The world of TV is a popular source of entertainment, especially with the wealth and volume of programmes we have access to these days. TV, and especially the TV box set, has never been more popular.
However, there is one thing that is even more popular than binge watching our favorite shows and that is the conspiracy theories surrounding them. Theses theories aren't just confined to the world of politics and what the governments of the world are hiding from us. Oh no, even the world of TV is prone to some crazy and bizarre conspiracy theories. With the birth of DVDs and the internet, it has become easy for fans to delve into these TV shows and look for hidden meanings, messages and coincidences that could be the key to unlocking a deeper and sometimes more sinister meaning to these shows.
With that in mind we look at 15 bizarre conspiracy theories that have plagued popular shows. We'll let you be the judge of what is true and what is fiction.
15 House is a Grown Up Doogie Howser
We start our list with a popular fan theory that started to gain a lot of momentum at the height of House's fame and success. When Dr Gregory House burst onto our TV screens back in 2004, the grumpy, antisocial, sociopathic, drug dependent genius that is Dr House was greatly compared to the child genius Doogie Howser.
There is obviously the similarities of both the hero's names as well as their genius brains and knowledge of medicine and diagnosis. So the theory goes on from this and suggest that Howser gets frustrated at never being taken seriously, due to his age and young features such as his voice and smooth face. So Howser grows up angry with everyone, never shaves and also damages his leg which leads to his dependency on painkillers. A slight name change and there you have it. It may be a bit of a stretch as a theory goes, but it has had a lot of people talking about it.
14 Jessica Fletcher is a Killer
For those unfamiliar with Murder, She Wrote, this show centres on a sweet middle aged woman who writes crime novels and also solves murders in her spare time. Think Beatrix Potter mixed with Sherlock Holmes.
So how could this sweet old lady be accused of being a killer? For conspiracy fans out there the answer to this question is simple. With most detective shows that have been on TV over the years, of which there have been many, each character in these shows is either a detective themselves or very closely associated with them, which is what leads them to the crimes. However, Jessica Fletcher is only a novelist and yet somehow she always finds herself either at the scene of the crime or involved in it in some way.
A coincidence? Many fans think not. Also, due to the size of the town and the small population, and the length of time the show was on the air, the town would have to be the murder capital of the world with every murderer vacationing in this small New England town. We think that may be unlikely and as Sherlock Holmes himself said, "When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth."
So we have a woman who is always in the middle of a murder and she always seems to solve it before the police. There's only one conclusion; Jessica Fletcher is the worst serial killer in history and she never got caught.
13 The Flintstones and The Jetsons Share a Post-Apocalyptic World
An interesting theory here that involves the grandaddy of the domestic cartoon series. Before there was South Park, Family Guy and The Simpsons there were The Flintstones and then later The Jetsons.
Set in Bedrock, The Flintstones shows the world in prehistoric times when everything was made of stone. The flip side of the coin is The Jetsons who live in a futuristic utopia. Or do they? The interesting thing about the Flintstones (if you exclude the fact that cavemen live alongside dinosaurs, which obviously isn't accurate) is that you have a family of cavemen who act like modern day folk; they use rocks and dinosaurs to mimic modern day electronics such as record players, telephones, TV and drive-in movies.
The fan theory goes that at some point in The Flintstones universe, the modern day was wiped out and the human race had to start again from scratch. Remembering our modern lives, they tried to recreate everything using what they had. The Jetsons are part of this and they are the lucky ones that managed to escape the disaster and built a city in the clouds to live in.
12 Saved By The Bell is All in Zack's Mind
This theory has been around for almost as long as the internet itself has. Back in the early 1990s Saved by the Bell was a hugely popular show for both kids and teenagers. Centered around the lives of a typical high school, Saved by the Bell was what all of us wanted high school to be. Cool, funny and filled with attractive people. But that's the point of this theory; was it all a fantasy?
Saved by the Bell, and all the characters that made up the show, actually started out as a Disney showed called Good Morning Miss Bliss. The show was similar to Saved by the Bell but the most notable difference was that Zack, who was the star and the coolest kid in Saved by the Bell, was a complete loser in Good Morning Miss Bliss. He wasn't popular, was constantly made fun of and couldn't get a girl to save his life. So how did he become so popular all of a sudden?
Due to the lack of viewers for Good Morning Miss Bliss, the show was taken off the air and then came back as Saved by the Bell. But rather than just being a rebranding, many argue that Saved by the Bell is all in Zack's mind and is in fact the fantasy life he wished high school could be rather than what it actually is.
11 The Count Feeds On the Children of Sesame Street
What could possibly be wrong or sinister about one of the most innocent shows on TV we hear you ask? After all, Sesame Street has been entertaining us all for generations with its counting and spelling. However, mixed in with all the puppets, muppets and colorful entertainment, no one has ever really questioned that a vampire lives in the middle of all this. Not just any vampire, but the Count himself.
