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Main Article Theories about cockroaches Main Discussion

The following fan theories are about cockroaches.

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Theory Citations Notes
In Godsend, the roach that crawls in Sylar's holding cell has some importance. Sylar focuses on it. (Godsend) - This is probably due to the fact that he was, for lack of a better phrase, going somewhat mad in his holding cell.

+ The cockroach seems to have a recurring cameo role in the series. Plus, its appearance in How to Stop an Exploding Man is significantly indicative of events to come.
The specific cockroach in Sylar's cell might not have any importance alone, but the recurring theme of the cockroach definitely has some importance.
- Sylar was drugged, so he couldn't focus on anything.

Sylar will use his power on the cockroach in his cell in order to become resistant to radiation. Mohinder mentions cockroaches are resistant to radiation. (Genesis)

Sylar focuses on the cockroach. (Godsend)

- This is probably due to the fact that he was, for lack of a better phrase, going somewhat mad in his holding cell.

- As of Landslide, Sylar has absorbed Ted's power of induced radioactivity and is shown playing with the powers at the end of the show, obviously immune to the radiation. While it's possible the cockroach could be the reason for this immunity, it's most likely that Sylar is immune to radiation because Ted was immune to it.

Sylar acquired the cockroach's abilities of suspended animation. Sylar focuses on the cockroach. (Godsend) + Sylar might simply be using his known ability of intuitive aptitude in a new way. He knows how things work, and not just evolved humans. He knows how clocks work. Sylar can figure out how insects, animals, even plant life work. That may explain how he feigned death.

+ Cockroaches can slow their heart rate down so that they appear dead, and even hold their breath for almost an hour at a time.
- It is apparent that Sylar does not have the capability to simply "inherit" the abilities of anything by simple observation. In addition, there is no indication he could "inherit" the evolutionary traits of non-human species (which lack a human brain he could possibly extract) let alone traits which are common with the entire species.
- Sylar already had his freezing ability at that point; presumably, he used the ability on himself to fool the doctor into thinking he was dead.

The cockroach is Sylar's god since it represents evolutionary perfection. Mohinder called the humble cockroach the "Pinnacle of evolution". (Genesis) + Mohinder also taught that the cockroach is capable of living for months without food, can remain alive headless for weeks at a time, is resistant to radiation. Mohinder jokes that if God has indeed created Himself in His own image, then He is a cockroach. (Genesis)

- It is uncertain whether Sylar believes in any god or "higher power".
+ Sylar writes "forgive me father i have sinned" on his closet.

The significance in the cockroach is that it is superior to humans. Mohinder teaches that man is not the pinnacle of so-called evolution; that honor belongs to the lowly cockroach. (Genesis) + Mohinder also taught that the cockroach is capable of living for months without food, can remain alive headless for weeks at a time, is resistant to radiation. Mohinder jokes that if God has indeed created Himself in His own image, then He is a cockroach. (Genesis)

+ Later on, Mohinder arrives at his father's apartment, and is disgusted when he steps on a cockroach that he sees on the floor. Mohinder is jealous and angry that these pests have infested the apartment, roaming about however they wish. (Genesis)
+ The exterminator tells Mohinder that cockroaches have infested the floorboards of his apartment. After they scuffle, Mohinder says that cockroaches are the least of his problems. Although Mohinder sees the cockroaches as the least of his problems, they have already infest the dwellings of mere humans. (Genesis)
+ In Sylar's cell, Sylar watches a cockroach roam the floor of his cell. While Sylar is weakened and defeated, the small bug crawls freely. (Godsend)
+ Sylar remains on the floor and watches the cockroach walking next to his head. The creature still roams, superior to the weakened Sylar. (The Fix)
+ Dale notes that when she first realized her powers, a cockroach crawling across her neighbor's floor sounded like a marching band parading through her house. The lowly cockroach is so small, but can be heard by Dale. It is a monster that tortures her just by crawling across the floor. (Unexpected)
+ Matt is unconscious and crippled in his cell, he is inferior to the cockroach that crawls across the floor with great ease. (.07%)
- One foot can easily finish a cockroach.

The cockroach represents weakness and insignificance. None This would make sense considering Sylar's obsession with power and significance. At the time the cockroach appeared, he was stripped of his power, helpless, and weak.

+ Matt Parkman also sees a cockroach while trapped in his cell at Primatech, at a time he clearly is feeling weak, one was also shown at the end of season 1, when Sylar had been stabbed and there was a blood trail going to a manhole, a cockroach was on the offset lid.
- The cockroach represents survival, as it shows every time before someone breaks free/is revived/isn't dead/survives something fatal.

Sylar is the evolutionary equivalent of a cockroach. Cockroaches have been seen when Sylar exhibits cockroach like behavior. + Cockroaches are said to be the pinnacle of evolution as referenced by Mohinder. (Genesis)

+ Cockroaches can slow their heart rate to resemble death, an evolutionary survival technique. Sylar does this to escape and a cockroach is shown symbolically. (Distractions)
+ Cockroaches are extremely resistant to many poisons and also have the ability to survive physical injury (different from healing) such as having limbs or even heads removed. Sylar has displayed some degree of resilience to Mohinder's chemicals and to fatal injury. (Parasite) and (How to Stop an Exploding Man) respectively. He also seems unhurt after the fall which nearly killed Peter Petrelli (Homecoming), and when Eden is about to shoot him, he says "You know that won't stop me", hinting that he has a high resilience to damage, even if he is not invincible.
- Yes, but this could also very well be from telekinesis. Throughout all of Season 1, Sylar would move himself with telekinesis (Dale didn't hear his footsteps "because there weren't any") and he has shown on several occasions that he can stop a speeding bullet, and even send it flying back in the opposite direction. Both the fall and his saying the gun wont hurt him are because of telekinesis.

