Wontkin being shot in the face.

BDM gun

Beautiful Day Monster extinguishes the life of a bird on The Ed Sullivan Show.

Hooper un family

Sesame Street sketch (First: Episode 0251)


Mack shoots the gun up the air in a McGarry's Sausage commercial.


The All-Nation Goldfish-Shooting Contest.


"Lassie, marry me, or I'll shoot myself!"


The Swedish Chef shoots down some uncooperative food.


A hunter invades the woods during "For What It's Worth."

Bullets Barker gun to Fozzie

Bullets Barker holds a gun on Fozzie.


Sinster Sam's "itchy trigger finger"

El Sleezo Shot

Fozzie dodges a bullet in The Muppet Movie.

Vasquez Rocks The Muppet Movie

Frog killers in The Muppet Movie.


Nicky Holiday holds up the Muppets in The Great Muppet Caper.


Bugsy Them fires his Tommy gun in Dog City.

Guns on Boo

"What if everyone in the world lived in one house? We do." —Better World Society

Kermit Indiana gun

"Now, this is a play gun. It's all make believe. Trust me."


Long John points his "boom-boom stick" at Captain Smollett and Benjamina in Muppet Treasure Island

Rats patrol gun props

Props for the rats patrol.


Seymour resorts to gun violence to rid the KMUP studio of the bread monster.


Singer with the subatomic neutro-destabiliser (AKA "the really big gun").

Episode114 (36)

The Muppets play a non-deadly game of laser tag.

A gun (also known by island pigs as a "boom-boom stick") is a deadly weapon designed to shoot projectiles, such as bullets and artillery shells.

In Muppet productions, guns have been used by pirates, cowboys, gangsters, hunters, and even Scandinavian cooks.

In addition to small firearms, the Muppets occasionally have used larger artillery (such as cannons), although this is mostly for stage stunts, musical percussion, or historical reenactments. Similarly, Crazy Harry is also known for his frequent explosions and pyrotechnics.

