These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
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 horrific variant in which Ernie is then to get AIDS and 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.
Word of God 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.
More recently, Lefty has been perceived by some as representing a drug dealer.
Archive Panic: 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!
Awesome Ego: Although Grover's generally pretty personable, he often introduces himself as "cute, lovable, furry old Grover," and tends to overestimate his own knowledge and superhero abilities. Of course, this is just a part of what makes him so darn endearing.
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., Katy Perry wearing a revealing bridal outfit or Chris Brown beating up 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.
Crack Pairing: 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.
Creator's Pet: Nearly everyone's had their turn, but the two most recent are Elmo and Abby Cadabby.
Dork Age: 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.
Elmo, after Kevin Clash started performing him, so much so that he's now become a Creator's Pet 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 freaked out by them, the Martians could also qualify. YIP YIP YIP YIP YIP. UH HUH. UH HUH. YIP YIP YIP.
Fan Dumb: The continued rumors that Cookie Monster is being transformed into the Veggie Monster. Despite this rumor having been debunked years ago, there are still people that are slinging it around, such as in this YouTube video. A Take That was issued: Cookie Monster, despite the name, will eat just about anything (including microphones). Watch here.
It's established on the show that Gordon is a teacher, even from the very first episode (he was originally an elementary school teacher, but was later a high school science teacher), though because don't ever actually see Gordon at work, and he doesn't mention his job too often, many casual and average viewers are not aware of this. In fact, Mad TV actually lampshaded this in one of their many Sesame Street skits, in which Gordon (Keegan Michael Key), now operating a mobile ice cream cart, remarks, "Oh, I lost my job doing whatever it was I did before..."
In The MovieThe 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.
Genius Bonus: 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!
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.
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 Chinese Vampire 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.
Elmo also gets this treatment as well as a way to vent frustration.
Narm Charm: 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 Patrick Stewartwondering "B? Or not a B?" or Liam Neesonemotionally counting to 20.
Retroactive Recognition: 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 Breaking Bad, one of the most terrifying villains ever put on television.
Seasonal Rot: 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 Political Correctness Gone Mad since The Nineties. However, the show caused an uproar in its early years because of its cultural pluralism, so accusations of this are pretty baseless.
Seinfeld Is Unfunny: Now that everybody does it, it's hard to remember that Sesame Streetinvented 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.