez — maybe there's a connection!
  • Extend real-world events to absurdity. One article was based on a basketball team owner's actual promise to increase attendance, and "reported" some absurd promotions that resulted.
  • Illustrate hypocrisy. Did a public figure make a promise? Perhaps he doesn't mean it. Perhaps he is breaking his promise as he speaks. Perhaps he would obviously benefit if the opposite happens.
  • Politics makes strange bedfellows, which means there are often alliances of convenience in which people support things they don't really believe in. Again, you can have some fun showing their lukewarm commitment to their alliance, or imagine how it is breaking into pieces in the cloakroom.
  • When something completely obvious and predictable happens, you can portray public figures as incredulous.

Of course, on your way in the door you read Uncyclopedia's guide about humor in general. Didn't you?

New articles not based on real news[edit]

You are free to make up your own news, but effective humor requires that your result look like real news. "Alien hot dogs go on rampage and start eating people!" is not a good title or subject for an article. It may be creative, but it's far from believable or funny.

Ah, but what if a government issued health regulations for hot dogs? Shouldn't UnNews have an article about the hot dogs' reaction? The difference between random crap and a good article is this link to reality. A totally random article is not as funny as it could be. Fans of UnNews are fans of the news, and they follow current events.

  • If you quote a public figure, he should be saying something he says all the time, or that he would be likely to say.
  • You are free to create your own quotes, but it's especially funny if you can use an exact quote in a situation where it would be perverse.
  • You are free to create your own people and put words in their mouth, but it should illustrate something, such as a public misconception.
UnNews Logo Potato.png
This article features first-hand journalism by an UnNews correspondent.

It is hard to make a good article on made-up news. There is a place for articles with non sequitur titles, meanderings in the style of Monty Python, and writing nonsense in a serious tone as though it were reality. The link to reality ensures that the result relates to the reader for some reason other than that it occurred to your glorious, gifted mind.

When writing a made-up article, keep the Sources section. Delete the skeleton templates we provide for you to list your sources. In their place, type {{Original}} to produce a legend (above right) declaring the article to be first-hand journalism. (In the business, this is known as putting a shine on a sneaker.)

UnNews editorials[edit]


Proceed with extreme caution! We sincerely do not want to know your political opinion, nor to read your own editorial, no matter how clever. UnNews residents are all over the political map, and we work together better when we keep our more intractable views to ourselves. We will not have UnNews used as a tool of political or religious persuasion. Also, you may be interested in writing an UnColumn instead, which has many similar opinion-related bobbins, but must be (or appear to be) serial.

That said, UnNews, as elsewhere in Uncyclopedia, tolerates articles written from points of view other than the neutral but befuddled reporter. It is not automatic that readers will understand the alternate-point-of-view theme, and your editorial should make very clear in whose voice you are writing. Make it clear that your article is an editorial and not a news article by doing three things:

  • Start the article with the {{UnNews Editorial}} template instead of the {{News}} template.
  • Follow it with the {{ColumnistInfo}} template, which is a consistent way to provide the identity, and thumbnail photo, of the person in whose name you are writing.
  • Use the {{Title}} template to change the page heading to begin with UnNews Editorial:
  • Use the {{Original}} template, illustrated above, as you would for a made-up news story.

We understand that you may bring your own biases to the job, both in what you say and in what you choose to write an article about. The guy you voted for seems less apt for ridicule than his opponent. Nevertheless, take care. Writing an editorial in the voice of a famous politician?

  • You may use his quotes or positions to illustrate inconsistencies, or even to mock his mannerisms.
  • You should not use the article either to espouse or to attack his point of view.
  • You should not use his voice as a cover to state your own opinions.

UnNews columns[edit]


A column is also editorial rather than factual, but a column is written as part of a plan to produce several pieces with the same set of facts or alternate reality. (Don't use the "column" format merely to develop a one-person inside joke.)

Comparable to editorials, make it clear that your article is a column by doing three things:

  • Start the article with the {{UnNews Column}} template instead of the {{News}} template.
  • Follow it with the {{ColumnistInfo}} template, which is a consistent way to provide the identity, and thumbnail photo, of the person in whose name you are writing.
  • Use the {{Title}} template to change the page heading to begin with UnNews Column:
  • Use the {{Original}} template, illustrated above, as you would for a made-up news story.

Other sources for ideas for articles[edit]

  • A past UnNews article might need to be brought up to date. Don't tell the exact same story, but you might make the same funny point using more recent events.
  • On the UnNews main page, there is a section Stories being reviewed by Minitrue. These are headlines some other user thought would be funny. That user didn't write a story but left the headline there in case you want to do the work. What a guy.

