## 1063: "Kill Hitler"

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Pfhorrest
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### Re: 1063: "Kill Hitler"

*Kat* wrote:People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but *actually* from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... time-y wimey... stuff.

I have an actual theory (as in not just a joke at least) that time is a local entropic anisotropy in the phase-space of possible worlds, such that time lines (plural) radiate out from local entropic minima, and the transworld "present" consists of all points in the phase-space equidistant from the local minimum as the indexical point (i.e. this one). The last time I tried describing this to someone, I got to a phrase along the lines "so while most people assume that the present is some kind of point moving along in a linear progression from a single past to a single future, it's actually more like...", when the person I was talking to finished me off with "...a big ball, of wibbly wobbly, timey wimey... stuff." Given that a collection of points equidistant from some point in a space could well be described as a "ball", I thought it was hilariously appropriate.

Also, I am disappointed that BHG's phone box shaped time machine doesn't go WHOORP WHOORP when he uses it.
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BAReFOOt
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### Re: 1063: "Kill Hitler"

This is not how time machines work.
If you go back in time, and change something (even having a single photon bounce off of you counts), you create a new time line, and can never go back to the old one.
So if you move forward again, there isn’t anyone waiting for you… because in that new time line, you never existed and are a complete stranger.
If you go back enough, and the changes are big enough, you might not even be able to survive in your own home time in the new time line.

chrnno
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### Re: 1063: "Kill Hitler"

Yep, you travelled so many times that you habe full working knowledge of it, right?

'); DROP TABLE users; wrote:...

Which is contradictory if it includes the deaths of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War then it started in 1937 not 1939...

Also killing Hitler at any point in his life wouldn't have prevented WW2, it simply would have happened in a different way and may or may not cause even more deaths.

AvatarIII
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### Re: 1063: "Kill Hitler"

Djehutynakht wrote:...Couldn't he just make multiple one-use time machines?

the only logical assumption is that time is like a thermosetting polymer and can only be altered once.

BAReFOOt wrote:This is not how time machines work.
If you go back in time, and change something (even having a single photon bounce off of you counts), you create a new time line, and can never go back to the old one.
So if you move forward again, there isn’t anyone waiting for you… because in that new time line, you never existed and are a complete stranger.
If you go back enough, and the changes are big enough, you might not even be able to survive in your own home time in the new time line.

i think you missed the joke that BHG went back and killed Hitler in exactly the same time and place that he was going to kill himself anyway, meaning the timeline was not sufficiently different (other than in this timeline the time machine has no windows) for anyone to notice.

another irony is that if you go back in time and kill Hitler, when you come back and tell people you killed Hitler on such and such a date, they will say "of course, everyone knows that's when Hitler died" so perhaps in the original timeline Hitler actually went on to live longer, and there was no suicide?

Plasma Mongoose
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### Re: 1063: "Kill Hitler"

If BHG did go back to 1939 or earlier and killed Hitler, when he returned, the guy who requested Hitler's death most likely would not even know who Hitler was anymore.

And the above scenario ignores the fact that the guy who requested Hitler's death probably wasn't even born in this new timeline.
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AvatarIII
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### Re: 1063: "Kill Hitler"

Plasma Mongoose wrote:If BHG did go back to 1939 or earlier and killed Hitler, when he returned, the guy who requested Hitler's death most likely would not even know who Hitler was anymore.

And the above scenario ignores the fact that the guy who requested Hitler's death probably wasn't even born in this new timeline.

if BHG killed Hitler before 1939, there's every chance that BHG would never have been born, meaning he could not go back and kill Hitler, perhaps BHG specifically chose 1945 to prevent a paradox.

Dr. Diaphanous
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### Re: 1063: "Kill Hitler"

BHG only implies he killed Hitler in 1945. What actually happens is this: He goes back and kills Hitler in 1914, in a bunker in WWI. The Allies win WWI and have the treaty of Versailles, causing great resentment and instability in Germany. However, without Hitler, this doesn't lead to the Nazis gaining power. Instead, the German Communists (the Nazi's main rivals) win and seize power (IRL they lost power when they were blamed for the Reichstag fire). They then start WW2 as allies of Communist Russia. With the combined might of Germany and Russia, they quickly conquer mainland Europe, and then the UK also fall to them. This lets Italy conquer North Africa. To secure its power in the Pacific against the USA, Japan allies with them. Russia and Japan then share China between them. Then Japan and bombs Pearl Harbour. The Combined Japanese, European, and Russian forces invade the USA, conquering it in 1945. There is then a huge international celebration because the war has been won.

