The comic deconstructs a snowclone or common idiom - "X called, they want their Y back." Usually, X is a year (like 2009 here), and Y is something very popular in that year that is seen as ridiculous in the present day.
Here, Megan notices a Three-Wolf Moon T-shirt that Cueball apparently owns. The Three-Wolf Moon is a shirt of three wolves howling at the moon that reached meme status when several people posted ironic reviews giving it supernatural powers on Amazon around late 2008.
Megan says the snowclone, but before she can finish, Cueball pretends to take it literally (that is, that the year 2009 actually called her) and admonishes her for not telling them about the February 2010 earthquake in Haiti and the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The comic was posted shortly after the latter, so it is reasonable to assume that it was created as a response to the disaster. Knowing Cueball, he's either preempting Megan's attempt to humiliate him and giving her a pretty good burn, or Cueball, being Cueball, actually thinks the past called.
The title text continues the snowclone by implying a terrible future awaits in 2017. Likewise, non-apocalyptic events, such as political protests, can generate "yelling and screaming". Given the public's general inclination to focus on the negative the prediction of a "bad future" may have worked with any date.
2017 has occurred, and the world hasn't exploded. In hindsight, 2020 would work better for the joke. [insert hindsight is 2020 joke here]
- [Cueball is at computer. Megan is standing behind him, looking at clothes on the floor.]
- Megan: Is this a three wolf moon shirt?
- Megan: Dude, 2009 called, and they-
- Cueball: OH MY GOD!
- Cueball: DID YOU WARN THEM?
- Cueball: ABOUT HAITI AND JAPAN?
- Megan: What? No, I-
- Cueball: You ASSHOLE!
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I was too busy trading fashion tips, and they hung up before I could tell them. Davidy22[talk] 00:38, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
The '90s called. They wanted my pogs back. But, due to inflation, they couldn't offer me enough money for me to be willing to sell. I told them my friend, Oscar, has some Pokémon stuff, but the '90s had no interest in that crap. I made the right choice to choose pogs over Pokémon. Society made the wrong one. But, I digress. The '90s are doing rather well, and they miss us.22.214.171.124 18:20, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
- The only Pokémon stuff I ever had was a bunch of pogs, so... --126.96.36.199 18:26, 31 December 2016 (UTC)
2017 called, but I couldn't understand what they were saying over all the screams. I bet it was something about them being attacked by 4 Replicants. I used Google News BEFORE it was clickbait (talk) 23:49, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Well, that title text is feeling pretty prophetic now...188.8.131.52 00:08, 12 November 2016 (UTC)
Hello it's 2017, please send help. 184.108.40.206 21:23, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
- This is 2018 calling in, you'll be alright on your own. At least for the time being. --220.127.116.11 05:05, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
- 2020 here. We're hosed. 18.104.22.168 20:52, 6 April 2020 (UTC)
- 2021 says, I miss 2020, please send time machine22.214.171.124 03:13, 27 November 2021
- 2022 says, oh my god send help Covid is playing mix-and-match. 1:53, 1 Apr 2022 (UTC)
This now stands as a piece of horrifying foreshadowing. Seriously, we're barely in april and things alredy look terrifying. I blame Randall for everything. 126.96.36.199 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
The screaming in 2017 was just an echo of everybody's collective screams from 2016 when almost everybody's favorite musician or celebrity died. We now refer to it as 'The Year Who's Number Shall Not be Spoken' 188.8.131.52 05:59, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
The explanation mentioned Trump, but it doesn't actually attack him too much. Good. We don't need all the Trump hate here. 184.108.40.206 22:28, 25 September 2018 (UTC)
- I've removed the sentence because Randall is no clairvoyant. This comic is from 2011 and 2017 was not only a Trump year. And guessing about Clinton doesn't explain the comic at all. --Dgbrt (talk) 19:01, 27 September 2018 (UTC)
- Shouldn't there be a  after the statement that Randall isn't clairvoyant? --220.127.116.11 20:41, 6 January 2020 (UTC)
- Well, clearly, he isn't. I mean, he was off by three whole years! But I guess you didn't know that, did you, 18.104.22.168 20:41 6 January 2020 (UTC)? 22.214.171.124 14:19, 8 June 2020 (UTC)
- The notion that 2017 was a bad year seems comical in retrospect. I suspect by this time next year, we will feel the same way about 2020.
- For the benefit of anyone reading this far enough in the future that the topical reference isn't obvious: There's a new virus and half a million people have died so far. It is still increasing exponentially. If you didn't hear about it it's because whatever happens after this is worse, probably. -- Singlelinelabyrinth (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
- It's also possible that person reading it from future would still consider 2020 bad but for different reason. After all, historically speaking, the epidemic is not THAT bad (yet): it just shows how unprepared we were for it despite thinking otherwise. Just now, I'm little worried about how big temperature the person currently in charge of US nuclear weapons has. Sure, they SAY he's getting better ... I still think he should've transfer the codes to vicepresident at least for time he was in hospital. -- Hkmaly (talk) 03:10, 6 October 2020 (UTC)
- 1) *pandemic, 2) ??! Not that bad? Over twice as many people have died in the United States from COVID-19 than those who fought in World War I! I get that, with respect to the world, it's not been as devastating due to early restrictions, but it's still making a sizeable impression on people right now. Also, Singlelinelabyrinth is likely more correct than she/he thinks: a good contributor to it, and literally everything else happening right now, is the global warming of recent years. On the other hand, so as not to appear like your run-of-the-mill pugnacious liberal, I will agree with you that the codes should've been transferred to Pence during Trump's stay at the hospital.