I love Coupling (it's a british TV show for those of you who are unaware of what quality television is), it's a great show. I especially love Jeff (Oh, Jeffrey) he is definitely the best character, and I was very sad when he left the show in season 4. But wait, why am I telling you this? What does this have to do with xkcd?
Ask and ye shall receiveth
After watching this clip, you will notice that the joke is basically the same as in the xkcd (some of you might argue that it's not because this is about a kiss, and not an introduction, but that's a bullshit argument. The essence of the joke is the same)
Now, it's a reasonable assumption that Randall did not find coupling yesterday and decide to rip off one of the jokes, but that's not my point. If you watch that clip, you will notice that the joke is being presented much better in Coupling (later in the episode the girl, Julia, basically has the same fantasy but let's just disregard that).
Okay, structure. Both the comic and the clip start similar enough. We have an imagined scene, but are not aware that it is not in fact real. The scene shortly derails into the guy being severely punished by the girl and innocent bystanders. Then reality is shown. Pretty much the same, so let's ask ourselves "Why is the xkcd nowhere near as funny as the episode?"
Well, for one, stylistic problems. Text and stick figures is not equal to people talking. Not much that can be done about that (except maybe facial expressions, but you know xkcd...). Another problem is just that the idea of him imagining an extremely exaggerated negative reaction in itself is not that funny and has been done many times, what's funny to me is what Coupling makes out of it ("I only use my tongue for stamps and emergencies"), to Randy's credit, he does try to do this with the whole "Let's get his picture for facebook to warn others" thing, but it's just not doing it for me. The irony of her being actually interested and the dude missing his chance isn't really that funny (this is the case in coupling as well, as I've mentioned before, except that in coupling the girl also thinks it will have extreme negative consequences, which is in my point, a preferred alternative). I guess it's kind of a
"Dear blog, Cute boy on train still ignoring me" doesn't sound like a blog entry at all, now that I think about it. It sounds like a tweet, but what kind of creepy person makes an entire blog entry dedicated to some random guy ignoring you on the train? Who actually says "Dear blog"? I guess that was just Randall trying to get the point accross that she is writing this to the internets. Also, "What.". What?
I really think this idea has potential, but you can't pass off the fact that she is interested in him and he thinks she's not and horrible things will happen if he talks to her off as the joke. That's not all that uncommon, and the exaggeration in itself does not make it funny.
Another problem with this is that it's yet another troubled romance comic. Let's see what I wrote about this trope in the xkcdsucks book
"This is a common one that has also been going on since the beginning of xkcd. The basic premise is this: A couple is pictured, interacting in some way. The punchline is that they have problems. It's funny because it's a universal truth."
Yep, pretty much. I guess the joke is that they are not interacting here, but you can not not communicate, so it remains valid.
Talking about the book; for those of you who haven't seen it, you can view the final version here:
Now, this book did not make it to randall in real life (unfortunately), but I did give it to him in IRC, and we talked about xkcd some more so overall I'm pretty happy with the resolution of the whole book-story.
I don't know if he read the book, but I did talk with him about a lot of the problems xkcd has. Once he stops being so busy I will remind him of the book, but if he reads it is out of our control.
But back to the comic (sort of);
Z-z-z-something from the forums (one bajillion points to whoever catches that reference):
This is what I am going through at this exact moment. My first "get out of my head, Randall!" moment. Hooray!
Listen, StrengthInFaith, this is not something special to be happy about. "I use forks to eat my food" "Get ouf of my _head_, P#1"
I've been told many times that women think this way (often by xkcd itself). But I'm still not sure it's not wishful thinking.
Think what way? You mean that they are physically attracted to some men? I would hope so. Or is he referring to the comic as a whole?
Well either way, Comic JK, it is not a good idea to turn to xkcd for dating advice. Unless you want your Quirky relationship to end in despair.
This may be the best xkcd I've ever seen. Oh, how true it is. In fact, it may even top #513.
Well okay. I am too bored to dig deeper into the thread. One more thing I noticed was that it's the thread makers (winning thread creation rights by seconds) birthday! Happy birthday! Good way to spend it!
Lastly, a commentary on the alt text: