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File:Pandas 1.jpg

"Still, on a gloomy Sunday morning not a bad thing to finish on, pandas"
Andrew Marr, The Andrew Marr Show

Part of a News Broadcast, usually the last segment, in which clips of stories involving footage of waterskiing budgies, squirrels adopted by mother dogs, cats rescued by firemen, firemen rescued by cats, or otherwise crowd-pleasing cute'n'sappy animals are shown to boost ratings. In the event of a lack of fuzzy critters, the Special Olympics or large litters of human babies can sometimes fill this role. Often (incorrectly) referred to as "Human Interest" stories, despite the general lack of anything interesting (or human).

In the news business, this segment is called the "kicker." Its sole purpose is time filler; it can be run if there's time left for it, or it can be dropped if the newscast is running long.

Compare with Worst News Judgment Ever.

In Britain known as an "And finally", after the catchphrase of Sir Trevor MacDonald.

Often a sign of Pandaing to the Audience.

Examples of Yet Another Baby Panda include:


  • One of the irrelevant results returned by's search engine humans is a story about the birth of a panda cub for a query regarding human gestation.

Fan Work

  • Parodied in the "Wind Girl" entry of the Third Touhou M-1 Grand Prix, a series of fan-made animated skits where the Touhou characters participate in a Manzai tournament.

 Aya: On to lighter news.

Momiji: There's been a lot of bad news on now.

Aya: In the bamboo thickets of Eientei, two wild baby pandas were born.

Momiji: Wow, that's really cute!

Aya: However, they were shot to death.



  • Parodied in the Will Ferrell movie Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, which included a news broadcast concluding with a waterskiing squirrel, and ongoing coverage ("Panda Watch") of a pregnant panda at the San Diego Zoo. The climax of the movie takes place at the birth of the pandas.
    • This is made even funnier by the fact that nobody — not even the usually above it all Veronica Corningstone (who felt that covering a cat fashion show was beneath her) — questions the importance of the panda story.
      • Dude, a panda's pregnant in captivity. That's like encountering a real, solid clown in a desert.
      • Made yet funnier by the fact that during the Panda birth there was an attempted murder which culminated in a fist fight between a news team and a pack of hungry grizzlies. This bizarre story receives absolutely no attention from the hordes of journalists around it, even the parties involved.
    • The San Diego Zoo is is one of only five zoos in North America to have pandas, in addition to being the site of over half of American-born cubs. Anyone who watches the local San Diego news with any sort of regularity knows that the Anchorman parody is, sadly, a case of Truth in Television.
      • Or Atlanta.
      • Or Washington, DC
  • Bruce from Bruce Almighty is sick of being sent to cover these (and Human Interest Stories), like the 'world's largest cookie'. So what does he do when he gets phenomenal cosmic powers? He makes interesting things happen during these human interest stories so that he gets the best scoops. By the end, he's learned to accept that fluff stories make people happy and he's good at doing them.


  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix begins with Harry listening out for any sign of Voldemort on the Muggle news (e.g. mass "freak accidents") but realises not much has been going on when the news switches to the antics of a water-skiing budgie.
  • Discussed in The Truth between William de Worde and Lord Vetinari

 Vetinari: So... we have what the people are interested in, and human interest stories, which is what humans are interested in, and the public interest, which no one is interested in.

William: Except the public sir.

Vetinari: Which isn't the same as people and humans?

William: I think it's more complicated than that sir.

  • In Airframe, a major news network is faced with running a story about some Boy Scout activity when a controversy flares up around a plane accident.

Live Action TV

  • The Daily Show refers to it as the "Moment of Zen" — originally it was just a piece of unrelated footage, such as a man getting sat on by an elephant, but it has evolved over recent years and is now usually an extension of something covered in the main body of the show.
    • They also played this more or less straight on the first episode broadcast after the September 11th attacks, in which the Moment of Zen consisted of Jon Stewart producing an adorable puppy from under his desk.
  • How I Met Your Mother: Robin frequently complains about her job consisting entirely of these.
  • The episode "Girth" of Pushing Daisies concluded a Coincidental Broadcast with "Next up: Kittens On Parade!"
  • Parodied, as with most news tropes, in The Day Today. One notable example has anchor Chris Morris begin to interview a woman who is organising a jam-making contest for charity... unfortunately, he doesn't turn off his usual 'hard-hitting-Jeremy-Paxman-asking-the-tough-questions' persona, reducing the poor woman to tears in the process.

New Media

Real Life

  • Now lost to the annals of broadcasting, the stars and script aligned for one day at MSNBC in 2007. The day featured ongoing commentary about a policy speech by Vice President Dick Cheney. By some miracle, this was always placed in rotation right after a story about Chinese zookeepers using panda-porn to induce mating in their charges. Every hour on the hour another seasoned anchor was reduced to giggle-fits trying to segue from one to the other.
  • We Germans don't mention Knut. See also Flocke. Knut ain't cute anymore, which probably explains why all the coverage of him has dropped off. Or maybe it's because he died.

Stand Up Comedy

  • Bill Bailey references this in his stand-up shows ("The crab that e-mails the coastguard on the impending tidal wave...") and claims that England has become so pathetic that they work as the kicker on foreign news broadcasts (" finalément: les anglais!")
  • George Carlin used to talk about this quite a lot. Things regularly reported on the news that he didn't care about included Mickey Mouse's birthday, celebrity deaths, and "whether or not the pandas in the zoo didn't fuck again this year."


  • The reporter in Dissonance works for a show that currently has an opening montage containing footage of labrador puppies. She plans to replace it with footage of Pandora caring for an injured rat.

Western Animation

  • One episode of The Simpsons has Bart and Lisa becoming reporters at their school news station. When Bart records a series of highly successful (and highly insubstantial) "human-interest" stories, Lisa tries to compete with him by doing a story on (among other things) the "Crazy Cat Lady." It doesn't go well.
    • (Standing next to some railroad tracks) "The old Union Pacific doesn't come by here much anymore..."
      ...cue heavily labelled 'Union Pacific' train going by for a very long time.
    • Another Simpsons episode (Lisa Simpson versus Amber Dempsey and others for Little Miss Springfield) parodied the practice by showing some footage of a goat kid drinking bottled milk for the wrong stories, before the end credits.
    • Spoofed in one of the Hallowe'en specials:

  Kent Brockman: [serious tone] And the fluffy kitten played with that ball of string all through the night. [brightening up] On a lighter note, a Kwik-E-Mart clerk was brutally murdered last night.

  • When the kids at South Park Elementary on South Park create their own school news station, they attempt to attract younger viewers with "Panda Madness Minute."
    • The (non-news) show they're competing with consists entirely of cute animals.
      • And it responding by making a new show... consisting entirely of cute animals wearing hats!
  • Darkwing Duck, having a big ego, gets a big boost whenever a newscaster talks about a crime he solved. Unfortunately the newscast promptly switches gears to a baby panda or cute kitty, causing everyone to forget about his exploits.
    • Subverted slightly when the two new baby pandas are clearly fighting each other. People still find it cute.
  • Osmosis Jones had two microscopic reporters talk about animal crackers being shown in the digestive tract with the headline "Panda-monium!"
  • A news show from a SpongeBob SquarePants episode plays with this: behind the newscaster is an ordinary picture of perfectly safe kittens, though she says, "And there were no survivors."
    • Duh, they're all fish and sea creatures.
  • A newscast in an episode of Word Girl had a segment with a waterskiing squirrel that was interrupted for breaking news about a bank robbery.