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Characters / Sesame Street: Monsters

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A heterogeneous group of furry creatures, many of whom share the last name "Monster".
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    In General 
  • Benevolent Monsters: The majority of them are friendly.
  • Intelligible Unintelligible: A few of them (e.g. Frazzle, Mel and the Two-Headed Monster) speak in a strange gibberish. Other monsters who speak human languages are able to understand them.
  • Our Monsters Are Different: They may all technically be from one species, but they all share radically different fur colors, shapes, and heights.
  • Species Surname: Many have the last name "Monster".

    Alistair Cookie 
Performed by: Frank Oz

The host of Monsterpiece Theatre. He is basically Cookie Monster in a red robe and wears a pipe in his mouth.

  • Ambiguous Situation: It's unclear whether or not he's just a persona for Cookie Monster or a separate character.
  • Big Eater: He snacks on cookies off screen during the entirety of the Monsterpiece Theatre opening, with crumbs spilling over the title.
  • Catchphrase: "Good evening, And welcome to Monsterpiece Theatre. Me your host, Alistair Cookie."
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: While running Monsters With Dirty Faces, He tells viewers not to adjust their TV sets, because the movie is in Black and White.
  • Edible Theme Naming: His last name is Cookie.
  • Meaningful Name: The "Alistair" part is not really meaningful unless you count the celebrity reference, but his surname points out his resemblance to Cookie Monster and his love of cookies.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: He is based on Alistair Cooke, the host of Masterpiece Theatre. The character continued to be used well past Cooke's retirement from the position in 1992. Cooke himself wryly appreciated the spoof. At a 1991 dinner celebrating the 20th anniversary of Masterpiece Theater, he predicted that if he was remembered at all, he would be best remembered by fans of Sesame Street as "Alistair Cookie, the Cookie Monster of Monsterpiece Theater."
  • Only Sane Man: Sometimes acts as one to the cast and crew of Monsterpiece Theater, especially in segments where they air the wrong movie and he was the only one aware of it.
  • You No Take Candle: Just like Cookie Monster, he says, "me" instead of "I" and omits words like "is" and "am".

Performed by: Richard Hunt

A blind, grey monster who enjoys collecting things.

    Baby Tooth and the Fuzzy Funk 

Performed by: Various

The three Muppet monster dancers who appeared in the 1990s. They sometimes dance with humans.

    Cookie Monster

Performed by: Frank Oz (1969-2004), David Rudman (2001-present)

The very incarnation of gluttony. He loves cookies more than anything, but has been seen talking about "healthy" food, so kids can make good decisions in regard to nutrition. Cookie Monster has starred in several skits of his own in recent years, most recently "Cookie Monster's Foodie Truck", where he and Gonger (from The Furchester Hotel) visit the source of the missing ingredient of a recipe assigned to them by a child (Cookie's insatiable hunger is usually the reason why that ingredient is missing).

