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‘Who Wants To Die’ Talking Elmo
Status: Either a prank or a manufacturing defect
image When Angela Bolls bought an interactive Elmo book for her young daughter, Miranda, she had no idea what she would be exposing her daughter to:

Family members said 16-month-old Miranda Boll's new book, "Potty Time With Elmo," was supposed to teach an interactive lesson using voice commands. However, when the book's buttons are pressed, it reportedly says something it is not supposed to -- "who wants to die?" ... Bolls said she checked another copy of the same book and found that it says something completely different; "Who wants to try to go potty?" The company that makes the book said it has had several complaints concerning the book, according to the report.

So I guess some prankster with a dark sense of humor has been tampering with the potty-training books. That, or the books are satanically possessed. I actually don't think the mother should be complaining too much. That book could be worth a fortune on eBay.
Categories: Death, Pranks
Posted by Alex on Tue Jan 03, 2006
Comments (52)
More from the Hoax Museum Archives:
RTMark Barbie Liberation Army Strikes Again?
Posted by RTMark  on  Tue Jan 03, 2006  at  09:11 PM
Tickle Me Kevorkian?!?

A less emotionally loaded answer to this mess is that the word 'die' is a corrupted end of the sentence that should come out as 'try and go potty' and the recording stops there. Maybe someone passed this thing through a strong magnetic field and fritzed the recording?
Posted by DFStuckey  on  Tue Jan 03, 2006  at  09:33 PM
Maybe someone passed this thing through a strong magnetic field and fritzed the recording?

Darn good point!!!
Posted by thephrog  on  Tue Jan 03, 2006  at  09:51 PM
My name is Talking Tina, and I don't like you.
Posted by Citizen Premier  on  Tue Jan 03, 2006  at  10:29 PM
I have two talking star trek action figures that I've had since I was a kid, one of them Captain Picard and one Will Riker. Captain Picard says "Damage Report" and "Engage" and Will Riker says "Shields up" and "Red Alert." However if you press their buttons quickly you can get Picard to say "Damnit engage!" and Riker to say "Shit Red Alert!" Two of the best toys I ever had.
Posted by Citizen Premier  on  Tue Jan 03, 2006  at  10:33 PM
Yes, there isn't really a lot of difference between "try" and "die", especially if the recording got mangled a bit towards the end.

Personally, I find the concept of "Potty Time With Elmo" equally as disturbing as death threats from Elmo.
Posted by Accipiter  on  Wed Jan 04, 2006  at  12:04 AM
Better than those damn Bert and Ernie dolls I had as a toddler. Couldn't keep them apart.
Posted by Craig  on  Wed Jan 04, 2006  at  05:19 AM
My friend got a screwed up furbie for Christmas:

Friend: "I love you, Furbie"

Furbie: "Me no like you."
Posted by Tru  on  Wed Jan 04, 2006  at  07:54 AM
I've noticed a lot of toys with batteries failing knock off parts of sentences or phrases...or sound like they're underwater. I just replace the batteries, and once again our home is filled with the sweet sounds of, "Wooohooohooohoo!!! THE WONDERFUL THING ABOUT TIGGERS!!" played over and over and over again.
Posted by Maegan  on  Wed Jan 04, 2006  at  09:08 AM
"Status: Either a prank or a manufacturing defect"

or a way to get money. Google "how to hack elmo"
Posted by Craig  on  Wed Jan 04, 2006  at  09:14 AM
My name is Talky Tina, and I don't like imposters...
Posted by The Real Deal  on  Wed Jan 04, 2006  at  09:33 AM
I vote for demonic possession.
Posted by Big Gary in North America  on  Wed Jan 04, 2006  at  12:08 PM,1284,47368,00.html
It seems Elmo could be worth a lot of money...
Posted by Owen  on  Thu Jan 05, 2006  at  10:18 AM
I'm leaning towards Maegan's answer on this one. I collect books like those, and they do play interesting sounds when the batteries run dry. Those books do sometimes arrive at bookstores with already weak batteries (or it would be abused in bookstores enough to have the batteries grow weak by the time someone pick it up). If they picked it up on eBay, chances are it would be played with enough to have a weak battery too.
Posted by RAMChYLD  on  Thu Jan 05, 2006  at  10:46 AM
Would be very funny if it's true.
Posted by Sports Bettor  on  Thu Jan 05, 2006  at  12:27 PM
I used to have a kiddie cd player thing that would say over and over when there was no disk, "please insert disk." When the batteries ran down, it said "please insert piss."
Posted by Lady Hedoniste  on  Thu Jan 05, 2006  at  09:08 PM

