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How many 'chuggas' before 'choo choo'? A mom accidentally starts a fierce online debate.

Her rules were simple: Explain why. Any logic counts. Make it weird. People did not disappoint.

chugga chugga choo choo, facebook

It's definitely not just one "chugga." We know that that.

The internet is a place where we can exchange information, ideas and countless points of view, thus making for in-depth conversations. It is also a cesspool where pointless keyboard wars are waged in the comments section of even the most well-intentioned post. Perhaps it is because humanity is still at the toddler stage when it comes to learning online etiquette, or perhaps it’ll be that way forever. Time will tell.

Regardless, the way people can so quickly get into heated debates on even the most mundane subject can sometimes lead to pure comedy. We’re talking farmers going all out to hype up their “chicken armies” against other farmers, hilarious workplace spats going off the deep end, people questioning reality over a blue and black (or is it a gold and white?) dress. That sort of thing.

Recently, a mom in Vermont accidentally unleashed a discourse of this fervent nature when she asked via Facebook the very important, very controversial question:

“How many chuggas come before choo choo?”

Indeed, this is the question of our time.


Her rules were simple: “Explain why. Any logic counts. Make it weird.” People did not disappoint.

Some brought the history of the imaginary train tracks into consideration, saying that newer tracks could have only two, but the “sky’s the limit” with older ones, “if you're even lucky enough to get to the choo choo.”

Others brought physics into the equation. “Only 2, unless the train can’t quite hit the climax of the hill, then 3. ” One person commented. Another added, “Depends on whether the train is going up a hill and the grade of the hill. If it's steep the chuggas are going to start slow and there will be more. On the flat, I'd say 6.”

And then some took a more philosophical approach, surmising that more “chuggas” would amount to more motivation for the kids. “Eight: I - think - I - can (or I - know - I - can) twice, and then the ‘choo choo,’ which is the kid/train version of an inspirational grunt of effort on the way up and “hell yeah” when the goal is achieved. This can be extended to more if you’re having a particularly strenuous journey 😊,” one person explained.

Though no one reached full agreement, most answers fell between two and eight “chuggas,” with an even amount being more common than an odd amount.

The debate over “how many chuggas” was an internet craze not too long before, thanks to the question being posed to Reddit back in 2019. It even broke through to Twitter, arguably the online platform most notorious for fighting over semantics. Again, no one could agree.

However, we might find the answer to this question in pop culture. For instance, “Chugga-Chugga Choo Choo,” a children’s book written in 1999 by Kevin Lewis, clearly uses only two “chuggas.” And in the song "Chugga Chugga Choo Choo Train," sung by Sheriff Callie from the episode "Train Bandits" in Sheriff Callie's Wild West, again only two “chuggas” are used.


But then again, this song, “Chugga Chugga Choo Choo” by Choo Choo Soul in 2006 (below) has only two “chuggas” in the title but then a whopping TWELVE “chuggas” in the lyrics. So who knows.

We might never be able to agree on this topic—unless you all admit it should be six “chuggas”—but at least we can all take a moment to laugh at how wonderfully ridiculous the internet can be.

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