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This comic shows a person explaining many things one should already know. Below is a table:
To conserve water try turning off your shower before leaving home: Most people do this on a daily basis; if you didn't your house would flood and the water service would shut off your water. The what if? article "Faucet Power" illustrates similar wasteful and destructive water use.
Sick of changing those smoke detector batteries? Eliminate any fires in your home and the batteries can last for months or years!: This suggests that a normal house has many fires at once (Obviously not just the stove- in the image fires are everywhere) burning everywhere. If this was actually true, your house would burn down, your smoke detector would beep nonstop (hence making the batteries loose their charge), and your neighbors would have you committed to a Mental Health Facility.
Tired of clogged toilets? Try leaving the lid on the upper chamber and use only the lower bowl!: Seriously don't do business in the toilet tank. Just- don't.
Fresh air doesn't have to be expensive. Many windows can be slid up to create a temporary hole without the usual cost and cleanup!: This suggests that the people he appeals to typically smash a window to get fresh air, hence the expensive clean up.
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I think this references infomercials with a tendency to show people completely inept at doing extremely simple and common things, then offers a slightly more convenient product as if it were the solution to the ineptitude.The problem-solution pattern matches the tone of those. 22.214.171.124 14:41, 3 August 2016 (UTC)
It is possible there is a bit of meta humor going on in regards to this comic (and its predecessor). As the comic is literally explaining in xkcd, it may be a subtle jab at explainxkcd.com, putting those on explainxkcd.com in the amusing and awkward situation of trying to explain in detail about a detailed explanation of something that doesn't needs explaining. 126.96.36.199 23:37, 3 August 2016 (UTC)
- Doubt it. We tend to explain pop culture references (which not every country will understand) or math formulas, not bleeding obvious common sense.188.8.131.52 20:15, 5 August 2016 (UTC)
- Please see the explanation for this comic.--184.108.40.206 11:22, 8 August 2016 (UTC)
- I may have started this "explaining the obvious" thing. I figured that since the explanations on this site sometimes further the jokes in the comics by self-demonstration or invocation, explaning "seriously" the points in the comic would have humorous effect.--Troy0 (talk) 00:05, 9 August 2016 (UTC)
Wait, there's more! Even the windows that do not slide up are not always a lost cause - the hook normally used for hanging the hammer you use to let the fresh air in actually turns, allowing the window to be opened or tilted! (Seriously, I think I've never even seen a sliding window in real life - I guess it's only popular in a few countries, including US) --220.127.116.11 12:12, 4 August 2016 (UTC)
I figured the shower thing is a reference to how you should turn off your faucet while brushing your teeth, or the more recent advice to turn it off while lathering your hair/body. 18.104.22.168 14:02, 4 August 2016 (UTC)
I find this one amusing as it is the rare XKCD that is both genuinely funny, AND doesn't need an explanation. Not saying he has many which are not funny, but generally you need some knowledge to find an XKCD funny, and the funniest ones generally require explanation even if you don't need to understand it to find it funny. 22.214.171.124 18:50, 4 August 2016 (UTC) Sam
I actually thought this was a knock at the plethora of YouTube videos and blogs/articles that claim to be "life hacks" but are often just really obvious things (probably because there are so many videos that they're running out of unique content). 126.96.36.199 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
I think the last one in the comics is actually refering to people who only turn on their air-conditionor without ever opening their windows to let fresh air in. --188.8.131.52 07:04, 5 October 2016 (UTC)
opening the windows could also be a reference to the movie the lorax in which people needed to buy bottled air