Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
The repetition of the syllable "na" is often used to sing a tune without using any of the actual words. While this is normally done to practice or demonstrate a tune, repeated "na"s are also a part of some songs' lyrics, as shown in this comic. Following the various paths of the diagram forms the words of several well-known tunes, with each song branching off after the appropriate number of "na"s.
The top entry refers to the song "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye," originally recorded by Steam. The tune is often sung by the home fans of American sporting events at the end of a victory as a means of taunting the away team.
The left bottom entry refers to the theme song of the '60s TV show Batman.
The middle bottom entry refers to the theme song of the video game Katamari Damacy, which was also the cause of the Accident in comic 161.
The right bottom entry refers to the song "Land of a Thousand Dances," originally recorded by Chris Kenner. The title text jokes that the tune's incessant repetition of "na" has annoyed Randall to the point that he does not have the patience to listen to the whole song.
Not long after this comic was published, the following message was posted by Randall at the header on the comic page:
- I can't believe I forgot Hey Jude.
- I don't get do-overs, but I couldn't resist making a fixed version.
The addition to the diagram refers to the song "Hey Jude," originally recorded by the Beatles. The updated comic's URL, "851_make_it_better," is a reference to some of the tune's other lyrics: "Take a sad song / And make it better." In the original comic picture "Hey Jude" is still missing. The original comic is also a link to the "make it better" version.
This is one of many flowchart comics. A full list can be found here.
- [A flowchart.]
- Na → Na → Na → Na → Na → Na → Na → Na (branches to "→ Hey → Hey → Goodbye" and "→ Batman!") → Na → Na (branches to "Katamari Damacy!") → Na (arrow labeled "Land of 1,000 Dances" that loops around to the last "Na" again)
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Randall actually explains at the top: "I can't believe I forgot Hey Jude.
I don't get do-overs, but I couldn't resist making a fixed version." Mark Hurd (talk) 16:29, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
- The "make it better" portion of the URL of the revised comic is probably a reference to additional lyrics from Hey Jude. In light of the fact that that particular joke wouldn't have been available unless he had omitted it from the initial one, it's possible he 'forgot' Hey Jude on purpose.
- 220.127.116.11 22:40, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
Doesn't Katamari Damacy have nine "na"s, not ten? This is the number I can hear in the song on youtube, and the number in his earlier comic Accident. Am I missing something? --18.104.22.168 13:22, 12 May 2013 (UTC)
- Nope. It has 9. "Hey, Jude" wasn't the only thing he missed. 22.214.171.124 04:14, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
- Actually it depends. In some arrangements there's a leading "Na" at a lower pitch before going into the main sequence, providing the tenth. 126.96.36.199 20:01, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
Doesn't Batman have 16 na's? I'm pretty sure Im right about that ~JFreund
- Usually, yeah. But if you replace "nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana" with just "na na na na na na na na" then you get what is seen here. 188.8.131.52 04:14, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
This is described here as a "flowchart", but I suspect Randall was going for a finite state machine. --Dfeuer (talk) 08:04, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Um, I'm not a math person, but this reminds me of Markov Chain a bit?184.108.40.206 14:14, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
Doesn't it go "hey hey hey goodbye" instead of "hey hey goodbye" as well? 220.127.116.11 18:28, 11 March 2015 (UTC) Yeah, I Think I'm Signing Right
This explanation is incomplete and not very good. I'm not American and only by reading through comments here I get to understand that "Na na na ... <x>" are like lyrics extracts from different TV-Show-Songs in the USA? 18.104.22.168 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
I added the mention of the title text to the explanation so it's not incomplete anymore. -- JayRulesXKCD (talk) 1:28, 9 September 2016 (EDT)
What about Na Na Na by My Chemical Romance? Na count of 7 Nas, repeated 6 times in each of 3 choruses, and 11 extra, which adds up to 137 Nas! Or Na Na Na Na Naa by Kaiser Chiefs? Counting Naa as Na, there are 5 Nas, repeated 47 times, for a total of 235 Nas! 22.214.171.124 11:59, 16 December 2016 (UTC)NaNaNa126.96.36.199 11:59, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
Journey's "Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin'" ends with 7 sets of 22 for a total of 154 Nas. Ryanker (talk) 19:33, 24 March 2017 (UTC)