[[quoteright:300:[[http://xkcd.com/303/ http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/xkcd-compiling-resize_4449.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300:[[AltText 'Are you stealing those LCDs?' 'Yeah, but I'm doing it while my code compiles.']]]]

->''[[ContentWarnings Warning:]] this comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics [[HardOnSoftScience (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).]]''

> Describe xkcd here

''What? No, we're not doing another DescribeTopicHere joke.''

> [[{{UsefulNotes/UNIX}} sudo]] Describe xkcd here

''Okay.''

''[[http://xkcd.com xkcd]]'' is a StickFigureComic by Randall Munroe. It is a gag-a-day comic, and generally does not have a continuing plot line or continuity (though there are occasional short story arcs). Many of the jokes are based on math, physics, UsefulNotes/{{UNIX}} and [[MemeticMutation Internet memes]], as well as romance and sex. It utilizes AltText for each and every comic which contain additional jokes and context.

Originally a relatively unknown set of personal sketches and doodles, it grew in popularity in 2006 when other webcomics (such as ''Webcomic/DinosaurComics'') began linking to it. However, it was when Randall posted a "[[http://xkcd.com/195/ Map of the Internet]]", and said map was subsequently [[http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/12/11/1150241 featured on Slashdot]], that xkcd's popularity truly erupted. Since then, it has been among the most well-known of webcomics.

Of course, you wouldn't know that just by looking at the comic. The characters are still drawn as very basic stick figures, with no facial features other than hairstyle (which is often used to [[TertiarySexualCharacteristics distinguish males and females]]). However, there are three recurring characters who can be recognized by their respective headgear:
* "Black Hat Guy," a {{Jerkass}} {{Badass}} character with a black pork-pie hat, who in one storyline encountered a woman who [[http://xkcd.com/377/ out-Jerkassed him]], and has now become [[http://xkcd.com/433/ a ]] [[http://xkcd.com/440/ romantic ]] [[http://xkcd.com/515/ interest]].
* A beret-clad {{Cloudcuckoolander}} and [[TheAntiNihilist Anti-Nihilist]], generally thought of to be an Existentialist, albeit one with a thing for pastries.
* A dark haired woman, referred to in several comics as "Megan"; she shares many of the same interests with the nondescript AuthorAvatar and is commonly shown to be in a relationship with him. Was the main character of the [[http://xkcd.com/264/ "Choices" Series.]]
* There also seems to be a recurring main character with a distinct personality ([[AuthorAvatar most likely the author's own]]), but since he looks exactly the same as all the other stick figures without hair or hats, it could be argued that he's just a stock character. He has picked up the [[FanNickname nickname]] Cueball.

There are other recurring characters in the same social circle -- e.g. the [[http://xkcd.com/220/ dark-haired]] [[http://xkcd.com/625/ existential nihilist]] -- but most of them are less distinctive.

Has mentioned [[http://xkcd.com/609/ this very wiki]]. The wiki has returned the favor, taking many XKCD comics for page images (see Trivia.{{XKCD}} for the list).

xkcd is part of the documentation for ''goto'' on the [[http://php.net/manual/en/control-structures.goto.php PHP website]], and was mentioned [[http://asset.soup.io/asset/0453/8747_0991_800.png as a ticket in a changelog]][[note]]For those curious, [[http://xkcd.com/619/ here's #619]][[/note]].

Two big occurrences for the comic happened in 2012. The webcomic reached one thousand comics in January; as the above-mentioned main character says, "Wow -- just 24 to go until a big round-number milestone!" Later in June, ''xkcd'' added a section called ''Blog/WhatIf'' to its website, where Randall tackles hypothetical questions with physics and silly drawings. Has a [[DeadpanSnarker lot of snark]].

Numerologists take note: adding up the numerical values of the title's letters yields a sum of [[Franchise/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy 42]]. Coincidence?... [[SubvertedTrope Yes]].

Completely unrelated, but some fans [[http://flowingdata.com/2012/10/19/xkcd-style-charts-in-r-javascript-and-python/ had the bright idea to create graphs in XKCD style]].

