Questions tagged [the-hitchhikers-guide-to-the-galaxy]

For questions about The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a series of BBC radio plays and books by Douglas Adams. It is a science fiction comedy, beginning with the destruction of Earth to make a hyperspace bypass and a quest for the question to the ultimate answer (which is 42).

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25 votes
2 answers
6k views

Was Douglas Adams specifically joking about British small talk?

There's this paragraph in the book: “One of the things Ford Prefect had always found hardest to understand about humans was their habit of continually stating and repeating the very very obvious, as ...
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4 votes
4 answers
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Was Douglas Adams trying to express something in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books?

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is one of my favorite science fiction stories. I used to consider it as only an interesting story book, but now I think the author wants to express a lot of things ...
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What should be understood from the message from god to its creation in H2G2?

In the fourth book of the H2G2 trilogy, Fenchurch and Arthur go check the message from god to its creation. PS: Some translations may not be accurate, as I did not read it in english. The message is ...
1 vote
0 answers
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How did the Dine-O-Charge come about to being an accepted payment method in the Galaxy?

If I remember correctly, in one of the earlier books Ford Prefect attempts at paying a bartender with his Amex card while he's fully aware that only Earth had this primitive form of plastic currency. ...
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28 votes
1 answer
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Did Douglas Adams say "I always thought something was fundamentally wrong with the universe."?

I like the quote: I always thought something was fundamentally wrong with the universe. It seems to sum up some of the weird things and coincidences I encounter in life. The quote is allegedly from ...
0 votes
1 answer
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Is 'Semprini' an HHGG expletive?

I seem to remember 'Semprini' being an obscenity used by Zaphod. Did I imagine it? I have discovered it was used as such by Monty Python, as was 'Belgium'.
0 votes
1 answer
213 views

How does the Babel fish translate the Vogonic phonetic for Barnard’s star?

I saw this question asked recently. Presuming that Vogonic cosmography and Human cosmography are unlike, the brain waves for the Human interpretation of Barnard’s star would not correlate with the ...
1 vote
1 answer
304 views

How was Zaphod Beeblebrox five hundred thousand light years away from the Sun and still in the Milky way?

In chapter 4 of the Hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy, the first part of the six book series it reads, Far away on the opposite spiral arm of the Galaxy, five hundred thousand light-years from ...
9 votes
4 answers
4k views

Is there a reason "Hoopy" is rarely used in The Hitchhiker's Guide? [closed]

“Hey, you sass that hoopy Ford Prefect? There's a frood who really knows where his towel is." (Sass: know, be aware of, meet, have sex with; hoopy: really together guy; frood: really amazingly ...
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92 votes
4 answers
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What is this green alien supposed to be on the American covers of the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"?

I have the 2017 Del Rey Books mass market edition of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Here is the front cover: It features a circular green alien with two arms sticking its tongue out. Looking ...
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19 votes
1 answer
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What does "Sund, explns." mean in one of the Hitchhiker's guide books?

In the second book of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, contractors were told not to install a teleporter into a ship that's going to be sent into the sun. They did it anyway and put it in ...
1 vote
0 answers
199 views

Did Douglas Adams get the idea of communication/alien dolphins from "Stationary Orbit" by Peter Macey?

Inspired by this question/answer. Given that the novel by Macey was written four years prior to the first broadcast of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and subsequent novelization, is there any ...
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1 answer
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Why did Douglas Adams introduce conflict between Arthur and the mice into later versions of Hitchhiker's Guide?

In the original radio series of Hitchhiker's, the mice have no interest in taking Arthur's brain, and are only interested in offering him money for what he might know about the question. In the later ...
3 votes
1 answer
309 views

In 'The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy' radio series, which parts of the Secondary Phase are not real? [duplicate]

One key element is left unresolved in Series 2 of the BBC radio series (the Secondary Phase), originally aired in 1980. At the end of this Phase, Zarniwoop reveals to Zaphod Beeblebrox that at some ...
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8 votes
1 answer
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Is the Hexagonal Phase of the H2G2 radio series consistent with previous books or previous radio series?

