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 "Guess what Elmo's thinking about today! YA-TA-TA-TAAAAAA!"


"Hi! Welcome to Elmo's World! Elmo is so happy to see you, and so is Dorothy! Say hello, Dorothy!"

Elmo's World is a show-within-a-show that has been airing at the tail end of each Sesame Street episode since 1998. Elmo's World segments were produced from 1998 to 2009 and have been airing on new Sesame Street episodes ever since.

The Elmo's World segment focuses on one subject throughout its 10-minute course, and numerous skits, anecdotes, puns and other gags all center on that subject. The routine is almost entirely rigid, so it's only proper that the tropes start off with...

  • Once an Episode:
    • The theme song kicks everything off, of course. "Lala, lala... lala, lala... Elmo's World..."
    • Elmo reveals the subject of the day (hereinafter referred to as "Subject X").
    • A 30-second clip montage relating to Subject X is shown.
    • "Dorothy's been thinking about (Subject X) too!" Elmo says as a small model pertaining to Subject X is shown inside Dorothy's fishbowl.
    • "Dorothy has a question: How do you (do something involving Subject X)"? First, Elmo asks Mr. Noodle, who tries, in a very slapstick manner, to do it.
    • Next, a few kids demonstrate how it's done.
    • Finally, Elmo wants to ask a baby. Elmo goes over to the baby and asks him/her how to (do something involving Subject X), who more often than not does nothing in response.
    • "And now, Elmo has a question fooooor YOU!" ...and it's a counting quiz involving Subject X.
    • An animated computer may prance in at this point and declare that "Elmo has mail!" Elmo then reads an e-mail from one of his Muppet friends.
    • An animated end table (named "Drawer") then tosses out a "do random things have/do Subject X" quiz. Almost always a birthday cake and a random Sesame Street character are involved.
    • Next is a slice-of-life segment where a child did something related to Subject X, and that child "told Elmo all about it!"
    • Elmo then wants to find out more about Subject X; at that point, an animated television saunters in so Elmo can watch "The (Subject X) Channel" and a short animated segment. (Many a time it's "The Boy/Girl Who Loved (Subject X).")
    • How can Elmo find out even MORE about Subject X? In comes a Muppet related to Subject X for a discussion.
    • The discussion is interrupted by Dorothy imagining Elmo in a situation involving Subject X. In this segment, Elmo may take on the form of any animal, nationality or profession.
    • In some earlier episodes, Elmo has a Home Video Camera in which he calls the title of the Home Video about Subject X and records the video by using TV, and after TV turns on, it shows Elmo and a Sesame Street character (or Dorothy) playing and discussing about Subject X
    • Finally, everyone sings "The (Subject X) Song", which is the word/phrase of Subject X sung over and over to the tune of "Jingle Bells".

Other tropes appearing in Elmo's World:

  • Affectionate Nickname: In the Christmas Special, Kelly Ripa gives Elmo a warm goodbye and says his nickname "Monster of the Universe".
  • Animate Inanimate Objects: The door, the window shade, the TV, the computer and the one-drawer end table (a.k.a. "Drawer").
  • Artificial Gill: In the episode Water, Elmo pretends to be a scuba diver in Dorothy’s imagination and breaths air with his monster gills while looking at all the fish like a big aquarium at the beach.
  • Aside Glance: Elmo does this on the picture above at the beginning of the episode about birds before he introduces the viewers. He looks like he is making a viral video of him doing a Dramatic Chipmunk to the viewers with his home video camera like he did in earlier seasons of the show.
    • He also does this in the episode Computers when he tries to open the shade by saying “Oh, Boy“ to the camera
  • Babies Make Everything Better: "Elmo wants to ask a baby!"
  • Baths Are Fun: One episode has a topic about bath time, giving yourself a bath and getting clean
  • Bat Out of Hell: One episode features a topic about sleep, and in Dorothy’s imagination, Elmo is a bat that sleeps hanging upside down. Get it?
  • Bear Hug: In one episode, Elmo looks and says he loves his pet goldfish Dorothy, which gives her a big hug
  • Class Pet: In one point of the episode Pets, Elmo's pet goldfish Dorothy imagined Elmo as a hamster exercising on his wheel, which hamsters are school class pets
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Elmo, of course, along with his neighbor Mr. Noodle.
  • Coincidental Broadcast: Elmo's TV just happens to be tuned to the channel of whatever Elmo's thinking about. (Examples: "The Teeth Channel", "The Building Things Channel", "The Frog Channel" and yes, "The Weather Channel".
    • On the episode about skin, the TV shows the "All About Skin Channel". Evidently "The Skin Channel" sounded too porno-ish for a children's TV show.
  • Cool Bike: Grover has his own cool bike as seen in the Bicycles episode.
  • Cool, Clear Water: The episode Water features a talking glass of water interviewed by Elmo.
  • Comically Cross-Eyed: Elmo does this once in the episode Jackets after he fell down from after the Mr. Noodle segment
  • Curtains Match the Window: In one episode called Sleep, the color of Elmo as a squirrel’s tail matches his fur, which is red
  • Dance Party Ending: Each episode of the show ends this way, especially with the Birds episode where everyone sings and dances to The Chicken Dance on TV
  • Disease-Prevention Aesop: There was an episode where Mr. Noodle and some kids wash their hands to get rid of germs and COVID-19
  • Do-It-Yourself Theme Tune: The Theme Song was performed by Elmo himself, singing about how he loves his goldfish Dorothy and his crayons, too
  • Door Roulette: What's Elmo thinking about today? Most often after pontificating this, he'll go to the door behind him, open it... and either get run over by Muppet animals or people, have a wall of objects fall on him, or be confronted by a random snippet of video.
  • Edible Theme Naming: Mr. Noodle and his family
  • Edutainment Show
  • Ending Theme: Each episode ends with people singing "the [theme of skit] song", which is just a word representing the skit sung repeatedly to the tune of Jingle Bells and ending with "That's Elmo's World!" to the tune of the show’s theme.
  • Every Episode Ending: The show has an ending song with Elmo and an object relating to the episode’s topic singing The (BLANK) Song, which is to the tune of Jingle Bells, and then sing the reprise of the Elmo’s World Theme Song after that.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Yes, there's a "dinosaur" episode.
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: As well as one entirely devoted to penguins.
  • Excited Kids' Show Host: Elmo.
  • Exploding Closet: Some episodes of the show have Elmo determine today's topic by opening one of these.
  • False Teeth Tomfoolery: It is revealed that Elmo has false teeth at the beginning of the episode Teeth after the Door Roulette with Elmo being dropped by many teeth-related things
  • The Fool: Mr. Noodle, who has no idea of how to perform a simple task, and has to be guided by Elmo to get it done correctly.
  • Forbidden Fruit: The door is always a forbidden fruit whenever Elmo goes to see something in there until he gets a wall of objects falling on him at the beginning of some episodes, such as Teeth, Games, Birthdays, etc
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: The subject: Balls. Take your pick.
    • Subverted at the end when Elmo's "ball song" repeats the singular "ball" over and over.
  • Happy Dance: In one example from the classic series, Zoe in a home video does her happy dance with Elmo watching her.
    • The most famous example is at the end of each episode of the reboot series with Elmo doing his happy dance, and he will want to join you do your own happy dance. It also comes with its own tutorial as well.
  • He Who Must Not Be Heard: Mr. Noodle.
  • “I Am” Song: Subverted in the voice-over parody series with Elmo as an adult singing the “I Am” version of the song Bird in a Gilded Cage instead of the Third Person thing in Dorothy’s imagination
  • Impact Silhouette: Used in the Weather episode when Elmo goes skiing in the snow in Dorothy’s imagination
  • Incredibly Long Note: Used at the end of the episode Music.
  • Inevitable Waterfall: There was one episode called “Water” where the door opens to reveal a beautiful waterfall.
  • Jerkass (as Jerkass as it can be in a preschooler-oriented program, anyway): The Drawer likes to knock Elmo down in the process of getting out the photo quiz.
  • Living Drawing: The show's main location takes place in a, that's right, a living drawing. You know, a living drawing
  • Marshmallow Dream: In the episode Sleep, Cookie Monster eats a cookie in his sleep while dreaming of cookies, and he replies "Ooh, sweet dreams" to himself before the drawer closes by itself. Other occasion of this is in the TV Cartoon segment in which a little girl dreams of an ice cream world in her sleep while her cat Rocket is riding on a motorcycle.
