442: xkcd Loves the Discovery Channel

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xkcd Loves the Discovery Channel
I love the title-text!
Title text: I love the title-text!


This comic is a parody of the Discovery Channel commercial showing various clips of people singing a song with the chorus line 'Boom De Yada'. The comic is divided into a grid of 4 panels by 6 panels, most depicting a character or situation from a previous xkcd strip. In each panel is written a part of a song similar to the song from the Discovery Channel commercial.

The campaign from the Discovery Channel was not called "Boom De Yada," but "I Love the World". The title "xkcd Loves the Discovery Channel" is in reference to this.

Most of the panels are references to previous xkcd strips, but a few are not.

Panel 1 I love momentum.
A reference to comic 162: Angular Momentum, where Megan spins in a circle to "rob the planet of angular momentum."
Panel 2 I love to engineer.
A reference to comic 413: New Pet, where Megan and Cueball turn an EEE PC into a household pet.
Panel 3 I love this bakery!
A reference to comic 434: xkcd Goes to the Airport, where Beret Guy shows his liking for bakeries in first panel. His love of bakeries is a recurring gag in the comic.
Panel 4 I love the blogosphere!
A reference to comic 239: Blagofaire, where someone from the far future believes that many people blogged from high-altitude balloons whilst wearing red capes and goggles. The flying character may be Cory Doctorow, who is mentioned in the comic as the only blogger to actually do this, and who also appeared in comic 345: 1337: Part 5 in this guise.
Panel 5 I love the whole world. (Cueball running in a large hamster ball.)
Likely a reference to comic 152: Hamster Ball, though there are multiple comics featuring human-sized hamster balls.
Panel 6 And all its messed-up folks.
A reference to the /b/ ("Random") forum on 4chan, which is in fact home to plenty of "messed-up folks." This on-line behavior is something Randall comments on in several comics both before and after this. For instance in 202: YouTube.
Panel 7 Boom de yada, Boom de yada (Cueball and Megan immersed in playpen balls.)
A reference to comic 150: Grownups, where Megan decides that she has the ability to, and wants to, turn her house into a giant ball pit.
Panel 8 Boom de yada, Boom de yada (I put on my robe and wizard hat)
A reference to this roleplay chat transcript (NSFW), which became an Internet meme. A user named bloodninja would roleplay as a wizard during cybersex (saying "I put on my robe and wizard hat" to signal this) and invariably infuriate his unwitting partners with demeaning actions. Other incidents involved him roleplaying as a rhinoceros. In the above mentioned comic 150: Grownups, the two characters also disappear, but in that case a big pink heart comes out of the playpen balls.
Panel 9 I love your suffering.
The recurring character Black Hat is being his usual self and causing suffering for his own amusement, as in comic 72: Classhole. In this panel, he is seen giving a child a present, probably containing a bobcat as seen in 325: A-Minus-Minus. He could also be taking the present from the child.
Panel 10 I love cryptography.
Cryptography is a subject that comes up often in the comic, notably, in comics 153: Cryptography and 177: Alice and Bob before this one (for a full list see Category:Cryptography). The panel shows a flowchart of the kind commonly used to show how a particular cryptosystem works and/or how it can be broken.
Panel 11 I love entangled sheets.
Sexual reference. Sex and red sheets are also brought up in comic 230: Hamiltonian.
Panel 12 And kite photography.
