explain xkcd:Community portal/Miscellaneous

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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This is a place for general chit-chat about virtually anything that doesn't fit anywhere else. (+post)


Discussion Area

The Community Portal's design

{{Community portal}} looks too Wikipedia-ish (because that's where I got it). Someone who can design things should probably fix that. It isn't protected for the time being, though it probably will be in the future (high-visibility template). --Philosopher Let us reason together. 00:54, 4 August 2012 (EDT)

Common mistake

This affects all pages that ever say "alt text" in reference to the TITLE text on xkcd images. "Alt text" is incorrect; Alt text refers to the text that is shown as an alternative when images are not displayed. Title text is what xkcd uses and is shown as a tool tip-like bubble when images are hovered over.

I would correct this myself but I saw no way to edit the main page. --Jillysky (talk) 14:21, 6 August 2012‎ (UTC)

You actually don't need to edit the main page to fix it, as what's there is just a mirror (transclusion) of the actual content from the comic page, at Curiosity, which is open for editing by anyone. Then again, the "alt-text" in that case is generated by a template, {{comic}}, so that's where we should fix this. The template's code, however, is currently a terrible mess (sorry!), so I went ahead and took care of it. Thanks for catching that! --Waldir (talk) 16:24, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Ah? So it's wrong, for instance, on http://m.xkcd.com? because of that I took it for granted that we could call it the alt-text... - Cos (talk) 17:38, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes. If you look at the page's html source, you'll see:
 title="As of this writing the NASA/JPL websites are still overloaded. Trying CURIOSITY-REAR-CAM_[256px_x_256px].torrent.SwEsUb.DVDRip.XviD-aXXo.jpg instead."
(line breaks added for clarity) --Waldir (talk) 23:54, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
That was my error in the template. I knew "image text" that has been commonly used by Jeff was not techically correct, but I didn't actually go back and confirm it was alt text before I included that tag in the template. That's to Waldir (I believe?) for correcting the template. TheHYPO (talk) 14:14, 7 August 2012 (UTC)

When the "official" transcript is wrong?

I did 903: Extended Mind. Interestingly, the transcript on xkcd.com is missing the bottom line "When Wikipedia has a server outage, my apparent IQ drops by 30 points." I assume we want a complete transcript, rather than whatever xkcd.com says it is...? Stevage (talk) 04:10, 17 November 2012 (UTC)

We're focusing on the actual transcript of the comic, not the xkcd.com transcript. The official transcript is usually right, but even Randall makes mistakes sometimes. Davidy22(talk) 04:24, 17 November 2012 (UTC)

Milestone: half the comics explained!!

Hi all! I'm pleased to announce that we have just broke the 50% mark for xkcd explanations! The page that balanced the count (568 explained, 568 to go, at the time) was 877: Beauty, created 01:31 UTC, 21 November 2012 by User:Davidy22. Congratulations!! :D --Waldir (talk) 03:10, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

The caterer's been called! The punch will be arriving soon! Go Davidy22! lcarsos_a (talk) 06:53, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
freedom.png Punch is served! Davidy22(talk) 07:11, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

But the Main page says 407 explanations, 731 to go! What's up with that? --St.nerol (talk) 21:00, 23 November 2012 (UTC)


Why in the Archive why are all the thing up until "Heatmap" in Reverse? Can someone please answer? Tmack3 (talk) 08:28, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

Archive? Can you provide a link or screenshot? Davidy22[talk] 04:43, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

http://xkcd.com/archive/ Tmack3 (talk) 08:28, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

Ah, that's because the comic right after that, rtl, has a right-to-left character in it that flips all the proceeding text. Davidy22[talk] 00:13, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

Ah, ok, i see that now. When I 1st saw that RTL I just thought that it was random letters, thankyou for explaining it for me. Tmack3 (talk) 08:28, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

It also depends on what browser you are on because on Google Chrome it was normal. Tmack3 (talk) 09:08, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

Do you think this question was asked by one of the xkcd people?

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090301060752AAtYugc Tmack3 (talk) 08:38, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

Matthew Reilly

I would just like to tell everyone that I asked Matthew Reilly (the author) if he is ever scared that a velociraptor is going to attack him, and he said NO! He clearly needs to start worrying about them! Tmack3 (talk) 10:45, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

What can we learn section

First of all I love your work. I believe deeper understanding of each XKCD can make a world a better place and I thank you sincerely for starting this webpage. I wanted to ask what you think about "What can we learn?" section I've been adding to some of the pages. Thank you - E-inspired (talk) 13:27, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

This site is actually the work of multiple editors working slowly and steadily to fill in explanations for all the old comics. Some of the xkcd comics are incredibly deep - comic 956 is such a poignant comic that digs into the DRM issue on so many levels. Your reflections on many of the comics are very much warranted and you're helping us create talk pages with high-quality opening posts, which is great for future discussion on this wiki. It'd be nice if you could refrain from putting headers in talk pages, technical limitations of the wiki make long explanation pages choke when headings are in the discussion page. Other than that, keep up the good work! Davidy²²[talk] 13:42, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
I've put in my 2 cents to comic 956, and thank you for teaching me how to comment and link to other comics - E-inspired (talk) 13:58, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
FYI, you can always make pseudo-headings using a horizontal rule and a bold "header", but honestly I think a simple standard opening sentence would suffice. --Waldir (talk) 12:14, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
Oh, and the guy who draws xkcd is called Randall Munroe. So many glowing things to be said about him. Davidy²²[talk] 13:44, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I can't thank him enough for simplifying complex issues to funny stories, I think it's exactly what our generation needs - E-inspired (talk) 13:58, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
I'm in favor of a Mr. Rogers style of 'what lesson can be learned' on the talk page, but make sure your comments don't come across as sanctimonious and holier-than-thou as that can be really off-putting. lcarsos_a (talk) 19:06, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
You are absolutely correct, I have not thought of that, please trust me I did not do it on purpose. Thank you Mr. Lcarsos - E-inspired (talk) 19:55, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

Thank you David, and I apologize that I've not made it clear that by your work, I do mean your collective work (the wiki is only as good as all the people behind it). I was trying to put the headers to allow others to find the section easier in case they start looking for it, perhaps I could make a suggestion to make it a standalone section so that others would be encouraged to contribute their own understanding of lessons they have noticed from each comic. I know the lessons I've seen, but I would love to learn from others as much as I hope they can learn from me and Mr. XKCD, thank you. - E-inspired (talk) 13:48, 28 February 2013 (UTC)


Hello fellow editors. Do you remember the last time we were hit by a surge of automated spam? Neither do I. ConfirmEdit has really done a number on the volume of spam that we're eating - one spam account has been created since we finished configuring confirmEdit, and zero anon edits have been spam. Zero. Can you say happiness? Can you say party? Davidy²²[talk] 14:41, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

Hehe, I'm glad! Thanks for being so relentless on the spam-fighting all this time! Maybe we should make up a new reason to make Jeff remove the /wiki/ in the URL? ;) –St.nerol (talk) 18:11, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
Awesome news! Finally the patrolling feature will be usable: Unpatrolled changes by registered users / Unpatrolled changes by anonymous users :) --Waldir (talk) 12:27, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

1000th comic explanation!!

Hi all! It apparently went unnoticed that we have recently surpassed the mark of 1000 comic explanations! Some calculations based on Category:Comics and Special:NewPages led me to the conclusion that the 1000th explanation was 681: Gravity Wells, created by User:AlexRNL just yesterday! Yay! This calls for a celebration, no? Congrats to everyone who made this happen! I'll edit Mediawiki:Sitenotice with a congratulatory message. Way to go, guys! --Waldir (talk) 16:04, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

ps - I also took the opportunity to flesh out our about/history page. Please take a look and fix/add any details I might have missed. --Waldir (talk) 16:06, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

Style guide

Is there a style guide for this wiki? --PeterMortensen (talk) 20:14, 10 August 2013 (UTC)

Oh, sorry, I did forget to answer here. A guide on this is not easy, many individual comics do need special layouts because they have content never can match to a style guide. But I will give a try Help:Style Guide.--Dgbrt (talk) 21:18, 15 August 2013 (UTC)


I've whitelisted the site in adblock, but the ads are still blocked. Anyone know what' going on here and how I can fix it?--ParadoX (talk) 04:34, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

Huh. I was wondering why our impression counts weren't rising. I thought it was just because this site had high turnover. I've changed the webpage that the word whitelisting links to, try the instructions there instead. Project wonderful is our ad provider, and they've been pretty good to us so far. Also, thanks for helping to support the site! Davidy²²[talk] 04:40, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
Great! I don't really mid ads as long as they aren't intrusive. Works now, Hope everyone else does it as well.--ParadoX (talk) 05:16, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
I saw you wrote "the webpage that the word whitelisting links to" so I went to the search box and typed whitelisting. My search didn't yield anything useful: [1]. I don't know how to create the missing page but there oughta be a link for someone like me who searches for whitelist or whitelisting, to take them to the instructions you refer to. SaxTeacher (talk) 10:59, 17 May 2014 (UTC)
We already have this linked somewhere, but this is the link you want. Davidy²²[talk] 13:41, 17 May 2014 (UTC)

I normally access this site through the android app "xkcd browser". That app only links to the content part of the site and doesn't show the side bar, so the adds aren't shown either. Might be worth discussing it with the author. 08:06, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

We support those avenues completely, you don't need to feel bad if you use an app to browse this site. We're only really concerned when we put up ads and our impressions are less than half our page hits, because that essentially means more than half our readers aren't contributing to server costs. That's really hard to deal with. We have enough daily page hits to qualify as web publishers at very big ad agencies, but we've had to settle for relatively low rates at the smaller Project Wonderful because 60% of our users were using adblock, so the agencies rejected us because our valuable "paying" audience was too low for them to consider us. That's been the difference between us using dedicated servers to host the site and hiring a contractor to set it up, and the (admittedly somewhat decent) shared hosting plan that we have to settle for now. We can only afford the shared hosting, because the small-scale advertisers at Project Wonderful don't even pay for full days of advertising; most of the time, we make less per day than the posted $3.90 price. That said, we're grateful that Project Wonderful would take us as a publisher when no one else would, but it really feels like the difference between being accepted to community college and being accepted to an ivy league school. For a similar reason, the Google ads route was not sufficient to satisfy our needs; not a large enough proportion of our users were looking at ads, so we either needed to spam them and degrade the site, or we needed to make them refresh, which makes pages slow and causes needlessly high traffic for a lot of users. We didn't want our ads to make the site worse, because that would drive away users and defeat the purpose of us being a public resource for xkcd readers. We actually decided to go the agency route pretty early, because adsense takes a massive cut of revenues and gives us little control over what ads or advertisers actually showed, which was not okay with us. Whoah, I wrote a lot. I hope it was coherent. Maybe someday I'll collect my thoughts and write a proper summary on how and why we advertise. Also, if you have any questions about anything ad-related, you can always ask us at explain xkcd talk:Advertise Here. Davidy²²[talk] 11:15, 27 September 2013 (UTC)


Feynman (both in living and zombie form) probably deserves an entry in the character navbox template doesn't he? 02:21, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

That's two comics out of 1200+. Three if you count the song. Not quite enough yet. Davidy²²[talk] 02:27, 1 October 2013 (UTC)
If that's the criterion, then we need to get rid of Brown Hat. Djbrasier (talk) 19:30, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
Potentially, we could create a very minor character category with these two, and other characters with less than 10 appearances. User:tplaza64

Job Interview (Atomic Soup)

The soup is clearly being poured out of an atomic socket. This "atomic soup" is probably not a reference to the alcoholic brew favoured by Scottish tramps, but more likely to the virtual nature of the company. -- Sulis (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Hey, go here Talk:1293: Job Interview‎ for discussions. --Dgbrt (talk) 19:58, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

Is there a similar, transcripted service for The Oatmeal?

Hi everyone - this site is a real gem, I've sent it to a friend of mine who can't read XKCD because she's blind. The transcripts on this site are a real boon!

Does anyone know if there is a similar service for The Oatmeal? I've searched and searched, but found nothing so far.

Thanks :)


As far as I know we are kind of unique in the web comics world. I think we get away with it because Randall publishes all his comics as Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial. We liberally link back to xkcd, and we don't make a penny (The ads are just to cover server expenses, because wikis and the databases that support them get big when you're covering a body of work like xkcd). I haven't looked into the copyright Matt uses for the Oatmeal, but he seems like a cool enough guy to not kill a community transcripting effort of his comics. lcarsos_a (talk) 20:32, 4 March 2014 (UTC)

what if 103: Vanishing Water - comics

Please explain the 2nd and the 4th comics from http://what-if.xkcd.com/103/

"Just tried to sail my boat over land, because I didn't learn from that kid in the Zephyr." (who's the kid from Zephyr?)

