Captain Underpants and the Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman
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First edition cover
|Series||Captain Underpants series|
|Genre||Children's novel, Humor, Science fiction|
|Publisher||Blue Sky (US),
|August 29, 2001 (for Hardcover) September 22, 2001 (for Paperback)|
|Media type||Print (Paperback)|
|Preceded by||Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants|
|Followed by||Captain Underpants and the Big, Bad Battle of the Bionic Booger Boy Part 1: The Night of the Nasty Nostril Nuggets|
Captain Underpants and the Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman is the fifth book in the Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey. It was published on August 29, 2001. It features the reformation of George and Harold's formerly cruel teacher, Ms. Ribble, who is reformed at the end using the 3-D Hypno Ring (also used to hypnotize Mr. Krupp, leading to him becoming Captain Underpants in the first book) through reverse psychology, due to the ring causing females to do the opposite of what the bearers of the ring order them to do.
George and Harold's teacher Ms. Ribble is planning to retire at the end of the school year and announces that she's throwing a retirement party during recess. She forces everyone to make happy retirement cards for her. George and Harold make a Captain Underpants comic book in which Ms. Ribble is the villain "Wedgie Woman" instead, and are sent to Mr. Krupp's office. Once there, Miss Anthrope (the school secretary) is forced to make the boys run some errands by letting them pass out the "Friday Memo" (a weekly newsletter that shows the events of the upcoming week) to the entire school while she goes out for lunch. Instead, they create several humorous changes to the schedule.
They later run into their principal, Mr Krupp, and Harold convinces him to sign a blank card, claiming it's for Ms. Ribble. However, when Harold gets the card back with Mr Krupp's signature on it, George asks him about the card and what he was going to do with it, but Harold keeps this as a secret (even from George) and says that he will soon find out like everyone else. Later on, Mr. Krupp catches George changing letters around on a sign, while Harold has just finished designing the card that Mr Krupp signed earlier, puts it in an envelope and writes a note to finish before sealing it. Mr Krupp finds out about their comic book that they made about Ms. Ribble and puts them in detention. Harold defiantly says they won't give Ms. Ribble her card. Mr. Krupp seizes the card and says he'll give it to her personally. Harold secretly smiles at how effective his use of reverse psychology was (George says he has to try it some time) and at how Ms. Ribble will react and asks what Harold what he wrote in the card.
Meanwhile, Ms. Ribble's retirement party has had a rough start. First, the kids are forced to sing a song resembling Ms. Ribble, then they eat the chunky tofu ice cream, which has melted, but have they to eat anyway (Ms. Ribble was busy yelling at the boys for singing out of tune) and then all the kids have to give Ms. Ribble the cards they created, with Ms. Ribble shredding up each card in anger (due to some errors in the cards; some of the students drew polka dots on their butterflies and one child drew a smiling sun on his card, resulting in him being forced to stand in the corner). Mr. Krupp gives Ms. Ribble the card; it is revealed that Harold wrote in the card, making it look like a marriage proposal from Mr. Krupp to Ms. Ribble (the result of the aforementioned reverse psychology). Miss Anthrope assumes Ms. Ribble agrees and arranges a wedding, hosting it on Saturday in the school auditorium. Mr. Krupp is too shocked and anxious by this to admit that he doesn't want to marry her, is subsequently unable to say anything except for gibberish (namely "B-b-bubba bobba hob-hobba-hobba Wah-wah") and remains indifferent to the following chaotic school week resulting from George and Harold's version of the Friday Memo (On Monday, none of the students show up thanks to a "lack of interest"; Tuesday, the students arrive wearing their pajamas and picking their noses; Wednesday, the students turn up for school with rotten egg sandwiches on their heads and moustaches drawn on their faces in permanent marker; Thursday, the students have a food fight while the school football team lay waste to the teacher's lounge and on Friday the students show up for their school photos pulling funny faces while dressed as bumblebees).
At the wedding, George and Harold have no tricks planned. On the altar, just before they get married, Ms. Ribble breaks up with Mr. Krupp, saying she can't marry him because he has a funny-looking nose (the joke is that the two of them have identical noses). Mr. Krupp is furious and says he never wanted to marry her anyway, explaining that it was just a trick of George and Harold's. Because of this, Ms. Ribble goes berserk and tries to attack the boys in a frenzied rage, but they luckily escape, and Ms. Ribble's temper tantrum results in her destroying the wedding and causing the cake to land on her head.
