Talk:Main Page

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Ambox notice.png This page is for discussion of the Main Page itself. For discussion of the latest comic, see its discussion section. Other issues probably belong at the Explain XKCD:Community portal.

New discussion page

As a new user, I think the first page is very important. So I thought why not begin a discussion here what to have on the first page every user visits.--Relic (talk) 05:59, 1 August 2012 (EDT) Re-signed here - b/c I broke the comment in two when I added the "List of comics" header. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 23:01, 2 August 2012 (EDT)

Can someone get this to display the redirected page instead of the original? For example, I just moved the page 2865: the Wrong Stuff to 2865: The Wrong Stuff, but it still shows the origional (wrong) page. Can someone change that? B for brain (talk) 19:17, 9 December 2023 (UTC)

The problem seemds to have been (and was proven to be solved through) the way the template for the "newest comic" (re)redirects through the 2865 page, which was still pointing at the original place. Maybe there's a "two redirection limit", or a lower limit on top of the one(s) the wikicode already knew that it would (ordinarily) have to deal with to make the transclusion end up at the right place... I haven't delved too far into the mechanics, as I rarely visit the Main Page off my own back, so would never have noticed without your informative bugrep.
Also, the 2865 redirect page probably needed changing, anyway, to keep track with everything else. I then made the Wrong Stuff redirect to the new name, too. And, just checking, it looks like someone (who has page-creation priviliges) needs to make a duplicate redirection page/valid target for The Wrong Stuff, which right now will be a red-link. Or rename the "the" version to "The", but it depends upon how/if you want to cover all the bases for potentially valid (FCVO 'valid') searchig options. Wouldn't suggest wrong-case copies of anything else, but future searching using (external) historical data certainly could get caught up in this slight muddle... ;) 20:20, 9 December 2023 (UTC)

List of comics

I was thinking of having a quick link to the list of comics that is explained. Right know, it took me a while to even see any of them. Eventually I found the "List All Pages" (found it in Special pages) where I could find the comics that have been explained. What do you think?

A category tag will do that for you automatically. Having a list of comics indexed by its number would be a little different.--Relic (talk) 05:59, 1 August 2012 (EDT)
Sounds like a great list - I think it'd have to be manually maintained until/unless we get someone who knows how to make a bot update it. Categories will be useful, but they only work if someone added the category to the page in the first place. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 07:21, 1 August 2012 (EDT)
A (somewhat) related question - should Category:Comics be sorted alphabetically or by comic number? --Philosopher Let us reason together. 07:43, 1 August 2012 (EDT)
I think Category:Comics should be sorted by comic number. If you are looking for a specific comic, you will use the search field. Is there a way to make that happen? --Jeff (talk) 08:11, 1 August 2012 (EDT)
They are two different functions. For the former, instead of adding [[Category:Comics]], add, say, [[Category:Comics|1]]. For the second, we can create redirects. Normally, I'd say just make sure the search term was in the article text, but since numbers are going to be use for other purposes than just comic titles, it may be better to create 1 and Comic 1 as redirects to the relevant articles right off the bat. --08:24, 1 August 2012 (EDT)
We could also have a comic-list template on the Main Page, I suppose, or perhaps two - one for number and one for name? --Philosopher Let us reason together. 08:54, 1 August 2012 (EDT)
Here's what I was thinking of for that: {{Comics navbox}} Thoughts? Philosopher Let us reason together.
(outdent) It's ugly, but a sortable wikitable (click here for example) could be used as a checklist to see what has been uploaded and what hasn't. What's the project namespace here, anyway (analogue of "WP:")? --SurturZ (talk) 03:04, 3 August 2012 (EDT)
OK, I've found a way to get all the titles of the comics, so I was confident enough to create

Explain XKCD:Checklist

which can be used to fill in the gaps. --SurturZ (talk) 03:41, 3 August 2012 (EDT)
I'm liking the checklist! That should do quite nicely as a "tool for editors". (I'm linking to it at the Community Portal). We still need the "template for readers." Did you think {{Comics navbox}} was on the right track or should we do something else for that? --Philosopher Let us reason together. 20:09, 3 August 2012 (EDT)
Better idea - I'm throwing it directly onto the Main Page. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 20:10, 3 August 2012 (EDT)

Admin list

You can find a system-accurate list of admins here, so that might good to share, along with the manual list. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 07:13, 1 August 2012 (EDT)

Added to page. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 08:10, 1 August 2012 (EDT)
That's exactly what I wanted, but couldn't find the auto page for it. I knew it was somewhere. I don't see any reason to keep the link to the manual page. Do you? --Jeff (talk) 08:11, 1 August 2012 (EDT)
Not unless you want it. I'll remove it. Should I add the similar link for 'crats or is that unnecessary at this point? --Philosopher Let us reason together. 08:25, 1 August 2012 (EDT)
To be honest, I have no idea what the Burecrats role does. Might be unnecessary now but helpful in the future? --Jeff (talk) 11:16, 1 August 2012 (EDT)
Bureaucrats can turn other users into administrators (or indeed, other bureaucrats). That privilege isn't available to ordinary administrators. I'd keep it to yourself for the time being. :-) --Yirba (talk) 17:39, 1 August 2012 (EDT)
You can actually see a technical list of which rights each group confers at Special:ListGroupRights. As the wiki grows, you might want to spin off a few, such as the ability to grant rollbacker and autopatrolled, to admins as some other wikis have. But for the time being, at least, there's really no reason for the wiki to have more than one 'crat. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 17:07, 2 August 2012 (EDT)

Community portal

I've created the Explain XKCD:Community portal as a tools/help page. If that's not what you want, feel free to change/move/whatever it, but I thought it'd be nice to save this page for discussion of the Main Page and discuss the wiki as a whole/ask for help there. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 08:36, 1 August 2012 (EDT)

Direct link to latest comic

There should be a direct link to the latest comic at the top of the Main page. A nice thing about going to was that the latest comic is right there at the top. For those changing their default link to the wiki, there should be an easy "Latest Comic" link that quickly takes them there. I'm sure some folks actually skip and come directly here instead to read the latest offering from Randall. They shouldn't have to search for it. - CFoxx (talk) 11:59, 1 August 2012 (EDT)

Maybe the page latest should redirect to the most recent comic? Could that be taken care of by some sort of script/template so it doesn't have to be manually updated? Should each explination page also have "next", "previous", "random", "first" and "latest" links, possibly also generated automatically via scripts/templates? Additionally, shouldn't the number page be the canonical one? It seems like Internal monologue should redirect to 1089 rather than the other way around - certainly it would make a bunch of scripting types of things a lot easier. J-beda (talk) 13:02, 1 August 2012 (EDT)
If you wanted, we could even use wiki-magic to show the title of the page as the Comic name, but the URL as the number - in order to parallel the actual XKCD website. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 17:09, 2 August 2012 (EDT)
Shouldn't there be a way to programmatically find the comic with the highest number that has a page with content? That would work as long as no one puts future comic pages up. --Jeff (talk) 20:25, 1 August 2012 (EDT)
It's all sounding like folks are over-complicating something quite easy. All I'm suggesting is a prominent link to No need, I think, to list which number the latest is, or include the next/last/random buttons, etc. - CFoxx (talk) 11:41, 3 August 2012 (EDT)
Oh. We've got that, now, in the sidebar - labeled as "XKCD." I do think that having an internal link to the latest (explained) comic would be a great thing, though. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 16:36, 4 August 2012 (EDT)

You can transclude the latest comic on the main page like this: {{:pagename}} e.g. {{:Internal_monologue}} --SurturZ (talk) 00:25, 2 August 2012 (EDT)

I've started with just a manual link to the latest comic. Ideally it will be automatic, but a manual link will work for now as I've had quite a few people ask for it. --Jeff (talk) 21:09, 1 August 2012 (EDT)

Transclusion of the latest comic is great. Someone with the right permissions should add (for instance on the top-right corner of the grey transclusion area) a link to edit the corresponding wiki page, so that people seeing something they could add would feel invited to do so (wiki style). In my opinion this would be a good way to improve the quality of the user-generated explanations. Also, all the "XKCD"s in the "New here?" section should be converted to the lowercase "xkcd"... Cos (talk) 14:00, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

