The Happytime Murders may not be a box office hit, but it could still earn its place in history for what it reveals about the inner workings of Muppet biology and sexual… reproduction. Most Muppet fans have probably never stopped to wonder about the anatomy or physiology of the puppet performers - and why would they? But from the very first scenes of The Happytime Murders, it's clear that going for an R-Rating means ending the mystery once and for all. At least… we think it does, where Muppet internal organs and stuffing are concerned.
Even if the filmmakers at Henson Alternative (an adult-oriented branch of The Jim Henson Company) don't explicitly refer to these characters as "Muppets," the implications are clear. And fans never really knew them at all.
We'll try to keep from spoiling specifics for those still interested in seeing the movie for themselves (assuming the most brutal Happytime reviews haven't killed the interest). But in discussing the new insights into Muppet anatomy, expect some mild spoilers about the world of the film, and the characters fleshing it out.
Muppets Have Functioning Sex Organs
At first, The Happytime Murders walks the line between realities with a number of jokes concerning plastic surgery. Accusations are hurled of colorful Muppets having their noses replaced, or their skin bleached - both modifications that could be referring to them as beings made of stuffing and fabric, which they refer to in conversation countless times. Until the film's first sex scene arrives (between two humanoid Muppets, anyway), and the true anatomy is shown to be a bit more involved. Muppets shopping for pornography and sex toys could simply be for titillation purposes, but the truth is far less complicated.
When the film's Muppet private eye gets wildly romantic with a femme fatale, all mystery surrounding Muppet reproduction is erased. That's thanks to an outrageous, and lengthy sequence of the male Muppet reaching his climax, utilizing a can or two (or three) of Silly String, with every wall of his office as a canvas. And if you're curious, later scenes heavily suggest the anatomy is just as similar for all Muppet sexes.
It's certainly the most shocking and unexpected bit of health class delivered in Happytime Murders. But not the most interesting (or confusing).
Muppets Have Internal Organs (Made of Stuffing?)
The more compelling revelation offered by The Happytime Murders is that Muppets apparently have fully functioning internal organs. So for the viewers who saw their favorite walking plushies eating and drinking and wondered where it all goes, the answer is… presumably, the same place it does with us. How is such a game-changing fact introduced? With the offhand disclosure that a human police officer is walking around with a Muppet liver.
After being shot in the line of duty, Melissa McCarthy's character was rushed to the nearest emergency room. The doctors initially refused since it was strictly a Muppet hospital, equipped to handle Muppet surgeries and trauma. OneEventually the doctor was pressured to save her life by surgically inserting a new liver (originally intended for a Muppet in need, we can only assume. The liver works, too.
Even if it poses a new risk by allowing the consumption of addictive sugars that would kill a normal human being.
Since several Muppets are murdered in spectacular fashion throughout the film, the audience gets several looks at the inside of them. But there's a problem: no Muppet organ is actually discernible in those scenes - only cotton stuffing. The film never comments on that obvious contradiction… which really leaves only one explanation. If internal organs look like regular stuffing to us humans, but a surgeon can tell where they begin and end, then the scenes of Muppets having had the stuffing blown out of them are more grisly than first appear. That stuffing scattered across the cashier's desk? Blood, or organ tissue. Stuffing floating through the air after a gunfight? Blood and brains, just... lighter.
And just that easily, The Happytime Murders has turned every torn open stuffed animal into a living nightmare. Who says movies need to be blockbuster hits to have a legacy?
- The Happytime Murders (2018) release date: Aug 24, 2018