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This is a "Wild Mass Guess" entry, where we pull out all the sanity stops on theorizing. The regular entry on this topic is elsewhere. Please see this programme note.
Dora the Explorer
The entire series takes place in an MMORPG.
Dora and Diego (and possibly Boots) are player avatars, talking inanimate objects are NPCs and Swiper is one of the game's enemies.
  • No, Boots is a pet equip.
    • Unless there's an option to make your avatar look like a blue monkey.
  • Alternatively, Swiper is a Griefer.

Dora The Explorer is part of a criminal conspiracy to make children easier to mug as adults.
  • When children who grew up watching Dora become adults and happen to be mugged, what's the first thing they'll say? "Swiper, no swiping!" The mugger will then beat them up and take their stuff.
    • He'll tell them that they're "too late"!

The map wants to kill Dora
Why else would it always plan a path through seemingly deadly obstacles when it's always possible to go AROUND them?

The map may be hoping that Dora eventually slips up.

The map was created by Ryoga from Ranma .
Dora has passed the same troll bridge twelve times going to totally different destinations. And the maps that Map pulls up tend to look like the map Ryoga drew of how to get to the mushroom forest.

Dora is a distant relative of Ryoga.
Map is enchanted so that it will help her get to her destination. Unfortunately, Map was infested with the Hibiki's curse; thus, the simple layout of its designs.

Dora and Diego are border running.
Come on. That explains why they have to go through these 'obstacles' - they're harder, but they avoid customs. And Swiper is an American INS patrolman who's trying to catch the infamous Dora.
  • In one episode, the midway point was a wall. The viewers have to help their Spanish-speaking friend get over the wall with a ladder; we eventually discover that it's to bring new life to the relatively far-off Highest Hill. Hm, subtle...

Dora is not only a border runner, but also a drug runner.
This explains why she needs to pick up all of those little stars along the way: they are cheaply made plastic stars loaded with cocaine and marijuana. They appear to talk because Dora is taking some of her star load for herself during her tough adventure over the border.

Dora's parents are negligent to the point of insanity
  1. They send her out alone into THE JUNGLE.
  2. Her only pet is a filthy disease-ridden monkey.

Dora's parents find her childish brilliance intolerable
As evidenced by the list above.

Dora is a patient in a mental institution
This explains all of her adventures with anthropomorphic EVERYTHING set in the backdrop of a bizarre land filled with weird crap on nonsensical missions.

The show is made from clips of the child-conditioning videos from Brave New World.
Specifically, a version of Brave New World where Mexico was the country that took over the world.
  • And we let our children watch the show anyway. In forty years, if not sooner, the Brave New World itself will be upon us.
  • Not enough sex for it to be Brand New World but don't let that stop this theory. There are many other distopias the show can hail from.

Dora is being scouted for recruitment into VILE, Carmen Sandiego's organization.
Makes sense, doesn't it?

Swiper is being scouted for recruitment into VILE
He's not ready yet. But the quality of minions in Carmen Sandiego's 'verse is so pathetic that anyone willing to steal things without any real thought of personal gain is worth continual checking.

Dora is a sentient computer game protagonist driven mad by being left on for years in a house where everyone long since died.
She talks through the fourth wall, asks and answers completely inane questions, and interacts with the cursor. And there's the intro, which specifically shows the camera moving toward the computer in what appears to be an empty house.

Diego is an animal wildlife DVD that someone left in the disc drive. Dora's game is saved directly to the computer — her name is short for Computadora. Anything that happens involving their family is all backstory she or her programmer made up.
  • That fits eerily well with the Carmen Sandiego theory above, especially if it's the Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?-verse where the characters are clearly aware of being in a computer game.

Dora's world is the Rainforest version of Mario's Toadstool World
Even the stars, guys. Even the stars.

Diego grows up to be a wacky defense lawyer with a love of coffee and bizarre metaphors.
The original source of this theory is unknown. This theory was floated as a joke somewhere in either the Phoenix Wright Dressing Room or Kink Meme, and it caught on.

Swiper has a crush on Dora.
It stands to reason, given that all girls want bad boys. There must be a trope saying that boys can tease girls in this way to show their affection...

Swiper was forcibly trained into his current obsessive-compulsive state by a person who thought Dora needed a fairy tale antagonist like the wolf from Witches Abroad.
This is why he's such a kleptomaniac, but also has to give things back if Dora says "Swiper, No Swiping" three times. He was pumped up to some semblance of human-child-level knowledge — probably by whoever taught Boots to talk, but with less effectiveness in the "sentience" area. He was cadence-trained to drop whatever he's doing and run away if he hears a certain series of syllables; hence, Dora has to say it the same way every episode. His "aw, man" reaction is because he has to go run away against his will more than that he was caught in the first place. He has to steal from them, just like he has to drop it and run away if they Swiper No Swipe him properly.

