Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Fan Theories That Will Make You See TV Shows Differently

Was Gilligan's Island set in Hell? Does Breaking Bad's world turn into The Walking Dead's? Creative fans can come up with some pretty wild theories about their favorite shows. While some ideas are just off-the-wall outrageous, other theories can actually make some kind of sense. We're putting down the remote and looking at a couple of the craziest TV fan theories that will leave you looking at some of your favorite shows differently.

Gilligan's Island is actually Hell

Most TV fans know the famous tale of the simple, three-hour boat tour turned tragedy when the S.S. Minnow's passengers and crew were left stranded on a deserted island. According to one widely circulated theory, the crew never made it to the island but drowned out at sea—and the island is a representation of Hell where Gilligan reigns supreme as Satan himself. Sweet, goofy Gilligan as the devil? Well, he did basically sabotage most of the rescue attempts during the show—perhaps he was using his fiendish powers to make sure everyone stayed on the island.

The theory claims the other castaways represents one (or more) of the seven deadly sins. Mr. Howell is Greed for worrying about his huge trunk of money that he brought with him—why would you even bring that with you on a three-hour-long boat tour? Mrs. Howell is Sloth for pretty much doing nothing during most of the show, while the Skipper embodies both Anger and Gluttony for his temper and constant snacking habits. Ginger, the sultry movie star, is of course Lust, and Mary Ann is Envy (no doubt envious of Ginger). Lastly, the Professor represents Pride, because he knows he's immensely talented and useful, making all kinds of inventions to help the group survive the island.

The world of Breaking Bad turns into The Walking Dead's

Certain sharp-eyed fans of both of these popular AMC programs have pointed out some subtle references connecting the two. HitFix speculates that the apocalyptic world of The Walking Dead takes place after the events of Breaking Bad, with a number of compelling arguments to back up what sounds at first like an outlandish idea. Walter White's signature Blue Meth makes an appearance in season two, as Daryl Dixon goes through his brother's drug stash, looking for medicine. In a later season, Daryl describes one of Merle's drug dealers, and the person sounds an awful lot like Breaking Bad's Jesse Pinkman. Also, Glenn is seen speeding off in what appears to be a red Dodge Charger in season one of TWD, which is the same kind of car Walter White buys in season four of Breaking Bad (though this could just be due to an endorsement deal AMC had with Dodge while filming both shows).

Recently, actor Steven Ogg, known for his role voicing Trevor Phillips in Grand Theft Auto V, appeared playing what was pretty much the same character in both worlds. In Better Call Saul, Vince Gilligan's prequel show to Breaking Bad, Ogg plays a braggart bodyguard for hire, toting a overkill-worthy collection of guns with him. In the season six finale of The Walking Dead, Ogg is introduced as Negan's lieutenant, speaking pretty much the same way to Rick and the group as he did to Mike Ehrmantraut in Better Call Saul. A guy carrying that many guns is likely to survive longer than most in a zombie apocalypse. These could all be coincidences, but we'll let you decide.

House is Doogie Howser all grown up

If you squint really hard, you might be able to see a certain resemblance between these two characters, which might explain the fan theory postulating that the '90s whiz kid M.D. grew up to become the surly but brilliant Dr. Gregory House. This theory hinges on the idea that after years of being questioned and doubted as a teen doctor, combined with a stressful experience (like Gregory's leg injury, which sparked his addiction to painkillers), Neil Patrick Harris' spirited Doogie Howser became Hugh Laurie's Dr. House. After all, it isn't that hard for someone to buy a name change when they've been earning a doctors' salary since the age of 16.

Charlie Brown has cancer

This is definitely one of the more morbid fan theories around. In a Reddit thread debunking the darker and creepier sides of some our favorite cartoons, a commenter posed the idea that Charlie Brown's bald head might signify that he has some type of cancer. Is Charlie Brown's famous pessimistic attitude supposedly a reflection of his life? That's a total bummer if it's true. Theorists suggest that the Peanuts protagonist is actually dreaming up his daily adventures. This of course ignores the 1990 TV special Why, Charlie Brown, Why?, in which the Peanuts gang is introduced to a cancer patient named Janice, but it's still hard to shake the disturbing notion that Peanuts was really a fantasy world in which Charlie Brown channeled the angst of dealing with a life-threatening illness.

The Doctor's name is a key

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Doctor Who is the longest-running sci-fi show of all time—so there's obviously no shortage of zany theories about the centuries-old Time Lord who travels across space and time with his numerous companions. One mystery that's plagued fans over the years is the Doctor's name, and Reddit user ColonelScience mentions an idea that implies the Doctor's real name is actually more powerful than fans realize—powerful enough, in fact, to crack the Time Lock that has sealed off the Time War between the Time Lords and the Daleks. What this means is that if the Doctor's real name is uttered, then the greatest battle of all time could be unleashed on the universe. Many have argued against the validity of this theory, but it could possibly be one of the show's best-kept secrets.

Hey Arnold! isn't about Arnold

While our favorite football head was seemingly front and center in this popular '90s cartoon, one Reddit theory suggests that Arnold wasn't the star of the show. In fact, it's all about Helga G. Pataki, the friend/bully who's secretly in love with Arnold. Think about it: Helga is a major character that is featured in a majority of the episodes in some way. She has a sketchy family life, being the forgotten daughter of a self-obsessed father, the Beeper King—and a possible stoner or alcoholic mom. Fans mention the fact that Helga is one of the only characters in the show who has any monologues, and Arnold is one of her obsessions (suggesting the show only follows him because Helga does). She also basically gives the show the name Hey Arnold! when she shouts the phrase—among others, like "move it football head"—during the show's intro theme. This is one theory that could get even the Stoop Kid to budge.

The Count feeds on the children of Sesame Street

Yes, you read that right: Count von Count is vamping out on all the children of Sesame Street. Why do you think the kids on the show change regularly from episode to episode? This purple puppet has feasted on all kinds of kiddies since he was first introduced back in 1972. It doesn't matter if he's been encouraging the children to sing along with him while counting other vampire bats, victims, or coffins. He probably has the adults of Sesame Street under his spell or just plain scared of him, since the older humans tend to return for multiple episodes. If there's one thing we're sure of when it comes to this vampire's victims, he's been counting.

Toby Flenderson is the Scranton Strangler

Throughout the final four seasons of The Office, viewers repeatedly heard about the Scranton Strangler, a serial killer stalking the Scranton area. The  Strangler is mentioned quite a few times throughout seasons six through eight, but in season nine, he becomes even more relevant to the plot. Towards the end, HR rep Toby Flenderson, played by writer/producer Paul Lieberstein, was openly obsessed with the killer.

After the police supposedly catch the culprit, Flenderson was on the jury that found him guilty, though he admits that he may have been wrong. After Toby visits the suspect on death row, the prisoner tries to kill him. While this suggests that Flenderson and the jury convicted the right man, it might just be a response to being wrongfully accused and sentenced to death row. Perhaps Flenderson was going in to gloat? It makes sense that an innocent prisoner would attack the killer he's taking the rap for in jail.