BHG then goes back to 2012, and says the the other guy "1945 was loud". The other guy says "NO!". This is Polish* for "yeah", because he agrees that the 1945 celebration was very loud (he knows because the American Communist puppet government has reenactments on victory day every year).

*he is descended from a Polish soldier fighting in the West Polish army fighting for Ernst Thälmann's Germany. He still speaks English as well, because they fought in close cooperation with the Britisches Heer (british army).
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### Re: 1063: "Kill Hitler"

I've always felt that if I ever invented a time machine, the first thing I would do is travel to a remote corner of Antartica, on january 17th 1302, at 15:02 hours, where, right on schedule, I would meet myself from the future. My future self would hand me a schematic for an even better time machine, the secret to eternal youth, a few robotic servants and of course a few tons of gold. Using that, I would quickly set up and business empire, and set about developing the aforementioned technologies, so I can hand them to myself at the appropriate time.
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Plasma Mongoose
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### Re: 1063: "Kill Hitler"

AvatarIII wrote:
Plasma Mongoose wrote:If BHG did go back to 1939 or earlier and killed Hitler, when he returned, the guy who requested Hitler's death most likely would not even know who Hitler was anymore.

And the above scenario ignores the fact that the guy who requested Hitler's death probably wasn't even born in this new timeline.

if BHG killed Hitler before 1939, there's every chance that BHG would never have been born, meaning he could not go back and kill Hitler, perhaps BHG specifically chose 1945 to prevent a paradox.

I'm using the Time-Traveller's Paradox Immunity Clause: "Even if a Time-Traveller changes time enough to prevent themselves from existing in the new timeline, they still exist nayway."
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TranquilFury
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### Re: 1063: "Kill Hitler"

I'm pretty sure hat guy just jumped forward enough to check the lotto numbers, or the time machine was fake and he's just trolling.

J Thomas
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### Re: 1063: "Kill Hitler"

BAReFOOt wrote:This is not how time machines work.
If you go back in time, and change something (even having a single photon bounce off of you counts), you create a new time line, and can never go back to the old one.
So if you move forward again, there isn’t anyone waiting for you… because in that new time line, you never existed and are a complete stranger.
If you go back enough, and the changes are big enough, you might not even be able to survive in your own home time in the new time line.

I'm not at all clear how time machines would work in a universe where time machines worked.
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gkawa
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### Re: 1063: "Kill Hitler"

You don't understand.

He went back and killed Hitler in the bunker!!! That's what you know NOW because that's what happened.
Before that, Hitler completed the development of a new weapon and won the war. In fact, xkcd was in German.
You can't remember that, he changed the whole world with that trip in time.

I can''t believe I have to explain this on xkcd... you all should have figured out by yourself. This is not Dilbert.com, or is it???

And it was a one shot time machine, round trip.

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### Re: 1063: "Kill Hitler"

Griffin wrote:Woah. Dejavu, XKCD and MSPA.

I hope BHG tackled Hitler yelling "DIE FISH HITLER DIE!" before he killed him.

I thought this was pretty funny, although the regular guy should have known that when BHG came out and they both knew who Hitler was, it didn't work (assuming that they could change the past). Of course, if they could change the past and still be aware of it then why wouldn't more people still be aware of the altered past too? You'd have random people turning up saying "I remember the holocaust, so many people died" and then the people saved would have no idea what they were talking about.

Jez
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### Re: 1063: "Kill Hitler"

whateveries wrote:so does godwins thingy mean this thread was over before the first post?* if so, someone broke a paradox and we want it fixe.

Nope. Godwins law doesn't apply if the topic itself involves nazis, only if they are brought in as some sort of comparison.

psychorobot
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### Re: 1063: "Kill Hitler"

My take on the whole "killing Hitler" debacle (2 part comic):
http://www.superbrophybrothers.com/2011/12/back-to-hitler-part-1.html

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### Re: 1063: "Kill Hitler"

Jez wrote:Nope. Godwins law doesn't apply if the topic itself involves nazis, only if they are brought in as some sort of comparison.

And it ALSO doesn't apply when making an appropriate comparison - like when discussing genocidal policies of other states. People always seem to miss that point...

