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Literature / Curious George

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"This is George. He was a good little monkey and always very curious."
—How every book begins

Curious George is a series of books based on the title character by Margret and H.A. Rey. George is a monkey who is found overseas in Africa by "The Man With the Yellow Hat", a father-figure who takes the monkey home with him to his apartment in the city. Hilarity Ensues when the monkey is treated like a human child, rather than a pet.

The books and series are marketed to the preschooler/early reader group and attempt to give children an early grasp on patterns and other bits of necessary information about life.

The character of Curious George first appeared in another children's book by H.A. Rey, Cecily G. and the Nine Monkeys.

Curious George in print

The original books are as listed below. There have also been a number of pastiche works, most of them out of print for years.
  • Curious George (1941)
  • Curious George Takes a Job (1947)
  • Curious George Rides a Bike (1952)
  • Curious George Gets a Medal (1957)
  • Curious George Flies a Kite (1958)
  • Curious George Learns the Alphabet (1963)
  • Curious George Goes to the Hospital (1966)

Curious George at the movies

Curious George has been adapted into several movies.

Curious George on television

Curious George has also appeared in television, notably in the 2006 animated series.

Curious George contains examples of:

  • Absent Animal Companion: At the end of Curious George Flies a Kite, Bill gives one of his baby bunnies to George as a pet and the last page shows George feeding his new baby bunny a carrot. This baby bunny doesn't appear again or is mentioned in any of the other original books.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: In Curious George Goes to the Hospital, George wheels through the hospital in another patient's go cart. He loses control of the cart and crashes into a display of food, causing a huge mess in front of the mayor. George is at first horrified at the destruction but then he discovers that the other children are laughing. The staff and the mayor join in on the laughter, and they together decide that George shouldn't be punished.
  • Black Bead Eyes: In the books' illustrations.
  • Everyone Chasing You: The incident with the paint in the apartment in the second book leads to this.
  • Firehouse Dalmatian: The book, "Curious George and the Firefighters", has a Dalmatian who accompanies the firefighters.
  • Great White Hunter: The Man with the Yellow Hat's role in the first book, where he captured George for an American zoo.
  • Hated Item Makeover: In "Curious George Takes a Job", George is tasked into washing windows. He sneaks into someone's apartment room as several painters have left for a lunch break and notices the bare walls. He paints palm trees on the walls and paints the chairs and a rocking horse to resemble leopards and a zebra, respectively. When the painters come back in, they chase George out and the woman who owns the place is horrified.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: In Curious George Learns the Alphabet it is stated that George had experience with jaguars, as he had lived in the jungle once just like jaguars do. However, other books clearly state that George came from an African jungle (and he appears to be a chimpanzee, which is native to Africa, although he is called a monkey even though chimpanzees are technically apes). Jaguars are native to Central and South America.
  • Parents Know Their Children: Invoked by George in Flies a Kite; George accidentally loses a baby bunny which runs away and can't be found. George then uses the mother bunny to locate the missing baby.
  • You Must Be This Tall to Ride: One book has George go to an amusement park but being too small ride on a roller coaster or play with bunnies in the petting zoo. He then has a dream that he grew to five times his previous size, only to find he's now too big to fit on the roller coaster and too large to play with the bunnies safely.


Video Example(s):


Curious George

Despite the huge mess he makes, George's antics with a go-cart prove to be actually quite entertaining to both the children and the adults in the hospital.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / ActuallyPrettyFunny

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