* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation: Pretty much endless, as befits a kids' series with adult fans.
** Bert and Ernie are a gay couple (debunked by Sesame Workshop). Spinoff rumours include a scenario where they're going to marry to teach kids tolerance, and a [[NightmareFuel horrific variant]] in which Ernie is then to get AIDS and [[BuryYourGays die graphically]], again all in the name of understanding. Ironically enough, the series did eventually add an HIV-positive Muppet — but only in its South African version.
** WordOfGod says that originally Bert was going to be the father and Ernie his son, which is why they live together. There were concerns that this would encourage kids to talk back to their parents, so the relationship was changed to make them brothers. More specifically, Bert is an older brother as perceived by his kid sibling (kind but boring), while Ernie is a younger brother (affectionate but annoying) from the elder's perspective. The writers eventually kept this vague, to allow more kinds of plots between the two.
** [[EveryoneIsJesusInPurgatory Bert and Ernie aren't adults, but a pair of preadolescent boys living an ideal boy's fantasy life, with the freedoms of adulthood but none (or few—they occasionally clean the apartment and do laundry) of the adult responsibilities. Their lack of any apparent paying jobs and constant habit of playing with toys support this interpretation. Bert's obsession with collecting fits right in with their role as the "latency period" characters in the original cast (just as Cookie Monster appears to represent the oral stage, Oscar the anal and Big Bird, age 6, the Oedipal).]] C.S. Lewis cites the characters in ''TheWindInTheWillows'' as an example of a similar trope, using animals instead of people to let them have the freedoms of both children and adults at the same time; likewise, ''Sesame Street'' uses puppets to get away with the same fantasy.
** More recently, Lefty has been perceived by some as representing a drug dealer.
* ArchivePanic: If you gave birth to a child, and immediately began watching the run of ''Sesame Street'' in succession, that child would be old enough for kindergarten by the time you were finished. That's amusing, given the show's mission and target audience.
** To date (2013) there are currently over 4,440 episodes... even Sesame Workshop supposedly has to ''hire'' people just to maintain that archive!
* AwesomeEgo: Although Grover's generally pretty personable, he often introduces himself as "cute, lovable, furry old Grover," and tends to overestimate his own {{know|NothingKnowItAll}}ledge and [[BoisterousWeakling superhero abilities]]. Of course, this is just a part of what makes him so darn endearing.
* SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic: Now has [[AwesomeMusic/SesameStreet its own page]].
* BrokenBase:
** Parents who watch ''Sesame Street'' now might be uncomfortable with the show's transition into "The Elmo Show" and the degree to which Elmo has pushed all the other Muppets into the background. Children, however, ''love'' the little red menace. Complicating matters further, it isn't just a matter of adults vs. children, as some parents have grown to love and passionately defend Elmo because he makes their kids so happy.
** If there is enough parental outcry in regard to potentially objectionable material, e.g., Music/KatyPerry wearing a revealing bridal outfit or Music/ChrisBrown beating up Music/{{Rihanna}}, it is going to get pulled. As a result of both PBS standards and trying to appeal to both kids and parents, this show manages to defy and exaggerate this trope.
* CrackPairing: A majority of fans feel this way about how Elmo and Abby, or, at the very least, find that always pairing Elmo and Abby together in a scene seemed forced, as opposed to when Elmo was usually previously paired up with Zoe.
** [[ItMakesSenseInContext It (Kinda) Makes Sense in Context]], as Zoe was pretty much conceived to be a counterpart to Elmo (especially visually, as Zoe's orange fur compliments Elmo's orange nose, and his red fur compliments her red mouth). Abby, on the other hand, the writers and producers have been desperately wanting her to achieve the same star-power Elmo has (so the show would have a prominent female Muppet for little girls to relate to), which probably explains why the two of them are almost always paired together in scenes.
* CreatorsPet: Nearly everyone's had their turn, but the two most recent are Elmo and Abby Cadabby.
* DorkAge: The "around the corner" era from 1993 to 1998 could arguably be seen as an awkward transitional period between the "old school" years and the modern incarnation of the show, with some characters and elements that weren't present either before or after. Of course, some old-school fans would argue that the show is still in a Dork Age.
* EarWorm:
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZshZp-cxKg One two three four, five, six seven eight nine, ten, eleven twelve.]]
** Rubber Duckie, you're the one! You make bath time lots of fun! Rubber Duckie, I'm awfully fond of you!
*** Bonus points if you add in the squeaks.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ye8mB6VsUHw 'C' is for Cookie, that's good enough for me!]]
