A deeper meaning

What if all our childhood cartoons actually have another meaning?

Remember laying on the couch on a Saturday afternoon to watch all of your favorite cartoons? Just thinking about how fun it would be to get into all of those crazy scenarios like fighting a mummy, solving ghostly mysteries, or working as a fry cook under the sea. Well, what if all of those seemingly wacky scenarios had a logical answer as to how they transpired? 

Conspiracy theories are often scoffed at because they usually have to do with the government doing unhinged things in order to strip everyone of their bodily autonomy. However, they are simply theories or beliefs that go against the standard explanation and are instead caused by another covert group, whether or not that be the government, the illuminati, or simply a teenage girl who has an overactive imagination. 

Many of the television shows a majority of people watched as children often have a major plot point that has not been answered. Which is, how is it possible? How is it possible for a gaggle of infants to go gallivanting through the woods? How is it possible for a group of preadolescent children exploring the world attempting to catch hostile creatures in balls? 

Now, I know what many of you want to say, it’s a cartoon stop thinking about it so much. Nevertheless, I ask you to think about it. How exactly is it all possible? Well many of these conspiracy theories are a bit disturbing and may, as some say, ‘ruin your childhood,’ thus be prepared. 

Firstly, we have a favorite to many, including myself, “Courage the Cowardly Dog.” Airing in Nov. of 1999, we follow Courage, a small overly paranoid dog with a big job: protecting his owners from bizarre adversaries by overcoming his fear. Those who have seen the show know of all the extraordinary villains that Courage must face to protect Eustace and Muriel, his owners. From alien invasions to mummy battles, Courage has to protect his owners who rarely ever fret when these situations perspire. 

The theory states that the show takes place from Courage’s perspective. Now yes, it obviously takes place from Courage’s perspective as he is the main character and cartoons usually show from the main character’s perspective. With this, viewers need to remember that Courage, no matter how funny/lovable he is, is a dog. So of course things that may seem normal and natural to humans would seem outlandish and bizarre to a paranoid pup. Even the area they live in, Nowhere, is only believed to be because as his owners are old, they are unable to take him on far on walks. As such, he believes they quite literally live in the middle of nowhere. Considering he may not have many experiences with the outside world, when he does, his paranoia and over-active imagination come into play. According to cbr.com/courage-cowardly-dog-logical-theories/. 

Secondly, the insanely popular, “Spongebob Squarepants” originally airing in May of 1999, revolves around the happy-go-lucky sea/dish sponge, Spongebob Squarepants. Spongebob and his friends get into all types of shenanigans in the bottom of the sea. He lives in Bikini Bottom, works as a fry cook at the Krusty Krab, and owns a pet snail. Him and his best friend Patrick Star both have a knack for attracting trouble as they go on adventures along the ocean floor. 

There are two major theories about Spongebob, first the more light hearted of the two, is that the main characters are all embodiments of the seven deadly sins. Mr. Krabs and his money loving antics represent greed. Plankton, his opposite, who is trying to steal the Krabby Patty formula from Krabs, represents envy. Gary, the snail who does nothing except eat all day, represents gluttony. Squidward, who in his hatred for life is endlessly cruel to himself and those surrounding him, represents wrath. Sandy, the squirrel who is very prideful of her home state, athletic abilities, and career as a scientist, represents pride. Patrick, the unemployed starfish that lives under a rock, represents sloth. Lastly, Spongebob, who excessively loves anything and everyone, represents lust. As recorded by ranker.com/list/spongebob-characters-seven-sins/erin-wisti. 

The second, darker theory, is that Spongebob is the result of nuclear testing. Bikini Bottom was located under a real place called Bikini Atoll where in 1946 nuclear weapons were tested. They either genetically mutated from sea life or to sea life as a result of nuclear radiation exposure, states screenrant.com/spongebob-10-dark-fan-theories/. 

Next we have a movie, “Finding Nemo.” This movie follows a father and son Marlin and Nemo, the last of their family, Nemo, gets abducted by fishermen. Marlin then enlists the help of Dory and goes on a journey across the sea to get his son back. 

