Elmo asked ‘how is everyone doing?’ on X. He quickly became the world’s therapist

When beloved Sesame Street character Elmo took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to ask how we were all doing, he probably wasn’t expecting millions of people to respond to him. But such is life.

As LGBTQ+ people, we know that – basically – things are really Not OK. Extremist groups are trying to erode our hard-won rights, and trans people are under attack, with harsh new laws being passed every day in the US.

Plus, when you look more widely at the state of the world, you’re met with the long shadow of the climate crisis, an economic downturn in multiple countries that’s causing people to struggle with everyday bills, not to mention conflict in the Middle East and between Russia and Ukraine.

Still, even given these deeply negative facts, the people behind the Elmo Twitter/X account probably weren’t expecting a simple ‘how is everyone doing’ tweet to get trauma dumped on to an unprecedented degree.

Elmo is just checking in! How is everybody doing?

— Elmo (@elmo) January 29, 2024

In a Jan 29 tweet that has since been viewed over 174 million times, the popular Sesame Street children’s character asked, simply: “How is everybody doing?”

This sparked a tsunami of negative responses, with many people quote-tweeting the original question and adding their own nihilistic replies: many of them darkly funny and very relatable.

One of the top responses to Elmo on Twitter/X, itself retweeted over 100,000 times, was “Elmo I’m gonna be real I am at my f**king limit.”

One much less NSFW reply was posted by rapper and singer-songwriter T Pain, who said:

I’m just looking for somebody to talk to and show me some love if you know what I mean https://t.co/J4ffrIwjEM

— T-Pain (@TPAIN) January 29, 2024

While Florida politician Jared Moskowitz tweeted: “Not well. I serve in Congress.”

“The world is burning around us, Elmo,” added YouTuber Steven McInerney.

“Every morning, I cannot wait to go back to sleep. Every Monday, I cannot wait for Friday to come. Every single day and every single week for life,” another user wrote.

There were also plenty of (funny) tweets referencing the unprecedented response to the initial question:

Elmo checking in: https://t.co/RGyDWryjt4 pic.twitter.com/8jxxsbIDM9

— Srah (@starsinmargins) January 29, 2024

Me getting ready to trauma dump on Elmo https://t.co/deeCrnYieo pic.twitter.com/PwYNXYevGs

— Theo Gary (@TheoGary) January 29, 2024

And some people speculated on what might be going on behind the scenes at Sesame Street HQ:

imagine being a writer for Sesame Street and suddenly getting hauled into an emergency all-hands meeting on a Monday so you can come up with the most fun and whimsical way for Kermit the Frog to sing the digits of the national suicide hotline

— Janel Comeau (@VeryBadLlama) January 30, 2024

Other X users responded with more sincerity, while others highlighted the fact that we all, collectively, decided to trauma dump on a muppet as cause for deep concern for our wellbeing as a species.

X user Meg Pillow (@MegPillow) said: “I really hope someone writes in a thoughtful way about why this tweet went viral. Because our world is filled with such judgement and cruelty and Elmo spoke with love to our inner child, and we all clung to it like a life raft.”

Elmo responds to the outpouring of Twitter angst

Being the kind and considerate little muppet that he is, Elmo couldn’t stay silent for long.

He has now responded, saying he’s “glad he asked” and posting the hashtag “#EmotionalWellBeing”.

Wow! Elmo is glad he asked! Elmo learned that it is important to ask a friend how they are doing. Elmo will check in again soon, friends! Elmo loves you. #EmotionalWellBeing pic.twitter.com/jhn2LNKfHf

— Elmo (@elmo) January 30, 2024

The official Sesame Street account also responded, with a tweet linking to mental health resources:

Thank you, @Elmo, for checking in with a reminder for us to pause and take a mindful moment to focus on how we’re feeling. For #EmotionalWellbeing resources and more, visit @SesameWorkshop:https://t.co/sNuUmq73i5 https://t.co/CkooNXI11L

— Sesame Street (@sesamestreet) January 29, 2024

Other Sesame Street characters also spoke out in support of mental wellbeing.

Ernie’s friend Bert tweeted: “I’m here if you ever need a shoulder to lean on. I’ll make us both a warm cup of tea.”

The Cookie Monster also took to Twitter/X to refer to the Elmo angst-tsunami, saying: “Me here to talk it out whenever you want. Me will also supply cookies. #EmotionalWellBeing”

Elmo was also praised by US President Joe Biden, who tweeted: “Our friend Elmo is right: We have to be there for each other.”

Finally, social media influencer April Reign summed the entire incident up perfectly when she tweeted:

“We make jokes but this is actually important. This app is hell now. And instead of letting Elmo’s tweet be a one off @sesamestreet and @SesameWorkshop leaned all the way in. To speak to adults. Some of whom haven’t watched their show in decades. THAT is why they’re so special.”

Well done, Sesame Workshop. And thank you.

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