Beret Guy

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Beret Guy

Beret Guy
First appearance 167: Nihilism
Known appearances 103

Beret Guy is a stick figure character in xkcd. He is distinguished by his white beret. Like Black Hat, he is one of the few xkcd characters who tends to represent the same character in each appearance.

Beret Guy is a naïve optimist, though rarely a victim in the strip. He is a funny and borderline-cute character, usually appearing as the basis of a strip's joke. He enjoys philosophizing, often taking the role of the existentialist. He has a very surreal side to him, often thinking about or being involved in bizarre situations. He also is shown to take things literally too far, making things surreal.

He has been fascinated with bakeries as in 434: xkcd Goes to the Airport and 442: xkcd Loves the Discovery Channel, in particular with scones (see 452: Mission as well as the title text of 677: Asshole and 1030: Keyed.)

Beret Guy had a steady job as a bartender in three comics 328: Eggs, 474: Turn-On, and 712: Single Ladies. However, in later comics, he quit his job to become a "business professional", according to 1032: Networking. There are many comics where he has unusual, impossible, or completely unnecessary jobs, like in 1117: My Sky. (See all comics about Beret Guy's Business.) He makes a load of money from his work, but has no apparent job other than "a business grown-up who makes business profits". He appears again, with his own "real building he found" in 1293: Job Interview. In 1493: Meeting, his business returns again, this time with a name yet no explanation of how it makes money from Sales, run by Ponytail ("Money keeps appearing, but we have no idea how or why"). At the time, somehow, it is still massively successful. As of 1533: Antique Factory it seems Beret Guy has reorganized his business and branched out from his technology area of expertise, and operates what he refers to as an antique factory. In reality, the "factory" is simply a room with furniture in it where Beret Guy waits for the items to age.

Beret Guy also seems to be able to, consciously or unconsciously, warp the fabric of reality - see a list of his strange powers. In 1099: Tuesdays, he grows "endless wings" and in the aforementioned 1293: Job Interview, he seems to be pouring soup from an electrical socket, as well as in 1486: Vacuum, where he misinterprets quantum physics and manages to get unlimited power from a vacuum cleaner. In 1490: Atoms, he appears to have a supernatural ability to see individual atoms (or at least the atomic make-up of items) and his mother seems to have an unexplained amount of plutonium in her body. In 1608: Hoverboard he is shown riding a torpedo launched from a Star Destroyer towards the rebel ship below. He shouts 'Horsey' and seems unaware of the destruction these torpedoes are causing. However, Beret Guy seems to have no doubt that these events are perfectly normal; in fact, he just seems to accept them as they are without question.

He also appears to shop at a "mysterious shop", which seems to be cursed. This shop is mentioned in 1772: Startup Opportunity, 2332: Cursed Chair, and 2376: Curbside.

In the What if? Glass Half Empty, he seems to be quite oblivious to pain, especially about foreign objects sticking into his head. This may explain why we never see him without his beret as it may have been stapled to his head - see title text of 291: Dignified. The latter comic also suggests that he might have been born by Caesarean section. In the What if? Niagara Straw, he appears in the final comic, going down a relativistic stream of water, oblivious to the fact that said stream of water was destroying the world, in a barrel.

Beret Guy also seems to have dogs who seem to share some of his powers, as shown in 1614: Kites and 1922: Interferometry

To sum up, Beret Guy is a very naive man with the superpower of having the world around him act according to his bizarre vision.

He shares several traits with Beriah from Men in Hats, as Black Hat does with Aram from the same series, but in contrast to the latter, this doesn't appear to have been officially acknowledged.

He may also have a relative, Beret Girl.

See also