Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Hypochondriacs are people who worry obsessively about their health. This is a hypochondriac's nightmare because he always was expecting to die from of a mysterious undiagnosed disease, but instead dies by slipping on a banana and getting sucked into an airplane engine. Cueball regrets wasting so many hours on WebMD (an online health symptom reference) worrying about a rash on his arm as opposed to looking out for banana peels laying in front of jet engines. Part of the joke is that people looking for health information on the Internet often convince themselves they have some deadly disease.
The title text (in ALL CAPS - so shouting in despair) adds another level of hypochondrism. Randall drew this particular joke to soothe his fears and reassure himself that the rash is nothing. But what if that reassurance just makes him not check out the rash, and then it turns out the rash is caused by "death mites" and ultimately leads to his death?
- When published, "Hypochondriac" was wrongly spelled as "Hypochrondiac".
- [Cueball at an airport slips on a banana peel and gets sucked into a nearby jet engine]
- Cueball (thinking): Seriously!? This is what gets me? I wasted so many hours on WebMD worrying about the rash on my arm!
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- I am not sure that hypochondriac is spelled hypochrondiac. According to the dictionary it is hypochondriac. I wonder if RM will fix this. greptalk
- I think hypochondriac is the right spelling (according to Google and Wikipedia)
- Is it possible that the spelling of hypochrondiac is on purpose? The timing of the banana and jet engine versus the death mites? Altor (talk) 12:46, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
- I doubt that it was intended, as I would think there would still be the r in driac. It has not been changed as of now, so I can't be sure. #TEBOWTIME 14:19, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
- Corrected to proper spelling by RM as of 9/21/12 Maybe we should as well. --Shine (talk) 17:32, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
- Moved page and 1097 redirect to new spelling...--B. P. (talk) 22:40, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
- What are "death mites"?
- A Mite is a small arthropod that aren't particularly dangerous to humans, at worst causing allergic reactions. I guess "death mites" is another joke on hypochondriacs. Buggz (talk) 11:11, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
- I feel like a Hypochondriac's nightmare would be dying from a disease that they detected at the earilest stage, but could do absolutely nothing about. #TEBOWTIME 10:33, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
- Don't you think the Title Text is more suggesting that Randal has a rash and he made the comic to calm himself down, but then it turns out that he has death mites in real life?
- Using the context clues, it's safe to assume that Cueball is thinking the title-text. #TEBOWTIME 13:24, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
- Note that banana peels aren't actually slippery (though they are portrayed as such in media), and haven't been since the Gros Michel cultivar (think "breed") was wiped out (by Panama Disease, a fungus) and replaced with the Cavendish. 188.8.131.52 22:50, 26 December 2012 (UTC)
Banana peels are slippery if you crush them, like by stepping on them. 184.108.40.206 01:56, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
What's Cue ball doing in front of a jet engine in the first place? 220.127.116.11 06:26, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
I have an obsessive fear of slipping on a banana peel in front of a jet engine. I know its irrational and that it keeps me from paying attention to my health. Mountain Hikes (talk) 05:28, 16 February 2016 (UTC)