As well as the Count, many sharped-eyed viewers have noticed that the kids used on Sesame Street never appear more than a few shows at a time and then new kids come in. So naturally some viewers believe that the Count has some kind of conveyer belt on the street with which he brings in new children every few weeks, eats them and then brings in new ones. A sinister and harrowing spin to the children's show. But then, have any of the children from Sesame Street ever been seen again? We think the Count maybe doing more to children than helping them with their math!
10 Toby Flenderson is the Scranton Strangler
The US version of The Office is one of those rare sitcoms and TV shows that actually surpasses the original source. Although it's true that the British Office won a ton of awards, fans and many may argue that it rewrote the sitcom. However, with more time the US Office got the chance to delve more into its characters and their backstories, which made it more entertaining and gave it more scope for storytelling. The most interesting character that made use of this is Toby Flenderson.
As The Office started to draw to a close, Toby Flenderson and his obsession with the Scranton Strangler got many fans thinking that there was more to this subplot than meets the eye. Way back in season six, the Scranton Strangler was first mentioned but the serial killer was caught and thrown in jail. Revealed to be George Howard Skub, the case of the Scranton Strangler seemed to be done and dusted. However, Flenderson's obsession with it didn't stop there. In fact, he went to meet Skub, who became angry and attacked Flenderson which led many to believe that Flenderson himself was the killer and Skub was framed. Put that together with the divorced, sad and 'loner' lifestyle of Flenderson, which many will argue fits the profile of a serial killer better than Skub, and there might actually be a valid reason for Michael's hatred towards Toby.
9 The Smurfs Are All About White Supremacy
Over the years the small, blue Smurfs have come under a lot of scrutiny and theories have come out that make this popular children's show a lot more sinister than we would all like to believe.
The most popular of all these theories is that the Smurfs are in fact white supremacists and are associated with the KKK. Firstly we have the outfits that the Smurfs wear; the white hoods for the common population and they are ruled by Papa Smurf who wears red. Very similar to the outfits of the KKK, and Papa Smurf would be the 'Grand Wizard' of the group. There are several scenes in which the Smurfs salute each other in a very Nazi-esque way and not to mention the main bad guy in the show, Gargamel, has a large nose and is obsessed with turning the Smurfs, and everything, into gold. Smells like some anti-Semitic stereotyping.
However, the part that seals this theory for a lot of people is that when the Smurfs become ill they literally turn 'black' which makes the Smurfs stupid, inferior and only able to communicate with grunts. Unfortunately when you really look at the Smurfs, the evidence is obvious.
8 Winnie the Pooh and Friends Each Represent a Mental Health Disorder
We all grew up with these charming and wonderful stories by A.A Milne. Set in the Hundred Acre Wood, the books, and later TV shows and movies, focused on a young boy named Christopher Robin and the adventures he got into with his stuffed animal friends. What could be sweeter and more magical than that? Well, there are theories, and not just by fans but by medical associations no less, that seem to think that Christopher Robin was not well. In fact, the animals that he surrounded himself with are manifestations of his fractured mind and possible mental health disorders.
As well as having Christopher Robin as potentially being schizophrenic, you also have each character displaying common mental disorders. Winnie the Pooh is said to suffer from an off shoot of ADHD known as Inattentivity which can lead to careless and indifferent behavior as well as being obsessive and even developing an addictive personality; he does love honey after all. Tigger is a classic case of ADHD, hyperactivity which could also manifest itself in substance abuse to keep him 'up.' Then there is Piglett who displays anxiety both social and clinical. Rabbitt has a bad case of OCD and there there is the obviously and depressive Eeyore who suffers from, well, depression.
It's now difficult to look at our favorite animals in the same way again!
7 Gilligan's Island is Hell
There have been a few conspiracy theories surrounding the popular Gilligan's Island. One fan theory goes into the very nature of the show itself and how Mr. Howell ended up on a boat with a case full of cash. The answer of course is that it was all a drug running mission and that Howell had cash, and a load of clothes with him, so that he could get the drugs and then escape from the country if he needed to.
An interesting theory, but our favorite has to be the theory that suggests the island itself doesn't exist and is in fact hell. Each of the characters represents one of the deadly sins. Mr. Howell being greed, his wife represents sloth, Ginger is lust, Mary Ann is envy, the Professor is pride and the Skipper represents both wrath and gluttony. Then of course there is Gilligan himself; as he is constantly screwing up the rescue attempts for the others, and loves wearing red, Gilligan is the Devil of course.
6 Doctor Claw is the Original Inspector Gadget
This popular children's cartoon from the 1980s may have more depth to it than many would suspect. Inspector Gadget was a lovable, if not bumbling and incompetent detective, complete with bionic limbs and plenty of gadgets. (We all wanted a hat that could turn into a helicopter when we were kids.) The Inspector himself was a cross between Robocop, The Six Million Dollar Man and Inspector Clouseau and was aided by his niece Penny and her super intelligent dog Brain. The three of them would spend each week trying to stop the evil Doctor Claw, who we never see on screen.
