Need an ONION joke explaining
April 10, 2016 12:09 PM   Subscribe

What is the joke in this THE ONION article?

Seriously, not a big deal, but I don't understand the joke. Perhaps "all women on dating sites are like this!"? I am British and middle-aged and male, for reference.
posted by alasdair to Media & Arts (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Perhaps "all women on dating sites are like this!"?

You got it.
posted by miss_kitty_fantastico at 12:11 PM on April 10, 2016 [28 favorites]

(Not that all, literally, are. But that's what the joke is pointing at, anyway.)
posted by miss_kitty_fantastico at 12:12 PM on April 10, 2016

I took the joke to be that she's describing herself accurately. Not knowing any better, I guess people aren't always completely truthful in their profiles.
posted by humboldt32 at 12:13 PM on April 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

It's joking about cliches on dating sites. It's the "I enjoy long walks on the beach" for the OKCupid set. So I guess you'd have to familiar with jokes about old dating service cliches, and sites like OKCupid that lean a little more geeky.
posted by gehenna_lion at 12:20 PM on April 10, 2016 [19 favorites]

It's kind of a meta-joke. Jokes about cliche dating site descriptions are themselves cliche; "long walks on the beach" is so old that it's a punchline without needing anything else. So this is saying that stereotypical geeky stuff -- watching Firefly and Battlestar Galactica, biking, karaoke -- are now themselves cliche enough to poke fun at. What really clinches it at the end is that she likes dogs, which is right out of the original cliche dating joke repertoire.
posted by miyabo at 12:28 PM on April 10, 2016 [3 favorites]

The male equivalent would be: I'm a laid back guy who loves to have fun. Always looking for the next adventure. I'm a bit of a nerd (sci fi is great esp LOTR) but I can also make you laugh! And I love anything sports related!

basically it's when people put things in their profile that could apply to almost anyone and it gives you very little sense of who they actually are as a person
posted by mossicle at 12:29 PM on April 10, 2016 [11 favorites]

None of the above comments are fully explaining the joke.

Yes, everything in the article is often found in dating profiles.

But the above comments are missing that part of the joke is that this is being reported as news.

And why is that? Because women write these kinds of statements as if they were novel, original, remarkable, outstanding.

Maybe men do that just as much or more! I'm just not talking about men right now. I'm only talking about women because the article is about a woman and I only look at women's profiles.

So, for a newspaper to report on these facts implies that they're striking, when they're actually mundane, cliche, unremarkable. And often, though not always, they're pretty uninformative. (One the article left out is: "I like all kinds of music" — that's meant to sound fun and open-minded, but instead it tells you nothing about the person.) The decision to publish this information in a newspaper parallels the woman's overestimation of how interesting her profile text is.

See, in real life, people wouldn't want to read about those things in a normal newspaper. And in real life, these kinds of vapid, contrived cliches tend to get glossed over ... and then we'll hear complaints about how everyone just looks at the photos. Perhaps that's because the text is so repetitious. ("I'm equally comfortable going out or staying at home!" — notice how no one ever uses the phrase "equally comfortable" in conversation but they always resort to it when filling out dating profiles.)

By the way, everything mentioned in the comment that starts "The male equivalent would be..." is also common in women's profiles (yes, including sports).
posted by John Cohen at 1:31 PM on April 10, 2016 [22 favorites]

She's original and quirky, just like everyone else.
posted by Ideefixe at 1:51 PM on April 10, 2016 [7 favorites]

'If you like Piña Coladas, getting caught in the rain
If you're not into yoga, if you have half a brain
If you like making love at midnight in the dunes on the cape
I'm the love that you've looked for write to me and escape'

posted by HuronBob at 1:56 PM on April 10, 2016 [6 favorites]

Also, she hasn't included anything that would _differentiate_ her from others on the dating site; so the information is not very useful.
posted by amtho at 2:06 PM on April 10, 2016

John Cohen: "But the above comments are missing that part of the joke is that this is being reported as news. "

Eh. This would apply to every single Onion story, then.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 2:25 PM on April 10, 2016 [28 favorites]

To be honest that article is much-less-funny than most Onion articles, so part of the problem is that you're probably wondering if your cultural bias is why it doesn't feel that funny to you- when the actual reason is simply because.... it's not that funny, period.

For comparison, here's a different Onion spoof article about dating that I think is much funnier- Man Confident Perfect Dating App Waiting For Him Out There Somewhere.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 3:59 PM on April 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

It's just the classic Onion bathos gag where generic stuff is reported as news. It's not a great example of the style.

"I think I'll have cornflakes for breakfast", said area man James Wilbur, 35. "No actually I'll have toast".

Witnesses report that Mr Wilbur ate toast.
posted by Sebmojo at 7:32 PM on April 10, 2016 [5 favorites]

The joke is in the vein of "Person on dating site enjoys long walks on the beach."
posted by deathpanels at 7:54 PM on April 10, 2016

Thanks everyone! That clears it up. I'm too old to have done Internet dating, so I'm not familiar with the original being lampooned, hence my confusion.
posted by alasdair at 5:14 AM on May 11, 2016

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