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Is Captain Underpants Pure Evil?

Updated on June 6, 2012

As a mother I have a true love/hate relationship with the Captain Underpants books.

If you have never heard of Captain Underpants and you are a parent consider yourself lucky. The Captain Underpants series is about the adventure of two kids George and Harold who play practical jokes on each other and create their own comic books. In creating comic books they have created the superhero Captain Underpants. Captain Underpants is a portly male whose costume consists of only a pair of white underwear and a red cape.

There are several books in the Captain Underpants Series

  • The Adventures of Captain Underpants: An Epic Novel
  • Captain Underpants and the Attack of the Talking Toilets
  • Captain Underpants and the Invasion of the Incredibly Naughty Cafeteria Ladies from Outer Space
  • Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants
  • Captain Underpants and the Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman
  • Captain Underpants and the Big, Bad Battle of the Bionic Booger Boy Part 1
  • Captain Underpants and the Big, Bad Battle of the Bionic Booger Boy Part 2
  • The Captain Underpants Extra-Crunchy Book O' Fun
  • The All New Captain Underpants Extra Crunchy Book of Fun 2
  • The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby: The First Graphic Novel
  • Captain Underpants and the Preposterous Plight of the Purple Potty People

The Captain Underpants Series was created by Dav Pilkey who was born on March 4th, 1966 in Cleveland, Ohio. Pilkey’s has been drawing since he was a child and these drawings turned into stories. These stories and comics would get him into trouble at school. Dav Pilkey’s teachers and principle were not impressed with his artistic pursuits and he was often told he would not amount to anything. This was until he went to college and at the suggestion of his professor won a writing contest that helped him to get his stories published. Dav Pilkey has been writing stories ever since.

Although I truly enjoy the story of the author especially how he was met with adversity almost every step of the way and still pursued I still have a love/hate relationship with this particular series of books that Mr. Pilkey has written.


1. Helps Kids to Read – These books are easy to read for beginning readers and can help them to get going in reading. My children started reading them in Kindergarten and really got going with them in First Grade. They still enjoy them now.

2. Kids Enjoy Reading the Books – Because the topics are kid friendly and about kids their own age or near their age kids really enjoy reading these books. They have topics that they can relate to and that can make it more enjoyable for them.

3. Makes Kids Laugh – Kids really enjoy reading Captain Underpants because the stories are silly and make them laugh. There are many jokes and pranks in the stories that keep the kids laughing.

4. Teaches Kids Some Jokes – There are all sorts of jokes throughout the books and kids have jokes that they can relate to since it is geared towards young children. These are jokes that they can use later and that continue to be funny to them and their friends.

5. Teaches Kids to Draw – There is always a drawing section on how to draw characters that the kids really enjoy doing. There is also a section called flip-o-rama where kids can bring the pictures to life by flipping the pages.


1. Misspelled Words – There are a lot of misspelled words basically because this series is a comic book written by children. This does not teach children how to truly spell and could give children the wrong idea on how to actually spell words.

2. Bathroom Humor – The whole series revolves around bathroom humor simply because the main character is named underpants. This can become a bit obnoxious as some children can run away with some ideas that they find titillating.

3. Pranks – There are numerous pranks that are performed throughout the books. Some that kids might try out themselves. My child actually got in trouble at school for pulling a prank and when asked where she learned it from she responded by saying “Captain Underpants”.

4. Name Calling – There is a lot of name calling throughout the books as well. George and Harold continually call each other names and other people that they do not like names as well. This can have a negative effect on the children reading these books too.

5. Belittling Parents/Adults – These books make parents and adults look really bad, which could give children a skewed view of parents. The teachers and parents in the book and adults period are made to look bad in different aspects.

As a parent I feel that it is important to read with your children and to be aware of what they are reading. However at times it is not possible to do that. I found this out since my kids were reading Captain Underpants books in the library at their school before they even brought a book home. The only reason they brought one home was because I requested it after inquiring about the books they had been reading at school.

I am still not sure how I feel about the Captain Underpants series. I suppose if I had my choice of my children learning to read and enjoying what they read would always be most important especially because they are children. However if I could I would have chosen to not have my kids discover this series of books and would have instead directed them to the Ricky Ricotta series by the same author (Ricky Ricotta is a lonely mouse that befriends a giant robot and the adventures that they have sans the bathroom humor) although thinking back it might not have had the same positive effect of getting them interested in reading.

Other Books and Series By Dav Pilkey:

Ricky Ricotta Series

  • Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot
  • Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot Vs. the Mutant Mosquitos from Mercury
  • Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot Vs. the Voodoo Vultures from Venus
  • Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot Vs. the Mecha Monkeys from Mars
  • Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot Vs. the Jurassic Jackrabbits from Jupiter
  • Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot Vs. The Stupid Stinkbugs from Saturn

Dumb Bunnies

  • The Dumb Bunnies
  • The Dumb Bunnies' Easter
  • Make Way for Dumb Bunnies
  • The Dumb Bunnies Go to the Zoo

Big Dog & Little Dog

  • The Complete Adventures of Big Dog and Little Dog
  • Big Dog and Little Dog
  • Big Dog and Little Dog Going for a Walk
  • Big Dog and Little Dog Getting in Trouble
  • Big Dog and Little Dog Wearing Sweaters
  • Big Dog and Little Dog Making a Mistake


  • A Friend for Dragon
  • Dragon Gets By
  • Dragon's Merry Christmas
  • Dragon's Fat Cat
  • Dragon's Halloween

Creature Feature

  • Dogzilla
  • Kat Kong


  • The Hallo-Wiener
  • Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving
  • Dog Breath!: The Horrible Trouble With Hally Tosis
  • God Bless the Gargoyles
  • The Silly Gooses
  • The Paperboy
  • The Moonglow Roll-O-Rama
  • When Cats Dream
  • Julius
  • World War Won

Captain UnderPants

Captain Underpants


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    • profile image

      D.W 5 years ago

      On your 5th reason for hating it, "belittles adults"

      Google search for "captain underpants satire analysis pdf"

      It points out the clever way Pilkey satires adults and as well as analyzes why adults may be opposed to the use of satire seeing as how they're the ones who are the victims of it.

      Also you spelled "maed" wrong in that point, jut a little after you had said it teaches bad spelling. Irony~

    • Triplet Mom profile image

      Triplet Mom 6 years ago from West Coast

      MS - Sorry but I do not totally agree with you on this. Again you are right to each their own.

    • profile image

      M.S 6 years ago

      These books are horrible for children. They are disgusting. To each their own, but come on. Do we really want our kids reading flith?

    • Triplet Mom profile image

      Triplet Mom 8 years ago from West Coast

      Thank you so much. My kids still enjoy the books and as long as they are reading I am ok with that.

    • IntimatEvolution profile image

      Julie Grimes 8 years ago from Columbia, MO USA

      My son loved these books as a boy. His daddy got him started on them. Great memories for him. I linked this hub into one of my hubs. That's how great I thought your hub was.

    • Triplet Mom profile image

      Triplet Mom 9 years ago from West Coast

      Lol, yeah my hubby is huge on bathroom humor so he and my boy can relate really well. The games they play are "special" to say the least. I can't stop you from reading that evilness lol!! I have to admit though there was one part that my daughters kept reading over and over again that made me laugh really hard.

    • goldentoad profile image

      goldentoad 9 years ago from Free and running....

      Yes, I know about Captain Underpants, but "WE" figured I was a bad enough influence as it is, but if I can, and momma's not around, I might sneak a story to them.