Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Comic 628: I Predict This Comic Sucks -- I Was Right! Love Me.

xkcd: the lighthearted moments of childhood abandon combined with the bratty humor of a cafeteria line.

As with many comics on xkcd, this one can be slightly modified to represent the interaction between xkcd and its admirers:

Walking Meme Bank: "I'm funny, you know."
Wandering Digg Member: "That's bullshit."
WMB: "Think of a meme from 1981 to 2009"
Digg: "Okay."
WMB: "You just lost the game."
Digg: "Holy shit!"
WMB: "I try not to let it affect my webcomic too much."
Digg: "Wait, I have to upvote this."
WMB: "Don't go linking it. Forget I scribbled anything."
Digg: "But--"
WMB: "Check out this waste of a tie."
Digg: "I, uh...ok, sure."

If you asked 100 people to pick a random number between 1 and 100, your success rate of guessing (according to basic statistics) wouldn't be anywhere near 1%. On top of unrealistic math, Randall uses impure psychology, as the lady's shattered perception of the psychic lad suddenly makes her agreeable to seeing a movie with him. But if he's only able to read what people are already thinking, then she already would've wanted to go out with him, and propositioning people to spend time with you is called socializing and you won't find any of it in this comic.

On the softer side...playing with people's heads is funny, and I think conditioning someone is a premise rife with gags. But this is a lousy schoolyard prank that would still get you beaten up on a blacktop. The narration and flavor text, like with some horrible test gum from Wonka, don't match the original taste at all. There's a numbers trick that almost never works, ok, now go attempt it on everyone you meet and analyze the data? The setup is just too stupid and comes off as desperate if the end result is being near a woman for however long it takes her to realize guessing a number is as psychic as this comic was humorous.

Edit regarding the math: If you did this trick a million times, yes, the average success rate would be 1%. If you were a human being and did it to everyone you met (hundred? two hundred?), the result would skew, similar to how coin flips skew. I did cheat with the sample size, and shouldn't have referred to "impure math," now edited to the slightly less epic fail adjective of "unrealistic." Thanks to anyone who called bullshit and backed it up :)

Edit regarding the punchline: If he's not tricking her into seeing the movie, then is the joke supposed to be that she's just in awe of him from now on? I'd rather believe that Randall attempted a joke and not the completely ineffectual and bland alternative being offered.


  1. > If you asked 100 people to pick a random number between 1 and 100, your success rate of guessing (according to basic statistics) wouldn't be anywhere near 1%.

    Umm... yeah it would. And despite myself, I actually smiled at this comic. The dialog was stilted, but I liked the idea more than most these days, and the alt text was non-terrible for a change. Keep it up Randall. Sort of.

  2. I'm reminded of a Scott Adams joke in The Joy of Work. Let me find a quote...

    "It's easy to be psychic. Start with easy things. When you meet a new guy, glance at his company ID badge and say, 'You look like a Dave. Am I right?' Eighty percent of the people you try this on will realize you're looking at the ID and laugh at your lame joke, thus thinking you are highly intelligent because you use humor. The other 20 percent will offer to shave their heads and give you all of their worldly possessions. Remember, we're talking about a general population where a third of the people are planning their lives around the zodiac. It won't take many demonstrations of supernatural talent before you're running your own cult."

    Scott Adams, The Joy of Work, 1998.

  3. Randall suggests that "It may only work 1% of the time," when it may also work 0% of the time. You're never "due for a win" in a probability game -- your chances always reset with the next try.

  4. Last anonymous poster was an idiot. Never said "once in a hundred times" he said 1%.

  5. Same anonymous poster as immediately above. Isn't this a comic a perfect set up for a "Get out of my head Randall"?

  6. Aaaaaaaargh math wrongness on xkcdsucks.

    100 people? Chances are pretty good he'll hit 1%. Chances are better he won't, but the single most likely result is 1%. The sample space is too small.

    If you get up to enough people (tens of thousands of samples), then yes, you'll be right approximately 1% of the time.

    I'm incredibly curious as to how Thomas' "basic statistics" that suggest that randomly picking 1 value from 100, of which 1 is correct, has anything other than a 1% success rate in the long run.

    Okay, maybe people choose lucky numbers like 7, or their age, or 1 or 100, or something. That's mitigated by the fact that it is *you* who are choosing, so as long as your choiced are truly random (or close enough), it's 1%.

