When it comes to the business of children's educational entertainment, there aren't many names bigger than Sesame Street. The show got its start back in 1969 and has been on for a total of 47 seasons as of 2017. Obviously, there have been changes over the years. Some have been major, while others have barely been noticeable. But at its most basic, the spirit of the show has remained the same. It's a lighthearted, entertaining educational show for kids that features wacky puppets.
The overarching philosophy of the entire show revolves around education and follows the idea that the best way to educate a child is to hold their attention. Over the years, most of the changes that have taken place on the production side of the series have happened because of the necessity of holding the attention of new generations. Sesame Street remains an icon to this day and has spawned numerous international versions of the show, which can be seen in over one hundred countries. With 167 Emmy Awards and 8 Grammy awards, the show has earned an impressive amount of acclaim over the years.
But with all that said, the internet is a dark and filthy place, and the wonderful people who make it what it is have no respect for iconic franchises like this. In Facebook groups and on forums like Reddit and 4Chan, you can find tasteless (awesome) jokes about every topic and ludicrous memes that will keep you laughing (or offended if you're emotionally pathetic) all day. What does this have to do with Sesame Street? Well, one of the funniest online trends of the last few months has seen some hilarious individuals using old screenshots from episodes of the show and captioning them with vulgar, disturbing, and offensive messages. Only on the internet.
Here are fifteen of these amazing, dark, often painfully funny Sesame Street memes that will ruin your childhood.
15 Ernie The Disturber
Back in the '60s and '70s, the Vietnam War took a lot of American and Vietnamese lives. On top of that, many of those who fought came home with altered mental states, what we now know as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Back then, everyone knew that seeing horrible things like the realities of war could mess a person up. But until Vietnam, it was often called Battle Fatigue or Battle Shock. After that war, the term PTSD came into more common use. We don't know why Bert is being portrayed as a troubled Vietnam vet, but he does kind of look like he has the "thousand-yard stare." We don't know what would possess Ernie to try to bring back memories from his companion's horrific past, but obviously in the alternate universe of these sick twisted memes, he's an absolute savage and does whatever he has to do to get a laugh.
14 It's Like A Horror Movie
Hank Azaria is a voice actor and comedian most known for his work on The Simpsons. Among his voices on that show are Apu the convenience store clerk, police Chief Clancy Wiggum, Professor Frink, and of course, Moe the bartender, among many others. Azaria appeared on Sesame Street a few years ago in season 44 and was a part of a "word of the day" segment. His word was "impostor," and he wore what looked like Cookie Monster's face and pretended to eat cookies like the big blue guy would.
This meme makes it seem as though Azaria brutally murdered Cookie Monster and was wearing his face like a mask. If you look at the shot with the right kind of messed-up mind, it looks more like this episode went terribly wrong and was possibly directed by Eli Roth (the freak behind the Hostel films and a few other messed-up gore fests).
13 Dirty Grover
This is an incredibly messed meme, but too funny to not laugh at. Of course, if you're a kid to whom an adult exposed himself, it may bring up some bad memories. We really have no idea why this kind of thing happens. Whether you call it exposing oneself, flashing, or just exhibitionism, it's just plain weird and an uncomfortable concept. When a woman does it, it can be pretty great, but we can't imagine a scenario in which anyone wants to see a dude do something like this.
While we aren't exactly sure of the context of this photo, we do recall that Grover often puts on an academic gown and cap like the one pictured when instructing the other monsters. While obviously, this scene was probably as innocent as all the rest, it really does look like Grover is laughing hysterically after lifting up his gown and flashing the other muppet.
12 The Important Questions
This is an interesting topic to discuss, possibly while under the influence of substances, and the conversation can get deep. Milk on its own is a beverage, but within the technical definitions of sauce and broth, it is hard to say what milk can be classified as when it has been added to breakfast cereal. Broth extracts flavor from whatever it's cooked in it. Sauce is a different concept altogether, of a substance created to enhance flavors. If milk remains a beverage, then what does that make the cereal? It's a stupid thing to ponder, but here we are. To be more accurate, it doesn't matter at all, and milk just stays milk, and there is nothing else to talk about. But if someone were to put a life on the line and pose this riddle of sorts, that is a nasty concept and a terrifying idea. In this case, though, it's a pair of muppets and the meme is hilarious.