Good points. I've done both. --Waldir (talk) 15:48, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

Call me dumb, but... You've got a link called "prev" that goes to the explaination for the previous comic. Then a link called "comic #42" but that goes to xkcd. And then a smaller, less prominent link called "go to this comic" that doesn't go to the comic but to its explaination. Anyone else think that's a little back-to-front? Zootle (talk) 17:18, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

OK, you're dumb :-). The standard template for an explanation page includes the header with "Prev", "Comic # (date)", and "Next" links. If we don't have explanation pages for the previous or next comic, we don't show the respective link. I hadn't noticed that the "Comic # (date)" bit was a link to the xkcd site before, but in context it makes sense to me. Including a link to the Explain page for the comic who's explain page you are already looking at doesn't make sense.
The explanation page for the latest comic is "transcluded" in the main page pretty much as-is, so we get the header, the comic, the explanation, etc. We don't get the discussion, which is visible at the bottom of the Explain page. Because there is never an explanation for a comic that hasn't been released yet, there is never a "Next" link on the main page's transcluded header. So you get "Prev" and "Comic" links. The "Go to this comic" link is added by the main page above the transcluded explain page.
I can see how the "Go to this comic" link might be poorly worded especially as it's placement seems to be within the explanation it's linking to. Blaisepascal (talk) 18:16, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
Rather than "Go to this comic" maybe it could be "Go to full explanation" ? Something else? J-beda (talk) 13:38, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
There was a discussion at one point about a wittier/more descriptive link - but no one came up with anything. I do like "Go to Full Explanation" better, for what it's worth. --DanB (talk) 15:31, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
My problem with that suggestion is that it implies that the main page explanation is not full. As of right now, the full explanation is transcluded on the main page. There's nothing more to see by clicking that link (explanation wise) Perhaps "Go to full explanation page" but that doesn't quite sound right to me... TheHYPO (talk) 15:42, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
How about "Go to this Comic Explanation Page"? One nice thing about the specific page rather than the Main_Page transcoding is that it nicely includes the discussion as well. I have a bookmark to the Main_Page that I look at every day, but I want to easily read the discussions, not only the explanation. Humm, maybe we could have a page most recent comic that automagically redirects to the most recent comic? J-beda (talk) 12:42, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
I tried to get most recent comic to redirect to LATESTCOMIC, but can't get the syntax working - it is possible? J-beda (talk) 13:03, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Apparently it isn't. I would have tried #REDIRECT [[{{LATESTCOMIC}}]] like you did, but since that doesn't work, I'll delete the page for now. --Waldir (talk) 16:38, 20 November 2012 (UTC)

Discussion of latest comic

Perhaps include the discussions of the latest comic here? I almost missed there was a discussion field a few times because I would only read about the latest comic on the main page. Carewolf (talk) 14:54, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

This comics's explanation is complete bollocks, I think. Of course it is NOT a "fact that such a room exists". This comics parodies trope often used in cop movies - an elderly cop goes to work for the last time before his retirement, packs things, plans fishing the next day ... only to be called to one more case (possibly with a new, young and brash partner). And despites his efforts not to screw anything and stay clear of danger, he is either mortally wounded or screws big time and is degraded. So much clichè, that if someone says "It's my last day or service", you might be sure one of the two options above happens. See Edheldil 10:17, 26 September 2012 (UTC)

I believe this link maybe relevant: -- Rhudi (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I went ahead and filled out the bracket from today's (see edit date) comic: -- Glaucon81 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

  • rise

Btw, why wouldn't I just enter "ipconfig free" if I didn't want my IP address showing? (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

The comic explanation count is wrong

The adjustment is currently 3, but there are now 6 subcategories and one list making the current correct adjustment 7. If the wiki was upgraded to version 1.20, a form exists to automatically exclude subcategories. --Divad27182 (talk) 09:56, 8 October 2012 (UTC)

Looks like another week of the wiki going down then.
But seriously, I've been noticing this too. Didn't know what was causing it, but it's going to have to be fixed sometime.Davidy22 (talk) 10:25, 8 October 2012 (UTC)
The text reads
We already have [[:Category:Comics|'''{{#expr:{{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-3}}''' comic explanations]]!
The -3 is to account for the subcategories and non-explanation pages in the category. There apparently used to be three such pages, and now there are seven. I would fix this myself, but the page is protected. If the wiki where upgraded to version 1.20, the categories could be explicitly excluded, but the List of all comics would still be in the category. (Note that the -3 actually appears twice.) --Divad27182 (talk) 05:03, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
Mediawiki 1.20 fixes this issue, although it'd be nice if this could be fixed in the meantime via the hack reccommended by divad. Davidy22(talk) 06:40, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
Looks like Waldir updated the "Comic Correction Count" to "10" (as of 20 November 2012):
 We already have [[:Category:Comics|'''{{#expr:{{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-10}}''' comic explanations]]!</big>
    Note: the -10 in the calculation above is to discount subcategories (there are 7 of them as of 20 November 2012),
    non-comic pages (2 as of same date: [[List of all comics]] and [[Exoplanet]])
    and the comic 404, which was deliberately not posted. Thus 7 + 2 + 1 = 10
 (But there are still {{#expr:{{LATESTCOMIC}}-({{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-10)}} to go. Come and [[List of all comics|add yours]]!)
Could we possibly make this more dynamic by creating a "IGNORE_IN_COUNT" category or something? and then using something like: {#expr:{{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-{{PAGESINCAT:IGNORE_IN_COUNT}}}? Then any additional entries to the "Comics" category (that are 'special' entries) could just have the special category added and no main page editing would be necessary? --B. P. (talk) 07:50, 22 November 2012 (UTC)

Make Jeff stop apologizing

The apology for server downtime has been around for a while now. Can we take it down? Davidy22 (talk) 04:41, 11 October 2012 (UTC)


I think someone should install AbuseFilter. --Kronf (talk) 10:09, 13 October 2012 (UTC)


We should regularly purge the server's cache for the main page using to keep the explanation up to date. --Kronf (talk) 02:28, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

Now that we've been hacked, that doesn't seem like a very good idea. 02:55, 25 July 2023 (UTC)

We've really not been hacked, and even I can undo the vandalism (though there are other ways to proof us from a recurrance of this latest laughable attempt, that proper admins might use). 07:46, 25 July 2023 (UTC)

Updating the Rules

I've been having a lovely discussion with someone who apparently thought the "edit anything you want" rule applied to the Talk pages. As we don't have any codified rules for here and can only point to "well the canonical way this is done on Wikipedia is..." I think that there are a few things we need to put into the list of Rules on the front page, and then have a link to a more in-depth talk about why the rules exist and what-not.

Specifically, I'm talking about writing "Feel free to edit any page on the wiki to be better. But, treat talk pages like you would blog comments: comments by other people cannot be changed by you, you can only respond to them." as a new rule to be plastered on the front page, as there seems to be an increasing number social neophytes that seem to think that editing words that are attributed as being said by another person is perfectly legitimate and non-controversial.

