The economic aspects of Sesame Street are often not discussed on the show, perhaps being too advanced a concept for the show's target audience or irrelevant to the series. Topics of the characters' income or paying rent are not addressed. Frequently as well, payment for the goods and services of Hooper's Store and the Fix-It Shop are not shown, leaving many to wonder how the businesses sustain themselves. For example in episode 4142, Alan places an order of bananas to the store. Not only is he not shown paying for the delivery services, the stock is quickly depleted by customers, who do not pay for them as they leave.
Despite this, the subject of money and finance has often been mentioned on the show in select street stories and resource projects.
References to currency
- In the first test show, Bob puts a dime into a can by the news stand at Hooper's when buying a paper. After Mr. Hooper sees that Bob has shared the last paper, Bob points out that he put money in, but Mr. Hooper points out that the last paper is his. Similarly, in the first scene in the first episode, Bob tells Mr. Hooper he picked up something from his store and left the money for him.
- Episode 3312 focuses on Joey and Davey Monkey's quest to find a job in order to pay for bananas at Hooper's Store. Apparently, one dollar is enough to purchase an entire bunch.
- Episode 3130 features a man named Charles (played by Victor Garber) getting his toaster fixed. Barkley does damage to his briefcase, which he later responds to by saying he'll buy a new one. Despite this, he leaves the Fix-It Shop without paying for their services.
Other locals and situations
- Charlie's Restaurant is one of the few establishments of the street that charges for their services, as Waiter Grover is typically able to remind frequent-customer Mr. Johnson (especially if a tip is involved). According to the "Russian Restaurant" sketch, "Charlie's" does not include gratuity in their final bill.
- Money sometimes comes up in segments where Grover provides a service to Kermit the Frog. When Grover failed to sell Kermit a weather machine, he succeeded in selling him an umbrella (due to the rain produced by the machine), initially charging seven dollars, but after Kermit questions the price, he lowers the price to a nickel, which Kermit pays. Years later, when Grover appeared with Herry Monster and another monster as a monster fix-it team, as they leave from doing their repairs, Grover tells Kermit that he'll mail him the bill.
- In Christmas Eve on Sesame Street, Ernie and Bert, who are seemingly able to afford a one bedroom-one bath basement apartment, are unable to afford Christmas gifts for each other. They exchange their most prized possessions (Rubber Duckie and Bert's paper clips) at Hooper's for suitable presents for the other.
- In a season 12 episode, Oscar the Grouch and Bruno the Trashman go to the Cha-Cha Palace, with the humans and Barkley stowed away inside Oscar's trash can. After they each count themselves so the clerk will know how many tickets to sell, the total comes to eight dollars (one dollar per ticket), which Oscar does not have and therefore they can't get in.