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Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Later, at home: 'Dear diary: Still can't figure out what to write here ...'
Title text: Later, at home: 'Dear diary: Still can't figure out what to write here ...'

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Still quite brief.
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.

Cueball and Megan are on a first date and Cueball is trying to strike up a conversation by asking Megan what she does in her free time. Megan has probably been dreading this question, because she answers that her free time activity consists of trying to figure out how to respond if asked what she does in her free time. Cueball answers soothingly, but Megan's anxiety gets the better of her and she leaves abruptly.

During Megan speaking, Cueball finished all of his drink. He may have been surprised by the reply, and Megan sensing this contributes to her leaving.

The title text implies that she also spends her free time wondering what to write in her diary (with no success).

Both the comic and the title text are examples of self-referential humor. Megan recognises that she spends her free time thinking what to say about her free time, so she must spend some of that free time thinking about her thinking about her free time. Such self-referential loops are often disturbing, since they contain within them potential for infinite regression. On the other hand there is a simple way to exit the loop before any recursion: Megan has already decided what to say when asked what she does in her free time, and she has figured out what to write in her diary. But on realising this, Megan would have to find something else to occupy her free time, such as going on a date.

Transcript

[Cueball and Megan are sitting at a table with drinks.]

Cueball: So, what do you do in your free time?

[Close up on Megan's face.]

Megan: Mostly I sit around worrying someone will ask me that, and try to think of a good answer.

[Back to original shot.]

Cueball: That's not a bad answer.
Megan: It's all I've got. Now that it's done, I should go. Bye!

[She gets up and leaves.]



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