5 Fan Theories About Cartoons That Will Ruin Your Childhood

A hundred years ago, "ruining your childhood" meant forcing you to work in a mine at age 5 or selling you to the gypsies. Now it's finding out that Shaggy is a stoner, or that Mario is hooked up on psychedelics, or that ALF was depressed and possibly suicidal. Oh, you didn't know that one? Whoops. Sorry.

We've already told you about some of the crazy (but convincing) cartoon theories on the Web, but crazy is like currency on the Internet, and among all the garbage, some strangely compelling ideas can emerge, making you rethink shows you thought you knew well. For example ...

#5. WALL-E Killed the Other Robots and Doomed the Earth

The WALL-E we know tells the heartwarming story of the destruction of Earth. When mankind goes off to travel the universe and get fat, they leave a bunch of robots behind to clean up the mountains of garbage that now cover the planet. Seven hundred years later, only one of those trash-compacting robots is left: the adorable WALL-E. He (it?) falls in love with a space-traveling robot called EVE, and together they bring the humans back home.

And then presumably have robo-children that look like dongs with wheels.

The Theory:

But wait, back up: What happened to all the other WALL-E-type robots that were left on Earth? We see their broken bodies scattered here and there -- why is WALL-E still functional when all of his brethren are broken down robo-corpses?

Easy: According to this theory from Reddit, WALL-E freaking destroyed them over a 700-year-long murder spree. That's why there's still so much garbage covering the planet after so long -- there was just one robot to clean it, and he's a psychopath.

Why It's Totally Possible:

First of all, just look at how casually WALL-E cannibalizes the parts of the deactivated units at the beginning of the movie -- he remorselessly rips the treads off of another robot to replace his own and hoards other spare parts in his trailer.

He totally poached that head from Johnny 5.

WALL-E is clearly a sentient being, capable of pain and emotion. He recognizes fellow robots as living beings (and of course falls in love with one). And yet, he doesn't appear to give the slightest fuck about desecrating the scattered corpses of his robotic kin. He's playing music from Hello, Dolly! as he tears their parts off. Apply the same thinking to human beings and picture a man who collects human body parts to wear and dance around in. Congratulations, you just imagined Buffalo Bill from The Silence of the Lambs.

"This'll really take my 'Goodbye Horses' routine to the next level."

So WALL-E is a disturbed individual. But why would he kill the other robots? Maybe, as the fan theory points out, it's because his objective and their objective weren't compatible. The entire purpose of these robots was to gather the trash and compact it -- and yet WALL-E, no doubt as a result of some fatal flaw in his programming, actually takes some of those worthless artifacts he's supposed to be destroying and keeps them to himself, just to stare at them.

They're basically his robot serial killing trophies.

Or, hell, maybe he just wanted to be able to use their parts to live forever. Either way, at the end of the movie, the humans don't even suspect that they're now stuck on a planet with a remorseless mass-murdering machine, surrounded by the grim evidence of his madness.

This is all robo-corpses.

#4. Donald Duck Suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Donald Duck started out as a generic cartoon duck, but became more and more prone to fits of pantsless rage as Disney animators realized that cartoons are lame if everyone has the same personality (it's also the reason Goofy became dumber and Mickey developed his crippling fear of intimacy). Today Donald is the fifth most published comic book character in the world, right after Wolverine, with whom he shares certain psychopathic tendencies.

And, occasionally, a hairdo.

The Theory:

The Journal of Cartoon Overanalyzations provides an alternate, yet perfectly reasonable explanation for Donald's escalating anger issues: He's suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Specifically, he came down with it after the series of shorts in which he fought the Japanese in World War II. A reasonable Donald got drafted and shipped to the Big War -- an angry shell of a duck returned.

Why It's Totally Possible:

Well, there's the fact that Donald totally has war flashbacks from time to time (seriously -- we'll get to that in a second), but let's look at his change in personality. Donald was a temperamental character from as early as his second cartoon, but at first he was only reacting to provocations and rarely tried to hurt anyone. After the war, however, he became a lot more violent and unstable. He went from just comically moving his fists when he got angry to trying to cut Chip and Dale in half with a saw.

Check out how Donald reacts to the exact same situation before and after the war: In this strip from 1938, he wakes up to find his icebox empty. His response is to set up a camera to catch the thief.

"My God, it's ... literally any duck in the city, since we're all drawn the same."

The same premise is recycled in a 1945 comic called The Icebox Robber, but this time Donald immediately flips out on his nephews.

We have no idea what that means, but it can't be good.

In order to prove that Donald is sleepwalking and stealing his own food, his terrified nephews decide to wake him up with some firecrackers. Big, big mistake. This is what happens:

Basically the same thing that happens to your grandfather after his third drink.

Holy shit, Donald is having a freaking World War II flashback, which, as the fan theory points out, is one of the symptoms of PSTD, along with anger, sleeping troubles, and pretty much every other part of his personality. We can hardly blame Donald for then trying to stab the kids, thinking they're Japanese soldiers, because he's just blinded by the rage.

Also because they are fucking annoying. Stop that "unca" shit.

Man, the war really did a number on the poor guy. But, by all means, continue pointing and laughing at this brave duck who gave his sanity for our freedom.

#3. Courage the Cowardly Dog: The Monsters Are Just People from a Dog's Point of View

Courage the Cowardly Dog stars a paradoxically named canine and his elderly owners, Eustace and Muriel. Despite literally living in "The Middle of Nowhere," Eustace's farm somehow tends to attract the attention of monsters like mummies, pirates, and giant mutant flies dressed like humans. Courage always ends up defending his masters from these creatures, without them even noticing it.

Wait, there's a mime in this show? What monster would let a child watch this?!

The Theory:

This theory from Redditor DiggaDoug492 proposes that these "monsters" are nothing more than humans as seen through Courage's warped dog senses. Courage actually lives on a normal farm; he only thinks it's in the middle of nowhere because his owners are too old and apathetic to walk him, so he simply doesn't know what's outside.

By the looks of that truck, we're guessing it's tetanus.

Why It's Totally Possible:

This theory explains why Courage's owners never seem to realize the terrible danger they're in: In reality, they're actually just watching their dumb dog running around, being terrified of the postman, or a vacuum cleaner, or whatever. Have you ever owned a dog? Those guys will lose their shit over anything.

For instance, take a look at the episode where the "monster" is a giant talking vulture who kidnaps Muriel. It's then revealed that the vulture only did that so that Muriel could watch over the vulture's children so she could go to Florida to meet her potential husband, which, judging by her stereotypical accent, she probably met on JDate. The conclusion is obvious: Muriel was simply babysitting for her neighbor, and Courage, being a big idiot, imagined she was grabbed by a giant bird.

That's kinda racist, Courage.

Further evidence that Courage is imagining everything is in the fact that, in the very first episode, old man Eustace actually transforms into a chicken, tries to eat Muriel, and then gets vaporized by a ray gun, only to come back the next episode with no memory of the incident. Who knows what happened in reality -- maybe he just sneezed and Courage's doggy imagination took it from there.

It's his way of rationalizing the turd he left on the floor.

Also, every time Eustace wants to teach Courage a lesson, he whips out a giant green mask to scare him. Who does that? It's pretty obvious that the "giant mask" is actually a rolled up newspaper or a stick. Can't say we blame the guy.

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