At the end of Mostly Harmless, The epilogue of the Quintessential Phase of the H2G2 ends differently: And Another Thing picks up where Mostly Harmless ended and obviously diverts from the radio ...
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20 votes
2 answers
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Is the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (the real guide) in English?

In chapter 5 of The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, Ford Prefect shows Arthur the Guide: Ford handed the book to Arthur. "What is it?" asked Arthur. "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It'...
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2 votes
3 answers
19k views

What is the original 42 quote/joke?

I tried to search the original 42 quote from google, but it would not give me much. I wonder, what is the original 42 quote or aka the answer to life, the universe, and everything else...
0 votes
0 answers
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Hitchhiker's Guide time error [duplicate]

I'll add some quotes from the Wikipedia summary, as it wouldn't get clearer if I quoted everything from the book. The quotes which I'll take from the book won't have any page number, as it varies from ...
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30 votes
1 answer
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How many books are there in "The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy" series?

I have seen an edition of The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy that was a compilation of four books, The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Life, the Universe ...
9 votes
2 answers
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H2G2: Why three pints?

Was the 3 pints of beer Ford wanted Arthur to drink, for space travel preparation? Or the shock he may feel, when the Vogons arrive and destroy earth? I assumed for a few years, it was for a more "...
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23 votes
5 answers
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What story has a man forget a very significant question?

I recall reading about a man who has solved some very significant question--The meaning of life, perhaps. But nobody ever gets to hear this profound discovery because he becomes distracted and the ...
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43 votes
5 answers
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Why did Ford Prefect save Arthur Dent?

In the film of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Arthur saves Ford from being run over, and later Ford saves Arthur from the Earth being demolished. But in the original radio series and books, we ...
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17 votes
2 answers
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In the radio series, how did Zaphod get into the artificial universe?

In the book The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, it's very clearly explained how Zaphod gets into the simulated universe; he's in it from the moment he enters Zarniwop's office, and a big deal ...
19 votes
1 answer
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How many people are the three billion watching Zaphod Beeblebrox?

I'm reading the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in English for the first time, and came across the passage when Zaphod Beeblebrox is going to steal the Heart of Gold. It strikes me that it says ...
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3 votes
2 answers
724 views

Impossibly complex game discussed in the Hitchhikers' Guide series

In one of the Hitchhikers' Guide books, Douglas Adams has an aside about an impossibly complex sport. I remember nothing except that I believe higher dimensions are involved. I originally posted ...
8 votes
3 answers
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Did Arthur switch dimensions in SLATFATF or was the Earth replaced?

My understanding was that the Earth that Arthur found and on which he met Fenchurch in So Long and Thanks for all the Fish was an Earth that was found in another dimension which the dolphins then used ...
5 votes
1 answer
440 views

Death Penalty for Insurance Company Directors

In Hitchhiker's Mostly Harmless, at the end of Chapter 14, Trillian and Arthut have this convo: Trillian: The insurance business is completely screwy now. You know they've reintroduced the death ...
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12 votes
2 answers
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Where does real political power lie in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy?

In the beginning of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, when the narrator is first introducing Zaphod Beeblebrox, he mentions that "Very very few people realize that the President and the Government ...
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37 votes
1 answer
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Is "spewed up a payment" a misprint?

In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, when Arthur and Ford are picked up by the Heart of Gold, they experience the effects of the Infinite Improbability drive, causing their surrounding to shift ...
12 votes
1 answer
440 views

Which head does Zaphod normally talk with?

In the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books, there are only a few cases where it is specified which head Zaphod Beeblebrox talks out of (these are typically when one head is drunk or eating, as far ...
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15 votes
1 answer
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Intentional Structure in HHGG?

I'm rereading the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in one volume. It is 815 pages long. There is a point, where Arthur has defeated Agrajag and learns how to fly at which his character changes. He is ...
29 votes
1 answer
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Do we know Ford Prefect's old name?

I was reading this question about Ford's name, and was reminded that it is not his original name. Do we know what his name was before it was "Ford Prefect"?
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6 votes
1 answer
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What happened to Elvis in Mostly Harmless?

In Douglas Adams's book Mostly Harmless, all creatures from Earth are returned to Earth for its final destruction along all probability axes, and Elvis exists on another planet as a lounge singer. The ...
101 votes
1 answer
12k views

Why does Zaphod Beeblebrox call Ford Prefect "Ford" when they meet on the Heart of Gold?

