To kick off the holiday season all around America, after the assault of Christmas music in every single retail store, families wake up early and watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. New York hosts approximately 3.5 million attendees each year, while 50 million televisions across the country tune in for coverage of the event.
But the parade doesn’t always come off without a hitch. There have been some years where balloon fails were inevitable.
There’s nothing more fun than watching a train-wreck, except the deflation of childhood dreams being broadcasted nationwide.
1) The Cat in the Hat (1997)
Starting with Peter the Rabbit taking a nosedive, the popular Dr. Seuss character soon nuzzled up to a steel streetlamp at Central Park West and 72nd Street, taking out parts of the streetlamp and onlookers with him. This incident caused injuries to some and even landed one person in the hospital, suffering from a month-long coma.
2) M&Ms (2005)
Apparently, the concerned look on Yellow and Red’s faces were actually a foreshadowing of them clobbering two sisters in the crowd with debris after crashing into a light pole. The 515-pound, 50.5-foot-tall polyurethane balloon did not spill out any chocolates as a result of the crash.
3) Barney (1994, 1997)
In 1994, Barney broke wind and broke free of the handlers, tearing open. About a minute into the video, two of the handlers were found in a compromising position in the street, giving new meaning to “I love you, you love me…” When he tore open, NYPD viciously attacked Barney, stabbing him into retreat. In the first part of the audio, you can hear the announcer saying “…give the kids nightmares.” Not sure if he meant Barney’s defeat or the public display of affection in the name of the lovable purple dinosaur.
4) Felix the Cat (1927)
Felix the Cat was the first giant balloon in the became tangled in telephone wires and caught on fire. The fire was extinguished, however, Felix would be removed from the parade. He was the first major balloon-related incident when he became tangled in telephone wires and caught on fire. Yes, caught on fire!
5) Sonic the Hedgehog (1993)
After Rex the Dinosaur got a new nose job, Sonic lost control, hitting an off-duty police officer with a lamp post and breaking his shoulder. A drug test came back inconclusive after mounting suspicions of cocaine in the hedgehog’s system. It was claimed his erratic behavior was due to excessive winds.
6) Kool Aid Man (2011)
OH YEAH!!! The rotund Kool-Aid Man was toppled over when he became deflated. Clearly, he is not related to Hasbro’s Weebles.
7) Kermit the Frog (1991)
It really isn’t easy being green. No, Kermit isn’t flying low and bowing his head in shame of an interspecies relationship with Miss Piggy, he actually sustained a head wound after scraping his dome piece on a few trees along Central Park West. This was the last time the Kermit balloon would appear in the parade until a new one was debuted in 2002.
8) Superman (1986)
The so-called Man of Steel won’t go down without a fight. Even though his left arm had been deflated, Superman still managed to mosey along the parade route, showing the world what he’s really made of – but sorry folks, it’s not steel.
9) Buzz Lightyear (2012)
Not only have we sent a man to the moon, but with the use of video-taking cell phones, just about every fail is now uploadable to the internet. Sadly, there has not been a traceable video of Buzz Lightyear’s helmet being popped. Meanwhile, enjoy this clip featuring Buzz and some really awesome guitar riffs.
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