425: Fortune Cookies

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Fortune Cookies
"You will have hot, steamy, sweaty sex... IN BED!"
Title text: "You will have hot, steamy, sweaty sex... IN BED!"


Fortune cookies are crisp cookies containing a small piece of paper with words of wisdom or a vague prophecy. Even though they were not actually invented in China, they are commonly served as dessert in Chinese restaurants in the United States.

There is a common joke involving fortune cookies that involves appending "in bed" — the phrase "in bed" being one of many sexual innuendo jokes along with "your mom," "that's what she said," and "said the actress to the bishop" — to the end of the fortune, usually creating a sexual innuendo or other bizarre messages.

  • The ones you love will never let you down in bed
  • Your self-confidence is well placed in bed
  • Seek nonviolence in everything you do in bed

This comic turns that joke around, showing how appending "except in bed" can also create even more amusing messages.

  • The ones you love will never let you down, except in bed
  • Your self-confidence is well placed, except in bed
  • Seek nonviolence in everything you do, except in bed

The title text instead shows the example of an imaginary fortune that would not change in meaning if "in bed" was appended. The meaning would, however, change considerably if except in bed was added instead. A part of the joke is that you will never find such a fortune in a cookie!


[Megan to the left, Cueball to the right, and Blondie in the middle are sitting on chairs around a table with lots of small stuff on it. A few small white items are standing up. All three are reading from the piece of paper they each hold up in their hands (Megan only using one hand). Below them, there is a caption inside the panel.]
Megan: "The ones you love will never let you down."
Cueball: "Seek nonviolence in everything you do."
Blondie: "Your self-confidence is well-placed."
Instead of "In bed", I've found that fortune cookies are often more improved by appending "Except in bed".

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Title-text + "...at the cinema", "...under the boardwalk", "...on the kitchen table", "...in prison"? It's not necessary to append "...in bed" to make sense. And (if that's what was meant, and sorry for not understanding) "...except in bed" also works as nicely as the in-bed version (but sort of hints that all of the aforementioned may be valid, in leiu). I see the joke there being the lack of vagueness in the title-text's 'cookie' text (save for the matter of the locale, if left unadorned). 21:19, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

I think the joke in the title text is that no ordinary fortune cookie would contain such a fortune. It's almost always something philosophical, never sexual. 19:23, 25 November 2013 (UTC)

In Bed must belong to a classical joke, doesn't it? I'm not native English but I'm pretty sure there must be some more. The incolplete tag is back so far.--Dgbrt (talk) 19:44, 25 November 2013 (UTC) Yeah, appending 'in bed' is a pretty common joke here in the US. It might not make much sense to those of who have English as a second language. 15:00, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

Since I expected this instead of what was actually written, I automatically added except in bed into the title text, which I think makes for a better joke. Athang (talk) 18:29, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

Help, I'm trapped in a fortune cookie factory in bed! 15:08, 22 December 2020 (UTC)