In the Gingerbread Man fairytale, it was an old woman who made Gingy.

But in Shrek, it was the Muffin Man who made him.

So IS he an allusion to the old woman from the original fairytale? If not, could the “she” who Gingy refers to in Shrek 1 be her?

  • 2
    It seems fairly clear to me that they've simply conflated two fairy tale characters.
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 24, 2021 at 16:10
  • @Valorum conflation makes for an acceptable answer, so you should post it.
    – Spencer
    Commented Apr 24, 2021 at 17:11
  • 1
    Can you quote the line where Gingy refers to a "she"? Also, I couldn't quite tell from your question, but did you know "the muffin man" is himself a character in an old nursery rhyme, separate from the gingerbread man fairy tale?
    – Hypnosifl
    Commented Apr 24, 2021 at 20:49
  • @Hypnosifl know the Muffin Man is a separate character, but he was the one who made the Gingerbread Man in Shrek, and in the original fairytale, it was an old woman who made him. Also, here’s the quote:
    – Alex Downs
    Commented Apr 25, 2021 at 6:12
  • Gingy: Well, she’s married to the Muffin Man.
    – Alex Downs
    Commented Apr 25, 2021 at 6:12

1 Answer 1


The quick answer is that there's no connection between the gingerbreadman and the muffin man, although both are kind of warnings.

The Muffin Man is a reference to accepting cookies (or muffins) from strangers -- in real life a serial killer of children in particular. (start with: https://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/The_Muffin_Man to get the flavour)

The gingerbread man was more akin to Aesop's frog fable, or the one with the scorpion -- sometimes accepting help is the greatest danger...

The thing is, Shrek "borrowed" ideas and concepts from many different sources, especially old folk tales and nursery rhymes.

  • 2
    That uncyclopedia article is about a murderer who was given the nickname "muffin man" based on a pre-existing children's song, the original "do you know the muffin man" song doesn't suggest anything sinister about the muffin man, see here for the history.
    – Hypnosifl
    Commented Apr 27, 2021 at 22:50
  • Can you provide a source that's a little less suspect than that page? I mean, it's fashionable to look down on Wikipedia, but at least there's some attempt to source things. The page you're referencing appears to be made of whole cloth.
    – DavidW
    Commented Apr 27, 2021 at 22:53

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