8 ways Tots TV lied to us about life
Tots TV was vital to any 90s childhood.
Tilly, Tom and Tiny filled my days with joy, wonder and their creepy little puppet smiles. I had the duvet cover, activity booklet and video set on a loop. They were everything.
In my adulthood, it's recently come to my attention that the trio didn't exactly set us up for the real world. Their weird little ways lured me into a magical existence that I believed lay ahead of me. Alas, I am still waiting to enter it.
Here's 8 very misleading lessons we learned from Tots TV.
1. You don't need a job to own a house
Tilly, Tom and Tiny had a substantial house in the countryside with a stunning thatched roof. Not once did the show even so much as touch on the financial implications of owning a house. The three of them were unemployed, with little to no skill set between them, yet they were living it up in a luxurious cottage together. HOW?
2. Both feet leave the ground when you walk
On the rare occasion that we saw Tilly, Tom and Tiny's legs (usually just in the opening credits), it would become apparent that they walked strangely. Rather than our young and impressionable minds connecting the blatant clues that they were puppets, the most logical conclusion to draw was that they were all afflicted with the same weird jumpy walk. That's probably what bonded them in the first place!
3. Being a peeping Tom is ok
When they were out and about in the real world, the three puppets would regularly observe other people's behaviour. They'd always perch themselves behind some sort of obstacle to hide, while intently absorbing the actions of others. It was weird and they were creeps, but the show made it seem ok.
4. A donkey is a perfectly normal pet to have
These three puppet children who had an entire house to themselves also had a pet donkey. Of course. He spent his days alone in some sort of shed, until the Tots had time to go and annoy him. There was a strong element of sadness to his demeanour at times, but these selfish creatures were oblivious to his needs, as they spent the majority of their time thinking about themselves.
5. Puppets need glasses too
This was probably some clever strategy to encourage children with glasses to actually wear them, but it honestly did more harm than good. Countless impressionable viewers had it engrained into their minds that it's possible for inanimate objects to have bad eyesight. Someone probably took their toaster to an opticians.
6. Being bad at drawing will get your work on the telly
Approximately halfway through each episode of Tots TV, a realtime drawing would appear on our screens, and they were always garbage. It's something I continue to have a serious gripe with to this day. If you're awful at drawing, your work should not be on the television for all to see. It should go on the fridge for a day or two, then mysteriously disappear into the recycling bin, as God intended.
7. Your hair can naturally be from the RBG colour chart
Aside from the fact that the French girl is pale, ginger and blatantly Irish, Tots TV misled the youth of the 90s into thinking that hair could naturally be red, green or blue. This is why nobody can commit themselves to one singular hair colour these days. We were lied to, time and time again. I've spent thousands trying to copy their short dreadlock type of hair only to bankrupt both myself and my family, along with ruining my roots.
8. Girls should carry a recorder at all times
Tilly permanently had a recorder around her neck at all times, presumably in case a trad session was to break out unannounced. That plastic bit of musical wonderment never left her sight and it was brought out at every available opportunity. They should've put a purse or a tampon around her neck, that would've been a useful lesson for girls.
Lead image via Hexjam
Other images via YouTube, YouTube and yes of course, YouTube