Three Stooges

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The Three Stooges were an American comedy act in the 20th century. Commonly known by their first names, Larry, Moe, & Curly (sometimes spelled "Curley"); Larry, Moe & Shemp; and other lineups became famous for their work in movies and starred in many short features that consisted of masterful ways of showcasing their extremely physical and sometimes controversial brand of slapstick comedy.

Although The Three Stooges are best known for their physical comedy, the group's dialogue is also highly quotable, with many of their lines (or signature nonverbal vocalizations) having become popular catchphrases. Here are some examples:


Moe Howard[edit]

  • "Why I oughta..."
  • "You imbecile!"
  • "You knucklehead!"
  • "You lamebrain(s)!" (Whether he is talking to one or two Stooges)
  • "We're gettin' no place fast."
  • "Oh, a wise guy, eh?"
  • "Spread out!"
  • "I'll murder ya!"
  • "Why you..."
  • "You nitwit!"
  • "Oh, you're an intelligent imbecile!"
  • "What's the big idea here?!"
  • "Recede"
  • "What's the matter with you?"
  • "Pick out two."
  • "Shut Up!"
  • "Quiet!"
  • "Explain it to 'em." (Before the other Stooge can say something) "That's enough!"
  • "Get goin'!"
  • "Hey, fellas!"

Curly Howard[edit]

  • "Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk!"
  • "Oh, a wise guy, eh?"
  • "Soitenly!" (certainly)
  • "Nyaaaaaahhhhhhh!"
  • "La-la-la, la-la-la..." (Humming)
  • "HRRRRRRMPH!" (Frusturation)
  • "Rrrowf! Rrrowf!" (when angry or defiant)
    • Other attempt: (Ruff! Ruff!)
  • "I'm a victim of soicumstance" (circumstance)
  • "Say a few syllables!" (To Moe when trying to wake him)
  • "Woo-woo-woo-woo!" (When frightened) (He sometimes runs around or away when saying this)
    • (or "Whoop-whoop-whoop-whoop!")
    • (or "Woop-oop-oop-oop-oop-oop!")
  • "Poifect!" (perfect)
  • "Oh boy!"
  • "Hey, Moe! Hey, Larry!"
  • "Hey, fellas!"

Larry Fine[edit]

  • "I'm sorry, Moe, it was an accident!"
  • "What's the idea?"
  • "I didn't wanna say yes, but I couldn't say no."
  • "Leave him alone!"
  • "Hey, where's your dignity?
  • "Ooo wise guy eh?

Shemp Howard[edit]

  • "Eeeb-eeeb-eeeb-eeeb!"
  • "Waah, w-ohh!" (A wolf-whistle towards women that sounded like a steam whistle)
  • "Hey, Moe! Hey, Larry!"
  • "Mee-mee-mee-mee!" (Frightened or surprised): Uttered very fast, difficult to transcribe exactly; some other attempts:
    • "Heep-heep-heep-heep!"
    • "Hee-hee-hee-hee!"
    • "Bee-bee-bee-bee!"
    • "Vee-vee-vee-vee!"
    • "Meep-meep-meep-meep!" The Stooges also would make these noises as if they were snoring in scenes in which they are depicted as asleep.


All Stooges[edit]

  • "Hello (Moe, low tone), Hellooo (Larry, a major third higher, with Moe still holding his 'o'), Hellooooo (Curly, a major fifth higher than Moe, forming a major chord with Moe and Larry)!" The Stooges would also use this same tune for "Come in" or "Contact".
  • "Nyahhh-ah-ah!" (Stooges frightened)
    • Other attempts: "Nyuhhh-uh-uh!
    • Yuhhh-uh-uh-uh!

Joe Besser[edit]

  • "Not so haaaaaard!"
  • "That huuuuurts!"
  • "Oh, cut it ouuuuuut!"
  • "You crazy you!"
  • "That's good for you! That's good for you! (gets hit by something) That's bad for me!
  • "Come on and fight like a man!"


Curly-Joe DeRita[edit]

  • "Okay, buddy boy"
  • "Buddy, boy"
  • "One of these days, you're gonna poke my eyes out." (to Moe)
  • "I'm not! I'm stuck in the cymbal!" (to Moe)
  • "You know how to hurt a guy, Moe!"

