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Trivia / xkcd

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Listed Trivia:

  • Author Phobia: Randall's alleged fear of velociraptors, Played for Laughs.
  • Colbert Bump: Courtesy of Slate. Boingboing linking to the "sudo" strip is what really made the comic popular.
  • Creator Breakdown:
    • In 2010 Munroe's fiancee discovered she had cancer. Coincidentally, quite a few comics he wrote afterward touch on the subject. At one point, he explained that the comics were, obviously, drawn from from things he was thinking and learning about, and right then cancer was looming large in his life.
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    • To a lesser extent, a number of strips from late 2015 seem to focus on a particularly nasty cold Munroe came down with.
  • Creator Worship: A literal case. Randall Munroe, the creator of the comic, is referred to as Great Lord Randall and is something like a god for the fans.
  • Defictionalization —, mentioned in a spoof of Rule 34, is now a real thing. Granted, not terribly detailed.
  • Gateway Series: For webcomics in general.
  • Life Imitates Art: It's happened a few times.
    • After the strip proposed a virus that forces YouTube users to listen to their comment read back to them by a computerized voice before they can post it, YouTube implemented an auto-reader feature into the site. It eventually was removed.
    • The day after this strip ran, claiming that Randall has been banned from a number of conferences for making stupid presentations, including PyCon, the PyCon blog jokingly confirmed that he (and any stick figures, particularly wearing hats) were indeed banned.
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    • In "Hack", the characters gain control of ISEE-3, an unused but still-working satellite. Not long after, a crowd-funded group of astronomers did this for real!
  • Milestone Celebration: Only 24 Comics left till the *real* milestone!
  • Mutually Fictional: A really subtle one with Questionable Content and xkcd. Marigold wears an xkcd shirt here, and this xkcd comic shows one of Hannelore's Twitter posts.
  • Recycled Script: This 2011 strip is about people complaning about the "MTV Generation" as if it means "kids today" even though it hasn't been accurate for decades. This 2019 strip is the same joke for "Millennials" being used for college-age, even though the older millennials have their own kids in college now.
  • 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.
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  • Smart People Build Robots: Randall has a background in robotics. (For extra Hollywood Nerd cred, he was a robotist at NASA.)
  • The Wiki Rule: Explain XKCD
  • Unintentional Period Piece: The Density comic references popular memes from the period the comic was posted. (early 2009)
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: Indirect. This "Major General" parody was turned into a music video by SFU Choir/Phlying Wayl Studios.

Miscellaneous trivia and information

  • 954: Chin-Up Bar takes place on a 70-meter long escalator, described as the "longest in the country" — this appears to be a reference to the escalator at Wheaton Metro Station in the Washington, DC Metro system. At the time of publishing (September 2011), this was, in fact, the longest single-span escalator in the Western hemisphere.

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