I was recently shown the Spanish cartoon below and I'm having trouble understanding it. When I translate it directly, I get:

I am turning myself off!
I am turning myself off!
I don't have a connection!

I understand that "me apago" is an usual use of apagar, which can be inferred as both I am dimming myself (extinguishing myself) and as I am turning myself off. However, I just don't understand the comical side of the cartoon/what is the bigger picture.

enter image description here

  • 4
    As I'm a system administrator, I would translate ¡me apago! into I'm shutting down!
    – Jdamian
    Commented Dec 15, 2016 at 8:10
  • @Jdamian I agree, that was exactly the phrase I was looking for last night.
    – Jorge
    Commented Dec 15, 2016 at 17:03

1 Answer 1


I believe the humor behind this particular cartoon is that this man can no longer think by himself and is depending upon an Internet connection for him to perform the most basic brain functions such as "staying on".

While "me apago" could be correctly translated as "I am turning myself off" in this particular context is more like "I am powering off". When you turn on an electrical device you are "powering it on", when you turn it off you are "powering it off". As mentioned by Jdamian, this would be akin to "I am shutting down" which was what I was looking for when writing this answer.

"No tengo conexión" is frequently used to express "I have no Internet connection" or "I have no phone service".

So, I am assuming in this context he (or his brain) is expressing "I am powering off (I am shutting down), I have no internet connection". He is expressing this in an anxious manner, so this cartoon might be trying to make fun of how nowadays people can't do anything unless they are connected to the Internet because they can't think for themselves. It's obviously an exaggeration, of course.

If there is more to this cartoon (like other panels, a caption, a tool-tip, etc.) please share it, it might help to understand its meaning since the punchline could be hidden there.

Update: Thanks to fedorqui, it is clear that there is no hidden punchline for this cartoon. I had suspected the author was making fun of younger generations for their inability to do anything without an Internet connection but I refrained from adding such conclusion since there was no proof that the author would be of an older generation (I didn't know it was El Roto); however, it appears my suspicions were not far off.

  • Perhaps another good translation for "me apago" given this context, would be "I'm losing myself"?
    – Valdez V.
    Commented Dec 15, 2016 at 6:25
  • Given that the author of this cartoon seems to be El Roto I really think your hypothesis is true. His cartoons seem to be everything but funny and they focus on the mind, soul and consciousness. I love them :)
    – fedorqui
    Commented Dec 15, 2016 at 8:00
  • Thanks so much! This helped a ton. Unfortunately, this is the only panel I know of, but your translation makes perfect sense, especially knowing the teacher. Commented Dec 15, 2016 at 11:23
  • @ValdezV. I am not sure but that translation might add a different connotation, additionally perhaps if that was the original intent the author might have used "me pierdo" in that case?
    – Jorge
    Commented Dec 15, 2016 at 17:25
  • 2
    @EricWiener You are welcome, I updated the answer to reflect that there are no additional panels and there is no hidden punchline. I also included a link to the original cartoon.
    – Jorge
    Commented Dec 15, 2016 at 17:30

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