Just in case anyone hasn't seen this other, similar comic:

http://www.viruscomix.com/page382.html

It's my favourite take on this topic.

dp2
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### Re: 1063: "Kill Hitler"

AvatarIII wrote:i think you missed the joke that BHG went back and killed Hitler in exactly the same time and place that he was going to kill himself anyway, meaning the timeline was not sufficiently different (other than in this timeline the time machine has no windows) for anyone to notice.

another irony is that if you go back in time and kill Hitler, when you come back and tell people you killed Hitler on such and such a date, they will say "of course, everyone knows that's when Hitler died" so perhaps in the original timeline Hitler actually went on to live longer, and there was no suicide?

I took it as somewhere in between. We ASSUME Hitler committed suicide. In fact, he was killed by a time-traveling BHG. He didn't change the past at all; we just don't know the truth.

Venture_Free
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### Re: 1063: "Kill Hitler"

"I don't get what you're so upset about. I even made it look like a suicide so no one suspect anything."

Doom Shepherd
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### Re: 1063: "Kill Hitler"

Dr. Diaphanous wrote:BHG only implies he killed Hitler in 1945. What actually happens is this: He goes back and kills Hitler in 1914, in a bunker in WWI. The Allies win WWI and have the treaty of Versailles, causing great resentment and instability in Germany. However, without Hitler, this doesn't lead to the Nazis gaining power. Instead, the German Communists (the Nazi's main rivals) win and seize power (IRL they lost power when they were blamed for the Reichstag fire). They then start WW2 as allies of Communist Russia. With the combined might of Germany and Russia, they quickly conquer mainland Europe, and then the UK also fall to them. This lets Italy conquer North Africa. To secure its power in the Pacific against the USA, Japan allies with them. Russia and Japan then share China between them. Then Japan and bombs Pearl Harbour. The Combined Japanese, European, and Russian forces invade the USA, conquering it in 1945. There is then a huge international celebration because the war has been won.

BHG then goes back to 2012, and says the the other guy "1945 was loud". The other guy says "NO!". This is Polish* for "yeah", because he agrees that the 1945 celebration was very loud (he knows because the American Communist puppet government has reenactments on victory day every year).

*he is descended from a Polish soldier fighting in the West Polish army fighting for Ernst Thälmann's Germany. He still speaks English as well, because they fought in close cooperation with the Britisches Heer (british army).

This is why if you really want to save all those people (and are irredeemably evil, like me), you go back to 1842 and toss a grenade into Marx and Engel's first meeting. No Communism, no Soviet Union for the Nazis to arise as a reaction to. So you avert not only everything the Nazis did, but also the Ukrainian genocide, the Great Leap Forward, the Khmer Rouge, etc. You probably still end up with some Socialism (given that the ideas had already begun to take hold), but of a less killtastic kind.

(Maybe you could achieve the same goals just keeping Lenin out of Russia?)

Steroid
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### Re: 1063: "Kill Hitler"

This comic ruins the joke about, "How can you not supporting putting up a statue to the man who killed Hitler?"

neoliminal
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### Re: 1063: "Kill Hitler"

Everyone assumes time travel is hard. It's not. In fact it's trivial.

The hard part of time travel isn't temporal at all, it's location.

All time travel is relative to the point of departure, which seems simple enough until you realize that the earth is spinning, whipping around the sun and that the entire solar system is flying out from the center point of the galaxy and that the galaxy is flinging itself out from the center of the universe.

Well now, that's a lot of calculations and movement. Even a jump in time of a few seconds could leave you floating in the middle of space if you didn't translocate yourself back to some safe location and change your velocity.

Imagine you got everything right, with a very small error and you land in the time you wanted but find yourself moving hundreds of meters a second straight up.
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carega
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### Re: 1063: "Kill Hitler"

Doom Shepherd wrote:
Dr. Diaphanous wrote:BHG only implies he killed Hitler in 1945. What actually happens is this: He goes back and kills Hitler in 1914, in a bunker in WWI. The Allies win WWI and have the treaty of Versailles, causing great resentment and instability in Germany. However, without Hitler, this doesn't lead to the Nazis gaining power. Instead, the German Communists (the Nazi's main rivals) win and seize power (IRL they lost power when they were blamed for the Reichstag fire). They then start WW2 as allies of Communist Russia. With the combined might of Germany and Russia, they quickly conquer mainland Europe, and then the UK also fall to them. This lets Italy conquer North Africa. To secure its power in the Pacific against the USA, Japan allies with them. Russia and Japan then share China between them. Then Japan and bombs Pearl Harbour. The Combined Japanese, European, and Russian forces invade the USA, conquering it in 1945. There is then a huge international celebration because the war has been won.