Shall we discuss? lcarsos_a (talk) 01:25, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

We could add the etiquette rules as an addendum to the signature reminder at the top of the page. Just an extra note below the alert box asking people to not edit other people's comments. Davidy22(talk) 06:40, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
It really should be right down with the "edited mercilessly" description, because this is an exception to that statement. Shouldn't have two sets of contradictory instructions in different places. When I made my improper edit, I had a semi-conscious moment of doubt about whether changing the other guy's comment was ok, even though this is a wiki (and even though it wasn't really clear to me that this "discussion" box held something totally separate from the page content), but that statement at the bottom put all such doubts to rest. I read it multiple times to be sure. But I did not notice that line at the top about the four tildes until much later. It's somewhat lost, visually, in the header line, when you're not looking directly at it. 18:32, 18 November 2012 (UTC)
There's discussion to replace that message with a more noticeable alert box. The message at the bottom of the page appears for all pages, including talk pages, so a talk-page specific message there would not entirely fit. Davidy22(talk) 00:18, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
If that text at the bottom is in fact alterable, it should be written to take every case into account. It's an extremely poor user interface that has instructions appearing on a page stating rules that are the exact opposite of reality. And note that the altert box on the top looks a lot like a banner add, when you don't focus on it and read it. People will tend to habitually filter out anything written there from their perception. Also, it can easily be scrolled off the top of the screen when the discussion starts to get long, and they have a preview displayed.
So I think after the "...then do not submit it here.", it should add, "Exception: others' comments in Discussion pages are not to be altered. See full rules at <<link to appropriate wikipedia page>>." 15:46, 28 November 2012 (UTC)

Update after changes

The front page explanation hasn't been updated at all day to match changes in the explanation on the comic's page. This is a major problem i think, as it is the front page explanation people visitors will most often read. --St.nerol (talk) 20:43, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

It might be a caching issue. Appending &action=purge to the URL will probably fix it. Can you confirm it looks good to you now? --Waldir (talk) 00:29, 27 November 2012 (UTC)
Yep, now it updates instantly! Well done, whatever you did! :) --St.nerol (talk) 16:24, 27 November 2012 (UTC)
I've also added a link underneath the comic box that has the action embedded, so no one has to do any manual URL hacking. lcarsos_a (talk) 17:38, 11 December 2012 (UTC)
Just wanted to check in on this - are there issues with automated systems or spammers following this link? I know it can affect performance - caching is important on a busy site! --Overand (talk) 22:37, 13 September 2013 (UTC)

Suggestion: Change "Go to this comic" to "Go to this entry"

Just a small suggestion. For the Main Page, I suggest changing "Go to this comic" to say "Go to this entry" instead to remove any confusion for new and regular viewers. It certainly took me a while to figure how to go to each featured comic's entry from the main page. 17:04, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

How about if it reads "Go to this comic explanation"? Would that be less confusing? I only quibble because the explanations aren't really entries, in wiki parlance each page is usually called an article, but that doesn't seem to fit here as we really have explanation pages. lcarsos_a (talk) 17:41, 11 December 2012 (UTC)
Agreed. Randy Marsh (talk) 22:55, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

Explain the Unreleased Comic?

I wonder if [this comic] is permitted to be explained, despite the double issue of Randall pulling the comic plus me finding the pulled comic through "xkcd overrated"... Greyson (talk) 18:21, 12 December 2012 (UTC)

Comic Links

Some of the links seem to be confusing, as they're titled in a weird way. The link/button 'go to this comic', I'd expect would go to the actual comic on XKCD's page. Yet it goes to the comic's wiki page. And clicking on the comic # and date directs you to the XKCD page, yet I really feel that link should go to the wiki page, as it's right at the top center there, and has the date and everything, sort of indicating that it's a wiki page, yet it's not. And the prev and next buttons next to it don't go to the xkcd page, they go to the wiki pages. Which is really messed up, I think. Because of my confusion, every single time I visit here, I clicked on the wrong link, though now I've gotten used to it. I suggest rewording the links as 'XKCD Comic # and date' and 'go to this comic's wiki page'. And possibly switching the links' positions so that the wiki links could be in that navigation bar and the XKCD links could be off to the side. After all, we are a wiki, so putting our wiki links to the comic off to the side and the direct xkcd link in the center seems odd. Anyway, has anyone had the same thoughts and/or agree with me on this?-- 18:19, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

Unexplained comics

The template that starts each explanation page should be edited to have the next and previous buttons automatically skip over pages that don't exist, rather than simply not being there if comic n+1 or n-1 doesn't exist. Preferably it would append a notice to the next page (like the redirect notices commonly found on mediawiki) telling you how many comics have been skipped. I'm not sure how feasible this would be to script, however. 23:45, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

Percentage of remaining comics calculation is off...

Okay, I hate to be "that pedantic math guy", but... Today the main page reads "We have collaboratively explained 936 xkcd comics, and only 252 (27%) remain." While I agree that 252/936 is roughly 27%, I believe we should really be calculating the percentage as "the number left to explain" divided by "the total number of comics that exist", not divided by "the number we have finished". That is (today), 252/1188=21%. Think about it. If we had completed 594 comics today, with 594 remaining, what should the percentage be? 594/594=100%? That's not right... 594/1188=50%? That's what we really want to say.

The page is protected, which makes sense. So I'll make my suggestion here.

Change this:

and only {{#expr:{{LATESTCOMIC}}-({{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-9)}}
({{#expr: ({{LATESTCOMIC}}-({{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-9)) / ({{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-9) * 100 round 0}}%)

To this:

and only {{#expr:{{LATESTCOMIC}}-({{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-9)}}
({{#expr: ({{LATESTCOMIC}}-({{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-9)) / {{#expr:{{LATESTCOMIC}}}} * 100 round 0}}%)

Imperpay (talk) 15:32, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

Done and done. Davidy²²[talk] 15:37, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the heads-up! However, notice that the #expr: around LATESTCOMIC was unnecessary. I've removed it. Waldir (talk) 11:30, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
Waldir, you have exposed me as a charlatan and a fool! (I just copied, pasted, and tinkered until I made something that worked. I don't actually understand it. No formal training, you see. It's what we used to call "hacking" back in the dawn of the digital era, before the word took on connotations of vandalism, trespassing, and fraud. Have you kids come up with another word for it?) Imperpay (talk) 13:59, 22 March 2013 (UTC)
Joke's on me then, 'cause you sure fooled me – I readily assumed you knew your way around those parser functions. Nice job hacking the code, it was a nearly perfect crime ;) --Waldir (talk) 03:26, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
I've heard the cool kids call that the "Maker Mentality", usually with a reference to Make magazine and Maker Faire. But I think there's also a movement to resurrect the original meaning of hacker. lcarsos_a (talk) 04:21, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

Expression error on Main Page

Please use {{PAGESINCAT:...|R}} instead of {{PAGESINCAT:...}} to correct these errors :) -- 10:55, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

Dun diddly done. Davidy²²[talk] 11:21, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

Compile a list of non-technical comics to non-technical readers?

I'm a long-time reader and fan of >< |< C |}, but my normal approach is useless when I introduce this provocative comic series to my less technical friends. They stay at the apparent level of many comics. They don't bother reading the explanations, but they would say, "it's hard to make sense". Imagine an average non-technical (and non-arts) major guy/girl, can we compile a list of state-of-the-art but less-technical, easy-to-comprehend but "ah ha!!" strips that is suitable for them? --W shll nvr flly xpln xkcd! (talk) 12:39, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

Oh my god that signature.
Gaah, derailment. Uh, pretty much anything that isn't tagged with the physics or math categories are easy enough to understand for the average English speaker, so just check the categories at the bottom of the page for that. Also, avoid comics with the incomplete tag, and that oughta be fine. Davidy²²[talk] 14:41, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

List of incomplete comics

We need a link to the "Incomplete articles" at the main page below the "Missing link". Most pages are created but many are incomplete.--Dgbrt (talk) 19:06, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

Header message

Please don't take this seriously unless you actually think it's a good idea:

I think the header should be changed from "explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb." to "explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb... or still have some hope that comic 1190 will end." or something similar. Schiffy (Speak to me|What I've done) 14:53, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

Nope! This page is trying to explain more than 1222 comics, not only 1190: Time. The header just states the truth.--Dgbrt (talk) 15:49, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

I'd vote for a change. People have started coming over to discuss the comic even when they've 'gotten' it. That, and the fact that this is one step ahead of Googling the references yourself. So.. maybe, "it's because you're dumb..and lazy." 02:26, 31 August 2013 (UTC)

I honestly don't think it either. This is the most comprehensive comic-by-comic Wiki. People don't come here because they're dumb or lazy. That's like saying I'm dumb for reading a review of an episode after I've watched it - I'm interested in seeing what other people up with or caught that I didn't. It denigrates the idea of aggregating information, which is a very un-XKCD idea.

As a regular reader of explainxkcd (who was to lazy to cotribute anything until now), I'd like to support the proposed edit. (... and lazy) It really fits to the tone of our favourite waste of otherwise productive time (which is xkcd for myself). Best wishes from Heidelberg, Germany. -- 14:38, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

A friend that happens to be blind hates this site because of the "It's cause you're dumb" tagline. If he wants a transcript of the comic on xkcd, his option is to come here and have his screen reader program telling him that he is dumb every single time.

