259: Clichéd Exchanges

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Clichéd Exchanges
It's like they say, you gotta fight fire with clichés.
Title text: It's like they say, you gotta fight fire with clichés.


This is another comic in the My Hobby series. "O RLY?" used to be a popular Internet meme typically used to express sarcastic agreement with or feigned surprise at a statement. The typical response to "O RLY" is usually "YA RLY," "NO WAI," or "SRSLY?" These exchanges are memetic variations of "Oh really?", "Yeah really," "No way!", and "Seriously?" respectively. However, Cueball's response avoids this typical exchange, instead replying with another cliché, derived from a classic double entendre. In this cliché, the speaker responds to a statement containing a word ending with '-er' and turns it into a sexual reference. The setup is as follows:

Alice: "Do you want to come over to my house? My wife and I are playing poker."
Bob: "Poker? I hardly KNOW her!"

Such a double entendre makes no sense in the context of an O RLY exchange. In the case of the comic, the non-sequitur will likely baffle the person setting up the meme and derail the conversation, to the amusement of the replying person. The reason Randall makes this a hobby is, presumably, that it bores him when people fall back on clichés for comedy, and he seeks inventive ways to humor himself in these situations. This view has already been expressed early in 16: Monty Python -- Enough

The title text takes the real cliché "fight fire with fire" and combines it with the more literal "fight clichés with clichés." The resulting statement follows a very similar principle to the situation in the comic proper.


My Hobby:
Derailing clichéd exchanges by using the wrong replies
Friend: O RLY?
Cueball: O RLY? I 'ardly know 'er!

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Is this correction satisfactory? Can I remove the tag? ImVeryAngryItsNotButter (talk) 00:54, 8 March 2014 (UTC)

I removed it, because it looks good to me. 13:32, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

I thought the cliche being referred to was "wrecked 'em? I hardly knew 'em!" (a double entendre on "rectum" ) http://ask.metafilter.com/122210/JokeFilter-What-is-the-origin-of-the-joke-with-the-punchline-rectum-damn-near-killed-him 14:25, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

In my experience it's a general "<tagword>, I hardly knew(/know) her(/him)", where the tagword is an -er/-im word and can (by sheer force of will, often groan-worthy) be taken as a double-entendre spawn. e.g. "Which cathedral is that in the picture?" "Chester." "Chester? I hardly know 'er!" (The worse the better, arguably, but that example's probably too flat.)
Your form follows alongside of that. But this cliché is the mismatched follow-up, only sparked off (albeit by deliberate disassociation) by the "O RLY?" cliché as feed-line. 10:30, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

The double entendre in this case is O RLY ~ orally? Undee (talk) 11:24, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

I never thought of it as a double entendre- I thought it was a play on words of Irish names,(as evidenced by the ommision of the first letter in some words) i.e. O'reilly. In this case, it would be "O'reilly? I 'ardly know 'er!" (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

The fact that this is a collaborative wiki doesn't not mean you should put in every ludicrous and idiosyncratic interpretation that has special meaning to you and clearly has nothing to do with what Randall, or people in the rest of the world, understood the comic to be. O RLY is not a reference to an Irish name, or a Hebrew name, or anything at all other than the eminently popular O RLY meme. Period. Leave your personal nonsense out of this wiki. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Since I am another that first thought of the Irish name and not a meme I have never heard of perhaps you should be the one to keep your personal nonsense out of this wiki. I have read most of the explains on this site and you are the first that I have seen that has targeted any single person for an attack like this. Also learn to sign wiki comments 12:47, 7 July 2017 (UTC)

Just because you haven't heard of it doesn't mean no-one else has. I hadn't come across the subject meme, but I didn't assume that it was an appalling misspelling of O'Reilly. In addition, the person you're defending also hasn't learnt how to sign off Wiki-article comments, so it might be helpful if you were slightly less inconsistent with which parts of an argument you use. 19:01, 23 April 2018 (UTC)

I'm having trouble viewing this article. Redirect from 259 works, but direct URL gives out "No input file specified.". 15:52, 13 December 2020 (UTC)

As of March 11, 2024, an issue occurs with the title text and after the word "with" it displays "clich$eacute;s." Possibly, an error with the code displaying the acute above the e. Is this a bug on my end (chrome) or is it an issue with the comic itself, and should I add it to the trivia? (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~) 18:57, 11 March 2024 (UTC)

Indeed, checking myself (on several browsers, just in case it was differently served according to the agent requesting), I found that it was because it was title="It&#39;s like they say, you gotta fight fire with clich&amp;eacute;s.". What should have been &eacute;, to give an "é", was doubly-escaped to "ampersand the ampersand". (Incidentally, googling "xkcd 259" gives the result's page/link title (for the xkcd match, but not explainxkcd) as "Clichd", so clearly Google just decided to junk the funny characted in the title-tag of the page/whatever it uses.)
I suppose we ought to check if other (previously properly given) title texts with simple ampersanding have also become double-ampersanded. This might reveal an improper export/transfer from one system to another (like you used to see with things like jobsite reaggregators, "Salary: &amp;amp;pound;30,000 p/a", often ironicly for positions like website roles...). But I suspect that it's entirely unintentional and unwanted. And is quite easy to fix, if that's what happened, so maybe Randall just needs a nudge to de-escape (by one level) any affected things in his backend database. 02:16, 12 March 2024 (UTC)
...checked around. Disappointingly, nothing that has the same 'accidentally re-encodable" structure. Of the ones with (non-apostrophe, non-quote) 'extended characters', I've only seen them appearing straight. Like 2606: Weird Unicode Math Symbols having its way-off-ASCII character as literal, totally unencoded! Maybe someone else can find another similar treatment, though. 02:40, 12 March 2024 (UTC)