When school starts again, Ms. Ribble privately tells them that she has dropped their B's and C's to F's and G's (a G is the only grade lower than an F, although in Harold's opinion, there is no such thing as a G in the grading system), so they have to stay back in fourth grade. George suggests they use the 3-D Hypno ring, which George had kept all along. Harold at first objects to the idea, stating it might get them into trouble like the last time they used it on Mr. Krupp in book #1, but reluctantly agrees. The following morning, they use the ring on her, but before George and Harold's terms are revealed, the reader is taken to the dialogue of a local newscast, which reveals that the police are shutting down the company that made the ring, because of the ring's effect on women: when the ring is used on women, a mental blunder occurs, causing them to do the opposite of what they are told. George and Harold, as an afterthought, tell Ms. Ribble not to do anything crazy, like turn into Wedgie Woman.
That night, when George and Harold have returned to their treehouse to spend the night and to celebrate by watching a Japanese monster movie, Ms. Ribble arrives at the treehouse wearing the outfit worn by Wedgie Woman in the comic book, declaring herself to be Wedgie Woman indeed and attacking George and Harold. Though Ms. Ribble thinks she's Wedgie Woman, she does not have any powers, so Harold and George easily defeat her. She trips and knocks a container of super-power juice (from book #3, the one which George says is "the one with the annoyingly long title") off the shelf, and it accidentally spills into her hair and brain, giving her super-powered intelligence and hair, forms into several tiny hands, which can extend great distances, ideal for giving someone a wedgie and holding them hostage in midair.
Wedgie Woman kidnaps the boys and brings them back to her house and uses her super-powered intelligence to build robot copies of the two boys, Robo-George and Harold 2000. The robots are equipped with Spray Starch to take away Captain Underpants's powers (as George and Harold wrote in their comic book for Ms. Ribble). Once they hear the catchphrase "Tra-la-la!", they will spray the spray starch. The robots pose as George and Harold, the only major difference being that the two of them behave perfectly. When Mr. Krupp (who is sitting in for Ms. Ribble due to her not being at school) snaps (both figuratively and literally) at Harold 2000, he turns himself into Captain Underpants. He thinks that the robots are the real George and Harold and ask them to help (he states that he's surprised that they are larger and can fly). He is defeated by the two robots and their spray starch (he doesn't know that spray starch cannot actually take away his super powers). Meanwhile, George and Harold are watching the action on Wedgie Woman's TV (built, oddly, with a fish tank and an electric toothbrush). Wedgie Woman ties them to adjacent chairs and sets a trap for them involving a candle and a hatchet (when the candle burns through the rope, the hatchet will fall on and kill them). Fortunately, however, the hatchet simply cuts through the ropes, freeing George and Harold (ironically, Harold had just remarked that "that kind of thing only happens in really lame adventure novels").
Wedgie Woman then gives wedgies to all the police officers in town and hangs them from traffic signs, aided by her two robots, which have expanded to gigantic size. George and Harold find Captain Underpants, hung on a lamp post by Robo George and Harold 2000. He is convinced the spray starch took away his powers (it didn't) thanks to the placebo effect (mistakenly called the placenta effect by Harold). The two decide to go to the newest store to buy fabric softener, only to find out that the shop sells everything but fabric softener (in fact, the building's name is, "Everything Except Fabric Softener").
George and Harold then decide to make a comic book about how Captain Underpants was born in a planet called Underpanty World (a spoof of Superman's origin story), and how the Wedgie Warlords sprayed the planet with spray starch. The king attempts to save them with a magic amulet, but he accidentally drops it and his baby son eats it. The king and queen save their son, stretching his underpants far behind, and lets go, sending him to earth, where he is found by two elderly people. One night, he has a dream where he sees his old parents, who tell him that he has a magic amulet inside him, and all he has to do is to say the words - "I summon the power of Underpantyworld!", and he would be free. Captain Underpants reads the comic, eventually says the words, and [mentally] regains his powers. He then defeats the two robots. At the showdown between Captain Underpants and Wedgie Woman, Harold retrieves the 3-D Hypno-Ring, whereas George shouts (rather loudly) to Harold that he's going to get rid of his box of extra-strength spray starch that he got from everything except fabric softener. Hearing this, Wedgie Woman steals all the bottles in the box and sprays them at Captain Underpants.
