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H2O, too: Watch out for poisonous homophones

Mar 31, 2011 By Abraham

(via Woosk)


      1. troll says:

        He meant that he should have said also, not too. See how that works? Ehh? Eeh? Yah get me? Yeeh?

        1. anon says:

          They were saying that gagag failed when he said there was no mention of the word also. Hence the ^ arrow pointing at the comment above his, so you know it isn’t directed at the post.

      2. Amy says:

        epic epic epic fail…I’m guessing you also epicly failed Chemistry…wow…I’m not even that great at Science and I even got it.

  1. Ross says:

    Such acerbic (ahem) wit is perfect chemist humor for Bunsen’s 200th birthday! (reminder via Google Doodle)

      1. Beth says:

        Actually, bleach is sodium hypochlorite (NaClO), not hydrogen peroxide. But either way they’ll both kill you if you drink ’em.

        1. PAUL says:

          You might change your mind about the ‘bleaching’ properties of peroxide if you put some on your hair and got out in the sun.

        2. megz says:

          actually, drinking hydrogen peroxide doesn’t kill you, it just makes you vomit. you’re supposed to make your pet drink hydrogen peroxide if they eat/drink something poisonous. a whole bottle would probably kill you though.

          1. Cameron says:

            Well it depends on the concentration of the peroxide, I mean the stuff you’d buy from the store would yes make you throw up but stuff you’d use in a laboratory setting could very much kill you lol

          2. tuestoo says:

            my dog drank a bottle of peroxide on his own, as a puppy… i was spared the chore of trying to get him to drink peroxide to make him throw it up. yes, it works :p

        3. Krysteb says:

          Actually peroxide won’t kill you, it’s commonly used in place of charcoal in animals and people in order to induce vomitting when a person and/or animal has consumed something toxic. Usually used as a first attempt before the costly and painfull stomach pumping method.

          1. carrie says:

            actually the stuff you buy in the store is highly concentrated.(even considered “food grade” its only 3%. pure H202 will absolutely kill you if you drank it

      1. patrick says:

        actually H2O2 will kill you. the stuff you get from the store is 3% concentrated and stuff used for studies in high schools is 30%. the 30% will dis color your skin kill it and it will eventually fall off to reveil your muscles and anything else under your skin. so imagine what it would do inside of you.

  2. Zachary says:


    The second stickman said “H2O too”. To the waiter that comes out as “H202″ which is Hydrogen Peroxide.

      1. Nic says:

        hahahaha, that question of yours definitely took all focus off the comic. there are some serius teachers to be out there! :)

  3. Matt Verhoog says:

    My brother, who will remain nameless, once was really thirsty and found a bottle labeled with masking tape H202 and took a big swig.

    Didn’t kill him though…

          1. Vieve says:

            But for external use only. I find that funny. It’s gross, but I use it for a mouthwash.

  4. Tom says:

    Carl, dude!

    Here’s my explanation of the joke:

    The first guy orders H20 or hydrogen dioxide, commonly known as water.

    The second guy orders ‘H20 too’ but the waiter thinks he’s ordering ‘H2O2′ because ‘too’ and ‘two’ are homophones, which means they sound the same but mean different things.

    H2O2 is hydrogen peroxide, also known as bleach, which is not very nice to drink. The guys head in the last panel is greatly inflamed because of his mistake!


    1. Andrew says:

      Ummm H2O is most definitely not hydrogen dioxide (‘di’ meaning two refers to the element directly following the prefix) I believe you’re looking for DIhydrogen MONoxide (2 hydrogen 1 oxygen)… Why you gotta make me go all chemistry troll on you? You’re confusing Carl XD

    2. Graham says:

      NaClO is what is commonly known as bleach and H2O2 is more commonly referred to as a bleach alternative. that is unless you are in the paper making business and H2O2 would be know as your bleaching agent.

      1. sam says:

        Or, if you’re a hair stylist peroxide is also referred to as developer used to make the hair color and lighteners oxidize and color or decolorize the hair.

  5. anthony says:

    h2o2 may be be known as a whitener, as an oxidizer, but I have never heard anyone refer to it as bleach. Bleach is a solution containing Chlorine to most people. Peroxides are usually called bleaching agents, but rarely bleach.

