Take the basic story of It's a Wonderful Life. Add Muppets.This 2002 movie is what you get. And it's every bit as good as you'd think.An angel named Daniel (David Arquette) watches Earth on Christmas Eve in horror. Kermit the Frog and his friends, through a series of mishaps, misplace their theater's December rent payment to the wicked Rachel Bitterman (Joan Cusack), who wants to tear down the theater to build a nightclub. Determined not to let the despondent Kermit give up on his dreams, Daniel appeals to his Boss (Whoopi Goldberg) to review the situation and intervene.Daniel himself is sent to aid Kermit, who is so distraught by the events that he wishes he had never been born. As in the original film, the angel grants the wish, taking Kermit on a crazy trip through an alternate existence in which Miss Piggy is a theatrical has-been who does telephone acting, Fozzie is a pickpocket, and Gonzo is homeless, among others. Then when Kermit tries to un-wish the situation, Daniel's not entirely sure how to put the world back to normal...
This film provides examples of:
Adrenaline Makeover: More of an Adrenaline Costume Change; Piggy changes into a martial arts ensemble really quickly to face off Bitterman.
Biting-the-Hand Humor: After Daniel wonders aloud how Bitterman could take control of so much in the Kermit-less universe, Kermit comments, "Corporate synergy... it's out of control." He then crosses his legs revealing the NBC logo on the bottom of his foot (this special was produced by NBC). Ironically, the Muppets would later be bought by Disney.
The Cameo: Several celebrities appear as themselves, including Carson Daly, Kelly Ripa, and Regis Philbin.
Yoda has a brief cameo while Daniel is attempting to send Kermit back to his own reality.
And the cast of Scrubs appeared during the scene showing Miss Piggy's brief "professional acting career" on that show (she plays a dying patient who is lying motionless under a sheet the whole scene).
Hotter and Sexier: Well, okay, it's still the Muppets, so for the most part it's kid-friendly... but man, did they manage to cram in a lot of innuendoes in this movie. For one thing, they put on a show based on Moulin Rouge! with Miss Piggy singing "Santa Baby." With Miss Piggy asking Kermit if he wants to sleep with her in French at the end, to which Kermit replies, "Say WHAT?"
Not to mention the cage-dancing Scooter, and Pepe's many suggestive remarks to Miss Bitterman, who almost buries his head in her breasts at one point.
It gets taken even farther with the business associate that Bitterman meets to disclose her plans about the Muppet Theater. She says that he needs to come help her "decorate her tree" and "oil her chair". The executive makes suggestive remarks about this until Bitterman tells him that "not everything is an innuendo." Yeah.
Ice Queen: Rachel Bitterman, who is so cold that even the Muppets can't melt her heart.
Bitterman: I hate you Muppets!
Impossible Thief: In the alternate reality, Fozzie picks Kermit's pocket and steals his wallet. Daniel lampshades the impossible part when he points out that Kermit doesn't have pockets.
Malicious Misnaming: Bitterman continually calls the Muppets "Muffins" and Pepe "Pee-pee". Also Glenn (who apparently is second-in-command in Heaven) keeps calling Daniel "Dan" or "Danny", despite Daniel repeatedly telling him in their conversation he prefers to be called Daniel.
Accidental Misnaming: Because Daniel is nervous and mutters when dealing directly with The Boss for the first time, he tells her his name is, "D-d-d-dan... Danny... el...". With that, The Boss calls him "Danny-elle".
Meaningful Name: Rachel Bitterman is a very bitter, cynical individual. Inverted with her father, with whom the Muppets are implied to have had a good relationship.
The Other Darrin: Starting with this movie, all of Frank Oz' characters have been recast — Miss Piggy, Fozzie and Animal (and Yoda) are performed by Eric Jacobsen, while Sam the Eagle is Kevin Clash. Scooter and Janice also get significant dialogue for the first time since Richard Hunt's death, and are now voiced by Brian Henson (for this movie only — they'd both get recast again for future projects).
Santa Claus: Fozzie accidentally gives the rent money to a street-corner Santa (actually a Salvation Army volunteer) instead of delivering it to Bitterman by the deadline.
Shout-Out/Mythology Gag: A big one to the original The Muppet Movie, when Kermit discovers that in the world where he never existed, Doc Hopper did successfully open his chain of french-fried frog legs restaurants.