- Sylar fell on top of Peter, who cushioned his fall.

+ Sylar often talks about how what he does is an "evolutionary imperative". Another possible allusion to to the cockroach motif.
+ In an interview, writers Joe Pokaski and Aron Coleite suggest that Sylar's comparison to the cockroach is "just a bit of fun little symbolism to show that Sylar's like a human cockroach - he's darn near impossible to completely get rid of."

Sylar has absorbed the "powers" of a cockroach, allowing him to survive a radioactive explosion. None + Sylar pretends to be dead and cockroaches can slow their heart rate which would give the illusion of death. (The Fix)

- Sylar's power is not absorbing powers; the only character thus far to exhibit empathic mimicry is Peter.

The cockroach represents power and survival. Whenever the cockroach shows up, someone survives. + Mohinder crushes the cockroach, signifying that he can take away that power. It also shows he can take away this power with his knowledge about the virus, and the culture inside him. The Company needs him because of this, it is also the only reason that they tell Mohinder that he did not take an innocent person's power.
The cockroaches are minions and spies of another evolved human. None + A cockroach is seen on the manhole on How to Stop an Exploding Man. This could mean that someone controlling cockroaches helped Sylar into the sewer.
The cockroaches might be an allusion to the fact that the evolved humans are characters who have been "selected" to evolve and become the epitome of man's greatest achievements and survival skills. None + The theme of the show seems to be characters caught up in the midst of events seemingly caused by fate, and have developed abilities most formerly possessed by the old shamans, sorcerers, witches, and mystical beings or myths or legends from around the world. Peter's empathy could be an allusion to the new age empathy ability many witches and psychics claim to possess. Nathan's flight may be based on many Buddhist gurus who are said to be able to levitate or fully fly. Sylar may be a sort of person who is a seeker of these abilities for selfish gain, as was the basis of his character in the Charmed series, though his was the only actual warlock who did not want to steal a power but wanted to kill for personal reasons. Hiro's power could be based on the claims of teleportations - Yogis claimed abilities to stop time.
The cockroaches might be an allusion on how the characters are powerful, yet small and unable to see the big picture that connects them all. None + Most of the show's characters are connected somehow, yet they have no idea of each others' abilities. Like cockroaches or insects, they are "small" and ignorant but have great power.
Cockroaches are one of Sylar's abilities. None + They appear around Sylar a lot. He might have the power to control them.

+ A cockroach appears in Sylar's cell.
- He never seemed to actively call them or actually use them in anyway.
- They appeared in other places too.
- A cockroach appeared near Derek's body when Sylar had Shanti virus.

The cockroach could be Candice Willmer. None + Candice can make illusions and mimic others appearances.

{plus}} She did say the Company wanted Sylar alive, maybe she follows him in this form.
- It appears Candice Willmer is dead but if she is still alive it would explain why Sylar could not get her power.

- Sylar could not get her power because of the Shanti virus.
The cockroach has healing, which it used to keep Sylar alive. None - As far as we know, animals don't have powers.
The cockroach is Sylar's partner-in-crime, and therefore follows Sylar everywhere. None + After Sylar escapes through the sewer-drain (How To Stop An Exploding Man), the cockroach follows him.
- The cockroach has been seen in several other places and has done nothing relevant.
Every time a cockroach appears, something evil or bad happens. None + When the cockroach appeared in the finale of Volume One (How to Stop an Exploding Man), it may have signified the fact that Sylar was still alive.

+ The cockroach appeared when Sylar hit Derek in the head.
+ The cockroach appeared when Peter went to Mohinder's apartment, and Mohinder eventually turned into a monster.

The cockroach represents a Butterfly Effect having occurred. None + In the finale of Volume One, after the cockroach appeared, Hiro traveled into the past where he met Adam Monroe, which caused the future to change.

+ In a possible future, a cockroach appeared when Peter went to Mohinder's lab to find out where Sylar lived. Gaining this information from Mohinder caused a Butterfly Effect; namely the occurrence of the Costa Verde explosion and Peter learning how to use Sylar's ability.

The cockroach is representative of Sylar. None + The cockroach appears when Sylar is involved and represents that Sylar is just as resilient, just as hard to kill as a cockroach.

- The cockroach hasn't been seen since The Kindness of Strangers.

+ But it appeared near Derek's body when Sylar killed him.
- Sylar killed a lot of people since.
The cockroaches are send by Samson Gray with the power of animal control, after he sends them he communicates with them about what they have seen. None + That may be the reason why Samson knew a bit about Sylar.

+ A cockroach is the ideal candidate to spy with, they are small, they have a hard shield, they can survive months without food and they are very fast.

  Theories edit
See Also: 9RedTime travelCockroach