Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
- Juicing Gushers
Juicers are typically used to crush fruits and/or vegetables, thereby extracting the liquid juice and eliminating the task of chewing the solids. However, in this case, instead of actual fruits or vegetables, someone is making juice from fruit gushers, a chewy fruit-flavored candy, thereby extracting a nearly nutritionless artificial "juice" out of a candy casing which was formulated specifically for human consumption.
This may or may not be a parody of recent "fruit gushers" television commercials, in which fruit gushers are shown to squirt out nearly limitless amounts of "juice".
The title text asserts that the rind is where all the vitamins in the fruit reside. This is a common belief of actual fruits, although it is an untrue urban legend for many fruits; even fruits like apples do not contain most of the fiber and many antioxidants in the skin itself, but rather directly below; although when you peel an apple you remove more than just the skin, losing also that area with high fiber and antioxidant content anyway. There is a simple rule: If your thumbnail can reach the flesh of a fruit don't remove the skin. It is absolutely absurd as in this case, though, as the "rind" of a Fruit Gusher consists mainly of sugar. This text mocks the usual sentiment that the less desirable part of a food is the part that is "better" for you.
The comic is thus also a parody of the notion that buying a juicer (or other things like exercise equipment) will automatically make people healthier. Here it is shown that what you do with the juicer is the relevant factor (for example, if one juiced solely apples every day, they would not get nearly the same nutritional benefits as someone who juiced other fruits and vegetables with more and varied nutrients).
The comic can also be interpreted as parodying the idea of fruit juices being healthy. Though this is widely believed, recent studies demonstrate otherwise.
An alternative reading that expands on that theme is that the comic shows a juicer with three full bottles of real juice, indicating that the owner of the juice machine is making regular juice with the intention of drinking it, but not consuming juice at the rate it is produced. The comic also shows a Fruit Gusher snack, indicating the unhealthy option that the juicer owner just can't stop eating. But the color of the juices makes the first explanation more likely.
- Linguistic note on hard g vs soft g and ways of pronouncing c
Some people may think that someone could think that "Gushers" /ˈgʌʃərz/ should be pronounced as "juicers" /ˈdʒusərz/. I.e., if you know enough to be dangerous about English spelling you could think that both words are pronounced /ˈdʒuʃərz/, but that's non-sense. Never the less...
- A 'g' can signify a soft-g sound (/dʒ/ as in 'gin').
- A 'u' can signify a close back rounded vowel, /u/ as in 'flute.'
- The letters 'ce' can be pronounced /ʃ/ as in 'ocean' /ˈoʊʃən/.
- The plain-English word "gush" (meaning to flow rapidly) is pronounced /gʌʃ/ with a hard 'g' /g/ and a 'u' as in 'flush' or 'gut' /ʌ/.
- The American television commercials for this product make it absolutely clear that "Gushers" is also pronounced with a hard 'g' and the 'u' as above: /gʌ/.
- 'u' as /u/ in 'flute' is exceedingly rare when the 'u' follows a 'g' (gumi, gulag, gul).
- 'gu' with a long 'u' /u/ as in 'gumi', gulag' or 'gul' always sounds /gu/ and not /dʒu/.
- The pronunciation of 'cer' as /ʃər/ is not common, except in dialectical words like "grocery".
- [We see a shelf. On it, from left to right, are: a bag of fruit gushers; a juicer; a bottle of bright red liquid; a bottle of bright blue liquid; and another bottle of bright red liquid.]
- "Oh yeah, juicers are great! I use mine all the time."
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Please delete the explanation that 'ghoti' can be pronounced 'fish'. Sorry, I meant that 'Gushers' can be pronounced 'juicers'. Xhfz (talk) 12:28, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
- I agree, but maybe we should move it into a trivia section at the bottom. The sentence "There are several possible readings of this comic:" and the headlines should also be removed. --Dgbrt (talk) 13:13, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
- I don't see any merit to the "Jushers" line - it doesn't deal with the "sh" in the word, nor does it really seem to fit the text of the comment. I don't mind the two remaining alternative explanations though. My reading was the first version that the person is juicing the Gushers (the rind being a mocking reference, as indicated, to the candy's gummy shell). While I don't think Randall was going for the second alternative that the person is saying "I juice" which implys drinking the juice, but instead it's just collected. I have no doubt that if this was the intention, Randall would have drawn an insanely large number of bottles to truely demonstrate constant juicing with no drinking, and have Cueball actually present in the frame eating the candy. That said, it's an interesting and plausible alternative that I think is fair to stay. TheHYPO (talk) 13:47, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
- The bright red and blue juice in the containers points to the source being gushers. 184.108.40.206 16:05, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
- Quote main page: "Don't be a jerk. There are a lot of comics that don't have set in stone explanations; feel free to put multiple interpretations in the wiki page for each comic." Davidy²²[talk] 03:58, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
- I like it, especially the parts about the frequencies of certain letter/phoneme sequences, but then again I'm a language nerd. 220.127.116.11 23:10, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
The heinous Batterwitch has her gnarled claws in everything! 18.104.22.168 14:45, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
- +1 for the homestuck reference, but let's try to keep it on topic please. --22.214.171.124 17:15, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
The three bottles are obviously a reflection of the fact that there were more reds than blues in the Gushers candy packs. The final explanation reads a little contrived to anyone who ever ate the candy. The Gushers=Juicers argument makes sense from what I can tell as a multilingual.
