If you haven’t seen the horrifying little creation known as Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared, then you have been living under a rock! This seemingly simple and highly produced kid’s show from hell has long held some deep underlying messages. Let’s take a look at all the lessons we have learned from Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared!
Three Most Dangerous Traits
If you were paying attention throughout the 6 episodes, you will notice that the three main characters are quite different. In fact, they are meant to represent the three personality traits that the establishment and media most seek to control.
Yellow Guy – Innocence: easily manipulated and controlled by outside influences
Green Guy – Intellect: too prone to asking dangerous questions that will break the machine
Red Guy – Apathy: easiest to manipulate without consequence
As the series goes on, Apathy and Intellect are able to escape the machine, while Innocence never does. This represents the fact that some people never escape the expectations and manipulations of media.
Mainstream Media Keeps Creativity in a Box
With the final line of episode one, we learn exactly what the entire video was about.
“Now, let’s all agree to never be creative again.”
Creativity left unchecked is dangerous to the establishment. Mainstream media has worked hard to keep us watching what they have deemed creative, so they can’t have people out there breaking that paradigm. In the episode, the Sketchbook tries to convince our characters that being creative is weird and scary and might result in death!
Time Is a Construct of Restraint
This one isn’t QUITE as diabolical as episode one, but it still teaches a valuable lesson. We are all tethered to this abstract concept of time. When Green Guy tries to point this out and explain that time is just a concept of human perception, the Clock swiftly silences him. We can’t be free of the construct of time or we might not tune into our favorite tv shows and watch all the commercials! Thinking of time as abstract will bring on all kinds of dangerous thinking that breaks the status quo that allows us to put things like history and future in a box!
Certain Organizations Put Restrictions on Love
Yellow Guy is sad about something his friend has done. Being the personification of innocence, he is approached by a seemingly well-intentioned individual who promises to show him love. What we end up seeing is that this individual is part of a group that has a long list of rules about how you can love, who you can love, and what love is. Finally, innocence sees that love is simple when he is reunited with his friends and is told that they love him. They didn’t need the constructs and rules to be loving. They just loved.
Big Business Wants to Control You Through Your Computer
Even though the episode starts out with an innocent desire to learn more through technology (which is always the happy story that is spun about the advantages of the digital age) things quickly take a turn. The Computery-Guy starts trying to learn as much as HE can about our main characters so that he can sell them stuff.
He also sucks them in as soon as one of them touches him. They are drawn into a digital world that they can’t escape, one that is obviously less exciting than real life, but they are convinced that it’s a fun world they should never leave. Luckily, Red Guy escapes and ends up seeing “behind the curtain” of the machine that’s been controlling them. His head explodes, symbolizing that he is no longer a prisoner and his mind is free.
Media Wants to Control Us Through Our Diets
It looks like Yellow and Green are now on an innocent little cooking show, but something is a tad bit off. Green Guy recognizes this and questions what he is being told, much to the frustration of our villains. They are trying to convince Yellow and Green of what is healthy to eat, but they keep contradicting themselves and overcomplicate everything. In the end, Green can’t take it anymore and escapes. Yellow is convinced by the villains that he should just eat exactly what he’s told and ends up eating Green out of a can. This is to symbolize that those who can’t think for themselves will fall for anything just to make life simpler.
Innocence is Hard Lost
At the beginning of the last episode, we see that Yellow (or Innocence) is the only character that has not escaped. This is because, in our innocence, we all want to believe and trust. We want to keep the feeling that there are smarter and more capable people behind the controls of this world. We see that Yellow is starting to mature by trying to ignore the song, but despite his desire to escape, his lack of understanding keeps him stuck.
Growing Up Doesn’t HAVE to be Boring
We see what has happened to Red Guy. He has grown up and gotten a job. He is surrounded by a bunch of people just like him, who are stuck in the same boring job. Red Guy doesn’t accept this. He tries to find something imaginative in his boring life, but is quickly dismissed by his co-workers. We see him start to develop a more complex personality than what he is expected to be (apathy) by experimenting with fun and creativity.
People Will Tear Down Your Creativity
When Red Guy goes all out, tearing off his boring suit and jumping on stage to share his creativity, he is boo-ed and told that what he is doing isn’t very good. To be fair, it isn’t very good. All he is doing is digging into a more innocent time and portraying what he learned creativity was supposed to be. However, he is at least making an attempt and is quickly put down by the boring people around him. This may seem familiar to the many people out there who have poured their heart and soul into a YouTube project and saw words in the comments like “so-and-so did something like this and it was SO much better” or “why did you make this” or “stop making videos now!”
Some People Are Beyond Saving
When Red Guy finds the Machine, he attempts to help his friend (Yellow Guy) break free, but nothing works. He throws out every message and reminder possible of the horror they experienced, but Yellow Guy just sits in confusion. He doesn’t have that moment of realization like Red and Green did. Although he recognizes something is wrong and odd, he doesn’t have the strength of will or mind to break down the facade and think for himself. We will always deal with people who seem to know something is wrong with this world, but still fall for everything fed to them.
This Entire Process is Cyclical
When Red Guy pulls the plug and resets the machine, we see that everything has started over but everything is also a bit different. The date changes from June 19th (which was consistently the date through all the episodes) to June 20th, symbolizing progress to the next generation. We see three similar characters sitting at the table, but everything is colored differently. Then the series ends with the Sketchbook opening up to push his creativity lesson down the throats of his next victims.
Every generation has the opportunity to think for themselves or remain imprisoned by the boundaries of mainstream media. Some will mature and escape, but some will always be prisoners who are told exactly what to think.