0412: "Startled"

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coldsteelrail
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Re: "Startled" Discussion

Postby coldsteelrail » Fri Apr 18, 2008 4:22 pm UTC

Someone annotated this comic as "Black-Hold Class-Hat" at http://coldsteelrail.com/xkcd/index.php?no=412. I have not approved this so you cant see it there. What does it mean? Can someone write a more complete fact-only annotation?
Thanks a ton guys in advance.

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Cornelius
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Re: "Startled" Discussion

Postby Cornelius » Fri Apr 18, 2008 4:30 pm UTC

His hat looks like a music note.

I just realized that. It's like a half rest or something.
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Vanguard
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Re: "Startled" Discussion

Postby Vanguard » Fri Apr 18, 2008 4:40 pm UTC

This made me snicker out loud, the last panel did it. The "scooch" for some reason is the only thing that made me lawl, which sucks because there's a sleepin' person in mah room :(
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Commander Bob
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Re: "Startled" Discussion

Postby Commander Bob » Fri Apr 18, 2008 5:41 pm UTC

When I saw this, I was thinking, "Oh, I'm sure the alt-text will make everything crystal clear."

But now... Now I just don't know what to think.

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Re: "Startled" Discussion

Postby Stief » Fri Apr 18, 2008 6:09 pm UTC

Maybe...just maybe...naughty girls need lov-wait...

what I actually wanted to say was, maybe Randall felt like doing something completely random...

*shrugs* who knows?
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Re: "Startled" Discussion

Postby Fieari » Fri Apr 18, 2008 7:03 pm UTC

Assuming that's BHG, which I prefer to think, this is a really cute and sappy comic. BHG has a crush, and she's abusing it! Heehee!
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Re: "Startled" Discussion

Postby Kleppner » Fri Apr 18, 2008 7:42 pm UTC

Heh, I have to admit I laughed a bit.
And it's very true, 'Scootch' is really only used by old fellas and my grandmother. I remember when my friend "Scootch over a bit". I couldn't stop laughing.

Then again, it's probably just me.
(Also, the whoever did the music joke... shame on you. Now whenever I play piano I'm going to think of classholes)

psicopoo
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Re: "Startled" Discussion

Postby psicopoo » Fri Apr 18, 2008 8:53 pm UTC

I think you folks could stand to get away from this idea of recurring characters in XKCD where there has been no suggestion of such save physical appearance. There are only so many ways to draw a simple stickperson, after all.

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Re: "Startled" Discussion

Postby vodka.cobra » Fri Apr 18, 2008 9:00 pm UTC

He obviously has a Hat of Holding.
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The Hyphenator
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Re: "Startled" Discussion

Postby The Hyphenator » Fri Apr 18, 2008 10:43 pm UTC

mudge wrote:Seriously? I mean ... how are people fawning over this?

Next Randall is going to take a picture of his morning bowel movements and slap an alt-tag on it, and people will still go gaga over it.

This. Please don't kill me, but I also felt the same way about the 1337 series. The first one was good, the second was meh, and they just got worse from there. Sure, sure, CS references, but it has to be funny as well, which it obviously wasn't.
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Tenebrais
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Re: "Startled" Discussion

Postby Tenebrais » Fri Apr 18, 2008 10:57 pm UTC

psicopoo wrote:I think you folks could stand to get away from this idea of recurring characters in XKCD where there has been no suggestion of such save physical appearance. There are only so many ways to draw a simple stickperson, after all.

There are, however, a great many ways to draw a stick figure in a hat. Or with hair. Or indeed with any distinguishing feature.


I wonder if this comic was made solely for the sake of the forum discussion.

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Detritus
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Re: "Startled" Discussion

Postby Detritus » Sat Apr 19, 2008 12:04 am UTC

Huh. Am I the only one who thought Black Hat was just being an asshole about her shouting 'boo'? Like, being really sarcastic with his exaggerated surprise? As in that thing where someone stands to your left and taps your right shoulder, and you turn right and see no one, and start saying, "Hello--wait, who... Jesus? Is that you? Am... Am I dead?" and so on?

I guess that doesn't explain the comic getting abruptly surreal, but still. That was my first thought.
Then I thought, "Man, I should have just said 'yeah.' "

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Yuri2356
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Re: "Startled" Discussion

Postby Yuri2356 » Sat Apr 19, 2008 12:07 am UTC

Detritus wrote:Huh. Am I the only one who thought Black Hat was just being an asshole about her shouting 'boo'? Like, being really sarcastic with his exaggerated surprise? As in that thing where someone stands to your left and taps your right shoulder, and you turn right and see no one, and start saying, "Hello--wait, who... Jesus? Is that you? Am... Am I dead?" and so on?

I guess that doesn't explain the comic getting abruptly surreal, but still. That was my first thought.

Surreal? For you, perhaps, but for him? This is tuesday.

You're talking about a man who can shoot lighting from his hands.

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HalfWayDownTheStairs
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Re: "Startled" Discussion

Postby HalfWayDownTheStairs » Sat Apr 19, 2008 1:09 am UTC

I can understand why people are dissapointed with this, but personally, I like it. I like that it's different, and that it messes with our expectations.

