1645: Toasts

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Platonic solids for my real friends and real solids for my platonic friends!
Title text: Platonic solids for my real friends and real solids for my platonic friends!


A toast is a ritual in which a drink is taken as an expression of honor or goodwill. The term may be applied to the person or thing so honored, the drink taken, or the verbal expression accompanying the drink. Thus, a person could be "the toast of the evening," for whom someone "proposes a toast" to congratulate and for whom a third person "toasts" in agreement.

The comic is based on the quote Champagne for My Real Friends, Real Pain for My Sham Friends which, though often attributed to the painter Francis Bacon or to Tom Waits, is a toast dating back to at least the nineteenth century. It is also the entire title of a song, the ninth track on From Under the Cork Tree, a 2005 album by Fall Out Boy.

The comic plays on a permutation structure between two words (a type of chiasmus), yielding puns with various effects. In this comic eight persons drink a toast for their "real friends" and then for some other type of "friends". For the real friend they wish them to have one specific thing. This something is a word (X-Y) that can be split up in two meanings (X and Y), where one of them are then put in front the word friend, to explain what type of friends they are now toasting (often a bad/false type of friend) and then these friends get a wish for having what the word that are left of the original word means: "X-Y for my real friends and real Y for my X friends"

The first example is a typical toast, in Champagne, where this word can be split in the two phonetically similar words Sham and Pain, and the sham friends then get pain. Below all examples (including the ninth from the title text) are listed with explanation for all words. In some cases the word may actually refer to a drink (like the first with champagne), so that the first word is not something wished for the real friends, but the drink that is in the glass (these have been mentioned below). But for other toasts there is no such drink in existence, and the first word is the thing the toaster wishes for the real friends.

The toasts[edit]

