Elmo’s Leap Day post goes viral for creeping people out: ‘I am terrified’

‘This is my sleep paralysis demon built on decades of unresolved childhood trauma’

Brittany Miller
New York
Friday 01 March 2024 20:49 GMT
Related: Larry David forced to apologise after attacking Elmo on live TV

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Louise Thomas

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Elmo has once again caused an uproar on social media.

Leap Day, which occurred this year on Thursday 29 February, comes around once every four years - giving the shortest month of the year one extra day. To celebrate the rare occasion, the Sesame Street puppet took to X, formerly Twitter, to wish everyone a happy Leap Day.

“Happy Leap Day, everybody! Ribbit ribbit ha ha ha! Elmo Frog loves you,” he captioned his post, which featured Elmo altered to look like a frog sitting on a lilypad.

Although the attempt was to transform the muppet to fit the frog-themed day, many people in the replies expressed how scared they were of an Elmo frog.

“Elmo, beloved, I am terrified,” one person responded to the post.

Another agreed, writing: “This is my sleep paralysis demon built on decades of unresolved childhood trauma.”

“Am I the only one creeped out by frog Elmo?” a third comment read.

Some commenters even begged Elmo to delete the image to avoid anyone else from seeing it online.

“Elmo please delete I’m begging you,” another post on X read.

This isn’t the first time the children’s television character has gone viral on social media. Back in January, Elmo took to the platform to ask how people were doing and the result was an outpouring of grief, anxiety, and existential angst.

“Elmo is just checking in! How is everybody doing?” he asked.

“Elmo, I’m gonna be real, I am at my f***ing limit,” responded Lebanon-based journalist Séamus Malekafzali.

“The world is burning around us, Elmo,” said football YouTuber Steven McInerney.

While many of the replies to Elmo were at least partly joking, other responses had an underlying sense of dread or despair. A few claimed to hold back their emotions for the sake of Elmo, who is canonically three and a half years old.

“I’m not gonna do this to you Elmo. I’m gonna hold it in and let you keep your peace,” said one user.

For Ohio-based poet and critic Hanif Abdurraqib, Elmo’s question exemplified the duality of life. “Elmo, each day the abyss we stare into grows a unique horror. One that was previously unfathomable in nature. Our inevitable doom which once accelerated in years, or months, now accelerates in hours, even minutes,” Mr Abdurraqib wrote. “However, I did have a good grapefruit earlier, thank you for asking.”

After the outpouring of emotion on social media, Elmo tweeted: “Wow! Elmo is glad he asked! Elmo learned that it is important to ask a friend how they are doing. Elmo will check in again soon, friends! Elmo loves you. #EmotionalWellBeing.”

Previously, the puppet was also involved in a physical incident with Larry David on NBC’s Today show. The Curb Your Enthusiasm creator and the Sesame Street icon were separate guests on the show. However, the pair came to blows in a staged skit, in which David appeared to grab Elmo’s face - much to the horror of hosts Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, and Craig Melvin.

As David went for the puppet’s mouth, Guthrie yelled, “Oh my God,” while Kotb and Melvin put their hands over their mouths.

“Larry, you’ve gone too far this time!” Guthrie added.

Elmo confronted David and said: “Let’s get back on the couch and talk about how you’re feeling.”

During his interview with Guthrie and Kotb, David was asked to make an apology “from the heart” to the Sesame Street star. The pair eventually reconciled after some intervention from the hosts, when David said through laughter: “Elmo, I just want to apologise. I’m really sorry.”

“Thank you, Larry,” the character responded, shaking from rage. “Elmo accepts your apology.”

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