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
- 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.
Academy roommate was a fan. Her payback for me dragging her off to a Serenity
- 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."
- The 2012 film "The Three Stooges" features lookalikes of the trio.
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'.
- Former conservative Christian talk show host Allen Hunt used to compare Barack Obama, Eric Holder and Janet Napolitano to the Three Stooges.
- The Nostalgia Critic: Done by Doug Walker and special guest reviewers Linkara and Spoony in their review of Bloodrayne. The title card mimicks the opening logo of the Three Stooges and their fight near the end is done in typical Stooges fashion.
- 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.
- "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.
- 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.