813: One-Liners

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 08:56, 8 June 2024 by (talk) (Added the title text one liner in the same style as the other ones to see it directly and not have to scroll up during reading (make it homogeneous).)
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"Upgrade to the latest version of Adobe Flash player to view THIS content, bitch." ::triggers detonator::
Title text: "Upgrade to the latest version of Adobe Flash player to view THIS content, bitch." ::triggers detonator::


In this comic, Randall presents a series of phrases, ordered by how likely they are to be used as a one-liner by a character in an action movie. One-liners are short, punchy phrases, typically witty or funny, and are routinely used in films by the antagonist to taunt the protagonist (or vice versa). The perfect one-liner leaves the recipient at a loss for a comeback, and should make sense immediately. If the phrase doesn't make sense or has to be explained, the effect is lost.

The phrases shown adhere to the witty and punchy stereotype of a classical one-liner, but quickly become more niche and only understandable for an informed subgroup.

You're going down the memory hole now, asshole.
The Memory hole is a mechanism for redacting documents, photographs, etc., and a reference to George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. In this instance it implies that the character on the floor is about to be 'erased' from existence.
Hey! You forgot to carry the two.
Cueball, lying on the ground in a fight, while his opponent has the high ground, still appears to be at an advantage since he has a gun and his opponent only has a knife, is pointing out an arithmetic error in his opponent's calculations. This may simply be Cueball adding insult to injury "I'm about to shoot you, but first I'm going to point out that you suck at math". Alternatively, it could be a ruse to distract the knife wielding opponent, or a case of well-timed nerd-sniping. It could also be that Cueball is buying time to cock or reload his gun. Alternatively Cueball is implying the missing carry caused the shown situation, and Cueball is monologuing (albeit a very short monologue), which may also serve to explain to the audience how his victory was achieved. Such an explanation would likely be necessary, as it is difficult to imagine any situation where this would be the case. A fourth way to explain the situation is that Cueball is stating with this phrase, that his opponent overlooked something small but critical, leading to a non anticipated (wrong) outcome. In this case his opponent would have overlooked that Cueball is carrying a gun, yielding to an unexpected and unfortunate outcome of his knife attack.
Looks like the Fed just lowered the interest rate.
Ponytail is standing on a desk with documents on it, probably in a banking or business related environment, dominating Cueball in a sword fight. The Federal Reserve System, usually referred to as The Fed, is the central banking system in the United States. The interest rates are usually lowered during a recession or a crisis, to revive the economy by providing businesses with cheap money. The dropped rates correlate with his chances to win and reflect his troubled situation.
Guess you should've scrolled all the way to the bottom before clicking "Agree."
A common feature encountered when registering for user accounts or installing software is a very lengthy Terms of service document, describing the things you agree to abide by. The vast majority of people simply click Agree without reading the document, essentially agreeing to anything and everything that the author decided to include, which sometimes leads to things like giving your immortal soul to a company. In the context of this panel, perhaps the user agreed to be executed at random.
Bangarang, motherfucker.
This phrase is very similar to the line "Yippee-Ki-Yay motherfucker" used by John McClane in the Die Hard series. Bangarang is, among other things, the Jamaican word for "uproar." It was popularized (without the addition of 'motherfucker') as the cheer of the lost boys in the film Hook, via the popular dubstep Skrillex song ”Bangarang”.
Upgrade to the latest version of Adobe Flash player to view THIS content, bitch.
This title text is another suggested one-liner phrase, referring to an update reminder that would frequently pop up when one attempted to view visual media content on a webpage. After delivering the line, the character triggers a detonator (Double colons are sometimes used in text to denote an action), presumably setting off an explosive of some kind.
The phrase states that you need the latest Adobe Flash player to view this (presumably for older flash players too spectacular) explosion.
Also wordplay is involved since a "flash" is one visual representation of a explosion.
Of course, in real life, one doesn't need a "flash player" to view an explosion,[citation needed] especially due to its official end-of-life at the end of 2020 rendering the software completely defunct.


