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Fan Theories That Will Put Your Favorite Childhood Shows In A Way Darker Light

You might think your fondly remembered entertainment was just as innocent as you were, but just leave it to the internet to ruin that for you. With hidden links to way darker shows and overlooked details that can convince you that your favourite mascot was actually a serial killer.

Here are 21 of the most twisted fan theories that will totally ruin your childhood. Check out the sources at the bottom for even more!



Inspector Claw

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In Inspector Gadget, the Inspector we know is actually the second Inspector, built as a completely-robotic replacement after the first was lost in action.

Upon returning from whatever disaster caused his bosses to give up on him he discovers this replacement living his life. He disavows everything he once knew and loved, even going so far as to take a new name... DOCTOR CLAW!

zaphod_85

Finding Closure

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In the beginning of Finding Nemo, the father imagines one son survived when in reality his whole family was destroyed.

The movie is an allegory of the father's journey through the stages of grief. Almost everyone in the story tells the father he has to "let go" of his son. His travels takes him to the Land Down Under (aka Underworld). The movie ends with him saying goodbye as his son visually disappears into the void. And the kicker? "Nemo" means "nobody" in Latin.

[Deleted]

That's Smurfed Up, Man

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The Smurfs are a thinly veiled parable about white supremacy. All of the smurfs wear white hats that resembled KKK hoods, except for the Grand Wizard of the smurfs, Papa Smurf, who wears a red hood.

_DiscoNinja_

​Scooby Dooby Dodge

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Scooby Doo seems fairly innocent, unless you see it as taking place in the real world of America in 1969 (the year it debuted). How did four mismatched kids wind up living in their van while on an endless cross-country road trip? After all, the show never really bothered to tell us where they were driving all that time.

The answer? It's 1969, the Vietnam War is at its height, and millions of directionless young people are desperate to avoid being drafted into military service. Hence, they're on the road to Canada to dodge the draft.

All of the mysteries that we see in the course of the show are just diversions that the kids encounter on the road to freedom in Canada.

themightyheptagon

The Real Prize

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Willy Wonka knew those children would die in his factory. After Augustus gets sucked up the shoot, they all hop on board the boat through the tunnel of doom. The boat doesn't have two extra vacant seats though. It was designed with prior knowledge that they would lose two participants before that point. Later they drive a cream spewing car with only four seats. Did they have another car waiting in the garage in case the others made it? Of course not. Willy Wonka uses children to make candy.

neverbinkles

The Cat's Out of the Bag

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Garfield is actually a feral cat dying of starvation. His obsession with food stems from this, and he imagines a life with the man he often sees walking his dog. Jon and Odie. There was a reference to this in a Halloween themed comic. Garfield woke up in a condemned and abandoned house. He calls out for Odie and Jon, but there is no answer. He then wills the illusion back on himself, and continues his delusions about his 'family'.

lusciouslou

What's in That Fairy Dust?

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Peter Pan was actually the villain of Neverland all along. The Lost Boys are his own private army that he keeps under control by murdering anyone who becomes old enough to question his leadership.

Captain Hook was the hero who survived Peter's cult and became an adult. The children he rescued with him became his crew and they're trying to liberate the rest.

roughbeard368

A Little Magic Goes A Long Way...

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After the events seen in the movies and books Matilda goes on living with Ms. Honey and going to Crunchem Hall. Slowly students begin to forget about Matilda's powers, as she hadn't used them in years. Matilda and many of her friends go their separate ways during middle school and she is left a quiet nerdy girl who loves to read. Kids begin to pick on her constantly, and without Ms. Honey running this new school, the bullying just escalates. Eventually Matilda gets fed up and kills one of the bullies. Enough people saw it happen that Ms. Honey thinks that it is best for Matilda to leave town and go under an assumed name. She sends Matilda to live with one of her cousins in Maine.

Thus kicking off the plot of Carrie.

daniel_hlfrd

Phoning Long Distance

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E.T. was a Jedi escaping Order 66. During the Senate vote for no-confidence scene in the Phantom Menace you'll see a cutaway to species that looks identical to the E.T. The Extraterrestrial species.

This explains E.T.'s extraordinary powers of levitation and healing, he's actually using the force. All he needs is a lightsaber and he's ready to cut.

marcelius

Happier Days.

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"That 70's Show," is a vague sequel to "Happy Days". At the end of Happy days, Richie and Ralph go off to the Korean war (or at least they are training for it). Fonzie stays behind. At this point you must remember that the Fonz was always the person who kept Richie 'cool'.

