I have seen several instances of this over the last week and wanted to get a viewpoint from the higher-ups. This question addresses the corollary to this enquiry

Please consider the following prototypical (context free) thread...

Question Title:  How to make my doodlies fit?
Text:  I can't make all my doodlies fit, can anyone help?

Answer: Move some of them over there.
Comment:  WOW! that really worked!  But now I have humpers 
          on the carumpers!  How to fix that?

In essence, the person got 'unstuck' and proceeded with his project only to encounter the next problem that appeared on his awareness horizon. And this is sometimes in a completely new area all together, hence the 'Russian Doll' metaphor. I have left indicative commentary, but this seems to be ineffective.

Flag? D/v? Retag? Edit the question?

  • 17
    I love your name for those questions; perfect! Commented Jul 12, 2013 at 17:31
  • 8
    New tag? [matryoshka]
    – user7116
    Commented Jul 12, 2013 at 17:45
  • 1
    Thanks guys! I had read the other question but had it that 'chameleon' would be a user who used one account to ask and another to answer because that's consistent with the 'chameleon' metaphor in real life. But the answer is you have to pull the plug on the Russian Dolls and tell them to ask a new question. Per Doorknob's reply below. And I HOPE lots of people upvote the new tag idea!
    – Gayot Fow
    Commented Jul 12, 2013 at 19:51
  • 3
    I love the term matryoshka question. I do wonder if the term "onion question" would have covered the same concept? Commented Jul 12, 2013 at 20:16
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    An example of this that nearly anyone reading this will understand is the basic "Russian Doll" PC helpdesk support game. "Help, my computer won't boot!" (fix) "Thanks, but now I can't print!" (fix) "Thanks, but it prints all blurry and crap!" (fix) "Thanks, but the margins are, like, huge, please make them smaller (cry). Why are computers so hard?" (fix) "Wait, can you help me connect to the office printer downstairs? I think I used to have the address...." (tear hair out, start new career in home health support). Commented Nov 3, 2016 at 11:58
  • @WalterMitty: I'm not so fond of neither term. It implies we are gradually closing in on an innermost core. How about nomadic question, journey question, hop-on/hop-off question, or something similar or maybe even iceberg question? Commented Nov 29, 2016 at 12:45
  • I would suggest that onion question implies there is no core to home in on. Commented Nov 29, 2016 at 14:09
  • Russian dolls who're preggers...?!!
    – Edouard
    Commented Jun 8, 2020 at 3:09
  • Is it, "Post no bahns" or "Post-know bahns"? (I'm entitled to a minus....)
    – Edouard
    Commented Jun 8, 2020 at 3:12

1 Answer 1


Tell the user to ask a new question. There should be only one question per... well, question, and you are by no means obligated to answer his tens of followup questions if you post an answer to the user's original question.

  • 3
    In particular, the follow-up comments (unless clarifying the answer) need to be as well researched as the original question.
    – djechlin
    Commented Apr 16, 2014 at 17:51

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