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Unspoken Rules of Muppetdom

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by newsmanfan, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. newsmanfan

    newsmanfan Well-Known Member

    Fellow scribes and Muppaphiles, have any of the rest of you noticed that certain rules always seem to apply to any show, film, or story where classic Muppets are involved? In writing my new fanfic (“Love Reign O’er News” – yes, you should be hearing Roger Daltrey’s voice screamin’ it out right about now), I’ve been rewatching TMS on dvd quite a lot in order to keep the tone and characters consistent, and last night it occured to me that there are certain laws governing the Muppet Universe.

    By way of analogy, as a fan of martial arts flicks, I learned that it is a flat rule that you never, EVER go to a restaurant to eat with Jackie Chan, especially if said restaurant has:

    a) tables;
    b) chairs;
    c) a long bar with numerous bottles and glassware behind it;
    and/or d) plate glass windows out front,

    because before you have even asked for a glass of water, large angry men who are NOT patrons of the establishment will enter and every item listed above will be smashed in an amazingly fast period during the three-, four-, or five-on-one fight which ensues. :concern:

    (This also calls to mind the Sicilian’s rule of “Never get involved in a land war in Asia,” but that’s a bit off-topic…)

    With that in mind, I propose to you all some Rules for Writing Muppet Things, based on my own limited experience. Please add to or comment on as you see fit:

    1. In any Love Scene, whether one or both of the romantic leads are Muppets, Something Ridiculous Must Happen. This applies to all flashbacks, dreamily-shot montages, musical numbers, and simple kisses. The Ridiculous Thing may happen to break up the Romantic Moment or it may be part of the ongoing action, but it must be there.

    2. In any Bar Scene, a Complete Brawl must break out. The main characters are most likely to be innocent (and injured) bystanders, but it’s gonna happen. (Corollary, then, to the Don’t Go to a Restaurant with Jackie Chan rule is, Don’t Go to a Bar with a Muppet.)
    (Additional note: I just figured this one out last night when I wrote a character going to a bar for a prearranged meeting in which the other party is late. I didn’t intend for there to be a bar fight, but once I was in the bar, it just kinda happened…and it seemed right.)

    3. The Newsman Cannot Escape His Fate. Some fates (News Flashes) may be worse than others, or he may think he’s avoided the disaster only to have something else unexpectedly happen to him, but Something Embarrassing and Possibly Painful is destined. Every time.

    4. All Brave Explorations in the Name of Science must be undertaken by the brave and impetuous Beaker. Dr Honeydew is too important to risk leaving the lab himself.

    This is by no means a complete list, just the patterns which have made themselves most obvious to me in the course of my writing (and the ones which apply most strongly to my particular fic). Anyone else wanna throw in here?
  2. AlittleMayhem

    AlittleMayhem Well-Known Member

    (Dude, why has this thread got no replies? People are just weird.)

    Okay, so the ones I can think of at the moment are;

    1. Link will never be humble when he’s just so friggin’ perfect.

    2. Miss Piggy and Kermit’s relationship will always be vague. We are never sure if they are together or if Piggy’s still trying to getting his attention or how a pig loves a frog—I don’t want to even…

    3. Crazy Harry always has…er…you-know-what installed everywhere and has to set them off at the mention of…you-know-what.

    4. Weird and wonderful things always happen on Planet Koozebane. Particularly explosions

    :crazy:: Did someone say ‘explosions’?

    OH SH-

  3. bouncingbabyfig

    bouncingbabyfig Well-Known Member

    1. Never say "you know what" around Crazy Harry.
    2. Fozzie must be a sweet heart, and his jokes must be so horrible you laugh anyway.
    3. Pepe the Prawn is a flirter, horrible as he is, he is a natural flirter.
    4. Songs are usually old and quite silly from what I've seen, which just adds to the muppet feel and theme.
    5. Never say piece of cake in the labyrinth, sure way to get run over.
    I think that's about it, what do ya'll think? Don't all burst at once. Oh @#!* ?
    :crazy::Someone say burst?
    :crazy:: Crazy Harry have fun! hehehe!
  4. WebMistressGina

    WebMistressGina Well-Known Member

    OMG, spot on! And it doesn't even need to be a restaurant. I was watching some movie and Jackie went to a wedding rehearsal and he ended up using a table, some chairs, and a ladder to defeat the back guy. Always!

