Have you ever watched an episode of one of your favorite cartoons from childhood as an adult and noticed some strange things you somehow missed as a kid? Maybe there’s a cartoon you watch today that, at the end of each episode, leaves you with more questions than answers. You’re not alone. In fact, many cartoon fans take their intrigue even further and try to concoct crazy, sometimes spooky conspiracy theories about their favorite characters that often (and creepily) make a bit of sense when you think about them long enough.
I’ve heard all kinds of colorful stories about cartoon conspiracies from a wide range of sources, and some of them are just too far fetched to be true. From all of the younger Rugrats just being figments of Angelica’s imagination to Arnold from Hey Arnold‘s grandparents being his real parents. Like I said, far fetched. However, a few of them make so much sense that it’s difficult not to at least think twice about whether they might actually be true. In this piece we’ll focus on three specific shows that have some pretty believable fan theories. SpongeBob SquarePants, The Simpsons, and Rick and Morty.
1) SpongeBob SquarePants
Ah, SpongeBob. A show that’s name alone conjures feelings of joy in millions of kids and kids at heart around the world. But is there more to this silly sea sponge than just a minimum wage job and an inability to properly drive a boatmobile? Some would say yes. In fact, I would myself have a hard time denying the strong evidence of not only one, but multiple theories regarding this particular show. The first, and most popular theory I’ve heard about the SpongeBob world is that each of the show’s seven main characters represent one of the seven deadly sins.
– SpongeBob, with his overenthusiastic joy for anything and everything, supposedly represents lust.
– His best friend, Patrick Star, represents sloth as he’s always seen laying around, not doing much.
– Sandy, their inexplicable squirrel friend, represents pride because she’s always bragging about her home in Texas.
– SpongeBob’s boss and owner of the Krusty Krab, Mr. Krabs, represents greed. Always quick to make or save a dollar. He can even hear a penny drop from across a crowded restaurant.
– SpongeBob’s pet snail, Gary, represents gluttony. Most times he’s seen he’s either eating, asking to be fed, or trying to get the cookie out of Patrick’s pocket.
– SpongeBob’s next door neighbor, Squidward Tentacles, represents wrath. Whether it’s being too loud or being too needy, he’s always angry at SpongeBob for something.
– Last but not least is arch nemesis of Mr. Crabs, Plankton. Plankton represents envy. He is extremely jealous of Mr. Crabs’ success. Maybe he might have better luck with fish customers if his restaurant weren’t named “The Chum Bucket.”
Makes sense to me.
Okay, so this one’s not a “theory” because Nickelodeon themselves confirmed it. (How cool!?) SpongeBob and the rest of the Bikini Bottom crew are all nuclear humanoid sea mutants. Yeah. Let that sink in. See what I did there? This one actually makes perfect sense. History buffs will recall Bikini Atoll, an area in the Marshall Islands where the U.S. military tested 23 nuclear weapons between 1946 and 1958. (One for each island in the area.) That explains not only why the creatures have developed arms and legs, but also why Sandy lives under the sea even though she’s a squirrel. It also explains why the show frequently cuts to shots of nuclear explosions, and why the video games were scattered with bomb shells on the ocean floor.
Here are just a few extra fun facts about SpongeBob! First, we all remember the singing pirate in the opening sequence. Did you know that his weird looking, moving human lips are actually those of show creator, Stephen Hillenburg? Also, the show was originally going to be called “SpongeBoy Ahoy.” It wasn’t until they realized that SpongeBoy was already trademarked by a mop company that SpongeBob got the name we all know and love, that was based on a comic strip character by Hillenburg named “Bob the Sponge“. Whether or not you believe the seven deadly sins theory, I think we can all agree that SpongeBob was a pretty great show.
2) The Simpsons
It’s no secret that fans of The Simpsons are loyal. Some of there oh so loyal fans recently started noticing some strange coincidences between episodes of The Simpsons and real life. Could it be? Could the Simpsons creator Matt Groening and the show’s writing staff be accurately predicting events in the future? Crazy, right? Maybe not. There are more than enough examples of Simpsons predictions that have, oddly enough, actually come true.
One notable example is the 2015 FIFA corruption scandal they predicted in a March 2014 episode titled “You Don’t Have to Live Like a Referee.” Some others are the Lady Gaga flying wire Superbowl Halftime show, the Sigfried and Roy tiger attack, and Disney absorbing 20th Century Fox. Also, who could forget the horse meat scandal, the nuclear mutant three eyed fish or the multi million dollar stolen grease incident.
