Difference between revisions of "572: Together"

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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:[ ] Shark tooth
:[ ] Shark tooth
:[The next item is blocked by the speech balloon.] What's next?
:[The next item is blocked by the speech balloon.] What's next?
*This is also referenced in [[212: Brain]] as something Randall really wants to do.
{{comic discussion}}
{{comic discussion}}

Revision as of 06:50, 4 September 2014

This scavenger hunt is getting boring. Let's go work on the treehouse!
Title text: This scavenger hunt is getting boring. Let's go work on the treehouse!


Cueball and Megan run away from Cueball's two friends when they are very young. They fall in love, get married, and grow old together. At the end he leaves his wife - without saying goodbye or explaining why he leaves. He returns to the same place where he left his two friends that has been waiting on him with the list they also had in the first picture. And we finally learn, that being happy was just another thing crossed off Cueball's list of what is presumably the longest-duration scavenger hunt of all-time, considering Cueball grew quite old before ever completing that step on the list. And when he did - he just got up and left his lifelong wife... Because now he was ready for the next item on the list.

The title of the comic is probably a reference to the saying that you find happiness together with your loved ones. So after finding a penny and a snake skin he had to get married and old to be able to find happiness. Next he needs to find a Four-leaf clover and a shark tooth to continue the hunt.

The treehouse reference in the title text is another example of a common childhood activity. Naturally, the intended mental image is a bunch of old men building a treehouse and living and playing in it like six year olds. And also typical for children to tire of a game before it is finished. Except here he already spend a lifetime on just one point!


Cueball and Megan are running in a field, holding hands. Another male and female stand in the background, next to a table.]
[Cueball and Megan are in a boat on a lake, very romantic. Cueball is speaking to Megan, illustrated with a heart.]
[Cueball and Megan sit together on a bench on a beach, watching the sunset.]
[Cueball and Megan stand at an altar. They have married.]
[Cueball and Megan, having grown old together, sit together on their doorstep, holding hands.]
[Cueball begins walking away with his cane.]
Megan: Dear? Where are you--Come back!
Cueball approaches the other couple from the first panel, who are now just as old.]
[Cueball picks up a piece of paper from the table in the first panel and begins to write.]
Cueball: Okay,
[The paper is shown: a scavenger hunt list. "Happiness"; has just been checked off.]
Cueball: What's next?
[Full list:
[X] Indian-head penny
[X] Snake skin
[X] Happiness
[ ] Four-leaf clover
[ ] Shark tooth
[The next item is blocked by the speech balloon.] What's next?

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Definitely one of the sweetest xkcd strips ever. Alpha (talk) 07:30, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

Or one of the most sad - as he just maried for a game and left when he was finished with his project... Kynde (talk) 00:41, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
I always thought it was a metaphor for death instead of him actually literally leaving, especially because the way it ended. "What next?" just seems like an optimistic way to view the end. Sonicstormwind (talk) 23:03, 15 September 2019 (UTC)

U Could "building a treehouse" refer to an adult activity that is frequently postponed and possibly never finished, like items in a to do list? 17:34, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

No, those are shark teeth. I used Google News BEFORE it was clickbait (talk) 04:04, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

I feel maybe the wife was concerned that he was wandering off, and wants him to come back. 19:17, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

I think the entire speculation section was way off as it assumes Megan was in on the game, which there is no indication of (actually negative since she is not going back with him). I have added this point to the main explanation and removed that section completely. --Kynde (talk) 08:51, 9 October 2019 (UTC)