Climbing with Caillou

I (Carrot) was working on a piece that included a bit about the fictional cartoon boy Caillou. While working on that piece I ended up traveling down a rabbit hole of Caillou facts, clips, and critiques. For a little background, Caillou is a Canadian based show from 1997 about a four year old boy and his adventures.

Next to Ted Cruz, Caillou may be the most hated Canadian export of all time. Often described as a whiny little brat, Caillou’s personality negatively trumps the fact that he is only four years old.

The internet is filled with pages and forums dedicated to what make Caillou so detestable. One of my favorite comments comes from Blogger Jill Robbins’ 29 reasons why parents hate Caillou.

Reason #7  If your childless friends accidentally watch an episode of Caillou, it will make them think twice about ever reproducing. Seriously, 30 seconds of watching Caillou could cause someone’s tubes to tie themselves!

Along the way, I discovered that Caillou is a rock climber. I knew at that moment I needed help breaking this video down. So I invited fellow Dihedral writers High-Clip and Jen (chubbygirlclimbing) to breakdown the best two minutes in rock climbing history.

Comments are separated by color. Carrot, Jen, High-Clip.

Jen…would you be as excited as Caillou looks in the first 10 seconds of this clip to climb at this gym?

Caillou kinda looks like one of my first graders after their parents medicated them a lot. Maybe I would if I was just coming down from a hard night of shots?

High-Clip…how hard would you rock that instructor’s sweater? Like…blue trim and all.

I mean, low key, it’s crew neck or bust…so to answer your question, I’d say rock hard.

Carrot, do these people have a death wish for their kids? Helmets in gyms aren’t safe anymore, right????

I was kind of curious as to why they are tossing helmets on these kids.  I’m kind of nervous as to what the wall is going to look like?

Can I just say that I hate how helmets clip under my double chin so I’m really glad this isn’t a thing.

Couldn’t agree more, have you ever clipped beard hair in a helmet…the worst!

*High-Clip eats another slice of pizza*

So much going on at the 20-30 second mark, I can’t decide what I like more…that the girl is climbing in socks and climbing shoes.

um bowling shoes

 or that she tucks her pants into her socks?  What do you think about that style, Jen?

Obviously this PROFESSIONAL instructor is telling her she looks like a real rock climber so what the fuck do we know? We’ve been doing it wrong our whole lives, y’all. 

Let me add that I kind of envy this little girl; I’ve been climbing for a pretty long time and have never felt like a real rock climber. This girl puts on a helmet and some rental shoes, and she makes the cut!

So, in general, most gyms have all sports too, right? The football, soccer ball, power rack…classic gym material, right, Carrot?

I’ve always said if you aren’t playing soccer then you aren’t climbing!

Gotta have those real sports represented.

What grade do you think that wall is? 5.11? 5.12?

CLEARLY this wall is OUT OF THIS WORLD (pun intended)…how you gonna ask what Yosemite grade it is….uncultured….insensitive…fake climber.

My bad. Caillou and I are just a couple of dumbass newbs.

Can we go back for a second and look at something…Why is there a rope on a 2 meter boulder wall?

Just look at Caillou’s head, man. He needs all the help he can get. Give that kid a rope.

As long as it’s anchored way above the wall so he can get in the bonus route.

In all fairness, I can’t tell you how many times I wished there was a rope on a boulder route, sometimes you just want to shake out.

Chalk balls…High-Clip what are your thoughts on chalk balls?

First of all, that was a targeted question. You know they have no place here. You also know that you’re the only weirdo that uses one. So YOU tell ME what this lady thinks she’s about to do with this chalk ball.

Chalk balls are an innuendo at best. 

I can’t understand why the chalk ball isn’t in a bag…WHY ISN’T THE CHALK BALL IN A BAG???

I feel like I should say “that’s what she said” but I don’t know what it means.

So, uh, that belay loop….thoughts?

Who hired this lady to run a climbing gym?  HOW is rock climbing like climbing a tree…she should have used a soccer analogy!