"A third time?" (maybe whales were dropped twice before in other what-ifs?) Daniel Carrero (talk) 21:57, 9 July 2014 (UTC)

"A third time?" is a reference to a whale falling twice in "Hitchiker's guide to the Galaxy". Been a while, so I don't remember the details of how this fit in, but the second time it happened to the whale, he thought "Not again" or something along those lines. Djbrasier (talk) 18:49, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
Actually, it was the bowl of petunias that thought to itself "Oh, no, not again." 00:48, 5 April 2016 (UTC)

Raises the question of if we should explain jokes imbedded in What If comics. Djbrasier (talk) 18:49, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

Discussion usage

Am I being a killjoy in feeling that the discussion section should be mainly limited to discussion on improving the explanation, gathering consensus and that type of thing. Specifically, the discussion for 1418: Horse is quickly turning into every man and his dog posting a sentence in the style of the comic, which doesn't really add anything to the page other than clutter.

Personally, I'd just delete most of them, but I think I might be turning into a grumpy old bugger... --Pudder (talk) 20:32, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

The discussion is also there for just talking about the comic. Those guys aren't wildly off-topic, there's no need to clamp down on what they get to talk about. Davidy²²[talk] 17:44, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Yep, I must just be grumpy and draconian! Lesson learned --Pudder (talk) 20:32, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

2014 Christmas header

Since the header for the site current contains a graphic link to the store that promises that Randall probably won't ship you a bobcat, it seems to me that probably ought to be preserved and explained somewhere. 17:45, 3 December 2014 (UTC)

XKCD at LanguageLog

Arnold Zwicky (of the well-known linguistics blog Language Log) has put together a list of linguistics-related XKCD strips, here: http://arnoldzwicky.org/the-language-of-comics/comics-lists/xkcd-cartoons/ I thought it might be appropriate for a copy of the list (maybe a category) to be created from it. 03:48, 28 December 2014 (UTC)

Category:Language Davidy²²[talk] 04:39, 28 December 2014 (UTC)


Hello there, I've created a little bookmarklet (https://ginkobox.fr/shaarli/?a77vQw) and I thought it might be useful for someone out there.

When launched, it adds the 'explain' before xkcd.com and the browser loads the explainxkcd page. I've tested it only on Firefox.

(Contact @ https://ginkobox.fr/wiki/doku.php?id=about) ‎ (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Thanks! I've started collecting these helpful tools on a new page, to hopefully make them easier for others to find. – Yfmcpxpj (talk) 01:36, 29 September 2020 (UTC)

Is there a RSS feed for What If?

Is there a RSS feed for What If?--17jiangz1 (talk) 11:59, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

No, because we cover the comics. Davidy²²[talk] 18:57, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

My User Page

Can someone help me with my user page? I can't seem to remove the large spaaaaaace on top.--17jiangz1 (talk) 07:43, 9 April 2015 (UTC)

The only solution I've found is to remove the contribution scores (data6=...). Not sure what exactly is triggering this bug. --SlashMe (talk) 21:02, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
I am receiving "Expression error: Unrecognised punctuation character "?"." for
{{#expr: {{formatnum:{{#cscore:17jiangz1|pages}}|R}}/{{formatnum:{{NUMBEROFARTICLES}}|R}}*100 round 5 }}
--17jiangz1 (talk) 05:46, 10 April 2015 (UTC)
Bump?--17jiangz1 (talk) 06:48, 14 April 2015 (UTC)


In What-If 150, "Tatoonie Rainbow", http://what-if.xkcd.com/150/ the first image title-text says: "Vowing not to reference that video any further anywhere in this article, on principle.". What video is he talking about? slmiller (talk) 14:29, 27 May 2016 (UTC)

It hasn't updated for 2 weeks. why?--17jiangz1 (talk) 06:50, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

Looks like they're on hold for a few months (Until July 14th). Too bad, I enjoyed them. (Look at the top of the What-If page) --Zman9600 (talk) 20:24, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
What is so special about the date and time? Seems very specific: July 14th, 2015 at 7:49:59 AM EDT. -- 12:48, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

Looks like it's set for the 40th anniversary of the Apollo-Soyuz mission launch. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

What If updates will resume on July 14th, 2015 at 7:49:59 AM EDT. By that time New Horizons will have it's closest approach to Pluto. See here: http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/ --Dgbrt (talk) 20:34, 5 June 2015 (UTC)

thanks for having a working website

the search function on xkcd.com was taken off, and now the random function seems to be having issues, but it's nice that here both work 19:09, 9 June 2015 (UTC)

We do our best. Davidy²²[talk] 22:27, 9 June 2015 (UTC)

Ada Munroe

The latest what if? number 139 has a question by "Ada Munroe". Is she related to Randall in any way? --Forrest (talk)06:57, 09 August 2015 (UTC)

Out of curiosity

I notice that whenever someone links to tvtropes.org in an explanation, someone changes the link to the matching page on allthetropes.org. I'm curious as to why that is. Is there some kind of terms of use conflict at play here that an editor should be keeping in mind? 06:33, 26 October 2015 (UTC)

TVtropes does not restrict links to their site, and if this has been happening there are some time-outs that I need to be handing out. Can you point me to some of the edits where this is happening? Davidy²²[talk] 08:24, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
The specific example I had was, um, 1468: Worrying. On Jan 3rd the links went to tvtropes.org, and on March 18th they were all changed over to allthetropes.orain.org. I just found it curious, I wasn't sure what the reason for it was 10:32, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Reverted. Typically, the reason people change perfectly good links to specific, obscure links in wikis is usually self-advertising. I'll be watching that guy's edits in the future. Thanks for the heads up. Davidy²²[talk] 18:00, 29 October 2015 (UTC)

Sightless readers offended by the "It's 'cause you're dumb" tagline.

I'll admit, every now and again the comic is over my head. ...because I'm dumb in that particular field. However, blind users who enjoy xkcd must do so through explainxkcd. They are NOT dumb. They are *blind*. Without explainxkcd, they would have no idea what is in the comics panels.

Explainxkcd is a great site. There is no question it provides a service to the internet community.

Please see this thread (last paragraph) on Userfriendly.org. Keep in mind, the end user is sightless and explainxkcd is "viewed" through a screen reader. http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/read.cgi?id=20160207&tid=3930989 (Anonymous)

The guy on that other site is complaining about that XKCD does not work well in a screen reader -- that is not our problem, but a problem for Randall to solve on his own site. We cannot be the catch all for everything on the internet that Randall broke Spongebog (talk) 15:37, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Agreed --Kynde (talk) 19:28, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Honestly, I never even noticed the tagline in question. Humorous to sighted folks, sure. ...but obviously offensive to those who have no choice but to access xkcd through explainxkcd.

I'll leave it to the administrators or the community to figure something out, if anything at all. Maybe no one cares? I didn't come here to make any suggestions, only to point out how offensive those 4 words are to some users of the website. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Alright, put a link here in the site notice. What does everyone else think? I'm open to changing it, it's something people complain about fairly periodically and our identity isn't completely tied to the tagline, I feel. Davidy²²[talk] 09:16, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Well, we definitely shouldn't change anything because that particular guy is upset. It's one thing to be offended, but he's also attacking both this site and Randal Monroe. I don't think that sort of behavior should be rewarded. I actually have a rule online where, if someone acts like a jerk to me, I will be kind, but I won't give them what they want. I think a lot of the problems with people being jerks to others is that they still get what they want, so what reason do they have to stop? If he wants us to change it, he should address us like an adult and ask us himself.
But you claim this is a common complaint. Then I would say we need more info. My instinct would be that people don't understand that it's a joke. But then my solution would be to do what the site is designed to do and explain the joke, rather than take it down. If there's actually something about it that's offensive to an entire class of people, that's different. I am unaware of a stereotype that blind people are stupid, but I'm open to the idea that I don't know.
I'm not particularly married to the tag line. I actually didn't even notice it was there. But I'm loathe to take it down over a misunderstanding. I can't think of a similarly humorous replacement that would not be offensive, but I can at least suggest "Because nobody knows everything." --Trlkly (talk) 09:42, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
I've gotten these before. There's a slowly growing section in the main page discussion page and a complaint buried somewhere in my talk page and they're usually quite unhappy. I pegged it up this time round because there's special needs involved, and a good part of our intended appeal is the transcripts for the blind. Davidy²²[talk] 10:45, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
I like your reasoning, what if "It's 'cause you're dumb" was follow by "[citation needed]" and make the whole thing a link to a page explaining the header. It would be in character of the page, and xkcd. 00:28, 13 February 2016 (UTC) Sam
Great idea, Sam! That's the funniest suggestion ever [citation needed]. 19:29, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
Is he one of those people who are so self-centered and 'entitled' that just because they have a disability they assume that everyone is constantly trying to offend them, even in the most unlikeliest of cases? Does he actually believe that the tag line was written with the intention of offending blind people? This is ridiculous. 11:04, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

"Just in case you feel dumb"? "Some comics may be funnier than they appear"? 09:55, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

How about simply removing it? At least until we find something that isn't offensive to anyone - which might be very hard to obtain. Elektrizikekswerk (talk) 10:34, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Because you're crippled... That's worse I guess.
But before considering the "you're dumb" tagline, one must think about the name of this wiki. It is called Explain xkcd, not read xkcd, and explaining is for dumb people, not blind people.
Maybe one thing we can do is add a "(unless you are just here for the transcript)" subtext, with a link to the transcript section, which has the advantage of both taming offended blind readers (maybe) and provide a direct, "spoilerless" link. --GuB (talk) 10:40, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

I need explainxkcd for two reasons: being visually impaired, although I can see most of the comics I often miss crucial details that I find only in the transcript; and as a non-American, I lack many cultural references (books, movies, songs, sayings...) that are given in the explanations. I don't think either of these reasons makes me "dumb". However, I never found the tagline offensive. It was immediately obvious to me that it was meant as humor. Who could seriously think that someone is dumb just because they haven't read the specific book that Randall is parodying in a given comic? Or because they're not familiar with a specific programming language or Unix command? IMHO the tagline *is* funny precisely because very few people can actually "get" all the comics without an explanation. Suggesting that anyone who isn't part of the 0.1% of the population who share all of Randall's abilities and references, is dumb, can't be anything but a joke. Adding to the lot those who can't get the comics because they're blind doesn't make the joke more offensive. It's a sad world where political correctness kills all forms of humor.

On the other hand, the tagline is not an essential part of the site and if a significant number want it removed, so be it. Zetfr 10:46, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Well not everybody's mind works the same way, and some people legitimately cannot grasp humor very easily. They may come to read the explanations precisely because they can't recognize what about a given comic is supposed to be humorous, and they likewise may not be able to tell that the tagline is just a joke. Besides, the tagline is equating a lack of knowledge with a lack of intelligence, which also makes it inaccurate and kind of kills the humor for those who stop and think about it.
I personally agree with the above "Because nobody knows everything." approach. I would suggest something along the lines of "Because you won't always get the joke." -- 11:06, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
This sounds like a bunch of dumb people coming together and suggesting that the rest of people should be more like them (joke intended) Spongebog (talk) 15:33, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
+1 on this. Keep. --SlashMe (talk) 20:15, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

I vote removal Mikemk (talk) 11:01, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Mostly agree with Zetfr, it is a rather obvious joke, and this is a website about a webcomic which is mostly about fun, it would be different if this was some serious news portal, but it isn't, and in my humble opinion people who can't take a joke shouldn't even be here. There will always be ranters and people who get offended, we should not let them make decisions for us. I sincerely believe vast majority of people, blind or otherwise, understand it. Jaalenja (talk)

I agree with Zetfr. If a user doesn't understand that it is a joke, then he won't understand XKCD's jokes, either, no matter how much explaination he can get.
--Lou Crazy (talk) 12:12, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
I also agree with the above, and like the part of Zetfr about because you need a reader to use the page you do not need to be offended by an obvious joke --Kynde (talk) 19:28, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

if i had a vote i'd say change the "because you're dumb" from text to a picture with alt text of something slightly less rude. "because you're using a screenreader," perhaps. although that would show up on mouseover. meh. whatever. --13:01, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

and someone isn't "entitled" because they get annoyed about something that doesn't annoy you. as a sighted person i don't even look at the headers on the page. i would imagine that since the text in question is at the top of the page he has to listen to it every single time the page is refreshed. which is annoying enough if it's not insulting. -- 13:06, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
It is bad to have the alt-text saying something differently, but since the current tagline is not offensive to non-blind people then why would it be offensive to a blind person. Spongebog (talk) 15:24, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

I vote keep -- Blind people do not have to come to this site, they can just use xkcd.com directly and if that is not working for blind people then that is Randall's problem not ours. The tag line has been there for years while I have noticed it before and used the site and I have never been offended, if a blind person is offended maybe they should stop using the internet. 15:18, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

I second that -- the tag line does not appear to offend non-blind people, it should not offend blind people either Spongebog (talk) 15:24, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Voting KEEP -- the tag line is a joke, and who is to say that blind people cannot be dumb Spongebog (talk) 15:24, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

I vote keep as well. I don't see any reason to change it; it's not a jab at disabled people, blind or otherwise. The site is called explainxkcd, and everything here centers around explaining the comic, not being a transcription service. (If that's not the case, then maybe other things need changing too.) I always thought the tagline fit nicely with the "sarcasm" part of xkcd's own tagline. 15:26, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

I vote KEEP and satisfy both sides. If you examine the HTML, or use Fangs (free screen reader), you may notice there is a jump-to-nav div element that lets people with screen readers jump to various parts of the page. The jump-to-nav div is only a few HTML lines below the tagline. I'd recommend:

  1. Moving the jump-to-nav div to before the tagline
  2. Adding a "Jump to Transcript" link in the jump-to-nav div.
  3. Test it with Fangs in Firefox to simulate a screen reader.

