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Hand Puppet Mockery

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"None of the other puppets will play with him, so he has to play with himself."

Depending on your audience, puppetry/ventriloquism/etc. can either be fun, a real talent or just plain creepy. You can use a dummy or puppet to entertain children, to show off a budding skill or to frighten others by it being possessed by evil, possessing you into evil or even possessing someone else into evil.

This trope, however, lies somewhere in the middle: it isn't evil, per se, but it can still be pretty malicious in its intent. A mocking hand puppet or what have you is usually modeled after the character being spoofed (but having another mocking puppet in the form of an animal meant to represent a human character for example can also exist) can be a rather unflattering portrayal of another character, usually exaggerating their appearance and/or behavior out of embarrassment, especially since this trope is almost always in front of a crowd.


Closely related to Puppet Show, The Doll Episode and Muppet. Compare and contrast with Copycat Mockery and Muse Abuse, which usually doesn't involve puppetry. See Perverse Puppet, Demonic Dummy and Voodoo Doll for the darker versions.


Fan Works

  • In All Guardsmen Party, Inquisitor Weebu explains Imperium of Man / Tau Empire relations with a puppet show, beleiving the Party to be too stupid to get it otherwise.

Animated Films

  • Robin Hood: During "The Villain Sucks" Song "The Phony King of England", the Merry Men entertain Maid Marian with a puppet show featuring crude puppet versions of Prince John and Sir Hiss.
  • Aladdin: When Jafar subjugates Genie to do his bidding, and wishes to become a sorcerer, he becomes a giant cobra later to fight Aladdin in the Agrabah palace. Aladdin goads Jafar into using his final wish to become an all-powerful genie, where Genie tries convincing Jafar to pull back on the idea, lest he becomes unstoppable. In a bit of bathos, Genie turns his hand into a snake-like sock hand puppet:
    Genie: The boy is crazy! He's a little punch-drunk! One too many hits with the snake!
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  • Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension: When 2nd Dimension Doof orders 1st Dimension Phineas, Ferb, Perry, Cadance and then his counterpart to be executed, he declares that it's their doom and uses a hand puppet to mockingly repeat it to 1st Dimension Doof.
  • Shark Tale: After Angie turns Oscar down, the jellyfish Ernie and Bernie mock him with hot dogs on a stick with condiment faces.

Live-Action Films

  • In The Smurfs, Gargamel has two puppets of Papa Smurf and Smurfette. Using them, he pokes fun at the fact that Smurfs consider having 99 sons and one daughter to be normal, and that Smurfette "betrayed" him.

Live-Action TV

  • In Living Color!:
    • One memorable skit had Jim Carrey portraying Paul Reubens after the latter's 1991 arrest for indecency in a porno theatre. Although he was dressed like Pee-Wee Herman, the puppet itself was modeled after Reubens' mugshot.
    • In the "Three Champs and A Baby" skit, Mike Tyson (Keenan Ivory Wayans) had a puppet of Buster Douglas to entertain the baby claiming that he took a fall in the ring to gain $2 million dollars.
    • Another skit has a commercial of Joe Jackson (David Alan Grier) showing off the Jacksons-Style Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots. While he beats the Michael and LaToya figures, he ultimately loses to Tito (Jamie Foxx), which causes the former to chase him around in attempt to beat him up.
  • The Golden Girls: At the beginning of "Once, In St. Olaf", candy-striper Rose has two hand puppets that she's taking as a care package for patients as Blanche and Dorothy. She then mocks the latter's puppet for being dateless in front of Blanche and then earns a whack on the head with a newspaper from an overhearing Dorothy for her troubles.
  • Married... with Children: When Kelly ended up with her own children's show, she made a puppet of Bud called "Budrick" that mocked his loneliness and other pathetic ways and even had t-shirts printed up saying "Don't Be A Budrick; Be A Goodrick" that were so popular, even Al and Peg had copies.
  • Played with on 7th Heaven. For a class project, Ruthie made finger puppets of the family (and Happy). While her intention initially wasn't to mock any of them, once Simon becomes annoyed with her playing with the puppets too much, she goes out of her way to aggravate him, especially while using the Simon puppet.
  • Just Shoot Me!: In one episode, Maya dates a puppeteer for a kids show. The day after their first date, the show introduces Miss Panda, the main puppet's girlfriend. But as they continue dating, Maya discovers that Miss Panda's behavior is being based negatively on her; for example, when she takes the lasts slice of pizza for herself, Miss Panda greedily steals the pizza away.

