Characters / The Three Stooges

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The Three Stooges


    Moe Howard 

  • Berserk Button: NIAGARA FALLS! Or just about anything the other Stooges do.
  • The Bully
  • Big Brother Bully: As well as "Younger Brother Bully" when it comes to Shemp. While it's never stated onscreen that they were related, Moe's onscreen persona often had him constantly beat up and berate his (real-life) younger brother Curly and, eventually, eldest brother Shemp.
  • Butt-Monkey: Not as bad as Curly or Shemp, but if it wasn't happening to either of them, it was happening to him (usually due their (or his own) incompetence or stupidity).
  • Catch-Phrase:
    • "Why, I oughta..."
    • "I'll moider you!"
    • "Spread out!"
      • "Recede."
    • "You're pretty smart for an imbecile."
    • "Oh, a wise guy, eh?"
    • "What's the matter with you?"
    • "I'm surrounded by morons!"
    • "Pick out two!"
  • Cool Old Guy: In-universe, while Moe was never old per se, Moe Howard became this in real life during his later years.
  • Deadpan Snarker: In the movie, but he of course has his moments in the shorts as well.
  • Dirty Coward: While all the Stooges were cowards to some degree, Moe was by far the worst, as he'd often force Larry and Curly to go into dangers he'd never consider.
  • Dope Slap: One of Moe's signature moves on the other Stooges, along with (of course) the ...
  • Eye Poke: Actually performed by poking the eyebrows. The Movie parodies this with actors playing the Farrelly Brothers explain how it works so kids wouldn't try it at home.
  • Flowery Insults: "Chowderheads" and "numbskulls" are his most frequent (and iconic) go-to insults for the other stooges.
  • Genius Ditz
  • Grumpy Bear: Though with fleeting moments of happiness.
  • Harpo Does Something Funny
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: If Larry, Curly and Shemp ever do anything to piss him off (even by accident), expect Moe to lash out with a murder threat and some good ol' slapping.
  • How Many Fingers?: A Running Gag would be that Moe asked the other guys how many fingers he was holding up, and when they answered "two", he would poke them in the eyes.
  • Ignorant of Their Own Ignorance
  • I'll Kill You!: Or "I'll Murder You!" One of Moe's signature threats. Thankfully never follows through it.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: For all the abuse he throws at them, there are moments where Moe truly does care for his fellow Stooges.
  • Kavorka Man: In any episode where the stooges have love interests, Curly, Shemp or on rare occasions Larry might end up with the one Butter Face of the female trio, but Moe never does.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: As the "boss" stooge, he often rudely bullies Larry and Curly (and Shemp) around for goofing up and considers himself smarter than them, but he's clearly every bit as dim as they are.
  • The Leader: Self-appointed leader is more like it, mainly because of his strong personality.
  • Made of Iron
  • The Napoleon: Moe Howard was 5'4.
  • Never My Fault: Probably one of the Trope Founders, if not the Trope Codifier.
  • Only Sane Man: Or so he thinks of himself.
  • Power Trio:
  • The Smart Guy: That's really a matter of opinion. He act the part, but sometimes he's little more sensible or rational than Curly is.
  • Stage Name: Moe's real name was Moses Harry Horwitz.
  • Straight Man: In the movie, although he has own share of bizarre antics, the least normal of which is appearing on Jersey Shore of all things, as Dyna-Moe!
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Made all the more ironic because Moe himself wasn't all too bright.
  • True Companions: Would often make sure the other Stooges were keeping up if they were running away from something.
  • With Friends Like These...: With everybody!

    Larry Fine 

    Curly Howard 

Other Stooges

    Shemp Howard 

    Joe Besser 

  • Aside Glance: One of his signatures, usually to express his hatred of Moe.
  • Catch-Phrase: "Not so haaard!"
  • Camp Straight
  • Fat Idiot
  • Idiot Houdini: A meta enforced example, Joe's contract initially enforced he didn't take part in the Comedic Sociopathy. There were notable exceptions however.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Averted — instead of emulating Curly or Shemp, he used the "whiny man-child" persona he established in previous roles. This, combined with the "no physical abuse" clause, didn't help him gain any fans.
  • The Scrappy: Of all the six, Besser is probably the least popular among stooge fans for his refusal to take any slapstick punishment from Moe.

    Curly Joe DeRita 

  • Bald of Awesome
  • Fat Idiot
  • Stage Name: Curly Joe's real name was Joseph Wardell. His stage name was initially Joe DeRita; the "Curly" was added to avoid confusion with Joe Besser.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: At least physically. When he first joined, he styled his hair like Shemp. However, when the Curly shorts returned to popularity on television, he shaved his hair to look more like him. Persona-wise, however, he wasn't as manic as Curly and had a bit more backbone, occasionally daring to talk back to Moe. note