There’s no shortage of crazy fan theories out there. Be it films, TV shows, or even classic cartoons, if there’s any subtext, someone will be sure to find it. The age old “it was all a dream” has officially been dubbed one of the worst theories of all time – but some ideas deserve a closer look.
When there’s too much evidence to call it a coincidence, that’s when a theory gets interesting. People will forever wonder about the contents of the briefcase in Pulp Fiction, or whether or not Ferris Bueller actually existed at all. But sometimes we forget that even the most seemingly innocent movies and TV shows from our childhood have the potential to be downright shocking.
There are plenty of cartoons left unscathed by theorists, but these are a few that we couldn’t ignore even if we wanted to.
Here are 15 Fan Theories That Will Ruin Your Favorite Cartoons.
15. Toy Story 3 Is About The Holocaust
This theory argues that the entire movie Toy Story 3 is, more or less, a Holocaust story. It may seem ridiculous, but there’s simply too much evidence to ignore.
When Andy is going off to college, the toys start worrying about exactly where they will be sent off to – since they aren’t welcome in their own home anymore (just as the Jews were forced from their homes). Woody gives a speech to the toys that is eerily similar to a speech given in the Holocaust film The Pianist, and Buzz Lightyear even suggests they all hide in the attic, a nod to Anne Frank.
The toys are then shipped off in dark boxes, and they end up at a daycare center where toys are mistreated and eventually incinerated. Most of the toys may survive in the end, but all clues still point to this being a cartoon rendition of the Holocaust. At least the kids aren’t likely to catch on.
14. Wile E. Coyote Is In Hell
The classic cartoon Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote consists almost exclusively of Wile E. Coyote chasing Road Runner through a deserted landscape… over, and over, and over again. It’s less likely that these two are alone in the desert playing a game of chase, and more likely that Wile E. Coyote is in his own personal hell.
Consider how many times Wile E. Coyote gets blown up, or that massive ACME anvil falls on him, and how many times he keeps coming back. It’s easy to root for Road Runner and forget that we’re watching Wile E. Coyote relive his worst nightmare every single episode.
One Reddit thread took it even deeper, comparing the cartoon to old Greek and Native American myths about hell. Either way, using the theme of perpetual suffering for a supposed family show is a pretty dark choice.
13. Mr. Krabs Plans To Use His Daughter For Krabby Patties
This fan theory is unsurprisingly not a favorite for the fans of SpongeBob SquarePants. According to a Reddit thread started by walla_walla_rhubarb, Mr. Krabs is only raising his whale daughter Pearl to eventually kill her and use her for Krabby Patty meat.
This Redditor points out that “when a whale dies, it’s carcass can fuel an entire ecosystem for a very long period of time.” Pearl’s mother is non-existent in the show, and it’s unclear as to how or why Mr. Krabs has Pearl in the first place. She could truly be his daughter, or Mr. Krabs could just be putting up with Pearl’s crazy spending habits because he has a bigger goal in mind.
This could also partially explain Plankton’s role in the series. Plankton is obsessed with figuring out the secret ingredient to Krabby Patties, and while most ingredients are readily available, the burger itself remains a mystery. Whales generally consume plankton, so was this just a sinister clue all along?
12. The Smurfs are Anti-Semitic Racists
It’s hard to imagine the lovable blue Smurfs being anything more than wholesome children’s entertainment. It’s even harder to imagine them literally being racist, anti-semites living in a socialist society.
But this is exactly what scientologist Antoine Buéno believes is true. He claims that Papa Smurf is a dictator, and the villain Gargamel is an embodiment of Jewish stereotypes, but his most convincing example comes from the very first Smurfs comic strip.
The first publication of The Smurfs was titled The Black Smurfs. In this story, the Smurfs fall ill, and they turn from blue to black while also becoming incredibly unintelligent in the process.
Because of the racist undertones of the comic strip, the U.S. refused to let it see the light of day. The fact that this comic was too controversial to be published in the 1960’s says a lot about how accurate this theory could be.