Gun use and references

  • Gun violence was used in the punchlines of several Wilkins Coffee commercials:
  • "Public Service Announcement": Wilkins asks Wontkins if he drinks Wilkins Coffee. When Wontkins says he does not, a hand enters from off screen with a gun and shoots Wontkins.
  • "Espionage": Spy Wilkins offers Wontkins some Wilkins Coffee. He turns down the offer and is silenced with a gunshot.
  • "Five Aces": Playing poker, Wontkins asks Wilkins if he can beat his hand of five aces. Wilkins replies that he has a can of Wilkins Coffee and proceeds to fire a gun at Wontkins.
  • "Howdy Stranger": Gun-slinging cowpoke Wilkins asks stranger Wontkins if he drinks Wilkins Coffee. When he replies negatively, he's gunned down and Wilkins points his barrel toward the screen, asking if there's other strangers in town.
  • "Nobody Beats Wilkins": In an electoral race involving Wilkins Coffee, Wontkins announces his candidacy running against the product. Wilkins begins the "race" with a starting pistol, shooting Wontkins in the face.
  • In an ad for McGarry's Sausage, Mack fires a gun into the air, proclaiming that Kermit should eat McGarry's Sausages for breakfast because "They start your day with a BANG!" Kermit leaps out of bed, shaking and fearing for his life.
  • In one ad for Purina Dog Chow, Rowlf asks Baskerville if he's heard that Purina is guaranteed delicious or your money back. Baskerville replies with no, and Rowlf shoots him with a gun, exclaiming: "Now he'll never know!".
  • In the first Wilson's Meats meeting film, Skip reveals he doesn't actually eat Wilson's Meats; he's a vegetarian. Scoop replies by shooting him through the head.
  • Jim Henson's Time Piece shows the man as a gunslinger in the west; when he shoots the Mona Lisa, he is sentenced to jail for the crime.
  • One sketch depicts Sinister Sam looking through the town saloon for Doc Holiday, claiming to have an itchy trigger finger (an idiom referring to someone's eagerness to fire a gun). The Doc is naturally frightened, until he learns Sam is referring to the actual itchiness of his finger and wants it checked out.
  • Another sketch features a town doctor who will be participating in a "shootin' party" with outlaw Mean Manny. The party turns out to be the time for Manny and his gang to receive their medical shots.
  • In the "Cowboy Time" sketch in episode 101, Kid Fozzie attempts to hold up a bar, first telling everyone to "reach for the floor" and then telling them that "this is a stickdown." He realizes he is packing two pickles instead of pistols, and is derided as the "fastest gherkin in the West" by the bartender. After he is mocked by the saloon's patrons and staff, Fozzie fires off the loaded pickles, shoots down the chandelier, and traps the bartender, who then concedes a large bag of cash to the villain. Just then, Rowlf the Dog turns his own gun on Fozzie, who trades his pickles for a carrot.
  • In episode 105, the Swedish Chef prepares pancakes, which wind up stuck on the ceiling; he uses a blunderbuss and shoots them down.
  • In episode 114, Chef uses a "boomashootn" to shoot a hole through an English muffin in order to make a doughnut.
  • The Swedish Chef shoots lettuce with a gun in episode 205, first creating a salad and then Brussels sprouts. Later, he tries to shoot a coconut, but instead shoots a rubber chicken and gets hit by a coconut.
  • Two roosters engage in a shootout at a saloon in episode 220.
  • The performance of "For What It's Worth" in episode 221 features three inept Whatnot hunters terrifying the woodland animals as they carelessly shoot their guns on their way through the woods. In the end, the hunters only manage to shoot a motorcycle, a tractor, and a cement truck.
  • During the opening theme from episode 303, Scooter calls for someone to "kill that light" backstage. From off-screen, the bulb is riddled with bullets by a machine gun.
  • Episode 319 features a look at the "All-Nation Goldfish-Shooting Contest" in a "Muppet Sports" segment. Louis Kazagger wishes a contender luck on shooting a goldfish. The contender denies that he needs luck, aims his shotgun directly into the fishbowl but misses the goldfish entirely, showing that shooting fish in a barrel isn't quite as easy as the adage suggests.
  • A group of Whatnot soldiers sing "Why Can't We Be Friends?" in episode 401 while on the battlefield with their guns. One of the lyrics (changed just for the episode) asks "Why can't we drop our guns and all shake hands?"
  • In episode 405, the Swedish Chef threatens an uncooperative turtle with a blunderbuss, only to be met with a double-barreled miniature canon from within the turtle's shell.
  • In the murder mystery from episode 414, the lights go out and the audience hears screaming and gun shots; when the lights come back up, the Muppets find that Liza Minnelli has been stabbed.
  • Luke Skywalker brandishes his blaster pistol in episode 417, even pointing it at Fozzie Bear backstage. While sometimes described as being a "clumsy or random" weapon, he does try to fire the blaster at Dearth Nadir, however it's no use.
  • The Swedish Chef tries to ready Eric the Parrot for the kitchen in episode 507. Eric has the last word when he shoots him in the face with a blunderbuss pistol.
  • Kermit warns the group in The Great Muppet Caper that "there could be physical violence, there could be gunplay, and there's a slightest chance that somebody might even get killed." His assessment is partially true when Nicky Holiday grabs Kermit and pulls a gun on the Muppets. When asked why he was doing that, Holiday replied "I'm a villain. It's pure and simple."
  • In The Muppets Take Manhattan Kermit describes "Manhattan Melodies" as a show about life in the big city. Martin Price comments on the idea saying "Big city, huh? Cops? Shootings? Car chases? That kind of thing?" Kermit rebuffs saying "No shooting stuff. It's more like songs and dances." Price replies "Songs and dances? That might be interesting. Nobody cares about shootings anyway."
  • The "Bombs" PSA for the Better World Society is built on the premise of several monsters all living in the same house, brandishing a stockpile of guns, bombs, and other weaponry. When Boo Monster reaches the final room and inadvertently pops his balloon on a bayonet, the monsters train several firearms on his position in response.
  • Kermit plays the lead in the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular in The Muppets at Walt Disney World. Using a prop gun, he addresses the audience and says, "I'd like to go on record as being opposed to the use of violence for purposes of conflict resolution, however..." and "I don't believe in violence, I don't believe in violence" as he shoots at Nazis (one actor of whom he assures is okay after being "shot" by Kermit). When Piggy, as Marion Ravenwood, guns down the encampment with a machine gun, Kermit shouts, "How are we going to explain this to Big Bird?!"
  • In Muppet*Vision 3D the Swedish Chef fights back against the cannon fire of the orchestra. The chef takes out a large blunderbuss and shoots at Waldo several times, hitting the screen instead. Waldo teases the Chef, and turns into a target. Waldo then realizes his mistake, as the angry Chef puts the gun away and instead takes out a huge cannon.
  • To signal the beginning of the speed demolition skating competition between Louis Kazagger and Gonzo in a 1992 Good Morning America sketch about the Geek Winter Games, a chicken fires a gun. It's most likely loaded with blanks, as is tradition for the use of firearms in signaling the beginning of events in sporting activities.
  • In 1943 North Africa, The Rats' Patrol ready themselves for battle with automatic weapons in Muppets Tonight episode episode 104. Brigade commander John Goodman corrects his expletive with "shoot!" resulting int he firing of the rats' weapons. When a Swiss Cheese arrives to sell the soldiers wares, Rizzo the Rat points his gun and tells him to get out of there before he fills him with any more holes.
  • In Muppets from Space, K. Edgar Singer uses a subatomic neutro-destabilizer (also known as "the really big gun") to hold up Gonzo and his family. His plan is thwarted when, in his attempt to silence the laughing aliens, it is revealed the weapon is unloaded (thanks to Rentro removing the clip).
  • Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and Robin play laser tag in The Muppets episode "Little Green Lie." The Muppets participate in the combat simulation game by firing non-harmful laser guns at each other.
  • Guns are so closely associated with visual references to James Bond that they either have to be included, or, in the case of many Muppet spoofs of the character, replaced with some other object. International merchandise has retained the gun in a couple of instances, but notable stand-ins have included a banana, a cookie, a water pistol, and bare hands.

