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File:Great muppet caper 2104.jpg

 Miss Piggy: Um, why are you telling me all this?

Lady Holiday: It's plot exposition. It has to go somewhere.

A 1981 release by Jim Henson and his studio, The Great Muppet Caper was a sequel to The Muppet Movie and would prove to be the second in a long line of live-action Muppet movies.

The story goes that Kermit and Fozzie are identical twin newspaper reporters (Yeah, we know, their editor doesn't get it, either) and Gonzo's their photographer. After nearly losing their jobs for missing a massive jewelry robbery scoop right under their noses, the intrepid trio head to London to get the follow-up story to said scoop as an exclusive to save said jobs. The robbery victim is Lady Holiday, who just happens to have wound up with Miss Piggy in her employ. Pig meets frog, frog thinks pig is Lady Holiday, pig goes along with it because she's smitten with frog, and all the while the thieves are closer than Lady Holiday thinks.

This very silly movie has so many lampshade hangings they could open a store to sell them and have enough stock to last a week. Also very apparent are the highly increased production values compared to its predecessor, and the film debuts of some Muppets who showed up on The Muppet Show after the first movie. The movie also stars Charles Grodin in a role that strikes the right balance between serious villain and scenery chewing.


The Great Muppet Caper includes examples of the following:

  • Actor Allusion: Kermit's reporter role and outfit hearken back to his on-the-spot interviews of fairy tale and nursery rhyme characters on Sesame Street.
    • Peter Falk's cameo features him sitting down next to Kermit and attempting to tell him his entire life story. Unlike Columbo, though, he is "100% wrong."
    • John Cleese's character calls his wife "my armada."
  • The Alleged Car: The Happiness Hotel bus.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Miss Piggy during the museum theft.
  • British Stuffiness: The occupants of 17 Highbrow Street. The fact that it's played completely straight by the actors (one of whom is John Cleese) actually makes it even funnier.
  • Busby Berkeley Number
  • Call Back: A man knocks on the door to Nicky's office asking, "Mr. Holiday, did you order a gross of flowered socks?" Nicky can later be seen wearing said socks while unlocking the service door at the restaurant.
    • He is, in fact, still wearing them during the heist at the Mallory Gallery, even though he's otherwise dressed head-to-foot in standard cat-burglar black.
  • The Cameo: lots of them, sometimes Lampshaded. Including one from Jim Henson himself.

 Peter Ustinov: What are you doing here?

Oscar the Grouch: A very brief cameo.

Ustinov [sadly]: Me too.

 Miss Piggy (when motorcycle appears): What an unbelievable coincidence!

  • Creator Cameo: Jim Henson gets his picture taken by Gonzo in the restaurant. Puppeteer Jerry Nelson is walking through the park with real-life daughter Christine (who mistakes Kermit for a bear).
  • Delivery Guy Infiltration
  • Digital Destruction: The most current version of the movie uses the songs as heard on the soundtrack album. As a result, several things are compromised:
    • During the "Night Life" number, Dr. Teeth isn't supposed to sing like he does on the album. This results in covering up some of Animal's "LOVE SONG!!" chants.
    • During the "Miss Piggy" number, the three dancers ("Happiness, Miss Piggy!") are clearly shown singing underwater, and are actually supposed to sound like it. Because the version from the album (which doesn't have this effect) is heard, the effect is completely messed up.
    • Not related to a song, but when Miss Piggy crashed through a window of the Mallory Gallery, there's supposed to be a Kiai as she jumps towards Nicky. This is not heard in the current version of the movie.
  • Disney Acid Sequence
  • Double Entendre: Though not a sexual one.

 Fozzie: [going over a checklist] Wax lips?

Zoot: Aw man, I just had 'em.

Dr. Teeth: Did you leave 'em in your other pants?

Zoot: I ain't got no other pants!

Fozzie: [going back to the checklist] Yo-yo?

Janice: [glancing at Zoot] Fer sure.

 Beauregard: What's your room number?

Fozzie: Oh, I don't know... we're on the second floor.

Beauregard: Oh, I'm sorry! I can only take you as far as the lobby!

 Kermit: "Why are you doing this?"

Nicky: "Because I'm the villain! It's pretty plain and simple."

