This is a list of the Policies and Guidelines discussed and agreed upon by the Muppet Wiki community.
For compartmentalized details, see the series of articles in Category:Policies and Guidelines.
- Due to the frequency with which videos are removed from YouTube, we try to keep links to that site at a minimum. Some exceptions include accounts owned by regular contributors who are keeping an eye on their own links or cases where wiki information is being sourced. We also never link to anything that's commercially available. For embed purposes, official channels are allowed and encouraged (including those of Sesame Workshop, The Jim Henson Company, Muppet Studios, individual show producers or sponsors, and filmmakers of Sesame Street inserts are examples).
- When summarizing fictional events that happened in a TV show, book, or film, the present tense is used unless explicitly dealing with a character's backstory prior to the episode. This rule applies even if the production follows characters over a certain length of time. The exception applies to character pages with long and detailed histories over a span of several (real life) years and projects. To quote Danny: "The point is that the writing always takes place in the present of the moment that you're writing about. If the episode that you're writing about shifts from one sentence to another, then the present tense follows it." (CE discussion)
- Posting the full lyrics to a song isn't allowed on the wiki; it's considered a violation of the songwriter's copyright, and that's a violation that is enforced more often than images or other potential violations. It's okay to quote selected lines from a song within the context of a larger article about that song, the songwriter, or the character.
- Entries are expected to be made with proper grammar, capitalization and spacing.
- Don't make lists of quotes for favorite or famous lines. We don't want to become a quote database, and picking the best ones is subject to one's point of view. Quotes should be used in articles to illustrate a particular point.
- The purpose of disambiguation pages is to redirect the user to the page they're looking for. When other links are included, it tends to confuse that process. As such, only the articles being disambiguated should be linked, and any other discernible information should be kept limited to the point that a visitor can determine which of the articles they are looking for. All other pertinent information and wiki links can be found in the following article. More on disambiguation: (CE discussion)
- Infobox templates for music albums (records, tapes, CDs, etc) should only have the format, catalog number, label and cover image for the first release. All later releases (and their information) should go farther down in the "other releases" gallery.
- Captions and text should refer to a person by their last name unless it's within the context of the appearance they were making where they were referred to by their first name by other characters. For example, Elmo refers to Whoopi Goldberg as "Whoopi" and Kermit refers to Gene Kelly as "Gene". The descriptive text should read Elmo and Whoopi discuss their hair and fur and Kermit gets a dancing lesson from Gene; while captions and history about the person should be Goldberg pictured with Kami at the United Nations and Kelly didn't want to do "Singin' in the Rain", but the show writers convinced him otherwise.
- Multiple links to the same article in close proximity to each other is discouraged (in paragraphs, for example). Exceptions include links appearing under another header or in image captions. Readers often skip down to the information that interests them and tend to look over pictures first. Not providing links to relevant articles in these cases (even when they've already been linked in the article) would fail to direct the reader to relevant topics. Readers shouldn't be expected to know that a link was provided in an earlier section of the article or have to do a separate search.
- Spoilers (CE discussion)
- Muppet Show guest bios (CE discussion)
- Edit summaries are helpful for explaining your edits: why you're removing, changing, or adding something. (CE discussion)
- Wikia offers three editing modes. The first is simple code, and the other two are WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editors:
- wikicode (or source editor)
- Rich Text Editor
- Visual Editor
- Because Muppet Wiki was built before either of the WYSIWYG editors were developed, we recommend using wikicode. It's the same simple code Wikipedia uses, in fact simpler because we don't use the complicated templates commonly used on Wikipedia. Edits made with the two WYSIWYG editors developed by Wikia may not save your changes correctly and require clean-up from another editor. The option to choose which editor to use can be set (wikicode is referred to in the dropdown menu as "source editor").
- The performer section of character infoboxes are for the main performer(s) of a character only. And only when that performer has been established with a character for 1) an extended period over 2) multiple productions (these two criteria are open for discussion on a case by case basis). Exceptions include when Sesame Workshop or Muppets Studio LLC (Disney) issues a formal press release (this is rare). Performer histories are covered in the article. See Talk:Janice, Talk:Sam the Eagle, Talk:Dr. Teeth, and others.
- On people articles, full birth/death dates (day, month, year) are typically reserved for people for whom Muppet Wiki serves as a primary biographical source: Jim Henson, Muppet performers, major contributors (frequent writers or composers, etc.), long-term Sesame Street cast, and the like. Celebrities and more occasional crew (as well as anyone merely referenced) are listed by years only, i.e. Bob Hope (1903-2003). Wikipedia and other sources cover those dates and other information in full, so Muppet Wiki tends to focus on the more Muppet-centric people.
