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The Hater’s Guide to Daniel Tiger

Sometime in the last few months my two-year-old broke up with Elmo.  It was ugly.  You should picture my child standing at his window, hurling Elmo’s possessions onto the street below.  JUST TAKE BABY DAVID AND GET OUT OF MY LIFE.  *Guitar smashes to the ground*

The new love of his life? Daniel Tiger.

the-haters-guide-to-daniel-tiger-on-bend-it-like-becker

Yup.  Here is your own convenient guide to hating Daniel Tiger.

Daniel Tiger: Protagonist.  Interests: oatmeal, trolleys, general brattiness. Lacks coping skills and perpetually worked up over some first world preschool problem, i.e. needs a vaccination, misplaced his wristwatch, has to wait at a restaurant, or his boutique birthday cake– like not from Wal-Mart you guys but like from an actual bakery– gets smushed on the drive home.  All this whining while he lives in a beachfront property, enjoys an impeccably decorated room with an en-suite bathroom, and rests his spoiled little tiger head in a custom trolley bed that must have cost– well it’s unclear if U.S. dollars are traded in the Land of Make Believe but it looks effing expensive.  GET OVER IT, DANNY BOY.

Dad Tiger: Patriarch of the tiger family.  Interests: clock making, Polaroid photography, pantslessness, vegetable soup.  Seriously what is it about them and vegetable soup.  YOU’RE TIGERS.  You should be eating raw ham hocks, wayward livestock, and village orphans.  DISGRACEFUL.  Anyway.  I actually don’t hate Dad Tiger.  I have a crush on him and find his voice to be sexy AF.  This admission is about twelve kinds of disordered so let’s move along.  (Move a-lo-ong! Did you see what I did there?)

Mom Tiger.  Daniel’s mother.  Occupation: homemaker.  I hate Mom Tiger for two primary reasons: 1) Jealousy over her baller collection of Hawaiian shirts and 2) She is so effing sweet and calm even when her son is being obnoxious and bratty that it makes me feel like the biggest failure of a parent ever.

The other thing that grinds my gears is that even though Mom Tiger is presented as a stay-at-home mom, Dad Tiger is around an awful lot.  One episode focuses on Mom Tiger being sick and I got excited thinking what a brilliant lesson this actually was, like Daniel is home with Mom except she’s down and out so he has to find quiet activities and stuff. I’ve been there and my child could genuinely use this skill. (If I were scripting it, the episode’s signature jingle would be something like Your mom feels like trash and can’t move/how about you take a break from being a terror for five minutes and find a way to occupy yourself.)  Well, no, it must have been a Saturday or President’s Day at the Clock Tower or something because Dad Tiger is home so Daniel just pesters him instead for glue sticks and apple juice and his other whiny needs while Mom Tiger sleeps happily.  SUCK IT, MOM TIGER.  Last time I had the stomach flu I was desperately texting my spouse at freaking 6:30 p.m. please please please can you come home I’m sick and throwing up and Toddler is trying to pull the blinds down and throwing a soccer ball at the dog please I’ll never ask for anything ever again.

Katerina Kittycat: Friend and classmate of Daniel’s.  Daughter of Henrietta Pussycat.  Father: not in the picture.  Katerina and Henrietta are by far the most irritating parts of this entire show because they speak half English, half meowing cat.  It’s absolutely excruciating. Here’s an actual dialogue sample from Episode 107, original air date 10 September 2012, “Friends Help Each Other”:

Katerina: Hello, Daniel Tiger meow meow!
Henrietta: Meow meow Daniel Tiger, wonderful to see you, and [to camera] hello meow meow!
Katerina: Meow meow we’ll be upstairs, Mommy!
Henrietta: OK meow meow!

Basically they both need sent through the wood chipper.

O the Owl: Friend and classmate of Daniel’s.  Lives with his uncle (X the Owl) in the same tree as the Kittycats.  I’m always curious as to what led to X’s custody of O, because X has a distinct Southern accent and could be related to Foghorn Leghorn.  O has a Canadian accent.  Very strange.  Anyway, O fills the role of the neighborhood’s mal-adjusted kid.  Gets extremely worked up over minor life adversity, seeks comfort in predictability and rules.  O has actually remarked, “I love rules!” (Episode 128, 15 July 2013, “Safety Patrol”).  Pro-tip: if you are ever playing at O’s house and want to read a book, you MUST do so in his designated reading nest or he flies into a rage.  (Owl pun +100000).  Several of the neighborhood friends have learned this the hard way.  Chill, brah.  Things he also can’t handle: backwards day at school, loud sounds, crowds, thunderstorms, camping, and anything involving the outdoors.  Honestly you feel for the little guy because I think his chronic and debilitating anxiety represents most of our childhoods a lot better than freaking Daniel and his nuclear ideal beachfront paradise.