 Janice: ...and I said, Look, Mother, it's my life, okeeey? So if I want to live on a beach and walk around nak-- oh.

  • Granola Girl: Janice, as usual.
  • Hulk Speak: Animal, including the spoof about complicated issues (when Floyd claims Animal is crazed due to missing a Rembrandt exhibit, Animal corrects him: "Renoir!").
  • I Always Wanted to Say That: Gonzo invokes this after yelling, "Stop the presses!"
  • Identical Twin ID Tags: Fozzie and Kermit, lampshaded.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: The Baseball Diamond.
    • Even worse, the pedestal it's on at the museum is shaped like a baseball glove.
      • The Muppets and the villains then begin to play an impromptu Baseball game with said diamond, complete with Louis Kazager[1] doing commentary!
  • Interspecies Romance: Pig/frog of course, but also pig/human.
  • Lampshade Hanging: This movie is all about it.
  • Large Ham: Charles Grodin, and, in a Breaking the Fourth Wall moment, Miss Piggy.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: Miss Piggy makes up a fake address out of a random number and Kermit's use of the word "highbrow". Subverted when it turns out that there actually is a 17 Highbrow Street.
  • Love At First Sight: Kermit and Miss Piggy, of course.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: The disturbingly hilarious crush Charles Grodin's character Nick Holiday has for Miss Piggy throughout the film.

 Nick: Miss Piggy... You're a very different looking woman. I'm so tired of the same type, those tall thin creatures with the long legs, the aquiline noses, the teeth like pearls, soft skin...

Miss Piggy: Yeah, well I can see where that might make you sick to your stomach.

 Fozzie: "Nobody reads those names anyway, do they?"

Kermit: "Sure. They all have families."

    • It's worth noting that this exchange comes in the first scene, and it keeps up from there.
    • And then there's this gem:

  Miss Piggy: And you know something else?! You can't even sing! Your voice was dubbed!

    • At one point, Kermit and Miss Piggy break out of character to attack each other's acting, and which one is carrying the film.
    • And, of course, "Hey! A Movie!", the song in the opening scene, about how they're "going to be in a movie starring everybody... and me".
  • Non-Identical Twins: Kermit and Fozzie. A running gag has people somehow confusing the two, such as identifying Kermit as a bear.

 Father: "No, Christine, that's a frog. Bears wear hats."

Editor: "Oh, yeah. I see [the similarity] now..."

    • At one point we're shown a picture of their "father", who's an extremely odd-looking frog/bear hybrid.
    • Well, even though the actors Kermit and Fozzie don't look anything alike, their characters are identical twins. (It's that kind of movie.)
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Played with by London cabbie Beauregard on why he doesn't have an English accent, despite having lived in London "all my life". "English Accent, I'm lucky I have a driver's license!"
  • Obviously Evil: Nicky. The first moment we meet him, he's staring rapturously at his sister's jewels.
  • Opt Out: Subverting the usual trope, everybody starts opting out when Kermit proposes his plan to stop Nicky's gang from stealing the Baseball Diamond. All except Gonzo and Fozzie, that is, the latter of whom uses a heck of a guilt trip to get everyone back in.
  • Rousing Speech:

 Fozzie: HOLD IT!!! Shaaaaaaame on you! I thought we were in this thing together! I'm just as scared as you are, but this has to be done! We don't want the bad guys to win! We gotta do this! For... for... for... justice! For... freedom. For... honesty.

Kermit: Fozzie, you okay?

Fozzie: That took a lot out of me!

 Pops: Hey, how are you guys fixing to pay?

Kermit: What are our choices?

Pops: A) Credit Card, B) Cash, C) Sneak out in the middle of the night?

Fozzie: We'll take "C".

Pops: Veeeeeeery popular choice (swats fly).

  "Heh. Look ma, no brains!"

  • Trrrilling Rrrs: Lady Holiday, noticeably when talking on the phone about her "horrrrrendous" fashion designs.
  • Very False Advertising: The Happiness Hotel. Granted, the people who live there are a very happy bunch, but it's more despite the living conditions than because of them.
    • By way of example, the travel guide lists it alongside bus terminals and riverbanks in the section labeled "Places you can park your carcass."
  • Wrongly Accused

Notes

  1. from The Muppet Show's "Wild World of Muppet Sports" segments
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