Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Another entry into the My Hobby series.
"O RLY?" is an Internet meme typically used to express sarcastic agreement with or feigned surprise at a statement. The typical response to "O RLY" is usually "YA RLY," "NO WAI," or "SRSLY?" These exchanges are SMS abbreviations for "Oh really?", "Yeah really," "No way!", and "Seriously?" respectively.
However, Cueball's response avoids this typical exchange, instead replying with another cliché, derived from a classic double entendre.
In this cliché, the speaker responds to a statement containing a word ending with '-er' and turns it into a sexual reference. The setup is as follows:
- Alan: "Do you want to come over to my house? My wife and I are playing poker."
- Bob: "Poker? I hardly KNOW her!"
Such a double entendre makes no sense in the context of an O RLY exchange. In the case of the comic, the non-sequitur will likely baffle the person on the left (Whiteface) and derail the conversation, to the amusement of the person on the right, Cueball/Randall. The reason Randall makes this a hobby is, presumably, that it bores him when people fall back on clichés for comedy, and he seeks inventive ways to humor himself in these situations. See, for example, https://xkcd.com/16/.
The title text takes the real cliché "fight fire with fire" and combines it with the more literal "fight clichés with clichés." The resulting statement follows a very similar principle to the situation in the comic proper. Also, for some reason or another, the title of the page contains no 'é' character (Clichd Exchanges), and the title text contains
&eacute; instead of
é, which does not evaluate to é.
- My Hobby:
- Derailing clichéd exchanges by using the wrong replies
- Friend: O RLY?
- Cueball: O RLY? I 'ardly know 'er!
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Is this correction satisfactory? Can I remove the tag? ImVeryAngryItsNotButter (talk) 00:54, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
- I removed it, because it looks good to me. 18.104.22.168 13:32, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
I thought the cliche being referred to was "wrecked 'em? I hardly knew 'em!" (a double entendre on "rectum" ) http://ask.metafilter.com/122210/JokeFilter-What-is-the-origin-of-the-joke-with-the-punchline-rectum-damn-near-killed-him 22.214.171.124 14:25, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
- In my experience it's a general "<tagword>, I hardly knew(/know) her(/him)", where the tagword is an -er/-im word and can (by sheer force of will, often groan-worthy) be taken as a double-entendre spawn. e.g. "Which cathedral is that in the picture?" "Chester." "Chester? I hardly know 'er!" (The worse the better, arguably, but that example's probably too flat.)
- Your form follows alongside of that. But this cliché is the mismatched follow-up, only sparked off (albeit by deliberate disassociation) by the "O RLY?" cliché as feed-line. 126.96.36.199 10:30, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
The double entendre in this case is O RLY ~ orally? Undee (talk) 11:24, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
I never thought of it as a double entendre- I thought it was a play on words of Irish names,(as evidenced by the ommision of the first letter in some words) i.e. O'reilly. In this case, it would be "O'reilly? I 'ardly know 'er!" 188.8.131.52 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
The fact that this is a collaborative wiki doesn't not mean you should put in every ludicrous and idiosyncratic interpretation that has special meaning to you and clearly has nothing to do with what Randall, or people in the rest of the world, understood the comic to be. O RLY is not a reference to an Irish name, or a Hebrew name, or anything at all other than the eminently popular O RLY meme. Period. Leave your personal nonsense out of this wiki. 184.108.40.206 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
Since I am another that first thought of the Irish name and not a meme I have never heard of perhaps you should be the one to keep your personal nonsense out of this wiki. I have read most of the explains on this site and you are the first that I have seen that has targeted any single person for an attack like this. Also learn to sign wiki comments 220.127.116.11 12:47, 7 July 2017 (UTC)