In our favorite shows, things don’t always make…sense. We’ve discussed how when you’re overexposed to something, you start reading between the lines. Noticing new things about the show.
Exposing it for the lunacy lurking deep within.
Our after a round table discussion on fan theories, some of our writers revealed that some of their favorite shows, games, and cartoons were not exactly what they seemed. And desperately, they divulged the need to share some of their favorite (original!) fan theories.
4) Samurai Pizza Cats: The truth behind Francine’s Modus Operandi
Who do you call when you want some pepperoni?
I don’t know. I’m not the boss of you. What’s your favorite pizza place?
Save your answers and your order for later and let’s get down to brass tacks. Samurai Pizza Cats was my favorite cartoon back in the mid 90’s every Saturday on Fox Kids.
If you watched the show like I did then you know the premise is straightforward. If you haven’t watched the show…the premise is still straightforward.
Over the course of 52 episodes (save a clip show here or there) our heroes Speedy Cerviche, Polly Esther and Guido Anchovy save Little Tokyo from the attack of local Prime Minister Seymour “The Big” Cheese, Bad Bird, the Ninja Crows and various robots.
But were these robot attacks Big Cheese idea from the start? If you ask me, and maybe you didn’t but roll with me here, these were the ideas of the Pizza Cats pizza parlor owner Francine.
Oh, but her purpose wasn’t malicious, but more of the delicious variety.
It’s never made clear how the pizza parlor was started or how they keep business up. The way I see it Francine, being head of communications and finances rolled up to Big Cheese one day and was all “yo, check it. I need to get business up and start slinging more pizzas dawg err, rat. You’re good with robotics, maybe you can whip something together to bring in customers”.
Now, Big Cheese is many things but subtle is not one of them.
Seeing this as his opportunity to rule over Little Tokyo he still falls flat on his face every time though thanks to our friends the Pizza Cats, but this still works to Francine’s favor anyway because, publicity!
Each time Little Tokyo is saved, more citizens will come to the pizza parlor for lunch.
In the words of Francine, “Kaboom!”
Start counting them dollar bills, ya’ll! Giant robot attacks would make anyone hungry, and the people of Little Tokyo need their pepperoni like I need sweet, sweet caffeine in the morning.
Francine is never terribly accurate launching Speedy, Polly and Guido from the cannon atop the parlor into action and truth be told she may not have hit the bullseye spot on with her money-making scheme here either.
But how was she to know Big Cheese would go completely sideways and in a fit of rage over his constant failures redirect a comet towards Little Tokyo, blackmail the city and force his son Bad Bird to team up with the Pizza Cats to save humanity once and for all (in 30 minutes or less, or your pizza’s free). Everyone and everything still gets to where it needs to be.
All Francine wanted was a little extra cheddar in the register at the end of each week, and isn’t that what we all want?
3) Mass Effect Andromeda: Something Atypical Going on with Peebee
Mass Effect: Andromeda (a continuation of the hugely popular Mass Effect series by the well-loved Bioware game studio) has something going on with Peebee, a party member and optional romance, part of the mono-gendered race called the Asari, who all look like blue-skinned space babes because this is a video game.
Peebee is presented as being different from the typical depiction of Asari, who are generally presented as space elves-wise, living for centuries and with the collected, aloof demeanour that such long lives tend to garner. Peebee on the other hand is bubbly and a motor mouth, intelligent but restless, constantly looking for the next new thing. For the most part, while she’s atypical for her race, she’s not strictly out of the ordinary on the whole.
But there’s something deeper at work-I think she actually has a mental condition, akin to an intense version of ADHD in humans. We’re going to focus on a point later in the game, where Peebee’s scrambling around in her room, seemingly on the verge of a panic attack. She basically says that it happens as a result of essentially being easily accessible to lots of people and she needs to spend time in some degree of sensory deprivation or another to calm herself down. She eventually decides on turning the escape pod she sleeps in on the ship into an anti-gravity chamber, which calms her down measurably.
The way she’s acting, it’s clear that it goes past just personal preference or wanting to take a break from people-you can almost feel the physical need for it. Even considering her preference for being a loner, that’s not a normal reaction and I certainly haven’t come across anything in the lore that suggests a reaction like that to anything is at all common among Asari. On top of that moment, she switches from absent-minded and bored to hyper focused at the drop of a hat, a focus she then loses as soon as she feels the excitement is gone. She reacts with unusually fervent hostility to the idea of being looked at by the ships psychologist (also an Asari) which she passes off as her not liking the fact said psychologist is a “typical Asari”.
This can definitely be read as the reaction of someone used to being called out of the ordinary and not wanting to deal with the experience again. Add to that, while she has no issue interacting with people and is pretty casual with physical relationships, she’s noticeably closed off when it comes to emotional intimacy even on the level of platonic friendships. All of this leaves us pretty convinced that she’s neuro-atypical in some way, which is awesome, since representations of any mental disorders that aren’t the focus of a character are sorely lacking. Plus, who doesn’t love the idea of getting into the nitty gritty of alien psychology?
