Animaniacs might be one of the best cartoons in existence because of the obscure references and adult jokes, but it's also straight bonkers. Thanks to this zaniness there are some weird Animaniacs fan theories that are sometimes hilarious, sometimes disturbing, and often both.
For those who may not remember, Animaniacs is about the three Warner siblings, Yakko, Wakko, and Dot, created in the '30s, an era that couldn't handle their outlandishness, so they were locked away in the Warner Bros. water tower until the world was ready for them in the '90s. Since everyone loves fan theories about '90s cartoons, take a look at this list of fan theories that will definitely make you view Yakko, Wakko, and Dot's adventures in a different light.
Animaniacs Is A Show Within A Show
Though it's not an uncommon theory, Redditor yay855 might have the most to say about the idea that Animaniacs is a show within a show. The argument goes that the Warner siblings were indeed locked away as their antics were too out there for the era in which they originated, i.e, the '30s, but when they finally escaped in the '90s it was into a world now ready and willing to watch their particular brand of zaniness. The executives on the Warner lot where the Animaniacs came bursting forth decided to give them a shot, which explains why the characters break the fourth wall so much (as they know they're in a TV show) and why some of the main characters take up roles as other characters when the Warners go on adventures: these aren't adventures but sketches being filmed, which is why we occasionally see the Nurse or other characters like her playing additional roles.
The Hip Hippos Were Formerly Owned By Pablo Escobar
In one of the craziest intersections of cartoons and the world of drug kingpins, Redditor juicelee777 believes the Hip Hippos of various Animaniacs shorts were former residents of Pablo Escobar's personal zoo. This explains why the Hip Hippos have Latin accents and lavish tastes; they were pampered in Escobar's Colombian compound. Escobar died in 1993, the same year the show started, which explains why the Hippos are free to appear in sketches and travel the world, something they have the means to do given their inheritance, as this Redditor explains in the greatest line ever:
"They're able to jet across the world due to Escobar leaving them a sizable amount of money that only they could access should anything ever happen to him.. (what government is going to look into the financial records of hippos?)"
The Warners Are Avatars Of Lovecraft's Old Ones
Tuskus views Animaniacs through a pretty dark lens, believing that the Warner siblings might actually be of the Old Ones à la Cthulu. This Redditor explains that Lovecraft's mythological Old Ones speak to humanity through artists as they're "the most sensitive group to spiritual phenomena." The theory goes that the animator of the Warners was touched by one of the Old Ones before they were sealed in the tower just as Cthulu was sealed in the lost city of R'lyeh. The purpose of the Old Ones, and thus the Animaniacs, is to drive humanity insane.
"Throughout Animaniacs, the Warners are shown systematically driving people insane. They clearly have power over space (taking various forms as needed) and time (as they are shown driving people to madness in various time periods). It gives the show a dark spin knowing that the Warner's antics will bring about the destruction of humanity through the madness they spread."
The Animaniacs Are Modern Furies Of Greek Mythology
In Greek mythology there existed deities of the Underworld called Furies, or Erinyes, who tormented wrongdoers. Redditor ronkhare believes they exist in the Animaniacs universe as well, arguing that the Warner siblings are indeed manifestations of these goddesses.
"Almost all stories that center on the Animaniacs introduce a primary 'bad guy' who believes himself better than everyone and everything. During this setup the Warner Brothers (and the Warner Sister!) give this mortal a chance to mend his ways. Failing that, however, the 'relentless hounding' begins, with the Warners exercising powers far beyond comprehension.
In the end, the lesson is taught, and the sinner repents and accepts their newfound humility."
While the victims of the Erinyes' torment usually resulted in death, the cartoon versions have a proportionately innocent endgame.