427: Bad Timing

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Bad Timing
Protip: Even without the red spiders, never have that conversation halfway through a balloon ride.
Title text: Protip: Even without the red spiders, never have that conversation halfway through a balloon ride.


Cueball breaks up with Megan in the middle of a hot air balloon ride. Then the red spiders attack.

The red spiders are among the earliest xkcd characters, first appearing in 8: Red spiders.

As the protip in the title text states, a break-up conversation while you are stranded in an inaccessible location is very poor manners. Also, the suggestion may be interpreted that breaking up in a hot air balloon is a very dangerous way to do it; the reaction may result in one or both parties falling out of the basket, or at least make the remainder of the flight very awkward.

This was the first comic to give a protip in the title text, but several have followed, as can be seen in the protip category.

The full series of Red Spiders comics:


[Cueball and Megan, flying in a hot air balloon.]
Cueball: I like you. I'm just not feeling the relationship.
Cueball: I'm sorry.
Cueball: It's just bad timing. Me with my classes, you with your work, the spiders...
Megan: The what?
[Red Spiders crowd onto the balloon, causing it to fall. Cueball and Megan look panicked.]

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Here, the red spiders appear to be able to fly, whereas in previous red spiders comics they consistently relied on the floating blocks, cooperating in forming chains to get from one to the other. Even in 126: Red Spiders Cometh, the spiders are still just riding on the blocks. Richmond tudor (talk) 05:13, 13 March 2015 (UTC)

they're jumping from a place we can't see 18:10, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

The background looks like XKCD #4 4: Landscape (sketch) 16:38, 14 February 2018 (UTC)