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.


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 Oscar the Grouch Episode 0013 Ice cream cone sizes
0030 Bob One of These Things
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
Susan Episode 0078 Letters and a tree
0094 07
Bob Episode 0094 Abstract shapes
Susan Episode 0123 Capital and lower-case R's.
Susan, Bob and Grover Episode 0131 Circles
0138 - 07
Susan Episode 0138 Abstract shapes
1Of These Things
Cookie Monster Episode 0174 Number of cookies on each plate
0207 One of These Things
Bob and the kids Episode 0207 Ds
Big Bird and Mr. Snuffleupagus Episode 0298 Three cut-out drawings of Snuffleupaguses and a cup
0319 06
Jay and the kids Episode 0319 Sidewalk chalk shapes
Maria Episode 0352 Cookies
0394 02
Gordon Episode 0394 Upper and lowercase E
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
Big Bird Episode 0573 Big and small bowls of birdseed
Bob and Maria Episode 0592 Three triangles and 23
Maria Episode 0658 Pictures of a saw, scissors, a knife, and a baseball bat.
0711 03
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
0827 04
Bert Episode 0827 Pigeons
0831 03
Count von Count Episode 0831 Icicles
The adults, Gladys the Cow, and the kids Episode 1056 People and a cow
Bob, David, Gordon, Slimey Episode 1904 Four dancers
Bob, Susan, and the kids Episode 2132 Three lemons and one fish
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, horses Episode 2578 Uncle Wally and a singing group of horses.
Bob and the Great Blechini Episode 2730 Dogs and a rabbit
Big Bird and the adults Episode 2747 One bird and six adults
Sidney Episode 2755 Three cans, one cup
A penguin Episode 3145 Four penguins - one of which has a clown nose on its beak, and one of which is Wolfgang in disguise.
Gina, Kids, Elmo and Baby Bear Episode 3410 A blue ball, a yellow ball, a blue pull-duck, and a blue block.
Big Bird and Gordon Episode 3540 The Squirrelles and a rabbit.
Elmo and Zoe Episode 3872 A number 1 and three socks.
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
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."


  1. Sesame Street Unpaved

External links

Start a Discussion Discussions about One of These Things

  • Classifying Song / Sorting Song

    32 messages
    • That's a weird one. I don't have the proper music theory to explain it, but it almost sounds like some musically inverted version of ...
    • Just noting here for now that the "Same/Different Song" sung by Bob in Epis...
  • One of These Formats

    7 messages
    • Oscarfan wrote: Separation is the key thing, I think. I think galleries is the way to go, then separate them by episodic use and inserts (we ...
    • Yeah, that needs to be taken care of too. We need to refer to the scripts and the CTW Archive doc listing for them. We can always plug it her...
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