Frequently Asked Questions


So what’s the deal with the king?

He’s there, he’s not that sure why, we’re not that sure why, but that’s the situation.

Is Wait But Why a blog or a real website?

Again, we’re not really sure. We want you to think it’s a real website and when you forward the link to someone we don’t want you to say, “Check out this guy’s blog” cause then it seems like it’s just this guy writing and it’s just a blog. We want you to say, “Check out this site” cause then we seem like a bigger deal and it seems like a legit thing. Okay?

Do you guys have jobs?

Maybe you should spend less time asking us judgmental questions and more time realizing that you’re on question 3 of an FAQ page on a procrastination website.

Are you writing Wait But Why to distract yourself from the fact of your own mortality?

Christ. Yeah, probably that is deep down a bit of what’s happening. What the hell kind of question is that?

It just seemed likely.


Anything else?

No. Is there a reason we’re still here?

Oh if you’re ready to leave, by all means let’s leave. I didn’t want to be the one to suggest it since I work here.

Yeah sorry it’s kind of getting weird to be in here alone with you.

Great. You’ve made your point clear. And let’s remember that you chose to come in here and no one is forcing you to stay.

Okay I’m just saying.

Let’s both move on.

Agreed. Bye.


  • Anonymous

    But who are you?

  • Anonymous


  • Todd

    I’m sure people come here to learn more about who you are

  • Anonymous

    And wait, but -how- are you so popular over just three months from nothing?

  • Anonymous

    I just asked myself the same thing. How on earth did you become so popular? What is your social media strategy, ROI, blaha, blaha, blaha, [insert endless sterotypes here].

  • Anonymous

    The simplicity is very alluring.

  • Anonymous

    Are you a woman?

  • Brittny

    I looked all over for an “About” or something. Look at these comments! Everyone wants to know more about you, where the hell you came from, what inspires you, if you write for Cracked on your days off, etc. On a positive note, I enjoy your “articles” on this “site.” 😉

  • Anonymous

    Whoever you are, it seems you wrote this whole FAQ all by yourself. Subtlety is obviously not your strong suit.

    I also detect just a bit of narcissism.

    See? I can be sarcastic, too.

  • Anonymous

    I would bet that the sudden wild popularity is due in part to George Takei. (Oh my)

  • Jen

    Bwahahahahahaha! That’s hysterical.

  • Mary

    You’re so popular because you actually write well. I laughed quite a bit reading your posts…and I personally hate blogs. 🙂

    • this is a blog

      this is a blog, you’re stupid

  • blissdragon

    Yes, I don’t know if you are a man or a woman but I love you and I want to live with you.

  • Anonymous

    you’re all fabulous

    – from reddit <3

  • varenya.ind

    You people need not to complete the conversation you’ve fallen into, as you can reach to the conclusion on your own. Simply superb attitude and mind reading skills… 🙂

  • seethesparrow

    Just found this blo.. website. Laughed more in 20 minutes than I have all week. I like you guys.

  • AlterinG Abhishek

    great job guys.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for updating the about section. You guys are hilarious! You have my vote for vest website, ever.

  • Anonymous

    I was wondering who you are too. But you know what, you seem like at least one human being with some interesting thoughts and that’s good enough for me. Cool site!

  • Anonymous

    Wait, but why?

  • Lucas

    haaha muito bom

    turtle guy from brazil 🙂

  • Anonymous

    really good.

  • Anonymous

    before starting my study session, my attention was caught by the article about procrastination. I ended up reading every article on this website. Hilarious. I’ve found paradise. you guys are my new family.

  • n

    Oh, thanks. Now I realize it isn’t a blog, but a website.
    By the way, this FAQ section made me laugh a lot, as do the posts.

  • andy


  • Pura Vida Nick

    I love the site. I just came across it, quite by accident… and I’m getting sucked in.

  • Anonymous

    Is the personality of Instant Gratification Monkey an inherited gene? It seems that some can “spank” their IGMs easier than other. I’ve been successful at keeping the little bastard at bay when required. I’ve seen in some, where IGM controls the helm…This is interesting.

  • Kshitij

    If I had any authority I would have wanted you to pen the posthumous works of Douglas Adams. I don’t. It’s the biggest compliment in my repertoire. All the best guys.

  • k1m

    Great site guys! I was hooked from the first article I read about the Gen Y Yuppies..
    Anyway FYI the “you guys” link on the section “Do you guys have jobs?” doesn’t work.. I’m assuming since the update…? I didn’t actually click it when I first read this FAQ before the update.

  • Elizabeth

    Your amazing and HILARIOUS articles have given me hope that I actually DO have the patience to read an entire online article. I thought that was long gone.

  • Sanjay

    You guys just not only can read but also can write your own mind the way it is.
    Simply Great ! Keep it up. Thanks !

  • Anonymous

    (I’m still here)
    (Are you still here?)

    • beth


  • Pingback: All the Single Ladies (and Single Men) | The Reluctant Widow()

  • Anonymous

    Love your site! So clever and witty


    Can I marry you Tim?

