Elmo from Sesame Street is right to hate Rocco the rock

Elmo will break. Sure, the adorable red puppet appears like he lives a charming life on the popular kids’s program Sesame Street. There, he is content to live his whole life making good friends and discovering his ABCs. However his life has actually had a less apparent, dark side: Elmo has actually been feuding with a rock called Rocco because 1999 and the dispute is at the heart of a brand-new viral clip of the program.

Rocco (also known as Rocko) is Zoe’s pet rock. In the show, Rocco is literally just a rock that Zoe totes around with her. It’s not a rock-inspired puppet. It’s not a real pet named Rocco. It’s a normal grey rock — basalt apparently. (I imagine a show producer picking it up randomly on a walk and then bringing it to set.) The stone first appeared on air in 1999 in an episode called “Zoe’s pet rock, Rocco” and Elmo has actually not known peace since.

On Tuesday, a clip of Elmo calling out his friends on their bullshit went viral on Twitter from a 2005 episode titled “Elmo feels he’s treated unfairly by Rocco.” In it, Elmo asks for an oatmeal raisin cookie to which his friends Zoe and Gabi tell him he can’t have because Rocco wants it. (Oatmeal raisin is Elmo’s favorite, by the way.)

Elmo’s frustration comes to a head and he says, “How?! How is Rocco going to eat that cookie Zoe!? Tell Elmo! Rocco doesn’t even have a mouth. Rocco’s just a rock. Rocco’s not alive!” Kevin Clash, who puppeted and voiced Elmo at the time, delivers the lines with the absolute fury of a child who can acknowledge what’s plainly in front of them. You can view the scene below.

A brief look into Rocco’s filmography reveals just how unending Rocco’s reign of terror has actually been. In episode 4126, Zoe throws an entire birthday party for Rocco (and introduces us to the rest of Rocco’s family), and characters are tasked with figuring out what to get Rocco as a gift. In episode 4043, Elmo and Zoe have to go on a full search and rescue mission to find Rocco. In another episode, Rocco accidentally nearly commits involuntary manslaughter by almost being eaten by Cookie Monster.

Rocco is a rock and doesn’t deserve someone’s favorite cookie. Elmo is simply calling it like it is. And maybe it’s everyone’s collective mood after dealing with a pandemic that’s upended almost every part of society, but it seems like everybody is now lastly prepared to call Zoe and all the other Sesame Street characters on their bullshit.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.