The Onion

After the U.S. and Iran reached their monumental nuclear deal, the question shifted to how our allies in Israel would react. The Onion, the original satirical news website, ran with a brief story about the U.S. sending a batch of missiles to Israel, so that the Iran deal would go over better with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It was very funny!


And then it actually happened.

Well, basically. Less than 24 hours after the spoof story was published, the Israeli paper Haaretz reported that Netanyahu had not yet responded to an American offer of more military aid (which might presumably include some missiles). It didn't take long for Haaretz and other outlets to notice and start claiming that The Onion broke the news.

Of course, The Onion doesn't actually break news. Sometimes our reality and the universe of The Onion happen to intersect. This is just the latest example of that.


Perhaps surprisingly, this happens a lot, even outside of daydreams about what Joe Biden does every day. In fact, there's a subreddit dedicated to news stories that The Onion has predicted.

Here are 10 other times that humanity has failed a little bit and allowed life to imitate art.

1. In 2008: "Miley Cyrus will be drained of entertainment value by 2013."

In one of their standard stories about fake scientific research, The Onion video warned that Cyrus would reach "too wild" levels and burn out due to over-saturation. In 2013, Miley kicked off a new round of pearl-clutching by dancing with a man in his 30s.


2. 2011: "Athlete Overcomes Rape"

Produced as part of the shortly lived Onion Sports Dome on Comedy Central, this video spoofed the victim-blaming tactics news media frequently rolls out while covering sexual assault perpetuated by young people. The trouble is that two years later, CNN pretty much copied this formula while covering the verdict of the Steubenville, Oh. rape trial, calling the defendants "very good students" with "promising futures."


3. 2013: " Announces Plans To Develop Original Content"

In 2013, Amazon's Prime streaming service was still pretty new, and it was only logical for The Onion to do one of its favorite things: fake stories about brands doing something weird. Naturally, Amazon "competitor" Overstock.dom diving into the streaming video game made for a funny story. In 2015, Overstock announced plans to sell on-demand content and begin developing original programing. “We already have the traffic,” said CEO Patrick M. Byrne. “We’re looking for a bigger and bigger share of their wallet.”


4. 2013: "New Wearable Computer Also Sucks Your Dick"

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A satirical news video quickly becomes a real news story because of the Oculus Rift and a "sex simulator" add-on. Is there anything that thing can't do?


5. 2013: Vatican Quickly Performs Damage Control On Pope's Tolerant Remarks

Buda Mendes

Pope Francis has become a popular figure on the internet because he has been speaking his mind, but apparently, this happens more often than even The Onion knows. "Always keep in mind the audience and context of Pope Francis' homilies,"Rev. Thomas Rosica, Vatican media relations, cautioned. "His words are not spoken in the context of a theological faculty or academy nor in interreligious dialogue or debate. He speaks in the context of Mass."


6. 2002: "RIAA Sues Radio Stations For Giving Away Free Music"

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Somehow, someway, this one came true in less than six years. The music recording industry isn't doing great.


7. 1999: "I Don't Even Remember Writing The Tommyknockers"

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The Onion's secret weapon is probably the editorials. The paper has a cast of characters who serve as columnists, but the writers really bring their A-game when penning as celebrities.


Case in point, this old chestnut where novelist Stephen King says he doesn't remember writing The Tommyknockers. "After reading the plot synopsis, I sort of remembered it, but, then again, maybe it just sounded like something else I wrote. After your 50 or 60th one, it's all kind of a blur."

Sadly, King admitted in his 2000 memoir/instruction manual On Writing, that he "barely" remembers writing Cujo because of his substance abuse issues at the time—"a case of sixteen-ounce tall-boys a night" habit. He called "the idea that creative endeavor and mind-altering substances are entwined..a myth." He expressed a lot of sadness about this: "I wish I could remember enjoying the good parts as I put them down on the page."

8. 2013: "Nation's Math Teachers Introduce 27 New Trig Functions"

Blondinrikard Fröberg/Flickr


This one is fun no matter your opinions on math. It was was nice enough to include a ridiculous sub-head as well: "All Graduatiing Students Must Master Gamsin, Negtan, Cosvnx, 24 Others."

Most trigonometry classes stress six functions and that's enough, really. However, The Onion accidentally stumbled onto the truth in this respect, because as Scientific American pointed out, there are a few extra trig functions that most people never learn about that may cause your brain to turn into goop.

9. 2000: "Area Man Consults Internet Whenever Possible


The Onion: besting William Gibson at predicting a hellish future for decades now.

10. 2001: "Bush: 'Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over'"

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Fake news:  New presidency will bring war, recession, an oil spill, and more.

Real life: yes.

Seriously, The Onion might be from the future.

Head over to r/theonionwasright for more hilarious coincidences.

David Matthews operates the Wayback Machine on—hop on. Got a tip? Email him: