explain this comic to me
December 22, 2010 6:31 AM   Subscribe

Can someone explain the punchline in today's luann comic to me?
posted by yeoz to Society & Culture (47 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
The comments on the comic itself have some decent speculations.
posted by k8t at 6:33 AM on December 22, 2010


Uh, she bought a thong?
posted by JJ86 at 6:36 AM on December 22, 2010 [7 favorites]


I'm assuming she bought crotchless panties. 4 erogenous zones: 2 breasts, 1 crotch, 1 butt.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 6:36 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Okay, I think she's making reference of the fact that the bra and panties are actually a present, not a buy for herself, but for Brad, and she's saying she's now bought three out of the four gifts on her list.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 6:39 AM on December 22, 2010


Yesterday she asks his favorite color, he says 'blue'. Today, she picks up a black bra and pantie set, which must be the favorite color of one of the other 3 guys she's seeing. That girls bad news for Brad.
posted by IanMorr at 6:39 AM on December 22, 2010 [11 favorites]


ding ding ding on Cat Pie Hurts comment
posted by zombieApoc at 6:49 AM on December 22, 2010


It's a malfunctioning pun/entendre on "Got everything covered?". She is saying that she has three of the four 'things' covered, in the literal sense of covered by lingerie, and , ring-a-ding-ding, one of the 'things' ISN'T covered! But the joke falls apart because there is no indication, either textual or culturally assumed (that I am aware of, anyway) to indicate what the four things are, which are covered and which are not. Crotchless panties, as Cat Pie Hurts says, are a good bet because they fulfill the sexually charged theme of the comic, but they still don't make any particular sense.
posted by dirtdirt at 7:00 AM on December 22, 2010


Bras were half-off
posted by 2bucksplus at 7:01 AM on December 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Honestly, having read Luann for the majority of my life, I sincerely, sincerely doubt that the joke is as raunchy as Cat Pie suggests, but hell, comic strip writers have been known to do weird things every now and then.
posted by patronuscharms at 7:06 AM on December 22, 2010


I bet she bought a thong so her ass isn't covered. It's the fourth thing.
posted by ND¢ at 7:13 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I know a "challenge the OP's assumptions rather than answer the actual question" response is borderline in AskMe, but in this case I hope it's acceptable:

I think your assumption that a Luann strip has a punchline is unwarranted.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:15 AM on December 22, 2010 [44 favorites]


Wow, the characters are a lot older than when I read this strip in...was it "Seventeen" or "Young Miss" that carried Luann?

I parsed it as bra = 1 underpants = 1 socks = 2, being accustomed to socks being with the lingerie in department stores. But a little before today's she says she has to buy "bras and panties," no mention of socks. Hmm

I also thought Cat Pie's take was too dirty for Luann, but I was startled to find this week that "In Style" magazine advertising has mentions of "butts" (though I think this is less lewd to Americans than it is to Canadians, who call it a bum) and "asses," so I am probably a step behind the mainstream raunch zeitgeist.
posted by kmennie at 7:16 AM on December 22, 2010


My take on it is that, for most guys, there are "three" things that would be covered... he's confused about what the forth is...thus the "?"
posted by HuronBob at 7:19 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I guess Brad's right to be confused.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 7:21 AM on December 22, 2010


Comics I Don't Understand has the same strip featured today, you can check out the comments.
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 7:24 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


...CIDU site seems to be having some problems today, however.
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 7:26 AM on December 22, 2010


She bought a bra and a thong, guys. There is no fucking way Luann is making a crotchless panties joke.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 7:28 AM on December 22, 2010 [10 favorites]


[I can't believe I'm typing this, but please try to actually answer the question about the apparent Brad-centric Luann sex-farce and skip the jokes.]
posted by cortex at 7:36 AM on December 22, 2010 [20 favorites]


Serious answer:
Brad thinks of Luann as having 3 areas to cover with undergarments; boobs, butt, and beaver. Luann confounds him by suggesting she has one more, uncovered erogenous zone.
posted by 2bucksplus at 7:40 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I read her as responding to each word in his sentence. So, out of "You got everything covered?" she is indicating "[she] got everything" but it won't be covered. The object she got won't cover everything, so, likely a reference to a thong.
posted by hilaritas at 8:25 AM on December 22, 2010


That woman is not Luann. Luann does not appear in this strip, and she is Brad's sister. Ew, ew, ew.
posted by grouse at 8:28 AM on December 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


Wait, no wait, in the first panel, he's holding her purse - we know it's her purse because she takes it off him in the second panel and puts it on herself. She's not carrying a wallet, just another bag. That would imply that she didn't make a purchase, she was off doing something else, because how did she pay for it? And what is that other blue/black bag?

