Part of what makes writing about television on the internet so much fun is that you get to spitball some of the most ridiculous ideas that there have ever been and then slowly start to convince people that they might not be so ridiculous after all. It’s like an 11 pm pub conversation, only anyone can join in. And then there’s some people who’ve performed above and beyond the call of duty, who – like the incredibly geeky conspiracy theorists that they are – have freeze-framed DVDs, blown up stills and pulled together seemingly unrelated threads to present to the world, as though sprung fully-formed from the head of Zeus, the looniest theories known to man: all so we don’t have to.
This self-sacrificing dedication to television geekery is to be commended – no, applauded.
Here are the best of the bunch to date: a countdown of the most insane fan theories about television shows that made us stop, laugh, shake our heads and then go hang on There are a few spoilers here, for those who care about such things – and no, no St. Elsewhere or Tommy Westphall on the list. He deserves an article all to himself.
8. Toby Flenderson Is The Scranton Strangler
The US version of The Office had a lot going for it over the original English version - the never less than perfect Steve Carell, an arguably higher comedy hit rate, and more time to develop relationships between characters. And what characters every single cast member got their chance to shine, none more so than writer and producer Paul Lieberstein as sad sack HR representative Toby Flenderson.
One of Toby’s running gags in the second half of the shows run was his obsession with the case of the Scranton Strangler, the town’s very own (and probably only) serial killer. First mentioned in season six, the Strangler was apparently captured after a police chase and stand-off in season seven, revealed to be a man named George Howard Skub. Toby is later forced to attend jury duty on the Strangler case, and duly finds the man guilty along with his peers, only later to admit that he wasn’t sure they had the right man after all.
This is picked up again in the final season, when Toby’s own investigations lead him to determine that Skub may be innocent. Upon visiting Skub on death row, Toby is attacked by Skub, who tried to strangle him, so proving to all that Toby was wrong, and that the right man was convicted. Or was he?
Reddit users aren’t so sure. They posit that that sad, divorced loner Toby is precisely the type to snap and go around murdering people. They cite his failed attempt to change his life by moving to Costa Rica as the turning point only lasting a couple of days before breaking his neck and spending the rest of the time in rehabilitation, Toby returns to Scranton obsessed with making the town pay.
There are plenty of signs, if you look for them. Toby calls asbestos the silent killer and Michael retorts disparagingly, you’re the silent killer!, Toby mutters, you’ll see Toby also threatens to kill Clark under his breath, although we can’t blame him for that one. But what about the attack in prison?
Well, if you’d been framed and convicted for multiple murder, and then the real killer came to visit you to gloat about it, wouldn’t you try to kill him?[/nextpage][nextpage]
7. Every Character In Winnie The Pooh Represents A Mental Health Issue
Actually based on a tongue-in-cheek article by the Canadian Medical Association, this theory posits that the loveable toy animals that Christopher Robin plays with so much as a child each represent a specific learning difficulty or personality disorder, suggesting that the young boy may not be entirely well himself, potentially suffering from a form of dissociative disorder, or a case of schizophrenia.
Piglet’s behaviour is characterised by a generalised anxiety disorder (manifesting itself in a little stuttering and his nervousness and excitability), while Owl is a very bright and intelligent individual clearly dealing with dyslexia. Tigger is named as an obvious sufferer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. His impulsive nature tends to lead him to try anything that crosses his path, indicating a propensity for substance abuse, but his infectious enthusiasm makes him a social magnet, meaning that others could be manipulated into following his questionable example. Kanga deals with social anxiety disorder, expressed as an over-protective mothering instinct, while Rabbit’s organizational obsession and jumpy fixation with order are indicative of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Eeyore, of course, is a classic case of clinical depression.
And what about our hero, Pooh himself? Well, he exhibits signs of a sub-type of ADHD called inattentivity, which can lead to careless and indifferent behaviour. He’s impulsive with obsessive overtones when it comes to honey, and this has led to issues with overeating and obesity. Finally, his fixation with counting indicates a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder and ADHD combined with OCD can lead to Tourettes Syndrome in later life. If you’re now imagining a bear wandering through the woods in a red t-shirt shouting, twitching and swearing at everything it sees, then don’t worry. So is everyone else reading this.[/nextpage][nextpage]
6. House Is An Adult Doogie Howser
An oldie but a goodie, this one. Since the advent of House, MD on US television in 2004, comparisons have been made between the grumpy, borderline sociopathic genius Doctor Gregory House, played by Hugh Laurie and the child genius Doctor Douglas Doogie Howser from Doogie Howser, MD (played by a very young Neil Patrick Harris, in the role that made him a household name).
The eerie similarities are seemingly endless. The similarity of the name of both the show and the central character and their huge, huge brains (okay, maybe there are only two eerie similarities) but it’s enough to make you wonder. What if Doogie, despairing at ever being taken seriously as a doctor due to his inability to shave and his high, wavering voice, developed a misanthropic attitude (compounded by the infarction in his right leg that led to constant agony and a painkiller addiction), disowned his family, slightly changed his name and went into diagnostics and mind games?
That would also explain his refusal to shave later on in life. Or maybe not. It’s a nice idea, though.
(Excerpt) Read More at: WhatCulture.com[/nextpage]