1920: Emoji Sports

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Emoji Sports
No horse has yet managed the elusive Quadruple Crown—winning the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, the Belmont Stakes, and the Missouri Horse Hole.
Title text: No horse has yet managed the elusive Quadruple Crown—winning the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, the Belmont Stakes, and the Missouri Horse Hole.


This comic, as the heading indicates, arbitrarily selects emoji and uses them to make up very bizarre sports. Although some of these might be completely normal, most of them take things to a completely absurd level.

The title text is a reference to the triple crown, which is an highly prestigious award given to a three-year-old thoroughbred horse who wins the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes, the first three of the four listed events. The joke is that if Horse Hole was a real sport, then one who won a major competition for it, the Missouri Horse Hole, in addition to the three main horse racing events, would win a “Quadruple Crown".

Emoji Sport Description
🤽‍♂️🌋 Lavaball Sets the sport of water polo around or inside an active volcano. If the water is simply replaced with lava, the players would asphyxiate from the toxic fumes long before they burned to death in the molten rock. If a typical pool of water is involved, the introduction of lava would cause rapid evaporation and the release of chlorine gas, which is destructive to living tissue. In any case, this game is not a good time.[citation needed]
🤾‍♀️🤺 Bladeball Using a fencing foil to hit a ball would not only be inefficient, but would easily lead to the destruction of the ball instead.
💃💃⚽ Fancyball Soccer played in high heels and dresses would be a problem for both kicking and running, with the grassy terrain exacerbating these issues, and these would lead to frequent injury.[citation needed]
🕳️🏇🏇🏇 Horse hole Jockeys ride their horses into a large pit. Needless to say, such a sport would constitute blatant animal abuse; the ensuing fall would seriously injure competing equines (as well as their jockeys if they don't bail out beforehand). If the horse's self-preservation instinct kicks in before reaching the edge, the jockey will likely be severely injured in the process, an outcome which would likely garner a lot less pity.
Both this segment and the title text may relate to Episode 354 of My Brother My Brother And Me, "Beanfreak", where a potential punishment for losing horses in a race is described as a trapdoor leading to a "pony pile" beneath the track. (Many of the podcast's episodes deal with horse racing and horse behavior, including some impassioned conversations on the performance of specific horses and the unregulated nature of the widely recognized Triple Crown achievement.)
🔪🏀⛏️ Basketball shredding The apparent point of this sport is to compete to destroy basketballs as quickly and/or as thoroughly as possible. There is some transgressive appeal in mistreating sports equipment, but hardly enough to keep a captive audience.
🥚🔭🕵️‍♀️ Eggspotting This could be a combination of egg hunting and birdwatching. The emojis imply that said eggs would have to be found alone in nature, as if they were wild animals. Though it might be spotting of eggs of the wild animals in their nests.
⛷️🐊 Alligator jumping An unusual combination of attributes, and to get the alligators to adapt to a cold environment might be a challenge. The emoji is actually a crocodile.
👩🎣🧜‍♂️ Merfishing Unless humans volunteer to get in costume, this sport is unlikely to have any successes, due to the nonexistence of mermaids.[citation needed]
👨🏸🧚🏸👩 Tinkerball Playing badminton with a fairy, named after Tinker Bell. Likely to injure the fairy.
🥌🦔🥌 Hedgehog curling Hedgehogs are not ideal projectiles for sports, as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland has already demonstrated, and such an idea would likely be considered animal abuse on top of the impracticality.
🗜️🍔 Burger clamping Perhaps a challenge to fit a tall burger into a bite-sized height, though said clamp is more likely to pierce the burger than to flatten it.
👩‍🚀🏹🛰️ Consequence archery Archery on a station could cause damage to its structure leading to the potentially explosive decompression of the station, and necessitate the evacuation of the astronauts aboard. If played outside, stray arrows could still cause disaster by setting debris into motion or by hitting vessels or equipment. Another dangerous consequence of shooting an arrow while floating in without a jetpack would be that the shot propulses the astronaut in the opposite direction of the arrow, setting him or her off to drift away helplessly into .
🦉➡️📬 Owlstuffing This appears to consist of attempting to stuff owls into mailboxes, which would be doubly illegal, because it would be cruel to the owls and interfere with delivery of the mail. The mailbox is shown with the flag up, which normally indicates that there is mail in it, but it appears to be empty, perhaps so that the owl can be stuffed in it. Possibly a reference to owls carrying mail in the Harry Potter series.
🍴🕯️🍴 Candle eating An even more unhealthy form of competitive eating. Eating large amounts of candle wax can cause intestinal obstruction.
⛳💣🏌️‍♀️ Consequence golf The "consequence" of this game is simple: the bomb's eventual explosion necessitates efficient playing. Golfing with a bomb would likely significantly reduce the par on each hole, depending on the length of the fuse, and due to the threat of explosion, par likely would not be able to be exceeded unless the unskilled golfer is also very fast. There would be definite damage to the course and golfers unless the holes extinguished the bombs of golfers who succeeded in time. The balance and rolling of the balls would also be impeded by the fuses and caps.
👉🐍👈 Snake shaming Probably a play on snake charming. Also a possible reference to the biblical story where the snake is shamed for deceiving mankind by being doomed to crawl on its belly.
🔥🧗‍♀️🔥 Hell escape Trying to escape the lake of fire is the pastime of damned souls, but perhaps living people are instead sent there and have to return home.
🎮🥑🎮 Multiplayer avocado Unless a game based on avocados is the subject, there is, to say the least, a hardware compatibility issue here. Very different from the adult version, multiplayer eggplant (🎮🍆🎮; see 1870: Emoji Movie Reviews).


