BASEketball is a 1998 comedy film telling the story of two unemployed losers (South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, just as South Park was starting to skyrocket in popularity) who invent a game combining baseball and basketball, but requiring no real athletic skills, and banning controversial sports practices like massive sponsorship and multiple player transfers. The game rapidly evolves in popularity becoming an actual professional sport, thanks to the backing of billionaire Ted Denslow (Ernest Borgnine).
Five years later, Joe "Coop" Cooper (Parker) and Doug Remer (Stone) are the star players of the Milwaukee Beers team in the National BASEketball League, playing against their arch-rivals, the Dallas Felons, in the fourth Denslow Cup. Tragically, Denslow chokes on a hot-dog and dies just as Coop comes up to shoot for the team, causing the Beers to lose. A few days later, at the reading of Denslow's Video Will, Coop learns that he's inherited ownership of the Beers, meaning he's now the only person standing in the way of Baxter Cain's (Robert Vaughn) plans to bring in all the things Coop and Denslow hated about other professional sports. That is, unless the Beers fail to win the next Denslow Cup, in which case ownership reverts to Denslow's widow Yvette (Jenny McCarthy). Cain promptly cozies up to Yvette, and makes plans to get Coop out of the way, while Coop struggles to keep baseketball the game it was meant to be, while wooing Jenna (Yasmine Bleeth), the attractive director of a local kids charity.
- Milwaukee Beers: The team our protagonists play on referencing the numerous local beer breweries and the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team. Their mascot is a walking keg of beer (who can use his "tap" to urinate).
- Fans wear beer mug "foam heads" (a spoof of the "Cheese Heads" worn by Green Bay Packers' fans) and perform "the chug" (similar to the "tomahawk chop" used by the Florida State Seminoles and Atlanta Braves).
- The cheerleaders wear highly revealing attire, like all of the cheerleaders in the league, with the most range of attire (since we see them the most often) — from lacy white lingerie, to lacy black lingerie (when in mourning) to cutoffs and short-shorts, to sexy schoolgirl outfits. They generally project a "sexy girl next door" vibe, suitable for the Hero Team.
- Beers Garden, the team's home arena, features a neon sign animation of a man chugging beer and then turning his head to vomit immediately after. Among their home game promotions are "dozen-egg night" and "free-range chicken night".
- Dallas Felons: Huge muscle types who are probably ex-convicts (a reference to numerous players on the Dallas Cowboys who had major legal problems in the mid-1990s). Of all the teams in the league, they're the rival Villain Team to contrast the Beers similar to how many professional sports teams can have rivalries with one another.
- Owner Baxter Cain (Vaughn) is based on Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. He's the main antagonist, trying to manipulate Coop and Remer towards his own ends.
- The cheerleaders dress in black leather dominatrix outfits.
- Miami Dealers: Predominantly Cuban, Puerto Rican (or other Hispanic/Latino) drug-dealer types. They wear old-school pagers which were less out of place in the late '90s. One of the players ran away when Coop performed a psyche-out wearing a DEA jacket with the logo facing him.
- Their logo is a chainsaw-wielding man reminiscent of Scarface.
- New Jersey Informants: Italian-American/Joisey mafia stereotypes. Their rallying calls include "fuggedaboutit" and "In the river, baby!" - the latter referencing Mafiosos disposing of bodies by dumping them into a large river. One of the team members is played by Greg Grunberg, of subsequent Heroes fame.
- Psych-Out: "Your mom's a terrible cook!" (which failed to work on Coop)
- Cheerleaders wear red lingerie and have perms and also perform some Italian hand gestures.
- San Francisco Ferries: Referencing San Francisco's status as America's most well-known Gayborhood. The word Ferries, mainly referring to ferryboats, is also a play on "fairy", a slur towards gay men. The players wear white, pastel pink, and blue uniforms.
- The team seemingly has the only all-male cheerleader squad in the league.
- Interestingly, it's considered a foul to attempt a psych-out using humor at the expense of homosexuality. During an away game in San Francisco, Coop gets booked with a "pink flag" for flouting the rule (even though he protests he was making an Australian joke, not a gay joke.)
- San Antonio Defenders: Rednecks; their home field includes a giant recreation of the Alamo Mission in San Antonio, Texas (which they, as Texans, would defend). Apparently, at least one of their rallying cries is "Fuck the Mexicans!".
- Cheerleaders all wear Davy Crockett coonskin caps and cowgirl thong two-pieces.
- Detroit Lemons: Reference to the home of American auto makers as well as the slang term often given to defective automobiles (their logo is a lemon with wheels).
