THIS MEANS WAR! Fortunately, with this weather, we have plenty of weapons. Just pack the snow into snowballs. Common in stories featuring children, where it usually ends up being Serious Business. Also may feature as a lighter moment in military stories. Can be used as a winter-themed version of Dodgeball Is Hell. Putting ice — or rocks — in snowballs, however, can convert it to actually serious (if not deadly) business. Frequent in Let There Be Snow and Snowed-In. Truth in Television, and a staple of snow days.
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Anime & Manga
- Appears in one episode of Azumanga Daioh. Sakaki manages to catch a snowball in mid-flight and throw it back.
- A massive one in Heaven's Lost Property between the boys and girls of the school. Tomoki initially has no interest in being out in the cold, but upon being informed that the winning side could do whatever they wished to the losing team for one day, his voice deepens and he acts far more seriously...
- Mimisaka of Hokenshitsu no Shinigami attempted to start one, only to end up fleeing for his life along with several others...
- Done near the tail end of the funny chapters of Katekyo Hitman Reborn!.
- A brief one happens in episode 12 of season 4 in Minami-ke.
- Episode two of Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou. Nyanko becomes embarrassed when Gen remarks how he and Natsume acted during it.
- In Potemayo, Kyou, Nene, and Mikan's class get into a classic boys against girls snowball fight after the first snow.... that is until interrupted by Guchuko.
- One chapter of Sgt. Frog had Keroro and Fuyuki organize a snowball fight using a modified version of official yukigassen rules. Then Giroro and Paul get a little carried away...
- Seen in the Welcome to the N.H.K. anime.
- A rather humourous one done in ×××HOLiC, complete with a snow-machine gun courtesy of Yuuko.
- In Touhou Bougetsushou Inaba of the Moon & Inaba of the Earth, Reisen fully expects Tewi to put rocks in her snowballs. Tewi says that's not true — she used nails. She also dug Pit Traps, but ended up falling into one herself.
- In Touhou Ibarakasen ~ Wild and Horned Hermit, Kasen successfully convinces Reimu to celebrate Setsubun by eating beans rather than throwing them. However nobody told Suika, who had agreed to play the Oni for the festival, and is so upset when she finds out that she starts crying. Kasen resolves the situation by saying "Instead of beans, let's drive the Oni off with snowballs!", and everyone present is more than happy to oblige.
- Bill Cosby, on his vintage album Revenge, recalls his childhood attempt to get back at Junior Barnes for hitting him with a slushball - he makes the perfect snowball (complete with Barnes's name on it), stores it in the freezer, and waits until July, having long since befriended Barnes to put him off guard...and then finds his mother had thrown the snowball away. So he goes back outside and spits on him.
- A short Transmetropolitan whatchajigger has Spider engaging in a small Lensman Arms Race with his "filthy assistants". They throw snowballs at him, he pulls out what appears to be an automatic snowball gun. They use a cannon.
- X-Factor #53, after Jean buys a fur coat, she and Scott take a walk in the part. When Scott isn't looking, Jean telekenetically throws snowballs at him, and he zapps them with his eye beams before playfully tackling Jean.
- Turns up quite a bit in Archie Comics set during winter.
- If Dilton Doiley gets involved, expect him to bring in an automatic snow thrower, like the catapult seen in the page image.
- One story had Veronica fed up with her friends' immature snow-throwing behavior, bonding with Dilton who shares her condescension... until she discovers he's stashed away a freezer full of snowballs, planning ahead for the summer.
- Often occurs in Little Lulu. In most of these, the boys (led by Tubby), attack the girls (led by Lulu) unprovoked, and the girls exact revenge by outwitting the boys.
- Peanuts had this, being a strip about childhood. In one, Snoopy laments that he was never taught to throw snowballs.
- Calvin and Hobbes: Snowball fights are Serious Business to Calvin, who takes them to Warrior Poet levels although he usually has nobody to fight with besides Hobbes or a reluctant Susie. During summer, he uses water balloons instead. (Except the time when he saved a snowball in the freezer til July... and missed.)
