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Christine Krizsa via Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Christine Krizsa via Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

20 Funny and Clever Peeps Dioramas

Christine Krizsa via Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Christine Krizsa via Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

As far as eating marshmallow Peeps goes, people either love them or hate them. But we can all agree that using bunnies and chicks in miniature scenes that imitate pop culture or real life can be a real hoot (peep?). The more serious the scene, the funnier they become. Here are some you might enjoy.

1. WE COME IN PEEPS

If aliens from outer space landed on Earth, we might find them to be a little funny-looking. No need to send out the troops! Christine Krizsa shows us how it might happen, down to the pie plate-shaped flying saucers.

2. THE IDES OF MARSHMALLOW

We don't know how accurate William Shakespeare's version of Julius Caesar's death was, but it probably did not involve bunnies. Yet we all recognize the exact scene in this Peeps diorama.

3. GOODNIGHT, PEEP

Children's books are a good source of Peeps inspiration. Every child will recognize Goodnight, Moon even when populated by Peeps. MaryLea Harris entered the Washington Post diorama contest in 2010 with her scene from the book. The paper announced in March that they'd no longer hold the contest, so you'll have to send your diorama entry elsewhere.

4. PEEPS GONE (BREAKING) BAD

Instagram user June Miller Richards knows the value of blue crystal, even when it's made of sugar crystals and melted candy. Her diorama puts Peeps in place of Walter White and Jesse Pinkman in the TV show Breaking Bad.

5. AND 6. THE WALKING PEEPS

Many libraries across the country are staging their own Peeps diorama contests. The Minerva Public Library in Minerva, Ohio, has a diorama contest open for submissions until April 14. One of their librarians started things off by building this scene from the TV show The Walking Dead. You can easily recognize the characters Negan, Rick, and Michonne by their accessories, even when they are all bright yellow marshmallow underneath.

Debbi Crane made this diorama featuring Michonne, Daryl, Rick, and Carl from The Walking Dead, along with a horde of zombies. She took this picture three years later, which just goes to show how well Peeps stand the test of time.

7. PEEP-MAN

How about a video game made of Peeps? Instagram user Mona constructed a candy version of Pac-Man using both Easter bunny Peeps and Christmas tree and snowman Peeps.

8. MICHAEL PEEPSON'S THRILLER

Another horde of zombies appear in Nicole Blake's Peeps diorama depicting the familiar dance from the music video for "Thriller." You can see Michael Jackson and his date in the front; they're the ones without the dead, blank eyes.

9. THE BOSTON PEEP PARTY

Historical reenactments are a popular subject for Peeps dioramas. Miranda Gallagher had bunnies and chicks portray the rebels at the Boston Tea Party in her diorama. It only makes sense that marshmallow bunnies can do without their tea, as we all know they prefer hot chocolate.

10. THE ASSASSINATION OF PEEPARHAM LINCOLN

Instagram user Renee not Brittany photographed this replica of Ford's Theater in Washington that illustrates President Abraham Lincoln's assassination. Once you overlook the absurdity of bunnies in the roles of the president, Mrs. Lincoln, Major Henry Rathbone, and John Wilkes Booth, the details in this scene are very impressive.

11. ALEXANDER HAMILPEEP

The life of Alexander Hamilton was historic, and the Broadway musical about him is sure to be considered that too. Kate Ramsayer, Helen Fields, and Joanna Church entered the Washington Post Peeps diorama contest last year with a recreation of Hamilton. If you can't read the Peeped-up lyrics in the picture above, you can see them larger here.

12. THE BATTLE OF HELM'S PEEP

Movies are the most common inspiration for Peep dioramas, since they have such a variety of settings, and the more Peeps, the merrier! Rochelle Storer Bartschi used a lot of Peeps for this recreation of the Battle of Helm's Deep from the movie The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002).

13. SWEETY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF PEEP STREET

mreraser via Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd (2007) was a gruesome take on the bloody classic, but it's all much easier to digest when the characters are made of marshmallow. Matt and Theresa entered this diorama in the Washington Post Peeps diorama contest in 2009.

14. BRIDESPEEPS

Put a whole box of Peeps into matching frilly pink dresses, and what have you got? The movie Bridemaids (2011). Instagram user hollyberry1274 turned this sweet idea into a diorama last year.

15. IN SPACE, NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU PEEP

Daniel Spiess via Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

Daniel Spiess recreated that horrific scene in Alien (1979) in which we are introduced to a chestburster. He said, "I really should not be left alone with the Easter candy."

16. THE PEEP STRIKES BACK

All the Star Wars movies have been made into Peeps dioramas, although some scenes are funnier than others. Here we see Han Solo being frozen in carbonite (a.k.a. chocolate) in The Empire Strikes Back (1980), posted by Instagram user Coast To Coast Vintage Adam.

17. THE PEEPS AWAKEN

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) joined the pantheon of Peeps dioramas last year. This scene depicting the cast was an entry in the diorama contest at the Library Arts Center in in Newport, New Hampshire, last year. The center is holding a contest this year, too.

