38: Apple Jacks

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Apple Jacks
There used to be these ads, see . . .
Title text: There used to be these ads, see . . .

Explanation

Apple Jacks is a breakfast cereal produced by Kellogg’s. As the image text begins to explain, there was an ad campaign for the cereal in the 1990s which focused on someone (usually someone in authority like a parent) pointing out that Apple Jacks don't taste like apples, and one or more kids pointing out that it doesn't matter and that "we eat what we like". According to Wikipedia, Apple Jacks are intended to be apple and cinnamon flavoured. It is therefore unclear why anyone thought a good ad campaign would be to suggest that they don't taste like apples. In any event, in the comic, the father prompts his son by noting that Apple Jacks don't taste like apples. However, instead of the campaign's response with the son laughing off his dad's comment and correcting him, the son responds in perhaps a more realistic way by simply saying "fuck off, dad". This could also be a commentary on today's youth being far less respectful, as the son is playing video games, and seems annoyed at being interrupted. Another view may be that this is not the first time the father has used the line, and the son is getting annoyed by it. Yet another view is highlighted by the transcript on the xkcd site, which identifies the bowl as containing Scrapple Jacks (from 27: Meat Cereals), not Apple Jacks. Of course they wouldn't taste like apples.

The same ad campaign was referenced previously in 27: Meat Cereals on a parody cereal box.

Transcript

[Father is standing holding a bowl of Scrapple Jacks in his hand. Son is sitting on the floor playing video games.]
Father: Hey, these don't taste like apples!
Son: Fuck off, dad.

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