636: Brontosaurus

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 22:59, 30 June 2013 by Irino. (talk | contribs) (Explanation: typo: "fossile")
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Well, sex is like a velociraptor: despite your movie-fueled lifelong neurotic obsession, unlikely to be found in your house.
Title text: Well, sex is like a velociraptor: despite your movie-fueled lifelong neurotic obsession, unlikely to be found in your house.


In this comic, Megan describes her relationship to Cueball with the simile "our love is like a turtle", a comparison often made when referring to a shy and slowly developing yet steady sort of romance. However, Cueball thinks the Brontosaurus the better impersonation. His explanation refers to the fact that remains of Apatosaurus were by mistake believed to be an own, different species which the paleontologist O.C. Marsh named Brontosaurus. It was later discovered that the two species should be classified as one, with the older name prevailing according to convention. The term Brontosaurus is therefore a scientific redundancy.

Applied to the scenario in the comic, Cueball apparently considers the relationship without any emotional foundation and only continues it out of nostalgic motives. This conclusion counteracts the initial romantic tone adopted by the turtle simile, as comparing a romance with a falsely classified fossil is one of the least charming statements imaginable.

The title text aims at Randall's well-known enthusiasm for velociraptors which he mockingly compares to the obsession others might cherish for sex.

Randall has previously mentioned the Brontosaurus name change in 460: Paleontology. The apatosaurus also appears in 15: Just Alerting You and 650: Nowhere.


[Cueball and Megan are sitting at a bench. Megan is holding a turtle.]
Megan: Our love is like a turtle.
[Megan sets down the turtle and turns to Cueball. They hold hands.]
Megan: Humble and simple, enduring by virtue of perfect design.
Cueball: Our love is like a brontosaurus.
Cueball: Recognized as a mistaken combination long ago, lingering only out of misplaced affection for an imagined past.

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Title text might also be a retort from Megan for what he said. 06:18, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

Agreed, I think the title text is a retort from Megan (based on the "Well," start to it). (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I updated the title text explanation as per this discussion. -adamaustin (talk) 14:00, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

Update add surprisingly well to this comic, suggesting that breaking up turned out to be a mistake later on. Self-updating comic without any action from xkcd! 11:31, 4 October 2021 (UTC)