When the smoke clears, everyone is bald (including Captain Underpants, who is already bald). The box didn't contain extra-strength spray starch; it contained hair remover and George used reverse psychology to get Wedgie Woman to use it. With her hair gone, Wedgie Woman can no longer harm anyone. The boys hypnotize Ms. Ribble, and by using "reverse" reverse psychology (they tell her to do the opposite of everything they want her to do), they get her to lose her superpowers, forget everything that happened in the last few weeks, become the nicest teacher in the history of the school, and bake fresh cookies for the class every day. As a result, she becomes a lot more likeable (she even let's George and Harold teach the class about how to make their own comic books). The story ends with Captain Underpants flying out of the school, George and Harold clinging onto his cape (mainly because when Ms. Ribble told her students the cookies were a "snap" to make, she snapped her fingers), ending the book.
Comic 1: Captain Underpants and the Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman
The first comic in the book starts with an introduction on Ms. Ribble. After the introduction, it tells of how she gave the students each 41 book reports as a holiday homework. After the holiday, the book reports fall on top of her, killing her. She is transported to a hospital, where they rebuild her into a robot which is able to open up her hair, revealing a wedgie robo-claw. She starts attacking the streets. Captain Underpants appears and fights Wedgie Woman, but loses because Wedgie Woman arms herself with spray starch.
Wedgie Woman hangs Captain Underpants on a pole, but some children walk by. By using a rope, they catapult him into a pool. The children pour fabric softener into the pool, so Captain Underpants has another fight with Wedgie Woman. This time, Captain Underpants is the victor. By creating a loop underneath Wedgie Woman, which the robo-claw follows Captain Underpants, but it goes for Wedgie Woman's underpants instead. Captain Underpants takes Wedgie Woman to jail and the comic ends.
Comic 2: The Origin of Captain Underpants
The second comic in the book starts with an introduction about Underpantyworld, Captain Underpants' fictional home world. Suddenly, the Wedgie Warlords aboard the Starch Ship Enterprize appear and spray starch on Underpantyworld. However, the leader, "Big Daddy Long Johns", creates an amulet that is able to protect the entire planet from the starch. However, it gets accidentally swallowed by his son, "Little Baby Underpants" (later revealed Captain Underpants), so the entire planet becomes doomed. Big Daddy Long Johns and his wife, "Princess Pantyhose", are forced to save their son, and not the planet. By stretching the underwear, Big Daddy Long Johns and Princess Pantyhose catapult Little Baby Underpants towards Earth, while Underpantyworld is destroyed. Little Baby Underpants is adopted by two old people, who name him "Captain", after their favorite cereal. As he grows up, Captain feels isolated from other children, since he only wears underwear. Captain has a dream, where he meets his parents, and because he has the amulet still inside, he is invulnerable to starch. All he had to do was to shout the sentence "I summon the power of Underpantyworld", and he will overcome the powers of starch. He becomes a superhero named Captain Underpants, and never became afraid of starch anymore. The comic ends and in the real world, Captain shouts out the sentence.
- George Beard – A student at Jerome Horwitz Elementary School.
- Harold Hutchins – A student at Jerome Horwitz Elementary School like George and he is friends with him.
- Mr. Krupp/Captain Underpants – The mean principal of George and Harold and the superhero of the world.
- Ms. Ribble/Wedgie Woman – The formerly-mean teacher of Jerome Horwitz Elementary School and evil villain of Wedgieville.
- Miss Anthrope – The school secretary.
- Mr. Meaner – The gym teacher of Jerome Horwitz Elementary School.
- Mr. Rected – The guidance counselor.
- Ms. Guided – Another teacher of Jerome Horwitz Elementary School.
- Miss Fitt – The cafeteria lady.
- Mr. Rustworthy – The music teacher (according to his tie.)
- Ms. Dayken – The kindergarten teacher.
- Melvin Sneedly – George and Harold's nemesis and a student of Jerome Horwitz Elementary School.
- Ingrid Ashley – The newscaster of Channel 4 Eyewitness News.
- Larry Zarrow – The reporter of Channel 4 Eyewitness News.
- Aaron Mancini – A student of Jerome Horwitz Elementary School.
- Stephanie Yarkoff – A student of Jerome Horwitz Elementary School.
- Police Officer – A police man who is hung up by Wedgie Woman.
- Chief of Police – The lead policeman.