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtDW8hxOrYk Have YOU got the moves?]]
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=maYnqbdo2jw Wubba-wubba-wubba-wubba WOO-WOO-WOO!]]
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KuZNSGdg2ms Beet, beet, sugar beet beet, sugar beet, sugar beet, beeeeeeet...]]
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qTIGg3I5y8 Hey, me met you. And this is crazy. But you got cookie!]] [[MemeticMutation So share it maybe?]]
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9vCaGNvgWo One, Two, Three, Four, Five; One, Two, Three, Four, Five; One, Two, Three, Fou-ur, Five.]]
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acBixR_JRuM You gotta put down the duckie! (Ba da boo da da) Put down the duckie! (Ba da boo da da) Put down the duckie if you wanna play the saxophone!! HONK! HONK!]]
** Hello, the theme song?
* EnsembleDarkhorse:
** Elmo, after Kevin Clash started performing him, so much so that he's now become a CreatorsPet to a ''lot'' of the show's older fans. Clash, on the other hand, has developed into the Derek Jeter of children's television, set with the task of training Muppeteers all over the world.
** For those who aren't [[NightmareFuel freaked out]] by them, the Martians could also qualify. YIP YIP YIP YIP YIP. UH HUH. UH HUH. YIP YIP YIP.
* FriendlyFandoms: With ''Series/TheMuppetShow''. It's pretty common for Muppet fansites to cover both shows (as well as other Henson/Muppet projects such as ''Series/FraggleRock''). There's also the tons of inter-series crossovers ''Sesame Street'' had with ''The Muppet Show'' in its first decade or so, and there's even a couple of fleeting references in 2014's ''Film/MuppetsMostWanted''.
** FandomRivalry: At the same time, some fans of ''TMS'' find it strange for ''Sesame'' fans to enjoy a show for preschoolers rather than one for all ages.
* FunnyAneurysmMoment:
** The cover of ''[[http://blog.wfmu.org/.a/6a00d83451c29169e20120a5c18144970c-800wi Monsters on the Loose!]]''.
** In [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mX0RKkUPVgY this]] 1992 clip, Elmo pretends to be an obnoxious wind-up toy. Four years later comes Tickle Me Elmo, amid other {{merchandise|Driven}}.
*** [[http://www.kctv5.com/story/20200307/former-elmo-puppeteer-kevin-clash-faces-third-underage-sex-allegation Suddenly 'Tickle Me Elmo' isn't so funny anymore.]]
** In TheMovie ''The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland'', Elmo has a poster of Tiger Woods in his bedroom. Woods' career was nearly destroyed when it was found out he was having affairs with multiple women. The career of Elmo's puppeteer, Kevin Clash, was destroyed by similar circumstances.
** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3p47bGlZuDA This clip]] has Creator/RobinWilliams explaining what is alive and what isn't, and one of the first things he says is "Am I alive?"
* GeniusBonus: Most people think Count von Count's counting obsession is just a pun on his name. It's not. A largely forgotten vampire legend holds that the best way to escape a vampire is to spill a bag of rice, sand or pebbles, because vampires, being a neurotic species, must stop whatever they're doing until they've counted every last item in a pile. ''That's'' why the Count has never killed anyone: he never runs out of things to count!
** During [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orrSp1IQV3A a promo with Entertainment Weekly]], Grover and Cookie Monster manage to work in a reference to [[http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/stage-door_Johnny stage door Johnnies]] of all things- a term which would probably be a [[ParentalBonus GRANDparental bonus]] for modern kids. (They also manage to rhyme [[SophisticatedAsHell dystopia and cookie-copia.]])
* GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff:
** Bert and Ernie are so popular in Germany that they have their own apartment on ''Sesamstraße''. Other minor characters such as Lefty the Salesman, Herry, and the Two-Headed Monster are also more popular in Deutschland than in America.
** Bob [=McGrath=] is huge in Japan, even before he was an SS cast member. Many of his albums saw an exclusive release in Japan.
** The show itself is quite popular in Japan, where it ran on NHK for many years. This was due to the fact that [[{{Woolseyism}} they left parts of the original dialogue undubbed,]] [[SurprisinglyGoodEnglish which would help Japanese children learn English better.]] In 2004, a [[MultiNationalShows Japanese co-production]] started, whose [[GratuitousEnglish questionable handling of the English language]] was [[TheyChangedItNowItSucks not well received]].
