While most balloon accidents are at least humorous (human arrogance, for creating such monsters!), a small handful of accidents have ended up leaving people seriously injured. Some of these cases have prompted the show’s organizers to change the rules regarding the popular – and problematic – participants of the show. After all, there’s a deflated Kermit car here and there exactly the way the show floats, but there’s nothing festive about people getting hurt.
Even the usual balloon deflation always carries a little dramatic flair. Take the fall of the Mighty Mouse balloon in 1956. It was a story as old as time: a balloon meets a street sign, a street sign wins, and a balloon falls helplessly on the ground. That’s well funny, because it’s a Mighty Mouse! It’s supposed to fly! And be strong! However, on that day, neither of them accomplished.
1957: Bob hates you
Popeye the Sailor Man has always been known for his rough style. True, Balloon Popeye in 1957 had everything he could afford, and he couldn’t stand it any longer. As cold rain blanketed the city, it gathered at the top of Popeye’s iconic sailor hat. All it took was one narrow turn to flip and throw gallons of water at the unsuspecting onlookers. Ah- Gahhahhah!
1991: Kermit the Frog suffers lifelong scars
Life was tough on Kermit’s first airship. In 1985, a frog was disemboweled after crashing into some trees, but he survived the rest of the show. The most complicated blow came in 1991, when she lost in another confrontation with a tree, which left her head shrunken in a decidedly unceremonial way. The balloon was never the same, and he retired shortly thereafter. A new, improved, tree-resistant version debuted in 2002. She did some pretty good work on the show, retired two years later and then came back for a few years starting in 2007, but things weren’t the same. The poor frog’s balloon soul had seen a lot.
1997: The Bad
That’s why, if you’ve ever heard of balloons being grounded due to high winds, you shouldn’t be groaning with disappointment. It could be much worse if they were allowed to fly.