Today’s cartoon is kind of a niche joke – you would only get it if you were familiar with The Hobbit, which is the book J.R.R. Tolkien wrote before writing The Lord of the Rings. An alternate title for The Hobbit is There and Back Again, which is common knowledge for Tolkien fans.
I’m writing this little disclaimer because my parents didn’t get the joke when I showed the cartoon to them, so I felt it was necessary for anyone else who hadn’t read the story. It’s an annoying feeling when you come up with a joke you know is funny, but people don’t get if they’re unfamiliar with the source material.
If you haven’t read The Hobbit, you should. It’s very accessible (Tolkien wrote it for his children), and because of that it’s a very good “gateway book” to the rest of Tolkien’s universe, which is admittedly daunting. I hope the upcoming Hobbit films can do for this book what The Lord of the Rings films did for that book.
Then at least more people would get this cartoon!