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.
Buttons and Mindy are two characters with their own sketch shorts on Animaniacs, portraying a toddler (Mindy) and her protective dog (Buttons). A theory argues that Mindy's shenanigans are so unrealistic for a toddler that they can't be real, and thus must be Buttons's nightmares. It's noted that "Buttons is almost always seen trying to sleep right before one of Mindy's escapades" and that "Mindy is capable of doing things that aren't humanly possible such as scaling Notre Dame Cathedral... It also explains why almost no adults can be seen anywhere, and the few that are don't even question why Mindy is out by herself - Buttons would think all humans inept and ignorant after being around Mindy's parents all day."
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.
Runt and Rita are a dog and cat duo with their own series of short sketches. They are besties despite the historical discord between their species, ostensibly because Runt is too clueless to realize she's a cat. Runt has indeed displayed animosity towards other cats, but not Rita - not because he's truly unaware of her feline roots, according to the theory, but because she freed him from his captivity in the pound. In one of their shorts, "Phranken-Runt," Rita said in front of Runt that she was a cat, and Runt showed no reaction, so it's clear he knows she's a cat, he just doesn't care or is in denial about it.
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?)"