- Roswell Aliens: Reference to the Roswell Incident where a UFO supposedly crashed in a location near Roswell, New Mexico in 1947 and the surrounding conspiracy theories that developed thereafter.
- Their mascot is a grey alien who is accompanied by the cheerleaders wearing translucent unitards and perform bizarre dance routines.
- The home arena, Roswell Stadium, is shaped to look like a flying saucer and has a backboard resembling a restricted government warehouse (reminiscent of Area 51).
- There's also an "Anal Probe Night" promotion.
- Los Angeles Riots: Reference to the 1992 L.A./Rodney King riots and, possibly, the 1965 Watts Riots.
- Cheerleaders strip to cutoffs on the field, and perform on stripper poles while the mascot appears to be chubby looter holding a stolen TV set.
- Their logo is a city skyline on fire.
- And the rest are:
- Atlanta Plantations
- Baltimore Burners
- Boston Mobsters
- Buffalo Bums
- Charlotte Biscuits
- Denver Cavemen
- Oakland Bandits
- Pittsburgh Factories
- San Diego Whalers
- Toronto Sorrys
This movie provides examples of:
- Adam Westing: Robert Stack presents an in universe episode of Unsolved Mysteries about Coop's disappearance, lampooning the series and his role in it.
- Affectionate Parody: Of inspirational sports movies.
- All Women Are Lustful: Yvette. And Britney's mom apparently, if the dildo in her drawer is any indication.
- Ambiguous Gender: It is unknown if the girl Squeak is attracted to is a trans woman or a crossdresser, as it is never specified
- Analogy Backfire:Cain: But until we allow teams to move cities and players to change teams, and take advantage of lucrative corporate tie-ins, I'm afraid you and your colleagues are gonna have to continue working for... [Cain reaches down where a chicken is eating some feed]Coop: [looks at Cain's hand] Chicken poo?Cain: Ugh! Feed. Chicken feed.
- Arc Words:Coop: One day, I'm gonna be a big sports star!
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:"Continued expansion diluted the talent pool, forcing [sports team] owners to recruit heavily from forcing prisons, mental institutions, and Texas".
- Artifact Name: Several real-life examples are cited for the decline of pro sports:"The Minneapolis Lakers moved to Los Angeles, where there are no lakes. The (Houston) Oilers moved to Tennessee, where there is no oil. The (New Orleans) Jazz moved to Salt Lake City, where they don't allow music."
- Artistic License – History: Reggie Jackson's third home run ball (The one Coop caught) was famously hit into an empty set of bleachers.
- As Himself: A dozen people, notably Bob Costas and Al Michaels, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Victoria Silvstedt (Playmate of the Year), Dale Earnhardt, and Reggie Jackson.
- Ask a Stupid Question...: Denslow's will involves an obviously rhetorical question, to which Coop responds.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: RemerDenslow: People today have attention spans that can only be measured in nanoseconds!
[Coop looks over to see Remer staring at a bird]
Coop: I hear you.
- Author Catchphrase: Early appearances of "Derp," which later appeared in South Park
- Awesome, but Impractical: Many of the psyche-outs require lots of planning, and even some props. Each psyche-out can be used only once, or it loses its shock value. There's no guarantee that they'll even work, such as with the "Fat from Marlon Brando's ass" psyche-out.
- Benevolent Boss: Ted Denslow.
- The Big Damn Kiss: Parodied with Coop and Remer.
- Black Comedy: Remer suggests Squeak say this to psyche-out the L.A. Riots MVP...and it works.Squeak: Hey Tuttle
Squeak: [reading his hand] Your mother's deaf!
Tuttle: My mother's dead, you little twerp.
Squeak: [continues reading] I guess that's why she didn't move around a lot.
- Book Ends: We open with a narrator talking about the majesty of sportsmanship in its decline and we close with that same narrator.
- Both Sides Have a Point: Played with between Coop's control over the NBL and Remer wanting more from it.Remer Dude, quit thinking about yourself for a change!
Coop Dude, I'm not gonna cave in! End of story, dude!
Remer: DUDE!! [Coop is aghast] Dude.
Coop: [speechless] I guess you got a point there.
- Brainless Beauty: Denslow's widow Yvette, she's not very smart
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick:Coop: He goes home, does some push-ups, fucks the sleeve of his favorite jacket...
- Brick Joke: Road Kill: Caught on Tape.
- Butt-Monkey: Poor Squeak.
- Calvinball: Coop and Remer originally make the rules up as they go along to beat the two guys at the party. From there it mutates into an actual sport.
- The playoff format, after the NBL expands.