Performer start and stop dates
- Start dates (Thread:285962)
- In terms of when to use the production date vs the release date, it's best to make a determination on a case-by-case basis.
- End dates (Thread:259354#21)
- If we have a verifiable and citable date (such as Jim Henson's death, Kevin Clash's resignation, or Caroll Spinney's retirement), then we use that date. We can explain in the article when/why they ceased being the performer and if material with them continued to be released after their departure (such as saying "Spinney retired from performing Big Bird in October 2018; new material featuring him as Big Bird continued to be released through 2020.").
- But if there is no definitive source for a hard stop date (such as Jerry Nelson as Floyd), then we go with when their last performance was released and we don't try to speculate on when such material was filmed/produced or when they last put their hand in the puppet or spoke in their voice (such as simply saying "Nelson's last known performance as Floyd was dialog for the 2003 video game Muppets Party Cruise"... and we don't try to guess when those vocals may have been recorded or if he had ceased to be Floyd's performer prior to 2003).
- Jim Henson was the performer of Guy Smiley until his death in 1990 (a strong citable stop date for Henson's tenure)... even if it's possible that he actually last touched the puppet in 1989 or if his performances weren't released until 1991.
Don't bother linking multiple articles if they're close together on a page. Allow for a paragraph or two before linking the same article again. Please don't link every single capitalized word — it makes the page confusing and messy.
The exception is on lists — if some of the items in a list are linked, then go ahead and link all of them, even if they're repeated elsewhere in the article.
Date links should be used when the subject of the article has a specific release date or appearance date. The easiest way to think about it is: A timeline page has a set of links on it, listing events that happened that year. When you click "what links here", the list of pages that link to the year should match up with what's listed on the page. (CE discussion)
- The best example is for books, records, episodes, movies and specials. Those pages have one date linked -- for example, The Monster at the End of This Book has a link to 1971 in the infobox. Other dates mentioned on the page don't get linked, including reissues of the book. Only the first publication date is linked.
- TV appearances -- Link for the date that a Muppet appeared, but not for other dates. "The Tonight Show has been running continuously since 1953" wouldn't be linked; "Kermit and Miss Piggy appeared on the show in 1979" would be linked.
- Song pages -- Songs written for the Muppets or Sesame Street get a date link in the infobox. Songs that the Muppets covered (like most Muppet Show songs) don't get a date link.
- Individual people or characters don't get any date links. (This is the one exception to the general rule listed at the top -- a birth or death date of a performer might be listed on the timeline page, but they don't get linked from the person's page. Ditto for a character's first appearance.)
- There should never be date links in captions, galleries or references.
Please don't add links to Amazon or other commercial sites. It's nice to help other Muppet fans find the cool products that are available, but we don't want to look like we're trying to sell things. We also don't want to open the possibility to people posting sponsored Amazon links, or links to their own Ebay store. If a product is currently in print and available, you can note that in the article. If that inspires readers to buy the product, then they can find it online themselves. Only link to a commercial site as a means of citing a source.
In the case of legitimate external links, sometimes these expire because the website has either moved or retired the article. If you find one, rather than removing it, check to see if an archive service has the link backed up. archive.org and archive.li are good long-term solutions, while Google Cache may have more recent content.
- The creation of new categories must first be discussed with the community at Special:Forum. Before considering a new category, check the Category list to see if there's a similar category that already exists.
- Articles for people should be sorted in categories by the last name. So, in the example to the right, sorting the Jim Henson article by Henson, Jim, allows for his page to show up in those categories under H. Similarly, pages beginning with The, A, and An should be sorted by the next word in the article title. For example, Muppet Movie, The or Cookie is a Sometime Food, A.
- Format for international categories -- keeping them separate from US categories -- not listing international releases in "Book appearances", "Audio releases", "Video releases".
- Every article should have a Category.
For the most part, books, albums, toys and other merchandise should just have a year for the release date, without a specific month or day. Release dates for most items are approximate anyway -- a Harry Potter book makes a big hoopla about a specific release date, but Sesame Street storybooks and Muppet DVDs tend to drift out into stores over a period of weeks. The source for most dates is a retail store, usually Amazon, and that just tracks the date that Amazon happened to start selling the item. So most of the time, we should just have the year of release.
The exception is for projects in the In Development category -- for those pages, a specific date can help readers know when a book/album is supposed to come out. Those dates should be sourced as much as possible -- if the date comes from Amazon, then use a ref tag with a link to the Amazon page. When a project moves from the In Development category to the regular category, the specific date should be taken out, leaving just the year.