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  • Acting for Two:
    • Caroll Spinney as Big Bird and Oscar before his retirement. It also counts with Bruno the trashman, a character he created so he could perform Oscar while walking around.
    • The "Kingston's House Party" song sequence features a meeting between Kingston Livingston III and Elmo, both of whom were muppeteered by Kevin Clash. Kevin seems to have relished this, as Elmo really enjoys himself at the party and Kingston greets him like a homie.
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    • Hoots the Owl, who was also Muppeteered by Kevin Clash, makes a cameo in Elmo's "In Your Imagination" song sequence.
  • Actor Allusion: This Star Wars parody is a two-fold example. It has Grover in the form of a Yoda expy called Groda. Frank Oz was the original performer for both characters. Eric Jacobson, his successor as Grover, played a parody of Yoda in It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie.
  • Actor-Inspired Element: An example of an element that didn't happen because of an actor. Bob McGrath says it was ultimately his call to not have Bob and Linda get married. In his live concerts his family performed on-stage with him, and he was afraid that people would think that he and Linda were married in Real Life, which would lead to his having to constantly explain why she wasn't there and how it's just a TV show.
  • Author Existence Failure:
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    • Averted by Jim Henson, who filmed his last segments for Sesame Street a year before his passing. However, Ernie had to remain The Voiceless for three years while they tried to look for a new actor to play the role, which ended up being assigned to Steve Whitmire (who had already taken over Kermit by that point) in 1993.
    • Also averted with Jerry Nelson, who passed in 2012. His Muppet involvement had mostly been reduced to voicing his characters on Sesame Street, with other puppeteers (primarily Matt Vogel) having taken over the majority of his characters prior to his death. Unfortunately played straight with Richard Hunt, whose 1992 passing resulted in many of his characters being retired (such as most, if not all, of his Sesame characters) or being reduced to bit parts for many years.
    • Another aversion was Caroll Spinney, who retired a year before his death, though several segments he recorded would not air until afterward due to production lead time. The first new episode to air after his passing featured an In Memoriam tag at the end that said, "Thank you for bringing so much life to Big Bird and Oscar. We'll miss you, Caroll."
      • This trope almost happened to Spinney 33 years before his actual death. He was invited to go on the Challenger mission in 1986, which notably blew up upon takeoff, as a civilian passenger, likely going on board in the Big Bird costume. However, there was no room left in the rocket for the eight-foot-tall yellow bird, and so the idea was scrapped. Social studies teacher Christa McAuliffe was chosen instead.
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    • Joe Raposo, the show's songwriter, died on February 5, 1989 of lymphoma. New songs that he had written for this show continued to debut until 1990, with one nabbing him a posthumous Emmy.
    • Perhaps the most famous example of this trope was Will Lee, who had a heart attack during a hospital visit while the show was still running. The cast decided to make an episode in response to his death, which became one of Sesame Street's signature moments.
    • Jeff Moss died of cancer in 1998; he wrote his last song, "You and You and Me", the day of his death. The song was filmed in January 1999.
  • Banned Episode
    • The 1976 episode where Margaret Hamilton reprised her role as The Wicked Witch of the West is out of circulation. The one time it aired, numerous parents sent hate mail saying it was too frightening for their children, and at least one Wiccan mother complained that the episode represented negative stereotypes of witches. Joe Hennes at ToughPigs.com managed to get a copy of the episode and wrote a review in January 2020.
    • The episode "Snuffy's Parents Get a Divorce" never aired as the test audiences didn't seem to get the concept well. No photographs are known to exist note . Despite this, years later Sesame Street approached divorce again with Abby.
    • Regarding widespread criticism, Katy Perry's "Hot and Cold" segment with Elmo has never been aired on television, due to parents on YouTube complaining that Perry's dress was too risqué for a preschool- to kindergarten-aged educational TV show. While the dress did show some cleavage (behind a mesh panel) and seemed to accentuate her chest in a way that makes it look as if the dress doesn't fit her, most viewers who saw the original sketch on YouTube declared that the ban is yet another sign of parents overreacting to sexuality and near-nudity on TV, yet turning a blind eye to violence, gore, and Nightmare Fuel.
    • Episode 4029 was banned because of complaints of child viewers misinterpreting the anti-bullying message of the episode and being more entertained by the fight between Telly and Izzy. When the "You Can Ask!" resource video was released with the street story from this episode, these parts were edited out.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!:
    • Cookie Monster has never used the catchphrase "Cookies are a sometimes food!" It was Hoots the Owl who sang "A Cookie Is a Sometimes Food" to Cookie Monster. After the song, Cookie Monster replied, "Me get it, cookie is sometimes food. You know what? Right now is sometime!" and devoured the cookie.
      • He did say "Cookies is sometimes food" in the Colbert Report skit, however.