* HilariousInHindsight: Ernie's song "[[Film/{{Avatar}} I Don't Want]] [[Franchise/StarWars to Live]] [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic on the Moon]]".
** This quote from "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrJnzBFzEEY Don Music Rewrites Mary Had A Little Lamb]]"
-->'''Don''': No, I don't think that will work. Lambs aren't yellow. I mean, [[{{VideoGame/Minecraft}} who ever heard of a yellow lamb]]!?
** Count von Count being a vampire(-like) guy that loves counting is a concept on its own that will be pretty funny when you know legends of the ChineseVampire say that it can be escaped by strewing many small objects (like grains of rice) in its path that it would be compelled to stop and count.
** With Herbert's friendly demeanor and mustached, bespectacled appearance, he actually bears a strong resemblance to [[Series/TheSimpsons Ned Flanders]].
* MemeticMolester: Elmo may become this in light of [[http://observer.com/2012/11/voice-of-elmo-accused-of-child-molestation/ some unfortunate events]]. ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' had a field day with this with [[http://southpark.wikia.com/wiki/Stop_Touching_Me_Elmo#Trivia their own take on the Big Hugs Elmo doll]].
* MemeticMutation:
** "OM NOM NOM NOM", to the point of possibly being more recognizable than the Cookie Monster who originally said it.
*** Ironically, the phrase has become more associated with [[TabletopGame/{{Warhammer40000}} the Tyranids]] than with its original source.
*** This also means that ''Sesame Street'' is responsible for the term "noms" and about 1/3 of all cat macros.
** "One of these things is not like the others..."
** This desecration of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AXPnH0C9UA "The Count's Song"]]... by LemonDemon.
*** Sesame Street in general is a frequent target for "Unnessecary Censorship" videos such as the LemonDemon song above.
** ''Sezme Steet'', a violent and vulgar [[StylisticSuck poorly drawn]] parody of the series styled after ''{{Dolan}}'' comics and videos.
** Creator/NeilPatrickHarris and Elmo dancing.
*** As well as Mark Ruffalo and Murray's "Dance of Happiness."
** 'Seven! Seven memes originating from this show! Ah ha ha!'
** The facial expressions Kermit makes when Joey keeps adding the Cookie Monster into the Alphabet song. Can be viewed [[http://youtu.be/CTqCVJW2qOw?t=23s here]] and [[http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/kermit-and-joey-cookie-monster-alphabet here.]]
** Jack Black teaching the octagon has become remixed on quite a few occasions, as well as a component of many a WebAnimation/YouTubePoop.
** A particular image of Kermit making a scrunched up, annoyed face is a somewhat popular reaction image ([[http://i2.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/585/780/b8f.gif image within this GIF]]).
* MemeticPsychopath:
** Bert via the "Bert is Evil" meme.
** Elmo also gets this treatment as well as a way to vent frustration.
* NarmCharm: This is the reason why the show continues to be so popular today, even among adults. Seeing humans act alongside puppets and treating them as if they're real sounds hard to take seriously, but the puppets have so much personality and the humans go along with them so believably that you're inclined to believe it with them too. The skits are also preschool level simple so children can understand them, but it's oddly charming to watch Creator/PatrickStewart [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hA7lv1SDzno wondering "B? Or not a B?"]] or LiamNeeson [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhDJe8IP8A0 emotionally counting to 20]].
* NightmareFuel: Plenty. See [[NightmareFuel/SesameStreet this page]] for examples.
* PeripheryDemographic: Part of the reason there are so many {{Parental Bonus}}es.
** [[WordOfGod Joan Ganz Cooney once said]] that when she once checked into a hotel in TheSeventies, the manager came to her room to bring her suitcases... and to tell her that he watches ''Sesame Street'' everyday, because it's his favorite show; in fact, Cooney once said that many adults have come to her to tell her how much they enjoy the show, and that it seems most older people who watch the show do so because they dislike most of anything else on television (and especially today, who could blame 'em?).
** ''Sesame Street'' itself has such a large fanbase among teenagers and adults, that it could very well be in a league all its own if it were to ever have cons associated with it. In fact, this actually causes problems for the show itself: it's still a children's show aimed at preschoolers, and always will be; however, older fans are the vocal ones (since they have the ability to do so, especially with the advent of social media), so the people involved with making this show are always looking for ways to not lose the show's focus and goal, while at the same time, find some way(s) to cater to older and longtime fans to make them happy (Season 38 is a great example of this, because it was the first time in five years the show had an episode presented in its original magazine format, rather that the block format it adopted in 2002, and it was also the first time in nine years that the show had an episode that did ''not'' include an ''[[ShowWithinAShow Elmo's World]]'' segment during the final fifteen minutes).