I feel like a builderer wrote this.

So, after seeing her “belaying,” I’m starting to think this is a big ploy for parents to off their kids. Pay this lady to belay your kid on the wall…never hear from them again. That loop is doing nothing with that rope.

I want to read the YELP review of this gym!  “Shannon was great, and we never saw Caillou again!”

Are we thinking this is human sacrifice for the sends?

That explains the overly chipper tone from the adults. 

Okay…so the plot thickens, Caillou and his friend have a race to the top.  There are so many unlikeable things about Caillou at this point, but I don’t know which is worse: the fact that he’s so competitive or the fact that he likes speed climbing?

How you gonna be competitive when five seconds ago you were shitting your pants, Caillou?

How you gonna be competitive with your pants tucked into your gym shoes, Caillou?

Peer pressure is real guys…

That is facts High-Clip, but I have a question for Caillou.

How you gonna be competitive with a helmet while climbing a 2 meter wall to a bell, Caillou?

HEY. Maybe it’s his Everest, okay? Everyone is entitled to their own goals and dreams.

I guess the harness for the shoulders in addition to the normal harness is to harness the send power? Not really following the system here…

I just want to add that we technically never see them get down from the wall, so our earlier theory still stands.


So can we revisit one clip that we glossed over?  At the 43 second mark, what would you two honestly guess is the height of that wall? 

About the height of my patience for a kid like Caillou.

Um…yeah, Jen…same…totally…um…well…seems like your patience is until the top of palm trees, so….that’s impressive.

Okay, so we’ve got a wall that is the height of Jen’s patience, which is also the height of a paper mache palm tree—

wait…it’s not a real tree? 😦

It’s planted in a boulder pad!  High nutrients!  So, let’s call the wall 6 feet.  Okay, so, Jen, can you do us all a favor and Google Caillou’s height and report back to us.

According to google, this CHILD  is 5 feet 11 inches. So…..

I’d say I’m no mathematician, except I am, and um yeah 5’11” would put Caillou’s head an inch below the top of the wall…but the helmet really means he is the effective height of the wall, so it’s an automatic send. Respect.

Is Caillou actually 35, because that would change a lot of this.

But it gets worse, if Caillou is 5’11”, how tall is that climbing instructor?  This isn’t a kids show, it’s the scariest town in the world.

Now I’m down a rabbit hole on Google and there’s a lot of dark shit about Caillou, my dudes.



Caillou can never be looked at the same again.  Thank you guys for breaking down the most horrifying climb on the internet with me!

Well, I wouldn’t be able to look at Caillou, but I could certainly peer up at him from my below average height. Always a pleasure, Carrot…

Always happy to lend my genius insight on Canadian cartoons.

Did we miss anything? Feel free to add to commentary below if you feel inclined!


8 Replies to “Climbing with Caillou”

  1. Hilarious — I remember my son, a child at the time, and I having strange feelings/ reactions to watching Caillou and usually, thankfully, that made us turn off the tube and read a book or go outside — LOL! I had no idea it was a Canadian export — perhaps it was the Canadian way of guerilla warfare against us Americans who tend to export a lot worse things than Calliou. I also had no idea Ted Cruz, who I try to ignore the existence of as best I can, was a Canadian export — can we please, please give him back? We’ll keep Calliou if you take back Cruz? Thanks for the good laugh, Jane

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jane, that sounds like a great deal!!!
      Caillou > Cruz for sure! My favorite is that Caillou made you and your son turn off the TV. That might be the best summary of this show that I have ever read!


  2. So funny! And, ugh… I hate Caillou! My kids loved the show, though. I saw a meme in response to Steve from Blue’s Clues and his epic return to reassure MY kids that they were doing just fine. The meme wanted to let Caillou know that his return was not needed! Poor Caillou.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hilarious! I’d never seen the Caillou climbing episode. Wow – what a mix of the worst of life and the best of life!

    Liked by 1 person

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