YMMV / The Muppets


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    YMMVs for the film The Muppets 
  • Acceptable Targets: Lew Zealand figures it's okay to kidnap Jack Black to host the show, because "a celebrity is not a people". (This is what happens when Kermit and/or Scooter aren't around to be the sane one.)
  • Accidental Innuendo: The song "Me Party" could be taken to be about A Date with Rosie Palms.
    No one’s gonna stop this girl from having fun
    I throw my hands up high and have a party for one

    I'm not gonna sit around by myself and wait for you
    Haven't you heard one is the new two?

    And what happens at the "me party"
    Stays at the "me party"
  • Actor Allusion: Jason Segal has been dating a redheaded elementary school teacher for a decade. Sound familiar?
  • Awesome Music: Bret McKenzie wrote the new musical numbers for the film. They're a ton of fun and even include some very Conchords-esque lyrics.
    Am I a man
    Or am I a muppet?
    If I'm a muppet
    Then I'm a very manly muppet.
  • Base Breaker: Pepe's prior status as one divided fans into two camps: the "thank God Pepe didn't have more screentime in this movie" camp, and the "Pepe should have had more screentime" camp.
    • Also the fart shoes. The DVD commentary says that the only reason they introduced the fart shoes was to have the farting noise as Fozzie walked out of the theater.
      • Frank Oz refused to work on the film due to this joke, seeing it as emblematic of the writers not getting what made the Muppets work. Though others have responded that he seemed to have rather missed the point that Fozzie's schtick has always been that he's a bad comedian, and this kind of thing is exactly what he should be doing these days.
      • The thing of it is, the Muppets' humor, even Fozzie's pathetic attempts at comedy, was always sophisticated and intelligent, fart shoes (and fart jokes, in general) is pretty low-brow, even by Fozzie standards.
    • "Me Party" doesn't advance the plot, and Mary might have taken too much of it for herself, but it's dang catchy. And it's Amy Adams having fun, which is always great.
    • Gary and Mary. Critics adore them and lament their absence from Muppets Most Wanted, claiming it as one of the movie's biggest shortcomings, while fans wish they'd have lent a bit more screen time to the Muppets themselves. Nobody hates them outright, though.
    • For Latin American fans, the fact the names of the characters were reverted to their original English names, even if some of them had some sense in Spanish like Kermitnote  and the fact Miss Piggy is now voiced by a male, rather than females like previous dubs.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: Oscar-winner Chris Cooper...rapping?
  • Crazy Awesome: Gonzo. Okay, it's really no surprise coming from him, but he takes it to new heights when it's revealed that he's not only been expecting a reunion and thus had been wearing his stage outfit under his suit for years, but he also had an automatic Self-Destruct Mechanism for the big business he's been in charge of.
  • Critical Dissonance: One of the most frustrating examples. The Muppets was one of the best-reviewed movies of 2011 and most who saw it did in fact praise the film. Unfortunately, most general audiences seemed to think Breaking Dawn and Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked looked like the superior movies and saved their money for those, leading to a solid but not certainly great box office total.
  • Dead Unicorn Trope: When Kermit and the gang are trying to break into Piggy's office and fail, they decide to use "Muppet Man" to get past the door. "Muppet Man" turns out to be the whole group of them squeezed into a suit, akin to when the Little Rascals attempted to pass themselves off as an adult. This is played as though it's something we're all used to seeing the Muppets do, including Fozzy simply declaring "Hey, everyone! Muppet Man!" as though we all know what that is, and having Piggy react with "I can't believe I fell for Muppet Man!" Muppet Man has never been used before.
  • Ear Worm: Life's a happy song, when there's someone by your side to sing along.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: '80's Robot. He only has a minor role in the movie, but fans love him for being a hilariously outdated Disco Dan who looks like Nintendo's R.O.B..
  • Evil Is Cool: Uncle Deadly, although you can't help but feel that he's even more awesome after his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Fridge Horror: Jack Black is still trapped as the King of the Hobos!
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The purpose of the film is essentially to remind us why the Muppets are such beloved characters in the first place as well as being a reintroduction. Given how fast the franchise fell apart soon after this film's release, with its Contested Sequel Muppets Most Wanted and the Love It or Hate It ABC series The Muppets polarizing peoples' views on the franchise, its sad that the franchise fell so quickly after such a successful reintroduction that was supposed to reinvigorate it.
