Emporerfozzie

Keep the following principles in mind when editing articles to help keep the style as consistent as possible. While the wiki environment means someone might fix mistakes and make things compliant eventually, we have 37,503 pages and far fewer editors than comparatively bigger projects, so every little bit helps!

Basics

Muppet Wiki uses the same language to format its style and layout that Wikipedia and other MediaWiki projects use: Wiki markup (otherwise known as Wikitext or Wikicode). Fandom's Help:Contents have some useful pages on how to use this, as does Wikipedia:Help:Wikitext.

While this page serves as a guideline for how we at Muppet Wiki style our articles, the number one thing to remember about formatting when you're not sure, is to look at an existing article for a topic similar to the one you're about to create. Copy the relevant code from the article's edit window, paste to the new article, and make the appropriate changes. This can include wiki markup, categories, sorting, layout, tables, infoboxes, citing sources, where to place quotes, italics, etc.

Grammar

Entries are expected to be made with proper grammar, capitalization, and spacing. The Muppet Wiki community is not as vast as Wikipedia, so your expectation can't be that someone else will come along and fix additions made in haste. Users with excessive violations may see their good faith additions reverted, so please do your best to thoughtfully construct sentence structure.

Some other best practices to keep in mind:

  • Remember to capitalize the letter M on the word "Muppet".
  • Present dates in full: December 11, 1992. Link to the year to allow access to the timeline (and add a reference to the relevant year article if necessary).
  • Use American spelling (which favors "z" spellings such as "organize" rather than "organise", and "o" spellings such as "color" rather than "colour").
  • Punctuation belongs inside quotation marks. For example:
Kermit sings "Bein' Green." is correct.
Kermit sings "Bein' Green". is incorrect.

Apostrophes

  • An apostrophe does not accompany any word that ends in s. Here are a few examples of proper usage:
  • Charles Grodin appeared in 1990's The Muppets at Walt Disney World.
  • Applause manufactured Sesame Street piggy banks in the late 1990s.
  • Applause manufactured Sesame Street piggy banks in the late '90s.
  • The DVD's features include a photo gallery and commentary track.
  • The Muppet Show was released on a series of DVDs by Time-Life.

Names and Titles

  • Do not capitalize prepositions or other minor grammatical articles within titles. This includes in, of, on, and, or, and the. Do capitalize significant words, e.g. Bear in the Big Blue House, not Bear In The Big Blue House.
    • Exception: Capitalize the first and last words of titles: The Street We Live On, not the Street We Live on.

Formatting

  • The name of a TV series is italicized, and the episode goes in quotes: the Fraggle Rock episode "The Terrible Tunnel" (episodes without formal titles have different rules):
  • The Muppet Show episode 308 — referring to the guest star twice in a sentence would be awkward, so we use the production number; episode is lowercase because it is not a formal title.
  • Sesame Street Episode 1839 — "Episode" is capitalized here because the number serves as the formal episode title as seen on the title card in front of nearly every episode.

Links

  • You only need to create a link the first time a concept is mentioned -- so don't link Gonzo fifty times in one article. On long pages, especially where someone may come to an article and immediately navigate to a new section, exceptions can be made for a new link to a previously linked title.
  • 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.
  • Check whether links exist before creating them. There's nothing wrong with linking to non-existent articles, but the article may in fact exist under a slightly different name.
  • Be especially careful with capitalization in links. A link to The Case of the Missing Mother is different from a link to The Case Of The Missing Mother.
  • Include appropriate category links in new articles (check the Category list if you're not sure which ones to use).

Anchored links

An anchored link is when you link to a section of an article. These are automatically generated by having a header section in the article, for example, placing a hashtag followed by the name of the section in the Kermit article — Kermit_the_Frog#Changing_Performers — takes you right to the Changing Performers section.

