Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
This one has the art and feel of very early xkcd comics, even when those stick figures did not appear by that time.
Beret Guy has developed (or spontaneously implemented) a "business plan" whereby he lures seagulls to an area of a beach utilizing breadcrumbs. Once the gulls converge on the area, he sets up a sign reading "GULLS FOR SALE" with a jar for money. Though Beret Guy probably expects to profit, the confused reactions of other people in the last panel indicate nobody is buying, and the limited number of gulls, four, is low enough that their sale might not even finance the breadcrumbs. In real life, there is no market for seagulls, nor will there ever be in the foreseeable future 
The title text is a reference to the phrase "Elevator pitch", which is also similar to "investor pitch". The point of an elevator pitch is to have a synopsis of your idea that you are capable of delivering on a moment's notice in the time it takes to ride the elevator, about 30 seconds. This way, when you get that once-in-a-career opportunity to pitch your plan to the one person who can make it happen because you just happened to catch the same elevator, you are ready. The reason the elevator pitch is so simplistic is because the same sort of person that would think selling seagulls is a viable business model is likely the same sort of person to make a childish elevator pitch. This also pokes fun at the idea of people sweating over their pitch with such seriousness, when Beret Guy's pitch is literally a childish exclamation. Wheeee!
- [Beret Guy stands on a shoreline and takes the environment in in silent contemplation.]
- [Beret Guy heads off with an idea fresh in his head.]
- [Beret Guy saunters back with a jar, some bread, and a signboard.]
- [Beret Guy tears the bread off into pieces.]
- [Beret Guy sets up the signboard, with its contents yet to be revealed.]
- [Beret Guy heads off and waits for the plan to unfold.]
- [The same beach, this time with Megan and Cueball standing in front of and reading the sign. Cueball scratches his head. The bread has attracted quite a few gulls. There is a label on the jar.]
- Jar label: $
- Sign: Gulls for sale
add a comment! ⋅ add a topic (use sparingly)! ⋅ refresh comments!
This comic of selling seagulls down by the seashore continues to crack me up. For a year I had planned to steal the idea and this past summer was my first attempt. I tell stories about a Rubber Duck and her love life with a seagull so it was easy to work it in.
I hope you don't mind. The origins of the love story are back here:
As a long time resident of the ocean, my shallow take on the comic was all about goofing on tourists. What better way to wile away a Saturday in grade school but to tell them where the bridge to the Vineyard was (there isn't one) and selling seagulls fits right in. I haven't actually gotten anyone to walk up and bite on the goof but just the idea is hilarious. (I also have plenty of time.)
I know what an investor elevator pitch is but am unsure how it connects to the comic. I guess if you are going to fall for paying for a seagull you may fall for a quick sales pitch in the elevator.
Anyway, thank you XKCD for the amusing comics over the years. People show them to me and I always ask if they have read the mouseover. Most of the time they have missed the best part.
Paul T morrison (talk) 17:40, 1 December 2012 (UTC)
@paultmorrison To explain the elevator pitch, have you seen the other comics involving Beret Guy? He's pretty weird. Check out these four comics (especially the one with the rubber sheet) 22.214.171.124 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
This cartoon might be considered a precursor to XKCD 1032, in which Beret Guy turns up with a small suitcase full of money and attempts -- in his exceedingly random fashion -- to engage in what he believes to be standard business-type networking behavior. 126.96.36.199 23:24, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
If someone were to actually buy a gull, does that make them gullible? 188.8.131.52 23:04, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
Of course Beret Guy would use an honesty system. What if you don't put money in the jar after catching a bird? Or you steal the jar? 184.108.40.206 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
-Seeing how well things just seem to go for Beret Guy, I wouldn't advise it. Who knows what the universe would do to anyone who crossed him. 220.127.116.11 02:52, 22 March 2016 (UTC)
How is this missing a "real explanation"? RamenChef (talk) 19:20, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
 Incomplete explanation?
Does this really belong in "incomplete explanations"? It seems fine to me. Sensorfire (talk) 13:51, 21 September 2017 (UTC)
No no no! Someone needs to add, "There are no gull markets. No one buys them." I'd do it, but I don't feel like it.
(Please dear God do not add that. The incomplete tag isn't there for nothing. If I somehow get in trouble for this, so sue me.) 18.104.22.168 03:32, 13 December 2017 (UTC)