  • Affectionate Nickname: The monster's closest friends, including Prairie Dawn and Gonger, often refer to him as "Cookie".
  • Anti-Role Model: He eats terrible, unhealthy food nonstop, and he's proud of it. However, he does stress the importance of healthy food. Then again, he also eats non-food.
  • The Artifact: His tendencies to eat everything are derived from his earlier appearances before his character was established as Cookie Monster. He was originally just an unnamed monster who devours anything, including non-foods, within reach. The character would soon shape up to be the monster we know and love today, gaining both name and his Trademark Favorite Food. Nonetheless, his trait to devour inedibles within his reaching path has long endured to this day.
  • Ascended Meme: Cookie Monster's "OM NOM NOM!" catchphrase has become a meme, something that was brought up in an interview, with Cookie Monster wondering why he hasn't received any royalties for it.
    "Me should get me attorney on this."
  • Baby's First Words: The book "Me Cookie" reveals that "cookie" was his first word. Big surprise...
  • Big Eater: He can and will eat just about anything and he rarely appears full up.
  • Big Word Shout: Occasionally, he will shout "Cowabunga." He is also known to shout the name of things he's planning to eat.
  • Characterization Marches On: He behaved more like a toddler in the first season: he often interfered with others (though unaware he was doing so), was occasionally fussy when he didn't get his way and was scolded by other characters when he misbehaved. It wasn't until his song "C is for Cookie" in 1971 that Cookie Monster's personality was firmly established.
  • Catchphrase: "COOOOOKIE!" "COWABUNGA!" and "OM-NOM-NOM-NOM!"
  • Character Signature Song: C is for Cookie (That's good enough for me)....
  • Crazy Consumption: Usually found eating very quickly while eating cookies.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Surprisingly. It's sometimes hard to tell with his Hulk Speak, but he can be quite sarcastic - complete with Aside Glances, even.
  • Demoted to Extra: To a degree. After the death of Jim Henson and starting from the slow retirement of Frank Oz from Muppet performing, Cookie Monster would be seen only a handful of times on the street itself (outside of the "Monsterpiece Theatre" skits). Even when David Rudman started performing Cookie full-time, he would only pop up once in a while. As the 2010s' rolled around, however, Cookie Monster began making more and more recurring appearances, to the point where he is now as popular as he ever was in the 1970s' (maybe even more so) and currently has a nearly daily segment devoted to him and Gonger making food on request.
  • Extreme Omnivore: And how! A full list of the usually-inedible things that he's eaten can be found here.
  • Foil: To Prairie Dawn for a while, particularly during the "Letter of the Day" skits, among others. The two are often seen as an ideal pairing, as Prairie's prim and proper demeanor and insistence on order and cleanliness is the antithesis to Cookie's wild, messy gluttony.
    • To Gonger for the Foodie Truck segments. Cookie operates as both the reason they usually have to go get a major ingredient from its source (teaching the audience where the food comes from) and the conduit through which Gonger can teach the audience how to make the recipe of the day.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Cookie Monster will eat any cookies that are near him, no matter how important they are. He's gotten better at being patient, though. You can also expect him to eat something in sketches he appears in, regardless of if it's a cookie or not.
  • Guttural Growler: His voice is distinctively deep and gravelly.
  • Hidden Depths: He tends to come off as a dim-witted glutton, but as the years went by he started to be portrayed less dense and more single-minded. He's can be very clever when he wants to be, is a surprisingly talented artist (if he can resist eating his own paintings), has shown himself to be a big fan of high culture (host of "Monsterpiece Theatre" as the gentrified Alistair Cookie), and even got a few Deadpan Snarker traits over time. In “Cardboard Castle”, it’s shown he can be very resourceful and clever when given the proper motivation (ie a promised cookie).
  • Hulk Speak: His speech is a cross between this and You No Take Candle.
  • Idiot Ball: He's wacky, yes, but not normally stupid... except for one skit which had him worry that there was a monster on the toy chest, when he is one.
  • Instant Web Hit: "Share it Maybe" got almost four million hits in four days.
  • Internal Homage: Episode 4111 is centered around "Cookie World," which Cookie Monster makes up as his answer to the popular "Elmo's World" segment.
  • iSophagus: Cookie Monster swallows Kellan Lutz's cell phone while they're trying to explain the word "vibrate," becoming the perfect visual aid in the process.
  • Jabba Table Manners: Cookie isn't remotely evil, but his eating habits do reflect poorly on him.
  • Large Ham: Being originally performed by Frank Oz, Cookie has had numerous hammy moments.
  • Leitmotif: A short, instrumental version of "C Is for Cookie."
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: In his earliest appearances, he had fangs.
  • Nightmare Sequence:
    • In one episode, he has a nightmare about floating, singing cookies.
    • In one episode, he dreams about a monster that turned into a cookie from eating too many cookies.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: According to the song "The First Time Me Eat Cookie", his name was Sidney before he started eating cookies - the "Cookie Monster" appellation was just a nickname that stuck. His name being Sid also gets a mention in this video where the Sesame Street characters answer questions from Google.
  • Oral Fixation: A very common gesture for Cookie Monster when he's excited or hungry and there's no food (or other non-food object Cookie's interested in eating) around is for him to start chewing on his own fingers.
  • Out-of-Character Moment:
    • In the "Take a Rest" song, he mentions needing a nap after eating, which he generally does not.
    • On two occasions, he has become afraid to eat cookies because of nightmares. However, both times, it only lasted a few moments.
    • The Sesame Street Dictionary shows him not wanting cookies to illustrate the word "unusual".
  • Parental Bonus: The undisputed king of this trope. If Sesame Street makes a clever pop-culture reference, chances are it comes from him.
  • Sick Episode: He got a disease called "Cookie Flu" in one episode, which was not at all like regular influenza and its only symptom was uncontrollable sneezing at the sight of cookies. It went away the moment he stopped thinking about cookies.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: It's right there in his name: cookies. He loves cookies.
  • Trash the Set: He sometimes does this by eating the set.
  • Vague Age: He is seen wandering around alone and occasionally working, but speaks in primitive grammar, has a packed lunch in one promotional video, and calls his mother "mommy". In "Take a Rest", he claims he takes naps, although he's never been seen taking naps outside of that song.
    • And that's not getting into the "Cookie Monster's Foodie Truck" segments. When he and Gonger have to get the missing ingredient in whatever dish they're assigned that day, Cookie Monster drives the titular truck.
    • He also appears to be entirely capable of cooking his own cookies.
  • Vocal Evolution: In regards to David Rudman's voice for Cookie Monster. In his first performances as the googly-eyed, gluttonous furball, Rudman used a voice that obviously sounds like a direct impression of Frank Oz's Cookie Monster, gruffly shouting everything he says and pronouncing "cookie" as "COO-KAAAAAYYY". By the beginning of the 2010s', however, Rudman's Cookie Monster voice noticeably changed, being faithful to Oz's performance while making the character his own.
  • You No Take Candle: His well-known speech pattern is his bad grammar.
    • Amusingly enough, some parents expressed concern about this; Frank Oz, ever the wit, responded thus (immortalized for posterity in this tweet):
    An interviewer asked if I thought Cookie's way of speaking could be corrupting the kids. I said that I didn’t foresee a child growing up, becoming a lawyer, and saying, “Me want to represent you”.

    Cookie Monster's baby cousin
Performed by: Jerry Nelson

Cookie Monster's cousin, who appeared in a sketch where he's trying to feed her cookies, but she does not want to eat one. Then Ernie appears with some groceries filled with fruits and vegetables (which Cousin Monster would go with). Cookie Monster complains that he loves cookies, but his baby cousin would not touch them. And Ernie explains maybe she does not like cookies, and tells Cookie Monster that he has to feed his baby cousin something else.

  • Big Eater: Has quite a big appetite.
  • Does Not Like Spam: Implied. She doesn't seem interested in cookies.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: She loves fruits (such as an apple), and vegetables (such as carrots and celery). She would never touch cookies at all.


Performer: Karen Prell

An energetic, pink monster who has red hair, wild rolling eyes, and a passion for play. She lives in a cave with her caretaker, Pearl.

  • Genki Girl: She takes her energy to extremes rarely met by the other Sesame Street monsters, which is unsurprising, as the performer of Deena would later become best known for portraying Red Fraggle on Fraggle Rock.
  • Put on a Bus: Writer Norman Stiles says he created Deena, named after one of his friends, to emphasize the role of play in the development of the brain at a time when it was not promoted widely. Stiles would eventually recall that "for whatever reason, as we tried the character in a few sketches, Deena’s insistence on playing was more annoying than amusing." However, Karen Prell believed her own performance of the character, which was deemed "over-the-top" in an interview, led to her short time on the series. Regardless, both Deena and Pearl saw dramatically reduced roles starting in the twelfth season, and one of their last known appearances together was in the wedding sequence of The Muppets Take Manhattan. The Deena puppet would eventually morph into the character of Humphrey.
  • Third-Person Person: "DEENA WANTS TO PLAY!"

