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Top 10 Cartoon Fan Theories

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Alex Crilly-Mckean If you dig deep enough in any form of media, even in cartoons and animated fare, you're sure to find some truly mind-blowing explanations about why certain things are the way they are. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the top 10 fan cartoon theories. For this list, we've chosen the most popular and jaw-dropping conspiracies on what you may have thought were quirky, innocent cartoon shows or animated films. Special thanks to our user Justin Kennon for submitting the idea at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Cartoon Fan Theories


If you dig deep enough in any form of media, even in cartoons and animated fare, you’re sure to find some truly mind-blowing explanations about why certain things are the way they are. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 fancartoon theories.

For this list, we’ve chosen the most popular and jaw-dropping conspiracies on what you may have thought were quirky, innocent cartoonshows or animated films. Though you might find some creepypastas, which are horror-related legends, on here too, don’t forget to check our list of the Top 10 Creepypastas for a more in-depth look! Warning: this video may possibly ruin your childhood, so don’t say you weren’t warned!

#10: Claw Is Gadget
“Inspector Gadget” (1983-86)

Kicking off our list is a kick right in the heart of this light-hearted cartoon about everyone’s favorite robotic detective. The theory in question states that Dr. Claw is actually the real, or at least, the original, Inspector Gadget, who supposedly died via an explosion. His genius niece Penny then created a robotic replica out of grief. This would explain why Claw pretty much always escapes from the villain’s clutches unscathed: he wouldn’t want to actually harm his own niece and only wants to destroy his mechanical replacement. It also explains why we never actually see Dr. Claw’s face… Wow, we’re only at number ten and are already we’re pushing into some majorly dark territory.

#9: The Flintstones Live in the Future
“The Flintstones” (1960-66)

If you thought Bedrock’s favorite family was kicking it back in the Stone Age, then this theory will make you think again. Evidence for this one comes from the 1978 TV movie “The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones,” where a malfunction with a time machine leads two of animation’s most beloved families to share the screen. How does this support the theory? Well, the time machine was created by Elroy Jetson to bring his family to the FUTURE (that is, further in time than the future in which they already live). But what if the machine actually worked? We know the Jetsons live in the sky, and perhaps they’re doing that to avoid the nuclear wasteland below that’s been brewing into another stone age. That means the Flintstones is actually set in a post-apocalyptic future, instead of thousands of years in the past. Yikes.

#8: Peach Creek Is Purgatory
“Ed, Edd n Eddy” (1999-2009)

Who didn’t love this show growing up? Its lovable lead characters and their zany adventures were one of the Cartoon Network’s greatest productions. But did you ever wonder why we never saw their parents and why Ed, Edd n Eddy – along with all the other kids on the show - were perpetually stuck in the cul-de-sac? Well, this theory says it’s because they’re all stuck in Purgatory. No, we are not kidding. Each character apparently died as a child at different points in time, and now remains confined to their suburban afterlife. For example, Rolf spends most of his time with farm animals because he died in 1903. Eddy is so obsessed with money and wealth because he died during the Great Depression, and Ed loves comic books so much because he died right as their popularity soared… near the end of the Second World War.

#7: Charlie Brown Is Dying of Cancer
“Peanuts” franchise (1947-)

You thought Charlie Brown was just an unlucky kid who happened to have a receding hairline? Actually, according to this theory, he’s got terminal cancer. Not horrifically dark enough for you? The reason he always seems so down, and life doesn’t seem to give him a break, is that his adventures and entire life are all an illusion – in other words, nothing but a dream created out of sadness for his brief existence. Each of his failures is just his own misery manifesting itself. Try to watch any Charlie special now without feeling hollow inside!

#6: WALL-E Doomed the Earth
“WALL-E” (2008)

Aww, isn’t he just he cutest thing ever?! WALL-E’s a lovesick robot that travels the stars to be with the one he loves and has a voice that just makes you want to pinch his metallic cheeks. Well, what you didn’t know about him is that this little bastard actually doomed the planet! Didn’t you wonder why the planet was covered in garbage at the beginning of the Pixar flick? That’s because, according to this theory, WALL-E destroyed all of the other robots, took what he needed from their bodies to fix himself up, kept certain items of trash to decorate his home instead of compacting them and left the robo-corpses of his fellow brethren scattered across the wasteland that was once Earth. But hey, he’s so cute chances are you’ll love him regardless!

