18: Snapple

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Sn = tin
Title text: Sn = tin


In reality, Snapple is a brand of tea and juice based beverages whose name is based on a carbonated apple juice they once produced ("snappy apple"). The joke in this comic is pretty self-explanatory; especially given that the image text continues the trend in early xkcd comics of explaining the joke. Tin is a metallic element whose abbreviation on the periodic table is "Sn" (as the Latin word for tin is "stannum"). Thus, the apple is a "Sn-apple."

The fourth panel is a silent wide shot, perhaps suggesting the joke was met with silence as a weak joke. As a meta joke, the final panel might jokingly suggest that the silence is because those unfamiliar with the table of elements don’t get the joke.

James (in the caption) presumably once made a joke to Randall about tin or Snapple or both.


This one is entirely James' fault.
[Two guys are standing and talking.]
Right Guy: Here, take a bite of this Snapple.
Left Guy: food!
[Guy on the left takes a bite]
Left Guy: Ow! What is this?
Right Guy: It's an apple infused with tin.
[The two guys continue to stand as if frozen]
Those of you who know your periodic table should be laughing right about now.


  • This is another early xkcd comic in which Cueball characters are drawn in some panels with faces.
  • This is the seventeenth comic originally posted to LiveJournal. The previous was 17: What If. The next was 19: George Clinton.

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Rikthoff (talk) Rikthoff (talk) Does anybody know what the correct date of issue of this comic is? Also, Does anybody know who James is?

There is a community portal discussion of what to call Cueball and what to do in case with more than one Cueball. I have added this comic to the new Category:Multiple Cueballs. Since the one named Cueball has all the interesting parts of this comic, it may be OK to keep him listed as Cueball. Just made a note that the other guy also looks like Cueball.--Kynde (talk) 18:13, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

After reading adventure stories for 3 hours, my friend took this comic to the humorous conclusion that a hero is simply a mix of helium and rhodium, and a heroine is made up of helium, rhodium, iodine, and neon. I then had to remind him that a) rhodium is Rb, not Ro, so helium and rhodium, along with sulfur, would be various herbs, and b) everything should just be spelled H anyway(see 1123: The Universal Label).PikminCreator (talk) 18:44, 17 July 2016 (UTC)

Wonder if there is a apple for every element, Happpe, Heapple, Lapple and so on.Dontknow (talk) 21:16, 24 March 2017 (UTC)