The subcomic [[Webcomic/XkcdTime Time]], now finished, is so big it has its own page now.
----
!!Tropes used by this webcomic:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: # & A-E]]
* TwentyPercentMoreAwesome: Used repeatedly, including [[http://xkcd.com/523/ this particularly meta example]] involving a graph about a decline in a relationship that might be caused by graphing things.
* AbsenceMakesTheHeartGoYonder: [[http://xkcd.com/57/ 57: Wait For Me]]
* AcceptableTargets: In-universe, string theorists, liberal arts majors, [[http://xkcd.com/610/ 610: Objectivists]] (and [[http://xkcd.com/1049/ again]] at 1049), [[http://xkcd.com/590/ 590: typographers]] and [[http://xkcd.com/114/ 114: computational linguists]]. Also, [[EverythingsBetterWithDinosaurs Velociraptors]].
* AffectionateParody: [[http://xkcd.com/141/ 141: Parody Week]], whose strips don't really make fun of anything and, in some cases, could actually have been used by the regular cartoonist except for the artwork. It turns into a deconstruction of parody with the author halting his Webcomic/MegaTokyo parody because he feels sorry for the writer. The author also stops a later PennyArcade parody because he respects the writers too much (with the respect transitioning to HoYay and then SlashFic before he finishes.)
* AggressiveCategorism: [[http://xkcd.com/385/ 385: How It Works]].
-->'''Guy to Guy:''' Wow, you suck at math.
-->'''Guy to Girl:''' Wow, girls suck at math.
* AIIsACrapshoot: [[http://xkcd.com/416/ 416: CTRL-C! CTRL-C!]] and [[http://xkcd.com/1046/ Skynet]]
* AllJustADream: [[http://xkcd.com/806/ 806, "Tech Support"]].
* AllLoveIsUnrequited: [[http://xkcd.org/642/ 642, "Creepy"]].
* AltText
* AmbiguousSyntax: [[http://www.xkcd.com/37/ Hyphen]] and [[http://www.xkcd.com/90/ Jacket]]
* AnachronismStew: [[http://xkcd.com/771/ Discussed. No one will care in the future.]]
* AnalogyBackfire: [[http://xkcd.com/667/ "And from that day on, I wore this little F key pendant everywhere I went."]]
* {{Angrish}}: One comic has a father conditioning his daughter's speech centers to shut down when she's upset. HilarityEnsues to say the least: [[http://xkcd.com/573/ 573, "Parental Trolling"]]
* AnimalAthleteLoophole: There's no rule saying a meerkat can't play [[http://www.xkcd.com/115/ rugby!]]
* AppliedMathematics: It's fond of this.
* AprilFoolsDay:
** For 2010, they changed the layout so that you navigate through the comics with a [[http://xkcd.com/unixkcd/ text interface]]. If you typed in 'cat' with no arguments, you'd get [[spoiler:a line of text that reads "[[CutenessProximity You're a kitty!]]"]] There were a lot of {{Easter Egg}}s hidden in there. [[http://xkcd.com/149/ 'make me a sandwich'/'sudo make me a sandwich']], emacs, the KonamiCode... [[http://wiki.github.com/chromakode/xkcdfools/commands the list goes on.]]
** For 2011, all comics went 3D. Also counts as HypocriticalHumor given [[http://3d.xkcd.com/880/ the April Fool's comic itself]].
** For 2012, [[http://xkcd.com/1037/ the comic itself]] changes depending upon the web browser one views the comic with (as well as various other factors, such as location and operating system, but the web browser is the easiest to view the change with), with at least four different variations in Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera.
* AnythingButThat: Many of the strips revolve around Randall's fear of velociraptors.
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking:
** "There's no porn set atop storm chasing vans. No homoerotic spelling bees. [[http://xkcd.com/305/ No women playing electric guitar in the shower".]] The last one actually worked, so it probably was not so bad.
** The [[http://www.xkcd.com/887/ future predictions for 2100]] end with: "Rainforests mostly gone due to climate shifts", "All coral reefs gone" and "Gillette introduces [[UpToEleven 14 bladed razor]]".
** The AltText for [[http://xkcd.com/1036/ 1036]] reads: "I plugged in this lamp and my dog went rigid, spoke a sentence of perfect Akkadian, and then was hurled sideways through the picture window. Even worse, it's one of those lamps where the switch is on the cord."
* ArtEvolution: Compare the first 150 strips or so with the newer ones.
* ArtisticLicenseHistory: [[http://xkcd.com/1255/ One man]] tells the story of how UsefulNotes/ChristopherColumbus sailed across the ocean to prove the world was round, and a woman butts in to change the story so he ends up in [[Literature/TheSilmarillion Valinor]]. When he tells her to stop making stuff up, she responds that ''he'' needs to stop making stuff up.
* ArtShift: A few strips actually shift up in terms of quality. The author doesn't seem to have a strong inclination to keep up such things though. On occasion, Randall has created temporary UNIX-themed and 3D-versions of the comic.
** [[http://xkcd.com/1021 1021: "Business Plan"]] is hand-drawn, like the early strips were.
* ArtStyleDissonance: It's surprisingly smart for its limited art style.
* AsbestosFreeCereal: The "[[http://xkcd.com/641/ Free]]" strip, featuring three brands of cereal, with one of the being asbestos-''free''! Provides the page image for the trope and is the TropeNamer.
* AttentionDeficitOohShiny: Illustrated with a clever visual metaphor [[http://xkcd.com/1106 here]].
* AuthorAppeal: Randall seems to [[http://xkcd.com/136/ really]], ''[[http://xkcd.com/400/ really]]'' [[http://xkcd.com/584/ like]] [[http://xkcd.com/598/ cunnilingus]], going so far as to create http://cu.nniling.us/ a redirect to xkcd itself
* AuthorAvatar: The plain-featured stick man. (Sometimes. It can also be just anyone without special features.) Also, [[http://xkcd.com/135/ this]]
* AuthorFilibuster: Quite a few on {{DRM}}, for example [[http://xkcd.com/488/ here.]] Eventually {{lampshaded}} [[http://xkcd.com/511/ here]] and [[http://xkcd.com/546/ here.]] [[http://xkcd.com/14/ This one]] provides a similar counterpoint, though it's not exactly a lampshade.
* AuthorVocabularyCalendar: {{Wikipedia}}'s propensity for using specific words over and over is discussed in the strip [[http://xkcd.com/739/ "Malamanteau"]].
* {{Badass}}:
** While the recurring badasses are listed on the character sheet, Elaine Roberts from [[http://xkcd.com/342/ the 342nd issue]] is very much a badass.
** [[http://xkcd.com/933/ Imagine if there was nothing holding her back.]]
* BavarianFireDrill: [[http://xkcd.com/699/ Did you know you can just buy lab coats?]]
* BewareTheNiceOnes:
** Our beret-clad {{Cloudcuckoolander}} [[http://xkcd.com/677/ makes some car-driving decisions]].
** [[Literature/{{Twilight}} Stephenie Meyer]]. [[http://xkcd.com/591/ Seriously.]]
* BigElectricSwitch: In [[http://xkcd.com/1203/ Time Machine]], the time machine looks like some kind of vending machine with a BigElectricSwitch on the front.
* BilingualBonus: Assuming you speak Binary... [[http://xkcd.com/540/ this strip.]]
** Each group of four bits represents one nibble (hexadecimal digit): 6261 7365 2032. Each pair of digits is the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASCII ASCII]] code for one character in "base 2".
* BitterWeddingSpeech: [[http://xkcd.com/420/ Hey, you asked me to do a toast]]...
* BlackComedy: [[http://xkcd.com/914/ On]] [[https://xkcd.com/686/ occasion]].
* TheBlank: All the characters.
* BluffTheEavesdropper: In [[http://xkcd.com/525/ #525]]:
-->Now and then, I announce "I know you're listening" to empty rooms. If I'm wrong, nobody knows, and if I'm right, maybe I just freaked the hell out of some secret organization.
* BogglesTheMind: [[http://www.xkcd.com/492/ "Scrabble";]] on the prevalence of dirty words you find when playing family games.
* BookcasePassage: [[http://xkcd.com/1049/ "Bookshelf";]] one that activates when you tug on the copy of ''Literature/AtlasShrugged'', though all it does is tell you that [[TakeThat you have terrible taste]].
* BookEnds: The first panel and alt-text of [[http://xkcd.com/752/ this strip.]]
** The very first strip and the line on the very uttermost right of [[http://xkcd.com/1110/ Click and Drag]]
** [[http://xkcd.com/1190 Time]] began and ended with a very small sandcastle.
* BrainsAndBondage: [[http://xkcd.com/1039/ Chemists pick the worst safewords.]]
* BrickJoke: [[http://xkcd.com/445/ Ongoing]] [[http://xkcd.com/475/ boomerang]] [[http://xkcd.com/939/ difficulties]].
** The [[http://xkcd.com/374/ Journal]] [[http://xkcd.com/377/ joke]], [[http://xkcd.com/405/ too]].
** Does it count if [[http://xkcd.com/1010/ they're]] only one comic [[http://xkcd.com/1012/ apart]]?
*** Then [[http://xkcd.com/325/ there's]] [[http://xkcd.com/576/ the]] [[http://xkcd.com/837/ bobcat]]. The reference in the latter two are in the Alt-Text. It shows up a fourth time in the alt-text of one of the images in [[http://what-if.xkcd.com/54/ this What If feature]].
*** Tetris in [[http://xkcd.com/724 724]] and [[http://xkcd.com/888/ 888]].
** In [[http://xkcd.com/349/ The strip #349]], we learn that trying to install [=FreeBSD=] has a chance of stranding one in the middle of the ocean. In [[http://www.xkcd.com/1110/ Click and Drag]], we have an ocean somewhere to the right, and there are two stick figures in the middle of it, complaining "Stupid [=FreeBSD=]..."
*** ...Which comes up AGAIN [[http://www.xkcd.com/1350/ even later]], as a possible outcome in a "choose your own adventure" style comic.
** A very subtle one. Hat-Guy has a hat under his hat to one-up those who have their own hats. He shows up as a tiny little figure in a [[http://xkcd.com/826/ Guest Strip]] by SaturdayMorningBreakfastCereal author Zach Weiner.
* BuffySpeak:
** [[http://xkcd.com/1133/ Up Goer Five]] is a cross between this and an inverted ExpospeakGag: it describes a Saturn V rocket using ''only'' the 1000 most-frequently-used words in the English language.
** The first three panels of [[http://xkcd.com/1322/ Winter]] are full of these.
* Advertising/BurmaShave: [[http://xkcd.com/491 Found here.]]
* ButterflyOfTransformation: Pupating Transformers.
* CallBack: Very popular, especially in the AltText.
