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I’ve written about inspiring 404 pages in the past, as every site will break from time to time, and I think it makes sense to put in a little thought to how you handle errors. 

Your visitors will be more forgiving of errors if you make them smile, ideally while helping them find their way. Also, clever, witty or charming 404 pages can be great for inbound links (as proved by this post).

I wouldn’t file all of the following examples under ‘best practice’, as in some cases there should be better navigation options, but many of them are humorous and on-brand, and may help you to figure out what you can do with yours. 


The movie site adapts famous quotes for its 404 page, and it has a library of them.

Good Dog Design

This agency takes the dog out of its logo and has created a missing dog poster.

College Humor

Some other things that don’t exist…


The smart folks at Distilled have a charming 404 page, which helped one visitor to find a “dream job”.

North Face

A dead end, but look at all of those helpful links…

Stack Overflow

Waffles are indeed delicious.


As far as humour goes, this is as good as it gets. That’s a picture of Shergar, in case you were wondering.





Ladies and gentlemen, we are floating in space.

Car Throttle

Use the arrow keys to play with the Audi R8.

Channel 9

A newsreader delivers the bad news…


Hover States

And finally, brilliantly, here’s a bit of Lionel…


Have you seen any other 404 pages that stand out from the crowd? Do let me know in the comments below...

Chris Lake

Published 29 November, 2012 by Chris Lake

Chris Lake is CEO at EmpiricalProof, and former Director of Content at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter, Google+ or connect via Linkedin.

582 more posts from this author

Comments (15)

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David Moth

David Moth, Editor & Head of Social at EconsultancyStaff

NME's is top notch


almost 4 years ago

Tom Howlett

Tom Howlett, Digital Marketing Executive at Koozai

Some good examples here. I think people undervalue the 404-error page. A personalised page can definitely be used to help keep people on your website rather than dissapearing straight away if they have visited from an external source.

almost 4 years ago


Geoffrey Hoffman

Github's is my favorite


almost 4 years ago



Good dog wins it, hands down.

almost 4 years ago

Gemma Holloway

Gemma Holloway, Digital Marketing Executive at Koozai

I think the idea of making your 404 witty and upbeat is an excellent idea. It takes user experience to the next step, making their experience enjoyable even when they can't find what they are looking for.

However, I think it important to consider the tone of your brand creating a comical 404 page as it isn't always appropriate. For example, the 404 page of a support group for those with terminal illness' probably isn't the most appropriate to be cracking out the jokes.

Some excellent examples and an enjoying post to read.

almost 4 years ago


Ezekiel Ayonrinde

The Good Dog Design page has to be my favorite :)

almost 4 years ago


Neil Barr

Every time I comment on E, my comments get removed or disappear. Why?

almost 4 years ago

David Johnstone

David Johnstone, Commercial Director at We are AD

Damn! There's nothing original any more - http://www.alienationdigital.co.uk/404

almost 4 years ago

Chris Lake

Chris Lake, CEO at Empirical Proof

@Neil - That will be an overzealous Akismet spam filter I'm afraid, no clue why. Apologies, and please raise a flag should it happen again.

almost 4 years ago

David Lakins

David Lakins, Manager at Key Multimedia

Hi Chris, am having problems leaving a comment to - have left feedback for technical support ;0)

almost 4 years ago

David Lakins

David Lakins, Manager at Key Multimedia

A tongue in cheek 404 from us - http://www.keymultimedia.co.uk/404

almost 4 years ago


Nicola Clement, Group Online Manager at Forever New


Looks like you're lost, head back to camp

almost 4 years ago



That Good Dog one is awesome, I like how the slip of paper blows away when clicked. Also where's GitHub's 404 page, that's excellent also! :)

almost 4 years ago



I just finished making it
Please tell if its good or not

over 3 years ago


Christie Kristensen, Marketing at Creativepool

over 2 years ago

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