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Doc Hopper is the main antagonist in The Muppet Movie. He was portrayed by the late Charles Durning.

History

He is the Southern-bred owner of the Doc Hopper's French Fried Frog Legs chain of fast food restaurants. When Hopper sees Kermit dancing, after being informed of the frog by his assistant Max, he's determined to have him as a spokesfrog, and he won't take no for an answer. Doc previously handled his own commercials, wearing a frog suit.

Doc Hopper's dream is to expand his franchise and own 1,000 restaurants. To achieve this goal, Hopper single-mindedly pursues Kermit halfway across the country in his limo, becoming the villain of the film in the process. Doc's methods become increasingly desperate (bringing about a crisis of conscience for Max), hiring mad scientist Professor Krassman to brainwash Kermit (he kidnapped Miss Piggy to lure Kermit to Krassman) and later enlisting Snake Walker and other thugs to kill the frog if he refuses. Doc's ambitions and ruthless determination are contrasted with Kermit's desire to spread joy and happiness to others. While Kermit's dream "becomes better the more people you share it with", encompassing a range of characters, Doc's goals are exclusionary, isolating him even from Max, who eventually denounces him completely during their final confrontation with Kermit.

During their final standoff at an abandoned ghost town, Kermit makes a final plea to Doc Hopper, saying that all he wants is to fulfill his and his friends' dream, and that perhaps if Doc put aside his own selfish intent, he would see that he didn't want to continue his pursuit of the gang. Hopper removes his hat and ponders momentarily, but he is beyond redemption and ultimately decides that if Kermit isn't going to be his spokesman, then he (and his friends) should die instead. Just as Doc's men prepare to finish off the Muppets, Animal plows through the roof of Dr. Bunsen Honeydew's lab, having consumed a large number of Insta-Grow Pills. Animal then roars loudly, scaring off Doc and his men, with Max wishing the Muppets the best of luck before he too flees. Hopper is never seen again and his chain of restaurants apparently eventually shuts down.

In an alternate timeline where Kermit was never born, Hopper was able to expand his business like he dreamed due to Kermit not being there to stop him.

Trivia

  • Doc Hopper is similar to to Gaston, as they wanted someone to do what they want and threatened them with death if they refused. Hopper wanted Kermit to be his restaurant mascot, and Gaston wanted Belle to be his wife.
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