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Referenced By / The Three Stooges

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The Three Stooges have been comedy pioneers for nearly a century. Needless to say, they have been referenced numerous times in pop culture.

Also see Three Stooges Shout-Out.

Comic Books

  • The Flash comics in the 1950s also included appearances by Wynken, Blynken and Nod, clearly modeled after the Stooges.
  • The independent comic book The Badger has three bad guys named the Chisums resembling and acting like Moe, Larry and Curly kidnap an award-winning Bull from the main character to be able to sacrifice it and bring a demon to earth.
  • ''Cerebus contains an homage to the Stooges as the "Three Wise Fellows" in the graphic novel Latter Days. The three comically kidnap the main character, convinced that he is the messiah (meanwhile satirizing the Torah). While waiting for him to speak the "Word of Truth", they engage in hijinks such as clamping pliers on one another's noses over theological arguments.
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  • In an issue of The Incredible Hulk, the grey Hulk was saving his alter-ego's wife Betty Banner from large robots unleashed by the Hulk's nemesis, the Leader. Witnessing the battle the Hulk's sidekick, Rick Jones, narrates the story throughout the issue and refers to the three robots as Moe, Larry, and Curly.
  • In the Marvel Comics Power Pack issues #21 and #46, two culprits are featured who are named (and whose appearances are patterned) after Moe and Larry.
  • In The Sensational She-Hulk issue #5, Jennifer Walters is watching TV and came upon a short in homage to the Stooges renamed "The Three Amusing Fellows" where characters Moe and Curly were constructing a house and Moe scolds Curly for leaving on a chainsaw. Curly suggests Moe not to get too excited and recommends he let him have the chainsaw. Moe replies, "I'll let you have it, alright!" and saws Curly on the top of the head. In the next panel Jennifer was horrified to see blood and brains being scattered across the TV, when she knows that is not how it happens when she saw the short before. The cause of this was done by the evil scientist Doctor Bong.
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  • An issue of Usagi Yojimbo features three thugs whose hairstyles resemble those of Curly, Larry and Moe.



  • The youthful protagonists of Captain Underpants attend Jerome Horwitz Elementary School. The name Jerome Horwitz is both Curly Howard's real name, and the name of a famous scientist.
  • In Louis Sachar's children's novel The Boy Who Lost His Face, a group of three children (one of which is a girl called "Mo") is nicknamed after the Stooges.
  • In David Brin's novel The Uplift War, an ambassador of the Tymbrini (an alien race with a pronounced sense of humor) considers the Stooges among humanity's finest philosophers.

Live-Action Television

  • One episode of Cheers has Sam describe Norm's secretary's pageboy hairstyle as a "Moe Howard haircut".
  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: One episode has Will and Carlton arguing over doing a undesired task and the former suggesting they'd settle it by playing the three stooges, even menancingly saying, "Hey, Moe..."
  • Full House:
    • Joey is a huge fan of the Three Stooges and references them plenty of times throughout the show.
    • In "It's Not My Job", Danny, Joey, and Jesse are respectively dressed as Larry, Curly, and Moe for a costume contest.
    • "I'm There For You, Babe" has Joey loaning Jesse his complete VHS collection to watch on the latter's birthday.
    • In "Joey's Funny Valentine", Roxy calls the Tanner girls "The Three Stooges in pantyhose" during her stand-up.
  • The Golden Girls: "Bedtime Story" features a flashback with the girls all huddled underneath Sophia's electric blanket on a cold night and after being annoyed with being kept up late from all of their conversations, Dorothy then quips addressing each of them, "Goodnight, Ma! Goodnight, Moe! Goodnight, Larry!"
  • Home Improvement: An earlier Halloween Episode has the three boys supposed to be dressed as Curly, Larry and Moe, but they all were dressed as Moe since none of them would compromise to be either Butt-Monkey.
  • In Living Color!: During the popular "Ice Ice Baby" spoof "White White Baby", one of the lines is "Mix it with Curly and Larry and Moe...(whoomping), hey, yo!"
  • Living Single episode "Burglar in the House" has the girls scared by realizing they're being robbed and when Regine suggests they call 911, she notices the cellular phone is missing from the charge port, she cries out "Nya-ah-ah-ah!" like Curly.
  • Married... with Children:
    • The "Desperately Seeking Miss October" episode has Al's deceased father visiting him in shame for Peg selling his beloved Playboys. He then remarks among those laughing at him in Heaven include the stooges.
    • In "Kids! Whad'ya Gonna Do?", babysitter Kelly is telling a Self-Insert Fic to her charges, she mistakenly believes that Curly and Moe are among the names of the seven dwarves.
    • In "Take My Wife Please", Death (in the guise of Peg) brags to Al about the celebrities she took, explaining at one point that of all the Stooges since Curly was her favorite, she took him first.
  • An episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 has them watching a film where three men stick their heads out of a pipe one by one, which prompts them to say, "Hello!...Hello!...Hello!...Hello!"
    • Also, the last riff ever given on the show’s Sci-Fi channel run was, in response to the film displaying the word "Fine", "This has been the official bio-pic of Larry Fine."
  • Roseanne: One Halloween Episode of the show had Dan dressed up as the comedy trio, with fake heads of Larry and Moe on each of his shoulders.
  • Saved by the Bell:
    • Screech is a fan of the shorts, even sporting a Curly shirt in a few episodes.
    • In "The Election", after she lost the election for school president to Zack, Jessie begins to silently cry, although she claims to always cry when she's happy, even saying that she sobs at the show itself.
  • SCTV did a Ben-Hur spoof where John Candy played Ben Hur, as if played by Curly Howard.
  • In The Love Boat episode "Crew Confessions," Isaac writes a novel featuring thinly-disguised parodies of the other crew members. Gopher complains that the book makes himself, Doc, and Julie look like the Three Stooges.


