Captain Underpants

Captain Underpants
The first Captain Underpants book.

Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey is a series of American children's books about two fourth graders, George Beard and Harold Hutchins, and the aptly named superhero they accidentally create by hypnotizing their principal, Mr. Benny Krupp. The book series won a Disney Adventures Kids' Choice Award in 2007.




  • George and Harold - Two 4th grade pranksters, who are best friends and next-door neighbors. They started a comic book company called "Treehouse Comix Inc.," and every so often at school they go to the secretary's office to make copies of their latest comic book and sell them on the playground. George is identified by his tie and flat top haircut, Harold is recognizable by his T-shirt and bad haircut, a gag that always starts every book. George is 9 3/4 years old while Harold is 10 years old, identified in the Super Diaper Baby book. They are considered the class clowns of 4th grade at Jerome Horwitz Elementary School, a school which discourages imagination and fun (Jerome Horwitz is the birth name of Curly Howard of the Three Stooges). Ironically, it is revealed in the Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman that they perform fairly well overall in school, as their grades range from B to C.
  • Mr. Benny Krupp - The sweet and evil principal of Jerome Horwitz Elementary School and the main antagonist. Mr. Krupp has a very deep hatred of children, and also tries to protect Jerome Horwitz Elementary from George and Harold's antics. Why he is so angry to children in general is unknown. In the first book, he gets hypnotized by George and Harold for being so mean to them and becomes the superhero Captain Underpants, with a flaw in their attempt to return him to normal resulting in him alternating between Captain Underpants and Mr. Krupp whenever someone snaps their fingers (As Mr. Krupp) and pours water over his head (Captain Underpants). He does not know of his superhero identity.
  • Captain Underpants - He always wears underpants and a red cape with black polka-dots. He is actually Mr. Benny Krupp hypnotized to think he is "Captain Underpants," a character created by George and Harold. Whenever Mr. Krupp hears the sound of fingers snapping, he turns into Captain Underpants, and turns back into Mr. Benny Krupp when water is poured on his head. Originally, he did not have any real superpowers (even though he believed he did), so George and Harold would have to follow Mr. Krupp every time he transformed into Captain Underpants to make sure he did not get hurt. He gained his superpowers in the third book by drinking some "Extra Strength Super Power Juice" found on an alien spaceship. Captain Underpants is considered to be the 'light side' of Mr. Benny Krupp himself, as he is kind and nice to everyone, especially to children.
  • Sulu and Crackers - George and Harold's pets. Sulu was Melvin's abandoned pet bionic hamster after he yelled at Sulu which offended him, but afterward was adopted by George and Harold. Crackers is their pet pterodactyl. Sulu appeared in "The Big, Bad Battle of the Bionic Booger Boy, Part 1." Crackers appeared in "The Big, Bad Battle of the Bionic Booger Boy, Part 2." Sulu was briefly a villain after being hypnotized by Evil George and Evil Harold in The Preposterous Plight of the Purple Potty People. Crackers was hypnotized as well, but did not turn evil because she was female, and as shown in Captain Underpants and the Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman, hypnosis does the opposite effect for women than what the hypnotizer says.
  • Melvin Sneedly - George and Harold's nerdy nemesis. He is an annoying snitch, mechanical genius, the school brainiac, and tattletale. He was first introduced in the book Captain Underpants and the Attack of the Talking Toilets, where he invents the "PATSY-2000" for the science fair. In book 4, he has a silly name, "Pinky Pizzabrains". He is described as "the kid with the bowtie and the eyeglasses". He becomes the main villain of book 6, Captain Underpants and the Big, Bad Battle of the Bionic Booger Boy Part 1: The Night of the Nasty Nostril Nuggets, after accidentally transforming himself into the Bionic Booger Boy. In "Revenge of the Ridiculous Robo-Boogers", Melvin switches bodies with Mr. Krupp and gains his powers, but loses them once they are given back to Captain Underpants. In "Purple Potty People," the alternate Melvin was not at all intelligent. In book 7, at the end he was chased because of the trouble he caused. What happened after that is unknown.
Character First Appearance Appearances
George Book 1 All Books
Harold Book 1 All Books
Captain Underpants Book 1 All Books
Mr. Krupp Book 1 All Books
Sulu Book 6 Book 6-9
Crackers Book 7 Book 7-9
Melvin Sneedly Book 2 Book 2,4-8


