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Headscratchers / Muppet Babies (1984)
aka: Muppet Babies

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Why is Baby Kermit a frog?
He should be a tadpole at that age. Is he, like, actually much older than the others or something?
  • Well, you couldn't very well do the show with him like, swimming around in a tank in the nursery while all the other Muppet Babies are out walking around. It definitely wouldn't be very cute (hey, there's a trope idea: Rule Of Cute).
  • Maybe he's just out of the tadpole stage. His nephew Robin is similarly small and young and surprisingly non-tadpole.
    • Robin was absolutely a tadpole in "Muppet Babies", which gets awkward.
  • Robin is young but a frog on The Muppet Show, and the younger Robin who appears in one episode of Muppet Babies is a tadpole. Kermit is past the tadpole stage; nothing awkward about it other than anthropomorphizing the rate of his aging, which is nothing new.
    • It is actually a good metaphor for the relatively immobile infant stage versus the more active toddler stage.
  • It would seem that the main cast is closer to toddler/preschool age (note their ability to speak and be understood by adults - "Yes, Nanny"), while Robin was in fact an infant. A frog just out of the tadpole stage is still pretty small and has a lot of growing to do.
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  • One thing about Robin: he has arms but no legs. Real tadpoles grow back legs first.
What is Animal's deal?
  • Animal seems to really have it in for Gonzo. Almost every go-bye-bye stinger involves Animal pulling some prank to make Gonzo suffer (sending him flying into the distance, trapping him in a birdcage, etc.) What is his problem!
    • Gonzo volunteered. He was a thrill-seeking daredevil even as a child. Doesn't mean he wasn't scared of it, though.
    • Gonzo is probably Animal’s best friend out of all the babies. In the main episode plots, they often hang out and have little adventures together, and in “Faster Than a Speeding Weirdo” Animal says he wants to be like Gonzo. His “Go bye-bye!” pranks are probably like a little brother messing with his big brother - he does it because they’re close enough that he knows he can get away with it.
When is this set? I mean, it features references to movies and TV shows that weren't out when The Muppet Show was broadcast, let alone when the characters were kids.
  • The entire show is based on a fantasy/dream sequence of Miss Piggy's from the movie The Muppets Take Manhattan, where she tries to imagine what it would have been like if she and Kermit had known each other when they were little, so you could view the cartoon as either an alternate reality or an extended dream sequence.
    • That, and the Muppets never worried too much about continuity in the first place.
      • Yeah, they've always had a loose canon. (Crazy Harry: Did somebody say "Cannon"? *BOOM*)
      • Muppet productions thrive on Negative Continuity. Even The Muppets Take Manhattan features the Muppet gang in college together when the previous two movies had everyone meeting each other as adults.
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    • A Muppet Family Christmas had the adult Muppets watch some home movies of "The first Christmas the Muppets spent together", and sure enough it's the Muppet Babies. So apparently this is canon in some odd way.

  • This troper remember a parody of Star Wars with Kermit as Luke and Miss Piggy as Leia. Did they ever follow it up and have Kermit say "That's not true! That's impossible! No, that's really impossible." Because that would've been funny.
  • Skeeter: She was created to add more female characters to the cast. If they were worried about that, why didn't they just use Janice? In fact, why was so little of Dr. Teeth & the Electric Mayhem used?
    • They spawned on the floor of CBGB's. Under the power lines.
    • I suppose Skeeter, the budding jock girl, made a nice counterpoint to both the uber-girly Miss Piggy and the computer-nerd rewrite of Scooter's character.
    • Janice did show up on one episode as the new girl who moved in next door. She was able to read, and one point read "The Tale of Peter Rabbit".
    • They probably avoided using Janice because she seemed to be a cross between a Valley Girl and a weird rocker girl. Not surprising since she was designed after Mick Jagger and named after Janis Joplin. The Valley Girl was too similar to Piggy's Girly Girl and the rocker personality is less than appropriate for the audience.

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  • Skeeter isn't Janice? I thought that from square one.

The Muppet Babies never made my dreams come true.

Now I'm pushing 30, broke, and in a dead-end job. They LIED to me. In song, no less.

  • Hey, they also told you that when your world looks kinda weird and you wish that you weren't there / just close your eyes and make-believe and you can be anywhere. I've been riding that one to avoid the soul-crushingness of a full-time job for years. Though there's fridge logic in that your world generally looks very weird when you make-believe..

Okay, if the show is based on a dream sequence in The Muppets Take Manhattan, why does A Muppet Family Christmas have home movie footage of the time period?

There goes that loose canon again.

Scooter's Age
Ignoring the Skeeter mystery, judging by this show, Scooter should be the same age as Kermit and the gang. So, when the grow up and start a theater company, why is it that Scooter is just a gofer and clearly just starting out, whereas everybody else are established actors or managers?
  • He got into the business later than everyone else.

Bean and Robin's Ages
Bean is a child in The Tale of the Bunny Picnic and doesn't seem any older when he normally interacts with grown-up Kermit and the gang. So shouldn't he have either been not born yet or a baby when Kermit and the others were little? Yet here he seems the same age as the rest of them. For that matter, if Robin was already born – even if he was just a tadpole – when Kermit was about three or four years old, then how can he still be a child when Kermit is an adult? What is the aging rate for Muppet frogs anyway?

How old was the Nanny?
Was it ever specified how old the Nanny was? I always thought she was an old woman (with the head of Cinderella's stepmother). Why was she looking after children that clearly didn't resemble human children at all? What kind of a place was she running? "Orphanage for Abandoned Freak Babies"?
  • In a world, like theirs, containing Lions and Tigers and Humans... Oh, My!, her cast of charges wouldn't seem at all unusual.
  • Considering she was voiced by Beaver's Mom, she was probably up there in years. It was hinted that she kept in shape with jogging and tennis, so she was a senior, but an active one.
  • She was probably in her mid 40s to early 50s. In the episode where they go back in time to replace the photo album, she worked at a drive-in diner in high school, which were made popular in the 1950s.

Why no Muppeteers?
How come none of the Muppeteers (Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Dave Goelz, etc.) provided any of the voices for the Muppet Babies? Were they too busy? Was there some contractual obligations? Did they think they couldn't do a high enough pitch (Though I'd think at least Jim Henson and Richard Hunt could do baby Kermit and Scooter, respectively). Why?
  • From what I've been able to find out, it was due to scheduling conflicts and budgeting. It was easier and less expensive to go with regular voice actors.

Why was Piggy such a jerk to Gonzo (and to a lesser extent the other Muppets)?
  • Well, the adult Piggy has always been famous for her temper and her self-centered diva antics, so it makes sense that Baby Piggy should have those traits too. As for Gonzo, he drives her crazy with all his flirting, even though she's made it clear again and again that she doesn't return his crush. It's Hypocritical Humor on her part, since she can be just as bad with her crush on Kermit, but Gonzo does tend to come on a little too strong.

Alternative Title(s): Muppet Babies


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