  • "Weird Al" Yankovic: In his video for "Like A Surgeon", at one point, the P.A. system says "Paging Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard."
  • In his song "The Hannukah Song", Adam Sandler mentions many fellow Jewish entertainers, including the Three Stooges.

Puppet Shows

  • Sesame Street:
    • Episode 1576 features a group of birds called the "Canary Brothers," two of which are named Curly and Moe.
    • In Episode 3710, a mother bird is seen with two baby birds named Curly and Moe.
    • Episode 3768 features Goldilocks reading the story of The Three Little Pigs, who share the names of the Three Stooges.
    • In Episode 3860, Telly chooses what names to give to his pet hamster Chuckie Sue's newborn babies. Among the choices for male names he chooses are "Larry" "Curly" and "Moe".
    • In the Elmo's World episode about computers, Dorothy imagines Elmo playing an interactive storybook of The Three Little Pigs. The three pigs sport Larry, Curly, and Moe's respective hairstyles, and sing "Oink oink!" to the tune of the Three Stooges' "Hello" routine when clicked on.
    • One of Oscar's nicknames for Gordon is "Curly", referencing his bald head. Oscar calls him this name in episodes 1736 and 3119.

Stand-Up Comedy

  • During a section of his Live at the Met stand-up special lampooning the state of the Middle East during the mid-1980s, Robin Williams refers to Muammar Gaddafi, "whose friends call him Moe" before imitating Curly Howard saying "Hey Moe! Wububububububub!" and imitating the Stooges' hand gestures; later in the same bit, he compares the situation in the Middle East to an old Marx Brothers sketch.

Video Games

  • Amazon: Guardians of Eden: The television in Jason's house shows a monochrome episode of the Stooges on it. Considering the game is set in the 1950s, it is fitting.
  • Quest for Glory I features a sequence where you must outwit the Stooges, who are brigands in this game. In one of the Have a Nice Death sequences if they catch you, which is labeled as "Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk- Mee Mee Mee Mee Mee", they’re named as "Die Drei Knochelkopfen", which, in German, translates to "The Three Boneheads"- not quite on the mark, but close enough. One of them also says, "Oh, a wise guy, eh?" when you use a candelabra to block their path.
  • Space Quest VI has a minigame called "Stooge Fighter III", which makes the Stooges into Street Fighter characters. Naturally, they fight each other with eye pokes and other Stooge traditions.

