305: Rule 34

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Rule 34
Okay, Lance. For entry into the college bowl, spell 'Throbbing'
Title text: Okay, Lance. For entry into the college bowl, spell 'Throbbing'

[edit] Explanation

Cueball is rather surprised to find slash fiction (same-sex erotic fiction featuring characters from popular media, often from unrelated series) featuring characters from the Thomas the Tank Engine television series, but Megan isn't remotely surprised, citing Rule 34: "If it exists, there is porn of it. No exceptions."

Cueball denies the truism of the rule, coming up with several examples of porn that doesn't exist yet, until he comes across one that they both agree would be pretty hot: Women playing electric guitar in the shower. Megan proceeds to get ahead of the curve by registering WetRiffs.com. By doing this, Megan invoked Rule 35, an additional rule based around rule 34. Rule 35 states: 'If there is not porn of it, porn will be made of it'.

In the title text we can assume that the presenter in a spelling bee is asking a male participant with the name "Lance" to spell "throbbing", a term sometimes used to describe the swelling of a person's genitals. The scene thus plays out like the start of a hypothetical spelling bee that could contain rude words or innuendo.

Rule 34 is mentioned in the title text of 505: A Bunch of Rocks and 860: Never Do This.

[edit] Transcript

Cueball: Huh-- Thomas the Tank Engine slash fiction.
Megan: It's rule 34 of the internet. If you can imagine it, there is porn of it.
Cueball: Nah. The web is freaky, but it can't begin to have everything.
Cueball: There's no porn set atop storm-chasing vans. No homoerotic spelling bees. No women playing electric guitar in the shower.
Megan: Actually, that last one would look pretty hot. As long as they were unplugged or waterproofed...
Megan: Rivulets of water run down her chest, the smooth body of the guitar firm against her hips.
Megan: She twangs the E-string and it shakes off tiny droplets in all directions.
[She rises into a crouch.]
Megan: You're sure it doesn't exist?
Cueball: Not yet.
Megan: I'm registering WetRiffs.com. Let's get on this.

[edit] Trivia

  • Randall actually did register WetRiffs.com (archive here), and people submitted pictures of themselves in the shower holding electric guitars. Randall would later create a tumblr page called "Raccoon Sex Dungeon" to coincide with Cueball referencing it in 1025: Tumblr.
  • When referencing a fictional website on a webcomic, TV series or other form of media, it's generally a good idea to create the website yourself so that you can control the content and protect yourself from getting sued because someone got there first and flooded it with inappropriate, even harmful material.
  • Since this comic, there had been actual Rule 34 on homoerotic spelling bees. 1 2.

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Who is Lance from the title text, throbbing..., is it Lance Armstrong? Sounds odd.--Dgbrt (talk) 22:06, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

Very good question. I don't know. In any case, wetriffs.com died less than 3 months ago. What a shame. --Quicksilver (talk) 21:34, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
It being Lance Armstrong seems like a stretch to me, but a lance is a kind of spear, and spears are reasonably phallic, so there you go. --Alex (talk) 13:51, 4 May 2014 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but the Rule 34 isn't about gays. The title text is more about shocking youngsters. --Dgbrt (talk) 19:19, 4 May 2014 (UTC)
When did I say Rule 34 is "about gays"?? It's just a spelling bee joke about penises. --Alex (talk) 09:18, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
I reverted your edit 'cuz it makes no sense to me whatsoever. If you want, please explain at my talk page. --Alex (talk) 09:20, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
Wait, no, I've figured it out: It's spelling bee porn, so it's rule 34. --Alex (talk) 10:11, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
Sorry again, and I'm not saying you are wrong. But the explain should be also understood by non US citizens. --Dgbrt (talk) 21:28, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
To clarify: No, Rule 34 isn't about gays, but this particular invocation of it IS. The title text is expanding on the second panel, one of the examples Cueball gives is "homoerotic spelling bees", the example specifies it's homoerotic, and thus homosexual. Furthermore, at least in North America, "Lance" is thought of as a stereotypically common name for a homosexual man, such that some people, upon hearing the name Lance, might simply assume he's a gay man, making this name a perfect choice for the title text in order to increase the connection to Cueball's example. It seems to me that the explanation is missing connecting the title text to Cueball's example in the second panel. - NiceGuy1 13:34, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
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