126.96.36.199 18:41, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
Moved from explanation:
- Hard g / soft g
If English is not your native language (which is not the case of Randall), you could think that "Gushers" /ˈgʌʃərz/ is pronounced as "juicers" /ˈdʒusərz/. I.e., if you know nothing about English spelling you could think that both words are pronounced /ˈdʒuʃərz/.
- A 'g' can signify a soft-g sound (/dʒ/ as in 'gin'). However, natives know that the soft-g sound never appears in the combination "gu".
- A 'u' can signify a close back rounded vowel, /u/ as in 'flute'.
- The letter 'c' can be pronounced /ʃ/ as in 'ocean' /ˈoʊʃən/. The pronunciation of 'cer' as /ʃər/ is not common, except in dialectical words like "grocery".
- ->My opinion is that we can mention it can sound very similar if spelled by non native English speakers. That's all.--Dgbrt (talk) 19:09, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
Moved from explanation:
- Juicer Juice Drinkers ⊂ Juicer Owners
Many people buy juicers (and exercise equipment) with the notion that the bought items will make them healthier. This comic shows a juicer with three full bottles of juice, indicating that the owner of the juice machine is making healthy juice with the intention of drinking it, but not consuming juice at the rate it is produced. The comic also shows a Fruit Gusher snack, indicating the unhealthy option that the juicer owner just can't stop eating.
- ->I have many ideas like this, the plastic bottles could been made of poisonous material, the juicer is broken and the bottles are bought in a supermarket,... Come on, this makes really no sense.--Dgbrt (talk) 19:09, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
- I think the juicer is being used to juice the gushers. --188.8.131.52 15:02, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
- I just saw this is in the explanation already. Yeah, this section doesn't make sense and should definitely have been removed. --184.108.40.206 15:05, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
- The juice is the same color as gushers. Note the same color on the box and in the bottle. Given how much Randall avoids color, it seems clear the narrator is making gusher juice. Definitely think this explanation should be removed, it seems to miss the joke entirely. 220.127.116.11 20:52, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
The idea given in the Talk area that the skin of an apple is where "most of the vitamins are" is a fallacy and should be corrected. The skin of the apple does contain more antioxidants, and has the fiber of the fruit, but the majority of the vitamins in that fruit are, indeed, in the "meat" of the apple. The title text in this comic is a sarcastic remark about how people tend to argue that the least-appealing part of something has the majority of the "goodness." (After all, it says that it's where "all" the vitamins are.) While partly true in many cases (rice, for example), it is almost never true of fruit regarding the vitamins, which is what the title text is about. (And when you think about it, who eats the rinds of oranges, lemons, mangoes, bananas, kiwis, or coconuts?)18.104.22.168 20:39, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
- Aren't most vitamins antioxidants? The Antioxidant page lists vitamines A, C and E as examples. -- Hkmaly (talk) 09:14, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
- Some vitamins are antioxidants, but it doesn't change the fact that the comic's title text says, "all the vitamins." That is untrue in every fruit and is made more so by the fact that he says "rind," which is a word usually reserved for the thicker, bitter outer shell of fruit like oranges, bananas, etc. 22.214.171.124 18:34, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
- Clean up needed
Some articles running into chaos, people looking at an explain like this and just say Tl;dr (Too long, don't read), I don't like this massive adds to the explain section for a really simple comic. Enter statements to the explain section when it does explain the comic. Random people looking at this site are just annoyed, many statements are just individual expresses. not helpful for an explain.--Dgbrt (talk) 23:27, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
- I must agree. Gusher is a simple word and the pronunciation is not in doubt. It is also the name of the product, and the correct pronunciation is used in commercials for the product. Nobody who needs to know how to pronounce it would be able to comprehend one percent of the guide provided in the explanation. Just...useless. 126.96.36.199 21:52, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
- I deleted the section that said that Gushers and juicers can both be mispronounced as jooshers. A double mistake made by non-native speakers who haven't studied English doesn't need to be mentioned. Xhfz (talk) 22:31, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
"There is a simple rule: If your thumbnail can reach the flesh of a fruit don't remove the skin." -- I guess you could say it's a... RULE OF THUMB WAHAHAHA 188.8.131.52 22:33, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
I think the "if pesticide has been sprayed on it" part should be removed. Pesticides don't reside just on the surface of the fruit; they reside inside it. Ever seen that demonstration where you grow a plant using water dyed with food colouring? The colour gets drawn into the plant along with the water. The same thing happens with pesticide. Note: this doesn't mean you shouldn't wash your fruits; there's a lot of other stuff - like dirt - on the skin. Diszy
) 06:26, 26 July 2014 (UTC)