Sticking up for Stick in the Muds

In sitcoms populated by large casts of diverse characters everyone is on screen at any given time to perform a specific function. The job the characters perform is to A.) Move the plot along in (hopefully) an organic, character driven way and B.) To be funny. Usually, there is a character in these sitcoms (sometimes more than one) that serves as the moral epicenter for the rest of the characters. Without these “Stick in the Muds” (or S.I.T.M’s as they will be known through the rest of this post) these worlds would function without boundaries or, at the very least, without the reminder that boundaries exist. How would Homer know that stealing cable was wrong without Lisa protesting outside the house? How would Jenna and Tracy ever get anything done without the guiding hand of Liz Lemon? Would the town of Pawnee function without Leslie Knope? S.I.T.M.’s are usually women who act as the moral center of the show; they are sometimes motherly figures, while the world around them functions solely on the id.

Continue reading