- Camp Gay: The San Francisco Ferries, team and fans alike.
- Captain Obvious:Bob Costas: And so it all comes down to this; one shot. Coop makes it? The Beers win the cup and get to keep the team.
Al Michaels: Or...he misses!
(Bob looks at him weird and shakes his head)
- Chekhov's Gag:"Hey, I heard your (female relative)'s going out with Squeak!"
- Chew Toy: Squeak, again.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Remer
- Coincidental Broadcast: Coop listening to the radio:Look out ahead, there's a truck changing lanes
And you've got some yellow crumbs on your upper lip...
- Comically Missing the Point: Joey's first wishes include big game hunting a bald eagle or a giant panda, before choosing poisoning a reservoir and throwing flesh-eating fish into a public swimming pool.
- Also, Squeak with his admiring fan. She can't be a dude - she's got the cutest little Adam's apple!
- Remer thinks he has to quit baseketball to get rich.
- This happens every time Cain meets with Coop and/or Remer. He'll discuss his ideas regarding lucrative opportunities, but they'll greatly misinterpret what's Cain is talking about much to his chagrin.
- Delayed Reaction:Coop: I hear your sister's going out with Squeak!
Squeak: (confused) I'm not going with his sister.
Coop: That's the defense, you gotta psych him out.
Remer: Yeah, we gotta say totally fucked up shit to make the other guy misses.
Squeak: Oh, okay. (Beat) Wait a minute, why is me going out with his sister totally fucked up?!
- Distracted by the Sexy: Al Michaels seems to be really fond of the Beers cheerleaders.Bob Costas: Hard to believe that just five years ago, this game was played only on driveways.
Al Michaels: And it's hard to believe just five years ago, those girls were only in grade school.
Bob Costas: [speechless]
- Dirty Old Man: Denslow reveals he's this in his video will.
- Al Michaels has shades of this, particularly when the Beers cheerleaders are performing.
- Doing It for the Art: In-universe example. Coop's philosophy while building the NBL; He wants to create an environment where passion for the sport, not franchising, is the main motivating factor for the players. Even billionaire Ted Denslow agrees. After Coop was given ownership of the sport by Denslow's will, he makes sure it stays that way. However, Coop is so determined to keep it from becoming commercialized that he soon becomes obsessed with control over the sport.Coop: This is not about the money. It's about tradition. Look, think about the greats who have played this game. It's because of them. It's because of us, that I can't bow down to a guy like Cain.
Remer: Dude, that's easy for you to say! You got the team, we got jack-shit!
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Squeak. His real first name is Kenny, but his teammates use his nickname so exclusively that it's assumed to be his given name.
- It gets even better when everyone is referred to by full name and nickname and we get to "Squeak 'Little Bitch' Scolari."
- Everyone Must Be Paired: Coop ends up with his love interest Jenna, and Squeak embraces the possible transgender person he has been sharing looks with. Remer on the other hand looks despondent until he meets gazes with Yvette, a character he has had no interaction with throughout the movie. They immediately begin making out.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Cain doesn't understand why a fellow billionaire like Denslow wouldn't want to commercialize baseketball to make even more money.
- Face Fault: Common result of the psych-outs.
- Fanservice: Any Baseketball cheerleader from any team (in-universe and out). They're practically half-naked most of the time.
- In the season opener after Denslow's death, the cheerleaders for the Beers wear black lingerie.
- Faux Yay: Coop and Remer have a full-on snog session toward the end of the film.
- Fictional Sport
- Fingore: One psyche-out has Coop flip off the opposing player, slowly creep a pair of wire-cutters towards his finger and tear it off. It's a fake, but still...
- Freudian Slippery Slope: Jenna after seeing Coop and Remer naked in the locker room.This is going to be the end of the foundation; it's not endowed like- [Beat] well, like- [...] Enough! Look at yourselves! You're just typical men with humongous... egos. You're like every other pro-athlete, I should have kept those kids away from you, now their little lives are ruined and all you can do is argue over who is the bigger penis- I mean child. [sigh] Long wanger. [gasp] Throbbing cock. [screams]
- Full-Name Basis: "Victoria Silvstedt, Playmate of the Year!"
- Funny Background Event: The movie is full of them. (It is a David Zucker film, after all.)
- Gag Penis: Coop and Remer in the locker room with Jenna. They are as long as the legs they hang between.
- Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Remer early on gives Squeak a pep talk that amounts to him threatening Squeak. When he's done, Squeak slaps him.
- Gold Digger: Yvette is all but stated to have been this. After Denslow leaves the team to Coop, she laments that she gave him "the best three weeks of her life". After hearing Squeak's speech, she may no longer be this.