"These are the tropes, la la la la, Elmo's tropes."
Performed by: Various (1970 — 1984) Kevin Clash (1984-2012), Ryan Dillon (2013-present)

A 3½-year-old monster who speaks in a high-pitched voice and eschews pronouns. Hosts the "Elmo's World" and "Elmo: The Musical" segments, as well as The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo, and the object of 1996's Tickle-Me-Elmo craze.

  • Ascended Extra: Pretty much the ultimate of this trope. He started out as a utility monster puppet, but shortly after was christened the name Elmo. Brian Muehl and Richard Hunt performed him in a handful of episodes between 1980-1984, but when Kevin Clash took over, Elmo became a much more prominent character and is now the star of the show.
  • All-Loving Hero: He likes everyone, even Oscar. "Elmo loves you."
  • Aside Glance: Whenever Zoe is talking to Rocco, he turns to the camera.
    Elmo: "Elmo doesn't believe this."
  • Baby Talk: Elmo's general form of speech, particularly to babies.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Elmo in general is a very innocent, cheerful and sweet-natured monster, but he very much has his limits . One such case of his limits being pushed was shown in episode 3809, in which after his attempts to say the number of the day were interrupted by Zoe and Rocco constantly, Elmo, just when he thinks he's able to say the number of the day, ends up getting interrupted by Zoe, who ends up saying the number of the day on behalf of Rocco. This, unsurprisingly, results in Elmo hitting his Rage-Breaking Point and calling them out in an anger filled rant.
  • Breakout Character: He first appeared as a background character in 1980. Now he and Abby Cadabby are the show's most dominant characters.
  • Catchphrase: He says "Elmo loves you" a lot.
  • Character Signature Song: This is a Song, La-la la-la, Elmo's Song....
  • Characterization Marches On: In his earlier incarnations in the early Eighties, he was basically a presumably-adult monster with a deeper, nasally, squawky voice who showed up every so often. Then, during Richard Hunt's stint, he was like a rowdy caveman (sounded a lot like Two-Headed Monster). When Richard, who hated doing Elmo, literally tossed the Muppet to Kevin Clash, Elmo was retooled as the bouncy, high-voiced, sweet-natured child-monster we know today.
  • Cheerful Child: Elmo is a kind monster, is pretty upbeat, and is three years old.
  • Cuddle Bug: He's very hug-friendly.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He usually is one of the nicer characters on a show filled with nice characters...and then when Zoe introduces Rocco, he turns into this AND the Only Sane Man.
  • Determinator: He wouldn't give up on helping his friends whenever they needed it.
  • Dub Name Change: Takalani Sesame, the South African version of the series, formerly named him Neno. It was changed in preparation for the series' 20th anniversary in 2020, and to bring the name of the character in line with the US series and other international co-productions.
  • Enmity with an Object: He has a one-sided rivalry with Zoe's pet rock Rocco.
  • Flanderization: Since the mid-1990s, Elmo has become more loud, excited to unbearable levels, and hyperactive. He's also gained a tendency to hang out solely (though not always) with Zoe, Abby, Baby Bear, Telly, and Rosita.
  • Friend to All Children: He kisses a lot of babies.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Elmo gives a lecture on different ways that people sleep. The audience is so receptive that he can't sleep when it's over.
    Elmo: Go home!
  • Iconic Sequel Character: Over the years, he's become so iconic and so famous, that it might be hard to remember that he was introduced in season 12. It's tough to impossible to imagine modern-Sesame Street without him.
  • Little Mr. Snarker: Rarely, but he can't help making sardonic remarks in regards to Zoe's pet rock, which he really doubts is alive.
  • Mascot's Name Goes Unchanged: Due in no small part to exposure via the internet, Elmo has a regular character in co-productions developed for Latin America, Israel, Norway, and the Arab world, where the name "Elmo" is retained.
  • Military Brat: Yes, believe it or not. This was central to a series of videos specifically made to help military children cope with having a parent deployed, so he subverts most of the typical, negative stereotypes.
  • Mr. Imagination: Has lots of imagination spots, especially in Elmo's World.
  • Never Learned to Read: Still illiterate due to being only three years old.
  • No Name Given: He was a minor background Muppet simply known as "Baby Monster" before 1984, when his current character started to take shape.
  • Nice Guy: One of the nicest characters of the show, being cuddly and sweet natured.
  • One-Episode Fear: He was afraid to go into Hooper's Store during the episode it caught fire.
  • Only Sane Man: Or rather Only Sane Monster. Whenever Zoe appears with her pet rock Rocco, he is the only character that does not take the rock seriously and has to remind Zoe that, "He's a rock!" Mostly, this is because he believes Zoe is using Rocco as an excuse for attention and to get her way.
  • Precocious Crush: One story concerns Elmo naively wanting to marry Gina. On learning this, she explains to him that she does love him very much, but that the relationship they have is "a 'friend' kind of love."
  • Red Is Heroic: Has red fur and is very nice.
  • Series Mascot: Possibly the most well-known Sesame Street character, he's taken Big Bird's place in this position and features on and in a lot of merchandise.
  • Sick Episode:
    • He gets an earache in "Elmo Visits the Doctor".
    • One toy features Elmo having a cold.
    • One licensed game involves him having either a cold, toothache, or earache.
  • Signature Laugh: His high-pitched laughter drove a toy craze in the mid-1990s when it was matched with a doll of Elmo.
  • Sitcom Archnemesis: Elmo has a near irrational dislike for Zoe’s pet rock, Rocco, but tolerates his presence for the sake of Zoe.
  • Sudden Anatomy: His eyelids appear when he's sleepy.
  • Third-Person Person: He always refers to himself in as "Elmo" instead of "I" or "me."
    Elmo: And Elmo's Elmo.
    • He also usually refers to those he's talking to directly in the third person, for example, "Elmo thinks Abby could ask Julia to play again" instead of "I think you could ask Julia to play again."
    • He does occasionally speak in the first person though. Particularly early on. Humorously, sometimes he'll use both third and first person speech in one sentence.
    Elmo: Me?! What did Elmo do?"
  • Toilet Training Plot: A flashback in "Elmo's Potty Time" showed him a year ago being potty trained.

