This is the first of two comics in a row about presents, and it is also the last comic released before Christmas Day. This is the first Christmas comic of 2019, with 2246: Christmas Presents being the second Christmas comic, released on Christmas Day.
Edible Arrangements is a company that sells fruit, and other edible items that have been cut and arranged to look like flower bouquets. They can be ordered and sent to a given recipient for a variety of purposes. Flower arrangements are typically not eaten, as showy flowers are so economically inefficient to mass produce that modern culture has forgotten they are edible.
In the first panel, Cueball seems to find the concept incongruous, and wonders how it came about. Megan points out the easy answer: picking out a gift for someone can be difficult, but a tasteful meal is always welcome so long as it's something the recipient can eat safely, and the visual appearance of an edible arrangement offers further appeal.
Shortly afterwards, Megan uses the same incongruity of eating a floral arrangement to make puns. Vore of the Roses is a play on the War of the Roses, either the English civil war or the 1989 movie of the same name. 'Vore' is a word part referring to eating, as in carnivore (meat eater), herbivore (plant eater), voracious (hungry or eating a lot), etc. The pun is particularly disturbing to Cueball because of the connection to Vorarephilia, which uses the term vore to refer to the sexual ingestion of another human, a notorious fetish in the furry fandom.
Cueball is disturbed by the thought (or perhaps disturbed that Megan would anthropomorphize her food so) and probably in pain because of the bad pun and says he will cancel the edible arrangement that he had bought for Megan. She tries to convince him otherwise by providing alternative names, which are evidently not any more to his liking, since he has left Megan before she finishing all her suggestions.
Mouth Blossoms, Juicy Bouquet, and Oral Floral are all combinations referencing the eating of a floral arrangement. In theory, these combinations could be good names for a band, or possibly a tumblr blog. As with the first name, it is also possible to look at this as a sexual innuendo, as flower can be used about a woman's sex and anything with oral in it can be misunderstood if one wishes so. Sex is a recurring theme on xkcd, and some fetishes has been mentioned before, although Vorarephilia is a first.
The title text also makes reference to the fact that many flowers that are often found in floral arrangements, such as roses, violets, tulips, daisies, lavender and many more, are items that a human can eat. Such flowers are safe to consume but usually unappetizing; Randall makes the point that if a person is sufficiently hungry and thus doesn't care how appetizing their meal is, any floral arrangement can be eaten. Since he doesn't use flower in the title text, he actually says that if you are hungry enough anything can be eaten. The title text may also be an allusion to a Mitch Hedberg joke: "Any book is a children's book if the kid can read!"
- [Cueball and Megan are sitting on opposite sides of a leafless tree. They are silhouetted.]
- Cueball: I don't get how Edible Arrangements is a thing.
- [Zoomed in on Cueball and Megan leaning against the tree]
- Megan: That's easy — picking out presents is hard and fruit is delicious.
- Cueball: Yeah, true.
- [Megan gestures with an open hand]
- Megan: But my question is, why did they call it "Edible Arrangements" and not "Vore of the Roses"?
- [Pan to just Megan. Megan turns to face Cueball]
- Cueball: Just for that, I'm going to cancel the one I got you.
- Megan: Nooo! I want my Mouth Blossoms!
- Megan: My Juicy Bouquet! My Oral Floral!
- Megan: Hey, come back!
