738: Incision

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
(Redirected from 738)
Jump to: navigation, search
At one point, by force of childhood habit, the doctor accidentally removed three or four organs.
Title text: At one point, by force of childhood habit, the doctor accidentally removed three or four organs.


Operation is a board game wherein one attempts to remove all the organs of a patient, named Cavity Sam, with a pair of tweezers. A flat board has a cartoon image of a "patient", and dotted around various areas are holes inside of which contain plastic pieces representing the organs.

Additionally, each hole is lined with a metal connector, and the tweezers are made of metal, connecting via wire to the board. When the tweezers make contact with a metal connector, a buzzer sounds and a lamp on the patient's nose lights up to signal an error.

The game is notoriously difficult as the organs are quite small, and the buzzer is considered by players to be annoying, if not actually startling, particularly considering how much focus and steady hand is required to avoid the tweezers making contact with a metal connector.

In the comic, a child swallows a buzzer from such a board game, and the joke lies in the similarity between the game and actual surgery when the buzzer is brought into the mix. The title text brings this further by describing an incident where the doctor ended up removing several organs (the object of the game, but obviously not a good idea in real life).[citation needed] While playing the game, players take turns removing as many organs as possible before they slip and trigger the buzzer; the title text jokes that the doctor fell back into this habit, and therefore removed several actual organs before coming to his senses.

The surgery would probably have been hard, as surgery requires concentration,[citation needed] with the game Operation being hard as well.


[Two doctors wearing surgical masks are standing over a prone patient. One of them is touching the patient's chest with a scalpel.]
Doctor: I'm making the incision above the left—
Doctor: Augh!
[Caption below the panel:]
October 8th, 2004:
A child swallows an "Operation" buzzer, leading to the single most difficult surgery ever performed.

comment.png add a comment! ⋅ comment.png add a topic (use sparingly)! ⋅ Icons-mini-action refresh blue.gif refresh comments!


Elucidated on the aspects of the game a bit more. Thokling (talk) 10:39, 13 October 2013 (UTC)

Morale of the tittle text, don't mess with former operation players. (Messing with former COD players, on the other hand, is perfectly okay:))Dontknow (talk) 04:05, 13 May 2017 (UTC)

Possibly a reference to how both the game and actual surgery, especially while distracted? User: HelloWorld