“Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared” Interpretation

Only a week or two ago, I spent the night with my dearest friend Maddie. As she purtied (yes, it’s a word in the south) herself up for our morning outing, her sister Lizzie and I retired to the couch with the iPad. Lizzie giggled to herself as she opened YouTube and searched for a specific video to show me.

This giggle was haunting and as Maddie came down the stairs to see what we were up to, Lizzie began to laugh. Maddie’s eyes widened as she realized what was happening. Completely oblivious to the occurring sister moment, I watched the video.

WARNING: I cannot warn you of anything. It would completely ruin the video. But be cautious. Tighten your muscles, hold onto the chair, hold your breath. You know, the usual intense stuff.

After watching it, I could only think one thing.

Very random. Very pointless. But catchy…’green is not a creative color’.

Actually, the first thing I thought was,

Creepy.

As meaningless as this video seemed, I knew the content had some deep meaning.  A simple Google search directed me to a few websites, Yahoo! answers and forums touching on this subject.  It seems as if I was not the only curious one.  I agreed with some perspectives shared while others I completely disagreed with.  (The sources are listed at the bottom of this post.)

It turns out, this video is not pointless at all. I admire the filmmakers and their efforts to make the message known to their viewers. This video’s story is a metaphor for how modern day cartoons and shows are conditioning children to have a specific perspective on things. To think, to view things a certain way. It seems as modern day media is teaching kids to be creative when they are instead teaching them to be puppets.

Here are a few observations in order of occurrence.

>> The notebook puppet tells the others to look outside at the sky and think “creatively”. At first, they could not see anything. That is, until the notebook puts a monocle over her own eye. All of a sudden, the other puppets are able to see what she wanted them to see through her own perspective.

>> As the other puppets are beginning to understand how to be “creative”, one of the puppets decides to create a nice, original painting. Of a clown, to be specific. But the notebook puppet disapproved and obliterated it by having black ink smear on it.

>> My favorite line in the song occurs at this scene, actually. The notebook puppet tells them to spell out “creative colors” with sticks and leaves. She presents to them a wheel of colors. Green was not present on the board and when one of the puppets desired to spell out that color she immediately told him, “No, green is NOT a creative color.

>> Then the story twists and the facade disappears. The viewer’s perspective is turned, revealing a hollywood movie set containing the kitchen and the puppets. Indicating all of this is manufacture by hollywood, by modern day media.

>> Soon, the puppets are gruesomely playing with organs, rolling them in glitter and eating them in cakes. Displaying the message that children’s creativity are being “gobbled up” by media. It is a sad, ironic message. It seems as if they are encouraging children to be “creative” so the vibe of the songs and atmosphere are quite cheery.

Yet, the creators of this video are trying to share the hidden intentions. Which is why the innocence melts away and in the end, puppets are consuming organs by the second as violins squeal and the sky darkens. This is the nature of children’s media; the dark beneath the light. Manipulative.

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Here are the usernames of some users I drew my opinion from. I would link to them, but there is as much inappropriate content on the sites as legitimate opinions.

@bohemiannik on Tumblr
@Sheamus and @Hooloovoo on AskScooby.com
Jeffrey Almonte on YouTube



40 Comments

  1. Maggie wrote:

    That is extremely terrifying.

  2. Gabrielle wrote:

    Hey Emelie! I have a HUGE favor to ask. I’m a finalist in a Christian design contest sponsored by DesiringGod.org. My goal is to make it into the top 3. Unfortunately, I’m a bit short on votes.
    Would you be willing to consider voting for me and sharing the link to the Facebook picture? Here’s how the voting works… one “like” equals one vote. :) Pretty simple!
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151711923679240&set=a.10151711916009240.468994.7975984239&type=3&theater
    Thank you so much for your consideration!
    <3 Gabrielle

  3. Ryan wrote:

    Your a freak.

  4. Luis Perez wrote:

    Great interpretation Emelie :D First time I saw this vid, I got strangely freaked out…but I wanted to know if there was more to it. This helped clear up everything.

    Keep up the great posts!

  5. Josh wrote:

    I was so confused when you showed me, but I know you pretty well now. So nothing you show me tell me or do is surprising to me anymore and no, I am not stalking you. You mentioned somthing about turning your blog into an art portfolio and I was curious as to what kind of kind of art u r going to be doing. As I expected, a little of everything.;)

    • Admit it. You are stalking me. Although, I am glad to say you’re comfortable with my taste in media. I have not added content yet, I am needing to connect the scanner. But. In time.

