18: Snapple

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Sn = tin
Title text: Sn = tin


Cueball hands another Cueball-like guy an apple calling it a snapple. When the guy bites into it, his teeth go clink against the apple's metal surface; Cueball has infused the apple with tin.

The fourth panel is a silent wide shot, perhaps suggesting the joke was met with silence as a weak joke. As a meta-joke, the final panel might jokingly suggest that the silence is because those unfamiliar with the periodic table of elements don't get the joke.

The joke in this comic is pretty self-explanatory, especially given that the title text continues the trend in early xkcd comics of explaining the joke. Tin is a metallic element whose abbreviation on the periodic table is "Sn" (as the Latin word for tin is "stannum"). Thus, the apple is a "Sn-apple."

Snapple is a brand of beverages -- mostly bottled juices and teas -- whose name is based on a carbonated apple juice they once produced ("snappy apple").

James (in the caption) presumably once made a joke to Randall about tin or Snapple or both.


[Above the frames:]
This one is entirely James' fault.
[Two Cueball-like guys are standing and talking.]
Cueball: Here, take a bite of this Snapple.
Friend: food!
[Cueball's friend takes a bite.]
Friend: Ow! What is this?
[The panel switches to Cueball.]
Cueball: It's an apple infused with tin.
[Beat panel. A wide shot of the two.]
[Same scene, except the panel is lightly shaded and the is a box above saying:]
Those of you who know your periodic table should be laughing right about now.


  • This was the 17th comic originally posted to LiveJournal.
  • Original title: "Monday's drawing: Snapple"
  • There was no original Randall quote for this comic.
    • It could be argued that the caption of the comic This one is entirely James' fault was the quote. But it is part of the comic picture.
  • 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.
  • One of the original drawings drawn on checkered paper.
  • This is another early xkcd comic in which Cueball characters are drawn in some panels with faces.

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Rikthoff (talk) Rikthoff (talk) Does anybody know what the correct date of issue of this comic is? Also, Does anybody know who James is?

There is a community portal discussion of what to call Cueball and what to do in case with more than one Cueball. I have added this comic to the new Category:Multiple Cueballs. Since the one named Cueball has all the interesting parts of this comic, it may be OK to keep him listed as Cueball. Just made a note that the other guy also looks like Cueball.--Kynde (talk) 18:13, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

After reading adventure stories for 3 hours, my friend took this comic to the humorous conclusion that a hero is simply a mix of helium and rhodium, and a heroine is made up of helium, rhodium, iodine, and neon. I then had to remind him that a) rhodium is Rb, not Ro, so helium and rhodium, along with sulfur, would be various herbs, and b) everything should just be spelled H anyway(see 1123: The Universal Label).PikminCreator (talk) 18:44, 17 July 2016 (UTC)

Wonder if there is a apple for every element, Happle, Heapple, Liapple and so on.Dontknow (talk) 21:16, 24 March 2017 (UTC)