11 Ernie Is Seriously Dark
You'll never look at potted plants the same way again. We looked around the internet and as far as we can tell, this quote may not be a reference to any movie or TV show, just the rambling made-up thought of a sick mind on the world wide web. It sounds like something that might be said by Patrick Bateman, the main character in American Psycho, if he were having a terrible week and couldn't get a table at Dorsia (watch the movie).
The act of using a victim as fertilizer and giving a small plant that will likely be neglected doesn't even sound like adding insult to injury. It just sounds like a sadistic monstrous thing to do that only serves to entertain the murderer. But with a muppet in the image, it actually seems almost funny and cute. Who ever knew Ernie had this many skeletons in his closet...or maybe in his garden?
10 Cookie Monster The Denier
There may not be any event or series of events as thoroughly documented as the Holocaust. It was not the first or last time that there was an attempt to wipe an entire group out of existence. There are examples going back thousands of years and through the dark ages (check out some stories about the Mongols under Genghis Khan), and even in the 1900's, the Armenian Genocide predates the Holocaust. With that said, regardless of the evidence, there remains a denial movement that is based on some shoddy scholarship and poor logic. Most of these horrible extermination campaigns have some sort of deniers. But more often than not, they are used as a punchline by many on the internet. In this case, Cookie Monster is depicted as a Holocaust denier and is trying to put all the books about this tragedy into a library's fiction section. Dark, offensive, and truly hilarious.
9 Bert And Ernie Or Eva And Adolf
We thought we'd continue the theme of the Holocaust for one more meme entry. There may not be a more hated group of historical figures than the Nazis. They tried to take over Europe, engaged in a massive ethnic cleansing operation, and have the reputation for being the worst thing to have happened in human history. The go-to statement in many political arguments when they get heated is something to the effect of "well, now you just sound like a Nazi." They and their leader, Adolf Hitler, are almost universally hated, but they remain an inspirational group for many people with poor thinking skills and crappy lives. Of course, there isn't a whole lot of politics in Sesame Street, but the thought of Bert and Ernie being closeted white supremacists is as hilarious as it is absurd...and disturbing. It isn't that weird to think of them being gay (it's 2017), but imagining them being fans of the Fuhrer is a little bit out there.
8 Savage, Bert And Ernie
There aren't many events quite as tragic in American history as September 11, 2001. Most of us can remember where we were during that morning, and the world has not been the same since. Just shy of 3,000 people were killed when two planes hit the World Trade Center, one was crashed in a field and a fourth hit the Pentagon. The entire event remains shrouded in mystery, thanks to a very persistent campaign by many people to prove that a group other than Al-Qaeda carried this out. But getting back to the meme, a majority of people will remember that tons of cameras were turned toward the towers after the first plane hit (far more than the only camera that caught the first plane). When that second aircraft showed up, it was live on CNN. Most people were terrified, but if we believe this dark alternate universe in which the Sesame Street monsters are awful people, they seemed to have been enjoying their morning.
7 Another 9/11 Joke
Much of what makes these memes so hilarious is how shocking they are. While long ago, shock laughs were the operational realm of professional comedians such as George Carlin, these days, anyone at a computer can take a major tragedy and make a mockery of it. This shot is obviously from an educational scene about firefighters. But evidently, Elmo decided to wear his metaphorical tinfoil hat that day.
There is a great amount of people out there who consider the 9/11 attacks to have been at least in part carried out by the American government. One of the major points of contention in this debate is whether or not jet fuel can burn at a temperature hot enough to melt the steel beams that had to come down in order for the buildings themselves to collapse. The middle of an educational show, however, is not the right place in which to start up the 9/11 debate, which is also a nasty topic around firefighters, many of whom were lost on that tragic day.