BHG then goes back to 2012, and says the the other guy "1945 was loud". The other guy says "NO!". This is Polish* for "yeah", because he agrees that the 1945 celebration was very loud (he knows because the American Communist puppet government has reenactments on victory day every year).

*he is descended from a Polish soldier fighting in the West Polish army fighting for Ernst Thälmann's Germany. He still speaks English as well, because they fought in close cooperation with the Britisches Heer (british army).

This is why if you really want to save all those people (and are irredeemably evil, like me), you go back to 1842 and toss a grenade into Marx and Engel's first meeting. No Communism, no Soviet Union for the Nazis to arise as a reaction to. So you avert not only everything the Nazis did, but also the Ukrainian genocide, the Great Leap Forward, the Khmer Rouge, etc. You probably still end up with some Socialism (given that the ideas had already begun to take hold), but of a less killtastic kind.

(Maybe you could achieve the same goals just keeping Lenin out of Russia?)

Maybe to prevent everything the Nazis did, along with everything afterwards you should toss a grenade at Adam Smith and prevent the rise of capitalism, or you could toss a grenade at the first settlers in what is now USA and prevent imperialism or you could toss a grenade at Colombus' ship and prevent colonization or you could...

This is just plain dumb. Thinking history is linear and thinking that had Hitler not existed the world would be a better place.

Oh and BHG just keeps disappointing me. He is more and more dull every time. Seriously? Build a time machine just to mess with someone? I liked him more when he made tiny holes in condoms.

AvatarIII
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### Re: 1063: "Kill Hitler"

Steroid wrote:This comic ruins the joke about, "How can you not supporting putting up a statue to the man who killed Hitler?"

well i think any statue of BHG would be postponed for years due to indecision of whether his head is a disc, a sphere, or a ring.

BarracksRoomLawyer
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### Re: 1063: "Kill Hitler"

Point of order: issues related to Hitler’s service in the Bavarian Army ought to go in the World War I forum.

BarracksRoomLawyer
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### Re: 1063: "Kill Hitler"

(whoops, repost by mistake)
Last edited by BarracksRoomLawyer on Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:56 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

Bobsama
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### Re: 1063: "Kill Hitler"

If I had a time machine, I'd probably pull a back-to-the-future and give myself winning lottery numbers & investment advice. And then I'd come back as if nothing happened, stepping out of my time machine a minute later as though it was just a regular phone booth. Wouldn't do for my friend to suspect anything.

Fire Brns
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### Re: 1063: "Kill Hitler"

*Kat* wrote:
Lukeonia1 wrote:Ooh! I like rambling about time travel and causality!

I posit that even with a time machine it is impossible to alter history, because whatever "changes" you make in the timeline become just another part of everyone's history, including your own. Anything you do in the past will have already occurred before you got there, so everything that happens while you're in the past will play out exactly the way your history remembers it.

If you were to go back in time to kill Hitler before he became someone that needed killin', and succeed, then there would be no reason for you to go back in time to kill him, so you wouldn't, so Adolf would become Hitler again, so you'd go back in time to kill him, and so on ad infinitum.

Furthermore, suppose you're suicidal and decide to go back in time to kill your father before you were conceived. The fact that you exist makes it a foregone conclusion that in the past, you either failed to kill anyone, or you killed the wrong man. Either way, you'd be better off instead taking that time machine into the future, gathering the hot stock tips that will have by then made you a rich man, and then using the proceeds to buy enough hookers and blow to forget your troubles.

And don't bother trying to kill your past self when he arrives, the fact that you're still alive means you won't succeed no matter how hard you try.

So time travel all you want, history has already made sure that nobody will ever know you were there. Unless of course, you're this guy.

Ok, I'm done.

People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but *actually* from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... time-y wimey... stuff.

Time occupies at least 1 dimension, it could easily occupy a second. Assuming you could alter the past you would only create an alternate timeline. The original timeline would still exists and have the problem you tried to fix.
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Fire Brns
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### Re: 1063: "Kill Hitler"

Jez wrote:
whateveries wrote:so does godwins thingy mean this thread was over before the first post?* if so, someone broke a paradox and we want it fixe.

Nope. Godwins law doesn't apply if the topic itself involves nazis, only if they are brought in as some sort of comparison.