    Are you under the mis-impression that it matters what the other person actually chooses and that it's therefore 0.01% or something?

  7. Surely there will be a psychological bias towards some numbers... Personally, I feel biased towards even numbers. and if Randal knew that his chances would possibly be slightly closer to 2% almost exactly.

    seriously though, this is one of the better ones in a long while.

    @Thomas, I assume that they are already on a date. As opposed to his ruse convincing her to go to a movie.

  8. According to a survey I read once, 17 is the number people will choose more often than any other.

  9. Anon 10:56 PM agian.

    hurrr, just read the alt-text. there goes half my post.

    Ratena, cause i have no eyes to read that shit before i post

  10. And he mentioned those biases in the alt text. And the author here mentioned the pureness of the math, not the psychology.

    Oh, and by the use of the definite article ("the movie") you can tell that their movie date was already arranged. This mind game has nothing to do with it.

    Honestly I kinda liked this one and was looking forward to someone teaching me to hate it. I was disappointed.

  11. This was the best XKCD in a while. Sure, the joke would have worked better if the characters had actual faces, and I'm not sure if the timing in the dialogue works optimally, but come on, the joke is good, he doesn't ruin it, and the way the reader is tricked into believing that he's a psychic all the way until reading the caption is a brilliant trick.

    And yes, they clearly already know each other and have already planned to go to the movie. The movie is just mentioned as a "everyday experiences are more important than me being phychic" thing. Which is also pretty cool; how he not only convinces her that he's psychic, but also that it's not a big deal.

    I liked this one.

  12. wow. this is some epic xkcdsucks fail right here.

  13. I really thought that this idea wasn't that clever (I think the Adams bit is a much better exploration of "using mundane, random trivia to play the odds and maybe convince some gullible people that you're psychic") and the unrelentingly horrible dialogue kills it for me.

  14. Also this isn't the first time Randy's used the premise of "if the odds are right then HILARIOUS THINGS HAPPEN."


  15. The girl is obviously Megan and this comic depicts one of Randy's attempts to date her (except he didn't guess the number IRL).

  16. Was there an earlier version of this comic where Randall wrote, "This only works on every 1 out of 100 people" instead of "This only works 1% of the time"? Because if there is, your argument about the math would make perfect sense. If not, then it's really weak.

    Sure, a person wouldn't be extraordinarily likely to hit exactly 1% after exactly 100 trials, but where are you getting the "if you asked 100 people" line of reasoning, anyhow? The overall success rate of this would indeed eventually approach 1%, and the chances of success on any individual trial would be 1%. Nitpicking about expected outcomes after 100 trials is really beside the point.

  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

  18. the chances for not having any succes with this with 100 tries are (0.99)^100 = 0.36603) its 13th grade math (in germany anyway)
    Its the Bernoulli Formula (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernoulli_Process) thus having at least 1 success would be (1-0,99^100 = 0,63397)


  19. same anon as above

    forget the bernoulli formula its basic probability. the chance for not being right are 0.99 the chances for hittin this chance 100 times in a row are 0.99^100 of course the more you try the more probable (is this proper english?) it willl become to actually have AT LEAST one success.

    thx for reading

  20. This would have made a better SMBC.

  21. @Anonymous who linked to the Bernoulli Process
    Could you please stick to a single decimal separator? Thanks.

  22. I'm anon 12:38 and 12:43

    sry tried the englsih/american way but then forgot about it i'll stick with the . from now on.

    what is SMBC?


  24. I seem to recall there being some psychological experiment done some a while back, where lots of people (I can't say how many exactly - hundreds maybe) were asked to think of a number between 1 and 50 inclusive. Rather than each number receiving approximately 2% of the votes, the runaway winner was 37, interestingly.

  25. God... all the commenters here are so awful at statistics it makes my head hurt.

    Randall is right, it works 1% of the time. Pick a number between 1 to 100. There is a 1 out of 100 chance that if I now pick a number it will be the same number.

    Thomas is right as well, although he cheats by picking a far too small sample size for analysing this statistic. In actual fact, if you play this trick on 100 people you have a 63.4% chance of succeeding at least once:
    you have 100 samples, each with a 1% chance at success. The only situation in which you don't succeed at least once is if you fail 100 times. Each time has a 99% chance at failing. Your chance at success is therefore 1 - .99^100 = 0.634

    Okay... I just scrolled up and saw some other people got it right. However, the first 2 pages or so of comments are woefully atrocious at statistics. Especially for people who pretend to understand xkcd.

