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Why Elmo from Sesame Street is trending in 2022

Elmo has lost his cool. We are all Elmo.

Daniel Van Boom Senior Writer
Daniel Van Boom is an award-winning Senior Writer based in Sydney, Australia. Daniel Van Boom covers cryptocurrency, NFTs, culture and global issues. When not writing, Daniel Van Boom practices Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, reads as much as he can, and speaks about himself in the third person.
Expertise Cryptocurrency | Culture | International News
Daniel Van Boom
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PBS

It may be a new year, but things aren't looking the best. As we enter the 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 against 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 precipitated the sharing of more clips of Elmo going buck wild. 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. 

As Elmo's rage became an online phenomenon, the little red puppet tweeted 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."