Flash Forward 20 years, Richie, (now 'Red') Has become bitter after the war, and without the catalyst that was Arthur Fonzerelli, his friendship with fool neighbor, Bob (Ralph) has fallen apart.

Happy Days was made in the 70s and set in the 50s. That 70's Show was in the 90s and set in the 70s.

gulsado

Fallout: Bikini Bottom

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The existence of Spongebob and his strange friends is the result of radiation from nuclear arms testing that was performed on the Bikini Atoll in the late 40's and early 50's. Since they live under the atoll, the town is known as 'Bikini Bottom'.

Capmaster

Fresh Prince of the Pearly Gates

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Will was murdered in that fight on the basketball court in West Philly. The taxi driver who picked him up is actually God (that's why we felt that the cab was different or "rare")

The Fresh Prince of Bel Air is his own version of heaven. Where he lives in a mansion with his wealthy aunt and uncle and slowly works out the issues and hardships that he never got to resolve in life.

attyx6427

There's Always a Cynic...

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In Care Bears Grumpy Bear was originally 'Genius Bear'. He's been turned extremely cynical because at some point he realized that none of the other bears gave a crap about being reasonable, rational, logical or sensible and only cared about feeling good.

MostlyIrrelephant

All Blowed Up

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In the Rugrats episode where they think the world will end, they make a shelter and plan to survive. Except there's only enough room for 4, not 5. So, they have to pick between Tommy, Chuckie, Angelica, Phil and Lil.

They actually make a logical choice for repopulating the earth. You would take both girls. Chuckie has different family from either girl, so he's accepted. The choice would be between Tommy and Phil. Phil has redundant DNA with Lil, Tommy, while a cousin of Angelica, still brings more diversity. Leaving Phil out was the logical choice, if they truly had to. It's not broken down this way in the show, but they still reach the same result.

shatonamime

Great Scott!

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The Doc is ready to kill himself along with Marty in that parking lot during the first time travel scene in Back to the Future. Not only has he never tested the time machine, but he claims that many of his inventions have been failures.

So during the moment when he's about to find out if his life's work was a huge success, or a complete waste, he not only drives the Delorian towards himself, but grabs onto Marty when he tries to run away.

If that first time travel test was a failure, they both would have been killed. Which is exactly what Doc wanted had the experiment been a failure.

mcjesse

Mystery Solved!

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The original Scooby Doo series is set after a horrible economic depression. Everything is abandoned and falling apart, and all of the villains are people who would normally be really respected (professors, museum curators, celebrities) who have fallen into hard times just like everyone else.

Think about it this way. How many times have the gang helped someone NOT go out of business?

[deleted]

Gotta Catch 'Em All!

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Pokemon are actually bred for combat, and the world is just recovering from a major World War. Most of the men were killed, which is why most of the protagonists in Pokemon only have a mother and why most of the people you fight on the road are kids. Lt. Surge also slightly verifies this when he talks about how Pokemon saved him in the war.

Pasalacqua87

Yabba Dabba Dystopia

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The Jetsons and the Flintstones are two portions of the same society. The people living in Bedrock are actually a lower caste of humans that live on the surface and are forced to mine minerals for the upper-class.

This explains the talking animals: They're just synthetic creations. As well as the fact that everyone in The Jetsons lives in sky towers: The surface has been polluted and is reserved for the lower class.

Steeze_McQueen

SpoOOoOOooky.

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In the Haunted Mansion at Disney World/Disneyland, "you" commit suicide during the course of the ride and become a ghost.

At the beginning of the ride the ghost host (the narrator) says the only way to escape the mansion is to die, and he shows that he hanged himself. Near the end of the ride there's a moment where the ride vehicle turns around backwards and you go off a balcony, which according to this theory represents you jumping to your death.

Before this part of the ride the ghosts are all trying to scare you, but afterwards they sing excitedly and invite you to party with them. (The Grim Grinnin' Ghosts song.) The only human character in the ride, a groundskeeper, appears after the balcony drop. He faces toward the riders and seems terrified of you.

[deleted]

That Football Keeps Moving Farther...

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An explanation for why Charlie Brown in Peanuts is bald is that he's dying of cancer. The whole school seems to revolve around him because they're trying to be inclusive before he kicks the bucket.

This is why he's so constantly depressed about his life and feels like a failure.

