Stumped by a tricky banana? Try one of Amazon's handy reviews

After the latest online shop spoof endorsement, Tim Walker can't imagine life without one...

Samsung's new top-of-range gogglebox, the UN85S9 85in 4K Ultra HD 120Hz 3D Smart LED TV, is now available on Amazon. And, with the world's biggest online shop waiving its shipping fee, it will only set you back $39,997.99 (£24,500).

Among the enthusiastic customers to give the television a five-star review was one James O Thach: "My wife and I bought this after selling our daughter Amanda into white slavery. We actually got a refurbished. It's missing the remote, but, oh, well – for $10K off, I can afford a universal, right? The picture is amazing. I've never seen the world with such clarity. Amanda, if you're reading this, hang in there, honey! We'll see you in a year."

Mr Thach, if that is his real name, is among the ranks of amateur satirists who use the internet's most powerful consumer tool – Amazon – to poke fun at the sort of rampant consumerism without which a $40,000 television could never exist. Joining him was Pancakewizard, of Louisiana, who revealed that he or she bought the UN85S9 because, "I needed an additional television for my breezeway, walking from the side courtyard to the master quarters. Ever since Carlton renovated the Elephant exhibit, I only have the noise of the waterfall and the Harp player outside."

Another customer was less effusive about the set, saying, "This is a good television for the money, don't get me wrong. [But] why own this when the neighbours will have one just like it in six months when the price comes down? I'll give this one as a gift to the butler."

Not all of the products that attract such treatment are ruinously expensive. The Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer, for instance, costs a mere $3.73 (reduced from $4.99). Customers who bought it also bought the Chef'n StemGem Strawberry Stem Remover for $7.95. "What can I say about the 571 Banana Slicer that hasn't already been said about the wheel, penicillin or the iPhone?" asks a Mrs Toledo. "For decades, I have been trying to come up with an ideal way to slice a banana," lamented SW3K. "'Use a knife!' they say. Well... my parole officer won't allow me to be around knives."

Some of the silly reviews reflect current events. In June, after Texas state senator Wendy Davis staged a marathon filibuster in protest at the state's tightening of its abortion laws, her Mizuno Women's Wave Rider trainers quickly received this five-star review: "The next time you have to spend 13 hours on your feet without food, water or bathroom breaks, this is the shoe for you. Guaranteed to outrun patriarchy on race day."

Others are anguished responses to monstrous cultural artefacts, such as Katie Price and Peter Andre's 2006 album of duets, A Whole New World, which boasts a remarkably high number of five-star customer reviews, given that one website's poll later named it the worst LP of the decade. On closer inspection, however, it appears that most of the reviews in question praise not Price and Andre's musical prowess, but the medical applications of the CD, which customers suggested could cure conditions such as asthma and constipation.

One such heart-warming story came from a user calling themselves Chaplinfan, who claimed, "I bought this for my father who had become paralysed from the waist down following a freak unicycle accident back in 1984 and I had barely started playing the CD when he miraculously shot up from his wheelchair, ran across the room shouting 'TURN THAT S*** OFF!' and proceeded to smash it to pieces. It's a testament to the power of this music that it can perform such a miracle. On the downside, my dad is now under investigation by the benefits fraud team for claiming years of disability allowance."

In the UK, the latest and most consistently witty customer review thread is for the Veet for Men Hair Removal Gel Creme: well worth a look, it's as coarsely funny and irreverent as you might expect.

The earliest and most celebrated of spoof Amazon reviewers was Henry Raddick, a British pug-owner who became a cult figure on the web a few years ago, mostly for his pithy reviews of non-fiction tomes such as Picnics with Pizzazz and Pocket Massage for Stress Relief. Of The Humanure Handbook: A Guide to Composting Human Manure (second edition), Raddick wrote: "[My wife] Marjorie and I have been composting for three years now, but recently we have started to use the term 'manure' and we now have a few more takers for our home-grown vegetables among our dinner guests."

Suggested Topics
News
The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
people
Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to US
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
film
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidates on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
Voices
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
voicesRenée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity, says Amanda Hess
Arts and Entertainment
film

Marvel has released the first teaser trailer a week early after it leaked online

Extras
indybest
Life and Style
CHARGE BOOSTER: Aeroplane mode doesn't sound very exciting, but it can be a (phone) hacker's friend. Turning on the option while charging your mobile will increase the speed at which your phone battery charges
techNew book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone
Sport
Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
art
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
News
Wilko Johnson is currently on his farewell tour
people
News
Let’s pretend: KidZania in Tokyo
educationKidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day
News
i100
Voices
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella
voicesVicky Chandler: Zoella shows us that feminism can come in all forms
Life and Style
health
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Front end web developer - URGENT CONTRACT

    £250 - £300 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT** Our...

    SQL Developer - Cardiff - £40,000

    £30000 - £40000 per annum + benefits and bonus: Ashdown Group: SQL Developer -...

    SQL Developer - Cardiff - £40,000

    £30000 - £40000 per annum + benefits and bonus: Ashdown Group: SQL Developer ...

    .NET Developer - .NET & SharePoint - Coventry

    £35000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + bonus: Ampersand Consulting LLP: .NET a...

    Day In a Page

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

    A crime that reveals London's dark heart

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
    Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

    Lost in translation: Western monikers

    Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
    Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

    Handy hacks that make life easier

    New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
    KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

    KidZania: It's a small world

    The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
    Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

    'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

    The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
    From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

    Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

    From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
    Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

    Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

    A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
    The 10 best smartphone accessories

    Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

    Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
    Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

    Liverpool v Real Madrid

    Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
    West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

    Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

    Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
    Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

    A new American serial killer?

    Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
    Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

    Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

    Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
    Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

    Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

    Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
    Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year

    Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
    Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

    Want to change the world? Just sign here

    The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?