The Oatmeal

The Oatmeal
The Oatmeal
The Oatmeal logo.png
Type of site Comics
Available language(s) English
Created by Matthew Inman
Launched July 6, 2009 (2009-07-06)
Alexa rank 2,976
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Matthew Inman

The Oatmeal is a website created in 2009 by Matthew Inman, who lives in Fremont, Seattle, Washington, United States. The website features comics drawn by Inman, and occasional articles as well. The Oatmeal gets more than four million unique visitors a month. Due to the popularity of the website, Last Call with Carson Daly hosted Inman and interviewed him about the Oatmeal. His popularity is widely attributed to his humorous take on everyday situations, and drawing style.[citation needed]



Inman started computer programming at the age of 13, and got a job doing it in Seattle at the age of 17.[1] He created the Oatmeal on July 6, 2009.[2] Inman, 27 [3] describes himself as a very introverted person, and explains that when he was younger, he rarely talked to other kids at school and therefore had few friends. After high school, he worked in a marketing firm but was unhappy there, so he built Mingle2, a dating website, to support himself so that he no longer had to work for someone else. He advertised the website by building quizzes and comics to build interest in the website. His work is influenced by Gary Larson, who wrote the comic strip The Far Side. He typically spends 12 hours a day or more on the computer, a habit which he has been doing since he was a teenager. Regarding the name of the website, Inman notes that he does not enjoy eating oatmeal and instead eats a lot of cereal. He recalls that he used to play the Quake video game a lot when he was younger, and used the nickname "Quaker Oatmeal", which is where the website's name comes from.[4]


The information found in the Oatmeal's comics is researched by Inman. One comic typically takes Inman seven to eight working hours spread across three days.[1] The comics cover topics ranging from zombies, to horse care, to English grammar,[5] with titles such as "What it's like to own an Apple product," "What your email address says about your computer skills," "How the male angler fish gets completely screwed," "8 websites you need to stop building," "How to name a volcano," "15-ish things worth knowing about coffee" and "How a web design goes straight to hell."[6]

When thinking of a subject to write about for the website, he picks something that he is interested in and writes around it. He usually works at home, but as he finds it difficult to do in long periods because of the lack of social contact, he often goes to a coffee shop to work. Inman finds that it is much easier to gain exposure for his work with the web than it would have been 20 years ago. He enjoys making people laugh with his work, and although he notes that he cannot actually see the reaction of others to his work, he still appreciates seeing the high number of page views that his website receives.[4]


5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth (And Other Useful Guides) is The Oatmeal's first book. It was published by Andrews McMeel Publishing, which also publishes The Far Side, Calvin and Hobbes, and Dilbert. The book can be found in bookstores across the United States as of March 1, 2011, while it will be made available to UK customers on March 17, 2011, and the rest of the world sometime in early May.[7] Since its release, 5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth (And Other Useful Guides) has been available internationally through various online bookstores including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Chapters, and others.[7]

5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth (And Other Useful Guides) contains all the comics Inman created in the year after he quit his job to become a comic artist. It also has an additional twenty-seven never-before-seen comics that aren't available on the web as well as a pull-out poster.


The website gets an average of 4.6 million unique visitors[2] and more than 20 million page views a month.[2] Inman and his website were featured on an episode of Last Call with Carson Daly.[1] On March 16 2011 he appeared on The 404 podcast on


  1. ^ a b c "The Oatmeal, he's a cereal killer". Brand X. The Los Angeles Times. 2010-04-07. Retrieved 2010-06-22. 
  2. ^ a b c Inman, Matthew (2010-02-26). "The State of the Oatmeal". The Oatmeal. Retrieved 2010-06-22. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b "Episode for March 31, 2010". Last Call with Carson Daly. Aired March 31, 2010.
  5. ^ Carter, Matt (2010-01-19). "Guide to online entertainment". The Toronto Star. Retrieved 2010-06-22. 
  6. ^ "Homepage". The Oatmeal. Retrieved June 27, 2010.
  7. ^ a b Inman, Matthew. "The Oatmeal Book - 5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth (And Other Useful Guides) - March 1 - The Oatmeal". TheOatmeal. Retrieved 12 March 2011. 

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