11 of the funniest headlines from Dutch parody newspaper De Speld

Let's bring you some fake news ๐Ÿ—ž๏ธ

You would be forgiven for thinking that some headlines are pure satire โ€” when theyโ€™re real. 

Well, thatโ€™s not the case here. Today, weโ€™re bringing you some of the most hilarious headlines straight out of De Speld โ€” the Dutch version of The Onion. 

De Speld is just like your regular ol’ Dutch newspaper, but the only difference is that none of its headlines are actually true.

It covers all the hot happenings in the Netherlands while simultaneously poking fun at Dutch people and culture. 

While their headlines are originally in Dutch, they’re easy to understand. Plus, what’s a better way to learn Dutch than to laugh all along the way? ๐Ÿค”

1. Throwing shade at Dutch public transport and their (non-existent) punctuality

Translation: “NS strike starts today 15 minutes later than planned”

Back in September, the Dutch railway company NS organised a strike that affected commuters all around the lowlands.

But, in the classic De Speld spirit, this was the perfect time to poke fun at the railway company’s imperfections โ€” the trains are so often behind schedule, not even the strikes can begin on time.

2. How to overcome your e-smoking addiction

Translation: “Joe (15) has started smoking cigarettes to get rid of his vape addiction”

It’s common practice for smokers to switch over to electric cigarettes or vape pens to get over their smoking addiction, but who says it can’t work the other way around? Not De Speld!

And, of course, while De Speld’s headlines aren’t exactly true, there’s some truth to this joke. The smoking rate among Dutch youth has been on increasing since the pandemic

Smoking prevalence went up from 4.5% to 5.2% among teenagers in the Netherlands during the partial lockdown, possibly due to increases in stress levels and less access to leisure activities.

3. Winter sports completely changed this little Dutch girl’s life

Translation: “Sara (8) skied after the wrong father and now she lives in Deventer.” 

The Dutch love going on winter sports getaways โ€” especially if it involves going down a mountain at breakneck speeds. ๐Ÿ”๏ธ

Unfortunately, from the back, all those people in ski jackets and trousers look rather the same. Poor Sarah โ€” we hope she’s enjoying her new family.

Either way, this sounds like every child’s nightmare. Though, we don’t know what the worst part is: losing your family or having to live in Deventer. ๐Ÿ˜ญ

4. Don’t want to deal with Schiphol’s long lines? Here’s an alternative way to travel! 

Translation: “Woman who climbed on bottlenose dolphin hoped to reach her holiday destination faster”

Remember when a random Dutch lady thought it was a good idea to climb on the back of a beached dolphin

Well, this had many people wondering what she was actually trying to do that hot summer day โ€” and we think De Speld cracked that case wide open. 

With so many trips getting cancelled at Schiphol over the summertime, it’s no surprise that people sought other modes of transport to get to their holiday destinations. 

5. The government finally agrees on a deal with Dutch farmers regarding the nitrogen crisis

Translation: “Farmers propose a compromise: all proposals off the table and we’ll do exactly what we want”

In 2022, the NS wasn’t the only company whose strikes struck a chord in Dutch affairs. 

As a result of the Dutch cabinet’s plans to reduce nitrogen emissions, farmers were left with the task of making significant changes on their farms. If not, their businesses were bound to suffer. 

READ MORE | The easy guide to the Dutch nitrogen crisis, farmersโ€™ protests, and more

So, as you can expect, farmers weren’t too happy about this and took their anger to the streets of the Netherlands by setting fire to manure and hay bales and blocking highways. ๐Ÿšœ๐Ÿš—๐Ÿ›ป๐Ÿš™

But as everyone knows, the Dutch farmers were really glad to come to terms with the cabinet’s plans, so long as they can continue to do things as they please. And, for people who are basically in charge of the country’s agriculture, we’ll let it slide. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

6. Railway workers get inspired by Dutch farmers’ protests for their strike

Translation: “Angry NS employees block highway”

As you now know, people in the Netherlands experienced two major strikes in 2022 by both the farmers and the NS employees. 

