[[quoteright:343:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Captainunderpantscover.jpg]]

->''Faster than a speeding waistband! More powerful than boxer shorts! Able to leap tall buildings without getting a wedgie!''

A series of '''[[InsistentTerminology EPIC]] [[BlatantLies NOVELS]]''' written by Dav Pilkey. Its main character is ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin.

George Beard and Harold Hutchins [[note]]Harold is the one on the left with the T-shirt and the bad haircut. George is the one on the right with the tie and the flat-top. [[OnceAnEpisode Remember that now]][[/note]] are two mischievous kids at Jerome Horwitz Elementary School. They enjoy pulling off practical jokes and making comic books to brighten the lives of their fellow students. But one day, their evil principal, Mr. [[EmbarrassingFirstName Benny]] Krupp, manages to record video of them pulling off a series of pranks that causes their football team to forfeit a game, and blackmails the two boys by threatening to show the video to the football team unless they give up their mischief-making ways and do all sorts of hard labor.

Not wanting to go through with this, George and Harold order a [[HypnoRay hypnotic ring]] and use it to hypnotize Mr. Krupp into giving them the tape. Then, for laughs, they hypnotize him into believing he is their comic book creation, Captain Underpants. But as a result of [[HypnoFool their inability to handle the ring properly]] (and pouring water over his head, which they weren't supposed to do), Mr. Krupp now transforms into Captain Underpants whenever he hears the sound of fingers snapping.

Initially, Mr Krupp as Captain Underpants was powerless (aside from being a mean shot with underwear), as opposed to his comic incarnation, who was a classic FlyingBrick. However, as of the third book, he has acquired super powers.

There are also two SpinOff titles: ''The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby'' and ''The Adventures of Ook and Gluk, Kung-Fu Cavemen From The Future''. These books are presented as [[ShowWithinAShow graphic novels written by George and Harold]], with ''Super Diaper Baby'' featuring a CrossOver with their Captain Underpants comic.

'''The books to date are:'''
# ''The Adventures of Captain Underpants'' (1997)
# ''Captain Underpants and the Attack of the Talking Toilets'' (1999)
# ''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)
# ''Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants'' (2000)
# ''Captain Underpants and the Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman'' (2001)
# ''Captain Underpants and the Big, Bad Battle of the Bionic Booger Boy, Part 1: The Night of the Nasty Nostril Nuggets'' (2003)
# ''Captain Underpants and the Big, Bad Battle of the Bionic Booger Boy, Part 2: The Revenge of the Ridiculous Robo-Boogers'' (2003)
# ''Captain Underpants and the Preposterous Plight of the Purple Potty People'' (2006)
# ''Captain Underpants and the Terrifying Return of Tippy Tinkletrousers'' (2012)
# ''Captain Underpants and the Revolting Revenge of the Radioactive Robo-Boxers'' (2013)
# ''Captain Underpants and the Tyrannical Retaliation of the Turbo-Toilet 2000'' (2014)
# ''Captain Underpants and the Sensational Saga of Sir Stinks-A-Lot'' (2015, coming soon)

Creator/DreamWorksAnimation [[http://www.slashfilm.com/dreamworks-animation-wins-bidding-war-captain-underpants/#more-114358 got the rights for a film adaptation]], [[http://www.cartoonbrew.com/feature-film/rob-letterman-will-direct-captain-underpants-for-dreamworks-90364.html to be directed by]] Rob Letterman (''Film/MonstersVsAliens'') and written by Nicholas Stoller (''Film/GetHimToTheGreek'', ''Film/TheMuppets''). [[TheOfficeUS Ed]] [[Film/TheHangover Helms]] is set to play the Captain.

Now has [[Recap/CaptainUnderpants a recap page]]. Don't worry, all the {{One Paragraph Chapter}}s are AlreadyDoneForYou.

----
!!The main Captain Underpants books contain examples of:

* ZeroPercentApprovalRating: None of the school children like Melvin Sneedly.
* TheAce: George is established as this in ''The Terrifying Return of Tippy Tinkletrousers.'' In the span of five minutes, he outwits an [[AdultsAreUseless auto mechanic who mocks a bullying victim,]] then intimidates the bullies into submission using only a tie -- on his ''first day of kindergarten.'' He later masterminds the plan to humiliate and scare Kipper Krupp and his gang into reforming, and is only slightly fazed when he has to adapt his plans due to some lucky guesswork from Kipper.
* AddedAlliterativeAppeal: The book titles starting with the second one, after the "Captain Underpants and the..." part.
* AerithAndBob: The three aliens in the third book: Zork, Klax, and Jennifer.
* AffectionateParody: CaptainUnderpants is very much one of Superman - he is first described in the same manner of Superman's own "More powerful than a locomotive..." way. His costume is a takeoff of Superman's [[SpandexLatexOrLeather spandex]] and BadassCape. Within his comics inside the universe, he shares Superman's FlyingBrick powers. Then, outside the comics, he actually gets the powers. For a bonus, he's also one of Batman - inside his comics, he has a 'waistband utility belt' which is just as CrazyPrepared as Batman's. He even once says "To the underwear cave!", though he actually lacks such a place. As an added bonus, his in-comic origin story is identical to Superman's--doomed planet, only survivor, adopted by rural folk, father appearing in dream sequence, et cetera.
* AliensInCleveland: The books are set in Piqua, Ohio, once known as the Underwear Capital of the World.
* AlliterativeName: Harold Hutchins.
* AluminumChristmasTrees: Ms. Ribble makes the students eat chunky tofu ice cream at her retirement party in Book 5. It [[http://www.bakespace.com/recipes/detail/Tofu%20Ice%20Cream/14417/ actually exists]], minus the chunky part.
* AndThenJohnWasAZombie: See FutureMeScaresMe.