(I've never read Luann before ... does it always have this many layers of complexity and existential dread?)
posted by jbickers at 8:40 AM on December 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


Wait, no wait, in the first panel, he's holding her purse - we know it's her purse because she takes it off him in the second panel and puts it on herself. She's not carrying a wallet, just another bag. That would imply that she didn't make a purchase, she was off doing something else, because how did she pay for it? And what is that other blue/black bag?

That's not a blue and black bag, its the bra and panties she intends to buy now that she's retrieved her bag from Brad, where I assume she is keeping her wallet.
posted by missmagenta at 8:46 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


The thong theory doesn't seem to pan out because the ensemble she has in her hand just doesn't look like a thong/bra combination.

I'm not sure what her reply means, but her purchase appears to be able to cover all areas.
posted by patheral at 8:59 AM on December 22, 2010


JBickers is right. I think this is a set up for tomorrow's strip: this girl is stealing lingerie. She's planning on taking home four sets of lingerie, but she's only taking one set of lingerie to the register, so three sets of lingerie are "covered" under her sweater for easy shoplifting.
posted by samthemander at 9:28 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Either she's going to cover up his "digit" with (use your imagination), or he's next at the men's underwear department.
posted by No Shmoobles at 9:42 AM on December 22, 2010


What "Ladies Intimates" department lets you walk out without bagging your purchase?

And who would want to have sex with Brad?
posted by jenlovesponies at 10:35 AM on December 22, 2010


I vote for bra and thong.
posted by Bruce H. at 10:37 AM on December 22, 2010


For Better or For Worse had a thong strip about ten years ago.
posted by brujita at 10:39 AM on December 22, 2010


I have been shamefully following this smarmfest for some time now. My money is on Brad is next for some terribly-striped, "sexay" boxers. This feels right in terms of Evans' wonkus attempts to infuse the Brad/Toni relationship with sexual tension without running the risk of being, you know, sexy.
posted by oflinkey at 10:52 AM on December 22, 2010


Arlo and Janis had a naked Janis floating in a cloud in Arlo's imagination one time, but I can't find the strip right now.
posted by ND¢ at 10:55 AM on December 22, 2010


I haven't read Luann in years (Luann and Brad were still in high school), but I have to second the notion that Brad's question-mark puzzlement in the final panel is around "what does she mean exactly by '3 out of 4'?"... and that we are to infer that the girl tried on a skimpy thong, not crotchless panties. The obscured black lingerie set isn't patently drawn like a thong because it's Luann, not hentai.

The shoplifting angle doesn't play for me either. They aren't leaving the store, they are leaving the dressing room area, which is why he was holding her purse. It's why the black lingerie set isn't bagged yet.
posted by pineapple at 11:39 AM on December 22, 2010


In the previous day's comic, Brad's counting the signs of love to himself. He gets to #2. Maybe the girl is seeing a sign #3 of love that Brad hasn't picked up on yet?
posted by chrisubus at 11:54 AM on December 22, 2010


Yes, Jesus Christ, this is TONI! TONI TONI TONI! Brad's co-worker and crush, not Luann, Brad's sister.

Toni is not shoplifting underwear, either. She's an EMT, for heaven's sake.

Presumably, both Brad and we will be enlightened in tomorrow's strip.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:00 PM on December 22, 2010


OK, I actually e-mailed Greg Evans. Here's what I got:
To all the posters here I'll just say this: you got everything covered.

-Greg
Yep, one line. Not quite what I was hoping for, but at least I tried.

Here's my original message in case anyone wants to point out some way I brought this on myself:
Hello Mr. Evans,

Like many people on the Metafilter web site, I've enjoyed your comic for years -- it's one of two that I check every day!

