38: Apple Jacks

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Apple Jacks
There used to be these ads, see...
Title text: There used to be these ads, see...


Apple Jacks is a breakfast cereal produced by Kellogg's. As the image text begins to explain, there was an ad campaign for the cereal in the 1990s which focused on someone (usually someone in authority like a parent) pointing out that Apple Jacks don't taste like apples, and one or more kids pointing out that it doesn't matter and that "we eat what we like". According to Wikipedia, Apple Jacks are intended to be apple and cinnamon flavoured. It is therefore unclear why anyone thought a good ad campaign would be to suggest that they don't taste like apples. However, instead of the campaign's response with the son laughing off his dad's comment and correcting him, this son responds in perhaps a more realistic way by simply saying "fuck off, dad".

This could be a commentary on today's youth being far less respectful, as the son is playing video games, and seems annoyed at being interrupted. Also, it could be not the first time the father has used the line.

The transcript on the xkcd site, identifies the bowl contain Scrapple Jacks, not Apple Jacks. Of course they wouldn't taste like apples.

The same ad campaign was referenced previously in 27: Meat Cereals on a parody cereal box.

The title text could be a reference to the fact that this comic requires explanation for those who haven't known of the ad (the reason this webpage exists). Another of the early comics where Randall felt the need to explain the joke in the title text.


[Cueball is standing holding a bowl in his hand. His son is sitting on the floor playing video games.]
Cueball: Hey, these don't taste like apples!
Son: Fuck off, Dad.


  • This was the 39th comic originally posted to LiveJournal.
  • Original title: "Wednesday's Drawing - Apple Jacks"
  • Original Randall quote: "Who else remembers those commercials?"
  • 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.

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Four Hundred Thousand Eight Hundred Twenty Second.
Please at least say who you are (preferably add '~ ~ ~ ~'). Beanie (talk) 12:35, 11 March 2021 (UTC)
Without the spaces dudeHiihaveanaccount (talk) 17:51, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
ok~ ~ ~ ~