  • Heartwarming AND Hilarious in Hindsight: In the DVD Commentary they have an ongoing joke about "Future Movies Magazine" talking about how great the movies they are working on will be but haven't been released yet. When "Man or a Muppet?" starts, they joke about it winning an Academy Award - one even says "Yeah, in ''Future Movies Magazine''". "Man or a Muppet?" did indeed win the Academy Award for Best Song.
  • Hell Is That Noise: When '80s Robot uses his modem to search for the other Muppets, we're treated to the age of dial-up.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In 2008, Amy Adams boasted in a Saturday Night Live "Penelope" sketch that she's "best friends with Kermit the Frog".
    • In the actual movie, during the "Man or a Muppet?" song, Walter looks in the mirror and sees what he would look like as a human: Jim Parsons. This got funnier when Jim Parsons revealed that he is homosexual, considering Gary and Walter are definitely Heterosexual Life-Partners.
    • Actually the two are brothers even though Walter was probably adopted
      • That they're brothers is a Call Back to a joke from The Great Muppet Caper when Fozzie and Kermit are, as well.
      • And while Gary is heterosexual, no comments have been made on Walter's sexuality (if anything, he seems asexual).
    • Rowlf complains that they didn't show his scene in the montage during the film. In some broadcast TV versions of the film, this scene is cut out completely.
  • Hype Aversion: A lot of people were dubious about the film because of how supersaturated the trailers and promos were.
  • In the Style of...: "Man or Muppet" has a few musical similarities to Motley Crew's "Home Sweet Home", it's not the whole song, but enough to wonder a day later why "Home Sweet Home" was going through your head.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Double Subverted. The Hail Mary telethon fails, the magic fix at the end falls through, and Kermit's ready to start the group again from the ground up, with whatever fans they have left, no studio and no Muppet name. If it wasn't for the fact that the fandom came in droves, and Gonzo's bowling ball makes a rather persuasive argument towards Tex Richman giving up his claim on The Muppet Show studio, this would have easily been a very subverted trope.
  • Memetic Mutation: You sure got nice teeth, Jaaack Blaaack!
  • Narm Charm: The Swedish Chef's gibberish during the movie's more sentimental moments, like "Pictures In My Head" and after the telethon ends and the Muppets failed to raise the $10,000,000.
    Swedish Chef: (sadly, while cuddling the chickens) ...Chickee.
    • "Gary, I love you, but you have to decide: Are you a man, or a Muppet?"
  • Nightmare Fuel: Bunsen and Beaker were working on the Large Hadron Collider. Yeah, it was just them doing the usual science stuff, but when you remember how questionable their skills can be... would you really trust them with something of that magnitude?
  • One-Scene Wonder: The human version of Walter, as played by Jim Parsons in one of the best unexpected cameos in any Muppet film.
    • Emily Blunt, parodying her role in The Devil Wears Prada, manages to steal the show from the Muppets themselves in every second she's in.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Walter, a sort of Muppet fan stand-in created for the movie, got a lot of accusations of this before the film came out. After the film was released, he ended up becoming something of an Ensemble Darkhorse among fans.
  • So Cool, It's Awesome
  • Spoiled by the Format: Lampshaded about half an hour in.
    Mary: This is going to be a really short movie.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Outside of compositing and some matte work. All the effects are practical.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: Many people on more conservative news shows were upset that the villain was a CEO who wanted to drill for oil, saying that the Muppets were promoting class warfare for children. They apparently hadn't watched the film, since it later becomes clear that Tex Richman is evil not because he is a CEO, rich, or wants oil, but because he is unable to laugh and laughter, aka the third greatest gift ever, is necessary for happiness. He also decides to turn the Muppet name into a cynical, depressing act For the Evulz, which doesn't have much to do with oil. ...though, anything concerning his back story was cut, which does not help any!
    • As well as the fact that any five-year-old would know he's a caricature just by the name and Large Ham tendencies.
