6: Irony

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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It's commonly known that too much perspective can be a downer.
Title text: It's commonly known that too much perspective can be a downer.

[edit] Explanation

It must be part of the human condition that causes us to think that odd statements are sometimes more humorous than those supposed to be funny. Cueball makes a true statement, that his statement is not very funny. However, because he invoked irony, the sentence is now funny!

Now going meta: In 20,000 years, there might be no more humans on earth to find the irony funny anymore. How ironic! Alternatively, the barren landscape would have occurred regardless of whether someone made the joke, so ironically the cautionary tale is completely meaningless, although still funny.

This is the first xkcd comic showing stick figure people, which eventually becomes a defining characteristic of the future comic series.

The "too much perspective" idea may reference the Total Perspective Vortex in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Also see 33: Self-reference.

[edit] Transcript

When self-reference, irony, and meta-humor go too far
Cueball: This statement wouldn't be funny if not for irony!
Cueball: ha ha
Friend: ha ha, I guess.
20,000 years later...
[Desolate badlands landscape with an imposing sun in the sky.]

[edit] Trivia

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You can definitely see an improvement in these comics as Randall learns to clean drawings and form a proper punchline. Davidy22[talk] 14:07, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

I think this explanation is incomplete. Benjaminikuta (talk) 03:41, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
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