    • Regarding Big Bird's encounter with Sally on Gordon's shoulders in the first episode, Big Bird is always quoted as saying, "Gosh! You're the tallest little girl I've ever seen!" (even Big Bird performer Caroll Spinney says this). However, in the actual episode, Big Bird's reaction is, "Dah! Oh my heavens! She's 8 feet tall!"
    • While the Sesame Street Old School DVDs state that they are intended for the older collector, the earlier seasons are still nonetheless family productions. As such, they never, ever said that they were for "adults only".note 
  • Breakaway Pop Hit:
    • "Rubber Duckie", as performed by Jim Henson as Ernie, became a Top 20 pop hit in America in 1970.
    • A couple of years after its debut on the show, a Cover Version of "Sing" became a major Carpenters hit.
    • "Bein' Green", while technically not a hit single, became a standard, with Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles and Van Morrison, among many others, recording versions of it.
  • The Cast Showoff:
    • Emilio Delgado translated the lyrics for "Sing" into Spanish himself. He also got the chance to show off his guitar-playing a few times, as seen here.
    • Alaina Reed's career began in Broadway musicals. She often took the opportunity to show off her singing chops.
    • Bob McGrath shows off on his piano-playing many times. He also takes every opportunity to show off his lovely singing voice (he began his showbiz career as a wannabe pop idol, although he was a huge hit in Japan).
    • Caroll Spinney (Big Bird), an artist on the side, drew the picture of Mr. Hooper for the episode where they discuss Mr. Hooper's death.
  • Cast the Expert: It happens a lot for special episodes.
  • Channel Hop:
    • From National Educational Television to PBS, as NET was leaving the airwaves. Not a literal example, as the educational stations airing Sesame Street were the same in virtually every market.
    • Played straight in the United Kingdom, however (when the show moved from ITV to Channel Four, and then to Cartoonito. Due to being their own shows, UK-based coproductions Sesame Tree and The Furchester Hotel do not count as part of this hop, as they both aired on CBeebies).
    • Starting in 2015, due to PBS having trouble paying the show's licensing fee, the show will air first on HBO (HBO Max as of 2020), whose deep pockets even allow increasing the episode count to 35 per season, before airing on PBS nine months later.
    • The movie rights have jumped back and forth as well. Follow That Bird was released in theaters by Warner Bros., while The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland was distributed by Columbia Pictures, on behalf of the Henson Company's short-lived film unit Jim Henson Pictures. The upcoming third film will go back to WB, but they will co-produce it with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
  • The Character Died with Him: When actor Will Lee, who played Mr. Hooper, passed away in 1982, the producers were faced with the usual options for dealing with loss on a kids' show: cast a new actor, or have the character simply leave the show (either with an explanation, such as he retired, or without). Instead, Sesame Street ran an episode where Big Bird understands that Mr. Hooper had died, it was OK to miss him, and that even though life would never be quite the same when someone beloved dies, it will get better. In tribute to him, the portrait Big Bird was going to give him still hangs in his nest to this day, more than 30 years later.
    • One documentary said that the "Mr. Hooper's not coming back" scene was the only scene in Sesame Street history done in a single take because the cast was too emotionally wrecked to do more takes. That the single take captured genuine emotion and showed that grown-ups, too, can feel sad and cry when people they love die, played a huge role in keeping the scene at one take... and also played a major role in the scene's critical acclaim.
    • This episode is also notable for not using a Really Dead Montage. The producers thought that it would be too confusing to talk about Mr. Hooper being gone forever while still showing him on screen. (However, several years after Hooper's passing, a "Really Dead Montage" would be played, usually when a newcomer asks about the store or Hooper himself; the crew seem to have thought that enough time had passed that the older audience who stayed generally understood that Hooper was no longer with his neighbors and friends, and that the new youngsters would at least understand this was a memory and get introduced to the trope.)
  • Contractual Purity: Kevin Clash was the Muppeteer of Elmo, Baby Sinclair and numerous others. In 2012, he took a sabbatical from Sesame Street after a young man claimed that the two of them had a sexual relationship when he was 16. Clash did not deny the relationship but claimed it happened after the young man had turned 18. The accuser later withdrew the allegations, but a series of other accusers came forward in its wake. Sesame Workshop expressed their willingness to support Clash, but he decided to resign to spare them the inevitable media scandal that would have resulted. Ryan Dillon has taken over Muppeteering duties for Elmo since.
  • Cowboy BeBop at His Computer: Given that this is a Long Runner aimed directly at very young children, this kind of thing happens a lot.
    • Two words: Veggie Monster. To paraphrase from the link, Sesame Street did a segment in 2005 where Hoots sings a song titled "A Cookie Is a Sometimes Food" to Cookie Monster, about eating a balanced diet; at the end Cookie declares that "Now is sometime!" and eats his cookies anyway. The media simplified this and ran with it to the point where to this day, you'll find people complaining that Cookie Monster has been turned into (or even been replaced by) a "Veggie Monster".
