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Breaking of the fourth wall in Muppet films

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Hey, a movie!

The Muppets have always embraced a certain breaking of the fourth wall, presenting a sense of comedic self-awareness and self-references throughout their works.

The following is a list of instances where the Muppets have broken the fourth wall in their theatrical films and have shown their awareness of being in a movie.

The Muppet Movie

  • The film itself is mainly presented within the framing device of the characters watching a movie, the following are instances of the fourth wall being broken in the movie-within-the-movie:
    • Kermit comments on Hare Krishna becoming a running gag.
    • In a particularly meta-fictional plot twist, Kermit and Fozzie actually give a copy of the screenplay to Dr. Teeth, who later uses it to find and rescue them after they have been stranded in the desert.
    • In regards to the Miss Bogen County Beauty Pageant, Charlie McCarthy comments to the audience, "You're not gonna believe who the winner is, folks." Edgar Bergen replies, "Oh, come now, Charlie, it's their movie."
    • Sweetums literally breaks through the fourth wall when he bursts into the screening room as he finally catches up with the Muppets at the end of the film.
  • The film ends with Animal looking directly into the camera and telling the audience to "go home!"

The Great Muppet Caper

  • Fozzie, Kermit and Gonzo comment on the opening credits as they appear on screen.
  • During the opening musical number, "Hey A Movie," Kermit talks directly to the audience about the roles that he and Fozzie and Gonzo will play in the film and says, "I wish I were you people seeing this for the first time!"
  • When Mike Tarkanian asks Kermit what makes him so sure there will be a "next time," Kermit responds: "Well, if there isn't, it'll be a very short movie."
  • When Miss Piggy asks Lady Holiday why she's sharing her entire back story, Lady Holiday responds "It's plot exposition. It has to go somewhere."
  • Kermit tells one of the guest stars (Peter Falk), after a meandering monologue, that they're "trying to do a movie here."
  • Kermit and Miss Piggy break character and start arguing over her acting skills by the duck pond.
  • Miss Piggy calls out Nicky's musical talent by saying, "You can't even sing! Your voice was dubbed!"
  • At one point a truck driver (Peter Ustinov) questions the presence of Oscar the Grouch, to which Oscar says he's there doing "a very brief cameo," Ustinov looks at the camera and says "me too."
  • When asked why he's doing all this, Nicky Holiday responds: "Because I'm the villain! It's pretty plain and simple."

The Muppet Christmas Carol

  • Acting as narrators, Gonzo (as Charles Dickens) and Rizzo the Rat frequently break the fourth wall as they provide narration and commentary on the events of the film. While the duo often speaks directly to the viewer, they rarely interact with the other characters and the story itself - a notable exception is when they step in to correct Sam Eagle's declaration of it being the "American way" to being the "British way."

Muppet Treasure Island

  • Rizzo the Rat comments when Billy Bones has his heart attack "He died? And this is supposed to be a kid's movie!"
  • Statler comments on being "stuck to the front of this stupid ship", and Waldorf replies "Well, it could been worse. We could be stuck in the audience!"
  • A line in the "Cabin Fever" song says "I'd like to get my hands on whoever wrote this script".
  • Clueless Morgan comments on the "Cabin Fever" musical number.
  • Long John Silver gives his crewmates stage directions during the "Professional Pirate" number, saying "Upstage, lads, this is my only number" as they carry him across the camp.
  • A tomato on the Swedish Chef's ingredient tray says "How else did you think we were going to get him into this movie?" (after which the Chef whacks it with a large mallet).
  • A rat conducts a tour of the island referring to the place as the location for the movie Muppet Treasure Island.
  • Statler comments that saving Smollett and Benjamina made them heroes, and Waldorf replies "Well, it was too late to save the movie!"

Muppets from Space

  • Hulk Hogan, appearing as himself, addresses the camera directly and talks about his wrestling career.
  • Joshua Jackson comments that the landing at Cape Doom "is like something out of one of those sci-fi movies." Pepe replies, "But this is a Muppet movie! It's much more realistic and... romantic, okay."

The Muppets

  • While meeting with Tex Richman, Statler comments that if he didn't know any better, he'd say Waldorf was "reciting some sort of important plot point." Waldorf responds, "I hope so. Otherwise I would've bored half the audience half to death." Statler retorts: "You mean half the audience is still alive?"
  • Gary often makes references to some of the musical numbers he sung in earlier scenes.
  • When Kermit shakes his head and says there's no way they can raise the money to save the theater, Mary sadly observes, "This is going to be a very short movie." This is somewhat a callback to a joke Kermit made to Mr. Tarkanian in The Great Muppet Caper.
  • Fozzie is surprised that they "had that in the budget" in response to an expensive looking explosion at Gonzo's Royal Flush.
  • 80's Robot suggests they speed things up be picking up the rest of the Muppets by using a montage. Rowlf is upset that his reunion is omitted from the montage.
  • Fozzie suggests that they travel by map to get to Miss Piggy in Paris, which they subsequently do.
  • Uncle Deadly comments on the film's charming finale.
  • In the finale, Marvin Suggs sings: "the movie's almost over, it's time to say 'So long.'"
  • Tex Richman comments on the fact that they've "already sung this song" during the reprise of "Life's a Happy Song".

Muppets Most Wanted

Muppets Most Wanted deleted scene Break the 4th wall00:18

Muppets Most Wanted deleted scene Break the 4th wall

Follow That Bird

  • Oscar the Grouch opens the film, talking to the audience and having them rise for "The Grouch Anthem."
  • Count von Count appears at the end of the film to count the names in the credits.

The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland

  • Bert and Ernie serve as commentators on the film, breaking the fourth wall to talk to the audience and comment on the actions of the film as they unfold.

See also

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