Someone once said that fans are like hot dogs. They lack any real substance, and we’re aware of this, but we consume them anyways. There are some pretty outrageous fan theories out there on the Internet, but we still read them anyway because they’re so ridiculous they’re fun to read. Or maybe we do our best to actively avoid them because we don’t want to think about our favourite shows too much.
But amid the really strange theories floating around in cyberspace, there are some really… dark ones. Theories that are a lot darker than the tone of the show in question. And some of them make a little too much sense.
If you’re ready to take the plunge, and have your childhood ruined a little, then check out this list of 15 dark fan theories about 90s kids shows that will blow your mind. And if you read a previous article of mine, “15 Dark Fan Theories About Cartoons That Will Change How You See Them,” prepare to have your childhood ruined a little more.
15. Mr. Krabs Plans To Slaughter His Daughter Pearl And Turn Her Flesh Into Krabby Patties
If you’ve ever wondered how a crab could be the father of a whale, then perhaps this theory could enlighten things for you. Supposedly, Mr. Krabs isn’t Pearl’s real father. Sometime during the past, Mr. Krabs came across the carcass of Pearl’s mother and built the Krusty Krab off her, using her flesh as Krabby Patties (after all, who really knows what those things are made of). Since a whale’s carcass can sustain a whole ecosystem for a long time, the flesh of Pearl’s mother will provide meat for the underwater restaurant for a long time. Mr. Krabs also stumbled across Pearl as an infant and took her in under false guardianship with the ulterior motive to butter her up until she was fully mature, then slaughter her and make her flesh into more Krabby Patties to keep the Krusty Krab running.
14. Caillou Is Terminally Ill With Cancer
This theory isn’t totally out there, because what child Caillou’s age would be bald? He is supposed to be four years old after all. Supposedly, Caillou was diagnosed with cancer at a young age, which is where all his hair went. And his sister Rosie is actually adopted since both of Caillou’s parents are brunettes. They adopted Rosie because they didn’t want another child to experience what Caillou had to go through.
13. The Babies Of ‘Rugrats’ Are All In Angelica’s Imagination
Talk about an overactive imagination. Apparently, Angelica fabricated Tommy, Chuckie, Phil and Lil and is living in her own hallucinatory world. Chuckie died along with his mother when he was still an infant, which is why his father acts like a nervous wreck most of the time. Tommy was a stillborn baby, which caused his father Stew to go off the deep end and spend most of his time making toys to cope with the trauma of losing his son before he got to know him. And the Deville family got an abortion, since Angelica never learned the gender of the baby, she thought up twins in her imaginary world.
12. Courage The Cowardly Dog Has agoraphobia
Courage the Cowardly features a lot of different creatures, like aliens, demons, and more. But what if those monsters that terrify Courage on a frequent basis weren’t actually real? A fan theory claims the show isn’t showing literal monsters, but instead normal people being seen through a dog’s eyes. Basically, we’re seeing the show from Courage’s perspective. The theory also says that Courage doesn’t really live in the middle of Nowhere; it’s just that Muriel and Eustace are too old to walk him outside, which leads to him developing a really bad case of agoraphobia. So when he sees regular people, his phobia causes him to reimagine the people in front of him as monsters.
11. Dexter From ‘Dexter’s Laboratory’ Has Asperger Syndrome
If you look at the symptoms of Asperger syndrome and then examine Dexter’s characteristics, you’ll see how the symptoms line up with Dexter’s personality and mannerisms. He’s socially awkward, egocentric and self-absorbed (self-proclaiming himself a “boy genius”). He also has an intense interest in specific subjects (in his case, science), he memorizes facts and information quickly, and engages in violent outbursts, tantrums, and meltdowns, follows repetitive patterns, and speaks with a pseudo accent — Russian in his case. It’s a fairly strong case for Dexter having Asperger syndrome.
10. Clarissa Darling From ‘Clarissa Explains It All’ Is Insane
The format of Clarissa Explains It All is the titular character talking directly to the audience about the things going on in her life, things pertaining to school, boys, her younger brother, and so forth. But what if the audience was never really there? What if Clarissa was just crazy and wanted to talk to an invisible audience that wasn’t there to begin with? One theorist thinks so. And a line from the lost pilot episode could potentially prove Clarissa’s insanity. It goes like this: “If someone had told me, ‘Clarissa Darling, you’re going to be living in New York City when you are 18,’ I would have thought they were mental. As it turns out, I am!” And she’s smiling while she’s saying this. She’s crazy and she knows it.
9. The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Are All Child Soldiers
Before we get into the theory itself, let me give you a little background first. During 1980s Iran, the Taliban enlisted children to fight and gave them plastic keys that were said to be keys to Heaven. In reality, the children were just being used and were sent out to clear minefields for the adult soldiers. Now for the theory. In the show, Zordon recruits unsuspecting teens to fight in a battle between his people and Rita. He gives them a bunch of stuff—special accessories, colourful uniforms, magical fighting abilities—and sends them out to fight monsters that explode when they are defeated. So basically, the Power Rangers are just pawns fighting in an intergalactic conflict that has absolutely nothing to do with them.