  • Ms. Tara Ribble - George and Harold's 4th grade teacher, introduced in the first book as unnamed. In book 5, she turned evil after George and Harold accidentally made her think she was "Wedgie Woman," one of the characters in their comic books. Afterward, the two made her change her behavior to be nicer and happier with their 3D Hypno-Ring, including making her serve freshly baked cookies to the class every day of school. Ms. Ribble's favorite ice cream flavor is chunky tofu, as revealed in the fifth book. She also almost marries Mr. Krupp, but refuses because he has a "silly nose"(Ironically, they have the same nose). She made her last appearance in the 6th book after catching a sickness and not being seen in the series again. It is unknown if she will return in another book, but it seems plausible. Her name is a pun. Tara Ribble is a pun on "terrible" and Ms. Ribble is a pun on "miserable". It is possible that she still unknowingly possesses Wedgie Woman's powers, as George and Harold did not take any measure to remove them when they hypnotized her into thinking she was Ms. Ribble again.
  • Mr. Meaner - Jerome Horwitz Elementary School's gym teacher. He is depicted as being a fat man, and with a personality similar to Mr. Krupp's. Like him, he is very cruel to students and often yells at them. His name is a reference to the word "misdemeanor". George and Harold express their dislike for him by constantly having gym teachers being attacked or killed by various monsters in their comics, but no one ever cares.
  • Miss Edith Anthrope - The school secretary. She helped set up Ms. Ribble and Mr. Krupp's marriage. Her name is a reference to the word "misanthrope". Her full name is a pun on the phrase "Eat it and throw up".
  • Mr. Morty Fyde - Mr. Fyde is the Jerome Horwitz science teacher. He quit in the book Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants. He is not mad and rather dorky; his name is a pun on the word "mystified" while his full name is a pun on the word "mortified". Mr. Fyde quit in book 3 because he dreamed he had been eaten by a talking toilet, imagined that the school got flooded with sticky green goop, thought he saw a group of abominable snowmen chasing George and Harold down the hallway and he saw a big fat bald guy in his underwear fly out the window. Mr. Fyde, thinking he had obtained madness, "Left Jerome Horowitz Elementary School for the greener pastures of The Piqua Valley Home for the Reality-Challenged."
  • Mr. Rected - Mr. Rected is a teacher at Jerome Horwitz Elementary School. He is the school guidance counsellor. His name is a pun on the word "misdirected". He appears in books 4 and 5. He is shown pictures but speaks no lines in book 8.
  • Ms. Guided - Ms. Guided is a teacher at Jerome Horwitz Elementary School. It is unknown what subject she teaches. Her name is a pun on the word "misguided". She appears in book 5, and is seen in pictures in books 4 and 8.
  • Mr Rustworthy - Possible music teacher due to the design on his tie. His name is a pun on the word "mistrustworthy". He appears in book 5.
  • Boxer Boy and Great Granny Girdle - Appearing in the eighth book, Boxer Boy and Great Granny Girdle are Harold's grandfather and George's great-grandmother. They battled Captain Blunderpants to save their grandchildren. George and Harold accidentally gave them Super Power Juice while showing them a new comic in a two-family dinner during Grandparents' Day.
  • The Lunch Ladies - The lunch ladies do not play large roles in most of the books, but are essential to the plot of the third book. Two of the ladies' names are given; they are: Mrs. DePoint and Ms. Creant, which are puns on "misses the point" and "miscreant", respectively. The lunch ladies quit because George and Harold were making awful comic books about them, one of which was called Captain Underpants and the Night of the Living Lunch Ladies. Zorx, Klax and Jennifer then take their jobs and try to take over the world.


