The Adventures of Captain Underpants: Summary
The Adventures of Captain Underpants begins as we meet George Beard and Harold Hutchins. The boys are fourth grade troublemakers and best friends. George is characterized with a tie and a flat top haircut, and Harold is described as wearing a t-shirt and having a bad haircut. The boys are described as good, but for one reason or another have a difficult time staying out of mischief.
Creative partners, George and Harold spend much of their time creating comic books together. George does the writing and Harold illustrates. While working on their comic books, George and Harold come up with a hilarious idea. Since most superheroes where uniforms that look like underpants, why not create a superhero that actually wears underpants?
The boys quickly churn out the first issue of their comic and proceed to make copies of it behind the school secretaries back to sell at recess. The plot of the comic begins with evil villains taking over the world as the popular superheroes become too old to battle. Enter Captain Underpants. Meanwhile, at school, students are served a disgusting lunch that they quickly proceed to throw in the trash. The trashed lunch comes to life as an evil villain, the Incredible Hunk. Captain Underpants tried to save the day by flinging underwear at the villain. However, the Incredible Hunk just eats them and continues to cause mayhem. Captain Underpants tricks the Incredible Hunk into following him to the bathroom where he eventually flushes the villain down the toilet, ending the comic.
The comic makes the teachers furious, especially the Principal Krupp. However, he can’t prove the boys did anything wrong, and the boys set out to prank the entire school.
The boys plan several practical jokes that are played out at the school’s football game. The pranks are so terrible that they cause the game to be cancelled. Principal Krupp succeeds in capturing the whole thing on tape and threatens to show the video to the football team so the boys will be terrorized every day. The boys plead with Principal Krupp, and eventually he blackmails them into following a set of rules that include waiting on him and paying attention in school.
After 4-6 weeks of following the rules, George and Harold obtain a 3-D Hypno-Ring to hypnotize Principal Krupp. While he is hypnotized, they replace the video with one of Harold’s little sister’s “Boomer the Purple Dragon Singalong” videos. Because of the boys’ fun-loving nature they fool around with the hypnotized principal telling him he is a monkey, a chicken, and finally Captain Underpants. Principal Krupp takes the role seriously and proceeds to look for crime to fight before he can be stopped.
Captain Underpants stops two bank robbers and is almost arrested himself before he is rescued by George and Harold on their skate boards. Captain Underpants attempts to stop some evil robots and gets dragged to an abandoned warehouse when his cape gets trapped in their truck. They discover the evil Dr. Diaper at the warehouse and discover he has plans to blow up the moon, destroy every major city on earth, and take over the world. Once discovered Captain Underpants is tied up by the villains and the boys distract Dr. Diaper, making him think he had an “accident” and he leaves to change his diaper. When the boy’s destroy Dr. Diaper’s weapon he is furious, but Captain Underpants flings underwear at his head, preventing him from defending himself.
The boys and Captain Underpants return to the school, where they attempt to change Captain Underpants back into Principal Krupp. They eventually succeed, but with one flaw. Anytime someone snaps their fingers, Principal Krupp turns back into Captain Underpants.
There are some parts of the book that may be considered offensive, and their appropriateness should be discussed with children. While the book is fun, the boys may not exhibit the best role model behavior. In particular, they have a general disrespect for teachers and adults and find rules an inconvenience. General anti-authority themes, and themes involving good vs. evil are explored.