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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: This article posits that Doc Hopper isn't a Jerk with a Heart of Jerk so much as someone intended to be dark reflection of the Muppets and especially a Foil to Kermit. It notes that he has several of the same characteristics that the Muppets have and that ultimately he does briefly consider a better way before recognizing his own dream won't allow him close friends like Kermit has.
  • Award Snub: "Rainbow Connection" lost the Oscar for Best Original Song to the now-virtually-forgotten "It Goes Like It Goes" from Norma Rae.note 
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    • That's an even bigger snub than it appears because the Academy used to choose ten songs as finalists for Original Song, before announcing the nominations (1979 was the last year for that). The Muppet Movie had four of the ten finalists ("Rainbow Connection", "Movin' Right Along", "Never Before, Never Again" and "I Hope That Somethin' Better Comes Along") and still walked away empty-handed.
  • Awesome Music: Paul Williams' score is packed with this.
    • "Rainbow Connection" will hit you as either Narmtastic or one of the most inspiring songs you've ever heard. Or both.
  • Broken Base: "Rainbow Connection". While many will still agree it's a great song, in recent years a number of fans have gotten tired of the song's over-exposure in Muppet appearances during the 2010s (which renders the line "I've heard it too many times to ignore it" very ironic).
  • First Installment Wins: The Muppet features that followed have their fans and are certainly beloved in their own right, but the one that started it all is almost universally considered the best.
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  • Harsher in Hindsight: Kermit imagines thousands of other frogs going around with tiny crutches. Real-life wild frog populations have suffered a decimating rash of leg deformities in the years since the film was made, some from pollution and others from natural parasites or predators.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: The behind-the-scenes picture of Steve Whitmire goofing around with a Kermit puppet.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    Gonzo: I always wanted to go to Bombay, India, and become a movie star.
    Fozzie: You don't go to Bombay to become a movie star. You go where we're going, Hollywood!
    Gonzo: Sure, if you want to do it the easy way.
    Fozzie: We've picked up a weirdo.
    • Kermit's reasoning for not doing the frog leg ad is because he can imagine frogs with tiny crutches. Years later, his nephew Robin plays the crutch-toting Tiny Tim in The Muppet Christmas Carol.
    • A draft of the script had a running gag in which Henry Kissenger keeps showing up wanting to be in the movie, only to be rejected each time. The running gag would not make it to the finished film (and was likely dropped before filming).
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    • Kermit and Fozzie encounter Big Bird during their trip and offer him a ride, but he declines in favor of walking to New York. Just six years later, Sesame Street Presents: Follow That Bird would have Big Bird heading for New York by foot as the plot, but for different reasons (in 1979, he's trying to break into television; in 1985, he's trying to return after a disastrous adoption).
  • Moral Event Horizon: Crossed by Doc Hopper during the climax. "All right, boys... kill 'im."
    • Jim Henson actually wanted Hopper to be redeemed at the end, but Oz overruled him.
  • Older Than They Think: The use of famous actors in small roles here is quite reminiscent of the 1965 Black Comedy The Loved One. In fact, James Coburn, Milton Berle and Paul Williams appear in both films.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Numerous examples (Steve Martin's waiter, Mel Brooks' Krassman) but taken Up to Eleven with Orson Welles' cameo as Lew Lord, who's not only in just one scene but has exactly one line, yet manages to be one of the most memorable characters in the film.
  • Reality Subtext: Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy made their last appearance in the film — Henson was inspired to make the Muppets because of him. Bergen died not long after his scene was shot, and the film is dedicated to him.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: Alas, many of the jokes and wackiness have been copied by countless followers (both Gremlins 2: The New Batch and The Spongebob Squarepants Movie have done meta gags about their films being watched in theaters, for example), that, to anyone watching the film for the first time, it might seem less remarkable.
    • That meta gag had been used, to hilarious effect, in Blazing Saddles, five years prior to this film.
  • So Bad, It's Good: Doc Hopper's ad.
  • Sweet Dreams Fuel: "Someday, we'll find it/The rainbow connection/The lovers, the dreamers/And me..."
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Kermit riding a bike near the beginning. Don't wonder how they did it, just accept it.
    • Actually, according to Frank Oz, the effect was relatively easy to do,note  compared to the monstrous effort required to get Gonzo to float along on his balloons. But since the bike was the effect everyone kept gawking over, they included an entire parade of Muppets on bikes in the next movie. Just because.
    • Plus Kermit in the swamp, which was created by the 6'1" Jim Henson cramming himself into a diving bell for a whole day.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: While it's by no means too vulgar or inappropriate for children or families, is otherwise meant to be viewed as any other Hollywood feature which just happens to star puppets (indeed, Jim Henson himself always saw the Muppets as more of a theater troupe than as characters). As such, it was not an easy pitch to sell.

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