- Rose Is Rose: Clem often hogs snowballs. Mimi catches on quickly when shown.
Films — Animation
- Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs: Flint, who had never been in a snowball fight before, takes to them with gusto during the Ice Cream Snow Day scene.
- The Land Before Time VIII: At their first experience of "white ground sparkles" (snow), the kids get into snowball fights, the ones with hands throwing them, and the ones without finding other ways like dropping the snow from branches, snow sculptures, and so on. Even the grown-ups get in on the fun, with Mr. Threehorn making a large snowball and rolling it down a slope, and up Grandpa Longneck's body and into his face.
- Rise of the Guardians: Jack Frost's method of choice for everything from helping kids make friends to taking out the Big Bad.
- Beauty and the Beast: Belle is lucky that the enormous snowball done by the Beast didn't hit her (but him, instead).
Films — Live-Action
- In Elf, Michael starts warming up to Buddy after a snowball fight.
- Jack Frost (not the killer snowman) gets into a huge one with his son and some school yard bullies.
- In Jack Frost II (with the killer snowman), there is a charity driven snowball fight where the killer gets involved and he kills the participants in ridiculous ways.
- The entire plot of The Dog Who Stopped The War centers on a massive, escalating snowball fight.
- In The Bishop's Wife, a little girl gets allowed into one with some secret divine assistance on her opening toss.
- Conspiracy: The younger SS soldiers who are guarding the Wannsee compound engage in a snowball fight near the end of the conference, before Eichmann angrily berates them for unprofessional conduct and threatens to send them all to the Russian front.
- Beauty and the Beast (2017) features one, like the original. Unlike the original, Beast's aim is bang on target and Belle gets flattened.
- Laura Ingalls Wilder's These Happy Golden Years featured a snowball fight among the older students at school, and their rather young teacher.
- Sandy Mitchell's Ciaphas Cain, HERO OF THE IMPERIUM had to break up snowball fights on some of the colder worlds they were posted on. Turns out the soldiers Cain normally travels with come from an Ice World, where snowball fights are Serious Business.
- In William King's Space Wolf novel Grey Hunter, after a fight with ice fiends, Sven and Ragnar's heckling each other is turned into a snowball fight.
- Most Harry Potter books. Special mention goes to Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, where Fred and George bewitched snowballs to bounce off the back of Quirrell's turban. Fridge Brilliance sets in when you realize they were unknowingly smacking Voldemort in the face.
- In Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, the women of Fafhrd's people gang up on their men to pummel them with snowballs when they offend too badly.
- In Twilight, several of Bella's classmates have a brief fight with a discussion of larger one after school. Even the vampires take part.
- In The Edge Chronicles, Quint takes part in a giant snowball fight with the entirety of the Upper and Lower Halls of the Knights Academy.
- In Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files novel Small Favor, Harry has Molly practice her shields by having her siblings throw snowballs. (Which is one hell of a lot nicer than what he learned with. Namely, baseballs.)
- In Patricia C. Wrede's Thirteenth Child, William and Eff are ambushed by six children using snowballs — and putting rocks in them.
- In Robertson Davies's Deptford Trilogy, the narrator's life is transformed when he ducks a snowball thrown by a friend: the effects of this snowball are the motivating action of the trilogy.
- Thomas Pynchon's "Mason & Dixon" begins with an image of a snowball fight that also recalls an asterisk.
- In one of the 1632 novels, spymaster Nasi realizes that some boys shoveling the streets are planning to throw some snowballs at him, so he pulls a pre-made snowball out of his coat pocket and hits them first. He lost the resultant fight, but he considered the look on his target's face when he got the first hit in to be worth it.
- Ayla gets into one with Jondolar and a few others in Shelters of Stone despite being nine months pregnant.
- Sister Alice has ritualized, Serious Business Snowball wars, call Snowars, set up between two teams composed of a smattering of very young Great Family members, intended to make it easier for different Family members to cooperate at a young age. Two teams alternate between defending and attacking a fort made of ice, using microchines fired from cannons to heat up the fort walls and break though. Snow is compacted and shoved into pneumatic, double-barreled rifles which can cause grievous damage, and snow is fired from pneumatic cannons capable of killing the contestants. However, because of the Healing Factor and general hard-to-killness of humanity, it's rare for anyone to be more than annoyed or out of action for more than a few days when their skull is crushed or spine broken.