    • Before the debut of Kami, the HIV-positive Muppet, news media were in uproar, under the mistaken impression that this character would feature on the American version of the show. However, the character was only ever intended to be used in the South African version, where childhood HIV and AIDS are huge problems. Likewise, despite some of the more extreme claims, Kami's HIV status does not mean she is gay; by definition, the Muppets do not have a defined sexuality. To make this clearer, Word of God is that Kami contracted HIV from a blood transfusion as an infant.
    • This is mostly caused by the fact that Innocence Lost is an irresistible hook for news stories. If Sesame Street is dealing with some sort of thorny issue, then it allegedly demonstrates how much we've changed/failed as a society. This conveniently forgets that the show has sometimes tried to avoid the Tastes Like Diabetes route and aims to reflect the real world in an honest way.
    • This article from 2011 mentions that Cookie Monster is one of Eric Jacobson's characters that he inherited from the veteran Muppet performers, when he actually took over Grover, Bert, and Guy Smiley, while David Rudman took over as Cookie Monster.
  • Creator Backlash:
  • Creator's Favorite Episode: According to this article, one of Caroll Spinney's favorite episodes is "The Good Birds Club", where Big Bird gets bullied while trying to get into the titular club.
  • Crossdressing Voices:
    • In the 1970s and 1980s, there were numerous female Muppets performed by males. It's no longer done today due to there being more female Muppet performers than there were back then. One notable example back then is Gladys the Cow, voiced by Richard Hunt. Additionally, Hunt and Jerry Nelson and Frank Oz performed many minor/one-off female Muppets, with many of Oz's female characters sounding almost exactly like Miss Piggy.
    • Little Bird was often referred to as a male, though he was typically performed by Fran Brill. Unusually in an early 1990s episode, Little Bird (still performed by Brill) was referred to as a female. Brill also performed a male rabbit named Howie in an early 1970s sketch.
    • Stephanie D'Abruzzo performed the left head of the Two-Headed Monster for the cold open of a Season 47 episode, likely because Eric Jacobson (who's been the left head's performer since 2016) was already performing Bert in the same scene, thus making this example double as The Other Darrin.
  • The Danza:
    • Bob McGrath as Bob Johnson, though the character actually was already named Bobby in the original scripts before McGrath got the role.
    • Linda Bove As Herself, and Miles Robinson was originally played by Miles Orman.
    • Alan Muraoka as Alan.
    • Christopher Knowings as Chris Robinson.
    • Ruth Buzzi as Ruthie
    • Savion Glover as Savion
    • The character of Gordon's last name was eventually penned as Robinson, in honor of original writer/producer and Gordon portrayer Matt Robinson.
    • The Muppet rock singers were generally named after the performers who did their voices, like Little Jerry (Nelson), Rockin' Richard (Hunt), Big Jeffy (Jeff Moss), Chrissy (Christopher Cerf) and Dr. Thad (Thad Mumford).
    • Even Tony himself has appeared as a guest star.
    • Diva D'Abruzzo is performed by Stephanie D'Abruzzo.
    • Joey and Davey Monkey are performed by Joey Mazzarino and David Rudman.
  • Dawson Casting:
    • Chris Robinson is supposed to be in high school or college, making him 17-18 in his first season. His actor, Chris Knowings, was actually 27 at the time his debut episode aired.
    • Maria celebrated her 21st birthday in 1979. Sonia Manzano, on the other hand, was 29 at the time the episode aired.
    • This also happens to some of the puppets on the show, who are supposed to be children, but are played by adults. Most notably, Carol Spinney played the 6-year-old Big Bird for 50 years, and was 84 when he retired, making him one of the oldest examples of the trope.
  • Dueling Shows: The format for Journey to Ernie is almost similar to that of Blue's Clues.
  • Defictionalization:
    • Outside Philadelphia, there's a theme park called Sesame Place. It includes a perfect life-size replica of the set of the show, and the characters come out to greet guests constantly. Yes, you can take photos.
    • For the show's 40th anniversary, a street corner in Manhattan was temporarily renamed 123 Sesame Street.
    • Pinball Number Count was made into an actual game as part of the show's 50th anniversary.
    • In 2019 "West 63rd Street and Broadway" in New York was permanently renamed to "Sesame Street".
  • Directed by Cast Member: By circa 2005, Kevin Clash got more involved behind the scenes, both directing and executive producing (the latter mostly applied to the "Elmo's World" segments, and other Elmo-related projects).
    • Other Muppet performers - Joey Mazzarino, Matt Vogel and David Rudman - have directed Sesame projects as well.
  • Dueling Shows:
    • Early on with Captain Kangaroo, particularly because a bunch of ex-Kangaroo staffers were working on Sesame Street.
    • Also Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, though the shows were more like Red Oni, Blue Oni companion pieces (Sesame Street was Red, Neighborhood was Blue), and the shows had a Friendly Rivalry, with Crossover episodes on both shows.