Performed by: Jerry Nelson (regularly), Martin P. Robinson

An orange monster with big teeth.

    The Furchesters

Elmo's uncle Fergus, aunt Funella, and cousin Phoebe, who run a hotel in the United Kingdom.

  • Alliterative Family: Downplayed. Fergus and Funella have names beginning with F, but Phoebe's, though it sounds the same, begins with P-H.
  • Alliterative Name: Their names begin with F or P-H and their surname is Furchester.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: They sing to the audience at the end of all their skits.
  • Catchphrase: "Fuzzawubba!" for Phoebe, whenever she gets an idea.
  • Determinator: They have a whole song about their not giving up.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: They, along with Elmo and Cookie Monster, sing the Welcome to the Furchester Hotel song.
  • Ending Theme: They sing a song about "don't check out" at the end of each segment.
  • Lost Voice Plot: In "Animal Talk", Phoebe loses her voice, so they have to find a way to communicate with the animals.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: The "Don't Check Out" song begs you not to leave, but to a cheerful melody.
  • Meaningful Name: They have "fur" in their last names, and are furry monsters.
  • Odd Name Out: Phoebe's the only one whose name doesn't start with F.
  • Skeleton Key: Phoebe has a key that can open any door in the hotel, but she usually wears it around her neck.
  • Solemn Ending Theme: Zigzagged for "Don't Check Out". Its lyrics beg the viewer not to go and claim that they will be less furry without them, but it has a merry tune.
  • Something Itis: In one episode, Phoebe gets "Monster Mumble-itis", which is apparently what monsters get if they talk too much.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: Phoebe can talk to animals, however, her parents cannot.

Performed by: Warrick Brownlow-Pike

A marble-mouthed monster chef who first appeared on The Furchester Hotel (the British co-production) before joining the domestic show for the "Cookie Monster's Foodie Truck" segments. Due to his weird voice, he very often mispronounces certain words: "pinea-pap-ple", "cran-ba-berry", "cheeeeeeese" "bana-na-na-na-na", etc, as well as adding an "h" sound to words that begin with a vowel.

  • Ascended Extra: His first appearances on Furchester were simply banging a gong to signal Monster Tea Time (hence his name). By the second season, he gained a much more prominent role as the hotel chef. From there, he became the co-star to the new Cookie Monster segment, "Cookie Monster's Foodie Truck." Within a couple of short years, he now has merchandise and walk-around versions in parks and live shows.
  • Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: Gonger spends a lot of time correcting Cookie Monster’s misconceptions on the food they’re making.
  • Catchphrase: *bangs a gong* “IT’S READY!”
  • Not So Above It All: The taco segment of “Cookie Monster’s Foodie Truck” reveals Gonger eats just as wildly and messily as Cookie does.
  • Straight Man: To Cookie Monster. Sometimes, however, he has proven himself almost as wild as Cookie himself.

Performed by: Frank Oz (1970-2012), Eric Jacobson (1999-present)

A well-meaning, multitalented monster who suffers more humiliation and injury than the rest of the cast combined. He also goes as a superhero named Super Grover. (He became Super Grover 2.0 in 2010.)

  • Ascended Extra: A puppet similar to Grover, but a green-brown color, was used throughout the first season, earning the name "Grover" near the end. Just a few weeks later on The Ed Sullivan Show, Grover appeared blue for the first time and rose to a main character on the show that fall.
  • Affectionate Parody:
  • Amusing Injuries: Moreso than any other character, he ends up injured for comedy, often thanks to the ridiculous stunts he tries to pull off.
  • Butt-Monkey: Gets put through a lot of injuries and misfortune.
    • With the exception of his sketches with Mr. Johnson, in which it's usually the latter who ends up the Butt-Monkey. Ditto his appearances with Kermit.
  • Blue Is Heroic: Has blue fur and is a kind hearted sort. The heroic part especially comes into play when he becomes Super Grover.
  • Can't You Read the Sign?: After Mr. Johnson complains to Grover the Flight Attendant that he's bored and has nothing to read.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "Hel-lo everybod-ee! This is your lovable little furry pal, Grover!"
    • To Kermit: "HEEEEEEEEY, FROGGY BAYBEEEEE! [*backslap*]"
  • Character Tics:
    • Will fall over when he's very emotional.
    • Always says "super" in this particular way.
  • Determinator: The limits to which he pushes himself are actually quite admirable.
  • The Ditz: Grover isn't stupid per se, but he tends to miss the obvious in situations where he's trying to help others.
  • Fainting: Grover does this a lot (although it could be interpreted as ham acting).
  • First Day of School Episode: The children's book (and book-and-record set) Grover Goes to School (1982). Grover is so eager to make friends on his first day of school that he ends up trading away his prized possessions for inferior substitutes, and this makes him miserable until he realizes he can make friends by just being himself.
  • Flying Brick: Super-Grover apparently believes he's one of these, judging from how often he tries to bend bars and lift heavy objects. He actually is capable of flight, but takeoffs and landings are a problem for him.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Waiter Grover in La Casa de Comidas ("House of Foods"). He claims he's been learning some compatible Spanish words from Luis, and uses some of them in this sketch (i.e. mantequilla (butter), arroz (rice) and papas (potatoes)), along with of course the numbers from 1 to 4. However, some of the "Spanish" words he uses are made up - the Spanish equivalent of the French bon appétit is buen provecho, not "bon apetito."
  • I Can't Hear You: In the 1970 sketch on The Ed Sullivan Show that definitively established Grover as a character, he interrupts Kermit's song by loudly strumming on a banjo. When Kermit asks why he's playing a banjo, Grover responds "I can't hear you, I'm playing the banjo."
  • Jack-of-All-Trades: Has several jobs, including waiter, taxi driver, and flight attendant.
  • Keet: Grover is highly enthusiastic. "HEYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY, FROGGY BAYBEEEEE!"
  • The Klutz: Is a bit clumsy and accident-prone.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Depending on the sketch. In solo scenes, Grover is usually rather knowledgable about the subjects he's presenting. But, when paired with someone else or in one of his many guises (superhero, professor, marshal, camp counselor, etc.), he's usually not as much of an expert as he claims to be.
  • Large Ham: One of the hammiest of the Muppet monsters. It helps that Frank Oz performs him.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: Grover was named after U.S. President Grover Cleveland.
  • New Job as the Plot Demands: Grover has held nearly 90 different jobs over the course of the show.
  • Nice Guy: He's not very good at helping others, and he's clumsier than a three-legged giraffe, but he means well.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • When he appeared with other Muppets performed by Frank Oz in An Evening with Jim Henson and Frank Oz, in response to a marionette question.
    Grover: I do not know what the hell that means.
    • And the odd viral moment at the end of 2018 when half the internet was convinced that a clip of Grover saying "That sounds like an excellent idea!" included an F-bomb.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: In one of the Waiter Grover skits, much to Mr. Johnson's immense irritation.
    Grover: Round and tasty on a bun/Pickles, French fries, yum yum yum.
  • Secret Identity: For a certain value of "secret." He tries to convince others he and Super Grover are unrelated.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Often brags about how experienced, knowledgable and multi-talented he is when in reality, it's almost completely opposite.
  • Spock Speak: According to original performer Frank Oz, Grover rarely uses contractions (except in songs) because he's obsessed with doing everything right.
  • Superheroes Wear Capes: Wears a red cape when he's being Super Grover.
  • Superman Substitute: His superhero alter-ego is Super Grover, complete with wearing a thunder bolt with the letter G on his chest.
  • That Makes Me Feel Angry: "I feel so ______!" is one of his recurring lines, to enthusiastically express whatever emotion he happens to be feeling at the moment.
  • Verbal Tic: Grover is known for speaking without contractions, giving him a much more formal vernacular. For instance, if one were to say the word "you're", Grover will always say it as "you are"; no exceptions.
  • Vocal Evolution: In the first season Grover (who spent most of the season nameless, outside of being called "Fuzzyface" a few times) and Cookie Monster weren't distinct characters yet, and Frank Oz used an almost-identical voice for both. It was up to later on in mid- or late-second season that Grover got his more distinct and familiar voice. As Oz got older, Grover's voice noticeably deepened a bit, to the point that it started sounding a little like a gravelly Miss Piggy.
  • Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: Poor Mr. Johnson keeps encountering Grover everywhere he goes: as a waiter, salesman, cab driver, flight attendant, telegram messenger, etc. Lampshaded more than once.

