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Dark 'Sesame Street' Fan Theories

Updated February 20, 2019 4.6k votes 648 voters 18.7k views15 items

List RulesVote up the most plausible fan theories.

It might be full of sunny days and clouds sweepin' away, but there are some fan theories about Sesame Street that are super dark and unsettling. While most children's entertainment employs great imaginative leaps, some media is scarier than others; think The Dark Crystal, the eerie undercurrent of The Wizard of Oz, or anything with clowns. Sesame Street has always been a seemingly innocent kids' show - until now. These theories ensure you'll never look at this peaceful little hamlet the same way.

Ever since its debut in 1969, Sesame Street has been a beloved mainstay of children's television. Produced by the Sesame Workshop (formerly the Children Television Workshop), the show features a select menagerie of Jim Henson's legendary Muppets, who teach kids all sorts of lessons about reading, math, culture, and life. As of 2019, the show has won a jaw-dropping 189 Emmy Awards.

But despite its reputation, there are many dark Sesame Street fan theories worth exploring. 

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  • 1

    Oscar Is A Hoarder

    Redditor /u/ihahp sheds light on some of the ways Oscar displays classic hoarding behavior. If anyone tries to clean up or move his trash, he gets incredibly defensive. And despite the best efforts of the community, he never fully cooperates with their attempts to get him to clean up and become organized.

    Plus, Oscar always freaks out a little bit about being called on his garbage - literally and figuratively.

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  • 2

    Big Bird And Snuffy Are Survivors Of Now-Extinct Animal Species

    Redditor /u/GameQb11 thinks Big Bird and Mr. Snuffleupagus are the last remaining members of lost animal species. Big Bird is a moa, a species thought to have disappeared in the 19th century. Moas were massive birds with body shapes eerily similar to Big's.

    Snuffleupagus, meanwhile, is a woolly mammoth, which perished around 10,000 years ago. Given Snuffy's aged features and labored speech, it makes sense that he's super old.

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  • 3

    'Sesame Street' Is A Psychiatric Facility

    Each of Sesame Street's most famous characters could be viewed as having some type of psychological issue. Cookie Monster's eating disorder and Oscar's antisocial personality disorder are the most obvious, but there are others. Redditor /u/bill10351 puts forth the idea that the Count has OCD, Telly has a social anxiety disorder, Mr. Snuffleupagus has an inferiority complex, and Grover harbors delusions of grandeur and has megalomania.

    When viewed in this light, the whole of Sesame Street seems like it might be a mental health care facility. 

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  • 4

    Elmo Is In A State Of Constant Regression

    It's hard to deny that Elmo seems to be locked in a constant childlike state. To further elaborate on Redditor /u/bill10351's theory that the entirety of Sesame Street is a psychiatric facility, Elmo demonstrates classic signs of regression.

    Incessant baby talk, whining, and the need to be comforted are just the tip of the Elmo iceberg. He also shows great fear and hesitancy when confronted with difficult tasks.

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