Rizzo: And I am here for the food.
Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol as performed by The Muppets. Directed by Brian Henson in his directorial debut, it is the first feature length Muppet production since the deaths of original Muppet performers Jim Henson (Kermit, Rowlf, Waldorf, etc.) and Richard Hunt (Scooter, Beaker, Statler, etc.). Released in 1992, it's the first of several Muppet films that adapts a famous story with the Muppets acting both as themselves and as characters from them, as well as the first one to be produced by Disney. It stars Michael Caine as Scrooge. Oh, it's also a musical.
The film largely follows the story of the book with the typical Muppet humor thrown in. The film was praised for using specially created Muppets to portray the ghosts instead of established Muppets, in order to keep true to Dickens's descriptions. Remarkably, it's actually one of the most faithful Christmas Carol adaptations, with most of the dialogue intact and the omniscient narration quoted in large chunks by the character of Dickens himself — it's just that it's spoken by Muppets.
The film is also the first time Gonzo the Great and Rizzo the Rat appeared as a double act. Gonzo plays Charles Dickens and acts as the narrator, while Rizzo is, well... Rizzo.
The film was followed up with Muppet Treasure Island in 1996, which also had humans playing vital roles while the Muppets played supporting characters. In a holiday context, this was followed by NBC's It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie (effectively Muppet It's A Wonderful Life) in 2002, Kermit's narration of 1995's Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree notwithstanding.
A 4K remastered extended cut with the deleted song “When Love Is Gone” was released on Disney+ on December 9, 2022.
This film contains examples of:
- 0% Approval Rating: Scrooge in the beginning, of course. As a line in his intro song states, “even the vegetables don’t like him”.
- Accidental Misnaming: Mrs. Cratchit keeps mixing up her daughters Bettina and Belinda.
- Accidental Truth: The old women at the beginning mention that Scrooge is a person who is lonely and sad behind his outwardly cruel disposition, only to say shortly after that "Nah!". They turn out to be right anyway.
- Actor Allusion: Several, regarding the Muppet actors:
- Sam the Eagle, as a gaffe, says his Catchphrase "It is the American Way" when telling Young Ebenezer he is to join a business upon graduation. Ebenezer gives him a confused look and Gonzo has to hushedly inform Sam that they're in England, whereupon Sam amends his catchphrase to "It is the British way."
- Jacob and Robert Marley, during Fozziwig's Christmas party, has them sitting in a VIP balcony for some reason while heckling Fozziwig. Guess who the Marley brothers are portrayed by (and Fozziwig, for that matter)?
- Gonzo retains his attraction to chickens, introducing one he and Rizzo somehow pickup while being dragged through the woods as Louise, and getting Distracted by the Sexy when Camilla walks by at Fozziwig's.
- During "Thankful Heart", the ensemble passes a shop called Micklewhite's. Scrooge is played by Michael Caine, whose real name is Maurice Micklewhite.
- Another storefront bears the names "Statler and Waldorf", after the two old cranks who routinely heckle the Muppet performances (and who appear in the film as the Marley brothers).
- Another one says "Duncan & Kenworthy, Booksellers", after Duncan Kenworthy, the film's producer.
- Emily Cratchit calls Bob "Cratchie" in the same way that Miss Piggy calls Kermit "Kermie".
- Adaptational Badass: In contrast to the implications of the source material and the majority of adaptations since, Scrooge here is not a small, feeble, shrinking old man, but a tall, intimidating black shadow who at one point bodily hurls a man out of his office, making use of every inch of Michael Caine's 6'2" frame - without the stovepipe hat he wears in outdoor scenes - to make him seem positively monstrous compared to the tiny Muppets around him.
- Adaptational Dumbass: The Ghost of Christmas Present isn't stupid by any means, but he's rather absent-minded and sometimes forgets what he was talking about. This is because (an idea unique to this adaptation of the story) he specifically embodies the present moment, meaning that his mind is "filled with the here and now."
- Adaptational Intelligence: It's implied when Scrooge approaches the grave covered with snow, he has already deduced it's his own grave and is stalling for time because he really doesn't want it confirmed, while the novel and most other adaptations have him completely ignorant of this until he actually sees his name written on it.
- Adaptational Jerkass: Fred, Scrooge's nephew, is a shade nastier and more sarcastic in this adaptation than others. His speech about the importance of Christmas sounds genuinely angry, and during the game of Yes and No at his party, he seems to take delight in describing his uncle as a cruel, beastly animal. The source material and other adaptations tend to make the game more of a lighthearted joke, especially because afterward, Fred reassures the guests that he loves Scrooge anyway and raises a toast to him, with Ebenezer himself finding the description Actually Pretty Funny. Here, though, Fred just laughs at his own cleverness, and Scrooge is genuinely distraught at his nephew's callousness, begging Christmas Present to take him away from the party ("No more...I wish to see no more").
- Adaptational Job Change:
- In the novel, Scrooge's business was never made clear, but was implied to be anything from moneylending to accounting to being involved in stocks; here, he's explicitly said to be a moneylender and landlord.
- Fezziwig in the book was a wholesaler of unknown goods; here Fozziwig sells rubber chickens.
- Adaptational Nice Guy:
- The Ghost of Christmas Present is a lot warmer and friendlier than his often stern and impatient book counterpart, welcoming Scrooge with open arms and a cheerful joviality. He does get a couple moments where he's a little more snappish, like when he repeats Scrooge's earlier words about overpopulation back to him, but overall he's presented as the embodiment of Christmas cheer and goodwill; jolly and amicable to a fault. Since Ignorance and Want have been Adapted Out, the Ghost's parting words to Scrooge are not the scorching lecture of the book, but words of friendly encouragement for Scrooge to go forth. It's telling that even Scrooge warms up to this Ghost, to the point where he's visibly upset at their parting and begs for the Ghost not to leave him.
- Scrooge has a minor case in terms of his relationship with Fred at the beginning. In this version, he's not quite as hostile and nasty towards his nephew as he was in the original novel. For example, he refers to Fred more than once as his "dear nephew", and when Fred invites him to dinner, he doesn't say "I'd rather see myself in Hell first", he just asks Fred why he got married, indicating that he politely turned down his nephew's offer.
- A mild case with Mrs. Cratchit. In the novel, while she did begrudgingly agree to drink to Scrooge's health, she did so only after making it aggressively clear that she was doing so only to keep her husband happy and not out of any respect for Scrooge. In the movie, she at least tries to act like she's doing it out of sincere Christian charity.
