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Everybody Loves Rocco ... Except Elmo, That Is

By Brian Richards | Social Media | January 6, 2022 |

By Brian Richards | Social Media | January 6, 2022 |


Vin Diesel can breathe a sigh of relief, because there’s another public beef with a rock that has been grabbing everyone’s attention.

We all know Elmo. We love and somewhat tolerate Elmo, depending on how old you are, and if you have kids, and if those kids love and adore Elmo as much as the Pajiba staff love and adore Rahul Kohli and the movie Jupiter Ascending. (Don’t bother asking about the latter, as it will just lead to questions you don’t really want the answers to) Most of us who are of a certain age can remember how Tickle-Me Elmo was all the damn rage, and how everyone was fighting and struggling to get their hands on them for Christmas the way we’re now fighting and struggling to get our hands on rapid at-home tests for COVID-19. Elmo is now back in the spotlight for a couple of reasons.

For starters, Elmo left a lot of people wondering what the hell was up with his pronunciation of this sentence: “A plastic water bottle and a paper towel roll.”

@cj_vogt Why does Elmo sound so sassy? #fyp #momsoftiktok ♬ original sound - Chelsey Vogt

Seriously, Twitter couldn’t stop replaying it and cracking jokes about it for days. It was basically the Sesame Street version of “Miss Vanjie, Miss Vanjie, Miss…Vanjie.”

Even Sesame Street caught wind of how people couldn’t get enough of Elmo pronouncing “water bottle and a paper towel roll” like he’s auditioning to play Gambit in the next X-Men movie like he’s about to start reppin’ Cash Money Records for the ‘99 and the 2000 like he’s an old Black auntie from New Orleans.

But the response to this was nothing compared to how social media has been responding to scenes from Sesame Street in which Elmo is hanging out with his friend Zoe, who has an imaginary friend in the form of a rock named Rocco. Rocco likes to talk, and play, and exercise, and enjoy the same snacks as Zoe. And yet, every time Rocco is mentioned by Zoe, Elmo’s whole mood and facial expressions are the G-rated, family-friendly version of Kristen Wiig in Bridesmaids saying…


There was the time when Elmo wanted an oatmeal raisin cookie from Miss Gabi, and instead of being able to trade his cookie for that one, Zoe insisted that Rocco wanted to eat the oatmeal raisin cookie, which meant that Elmo couldn’t have it.

(Granted, we all know that oatmeal cookies don’t need raisins to taste better, because raisins don’t bring that damn much to the table when it comes to making anything taste better, but I do see Elmo’s point)

When Elmo is about to say the number of the day, but Zoe ends up saying it instead, because that Petty LaBelle/Petty Jenkins/Petty White/Petty Mayonnaise/York Peppermint Petty-ass Rocco was too impatient and thought that Elmo was taking too long. To say that Elmo didn’t take it well would be quite the understatement.

Damn! Where are the Pointer Sisters when you really need them? They would’ve had a much easier and less infuriating time sharing this Number Of The Day with the audience.

It looks as if Elmo isn’t the only one who can’t stand being around Rocco, and who is left looking the same way that Prince Akeem did when he ordered his first bride to bark like a dog, just to see if she would actually do it, and she actually did it.

Twitter couldn’t help but chime in while also laughing their asses off at Elmo getting fed up because of Zoe and her insistence on always having Rocco around to screw up his modern life.

And one Twitter user decided to remix this scene of Elmo going off on Zoe and Rocco, in which he treats the two of them like how Nas treated Jay-Z and damn near scorched the earth while rapping over a great beat by Ron Browz.

Even the Twitter account for Amazon Prime Video got in on the fun, as they used a very familiar meme connected to their animated comic-book series Invincible to comment on this beef between Elmo and Zoe/Rocco.

To the kids, their parents/caretakers, and we childless heathens who are being lectured by the Pope for caring more about adopting and raising pets than we do about adopting kids and raising kids and bringing more of them into the world (and if there’s anyone who shouldn’t be saying jack-f—king-sh-t to anyone about children or about their well-being, it’s the Catholic Church) who are worried that Elmo and Zoe’s friendship is in danger of ending because of this rivalry, we can all put those worries to rest. Elmo himself used his Twitter account to clear the air and let the world know that it’s all good with Zoe and that the two of them will remain the best of friends.

See?! Just like how Martin hates Pam, but still loves Gina; or how Al Bundy hates Marcy, but still kinda sorta sometimes loves Peggy; or how Kenneth loves his mother, Pearlene, but hates her boyfriend, Ron, Elmo still loves Zoe, and is willing and able to continue being friends with her no matter what. Just like how some of us have experienced the nonexistent joy of having a friend who is friends with or dating someone that will tap-dance on your very last nerve every single time they are in your presence, and all you can do is pray to Thor or Valkyrie or even Loki that this person will be kicked to the curb as soon as possible. But you still love your friend, and you’re still willing to ride or die for them through thick and thin.

So if Elmo can fight the urge to scream like Meryl Streep on Big Little Lies right before throwing Rocco’s annoying ass all the way into the sun to never be seen or heard from again, maybe we can learn to do the same as well.

(I’m guessing that’s the lesson that Sesame Street probably wants children to learn, but please let your children know that they will get cursed the f-ck out if they take a delicious cookie that someone else wants and insist on giving it to a damn inanimate object instead of letting their loved one have it)


Image sources (in order of posting): CBS Photo Archive, Children's Television Workshop