2875: 2024

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This page refers to the comic named "2024". For comic #2024, see 2024: Light Hacks.
It wasn't originally constitutionally required, but presidents who served two terms have traditionally followed George Washington's example and gotten false teeth.
Title text: It wasn't originally constitutionally required, but presidents who served two terms have traditionally followed George Washington's example and gotten false teeth.


This New Year comic starts off almost like a "doesn't time fly?" scene, the unstoppable progression of the calendar is observed, as Ponytail points out that it's now 2024. This, though, is the only reference to New Year in the comic, and serves only as a pretext for Cueball to note that they are now in an election year, in this context a US Presidential election year, which occurs every four years and has (in one form or other) since 1788. Ponytail then replies in some form of exasperated tone that they "keep on happening", which is true but (normally) unsurprising, even/especially with other major elections happening every two years, presumably not compared to how some other democracies might be less predictable/more frequent.

On top of this, Ponytail seems to have not been aware (or maybe has chosen to forget) the passing of two whole election cycles (and two newer incumbents) as the discussion focuses upon Barack Obama, the former US President, before Presidents Biden and Trump. Ponytail seems to be quite behind the times as she asks if Obama is still president (he left office January 20th, 2017, which was 7 (!) years ago, a fact that Cueball cannot quite believe Ponytail is ignorant of). Ponytail states that she liked him, and wonders if he'll be up for taking on the position again. But Cueball states that he can't be made President again, having already served two terms, which Ponytail confirms by checking for herself the details of the Twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution.

In the second half of the comic Cueball and Ponytail discuss whether Obama is even the same person seven years after he was last president. Like the mythical Ship of Theseus, mentioned by Ponytail, which gradually had all of its parts replaced over many years, most of Obama's constituent cells have been replaced since he was last president. Ponytail is thus looking into the possibility of Obama's re-election based upon philosophical/biological technicalities (as applied to the Constitution's words), rather than as legal/political convention might normally suggest.

Cueball questions if the cell replacement isn't a myth, and at least some cells may remain the same, especially those making up the enamel in the teeth, which he believes has a half-life of over 30 years, meaning that even after 30 years only half of the cells in your enamel have been replaced.

But even when Ponytail's approach is seen to be wanting, requiring a wait significantly exceeding 30 years, Ponytail suggests negating that issue by having all of Obama's teeth removed and replaced with false teeth.

In order to facilitate the latter goal, Ponytail announces her intention to consult both a dentist (presumably for getting the teeth replaced) and a lawyer (perhaps to establish that Obama could thus run for president again, hopefully in advance). Although, in Ponytail's frame of mind, it could also be to consult with the dentist to clear up the currently theoretical issues about tooth-biology, and the lawyer might be asked to serve an enforcement notice to force Obama to undergo the 'treatment'. Her peculiar chain of logic might well also lead to one or other plan that is itself a total curveball and/or riddled with flaws.

Seeing where her current misplaced, and less than informed, zeal might be leading her, Cueball appears to be about to suggest that the Supreme Court is about to pre-emptively block her plan, but instead turns out, in a play on the word 'block', to be saying that they will be unanimous in blocking her phone number so that she cannot contact them again, suggesting that this just the latest in a string of ridiculous proposals she has attempted to bring before them, and they have finally lost patience. The Supreme Court being unanimous on any issue is now a comparatively rare event.

Although Cueball (and thus Randall) seems to think the suggestion has no merit, it is public knowledge that Randall did endorse Obama and in 1756: I'm With Her, he again showed that he prefers Democratic Presidents at least over Donald Trump. That he is not happy about Trump has been obvious in many comics (2220: Imagine Going Back in Time for an example), and Trump might be running for president again, in this election year, so it is not unlikely that Randall would wish that it was possible to get Obama back as president if in any way possible.

The title text combines two George Washington references. The first part of the sentence is the beginning of the mundane but true claim that "It wasn't originally constitutionally required, but presidents who have served two terms have traditionally followed George Washington's example and not sought a third term." However, the title text veers off-course to the subject of George Washington's (in)famous 'false teeth'. Washington's dentures are often falsely claimed to be made of wood; in truth they were real teeth procured from other sources. Regardless, this would have likely resolved the rather specific philosophical/legal problems established in the comic, were they real. However, since Washington only ran for president twice, even if the 22nd amendment had been in effect, it would have been unnecessary!

