Five-Minute Comics: Part 4

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Jump to: navigation, search
Five-Minute Comics: Part 4
five minute comics part 4.png


Transcript: Sorry! Minor glitch in the universe. Nothing to see here. Move along! -- Management
The original image link now shows this image instead of the comic.

This is a "five-minute comic" by Randall that was released by mistake by the management of the xkcd website on August 19, 2011, and was quickly replaced by the correct comic, 940: Oversight. Interestingly, the last comic is an early version of 942: Juggling, which was published less than a week after this comic. The comic has no official release day.

Randall had originally posted three of these five minutes comics during one week in November 2010 almost a year before this one was released by mistake. Here is thus a complete list of all four comics in the entire Five-minute comics series:

Here is a list with explanations for each of the small comics:

  1. The first comic shows what appears to be a dramatic stand-off between two athletes. One of them appears to be holding a tennis racket (or racquet), and the other a baseball bat, which would explain the fact that no one has scored any points yet. The points appear to be displayed on basketball scoreboard, further adding to the confused combination of different sports.
  2. Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? (known outside North America as Are You Smarter Than a 10-Year-Old?) is a television game show where the contestant has to answer questions a school student in the fifth grade (age 10) should be able to answer, but an adult has generally long since forgotten because of the subject's little use in everyday life. The comic shows a similar show, with "smarter" replaced by "sluttier". "Slut" is a (usually) derogatory term for a sexually-promiscuous person (usually female). The contestant hopes "to God" the answer is “yes", as she either would be greatly disturbed if the fifth-grade contestants were more sexually provocative than herself or takes pride in her sluttiness and would be dismayed at being bested by a child who is presumably not as experienced in behaving sluttily.
  3. The comic below puts together two phrases "Muslim call to prayer" and "call for papers". The former, known as adhan, is called out by a muezzin from the mosque five times a day, traditionally from the minaret (a tall spire typical for mosques, depicted in the comic), summoning Muslims for mandatory worship. The latter refers to the announcement of an academic conference, when prospective presenters are instructed how to submit their abstracts and papers. The result is a muezzin announcing a submission deadline instead of the usual religious verses. Randall might also be riffing off the fact that 'Islam' means 'submission', both linguistically and conceptually - muezzins are always calling for submission, except here it is a submission of papers, as opposed to the more typical submission to Allah.
  4. The comic on the right refers to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, where Dorothy (the little girl) is captured in a tornado that transports her, along with her farmhouse, into the Land of Oz. When Dorothy sees the tornado she runs into her home to find her aunt Em. However instead of being greeted by her aunt as expected, she finds a robot which either contains or has replaced her aunt, making her scream in fear. The Wizard of Oz was later referenced in 1149: Broomstick. Tornadoes are a recurring subject on xkcd.
  5. "Evolution has not prepared humans/me/us/men/women to..." is a common excuse by some people to justify their behavior by blaming it on basic instincts over which they have no control. Not pooping in other people's floor lamps is something most people are sufficiently evolved to be capable of.[citation needed]
  6. The comic to the right shows two characters preparing for a duel. One of them activates their lightsaber, a weapon from the Star Wars franchise. The other one follows by turning on a flash-light, which superficially resembles a lightsaber in their deactivated state, but serves quite a different purpose.[citation needed] 1397: Luke has a similar concept.
  7. "Jack and Jill went up the hill / To fetch a pail of water. / Jack fell down and broke his crown, / And Jill came tumbling after." is a traditional English nursery rhyme. San Juan Hill is the site of a decisive battle of the Spanish-American War. The poem was later used as the title for this comic: 1662: Jack and Jill.
  8. The comic at the bottom is an early version (hand drawn) of 942: Juggling which comes 2 comics after this comic was released.


