Feature

5 boring subjects translated into clickbait headlines

"You NEED to see this hot model (NSFW) of ethnic politics and foreign policy"

We've all become savvy to the tropes and tricks of clickbait headlines, but that doesn't stop us from clicking on them. Can't we harness the power of clickbait to funnel interest toward loftier subjects? As it turns out, the conventions of clickbait can be applied to even the most highbrow topics. Here are five edifying areas that have been given the clickbait treatment.

1. DISSERTATIONS

Think nobody cares about your dissertation? Submit it to the Clickbait Dissertations Tumblr and just watch what happens!

"You NEED to see this hot model (NSFW) of ethnic politics and foreign policy."

(Actual title: Supporting secession or maintaining boundaries: The international consequences of ethnic politics.)

"Meet the bad-ass bards who changed the way you experience the written word."

(Actual title: Anthologizing Modernism: New Verse Anthologies, 1913-53.)

"All of your brain cells have the same DNA, right? Here are 10 reasons why you're so wrong."

(Actual title: Chromosomal aneuploidy in the developing mammalian cortex.)

2. SUPREME COURT BUSINESS

You will literally not be able to stop yourself from clicking when you see what Twitter account @ClickbaitSCOTUS is up to.

3. MUSIC HISTORY

Classical Minnesota Public Radio applied the clickbait formula to a bunch of its stories, and you won't believe what happened next! (You clicked on them, and still felt good about yourself.) Here's a selection:

"When his musicians needed some time off for lovin', this composer wrote a piece that made sure they got it."

"Was this famous Mass of death really meant for a fun family singalong?"

"What did this guy do when he heard Schubert's "Unfinished" symphony? He finished it."

4. HISTORY

The history of the 20th century in clickbait headlines? This xkcd comic made me laugh, until it made me cringe, because I realized it would totally happen this way today.

(1920) "17 things that will be outlawed now that women can vote"

(1957) "12 nip slips potentially visible to Sputnik"

(1968) "This year's assassinations ranked from most to least tragic"

5. LITERATURE

Whoa! Check out what The Millions did to these classic book titles!

"Watch this kid burst into tears when he's refused some more porridge"
(Oliver Twist)

"You thought millennials were bad? Watch these British kids totally nail Chaos Theory"
(Lord of the Flies)

"We thought we could beat on against the current without being borne back ceaselessly into the past. Boy, were we wrong."
(The Great Gatsby)

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