‘Gilligan’s Island’: The Creepy Legend About the 7 Main Characters That’s Actually True

by Matthew Wilson

It turns out that the myth and urban legend about “Gilligan’s Island” is true. You may never look at the popular show the same way again.

Perhaps, there was a reason the castaways never escaped that island they got stranded on during the main show. For years, people discussed rumors that the show’s characters represented the seven deadly sins. Also, the island was purgatory or Hell that the characters got trapped in.

Well, “Gilligan’s Island” creator Sherwood Schwartz confirmed to NPR that he was inspired by the “seven deadly sins” idea. Though Schwartz probably didn’t take that inspiration literally, the island does represent sort of a metaphorical purgatory. Seven seems to be a recurring figure in a lot of different artworks across history. For instance, there were seven wonders of the ancient world. (Though how many actually existed is up for debate).

Additionally, the show had seven different main characters. And each “Gilligan’s Island” character represented a different sin. For instance, Gilligan represented sloth. Mary Ann was envious of Ginger. Meanwhile, Ginger embodied lust. Going down the line, the Skipper was apparently a glutton, Mrs. Howell was angry, and her husband Mr. Howell experienced covetous. Finally, the Professor represented what many consider to be the greatest sin of all – pride.

‘Gilligan’s Island’ Aired for Three Seasons

We’re sure you were looking for a theological debate in one of your favorite oldies’ television shows. The island wasn’t actually a purgatory. And the characters may not be the best travel companions, but they weren’t embodiments of evil. But these undertones do raise interesting questions about the show and are subject to discussion among internet forums.

While “Gilligan’s Island” only lasted for three seasons, its impact on pop culture was immense. Fans loved the show and its cast of characters. They often even formed sides, choosing between team Ginger and team Mary-Ann. The show ended up being popular enough to later bring back for three TV movies as well. Additionally, it inspired modern-day shows like “Lost” with its gang of misfits themes.

And in someways, the show does live in a purgatory of sorts on your television screen. Reruns continue to keep the adventures of Gilligan and the gang alive for generations to come.