    On topic: the comic wasn't awful. I agree with Thomas that it was rather childish and it also suffered from xkcd's malady: WHERE IS THE FUCKING JOKE?!

    However, compared to stick figure cunnilingus, this was a paragon of awesomeness.

    Captcha: rechi... sounds like retched, like most of your statistics and some xkcd comics.

  26. bad comic, really, really, really, really, really fucking bad xkcd sucks post. two paragraphs, complaining about problems that aren't there. for me, the crappy math understanding was secondary to him barely understanding the comic.

    makes me wonder what Carls screening criteria are, "can type", "not me", "sent post in"

  27. How the hell did Thomas turn "Let's get to the movie" into "Do you want to see a movie with me" or a similar proposition? It's quite clear that the movie is pre-arranged and he's now using it as a convenient subject change to stop the girl from further querying his psychic abilities.

    xkcdsucks is getting increasingly suckier.

  28. The criticism was worse than the comic today. The comic itself was just extremely bland, WAY too Gary Stu-ish to me and the dialogue only made things worse.

    And I'm seriously afraid of going into the discussion thread for that one. I won't be able to stand the incessant "ooooh I did this once and it was AWESOME".

  29. Seen this joke before. I couldn't help but smile while reading the comic. Not because it was funny, but because after reading "I'm psychic" I knew this would be good. Good as in bad.

    I was not disappointed.

  30. Oh and btw, did you guys know that 7 is the randomest number? They asked a bunch of people for a number between 1 and 20, and 7 was picked the most. followed by 17. The problem here is that humans just aren't really random (whether or not that study I mentioned is bullshit is irrelevant), but there are bound to be numbers that get picked more often, take 13 for example. it's associated with bad luck.

    But this is all irrelevant to the comic's "humor" anyway, so I don't think it's actually worth discussing.

    As for the review, I liked the dialoge you made. good stuff.

  31. xkcdsucks fails at basic math. But that aside, where did this gem come from:

    "But this is a lousy prank that would still get you beaten up on the blacktop."

    Um, what? Asking someone to guess a number would get you beaten up at school? If you guess right or wrong? And what school did you go to?

  32. The important thing is that this girl is willing to believe an incredible claim after only one experiment (already biased by the "people don't pick truly random numbers" problem). More trials would have easily exposed any subterfuge - yet she demands none!
    THEREFORE, I contend, the hidden joke of this comic is that math is great and everybody who doesn't math is a fool.

    (also, I side that this situation will work less than 1% of the time, because people will ascribe your success to luck when you do get it right. jealous fools!)

  33. Emmer, I think the argument would be that the reason why he sidetracked her with "I try not to let it affect my life too much" is EXACTLY so she wouldn't demand a second attempt. But then, if this girl is the kind of "nerdy and smart" girl xkcd loves so much to display, she's probably clear up the whole matter on her own in less than 5 seconds; otherwise, she's quite an idiot.

    I think the comic is WAY too wishful-thinking to make a relatable experience. Of course the comic doesn't need to be truly believable and realistic, but there's a limit to how much humour like this can bend reality to make a joke work. I think it just went too far, and ended being plainly annoying and silly.

    Also, to my relief, the responses on the discussion thread are a tad more sober than I initially expected.

  34. First off, you know what guys? I've been bringing on the h8 with you comic after comic here for a while now, without lapse. But today? Ain't your lucky day, cuz I liked this one! It made me smile, there was no Megan, no GOOMH, no retarded 4chan memes, no cunnilingus, no poorly-executed smarter-than-thou arrogant smugness with high school math tricks... It was more funny than it was full of itself: And I think being too full of yourself is what does the most damage to humor.

    It wasn't great, but it was definitely a bad good xkcd, so I don't mind this comic one bit. Good job Randall. Keep it up and maybe this place won't be so popular.

    As for the post... Eh, thomas sounds like he'd write up a great one if the comic actually did suck. Unfortunately for him, he seems to have drawn the short straw, so I wouldn't blame him for, ahem, grasping at straws.