great gift! haha
Posted by MegaMan  on  Fri Jan 06, 2006  at  07:11 AM
Here is a link for the book for sale on ebay!!
Can you believe that people are going crazy for it!!!
Posted by Elmo Die  on  Sun Jan 08, 2006  at  01:53 AM
Posted by Elmo Die  on  Sun Jan 08, 2006  at  01:54 AM
It reminds me of this legend:
Posted by Boo  on  Sun Jan 08, 2006  at  07:18 PM
Its not fake you morons

Copy the link its an mp3 of what it says

My nephew had it before they brought it back to the store
Posted by Acdc  on  Tue Jan 10, 2006  at  02:04 AM
Sorry here..........
Posted by Acdc  on  Tue Jan 10, 2006  at  02:05 AM
You folks are all speculating on this thing without having seen the book. I have the book. Every other button works fine so it's not the battery. And it's certainly not the word 'try' with the end of the sentence cut off. It took us a little time to figure out what it said, but if you look at the context of the sound within the text of the book, then you'll realize that this woman is just over reacting and the recording is actually saying, "Uh Oh, who has to go?" but of course, Elmo, not having teeth or a tongue and a bunch of fur surrounding his mouth has never been known for good pronounciation, so it's just hard to understand.

The button in question is supposed to be pressed whenever the child sees a picture of Elmo's little doll, 'Baby David' in the text of the book.

It's pressed in the following context:

Text "Do you have to use the potty, Baby David?"
Sound "Uh Oh, Who has to go?"
Text: "You do? Let's go!"

This woman is just looking for a lawsuit.
Posted by Dave  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  09:22 AM
It reminds me of the weird al song, 'furby prank call'. I find it a bit funny, is that twisted?
Posted by Dracul  on  Sun Jan 15, 2006  at  11:38 AM
My son had a possessed "Tickle Me Elmo." He would start giggling when no one was near him. It had new batteries so I know it wasn't almost dead batteries. We ended up putting it in a closet and giving it away later.
Posted by Possessed Elmo  on  Thu Jan 19, 2006  at  03:33 PM
I work for the company that produced this. This was a manufacturing error. Somehow the sound file was compressed. The reason all of the books don't say the same thing is because the problem was caught, but then the printer mistakenly distributed some of the defective books. I have one sitting on my desk, and I think it's hilarious...
Posted by J  on  Fri Jan 27, 2006  at  01:35 PM
We've got the book and I can tell you it is not weak batteries, all the other keys work fine. It is entirely obvious that some employee somewhere along the line is playing a prank.
Posted by Paul  on  Sat Jan 28, 2006  at  09:45 AM
On review it does clearly sound like "who has to go" when you are listening for those words. You can listen to it repeatedly and clearly hear EITHER phrase depending on what you are expecting. Interesting. On other sites the correct books seem to say "who wants to try to go potty", was this what "who has to go" was changed to so there would be no remote way of getting to "who wants to die"?
Why can't the makers just tell us what was the text supposed to be? Not sure what error and comprimised really means.
Posted by Paul  on  Sat Jan 28, 2006  at  10:13 AM
If you're refering to J's comment, he didn't say "compromised." He said "compressed," if that helps.
Posted by dave  on  Sun Jan 29, 2006  at  06:14 AM
this kinda reminds me of a story in the news where one of those teletubbie dolls (the big purple one) said something like "I got a gun"

Hey lets go shoot mommy!
Posted by Eva  on  Fri Feb 24, 2006  at  04:34 PM
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