General rules for choice of article[edit]

  1. Don't write an article that reflects hatred for any race, sex, or group of people. This violates Uncyclopedia policies. Gentle ridicule of the behavior of a group is not necessarily hateful — but any such talk should clearly contribute to the humor, and should not itself be the subject or the joke of an article.
  2. Don't write an article that is politically biased, favors one side, or pursues a personal agenda. If you want to write about politics, choose a situation in which all sides are acting equally foolish. (This happens almost all the time.) Writing an article belittling a particular politician or party invites others to write articles to even the score, and the result is neither funny nor fun.
  3. Don't write hatchet jobs or wild accusations about celebrities or politicians. Stick to ridiculing their well-known traits.
  4. Write articles with broad appeal. UnNews articles based on real news should be based on world or national news, or at least on news of well-known cities. If there are ridiculous shenanigans on the Kalamazoo City Council, most readers won't be able to appreciate your rendition of them unless you describe them in a way that is funny in its own right.

These rules are still subordinate to the fact that this entire Guide is an ignorable policy. The Reverend asserts that an anti-Semitic rant in the name of a white supremacist, or a rant against Obama from Glenn Beck — or even Miley Cyrus — could be pulled off skillfully and result in successful humor. On the other hand, as one of your first handful of UnNews stories, it's unwise to pick such a challenge with which to introduce yourself to us. Before pushing the established boundaries so early in your career, perhaps you might run it by someone in charge.

If you're unsure about whether an article would violate these guidelines, you can contact other editors, by bringing up the History of a well-written article and clicking on Talk for its author. Far from viewing it as an imposition, most authors are honored by a request for their opinion. Or, just abandon the idea and write about something else.


UnNews Senior Editor Della Redacción of Chihuahua, Mexico parlayed her pathbreaking news articles here into a full-length book, or "Escritura" (pictured).

Unless you are writing an UnNews editorial, the most important rule is to keep yourself out of the article. We all know that you have fantasized about being a reporter, and the first thing you would say is, "Hey, everyone! Look at me! I'm reporting the news!" Not good.

Many articles begin by stating, "UnNews has learned...." Rip it out! The fact that something has happened to UnNews is not the news! Just jump in to the story — leave yourself out. This is an important part of making your article look like a real news story. Likewise, what the UnNews reporter believes, or thinks will happen next, detracts from the believability of an article.

Some people tend to interpret the facts before they state the facts. This too is bad news reporting. Don't write, "In a shocking development today...." Report the news (as you see — or misinterpret — it). The job of deciding whether the news is shocking belongs to your reader, although you may certainly invent quotes from people who were shocked.

Inside jokes and memes are rarely permissible. Names of private citizens (such as your friends) should never be included in an article.

We don't mind swear words if they enhance the article, and we mean enhance it for everyone, not the kids at your pre-school. As with ridiculing the behavior of groups of people, your use of obscenity should have a point in making the article funny. If you are ridiculing a potty-mouthed celebrity or politician, obscenity contributes to realism. But euphemisms (such as bleeping or fricking or @#$%^&) may make the point equally well. As with deliberate mistakes, including a <!-- comment --> in your article informs future, red-faced editors why you started dropping the f-bombs.

Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?[edit]

A tenet of conventional journalism is to be sure to answer these six questions. You are setting out to write a funny story — but it wants to look like a news article, and so, it should still answer them.


Again to make your story superficially resemble a news article: Unless you have some other, deliberate scheme, such as describing a sequence of events in the order in which they occurred, follow the rule that journalists follow:

  • The first paragraph (the lead) should simply summarize what happened, with few details. The summary should show the reader why the article is of interest — and, at UnNews, should hint why it's going to be funny to read. The lead will appear on the UnNews main page for a short time.
  • The next paragraph should give the most important details. Subsequent paragraphs should give less and less important details, and late in the story, you can provide supplementary information, quotes, and background.
  • News stories do not finish with a moral, happy hopes for the future, or the UnNews reporter's reaction, interpretation, or whether his pants are soiled. You are writing news, not a script for a pep rally and not a fairy tale!


It's becoming more common in news reporting to sprinkle in tweets as an alternative to quotations. The {{Tweet}} template places a made-up Twitter-ish tweet in the body of your story. Click on that link for instructions on its use. The tweet is designed as a caricature of a person, not as a way to actually jump to Twitter and read in his own words what a dope he is.


We don't have 'em. All UnNews articles and editorials are unsigned; they carry neither Uncyclopedia user names nor made-up names of Uncyclopedia "reporters." Editorials are sometimes in the voice of a well-known person, and they make clear who is supposedly doing the talking. (UnNews Audio news-readers, however, do state their names, because it better resembles a real radio newscast.)