These are all accurate predictions, but as unbelievable as they may seem, there’s one more accurate prediction that tops the rest. Donald Trump becoming President. That’s right, in a 2000 episode titled “Bart To The Future” there is a scene in which Lisa Simpson (oddly enough, looking pretty similar to present day Hillary Clinton) is President and asks one of her advisors how bad the economy is doing since she took over after President Trump. Needless to say, it didn’t look good. Pretty spooky when you consider that episode aired eighteen years ago.
3) Rick and Morty
Here we go. With it’s sci-fi story line full of portals to alternate dimensions and infinite possibilities, Rick and Morty is the perfect type of show for super fans to develop an entire universe of their own conspiracy theories. That being said, I only have so much time, so I’m just going to list the ones that caught my attention the most.
– The Gravity Falls connection. Gravity Falls has a character named Stanford Pines that travels through a portal similar to the one created by Rick’s portal gun. In the closing bit of Gravity Falls episode “Society of the Blind Eye”, Stanford accidentally drops three items through his portal. A pen, a notebook, and a coffee mug with a question mark on it. In the Rick and Morty episode “Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind” Rick opens up a series of portals, one of which happens to spit out the same pen, notebook and coffee mug dropped by Stanford.
– Rick’s Morty is not his original Morty. Fans theorize that the Morty we see on adventures with Rick throughout the series is not actually his original Morty. According to this theory, he abandoned his original Morty as seen in the title song sequence of the pilot episode where Rick and Morty are both running from giant frog monsters. Rick jumps through a portal, leaving Morty to fight off the frog creatures himself. Some fans have even gone as far as to suggest that the original, abandoned Morty successfully fought the frogs off and went on to become evil Morty that we first encounter in the episode “The Ricklantis Mixup.”
– Rick Is Always on Mega Seeds. This one makes sense to me. In the pilot episode, Rick needs Morty’s help harvesting and smuggling Mega Seeds. In fact, he asks Morty to hide them “way up inside” his butt to get them through customs. Here is where we get the first clue that he uses Mega Seeds regularly. Morty asks why he has to put the seeds in his butt and Rick tells him that he’s done it too many times, so the seeds would just fall right out. So we know he at least harvests the seeds on a regular basis. The theory is that he turns them into some type of extract which he can be seen drinking out of his flask regularly throughout the show. One reason I believe this theory is that Rick seems to know exactly when the hyper intelligence side effect of the seeds will wear off for Morty. Also, when the effects finally do wear off, Morty falls to the ground and drool can be seen coming out of his mouth that looks strikingly similar to the drool that Rick has on his chin in almost every scene in the show.
– Different Rick and Morty. This one is pretty interesting. It goes like this. In the episode titled “Mortynight Run” Rick and Morty head to a deep space arcade called Blips and Chitz after dropping Jerry off at a daycare built specifically for Ricks and Mortys to leave their respective Jerrys when going on adventures. While at Blips and Chitz, Morty takes off to go stop an alien hitman and Rick follows to keep him safe. Later in the episode, they go back to the daycare to pick up their Jerry. While there, they run into another Rick and Morty who say that they spent their entire day at Blips and Chitz. This caused fans to believe that the whole adventure of stopping the hitman, saving his gasious target, and eventually killing him anyway was actually a different Rick and Morty altogether, and that Rick and Morty C-137 (the ones we know) were the ones who spent the whole day at Blips and Chitz after all.
– Rick knows he’s a cartoon character. This one seems strange, but hear me out. Rick is known for breaking the fourth wall on many occasions. He says things like “That’s the end of season one.” and “That’s my new catch phrase.” For this reason, some fans believe that Rick is so intelligent, he has actually figured out that he is the star of a cartoon series. I mean, sure. He has mentioned the fact that there are infinite timelines with infinite possibilities, so that would mean that in at least one of those timelines, he’s the star of a cartoon television show. This may be why he’s so depressed, being that as a cartoon character, he doesn’t truly have free will, so nothing really matters. It would certainly explain his drinking problem and possible Mega Seed addiction. Another reason people believe this theory is that in the credits gag of the season two finale, Mr. Poopy Butthole can be seen sitting in a recliner, watching the same credits of the same finale on his own TV.
Well, there it is. My official list of fan theories that really got me thinking. These ideas are fun to toss around, and a lot of them actually make a bit too much sense for me to completely write off as untrue. (At least for now) What do you think? Do SpongeBob and his friends represent the seven deadly sins? Are The Simpsons actually predicting the future? Are Rick and Morty really who we think they are? Which fan theory got you thinking the most?
By Bill L. Wallis