Let the music play, down in Fraggle Rock!
"The magic is always there, as long as we keep looking for it... "
—Uncle Travelling Matt
The story goes that Jim Henson
was taking a long and boring trip and mused aloud, "I'd like to make a TV show that brings about world peace."note
The result of this idea was Fraggle Rock
, produced for the CBC
in Canada, and aired on HBO
in the U.S. in 1983-87. The series depicted a colorful and fun world, but it was also a world with a relatively complex ecosystem. The different races of creatures
were each connected through symbiosis, even though they never realized it. This was meant as an allegory of the human world, where each group was somewhat unaware of how interconnected and important they were to one another. Creating this allegorical world allowed the program to entertain and amuse while seriously exploring complex issues of prejudice, spirituality, personal identity, ecology, and social conflict.
The series' triumph, by far, was being able to express all of this onscreen without
or insulting the intelligence of its young audience. By the second season, there wasn't an issue they wouldn't tackle. The writers refused to over-simplify any individual issue, and instead simply illustrated the consequences and inherent difficulties of different actions and relationships. Though the Fraggles do learn important lessons, they are rarely self-conscious about it.
And furthermore, the series is fun as hell. With wall-to-wall music and engaging characters in a fantastic, well-realized setting, you barely notice that you're learning any life lessons at all. It also contains some of the most astonishing and ingenious special effects ever devised for a Muppet
series. Many have argued that the series is even better when you go back and watch it as an adult with your own children.
The ideals of friendship, being true to yourself and learning to love those who are incredibly different were the cornerstones of Jim Henson's work throughout his career, and he considered Fraggle Rock
to be one of the purest and most successful expressions of that vision. In turn, many Henson fans have agreed that Fraggle Rock
may be his masterpiece
A far less successful Animated Adaptation
followed in 1987-88, which was animated by the same crew who worked on Muppet Babies
. It was released on DVD in January 2010.
A comic book continuation by Archaia Entertainment
began in 2010 and is still running.
A spinoff series based on the Doozers was made.
Not to be confused with where the pilgrims landed
- Absentee Actor: Gobo is missing from such episodes as "The Great Radish Famine" and "Believe it or Not", Mokey is absent from "All Work and All Play", "Believe It or Not", "The Challenge", and "The Trash Heap Doesn't Live Here Anymore", Wembley is absent from "Junior Sells the Farm", "The Battle of the Leaking Roof", and "Red's Blue Dragon", Red is absent from "The Trash Heap Doesn't Live Here Anymore" and "The Battle of the Leaking Roof" and Boober is absent from "Capture the Moon", "All Work and All Play", "Junior Sells the Farm", "Doozer is as Doozer Does", and "The Cavern of Lost Dreams".
- In fact, it has been confirmed on the official Muppet wiki that the only character to appear in every episode is Doc (or his localized equivalent).
- Adventurer Outfit
- An Aesop: Each different variety of Aesop got to have at least one episode.
- All There in the Manual: Where do baby fraggles come from? According to the book "The Legend of the Doozer Who Didn't," doozers who stop working turn into these!
- Though it turns out that's just a story Doozer parents frighten their children with, as revealed in "All Work and All Play." Cotterpin Doozer wants to become a Fraggle, but eventually has to face up to the fact that the old story isn't true and that she has to remain a Doozer.
- According to one of the "series Bibles" included with one of the season DVD sets, Fraggles are apparently egg-layers. This along with their feathers, beaks, and long tails, has led to some interesting logic.
- This may be inconclusive or just inconsistent; Storyteller Fraggle mentions a fraggle hatching in "The Terrible Tunnel", but none of the Fraggles knew what an egg was in "Wembley's Egg" — yet Uncle Matt spoke of a chicken egg in "Capture The Moon".
- Ambiguously Jewish: Marjorie, the Trash Heap. According to her performer Jerry Nelson, the network got a few angry letters from people whose kids asked why a pile of garbage talked like their grandmothers.
- Ambition Is Evil: Bug-eyed Marlon Fraggle has "frustrated megalomaniac" written all over him.
- Animated Adaptation: Ran for a single season immediately after the Muppet-centric series ended.
- Anti-Villain: The Gorgs are Type IV. While the Fraggles see them as cruel ogres, they just see the Fraggles as pests, and they actually have a valid reason to, seeing as the Fraggles steal vegetables from their garden. (The Fraggles don't consider this stealing; of course, they have a skewed view of many other beings, including humans.)