  35. xkcdsuckssucks, or can we just say thomassucks? We need a category for cases of xkcdsuckssucks

  36. See, this is why this blog usually sucks. Nearly 25% of it was devoted to Carl not realizing that "the" movie was already set. It is clear to anyone who ponders it more than a second that the guy didn't trick the girl so that she'd go to a movie with him. He was just fucking with her before they went to a planned movie. It's obvious, yet we have Carl going off on a psychology rant. Hell, he even caps off his review with a point made from his mistaken understanding. This is not the first time Carl has simply failed to understand what is going on in a fairly simple comic.

    Carl has serious interpretation problems.

  37. Anon 7:04 here

    Oops, didn't see that Thomas did this one. It is usually stated above when it isn't Carl posting.

    Sorry, Carl, though you do this often*, Thomas fucked this one up.

    * - thought now I suppose I need to go back through and make sure it wasn't Thomas making all the elementary mistakes. Perhaps they are both idiots.

  38. I didn't want to be dissident or anything, but could it be that "let's get to the movie" is the guy "looking into the future" and predicting that they're going to a movie?

    The girl, already hoodwinked, goes along with it thinking that she's already agreed ... :)

  39. You have a chance here Carl - every time people disagree with you, go back and change the byline to Thomas.


  40. Thomas = Carl?

    Very clever, Crandalliam Monthomasyroe Hughes.

  41. "I didn't want to be dissident or anything, but could it be that "let's get to the movie" is the guy "looking into the future" and predicting that they're going to a movie?"

    Makes sense.

  42. I find it funny how the xkcdsucks comment on the comic got more negative feedback than the actual comic.

    It's actually a pretty funny comic. I think I may try something like this. Maybe do something that has a better than 1% chance of success. Like guessing a playing card. The most often picked card is the Ace of Spades. Also, I heard that if you specifically say not to pick the ace of spades then they instinctively choose something completely different from the ace of spades (for woman, the most commonly picked was the Queen of Hearts).

    Really, not a bad comic.

    Also, @Anomynous 8:07; But that would make this have a much less than 1% chance of working (if you including guessing that they want to see a movie as part of trick).

  43. sometimes, when I am feeling like the totally introverted nerd that I am, I read xkcd and immediately feel better about myself

    holy fuck randal is turning into a sociopath

  44. Was I the only one that liked the review?
    Although I'm not sure what Thomas's problem wiht the math was, I thought the review was funny and mostlyl fair.
    My first thought when I read this was "pictoblog" followed by "is this how randy gets dates?"
    And the joke- THE JOKE - "Girl was impressed by guy pretending to be psychic" What the hell.
    Maybe as a throwaway joke on Friends, but how in the hell could you try to pass this off as a real punchline?

  45. no poorly-executed smarter-than-thou arrogant smugness with high school math tricks

    isn't that the whole premise of today's xkcd?

  46. I'd hardly call this one smug.

    While not fantastic, this is the least offensive xkcd in awhile.

  47. Well, it basically seems to be saying that people other than Randall are so retarded that they'll believe the one-in-a-hundred random number guess as instantaneous proof of being psychic.

  48. lol jso. Not a sociopath. Just an attention whore

  49. I don't really fault Thomas here. When xkcd isn't actually retarded/disgusting, it's just bland and humorless. I mean, does anyone actually think this is funny? There's really nothing to say here. It'll still make the front page of digg/etc, but it's hard to write articulately about how goddamn boring a joke is.

  50. Yeah, this is pretty much a shining example of "real people don't act like this!"

    The average person's reaction to having their number guessed is not going to be "OMG YOU'RE PSYCHIC," it's going to be "Ha! Lucky guess. Do it again." This trick isn't going to work unless you're dealing with someone pathologically gullible or 5 years old.

    Don't get me wrong-- it's perfectly fine to have someone have an unlikely reaction if that's part of the joke. But, in this instance, I don't think it is. The joke is supposed to be that 1% of the time you'll guess the right number and the result is someone will think you're psychic. It doesn't work if it's "1% of the time you'll guess the right number and, if by some twist of fate you're talking to a total idiot, they MIGHT think you're psychic," which is what is actually presented.

  51. There are a lot of total idiots.

  52. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqjaPZEt0KY

    Viewing on high quality is kind of important for this one.

  53. aloria: I think that's the point of him dismissing it afterward. At that point, he can just say, "No, forget I said anything" and not have to deal with the problem again.