- In Murderess, Bridget throws snowballs at Lu’s window to taunt her. Lu goes outside and starts one of these in retaliation. It quickly escalates into a school-wide Curb-Stomp Battle against Bridget.
- The first book of The Mysterious Benedict Society ends with the members of the titular society preparing to have one, with Sticky and Constance on one side and Reynie and Kate on the other. Kate has a plan which involves her directing Reynie to make carefully prepared snowballs and her throwing them because she's the physically gifted one, though Reynie asks her to let him throw some too as it's part of the fun and she reluctantly agrees. Also, Sticky asks if they're Reynie for "ignominious defeat," and Kate has to get the definition of "ignominious" from Reynie. Hearing that it means "shameful" just makes her more spurred on.
- Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter: Brothers Friedhelm and Wilhelm, both Wehrmacht soldiers, engage in a snow fight on a quiet Christmas Eve at the Russian front, reminding them that they thought the war would soon be over so they could be Home by Christmas.
- In the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Breaking the Ice," Travis suggests that he and Malcolm could have a snowball fight on a comet, until Malcolm points out that their EV suits would make it less enjoyable.
- The tutorial to combat in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance happens in a form of schoolyard snowball fight.
- One South Park videogame featured snowballs as a basic weapon. The upgraded version was, naturally, yellow snowballs.
- Super Robot Wars Z has one of these as one of its crossover antics.
- Past Christmas Events in EVE Online enabled snowball fights between mile-long space battleships.
- BIONICLE has Huai Snowball Sling, where Matoran are in a snowball fight. Every time one of them got hit, snow would gradually build up on their body until they rolled away in a giant snowball.
- One of the mini-games you play in the Skill Course in the Pokeathalon in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver is a snowball fight between four different teams of 3 Pokemon. The team that gets the most points by hitting the other Pokemon wins.
- Out of the many weapons that are used in Neopets' Battledome, several of them are snowballs, which are all one-use items.
- Bug! has the snow flea enemies in The Burrubs, which pop out of the icy floor on both sides of Bug and throw ice/snow at each other. Unfortunately, they're immune to each others' projectiles, Bug isn't. And Bug isn't even interested in their snowball fight!
- In Ristar, at the end of the first act of Planet Freon, Ristar must defeat the mini-boss this way. In order for him to build a snowball, he will have to be left alone for a few seconds. When Ristar does defeat the mini-boss, it will join his side and assist him in the battle against Itamor in the third act by bringing him hot pizzas for him to throw in his mouth.
- In Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!, Dixie and Kiddy battle Bleak, an evil snowman, this way.
- A Christmas event in Overwatch has players use Mei and hurl snowballs at opponents with her gun. There are patches of snow that can be gathered to make a snowball, or she can refill with her ultimate. Each hit eliminates the struck player for the round, and each round lasts until everyone on one side is eliminated.
- Just like in the Overwatch example above, Heroes of the Storm has a similar brawl for its Christmas event, appropriately titled Snow Brawl, which takes placed in a modified Cursed Hollow map, where tributes spawn a lot faster and players can gather snowballs of varying sizes and lob them at opponents.
- General Protection Fault had a memorable one, featuring Secret Agent Geek Fooker and his Fiery Redhead girlfriend, using squad-level tactics and stratagems in a knock-down, drag-out snowball-fight against a trio of rival sysadmins. (It ends in a draw.)
- The Great House War from Sluggy Freelance quickly morphs into one of these. Becomes Serious Business when everyone teams up against the unstoppable force that is Bun-Bun.
- minus., here.
- Penny Arcade. Oops, was that a brick?
- Bob and George: Lovely distraction
- Nodwick: To Yeager's dismay, Piffany won't let him use the catapult.
- In Sequential Art, the kids do it to Art.
- In The Whiteboard, an indoor fight breaks out in Doc's office, in the story arc where the cheetah girl Kasi was introduced, starting here.