      • Josh wrote:

        I don’t have to stalk you.:) I already know you and I prefer to hang with you in person. If I was stalking you I’d do it everywhere, your blog, tumblr ect. and you would never know I was there… I’m a ninja… I leave no trace… ;)

  6. erin wrote:

    i am petrified of this

  7. Paul wrote:

    I completely agree with your compilation/synopsis of the interpretation of this video. However, I took a more personal meaning from the video, albeit unintended by the creators.

    Consider this: as a musician, and thus a creative person (I hope), I was inextricably pulled in by the very last words, “let’s not be creative (paraphrase)”. I found my personal meaning in the right that, as a creative soul, it can be very easy, sometimes even gratifying, to indulge our darker selves in something we call “creative” in order to justify its birth into society. This easy, we, as artists, can manifest our baser, darker selves and urges for public consumption, secure in the knowledge that, if we call it “art” and allude to secret, deeper meanings within, we WILL find acceptance somewhere by the “intellectual” art scene (or, if you prefer, “enablers”), people who have the overwhelming desire to find themselves to be more valuable/progressive/intellectual than much of the world’s populace even if they started from pure rooting in actual art.

    But I digress.

    Even though my interpretation is personally meaningful, as an admonition and boundary between myself and losing myself to the darkness, I freely admit it all but completely ignores the evidences of the creator’s intention.

    I thought someone might find it interesting, though, too think about further.

    If you read all that, let me give you a reward, a quote from a co-worker of mine:

    “Do you think using big words makes you sound smart? Pffft.”

    • After a month of thinking about it further, I have come reply. Dear me. Haha. At the moment, I am scribbling this comment of yours into my sketchbook. The personal application of this video’s meaning is a perspective I didn’t draw from it. Thus, interesting me greatly. I completely concur, especially with the fact big words don’t make one sound smart. Thank you!

  8. Andrew wrote:

    How do you explain the title? “don’t hug me i’m scared”

    • How could I have overlooked something so obvious? Well, I did. I am not completely sure! Going to sit on this thought for a bit, perhaps email the creators of this video for insight!

  9. Andrew wrote:

    I am also a bit confused about the “I use my hair to express myself.” “that sounds pretty boring” “I use my hair to express myself” part. Why does she just say it twice then be done with it? it is some sort of brainwashing?
    Also why is there the mouse hole? it also comes up in the credits and the end of the video (which ends strangely abrupt with the notepad closing) with the eerie clarinet playing.
    The intro is also bothering me, what do all of the different items shown mean, as well as the absence of any sounds.

    • I think it’s the intention of TRYING to be different, but perhaps even a hypocritical statement? The character stating “that sounds pretty boring” has pretty expressive hair, himself. My belief seems to be the fact everyone is aiming so hard to be different, so much so we are all alike. And to justify our ‘difference’, we blow off others’. What do YOU think?

      • creativeideas wrote:

        Actually, I believe the notepad is trying to change one’s opinion on how to express themselves. Some people do it differently and one puppet thought expressing himself through hair was borring. We hear the notebook repeat itself as if to say, “only MY opinion matters and you should behave exactly in this certain way.” ABOUT THE MOUSE HOLE: I think it’s a symbol representing a dark space where the REAL secrets of children shows hide. It tries to explain how messed up hollywood is. It’s a very…weird video. I agree w/ everything that you said. I have also formed a different theory. The notebook says,”use the voices in your head.” This might be a shout out to the skitzofrenick(a person whom sees and hears strange things because of their disease or on the border line of insane). It shows that the disease skitzofrenick can encourage a creative pathway (painting,conducting music,technology/mechanics ect.) but can also be VERY scarey (the organs and gore at the end).

        • I absolutely adore this. Especially your thought about the mouse hole and the voices in your head. Thank you for sharing, love these new ideas.

        • Kristen wrote:

          Wow, interesting insight! If I could add to that, I think the red puppet with the long hair calls expressing yourself with hair ‘boring’ because he probably does it all the time. it’s boring for him because he always has to deal with his hair! we’re all as humans so completely different and we all use different outlets to express ourselves. The notepad is trying to make all the puppets behave in the exact same way in order to be creative, when in reality they should all be discovering their own ways to be creative based on their own needs. :)

  10. CJ wrote:

    It’s also really interesting to realize how they were able to make that film so creepy. During the fun and happy part of the song It tells you to “Listen to your heart, listen to the rain, listen to the voices in your brain” as a way to be creative. Then during the creepy part they show the guy with a heart, then rain starts. It kind of makes your brain subconsciously thinks of the pattern and for “The voices inside your brain” Which can obviously have a sinister hidden meaning. This is why the ending feels even creepier and worse then it is on paper. Yay for subconscious pattern recognition!