  • Champagne sounds like a combination of the two words sham and pain.
    • Champagne is an expensive sparkling wine.
    • Sham means false.
    • Pain is suffering or discomfort.
      • So Cueball toasts his real friends with Champagne and wishes real pain to his false friends.
  • Pseudopods can be divided into pseudo- and pods.
    • Pseudopods (which translate to "false feet") are temporary cytoplasm-filled parts of the cell wall that are able to change their form in order to move. They are used in some eukaryotic cells to move around or to eat. Most cells that do this are called amoeboids. The amoeba is a common example. There is no drink named Pseudopods!
    • Pseudo- (lying, false) is used to mark something that superficially appears to be (or behaves like) one thing, but actually is another.
    • Pods or pod is not clearly defined. It could refer to seedpod – a dry dehiscent fruit containing many seeds. Pods, both malevolent and benignant, appear in many works of SF and Fantasy (for example in relation to "pod people").
      • So Blondie will give her real friends a special part/adaptation of the amoeba. (Doesn't everyone wish they had pseudopods?) But it at least seems better than her pseudo-friends who would receive real pods with intricate ways to kill them.
  • Petticoats sounds like a combination of the two words petty and coats
    • A petticoat or underskirt is an article of clothing; specifically an undergarment to be worn under a skirt or a dress. There is no drink named petticoats!
    • Petty means small (in rank of importance), insignificant or narrow-minded. See for instance petty crime.
    • A coat is a garment worn by both men and women, for warmth or fashion.
      • So Megan will hand out undergarments for her real friends (a very personal gift) and coats for her less important/insignificant or narrow-minded friends (they seem to be the luckier ones here).
  • Loosestrife can be divided into loose and strife.
    • Loosestrife is a common name for plants within two different genera (which are not related): Lythrum (example: purple loosestrife) and Lysimachia (example: Fringed Loosestrife). There is a patent for a loosestrife drink but it seems unlikely that this is in the glass.
    • Loose in this case means free from restraints, as the opposite of close friend. Loose can also refer to being sexually promiscuous, especially when used as an adjective for people.
    • Strife refers to bitter, sometimes violent, conflict or discord.
      • So the "brunette" woman (i.e. similar hair but less dark than Megan) will give her real friends flowers and for her promiscuous friend she wishes they end up in a real violent conflict.
  • Ladybugs can be divided into lady and bugs.
    • Ladybugs (or Ladybird) are a family of insects common all over the world. They are considered cute. There also exists a recipe for a ladybug cocktail.
    • Lady is a civil term of respect for a woman, specifically the female equivalent to gentleman or lord, but in many contexts a term for any adult woman.
    • Bugs in this case refer to insects or arachnids. It could also refer to the scientific classification Hemiptera, the "true bugs", which does not include ladybugs.
      • Hairbun toasts her real friends in the ladybug cocktail - it could be a cocktail glass she is holding - (rather than giving the ladybugs for her real friends, even though they are cute bugs that most people are not afraid of). And then she will bestow real bugs (beetles, flies or spiders) to her lady friends. This is not necessarily all her female friends, it could be only those that are noble or at least think they are more important and thus would like to be called lady.
  • Single-payer can be divided into single, and payer, a word that rhymes with player. In this case this word is then put together with real to form the word RealPlayer.
    • Single-payer refers to single-payer healthcare, a system in which the state, rather than private insurers, pays for all healthcare costs, a system used in several countries, but not so far in the US; it was initially considered but ultimately rejected when the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also referred to as Obamacare by both detractors and supporters of the law, was discussed, passed by the US House and Senate, and signed into law by President Barack Obama. There is no drink named single-payer!
    • Single refers to a person who is not in a relationship or is unmarried.
    • RealPlayer is a cross-platform media player app, developed by RealNetworks. It is compatible with numerous container file formats of the multimedia realm. In the past it has been criticized for containing adware and spyware. This was back from 1999 and up to the 2004 version.
    • It is specifically not the word single-player that is used! This word could refer to video games that only one player can play at a time, or when choosing to play single-player in a game where more could have played. RealPayer is not a word in use.
      • White Hat thus wishes that his real friends have access to state-funded health care, and all his single friends will get RealPlayer. Since White Hat is normally benevolent, if naïve, he may imagine that RealPlayer will help his single friends enjoy Internet media, when they are home alone. Maybe he wishes to impress these singles with a free app as a present in the hope that he gets lucky. If it has been Hairy this would have seemed very likely… see 1178: Pickup Artists. White Hat has not previously displayed these tendencies too clearly. As mentioned there have been some issues with RealPlayer in the past, but it has stayed on the market for more than a decade. However, since it has recently been changed into RealTimes it may not be so cool a gift anyway. Also White Hat might wish to give away the old spy ware version of RealPlayer. But as opposed to most of the special type of friends, single-friends is not in itself a negative type of friend, especially not if you are yourself single. So no direct reason to make bad wished for single friends as opposed to sham friends.
  • Tumbleweeds sounds like a combination of the two words tumblr and weed.
    • Tumbleweed is a structural part of the above-ground anatomy of a number of species of plants, a diaspore (of seeds) that, once it is mature and dry, detaches from its root or stem, and tumbles away in the wind. The tumbleweed's association with the Western film genre has led to a highly symbolic meaning in visual media. But there is also a Tumbleweed cocktail.
    • tumblr is a microblogging platform and social networking website
    • A weed is any plant considered undesirable in a particular situation, but in this case it refers to Cannabis, also known as marijuana and by many other names (including weed), and would be used (again in this comic) as a psychoactive drug, i.e. to get high.
      • Ponytail toast her real friends in the Tumbleweed cocktail (rather than giving them a western movie symbol, that will spread seeds all over their house), but with her friends on her favorite blogsite tumblr she will share her expensive weed.
  • Fauxhawks can be divided into faux and hawks
    • Fauxhawks copies the style of a Mohawk hairstyle, but without shaving the sides of the head and not extending past the peak of the cranium. But there is also a Fauxhawks beer.
    • Faux is a French word for "false".
    • Hawks is a common name for some small to medium-sized diurnal birds of prey, widely distributed and varying greatly in size.
      • Beret Guy thus wishes to cut his real friends hair in a very special way, maybe to his liking and thought of as a favor, but not necessarily liked by all his friends, cause although Beret Guy is weird, it seems that those around him are not. His false friends can have a predatory bird (maybe coming after them), but rather knowing Beret Guys love of all things, just as a present of something he likes, like animals. Alternatively he toasts in the beer with that name - could be a fancy beer glass he is holding.
  • Title text:
  • Platonic solids can be divided into platonic and solids
    • Platonic solids: In three-dimensional space, a platonic solid is a regular, convex polyhedron. It is constructed by congruent regular polygonal faces with the same number of faces meeting at each vertex. Five solids meet those criteria, and each is named after its number of faces: Tetrahedron (a.k.a. "Regular triangle-based pyramid"), Hexahedron ("Cube"), Octahedron (can be considered the union of two square-based pyramids, base-to-base), Dodecahedron and Icosahedron. There is no drink named platonic solids!
    • Platonic means not sexual in nature as in platonic love, which is a type of love that is celibate and non-sexual. Platonic friends are friends who will never have sex with each other.
    • Solid is one of the three fundamental states of matter (the others being liquid and gas). Doing someone a solid can also mean doing someone a favor
      • Randall, must be speaking the title text and he wishes his real friends to have material in regular, convex polyhedron shape where as his platonic friends can get any other kind of solid material, alternatively a solid favor. Platonic friends are not necessarily bad to have so maybe it should be a positive toast for those as well. On the other hand, sometimes it is one friend that has decided it should be a platonic friendship. In this case the other may regret this and not wish good things for this friend.
      • 'Solids can also refer to solid human excrement.
    • Platonic can also refer to Platonic ideals, which are models that real-life objects and processes implement only imperfectly.
      • So while Randall wants his Platonic friends to have solid objects in the imperfect shapes that can exist in real life, he wants his "real friends" to have impossibly perfect hard copies of the regular tetrahedron, cube, octahedron, dodecahedron and icosahedron.