- Author Avatar: Cantus, who is a great character to be sure, but Jim Henson wasn't even subtle about it.
- Authority in Name Only: Ma and Pa Gorg claim they are the King and Queen of the Universe. (Junior never says anything like this, although his parents do claim he's their heir.) In reality, they seem to be nothing more than a family of simple farmers with a rustic house and garden patch.
- Awesome Moment of Crowning: Junior in one of the last episodes. Promptly subverted when he realizes the Universe is fine on its own and abolishes the Gorg monarchy forever.
- Balloonacy: Used to return a bird whose egg has fallen into the Fraggle Pond back to the Gorgs' Garden.
- Barefoot Cartoon Animal/Does Not Wear Shoes: All of the Fraggles go barefoot, with the exception of Uncle Traveling Matt (at least while he's exploring the human—er, silly creature world). Which leads to the Fridge Logic: where do the socks Boober Fraggle washes come from?
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Red and Gobo — even the Trash Heap's attendants noticed.
- Beneath the Earth
- Berserk Button: Sprocket's reaction to having to travel as baggage in "Change of Address". Even though he speaks dog, he clearly says in English:
Sprocket: Baggage?! BAGGAGE?!?!?!
- Beware the Nice Ones: Mokey Fraggle, especially in episodes like "A Cave of One's Own" and "Red-Handed and the Invisible Thief".
- Big Eater: Large Marvin Fraggle.
- Big Friendly Dog: Sprocket.
- Blinding Bangs: Boober.
- Bold Explorer: Travelling Matt, the first Fraggle to explore Outer Space (i.e., our world).
- Book Ends: Always involve the local equivalent of the Doc's Workshop subplots.
- Canon Discontinuity: The Animated Adaptation basically pretended the earlier series never happened. Naturally, most fans pretend the animated series never happened. As this Tough Pigs review shows, it isn't terrible, but it isn't nearly as good as the classic series (in short, a similar case to Muppet Babies vs. The Muppet Show).
- The fact all of the songs were blatantly recycled from the original show didn't help.
- Canon Immigrant: Is there anything more glorious than Kermit and Robin visiting Fraggle Rock?
- The Cat Came Back: Young Nephew Matt is this (minus the teleportation) to his long-suffering Uncle Gobo.
- Catchphrase. Many.
Junior Gorg: OOOH! A FWAGGLE!
Rats: You are in the presence of the all-knowing, all-seeing Trash Heap! Nyeaah!
- Cats Are Mean: The first thing Fluffinella does upon seeing Sprocket is attack him. This being Fraggle Rock, it later turns out that she's a lot nicer than she seems at first.
- Character Development: The Fraggles, Doozers and Junior Gorg. The Doozers were all but invisible to the Fraggles until Cotterpin made friends with Red, and even more shocking was that by the final few episodes, Junior had stopped trying to capture (and kill?) Fraggles and was on a first name basis with Gobo.
- On a more personal level, all the Fraggle Five went through some Character Development over the series. It's most notable with Wembley, who at the beginning of the series has no opinions of his own and just agrees with whoever spoke last, but over the course of the show learns to think a little more for himself and even stand up for himself when he needs to, to the point where Junior Gorg actually mistakes him for the leader of the Fraggles in the penultimate episode — but without losing his flexibility and gist for seeing everyone's point of view.
- Christmas Episode: Fraggles of course don't celebrate Christmas — instead, they enjoy The Festival of the Bells.
- Chroma Key: Possibly the producers' one favorite special effect in the entire series. When there is a Conspicuously Light Patch around someone, generally that means something's up.
- Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Personified by Skenfrith, ties into the secret of The Festival Of Bells, and there's more and more.
- Doc and Sprocket's belief in the Fraggles (Gobo in particular) created the new tunnel and hole in the wall at the very end of the final episode.
- Cloud Cuckoo Landers: Most of the Fraggles and Junior Gorg.
- Comically Missing the Point: Doc manages this frequently. In one episode, he's trying to figure out how he and Sprocket can communicate:
Doc: And now the "I want to be friends" gesture. (rolls on his back like a dog, limbs in the air)
Sprocket: (gives him a look)
Doc: I resent the implication that I've gone mad.