- Adaptational Villainy:
- Scrooge gets quite a bit of this:
- Caine's Scrooge is given a level of Comedic Sociopathy in the first act — throwing a lendee out of his offices, literally, for asking for an extension on his loan with silence and a stone-cold expression, declaring his intent to serve eviction notices on Christmas Day (and when Bob points this out, snarking that he may gift-wrap them), loudly threatening to fire his bookkeepers for asking for coal for the fire and then chuckling at them performing an about-face to placate him, destroying the Christmas wreath his nephew leaves for him and pelting a child beggar (played by Bean Bunny) with it just for singing a Christmas carol outside his door and asking for a penny for it. It works in the context of the film's inclusion of Muppet-style jokes but is a departure from the book, where Scrooge is more about passive-aggressive grumpiness and misery rather than physical violence and outright meanness.
- Scrooge's extensive tragic backstory from the book also gets truncated down to just being lonely as a kid and then getting rejected once, making his bitterness at the world seem considerably less sympathetic. He's also shown to be already obsessed with money while working for Fozziwig, as he tries to tell him that the party is too expensive to host; in the novella, Scrooge loves working for Fezziwig, and his future self declares that he was the ideal boss.
- Scrooge's introductory "The Villain Sucks" Song describes him as a "master of the underhanded deed", implying he has a reputation for fraud or corruption. This is a major departure from the original novel, where even at his lowest points, Scrooge was always scrupulously honest and fulfilled his contracts to the letter.
- In the novel, Scrooge complained about giving Bob Cratchit the day off for Christmas, but still did it without arguing. Here, he tries to insist on giving Cratchit no more than a half-hour off at most, only relenting when Cratchit points out that there'll be no point keeping the business open on Christmas if all his business partners will be taking the day off.
- This goes both ways for the Marley brothers, a Decomposite Character of Jacob Marley portrayed by Statler and Waldorf.
- In the original novel, Marley was a harsh and uncaring miser who didn't realize the harm he had caused in life until he was punished for it in death, and he is sincerely remorseful for his past actions as he genuinely tries to help Scrooge avoid the same fate. Here, Statler and Waldorf's signature heckling humor makes the Marley brothers come off as significantly more malicious and mean-spirited, outright bragging about the horrible things they did in life and taking sadistic glee in taunting Scrooge about the punishments that await him.
- In most other Muppet projects, Statler and Waldorf are a pair of elderly hecklers that enjoy taking witty but harmless potshots at almost everything and everyone around them, then laughing about it. While their familiar personalities are in tact here, it feels far more unpleasant when they're laughing and joking about things like letting innocent orphans sit freezing in the snow.
- Scrooge gets quite a bit of this:
- Adapted Out:
- Scrooge's younger sister Fan (Fred's mother) from the original novel does not appear or even get mentioned here.
- In the novella after Marley's visit, Scrooge looks out the window, and sees many ghosts in the street, burdened by chains, lockboxes, and even a safe, all labouring under the weight and in misery, and recognises some of them as former business partners. For an adaptation that sticks mostly to the original story, this scene is cut (possibly out of a feeling that two Marleys, both in chains and with the lockboxes present in the musical number, still gets the idea across).
- The children Ignorance and Want—who Present shows Scrooge in the book—do not appear.
- The Cratchits have only four children (two girls, two boys) instead of the six (three girls, three boys) they have in the book.
- Adaptation Expansion:
- The role of Robert Marley was created solely to have both Statler and Waldorf in the role of Scrooge’s deceased partner.
- In the original story, and in most other adaptations, Scrooge grumbles about giving Cratchit a paid day off for Christmas, but relents. In this version, Cratchit argues that all their potential clients would be closed for the day as well, so being open on Christmas would just mean sitting around wasting coal, and it makes a classic Scrooge line ("It's a poor excuse to pick a man's pocket every December the 25th...") work even better. note
- Played for Laughs with the Fozziwig Christmas party scene. Exactly what Fezziwig does for a living is not described in the book (though one presumes he is a moneylender, since he taught Scrooge). Fozziwig makes rubber chickens. Which apparently involves actual chickens. The film also posits that young Ebeneezer's job at The Fozziwig Co. is as an accountant (who is a bit concerned about Fozziwig's spending habits).
- Adaptation Name Change:
- Mr. Fezziwig is named "Fozziwig" in this version. Clearly, they couldn't resist the pun.
- The eldest Cratchit daughter Martha gets swapped with Bettina, an identical twin for Belinda.
- Adaptation Personality Change:
- Mrs. Cratchit, of course, becomes a Violently Protective Wife, due to being played by Miss Piggy. Not that it's a very big change, given that, even in the original story, Mrs. Cratchit demonstrates the most hostility of anyone in her family towards her husband's miserly and unkind employer.
- Fred's wife becomes a bit more of a Genki Girl than she is in the novel.
- Christmas Present is much jollier and continually laughs. In part, this is due to the exclusion of Ignorance and Want. In part, it's simply a contrast to other adaptations (in which Christmas Present tends to be impatient with tutoring Scrooge about Christmas).
- Scrooge himself, although the movie applies a genre-typical dose of Comedic Sociopathy to him, is more emotional and less callous than in other versions of the story. Before his change of heart, he simply comes across as an angry, hostile old man who knows how to do little else but lash out in rage at the world, and after it he is more joyful and exuberant than those other iterations, happily joining the Muppets in song and embracing the joy he's found.
- Affectionate Gesture to the Nose:
- Rizzo gives Gonzo a kiss on the nose to defuse the situation when Gonzo is annoyed at him.
- During “Thankful Heart,” when Scrooge visits the Mouse Family, he affectionately boops the mouse mother on her nose before gifting her family a block of cheese.
- Affectionate Nickname: When Bob Cratchit (Kermit) comes home on Christmas Day, Mrs. Cratchit (Miss Piggy) calls him "Cratchie," just like Piggy calls Kermit "Kermie" in the Muppets' regular continuity.
- Agony of the Feet: Rizzo burns his feet when he falls down the Cratchits' chimney and lands on the goose that's being cooked for dinner.
- All Musicals Are Adaptations: A Muppet-ised musical adaptation of A Christmas Carol.
- Always Identical Twins: The Cratchits' daughters, Belinda and Bettina, are so indistinguishable that even their mother can't tell them apart.
- Ambiguous Gender: Christmas Past is portrayed as a child, voiced by a girl, and given nothing to indicate whether it's male or female.
- Anachronism Stew:
- Being a Muppet movie, finding anything accurate would need its own page.
- The film depicts Scrooge and his employees using quill pens, even though by 1843, they were practically extinct; steel pens had been the standard since the 1820s. One can only presume Scrooge was too stingy to buy them. (Possibly a case of The Coconut Effect, given that quill pens also show up in other adaptations.)
- The rats singing "Island in the Sun".