Emil Sitka[edit]

  • "Hold Hands, You Love Birds"
  • "I'm gonna get you! Even if it takes me another 60 years!
  • "Your drink Madam." (Pie hits him in the face) "Pardon me Madam"

Quotes & gags[edit]

  • "Moe, Larry, the cheese! Moe, Larry, the cheese!" (Curly in the 1935 short, Horses Collars)
  • "A hot stake is better than a cold chop." (Curly, on why he would rather be burned at the stake instead of decapitated)
  • "Anacanapon!" (Moe, demanding a surgical instrument)
  • "Seenophran!" (Moe, demanding another surgical instrument)
  • "Cotton!!" (Stooges to each other whenever performing surgery)
  • "Remind me to kill/murder you later!" (Moe, to others)
    • "I'll make a note of it!" (Larry or Curly)
  • "Spread Out!" (Moe, to others)
  • "Hey Lorna, How ya do'in?" (Shemp introduction to Lorna Doone)
  • "Niagara Falls! Slowly I turn, step by step, inch by inch. I walked up to him, I smashed him like this, I hit him, I bopped him, I tore him to pieces, and then I knocked him down!" (Moe or Larry)
  • "Hey! Wake up and go to sleep!" (Moe)
  • "Calling Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard." (over the public address system in a hospital).
  • "I'm tryin' to think, but nothin' happens!" (Curly)
  • "Mammy!" (Larry gets on his knees to Moe)
  • "Pappy!" (Moe gets on his knees to Larry)
    • (Double-slaps Larry after that) "GO ON!"
  • "Get out (ta here)! (Moe to others)
  • "Tell me your name so I can tell your mother" (Moe)
  • "My mother knows my name" (Curly)
  • (After Moe tells the others to do something)
    • Curly and/or Larry: "I'll (take, clean) it when I'm ready!"
    • Moe: (menacing look) "Are ya ready?!"
    • Curly and/or Larry: "Yeah, I'm ready."
    • or
    • Curly and/or Larry: "Wait a minute! What're you gonna do?"
    • Moe: "Nothin', what about it?!"
    • Curly and/or Larry: "Oh, I just thought I'd ask."
  • "Oh, a chisler, eh?" (Moe to Larry, Curly, or Shemp)
  • "Boy, that's funny!" (Curly Joe)
    • "So's your face!" (Moe to Curly Joe)
    • "You really know how to hurt a guy, Moe!" (Curly Joe to Moe)
  • "My father died dancing; on the end of a rope." (Curly)
  • "I'll take some burnt toast 'n' a rotten egg." (any of the Stooges)
    • "Burnt toast 'n' a rotten egg?" (any of the Stooges)
    • "Yeah, I got a tape worm, 'n' thats good enough fer him." (any of the Stooges)
  • Moe: Put yer hand on yer chin (After Moe gets Larry or Curly to put his right fist up to his chin), yer knee up here (and puts his right knee up to his right elbow).
    • Curly and/or Larry: "What happens now?"
    • Moe: "This!"
    • (then Moe kicks their right foot causing his right fist to hit his chin)
  • "Ngah-ngah-ngah!" (Curly frightened)
  • "Why you...!" (Moe or Curly, to others)
  • "Come 'ere!" (Moe, to others)
  • "Hey, porcupine!" (Moe, to Larry)
  • (After Moe pokes them in the eyes)
    • Curly and/or Larry: "I can't see! I can't see!"
    • Moe: "What'sa matter?"
    • Curly and/or Larry: "I got my eyes closed."
    • (Moe pokes them in the eyes again)
  • (Usually when Moe wants to open a bottle of beer or something like it)
    • Moe: "Close your eyes. Open your mouth. Depress your lower jaw." (Moe slams the bottlecap off with the Stooge's lower teeth, presumably ripping them out.)
  • A variant of the previous catchphrase is when Moe just opens a bottle of beer without giving orders. The Stooge will be in pain when Moe says:
    • Moe: Quit sqwaking!
    • (any Stooge): Well, gimme back my front teeth!
  • If another Stooge is knocked unconscious Moe sometimes props up the Stooge's head and says, "Tell me your name so I can tell your mother" (that you're hurt). The other Stooge then replies, "My mother knows my name!" at which point Moe slaps him on the head.
