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!
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!
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.
That's Smurfed Up, ManGiphy
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.
Scooby Dooby DodgeGiphy
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.
The Real PrizeGiphy
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.
The Cat's Out of the BagGiphy
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'.
What's in That Fairy Dust?Giphy
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.
A Little Magic Goes A Long Way...Giphy
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.
Phoning Long DistanceGiphy
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.
"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.
Fallout: Bikini BottomGiphy
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'.
Fresh Prince of the Pearly GatesGiphy
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.
There's Always a Cynic...Giphy
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.
All Blowed UpGiphy
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.
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.
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?
Gotta Catch 'Em All!Giphy
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.
Yabba Dabba DystopiaGiphy
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.
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.
That Football Keeps Moving Farther...Giphy
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.
I'm Not Even SurprisedGiphy
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.