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Headscratchers / Don't Hug Me I'm Scared
aka: This Is It

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  • Just what does the title mean? And who’s saying it? Yellow Guy? Sure, he and the others do spend some time being scared, but none of them ever refuse hugs (or are offered any), and in fact would probably welcome one precisely due to being scared. Also, why, if one is scared, would they not want to be comforted in some way?
    • During the series, the three puppets meet teachers that appear to be friendly and helpful, but are actually evil and, sometimes, violent. The title could be interpreted as the Puppets refusing to be "hugged" (taught) by the teachers, as they know how messed up they are.
    • As noted in the Fridge page, it could also be directed at Roy, who would make the hug more scarier than it's meant to be.
  • Ever since DHMIS 2 came out, people have been referring to the puppets as Harry, Robin, and Manny, as well as the clock as Tony. Source?
    • This Troper agrees, where did these names come from? Also, why Manny? His shirt had a D on it...
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    • From what I can gather, it's just a collection of names that popped up somewhere that the fandom adopted. I haven't found any official sources stating their names.
    • Okay, because if it turns out the names are unofficial fan names, I'm going to have to make a mass edit unless I can get an official source. Otherwise, Word of God this is not.
    • It seems like a lot more fanon is being added to these entries than stuff that is actually confirmed, which needs to be fixed. As far as I can tell, none of these names are Word of God or have any source at all.
    • The name, Tony, for the clock actually was confirmed in an interview between Becky Sloan and Dazed Magazine. The other names, however, appear to be just Fanon.
    • The Notepad from the first film is also confirmed to be named Sketchbook.
  • Precisely how old are the puppets? The picture that clock points to in DHMIS 2 is dated 19/06/55. (For that matter, why do the two videos also take place on June 19? Shadow's Birthday?)
    • BEEP BOOP BEEP (also you get a thumbs up for being a MH/THAC fan)
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    • Maybe the videos take place in the The '50s or The '60s?
      • Tony references the picture as being "far behind us" so I'm not entirely certain if that could be so. Seventies, maybe? But then again all of the technology shown was post-Seventies and oh dear I've gone cross-eyed again. Worth mentioning, though, is that the Kickstarter video also has a timestamp of 19/06/55.
    • For one, consider that the supposed "correct" interpretation of time (given that Tony tried to censor it) is that it's just an illusion created by human perception. Time is... relatively unimportant. Also, everything ever has happened on June 19th. It's... time's inconsistency is, I would assume, just part of the Mind Screw.
    • With the recent release of DHMIS 4, the topic of computers ruins the theory that DHMIS takes place in the mid-50's.
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    • If you believe that the puppet trio are all children then this idea will not work at all, but there could be a chance that the date itself shows their ages: The red guy would be 19, making him a snarky teenager (See his behavior with the 'teachers'), the yellow guy would be 6, fitting for his immaturity and more dimwitted self, and the bird guy would be 55, which is more of a stretch but still could work as he wears a tweed suit and is in a rocking chair in DHMIS 2.
  • People often describe the Bird as being green, or draw him in fanart as green, but am I the only one kind of confused by this because I see him as more black-with-a-greenish-tint? Perhaps it's a case of Hair Color Dissonance, or because he's green in the Art Shift where they show the characters in CGI, but the actual puppet? If he's green, he's a lot darker green than the fandom seems to think.
    • His puppet became a brighter shade of green in the second video, which is when more people seemed to join the fandom.
  • Why do people refer to the trio as "the puppets" to distinguish them from the Object characters? Aren't the Clock and the Notepad technically puppets too?
    • Not only that, the red guy is a person in a suit and therefore not even a puppet?
      • The Kickstarter video says that DHMIS is "a show about puppets learning stuff", so the puppets/objects dichotomy is one Becky & Joe support, regardless of reasoning. As for why this dichotomy grew out in the first place, it's probably more for the sake of consistency — Red, Yellow, and Green appear in DHMIS 1 and 2 (as opposed to either or, like Sketchbook and Tony), and Memetic Mutation in the fandom has just made it easier to refer to them collectively as "the puppets" (even if Red is technically a human in a costume — it's close enough).
