Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
The repetition of the syllable "na" is often used to sing a tune without saying any actual words. It is often to practice or demonstrate a tune, but, as shown in this comic, it is also a part of some songs' lyrics. Following the various branches of this diagram forms lyrics of several popular songs.
The top entry refers to the song "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye", originally recorded by Paul Leka, Gary DeCarlo, and Dale Frashuer. It has become very popular among the home fans of sporting events in America, who use it to taunt the away team.
The leftmost bottom entry refers to the theme song to the 60s TV show Batman.
The central bottom entry refers to the theme song to the video game Katamari Damacy.
The Katamari Damacy theme song was the cause of the Accident in comic 161.
The rightmost bottom entry refers to the song "Land of a Thousand Dances", originally recorded by Chris Kenner. The title text makes a joke toward the repetition of "na na na.." in the song Land of a Thousand Dances and how Randall said he hasn't the patience to listen to the whole song.
Not long after this comic was published, the following message was posted by Randall on his xkcd page:
- I can't believe I forgot Hey Jude.
- I don't get do-overs, but I couldn't resist making a fixed version.
The extra, do-over entry refers to the song "Hey Jude", originally recorded by the Beatles. The name of the fixed version, 851_make_it_better, refers to the song's lyrics: "Take a sad song / And make it better."
This is one of many flowchart comics. A full list can be found here.
- [A flowchart.]
- Na → Na → Na → Na → Na → Na → Na → Na (branches to "→ Hey → Hey → Goodbye" and "→ Batman!") → Na → Na (branches to "Katamari Damacy!") → Na (arrow labeled "Land of 1,000 Dances" that loops around to the last "Na" again)
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Randall actually explains at the top: "I can't believe I forgot Hey Jude.
I don't get do-overs, but I couldn't resist making a fixed version." Mark Hurd (talk) 16:29, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
- The "make it better" portion of the URL of the revised comic is probably a reference to additional lyrics from Hey Jude. In light of the fact that that particular joke wouldn't have been available unless he had omitted it from the initial one, it's possible he 'forgot' Hey Jude on purpose.
- 18.104.22.168 22:40, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
Doesn't Katamari Damacy have nine "na"s, not ten? This is the number I can hear in the song on youtube, and the number in his earlier comic Accident. Am I missing something? --22.214.171.124 13:22, 12 May 2013 (UTC)
- Nope. It has 9. "Hey, Jude" wasn't the only thing he missed. 126.96.36.199 04:14, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
- Actually it depends. In some arrangements there's a leading "Na" at a lower pitch before going into the main sequence, providing the tenth. 188.8.131.52 20:01, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
Doesn't Batman have 16 na's? I'm pretty sure Im right about that ~JFreund
- Usually, yeah. But if you replace "nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana" with just "na na na na na na na na" then you get what is seen here. 184.108.40.206 04:14, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
This is described here as a "flowchart", but I suspect Randall was going for a finite state machine. --Dfeuer (talk) 08:04, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Um, I'm not a math person, but this reminds me of Markov Chain a bit?220.127.116.11 14:14, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
Doesn't it go "hey hey hey goodbye" instead of "hey hey goodbye" as well? 18.104.22.168 18:28, 11 March 2015 (UTC) Yeah, I Think I'm Signing Right
This explanation is incomplete and not very good. I'm not American and only by reading through comments here I get to understand that "Na na na ... <x>" are like lyrics extracts from different TV-Show-Songs in the USA? 22.214.171.124 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
I added the mention of the title text to the explanation so it's not incomplete anymore. -- JayRulesXKCD (talk) 1:28, 9 September 2016 (EDT)