Matt Inman of The Oatmeal kinda sucks


DAE geek nerd coolsplosion awesomesauce?

Computer Tesla cat go MEOW to fatties!

— The Oatmeal

Yesterday, Matthew Inman, who runs The Oatmeal, posted a comic saying why he hit certain keyboard keys (riveting material). In the last panel, the original line went “Every time the internet does not perform as expected, I rape the shit out of my F5 key.” The image went like this:

He has since hidden the comic from any site navigation, but this link still works.

Complaints started rolling in, and, angry that his every RANDOM!! thought wasn’t being worshipped, Inman replaced the last panel with this:

Thanks to @mattlanger for the image.

Here’s the thing — everyone fucks up at some point or another. Some, especially those who may have more privilege than others, just aren’t exposed to people who find certain terms and attitudes offensive. We all get that.

When you say something that offends someone else, and you think it’s reasonable that they’re offended, you apologize. It’s the adult thing to do. It doesn’t even matter so much if you agree or discontinue your speech patterns in the future, what matters is you acknowledge that other human beings have feelings and you respect that. Or you stand by what you said, and you keep it there because you’re not a craven panderer.

His response only served to feed the flames, and a good old-fashioned freakout ensued.

It was like watching a master class in petulance.

There have been inklings of his manchild tendencies before, when after Forbes responded to Matt’s pages-long blowjob for Nikola Tesla (we get it, he was a great scientist — stop pretending you’re the first one to realize this), Inman replied with an even lengthier and nerd-ragier diatribe.

It was actually a ridiculous amount of effort, and one that could have easily been in regular, typed format. But he’s a cartoonist, see, so he has to doodle on a written article like he’s correcting a schoolboy’s essay. It’s kind of like… well I have this word for it… but I wouldn’t want to offend.

Yep, this is definitely easier to read than a blog post.

He was also involved in a lawsuit regarding FunnyJunk (you can read more about it here) where he really was in the right, but he ended up physically mailing this picture to a lawyer:

echuckles abound.

Anyway, back to the freakout. On his Twitter page he tries to explain the joke, as if the people getting angry weren’t quite understanding his subtle and nuanced humor:

“Get it? It’s a reference to how rape is physical abuse against someone who was ‘asking for it’. Sounds less offensive now, right? I will accept your apologies.”

He then started retweeting detractors:

And he replaced the last panel, yet again:

Finally, he ragequit and hasn’t updated Twitter in over 24 hours. Probably the smartest thing he’s done yet:

Of course Inman makes the textbook passive-aggressive apology. It’s never, “I didn’t realize that this would be hurtful to some people. I apologize for what I said,” or “I’m sorry I handled this so poorly,” it’s always, “I’m sorry some people got offended by what I said.” He’s petulant that he got called out, but still thinks he’s right so a half-assed statement it is.

Regardless, all of this drama is a nice breaking point for those of us who have had to suffer through Oatmeal fanboyism. Who didn’t want to write entire articles about how his comic is just Garfield for the internet, and he never should have gotten popular enough to cause any controversy, because we’d feel mean because who knows, maybe he was a super-nice guy.

Guess we can now. His stuff isn’t even that good, y’all. Stop freaking out.

  • Milo

    He’s contributed to the worst of “LOLRANDOM” humor. Now that he’s proved himself as a douche, I don’t feel bad about disparaging his output! You are a saint.

  • William Jones

    Like the Oatmeal or not, this article was so dull. All this written to complain about someone’s apology.

  • fnordcola

    I was totally with you until the last few paragraphs. It’s clear you have an axe to grind vis a vis The Oatmeal, which I was largely okay with because I have a pretty strong grip on the same axe. But “Again, to anyone I upset with the F5 joke: I’m sorry” is really not “the textbook passive-aggressive apology.” I’m pretty certain that “I’m sorry you were offended” is the textbook passive aggressive apology. He’s acknowledging responsibility for his actions (note the “I” statement!), and the fact that he’s not doing so in a sufficiently flagellant manner seems more your problem than his.

    While Inman was a douche at the beginning, I think his most recent Twitter post is actually reasonable, and your criticism of it looks a lot more like you grasping for something else to confirm your already low opinion of him than a reasonable appraisal of the facts.

    • Nick

      This seems like a fair point, we could have worded this better. That’s my fault. I think, though, that when he said “thanks for censoring me”, he was clearly placing the blame for the controversy on the people who were offended. That, and the complete absence of any sentiment like “I’m learning to be more sensitive to people’s feelings” or “You opened my eyes to some of the assumptions men make based on their ignorance of women’s issues” more than negates his one-line apology.

      • Tim

        No, see, this just goes to show that no matter what he does, you are not willing to forgive him for this one slip-up. He can make all the apologies he wants, and it won’t matter, because you were against him from the start.

        It’s not that he didn’t apologize… because he did. Multiple times. Not only removing the article but removing his own reply to put a more concise apology. But you don’t care, because you hate his guts, and that’s your right to free speech, but it doesn’t mean we are obligated to take you the least bit seriously.

  • parge

    Hey! Someone took away Slacktory and replaced it with Jezebel!! You could at least have sprinkled a few jokes in this piece to help it fit the theme. Ah well. Social Justice waits for no ma… wo… person. The important thing is that you called out a comic artist for his notpology for joking about sexually assaulting a piece of plastic. You must be very proud of your contribution to helping computer keys everywhere out from under the oppressive yoke of the patriarchy, whatever that means.