* AntiClimax: Parodied OnceAnEpisode. Near the end, there's some climactic event which gets its own chapter (the Robo-Plunger rebuilding the school, George and Harold attempting a HeelFaceBrainwashing on Ms. Ribble, the kids pouring water on Captain Underpants to turn him back to Mr. Krupp, [[spoiler:Tippy Tinkletrousers getting stepped on by Zombie Nerd Harold]], etc.). The chapter in question simply says something like "they did" or "it worked".
** This chapter in each book is always called 'To Make a Long Story Short'. To make an even bigger conundrum even more anticlimatic, in "The Perilous Plight of the Purple Potty People", such a chapter is followed by a similar chapter, 'To Make a Longer Story Shorter'. Ironically, this chapter is actually one character longer than the preceding one.
*** In Book 10, we actually get to see the "long story" of Book 9 in its entirety.
* ArtEvolution: In the first three books, the illustrations have a very flat and much cruder look. However, by the end of the third book, the art started to look noticeably crisper and more three-dimensional.
* AssShove: In book 10, Tippy Tinkletrousers' Robo-Trousers are equipped with a thermonuclear bomb, which are activated by having a robotic tentacle pull it out through the nether regions.
* AtrociousAlias: Professor Poopypants' nation has this as their [[PlanetOfHats Hat]]. His first appearance as a villain has him attempting to give everyone else stupid names after being sick of being laughed at for his.
* AuthorsSavingThrow: In-universe - Captain Underpants' origin story is made to make him invulnerable to starching.
* BadFuture: [[spoiler:As Tippy Tinkertrousers appeared before the already-traumatized Kipper and his gang with a giant pair of robotic pants, he inadvertently causes them to go insane from the terror, and Mr. Krupp was blamed for his crime. Mr. Krupp was then fired from being principal of Jerome Horwitz Elementary School. As a result, Mr. Krupp didn't become Captain Underpants and the first three villains from the first three novels succeeded in accomplishing their goals.]]
** [[spoiler: In the tenth book, George and Harold decide to swear off pranks and comic books and become model students after witnessing all of the chaos brought about by their time traveling. They meet themselves thirty years in the future, having become jerkass teachers themselves and working for an elderly Mr. Krupp. However, this becomes subverted when the young George and Harold finally defeat Slightly Younger Tippy Tinkletrousers by summoning the elderly Captain Underpants to assist his younger time-shifted self in the fight.]]
* BetterThanABareBulb
* BizarroUniverse: George and Harold end up in one in ''Preposterous Plight of the Purple Potty People''. The good news is that the entire school staff are nice to students and the "villains" are nice guys performing community service. The bad news is that the George and Harold from the world are evil.
* BlackBeadEyes
* BlackBestFriend: George to Harold, in the technical sense. The trope is actually averted since their personalities are almost identical.
* BreakingTheFourthWall: All the time.
** "A huge cloud of mist filled the air, covering everything in sight, and making these two pages incredibly easy to draw."
* BrilliantButLazy: George and Harold have lots and lots of potential and are very smart boys, but are horribly lazy and tend to use their potential in the form of pranks and comic books rather than in their schoolwork.
* BrickJoke: Several examples:
** In one of the later books, George and Harold tell everyone how to make a squishy prank, which is to put ketchup packets under a toilet seat. Half way through the book, Melvin sits on a toilet and gets ketchup on his legs.
** "I was at the shoe store ordering a cheeseburger."
* TheBully[=/=]JerkJock: Mr. Krupp's nephew, Kipper Krupp, and his gang in book nine. They're members of the school wrestling team and extort kindergardeners for lunch money because they can.
* TheCameo: In one of George and Harold's comic books that were clearly a TakeThat on the school's tattletale Melvin, among the people going to jail were Super Diaper Baby and Diaper Dog from the spin-off titles. They show up again when Captain Underpants releases everyone from their cells.
* CannotSpitItOut: In ''the Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman'', George and Harold prank Mr. Krupp by changing an apology card he ordered them to make for Ms. Ribble that she reads out loud into a ''marriage proposal'' to her for him. He is so shocked and stupefied when she reads it out, ''an actual marriage happens'' until Ms. Ribble breaks it off just before the vows happen, ''and only then'' does Mr. Krupp say he didn't want to marry her either, the entire thing happening due to George and Harold tricking them.
* CaptainSuperhero
* CatchPhrase:
** "Tra la LAAAAAA!"
** "Oh no!"
** "HereWeGoAgain!"
* CerebusSyndrome: Surprisingly. After the first five books, the series gets slowly more continuity-intensive, and a bit DarkerAndEdgier too.
* CharacterNameAndTheNounPhrase: The title of every single book except for the first one.
* ChekhovsGag: Squishies. First used as a seemingly throwaway gag in the sixth book, and later makes a surprise reappearance in the seventh book, [[spoiler: cleverly used by Captain Underpants to dispatch Trixie and Frankenbooger at the same time.]]
* ChekhovsGun:
** The 3-D Hypno-Ring was originally just a(n extremely silly) plot device in ''The Adventures of Captain Underpants'' and was only brought up in passing in most of the sequels, if it was mentioned at all. In ''Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman'', however, the ring made a full reappearance and the trouble using it causes became a plot point.
** In the first book, George and Harold decide to take a fake dog poop with them when go to search for the hypnotized Mr. Krupp. Later, George uses the poop to distract Dr. Diaper.
** Professor Poopypants'[=/=]Tippy Tinkletrousers' various inventions from book 4 become this in books 9 and 10, and are ultimately directly or indirectly responsible for the ice age, the extinction of the dinosaurs, and the ''Big Bang'' itself.[[note]]"Indirectly," in that the Goosey-Grow 4000 turns an ordinary thermonuclear bomb and enlarges it to galaxy-destroying levels.[[/note]]
* ClarkKenting: The Captain sports a BaldOfAwesome, while Mr. Krupp seems to be wearing a DodgyToupee.