Performed by: Jerry Nelson (1970-2003), Peter Linz (2015-present)

A large, blue monster. He's strong and has a gruff voice but he is very sweet. Always wanting to help out but usually inadvertently ended up breaking more than he fixed. Herry was a main character on the show from Season 2 (1970-1971) until Season 31 (2000).

  • Badbutt: Was meant to be the "tough guy" among the cast. Being from a show for preschoolers, you obviously can't get too tough...
  • The Big Guy: He's very big.
  • Blind Without 'Em: Episode 1261 reveals that he's near-sighted, so he is taken to the eye doctor for some glasses.
  • Blue Is Heroic: A blue furred monster who is very nice.
  • Characterization Marches On: Debuts in Season 2 as a loose replacement for The Beautiful Day Monster and shown a few traits that were not so less abrasive than his predecessor's. Many earlier sketches from Season 2 would depict him with slight aggression even deliberately trying to scare other characters albeit as a "harmless" prank. Several seasons later as the character would mature and mellow out, he would now be known as one of the most gentle and affable monsters on the show but as one who Does Not Know His Own Strength.
  • Demoted to Extra: This happened to him in the early 2000s. The Bus Came Back as of 2017, as Herry has begun to make more and more appearances of varying prominence. He's now Darrin'd by Peter Linz, as Jerry Nelson passed away in 2012.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: Sometimes he accidentally breaks things with his strength. He even had a song about it, titled "I Can't Help It."
  • Early Installment Character-Design Difference: Herry originally had a blue nose, to match the rest of his fur. Beginning with season 3, his nose became purple. His eyebrows also became thinner over the years.
  • Extreme Omnivore: At least once he shared a bicycle with Cookie Monster - with share defined as both monsters eating it together, much to Kermit's chagrin.
  • Guttural Growler: His voice isn't as growly as Cookie's, but still gruff.
  • Gentle Giant: A strong, tall monster but a nice one.
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Although Herry is usually only seen from the waist up on the show, various merchandise of him, as well as his illustrated appearances depict him wearing a pair of red and white striped pants.
  • Lovable Jock: He's a nice, friendly guy who fills his time playing baseball or football.
  • Meaningful Name: Considering his enormous strength, it's pretty clear that he's named after Hercules.
  • "Metaphor" Is My Middle Name: Before singing "A Song for Two" with an Anything Muppet girl, he says "Cooperation" is his middle name. "Herry Cooperation Monster."
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Jerry Nelson modeled Herry's voice off of Jimmy Durante.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Herry, along with his tough-guy vibe, loves dolls and isn't the least bit ashamed of it.
  • Sick Episode: At the end of "It's No Fun Being Sick", he catches Flossie's illness, but he recovers.
  • Starstruck Speechless: In the episode in which Céline Dion guest stars, he's too shy to go up and introduce himself to her, and when she comes up to introduce herself and begins to sing to him, he can barely get the words out. Eventually he recovers enough to sing along with her, with Big Bird and Elmo joining in.

    Ingrid, Humphrey and Natasha
Performed by: Joey Mazzarino (Ingrid), David Rudman (Humphrey), Kevin Clash (Natasha)

A family of monsters. Ingrid is the mom, Humphrey is the dad, and Natasha is the baby. Humphrey and Ingrid work as employees at the Furry Arms hotel.