  • Dr. Diaper - A villain whose plan was to blow up the moon with the Lasermatic 2000: all the big chunks of it would come crashing down on every major city in the world. This chaos would allow him to take over the earth. He made a brief appearance at the end of the fourth book, where he met Professor Poopypants in jail and, along with all the other inmates, laughed at his name, much to Poopypants' annoyance and anger. He was the main villain of the first book.
  • Dr. Diaper's robots - They were robots created by Dr. Diaper, and assigned to steal a diamond, the power source to Dr. Diaper's Lasermatic 2000 and kidnapped Mr. Krupp (who was hypnotized to think he was Captain Underpants). They were destroyed by George and Harold. They were the secondary villains in the first book.
  • The Turbo Toilet 2000 - A giant toilet created by George and Harold, who was accidentally brought into the real world with a modified photocopier. His plan was to devour Captain Underpants and conquer the world with his army of vicious Talking Toilets, but he was defeated and flown to Uranus; in the fourth book, in the newspaper Professor Poopypants was holding, one of the articles states that there were talking toilets found on Uranus and the "Piqua Order Of Professional Space Interplanetary Explorers" (POOPSIE) later discovered the talking toilets on Uranus yet again. It is also a running gag in the book series that bad guys get sent to Uranus. He was the main villain of the second book.
  • The Talking Toilets - Ferocious sharp-fanged toilets who worked for the Turbo Toilet 2000. They ate all the teachers in the school, but after being fed food from the school cafeteria they vomited the unconscious-but-unharmed teachers before dying. They are the secondary villains of the second book.
  • Zorx, Klax and Jennifer - Three space aliens who had the head of a frog, the face of a snake, the tentacles of an octopus and the legs of a slug (legless) who planned to create an army of gargantuan zombies from the school's students and teachers to take over the world. They were later incinerated in a horrific UFO explosion. In the alternate dimension, they are firemen with Professor Poopypants. They were the main villains of the third book.
  • The Dandelion Of Doom - A dandelion that drank alien rapid-growth juice, causing it to grow into a giant, evil monster. Because Captain Underpants had to drink alien superpower juice in order to defeat it, it could be considered responsible for giving Captain Underpants his superpowers. It is the secondary villain of the book.
  • The Lunchroom Zombie Nerds - After being fed the lunches, zombie nerd milkshakes served by Zorx, Klax and Jennifer the students and teachers transformed into mindless, dangerous zombie nerds. The aliens intended to use rapid-growth juice to make the zombies grow to a gigantic size, allowing them to conquer the world but they were returned to normal by anti-zombie-nerd root beer. They were the tertiary villains of the third book.
  • Professor Pippy Pee-Pee Poopypants (a/k/a Tippy Tinkletrousers) - A brilliant scientist who unfortunately comes from a foreign culture in which everyone has a silly name. Because of his name he was never taken seriously by any of the US's universities, so he decided to go into teaching science at the school after Mr. Fyde quit - however he was eventually driven insane by being constantly made fun of and his plan was to give everyone on the planet a silly name. He was defeated by a giant Captain Underpants and was taken to jail. George convinces him to change his name but it is still silly. In the alternate dimension, he is a fireman with the space aliens. The main villain of the fourth book. He will reappear in the upcoming book Terrifying Re-Turn of Tippy Tinkletrousers for revenge after thinking that it is George's fault that people still laugh at his name.
  • Wedgie Woman - A villain originally created by George and Harold who was based on their teacher, Ms. Ribble. After a second mishap with the 3D Hypno-Ring the real Ms. Ribble becomes convinced that she really is Wedgie Woman - at first she has no superpowers, but after her hairstyle gets splattered with the superpower juice from the third book her hair transforms into arms and she gains super-intelligence. She is later changed back to normal by George and Harold, where she becomes nice and bakes chocolate chip cookies everyday for the class. She is the main villain of the fifth book.
  • Robo-George and Harold 2000 - Two giant robots built by Wedgie Woman based on George and Harold. They were totally obedient to Wedgie Woman, each had a vast arsenal of powerful weapons and gadgets and were programmed to destroy Captain Underpants once they heard him say "tra-la-laaa!" They were completely destroyed by Captain Underpants when he used the Harold 2000's own hands against them. They are the secondary villains of the fifth book.
  • The Bionic Booger Boy - A mix of Melvin Sneedly, snot and a robot in an invention test. He went crazy after an idiotic, fat person named Mr. Snoddy threw tissues at him, the thing he hates the most. He grew bigger and more annoyed, and plotted to get revenge. He is later broken down by Sulu, George, Harold, and Mr. Sneedly, but in the process Melvin and Mr. Krupp switched bodies. He is the main villain of the sixth book.
  • Carl, Trixie and Frankenbooger (The Robo-Boogers) - Boogers that planned to destroy Captain Underpants. They all came from the Bionic Booger Boy. They all share a weakness to oranges, which Captain Underpants successfully used to destroy the rampaging trio of living mucus. Carl had the Bionic Booger Boy's legs, Trixie had the tentacles, and Frankenbooger had the arms. Whenever they eat, they become bigger and more evil. They are the main villains of the seventh book.
  • Captain Blunderpants - An evil version of Captain Underpants from an alternate dimension who plots on taking over the world and destroying Captain Underpants. Captain Blunderpants has a toupee and looks and acts more like Mr. Krupp, while the alternate Mr. Krupp is nice. He was defeated by Boxer Boy and Great-Granny Girdle. Also his transformation is opposite; when water is splashed on him, he becomes the evil Captain Blunderpants and when someone snaps their fingers, he becomes nice Mr. Krupp.
  • Evil George and Evil Harold - The opposite versions of George and Harold from an alternate dimension who are both intelligent and evil. They helped Captain Blunderpants and unlike the sketchy, amateurish George and Harold they are actually good authors and illustrators (ironically the main George and Harold consider the alternative George and Harold's work inferior). Additionally, they also tended to correct the spelling on signs (whilst their counterparts often change the signs into funny words). They were shrunk and sent back to their universe by George and Harold.


