513: Friends

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Friends with detriments.
Title text: Friends with detriments.


Cueball is talking to Megan. He confesses that he has a crush on her. Usually the next step in Western cultures, when someone likes someone else, is to ask the other person out (in other cultures, such as Islamic or Indian cultures, it would be more appropriate to request that one's parents contact the parents of the person one has a crush on). But Cueball takes a different route, and in the comic, he explains his thought process. Presumably he actually explains this to Megan.

He explains that he is afraid of rejection, and so instead of asking her out directly, promises to be her "best friend" and someone who is always "there for you," in the hopes that this will eventually lead to Megan developing an attraction for him. This way, Cueball does not have to risk Megan saying 'No' to him, as she will be led to make the first move instead. Cueball is aware that this may not be an ideal situation for Megan, conceding that she may end up changing her definition of happiness to make her feel more comfortable in the relationship, while she is conscious of the fact that she doesn't really love Cueball. Cueball recognizes that if Megan fell for him this way, she would probably have this fact at the back of her mind forever.

And so, after painting this elaborate - but troubling - future, Cueball asks sound good? Megan, however, is not won over by Cueball's plan, and she tells him that she is going to date "this jerk", poking fun at him saying 'I will tear down the jerks you date'. This suggests that she would much rather date someone else rather than date Cueball whom she -- as he correctly implies -- does not love.

Cueball declares that the other suitor doesn't respect you, an absurdly hypocritical comment given his manipulative plan. He explained earlier that he would tear down the jerks you date; this last line could also be him actually executing on the plan he just detailed.

The title text is a play on the concept of friends with benefits, wherein two friends have casual sex without entering a committed relationship. Friends with detriments suggests that having Cueball as her "friend" damages Megan's chances of getting a relationship (and sex) with anyone else, since Cueball will tear any candidate down. Also, despite Cueball claiming to be Megan's friend (and appearing to value this friendship), his plans are rather selfish and manipulative, making him a "friend" who is in fact detrimental.


[Cueball is talking to Megan.]
Cueball: I have a crush on you.
[Cueball is shown alone.]
Cueball: I could ask you out, and move on with my life if you said no.
[Cueball has his arms out.]
Cueball: Or,
[Cueball has one palm out.]
Cueball: See, I don't want to consider that you might not be attracted to me. I'm scared of rejection, so I've decided relationships should grow smoothly out of friendships.
[Megan is shown sitting at her computer.]
Cueball: When you have problems, I'll be there for you, night after night.
Cueball: Selflessly.
Computer: *hug*
[Megan is shown slamming a door and walking to Cueball to get a hug.]
Cueball: I'll tear down the jerks you date, and wait for you to realize how good I am for you. That only I will ever understand you.
Megan: Sniff
Cueball: There there
[Cueball is shown alone again.]
Cueball: You don't want to hurt my feelings, and I won't ever force the issue. I'll tell myself it's because I "value our friendship."
Cueball: Bit by bit, I'll make you depend on me.
[Cueball and Megan are shown sitting on a rock in a park, reading a book together.]
Cueball: You'll think about how long it would take to build this kind of connection again.
[Cueball and Megan are shown sitting on a couch drinking, getting closer, and kissing.]
Cueball: And in a moment of weakness
Cueball: and loneliness
Cueball: you'll give in.
[Megan is shown sitting at the computer with Cueball behind her facing the other way washing dishes.]
Cueball: It'll feel comfortable and natural. You'll quietly revise your definition of love and try to be happy. And sometimes you will be.
[Megan is shown sitting at the computer.]
Cueball: Only the wistfulness in your gaze and the tiny pause before you say "I love you" will hint that this wasn't the ending you'd hoped for.
Cueball: Sound good?
[Megan is holding hands with another boy, talking to Cueball.]
Megan: ...I'm going to date this jerk.
Cueball: But he doesn't respect you!

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Tried it, doesn't work. -- 21:04, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

Are you the real Cueball? --Dgbrt (talk) 22:01, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
Sometimes we're all the real Cueball. 00:22, 4 February 2014 (UTC)

I believe the explanation was incorrect as it stated that Cueball actually explains this idea to Megan. To be it seems obvious that he just explains his plans (to us), but by telling it to Megan it is even more obvious how unpleasant such a plan is. I have thus changed the explanation to fit this. Kynde (talk) 13:08, 5 February 2014 (UTC)

Also I think the title text explanation about Cueball entering into a relationship with Megan must be wrong. If they do that they are no longer friends. So I have added a different explanation. but will not yet delete the alternative. I will leave that up to others to decide if it makes sence to be friends with detriements/benefits if you are in a relationship...? Kynde (talk) 11:58, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

Do we have evidence of Megan,s preivious romances and relationships? I believe a Cueball marriage was postulated15:14, 29 August 2014 (UTC) (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Reminds me of something I heard recently "If you're the kind of person who worries about girls putting you in the 'Friend Zone', don't worry! You're probably not the kind of person they'd want to be friends with anyway". -Pennpenn 00:51, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

I've had a crush on a girl I know - a girl I am good friends with - for a few months now, and this comic is is the push I needed. I'm going to ask her out. Pawtiko (talk) 15:11, 29 January 2016 (UTC)


First para-->sentence on dating, I clarified that this is only common in Western cultures, and wrote in brackets what would be the normal route in some other cultures. Actually, it's interesting to consider how the scenario displayed in this comic would be very difficult to play out in, say, Saudi Arabia or India, because you would never get that close to a member of the opposite sex like that, and if you did have a crush on them, you would have to ask your family to approach their family for a marriage proposal, and thus arrange a marriage, as "dating" is considered immoral. On the other hand, I suppose lonely people (especially men) who aren't that attractive/confident who live in Western cultures might be prone to the kind of manipulative behaviour shown in this comic. Verizoned (talk) 22:40, 12 April 2017 (UTC)

While in India arranged marriages are still very common and the default, people often date and have relationships before that, which sometimes even result in love-marriages, or more commonly get broken up in favor of an arrenged ones. At least this is true with the "younger" generation born in the mid 80s or later. (Source: Been to India, talked to Indians) --Lupo (talk) 10:49, 3 May 2019 (UTC)

I don't know about this comic... yes, if you fake a friendship for the sole purpose of trying to enter a relationship, that's the mark of a horrible person. But if you DON'T try to be friends first, how else are the two of you supposed to know whether or not your interests are wildly incompatible? This is just a confusing topic... 12:51, 12 June 2018 (UTC)

It's a hard topic to wrap your head around and one I am currently trying to understand. I think, specifically with this comic, it's saying that you're doing something terrible if you cut people off from a prospective dating pool. i.e. making yourself the only potential suitor for a person by process of elimination and eliminating. However, it okay to start off by being friends with someone. Finding out if your chemistry works or not. Not making the first move is also okay, but it also means they may *never* make the first move. If you are afraid of making the first move, then you have to be okay with only ever being friends and being okay with the fact that the someone you are interested in might not be interested in you and ask other people out. It eventually comes down to a risk-reward: take a chance, and risk alienating them as a friend (we wish it weren't the case, but it might just end up too awkward for lots of people) but maybe start a relationship; never take a chance and "risk" being "friend-zoned" (but, really, from the other person's perspective there was no risk; you only ever gave the signal you wanted to be friends, so they maintained that). Pardon, this is mostly me thinking through my own thoughts on this topic. 18:15, 18 November 2022 (UTC)

Doesn't the "*hug*" part reference comic 352? 07:23, 27 January 2019 (UTC)