This way, screen-reader users can jump to the transcript and don't have to hear the tagline every time they visit an explainxkcd.com page. -- Hat (talk) 15:44, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Consider "Do you get it now?" 16:09, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

I vote keep: it's reasonable and no change is warranted

I like the suggestion of keeping the current tagline, but changing it to an image with alttext saying something like "because you're using a screenreader". I also vote to move the link to the transcript to above the tagline. Rileysci (talk) 17:32, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Great idea, but here's an even better one: Keep the tagline for visual browsers, but add code such as CSS { speak: none; } and aria-hidden="true" that prevents it from being spoken by screen readers. -- Frankie (talk) 15:31, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

I get the joke and I'm not offended by it, but it seems to me that it really sticks out on this site and it doesn't seem consistent with Randall's sense of humor. Everyone on this site is very inclusive and eager to share all perspectives and points of view. I come here both to see the humor that I have the knowledge to understand and to learn more about the world the way Randall sees it. In short, I come here to be one of the lucky 10,000. In fact, I would suggest that as the tag line, "Congratulations! You're one of today's lucky 10,000!". Inside joke that can link to the comic (http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/1053:_Ten_Thousand) and it is welcoming. 18:44, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

+1 on this. Change Jkshapiro (talk) 03:45, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

I vote keep. In case it is not kept then it should be changed to something completely different. Te idea of making a title text to an image I really dislike, although I even more dislike adding anything to the existing one to either refer to people coming for the transcript or making excuses for the obvious joke. This has been a part of the page forever, I have seen it almost every time I come here. To begin with I did feel dumb sometimes, but I was never offended by it, just amused. But of course an explain page is for those who did not get the joke. And there are other pages that explains the comic. I do not know if they have a transcript? But I'm happy to know that some people must really enjoy the detailed transcripts that I usually try to provide. I had just not though about the blind perspective. I more use the transcript to make sure every one agrees on what is seen in the images of the comic. Having said all this, I must admit that the best suggestion for a change so far is the one posted above my post (about the lucky 10,000). :-) --Kynde (talk) 19:28, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

I vote keep, for exactly the reasons explained by Zeftr above. Changing it to an image with alt text would be OK also. Miamiclay (talk) 20:45, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

I vote Change it because it is too easily mistaken as an insult instead of a joke. At least change it to Because you are stupid.... Ah, maybe instead Because xkcd is far beyond common knowledge or Because hardly anyone gets everything or Because it is usually nerdly esoteric even for geeks. 21:39, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
I vote Change. I have never been a big fan of the tagline. I don't know everything, but I am certainly not dumb. Also, I echo the reference to (http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/1053:_Ten_Thousand). This comic has always been about expanding knowledge, not making you feel guilty for not knowing something.
Change: I realize the "It's because you're dumb" tagline follows the sarcastic nature of Randall's humor, but there are enough people who don't get or appreciate that sort of humor and are likely to be more offended by it, special needs or no. Here's my suggestion: "For those of us who don't get it." KieferSkunk (talk) 21:59, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

At what point is "enough" people offended? I've only seen evidence of several (https://xkcd.com/1070/) visually impaired users actually offended by the site, along with a couple people who didn't specify their visual ability. I don't know the traffic on this site, but I would expect it to be on the order of 10^4 or higher. So is this discussion about changing something that a handful of people find offensive? Or is there an actual problem of something inappropriate on the site. If this is all about a couple people finding something offensive, I imagine a few christians might take issue with (https://xkcd.com/709/). Should we start another discussion about accommodating them? Or add a disclaimer that the views expressed by Randall Munroe are his own and do not reflect those of this site? Beardmcbeardson (talk) 01:25, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

So you vote to keep -- right? Spongebog (talk) 04:30, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Slightly Change-- make it more obviously tongue in cheek. "It's cause we're dumb" or "For those of us who need it" I agree with the point about not complying with people on the internet who can't behave like adults, however I've never found the line particularly funny. Also change the jump-to-nav, as that would just get annoying to hear it every time you open up the site. I am not recommending changing it based on the imagined offenses of others. I just think it could be funnier.NotLock (talk) 06:29, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

        I like changing to "For those of us who need it"

Keep Trying to satisfy everyone is like trying to understand every comic. It probably won't happen. As an example, using the 'one of 10 000' example provided above can insult a bunch of people that are not from the States simply because the comic (and the reference to the comic for that matter) will make them feel left out. My other reasons for voting keep have all been mentioned already. People get insulted so easily, let's try not to encourage this behavior by rewarding it. Bon (talk) 07:16, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

I vote Change because I find it slightly offensive myself. If we change it, we should replace it with something that everybody would interpret as humorous, e.g. "Because we can't all be rocket scientists". Condor70 (talk) 08:25, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Keep. Next thing we know, liberal arts majors will complain about xkcd science being offensive. 10:12, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

I vote for change or remove. Regarding the former, while I know it's supposed to be a joke, I never found it humorous myself and, unlike others that wrote before me, I don't think it relates to the humor or sarcasm used by Randall. It being offensive is not part of my motivation for my vote. I agree with some of the suggestions written up to now. Regarding the latter, I don't really think it's existence is necessary. Regardless, changing the div things is a must. GuiRitter (talk) 16:25, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

I vote for change. You could keep much of the humour by changing it to something like "because ignorance can be cured". Farnz (talk)

If I may vote (as a happy international user of this site, but not yet a contributor), one more vote for Keep - at least as "don't change now, because of this specific request, because of perceived offensiveness". For several reasons, which have been mentioned already:

a) I think it's funny. It also fits perfectly with the overall XKCD humor. And the same line of thinking as the book "You are now less dumb" from "YouAreNotSoSmart.com".

b) It's so obviously generic (directed at everyone reading it) I fail to understand how it can be interpreted as insult instead of irony. Even worse: I fail to understand why it should be _especially_ insulting to blind people. Having a transcript for them to use is nice, but it's merely one of the aspects this site provides (and it's not even at the top nor are there pages "transcript only", so blind are no primary audience)

c) If this site decides to actually help blind people more, how about: putting the tagline in the image (so it's not "read every time"), put the transcript at the top / provide pages with only transcripts, so that the original XKCD can be consumed prior to the explanations here (just as non-blind users would see it)

d) this request follows the current Outragism trend, so I do suspect that it's not actually blind people feeling offended, but privileged SJWs thinking about who might possibly feel offended, bringing change to the world where it's not beneficial even for those they claim to support. Comparable to PETA.

While I'm at it - THANK YOU for this site. Most XKCD I mostly understand. But due to being an international reader, some aspects of American Culture I need explainXKCD to grasp, and other aspects it's just nice to see more details, cross-references with other comics, and hidden gems. Zefiro (talk) 18:46, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

I'm an "international user", too, and I suppose a lot of users of this site are international users who need to be explained some xkcd jokes that would be obvious to any native English speaker living in the US. I don't have an opinion about changing the tagline or keeping it, but I would like to notice that "Because you are dumb" is the kind of joke that would need an explanation - it would be hard for me to tell if it's a joke or an insult. Therefore, an easier joke could have some advantage.--Pere prlpz (talk) 22:16, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

I vote for change. I know it's a joke, but it's not particularly funny, and can easily be mistaken for an insult. Ekedolphin (talk) 20:13, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

I agree with Trlkly (and Isaac(https://xkcd.com/1448/)), more information is needed. The purpose of this site is to explain xkcd (obviously, from the name) so people come here primarily to seek knowledge or a better understanding about xkcd. As long as the explanations or the explainers don't act like white hat (https://xkcd.com/1386/), there should be no reason to take the tagline seriously.--Beardmcbeardson (talk) 01:20, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

I vote KEEP, but I do support the idea of moving the jump-to to above the tagline. I believe that the tagline is obviously a joke, and that pleaing everyone is nigh impossible. I also strongly oppose the proposal to change it to an image with an alt-text of "because you're using a screen reader." Finally, I do not believe we should change the tagline. We should, if anything, remove it altogether. 03:33, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Slightly Change - I like's idea, "Just in case you feel dumb." Mateussf (talk) 04:44, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

I vote Change, preferably to something like "The Anti Thing Explainer; Simple Stuff in Complicated Words!" Only, you know, more complicated to improve the joke. Amaroq (KitsunePhoenix) (talk) 05:01, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

What about: it's cause you need more context. I also don't like the current tagline, because dumbness would be more the inability to understand than a lack of knowledge.

Change - First thing first, as suggested, move the jump-to-nav div to before the tagline and add a "Jump to Transcript" link in the jump-to-nav div.

Then also change the tagline: it's not that good, and not that in line with the xkcd humor - it's actually directly opposed to the spirit of 1053. Some better ones have already been suggested:

  • "Some comics may be funnier than they appear"
  • "Congratulations! You're one of today's lucky 10,000!"
  • "because sometimes we all need a little help"

Or we could even have a bunch of good ones like that out of which one is selected at random when the page is loaded --Jules.LT (talk) 09:17, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

I like the joke in the tag line (some of us come here because they are to stupid or to lazy to lookup all the information xkcd is joking about) but I also find it to direct to the user. I want to add some suggestions to Jules.LT sirKitKat (talk) 10:01, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

  • "Error loading tagline, click here to retry."
  • "Because it is Monday morning."
  • "Because you like explaining jokes."

I think people coming here and complaining because "dumb" appears to be aimed at insulting the blind are hilarious, because another meaning for "dumb" is "unable to speak." If people who were "dumb" in this way were complaining because we are using the other meaning of "dumb" it would be awkward, but degree of visual acuity is not open for the same misinterpretation. Swordsmith (talk)

KEEP for the same reasons as Zefiro. If change is necessary, fix it so the screen reader doesnt say it aloud. (This ensures the change is propagated to those who have no other recourse for sightless XKCD enjoyment, and is not a ploy by SJWs who can't take sarcastic humor (why are they reading XKCD in the first place?) 14:06, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

It is super obviously not intended seriously, because xkcd is a technical comic that nobody will understand entirely on the first pass. If it's true, then everybody is dumb. Boo hoo.

The guy in question is under the mistaken impression that Randall runs this site and maliciously hides his transcripts under the tagline. He's also very angry about a lot of things. Sighted people have to look at the tagline every time it loads too, it's at the top of the page.

I vote Keep because I hate negotiating with terrorists. If it has the effect of filtering out people who enjoy being outraged, then it's doing a service. Image search "stephen fry offensive".

I'd be fine with moving the jump-to-nav div. I'm absolutely against making it an image with a different tagline, because then we would be depriving blind people of the joke. I'm absolutely against changing it to something less offensive. I would settle for removing it entirely, or changing it to something more offensive, such as "It's 'cause you're dumb, and get offended over dumb shit."

Or, you know, make a transcribexkcd.com site. 16:39, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Change to one of the cool new suggestions I've seen. I've always been sad about this tagline, and while I love XKCD humor, I just don't think the tagline is funny. It makes me hesitate and sometimes decide not to share this site with others who I think would love the humor, but not the tagline. The issue keeps coming up, and this is just one more way that it irritates people and causes hassle. It's obvious to me that we should find a new tagline, or just drop it for the time being. Nealmcb (talk) 17:39, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Change The word "dumb" used as slang for "unintelligent" or "uneducated" is offensive and many better suggestions have been proposed, which retain the wry humor without the offense. Hiding behind "it's just a joke" is beneath the standards of this site. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

It's not hiding behind "just a joke", it IS the joke. It's tongue-in-cheek. It's so obviously false that you have to intentionally ignore the joke and manufacture offense about something benign. I'll give you that it's not that funny. It's also not that offensive. Why are we talking about something so petty. 21:11, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Keep. I feel like a blind person being insulted by the implication that being sightless somehow makes them unintelligent is a pretty far leap of logic. Not being able to see has no bearing whatsoever on your actual mental acuity. How many actual complaints have there been? One, a few, lots? I don't know, but if it was a significant number I might change my mind. As it stands, though, I think it's pretty clear in the site description that this site is meant for people who don't understand the comic due to its focus on obscure topics and use of technical jargon, being written by a former NASA robot technician with a bent for Linux. Using disabilities as an insult is something I don't condone, but in this case I think it's a case of certain individuals being overly sensitive. Thinking a word as mild as "dumb" is offensive is a bit much, especially since it's often used in contexts other than "uneducated" or "stupid" - I use it to describe myself all the time when I can't word proper-like. I think of it more as "scatter-brained". --KingStarscream (talk) 18:55, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Change I feel like the "Because we can't all be rocket scientists" tagline suggested above is great; I always found the tagline to be a bit annoying because I often know all of a comic except a small part, and I come here for that. It's just unnecessarily confrontational and Randall himself has expressed in https://xkcd.com/1386/ and https://xkcd.com/1053/ that he doesn't agree with insulting ignorance. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Change AND Keep I get the original joke, but I love some of the new ones too. Randomly rotating tag line appear is my vote, BUT let's make the tag line clickable so that we can explain the tag line .... for those of us who don't get the joke! (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Keep, but change the jump-to-nav, and maybe make the tagline clickable. I like the tagline. Someone already said this, but this is explainxkcd, not readxkcd. 19:37, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

I vote Keep, because it's been there for so long! I remember coming here years ago and looking for the references I didn't get, and the tagline was already there. It's a legacy thing, the one thing remaining from the old website in the new fancy wiki format. 20:47, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

For all you people being offended and claiming that the tagline is contrary to the spirit of xkcd, I give you xkcd.com/386. This entire argument is offensive to me, can we remove it? 21:20, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Keep The referenced posting is obviously a troll. And xkcd has transcripts so the story of the self proclaimed blind person with diabetes does not make sense. --23:43, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Rather than "cuz you're dumb" which both asserts a trait and uses what might not be the best word choice, why not something like "Because you might be ignorant"? Dumb, after all, isn't remediable, though ignorance is. (Also, a consideration, "dumb" can mean "mute," so if there's something with screenreading for blindness, that could be read as assuming more than one disability? ("blind and dumb" akin to "deaf and dumb"?) // Possibly do something akin to the warning on the comic's site itself: "Because you might be a liberal arts major." 00:22, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

Keep because risk of accidental offence is never a good reason to rewrite comedy. If community wants to change suggest "Explaining Xtremely Klever Comedic Drawings"; if only to troll those who insist that the letters XKCD must stand for something (which it doesn't) Kev (talk) 00:37, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

− The issue seems to boil down to:

− Is it funny?

