“Crying over an episode of Muppet Babies is probably not something you had on your Bingo card today, but here we are. In an episode of the recently rebooted show on Disney+, the Muppet Babies gang challenges gender norms in the most beautiful, tender way. A clip from the episode is now going viral—it shows Gonzo proudly donning a dress and looking for acceptance from the Muppet friends.
In the show, Gonzo wants to dress up like a princess because his pals are role-playing a game called “royal ball,” but Miss Piggy says that boys have to dress up as knights.
Rizzo the rat, playing the Fairy RatFather, respectively, grants Gonzo’s wish and turns them into a princess with a secret identity. While at the ball, he identifies as “Gonzorella” and the Muppets refer to them with “they/them” pronouns. And because they’re Gonzorella, they lose a glass sneaker at the ball, launching an investigation into the identity of the princess. Eventually, Gonzo reveals themselves as the princess in question.
In my eyes, the Muppets represent the ability to be accepting and loving of others, even if they may be a little di… https://t.co/cjKhlF9JFm
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“Everyone,” Gonzorella says to the gang as they magically change into their ball gown, “there’s something I need to tell you. The princess who came to your ball tonight was me. I’m Gonzorella.”
Everyone immediately accepts Gonzo and their choice of dress, and Piggy even apologizes for making them feel like they don’t fit in: “Oh Gonzo, we’re sorry. It wasn’t very nice of us to tell you what to wear to our ball,” she says. “You’re our friend and we love you any way you are.”
It’s a beautiful, simple, but very important moment in the episode. Watching Gonzo be themselves not only inspires other kids watching to unapologetically be themselves, too, but it teaches kids to accept others for who they are. While the episode (predictably) received criticism from anti-trans bigots, the only voice here that matters is Gonzo’s—and all the little voices who are watching them and learning.