Sumo of the Opera

Mike Nawrocki


David Pitts


Jim Fisher
Jim Staahl
Robert G. Lee

Music by

Kurt Heinecke


August 31, 2004


49 minutes

Sumo of the Opera is the twenty-third episode of VeggieTales.

The main story is a parody on the Rocky and the Karate Kid, with a mix of Gilbert and Sullivan.


The opening countertop sequence finds Bob the Tomato alone with a cucumber sock puppet named Lutfi (played/voiced by Khalil). Larry the Cucumber, we learn, is on his way to do charity work but is having trouble getting there. Bob and Lutfi need to convince him via telephone to persevere rather than giving up and coming home.

The first segment, "Going Up!", is a silent film short based on Laurel and Hardy and The Three Stooges. Three Stooge-like veggies are assigned to deliver a piano to a mansion at the top of a hill. While his fellow workers give up on the seemingly impossible task, Larry perseveres and is rewarded for his eventual success.

In the second segment, Lutfi presents a story about the origin of St. Patrick's Day. Done in the style of a flannelgraph, the story tells about Maewyn Succat, a young English boy who is kidnapped by pirates and sold as a slave in Ireland. His new life is miserable and he spends his days in constant prayer, even as those around him celebrate paganism. When God tells him it's time to leave, Succat runs away and returns to England by way of France. Back at home, Maewyn continues his scholarship and dreams that the people of Ireland are begging him to come back and teach them about Christianity. Succat grows up to become a bishop, is rechristened "Patrick", and fulfills his destiny to return to Ireland and teach the Word of God.

Finally the main segment begins. In Sumo of the Opera, Larry stars as the Italian Scallion, a sumo wrestler who has difficulty taking anything seriously. He succeeds in injuring his sparring partner Po-Ta-To as a result of his clowning around when Po slips on a banana peel and falls from the ring, injuring his back

He is admonished for his joking by Mikey , who accuses him of being weak, lacking ambition, and never completing what he starts. When young Hadrian reminds him that he has not yet fixed his bike. Meanwhile, the Champion, Apollo Gourd, is looking for an opponent now that Po has been injured. The prize is a new "Tiger Bike". Wanting the bike for Hadrian, Scallion accepts the challenge. Mikey agrees to become his trainer on the condition that Scallion does everything he says.

Scallion starts out well and trains hard, but when things get difficult, he quits. However, when Scallion sees Hadrian emulating him he realizes that he must set a good example and persevere. He returns to his training with relish and eventually is ready for his match with Apollo Gourd, though naturally no one gives him a chance. However, Scallion does surprisingly well in the match. He lasts longer in the ring than anyone ever has against Apollo. When they both tumble out of the ring at the same moment, the match is called a tie. Unfortunately this means that Apollo remains the champion. In spite of this, Scallion is victorious for having persevered and even completes the repairs to Hadrian's bike.

Back on the countertop we see that Larry has also persevered and completed his charity work. However, just as both he and Bob were about to get a verse, Luifi meddled inside Qwerty, and made him splutter in smoke.


Going Up!

The Story of St. Patrick

Sumo of the Opera

  • Jimmy Gourd as Jim Gourdly
  • Jerry Gourd as the Cameraman
  • Junior Asparagus as Hadrian
  • Pa Grape as Mikey
  • Mr. Lunt as the Sushi Chef
  • Archibald Asparagus as himself

Fun Facts


  • Scallion thinking he's gonna eat raw eggs was a used practice where during most of the 20th century boxers would eat raw eggs. This was later revealed in the late 1980's that it is considered unhealthily.


  • This is the only VeggieTales episode to have more than two segments (three if you count the Silly Song).
  • Larry's trouble getting to the toy drive is based on Mike's experience when he was in Chicago before trying to help out at a toy drive, though unlike Larry, Mike didn't have any troubles getting there.
  • This is also the first time Qwerty broken down. Incidentally, less than three months after the video was released, a similar incident happened towards Strong Bad's Compy. Coincidentally, they're both based on the same computer model.


  • Several fourth wall breaks were done, such as:
    • Maewyn interrupting Luifi while he's telling the story.
    • Scallion looking at the audience when Mikey states he injured his knee.
  • Considering Maewyn is in England, the church minster should've used the term "Football".
  • Patrick states that God is three persons, when the proper term is people.

Real World References

  • Because it's a spoof of Rocky and Karate Kid, a lot of references and mentions were used, including:
    • Larry's character, the Italian Scallion is the spoof name of Rocky Balboa's nickname, the Italian Stallion.
    • Mikey is a composite of Mickey and Miyagi, the two mentors from the films.
    • Hadrian's name is a spoof of Adrian, Rocky's love interest and later wife.
    • Some of the scenes Scallion training (punching the can bags and running up the escalator) are similar to the training montages Rocky does.
    • The illustrator of Mikey's images is Danny LaRusso. That was the main character from the Karate Kid films.
    • Eye on the Tiger is the name of the song by Survivor, which was used for Rocky 3.
  • Po-Ta-To is a spoof on actor Mr. T, who is famous for saying "I pity the fool!". He was also known as Clubber Lang from the third Rocky film.
  • The short film Going Up! is similar to the Laurel and Hardy short "The Music Box".
    • Larry, Jerry, and Mr. Lunt's costumes are a references to the Three Stooges.
  • The Mikado Mall is named after the play "Mikado", which is what the genre of the episode is based after. some of the stores there are play on words of real stores, such as:
    • Origami-R-Us (Toys "R" Us)
    • Samuri's Secrret (Victora's Secret)
  • Colors of the Wind is the name of  the song heard in Disney's Pocahontas.
  • The S. S. Minnow is the name of the ship from "Gilligan's Island".
  • Alexander the Grape is a play on words for the Macedon king, Alexander the Great.



Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.