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:

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  • Why I oughta...
  • Hurry up!...
  • Get busy!...
  • 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?
  • Get outta here!
  • 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!
  • You see that? (puts his fist out for Larry, Curly or Shemp to slap his fist down so it can wind in a circle and bonk them on the head)
  • Don't you mean a chrysanthemumumumum?
  • Buh humbug
  • My money!
  • No poor allowed!
  • How do you expect me to work here?
  • Take your time but hurry up!
  • (When one of the other Stooges is asleep) Hey, you! Wake up and go to sleep.
  • Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk!"
  • Oh, a wise guy, eh?
  • Soitenly!" (certainly)
  • "Nyaaaaaahhhhhhh!" (Freaked out)
  • La-la-la, la-la-la... (Humming)
  • HRRRRRRMPH!" (Frustration)
  • 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). They’re the wrong syllables!
  • 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!
oh... oh... oh look
  • I'll moidalize him
  • "Hotchachachaaa
  • "Moe, Larry, the cheese
  • "Hey Judgiewudgie
  • "Hey toots
  • Oh, stubborn, eh?
  • Indubitably
  • "Oh, a backbiter!"
  • 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?
  • What a brain...
  • Hey cut the clownin'
  • This is a nice place. It reminds me of the reform school.
  • "I'll do it when I'm good and ready!" (Moe,threateningly:"Are you ready?") "Yeah, I'm ready..."
  • "This I like. And I get paid for it too" (About to kiss -"...What's your name?" -"Tilda")
  • "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

  • Hello (Moe, low tone), Hellooo (Larry, a major third higher, with Moe still holding his 'o'), Hellooooo (Curly, a 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!
  • For Duty and Humanity!
  • Moe: "One for all!", Larry: " All for one!", Curly: " I'm for myself."
  • Moe: (to Curly) "There's nothing to be scared about." (Sees what Curly sees) Both: " Nyahhh-ah-ah!"
  • Not so haaaaaard!
  • That huuuuurts!
  • Oh, cut it ouuuuuut!
  • Not so loooouuuud!
  • 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!
  • 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!
  • Hold hands, you love birds!
    • Brideless Groom, (1947)
  • 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

  • I'm gonna change my socks. What an experience! (Moe, Larry, Curly or Shemp in several shorts)
  • Moe, Larry, the cheese! Moe, Larry, the cheese! (Curly in the 1935 short, Horses Collars)
  • A burnt 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)
    • Hey, I don't have a pencil! (Larry or Curly)
    • That's okay, I'll do it now! (Moe wacks him in the head)
  • 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)
  • Curly shaving ice: "Were you wearing a pink bow tie? No, well here's your lip."
  • Also Curly shaving ice: "Are you married or happy?"
  • 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:You mean I’m umb-day in Pig Language?
Moe: You’re umb-day in ANY language!
  • Curly: Aye-aye!
Moe: Aye-aye?
{Moe pokes Curly in the eyes}
Curly: {Shouting} Aye-aye!

Moe: [to Larry] Remind me to murder you later.

Moe: Oh see the little deer! Has the deer a little doe?
Curly: Soitenly, 2 bucks! [Moe gives him an eye poke] Ow!

Professor Richmond: Can you spell cat?!
Curly: Soitenly!
Professor Richmond: Spell it!
Curly: Cat. K-I-T-T-Y. Pussy.

[The Stooges are about to attend a fancy ball]
Moe: Now then, gentlemen, [both Larry and Curly look around] remember our etiquette. [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: Good morning, sir. I'm the census taker. Are you married or happy?
Henry's Wife: [offscreen] HENRY!!!!!!
[Henry ducks as she throws a vase at Moe, who stumbled down the stairs]
Moe: [shakes himself] Married. [writes it down]
The Stooges, recently made dictators of Moronika, are addressing a rally.
Curly: (bending to microphone) We will now pause for station identification. This is N-U-T-S.
Larry: (Moe brandishes a small mallet) When you hear the conk on the dome, it will be exactly 3 o'clock, Bolonia watch time. (Moe strikes Curly on the head)
Curly: 3 o'clock, Bolonia watch time. ("Bolonia" is a reference to Bulova brand wristwatches.)
Larry: 3 o'clock, Bolonia watch time.
Moe: (a'la a horror-show announcer) It must be three o'clock! (laughs evilly, and then Larry and Curly join in).

Moe: [to Curly] I'll annihilate ya. I'll murder ya.

Moe: [after Curly kisses him] I'm poisoned.

Curly: I don't wanna be dead. There's no future in it!

(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.

Moe: "We eluded them!" Curly: "Yeah, we got away, too."

Best known script lines

(The Stooges at the Pub
Tom: Now that you've signed, please bear in mind, from now on, no women around of any kind.
Jackie: Right?
Jim: Right.
Jackie: Now the forfeit we'll post.
Tom: Fill 'em up.
Jim: Fill 'em up.
Tom: Now I'll make a toast. To the three musketeers, who've stuck along for years, we've traveled together in every kind of weather.
Jackie: Right?
Jim: Right.
Jackie: What've you got to say for yourself?
Jim: Me?
Jackie: You.
Jim: I've got plenty to say for myself. (hiccups) I beg your pardon, mates. Here's to the finest salesmen in the whole United States.
Tom: Say, by the way, don't we leave for the row tonight?
Jackie: What day is this?
Tom: The 21st.
Jackie: By golly, you're right.
Tom: Let's hurry back. We gotta pack our samples for the trip.
Jim: Okay. Before we go, let's take another sip.
Jackie: Here's to our trip.
Tom: You'd better see your girl and offer her your sympathy.
Jackie: Tell her that the bride-to-be is not the bride-to-be. Right?
Jim: Right.
(hiccups, then Tom also hiccups and Jackie belches and Tom is whacking Curly's head)
Jim: Rain or shine or rain, I'll meet youse at the train. And now I'll tell the lady that I'll never see her again.
Jim: Fellas, I tell you, you got me all wrong. I was minding my own business when that woman came along. Suddenly, she fainted. Now, I'm asking you, if a woman faints right in your arms, what is there to do? You don't think that I'd fool around with a sappy dame like that? Her eyes are like a cat and her hair is like a rat.
Tom': Well, just the same, we signed a paper, and that paper reads: "No woman shall ever enter our lives, no matter what she needs."
Jackie: Next time you're with a girl, you're gonna forfeit your dough. And furthermore, you have no right--
Jim: All right, all right,I know.
(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)
(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.
(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 peek 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?
(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.)
(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)
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