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