- Most of the Fraggles manage it on a regular basis as well. The show's absolute king of the trope is Traveling Matt, who manages to misunderstand almost everything, and in extremely creative ways at that.
- Traveling Matt is the undisputed master of this trope; his performer Dave Goelz even described his frequent misconceptions as the first of his three defining character flaws. note For instance, Traveling Matt is perplexed why it's called "fast food" when it doesn't really go anywhere.
- Continuity Nod: Tons. In part this was budgetary — custom Fraggle models reappeared frequently in crowd scenes after their debut, for example — but many were entirely script-based, such as Travelling Matt recognizing the hopping creatures.
- Cool Old Guy: Apparently, the Fraggle aging process only causes an elderly Fraggle to sprout a beard Dumbledore would envy. The World's Oldest Fraggle is even louder and more energetic than the main cast, and wavers somewhere between Crazy Awesome and just plain terrifying by virtue of leading the happy, friendly, peace-loving Fraggles to war.
- Amongst the Doozers, the Architect also was pretty rev.
- Doc himself seems to be a fun person to be around.
- Cosmic Horror Story: The nightmarish Invisible Garboyl episode.
- The Terrible Tunnel, and the story song about it.
- Crossover: All six major Fraggles, plus Doc and Sprocket, appeared in A Muppet Family Christmas.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Put dithering, self-proclaimed wimp Wembley under stress and you get a Fraggle who furiously pummels the "Hairy Monster from Outer Space" (read: Sprocket, but consider how a Big Friendly Dog looks to a smaller creature) or beats The Ace Gobo in a full-out race.
- Crazy-Prepared: Convincing John. This is especially noticable in his second episode, where he, called upon to do some spontaneous convincing, just happens to have rare Fraggle delicacies, two shirts identical to Wembley's, and even a trio of background singers waiting in his cave. it's Lampshaded by Gobo and Red:
Gobo: Where's this guy get all this stuff?!
Red: I heard he was prepared for anything, but this is ridiculous!
- Cryptic Conversation: Cantus is quite fond of these. Lampshaded on multiple occasions by Red Fraggle, and Murray the Minstrel.
- Cultural Translation: Different actors played Doc's role for different countries. For example, the French version of the show took place in a bakery and in the UK Sprocket's owner was a lighthouse keeper called The Captain.
- A Day in the Limelight: The episode "The Trial of Cotterpin Doozer" sends the entire main cast away, leaving recurring characters Cotterpin Doozer, Large Marvin Fraggle and Feeny Fraggle to carry an episode by themselves. "The Battle of the Leaking Roof" also focuses primarily on the Gorgs, leaving only Mokey and Boober with a tiny subplot.
- Dead Guy Junior: Gobo, possibly. He was named after his great-uncle, whom Traveling Matt adored. Given Mattís own advancing age and the fact that the original Gobo is only seen in flashback, itís probably safe to assume that he is deceased.
- Deadpan Snarker: Boober. Though he claims to have no sense of humor, he gets easily the funniest lines in the show.
- Red likes to snark as well, her favorite target being Traveling Matt.
- And Cotterpin Doozer, being both a young Doozer and being very tiny, is a straight-up Little Miss Snarker.
- Disney Acid Sequence: Dreaming of Someone, Talking About Germs, Do You Want It, Chase the Wind, I'm Never Alone
- Ditto Aliens: Cotterpin: "You Fraggles all look alike to me." Boober: "No we don't!"
- Doting Parent: Ma Gorg, whatever her faults, genuinely loves her son and fawns over him often.
- Dramatic Wind: When there's wind blowing stuff around, something's up.
- Edutainment Show
- The Eeyore: Boober
- Egg McGuffin: Done very well in the episode "Wembley's Egg".
- Elmuh Fudd Syndwome: Junior Gorg.
- Expository Theme Tune
- Easy Amnesia: Boober gets this in the episode "Boober Gorg".
- Everything's Better With Zombies: Doc is excited about one of the games for his new computer in season one episode The Challenge.
Doc: Zombie Attack
! "Chase the alien enemy zombies from outer space, hurling flaming marshmallows!
" Oh, yes, Sprocket! It sounds like a challenge!
- The Faceless: Ned Shimmelfinney.
- And in the short-lived animated series version of the show, Doc.