** In "[[http://xkcd.com/55/ Useless]]", an early comic, a heart is inserted into various mathematical formulas ending in question marks. It was captioned "My normal approach is useless here." Five years later in "[[http://xkcd.com/881/ Probability]]", he wrote a strip about a terminally ill woman. The AltText reads, "My normal approach is useless here, too."
** Another in "[[http://xkcd.com/884/ Rogers St.]]", to "Little Bobby Tables" from "[[http://xkcd.com/327/ Exploits of a Mom]]"
*** And again in "[[http://xkcd.com/1253/ Exoplanet Names]]".
** Also, "[[http://xkcd.com/724/ Hell]]" and later, "[[http://xkcd.com/888/ Heaven]]".
** In "[[http://xkcd.com/325/ A-Minus-Minus]]", the Black Hat Guy sells an office chair on eBay, only for the actual package to arrive at the purchaser's home a bobcat. 251 comics later in "[[http://xkcd.com/576/ Packages]]", one character sets up a script that purchases something random off eBay every day so he can continually receive packages (notice the AltText). The bobcat gets mentioned yet again in "[[http://xkcd.com/837/ Coupon Code]]" (AltText again).
** In "[[http://xkcd.com/1/ Barrel - Part 1]]", the very first comic, a boy starts floating around in a barrel. In "[[http://xkcd.com/20/ Ferret]]", the author puts wings on a Ferret hoping he will fly. Eventually, the boy loses the barrel, and 11 comics later, in "[[http://xkcd.com/31/ Barrel - Part 5]]", is rescued by the winged ferret.
*** The punchline for "Barrel - Part 1" is reused in [[http://xkcd.com/1110/ Click and Drag]]", when you scroll all the way to the right.
** The man with the loud girlfriend and the elliptical dish from "[[http://xkcd.com/316/ Loud Sex]]" gets a mention in the AltText from "[[http://xkcd.com/368/ Bass]]".
** In "[[http://xkcd.com/419/ Forks and Spoons]]" scientists created fork/spork/spoon hybrids, with disastrous results. Only two comics later they are mentioned again in "[[http://xkcd.com/421/ Making Hash Browns]]".
** The inane statement in "[[http://xkcd.com/231/ Cat Proximity]]", "You're a kitty!" gets a callback in the mouseover for "[[http://xkcd.com/889/ Turtles]]" -- "You're a turtle!".
** "[[http://xkcd.com/517/ Marshmallow Gun]]", where the water gun appears to be the same one from "[[http://xkcd.com/220/ Philosophy]]"
** Black Hat Guy's past exploits are brought up in "[[http://xkcd.com/496/ Secretary: Part 3]]".
** Electric skateboards are a recurring motif.
** So are giant hamster balls.
** "Lemme know if you find out why she's ordering all those colored plastic balls."
** In "[[http://xkcd.com/188/ Reload]]", the AltText says, "And watch out for that guy from [[http://xkcd.com/53/ comic #53]]." ("Hobby").
** Zeppelins
** SummerGlau:
*** As a [[CourtlyLove real paladin]], he fights in the name of his fair lady in "[[http://xkcd.com/406/ Venting]]".
*** He measures things by the silhouette which is always before his eyes in "[[http://xkcd.com/526/ Converting to Metric]]".
*** Oh, hey, speaking of cat captions... I IZ "[[http://xkcd.com/262/ IN UR REALITY]]"!
** In "[[http://xkcd.com/730/ Circuit Diagram]]", the AltText remarks, "I just caught myself idly trying to work out what that resistor mass would actually be, and realized I had self-nerd-sniped." ("[[http://xkcd.com/356/ Nerd Sniping]]")
** At one point Munroe produced several strips about boomerang hijinks. Then, [[BrickJoke once we've all forgotten about them]], we get [[http://xkcd.com/939/ this]].
** A very subtle and easily missed one occurs in the AltText of "[[http://xkcd.com/327/ Exploits of a Mom]]", which references "[[http://xkcd.com/10/ Pi Equals]]".
** The comic [[http://xkcd.com/1133/ Up Goer Five]] explains a space rocket with only the 1000 most common words used in English. It includes the phrase "you will not go to space today" for when something goes wrong. The ''Blog/WhatIf'' blag turned it [[http://what-if.xkcd.com/21/ into a]] [[http://what-if.xkcd.com/24/ running]] [[http://what-if.xkcd.com/30/ gag]].
** In [[http://xkcd.com/225/ "Open Source"]], fake ninjas attack Richard Stallman in his sleep. Later, during [[http://xkcd.com/344/ "1337: Parts 4]] [[http://xkcd.com/345/ and 5"]], he comes to Mrs. Robert aid.
*** "Part 5" also sees the return of [[https://xkcd.com/239/ Cory Doctorow]]
** In [[http://xkcd.com/15/ "Just Alerting You"]] we see someone, possibly an early Megan, riding an Apatosaur. Then, in [[http://xkcd.com/650/ "Nowhere"]] we see her again riding an Apatosaur, this time in a daydream.
* TheCallsAreComingFromInsideTheHouse: [[http://xkcd.com/742/ Spoofed.]]
* TheCameo: Hannelore from ''WebComic/QuestionableContent'' can be found [[http://xkcd.com/574/ here.]]
* CarFu: Actually Submarine Fu: Black Hat Guy recovers his hat from his LoveInterest in [[http://xkcd.com/405/ this strip]] by ''crashing a Russian nuclear submarine through the ice she's skating on''.
* CatapultNightmare: The dream in [[http://xkcd.com/806/ 806, "Tech Support"]] starts out as a nightmare, but eventually it gets a HappyEnding. The catapult is still there at the end.
* CentipedesDilemma: [[http://xkcd.com/972/ "Did you know November is Tongue Awareness Month?"]]
* CentrifugalFarce: Argues whether or not this should be [[http://xkcd.com/123/ "centripetal force"]].
* ChekhovsNews: Suggested [[http://xkcd.com/1387/ here]] to make the news more interesting.
* ChildrenAreInnocent: [[http://xkcd.com/751/ Subverted]], though partially doubly subverted when the child says "Gosh" in reaction.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}:
** [[http://www.xkcd.com/579/ Apparently]], SummerGlau:
-->''I eat my body weight in food every thirty-one days. That's slightly faster than the human average. ''[stares off at the clouds then falls down]'' I'm part of the floor now.''
** The Beret Guy can count as one as well.
** And maybe Randall himself...
* CoincidentalAccidentalDisguise: [[http://www.xkcd.com/700/ Apparently,]] having acne on half your face and flipping a coin is enough to fool Batman.
* ComedicSociopath: Black Hat Guy
* ComicallyMissingThePoint:
-->''[[http://xkcd.com/1014/ "Can anyone tell me what's wrong with this picture?"]]''
-->''The white balance, for one.''
-->''Focus is a bit too close.''
-->''The chromatic aberration suggests you bought your camera because it had "the most megapixels"''
-->'''THE CAR IS ON FIRE!'''
-->''Maybe you should use the insurance money to get a new camera.''
* ContinuityNod: See Call Back.
* ConvectionSchmonvection: [[http://www.xkcd.com/735/ Would someone please inform these kids of this trope.]] (It's not completely their fault; they're re-enacting the plot of ''{{Volcano}}''.)
* CoolShades: A derivative of this trope (with a reference to the ''CSI'' QuipToBlack), as seen [[http://xkcd.com/626/ here]].
* CoolSword: [[http://xkcd.com/1114/ This strip]] pokes fun at some of the flavors this trope comes in.
* CountingBullets: In a parody of ''Film/DirtyHarry'' in [[http://xkcd.com/692/ this comic]]
* CrazyPrepared:
** [[http://xkcd.com/761/ Can go wrong]].
** Also found [[http://xkcd.com/909/ here]].
* {{Creepypasta}}: Parodied [[http://xkcd.com/1023/ here]].
* CrossOver: [[Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey HAL]] [[http://xkcd.com/375/ replaces Dave]] with [[VideoGame/{{Portal}} someone]] who's more devoted to the whole science thing.
--> '''SelfDemonstrating/GLaDOS:''' But look at us here talking when there's science to do! Goodbye, Dave.
** [[https://xkcd.com/618/ Asteroid]] - also huge MoodWhiplash.
-->'''AltText:''' My [[spoiler:Deep Impact/Little Prince]] crossover fanfic has been poorly received by the community.
* CruelAndUnusualDeath: [[http://xkcd.com/1097/ Especially from a hypochondriac's point of view.]]
* CutenessProximity: Shown in the strip "[[http://xkcd.com/231/ Cat Proximity]]", which is the TropeNamer as well.
* DarkerAndEdgier : Played with in-universe by [[http://xkcd.com/633/ Harriet the Spy]]
* DateMyAvatar: [[http://xkcd.com/903/ This]] strip demonstrates how the internet makes you appear smarter.
* DeathbringerTheAdorable: [[http://xkcd.com/1242/ This]] chart plots out scary names based on how scary the name is, and how scary the thing itself is. "[[http://www.catb.org/jargon/html/C/Chernobyl-packet.html Chernobyl Packet]]" and "Bomb Calorimeter" are considered this, while "Soil Liquefaction" and "GreyGoo" are cases of FluffyTheTerrible. "Flesh-Eating Bacteria" is in the corner for NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast.
* {{Deconstruction}}:
** [[http://xkcd.com/693/ Fun seventy years, indeed.]]
** [[http://xkcd.com/772/ When we said to make it more realistic, we meant the graphics.]]
* ADegreeInUseless: According to the AltText here, [[http://xkcd.com/764/ anthropology]].
** Also, [[http://xkcd.com/451/ literary criticism.]]
** [[http://xkcd.com/1052/ And now, apparently, all of them.]]
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment: [[http://www.xkcd.com/703/ The Tautology Club]] is about redundancy because redundancy is what the Tautology Club is all about.
* DescriptionCut: Surely NathanFillion has [[http://www.xkcd.com/578/ better things to do these days]] than pretend to be [[Series/{{Firefly}} Mal Reynolds]]. Meanwhile, wearing a brown coat, "Name's Captain Reynolds, ma'am." *ahem* "Name's Captain Reynolds, ma'am." Made ''[[HilariousInHindsight even funnier]]'' by a certain [[ShoutOut episode]] [[Series/{{Firefly}} of]] ''Series/{{Castle}}''
* {{Determinator}}: "[[http://xkcd.com/705/ He just reconnected the cables we cut, muttering something about "uptime".]]
* DevilsAdvocate: Invoked but not used [[http://xkcd.com/164/ here]]. The trope itself is used without NameDrop in [[http://xkcd.com/106/ the Wright Brothers example]].
* DidYouActuallyBelieve
* DidYouJustScamCthulhu: [[http://xkcd.com/501/ Mephistopheles encounters the E.U.L.A]]
* DisproportionateRetribution: Lots. [[http://www.xkcd.com/396 Here're]] [[http://www.xkcd.com/562 three]] [[http://www.xkcd.com/169 examples]].
* DistantReactionShot: Used in the comic [[http://xkcd.com/1099/ Tuesdays]] (for "endless wings").
* DistractedFromDeath: In [[http://xkcd.com/791/ this strip]] a guy is so worried about this happening that he forces in sweet last words even when his love interest is just going to the grocery store.
* DoggedNiceGuy: [[DeconstructedCharacterArchetype Deconstructed]] [[http://xkcd.com/513/ here,]] with the whole "Nice Guy" situation being played uncharacteristically cynically.
* DontExplainTheJoke: The comic frequently violates this rule. In many cases, the punchline occurs in the second-to-last panel, only to have a final panel that then explains it. Other times the punchline ''is'' in the last panel... but there's a final ''sentence'' that then explains the joke. On the rare occasion neither are done, you can probably check the AltText and find it explained there.