- Animal and Rowlf playing a drum kit and a modern piano at Fozziwig's party.
- During the "Marley and Marley" musical number, when Statler and Waldorf bring up their eviction of an entire orphanage, leaving the orphans to freeze outside, Waldorf adds, "With their little frostbitten teddy bears!" Teddy bears didn't exist until the 1900s. note
- In the beginning, Gonzo/Dickens and Rizzo are selling apples, including McIntosh apples. The McIntosh apple was was first sold in 1835, but by a farmer in what's now the Canadian province of Ontario. It's possible that some could have made their way to London by the 1840s, but unlikely given that they weren't sold commercially until the 1870s.
- A relatively minor example, as it doesn't occur in-story: during the "Scrooge" musical number, a harpsichord can be heard playing in the background. This is inaccurate for the time period, as the harpsichord was more popular in the Baroque era (c. 1600-1750), but the film takes place during the Romantic era of music (c. 1780-1910), by which time the piano note had practically replaced the harpsichord, outside of- especially- occasional appearances in opera performances, as the standard keyboard instrument.note
- Rizzo's jelly beans aren't as anachronistic as you may think. Jelly beans were first invented in 1861, so they did exist in Victorian times even if not in the 1840s specifically. Granted, they were probably not available outside the United States until sometime in the 20th century. Strictly speaking, Rizzo isn't part of the Victorian setting, anyway (he's from New Jersey).
- The caroler at whom Scrooge throws a wreath sings "Good King Wenceslas", the lyrics of which were written in 1853, 10 years after the story's 1843 setting. (A Christmas Carol (1999) has the same anachronism.)
- Rubber chickens don't seem to date to before the early 20th century, and probably couldn't have existed before vulcanised rubber was invented, which was roughly contemporary with the film's present, and therefore decades after Scrooge's apprenticeship at the rubber chicken factory.
- Scrooge tells his employees to "take the day off"; the term "day off", meaning "a day away from work", dates to 1883.
- And Starring:
- Animal Motifs:
- The quartet of businessmen discussing Scrooge's death are pigs, symbolizing gluttony.
- Old Joe is a spider.
- The Undertaker is a carrion bird.
- Animated Actors: As per usual for a Muppet production, but a notable instance is when Sam the Eagle forgets where his character is supposed to be from, and Gonzo, who until this point has acted just as a narrator unseen by the other characters save Rizzo, has to bring him aside to correct him on it, even directly calling him "Sam" rather than by any sort of character name (though the schoolmaster Sam plays isn't directly named in-story). Rizzo also points out that Gonzo is only pretending to be Charles Dickens.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: During the Cratchit family dinner:Mrs. Cratchit: I suppose that on the blessed day of Christmas, one must drink to the health of, uh, Mr. Scrooge, even though he is odious...
Mrs. Cratchit: ...stingy...
Mrs. Cratchit: ...wicked...
Mrs. Cratchit: ...and unfeeling...
Mrs. Cratchit ...and badly dressed!
- Big Eater:
- Rizzo, constantly searching for or noticing food during the narration.
- The gentlemen pigs seen a couple of times throughout the town always seem to steer their topic toward lunch, even after evidently just finishing breakfast.
- Big "SHUT UP!": Animal yells "Quiet!" to assist Fozziwig in getting everyone to quiet down for the office Christmas party.
- Big Word Shout: The Marley Brothers shout "Change!" as the screen fades to black at the end of their number.
- Book Ends:
- The film starts with a panning shot coming down from the sky over London and ends with a similar shot moving back up to it.
- At the start of the film, the inhabitants sing "Scrooge", a "The Villain Sucks" Song about how Scrooge is a horrible person that none of them like. In the end, Scrooge himself sings "With a Thankful Heart", a song about his change of heart and how he will work to improve the lives of his fellow man instead of making them miserable.
- In a rare moment, a particular scenario starts and ends in the same place, namely the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. In the film, Scrooge's encounter with the ghost starts and ends in the same cemetery. Scrooge even lampshades this: "Must we return to this place?"
- The Ghost of Christmas Present signals the start and end of his scenes with a similar line. When he first greets Scrooge, he says, "Come in, and know me better, man!" When he leaves him for the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, he says, "Go forth, and know him better, man!"
- Break Up Song: Belle sings the song "When Love Is Gone" as she breaks up with Ebenezer. note
- Butt-Monkey: Rizzo can barely go one scene without some type of misfortune befalling him, such as him being used by Gonzo to clean the dusty window, jumping into the snow when Gonzo is supposed to catch him, getting his tail set on fire, getting frozen, etc.
- As in the original story, The Ghost of Christmas Present throws "If they are to die, they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population" back in Scrooge's face.
- During the opening song, a mouse Muppet in the wall begs Scrooge for some cheese. In the "Thankful Heart" number, Scrooge gifts her a block of cheese.
- In Christmas Present, Emily Cratchit is introduced hunching over the stove because she's secretly eating chestnuts. In Christmas Yet to Come, she is in the same position, but crying instead.
- The Cameo: Various minor characters appear as extras in the crowd scenes:
- As well as the various extras who are recognisable Muppets characters, several are from Fraggle Rock. Sprocket appears briefly at the start and joins the crowd at the end. Murray, Mudwell, and Begoony play a family, peering through a window in the street scenes. Brool (in a dress, now performed by Louise Gold) and Wander McMooch are guests at Fred and Clara's party. Aretha (now performed by Karen Prell) sings during the songs "Scrooge" and "It Feels Like Christmas". The small Inkspot creatures can be seen in several places.
- The Snowman from A Muppet Family Christmas is seen briefly during the Ghost of Christmas Present's song, while the Turkey from the same film can be seen in the opening as a generic turkey.
- Canon Foreigner:
- The character of Jacob Marley is given a brother named Robert, strictly for the purposes of being able to put Statler and Waldorf in the roles (as well as a Stealth Pun). It works.
- Scrooge has several bookkeepers, rather than just Bob Cratchit as his only member of staff as in the book and other adaptations.
- Celebrity Paradox: An in-movie example. Gonzo insists he's Charles Dickens, and Rizzo insists otherwise. Eventually, Rizzo just rolls with it.
- Cerebus Syndrome: "Bless Us All" marks the part where the movie becomes incredibly dark and tragic.
- Character as Himself: "...and Rizzo the Rat as Himself."
- Chew-Out Fake-Out: When Scrooge arrives at the Cratchits' home on Christmas Day, he acts as though he forgot he gave Bob the day off and that he is about to fire him. Mrs. Cratchit starts to tell Scrooge off until Scrooge announces he is actually raising Bob's salary. Merry Christmas!
