490: Morning Routine

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Morning Routine
I had a really hard time not writing '...profit!'
Title text: I had a really hard time not writing '...profit!'


Thanks to the portability of the modern computer, the availability of the Internet, and the advent of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, someone could conceivably use their laptop to catch up on the lives of everyone they care about from the comfort of their own bed; indeed, they could do it under the covers if they want to.

This is rather different than the pre-computer days in which catching up with friends required a great deal more effort, and even since the introduction of computers and connectivity to various forms of social media, for quite a while the computer monitor could not easily be closer than beside the bed, even if you could drag the keyboard beneath the covers. Hence, laptops are weird.

(In the years since this comic was published, tablets/smartphones have become even more widespread, and laptops are probably now less likely to be found used under the covers if only because they are often not the easiest device to use there any more. Or indeed in just about any other location.)

The title text refers to the South Park episode "Gnomes", in which a race of tiny gnomes steal people's underpants. Their business plan is finally explained as:

Phase 1: Collect underpants
Phase 2: ?
Phase 3: Profit

This became an Internet meme, used in situations where a person's or group's claimed planned course(s) of action held little clear relevance to their stated or inferred objective of "profit", and so was given a penultimate stage left as an entirely ambiguous unknown. As such, although the list bears superficial similarity to a list ending in "Profit," using this punchline with a clearly revealed second-stage would not be particularly effective or funny, yet Randall suggests that he was strongly tempted to include this, thanks to the memetic resonance.


Morning Routine:
  1. Wake up
  2. Catch up on the lives of friends around the world
  3. Get out from under the covers
[Caption below the panel:]
Laptops are weird.


  • From January 2017 to February 2017, the xkcd website's page for this comic (xkcd.com/490) was showing a different comic instead of the original comic displayed above. The comic displayed on the xkcd website's page was in fact 1518: Typical Morning Routine and was most likely being incorrectly shown due to a technical error having something to do with the comics' similar names. This error has been fixed and the original comic is displaying correctly again.

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And by dint of being being far more convent to use in bed, tablets are weirder still. Compro01 (talk) 20:58, 13 August 2014 (UTC)

Or smartphones... Elektrizikekswerk (talk) 10:28, 11 December 2014 (UTC)
Guys, consider that this was posted in 2008... CsBlastoise (talk) 18:20, 11 December 2016 (UTC)

What's silly is that the whole premise is flawed. Long before laptops, some people would call a friend from bed, via land line, and get caught up on their circle. Not to mention those of us who had a BBS with the keyboard in reach of the bed in the early nineties. — Kazvorpal (talk) 18:58, 19 August 2017 (UTC)

Nonsense, nobody ever did that. -- The Cat Lady (talk) 15:45, 15 August 2021 (UTC)

So, for a while there, another comic "fell down a vent" and landed here. Interesting. 22 November 2018 (UTC)

Comic 490 is displaying correctly now, but I don't have the self-confidence to edit the page. Can someone do that for me?

Yup! It's done!