Brig Ball Bouncing

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Locked up all by yourself, you have to pass time somehow.
A trope popularized by the prison movie The Great Escape: a character locked up in a prison cell (or some other place they are unable/not allowed to leave, like being grounded), often in solitary confinement, faced with boredom and little else to do, passes time by sitting down against one of the walls of the room, throwing a ball (usually a baseball, but variations are possible) at the wall opposite of them and catching it when it bounces back, over and over. Most of the time with a bored expression on his/her face and clearly not putting much effort in the throwing/catching.

Along with Captivity Harmonica, it perfectly demonstrates the boredom and isolation an imprisoned character suffers through.


Examples:

Film - Animation
  • Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension: After being captured, 2nd dimension-Candace is seen bouncing a baseball against the wall of her cell like Captain Hilts, just before she is freed.
  • Chicken Run: The movie is in many ways a parody of The Great Escape. One of the main characters is a chicken named Ginger, who is notorious for her escape attempts, but gets caught and put in solitary confinement every time. While there, she passes time throwing a ball at the wall.
  • Monsters vs. Aliens: B.O.B. can be seen bouncing a ball on his cell. It dislodges his one eyeball, which he then bounces off the wall as well.

Film - Live Action
  • The Great Escape: Provides the page image. As mentioned in the trope description, this movie is either the Trope Maker or the Trope Codifier, as many of the other works that use it are doing so as a Shout-Out to this movie; the character Captain Hilts frequently ends up in The Cooler, a solitary cell, as punishment for his many escape attempts. While there, he can be seen throwing a baseball against the cooler cell wall to entertain himself. He even has a baseball glove for catching the ball.
  • Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol: Ethan Hunt throws a rock around his cell to overcome boredom.
  • Safe House: Matt Weston can be seen bouncing a ball while imprisoned.
  • Thor: Ragnarok: While in Hulk's room (which, while quite luxurious, is still a prison), Hulk can be seen bouncing a huge ball against the wall in the background while Thor and Valkyrie are talking.

Live-Action TV
  • The Flash (2014):
    • In "Rogue Air", Mark Mardon is shown in his containment cell in the Pipeline bouncing a ball off the wall since the small, bare cell has no other forms of entertainment to offer. Then the cell gets gassed to sedate him.
    • During the third act of the Crisis on Earth-X four-parter, while imprisoned in the pipeline, Harry can be seen playing with a ball in his cell, driving his neighbor Cisco nuts and causing them to bicker as usual, much to Dinah's irritation.
  • Arrested Development: In the episode "Key Decision", Gob gets himself locked up in the same prison where his father is interred for a magic trick. After he fails the trick (seemingly), his father decides to play the game of catch they never did on the outside. Unfortunately, their bonding moment is interrupted when Gob is shanked by another prisoner, White Power Bill.
  • Penn & Teller: Fool Us: The intro video for Aiden Sinclair, who was a conman and did time before deciding to straighten up and use his deceptive powers for good, has a shot of him re-enacting the scene from The Great Escape.
  • A version done in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Q Who". Q is with Picard in a shuttle craft in the middle of nowhere wanting to talk tot the captain. Picard refuses to and Q simply waits him out eventually bouncing a ball out of boredom. In this case, Q would be the jailer.

Western Animation
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • In the episode "Escape from Phineas Tower", during the song Breakin' Out, there is a brief scene with Phineas and Ferb inside a prison cell parodying the cooler from The Great Escape, where Phineas can be seen bouncing a ball against the wall of the cell.
    • "Robot-Rodeo": Has Perry throwing a ball against the wall in the containment trap Doofenshmirtz put him in.
    • "Picture This": A mime is seen bouncing a ball against the wall of an invisible box.
  • Generator Rex: In the episode "The Day Everything Changed", Rex in his room/cell is bouncing a ball off the wall.
  • The Simpsons: The episode "A Streetcar Named Marge" has a B-plot about Maggie staying at "Ayn Rand School for Tots" daycare center, which spoofs "The Great Escape". Maggie even bounces a ball against the wall of the playpen she is put in by Ms. Sinclair, similar to Captain Hilts in the movie.
  • American Dragon: Jake Long: In "Hero of the Hourglass", when Jake is grounded by his dad, he is seen in his room, lying on his bed, and using his tail to bounce a baseball off the ceiling.
  • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated: In "The Night the Clown Cried", Scooby is sent to a farm and can be seen throwing a ball against his cell wall, catching it with his mouth.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In "Read It and Weep", Rainbow Dash gets grounded (as in being unable to fly) when she hurts her wing and gets stuck in a hospital bed. She starts killing time by bouncing a ball against the wall... until she flubs a throw and the ball rolls to a stop a couple meters from her bed.

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