    Oh, one more thing. Next time you do this sort of thing, be sure to accuse your target of being a misogynist. I know you were implying it by dredging up that illustration of Funnyjunk’s mom (no really, that’s really what she looks like) seducing a Kodiak bear. But people, men especially are pretty dumb. You really have to spell these things out. Rookie mistake.

    • Nick

      I bet you know a lot about the world and have awesome opinions.

      • parge

        No. I just think Keyboard Rights Activists need to check their privilege. Notice how they’re always on the INTERNET?!?! How do you think they got their righteous indignation up there for all the world to see? Every word they type is an indictment of their hypocrisy!

  • Erin Williams

    So, you find it perfectly acceptable to put down the Oatmeal. Do you realize that the website you write for has posted a list of depressing Christmas songs that includes a reference to “wrist-slitting”?

    • Nick

      I think I see what point you’re trying to make, and it’s silly.

      • slacktoy

        I hope you see the point, because that is how your article appears to me. Rather silly. You seem to have a huge problem with the type of humor the oatmeal produces and I can respect that…but that does not make this rant any less silly.

    • goldushapple

      You know you’re a loser when your avatar pic is a cartoon of — yourself. With a pulsing forehead vein.

      Seriously, what’s with white people and their fetish with anime?

  • Sage Basil

    Apologizing to social justice types just encourages them. They don’t want an apology because they’re not actually hurt. They want to make denunciations and preen about how right they are. And if you apologize, their position is confirmed.

    If someone makes a joke, and there isn’t a white girl around to get offended, did it even happen?

  • Nick

    I agree that the comic was a little over the top, but that doesn’t mean you should go head hunting. If anyone should be criticized, it should be you with your biased article. The WHOLE article was just you complaining about his apology of his comic. He has enough on his plate with the number of ridiculous lawsuits he has to deal with, he does not need you up his ass,too. Also, the title of your article shows how much of a spineless douche you are. “Finally, we can all start openly hate the Oatmeal” sounds like you waited, lurking in the shadows, for Matt to have just a little chink in his armor and when he’s down, you come out, with absolutely no class, and write (well actually type because you aren’t talented enough to be a writer) this article about every single bad aspect about him you can find. How about talking about the good things he does like donating money to charity and helping his sister with her adopted children. Also, i’m not the best writer, but even I know you shouldn’t put “y’all” in your article. His job is to make people laugh. Don’t criticize him for doing his job (which he’s good at). Do something productive like be a functional member of society perhaps, instead of trying to slander someone’s reputation who is more famous and talented then you will ever be.


    I hate tax time because that’s when the IRS shows up to rape my bank account. You faggots gonna cry because I used the word rape? Or because I used the word faggot? Political correctness is so tough to keep up with these days .. black men are allowed to talk about n*gger this and n*gger that and how they hate all women because they’re all useless whores, and that’s totally awesome, gets played on public radio for toddlers to sing along with. But a white guy uses the word “rape” in a commonly used fashion on his comic and everyone’s got their panties in a bunch.

  • whatevs

    This article is the biggest pile of crap I’ve read recently. Also, whoever got offended by the “rape joke” needs to get a life.

  • Sam

    He summed it up himself pretty well.
    If you are reading a comic that frequently jokes about genocide, war and murder you should not be surprised to find a rape joke and you should certainly not be offended by it if you are not offended by the other jokes.
    That is just hypocritical, like most of this awful ‘social justice’ fad.

  • Danny

    I read at the bottom of this pointless rant: “Filed under: Hateblogging”, and that sums it up. Still love Mathew Inman though…

  • iLol@You

    Oh look at that. Your panties are all in a big pathetic bunch.

  • Sarah Anne Lloyd

    Hoping you are aware of his website devoted to shaming women with upper-lip hair that is now deleted, yes?

  • Jeremy

    Like every American these days, I’m just waiting for the next chance to be offended by something, something I can take umbrage at. A trait I share with the author. Just kidding; you’re all weak-minded and pathetic. Stop defining yourselves as what you are not, what you dislike, and what you are offended by. Start thinking in a positive dialectic: “I am this”, “I enjoy that”, “I value the other,” and see if it changes your life just a little bit.

  • Tim

    God this article is depressing. Stop focusing so much on the negative and go read something positive. Like some Oatmeal comics. I know they always brighten my day.

  • Ekai

    what the eff ever. huhhr duhhr oh no he said rape not assault? is that what people were mad about? pretty sure hes ASSAULTING the f5 key (ie hitting it a lot, maybe really fast) and also, rape is often paralleled with sexual assault? (I realize not exactly the same thing, but one can be/include the other) he used a well-accepted synonym for comedic value oh no guize.
    clearly you don’t like the oatmeal and can’t stand the fact that other people do.
    I’m not a massive fan personally, but the guy does something well, as evidenced by his fan base, and I get to choose whether or not to look.

  • Ekai

    what the eff ever. huhhr duhhr oh no he said rape not assault? is that what people were mad about? pretty sure hes ASSAULTING the f5 key (ie hitting it a lot, maybe really fast) and also, rape is often paralleled with sexual assault? (I realize not exactly the same thing, but one can be/include the other) he used a well-accepted synonym for comedic value oh no guize.
    clearly you don’t like the oatmeal and can’t stand the fact that other people do.
    I’m not a massive fan personally, but the guy does something well, as evidenced by his fan base, and I get to choose whether or not to look.

  • Gavin

    Yes we get it, Inman f’d up. Is it really worth giving him all this hate? He’s apologized multiple times and received a ridiculous amount of hate for it. Leave him be

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