* DontTryThisAtHome: See the AltText for [[http://xkcd.com/620/ Wings]]. Subverted in a [[http://blag.xkcd.com/2007/07/18/roller-coaster-chess/ blog post]]: "But remember, I am not advocating doing anything dangerous unless itís really cool."
* DoubleEntendre: [[http://xkcd.com/1082/ "Geology: surprisingly erotic."]]
* DreamApocalypse: [[http://xkcd.com/390/ "Please don't wake up. I don't want to die."]]
* DrosteImage: [[http://xkcd.com/688/ This]]. And [[http://xkcd.com/1416/ that]] - possibly worlds 1st truely infinite one.
* DrunkenMaster: In the form of [[http://xkcd.com/323/ Ballmer's Peak]].
* DyingAlone
* {{Eagleland}} / GlobalIgnorance: Deconstructed in [[http://xkcd.com/850/ this strip]].
* EarlyBirdCameo: A line a big deal is made out of [[http://xkcd.com/1013/ here]] actually appears verbatim [[http://xkcd.com/496/ quite a while earlier]]. Arguably unintentional, but...
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: Newcomers to the series will find it very strange that the first few dozen comics are actually just sketches and philosophical musings set to artwork. It wasn't until around 50 strips in that xkcd as we know it began to surface.
* EarthAllAlong: The "Time" comic, which updated once an hour for just over four months after posting, is set in some strange world where the inhabitants don't seem to know things that are common knowledge among humans, like how rivers work and why birds chirp. The reveal [[http://xkcd.mscha.org/viewer/2902 eventually showed]] that it's actually [[spoiler: set in the distant future of what was once (and [[TheGreatFlood will soon become again]]) the Mediterranean Sea]].
* EditWar: Discussed [[http://xkcd.com/1167/ here]].
* EldritchAbomination: This is why you ''shouldn't'' [[http://xkcd.com/1013/ awaken the sheeple.]]
* ElementalPowers: [[http://xkcd.com/965/ Elements]]
* ElevatorGag: [[http://xkcd.com/288/ Floor 5: Zeppelin!]]
* EvenEvilHasLovedOnes: Black Hat Guy and his girlfriend
* EvenEvilHasStandards: While going over Black Hat Guy's (extensive) criminal record...
-->'''Black Hat Guy:''' I plead the third.
-->'''Congresswoman:''' You mean the fifth.
-->'''Black Hat Guy:''' No, the third.
-->'''Congresswoman:''' ...You refuse to quarter troops in your house?
-->'''Black Hat Guy:''' I have few principles, but I stick to them.
** [[http://xkcd.com/206/ The Black Hat Man's companion]] does not condone his participation in the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Lai_Massacre My Lai massacre]].
* EvolutionaryLevels: Parodied in "[[https://xkcd.com/1147/ Evolving]]", which uses a ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' style cut scene to show a disease-causing bacterium evolving into a drug-resistant variant.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: F-J]]
* {{Facepalm}}: [[http://www.xkcd.com/852/ "Local g"]] offers an example (last panel).
* FailureIsTheOnlyOption: [[http://www.xkcd.com/844/ This flow chart]] explains how to write good code, or possibly not.
* FakeOutOpening: [[http://xkcd.com/734/ "The remaining 90 minutes of the movie will be a romantic comedy."]]
* FalseCause: Several, though it is discussed [[http://www.xkcd.com/552/ here]].
** [[http://www.xkcd.com/111/ Firefox and Witchcraft]], as pointed out by Microsoft and the Christian Church.
** [[http://xkcd.com/925/ Cancer causes cellphones]], though he is willing to reconsider with more data.
** [[http://xkcd.com/1138/ A web site's visitors with]] ''Martha Stewart Living'' subscribers, and the FurryFandom.
* FalseDichotomy: [[http://xkcd.com/871/ "Charity"]] discusses this.
* FantasyTwist: [[http://xkcd.com/429/ This strip]] takes it to a very weird place.
* FarSideIsland: If [[http://xkcd.com/731/ this strip]] is to be trusted, they're not half as boring as they're stereotyped.
* {{Feghoot}}
** [[http://xkcd.com/887/ 90 years worth of predictions for the future]]... only to end in an [[DiscreditedMeme extremely lame meme]].
** Lampshaded, then subverted [[http://xkcd.com/410/ here]].
* FetishRetardant: In-universe, the ''PowerRangers'' theme [[http://xkcd.com/400/ is this]].
* FillerStrip: [[http://xkcd.com/157/ Parodied]].
* {{Flatworld}}: [[http://xkcd.com/721/ Here]], in a reference to ''Literature/{{Flatland}}''. (Bonus points for the AltText pointing out what a stick figure would look like in Flatland according to the book.)
* FlockOfWolves: [[http://xkcd.com/610/ What are the odds of five Ayn Rand fans being on the same train together?]]
* FourPointScale: [[http://xkcd.com/1098/ Strip 1098 explains the trope]].
* FoxChickenGrainPuzzle: [[http://xkcd.com/1134/ Done with a wolf, goat and cabbage]], it ends halfway through when the problem solver leaves the wolf behind, questioning why he had a wolf in the first place. The AltText goes a step further asking why there was a cabbage, taking only the goat, goats are fine.
* GeekyTurnon: Frequent, though with occasional unfortunate ManicPixieDreamGirl overtones.
* GenreBlind: Genre blindness in horror movies is made fun of in [[http://xkcd.com/782/ this strip]]
* GenreSavvy: [[http://xkcd.com/734/ "The outbreak started with patient zero... and ended with patient zero five minutes later."]]
* GiftOfTheMagiPlot: [[http://xkcd.com/506/ At least the result was the same]].
* GirlInTheTower: [[http://xkcd.com/59/ This girl]] wants to be a lighthouse keeper because she gets to be the girl in the tower, only ''she's'' the one saving people.
* GirlOnGirlIsHot: [[InspectorGadget Go go Gadget]] [[http://xkcd.com/717/ two lesbians doing it.]]
* GivingUpOnLogic: Computer problems make a character pretty much drop the trope name [[http://xkcd.com/1316/ here]] (Not a TropeNamer though, as the trope existed for years before that comic)
* GlassesPull: Done by both [[RickRoll Rick Astley]] and Isaac Newton for particularly dreadful puns.
* GlassShatteringSound: [[http://xkcd.com/812/ Attempted.]] It doesn't exactly go as planned.
* AGodAmI:
** [[http://xkcd.com/676/ 676: The result of realizing how much computing power is available to the average person]].
** [[http://xkcd.com/505/ 505: Speculating that a deity might be creating the universe out of boredom.]]
* GodwinsLaw: Referenced and parodied in [[http://www.xkcd.com/261/ this strip.]] Also, the suggested [[http://xkcd.com/528/ a screen consisting entirely of Hitler's face with flashing eyes]] would be [[TakeThat preferable to Vista]].
* GoingMobile: [[http://m.xkcd.com/ There is a mobile version]] of the site, even with a button to click to show the [[AltText Alt-Text]].
* GoldenMeanFallacy: Played for laughs [[http://xkcd.com/690/ here.]] The AltText explicitly states: "I believe the truth always lies halfway between the most extreme claims."
* GoneHorriblyRight: [[http://xkcd.com/1320/ The result]] of trying to be "the UsefulNotes/{{Walmart}} of social interaction" is...
* GoneHorriblyWrong: [[http://xkcd.com/349/ In this strip]], upgrading a computer leads to [[spoiler:being stranded out in the middle of the ocean]]
* AGoodNameForARockBand: [[http://xkcd.com/1025/ Or for a Tumblr.]]
** Inverted in the AltText: "Dot Tumblr Dot Com" would ''not'' make AGoodNameForARockBand, due to potential confusion about its website.
** [[http://xkcd.com/119/ Gets skewered here, as well.]]
* GovernmentConspiracy: [[http://xkcd.com/1274/ This]] open letter to whatever group or [[ConspiracyKitchenSink groups]] are secretly controlling the U.S. government telling them to get their shit together, it's embarrassing.[[note]]Referring to the 2013 government shutdown.[[/note]]
* GratuitousIambicPentameter: [[http://xkcd.com/79/ Strip 79]], "Iambic Pentameter".
* GuestStrip: A week full of them, by the authors of ''QuestionableContent'', ''ButtercupFestival'', ''{{Overcompensating}}'', ''SaturdayMorningBreakfastCereal'', and ''FoxTrot''. Yes, Bill Amend did a guest strip.
* HardOnSoftScience: With some frequency. It also appears in the warning at the bottom of each page. [[http://xkcd.com/765 Homeopathy]] is a soft target, but perhaps SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped.
* HelpHelpTrappedInTitleFactory: [[http://xkcd.com/10/ How someone got trapped in a universe factory, we'll never know.]]
* HitlersTimeTravelExemptionAct: [[http://xkcd.com/1063/ Black Hat Guy uses a one-time-only time machine]] to go back and kill Hitler, at his friend's insistence. [[YouAlreadyChangedThePast Only he did it in 1945, in the bunker]], which is when and where Hitler actually died.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: [[http://www.xkcd.com/730/ "I just caught myself idly trying to work out what that resistor mass would actually be, and realized I had self-nerd-sniped."]] In-universe, [[http://www.xkcd.com/729/ the strip just before that one.]]
* {{Homage}}
* IcarusAllusion: #1110, "Click and Drag", mentions Icarus. Really, it does. You'll have to look hard, though.
* IdTellYouButThenIdHaveToKillYou: [[http://www.xkcd.com/707/ Well, kill you even sooner.]][[note]]You'll be moved up from 49 of ~7 billion to 31 of ~7 billion.[[/note]]
* IncrediblyLamePun:
** Rather blatantly in strips [[http://xkcd.com/282/ 282]], [[http://xkcd.com/594/ 594]], and [[http://xkcd.com/626/ 626]].
** "I'm sorry if I hurt anthropology-major feelings with [[http://xkcd.com/764/ Friday's]] alt-text. I meant it as a friendly jibe at a cool field. I ... anthropologize."
** [[http://xkcd.com/673/ This one]] has two, one as the punchline and one in the AltText.
** [[http://xkcd.com/460/ 460: Palaeontology]].
** [[http://xkcd.com/819/ A comic]] the author drew as a part of a game features Creator/RichardWagner chasing a guy on his "[[Theatre/DerRingDesNibelungen Ring Cycle]]". He commented: "Why did I ''draw'' this?"
** [[http://xkcd.com/849/ Complex Conjugate]]. Oh my [[UsefulNotes/{{Discordianism}} Eris]]...
** Not just your significant other. [[http://xkcd.com/539/ Your "statistically significant" other]].
** [[http://xkcd.com/702/ This strip's]] AltText.
** [[http://xkcd.com/345/ 345]]: [[Literature/ThePrincessBride You'd make a wonderful dread pirate, Roberts.]]
** [[http://xkcd.com/151/ This.]] A lampshade is hung in the alt text.
** [[http://xkcd.com/41/ He thinks he drew this one to get back at people going through his stuff.]]
** [[http://xkcd.com/241/ They did this one on purpose.]]
** [[http://xkcd.com/977/ The alt text here,]] accompanied by a GlassesPull.
* IncrediblyObviousBomb: [[http://xkcd.com/1168/ It comes with a ''radioactive'' label]].
