Follow TV Tropes


Series / Elmo's World

Go To

Guess what Elmo's thinking about today! YA-TA-TA-TAAAAAA! That's right! Elmo's thinking about the tropes in Elmo's show!

Elmo's World is a show-within-a-show that was featured at the tail end of each Sesame Street episode from 1998 to 2012. Elmo's World segments were produced from 1998 to 2009, and were aired on new Sesame Street episodes up until the 2012-13 season, when it was replaced by "Elmo: The Musical". However, a retooled version of the show was introduced in 2016, with new songs replacing the old ones, a shorter length and the addition of a talking smartphone named Smartie. Recuts of the original episodes are also shown in addition to new ones.


The Elmo's World segment focuses on one subject throughout its 10-minute course, and numerous skits, anecdotes, puns and other gags all center on that subject. The routine is almost entirely rigid, so it's only proper that the tropes start off with...

  • Once an Episode:
    • The theme song kicks everything off, of course. "Lala, lala... lala, lala... Elmo's World..."
    • Elmo reveals the subject of the day (hereinafter referred to as "Subject X").
    • A 30-second clip montage relating to Subject X is shown.
    • "Dorothy's been thinking about (Subject X) too!" Elmo says as a small model pertaining to Subject X is shown inside Dorothy's fishbowl.
    • "Dorothy has a question: How do you (do something involving Subject X)"? First, Elmo asks Mr. Noodle, who tries, in a very slapstick manner, to do it.
    • Next, a few kids demonstrate how it's done.
    • Advertisement:
    • Finally, Elmo wants to ask a baby. Elmo goes over to the baby and asks him/her how to (do something involving Subject X), who more often than not does nothing in response.
    • "And now, Elmo has a question foooo-o-o-o-o-o-or YOU!" ...and it's a counting quiz involving Subject X.
    • An animated computer may prance in at this point and declare that "Elmo has mail!" Elmo then reads an e-mail from one of his Muppet friends.
      • Or, as it happened in the beginning of the show's run, Elmo could show a film that he created with one of his Muppet friends, filmed with a miniature camera.
    • An animated end table (named "Drawer") then tosses out a "do random things have/do Subject X" quiz. Almost always a birthday cake and a random Sesame Street character are involved.
    • Next is a slice-of-life segment where a child did something related to Subject X, and that child "told Elmo all about it!"
    • Advertisement:
    • Elmo then wants to find out more about Subject X; at that point, an animated television saunters in so Elmo can watch "The (Subject X) Channel" and a short animated segment. (Many a time it's "The Boy/Girl Who Loved (Subject X).")
    • How can Elmo find out even MORE about Subject X? In comes a Muppet related to Subject X for a discussion.
    • The discussion is interrupted by Dorothy imagining Elmo in a situation involving Subject X. In this segment, Elmo may take on the form of any animal, nationality or profession.
    • Finally, everyone sings "The (Subject X) Song", which is the name of Subject X sung over and over to the tune of "Jingle Bells".

What are some other tropes appearing in Elmo's World? Oh, good question, Dorothy!

