396: The Ring

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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The Ring
On the other hand, poor Samara -- transcoded to FLV. No one deserves that.
Title text: On the other hand, poor Samara -- transcoded to FLV. No one deserves that.

Explanation

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, 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.

Rickrolling is an Internet meme, where someone is lured into clicking on a video link, and the video they actually see is of Rick Astley singing "Never Gonna Give You Up".

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.

Transcript

[Tall girl with a pony tail is speaking to a boy sitting in front of a TV with a black background and a white ring.]
Girl: You watched the tape!?
Boy: Yeah, sorry.
Girl: Now you'll die in seven days!
Boy (Now standing to face the girl): It's worse than that.
[TV is cut from the frame]
Girl: ...You didn't.
Boy: Yup.
[Both are now in front of a computer, the girl leaning in.]
Girl: Great, It's got 363,104 views already.
Boy: They kept Rickrolling me! It was only fair.
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Discussion

Ironic, when Youtube is one of the prime targets for death-threat chain letters. Davidy22 (talk) 03:32, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

How does the comic imply that he is not safe? The mom just seems mad because 360,000 people are going to die. Athang (talk) 03:10, 4 May 2013 (UTC)

In the books, copying didn't really make you safe. Granted, this comic is about the movie based off of the movie based off of the books, so the comparison is pretty limited. 76.106.251.87 18:57, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

The boy is not Cueball but a child. He did watch the tape on a TV, presumably at a much better resolution as his YouTube upload is.--Dgbrt (talk) 19:41, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

The transcript calls him "young cueball" 190.75.237.167 01:37, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
The official transcript calls them just 'boy' and 'girl'. 'Young Cueball' isn't a thing. 108.162.219.223 21:44, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Where is the official transcript - is this something Randall post somewhere? The transcript on this page uses the names given to the characters on this page. Cueball only exist as a name outside the XKCD comic. It is not something Randall subscribes to. But here any non descript character is called Cueball. But is is true that this is a child version of Cueball and I have corrected the explain so it says this. The transcript is fine as it is. --Kynde (talk) 05:26, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

Randall loses points for calling her "Samara" and not Sadako. the "remakes" do not exist. that is a fact. 193.37.237.100 09:50, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

Maybe but as the comic is about the Ring Sadako is not in the movie Cueball watches :-) Kynde (talk) 05:26, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
Is it likely that Ponytail and Young Cueball are Rachel and Aiden from the movie? The first panel (apart from the nonchalance of the child) seems somewhat similar to the scene in the movie where Rachel discovers that Aiden has watched the tape. --Hatkirby (talk) 04:09, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
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