I have a toddler at home. If you’re a parent, you know what that means — I watch a lot of Sesame Street. Oddly enough, I was a little terrified of the show when I was a kid (or at least, Bert and Ernie), so I’m making up for lost time now. Hours have been spent watching segments like “Elmo’s World” and “Abby’s Flying Fairy School” — but my personal favorite Muppets are both blue and furry. Yep, Grover and Cookie Monster.
Cookie Monster has been a staple of the show forever. And if there’s one thing to know about him, it’s that he can’t get enough cookies. Yes, he’s diversified a little bit (admitting that vegetables are also delicious), but that doesn’t mean he’s sworn off the snack. That’s why it’s almost unbelievable to realize that Cookie Monster’s cookies aren’t legit.
Now, I’m no stranger to television magic. I know the burgers advertised on television won’t really look that way when I order them myself. And I know there are plenty of tips and tricks that people use to create illusions on television. It’s incredibly creative. However, this one stings a little bit.
On Reddit, one Redditor pointed out that the “cookie” props used on air are actually painted rice cakes.
That caused another Redditor to point out another true comment. And yeah — we all know this one, but sometimes it’s just important to believe.
(Actually, Mattreyu? Cookie Monster isn’t a puppet. He’s a Muppet. That word was actually made up by Jim Henson himself after trying to combine “puppet” with “marionette.” There may not be a ton of difference, but is there a puppet more beloved than a Muppet)?
When you think about it, a rice cake does crumble more than an actual fresh-out-of-the-oven cookie does. So, for visual effects, it makes sense that they’d use something else. (Plus, rice cakes aren’t all that expensive, and Cookie Monster happens to go through a lot of them).
Oddly enough, Cookie himself tweeted about trying rice cakes for the first time last year. He didn’t notice any sort of similarity to the food he’s munched on for years, which is pretty interesting.
Today me tried new food: rice cakes. Dis must be cruel joke. Dey taste NOTHING like cake!— Cookie Monster (@MeCookieMonster) July 11, 2018
One person commented that they were duped by their mom when it came to rice cakes. Luckily, nobody seemed to ruin the reality for Cookie himself. Who knows how he’d handle it?
When I was a little kid my mom told me that rice cakes were cookies, and I believed her until I finally got a real cookie!!— Cory Burns Barger (@corybee) July 11, 2018
In fact, most people played along. When you spend time tweeting to a Muppet, you know they were an important part of your childhood.
Wow! that’s messed up. Did it at least taste like rice?— deathxo (@deathxo_) July 11, 2018
The blue fur I love so much is actually the key reason why the Muppeteers prefer rice cakes to actual cookies. The real deal is a bit too greasy for Muppet fur, and if they do a few takes, Cookie Monster may end up with an unnatural shine.
3/19 Surprising #Funfacts About Chocolate Chip #Cookies - Those cookies the Cookie Monster eats on Sesame Street are actually rice cakes with brown dots painted on. Real cookies would make the Muppet greasy, explains David Borgenicht in his book, Sesame Street Unpaved. pic.twitter.com/EG668EZ2Jp— Sven (@SvenRoyalChef) December 3, 2018
While the fact hasn’t necessarily been a secret, it still manages to surprise more and more Sesame Street fans per year.
I guess people just couldn’t imagine (or didn’t want to imagine) Cookie Monster eating anything else.
TIL cookie monster has been tearing up rice cakes all these years. whoa— a. (@Amoebic) August 1, 2016
And even though people understand the reason why cookies weren’t used, it’s still a bit of a blow. It’s like when we learned the truth about Santa.
If you think your childhood was ruined more from The Last Jedi then the fucking Cookie Monster eating rice cakes for the last 50 years, you got your priorities all mixed up. https://t.co/sJekAY1wim— Travis Wladkowski (@The_5th_Turtle) June 3, 2018
The show has made a point to diversify the diets of all the Muppets. Not only have they had songs that encourage kids to try different foods more than once, but they’ve made sure to show Cookie Monster appreciate healthy food as well. So much so that he once had a bit of an identity crisis.[fm_youtube url="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1s2VGJdpaCU"]
It must be tough to have a name like Cookie Monster. There’s probably a lot of pressure to eat every cookie in sight, all day, every day.
But, “Rice Cake” Monster just doesn’t have the same ring to it. No matter what, if you crave cookies (or cake!), you won’t get the same satisfaction with a rice cake, even though they’ve come a long way.
If you’ve ever checked them out at the grocery store, you’d realize that they almost have the same selection as chips. (Plus, you can top them with a bunch of good stuff — including stuff that’ll actually make them almost resemble a frosted cookie)!
So next time you sit down and watch an episode of Sesame Street, you may want to pay extra close attention to our buddy Cookie. This fact may entirely change the way you watch the show.
And you should give major props to the art department on Sesame Street for making this truth so hard to believe. It must take a lot of time to paint those cookies — just to have Cookie Monster destroy them in one bite — and it’s definitely appreciated. Only the crew on the show could make rice cakes literally look so good.