Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants

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Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants
Captain Underpants Professor Poopypants.jpg
Author Dav Pilkey
Illustrator Dav Pilkey
Country United States
Language English
Series Captain Underpants series
Genre Children's novel
Publisher Blue Sky (US),
Scholastic (US)
Publication date
July 29th 2000
Media type Print (Paperback)
Preceded by 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)
Followed by Captain Underpants and the Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman

Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants is the fourth book in the Captain Underpants series written by Dav Pilkey.[1]

Plot summary[edit]

Professor Pippy P. Poopypants, a scientist from a country where everyone has a silly name, New Swissland, invents a shrinking machine, the Shrinky-Pig 2000, named because it looks like a baby piggy and an enlarging machine, the Goosy-Grow 4000, so named because it looks like a goose. He goes to America so he can show these inventions to everyone and help the world by using his machines to shrink the world's garbage and increase the world's food supply. Unfortunately, everyone laughs at Professor Poopypants' name, instead of taking him seriously.

One day at Jerome Horwitz Elementary School, the school is going on a field trip to a restaurant to eat pizza and play video games, but when George and Harold change the sign, Mr. Krupp catches them, and bans them from the field trip and forces them to clean the Teacher's Lounge. But George and Harold get revenge on Mr. Krupp and all the other teachers by changing the route of the sprayer, and putting powdered paste on the ceiling fan, and putting Styrofoam in the refrigerator. The teachers get sprayed by the sink, and the paste sticks to them, and the Styrofoam sticks to the teachers, and they get steamed up with George and Harold and chase them in the school. After seeing the teachers running through the school resembling snowmen, the school's science teacher Mr. Fyde quits his job to retire, thinking he's going insane. Meanwhile, Professor Poopypants has had no success showing his inventions to the world, and sees an ad in the newspaper to teach at Jerome Horwitz. He applies for the job, thinking that children would be kind and sweet-hearted, but the children are no different than anyone else and are too distracted by his silly name to focus.

Professor Poopypants manages to get the children interested in science by building a Robot Machine that allows gerbils to jog alongside their masters. However, this interest is short-lived, as he reveals his middle name to be Pee-Pee, causing the children to start laughing again. Ms. Ribble reads the story of The Pied Piper from Hamelin. This inspires George and Harold to make a comic book about the Professor inventing an army of gerbil joggers to destroy the world, which destroys the last of Professor Poopypants' credibility with the students and drives him crazy.

Using his enlarging machine, he makes the gerbil machine as large as a tall building and then gets inside. He shrinks the school and holds them hostage. He then unveils his plan to force everyone in the world to change their names so everyone will have a silly name instead of a normal one, and anyone who refuses will be shrunk. Professor Poopypants does this first on Mr. Krupp, who becomes Lumpy Pottybiscuits. All the children find this funny, until Professor Poopypants forces them to use the chart to change their names as well. (celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Zsa-Zsa Gabor and Englebert Humperdinck are referenced in the Name Change-O-Chart.) full list of silly names

George and Harold (now Fluffy and Cheeseball) get Captain Underpants (now Buttercup Chickenfanny, but Captain Underpants doesn't change his name and says he's taking orders from no one) to steal Professor Poopypants' enlarging machine, but unfortunately he and the machine are shrunk in the process.

The two of them try to enlarge the school back to normal size, but get flicked off the school. Cheeseball makes a paper airplane that Fluffy enlarges. The plane flies into many threats, yet Captain Underpants rescues them and they end up in an abandoned alley. Fluffy tries to enlarge Captain Underpants (accidentally enlarging Cheeseball's right hand) to the size of Professor Poopypants' gerbil machine. Captain Underpants then fights and defeats Professor Poopypants. Once Professor Poopypants is defeated, everyone gets their names back. The boys use the shrinking and enlarging machines to get the school and Captain Underpants back to normal size. Then Captain Underpants gets soaked with water, turning him back to Mr. Krupp.

Professor Poopypants is hauled off to jail. On the advice of George and Harold, he changes his name so no one will make fun of it anymore. Unfortunately, all names originating in the land where he comes from are silly, so when he chooses his maternal grandfather's name, Tippy Tinkletrousers, the people at jail make fun of him, setting the climax for book 9.

The moral of the story ("I think this is the first time one of our stories had a moral," notes George) is that it's not nice to make fun of people.

Comic: Captain Underpants and the Pied Pooper of Piqua[edit]

The comic begins with an introduction by Professor Poopypants. Everyone laughs at his ridiculous name causing Pippy to make an army of Gerbil Jogger 2000s and inserted gerbils, but they refuse to be evil, so he makes them listen to something on headphones. The Gerbils take all the kids hostage but Captain Underpants intervenes. When everyone still laughs at him, Pippy uses a button on his tie to make himself into a giant robot. Captain Underpants and Professor Poopypants fight and Pippy catches him. But Underpants uses a tiny toilet (called "The Tiny Toilet of Truth") to flush the water over Pippy, making him rust. The headphones are revealed to be playing Cher. Captain Underpants destroys the headphone remote control, and takes Professor Poopypants to jail. The back of the comic reads: "Notice: All animal cruelty was simulated. No actual gerbils were forced to listen to Cher."


  • George Beard
  • Harold Hutchins
  • Mr.Krupp
  • Captain Underpants
  • Chuckles Jingleberry McMonkeyburger, Jr.
  • Stinky McMonkeyburger
  • Jiggles T. Chunkyskunks
  • Tipper Skipper Zipperdripper
  • Professor Pippy P. Poopypants/Tippy Tinkletrousers
  • Porkbelly Funkyskunk
  • Connor Mancini
  • Ingrid Ashley
  • Larry Zarrow
  • Stephanie Yarkoff
  • Robbie Staenburg
  • Janet Warwick
  • Ivana Godadebafroom
  • Mr. Rected
  • mrs.meaner


The book was removed from an elementary school in Page, North Dakota due to parental complaints.[2]


  • In the Spanish version of this book, the gerbils listen to music by Julio Iglesias.
  • Professor Poppypants has been literally laughed out of several famous colleges when he tried to present the Goosy-Grow and the Shrinky-Pig (some of those colleges include Harvard, Georgetown, Yale, Stanford, and Chattanooga State Tech Community College).
  • A student named Robbie Staenburg is mentioned as a student whose name was changed; Robbie Staenburg is the son of Dav Pilkey's agent.
  • In reference to their names, the Shrinky-Pig 2000 looks like a pig, and the Goosy-Grow 4000 like a goose.
  • Chapter Thirteen's name is a parody of the movie Honey I Shrunk the Kids.
  • Connor Mancini is the name of Dav Pilkey's nephew.
  • Poutine is on the Canadian French Name Change-O-Chart.


  1. ^ Chelsey, Roger. "SAVING THE EARTH WON'T BE CHEAP". Virginia-Pilot. Retrieved 30 September 2012. 
  2. ^ ITALIE, HILLEL. "Captain Underpants to return". Go Retrieved 30 September 2012.