The Princess and the Mattress is a story Maria reads to Oscar the Grouch's niece Irvine. (First: Episode 1723)

Based on the classic Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale "The Princess and the Pea", it tells the story of a grouchy prince, played by Oscar himself, who has a burning desire to marry an equally grouchy princess to spend the rest of his life arguing with. He plans in advance by preparing a bed suitable for a Grouch. Whenever a prospective princess comes to visit, he plans to let her rest on a bed of hard, uncomfortable bricks and see if she can feel the mattress underneath.

Sure enough, one day he is paid a visit by a grouch claiming to be a princess (fittingly portrayed by Oscar's girlfriend, Grundgetta). He invites her to take a nap, but she feels the mattress within seconds. Her anger with Prince Oscar's practical joke is exactly what he was looking for. He proposes to her, and she refuses. An argument over whether to get married or not begins, and the two of them live grouchily ever after. At the end of the story, Irvine cries hysterically, which, according to her uncle, means that she liked it.

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