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Balloon-Bursting Bird
You've got a big balloon. The balloon is so big that you're actually floating up into the air. But what's this? A bird is approaching your balloon and you suddenly realize how sharp the beak is...POP!!!

If you have a party balloon or some other inflatable (inner tube, hot air balloon, weather balloon, etc), it always seems that there's a bird around to break it. Usually Played for Laughs, especially in cartoons - yet if you're floating high up in the air...

Could overlap with Bubble Gum Popping, if bubble gum is involved.


Examples:

Anime
  • Pokémon: Team Rocket's hot air balloon is prone to bursting, and if a flying-type Pokemon is involved, you can bet that that's how it's going to bust.

Comic Books
  • Gaston Lagaffe's pet laughing gull hates balloons with a passion. At one point it crosses paths with a hot-air balloon, and the next panel has the now grounded occupant saying "I don't know, there was a kind of sadistic laughter and the next thing I knew, pffffft!"

Film
  • The 1963 horror film The Birds involves said avians attacking a little girl's birthday party. During the assault, the birds pop a number of balloons.
  • The 1995 Australian movie Napoleon opens with the title character, a Golden retriever puppy, floating away in a basket with helium balloons. A bird gets him down by popping all the balloons; the puppy lands unharmed.
  • In Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure, Queasy the Pirate Parrot pops King Koo Koo, who has blown himself up to gigantic proportions. The explosion is so powerful it sends everyone back home.

Literature
  • One entry from Disney's Wonderful World of Knowledge, a series of children's encyclopedias from The Seventies, featured a history and overview of aircraft hosted by Pete. As balloons were covered, one humorous illustration shows an anxious Pete begging a bird not to pop his hot-air balloon.
  • Five Weeks in a Balloon: The protagonists are unlucky enough to come upon a flock of condors which pierce their balloon. Thankfully, it has a secondary, spare shell on the inside, but they still need to frantically toss stuff overboard to avoid a catastrophic fall.
  • One Sesame Street book was about Oscar the Grouch trying to get away from the readers. At one point, he outfits his trashcan with a hot-air balloon and takes to the skies. At first, everything is fine...until Oscar notices a single bird flying a little too close for his tastes...

Live-Action TV
  • A variant in an early episode of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers and its counterpart Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger: The Monster of the Week, a giant crow named The Peckster in the US version, is tricked by the Black Ranger into pecking a bunch of helium balloons, the last of which turns out to be a playground ball that traps the monster's beak long enough to take him down. Unusually for this trope, the balloons were normal sized while the bird was human sized.

Magazines
  • The tie-in magazine for 3-2-1 Contact would publish computer games written in BASIC to run on your computer during The Eighties. One of the games, called "Pop!", carried an illustration of a computer blowing bubble gum and spotting a bird ready to pop the bubble.

Newspaper Comics
  • One comic of The Far Side had a pair of aerial balloonists staring up in horror at a woodpecker about to burst their hot-air balloon.

Video Games
  • Subverted in one tabletop electronic game version of Donkey Kong Jr. The port added a few things not in the original arcade game such as umbrellas to float down on and balloons to float up on. Birds are your enemies - but they're not the ones who can pop the balloons; that's done by a sharp tree branch at the top of the game screen.
    • In Donkey Kong Country 3 Parry the Parallel bird serves this function, flying a little bit over head the Kongs.
  • Birds could pop Alice's balloons in the 1990 Game Boy game Balloon Kid.
  • In Point Blank, one of the shooting mini-games involved protecting Dr. Dan or Dr. Don from birds, since they were floating on balloons over shark-infested waters.
  • In the second Simon the Sorcerer game, after you use three balloons to get to the castle treasure room through a window, a bird bursts all three balloons when you leave the room.
  • You can aim a bird toward balloons in Angry Birds in many levels. Popping lets the stuff the balloon was holding up crash on what's below it.
  • An early Macintosh game named Hot Air Balloon has you controlling the altitude of the titular balloon as it drifts past various obstacles, including flying birds.

Western Animation
  • The 1970 Beary Family cartoon "The Unhandy Man" has Charlie Beary trying to install a garage door opener on his own. One of his attempts to get his garage door open involves a big balloon, which fails when a bird pops the balloon.
  • Woody Woodpecker did this, too, when opponents used balloons.
  • Frequently happened with Inspector Gadget and his inflatable coat.
  • A variation happened in one episode of the animated Dennis The Menace (US). Mr. Wilson parachutes from a plane, but a bird pecks at his parachute - leading to a long drop.
    • It happened again in another cartoon episode when Dennis gets accidentally caught up in a hot-air balloon race. A flock of birds burst one of the hot-air balloons.
  • In the Valentine's Day episode of Sponge Bob Square Pants, SpongeBob's gift for Patrick is a hot air balloon made of chocolate. Sandy is to fly it to the carnival but is delayed when scallops (which act as birds on the show's setting) try to eat the balloon.
  • One animated segment from Sesame Street had a Jerk Ass asking for a big, bigger, and biggest balloon (popping the first two he's offered); the biggest balloon causes him to fly up into the sky, but it gets popped by an equally big bird soon after.
    • In another Sesame Street insert, balloons shaped like the letters from A to Z were popped by a speeding bird.
    • In yet another animated insert, produced by Cliff Roberts, a bird demonstrated subtraction by popping balloons with its beak.
  • The Ducktales episode "The Big Flub" revolves around an invention called Flubble Gum, which is a bubble gum allowing bubble blowers to fly. When Fenton Crackshell is floating around in the air, Scrooge McDuck mounts an improbable rescue scheme. Scrooge throws lots of Flubble Gum into a trash compactor along with water, mixes it up, and uses an air pump to blow a giant-sized bubble, causing Fenton's trailer to float into the sky. The rescue is successful, but a passing bird pecks at the bubble, bursting it and sending the trailer crashing to the ground.
  • Tweety was fond of this trope in a few Sylvester the Cat and Tweety Bird cartoons. When Sylvester would float with balloons or bubble gum, Tweety would usually pop them. But unlike the other avian examples, he would use a pin or slingshot rather than his beak.
  • In My Little Pony Tales, this happens to Schoolgirls Patch and Bon-Bon while they ride a hot air balloon over an ocean, conveniently over some circling sharks.

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