Three Stooges Shout-Out

The Three Stooges are one of the most popular comedic ensembles of all time, especially in the United States, where they are virtually an institution. In the rest of the world their popularity and fame are not as huge as Laurel and Hardy.

But a sure sign of the tremendous effect they had on popular culture is that most American films, comic strips, animated cartoons and TV series will feature a Three Stooges shout-out at one point. Most of the time their typical catch phrases and sound effects will be uttered ("Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk", "Wiseguy, eh?", "You numb chucks", "Soitenly", "Woob Woob Woob", "I'm a victim of circumstance", "You knucklehead",...) and three characters will mimic typical Stooges shticks by starting to bicker and hit each other with typical nosetwirls, pokes-in-the-eye, a hollow sound whenever a head is hit,...


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     Anime & Manga 
  • Shinryaku! Ika Musume has three MIT scientists: Harris, Clark, & Martin. Other characters refer to them as "the three stooges" (lit. "San Baka Trio", or the "Three-Idiot Trio"note ).

    Fan Works 
  • The Wrong Reflection: Eleya comes aboard a mirror universe Cardassian ship and tells the gul in command to "have Larry, Curly, and Moe point those toys [referring to their disruptor rifles] someplace else". Lampshaded when one of the Mauve Shirts with her wonders where in the heck Eleya, a Bajoran, heard of The Three Stooges. Eleya continues to refer to the trio of mooks as Larry, Curly, and Moe for the remainder of the chapter.
    Eleya: Academy roommate was a fan. Her payback for me dragging her off to a Serenity screening.

  • In the 1981 film Gas, a gas station attendant who is being interviewed by a news reporter does his impression of Curly Howard for the camera.
  • In Pulp Fiction, when Vincent takes Mia to Lance's house after she overdoses on heroin, Lance is watching The Three Stooges short "Brideless Groom" and Emil Sitka chants his famous line, "Hold hands, you lovebirds."
  • In Short Circuit Number Five after outwitting and powering down three of the same model robots sent to capture or disable him reprograms them to perform a Three Stooges routine and leaves them to be found by Nova's (the company trying to recapture him) team.
  • The 2012 film "The Three Stooges" is a remake with new actors playing the trionote .
  • The three trolls in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit bicker in a similar manner to the Stooges.


     Live Action TV 
  • MadTV: The Three Stooges are spoofed as paid assassins along with David Faustino as their target in a parody of Menace II Society. The sketch featured Orlando Jones as Curly, Debra Wilson as Larry, and Phil LaMarr as Moe.
  • That '70s Show: An episode features three of the characters acting out an imaginary Three Stooges short called "Pie Guys".
  • In the Seinfeld episode "The Suicide". the foreign woman Jerry is seeing asks him who the Stooges are and he promises her that he will "show her the Stooges".
  • SCTV had John Candy who did a dead-on Curly, teaming with Eugene Levy as Moe, and Joe Flaherty as Larry (also seen in the one-man show 'Give 'em Hell, Larry')...Candy would also incongruously play Curly as the lead in 'Ben-Hur'.
  • The Pretender had a few:
    • During the first season, Jarod discovered The Three Stooges for the first time, sitting in a diner. He later makes a video of himself doing Curly's schtick to taunt Miss Parker.
    • In the second season premiere, Jarod was posing as a medical school professor named Dr. Howard. One of his colleagues was Dr. Fein.
  • In an episode of Night Court, Bull decides to get a toupee. While browsing a catalog and passing over more expensive toups (such as the "Shatner Turbo 2000"), the salesman suggests one of their economy hairpieces: the "Shemp."

  • The beginning of "Weird Al" Yankovic's music video for "Like a Surgeon" has Al in scrubs walking down a hospital corridor. A woman's voice on the P.A. system says, "Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard."
  • "The Curly Shuffle," by the Jump 'N' the Saddle Band.
  • Rubber Chicken Films did a parody of Young M.C.'s "Bust a Move," entitled "Bust a Stooge" [1]
  • On some of their tours, Rush would have the Three Stooges theme play right before they go on stage. Can be seen in the Grace Under Pressure Tour video.

  • Former conservative Christian talk show host Allen Hunt used to compare Barack Obama, Eric Holder and Janet Napolitano to the Three Stooges.

     Web Video 

     Video Games 
  • Near the end of Quest for Glory I you can infiltrate the brigand's hideout. One of the encounters you must deal with is a trio of brigands based off of the Three Stooges, complete with their catch phrases. You ultimately defeat them with a series of your own slapstick actions.
  • Not only do the names of a trio of bosses in the international versions of Final Fantasy VI, Laragom, Moebius, and Curlax, sound very similar to the names of the Stooges themselves, but the trio even goes as far as to call themselves "The Dream Stooges".
    • In fact, they were explicitly called Larry, Moe, and Curly in the original US release, Final Fantasy III. However, they're simply called The Three Brothers of Dream: Sogno, Sueo, and Rve note  in Japan.