Ford Prefect took that name because he thought it sounded like a normal name on Earth. I couldn't find any mention anywhere that he used this name before his 15-year-long visit to Earth and he didn't ...
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44 votes
1 answer
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In Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, how much did six pints cost?

Ford orders six pints of beer (muscle relaxant) and pays with a five pound note. When he is told to keep the change, the barman is genuinely thankful for such a large tip. How much did a pint of ...
81 votes
1 answer
10k views

Why was Hitchhiker's Guide censored?

Douglas Adams' American publishers forced him to change some of the text in Life, the Universe and Everything: "Asshole" became "kneebiter", "shit" became "swut&...
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47 votes
2 answers
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Why is Towel Day on May 25th?

Every fan of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy probably knows of Towel Day. But why is it on May 25th and not on another day? Does anyone know?
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9 votes
1 answer
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Was Heart of Gold designed after Aries 1B or USS Discovery?

In the 2005 version of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the Heart of Gold appears thus: In Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, there are two ships with similarly round designs and thin ...
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39 votes
4 answers
9k views

Why were aliens allowed to visit Earth?

I understand that the Earth was a computer for deriving the Ultimate Question, (for which the answer was 42), and that calculation would take 10 million years. What doesn't make sense to me is, once ...
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3 votes
3 answers
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Why don't the Magratheans make a new world for themselves?

I know the out-of-universe answer: It's a joke. I am, however, looking for an in-universe answer. In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, we have the planet of Magrathea, which used to make planets ...
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3 votes
2 answers
586 views

Why does everyone in the universe have a feeling that something's going on that nobody would tell them what it is?

"You know," said Arthur thoughtfully, "all this explains a lot of things. All through my life I've had this strange unaccountable feeling that something was going on in the world, something big, even ...
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29 votes
1 answer
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What is a Hrung?

Before Ford Prefect was born, his father lived on Betelgeuse Seven - until the Great Collapsing Hrung Disaster. He was the only survivor on the planet. After that, he moved to Betelgeuse Five, where ...
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8 votes
0 answers
647 views

Where did the name "Marvin" come from?

It is documented that the character of Marvin the android was based on Andrew Marshall. Wikipedia further suggests that his name originally was Marshall, but was changed to avoid offense and also to ...
7 votes
2 answers
2k views

What are Ford Prefect and Zaphod Beeblebrox singing in their death hymn?

In the the original series from the 80's at the end they are singing a betelguzian death hymn. In the german version of episode 4 it is a bit better understandable. It seems like they are singing ...
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33 votes
3 answers
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Is there a link between the Vogon's "Resistance is Useless" and the Borg's "Resistance is Futile"?

In the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy we read: FORD: Alright, just stop panicking! ARTHUR: Who said anything about panicking?!? This is still just a culture shock. FORD: Arthur! You’re getting ...
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14 votes
4 answers
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What philosophy does the secret ruler of the universe represent?

I really am not sure what to make of this guy. In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy radio drama, Secondary Phase, CD disc 3 track 19, "Pussy Want His Fish?", our heroes finally meet The ...
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4 votes
2 answers
685 views

How can Fenchurch read the Guide?

In "Thanks for All the Fish", Fenchurch finds the Hitchhiker's Guide which Arthur left in her brother's car when Arthur was...well...hichhiking. She reads about the places in the book and asks Arthur ...
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18 votes
4 answers
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Does the Babel fish translate written text?

Per my other questions, I had assumed until the end of "Thanks for All the Fish" that Arthur could read things from alien planets including the Hitchhiker's Guide because the Babel fish translated ...
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10 votes
2 answers
973 views

Is this divine monument actually written in English?

In the book, Thanks for All the Fish the story ends with 4 of the characters finding God's last message to his creation in giant flaming letters. For some reason, these letters seem to be English. I ...
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8 votes
2 answers
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Who is the other robot queuing in the HHGTTG movie?

In the movie, there is a scene where the "heroes" are queuing to get Trillian released. There is a familiar looking robot in the background. Who is this?