The Pied Piper of Hamelin is a folk tale known today from the collections of storytellers such as the Brothers Grimm. The tale began as a legend in the middle ages about the German town of Hamelin ("Hameln" in German) and the disappearance of its children. In the 16th century, the story developed into the more familiar fairy tale of a piper hired to rid the town of rats with his magic pipe.
The fairy tale has inspired many allusions, references, and adaptations for centuries. Walt Disney adapted the tale for a Silly Symphony short, both Batman and Wonder Woman have incorporated the tale into storylines, and Boris Karloff performed a reading of The Pied Piper & The Hunting of the willies for Caedmon Records.
- The Muppet Show episode 510 features a take on the story in which a town of rats is plagued by a horde of children.
- Baby Rowlf takes on the part of the Pied Piano Player in the third season Muppet Babies episode, "Of Mice and Muppets."
- The special The Pied Piper of Astroworld (featuring Soupy Sales as the Piper) featured a special appearance by the Muppets.
- On Mopatop's Shop, the episode "The Pie Piper" features a Pie Man who has lured away all the pies.
- Episode 3162 of Sesame Street features Big Bird finding The Pied Piper of 57th Street's pipe, which causes the adults of Sesame Street to dance uncontrollably.