An Ache in Every Stake is the 57th 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.


The Stooges are icemen making a delivery at a house atop a long, high staircase — so high that every time they go up, the ice melts to a cube. When their antics cause the servants at their customer's house to quit, the Stooges are hired to replace them and prepare dinner for her husband's birthday party. Unknown to them, the man she refers to is Mr. Lawrence (Vernon Dent), whose cakes they had previously wrecked earlier in the day. When the birthday cake they prepared is finished, it was accidentally pierced, and it deflates in the process. The cake is "re-inflated" using town gas through the gas stove's connection.

During the party, the Stooges sing their own version of "Happy Birthday" song to the tune of "London Bridge is Falling Down"; when Mr. Lawrence blows the out candles, the gas-filled cake explodes. Mr. Lawrence angrily realizes who the new ‘help’ are, and the Stooges are forced to leave in a hurry-sliding down the steps.


  • Contrary to popular belief, the long staircase is not the same one used in Laurel and Hardy’s 1927 film Hats Off nor the Academy Award-winning 1932 film The Music Box. The stairs (147 steps in length) are approximately two miles northeast, located at 2212 Edendale Place in the Silver Lake district of Los Angeles. Unlike the stairs in The Music Box, this stairway begins from a cul-de-sac.
  • Curly's turkey-stuffing scene was performed earlier in the Shemp Howard solo 1934 film A Peach of a Pair and later performed again by Shemp in the Stooge film Listen, Judge.
  • The plot device of carrying ice up a flight of stairs derives from the 1926 Billy Bevan silent film Ice Cold Cocos, also directed by Del Lord.
  • This is one of several Stooge shorts in which a sofa spring becomes attached to someone's backside. This gag was also used in Hoi Polloi, Three Little Sew and Sews, Hugs and Mugs and Have Rocket, Will Travel.
  • A colorized version of this film was released in 2004 as part of the DVD collection "Stooged & Confoosed".


  • The Three Stooges Journal # 98
  • Solomon, Jon (2002). The Complete Three Stooges: The Official Filmography and Three Stooges Companion. Comedy III Productions, Inc. pp. 195-197. ISBN 0971186804.
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