Why Elmo from Sesame Street is trending in 2022


It may be a new year, but things aren’t looking the best. As we enter pandemic’s third year, the Omicron variant is leading to record-breaking case numbers. Society is once again at the end of its tether, a backdrop from which an unlikely mascot has emerged: Elmo. 

An old Sesame Street clip from 2004 has gone viral on Twitter over the past few days. In a literal sense, it has nothing to do with life in 2022. But in a spiritual sense, it pretty much nails it. 

The clip is about Elmo’s incredulity over Rocco, a pet rock, being given an oatmeal raisin cookie instead of him. “How is Rocco going to eat that cookie, Zoe?!” Elmo yells. “Tell Elmo! Rocco doesn’t even have a mouth! Rocco’s just a rock! Rocco’s not alive!” Elmo’s frustration has resonated widely. The clip was posted by Twitter user @wumbooty on Wednesday, and has since racked up 360,000 likes and over 90,000 retweets. 

“It’s almost like the pandemic is getting to him [Elmo] too,” tweeted author Seth Abramson. “Right now we are all elmo having an oatmeal raisin cookie denied to him so that a rock can be placed next to it.” 

In addition to some well-needed catharsis, the Sesame Street clip going viral also precipitated more clips of Elmo going buck wild being shared. Sesame Street fans will know that Rocco has long been the object of Elmo’s ire. Zoe constantly treats Rocco like a real, sentient friend, and Elmo, who is actually a real and sentient friend, has been sick of it for many years. 

Elmo’s rage becoming an online phenomenon caused the little red puppet to tweet out about the incident. “Elmo doesn’t want to talk about Rocco,” Elmo said via Twitter. He then followed it up with another tweet: “Has anybody ever seen a rock eat a cookie? Elmo is just curious.”

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