573: Parental Trolling
Title text: They'll pick music and culture that they know annoys you. Building in behavioral easter eggs is a fair retaliation!
Set in the future, a daughter approaches her father playing a music video of Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up". The daughter insults her father's generation's versions of playing pranks, specifically Rickrolling. The daughter refers to this as "trolling" (part of the comics title), which is popular jargon for trying to disrupt a person or community via an action to elicit an emotional response. She then comments that Cueball's generation's trolling efforts suck.
The humor is in that the dad reveals he has 'trolled' his daughter by creating a reaction in which her speech centers would shut down when she gets upset, thus eliciting an emotional response which perfectly displays his prank. This would not be possible in real life unless he messed with her brain, which would be dangerous and possibly illegal. This could also be referring to how most people tend to get confused in their speech patterns when upset, meaning that the dad could in fact be trolling his daughter through her misunderstanding.
In this comic, the girl holds an ultra-thin tablet, a futuristic technology when this comic was released, a year before the release of the iPad. It also shows a curved computer monitor and keyboard, both of which seem to float above the desk.
The title text refers to the conflict between teenagers and adults over music and culture, with teenagers often listening to music which annoys their parents. 'Easter egg' is a term used to describe a hidden inside joke or feature inside software. Here, the daughter has been treated like a piece of software by her father Cueball. He states that since the kids on purpose chooses music and culture that they know annoys their parents, it is a fair retaliation to build in such Easter egg responses. Many people would probably disagree on this, but maybe not so much parents with teenagers at home.
- [In a frame crossing the top border of the first panel of the comic:]
- The future
- [Cueball is sitting at a futuristic desktop computer with the curved screen and keyboard both floating above the table, and a girl with pigtails is standing behind him with a portable ultra-thin screen. She shows the screen to Cueball. On it is a man with dark hair.]
- Girl: Hey dad, look at this old music video.
- Video: We're no strangers to love...
- Cueball: Wow, you got me.
- [The girl now looks at the device.]
- Girl: Did your generation really use this to troll people? So lame. You know, you guys sucked at pranks.
- [The girl is holding the device down along her legs as Cueball turns from his computer and addresses her.]
- Cueball: Did we? I once raised a kid with conditioning so her speech centers shut down when she was upset.
- [The girl has dropped the device on the floor and is balling her hands into fists. Cueball has turned back and is typing on the keyboard.]
- Girl: What? No, you couldn't have bleegle warble yargle arrgh!
- Cueball: Teehee.
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