XKCD Diode Comic Explained

I was an electronics geek growing up and built devices in my Ham Radio class.  That being said, I still needed some help understanding today’s XKCD comic.

“In electronics, a diode is a two-terminal electronic component that conducts electric current in only one direction. The term usually refers to a semiconductor diode, the most common type today. This is a crystalline piece of semiconductor material connected to two electrical terminals. A vacuum tube diode (now little used except in some high-power technologies) is a vacuum tube with two electrodes: a plate and a cathode.”


  • Cutie hands the diode to Cueball when he says “we need to talk”.  This indicates that she knows he has an accusation and she doesn’t want to hear it.
  • The result is that even though they both vocalize their accusations, only the person on the cathode end of the diode hears/acknowledges the other persons accusation.  This is why only Cueball apologizes.
  • This may be a joke on how some people (the comic seems to indicate women) shield themselves from acknowledging accusations that they don’t want to hear.
  • Cutie is the one saying the image text “And the worst part is you won’t apologize”
  • The Image text is a joke on how Cutie’s plan of not wanting to hear Cueball’s accusation backfires.
  • Not only can she not hear the accusation, she also can’t hear the apology.

Am I missing anything?  If so, let me know in the comments section.  Here are some of my other favorite XKCD comics…

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