Dora has some sort of connection to the Shinigami from Bleach, or at least Orihime.
Dora's ability to repel Swiper seems a lot like Orihime's shield power.

Dora and Boots are both gods who haven't found out their true potential
Think about it. They can make seemingly inanimate objects talk. They have a strange supernatural sense of hearing. They can control a strange blue arrow that can show them what they want. They can repel evil with a simple phrase. And they can make things FLOAT IN MIDAIR.

Do they want to use these powers for world domination? No! They just do what they want, not caring about the potential of these supernatural powers. Ah, the innocence of childhood...
  • Dora has the ability to distort time and reality. She's able to extend a sequence of a few seconds into several minutes just by talking long enough — especially when another character is in danger and needs immediate rescue. She is also shown to have the power of godly creation. She can pull literally anything out of her backpack, regardless of how absurd it may be. She doesn't even need the backpack; she can create any imaginable object just by asking the viewer if he/she can see that object somewhere. By performing this occult ritual, Dora summons her blue cursor servant to lead her to the object which just "coincidentally" popped into view. The things created by these supernatural powers can vary between common fruits, buildings like castles or a village, giant spaceships, and even whole galaxies! No wonder Dora's so popular in her world. Who would like to have someone like that as an enemy?
  • Subsequently, Dora is a younger version of Suzumiya Haruhi.

Dora takes place in the same world as Ni Hao, Kai-Lan.
They both have talking animal and represent ethnic minorities and teach small children bits of their language. Also, Kai-Lan will become The Sixth Ranger in The Explorer Girls's Five-Token Band since they need an Asian to complete it.

Dora's backpack is a mind-controlling A.I.
Ever wonder why she never takes it off?????'

Dora is actually The Tails Doll, and the talking objects are souls it stole
This WMG brought to you by PriffyViole.

Dora has bad eyesight or is going blind.
It explains why she can't see things that are three feet away from her. She's not treating the viewers like morons - she desperately needs their help. She goes through dangerous obstacles because the map is a bitch and wants to fuck with the blind kid. Boots is essentially her seeing eye pet, but is still rather young and untrained. Her parents are either neglecting her or let her go out because they want to be politically correct and independant.

Swiper is a kleptomaniac on parole
He's always trying to steal Dora's things, but gives up easily, out of both an effort to fight his problem and a fear of going back to jail. Dora is simply denying him his craving for theft, and doesn't try to get him sent to jail or anything due to her knowing of his problem.

Swiper is a protagonist in a point and click adventure game
This explains his kleptomania. Unfortunately, his inventory spots are filled with vendor trash so he just throws what he takes into the bushes.

Dora's simply competitive
Why does Dora always take the hardest path? She likes the challenge. Why does Swiper always do try to steal her stuff? It's a game they made up and he's just competitive as well. In real life Explorers have a good challenge too.

Everything is just a game being played by kids
The adventures aren't nearly as dangerous as they appear, it's mostly just the characters imagining stuff. Swiper is the 'bad guy' because its his favorite role in the game.

The entire series is set in Brazil
Dora is a 25 year old high Brazilian orphan, who's so high she thinks the animals talk and that her parents are still alive. Diego is a abusive drug lord who beats Dora regularly. Boots is just a rabid monkey, who a high Dora thinks is her best friend, and map is the role of paper in which she snorts various drugs with. Swiper is acutally a member of the police who is working for Diego. Swiper knows which 'bitches' to arrest depending on who are with Diego. The code phrase is 'Swiper no swiping!'
  • Then why does she talk in Spanish instead of Portuguese?
    • The Spanish is infact complete gibberish which sounds like Spanish because she is so high.
  • If you think The Capital Of Brazil Is Buenos Aires, possibly.
  • It could be a neighbouring country that speaks Spanish, like Columbia.

Swiper is the "outcast" of Dora's friends.
Why does Swiper swipe? Out of spite for being treated as an outcast. He never gets invited to anything Dora and her friends do. And she claims he's her friend just to avoid bad karma.
  • Actually he swipes in a heart-breaking case of kleptomania brought on by his family living on Blueberry Hill, where everyone else in the area trespasses on their property and steals their berries, and even yell at the foxes for trying to stop them. They've got a fence up and everything.

You can chart/map out Dora the Explorer's land
Given that every episode can be mapped out in a straight line with A->B->C format (creek -> forest -> tall mountain), if you took all the episodes and combined the shared locations from different episodes (such as the troll bridge), you should be able to create a chart of what locales you have to go through to get to other locales. No, I'm not going through all the episodes and doing this, it's just possible.