  • "Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, F, gee I like food!" (Curly)
  • The Stooges are crossing the Sahara and come to a sign post with markers that point in the direction of several far off cities, including Cairo:
    • Curly: "I've got an uncle in Cairo."
    • Moe: "Oh yea?"
    • Curly: "He's a chiropractor. Nyuk, Nyuk, Nyuk."
  • Let's sympathize our watches! (Moe)
  • (as Moe tries to explain Pig Latin)
    • Moe: "Moe...O-may. Larry...Arry-lay. Curly?"
    • Curly: "Curly Q!"
  • (Moe and Larry recoil and look at each other in disgust)
    • Moe(to Larry): "Boy, is he umb-day!"
  • Curly: "Aye-aye!"
  • Moe: "Aye-aye?"
  • Curly: "Aye-aye!"
    • {Moe pokes Curly in the eyes}
  • Curly: {Shouting} "Aye-aye!"
("You Nazty Spy!" [1940]
The Stooges, recently made dictators of Moronika, are addressing a rally.
Larry: We will now pause for station identification.
Curly: (bending to microphone) This is N-U-T-S.
Larry: (brandishing a small mallet) When you hear the conk on the dome, it will be exactly 3 o'clock. (He strikes Curly on the head.) 3 o'clock, Bolonia watch time.
Curly: 3 o'clock, Bolonia watch time. ("Bolonia" is a reference to Bulova brand wristwatches.)
Moe: (a'la a horror-show announcer) It must be three o'clock! (laughs evilly, and then Larry and Curly join in).
(From " Hoi Polloi" [1935)
Professor Richmond: Can you spell cat?
Curly: Soitenly!
Professor Richmond: Spell it.
Curly: Cat. K-I-T-T-Y. Pussy.
Professor: Oh see the little deer! Has the deer a little doe?
Larry: Yeah, 2 bucks!(laughs)
(The Stooges are about to attend a fancy ball)
Moe: Now then, gentlemen, remember your etiquette. (He then gives both Larry and Curly a slap.)
Larry: What's that for?
Curly: We didn't do nothin'!
Moe: That's in case you do when I'm not around!
Moe: Some choice! We're either gonna be burned at the stake or get the guillotine!
Curly: I'd rather be burned at the stake.
Moe: What for?
Curly: Because a hot steak is better than a cold chop!
Customer: What kind of an idiot do you take me for, anyway?
Shemp: Why, is there more than one kind?
Shemp: You know, for two cents, I'd punch you right in the nose!
Bully: Oh, yeah? Here's your two cents.
Shemp: Well, I raised my price!
Moe: Them's fighting words in my country!
Bully: Oh, yeah? What about it?
Moe: Nothing. Lucky for you, we're not in my country...
Moe: (to Larry, who has a whole turkey on his dinner plate) Wait a minute. Are you going to eat that turkey alone?
Larry: Nah. I thought I might go back later and get some mashed potatoes and stuffing.
(Micro-Phonies(1945))
(Larry and Curly are pulling a wrench back and forth between them, making no headway on a job)
Moe: Wait a minute! You lamebrains can't do anything right can ya? Come on(Pulls Larry's Hair) You come over here!(sets them up on opposite sides, where they repeat the earlier shenanigans)
Moe: Just a Second! Let me have that wrench! Let me have it! You imbeciles!
(Larry drops wrench on Moe's foot,Moe hops on one foot, slips on pipe, hits his head)
Alice: I Hear the voice of spring anew (Opera sings)
Moe: Hey boys, I must be dead,I hear an angel singin'
Alice: Love is like a flower.
Curly: My Nyuk,Nyuk,Nyuk ain't she pretty?
Moe: Boy,you can say that again!
Curly: My Nyuk,Nyuk,Nyuk ain't she pretty?
Moe: Shut up!(Moe hits Curly)
Curly: You said I could!
(Evening Scene)
Larry and Moe: Good evening,Jeeves!
Moe: Jeeves, what time do they serve Cocktails?
Larry:Hey, Look who's here?
Moe: If he spots us, we're cooked!
Moe: Musclin' in on our territory,eh?
Moe: The Senorita's lost her voice!
'Sra.Bixby: What is it, laryngitis?
Moe: No, fallen arches.


