This encapsulates what makes xkcd so great. The characters lampoon the procedures of daily life through technology and clever non sequitur. Easy to reference, this comic is hilarious and a great introduction to the website.
There are many fantastic “my hobby” jokes on xkcd, but this one is most fantastic. Visualizing the scene and confusion that would follow only adds to the fun here.
- Los Alamos
This joke visits one of the math’s most significant moments and history and shows how much we take for granted the difficulty of advanced science, and how easy it is for people to make simple mistakes.
- Laser Scope
One of the oldest xkcd comics, this one uses a hilarious play on words for a simple gag.
- Google Maps
While most xkcd comics benefit from brevity, the hilarity here is the garden path for both the characters and the readers, as well as the utter trustworthiness of Google Maps.
- Honorable Mention: Limerick
An important part of every xkcd is the mouse-over text (I lack the technology skills to embed it here without literally just copying it. This comic’s is not even particularly funny, but it’s perhaps the one I quote most often, “Fun game: try to post a YouTube comment so stupid that people realize you must be joking. (HINT: this is impossible)” I quote this because I once found a comment that I thought would work. On a video of the Velvet Underground & Nico’s “Heroin,” the commenter said something to the effect of “you know, I’m not sure, but I think this song MIGHT be about drugs.”
- Bottom: Regrets
There are numerous xkcd comics that try to be sweet and sincere, but given the usually cynical nature of the site, they don’t really have any effective emotional impact. This is just one of many comics in that category that somehow fail to be either serious or humorous.