6 Insane (But Convincing) Fan Theories About Kids' Cartoons

#3. The Tick Is a Sick Kid's Fantasy

Cult comic/cartoon/live-action show The Tick is, in essence, a way for creator Ben Edlund to parody every single superhero story ever. The Tick is a big, invincible man-child. His sidekick, Arthur, is an accountant who made a flight suit. Their occasional cohorts, Die Fledermaus and American Maid, are a sleazeball and probably the only competent person around, respectively, and together they fight bizarre enemies, like a guy whose face is a chair.

The Theory:

But what if the parody went deeper? An anonymous fan theory proposes just that: Instead of The Tick being about grown writers aping comic books, it's a little kid with a devastating illness doing the same.

Because Saturday morning cartoons really needed more terminally ill children to help balance the mood.

Why It's Not That Crazy:

The Tick's bizarre world suddenly starts making a whole lot more sense if you imagine that everything in it is based on the stuff a little boy stuck in a bed sees around him. Let's look at some of the Tick's enemies. The Idea Men are a bunch of identical, faceless bad guys, almost like a bunch of crappy action figures you're stuck playing with:

Every kid experienced that sad birthday when you got five Foot Soldiers and no Donatellos.

Plant-based villain El Seed could be inspired by the only sight the kid sees from his bedroom window, the plants in his neighbor's garden:

This also explains his henchman, Marijuano.

And we'll let you guess what Chairface Chippendale represents:

That's right, a table.

According to the theory, this hypothetical child received a blood-borne illness from a tick, and as such he assigns impressive and potentially destructive superpowers to a character of the same name, who also shares his childish and dependent demeanor.

Meanwhile, Arthur represents the boy's divorced father -- the fact that he's an accountant flying around in a white suit shows how little the kid knows about what his dad's job entails. American Maid stands for his mother who, again, seems to be the only character who knows what she's doing. And despite being overly sexualized, the Tick never shows the slightest interest in American Maid, because, you know, that'd be creepy.

This also explains why she keeps saying "Tell that dickless slob Arthur he's late this month."

Finally, Die Fledermaus is his dopey stepfather who tries to connect with him and repeatedly fails. So there you go: The Tick is about a sick child and you should feel ashamed for laughing at it. If you think that theory is too sad, you should probably skip the next one ...

#2. Ed, Edd and Eddy Are Dead

Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy was one of Cartoon Network's original programs created back in the late '90s. It's a pretty simple, wholesome show about three kids (all named some variation of Edward) who ... really, they just spend a lot of time trying to scam the other kids on their block. They're kind of assholes. OK, so maybe it's not so wholesome.

The rest of the time they spend on other common teenager activities.

The Theory:

You know what else isn't wholesome? Dead kids. This theory proposes that all the children on the show are actually dead, and the neighborhood they live in is purgatory. But then again, they said the same thing about Lost and it turned out to be bullshit (mostly).

Why It's Not That Crazy:

For one thing, some of these kids already look like they're dead: Pretty much everyone in this neighborhood has weird skin tones or odd-colored tongues, like corpses might have.

More like Dead, Deadd and Dea- no?

But then there's the fact that there are no adults in the show: They're mentioned, but never seen. You do see vague silhouettes of adults on a few occasions, but they never move (yeah, that's not creepy or anything). The closest thing to an adult we ever see is Eddy's older brother, whom they meet the only time in the entire show's history when they leave their neighborhood/purgatory. However, the guy turns out to be a complete piece of shit, meaning that it's totally feasible that they were simply visiting him in hell.

He lives in the circle reserved for goatee sporters.

This would also explain why the setting of the show is so hard to pinpoint: In one episode, the kids are seen using a typewriter, despite having been shown using a computer in another, and they seem to know what a cassette tape is, unlike most teens of the 2000s. The theory holds that this is because each one came from a different period in American history:


Rolf, the weird kid with the inexplicable Eastern European accent, died in the early 1900s in a farming accident. Johnny, the one whose best friend is a plank, comes from the 1920s, when owning a piece of wood with a face painted on it made you the most popular kid on the block. Jimmy, the sickly kid with yellowish skin, died of leukemia in the 2000s, and so on.

The theory also alleges that there's one set of characters who aren't dead, but not alive either. The antagonistic Kanker sisters, who frequently abuse and berate all the other kids on the show, are actually demons placed in purgatory to torture them. Coincidentally, they are the only regular characters who have pink tongues ... just like non-dead people do.

#1. The Genie from Aladdin Is Actually the Merchant from the First Scene

Disney's Aladdin, on the off chance that you don't live in 1993 and haven't seen it recently, starts with a lonely merchant roaming through the desert on a camel before arriving at the city of Agrabah and telling us the story of Aladdin's magic lamp, but not before trying to sell the young audience a hookah.

Not that kind, sadly.

Then the actual movie starts, and we see Aladdin finding the magic lamp and making his three wishes, the last of which is to free the wish-granting Genie himself, who goes off to see the world.

The Theory:

The merchant is the same person as the Genie. After the Genie gets freed, he becomes a peddler who travels across the land, selling stuff while retelling the incredible tale that led to his freedom. But that's crazy talk, right?

Why It's Not That Crazy:

First, let's take a look at both characters:

Blue clothes? Check. Red band around the waist? Check. Bushy eyebrows and a beard ending in a curl? Double check. If that's not enough for you, how about the fact that they are the only two characters in the movie who only have four fingers? Oh, and they both just happen to be voiced by Robin Williams.

Think about it: Leaving aside the straight-to-video sequels for a moment, nothing in the actual movie says that the Genie will get to keep his powers after being freed. Why should he? The last time we see him, he's flying off into the sky, but who says he didn't run out of power two seconds later and come crashing down into the desert, powerless and mortal?

Also, the last time we see the now-useless lamp is in the scene at the end when the Genie grabs it and gives it to Aladdin to test if it still works ...

"Just wanna make sure I really am free before telling you to suck it."

... then he shakes Aladdin's hands with his giant blue mitts, and the next moment, Aladdin no longer has the lamp.


So if the Genie still had the lamp, how did it end up in some peddler's hands? The answer, of course, is that they're the same person, and now he uses the lamp as an excuse to tell people about his old adventures, never mentioning that he was once a mighty Genie instead of some lonely salesman, because that's just a bummer.

Or maybe he just made everything up to get you to buy stuff, and the movie is a metaphor for Disney.

For more from Ashe, check out Weird Shit Blog and The Ashe Can.

For more ridiculous theories that are actually really awesome, check out 6 Insane Fan Theories That Actually Make Great Movies Better. Or check out The 8 Greatest Eddie Murphy Movies of All Time.

If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out The 4 Most Creative Ways People Used Loopholes to Get Rich.

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