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Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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We have an explanation for all 1 xkcd comics, and only 29 (2%) are incomplete. Help us finish them!

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Hot Dogs
Okay, I'm just gonna order pizza, and let's never talk about this again.
Title text: Okay, I'm just gonna order pizza, and let's never talk about this again.

Explanation

A common staple of trite comedy is "why do hot dogs come in packages of ten but hot dog buns in bags of eight?" The phenomenon is mildly frustrating as it often leaves leftover food. (This can be avoided. The remaining hot dogs can be eaten by persons on low-carb diets, or can result in the subsequent purchase of more buns, followed by more hot dogs, followed by more buns, over and over again until forty total hot dogs have been eaten in a cycle similar to that shown in 140: Delicious.)

Here, Cueball attempts to raise the question as he is standing with a package of hot dogs in one hand and a bag of buns in the other hand (presumably for their dinner), but a person offscreen interrupts him mid sentence and mentions condoms instead of buns. Cueball mulls the subject over in his mind, and when he realizes his friend is putting hot dogs in condoms, he is promptly grossed out—maybe from considering why they would do this.

The title text makes it clear that Cueball's new found association of hot dogs with sexual activity, has put him totally off the idea of eating any of them this evening, and he suggests ordering pizza, which he then can hope will not be used for similar comparisons… Cueball also asks that he and his friend never discuss this conversation again, due to the situation's awkwardness and uncomfortable subject matter.

The actual reason for the mismatch between hot dogs and buns, according to both Karl Smallwood and Cecil Adams, is that meat packers like things that come in pounds and bakers hate things that come in tens.

Transcript

[Cueball is standing in the frame holding a bag and a package of hot dogs.]
Cueball: Hey, why do hot dogs come in packages of ten-
Offscreen: -But condoms come in strips of six? I know, right?!
Cueball: ...Eww.


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