The Best Muppet Characters, Ranked
People usually either love or hate puppets, but the Muppets are something else. Created by Jim Henson in 1955, the Muppets are American sketch comedy icons. They're ageless, appealing to kids and adults alike with their absurdist humor and lovable, over-the-top characters.
The original Muppet Show won four Primetime Emmy Awards, and the Muppets have been celebrated as a pop culture staple for over 50 years. In other words, you either love them — or you're wrong. But some characters are easier to love than others, so we lined them up based on their skills, looks and personality.
12. Rizzo the Rat
Rizzo the Rat started out small and showed up later in the series than some of the other characters, but this sketchy little critter earned some die-hard fans. Rizzo is a sarcastic New Yorker, and you're either going to get him or find him obnoxious. Either way, he's not the worst. If he's your all-time favorite Muppet, though, we have questions.
11. Swedish Chef
What the Swedish chef lacks in nuance he makes up for in humor and culinary skills, or lack thereof. He's a visual representation of what a 4-year-old left alone in the kitchen with knives would look like, minus the trip to the ER. Food flung across the room, knives casually embedded in the walls and a laissez-faire laugh of "Bork, bork, bork!" at the mass destruction. You get it.
Poor Beaker is an inspiration. A pathetic inspiration, but an inspiration no less. Beaker is usually the subject of most of his science experiments. Considering how many times he's been shrunk, electrocuted and blown up, he might be the worst scientist in history.
He doesn't care. He shows up at the lab again the next day with a cheerful, "Meep meep!" He represents all of our most awkward moments and foolish mistakes, and yet, he persists. If Beaker can do it, why can't we? Meep meep, indeed.
9. Statler and Waldorf
Statler and Waldorf are two different people, but they're a package deal. These two don't do much beyond lurking on a balcony cracking jokes at everyone else's expense, but that's their whole appeal.
It's like when you're hanging out with your best friend. You're basically good people, but you have no filter when you're together. You can openly roast people without judgment. Beautiful.
Skills: 10/10 (If eating instruments and chasing women are skills)
Animal might be the most Muppetty of all Muppets. He's the drummer for the Electric Mayhem band, and there's nothing understated or subtle about him. He wears his feelings on his massively expressive, fluffy face. He's a lover, not a fighter, unless you're a drum. He says "eat drums" an awful lot for a professional musician. Animal represents the unhinged animal within us all — raw, uncouth and still worthy of appreciation.
7. Cookie Monster
For someone who loves cookies so much, Cookie Monster isn't very good at eating them. Most of the cookies he attempts to munch go flying in every direction except his mouth. His real skill is not eating cookies but adoring them. He is passionate about cookies. In awe of cookies. His entire personality is the chase of the elusive cookie. If we can pursue any life mission like Cookie pursues cookies, we'll die happy.
Grover came close to hitting the top five, but Fozzie Bear is too relatable to top. Still, Grover's contagious confidence, selflessness and superhero spirit are impossible not to love. He almost never uses contractions when he speaks, and his not-so-secret alter. ego, Super Grover, is more inept and awkward than super. Super Grover needs saving more often than he manages to save anyone, but he always shows up to "help" anyway.
5. Fozzie Bear
We'd kill to have a friend as devoted as Fozzie Bear. He's dead set on becoming a comedian, even though he fails at it on a regular basis. He seems a tad desperate and delusional, but despite Statler and Waldorf's nonstop heckling, he never gives up.
To make this sweet bear even easier to love, he believes in his friends even more than he believes in himself. His style is eccentric, to say the least, but haters are just jealous that they can't pull off polka dots and scarfs in the same outfit as the Foz.
If the Great Gonzo has anything, it's range. Will he recite a tearjerking poetic verse? Go flying into the air out of a cannon? Who knows? We're not sure where he comes from, and he's not either. He's weird and wonderful in the best of ways.
3. Miss Piggy
The Muppets aren't heavy on female leads, but Miss Piggy makes up for that. She has the personality to put Kermit and every other character firmly in their place. The only reason we gave her a 6/10 in personality is that it's very difficult to tell whether the feministic unofficial Muppet queen is the pinnacle of panache and self-worth — or a raging narcissist.
Regardless, she's so unapologetically fierce, scrappy and stylish that this glamorous swine easily earns third place on the list of best Muppet characters. She's also an expert in Snackercise. We really hope our PCP backs up her methods.
2. Rowlf the Dog
Rowlf is a departure from most Muppet personas. The majority of Muppets behave more like toddlers than adults, but Rowlf has wisdom beyond his dog years. The floppy-eared canine has a peaceful, grounded energy that is rumored to be a representation of Jim Henson's own personality.
Rowlf has a knack for showing up just when the Muppetty chaos reaches a breaking point. Seeing Rowlf is like chilling with the family dog in the spare bedroom at a noisy house party. He's not the funniest Muppet, but the rest of the crew would fall apart without him.
1. Kermit the Frog
The Muppets wouldn't be complete without Kermit. He's dramatic and self-indulgent, a hopeless romantic, and he has some anger issues to top it all off. That said, who wouldn't have some pent-up rage after dealing with the non-stop tomfoolery of Cookie Monster, Gover, Gonzo and Animal?
Kermie could use some therapy, but so could we. He's also the only frog on record to sing a song that was added to the archives of important recordings by the Library of Congress. He's imperfect and complex, just like us. The best Muppet ever.