#225 – Flashlight

It’s amazing the power that is available in a hand held flashlight now. When I was a kid we had a flashlight that took one of those big 4″x4″x6″ batteries and it would barely be enough light to read by. Now you can practically start a fire or knock over small children with one. One day instead of annoying kids shining their laser pointers on a movie screen they’ll be doing it on the moon. As I’m writing this I’m wondering how many posts it will take for someone to tell me that the object Biff is holding is actually called a torch. ๐Ÿ™‚


86 thoughts on “#225 – Flashlight”

  1. Warcrime says:

    I call it a flashlight, im not from England…. or wverever else they call ’em torches.

    First post.

  2. Stryker says:

    so, what i want to know, is what kind of bulb does that thing use? I’ve seen em bright enough to scorch your eyes, but obviously i’ve not been looking hard enough for the most powerful flashlight.

  3. Solaris says:

    I’m from Australia. Its called a torch.

  4. Andrew says:

    What was the setting, and where can I buy one like that?

  5. The Crack Ninja says:

    There are lasors that are powerful enough to reach the moon. or so say the makers. they cost about $2000 but are powerful enough to light a campfire from a few feet away. really nice but will sometimes melt what you’re pointing to.

  6. Madness says:

    One of my friends have that flashlight. Looking at it makes your eyes melt.

    Man, this is such an awesome webcomic.

  7. Bejose says:

    @ Warcrime, I’m from Australia and we call them torches

  8. roy_vf1s says:

    Dang, Chris… it always seems like you pick a topic my friends and I recently discovered in our own lives. A friend of mine has a tactical flashlight on his new airsoft rifle that’s so bright it nearly does damage to a person’s eyes from 10 meters.

    I love it, keep up the great work!

  9. Rick says:

    Lol, why does a flashlight have a ‘Kill’ Setting?

  10. Karen Ellis says:

    Any appliance is enhanced with a “kill” setting.

  11. Eleanor says:

    Where can I get one of those firelighting-melty-lasers?
    And I beleive I would be the first one to be thinking “Flashligh = torch” and hoping I was right, being English.

  12. CynicalSavant says:

    Actually, it’s called a torch LIGHT. *snickers*

  13. Gobbledegook says:


  14. Tyler Becker says:

    It’s a torch. Happy?

  15. Anticitizen 101 says:

    You could hunt trolls with that thing, so better keep it at that setting. “Stun” does to trolls what mosquitoes do to you ๐Ÿ™‚
    It’s better to use a flashlight than emergency candles ( #130 ) but the the hole in the wall doesn’t really matter as the background is just made of painted cardboard ( #109 )
    Also, long time reader, first time poster. Cool comic, it always manages to stay fresh.

  16. Kristen says:

    I would of hated to be the guy standing in front of that flashlight when it’s not set on stun.

  17. Wannabeelf says:

    now point it at the moon and write “cha”

  18. AK says:

    Your probably thinking of those Surefire brand tactical illumination devices..aka a flashlight.
    65Lumens using 123 Lithium batteries..
    You can find them on eBay for about $35 in the USA.

  19. Hyshinara says:

    in dutch the word for that one specific is ‘staaflantaarn’, which means ‘stick lantern’ lol

    but most of the time, people just say ‘zaklamp’ (flashlight) to all of them ๐Ÿ˜€

  20. Nova Namina Riff says:

    Look…before I get involved in this argument Torch was the original word of flashlight so both words can be used….
    I wonder why the torch had a stun and kill setting anyway. Can you buy them under the age of 18?

  21. Sappho says:

    C’est un flambeau!!!

    Nah, just kidding. That’s totally a flashlight. A flashlight I want.

  22. Lucretiel says:

    The I-Max bulb was origionaly designed to signal people on the moon, and is powerful enough completely incinerate a piece of paper in seconds. maybe it’s a minature, or something similar…

  23. Wortcov says:

    reminds me of the lasgun joke….^^

  24. crimtonic says:

    Flashlight, torch, itโ€™s the same thing really. Thus to solve this argument, Iโ€™m going to officially declare that all objects that can be held in the hand and whoโ€™s main purpose is to create light, using some form of electricity; shall be called buwagakises.

    There, argument solved.

    By the way, awesome comic, I love the simple but brilliant nature of these comics.

  25. KoL Addict says:

    Wannabeelf, that made my day. I only wish I could be the one to say that.

  26. Roseofsky says:

    Does it have a disentegrate setting like the zat-guns from Stargate SG1 do? Because if it does I want one.

  27. My new 1,000,000 candella torch is so bright , I swear it has somthing akin to recoil when I switch it on.

    (Which is done from the safety of a sealed bunker , by the way)

  28. My new 1,000,000 candella torch is so bright , I swear it has somthing akin to recoil when I switch it on.

    (Which is done from the safety of a sealed bunker , by the way)

  29. geeklord says:

    Set flashlights to kill…

  30. Lsharp says:

    you know…
    it’s a torch xD

    noh man i would call it a flashlight too m8
    nohhh worries be happy

  31. Xezphos says:

    I call it a flashlight, but I thought it was called an “electric torch” in England and other places…

  32. Your flashlight does have recoil, Plutos; just very, very little recoil. Photons have momentum equal to hf (or alternately hc/lambda, which is the same thing), which is the planck’s constant times the frequency of the light. Make sure you get your units right though…

  33. Jenna says:

    Flashlight, torch… doesn’t really matter – it all depends on where you were raised.