Miss Elaina: Friend and classmate of Daniel’s.  Greets everyone with a “Hiya, toots!” and frequently declares favorable things or situations to be “boomerific” (?).  The etymology on both of these expressions is unclear. While Katerina Kittycat likes conventionally gendered female activities like ballet and tea parties (SOOOO OUT RIGHT NOW), Miss Elaina gets to be the cool progressive girl who likes robots and outer space stuff and STEM nonsense.  You know Miss Elaina’s mom must be all over Facebook like “EVERYONE EVERYONE look at me encouraging my daughter to do cool progressive stuff WE DON’T DO PRINCESSES IN THIS HOUSE everyone everyone worship me for what a politically en-vogue statement I can make through my child who is actually not an individual of her own just a vessel for displaying my own superiority.”  Ahem ahem it’s possible I let a little tangential social commentary slip there.  Moving along again.

Prince Wednesday.  Friend and classmate of Daniel’s.  Son of King Friday.  What’s the deal with the family structure of the royal family? Prince Wednesday is in preschool, his older brother Prince Tuesday is like 20, and their father King Friday is like 78.  Pretty sure Wednesday is the product of a third marriage.

This kid is, quite honestly, an entitled little douchebag.  Makes you want to pull that douchey little gold “W” belt off his idiotic purple pants.  He likes to remind everyone of his status by preceding every adjective with the adverb “royally.” I.e. being royally hungry, royally excited, royally tired.  As if that wasn’t bad enough he does so with this obnoxious little trill of the R sound.  It’s unbearable. ROYALLY STFU KID.  We get it, you’re loaded.  You live in the neighborhood castle while your poor classmates Katerina and O the Owl share an effing TREE like effing 1904 tenement dwellers so how about you exercise a little sensitivity.

Grandpere: Father of Dad Tiger and Daniel’s paternal grandfather.  French.  Smug.  Pursues several nautical hobbies.  Wears a pea coat and a tinted pince-nez.  The hating work just does itself.

The end.  Roll the “It’s Such a Good Feeling” song.


FYI this post was later unapologetically plagiarized by Gawker. MOTHEREFFERS!

Further reading: The Hater’s Guide to Daniel Tiger Volume 2

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40 thoughts on “The Hater’s Guide to Daniel Tiger

  1. You also forgot that when Dad Tiger is around Mr. Stan the Music Man, his voice takes on a jive tone. Once you hear it, you can’t unhear it.

    And I’m with you on those cats. Straight into the wood chipper they go.

  2. I was also disturbed by the fact that none of them actually washed their hands in the episode where Prince Wednesday & Daniel used the potty.

  3. Your posts always make me laugh but this one was particularly great as my son is also a DT addict. I’m predicting you can get a whole blog post out of the episode where Daniels sister is born (I’m guessing you haven’t seen it yet)

  4. Enjoyed this post, though honestly Daniel tiger is currently one of my favorite kids shows. We don’t have cable, so it is my second favorite of only five shows. Listed in order of preference: Kratt Brothers, Daniel Tiger, Odd Squad, Curious George, Peg + Cat. If you’ve got this much of a problem with Daniel Tiger, I can only assume you’ve never seen Peg+ Cat. It’s the worst show, EVER. I have actually banned it from my house. When the show -or even a commercial for the show- comes on, my four year old says “Mom, Peg+Cat is on! We have to turn off the TV!” I love it.

  5. My son is obsessed. To the point where the only thing that calms a temper tantrum is the “take a deep breath…. and count to four” song and I have to do the “One! Two! Three! Four!” part too. In the supermarket. I refuse to take responsibility though- totally my ex-husband’s fault, who totally thinks mom tiger is the best because she never loses her cool EVER, specifically at dad tiger (there should be an episode where he pisses her off and she has to sing the take a deep breath song to herself). We have all the stuffed animals and the DVD’s. I’m trying to force Sesame Street or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (not much better). It’s not working.

    I’m so glad someone else feels the same way.

