- This page refers to the comic named "2016". For comic #2016, see 2016: OEIS Submissions.
Title text: Want to feel old? Wait.
This New Year comic, the second in a row, is using a common genre of Internet humor, which Randall has used several times before, in an attempt at making people feel old. This is done by mentioning the ages of various things (often movies) which came into existence during their lifetime. Since many people tend to think of anything that they can remember a time before as "new", this often provokes a feeling of age and out-of-touchness.
In this comic, Cueball has crashed through the roof into the bedroom of a sleeping White Hat (note the white hat on the bed) on New Year's morning. This wakes White Hat up, and Cueball then asks him if he "want[s] to feel old". Without waiting for a reply he starts to make such a list of things that will turn 10 and 20 years old in 2016, before he is interrupted (as he was about to continue mentioning even older things).
White Hat is clearly less interested in Cueball's attempts to make him feel old than he is in the fact that Cueball has apparently crashed through his ceiling and woken him early in the morning on New Year's Day. To which Cueball just replies that 2016 is already hours old and that time is passing. As it is New Year's morning, White Hat has probably not been in bed too long and may even be drunk/hung-over, so he is acutely aware that the New Year is only a few hours old, and also that time is passing.
Night at the Museum and Cars are both children's films from December and June of 2006 respectively, Hips Don't Lie was an inescapable hit for Shakira released in February 2006, and the Wii is a Nintendo game console which was released in November 2006. If you were born in the early-to-mid nineties, these were probably cultural touchstones of your childhood - most people who enjoyed these are now adults.
The films Twister and Independence Day are both disaster movies that were huge box office hits from May and July 1996. Twister is also the name of a game introduced approximately 30 years earlier, so White Hat would feel young, but confused, if he misunderstood and thought he was being told that a game he remembers seeing as a small child is now only 20 years old. The Rock probably refers to the action film The Rock from June 1996, but it could also refer to the wrestler The Rock, who made his WWF/E debut in 1996 (he remains a celebrity to this day, although you may know him as Dwayne Johnson). The first games in the Pokémon series came out in Japan in February 1996 (though they would not come out in North America until 1998 and Europe until 1999). Wonderwall was perhaps the biggest hit for the band Oasis and remains a favorite of acoustic guitarists to this day. It was actually released in 1995 (mistake by Randall?) But it was probably first big in the US in 1996, and also an acoustic MTV Unplugged version was recorded in 1996.
Cueball entering a room hanging by a wire could also be a reference to an iconic scene in the film Mission: Impossible, also released in 1996.
This strip is a joke about how common such memes are; Cueball is so eager to note what cultural items have reached major benchmarks of age that he feels the need to break into White Hat's house and announce it mere hours after 2016 begins.
The title text adds a humorous alternative to suggested ways to feel old - by waiting, although one would have to wait for some time to experience noticeable results. It is only a couple of weeks ago that Beret Guy used this technique to travel forward in time in 1617: Time Capsule.
There have been two previous New Year's comics with only the year used as the title: 998: 2012 in 2012 and 1311: 2014 in 2014. For some reason, this trend only seems to happen with the even-numbered years, but that ended in 2017 with 1779: 2017, making this the first of at least two years in a row with New Years comics using the new year as the title.
A similar situation is seen in 225: Open Source where two ninjas smashes through a skylight window hanging down from a rope, waking a person in a bed. In that case they are actually threatening the sleeping guy.
- [Cueball comes crashing through the ceiling suspended by a rope attached to a triangular contraption around his body. White Hat lies in his bed and appears to have been awoken by the noise, starting to sit up. At first glance it looks like Hairy, but White Hat's white hat can be seen hung on the back of the bed; he apparently doesn't sleep with it on.]
- Cueball: Want to feel old?
- Cueball: Night at the Museum, Cars, Hips Don't Lie, and the Wii all turn 10 this year.
- Cueball: Twister, Independence Day, The Rock, Pokémon, and Wonderwall all turn 20.
- Cueball: And-
- White Hat: Oh my God, couldn't you at least have waited until morning?
- Cueball: It's been 2016 for hours! Time is passing!
- White Hat: I am acutely aware.
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