478: The Staple Madness

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The Staple Madness
Staple guns: because duct tape can't make that 'kaCHUNK' noise.
Title text: Staple guns: because duct tape can't make that 'kaCHUNK' noise.


Optimistic Beret Guy can never take life seriously. He loves to play with everything, and nothing is more exciting than a tool that sticks things together with an impressive kaCHUNK sound when he pulls the trigger, even on things that (definitely) shouldn't be stapled.

Installing Debian is a pun on the installation of software, and the installation of real life things by attaching them to things.

This comic may reference an engineering truism describing a similar scenario: "When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail." The truism's actual meaning refers to the scenario where when a novice has only learned to use one tool (such as one programming language), they may attempt to solve all problems using only that tool, which may end badly. This saying is referred to explicitly in 801: Golden Hammer.

From just reading the comic by itself, one may presume that in the last panel, Cueball has been stapled to the ceiling (as obvious evidence to Megan that Beret Guy has indeed been abusing her staple gun). According to the comic's official transcript, however, it is in fact God who is speaking. Due to Beret Guy's strange powers, it is rather likely that God has been stapled as well -- perhaps to the ceiling.

Duct tape, thanks to its combination of tensile and adhesive strength, is commonly regarded as the ultimate do-it-yourself repair tool. Like a staple gun, it can also be used to stick things together. Although it does make a nice sound when pulling a strip out quickly, it does not make a loud kaCHUNK sound upon fixing two objects together.

In 291: Dignified, Beret Guy hangs upside down and says (in the title text) that he has stapled his hat to his head to make it stay on. That may very well have been the inspiration for this comic.

This was the fourth time the name Megan was used in xkcd, the first time being in 159: Boombox.


[Beret Guy and Cueball standing.]
Beret Guy: [holding up a staple gun] I found Megan's staple gun!
Cueball: [facepalming] Oh no.
[Beret Guy kneeling over a laptop on the floor.]
Cueball: [from outside panel] Oh God, what are you--
Beret Guy: [stapling a DVD to the laptop] Installing Debian! kaCHUNK
[Beret Guy standing over a table.]
Beret Guy: [stapling a sandwich together] Sandwiches! kaCHUNK kaCHUNK
[Beret Guy running with the staple gun.]
Beret Guy: Must affix everything to everything!
[Unframed panel.]
[Megan enters, holding a tote bag.]
Megan: ...Have you been abusing my staple gun?
Beret Guy: No.
God: [as voice from above] YES!

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Is it possible that Beret Guy stapled Cueball to the ceiling? 19:30, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

No, it's not that easy to staple a man to the ceiling. And the original transcript is clear:
  • Man with Beret: NO.
  • God: [[outside of scene, as voice from above]] YES!
God tells Megan the truth, not Cueball.--Dgbrt (talk) 19:38, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
The power of staples is greater than what your mortal mind can comprehend. RedHatGuy68 (talk) 03:34, 14 April 2016 (UTC)
I think it's pretty obvious that Cueball is stapled to the ceiling, since he was in the first few frames, and then was no longer there at the end, and it seems like all of the frames occur in the same building. I doubt cueball would have just left, so I'm guessing it's probably him... Ceiling Cueball. 16:30, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
I choose to believe that Berret Guy stapled God to the ceiling. 19:31, 14 January 2019 (UTC)

The comment from god is rather like dinosaur comics. 20:38, 20 August 2013 (UTC)

The whole "staple-crazy $HAT Guy" thing isn't as original as you'd think: [1]. Also, some of this is pertinent. Yep, Beret Guy is clearly Beriah (punny, eh?) as much as Black Hat is Aram. -- 09:32, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

my reading is that the "yes" comes from someone stapled to the ceiling . . . 20:31, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Since he can do the ridiculous such as stapling an OS into a computer... Weatherlawyer (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

...there's no way that voice is actually God, I don't care what the transcript says. Having that be God would be non-sequitur and not all that funny, while if it was Cueball it would make sense and be quite funny. Just some random derp 23:58, 21 June 2015 (UTC)

if GOD is saying something than beret gey did something wrong. Overlord of oddities (talk) 02:22, 12 March 2020 (UTC)

One of my favorites. --Char Latte49 (talk) 02:10, 15 March 2021 (UTC)

installing debian... argh An user who has no account yet (talk) 00:23, 7 September 2023 (UTC)