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How can you show your group to have a cohesive and united front? Show them whistling the Colonel Bogey March. This is originally Lost in Imitation from The Bridge on the River Kwai. The tune is a real march, but there are also about half a million bawdy little numbers written to it—it's a musical snowclone on par with the Major-General's Song. In Bridge (the movie that made it a trope), the prisoners used it as a way of getting one such tune ("Hitler Has Only Got One Ball") past their Axis captors' radar.

Examples of Colonel Bogey March include:


  • The Jim Steranko History of Comics includes an anecdote about artists working on Captain Marvel who reworked the song to satirize the demands of the publishing house's censors: "Captain Marvel Has No Balls At All." [5]
  • In the Vertigo DC Comics 2001 3-issue miniseries Adventures in the Rifle Brigade, "Operation: Bollock", the Rifle Brigade is sent on a mission to retrieve Adolf Hitler's missing testicle.
  • A verse combining the first two lines of Variant 2 and the last two lines of Variant 1 appears in the 2000 Vertigo miniseries Adventures in the Rifle Brigade by Garth Ennis and Carlos Ezquerra. The follow-on miniseries, Operation Bollock, uses the missing testicle as a central plot device.


  • The lyrics are alluded to in a 2003 advertisement for Spitfire Beer (the 'Bottle of Britain'), an English Ale. Hitler is shown photographed in full Wehrmacht Uniform with the caption 'Spot the ball'. The advertisement refers to print media spot the ball competitions in which readers were shown photographs of moments in football matches and asked to guess where the ball (which is edited out) would have been. See: Spitfire site.
  • Once used (with a new text, obv.) for a German schnapps commercial. Hilarious if you know about the origin.


  • The song was sung in the Chinese/German film John Rabe by actor Steve Buscemi as an American Doctor Robert Wilson in 2009. Thx to Youtube for hosting a clip of it.
  • The main character of the 2003 movie Wondrous Oblivion, a British teen who is the son of Jewish Holocaust survivors, sings this song for a friend.
  • The Hector Scott character (played by Donald Moffat) sings this ditty to Shirley Mac Laine's character in the movie The Evening Star (1993).
  • The lyrics were sung in the 1972 film adaptation of the John Knowles novel A Separate Peace (although they are not in the book, and the tune to which they are sung in the film is not the "Colonel Bogey March").
  • The song is sung in the Czech film Dark Blue World (2001).
  • The song is used to harass a Jewish student in School Ties, a 1992 film.
  • Bette Midler sang the lyrics in her concert film Divine Madness!
  • Done by the Dink Dinks in Spaceballs.
  • Used as in The Bridge on the River Kwai, It Ain't Half Hot Mum and Goodnight Sweetheart. The lyrics were considered too vulgar and were not used, although everyone knew them, anyway and the popped up in the minds of every watcher of this movie.
  • Briefly heard in Short Circuit: as Number Five leads the robots he's reprogrammed to the roadhouse, he's whistling it.
  • Whistled by the students in detention during The Breakfast Club. It's an early indication of the group coming together.


Live Action TV

  • The song was used in Episode 5 of Series 3 of The Armstrong and Miller Show, as it comically depicted the writing of it.
  • In one of the 'Head-to-Head' dialogue sketches in the BBC comedy series Alas Smith and Jones Mel Smith and Griff Rhys Jones reminisce about the war and about the songs of the era. Smith sentimentally and poignantly sings the opening lines of "White Cliffs of Dover", and "We'll Meet Again", and then (to avoid lowering the tone) has to interrupt Jones when he begins to sing, "Hitler has only got one..."
  • In an episode of the BBCTV comedy programme, 2 Point 4 Children the grandmother mentions Goebbels in conversation with a friend and - when queried - points out that "he was the one with no balls at all, if you remember".
  • The lyrics were heard on the British TV sitcom 'Allo 'Allo!. Thx to Youtube for hosting a clip of it.
  • Desmond, Jin, Charlie, and Hurley do this in the Lost episode "Catch-22".
  • Done by the kids in The Breakfast Club.
  • Occasionally the Minions in Overlord 2 will do this (at least, if they're disguised in Imperial Guard uniforms).
  • The original version of The Parent Trap. The other girls at the camp whistle this as the twins are escorted to the Isolation Cabin.
  • Salute Your Shorts: "Ug, one day his face turned blue/Ug, he likes to punish you..." Used in promo commercials during the show's run.
  • The BBC's 1983 adaptation of Robert Westall's The Machine Gunners used the march for the series closing theme, playing on it's war movie and wartime associations.

Live Comedy

  • In Ricky Gervais' stand-up tour Fame, he speaks about the version of the song which refers to the Albert Hall. He states that when he went to the Albert Hall he couldn't find it and he had even looked for it which is "suspicious". Gervais continues stating that "if I had that, I'd have it in the foyer. On a plinth. In an eggcup". He ends it by questioning why "His mother has got the other", which would mean Hitler had three.



  • In the British radio series, The Bradshaws, Alf taught Billy the song.

Video Games

Western Animation

  • The Simpsons: "Lisa, her teeth are big and green/Lisa, she smells like gas-o-line..."