Just us? Okay, move on.
2) PJ Masks: The Secret Science Experiment No One is Talking About
Or as I’d like to call it “My First Superhero Show”. At first glance, PJ Masks is a delightfully simple premise. A set of three friends, all about six-years-old, discover a “crime” happening somewhere in their town. The show is formulaic as fuck and exists on just about the world’s tightest budget, so “trouble” only occurs in one of four settings. The friends, Amaya, Conner, and Greg transform (always at night) into The PJ Masks, a trio of superheroes who are on their way- into the night to save the day. While transformed into Owlette, Gecko, and Catboy, they “battle” one of three repeating meddling nighttime villains (who are also children). The night is saved and the PJ Masks resume their regular civilian lives in the morning.
Seems like a simple enough premise. I mean, it has to be to keep those babies watching transfixed. But there are some underlying issues in this universe that point in a clear and dangerous direction. That being that the PJ Masks…
…are a Truman Show style science experiment where the effectiveness of their superpowers is constantly being monitored.
Yes. Digest it for a moment.
Let’s start simple- three elementary school kids, all best friends, live next door to each other in a one-two-three row. Add to that, those same kids, who are best friends, who happen to live next door to each other…are on the same superhero team? Plus the roofs of their houses correspond to their superhero color?
What are the odds of all these things happening so perfectly like that?
Next in line for our proofs- these kids have no parents. In fact, there are no adults in this show at all. And the adults that do slip into that background? They’re there on the “playing field” to make sure there are no malfunctions in our Truman Show style universe. Sometimes there are other kids wandering around the “sets” but often, these three characters are all alone.
Now, onto the “danger”. Have you ever wondered why the “crimes” in this show are so asinine? No, it’s not because the show is keeping it safe because the average viewer is like, three. Stop changing the subject, you realist. No! The reason the danger is so stupid (such as erasers that go missing so teachers can’t erase the chalkboard and therefore kids won’t have to learn in school, etc.) is because the villains are sent down by the “watchers” to test the efficiency of the superpowers!
If the PJ Masks were in true danger, they could get severely injured or die. That’s not what “The Watchers” are aiming for here. All they want to do is create a little bit of chaos. So, look at it like this. “The Watchers” create a new technology or power for one of the Masks. They program it into whatever code is activated when the kid calls for said power. The respective PJ Mask now needs to use that power to “attack”. So, whenever a new power is generated for the superhero, “The Watchers” send down one of three villains: Romeo, Luna Girl, or Night Ninja.
Clearly, these three villains are on the other end of the spectrum for “The Watchers”. They’re part of the same project. It’s all a big game of cause and effect. And because the villains have no civilian form in this tiny town that’s like, smaller than the Warner Bros. studio lot, you know they’re being placed down to start some trouble nightly.
Which leads me to my final proof; nightly. These kids don’t fucking sleep.
Every single night, they transform “into the night to save the day.” No one stops them because they don’t have any parents. And they don’t realize they don’t have parents because grown-ups barely exist. If we want to take this fan theory to an even crazier place and accuse them of being cyborgs, we can go there and state that it’s not in their programming to remember they have parents. And that’s why they don’t need to sleep. But we’ll take the crazy only half force today and keep them human until it suits our narrative otherwise. But the question remains…
…why. Don’t. They. Fucking. Sleep!?!?!
1) Detective John Munch is a Dimension Jumping Space-Lord Crime Fighter
Detective John Munch is one of the most recognizable tertiary characters in television history. His wise-ass demeanor and corny jokes helped in bringing countless offenders to justice in Baltimore and New York City on the shows Homicide: Life on the Street and Law & Order: Special Victim’s Unit, respectively. A fun little piece of TV trivia is that the two generally unrelated franchises take place in the same universe. HOWEVER, while this crossover is regarded as canon, Detective Munch possesses the ability to crossover into other universes as well, all in the effort to fight crime in every conceivable dimension.
Munch has appeared in no less than 10 different fictional universes which have no other known branch or crossover. These universes include: The Wire, The X-Files, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, 30 Rock, and The Beat among others in the live action dimension. But does our pocked-marked, sun-bespectacled, underappreciated stand-up comedian stop there?
Of course not.
Munch also fought crime in comic book form in Spiderman/Deadpool #6 and as a Muppet on Sesame Street. While I wasn’t aware of many sexually based offenses taking place on Sesame Street, it’s still good to know our man’s working the beat and taking care of business. But why? If you possess the ability to change realities, why not make a bigger impact? He tries to tell us, he cries out to us in so many forms. The conspiracy theories, the failed love affairs, the vaudevillian humor, it’s all out there in the open…but to paraphrase a quote from the Detective himself, “we aren’t yet evolved enough to understand it.”
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