2408: Egg Strategies

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 23:09, 6 January 2021 by (talk) (Explanation)
Jump to: navigation, search
Egg Strategies
Neutral Evil is for people who like keeping the weight nicely centered in the carton, but also hate everyone else who wants that.
Title text: Neutral Evil is for people who like keeping the weight nicely centered in the carton, but also hate everyone else who wants that.


Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by an EGG LISTENING ANXIOUSLY TO THE RADIO. Please mention here why this explanation isn't complete. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.

This comic shows nine egg cartons, each of which contains between five and eight eggs. The cartons are presented in the format of a Dungeons & Dragons alignment chart. Originally created as a way of categorizing game characters' motivations, the chart has three possibilities on each axis: lawful/neutral/chaotic on the X axis and good/neutral/evil on the Y axis. Used outside its original purpose, the chart has become a meme used for categorizing things it has no real applicability to. This comic is such a meme.

A standard egg carton has 12 cups for 12 eggs, but the egg owner is unlikely to consume all 12 eggs at once. Because of that, the carton will be emptied gradually according to the owners' preference. This comic depicts various possible storage schemes for the unused eggs and assigns them D&D alignments. The final carton, "chaotic evil," shows what appears to be six eggs (counting the yolks) smashed inside the carton.

The center of gravity of the different arrangements shifts as well, contributing to the "goodness" and "lawfulness" of the solutions.


Ambox notice.png This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.

comment.png add a comment! ⋅ comment.png add a topic (use sparingly)! ⋅ Icons-mini-action refresh blue.gif refresh comments!


I'm not going to get into it because it's not related to these egg cartons, but it is really weird sitting here explaining a joke while I listen to breaking news on the radio. Captain Video (talk) 22:24, 6 January 2021 (UTC)

Why are you lot all anxiously listening to the radio? Is there something I should know? 21:39, 7 January 2021 (UTC)
Perhaps this, or this? Nk1406 (talk) 01:34, 8 January 2021 (UTC)
Why is the news breaking? Does a Chaotic Evil person maintain the news carton? 09:34, 20 January 2021 (UTC)

I really thought it was just me who cared about center of gravity for eggs. 23:43, 6 January 2021 (UTC)

We keep the hard boiled ones at one end and the fr4esh ones at the other end.

Bring True Neutral (egg carton sits lengthwise in fridge, most convenient egg is removed until carton is empty), I am baffled by the existence of other "strategies". Do people really do this? 00:57, 7 January 2021 (UTC)

True Neutral here, and also putting the carton in the fridge eggless side out (which is consistent with "most convenient egg removed"). The current explanation says that this is "a disaster waiting to happen". Why?
As a side-note, as I understand it, the alternate strategies can be convenient if you don't put the carton lengthwise in the fridge (particularly if you don't put it in the fridge at all). 11:26, 7 January 2021 (UTC)
I am also True Neutral - when putting the carton into the fridge end-first it allows me to extract it with the majority of the weight in my hand. It's a disaster if it is inserted the heavy side in first because when I grab the empty end the weight of the eggs can tip them out the other side. As an aside, I was a little insulted to find out that I am not the only person in the world who actually has an "egg carton strategy". I thought I was unique! ;-) Rtanenbaum (talk) 13:40, 7 January 2021 (UTC)
Ha, no, far from it! Nothing new under the sun, I guess. Here's some documentation of prior art by John McIntosh from 2006, under the title "Egg Carton Theory". Dvgrn (talk) 17:27, 7 January 2021 (UTC)
Chiming in on True Neutral strategy, which I also use, with some added thoughts: I also put the heavy end in first, but primarily because I usually have two cartons stacked, where inserting the heavy end on top of the full carton in the fridge makes it easier to push the carton the rest of the way in on top of the bottom carton. Putting it in the other way around, the heavy end is hanging off the bottom carton, resulting in less stability before it's pushed all the way in. If you can't tell, I'm an engineer! Ianrbibtitlht (talk) 14:41, 7 January 2021 (UTC)
Chaotic Neutral here. Doing it that way means I have the benefit of a seemingly random egg without thinking too much about which egg to actually pick. 17:35, 7 January 2021 (UTC)
Being Lawful Good and married to someone who is Chaotic Good, we might sometimes argue over this. 03:23, 7 January 2021 (UTC) MSS
I guess my strategy is True Neutral as well, though my reason being that I put the empty side face the back of the freezer to reduce the chance of frost, which I assumed is bad for eggs. Tharkon (talk) 20:13, 7 January 2021 (UTC)

