Now that Muppets Haunted Mansion has finally launched on Disney+, we’re assuming most Muppet fans have already watched it at least two or three times. While our reasoning for rewatches is usually just because we like it so much, the new special gives us the added bonus of stuffing it full of easter eggs. So every time we’ve gone through the special, there’s more we catch.
The easter eggs span from Muppet references to nods toward the Haunted Mansion attraction at the Disney parks to interesting costume choices and set decorations. There are so many, we’re pretty confident that we didn’t even catch them all. So please let us know what we missed and we’ll add them here to keep our list complete!
For now, we’re keeping our list to just visual easter eggs. There are a TON of direct lifts in the dialog and songs from the theme park ride, so just trust us that they’re out there.
By the way, BIG props (pun intended) to set designer Darcy Provost and her team for going above-and-beyond with the Muppet references in their work!
Now without further a-BOO (sorry), let’s list out all those Muppets Haunted Mansion easter eggs! Be sure to keep an eye out for all of these in your next viewing!
Before we even get into the mansion, we catch a glimpse at the Muppets’ Halloween party. We already know that Kermit is dressed as Miss Piggy and vice versa, but we also see Lew Zealand’s fish dressed as Lew. Couples costume goals!
One easter egg we didn’t spot until Muppets Haunted Mansion writer Kelly Younger pointed it out to us (and after we bumped the brightness way up) is the set of Kermit eyes on the lower section of the gate leading into the Mansion! Better than a watchdog!
The house number for the Haunted Mansion is 924. Do you know what else is 9/24? Jim Henson’s birthday! And hey, there’s a little Mo Frackle just above, making this the first (and only?) Mo Frackle merchandise to ever exist.
In the graveyard, we meet the Groundskeeper and his nervous dog. In the Haunted Mansion, these two greet you as you enter the graveyard, lantern held high and both shaking with fear.
Several folks have pointed out to us that the Groundskeeper’s dog is the same dog from the classic Jim Henson special Tale of the Bunny Picnic. While the dogs do look awfully similar, we’re not at all sure if that was an intentional reference or not.
In the queue for Haunted Mansion, visitors can read all sorts of silly gravestones with poems about how the deceased became, well, exactly that. Muppets Haunted Mansion takes it a step further and turns those gravestones into a song.
The singing busts are found in the graveyard scene in Haunted Mansion, pretty similarly to how they’re depicted in Muppets Haunted Mansion, complete with the broken mustachioed bust and the weird projected look to their animated faces.
The stretching room! The Ghost Host’s narration is very similar to what we hear in the Disney parks attraction, making you wonder if the room is stretching or if we’re all losing our damn minds. He questions how you’ll get out of the room, and causes a creepy blackout when he laughs. Just like on the ride!
The stretching room portraits have been Muppefied, with some familiar faces. Eagle-eyed Disney fans might notice that there’s a fourth painting that’s missing. That’s likely because it features Constance Hatchaway (aka the Bride) sitting on the grave of one of her husbands. It’s likely the writers chose to avoid spoilers (and having a human in a painting alongside all those Muppets), but it’s still a shame to not have a complete set.
We also catch a glimpse of these candelabras (or are the sconces? I don’t know the difference, and I’m too lazy to Google) featuring Mahna Mahna, with the Snowths as candles. Brilliant.
As Gonzo and Pepe walk down the hallway, they pass by some paintings, the originals of which can be found in the Haunted Mansion. Like in the special, when the lightning flashes, they take on different meanings. The Newsman stands in for the “Aging Man”, Phil Van Neuter is riding a horse in “Edward the Black Prince”, Annie Sue becomes Gaffer the cat in “The Werecat Lady”, Yolanda grows Medusa-like snakes out of her head, and there’s “The Flying Dutchman”, which has no Muppets in it. That last one might be some sort of Muppet Treasure Island reference, but we’re not sure yet.
In the Haunted Mansion, there are busts that eerily follow you as you pass by. Bunsen and Beaker play this role in the special, but this time with no need for optical illusion.
We’ve seen the Muppetization of the Haunted Mansion’s wallpaper, but we also spot the grandfather clock that spins with curved hands. I legit have no idea if that’s supposed to be scary, but it comes right out of the Haunted Mansion attraction.
Also in this creep-tastic room is a molding over the door that resembles Sweetums!
