Main Page

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 22:26, 9 January 2013 by Lcarsos (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search

Welcome to the explain xkcd wiki! We already have 5 comic explanations!

(But there are still 1798 to go. Come and add yours!)

Latest comic

Go to this comic explanation

Location Reviews
Google and Yelp keep deleting my scathing reviews of the Mariana Trench, the Chernobyl reactor core, the jet stream, and the equator.
Title text: Google and Yelp keep deleting my scathing reviews of the Mariana Trench, the Chernobyl reactor core, the jet stream, and the equator.


Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: PLEASE DO NOT REMOVE THIS TAG TOO FAST!!! And write here what's missing!

Randall appears to be making a somewhat snide comment about the way so many people use review services in social media (Yelp, Facebook, etc) to make not terribly helpful comments. One step further would be, as here, completely useless comments. While Canyon River Nuclear Launch Facility appears not to exist, the places he lists in the title text certainly do, and are places that you either cannot or would not normally visit as destinations.

Randall is also making a joke about certain places that really shouldn't have reviews like a nuclear launch facility or the equator which is mentioned in the title text. Some of the comments reflect this like "please don't launch these" or "wait staff armed and very rude" (as if this was a restaurant but in reality were armed guards to keep people out).

This comic was posted during the Oroville Dam crisis. Oroville Dam has many humorous reviews on Google of the type shown in the comic.


Review Explanation
Greatest country on earth A patriotic review, though provides no information on the actual nuclear site.
Looks cool but you can't get in This reviewer, although initially positive, attempts to highlight what they perceive as a major flaw with the site: namely, that it is off-limits to unauthorized personnel and heavily-guarded, so it's impossible to actually go inside.
What is this store Reviewer really, really has no idea what this facility actually is, mistaking it for a store.
My cousin worked here If true, this review is a serious security risk (e.g. kidnapping the reviewer to extort information from his cousin). The comment may also just be a way for the reviewer to pretend he knows someone who works in the higher levels of the government.
Waitstaff heavily armed and very rude This review mistakes the facility's security guards for a restaurant's waitstaff. Since the guards are protecting some of the most dangerous weapons in existence, and would not let unknown outsiders into the facility, it follows that the guards would be heavily armed, and quite rude to those who sought entry without proper permission.
Stop doing chemtrails This reviewer believes in the chemtrail conspiracy theory and is urging the government to cease spreading the chemtrails.
This place is a symptom of the military-industrial complex strangling our democracy and...(read full review-1184 words) A slightly tongue-in-cheek reference to essays against 'The Military-Industrial complex' and how they are often copy-pasted by people who don't really understand them in innapropriate places.
Anyone else notice the hole in the west fence? The adventurer's travel guide to government installations... Posting a comment like this would (at best) bring the hole to the attention of the site staff to be repaired and (at worst) bring the writer unwelcome attention from the authorities for publicizing a security vulnerability at a missile site. This might also be a reference to Richard Feynman's account of finding a hole in the fence surrounding the Los Alamos facility during the Manhattan Project.
Whoa, missiles! The writer is impressed and apparently surprised to discover that the site has missiles.
Good idea but confusing web site. How do I preorder? This reviewer thinks that one can order a nuclear missile launch here, but can't find a preorder form on the website. In reality, the decision to launch nuclear missiles often rests with the heads of state or government, and outside persons are not usually[citation needed] allowed to control them.
Please don't launch these A plea to the facility owners not to launch the nuclear missiles, due to their deleterious effects on human life.


Ambox notice.png This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.
[A location map with a red pin stuck in a large gray region is shown. A river goes from north through the gray region to the west. East and south of the river some roads and other items are shown.]
[Below the map:]
Canyon River Nuclear
Launch Facility
[Within a line from left to right:] Reviews (22)
[5/5 stars] Greatest country on earth
[2/5 stars] Looks cool but you can't get in
[1/5 stars] What is this store
[4/5 stars] My cousin worked here
[2/5 stars] Waitstaff heavily armed and very rude
[1/5 stars] Stop doing chemtrails
[1/5 stars] This place is a symptom of the military-industrial complex strangling our democracy and...(read full review-1184 words)
[4/5 stars] Anyone else notice the hole in the west fence?
[5/5 stars] Whoa, missiles!
[3/5 stars] Good idea but confusing web site. How do I preorder?
[1/5 stars] Please don't launch these
[Caption below the frame:]
I love finding reviews of places that
really don't need to have reviews.

Is this out of date? Clicking here will fix that.

New here?

You can read a brief introduction about this wiki at explain xkcd. Feel free to sign up for an account and contribute to the wiki! We need explanations for comics, characters, themes, memes and everything in between. If it is referenced in an xkcd web comic, it should be here.

  • List of all comics contains a complete table of all xkcd comics so far and the corresponding explanations. The red links (like this) are missing explanations. Feel free to help out by creating them!


Don't be a jerk. There are a lot of comics that don't have set in stone explanations, feel free to put multiple interpretations in the wiki page for each comic.

If you want to talk about a specific comic, use its discussion page.

Please only submit material directly related to—and helping everyone better understand—xkcd... and of course only submit material that can legally be posted (and freely edited.) Off-topic or other inappropriate content is subject to removal or modification at admin discretion, and users posting such are at risk of being blocked.

If you need assistance from an admin, feel free to leave a message on their personal discussion page. The list of admins is here.

Explain xkcd logo courtesy of User:Alek2407.

Personal tools


It seems you are using noscript, which is stopping our project wonderful ads from working. Explain xkcd uses ads to pay for bandwidth, and we manually approve all our advertisers, and our ads are restricted to unobtrusive images and slow animated GIFs. If you found this site helpful, please consider whitelisting us.

Want to advertise with us, or donate to us with Paypal?