[There are two rows of 4 panels each.]
[Cueball holds up a wine glass to the right.]
Cueball: Champagne for my real friends and real pain for my sham friends!
[Blondie holds up a regular glass to the left.]
Blondie: Pseudopods for my real friends and real pods for my pseudo-friends!
[Megan holds up a drinks glass to the right.]
Megan: Petticoats for my real friends and real coats for my petty friends.
[A brunette woman holds up a normal glass with a small umbrella in it to the right.]
Brunette woman: Loosestrife for my real friends and real strife for my loose friends!
[Hairbun holds up a wine glass to the left.]
Hairbun: Ladybugs for my real friends and real bugs for my lady friends!
[White Hat holds up a regular glass to the right.]
White Hat: Single-payer for my real friends and RealPlayer for my single friends.
[Ponytail holds up a regular glass to the right.]
Ponytail: Tumbleweeds for my real friends and real weed for my Tumblr friends!
[Beret Guy holds up a wine glass to the left.]
Beret Guy: Fauxhawks for my real friends and real hawks for my faux friends!

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Are we sure "single-payer" is not a typo, making it "single-player" to fit with "RealPlayer"? 11:18, 19 February 2016 (UTC)

That's what I thought as well. Maplestrip (talk) 11:19, 19 February 2016 (UTC)
Yes it is not a typo as Single-payer refers to Single-payer healthcare as now explained above. --Kynde (talk) 12:27, 19 February 2016 (UTC)
Randall often corrects comic with errors, and if it had been an error he would probably also have spotted it by now, and it has not changed on xkcd. --Kynde (talk) 14:14, 22 February 2016 (UTC)--
It seems correct. It is rather abstract, but I guess single-payer here is considered a good thing and RealPlayer a bad thing. Added to rime that a a different type of "player" might be what his single friends need. 22:38, 19 February 2016 (UTC)

I'm fairly certain this comic is in reference to the "Fall Out Boy" song, entitled "Champagne For My Real Friends And Real Pain For My Sham Friends", from their 2005 album "From Under The Cork Tree"; though he could also be referencing Francis Bacon, Tom Waits, the television show Happy Days, the show One Tree Hill, or Spike Lee's "25th Hour". If you do a Google search for the phrase, it requires some exclusions (like -"fall out boy") to prevent that song from dominating the first page of results. It's one of their most famous titles. 12:00, 19 February 2016 (UTC)

Please just include links to these relevant songs etc. in the explanation. And thanks for the comment. --Kynde (talk) 12:27, 19 February 2016 (UTC)
Turns out it was an old quote so not to this song but both are now mentioned in the explanation.--Kynde (talk) 13:51, 21 February 2016 (UTC)
Quote from early explantion: White Hat thus wish that his real friends have access to free health care, and all his single friends will get RealPlayer. Maybe he wishes to impress these singles with a present and hope he gets lucky. (If it has been Hairy this would have seemed very likely… see 1178: Pickup Artists. White Hat has not previously displayed thse tendencies to clearly).

I doubt this. RealPlayer was a terrible piece of software nobody wanted and was often bundled with spyware (see wikipedia) (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Well I wrote it and disagree. Since it has been on the market for 10 years, and has just been updated, then it cannot be that terrible, and I cannot find what you say should be on Wikipedia to show that it should be bad still at present. But of course if it has just been upgraded to a new name, then giving the old app is not so hot. Has addressed this in the explanation. Aqlso please feel free to update something you find in error yourself ;-) --Kynde (talk) 12:27, 19 February 2016 (UTC)
You wrote the source code for RealPlayer or the explantation here? If first you should know why it has such a bad reputation, if second: RealPlayer was some time ago bundled with spyware that sent unique ID's with other userdata to a server, also it had several other problems and is considered by several tech magazines as one of the worst software programs. It might not mention that in the english wikipedia but the german has a section for it. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/RealPlayer#Kritik To stay on topic: Maybe he wishes his single friends RealPlayer so they need his help to get the malware off their computers and he can impress them? Is way more probable from my experience. Bobylein (talk) 12:43, 19 February 2016 (UTC)
I wrote the explanation! And to stay in English for those who are not native Germans... we can also take the English wiki link to the critique! ;-) As I can read from that it was in 1999 and 2007 that it was bad, and as this is now 9 years ago at least, and they keep updating it, the errors may have been improved out? Why would anyone else continue to make it better or using it? But again feel free to update the explanation even more with these kinds of info. I still think it is not so bad to get a free app, unless it is the spy ware version. I expect this doesn't exist anymore, and it is not explicitly stated that he would give them that.--Kynde (talk) 12:53, 19 February 2016 (UTC)
None of these negative interpretations of RealPlayer fit with White Hat's personality.--Nekoninda 13:34, 19 February 2016 (UTC)
There's more to realplayer than adware. Realaudio/realvideo were among the first streaming media formats on the internet. As such, it was used at that time by many adult-oriented sites offering streaming video. It is very possible that the single friends of White Hat might be interested by such media. 13:04, 21 February 2016 (UTC)
Guys, it's a porn joke... Guys?.. *headdesk* I love you guys xerxesbeat (talk) 20:00, 27 February 2016 (UTC)

This is the first comic with Hair Bun Girl since Jkshapiro proposed a name change to for instance Hairbun. I take this chance to get more comments on this subject by posting his note, that is now posted on her site: Should Hair Bun Girl be renamed to Hairbun? See here --Kynde (talk) 13:04, 19 February 2016 (UTC)

As a non-native speaker, when I first read it, I though "petty friends" could mean "pet animals" and "real coats" would then refer to them having real fur as coats - which is often an aspect animal friends don't like on certain rich people (wearing real fur coats), but completely normal for the animals itself. Also "Realplayer", aside from its repuration as not-so-useable software, is used for video streaming, including on porn sites. So (male?) "single friends", being single, might have to resort using Realplayer/porn to satisfy their needs. Zefiro (talk) 13:16, 19 February 2016 (UTC)

In regard to the second tile, I read it at first to mean that the girl's real friends are pseudopods and that all her human acquaintances are "pseudo-friends". This would be like a stereotypical "lab nerd". Doesn't track with any other slide, but I thought it might add to the conversation... (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

"Real bugs" for my "Lady Friends" - I took that as having sexual undertones. But maybe that was just me. -- 19:14, 19 February 2016 (UTC)

The last panel with Beret Guy might be a reference to any French expression using "faucon" ("hawk", sounds like "false cunt") and "vrai con" ("real cunt"). Sorry about the language by the way, but that's exactly what "con" mean, both literally and figuratively. A French equivalent to "Champagne for My Real Friends, Real Pain for My Sham Friends" would likely use those—although I can't think about a perfect one. It's usually along the lines "Quelle différence entre toi et un oiseau? Le faucon est un oiseau, toi t'es un vrai con." meaning "What's the difference between a bird and you? The hawk is a bird, you're a real cunt." Also, the current explanation seems really far-fetched to me. 20:26, 19 February 2016 (UTC)