How about, "explain xkcd: because sometimes we all need a little help."? -- 02:07, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Oh, hadn't thought about that. There's been recurring complaints about this over the years, though the tagline's been around since before we were a wiki. I'll write something up and put this to a vote. Davidy²²[talk] 09:00, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

A point of confusion

Why is 'Apatosaurus' a category but 'Internet Argument' no longer a category? Greyson (talk) 13:53, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

Cuz people hit the random button, see an Apatosaurus feature in three comics and figure it must be a recurring theme. Same as the internet argument thing. Will get round to a category purge after we've cleared out all the incomplete tags. I think there's one for ferrets hidden away somewhere in the dark recesses of our catalog of categories. Davidy²²[talk] 14:45, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
On the subject, can I suggest a "Barred from Conferences" category, or similar? That's definitely a recurring theme (for a long, long time), and thus should be justified enough. I'd be happy to add various qualifying articles as I scroll through again, if I can, but first I'll leave it up to someone else to solidify the actual name. (In case it turns out not to be just conferences, for example.) 16:27, 22 June 2013 (UTC)

Incomplete comics statement

I suggest the minor change: "We have an explanation for all x xkcd comics, and only y (y/x %) are marked as incomplete." –St.nerol (talk) 08:07, 21 June 2013 (UTC)

1262 is out

So what are you waiting for? 06:25, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

(diff | hist) . . N 1262: Unquote‎; 06:23, 9 September 2013 (UTC) . . (+322)‎ . . ‎Davidy22 (Talk | contribs | block)‎ (Created page with "{{comic | number = 1262 | date = September 9, 2013 | title = Unquote | image = unquote.png | titletext = I guess it's a saying from the Old Country. }} ==Expl...")
Examine the time stamps. Davidy²²[talk] 06:30, 9 September 2013 (UTC)


I am not going to disable my adblock, I hate ads. If you accept bitcoin I can make a donation though. 05:24, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

Our ads are always easy-to-load images as opposed to flash ads, they're always pointing to some valuable product of some form and we've looked at and approved all of them. They also occupy space that would otherwise have been empty, as our one ad is bound strictly to the sidebar. We used to have a paypal donation button, but it was pitifully tended to and a much less reliable source of income than ads. Ads are the only reliable business model for small sites like this one; unless our readers suddenly become willing to pay all our server costs for us, we can't feasibly afford a better hosting plan without ads. We legally aren't allowed to open a merch store, because that infringes on Randall's shop, and we haven't had a single generous benefactor yet. If you want to stop seeing our server error messages, loosening up adblock for us and contributing to our impressions count will help us massively. Davidy²²[talk] 06:00, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

I don't care about your server message, I wanted to make a donation. Sooo, you don't want any bitcoins? 07:16, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

This took a bit of digging. We're fine with bitcoin donations, it's just that at the rate donations came in, they were just not enough to pay for anything. [1] Davidy²²[talk] 20:34, 28 September 2013 (UTC)

Donation made! 23:23, 30 September 2013 (UTC)

Thanks! Davidy²²[talk] 02:27, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

I hope you kept your Bitcoins ;) --192·168·0·1 (talk) 21:43, 5 May 2022 (UTC)

Am I the only one that feels it is "wrong" that the explainxkcd site has ads and the real xkcd doesn't have any? It feels like someone is profiting off of Randall's work. Does he officially endorse this website? Do any proceeds help go to support his ongoing publication of an awesome comic? 16:01, 7 July 2015 (UTC)

An admin will be able to give you more detail than me, but explainxkcd has a significant number of visitors (and thus hosting costs), and no way to generate income other than donations and ads. In contrast, Randall makes money from his comics by way of books and merchandise (and possibly public speaking), some of which will pay for his hosting. He could choose to have ads on his site to generate additional income, its his choice not to. I have no knowledge of the finances of explainxkcd, however I doubt there is much/any surplus ad revenue being pocketed by the owners/admin. As far as the site being officially endorsed, not as far as I'm aware, no.
Also, for more discussion on adverts/income, see here.--Pudder (talk) 16:21, 7 July 2015 (UTC)

/wiki is returning a 403

Hello, is returning a 403 now. In my eyes you should redirect it to the main-page instead :-). --DaB. (talk) 12:41, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

We have a new, hopefully better, server. The problem is already reported to User_talk:Jeff#Forbidden --Dgbrt (talk) 14:22, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

Explain Explain XKCD / Explain^2 XKCD

This particular comic explanation requires explanation. Way too many potential cross references with each conjecture requiring its own explanation page. Dial it back a little. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Uh, sorry, could you clarify that a little? Davidy²²[talk] 07:23, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
He is talking about the issue. --Dgbrt (talk) 21:32, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Well if it's that, that's an intentional permissions setting on a URL that no-one is feasibly going to type. Unless you can come up with a better use for that URL, with a reason? Davidy²²[talk] 08:40, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
A symlink to "index.php" at the root folder would solve the problem.--Dgbrt (talk) 09:26, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
I cannot believe how many weeks that took to fix. Amazing. No one was going to type it, but everyone was going to get redirected to it from the home page! 11:37, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

The problem is still not solved. gives still a 403 error because "index.php" is not included in the http server configuration as a default index page. --Dgbrt (talk) 20:07, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

I've fixed this. Sorry about the delay. Was super busy! --Jeff (talk) 16:02, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks Jeff, it's working. --Dgbrt (talk) 22:20, 21 November 2013 (UTC)

Webmaster: Obtrusive video ad on your site

In the ad section I saw a box sticking out and blocking out the explanation. This was therefore a very obtrusive botched video ad. Please remove this ad from your site. 22:29, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

EDIT: It's now sticking out and preventing me from clicking on the "Save page" button. 22:29, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

We only accept GIFs for moving ads. Ads should also be contained within the sidebar as they're techonogically restricted to standard-sized PNGs and GIFs, so an extruding ad would be a CSS error on the site end/browser error. In addition, we run ads from lots of advertisers, and "this ad" is not specific enough to tell us which ad you want us to remove. Could you provide a screenshot/link/more information? Davidy²²[talk] 22:54, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: link

This has been bothering me for a while now. Why does the link in the info box for the main page link to editing the main page? It needs to link to the editing of the page which the comic's explanation is on. When I would like to edit the latest XKCD explanation, I click that thinking I am going to edit the explanation, but instead I am led to editing the main page. Auraxangelic (talk) 15:19, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Ooooooh, nice catch. I've actually never noticed that before, and it's definitely not intentional. It happens because the text of the explanation page is folded into the main page before mediawiki parses links and syntax, and the "Edit this page" button links to the page that the link is on. I have an idea for how to fix it though, so I'll get on that. Davidy²²[talk] 01:49, 25 October 2014 (UTC)

Cueball/Rob merge

It seems to me from a general reading of the comics that Randall has always intended for the character we here call "Cueball" to have the name "Rob". Much as "Cutie" was renamed "Megan" when we learned her name, and now she is identified as "Megan" even in comics where her name is not explicitly mentioned, I think we should consider merging the "Cueball" and "Rob" articles. I know there's a lot of inertia here, but it seems to me that this is Randall's intention for the character's name. Djbrasier (talk) 13:38, 10 March 2015 (UTC)

Alternatively, we should un-merge Megan and Cutie for consistency. Djbrasier (talk) 14:50, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure this is an augmentation of the author's internal characters, including the one he has developed involuntarily as to the nature of his love. His memory of his love is not his love, yet it is what he has to love. Randall seems the type to delve into this, and thus I am in support of keeping the character names as they stand. /eof 05:43, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

Broken Date Box on comics

The "Comic #1511 (April 13, 2015)" textbox that appears on top of each comic breaks if you shrink the screen. I think the space after the comma needs to be replaced with a non breaking space. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Is it fixed now? Davidy²²[talk] 20:59, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
It looks like it. I had pointed it out once before and it was fixed. I guess somebody reverted that change or something... -- 13:42, 15 April 2015 (UTC)


Is it correct that we have 1515 comics, as of April 15, 2015? -- 05:20, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

It's not, but some people insist on making comic pages for things that aren't comics. I'll fix that. Davidy²²[talk] 06:27, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

972 is broken

Look, I'm not going to make an account here or anything, but I just wanted to point out that trying to access the page for comic #972 leads to a database error, and maybe someone should check on that. 07:45, 14 July 2015 (UTC)

Actually a lot of other pages lead to that same error as well... Even the 'Technical Diskussions' sub-page is broken. Seems to my, like some swap-spac needs cleaning up? 10:32, 14 July 2015 (UTC)

Yep. It's a symptom of another problem, but the errors should be cleared up now. Davidy²²[talk] 16:31, 14 July 2015 (UTC)
No dice. 997 is still broken. -- 00:27, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
Looks like they're working now. 21:01, 2016-11-27 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)


I notice that whenever you add "explain" to an xkcd url, it takes you here! neat! 23:13, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

Someone noticed! Finally! Davidy²²[talk] 04:45, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

Should we really be using CC-BY-SA?