- Face of the Band: In-universe. Cantus is the only Minstrel the Fraggles know by name. Justified, however, in that the other four Minstrelsí names are All There in the Manual.
- Fantastic Racism
- Fiery Redhead: Red. Boober is a subversion.
- Fish out of Water: Traveling Matt in "Outer Space." Not that he lets it worry him any.
- Five-Man Band: There are actually two of these. The obvious example are the main Fraggle characters; but the Minstrels also qualify.
- The Fraggles tend to trade roles back and forth; but mostly fall into the following:
- The Minstrels don't have as much screen time, but their roles are a bit more clear-cut. Trickster Mentor Cantus is clearly The Hero of the group; with Only Sane Man Murray as The Lancer. What roles the others play seem to be along the lines of Brool as The Big Guy (mainly due to his size and his hinted past as a warrior), Brio as The Smart Guy, and not-too-bright Balsam as The Chick.
- Five Races: Humans, Fraggles, Gorgs, Doozers, and miscellaneous (too many others to count).
- Flat Earth Atheist: The source of some of Gobo's angst, most notably during The Festival Of Bells.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble (or rather, the five-temperament expansion):
Gobo - Sanguine / Phlegmatic Type II
Red - Choleric
Boober - Melancholic
Mokey - Phlegmatic
Wembley - Supine (minus the quietness)
- The Fun in Funeral: Invoked with this song.
- G-Rated Drug: Wembley's Wonderful Whoopie Water, Love Potion Number Nine.
- The act of "flooping" from the episode "Doozer is as Doozer Does" is depicted as one.
- Gang of Critters
- Genius Loci: Not only the Trash Heap, there are several episodes that heavily imply that the Rock itself is "alive".
- Gentle Giant: Junior Gorg, though he does seem like a bully at first glance, especially Season 1.
- Brool the Minstrel also qualifies. Especially evident when we hear him speak and sing in "Mokey and the Minstrels".
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Has anyone noticed that the episode "We Love You, Wembley" contains homoeroticism? Both male and female Fraggles are affected by Wembley's Love Potion Number 9.
- "Let Me Be Your Song" could easily be misconstrued as a sexual plea. Listen very closely to the lyrics.
- In the very first episode, Sprocket gets mail. It's his subscription to Puppy Dog Tails magazine.
- In one episode, Ma and Pa Gorg go to wade in the brook... alone. When Junior wants to come along, Pa stutters out an excuse for why he can't. The implications are subtle enough for children to miss, but watching it again as an adult...
- Granola Girl: Mokey. If she were human, you could easily picture her listening to sitar music and polishing crystals.
- Grand Finale: It took the last seven episodes or so to wrap up all the major plots.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Red is obviously jealous of Uncle Matt and Gobo with their tales of Outer Space, but whenever the topic is brought up, she goes into full Sarcasm Mode. Late in the series, she openly expresses her admiration of them and interest in Outer Space.
- Growing Up Sucks: Cotterpin Doozer goes through this in the episode "All Work and All Play".
- Grumpy Bear: Boober, at first. Turns out he just has a bad, bad case of OCD.
- Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: The Fraggles and Doozers...
- Henpecked Husband: Pa Gorg is this at times.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Doc and Ned Shimmelfinney. Particularly evident in the last episodes.
- Hollywood Darkness: Those caves are awfully brightly lit for an underground world. Turns out the light is supplied by tiny bioluminescent creatures called Ditsies that feed on music.
- Horrible Judge of Character: Poor Wembley. Heís wound up at the mercy of the Gorgs, Convincing John, a mean genie, the shady Wizard of Fraggle Rock...
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: Highly Averted, though Uncle Matt immediately identifies us as "The Silly Creatures". (This isn't really an insult, though, as Fraggles like silliness.) Later on, Doc agrees that it's a good name for humans.
- Matt tends to hear words incorrectly. He misinterpreted "city creatures''.
- In fact, some of the silly creatures are very friendly towards Uncle Matt, especially the little girl from "Let The Water Run" who shares her umbrella with Matt while it is raining, and a bunch of street punks who dress him up in punk clothes, in which Uncle Matt refers to them as the closest things a silly creature can be compared to a fraggle!
- Identical Great Nephew: In the flashbacks to Traveling Matt's childhood, we see that Gobo inherited his great-uncle and namesake's color scheme (orange with fuchsia hair).