Ambox notice.png This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.
New sports
created from random emoji
[Man Playing Water Polo + Volcano]
🤽‍♂️🌋 Lavaball
[Woman Playing Handball + Person Fencing]
🤾‍♀️🤺 Bladeball
[Woman Dancing (2 emojis) + Soccer Ball]
💃💃⚽ Fancyball
[Hole + Horse Racing (3 emojis)]
🕳️🏇🏇🏇 Horse hole
[Kitchen Knife + Basketball + Pick]
🔪🏀⛏️ Basketball shredding
[Egg + Telescope + Woman Detective]
🥚🔭🕵️‍♀️ Eggspotting
[Skier + Crocodile]
⛷️🐊 Alligator jumping
[Woman + Fishing Pole + Merman]
👩🎣🧜‍♂️ Merfishing
[Man + Badminton + Fairy + Badminton + Woman]
👨🏸🧚🏸👩 Tinkerball
[Curling Stone + Hedgehog + Curling Stone]
🥌🦔🥌 Hedgehog curling
[Clamp + Hamburger]
🗜️🍔 Burger clamping
[Woman Astronaut + Bow and Arrow + Satellite]
👩‍🚀🏹🛰️ Consequence archery
[Owl + Right Arrow + Open Mailbox]
🦉➡️📬 Owlstuffing
[Fork and Knife + Candle + Fork and Knife]
🍴🕯️🍴 Candle eating
[Flag in Hole + Bomb + Woman Golfing]
⛳💣🏌️‍♀️ Consequence golf
[Pointing Right + Snake + Pointing Left]
👉🐍👈 Snake shaming
[Fire + Woman Climbing + Fire]
🔥🧗‍♀️🔥 Hell escape
[Video Game + Avocado + Video Game]
🎮🥑🎮 Multiplayer avocado

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It seems like in addition to the destructive sports thing, he's also playing on the emojis made from other emojis in multi character Unicode, but as it's 3 in the morning and I can't even remember what things are called I'm not gonna even try to edit right now. 07:50, 24 November 2017 (UTC)

Hey! An early published comic! 3AM Me And Randall time Thursday night right now. Fun since I only read on Monday and Thursday nights. :) NiceGuy1 (talk) 08:14, 24 November 2017 (UTC)

Actually candle eating isn't so far out there: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXg3l_Lnmdo

It seems like the joke in the title is about the fact that a horse winning a HorseHole race wouldn't actually be able to compete anymore (dead or hurt). Which would explain why no horse ever won the 4 different races. 09:58, 24 November 2017 (UTC)

The horse can easily do the HorseHole last. -- Hkmaly (talk) 23:49, 25 November 2017 (UTC)

Re. " the mailbox seems to be missing mail" - If there was mail in there, there wouldn't be room to stuff the owl in. 11:22, 24 November 2017 (UTC)

What a dumb idea for a comic. It's kinda like comedy central when they run out of ideas, they run South Park day and night, or TruTV running Impractical Jokers episodes because they ran out of other remotely funny stuff. 11:52, 24 November 2017 (UTC)

What a dumb idea for a comment. It's kinda like a kid in the playground who doesn't have the imagination to join in with the other kids' games, so decides to just try to spoil them instead. 09:24, 27 November 2017 (UTC)
^This guy for President AtrumMessor (talk) 21:18, 27 November 2017 (UTC)
But they're right. It does seem lazier than Randall's usual comics, maybe he was just busy or something. Let's not pretend that 100% of xkcd is gold. 15:24, 3 December 2017 (UTC)

Is it worth mentioning that a version of Alligator Jumping appears in the Monty Python's Contractual Obligation Album? As befits MP, the sport involves running at a crocodile, then diving into its mouth. There is controversy in the sport regarding whether or not to coat yourself with a marinade. 12:28, 24 November 2017 (UTC)

Alligator jumping sort of reminds me of the old Pitfall series of games. Shamino (talk) 15:33, 24 November 2017 (UTC)

I vaguely remember that "Consequence XXXXX" is a thing; finding a reference for that would be helpful. Also, any way to increase the size of the emojis? They're pretty hard to read at the usual font size. -- 15:15, 24 November 2017 (UTC)

I don't think the ball in Fancyball is supposed to be giant; they are just emoji and I don't think they're representative of the sizes of the participants/objects in the game. After all, I don't think there is a man the size of a volcano... Also, water-skiing is a sport - is the person jumping over the alligator necessarily confined to snow? Although the person in the emoji does have ski poles so perhaps that is the case. 15:31, 24 November 2017 (UTC)

Multiplayer 🥑 Might be a reference to polygamy, as there is an app called avocado that is supposed to be a safe app for couples to share within.