Several people are wondering what's up with today's "three out of four" line, though. We think we're missing some cultural context or something.

If it will all make sense tomorrow, that's fine, but is there any chance you'd be willing to comment in this discussion thread about today's strip?

> http://ask.metafilter.com/173834/explain-this-comic-to-me

I'll be happy to post any comment you'd like to make (or to get an account for you, or you can of course get an account if you like).

Please forgive some of the more unsavoury ideas -- we're just casting about trying to come up with explanations.
posted by amtho at 12:00 PM on December 22, 2010 [6 favorites]


DevilsAdvocate's point is well-taken--"Luann" is a narrative comic with story arcs, so not every strip has a punchline. The last panel of this strip shows Brad being confused, and we the readers are equally confused. Presumably, Toni will explain herself.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:02 PM on December 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


I thought she meant they (or possibly Brad alone?) needed to buy condoms. But I don't follow Luann at all, aside from the occasional mention on The Comics Curmudgeon, so maybe not. Maybe they already talked about that? I glanced through the archives for the past month or so and didn't see anything.

Now I have to go drink to make the hurting stop.
posted by Janta at 12:20 PM on December 22, 2010


Hey! He replied to my reply! Here's the latest:
I just posted a new blog, "Three Out Of Four?" at my site, TheCartoonistStudio.com/Greg. Click the GREGBLOG icon. Warning: this blog may ruin your day...

Greg

Here's a link to the blog entry.
posted by amtho at 12:33 PM on December 22, 2010


So I don't want to spoil the fun by explaining what I meant by "three out of four." I'll just say this: women sometimes orbit in a secret, mysterious corner of the universe that men rarely glimpse or understand.

Oh, give it a rest.
posted by lullabyofbirdland at 1:31 PM on December 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's a double pun! 'You got everything' is three words. 'covered' makes four. So 'she has everything' (3), but the purchase is pretty skimpy in the 'coverage' terms. (4)

or something...
posted by freya_lamb at 2:44 PM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


This sentence has never been uttered before in the history of English thought, but:

I am really looking forward to seeing what happens in tomorrow's Luann.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 3:14 PM on December 22, 2010 [6 favorites]


Man, this thread is all kinds of hilarious.

I think it's a flat-out g-string reference. Tits, ass, "beaver", as it was lovingly put upthread. 3/4. How is this so complicated?
posted by disillusioned at 5:11 PM on December 22, 2010


the reason the bra & panties duo is so obscured in the strip is because the punchline is two tits, one beaver, no ass. so displaying a thong would make it too obvious -- instead he wants an already unfunny and cryptic joke to be completely un-parse-able. The joke is that Toni is referring to both of her breasts as separate entities rather than one single erogenous zone -- perhaps she has named each of them?

I think Greggers meant this comic strip as a commentary on the differences between the sexes -- the ol' sitcom situation where a woman says something sexually suggestive and the man is totes clueless. bo-ring.
posted by custard heart at 8:03 PM on December 22, 2010


See that question mark over his head? He's puzzled and she's satisfied that he's puzzled.
posted by pracowity at 10:47 PM on December 22, 2010


Uh oh. Today's strip offers no clues and adds the additional question of what the hell is the deal with that cashier's hair?

I simply can't accept the idea that the author of Luann is referencing to a woman's private areas (I can't even say these things in the context of Luann) so directly.

Although I guess since this whole thing stands to become the defining question of our time I may have to adjust my expectations about the universe.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 2:42 AM on December 23, 2010


Although I guess since this whole thing stands to become the defining question of our time I may have to adjust my expectations about the universe.
I'm so sorry. :(
posted by yeoz at 5:26 AM on December 23, 2010


Late to the party (and I take issue with the notion that most of Metafilter enjoys Luann), but is the butt often considered to be one area, where the breasts are two?

The thing to me is that they're talking in present tense, so does this mean she bought a thong, and is also wearing one at that moment?

And I hate how the joke relies on Brad conveniently using the right wording to set up her punchline, but I digress.


For me, the last panel is explanation enough.

Well, sure. You wrote it.

I only saw this thread today, so I clicked to today's (Sunday) strip. I think the punchline there is, "Some people are victims of a bad economy, but not us!"
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 4:59 PM on December 26, 2010


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