- Identity Amnesia In "Boober Gorg" Boober gets a thump on the head and ends up thinking he's Junior Gorg. Ma and Pa Gorg think so too.
- I Gave My Word: When Mokey meets Begooney, she promises to come if he calls her. Trouble is, he keeps calling her and pulling her away from her other friends and commitments... but she goes because she can't bear to break promises.
- I Just Want to Be You: The episode "I Want to Be You" is all about this. Red gets jealous of Mokey for being (so she thinks) more popular than her with everyone ("especially Gobo"), and spends the episode trying to imitate Mokey's hairstyle, voice, touchy-feely new age poetry, etc.
- Impossibly Delicious Food: The Grapes of Generosity, so delicious that anyone who finds them will not want to part with them.
- Insane Troll Logic: Convincing John uses this a lot.
- Invisible to Normals: The final episodes have a very strange variation on this one. Seems Gobo never had to go through all the stress of hiding from Doc all those years...
- Involuntary Shapeshifting: Poor Skenfrith.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The Captain, Doc's equivalent in the UK co-production. The Captain was a bit crustier than Doc and tended to be a bit more harsh htowards Sprocket, but the two still had a very close relationship.
- Jerk Ass: Pa Gorg and, to an extent, Ma Gorg.
- The Klutz: Traveling Matt. According to Muppeteer Dave Goelz, Matt became this in order to make his segments more interesting to film.
- Lighthouse Point: Where the UK version took place.
- Lilliputians: The Fraggles themselves almost qualify compared to humans (being a little smaller than Sprocket) but Doozers are small enough to fit the Trope from their point of view.
- Lethal Chef: Ma Gorg, it seems. In one episode, she makes Junior a peach-and-garlic pie (which is just the way he likes it, appearently]]) but when he tries to eat it, it's like rubber, literally. Fortunately, the pie isn't wasted; later, when the Fraggles have to sneak into the Gorg's house, they're able to do so by using it like a trampoline.
- Lost Forever: The British localization of Fraggle Rock suffered this fate, when the master tapes were junked. Of the 96 episodes made, only 12 are known to survive. This is why there's never been a DVD release.
- Lovable Coward: Boober Fraggle.
- Love Is in the Air: "Wembley, Wembley, Number Nine..."
- The Magic Goes Away/The Magic Comes Back: The finale. When it looks like Doc is moving, Gobo races to tell him that he cannot leave the magic — and gets there too late, finding only a cold, dark, empty, utterly mundane room stripped of all the life and joy Doc and Sprocket had infused it with throughout the entire series. Luckily, the message wasn't an order. It's a statement of fact.
- Reality Subtext: The show's message to fans was that the Fraggles would always be there if the fans wanted them to be there, even after the series ended.
- Magic Music: Plays a role in a good number of episodes, and almost guaranteed to be employed whenever Cantus shows up.
- Man Child: Doc certainly didn't have the most mature outlook on life, but he never lost his childlike sense of wonder either.
- Manipulative Bastard: Sort of. "Convincing John can convince anyone to do anything." So he's got the manipulative part down. He isn't shown to be evil, per se, although he does convince them to do really silly things for no apparent reason, such as convincing Red that wearing a blindfold all the time is the only way to live. The first episode featuring him establishes that he was exiled from the Rock prior to the start of the series, but the Fraggles, being Fraggles, occasionally invite him to come back anyway when there's something they want him to convince them to do, like wearing clown noses.
- Meaningful Name: Cantus is the Latin word for "song".
- Sidebottom is the fun side of Boober that he keeps on the bottom. Like Convincing John, Sidebottom isn't evil, just completely irresponsible and self-centered.
- Meganekko: Storyteller Fraggle.
- Mistaken for Profound: Marjorie the Trash Heap.
- Mouse World: And multilayered to boot.
- The Movie: Announced quite a few years ago. It was in development limbo for a very long time. Given the development time, some of the rumors, the actual revealed plot elements, and the recent news that the studio heads are gunning for a Darker and Edgier script (seriously), some fans are understandably very apprehensive. However, as of 2011, that iteration of the film is officially dead. The Henson Company still intends to make a film someday.
- As of 2012, it's been announced that the writers of Rango have been hired to write the script.
- Musical Episode: Inverted. Non-musical episodes were Something Completely Different.