The major theory here is that Nemo is actually dead the entire movie. Cut back to the beginning scene where the children and Marlin’s wife are attacked by the fish. We were shown Nemo being the only one to survive, then he and Marlin live their whole life alone together in the anemone. The theory states that Nemo, in fact, did not survive and died alongside everyone else. Marlin is experiencing the five stages of grief: denial, he does want to let Nemo go to school, anger, he scolds him for venturing out, bargaining, he puts up with Dory to find Nemo, despair, he witnesses Nemo ‘go belly up,’ and acceptance, he learns to let go and let things be. Another point is that many of the characters tell him to let go whether that be of Nemo or his fears. Lastly, when translated to english, Nemo in latin means no one or nothing. As in no one or nothing survived except Marlin’s grief as he imagined his son being the only one who survived. According to insidethemagic.net/2021/04/nemo-dead-theory-kc1/.

“Phineas and Ferb” aired in Aug. 2007, the show is about two young step-brothers who build outlandish inventions in their backyard with their best friends. Their big sister, Candace, constantly tries to get the boys caught or bust them for their actions. However, every time she tries, the evidence disappears right when her mother arrives. Meanwhile, an evil but strange scientist, Dr. Doofenshmirtz, seeks to wreak havoc all across the Tri-State area and the boy’s pet platypus, Perry, a.k.a. Agent P, has to stop him.

The two theories are as follows, first Candace and Phineas are actually Dr. Doofenshmirtz children that he had with Linda, the children’s mother. This is believed due to Phineas and Doofenshmirtz strikingly similar triangle heads and Candace and Vanessa’s facial similarities. Then once they ended their relationship, she kept the children then married her current husband who also has a child from a previous marriage. Agent P is placed with them so that the genius Phineas never falls down the same path Doofenshmirtz has.

 The second is that Candace has lost her mind after Phineas’ death. Phineas was bullied often in school and fell victim to his bully, Candace was unable to handle his death. She then built an imaginary world where he was still alive and playing with their step brother, Ferb who has a disability making him unable to speak. However, Candace imagines them going on grandiose adventures in their backyard. This is why her mother can never see their inventions, they are not there. Dr. Doofenshmirtz is the therapist she was seeing but stopped because it put a strain on the couple’s finances. Therefore, Linda encourages her to write down her thoughts and sell them to Disney. As recorded by fantheories.fandom.com/wiki/Phineas_and_Ferb.

The darkest on this list, but certainly not the last of the conspiracy theories, is the “Rugrats” theory. The “Rugrats” surrounds a group of babies who go on daring adventures. The world is shown through a baby’s perspective, everything looks bigger, mysterious, and uncontrollable and they are terrorized by their older cousin Angelica. 

The theory states everyone of the rugrats with the exceptions of Angelica, Dil, and Suzie are dead. They are all a figment of Angelica’s imagination. Chucky died alongside his mother, which is why Chaz is a nervous wreck. Tommy was a stillborn, Stu is constantly in the basement building toys for a son that never got the chance to live. The DeVilles had an abortion, Angelica did not know whether or not the baby was a boy or a girl, thus created twins. Angelica suffers from bipolar schizophrenia, and in her teens, she becomes addicted to narcotics which brings her back to her childhood. Which accounts for the time skip in “All Grown Up.” 

Angelica’s birth mother died of a heroin overdose, as she did drugs throughout her pregnancy, Angelica suffered the consequences. Drew, her father in his depression, marries a gold digging woman who Angelica idolized and believed was her real mother. However, we see remnants of her through Cynthia, the doll she is attached to. Dil did not die, but when he was a baby, Angelica who was not used to babies, shook and hit him because he cried so much and caused a brain hemorrhage. Chaz marries Kira on a trip to Paris to find love, Kira has her daughter, Kimi, ripped away from her due to a cocaine addiction, however, she is able to come to life through Kira’s stories. Lastly, Suzie was Angelica’s only friend and listened to her creations as it made her happy. When Angelica dies due to a drug overdose after “All Grown Up,” Suzie who becomes a therapist, teamed up with Nickelodeon to create the “Rugrats.” According to creepypasta.fandom.com/wiki/The_Rugrats_Theory. 

As long as there are shows to make theories from, theories will exist. As such, there are infinitely many theories about the shows that we used to watch as children and theories about shows today’s children watch. Nevertheless until confirmed a theory is just that at the end of the day. For more theories visit ranker.com/list/toddler-shows-theories/brian-gilmore.