There are a lot of intriguing if not outright bizarre fan theories involving movies, shows, books, and so forth floating around on the Internet. Browse the web long enough and you may happen to stumble across a few. There are theories that The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is set in Heaven, that Sid from the first Toy Story film became a garbage man to save toys by the time of the events in Toy Story 3, and that Breaking Bad is the sequel to Malcolm in the Middle. All it takes is for someone to notice one little detail or a series of details, and then a theory is spawned.
You probably watched a lot of cartoons growing up, cartoons like Dexter’s Laboratory, Rugrats, Codename: Kids Next Door, Courage the Cowardly Dog, The Fairly OddParents, and more. You grew to love these shows and most likely developed a nostalgic attachment to them whenever you think of them.
But have you considered that there could be more to them that you never noticed before? There is according to some fans, who have developed theories of their own about the true workings of the shows they grew up watching. And some of those theories are so crazy they might actually be true.
If you’re curious (and ready to possibly have your childhood ruined), then check out this list of 15 crazy fan theories about kids’ cartoons that will change how you see them.
15. Arnold’s Grandparents Are Really His Parents And He Has A Disease
In the show Hey Arnold! the titular character is an orphan who lives in a boarding house run by his grandparents. However, there are some who believe that Arnold’s grandparents are really his parents. And that Arnold’s secret parentage relates to why his head is shaped like a football. The theory goes that due to major complications as a result of Arnold’s mother having a pregnancy so late in life, Arnold was born with hydrocephalus, a condition in which an abnormal amount of fluid builds up in the brain, enlarging the skill. Which would make it a possible reason for why Arnold’s head is shaped the way it is. But then why doesn’t Arnold exhibit other symptoms of hydrocephalus?
14. The Magic School Bus Kids Grew Up To Be Planeteers
If you compare pictures of The Magic School Bus kids next to pictures of the Planeteers from Captain Planet, it’s easy to see the visual similarities between the characters. That part of the theory isn’t that crazy; what’s crazy is how The Magic School Bus kids transformed into protectors of Earth. The theory holds that Mrs. Frizzle, who is actually Gaia, kidnapped a bunch of children and took them away to an island where she brainwashed them into thinking they were in school and she was their teacher. She had their memories erased and implanted them with the desire to help save the earth, so she could use them as pawns for her goal when they got older. The brainwashing wasn’t successful for all of the kids in the case of the other Magic School Bus kids who didn’t become Planeteers (Ralphie, Phoebe, etc). Anyways, after the kids had matured to her liking, Mrs. Frizzle/Gaia erased their memories once again and placed them into a sleeper cell until she awakened them years later and gave them power rings before sending them on environmental missions around the world.
13. Scooby-Doo Was Part Of A Soviet Government Experiment
Mystery, Inc. solved a lot of mysteries during their time together. But one mystery that went unexplained was why Scooby-Doo could talk and understand human speech. One Redditor has a theory for that. Apparently, Scooby-Doo was a part of a Soviet experiment during the Cold War and was being prepared to be sent off into space. During the 50s, dogs were used instead of humans for testing so human lives could be spared. The Redditor goes on to say that the scientists working on the experiment were trying to create a highly intelligent dog so he could relay back to them what he saw in space. However, a pitying researcher rescued Scooby-Doo and fled with him to the U.S. Maybe that’s why the government kept thwarting the gang’s plans: because they had an important commodity in their possession that knew confidential information.
12. Max And Ruby Are Dead
The afterlife sure looks like the real world, doesn’t it? According to some Redditors, Max and Ruby takes place in the afterlife because the brother-sister pair is, well, dead. Believe it or not, some pregnant female rabbits will reabsorb their unborn litter, since rabbits have the ability to reabsorb soft fetal tissue. The theory is that Max and Ruby were two kits who died in the womb, which is why their parents never make appearances in the show: because they’re still alive. The theory would also explain why Max and Ruby can see their grandmother; it’s because she’s dead and they joined her in the hereafter.