- Christmas Carolers:
- Bean Bunny comes to the counting house singing "Good King Wenceslas" and meekly asking for a penny, only to have Scrooge rudely slam the door in his face, then throw a wreath at him. Later, as evening falls, he's seen huddled in a pile of trash, pulling newspapers around him, cold and miserable and alone.
- As Christmas Present is showing him around, they pass a small choir composed of children. One of them accidentally hits another on the face.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Gonzo, of course, in this film narrating as Charles Dickens.
- Comically Missing the Point:Gonzo: I know the story of A Christmas Carol like the back of my hand!
Rizzo: Prove it!
Gonzo: All right. [averts his eyes and holds his hand out] Um, there's a little mole on my thumb and a scar on my wrist from when I fell off my bicycle—
Rizzo: [shaking his head] No, no, no, don't tell us your hand, tell us the story!
- Later in the film Gonzo annoyingly tells Rizzo he is "such an idiot." Rizzo, who is oblivious he could have just fit through the bars in the first place instead of climbing the fence and jumping from the top, has no idea why Gonzo calls him that.
- The Comically Serious: Invoked. In order to emphasise a strong contrast between himself and his Muppet co-stars, Michael Caine plays the lead role of Ebenzer Scrooge completely straight with little to no exaggerated or comedic moments. Caine himself has even said that he approached the role as if he was acting opposite members of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
- Composite Character: The caroling boy and turkey boy from the novella are the same person due to both being played by Bean Bunny.
- Cover Version: Martina McBride's rendition of "When Love Is Gone" is heard in the ending credits.
- Dark Is Not Evil: As with all adaptations of A Christmas Carol, The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. It takes the form of a huge, terrifying grim reaper, but is just as benevolent as the other spirits.
- Darker and Edgier: The movie follows the book very closely, and can be seen as very dark for a Muppet movie, portraying an extremely depressed old man's miserable life and journey of self-reflection through the medium of cute puppets. The movie deals with despair, loneliness in old age, family strife, mortality, the death of a child, and implicitly Hell itself, and depicts the most genuinely horrifying elements of the source material almost entirely straight-faced: the horrific Jacob Marley, now a Decomposite Character played by an undead Statler and Waldorf, and the grim, implacable Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, whose mere presence darkens the movie to such a degree that he scares off Gonzo and Rizzo. More than anything, though, the movie is palpably melancholy, with a deep sense of pathos and sadness following just behind even its brightest, most comedic moments, and for good reason: this was the first Muppets production made after the passings of Jim Henson and Richard Hunt, making the movie's commentaries about death all the more poignant.
- Decomposite Character: Jacob Marley is split into two Marley brothers, since Statler and Waldorf both fit the role of a cruel, greedy curmudgeon like a glove, and you simply can't have one without the other. Though like in the book, only Jacob (Statler) appears as Scrooge's door knocker; Waldorf doesn't appear as Robert until the visitation.
- Dedication: The film is dedicated to Jim Henson and Richard Hunt, both of whom died shortly before production.
- Deadpan Snarker:
- Rizzo, as is his wont. Much of the verbal humor comes from his snarky comments and Gonzo's subsequent reactions.
- All the Muppets give snarky comments about Scrooge during his song of the same name such as "If they give a prize for being mean, the winner would be him," and "And all the hard work is paying off because Scrooge is getting worse."
- Scrooge himself gets a few in, naturally with a large dose of Black Comedy.Scrooge: Let us deal with the eviction notices for tomorrow.
Cratchit: But sir, tomorrow is Christmas!
Scrooge: Very well. You may giftwrap them.
- Fred has a few good lines as well, mostly at his uncle's expense.Scrooge: I do not make merry at Christmas-
Fred: That is true.
Scrooge: And I cannot afford to make idle people merry.
Fred: That is certainly not true.
Scrooge: [Annoyed] Don't you have other things to do this afternoon, my dear nephew?
- Death Glare: The first time Scrooge's face is revealed, he's coolly glaring at everyone singing, and they quickly scatter.
- Demoted to Extra: While most of the characters Jim Henson and Richard Hunt once performed are given new puppeteers and voices here, Rowlf, Dr. Teeth, and Janice are reduced to non-speaking cameos and Scooter is completely absent.
- Department of Redundancy Department: In "Marley and Marley", the brothers refer to themselves as "avarice and greed," which are the same thing.
- Disneyfication: Subverted. While this starts out being lighthearted, when Scrooge appears, it's clear it's not really pulling that many punches. Many Dickens fans believe this to be one of the better adaptations, mostly due to the inclusion of Gonzo as Dickens himself, which amounts to Gonzo providing narration straight out of the book. Much of the dialogue in the movie (as well as some of the lyrics) is simply lifted directly from the book as well, albeit with the standard Muppet humor added here and there.
- Drone of Dread: The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is introduced with a set of notes in A-minor on the tuba and cello.
- Dude, Not Funny!: Sort of with Jacob and Robert Marley. Both laugh after mentioning the time they evicted orphans but suddenly groan, implying they just realised they have both forgotten that was one of the reasons they are fettered.
- Epic Tracking Shot: The introductory shot of London.
- Establishing Character Moment: The first time we see Scrooge, he's back-lit so all we see is an ominous silhouette, the sinister music starts up, and Rizzo shivers and asks "Say, is it getting cold around here?"
- Evil Is Bigger: Scrooge is a major asshole (at first) and much bigger than most of the Muppets, making him even more intimidating.
- Face Framed in Shadow: Throughout "Scrooge", Scrooge is mainly shown in long shots and in darkness, with his face never clearly visible until the end of the song.
- Failed a Spot Check: Rizzo is panicking about climbing up a gate and then having to jump down from the top of the gate. After a crash landing on the ground, Rizzo... squeezes through the bars to get back to the other side to retrieve jellybeans, meaning he'd never really needed to climb the gate in the first place!Gonzo: You are such an idiot.
- Fake Food: At Fred's Christmas party, Rizzo helps himself to the fruit on the table. When Gonzo tells him its made of wax, he just comments he was wondering about the texture.
- Feet-First Introduction: Scrooge might has the longest example possible, he comes around a corner and you never see his face until the end of "The Villain Sucks" Song.
- First-Step Fixation: Gonzo and Rizzo have to climb a tall iron fence to get to where they can continue narrating the story, only for Rizzo to turn out to be afraid of heights: Gonzo has to coax him to jump. After the ensuing pratfall, Rizzo realizes he forgot his bag of jelly beans on the other side of the fence... and squeezes back through the bars. Lampshaded by a disbelieving Gonzo:Gonzo: You can fit through those bars?Rizzo: Yeah.Gonzo: (sotto voce) You are such an idiot...
