150: Grownups

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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I've looked into this, and I can't figure out a way to do it cheaply. And I guess it wouldn't be sanitary.
Title text: I've looked into this, and I can't figure out a way to do it cheaply. And I guess it wouldn't be sanitary.

[edit] Explanation

Randall is playing with the child/grownup setup again. During childhood, adults ("grownups") make most of the decisions and put constraints on what their children do. As children age and eventually become grownups, there are some things that they do not do anymore, as they see them as childish.

Megan has taken these thoughts seriously, and realizes that with her newfound freedom as a grownup, she gets to define what her adulthood means. Free from constraints, she goes ahead and creates a ball pit in her apartment of colored plastic balls. Cueball admires this spirit and enters the ball pit. It is difficult to decipher Randall's true intent behind this somewhat cryptic comic, but it seems from the heart that the two are making love in the balls.

The trend with adults participating in children's activities is continued in 219: Blanket Fort. And with adults that feel like children while doing adult things as in 616: Lease which references this comic in the title text.

The title text reveals that Randall also would like to make his own ball pit, but he finds it expensive to buy and also hard to keep clean. Both of these are true - see links. Most public ball pits can easily become very dirty as many children and toddlers play in them.

[edit] Transcript

[Cueball is talking to Megan who is behind a waist-high screen across a doorway with colorful playpen balls behind her.]
Cueball: Hey, I was wondering if you had plans for-- holy crap, what happened to your apartment?
Megan: I filled it with playpen balls!
Cueball: I... what? Why?
[Megan is seen from the front through the door with the colored balls behind her.]
Megan: Because we're grown-ups now, and it's our turn to decide what that means.
[Cueball is seen from the side standing next to the open door. Megan cannot be seen, except her hands on the screen, but some of the coloured balls can be seen through the door. A beat panel.]
[Same view but both have entered into the apartment, removing the screen so coloured balls have been spilling out into the corridor. A big pink love heart drifts out the door.]

[edit] Trivia

  • This is one of the five footer comics linked at the bottom part of the xkcd website.
  • Randall, author of the comic, actually built one in his apartment, which he talks about and shows pictures of at here and here.
  • The Website chiliahedron.com provides a calculator for how much it would cost to make your own ball pit.
  • China takes the cake for this, though. China currently holds the record for the worlds largest ballpit: a swimming pool filled with 1 million balls.

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Date of issue is definitely incorrect. Could someone fix that? Rikthoff (talk) 16:35, 3 August 2012 (EDT)

fixed.--B. P. (talk) 23:22, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

I have a (partial?) solution to the urine problem. Don't let any toddlers and children into your apartment, let alone hundreds of them. HTH, HAND. 18:23, 22 June 2013 (UTC)

I'd say this comic resonated much more around the Internet than the rest of them. The trivia section should mention this and cite evidence. --Quicksilver (talk) 06:17, 24 August 2013 (UTC)

I think the heart means that they're having sex. The title text would support this. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Since noone mentioned it yet, this guy tried it at home. Something for the Trivia? - Ruffy314 (talk) 15:14, 11 December 2015 (UTC)

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