Five Possible Reasons Nobody Showed Up For Stephen Hawking’s Retroactive Time Traveler Party

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HawkingWhat if you threw a party for time travelers but nobody showed up? Trick question — Stephen Hawking already did it. Hawking has been telling the story for a while now, explaining that “I have experimental evidence that time travel is not possible. I gave a party for time-travelers, but I didn’t send out the invitations until after the party. I sat there a long time, but no one came.” His “time traveler party” experiment was scheduled for June 29, 2009, and it was even featured in his Discovery series Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking.

So what the hell, time travelers? Not even one of you could be bothered to put in an appearance? He’s only one of the most brilliant minds of our time, you know. I mean sure, it could just be that time travel really is an impossibility, no matter how long our species survives or how far we advance technologically. But that sort of thinking is no fun at all, so here are some other possible reasons why Hawking’s time travel soiree was so unjustly snubbed.

DocBrownIt Worked, Just Not In Our Timeline
There are all manner of theories about how time travel would work, if it worked, and one of the more popular ones posits that there are an infinite array of possible realities, with new ones constantly being created by actions and choices both monumental and seemingly insignificant. Call it the “Back to the Future model.” Maybe we’re just stuck in one of the really boring realities. Somewhere out there in the multiverse, maybe an awesomer version of me is playing beer pong with Marty McFly, Bill S. Preston, and at least three incarnations of the Doctor. But I’ll never get to be that me, at least not until I can get my hands on some plutonium and a DeLorean.

inviteThe Invitations Didn’t Survive Long Enough
Of course, Professor Hawking’s experiment depends on one very important thing: the invitations to the party have to survive long enough to reach the hypothetical time travelers in the future. That’s a tall order given that there’s no telling how long it will be before we invent a way to time travel, assuming we ever do. It stands to reason that we can only increase the chances of altering the time-space continuum by making sure there are as many copies of the invites out there as possible, so throw one up on the wall of your office or dorm room wall already. Especially if that wall is statistically likely to survive an apocalypse involving one or more of the following: nuclear war, pandemics, zombie outbreaks, devastating solar flares, the reversal of the Earth’s magnetic field, planet-killer asteroid impacts, alien invasion, giant interdimensional monsters, global warming, global cooling, global infertility, or the Earth’s demolition in order to make way for a hyperspace bypass.

JerksTime Travelers Are Dicks
I’m certainly not the first to propose this theory, but maybe the time travelers of the future just aren’t thoughtful enough to validate Hawking’s experiment by swinging by to put in an historic appearance. I mean, if I had access to a time machine, I’d totally hop back to 2009 just to hang with Hawking, and I’d bring all my hypothetical time traveling buddies along as well. Hell, we could leave whenever we like and still be fashionably late. But not everybody’s as nice as I am, and in spite of what movies and television have taught us, there’s no guarantee that time travel will eventually be discovered by noble, benevolent individuals. It could just as easily be discovered by a bunch of jerks. Maybe they’re sitting around in some future era, reading about Hawking’s party on some crazy future telepathic version of Wikipedia and laughing their butts off because they totally could attend, but they’re totally not going to. Because they’re dicks.

NoControlThey Have No Control Over Their Time Traveling
Look, just because you figure out how to time travel, that doesn’t mean you have any control over where and when you wind up. Ask Dr. Sam Beckett. Ask Billy Pilgrim. Ask Fry, Bender, and Professor Farnsworth in that episode where they invent a time machine that only goes forward. Maybe they really, really wanted to go to Hawking’s bash. Maybe they even invented time travel for the express purpose of going to Hawking’s bash. But damn it, instead they’re stuck setting right what once went wrong, and who knows how long that to-do list is. Hawking’s a smart guy, maybe he ought to try to figure out how to rescue somebody who’s unstuck in time. If he got me off that temporal merry-go-round, he ain’t paying for his drinks ever again.

WelcomeHawking Killed Them All To Preserve The Time-Space Continuum
If there’s one thing that time travel stories have taught us, it’s that time travel is freakin’ dangerous. Step on one measly bug in the past? BOOM, time-space damage! Accidentally make out with a young version of your mom? BOOM, time-space damage! Even one time traveler could tie the time-space continuum in knots. A whole mess of them could represent a horrific threat to those of us who enjoy the fundamentals of cause and effect, not to mention not having to outrun dinosaurs on our commute to work. But how can you stop such a threat when it won’t even be invented until some undefined time in our future? Well, let’s say there was a way to get all those time travelers in one place, at one time. All gathered together, with their guard down, having a good time. And then say you poisoned the punch bowl…

Look, I’m not saying Stephen Hawking single-handedly saved us from rampant time distortions and the collapse of our entire universe, but…no, actually, that’s exactly what I’m saying. Like a boss.


  1. Deftelect says:

    GFR writers write like they read or write Cracked articles.
    Or is it the other way around?
    Either way, I like it.

  2. Al Pa says:

    maybe the y write for both … as for time travelers… i have my own theory, that said antoher possibilty is that we wont see the time travleers caus thier out of phase or because we lived through a whole timeline before they arrive traveling back they would basicly be interacting with our atomic shadows

  3. David says:

    1.he forgot a couple things in his invite..one make em out of different materials paper might degrade fast or burn.
    2. he gave coordinates on earth…like the earth stays still it moves through space is he hoping computers will be great enough to calculate the exact position of the arth on that date and time.?
    3. what if their is a directive for time travelers that they can observe but not participate or interact? (like in star trek)
    4. maybe the timetravelers are a diferent species altogether? and they are racisit.?
    5. what if the future all forms of desease and deformity and what is considered today a malody worthy of distruction is no m
    longer a worry in the future and they think that his invite is pathetic and why on earth would they waist their time with someone in a wheel chair who cant ever talk?? When the world worked so hard to irradicate people like him…
    6. maybe the people in the future are so far advanced ..theyd find him boringand stupid and the rest of us to be complete driveling idiots. who really likes hanging with stupid people?? only stupid people 😀 lol
    7.here is the paradoxical part… what if this video survived and not the invite (in the form he sent out)… they see the invite in the video can calculate where and when to show up and they do it the first time they see the video( because it is electronic its out there traveling at the speed of light in an almost sphear.. they get all ready to make the jump and then they see at the end ..the countdown and no one showed… so they say wel we cant go.. no one went so its we cant go well paradox ourselves out of existence!!!.
    8. we are to violent and know hawkings has a trap set for them to steal all their tech on them and thus fucks up the whole space time continuum.

  4. Baynality says:

    Dating systems may have changed, or language may have evolved to the point that what is provided on the invite is nonsensical to only the highest intellectuals.

  5. Anthony V McFey says:

    I think you would need a lot more detailed coordinates than Hawking provided. Galaxies rotate and move through space, not to mention that Earth does the same thing. You wouldn’t just need to know what location on Earth, but you would need to know Earth’s location in relation to the sun, galaxy and universe.

  6. James says:

    Hawking is a dick. How about that for a reason.