Wednesday, May 14, 2008

10 Worst xkcd comics 1-200

This will be fun. Like my highly acclaimed 10 Best xkcd Comics post I wrote to prove they aren't all bad, I've gone through the first 200 xkcds and chosen the worst. I'm not including the weird ones at the beginning because they weren't really meant to be comics, and I'm not including the Red Spiders because there is a part of me that hopes the Red Spiders will come back and actually be cool. Maybe. So these are the ones I actively dislike.

12 - all he does here is personify some math or science thing for the purpose of...personifying something less than zero to interact with the personified math thing. So what he's saying is "Here's some facts about numbers. ONLY I MADE THE NUMBERS PEOPLE!!!" (Honorable mention for the exact same reason - 26)

48 - Why are there pink dots? Why snow-line white shapes? Also, cookies for whoever gets more pretension in fewer words.

79 - This is just lame because a) everyone tries to do this when they first read Shakespeare in English class in middle school, b) it's not even close to easy enough to be a hobby (you might as well say "my hobby is holding pieces of paper and watching them spontaneously burst into flame") and c) even if it were possible to do naturally, no one would notice or care, unless maybe you rhymed them. But that's apparently not part of the hobby. "My hobby is talking like a fucked up person."

82 - WTF my friend, WTF. Oh and hey there alt-text, your comment "..." was great. GREAT. Same goes for 98.

88 - Maybe this is me being stupid, but is there a reason M. C. Escher is associated with the Moebius strip in this comic? They don't have much in common really. A Moebius strip is not an illusion, and I don't think they are featured in many of Escher's paintings. Are they?

Update: A commenter points out that Escher did, in fact, paint many Moebius strips. Really, this shouldn't surprise me. I feel kinda stupid now. Nonetheless, it's still not that funny an idea. Seeing as how the joke is a Moebius bracelet, maybe it should have said "WWAFMD?" It would have been a bit more obscure, of course.

96 - Oh. A man is getting confused between tangible objects and intangible ones. He thinks that one has the property of the other! Ha! HA HA HA!

104 - Ok so it looks like we have a super stalker climbing on the Shroud of Turin. Ok. No joke. Just what is basically a creepy threat. Uh huh.

118 - Here, Mr. Munroe realizes that he can rhyme some words with people's names. Thus, he makes a lame joke off a song that I can't imagine many readers of this comic are familiar with (Everyone knows Paul Simon's Sounds of Silence, sure, but who even listens to 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover?). He thinks that because he found a rhyme for "lover" with "hover" he is funny. This is, however, untrue. Good try!

128 - Wow, you like math so much that you think of emotional problems in quantitative ways! Ha ha ha! Is funny because is not possible to quantify emotion!! Ha ha! But silly artist try anyway! Ha ha! Did same joke in comic 55!

168 - This would be a funny idea, except that nearly all euphemisms are intentionally vague - that's kind of the point. You say a vague phrase that suggests what you mean to avoid the discomfort of directly saying what you want. If you don't believe me, try it. And you don't even get to try the one example he gave until you have kids who can swim.

And an honorable mention to 175, because, like most good humor, the Simpsons did it (Remember? When Bart sells his soul to Milhouse, and now automatic doors don't open for him? But they open for Rod and Todd? And as they walk through they say "Thank you, Mr. Door"? THAT WAS AWESOME).

After finishing this list, I realized I really do like the vast majority of the early strips - few of these 10 even made me as angry as many more recent ones.


  1. Dear Mr. Carl:
    I found your wonderful blog after googling the filename of this image:

    Anyway, please keep fighting the good fight.

  2. Mobius strips were definitely part of Escher, probably the most famous of which is Ants:

  3. I stand corrected, Mr. Carmichael.

  4. Poisson distributions do not exist over numbers less than zero, so the personified poisson distribution dissapears. Alt-text and wikipedia are your friend when XKCD goes over your head.

  5. psh, I figured that out. But seriously, all he is doing is taking people, making them pretend to be numbers, and then having them act like the numbers instead of the people. How is that different from having two guys, and one is like "i am pi!" and the other is like "bah, you are being irrational! ha ha ha!" It's stupid, it's not funny.

  6. 118 - #6

  7. Clever, but what people on last FM think doesn't persuade me. If you mixed that list with the Simon and Garfunkle list, which is no doubt much more popular, you would see it drop.

  8. Dear Carl, the polite door goes farther back - Douglas Adams created the annoyingly polite doors in the Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy...I guess the Simpsons reference was a tribute.

  9. you berate comic 125 for the exact same reason 55 is not funny but 55 also shows up on your favorites

    consistency, man!

  10. Eh, that's a pretty good point. I think 125 tries way too hard, adds way to much detail, and has an overall grim feeling (where 55 is just more confused).

  11. oh also I think you mean 128, not 125.