− Is it overly offensive?

− And therefore:

− Is it worth it?

− Throwing in my opinion, however small: +

It's amusing to me. The joke is clear, and universal. Offence may be taken equally by anyone reading. It fits well. Possibly have a hidden link for those offended. A rotating tag line could include more jokes, but... By all means move the navigation.

An explain explainxkcd page that is linked to might work, in the spirit of metahumour.

However, it may not be as serious an issue, as the tag line is easy to ignore. Just moving HTML a bit seems like a logical, cheap and easy solution, and then we can test it. Please note that this has no technical knowledge behind it, just a reading of the above.

So, my vote goes to keep, and shuffle HTML or, in order, link, replace with rotating, modify, remove. Harmless fun. Possibly have a cookie-based option to permanently hide the tag line. 00:56, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

Apologies, I have broken formatting in the last few edits, trying to fix it... 00:57, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

My vote is change, and it's not because of blind people. Let me run you through a very common scenario for new users:
  • You have a person who generally thinks of themselves as quite smart.
  • They read the comics and find most of them extremely funny.
  • They come across a comic they just can't understand.
  • They stare at it for minutes, wondering why they just can't get the joke.
  • Pride already bruised, they eventually give up and turn to Google.
  • "Explain xkcd! That's exactly what I'm looking for!"
  • Click the link.
  • "Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb"
  • Gee, what a lovely welcome. Not.
Insulting your users the first time you meet them is terrible practice. You're pointing at them and laughing that they didn't understand the joke. You're kicking somebody when they're already down. OK, that is exaggeration, but when you look at the line as a new user, it's not friendly and welcoming; it doesn't encourage you to return. It's just bad UX.
Now, we could overlook the directed insult if it was indeed funny, but it really isn't. There's nothing witty about it, nothing punny about it, no double-entendres or sly references. It's just an insult.
Legacy is no reason to keep something that doesn't work. Just because something wasn't picked up as bad practice 5 years ago doesn't mean that it isn't bad practice. Can you imagine if Microsoft kept Clippy around for "legacy reasons"?
It would be one thing if it were kept because there were no other options, but so many fantastic alternatives have been suggested:
  • It's 'cause we're dumb -- Changes it from an insult directed at one person to a statement with an inclusive sense of community. It saying that, hey, you may not understand all the comics, but neither do we! Let's learn together!
  • Congratulations! You're one of today's lucky 10,000! -- Direct reference to comic which celebrates filling gaps in one's knowledge. Also, as a comic reference, most people won't get it the first time, so make it a link and use it to draw people further in to this wiki!
  • Some comics may be funnier than they appear -- Actually humorous, containing reference to a very common message we're all familiar with (objects in the mirror may be closer than they appear). Also alludes to the hidden depths to many of the comics, where additional levels of meaning are revealed the more about the subject one knows, which is what this wiki is trying to reveal.
  • Error loading tagline, click here to retry. -- Looks like the kind of joke you'd actually find in the comments. Clicking the tagline should then do something completely unrelated to reloading the tagline (I dunno, set off some cool JS magic).
  • Because it is Monday morning. -- Should only be shown on Mondays. Can easily be implemented with parser functions.
  • Because sometimes we all need a little help -- Gives an understanding tone that's comforting to new users.
TL;DR: The current tagline is unnecessarily confrontational and projects a bad welcome to new users, and there is nothing particularly clever/funny/important about the current tag line to recommend keeping it, especially with so many better suggestions on offer. Put it this way, if you were seeing "It's 'cause you're dumb" tag as a suggestion to add to this wiki today, would you choose it over the other options? No? Then make like an old meme and "Let It Go!" 05:49, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
I think the above comment is a perfect example of different mindsets. I discovered this wiki in exactly the way you described. But I was not offended in anyway when seeing the tagline, which I did almost immediately. Rather, it got a little chuckle out of me along with a thought along the lines of "Haha, yeah, maybe I am dumb." If you get offended by such a tagline, it suggests to me that you are not all that certain about your own intelligence in the first place. It's a static bit of text. It was not aimed at the person reading it, it was aimed at EVERYONE reading it. EDIT-I realize this post could be seen as offensive or a personal attack, which it's not, please read the "you" not as the poster of the above mentioned comment, but as a generic for any person reading the comment. Bon (talk) 07:11, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
If I remember correctly I've heard it origonally was a pic of Blackhat saying it. Would it be possible to use that on this site. It seems like a decent solution? (I haven't read all of this so I don't know if this has been suggested sorry if it has). Like people have said no one gets all of xkcd, as a nonAmerican there is also a lot of references I don't get. Getting offenend over this does seems pretty pathetic to me. I also use this site for non explanation reasons, that is it often links together comics which is handy, and people often post cool links. But as others have pointed out this site isn't transcriptxkcd or linkxkcd it's explainxkcd, so that's what it should be meant for. Claiming i's offensive o the visually impaired seems pretty silly. All in all, maybe it could do with tweaking to make it more obvious but IMO it's a solid keep Halfhat (talk) 11:22, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
I vote change, for the reasons the Halfhat above listed. I also never thought "It's 'cause you're dumb." really fit with this wiki. -- 12:57, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
I can't believe we've become such a limp-wristed baby society that we can't even have a joke like "It's 'cause you're dumb" as the tagline. Nobody would reasonably get offended at it. Keep. 13:35, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

I vote keep. Blind people have to realize they're not the only ones reading this site. This site was created to explain the comic, not purely to provide a transcript of the comic - that's just icing. Jarod997 (talk) 14:27, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

If there ever really was a single person who took the tag line seriously, then it was just telling them the truth. I vote keep. 19:15, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

I vote Keep, or otherwise, Change. My opinion: It is not offensive, and I find it humourous. As I am very interested in the maths and the sciences, and I am very nerdy, I do often understand the jokes in each comic. However, sometimes I don't quite get it. This wiki is very good for that, because it collates many people's views and expertise on the comic. If the vote is overall to change, I am a fan of "Because sometimes we all need a little help." 21:18, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

I vote change: I've always been a bit unsettled by it myself. Some deaf readers may be more insulted by it than blind ones. vote for "'Cause you're #dumb" (or perhaps another NOT symbol... so only people that don't understand are insulted... and the tagline can be linked to a page that explains why it isn't an insult) Edo (talk) 23:16, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

I vote KEEP. I actually had the feeling the fellow who complained may not understand sarcasm very well. Regardless, the tagline to me is remarkably funny and one of the things I always point out to folks when I first turn them on to XKCD. I worry they will stop following XKCD if they don't understand a post, which is why I am especially glad your site exists. There are many types of humor that will be lost on folks. Myself, for example. I was just railing to my friends about how much I did not like a recent popular vine which showed a guy, kinda probably the father, scaring a very young child strapped in a cat seat, by yelling in horror as the cats convertible roof was closed. Because I did not grow up watching laugh-tracked America's Funniest (sic) Home Video segments, I am not conditioned for casual schadenfreude-driven videos. But I know that's just me. I don't want to limit free-speech merely because it is not for me. Regardless, I really just want you to KEEP it because to me it is darn funny and just the sort of humor most of the folks who enjoy XKCD appreciate. --Hugo (talk) 23:25, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

I will also vote keep. While it might be considered offensive, it's really no more "offensive" than XKCD itself. Lest we forget the line at the bottom of every comic page:

Warning: this comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).

I don't see how "It's 'cause you're dumb." is any worse. Schiffy (Speak to me|What I've done) 23:52, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

I don't think it's offensive, it's more childish, which may be off-putting for first time readers. Hence I vote for change. 01:12, 14 February 2016 (UTC)

I vote Keep, per the reasoning of, among other people, Zefiro. I like the tagline a lot and don't see much at all, if anything, that's wrong with it. Like Hugo, I feel like it's a bit of entirely appropriate humor. APerson (talk!) 00:36, 12 February 2016 (UTC)

I vote change. I know it's supposed to be a joke, but it seems out of place and not particularly funny, and it could discourage potential readers. I don't have an idea for a new tagline, but plenty of good ones have been suggested here. Cheese Lord Eggplant (talk) 03:13, 12 February 2016 (UTC)

Keep better sums up my vote, and I wish to explain why. I understand the views (as stated above) that it might discourage potential viewers, but I have seen enough well-put arguments that point out why it should not be removed for the arguments on the other side of the debate. However, I do understand that sightless users would get pretty pissed off at being told that they're dumb over and over. Is there perhaps a way to hide the text from programs designed to assisted the disabled? I have a couple of suggestions.

Perhaps it can instead simply be an image, and can even be done in a more stylized text that hints at the humour behind it (no, I have no specific suggestions). This image should not have the words it says in the meta-text within it. I just think it's not worth removing it over, it's kind of funny (or very funny, depending who you ask), replacement suggestions kinda make it bland, and this is a way to avoid having sightless people get told they're dumb over and over. The stylization is just a suggestion, because most alternative taglines I've heard don't sound up to par compared to it. Just anything to point out the sarcastic and purely humorous intentions.

I'd like to enforce my suggestion of having an image with no meta-text that can be read by bringing up that explainxkcd.com can hardly lose popularity if for the sensitive minority they don't have a tagline (especially if this tagline they are not aware of could be construed as offensive). 'Cause seriously, who's going to go tell a blind person "hey man the tagline for this site is insulting to you want to hear it?" so they'll just not learn of its existence and go on peacefully. So: Image, stylized to clearly express humour, with no program-interpretable meta-text for the blind to hear. I'd like this opinion to be closely considered, and I'd love to hear intelligent replies. For all intents and purposes, I vote Keep, but to address the issue proactively and adaptively to get the best for both worlds.

I would like to point out one change I would definitely agree with, however. The commenter at not far up suggests "It's 'cause we're dumb", and I would totally back that. That one change could make a world of difference for some people. --Znayx (talk) 09:15, 12 February 2016 (UTC)

"It's cause we're dumb" is actually a pretty acceptable change in my opinion. I still vote keep, but wouldn't mind seeing that one. Right now the no tagline version looks lonely. 14:56, 12 February 2016 (UTC)
For the record, I would oppose a change of "It's cause we're dumb" because it's simply not as funny (the joke benefits from it sounding like it's a mock insult) and for the reasons in my main post right below this one that I see no reason to change the tagline which should not offend or be taken personally by someone who has enough sense of humour and intelligence to enjoy xkcd. TheHYPO (talk) 17:25, 12 February 2016 (UTC)
This brings up the point that it is indeed a mock insult, and one that everyone gets when they visit the site, those with perfect vision are insulted just as much as the blind, or white, or black, etc... 00:34, 13 February 2016 (UTC) Sam

I would vote keep as it is. I am mindful of offensive content, but context is key. This is a website whose primary purpose is explaining a humour-based webcomic that touches on topics that require some intelligence to really enjoy. The tagline is obviously (I hope) tongue-in-cheek. "if you need explanation of this sometimes very technical and specialized and sometimes ambiguous webcomic, you're clearly a moron". I think that most people on this site and elsewhere would consider those who enjoy xkcd (a webcomic that often concerns itself with science, history, technology, etc.) to be relatively intelligent. Just perhaps not in every particular area (as noted right at the top of this discussion). I also think it is clear that this is a wiki an thus the tagline is directed to everyone, even the people who wrote the tagline. We're all here because we're "dumb" in the sense of occasionally needing (or at least enjoying) a deeper explanation for the comics. If someone who is blind is using the site other than for its originally intended purpose, and it helps them, that's awesome. But that doesn't mean the tagline must acknowledge all possible uses of the site. Just the thesis statement of the site, which is "this site is for explaining something you might not understand". If there are blind people who use this site just to read the comic and never to need or enjoy the explanations, then I guess they are smarter than me. I do not personally believe in changing the tagline of the entire community because it doesn't apply to one small group that is using the site for a different purpose than its intentions (again, not knocking them for using the site at all, but seriously, don't walk into McDonalds and go "I eat here because my doctor says I need more sodium, and I actually hate the food. I'm offended by your "I'm loving it" tagline. Change it!". Or complain about Disneyland's slogan because you suffer from depression.). I would also have expected anyone who reads xkcd often enough to bother coming to this site just to do so because of their blindness would have a sense of humour and would understand the context in which the tagline was intended, and not take it personally. TheHYPO (talk) 17:25, 12 February 2016 (UTC)

