Explain XKCD Is a Black Hole

Originally published at: Explain XKCD Is a Black Hole - TidBITS

If you’ve ever found yourself unable to understand one of Randall Munroe’s xkcd comics, run, don’t walk, to Explain xkcd, a wiki that does just what it claims for every xkcd comic so far.


Oh, this is wonderful. Thanks.


Great site. It’s my go-to link any time Randall posts a comic that I don’t completely get, or where I want more details.

It’s also great for the occasional giant-map comics (typically where there’s a giant scrolling map/world to interactively explore), because after a few days, someone inevitably develops a script to extract the entire world, so i don’t need to waste days of my time in order to see where all the jokes are hidden.

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I have the RSS feed for Explain XKCD rather than XKCD because the hidden comment to each comment is shown which is helpful on an iPhone or iPad. Plus, it’s helpful to explain some of the more esoteric comics. Sometimes I need an Explain Explain XKCD.

My favorite thing is that Explain XKCD goes through just as much trouble to describe the simplest XKCD strips as the most esoteric ones:

Cueball threw a pie at Ponytail. This is a classic slapstick schtick. Slapstick is a form of physical humor derived the 17th century Punch and Judy show where the humor came from one of the main characters hitting the other with a stick. The term schtick is a Yiddish word from Jewish comedians who performed in the borsch belt…

This explanation will go on for paragraphs explaining the origins of Punch and Judy, puppets, 16th century Italian Comedie, the Germanic root of the word schtick, where Yiddish came from and on and on.


Well don’t get there right now. :face_vomiting: Yikes.

Edit: Fixed. Back to normal again. Phew. :relieved: