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Veggie Tale’s “The Hairbrush Song” May Be About The 5 Stages of Grief and My Mind is Blown

November 16, 2021

For those unfamiliar with Veggie Tales, each episode typically features a segment right in the middle of the episode called “Silly Songs with Larry”. Every single one is memorable for having a catchy beat with nonsensical lyrics, but if there was one that stands above the rest, even having crossed over into pop culture, it’s “The Hairbrush Song”

The song features Larry the Cucumber searching for his lost hairbrush, while various vegetables interrupt to ask him questions about his hairbrush.

A few days ago, I had someone mention to me that this song is about the 5 stages of grief. Even though it may not be intended that way, it can be used to teach kids about how different emotions around grief are expressed.

I didn’t believe this myself, until I rewatched and found it may have some truth to it. Here are the points as they were explained to me:

  1. Denial/Isolation

In the opening scene, we hear Larry using the lyrics “Oh, where is my hairbrush?” as he searches around desperately looking for his hairbrush alone. He doesn’t ask for help, he can’t believe it’s lost. Shortly after his search, Pa Grape “enters the scene” and confirms for him that his hairbrush is gone, saying “I think I saw a hairbrush back there” (Note: Not *his* hairbrush, just *a* hairbrush)

Larry continues to deny that his precious hairbrush is gone and sings “Back There is my hairbrush” to the same tune, optimistic, but also possibly in denial that his hairbrush may never return

2. Anger

While Larry doesn’t get noticeably “angry”, the narrator describes him as “taken aback” and shocked at the fact that he doesn’t have any hair. Junior Asparagus breaks the news to him as he laments in his confusion: “No hair for my hairbrush” to the same tune.

The narrator even asks questions like “What will become of him? What will become of the hairbrush?”. As Larry sings, he is visibly distressed by this revelation.

3 & 4. Bargaining & Depression

Now is where the big twist before the final stage of “acceptance” comes in: Bob the Tomato joins Larry and gives him the truth: his hairbrush is gone for good. He gave it to the Peach because, and I quote “he’s got hair”

The narrator describes Larry’s emotions as “feeling a deep sense of loss” as he enters one of the toughest and darkest stages of grief. He sings “Not fair for my hairbrush” to the same tune, beginning to truly realize his hairbrush may never return.

5. Acceptance

When the Peach enters the scene, Larry is face to face with the person who has taken his hairbrush from him. The Peach thanks him and leaves.

Now, I realize this article may be fun and nonsensical, but there is one quote that stuck with me after rewatching this for anyone who has ever lost something in their life:

Larry smiles, but still feeling an emotional attachment to the hairbrush, calls out:

“Take care of my hairbrush”

When it comes to loss, its important to have that moment to realize that even though you can smile again, it is OK to still feel that sense of loss and emotional attachment.

What a simple, beautiful message to teach kids, but also can have an impact in the lives of an adult as well.

Do I think Veggie Tales purposely wrote this song to represent grief? No, I dont. However, I think its fun to find teaching opportunities, especially with characters and songs our children may already be familiar with from Christian media.

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