And, BHG or not, it seems that the stress of meeting his match seems to be taking its toll on BHM.

(Also, I regisered to post this, since the comic made me laugh so much!)
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MizardX
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Re: "Startled" Discussion

Postby MizardX » Sat Apr 19, 2008 2:32 am UTC

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqVmo9x_LiM
Seems fitting, though white hat and reversed roles.

themuffinking
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Re: "Startled" Discussion

Postby themuffinking » Sat Apr 19, 2008 4:21 am UTC

http://www.xkcd.com/82/

I believe you'll find that Randall has used "..." as an alt text before.

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imatrendytotebag
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Re: "Startled" Discussion

Postby imatrendytotebag » Sat Apr 19, 2008 5:48 am UTC

Evidence against it being a BHM/BHG add-on: its title isn't "journal 4" and, as people have pointed out, the girl has shorter hair. Also, the story is very surreal by itself, and even more so when we try to reconcile it with the previous elements of the story. (BHM has a crush? She now wants to scare him on the street for some reason? Unlikely, in my opinion). Also, I counted 26 comics between Journals 2 and 3, but only 6 between Journal 3 and this one. I don't really think Randall's THAT eager to continue this story?

HOWEVER, if we assume Randall was going for the quick, surreal, completely stand-alone gag (which is kind of funny, I'll admit), then he made some interesting choices. Namely, he drew a comic featuring a guy with a black hat and a girl in some sort of conflict with each other. At the same time he has a series (which it seems like he is planning on continuing) which features a guy with that same iconic black hat in conflict with a girl. If he wanted us not to associate this comic with the journal series, why couldn't he have chosen a guy to do the scaring, or a different hat? (though this hat does have the nice 'half-rest' appearance).

Well those are just my thoughts. Hopefully something will be revealed to us on Monday or on the blog.
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phaiakia
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Re: "Startled" Discussion

Postby phaiakia » Sat Apr 19, 2008 5:56 am UTC

Kleppner wrote:And it's very true, 'Scootch' is really only used by old fellas and my grandmother.


So untrue. I say "scooch" at least 5 times a day, every time my students invade my personal space. Or linger at my lab desk/computer. Or generally act like idiots.

P.S. I'm 25.

jacobraccuia
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Re: "Startled" Discussion

Postby jacobraccuia » Sat Apr 19, 2008 6:54 am UTC

Oh wow.

i didn't make any comparisons with the girl who stole his hat and this girl. I basically just saw two random people scaring him. He's vulnerable, and has a softer side

solacelost
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Re: "Startled" Discussion

Postby solacelost » Sat Apr 19, 2008 12:36 pm UTC

If I was forced to provide comics that entertained everyone all the time, I'd occasionally break down and just doodle. Look at the ones he scanned from graph paper... they were just doodles. My feeling is that here, he was just bored and doodling, and he's a goofy guy so this slapstick thing came out and he probably just posted it because he didn't have anything better, and he's got this manufactured deadline.

I like it, because it's more "from" Randall than his typical piece, which is usually there just to satiate the masses. Gems aren't always shiny, sometimes they need a little polishing.

*shrug*
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woktiny
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Re: "Startled" Discussion

Postby woktiny » Sat Apr 19, 2008 6:13 pm UTC

Didn't the guy who did The Far Side sometimes draw panels with no joke in them, just to play a joke on the readers/critics?

maybe it will be continued later.

anyway, it's ok to do something silly once in a while.

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rqm
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Re: "Startled" Discussion

Postby rqm » Sat Apr 19, 2008 8:37 pm UTC

I think the universe is telling us to take the classhole less seriously.

This wasn't funny anyway.

Kidrik
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Re: "Startled" Discussion

Postby Kidrik » Sun Apr 20, 2008 1:42 am UTC

I can't help but feel that he is expecting BHG to show up again and threaten he and his hat. As such, he would be jumpy.

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Phoenix '97
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Re: "Startled" Discussion

Postby Phoenix '97 » Sun Apr 20, 2008 2:50 am UTC

Oh, oh! I got another one.
If he got startled like that three times in a row, would that count as a hat trick?
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coldsteelrail
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Re: "Startled" Discussion

Postby coldsteelrail » Sun Apr 20, 2008 11:16 am UTC

Totally agree with hypothesis that this is a joke on us. And yeah those are not classhole and bhg.

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savage
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Re: "Startled" Discussion

Postby savage » Sun Apr 20, 2008 2:17 pm UTC

Explanation:
http://xkcd.com/78/
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MicaB
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Re: "Startled" Discussion

Postby MicaB » Sun Apr 20, 2008 7:00 pm UTC

This comic is just something to smile at.

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JET73L
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Re: "Startled" Discussion

Postby JET73L » Sun Apr 20, 2008 11:59 pm UTC

Smile at and laugh just a bit and let one eye muscle twitch.

I figured Black Hat Gy would have a more... (insert proper word here) return. It could simply be that isn;t black hat man, it's merely a defense mechanism, either a collapsible BHM to guard the hat or that he hides unremoveaby in the hat when he thinks BHW is after the hat again. Or it could just be some nonexistent or IRL in-joke that Randall Munroe forgot hadn;t already been put in the comic.

