Claim:   42 million people were killed over Thanksgiving weekend in violent incidents stemming from shoppers competing for “Black Friday” bargains.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, November 2012]

Seen link on Facebook saying this shopping weekend authorities reported 42 million deaths.


Origins:   On 26 November 2012, the day after Thanksgiving weekend in the U.S., the Onion published an article positing that 42 million people had been killed over that holiday in violent incidents stemming from shoppers competing for “Black Friday” bargains:

According to emergency personnel, early estimates indicate that more than 42 million Americans were killed this past weekend in what is now believed to be the bloodiest Black Friday shopping event in history.

First responders reporting from retail stores all across the nation said the record-breaking post-Thanksgiving shopping spree carnage began as early as midnight on Friday, when 13 million shoppers were reportedly trampled, pummeled, burned, stabbed, shot, lanced, and brutally beaten to death while attempting to participate in early holiday sales events.

Law enforcement officials said the bloodbath only escalated throughout the weekend as hordes of savage holiday shoppers began murdering customers at Wal-Mart, Sears, and JCPenney locations nationwide, leaving piles of dismembered and mutilated corpses in their wake.

By the following day links and excerpts referencing this article were being circulated via social media, with many of those who encountered the item mistaking it for a genuine news article. However, that article was just a bit of fictional humor spoofing “Black Friday” commercial madness from the satirical Onion publication, whose FAQ notes that:

The Onion is a satirical weekly publication published 52 times a year on Thursdays.

The Onion uses invented names in all its stories, except in cases where public figures are being satirized. Any other use of real names is accidental and coincidental.

Last updated:   27 November 2015