38: Apple Jacks

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Apple Jacks
There used to be these ads, see...
Title text: There used to be these ads, see...


Apple Jacks is a breakfast cereal produced by Kellogg's. As the title text begins to explain, there was an ad campaign for the cereal in the 1990s that focused on someone (usually someone in authority like a parent) pointing out that Apple Jacks doesn't taste like apples, and one or more kids pointing out that it doesn't matter and that "we eat what we like." However, instead of laughing off his dad's comment and correcting him, as in the campaign, this son responds by simply saying "fuck off, dad."

This could be a commentary on today's youth being far less respectful, as the son is playing video games and seems annoyed at being interrupted, though this does not align with Randall’s public views. It may not be the first time the father has used the line, and the son is irritated by the repetition. It could also be saying that the response in the ads is unrealistic, and this is a much more realistic response.

The same ad campaign was referenced previously in 27: Meat Cereals on a parody cereal labeled Scrapple Jacks.

Cereal advertising was again referenced in 1470: Kix.

The title text could be a reference to the fact that this comic requires explanation for those who don't know of the ad (the reason this webpage exists), or it is an addition to the joke. This is another of the early comics where Randall felt the need to explain the joke in the title text, see for instance 30: Donner.


[Cueball is standing holding a bowl in his hand. His son is sitting on the floor playing video games.]
Cueball: Hey, these don't taste like apples!
Son: Fuck off, Dad.


  • This was the 39th comic originally posted to LiveJournal.
  • Original title: "Wednesday's Drawing - Apple Jacks"
  • Original Randall quote: "Who else remembers those commercials?"
  • This comic was posted on xkcd when the web site opened on Sunday the 1st of January 2006.
    • It was posted along with all 41 comics posted before that on LiveJournal as well as a few others.
    • The latter explaining why the numbers of these 41 LiveJournal comics ranges from 1-44.

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Four Hundred Thousand Eight Hundred Twenty Second.
Please at least say who you are (preferably add '~ ~ ~ ~'). Beanie (talk) 12:35, 11 March 2021 (UTC)
Without the spaces dudeHiihaveanaccount (talk) 17:51, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
ok~ ~ ~ ~
no ~ ~ ~ ~

I think a better interpretation might be that the dad saw the ads when he was a kid, and is trying to be the dad in the ads, but the response is not what he expected. --Calion (talk) 06:28, 19 February 2023 (UTC)