* CliffhangerCopOut: Tippy Twinkletrousers was apparently killed at the end of Book 9 after the giant zombi-fied Harold squished him underfoot. Book 10 reveals the former left out a scene between, in which it turns out Harold was so incredibly slow Tippy had time to scream three times, go shopping, then buy a giant novelty ketchup pack and place it beneath the foot.
* ComicBooksAreReal
* CoolAndUnusualPunishment: Professor Poopypants tries to get his revenge by forcing everyone to have a silly-sounding name that uses the same pattern as his name.
* ContinuityNod:
** Dr. Diaper is arrested (offscreen) at the end of book one. In book four when Tippy Tinkletrousers is in jail, you can see him one of the windows at the jail.
** At the end of Book two, George and Harold tell the robot they created to take the dead toilets out to Uranus. Then in book 4 if you notice a newspaper, they're apparently found on Uranus. This once again shows up in Book 7, when Major Tomski and his crew make an expedition to Uranus and find the dead toilets and the Robo-Plunger. Finally, Book 11 opens with the softball from Book 5 arriving at Uranus and decapitating the Robo-Plunger, [[SealedEvilInACan freeing the Turbo Toilet 2000]].
* ContrivedCoincidence: This is how Captain Underpants frequently sources his red with black dots curtain-capes:
** Most of the time, they come from Mr. Krupp's office in the school.
** In Book 6, George, Harold and Krupp were hiding behind one of these curtains when George turned Krupp into Captain Underpants. (The coincidence was lampshaded here)
** In Book 9, the Everything Except Fabric Softener store happens to be selling superhero capes at 100% off, as part of their 'Lazy Storytelling' sale.
** In Book 10, Krupp was holding a box of curtains when he was accidentally sent back in time with George and Harold.
* DeanBitterman: Mr. Krupp.
* DecemberDecemberRomance: George's grandmother and Harold's grandfather hook up around the end of ''the Preposterous Plight of the Purple Potty People''. George and Harold were suitably {{Squick}}ed from being present to them passionately kissing before going off to find a restaurant for a date.
* DetonationMoon: Dr. Diaper's plot. [[spoiler:The new timeline created in Book 9 shows an aversion to NoEndorHolocaust, with the remains of the destroyed moon scattered across the ruined landscape.]]
* DisneyDeath: Parodied when George and Harold nearly fall to their doom due to Captain Underpants using toilet paper to escape an alien spaceship. Also doubles as a DisneyVillainDeath.
* DoubleEntendre: The title of the third book could be referencing both the fact that the aliens are evil, and their ...appendages.
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler:''Terrifying Return of Tippy Tinkletrousers''. AND HOW!]]
** [[spoiler: Luckily, there is some TimeyWimeyBall shennanigans involved as the Tippy that appeared before George and Harold were sentenced to juvie was from the future, and the story focused on what happened when Tippy ''didn't'' appear before then.]]
* DudeWheresMyRespect: In Book 11, Melvin becomes a superhero to fight back against the Turbo Toilet 2000. He soon finds himself doing less of his lab work more of helping people out with trivial needs. He finally gets fed up with this and brings George and Harold back from the future to deal with the Turbo Toilet 2000.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: In the first two books, the OnceAnEpisode Incredibly Graphic Violence Chapter(s) were called the Extremely Graphic Violence Chapter(s). The first three books each had a chapter titled "Busted" as well.
* EveryEpisodeEnding: The first five books end with everything going back to normal, until someone snaps their fingers and Mr. Krupp runs off to become Captain Underpants. The later books end with {{Sequel Hook}}s instead.
* EvilMeScaresMe: George and Harold.
* EverythingsBetterWithDinosaurs: Crackers the pterodactyl (who's actually a Quetzalcoatlus).
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: The book titles and villain names in general, probably as an AffectionateParody.
** To name two example, the twenty-third chapter of the third book and the twenty-second chapter of the fourth book are respectively called "The Twenty-Third Chapter" and "The Twenty-Second Chapter".
* {{Expy}}: In universe example; the aliens seen in George and Harold's "The Adventures of Great-Granny Girdle and Boxer Boy" during the events of Book 8 are clearly based on Zork, Klax, and Jennifer from the third book.
* EyeGlasses: Melvin. And his family.
* FamilyUnfriendlyDeath: [[spoiler:Tippy being squished to death by a giant zombie nerd Harold at the conclusion to ''Terrifying Return of Tippy Tinkletrousers''. The narrator even describes what's left of him as a "[[{{Squick}} red squishy stain]]". This was lampshaded in the beginning of the next book, of course.]]
** {{Subverted|Trope}}: [[spoiler:The zombie nerds actually squashed a pack of ketchup, as they were too slow to actually crush Tippy.]]
* FantasticAesop: "But what George and Harold forgot was the ''other'' moral, that is, never, ever, '''EVER''' hypnotize your principal. Because if you do, your life may go from bad to worse at the snap of a finger!"
* FantasticNamingConvention: Played with in the novel ''Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants''. The antagonist comes from a country named New Swissland, where everyone has a silly name. His is Professor Pippy Pee Poopypants. He later changes it Tippy T. Tinkletrousers.
* FatBastard: Mr. Krupp.
** And also, Ms. Ribble.
* FMinusMinus: In the fifth book, Ms. Ribble, infuriated with George and Harold's prank that nearly got her married to Mr. Krupp, gives them both "G" grades, a grade specially made just for them. (Unfortunately, the joke is lost on some British readers nowadays, as it is actually possible to get a G grade at GCSE.)
* FlyingBrick: Captain Underpants.
