471: Aversion Fads

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Aversion Fads
Hey, are you friends with any hamsters? This kite needs a passenger.
Title text: Hey, are you friends with any hamsters? This kite needs a passenger.

Explanation[edit]

A "furry" is a person interested in anthropomorphic animal characters – fictional animal characters that, for example, walk and talk like humans. A common stereotype is that furries role-play their "fursona" ("furry" persona) by dressing up in animal costumes, as demonstrated by the furry in this comic. There are numerous other stereotypes as well, often of a sexual nature, so furries are frequently the target of criticism on the Internet.

In this comic, Cueball and his Cueball-like friend encounter a furry, and react negatively according to the stereotype. In response, Megan kindly invites the furry to help with her kite. Megan explains that, while she too thinks furries are strange, she opposes the hypocritical treatment they disproportionately receive from others who are likely just as strange, and therefore defends furries, given the opportunity.

The furry appreciates Megan's support, comparing it to Aesop's fable of The Lion and the Mouse, in which a lion spares a mouse from being eaten; the lion later becomes caught in a trap, so the mouse repays the earlier favor by chewing through the cords of the trap to free the lion. This simile is meant as a genuine expression of gratitude and indebtedness from the furry, but the joke is that Megan rebukes this specific comparison, as she assumes the furry will be sexually aroused by the animal bondage in the story.

In the title text, Megan asks if the furry has any hamster friends as potential passengers for her kite. She likely means a literal hamster – a rodent that would be small enough to fly on a kite. (This may be a reference to comic 20: Ferret, which also involves a small, flying mammal.) However, this being a furry, she could also mean a human with a hamster "fursona," although this would be too heavy to fly on a typical kite.[citation needed]

Transcript[edit]

[Two Cueball-like guys stand together as a young guy dressed up with small ears and a tail approaches.]
Cueball: Oh God, a furry. Don't let it touch you.
[The furry hears someone call out to him.]
Off-screen: Hey, kid.
[Megan is seen preparing a kite to be flown.]
Megan: Forget those assholes. Come help me.
[The furry begins to help Megan set up the kite.]
Furry: Thanks. So you're cool with furries?
[The two are now standing far apart, the furry with the kite and the line going over to Megan.]
Megan: Well, I think your fetish is weird as hell. It just bothers me how you're this designated Internet punching bag among people who are otherwise down with weird fetishes. So I stick up for you when I can.
[The kite is now successfully up in the air, and Megan pulls the line with both hands moving backwards.]
Furry: Well, thanks. I owe you one.
Megan: It's no big deal.
[Megan stops some distance from the furry holding the line with one hand. The furry lifts one hand up apologizing.]
Furry: No, this is like the lion and the mouse.
Megan: ...Listen, can we pick a comparison less likely to turn you on?
Furry: Sorry.


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Discussion

The inclusion of a Fox is notable, within the Furry community foxes are the most populous species [Citation: https://sites.google.com/site/anthropomorphicresearch/home ] and subjected to a degree of derision from other furs.

78.40.152.129 10:45, 12 January 2013 (UTC) Feefers (A Furry)

Your mention of fox-morphism reminds me of Lady into Fox, from the 1920s... Probably not relevent, but perhaps interesting as a pre-Internet example that is not itself an ancient fable, legend or allegory. (No Rule 34ing, though, that I recall). 178.107.249.215 22:22, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
At that novel a lady suddenly turns into a real fox, this is not true for this comic. It's just the Furry community.--Dgbrt (talk) 19:02, 12 June 2013 (UTC)

Does anyone know if this is Randall's actual opinion of furries? I've wondered that ever since I first read this comic. Leafy Greens (talk) 15:37, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

It's possible that the "Hey, kid" line is a reference to the "Hey, kid, wanna yiff?" meme (possibly based on another, "hey kid, wanna see a dead body") which was made 4 months -1 day prior to this strip release, apparently for a furry pick-up line contest on FurAffinity [got this from knowyourmeme]. Also, the title " Aversion Fad" might be suggesting that the anti-Furry attitude/meme/whatever is just a fad or meme. 108.162.237.158 19:27, 6 September 2015 (UTC)

It should be noted that Randall has particularly picked up on the furry stereotype than what furries actually are. International Space Station (talk) 01:45, 9 October 2015 (UTC)

I've been wanting to fix this for over a year. This comic is written about furries, so I only think it's fair that the explain is written by someone who actually knows about the furry fandom--you know, an *actual* furry who, you know, isn't into the sexual stuff, i.e. me. International Space Station (talk) 02:02, 9 October 2015 (UTC)

Fair, but the explanation is now much too long. Added incomplete tag as such. I really appreciate you trying to bring this more in line with reality, but we're not here to discuss culture, we're here to explain xkcd. If you disagree, feel free to remove the tag. 199.27.128.91 04:22, 9 October 2015 (UTC)

I kept the explanation regarding furries, but moved it to a seperate section so it wouldn't interfere with the people who are here soley to look for an explanation of the actual comic. 108.162.215.154 23:07, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

The obvious use being, of course, so you don't have to remove the suit to use the restrooms. ...Sexual purposes aside, there probably really are people who buy/make them for that particular convenience instead. Nyperold (talk) 07:07, 3 July 2016 (UTC)

Our purpose here is to explain the comic, not to defend against slights to one community or another. If the reader wants to learn more about furries direct them to wikipedia or some other source. The paragraph was intrusive and needless, it added nothing to the comic. A short, emphasis on short, explanation of what a furry is may be appropriate, anything more than that is just a diatribe more suitable for the discussion page.--Lackadaisical (talk) 15:28, 26 May 2017 (UTC)

"your fetish"... *Sigh* - 162.158.214.58 08:56, 9 August 2017 (UTC)

I will add a short explanation of furries, but I will be mindful of complaints that the old one was too long. I have tired to contact Randall about furries before, but no answer so far. Wikieditor431 (talk) 18:58, 21 January 2021 (UTC)Wikieditor431