Main Page

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Jump to: navigation, search

Welcome to the explain xkcd wiki!
We have an explanation for all 2332 xkcd comics, and only 32 (1%) are incomplete. Help us finish them!

Latest comic

Go to this comic explanation

Hamster Ball 2
The worst is being teased by responsible, mask-wearing teens. They even spritz the hamster ball with disinfectant before rolling it, carefully avoiding the filter vents.
Title text: The worst is being teased by responsible, mask-wearing teens. They even spritz the hamster ball with disinfectant before rolling it, carefully avoiding the filter vents.


Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by a HAMSTER BALL. Please mention here why this explanation isn't complete. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.

A hamster ball is a small, transparent sphere in which a hamster or other pet rodent can run around (reasonably) safely, without being in its cage. Cueball has obtained a "human-sized hamster ball" for himself.

Cueball relates that, once upon a time, he was teased for this seemingly-frivolous pursuit, but he feels that now, in the midst of a worldwide coronavirus pandemic, having his own bubble to be inside is a smart move. He is contrasted to White Hat, who is wearing a facemask for protection.

"Who's laughing now" is a common phrase that you know better than others who originally laughed at you, or that the "tides have turned" and you have a control over the situation. However, as White Hat notes, the same people who laughed at Cueball before are still laughing at him, for the same reasons as before: even though his hamster ball has some practical utility now (enforcing social distancing), it still looks ridiculous and is lots of fun to roll around.

In the title text, Cueball says that he feels worst about being teased by "responsible, mask-wearing" teens, who treat the outside of his hamster ball as a potentially-contaminated surface (which it is, if it has previously been rolled around by irresponsible teens who might have contracted and spread the coronavirus) and disinfect it before rolling him around. It's not clear why he doesn't like being rolled around by irresponsible teens; it could be that he vindictively wishes that they would catch the coronavirus from the outside of his hamster ball, thus proving that he was correct to use it, or it could be that his ego is injured by the fact that even responsible and otherwise well-mannered and socially-conscious teenagers (who are not likely to be particularly harmed themselves by COVID-19, but conscientiously follow guidance to reduce transmission and protect those who are at-risk) find his hamster ball so ridiculous that they have to have fun at his expense.

As the title indicates, this is the second comic specifically devoted to hamster balls; the first was 152: Hamster Ball, in which Cueball wished for a genie to give him a human-sized hamster ball (and then had no other wishes he wished to wish). A human hamster ball also features prominently in 211: Hamster Ball Heist.


Ambox notice.png This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.
[Cueball is inside a transparent human-sized sphere, evidently "rolling" forward. Ahead of him is White Hat, wearing a facemask.]
Cueball: They laughed at me, all those years ago, when I got this human-sized hamster ball.
[Frameless panel with just Cueball rolling forward, with his hand in a fist.]
Cueball: But who's laughing now?!?
[Cueball and White Hat have stopped. White Hat is pointing into the distance.]
White Hat: Sounds like the same people.
White Hat: See? There's some of them over there.
[Cueball turns around to roll backwards while White Hat stands next to him still.]
Cueball: Yeah, neighborhood kids.
Cueball: At least they've stopped trying to roll me into soccer goals.
Cueball: No, here they come.
Cueball: Run!

Is this out of date? Clicking here will fix that.

New here?

Last 7 days (Top 10)

Lots of people contribute to make this wiki a success. Many of the recent contributors, listed above, have just joined. You can do it too! Create your account here.

You can read a brief introduction about this wiki at explain xkcd. Feel free to sign up for an account and contribute to the wiki! We need explanations for comics, characters, themes and everything in between. If it is referenced in an xkcd web comic, it should be here.

  • There are incomplete explanations listed here. Feel free to help out by expanding them!
  • We sell advertising space to pay for our server costs. To learn more, go here.


Don't be a jerk.

There are a lot of comics that don't have set-in-stone explanations; feel free to put multiple interpretations in the wiki page for each comic.

If you want to talk about a specific comic, use its discussion page.

Please only submit material directly related to (and helping everyone better understand) xkcd... and of course only submit material that can legally be posted (and freely edited). Off-topic or other inappropriate content is subject to removal or modification at admin discretion, and users who repeatedly post such content will be blocked.

If you need assistance from an admin, post a message to the Admin requests board.