* FourFingeredHands
* FutureMeScaresMe: At one point in the 10th book, George and Harold resolve to start taking their lives more seriously. Later, they end up traveling to the future that by following this resolution, they have grown up to [[AndThenJohnWasAZombie become sadistic teachers]]. They are able to prevent this by breaking the resolution.
* GeorgeLucasAlteredVersion: So far, the first two books are reprinted in color.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: Both averted and lampshaded. In "Attack of the Talking Toilets" George and Harold get the idea to create a giant urinal called "The Urinator" to destroy the evil toilets. However, they quickly scrap the idea after deciding that they would never get away with that in a children's book. [[note]]According to Pilkey, this was an exact transcript between himself and his girlfriend while he was writing the book. He'd intended for the destroyer of the toilets to be called "The Urinator", but she talked him out of it for the same reasons.[[/note]] Also in the Alternate Universe, a sign in the background shows a book called 'Mommy has Two Heathers', which is a spin on the book 'Heather HasTwoMommies' about lesbianism.
** In ''The Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman'', Harold says:
-->'''Harold:''' If he believes that spray starch will save him, then it probably will. I think it's called the Placenta Effect.
** The next chapter is then called "The Placenta Effect."
** In book nine Little George messes up a sign saying "Free Brake Inspection" in order to save Harold from bullies. He removes the k and e, making it say "Free ''Bra'' Inspection."
* GenreSavvy: Both George and Harold know that they exist in a series of books, and love lampshading tropes.
-->''George and Harold are tied up, with a candle burning through a rope that when burnt through will launch an axe at them''.
-->'''George:''' Well, it looks like this is the end.
-->'''Harold:''' Maybe not. Maybe the blade will fall and slice through our ropes and not harm us at all.
-->'''George:''' I doubt it. That kind of thing only happens in really lame adventure stories.
-->''Suddenly the blade fell and sliced through the ropes, not harming George or Harold at all. The two boys looked at each other and decided it was best not to comment on the situation''.
* GoMadFromTheRevelation: The entire school staff undergoes this in Book 11 when George and Harold try to sneak into the school while their time-travel duplicates were in attendance, only to be caught. Mr. Krupp ends up being committed.
* GoryDeadlyOverkillTitleOfFatalDeath: Book 3.
* GoneHorriblyRight: The whole premise. George and Harold hypnotized their principal to believe he was an underwear-themed superhero. It worked too well.
** In the third book, George reluctantly gives Captain Underpants "Extra-Strength Superpower Juice" to save his life before he could get eaten. Now, not only does he believe he's Captain Underpants, ''he has superpowers''.
* TheGoodCaptain
* GrossOutShow: {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d by issuing a warning prior to a nauseating starting bit of a chapter inside the Bionic Booger Boy, and having George [[MediumAwareness yell at the narrator for his disgusting descriptions right after it]].
* HeelFaceBrainwashing: Mr. Krupp [[spoiler:and Ms. Ribble]].
* HereWeGoAgain: The TropeCodifier. All the books in the regular series end with George screaming "Oh no!" and Harold screaming this trope's name.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: George and Harold.
* HighOnCatnip: Occurs in ''Super Diaper Baby 2: The Invasion of the Potty Snatchers''.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: Several examples in ''Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman'':
** In the comic George and Harold make for Ms. Ribble, she assigns a huge amount of book reports only to get crushed by the pile. When she's rebuilt as Wedgie Woman, she's defeated when her robo-wedgie-claw grabs her own underwear.
** Harold 2000 and Robo-George get beaten up their own rocket arms.
** Happens to the real Ms. Ribble when she's hypnotized into thinking she's Wedgie Woman. That stolen Extra-Strength Spray Starch? [[spoiler:It's actually Hair Remover, and her powers are all in her hair.]]
* HotSkittyOnWailordAction: Implied with [[spoiler:Sulu the Bionic Hamster and Crackers and pterodactyl]] at the end of book 11, and grossly lampshaded by the boys.
-->'''Harold:''' "But that doesn't make sense!"
* HypnoFool: The result of George and Harold not reading the directions, and the rationale behind the books after the first one.
* HypocriticalHumor: When Ms. Ribble says she could never marry Mr. Krupp because of his stupid-looking nose, the scene is drawn in close-up to emphasize the fact that their noses are drawn ''identically.''
* InsufferableGenius: Melvin Sneedly.
* {{Irony}}: Oh so much. Especially in ''Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman'' where Harold and George head to a newly-opened store to buy fabric softener to help Captain Underpants... only to find the store literally sells everything '''except''' fabric softener.
* {{Jerkass}}: Melvin and Mr. Krupp (when not in Captain Underpants mode).
* KilledOffForReal:
** [[spoiler:Zorx, Klax, and Jennifer were in their ship when it exploded.]]
** [[spoiler:Sulu, Crackers and Tippy Tinkletrousers]] die at the end of Book 10. [[http://web.archive.org/web/20041109024902/http://www.pilkey.com/nextbook.php We were warned.]]
* KryptoniteFactor[=/=]PlaceboEffect[=/=]WeaksauceWeakness: Captain Underpants loses his power when sprayed with spray starch. At least, he ''thinks'' he does, because that was what George and Harold wrote in their comic.
* LampshadeHanging: [[BetterThanABareBulb Everywhere.]]
* LaserGuidedKarma: Professor Poopypants attempts to give everyone this for laughing at his name, by forcing them to change their names to silly-sounding ones with similar patterns.
* LeadIn: Several of the books often have a mini-plot that eventually kicks off the major events of the book, preceded by the line "But before I can tell you this story, I have to tell you this one..." In the case of the ninth and tenth books, the ninth book ends up being a book-long Lead In to the tenth book.
* LongTitle: ''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)''. Lampshaded once by George when he points out that it had an "annoyingly long title".