Best known script lines[edit]

(From " Dizzy Pilots" [1945)
(The Stooges are building a plane)
Moe: Where's your vise?
Curly: Vice? I have no vice, I'm as pure as the driven snow!
Moe: But you drifted.
(Moe hits Curly in the forehead)


(From " Healthy, Wealthy & Dumb" [1938)
(The Stooges in a hotel looking at a bathtub)
Curly: Oh look. A row boat.
Larry: A row boat? You're crazy. That's a horse trough.
Moe: Horse trough, row boat! In a hotel? That's a bathtub, you imbeciles. Go take a bath.
Larry: But it ain't spring yet.
Moe: Oh, yes, it is. See the pretty grass?
Larry: Where?
(As Larry bends down to look at the "grass", Moe puts his foot on Larry's rear and pushes him inside the bathroom. Curly shuts the door)
Curly: Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.
Moe: You're next.
Curly: But I had a bath.
Moe: When?
Curly: July 4th, 1910. I was too young to fight about it then.
Moe: What are you gonna do about it now?
Curly: Take a bath.


(From " If A Body Meets A Body" [1945)
(Moe and Larry look behind a chair as Curly notices a parrot walking inside a skull away from the Stooges. Curly covers his eyes)
Curly: Oh, I can't look at this. I can't, I can't.
(Curly unknowingly holds a candle on Moe's rear end)
Moe: OWWWW! You burn me up! (slaps Curly with both hands) Get out of the way! I'll find this thing.
(Larry takes a peak behind the chair as Moe crawls around it)
Moe: (to himself) Skeletons. Bunk, that's what!
(Larry and Moe look at each other and get startled)
Stooges: AHHH!
(Larry and Moe look over to Curly)
Larry: Now, where's your ghost?
Moe: A skeleton with little feet, eh? (makes a fist with both hands and hits Curly on the head)
Larry: Carrying his head in his hands.
Curly: Ah, stop it!
(Larry kicks Curly on the behind)
Moe: Go on to bed.
Curly: Stop it! STOP IT!
(The Stooges walk over to bed)
Moe: You're breaking up my sleep. If you so much as breathe, I'll tear your tonsils out and I'll tie it around your neck for a bowtie!
Curly: Shut up!
Moe: Get in there! Out to the edge now. You're a sleep wrecker. Go to sleep.
(The Stooges get into the bed covers)
Curly: I tell ya, I saw a ghost.
Moe: Go on!
Larry: Ah! Ghosts, spooks, skeletons, kids stuff. (yawns) There are no such things as ghosts.
(The Stooges finally go back to sleep. The skull falls from above the bed and on Larry's head. The skeleton moves to the table on the side of the bed, but Larry doesn't see it)
Larry: Ooh! (wakes up Moe) Hey, what's the idea of hitting me on the head?
Moe: I didn't hit you on the head…yet! (hits Larry on the head) Go on, go to sleep.
(Larry turns to his left and sees the skeleton on the table)
Larry: AHHHHH!!! (wakes up Moe) M-M-Moe, M-M-Moe, Moe! He's right! It's a ghost! It's right there! It's on the tabl- Eh, what?
(Larry points to the table near the bed, but nothing is there)
Moe: Oh, you too, eh? I'm gonna have trouble with you. Well, let me give you a little advice.
Larry: What?
Moe: (slaps Larry on the face) That! No go on. Go to sleep before I murder ya. You guys somnambulists?


(From " Idiots Deluxe" [1945)
(Larry and Curly sadly mourn the loss of Moe. Moe quietly sneaks up to Larry and Curly with an axe.)
Curly: Poor Moe.
Larry: Oh, woe is Moe.
Moe: Oh, woe is you.
(Moe swings his axe towards Larry.)
Larry: (ducking down) WHOA, MOE!
(Moe misses Larry and accidentally hits Curly on top of the head with the axe instead.)
Curly: (holds his head in pain) Oh, oh-ho-ho-ho. (looks at Moe's axe) Oh, look!
(Moe holds up his axe and jumps in shock when he sees that the blade is split due to Curly's hard head.)


(From " Pardon My Scotch" [1935)
(The Stooges are installing a door, the owner told them to put the door 'on the right')
Moe: Now let's see.. the door goes on the right (looks at his right hand and nods) Right.
Curly: (In front of Moe) Wait a minute...the man said the door goes on the right! (points to opposite direction)
Moe: (Showing Curly his right hand as a fist) What's this?
Curly: A fist
Moe:(Moe hits Curly in the forehead) Right or left?
(Curly meditates on this)
Moe: Oh, ignorant ehh?
(He hits him again)
Moe: Now, listen grapehead, I'll explain this so even you can understand it
(They change positions)
Moe: Now when I say go, we both point to the right...go!
(They point in opposite directions; Curly recoils)
Moe: (to Larry) Hey porcupine come here!
(Larry approaches, he is facing Moe's right side and Curly's left)
Moe: Point to the right for this chump will ya?
(Larry point to a completely different direction than the other two)
Curly': See?
Moe: (slapping both; grumpy voice) Stop playing, get to work...Where's the map?...Over there (it's on the right of the audience)