11. Ed, Edd, and Eddy Are Living In Purgatory
In the show Ed, Edd n Eddy, the boys and their friends seem to enjoy an endless summer with no adults anywhere to be found. While that’s not necessarily grounds for assuming they’re dead, there are many clues that have made fans wonder.
Since purgatory is a loop you can’t get out of, the literal loop the children live on (the Cul-de-sac) is the one and only setting of the show. While there’s no apparent year that the show takes place, both 1972 and 1999 are referenced in different episodes as being the current year. Even stranger, the children’s tongues are all green or blue, something that does actually happen tongues postmortem.
Fans have gone into incredible detail with this theory, chronicling every character and what got them to purgatory in the first place. At least there are worse places to be stuck than in an endless summer with your best friends.
10. The Cars Overthrew Mankind
It’s not often that crazy fan theories are confirmed by the higher-ups. No matter how sound a conspiracy may be, it’s often left up to fans to decide for themselves without any real answers. In the case of the movie Cars, a disturbing theory was actually confirmed by the creative director himself, Jay Ward.
The theory goes that in the universe of Cars, we don’t see humans because they simply don’t exist anymore. When the cars became sentient beings, they realized there was no need for humans anymore, and they killed them all. To add insult to injury, Ward confirmed that the cars in fact take on the personality of the last person who drove them.
This seems to imply that the cars somehow literally consumed all of the people in the world and took on their personalities. Would this make them… soul-sucking cars? It doesn’t get much worse than that.
9. Winnie the Pooh & Friends Have Serious Psychological Disorders
It may come as a surprise that a Canadian medical journal actually published a report on this theory. Yes, it turns out Winnie the Pooh is some serious stuff.
According to the report, all of the characters living in the Hundred Acre Wood are suffering from serious “neurodevelopmental and psychosocial problems.” That doesn’t sound like the makings of a happy children’s tale at all! Nevertheless, each character has been diagnosed, and pretty convincingly too.
Winnie the Pooh is said to have a learning disability from bumping his head while being dragged around by Christopher Robin while in his “teddy bear” state. If that isn’t sad enough, Eeyore is supposedly suffering from depression, Piglet has anxiety disorder, Owl is dyslexic, and the list goes on. If there’s one way to ruin a childhood, this is it.
8. Inspector Gadget and Dr. Claw Are The Same Person
Inspector Gadget’s one and only nemesis has always been Dr. Claw… right? Well, according to this theory, Dr. Claw and Inspector Gadget are one and the same.
The theory goes that Dr. Claw was once an average detective– that is until he suffered a terrible accident that forced him to become the half-man, half-robot we know and love as Inspector Gadget. Dr. Claw’s face is never shown, and when his chair does turn around in the intro to the show – only a metal hand with a bomb is left sitting on the chair.
Could this explain why Penny always seems to get caught by Dr. Claw’s minions, but never actually gets hurt? She may have been the one to help Inspector Gadget recreate himself – she is incredibly smart after all – and it would explain why Dr. Claw never finishes the job with her.
7. The Rugrats Are All In Angelica’s Imagination
This theory argues that Angelica and Dill are the only real children in the entire series Rugrats. So why would Angelica dream up a bunch of babies to boss around? Well, it seems that the kids weren’t always imaginary – in fact, many fans think at one point all of the babies did exist.
Supposedly Tommy was a stillborn which is why Stu is so obsessed with making toys, Phil and Lil were actually aborted and because Angelica didn’t know the sex she made up two fraternal twins, and Chucky is also dead, explaining his father’s constant anxiety over his son’s safety.
In one episode of Rugrats where they fast forward to adult versions of the kids, both Angelica and Dill lead very rough lives. Likely because they’re the only two who are real, and they’ve clearly lived through messed-up childhoods.
6. The Powerpuff Girls Are One Person
The theory that has come to be known as the “Brenda theory” argues that the Powerpuff Girls are not three separate superheros, but are actually multiple personalities of one person.