A reference to Randall's own hobby of kite photography, as well as comic 235: Kite.
Panel 13 I love the whole world (Map of the internet.)
A reference to comic 256: Online Communities, featuring online communities of the time visualized as a world map, with geographic areas representing their approximate membership size. There is, more directly, a pun on "internet," namely "outernet."
Panel 14 And all its mysteries.
A reference to a series of comics on "red spiders": 8: Red Spiders, 43: Red Spiders 2, 47: Counter-Red Spiders, 126: Red Spiders Cometh, and 427: Bad Timing.
Panel 15 Boom de yada, Boom de yada (Two people sword-fighting on rolling office chairs.)
A reference to comic 303: Compiling, where two coders battle with fake swords at work, with the excuse that their code is compiling.
Panel 16 Boom de yada, Boom de yada (Classroom with two students and a teacher.)
Nothing too special, but it does embrace the "everybody joins in" theme behind the commercials. The teacher is Miss Lenhart, who was first properly introduced in comic 263: Certainty, but may have made an appearance in comic 59: Graduation.
Panel 17 I love elections (Barack me Obamadeus!)
A pun on the song Rock Me Amadeus and US president Barack Obama. At this point, Randall had not done any comics directly on elections, but he made this after the one in 2008: 500: Election and has shown his love for this subject also around the 2012 election.
Panel 18 I love transistors.
This panel has Cueball's crotch replaced with the (similar-looking) icon used for a transistor in a circuit diagram. Randall later showed how much he loves anything that can go in to such a diagram in 730: Circuit Diagram.
Panel 19 I love weird pillow talk. (There must be Taft slash fiction.)
"Pillow talk" means intimate conversations between lovers, "slash fiction" is fanfiction with characters of the same sex, and "Taft" is William Howard Taft, a US President mostly remembered for his severe obesity. It appears that they are invoking rule 34 of the Internet as a reference to 305: Rule 34. Weird pillow talk is also the subject of comic 69: Pillow Talk, while the Taft reference comes from comic 214: The Problem with Wikipedia.
Panel 20 I love your sister.
A reference to xkcd's recurring joke of dating the female character's sister, which spans several comics including 49: Want, 279: Pickup Lines, 317: That Lovin' Feelin', and 408: Overqualified.
Panel 21 I love the whole world (Roller coaster with Cueball holding a chess board)
A reference to comic 249: Chess Photo, which inspired an internet meme.
Panel 22 The future's pretty cool! (Beret Guy in a forest.)
The picture of the forest is similar to that in 269: TCMP, though it may also be a reference to comic 167: Nihilism, where Cueball and Beret Guy make observations about the future while climbing a tree. Later, in comic 1322: Winter, the two are seen walking through a forest very similar to the one shown here. The forest Beret Guy is in also may be a reference to the Wood Between the Worlds in The Magician's Nephew, from the series of childrens' books, The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis.
Panel 23 Boom de yada, Boom de yada (Megan doing the MC Hammer slide towards Cueball.)
A reference to comic 108: M.C. Hammer Slide, where Hairy falls in love with "a girl whose only mode of transportation is the M.C. Hammer Slide."
Panel 24 Boom de yada, Boom de yada (Cueball and Megan on an electric skateboard.)
A reference to comic 409: Electric Skateboard (Double Comic), where Megan and Cueball go on an electric skateboard ride, but he already introduced these back in 139: I Have Owned Two Electric Skateboards.