- Multinational Shows: While the Fraggle scenes were the same all over the world, various countries had their localised version of Doc (see Cultural Translation above).
- Mundane Made Awesome: Boober's attitude towards laundry.
- Mushroom Samba: "It tastes like a party!!!"
- Neologism: "Wemble", a verb meaning "to be pathologically indecisive". A "wembler" is a person who wembles, and "wembley" is an adjective describing a person who wembles (and it's also an acceptable name to give a child in Fraggle Rock — though according to Wembley, the people who named him apparently thought it meant "makes his mind up easily.")
- When Wembley stops being indecisive, he demands he be called "Wilfred", which some have speculated might be his real name.
- "Rev" is Doozer for "cool".
- Never Say "Die": Averted like crazy. Especially in Boober's dialogue; he talks about death a lot.
- Nice Hat: Gobo has an extensive collection of these, and he wears them in many episodes.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The Trash Heap assumes that removing all the radishes will cause the Fraggles, Gorgs and Doozers to unite in the face of the crisis. She's horribly wrong.
- No Name Given: Doc (and his equivalents). In the episode where they finally meet, Doc reveals to Gobo that his name is Jerome Crystal. Yes, that's right, Doc Crystal.
- Not-So-Imaginary Friend: Sprocket repeatedly tries (and fails) to prove the Fraggles' existence to Doc.
- The Obi-Wan: Cantus again. "We see with our eyes. We know with our hearts."
- Oblivious to Love: Uncle Travelling Matt has been the object of Storyteller Fraggle's affections since they were very young, but he's never noticed even when she invited him to visit the Kissing Cavern with her.
- One-Hour Work Week: Almost literally (it's half an hour).
- The Oner: Simulated in the opening and closing titles, and in the "walking through the tunnels" scenes.
- Only Sane Man: Boober often plays this role for the Fraggles. Murray is clearly this for the Minstrels. Sprocket is occasionally this for Doc.
- OOC Is Serious Business: In Marooned, Boober becomes more composed and less panicked in the face of death, while Red becomes paranoid and freaked out like Boober normally is.
- Opinion Flipflop: One of Wembley's defining traits at first; his name even means "to wemble," which is a Fragglish verb that means "to waver."
- The Outside World: The show has two examples. Outer Space is what Fraggles call the human world, and was considered a myth until Travelling Matt discovered a portal in Doc's wall and left to explore it. On the other side of the rock is the Gorg's world, into which some Fraggles venture to gather radishes and consult Madame Trash Heap. Unlike Outer Space, it is considerably more dangerous, as the Gorgs consider the Fraggles pests and are actively trying to capture them.
- Pac Man Fever: When Doc and Sprocket start playing Zombie Attack in one episode. The game even plays the Pac-Man death sound when you lose.
- Parental Bonus: Lots of 'em!
- Perpetual Frowner: Ma Gorg in the first few episodes, before she was redesigned.
- Pinky Swear: Fraggles have an vow called "The Solemn Fraggle Oath" that affirms an unbreakable promise (and they really do keep to it, one of the few things they take very seriously). Being Fraggles, the actual "solemn" oath is kind of silly: They hop around in a circle, saying "Weeba weeba, waffa waffa, garpox gumbage, whoopee!"
- Planet of Steves: Parodied with the Order of the Poobahs. All members take the name "Fritz," which makes the roll calls very interesting indeed.
- Poisonous Friend: Begooney is arguably the first example of Borderline Personality Disorder in a kids' show.
- The Power of Friendship: Coupled with both Clap Your Hands If You Believe and The Power of Rock; the Fraggles are really a force to be reckoned with if you think of it.
- The Power of Rock: It's right in the title, isn't it?
- Punny Name: Uncle Traveling Matt. A traveling matte is a blue-screening technique which allows people and equipment to move in front of a camera undetected.
- Reality Warper: Begoony (who managed to be genuinely creepy), the Mean Genie, and a few other one-off characters.
- Really 700 Years Old: The Gorgs are an extremely long-lived race; Ma and Pa Gorg are explicitly stated to have been married for over five hundred years.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Junior Gorg, kind of. He does most of the actual labor in the Gorg royal family.
- Running Gag: Quite a few, including Sprocket's reaction to any mention of Ned Shimmelfinney and Wembley's bad luck with that one pipe.
