Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
In this comic, Beret Guy and at least one other person (which looks like it might be Megan) are sitting at a restaurant. The waitress, Ponytail, tells Beret Guy there is a special on Tuesdays for "endless wings". Restaurants often have different daily discounts to encourage people to come in. In a normal restaurant, "endless wings" would presumably refer to "all-you-can-eat" chicken wings, meaning the customer can pay a flat price and continue ordering additional wings without paying any more money.
However, in this comic, Beret Guy tells the waitress that he already has "endless wings", which he means literally (a similar issue of wishes being taken literally is referenced in 1086: Eyelash Wish Log) and Beret Guy begins growing wings which ultimately appear "endless" as they grow to a span of at least the circumference of the earth by the last panel (and presumably continue growing). The other characters scream in horror for obvious reasons.
The title text plays on another common restaurant offer of "bottomless drinks", meaning unlimited free refills of drinks. However, taken literally, falling into something bottomless would result in falling forever.
- This is one of the few comics since the xkcd lettering became inked and standardized as all-caps that lowercase lettering has been used (including the word "i" which would normally be capitalized). In this case, the usage may be to denote a whisper or soft voice.
- [Ponytail begins to serve some customers at a table]
- Ponytail: ...and on Tuesdays we offer endless wings.
- Beret Guy: Haha, cool. i have those.
- Ponytail: You what?
- [Beret Guy sprouts a pair of wings]
- Ponytail: AAAAA!!
- [Beret Guy's wings start getting longer]
- Everyone: AAAAAAA
- [Wings start to extend into space out from the earth]
- Everyone: AAAAAAAA
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Presumably you could stay afloat if it was the drink itself that was bottomless. 126.96.36.199 23:46, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
Hmmm, as a non-native English user I have understood the "endless wings" expression as chicken wings having their ends (tips) cut off. The tips of the wings often get over-crispy when fried. --188.8.131.52 14:38, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
- In this usage, "endless" means "unlimited" or "free refills" or "all you can eat" and not "physically without ends". English is an "interesting" language, even for native speakers. --B. P. (talk) 20:08, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
May I pedantically point out that our hero's wings do have ends... Each has one end at least at its wingtip, even if it appears they are both unlimited in the distance from that wingtip to the unknown attachment to his back (and that attachment, or feed mechanism, hides a potentially unlimited amount of wing by unknown means, leaving them without another end). A "hoop" of wing (or arbitrary size, and not necessarily excessively so) would be endless... I've made paper planes with that sort of idea behind their 'wing' surface, and there's at least one 'perpendicular frisbee-like' thing out there in the toy shops. (Mobius wings could also be imagined, often being thought of as more "endless" than a simple non-mobius belt, but I'm sure they'd actually be worse at flight.)
Secondly, I've recently heard the term "bottomless cup" being commented on by a comedian (I forget who) who has asserted that that's "just a tube". But that's at best merely a related bit of observational/absurdist comedy, and not really relevant to the given comic. 184.108.40.206 13:44, 31 March 2013 (UTC)
Note how the girl on the right, presumably Megan, does not start screaming until the wings start increasing in size...
Superslash9 (talk) 20:54, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
As far as I have seen, this is the only comic with lowercase letters in dialog ("i have those.") Perhaps a category is in order if there is more? 220.127.116.11 18:11, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
- Please don't edit foreign posts at the discussion page, the typos are not yours. --Dgbrt (talk) 20:44, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
- I noticed that lowercase "i", but the only lowercase letter should have been uppercase in English! SilverMagpie (talk) 01:10, 22 November 2016 (UTC)