Probability of phrases becoming action movie one liners:
[Panels are arranged from More Likely on the left to Less likely on the right.]
[A woman points a gun down at Cueball who is on the floor, his gun just out of reach.]
Woman: You're going down the memory hole now, asshole.
[Man on ground points gun up at blade-armed man standing next to a board with science on it.]
Man with gun: Hey! You forgot to carry the two.
[Ponytail on desk points sword at man standing on floor.]
Ponytail: Looks like the Fed just lowered the interest rate.
[Cueball with gun looks down at Megan slumped on floor.]
Cueball: Guess you should've scrolled all the way to the bottom before clicking "Agree."
[Megan holds pistol to the back of the head of Ponytail holding a rifle.]
Megan with pistol: Bangarang, motherfucker.

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I dunno, "Bangarang, motherfucker!" seems a lot more quotable to me than most of the others. Actually, I think I'm going to try to use it in my daily life. 15:54, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

I guess that it is deemed least likely since it comes from a children's movie about children who do not wish to grow up (which back in Peter Pans day meant not to use swear words). But this is a very sketchy draft like explain - hope someone can do it better now that it has been marked incomplete. --Kynde (talk) 14:28, 8 January 2015 (UTC)

I think the last frame is the most quotable as well. It's very similar to John McClain's one-liner from the Die Hard movies: "Yippie Ki-Yay, Mother Fucker". (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Well, I'd gladly use the one in the title text daily; now that I've seen this comic, I probably will.--NSDCars5 (talk) 11:14, 10 March 2014 (UTC)NSDCars5.

I have been saying "Bangarang, motherfucker" for 4 years now because of this cartoon. OK, I am lying, I have never said in my life, but I will this week. Next week at the latest. -- 16:13, 12 May 2014 (UTC)

I can recall one or so squabbles in infant school and am sure the mentality carried to primary school where those that didn't take their shot when you called bang were decidedly unfair. I always died heroically when it was my turn. Why not them? Bastards!

Anyway I am over it now. I wouldn't approach a crashed car with an empty gun if I could see the bank robber was still alive in it. I would suspect that he wouldn't take his shot and die heroically. Or that his brother was tumbled over in the back seat waking up just in time to become a problem.

How come Dirty Harry never read "Shooting to Live with the One-Hand Gun"?

I used Google News BEFORE it was clickbait (talk) 00:11, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Is the "forgot to carry the two" a reference to Laser Tag? The advertising for this many years back featured an action sequence followed by the question "did he fire six shots, or only five?" Miscounting the number of rounds available is a common action movie trope, though it would be a rather extreme form of calculation that would require carrying the two (the result of adding or subtracting a pair of larger numbers than the carrying capacities of most hand weapons). - Andrew, 7:15pm, Saturday 10th January 2015.

I hadn't thought of it that way. To me the chalkboard filled with maths/physics in the background and the fact the other character only has a knife suggests that it isn't relating to bullets. --Pudder (talk) 15:45, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

I removed the incomplete tag which called for an explanation of what "Carry the two" means. I could add a description of what is meant by 'carrying' in arithmetic, but it doesn't really matter. As I read it, the only thing that matters is that Cueball is pointing out a maths error, which is already in the explanation. It could be "You've divided by zero", "You've forgotten to add the 5", "You missed the exponent". --Pudder (talk) 15:45, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

Number four is pretty great ( :-) ). 06:42, 21 August 2015 (UTC)

I think "You forgot to carry the two" is about pointing a flaw in the other's plan, which led to him losing the fight. It's funny because it's a really stupid flaw. 11:00, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

A variation of number four appears in the Doctor Strange movie, about not reading all the warnings before casting spells. It is even used as a (sort-of) one-liner near the end! 08:53, 2 August 2017 (UTC)

I first read the line as; "Batarang, motherfucker!". I was so confused at what I thought was a Batman reference :P -- The Cat Lady (talk) 14:47, 20 August 2021 (UTC)

I've added another possible explanation for the "carry the two", which was my initial reading of it. Hope it doesn't seem too bizarre... 19:15, 16 March 2022 (UTC)

I'd have to agree that "Bangarang, motherfucker" is actually the most quotable... SilverTheTerribleMathematician (talk) 19:25, 9 February 2023 (UTC)