    • The street being brightened and cleaned up for Season 25, in addition to the new Around the Corner setting, and the addition of a ton of new human and Muppet characters (Zoe in particular) was all because of the competition Sesame Workshop faced from Barney & Friends.
  • Exiled from Continuity: Not quite played entirely straight with Kermit the Frog. He doesn't appear too often on the show now that he's owned by Disney, but classic clips featuring him occasionally show up (particularly on the Old School DVDs, which have a copyright notice that mentions him in between the credits and the PBS logo). He also appears in "Elmo's World: Frogs" as a treat for Sesame Street's 40th anniversary and shows up in a television special celebrating its fiftieth.
  • Fandom Nod: In case you need proof that Cookie Monster isn't "The Veggie Monster".
  • Fake Russian: Count von Count. He even uses Chekov's W-for-V substitution.
  • Follow the Leader: To the point where viewership decreased and the average age of viewers got younger. Sesame Street is so influential that even its followers have followers.
  • In Memoriam: It was first used at the end of episode 1983 when Will Lee (Mr. Hooper died). This also happened with Jim Henson, Richard Hunt, and other cast and crew members that have died.
  • Irony as She Is Cast: According to Muppet Wiki, Allison Bartlett O'Reilly is allergic to dogs. However, Gina doesn't treat any real ones.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes:
    • Good luck finding full episodes of older seasons. Once a new season begins, the previous one is almost never reran, and episodes are never given proper DVD releases. There are Sesame Street DVDs, but the ones that aren't Direct to Video specials are just compilations of skits. You can easily find skits on YouTube (the official channel includes classic sketches), but full episodes are very scarce.
    • Elmo's appearances from the era before Kevin Clash became his performer were extraordinarily hard to see for many years, likely so Sesame Workshop could avoid confusing kids with the Early Installment Weirdness. Slowly being averted as more pre-Clash Elmo segments find their way to You Tube and elsewhere.
    • Poor, poor episode 847 (the one with the Wicked Witch of the West as a guest character, played by Margaret Hamilton, no less)... that episode is a legendary lost Sesame Street episode. Since that episode got huge amounts of negative reception when it first aired, it was decided that the episode should neither be aired again, nor be released on VHS or DVD. If you have a recording of that episode, by all means, do not get rid of it!
    • Averted to an extent with the announcement that nearly every episode of the show would be digitally restored and preserved in the American Archive of Public Broadcasting. The episodes are available for viewing on-site at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. and by appointment at WGBH in Boston. Unfortunately, much like the Doctor Who situation, there are at least 60 episodes that are currently missing from Sesame Workshop's archive. However, as described on the linked page, they could be found from other sources in the future.
    • In 2019, it was announced that the streaming service HBO Max will make a broad collection of episodes...selected from the past fifty years--many available to the public for the first time ever. Upon launch, over 550 episodes of the main series were made available, 55 of which were newly available.
    • An interesting example was the song "Handful of Crumbs", a country themed song sung by Cookie Monster. Footage of the song was hard to come by, though one could mesh footage of the Spanish version of it with the actual song from a CD which had several songs Cookie Monster sang on it to create a rough version. Eventually, the segment was found and made available online.
  • Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: The "Old School" line of DVDs, plus the "Sesame Street: 40 Years of Sunny Days" DVD.
  • Long-Runner Cast Turnover: During the 1990s, a number of major actors passed away or began to appear less. Season 37 saw the start of another ongoing turnover that was completed at the end of the 45th season with the departure Bob McGrath, Roscoe Orman, and Emilio Delgado.
  • Milestone Celebration: Every five years, (save for the 5th, 15th, and 45th anniversaries), Sesame Street has a lot of events celebrating that particular anniversary. The 10th, 20th, 25th, 30th, 35th, and 50th anniversaries all warranted TV specials (the 25th got two), and for its fiftieth, the show became the first television program to receive a Kennedy Center Honor.For further information on Sesame Street milestones, see here.
  • Missing Episode: 60 episodes, mainly from the first three seasons, are considered lost. Also missing is The Grover Monster—Jean Marsh Cartoon Special, a PBS prime time special from 1975, where the titular hosts introduced animated segments from Sesame Street and The Electric Company.
  • Name's the Same: Bert & Ernie.
    • Since 2011, we've had Bob and Linda Belcher.
    • During season 21, Carol Kane made an appearance as Nina the Nice, Oscar's opposite number as the cheerful human resident of Grouchytown; a young Hispanic woman named Nina moved to Sesame Street by the beginning of Season 46.
  • No Budget: Since 1993, Sesame Street has been under compounding budgetary strain, and it shows, especially with the use of stock footage increasing dramatically, plus the cast shrinking considerably, from the 2000s on.