18. PEEPZILLA

Bruce Applen via Flickr // All rights reserved, used with permission.

You can't go wrong with the classics. Godzilla terrorizes not Tokyo but a meadow full of bunny Peeps in this scene from photographer Bruce Applen. You'll be glad to know the Peeps eventually got their revenge.

19. PEEP-E

Morgan via Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

Morgan used miniatures, including tiny Christmas lights, to recreate the scene in Pixar's WALL·E (2008) where WALL-E shows his beloved plant to EVE. Both robots look good with adorable marshmallow bunny ears.

20. THE ROCKY HORROR PEEP SHOW

Kira Maples couldn't resist snapping a picture of a Peeps diorama displayed at the Denver County Fair. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) is one of her favorite musicals, and she loves a good pun!

See more Peeps dioramas in our previous lists.

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Wolfgang via Flickr // CC BY-ND 2.0
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holidays
8 Legendary Monsters of Christmas
Wolfgang via Flickr // CC BY-ND 2.0
Wolfgang via Flickr // CC BY-ND 2.0

The customs of the holiday season, which include St. Nicholas Day, New Years Day, and Epiphany, as well as Christmas, often incorporate earlier pagan traditions that have been appropriated and adapted for contemporary use. Customs that encourage little children to be good so as to deserve their Christmas gifts often come with a dark side: the punishment you'll receive from a monster or evil being of some sort if you aren't good! These nefarious characters vary from place to place, and they go by many different names and images.

1. KRAMPUS

As a tool to encourage good behavior in children, Santa serves as the carrot, and Krampus is the stick. Krampus is the evil demon anti-Santa, or maybe his evil twin. Krampus Night is celebrated on December 5, the eve of St. Nicholas Day in Austria and other parts of Europe. Public celebrations that night have many Krampuses walking the streets, looking for people to beat. Alcohol is also involved. Injuries in recent years have led to some reforms, such as requiring all Krampuses to wear numbers so they may identified in case of overly violent behavior.

Krampus may look like a devil, or like a wild alpine beast, depending on what materials are available to make a Krampus costume. In modern times, people can spend as much as they like to become the best Krampus around—and the tradition is spreading beyond Europe. Many cities in America have their own Krampus Nights now.

2. JÓLAKÖTTURINN

Jólakötturinn is the Icelandic Yule Cat or Christmas Cat. He is not a nice cat. In fact, he might eat you. This character is tied to an Icelandic tradition in which those who finished all their work on time received new clothes for Christmas, while those who were lazy did not (although this is mainly a threat). To encourage children to work hard, parents told the tale of the Yule Cat, saying that Jólakötturinn could tell who the lazy children were because they did not have at least one new item of clothing for Christmas—and these children would be sacrificed to the Yule Cat. This reminder tends to spur children into doing their chores! A poem written about the cat ends with a suggestion that children help out the needy, so they, too, can have the protection of new clothing. It's no wonder that Icelanders put in more overtime at work than most Europeans.

3. FRAU PERCHTA


Flickr // Markus Ortner

Tales told in Germany and Austria sometimes feature a witch named Frau Perchta who hands out both rewards and punishments during the 12 days of Christmas (December 25 through Epiphany on January 6). She is best known for her gruesome punishment of the sinful: She will rip out your internal organs and replace them with garbage. The ugly image of Perchta may show up in Christmas processions in Austria, somewhat like Krampus.

Perchta's story is thought to have descended from a legendary Alpine goddess of nature, who tends the forest most of the year and deals with humans only during Christmas. In modern celebrations, Perchta or a close relation may show up in processions during Fastnacht, the Alpine festival just before Lent. There may be some connection between Frau Perchta and the Italian witch La Befana, but La Befana isn't really a monster: she's an ugly but good witch who leaves presents.

4. BELSNICKEL

A drawing of Belsnickel.
Lucas, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Belsnickel is a male character from southwestern German lore who traveled to the United States and survives in Pennsylvania Dutch customs. He comes to children sometime before Christmas, wearing tattered old clothing and raggedy fur. Belsnickel carries a switch to frighten children and candy to reward them for good behavior. In modern visits, the switch is only used for noise, and to warn children they still have time to be good before Christmas. Then all the children get candy, if they are polite about it. The name Belsnickel is a portmanteau of the German belzen (meaning to wallop) and nickel for St. Nicholas. See a video of a Belsnickel visit here.

Knecht Ruprecht and Ru Klaas are similar characters from German folklore who dole out beatings to bad children, leaving St. Nicholas to reward good children with gifts.

5. HANS TRAPP

Hans Trapp is another "anti-Santa" who hands out punishment to bad children in the Alsace and Lorraine regions of France. The legend says that Trapp was a real man, a rich, greedy, and evil man, who worshiped Satan and was excommunicated from the Catholic Church. He was exiled into the forest where he preyed upon children, disguised as a scarecrow with straw jutting out from his clothing. He was about to eat one boy he captured when he was struck by lightning and killed—a punishment of his own from God. Still, he visits young children before Christmas, dressed as a scarecrow, to scare them into good behavior.

