Ponytail asks Hairy about Megan, his date. Hairy mentions that she's a talented writer and seems cool, but when prompted by Ponytail, says Megan is into synonyms. Megan apparently enjoys unsettling Hairy with words. Ponytail thinks word games aren't too bad, and she would be right if it weren't for Megan's unsettling use of them.
In the next panel (labeled "Earlier..."), it's raining (or humid), and Hairy comes back in. Megan comments, "Ugh, it's so watery out. You must be clammy! Want to guzzle some tea?" replacing wet (or humid), cold (or sweaty), and drink with more suggestive, possibly-repulsive-sounding words. "Clammy" does technically refer to having damp skin, but it is usually used in the context of nervousness or illness, and "guzzle" suggests very rapid consumption, which is not a safe way of drinking hot tea, and is also considered rude when enjoying a meal with others, especially romantic interests. Continuing, she says, "Let me slough off this dress, and slither into something more comfortable," replacing take (or remove, or disrobe) and slip. This last sentence of course strongly suggests snakes shedding their skin. Serpentine movements are sometimes regarded as alluring and attractive, but people usually don't favorably compare their clothing to snakes' skin care.
She further elaborates on this in the title text, saying "We need some grub to munch -- I'll go slouch over to the kitchen." By using the word "grub," she presumably means the slang term for basic food like the type served in pubs (which is often greasy fast-food, served in a dirty -- one might even say grubby -- environment), though it may also invoke the image of white insect larvae, like pale lumps of flesh squirming in a dark hole, while "slouching" has connotations of laziness or suspicious activity, rather than romance.
Excessive use of uncommon words is a common trope in fiction, and also seen in real life. Usually, the speaker is trying to demonstrate their superior intelligence or knowledge. Megan, on the other hand, seeks to use a similar tactic to make listeners uncomfortable. The words she's using aren't especially complex or uncommon, and they're technically correct, but they've been selected to evoke disgust in the listener.
Strange synonyms were also the focus in 1322: Winter, and a similar concept was the joke in 919: Tween Bromance (although in that strip, Cueball was making Megan uncomfortable). Megan has previously shown off her love of uncomfortable puns ("Vore of the Roses") in 2245: Edible Arrangements.
Randall has written many comic strips before about his (comical, fictional) hobbies, but this is the first time he's written about someone else's hobby.
- [Ponytail and Hairy talking.]
- Ponytail: So, how is she?
- Hairy: Well...she's a talented writer. Seems very cool.
- Ponytail: ...but?
- Hairy: She's really into...synonyms.
- Ponytail: I don't understand.
- Hairy: Her hobby is finding the most unsettling possible words for any sentence.
- Ponytail: Word games? That doesn't sound too bad.
- Hairy: Well...
- [Caption above reads "Earlier..."]
- [Megan is wearing a dress and talking to Hairy, who is dripping wet.]
- Megan: Ugh, it's so watery out.
- Megan: You must be clammy! Want to guzzle some tea?
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- [Hairy is now less wet and holding a cup of warm tea.]
- Megan: Let me slough off this dress,
- Megan: and slither into something more comfortable.
"This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by an AUTOMATON." That's funny. 18.104.22.168 01:23, 29 August 2020 (UTC)
- Yeah, there's one on a lot of them and nobody's ever bothered removing them. bubblegum-talk|contribs 01:39, 29 August 2020 (UTC)
- "Do NOT kill this warning before it is ready to die" is especially good. Captain Video (talk) 05:38, 29 August 2020 (UTC)
- Do not mistake Synonym for Verbaciousness. A single technically correct but contextually dubious word (I suppose the original BOT->AUTOMATON counts) is what it should be. Merely verbosifying an antilaconic and/or polysyllaballic interwoven sentencial restructurisation is very much akin to being ballistically off-target vis-a-vis the inherent humour theme. (i.e. missing the joke.) 22.214.171.124 10:12, 29 August 2020 (UTC)
I feel like this is not Megan, but a new character, differentiated by her wearing a dress (which also makes her seem almost strange compared to the others). 126.96.36.199 06:17, 29 August 2020 (UTC)
- Come on, can't a gal wear a dress without turning into a completely new person? I think she looks cute in that outfit! 188.8.131.52 07:23, 29 August 2020 (UTC)
Is grub meant to disgust, or is she merely British and using a perfectly normal word for food in use since 1691.The captcha asked me to click on crosswalks, but all I could seee were Zebra crossings. 184.108.40.206 07:58, 29 August 2020 (UTC)
- Why would it disgust? Grub is just grub, nosh, scran, nosebag. Stuff you eat. Real food, not posh stuff. And definitely not the sort of muck you'd have to eat on a reality TV show where they take you into a jungle and try to freak you out. 220.127.116.11 10:54, 2 October 2020 (UTC)
- I cannot begin to explain the cascade of confusion and misunderstanding created by having first read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in a UK edition rather than a US edition where the words, "zebra crossing," are replaced by, "crosswalk." Being quite young I thought the idea of zebra crossings must be analogous to deer crossings that exist all over US roads but, perhaps, was a reference to human evolution in Africa and, given Adams's quite loose restrictions on temporal effects, that the 'cleverness' of the human species had echoed back in time and destroyed itself before the cleverness ever took place. In theory, if not in practice. Only because the proof of the non-existence of God due to the existence of the Babelfish wasn't universally accepted was the human species saved. Funny how a colorful expression changes things, in'it?18.104.22.168 13:03, 29 August 2020 (UTC)
We also have other species pelican, puffin, toucan (pedestrian and cycle) and pegasus crossings, the last for those riding horses. Panda crossings are extinct. 22.214.171.124 22:42, 29 August 2020 (UTC)
As a member of the Facebook Group "Dr. Anna vs. Danger," I can guarantee that many MANY people would find this woman's approach to language very hot indeed. Cellocgw (talk) 13:09, 31 August 2020 (UTC)
Isn't Megan just overly using British English expressions, which is misinterpreted as being weird on purpose? 126.96.36.199 15:02, 29 August 2020 (UTC)
- Maybe, given the dress, but I'll bet you $50 she isn't. bubblegum-talk|contribs 03:07, 30 August 2020 (UTC)
Clearly, Randall has been watching the most recent episode of Star Trek - Lower Decks (released this Thursday). "Moist" is the word most commonly observed to be found unpleasant, & he just used two synonyms for it in a joke about unsettling phrasings, entitled Synonyms. Moist was right in the title of the most recent episode.
ProphetZarquon (talk) 20:02, 29 August 2020 (UTC)
I think I am in love.188.8.131.52 08:27, 30 August 2020 (UTC)
Is this a crossover episode with Strange Planet? 184.108.40.206 19:14, 31 August 2020 (UTC)
I need her number --220.127.116.11 11:59, 13 September 2020 (UTC)