Potato Chip Fan Theory Connects Over A Dozen TV Comedies To The Same Universe


  • Let’s Potato Chip Theory connects popular TV shows using a shared prop, like Community, IASIP, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
  • Shows using Let’s Potato Chips imply a shared TV universe that may have a dark ending hinted by sci-fi and fantasy elements.
  • The prop started as a money-saving trick to avoid royalties and could connect unrelated shows in a shared universe.

A surprising amount of fan-favorite TV comedies might all take place in a single shared universe thanks to a notable prop that appears across all of them. Crossovers have long been a popular source of fan theories, often working to connect all sorts of shows and movies to one another. The high-profile success of franchises with numerous in-universe connections like the MCU reinforced this in modern pop culture. Shared superhero universe proved that a good source of connective storytelling can generate far-reaching franchises, which set off a deluge of other similar concepts like the canceled Dark Universe from Universal Studios.

However, there are also minor connective elements that can fuse unlikely shows and franchises into surprising universes. There’s one shared prop that exists between dozens of shows that could be seen as a way to combine numerous fan-favorite modern comedy shows into a single shared universe. It’s a fun way to connect multiple series from across different networks. However, some of those connections could also imply that this shared TV universe is heading for a surprisingly dark ending. Here’s how a single constantly used prop sets up a theory that connects over a dozen popular shows into a single universe.



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The Let’s Potato Chip Theory, Explained

How A Shared Prop Could Create A Shared Universe

Lets Chips New Girl

The Let’s Potato Chip Theory is a way to connect the universes of several popular TV shows, all connected through their use of the same fake chip company. Let’s Potato Chips have appeared as a prop in several TV shows, often as a go-to snack food for characters. The chips themselves are rarely commented upon, although there are some exceptions. For example, Leonard from Community reviews multiple types of the chip during an in-universe food review show. However, the chips are primarily used as little more than a prop, appearing briefly when characters need to be seen eating a snack.

However, the unique brand of chips has appeared in dozens of shows over the years. This has given some fans an easy way to argue that this means all the disconnected stories and characters actually share a single TV universe. In practice, it’s similar to the St. Elsewhere series finale, which revealed the entire show took place inside the mind of Tommy Westphall. Because of prior crossovers in that medical drama, theories arose that other properties were also figments of that same imagination. Let’s Poato Chips accomplishes a similar trick, albeit without the inherent fallout of making the stories “fake.”

Which Comedies Are Connected By The Let’s Potato Chip Theory

Over A Dozen Comedies Are Connected Through Let’s Potato Chips

Lets Potato Chips Brooklyn Nine-Nine

There are dozens of notable TV comedies that have used Let’s Potato Chips, chief among them Community. The genre-bending sitcom created by Dan Harmon featured the chips several times, and included them in specific jokes like a commercial watched by Troy and Britta. However, it’s far from the only show to feature the chips on-screen, setting up the theory. The Gang from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia have been seen munching on them, as has Gob in Arrested Development. Shows with explicit crossovers like Brooklyn Nine-Nine and New Girl have both featured characters eating Let’s Potato Chips, underscoring the theory.

Gilmore Girls, Ugly Betty, Workaholics, My Name is Earl, Modern Family, iCarly, A.P. Bio, 2 Broke Girls, and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend have also all featured the snack food in episodes. Given their generally grounded (if undeniably silly) settings and tones, it wouldn’t be out of the question for these shows to inhabit a shared universe. Let’s Potato Chips could be the key to unlocking a larger shared TV comedy landscape. There are even some dramatic shows that include the snack like Orange is the New Black and Chicago P.D., creates a connection to the wide-reaching and overarching Law & Order universe.


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Let’s Potato Chips Connect Goofy Comedies With Some Dark Sci-Fi Dramas

Lets Potato Chips Modern Family

The Let’s Potato Chips have shown up in some specific fantasy and sci-fi shows over the years, which adds another layer of connections. However, many of these shows paint a grim picture of humanity’s future, implying that any shared universe connected by Let’s Potato Chips might be doomed. Characters are seen eating the snack in episodes of Supernatural, which could mean those shows’ characters could be targeted by the magical threats encountered by the Winchesters. The chips have shown up in shows like Dollhouse and Terminator: The Sarah Connor, implying those grim futures could be the endgame for numerous comedies.

Perhaps the most distressing connection is to The Last Man on Earth. The Will Forte-led comedy featured Let’s Potato Chips twice, and its comedic tone gives it a solid connection to the Let’s Potato Chips theory. However, that show’s inherent premise could doom every other show connected to it. The premise of The Last Man on Earth focuses on the survivors of a global plague that wiped out much of humanity. If this is part of the shared Let’s Potato Chips universe, then every comedy character on modern TV is doomed in a grim ending for a wide-reaching TV universe.

Why So Many Shows Use The Same Fake Products

There’s A Simple Reason Why TV Shows Use Let’s Chips

Lets Potato Chips 2 Broke Girls

Ultimatley, Let’s Potato Chips wasn’t envisioned as a means of connecting dozens of shows across decades of television history. In reality, Let’s Potato Chips are props, serving as a stand-in for licensed products. Whenever a show features a real life brand of food or beverage, they have to ensure that the license holder agrees to it. If they don’t, the company behind that product could demand royalties for their product appearing in the show. As a result, there are several fake products that have been created over the years to serve as stand-ins to save money while referencing numerous products.

With Let’s Potato Chips, the intention is to recreate the visual and association created by Lay’s Potato Chips. One of the more popular snack lines in the United States, Lay’s Potato Chips shared a varied color scheme, visual design, and flavors with Let’s Potato Chips. There are enough distinctions to keep Lays from demanding any financial recourse for featuring their copyrighted product. Let’s Potato Chips serves as a useful stand-in prop for all sorts of shows, and makes for an interesting (if potentially tragic) way to connect many of the best comedies of the 21st century into a shared universe.