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What's making us smile? That time Elmo lost his cool over Rocco

Victoria Will

Elmo losing his last nerve feels so good right now. With omicron raging and the prospect of more mass shutdowns, the beloved Muppet yelling about his pal Zoe's pet rock — "Rocco's just a rock!" — is downright cathartic. Thank you to Twitter user @wumbooty for sharing this video clip, which is now trending. We too have tears in our eyes from laughing.

To Sesame Workshop, this is Episode 4077 from May 3, 2004, titled "Elmo feels he's treated unfairly by Rocco" and written by Christine Ferraro. But to us, this episode could be called "We are Elmo."

This Sesame Street episode is, of course, some kind of lesson in sharing and waiting your turn. Zoe asks if she can join Elmo's playdate with their friend Gabi, and brings along her rock friend, Rocco. When Elmo wants to say the alphabet, Zoe says Rocco wants to jump. They compromise. When Elmo wants to go next on the tire swing, Zoe says no; it's Rocco's turn. But when Zoe won't let Elmo take Rocco's oatmeal cookie (because, hey, rocks can't eat), Elmo can't take it anymore. "Rocco's a rock, Zoe. Rocco won't know the difference."

As of this writing, @wumbooty's Tweet has over 112,000 likes and counting. "Elmo ended him when he said 'Rocco shouldn't talk with his mouth full' at the end of this segment," tweets Helio Carrasco. "Elmo vs Rocco has been one of my favorite battles while watching SS with my kid." User @KoolKat wonders: "Was Elmo always like this?" And @ShariAnnSG, speaking our minds: "Idk if I should've found this thread as funny as I did!!"

How about we split the difference and say: We're all pretty fed up with everything right now, and Elmo is the perfect red vessel for our frustrations.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Elizabeth Blair is a Peabody Award-winning senior producer/reporter on the Arts Desk of NPR News.