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This reads like a tumblr shitpost rather than a xkcd comic shudders
How often do typos show up in XKCD comics ("Edible Arrangements is a thing" versus "Edible Arrangements are a thing")? Capncanuck (talk) 20:36, 23 December 2019 (UTC)
- It's not a typo. Randall is referring to the concept of Edible Arrangements, not a collection of edible arrangements. 184.108.40.206 20:56, 23 December 2019 (UTC)
- I see what you mean. Should there have been quotes around the terms in the first panel then? Capncanuck (talk) 20:58, 23 December 2019 (UTC)
- Nevermind, it's a company name. no quotes needed. Capncanuck (talk) 21:04, 23 December 2019 (UTC)
"Any arrangement is an edible arrangement if you're hungry enough." - and you have enough mustard. Happy Winter Solstice Everyone!220.127.116.11 07:48, 24 December 2019 (UTC)
Any reason to assume a connection to vorarephilia rather than the common suffix "-vore" for "eating" or "swallowing", as in carnivore, herbivore, insectivore, etc. (and obviously the non-philia part of vorarephilia)? "Vore" may get used as slang/abbreviation for vorarephilia, but in this context I'd have thought the suffix was more the intent. I, at least, was unaware of the slang; possibly Randall was too, but I'd claim the philia is a bit obscure compared with the "vore" etymology. I wouldn't want to "correct" this without someone having the chance to make the argument the other way, though. Fluppeteer (talk) 11:55, 24 December 2019 (UTC)
- Yes, I'm amused by (though am not necessarily disputing) the assertion that vore is "often" used as slang for vorarephilia. I've not encountered situations where a shortened version is needed to keep conversation flowing smoothly. 18.104.22.168 12:37, 24 December 2019 (UTC)Pat
- The term "vore" is used in various search engines, since "vorarephilia" is difficult to spell. The Second Life platform has several areas where avatars can participate in "vore" simulations. (It's a bit disconcerting to stumble across these things...) 22.214.171.124 13:37, 24 December 2019 (UTC)
- It does seem to be the primary use of "vore" as a stand-alone word, I'd just assumed that Randall thought he was coining the use as part of his pun. Search engines (with some trepidation) do seem to offer the "-vore" suffix as well. Not to try to appropriate the word from the vore community... Oh well, I learnt something, but I still think anthropomorphizing a flower arrangement in order to make the interpretation make sense is a reach.Fluppeteer (talk) 17:40, 24 December 2019 (UTC)
- Vorarephilia (vore) is a reasonably established/famous Weird Internet Thing. I'd be astonished if Randall wasn't aware of that usage of the term. --Anomylous (talk) 01:00, 25 December 2019 (UTC)
- I wasn't (vorarephilia, yes; term, no), but then there are a lot of memes I don't know about - like I said, I learned something, which happens with the best of Randall's comics and this site. No objection to the version at time of writing (mentioning both), anyway.Fluppeteer (talk) 11:09, 27 December 2019 (UTC)
- I wonder how long ago the word "vore" was coined that way. Back in the 90's a friend of mine was in a local metal band called "Vore" but they always explained it using the word "Carnivore". Maybe there was something I never knew about them... 126.96.36.199 23:04, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
The opening scenes of Roger Corman's original "Little Shop of Horrors" has a customer order a floral arrangement, and leaves the shop eating the blossoms. 188.8.131.52 13:37, 24 December 2019 (UTC)
Aren't flowers meant for decoration sprayed with insecticides/fungicides etc. not fit for consumption? So the flower itself might be edible, the various 'icide's aren't. (Though of course literally anything can be eaten at least once in a lifetime) --184.108.40.206 19:32, 24 December 2019 (UTC)
- Wouldn't that be similar to how you are expected to wash fruit and vegetables before eating to remove pesticides? -- Hkmaly (talk) 00:58, 27 December 2019 (UTC)
Any idea if "Juicy Bouquet" rhymes better in Randallesian dialect than it does in mine? (Where "Oral Floral" definitely does well on that score.) It seems too close to be not intended to have that effect, yet too far away in my accent to come 'naturally'. (I find it far more convenient to mispronounce "Juic(+a+)y" to match "Bouquet" than to match "Bouque(>y<)" to any halfway normal "Juicy". And there seems no obvious middle-ground to send both to.) 220.127.116.11 01:25, 25 December 2019 (UTC)
Is it clear from the date that this is about Christmas presents, so that this should be included in the Christmas category? --Kynde (talk) 22:06, 25 December 2019 (UTC)
"Juicy bouquet" could be a play on the "Juicy Couture" brand name as opposed to any sort of rhyming attempt. 18.104.22.168 14:59, 26 December 2019 (UTC)
Randall has referenced vore before, six years ago in comic 471: Aversion Fads, that reference to the Lion and the Mouse was not about bondage and that explanation could use an update.--Sillvy (talk) 9:45, 27 December 2019 (UTC)
- Within the furry fandom vore has it's own meaning that's neither a suffix nor a philia, sort of a convince the guardian spirit to take the being between you and the world thing literally thing.
- During the aversion fad time protecting the fandom's reputation and not mentioning the weird stuff was a big deal. Now that that is over, mentioning the weird stuff, particularly vore, is a furry in-joke.
Is it just me that thinks "Oral flora" and "Mouth bouquet" both sound like euphemisms for oral thrush or similar? --OliReading (talk) 10:56, 11 January 2020 (UTC)