- Serious Business: Satirized ten ways to Tuesday, most aggressively in the "Grand Poobahs" episode. Note that, in Fraggle society, major, far-reaching decisions can be settled with such things as who can stack the most pickles on the end of her/his beak.
- Shout-Out: To other Muppet productions.
- Sneeze of Doom: In "The Perfect Blue Rollie", Wembly sneezes when he sneaks into Boober's hidey-hole to retrieve the rollie, waking up Boober. Then he sneezes and blows the rollie into a crack in the wall.
- Soap Box Sadie: Mokey.
- The Southpaw: Gobo plays his guitar left-handed. This is par for the course for Muppets, though.
- Species Surname: All the Fraggles, Doozers and Gorgs.
- Stable Time Loop, or prehaps Tricked Out Time: "Mokey, Then and Now"
- Stalker with a Crush: Begoony, a one-off character who was excessively lonely, acted much like this for Mokey. She took pity on his loneliness and befriended him, to which he responded by trying to isolate her from her other friends, and even going so far as to imprison her so she would stay with him always.
- Team Chef: Boober.
- Team Mom: Mokey, again. Jim Henson referred to her as "the den mother of the Fraggle Five", and the oldest.
- This Is no Time to Panic: "The Great Radish Famine." When there's no radishes, Fraggles, Gorgs and Doozers all say this — then panic and accuse the others of stealing them.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Red and Mokey.
- Trapped in Another World: Gobo in one of the very first episodes. Sprocket, at least once a season thereafter.
- Trickster Mentor: Cantus again, mostly by virtue of being terribly mysterious.
- Unexplained Accent: Gobo has a Canadian accent complete with "eh" at the end of many of his sentences. That said, his muppeteer is Canadian.
- Jerry Nelson is American. The accent is a reference to the show's Canadian home- it was shot in Toronto.
- Unfortunately, this was flanderized all to hell in the animated series.
- Unusual Euphemism: Pa Gorg's "Drat and Deuteronomy!"
- Vague Age: All the main Fraggles.
- Verbal Tic: Wembley has a tendency to run around yelling "squeet squeet squat squat" or some variation thereof when he's happy or excited. It shows up in many of his songs, too.
- He also makes curious cough-like noises randomly throughout his dialogue. It's revealed in an interview that this happened when Steve Whitmire had a cold, started coughing in his Wembley voice to be funny, and was encouraged to make it part of the character since it was frankly adorable.
- Wembley's high pitched grunting with each step doesn't hurt the cuteness.
- Villain Song: Wander McMooch has one in his second appearance.
- Walking the Earth: "Call me Uncle Traveling Matt."
- Walk This Way: Invoked by Cantus in "Junior Faces The Music", which resulted in the Fraggle Five following him and imitating his regal gait.
- Wandering Minstrel: Cantus and, well, the Minstrels.
- Weirdness Censor: Marjorie states that Fraggles are Invisible to Normals because Silly Creatures are too silly to be able to.
- Welcome Titles
- What, Exactly, Is His Job?: Doc for most of the series seemed to be a pensioner dabbling in being a crackpot inventor, but in the final episode, it's revealed that he came to the area to try his hand at being a marine biologist. It didn't work out.
- When Trees Attack: Lanford, Mokey's pet plant, seems to be a very mild version of this trope. He really only actively dislikes Red, and he's evidently capable of relocating on his own since he turns out to be a member of the Poobahs even when Mokey isn't.
- Wild Hair: Mokey and Cantus have it. The latter gets bonus points for having tufts of hair that defy the laws of gravity.
- The World Tree
- You Mean Xmas: Actually well-done and believable in this series. Happy Festival Of The Bells!
- Zeerust: King Gorg owns a blunderbuss.
- The Gorgs are this in general; they're the only ones who seem to be living in a weird combination of medieval times and a perpetual warfront (with a completely imaginary enemy).
- Partially justifiable when you consider how old the Gorgs are and that they are essentially isolated from the rest of the world, including whatever other members of their species remain.
- Zombie Advocate: Mokey becomes one in an episode, where she feels sorry for the Doozers having their buildings eaten, and convinces the other Fraggles to stop. Turns out the Doozers like having their hard work destroyed; they love to build things, but they don't care for the completed projects, and if they're torn down, they have more room to keep building.