|DESIGN||Michael K. Frith designer|
Maria McNamara builder
Marjory the Trash Heap is a large, matronly, sentient compost heap from Fraggle Rock. According to her rat-like companions Philo and Gunge, who serve as her acolytes, the Trash Heap knows all and sees all. In fact, Marjory is all: "I'm orange peels, I'm coffee grounds, I'm wisdom!" She serves as an oracle to the Fraggles, dispensing advice and wise sayings, and the Fraggles stand in awe and reverence of her. However, the trash heap lives outside the caves of Fraggle Rock, residing in a corner of the Gorgs' Garden. This makes any journey to seek her wisdom perilous, as the Fraggles must sneak past Junior Gorg.
Marjory's pronouncements "sound a little like Dear Abby on a bad day," according to the presentation booklet used to pitch the series. Her advice usually proves beneficial, though her audience occasionally mistakes practical suggestions for magic spells. She does occasionally supply the Fraggles with "magic" objects such as a lucky blanket or Love Potion No. 9, and does appear to have some magical ability, such as the ability to teleport objects or Fraggles and to speak to someone telepathically, either while awake or in their dreams. Though Marjory enjoys her work, she frequently attempts to offer not just temporary solutions but to encourage the Fraggles and the other species to come together in harmony, and to become more self-reliant. Some attempts, such as in "The Great Radish Famine," are less successful than others. While Philo and Gunge refer to her as "Marjory," the Fraggles address her with the more formal title "Madame Trash Heap," "Madame Heap," "Your Trashiness" or occasionally simply "Trash Heap." Marjory in turn refers to Philo and Gunge as "my boys."
Marjory occasionally uses a lorgnette when peering at her visitors, and often settles down into her trash pit when sleeping or depressed. She speaks in an erratic Eastern European accent, sometimes with a hint of German and often heavy in Yiddish inflections. Her performer, Jerry Nelson, based her voice and accent on Maria Ouspenskaya. John O'Connor of the New York Times described her as sounding "like somebody's idea of revenge on a Jewish mother-in-law," though her accent or even her gender (such as it is) is based on where in the Gorg's garden she is placed. Like many of the other Fraggle Rock characters, Marjory is also musical, often belting out her advice in the form of a rousing song, with Philo and Gunge on backup, and accompanying herself with a tambourine.
In the episode "Home Is Where the Trash Is," it is revealed that the Trash Heap was not a living, sentient being until Philo and Gunge found her, at which point she sprang to life. In the same episode, Philo and Gunge decide to leave Marjory, and she falls gravely ill until they return.
Marjory has mentioned relatives on rare occasions, though particulars of how trash heap families work are never explored. Marjory references her mother in the lyrics to "I Seen Troubles" from "Beginnings." In "I Don't Care," Marjory reminisces about Uncle Maximillian, life of the party.
Marjory figured most prominently during the first season, appearing every other episode or so. In "The Trash Heap Doesn't Live Here Anymore," Marjory is relocated. Her appearances become more sporadic from then on, but she plays a key role in the final episodes.
Most trash heaps tend to change their appearance over time, and Marjory is no exception; she underwent a slight cosmetic adjustment after the first filmed episode. Her triangular mouth became more crescent-shaped, and a bit more bulk was added to the top of her head.
- Fraggle Rock
- Episode 101: Beginnings - song: "I Seen Troubles"
- Episode 104: You Can't Do That Without a Hat - song: "Without a Hat"
- Episode 105: The Thirty-Minute Work Week
- Episode 107: I Want to Be You
- Episode 110: Don't Cry Over Spilt Milk
- Episode 111: Catch the Tail by the Tiger
- Episode 112: The Finger of Light
- Episode 113: We Love You, Wembley - song: "Lover, Lover, Number 9"
- Episode 115: I Don't Care
- Episode 117: Marooned - song: "Go with the Flow"
- Episode 119: The Great Radish Famine - song: "Perfect Harmony"
- Episode 123: The Beast of Blue Rock - song: "Brave Boy, Jump Up"
- Episode 124: New Trash Heap in Town
- Episode 203: The Trash Heap Doesn't Live Here Anymore - song: "Trash is Back in Town"
- Episode 206: Boober's Dream
- Episode 218: The Day the Music Died - song: "Stuff Samba"
- Episode 305: Blanket of Snow, Blanket of Woe
- Episode 307: Home Is Where the Trash Is
- Episode 313: Scared Silly
- Episode 322: Gunge the Great and Glorious
- Episode 401: Sprocket's Big Adventure
- Episode 408: A Brush with Jealousy - song: "Sure Ain't Junk"
- Episode 505: The River of Life
- Episode 509: Ring Around the Rock
- Episode 511: The Gorg Who Would Be King
- Episode 512: The Honk of Honks
- Episode 513: Change of Address