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The use of profanity, foul language, vulgarities and swearing is not commonplace in the generally family-friendly productions of the Muppets, however the characters have used expletives on occasion.


  • "Hell" and "damn" are uttered by various characters throughout the course of The Cube, such as Arnie telling The Man, "What in the hell am I gonna do with four tons of chocolate rabbits?" The young lady Liza (who transforms into an old hag) calls the man "Rhode Island Red, or whatever the hell your name is!"
  • When a goat suggests "Goat-erdammerung" as an opera to do in The Muppet Show episode 409, Kermit retorts, "Watch your language!"
  • While rehearsing for an ITV promo for Fraggle Rock, a Doozer performed by Jim Henson says, "We'll see you sometime on ITV or whatever the hell I say here". Out of character, Henson immediately adds, "I didn't say that," and laughs. (video)
  • Ace Yu says "Sheer hell" when recounting his time as a sheepdog in Dog City.
  • When Rowlf the Dog was a guest on The Arsenio Hall Show he pointed to Arsenio and remarked, "Son of a bitch!" After the audience's hysterics died down, Rowlf added, "That's the nicest thing a dog can say about anybody."
  • Richard Hunt performed Scooter at a high school reunion in 1990, where he said CYO dances were held in "Dumont or wherever the hell we were." He also talked about people eating at McDonald's "Having cheeseburgers and French fries and all that other crap". (video)
  • Earl Sinclair occasionally used the words "damn" and "hell" on Dinosaurs β€” such as in the pilot when he tells Fran, "Look, Fran, I say this with all love and everything, but... I don't give a damn about your day" (the line was cut from syndicated broadcasts). In that same episode, after Fran tells the kids that she and Earl feel the same way about their upcoming child as they did them, Earl remarks, "How in the hell could this have happened?"
  • Muppet Treasure Island features several pirates using the exclamation "bloody." In the UK, where the phrase is considered harsher profanity than in the US, the lines were redubbed with the word "bloody" being replaced with "blooming" or "blasted."
  • Additionally, in Muppet Treasure Island, Long John Silvers says "hell" a few times, when reacting to getting the black spot torn from a page of The Bible, and later when he decides not to shoot Jim Hawkins.
  • In the pitch reel for The Muppets Present, Pepe the King Prawn boasts that the new show will be hip and edgy, and they will swear. Kermit protests, but not before exclaiming that the Muppets don't say "ass".
  • During the Muppets' appearance on Family Feud, when Louie Anderson asks Bobo to name something a little girl's doll might do to make her think it was really alive, Bobo's answer is "Crap in her pants."
  • In the pilot for From the Balcony, Statler and Waldorf discuss the movie Constantine and how the main character travels to hell. Waldorf asks if they're allowed to say "hell", to which Statler says, "Hell yes, it's the Internet." The word "hell" was used a few more times in the series. In one episode, a Detective says to an Oscar Envelope, "I'll tear out your insides and leave you in the damn letter office!"
  • The Muppet tailor says, "What the hell?" in outtakes from the 30 Rock episode "Apollo, Apollo".
  • When interviewed by Empire, when asked if Elmo would win a fight with Kermit, Pepe says, "Kermit would kick his ass."
  • In an outtake from OK!, Kermit accidentally says, "We wanna say a very special ho," to which Pepe says, "Don't say ho."
  • Appearing on The Chew in 2014, after The Swedish Chef makes a big meatball, Carla Hall says, "That's a big-ass thing!" The Chef repeats it saying, "Ja, ja, da big-assen."
  • The 2015 TV series The Muppets featured several references:
  • In the presentation pilot, Kermit tells Gonzo, "I've made my life a bacon-wrapped hell on Earth," referencing working with both Piggy and Denise. Earlier, he also tells Gonzo that they're screwed when Piggy refuses to do the show.
  • Serving as the Network Broadcast Standards for Up Late with Miss Piggy, Sam the Eagle's job is to screen the content of the show for material that may not be appropriate to air on television. In "Pig Girls Don't Cry" he takes issue with a few words in the script during the morning meeting: crotchety, twiddle, and gesticulate. Later, when watching the taping of the show, Sam overhears Kermit say to himself, "My life is a bacon-wrapped hell on earth" and says, "Can't say hell."
  • "Hostile Makeover" β€” after Bobo the Bear gets lots of money for his daughter's girl scout cookies, he says, "Screw the mountain bike, my daughter's getting a Prius."
  • "Pig's in a Blackout" β€” Rowlf says he's hung out with "squirrels who won't mind their own damn business."
  • During an outtake of Big Bird trying to get mail out of his mailbox, he says "Where the hell did it go?"
  • During an outtake of Grover trying to sell Kermit a wig, when Kermit closes the door on Grover's nose, Grover says "Open the damn door!"

