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You May Have Forgotten, But The ‘Dinosaurs’ Sitcom Called Out Flat-Earthers Back In 1992  

Jonathan H. Kantor
6.7k views 11 items

ABC's Dinosaurs was a fun and innovative take on the '90s sitcom genre. Like much of Jim Henson's work, it's also a satirical look at American society that is still relevant even today. The series centered on a time when dinosaurs ruled, and there was much to learn scientifically. This may be why the show took on the subject of a flat earth. Even though the Dinosaurs finale took place in 1994, people already thought the Flat Earth movement was worthy of mocking on television. The series took on the debate in the third season in the "Charlene's Flat World" episode. 

The internet has since propelled the Flat Earth movement forward and rejuvenated the argument in the modern era. However, people have argued the Earth is flat pretty much since the beginning of recorded history. If you are part of the Flat Earth movement, you might find yourself on the wrong side of history along with the dinosaurs on this series. 

In The 'Dinosaurs' Universe, Everyone Is Taught The Earth Is Flat
In The 'Dinosaurs' Universe, E... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list You May Have Forgotten, But The ‘Dinosaurs’ Sitcom Called Out Flat-Earthers Back In 1992
Photo:  ABC

Much of the episode centers on the collective belief of the dinosaurs that the world is flat. When it begins, the young dinosaurs are bored in science class, and not paying much attention to Mr. Pulman's instruction.

Mr. Pulman doesn't teach his students the world is flat. His lesson starts with a discussion on the matter, but he quickly realizes Charlene isn't paying attention. Instead of giving a regular homework assignment, he decides to task them with generating an original project idea. Charlene struggles with the task, but with the help of a muse, she concludes the Earth is round.

Charlene's realization is the first time it becomes clear everyone within the Dinosaurs universe believes the Earth is flat. They don't have any evidence on this issue; instead, the episode makes it seem as though the notion has been passed down through dinosaur tradition. 

The Muse Who Visits Charlene Is More Than A Little Creepy
The Muse Who Visits Charlene I... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list You May Have Forgotten, But The ‘Dinosaurs’ Sitcom Called Out Flat-Earthers Back In 1992
Photo:  ABC

Most creative types would love a visit from a muse, but the one who appears to Charlene is a bit weird. He is a turtle-like creature dressed similar to an angel. He sneaks up on her to reveal the world isn't flat like a pancake, but instead round like an orange.  

She asks him to leave and says she'll scream if he doesn't, but he stays anyway. The muse tells her not to worry, stating, "...when I'm done, you won't even remember me," to which Charlene responds, "... I've heard that line before." 

The muse finally convinces Charlene to allow him to stay by offering the idea she needs for the science class project. 

When Charlene Reveals The Truth In A Class Assignment, Authorities Attempt To Silence Her
When Charlene Reveals The Trut... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list You May Have Forgotten, But The ‘Dinosaurs’ Sitcom Called Out Flat-Earthers Back In 1992
Photo:  ABC

Charlene presents the idea of a round Earth in science class the next day. While the teacher is receptive to the concept, the authorities are not. Within seconds of concluding her argument, the police burst through the door and accuse her of heresy. 

They immediately take Charlene into custody. When she appears in court, the judge exhibits bias against Charlene upon hearing the charges.  

The Court Offers Evidence The Earth Is Flat
The Court Offers Evidence The ... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list You May Have Forgotten, But The ‘Dinosaurs’ Sitcom Called Out Flat-Earthers Back In 1992
Photo:  ABC

During the prosecution, a witness provides "incontrovertible" evidence the world is shaped like a pancake. The man brought into the court is from the Wesayso Corporation's globe division. The witness produces his "globe," which is just a disc on a frame that shows a flat world.

Upon further questioning, the prosecutor suggests the corporation wouldn't put its time, money, and resources into developing globes if they aren't accurate. The suggestion elicits a reply of "we have a warehouse full of these things" from the witness.