When it comes to works with some science fiction and fantasy elements, this answer lays out our general policy. It is possible for a work to have a minor sci-fi or fantasy element, but still be off-topic for most questions.
Let’s see how Dilbert fares according to the criteria in that answer:
- If it’s marketed as SF, it’s on-topic.
Dilbert is not marketed as science fiction.
- If magic, futuristic science or technology, alternate history, or
other sf-nal concept is an important part of the overall plot, it’s
on-topic. (Alice in Wonderland, Clockwork Orange, etc.)
I think Dilbert fails this test. By and large, Dilbert is a mundane office comedy. It has occasional talking animals, which has by itself not been deemed enough to make a work fantasy or science fiction. In particular, the talking animals simply play out American corporate culture. There’s no weird talking animal society. The occasional appearance of a robot or time travel as a one-off joke does not put the whole strip into the realm of speculative fiction. The main plot is one where the status quo is God, and does not depend on the speculative technology that occasionally appears.
- If there is a minor supernatural element (e.g. a fortune teller’s
prediction comes true, or someone sees a ghost, or a story for
children involving anthropomorphic animals) but it’s just a throwaway
plot element that’s not particularly relevant to the question, it’s
That said, we should remember this:
- If the question is specifically about an sf-nal element, even if it’s
only a minor part of the work, it’s on-topic.
A question about a speculative element of Dilbert will always be on-topic. If someone wants to know how Asok’s psychic powers work, or how Phil the Prince of Insufficient Light is related to the Pointy-Haired Boss, that should be allowed.