Comic #1
[A man facing left is at home plate ready to bat for 3 panels.]
[A man facing right is holding a tennis racket and a tennis ball.]
[The two men stand facing each other.]
[A basketball scoreboard is shown:]
Comic #2
[Cueball is standing on a platform, holding a microphone. Megan is behind a podium, a game show contestant.]
Cueball: Welcome back to our show, Are You Sluttier Than A Fifth Grader?
Megan: I hope to God the answer is "yes."
Comic #3
[A mosque stands at the edge of a town.]
Voice: Submission deadline is 5:00 PM December THIIIIIIIIRD!
Caption: The Muslim call for papers
Comic #4
[A little girl (Dorothy) is running away from a tornado.]
Dorothy: Auntie Em! Auntie Em!
[A robot, labeled "EmTron 3000".]
EmTron 3000: YES, CHILD?
Dorothy: AAAAAAA
Comic #5
[Megan is pointing angrily towards her floor lamp, which has poop in it.]
Megan: !!!
Cueball: Look - the fact of the matter is that evolution has not prepared humans to handle the decision of whether or not to poop in your floor lamp.
Comic #6
[A man unsheathes his lightsaber.]
Lightsaber: Snap-HISSS
[The other man turns on a flashlight.]
Flashlight: click
Comic #7
[Two children walk up a hill.]
Narration: Jack and Jill went up a hill
[A well at the top of the hill.]
Narration: To fetch a pail of water.
[A man on a horse with a sword holding a flag that is mostly obscured.]
Narration: Alas, that hill was San Juan Hill,
[A cavalry charging. The rest of the flag is revealed and has Rough Riders written on the it.]
Narration: And gruesome was the slaughter.
Flag: Rough Riders
Comic #8
[The panel shows a close up of Cueball reading a book. The book is called "How To Juggle" and has a picture of a person juggling on the cover.]
[The view now shows the entirety of Cueball. A book is on the floor behind them, and he is holding some juggling balls.]
[Cueball throws the juggling balls in the air.]
[He lowers his arms to prepare to catch the balls. The balls are still hovering in mid-air.]
[Cueball now stands with his arms by his sides. The balls have not moved and are still suspended in mid-air.]
[Cueball jumps, trying to grab the lowest ball. He can't reach.]
[Cueball scratches his head and stares at the still floating juggling balls.]
[Cueball throws the book into a trash can.]

comment.png add a comment! ⋅ comment.png add a topic (use sparingly)! ⋅ Icons-mini-action refresh blue.gif refresh comments!


How is this unpublished? Although only through an app, this comic has still been issued for distribution to the public, therefore, by definition, published. Forrest (talk)14:41, 29 December 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for the great explanation (also by but not just by Forrest). I found the link to it from the explanation for 940, and though we really lacked this page. As I did not know all the info I just called it unpublished. And then I actually hoped that someone would explain this comic, and you all did, and it is a great work. Especially finding out why it is here etc. Thanks :-) And great that it was saved because some of them are really funny --Kynde (talk) 21:06, 3 June 2016 (UTC)

I just wanted to add that the forum post about this comic notes that this comic was accidentally posted by the site admins for xkcd, then later replaced with the current version of the comic, i.e. 940: Oversight. The direct image URL for this comic now points to this image. Thus, the comic was not published through the unofficial xkcd app or anything like that; the more likely scenario is that the app downloaded the comic when it became available and cached it, so when the comic was replaced with 940: Oversight, the app did not update it. 03:58, 7 January 2016 (UTC)

Isn't the joke in the first comic that one of the players is holding a tennis racquet and the other a baseball bat? 08:07, 12 January 2016 (UTC)

Concerning the Muezzin calling for "submission" instead of prayer - has anyone noticed yet that the arabic word for "submission" is "Islam"? Seems more deliberate than accidental to me. 14:03, 11 November 2017 (UTC)

Of course it's deliberate. It's referring to submission to Allah - most deistic religions call for some form of submission to their God or gods. 13:59, 18 December 2023 (UTC)
Oh wait, sorry, I think I get what you mean now! 14:15, 18 December 2023 (UTC)

I don't know if anyone else thought this, but in the last panel of the "Wizard of Oz" comic, I thought that Dorothy had some sort of knife sticking out of the top of her skull, presumably thrown by the robot as an attack. It took me a while to realise that it's actually (probably) just one of her pigtails. 14:38, 18 December 2023 (UTC)