  • Ambiguously Related: There's a monster named Freda played by Ingrid's puppet. Being related might explain the family resemblance.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Ingrid and Humphrey call Natasha many pet names. They even sing a song about it in one episode.
  • Babysitting Episode: Natasha gets babysat in several episodes.
  • Baby's First Words: Natasha's first words were "Oh, dear" because that was what Snuffy had been saying while trying unsuccessfully to get her to talk.
  • Baby See, Baby Do:
    • Natasha's first words (oh dear) came from copying Snuffy.
    • Natasha copies the Count when he sings to her in one episode.
    • Inverted once, when Humphrey copies Natasha.
  • Baby Talk: Natasha can't talk, only babble.
  • Character Tics: Natasha blows raspberries a lot. She also has a habit of "shaking her shoe and going, 'cuckoo'" when she's happy.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Let's just say that Humphry and Ingrid can be rather... dense. Much to the chagrin of most of the people on Sesame Street.
  • Daddy's Girl: Humphrey and Natasha get along very well.
  • Doting Parent: Ingrid and Humphrey think Natasha is amazing and fawn over everything she does.
  • The Diaper Change: Natasha has her diaper changed in one episode.
  • Happy Rain: They all like the rain.
  • Literal-Minded: Ingrid and Humphrey just do not understand the meaning of simple directions.
  • One-Episode Fear: One episode focuses on the characters finding out that Natasha is afraid of rain and correcting it.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Natasha is scared of the rain for an episode.

Performed by: Haley Jenkins

A young monster who was initially in foster care before moving back with her mother and was written to teach kids about foster care and parental addiction. While we don't know much about her as a person (apart from the fact that she has some toy elephants, plays soccer, and likes PB&J and pizza), she has a complex story line: she used to live alone with her mother, but then her mother got addicted to an unknown substance. While the mother was in rehab, Karli was fostered by a couple named Clem and Dalia. Now, Karli is living with her mother again, but the mother is still in group therapy.

  • Alliterative List: Has a list of "Seven 'C's" to do with her mother's addiction: she didn't cause it, she can't control it, she can't cure it, but she can help take care of herself, communicate her feelings, make healthy choices, and celebrate herself.
  • Ambiguously Absent Parent: No sign of her dad.
  • Companion Cube: Has a stuffed elephant named Elephant.
  • Foster Kid: She was introduced living with a foster family.
  • Fragile Flower: In her first appearance, she and Elmo were making placemats, and when it appeared hers went missing, and she breaks down in tears.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Has these.
  • Good Parents: Clem and Dalia, her foster parents, make sure that Karli feels safe and loved as their “for-now daughter”. Karli also has nothing but positive things to say about her own mom. She’s an addict, but she’s working really hard to get better so she can do right by herself and her child.
  • Heal the Cutie: A cutie like most Muppets who is in the process of healing. Karli has had a hard life (especially when you consider she’s roughly Elmo’s age), but with help from her friends and grown-ups she can trust, she’s making her way through to a better future for herself. For the real-world kids in Karli’s situation, she is intended to show them that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
  • Junkie Parent: Her mother struggled with addiction, but fortunately is currently getting help and is in group therapy.
  • Noodle Incident: We don't know what her mother got addicted to and how, though this is intentional as she’s meant to stand in for any parental addiction instead of a more specific situation.
  • Very Special Episode: Karli is not part of the mainline Sesame Street cast; she was created specifically for Sesame Street in Communities, a branch of Sesame Workshop’s outreach initiative to handle sensitive topics that parents and kids can seek out in specific situations instead of waiting for an episode on the topic to come up in PBS or HBO’s rotation. She was brought onto the main show a few years later in Season 51.

Performed by: Bill Barretta (2006-2010), Tyler Bunch (2007-present)

Elmo's father, who is a loving dad and ambiguously in the military.

  • Good Parents: He, along with Mae, seem to be very supportive parents.
  • Not So Above It All: Normally very level-headed, but he did sing a song about the potty in "Elmo's Potty Time". Truth in Television, some parents do sing to their kids to get them interested in potty training.
  • Unexplained Accent: He and Mae have Southern accents, though Sesame Street is in New York.

Performed by: Fran Brill (2006-2014)

Elmo's mother.

    Merry Monster

Performed by: Joey Mazzarino

A tiny, squeaky voiced monster.

    The Monster Cookie
The Monster Cookie
Performed by: Jerry Nelson

A giant talking cookie who is, to put it simply, a personification of the phrase "You are what you eat". He appeared in the 1992 sketch, where Cookie Monster has a very sad nightmare after waring the last of his birthday cookies. He tells Cookie Monster his sad story on how he became a cookie. He used to a blue furry monster as well, but his cookie-only diet caused him to turn into a cookie, and he regrets sadly that he never had healthier foods. As Cookie Monster wakes up from his sad dream, he declares that he will never eat cookies again and starts eating carrots, fish, and whole wheat bread. But then he eats a cookie afterwards, with the remark "Well, maybe sometime a cookie!"

  • Berserk Button: As Cookie Monster was about to eat him, He shouts with anger "Keep your hands off, pal!"
  • Dream People: He only appeared in a dream, so he's likely not a real monster.
  • One-Shot Character: He only appeared in Cookie Monster's dream.

    The Monster Clubhouse Monsters
From left to right: Phoebe, Googel, Narf and Mel
Phoebe performed by: Alice Dinnean (2001-2002), John Tartaglia (2002)
Googel performed by: Stephanie D'Abruzzo
Narf performed by: Joey Mazzarino
Mel performed by: Kevin Clash

Four energetic monsters named Phoebe, Googel, Mel and Narf. They have a club called the Monster Clubhouse, where they do wacky things like get chased by elephants.

