Don't Hug Me I'm Scared Is a YouTube channel that showcases an animated musical fantasy horror film that started as a series on July 29, 2011.
Each episode revolves around Yellow Guy (and his father Roy), Red Guy and Duck Guy meeting one or several anthropomorphic characters, who begin a musical number related to a basic concept of day-to-day life with an upbeat melody similar to that of a nursery rhyme. As each song progresses, it becomes apparent that its moral or message is nonsensical or self-contradicting, and that the "teacher" character has ulterior or sinister motives. The climax of each episode typically involves a shock element with use of graphic violence, and sometimes other coercive or warped themes.
Episode 1: Creativity
The first episode begins in a kitchen. A singing notepad teaches the main characters to "get creative", singing about childlike activities. Most of Yellow Guy's ideas are arbitrarily judged by the sketchbook to be non-creative. The climax of the episode is an exaggerated depiction of creativity in which Yellow Guy and Duck Guy become operated by people in suits, like Red Guy, and dance increasingly erratically and engage in deranged acts like covering a heart in glitter and serving a cake made from internal organs, complete with shaky camera shots and increasingly frantic music. The words "get creative" can be found hidden in this part everywhere. The video ends with everything seemingly restored to normal and the sketchbook telling the puppets, in a final line of the song, to "never be creative again". The episode premiered on 29 July 2011.
Episode 2: Time
The main characters are waiting for a TV broadcast to begin, acknowledging that they have five minutes left. A talking clock, Tony, appears and begins to sing about time. Towards the end, the protagonists question the reality of time, much to Tony's annoyance. Angered, Tony then accelerates the passage of time, rapidly aging the cast and causing them to decay alive. Duck Guy's skin falls off of his hand and his eyeball falls out, Yellow Guy's hair grows and he becomes wrinkled, with blood spilling out of his eyes and other orifices, and Red Guy's hair turns a sickly grey and grows very long, with his eyes becoming slanted and even more dazed looking. The events are revealed to be part of a television program watched by the three friends, with Tony telling them that it's out of his hands, but they will be fine, although "everyone runs out of time". However, the end implies that the rotting was real due to Duck Guy's eyeball being visible on the floor near the television, as well as Yellow Guy's hair being visible during the end credits with maggots appearing to multiply on it. This episode introduces Yellow Guy's father, Roy. The episode premiered on 8 January 2014.
Episode 3: Love
At a picnic with Yellow Guy and Red Guy, Duck Guy kills a butterfly, referring to it as a "pesky bee." Yellow Guy, distressed, flees to a tree and is found by a butterfly, Shrignold. He and his friends sing about love, saying that true love is kept for one's "special one." After a brief anecdote featuring 'Michael, the loneliest boy in town', Shrignold introduces Yellow Guy to Malcolm, the King of Love, and the leader of a cult whom they worship by feeding gravel. The plot takes a sinister turn when the cult explains that Yellow Guy must lose his memories and name. The video ends with Yellow Guy waking up in the tree where he was found by Shrignold, and his friends bringing him "the last boiled egg," which splits, revealing a disgusting, red caterpillar-like creature who calls Yellow Guy "father" and is promptly squashed by Duck Guy (who once again refers to it as a "pesky bee"), its guts spilling down the side of the egg. During the credits, Malcolm is immolated in a bonfire while upbeat electronic music plays. The episode premiered on 31 October 2014.
Episode 4: Computers
The protagonists are playing a board game. They express their desire to learn about the world, and a globe named Gilbert comes to life. He prepares to sing to them, but Colin, a talking computer, begins to sing about how clever he is, cutting Gilbert off. Colin starts asking the trio questions, with Red Guy becoming increasingly annoyed, until he yells for Colin to "shut up" and slams his hand on his keyboard. This enrages Colin, and after a black screen with glitches and flashing images depicting Duck Guy, Gilbert the Globe, and a few other references, he promptly takes the characters to the 'Digital World,' fascinating Yellow Guy and Duck Guy. Colin sings about the three main activities of the digital world – viewing different graphs, Digital Style, and Digital Dancing. These are repeated until a room becomes populated with distorted dancing clones of Colin, Yellow Guy and Duck Guy. Red Guy finds himself alone in the room where they were at the beginning, with the lights off, and Roy standing in the shadows (although this is not acknowledged), and escapes only to find a film crew wearing spandex suits apparently filming a crude replica of the first episode. Red Guy starts to say "Wait, what—," before a crewman snaps a clapperboard, whereupon his head suddenly explodes into glitter. The episode premiered on 15 March 2015.
Episode 5: Health
Red Guy seems to be missing and Duck Guy and Yellow Guy seem to not be able to recognise this, although they are very much aware that something has changed. Various anthropomorphic food characters, led by a steak, give increasingly bizarre and self-contradictory advice about eating habits in song. The song is stopped twice by the telephone ringing. Duck Guy answers the telephone, but does not respond to what he hears on the line, while beginning to hallucinate and see himself on a hospital bed. Eventually, he becomes irritated with the hypocritical advice and seems to start to realise what's missing: Red Guy. He runs off-set, knocking over the camera briefly revealing Roy peeking over the set, and wakes up in an operating theatre to find himself split open, a large tin can disembowelling him and eating his organs. Yellow Guy continues following the song, although is a little overwhelmed, and becomes bloated from eating cans of meat labelled with Duck Guy's picture. The episode then ends with him looking over at the ringing phone once again. During the credits sequence, Red Guy is seen dressed in a coat and scarf, walking away from a phone booth carrying a suitcase, revealing that he was the one calling throughout the episode.
When the camera is knocked over, both Roy and Red Guy can be seen if the frames are scrutinized.
The creators claim that a phone number printed on the phone booth in this video was being called within seconds of the episode's release, which at first they would answer and pretend to be characters from the show. The episode premiered on 14 October 2015.
Episode 6: Dreams
Yellow Guy is in bed, crying because he misses his friends, who have disappeared over the course of the previous two episodes. As he tries to go to sleep, a lamp who sings about dreams appears. Despite Yellow Guy's protests, the Lamp drags him along for an animated sequence that ends with him having a dream about drowning in oil. Yellow Guy then wakes to see the Lamp transform his mattress into oil. Meanwhile, Red Guy wakes in an office with multiple others identical to him. He starts to sing a song about an office file, but his colleagues are not impressed and one of them repeats one of his lines from the first episode, "That sounds very boring". Later, at a bar, he performs the Creativity song from the first episode, but is booed by the crowd, who also resembles and sounds identical to him. Red Guy notices Roy sitting still in the crowd. The microphone and boombox turn into teacher-puppets and he is transported to a darkened room. Red Guy follows the sound of the dream song to a machine with monitors showing Yellow Guy. Red Guy presses buttons that transform the lamp into the other five puppets from the previous episodes, besides the sketchbook, as well as several other puppets that seem to cover topics that were never mentioned, such as the universe, sports, how to buy a canoe, as well as smaller everyday life things such as traffic lights, music, magnetism and even an office file that Red Guy sang in the office (and at one point transforming the puppet into Duck Guy). Roy taps Red Guy on the shoulder with a massively elongated arm. Seeing Yellow Guy becoming gaunt from his ordeal, Red Guy disconnects the machine's power supply, after repeating a line from episode 3: "I wonder what will happen." The scene cuts to a reshoot of episode 1 with the protagonists recoloured to their favourite colour that they mentioned from the first episode. The calendar turns from 19 to 20 June. A sketchbook similar to the original starts singing the same song from the first installment but is cut off as the episode ends. The episode premiered on 19 June 2016.