Michael Wermuth, Jr. – The Muppet Mindset doesn’t really have many Muppet Babies articles, does it? Well, here’s a list of my top ten favorite episodes of Muppet Babies!
10. Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad Dark
This was the first Muppet Babies episode to feature Bunsen and Beaker, and to my knowledge the only one where either is the main character. In this episode, after watching a scary movie, Beaker is afraid of the dark, and the others have to help Beaker overcome his fear, including singing the great song “Good Things Happen in the Dark” and a trick-or-treating sequence.
9. The Daily Muppet
After Nanny’s newspaper gets ruined before she can read it, the Muppet Babies decide to start their own newspaper. Gonzo imagines going to space to find alien life, which he finds but the others don’t believe him. One of the best sequences include Fozzie and Animal making a comic strip (where Fozzie gets attacked by word and thought balloons). One of the best lines: After Kermit sees that Rowlf, who writes the music review, has turned in sheet music, Rowlf says “I couldn’t write words, so I wrote it in music.”
8. My Muppet Valentine
Nanny makes Valentines cookies for the babies, but Rowlf doesn’t get a cookie. The others decide to make it up to Rowlf by making him a great surprise, but end up thinking they’ve made him sadder by leaving him out of what they were doing (to avoid spoiling the surprise), but it turns out Rowlf has a surprise for them: A great song called “You’re Special to Me.” And that song sure is a special song. It’s a good one to watch around Valentines Day.
7. Comic Capers
In this episode, the Muppet Babies make their own comics, while Gonzo has to clean up a mess he made in the hallway. The highlights include a Muppet version of Peanuts (including clips from the actual specials) and a Spider-Man sequence (with a live-action cameo by Stan Lee). Spider-Man returns after the credits, revealed to actually be “Spider-Animal.” What’s not to love about this episode?
6. Snow White and the Seven Muppets
After seeing a play, the Muppet Babies decide they want to become actors (as we know, all of them except for Skeeter grew up to accomplish this goal) and decide to put on a play, “Snow White” (which the babies had just saw before the start of this episode). Skeeter plays Snow White and Piggy ends up as the evil queen, which she is not happy with. There’s a lot of silliness here, various characters play multiple roles (including Fozzie as the magic mirror as well as a dwarf), and after being out of apples, the queen scares Snow White to sleep. One of this episodes funniest lines, when Fozzie asks a mirror who the funniest one of all is: “Fozzie Bear, I cannot lie, when you tell jokes, I want to cry.”
5. He’s a Wonderful Frog
In this episode, Kermit is visiting Robin for the weekend, and Nanny had told the others to be okay with Kermit being gone, but their extra-encouragement makes them think he’ll never want to come back, so they put on a “This is Your Life”-style show for Kermit, as Kermit keeps trying to tell them that he’s not leaving for good. This episode includes a clip of the Macy’s Kermit float (the first time I saw that float). One of this episode’s best sequences is an old-style sitcom parody.
4. Good Clean Fun
After the Muppet Babies accidentally break Nanny’s favorite lamp, they try to make it up to her by making lunch, only to make a big mess in the kitchen. Nanny then puts them in charge of giving Animal a bath (is it really a wise idea to let a bunch of babies give a younger baby a bath?), only for Animal to go down the drain. This episode’s big highlight is a Ghostbusters parody. One of this episodes funniest lines: After Animal says “Go bye-bye” (before the credits), Piggy remarks, “This isn’t ‘go bye-bye’ time.” Interesting fact: This isn’t the first episode I saw (I can’t remember which episode that would be), but it is the first episode I saw on Nickelodeon.
3. I Want My Muppet TV!
After the TV breaks, the Muppet Babies turn a cardboard box into a TV set and make their own shows (a plot later ripped off–err, I mean borrowed by Rugrats and Baby Looney Tunes). Gonzo does a Star Trek parody, Bunsen and Beaker do a commercial, Animal does a commercial selling mud, and Rowlf has the babies do a music video, but the highlight is when Piggy appears on “The Johnny Carson Show,” and Fozzie even gets a laugh from Mr. Carson with one of this episodes funniest lines, “I’m going to tell a joke, if you promise not to throw tomatoes at me.”
2. It’s Only Pretendo
In this episode, the babies play various video games, with Gonzo and Piggy heavily competing in a Legends of Zelda-type game. Among the game parodies includes a Frogger parody with Kermit, Scooter and Skeeter using a power pad-like system, and both Gonzo and Piggy participate in a Donkey Kong parody. This is probably the one episode that risked becoming dated, as video games had just been popular for a few years (after the video game crash of 1983). Who knew back then that video games would continue to be as big today?
1. Muppet Babies: The Next Generation
This episode combines elements of Star Trek, Star Wars, and The Jetsons very well, with Rowlf trying to avoid a bath but not being understood by the others (he’s supposed to be Astro from The Jetsons). Skeeter gets mad at Scooter and let’s Bean Bunny be her sidekick in various duos (including Judy and Elroy Jetson and C-3PO and R2-D2). This episode has many highlights and running gags, including a variation of “The Jetsons” theme annoying Kermit, the environmental song “The Future is Counting on You,” all the parodies getting out-of-control (including appearances by four Kermits in different roles), and Bean deciding to be the princess. Two great lines from this episode: 1. When Piggy gets saved by Kermit as “Indiana Frog,” she says “I don’t know who’s writing this, but give them a bonus.” 2. At the end when Nanny’s about to give Rowlf his bath, “But I’m not Rowlf. I’m his grandson from the future. We don’t even have dirt in the future, Nanny, honest!”
Well, that’s the list. I hope some of your favorites were included. And as Baby Animal would say, “Goooooooo bye-bye!”
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, firstname.lastname@example.org