- Flanderization: Somewhat on Scrooge, who is portrayed as having been a stodgy workaholic since childhood. This is possibly because his sister was cut out of the story, and he's still shown as being a lonely boy.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: Attentive viewers will notice that the amount of chains wrapped around the Marley brothers' necks and bodies actually gradually increases throughout the song. By the end, they're both almost completely wrapped up, and Statler is visibly choking on them and the song actually stops briefly so that Statler can free himself enough to speak.
- Friendless Background: With Fan being left out, this is Scrooge's backstory in his childhood. He does mention having a best friend called Edmund though.
- Fun Personified: The Ghost of Christmas Present is disarmingly nice to Scrooge and has a bad memory because he's always living in the present. This ghost is actually able to break through Scrooge's barriers and Scrooge becomes increasingly fond of him since The Ghost of Christmas Present is assigned the role of showing Scrooge the good side of Christmas and the well-being of others.
- Gender Equals Breed: All of Kermit and Piggy's children are frog boys and pig girls. (This is one of the films which led to the trope's creation.)
- Ghost Song: "Marley and Marley", sung by the Marley brothers' ghosts.
- Gift Shake: In the ending, when Scrooge delivers gifts to his elderly former mentors, Fozziwig shakes his while holding it to his hearing horn so that he can hear it properly.
- The Glomp: Scrooge when visiting Fred and Clara. He hands them presents, hugs them both, and then walks out.
- Good Is Not Nice: Zigzagged with the Ghosts of Christmas—they're helping Scrooge change his ways, but while Christmas Present is a genuinely nice guy (albeit with a few moments of using Scrooge's own words against him), the other two use Brutal Honesty and Tough Love to get their message across. Christmas Yet to Come is mute and unyielding, while the Ghost of Christmas Past forces Scrooge to watch the unhappiest moments of his youth, and when Scrooge tearfully begs her to stop...Scrooge: Spirit, I wish to see no more. Why do you delight in tormenting me?Christmas Past: I told you—these are the shadows of things that have been. That they are what they are, do not blame me.
- Go Out with a Smile: The Ghost of Christmas Present begins to vanish into nothingness, much to the devastation of Scrooge who pleads him to stay. The Ghost though remains jolly and upbeat right to the very last bitter second, perhaps offering some hopeful optimism to Scrooge as the two are forced to part ways.
- Greek Chorus: Gonzo and Rizzo, who often provides commentary not only on the story events but on the narration itself.Gonzo: The Marleys were dead, to begin with.
Rizzo: Uh, wha— Pardon me?!
Gonzo: That's how the story begins, Rizzo: "The Marleys were dead, to begin with"!
Gonzo: "As dead as a doornail."
Rizzo: It's a good beginning. It's creepy and kinda — hoo hoo! — spooky.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Caine's Scrooge manifests his anger and bitterness less as ruthless callousness - the way, for instance, George C. Scott manifested it - but more as snarling, drop-of-a-hat, mood-swinging rage, as though he's permanently lashing out instead of coldly rejecting humanity.
- Happily Married: Scrooge's nephew Fred and his wife Clara, as well as the Cratchits.
- Harmless Freezing: Rizzo briefly becomes a ratcicle after being thrown into a bucket of ice water to put out a fire on his clothes.
- Harsher in Hindsight: An intentional in-universe example. The choir of elderly lady Muppets saying that Scrooge must be lonely and sad, and that there must be a good man hidden behind his cold exterior, then changing their minds when he ignores them, is Played for Laughs. Then we discover his backstory, showing they were right.
- Hated by All: "The Villain Sucks" Song at the beginning showcases how widely despised Scrooge is, with upper and lower class people both singing their dislike of him.
- Heel–Face Turn: Scrooge at the end, just like in the book.
- Hitler Cam: Scrooge's introductory shot, appropriately.
- "I Am" Song: "Marley and Marley" is one of these. If you want to get technical, call it a "We Were Song."
- If You Can Read This:
- A sign in London says "Statler and Waldorf".
- Another sign says "Micklewhite's" — Michael Caine's birth name.
- Incurable Cough of Death: An interesting addition to the story, Tiny Tim has a persistent cough during his scenes, undercutting every happy moment with a sense of concern from the Cratchits. His coughing is also what prompts Scrooge to ask if he'll live.
- Inspirationally Disadvantaged: In-universe. When seeing Tiny Tim for the first time, Scrooge says "a remarkable child," after he overhears that the boy hoped his disability reminded the people in church of the lame beggars that Jesus healed.
- Insult to Rocks: After the "More of gravy than of grave" line, the Marley brothers tell Scrooge to "leave comedy to the bears, Ebenezer." Considering that there's probably no one whose comedy they hate more than Fozzie, that's quite an insult on their part.
- Interactive Narrator: Gonzo, although Rizzo doesn't quite buy it... until Gonzo starts getting everything right.Rizzo: (buried upside down in the snow after Fred comes knocking) You're very good at that, "Mr. Dickens"!
- That said, most of the time Gonzo and Rizzo are completely unacknowledged by the characters in the story, save for one moment when Gonzo has to pull Sam the Eagle aside in a brief moment where the two "break character" to correct him on something — and one moment at the very end of the movie, where a joyful Scrooge wishes the two a merry Christmas.
- There's also the bit where Gonzo is too slow to follow Scrooge into his house and gets hit in the face by his front door. He ends up having to narrate the next part from Scrooge's front step (with an audibly mashed nose).
- Interspecies Romance: Implied by the very blended Cratchit family, headed by Bob (Kermit) and Emily (Miss Piggy).
- Ironic Echo: As in the book, when told by the charity workers that many would rather die than go to prisons or workhouses for aid, Scrooge responds that then they should die and decrease the surplus population. Later, when told Tiny Tim will die without assistance, the Ghost of Christmas Present uses this against him.Ghost of Christmas Present: But then if he's going to die, then he'd better do it, and decrease the surplus population.
Scrooge: [Mortified] Oh, Spirit...
- I Take Offense to That Last One: A variation where the parties taking offense aren't the one being insulted: Emily Cratchit grudgingly assents to her husband's wish to toast Scrooge, with their daughters Belinda and Bettina nodding along to her insults until she gets to the last one.Emily Cratchit: Well. I suppose that on the blessed day of Christmas, one must drink to the health of Mr. Scrooge. Even though he is odious...
Belinda and Bettina: Mm-hm.
Belinda and Bettina: Mm-hm.
Belinda and Bettina: Mm-hm.
Emily: ...and unfeeling...
Belinda and Bettina: Mm-hm.
Emily: ...and badly dressed!
Belinda and Bettina: (Gasp!)