Ducknish

I'm Not Even Surprised

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My Neighbour Totoro was set in a place in Japan where there was a case of murdering of two sisters which happened in the 60s. This event took place on May 1st, while the sister's names are Satsuki (May in Japanese) and Mei (May in English). In the real life case, the younger sister was missing first and the older sister was seen to be looking for her frantically. Next day, the younger sister's body was found in the forest. The older sister was in such a state of shock and kept rambling ambiguous words about seeing a "cat monster", "great big racoon monster" etc to the police.

amazzingamanda

There are some things that sound too good to be true (spoiler alert: they usually are), but there are also plenty of things that sound too ridiculous to be true. These facts that just plain sound like lies were the subject of a recent popular AskReddit thread.

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Unbreakable. It's a miracle.

The nation fell in love with Ellie Goulding as the starry-eyed, spunky Kimmy Schmidt who began a new life in the Big Apple after spending the better part of her adult life locked underground in a bunker.

Along the way, we met (and loved) several other inhabitants of the big city, such as Titus Andromedon, our favorite performer/Times Square costume character; Lillian Kaushtupper, the eccentric landlord of Kimmy and Titus's apartment; and of course Jacqueline Voorhees, the completely out of touch rich socialite from whom Kimmy gets her first job.

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Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Hulu

The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood's searing novel, was written at the height of the Reagan administration and satirized political, social, and religious trends of the 1980s. It's also a hit television series on Hulu that returns on June 5.

While we still have a long way to go before we can find out what's next for June/Offred in the Republic of Gilead, we can, at the very least, regale you with some cool facts about one of the most enduring stories of the last three decades.

The Trailer for Season 3 Plays Off a Slogan from the Reagan Era

Perhaps the best thing that came out of the Super Bowl––aside from the memes haggling Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine, that is––was the trailer for the third season of the Hulu series.

The trailer lampoons former President Ronald Regan's 1984 "Morning in America" political campaign television commercial.

"It's morning again in America," you hear over a soundtrack and images that resound with boundless optimism. Things turn dark from there. Soon the camera freezes on Elisabeth Moss's face: "Wake up, America," she says.

Margaret Atwood's Follow-Up Will Be Released Later This Year

Margaret Atwood will release a sequel to The Handmaid's Tale titled The Testaments in September 2019. The Testaments is unconnected to Hulu's adaptation and will feature the testimonials of three female narrators from Gilead.

This literary device keeps with the metafictional epilogue that follows Offred's story in the original novel. The novel ends much in the way Season 1 ends: with Offred entering the van at Nick's insistence. The epilogue explains how the events of the novel were recorded onto cassette tapes after the beginning of what scholars have come to describe as "The Gilead Period." An interview with a noted academic implies that a more equitable society, one with full rights for women and freedom of religion restored, emerged following the collapse of the Republic of Gilead.

Serena Joy Waterford Is Likely Based On A Noted Conservative Activist

As the series goes on, we learn more about Serena Joy Waterford (Yvonne Strahovski) and her beginnings.

Serena was a conservative activist who, along with her husband Fred, spearheaded the Puritan movement that ultimately gave rise to Gilead. Inspired by women whom she perceives to have "abandoned" their families in the name of female autonomy, Serena Joy delivers impassioned speeches at venues around the nation calling for policies that would place women back in the home. She even wrote a bestselling book, A Woman's Place, that served as the vessel for much of her conservative dogma and inspired many of the Commander's Wives who become her friends and neighbors.

Serena was likely based on conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly, who established herself over many years as one of the fiercest antifeminist and anti-abortion advocates in the United States. Schlafly was also a vociferous opponent of the Equal Rights Amendment, which she considered an attack against traditional gender roles.

The 1990 Film Adaptation Had a Messy Production

A film version of The Handmaid's Tale was released in 1990. It starred Natasha Richardson as Offred, Faye Dunaway as Serena Joy, Robert Duvall as Commander Waterford, Aidan Quinn as Nick, Victoria Tennant as Aunt Lydia, and Elizabeth McGovern as Moira.

The film was not well received and had a messy production. Director Volker Schlöndorff replaced original director Karel Reisz amid internal bickering over a screenplay by Harold Pinter. Schlöndorff asked for rewrites, and Pinter, who was reluctant to do them, directed him to author Margaret Atwood, who was one of several who ended up making changes to Pinter's screenplay.

Pinter told his biographer years later [as quoted in Harold Printer, p. 304] that:

It became … a hotchpotch. The whole thing fell between several shoots. I worked with Karel Reisz on it for about a year. There are big public scenes in the story and Karel wanted to do them with thousands of people. The film company wouldn't sanction that so he withdrew. At which point Volker Schlondorff came into it as director. He wanted to work with me on the script, but I said I was absolutely exhausted. I more or less said, 'Do what you like. There's the script. Why not go back to the original author if you want to fiddle about?' He did go to the original author. And then the actors came into it. I left my name on the film because there was enough there to warrant it—just about. But it's not mine'.