#5: Winnie & Friends’ Mental Disorders
“Winnie the Pooh” franchise (1966-)

The classic tales of Pooh Bear and his friends are beloved by children and adults everywhere. This makes things especially lovely considering this theory in which the timeless characters have each been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder. We are not joking. It goes like this: Pooh is impulsive with obsessive fixations, Piglet has general anxiety, Tigger has ADHD, Owl is dyslexic, Rabbit has OCD, and not surprisingly, Eeyore is a major depressive. Wow, suddenly the tales of a teddy bear with a love for honey are sounding a wee bit bleaker.

#4: Timmy’s on Anti-Depressants
“The Fairly OddParents” (2001-)

Here comes another kick to the childhood! While you may have thought that Timmy Turner was a lucky little boy with fairy godparents that could grant his every wish, what you were actually seeing was a metaphor for Timmy taking anti-depressants to ensure he made it through the day. How does this make sense? Well, this theory states that this scenario’s possible because the godparents only appear when Timmy’s life starts to take a tumble, but they aren’t around when he doesn’t need them. On top of this, too much use of their ‘magic’ is shown to have disastrous results on Timmy personally. But hey, at least it’s better than the alternative theory that they are just being imagined by a sexually abused boy. Yeah, we’re not going anywhere near that one.

#3: Comatose Ash
“Pokémon” franchise (1997-)

A lot of entries on this list involve the fantastical elements of their respective shows being nothing more than figments of the imagination. Well, this one deals with an entire world being made up in the mind of a comatose Ash Ketchum. One theorist makes the point that the tone of “Pokémon” became much lighter after Ash was struck by lightning in an earlier episode. Ever since then, Team Rocket became less menacing and the ten year old can somehow traverse freely in the world without consequence. The fact that there are multiple Nurse Joys and Officer Jennys, plus countless other examples, seems to support the idea that his dream to become a Pokémon Master may actually just be a dream after all.

#2: All in Angelica’s Imagination
“Rugrats” (1991-2004)

Speaking of dreams, in this fan theory, it turns out all those adorable babies on “Rugrats” were nothing more than projections of a three-year-old’s psychological breakdown. We all thought Angelica was just moody because of her age and spoiled upbringing, but here, it’s said that her attitude is actually due to the traumatic events of the Rugrats’ deaths. Yep, apparently Chuckie died with his mother in a crash, which is why his father is always overly worried about him, and Tommy was stillborn, which is why Uncle Stu is constantly making toys – i.e. for the son he never had. As for the DeVille twins, they were just a projection of an aborted baby, so Angelica projected them as identical twins since the gender remained unknown. If all true, then this little girl is going to need therapy. Lots and lots of therapy.

Before our number one pick destroys what’s left of your childhood, here are a few honorable mentions.
- The Main Characters of ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ Represent 7 Deadly Sins
“SpongeBob SquarePants” (1999-)
- The Smurfs Are a Metaphor for White Supremacy
“The Smurfs” (1981-89)
- Arnold’s Grandparents Are His Biological Parents
“Hey Arnold!” (1996-2004)
- The Magic School Bus Kids Grew Into Captain Planet and the Planeteers
“The Magic School Bus” (1994-97)

#1: Allegory for the Holocaust
“Toy Story 3” (2010)


There was no doubt that the third installment of the “Toy Story” franchise was definitely the darkest. However, we bet that you wouldn’t have guessed that the Oscar-winning computer-animated movie also seems to have some unsettling parallels to the Holocaust. With that frame of reference, it’s scarily easy to see the similarities between the two. First off, the toys are forced to leave their home and then find themselves at Sunnyside Daycare, where they are imprisoned and routinely mistreated and injured. Near the film’s climax, there is a scene that looks like they’re all about to perish in an incinerator together. If you replace a few of those key characters and locations with Jews, the Nazis and concentration camps during the Second World War, then you have a fan theory that might just be dead on.

Did you agree with our list? Which fan theory got your head spinning? With bewildering top tens published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com!
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