http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/BringingUpBaby.jpg

->''"There is a leopard on your roof and itís my leopard and I have to get it and to get it I have to sing."''
-->--'''Susan Vance'''

''Bringing Up Baby'' is a classic 1938 ScrewballComedy directed by Creator/HowardHawks, and starring Creator/KatharineHepburn, CaryGrant, and a leopard.

Milquetoast paleontologist David Huxley (Grant) is about to be married and is only missing one piece of his Brontosaurus skeleton (the "intercostal clavicle"). The night before his wedding, he's supposed to butter up a rich widow's lawyer so she'll donate a million dollars to the museum. Things take a rapid turn for the worse, though, when he meets scatterbrained heiress [[ManicPixieDreamGirl Susan Vance]] (Hepburn), who accidentally steals his golf ball, and then his car, preventing him from finishing the meeting. After the evening ends with Susan braining the lawyer with a rock, David vows that he never wants to see her again.

The next morning, Susan calls David on the telephone. Her brother in South America has mailed her a tame leopard called Baby, and she enlists David to help her transport it to her aunt's farm. Then, having made up her mind that David is the man she's going to marry--though he doesn't know it yet--she does whatever comes to mind to keep him there. It turns out that Susan's aunt is the potential museum donor, so they have to conceal David's identity ''and'' the presence of Baby, while also hunting for the intercostal clavicle, snatched up and buried by the dog.

Then Baby escapes, and so does a man-eating leopard from the circus, leading to several cases of mistaken identity as multiple groups of people go leopard-hunting in the forests of Connecticut. Everyone ends up in jail (briefly), David's fiancee rejects him, and the dinosaur skeleton is destroyed, but David confesses his love for Susan at last, and the movie ends with their happy, if still scatterbrained, embrace.
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!This work provides examples of:
* AbsentMindedProfessor: David is one of these
* AnnoyingLaugh: Susan, though some might consider it cute.
* ArtisticLicensePhysics: It's not clear what causes the ladder to swng back upright after Susan and the latter tilt over sideways.
* AwLookTheyReallyDoLoveEachOther: This is even [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] by Susan after David says something unspeakably rude about her to her face. She stops, gives that beautiful smile that only Katherine Hepburn could give, and launches herself into his arms, shouting, "Oh David! You really do love me!" David tries to play it cool, but finally admits it.
* CardboardPrison: David casually exits his jail cell when he gets exasperated listening to Susan babble at the constable. He even briefly gets the constable to join him back in his cell, before the cop realizes what has happened and has the cell locked up for real this time.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Doesn't even begin to describe Susan. She spends most of the movie perpendicular to reality.
--> '''Susan''': (after breaking a heel off her shoe) I was born on the side of a hill.
* DinosaurDoggieBone: Possibly the TropeMaker.
* DisposableFiance: Alice, who isn't even present for most of the film.
* [[CluckingFunny Everything's Better With Chickens]]: Susan rams a chicken truck. Baby winds up having chicken for lunch.
* FluffyFashionFeathers: Susan's nightgown, that David is forced to wear after his clothes are ruined.
* GrandeDame: Elizabeth Random, Susan Vance's aunt who displays little tolerance for David Huxley, but who is eccentric enough to want her own leopard.
* GreatWhiteHunter: Maj. Applewhite is one, which leads to some hilarity when Susan describes David as one and Applewhite starts firing questions at him.
* HaveAGayOldTime: Averted. Cary Grant's improvised line "I just went GAY all of a sudden!" may have been the first ''intentional'' use of the word to mean "homosexual" in mainstream film.
** Doubles as HilariousInHindsight, as Cary Grant is rumored to have been bisexual. We're pretty sure he had a thing with Randolph Scott.
* HenpeckedHusband: David manages to be this even before he is married. After Alice, even Susan must come as something of a relief.
* HerrDoktor: The psychiatrist, who after meeting Susan is convinced that she's nuts.
* HighClassGlass: The psychiatrist sports one.
* HilarityEnsues
* HumiliationConga: David for most of the film.
* ManicPixieDreamGirl: Susan is one of the earliest examples of this character type in film. (Nathan Rabin, creator of the term, calls her the [[TropeMakers Trope Maker]], although Carole Lombard in ''Film/MyManGodfrey'' is actually an earlier example).
* MeetCute
* MisplacedWildlife: Baby is from South America, which is jaguar territory.
** Hilariously, he's also ''played'' by a jaguar. Why they didn't just say it was a jaguar the whole time is a mystery.
* MistakenIdentity: Mistaken ''leopard'' identity.
* MotorMouth: Susan, to the end.
* MusicSoothesTheSavageBeast: To calm Baby the leopard down, you have to sing "I Can't Give You Anythng But Love, Baby".
* OffscreenMomentOfAwesome: Tell me you wouldn't love to have seen Cary Grant wrestling a leopard in a pond.
* PlayingAgainstType: Cary Grant, known for playing cool and charming guys, plays a mild-mannered, dorky scientist.
** Likewise, Katharine Hepburn, typically cast as a hyper-intelligent, on-the-ball, DefrostingIceQueen sort, as the scatterbrained Susan.
* ThePratfall: David slips on an olive Susan dropped and falls really hard on his butt.
* RomanticComedy
* RunningGag: "I'll be with you in a minute, Mr. Peabody!"
* ShoutOut: When asked whom he pulled a criminal job with, David says "[[MickeyMouse Mickey the Mouse]] and [[WesternAnimation/DonaldDuck Donald the Duck]]."
** Susan also tells the police that David is really 'Jerry the Nipper'; this was the nickname of [[ActorAllusion Cary Grant's character]] in his previous film ''Film/TheAwfulTruth''. David lampshades this by protesting that Susan is making everything up out of movies she's seen.
* {{Socialite}}: Susan
* SomewhereAPalaeontologistIsCrying: There is no such thing as an intercostal clavicle. There ''can be'' no such thing as an intercostal clavicle. "Intercostal" means "Between the ribs", and the clavicle connects the rib cage to the shoulder girdle.
** ScienceMarchesOn: The clavicle in question comes from a brontosaurus, which, even at the time, was recognized by the scientific community as ''Apatosaurus''.
* SpoiledSweet: Susan is very sweet and hasn't a malicious bone in her body, but she's also very wealthy and confident about getting precisely what she wants when she wants it.
* StalkerWithACrush: Susan.
* UnplannedCrossdressing: After David Huxley ends up wrestling a leopard in the middle of a pond, he returns to Susan Vance's home where she loans him her very girly robe while his clothes dry out. Susan's aunt, Elizabeth, is less than impressed with his wardrobe choices.
* UptightLovesWild
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