Still, the HAT is larger on the inside... vwoop=scootch... Human Activated TARDIS :??
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Re: "Startled" Discussion

Postby GCM » Mon Apr 21, 2008 1:13 am UTC

woktiny wrote:anyway, it's ok to do something silly once in a while.


No... it's important to do it! Something different, something refreshing. We can't always have math/cs/physics/philosophy/romance/whateverelse repeatedly. Even if they are that awesome. Not only will it get a little stale, but it lacks humanity. You don't read xkcd expecting something. And of course, Randall is human*.

*This is open to debate, if anyone wants to start a new post.
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JET73L
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Re: "Startled" DiscussionIf you read back through the archives,

Postby JET73L » Mon Apr 21, 2008 2:26 am UTC

If you read back through the archives, (stupid cat stop pulling on my keyboard cord), he did use to do a lot more abstract or... what's it called, weirdness strips, some of which really had no point to them. That shouldn;t cause propblems if this is the case here.
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Re: "Startled" Discussion

Postby Celtic Minstrel » Mon Apr 21, 2008 3:40 am UTC

Cornelius wrote:His hat looks like a music note.

I just realized that. It's like a half rest or something.
Yeah, it's like a half rest, but I'm guessing thats a mere coincidence.

vodka.cobra wrote:He obviously has a Hat of Holding.
HEY! I was going to say that! ;)

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Re: "Startled" Discussion

Postby scarletmanuka » Mon Apr 21, 2008 5:00 am UTC

phaiakia wrote:
Kleppner wrote:And it's very true, 'Scootch' is really only used by old fellas and my grandmother.

So untrue. I say "scooch" at least 5 times a day, every time my students invade my personal space. Or linger at my lab desk/computer. Or generally act like idiots.
P.S. I'm 25.

You're a grandmother at 25? That must be pretty hard to deal with.

Phoenix '97 wrote:Oh, oh! I got another one.
If he got startled like that three times in a row, would that count as a hat trick?

Nicely played. Though I assume it would have to be the same person startling him each time, which could be hard to do.

GCM wrote:And of course, Randall is human*.
*This is open to debate, if anyone wants to start a new post.

Does he wear a hat? I believe that is the canonical method for determining the issue.

noneuklid
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Re: "Startled" Discussion

Postby noneuklid » Mon Apr 21, 2008 1:18 pm UTC

This discussion is amazing.

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The Hyphenator
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Re: "Startled" Discussion

Postby The Hyphenator » Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:03 am UTC

noneuklid wrote:This discussion is amazing.

Why thank you. *scuttles out now*
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tradiuz
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Re: "Startled" Discussion

Postby tradiuz » Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:43 am UTC

The Hyphenator wrote:
noneuklid wrote:This discussion is amazing.

Why thank you. *scooches out now*


Fixed.
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Kivlov
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Re: "Startled" Discussion

Postby Kivlov » Tue Apr 22, 2008 7:21 am UTC

Ahh hell I can't remeber the name of the comic to find it, but it was the one about shopping. Two nerds making a bad team because they over think everything.

Yeah... That's what you guys are doing right now.

Also, there may be many ways to draw a hat, but a hat like that is the only one fitting for such a comic, and there aren't too many ways to draw hair with a black pen. Like seriously, if the hair was done up in a bun you'd all be like 'Oh she just decided to put her hair into an elastic today!'

I honestly think this was just meant to be a silly interlude to his regular comics.

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Lenary
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Re: "Startled" Discussion

Postby Lenary » Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:26 pm UTC

Kivlov wrote:Ahh hell I can't remeber the name of the comic to find it, but it was the one about shopping. Two nerds making a bad team because they over think everything.

Yeah... That's what you guys are doing right now.



You mean "Shopping Teams":
http://www.xkcd.com/309/
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cephalopod9
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Re: "Startled" Discussion

Postby cephalopod9 » Wed Apr 23, 2008 7:24 am UTC

Maybe it's a decoy Black Hat Man,
Or maybe it's a flash back to before he developed his class-holiness,
or maybe he's constructing an elaborate defensive or offensive mechanisms,
Or maybe it's all a dream.
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AWA
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Re: "Startled" Discussion

Postby AWA » Fri Apr 25, 2008 3:28 am UTC

I was kinda expecting the BHM to whip around right before she says "Boo" and make a face or something, so that he would once again be in control of everything...maybe whip out the lightning from Tesla Coil...
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phaiakia
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Re: "Startled" Discussion

Postby phaiakia » Fri Apr 25, 2008 4:40 am UTC

scarletmanuka wrote:
phaiakia wrote:
Kleppner wrote:And it's very true, 'Scootch' is really only used by old fellas and my grandmother.

So untrue. I say "scooch" at least 5 times a day, every time my students invade my personal space. Or linger at my lab desk/computer. Or generally act like idiots.
P.S. I'm 25.

You're a grandmother at 25? That must be pretty hard to deal with.


What a fine XY representative... And people wonder why I don't bother dating.


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