Captain Underpants and the Invasion of the Incredibly Naughty Cafeteria Ladies from outer Space (and the Subsequent Assault of the Equally Evil Lunchroom Zombie Nerds): Summary
Captain Underpants and the Invasion of the Incredibly Naughty Cafeteria Ladies from outer Space (and the Subsequent Assault of the Equally Evil Lunchroom Zombie Nerds) is notorious for its lengthy title. In fact, it becomes a running joke in subsequent books.
The book begins as Harold and George are in class learning about volcanoes. They discover the reaction caused when vinegar and baking soda are mixed and believe it is excellent material for a prank. They write a recipe containing the mixture and give it to the lunch ladies, claiming it is a recipe for cupcakes and that it is Principal Krupps’ birthday.
The cafeteria ladies fall for the stunt, making a giant batch of the so-called cupcakes which causes the the entire school being filled with green goop. To top it off, the next comic in the boys’ series revolves around the cafeteria workers. In it, the cafeteria ladies mix trash into their cooking, but get locked inside the school for the weekend die when they are force to eat their own food. The janitor finds the bodies and bury them on a haunted hill, causing them to come back to life as zombies. Captain Underpants arrives to fight them as they begin their attack on the school. He gives them wedgies, which doesn’t work. He eventually wraps them in toilet paper which they also escape from. As they push Captain Underpants off the building and fall behind him. He is able to swing to safety, but the lunch ladies fall into the trash on top of their food and once again die as a result.
Furious, the cafeteria workers go to Principal Krupp with the comic book and accuse the boys of tricking them and causing the fiasco. Although Principal Krupp wants to punish the boys, he says he cannot without proof. The cafeteria ladies quit.
Meanwhile, a UFO filled with alien villains lands on the school. The aliens plan to turn the students into monsters and conquer the world. Their timing is convenient. They see Principal Krupp about the cafeteria jobs Principal Krupp immediately hires them.
As a punishment, Principal Krupp forces the boys to eat lunch in his office.
The aliens serve milkshakes the next day that change everyone except George and Harold and Principal Krupp into Zombie Nerds. Harold and George discover the aliens evil plan and sneak into the lunchroom to take the growth juice. They pour it out the open window, dousing a dandelion.
The boys convince Principal Krupp of the aliens disguised as cafeteria workers, and as one snaps its tentacle, he transforms into Captain Underpants. He disappears to fight crime, and the boys hold off the aliens until he returns. George, Harold, and Captain Underpants cannot defeat the aliens, so they jump onto their spaceship where they capture several bottles of juice. On bottle contains Anti-Zombie Nerd Juice which is needed to turn everyone back to normal. One contains juice that will provide super powers. The third bottle of juice causes whatever it comes into contact with to self destruct. They switch the labels confusing the aliens causing the ship to self-destruct.
The boys and Captain Underpants escape from the spaceship before it destructs and land near the dandelion that has mutated into a giant because of the growth juice. The giant dandelion tries to attack Captain Underpants. The boys give him the bottle of juice that provides super strength, and Captain Underpants destroys the dandelion.
At the end of the book, the students are given Anti-Evil Zombie Nerd Juice, returning them to normal, and Captain Underpants becomes Principal Krupp, but his superpowers remain.
Captain Underpants and the Invasion of the Incredibly Naughty Cafeteria Ladies from outer Space (and the Subsequent Assault of the Equally Evil Lunchroom Zombie Nerds) explores the series typical themes of anti-authority and good vs. evil. It also explores the idea that children are smarter than adults. Not only do George and Harold outsmart the lunch ladies, but they also have to convince Principal Krupp that he mistakenly hired aliens before he is able to realize it himself. Discuss these themes with your children and how they may or may not be accurate.