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Music by Joe Raposo
Lyrics by Raposo, Jon Stone, Bruce Hart
Date 1969

"One of These Things" was a song regularly used on Sesame Street for sketches where viewers would be shown a group of four items, one of which was different from the other three, and they would have to identify the item which didn't belong. A similar song that asks the inverse question is "Three of These Things".

The game has been used in segments starring William Wegman's dogs, and in animated form, melody only, with footprints. It was also the basis for a game in one "Journey to Ernie" segment. A line of the song is included in the theme for the "This is the Game Today" segments, and some of the games from "This is the Game Today" include this song.

Versions

Picture Singer First Appearance Subjects
SusanTest2.jpg
Susan Test Show 2 First round: Three and three Ws
Second round (sung as "One of These Shapes"): Three triangles and a circle
According to research documents, the children complained when the camera zoomed in on one item at a time.
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Susan Episode 0001 W and three Twos
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Susan and Oscar the Grouch Episode 0013 Ice cream cone sizes
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Bob Episode 0030 Three small and one large O, three big and one small hand, three long and one short pencil, and three fat wedges and one thin wedge of cake.
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Susan Episode 0043 Shoe sizes
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Susan Episode 0078 Letters and a tree
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Bob Episode 0094 Abstract shapes
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Susan Episode 0123 Capital and lower-case R's.
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Susan, Bob and Grover Episode 0131 Circles
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Susan Episode 0138 Abstract shapes
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Cookie Monster Episode 0174 Number of cookies on each plate
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Bob and the kids Episode 0207 Ds
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Big Bird and Mr. Snuffleupagus Episode 0298 Three cut-out drawings of Snuffleupaguses and a cup
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Bob Episode 0309 Images of blob-like shapes
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Jay and the kids Episode 0319 Sidewalk chalk shapes
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Luis Episode 0337 Raggedy Ann dolls
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Maria Episode 0352 Cookies
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Gordon Episode 0394 Upper and lowercase E
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Maria Episode 0475 Three rubber balls and one alphabet block
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Susan Episode 0514 Happy and sad faces
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David Episode 0536 Three starfish and one crab
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Big Bird Episode 0573 Big and small bowls of birdseed
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Bob and Maria Episode 0592 Three triangles and 23
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Maria Episode 0658 Pictures of a saw, scissors, a knife, and a baseball bat.
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Bob and Count Von Count Episode 0711 Three small birds and Big Bird
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Luis and Biff Episode 0735 Three square items and a round orange
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Maria, Luis, and Count von Count Episode 0751 Jars
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Bert Episode 0827 Pigeons
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Bob Episode 0828 B's and a D
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Count von Count Episode 0831 Icicles
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The Amazing Mumford and Susan Episode 0845 Fire helmets and Mumford's magic hat
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Bob and the kids Episode 0931 Three rubber duckies and a toy boat
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The adults, Gladys the Cow, and the kids Episode 1056 People and a cow
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Bob, David, Gordon, Slimey Episode 1904 Four dancers
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Bob, Susan, and the kids Episode 2132 Three lemons and one fish
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Simon Soundman, Susan, and the kids Episode 2306 Three Honkers and a bird
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Olivia Episode 2323 Three birds and a fish
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Snuffy and Alice Episode 2477 Brussels sprouts and balls
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Uncle Wally, horses Episode 2578 Uncle Wally and a singing group of horses.
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Bob and the Great Blechini Episode 2730 Dogs and a rabbit
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Big Bird and the adults Episode 2747 One bird and six adults
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Sidney Episode 2755 Three cans, one cup
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A penguin Episode 3145 Four penguins - one of which has a clown nose on its beak, and one of which is Wolfgang in disguise.
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Gina, Kids, Elmo and Baby Bear Episode 3410 A blue ball, a yellow ball, a blue pull-duck, and a blue block.
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Big Bird and Gordon Episode 3540 The Squirrelles and a rabbit.
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Elmo and Zoe Episode 3872 A number 1 and three socks.
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Louie Episode 4809 Vegetables and meat
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Oscar the Grouch, Rosita and Herry Monster A Swingin' Sesame Street Celebration Instruments and Grouch instruments
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Susan and Bob Sesame Street's 50th Anniversary Celebration Three number 50s and an L
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Bob (pretending to be John-John) and John-John (pretending to be Bob)[1]

Feet animations

A series of animated segments from season 4 featured an instrumental of the song over visuals of footprints or shoes in a graph.

Releases

Audio
Video
Publications
Online

Mentions

  • This song was included in a 2004 Subway commercial, where it was called "One of These Subs".
  • Dave Grohl, from the Foo Fighters, admits that he was influenced by "One of These Things" while writing the song "The Pretender". (YouTube)
  • The Mindless Self-Indulgence song "Unsociable" has the line: "One of these shapes is not like the other holes", which is very similar to this song.
  • In the tour Jeff Dunham: Spark of Insanity, Peanut comments on Jose Jalapeno calling Jeff "Senor Heff" and then "Senor Cheff". Jeff Dunham says it's the same thing and Peanut replies "No it's not! Didn't you watch Sesame Street?" Then he sings a short clip of "One of These Things" singing "One of these things just doesn't belong here". Then he parodies the end of the show by saying that "this show was sponsored by the sound CH."
  • Taylor Swift's song "ME!" references the song in the lyrics. (YouTube)
  • On an episode of Degrassi: The Next Generation entitled, "99 Problems, Pt. 1," while discussing the scarcity paradigm, Riley says, "Look, there's Jess T, Jess M, Jess B, and then there's Fiona," to which Drew replies, "Wow! One of these things is not like the others."
  • After prematurely declaring an election win, Donald Trump received the Sesame Street treatment with a parody of the song, in the November 4, 2020 cold open of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. (YouTube)

Sources

External links

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