    • To say nothing of the fact that Kermit is himself a CEO of The Muppets as an incorporated entity — and while not stinking rich, was still well off enough to be living in a swanky house and keeping it in good repair. So it was one corp guy against another corp ... er, frog.
      • In fact, paying more attention reveals that Gonzo was rich in the movie, but his disruptive behavior prevented him from buying out the theater — he had the money, and blew it up in his enthusiasm to return. Far from class warfare, the movie paints Gonzo as caring about the Muppets nearly as much as he cared about Camilla's feelings. Similarly, Piggy's portrayed as well-off, but never flaunts this beyond the vanity that's been part of the character since the original show.
      • In a Take That video, after Kermit points out that the characters used a lot of gasoline driving around in the movie (which would make any oil-hating very hypocritical, and therefore highly unlikely), Miss Piggy compares the hysteria to saying that the public media is "accusing Fox News of being just... news". (Kermit rebukes her for risking making things worse....)
    • Fox News' accusation towards The Muppets, makes the brief gag of Sam the Eagle working for Fox news, a lot funnier than probably intended.
  • Win Back the Crowd: Both in-universe and in real life. It helps that the last film before this one came out over a decade before this one.
  • The Woobie: Walter and Kermit, big time. Walter is trying to save the Muppet name and finding his special talent under so much pressure... it's pretty sad to see the poor guy struggling. Meanwhile, Kermit has to jump through hoops to get the gang back together, raise enough money to save the show, and gather the courage to admit to Miss Piggy his feelings. It's so much pressure for a little green frog.

    YMMVs for the 2015 series The Muppets 
  • Author's Saving Throw: "Swine Song" addressed a lot of complaints by fans. The biggest one is that the other Muppets with be incorporated to Up Late directly, instead of being off-stage workers. Also present are an active attempt to reduce We're Still Relevant, Dammit moments, bringing back the music, and directly developing the Kermit and Piggy plotline by having Denise break up with the former in a way.
  • Awesome Music:
    • Kermit's stripped-down "Rainbow Connection" at the end of "Pigs in a Blackout" is simply beautiful and a perfect cap to the episode.
    • Piggy and Joseph Gordon-Levitt's duet of "Fly Me To The Moon".
    • In "Swine Song", there's Kermit and Piggy's heartwarming duet, "In Spite of Ourselves".
  • Base Breaker:
    • One of the more contentious aspects of the show is that Pepe, easily the most divisive character in the Muppets' entire history, is one of the most prominent characters. This was one of the few things that the post-hiatus retool did not change; if anything, he appears even more.
    • Scooter's personality change to a Man Child is one of the more disagreed-upon character tweaks in the show. Some find it endearing and fitting (as Scooter has always been seen as one of the youngest Muppets), while others think it's obnoxious and undermines his traditional traits. Not helping was how frequently he was used in the pre-hiatus episodes, as well as causing a few problems due to being stupider that he should be (such as accepting the lie about Piggy and Kermit being together a little too well in "Little Green Lie").
  • Broken Base:
    • You're either Team Kermit or Team Piggy regarding who was at fault for them breaking up. The groups will accept no in-between.
    • The show itself, whether or not you believe that the mockumentary makeover was a good thing, especially because its lack of success has put the franchise on hold once again.
  • Character Rerailment:
    • The first episode has Sam the Eagle return to his roots as the show's resident moral guardian, after years of flanderization where his character did nothing but glorify America.
    • Statler and Waldorf are still hecklers, but it's shown several times that they do enjoy parts of the show, a trait that hasn't been very present since the original series.
    • Starting with "Swine Song", the show tones down some of Piggy's jerkass traits. This is partially because it shifted away from her being an antagonistic force in favor of other characters (mainly Lucy Royce and Pache).
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Early in its run, The Muppets faced accusations that a disproportionate amount of the jokes revolve around these beloved characters being jerks to both each other and the human guests, while also rarely giving anyone any kind of happy ending. As the show went on, this trope became less prevalent due to more heart setting in and the accusations diminished greatly.
  • Growing the Beard:
    • If critic reviews and acclaim in the fanbase are anything to go by, episode seven "Pigs in a Blackout" is where the show finally hit that balance between classic Muppet chaos and warmth with the more modern, edgy Mockumentary elements while not compromising either. The beard-growing continued with the next few episodes.