Made the edit. Feel free to argue. 03:47, 20 February 2016 (UTC)
Firstly, I must disagree about "Fauxhawk", that "This IS" a reference to "faucon"/the french version of this phrase. I might go along with "might be". "Fauxhawk" is a word that really is used in the English language, for the described hairstyle. This connection seems only to be a mild coincidence, something better suited to a Trivia section (it DOES make for an interesting tidbit, but too obscure to be on purpose). Seems like a happy accident.
Secondly, I remain unconvinced about "Single-Payer" not being a typo. Seems like a weird term, uncommon. Maybe this is just because I'm Canadian, maybe this term is very wide-spread to Americans, but due to American TV and content we DO hear a lot of American terms. If the intent was indeed to be "single-player", this could be a reference to how more and more video games these days focus on multiplayer/online play, many of which neglect the single-player content, to the point where it seems like the game makers are assuming nobody is interested. As such, this would mean wishing quality single-player gameplay for their real friends.
Thirdly, about "pods". I understood it to mean "human container", like a stasis pod or escape pod (a common term for the spaceship equivalent of a lifeboat) Examples of such pods would include where Ripley "stored" herself at the end of Aliens, into the beginning of the next movie, or how baby Superman was transported to Earth. So, this person would be wishing these friends go into stasis, that their fake friends simply go away.
And YAY! As of this comic I'm caught up, I've now read every xkcd starting from #1! :) - NiceGuy1198.41.235.215 07:36, 20 February 2016 (UTC)
The cunt reference is far-fetched. Have removed it. It off course remains here. Also: Yes it is not a typo as Single-payer refers to Single-payer healthcare as now explained above. (And also noted at the top of this discussion page)--Kynde (talk) 13:51, 21 February 2016 (UTC)

Is it just me, or does the fact that several of the words also are the names of cocktails (Ladybug, Tumbleweed) have any significance? 09:23, 20 February 2016 (UTC)

My initial reaction to this thought was "no", seeing as those drinks aren't that widespread, for example I feel like I might have heard those cocktail names, but if so rarely and I've no idea as to their contents (i.e. as opposed to drinks like a Screwdriver, a Mimosa or a Black Russian, drinks which are rather universal, such that most adults probably know what's in them). However, on reflection, the original toast names a drink, toasts involve drinking, and both of those items - Ladybugs and Tumbleweeds - make for unpleasant gifts. So now I think this might be a genuine possibility. Does anybody know of any drinks sharing a name with any of the others? ("Single-payer" seems unlikely, but "Pseudopod" for example?) - NiceGuy1108.162.218.160 10:00, 20 February 2016 (UTC)
I think that for some of the more strange thing to hand out to friends it makes sense that they refeer to the drinks as mentioned - there is even a beer called fauxhawks... I will add this to the explanation for those where there is a drink with that name. --Kynde (talk) 14:05, 21 February 2016 (UTC)

If a wiki mod/admin comes by there was a user who replaced the comments with spam. Codingale (talk) 13:43, 20 February 2016 (UTC)

Noted and blocked. Davidy²²[talk] 18:27, 20 February 2016 (UTC)
I have found one other situation same user, who deleted entire 1613. Have reverted the change.--Kynde (talk) 18:55, 20 February 2016 (UTC)

Shampoo for my real friends; real poo for my sham friends. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Shamrock for my real friends; real rock for my sham friends. Mumiemonstret (talk) 08:28, 14 September 2016 (UTC)

Shampoo in your wonder hair... (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Are we sure that the title text isn't a reference to Plato's idealised metaphysical forms (which would include the Platonic solids), which stand in contrast to their imperfect instantiations in the real world? (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

ShamWows for my real friends; real shams for my WOW friends. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)


I rather get the feeling that the blond lady is into tentacle porn. She wants her friends to be violated by them.... (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Could 'real solids' refer to diet? When one has been sick, they are often on a liquid diet, and proceed to soft foods like gelatin desserts before moving back to 'real solids'. Given the number of drinks involved, this seems possible to me. 22:20, 22 February 2016 (UTC)

I think it might be worth noting that dice for tabletop games (particularly role playing games such as D&D) tend to be shaped after the platonic solids. Perhaps Randall is suggesting a gaming session with his real friends. davidgro (talk) 01:21, 6 August 2016 (UTC)

It may be important to note that the petticoats for my real friends and real coats for my petty friends may be sexual. She sleeps with her real friends but just gives jackets to petty friends.