Ignoring the "neutral" part for now, what's chaotic about that? It's literally the most perfectly balanced arrangement. It has perfect rotational symmetry as well. 04:01, 8 January 2021 (UTC)

Carton size

In Germany, there are two sizes of egg cartons, containing 6 or 10 eggs, respectively. Most refrigerators I’ve seen (in stores or households) contain an egg-holder with six dents, though I also have occasionally seen 10-dent egg holders. Since I usually buy 20 eggs at the weekly market, my strategy is to transfer the eggs from a package to the egg holder once there are less than 9 left in the package (for the purpose of knowing how many are still left without having to open a package). If there are more than six eggs, the one or two additional eggs are placed lying besides the egg holder. I think that counts as chaotic neutral. 01:42, 7 January 2021 (UTC)

I've only seen cartons of six or ten as well, the phrase "A standard egg carton has 12 cups for 12 eggs" seems a bit presumptuous. Tharkon (talk) 20:13, 7 January 2021 (UTC)
I'm usually using cartons of six, however I noticed I have few cartons of ten left here. Regardless, I feel like it SHOULD be dozen eggs ... not sure why, maybe it used to be dozen (12) in past? -- Hkmaly (talk) 04:38, 8 January 2021 (UTC)
Just to add some info on egg carton sizes: here in the Netherlands, most cartons contain 6 eggs, although there are cartons with 3, 4, 7 and 10 eggs as well. The carton with 7 eggs has one egg in the middle, so any strategy would take the middle egg either first or last (anything else seems insane). Having seen American fridges in TV shows, I guess the larger egg cartons in the USA have something to do with their larger fridges (or perhaps it's the other way round). 16:17, 8 January 2021 (UTC)

Depiction wrong

I've got a niggling feeling that Chaotic Neutral (at least) is wrongly depicted. Too orderly. I'd have put Chaotic Good's pattern there (not necessarily vice-versa, as the current incumbent looks more Lawful or Variation-of-neutrality as well as Good) as attempting to maintain balance but with an element of chance. We don't know what sequence of removal led to each of these states, of course. That might make much of the difference in how we reach the illustrated states. 03:03, 7 January 2021 (UTC)

I'd go a little further and swap CG and CN (the current CG being a marginally more ordered and balanced CN) but otherwise agree. CN is the strategy I use when the carton is at risk of being centrally supported while in humid conditions (don't ask), making NG risk bending of the whole carton. LG is actually worse then NG in some circumstances, due to a drastically reduced moment of inertia contributing to the chance of dropping. On the other hand, NG increases the probability of end-shattering if the carton is actually dropped. Overall, different strategies are probably a result of experience, circumstance, relative clumsiness, and hat colour. 05:43, 7 January 2021 (UTC)

I feel like the chaotic good isn't random. It seems like it could be Braille or something like that, maybe? I don't know, I might looking for patterns where there are none.

Is it bother anyone that there are different numbers of eggs in each carton? At least there should have been two boxes for each alignment, one with an even number of eggs and one with odd.

I was thinking precisely this. Can lead to a sense of "apples and oranges" otherwise. 15:51, 7 January 2021 (UTC)MeZimm


Learned something today: Americans refrigerate eggs 18:55, 7 January 2021 (UTC)

It has something to do with the way that they're treated over here. We don't (have to) refrigerate fresh eggs. -neverdroptop 19:56, 7 January 2021 (UTC)
I refrigerate eggs as well, and I'm not American.Tharkon (talk) 20:13, 7 January 2021 (UTC)
If eggs are washed with a bleach solution prior to packaging, their membranous outer coating (often including quite bit of blood &\or feces) gets stripped away, leaving the shell's surface porous & receptive to contaminants; thereafter those eggs can become spoiled much more readily. In the US, all eggs shipped across state lines for sale as food must be rinsed, therefore almost all eggs shipped to any US supermarket grocery, need to be refrigerated. If you get fresh eggs unrinsed, they can sit unrefrigerated for weeks without a significant rate of spoilage. ProphetZarquon (talk) 20:45, 7 January 2021 (UTC)

Alternative strategies

My egg strategy was “you can’t possibly be 🏳️‍⚧️ this is just some fetish” at which point I got super comfortable liking all the girly things ever because it didn’t mean 🏳️‍⚧️. Then when I finally realized I was the last to know.