392: Making Rules

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Making Rules
I never understood why someone would expect me to accept their rules right after they'd punched me. I'm sure it's all very symbolic or something.
Title text: I never understood why someone would expect me to accept their rules right after they'd punched me. I'm sure it's all very symbolic or something.


"Punch Buggy" is a game played by two people with a view of traffic (often, but not here, during a car ride). For each Volkswagen Beetle that passes nearby, the first player to see it is entitled to punch the other player, while calling "Punch Buggy" followed by the color of the spotted Beetle. Traditionally the other player is permitted to return the punch, unless the first player also calls "no punch back."

Many people will just assume that the game is always being played and punch you out of the blue, giving you no chance to opt out. Cueball, however, finds the idea that he can simply be roped into a game without consent odd, and decides to make the game stakes more desirable than just the right to punch someone, and (seemingly successfully) uses the same principle to secure the right to sleep with the other man's girlfriend.

The title text is Randall elaborating on how ridiculous these types of games are, such as the idea that after being punched, one should just accept a "no punch back" rule.

In the UK, a common variant uses a yellow Mini rather than the VW Beetle. Other examples of this type of game are the Car numberplate game and Padiddle.


[Two men are sitting. A yellow buggy passes by.]
Man: Punch buggy yellow no punch back!
[Man punches Cueball, Cueball punches the man back, with seemingly greater force, causing the man to fall of the bench they are sitting on.]
Man: I said no punch back!
Cueball: You can do that?
Cueball: Man, this changes everything.
[A blue buggy passes by, and Cueball is holding Megan's hand.]
Cueball: Sleep with your girlfriend buggy blue!
Man: Hey!
Cueball: No complaining back!
Man: Aww...

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I always called it "Slug Bug" growing up... have I been wrong this entire time? 14:36, 8 April 2015 (UTC) We also called it "Slug Bug." It took me quite a few years to realize that the word "slug" in "No slug back" was meant to mean "hit." 06:00, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

Can confirm, also call it "slug bug" Trogdor147 (talk) 21:44, 17 September 2023 (UTC)

Not mentioned in either the comics or here is the important issue of how the girlfriend feels about this. 09:40, 24 December 2016 (UTC)

We can't have outrageous humor without unsettling motives. Fictional characters are being killed for comedic purposes with no-one objecting - so one could argue which kind of feelings deserve more reverence than the right to live - but probably not here... Anyway, nothing indicates that anything happens against her will -- 11:42, 1 September 2023 (UTC)