Title text: It's like the squirt bottle we use with the cat.
In all of philosophy, perhaps the most important question considers the meaning of life, and can be expressed as "Why are we here?" or "What does it all mean?" Many philosophers and theologians have attempted to answer the question over the course of human history and every religion claims to have some sort of answer.
Megan has been considering that the question is essentially meaningless. However, if that is true, she can't understand why it continues to be in her thoughts. This might feel frustrating for Megan. Her friends notice that she is seemingly stuck in this existential question and have a short-term solution for her. One friend reaches for a Super Soaker 50, a powerful toy squirt gun, presumably to use to spray water at Megan. (Megan uses this on Cueball in 517: Marshmallow Gun).
The title text refers to the operant conditioning technique (a form of behavioral modification) commonly used with house cats. If they start scratching the furniture, many people spray them with a squirt bottle (since they hate water) to discourage that behavior (though it seldom works). It may also allude to the idea of hitting a break key where a program is stuck in a logical loop.
- [Megan sits on chair, thinking.]
- [Two panels pass, Megan does not move.]
- Megan: If the question of what it all means doesn't mean anything, why do I keep coming back to it?
- [Two boys are talking to each other.]
- Cueball: She's getting existential again.
- Friend: It's okay, I have a super soaker.
- [Friend pulls a large super soaker from a drawer.]
- Randall himself uploaded the strip's fourth panel to Wikimedia Commons (here) for use on xkcd's Wikipedia article. xkcd is licenced under this Creative Commons license, which is incompatible with this CC license that Wikipedia uses, because the latter allows commercial use. Randall says here that he is willing to unlock more strips to Commons for similar purposes.