  • Jennifer Gooding

    I own a business and, sadly, have very little time or energy for leisure reading. Fact that I am on here leaving a comment on a FAQ portion of a new site I was introduced to, well, is the ultimate compliment I can ever give.
    Even after you made it clear in a post that my name (Jennifer) would age me. Now THAT is some talent!

  • Adam

    So which came first ….
    waitbutwhy or xkcd?

    Or is the answer more mysterious than the chicken and the egg!

    • Anonymous

      xkcd by many years

    • Mark MacKinnon

      The question of the chicken and the egg has been answered.

  • Mame

    Great Job, chapeau !

  • question

    why do I come here also when it’s not tuesday/wednesday? You have statistics, how many other people are there like me who also just stroll around your site on mondays, randomly clicking things already read?

  • another anonymous

    Silly, kooky, and enormously fun. You guys rock.

  • Karen

    I read a few of his blog posts, and for some reason I thought he was a girl. Anyone else?

  • Charlie

    I would like to applaud you for being the first website, that I have ever heard of, that had ads and then realized ads are shitty and got rid of them. I have faith in humanity again.

  • SeeDub

    This site is just overwhelmingly awesome. I just can’t even…

  • Jay

    Great blog. Question – what do you use to make your diagrams??

    • Wait But Why

      I use Pixelmator for most of the visuals and sometimes Powerpoint for some of the more graph-like. I should probably switch to Illustrator at some point, but I’m used to Pixelmator so I kind of don’t want to. And I draw with a Wacom tablet. That’s about it!

  • Som

    Just got to know that you are an year older than me, Tim. You have done a great job. Can we suggest topics?
    I am curious to know where you get the money to go to different countries if you don’t work. You must be super rich, right?

    • Linda Rusty Russ

      WOW! That is so super personal Som.

    • ctmany

      In this post (, he calls this his “‘complete act of love’ job” (emphasis on “job”) and also writes that “Wait But Why posts all take over 40 hours to do, many take over 60, and some have taken me over 80.”

      So, I kinda figured that *this* is indeed his job lol. Unless he has some other kind of side gig(s).

      I haven’t read this yet, but it’s about his trips; idk if it provides answers to the funding question (

  • Som

    You should really create something that makes it easy for us to navigate to say a post in June etc. I don’t visit every tuesday, but when I visit after 2 or 3 months, I want to know what posts I missed. I figured out a way to find September posts by typing, but there should be a much easier way.

    • Tim Urban

      I’ve thought about that and keep deciding not to put the dates on. The benefit to no dates is that very few of the articles are time-sensitive—they apply just as much a year after they’re published as they do on the day they come out. And for those, I don’t want people who happen upon them being turned off that the article is a few months or over a year old, when the experience of reading it should be the same either way. Certain posts should have a date on them—like the Iraq post—and others, like the Time in Perspectives post, need an update from time to time. But for the most part, it seems to make more sense to leave dates off. In your case, the best way is to just go to the archive and skim down until you see where you left off. There are few enough posts now where that should be workable. But I know that’s not ideal.

  • Som

    BTW, I would love to meet you. You live in Boston, right?

  • LYN


  • Mike_Holland

    Did you ever visit Holland? (the Netherlands)

    You should do a Euro Tour tbh! 🙂

  • jodie

    can you please put the question “is the tim urban here the tim urban from underneath the turban” because i was really really excited when i realized you were blogging again

    • Tim Urban

      Yessss an old turban reader. Good to have you. Please don’t tell anyone all the things I said on that blog.

      • jodie

        happy to be here. happy to read your writing again. 🙂
        it’s ok i cant open your old blog anymore anyway so all your secrets are safe with me

        • Vivid

          I’d pay you 10 dollar per secret right now.

          • jamazinggrace

            haha,I’m also interested in

      • Guest

        Freezedancing! Please Tim. You owe it to Winston and to WBW

  • Bill

    I didn’t read it but the way the comments are going I’d be happy.

  • ju

    How d’you differentiate/justify any expression of individuality from image crafting, jealousy induction, narcissism or attention craving? How about classical composers, poets, Martin Luther King or this blog?

  • Linda Rusty Russ

    You nail the procrastination topic etc in such a way, that I just want to reach through my screen and demand that I pay you $300 an hr for therapy rather than my actual therapist lol

  • Haider Naqvi

    Is it your parents’ blessed genes that made you go to Harvard, or was it books?

  • Harold Lownde

    Hope you don’t mind that I’ve posted a link to one of your posts on “The Internet’s Attic.”

  • Ishan

    “Wait But Why”… Why?

  • jamazinggrace

    It’s amazing! But my English is not good enough to read,when can I read posts on WECHAT in Chinese?

  • Kamlesh Parikarath

    Now that I have come here, I wonder how I was living without this ‘site’. Maybe you already know this but beneath all the funny casual repertoire there is an infinite potential to arm your content with the hidden but powerful truths of the world, not loud enough to shake up the whole system but enough to make people ponder.. And subtly make them join the March to the absolute truth, to the world that could be.. I see you and I feel like maybe you are me from the future, or is it the other way round?

  • What do you have planned for the SITE when you move on?

  • Cheryl Jo Sturm

    Thank you! =]