6. PÈRE FOUETTARD

The French legend of Père Fouettard, whose name translates to "Father Whipper," begins with an evil butcher who craved children to eat. He (or his wife) lured three boys into his butcher shop, where he killed, chopped, and salted them. St. Nicholas came to the rescue, resurrected the boys, and took custody of the butcher. The captive butcher became Père Fouettard, St. Nicholas' servant whose job it is to dispense punishment to bad children on St. Nicholas Day.

7. THE YULE LADS

The Jólasveinar, or Yule Lads, are 13 Icelandic trolls, who each have a name and distinct personality. In ancient times, they stole things and caused trouble around Christmastime, so they were used to scare children into behaving, like the Yule Cat. However, the 20th century brought tales of the benevolent Norwegian figure Julenisse (Santa Claus), who brought gifts to good children. The traditions became mingled, until the formerly devilish Jólasveinar became kind enough to leave gifts in shoes that children leave out ... if they are good boys and girls. 

8. GRÝLA

All the Yule Lads answer to Grýla, their mother. She predates the Yule Lads in Icelandic legend as the ogress who kidnaps, cooks, and eats children who don't obey their parents. She only became associated with Christmas in the 17th century, when she was assigned to be the mother of the Yule Lads. According to legend, Grýla had three different husbands and 72 children, all who caused trouble ranging from harmless mischief to murder. As if the household wasn't crowded enough, the Yule Cat also lives with Grýla. This ogress is so much of a troublemaker that The Onion blamed her for the 2010 eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano.

A version of this post originally ran in 2013. See also: more Legendary Monsters

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History
84 Years Ago Today: Goodbye Prohibition!
A huge queue outside the Board of Health offices in Centre Street, New York, for licenses to sell alcohol shortly after the repeal of prohibition. The repeal of prohibition was a key policy of Franklin Roosevelt's government as it allowed the government an opportunity to raise tax revenues at a time of economic hardship.
A huge queue outside the Board of Health offices in Centre Street, New York, for licenses to sell alcohol shortly after the repeal of prohibition. The repeal of prohibition was a key policy of Franklin Roosevelt's government as it allowed the government an opportunity to raise tax revenues at a time of economic hardship.
Keystone/Getty Images

It was 84 years ago today that the Twenty-First Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, repealing the earlier Amendment that declared the manufacture, sale, and transport of alcohol illegal in the United States. Prohibition was over! Booze that had been illegal for 13 years was suddenly legal again, and our long national nightmare was finally over.


A giant barrel of beer, part of a demonstration against prohibition in America.
Henry Guttmann/Getty Images

Prohibition of alcohol was not a popular doctrine. It turned formerly law-abiding citizens into criminals. It overwhelmed police with enforcement duties and gave rise to organized crime. In cities like Milwaukee and St. Louis, the dismantling of breweries left thousands of people unemployed.


Photograph courtesy of the Boston Public Library

Homemade alcohol was often dangerous and some people died from drinking it. Some turned to Sterno or industrial alcohol, which was dangerous and sometimes poisoned by the government to discourage drinking. State and federal governments were spending a lot of money on enforcement, while missing out on taxes from alcohol.


New York City Deputy Police Commissioner John A. Leach (right) watches agents pour liquor into sewer following a raid during the height of Prohibition.

The midterm elections of 1930 saw the majority in Congress switch from Republican to Democratic, signaling a shift in public opinion about Prohibition as well as concerns about the depressed economy. Franklin Roosevelt, who urged repeal, was elected president in 1932. The Twenty-first Amendment to the Constitution was proposed by Congress in February of 1933, the sole purpose of which was to repeal the Eighteenth Amendment establishing Prohibition.


American men guarding their private beer brewing hide-out, during Prohibition.
Keystone/Getty Images

With passage of the Constitutional Amendment to repeal Prohibition a foregone conclusion, a huge number of businessmen lined up at the Board of Health offices in New York in April of 1933 to apply for liquor licenses to be issued as soon as the repeal was ratified.

The Amendment was ratified by the states by the mechanism of special state ratifying conventions instead of state legislatures. Many states ratified the repeal as soon as conventions could be organized. The ratifications by the required two-thirds of the states was achieved on December 5, 1933, when conventions in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Utah agreed to repeal Prohibition through the Amendment.


Workmen unloading crates of beer stacked at a New York brewery shortly after the repeal of Prohibition.
Keystone/Getty Images

A brewery warehouse in New York stacked crates past the ceiling to satisfy a thirsty nation after the repeal of Prohibition.


Keystone/Getty Images

Liquor wouldn't officially be legal until December 15th, but Americans celebrated openly anyway, and in most places, law enforcement officials let them.

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