25 Funny Examples of Irony In Real Life
The definition of irony: a situation that is strange or funny because things happen in a way that seems the opposite of what you expected. When it comes to finding examples of irony, life proves stranger (and funnier) than fiction.
What’s ironic about The Bible?iStock/Arrangements-Photography
What’s ironic about Alcoholics Anonymous?iStock/Nishihama
The founder of AA asked for whiskey on his deathbed. (The nurse refused.)
What’s ironic about McDonald’s?iStock/Popartic
In a hilarious example of irony, McDonalds’ employee health page, which is now shut down, once warned against eating McDonald’s burgers and fries. Another fun fact: This is the secret ingredient behind the addictive flavor of McDonald’s fries.
What’s ironic about ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’?iStock/gpointstudio
Every year ABC cuts down A Charlie Brown Christmas—a movie about the over-commercialization of the holidays—to make room for more commercials.
What’s ironic about Charlie Chaplin?iStock/neamov
What’s ironic about the inventor of the stop sign?iStock/baona
“Father of Traffic Safety” William Eno invented the stop sign, crosswalk, traffic circle, one-way street, and taxi stand—but never learned how to drive. The example of irony: He never got the chance to benefit from his own invention.
What’s ironic about the Church of Scientology?iStock/LPETTET
The Cult Awareness Network (CAN), once a leading anti-cult hotline, is now owned by the Church of Scientology.
What’s ironic about Al Capone?iStock/Kondor83
Al Capone’s older brother was a federal Prohibition agent.
What’s ironic about the man who invented basketball?iStock/Linjerry
The only losing basketball coach in University of Kansas history is James Naismith—the man who invented basketball in 1891. This hilarious example of irony proves that just because you thought of the idea doesn’t always mean you’ll be the best at executing it.
What’s ironic about Julius Caesar?iStock/Davyria
The site where Julius Caesar was murdered in 44 BC is now a no-kill animal shelter for homeless cats.
What’s ironic about Alexander Graham Bell?iStock/123ducu
Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, but refused to keep one in his study. He feared it would distract him from his work.
What’s ironic about duct tape?iStock/Terry Wilson
What’s ironic about a hotel made of ice?iStock/leekris
Another funny example of irony, Sweden’s famous Ice Hotel has a smoke detector.
What’s ironic about a man who survived going over Niagara Falls?iStock/malerapaso
The first man to survive going over Niagara Falls in a barrel died after slipping on an orange peel.
What’s ironic about the inventor of Liquid Paper?iStock/mtnangel
She was fired from her secretarial job for failing to white-out a mistake.
What’s ironic about a speech disorder?iStock/nandyphotos
The condition of not being able to pronounce the letter R is called… “rhotacism.” (These are the funniest lines from celebrity commencement speeches.)
What’s ironic about Q-tips?iStock/VVVera
Q-tips, which are bought primarily to clean inside ears, are sold in boxes that expressly warn: “Do not insert inside the ear canal.”
What’s ironic about bullfighting?Dariush M/Shutterstock
Bill Hillman, a bullfighting enthusiast, wrote a book called How to Survive the Bulls of Pamplona, all about how to avoid being gored by bulls. Three weeks after the release of the book, he was gored by a bull.
What’s ironic about spelling bees?Blend Images/Shutterstock
In 2011, the winners of an elementary school spelling bee in Utah received a trophy reading “Viewmont Spellling Bee, 1st Place.” Quite the example of irony—not only that the trophy contained a misspelling, but that it was the word “spelling.”
What’s ironic about The Beatles?AP/REX/Shutterstock
In 2002, a tree was planted in a park in Los Angeles in memory of Beatles guitarist George Harrison. The tree later died after being infested by beetles.
What’s ironic about the McDonald’s jingle?Jeff Blackler/REX/Shutterstock
Before he became a star, Pharrell Williams was fired from McDonald’s three different times. Years later, he would help write and produce the company’s iconic “I’m Lovin’ It” jingle. We bet you never knew these amazing facts about McDonald’s.
What’s ironic about Match.com?bbernard/Shutterstock
Gary Kremen, the founder of Match.com, encouraged everyone he knew to join it, including his girlfriend. She eventually left him for a man she met on Match.com.
What’s ironic about crossword puzzles?Photology1971/Shutterstock
When crossword puzzles debuted in the early twentieth century, the New York Times was very critical of them, calling them “a primitive sort of mental exercise.” In 1942, the Times published its first crossword puzzle, and today, the New York Times crossword is the most famous one in America. Can you solve the world’s first crossword puzzle?
What’s ironic about Alanis Morissette?iStock/evgenyatamanenko
None of the song lyrics in Alanis Morissette’s song “Ironic” are examples of irony. As Morissette herself allegedly said, “the irony of ‘Ironic’ is that it’s not an ironic song at all.“