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Headscratchers / Captain Underpants

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  • This must be one of the most obvious headscratchers regarding the series, but...HOW IS IT POSSIBLE THAT THE TEACHERS OF THE JEROME HORWITZ ELEMENTARY SCHOOL ARE STILL EMPLOYED THERE?!?!?!?!? What most of them do there is straight borderline child abuse towards the students!! Even if verbally abusing them isn't enough, they are sometimes shown to be physically abusive too (like when Mr. Meaner trips a boy off the stairs in book 8). Book 8 even states that Mr. Krupp punishes his students for things like smiling without permission, likes to destroy their dreams and some other teachers also force the students to write horrible things like "My parents just feign that they love me" or "I say sorry for being born". Granted, some teachers like Mr. Fyde are shown to be decent with the students, but most of them are straightly abusive. Why haven't the authorities done anything at all with these cases? The children don't tell their parents about what they have to endure at school?

  • At the end of Captain Underpants and the Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman, George and Harold use the 3-D Hypno Ring to not exactly turn Ms. Ribble back into herself, but instead to change her personality for the better. Ethical dilemmas aside, there's one more problem with this: In the first Captain Underpants book, we learned that when someone in a trance gets water on their head, they will end up switching back and forth between trance and reality whenever they hear someone snap their fingers. Since Ms. Ribble was left in a trance, does this mean the next time it rains or she takes a shower, she'll end up constantly switching between her original personality and her nice personality?
    • Well, if the 3-D Hypno Ring's effects are reversed with women, then maybe that aspect of the hypnosis is reversed as well. So it's possible that her getting her head wet would have made the trance permanent instead of shifting back and forth.
      • This is Jossed by the fact that she is back to normal by book 11. It's possible that, when Melvin sneezed on her, it had the same effect as water.

  • So at the ending of "Captain Underpants and the Big, Bad Battle of the Bionic Booger Boy (Part 2)", how come George & Harold didn't decide to use the FORGETCHAMACALLIT 2000 device on Melvin so Melvin can forget about the secret identity of Captain Underpants and forget about everything else that happened? It would have made sense, considering how Melvin Took a Level in Jerkass.
    • Maybe they thought it wasn't necessary. After all, it seems extremely unlikely anybody would believe Melvin if he tried to expose Captain Underpants' identity anyway.
    • Melvin explicitly mentions that the Forgetchamacallit only erases the short-term memory. Several days have passed since Melvin learned about Captain Underpants, so it was no longer in his short-term memory.

  • One thing I never thought up until just recently—why doesn't sweat or tears revert Captain Underpants into Mr. Krupp? As we all know, one drop of water or any other liquid turns the Waistband Warrior's head back into the short-tempered Principal Krupp.
    • It's probably because of the quantity of the water. When Captain Underpants sweats, a majority of the water has to make contact with his face or head for the reversion to work. The same thing with tears. It's not enough tears for him to shed that would assist in him turning back into Krupp.
    • Alternatively, it's just that specific.
      • Except it's been shown multiple times throughout the series that it's not. Anti-zombie nerd root beer and saliva have turned Captain Underpants back into Mr. Krupp.
    • Who says it wouldn't? Captain Underpants has never been shown sweating or crying, so it's possible that would turn him back.

  • The thing I don't get is in the last book, why there are two sets of Harold and George in the future, and what happens to the second set?
    • When George and Harold traveled to the future, they ceased to exist until they arrived in the future. The real headscratcher is: in the tenth book, how could George, Harold, and Mr. Krupp see their future selves?
    • There were two sets of George and Harold to begin with. It's not revealed until the end, but the adult versions in book 12 were actually the adult versions of Yesterday George and Yesterday Harold. The original incarnations of George and Harold are traveling through the cosmos.

  • If Mr. Krupp hates George and Harolds' comics so much, why does he keep them instead of just ripping them to shreds?

  • When Tippy returns to the future, he doesn't break his one-year-younger self out of jail, leaving us to assume that this Tippy will eventually fight Captain Underpants and travel to the past to get away from him. Now that Mr. Krupp is no longer Captain Underpants, who will stop Tippy?