Much harder to spot are these portraits on the right wall. When we stretched them out to see them properly, we noticed they’re pictures of the original Hatbox Ghost and other Happy Haunts.
Miss Piggy, of course, is standing in (or, floating in) as Madame Leota. In the theme park attraction, she calls upon different musical instruments that float and play music around you. This was updated for the special as the Electric Mayhem are playing the instruments, whilst (and at the same time) hovering.
Speaking of the Electric Mayhem, they’re all wearing the same costumes as they wore in Muppet Christmas Carol! Neato!
Madame Leota’s caretaker is played by Kim Irvine. Don’t recognize her? You would if you’d visited the Haunted Mansion during the holidays – she performs Madame Leota when it’s reskinned for Nightmare Before Christmas! Not only that, but she’s the daughter of Leota Tombs, the original Madame Leota!
The ballroom is one of the more impressive scenes in Haunted Mansion, where you see an organist playing music while ghosts dine and dance. The dancing ghosts resurrect an old Muppet Show staple with a creepy “At the Dance” segment.
Also in the ballroom, two paintings come to life and shoot at each other. The firearms enthusiasts here are replaced with Pops and Sam.
As Gonzo and Pepe enter the scene, we spot a row of banisters featuring Sam the Eagle’s distinctive profile.
The Hatbox Ghost has an interesting history. Created in 1969, the special effect broke almost immediately. It wasn’t reinstated into the Haunted Mansion until 2014, making Fozzie Bear the perfect stand-in for a failing-but-beloved entertainer.
Statler and Waldorf enter the scene in a “Doom Buggy” – the same style car Haunted Mansion visitors ride in as they zip through the manor. And as any Disney park-goer would know, almost every ride contains at least one stoppage, which is expertly referenced in Muppets Haunted Mansion.
In true Marvin Suggs fashion, he’s playing a bunch of skulls like a xylophone. We originally thought this was just a Suggsian thing to do (or perhaps a reference to the old Merrie Melodies cartoons?), but eagle-eyed Twitter user @Figment_Jedi pointed out that there’s a skeleton playing the same instrument in Disneyland Paris’s Phantom Manor!
Hard to miss, but that’s Angel Marie’s visage on the Swedish Chef’s tiki mugs!
The balcony to the ballroom doubles as Muppet Theater arches as the ghostly Muppets sway and sing as if they’re in an afterlife version of the Muppet Show intro.
It’s fun to spot all the fun costumes worn by the ghostly Muppets in the ballroom scene, but one that stands out is Robin, who is wearing his Tiny Tim outfit from Muppet Christmas Carol. And as many Muppet fans have pointed out: the original film promised us that Tiny Tim did NOT die. Liars.
The Ghost Host uses a floating candelabra a few times throughout the special. You guessed it, the ride also features a mysterious floating candelabra. But that one just hovers a bit and doesn’t actually lead to your lost prawn friend.
Constance Hatchaway’s five unlucky husbands are all first seen in their wedding photos. Their poses and costumes match the versions seen on the attraction pretty well!
As Gonzo wanders the halls, he sees door handles moving and knockers knocking. Yep, that’s from the ride too! Pretty spooky!
Doglion makes an appearance as the molding on the doors. And suddenly, the doors in my house seem very, very boring.
I don’t know if this is an easter egg or just my imagination, but those balloons seen at the Muppets’ Halloween party look like a Muppet face. The black spots on the white balloons behind Behemoth look too purposeful to be anything but giant eyeballs.
As Gonzo runs through the halls, he runs past Andy and Randy (great to see those two idiots again!) cosplaying as the Grady Twins from The Shining. I could be wrong, but this might be the only non-Haunted Mansion horror spoof in the special. Way to hold back, Muppet team!
As Gonzo and Pepe make their escape, Constance’s heart beats with a bright red light, and she asks them to “Hurry back”. Both of those elements come straight from the Bride herself in the attraction.
When you leave the Haunted Mansion, you should always check for hitchhiking ghosts. In both the ride and the Muppet special, these three ghoulies attach themselves to departing guests. But the ride has fewer screaming goats.
Finally, the previously-dark Muppets Haunted Mansion logo brightens up, with a very Muppet Movie-esque rainbow cutting across the screen. Why are there so many Halloween specials about rainbows??
That’s it! Tell us what else we missed!
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by Joe Hennes – Joe@ToughPigs.com