World War II was the second World War, a global conflict which spanned from 1939 until 1945 (with some battles or skirmishes occurring beyond that date range). The early stages revolved largely around Europe, as Nazi Germany invaded Poland and other smaller European nations. Germany joined with Italy and Imperial Japan as the Axis powers. Allied forces included Great Britain and (after the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor) the United States of America.
The war itself shaped life and culture throughout the 1940s. The USO was formed in 1941 as a way to entertain the troops overseas, and stars such as Bob Hope volunteered their services. The "V" for victory sign, made famous by Winston Churchill, was often used in propaganda and morale efforts. The home front experienced rationing, victory gardens, bond rallies, and shifts in work roles as women filled in for enlisted men (as symbolized by Rosie the Riveter). Films often reflected or parodied the conflicts, as did radio (often broadcasting songs by the Andrews Sisters, such as "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy," which reflected the war).
- In the final moments of episode 107 of The Muppet Show, Statler claims to have loved the show. Waldorf replies, "So what? You also loved World War II."
- During a performance of "River Road" in episode 402 of The Muppet Show, a fellow runaway informs Crystal Gayle that she's been on the run so long, she hasn't changed her socks since World War II.
- In The Miss Piggy Cover Girl Fantasy Calendar (1981), a faked cover of Life magazine, with a date of May 1942, shows Miss Piggy (in an air force cap) parachuting down into a USO camp (the headline reads "S.R.O. [Standing Room Only] at the U.S.O!").
- In The Muppets Go to the Movies, the segment A Frog Too Far parodies the WWII film A Bridge Too Far in title. However, the content borrows from many WWII films (including those produced while the war was ongoing). Kermit is an air force pilot, "flying some planes for Uncle Sam," and recalling his experiences from a USO canteen in England. Lily Tomlin plays a mechanic who compares herself to Rosie the Riveter, the English nun nursing an injured Kermit when his plane is shot down, and finally his old flame who has joined the WACs. The Andrews Sisters' song "Apple Blossom Time" is performed by the Female Singers. As Kermit's voice-over puts it, "It was 1943. We'd come a long way from Pearl Harbor and had a long way to go to D-Day."
- The Dinosaurs episode "Nuts to War" part 1 and part 2 spoof the WWII-set miniseries The Winds of War. While much of the episode spoofs the Gulf War, it also specifically invokes personages, cliches, and characters from World War II. The stately Elder in Chief addresses the nation much like Franklin Delano Roosevelt did. In the second part, Charlene Sinclair, Earl Sinclair, and Roy Hess become USO girls, joining Bob Hack (spoofing Bob Hope's tours of duty). They perform an Andrews Sisters-style act, and Earl asks of the soldiers whether he has a girl back home.
- Muppets Tonight episode 104 spoofs The Rat Patrol with the WWII spoof "The Rats' Patrol." The announcer gives the time and place as North Africa, 1943, and presents the "true" story of General Montgomery's desert rats. John Goodman leads a platoon of rats against enemy cheeses. In the skit, a Swiss Cheese refers to himself as neutral, acknowledging Switzerland's history of neutrality during both world wars (and before and after).
- In the "Bay of Pigswatch" from Muppets Tonight episode 105, Donnie and Art C. Shell find an unexploded World War II land mine.
A few of those who worked in Muppet/Sesame-related projects had World War II experience, both within and outside of military service.