1641: Hot Dogs

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Hot Dogs
Okay, I'm just gonna order pizza, and let's never talk about this again.
Title text: Okay, I'm just gonna order pizza, and let's never talk about this again.


A common staple of trite comedy is "why do hot dogs come in packages of ten but hot dog buns in bags of eight?" The phenomenon is mildly frustrating for the consumer, as it often leaves leftover food. The most sinister result is the subsequent purchase of more buns, followed by more hot dogs, followed by more buns, over and over again until forty total hot dogs have been eaten (in a cycle similar to that shown in 140: Delicious).

The actual reason for the mismatch between hot dogs and buns, according to both Karl Smallwood and Cecil Adams, is that meat packers like things that come in pounds and bakers hate things that come in tens. Nonetheless, some smaller companies are starting to offer bags of ten buns, and several brands of hot dogs sell in packages of eight.

Here, Cueball attempts to raise the question as he is standing with a package of hot dogs in one hand and a bag of buns in the other hand (presumably for their dinner), but a person offscreen interrupts him mid sentence and mentions condoms instead of buns. Cueball mulls the subject over in his mind, and when he realizes his friend is putting hot dogs in condoms, he is promptly grossed out.

The title text makes it clear that Cueball's new found association of hot dogs with sexual activity, has put him totally off the idea of eating any of them this evening, and he suggests ordering pizza, which he then can hope will not be used for this similar (NSFW) comparisons… Cueball also asks that he and his friend never discuss this conversation again, due to the situation's awkwardness and uncomfortable subject matter.

The style of the conversation with Cueball asking, someone answering and Cueball saying Eww is similar to a situation in the game comic 1608: Hoverboard where a giant ant queen inside the Destroyer is provoking Cueball in the same way by talking about laying eggs like this:

Cueball: What's up?
Ant queen: The usual. Poopin' out ants.
Cueball: Eww.


[Cueball is standing in the frame holding a bag and a package of hot dogs.]
Cueball: Hey, why do hot dogs come in packages of ten-
Offscreen: -But condoms come in strips of six? I know, right?!
Cueball: ...Eww.

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a friend of mine told a story once of a girl in his high school that used a hot dog as a toy once. supposedly it broke off inside and she had to go to the ER to have it removed. Is it unreasonable to theorize, since condoms are used primarily for sexual activities, and hot dogs are shaped similar to sexual objects, whether anatomical or otherwise, that the person off screen is using the hot dogs in condoms possibly for sexual activity, or maybe (https://explainxkcd.com/330/). I really don't know, but if someone else thinks there is possibly validity in this theory, i don't know how to incorporate it into the explanation --Beardmcbeardson (talk) 07:46, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

That's actually an old urban legend. 08:24, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Just buy a dildo, for cryin' out loud! On an note more related to the comic, the original reason might have been some combination of factors like "bakers hate this" or "Meat packers do that", but I suspect the reason it has been perpetuated is to encourage the "I have buns, should get hot dogs/I have hot dogs, should get buns" loop, so people spend more. -Pennpenn 23:03, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Like this? 18:50, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
Here's Family Guy's take on the whole thing.
I know the question from Bulletproof Monk ([1]) -- Hkmaly (talk) 15:14, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

In point of fact, hot dogs come in packages of seven. At least the ones I like do Mikemk (talk) 09:35, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

You are probably getting 7/1 hotdogs (7 hotdogs per pound), versus the comic getting 8/1s. I buy 7/1s too, but in two packs of 35, making ten pound cases. Then I buy twenty of those at a time. :P Buying food is fun!
I also buy about half as many 11/1s and 5/1 polish sausages. all my buns are twelve packs. 02:04, 1 September 2016 (UTC)

I always buy condoms in packs of one hundred. The fun / expense ratio is much better, than in small packs. 10:45, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

This is a very simple problem: Hot dogs go back to German tradition, where a sausage is held within a German "Weck" but a real one, not one of those American buns. (See Wikipedia) The American style buns were an invention of American bakers, so the reason for those numbers is obvious: The Hot Dogs stuck with the German tradition (decimal system), whereas the buns are in packages of eight for easy break down in halves, quarters, eights. (Witworth) 15:21, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Should a reference to 305: Rule 34 be added for the pizza? Condor70 (talk) 17:00, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Perhaps the off-panel person is making some sort of reference to sheep intestines? 18:16, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

I just bought hot dogs yesterday for the first time in over a year because I have chili and wanted something different to go with it. So this was an interesting comic to wake up to. 19:19, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

I find that hot dogs and buns are usually sold in multiples of 6. 19:24, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Well, instead of "he realizes his friend is putting hot dogs in condoms" I was initially thinking of (what is apparently called) french hot dog buns, which means... well, I guess you can figure it out. 17:17, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

The reason I heard for why hot dogs and buns come in uneven counts was because the manufacturers of each came to a mutual arrangement. The logic was that consumers with leftover hot dog buns would buy extra hot dogs, and vice versa. As such, hot dog makers and bun makers both profit. 17:04, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

I always figured it was the opposite -- that hot dog makes and bun makers didn't coordinate their efforts, and instead sold hot dogs and buns packed in whatever amounts made the most sense for themselves at the price they thought was best. --Aaron of Mpls (talk) 19:35, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
That would be an unstable equilibrium. Each individual bun manufacturer would have an incentive to change the bun count, making their product more attractive to consumers buying hot dogs. -- 23:38, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

I've seen hot dogs packaged in 4, 6, 8 and 10 and buns in the same varying sizes. Though 4 is rare in both cases. Tharkon (talk) 22:48, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Seriously: WTF IS WRONG WITH COSMOPOLITAN. I never read it but I know its fame of giving questionable sex tips. But as an Italian, the idea of involving pizza into sex is horrifying to me. And it would never work with an Italian man/woman. Really. You wouldn't ruin pizza with sex. You would eat pizza and then have sex. -- 06:03, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

I've never had to buy a condom. My college sort of dumps them on us. They're like HERE TAKE THEM. TAKE THEM ALL. FUCK ALL YOU WANT. WE ENCOURAGE IT. JUST BE PROTECTED. I have probably 50 in my room because of this. Unfortunately there's no way to grab them discreetly. Also has anyone personally actually used food as a sex toy here? I know there's that whole food fetish thing, but I mean anyone on the explainxkcd wiki. International Space Station (talk) 09:11, 13 February 2016 (UTC)

Where do Hot Dogs and Buns come in these weird sizes? Hot dogs come in packages of a dozen, and buns come in packs of 8 if they are "normal" and 10 if they are "sliced top." When I taught High School Chemistry I taught the kids that they came in uneven amounts to help them learn how to balance equations. Tarlbot (talk) 02:37, 15 February 2016 (UTC)