UnNews articles have the usual change history — which you can view by clicking the history tab at the top of the page — and it will be clear who contributed what.


More so than Uncyclopedia in general, UnNews has a few recommended rules of formatting. Our articles are all in the same place and we look more like a real news source if our news stories have a similar appearance.


The title should have no excess words or details — just enough to uniquely identify the story. If possible, it should fit on a single line in the daily list of stories on the UnNews front page.

The title of your article starts with a capital letter, but otherwise uses all lower case except where grammar dictates the use of capitals (such as names and other proper nouns). Some newspapers capitalize nearly every word; we don't.


All UnNews articles should start with a two-part location in which the event took place. If the second part is a state of the U.S. or a province of Canada, you need not give the country name as a third part. (Adding more parts until you specify which universe the news occurred in, is sometimes seen, but is trite.) The first part of the two-part location is capitalized, and both parts are in boldface. Below is an example:

CHERNOBYL, Ukraine -- Ten-legged reindeer were spotted by touring nuclear scientists today after...

Between the location and the start of the story, type a space, a double dash (--), and another space. Other characters, such as en-dash ("–"), may look the same to you, but our Podcast software does not like them.



A picture really isn't worth 1,000 words. It's closer to somewhere around 357 words.

At least one picture should be in your article. Most pictures should range from 180-300px in size. Additionally, if your picture is longer than your article, lengthen your article, unless either the picture or your article is really funny.

It's convenient to look for a picture already on Uncyclopedia as opposed to uploading a completely new one. (We call this "recycling.") If you must upload a new picture, make sure that it is relevant to your article and helps the article visually. It helps if the picture is inherently funny, and if you write a caption for it that is funny.


The Chief has certain additional preferences for use of boldfacing, italics, and links in UnNews stories.

Citations of your sources[edit]

The template for a new article provides a place for you to describe two sources. This doesn't mean that you have to provide two, or even one.

When your UnNews story is a parody of one or more real news reports, citations help a reader enjoy your joke, because they tell the reader what you are making fun of. The reader can click on the link to see what really happened. Sometimes the citation alone shows what the joke is about. Don't crack wise with the citation, such as toying with the title. Doing so makes it harder for the reader to compare your joke to reality to understand the joke.

Edit each skeleton {{Source}} template to describe an actual Web page with the news story:

url= Copy and paste the URL (web address) of the real news here
title= Put the article's title here
author= Put the article's author(s) here
pub= State here the article's publisher (CNN, MSN, BBC, etc.)
date= State the date the article was published

If you don't have two citations, delete the second {{Source}} template entirely. If you have more than two, copy a {{Source}} template before filling in the fields.

Omit citations in made-up news

When your UnNews story is not a parody of a real news story, don't make up citations. Instead, delete both {{Source}} templates and use the {{Original}} template, as discussed above.

Citations of old UnNews
Go to the Front Page
UnNews Senior Editors are currently inserting right-wing bias into this related article:

More Toyota incidents despite engineering fix

We understand you want to hump your previous UnNews stories, but don't list them in the Sources section. Instead, use the {{Old news}} template. Follow Old news with a pipe and then the title of the previous UnNews article (without the UnNews: prefix). This will produce a graphic like the one shown at right. Put the template halfway up in the story so that the graphic will break up the text.

Sources not to use

Typical UnNews stories are based on real news from established news media. Do not use news from, and do not list as a source, user-written news or news wikis, such as Wikinews or InstantNews. Although you may steal news and especially quotations, don't steal jokes or ideas from other comedy web sites such as The Onion.


UnNews articles contain many links to Uncyclopedia articles. Like Uncyclopedia articles, only code a word as a link on its first use. If you have written an article with few words that correspond to Uncyclopedia articles, pick some important words or phrases and use a two-part link (with pipe) to direct them to any suitable Uncyclopedia article. Perhaps even an unsuitable one. (See also red links, below.)


The page name of your UnNews article is its headline. It is unlikely that someone who might be amused by your article will type the exact headline, and indeed it is unfair to ask the reader to do so. Therefore, UnNews automatically generates lots of lists of recent articles.

The Front Page contains a complete Trending Now list of every recent UnNews. Simply creating an UnNews article puts it in this list. This is why we are so insistent that a new UnNews either be in final, polished form, or clearly on its way there.