  • No Export for You: British viewers saw the show only intermittently and courtesy of ITV and later Channel Four and Nick Jr., because The BBC had declared Sesame Street was "too authoritarian" to show on British TV. What's more, on the latter channel it aired on, it got harsh treatment and was constantly moved around to death slots so that Nick Jr. could give more time slots to its two highest-rated shows at the time, which were Thomas the Tank Engine and Magic Adventures of Mumfie. For twelve years, the series wasn't shown in Britain at all, although Elmo's World, Bert and Ernie's Great Adventures and Abby Cadabby's Flying Fairy School were shown as part of Channel 5's ''Milkshake!'' strand. From 2008 to 2013 a Northern Irish co-production, Sesame Tree, was shown on CBeebies, with new characters, but classic US sketches appearing on Potto's computer, and in 2014, CBeebies and Sesame Workshop launched the co-production The Furchester Hotel, which features Elmo and Cookie Monster along with an all-new troupe of Muppet monsters. This was soon averted in November 2016, when the show came to Cartoonito as a result of Turner partnering with Sesame Workshop to show the show on all Cartoonito channels worldwide. However, a couple of months after it premiered, history repeated itself when the UK Cartoonito pushed the show to late night and early morning timeslots so that they could give Fireman Sam more airtime, leading to said show dominating the schedule. It's currently unknown if either Cartoonito will return it or if another network will pick it up.
  • Old Shame: Around the Corner era (1993-1998) of this show tends to be looked at as this by Sesame Workshop. Retrospectives tend to skip over this era of the show or only show the barest minimum. Though Vindicated by History as 90's Sesame is still well-remembered by those who grew up watching it and many home video releases produced during that era still remain in-print.
  • One-Take Wonder: After Will Lee died, the show did an episode explaining Mr. Hooper's death in-universe as well. The cast was so emotional, they were unable to do a second take without breaking down.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Three actors played Gordon (four if you count Garrett Saunders, the actor in the original test episodes): Matt Robinson for Seasons 1-3, Hal Miller for Seasons 4 and 5, and Roscoe Orman from Season 6 to today. Dr. Loretta Long (Susan) has mentioned that kids have asked her about the other Gordons, making her feel like she's been hiding their bodies under the stoop. Likewise, Gordon and Susan's son, Miles, was played by three different kids as well, first by Miles Orman, then Imani Patterson, and finally Olamide Faison.
    • Mr. Handford, who took over Hooper's Store after David and before Alan, was played by Leonard Jackson in his debut season, then by David Langston Smyrl for the remainder of his tenure on the show; Roscoe Orman even lampshaded this by comparing the switch to that of Darrin on Bewitched.
    • On the Muppet spectrum, we have Steve Whitmire for Jim Henson as Kermit the Frog and Ernie (the latter since recast with first Billy Bankhurst then Peter Linz), Eric Jacobson for Frank Oz as Bert and Grover, for Jim Henson and Don Reardon as Guy Smiley, and for Caroll Spinney as Oscar the Grouch, David Rudman for Frank Oz as Cookie Monster, Kevin Clash for Richard Hunt (also for Brian Muehl) as Elmo with Kevin being replaced by Ryan Dillon, Marty Robinson for Bob Payne and Brian Muehl as Telly and for Jerry Nelson and Michael Earl as Snuffy, and now more recently Matt Vogel for Jerry Nelson as Count Von Count and for Caroll Spinney as Big Bird. There's also Prairie Dawn and Zoe going from Fran Brill to Stephanie D'Abruzzo and Jennifer Barnhart respectively with the former also taking over Mrs. Crustworthy and Mae, and Tyler Bunch replacing Bill Barretta as Elmo's dad Louie. For a brief time during the first season, Danny Seagren stepped in as Big Bird while Caroll Spinney had fallen ill and was unable to attend tapings.
    • Averted with the beloved shopkeeper Mr. Hooper. Shortly after his actor, Will Lee, died in December 1982, the producers briefly considered – among a variety of options – hiring a new actor to play Mr. Hooper. Before the casting call went out, some bright fellow decided the only acceptable option was to address death head on … and so it happened with Hooper also passing away. (It had been suggested that children who had watched Sesame Street long enough would immediately be able to tell the difference between the Lee Mr. Hooper and any replacement and outright reject him, although ostensibly this was not a big matter when three different actors appeared as Gordon in a matter of two years.)
    • Smart Tina from the Roosevelt Franklin's Elementary School sketches was voiced by Loretta Long for the Merry Christmas from Sesame Street album instead of her usual voice actor Sonia Manzano.
    • The character Gabrielle was introduced in the season 48 episode "Hair Training", voiced by an unknown child actress. Starting in 2020, she's now voiced by Megan Phiphus.
    • Papa Bear was performed by Joey Mazzarino from his debut in the early 1990s, but when his performer left, he became silent. He eventually started speaking again in season 51, with Martin P Robinson taking over the role.
    • Rosita's abuela was first voiced by Emilio Delgado (the actor that plays Luis) during the mid 2000s. In season 44, she was voiced by Sonia Manzano (the same actor that played Maria). In season 48, she's voiced by Carmen Osbahr (the performer for Rosita).