  • Mondegreen: Some Sprout airings of Episode 3986 and Episode 4193 of Sesame Street have the line “Most Squirrels Do” from the episode Sleep. If you listen closely enough, you can hear the bed saying “Most Swirls Do” instead of “Squirrels”, so that’s a misheard quote.
  • Nice Mice: Elmo Mouse in Dorothy’s imagination is one of them in the episode about ears. Elmo Mouse can also be seen in Bath Time and Cats.
  • Niche Network: Elmo's TV tunes in to these kinds of channels to teach kids.
  • No Fourth Wall
  • Nutty Squirrel: Elmo becomes a squirrel in Dorothy’s imagination in the episode Sleep, as he’s holding a nut and swishing his tail in his slumber. Haha.
  • Open the Door and See All the People: Especially "Friends" and "Singing."
  • Origin Episode: There was an episode about Sesame Street and how we met the characters of the show, as Elmo narrates and discusses about the titular location itself with Dorothy and Mr. Noodle. We even had a baby version of Cookie Monster too.
  • Planet of Steves: The apartment next door to Elmo, where you'll find Mr. Noodle, "Mr. Noodle's brother Mr. Noodle", and occasionally "Mr. Noodle's sister Ms. Noodle". And their first names are never mentioned.
  • Proud Peacock: In the episode Birds, Dorothy imagines Elmo as a peacock with colorful feathers. He replies "Wow! Cool, huh?" and giggles at the audience until the segment closes
  • Radar: In an episode that is all about socks, when Elmo watches The Sock Channel, the announcer says: "Next up, Socks and the City."
  • Real Person Cameo: Used in one episode entitled Birds where Elmo and the birds do the Chicken Dance while watching an animated segment from The Bird Channel on TV
  • Rearrange the Song: At the end of the episode, Elmo plays "Jingle Bells" on his piano... however, the lyrics are just "water, water, water... water, water, water..." or "hands, hands, hands... hands, hands, hands..." or (repeated ad nauseum) words to that effect.
  • Rubbery World: Elmo's house. Everything bends, twists, bounces or stretches. You can't just turn the doorknob, it streeeetches and the door "pops" open.
  • Screwball Squirrel: Elmo is one of them when Dorothy imagined him as a squirrel in the episode Sleep. Don’t mention him why his tail’s swinging while sleeping.
  • Second-Person Attack: In an episode of the show called "Water", a boy is shown squirting a jet of water at the camera with a hose during a montage of kids playing with water.
  • Sequel Episode: The show had several sequel episodes, like “Water” and “Teeth”, “Dogs”, “Pets” and “Cats” and “Shoes”, “Hats”, “Jackets” and “Getting Dressed”.
  • Shark Fin of Doom: Parodied in the episode Hands where Elmo's hand is pretending to be a shark.
  • Stock Footage: Every episode of the first season of the show opens up with stock footage. You know, Elmo introducing the viewers to his own world and meeting his pet goldfish Dorothy.
  • Strictly Formula: Indeed. The order of some of the routines is switched up in a handful of episodes, however.
  • Sleep Aesop: An episode of the show is all about sleep and rest. Get it? Cause this episode’s about sleeping?
  • Sleepwalking: In the episode Sleep, this proves that the Computer is a sleepwalker
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The song Elmo pounds on the piano at the end of each sketch is eight notes (in the end) away from "Jingle Bells," with a different word repeated 28 times.
  • Terrible Artist: Some of the drawings in this show are pretty terrible, like the one with Elmo’s mom and dad.
  • They Who Must Not Be Seen: During the Mr. Noodle and photo quiz segments, a couple of kids are heard (but never seen) coaching Mr. Noodle and responding to the quiz, respectively.
  • The Something Song: Most episodes of the show (which often occurs near the end of the more recent episodes of Sesame Street) often end with Elmo singing "The (insert topic here) Song", which is sung to the tune of "Jingle Bells", and composes of Elmo simply singing the topic name over and over again. In the Christmas Episode, Elmo actually sings the actual "Jingle Bells" song instead!
  • Theme Tune Cameo: Elmo hums the theme song at the beginning of some episodes of the show before he opens the door to reveal a wall of objects relating to the episode’s topic falling on him
    • It is also occurred before Elmo tells the shade to open, before Elmo opens the door to reveal a special guest to interview about the episode’s topic or before Elmo asks a baby after some kids demonstrate different things relating to the episode’s topic.
    • This also occurred at the beginning of some Elmo's World Home Videos from the first season.
  • Third Person Person: Elmo, to the extreme. "Excuse Elmo." "...and Elmo is Elmo!"
    • Lampshaded in the "Letter R Mystery" sketch during the regular portion of Sesame Street.
  • Tired After the Song: In an episode about building, a construction worker sings about her job, and then takes a nap. She then continues to sing the song in her sleep.
    • There is also a sleeping episode in which after Elmo sings The Sleep Lullaby, he ends up sleeping on his piano as the others sing along as Elmo sleeps on
  • Title Please: Each segment doesn't have a title card.
  • To the Tune Of: The (Subject X) Song is the tune of the Christmas song Jingle Bells
  • Twinkle Smile: Used several times in the episode called Teeth in the footage at the beginning of the episode.
  • Waking Up Elsewhere: Happens a lot in the episode Sleep with the inanimate objects in the show sleeping and wanting to wake up so badly with Elmo using a clock or cymbals to wake them up
  • Wrap-Up Song: The show originally ended with Elmo playing the piano and singing a song To the Tune of "Jingle Bells" about that day's subject, ending by saying goodbye to Dorothy, the viewers, and the topic of the day, followed by this last line: "That's Elmo's Wooooorld!"
    • Recent versions of the show ends with Elmo's Happy Dance, and encourages the viewer to join him!

 Detective Alphie Betts (played by Adam Rodriguez): You are Elmo, age 3½, you love your goldfish and your crayon too, and you have a habit of speaking in the third person.