Main Page

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 16:09, 21 November 2013 by Waldir (talk | contribs) (fix name of incomplete explanations category)
Jump to: navigation, search

Welcome to the explain xkcd wiki!
We have an explanation for all 2 xkcd comics, and only 31 (1%) are incomplete. Help us finish them!

Latest comic

Go to this comic explanation

Acceptable Risk
Good thing I'm not already prone to overthinking everyday decisions!
Title text: Good thing I'm not already prone to overthinking everyday decisions!


Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by a BOT THAT IS PRONE TO OVERTHINKING. Please mention here why this explanation isn't complete. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.

This comic is another comic in a series of comics related to the 2020 pandemic of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19.

This comic shows Cueball and Ponytail, who are nervous to spend time in close proximity while the coronavirus is still widespread, and while lockdown procedures are still in effect across the world. Despite taking many precautions, such as wearing masks and maintaining physical separation, they still fear the effects of the virus, and attempt to weigh the value of actually seeing each other in-person versus potentially catching the virus. This is a dilemma faced by many, as the United States enters the fourth month since stay at home orders began. Cueball and Ponytail are particularly affected because they are known to overthink everyday decisions (in spite of their protestation to the contrary in the title text), as seen in e.g. 1445: Efficiency.

Their screaming actually increases the risk of the interaction; this is why Japan recently banned screaming on amusement park rides, and why many jurisdictions are levying particular restrictions on singing even when gatherings are permitted.


Ambox notice.png This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.
[All of the panels depict the same two characters seen from a long distance, making them difficult to recognize. However, they appear to be Cueball (on the left) and Ponytail (on the right). They are each wearing a mask.]
[Cueball and Ponytail talk to each other, standing at a distance:]
Cueball: Okay. Based on the local virus prevalence, our careful quarantines, and the steps we've taken to reduce transmission risk,
Cueball: I think it's okay for us to hang out.
Ponytail: I agree.
[Three small panels, vertically on top of each other]
[Cueball and Ponytail get closer to each other.]
[Cueball and Ponytail get still closer.]
[Cueball and Ponytail standing near each other:]
Cueball: Hi.
Ponytail: Hi.
[A normal sized panel, with Cueball and Ponytail standing near each other. They are yelling, with their arms raised:]
Cueball: Is this social interaction good enough that it's worth risking our lives and the lives of others?!
Ponytail: I don't know!
Cueball: AAAAA!
Ponytail: AAAAAA!
[Cueball and Ponytail stand much farther apart.]
Cueball: Healthy socializing was hard enough before the pandemic.
Ponytail: Let's just try again in 2021.

Is this out of date? Clicking here will fix that.

New here?

Last 7 days (Top 10)

Lots of people contribute to make this wiki a success. Many of the recent contributors, listed above, have just joined. You can do it too! Create your account here.

You can read a brief introduction about this wiki at explain xkcd. Feel free to sign up for an account and contribute to the wiki! We need explanations for comics, characters, themes, memes and everything in between. If it is referenced in an xkcd web comic, it should be here.

  • List of all comics contains a table of most recent xkcd comics and links to the rest, and the corresponding explanations. There are incomplete explanations listed here. Feel free to help out by expanding them!
  • If you see that a new comic hasn't been explained yet, you can create it: Here's how.
  • We sell advertising space to pay for our server costs. To learn more, go here.


Don't be a jerk. There are a lot of comics that don't have set in stone explanations; feel free to put multiple interpretations in the wiki page for each comic.

If you want to talk about a specific comic, use its discussion page.

Please only submit material directly related to —and helping everyone better understand— xkcd... and of course only submit material that can legally be posted (and freely edited). Off-topic or other inappropriate content is subject to removal or modification at admin discretion, and users who repeatedly post such content will be blocked.

If you need assistance from an admin, post a message to the Admin requests board.