  • When the Purple Potty is used two days in a row, it ends up sending the user to another universe. When used three days straight, it works normally. Wha...?
    • The Exact Words were to not use it every OTHER day, not that increased usage causes problems. You can time travel multiple times in one day and not have it break; it just goes through a 24-hour cycle of when it works. If you use it on Monday normally and then use it again on Tuesday to have it malfunction, it'll still work properly on Wednesday and malfunction on Thursday. The pattern is locked down the moment you use it for the first time and remains static even if you break the rules.

  • The loss of memory through hypnotism makes sense, but Mr. Krupp never sees anything about himself as Captain Underpants in any form of news or through the school system?
    • Maybe he did see/hear about it once or twice and just dismisses it as nonsense, unaware that it's him the whole time.

  • In book 3 with the long title, Zorx the alien "pointed his tentacle at George, Harold, and Mr. Krupp and snapped his fingers," even though he has no fingers to snap. How's that work, exactly?
    • It's Rule of Funny. It's also the same way Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup can use their stubs for hands.
    • Pretty sure that was lampshaded by George and Harold.
      • It was.
      George: That evil space guy just snapped his fingers! Now Mr. Krupp is turning into you-know-who!
      Harold: Hey, wait a second... Tentacles don't have fingers! You can't snap a tentacle!
      George: There's no time to argue the physical improbabilities of this story.

  • In the second book, Mr. Krupp doesn't know George and Harold had meddled with the students' inventions outside school hours (despite being banished to study hall) until Melvin spills the beans. Also, in the sixth book, Krupp jumps to the conclusion that George and Harold were responsible for the wave of "squishies" despite the two claiming their innocence and their classmates vouching for them. What happened to the CCTV system he had installed in the original book to catch George and Harold sabotaging the football game For the Lulz and why couldn't he have just checked it on both of those occasions? Pretty sure George and Harold didn't destroy the security cameras or anything.
    • Maybe they got Captain Underpants to destroy it.

  • Why does Melvin's family have a cat if he's allergic?
    • Remember, when we first saw them in book 6, they were too busy with a scientific experiment to even care a whole lot when he aired his grievances about school that day. Given the implications that his parents neglect him, it's possible they weren't aware he even had a cat allergy.
    • Dav Pilkey confirmed they got the cat before he was born and didn't have the heart to get rid of it when they realized Melvin was allergic.

  • Just what is going on with the timeline in these books? Book 8 takes place on Grandparents' Day, which is always in early September. But in book 1, football season was already in session (so it'd be at least late August) and then the Hypno-Ring took four-to-six weeks to come in. So in the first book alone we're well past early September. And even if we weren't, in book 10, when Tippy goes back in time to the events of book 8, it's mentioned he traveled back to October? Also, in book 11 (which takes place two days after book 8) Mr. Krupp mentions there are seven weeks of the school year left. So it's gone from being early September/October to early April in the course of two days?

  • Book 11, Tyrannical Retaliation of the Turbo Toilet 2000. When George and Harold go to the goof house reeception, the nurse tells them that they have nine patients who think they are Captain Underpants. How do these patients even know about Captain Underpants in the first place?
    • Because Captain Underpants is now a real, actual superhero, not just a character from George and Harold's schoolyard comic books, or even just a hypnotized man with no superpowers. The events of books 4-7 were all televised, which showcased Captain Underpants fighting the villains. Safe to assume Captain Underpants is a well known figure by book 11.

  • Book 5, Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman, George and Harold go to Ms. Anthrope's office and she leaves them alone with her computer which currently has next week's school newsletter. George and Harold alter the newsletter with things like relocating football practice to the teacher's lounge, schedule a day off, and make everybody wear bee costumes for picture day and whoever makes the funniest face gets a pizza party. Did the faculty seriously distribute the newsletters without noticing the boys' alterations?
    • It was George and Harold who printed and distributed the memos, not the faculty.
      • Even so, it's weird that none of the adults got ahold of any copies and figure out they were responsible for that particular week of school.
      • Well the staff didn't seem all too suspicious of why the kids were acting so strangely. They just seemed confused, so they seemingly didn't feel the need to investigate it.
      • Also, from a Doylist perspective... come on. This is Captain Underpants. Silly stuff like that happens all the time. That instance is far from even being the most egregious case. In the words of book 11, just go with it, because "whaddya think this is, Shakespeare?!!?"
  • Why ban the final book due to LGBT traits? This was published in 2015 when LGBT was presumably being recognized in kids' media.
  • Why are George and Harold unhappy when everyone returned from the pizza trip? They had fun with the pranks while everyone was at the pizza place?