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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 from Season 37, and some of the games from "This is the Game Today" include this song.


Picture Singer First Appearance Subjects
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.
Susan Episode 0001 W and three Twos
Susan and the kids Episode 0011 Clothing items and a fish
Susan and Oscar the Grouch Episode 0013 Ice cream cone sizes
0030 Bob One of These Things.jpg
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.
Susan Episode 0043 Shoe sizes
0078 06.jpg
Susan Episode 0078 Letters and a tree
0094 07.jpg
Bob Episode 0094 Abstract shapes
Susan Episode 0123 Capital and lower-case R's.
Susan, Bob and Grover Episode 0131 Circles
0133 07.jpg
Susan Episode 0133 Letter combinations
0138 - 07.jpg
Susan Episode 0138 Abstract shapes
0152 05a.jpg
Susan Episode 0152 Circle patterns
1Of These Things.jpg
Cookie Monster Episode 0174 Number of cookies on each plate
0207 One of These Things.jpg
Bob and the kids Episode 0207 Ds
0216 11.jpg
Susan Episode 0216 Three small qs and a small p
0260 07.jpg
Susan Episode 0260 First round:Three small capital A's and one big capital A. Second round: Three identical large elephants and a small one.
Maria Episode 0280 Oscar's trash
Big Bird and Mr. Snuffleupagus Episode 0298 Three cut-out drawings of Snuffleupaguses and a cup
Bob Episode 0309 Images of blob-like shapes
0319 06.jpg
Jay and the kids Episode 0319 Sidewalk chalk shapes
0337 07.jpg
Luis Episode 0337 Raggedy Ann dolls
Maria Episode 0352 Cookies
0378 03.jpg
Gordon and the kids Episode 0378 Carrots
0378 04.jpg
Brynne Episode 0378 Chairs
Susan Episode 0382 Books
0393 06.jpg
Bob and the kids Episode 0393 Gloves
0394 02.jpg
Gordon Episode 0394 Upper and lowercase E
0400 04.jpg
Maria Episode 0400 Pavas (Puerto Rican hats)
0400 06.jpg
Rafael Episode 0400 Roosters (in Spanish)
Bob Episode 0405 Trucks
Luis Episode 0410 Insects
0415 09.jpg
David Episode 0415 Trash cans
0437 07.jpg
Gordon Episode 0437 Beds
0441 One of These Things.jpg
Susan, Shola and John-John Episode 0441 Numbers of circles
David Episode 0448 three Js and one H.
Maria Episode 0475 Three rubber balls and one alphabet block
Susan Episode 0514 Happy and sad faces
David Episode 0536 Three starfish and one crab
0559 03.jpg
Bert Episode 0559 Pigeons
Big Bird Episode 0573 Big and small bowls of birdseed
Bob and Maria Episode 0592 Three triangles and 23
0657 One of These Things bulbs.jpg
Bob Episode 0657 Three regular lightbulbs and one flame-shaped lightbulb
Maria Episode 0658 Pictures of a saw, scissors, a knife, and a baseball bat.
0660 04.jpg
Biff and Maria Episode 0660 Dump trucks
0711 03.jpg
Bob and Count von Count Episode 0711 Three small birds and Big Bird
Luis and Biff Episode 0735 Three square items and a round orange
Maria, Luis and Count von Count Episode 0751 Jars
Susan and Herry Monster Episode 0765 A book, magazine, newspaper and a bowl of oatmeal
0797 04.jpg
Maria, David, Luis and the kids Episode 0797 Campaign buttons
0806 One of These Things.jpg
Bob and the kids Episode 0806 Doorbells
0827 04.jpg
Bert Episode 0827 Pigeons
Bob Episode 0828 B's and a D
0831 03.jpg
Count von Count Episode 0831 Icicles
The Amazing Mumford and Susan Episode 0845 Fire helmets and Mumford's magic hat
Herry Monster Episode 0846 Different sized weights
Bob and the kids Episode 0931 Three rubber duckies and a toy boat
The adults, Gladys the Cow, and the kids Episode 1056 People and a cow
Bob and the kids Episode 1600 Three kids and a Honker
Bob, David, Gordon, and Slimey Episode 1904 Four dancers
Bob, Susan and the kids Episode 2132 Three lemons and one fish
Forgetful Jones Episode 2180 Three Birdketeers and Forgetful (a cowboy)
Simon Soundman, Susan and the kids Episode 2306 Three Honkers and a bird
Olivia Episode 2323 Three birds and a fish
Snuffy and Alice Episode 2477 Brussels sprouts and balls
Uncle Wally and horses Episode 2578 Uncle Wally and a singing group of horses.
Gina, Telly and Elmo Episode 2699 boats
Luis and Baby Natasha Episode 2707 bolt and wingnuts
Gordon, Gina, Ernest, and Oscar Episode 2720 shapes
Bob and the Great Blechini Episode 2730 Dogs and a rabbit
Sidney Episode 2755 Three cans, one cup
Telly Monster Episode 2889 Three big plates and one small bowl
A penguin Episode 3145 Four penguins - one of which has a clown nose on its beak, and one of which is Wolfgang in disguise.
Joey and Davey Monkey Episode 3293 Three pineapples and a lamb
Carlo, the kids, Elmo and Telly Episode 3432 Three number 15s and one letter O
Big Bird and Gordon Episode 3540 The Squirrelles and a rabbit.
Humphrey Episode 3662 A picture of himself and his three siblings
Elmo and Zoe Episode 3872 A number 1 and three socks.
Susan Episode 4039 A hat, a sweater, a shoe, and a basketball.
Louie Episode 4809 Vegetables and meat
Oscar the Grouch, Rosita and Herry Monster A Swingin' Sesame Street Celebration Instruments and Grouch instruments
Susan and Bob Sesame Street's 50th Anniversary Celebration Three number 50s and an L

Incidentally, L is the Roman numeral for 50.
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.




  • 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)


External links