441: Babies

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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I bet my future kids will read this someday. DEAR FUTURE KIDS: how did you get internet in the cellar?
Title text: I bet my future kids will read this someday. DEAR FUTURE KIDS: how did you get internet in the cellar?


A common theme of xkcd is that one never feels that one has "transitioned to adulthood," in the sense of actually attaining the seriousness and sense of responsibility that children imagine all adults to possess. Here, the author illustrates this by imagining Cueball and Megan taking on the ultimate "adult responsibility" — having a child, treating it as they would any other engineering project. Disassembling a project to check the parts is an activity that is appropriate for a self-built computer or robot, but most people would think that disassembling a child would be impractical. Also, unless they've taken Dr. Frankenstein's course on reassembling and reanimating human beings, this would result in a grisly end for the baby.[citation needed] Megan also shows her lack of child experience by holding the baby upside-down by the foot, which isn't a good idea. Her behavior could also indicate that Megan is treating the child as an object rather than a human being.

The title text implies that Randall will have kids someday. It will be surprising if they read this comic, not just because it will give them an unflattering look into their father's attitudes on having children, but because he plans to lock them in the cellar where there will be no internet access. This is possibly a reference to Kaspar Hauser, who, as a boy, claimed to have grown up in a dark cell in Germany in the 19th century, or to the incestuous children of Josef Fritzl.

This is also the topic of 674: Natural Parenting and 1384: Krypton.

Much later, a comic with the singular version of this title was released: 1650: Baby. Here, Cueball refrains from saying something as stupid as he does here about another couple's baby. The couple looks similar to the one in this comic, though that may just be due to the basic-looking art style of xkcd.


It doesn't seem right that we're old enough to have kids.
[Megan holds a baby upside-down by one leg.]
Megan: Sweet! We made a baby!
Cueball: Are we sure we did it right?
Cueball: We should disassemble it, check all the parts, and put it back together.

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The explanation says that "disassembling a child will be impractical and possibly lethal for the child". I don't think that disassembling a child could be "possibly lethal". Unless your definition of "disassembling a child" is something like plucking strands of hair off them, if you took a child apart, they would die. I'm changing the explanation. (Also, sorry, I'm kinda new here, but I hope I'm doing the signature thing correctly.) Caeleste Alarum (talk)

I am honestly surprised no one put a [Citation needed] tag after "It will kill the child". -Pennpenn 00:59, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

"I don't think that disassembling a child could be "possibly lethal"." => We do organ transplants in people daily. And reattach severed appendages. It is well within the abilities of medical science to disassemble a person to an extreme degree and reassemble them with a high probability of a full recovery. Wether Cueball and Megan will be doing the disassembly themselves is somewhat vague - they can hire someone. The ethics of this action have been deliberately ignored here, so don't whine about how "barbaric" the procedure would be. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Replacing someone's organs is very different to completely taking someone apart. Beanie (talk) 10:44, 25 March 2021 (UTC)