Web Blooper of the Month

Funny Bloopers

This month we suspend our usual serious analysis of common web design bloopers to look at some website designs that are just plain funny. Then, in September and October, the Blooper of the Month will be on vacation. In November, the Blooper of the Month may return, or it may be replaced by a new feature.


The Association of Computing Machinery's website, acm.org, displays some messages that are pretty funny, although they were not intended to be. The first message, displayed by ACM's literature portal, was sent to me by Kristi Olson. Normally, when a site-user searches for a publication, the site finds it and displays it (see below).

ACM example of no Web Blooper

Under certain (unknown) situations, the site finds a publication but fails to find the publication's XML-encoded content listings. When this happens, the site displays a message "no children found", which may make the user wonder whose children it's talking about.

ACM example of Web Blooper

OK, maybe that's not so hilarious. But the ACM website has more than one funny blooper. Jim Miller sent me a dialog box that popped up when he left a required field blank on ACM's interest-profile form (see below): "Please choose your gender." Until that point, he didn't realize he was free to choose that. ACM example of Web Blooper


One of the funniest bloopers we've seen is at the website of Greyhound Bus Lines. This is a blooper we already cited three years ago in the Web Bloopers book, but since it's still on Greyhound's site, it's fair game for another dishonorable mention.

The online ticket-purchase function, like many travel ticket websites, asks customers to specify their starting city and destination city. Let's say you go to Greyhound.com and type-in that you wish to travel from Torrance, California to Rodeo, California (see below). Greyhound has no bus stations in those towns, so it substitutes the closest towns that have stations.

Greyhound example of Web Blooper

The problem is, "closest" means alphabetically. Toronto (Ontario province, Canada) is substituted for Torrance, and Roanoke, Virginia is substituted for Rodeo (see below). Of course, Toronto is nowhere near Torrance, and Roanoke is about 3000 miles from Rodeo.

Greyhound example of Web Blooper

I'm not sure what is funnier: the substitutions the site makes, or the idea that someone at Greyhound thinks this is useful.

Do you know of any funny web bloopers? If so, please use our website's contact email address to send us the URL.