5 Kids' TV Shows That Would Have Caused the Apocalypse
Taking over the world is hard, which is probably why nobody's ever done it. Alexander the Great came close, as did King and Queen British the Xth, but nobody has ever had 100 percent of the population quaking with fear over the Light of Judgment because they got lippy with the wrong guard.
But you know who could conquer us all? The stars of toddler TV. Their shows aren't just bright colors, soothing sounds, and whimsical innocence -- many contain unstoppable, badass tools of war that, if commandeered by the right terrible person, would quickly bring billions to their knees. Right now, they're being wasted on teaching babies how to count. But one day, they just might cause history's largest body count ...
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse's Toodles and Mousekadoer
The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse universe is what would happen if Big Brother took over and was adorable. Mickey and his band of merry second bananas have every single insignificant problem of theirs (Donald has hiccups, oh no! Mickey sucks at hide and seek, double oh no!) solved by the Mousekadoer, an omnipresent supercomputer that sees into the future, knows every tool that the gang will eventually need to solve their problem, and generates them all with no prompting beyond Mickey dancing for its amusement.
"Aw-haw, gee fellas, ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn, ha-HA."
Helpless Mickey and friends summon Toodles, a flying extension of the Mousekadoer with every preordained tool at the ready. If Mickey needs a rope for mountain climbing or punishing Minnie for being a naughty rodent, Toodles had it ready to go for hours. If no tools work, selecting the Mystery Tool will reveal the correct answer 100 percent of the time. The Mousekadoer knows literally everything. It probably even knows how Goofy dies.
"You have selected 'gored to a goofcake and left to gasp his final painful breath all alone,' just as it was foretold."
Imagine this all-knowing, all-supplying machine in the hands of a megalomaniacal psychopath. With a Mousekadoer, you would always -- with no effort on your end -- be as many steps ahead of your opponent as you need to be. Let's say an army approaches with tanks and rockets and fighter jets at the ready, because you've long since Toodle'd yourself to a nasty reputation. Simply summon the perky little guy, select "hydrodgen bomb," and watch gleefully as everybody within 10 miles immediately burns to a radioactive crisp.
Don't forget to select the Mystery Tool right after, which will absolutely be a hazmat suit because the Mousekadoer hath foretold the destruction and knows its master will require immediate protection.
All your gods are dead, and you'll never regain faith
The only limitation of a Mousekadoer is that Toodles doesn't pop in and tell you when it's "tool time," because free will. So it's on you to survive the enemy onslaught by your lonesome. Once you hit a roadblock and nothing in your arsenal will help you continue, then you summon Toodles. Select whatever you need to continue your humanicide, and if you didn't blow all your tools too early, you'll have billions of pitiful servants weeping under your thumb in no time.
Martha Speaks' Alphabet Soup
Martha Speaks is about a dog named Martha, who speaks. Somebody at PBS was really burning the midnight oil when drumming up that name.
Martha didn't learn to talk from magic, a gypsy curse, or even a machine, but from food. She ate a bowl of alphabet soup, and for reasons never explained aside from "shut up," the noodles invaded her brain and taught her to speak perfect English. Her family responds to this world-changing miracle by doing jack shit about it, because didn't we just tell you to shut up? Just shut up already.
That's some hot noodle-on-noodle action.
We've been fantasizing about talking animals for a long time, and if you can turn this dream into reality with a $1 can of Campbell's soup, you'd be unstoppable. Simply concoct a secret formula for turning animal speak into human speak (that's on you -- I'm more of an idea evil genius), cook up a big pot of alphabet soup, mix in your formula, feed it to your dog, and get to gabbing. Hopefully they have something to say.
"Hi. Hey, food. Hi, food. Food, hey, where you going? Hi. Oh Lord, not the duct tape. Hi, food. Hey, mmf mmf."
But don't make the same mistake the show did and let one nice doggie bogart all the yakking. Perfect your animal-talking recipe to the point where every species, including dangerous ones like bears and tigers and king cobras, can chow down and speak your language, and then -- this is the the tricky part -- convert them to your cause. Convincing the deadliest of species that every human but you is why the world is so terrible might not be easy. But if you have the confidence and magnetic charisma to pull it off, then all the villains who have wantonly destroyed the planet for so long will soon fall. Every naked monkey on Earth will then live out its days as slaves to both you and the animal kingdom. The fur-clothed monkeys will especially embrace this brave new world.
"Face-ripping is my business. And business is good."
I don't care how prepared the armies of the world think they are -- against scores and scores of giant, muscular, poisonous, pissed-the-hell-off carnivorous maniacs who know exactly what they're doing and why they're doing it, civilization is getting blown up fast, no matter how much we damn our new masters to hell.
Super Why's Why Writer
Maybe you're not one to just bomb everyone into oblivion and lord over the remains. What if you, like so many cliche sports-spewers before you, believe that defense wins the game? Well, Super Why has just the weapon of mass destruction for you: the Why Writer.
More powerful than a billion sticks and stones.
Wielded by a knee-high superhero named Super Why (real name Whyatt, much to the delight of his sister, Jubilation Lee and his aunt, Harleen Quinzel), the Why Writer can change the words (and story) of any book to whatever the hell its master wants. Because he's a children's hero and therefore a wicked nice kid, Super Why uses his power solely to help classic book characters get out of author-ordained jams. So no longer does Little Red Riding Hood get eaten by the Big Bad Wolf -- suddenly he's the Small Good Wolf who only munches kibble probably.