  6. Uncle B says:

    Good Gawd! America pulls out its finest minds to resolve a play on words! China Beware! The American intelligentsia are coming! Duck and cover! Duck and cover! Japan, it is too late for you, they have already struck with faulty reactor designs, Tokyo to become a wasteland like Detroit City. Where did all the Oldsmobiles go, long time passing?

    1. Anon says:

      I feel like you were trying to be witty there, but I can’t quite figure out how you thought you’d accomplish it.

  7. Elyse says:

    Well its certainly obvious that a chemist (or other severely-left-brained individual) *drew* the comic.

    1. Stephen says:

      Left-brained? Don’t you mean ‘right-brained’? The side most commonly associated with math/problem solving?

      Also, Carl; the ‘too’….haha jk

  8. Priss says:

    I’ve had peroxide gross me out, but I don’t think I ever started bleeding from my mouth because of it. Kind of removes the funny from the comic. Completely.

    1. doboop says:

      Maybe for stick figures it works differently than real people. Cause they’re stick figures, drawn on paper…


  9. Sid says:

    Yo Carl, my friend.

    It’s simple wordplay.

    He said “Lol, I’ll have some H2O too”. The waiter didn’t like him using ‘Lol’ in public and thus poisoned him. In the rain.

  10. erin says:

    hydrogen peroxide could either be bleach or the more watered down hydrogen peroxide in your home. in the comic they’re probably implying it has a higher molarity…ya know, from the death.
    but drinking the over the counter hydrogen peroxide will not kill you. actually, gargling with it kills lots of bacteria.
    but don’t drink bleach. bad plan.

    1. troll23 says:

      higher molarity??? do you mean higher concentration?

      If we assume the waiter literally gave the customer what he asked for, then it’s 100% H202, which is highly corrosive. Try drinking some and see what happens.

  11. Killer says:

    It would be funnier if he said H2O also for me and the waiter thought he said H2SO4 me and it was sulfuric acid and he died in agonizing pain. So funny.

  12. The_Sadist says:

    “Johnny was a chemist’s son
    but Johnny is no more.
    He drank what he thought was H2O,
    but it was H2SO4″

    That one was always my favorite. And before anyone can ask. H2SO4 is sulfuric acid.

      1. Susanna says:

        I always thought it was:

        Charlie drunk a clear liquid
        and now he is no more
        for what he thought was H2O
        was H2SO4


    1. Puss in Boots says:

      So, one person on the planet does something terrible with a chemical, and suddenly all puns about chemicals are forbidden? I bet you win the Internet all the time.

      Even Carl knows the difference between tragedy and comedy, don’t you, buddy?

    2. Spencer Collins says:

      A sad story about a woman with a mental illness doesn’t diminish the fact that someone has made a chemistry joke. This type of joke is very rare and as such should be celebrated.
      So Al, get down from your high horse and for Science’s sake, get a sense of humor!!!

  13. Pat says:

    Well actually, i did a quick search on hydrogen peroxide and found out that almost all living things contains enzymes, know as “peroxidases” that break down hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen. So the guy in the comic wouldn’t have died anyways

  14. carrie says:

    im sure if the waiter was smart enough to know what H2O2 is he probably wouldn’t be a waiter.

    1. Kaiti says:

      Wow, you’re kind of dumb, aren’t you? Lots of intelligent young people work as waiters to put themselves through school. And in this economy, you take what you can get. Sorry if you think you’re better than everyone else, you’ll get over it when you grow up.

    2. Hannah says:

      Aside from the fact that intelligence doesn’t necessarily have any bearing on your job, it doesn’t really take a lot of intelligence to know what H2O2 is. It doesn’t take a lot of education, either. I understood this comic completely, and I only took science in my first year of school. So what I gather from this is that you’re an idiot.

    3. Wolfie says:

      If you think you have to be particularly smart to understand something as simple as H2O2, or if you think that a (very) basic comprehension of chemistry will infallibly land you a good job, then you’re probably not smart enough to be a waiter… or anything else for that matter, except possibly a reality show cast member. Call every TV network NOW and ask for an audition. Hurry up, with these changing tides stupid might go out of fashion.