Star Natasha Richardson reportedly felt "cast adrift" when much of Offred's interior monologue was sacrificed as a result of cuts made to the screenplay.

The Film and TV Series Aren't The Only Adaptations of This Seminal Work

There are several different adaptations of Atwood's seminal work, including, but not limited to:

  • an audiobook read by Homeland actress Claire Danes that won the 2013 Audie Award for Fiction
  • a concept album by Canadian band Lakes of Canada
  • a radio adaptation produced in 2000 for BBC Radio 4
  • an operatic adaptation that premiered in 2000 and was the opening production of the 2004–2005 season of the Canadian Opera Company.

Elisabeth Moss, the Star of the Hulu Series, is a Scientologist

Between The West Wing, Mad Men, Top of the Lake, and The Handmaid's Tale, Elisabeth Moss has a reputation for starring in critically acclaimed television shows.

Much has been made, however, of her casting as Offred. Moss was born into the Scientologist belief system, which the German government has classified as an "anti-constitutional sect," the French government has classified as a cult, and the American government has allowed individuals to practice freely though not without considerable contention. Moss also identifies as a feminist.

Asked by a fan about the parallels between Gilead and Scientology (namely the belief that "outside forces" are inherently "evil") Moss responded:

"That's actually not true at all about Scientology. Religious freedom and tolerance and understanding the truth and equal rights for every race, religion and creed are extremely important to me. The most important things to me probably. And so Gilead and THT hit me on a very personal level."

An Episode During Season 2 Highlighted President Donald Trump's Border Crisis

Last summer, President Donald Trump and his administration created a crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border when he and Jeff Sessions, his former attorney general, announced their "zero tolerance" family separations policy. The president blamed Democrats for the policy, imploring them to "start thinking about the people devastated by Crime coming from illegal immigration."

As images and stories of children ripped away from their parents at the border began to circulate, the Season 2 episode "The Last Ceremony" showed just how timely the show really is: After Offred is raped by the Waterfords, Commander Waterford (Joseph Fiennes) allows June/Offred (Elisabeth Moss) to visit her daughter, Hannah, in an undisclosed location. June is given 10 minutes with her daughter before a guard forcibly separates them again.

The episode, written well before the crisis was initiated, premiered just as Homeland Security admitted that more than 2,300 children had been separated from their parents.

Another Episode During Season 2 Appeared to Predict Canada-U.S. Relations

The fallout between the United States and Canada during the G7 summit appeared to have reached its peak once President Donald Trump refused to sign a joint statement with America's allies and threatened to escalate a trade war between America's neighbors. He also referred to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as "weak."

The Season 2 episode "Smart Power"––in which Canadian diplomats ban Gilead's representatives from the country and choose to stand with the women imprisoned in the totalitarian nation in a nod to the #MeToo movement––was written and premiered before the G7 blowup, but is no less prophetic.

In Season 2, Kate Bush's "This Woman's Work" Becomes an Ode to Female Resilience

"This Woman's Work," a ballad written by singer Kate Bush that is also one of the tracks on her 1989 album The Sensual World, serves as an ode to female power and resistance in the horrifying Season 2 opener, where June and the other handmaids realize they're about to be executed. The women are forced to summon strength at a moment of debilitating weakness. As the camera pans over the bleak environs of Fenway Stadium, Bush starts to sing:

Pray God you can cope
I'll stand outside
This woman's work
This woman's world
Ooooh it's hard on a man
Now his part is over
Now starts the craft of the FatherI
know you've got a little life in you left
I know you've got a lot of strength left
I know you've got a little life in you yet
I know you've got a lot of strength left
I should be crying but I just can't let it show
I should be hoping but I can't stop thinking
All the things we should've said that I never said
All the things we should have done that we never did
All the things we should have given but I didn't
Oh darling make it go
Make it go away
















"It was shattering and perfect," said Bruce Miller, who created the Hulu Handmaid's Tale adaptation. "One of the things I really like about the song is that on its face, there's a bit of very interesting lyrical play. It's nice that that's going on while you're watching."

"The Handmaid's Tale" Was the First Streamed Series to Win the Best Drama Series Emmy

Hulu beat out Netflix and Amazon to become the first streaming service to win an Emmy for Best Drama. Unfortunately, because the third season doesn't premiere until June 5, it's ineligible for the 2019 Emmys. Guess we'll see the show back onstage in 2020!

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