  • The Other Marty:
    • Caroll Spinney recorded his final dialogue for the series as Big Bird and Oscar in the episode "The Disappoint A Meter". For the actual episode, the dialogue is from his successors Matt Vogel and Eric Jacobson.
    • The lead vocals for the song Spanish Me, English Me were done by Matt Vogel during episode 4503. When the song was used again for episode 5025, the lyrics were dubbed over by Frankie Cordero.
  • The Pete Best:
    • Jennie, played by Jada Rowland, was the other adult human Sesame Street resident introduced on the debut episode, along with Gordon, Susan, Bob and Mr. Hooper. She was the street's resident artist, and her segments generally featured her drawing a picture for kids, who had to guess what it was. Rowland also played a lead role on the Soap Opera The Secret Storm at the time, so she could only appear on Sesame Street sporadically, and decided to leave after season 1 because it was getting tougher to squeeze Sesame Street into her schedule. Rowland later became a full-time artist and illustrator.
    • The first three seasons included sketches where a Slapstick human duo would humorously attempt to do basic tasks, ultimately succeeding through cooperation. In season 1 it was Buddy and Jim (Brandon Maggart and James Catusi). In season 2 they were replaced by Larry and Phyllis (played by Alan Arkin and his then-wife Barbara Dana), but they left and season 3 gave us Wally and Ralph (played by Joe Ponazecki, best known for originating the role of Fyedka in Fiddler on the Roof, and Paul B. Price), before the whole segment was dropped.
    • Miguel, played by Puerto Rican actor Jaime Sánchez (best known for playing Angel, the Token Minority member of the outlaw gang in The Wild Bunch and for originating the role of Chino in West Side Story), debuted in season 2 and was the show's first Latino character. Sanchez left at the end of the season, and season 3 saw the debut of Maria and Luis.
    • Several Muppet characters disappeared from the show over the years, like Roosevelt Franklin, Harvey Kneeslapper and Herbert Birdsfoot, though many of their sketches would be re-used into The '90s.
  • Playing Against Type:
    • Many people (especially kids) wouldn't know this, but this is actually what Gordon and Gina were/are for Roscoe Orman and Alison Bartlett-O'Reilly, respectively. Aside from Gordon, Orman has played a variety of different villainous and unscrupulous characters (including the title role of Willie Dynamite) and – on the Law & Order franchise – no-nonsense judges. Bartlett-O'Reilly had been frequently typecast as a tough girl, a tomboy (which she attributed to her Brooklyn roots), a disturbed woman, or – as a regular on The Sopranos – a mobster's girlfriend. Similarly, Sonia Manzano (Maria) has also been typecast as mentally ill (namely on the Law & Order shows) or tough girls. Emilio Delgado (Luis) has generally been cast as a genial person in his off-Street roles, but has played a focused, nose-to-the-grindstone editor on Lou Grant. Will Lee, in his younger days, typically played nebbishy or neurotic characters, in contrast to the curmudgeonly-but-big-hearted Mr. Hooper.
    • In an example featuring the Muppet performers, as Ernie and Bert, Jim Henson and Frank Oz ended up in a role reversal of the straight man/jokester roles they usually performed as Kermit the Frog and Fozzie Bear. This can be particularly seen in an early segment where Ernie fantasizes about him and Bert having their personalities switched around where Bert acts more like Fozzie and Ernie more like Kermit. It's been said the Bert & Ernie dynamic was more like their real-life selves, with Jim as the sillier one.
  • Produced By Castmember:
    • A variation of this. Outside from occasionally directing a Muppet insert, Jim Henson was never involved with the actual production (contrary to popular belief); in 1989, however, when the show celebrated its 20th anniversary, Henson wanted to express his gratitude and appreciation to CTW (now Sesame Workshop) for being a part of the show for all those years, by producing an anniversary special through his then-Henson Associates company.
    • During the 2000s, Kevin Clash, who was already was directing for the show more frequently, began to executive produce Elmo-related Sesame projects, such as the recurring Elmo's World segments on the show, as well as Elmo-driven DVDs and specials; this was mostly because of the impact that Clash had on turning Elmo into the character he's known as today:
  • Promoted Fanboy: Although the Muppets were nowhere near as big in 1969 as they are now, Caroll Spinney was an admirer of Jim Henson's work, and has often compared Henson asking him to join the company to being a drummer and having someone walk up to him and say, "Well, I'm with a band from Liverpool, would you like to be me drummerman?"
    • Kevin Clash, Steve Whitmire, David Rudman, Stephanie D'Abruzzo, and a vast number of the Muppet performers after the first few seasons also fall into the same category as Spinney.
    • The same can be said for a number of the live actors who joined the cast within the last twenty years or so, including Alan Muraoka and Chris Knowings.
