The Disney Junior hit animated show Doc McStuffins follows Dottie "Doc" McStuffins, a 7-year-old girl who has dreams of one day becoming a doctor; in preparation for her bright future, she cares for a variety of stuffed animals with various ailments.
The show was a recipient of the 2014 Peabody Award and aired its final episode in 2020. But despite the wholesomeness of the show, some are claiming that it has a darker premise — specifically that Doc has cancer. Does she?
Is Doc McStuffins dying of cancer?
A theory has made the rounds on the internet between Facebook and Reddit claiming that Doc, the main character of the children's show, actually has cancer, explaining why her toys can talk to her.
Theories like this one often circulate about children's shows, claiming that there is actually a darker side to the program than is depicted. This theory about the stuffed-animal doctor has been widely shared online, leading some to wonder if it's true.
"[Did you know] — Doc McStuffins is actually a little girl who is dying of cancer and her medication makes her believe that her toys can talk which is why she imagines herself as a doctor who can save toys because she knows the doctors can't save her," one of these posts reads.
But while there have been multiple claims online that Doc has cancer, there has been nothing from the show's creators to suggest this theory might be true.
In the first season of the show, viewers learn that Doc's mother is a pediatrician, which is what inspires the young girl to also want to be a doctor one day. She then starts practicing for medical school by caring for her stuffed animals, and with her magical stethoscope, her stuffed animals come to life.
It's more likely all of the events of this show are figments of the main character's imagination, instead of being caused by a child's cancer treatment.
'Doc McStuffins' has tackled cancer before.
While Doc herself doesn't have cancer, the children's show has tackled the difficult topic of childhood cancer before. In an episode titled "Hannah the Brave," Doc and her team take in Hannah, a doll with gum in her hair. Hannah's owner is Audrey, a little girl who is currently undergoing chemo treatment. While Audrey was playing with Hannah, she accidentally dropped her in the trash, causing the gum to get stuck in her hair.
Because chemo therapy weakens the patient's immune system, Audrey couldn't take Hannah into treatment with her, since the gum could potentially have germs that could make Audrey sick. So Doc and her team find a way to help Hannah get back to Audrey.
In the end, the only way to get the gum out of Hannah's hair is to cut it, which she does, as Hannah says being there for Audrey to help her heal is more important than her hair.
“Many kids watching us have chronic diseases — things that can’t be cured with a kiss and a cuddle — so we created a story specifically for them,” creator and executive producer Chris Nee told TV Insider. “We wanted an episode that says, ‘We see you.’”