Captain Underpants novels

  1. The Adventures of Captain Underpants (1997)
  2. Captain Underpants and the Attack of the Talking Toilets (1999)
  3. Captain Underpants and the Invasion of the Incredibly Naughty Cafeteria Ladies from Outer Space (and the Subsequent Assault of the Equally Evil Lunchroom Zombie Nerds) (1999)
  4. Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants (2000)
  5. Captain Underpants and the Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman (2001)
  6. Captain Underpants and the Big, Bad Battle of the Bionic Booger Boy, Part 1: The Night of the Nasty Nostril Nuggets (2003)
  7. Captain Underpants and the Big, Bad Battle of the Bionic Booger Boy, Part 2: The Revenge of the Ridiculous Robo-Boogers (2003)
  8. Captain Underpants and the Preposterous Plight of the Purple Potty People (2006)
  9. Captain Underpants and the Terrifying Return of Tippy Tinkletrousers (Possibly 2012-2014)

Activity books

  1. The Captain Underpants Extra-Crunchy Book o' Fun (2001)
  2. The All-New Captain Underpants Extra-Crunchy Book o' Fun 2 (2002)
  3. Captain Underpants Cartoon-O-Rama #1: Heroes, Villains, and Super Creeps (TBA)

Super Diaper Baby novels

  1. The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby (2002)
  2. Super Diaper Baby 2: The Invasion of the Potty Snatchers (2011)

Collectors' Edition

  1. The Adventures of Captain Underpants: Collectors' Edition (2005)
  2. Captain Underpants and the Attack of the Talking Toilets: Collectors' Edition (2007)
  3. Captain Underpants and the Invasion of the Incredibly Naughty Cafeteria Ladies from Outer Space: Collectors' Edition (2008)