    I say flashlight… but only because I’m Canadian ^_^

  34. Eleanor says:

    E’yup, in England, we call it a torch, nothing fancy. We used to have a 1-million candle-power spotlight, we used it to stun the cats that went after our rabbits. Eventually my brother was nearly blinded, so I don’t kow where it is now.

  35. Kuroiten says:

    It’s a regional thing.

    But no matter what you call it, an illumination device that powerful would be pretty cool to own. The unadulterated power… *chuckles maniacally*

  36. Nate says:

    FINALLY, “today’s” comic, I can bookmark this hilarious site now.

  37. roy_vf1s says:

    Wannabeef, I can only say one thing to your post….


  38. Jenna says:

    Eleanor -> my dad just got one of those darn lights… only, it’s really tiny and quite deceiving.

  39. dragonbrad says:

    the new tech thats in development for the US military is a a light that can burn through five feet of solid concrete in 3 seconds,huh,Anticitizen 101, do not get me on misquiteoes,wer i live there about as common as finding dirt in the ground

  40. Chris says:

    Hey Nate, thanks for all the comments. Glad you finally made it up to today. ๐Ÿ™‚

  41. MDX1 says:

    That object Biff is holding is actually a torch. ๐Ÿ˜€ You said you were waiting.

  42. Toshmate! says:

    Wannabeelf – I’m hoping that was a comment on the Chairface Chippendale episode of The Tick.. and in which case.. i TOO wish, like KoL Addict, that i had posted that comment!

  43. Meneh says:

    Humm…wickedlasers.com much?

  44. Wannabeelf says:

    frankly, i’m surprised so many people got my reference.


  45. Coco says:

    One time I brought a LED headlight to camp and when I shone it in people’s faces, they’d scream at me to turn it off. It was bright ๐Ÿ˜€

  46. isana says:

    im not sure if the setting is “kill” so much as “vaporize”

  47. Brendan says:

    “Well arthur, we saved the moon… sort of.”


    “Gravity is a harsh mistress,” which is possibly my favourite Tick quote.

    I work at a video store, and I swiped the only copy of The Tick vs Season One that we received. the other employees were… ticked off?

  48. Kara says:

    and i thought the brights on cars hurt my eyes…
    (Why can’t anyone turn those off, anyways? OMG there’s another car, let’s see if i can blind them…dillholes)

  49. Phantom Blade says:

    There are pocket lazers these days that are equivalent to a directional match.

    But for some reason, I can only think of the angry flashlights, the lasguns.

  50. Malachite Dragon says:

    Wannabeelf Says:

    April 16th, 2007 at 8:50 am
    now point it at the moon and write โ€œchaโ€

    Wannabeelf Says:

    April 18th, 2007 at 10:24 pm
    frankly, iโ€™m surprised so many people got my reference.


    All together now!
    Long live the Tick! ๐Ÿ˜€

  51. Hazzard says:

    I once left a flashlight pointed down at a church pew (double bulb xenon). It burned a hole through the top layer of fabric.

  52. Mint Sharpie says:

    Bahahaha, I love Biff’s face! “WTF did it do that for? I need that wall.”

  53. Naglu says:

    This reminds me of the flashlight lasers from ringworld, it had an adjustable focus that made it change from hand held flashlight to cutting laser.

  54. Darkpheonix XIII says:

    Is it just me, or do I see Biff’s right eye, instead of the squint?

  55. Marthion says:

    And Kif, your toilet is set to stun instead of kill. Ten points to anyone to get that.

  56. fatboysammy says:

    my friend is from south africa and he calls flashlights torches, starts to get anoying sometimes cuz il forget and be like “torch??……”

  57. Thornbrier says:

    I know it was mentioned, but Wickedlasers.com has lasers with “the power to burn,” for between 500 & 3000 USD. Not quite what we are seeing here, but still cool.

    Ringworld rocks, just sucked that the green cloaks absorbed the green lazers light.

    What biff is holding here is best called a Photonic Shotgun, look at the spread on that thing.

    Dentist: “No, open wide, just need to take a look here.”
    Patient: “OwwwwAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!”

  58. joequincy says:

    I can’t find a picture of it right now… but I remember when my grandfather bought a 2 million candlepower spotlight…

    Think of a flashlight, only 1 foot in diameter by two feet long… with a built in battery+charger… an emergency radio… and a B/W TV.

    This thing could shine a light from Emerald Bay (South Lake Tahoe, CA) to Round Hill (Zephyr Cove, NV) and still illuminate a party pretty darn well… as we found out from experience when he did just that to us one 4th of July.
    (the following is a link to a google map of the beam I am talking about… 7.12 MILES!!!)

