Welcome to Your Daily Nerd Thing. It is time to look at the final episode of Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared.
The episode begins with Yellow Guy alone in a bedroom. There are empty beds there for Red Guy and Duck Guy. Yellow Guy is crying and looking at a photo album of memories of his lost friends. Yellow Guy tries to go to bed but his nightstand lamp starts talking ready to start another lesson. However this time Yellow Guy quickly moves to turn the lamp off again rejecting the lesson. But its not that easy and the lamp pops up on the other side of the bed and takes Yellow Guy into a cartoon world to teach him about dreams. Yellow Guy continues to reject the lesson in the cartoon dream world until it starts making him drown in black oil. He then suddenly wakes up in his bed again only to find the nightmare oil has followed him into the waking world. Everything goes black for a second then the episode jumps to something completely different.
We see Red Guy but he is wearing a suit and working at a desk in an office alongside many other Red Guy beings. When asked to file some documents Red Guy shares his imagined scenario about the file coming to life and singing like in the lessons. But the other Red Guy beings just stare at him and reject his minor attempt at creativity. That night we see Red Guy at a table by himself at some kind of bar or club. All the other Red Guy beings are talking to each other about boring nonsense and one is on stage playing a piano wrong. Our Red Guy sheds his suit and goes onstage as the version of himself we know and begins singing the creativity song from episode one.
As the song goes on the other Red Guy beings begin to boo the performance. But then Red Guy notices Yellow Guy’s dad Roy sitting at a table in the back. Suddenly the microphone and stereo Red Guy was using have turned into puppet characters. Red Guy finds himself in darkness but in the distance the lamp’s dream song is playing. Red Guy follows it to some kind of media production machine and sees Yellow Guy in the bedroom with the lamp, the lesson still in progress. Red Guy begins pressing buttons and things get stranger.
As Red Guy tampers with the machine the old teachers from previous episodes begin randomly appearing in the bedroom with Yellow Guy singing their respective songs. Then for a brief moment Duck Guy appears unsure of where he is. But just as quickly Duck Guy is gone and replaced by a completely new teaching character, a man made of planets. The ‘Planet Guy’ begins singing a song like all the teachers before him. But he does not last long and new teachers made from various objects keep appearing and disappearing one after another. At one point we even see the singing file that Red Guy fantasized about earlier. In the bedroom Yellow Guy seems to get more and more upset and traumatized as the teachers keep appearing before him. Red Guy keeps tampering with the machine until a yellow hand reaches out and touches his shoulder.
Red Guy turns about to see Roy floating out of the darkness towards him as ominous music plays. That is when Red Guy notices the cord coming out of the machine. The cord leads to a giant electrical plug in the wall. Red Guy looks at the audience and says “I wonder what will happen” just before pulling the plug. The world then resets to the room from episode one. The characters are all there but with different colors. Red Guy is now blue. Yellow Guy is now green. Duck Guy is now red. The calendar date of June 19th which has appeared in every episode finally changes to June 20th. And in the final seconds the notepad returns singing the first line of the creativity song before the end.
There are a lot of interpretations of this final episode and the series overall. Now lets talk about them. The first one I want to get into is the growing up angle. If this is a show about growing up it is also about how childhood is not always as pleasant as people like to imagine. In every lesson there is an underlying darkness that comes to the surface by the end. Red Guy left behind childhood for the adult world only to find it drab and boring. He finds himself longing for some of that wonder he left behind and tries to reenact it on stage.
The other major angle is that the series is about a show and commentary on modern media and technology. It is believed that Red Guy was actually the show’s original creator. Roy is some kind of media mogul who agrees to give Red Guy the financial backing he needs to produce the show. The price at first being that Roy’s son Yellow Guy gets a part on the show. But as the show goes on Roy interferes more and more inserting his own ideas and product placements. When Red Guy tries to confront Roy about this he is dismissed from his own show. Without Red Guy running the show and acting as a buffer Duck Guy ends up getting packaged into a product for kids to consume. Finally Yellow Guy is left alone on the show but he can’t handle being the star and the show begins to decline. Meanwhile Red Guy had to get a boring normal job but longs for a time when he had creative freedom. The scene in the bar could be a flashback to when Red Guy and Roy first met or it could be Roy coming to admit he needs Red Guy to make the show successful. And so Red Guy returns to the media machine but he no longer understands how it works so he just randomly pushes buttons trying to find something that sticks. We get to see Duck Guy again but only because he has been absorbed by the machine and is now controlled through it. Red Guy keeps creating new teachers with the machine but still does not seem to know what he is doing. Roy appears to him one last time. Perhaps Roy is once again trying to assert some authority while also keeping his distance. Or maybe Roy is finally trying to show Red Guy that no one really controls the machine, it just is what it is. But Red Guy sees something that Roy does not see. He sees where the machine’s power comes from and Red Guy decides to unplug it.
In the final scene the characters are all back where they started but they are different. They are now the ‘creative’ colors they chose in the first episode. At first it might look like they are trapped in a loop and doomed to repeat all of their trauma over again. But the date on the calendar finally changed, time is moving forward now. By pulling the plug on the old world Red Guy has given himself and his friends a chance to move on and do better this time. The next generation will have a chance to learn from the lessons of the past.
At the moment it looks like Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared is over. The show’s creators Becky and Joe are working on other things, although they still seem to like puppets. If you want anymore then there is lots of fan theory and analysis you can take a look at. This has been Your Daily Nerd Thing and we will back next week.