Can Rowlf understand Sprocket?
January 19, 2013 6:12 AM   Subscribe

In "A Muppet Family Christmas," Rowlf meets Sprocket. Sprocket barks at him, and Rowlf responds, "Woof woof! Yeah, bark bark!" Doc says, "Don't you just hate it when you can't speak the language?" Here's the clip in question (at about 0:50.) Are the two dogs actually communicating?

My wife and I disagree: can Rowlf understand what Sprocket is "saying?" I took Doc's comment to mean that Rowlf does not understand Sprocket. My wife says that Doc means that Doc doesn't understand dogs. I'm not an expert on the Muppet-verse, so can Rowlf speak to and understand non-English-speaking dogs?
posted by wolfnote to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
According to the Muppet Wiki, Rowlf is bilingual in English and Dog.

From the section about The Great Muppet Caper:
Rowlf saves the day with his bilingual ability to speak dog as well as English. He is able to reason with Henderson's attacking guard dogs at the Mallory Gallery (a skill he would use again in A Muppet Family Christmas to communicate with Sprocket).
posted by i feel possessed at 6:21 AM on January 19, 2013 [10 favorites]

Rowlf speaks dog and understands Sprocket. Doc doesn't, hence his comment.

Your wife is correct.

posted by zizzle at 6:23 AM on January 19, 2013 [6 favorites]

He just says "woof woof bark bark" instead of actually barking because he's got a horrible accent.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:21 AM on January 19, 2013 [10 favorites]

I agree. The two dogs understand each other, and the human is lamenting that he can't join in the conversation. I have nothing to back this up except the body language of Rowlf: he seems pleased that Sprocket is talking to him, rather than frustrated.
posted by gjc at 9:12 AM on January 19, 2013

Yeah I kind of figured Doc was breaking the 4th wall and commiserating with us, not with Rowlf.
posted by masquesoporfavor at 9:45 AM on January 19, 2013

For the Muppets, it's more of a 4th shower lace curtain than a wall.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:48 AM on January 21, 2013

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