11. Cosmo And Wanda Are Allegories For Antidepressants
The Fairly OddParents is a pretty light and comedic show about a ten-year-old boy named Timmy and his two fairy godparents, Cosmo and Wanda, who grant him wishes to solve his problems. But one theorist doesn’t buy into the total lightheartedness of the series. According to them, Timmy is actually depressed, and Cosmo and Wanda act as metaphors for antidepressants, Zoloft and Prozac respectively. When Timmy finds himself battling with problems in his life, such as his clueless parents, his abusive babysitter Vicky, and his dreadful teacher Mr. Crocker, his fairy godparents “materialize” and seek to aid him with his problems. They don’t make his problems disappear necessarily, but they do try and help him through them.
10. Dora the Explorer Is A Training Program Inside The Portal Universe
It’s clearly obvious that the format of Dora the Explorer is meant to represent a computer game. Dora talks directly to the audience by asking them various questions and waiting for them to choose an answer as if they were holding a computer mouse. Why exactly did the creators decide to do the show like this? Well, as stated by one Redditor, it’s because Dora the Explorer is actually a training program inside the puzzle-platform video game series Portal. She is designed to teach test subjects that giving up is not an option and that some problems require unconventional solutions. Boots is a personification of the shock-absorbing boots subjects wear to get through tests, like many other characters. Swiper was created as an anti-theft feature to teach subjects about theft activity. The goal of Aperture Science, the company where the Portal games take place in, is to instruct employees on how to compete in the global economy. What better way than creating a program featuring a Hispanic girl and her monkey best friend who embark on quests while teaching the audience how to speak Spanish?
9. The Care Bears Is Voodoo In Disguise
The Care Bears is actually about Voodoo? It is according to one blogger. The name Care Bears is supposedly a play on Carefours, a district of Port au Prince which serves as the hub of the Voodoo world. The cloud city of Care-a-lot is supposedly the holy city of Lwa, or Loa, mysterious spirits of Haitian Vodou and Louisiana Voodoo. The Care Bears tell viewers to “share until you care”, just like how the Lwa want to share the bodies of their worshippers, and the Care Bears want to be the friends of children, just like how the Lwa are described by their followers as “friendly spirits” or simply “friends.” The blogger also points out how the insignias on the stomachs of the titular bears match up pretty closely with the symbols of the Voodoo gods, implying that the Care Bears are actually Voodoo gods in disguise as cute and fluffy bears.
8. The Rugrats Are Just A Figment Of Angelica’s Imagination
Angelica largely serves as the main antagonist to the Rugrats crew, acting like a spoiled, manipulative brat who bullies the babies into giving into her demands. While she is perceived as their archenemy, she could very well be the victim of the show. A theory from Creepypasta claims that the Rugrats were all made up by Angelica to deal with traumatic experiences earlier in her life. Supposedly, Tommy, Angelica’s cousin, was a stillborn baby, Chuckie died at birth along with his mother, and Phil and Lil are Angelica’s odd imaginary reaction to the news of their mother having a stillborn baby. And during the Rugrats spin-off show All Grown Up, Angelica became hooked on drugs early into her teenage years and her vivid hallucinations returned.
7. Spongebob And The Rest Of The Residents Of Bikini Bottom Are Mutants
Spongebob Squarepants is a show about a talking sea sponge who lives in a pineapple on the ocean floor. His best friend is a sea star, his neighbor is a squid, and he works at the Krusty Krab restaurant which is owned by a crab. An entertaining show, but it can be pretty weird when you think about it. According to a theory posted on Reddit, the highly popular Nickelodeon cartoon is actually about nuclear testing. The reason why Spongebob and company look and behave the way they do is because they were exposed to radiation from atomic bombs that detonated near Bikini Bottom. You may think this theory is a bit of a stretch, but it’s actually not that far-off. Bikini Bottom was officially confirmed to be located underneath Bikini Atoll, an atoll in the Marshall islands which served as a nuclear testing site between 1946-1958. According to theory, the explosions not only turned regular sea creatures into sentient freaks as seen in the show, but it also changed the landscape of the area, causing huge pineapples to grow out of the ground. And probably led to other genetic abnormalities—which would explain greatly why Mr. Krabs’ daughter is a whale when he’s a crab.