     Web Comics 
  • In the comic Modest Medusa, the titicular character often makes Curly's "woob woob woob" sound when fleeing a scene where she's caused trouble. note 

     Western Animation 
  • An episode of MTV's Celebrity Deathmatch featured the Stooges being brought to the present age via a time machine invented by Stone Cold Steve Austin to battle The Three Tenors. The Three Stooges (or, to be more specific, Curly) won.
  • Looney Tunes: In what is probably the earliest shout-out. the Porky Pig cartoon Wholly Smoke (1938) has three cigars resembling the Three Stooges rise out of a cigar box and each one gives him an eyepoke.
    • Another Porky short, Porky in Wackyland has a three-headed human like character with similar haircuts for each head who fight with itself in a similar way.
    • Hollywood Steps Out shows caricatures of famous Hollywood actors of the time, including the Three Stooges poking each other's eyes in tune to the music.
  • King of the Hill: The episode "A-Fire Fighting We Will Go" contains several references to the Stooges.
  • "Uncle Grandpa: In the "Prank Wars" episode, three of the contestants at the Pizza Eating Contest look like Moe, Larry, and Curly.
  • South Park: In the episode "Hell on Earth 2006" features notorious serial killers Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer and John Wayne Gacy sent to Earth to get a cake for Satan's party. They start fighting each other in typical Three Stooges fashion. The title card even spoofs the ones from their shorts.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "Bart the Daredevil", Dr. Hibbert says a lot of children imitate violence they saw on TV: "I won't even subject you to the horrors of our Three Stooges ward."
    • Homer watches them on TV in "Homer the Heretic" and chuckles: "Moe is their leader."
    • In "Duffless", Bart tries in vain to touch an electric buzzer with being electro shocked. He imitates Curly by saying "eeeh, certainly...nyak nyak nyak" and imitates Moe by saying "...a wise guy eh?...."
    • In "Bart's Comet", Skinner shows Bart the star sign of the Three Wise Men. In Bart's imagination he sees the Three Stooges in the sky.
    • In "Treehouse of Horror IV", Bart notices vampires behind him and Lisa. He starts making sounds that Lisa mistakenly believes to be imitations of Shemp and Curly.
    • In "Last Exit to Springfield" and "Deep Space Homer", Homer walks sideways on the ground making "Woob Woob Woob" noises, as Curly used to do. A bomb in the Schoolhouse Rock parody in "The Day the Violence Died" also makes this noise.
    • In "This Little Wiggy", Nelson imagines himself weighing the brains on the Three Stooges.
    • In "Sunday Cruddy Sunday", Homer, Wally and Chief Wiggum run away from Rupert Murdoch in typical Stooges fashion.
    • In "The Mansion Family", the doctor diagnoses Mr. Burns with "Three Stooges Syndrome", meaning that he has a multitude of medical conditions, but because they all cancel each other out, they can't harm him. The doctor likens the situation to The Three Stooges all trying to go through a doorway at the same time.
    • In "Large Marge", former presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton paint a house and start creating havoc à la The Three Stooges.
    • In "Mr. Spritz Goes to Washington", Homer and Bart are watching a very late episode of The Three Stooges where the comedians are in old age.
    • In "Simpsons Christmas Stories", the Three Wise Men behave like the Three Stooges.
    • In "Boy Meets Curl", the National Curly Trials are seen with everyone practicing to be Curly Howard. Moe Szyslak then says: "Wise guys, eh?" and slaps a long line of Curlys.
    • In "The Ten-Percent Solution", the Museum of TV and Television has a display of the Three Stooges' skeletons, with Curly's bones in a box.
  • Futurama: Doctor Zoidberg makes Curly's trademark "whooping" sound when "evading enemies" (sometimes after squirting ink), and sometimes makes Shemp's trademark "Heep, heep, heep" sound when frustrated.
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show contains several. Billy West has stated that he based Stimpy's voice on Larry Fine, though he also repeats some of Curly's and Shemp's sounds.
  • Rocko's Modern Life: The title card for "Dumbbells" depicts Rocko, Heffer and Filburt as the Stooges.
  • Batman: The Animated Series: In a few episodes, the Joker has a trio of henchmen who resemble the Stooges and are named "Mo", "Lar", and "Cur".
  • Jabberjaw's voice is based on Curly Howard, although he also has a frequent Rodney Dangerfield shout out, as well (namely, complaining about not getting any respect)note .