YMMV / xkcd


  • Acceptable Targets: string theorists, liberal arts majors, Objectivists, typographers, and conspiracy theorists.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Read the alttext. Also check here and here Could it be that the Black Hat Guy is not an uncaring heartless monster, but rather someone who is unsure how to give and receive love and is frustrated with the world? Is he a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, a full-on Jerk Ass who just knows how to Pet the Dog when he feels like it, or an insecure guy with a Jerkass Façade?
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
  • Creator Worship: Many of the more rabid fans believe Randall has the ability to read minds and they often try to emulate the wacky antics depicted in the comic. (Of course, that's usually because it sounds like fun, not because the master has spoken.)
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Black Hat Guy is probably the most popular character in the strip.
  • Evil Is Cool: Black Hat Guy has a lot of fans thinking his actions are cool, despite being a dangerous sociopath who would have gotten several life sentences and/or the death penalty in Real Life.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • This strip is perhaps the fastest example of the trope happening. (Just days after the strip was put online, no less than twelve tornadoes touched down around the Dallas metropolitan area, causing quite a bit of damage.)
    • Exactly one week after this What If? article, What's the worst thing that could happen in a pressure cooker?, pressure cookers were used in bombs at the Boston Marathon in a terrorist attack.
    • Strip 401's comment on cancer may count.
    • Strip 527 jokes about how Steve Jobs was losing weight. This was made before it was known he had cancer, let alone before he died.
    • 453's alt text: "I'd like to see more damage assessments for hurricanes hitting New York and flooding Manhattan — something like the 1938 Long Island Express, but aimed a bit more to the west. It's just a matter of time." Enter Hurricane Sandy.
  • Gateway Series: xkcd has gotten a lot of people into webcomics in general.
  • Genius Bonus: All over the place. Munroe got a degree in physics and worked at NASA.
    • Even in biology more and more, although those tend to be more sober minded ones about cancer.
    • The strip Flatland describes Cueball going into Flatland and being seen as a lesbian orgy overseen by a priest. In the book Flatland, lines are women and circles are priests.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Holy Shit Quotient:
    • Click and Drag indeed.
    • Comic 1190, "Time": Each frame is the size of a full comic, and rather than posting them all at once, the page updates every hour with a new frame. This has been going on continuously since March 25, 2013, with no end in sight. With over a thousand frames long, it has become a separate webcomic within a webcomic!
    • As of July 26th, 2013, the comic has reached its end with 3,094 frames in total.
  • Hype Backlash: The reasons the xkcdsucks blogs exist.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Black Hat Guy, most noticeably during the “Journal” and “Secretary” arcs.
  • Memetic Badass: Everyone involved in Firefly, most notably Summer Glau.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • From discussions of the comic on the xkcd forums:
      • "Get out of my head, Randall!" for strips that hit close to home or echo the poster's recent ideas, sometimes abbreviated to "GOoMHR!!"
      • A filter automatically replaces "LOL" with "This cheese is burning me!", so the posters started writing "The cheese is lukewarm today" if they weren't impressed with strip, or "My cheese was really burned today" for good ones.
      • "I had a [close relative/friend] who died because of [subject of today]. Not funny, not cool, not a good comic."
    • The rollercoaster chess strip inspired people to take similar photos.
    • "It's better than Vista", partly thanks to Making xkcd Slightly Worse.
    • This is turning any wiki (including TV Tropes) into a realm of leopards.
    • "You will not go to space today," from the alt-text to Up Goer Five seems to be heading in this direction.
    • "Sudo make me a sandwich."
  • Paranoia Fuel:
    • A scheme for harvesting scores of stolen online identities through people tendencies to reuse passwords.
    • Snopes, the debunkers and creators of Urban Legends. (Alt Text: "The MythBusters are even more sinister.")
    • Lanes. Treating cancer leaves a 40% chance that it will recur somewhere else in the body. "So you spend the next five or ten years trying not to worry that every ache and pain is the answer to the question 'Do I make it?'"
    • An In-Universe example: Core: "I freak out about fifteen minutes into reading about the Earth's core when I suddenly realize it's right under me."
    • Keyboard Mash. The punchline would leave you wonder this anytime you get to a chat session: Who is really behind the other keyboard?
  • Schedule Slip: When no comic hit the site on Friday, 4/1/06, this was written on the front page:
    The xkcd April 1st [2016] comic is currently experiencing technical difficulties.
    Status update: Please stand by.
    Status update: This is fine. Everything is fine.
    Status update: Everything is on fire.
    Status update: Searching for calendar systems in which Saturday is April 1st.
    (The next day...)
    The Friday xkcd comic is currently experiencing technical difficulties [Editor's note: Everything is on fire] and has been delayed until Sunday night.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: a few (some say most) of the romance-based comics. Sometimes subverted. Like in Strip 513.
  • The Woobie: The Spirit Mars rover, trying to do a good enough job to be brought home. Opportunity meanwhile evolved into Nonhuman Undead and Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/Xkcd