Even More Clickbait Headlines... Ruined!

Facebook may be trying to block clickbait—teaser headlines whose writers will do anything to make you click. But it’s not working. Clickbait still infests Facebook. And the rest of the Web, too.

I hate these tacky and deceptive headlines, so I take tremendous pleasure in offering my sixth installment of Clickbait Spoilers. If a headline says, “You won’t believe what happens next,” I’m going to darned well tell you, ruining the mystery, and saving you time.

Clickbait: The Weirdly Hydrating Thing You Should Drink After a Workout


Clickbait: The Crowd Was Being Disrespectful, So This Soldier Did This To Put Them In Their Place

In this video, shot at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, tourists are talking and laughing. So the soldier on duty asks them to be quiet.


Clickbait: What Ira Glass Explains In 1-Minute Will Change Your Life Forever. Seriously.

OK, first of all, what’s with the random hyphen in that headline? Could you not pay 1-dollar to 1-proofreader to make sure you don’t make stupid-mistakes like this?

Second problem: The video is actually 2 minutes long, not 1-minute.

It takes NPR radio host Ira Glass that long to say, in essence, “You’re not very good at things when you first start out, but keep at it.”

Don’t know about you, but my life is so far completely unchanged. Seriously.

Clickbait: The One Basic Thing Men Don’t Understand About Women

That women are allowed to say no to sex.

Clickbait: This Woman Inhales A Balloon With An Unexpected End Result

Actually, she doesn’t inhale a balloon, and the “end result” isn’t unexpected in the least.

This is a stop-motion, time-lapse video of a pregnant woman, shot over 9 months. She holds a balloon to her mouth in each frame to make it seem like the air is inflating her belly.


(Next time, hubby, hold your phone horizontally, so we don’t get those huge letterbox bars and a tiny image in the middle.)

Clickbait: There was an opening in the hillside, what was created inside took their breath away!

OK, first of all, didn’t we learn about run-on sentences in fifth grade? And passive voice? And who is “they”?

Anyway, this turns out to be a CBS News story about a man who’s spent 25 years carving really cool cave rooms underground in New Mexico. Fascinating, if you can get past the extreme sing-song narration.


Clickbait: Bullies Picked On Him Everyday, Until He Started Doing One Simple Thing To Turn It Around

He held the door open for arriving students, saying “Good morning.”


Clickbait: A Strange Dog Kept Wandering Into Her Yard. Then She Found This Note Attached

“He lives in a home with 6 children, 2 under the age of 3 and he’s trying to catch up on his sleep. Can I come with him tomorrow?”

Clickbait: What This Woman Did At A Gas Station Was Caught On Security Cameras. And It’s Crazy.

A hilarious video, if it’s real. A woman pulls up at the gas station with the wrong side of the car facing the pump—and keeps circling and stopping and trying again, constantly failing to figure out how to reverse her car’s orientation.


If you want to see it, you may as well watch the YouTube original, where it’s had 14 million views.

Clickbait: A Husband Divorced His Wife After Looking Closer At This Photo He Took Of Her

The wife’s lover is supposedly hiding under the bed. (If he’s really hiding from the husband, why would he press his face up to the opening?)


Features an “Update”—a link to a Snopes article debunking the whole thing as a decade-old hoax.

So why post it at all?

Clickbait: This Might Actually Be The Coolest Thing I’ve Ever Seen In My Life. I’ve Got To Get This!

It’s a spring-powered “shotgun” that fires table salt to kill flies. The video shows repeated slow-mo closeups of house flies getting killed, if that’s your thing.


Clickbait: Today I Learned Something about My Boyfriend That No Girl Should Ever Have to Discover

“Mark is actually just a couple of old hot dogs inside of a very tiny, mohair sweater.”

Turns out to be a parody of a clickbait article. But if a parody uses a clickbait headline to suck you in, is it really any better than an actual clickbait article?

Wait a minute, what does that mean about this story you’re reading now?

You can email David Pogue here.