I really agree with basically everything TheHypo writes, both here and his above comment on the reason "we're dumb" would not work at all. The idea with keeping the text but only as an image could be used, but I just do not like that we change this because someone made a troll complaint somewhere, regardless of him being blind or not; that is just one more good reason to keep it. Then again if we really wish to make it better for blind people, then by all means use an image. But keep the text in the image then! If you do enjoy xkcd then you should be able to spot the humor, and with the way Randall himself keep on mocking people on his own page, and in his comics, then why should this not fit well in with this explain page, and why should we not keep on doing what we have been doing so far? --Kynde (talk) 22:19, 13 February 2016 (UTC)

How about Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb*. (*Or don't get the joke because it is either outside your area of expertise or in a format that isn't accessible to you) - 04:48, 13 February 2016 (UTC)

Change. I've always realized it was a joke, but I think we could do a bit better. How about, "Some comics may be funnier than they appear" as suggested by 19:35, 13 February 2016 (UTC)

Change. When I first started reading this wiki and noticed the tagline, I wasn't offended, and I realized it was a joke. But it also gave me an impression that this wiki is run by immature people as this is a childish insult, used as joke. Naturally, I wasn't too keen on following thissite closely and would only visit here when there's a comic that I don't understand at all. Thankfully, after reading through multiple explanations, I no longer think that the writers are immature and as I started reading other explanations, I started coming here even for the comics that I understand. My point is, it took me couple of months to warm towards explainxkcd and most people aren't that persistent/ give the chance to prove. So we are making lot of people to alienate with the site just at the tagline, even before they get to the content. I vote for Some comics may be funnier than they appear. 01:07, 14 February 2016 (UTC)

Keep would be my vote. Today's society puts too much emphasis on protecting people's feelings, to the point that some people have onion-paper-thin skins, too thin to operate effectively when out in public! I feel this complaint falls under this category. Such over sensitivity shouldn't seriously be catered to. Politely listened to and considered, at most. Bending to such things just encourages people to be more sensitive.

The way I see it, you CANNOT enjoy xkcd without being smarter than average, or you'd have to turn to xkcd Explain for every single comic! It cannot be fun to require being walked through every single one. Conversely, I doubt there's very many of these smart people who are smart enough to get every joke (and every nuance) without assistance. Therefore it should be clear that is is a simple tongue-in-cheek joke, you don't really mean it seriously. It should be taken in the tone that it's meant, and it offends me when people don't.

For example, right now I'm at a bar at a Valentine's Day event. As I'm hopelessly single, this day is problematic for me, especially to be in public. I COULD ask that people refrain from love stuff, from flaunting their relationship, etc., that I'm here for other reasons. But as an intelligent adult I realize this would be unreasonable, that many people, especially most here tonight, enjoy the love stuff, enjoy Valentine's Day. It is certainly not their fault I don't, not directly, and they should not be held responsible for my discomfort.

If the final vote is for Change, I like "It's because we're dumb", or "we're all dumb", be inclusive to reduce how derogatory it sounds. Remember, while sightless people might find this site useful, the primary reason for it IS because we're dumb, i.e. we need help getting the joke. - NiceGuy1198.41.235.215 04:53, 14 February 2016 (UTC)

Wait, so they think they're smarter than me? I'm offended! ;-) Okay so I'm not. I almost voted keep because the primary raison d'être of exkcd is not for blind people. It was created specifically for people who need help understanding some of the science, math, and arcana behind the humor. But you know what? "It's 'cause you're dumb" is not that funny. Some of the suggestions are better. So I vote "CHANGE". Saspic45 (talk) 07:30, 14 February 2016 (UTC)

How about "Explain xkcd: It's 'cause we're dumb."? This has more of a feeling of inclusiveness and camaraderie to me, as in we're all equals more-or-less in the face of RM's brilliance and having a good time enjoying the material together. Came up with it about a year ago, because as it is the tagline struck me as a bit harsh, and have said it that way in my mind ever since. Edit: Ok, I see this has been suggested, so +1 for that minor change.

Change. While I didn't notice it at first, I was pretty offput when I did. As someone who has some trouble catching sarcasm all the time, I was excited when I found this site -- it helps me with not only things outside my knowledge, but also lets me check when something is being sarcastic. And when I finally noticed that tagline, even though I knew it couldn't be directed straight at me, it still sort of felt like it. I've been called dumb nearly throughout my life for not catching sarcasm which others seem to understand immediately, and it doesn't exactly feel nice (or in the spirit of XKCD!) to have that little reminder floating there. It's not even worded to be funny, either, just sorta cold. Sarcastically saying someone is dumb for not getting sarcasm... it's a vicious loop. And when there are so many other options -- many of which have fun puns or a much more friendly feel -- why are people so attached to this one? And from what it seems, a lot of people seem attached to it purely for the purpose of being stubborn against people who don't like it. Plus, why is it such an awful thing to try to make people feel more welcome? Jeez, guys. 21:57, 14 February 2016 (UTC)

Change it please. I see it all the time, and it feels SO condescending. I often check out the site to get more information about a topic in the scope of a given strip, or to see if there's any subtext outside of the primary joke, and it ALWAYS feels like the site is insulting my ability to understand "simple humor". I understand that it's supposed to be a tongue-in-cheek joke, but I hate it. I think it should either be changed to one of the previous suggestions, or use a rotating set of taglines, or it should just be removed completely, because I utterly dislike the way it currently is. 12:27, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

Definitely change - I'm surprised what it was doing there in the first place - but I do not like the "we're dumb" version either. My current favorite is "Because we all need a little help", as it is equally directed at both the non-joke-understanding audience and the screenreading audience; but I definitely like "Some comics may be funnier than they appear" and, to a lesser extent, "You're one of today's lucky 10,000" (not sure, actually, whether that one would benefit from a link to the relevant comic). Incidentally, how did the previous guy manage to post four hours in the future? Or is the AM/PM to 24h conversion broken? -- 08:39, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

Wow, this blew up... I never found the tagline particularly funny, but I honestly can't believe so many people appear to be offended by it. If someone is dumb enough to believe it is specifically aimed at them, not realise that it is humor, and think it is actually worth getting upset about, then the tagline is perfectly justified. Should be changed to "Please click here if you are easily offended", with a link to Disney.com, (or 4chan/b/...) --Pudder (talk) 12:09, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

I vote change. Even smart humans need positive words. Many of the proposed alternative with only positive words suits me fine. MGitsfullofsheep (talk) 13:25, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

I vote keep, but modify the Skip to Content tags to bypass it. It's humorous, and there's no such thing as a humorous tag line that won't offend someone. Can pretty much guarantee that if it's changed to something else, some wag will start a discussion about how that new subtitle offends them... -- Danemcg (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

If it's not too late, I vote keep, I regularly view the site for detailed information about comic topics and am always amused to read the tag line. I hope the poor fellow who tallies our votes here will mind that we're likely an unrepresentative group - if you're offended, you're likely to turn out, where a contented user (nearly myself) might just pass by. 14:34, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

I vote keep. Anyone who's actually offended by this is way to sensitive... 15:09, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

Change. Never found it funny. We can do better. Djbrasier (talk) 16:12, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

Change. It offends too many people (myself included, although more at first than now) to be kept. Z (talk) 16:57, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

I too vote change if it's not too late. Not because it's particularly offensive but more because it's not funny or xkcd-ish enough to justify any offence it may or may not cause. I prefer some of the suggestions we've had:

  • Congratulations! You're one of today's lucky 10,000! (with, of course, a link to the relevant comic)
  • Some comics may be funnier than they appear. This one is my favourite and I feel it captures very well my main reason for using explainxkcd 21:12, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

I vote Keep. If we legitimately had a large group of blind people who were offended at this tagline, I would be in support of changing it. However, the only supposedly blind person who we know of that takes offense was obviously a belligerent individual. Do we really want to take a guy who says "I've found more intelligent, compassionate, humane, wise, sympathetic, inclusive, and infinitely funnier *dingleberries* than [Randall Munroe].*Rude gesture*" seriously? do we really want some ranting asshole somewhere to dictate what our site does or does not do? seriously? VfiftyV (talk) 00:11, 16 February 2016 (UTC)

I vote change. I've always disliked the tagline, it's a bland and obvious "joke" that's at odds with the friendly, clever tone of both the comics and the rest of this site. Even if it's clear we don't mean it, calling every visitor to this site dumb, with no further context, just isn't setting a good example for the kind of *clever* sarcasm that Randall uses. We can do better. 01:12, 16 February 2016 (UTC)

Keep because it's clearly meant as a joke. It makes no sense to change this site over one person's "offense" that the unaffiliated xkcd site isn't blind-friendly enough. 02:31, 16 February 2016 (UTC)

Keep. Anyone with a sense of humor can understand that it's at least humorous. And, the primary purpose of the site is to... explain the comics, mainly to those who don't understand them. If it does get read out loud to every blind person who visits, then please, by all means, Change the layout at least to keep that from happening. But it shouldn't be removed due to half-baked complaints. 02:57, 16 February 2016 (UTC)

I've already voted above, but I would like to call out the sightlessness issue as a red herring. One of the premises of accessible design is that all users get the same content, although perhaps in different ways, so I think we're going in the wrong direction in proposing to change or hide the text for blind users but not for everyone else. If we're to keep it, then let us keep it for all. If we're to change it, then let us change it (to the same thing) for all. If we're to remove it, then let us remove it for all. Jkshapiro (talk) 04:22, 16 February 2016 (UTC)

Alright, I've tallied up the votes twice and counted 36-31 the first time, and 39-32 the second time. Both times were majority keep, though there was still a strong showing for people wanting to change it. I've fixed and restored the black hat figure who was supposed to be speaking the tagline back in the old blog days, and I turned the tagline off for screen readers since the blind may only need us for the transcript, and accessibility for the blind is a big part of why we had a transcript to begin with. Davidy²²[talk] 07:44, 16 February 2016 (UTC)

I think this is a great compromise. And cool that it is Black Hat's line. I did not know this used to be the case. Is it correct that the font color has also been turned gray so it is not so prominent? --Kynde (talk) 08:45, 16 February 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, back when this site was a blog, the tagline was Black Hat's line. looking at the edit history for the tagline, it looks like we've made some vague attempts to restore black hat's face next to the tagline before, but mediawiki doesn't process markup in that area. I did a little bit of CSS magic this time round to fix it properly this time. He's a little fuzzy though, could be better. The tagline's always been gray though. Davidy²²[talk] 08:57, 16 February 2016 (UTC)
Just before I start, since I'm an IP user and therefore hard to identify (should probably make an account one of these days, but oh well), I just want to quickly mention that I am the same person as who posted on the 11 Feb.
Now that's out of the way, I want to say that I disagree with the outcome decided for this post. While I appreciate the attempt to compromise by having it look a bit more like Black Hat is saying the line, I still think that the substance of the arguments against the current tag line are much stronger than the arguments for keeping it. The arguments for keeping it all basically boil down to "It's a joke and it's been there forever so there is no need to change and anyone who suggests otherwise should just man the f*** up." Nowhere have I seen anyone in the keep-camp argue as to why none of the alternatives are just as good or better than the current line. Pretty much, the only reason ever given to stick to the current tag line is that it's the status quo.
On the other hand, you have many, many people pointing out that the tagline is offensive and that, even if the reader does understand it to be a joke, it's not a particularly clever one and provides a rather unwelcoming atmosphere. What many of the people in the keep-camp are ignoring is the fact that not everybody has a high level of self-confidence, and that being called dumb, even if the intention is tongue-in-cheek, just comes off as hostile and drives people away. It is also true that all tone of voice suggesting sarcasm is completely lost in text, which is why over at the Doctor Who Answers Wiki we specifically point this out in our policy of civility towards fellow users. This wiki is very different from that one in many ways, but I don't think it would be dumb to look at what others have noticed and learn from their mistakes, especially since that particular wording was added due to a bad misunderstanding leading from lost sarcasm. There has already been somebody here who admits they find understanding sarcasm to be difficult. Should we really be calling them dumb? Furthermore, the quote seems to directly contradict Randall's attitude towards ignorance, summed up so perfectly in 1053: Ten Thousand. We should be welcoming ignorant, or "dumb", people in the hopes of enlightening them with the wisdom of the community here. Singling them out as dumb isn't going to help them.
Finally, I fear the reason there aren't more change votes are because many of the people who were put off by the tagline simply never came back to this wiki after their first visit. I wouldn't be surprised if reader retention rates increased if you changed the tagline, and if the number of readers who convert to users also increases if the community provided a more friendly first-impression.
Now, I know that I have raised this all before, along with many of the other people who voted for change, and it still doesn't seem to have made an impact of the people who try to insist that an insult with no wit or humour is "just a joke". I think the best way for us to prove that the tagline needs to change is to conduct a little experiment. Let's look at a list of commonly supported alternatives:
  1. It's 'cause we're dumb
  2. Congratulations! You're one of today's lucky 10,000!
  3. Some comics may be funnier than they appear
  4. Because sometimes we all need a little help
Explanations for why these taglines are better than the current have already been provided. I challenge anyone reading this post from the keep-camp to explain why "It's 'cause you're dumb" is better than each of those taglines individually, without falling back on arguments of legacy or that the people reading the line are thin-skinned wusses. If reasonable counter-arguments can be made against each of those lines in favour of the current one, then I will back down. Until then, I cannot accept that the battle of ideas has chosen the current tagline. There are just so many better alternatives that are funnier, more in-line with the xkcd spirit, and above all, are welcoming to new readers into the community instead of turning them away the moment they reach the front door. 11:28, 16 February 2016 (UTC)
Dude, you are not getting how voting and democracy works. The people who are proposing a change, are the equivalent of lobbyist --having lots of lobbyist does not equate to "strong support". None of these lobbyist have been able to agree on a single rewording, so they are not arguing for the same cause. On the the other hand there are thousands of of visitors (voters), of those who actually voted, voted to keep and not go with the suggestions of the lobbyists. Had there on the other-hand been a majority for change, the what would the change be? At best we would have to consolidate the suggestions (candidates), and since there is no term limit on tag-lines, the existing one should be a running candidate as well, and then make an eating contest between all the possible candidates 19:50, 16 February 2016 (UTC)