- It's Quiet… Too Quiet: Scrooge's first hint of the Crachits' Bad Future is that there are no sounds of joy coming from their home like there was in Christmas Present.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: In "Scrooge", some Muppets begging for alms lampshade the possibility that Scrooge is merely putting up a nasty facade... and abruptly dismiss the idea when he passes without giving them anything. Double Subverted when, ironically, they are proven right by Scrooge’s Heel–Face Turn by the end.He must be so lonely, he must be so sad,
he goes to extremes to convince us he's bad!
He's really a victim of fear and of pride,
look close and there must be a sweet man inside...
(Scrooge pauses next to them, then keeps going without a word.)
- Knight of Cerebus: The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. Not only does he look more than a little like the Grim Reaper, Gonzo and Rizzo promptly hightail it out of the movie until Scrooge wakes back up.
- Lame Pun Reaction: The Marleys treat Scrooge's "more gravy than grave" line a bad pun.Leave comedy to the bears, Ebeneezer!
- Large and in Charge:
- Scrooge, being human, towers over his less-than-three-foot-tall underlings, and the entire Muppet cast. Used to good effect in the opening number, where he wades through a sea of knee-high Muppets singing about how oppressive he is.
- The "size equals power" vibe is done to subtly brilliant effect in "Marley and Marley". Although Statler and Waldorf aren't much taller than most of the others, this is a rare portrayal of the two where they're standing at their full heights rather than sitting down in the balcony box. Additionally, they're shot mostly in closeups, making them look larger and whenever they're in the frame with Scrooge, they're floating slightly above him, looking down, which quite effectively communicates how much they intimidate him.
- Size is used to make a point with the three ghosts, with each one progressively increasing in size and strength as they also increase in power. Christmas Past is a child-sized, ethereal fairy-like creature, Christmas Present is a human-sized, Santa Claus-like Muppet portrayed by a person in a costume, and Christmas Future is a horrifying eight-foot-tall Grim Reaper.
- Large Ham:
- The Ghost of Christmas Present.
- Scrooge gets some moments of this himself, especially when screaming at the rat bookkeepers about firing them all.
- Last Disrespects: While not actually showing the funeral, three pigs say they'll only go to Scrooge's funeral "if lunch is provided". (Incidentally, this is straight out of the book.)
- Lighter and Softer: This version of Ghost of Christmas Present is kinder than the book version or those from other adaptations. This movie also Adapted Out the children Ignorance and Want, who appear with the Ghost of Christmas Present right before he leaves Scrooge.
- Made Myself Sad: Scrooge is visited by the Marley brothers, a.k.a. Statler and Waldorf. They openly admit that, in life, they were selfish and heartless bankers, and they even reminisce about evicting an entire orphanage in the middle of winter. This makes them break out into their trademark laugh, which almost immediately degenerates into a shudder, and they move on to warn Scrooge to repent from the mistakes they made.
- Masculine, Feminine, Androgyne Trio: The Ghosts of Christmas. The Ghost of Christmas Past appears as a delicate young girl (feminine), the Ghost of Christmas Present as a large bearded man (masculine), and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come as a mysterious figure hidden beneath a hood (androgyne).
- Massive Numbered Siblings:
- When Gonzo asks Rizzo if he was ever a lonely child, Rizzo replies, "I had 1,274 brothers and sisters!"
- The Ghost of Christmas Present had more than 1,800 brothers, each of them representing a year of Christmas.
- Match Cut:
- The movie uses several of these very well to put Scrooge back in his room following a ghost visit; probably the most famous one is his sitting on the bridge following the "When Love Is Gone" sequence, in which he sits on the railing of the small bridge, and the entire scene dissolves back to his bedchamber, with Scrooge sitting on his bed, having seemingly not moved an inch, reinforcing the book's question of just how real it all is.
- It's used a second time during the Christmas Yet to Come sequence, where Scrooge grabs the ghost's robe and buries his face in it, only to fall into his bed clutching his bed's curtains.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: During the song "It feels Like Christmas", it is ambiguous whether the characters can really see the Ghost of Christmas Present, particularly as he and Scrooge are supposed to be invisible. In the final bridge, Christmas Present is standing the middle of a town square loudly singing, with everyone gathered around him (and some Muppets looking directly at him). Likewise at the end of the film, we hear the voice of the same spirit despite the fact he supposedly "died."
- Medium Awareness: Gonzo and Rizzo, of course, but at one point, Gonzo has to step out of his narrator's role to remind Sam the Eagle that he's not American, but British in this production.
- Midword Rhyme: "Marley and Marley" rhymes "greed" with "needy", "black" with "shackles", and in a verse cut from the film, "part" with "heartless". Since it happens at the same point in every verse, it was probably done to be stylish.
- Mood-Swinger: An iconic Scrooge trait pulled off to perfection by Michael Caine.Scrooge: [talking to the Marley brother ghosts in an almost pleading tone] Please, Jacob, Robert, don't criticize me... [switches to a vindictive snarl mid-sentence while pointing at them angrily] You were always criticizing me!
- Mood Whiplash: Big time, much like the novella it's based on. The movie very faithfully follows the elements of the original story that are much Darker and Edgier than the usual Muppet fare.
- Monochrome Apparition: Marley and Marley are pale blue.
- Morality Pet: Though they don't meet until the end of the film, Tiny Tim more or less becomes this for Scrooge when The Ghost of Christmas Present shows Scrooge the Cratchit house on Christmas day. Scrooge is moved by Tim's heart and positive attitude even in the face of an illness that could end up killing him. Later on, when the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come shows what will happen to Tim if Scrooge doesn't change, he can only utter this line:Scrooge: Not Tiny Tim...
- Muppet: Logically, the majority of the characters here are Muppets.
- My God, What Have I Done?:
- During "Marley and Marley", the brothers recount an event where they evicted an orphanage and saw all the kids standing in the freezing cold. They initially laugh at the memory before shuddering at their cruel actions.
- There's a moment with present-Scrooge during "When Love Is Gone" where he seems to regret pursuing money over marrying Belle.
- The realization that his underpaying Bob led to Tiny Tim's death (because he couldn't afford the medicine to cure the boy's illness) was one of the last points in Scrooge's Heel–Face Turn.
- Named by the Adaptation:
- Mrs. Cratchit gets Emily as a first name for this film.
- Fred's unnamed wife is Clara here.
- Never Say "Die": Averted all over the place, as is Muppet tradition, particularly in the Christmas Yet to Come scenes. At the end though, Gonzo says, "Tiny Tim... who did NOT die..."