* LoopholeAbuse: Inverted. The Jerome Horwitz "Big Book o' Rules" has rules about '''EVERYTHING''', including kicking a softball into outer space, students turning into giant flying robots, etc.
* LovableRogue: George and Harold.
* ManchurianAgent: Mr. Krupp becomes Captain Underpants when he hears fingers snapping, and returns to normal when water is poured on his head.
* MediumAwareness: Oh my god, so much.
* MirrorUniverse
* MixAndMatchCritters: From ''The Tyrannical Retaliation of the Turbo-Toilet 2000,'' there's Tony, Orlando, and Dawn, [[spoiler:the hamsterdactyl offspring of Sulu the Bionic Hamster and Crackers the pterodactyl.]]
* MyFutureSelfAndMe: Abused all over the place in books 10 and 11, which include various characters traveling through time, meeting their past/future selves, and then teaming up with and/or betraying themselves in various ways.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: [[spoiler:Tippy Tinkletrousers has this reaction when he realises he essentially destroyed the timeline in Book 9.]]
* MyGrandmaCanDoBetterThanYou: Used at least once.
* NerdGlasses: Melvin Sneedly, of course.
* NiceJobFixingItVillain: [[spoiler:Near the end of book 9, Tippy Tinkletrousers [[StableTimeLoop prevented the creation of Captain Underpants]].]]
* NoFourthWall: "Where were you in chapter fifteen when we needed you?"
** "[[CrowningMomentOfFunny I was at the shoe store ordering a cheeseburger.]]" [[note]][[BrickJoke This is one of the things that a previous chapter recommends you do if you don't want to see the]] [[BlatantLies "incredibly graphic violence" it contains.]][[/note]]
* NoseNuggets: Bionic Booger Boy.
* NonHumanSidekick: Sulu (a hamster) and Crackers (a pterodactyl).
* NoodleIncident: In the first book, Mr. Krupp reminds George and Harold of their previous pranks, such as putting dissected frogs in the Jell-O salad at the parent-teacher banquet, making it snow in the cafeteria, and rigging all the intercoms to play Creator/WeirdAlYankovic songs full blast for six hours straight.
* OhCrap: George and Harold, whenever someone snaps their fingers and Mr. Krupp's nearby.
* OnceAnEpisode: Indulged and occasionally played with by changing the pattern a bit.
** Typically the books introduce George and Harold at the beginning. "George is the one with the tie and flat-top. Harold is the one with the striped shirt and bad haircut. Remember that now." Parodied in the kids' graphic novels: each one has a panel introducing two characters in the same fashion with one of the two saying, "Remember that now."
*** Also parodied in the fourth book, in which after Professor Poopypants changes everyone's names, the following chapter begins just like the first one, only calling George and Harold by their new names.
** Also in George and Harold's comic books, when the MonsterOfTheWeek begins its rampage, a kid shows up to announce what terrible things just happened. An adult will show concern for [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking the less important one]], such as knocking over a tray of cupcakes. Also, the more important incident always seems to involve the gym teacher.
** Every book includes the line "But before I tell you that story, I have to tell you this one."
** There is always a chapter called "To Make A Long Story-Short." One book had a chapter called "To Make a Longer Story Even Shorter."
** There's always a "Flip-O-Rama" section for the action sequences. Usually with someone telling the reader not to do it and that they will be punished if they do.
** Whenever a ridiculous suggestion comes up, a character will almost always say something along the lines of, "That can only happen in dumb children's books." Then they try the suggestion out anyway and it works!
** Somehow, somewhere, a sign will always get its letters rearranged or knocked off to spell something ridiculous.
* OneParagraphChapter: A RunningGag in the books is a chapter consisting only of one two- to four-word sentence confirming that the sequence of events that needed to happen, as explained at the end of the previous chapter, happened.
* OnlySaneMan: George, occasionally.
* OverlyLongScream: In the beginning of Book 10, when Tippy Tinkletrousers was about to be stepped on, he screamed in terror. And screamed... and screamed... and checked his watch and screamed some more.
* PageTurnSurprise: The end of Book 9 expresses some EndOfSeriesAwareness and says "There are no more Captain Underpants books..." The next page is nothing but [[spoiler:a silent two-page spread of SceneryGorn]]. The page after ''that'', however, is a teaser for the actual final book, accompanied with the text, "...except for ''this'' one:"
* PaintingTheMedium: When George and Harold tricked the cafeteria ladies into making a baking-soda-and-vinegar explosion, the resulting tidal wave of foam [[CameraAbuse obscured most of the text on the page]]; the reader is prompted to make their own special effects for the explosion by shaking the book and yelling '''"KABLOOOOOOSH!"''' The back of the book even has an apology and address for you to send a letter to if you got in trouble for yelling that, with the promise that "we'll send you something fun!" [[note]]If you wrote in, they sent you a newsletter called ''[[ExactWords Something Fun]]''.[[/note]]
* PersonAsVerb: In Book 9, George saved Harold from the bullies by taking off his tie and proceeding to "Franchise/IndianaJones" them (I.E. [[WhipItGood whip their butts]]).
* PowerUpFood: Mr. Krupp got his FlyingBrick powers after drinking some "Extra Strength Super Power Juice" stored in an ''alien milk carton.''
** Subverted in ''The All-New Captain Underpants Extra-Crunchy Book o' Fun 2''[='=]s "The Night of the Terror of the Revenge of the Curse of the Bride of Hairy Potty" -- when Captain Underpants finds himself on the receiving end of a CurbstompBattle, he pulls out a [[ComicStrip/{{Popeye}} can of spinnach]], [[BreakingTheFourthWall only for the Potties to tell him that he's in the wrong cartoon]].
* PunnyName: The school teachers and staff - Benny Krupp (bankrupt), Ms. Anthrope (misanthrope), Ms. Tara Ribble (miserable and terrible), Mrs. [=DePoint=] (misses the point), Mr. Morty Fyde (mystified and mortified), etc.