Don't get me wrong, CC-BY-SA is my favorite creative commons license. The problem is, are we really allowed? The reason I'm worried is that I'm not sure if what we are doing really counts as "fair use" with respect to XKCD. It would probably be better to do CC-NC-BY-SA, to respect XKCD, or at least put a note that CC-BY-SA only covers the wiki portion (since it's probably too late to do CC-BY-SA anyway). 23:38, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

This is a tough one. Mediawiki sites generally use CC-BY-SA, even if the content they're based off is copyrighted (Wikia sites for various topics do this). The license only does apply to content created here. What should probably be done, if it isn't already, is some specification on pages in the File: namespace indicating that they are owned by someone other than the owners of this site. Schiffy (Speak to me|What I've done) 19:37, 7 April 2016 (UTC)

#1663: Garden not yet added?

For me it's 4:30 AM, 4/4/16 - I have a sleep schedule just like [2], so I've been first on quite a few xkcd explanations immediately. when they came out. I notice that usually, immediately once a new xkcd comic is released, a bot generates a corresponding bare-bones page on this wiki. However, this new comic "1663: Garden" doesn't yet have an automatically-generated page. Maybe it's because of the strange user-session hash key that appears in the URL bar when the "comic" is interacted with? Maybe this sort of interactive thing messes with the bot? Am I just being impatient? Do I have to wait a few minutes? (I'm going to bed, and this probably won't be seen until tomorrow, but I am at least interested in knowing how the bot system works.) 09:01, 4 April 2016 (UTC)

Skins broken

It seems both the Classic and Monobook skins are very very broken. Only Vector seems to be laid out normally. Schiffy (Speak to me|What I've done) 19:39, 7 April 2016 (UTC)

Yes, for me too. Let me see what can be done. Jeff (talk) 20:10, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
All calls to /load.php seem to fail, which results in the broken look. -- 11:02, 14 April 2016 (UTC)
Oh wow, I thought I was the only one. Just some random derp 15:57, 8 May 2016 (UTC)
Should be fixed now. Davidy²²[talk] 18:59, 17 May 2016 (UTC)

Random Button

The actual xkcd site has one and adding one would make it closer to the actual site and make discovering random comics and their explanations easier. It could go next to the comic # button. 01:03, 5 June 2016 (UTC)

There is a random page button on the left. Davidy²²[talk] 02:36, 5 June 2016 (UTC)
Oh. Didn't see that. Sorry. 20:16, 5 June 2016 (UTC)
I think that a random button next to the XKCD button would make sense too, but also with the link on the sidebar. 22:50, 15 February 2023 (UTC)

Chatroom Idea... What do you guys think?

I have an idea. What if there was a discussion board for the wiki? (And no, I don't mean boards like this or the "comment section" of comic explanations. I mean a live chatroom plugin of sorts. We could add it to the website and enable it so we can talk to each other in real-time and make live edits with each other. This way, we can also let each other know of edits we've made, make new pages altogether, or just talk. What do you guys think? -- JayRulesXKCD (talk) 9:10, 13 September 2016

The recent changes log already notifies all users on the site of new pages and edits. User talk pages and the community portals exist for coordination. Also, avoid creating new comment topics in the middle of a talk page in the future, comments are supposed to follow a chronological order. Davidy²²[talk] 15:39, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
Sorry. --JayRulesXKCD (talk) 13:59, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

Copying versus embedding

Hi, I'm new here and I'm trying not to be an asshole. However, I just noticed that this site uses its own archive of copied xkcd comics, rather than using the image URL provided for hotlinking and embedding. I can understand this website will want to have its own archive in case ever goes offline, but until then, why not just embed the images instead of copying?

The reason I'm asking: I just realised I hardly ever go to anymore ever since my browser put explainxkcd above Explanations get updated, so sometimes I check back later, which rarely happens with the comics. It makes perfect sense. But if more people experience this issue, is getting fewer unique visitors because of it, and this could be fixed by fetching the image directly from there, while still making and storing a copy in case it is needed in the future. Thoughts, anyone? 17:08, 18 October 2016 (UTC)

So, we can't do this for every comic, like 1190 or other april fools comics. Also, xkcd's revenue comes from merchandise sales, not ad revenue, so I believe it's not actually negatively impacting them that we're serving the images ourselves rather than making the main site serve them for us. Davidy²²[talk] 05:39, 19 October 2016 (UTC)
Embedding images is generally known as "stealing bandwidth", since it uses resources of the original site's server (may be limited) without bringing it any actual visitors (they won't see anything else of the website, like announcements, shop, other sections, ...). Also, depending on how unique visitors are counted, "visitors" through embedding might be invisible (client's side scripts won't be loaded). So no image embedding without the original site's owner express permission. 12:51, 7 February 2017 (UTC)

Other Languages

Are there translations of pages anywhere. It has been mentioned that they are on subdomains of this site, or a sub-page, as Main_Page/es for spanish. I can't seem to find them there. The Muffin Man (talk) 14:48, 7 February 2017 (UTC)

It's a work in progress, long delayed but I really do want to get to it eventually. Davidy²²[talk] 18:58, 7 February 2017 (UTC)

Why are there male/female symbols in some of the entries?

Those symbols are not in the comic, but they're in the table. I think a vandal put them there. Can someone remove them from the Lavaball, Bladeball, Eggspotting, Merfishing, Consequence Golf and Heck Escape? (now don't act like someone who criticizes "politically correct leftist "libt++d" SJW snowflakes" just because I said "heck" or censored the derogatory term for "liberal" or not even trying to say these uncensored) -- 12:36, 25 November 2017 (UTC)

How quaint

From the Main Page:

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.

From the Rules section:

Don't be a jerk.

(Emphasis mine)

How very ,very quaint. -- 21:00, 5 December 2017 (UTC)


Hi, With the general trend towards HTTPS being favoured over HTTP for security and speed reasons, would it be possible to force the use of HTTPS and secure the mixed content please?

Please see Why no Padlock? for more details.

Thanks, 10:32, 13 January 2018 (UTC)

Browsing using HTTPS seems to just work. There's even a signed certificate.
I really don't get why people are so convinced that browsing using HTTPS is so much more "secure". You even seem to claim that it's faster?
If you love it so much, install a browser extension like
With the exception of the login / register page, I really don't see the point for enforcing this for the whole site. I am no admin though. 22:30, 25 January 2018 (UTC)

We are already in 2018 and this website still does not even redirect automatically to HTTPS (you can do it so easily with Cloudflare...) nor enforce HTTPS with HSTS... I don't know, just check on Scott Helme's site why it's important. Having to rely on the user installing an extension for doing the sysadmin work is a bad joke, really. And it does not fix some issues with mixed content of course. With Let's Encrypt and Cloudflare providing certificates for free and the plethora of tutorials online on securing a website (not limited to HTTPS), there is no excuse to not do it. -- guest (talk) 11:22, 31 January 2018 (UTC)

"It's 'cause you're dumb"

I see that there was some talk about this a while ago, in which people seemed to agree that the "It's 'cause you're dumb" tagline is unnecessarily mean and should be changed... and yet, it's still here. I'd like to add some more fuel to the fire with several reasons why I really hate this tagline:

  • The tagline doesn't fit the tone of XKCD. Randall celebrates knowledge. Even Black Hat wouldn't just outright say "You're dumb", because he's a classhole who can insult way better than that.
  • Many of the people who contribute to this wiki are very smart. They're not dumb.
  • They're also quite amicable from what I've seen. If they wouldn't insult someone, why is the website doing so?
  • Not knowing something is not the same as being dumb. Even the smartest people don't know everything.
  • Having a desire to learn is smart, not dumb.
  • The tagline's logic is flawed. Just because you learn a new thing, doesn't mean you were dumb to begin with.