    Will it drive the other person mad? Probably, but that's part of the fun.

    I stand by my "this would make a better SMBC" comment earlier.

  54. You didn't have to type out all the maths stuff. I would've settled for just some big black letters saying "YOU FORGOT TO MAKE A JOKE AGAIN RANDALL"

  55. This comic is stupid.

    The whole premise is that this situation could play out in real life, but the person you would ask would of course not behave as pictured.

  56. I don't think that's necessarily the case: xkcd was never too reliant on being absolutely accurate. The problem I see here is that the events on the strip are WAY TOO detached from reality in order for one to picture it in his head. It's really just narcissistic wishful-thinking for the sake of cheap humour.

  57. Fernie: Exactly. Even if you pulled the whole mysterious "I don't want to talk about it anymore" thing, I doubt even the biggest John Edwards fan would act all dumbfounded like this girl is portrayed. A normal person would either keep pushing the subject or dismiss the dude as acting like a toolbag.

  58. Oh, and I think you hit the nail on the head for most of xkcd with "It's really just narcissistic wishful-thinking for the sake of cheap humour."

    xkcd is how Randall wishes people would act towards/react to him. It's presented as "it's funny because people really do this stuff," but no. They don't, except in his little fantasy bubble.

  59. Anyone notice that the latest Dinosaur comics is also about predicting stuff randomly?


    And that it is much more funny?

  60. Nobody yet noticed how this comic is almost straight ripped out from the pickup artists? They play these kinds of mindgames on people and one of them is to get the girl to think of a number between 1 and 10. Trick is that people most often pick number 7, so you just guess 7 and if it didn't work you just dismiss it. Changing 1-10 to 1-100 just makes it less likely to happen, but it doesn't change the underlaying idea. Point is, this "joke" has already been done in real life by people for ages and it has really 0 humor in it as it is.

  61. Incidentally, I was writing a story about a girl who can read minds just recently.

    Please never let thomas write a post again.

  62. This is not as good as classic xkcd, but was pretty funny.

    I think a lot of the comments here show that while xkcdsucks started out pointing real issues in xkcd, the people here have gotten as bad as the xkcd fanatics, looking for anything to find fault with. I mean, common, the situation is not realistic? Thats your big complaint about a joke? Ooh, normal people would have asked for more evidence!

    Compared to the criticisms in the past, these are small points, so small in fact as to be irrelevant.

    I guess I should point out that I'm only talking about some of the comments. Some people gave this comic its due credit.

  63. But it's not a joke. A joke is funny. This is not funny. It's banal.

  64. Anon 4:24: thomas will be doing the next comic as well.

  65. "I mean, common, the situation is not realistic?"

    A month ago this comment would resonate in me. The problem here is a lot more subtle: I think, depending on the kind of humour, there's a limit to how much you can push the reader's suspension of disbelief before the whole joke fails. Unless you can prove me wrong, I don't think Randall was going for Airplane! style absurdity, in which lack of realism is fully embraced and WORKS. Randall here is going for something that the reader can imagine happening -- unlikely, perhaps, but plausible. That whole exchage simply is NOT plausible. That's why the strip failed to be funny to me and came across as plain ego-stroking dickery. This is different from the "I know you're listening", which was quirky for the sake of quirkiness: this is a Gary Stu-ish attempt at being "cool".

  66. Hey guys we should totally craft the unfunniest thing we can think of while simultaneously imitating randy's style, then hack the xkcd server and put it up as a regular comic, and see what the forumites and digg have to say.

  67. no need for that, person

    "omg randall get out of my head"

    "funniest comic I have ever seen"

  68. BTW I don't think itgoes against 1 if we graph a function that would make it 1% t would look like
    P(n)=(n n/100) * (1/100)^(n/100) * (99/100)^(99*n/100)
    right?(If we regasrd it as a bernoulli-experiment)
    because k=n/100 if we want exactly 1% success out of our tries. now the p^k * (1-p^)^(n-k) would just go straight towards 0 and (n k) doesn't grow fast enough to prevent this. Is this right??

    Please answer I am really curious if my thoughts are right :D


  69. Unfunniest thing I can think of, hmmm

    Three panels of a stick figure floating above, er, I mean sitting in, a chair.

    Caption: "My hobby: watching paint dry"

    Alt-text: "Oil-based paints tend to dry slower and therefore provide more hours of entertainment."