- Never Trust a Trailer:
- In general, part of the reason for the movie's initially poor run was this phenomenon; the trailers were cut like typical kid's movie/"Muppet movie" trailers of the time, and did an absolutely rotten job of conveying elements like the book-accurate dialogue, the elaborate and gorgeous set design, the very somber middle of the film, and the excellent music, all of which would later define the movie in the zeitgeist and make it far more popular. This is one such example. (Note that at one point it opts to use music from Beetlejuice, of all movies, instead of the film's score.)
- Some trailers and promos that feature Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Past flying would be followed by a clip of Bob (Kermit) seeing a shooting star, implying he saw his boss flying in the sky. In the actual film as shot, cut, and released, the "Bob looks up at the sky" sequence is the coda to Bob's own "One More Sleep Till Christmas" musical number.
- No Fourth Wall: Characters will routinely drop character and speak directly to the viewer during the film. Of course, this is only standard procedure for The Muppets (and it's usually just Gonzo and Rizzo doing this).
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Despite being ostensibly English, the established Muppet characters speak with their normal American accents (a fact Lampshaded when Eagle Sam has to be corrected on his Catchphrase referencing "the American Way"). Characters played by normal humans, as well as Muppets created specifically for the production, have appropriate English accents.
- Offhand Backhand:
- One of the members of the boys' choir that is performing at the start of "It Feels Like Christmas" backhands the boy next to him at the end of the line, knocking him senseless.
- In one of the Hilarious Outtakes from "It Feels Like Christmas", the Ghost of Christmas Present accidentally backhands Michael Caine in the face.
- Oh, Crap!:
- Bean Bunny is standing on Scrooge's doorstep singing a carol, but when he looks up and sees who's standing in the doorway he trails off.
- Scrooge when Jacob Marley transforms into a doorknob and yells his name, followed by Gonzo and Rizzo when they're thrown off their carriage.
- Scrooge again when he sees the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come appear before him.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
- You know the story has reached one of its biggest tearjerkers (Tiny Tim's death in the Future Christmas) when Miss Piggy, who has maintained her sassy personality in the story, is actually crying.
- Given that Gonzo is such a Fearless Fool, you know that things are really going to take a dark turn when he and Rizzo see the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come and Gonzo agrees with Rizzo that they should leave Scrooge on his own until the scary part has finished!
- Otherworldly and Sexually Ambiguous: This movie's version of the Ghost of Christmas Past, much like the original story. It's... possibly a girl. We think. Maybe. At the very least, it's voiced by a woman. As the spiritual manifestation of a concept, it may not really have a gender at all.
- Parental Bonus: Loads (it is a Muppet movie, after all), such as the Stealth Pun below, or the following exchange:Rizzo: This is scary stuff! Shouldn't we be worried about the kids in the audience?
Gonzo: It's OK; this is culture!
- Perplexing Plurals: The mice in "Scrooge":Mice: It's even worse for mouses!
(two verses later)
Mice: No cheeses for us meeces!
- Plucky Comic Relief: Rizzo the Rat, as a Fourth-Wall Observer.
- Policeman Dog: The policeman seen in the present-day London segments is played by a dog Muppet resembling a generic hound.
- Pop-Star Composer: As with The Muppet Movie, Paul Williams wrote the film's songs.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Prior to his redemption, Scrooge begrudgingly agrees to give his employees Christmas Day off because Bob Cratchit points out that there won't be any point in them coming to work if all their business partners are shut down.
- Red Live Lobster: A group of Muppet lobsters are visible from time to time among the background characters. They are bright red, like a cooked lobster, rather than being the proper color for a live lobster.
- Related in the Adaptation: In the novel, Mrs. Fezziwig is Fezziwig's wife. Here, she's replaced by Fozziwig's mother, played by Emily Bear from A Muppet Family Christmas.
- Rule of Symbolism: The three Ghosts of Christmas represent three individual ages, which in turn reflect the part of Scrooge's life they're exploring. Christmas Past is a child, Christmas Present is a middle-aged man (who gradually grows older over the course of the day), and Christmas Yet to Come is a walking corpse.
- When Sam lectures Ebenezer, he tells him that if he builds his life on his advice, it will be "as solid as this very building." Immediately after he says this, the shelf on which Gonzo and Rizzo sit breaks, setting the tone for the rest of Scrooge's life.
- Running Gag: Gonzo and Rizzo always seem to be in front of a window that needs opening...
- Say My Name: Jacob yells, "Scrooge!" when his face appears on the door knocker, shocking Scrooge. Gonzo and Rizzo's horse gets spooked also and they're thrown off the carriage.
- Scare 'Em Straight: From the soundtrack version of "Marley and Marley", as the brothers announce their departure:The news we've shared has got you scared
We're glad that we got through
So make amends and make some friends
The future's up to you!
- Shoo Out the Clowns: Gonzo and Rizzo vanish from the scene after the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come shows up, not returning until after Scrooge wakes up in his own bed and the story is almost over. It's both lampshaded and justified, in that they point out that they're leaving because they're scared of the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. As this is the point where Cerebus Syndrome kicks in for the original and all adaptations of the story, Gonzo's address to the audience is probably included so the kiddies won't be too scared.Gonzo: You're on your own folks. We'll meet you at the finale.
- Shout-Out: To another Dickens novel Oliver Twist.Mouse: Please, Sir, I want some cheese.
- Shown Their Work: As the Yet Another Christmas Carol page points out, this film uses dialogue from the original novel, which is more than most A Christmas Carol adaptations can say. The ghosts are also closer to Dickens' descriptions; the choice not to use established Muppets for the ghosts vastly improves the film.
- Of note is the fact that while the Ghosts of Christmas Present and Christmas Yet to Come are Muppets, strictly speaking, they were custom-built Muppets just for this film (although Christmas Present would go on to be used in other projects under different names) and are some of the largest Muppets ever built. Christmas Present is about as tall as Scrooge (usually), and Christmas Yet to Come is a towering eight feet tall. Christmas Past, meanwhile, is more of a CGI-esque effect to cleave closer to the book's strange, ethereal description of the being, and looks more like the elfin protagonists from The Dark Crystal.
- The songs have lyrics lifted out of Dickens, too. The phrase "captive, bound, and double-ironed" shows up in "Marley and Marley", which is something Jacob Marley says in the book.
- The costuming work is also surprisingly accurate to the 1840s, and could put many serious historical dramas to shame... even the Muppet characters wearing period appropriate styles with layers and bright colored fabric.
- The Singing Mute: Listen closely during "With A Thankful Heart" at the end of the movie and you can hear that Beaker's voice is audible...but, true to form, you can hear that he is simply going "meep!" to the tune of the song.
- Sizeshifter: The Ghost of Christmas Present initially appears as a giant who has to crane his head to fit into Scrooge's spacious rooms... while sitting down. When it comes time for them to leave the house, he shrinks to a more human-like frame. Later on during "It Feels Like Christmas", he visits the mouse family and shrinks himself down to their size.
