Elmo takes the world’s temperature… Yep, it’s still burning.
It all started with a fairly innocuous question on X from Sesame Street’s beloved Muppet.
“Elmo is just checking in! How is everybody doing?”
Putting aside the fact that he’s referring to himself in the third person *shudder*, no one was prepared for humanity’s despair to come pouring through social media’s floodgates quite so quickly, putting The Shining ’s blood-gushing elevator to shame.
Yes, spoiler alert: Noone’s OK right now.
Thousands have replied to the red felt puppet’s post (which has been read upwards of 172 million times), and it’s a veritable deluge of venting, angst and trauma dumping that has probably taken the children’s show character by surprise.
The reaction to the innocent wellness check has certainly cast him as the world’s de facto therapist.
“Every morning, I cannot wait to go back to sleep. Every Monday, I cannot wait for Friday to come,” a user wrote. “Every single day and every single week for life.”
“Elmo I’m suffering from existential dread over here,” another replied.
Collective breakdown continued, and celebrities joined in.
Actress Rachel Zegler said she was “resisting the urge to tell Elmo that I am kinda sad”.
“We’ve been better, Elmo,” wrote the Detroit Free Press, in response to the Detroit Lions falling to the San Francisco 49ers. (That’s American Football, in case you were wondering.)
Our favourite? A reply from poet Hanif Abdurraqib: “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.”
Bleak. But he did sign off with the following line: “however I did have a good grapefruit earlier, thank you for asking”
It was all very overwhelming, so Elmo replied: “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”
US President Joe Biden agreed, posting: “I know how hard it is some days to sweep the clouds away and get to sunnier days. Our friend Elmo is right: We have to be there for each other, offer our help to a neighbor in need, and above all else, ask for help when we need it. Even though it’s hard, you’re never alone.”
Sesame Street’s official X account even shared a link to mental health resources.
The show has addressed the mental health of children and their families in videos, podcasts and courses in the past through its Sesame Workshop, especially as suicide has become a leading cause of death among people aged 10-14.
“Thank you, @Elmo, for checking in with a reminder for us to pause and take a mindful moment to focus on how we’re feeling,” Sesame Street’s official account wrote. “For #EmotionalWellbeing resources and more, visit @SesameWorkshop: http://sesame.org/mentalhealth.”
We’re guessing Elmo’s going to be taking some time offline to recover now.