- Happy Dance: Inverted, Coop does his happy dance whenever he's pissed off, with varying results.
- Hero-Worshipper: Coop is one to Reggie Jackson. In turn, Joey is to Coop.
- Humble Beginnings: In-universe. Baseketball was made up on the spot by Coop and Remer one night. Soon it was being played on suburban driveways even going as far as developing entire amateur leagues within neighborhoods. With the support and financial sponsorship of a billionaire fan and a rapidly growing base, it became a professional league sport. As a nod to the game's roots, many baseketball arenas have backboard façades that resemble suburban garage doors each themed to the arena's home team.Bob Costas: Hard to believe that just five years ago, this game was played only on driveways.
- I Take Offense to That Last One: Remer was offended when Coop tells him he doesn't really care about Jenna just because he was in the hot tub with Victoria Silvstedt, "Playmate of the Year!".Remer: That hurts, man! That really hurts! My clothing line is singlehandedly saving Jenna's foundation!
Coup: Oh, I'm sorry. I forgot how much Doug Remer cares about kids.
- I Will Show You X!: After Squeak acts professionally at his job.Remer: Dude, does it just suck being you?
Squeak: (mutters) I'll show those guys what sucks.
- If I Had a Nickel...:"If I had a nickel for every time this ball's gotten me out of a tight spot, I'd have a shitload of nickels!"
- Innocently Insensitive : A news reporter asks Coop how he's feeling in regards to losing the game and the death of Denslow.Coop: Today I lost the game and a dear friend, and I'm... feeling pretty vulnerable right now. I don't think I should be by myself. I need someone to talk to...
Reporter: It does certainly seem to be raining shit on Joe Cooper.
- Instant Sedation: For one of his psych-outs Remer plays a droning, monotonous book-on-tape in a player's ear, lulling him to sleep in seconds. Doubles as a Take That!: if you listen carefully to the words, you can figure out the book is The Horse Whisperer, even if you've not read it.
- Lampshade Hanging: Coop (Trey Parker) to Remer (Matt Stone):"Oh, now you're such a big shot, you're gonna act in a Hollywood movie? Fuckin' sellout." [awkward pause]
- Littlest Cancer Patient: Joey. Actually, it's liver recipient to be precise, but this still applies.
- Meaningful Echo: The Beers win the final championship game using the exact same play that they won the driveway league championship with at the beginning, complete with identical commentating from the announcers.
- Moment Killer: Remer barges into Coop's apartment in Kramer fashion just as he and Jenna are about to kiss.Remer: Hey Coop, check out all this cool shit we got in the hospital!
- Never My Fault: After the villain blackmails them into forfeiting the Denslow Cup, Remer blames the entire mess on Coop because he wouldn't share control of the NBL and for saying no to Cain's first proposition (thus forcing Cain to take drastic measures in order to change Coop's mind). When Jenna comes down to tell them they've destroyed her foundation, Remer quickly pins the blame on Coop.Coop: Jenna, I can explain...
Remer: Yes, it was his fault.
Remer: You gotta believe me, it's all Coop's fault!
Remer: Thanks for coming back, you really made a big difference in the game.
- After the Beers are starting to lose the Denslow Cup, resulting in a fight:
Coop: Dude, if I haven't been cleaning up your mess, I wouldn't be jet-lagging, shitting curry!
- Oh, Crap!:
- Coop and Remer, when Cain tells them he's blackmailing them.
- Britney's boyfriend Ted, when Coop and Remer tell her he told them about her party. Though his expression is more subdued.
- Only Sane Man:
- Despite being the movie's villain, Baxter Cain is this, mainly because all the heroes (and some of the supporting characters) are complete morons.
- Also Jenna, due to watching over the "health-challenged and survival-impaired" kids and keeping them away from bad influences.
- Opposing Sports Team/The Rival: The Dallas Felons to the Milwaukee Beers.
- Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure: True to form, Coop and Remer have a huge falling out over Coop's refusal to let baseketball be commercialized, as well as their rivalry over Jenna. Which gets worse when they're being blackmailed and blame each other. During the halftime show, while pretending to shake hands, Remer wouldn't let go of Coop's hand, escalating into a fight until Squeak stops them.
- Prisoner's Last Meal: Referenced. Coop and Doug visit a sick kid in a hospital on behalf of the "Dream-Come-True Foundation," and Coop suggests that the kid's opportunity to have a personal request granted to him is better than the meal that people on death row get.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: After infighting between Coop and Remer threatens their shot at winning the championship game, Squeak delivers one to them at halftime while dressed as a pineapple.