  59. snakeadelic says:

    It wasn’t quite as spiffy as the one joequincy mentioned, but a friend of mine had a whopping big (about 8″ lens, maybe 16″ total length) handheld flashlight he called his “Sun-in-a-gun”. The best range we could verify for it, since we lived in suburbia at the time, was about a quarter of a mile, but it was bright enough at that distance to read house numbers. It might or might not have been enough to start a campfire, but it was definitely warm enough to set on its butt end and warm your hands over!

  60. Elkian says:

    I was in a store and bought this thing called a ‘Handy LED Flashlight’. I look on the little cashier’s screen as it’s being rung up – ‘handy LED torch’. Weird.

  61. Felix says:

    LED lights are better D:

  62. Ygdra says:

    I was watching How it’s Made on the science Channel and they claimed it’s called a flashlight because the first flashlights could only produce flashes of light, not a prolonged beam. So the name “flashlight” is inaccurate at best.

    I’m not sure I can get behind “torch” either, despite how culturally enriched it makes you sound.

  63. Psymon says:

    Marthion, I don’t remember hearing the quote, but if I recognize the name used, it’d be from Futurama.
    It bugs me ever-so-slightly </understatement> when people misspell acronyms, such as Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Also, since LED stands for light emitting diode, that makes “LED light” somewhat redundant.
    Yes, I know my pedantic mode is far too touchy. More on-topic, both “torch” and “flashlight” have issues in proper use. “Torch”, given its verb form (torch the village!), is too strongly associated with flame-on-a-fuel-soaked-stick, while a “flashlight” doesn’t actually flash. I’ve heard “dead battery case” as an alternate suggestion, though.

  64. Septimus Crudelious says:

    Biff’s firin his lazor?

  65. Bug says:

    I started to talk about how my torch does this and that on a Game Forum somewhere, and no one knew what I was talking about. Eventually someone posted that:
    Torch = Flashlight
    Trousers = Pants
    Fag = Cigarette.

    Unfortunately I’m not British, so only the first applies with me. I don’t really understand why people call them flashlights. When I think of a flashlight, I think of those lights in clubs that make you look like you are moving in cartoon motion… you know, they flash.

  66. Pom Rania says:

    Darn it, what ARE those lights called…. The ones Bug described.

  67. Pom Rania says:

    Strobe lights!

  68. Armathos says:

    Torch = Implement utilizing FIRE. Contemporary example, a welding torch, which uses pressurized gas to create the concentrated flame for making welds.

    Flashlights utilize ELECTRICITY to make light, unlike fire based sources of light, such as a torch, they can be instantly turned on and off, thus the ‘flash’ part of it.

  69. Amake says:

    In Swedish it’s called ficklampa, “pocket lamp”.

  70. Kintatsu says:

    You can get burney, melty lasers here: http://www.wickedlasers.org (com?)

  71. Sipan says:

    Amake, you have NO idea (hopefully) how that sounds in German. (No, I won’t explain. Ask Google, if you must).
    And Wickedlasers.com now has a It’s-Electric-But-Still-Sets-Things-On-Fire Torch. That’s its name. Wicked.

  72. Crazy Magnet says:

    I really, really, REALLY hope that this was [i]supposed[/i] to be a Star Trek reference, otherwise I feel like a total geek -_-‘

  73. Crazy Magnet says:

    Bah, ignore the absent-minded attempt at coding there. Forgot where I was typing.

  74. the walrus says:

    In russian it’s called fanare meaning lantern.

  75. Soltueur says:

    That’s not a flashlight, that’s a variable focus laser from Larry Niven’s know space stories.

  76. Dzelda says:

    Say, I wonder…. how old is Biff?

  77. Felix says:

    It’s called a torch. ๐Ÿ˜€
    Halloo from England.

  78. Crazyeyes says:

    @Armathos: Thank you, I was waiting for that…
    If someone says they’re giving me a torch, there BETTER be fire involved. =D

  79. My OLight is 210 lumens on the high setting. There are some that can literally be seen from orbit. The special forces guys use those with an IR filter for signaling. Mine will illuminate far enough to exceed tracer burnout on the machine gun.

  80. That one guy says:

    Do I sense a Star Trek phaser reference?

  81. figgyleaf says:

    i’m gonna end this argument. 2CAMMELS IN A TINY CAR B*&^ES!!

    (btw thats a reference to =3) http://www.youtube.com/user/RayWilliamJohnson#p/search/2/GQkYjDeUq10

  82. Kintatsu says:

    @ The Crack Ninja: You’ve been to Wicked Lasers, too? Personally, I want a Spyder II GX.

  83. Tordoc says:

    I’m British.
    It’s a torch.

  84. DaemonThanatos says:

    I want that flashlight BAD. It would make hunting down my socks that much easier…’cause then they couldn’t get away! BWAHAHAHAHAHA-*cough, cough* ow… evil laughter bad for throat…

  85. SurveySays says:

    basicly almost everyone except america calls it a torch. and use a diffrent system of mesurment. and drive on the opposite side of the road. america is backwards. we migrated over and were like ‘eff europe lets change EVERYTHING so they can’t just jump over here and blend in.’ they retaliated by having better beer and chocolate than we do.

  86. extremist343 says:

    I’m from Canada. It’s called a flashlight. Torches use fire, not lightbulbs.

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