List of lists which do not contain themselves

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Warning, this page contains paradoxes which defy logical consistency. It is entirely possible that the fabric of time, space and or reality will be severely affected by this page's existence. The author appologises for any inconvenience.

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clever logical fallacy... it's way more funny than I made it sound


~ Bertrand Russell on This List

“This List”

~ This List on Things that are on This List but not supposed to be, so aren't

“I would be on the list myself, but unfortunately in 1874 several fine fellows were witness to the sight of me containing part of myself”

~ Oscar Wilde on This List

“In Soviet Russia, List of Lists that cannot be Listed Lists YOU!!

~ Soviet Russia on the List of Lists which do not contain themselves

The list of lists which do not contain themselves is an exhaustive compendium containing precisely all and every list in existence which does not list itself. These include such things as pieces of paper with things written on them that aren't: 'This List'. If a list lists itself then it cannot be listed here.

Freidrich Ludwig 'Naive' Gottlob Frege was worshiped by young philophers in his day.

Creation of the list[edit]

The list was started in 1896 by local potato farmer and part-time TV quiz master Freidrich Ludvig 'Naive' Gottlob Frege in response to a drunken bet with Bertrand Russell. The plans were submitted to the planning department of the city of N00bsville. The city had recently been granted five hundred thousand marks by the King of the Austro-Hungarian empire to improve the city. Frege had to compete with many other compelling suggestions such as upgrading the city's sewage system and building new hospitals, but he successfully ridiculed these using the argument that if the money was spent on making a lists of non-self-referencing lists then many of the town's problems would simply sort themselves out. So utterly convincing was Frege that not only were the other petitions rejected but they the petitioners were fined and jailed and the city's only orthanage was closed down.

The continuing deterioration of N00bsville's infrastructure inspired the first item on the list: 'The List of Things Screwed over by Ludvig Frege'. Ironically due to Frege's financial incompetence the project ran over budget, thus forcing 'The List of Things Screwed over by Ludvig Frege' to be added to itself which forced him to start again.

Compiling the List[edit]

By the time the 500,000 marks had run out, the list contained just four items none of which had any redeaming value. Fortunately the Mayor agreed to put the money saved from closing the orthanage and the money from the fines into the project, thus swelling Frege's budget to 500,012 marks. Completing the list took another four years with most of the work being done in the last ten years. There whole process was dogged by accusations that Frege had left out some valid but embarrassing lists such as 'The List of People Murdered by Ludvig Frege'. Frege claimed the only item that could be put on that list was the list itself, since he had killed that list in 1876 (indeed he had many witnesses). He claimed there was no need for the list to be published since it would not be needed. This led to a protracted legal battle which stretched the definition of murder to its very limits; 'A Man cannot Murder a Piece of Paper' said his critics to which Frege asked them to prove the list was written on paper. Hypothetically he speculated that he might have written the list on the body of a man and then killed him but since they could not prove it either way there was reasonable grounds for allowing the list to contain itself. This was a landmark case which modern law historians refer to as bollocks.


Bertrand Russell objected to the list's creation in 1905, claiming that it would be too costly and would run into problems when the designers were forced to decide whether or not the list should reference itself. Frege was so upset when Russell made this criticism that he locked himself away in a cupboard with two fifteen year old girls and did not emerge for eight hours. At his next public appearance Frege heavily crisised Russell, calling him an incontinent scoundrel and challenged him to a tent making contest.

Russell ignored the challenge and reiterated his concerns, which by 1912 were beginning to be realised. The list by this time was eight items long and the cost had spiralled out of control. The problems came to a head when Frege demanded more money directly from the Austro-Hungarian empire to continue the project. At first they refused because N00bsville had been part of Germany since 1866. However because of his convincing logic and excellent welding skills Frege was easily able to find governmental financiers. The shortfall in the budget was picked up personally by Arch-Duke Franz Ferdinand who agreed to take his summer holiday in Sarajevo rather than Los Angeles in 1914.

Completion of the List[edit]

Russell's criticisms did not die away. But despite this Frege continued work on the list during the war. This caused great strain on the Austro-Hungarian war effort which led to many soldiers being sent to the front line without white flags. This inevitably caused the death of hundreds.

Despite the defeat of the Triple Alliance powers Frege was able to complete the list in 1999, just two years after he began.


There is immense danger in this list's existence, which was shown to be impossible unless simple logic can be somehow circumvented. The problem is that if the list contains itself then it is not a list which doesn't contain itself. So it has no place in itself so therefore we conclude that the list does not contain itself. However if the list does not contain itself then it is a list that does not contain itself, so surely should be included. Ergo we conclude that the list does contain itself.

So you see the problem?

Yes but why is it dangerous?[edit]

Because the creation of such a list will rip apart the fabric of reality!

But surely the above argument just proves the impossibility of creating such a list[edit]

Yet here you are reading the list.

So why has the universe not been destroyed?[edit]

Look do you want a smack? Cos that's what you're gonna get! Come on then, let's fuckin' settle this now bitch.

You're a dope who thrives on petty sensationalism?[edit]

Right that's it, click to find out what I've done with you. Told you it was dangerous.

The List[edit]

The entire list is given here, it has been divided into subcategories by the author for the benefit of the reader.

Mathematical Lists[edit]

  • The list of integers.
  • The list of real numbers.
  • The list of complex numbers.
  • The list of positive integers.
  • The list of all positive integers except three.
  • The list of all positive integers except eighty seven.
  • The list of all negative integers and eighty seven.
  • The list containing eighty seven.

Historical Lists[edit]

Political Lists[edit]

  • The list of WMD's found in Iraq (see empty list).
  • The list of WMD's not found in Iraq.
  • The list of lists containing lists containing lists containing the list of WMD's found in Iraq.
  • The list of George Bush Jokes.
  • The list of good George Bush Jokes (see empty list).
  • The list of photo's of Gordon Brown looking non-human.

Lists included for the Pettiest of Reasons[edit]

  • List of priests who have not raped choir boys.
  • List of images of Mohammed.
  • List of children who haven't sucked off Michael Jackson.
  • List of Users who have written articles of the form X is ghey
  • List of Users who haven't written articles of the form X is ghey, but wanted to.

General Lists[edit]

  • The Empty List (see also list of people who voted for Robert Mugabe).
  • The List of People in the world.
  • Shopping Lists intended for Shops that are not The Shopping List shop.
  • The List of useless Uncyclopedia Articles.
  • The List of Uncyclopedians.
  • The List of Wikipedians (see also List of Uncyclopedians).
  • The List of Uncyclopedians who have wasted their lives (see also List of Uncyclopedians).

Paradoxical Lists[edit]

  • The list which contains everything except 'the list which contains everything except 'the list which contains everything except 'the list which contains everything except 'the list which contains everything except 'the list which ...
  • The List of Lists which aren't the empty List.
  • This List - only kidding! - or am I? - yes I am. - but maybe I'm not! Ahhhhhhh.

Pseudo-Paradoxical Lists[edit]

  • The List of all Empty Lists which contain Non-Empty Lists.
  • The List of Good Songs written by Celine Dion.

Other Lists[edit]

  • The list of people who have had sex with your mother; (unless your mother has had sex with said list).
  • List of people who have or will ever read this article (see also empty list).
  • List of people who would appreciate reading this article (see also empty list).

So does this list list itself?[edit]

That's a good question, unfortunately the only person who can answer it quite simply refuses to speak. Hopefully they will come round soon. Try back in a week.