* InfiniteCanvas: Several of the comics, but taken to the extreme with [[http://xkcd.com/1110/ Click and Drag.]]
* InformationWantsToBeFree: [[http://xkcd.com/1228/ With a mythological twist]].
* InsaneTrollLogic: All over the place:
** [[http://xkcd.com/1027/ "Just]] talk to them like a fucking human being." "Nah, that's a sucker's game!"
** [[http://xkcd.com/539/ Face it]]--I'm your statistically significant other.
** [[http://xkcd.com/954/ "Why]] are you carrying a chin-up bar?" ... "I'm not really a not-carrying-a-chin-up-bar person."
** [[http://what-if.xkcd.com/84/ "Based]] on my impressions from walking down the aisles, home improvement stores stock about as many light bulbs as cans of paint. A normal house might have about 20 light bulbs, so let's assume a house needs about 20 gallons of paint. Sure, that sounds about right."
* InsignificantLittleBluePlanet: Spoofed in [[http://xkcd.com/1246/ Pale Blue Dot]] when the audience complains about the "blue dot" being an artifact on the photo.
* InstantAIJustAddWater: Very easy [[http://xkcd.com/521/ on Python]]! (as usual, AltText explains how)
* InternetBacklash: Many people were angry at [[http://xkcd.com/631/ #631]], as well as the alt-text in [[http://xkcd.com/764/ #764]].
* InTheStyleOf: Many of his parodies fit this trope a little closer.
* InvertedTrope: [[http://xkcd.com/914/ Well, if it were a trope...]]
* ItIsDehumanizing: Some {{jerkass}} uses this on a [[FurryFandom furry]] in "[[http://www.xkcd.com/471/ Aversion Fads]]".
* ItMeantSomethingToMe: [[http://xkcd.com/632/ The spambot.]]
* ItWasHisSled: [[http://xkcd.com/109/ parodied]].[[invoked]]
* IWantMyJetpack:
** [[http://xkcd.com/864/ Replace "jetpack" with "flying car" and the trope name's quoted word-for-word.]]
** The AltText [[http://xkcd.com/1382/ here]] starts with the trope name, but then RealityEnsues.
* IWillFindYou: [[http://xkcd.com/104/ Find You]]
* {{Jerkass}}: Black Hat Guy.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: [[http://xkcd.com/515/ "No One Must Know"]].
* JumpOffABridgeRebuttal: If all his friends jumped off a bridge it's probably because something bad is happening, [[http://www.xkcd.com/1170/ like the bridge is on fire]].
* JumpingTheShark: Played with in-universe in [[http://xkcd.com/460/ this strip's]] AltText.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: K-O]]
* KnowYourVines: [[http://xkcd.com/443/ Relationship after camping trip: strained.]]
* LetUsNeverSpeakOfThisAgain: Invoked in [[http://www.xkcd.com/41/ this]] AltText.
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall:
** The AltText gag from [[http://xkcd.com/721/ #721]] only works on the assumption that people in the ''xkcd''verse really are stick figures.
** The punchline of [[http://xkcd.com/1054/ #1054]] depends entirely on you ''reading'' the speech bubbles instead of imagining them as spoken dialogue.
* LightbulbJoke: [[http://xkcd.com/841/ How many audiophiles...]]
* LIsForDyslexia: Double subverted in [[http://xkcd.com/745/ this strip]]. And then subverted a third time in the AltText.
* LiteralMinded: [[http://xkcd.com/1261/ Shake what your mama gave you!]]
* LogicBomb: Used several times, but [[http://xkcd.com/363/ this one's]] for the audience.
* LogicalFallacies:
** [[http://xkcd.com/605/ An intentional example in 'Extrapolation']]
** [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] [[http://xkcd.com/704/ here]], in the "Principle of Explosion" comic.
* LoudOfWar: Several strips have featured inventive audio revenge on loud [[http://www.xkcd.com/368/ car stereos]] and neighbours who are [[http://xkcd.com/316/ loud in bed.]]
* LolCats: [[http://xkcd.com/262/ "What are you doing?!" "Gluing captions to your cats."]]
* LoveAllegory: [[http://xkcd.com/83/ Katamari]].
** Also, [[http://xkcd.com/636/ "Our love is like a Brontosaurus"]].
* LoveYouAndEverybody: [[http://xkcd.com/442/ I love the whole world.]]
* MajorGeneralSong: "[[http://xkcd.com/1052/ Every Major's Terrible]]", which is about choosing a course and how the person can't/won't/doesn't want to do any of them. Someone sang the whole comic (with accompaniment) [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gu1VhsNOwPU here]].
** Note that the video was released within ''hours'' of the comic. Say what you will about XKCD's fandom, but ''damn.''
%%* ManicPixieDreamGirl: The female character.
** On the other hand, most characters in the strip have a strong devotion to making life a little weirder from the start, [[http://xkcd.com/325/ including Black Hat Guy.]]
** The appeal of this trope is parodied in [[http://xkcd.com/122/ comic 122]]: "I didn't actually mean be different. I just want silly and entertaining on command now and then."
** But played completely straight [[http://xkcd.com/308/ here]].
* TheMasochismTango: Black Hat Guy and his girlfriend. He blew up her car, for Chrissakes. By moving the mines she had set up to blow up his car. She stole his hat. He ''likes'' his hat.
* MeasuringTheMarigolds: Subverted in [[http://xkcd.com/877/ "Beauty"]]. Yes, scientists find beauty and wonder in their work. It's just not always what ''everyone else'' thinks of as beautiful.
* Creator/MichaelBay: Knows the [[http://xkcd.com/748/ worst-case scenario]].
* MightyGlacier: Used literally in [[http://xkcd.com/86/ "Digital Rights Management"]].
-->'''Black Hat Guy:''' Let's make a deal. You stop trying to tell me where, when, and how I play my movies and music, and I won't crush your homes under my inexorably advancing wall of ice.
* MilestoneCelebration: [[http://www.xkcd.com/1000/ Only 24 Comics left till the *real* milestone!]]
** Ironically averted [[http://www.xkcd.com/1024/ when "the *real* milestone" came.]]
* MindScrew:
** [[http://xkcd.com/338/ Here.]] Just so you understand how weird this is, the guy on the right is talking to the past, ''[[TimeyWimeyBall and it's talking back]]''.
** [[http://xkcd.com/24/ This strip]] starts out fairly normal. Then the whole world falls apart all of a sudden.
** The small print about "the algorithm" on the home page might also qualify as either an example or a parody:
--->We did not invent the algorithm. The algorithm consistently finds Jesus. The algorithm killed Jeeves.[[note]]In context, possibly a reference to the search engine rather than the [[Literature/JeevesAndWooster hypercompetent valet]][[/note]]. The algorithm is BannedInChina. The algorithm is from Jersey. The algorithm constantly finds Jesus. This is not the algorithm. This is close.\\
\\
The [[http://blog.xkcd.com/2007/04/19/billboards/actual story behind that]] is as follows: In 2007, some billboards popped up in [[BigApplesauce New York]] with those sentences on them, as part of an apparent viral marketing campaign by [[http://www.ask.com/ ask.com]]. However, they apparently didn't finish it; the phrases didn't return anything relevant on Google. Randall decided to exploit this by having the many bloggers in his fanbase post the sentences as links to xkcd.com. He added them to the site itself so that the effort wouldn't be misinterpreted as an attempted [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_bomb Googlebomb]]. It worked; if you Google the phrases, the top results are all references to ''xkcd''.
** "Perhaps ''[[http://xkcd.com/1094/ this]]'' could change your mind?" It's like something straight out of ''Series/TheTwilightZone''.
* MoodWhiplash: Too many to fully enumerate. Some examples:
** [[http://xkcd.com/784 A sad shift]] from something romantic to the complete opposite.
** "[[http://xkcd.com/502/ Dark Flow"]] segues from a YourMom gag to something rather heartbreaking.
* MoonLandingHoax: A [[http://xkcd.com/258/ few comics]] about [[http://xkcd.com/1074/ the topic.]]
* MundaneMadeAwesome: In the xkcd-Verse, computer science is revered as if it were a martial art. The [[http://xkcd.com/341/ 1337]] story arc is a good example.
** Making a sandwich! [[http://xkcd.com/820/ AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!!!]]
* MundaneUtility:
** Frequently, including [[http://xkcd.com/382/ lasers to zap squirrels]].
** Also, using the LHC to [[http://xkcd.com/401/ cause cancer in helicopters]].
* MundaneWish: Done in [[http://xkcd.com/152/ this]] strip.
* NamelessNarrative: Most of the names of recurring characters were never clearly stated.
** Averted with 'Megan'
** The alt text of the [[http://xkcd.com/493/ Actuarial]] strip names the Black Hat Guy as "Hat guy."
** The AuthorAvatar may be named [[http://xkcd.com/782/ Rob]].
* NeverBareheaded: Black Hat Guy.
** Except the one time his [[http://xkcd.com/377/ hat]] was [[http://xkcd.com/405/ stolen]].
* NightmareFuel: Velociraptors, {{in-universe}}.
* NinjaPirateZombieRobot:
** [[http://xkcd.com/254/ "Comic Fragment"]]. God knows how it all fits together, but it sounds great.
** Examined further in [[http://xkcd.com/856/ "Trochee Fixation"]].
* NoodleImplements: Invoked [[http://xkcd.com/576/ here]], to the dismay of the characters.
* NoodleIncident:
** Whatever the rest of [[http://xkcd.com/254/ "Comic fragment"]] was.
** Also, [[http://xkcd.com/349/ he somehow managed to go from upgrading a computer to being stranded out in the middle of the ocean]] [[ThreateningShark surrounded by sharks.]]
** Then we have [[http://xkcd.com/521/ #521]]. Start with trying to one-up some christmas light displays on Youtube. End up fighting raptors with lightsabers, Bill Gates killing Santa, and finally cutting down the Yggdrasil as a Christmas tree.
** And however he lost his [[http://xkcd.com/410 genetics, rocketry, and stripping licenses in one go]].
* OfficeSports: What programmers get up to while [[http://xkcd.com/303/ their code's compiling]].
* OffTheChart:
** [[http://xkcd.com/653/ This]] comic describing ''Film/TheStarWarsHolidaySpecial''; not just bad, not even SoBadItsGood, just a bottomless abyss.
** [[http://xkcd.com/1162/ This]] comic says "Logarithmic scales are for quitters who don't bother with getting enough paper to display their charts ''properly''".
* OhCrap: [[http://xkcd.com/1092/ As said by Micheal Phelps.]]