We can add custom tags to articles, but the code is a bit more tricky. For example, Super_Grover#barber takes you right to the place in the sketch table that covers the "barber" segment without needing a section header there. These are the things you need to remember when creating them and should only be used by advanced wiki editors:

  • To help combat Wikia's finicky visual editors, we use the {{divid}} template to keep the code consistent. Place the template within the wikicode that signals the beginning of the cells in the table you want to link. Using the example above, it would look like this: |- <div id="barber" />
  • The unique tags — in the example, barber — need to be very simple in order for the URL to work properly. Avoid spaces between words, capital letters, and special characters such as apostrophes.
  • If these tags have been established on an article for some time, don't change them, as there's no easy way to use Special:Whatlinkshere to fix them unless you go through the code of every page linking to the article to see if that tag has been used. Changing the smallest factor of the tag will discontinue its functionality.

Inter-wiki link sanity

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

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.

External links

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.

Editing

  • 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:
  1. wikicode (or source editor)
  2. Rich Text Editor
  3. 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 in your Preferences (wikicode is referred to in the dropdown menu as "source editor").

People coverage

  • After a person is identified by their full name in an article, any following references should be made using their last name. One exception to this rule may be used when describing their involvement in a scene when they're playing themselves, for example, on The Muppet Show or Sesame Street. Their first name is used by the Muppet characters, and at this point, the actors themselves become characters in the play. When behind-the-scenes information is being described, the last name should again be used.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • People should be sorted in categories by their last name first (where applicable). See #Categories for more.

Performer dates

How to record dates for the first and last time someone performed a character when the production and broadcast dates are different:

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.
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.

Lyrics and Transcripts

  • 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.
  • 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.

Organization

  • 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.
  • Break up longer articles with headings. We use the headings "External links", "Trivia", and "Sources" often.

Categories

Namesort
  • 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.
  • {{DEFAULTSORT:}} can be used to automatically sort the article the same way in each category it's listed in. Locally sorting the category will override DEFAULTSORT, i.e. [[Category:Category Name|Custom Sort Text]]
  • To link to a category within the body of the text without also placing the article in that category, place a colon after the opening brackets, like this... [[:Category:Celebrities]]
  • Format for international categories -- keeping them separate from US categories -- not listing international releases in "Book appearances", "Audio releases", "Video releases".

Merchandise

Merchandise dates

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.

Writing style

  • 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)
  • Another example of tense comes in to play frequently when talking about an old production that's no longer being made. For example, even though Dallas has been off the air for decades, it still exists as a TV show. It didn't stop being a TV show when it went off the air. Therefore, "Dallas is a TV series that aired from 1978 to 1991..." is correct.

Words and phrases to avoid

  • "At one point Wembley does this." Describe the point at which you are referring with context so readers and other contributors can verify your addition.
  • Do your best not to start every bulleted item in a list with...
    • "In a Letter of the Day game, Cookie Monster eats Prairie Dawn's violin and bow."
    • "In The Muppet Show episode 413, Slim Wilson asks Floyd and Zoot for directions to Carnegie Hall."
    • "In a Pepe's Profiles interview, Fozzie mentions he'd like to play Carnegie Hall one day."
Play around with the sentence structure so as not to make each item in the list sound so uniform.
  • "Currently", "recently", "in recent years", and "upcoming". We're not likely to catch each occurrence of these phrases when they're no longer relevant. Also includes specific numbers on celeb pages for ongoing movie series, show seasons, or other items that need to be updated periodically. See Thread:238201
  • "Also" and other connectors that have already been used in an article. Often, when adding new information to an article, it may seem prudent to continue a similar thought by saying something like, "Also, Henson did this in 1978," or whatever. Try to be aware of the language used elsewhere in the article, especially in the immediately preceding passage. This will avoid a whole series of subsequent sentences starting with "also this" and "also that". Be mindful of the writing structure that's already in place so that the text still flows as something readable. Sometimes an "Also" addition will make more sense as an "and" to an existing sentence. When referring to an earlier (often looser or more obscure) contribution from a person to a wiki covered production, "previously" is often more appropriate than also.
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