Don't get us wrong. We love The Muppets. Everybody loves the Muppets. But we love some Muppets more than others, because some Muppets are better than others, while some made us groan whenever they appeared on-screen. Here are a dozen Muppets that completely suck felt.
1) Pepe the Prawn
A recent character created for the Muppets Tonight series, Pepe is just nothing but a mass of Latino stereotypes. Just try to name a single aspect of his personality that doesn't have something to do with his accent, his temper, or his innuendo-laden flirting with any female in sight. Pepe would have been annoying in small doses, but he inexplicably became one of the most prominent Muppets, which made him so much more obnoxious.
Fuck you, Elmo. Your tremendous success and popularity came at a cost, and that cost was at the expense of all the other Sesame Street characters. Big Bird is barely around. Grover is making a comeback, but he was practically non-existent for a while there. These characters have personality and flair, while you, Elmo, are an eternal blob of childish stupidity with an unbearable, screeching voice. Today's letters are F and U, you little red bastard.
I have no idea what Jim Henson was thinking when he made Clifford the star of Muppets Tonight. Suddenly, Kermit was the station manager, and we were supposed to care about this new character we'd never seen before, who looked like a catfish version of Poochie from The Simpsons. We knew Kermit, sir, and we liked Kermit, and you are no Kermit, Clifford.
Hey, it's the Muppets' janitor! He's dumb and ugly! Way to break the mold there, guys. Basically, his only purpose in Muppet-tainment is to be stupid. Whether refusing to understand well-known idioms or being used as a patsy, it's never worth the time he's on-screen.
5) Waldo C. Graphic
Does a CG Muppet sound like a good idea to you? Of course not. But in the heady days of 1989 when computer animation was the new thing, it makes perfect sense for Jim Henson to see what the medium could offer the Muppets. How could he have known the unholy abomination he was unleashing on the Muppet universe?
6) Miss Mousey
I guess I can see why The Muppet Show would try to give Miss Piggy a rival for Kermit's romantic intentions, but I can't see what they saw in Miss Mousey. She has no personality, she dresses like she's like a Quaker getting ready for bed, and she can't act or sing. Watch the above clip and Kermit trying his best while Mousey just sucks all the life from the performance.
This Muppet debuted in The Jim Henson Hour as the semi-robotic technical advisor for the show. There's actually nothing wrong with Digit's character or purpose on the series; it's the fact that he looks horrible. It's like a Muppet and Zippy the pinhead had a baby, it grow to adulthood, died in the uncanny valley, and then came to work about a week later.
8) J.P. Grosse
The original owner of the Muppet Theater in the original Muppet Show and Scooter's uncle, J.P. Grosse was supposed to be a terrifying entity that Kermit never wanted to run afoul of, but when he appeared on the show he was just kind of an asshole. Also, he's one of the very few Muppets that are clearly 100% human, raising disturbing questions about the where the line between Muppet and man truly lies.
Everything about Snuffleupagus is sad. He sounds sad. He looks sad. He's slow in body and mind, and he's eternally four years old, which is far more creepy than adorable. And since he's more or less a woolly mammoth, he's a giant, slow-talking reminder of species extinction. Fun fact: The Sesame Street producers made an episode where Snuffleupagus' parents get a divorce, and Snuffy and his sister Alice get really upset. Shockingly, this episode make children so sad they never aired it.
10) Mr. Poodlepants
Someone was trying way too hard the day Mr. Poodlepants was created. Ridiculous name, ridiculous hair, ridiculous Ed Wynn voice, ridiculous everything; and yet it would be okay if Mr. Poodlepants were actually interesting. How someone could lead a Mormon Tabernacle Penguin choir and not get a laugh is beyond me.
11) Rizzo the Rat
A rat from New York? You don't say. Rizzo is much like Clifford, in that he's a ball of stereotypes — of New Yorkers, obviously — and became unexpectedly, needlessly prominent. Never once has he varied from his shtick of being a liar and a schemer. He used to be one of many rats in the original Muppet Show, but then he had a major part in The Muppets Take Manhattan and now's he part of the main group, starring in all the terrible '90s Muppet movies. Hmm… those movies were bad, but The Muppets movie didn't star Rizzo, and was good. Quelle coincidence.
12) Abby Cadabby
Maybe it's not fair to pick on Abby Cadabby. Maybe she really was just an attempt to bring a new major female character to Seasame Street, and a new non-specific culture (i.e. Fairy). But such was her instant prominence and merchandising bonanza Abby feels like a crass marketing attempt more than a character. She was instantly put on pretty much all Sesame Street merchandise, and had a ton of merchandise of her own — indeed, if Sesame Street was trying to turn her into an Elmo for girls and infinite cash generator, they couldn't have succeeded any more completely.