    • It's probably due to the fact that the teachers so far all have a clearly defined species (notepad, clock, and butterfly), while Manny and Harry are just generic "puppets" and Robin, while identifiable as a bird, doesn't appear to be any real species.
  • Why do they feed Malcolm gravel?
    • Because he's the king.
    • Because Malcolm gets angry when they don't feed him gravel. Apparently, no one wants to face his wrath.
    • Because the nut job(s) who founded the cult randomly decided it was necessary, and then brainwashed anyone else who joined into accepting it.
    • Malcolm's gotta eat too.
    • You can hear Malcolm say, "Mmm, gravel." He probably specifically asks for it. Note that he seems to be made out of stone, so there's some logic in him being nourished by stone.
    • The kid is probably still in there and wants gravel for... Some reason.
  • If the puppets lost body parts in one of the Kickstarter videos, why do they still have them in the third video? It makes sense that Red Guy missing an ear wouldn't be noticeable because of his hair/tentacles, but why does the Bird still have both his eyes, and the Yellow Puppet still has all of his fingers?
    • It's possible that #3 wasn't canon (and it was taken down anyways). It's possible that they have UnexplainedRecoveries like how they recovered from rapidly aging in DHMIS 2.
    • As of DHMIS 6, it's been revealed that none of their "deaths" were real, as they were in a simulation.
  • What's the reason behind the misspellings of certain words that come up on screen? In DHMIS 2, "wrist" flashes as "Riz D" and in DHMIS 3, "harmony" is misspelled "harmunne". Does anyone have an explanation?
    • Rule of Funny I'm almost certain.
      • Perhaps it's to show that these guys are really, really bad at teaching?
    • In episode 3, I thought it was because that part was Yellow Guy's dream, and he can't spell.
  • If love is only meant for your "Special One" in the Cult of Malcolm, how come they told Yellow Guy they loved him and that they loved each other and that they loved their stuff (Like a Pet Crab)?
    • They're hypocrites, like Sketchbook pushing her version of creativity on the puppets and Tony saying there will always be enough time, and then making them run out of time.
    • The other cultists also most likely already had a Special One, and so no longer needed to save up their love for one.
  • Who burned down Malcolm? Why does he have the Kickstarter Monster's Gas Canteen? And why did he burn down Malcolm?
    • I'd wager it's an allusion to The Wicker Man, which was also about a deranged love cult and ended with setting a religious idol on fire.
  • Was the Maggot thing stop motion?
  • What's with oats in DHMIS 4?
    • Oats are just a recurring food, like "fish everywhere" or a "chicken picnic"
    • They could symbolize ads.
  • I know it's invoking Mind Screw, but what is happening in 5? Every time Duck Guy answers the phone, he's taken out of the kitchen and into the operating room, watching the kitchen on TV, but he goes back pretty quickly. What's the link, and how does he end up on Yellow Guy's plate?
    • As always for this series, it's difficult to answer conclusively. But going by the fact that Red Guy was shown leaving a phone booth at the end, the implication may be that he was calling the other puppets to try to get them out of the show. Duck Guy thought he was in the kitchen, but he was actually in the operating room, and the phone call brought him to his senses, however briefly. He ends up on Yellow Guy's plate when the cans have succeeded in harvesting him for meat, which the Healthy Band can start feeding to Yellow Guy.
    • I don't think it was really supposed to make sense, because that was kind of the point.The fact that so much of the video is nonsense just goes to drive Duck Guy, who is usually the puppet who favors logic and tries to make sense of things, further into anxiety until he can't take it anymore. As for the phone calls themselves, the phone was probably Red Guy's warnings about what was happening to Duck Guy and Yellow Guy. When he made Duck Guy more aware of all the inherent nonsense going on around them, he unknowingly led his friend to his death.
  • Why does it appear that the main characters are missing in-universe?
  • In the interview with the site itsnicethat, why did most of Duck Guy's answers make no sense? He's usually the most logical of the three, so seeing him give such nonsensical answers seems rather confusing and out of character.
