Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 13:34, 13 March 2015 by Djbrasier (talk | contribs) (Name)
Jump to: navigation, search

A close-up of Cueball from 1063: Kill Hitler
First appearance 6: Irony
Known appearances 1,466

Cueball is a stick figure character in xkcd, distinguished from other characters by having no distinguishing features (including no hair or hat). The name is unofficial, and pretty much only used here on explain xkcd.

Unlike other xkcd characters, Cueball doesn't necessarily represent the same character from comic to comic, and is not necessarily a unique character in any given strip. Instead, he represents a generic everyman. In several comics (see for instance 610: Sheeple, 1436: Orb Hammer and 1441: Turnabout), there are multiple such stick figures, any of whom could be called Cueball. It is standard practice to name neither of the characters Cueball if they are identical and neither of them is given a name in the comic.

Early xkcd comics featured Cueball-style characters who occasionally included facial features (e.g., 18: Snapple), since Randall hadn't standardized his character design early in the comic's run.


The character is never actually referred to as Cueball in xkcd. The name was developed by early contributions to explain xkcd, and has stuck. It refers to the visual similarity of Cueball's head to a billiard ball. Randall's transcripts usually refer to the character as "Man 1" etc, although he has at one time referred to him as not terry in his official transcript for 989: Cryogenics. A few comics give a Cueball character a name but only one name, Rob, appears several times (9 in total) for a Cueball. There is some debate about whether other "Cueball"s should be retroactively renamed "Rob". Following the logic behind the fact that the "Cutie" character (the female version of Cueball) changed name to Megan, Cueball should have been renamed as Rob. However it is more obvious for Cueball than for Megan that he is not the same character from comic to comic. But it is though recognized that neither is "Megan".