  11. jt213 wrote:

    Also, the date of 19 is significant in that it was the day the emancipation proclamation was signed. Perhaps the date is shown to indicate our current state of mental slavery to the media and ideas of the ruling elite.

  12. jt213 wrote:

    june 19, I mean.

  13. Lana wrote:

    Very, very disturbed by this video. Did not want to watch it again, did not bother to interpret it. Still can’t sleep. Very disturbing, disgusting, and, well, disturbing.

  14. Did you all notice WHY green is not a creative color? When the notepad shows a picture of the head with a brain & how different regions of the brain are different colors, no one seemed to notice that the lobe was green. The lobe functions in hearing, language, sense, sight, smell, & memory. Perhaps green is not a creative color because the notepad doesn’t want them using the lobe of their brain simply because it’s what we use for creativity? Just a quick & random thought. I could be wrong but it seems to all fit somehow.

  15. CREATIVE wrote:

    I seemed to be the only one that noiced this.
    The yellow puppet was the one that seemed to change the most, if you compare himself at the start of the video to himself at the end of the video. Next, the black bird changed, but not quite as much. The red puppet hardly changed. If you watch the video, the notebook seemed to attack the yellow puppet the most (The green thing and the clown painting) While with the bird, she only attacked him a small bit. With the red puppet, she ignored him most of the time. If you think about it, the puppets all grew up on how the notebook treated them. Anyone else want to give this more thought?

  16. Matthew b wrote:

    As for the reason of the title, at the WIERD spinning part, a sign says “DON’T HUG ME, IM SCARED

  17. Issy wrote:

    But why is green not a creative colour?

  18. sheena wrote:

    maybe the title ‘don’t hug me im scared” refers to clowns and puppets and show characters….that r on tv and even come to our towns ,,,and really r scary to a small child

  19. Sophie wrote:

    at the time they puppets start eating the organs, I think they’re not only “eating the mind and heart of the child”, but also, encouraging them to make such useless, nonsense and even creepy stuff in order to ‘be creative’. They are making the kids feel inconscientiously the evil that is inside of them and get used to it since the early ages – so then they’ll be so used to it once as a grown-up that they won’t question the system anymore.

  20. Name Karly wrote:

    Let`s all keep in mind that maybe the creators didn`t put an intellectual meaning to it (not requiring much digging), but yet a personal meaning.

  21. WAIT! Maybe the meaning is that in the beginning we all start out completely different, but as time goes on we are told what to do and how to think, thus being related to how to be ceative. We veiw genuisses as insane, but really they were being creative. Many people say Albert Einstein as insane for locking himself in his basement. He was harmlessly focusing on pi(the mathematical repetion 3.14159etc.). Or even Vincent Vango for cutting off his ear, maybe he was getting a feel for REAL pain. So in conclusion the creator was just saying to go your own way (to an extent) and your own thing. Sorry formaking you read so much, but if you did read this please coment pineapple.

  22. Rock wrote:

    All of these ideas and interpretations are so interesting! It all really makes you think. That’s what I love about videos like this one. While they’re sinister and disturbing, I find it to be so much fun to uncover their deeper meanings. Great thinking everyone!

  23. Rock wrote:

    This is a stretching it a bit, but maybe all of the sharp objects in the room symbolize cutting up the creativity of children. like the knives, the squares on the floor, the edges of the fridge are sharp, along with the table as well. Also, the music during the scary part and during the credits are very edgy and pointed sounds that could also symbolize tearing at thoughts and ideas of kids.

  24. ATTENTION PLEASE wrote:

    So after watching the video over more than 20~30 Times i noticed that you can hear strange whispers at the End nobody noticed them here i did not heard what was said at the end but i will hear it loud when i receive at home (travelling right now)”
    So with my headphones i think i just heard someone laughing (a men) and saying something and this is what i cant hear but you can check it by your self just watch the video COMPLETLY and listen hard after the outro i noticed too that the puppets are older when they start to get crazy which probably means that the modern media is destroying the “creativity” of kids and turning it into bad creativity.Probably its wrong but its the way i interpretate it.
    (And sorry for bad English i am German)