    • Stacey Gordon, the puppeteer of Julia, was a die-hard Sesame Street fan as a child and wished that she could be on the show as her favorite character, a Twiddlebug. After meeting someone who worked on the show at a puppetry event and auditioning in-person, she was cast as Julia. Her son, who has autism like Julia, is also a big Sesame Street fan and was happy to see a Muppet who was just like him.
  • Real-Life Relative:
    • Miles and Gabi were originally played by Roscoe Orman's actual son Miles and Sonia Manzano's actual daughter Gabriela, respectively. Both were replaced by other actors as they grew up, however.
    • Loretta Long's mother played Susan's mom.
    • Chris' twin sister is Christy, both on- and off-stage.
    • Chris Thomas Hayes is the current performer for Hoots The Owl. His mother made a cameo as a doctor in "Heroes In Our Neighborhood".
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Caroll Spinney got injured in a bicycle accident in 1980, forcing him to miss a few episodes. Showrunner Jon Stone dealt with it by rewriting some scripts with the newly-debuted Telly taking Big Bird's place. The episodes got a good reaction and helped make Telly an Ensemble Dark Horse.
  • Reality Subtext:
    • Mr. Hooper's death.
    • Kermit was Put on a Bus because Disney bought out the Muppet Show Muppets. He still appears now and then in the occasional cameo or legacy segment.
    • In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, PBS reaired the week-long story arc from Season 32 (2001) - with a new introduction with Gordon explaining to parents that children can be frightened by such devastation, whether directly affected by it, or from seeing the coverage on TV. Since then, with devastating hurricanes becoming more commonplace, as of 2012, Sesame Workshop cobbled together the street scenes from the hurricane saga (specifically, the aftermath of the hurricane) into an hour-long special entitled Sesame Street Gets Through a Storm (also known as Friends to the Rescue on DVD), which was subsequently aired on PBS in response to some major hurricanes, such as Sandy.
    • Elmo is especially delighted to see Mr. Noodle in "The Street We Live On"; the special is dedicated to the memory of Micheal Jeter, who had played Mr. Noodle's brother, Mr. Noodle.
  • Recast as a Regular: In an interesting, the tv special "The Magical Wand Chase" , Jennifer Barnhart note  and Violet Tinnierello played a mother and daughter in the background of a few shots. In season 50, Violet would play Charlie while Jennifer would play her mother.
  • Recursive Import
    • Plaza Sésamo, the Mexican adaptation, airs in the U.S. — the first foreign adaptation to do so. (It's on Univision's sister channel UniMas.) This is justified due to the expansive Hispanic community in the U.S.; why go through the trouble of dubbing or adding subtitles when the Mexican version does just fine?
    • The Furchester Hotel, the CBeebies co-production that airs in the U.K., is available on Sesame Street's official YouTube channel (thanks in part to its Quarter Hour Short format) and also airs on Universal Kids.
    • The Furchester Hotel is itself dubbed in Latin American Spanish, and airs on American television as a large portion of Sesame Amigos.
    • There's also Shalom Sesame, a series which was a crossover with the show's Israeli export, Rechov Sumsum. Shalom Sesame was designed to teach American kids about Israel, and the Passover and Hanukkah specials aired a few times on PBS in 2014/2015.
  • Recycled Set: Common in Muppet segments, and not counting the infamous brick wall sets (which is more or less a multipurpose set.)
    • Two Simon Soundman segments from The '70s use the same store interior set, modified somewhat for a different purpose. In one segment (where Simon wants to buy a saw), it's a general store, with assorted cans and jars on the counter and shelves and with a blue backlight behind the shelves. In the other (where Simon wants to buy a trumpet), it's a music store, with musical instrument props displayed on the counter, wall and shelves, and with a magenta backlight behind the shelves to make it less obvious.
    • Another noticeable example is the schoolhouse exterior from the 1983 News Flash segment about "Mary Had a Little Lamb" being reused for a 1989 News Flash segment about the Big Bad Wolf running a school for huffing and puffing; the "SCHOOL" sign on the schoolhouse facade is replaced with an illustration of the Big Bad Wolf to show its' different purpose.
  • Role-Ending Misdemeanor: A battery of sex allegations against Kevin Clash prompted him to bow out gracefully so as not to cause problems for Sesame Workshop on his account.
  • Romance on the Set:
    • Carroll Spinney met and eventually married his second wife, Debra Quinn, who worked on the series in a number of backstage roles.
    • Martin P. Robinson (Telly, Snuffy, Slimey) married former show writer Annie Evans in 2008.
    • As noted in the 2008 book Street Gang, during the period when Robinson was playing the front end of Snuffy, the writers created a puppy love storyline for him. It was art imitating life as the puppeteer had as big a crush on Sonia Manzano as Snuffy did on Maria. He said that they (the puppeteers) all had crushes on her. So Sonia Manzano was not only a Dude Magnet on the show (Big Bird, Snuffy, the Count, Stinky, Placido Flamingo, Grover, David, and Luis), she was also one in real life!