    • In light of DHMIS 6, it's possible that though Duck Guy was Killed Off for Real in DHMIS 5, the simulated world held on to remnants of his consciousness, evidenced by the line "WHERE AM I?!" in DHMIS 6. You could come to the conclusion that Roy or perhaps the simulation machine itself was trying its hardest to spit out coherent answers but being an A.I., lacked the capacity and power to do that.
    • It's a common fan theory that Duck Guy is meant to represent the elderly. Maybe he went senile, and his reappearance in episode 6 represents a rare moment of lucidity.
  • Having watched DHMIS 6... was Duck Guy a program that rebelled all this time?
    • If you're talking about how Green Guy appeared when Red Guy was pressing buttons and then turned into the solar system teacher, it also turns into Red Guy a few times. So Green Guy could be a program, but if he is then Red Guy might be a program too.
  • What does the ending of DHMIS 6 imply? The gang changes colors, it turns to June 20th, and then the sketchbook pops up. I can't really grasp what any of that meant. Please help.
    • A literal reboot where they have to go through everything again, possibly.
    • Alternatively, given that they're all now their favourite colours and the date has finally changed, it could symbolize that they're now able to move forward in life and be whatever they want to be. The fact that the room has a door which wasn't there in the first supports this.
    • Alternatively alternatively, it's showing the cycle repeating with the next generation, hence the date moving forward one. The fact that they're all the favourite colours of their predecessors indicates that the puppets are indoctrinating their children to conform to their ideas of things like creativity and love the same way Roy indoctrinated them. This is supported by the shot before Red Guy pulls the plug on Roy's machine showing Yellow Guy's appearance starting to change to look more like Roy.
    • Alternatively alternatively alternatively, it doesn't imply anything. A consistent pattern throughout the series is that the villains always want to tell everyone what to do and think, so what better way to end it than with a scene that can be interpreted any way you want? This is supported by the Bookends; they close the series by asking what your favourite idea of how to interpret the whole thing is.
    • Alternatively alternatively alternatively alternatively, the puppets' show got taken off the air and was replaced by a cheap knockoff show filled with Captain Ersatzes of the characters.
    • 19 June 1955 (the date so commonly referenced throughout the series) as well as 19 June 2016, when DHMIS 6 was released, were both Father's Day. The character who seems to control the whole show was Roy, who is Yellow Guy's father, as well as being a Dirty Old Man and generally creepy. Since June 20th is no longer Father's Day, the show is free from Roy's corrupting influence.
      • Roy's corrupting of the show is suggested heavily in Episode 5, where the kitchen is full of Roy's food products, which are all grain-based, suggesting Roy is a farmer. Almost all the Healthy Band's list of "healthy foods" are grain or dairy-based (except for aspic of course): bread, cream, pizza, and "white sauce". Of course since the band contradict themselves so much it might be a moot point in the end.
    • If you don't buy into the media theory, then you can easily interpret the story as being that everything is the imagination of Red Guy. He doesn't want to admit he's grown up and wants to mentally stay a child because becoming an adult means becoming what he sees as a boring, passionless person like all the other Red Guys he knows in the real world and you see near the end. Every episode's musical lesson is about some fear adults have: losing your creativity and becoming boring, realization of how much time in your life has passed and is now gone, the problems with finding love and how it's not as simple as you thought as a child, the internet and technology in general is changing and you're starting to feel left behind, that you need to be much more careful about what you eat now, and that your dreams may be lost. Remember that in the end Roy never actually stops him from pulling the plug, or really stops him from doing anything. You could even interpret it as him motioning towards the plug, telling Red Guy that he needs to let his childhood go. The reason there's 3 new people at the end means someone else in the world wants to stay in their childhood and it's their turn to go through all of this.
  • So what's with the "make your teeth/gums go gray" thing from Episode 5?
    • The Healthy Band have no idea what they're talking about, so they think teeth going grey is a thing that happens when you eat unhealthy food.
  • If Red Guy's random button-pressing in 6 was just an attempt to get the teachers off Yellow Guy's back, there was no reason not to stop at Duck Guy. Maybe he was trying to figure out how the machine worked?

Alternative Title(s): This Is It


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