Fact Check

Does Match.com's 'Hannah' Enjoy Microwaving Butterflies?

Run an annoying ad campaign, and you risk someone's making your ads even more annoying.

Published June 9, 2021

A Match.com ad featured a woman named Hannah who "microwaves butterflies in her spare time."

Back in 2015, the UK version of the Match.com dating site unveiled a #Loveyourimperfections promotional campaign, which urged viewers to embrace their imperfections with the suggestion that someone else out there -- perhaps someone you could find through Match.com -- might consider what you see as a flaw to be a positive attribute.

In conjunction with that promotional campaign, Match.com posted print ads in London Underground cars, ones that played on the idea of people having quirky but innocuous traits, such as holding up London Underground ticket barriers by not having their Travelcard out and ready to use in time, or mispronouncing 'Marylebone' (a district in the West End of London):

One of the most-reproduced images purportedly derived from this campaign is "Hannah," whose imperfection is that she "microwaves butterflies in her spare time":

hannah microwaves butterflies in her spare time

"Hannah" wasn't really microwaving butterflies, however, nor was that trait assigned to her by Match.com's advertising campaign. The popular image of her was a fake, the product of the (now-dormant) Twitter account WeFixYourAdverts, which posted versions of advertisements that had been tweaked through digital manipulation to make them darkly humorous.

The two examples seen above (Charlotte and Mark), for example, were reworked as follows, with the former "admitting" to deliberately hitting a sparrow with a tennis racket and the latter admitting to liking "Mrs. Brown's Boys" (an Irish-British television sitcom):

The original Match.com version of the "Hannah" ad listed an imperfection that had nothing to do with butterflies or microwave ovens, but that she "still giggles at Cockfosters" (the name of a suburb of north London). WeFixYourAdverts reworked it into its now ubiquitous form:


Aron, Isabelle.   "Someone's Taken London's Worst Tube Adverts and Made Them Way Better."     TimeOut.   28 January 2016.

Silver, Laura.   "Everybody Hates Mark from Match.com."     BuzzFeed.   17 January 2016.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994 as a creative outgrowth of his wide-ranging interests in a variety of subjects (particularly folklo ... read more