This person, who is referred to as “Brenda,” was supposedly bullied as a child, especially by her brother. Brenda’s brother appears to the Powerpuff Girls as Mojo Jojo, who is their biggest enemy in the series.
When the Powerpuff Girls come together, that’s when they are the strongest. Blossom is the leader, Bubbles is the sweet one, and Buttercup is the badass. Apart they can’t succeed, but together they’re strong enough to take on Mojo Jojo.
5. Scooby Doo Was Set During An Economic Depression
It never quite made sense that the villains in Scooby Doo turned out to be regular people every single time. No matter how outlandish the crimes got, it was always revealed to be some average Joe behind it all along. Well, there may be a dark reason behind all the madness.
According to one fan theory, the original Scooby Doo series was actually set during a time of economic decline. This would explain why so many usually respectable people were running around in masks trying to lie and steal their way to the top.
The depression was apparently so bad that even celebrities, athletes, and doctors made the list of villains. Even with a disguise, the gang always found the true culprit, and every time they found that it wasn’t a monster after all.
4. Snow White Is About Cocaine and Addiction
It’s a long held fan theory that Snow White and the Seven Dwarves is one big metaphor for cocaine addiction. Though it may seem like the internet just can’t leave children’s movies alone – there’s actually a lot of material to work with in this case.
The name of the main character, Snow White, is an obvious nod to the drug itself. But where things get interesting is with the Seven Dwarves. The dwarves, who are named according to their personalities, match up perfectly to the stages of cocaine addiction and withdrawal. Happy and Grumpy symbolize mood swings, Dopey, Sneezy, and Sleepy are nods to actual stages of being on the drug, and of course, there’s Doc there to cure them all.
3. Garfield Is Dying Of Starvation
Most people would scoff at the theory of a starving Garfield. The cat whose life revolves around eating, how could he be starving? Well, surprisingly enough there’s a strip from the Garfield comic series that suggests exactly that.
In this comic strip from 1989, Garfield wakes up in an old, abandoned house without John or Odie. He starts to completely lose his mind as he tries to find them, until suddenly they both appear out of nowhere. The strangest part of this strip is the final scene that reads, “An imagination is a powerful tool. It can tint memories of the past, shape perceptions of the present, or paint a future so vivid that it can entice… or terrify, all depending upon how we conduct ourselves today.”
2. Ash from Pokémon Is In A Coma
It’s fair to say that “he’s been in a coma all along” could easily apply to almost any story. But Ash from Pokémon proves that, for him, it’s a very real possibility.
When Ash is hit by lightning toward the beginning of the Pokémon series, fans noticed that the timing of the story, along with many other things suddenly changed. Ash going into a coma after this accident would explain a lot of strange occurrences in his world – like why we see the exact same police officer and nurse in every town, or why the Pokémon world seems to grow bigger and more intricate the longer he stays in the coma.
1. Peter Pan Is The Angel Of Death
Like many children’s cartoons, Peter Pan was a story in it’s own right long before it saw an animating room. This classic story by James Barrie actually opens with “All children except one, grow up.” This was a reference to Peter Pan, and also possibly to Barrie’s younger brother who died as a child.
In the original story, Peter Pan actually killed the Lost Boys when they became adults, which is why nobody ever grew up in Neverland. Fast forward to the modern version of Peter Pan, and Barrie’s dark origins are still present. Peter Pan’s main goal is to take Wendy, John, and Michael Darling with him to Neverland – a place where children stay children forever, and preferably never leave either.
While Peter doesn’t appear to be killing the Lost Boys anymore, he does appear to still be bringing children to Neverland in hopes of staying with him. This definitely seems like “Angel of Death” behavior, as he becomes incredibly angry and selfish when the Darling children express interest in leaving after he’s already brought them over to the “other side.”
Are there any other creepy fan theories about cartoons? Leave them in the comments!
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