Anyone with me on this?

Hawthorn (talk) 14:07, 20 February 2018 (UTC)

The first line of the "Rules" section is "Don't be a jerk" at the time of writing. The first thing this wobsite does is to break that rule. I'm not sure what else is to be said here. -- 16:55, 20 March 2018 (UTC)
I always thought that was weird too. But it's still there... I'll tell the admins about it, and hopefully it will be changed. Herobrine (talk) 13:18, 18 April 2018 (UTC)

Explanation: This is a joke... Missing the punchline? --Dgbrt (talk) 15:15, 18 April 2018 (UTC)

Personally, I'm fine with the current tagline. I consider it a joke and don't feel offended. However, if there is consensus a) that and b) to what it should be changed, I'm ok with changing it. --SlashMe (talk) 16:18, 18 April 2018 (UTC)

I'm wondering, would it be possible to temporarily (a week or so?) stop new ads from appearing in the sidebar and replace it with a poll concerning this issue? Right now it's just showing what appeared in the banners in 1965: Background Apps, and not a real ad. 10:12, 19 April 2018 (UTC)

The advertisement is used to pay the fees needed to run this site. Right now this wiki get's an upgrade but when it's done this discussion will get a proper placement here. --Dgbrt (talk) 13:37, 21 April 2018 (UTC)

The first time I encountered this tagline I thought it was pretty funny. Satire can be hard to detect online but this one seems clear enough. --DKMell (talk) 20:42, 20 August 2018 (UTC)

What is it satirizing? I'm serious; I genuinely don't know. It could well be that I just don't get the joke. Hawthorn (talk) 13:39, 10 January 2019 (UTC)

At first I liked the joke, but now it's either annoying or I ignore it. Personally I don't feel it needs to be changed, as it's in the satirical spirit of xkcd, but I wouldn't care too much. Nyx goddess (talk) 22:56, 5 December 2018 (UTC)

It's satire, if it gets removed that's exactly the kind of overzealous political correctness that MAGA chuds are talking about when they accuse us of being snowflakes, howabout let's not give them ammo. - 02:03, 22 December 2018 (UTC) (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

As above: what it is satirizing? Also, for my part, it's not about political correctness at all; it's that the tagline doesn't match my personal positive image of XKCD, nor of this wiki, and it just feels unfitting to me, for all the reasons that I laid out. Hawthorn (talk) 13:39, 10 January 2019 (UTC)

I'm in favor of a change. Let's drop the "dumb". Or at least modify it. I propose a "strikethrough" of dumb, then add any one of a list of possible words: confused, ignorant, curious, wondering, befuddled... (Oooh, could it randomly change each time the page is loaded? Code wizards, advance!) Imperpay (talk) 22:25, 24 January 2019 (UTC)

A complete list of all synonyms of dumb, including dumb and all synonyms of those synonyms, according to One randomly loads each time you load the page via rng, or on a once a day system, like the incomplete page of the day. That would actually probably make it more mean on average, but more clearly a joke. Wouldn’t be impossible to code either.Netherin5 (talk) 15:18, 21 February 2019 (UTC)

The reason I come to Explain XKCD is because I'm excited to see what other people have said about it. I agree with the above - it doesn't fit the spirit of xkcd's joy for knowledge and it really just isn't why people come here. Furthermore, it skirts demeaning people with disabilities. Please remove it. Jachra (talk) 07:43, 2 July 2019 (UTC)

I also agree with Hawthorn. This tagline always was very strange for me. No, this is nothing about political correctness. I don't mind being insulted, if there is a joke, or something ironical or satirical behind it. But there just isn't. It's just not funny at all. A random selection on every page load from a long list of completely absurd reasons would be more the XKCDs way. You could even try to create one or more "It's because ..." explanations for every comic and randomly display one out of those. 2206: "... you don't know how to type capital numbers.", 2205: "... you don't assume Pi is one.", 2204: "... you didn't give us a moon.", 2203: "... there wasn't a really big meteor impact for a while." and so on. Pretty straight forward. The more frequent visitors of XKCD would probably even get many of the references and remember the corresponding comic. -- 17:39, 24 September 2019 (UTC)

I did recently raise the issue again on the Community Portal, explaining my case in more detail, although it seems to have garnered little interest. Hawthorn (talk) 12:13, 30 September 2019 (UTC)
2865: "... you built a spaceship out of bricks" B for brain (talk) 12:56, 10 December 2023 (UTC)

What instead, then? It's poor form to suggest half a change; if not "it's cause you're dumb," what should the tagline be? 16:37, 25 December 2019 (UTC)

There seems a pretty clear consensus to get rid of the jarring insult, with no apparent objections. Has been for years now. What do we need to do to delete it? What's the blocker, here? "first we need a consensus on replacement" isn't an answer. It sets too high a bar for something which is trivial, and anyway replacement is a separate task which can be performed later. Deletion is step 1, so what needs to be done to perform step 1, since none of us seems to have access to do so? Personally, I'd argue for making it publicly editable, which then magically also resolves step 2, replacement. Any tagline that stayed for any amount of time would then only remain because it was widely considered worthy by site members. -- 16:39, 30 September 2021 (UTC)

I like that idea, it efficiently gets rid of the years-old issue, and any further issues would have their own discussion page, plus any change that's problematic, obscene or spam could easily be reversed. I can imagine that at first there would be many changes, but after a few weeks/ months it should stabilize itself. (talk) 14:19, 30 November 2021 (UTC)

In my opinion it is not an issue of political correctness, or any related flavour of woke nonsense. It is much simpler. Problem is, "It's 'cause you're dumb" is extremely pretentious and high-horsed, while simultaneously having absolutely no business being so. It feels like it is said by someone who unironically refers to him/herself in third person. Someone whose professional CV includes the fact that he/she used to be a class leader in second grade of primary school. Someone who used to remind a teacher about homework that the teacher was supposed to check, but forgot. Someone who still asks his/her mom to cut the crust off his/her sandwiches. I am not offended nor insulted by this line, I am just cringing because of that line's author being too socially inept to realize that he/she is not in the place to judge and attempt insulting readers' intellectual capabilities. Understanding Munroe's poorly drawn stick figures, diatribes, and diagrams originating from his neurotic turmoil does not come with an added bonus of entering the supposed high echelons of intelligence, and certainly not comedy nor humour. Munroe's "humour" actually requires only the superficial sliver of knowledge from any given domain to understand and thus does not really come with too many prerequisites, while at the same time it succeeds in making readers feel rare and exceptional as a result of being able to understand said "humour", and makes them feel much smarter than they actually are. That's why those comics were able to find quite a large audience within their niche. It is quite smart in itself, actually: while Munroe may be poor quality comedian, he seems to be self-aware enough to realize the existence of his own shortcomings, and compensate by "bribing" his readers via appeasing their egos. In return, the readers are willing to overlook poor comedic value of virtually all Munroe's content, as long as they are being deluded to feel exceptionally intelligent and sophisticated for understanding the comics' supposedly hyperintellectual subtle references. Meanwhile, doing what this website does: insulting that audience is basically, in principle, going in the completely opposite direction to what actually made Munroe's content successful in the first place, and hence is quite self-destructive from this website's point of view. -- 00:20, 3 May 2022 (UTC)

Sometimes you're dumb, sometimes it's the joke that's dumb.