Whoa this is like when Hitler tried funding a secret time travel program.
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kps
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### Re: 1063: "Kill Hitler"

Black Hat Guy intended to kill Hitler earlier, but White Hat G* considered him a rather attractive stranger.

iamspen
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### Re: 1063: "Kill Hitler"

Fire Brns wrote:Whoa this is like when Hitler tried funding a secret time travel program.

In fairness, it was Future Hitler's idea.

barasawa
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### Re: 1063: "Kill Hitler"

Have you considered that time traveller does know his history and he killed Hitler just before he did something brilliant and turned the whole thing around which resulted in his conquering all of the world except for Australia and Indonesia in a mere 7 years and then set about his 'racial purification' b.s. everywhere killing 10s of millions of people?

The problem is, the friend who stayed and is now from the altered timeline is in one where Hitler's reign ended when he died in that bunker and his atrocities were much less devastating, though with nothing else to eclipse them, still world class horror category.

As to the time machine being one use and being used twice, either he left the flux capacitor running, or it was a round-trip.

Maybe those windows weren't windows, but some kind of display, or even a paint job to make it look more like a police box/phone booth that got burned off in the temporal vortex.

Gero
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### Re: 1063: "Kill Hitler"

I'd kill Thomas Midgley, Jr. if I had this opportunity. The guy who gave us both leaded gas and cfcs. No telling how many people he killed, and if the human race will even survive his atrocities.

flicky1991
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### Re: 1063: "Kill Hitler"

BAReFOOt wrote:This is not how time machines work.

No-one knows how time machines work. In the context of this strip, they work however Randall says they do.
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Sophosleygh
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### Re: 1063: "Kill Hitler"

Alright, I'm surprised no one has brought this up yet. The Evil Baby Orphanage? This argument has been around since 2007. I also suggest all of you watch the VlogBrothers if you don't all ready.

am3930
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### Re: 1063: "Kill Hitler"

I've always thought that the premise would make for a bad-ass alternate history story.

You have some scientist or whatever realize that some idiot has gone back in time and altered history. After much research and crap it comes out that it was an alternate version of himself who used the opertunity to murder some German kid named Adolf. He doesn't really understand why. If it were up to him time travel would be used to kill the dick responsible for WWII or to have a chat with Ben Franklin about electrical charges. Unfortunitly he doesn't have a choice. If young Hitler isn't murdered, the timeline resulting from his murder undoes the act and you have a paradox capable of ripping apart the fabric of reality. Reality's only hope is for the guy to mimic his actions perfectly as possible in an attempt to create a casual loop.
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Chicagojon
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### Re: 1063: "Kill Hitler"

Diadem wrote:I've always felt that if I ever invented a time machine, the first thing I would do is travel to a remote corner of Antartica, on january 17th 1302, at 15:02 hours, where, right on schedule, I would meet myself from the future. My future self would hand me a schematic for an even better time machine, the secret to eternal youth, a few robotic servants and of course a few tons of gold. Using that, I would quickly set up and business empire, and set about developing the aforementioned technologies, so I can hand them to myself at the appropriate time.

I always had the same plan, but now I think I'll land in Antarctica on January 17th 1302 at 14:55 with a cup of coffee and a gun.

San Fran Sam
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### Re: 1063: "Kill Hitler"

Then there was the Outer Limits episode (the reboot not the original 1960s series) where someone goes back in time and kills Hitler as a baby. The parents are so distraught over the loss of their child that they.....

Spoiler:
adopt a baby and name him after their dead child... Adolf

dmm
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### Re: 1063: "Kill Hitler"

I can't believe that, in two pages of comments, no one has yet mentioned Command & Conquer: Red Alert.

Trickster
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### Re: 1063: "Kill Hitler"

Griffin wrote:Woah. Dejavu, XKCD and MSPA.

I hope BHG tackled Hitler yelling "DIE FISH HITLER DIE!" before he killed him.

I was about to say the same thing. I'd doubt the coincidental timing if I didn't presume Randall draws most of his comics in advance of the deadline.

NeatNit
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### Re: 1063: "Kill Hitler"

Eternal Density wrote:Oh, BHG! Only BHG would use a time machine for the mere purpose of annoying a single person

I remember a TV show where there was a seemingly unimportant reference to a guy who'd bought the power of time travel (which had previously belonged to a main character who sold it for cash) for the purpose of killing Hitler. Turned out to be a brick joke, as in the next season it sparked an entire episode...

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