- Right Behind Me: At the house party near the beginning of the movie, Brittany is standing right behind Coop and Remer when she catches them going through her mom's underwear drawer.
- Right in Front of Me:[Remer rings the doorbell]
Coop: I don't wanna go to a party with a bunch of losers from high school!
Remer: This is Britney Kaiser's house, and I really really wanna fuck her.
[notices Britney's dad just opened the door and overheard them]
Coop and Remer: Dr. Kaiser!
- Running Gag:
- Second Place Is for Losers: After winning the fourth Denslow Cup in the beginning of the film, the Felons are shown wearing WINNERS hats and T-shirts as they are interviewed while celebrating. Cut to the Beers locker room - who are wearing matching LOSERS hats and T-shirts.
- Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Ted Denslow is already rich, but he made Baseketball into a real sport because he wanted a national sport that focuses more on the spirit of the game than the franchising.
Coop: Dammit, man! I'm trying to save an innocent life!Remer: I'm giving it all I've got, Captain!
- La-Z-Boy, to Roy Hobbs' Wonderboy (a bat he carved himself from a fallen tree) in The Natural.
- The salute Coop, Remer and Squeak give at the end was copied from a touchdown celebration ("The Mile High Salute") the Denver Broncos were known for at the time.
- Star Trek jokes during the second hospital scene (Matt and Trey being huge Star Trek fans).
- South Park
- Coop psyches a guy who never misses using his Eric Cartman voice to throw him off.
- While talking to Remer in the locker room, Coop dips into Mr. Garrison's voice when he sarcastically quips about "how much Doug Reemer cares about kids."
- Earlier, he also talked to Denslow briefly in a voice similar to Tweek's dad.
- "I'm the king of the world!"
- "Remember to hold your breath just before we hit-NEVER LET GO!!!"
- An in-universe example; Coop's number 44 pays homage to his sports hero Reggie Jackson who was number 44 on the Yankees.
- "FREEDOM!! FREEEEDOM!!"
- Small Role, Big Impact: Ted Denslow barely has 10 minutes of screentime, but it's because of his financial backing that Baseketball became a national pasttime.
- Sportscaster Cameo: Bob Costas and Al Michaels (as themselves) do the play-by-play for the Beers, and it's more than a cameo — in fact they probably get more screen time than Ernest Borgnine as Ted Denslow. Other sportscasters turn up briefly, including Dan Patrick, Kenny Mayne, Tim McCarver, and Jim Lampley.
- Strange Minds Think Alike:
- Both Coop and Remer think Shaq got rich from playing in college. Coop believes that's common knowledge.
- "Did I just fart?"
- Straw Loser: At the start of the movie, Coop and Remer face the fact that they've done nothing with their lives since high school, especially since it seems like ALL their former classmates are successful.
- Stunt Double: In-universe. Remer has one running the bases for him.
- Take That!: It's a movie by the South Park crew; The list could fill its own page.
- Take That Us: See Lampshade Hanging above.
- Those Two Guys: Coop and Remer before the NBL was established.
- Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Squeak and his "female" fan are the extreme of this.
- Trash Talk: "Psyche-Outs"; an official part of the game.
- Two Decades Behind: Pop culture-wise. Minor example with Denslow Played for Laughs to show how out of touch he is the youth.
- Vapor Wear: The cheerleaders' "uniforms", from any team tend to be lingerie of some sort.
- Verbal Tic: Coop and Remer mutter "cock" randomly on occasion. Notably at the party in the beginning, every time they've been insulted.
- Video Wills: How Denslow leaves the team to Coop.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Ted Denslow
- What the Hell, Hero?: Squeak gives one to both Coop and Remer during his Rousing Speech, for the team's near-losing because they only cared about money (Remer) and power (Coop).
- You Are Fat: Coop gets a critical psyche out at the top of the 9th inning during the Denslow Cup by using his "Cartman" voice.
- Your Mom: A lot of the psyche-outs worked out this way. But the one that got the Beers back to the Denslow Cup scored Squeak an ass-kicking from a rather large Los Angeles Riots player. Said beatdown becomes a Funny Background Event during one of Coop and Remer's later arguments. The funny part is that Remer wrote the script on the palm of Squeak's hand:Squeak: (reading the palm of his hand) "Your mother's deaf."
Ed Tuttle: My mother's dead, you little twerp.
Squeak: (keeps reading) "I guess that's why she didn't move around a lot."
- You're Nothing Without Your Phlebotinum: Coop and his La-Z-Boy ball. Ultimately subverted.