Editor FAQ

Eventually we may need that banner at the top for something else, like the incomplete explanation spotlight, or when the wiki was being upgraded, so I think we should add the Editor FAQ in the New Here? section. Herobrine (talk) 11:21, 2 June 2018 (UTC)

It's a first draft and I'm just waiting to be convinced that it's NOT incomplete. And be sure I haven't written it without a plan how to present it on the proper places. Furthermore this "Sitenotice" on the top is only "dissmissable" for valid users, every visitor not logged in does see this always. Thanks for your participation and I'm grateful about any help. --Dgbrt (talk) 16:30, 2 June 2018 (UTC)

Categories on Main Page

MediaWiki:Common.css has the following entry:

.page-Main_Page div#catlinks ul li {
    border-left: none;
    position: absolute;
    left: 70px;
    bottom: 6px;

The 70px cause an overlap for me in Firefox, and much too small a gap in Chrome. I suggest to actually remove that line completely, just compare it with categories on other pages: The gap is quite large. In Firefox, also the 6px are too much, but in Chrome they are required. But it might be worth to try whether setting vertical align to something else can achieve a more consistent display. -- 10:22, 13 July 2018 (UTC)

And the comment above that says: "Dirty hack to hide the categories of the current comic from main page. ...". I'm aware of this but there is much more, especially for a mobile version I'm looking forward to. Only in this case I see three problems: The component is rendered as a list (ul,li) by hiding the bullets. This then empty space is always rendered different in different browsers. Using "position: absolute" tries to circumvent this but absolute positioning is bad layout and never should be used. Furthermore mixing the units px and em in many places is also a problem when comparing it at different browsers. I'm working on this with the final goal also having a proper mobile version, not only for Firefox, Chrome, Edge,... on a desktop. --Dgbrt (talk) 12:12, 13 July 2018 (UTC)


I think we should add this book mark I made to automatically transfer anything from xkcd to its explainxkcd page (I was frustrated, ok?):

javascript:x=window.location.href;x = x.replace(/\D/g,);t=document.title.substring(5).replace(/ /g,"_");window.location.href=""+x+":"+t;

I know the code could be more compact, but using this, you can just press a button and it will take you to the explain page (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Just changing the URL from to (putting the word explain to the beginning) does the same. --Dgbrt (talk) 16:41, 22 February 2019 (UTC)
Collecting these here. – Yfmcpxpj (talk) 04:48, 13 October 2020 (UTC)

Non-comic explanations?

So I was looking at xkcd and I noticed a little jokey line near the bottom of the page in very small print that reads
  " is best viewed with Netscape Navigator 4.0 or below on a Pentium 3±1 emulated in Javascript on an Apple IIGS at a screen resolution of 1024x1. Please enable your ad blockers, disable high-heat drying, and remove your device from Airplane Mode and set it to Boat Mode. For security reasons, please leave caps lock on while browsing."  

Now, I know enough to understand the joke, but it would be nice to have a page for this. Do we have one? Am I just blind? Either way, I would like to know. Thanks! Nyx goddess (talk) 23:39, 28 March 2019 (UTC)

Nevermind, I just found it. Sorry! Nyx goddess (talk) 23:40, 28 March 2019 (UTC)
Where? B for brain (talk) (youtube channel wobsite (supposed to be a blag) 21:47, 12 December 2023 (UTC)
Whether or not it's the only place, you'll see this dealt with in the current Footnote page. 00:37, 13 December 2023 (UTC)

Latest comic released.

I don't know where to post this, but the bots haven't created the page yet. HelloWorld (talk) 19:24, 4 April 2020 (UTC)

Probably infected by COVID-19. That's why you should wash your keyboards after visiting other websites. Until then, feel free to create the page manually (if possible). -- 21:07, 4 April 2020 (UTC)

Minor edit proposal

Line 19 of the main page includes this sentence:

Many of the recent contributors, listed above, have [ just joined].

That right there is not a wikilink. Could we change it to:

Many of the recent contributors, listed above, have [{{fullurl:Special:Contributions|contribs=newbie}} just joined].

Both render as follows:

Many of the recent contributors, listed above, have just joined.

And I think my way is cleaner. That's right, Jacky720 just signed this (talk | contribs) 14:52, 9 April 2020 (UTC)

1000: 1000 Comics/1000 characters update

I've completed the blank explanations for all the remaining characters in 1000: 1000 Comics/1000 characters; however, it could really use some work in terms of verification. I offer the sweet incentive of being able to get rid of a page's 'incomplete' label as reward for people to double check my, and Kynde's work on the project. Your favourite sociopath ((the one who leaves all the parentheses open 07:58, 25 October 2020 (UTC

2021-02 updates to top of page

I don't really like the changed first few lines - I think it takes up too much room and the previous info was better. I look at the main page daily, and want to see the comic and explination not all this stuff that I think would be better down below the daily comic display. J-beda (talk) 17:50, 5 February 2021 (UTC)

I agree, and it drives me crazy that {{Welcome}} is designed for talk pages, so there is a red link to User:Main Page! 15:22, 6 February 2021 (UTC)
Since Jeff is much more involved in all this sort of stuff than myself, I would tend to defer to his judgement, but I also agree that the "Main Page" red link is pretty ugly. I will "be bold" and revert the change and then drop it if he really wants it. J-beda (talk) 18:54, 6 February 2021 (UTC)
I guess I cannot revert things as there are no "edit" buttons I can view for the Main Page J-beda (talk) 19:01, 6 February 2021 (UTC)
You need administrator privileges to edit the main page. This was done to reduce spam, which is basically non-existent now. I made the {{Welcome}} template, and I certainly did not make it for it to be displayed in the main page! I made it to welcome new users to the site.The 𝗦𝗾𝗿𝘁-𝟭 talk stalk 13:16, 8 February 2021 (UTC)
I see on [User:Jeff|Jeff]]'s talk page that Sqrt-1 has made a comment about this so maybe it will be taken care of. I am guessing that some automatic bot-like thing might have made an error. Today I got the {{Welcome}} template added to my user page by Sqrt-1. It does seem like a useful template for user pages - less so for the Main page. J-beda (talk) 13:28, 8 February 2021 (UTC)
It looks like Jeff has reverted it - Thanks! J-beda (talk) 11:51, 12 February 2021 (UTC)

Overuse/misuse of incomplete template

Instead of having information on why the comic is incomplete or being removed once the explanation is finished, the incomplete template is being treated as a place to put witty comments. This overcrowds the category, making it more difficult to see articles in need of actual help or know why they need help. I have gone through the incomplete articles and posted new topics on ones with incomplete tags that do not provide information on why the template is there, asking to know why the comic is incomplete and, failing that, to have the template removed. For the full details, please see my user page.

I would like to request that either a less obtrusive solution or compromise be found or the error of my (relatively new user) ways be explained to me by someone more experienced.

Sincerely, Summer Glau {)|(}Quill{)|(}

P.S. Maybe an "incomplete incomplete template" template? I don't know.

P.P.S. I can kill you with my brain.

I don't know. I re-signed and edited so many times, March 2021 (UTC)

In some cases, the "incomplete" tag is left on for a long time, when nobody takes the trouble to remove it from a page that has migrated out of people's attention. Sometimes, people remove it inappropriately, while a page is still actively under revision. In many cases, it's hard for anyone to say what's "incomplete" about a page because there's relevant stuff to add that isn't obvious until someone adds it. The question is more: at what point can a page be reasonably assumed to be "complete"? A week after the most recent edit to it? Some pages undergo revision for quite a while after they're first posted; other pages remain stable after only a few days. It annoys me when someone edits a page and removes its "incomplete" tag at the same time, which gives me the impression of "now that I have made my change, the page is in its final form, and nobody else should touch it!" BunsenH (talk) 22:55, 6 April 2021 (UTC)
Proposal: The default text of the incomplete template could be modified to include [[Category: Incomplete Incomplete (or something similar)]]. If the text is modified, the page should be removed from the category. This new category would be easily accessible from the main page, and anyone visiting it should see information about the category's meaning and how to help make said templates more informative.
Possible ways to go about this:
  • Line 315 of the bot script would be changed to read:
    {{incomplete|Created by a BOT - Please change this comment when editing this page. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.[[Category: Whatever The Name Ends Up Being]]}}.
  • The main page banner would be changed to read:
    <font size=5px>''Welcome to the '''explain [[xkcd]]''' wiki!''</font><br> We have an explanation for all [[:Category:All comics|'''{{#expr:{{PAGESINCAT:All comics|R}}-1}}''' xkcd comics]], <!-- Note: the -1 in the calculation above is to discount "comic" 404, which is not really a comic, even though we've categorised it so. --> and only {{PAGESINCAT:Incomplete explanations|R}} ({{#expr: {{PAGESINCAT:Incomplete explanations|R}} / {{LATESTCOMIC}} * 100 round 0}}%) [[:Category:Incomplete explanations|are incomplete]]. Help us finish them! If you're looking for something easier, you could also edit one of the {{PAGESINCAT:Whatever The Name Ends Up Being|R}} pages with [[:Category:Whatever The Name Ends Up Being|incomplete explanations]], which would help other editors..
  • The new category would read:
    This is the category page for incomplete pages that have no explanation for why they are incomplete in the incomplete tag. Do not add pages to this category. See also: [[:Category:Incomplete pages]] and [[:Category:Incomplete transcripts]].
I will not do this without first seeking community approval, because these are huge edits that could majorly change the wiki. Is this a good idea? {)|(}Quill{)|(}
Feels a great idea. Given the dearth of opinion ventured either way, and given you've given plenty of time for people to declare an opinion, I'd argue to be bold, do it, and see if people squeal. It can always be reverted if required. -- 17:02, 9 November 2021 (UTC)

