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Why is MAX mute in Max & Ruby?

Why is Max from Max and Ruby mute?


Have you ever noticed how children’s shows, movies, and songs tend to have a really dark undertone to them?

They’ll have an upbeat melody, but they’ll talk about the great plague and dying from it.

For example, the nursery rhyme Ring Around The Rosie, where it says “a tissue, a tissue,” is actually about one of the symptoms of The Black Death – coughing blood.

There are countless other examples like that one.

Just think about all the cartoon Disney movies.

One of the parents is always dead (The Jungle Book) or gets killed right in front of the character (The Lion King).

Even TV shows don’t get to escape that – although they tend to be less obvious about it.

For example, the shoe Max & Ruby.

Where are the parents?

Why is Max mute?

What is going on in the author’s mind?

While the show never offers an actual explanation for this, that hasn’t stopped people from speculating and making up their own ideas.

In this article, we’ll touch on some of the most interesting theories so you can make up your own informed decision.   

What is Max & Ruby?


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Max and Ruby is a children’s TV show about two young bunnies and their daily life.

Max is an unruly three-year-old, while his older sister Ruby is a patient seven years old.

The show was created in Canada and first aired both there and in the US in 2002.

The story takes place in the 1940s, and the premise is that the parents are never present, but their grandma pops in from time to time.

Max is also mute and tends to say little to no words.

Most of his participation is only via actions and facial expressions.

There are tons of theories as to why Max doesn’t talk much and why the parents never make an appearance.

It’s never outright stated on the show, but here are the most interesting things people have come up with.


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Why is MAX mute in Max & Ruby?

Theory 1: Max is autistic

A strong theory floating around the internet is that Max is autistic.

This would explain his delayed speech ability given his age and why he’s constantly messing up things that we would assume would be simple.

He might have a hard time understanding social cues and other people’s emotions.

This is a very valid possibility if we take into account he never seems to understand why the other bunnies are upset when he ruins their games.

This theory would also make sense if we consider that Ruby is said to have OCD.

Her need to control both Max and their environment constantly is very clear, and she very much prefers things to be done a certain way – her way. 

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Theory 2: Max has been abused (104)


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This is one of the darker theories out there, but it has quite a big following.

In some internet corners, you’ll find people claiming Max has been abused, and his actions are a direct reflection of that. The abuser? His grandma.

He doesn’t interact with the people or locations around him in what would be considered a normal way. And, he doesn’t seem to be willing to understand social rules.

This also ties into the Super Bunny character, which is said to be a figment of his imagination with the objective of protecting him from the big, bad world he’s in.

Theory 3: The parents are dead

There’s another theory that speculates that the parents might be outright dead.

In the back of the living room scenes, on top of the fireplace mantel, there’s a vase that looks suspiciously like an urn.

Some viewers have stated they think that could be the dead parent’s ashes.

The way they died, however, branched out into even more ideas. Some say Ruby killed them because of her clear need for control.

And getting them out of the way would allow her to be even more in charge of Max.

Others say the grandma did it so she could be the children’s only guardian.

One final group of people convinced themselves that the parents just straight-up committed suicide.

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Theory 4: Max is traumatized

This theory goes hand in hand with number 3 in the sense that in this version, the parents died in a car accident. But, Max was in it, which left him deeply traumatized and unable to communicate with the outside world anymore.

In order to safeguard his mind, he unconsciously decided to no longer speak.

The trauma might have also caused developmental delays, which could explain the lack of social skills and general awareness. 

He can also be seen playing with toy police cars and ambulances regularly, which could be his way of showcasing that he still remembers what happened. But the more he plays with them, the more his brain shuts down further to prevent PTSD-like symptoms.

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