8. The Kids From ‘Recess’ Are Ghosts Who Haunt The School
This is a highly elaborate theory that goes into detailed accounts about the supposed past lives of the children and how they died, but it’s too much information to put in this entry. The theory states that the children from the show were killed in or near the school playground starting from the year 1928. And said children haunt the playground as ghosts for… whatever reason they have for haunting a school playground. Maybe to continue living out their youthful years that were tragically cut short?
7. Helga Is The True Main Character Of ‘Hey Arnold!’ And Is Actually A Tortured Hero
If you really think about, it does make sense how Helga could be the real protagonist of Hey Arnold! despite Arnold’s name being in the title. She’s the only character in the show who gets frequent, extended monologs, she wrestles the most with internal struggles out of any of the other characters in the show, and the show’s title comes from a quote she says throughout the show’s intro. Theory says the show is ultimately about Helga’s fixation on Arnold and how it brings meaning into her otherwise dismal life, where she suffers hardships caused by a careless father and an alcoholic mother who don’t give her the love and affection she so desperately craves. Pretty depressing if you think about it.
6. The Characters of ‘Spongebob Squarepants’ Are All Mutants
Well, Bikini Bottom did get its name from the real-life location Bikini Atoll, a site in the Marshall Islands that was used for nuclear testing between the years 1946-1958. Over 20 nuclear devices were detonated in the area, and some were released underwater. And Bikini Bottom was confirmed to be located on the ocean floor beneath Bikini Atoll, which means that the inhabitants of the town were exposed to radiation, turning them into the sentient mutants they are today.
5. ‘Scooby-Doo’ Takes Place During An Economic Depression
Throughout the series, we see heavily damaged theme parks, vacant hotels, and rundown buildings everywhere. To add to that, the show’s villains aren’t really all that bad. None of them are evil. Most of them are esteemed individuals who turned to a life of a crime for one reason or another. For what reason? It’s because the “Swinging Sixties” Scooby-Doo is said to take place during is supposedly set during a major economic slump. And the members of the gang aren’t easygoing hippies jetting from one place to another but are actually out-of-work hobos who solve mysteries in exchange for gas and food because they can’t find work anywhere else.
4. The Count On ‘Sesame Street’ Feasts On The Kids
Ok, so Sesame Street didn’t originate during the 90s, but it aired during the 90s and if you were a 90s kid, you grew up watching it. Anyways, the theory is that the Count sinisterly lures innocent children into his lair under the pretense of teaching them number skills so he can deplete them of their youth. Which is why the children on the show are being frequently replaced. What’s even worse is that the adults on Sesame Street are in on it too, since they never expressed any kind of desire or efforts to protect the kids from the Count’s dastardly deeds.
3. Batman’s Villains Aren’t Real But Instead Representations Of The Multiple Sides Of His Tortured Mind
The show we’re looking at is Batman: The Animated Series. Yes, Batman existed long before this particular show came out in the 90’s, but this particular theory pertains to this show and how the villains were handled. The Caped Crusader faced off against the likes of Penguin, Mr. Freeze, Two-Face, and his ultimate nemesis the Joker. But maybe these super villains didn’t really exist; maybe they were actually Batman’s inner demons that he was struggling against. Penguin represents Bruce’s massive fortune and class, Mr. Freeze represents Bruce’s incapability to maintain long-term relationships with other people, Two-Face represents the inner struggle between wealthy philanthropist Bruce Wayne and vigilante of the night Batman, and the Joker represents the psychotic thoughts Bruce has in response to witnessing his parents’ unnecessary deaths.
2. The Powerpuff Girls Are Fractions Of One Girl’s Multiple-Personality Disorder.
Who’s this girl you say? Well, the theories don’t really say. She’s just a hypothetical girl who is apparently suffering from a bad case of multiple-personality disorder. Each of those personalities manifests as a different Powerpuff Girl, which is how the show started. And said hypothetical girl developed this disorder after being tormented by her older brother, who is supposed to be Mojo Jojo.
1. The Children From ‘Ed, Edd, and Eddy’ Are Stuck In Purgatory
Ever wonder why there’s an obvious lack of adults in the cartoon Ed, Edd, and Eddy? And why most of the show’s events take place in one particular cul-de-sac? According to fan theory, it’s because the children in the show are all dead and stuck in Purgatory. This would also explain why the kids have blue-tinted tongues since a blueish tint can settle in on tongues after death. To add to that, the children all come from different eras in American history shown by the appearances of typewriters, computers, and other technology that shouldn’t be seen together in the show.