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Elmo — yes, that Elmo — is beefing with a rock. And Twitter is eating it up

A red Elmo puppet posing against a blue background
Elmo of “Sesame Street” went viral on Twitter this week.
(Victoria Will / Associated Press)
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So far, the buzziest Twitter feud of 2022 is between Elmo and a pet rock.

Earlier this week, the furry red star of “Sesame Street” began trending on social media after an old clip of Elmo absolutely losing his mind over his friend Zoe’s pet rock, Rocco, resurfaced. And Elmo, eternally 3 years old, has wasted no time capitalizing on his viral fame.

Once the initial video gained traction, Twitter users started posting their favorite clips of “Unhinged Elmo” losing his patience — mostly in reaction to Rocco’s inanimate presence as Zoe and other “Sesame Street” cast members gaslight him.

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The recirculated footage has spurred a wave of public support for the (usually) friendly monster on behalf of anyone and everyone who has ever simply had enough.

Here’s a brief timeline to get you up to speed on the epic Elmo-versus-Rocco rivalry.

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Rocco makes his ‘Sesame Street’ debut

“Sesame Street” introduced Rocco in 1999 as Zoe’s pet rock, and Elmo was immediately skeptical.

Upon meeting Rocco for the first time, Elmo laughed at Zoe for befriending a rock. But Elmo’s amusement soon turned to frustration once Zoe began dictating Elmo’s behavior according to Rocco’s feelings and needs.

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Even worse for Elmo, none of the other “Sesame Street” characters seemed the least bit bothered by Rocco’s presence, consistently taking Rocco’s side and playing along with Zoe’s nonsense as if part of some cruel conspiracy to drive Elmo to his wit’s end.

Rocco has been Elmo’s archnemesis ever since.

Elmo’s Rocco rant resurfaces

On Tuesday, a video of Elmo going off on Zoe and her pet rock began picking up steam on social media. As of Thursday morning, the clip had racked up more than 7 million views on Twitter.

In the scene from a 2004 episode of “Sesame Street,” Elmo and Zoe’s friend Gabi bakes them a batch of cookies during a playdate. When Gabi is fresh out of Elmo’s favorite cookie, oatmeal raisin, Elmo reaches for the oatmeal raisin cookie sitting in front of Rocco.

Big mistake.

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Zoe informs Elmo that said oatmeal cookie is reserved for Rocco and Elmo can’t have it. After five years of enduring Zoe and Rocco’s shenanigans, Elmo is fed up.

“Rocco?!” Elmo exclaims. “Rocco’s a rock, Zoe! Rocco won’t know the difference!”

When Zoe insists Rocco wants to eat the oatmeal raisin cookie, Elmo stands his ground.

“How?! How is Rocco gonna eat that cookie, Zoe?” he snaps. “Tell Elmo! Rocco doesn’t even have a mouth! Rocco’s just a rock! Rocco’s not alive!”

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And lo, the Unhinged Elmo trend was born.

“Right now we are all Elmo having an oatmeal raisin cookie denied him so that a rock can be placed next to it,” tweeted author Seth Abramson.

“Elmo losing his s— is the best possible start to 2022,” tweeted comedian Karen Chee.

Elmo bans Jimmy Fallon from ‘Sesame Street’

Caught in the cross fire of the Elmo-Rocco feud was late-night TV host Jimmy Fallon, the subject of yet another resurfaced clip of Elmo unleashing his pent-up wrath.

In the Fallon video, Elmo walks off the “Late Night” stage after the comedian accuses Elmo of skipping rehearsal for the show. When Fallon begs Elmo to come back, Elmo is defiant, banishing Fallon from “Sesame Street” as the audience roars with laughter.

“You’re not coming to Sesame Street anymore!” Elmo shouts at Fallon. “The Roots, you can come. But you’re not coming anymore!”

Elmo responds to his viral fame

On Wednesday afternoon, Elmo acknowledged his viral popularity by setting the record straight about his relationship with Zoe and Rocco.

“Don’t worry everybody!” Elmo wrote in a tweet that has already amassed more than 300,000 likes. “Elmo and Zoe practiced sharing and are still best buds forever! Elmo loves you Zoe! Ha ha ha!”

“Elmo doesn’t want to talk about Rocco,” he added.

For good measure, Elmo then subtweeted Rocco by asking, “Has anybody ever seen a rock eat a cookie? Elmo is just curious.”

Your move, Rocco.

As of Thursday afternoon, Rocco had yet to respond to Elmo’s latest Twitter shade (perhaps because, as Elmo astutely pointed out, “Rocco’s just a rock”). But the Rock — as in pro-wrestler-turned-movie star Dwayne Johnson — has officially weighed in.

“Yes, my friend. This Rock devours cookies. All kinds of cookies,” Johnson assured Elmo on Twitter. “I’ll introduce you to #CheatMeals and it’ll change your life. Tell Cookie Monster to move it over, cuz I’m coming to Sesame Street to kick a— and eat cookies. And I’m almost all outta cookies.

Cookie Monster — who, up until this point, had been minding his own chocolate-chip-cookie-loving business — then had no choice but to enter the fray:

“Me say cookie challenge ACCEPTED!!!”


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