The YouTube series “Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared” has deservingly infiltrated the watch histories and text conversations of young adults and devoted theorists. At first glance, it seems like it would have the same tone as Sesame Street or the Muppets. As you watch, the videos are not similar to these childhood favorites at all.
The series portrays two strange puppets and a peculiar masked individual who encounter various inanimate objects that suddenly come alive and chant catchy songs that teach the creatures about life. However, throughout each song the motive of the singing inanimate object changes and the mood takes a turn for the worst.
All together, there are six episodes that include a kind of story line that can only be followed by those who pay attention to what happens in each video. Although lessons of each episode circles around a lighthearted theme (creativity, time, love, healthy foods, computers, and dreams), each video ends with a sense of darkness. In the episode about creativity, a notebook comes alive and begins to sing to Yellow Guy, Red Guy, and Duck, the main characters, about how it is important to “let your creativity flow”. The episode ends with a character sprinkling glitter over a human heart and another character spelling out “death” with black ink.
Despite the fact that the series seems like a simple abundance of odd videos with even weirder endings, many believe that there is a hidden meaning beneath the layers of the catchy tunes and colorful props. Some theorists, for instance “CP Games”, believe that the characters are meant to represent the three age groups of society: a child (Yellow Guy), an adult (Red Guy), and an older individual (Duck). Others, including the Youtube channel “The Film Theorists” suggest that the series has to do with the idea that when television started to revolutionize across the United States, it ruined the concepts of freedom and imagination for people of all ages. This is represented by the recurring date June 19, 1950 in all episodes of “Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared”.
In particular, a theory that interests me follows the belief that each character represents a different part of the brain. The theorist, “YouTube Explained”, believes in the show’s correlation with the establishment of television in 1950. When the characters die, it represents the different parts of the brain as they are ruined when people are distracted by television. In one episode, there is even a diagram of the brain with different regions shaded in as the exact colors of the characters. This hints that the talented creators meant for this connection to be evident.
Overall, “Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared” follows an interesting concept. It is enjoyable for people who like catchy songs and aspire to read between the lines. The deeper you get into the videos, the more you will discover.