  • Blinding Bangs: Mel's hair covers his eyes.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: They often talk to the viewers.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: They have strange interests like being chased by elephants.
  • Demoted to Extra: After Season 34, the Monster Clubhouse segments were discontinued since kids were not too familiar with the characters, resulting in the monsters becoming background characters.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Their "goodbye song" is just the word "goodbye" sung over and over.
  • Ending Theme: At the end of the meeting, they will just sing "Goodbye" over and over, calling it the Goodbye Song.
  • Extreme Omnivore: They'll eat almost anything during Snack Time, even things that aren't edible. Narf also ate a crash helmet once.
  • Fake Interactivity: They often tell the viewers to join in with what they're doing.
  • Genki Girl: Phoebe and Googel are extremely peppy. Mel and Narf are also Genki Guys.
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Phoebe wears a skirt but no pants. Averted for the rest of them, who just go naked.
  • Intelligible Unintelligible: Mel can only speak gibberish, but the others can understand him.
  • The Klutz: All of them are pretty clumsy, but Narf is the clumsiest.
  • The Leader: Googel seems to be the leader of the group, she is often the one who will say what they'll do next.
  • Messy Hair: Phoebe has hair that sticks out all over the place.
  • No Indoor Voice: They often yell a lot of their dialogue.
  • Pun: Sometimes, Narf will fall from the ceiling and Googel will say, "Nice of you to drop by!".
  • Spelling Song: When saying the name of their club, they will sing to the tune of Old MacDonald, spelling out "Monster Club" but saying "house".
    Monsters: "M-O-N-S-T-E-R C-L-U-B-house!"
  • Sudden Name Change: Phoebe and Googel were originally named Groogle and Mooba, respectively. In Season 33, their names were suddenly changed.
  • The Unintelligible: Mel only speaks monster gibberish.
  • Vague Age: They can hold club meetings without an adult directly watching them, and yet they take naps. Then again, these naps only last for about four seconds.
  • You No Take Candle: Averted for Phoebe and Googel, who talk normally, and Mel, who speaks gibberish, but played straight for Narf, who uses primitive grammar (says "me" instead of "I", drops the word "is", etc).

Performed by: Joey Mazzarino (2005-2015)

A fluffy orange monster with a round, oversized jaw who rose to fame by hosting a variety of recurring segments; namely Word on the Street and Murray Has a Little Lamb. These are unique in that they're kept separate from the regular Sesame Street scenes by being set in the "real world" where Murray has largely unscripted scenes interacting with "normal" people, with his Spanish-speaking lamb Ovejita.

  • Alliterative Name: His surname is implied to be "Monster".
  • Amusing Injuries: Frequently. Usually in the form of The Pratfall.
  • The Cameo: Murray very rarely appears in "street scenes." Joey Mazzarino has said that he prefers for Murray to be kept in the "real world" à la Uncle Traveling Matt.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Has proven to be his fate following Mazzarino's departure from the series in 2015, due to show's format and runtime change that came with its move from PBS to HBO. Matt Vogel confirmed in a May 2016 Facebook post that there are currently no plans to recast him because "it's such a Joey character". His regular "Tune-in" segments were dropped entirely (barring a few reused "Murray Has a Little Lamb" segments) and his only new appearances in that season were for a few celebrity musical numbers. In 2022, however, the Murray puppet began appearing as a generic monster on Ahlan Simsim, an Arabic co-production of Sesame Street.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Murray made several appearances before he was first called by name on screen.
  • Epic Fail: A lot of his first attempts at the focal activity in the segment results in this. Once, while trying a high-kick in a Dance School segment, he not only sends himself flying onto his back, as he is wont to do, but manages to kick himself in the face in the process.
  • Excited Kids' Show Host: Murray plays Type 1 to the hilt, on Murray Has A Little Lamb, and Word on the Street.
  • Keet: Highly energetic.
  • Larynx Dissonance: With a jaw like his, you may not expect his voice to be as high or childish as it is.
  • Living Crashpad: Ovejita regularly uses him as one just as a way of greeting him at the start of each segment.
  • Mad Libs Catchphrase: Ever since wrapping up each episode became his job, this has been how the letter and number of the day have been reviewed.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Murray has Ovejita, a little Spanish-speaking lamb with a tiny hairbow, sticks out from the cast of strange monsters. Although it's debatable whether she can be called a "sidekick", as he usually follows her lead.
  • Palette Swap: His design is an orange variant of a purple monster, named Filfil, from the Egyptian co-production Alam Simsim. In fact, most of the crew just called him "Filfil" until someone came up with "Murray."
  • Prison Episode: In the Little Kids, Big Challenge: Incarcerated episode, It reveals that his uncle was sent to jail because he violated the law.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Played with. He has quite a jaw on him, but his eyelids sport noticeable lashes.

Performer: Brian Meehl

A brown monster who lives in a cave with Deena, for whom she serves as a caretaker. She likes peace and quiet, which is often difficult for her to achieve because of Deena's relentless energy.

  • Put on a Bus: Both Deena and Pearl saw dramatically reduced roles starting in the twelfth season, and one of their last known appearances together was in the wedding sequence of The Muppets Take Manhattan. The Pearl puppet later became used for extras in various sketches, minus her orange tuft of hair.
  • Team Mom: Often tries to calm down her roommate, especially when that character's overtly energetic tendencies come into play.

Performed by: Carmen Osbahr (1991-present)

A 5-year-old bilingual monster who plays guitar. She was originally patterned after a fruit bat, but lost the wings in Season 35 through 51. She stated in an interview that they just popped off when flying.

  • Blue Is Heroic: While her fur is not as deep of a blue as Grover or Herry's, she's just as kind.
  • Continuity Nod: Luis taught her how to play the guitar, and she has retained that skill very well.
  • Early Installment Character-Design Difference: For the first thirteen years of the character, Rosita had a pair of wings, and we've seen her use them to fly (or rather, attempt to; a couple of 1990's episodes have her discover that she can't actually fly). 2004 onward, the wings disappeared and there has never been an explanation as to why on the show. According to her puppeteer, the choice was made by the merchandising wing of Sesame Street. In 2021, however, Rosita grew back her wings.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: She peppers her sentences with Spanish phrases to introduce basic Spanish vocabulary to the kids. She also has an occasional segment where she gives the "Spanish Word of the Day".
  • The Smurfette Principle: Rosita has the distinction of being the first female monster in the Sesame Street cast, and was the only female monster until Zoe arrived in 1993.
  • Mentors: Rosita takes Gina's son Marco under her wing, because he is Guatemalan.
  • Military Brat: Like Elmo, Rosita has to deal with having a military father. Her father comes home injured and confined to a wheelchair, and she has a hard time adjusting to the consequent changes.
  • Nice Girl: A friendly monster who shows her compassion by giving hugs.
  • True Blue Femininity: A blue furred creature who acts "girly".
  • Overly Long Name: She's almost never referred to by it, but her full name is Rosita, la Monstrua de las Cuevas (literally "Rosita, the Monster of the Caves").
  • Quirky Ukulele: She's a guitarist, but knows her way around many different stringed instruments, and employs them for various peppy, upbeat songs.

