Category:Daylight saving time

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Daylight saving time (DST), or summer time, is the practice of advancing clocks during summer months by one hour so that evening daylight lasts an hour longer, while sacrificing normal sunrise times.

Since Randall first used DST as part of a joke in panel five of 68: Five Thirty, where two Cueballs are more worried about DST than one of them having three arms, Randall has made it more and more clear that he is not a fan of DST which he in several comics directly mocks!

Since this first DST comic from 2006, where DST began on April 2nd (first weekend of April), the DST was moved three weeks earlier in the USA to the second weekend of March. At that time also the end of DST was moved to the first weekend of November from the last in October. This was determined in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 which took effect from 2007. See also Daylight saving time in the United States and the historical dates for DST in the USA to compare with the release of DST related comics.

Note that DST in other countries (above equator) does not follow the same pattern as in the states, and it is also not called DST in all other regions if they even apply DST. There are even two states that do not observe this Hawaii and Arizona. In Europe it is for instance called summer time and here it begins on the last Sunday in March and ends on the last Sunday in October each year. Below the equator they have summer when the America has winter, and thus of course Australia apply DST each year, from the first Sunday in October to the first Sunday in April.

This all explain why xkcd fans from other countries can be perplexed by comics about DST that are released in relation to DST in the US. This happened first with 1655: Doomsday Clock. Since then both 2378: Fall Back, 2594: Consensus Time and 2846: Daylight Saving Choice has been released close to the DST change dates. See below.


  • 68: Five Thirty was the first to mention DST. It was released more than a month before DST in 2006. It is a very surreal comic, and it is not clear what this fifth panel mentioning DST means. But the words "daylight savings" is surrounded by 10 times the word "shit". Given that one Cueball has three arms it seems weird that it is DST they worry about.
  • 673: The Sun was released in December 2009, almost halfway between the last end and the next start of DST. But it was released close to the winter solstice where the daylight fails (or falls) to the lowest possible amount. This could be more relevant for this comic. In this comic it is implied that DST should not happen on Randall's watch and that he will never fall back i.e. correct his watch back for DST.
  • 1061: EST was was released in May 2012, two month after DST. This new standard time does allow DST but no time may pass in countries that enter DST.
  • 1268: Alternate Universe was was released in September 2013, more than a month before DST. It is only mentioned in the title text, but is compared to how strange it would be to eat spiders (or lobsters).
  • 1412: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles's only relation to DST is that it mentioned Daylight saving time in China.
  • 1655: Doomsday Clock was released on March 14, 2016 the day after DST began that year, making it the first comic about DST to be released in conjunction with the beginning of DST. Again showing what Randall thinks about it very clear...
  • 1825: 7 Eleven was released on April 17, 2017 more than a month after DST began in the US. The reference is in the title text. Once again Randall is negative towards DST by singling out the only honest places to be the two US states that do not observe DST, Hawaii and Arizona.
  • 1883: Supervillain Plan was released on August 30th, 2017 and shows how even a super villains plan can be affected by DST. In the title text it mentions how tick-tock articles covering a major event would have trouble with their timelines if it happens during the DST change.
  • 1930: Calendar Facts was released on December 18th, 2017, and it only mentions DST as part of many facts.
  • 2378: Fall Back was released on October 28, 2020 just three days before DST ended, thus making this the second time a DST comic was released in relation to the change, here the fall back. It relates to the constant coverage of the election that fell two days after DST (five after the comic), and how this fall back would break the constant 24 hours news cycle, but only because one day would have 25 hours of news instead of 24.
  • 2542: Daylight Calendar was released on November 15, 2021, released a week after DST fall back that year. It is actually not directly about DST but is clearly a joke upon a time system where we change the time depending on the amount of sunlight received as a given time in a country. As with DST.
  • 2594: Consensus Time was released on March 16, 2022 a few days after DST. It is not directly about DST but still mocking the idea that time is determined by consensus rather than fixed to some physical measurable thing.
  • 2846: Daylight Saving Choice was released on October 25, 2023 four days before DST that year. The joke being that people can determine which time they will use for them selves. This would of course make it impossible to arrange a meeting with people who chose the other option than you if you do not know this.
  • 2939: Complexity Analysis was released on May 29, 2024. The congress enacts a surprise DST giving us an extra hour.