6. Doug Funnie Is Delusional
The residents of Bluffington all feature a variety of skin tones. Some are blue, some are green, some are purple, and so and so on. But Doug is clearly white, the only person in town who doesn’t have an odd skin complexion. Many fans have debated this issue for years, trying to figure out why everyone in town is strangely-colored except for Doug. One theory is that Doug is delusional, and he sees different races as funny colors. Supposedly, we are seeing the world through Doug’s eyes. As he describes people in his journal, he designates them colors as he remembers them. Doug is color blind when it comes to race and he associates them with colors for whatever crazy reason his eccentric mind comes up with. The bottom line is that Doug isn’t your “average protagonist”; he has some serious underlying issues.
5. Ed, Edd And Eddy Are Dead
Actually, this theory doesn’t just suggest that the titular characters are dead; it suggests that all of the children on the show are dead. The reason why everyone has an abnormal skin tone? They’re dead. The reason why they have weird-colored tongues? They’re dead. The children are all deceased and living in purgatory. There are no adults in the show; they’re only mentioned. The theory also attempts to explain why the setting of the show is so difficult to pin down. One episode shows the kids using a typewriter when a computer was seen in another episode, and the kids seem to know what a cassette tape is, unlike many teens of the 2000s. It’s because each one of the kids comes from a different era in history. The theory goes on to say that the Kanker sisters, who are constantly seen harassing the children, are demons who were placed in purgatory just to torment the kids.
4. Charlie Brown Is Dying Of Cancer
Ok, so Charlie Brown was never actually a television series. It produced countless television specials, but never a series. But this theory is so intriguing I added it to the list anyways. Ever wonder why Charlie Brown was bald? Well, as said by one theorist, it’s because he was diagnosed with cancer and subsequently lost all of his hair. But he wasn’t just diagnosed with cancer; he’s dying from it. The theorist adds that Charlie’s life is an unmitigated disaster and he’s subconsciously channeling his grief into his dreams, which is why he complains so much. The theorist continues by claiming Charlie is really lying in a hospital bed and he is just grateful for the interactions he has with the imaginary kids in his head, even though they don’t always treat him that well.
3. The Flintstones Live In A Post-Apocalyptic World
The Flintstones focuses in on the lives of a particular group of people living during the Stone Age era. Or are they living in the Stone Age era? According to one theory, the Flintstones lived in a world where technology like cars, telephones, and record players once existed, but after a destructive nuclear explosion changed the landscape of the world, the survivors were forced to rebuild with stone age objects. Those who were rich enough to escape this fate left Earth to live high-tech lives in space, like the Jetsons. After all, The Flintstones and The Jetsons, two Hanna-Barbara cartoons, aired at the same time. However, the theory fails to explain where Dino came from, or why everything is named after rocks and minerals.
2. Ash Is In A Coma
Maybe that’s the reason why Ash doesn’t really seem to age; he’s stuck in a coma. A fan theory from Creepypasta says that Ash was struck by lightning early into the show and fell into a coma. The various characters in the show represent different parts of his consciousness or illnesses that his body is trying to fight against. If Ash were to discover he was in a coma, he would experience brain damage. However, he could survive this and escape his coma if he could succeed in “defeating” all the obstacles he encounters. This theory means the entire Pokemon show has taken place inside his head. Perhaps that’s why the world Ash lives in is so incredibly crazy at times.
1. Gargamel Eats The Smurfs Because They Are An Addictive Hallucinogen
The main antagonist of The Smurfs in all incarnations, Gargamel’s greatest goal in life is to capture the tiny blue creatures for various reasons. His motives differ depending on the episode or the media he appears in. Sometimes he wants to turn them into gold, sometimes he wants to eat them, and sometimes he wants to destroy them. But the show clearly states that he desires to do all three, made evident by a line in a song he sings that goes: “Then I’ll toast a few and roast a few and use the rest for gold.” Why Gargamel would want to eat Smurfs is anyone’s guess. But one theorist suggests that Gargamel eats the Smurfs because their flesh is an addictive hallucinogen. The Smurfs eat the insides of mushrooms so they can take up residence inside the hollowed-out mushrooms. Contained in mushrooms is a chemical compound known as psilocybin, which is known to cause hallucinations. Gargamel is well-aware of this fact and wants to eat the Smurfs which are pure, concentrated psilocybin. Kinda dark if you think about it.