- Spared by the Adaptation: It's implied in the novel that Fezziwig has since passed on since Scrooge worked for him, as Scrooge remarks, "It's Fezziwig alive again," on being shown the memory of him. In this version, an elder Fezziwig, or Fozziwig as he's referred to here, is shown to be still alive in the present when Scrooge visits him during the ending.
- Stealth Pun:
- They split the role of Jacob Marley in two so both Statler and Waldorf could play it. So now we have Robert Marley (think about it, mon).
- When they arrive at Scrooge's school, there is a shelf of busts of famous writers, Aristotle, Dante, Moliere, Shakespeare, all in Muppet form. Then we see Gonzo sitting in an empty spot, the Muppet form of Charles Dickens.
- In the book, but not the movie, they have Old Joe tell Mrs. Dilber, the laundress, and the mortician to "Come into his parlor". In the film, they have Old Joe as a spider and Mrs. Dilber as a fly.
- Straight Man and Wise Guy: Gonzo and Rizzo respectively. Yes, Gonzo of all people ends up being the sane one who frequently gets exasperated by the latter's antics.Gonzo: You are such an idiot.
- Suddenly Shouting: Scrooge does this twice to his bookkeepers at the beginning. Interestingly, they are the only ones that he yells at in the whole movie.
- When his bookkeepers ask if they can put some more coal into the stove:"How would the bookkeepers like to be suddenly... UNEMPLOYED?!"note
- And again when his bookkeepers applaud Fred for his speech about Christmas:"And how does one celebrate Christmas ON THE UNEMPLOYMENT LINE?!"
- When his bookkeepers ask if they can put some more coal into the stove:
- Swirly Energy Thingy: Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come walk through a swirly gray time loop/tunnel to go into the future.
- Tempting Fate:Rizzo: [on a window ledge] Are you sure it's okay to be up here?
Gonzo: Scrooge is saved! What could happen?
[Scrooge flings open the window, throwing them to the ground]
- Theme Twin Naming: Belinda and Bettina.
- This Is Gonna Suck: Rizzo, landing in the past.
- Those Two Guys:
- Too Kinky to Torture: Gonzo's weird tendencies are given a nod when Rizzo takes a tumble into the Cratchit household.Rizzo: [blowing on his feet] I fell down a chimney and landed on a flaming hot goose!
Gonzo: [dejected] You have all the fun!
- Tranquil Fury: Scrooge in the first part of the film, especially in his Establishing Character Moment with Mr. Applegate. Scrooge doesn't say a word as Mr. Applegate pleads for mercy, he just picks him up and tosses him out the door.Mr. Applegate: Thank you for not shouting at me.
- Triumphant Reprise: "When Love Is Gone" midway through becomes "The Love We Found" at the end.
- Truer to the Text: Many other adaptations depict Scrooge's grave turning into a fiery inferno, and Scrooge either falls or is pushed into it by the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come. In this version, Scrooge simply breaks down in tears at the Spirit's feet as he makes his promise, then suddenly finds himself transported back to his bedroom in the present day, more closely matching the scene as described in the original book.Holding up his hands in a last prayer to have his fate aye reversed, he saw an alteration in the Phantom's hood and dress. It shrunk, collapsed, and dwindled down into a bedpost.
- Uncanny Valley: The Ghost of Christmas Past. The effect of a human-like puppet operated in a water tank and added in via green-screen is eerie. Scrooge is both entranced and scared since she is meant to be a physical representation of his past and innocence.
- Undisclosed Funds: When the reformed Scrooge decides to make a donation to the charity Bunsen & Beaker are collecting for, he whispers the amount in their ears. Their reactions show that it's a large amount, but the potential issues of specifying a number are avoided.Bunsen: That much???
Scrooge: And not a penny less. A great many back payments are included.
- Villain Song: "Marley & Marley" comes the closest to this, since it's sung by "bad" characters, but it's done as a warning to Scrooge to change his ways.
- "The Villain Sucks" Song: "Scrooge," where all of the townsfolk of London sing about how heartless Scrooge is. "Marley & Marley" as well, even though it is the villainous Marley brothers who are singing it.
- Violently Protective Girlfriend: Well, wife in this instance, but of course Mrs. Cratchit, by virtue of being played by Miss Piggy. When it sounds like Scrooge is going to fire her husband, Emily jumps in and rears her fist back, ready to defend Bob.
- Walking Wasteland: In the first part of the film, Scrooge seems to make the environment colder wherever he goes.
- Wasn't That Fun?: After hitching a ride on the Spirit of Christmas Past and getting dragged through an entire forest, Gonzo almost immediately says that he'd love to go through that again. Naturally, Rizzo disagrees.
- We Are as Mayflies: The Ghost of Christmas Present is born, lives, ages, and (it's implied) passes away in twenty-four hours.note
- Weirdness Censor: How visible Gonzo and Rizzo are varies. Scrooge doesn't notice them when Christmas Past opens his window (nor does he feel the grappling hook Gonzo attaches to his robe), but does see them to wish them "Merry Christmas" at the end.
- What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: When Scrooge is redeemed, Gonzo and Rizzo think they're off the hook as slapstick victims. It happens one last time as they are knocked off Scrooge's windowsill.
- When He Smiles: When Scrooge's cold, angry mask falls at the end of the movie, and he starts genuinely smiling, one finally starts to see what Belle saw in him, and the man looks positively boyish.
- Why Are We Whispering?: Rizzo the Rat asks this, word for word. Gonzo explains it's for dramatic emphasis.
- Won't Take "Yes" for an Answer: After having his change of heart, Scrooge decides to prank Bob Cratchit by pretending to be angry that Bob didn't come to work on Christmas Day. Emily Cratchit angrily comes to her husband's defense, and takes a few seconds to notice when Scrooge breaks character and says he's going to reward Bob for his faithful service:Scrooge: And therefore, I intend to raise your salary!
Emily: And therefore, I'm gonna raise you RIGHT off the pavement and... pardon?
- Yet Another Christmas Carol: Behind the scenes, director Brian Henson was originally opposed about doing another Christmas Carol... but once they worked out that Scrooge and the Ghosts would not be played by regular Muppets, they decided to move forward.
- You Just Told Me: How Scrooge knows the Ghost of Christmas Present took him to the Cratchits'.Scrooge: You're a little absent-minded, spirit.
Ghost of Christmas Present: No, I'm a LARGE absent-minded spirit!
- Rizzo: Wow, what a great story, Mr. Dickens!Gonzo: Oh, thanks. You think that's good, you should read the book.