Captain Underpants

Captain Underpants

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Updated Feb 25, 2019 at 01:56PM EST by 3kole5.

Added Mar 09, 2016 at 04:46PM EST by Wesley.

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Captain Underpants is a series of children's novels written and illustrated by Dav Pilkey and published through Scholastic. The series, which follows fourth graders George Beard and Harold Hutchins, along with the eponymous Captain Underpants, who in reality is their disgruntled principal Mr. Krupp, garnered notoriety for its toilet humour, along with its appeal to younger readers since its initial publication in 1997. Several spin-offs stylized as original comic books from the in-universe protagonists George and Harold have also been produced, such as Super Diaper Baby, The Adventures of Ook and Gluk, and Dog Man.


Author Dav Pilkey created Captain Underpants as a 2nd grader.[8] One afternoon, after being thrown out of class for his immature behavior, Pilkey began drawing Captain Underpants adventures and handing them out to friends and schoolmates.[1]

On October 1, 1997, Scholastic published the first novel in the series, The Adventures of Captain Underpants, following George and Harold as they make their school principal Mr. Krupp into the titular superhero and try to undo the subsequent mess they get in. Each entry in the series would be published every few years until 2006, where Dav would take a hiatus to take care of his father, who would later pass away in 2008, but later signed on to publish four new novels in 2010, starting with The Adventures of Ook and Gluk, and including a new Captain Underpants book, Captain Underpants and the Terrifying Re-Turn of Tippy Tinkletrousers. The main series would end with Captain Underpants and the Sensational Saga of Sir Stinks-A-Lot, published on August 25, 2015. Following the conclusion of the series, Pilkey began writing and publishing the spin-off, Dog-Man.


2017 Film

On October 20, 2011, Dreamworks was reported to have won an auction to the rights to a feature film to the Captain Underpants series.[3] On October 25, 2013, Nicholas Stoller was announced as the screenwriter and Rob Letterman was announced as director.[4]

On March 22nd, 2017, an official trailer for the movie was posted on to YouTube(shown below). The trailer features the series's stars George, Harold, Mr. Krupp, and his alias Captain Underpants. It also features notable villains Professor Poopypants and the Turbo-Toilet 2000. As of May 2017 the trailer has over 9 million views.


Since its initial publication in 1997, the Captain Underpants series has been under constant fire by censors due to its humor and violence. According to the American Library Association, the books have been among the top 10 most challenged in schools in the years 2002, 2004, and even reached the top spot of most challenged books in the years 2012 and 2013.[5] Several parents accused the book of having language inappropriate for the book's target audience, children enrolled in elementary schools, as well as criticized it for its violence and language.[5]

Writing for Slate, Jessica Roake argued in favor of young people reading Captain Underpants. She wrote that "They're drawn to them because for the first time in their reading lives they are understood, entertained, and catered to all at once. It is theirs, not ours, and that feeling of exclusive ownership forges the kind of connection everyone should have with at least one book in their life. For that, most every English teacher of my acquaintance will be more than happy to take the shot to the ego the Captain provides."[2]

In a press release by National Coalition Against Censorship, The American Library Association stated that Captain Underpants, which was "This year's #1 banned book […] is the gift that keeps on giving. Why? Because these popular, silly books are read by parents, with their children, all over the country. The potty humor makes parents roll their eyes and kids giggle. The absurdity of banning books in order to attack perceived moral problems is exemplified by this year's winner."[6]

Online Presence

On May 12th, 2017, the Captain Underpants theme by "Weird" Al Yankovic was released. Within three days, the official lyric video (shown below) has over 950,000 views.

George and Harold's Sign Parodies

With the announcement of the movie, the film has seen an uptick in internet interest. On April 21st, 2017 an image template featuring one of the first sign rearrangements in the series(shown below, left) was posted on to /r/memeeconomy(shown below, right), where it went on to get over 10,000 upvotes and 163 comments.[7]

Please go pee-pee on your socks for warmth

Various Examples

Born to Die Columbine 9/11

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