Move over, "Laurel or Yanny". The next big obsession over what word we think we're hearing is here, brought to you by Sesame Street's loveable, furry, old pal Grover and an f-bomb --- maybe -- and now kids are weighing in.
Late last year during the Sesame Street episode "Picture This" featured Grover reacting to the Muppet Rosita sharing how she will move her camera with Grover's actions in an attempt to get the perfect action photo. It's a great idea and Grover tells her so and that's where things get complex. To some adults, it sounds like Grover says something along the lines of "that is an excellent idea" while to others, Grover may need to have his mouth washed out with some soap. They hear "that is a f**king excellent idea".
But those are adults. What about the kids? That's what Jimmy Kimmel set out to discover, having kids at a farmer's market watch the clip and give their reaction. It turns out, the kids are just as divided as the adults and it's pretty hilarious to see them react. You can check it out in the video above.
As you can see in the video, the facial expressions of some of those kids are hilarious when they think they hear Grover say a bad word. However, what's really at play here is likely a variety of things. When the "Laurel vs. Yanny" debate became a thing last year, what individuals hear largely came down to the quality of the recording itself as well as the quality of how a listener was hearing it. The actual hearing abilities of individual listeners also comes into play as the ability to hear higher frequencies changes as humans age. While I'm not a scientist nor do I play one on television, it makes sense that some of those same factors are likely coming into play with Grover's choice words. After all, this is Sesame Street we're talking about here. The characters don't swear. Not even Oscar the Grouch and that guy has plenty of reason to swear.
And it's the purity of the characters on the show that master puppeteer Frank Oz was quick to defend as the controversy over Grover's words came to a head last month.
"I've never understood why some people love imagining that, between takes, we screw around with the characters by having the swear or having them use sexual innuendos or putting cigarettes in their mouths and laughing," Oz wrote on Twitter. "We don't. It would be a betrayal of the character's purity."
So, we'll ask you: what do you hear? And, after watching Kimmel's video, what do you think about the reactions of the kids who heard Grover say something naughty? Let us know your take in the comments below.