396: The Ring
Title text: On the other hand, poor Samara -- transcoded to FLV. No one deserves that.
The Ring is a horror movie released in 2002 based off the Japanese movie Ringu. In it, you watch a video tape. When the tape is done, you would receive a phone call saying you will die in seven days. In the movie, the main character's son watches the tape. In the comic, he one-ups the movie by posting the video on YouTube for everyone to watch. However, I don't know if this was intentional, but in the movie, if you made a copy of the tape and showed it to someone else, you would be safe (but they would now be in danger). This is not what the comic implies - in fact, it is the opposite.
The title text refers to the file format used by the YouTube player. Historically YouTube was famous for having extremely poor quality videos because their Internet connections were slower, and server storage space was expensive. So, all videos were transcoded into a very low quality FLV (flash video) format. The girl in the video tapes (and the one that would call you) is named Samara. Even though posting it on YouTube was a clever idea, it does force Samara (which would come out of the screen) to become heavily compressed (and perhaps distorted) by the conversion to FLV.
- [Ponytail is speaking to young Cueball sitting in front of a TV with a black background and a white ring.]
- Ponytail: You watched the tape!?
- Cueball: Yeah, sorry.
- Ponytail: Now you'll die in seven days!
- Cueball: It's worse than that.
- [TV is cut from the frame]
- Ponytail: ...You didn't.
- Cueball: Yup.
- [Both are now in front of a computer, Ponytail leaning in.]
- Ponytail: Great, It's got 363,104 views already.
- Cueball: They kept Rickrolling me! It was only fair.