Dora will grow up to be an interrogator known to drive suspects insane.
That's the reason she is always asking questions in an unnerving way.

Dora is an Irken
  • She never takes her backpack off, it might as well be a Pak
  • She's an insane defective with bad eyesight.
  • Boots is her SIR Unit
  • Swiper is a rogue SIR Unit who randomly steals stuff

The baby fox in 'Swiper the Explorer' is actually Swiper's kid.
Hey, just because he's a thief doesn't mean he doesn't do other things. The mother, distraught by the fact that her child's father is an infamous thief, brought in a random male fox to serve as a male figure. Hence why the "father" appears at the very end of the episode; he's just playing a part.

Backpack and Map are one unit, and it is an Eldritch Abomination, and it's trying to enter our world via Dora
The only explanation for it's ability to be a sentient Bag of Holding.

Dora's bracelet is the "Heart" ring from Captain Planet
It explains why she can talk to animals, while her cousin Diego, who lives in the exact same world, can't.

Doras's world will eventually be destroyed by Ren Hoek.

Dora's family is full of genius prodigies
They let kids as young as eight explore the jungle, Daisy is in college despite only being fifteen, and they all see oddly smart.

In-universe, Dora the Explorer is a reality show.
Preston Xander of Cracked thinks Dora Marquez is "stalked by omniscient and omnipotent strangers" because from Dora's point of view, the show's Fake Interactivity implies that her "life is controlled by a powerful, ever-changing mass of strangers" who help her with her backpack and scare off thieving woodland creatures. It's at least as plausible that Dora is the star of a show like Man vs. Wild, and she's talking to her camera crew or other off-camera assistants, but their voices are edited out before broadcast for some reason. (Union requirements?)

Spanish is a Language of Magic
Which explains why Spanish can be used to command otherwise inanimate objects.

The Backpack is a TARDIS, and The Map is a Time Lord that had a crappy Regeneration
Dora's backpack, in addition to having the ability to keep things as big as ladders inside, is also seen as completely unremarkable by everyone in spite of being the only talking backpack in the world. This suggests that it is a TARDIS with a fully functional chameleon circuit. At the same time, The Map knows exactly where Dora needs to go to get what she wants, even in cases where no one really should know, like misplaced objects or things Swiper stole. This isn't because he's a good map, it's because Dora's adventures are a fixed point in time.

Related to the above - more than one regeneration of the same Time Lord is at work in Dora's life
He was originally Swiper; when her first landed near Dora, he got separated from his TARDIS, which disguised itself as a child's backpack in order to hide, but before he could reclaim it The Map, a later regeneration, got there first. Swiper never tried to steal the backpack because he didn't want to disrupt the events that would lead The Map to getting it back, so he decided to use the regeneration as a 'vacation', being mischievous and goofing around, while engaging in no real malicious behavior. Later, after getting shot in one or more hearts by a 'victim' who didn't play by the 'Swiper no swiping' rules, he regenerates as The Map, and participates in Dora's adventures from a different angle in order to do his part in maintaining the timeline before moving on.

Dora's parents are insane geneticists and created all the talking, anthropomorphic creatures that Dora interacts with
I was watching Dora with my 2 year old daughter and the episode where Dora gets Backpack for the first time aired. The parents introduce Backpack and Map and it's a little creepy. Dora takes for granted the talking books and imaginary creatures. Dora's cousin, Diego, has a talking rescue pack and deals with talking animals but doesn't have all the strangeness that Dora deals with. The first thing I thought of when watching the Backpack episode is that she and her parents are living in an 'Island of Doctor Moreau' place where Dora's parents conduct extreme genetic experiments to bring inanimate objects to life...there doesn't seem to be any real city or urbanization on the island (though people are shown to exist). Also, you hardly ever see Dora's parents. They're busy turning the local population into all the talking crap that Dora deals with on a daily basis.

The Map is the Marauder's Map.
Hence why it shows whatever area in which Dora is.

The Map and the Backpack are in a sexual relationship.
The Map goes inside of the Backpack. Aaaaaaaaaaaand now your childhood is ruined.

Dora is an Irken.
She was really sent to Earth by the Almighty Tallest to beat Zim at taking over Earth. She has a convincing human disguise and convincing robotic parents. Boots is a cleverly disguised SIR. She never takes off the backpack because it is her PAK. If she is ever not wearing the backpack, it is for no more than ten minutes because she would die if she did not have her PAK on for that long. All of her adventures were merely for reconnaissance so that she has a better idea of how to invade Earth.
Dora's Explorer GirlsWMG/Western Animation (Series)Dungeons & Dragons

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