* OlderThanTheyThink: ({{In-Universe}}) With the rapid pace of technology and information, everyone assumes that conversation is dying, newspapers are becoming sensationalist garbage, the sanctity of marriage is being threatened, society is collapsing, and things were [[NostalgiaFilter better in the old days]]. [[http://xkcd.com/1227/ This comic]] shows that people have been believing this for over a century.
* OntologicalMystery: [[http://xkcd.com/505/ #505]] starts with this, and then puts another layer on top.
* OrganTheft: Inverted [[http://xkcd.com/914/ in 914]]. His ice is stolen... and he wakes up in a bathtub full of [[{{Squick}} kidneys]], rather than the other way 'round.
* OverlyLongGag:
** [[http://www.xkcd.com/609/ On TV Tropes]]
** [[http://xkcd.com/882/ Significant,]] which even combines this with OverlyPrePreparedGag.
** Expect to burst out laughing several times during [[http://xkcd.com/1110/ #1110]]. Not from the little tidbits in it, but from scrolling through it and finding ''you're still scrolling but it's not ending!''
*** That or simply stare in awe with mouth agape while thinking about how long that had to have taken to make...
* OverlyNarrowSuperlative: [[http://xkcd.com/770/ "I love you most out of all the girls in all the world who love me back."]] May double as a FalseReassurance.
** And subverted in [[FoxTrot Bill Amend's]] [[http://xkcd.com/824/ guest strip]]:
-->'''AltText:''' Guest comic by Bill Amend of FoxTrot, an inspiration to all us nerdy-physics-majors-turned-cartoonists, of which there are an oddly large number.
* OverlyPrePreparedGag: [[http://xkcd.com/887/ Just shy of a hundred years]] of Website/{{Google}}d predictions for the future, until you get to [[ZeroWing 2101.]]
** [[http://xkcd.com/1190/ Time]] may count as both this and OverlyLongGag: the image on the strip page changes every hour, forming a stop-motion video with narrative when combined on external sites such as [[http://geekwagon.net/projects/xkcd1190/ this one]]. People discussing it on the forums initially assumed it would go on for a few days, it went beyond that. Then it seemed logical that it would conclude at the end of the week, with a punchline on April 1st. When it became clear that the story was of two people building a sandcastle on the beach, the most common prediction was that upon finishing the sandcastle the tide would wash it away and the scene loop to the beginning, forming a metaphor of some sort. Eventually the castle ''was'' finished and the tide ''did'' wash it away, the scene fading to white... only for a brand new scene to start, two people now on a quest to find out how seas and river and everything else works! It went on for over four months, updating each '''hour''', and finally ended on July 26, 2013.
-->'''Megan:''' [[LampshadeHanging That's what the first part of not ending looks like.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder: P-T]]
* PacManFever: [[http://xkcd.com/973/ The subject of the fall-guy's ire's cellphone is making sounds more appropriate to a machine from the era he's actually referring to.]]
* ParkingPayback: [[http://www.xkcd.com/562/ "Police reported three dozen cheerful bystanders, yet no one claims to have seen who did it."]]
* PartingWordsRegret: Discussed in [[http://xkcd.com/791/ Leaving]].
* PersonWithTheClothing: Black Hat Guy.
* PizzaBoySpecialDelivery: [[http://xkcd.com/778/ Subverted]].
* PlanetOfSteves: The AltText for [[http://www.xkcd.com/944/ Hurricane Names]] reveals that with the English and Greek alphabets and the Oxford English Dictionary exhausted, and the subsequent storms proving to be uncountably infinite, the NOAA gives up and names all the remaining hurricanes "Steve".
* PlutoIsExpendable: "It's been two years. I thought those wounds had healed. But I stand by what I said. Pluto ''never'' should have been a planet."
* PoesLaw: Referenced [[http://xkcd.com/301/ here]].
* PoorCommunicationKills: Demonstrated [[http://xkcd.com/1028/ here]].
* PornNames: Discussed [[http://xkcd.com/884/ here]].
* PowerPerversionPotential: [[http://xkcd.com/924/ 3D printers]].
* PrecisionFStrike : [[http://xkcd.com/810/ Mission. FUCKING. Accomplished!]]
* PrematureAggravation: [[http://xkcd.com/439/ 439, "Thinking Ahead".]] "[[{{Firefly}} Did he just go crazy and]] [[SuperWindowJump jump out the window?]]"
* PreMortemOneLiner: [[http://xkcd.com/813/ Five of them, ranked by the likelihood of catching on.]]
* ThePresentsWereNeverFromSanta: He's an agent for the "forces working beneath the chaos of life"...[[http://www.xkcd.com/842/ or maybe not]].
* PublicSecretMessage: [[http://xkcd.com/370/ This strip]] makes fun of the public messages in ''{{Redwall}}''.
* PunctuatedForEmphasis:
** [[http://xkcd.com/137/ FUCK. THAT. SHIT.]]
** [[http://xkcd.com/810/ MISSION. FUCKING. ACCOMPLISHED.]]
* QuipToBlack: [[http://xkcd.com/626/ Here]]. (The ''CSI'' meme version.)
* RainOfArrows: [[http://www.xkcd.com/1078/ Agincourt Gambit]]
* ReallyGetsAround: Touched on [[http://xkcd.com/507/ here]].
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Given by the target of a pickup artist in [[http://xkcd.com/1027/ this strip]].
* RecordNeedleScratch: Apparently [[http://xkcd.com/1011/ a good name for your daughter]].
* RedPillBluePill: [[http://xkcd.com/566/ parodied]].
* ReferenceOverdosed: Many comics require the reader to know the reference to get the joke.
* RemixComic: the forum-produced Webcomic/MakingXKCDSlightlyWorse. Notable is the fact that the spin-off comic has more than three times the number of strips than the original.
* RepeatingSoTheAudienceCanHear: [[http://xkcd.com/783/ This one.]] [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] by the AltText.
* {{Retirony}}: [[http://xkcd.com/1113/ This strip]] shows an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to [[DefiedTrope defy]] the trope, with an officer dying the day before his last day on the job, when the department locks retiring officers into a heavily protected room for that day.
* RetroRocket: The spaceship in [[http://xkcd.com/265/ this strip]] looks like a potato with fins.
* ReversePsychology: Black Hat Guy [[http://xkcd.com/804/ warns]] vandals not to mess with his jack-o-lantern.
* {{Rickroll}}:
** Mentioned several times. [[http://www.xkcd.com/389/ This strip]] actually includes the opening score, making for what has to be the most subtle Rickroll ever (unless you can read music).
** [[http://xkcd.com/351 They actually rickrolled Rick Astley]]
** Subverted [[http://xkcd.com/524/ in this strip]] -- they hire Rick Astley to show up at a party and ''not'' sing. Complete with GlassesPull and QuipToBlack.
** [[http://xkcd.com/396/ "They kept Rickrolling me! It was only fair."]]
* RightBehindMe: [[http://xkcd.com/1291/ This person wants to shoot for the moon]], as in with guns, rockets and the like, hoping to destroy that stupid "skycircle". While talking about it, she realizes why her group is acting funny.
* RightThroughTheWall: [[http://xkcd.com/316/ With an elliptical reflector dish]].
* RoadSignReversal: In [[http://xkcd.com/1375/ "Astronaut Vandalism"]], with a twist.
* RuleNumberOne: [[http://xkcd.com/703/ The first rule of the tautology club is first rule of the tautology club.]]
* RuleThirtyFour: If there are no actual [[http://xkcd.com/923/ Strunk/White erotic fanfictions]] out there now, there probably will be as a direct result of this comic.
** [[http://xkcd.com/305/ Discussed by name.]]
* RunningGag:
** Creator/CoryDoctorow blogging in a hot air balloon from the blogosphere.
** Raptors
** "My Hobby". [[http://xkcd.com/37/ Apparently,]] [[http://xkcd.com/53/ this]] [[http://xkcd.com/75/ guy]] [[http://xkcd.com/236/ has]] [[http://xkcd.com/331/ about]] [[http://xkcd.com/389/ a]] [[http://xkcd.com/437/ million]] [[http://xkcd.com/451/ different]] [[http://xkcd.com/605/ hobbies,]] [[http://xkcd.com/790/ give]] [[http://xkcd.com/966/ or]] [[http://xkcd.com/1004/ take]] [[http://xkcd.com/1119/ a]] [[http://xkcd.com/1278/ few.]] [[http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/Category:My_Hobby (Full list)]]
** Mailing people bobcats, which started in [[http://xkcd.com/325/ 325,]] and was referenced in the title text in two [[http://xkcd.com/576/ subsequent]] [[http://xkcd.com/837/ comics.]] More recently, during the 2013 holiday season, the XKCD store stated, "I will probably not send you a bobcat" in the main page link.
** In the "what if" section of the website, the Netherlands is often seen as a superpower, from conquering the world as Munroe explains what happens if the oceans started to drain to having colonized Mars.
* SarcasmMode: "Try an Internet petition drive -- those ''totally'' work."
* SceneryPorn: There are several strips that have good visuals in them, such as [[http://xkcd.com/1079/ United Shapes]], but [[http://xkcd-map.rent-a-geek.de the absolute ginormous size of]] "[[http://xkcd.com/1110/ Click and drag]]" takes this trope [[UpToEleven way past root 121]].
* SchmuckBait: "[[http://xkcd.com/825/ Jeffrey is famous as the picture on the Wikipedia article on 'Necrosis']]"
* ScienceIsWrong: "No one told you because you're cute when you get into [[http://xkcd.com/298/ something."]]
* TheScream: How people react to [[http://xkcd.com/1099/ endless wings]].
* {{Selfcest}}: You'd think [[http://xkcd.com/267/ this]] is going somewhere dramatic, but no.
* SelfDeprecation: One way to interpret [[http://xkcd.com/793/ this strip]].
** [[http://xkcd.com/1220/ The hipster graph]] notes that the graph itself is "making it all worse."
* SelfImposedChallenge: A rare non-video game example: [[http://xkcd.com/724/ This]] strip inspired an actual [[http://www.swfme.com/view/1046212 Flash implementation]] of the game. It's pretty unplayable (that's kind of the point) with the usual Tetris goals, but [[http://www.metafilter.com/90888/Theres-also-a-Katamari-level-where-everything-is-just-slightly-bigger-than-you-and-a-Mario-level-with-a-star-just-out-of-reach#3034952 a MeFite]] pointed out the game is actually interesting and reasonably challenging if you try to end the game with as ''few'' pieces as you can.
* SerialEscalation: There are poster sized comics. There's one or two wall sized comics. But [[http://www.xkcd.com/1110/# #1110]] is so big it probably wouldn't fit on the floor of a passenger jet hangar. It's 165888 pixels wide by 79872 pixels high (roughly 46'/12m wide by 22'/6m tall at 300DPI). The stick figures are about half an inch tall in a world that is to them 5 miles across. Trying to find everything in it is likely to take at least half an hour.
