How ‘Sesame Street’ tried to gaslight Elmo

An accurate depiction of what Elmo experiences every time someone addresses Zoe’s pet rock, Rocco. | Jacquelyn Sharga 

Rocco is more than just a rock …

During the past few months, TikTok has enjoyed numerous videos of Elmo. Whether they are from his late night talk show moments or actual clips from his show “Sesame Street,” there are enough videos of Elmo being Elmo on TikTok that it even earned the name ElmoTok.

Perhaps the most famous videos circulating through ElmoTok are that of the feud that exists between Elmo and his good friend Zoe’s pet rock, Rocco. Rocco is in fact a rock, which Elmo is sure of, until Zoe and the other friends on Sesame lead Elmo to believe otherwise.

In Season 30, episode 3089, “Zoe’s pet rock, Rocco,” Elmo meets Rocco for the first time. Immediately conflict arises when Elmo is talking about the number 12 and Zoe interrupts Elmo to let him know that Rocco would rather hear his favorite song, which understandably confuses and upsets Elmo. 


Elmo’s got some genuine hatred for that rock #elmo #unhingedelmo #rocco #sesamestreet #boostofhope #zoey #elmovsrocco #zoey

♬ original sound – ELMO

Elmo’s confusion continues to deepen and anger begins to make itself known when Zoe’s requests for Rocco become more and more absurd …  

1. Elmo is confused by Rocco’s “dance moves.” 

@unhinged.elmo Of course #elmo #rocco #elmovsrocco #funny #unhingedelmo #rock #seasamestreet #fyp ♬ original sound – ELMO

2. Elmo sits through Rocco’s theme song.

@unhinged.elmo Elmo has had enough of Rocco #elmo #unhingedelmo #sesamestreet #boostofhope #rocco #elmovsrocco #fyp #auntcass #ripbobsaget ♬ original sound – ELMO


3. Elmo has to say “hello” to Rocco. 

@exsquirter #elmo#sesamestreet#rocco#viral#chuckesue#fypシ#fyp#greenscreenvideo ♬ original sound – Ri

4. Elmo has to wish Rocco a happy birthday. 

@unhinged.elmo Not rocco #elmo #rocco #funny #rock #unhingedelmo #seasamestreet #fyp ♬ original sound – ELMO

5. Elmo is forced to give up his cookie for Rocco. 

@unhinged.elmo Rocco’s not alive!!!!! #elmo #rocco #unhingedelmo #seasamestreet #fyp ♬ original sound – ELMO

It’s clear to see that Elmo has always been honest and forthright with his opinion towards Rocco, which really demonstrated Elmo’s good communication skills. Elmo’s healthy communication could only get him so far as it was immediately met by gaslighting from Zoe and encouragement of Zoe’s delusion from the other residents of Sesame Street. 

So, what’s the takeaway? Other than the fact that Elmo’s plans for Rocco are something that would be aired on Law and Order: SVU. Well, the biggest takeaway here is that although Sesame Street is a place where someone’s mind is free to be imaginative, it’s also a place where even Elmo, the kindest soul, can be tested.

In the long run, everyone will encounter a Rocco in their lives, and it’s up to them to handle things the Sesame Street way or otherwise. There are certainly some scenarios where Elmo could have handled things more maturely, but he is canonically three-years-old. So, maybe cut him some slack. 

The feud between Rocco and Elmo, although not the main focus of many episodes, is still ongoing in episodes today. The beef has been overlooked and criminally underrated until the people of TikTok stumbled upon the hilarity of it all. People are on the edge of their seat waiting for some sort of resolution to this insanely hilarious feud. 

It goes without saying that Elmo is a great friend to Zoe for putting up with the Rocco shenanigans for as long as he did. Does being a good friend mean that you should support their delusions though? As long as Rocco is around, this is the internal struggle Elmo will have to deal with.