  • Affectionate Parody: Cookie Monster did a sendup called "Cookie World" in one Sesame Street episode.
  • Animate Inanimate Objects: The door, the window shade, the TV, the computer and the one-drawer end table (a.k.a. "Drawer").
    • The segment also features Muppet guest speakers who are often objects that correlate to the topic of the episode, like a birthday cake for the "Birthdays" episode or a camera for the "Cameras" episode. You get the idea.
  • Art Evolution: The animation has vastly improved in later episodes and is more lively and colorful.
  • Artistic License – Animal Care: Fishbowls areen't held to be very good for fish.
    • In "Happy Holidays," Elmo brings her out into snowy weather, which probably would have frozen her in real life.
  • Author Appeal: When Kevin Clash was in charge of Elmo and the show, Elmo would periodically get involved in things like basketball, rap, and African dance to remind us that yes, there was a black man under there.
  • Babies Make Everything Better: "Elmo wants to ask a baby!" One episode even had babies as its subject.
  • Busby Berkeley Number: During the "Penguins" episode.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Elmo, of course, along with his neighbor Mr. Noodle.
  • Coincidental Broadcast:
    • Elmo's TV just happens to be tuned to the channel of whatever Elmo's thinking about. (Examples: "The Teeth Channel", "The Building Things Channel", "The Frog Channel" and yes, "The Weather Channel".)
    • On the episode about skin, the TV shows the "All About Skin Channel". Evidently "The Skin Channel" sounded too porno-ish for a children's TV show.
  • Didn't Think This Through: When asked by Elmo how to do something, Mr. Noodle sometimes jumps right into an answer without comprehending it first. "No, try again, Mr. Noodle!"
  • Door Roulette: What's Elmo thinking about today? Most often after pontificating this, he'll go to the door behind him, open it... and either get run over by Muppet animals or people, have a wall of objects fall on him, or be confronted by a random snippet of video.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Yes, there's a "dinosaur" episode.
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: As well as one entirely devoted to penguins.
  • Excited Kids' Show Host: Elmo.
  • The Fool: Mr. Noodle, who has no idea of how to perform a simple task, and has to be guided by Elmo to get it done correctly.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: The subject: Balls. Take your pick. And this is the very first episode.
    • Subverted at the end when Elmo's "ball song" repeats the singular "ball" over and over.
  • Jerkass (as Jerkass as it can be in a preschooler-oriented program, anyway): The Drawer likes to knock Elmo down in the process of getting out the photo quiz.
    • In "...Happy Holidays", Door harassed Elmo with his mistletoe, demanding multiple kisses when it was first introduced, and insisting upon being kissed each time Elmo answered the door thereafter.
  • Mythology Gag: In "Happy Holidays", Elmo sings Happy Holidays to the tune of Jingle Bells. Then he and Dorothy join the cast of Sesame Street in the arbor to sing Jingle Bells itself.
No Fourth Wall:
  • Elmo talks to the viewers for pretty much the entire duration of the episodes.
  • Most of Sesame Street's 35th anniversary special, The Street We Live On is an Elmo's World segment about Sesame Street.
  • Open the Door and See All the People: Especially "Friends" and "Singing."
  • Planet of Steves: The apartment next door to Elmo, where you'll find Mr. Noodle, "Mr. Noodle's brother Mr. Noodle", and occasionally "Mr. Noodle's sister Ms. Noodle". And their first names are never mentioned.
  • Pokémon Speak: The computer talks this way, often running around saying "Elmo has mail!"
  • Rearrange the Song: At the end of the episode, Elmo plays "Jingle Bells" on his piano... however, the lyrics are just "water, water, water... water, water, water..." or "hands, hands, hands... hands, hands, hands..." or (repeated ad nauseum) words to that effect.
  • Strictly Formula: Indeed. The order of some of the routines is switched up in a handful of episodes, however.
  • Stylistic Suck: The videos Elmo shoots from the early run of the segment. The camera constantly moves, and his hands can be seen over the lens.
  • Team Pet: Dorothy, Elmo's pet goldfish.
  • They Who Must Not Be Seen: During the Mr. Noodle and photo quiz segments, a couple of kids are heard (but never seen) coaching Mr. Noodle and responding to the quiz, respectively.
  • The Voiceless: None of the household objects that Elmo interacts with actually talk (with the exception of the computer, who just says "Elmo has mail"). Instead they communicate with body movements and sounds.
    • Same with Mr. Noodle and his family members, who communicate with facial expressions and actions.

Thaaaaat's Ellllmoooo's WOOOOOOOOORLD!
Say goodbye, Dorothy!
Say goodbye, Mr. Noodle!
Say goodbye, tropes for Elmo's show!