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Over the years, Sesame Street, its international spin-offs, and other Muppet productions have incorporated a variety of "differently abled" characters (and celebrity guests) as role models and to show that physical differences are less important than shared feelings and friendships. On other occasions, however, particularly in productions featuring The Muppet Show characters, certain disabilities (especially partial deafness) have been played for laughs.
- Linda, Sesame Street
- Left Door Knocker (partial), Labyrinth
- Lois (partial), Bear in the Big Blue House
- Pops (partial), The Muppet Show
- World's Oldest Fraggle (partial, carries an ear horn), Fraggle Rock
- Old Fozziewig (partial, carries an ear horn), The Muppet Christmas Carol
- Ethyl Phillips, Dinosaurs
- Griotte, 5, Rue Sésame
- Katie, Sesame Park
- Ricardo, Talk, Listen, Connect
- Sivan, Rechov Sumsum
- Tarah, Sesame Street
- Traction Jackson, Sesame Street
- Camilo, Plaza Sésamo
- Beggar (uses a crutch), The Muppet Christmas Carol
- Jason (Down syndrome), Sesame Street
- Julia (Autism), Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children
- Kami (HIV positive), Takalani Sesame (also appears on Sesame Square and The Adventures of Kami and Big Bird)
- Long John Silver (amputee), Muppet Treasure Island
- Tiny Tim Cratchit (kidney disease or rickets), The Muppet Christmas Carol