28 Cleverly Funny & Creative 404 Error Pages
Whether you’re new to the web or an avid user that’s been using the Internet for years, at some point we’ve all stumbled upon one of those annoying 404 error pages!
A 404 error page is used to alert visitors that the page they were trying to find either no longer exists, never existed in the first place, or, what happens frequently, they mistyped or misspelled the URL.
Running into 404 error pages can be quite frustrating and a not-so-pleasant experience for visitors; however, transforming your boring and unpleasant 404 error page into something exciting and funny can sometimes make the difference between a visitor deciding to remain on your website, or not. Finding a creative 404 error page is almost like discovering a hidden gem, a treasure, something not everyone knows about, even if it is a website that is visited by many on a daily basis.
I have gathered what are, in my opinion, some of the funniest and most clever 404 error pages on the Internet today. Hopefully seeing these creative and unique 404 error pages will inspire you to create your very own bespoke 404 page!
the 404 error pages in action!
WAZA, World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, has a wonderfully hilarious 404 error video page featuring some flamingos that are obviously very lost! Help them get back to the WAZA website!
Awkward yet hilarious is what New York-based artist Steve Lambert went with for his 404 error page. Watch him nonchalantly explain that there’s nothing on the page you’re on and that you can stay, or go, or stay, or click on a link, or stay, “whatever you wanna do”.
Atlanta-based data strategy consulting firm BluePath also uses humor for its 404 error page. The page features a map of Atlanta, with a dot indicating where you, the viewer, are – “wayyyy off the map”!
I personally don’t know much about tennis, but I do know who Novak Djokovic is, and also that he has a great sense of humor. There are many videos of him joking with and imitating other tennis players, dressing up in funny costumes, dancing on the tennis court and one very nice and funny video that really says a lot about his personality, a video of him sharing the bench with the umbrella boy (video below). Knowing that he has such a great sense of humor, even before searching for it, I was more than certain his 404 error page wouldn’t be your normal error page and that it would include something funny – and, lo and behold, I was right!
One thing to notice about his 404 error page is that he makes it very easy for visitors to get back to his site, by placing links on the 404 error page itself. Smart.
Simple yet creative and interactive, link shortening service Bit.ly uses their 404 page to inform people that their shortened urls include 4-6 characters and that they only include letters and numbers, as well as offering people that land on the page a little made-up creature to play with as it bobs up and down every time you click on it with your mouse.
For their 404 page, the designers at Mailchimp feature a donkey with its head in a hole trying to help you find the lost page.
Talk about an ingenious way to get your visitors to stay on your website, the 404 error page on the Kualo features the 1980’s-style video game, Space Invaders, but with a Kualo theme. Reaching a 404 error page may be annoying but anyone with a little free time on their hands will most likely stay for a game (or two) – especially considering that (apparently) getting a score of 1000 can get you a discount on your hosting!
Hilariously over-dramatic, the 404 error page at Tinsanity features a cup with bloodshot eyes running across the screen and screaming – obviously poking fun at the fact that it’s not that big a deal to run into the 404 error page. What makes it even funnier is the intense and melodramatic music playing while all this is happening!
9. Cloud Sigma
On their 404 error page, Cloud Sigma playfully introduces us to one of their team members – a cute cat busy coding while staring at a computer screen. Very effective 404 error page for the simple fact it’s guaranteed to make you smile.
Online matchmaking service eHarmony’s 404 page cleverly states that the page you reached is unavailable but that there are half a million eharmony singles who are available! Smart.
11. CSS Tricks
Behind all the aesthetics there is always coding. This coding commonly remains hidden from viewers visiting your page; that is, till something breaks, and the code becomes visible. Well, for their 404 page, the guys at CSS Tricks have cleverly made it obvious something’s wrong by placing a ficticious rip in the middle of a blank white page, revealing the code behind it. Very ingenious.
Clean and aesthetically beautiful design by Blizzard Entertainment with their 404 page, which uses broken glass as a metaphor for a broken link. What I also find entertaining is the fact they blame you for breaking the link – Grats. You broke it. I like this because it makes the website a bit more personable, as though it’s a friend blaming you for breaking something.
Adobe stuns us with a creative, mind-bending angled world for its 404 error page. Very cool, indeed.
No one wants to be standing on a small planet with an asteroid headed straight for it, the same way no one wants to end up on one of those aggravating 404 error pages!
Abort mission! Abort mission!
You’ve reached a page that doesn’t exist and the Tilt Gorilla isn’t too happy about that – in fact, there’s a video of him going bananas over it! Check it out.
16. Margaret Cho
You must lost – but don’t worry, Margaret gets lost too. What a great 404 error page for American comedian Margaret Cho. It fits her sense of humor, her personality and her comedy perfectly!
Videotron uses its 404 error page to remind us that unicorns are fictional and that they do not exist, just like the page you were trying to reach. Thanks for reminding us Videotron!
Have you ever seen a polar bear wearing a big gold chain necklace while skateboarding? Well, if you haven’t, the 404 error page on the Metro.co.uk website offers you a glimpse of what that would look like, while reassuring you that they’re working on fixing the broken page you ran into. Wonderfully funny and random.
19. Good Dog Design
The 404 error page on the Good Dog Design is beautifully connected to the name of the company and its logo. It also cleverly features the company’s phone number, both in the US and in Australia, in case you decide to contact Good Dog Design to inquire about their services (or their black and white Border Collie)! Clever design (and idea).
On the Whitespark 404 error page, they graciously give you the option of deciding the fate of one of their employees. His fate and his future within the company lies in your hands – will you have him fired, or not?
Like Kualo, Heyzap also uses an interactive game to keep viewers engaged and entertained, at least for a while.
Simple, cute and effective, even with no text – Lego uses humor, imagery and one of its most iconic characters, the little Lego man, to show viewers they’ve reached a page that doesn’t exist. You don’t always need words to say something, and Lego proves it with their ingenious 404 page.
NASA’s 404 error page fits well with the organization’s branding by using some lighthearted cosmic humor. Nicely done.
Snow!? Well, you obviously ended up somewhere else other than Florida if that’s what you’re seeing. Smart and cool concept.
Similar to the Lego page, Hoppermagic’s reason for the page being broken is a fictional one – that reason being, rabbits nibbling on cables.
Like many things in life, sometimes the things we love simply break – including websites! That is the message HubSpot is conveying to us on their 404 error page, but hey, not to worry, most things that break can be fixed.
Your Internet is full, so you must drain it (obviously!)
28. Inzone Design
Last but no least is the 404 error page of this website! Running into a 404 error page usually brings about a feeling of “being lost” and “what do I do now?” For the Inzone Design 404 page I illustrated this feeling in the portrayal of someone lost, standing in the middle of a barren desert landscape – but don’t worry, there is a way out!
Paolo Inzone | Web Design Barcelona © 2019