* SesquipedalianLoquaciousness: {{Wikipedia}}'s propensity for this is discussed in the strip [[http://xkcd.com/739/ "Malamanteau"]].
* SexyShirtSwitch: At the bottom of [[http://xkcd.com/819/ #819]], that girl in biology class wearing one of your shirts rates 4 (out of 4) stars on the hotness meter. That girl in biology class wearing one of your mother's shirts rates a FlatWhat.
* ShapedLikeItself:
** The basis of [[http://xkcd.com/688/ 688]]. And [[http://xkcd.com/703/ 703]].
** According to [[http://xkcd.com/1079/ 1079]], Colorado is shaped like its Wikipedia article.
** The graph in [[http://xkcd.com/1230/ #1230]] is true if you interpret it either as a polar or a cartesian plot.
* ShoutOut:
** Many, but of particular note is [[http://xkcd.com/609/ this one]]. It gets worse. [[SchmuckBait Click the comic itself.]]
** Earlier than that, we have [[http://xkcd.com/446/ "In Popular Culture"]]. It's very subtle, but take a look at the works listed as examples. [[TropeOverdosed Any of them look familiar?]]
** ''CalvinAndHobbes'' say [[http://xkcd.com/409/ Hi]]. And [[http://xkcd.com/702/ again]] (this one also contains {{Shout Out}}s to ''RockyAndBullwinkle'' and ''TheLordOfTheRings'').
** In the first "1337" comic, one character poses the question, "How does she type with oven mitts on?" This is a reference to a frequently asked question on WebAnimation/HomestarRunner's Strong Bad emails, and possibly also a reference to his "training gloves" in the site's "In Search of the Yello Dello" toon.
** The final "1337" comic has the line [[Film/ThePrincessBride "You'd make a great dread pirate, Roberts."]]
** [[http://xkcd.com/241/ Several]] [[http://xkcd.com/304/ comics]] [[http://xkcd.com/635/ reference]] ''[[Literature/EndersGame Ender's Game]]''.
** The AltText on [[http://xkcd.com/430/ this one]] is a reference to an obscure detail in ''Literature/TheVoyageOfTheDawnTreader''.
** [[QuestionableContent Hannelore's]] twitter account is seen during [[http://xkcd.com/574/ this strip]] about swine flu.
*** In the same one, it also has someone asking how long it'll take the flu to reach [[VideoGame/{{Pandemic}} Madagascar]].
** [[http://xkcd.com/886/ "Craigslist Apartments"]] has a few notable addresses, including one [[color:blue:house]] on [[HouseOfLeaves scenic Ash Tree Lane.]]
** [[http://xkcd.com/696/ Strip Games]]. See the AltText? [[WarGames Right]].
** [[{{Jerkass}} Black Hat]] is based on Aram from ''MenInHats'' in many ways
** [[GodelEscherBach Hofstadter]] [[http://xkcd.com/917/ and his recursiveness]].
** [[{{Foxtrot}} Jason Fox]] makes a cameo appearance in [[http://xkcd.com/703/ this strip]].
** The AltText of [[http://xkcd.com/591/ this strip]] is [[ComicStrip/{{Pogo}} "We have met the enemy and he is us"]].
** [[http://www.xkcd.com/681/ Gravity Wells]] has [[Literature/TheSirensOfTitan a couple of things in Titan going "weeoooeeooo"]].
** Falling whale in [[http://xkcd.com/1110/ Click and Drag]] a reference to ''Franchise/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy''
*** Also, a [[VideoGame/{{Minecraft}} Creeper]] can be found in one of the caves.
** [[http://www.xkcd.com/1141/ Hey!]] [[VideoGame/{{Portal}} you're doing science. And you're still alive]]
** [[http://xkcd.com/1223/ Big Brother realizes he's trapped]] [[DwarfFortress in the worst possible hell...]]
** One of the contenders for the awful ringtone championship was "That noise from [[Film/DumbAndDumber Dumb and Dumber]]."
** The AltText for [[http://xkcd.com/1242/ this strip]] references the [[LookAroundYou Helvetica Scenario]].
** While the entirety of [[http://xkcd.com/997 Wait Wait]] is a reference to the news quiz Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me! if you look closely, one of the articles also quotes Peter Sagal as saying [[{{Discworld}} "I aten't dead."]]
** [[http://xkcd.com/1247/ This strip has some]] [[LegendOfZelda suspiciously familiar file extensions strung together in the bottom line.]]
* SickeninglySweethearts: Black Hat Guy and his equally sociopathic girlfriend, when they think no one's watching. [[http://xkcd.com/515/ God help you if you catch them at it]].
* SilentSceneryPanel: The occasional landscape drawings.
* SlowLoadingInternetImage: Discussed in [[http://xkcd.com/598/ this]] comic.
* SmartPeoplePlayChess: [[http://xkcd.com/249/ On roller coasters,]] no less.
* SnowyScreenOfDeath: [[http://xkcd.com/1229/ With a screensaver]].
* DarthWiki/SoBadItsHorrible: [[invoked]] [[ConversationalTroping Conversed]] [[http://xkcd.com/653/ here]].
* SomethingOnlyTheyWouldSay: [[http://xkcd.com/1121/ How to get access to a server.]]
* SomethingPerson: [[http://xkcd.com/1010/ Etymology-man!]]
* SophisticatedAsHell:
** [[http://xkcd.com/36/ Strip 36]]
** And [[http://xkcd.com/137/ this one]]
** This happens a lot. Check [[http://xkcd.com/798/ this strip]].
* SpaceElevator: [[http://xkcd.com/697/ After countless engineers]] / spend trillions over fifty years, / a modern Babel disappears / because some [[PrecisionFStrike fuck]] brought pruning shears.
* SpaceWhaleAesop: [[http://xkcd.com/292/ This]] is what happens when you use GOTO.
* SpecialEditionTitle: On October 26, 2009, the site was temporarily redesigned in a {{retraux}} [[TheNineties early 90's]] style in dubious honor of the end of {{Geocities}}. [[http://img218.imageshack.us/img218/8049/xkcdredesign.png Complete with broken HTML!]]
* SpinTheEarthBackwards: [[http://xkcd.com/162/ Sort of.]]
* SpySpeak: [[http://www.xkcd.com/733/ Parodied.]]
* StalkerWithACrush / DoggedNiceGuy: Once again, [[http://xkcd.com/513/ Strip 513]]. You'll understand.
* StarfishAlien: [[http://xkcd.com/1173/ Whatever the entity in Steroids is]].
* TheStarsAreGoingOut: {{Invoked|Trope}} in [[http://xkcd.com/975/ this strip]].
-->The point is that there are ''too many stars''. It's been freaking me out.
* StealthPun:
** [[http://xkcd.com/404 Ahem]].
** [[http://xkcd.com/532/ This strip]].
** In [[http://xkcd.com/410/ this strip]], where an audience member [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] its use.
** In [[http://www.xkcd.com/666/ this strip]], beneath Black Hat Guy's tool bench is a box labelled "drills" and a box labelled [[ThisIsNotADrill "non-drills"]].
** In [[http://www.xkcd.com/806/ this strip]]: "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haiku_%28operating_system%29 Haiku]]? It's an experimental OS that I... oh, never mind." [[spoiler:Now try counting the syllables.]]
** The AltText in [[http://xkcd.com/1293/ this strip]] asks, "When you talk about the job experience you'll give me, why do you pronounce Job with a long 'o'?" This is a reference to the Biblical figure Job, whose story centers on him being tormented with sickness while maintaining his faith in God.
* StickFigureComic
* StopHavingFunGuys: TropeNamer. [[http://xkcd.com/359/ This strip]] shows a guy deriding a few people playing ''RockBand'', telling them it doesn't make them cool ... even though they're having fun. [[invoked]]
* StuffedIntoTheFridge: The combined volume of SummerGlau, Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul is less than the volume of the fridge! [[http://xkcd.com/526/ Here]].
* StupidQuestionBait: [[http://xkcd.com/1239/ A press conference]] about an asteroid heading towards Earth gets sidetracked by reporters asking about what role Social Media has played.
* SwallowedAFly: [[http://xkcd.com/581/ This]] strip, referencing a similar example in ''Film/{{Serenity}}''.
* SwivelChairAntics: [[http://xkcd.com/815/ Graphed.]]
* TakeThat:
** As required for any "[[SeriousBusiness real]]" computer user, the strip hates Windows, especially Vista.
** Computational linguists are also targeted occasionally. Because [[http://www.xkcd.com/114/ fuck computational linguistics]]. In the AltText:
--->Chomskyists, generative linguists, and [[Webcomic/DinosaurComics Ryan North]], your days are numbered.
** While all those are often partially tongue in cheek, {{DRM}} [[http://xkcd.com/86/ gets searing loads of venom]].
** Randall also makes his views on string theory [[http://xkcd.com/171/ fairly]] [[http://xkcd.com/397/ clear]]. Brains vs string theorists is a very [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Branes Old Pun]].
** [[http://xkcd.com/388/ Fuck grapefruit.]] [[AltText Fuck coconuts.]]
** [[http://xkcd.com/16/ This]] for people who endlessly parrot [[Creator/MontyPython Python]].
** Fuck [[http://xkcd.com/451/ literary criticism]], [[http://xkcd.com/675/ philosophy]], [[http://xkcd.com/764/ anthropology]], [[http://xkcd.com/435/ psychology]]... basically, any field that isn't [[HardOnSoftScience physics, mathematics, or computer science]].
** He has also [[http://xkcd.com/520/ declared war on chemists]], though that's more a grudging rivalry than a belittlement.
** With some exceptions, like the one against homeopathy, the {{Take That}}s are usually intended to be in jest. Occasionally the comic doesn't make this entirely clear; notably, the one against anthropology majors was so widely seen as a serious insult to the field that the author later issued an apology for it, as noted above under IncrediblyLamePun.
** Fuck [[http://xkcd.com/68/ the cosine]]
** [[http://xkcd.com/186/ Console Lines]]. Xbox / Playstation fanboys are jerks. Creator/{{Nintendo}} fans will give you a hug, though.
** [[http://xkcd.com/931/ Fuck Cancer]].
** [[http://xkcd.com/1008/ "Suckville is considered by the Census Bureau to be part of the Detroit Metropolitan statistical area,]] [[AltText despite not being located anywhere near Detroit]]."
** Another AltText one: "[[http://xkcd.com/1011/ I've been trying for a couple of years now]], but I haven't been able to come up with a name [[FailOSuckyname dumber]] than '[[{{Twilight}} Renesmee]]'."
** "[[http://xkcd.com/1264/ Slideshow]]" attacks websites featuring slideshows utilizing the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Burns_effect Ken Burns effect]].
* TalkAboutTheWeather: [[http://xkcd.com/1324/ Weather geeks HATE this trope.]]
* TemptingFate: A couple times in [[http://xkcd.com/521/ this strip.]]
-->"Are the raptors contained?" "Sure. Unless they figure out how to build lightsabers."