Web Original

Western Animation

  • Animaniacs:
    • The Warners often do the musical "hello-hello-hello" routine when they enter a scene.
    • In "Taming of the Screwy", the Warners crash a studio party and spot Sigourney Weaver shaved bald, leading Yakko to ask her "Moe and Larry couldn't make it?".
  • Bonkers: In "Of Mice and Menace", Flaps the Elephant's three mouse henchmen, Meenie, Miney, and Moe, are respectively based on Larry, Curly, and Moe.
  • Clarence: In the episode "Dinner Party", Clarence Wendle asks his mother Mary if there will be pies at Breehn's house and everyone will be throwing them everywhere; referencing the iconic pie fights.
  • Futurama:
    • Dr. Zoidberg is prone to whooping like Curly.
    • Mom's sons Walt, Larry and Igner are partially based on the Stooges. In Bender's Game, their attempt to infiltrate Planet Express as exterminators references the various shorts in which they work as handymen.
  • A Garfield and Friends episode had Garfield tricking an ice cream man at a park into giving him more treats by using different wigs, including those of the trio and even of Jon himself.
  • The voice and mannerisms of Jabberjaw were based off of Curly Howard.
  • Looney Tunes:
  • Muppet Babies (1984):
    • In "Good Clean Fun," Baby Fozzie engages in a whipped cream pie fight with the Stooges, using footage from the 1936 short Slippery Silks.
    • Beginning in the second season, random clips from the feature 1962 film The Three Stooges Meet Hercules were frequently used as stock footage, usually for chariot scenes.
    • In "Beach Blanket Babies", Baby Fozzie confronts his fear of crocodiles by imagining Three Stooges-like crocodiles as his swimming instructors: Moe, Larry, and Crocodiley.
    • In "Sing a Song of Superheroes", Baby Gonzo (as Batboy) opens a door to reveal a clip of Curly lip syncing Gaetano Donizetti's "Lucia Sextet" as seen in the 1945 short Micro-Phonies.
    • In "Hats, Hats, Hats," Kermit and Gonzo try to find a door that leads out of Gonzo's head. One door they encounter has footage from the 1943 shory Spook Louder, where Moe (voiced by Frank Welker) yells at them, "Say! What are you lookin' at?!"
    • The series' final episode, "Eight Flags Over the Nursery" features clips of the Stooges as a part of the Mr. Weirdo's Universe ride. A clip of the three riding cars from the 1934 short Men in Black is used and Skeeter and Baby Gonzo zoom through a clip from Spook Louder of the Stooges being hit with pies.
  • Pinky and the Brain: "Pinky and the Brain... and Larry" has a big reference to The Three Stooges in the form of Larry. Brain takes on the role of Moe by hitting Larry at every opportunity, at one point even getting a bit of wallpaper stuck to his head that looks like Moe's signature hairstyle.
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show has Stimpy's voice based off of Larry Fine's, according to Billy West (although he does make the same sounds and has the same mannerisms as Curly and Shemp).
    • While flipping through the channels in "My Shiny Friend", you can clearly hear Moe yell "You chowderhead!"
  • Rocko's Modern Life: The title card for the "Dumbells" episode has Heffer, Rocko and Filburt as Curly, Larry and Moe, respectively.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "Bart the Daredevil", apparently the show causes so many injuries, according to Dr. Hibbert, that it has its own hospital ward.
    • "Homer the Heretic" has Homer watching a short where the men are working as chiropractors and even says (after he slaps Curly) "Moe is their leader."
    • In "Duffless", when Lisa asks Bart to hold her steroid-injected large tomato, he replies, "Why, soitenly! Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk!". Later in the same episode, when Bart is trying to take an electrified cupcake, his reactions are also based on Curly.
    • In "Last Exit to Springfield", Homer whoops and runs in circles on the ground after Mr. Burns concedes to the striker's demands.
    • "Large Marge" had former presidents Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton engaging in antics while participating in Habitat For Humanity as Larry, Moe and Curly, respectively.
    • "Treehouse of Horror IV" segment "Bart Simpson's Dracula", when he and Lisa are in Mr. Burns' basement and a bunch of monsters begin approaching him and Lisa, Bart is scared speechless and can only make startled noises that she dismisses as Shemp and Curly impersonations.
    • In "Bart's Comet" when looking up at the constellations with Principal Skinner and being informed that they can form whatever he wishes, Bart then views The Three Wisemen in the shapes of Curly, Larry and Moe.
    • In the first part of "Who Shot Mr. Burns?", Bart's bummed out that his request of what to do with the oil money that Springfield Elementary has was rejected on the grounds of it being unethical. To this, Lisa says, "It is unethical to resurrect The Three Stooges, and even if they could do it, I'd really doubt they'd want to hang out with you." He then agrees with her sentiment, figuring they'd rather be with their families.
    • In "The Day The Violence Died", the Schoolhouse Rock! parody video has a bomb behave like Curly.
    • "This Little Wiggy" has an Imagine Spot where Nelson measures the stooges' brains (with their hairdos attached on top for some reason) to see which of theirs is the heaviest and he then comically slaps all three of them.
    • "Beyond Blunderdome" has Mel Gibson (a real life fan of the series) who is starring in a Bloodier and Gorier remake of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington doing Curly's signature "Whoop-whoop-whoop!" and running in circles on the Senate table like him as he shoots everyone with an uzi. Later at the universally-panned premiere, James Stewart's irate granddaughter decides to sue Mel and Homer and slaps them both like Moe Howard. His Curly impression is also heard over the Gracie Films logo.
    • "Sunday, Cruddy Sunday" has Homer and his friends yelling and running away from Rupert Murdoch's security guards like the three stooges.
    • In "The Mansion Family", Mr. Burns is at the Mayo Clinic for a checkup when he learns that he has every disease known to man and even a few some that it's physiologically impossible to have. The doctor uses a model of fuzzy balls trying in vain to shove through a small door to display the perfect balance they all have, calling it "The Three Stooges Syndrome" and even has one of the balls grumble "Move it, chowderhead!"
    • In "Treehouse of Horror X" segment "Stretch Dude and Clobber Girl" has Bart fooling Principal Skinner with hand motions like the stooges before slapping him.
    • In "Treehouse of Horror XIV" segment "Reaper Madness" when Homer!Reaper is randomly killing people at a ballgame so he and Bart can get a better seat, one doomed man initially tries to dodge his efforts a la the eye dodge move.
    • One episode has Homer trying to retrieve the remote control from Maggie, who then bops him on the head with it and uses a pair of tongs to squeeze his nose as he reacts like Curly in response.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures:
    • In the prologue to "A Night in Kokomo" (part of "New Class Day"), Concord, Fowlmouth, and Furrball are seen dressed as Moe, Curly, and Larry, respectively.
    • In the "Weekday Update with Rabbit Chase" sketch from "Weekday Afternoon Live", Buster, as Rabbit Chase, reveals to the viewers that Concord Condor is actually the grandson of Moe Howard, due to both characters having similar hairstyles.