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Radar / Dilbert

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Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, took this literally: He actually spent a good chunk of his career working to allow the word "crap" in his comic. Additionally, he has inserted many a Double Entendre (and one Triple Entendre) into the strip.

  • One strip in particular had the distinction of having gotten crap past certain radars: A strip featured Dogbert coming up with a new name for the company by using a computer program that "randomly combines Technology and Astronomy terms". The first result was "Uranus Hertz", and the Pointy-Haired Boss opines "I like it." According to the commented compilation where the strip appears, "this strip was banned from at least one newspaper."
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  • The "Shift Happens," "Poke my head in" and "get a Hummer" strips. The last one was changed, but by accident.
  • Tina hates his package.
  • Another example:
    Pointy Haired Boss: This is Rodney. He's in charge of product safety testing. Is our new product safe enough to start selling?
    Rodney: (his whole face is covered in bandages) $#%@
    Pointy Haired Boss: (to Dilbert) Did that sound like "ship" to you?
  • Oct 11 2010:
    Pointy haired Boss: My hunting trip was a huge success. I bagged an elk.
    Carol: Hmm... That's not like you. There's something missing in this story.
    Pointy haired Boss: It had a saddle.
  • Scott Adams announced in his newsletter, once upon a time, that if Dilbert ever had sex, his tie would fall down straight. And sure enough, in one strip in 1994, about how Dilbert has gotten suddenly serene, during a period when he had a girlfriend, Liz, it did.
    • However, the circumstances are... complicated, as just the previous strip Liz had said that she didn't believe in getting physical until after she got married, and in the strip itself Dogbert reacted to Dilbert's serenity by asking if he'd discovered religion, to which he replied "I think I'm a Unitarian." As Scott Adams told it later, when he originally made the announcement, his female readers were nigh-unanimous in desiring Dilbert to get lucky, but the male readers were split between wanting Dilbert to get lucky and not wanting him to do so until they did, or as he put it, using Dilbert as a barometer of their own success with women. So he wrote the strip in such a way that both sides could interpret it any way they wished.
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  • He's also said that this conversation was probably the biggest case of Getting Crap Past the Radar in the strip:
    Dilbert: Ahh... sweet cubicle, I have returned from my trip.
    Dilbert (thinking): It's just like being in a womb.
    Pointy Haired Boss: I just wanted to poke my head in and say hi.
  • Adams experiments with this trope quite often. He has occasionally wondered at the fact that he's allowed to publish things that suggest off-limit words, weapons, or body parts, even when it's pretty obvious what he's implying.
    • The last strip has a...cucumber-shaped executive, and Dogbert tells him he looks like "a giant..."
    Executive: Leader?
    Dogbert: Exactly.
  • In a few strips Alice has a compulsion to grab "things that are not right". Sure, it's innocent enough when she grabs the boss' hair, but when she takes hold of Dilbert's necktie, he tells her that "in an hour I may have to ask you to stop doing that." It gets even worse when you consider that Scott Adams had suggested that Dilbert is "just happy to see you" as a possible explanation for his tie.
  • In one strip, Dilbert must convince the VP to give him additional funding for his project. The VP tells Dilbert that denying the funding would make him feel like a big man with his wife that night, and asks Dilbert to top that. Dilbert's reply? "I can try. What's your wife's address?"
  • There's also one notable subversion: the character Phil, 'Prince of Insufficient Light and Ruler of Heck.' Adams initially wanted to put Satan in his strip (presumably so certain comparisons with other pointy-headed characters could be made), and the syndicate said no. Years later in a collection, Adams admitted that Phil had turned out to be "more interesting" than Satan would have been.
  • In one early comic, a computer salesman is trying to sell Dilbert a computer that knows what the user is typing by following the user's fingers via little computer chips glued onto the user's fingernails.
    Salesman: Of course, some people don't like their computer knowing where their fingers are at all times.
    Computer: Dave, about last night...


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