Euphemisms and implied expletives

  • Throughout the years many Muppets, including Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy on multiple occasions, have used the "softer" euphemisms of "what the heck," "what the hey," or simply "what the..." in place of actually saying "what the hell."
  • A frequently used pun in many productions, used in fish-related situations, is having a character explain their actions are "just for the halibut," a play on "for the hell of it."
  • During his monologue on The Tonight Show in 1979, Kermit claims he can say things on late night that he couldn't ordinarily say on Sesame Street (such as "curb feeler" and "bust line").
  • Responding to Sarah's attempt to navigate her way through The Labyrinth in Labyrinth, a goblin turns a cobblestone over and shouts, "Your mother is a fraggin' aardvark!" while shaking his fist. "Frag" is sometimes used as a replacement for "fuck" in censored content (DC Comics' character Lobo frequently uses the term), much like "frak" as popularized by Battlestar Galactica.
  • In Dog City, during the "A Dog's Best Friend" musical number, Colleen Barker sings, "Don't care if he's a big dog. I don't care if he's rich / He'll be my ever-loving puppy, and I'll just be hisβ€”" before Rowlf the Dog cuts her off, saying, "Welcome to family programming, folks!" (implying the last word would be "bitch").
  • When appearing live on CBS This Morning, Rowlf the Dog is asked if Jim Henson ever prevents him from saying certain things on TV. Rowlf sheepishly says "S.O.B" (son of a bitch), adding, "That's what dogs talk about, ya' know."
  • When Fozzie stands in for weatherman Willard Scott in The Jim Henson Hour episode "Power", he find a large letter L on the map. Addressing the audience he says, "All you people in Nebraska, you stay in your homes until we can find a way to get the _ell out of there!"
  • The NYPD Green sketch from Muppets Tonight episode 106 is audited by a Network Censor who takes issue with several lines of dialogue spoken by Kermit and Gil. Each phrase turns out to be a literal reference to a character on the show rather than the euphemism it sounds like. The "filthy dirtbag" and "slimy scuzzball" are innocent instances, but they're followed by more risquΓ© utterances like "blood-sucking bass-kisser" (who turns out to be Don the Prop Guy) and finally, Kermit saying he's going to "flip off" the camera.
  • When Clifford thinks Beaker is performing as Little Richard in Muppets Tonight episode 208, he says he "could just kiss that meep-meep-meeping little carrot top." Assuming he's been censoring himself, Rizzo replies, "Clifford, watch your meep-meep-meeping language!"
  • The Dinosaurs episode "Baby Talk" is all about "dirty words", most prominently "smoo" (which the Baby constantly repeats after hearing on TV, and later lends itself to the title of "The Smoo Show"), but the alternate terms "flark" and "glick" are also mentioned.
  • In episode 7 of From the Balcony, the Balconism is "Lucky BLAST-ard: The main character of an action movie who can run, jump, swim or drive just one step faster than the fireball of a huge explosion."
  • The Muppets (2015):
  • "Pig Out" β€” Scooter commented that Kermit gets cranky if he gets to work late, commenting, "I was late once, and he said 'good grief' like ten times in a row. I never want to live through that again." Miss Piggy tells him, "Oh, who cares what that little green buzzkill wants? We're having fun!" to which Scooter replies, "Good grief, you're right! [gasps] Listen to me. I'm swearing like a sailor!"
  • "Little Green Lie" β€” Kermit surprises Scooter and Robin, and Scooter exclaims, "Monday Funtimes," and then immediately apologizes for cussing in front of a child.
  • Engaging in a rap battle on Drop the Mic, the speech-impaired Beaker delivered an insulting response for which Kermit had to apologize to the audience for use of bad language. Later, Miss Piggy replies, "I'm too good for this battle, the only one with class, so all of you Muppets can kiss my β€”" followed by a censorship beep from Beaker.

Honorable mentions


Zach Braff and Elmo promo outtakes for Scrubs on ABC 2009

Zach Braff and Elmo for Scrubs.

  • Marvin Suggs, playing a courtroom judge in The Muppet Show episode 506, asks Kermit if he's been sworn in. Kermit replies, "At, yes. In, no."
  • During a 2005 appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live guest Ozzy Osbourne was sitting next to Fozzie, and complained, "What am I talking to a fucking glove puppet for?" Fozzie appeared quite insulted - somewhat by Osbourne's foul language, but more so for being called a "puppet".
  • During a 2006 appearance on Rove Live, Elmo is initially upset with Rove McManus, because, "earlier on in the show, you said the D-word!" Elmo does, however, quickly forgive him, because, "this is Rove's show, not Elmo's."
  • In a publicity video for the Scrubs episode "My ABCs," Zach Braff regrets accidentally swearing in the presence of Elmo, who is excited to "learn a new word." He even begs Elmo not to take the word back to Sesame Street with him.

See also

External links

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