  • Saved from Development Hell: The second series of Shalom Sesame videos was released from 2010 to 2011, but the content of the street scenes and imported inserts times the original release date to 2004.
  • Screwed by the Lawyers: When Viacom sued YouTube in February 2007, Viacom also claimed Sesame Street clips that had aired on Noggin, because certain clips had the Noggin logo (Viacom owned Noggin, which is part of Nickelodeon). The users that were affected (and got banned from YouTube) were JonnyTBird4789, Nantosuichoken, and many other Sesame Street uploaders. Due to this flagrant example of greed, Sesame Workshop parted ways with Noggin, and eventually set up their own YouTube account.
  • Shoot the Money: The smaller version of Zoe, a.k.a. "Homunculus Zoe".
  • Strictly Formula: From Season 33 to present.
  • Spin-Off Cookbook:
    • The Sesame Street Cookbook by Pat Tornborg
    • C is for Cooking and B is for Baking by Susan McQuillan
  • Talking to Himself: All characters of the stop-motion animated segment Teeny Little Super Guy are voiced by Jim Thurman.
  • Throw It In!:
    • A small-scale version of Zoe was originally built for her role as "Mousey the Hatter Helper" in the direct-to-video Abby in Wonderland movie, but the puppeteers liked it so much that, starting in Season 40, they made this Zoe the de facto Zoe. Sesame Workshop, of course, tested this smaller Zoe by having kids visit the set, and they didn't seem to notice.
    • A good chunk of Muppet dialogue is ad-libbed, or at least used to be. Watch an old "People in Your Neighborhood" sketch to see Jim Henson try to make Bob crack up.
    • One recurring feature was having the Muppets interact with children in unscripted segments, resulting in such classic (and adorable) bits as this one.
    • Done in the episode addressing Mr. Hooper's death. The scene where the adults explain death to Big Bird was to be filmed with the adults maintaining composure. It became clear halfway through the first take that nobody was going to get through it without getting choked up, and the sincere emotions stayed in the final episode to show that even adults (who fully understand the concept of death) cry when someone close to them dies and that it is acceptable to cry, sometimes together, when something tragic happens. According to Bob McGrath, they tried shooting another take but by that point, everyone was so grief-stricken that they couldn't go longer than a minute without crying.
  • Trope Namer:
  • Vindicated by Cable: The Sesame Street Unpaved reruns that aired on Noggin from 1999 to 2002 gave episodes from the first few seasons their first airings in decades, and attracted new attention to characters and segments that had long disappeared from the show (especially Roosevelt Franklin).
  • Viral Marketing: Cookie Monster wants to become host of Saturday Night Live, so he's trying to make his audition tape go viral by getting people to spread the video.
  • What Could Have Been: Has its' own page.
  • The Wiki Rule:
  • Working Title:
  • Written by Cast Member:
    • Sometime in the late 1970s/early 1980s, Sonia Manzano expressed concern to executive producer Dulcy Singer that Latin American culture wasn't being represented on the show very well, so Singer, in turn, suggested that Manzano write the material herself (one of the first things she wrote was the memorable "Hola" song for Maria and Luis); since then, Sonia Manzano has been on Sesame's writing staff (and even wrote a number of children's books based on her childhood experiences).
    • In addition to joining the Muppet staff in the early 1990s, Joey Mazzarino also got involved in writing for Sesame as well (his first bit was the Columbo parody, "Colambo"), and from Seasons 40-46, was the show's head writer.
    • Caroll Spinney pitched ideas that were worked onto the show, but ultimately never received any kind of writing credit for them. This includes the unscripted inserts involving children interacting with the Muppets (such as Joey and Kermit, or John-John and Herry), as well as outlining the entire Big Bird in China special.
    • Jerry Nelson created the Johnny Cash-style Muppet Ronnie Trash, and wrote the lyrics to his Green Aesop song "Don't Throw it on the Ground".
    • Alan Marouka, the actor who plays Alan, pitched the idea for "Cast Iron Cooks".
  • You Look Familiar:
    • The Orange Gold Anything Muppet, though this is because it always has the same features no matter what it is wearing when it appears.
    • Before becoming Mr. Noodle's Brother Mr. Noodle, Michael Jeter made a memorable guest appearance on the show, singing a remake of "Dance Myself to Sleep".
    • Before playing the villainous Huxley in The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland, Mandy Patinkin appeared on the series proper in The '80s as a New York cop helping Big Bird look for his missing teddy bear; unlike Huxley, though, Officer George was incredibly dry and deadpan, leading many people to wonder if Patinkin was in a bad mood the day of taping, or would rather have not been on the show then. Patinkin also made guest appearances as himself on Shalom Sesame, a crossover program between Sesame Street and its Israeli counterpart, Rechov Sumsum.
    • John Candy had a bit part in Sesame Street Presents: Follow That Bird as a cop who arrests Sam and Sid Sleaze, before reprising his SCTV role of Yosh Schmenge on the series proper.

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