* RivalTurnedEvil: Melvin in the sixth and seventh books.
* RealLifeWritesThePlot: The large gap in release between ''Purple Potty People'' and ''Terrifying Return'' is because Dav Pilkey took a hiatus to care for his ailing father.
* RealMenWearPink: At the end of the first book, the school football team changes the team's name to the [[Series/BarneyAndFriends Purple Dragon Sing-Along Friends]] after a video they saw. Fans were stated to have disliked it, but no one actually argued with the team in front of their faces - for obvious reasons.
* RewritingReality: In ''Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman'', Captain Underpants falls to the effects of 'spray starch'...because [[PlaceboEffect that was what was in George and Harold's latest comic book]]. Later, to cure him, they write another comic telling him he can be freed from it by summoning the power of 'Underpanty World'. It works.
* RobotMe: In ''Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman'', the titular antagonist builds evil robot copies of George and Harold: Robo-George and Harold 2000.
* RuleOfFunny: The series' name makes it perfectly obvious.
* SadistTeacher / ChildHater: Pretty much the whole staff of Jerome Horwitz Elementary School. However, [[spoiler:in the fifth book, George and Harold turn Ms. Ribble into a subversion of this via HeelFaceBrainwashing. Also, book nine reveals that Harold's father walked out on the family when he was six, and Harold created the Captain Underpants comics as a coping mechanism. Mr. Krupp in his Captain Underpants identity is a kind of BumblingDad ParentalSubstitute for both of the boys, but particularly Harold.]].
* SanDimasTime: The fifth and tenth books play this one completely straight. The entire plot of the tenth book depends upon at least ''three'' nested time loops [[spoiler: resulting in the extinction of the dinosaurs, the Ice Age, and the ''creation of the universe'' respectively!]]
* ScareEmStraight: [[spoiler: In order to stop Kipper Krupp and his gang from bullying the kindergardeners, George and Harold staged an elaborate prank about a ghost called Wedgie Magee. This results in Kipper and his gang [[HeelFaceTurn turning over a new leaf]] and allowing the kindergardeners to bully them in retribution.]]
* SequelHook: Every book after the first five:
** ''Bionic Booger Boy Part 1: Nasty Nostril Nuggets'': Melvin and Mr. Krupp have their minds swapped, and the Robo-Boogers destroy the Combine-O-Tron 2000 and chase everyone.
** ''Bionic Booger Boy Part 2: Ridiculous Robo-Boogers'': George and Harold attempt to travel in time for the second day in a row.
** ''Purple Potty People'': Tippy Tinkletrousers returns seeking revenge.
** ''Tippy Tinkletrousers'': [[spoiler:Tippy apparently dies.]]
** ''Radioactive Robo-Boxers'': [[spoiler:Melvin Sneedly returns to bring the gang back to the present. The next book revealed he did this so George and Harold could deal with the Turbo Toilet 2000.]]
** ''Retaliation of the Turbo Toilet 2000'': Lampshaded big time. [[spoiler:While the Turbo Toilet 2000 was permanently stopped, there are still two Georges and Harolds as a result of time travel shenanigans, the town is in ruins from the rampage, the mutant babies of Sulu and Crackers have hatched and think the boys are their parents and most if not all the teachers of their school have been sent to jail and or the loony bin.]]
--->"I guess there ''are'' a lot of loose ends in this story."\\
"Uh-oh. That can only mean one thing!"\\
"What?"\\
"Another ''SEQUEL!!''"
* SeverelySpecializedStore: Inverted in ''Captain Underpants and the Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman'': To help Captain Underpants regain his powers, George and Harold need to get some fabric softener to counteract the spray starch that took them away. They run to a new store that opened nearby, which turns out to be "Everything BUT Fabric Softener."
* ShoutOut: Jerome Horwitz Elementary School, named after Curly of Film/TheThreeStooges.
** George and Harold are seen watching Film/{{Gamera}} movies in their treehouse in one book.
** The books are full of Shout Outs to Franchise/{{Superman}}, right down to the origin story.
** "[[TheSixMillionDollarMan We can make her better than she was before, faster, stronger, eviler...]]"
** The children at Ms. Ribble's retirement party get ordered to sing a song about how [[Theatre/ByeByeBirdie they love Ms. Ribble, oh yes, they do]].
** When a rabbi asks George and Harold if they have any tricks planned during a wedding he must preside, George answers, "[[Advertising/TrixRabbit Silly rabbi, tricks are for kids!]]"
** Two later books feature a [[Series/DoctorWho portable toilet time machine]].
** Chapter 18 of ''Captain Underpants and the Attack of the Talking Toilets'' is titled "[[Literature/HaroldAndThePurpleCrayon Harold and the Purple Ball-point Pen]]".
** The [[spoiler:hamsterdactyls]] are named "Tony," "Orlando," and "Dawn," after the American pop music group from TheSeventies.
** One of George and Harold's pranks apparently involved making the school intercoms play Creator/WeirdAlYankovic songs.
* ShrinkRay: the Shrinky-Pig 2000, invented by Professor Poopypants. He also invented the Goosy-Grow 4000, the inverse.
* SignsOfDisrepair: Every book opens with George and Harold rearranging the letters around on a sign to say something silly. The boys also use this trope as a running gag in their comic books.
* SomethingCompletelyDifferent: In Book 7, instead of the usual "Incredibly Graphic Violence Chapter", there's a Flip-O-Rama chapter dedicated to Captain Underpants doing "the Underpants Dance".
* SpaceWhaleAesop: The moral of ''Professor Poopypants'' is: Don't make fun of people's names, or they'll shrink you to the size of a bug and make YOU change your name to something ridiculous to make themselves feel better. Although this could also be interpreted as "Don't make fun of people, because what goes around comes around."
