72: Classhole

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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A term coined by my friend Beth
Title text: A term coined by my friend Beth


The subject of this comic is Black Hat himself. He admits to being an asshole, a profanity that describes someone who does things that antagonize, irritate, or anger others (either intentionally or incidentally). While a common example might be someone who weaves in and out of traffic, or someone who parks across two parking spaces, Black Hat is "more creative." This also suggests that, while most people described as assholes are either ignorant or selfish, Black Hat seems to intentionally behave this way strictly to be an asshole and not for any self-benefit. He claims to be a "classy asshole," or as he coins the portmanteau, a "class-hole." He seems to equate creativity with class, although that seems like a leap. In any event, this is another early Black Hat strip that, for the first time, explicitly sets out that he goes out of his way to wreak havoc.

Among his "pranks," he suggests poking holes in grocery noodle cups. These are pre-packaged cups filled with dried noodles and dried soup mix (either in a separate pouch, or loose in the cup) to which one adds boiling water, which both boils the pasta and dissolves the soup mix to become the soup/broth. By poking holes in the cup, Black Hat ensures that someone pouring boiling water in the cup would have it leak all over them, causing them great surprise and pain.

He also suggests poking holes in condoms, which could cause even more serious consequences. This form of contraceptive sabotage is a way to cause unintended pregnancy or sexually transmitted disease infection. Sabotage may be by someone acting maliciously at random (such as poking holes at the store pre-purchase) or by one of the participants to attempt to cause a pregnancy when the other partner does not want it, often occurring as part of reproductive abuse.[1] The 2013 movie The Priest's Children describes a similar campaign.

The title text explains that the word was first introduced to Randall (and probably to the world) by a friend of his named Beth.


Cueball: How did you spend your morning?
Black Hat: Feeding rocks to children in the park.
Cueball: Your sociopathic abuse of random strangers staggers me.
Black Hat: I aspire to have more creativity than the common asshole.
Black Hat: I'm more of a classy asshole -- A class-hole, if you will. For example, I like poking tiny holes in styrofoam noodle cups at the grocery store --
Black Hat: Thanks to me, someone gets surprise boiling water in the lap.
Cueball: I am in awe.
Black Hat: It's even more fun to do to condoms.


  1. Committee on Health Care for Underserved Women. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. February 2013 Committee Opinion No. 554: Reproductive and Sexual Coercion Obstet Gynecol 2013;121:411–5. PMID 23344307

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I think this is a biblical reference. Matthew 7:9, "Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?" Black Hat the "classhole", evidently will. ‎ (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

50 points for that excellent reference! PS Hi from 1408. Jarod997 (talk) 12:57, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Yes I have to put that seperating line. God, how do you do a line across text, dang I meant strikethrough. This is going nowhere. StillNotOriginal 02:01, 21 May 2018 (UTC)

<s>This is a strikethrough</s>. Beanie (talk) 10:12, 16 March 2021 (UTC)

Is the explanation ever going to explain the first panel? It's been over 13 years, and it STILL hasn't been explained. 15:57, 8 November 2019 (UTC)

What part about it do you need explained? It's pretty straightforward. Fabian42 (talk) 20:28, 30 October 2019 (UTC)
I dunno. Note: I forgot to sign it. Just fixed that up. 15:57, 8 November 2019 (UTC)