  • The Tra-La-La Riffic Captain Underpants Collection/The First Captain Underpants Collection (Books 1-4; 1997–2000)
  • The Second Captain Underpants Collection (Books 5-7 & Super Diaper Baby; 2001–2003)
  • Captain Underpants: Three Pantastic Novels in One (Books 1-3; 1997–1999)
  • The New Captain Underpants Collection (Books 1-5; 1997–2001)
  • The Tra-La-La Tramendous Captain Underpants Collection (Books 5-8; 2001–2006)
  • The Complete Captain Underpants Collection (Books 1-8; 1997–2006)
  • The Captain Underpants Collectors' Edition Collection (Books 1-3 + 3 CD-Roms; 1997–1999, 2005–2008)

Ook and Gluk novels

  1. The Adventures of Ook and Gluk: Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future (2010)
  2. The Adventures Of Ook and Gluk Jr.: Kung-Fu Cavekids From Outer Space (TBA)


Book bans

The Captain Underpants books were reported by the American Library Association to be the sixth most frequently challenged books in the year 2002.[1] Dav Pilkey also mentioned this in his website. According to the American Library Association, Pilkey's Captain Underpants series was banned in some schools for insensitivity and being unsuited to age group, as well as encouraging children to disobey authority.[citation needed]


In 2006, Captain Underpants Halloween costumes created controversy at Long Island (NY) high school. Three female students dressed up as Captain Underpants and the principal placed a costume ban for all students. The three girls put on beige leotards and nude stockings under white briefs and red capes. According to Principal Restivo, "the appearance was that they were naked."[2]


Although the first few books came out on a regular basis, the 9th book, Captain Underpants and the Terrifying Return of Tippy Tinkletrousers (advertised in a teaser at the end of the 8th book), has not yet been released in bookstores. While some of his fans assumed[who?] that Dav Pilkey had writer's block, he was actually on hiatus caring for his terminally-ill father.[3]

Dav Pilkey won the Caldecott Honor Award for The Paperboy, even though he is mostly known for the Captain Underpants' series. He is also recognized for his illustrations and paintings. His diverse talents are apparent in the wide range of more than 40 books he has published. In 2009, he signed a deal with Scholastic for four new books, the first of which was The Adventures of Ook and Gluk: Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future, released on August 10, 2010. The second was Super Diaper Baby 2: The Invasion of the Potty Snatchers released on June 28, 2011.[4]The Third Book F.A.R.T.S. The Major Motion Picture is scheduled to be released in the fall of 2012.


In October 2011, it was reported that DreamWorks Animation has acquired rights to make a feature film based on the Captain Underpants series.[5]

Distribution outside the USA

  • Brazil: Cosac & Naify
  • Canada, Argentina, Mexico, UK, Ireland, Hong Kong, India, Australia, New Zealand: Scholastic
  • Catalan: Editorial Cruilla, a division of Ediciones SM, Barcelona
  • Chinese Simplified: Thinkingdom/New Buds
  • Chinese Traditional: Commonwealth
  • Czech: Egmont
  • Danish: Forlaget Sesam, a division of Egmont
  • Finland: Tammi
  • France: Le Petit Musc, a division of Playbac, Paris
  • German: Ueberreuter, Vienna
  • Greek: Modern Times
  • Iceland: JPV Forlag
  • Indonesia: Gramedia
  • Israel: Kineret
  • Italy: Piemme (Captain Underpants), Salani (Super Diaper Baby)
  • Japan: Tokuma Shoten
  • Norway: A.W. Damm
  • Poland: Egmont
  • Portugal: Gradiva
  • Romania: Editura National
  • Russia: Machiny Tvoreniya Publishing (title: Капитан Подштанник "Kapitan Podshtannik")
  • Slovene: Zalozba Mladinska Knjiga
  • Spain: Ediciones SM, Madrid
  • Sweden: Egmont Richters
  • Thai: Pearl Publishing
  • Turkish: A.I. Iletisim/Altin Kitaplar


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