* SpaghettiKiss: Parodied in ''The All-New Captain Underpants Extra-Crunchy Book o' Fun 2''[='=]s "The Night of the Terror of the Revenge of the Curse of the Bride of Hairy Potty", complete with Hairy Potty rolling a urinal cake with his nose.
* SpandexLatexOrLeather: This trope is played with by George and Harold while conceiving the concept of Captain Underpants - as such spandex wearers end up looking like they're in their underwear, they made Captain Underpants' constume ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin.
* SpinOff: Two as of this writing, with more promised.
* SquareCubeLaw: [[spoiler: Played with in Books 9 and 10 -- in Book 9, the giant zombie nerds appeared to have crushed Tippy Tinkletrousers in the ending. The following book explains how the square cube law works before revealing that the giants were moving slow enough to allow Tippy to fake his death.]]
* StaringKid: A recurring character who always tries to point out the titular superhero's antics to his mom, but she never believes him.
** He and his mother make an appearance in Book 9 [[spoiler:as the people who tell Tippy Tinkletrousers about what happened since he changed the past]].
** They make a cameo in book 10, in which their roles are reversed - the mother is the one who sees something strange, and her son doesn't believe her.
* SparseListOfRules: In the fifth book, the school reveals it has the Big Book O' Rules, with nearly 8000 rules. We only hear two: "Rule 411: Don't kick school property into space", and "Rule 7,734: Don't transform into big, flying robots during afternoon recess."
* SpotlightStealingTitle: Despite Captain Underpants being in the name of every book and usually front and center on the cover, George and Harold are the real protagonists. The most egregious being the cover of ''Preposterous Plight of the Purple Potty People'' -- Captain Underpants is front and center on the cover and yet only appears in the book itself for about 12 pages.
** In the books themselves, ''The Terrifying Revenge of Tippy Twinkletrousers''. Captain Underpants and Tippy Twinkletrousers are important on the cover, and yet 90% of the book focuses on young George and Harold redeeming their school bully.
*** To put it in perspective, the first eight chapters focused on Tippy escaping from jail and discovering Captain Underpants's secret. Then the focus switches to the bully story and Tippy doesn't return until the thirty-first chapter of this thirty-four-chapter book.
* StylisticSuck: George and Harold's comic books.
** Inverted by their [[EvilTwin Evil Twin]]s' in ''Preposterous Plight of the Purple Potty People'', whose comics have clean drawings with proper spelling. George and Harold see their comics, and comment [[HypocriticalHumor that it looks bad with some misspelled words.]]
** Taken UpToEleven with Kindergardener!George and Harold's comic books. The pictures are even cruder and the words are much larger that they take up so much space.
** In ''The Tyrannical Retaliation of the Turbo Toilet 2000,'' chapters 6 and 7 are illustrated by Timmy Swanson, age four, whose characters resemble misshaped blobs with stick-figure fingers and limbs.
* SuckySchool: See two examples down.
* SuperheroesWearTights: Parodied by the titular Captain Underpants, who instead of wearing skin-hugging tights with UnderwearOfPower, is simply unclothed aside from a pair of underpants.
* SuperSerum: Extra Strength Super Power Juice.
* TakeThat: In response to the ''CaptainUnderpants'' books being [[http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/banned/frequentlychallenged/challengedbydecade/2000_2009/index.cfm constantly challenged]] by self-appointed MoralGuardians, later books depict the school library as being almost completely free of books, with a librarian who discourages readings and posts signs encouraging mindless conformity.
** Furthermore, ''CaptainUnderpants and the Preposterous Plight of the Purple Potty People'' features a trip to an [[AlternateHistory alternate universe]] where the school library is stocked with books and the librarian encourages creativity and non-conformity.
** [[Series/BarneyAndFriends Boomer the Purple Dragon]]
** The ''ENTIRE SERIES'' is easily a Take That to the author's teachers, particularly memorable ones like the one who told him to grow up and stop making silly comic books, or the principal who told him he would never make a living as an artist. This is also a large reason for the "death to the gym teacher" RunningGag.
** "Captain Underpants and the Terrifying Return of Tippy Tinkletrousers" enjoys drawing parallels between prison and Elementary School, the primary difference being that prison has better funding.
** The tenth book features some pages which are devoted to the narrator explaining to the kid readers why adults are so mean to them and why they would rather blame other people or things for problems that are their own fault.
* TakeThatUs: ''The Preposterous Plight of the Purple Potty People'''s MirrorUniverse plot, when realized by George and Harold, was remarked by them as something "That's only happens in children's book where the author is clearly running out of ideas."
* TalkingPoo: Unsurprisingly.
* TemptingFate: Harold asks "What could be worse then going to jail for the rest of our lives?". Then Tippy Tinkletrousers returns for {{Revenge}} against the world again.
** Not to mention the following chapter is called [[LampshadeHanging The Thing That's Worse Than Going To Jail For The Rest Of Their Lives]].
* ToiletHumor: Pretty much the entire point.
* TrilogyCreep: Parodied by the end of the Eleventh novel, since the Tenth was marketed as the "final book"
--> ''Not another sequel!''
* {{Trope 2000}}: Many machines in this series are named like this.
* UnderwearOfPower: But of course.
* UnfortunateNames: Professor Pippy P. Poopypants, as well as most of the names on the "Name Change-O-Chart."
** At the end of the book, he tries changing his own name as he went to jail. Unfortunately, he choose "Tippy Tinkletrousers", his grandfather's name.
** In Poopypants' home country of New Swissland, ''everyone'' has an Unfortunate Name.
** On a subtler but more disturbing note, Principal [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krupp#World_War_II Krupp]].