It will help interested persons find your article, even after the passage of time makes it fall off the Trending Now list, if you will type categories at the end. At the least, the article should use a category to indicate what continent, nation, or U.S. state is the setting, such as:

Categories can also indicate the general field of interest, such as:

The template {{UnNewsCategories}} contains UnNews "departments." Using one of these categories makes your UnNews appear in the corresponding catalog of articles. The reader can click one of the departments and see all recent UnNews articles that pertain to that area of interest, such as UnNews:Crime. Similarly, UnNews:Locations lets readers find UnNews articles about specific parts of the world — but only if you add those categories to your article.

Occasionally, we do a Second Front Page, such as UnNews:Brexit for the 2016 vote in the UK to leave the European Union. Including Category:Brexit in your UnNews makes it appear automatically in the list of recent articles on the corresponding Second Front Page.

Quality assurance[edit]

Don't file a story until it's complete[edit]

When you press Save page, your story's headline is immediately visible on the Front Page. Don't do this until your story is done. Don't contribute a rough draft. If the story is incomplete, work on it in your own userspace; then use the move tab to change its name, simply replacing User:yourname/ with UnNews: at the start of the headline.

(If the draft is days old, then instead of using move, create a new article and copy the text of your draft into it. This is because the list of Recent News on the Front Page is sorted by creation date, and you want your story to be at the top of the list.)

Don't dump an article into the UnNews: space that is tagged with {{WIP}} ("Work In Progress"), ask for a Pee Review, or nominate yourself for Featured Article, as a way to protect your story from deletion. It is easy to get help with your story before you file it in UnNews.

Please minimize the number of revisions after you file a story in UnNews. During an edit, you can always click on the Preview button to see how your article will look without completing your edit. Avoiding numerous revisions in the public change history is a recommendation throughout Uncyclopedia.


Leaving typos and grammatical errors in a "finished" story means we have to fix them, especially if UnNews Audio broadcasts your story. It's easy to have your computer spell-check your story. The Firefox browser has a spell-checker built in. IE and other browsers can add this feature using an add-on.

Copy text from an edit box (click to enlarge).

To submit your story to a spell-checker outside your browser:

  • While editing your article, make a local copy of the entire text.
    • On Windows, Ctrl-A selects the entire text, and Ctrl-C copies it.
    • Copy, don't "cut," which removes the text from the original document.
    • Copy from an edit box (as shown at right). If you copy from the finished article or a preview, the formatting characters you use to cause boldfacing, italics, section headings, and links are not copied. If you pasted the spell-checked result back into Uncyclopedia, your formatting would be lost.
  • Paste that text into an online spell-checker, or into a word processor such as Microsoft Word that has spell-checking.
  • Correct any misspelled words, either by further editing the article on Uncyclopedia, or by editing the local copy and then copying and pasting it back into the Uncyclopedia edit box, replacing the old text.

An article passed by an automatic spell-checker is not necessarily correct. A spell-checker verifies that your words are words, not that they are the right words, and usually can't catch other writing errors. Spell-checking doesn't relieve you of the job of proofreading your article. You can also call on other Uncyclopedians for proofreading help.

Red links[edit]

Red links mean you have pointed the reader to an Uncyclopedia article that doesn't exist. With few exceptions, a finished UnNews article should have no red links. Whenever you use double-brackets to specify a link, it should be to an Uncyclopedia article that exists. Here are three ways to determine whether an article exists for you to link to:

  • Open a new browser window and search Uncyclopedia for the word you want to turn into a link.
  • You can set your User Preferences so that, any time you type [[ followed by text, a pop-up window suggests the names of articles starting with that text.
  • When you preview your article, there should be no red in it. If you see red, continue editing rather than saving it. Otherwise, you will make us see red.

Deliberate mistakes[edit]

Although we welcome anyone to correct an UnNews story, first be sure you understand the article so you don't undo a deliberate mistake:

  • Check at the bottom of the article to see if it is in Category:Articles containing intentional misspellings or grammatical errors. It may be that a good writer violated the rules of English or of UnNews Style for comedic effect, or that a bad writer gave Uncyclopedians a laugh and they want to preserve the article in its awfulness.
  • Red links might be intentional: (1) The author may know that the linked article doesn't exist, and may be using a red link as a sort of request for someone to create it; (2) the author may be using numerous red-links to illustrate something; or (3) as above, numerous red-links may be signs of an awful article that people have decided to preserve.

If your errors or style violations are deliberate, insert <!-- editorial comments --> into the code to clarify your intentions to future editors.

Epic fails[edit]

Some excellent comics tell jokes that are duds, and Uncyclopedia's best writers sometimes write articles that just aren't funny to anyone else. Anyone can repair or improve a story, and UnNews editors sometimes remove them for rework (see the Letter from the Chief). Don't take it personally, and deal with everyone in good faith to produce a high-quality article.

See also[edit]