121: Balloon

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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So I'm a bad person.
Title text: So I'm a bad person.


An unidentified narrator, probably Randall, says how he saw a kid with a balloon stand next to a ceiling fan in a restaurant. He explains how for fifteen minutes, he watched the kid's balloon, hoping the balloon would get caught in the ceiling fan and, as its cord became wound up, drag the kid up towards it. This looks like it could cause serious injury to the child and/or damage to the venue. The title text concludes that the narrator is now considering himself a bad person for hoping for this to happen. This might be a poke to people who think that waiting for a disaster to happen makes you a bad person like in 611: Disaster Voyeurism.

It is unlikely that the strength of the balloon rope and of the ceiling fan would be enough to lift the child.


[Three drawings in one panel. A Cueball-like kid is holding a red balloon; The balloon gets caught in ceiling fan; The kid still holds on and is thus pulled up. Above the drawings is the following caption:]
I watched the scene in the restaurant for a full fifteen minutes, hoping this would happen:

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From the wording of the comic, I think this is a reference to a film or a TV show. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~) 00:40, 23 September 2013 (UTC) I thought it was a reference to a scene from the French Film, The Red Balloon, but I couldn't find a full movie where I could watch it for free without signing up for something. If there's a restaurant scene in that movie, that might be my guess. 00:40, 23 September 2013 (UTC)

The title text could be a reference to the pilot episode of Firefly where Mal says, "I am a bad man" after tormented Simon for fun. -- 07:25, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

The balloon never goes inside in the movie The Red Balloon.-adamaustin (talk) 16:39, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

I think the first comment here was wondering if "The Restaurant" is the name of any piece of work. Mainly because that's whati was wondering, though. :) 18:31, 25 January 2016 (UTC)

I could be wrong, but I don’t think most ceiling fans or balloon strings are strong enough to lift any child that size. I’m not sure what would happen, though, and it almost certainly depends on how securely the child is holding the balloon. 06:16, 20 December 2016 (UTC)

This is a kid, thus not Cueball. I have removed that category. Should there be a category with comics featuring kids? --Kynde (talk) 20:31, 10 October 2019 (UTC)

Yes, I think it would be an interesting compilation. Category:Comics featuring Science Girl should be a subcategory. From the top of my head, I would name in addition to this one and the science girl ones: 2208: Drone Fishing, 1753: Thumb War, 856: Trochee Fixation, 1548: 90s Kid, 1139: Rubber and Glue, and most of the 1337-series, making it more than 5, enough for a category :) But I am sure there are more.
I'll create it, I guess. 23:46, 8 December 2022 (UTC)
Edit: Added! PoolloverNathan[talk]UTSc 23:50, 8 December 2022 (UTC)

From looking this up, I have determined that this is probably from La La Land. I will need to watch it to find out though. Beanie (talk) 10:22, 10 December 2020 (UTC)

Any progress on that? :P Szeth Pancakes (talk) 00:37, 24 November 2021 (UTC) (disregard -> ) 00:36, 24 November 2021 (UTC)