6 That's Not Entertainment
As you've probably noticed, one of the best ways to make a brilliant dark Sesame Street meme is to tie it in with one of the worst events in human history; in this case, the bombing of Hiroshima back in August of 1944. Don't get us wrong, the bombings of Hiroshima and then Nagasaki a few days later did play a big part in ending the war. American lives were likely saved because of the lack of a need to invade Japan itself. But at the same time, the development of nuclear weapons that can quite literally kill hundreds of thousands in a matter of minutes (not to mention the issue of fallout) is a terrifying reality that changed the world...and not for the better. At the same time, this savage meme essentially shows Ernie and Cookie Monster relaxing while the first nuclear bomb ever used on a human target vaporizes tens of thousands of people. Savage AF.
5 Kermit Has Some Controversial Opinions
These pricks haven't been in the news quite as much recently as they were several years ago. The Westboro Baptist Church is a group of ridiculous hate-mongers who follow the teachings of now-deceased "minister" Fred Phelps. He died in 2014, but the group still exists. They gained notoriety for picketing numerous funerals of military members, certain celebrities, and generally spreading hateful views about just about everyone, including homosexuals, Jews, Catholics, most other religions, and all those who contribute to the "moral degradation of the United States." While they were initially met with fury and anger, once people realized what a pathetic group of freaks they were, they became more of a joke. It is a pretty funny idea to imagine Kermit with his annoying prepubescent Ray Romano-esque voice shouting "God hates f*gs" at a funeral.
4 This Would Not Be Fun...Or Would It?
We aren't mental health experts, but we think we can safely say "don't try this at home." Replacing medication with designer drugs is only funny when the muppets do it, at which point it is indeed very funny. We have to wonder how exactly this would go. Obviously, anti-anxiety medication is used to get rid of anxiety and even out someone's emotions and thinking; you know, getting rid of anxiety. Ecstasy, MDMA, Molly, whatever it may be, also does that job, but in a much different way. At the same time, every trip is different, so this could either turn into an amazing day for Bert, or Ernie could come back to his high-strung pal curled up in the fetal position while shrieking. Either way, that trickster, Ernie, was in for a beating whenever Bert finally came down. Still, if Bert's trip goes well, this prank is just free drugs.
3 Big Bird Is An Awful Person
If you're laughing at this, that means one of two things. First off, you have a very tolerant sense of humor. The second thing is that you may be a bit damaged to laugh at something like this. But sometimes, damaged souls generally do have the best senses of humor. This meme is one of the most ruthlessly offensive on the list, but given the horrific act depicted and the fact that it is Big Bird, it is just revolting enough to be funny. The meme is absolutely disgusting, including a slightly racist edge and of course, a massive talking bird creeping on a young child. At this time, we have to wonder what the creative minds behind the show think about these memes (or what they would think about these memes). On the one hand, they work in show business (sort of) so they may have crude perverted senses of humor too. Otherwise, they would be disgusted.
2 Bert And Ernie Are Ruthless
Bert and Ernie live together. They sleep in the same room, but they have separate beds. Despite the whole "two beds" thing, there have been rumors that they are meant to be a gay couple for some time. The official story from Sesame Workshop is that there is no story here. According to the creators, the entire idea of Bert and Ernie being gay is completely out of place, as they are not people. When asked the question about the duo's sexual orientation, Gary Knell, who ran Sesame Workshop for a while, said, "They are not gay, they are not straight, they are puppets. They don't exist below the waist."
Whoever made this classic meme either didn't get the memo or just ignored it, and we're glad they did. As disgusting as the concept is, the look on the puppets faces makes this one painfully funny, as well as gross.
1 Grover's Into Some Interesting Stuff
Someone really should warn the guy. Grover is into something that sounds like it might be incredible, but it is dangerous. For those who missed the details of actor David Carradine's 2009 death, this meme is a reference to auto-erotic asphyxiation. In layman's terms, if you restrict the flow of oxygen to the brain while engaging in "self love," it can be very enjoyable. As amazing as it may be, it can be risky because, as you may know, the human brain needs oxygen to keep working. David Carradine died from a mishap of this kind, and it has been suggested that Michael Hutchence, the former singer for rock band INXS, may have been doing the same thing at the time of his death. While in reality, this is nothing more than a picture of a kid holding a puppet, it really does look a bit like she has him in a choke hold while he climaxes.