  70. aloria: is it wrong that I laughed at the alt-text?

    At any rate I'm sure the folks at xkcdcouldbebetter will be RIGHT ON IT

  71. Sam: No, everything I say is a laugh riot. I can't help myself.

  72. :C http://explainxkcd.com/

    captcha: indish

  73. I really wish today's comic had been better-executed. I think that if he'd had a better understanding of furries, fursuiting, conventions, and jobs, and if he had taken the time to explore the concept further instead of just doing the bare minimum to establish that the concept passed through his head, then this could've been funny.

  74. 629 is ust another meme-turned-meta, although furries admittedly don't quite fit the category of a 'meme'. Hopefully you know what I mean, though..

  75. Do you ever have those times when an idea is funny in your head, but there's no good way to convey it, so you just keep it to yourself?


  76. @Adam

    No, furry trolling is a 4chan meme of sorts. I'm sure this joke was made back when people started getting sex changes. But hey, it's FURRIES right? I mean, lol.

  77. I would hate to be the guy reviewing the last set of XKCD comics, they all seem so mediocre. Neither bad enough to get upset about, or good enough to get a laugh, all just lame and unfuuny.

    If I were stuck doing this review, I'd probably just give up and show a break down of my reaction to the comic in smily form:

    :\ :| :/ :(

  78. If I was doing this review, I'd just say:


  79. Oh, my reaction to the alt text is missing: >:\

    I was pretty sure the double suit joke in the alt text was meant for the 4th panel, but since he can't draw eyes, let alone clothing, there is no way he could show the suit joke, thus he has to put a boring ass-last panel where they make boring conversation as stick figures. HEY RANDALL, A PUNCHLINE REQUIRES A PUNCH, NOT MEANDERING DIALOG.

    oh shit, I actually came up with something to say about the comic.

  80. Okay, so it's true that this one wasn't that funny, but I have to point out that the characters here are probably already acquainted if not close friends: "Let's get to the movie", in my opinion, implies pre-existing plans to go to a particular movie.

  81. I can't believe the number of uber-nerds that pop up here to make statements like "The whole premise is that this situation could play out in real life, but the person you would ask would of course not behave as pictured."

    a) It's not a fucking documentary!

    b) How do you KNOW that "the person you would ask would of course not behave as pictured"? People are strange creatures. They do not always respond in the same way as your royal nerdliness would in any given situation.

    c) Stop being such an unbearable pedant, particularly when the chances are that your sweeping assertions are wrong anyway.


  83. Translation:


  84. anon 10:06, I assume that's referring to the conversation I've been carrying with Tim. I posted another response, still in the 627 thread.


    No, I hadn't even read that. "Stilted" is probably the perfect word to describe Randall's dialogue, so it's no coincidence that people come up with that independently.

  86. The most likely and simplest explanation for the movie is that the two had set a date, and were meeting up beforehand. Much like anyone would do on the way to a date, they started talking: I find it hard to believe anyone would be silent on the way. So he's talking to her and he jokes about being psychic- She is not permanently in shock, just for the moment because to her he had just read her mind. The reason he says "let's go to the movie" is because she had become distracted by his impressive display of psychic...nes

    That makes sense.

    Also for the 1% thing, it's the only way you can put a joke in there. He knew it was fake math, but for the average know nothing reader it was an entertaining little bit and it worked well enough for the plot.

    I don't know if this was brought up yet, as I don't have time to read all of the comments, so if it has think of it as emphasis.

  87. I have a feeling if you do this long enough to have a statistical possibility of guessing the number, people would see it coming and say "oh it's THIS dickbag" whenever you approached. And if you guessed it right, they would probably not care at that point.

  88. Sorry to double post, but I just saw the latest comic and... what the fuck randall?

    Who the fuck is that guy in the white hat?

    Is he a new character?

    Or... is he supposed to be blackhat, and you just didn't fucking bother to color his fucking hat in, you lazy piece of shit?

    Also the joke sucks.

  89. pirate king: you are totally right on the first one. As to the white hat, I think it was merely for variation.

  90. That could be, but I think it was just astounding laziness.

    I mean really, I set my artistic expectations pretty low when reading xkcd. It's stick figures, after all. All I really expect is straight lines, circle-heads that are actually somewhat circular, maybe some consistency in character depiction... Yet randall manages to disappoint, nonetheless!