Stand-Up Comedy

  • Jeff Dunham runs afoul of this when Peanut pulls out a puppet replica of Jeff called "Little Ugly Ass-Jeff". Jeff immediately retaliates with a mocking puppet of Peanut.

Video Game

  • Uncharted 2: Among Thieves: After being betrayed by Flynn and thrown into jail by the Turkish police, Nathan Drake was playing with his hands of the moment of his betrayal except the hand representing him has a gun and shoot his other hand.
    (Nathan's Left Hand) Face it genius. You've been played. (Nathan's Right Hand) Oh really... (gun-firing sound effect) (death sound)

Web Animation

  • RWBY Chibi: In the "Cinder Who" skit, Mercury uses a crude sock-puppet to mock Cinder in "Cinder Dolls". Emerald even chuckles at it.
    Mercury [in a high-pitched voice]: All part of our nefarious plan~
  • The Champions (2018) has Leo Messi using a hand puppet to project his most unsavory thoughts and opinions. In the Season 1 finale, Luka Modric reveals a hand puppet of his own, which goes after Messi and his puppet, leading to a comedic trading of insults.

Web Video

  • NightMind: During the Don't Hug Me I'm Scared video, Nick is being harassed by a singing microphone puppet who keeps making fun of him. At one point, he dresses up in a Nick Nocturne hand-puppet and mocks him:
    Meow, meow, meow. I'm Nick Nocturne! I know everything! Let me tell you what to think, just like the villains in the show. I'm not a hypocrite, I'm important! Make sure to like and subscribe.

Western Animation

  • Family Guy:
    • When Peter began hosting a popular children's program, one of his characters was named "Saggy Naggy", a cantankerous and bossy hand puppet modeled after Lois that all the children hated. It got so bad that she ended up being pelted with various items by random children while shopping at a big box store as well as being beaten by Stewie, who struck her with a golf club.
    • "From Method To Madness" had Stewie, whose sanity was slipping in the hollow pursuit of fame, pretend to be his former variety show partner, Olivia, in an attempt to recapture the success they had prior to their messy breakup.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy: One episode where Eddy is trying to trick Jimmy and Rolf into giving his money back has the former, Ed and a crudely-rendered hand puppet of Double D try to convince them to take a meat bush that he "grew". This of course didn't work and only infuriated Double D, who wasn't there due to needing to use the bathroom:
    Double D: It seems one cannot tend to their natural functions without being replaced by some RAG-TAG HAND PUPPET!
  • The Critic: A truly wild example has "Coming Attractions" guest host Kareem Abdul Jabbar have Jay himself as his dummy called "Little Knothead". When Jay protests to how humiliating it is and bemoans how he has a PhD, Jabbar then insists on calling him "Doctor Knothead".
  • In the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Catwalk", Selina mocks the Ventriloquist and Scarface by moving her hand like a puppet's mouth when she first meets them.
  • A variant in the South Park episode "Fat Butt and Pancake Head," where Cartman paints his hand to look like Jennifer Lopez and performs a racist ventriloquist act where Lopez talks about tacos and burritos. Bizarrely, the Latino community loves it, and Cartman's puppet becomes so popular that people, including her boyfriend Ben Affleck and her record label, mistake it for the real Jennifer Lopez. Of course, this infuriates the real Lopez. During the episode, Cartman's puppet seems to gain a mind of its own, and the end of the episode reveals that his hand is really a con man named Mitch Conners.


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