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4 Things You Can Learn From the Dumbest WikiHow Articles

The popular how-to website can be a lifesaver—except for when it doles out bizarre, hyper-specific advice no one really needs. These silly step-by-steps are more entertaining than instructive.

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The art of arrogance

“How to Be Cocky” is every wannabe narcissist’s dream, with helpful tips for showcasing your best features (“If you’ve got great, muscly arms, wear short sleeves to have the ladies swooning”) and gesturing boldly (“If someone asks you which way is North, instead of feebly pointing with a finger held close to your body, extend your entire arm.”) Would you expect anything less from an article that encourages you to “take it for granted that everyone loves you”?

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A great escape

With “How to Run Away From Home,” fleeing your despotic parents has never been easier. The article first cautions against this tactic, advising a pro-con list to evaluate whether running away is really the best decision. Once you’ve gathered up the resolve, though, the author’s tips flow freely—most notably, “You’ll probably begin to need money at some point, so learn how to panhandle,” and “Leave a note so your parents know you weren’t kidnapped. Don’t give away too much information, though!”

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New places to alienate strangers

The elevator, one of those few sanctified spaces in which you’re unlikely to be hassled or spoken to, is no longer safe. “How to Annoy People in Elevators” encourages readers to play elevator attendant, talk to an invisible friend, passionately make out with a partner, or “wear a shirt with the word ‘LIFE’ written on it and hand people lemons.” The real fun begins when the elevator stalls between floors.

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The illusion of immortality

For the person with gullible friends, there’s “How to Make People Think You’re Immortal.” In what appears to be an incredibly high-effort prank, this article offers simple suggestions—dressing in period fashions, acting mysterious, and cultivating a slight accent—as well as highly demanding ones, such as developing “a profound fascination with art and architecture from across all different ages” and learning ancient languages. Hats off to anyone willing to commit to this level of deceit.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest