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We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Book Review

This book has been reviewed by Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting magazine. It is the second book in the “Captain Underpants” series.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Fourth-graders George Beard and Harold Hutchins have created their own comic superhero. His name is Captain Underpants, and the kids on the playground buy copies of the comic for 50 cents.

George and Harold are pranksters. All of their teachers dislike them, but no one despises them like Principal Krupp. Mr. Krupp’s goal in life is to catch the boys in their pranks and punish or expel them. The boys’ opening cartoon shows how, in book one of the series, they hypnotized Mr. Krupp and turned him into Captain Underpants. Anytime people snap their fingers, Mr. Krupp switches from principal to hero or back from hero to principal. As Captain Underpants, Mr. Krupp wears only white briefs and a red curtain as a cape. He cheerfully battles whatever evil he can find.

Because of George’s and Harold’s many past offenses, Mr. Krupp forbids them from entering the school’s Invention Convention. They want to enter mainly because the winner gets to be principal for a day. Since they can’t participate, the boys sneak into the room containing all of the student projects and tamper with them. They run into brainiac Melvin Sneedly, who shows them his project. It is the PATSY 2000, and it used to be a regular copy machine. Melvin claims any image he copies from paper can now come to life with his machine. Harold and George are skeptical.

At the science assembly the next day, all of the projects malfunction. Mr. Krupp is so angry with George and Harold that he gives them detention for the rest of the year. When they finish writing the sentences on the board that Mr. Krupp required, they begin to sketch a new Captain Underpants cartoon. In this episode, talking toilets arrive from outer space. They eat teachers until Captain Underpants stops them by jamming plungers in their mouths. Just when all seems safe, the huge Terrible Turbo Toilet 2000 jumps out of the spaceship. Captain Underpants gives the toilet a wedgie and slingshots it into the air. The spaceship blows up and all of the toilets go back to normal.

The boys are desperate to make copies of their new comic for the other kids. They sneak into the teachers lounge, but it’s full of teachers. Then they remember Melvin’s copy machine and decide to use it to make copies. The machine begins to spark and make noise. A moment later, talking toilets emerge from it. As Harold and George run down the hall to get away, Mr. Krupp catches them out of the detention room and threatens suspension. The teachers are elated, until the talking toilets appear. One teacher snaps her fingers, unwittingly causing Mr. Krupp to become Captain Underpants.

The boys follow Captain Underpants as he makes a quick run through the neighborhood to collect underwear from clotheslines, before returning to the school. He shoots the underwear into the open mouths of the toilets, but they just swallow them. The boys realize there is only one thing disgusting enough to stop the talking toilets: cafeteria food. Using underpants as slingshots, they hurl globs of creamed chipped beef into the mouths of the toilets. The toilets become sick and spew out everything they’ve swallowed.

Just when things seem to be under control, the Turbo Toilet 2000 crashes through the door of the school. When Captain Underpants tries to give him a wedgie, the gigantic toilet swallows him. The boys rush to draw a new character, the Incredible Robo-Plunger, and they bring him to life with Melvin’s machine. The new hero thrusts a plunger into the mouth of the Turbo Toilet 2000 and retrieves Captain Underpants.

Having gotten wet in the toilet, Mr. Krupp is revived. He’s confused about what’s happened and embarrassed to be wearing nothing but underwear. He’s afraid he’ll lose his job. The boys promise that if he will cancel their suspension, they will make the Robo-Plunger clean up the mess. After they do, George and Harold also get to be principals for a day. They throw a gigantic party on the playground, while the teachers are forced to stay in the classroom and write sentences on the board.

When Mr. Krupp learns that the kids paid for their party by selling all the furniture in the teacher’s lounge, he starts to get angry again. Then another teacher happens to snap her fingers. Mr. Krupp once again becomes Captain Underpants and rushes off in his skivvies shouting his triumphant cry of “tra-la-laaaa!”

Christian Beliefs


Other Belief Systems


Authority Roles

The teachers, who dislike Harold and George for their pranks, laugh and cheer when the boys are expelled. Principal Krupp will stop at nothing to catch the boys at their pranks. When Krupp becomes Captain Underpants, he and the boys work together to fight bad guys.


The Lord’s name is used in vain once. Two sections jokingly tell readers that extreme graphic violence will appear on the forthcoming pages. Battles ensue on those pages, but they are not graphic.



Discussion Topics

Get free discussion questions for this book and others, at FocusOnTheFamily.com/discuss-books.

Additional Comments/Notes

Bathroom humor: Underpants are mentioned frequently. Underpants become slingshots to take down victims, and the hero is also known to have Wedgie Power. The talking toilets throw up after being fed school cafeteria food. The boys consider creating a giant robot shaped like a urinal called The Urinator, but they realize they’re pushing it since this is a children’s book. As the Robo-Plunger is pummeling the Turbo Toilet 2000, the boys say he’s kicking the Turbo Toilet’s tushy. Silly cartoon drawings, which appear frequently throughout the book, depict Captain Underpants as a pudgy, bald man wearing fitted white briefs and a red cape. The large underpants never reveal any hint of the anatomy beneath.

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Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range

8 to 10




Dav Pilkey






Record Label



Scholastic Inc.


On Video

Year Published





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