The theory for this one is that Inspector Gadget, given the fact that most of him is bionic, must have suffered a major accident at some point in his life. So many fans out there believe that Doctor Claw was the original Inspector but then after a major explosion he was replaced with an inferior copy. That would certainly make Doctor Claw angry and cause him to turn to a life of crime. The main reason this theory picked up momentum comes from the opening credits. When Gadget finds Doctor Claw he turns his chair round to find only a fake metal arm and a bomb, which then blows up Gadget and the chair.
5 The Fresh Prince is Dead
This is a conspiracy theory that has been around for years and doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon. We all remember the show that kick started Will Smith's career and turned him into a superstar; a poor street kid who is suddenly made to move and live with his rich relatives in posh Bel-Air. The show ran for years and is still popular and funny today.
However, there is a theory that none of what happened in the show was real and it was all in fact the afterlife as Will was dead the whole time. The basis for this comes from the show's infamous theme song. The reason Will had to move is explained with the lyrics "a couple of guys who were up to no good, started making trouble in my neighborhood. I got in one little fight...etc."
Many people believe that this was a gang related fight and the "little fight" was him being killed. Later in the song, in the extended version anyway, Will goes on to say that he put his walkman on and he might as well kick it, which many people think is slang for dying. Then there's the "rare" cab that is supposedly Will's journey to Heaven and then the lavish mansion he arrives at is the afterlife. As theories go, this one is an interesting one, we think.
4 Breaking Bad is the Prequel to Walking Dead
These two hugely popular shows may well be linked by more than just a voice over connection. They may well be prequels and sequels to each other and it all has to do with the blue crystal meth.
At the end of Breaking Bad, Walter White's extra pure blue crystal meth is sweeping the country and is growing in popularity. However, many people believe that there is a major catch to this product and that catch is the meth kills you and then brings you back in a zombie-like state, thus leading to a Walking Dead-like existence.
Throughout The Walking Dead there are a few Breaking Bad references, plus the blue crystal meth can clearly be seen in bags of other drugs. There is also the red Dodge Challenger that is very similar to Walter White's car. On top of that, Merle Dixon describes a previous drug dealer as a little white guy who uses the term bitch. Surely that's all the evidence we need.
3 The Doctor is Not the Only Time Lord Out There
This theory delves into a multitude of characters, universes and franchises and may sound like a bit of a stretch, but we thought it was interesting enough to put on our list.
We all know the long running show about the time traveling alien The Doctor. Within the show, The Doctor is not only a Time Lord but he is the last of the Time Lords (if you discount The Master who likes to show up from time to time). But in the world of TV and movies, is The Doctor the only regenerating Time Lord? Many people out there think not.
We first turn to Britain's other famous franchise, and that's super spy James Bond. Given that Bond has been going for decades and has a different body in each decade, could Bond be a Time Lord? Then there's everyone's favorite nanny Mary Poppins. A magical lady with advance technology, such as an umbrella that she can fly with. Not to mention her handbag that is bigger on the inside. Sound familiar? Her bag could be a TARDIS. Then there's Willy Wonka. An eccentric man with an eccentric fashion sense, love of gadgets and who is regarded by those around him as a genius but also slightly out of this world. Not too dissimilar from The Doctor. The list could go on; Time Lords are everywhere!
2 Firefly Was Cancelled By the Government
When the short lived Firefly was cancelled, the fans of the show were in shock and couldn't believe that the networks could cancel a show like this. So the fans rushed to their respective blogs and conspiracy theories starting pouring out of the internet as everyone tried to find the real reason Firefly got cancelled.
There are a few theories floating about but the one that has the most interest and the most people believing it is that the government had Firefly cancelled. As the show centered on a group of rebels fighting for civil liberties, many believe that this show was too anti-government and anti-establishment and as the show was gaining critical and popular success, these ideas and notions may have given the general masses some ideas. Particularly as the show was on at the time when Bush was trying to convince everyone to go to war with Iraq. A coincidence? Maybe, but some people just can't believe that a popular show didn't even finish its first season.
1 The Simpsons
When a show has been on the air for as long as The Simpsons has, there is bound to be a multitude of stories and conspiracy theories that surround it. Out of the theories that have come up from The Simpsons it's actually their supposed predictive powers that make the number one spot on our list.
Over the years The Simpsons have had many adventures and stories but there are some sharp eyed viewers that believe The Simpsons have predicted many major disasters, the most famous of all is 9/11. In the episode "The City of New York vs Homer Simpson" there are a lot of references to the World Trade Center as well as a newspaper headline that shows the Twin Towers next to a 9. It does look like a large 9/11, and this episode aired in 1997! There was also the ebola outbreak, the British horse meat scandal and so many more. Are they all just coincidences and people looking too hard to try and connect the dots to make sense of it? Or does our favorite yellow family know things we don't? We suggest going back to watch those early seasons and see how many future references you can spot.