14 Ludicrously Well-Thought-Out Fan Theories About Shows For Children  

Brian Gilmore
4.6k votes 1.1k voters 41.6k views 14 items

List Rules Vote up the fan theories that will forever change the way you think about these kid's shows.

Children's shows are designed to teach digestible, fun, engaging, and interactive lessons, but this often does not result in compelling television for the parents. Perhaps that is why there are so many weird, albeit well-thought-out fan theories for countless cartoons. Most of these are probably the product of bored parents trying their best to stay awake during the thirteenth daily repetition of shows like Doc McStuffins, Thomas & Friends, or Little Einsteins.

That said, this isn't a collection of flimsy, half-baked conjectures; these are the best toddler show fan theories the Internet has to offer. Kid's shows with weird fan theories can sometimes feature ideas that are a bit odd, or off-the-wall, but these actually make a lot of sense. Try and poke holes into any of these fan theories about kids shows, and vote up the most interesting and plausible entries. 

Courage the Cowardly Dog... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 14 Ludicrously Well-Thought-Out Fan Theories About Shows For Children
Photo:  Cartoon Network

It should go without saying that most shows take place from the main character's perspective, but Courage The Cowardly Dog takes place from the skewed perspective of its main character (a dog). In the same way that the Rugrats's crazy adventures are usually innocuous events in reality, the events in Courage The Cowardly Dog only happen from the perspective of Courage, as he understands it.

The theory states that Courage is merely a normal dog, and that "all the villains in the show are normal people" that seem menacing to a small animal. Further supporting this theory is the show's setting of "Nowhere, Kansas." The humans don't actually live in the middle of "Nowhere," but rather, his owners are much too old to take him for regular walks.

Following up, another Redditor added that this theory makes sense because "[it] explains why Courage always feels like he has to 'protect' his owners from all the scary things, even though the owners are very nonchalant about all of the situations, and act like everything is normal and Courage is freaking out for apparently no reason."

More Courage the Cowardly Dog

#124 of 130 The Best Fantasy Anime of All Time #17 of 729 The Best Cartoons of All Timefeaturing This Fan Theory Has The Internet Convinced Courage The Cowardly Dog Was All In The Dog's Head

The New Adventures of Wi... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 14 Ludicrously Well-Thought-Out Fan Theories About Shows For Children
Photo: vpickering/flickr/CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

Part of the magic of Winnie The Pooh is its diverse ensemble cast of flawed, yet lovable characters that have to share a world despite all their respective dispositions. One famous theory by the Canadian Medical Association posits that each character represents a different mental illness, all manifesting inside of Christopher Robin's head.

Eeyore is clearly depressed, Piglet exhibits classic traits of Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Tigger has Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, Owl has Dyslexia, Pooh has a substance abuse problem, and Christopher Robin is, of course, schizophrenic. Every storyline that revolves around Piglet is about his constant worrying; Pooh has an insatiable hunger for "hunny;" Owl is constantly trying to overcompensate for his misgivings despite being brilliant; Tigger is always trapped in his own world (which changes daily); Eeyore is, well, Eeyore.

It all seems to add up, and this theory makes the show more interesting, instead of darker, terrifying, or ridiculous. 

More The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

#64 of 729 The Best Cartoons of All Time #37 of 249 The Best Saturday Morning Cartoons for Mid-'80s — '90s Kids #42 of 383 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time

Thomas the Tank Engine &... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 14 Ludicrously Well-Thought-Out Fan Theories About Shows For Children
Photo: Jim, the Photographer/flickr/CC-BY 2.0

A Canadian political science professor believes that "something is rotten on the Island of Sodor, home to Thomas The Tank Engine." She points out that the Thomas universe "espouses top-down leadership, is male-dominated, punishes dissent, and is uninterested in the mushy sensitivity of its PBS counterparts." The trains constantly encourage each other to work harder, as work is its own reward in their world. It's a fascist dream. 

In a terrifying episode of Thomas & Friends, entitled "The Sad Story Of Henry," the train conductor punishes a train named Henry who refuses to go out in the rain because it would ruin his new coat of paint. The conductor then orders for a brick wall to be built in front of Henry so that nobody can see his new paint job and so that he can never leave his private tunnel/prison. The conductor even leaves the top open a crack just so Henry can see everything he is missing. 

More Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends

#178 of 729 The Best Cartoons of All Time #1,216 of 2,286 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Timefeaturing The History Behind 'Thomas The Tank Engine' Is Actually Really Dark

Caillou is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 14 Ludicrously Well-Thought-Out Fan Theories About Shows For Children
Photo: genebrooks/flickr/CC-BY 2.0

According to this fan theory, Caillou, the adorable four-year-old who helps teach toddlers how to overcome everyday challenges, is actually dead. At the age of four, Caillou was diagnosed with terminal cancer and chemo therapy left him bald. 

The theory coldly states that, "His parents, who want him to be as happy as possible, generally let him get away with whatever he wants. The result is that Caillou appears to be a whiny brat, but the parents are aware that there is no point to correcting the behavior."

The entire show has a dream-like white border, signifying that Caillou exists in the memories and imaginations of the stuffed animals and people who miss him. 

More Caillou

#313 of 729 The Best Cartoons of All Time #751 of 2,286 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time #313 of 383 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time