Who knows? Maybe they were secretly competing to get the most attention from the public eye.ย 

READ MORE | Dutch Quirk #26: Complain about the NS

In classic fashion, De Speld mustered up a news story that would put NS employees in the spotlight. Though, as farmers are notorious for blocking highways with their trucks, the NS staff would probably have a much harder time fitting their transport of choice on the roads. ๐Ÿš‚

7. Dutch boomers know how to get to young people’s weak spots 

Translation: “Boomers get back at young people with ‘ok loner'”

According to Statistics Netherlands showed that four in ten Dutch people over the age of 15 felt lonely in 2021. ๐Ÿคฏ

After two long and hard years of the pandemic, it’s also no shock that the amount of young Dutch lonely people doubled between 2019 and 2021. 

Upon hearing about this, boomers have managed to find a way to get back at the younger generation for their lack of traditional valuesโ€ฆ and friendships. Ouch! ๐Ÿซข

8. The energy crisis is causing loads of problems for Dutch innovation

Translation: “Chances of good ideas are nil in the near future after a call to take a shorter shower”

Energy prices in the Netherlands โ€” as well as in the rest of the world โ€” have sharply risen in the past year. 

As a result, the Dutch government called upon the country’s residents to take five-minute showers. What about our hair mask routines? ๐Ÿ˜ญ

Of course, thereโ€™s a great issue at hand: taking shorter showers also means having less time to come up with groundbreaking shower thoughts. ๐Ÿ’ก

Perhaps the Dutch Water Board should take this up with the innovation department, as it poses a big threat to Dutch progress, according to De Speld. ๐Ÿ˜‰ 

9. Dutch Christmas dinners and spiritual offerings? 

Translation: “A religious element during Christmas: family offers half a turkey roulade to the rubbish bin”

Sorry to burst your biblical bubble, but a recent study proves that there are more non-believers than religious people in the Netherlands.  

But, the Dutch, like many other non-religious people, celebrate Christmas, Easter, and other holidays with religious roots.

Though, this De Speld headline is clearly fake since it goes against the Dutch approach towards sustainability and, well, saving money. Throwing away half a turkey? The Dutch know better. ๐Ÿฆƒ

10. Dutch companies find fun new ways to attract workers from home back to the office  

Translation: “Special snort garden should attract homeworkers from the Zuidas back to the office”

Working from home has become increasingly common in the Netherlands after the pandemic struck the world. 

READ MORE | Working from home in the Netherlands: the complete guide

The Dutch House of Representatives even passed a legislative proposal in 2022 which allowed workers in the Netherlands to work from home at their own discretion.

So, De Speld imagines what Dutch companies might do to attract workers back to the public workspace: snort gardens for the cocaine-heads of Zuid, so all the hard-working businessmen can keep up those energy and productivity levels, of course! ๐Ÿ™ˆ

11. Dutch directness takes new toll as household energy bills go up 

Translation: “Johan proposes to split the energy bill on the first date”

Any international who’s lived in the Netherlands can agree on one thing when it comes to the Dutch: they are the most direct and will not waste time beating around the bush.

READ MORE | This American TikToker is sharing hella accurate truths about dating in the Netherlands (and more!)

In light of the energy crisis, well, we guess that Johan is just getting a jump on things โ€” running that oven for a romantic dinner wonโ€™t pay for itself! 


Thanks, De Speld, for putting all these wonderful scenarios in our heads and highlighting some of the most hilarious parts of the Netherlands. 

Which headline from De Speld was your favourite? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image:Freepik
Lea Shamaa ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ง
Lea Shamaa ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ง
Lea has a passion for writing and sharing new ideas with the world. She enjoys film photography, Wes Anderson movies, fictional books and jazz music. She came to the Netherlands in 2019 for her media studies and has fallen in love with the country and its culture ever since. She loves to ride her bicycle in the city but also feels the need to overtake everyone on the bike lane (she's working on it).

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What do you think?

  1. Living in the 2023 is just getting harder for everyone ! New plans must be set for an easy transaction, financially, emotionally โ€ฆ.
    Very awakening article โœจโœจโœจ

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