A Plumbing We Will Go

Directed by

Del Lord

Produced by

Del Lord
Hugh McCollum


Moe Howard
Larry Fine
Curly Howard
Bess Flowers
Dudley Dickerson
John Tyrrell
Bud Jamison
Monte Collins
Eddie Laughton

Distributed by

Columbia Pictures

Release date(s)

April 19, 1940

Running time

17' 31"

A Plumbing We Will Go is the 46th short subject starring American slapstick comedy team The Three Stooges. The trio made a total of 190 shorts for Columbia Pictures between 1934 and 1959.

Like A Ducking They Did Go, the title is a play on the children's song, "A-Hunting We Will Go".

Several routines from A Plumbing We Will Go would be recycled several times throughout the Stooges long career. A stroke-addled Curly sluggishly recreated his maze of pipes gag for the feature film Swing Parade of 1946. Shemp also performed this gag in Vagabond Loafers. Curly-Joe DeRita made his own maze of pipes in his first feature with the trio, Have Rocket, Will Travel. The chicken-stealing segment that opens the film was also reworked in Listen, Judge.


On trial for stealing chickens, the trio are found not guilty due to insufficient evidence. However, Curly pulls out his hat and chicken feathers fly out, which he claims is merely dandruff. As they exit, they antagonize a police officer (Bud Jamison). Next, they try to catch some food at a pet store by fishing in an aquarium tank with a rod and reel. The same police officer sees them. They hide, and Curly punches a mannequin of a police officer. While repeating this for Moe and Larry, the real officer shows up and punches Curly. They run away and steal a plumber's van. The police officer runs after the van and gets on its trailer. Curly and Larry disconnect it, and the officer falls off. After several minutes of driving, Moe stops the car and Larry and Curly fall out. A butler approaches them and says, "HEY! I called you plumbers an hour ago!..." Curly begins to explain but notices that the police officer is coming closer. They run inside with the plumber's equipment. They are told that the leak is in the basement.

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The publicity still from A Plumbing We Will Go

It takes a few moments for them to find the basement. When they do, they run around aimlessly at first. They find the leaky pipe, and Curly goes upstairs to shut off the water. He enters the bathroom and chases someone out. He unscrews the faucet and water comes gushing out. He unsuccessfully tries to stop it. In the basement, Moe and Larry wonder why Curly has not shut off the water. Larry goes to the front yard to turn the water off there by digging a hole to the source. Back upstairs, Curly decides to put some pipes into the wall. He is shocked when the water continues to flow. He continues connecting pipes, and eventually traps himself. To drain the water, he picks up a drill and starts drilling a hole in the floor. In the basement, Moe manages to fix the pipe and laughs, "Who said you need brains to be a plumber?". Shortly after, water starts falling on his head. He yells for the water to stop falling, and then a crash is heard.

Curly and a lot of water fall through the floor into the basement, destroying the pipe Moe had fixed. Frustrated, Moe wrings Curly's nose with the pipe wrench. Moe tells Curly to get another pipe so they can fix it. Curly finds that a pipe is plugged up with electric wires — an electricity conduit, it turns out. So he pulls the wires out and they connect what merely "appears" to be the water line. In the process, strange things happen in the kitchen, bewildering the chef (Dudley Dickerson). First, while Curly struggles with the wires, the light bulb fixture moves, then the wall clock which spins out of control and drops into the batter, splashing the chef in the process. When Curly connects the water pipe with the conduit, the chef switches the ceiling light on, filling the bulb with water, which breaks from the pressure. He reacts: "This house has sho' gone crazy!" When the chef switches on the stove, a spray of water emits, flooding the kitchen up. He had to go back to the kitchen dressed in a raincoat and Sou'wester cap. This classic footage would be recycled in Vagabond Loafers and Scheming Schemers.

Meanwhile, in the living room, the hostess is showing the crowd her new television receiver. They tune into a broadcast coming live from Niagara Falls, and water pours out of the television's now-broken screen. She attempts to call the plumber, but water sprays from the telephone handset's receiver. Frustrated, she leads the guests to the garden. Larry comes back in, and Moe tells them to collect their pay. However, a man goes into the bathroom and falls into the hole Curly left there. They help him up, and they discover it is the judge who tried them earlier. They run out into the yard, The Butler and The Judge get the police to get the stooges and the Stooges try to escape by jumping into the hole Larry dug out earlier. At a magic presentation in the garden, the magician fires a shot, predicting to present a little lady in the box. Instead, the lady screams, flees out of the box, and out come the Stooges running for their lives...pursued by the police force and the Judge & the Butler in foot patrol and motorcycles!


  • A Plumbing We Will Go is considered a quintessential Three Stooges film. Ranking as a consistent fan favorite, the film was also a favorite of star Curly Howard.
  • As of 2010, A Plumbing We Will Go is the highest-rated Three Stooges film on the Internet Movie Database.
  • This short is the one of early movie to feature television set on screen
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