OK, I'll take a stab at it. "It's 'cause you're dumb" is better than any of these because it is funnier than any of these. It's funny for the same reason that the titles of numerous books, "XXX for Dummies" are funny. In fact, if it weren't such an obvious rip-off, the tag line could be "xkcd for Dummies", which would be the same joke.

  1. It's 'cause we're dumb is sort of awkward, and why would I want an explanation for something I didn't understand from a bunch of dummies, anyway? I want somebody smart to explain it to the dummy - me - who didn't get the joke.
  2. Congratulations! You're one of today's lucky 10,000! is meaningless, and therefore not funny, unless you click on it and then let Randall tell you the joke behind that punch line. I do love the sentiment now that I've seen that comic, and somehow linking to that comic as an explanation of what explainxkcd.com is all about is a great idea, but as a tag line, by itself, it just isn't funny.
  3. Some comics may be funnier than they appear is sort of cute, as it relates to the warning in rear-view mirrors, but it is so actually true in the case of xkcd that it loses some of its funniness by being a serious explanation of why the explainxkcd.com site is valuable.
  4. Because sometimes we all need a little help - is sweet, sympathetic, and inclusive; it's just not very funny.

By contrast, "It's 'cause you're dumb" grabbed me the first time I saw it as being relevant to why explainxkcd.com is a great site, and equally importantly, it made me laugh. Maybe it is to be expected that among the viewers of a site dedicated to explaining jokes there will be a reasonable percentage that don't get this particular joke, either. Maybe the solution is a link on that line to a page that explains the "It's 'cause you're dumb" joke in the way xkcd jokes are explained: "It's funny because you are not really dumb, you just maybe didn't get some very esoteric reference, and you'll enjoy the humor of xkcd more when that reference is explained. But, when jokes need to be explained, it is common for people to feel like they must be stupid, so we make a joke about that feeling. It's not really pointed at you in particular; after all, this is a published web-site - the folks who wrote it probably don't even know you." 18:44, 16 February 2016‎

Change, kind of. How about this: "Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb of average intelligence." Maybe even include a (hidden) link to 1386: People are Stupid. 23:42, 16 February 2016 (UTC)

(I landed in an edit conflict with the person above, so my comments do not take their response into account.)
Thank you 108. You actually provided a decent rebuttal against the counterproposal, which has been lacking until this time. While I do not agree with all your points, I can actually see your point-of-view. Personally, I think that if we're going to use it as a reference to the "___ for Dummies" books, it needs to be clearer so people don't take it as an insult, but otherwise I understand your points.
@162: As my friend, one of the greatest admins on one of the biggest non-Wikipedia wikis, says, wikis are not democracies. It is the idea with the best supporting arguments that wins, not the idea with the most votes, as many people support certain ideas for superficial reasons that are not aligned with the overall aim of improving the wiki to attract more readers/editors and improve content. Especially with such a close vote, I would put more emphasis on the quality of the arguments than the pure numbers of supports/opposes.
Looking at the proper counter-arguments finally provided, I would shift the counter-proposal for a new tagline to tagline 3 suggested above: Some comics may be funnier than they appear. From above, I can see the argument against 1 being that people don't want help from dummies, 2 will probably be obscure for new users and may alienate them upon entry, and 4 is just too soppy. 3 however is funny, it's accessible, and it's actually funnier in my opinion because it actually does describe exactly what we do here. To the new user, it will at first just be a mildly amusing reference (still funnier than the current line in my opinion) but it will take on a new meaning and relevance as people use this wiki more, and the gradual realisation of relevance will make the tagline even more appropriate and amusing. 23:59, 16 February 2016 (UTC)

I’m the lurker who suggested “Some comics are funnier than they appear.” I was bemused to see it get any traction at all, since it’s not that hysterically funny, and perhaps incomprehensible outside the US where convex car mirrors aren’t etched “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.”

Wow, am I glad I didn’t create an account here when posting it!

I expected to see more spit-balling in kind, not an outpouring of orneriness from a majority of this obviously intelligent community who are apparently too stubborn to admit that there could possibly be anything wrong with greeting newcomers, “It’s ‘cause you’re dumb.” I took the starting point of the thread to be the obviousness that ANYTHING ELSE would be better than that.

I also expected the admin to deliberate a little harder, showing how he evaluated arguments and suggestions and tried to do the right thing, rather than just counting votes. Notwithstanding the facade of democracy in his benevolent dictatorship, he also doesn’t seem to have taken into account that the effect of NOT changing the tagline—-thus continuing to alienate a lot of users and potential contributors like me-—far, FAR outweighs any potential backlash from the old guard who are married to it. What are they going to do, rage-quit because they didn’t get their way? Because something on their favorite wiki got **gasp!** CHANGED?

Boo hoo, I didn’t get my way on a small thing which doesn’t really matter. At all. I only followed up here because I noticed the banner soliciting user input had changed. However, the ugly tone of this little tempest in a teapot has certainly convinced me that this community isn’t worth joining or contributing to. I reserve the right to continue lurking, but I’m sure as hell turning my AdBlock back on. 07:10, 17 February 2016 (UTC)

Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame) said "We're all idiots 99% of the time about 99% of things. It's the 1% that makes up for all the rest." Learning begins by owning your dumb. Bob Stein - VisiBone (talk) 16:12, 17 February 2016 (UTC)

Keep. I felt offended -- but -- so what. It is true. 21:20, 17 February 2016 (UTC) Martin

  • Keep It is funny. People are not made of glass, not even dumb ones. 23:15, 17 February 2016 (UTC)
199 wrote:"I was bemused to see it get any traction at all, since it’s [...] perhaps incomprehensible outside the US where convex car mirrors aren’t etched “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.”"
You don't need to worry about that. American culture has spread throughout the world so thoroughly that I assume most English speakers will understand it. I myself am an Aussie, who spent most of her childhood living in Europe, and I understood the reference perfectly. And while it might not be "hysterically funny", it is certainly more universally funny than the insult.
Admins, please heed what 199 said in the rest of his/her message. You have yet another example in a long line of people being turned off from this wiki community because they don't like the attitude of this statement, nor the stubborn adherence to it despite so many people pointing out how wrong it is. You are aware that "It was just a joke" is a common defence bullies make, right? 00:53, 18 February 2016 (UTC)

So, @Davidy22, can you add a "Jump to Transcript" link in the jump-to-nav div, and move the jump-to-nav div to before the tagline in the HTML? Thank you! Hat (talk) 08:58, 18 February 2016 (UTC)

At 12,000 words this discussion has beaten the H0/HO discussion on wikipedia... How long until we beat Star Trek Into Darkness??? --Pudder (talk) 12:10, 18 February 2016 (UTC)

Keep. I like the humour in it. 18.February 2016 12:40 (UTC) Fabian

XKCD provides transcripts about a week after a new comic comes out, so saying that blind readers require explainxkcd is a bit of an overstatement (although to be honest the official transcripts are somewhat vague). 19:45, 18 February 2016 (UTC)

Generally most transcripts gets completed within hours of the comics being posted. More complex ones can take longer, and there is sometimes a bit of back and forth as far as layout is concerned, but the content tends to be there pretty quickly. --Pudder (talk) 09:35, 19 February 2016 (UTC)

"Explain xkcd: extra knowledge, see discussions." I wish I'd thought of that one a week ago. And Randall says it's not an acronym, eh? 09:21, 19 February 2016 (UTC)

Ah crap... that's actually really good. I'd have supported this had it been mentioned earlier, even though I voted to keep the current. Schiffy (Speak to me|What I've done) 02:39, 20 February 2016 (UTC)

For what it's worth, if the matter is ever re-opened, I'd vote to change to one of the alternate suggestions -- I quite like "extra knowledge, see discussions" but many others would be fine. The current one is a poor way to greet newcomers; it certainly gave me pause. Perhaps I've been sensitized by the general uptick in incivility in many places in recent years, but I'm actively avoiding forums and sites that appear to be encouraging rudeness. If one disregards that header, it becomes clear that this site isn't like that, but one has to get past that header first. BunsenH (talk) 17:32, 15 October 2020 (UTC)

Change because the only justification to keep it seems to be "It's just a joke why are people always so offended at everything" (talk about me behind my back) 12:55, 20 January 2022 (UTC)

I’d say change it. It’s not funny, it’s never been funny and it never will be funny. Why does a tag line have to be funny any way? All it needs to be is memorable and eye catching. I personally like “congratulations you’re one of today’s lucky 10,000” it’s a direct reference to an existing comic and encourages learning more.

I agree, so change from me. —While False (museum | talk | contributions | logs | rights | printable version | page information | what links there | related changes | Google search | current time: 16:45) 18:27, 8 December 2022 (UTC)

Concerning recent spam

In light of the recent and large amount of spam that we've been seeing, I've revoked new users of the right to create and move pages, as well as access to the write api. If your account is three days old and has 10 or more edits under it, you will still be allowed to create and move pages. This will end when the spambots decide to leave. To the person who's doing this, don't ruin this for the other people who use this site. Davidy²²[talk] 19:36, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

In light of the recent burst of spam, creation of talk pages will also be shut off for new users. We will create an empty talk page for new comics in place of this feature. Davidy²²[talk] 06:47, 16 February 2016 (UTC)
So what will you do in three days when the spambot can create new pages again? Mikemk (talk) 07:58, 16 February 2016 (UTC)
They have to hit both criteria. The flaw there is that spambots have also demonstrated themselves to be capable of editing pages, but I'm not sure what to do for that aside from look for a better captcha. If it comes to it, I'll write my own. Davidy²²[talk] 08:05, 16 February 2016 (UTC)

aw man. tfw another troll already beat me to the punch (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

@Davidy22: Maybe we should use something like MW:Extension:TitleBlacklist or MW:Manual:Combating spam#.24wgSpamRegex. --SlashMe (talk) 14:25, 16 February 2016 (UTC)

Hum. I'll take a look when I get home. Davidy²²[talk] 05:02, 17 February 2016 (UTC)
Sigh, it's getting out of hand again... --SlashMe (talk) 15:19, 18 February 2016 (UTC)
Alright, I'm not sure what's happening here. This is what's in the localsettings file:
$wgGroupPermissions['user']['createtalk'] = false;
$wgGroupPermissions['autoconfirmed']['createtalk'] = false;
I don't know why this doesn't work. Probably well overdue for a mediawiki upgrade, but I have midterms and papers coming up. This timing is inconvenient. The title blacklist is for a newer mediawiki version, I'll lock and upgrade this weekend. Davidy²²[talk] 16:07, 18 February 2016 (UTC)
For now, I'll try removing talk page creation rights from all non-admin users. I'll make the talk pages for new explanations. Davidy²²[talk] 16:09, 18 February 2016 (UTC)
Alright, I made a test account and I realised I'm very dumb. I forgot to turn off createtalk for all, so people could still make talk pages. I've also added mandatory email verification. Davidy²²[talk] 23:34, 18 February 2016 (UTC)
See tagline ;-) --SlashMe (talk) 01:51, 19 February 2016 (UTC)
I do want to find/write a better CAPTCHA though, none of these measures I've taken stop account creation, so the spammers might try just shoving a million accounts at us. Davidy²²[talk] 03:03, 19 February 2016 (UTC)
Oooh nevermind forcing email verification turns off anonymous editing. Don't want to go that far, and it didn't stop that one spammer anyways. Davidy²²[talk] 00:17, 19 February 2016 (UTC)

Will verifying my email turn off the CAPTCHA

Pretty much what the section title says. I find the way the captcha works here kinda annoying, since I submit and then get the CAPTCHA. I'd be willing to put in my email address if it would stop the CAPTCHA, but, otherwise, I don't see any point in doing so.

