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What We Really Learned from “Sesame Street”

It’s no secret that Sesame Street delivers more than just witty monster banter and great ideas for Halloween costumes that will inevitably take a turn for the worst (Sexy Elmo? Really?). The characters and scenarios on the show have always been meant as teaching tools, often intended to help kids deal with difficult issues. We recently reflected on the valuable and nuanced life lessons we learned from our most beloved furry friends. Click through and let the teaching begin.

Big Bird

1 / 8

Big Bird always had a lesson he wanted to teach us and those around him, and he usually wanted to do so in song. The takeaway here is that it’s always better to deliver unsolicited critiques of your friends’ personality flaws with an upbeat melody and light musical accompaniment—either that or dress up in a giant bird suit when you’ve got bad news to deliver; your friends will be so distracted by this that they will barely realize you are telling them they are morally bankrupt. _Photo source: "Muppet Wiki":http://bit.ly/2lH823_

Bert and Ernie

2 / 8

There has been a lot of speculation recently about Bert and Ernie’s motives for shacking up: were they just friends, or was it something more? Regardless of how they define themselves (just friends, according to a statement Sesame Street posted to its Facebook page in August), the real lesson learned from this pair is that someday in life, each of us will likely meet somebody with a colossal unibrow. Although its heft and bulk will be distracting and prompt a plethora of questions, it’s best to pretend it doesn’t exist and focus instead on common ground, such as a shared love for striped shirts and turtlenecks. _Photo source: "Wikipedia":http://bit.ly/5PBLaP_

Cookie Monster

3 / 8

First and foremost, Cookie Monster taught us to be grateful for the fact that we don’t have puppet mouths and can therefore consume the food we chew rather than letting it dribble down sides of our faces. (Don’t get me started on how many delicious cookies were wasted on that puppet mouth.) But he also taught us the failure to practice moderation has dire consequences, namely that everyone likes you and thinks you’re hilarious. _Photo source: "Scientopia.org":http://scientopia.org/blogs/childsplay/2010/08/08/blind-item-cookie-monster/_

The Count

4 / 8

Basic math skills are important, but the takeaway here is that Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is easily disguised as a fun character quirk if you trump it by dressing as a vampire. _Photo source: "Muppet Wiki":http://bit.ly/3QD9o1_

Oscar the Grouch

5 / 8

It’s no coincidence that the rise of the hipster nation coincides with the maturation of a generation raised on Oscar the Grouch. Think about it: he’s a surly trash can–dwelling, scruffy-haired, DIYer with a fondness for items that other people deem ugly, useless, or label as garbage. Give him some skinny jeans and glasses and we’ve got ourselves the original hipster. _Photo source: "Muppet Wiki":http://bit.ly/E3ayN_

Mr. Snuffleupagus

6 / 8

We always had a soft spot for Mr. Snuffleupagus. The lessons we learned were to be patient with slow, cumbersome people who also have enormous eyelashes. So far it has always paid off. _Photo source: "Muppet Wiki":http://bit.ly/rGFj5_

Grover

7 / 8

Grover had many jobs on Sesame Street, but the most memorable was Super Grover. This caped crusader—whose tagline was “And I’m cute, too”—taught us that despite our foibles and failures, we can all be heroes in our own mind as long as we have some rope, a random swath of fabric to tie around us, and we always wear a helmet. Not only will we be heroes in this garb, we’ll be cute, too. _Photo source: "Muppet Wiki":http://bit.ly/9avPtc_

Kermit

8 / 8

The rate at which Kermit dropped knowledge on our kiddie brains was ridiculous; it’s difficult to pinpoint the most important bit of wisdom imparted by this prolific amphibian. He taught us that at times, we will all feel insecure about our green skin, and that no matter our species we all can aspire to be trenchcoat-wearing newscasters. But most importantly, Kermit taught us that there are _a lot_ of exasperating puppets out there. _Photo source: "Muppet Wiki":http://bit.ly/220KC1_

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