barney vs elmo


People want to see an Instagram Live Elmo vs. Barney ‘Verzuz’ battle

Track for track, take your pick.


Onaje McDowelle

Internet Culture

Beloved childhood favs Elmo and Barney both began trending on Twitter Wednesday, with upward of 20,000 tweets each, after a post sparked a debate around which character’s musical discography was stronger.

Perhaps one of the more positive caveats to come from global quarantines and lockdowns has been the inception of Verzuz, an Instagram Live battle series that pits well-known hip-hop and R&B artists against one another in friendly competition, bringing an appreciation for the genre’s past into the current moment. The live-streamed event series typically sees each artist trading selected tracks from their catalog of music with the other, including classics, chart-toppers, and fan favorites for live audience members to discuss and ultimately choose a winner. In an interview with Timbaland and Swizz Beatz on the series’ origins, Variety described the event as being “like a family reunion.”

The series originally began as a beat battle between super producers Timbaland and Swizz Beatz and has since evolved into a batch of running installments including face-offs between Erykah Badu and Jill Scott, Snoop Dogg and DMX, Alicia Keys and John Legend, and over a dozen others.

Now, the people want to see a clash of the titans between Elmo and Barney, both nostalgic childhood staples and musical talents in their own rights. A Wednesday tweet read, “Verzuz track for track, who y’all got?” And, of course, social media was not silent about who they thought might come out on top.

For many, it’s Sesame Street’s bright red furry friend who displays the clear advantage in his sonic depth. Twitter users on #TeamElmo brought out receipts of Elmo’s shiniest moments, noting features with the likes of Destiny’s Child, Usher, and Bruno Mars as cornerstones of his work.

On the flip side, advocates for the friendly purple dinosaur debated that Barney’s universally known tunes like “Clean Up,” “I Love You,” and his outro jingle were enough for him to take home the crown.

Beyond casual speculation, there’s truly only one way to determine the formidable powerhouse in terms of each beloved character’s respective discography. So, who around Sesame Street or Barney’s Treehouse do we need to get in touch with to make this Instagram Live battle happen?

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