The title text continues the song, self-referentially. Self-reference is a reoccurring theme in Douglas Hofstadter's books, notably Gödel, Escher, Bach, which Randall refers to directly in 24: Godel, Escher, Kurt Halsey. Later, Hofstadter has been referenced in other comics, such as in the title text of 555: Two Mirrors and 608: Form, plus, of course, in 917: Hofstadter. Self-reference as a form of humor was also explored before, but most famously in the later 688: Self-Description.

From xkcd: volume 0:

To everyone who did YouTube covers of this, I love you all.


[The comic is in parody of the Discovery Channel commercial showing various clips of people singing a song with the chorus line "Boom De Yada."]
[The comic is divided into a grid of 4 panels by 6 panels, each depicting a character or situation often from a previous xkcd strip.]
[In each panel is written a part of a song similar to the song from the Discovery Channel commercial.]
Panel 1:
[Megan spinning around.]
I love momentum.
Panel 2:
[Megan laying on floor tinkering with an EEE PC hamster ball robot.]
I love to engineer.
Panel 3:
[Beret Guy standing in bakery holding a loaf of bread in each hand, a sign with "PIE!" in background.]
I love this bakery!
Panel 4:
[Cory Doctorow in goggles and a red cape flying superman-style.]
I love the blogosphere!
Panel 5:
[Cueball running in a large hamster ball.]
I love the whole world
Panel 6:
[Depiction of internet sludge (4chan b-Random)]
And all its messed-up folks.
Panel 7:
[Cueball and Megan immersed in playpen balls.]
Boom De Yada
Boom De Yada
Panel 8:
[Mass of playpen balls with speech "I put on my robe and wizard hat" originating from it.]
Boom De Yada
Boom De Yada
Panel 9:
[Black Hat taking a present from a kid with a party hat.]
I love your suffering.
Panel 10:
[Diagram showing RSA fingerprint authentication between two people.]
I love cryptography.
Panel 11:
[Cueball and Megan in bed covered by a red sheet.]
I love entangled sheets.
Panel 12:
[Cueball hanging from a kite string holding a camera.]
And kite photography.
Panel 13:
[Map of the internet.]
I love the whole world
Panel 14:
[Cube with a red spider on top.]
And all its mysteries.
Panel 15:
[Two people sword-fighting on rolling office chairs.]
Boom De Yada
Boom De Yada
Panel 16:
[Classroom with two students and Miss Lenhart.]
Boom De Yada
Boom De Yada
Panel 17:
[Cueball saying "Barack me Obamadeus!" to another man speaking energetically at a podium.]
I love elections.
Panel 18:
[Cueball holding a schematic diagram of a transistor in front of his crotch.]
I love transistors.
Panel 19:
[Cueball and Megan in bed, Cueball saying "There must be taft slash fiction."]
I love weird pillow talk.
Panel 20:
[Cueball speaking to Megan.]
I love your sister.
Panel 21:
[Roller coaster with Cueball in the front car holding a chess board and thinking about a move.]
I love the whole world.
Panel 22:
[Beret Guy standing in the midst of leafless trees.]
The future's pretty cool!
Panel 23:
[Megan doing the MC Hammer slide towards Cueball.]
Boom De Yada
Boom De Yada
Panel 24:
[Cueball and Megan on an electric skateboard.]
Boom De Yada
Boom De Yada


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I think that panel 9 actually is meant to be Black Hat giving the child a present and the lines around the gift suggesting that there is something moving around inside (likely alive and agitated) for the child to open and be mauled/harmed by.

  • The transcript comes from Randall himself, and it says he's taking the present away. Blaisepascal (talk) 10:14, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
I was hoping it was a bobcat. 19:05, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
It definitely looks like its a present being taken away, and it fits the line better 05:04, 10 April 2023 (UTC)

Great! Now I have a targeted list of comics to add explanations for! Blaisepascal (talk) 10:14, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

To Dgbrt, "Links do not belong to the transcript, this needs to be fixed." I know I'm just a noob here, but if you're so sure of that, why didn't you remove them yourself? Isn't one of WikiMedia's pillars "Be Bold"? I personally see no problem, given the self-referential nature of this comic. Anonymous 07:53, 12 January 2014 (UTC)

This is not actually a WikiMedia site, but you're right that "Be Bold" is a wiki thing, in general. Nevertheless, in this case, the official transcript provided by Randall includes these references, so they might as well be wikilinked here. (In Dgbrt's defence, he (or she) may not have had the time to undo it himself (or herself).) Mark Hurd (talk) 12:12, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
No time was in fact my first reason; but on the other hand I didn't want to remove links without an section at the explain section. The links are not from the original transcript, it does only mention the references, and this belongs to the explain. The transcript is a transcript, not more. (even no time today for me on this...) --Dgbrt (talk) 22:26, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
A compelling argument. I'll take care of it. Anonymous. 18:18, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Please remove next time only the links but not the text. --Dgbrt (talk) 22:23, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Whoops. Sorry I misinterpreted. Anonymous 09:46, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

For panel 19, I have to point out: Everything r34 related isn't necessarily a reference to the comic about it. Just because it is related doesn't mean that he was specifically making a joke about a previous comic, as he is making a joke about r34 which he ALSO happened to make a joke about in another comic. If it referenced Wetriffs or something, THEN it would be a reference. 03:44, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

I love lamp. 13:44, 9 July 2019 (UTC)

The Discovery Channel song is itself a parody of a traditional children's song: I love the mountains I love the rolling hills I love the flowers I love the daffodils I love the fireside When all the lights are low Boom dee ah dah (Randall writes "boom de yada") Boom dee ah dah ......... Jsharpminor (talk) 16:07, 28 December 2019 (UTC)