* RetroactiveRecognition: Many, but probably the strangest and most surreal would be Giancarlo Esposito as Big Bird's friendly camp counselor, years before he would go on to play Gustavo Fring in ''Series/BreakingBad'', one of the most terrifying villains ever put on television.
** Among the show's earliest sketches were James Earl Jones slowly saying the alphabet and counting to ten, noted at the time as being the ones that drew the biggest responses from focus group children.
* TheScrappy: Elmo, to a lot of adult fans.
* SeasonalRot: The subject matter is up for dispute, however, a majority of fans (and some of the cast and crew) felt alienated when the "Around the Corner" era first surfaced in 1993, when the street itself was cleaned and brightened up, and extended to include a number of new locales. Another majority feel the same way starting with 2002, when the show changed from its original magazine format, and adopted a block format.
** Some old-school fans also feel that the show has indulged in too much of PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad since TheNineties. However, the show caused an uproar in its early years because of its cultural pluralism, so accusations of this are pretty baseless.
* SeinfeldIsUnfunny: Now that everybody does it, it's hard to remember that ''Sesame Street'' '''invented''' quality, research-based, curriculum-based, entertaining and educational children's TV that has an ethnically diverse cast and doesn't talk down to its audience.
* SignatureSong
** Cookie Monster has "C is for Cookie"
** Ernie has "Rubber Duckie"
** Bert has "Doin' the Pigeon"
** Oscar has "I Love Trash"
** Kermit has "It's Not Easy Being Green"
** Elmo has... "[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Elmo's Song]]"
** For non-Muppets, Bob has "The People in Your Neighborhood"
** The Count has "The Song of the Count" and "The Batty Bat"
** Grover has "Monster in the Mirror"
* {{Squick}}: When watching the Hawaii episodes, your eyes are guaranteed to burn when seeing a ''very hairy'' Mr. Hooper without his shirt.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSong: Very prevalent with most of the ParentalBonus segments, but most egregious with the "[[Music/TheBeatles Let It Be]]" AffectionateParody "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmVd9F1fW00 Letter B]]".
* TearJerker: See [[TearJerker/SesameStreet this page]] for examples.
* TheyChangedItNowItSucks: Old-time fans are not fond of the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wieWYBkSQg newer intro]].
** Most old-time fans just aren't fond of the many changes made to the show over the years in general.
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot: There was no 40th anniversary special (just a special two-DVD release of various inserts from the shows 40-year history), but shortly afterwards came ''The Best of Elmo 2'', in which Elmo helps a robot that feeds on memories. This would have made a better plot for an anniversary special.
* ToyShip: Elmo tends to be shipped with either [[DistaffCounterpart Zoe]] or [[MagicalGirl Abby]]. In fact, in his [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZHSDjtD-dg Youtube interview]], one of the unused questions shown for a split second is someone asking if he has a crush on any of them.
* [[WereStillRelevantDammit We're Still Relevant,]] [[GoshDangItToHeck Darn It]]: Pretty much inevitable given the show's age, although not nearly as bad as it could be. Here is [[http://www.sesameworkshop.org/our-blog/2012/03/27/keeping-the-abcs-relevant/ an article on the subject]].
* TheWoobie: Grover, on a kid's-TV level. He frequently pushes himself to literal exhaustion in his drive to be helpful, as when for example demonstrating concepts like "Near and Far".
* {{Woolseyism}}:
** In a Hebrew version of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1ksUY9EOVo "It Sure Is Hot"]], instead of the boy trying to talk to the girl in Spanish, he tries to talk to her [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNifIB7P1V4 in Hebrew instead.]]
** The Dutch version changes the girl to one who knows only English, and so the boy instead teaches her a little Dutch.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNczBO4fFus "C es de cebolla"]] from ''Plaza Sésamo'', a remixed version of "C Is for Cookie". Here, Pancho sings about his [[TrademarkFavoriteFood love for onions]].
** AM Muppet Carlo teaching Betty Lou the Spanish word for friend "Amigo" is flipped around for the Spanish version on ''Plaza Sesamo'' in teaching her the English word for amigo is "Friend".
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