    This MUST be a rule, because after re-reading some of my own things, I've done this exact same thing.

    Again, with the OMG! Not only have I alluded to a fight that broke out in Schotsky's, but I actually had another one in which, true to form, a fight broke out in a bar.

    Beaker is truly the brave one in that pair!

    And if I may add -

    1. As I had Fozzie mention once, none of Gonzo's stunts are ever exciting unless there's an element or possibility of him getting hurt. To add to this, in any situation in which Gonzo is threatened with pain, he will enjoy it. Always.
    2. Kermit will always have at least one inspiring talk to either one or more people, usually the Muppets. There will never be a time in which he doesn't say something that is touching and inspiring in some way.
    3. Piggy will always be involved in at least one fight. It doesn't matter who it is or how they have offended her, there will be a fight. And 9 times out of 10, she will start it.
    4. Janice will always be in the middle of some story about her hidden life as a possible nudist when the group goes silent. The stranger the tale, the better.
    5. As BBF mentioned, Pepe will flirt with at least one female in any situation. It will usually be proceeded with him prancing around in a tutu.
    6. At any moment that a principal Muppet (Kermit, Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, etc) leave a room and return, they will walk in on shenanigans. Always.
  5. AlittleMayhem

    AlittleMayhem Well-Known Member

    One I thought up on the bus yesterday but forgot about until now;

    Floyd Pepper doesn't walk, he kinda struts. With his whole body. I don't know it's a weird walk. Even when he's afraid, he still walks-erm, runs like that!
    bouncingbabyfig likes this.
  6. bouncingbabyfig

    bouncingbabyfig Well-Known Member

    He got swagger!!!:sing:
    MissMusical12 likes this.
  7. tutter_fan

    tutter_fan Well-Known Member

    Pertaining to the Newsman, what is your favorite Muppet Newsflash? There are a lot that I like, but somehow, I can't just choose one.
  8. bouncingbabyfig

    bouncingbabyfig Well-Known Member

    Oooh! Oooh! there was one where he reported a falling cow in the Muppet Show live!
    newsmanfan likes this.
  9. Fragglemuppet

    Fragglemuppet Well-Known Member

    A little trivia, I believe the rule about romantic muppet scenes being interrupted by mayhem was actually mentioned by Frank Oz. Something about whenever the muppets either got too emotional or too big-headed, something would happen to knock them flat on their face.

    Ah, Beaker... Brave, impetuous, and under contract! I'm sure on Beaker's low or more stubborn days, Bunsen has felt obliged to remind him of that.

    As for rules that seem to have been created or perpetuated in fandom...

    Robin and Sweetoms are the best of pals.
    There should be at least one scene in every story where any combination of the following is happening, depending on where they are and what they have at their disposal.

    People are arguing.
    Fish are being thrown.
    Cards are being played, or bets are being taken on something else.
    Animal is either chasing someone or banging very loudly and intrusively on his drums.
    Someone, whether Rowlf or the EM is playing music, even if it's just Floyd idally strumming his guitar.
    Kermit's, and maybe Piggy's, nerves are systematically being fried. (Coming up with at least part of this list, I was thinking of the hospital scene in Lisa (Together Again's) Say Cheese, which brings me to the next thing.)

    I kinda hate to say this, as they're all such seasoned performers and really dedicated to what they do, but when they come together outside the theater, and even sometimes in it, they're like a pack of little kids! You can't take them anywhere without some amount of chaos! So let the good times roll!

    I'm sure there are more that I'll think of at some point.
    bouncingbabyfig likes this.
  10. WebMistressGina

    WebMistressGina Well-Known Member

    I've seen this too and could not for the life of me remember when I ever saw it on the show or in the movies. I chalked it up to the fact that because I hadn't seen all of the show, I probably missed it.

    LOL You are absolutely right and I say that as someone who has done the exact same thing. Not that they aren't little children in the theater (Piggy and Link come to mind), but they are! I read this yesterday and immediately thought of a quote from a Designing Women episode.

    LSS - Mary Jo likened herself and Julia as the parents and Suzanne was a child. Charlene and Anthony were somewhere in the middle, but when they were with Suzanne, they also became children.