Notes and commentary

  • Jim Henson once stated that as a youth: "I had a BB gun, and I'd shoot at the water moccasins in the swamp just to wake them up."[1] According to one biography, while other children in the area were learning how to use real guns for hunting, Jim had "absolutely no interest in it."[2] Another biography stated: "Jimmy was never interested in fighting and he never learned how to use a real gun to go hunting with some of the other boys in the crowd."[3]
  • An early draft for a Kern's Bakery commercial featured Tommy mowing down Fred with a machine gun in response to Fred's disapproval of violence in advertising. The concept and script was revised to Fred being eaten by an aggressive monster instead.[4]
  • In an interview with MuppetZine, Jerry Juhl commented on the gunplay in Muppet Treasure Island stating: "Brian [Henson] wanted as little serious violence as possible, and those responsible for it had to be humans, not Muppets, thus proclaiming the moral superiority of felt over flesh. Muppets almost never handle guns in the film, and never shoot them. Well, okay, Bunsen fires a cannon and kills a palm tree. But that's it!"[5]


  1. Jones, Brian Jay. Jim Henson: The Biography, page 33 (2013)
  2. Parish, James Robert. Jim Henson: Puppeteer and Filmmaker, page 14 (2006)
  3. Gourse, Leslie. Jim Henson: Young Puppeteer, page 58 (2000)
  4. Jim Henson's Red Book: Filmed 8 commercials for Kern’s Bread’
  5. Horn, Danny. MuppetZine: An Interview with Jerry Juhl (1996)

See also

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Stream the best stories.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Get Disney+