    1. Snide says:

      Haven’t you read the thread – some things just aren’t funny and shouldn’t be joked about!!! “I Like Cats” – you should be ashamed of yourself – “I like chicken” – thats funny – but who likes cats – unless of course they are served with fired rice – then they are good!

  15. Jazzalyn says:

    Darn. I actually had to Google H2O2. I did Chem in Year 11 and 12, so I should know it…but then that was back in 06/07…

  16. SerfDerty says:

    @ Carl:

    H20 is the most common of all the elements and makes up just under %50 of your body, which is water. It’s the key to life and that’s why we think Mars has some but not the moon.

    H20 Too sounds like H202, which is hydrogen peroxide, which is the main ingredient in clorox Bleach. They used to use it in coal mines when the miners had accidentally eaten coal but now it’s just poison.

    I don’t know EXACTLY what would happen if you ate some today, but I think the extra oxygen atom breaks free, which would explain the guy’s bloodshot eyes and “enlarged head”.
    Hope this Helps!

  17. izutrollin says:

    So wait, not only did I not get this joke, and am in serious need of yet another detailed explanation, but COULD SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME WHAT THE HECK HYDROGEN PEROXIDE IS?

  18. Ralph Einstein says:

    How was the waiter suppose to know that the dummy wanted water, too? You can’t blame the waiter. I’m an waiter ina resterant and you buttwipes that blamed the waiter can just kiss my a$$.

    1. doboop says:

      Having read all the previous comments I have to wonder who you think “blames” the waiter. And where will your behind be in the event that such people wish to step up and kiss it?

  19. anactualscientist says:

    H20 is an impossible construct. H2O is the delicious beverage. The former would be twenty atoms of hydrogen all bonded together, which would be tough since they can only possibly form one bond each. H202 would be even less possible. If you did try to put 202 hydrogen atoms together, you would get a very small amount of a rather explosive gas.

    Also, I approve of the menisci. Well done.

    1. barista girl says:

      I don’t think anyone noticed what you were trying to say.

      This is a hilarious comic! (to me anyways) And yeah, I only took a year of chemistry in high school, but I got the “H2O too” right away.

  20. Tony C says:

    This whole comment section reminds me of when my 3 kids conspire and go goofy on me and in Borg-like fashion completely take over a discussion. Highly amusing!

    1. Snide says:

      “Wonder what he got them???”
      — Either you missed the joke or your trying to start the entire comment string over – He got him H2O2 – you get it “H20 too” vs “H2O2″ – hence title “Watch out for poisonous homophones” – If you are unfamiliar with H2O2 – there are lots of comments about technical points, comparison to bleach, level of toxicity and even the appropriateness of the entire comic.
      I hope the explanation can enhance your enjoyment of a very clever comic.

    1. Kathleen says:

      As an AP Chem student, and a 22 Words fanatic, I agree totally.
      This is an awesome thread.
      And H2SO4 is awesome also.

    1. Chemist says:

      Use the letter ‘O’, seriously. Not a difficult concept. Refer to H20 does not exist above, nor does H202. That would be 20 hydrogen atoms, or 202 hydrogen atoms. Neither can exist, and both would explode on contact with absolutely anything.

      1. That guy says:

        …wut? I can easily have a container with exactly 202…okay not easily, but it would be physically possible to have a container with exactly 202 hydrogen atoms in it, and, while hydrogen is flammable, it isn’t volatile. You would have to give it an ignition source for it to explode, and there are many, many things it could come into contact with that would render it inert, such as oxygen, for example.

  21. jayjay says:

    theres a bad feeling i get when i am able to understand it and be 14 while adults have to get it exlained

  22. Christen says:

    To whoever keeps saying it refers to 202 hydrogen atoms, you’re an idiot. You think the 202 is a coefficient? That comes BEFORE the chemical/compound in an equation, not after. The comic is referring to the subscripts of the compounds, which are always constant. So either, you go to restaurants and say, “I’ll have a coke, 2″, in which case the waiter will look at you funny if you’re alone, or if you’re with someone, they will assume you want a coke also, and still only bring you one coke. Or, you just were trying to sound really smart because you had nothing else to add to the conversation and failed epically. Not only that, but you posted it twice, as though someone would approve of you the second time.

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