    I think the same is true here. Some other thoughts I came up with, thanks to this -
    • If they are in a room or any kind of scene together, Piggy and Link will do their best to upstage the other, which will result in hilarity.
    • While Kermit will try his best to be 'the parent', he will ultimately get roped into whatever madness is happening (the scene in Muppets 2011 when informed that Piggy & Crew have kidnapped Jack Black is a perfect example)
    • And speaking of Kermit, he is, has been, and always will be likened to a warden on a mental ward. (or playground monitor)
    • Fozzie has a love of sweets and when placed in front of him, he will easily spill secrets better than the most tortured of POWs.
    • Piggy & Kermit will get into at least one argument per performance, regardless of show or movie.
    • As Fraggle Muppet mentioned, there will always be some sort of betting pool, usually started by Rizzo.
    I'm sure I could come up with more once I get the time.
  11. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Robin and Sweetums as the best of pals? WMG, check the song "Two Lost Souls" in whatever TMS episode it is that appears in. :grr:
  12. AlittleMayhem

    AlittleMayhem Well-Known Member

    That's the John Cleese episode, thank you very much!
  13. newsmanfan

    newsmanfan Well-Known Member

    Also, they trim the backstage tree together in AVMMMX. I'll take it from those two things as Canon. :)

    Rizzo will be indignant, insulted, and incredulous about anything even vaguely possible to misconstrue as an insult tossed his way -- and then easily distracted with food.

    The Chef's forays into cooking live game (turkeys, chickens, ducks, etc) will always backfire (only exception I know of, HE didn't cook the turkey -- his "uncle" did!).

    ANY scene can be made funnier by a mess o' chickens, pigs, or (to some at least) penguins suddenly invading it.
  14. tutter_fan

    tutter_fan Well-Known Member

    I think any "Pigs in Space" sketch was hilarious! Something always violent, crazy, and unexpected would happen!
  15. snichols1973

    snichols1973 Well-Known Member

    Bobo the Bear usually plays the role of a bad guy's assistant or security guard that at times might not be too certain that he's with the right team, but he usually ends up doing a good turn for the Muppets, and it turns out that even though he might seem a bit clueless, he has his good side, just waiting for the right moment to help the Muppets out in some way......
    WebMistressGina likes this.
  16. Fragglemuppet

    Fragglemuppet Well-Known Member

    The exact same thing could be said about Miss Piggy! lol
    The only difference is, with Rizzo there's less of a chance of someone going flying...
  17. AlittleMayhem

    AlittleMayhem Well-Known Member

    Don't know if this counts but I was just thinking about this earlier. While some people question it, no one seems to have a problem with the Muppets' inter-species relationships (eg. Kermit and Miss Piggy, Gonzo and Camilla). I guess you can get away with that if you're a Muppet, I don't know. *shrug*
  18. mostlikemokey

    mostlikemokey Well-Known Member

    When in a pigs in space sketch, Miss Piggy must DO ALL OR SOME OF THE FOLLOWING:
    a) Save Strangepork and Hogthrob from their own stupidity
    b) get left behind
    c) Fall victim to a prank
    d) get revenge for said prank
    e) call them insulting names
    f) it is a rule that d and c must occur together should those devices be used.:mad:
    GopherCoffee and bouncingbabyfig like this.
  19. WebMistressGina

    WebMistressGina Well-Known Member

    That's something I mentioned (I think) in the thread from the top five TV characters thread (the Barbara Walters thing a few months back) and something I added to 5 Ball - it kinda explains why Kermit is still reluctant to get married.

    In the special, he did say he was waiting for basically everyone to be able to marry whom they wanted. At the time, I did kinda think that was a bit of a cope out (especially when he kinda grimaces/panics when asked), but when I wrote it in 5 Ball, it actually does make sense, depending on where you put them living.

    See, my thought was, if they're living in California, neither couple could even be considered common law because the state doesn't recognize common law marriages and being interspecies as they are, the state might not take to them being officially married either, hence why they would probably need to wait for same-sex marriages to pass.

    That's probably getting a little too deep into it, but I tend to go way beyond the normal thought processes when writing fan fiction. ;)
  20. mostlikemokey

    mostlikemokey Well-Known Member

    That's what makes good fanfiction.

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