Oscar's trash can 1

Oscar's trash can.

Oscar's trash can 0158

Oscar in his trash can speaking to Mr. Hooper.

Oscar walking in trash can

Oscar takes his trash can for a walk for the 1st time in episode 0276.

Oscar's trash can 1090

Oscar's trash can goes through airport security on the way to Hawaii in episode 1090.

Oscar's elephants 2

A herd of Oscar's pet elephants.

Oscar in his trash can 1

Oscar in his trash can.

Oscar's trash can inside

Oscar's trash can as shown from the inside.

Oscar's trash can is the private domain of Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street & is situated between the stoop of 123 Sesame Street & Big Bird's nest. Just like Snoopy's doghouse, Oscar's trash can is considerably deeper than one would initially suspect. The seemingly bottomless domain houses a variety of diverse Grouch amenities & luxuries.


In the earliest season 1 episodes, the trash can was atop a big blue crate adjacent to a wooden crate at right, w/ a few more trash cans around; later on in the season till 1974, the base & the crate were replaced, the latter by a trunk, with a trash pail on top of another crate at left.

Oscar shares his trash can w/ several pets. This diverse menagerie includes goats, a horse, elephants (notably Fluffy), a dolphin, & his favorite pet of all time, his beloved pet worm Slimey. Oscar's niece, Irvine, his girlfriend Grundgetta & other Grouch friends & relatives are frequent visitors.

For the most part very few of the "nice" residents of Sesame Street dare venture into the bowels of the municipal waste container. However, key exceptions have occurred over the years. While Big Bird was helping get ready for Miles' arrival on Sesame Street, a lonely Mr. Snuffleupagus entered the trash can to play catch w/ Fluffy in episode 2122. Wanda Cousteau sought refuge in the trash can in episode 3161 as a hiding place from the hungry Wolfgang the Seal. When Gina is studying to become a vet in episode 3787 she goes down into the trash can through the back door & successfully removes a splinter from Fluffy's foot w/ some elephants' tweezers. In a season 19 insert, Linda sat in the trash can when filling in for an "Ask Oscar" segment.

The inside of Oscar's trash can was depicted on-camera for the 1st time in The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland. Oscar has a door in his trash can to take people to Grouchland USA. Elmo enters in search of his blanket & later a rescue party follows suit: Big Bird, Gordon, Maria, Telly Monster, Cookie Monster & Zoe. Big Bird in particular has a hard time fitting inside the trash can's narrow opening.

The inside of Oscar's trash can was later shown in episode 3997, though this time, the inside was a lot more like the normal inside of a trash can. In episode 0799, Oscar installed an Olympic-size swimming pool inside his trash can.

The 1989 book What's in Oscar's Trash Can? & Other Good-Night Stories mentions the swimming pool as well as an ice-skating rink (which, on the series, has been used by Peggy Fleming) & a bowling alley. According to Sesame Street Unpaved other items include a piano, art gallery & hearth and a train set ("Grouch Central Station"). A 1970 article in Look Magazine also notes a pastry kitchen & a rococo staircase.[1] In the Elmo's World installment Episode 4064, Elmo's World: Farms Oscar gives Elmo a tour of his farm (shown in darkness with only the pair's eyes visible). As established on various occasions, Oscar's trash can, apparently, has a back door.

In addition to being able to store a wide variety of items in his trash can, Oscar has also put holes into the bottom & can walk w/ his legs outside of the bottom. He 1st walked like this in episode 0276. He has continued to travel like this for many years, though he has also frequently been seen outside of the trash can. Outside of the show he has traveled w/ his legs sticking out of the bottom in Christmas Eve on Sesame Street, the Sesame Street Live stage shows & Don't Eat the Pictures. This feature was also utilized in the opening dance number in Julie on Sesame Street, where a series of dancing trash cans w/ fuzzy Grouch legs danced w/ Julie Andrews.



Behind the scenes & photo gallery

Oscar's trash can is also a favorite photo op for celebrities & other visitors to the set.



  • "Oscar's Trash Can" appears as a property on the Monopoly: Sesame Street Edition game board in place of Ventnor Avenue.
  • An animatronic Oscar in his trash can has previously been featured outside the Sesame Street General Store.
  • There is a foot pedal on the set piece which helps lift the lid up, but apparently Caroll Spinney has hardly used the foot pedal now, in 42 years.[2]


  1. Baer, Betty; "The Secrets of Sesame Street". Look Magazine, September 22, 1970
  2. Martin P. Robinson, "Inside Oscar's Trash Can", Sesame Family Robinson, 11 April 2011.

See also