    • Under Kristin Newman's leadership, the show grew its beard even more, ironing out almost all of the complaints of the pre-hiatus episodes. Unfortunately, loss of interest and Executive Meddling stopped it from being successful enough to be renewed.
  • He Really Can Act: Eric Jacobson's work as Piggy during the break up scene in "Pig Girls Don't Cry" is very different from something that Frank Oz would have done.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: Despite protests and boycotts from right-wing groups over the show's edgy humor, the premiere snagged over 8 million viewers and generated a mostly positive response from fans (in fact, several said they watched it specifically to spite One Million Moms). It wasn't able to keep them, however.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Some fans were growing restless at Gonzo being quite Out of Focus compared to the other major Muppet characters, especially since he's the only one who still has his original performer. Then the episode Going, Going, Gonzo directly acknowledges and addresses exactly these concerns, as this review notes.
    • A major complaint of the first half of Season 1 was that most of the Muppets, while still very important, never showed their talents on Up Late itself. As of "Swine Song", however, they're starting to be incorporated.
    • Denise is not only Kermit's girlfriend (for the first 11 episodes) but also works for the network. In addition to not appearing much during the time they are together, but the show doesn't have any situations where she has conflict between her job and the show. Considering the need to have new characters working for the network after she breaks up with Kermit, one would think she'd be involved in network conflicts with the show.
    • The biggest examples of Out of Focus in the show are Bunsen and Beaker, the only characters out of the traditional cast (other than the Swedish Chef, who's generally better as a quick gag character) to not get a episode focused on them, or even a subplot focused on them. Admittedly, trying to incorporate a mad science plot into a casual talk show is difficult, but they don't even get involved in stage effects. Also, Beaker's Butt Monkey nature only shows up in the first episode.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • Denise's redesign was met with this response due to her looking more "humanish" than when she was a Spamela Hamderson clone. Some comments on Youtube says she bears a passing resemblance to Margery Tyrell from Game of Thrones. Notably, her later appearances have her sporting a pair of glasses, possibly as an attempt to lessen this.
    • Some humanoid Muppets. Statler and Waldorf aren't that uncanny-looking, Chip we've seen before, but Debbie is just creepy.
    • Scooter without glasses in "Pig Out" just looks... unnatural. This was most definitely the intent.
  • We're Still Relevant, Dammit: This tends to be the reaction to any time the Muppets invoke current pop culture, social media, and such. To be fair, no one would claim it's anywhere near as bad at this trope as, say, the Studio DC: Almost Live specials from way back when. It's directly addressed in "Swine Song", where a branding expert tries to get the Muppets to become more with the times, and almost ruins the show as a result. While the episode does use a lot of pop-culture jokes, it otherwise makes it clear that the show wants to avoid losing its identity by pandering to that crowd.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Reports that the show would be "more adult" zig-zagged with both this and What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?. While it is family friendly and definitely safe for the kiddies, it's a bit more "edgy" than the previous shows and more in line with ABC's other fare such as Modern Family and The Middle, both of which have kid fansnote . That didn't stop Entertainment Weekly from assuming that the show would be Darker and Edgier than anything the Muppets would offer (which the fansite ToughPigs immediately debunked).
  • Win Back the Crowd: The commercial failure and mixed critical reception of Muppets Most Wanted in 2014 did a lot of damage to the Muppet brand, putting the gang — who three years prior were being welcomed back with open arms — at risk for getting their franchise killed off. With this series, Disney tried listening more to what audiences were asking for following the 2011 film and the concept had great reception as well as a great push of social media hype surrounding Kermit and Piggy's breakup and later Kermit's rebound with Denise. It was central to ABC's 2015-16 lineup, there were positive reviews and strong ratings for the premiere — but afterwards ratings slid quickly, the general complaint being that it was too cynical and gloomy for a Muppet production. There were hopes that the retool during the winter hiatus would reverse this trend — basically, to win back the crowd and keep them — and critics did like the second half of the season more than the first, but ratings were worse than ever; the final two episodes of the season were burnt off in a one-hour block with little fanfare and the show was cancelled in May 2016.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/TheMuppets