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Bert & Ernie can’t agree on their relationship & Twitter has gone wild with speculation

Bert and Ernie and rubber duckie
Bert and Ernie and the rubber duckiePhoto: via Wikipedia

An astute fan noticed that Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street don’t agree on the nature of their relationship, and Twitter exploded in speculation.

A podcaster who goes by Valondar on Twitter posted screenshots of the twitter profiles of Bert and Ernie. Ernie says that he’s Bert’s “friend,” while Bert says that he’s Ernie’s “roommate.”

Related: If Kermit & Miss Piggy are a couple, why can’t Bert & Ernie be gay?

“Brutal,” Valondar wrote in the tweet that has almost 400,000 likes.

Some noticed that it’s sad that Bert isn’t willing to even say that he’s Ernie’s friend.

Others noted that gay couples have historically referred to each other with euphemisms like “friend” and “roommate” and that maybe Bert and Ernie just don’t agree on which one is better.

Their accounts are run by PBS and neither of them tweets frequently. Some people wondered if they should just come out already… or announce that they broke up.

Bert and Ernie are two puppets who represent adult male characters who live together and share a bedroom in New York City, but PBS has long denied that they’re in a loving relationship.

“They remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation,” PBS said in a 2011 statement, even though many other puppets in the Jim Henson universe are aggressively heterosexual.

Mark Saltzman, who used to write for Sesame Street, said in a 2018 interview that he always thought that Bert and Ernie were in a relationship, although he started writing for the show over a decade after the characters were introduced.

“I always felt that without a huge agenda, when I was writing Bert and Ernie, they were,” Saltzman told Queerty at the time. “I didn’t have any other way to contextualize them. The other thing was, more than one person referred to Arnie and I as ‘Bert and Ernie.'”

Sesame Street co-creator Frank Oz later tweeted that “they’re not [gay], of course.”

“Why do we need to define people as only gay?” he asked. “There’s much more to a human being than just straightness or gayness.”

A week later, he took another point of view, saying he has “now learned that many view them as representative of a loving gay relationship. And that’s pretty wonderful.”

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