"You might want to fly over to the next page and find a substitute for 'grandma poop' though."
For dastardly villains with total collapse of civilization on their mind, the Why Writer would be the perfect way to do so without risking too much life and limb in the process. Simply hire spies to gather as many secret memos, military launch codes, and blueprints for weapons as possible, and use the Why Writer to change them to the point of uselessness. Over time, the world's governments will become equally useless, as nobody will know what to do anymore. They'll follow the wrong instructions, input the wrong codes, create malfunctioning weaponry, and be ripe for a hostile takeover from one of the few people left who actually knows what they're doing.
"Rote, by-the-book, mindless button pressing, why hath thou forsaken me?!"
What you don't want to do is turn your ill-gotten government booty into a wacky clown show. Though tempting, don't replace numbers with hieroglyphics. Don't change the names of secret locations and meeting places to that of your favorite Pokemon. Your enemies will notice, track you down, and beat you dead. The trick is to make your changes look like actual information, so nobody catches on until everything they know and love has disintegrated to anarchy, chaos, madness, and finally nothingness.
Or you could just save Humpty Dumpty from cracking open and send your kid to bed happy for once. Your call.
The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That's Thinga-ma-jigger
The Thinga-ma-jigger was clearly inspired by that annoying kid down the street who gives himself a new power every five minutes when pretending to be a superhero. In just about every episode of The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!, the Cat in the Hat's favorite machine sprouts a new, amazing ability that conveniently ties into the plot. If he needs to shrink, the machine can shrink. If he needs to fly, it can fly. If he has to shoot to space, dive underwater, tour a beehive, or disrupt Thing 2's internal organs, the Thinga-ma-jigger can do that too.
They enter through the back door in the director's cut.
As you might expect, the Cat doesn't use this literal god in a machine for anything aside from helping a couple kids learn about science and nature because teachers are too focused on standardized testing to bother -- as opposed to what you could do with it: infiltrate anything, anywhere, and cause untold levels of destruction.
You'll just have to slightly tweak the premise, since constantly size-shifting your body probably isn't good for your health. But size-shifting machines? That's absolutely possible. Our eggheadiest eggheads are already hard at work on it, experimenting with vehicles that would shrink or enlarge, depending on the needs of its owner.
"Micropenis, huh? You'll want to keep your dial permanently set to 'Power Ranger Monster.'"
Combine that with the powers of a remote-controlled drone, and you'd have the ultimate war machine. Even if it can't attack and kill, it could still shrink down, sneak into locked-down buildings, and gather important information for you. When driving or flying it, a simple button press can make it grow rockets (something the Cat's machine does because yes) and zoom away at the first sign of trouble. And once you make it to your destination, you can George Jetson your Thinga-ma-jigger until it fits in your wallet, ensuring nobody knows you're there.
Best of all: If you're feeling bloodthirsty, simply pilot your nano-sized Thinga-ma-jigger into your enemy's body through whatever hole you like. Then, when it's safely inside, push the button to go full-size and trigger a gruesome, guts-spewing Mortal Kombat fatality that would make even the Troma people never want to eat again. Just like that, one less enemy in your way of world domination.
And it's way more satisfying than showing a schoolboy how octopuses eat.
Dora the Explorer's Star Pocket
It's not easy traveling the world alone as a 2-year-old. So Dora Marquez's (don't ever accuse me of not researching this shit if I actually know her last name) grandmother bequeathed her the star pocket, which can attract friendly stars -- each with the Smurfy ability to do one thing: assist her throughout her adventures. Yep. Stars.
"Eat my monkey's balls, NASA."
How about a slight tweak to whatever it is that's attracting these stars and instead make it an alien pocket? All the contraptions I've discussed are wonderful, but they sadly suffer from the severe limitation of being earthbound. A Mousekadoer couldn't tell you what's about to happen on Mars (spoiler alert: nothing), a Why Writer would have no clue what to do with alienoid hieroglyphics, even I'm not dumb enough to think we could send a real-life Thinga-ma-jigger into space, and the only speech likely to emanate from a non-earthling eating alphabet soup would be the pained gurgle of death.
But an alien pocket would solve all those issues by summoning creatures from beyond down to here, where they can do the most damage. Just make sure whatever message your pocket sends them includes orders to pack as much destructive technology as possible. After that, provided your pocket summoned a mean-enough race, the rest of your mission is pure autopilot. Sit back, put on some tunes, and let your brand-new buddies do all the apocalypting for you.
"Unlike certain people, we didn't need a map."
True, there's always the possibility that you accidentally summon an alien race that can't breathe oxygen or who drops dead after first contact with water. That's OK -- simply go back into hiding (you're an insane evil despot, so you better have a decent hideout) and try, try again. There are trillions and trillions of planets out there -- one of them is bound to house a race of advanced genocidal soldiers that can handle Earth's atmosphere long enough for you to sit on a throne made out of the bones of your enemies and declare yourself Overlord of All You See.
Or, if you're a total nihilist who simply wants to erase all existence forever, just go the literal route and catch yourself a star.
For more from Jason, check out 4 Children's Books That Will Unintentionally Scar Your Kids and The 5 Most Wasted Opportunities in Video Game History.
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