Are you ready to get spooked? You just might have to prepare yourself with this cartoon theory that has crossed many minds for years now. Before we dive into the dark theorizations, I must make an important disclaimer that this article will contain some talk about death and some stuff that may be too macabre for those sensitive to such topics. Also, keep in mind that a theory is a theory. Whether I believe it or not, I am not claiming that any of this has been confirmed by any official source. Please continue reading at you own risk and read my full site disclaimer here.
Also, I want start out by giving those of you out there who don’t know the Richie Rich or Casper the Friendly Ghost characters more information on who the heck we’re talking about here. It’s understandable if you’re younger and aren’t aware of those characters since they are from the old school cartooniverse. I’m talking way back to the 1940s & 50s. Richie Rich is a character from the Harvey Comics who made his first appearance back in 1953 in a comic book issue called Little Dot #1. He was known as “the poor little rich boy”, and became the most popular character of Harvey Comics for more than 30 years. For a kid who is worth over $24 billion in inheritance and could have anything he wanted, you would think Richie would be the most stuck-up kid alive. Well Richie is the total opposite and not turning his nose up at poor people, because while he is the richest kid in the world, he also may be the most charitable. Richie is known for not being afraid to get his hands dirty to help those in need. That is the supposed reason to why he is dubbed “the poor little rich boy”. But what if there is a darker reason among it all?
This is what leads us to Lisa Simpson’s theory. Yes, The Simpsons have been the center of a lot of conspiracies ever since it came out, but this one particular moment in the series just might make a whole lot of sense. In fact, this scene in The Simpsons is what actually started the theory that escalated into a number of other theories. In the scene, Lisa is reading a Richie Rich comic book, while Bart has a Casper the Friendly Ghost comic book. Bart states that he thinks Casper is the ghost of Richie Rich, while Lisa makes the fair point that the two characters do look alike. There is no doubt whatsoever that Richie and Casper have the same exact face.
Bart then says that he wonders how Richie Rich died, and then came the dark theory that Lisa came up with.
“Perhaps he realized how hollow the pursuit of money is, and took his own life.” – Lisa Simpson
I don’t know about you, but I just got the major chills.
Perhaps this could’ve been the case indeed, because many people out there are in fact convinced that Casper is Richie Rich’s ghost and I know I am. At this point I am not asking whether Richie Rich died or not, I’m asking how.
Lisa Simpson’s suicide theory may be a little too macabre to think about, but there are fans out there that have came up with some other dark theories to exactly how Richie Rich died. But first let’s explore Harvey Comics’ supposed explanation to why Casper is a ghost from this archived Wikipedia article:
Given that Casper is depicted as a ghostly, portly little boy, there is a controversy among fans and critics of the series as to whether or not he is a dead child. Early Casper cartoons seemed to suggest this, as they portrayed him residing beside a gravestone. Specifically, the short “There’s Good Boos To-Night” featured Ferdie, a fox befriended by Casper, coming back from the dead as a ghost. Casper’s death (as well as the reason why he became friendly) have been disputed since that time. This somewhat macabre premise was later abandoned in favor of the idea that ghosts were merely a type of supernatural being, similar to ghouls, goblins, etc. He was thereafter portrayed with feet and shown to have ghostly parents and became slightly slimmer. In the 1960s and 1970s, the stock answer provided by Harvey Comics in response to those wondering how Casper died was that he was a ghost simply because his parents were already ghosts when they were married.
Casper even has a last name that is “McFadden” according to the 1995 film. Speaking of that film, it is revealed that Casper is the ghost of a 12-year-old boy who died of pneumonia. Harvey Comics’ less morbid answer to why Casper is a ghost was simply because his parents were ghosts just doesn’t add up. The film’s explanation and the fact that there’s a character called Ferdie the fox who rose from the dead, proves that death does happen in the Harvey Comics universe and the excuse that Casper was just born a ghost is a little off. Of course as a kid I would’ve fell for this, but in my adult form I just cannot accept the excuse that ghosts can produce children like humans can, even in a fictional universe of cartoon characters. I strongly think that Harvey Comics provided this explanation so that kids wouldn’t be creeped out, because I know if I was a kid and found out that Casper is dead, it would freak me out a bit.
This explanation, along with the fact that Richie Rich and Casper have appeared in 45 issues together in a 1974 comic book series, could easily debunk the whole theory. But that doesn’t stop some fans from dancing around the apparent truth and coming up with some theories of their own.
One Reddit commenter gave their own little take on how they think Richie passed away from his curiosity of being a normal boy and became Casper.
Then you have the most known theory that Richie Rich was murdered by his own parents for the insurance money, which is something that I just don’t consider a reliable theory. Friendly reminder that Richie is known as the richest kid in the world, so you know his parents were rolling in dough as well. Why would they murder their own child for wealth that they already had?
Out of all of the cartoon theories I’ve read, this one is both the most believed and the most believable. Richie Rich and Casper the Friendly Ghost are two characters from the same comic book universe who look strikingly similar. Casper just may be the ghost of Richie Rich, and the fact that Casper was dubbed “the Friendly Ghost” just fuels the theory even more. Like stated above, Richie Rich was known for being humble and friendly despite being super rich. I find it extremely hard to believe that anything about this theory is too far-fetched. What do you think?