183: Snacktime Rules

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Snacktime Rules
I am not making this rule up. Although my mom wants you all to know it made perfect sense at the time.
Title text: I am not making this rule up. Although my mom wants you all to know it made perfect sense at the time.


Nerdiness and science often go hand-in-hand, but Randall feels that a lot of his nerdiness was actually influenced by his mother. If Randall really had this random math-based rule during his childhood, as the title text implies, he would only have been allowed a snack in his room before bed at ages: (2), 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, (20 and 23).


My dad was always the one who taught me about science, but looking back, I'm starting to realize how much my nerdiness was influenced by my mom.
[A woman and a child are talking.]
Child: Mom, can I have a snack in my room before bed?
Mom: No, Dear. You know you only get that privilege when your age is one less than a multiple of three.

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Hm, how can we know, really, if it's Randall or Cueball speaking? –St.nerol (talk) 20:19, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

It's Randall. I was there. Spotlouise (talk) 16:13, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure that Cueball is basically just an abstraction of Randall. Black Hat, too, at times. Odd that no one seems to notice. Daddy (talk) 15:43, 28 April 2013 (UTC)
Everyone knows it; it'd be impossible for Randall to not put himself in the comic. However, the title text is always Randall, so that implies that the stick figure is definitely Randall. 00:07, 16 August 2013 (UTC) I should probably join... I'd be able to stop displaying my IP
The title text is not always Randall. -- Flewk (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
I feel like most of the characters are at least sometimes abstractions of Randall. I mean almost always Cueball is. But I think the other characters can be aspects of him sometimes. Black Hat, Beret Guy, he'll sometimes even White Hat and Megan. Although they usually represent other things, if anything at all. But sometimes. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Based on the title text Randall had probably just turned 6, so there would be two years until he next could have a snack - and the mother probably believed that he would have forgotten such a rule by then (alas that was clearly not the case... :-) Kynde (talk) 20:27, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

As I read it, it isn't that he gets no snacks, it is that he gets no snacks in his room. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Just a thought, but maybe this rule is based on a measurement of Randall's age in terms of some unit other than years, which would be really nerdy. —CsBlastoise (talk) 18:28, 22 January 2017 (UTC)

Is it possible the obscure logic is related to school exams - perhaps he is 12 and starting Junior High, the previous year having sat an SSAT exam to get. He turned 12 in the October, so would have been studying aged 11 and perhaps allowed to snack in his room as a result. His mum observed that he'll next sit exams for senior high aged 14 and then for undergrad at 17... so can only snack in years he is prepping for exams. (Unlikely that this is the ACTUAL reason for the pattern, but I'll bet it was something of similar spirit, she'd allowed it age 11 and was post-associating it to some other life event so he can do it at 14 and 17 as well). (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)