It goes almost without saying that no one has yet even attempted to carry out this plan. Only one President has exceeded the 2-term limit; Franklin D. Roosevelt died in office during his fourth term, but he served prior to the 22nd Amendment and was thus unaffected by the rule, which was enacted six years after his death. (FDR did have a partial denture, but given that he retained some of his natural teeth, he did not engage in Ponytail's proposed scheme.) Presidents since then have definitely (and sometimes defiantly) tried various schemes aimed at securing a second term, with both successes and failures, but nobody has yet attempted this particular plan to achieve a third or beyond. Or at least one can assume that those that perhaps did (including, as noted, all those who were not yet 'required' to go to these lengths) failed to attain their goals for entirely different reasons.


[Ponytail and Cueball are walking.]
Ponytail: So this is 2024.
Cueball: Yup. Guess it's an election year now.
Ponytail: Again? Man, those just keep happening, huh?
[Ponytail and Cueball stop walking and Cueball has turned to face Ponytail.]
Ponytail: Who's the president these days, anyway? Is it still Obama?
Cueball: What? No? He hasn't been... How do you not...
[Ponytail and Cueball standing.]
Ponytail: Darn, I liked him. Is he running this time?
Cueball: No, he's not allowed to.
Ponytail: He's not? Why?
Cueball: Constitution.
[Zoom in on the upper part of Ponytail who checks her smartphone held up in one hand. The text she is reading on her phone is shown in a square speech bubble above her head, with a jagged thin snip from the speech bubble extending from it down to above her smartphone.]
Phone: Amendment 22
Phone: No person shall be elected to the office of the president more than twice
Ponytail: What?? C'mon...
[Ponytail has raised her hand palm up towards Cueball.]
Ponytail: Don't all your cells get replaced every seven years, Ship of Theseus-style? Is he even the same person?
Ponytail: Maybe "no person shall be elected more than twice" isn't a prohibition, it's more of an observation, like "you can't step in the same river twice."
[Zoom in on the upper part of Cueball.]
Cueball: Isn't the cell thing a myth?
Cueball: I think tooth enamel has a turnover half-life of 30+ years. His teeth molecules are probably the same.
[Ponytail has turned around and walks away from Cueball with a finger raised high.]
Ponytail: So if Obama just gets false teeth, he can run again! I need to talk to a dentist and a lawyer!
Cueball: The Supreme Court is about to vote 9-0 to block your number.


  • This is the first New Year comic using the year as the title since 2018.
    • That was a break of six years after having used this kind of title for all even years between 2012 and 2018 plus also in 2017.
    • So five times in seven years and then five years in a row without doing so.

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It appears that only three US presidents so far have lived for over 30 years since their last election: Herbert Hoover, Jimmy Carter, and (technically) George H.W. Bush. One other (John Adams) had made it to 29. In addition, Gerald Ford had lived for over 29 years after the end of his presidency (and over 30 years after its start) but had technically never been elected.
Of course none of those five were two-term presidents so they in any case would not have been restricted from further election by the 22nd amendment (and John Adams additionally wasn't affected by it due to having died prior to its ratification). -- 22:42, 1 January 2024 (UTC)

I don't think he's suggesting that 30 years is enough -- that's only when half the tooth cells have been replaced. So we have to resort to dentistry and replace all the teeth. Barmar (talk) 00:10, 2 January 2024 (UTC)

I've just made some "content and flow" edits to bring the Explanation up to a reasonable spec of explanatoriaciousness (which I fully expect to be buffed up and/or trimmed by others). I didn't directly explain that SCOTUS has nine (or more!) voting members, but there's the link(s) I added where this gets fairly well qualified for the person who might need to know this, and I refrained from suggestion reasons why one or both of the more recent Presidents might be best 'forgotten' (depending upon a person's own considerations on each matter), etc... I actually think that if all nine SCOTUSii all decided in one direction on the issues of Obama's teeth then it would be because of ideologically opposing views lining up by pure accident (e.g. some see/do not see pulling teeth as a valid way of becoming President for a third term, the rest see/do not see the pulling of teeth from Obama as laudible but would expect the next step to fail to happen for entirely separate reasons). And if someone definitely knows if FDR wore dentures (or not), particularly in his last five or so years, then that can surely be inserted as a valid (counter-)justifying fact. Anyway, probably done with my own polishing. For the moment, certainly. 03:34, 2 January 2024 (UTC)

According to the book Party Politics in the Age of Roosevelt by Michael P. Riccards and Cheryl A. Flagg, FDR did have a partial denture to replace two of his front teeth, but that wouldn't satisfy Ponytail's plan. -- 04:13, 2 January 2024 (UTC)

I don't understand the reference to there being only 8 justices on the Supreme Court ... As far as I can tell, on January 1 2024 there are 9, unless I'm missing something? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supreme_Court_of_the_United_States ModelD (talk) 11:00, 2 January 2024 (UTC)

