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 There's a magazine for everything.

A character subscribes to a weirdly specific fandom magazine or trade publication you would never expect to have an audience, or that speaks volumes about his character. This either represents his interest in a very niche hobby, or shows that a perfectly ordinary part of life is Serious Business to him. If it's a trade publication, he probably belongs to a Weird Trade Union.

Named after The Wiki Rule, its online equivalent. Related to Collector of the Strange and Pastimes Prove Personality. If a Manly Man subscribes to Cross-stitch Quarterly, it's Real Men Wear Pink, and if a Nightmare Fetishist has managed to find a publication devoted to Cross-stitch Bondage Babes, it's Rule 34.

See also Severely Specialized Store.

Examples of The Magazine Rule include:


  • Obscure Sports Quarterly in Dodgeball.
  • In Wallace and Gromit, Wallace is a devotee of many cheese connoisseur mags.
    • The local priest has a subscription to a magazine about nun wrestling.
  • Airplane!!. A nun is shown reading the Real Life magazine Boys' Life, while a boy is reading a copy of Nuns' Life.
  • The independent film Never Been Thawed has many scenes that prominently feature fake magazines like Christian Entrepreneur and Apathy.


  • Going Postal has various publications for pin collectors (or "pin heads" as they call themselves). Then, they invented stamps...
  • In Harry Potter, there is Which Broom?; although given the popularity of quidditch in the wizarding world, this is probably not so obscure.
  • In The Areas of My Expertise, John Hodgman provides a list of (mostly) fake periodicals where writers of short stories can submit their work for a variety of increasingly esoteric literary genres.

 "If you are a writer of Alternate History, why not try the New Amsterdamer? Or how about the Pacific Monthly?"

Live Action TV

  • On seperate occations David Letterman has presented segments showing both phony and real life examples on Late Night/Late Show.
  • Bert from Sesame Street reads books such as Boring Stories, Pigeons of the World, The Pigeon Whisperer (and several other pigeon-themed works), and The Wonderful World of Paper Clips.
  • Rimmer in Red Dwarf subscribes to Fascist Dictator Monthly. Hitler was the Mr. October centerfold, apparently. Also, when trying to break Lister, Cat, and Kryten's spirits during a period of Quarantine, Rimmer supplies them with one Knitting magazine as almost their only form of entertainment. Then, in the episode "Krytie TV", there's the issue of Morris Dancer Monthly ("That's mine!") that they plant in Ackerman's quarters.
  • Vince in The Mighty Boosh subscibes to hyper-cutting-edge fashion magazine Cheekbone, which has to be delivered by ninjas to avoid being obsolete by the time it's read.
  • Infomania includes a segment called We've Got You Covered in which Connor Knighton rounds up the week's mainstream magazines and tabloids. This ends up with a bit called "How the !*#@ Is This a Magazine?" which highlights magazines that are just plain bizarre and/or specialized. Past highlights include Pumper a magazine about the "liquid sanitation industry" and Pizza Today
    • Also: Parking Today
  • Psych has Gus, the uptight one of the pair who is more concerned with breaking the law, subscribing to "Safe-crackers monthly" or something along those lines. He's fascinated by locks and quite adept at opening them.
  • In one episode of Boy Meets World Eric subscribed to 26 different magazines, each one's title beginning with a different letter of the alphabet, as part of poorly thought out attempt to game the Publisher's Clearing House contest. Among these magazines is Chester, a magazine for people named Chester (Eric had to lie about his name to get the subscription).
  • Parodied in Community with Dean Magazine, which at point plans to do a cover feature about Dean Pelton. Subverted, however, in that it's cancelled after two issues (before the aforementioned cover feature can appear), presumably because it's "the worst idea for a magazine ever". Double subverted in that the publication which informs us of the cancellation of Dean Magazine is none other than Magazine Monthly.

Newspaper Comics

  • In Calvin and Hobbes, Calvin subscribes to Chewing, a magazine devoted entirely to chewing gum.
  • Dilbert's Wally is once seen speculating on the content of his "Sitting There" magazine.


  • In one Bob and Ray interview, they're discussing hobbies with the editor of "Wasting Time Magazine".

Stand Up Comedy

  • George Carlin devoted a small part of his HBO special Jammin' in New York on this trope, saying that "any activity engaged in by more than four people in this country has got a fucking magazine devoted to it." In particular, he railed against the fact that there's a magazine for walking.

Video Games

  • Mass Effect 2 allows you to purchase an issue of Fornax, a titillating alien magazine. Featuring a Hanar on the cover.
    • Believe me, if and when humanity encounters other species, I guarantee such things won't be confined to a small niche market.
  • Used for a joke in Left 4 Dead: while passing by a magazine stand, Zoey may teasingly tell Francis that they have the latest issue of Hating Everything Magazine. Francis' reply? "I hate latest issues!"

Web Original

  • Homestuck: Dad subscribes to The Serious Jester.
  • In an Easter Egg in the Homestar Runner short "car", Strong Sad is seen reading the magazine Nerdular Nerdence.
    • As a matter of fact, strange magazines are a Running Gag in the HR toons.
  • On The Ricky Gervais Show, Karl mentions in his diary that he saw someone reading a magazine called "Carp." Specifically, a "Carp of the Month" article. Later, he searches London for "UFO Data" but keeps getting distracted by gay pornography on the newsstand.

Western Animation

  • In The Simpsons, Marge gets several magazines devoted to cleaning with titles like Sponge & Vacuum.
    • There was also a whole selection of "death sports" magazines Marge was looking at with titles like Glass Eater, Bear Baiter, and Danger Liker.
    • Homer Simpson was once shown napping on the couch with a copy of Modern Fart Denier on his stomach.
    • And in The Movie, Grandpa is seen reading an issue of Oatmeal Enthusiast.
    • Sherri & Terri subscribe to "First Born Twin" and "Second Born Twin" magazines.
  • In Family Guy, we learn that Cleveland subscribes to black-guy magaznies like Grape Soda Today.
  • Ed of Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy owns a copy of Chicks Galore... which is about baby chickens, not girls, much to Eddy's dismay.
  • In one episode of Making Fiends, Vendetta reads Evil Magazine.
  • In A Pup Named Scooby Doo, Fred subscribes to a variety of conspiracy theorist magazines, the National Exaggerator apparently being one of his favorites.
  • Cartoonish Supervillainy appears to be a whole culture in Kim Possible, and Drakken and Shego are sometimes seen reading magazines like Villainess.


  • On DC Comics' Htrae (aka Bizarro World) during the Silver Age, one of the most popular newspapers is The Yearly Planet. It's what you get when you employ Bizarros who only work during the weekend.

Real Life

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