- In Love and Capes, Abby refuses to let Mark use his powers in one.
- Whateley Universe: Superhero School Whateley Academy is up in the Presidential Mountains of New Hampshire, so they get a lot of snow every winter. The big snowball fight around Poe cottage involves a lot of superpowers, including Quake using her powers to force some snow into a snow 'fort' and Phase using his powers to knock it down.
- Fun fact: The Finnish word for snowball fight, 'lumisota', literally means 'snow war'. When this was pointed out on Tumblr, several Winter War jokes were made.
- Ben 10: Ben and Gwen have one, but when one hits Grandpa Max...
Max: (sternly) I am warning you... (brandishes snowball) you're messing with an old pro.
- Dexter's Laboratory:
- In one episode, Dexter and his father "go to war" with Deedee and their mother, because Mom was the only one who ever beat Dad in a snowball fight. (For bonus points, it was just a playful lob on her part which happened to connect, while to him the whole thing was Serious Business).
- The episode was a tip of the hat to Calvin and Hobbes, as seen by the exterior backgrounds being explicitly drawn to mimic Watterson's art style.
- Donald Duck and his nephews once had an epic snowball fight in this short, including dipping snow missiles into water to make deadly ice missiles.
- Also, flaming snowballs!
- On Family Guy Brian hits Stewie with a snowball. Stewie responds by firing a snowball cannon.
- Frosty the Snowman does this, being a type 1 Snowlem.
- Histeria!! did a "dramatic re-enactment" of the Cold War in which it was depicted as this.
- On Jimmy Two-Shoes, Jimmy's description of this (coupled with a demonstration involving freezer ice) leads to Heloise making a Weather-Control Machine.
- Johnny Test features Johnny and Duke inviting all of their friends ( and enemies) into a snowball fight where if one gets hit with a snowball, they get eliminated with the last one standing winning a trophy Johnny created himself. Even though everyone else gangs up on Johnny and Dukey in this competition, Johnny manages to win it.
- Justice League: Green Lantern and Hawkgirl get into a super-powered snowball fight in "Comfort and Joy".
- Kaeloo: In Episode 69, the cast have a brief snowball fight. Unlike everything else they do on this show, it does not escalate and winds up being an ordinary snowball fight.
- Looney Tunes turns snowball fights into Serious Business, complete with sendups to The Greatest Generation.
- In one Shaun the Sheep episode, there was a giant snowball fight between the flock, Bitzer, and later against the pigs.
- In an early episode of The Simpsons, Bart is in danger of repeating the 4th grade if he fails his next test. He ends up praying for an extra day to study, and is rewarded with a blizzard. He spends the next day fighting the temptation to join everyone else out in the snow (even Mr Burns is enjoying himself!)
Burns: I was never one to back down from a snowball fight!
- SpongeBob SquarePants:
- In "The Snowball Effect", Squidward claims to be above such childish activities, but gets sucked in and goes into such a panic that he'll lose and builds a two-story-high impenetrable snow fort.
- At one point, Patrick shows just barely enough knowledge to create a snowblock, a snowpyramid, and even a snowhelix — but not a snowball.
- SpongeBob and Patrick have another one in "Survival of the Idiots".
- Super Noobs: The episode, "Let it Noob, Let it Noob, Let it Noob" has Memnock and Zenblock participate in a snowball fight with each other to learn more about Earth culture and adapt to the snow itself since they had recently experienced winter for the first time in their lives. They try to make it more fun by using their alien technology but get carried away when they get snow guns and tanks involved.
- Transformers Generation One: In the beginning of "Fire In the Sky," the Autobots engage in a snowball fight with one of their human friends after a snowfall in the desert in July.
- The Huckleberry Hound Show: In his cartoon "Tricky Trapper", Huckleberry Hound throws a snow-covered rock at Powerful Pierre, who returned it with a tennis racket.
- Home: Adventures with Tip & Oh: Experiencing snow for the first time, Tip demonstrates by throwing snowballs at Oh. It takes him a while, be he eventually gets into it and holds a snowball fight with all the Boov.