Performed by: Camille Bonora (1988-1992)

A bright red haired orange-yellow monster who loves learning experience and research on everything.

  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: a lot of her experiments are, odd to say the least.
  • For Science!: Much of what she does, no matter how silly it might be, is all for the purpose of doing an experiment.
  • Security Blanket: In the "Guys and Dolls" song from Monsterpiece Theatre, she loves playing with her toy truck.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: has mostly masculine interests but has also been shown to be interested in dolls and bows.

Performed by: Frankie Cordero (2017-present)

A blue-haired orange monster who is Abby Cadabby's stepbrother, introduced in season 47 to help introduce kids to blended families. He has a habit of "borrowing" his stepsister's wand without her permission.

Performed by: Bob Payne (1979), Brian Muehl (1979-1984), Martin P. Robinson (1984-present)

A neurotic, easily discouraged monster. Was best friends with Oscar; now best friends with Baby Bear. He also has an obsession with triangles.

  • Characterization Marches On: He was originally obsessed with television, but grew out of that over the years.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Downplayed. While he seems on the same plane of reality as everyone else, he has a vivid imagination and a strange interest in triangles.
  • Dagwood Sandwich: Makes a sandwich with all the ingredients he can think of in one episode.
  • Does Not Like Spam: When he made the "everything sandwich", the lettuce was the only ingredient he disliked. This carries over into newer episodes as well; in one such instance, Chris brings Telly a tuna sandwich just the way he likes it (with no lettuce), which immediately leads to the appearance of a mob of protesting vegetables.
  • The Eeyore: Telly is known for being somewhat pessimistic.
  • Intrepid Reporter: In the "Monster on the Spot" segments.
  • Lovable Coward: Is sweet and nervy.
  • Mind-Control Eyes: In his early, TV-obsessed appearances, his eyes would turn into red spirals when he watched TV.
  • Mood-Swinger: Will often go from being calm to scared at the drop of a hat.
  • Mr. Imagination: A lot of his worries are due to his vivid imagination running away with him.
  • Nervous Wreck: His neuroticism is probably his most prevalent trait.
  • Non-Indicative Name: It's an artifact of his early "watched too much TV" phase.
  • Out of Focus: Telly appeared in nearly every episode from 1980 to 2015. Since 2016, his role is considerably smaller.
  • Puppy Love: While he doesn't have an official age, he's generally treated as a kid; and Marty Robinson confirms that Telly has a crush on Rosita.
  • Sick Episode: In one episode, he gets "triangle-sneeze-itis" which makes him sneeze while near triangles.]
  • Somethingitis: Gets "triangle-sneeze-itis" in one episode.
  • Something Person: Played Texas Telly In "The Golden Triangle of Destiny."
  • Story Arc: He spends several episodes with a broken arm.
  • With Friends Like These...: Was once sort-of-friends with Oscar, of all people. Three guesses how that usually went. Thankfully, he later found a much better friend in Baby Bear.
  • You Watch Too Much X: A big aspect of his character at first. While more physical activity is being encouraged nowadays, his obsession does still occasionally show up.

    Two-Headed Monster
Performed by: Peter Friedman and Richard Hunt (ca. 1978), Jerry Nelson and Richard Hunt (1978–1991), Jerry Nelson and David Rudman (1992–2000), Joey Mazzarino and David Rudman (2001–2015), Eric Jacobson and David Rudman (2016-present)

  • Art Imitates Life: The character was created when Jerry Nelson and Richard Hunt were goofing around on the set one day and told everyone they were a two-headed monster.
  • Big Eater: Implied. Both heads share a body (and therefore, a stomach), but eat separate meals.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: One of the Two-Headed Monster's heads has them. Verging on a Big Ol' Unibrow.
  • Drama king: Sometimes, he/they overact/s, for example, when one head cries because the other has more milk.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Usually appears in order to teach the merits of cooperation or sound out words phonetically.
  • Hulk Speak: More so than Cookie Monster.
  • It Runs in the Family: The late Richard Hunt's brother, Adam, voiced his brother's head of the Two-Headed Monster in David Rudman's place in the 1997 CD-ROM Sesame Street Search and Learn Adventures. His vocal similarity to Richard is remarkable.
  • Multiple Head Case: Exactly What It Says on the Tin in their (his?) name, right?
  • No Indoor Voice: The Two-Headed Monster's heads are very loud and rambunctious. Often, once they get going, the segment's voiceover has to literally shout to be heard over them.
  • No Name Given: Well, sort of. Was named "Horn and Hardart"note  in his first appearance in the late '70s; this name was never used again.
  • Pronoun Trouble: Occasionally, it's played as a gag as to whether the Two-Headed Monster should be referred to as a "him" or "them". If the Two-Headed Monster does have a preference, it's never come up.
  • Two Beings, One Body: No one is certain whether or not it's one being with two heads, or this trope; this was lampshaded in A Muppet Family Christmas by Bert and Ernie.
  • The Unintelligible: They are (or he is; it's hard to tell whether it's two people or one person) either speaking in Hulk Speak or gibberish.

Performed by: Fran Brill (1993-2014), Jennifer Barnhart (2015-present)

A monster who was added in the 1990's in order to add balance to a predominantly male cast. She is good friends with Elmo and Big Bird. They gave Zoe a tutu in 2002, so people wouldn't be confused on whether she's a boy or a girl, but it was removed in 2017, now wearing it occasionally.