If it does stop the CAPTCHA, I would suggest mentioning this in the preferences as one of the benefits of adding an email, and perhaps point it out on the page when the CAPTCHA appears.

IF not, then will I just have the CAPTCHA forever? Or will it go away once I put in enough edits? Or do I need to do something else?

Trlkly (talk) 00:10, 1 March 2016 (UTC)

The email address is optional, we have it set up so that users less than 3 days old with less than 10 edits will have to fill in a CAPTCHA when they edit. It's set up that way to limit and make the damage that spambots can inflict much easier to fix. You appear to have cleared the 10 edit boundery today, so you should be able to start editing CAPTCHA free now. Giving people a way to bypass the anti spam window by providing an email address is an idea though, I'll see if I can't write a plugin for that after I'm done with finals. Davidy²²[talk] 01:24, 1 March 2016 (UTC)

Why does Mediawiki look so "old" all of a sudden?

Screendhots: [2][3]

I've tried this in three browsers, and they all look the same. KangaroOS 12:56, 4 April 2016 (UTC)

High traffic, high load, everything is on fire. Davidy²²[talk] 16:28, 4 April 2016 (UTC)
Man ! The fire started by Randall is out of control.. It has been so long, and this is looking very ugly. Did wiki go in "printer-friendly version only" mode ? 04:10, 5 April 2016 (UTC)

(H'rm - realized I posted this in the wrong place - further discussion should go here.) KangaroOS 15:20, 5 April 2016 (UTC)

Annoying ad

From the anti-noscript text shown when an ad is blocked by noscript: "our ads are restricted to unobtrusive images and slow animated GIFs."

Yet the ad blocked features a drawing of a woman in her underwear. I find this very obtrusive.

Also, can you get rid of the captcha needed to even view content on this site using Tor? https://support.cloudflare.com/hc/en-us/articles/203306930-Does-CloudFlare-block-Tor- (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Looked through our bids, a guy who was auto approved used the privelidge to put that ad up. I cancelled the ad, if he puts it up again he's getting banned. I'll get on the tor options in cloudflare. Davidy²²[talk] 02:41, 10 August 2016 (UTC)

Random Question

Since this is the miscellaneous section, I assume I can ask a question based on anything, even if it's not XKCD or wiki-related. Am I correct? Or is there another place to do that? --JayRulesXKCD (talk) 16:21, 9 November 2016 (UTC)

Nothing expressly forbids it, but do remember the purpose of the site. If you want to ask a question not related to xkcd or the site, there is likely another, better outlet for your question on the internet. Davidy²²[talk] 17:14, 9 November 2016 (UTC)
Ah. Okay. Just making sure. --JayRulesXKCD (talk) 17:47, 9 November 2016 (UTC)

"What if: Hide the Atmosphere" question

At the end, Randall notes one "may not want to" dig out Texas, and the guy in the illustration mentions "specifically requesting" something. As someone not from the USA, I don't know what he's referring to. Could someone please explain it? (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

It's a reference to Don't Mess with Texas. Davidy²²[talk] 20:52, 9 February 2017 (UTC)

Blinking advert

There's an ad for something called Goliath Fallen that blinks occasionally. A static picture would be fine but the blinking is distracting --Figvh (talk) 04:22, 27 September 2017 (UTC)

What is Randall Munroe's wife's name?

I am curious--haven't been able to find it. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

We accept privacy. Ask Randall himself. Dgbrt (talk) 14:21, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
We could refer to her as Megan, based on the character even despite its' "everywoman" stance. Megan is represented as Randall's wife in the _ Years comic series (with Randall being the supportive main Cueball character), as well as in other comics where Randall is represented as a Cueball in a comic with a Megan. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~) 18:52, 26 Jul 2021 (UTC)
Also, broken signing because I forgot that ~~~~ was a thing. 18:56, 26 July 2021 (UTC)

5 bucks that most of these are spambots.



DPS2004'); DROP TABLE users;-- (talk) 19:07, 12 February 2018 (UTC)

I tried "DROP TABLE users;" but then I lost my login... ;)
The more serious thing is that when the Captcha was broken (after 31 March) that bots were too dumb but with the new reCaptcha V2 this happens again.
But since those users take no further actions and IPs also can edit here it doesn't seem to be a problem. Nevertheless old users with zero edits may be purged in the future.
Dgbrt (talk) 14:17, 19 May 2018 (UTC)

Header pointing to FAQ implies content that doesn't exist

"All explain xkcd editors should check the latest update at the Editor FAQ. We now support LaTeX..."

Strangely, the FAQ doesn't mention LaTex once. 15:06, 8 June 2018 (UTC)

You're right but the (yet last) question "How do I enter mathematical or chemical formulas?" belongs to this. The Math functionality uses LaTeX syntax and I will mention this. I thought people who know the markup <math>...</math> do know that it's based on LaTeX. Nevertheless reading this manual is mandatory. --Dgbrt (talk) 16:08, 8 June 2018 (UTC)

Unable to create own user page?

Hi, I'm a new user here. When I try to put info on my user page it says I don't have permission to create it. Same applies for my talk page. Please help.VannaWho (talk) 07:18, 13 June 2018 (UTC)

I've clarified the corresponding section in the Editor FAQ. You will become a trusted user after a few more edits, but right now I've created your user and talk page. --Dgbrt (talk) 12:57, 13 June 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. I'm looking forwards to becoming an active member of the community here.VannaWho (talk) 13:09, 13 June 2018 (UTC)


This probably only means something to me, but has anyone else noted that we are approaching comic 2018 in 2018? I don't think any other comic has been posted in in the year its number represents. Maybe the sign of the apocalypse? Or like all the other signs of the apocalypse, just a random occurrence. I am interested in seeing if it is memorialized in some way. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Please do not forget to sign your comments. Nevertheless the apocalypse was already here: 998: 2012. And a comic with the name 2018 was published last December (1935: 2018). The comic number 2018 will probably happen on July 11 and the number 2019 will be two days later on July 13 (ohhh, it's a Friday...). --Dgbrt (talk) 08:41, 23 June 2018 (UTC)

Random Kettle

Hello, so I had https://xk3d.xkcd.com/880/ open for an extended amount of time. When I came back to it today, I had a random blue kettle that was not on any other of my xkcd pages, and it would change locations every time i refreshed. (I have several screenshots, just not sure how to upload here.)

It went away when the back page button was pressed, but does anybody know what or WHY this kettle was there? -- DeathFox4 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Please do not forget to sign your comments. You probably want to talk about this matter here: Talk:880: Headache. --Dgbrt (talk) 18:44, 11 October 2018 (UTC)

Where to ask questions to find a specific comic?


Someone searching for a specific comic has gotten me to try to find a place to ask the community, but haven't found any?


kind regards, Dodo --Dodo

Please sign your posts with ~~~~ because then we also see a timestamp of your comment. That's important because we could see that your question from reddit was solved there slightly after your post here. It's from SMBC and not xkcd. --Dgbrt (talk) 21:55, 8 November 2018 (UTC)

Incomplete "Created by a _" Tag Jokes

I'm not lobbying for their return or anything, I'm just curious why they were removed. Or rather, why the incomplete tag was rewritten to discourage them. It was a good bit of comedy, and their removal makes it seem like this wiki is trying to be more serious than it really needs to be, IMO. CJB42 (talk) 19:18, 9 November 2018 (UTC)

I'm the creator of the BOT which initially presented a new page by honestly mentioning it was NOT created by a human. Years later, people started to make that joke. Sometimes it was really funny, but you can't repeat a joke for over hundreds of times, not funny and stupid attempts to reach that first jokes. And that incomplete tag is meant to be there for mentioning what's wrong or missing, sadly most editors don't use it for this reason. Nonetheless a nice joke is still welcome there, but it should be funny and not just an urge to present a "joke." --Dgbrt (talk) 19:51, 9 November 2018 (UTC)


Hi everyone, I've recently made this small project http://xkcd.wtf/ . It's not yet finished, but somehow Big Goog' picked it up, so I thought I'll go live. It is important to me to announce it here first, since it uses explainxkcd's API and wouldn't be possible without all of you.

Originally, this was meant to be a Uni project, but the course was cancelled and the already purchased domain sat dormant for many months. Just recently, I picked it up and made a first prototype in Perl, then I undertook the painful process of rewriting it as a buzzword-compliant Javascript Single Page Application (so my server doesn't have to proxy everything). It sometimes craps out, because xkcd's API is awful (the 'real' one doesn't have CORS, the c.xkcd.com one is often offline) //gir.st/ (talk) 22:19, 12 November 2018 (UTC)

Nice, I know you have many skills in programming. What's the purpose of this project?
Funny findings: The TLD isn't welcome always like here "In June 2012, Ryan Singel of Wired predicted that the .wtf domain would not be applied by anyone." and my own first investigation:
[root@localhost ~]# whois xkcd.wtf
No whois server is known for this kind of object.
I'm running CentOS with no pending updates...
Besides kidding, it works great and could be a good presentation on pages using a bad layout here. My goal is still to get this site much more mobile compliant, but there are still also issues on parts you don't use. Nonetheless let me know if you need help, hoping you will help here in the future too. --Dgbrt (talk) 19:49, 13 November 2018 (UTC)
hi, sorry I missed your post! The purpose was to do this as a university project, but the course was cancelled after I bought the domain in anticipation of it. not wanting it to go to waste, I've implemented it in my spare time. the whois error is strange; it works on Fedora (which queries whois.donuts.co (no m)). I may come back to your offer for help (thanks) and definitely won't be leaving explainxkcd.com (my expertise lies with computer topics, and there weren't many comics about that recently. that's why I've quieted down a bit) //gir.st/ (talk) 17:03, 18 November 2018 (UTC)

xkcd Sorting Options

Is there any way to sort xkcd comics by size? 04:37, 4 February 2019 (UTC)

What size? The pictures, the explanation, or what? Explanations are changed every day. So, for what purpose is this idea? --Dgbrt (talk) 18:21, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
I can see some benefit in being able to sort explanations by size as some of the earlier comics have fairly short explanations that could be expanded, but I'm not sure this is worth the effort of setting up a sort function. I don't know why you would want to sort the images by size other than perhaps for general interest. AlChemist (talk) 10:55, 16 February 2019 (UTC)
A small sized explanation doesn't say anything about it's quality. IMHO in contrast there are many overwhelming explanations which are far too long, TL;DR... --Dgbrt (talk) 12:32, 16 February 2019 (UTC)
I agree. Most of the early explanations are just fine. I was just trying to guess why they were suggesting a sort function. AlChemist (talk) 14:15, 16 February 2019 (UTC)

1204: Detail has the incorrect picture

Not sure where to put this but just look at the title. Not sure how one changes it, but a typo was fixed and usually the newest picture is used. Netherin5 (talk) 14:15, 19 March 2019 (UTC)

Regarding the alt-right trolls

Safe to say everything they leave is deletable, including the little "jew reverted my edits, help!" complaint they almost always leave on the discussion pages? --Youforgotthisthing (talk) 00:53, 12 April 2019 (UTC)

Is the "It's 'cause you're dumb" tagline a relic of the past?

Yes, I'm going there, because this issue isn't going away.

I read through the entirety of the Explain XKCD tagline debate from 2016, and I have to admit, I was surprised. I had not considered that there would be so many people in support of this tagline, nor that the debate had been going on this long. I was actually sure that most people were in agreement with me that it's unnecessarily insulting and demeaning. It seems that isn't the case.

The main argument from the Keep side appears to be that "it's just a joke". Here are some examples of that sentiment:

  • "Suggesting that anyone who isn't part of the 0.1% of the population who share all of Randall's abilities and references, is dumb, can't be anything but a joke."
  • "it is a rather obvious joke"
  • "If a user doesn't understand that it is a joke, then he won't understand XKCD's jokes, either, no matter how much explaination he can get."
  • "I always thought the tagline fit nicely with the "sarcasm" part of xkcd's own tagline."
  • "It's not hiding behind "just a joke", it IS the joke. It's tongue-in-cheek. It's so obviously false that you have to intentionally ignore the joke and manufacture offense about something benign."
  • "It's amusing to me. The joke is clear, and universal. Offence may be taken equally by anyone reading. It fits well."
  • "Looks like the kind of joke you'd actually find in the comments."
  • "I can't believe we've become such a limp-wristed baby society that we can't even have a joke like "It's 'cause you're dumb" as the tagline. Nobody would reasonably get offended at it."
  • "If there ever really was a single person who took the tag line seriously, then it was just telling them the truth."
  • "the joke benefits from it sounding like it's a mock insult"
  • "I doubt there's very many of these smart people who are smart enough to get every joke (and every nuance) without assistance. Therefore it should be clear that is is a simple tongue-in-cheek joke, you don't really mean it seriously. It should be taken in the tone that it's meant, and it offends me when people don't."
  • "It's 'cause you're dumb" grabbed me the first time I saw it as being relevant to why explainxkcd.com is a great site, and equally importantly, it made me laugh."