** Which is made ironic and somewhat hilarious when you find out that Mr. Krupp is Jewish.
* UnusualChapterNumbers: Book 3 has a Chapter 6, while Book 5 has a Chapter 14 and a Chapter 14.
* UpToEleven: {{Invoked|Trope}} in the teaser for Book 11: "Captain Underpants goes to '''eleven'''!"
* VillainDecay: Mr. Krupp goes from being a KnightOfCerebus to being an IneffectualSympatheticVillain once George and Harold brainwash him into being Captain Underpants.
* WeaksauceWeakness: Captain Underpants loses his power whenever someone pours water over his head. Likewise, his evil counterpart turns back to normal when someone snaps their fingers.
-->'''Tippy Tinkletrousers''': You've got to be the ''easiest'' superhero to defeat!
* WhatCouldPossiblyGoWrong: [[LampshadeHanging ("Every time you say something like that, something bad happens!")]]
* WhenEldersAttack: '''Geezer Powers - ACTIVATE!!'''
* WidgetSeries: There are [[http://www.pilkey.com/cusong.php Captain Underpants videos]], and then there's... ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBBFemltv7A this]].'' Very, '''VERY''' Japanese, indeed.
* WholeEpisodeFlashback: ''The Terrifying Return of Tippy Tinkletrousers.''
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: Professor Poopypants.
* WorstNewsJudgementEver: The resigning of Jerome Horwitz Elementary School's science teacher somehow becomes the top story in ''US Today''.
* WritingLines
* YouLookLikeYouveSeenAGhost: [[spoiler:Tippy Tinkletrousers says this to the bullies right after (a) the bullies have been scared away by a fake ghost, and (b) Tippy materialises before them.]]

----
!!The Captain Underpants SpinOff titles contain examples of:

* BadFuture: The future shown in ''Ook and Gluk'' is so polluted and resource-depleted that they use a time machine to mine the prehistoric past.
* CatsAreMean: Petey in ''The Invasion of the Potty Snatchers''.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: Mr. Goppernopper, who uses time travel to find more forests to raze.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Diaper Dog objects to Deputy Doo-Doo tossing Super Diaper Baby into a nuclear plant.
* FlyingBrick: Super Diaper Baby and Diaper Dog.
* HeelFaceTurn: In ''Super Diaper Baby'', Danger Dog changes sides after seeing Deputy Doo-Doo try to murder the titular infant.
* HulkSpeak: Ook and Gluk, even after seven years of education in the 23rd century.
* ILied: Invoked by Mr. Goppernopper after he gets Ook and Gluk to surrender.
* MeaningfulName: Three guesses to what Super Diaper Baby, Diaper Dog, and Deputy Doo-Doo are.
** Big Chief Goppernopper and Mr. Goppernopper also suffer this in ''The Adventures of Ook and Gluk''.
* NinjaPirateZombieRobot: ''The Adventures of Ook and Gluk, Kung-Fu Cavemen From The Future'' is ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin.
* OldMaster: Master Wong, the kung-fu teacher from ''Ook and Gluk''.
* PowersAsPrograms: In ''Super Diaper Baby'', Deputy Dangerous steals Captain Underpants' powers and distills it into a liquid, which gets transferred to Danger Dog and Billy when they drink it. The Captain regains his powers later when Super Diaper Baby buys a [[PowerUpFood carton of Super Power Juice]] from Mars.
* PunchClockVillain: Danger Dog, Deputy Dangerous' sidekick in ''Super Diaper Baby'', admits at the beginning that he's not actually evil, but rather just with the Deputy for the Kibbles. Later, the Deputy's attempt to kill Super Diaper Baby causes Danger Dog to have a HeelFaceTurn and save the baby.
* RetGone: In ''Ook and Gluk'', [[spoiler:the BigBad Mr. Goppernopper erases himself when he vaporizes his prehistoric ancestor]].
* RoguesGalleryTransplant: Petey the cat started out as the sidekick of a villain in ''Super Diaper Baby 2''. He has since shown up as a recurring villain of the ''Dog Man'' series[[note]]Which currently comprises of two comics -- the first as part of ''Captain Underpants and the Terrifying Return of Tippy Tinkletrousers'', and the second being the bonus comic of the colorized edition of ''Captain Underpants and the Attack of the Talking Toilets''[[/note]].
* SanDimasTime: Happens to Ook and Gluk after they spend seven years in the future learning martial arts.
* ShoutOut: All three books so far contain a line referencing the song "Billy, Don't Be a Hero".
** Pilkey has noted on his website that he named the main character of ''Super Diaper Baby'' Billy [[OverlyPrepreparedGag for the sole purpose of referencing the song.]]
** ''Ook and Gluk'' also has homages to the posters for ''Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack'' and ''Franchise/JurassicPark''.
** In ''Super Diaper Baby 2'', Mr. Hoskins attempts to read ''[[Literature/FrogAndToad Mechafrog and Robotoad are Enemies]]'' to Billy.
* TakeThat: In the back of ''Ook and Gluk'', there is a section where one can learn "Cavemonics", caveman speak. "I'd like to eat at Applebee's" is translated as "Me go to barf place."
** A further extension on Dav Pilkey's website translates "He's riding on a Segway" as "Hims riding on world's dumbest invention".
* TalkingAnimal: Diaper Dog.
* TalkingPoo: Deputy Doo-Doo.
* ToiletHumor: Heavily used in ''Super Diaper Baby'', especially with the BigBad, Deputy Doo-Doo.
* UpgradeArtifact: Deputy Dangerous tries to use a power-sapping crib to steal Super Diaper Baby's powers. [[spoiler:He ends up zapping a bowel movement instead, and turns into Deputy Doo-Doo]].
* UranusIsShowing: Both Deputy Doo-Doo and Rip Van Tinkle get deposited on Uranus. 'nuff said.
-->"Welcome to Uranus (Please don't make fun of our name)"
----