* TerribleTicking: [[http://xkcd.com/740/ Unn-tss, unn-tss, unn-tss...]]
* ThereAreNoGirlsOnTheInternet: [[http://xkcd.com/322/ This strip]] addresses the author's theories about the reason for that.
* TheyChangedItNowItSucks: [[http://xkcd.com/1172/ In-universe example.]]
* ThisIsForEmphasisBitch: [[http://xkcd.com/54/ Science. It works, bitches.]]
* ThreateningShark: Just imagine what would ensue if [[http://xkcd.com/585/ this comic]] ever reached the folks behind ''Film/{{Sharknado}}''.
* TitleDrop: AltText drop, actually. From "Time": "We need to run."
* ToBeLawfulOrGood: [[http://xkcd.com/701/ He chooses lawful.]]
* TooDumbToLive: In [[http://xkcd.com/782/ this comic]], a girl runs up to a man named Rob and tells him:
-->"''Remember last week when we dug up all those indian bones and made puppets out of them? It turns out they were buried over an'' ancient indian burial ground!"%%
* TheTopicOfCancer: Shows up in more than a few strips, as [[RealLifeWritesThePlot Randall Monroe's now-wife had been diagnosed with stage-3 breast cancer during their engagement]].
* {{Tradesnark}}: In [[http://xkcd.com/632/ this comic's alt text]] after the spambot is found out:
-->"''Fine, walk away. I'm gonna go cry into a pint of Ben&Jerry's Brownie Batter(tm) ice cream [link], then take out my frustration on a variety of great flash games from [=PopCap=] Games(r) [link].''" %%[sic]
* TruthInTelevision: The "Get out of my head Randall!" meme where many of the comics are applicable to the everyday lives of the readers.
* TuringTest: The examiner is now questioning [[http://xkcd.com/329/ his own humanity]].
* TVTropesWillRuinYourLife: Possibly the [[http://xkcd.com/609/ first actual work to use this]]?
* TwiceShy: [[http://xkcd.org/642/ This strip]]. [[http://xkcd.org/817/ And again]].
** [[http://xkcd.org/374/ Deconstructed]] (sort of) and [[http://xkcd.org/377/ subverted]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder: U-Z]]
* UnholyMatrimony: Black Hat Guy acquires a girlfriend in a mini-arc who shares similar interests and is more than a match for him. She comes up again, but slightly more rarely than he does.
* UnInstallment: [[http://xkcd.org/404 404]]
* TheUnpronounceable: [[http://xkcd.com/1137/ U+202e]].
** Interestingly, in the 'archive' page, all comics after that strip are displayed Right-to-Left.
* UnsoundEffect:
** [[http://www.xkcd.com/260/ Draw. Make make. Scoop. Pour.]] [[LightningCanDoAnything Tie. Rumble. Boom. Crack. Fuse.]] [[LongList Follow. Detach. Open. Remove. Admire. Examine. Grind. Set. Approve.]] '''[[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming Give.]]'''
** [[http://xkcd.com/289/ Touch]].
* UnwinnableJokeGame: There's [[http://xkcd.com/724/ a strip]] about ''VideoGame/{{Tetris}}''. Predictably, someone on the internet [[http://www.kongregate.com/games/banthar/hell-tetris made a game]] like that. And some managed [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reFPscApObs to score lines in it]].
* UpToEleven: The basis of [[http://xkcd.org/670 670]].
* VanityLicensePlate: The tendency of such plates to be owned by pretentious rich jerks is parodied, and [[http://xkcd.com/81/ Black Hat Guy claims another victim]].
** One guy tries to fool people by getting a vanity plate consisting of [[http://xkcd.com/1105/ 1's and I's]], thinking he can commit crimes with impudence as no one will be able to correctly record his plate number. This backfires on him in that he's the only one with a license plate like this, so the cops can find him easily; and the AltText suggests his girlfriend gets a similar plate so that she can commit crimes that he'll get blamed for.
* ViewersAreGeniuses: One of the biggest practitioners. The strip often bases comics on obscure math, physics, or computer jokes. This has gotten less common over time, and the forums are very useful. You may need to be knowledgeable in ''several'' possibly obscure or complicated fields to completely get some of the earlier ones. For example, computer programing, meteorology, cosmic rays, and tao philosophy. [[http://xkcd.com/378/ Really]].
** Another example: Hand [[http://xkcd.com/730/ this]] to an electronics technician, and just sit back and watch the laughter.
* ViewersAreMorons: This directly goes against the above assertion, sometimes twining the two. While many of the jokes in the strip are aimed towards those in specialized fields or hobbies, Randall has a tendency to explain these references and jokes within the comic.
** This was more prevalent in earlier comics, which can probably be attributed to the fact that Wikipedia was still new and pretty unknown when Randall started his strips, and so things that are now fairly common knowledge among anyone who has spent any time on the internet (like the [[http://www.xkcd.com/30/ Donner Party]]) were still only known by those who studied certain fields or the sort of people who get on Jeopardy.
* VisibleSilence: E.g. the end of [[http://xkcd.com/852/ this strip]]
* VisualPun: [[http://xkcd.com/1168/ This comic]] features a literal [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tar_(computing)#Tarbomb tarbomb]].
* WeAllLiveInAmerica: The old [[http://www.xkcd.com/850/ World According To Americans]] "map of ignorance/prejudice" gag is subverted when the Americans asked turn out to be "unexpectedly good at geography" and also aware of the holes in their knowledge.
* WeAreAsMayflies: To [[http://xkcd.com/926/ the time vultures]], at any rate.
* WeaselWords: Randall has a bone to pick with [[http://xkcd.com/1368/ Newscasters]] who use "one of the [X]" instead of "the [X]" when they aren't 100% certain to the validity of a claim, they get so used to hedging their speech that they use it in cases where they can be 100% certain, and the weasel words just ruin what they are saying.
* WeirdCurrency: [[http://xkcd.com/512/ Here.]]
* WhamEpisode: Randall reveals that due to illness in the family, the next few weeks are going to be filler. Normal updates resume. Then five months later, [[http://xkcd.com/881/ he gives us]] a TearJerker with a heart-breaking IronicEcho. (His now-wife is doing just fine, though.)
** From "Time": [[http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/time/bc011f32e0e4d0688291cc41ff328a71abd251e83c0735707516d844785eb3f0.png "The ocean is coming."]] [[spoiler:ApocalypseHow, class 5, regional.]]
* WhatIsThisThingYouCallLove: [[http://xkcd.com/55/ My normal approach is useless here]].
* WhatMeasureIsAMook: Done via [[http://xkcd.com/873/ FPS mod]].
* WhenAllYouHaveIsAHammer: [[http://xkcd.com/801/ Parodied.]]
* WhiteKnighting: Occasionally the kind is accused of engaging in this [[http://xkcd.com/322/ kind of behavior]], something directly parodied by Chansawsuit [[http://chainsawsuit.com/2008/05/09/strip-363/ here.]]
* WhyDontYouJustShootHim: [[http://xkcd.com/734/ This]] comic points this out, specifically with regards to zombie movies that start in labs.
* WhyWeCantHaveNiceThings: [[http://xkcd.com/374/ You could argue that it's subverted in the Alt-text]]... but [[JerkAss not by much]].
* WikiVandal: Wikipedia articles are frequently defaced whenever a relevant topic is mentioned, as [[http://xkcdwikiwatch.blogspot.com this blog documents]].
* WikiWalk:
** [[http://xkcd.com/214/ This]] shows the danger of falling into these.
** [[http://xkcd.com/609/ This]] comic describes the trope perfectly.
** [[http://xkcd.com/1157/ This]] one mentions a path in the AltText.
* WomenAreWiser: The women usually play the more sensible part in the comic.
* WordPureeTitle: [[JediTruth Explained]] [[http://xkcd.com/207/ here.]]
* TheWorldIsJustAwesome: In general, the frequent invocations of interesting bits of science. In particular, [[http://xkcd.com/442/ xkcd Loves the Discovery Channel]] and [[http://xkcd.com/1110/ Click and Drag]] make the point that it's a big world full of fun and wonder.
* XCalledTheyWantTheirYBack: Interrupted [[http://xkcd.com/875/ here]] due to {{Sarcasm Blind}}ness (or maybe the guy's just snarking back).
** Parodied [[http://xkcd.com/1072/ here]], where they didn't leave a message on voicemail. [[ForInconveniencePressOne To leave a message, press '1'.]] (Rather hard to do on a rotary phone.)
** [[http://xkcd.com/1037/ Umwelt]] has two variants that also parody the trope, one for using Maxthon Cloud Browser and another for using Netscape Navigator.
--->Maxthon: "Maxthon? Hey, 2005 called. Didn't say anything. All I could hear was sobbing."
--->Netscape: "Netscape Navigator? Hey, the nineties called - drunk, as usual. I hung up without saying anything."
* XDaysSince: [[http://xkcd.com/363/ 38 days since someone reset this sign]].
* YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe: One of the strips is the trope page. Also [[http://xkcd.com/771/ this]].
* YouAnsweredYourOwnQuestion: Happens [[http://www.xkcd.com/852/ here]]
* YourBrainWontBeMuchOfAMeal: [[http://xkcd.com/397/ When]] Zombie [[HardOnSoftScience Feynman]] wants brains after explaining how ''Series/MythBusters'' are true science:
-->'''Person:''' Try the physics lab next door.\\
'''Zombie Feynman:''' I said BRAINS. All they've got are [[TakeThat string theorists]].
* YourMom: Played with frequently. The trope is also used. Subverted [[http://xkcd.com/502/ here]]. Is in the AltText [[http://xkcd.com/294/ here]] and [[http://xkcd.com/563/ here]].
** [[http://xkcd.com/345/ Mrs. Roberts]] defaces websites of people who tell these jokes to her daughter.
** [[http://xkcd.com/116/ Another one]], and [[http://xkcd.com/176/ still another]]
** [[http://xkcd.com/681_large/ She apparently has a deeper gravity well than Saturn.]]
** [[http://xkcd.com/526/ Included]] in the pile of HiroshimaAsAUnitOfMeasure comparisons. She weighs 200 kgs, (220 with cheap jewelery and 223 with cheap jewelery and makeup)
* ZeppelinsFromAnotherWorld
* ZergRush: Due to the popularity of xkcd, it's common to click on links and watch counts ''skyrocket''. This is more apparent on "What if?", which has at least one outside link and a couple of [=PDFs=] per post. One of the most common comments in any of them is "xkcd army reporting in!"
* {{Zonk}}: The beret guy appears on a nameless game show based on the classic two-goats-and-a-car problem and [[http://xkcd.com/1282/ wins a goat]]. Instead of going for the car, he takes the goat and says he has an overgrown yard.
[[/folder]]
----