I wonder if it might be possible to have a fallback for Emoji that aren't as well supported. I note a few that don't work on my Firefox version. I also wonder how useful the transcripts are with the emoji: do screen readers properly handle them? Trlkly (talk) 22:12, 25 November 2017 (UTC)

I have all on palemoon, which makes me thinking it's not related to browsers, just what font you have installed. Try twemoji. -- Hkmaly (talk) 23:49, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
About half the emojis in the transcript are just squares for me. And I'm on an iPad, no installing fonts or anything for me. (Granted, it's an iPad 1 whose highest possible iOS is 5.1.1, but still). I would agree that having actual emojis seem useless to a reader program, BUT I note that there's also text descriptions. NiceGuy1 (talk) 04:53, 28 November 2017 (UTC)

Originally though that the consequence archery is supposed to be about shooting down satellites from orbit while standing on earth, but that would be very hard to do with conventional bow (or, frankly, anything else except rocket). -- Hkmaly (talk) 23:49, 25 November 2017 (UTC)

It looks to me like the archer is an astronaut, suggesting he's in space himself. I think the idea is that hitting the satellite will make it crash into him, but that would take some strong heavy arrows. NiceGuy1 (talk) 04:53, 28 November 2017 (UTC)

Regarding the Tinkerball, it can be dangerous for players too, especially if the Fae notices what they plan to do before is too beaten to cast spells. -- Hkmaly (talk) 23:49, 25 November 2017 (UTC)

couldn't disagree more with this explanation 01:37, 27 November 2017 (UTC)...

How so? 06:34, 27 November 2017 (UTC)

- when I read it, I imagined the satellite firing back at the archer. It definitely has absolutely nothing to do with the satellite falling on top of you, and the "archery in a space station" thing is a real stretch... it's a satellite.

Can we not hedge our bets with "rarity" of mermaids? I'm pretty sure that everyone on this site can agree that mermaids do not exist. Really. 14:50, 27 November 2017 (UTC)

Agreed. Editing shortly. AtrumMessor (talk) 21:18, 27 November 2017 (UTC)
That's the very challenge of the sport. :) NiceGuy1 (talk) 04:53, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
But no such objections to fairy badminton? 17:38, 28 November 2017 (UTC)

Eggs most certainly are found in nature, in bird's (or reptile's) nests.

Editing "Consequence Golf"--well-cared-for lawn grass (and there's no better than on a golf course) has high water content and is a lot harder to ignite than you'd think. A detonator fuse doesn't actually throw flames (or as much heat as one would assume) so the green catching fire would (a) be very unlikely, and (b) be the absolute least of your problems. Just don't ask me how I know. AtrumMessor (talk) 21:18, 27 November 2017 (UTC)

I think the idea is that the "golf ball" is a lit bomb which might explode in your face, making this golf like Hot Potato or Russian Roulette. NiceGuy1 (talk) 04:53, 28 November 2017 (UTC)

What does "consequence" mean? Is this a snowclone from something commonly known but unknown to me? Anyway, I think it needs an explanation... Mathmannix (talk) 01:27, 28 November 2017 (UTC)

"Consequence" is a result or response to something, like a punishment. If you drive too fast, you will get a speeding ticket as a consequence of speeding. To make you regret doing it. In this case (can't see the comic but I remember consequence archery and consequence golf), if you participate in the archery and shoot down the satellite, it might crash into you. If you play the golf, the "ball" will probably explode near you. NiceGuy1 (talk) 04:53, 28 November 2017 (UTC)

Not sure I’d anyone else recognizes, but in the What If? book, the chapter “weightless arrow” May describe consequence archery. The question is that if an arrow is fired in a micro-gravity environment with an earth-like atmosphere, such as the international space station, how far would it go? The end of the chapter states, “And the largest ISS module, Kibo, is only 10 meters long. This means that if you actually performed this experiment, the arrow would fly no more than 10 meters. Then, it would either come to a stop... or really ruin someone’s day.” This comic was published several years after the book release, so I’m not sure whether the comic was inspired by this passage. Either way, should we include this in the article? Dan Smelly (talk) 00:35, 26 May 2020 (UTC)

Eggs are not limited to birds, or as mentioned above, reptiles. A egg spotter could also find the shell-enclosed forms of insects, crustaceans, amphibians, and many groups of worms. Add in underwater eggspotting, and you get everything from sea urchins to trout. Nitpicking (talk) 18:41, 22 May 2022 (UTC)