What reference? It says 9 - 19:16, 2 January 2024 (UTC)
It said 8 in some previous versions, like this one 20:52, 2 January 2024 (UTC)
Sorry for the mistake. It's 9.-- 09:35, 3 January 2024 (UTC)

Is it worth mentioning that Ponytail is being inconsistent? She wants Obama to be considered a new person due to cellular replacement, so he can be elected ... because she likes him, and recognizes the "new" Obama as still being the President she liked. Nitpicking (talk)

Tell you what it also blows out of the water, though..? Any hint of 'birther' complaints. (Also might well be how Arnie had become a POTUS, in the future-history of Demolition Man!) 15:18, 2 January 2024 (UTC)
It's not really inconsistent. What she liked about him weren't his cells, but the way he governed. And just as the Ship of Theseus sails just as well after you replace all its planks, Obama will behave similarly after replacing his cells and teeth. Barmar (talk) 20:09, 2 January 2024 (UTC)

Wow! a vandal! fun! someone, i guess(talk i guess|le edit list) 16:45, 2 January 2024 (UTC)

Persistent. I just reverted again. Nitpicking (talk) 17:17, 2 January 2024 (UTC)
who on earth vandalizes a comic wiki someone, i guess(talk i guess|le edit list) 17:25, 2 January 2024 (UTC)
Your username makes it look like you're answering your own question lol 21:35, 2 January 2024 (UTC)

Playing devil's advocate, as Trump didn't win the popular vote, one might argue he was made president, but not "elected to the office" as stated per the 22nd. If he keeps this up he could re-run indefinitely. I expect his lawyers to make this exact argument in 2028. We need to call forth the laws of gerontology to stop him! ;) 00:11, 3 January 2024 (UTC)

Presidents aren't elected by the people, they're elected by the electors (as was Trump). The electors each may have to adhere to one degree of other (depends upon a whole stack of other rules) of faithfulness to the people they represent. But, even if they are entirely faithful, their combined votes may not truly represent the combined votes of all the people whose votes influence the electors.
i.e. he was elected to office, despite the majority will of those who contributed to tue result. For technical issues, though, many of those who cast a vote never even had a slither of an influence in the result (they just propped up either the winning or losing end-totals in ways that can soak up plenty of possible defections, non-participation or reversals of apathy).
And, even if it was shown that massive disenfrachisement occured (e.g. Bush 2's Florida-moment, from getting them to give up on counting/etc), that just potentially invalidates the basis of the Electoral College votes, not that the EC votes were indeed cast.
...and all this because the fledgling US decided that it just couldn't organise direct elections nationwide/across all states so worked out its own way to fudge it. (I mean, direct-election FPTP is also problematic, leaving a huge chunk of people deciding they might as well not bother, but FPTP-by-proxy and other problematic issues that arise alongside it add further reasons to be dissilusioned (or excessively entitled, whenever the result happens to swing the way you're more content with, justified or not). 01:06, 3 January 2024 (UTC)
That makes no sense. Why would he need to win a third election after dismantling democracy? 22:23, 3 January 2024 (UTC)
You might still want 'to win an election', despite doing all you can to have no democracy. If you're a Kim or a Putin or were a Marcos/Ortega/etc... Not everywhere is the dictator (or dictating 'council') willing to go full Myanmar on the whole 'voting' thing. Sometimes it's because they're not scared about what will happen, others that they're more scared than they admit (and/or would like to trace the whereabouts of the 0.01% of the population that would dare not fill out a voting slip the 'right' way). 00:43, 4 January 2024 (UTC)

Even though it is possible that someone may edit the explanation after I post this, thus confusing my reference — I would like to express my appreciation for the way in which the last sentence of this explanation was worded. "Well played." Inquirer (talk) 02:48, 3 January 2024 (UTC)

I feel like "he prefers Democratic Presidents at least over Donald Trump" is misguided/missing the point. I don't think the party had any bearing on that, I think like everyone with more than a couple of brain cells he supported "Anybody But Trump". If Trump had been the Democratic candidate, Randall would have backed the Republican candidate - and he has enough sense to know there's no point in supporting any other party. I was flabbergasted that things which usually remain impartial (I'd have expected Randall, many news outlets, etc) actually came out against Trump, that this felt really significant and should have spoken volumes to Trump supporters.

I'm Canadian, when I learned of the term limit I was surprised, I was thinking of our leaders who have gone longer - probably most notable being our current guy's father, who would have kept getting elected had he not decided enough was enough, LOL! - that a 2 term limit robs the people of good leaders when you find them (like Obama). Then you re-elected George W. and I got it: They weren't concerned about the good ones, it's to save the American people from themselves, LOL! NiceGuy1 (talk) 06:06, 6 January 2024 (UTC)