I like to think that I do understand xkcd's humor very well - even the more subtle aspects of it, like Randall's perpetual social paranoia, his sarcasm at common failings of societies and organizations, his absurdism, his childlike wonder at the things we don't know. I love it, it makes me laugh and it makes me happy.

I am not a delicate snowflake, and I believe firmly that we should not allow people to use "being offended" as a weapon of control to take away freedoms or to force their agenda on others. That kind of behavior should rightfully be challenged and resisted.

However, I am not arguing on the basis of offense. I believe that I actually have a solid, reasonable foundation for my case for change that can be accepted by all, if I can argue it effectively enough. Because you see... I never got the joke.

When I came to Explain XKCD for the first time, and saw the "It's 'cause you're dumb" tagline, my reaction was "Well, that isn't true, and it's a bit childish." It didn't come across as sarcasm to me; it comes across more like the kind of boorish flippancy expected of an anonymous imageboard, where being crude is the local currency. Mentally, I just couldn't fit it with what I saw as an otherwise fine mission of collaboratively explaining a very clever webcomic as a service to readers all over the world. And I didn't like it. It's not the kind of tone that I enjoy in a community.

"I don't like it" is not, of course, an argument, and would be a poor foundation from which to make my case - particularly as I am up against people who insist that the tagline is xkcd's humor and tone. So instead, I would like to argue this case: I think that this is what xkcd's tone used to be, and that it isn't what xkcd's tone is now.

The "It's 'cause you're dumb" tagline is actually ten years old. It originally appeared in a different context; it was in the header image for the Explain XKCD blog.

explain xkcd blog header image.png

The image of Black Hat insulting Cueball is subtly different to what the tagline is now, and so I think some of the nuance - that might soften the joke or make it less antagonistic - has been lost. I have a theory that this is part of the reason why people are so polarized on whether the tagline is insulting or not, because I suspect that some people are remembering this older version. However, that's away from the point.

My point is this: it is no longer 2009 and things have changed.

xkcd, and Randall himself, have changed - Randall has published more than 1500 comics in that time, as well as books dedicated to explaining science and technology in his unique, witty style. He loves knowledge and discovery and celebrates the little things that people find interesting, often standing up to defend such pursuits against those who might otherwise dismiss them. That is xkcd to me. And I submit that Explain XKCD has, in those ten years, outgrown the tagline as well, We are, I think, more encyclopedists than agitators. If most people on this wiki are like me, they find pleasure in carefully unraveling the mystery of an xkcd comic and creating a resource that's as useful as can be. The tagline serves no purpose, in that case, other than to drive away contributors.

We shouldn't be afraid to offend. But I don't think we should offend needlessly. I think we're better than that.

Hawthorn (talk) 21:29, 15 July 2019 (UTC)

I really like the old banner, and think that the tone fits well with many of the older comics. But I agree with you that most of the newer comics have a less childish tone to them, where it is not as fitting. Also having it as a tagline instead of a banner makes it less obvious to be a character-statement. It is not an important issue to me, but I agree with you. After all explainxkcd is a site, for the lucky Ten Thousand each day. Lupo (talk) 07:36, 16 July 2019 (UTC)


Any idea how many pageviews, on average, this wiki gets? I'm not looking for any detailed breakdown or historical stats, just a rough average for the main page each day. 02:21, 8 August 2019 (UTC)

I'd be really curious to know which pages are the most viewed on this website. Which comics are the most unintelligible to people? 23:01, 15 March 2020 (UTC)

xkcd site's fine print

I just noticed the fine print on the xkcd site, under the comics list: "xkcd.com 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."

Is there an explanation for the above? (copied from xkcd's homepage on 8/8/19)

My first thought was "Those are low requirements". Then the "on an Apple IIGS" tripped me up. (I know so little of Apple software use that I can't say that portion is incorrect.) I like the humor of the screen resolution (although I think only computers could read it) and the suggested mode.

M.Striker (didn't realize that this was an edit and not a message; deleted my included e-mail)

The text you mentioned is explained at footnote. I guess you are new to this wiki/project? Feel free to improve any of the sites you find (many can be found by using the search function), or to comment/discuss the pages in the discussion section. If you want to sign your comments on here or in a comment section (with or without an existing account), you can use four "~"-symbols. (Do not wory, it will not show you actual IP adress). Lupo (talk) 06:18, 9 August 2019 (UTC)

Randall NYT excerpt from "How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems"

FYI, Randall has an article in Tuesday's New York Times: "What Makes a Red Sky at Night (and at Morning)". It's an excerpt from "How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems." JohnHawkinson (talk) 03:34, 15 August 2019 (UTC)

More ads?

Is it me, or are there now a ton of extra advertisements on this site? There is one between every paragraph of explanation. At least, when viewed with a mobile browser. It's a huge distraction, so I'm going to be enabling an adblocker.

I would also like to file a complaint. Benjaminikuta (talk) 03:10, 9 April 2020 (UTC)
user:Davidy22 If hosting expense is the problem, would it be possible to move to miraheze? Benjaminikuta (talk) 11:54, 19 May 2020 (UTC)
Hello? Anyone there? Benjaminikuta (talk) 06:55, 8 July 2020 (UTC)

Should we* reference xkcd.com "black lives matter" banner

I consume almost all my xkcd directly from explain xkcd. So i only visit xkcd.com rarely.

I had been wondering why Randall was avoiding referencing the black lives matter movement which is clearly topical.

But i note that xkcd.com has a banner featuring Cueball saying "black lives matter".

Should we do the same?

  • my apologies if we already do

Boatster (talk) 06:01, 11 June 2020 (UTC)

I'm not entirely sure if I understand the question. We list most (all?) the variants of Randall's banners on the xkcd Header text page, and as of Tuesday (a bit late), that includes the Black Lives Matter banner. We also acknowledge it in 2315: Eventual Consistency#Trivia as the first comic that ran after the banner went up. There's reason to ask if this wiki should give banners in general more prominent treatment, and question is raised on Talk:xkcd Header text.
But are you asking if ExplainXKCD should adopt its own editorial position and feature a banner? I think it's really hard for wikis to make high-level editorial decisions like that. JohnHawkinson (talk) 06:28, 11 June 2020 (UTC)
this was the question. And I hadn't looked hard enough. Thank you
no, not suggesting we do editorial, but glad we recognise what Randall has done. Cheers Boatster (talk) 12:30, 11 June 2020 (UTC)

is scraping this site ok?

Hi everyone! Some days ago I scraped explainxkcd to get the webcomics' content, and created an interactive network chart where nodes are comics and two nodes share a link if they have words in common. (It's here: https://www.fluentdata.tech/visualizing-the-xkcd-comics-network-using-google-vision-spacy-and-d3/)

However, looking back I don't know if I had permission to actually scrape this site. Where can I get this information? Is scraping OK?

From explain xkcd:Copyrights, "The Explain XKCD wiki is generally licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license (CC-BY-SA-3.0). This means that you can freely reuse our content, but you have to say where you got it — if you're sharing on the internet, a link back to the article is appropriate." So yes, scraping this site is allowed, but you should credit the site.The 𝗦𝗾𝗿𝘁-𝟭 talk stalk 03:43, 5 March 2021 (UTC)

So what happened to the site?

Just curious, but it was down last night (June 14, Eastern Daylight time's night) and this morning has reverted to February. This is not a complaint, it's curiosity and a willingness to help out. Nitpicking (talk) 15:41, 15 June 2021 (UTC)

I'm curious too. It was down on the morning of Friday the 11th & is currently back up showing last Wednesday the 9th's comic. A post asking about it on r/xkcd got over 140 upvotes in 3 days. ProphetZarquon (talk) 16:30, 15 June 2021 (UTC)
The page was down for more than four days. Problem is there seem to be no administrators attached to explain xkcd anymore, so no one who actually knows anything replies to these posts... :-/ So if the page goes down permanently there seems to be no one who still uses this page, who knows what to do... Kynde (talk) 12:03, 16 June 2021 (UTC)
That would be a shame since a ton of good content would be lost. Somebody somewhere needs to be paying the bills for the site to be hosted though. Don't they know what happens to the product they're paying for? Bischoff (talk) 13:01, 16 June 2021 (UTC)
Indeed, is there anyway we can contribute to the upkeep of the site? --


So, nothing yet for the August 7, 2021 comic? I normally see the main page update within an hour of the new xkcd appearing. Not complaining, just hoping nothing is wrong. Nitpicking (talk) 20:43, 7 August 2021 (UTC)

Help finding a specific comic.

I've been trying to find this specific comic but I can not find it anywhere. It's the one where a character suggests going to another building to avoid companies like Google and Facebook and tries to leave only to find the doors (and windows?) replaced with walls. Turns out Google and Facebook bought all the buildings and removed all doors so people can only use their services.

(Above unsigned post by 04:38, 28 October 2021‎ (UTC).)
99% sure that's not an xkcd (though it does sound entertaining). You might try asking on r/xkcd, they can often ID even non-xkcd comics.
Please sign your posts. Esogalt (talk) 05:32, 28 October 2021 (UTC)

Update/further correct the Bots pages?

Seeing an edit to the site's meta-page on Bots (and making a minor grammatical edit myself), the current and seemingly unfixable inactivity of DgbrtBOT and its replacement by Theusaof... (though not, yet, as an officially recognised member of the Bots group?) makes the statement "There are 3 bots" dubiously correct, depending upon how you count them. As a humble IP unconnected to any 'bot, I am neither confident enough in the facts to revise all the relevent details nor able to do much about it (not even create the above page's Talk-space) but maybe someone else here can muster up both qualities. So over to you..? 11:48, 1 December 2021 (UTC)

Countdown Timer

Does anyone know what the timer in the upper right corner of the website is? As of writing, it's around "20D 20H 20M" (ha ha). Is this for some kind of event I don't know about (I mean, I don't keep track of that sort of thing, so I wouldn't usually know anyway, but still), or is this just something weird Randall's doing that we're all going to find out together?

Just curious. (Tidal Rose)

Yes, I've been wondering, too. I can't find any good explanation anywhere for it -- I looked on Reddit, etc. I guess he really is keeping it a secret -- perhaps a book announcement. -- 00:51, 11 January 2022 (UTC)

It appears that the accompanying image may also be updating (not minute to minute at the moment). Curious to see what this little black line does! (My bet is that it's a new book as well)

My first thought was counting down to Webb reaching L2, but it's a couple days late for that... looks to be approximately 10AM Eastern on January 31, though my datemath is probably not too good when the local hour is <6. Davidhbrown (talk) 05:49, 12 January 2022 (UTC)

The image has definitely updated!

Is there a place where the progressive images are archived? Fuzzymo (talk) 01:00, 14 January 2022 (UTC)

There is a page structure now created for it. Go directly to the /images sub-page for the captured series-so-far. 04:37, 14 January 2022 (UTC)

The exact time it's counting down to is Monday, January 31, 2022 at 10 AM EST (Munroe's time zone) 23:55, 14 January 2022 (UTC)

Could it be for National Backward Day?

Already mentioned (and mostly rejected?) in the real conversation about this. (See the Countdown in header text page, etc, if you haven't already.) Not sure what the plane would have to do with it, unless it turns out to be flying backwards when we see movement lines. 17:53, 25 January 2022 (UTC)

What if 103

Why is it "not quite a coincidence" that the titanic was traveling at about the same speed when it hit bottom as when it hit the iceberg?

1. please sign your posts! 2. im guessing the joke is that it wasnt moving 17:09, 25 August 2022 (UTC)Bumpf
What are you talking about? Its speed was around 20.5 kts at the time of impact.

Syndication comic: uploaded with no number, link to xkcd doesn't work?


In the title, the page is very broken and there's no evidence Randall Munroe ever uploaded this. Someone in the comments theorises it's a fan uploaded comic pretending to be official. Any way to find out? Mushrooms (talk) 08:08, 14 October 2022 (UTC)

Concerning a certain editor

I'm puzzled and slightly worried as to the motives of a given named editor. Having made direct comments myself (and seen others do so), albeit only as an IP, I'm concerned as to their potentially reckless nature. As messages to(/in reply to) them have done very little to get a valid explanation, I thought I should note the case slightly more formally. They seemed quite helpful when they started to post (at a time of notable vandalism, and I'm reluctant to jump to any adverse conclusion about that) and I obviously cannot speak of their time beyond this submission, but I find an overwhelming amount of their most recent interactions to be (to put it charitably) naive, despite clearly the intelligence to use advanced Wiki markup/etc.

I welcome a ready and willing editor. Moreover one who has bothered to get an accountable account, more than I have ever done! I would be happy to see them usefully contribute further, but could they perhaps realise (or accept, if they already know) that the drive to submit random and (pretty much always) unexplanatory content is not useful to anyone. And that's all I wish to say, right now. As much of a nudge as I want to make for the moment. 14:45, 28 November 2022 (UTC)

xkcd Volume 0

xkcd Volume 0 is a collection of chosen comic strips - but there's also red-text found scattered though pages, usually as some type of cypher or code. Because of that, can an authorized user create a stub for xkcd Volume 0 so that the codes can be documented, or does that risk too much of a copyright violation? -- 00:10, 29 January 2023 (UTC)