  6. I don’t know how I haven’t discovered you before now, meow. Sorry; had to throw that in. I think I even get bonus points since it rhymed. Seriously hysterical. Thank you. But Caillou is worse.

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  8. Haha, love it. My oldest is also a HUGE Daniel Tiger fan. My favorite is the “Grown Ups Come Back” episode. You know that’s suuuupppper awkward when Katerina asks Henrietta when Daddy Cat is coming back or O asks X the Owl when his parents are coming to pick him up…. Yeah.

  9. “When something seems bad/turn it around/and find something good” Those songs are like freaking earworms. I’ve found myself lying in bed, can’t fall asleep, repeating the same jingle over and over again.

  10. I cut Daniel Tiger out of my kids’ lives BECAUSE of freaking Katerina and Henrietta. That meow-meow crap pissed me off waaay more than it should have. Props to you for putting up with it, because I can’t even. Love the post!

  11. This may be there very best thing I have read all month!! I don’t have kids (stumbled on your blog after following a link on baby must haves… baby fever is a real thing!) but I have nephews and watching some of their shows has always made me laugh at the ridiculousness of the characters! Have you seen Backyardigans? I used to buy all the videos for my oldest nephew when he was younger so i could watch the ridiculousness with him!
    Can’t wait to spend my lunch break reading more of your blog!

  12. omg this is the funniest thing I have read all day and its so true. my son isn’t crazy about Daniel tiger but he enjoys it every now and again. The songs are catching but so annoying lol

  13. I just came across this and I can’t stop laughing. You NAILED it! My husband and I comment to each other all the time what whack jobs these kids are. Do you remember when O the Owl’s costume broke when they were out collecting stickers? And I think the postman says, “What are you dressed as?” and O says “Nothing. I am nothing.” YIKES KID!!!

  14. I swear, every song the mother sings was written by William Shatner and sounds like: “when you feel bad…think of… something good. you’ll feel better!” Where’s the rest of the song? Also Daniel’s painfully obvious autotune makes me want to throw things at the tv.

  15. When a baby, makes things different, find a way to…POW! Please, blow my head off if I ahve to hear those insipid songs again. Why? Why can’t I find the courage to stand up and turn the damn show off? Oh, right, sick three year old. :/

  16. My personal gripe with DT are all the books published under his brand. It really frustrates me to have to see and read the enormous amounts of incorrect grammar.

  17. Omg why does Daniel wear pajama pants to bed but not when he leaves the house, I’m pretty sure I’d be arrested if I did that lol

  18. bwahaha! this is everything!! sooo I’m still a little resentful of DT because he took my sweet 2 year old boy who called me daddy and turned him into a 2 year old boy that just says dada now. Oh and the throws random “hmmmms” into his sentences unnecessarily because DT does. thanks a lot jerk hahah

  19. Yeah, I’m not big on this show either. Daniel singlehandedly taught my son to stomp and growl and pout-not cool.
    As for the veggie thing? I get they wanna teach kids to eat their veggies but your right, it’s odd they aren’t eating meat considering predators require a rich protein diet.
    I had to mute the tv because I was sick of the “meow,meow” between every conversation. Theresearch alot more to this show I don’t like I won’t further elaborate on,it’ll take all day. But I can’t stand the constant whining. This show is banned from my house.

  20. Lol spot on!! I’m sitting with my 13 month old daughter and all she ever wants to watch is daniel tiger… I have literally seen every episode of this god awful show countless number of times. I came across your blog while watching DT with her and googling why does O the owl suck so much lol. O might be the most annoying character on this show.

  21. The real first world problem:. Narcissistic white liberals who constantly prattle on about first world problems because it makes them feel so very morally superior

  22. In general I like DT. My 15 month old just chills for 20 minutes when it’s on. BUT have you seen the horrible episode where Daniel can’t ride trolley because Mom wants to put little sis in the stroller to walk her around and get her to nap? The stupid song says “When you can’t get what you want, STOMP 3 times to help yourself feel better!” Let’s just advocate having a GD temper tantrum everywhere. As soon as I see that one begin we change the channel. Please do Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, wtf does meeska mooska Mickey Mouse mean and wtf is a hot dog dance?

    1. OMG yes. Did you see how Daniel just plopped to his bottom on the sidewalk to protest? My guy replicated that exact move. I was also disappointed to find out that the stomping strategy was not nearly as effective in life as it was for the show characters ; )

      Ha I will have to check out Mickey Mouse!!!

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