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During the era in which Mr. Snuffleupagus was thought merely to be Big Bird's imaginary friend, a large portion of his appearances involved a scenario in which he was very nearly seen by the adults, either by design or some plot-driven mishap.

However, from time to time under, and often under unusual circumstances, Snuffy had been seen by the adults and other Muppets on Sesame Street. The Kids were usually an exception (starting with the 3rd season finale), most of whom could see Snuffy just as plainly as Big Bird could, including Jay who had aged up on the show and could still see him as late as age 13 in Episode 0415.

This page catalogues instances when a character encounters the supposedly imaginary Mr. Snuffleupagus prior to Episode 2096 when he was finally introduced to Big Bird's friends properly.

Picture Description
Big Bird β€” Episode 0276 (1971)

Big Bird is the first person on Sesame Street to meet Mr. Snuffleupagus, but nobody believes him, setting up 14 years of "near misses."

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Dr. Marzullo β€” Episode 0343 (1972)

Dr. Marzullo gets a full glimpse at Snuffy as he collects a balloon from Hooper's Store. She is unable to explain this encounter and heads home for a long nap.

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Grover β€” Episode 0393 (1972)

Grover, under the impression that the real Snuffy is Big Bird in disguise, has the hiccups scared out of him after a full glimpse at the creature. Later, when Big Bird returns with his own Snuffy disguise, Grover says he didn't need a second costume, the first one was enough.

The Kids - Episode 0405 (1972)

Snuffy arrives at Big Bird's nest, where his appearance nearly startles the kids at first. Big Bird reminds his friend that Snuffy assumed people were imaginary as well, and delightedly introduces him to them. After attempting and failing to invite the grown-ups, it's at this point where Big Bird decides that he doesn't care what the grown-ups think because he and the kids know that Snuffy is real.

Simon Soundman - Episode 0543 (1973)

Simon Soundman cracks an O with a sound effect and Mr. Snuffleupagus responds with, "Oh, dear."

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Bert - Episode 0612 (1974)

When Bert suffers from amnesia, he's temporarily cured after being trampled by Snuffy. Realizing for the moment that he has his memory back, he converses with "Snuff" as a familiar friend and discusses the things he remembers from his life. After a second trampling, Bert loses his memory again.

David, Luis, and Maria - Episode 0652 (1974)

The three adults bump into Snuffy in the midst of a blackout and actually hear him speak. But, as the whole street is pitch black, they aren't aware of who the stranger is.

Bob - Episode 0807 (1975)

Mr. Snuffleupagus wants to show everybody the new striped overalls that his mother made for him. Bob sees Snuffy, and runs to tell everybody. Big Bird hears Bob's story, but decides that he couldn't have seen Snuffleupagus -- Snuffy doesn't have black and white stripes.

Mona Monster - Episode 1681 (1982)

Big Bird invites Mona (assuming Snuffy is imaginary as the others say) to Snuffy's birthday party. She's flabbergasted when Snuffy arrives and tells Big Bird, "I don't want you to be disappointed or anything, but your imaginary friend is real!"

Bert β€” Episode 1779 (1983)

After convincing Ernie that there's no such thing as a Snuffleupagus (despite recognizing him previously in Episode 0612), Bert gets a first-hand look at Snuffy through the apartment window. Ernie doesn't believe him and Bert wonders if his own imagination caused this sighting.

Dr. Nobel Price - Episode 1800 (1983)

While Dr. Nobel Price does not actually see or meet Snuffy, he does find his cousin, Abigail, and believes he's discovered a new species which he calls the Shagaphant. Big Bird informs him on what Snuffleupaguses are, and he's disappointed that he didn't discover a new creature, unaware that it's a creature that not many have actually seen by this point.

Forgetful Jones β€” Episode 1836 (1983)

Big Bird introduces the two during the New York City Marathon. Forgetful immediately forgets the encounter.

Telly Monster β€” Episode 1861 (1983)

Telly actually sees Snuffy, but thinks he's imagining seeing him.

Telly Monster and Oscar's pet elephants β€” Episode 1943 (1984)

Telly encounters Snuffy again at Big Bird's nest, while looking for Fluffy (which Snuffy misinterprets as his own name being called). He compares Snuffy to the image of Fluffy, and while Snuffy points out their differences, Telly is still unsure whether or not it's his imagination. Eventually, when Snuffy finds Fluffy, Telly is impressed enough to finally believe he's real.

Honkers - Episode 1954 (1984)
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Oscar the Grouch β€” Episode 2042 (1985)

Editors note: Erroneously, Episode 1017 has them meeting off-screen.

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Oscar the Grouch β€” Episode 2058 (1985)

At this point in the series, Snuffy has joined the Grouchketeers, thus establishing him as real to Oscar.

Forgetful Jones β€” Episode 2085 (1985)

Forgetful Jones is wandering about when he spots Mr. Snuffleupagus walking along in the arbor, and can't believe his eyes. Bob walks by and asks Forgetful what's so unbelievable, and Forgetful describes Snuffy all the while he stands behind Bob, which Bob doesn't notice. Bob soon recalls that what Forgetful is describing sounds like Big Bird's "imaginary" friend, the Snuffleupagus. They both figure that if that was indeed what it was, Forgetful couldn't have seen it and was imagining it- but yet Forgetful asks Bob what was standing behind them while they were talking.