Add another digit to percentage incomplete count

With the large majority of comics gaining explanations, I suggest that the current expression be adjusted to the following, changing "round 0" to "round 1":

({{#expr: {{PAGESINCAT:Incomplete explanations|R}} / {{LATESTCOMIC}} * 100 round 1}}%)

Resulting in: (0.8%) Gamma (talk)

Problems creating account

I just attempted to create an account, and got the following message: There are problems with some of your input.

I made an adjustment to the password (which seemed to be the problem), consisting of making one of the letters of my original attempt a capital. This didn't work.

There is no point telling me there are problems with my input and not telling me what the problems are. I can't read your mind at this distance.

Cheers Copey.

add non-numbered comics

idea: for the "We have an explanation for all [number] xkcd comics..." make the number include the non-numbered comics like five minute comics part 4, Syndication, Blue Eyes, and that one book-publishing-rate one. what do you guys think? 17:52, 22 October 2021 (UTC)Bumpf

Good point, also as of right now even only including the numbered comics it's not up-to-date, as the newest comic is 2555 and it says "We have an explanation for all 2554 xkcd comics" -- (talk) 09:38, 16 December 2021 (UTC)
That is likely due to:
   <!-- Note: the -1 in the calculation above is to discount "comic" 404, which is not really a comic, even though we've categorised it so. -->
-- 17:21, 21 February 2022 (UTC)

fix these articles please!

What If chapters should be a redirect, not a mirror of What If? chapters ! 17:38, 19 November 2021 (UTC)Bumpf

Done.The 𝗦𝗾𝗿𝘁-𝟭 talk stalk 07:00, 28 November 2021 (UTC)
The redirect page now deleted --Kynde (talk) 14:10, 23 May 2022 (UTC)

Top 10 includes no more than 9 people?

Top 10 but it's just nine.png

have only nine users edited in the past seven days (unlikely) or does that top ten list really show no more than nine users? (talk) 09:13, 6 January 2022 (UTC)

My guess is that it is because currently place 10 and 11 have a tie with a score of 4 due to 3 edits on 2 pages and the top 10 table can show a maximum of 10 entries and cannot "decide" which one to show as no 10.
You can view the full list by clicking the "lots of people" below the table. --Lupo (talk) 13:19, 6 January 2022 (UTC)
That would make sense, except right now it alternates between ElijaRock and Asdf who both have two edits, two points and two unique pages edited, and pure chance seems to decide which one of the two gets 10th place every time I hit F5 (talk) 14:31, 12 January 2022 (UTC)
PS: The actual 10th place right now is neither Asdf nor ElijaRock, it´s Jack (or at least it should be and sometimes, when the wind is blowing in the right direction, it even is) (talk) 14:34, 12 January 2022 (UTC)

... maybe it's because everyone else is dumb... ^_^ 20040302 (talk)

Countdown Timer?

What’s the timer at the top right of the xkcd site counting down to? Apologies if there’s already a page on this; I didn’t look very hard :P -- Szeth Pancakes (talk) 01:37, 11 January 2022 (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

See -- 02:17, 11 January 2022 (UTC)
Now here: -- (talk) 02:31, 13 January 2022 (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Set up X-Forwarded-For for correct IP address reporting

(I already posted this on David's talk, but I noticed he's no longer active... Hopefully an admin will read this here) This should be done server-side, as right now (and for a very long time) it's been reporting load balancer / cache IP addresses for all the users. With recent vandalism, it'd help. BytEfLUSh (talk) 22:27, 29 April 2022 (UTC)

It says "all 2626 xkcd comics"??

so i get that there are one less than the category, so it should be 2627 (at the time of writing, 2628 is the most recent) right? where is the extra one being removed from? 21:05, 6 June 2022 (UTC)Bumpf

Backend counting error that'll be refreshed when whichever page is missing from the count is updated Davidy²²[talk] 06:39, 7 June 2022 (UTC)
Still not fixed. GcGYSF(asterisk)P(vertical line)e (talk) 23:32, 30 June 2022 (UTC)

wait what

category:google doesn't exist yet, it links to its preview, but edit box is empty.

can you fix the issue? thx An user who has no account yet (talk) 16:07, 14 September 2023 (UTC)

How Long the Bot Takes to Update When New Comics are Released

I was wondering how long it takes the bot to scrape new comics from This is the second time I've seen a brand new comic appear there and it bugs me knowing that the explaination page is yet to be made. I know it's a silly thing so I feel like maybe, if I know how long the bot takes to update the comic list then I might be able to bring myself to wait. Thanks, --OmniDoom (talk) 03:55, 19 October 2023 (UTC)

Escape speed is no longer incomplete

Can someone delete the text at the top that says "We still need to complete some explanations like this one: 2765: Escape Speed. All incomplete explanations are here."? Escape speed is no longer incomplete, so that is wrong. B for brain (talk) (youtube channel wobsite (supposed to be a blag) 20:30, 19 December 2023 (UTC)

I'm also going to raise the question on the community portal. B for brain (talk) (youtube channel wobsite (supposed to be a blag) 11:59, 27 December 2023 (UTC)

Is the "incomplete explanations" listing still necessary?

The "Incomplete explanations" category used to be used for a lot of past comics that didn't have their explanations fully filled in, and the front page has encouraged people to help out with finishing those past comics. However, as of now, the only explanations marked incomplete are the three most recent comics; the last long-standing "incomplete" label I'm aware of was on 1547: Solar System Questions, and its incomplete tag was removed about a week ago. If going forward the only incomplete explanations will be the few most recent ones, it might make sense to finally remove the "incomplete explanations" banner and most of the mentions from the front page. Essentially like taking the beta labels off.

We don't "need" "explanations for comics, characters, themes and everything in between" anymore; we have those explanations. We have explanations for all 2910 xkcd comics; we don't need to say the latest three are incomplete. I'd assume the fact that this is a wiki would still imply contributions are encouraged (and we could keep the incomplete label on the newest comics, as well as the link to the incomplete category in the "New here?" section).

The only main thing I could see against this is when particularly detailed comics come out. For example, April 1 is a week away, and those comics are usually pretty big, so that might still warrant a banner asking for people to fill in the explanations. JBYoshi (talk) 21:11, 24 March 2024 (UTC)

Agreed, I was just about to ask the same thing. We could replace the banner with a generic call to action linking to the list of incomplete explanations, but certainly I would say it should not call out 1547: Solar System Questions specifically, because it's not actually incomplete anymore. Raxod502 (talk) 22:13, 30 May 2024 (UTC)

What in the world is going on?

See title. DeemDeem52 (talk) 15:45, 11 April 2024 (UTC)

Main Page Deleted

The Main Page was deleted at 15:39 by Markhurd. I thought he had passed? Posted an Admin Request to undo this action. Perhaps the account was hacked? (talk) 15:47, 11 April 2024 (UTC)

why would they delete the main page-- 16:20, 11 April 2024 (UTC)'t_delete_the_main_page -- 11:59, 23 April 2024 (UTC)