215: Letting Go

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Jump to: navigation, search
Letting Go
At least I never gave her the root password.
Title text: At least I never gave her the root password.


In fiction, a character who has had a romantic relationship end will be shown taking some act to remove a sign of their partner's presence in their life, e.g. removing/selling a wedding or engagement ring, removing the partner's toiletries from the bathroom, or deleting the partner's phone number from a cell phone. This is used to symbolize that the character has accepted the end of the relationship and is ready to move on, no longer pining for their loss or seeking to restore the relationship.

The first three panels imply that Cueball was presumably in a now-terminated relationship with Megan. The final panel shows him using the Unix command 'userdel' to delete her user account from his computer. The joke here is that he considers this to be a significant part of accepting that she is no longer a part of his life, where most people would consider it a routine administrative task.

The title text refers to Cueball's thankfulness that he never gave Megan the password to the administrator ('root') account on the computer. It is unclear why this is; he might be worried that she would have used the access to perform malicious actions after the breakup, or simply glad to be spared the need to change the root password. Alternately, it could be a metaphor for marriage and/or a closer emotional relationship, and he is glad that he did not allow her an even greater hold on his heart before the breakup (which would, of course, have entailed commensurately more pain when she did leave him). Not sharing the root password is indicative of a lack of trust in their relationship, which could be a factor in the initial breakdown.

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


[Cueball is holding a picture of himself and Megan in a heart; it has been ripped down the middle, separating the two people.]
[Cueball sits at computer, looking at the picture.]
[The panel has been inverted. Cueball still sits at the computer with the picture in front of him and his head drooped.]
[Cueball types on the computer.]
Text from computer: root@homebox:~# userdel megan

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


Man! That last panel broke my heart.

Right in the feelings. :( ‎ (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

When my last relationship ended I had to revoke her VPN certificate. Relationships got weird. 08:06, 22 July 2016 (UTC)

Is this the first comic in which Megan is named as such? 19:29, 12 September 2016 (UTC)

when i broke up with ada i deleted her user from my pc xd An user who has no account yet (talk) 18:41, 5 September 2023 (UTC)