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Film / Tit for Tat

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Tit for Tat is a 1935 short film directed by Charles Rogers, starring Laurel and Hardy.

Stan and Ollie have started up an electronics store. It's their opening day, but they are surprised to find out that the grocery across the street is owned by Mr. Hall, their antagonist from 1934 Laurel and Hardy short Them Thar Hills. Ollie goes over and tries to make amends but mean, cranky Mr. Hall will have none of it. When an accident involving a freight elevator and a ladder leads to Ollie getting perched outside a second-floor ledge, Mr. Hall makes the mistaken conclusion that Ollie is having an affair with his wife. A war of destruction ensues.

As noted above, a sequel to the previous year's Them Thar Hills. The only sequel L&H ever did, as their series generally featured Negative Continuity.


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Tropes:

  • Aside Glance: Ollie did it at least Once an Episode, here looking at the camera after Mr. Hall uses a meat slicer to slice off the top of his hat.
  • Ask a Stupid Question...: After Stan triggers the freight elevator, causing Ollie to get stuck on a second-floor ledge.
    Stan: Whatcha doing up there?
    Ollie: I'm waiting for a streetcar.
  • Brick Joke: When the policeman asks near the end what Ollie was doing up on the Halls' window ledge, Stan helpfully chimes in that he was just waiting for a streetcar.
  • Call-Back: The sign on Stan and Ollie's store says "Open for Big Business". Appropriate as this film like that one features an Escalating War.
    • Mrs. Hall jogs Stan and Ollie's memory of their previous encounter by singing "The Old Spinning Wheel" in the same manner the three of them had in Them Thar Hills.
    Ollie: What's he [Mr. Hall] looking at?
    Stan: Remember that fellow who we met in the trailer? Remember, his wife came in, and she asked for a drink of water, and-
    Mrs. Hall: (smiling behind them) ♪Tra la la, laa la la, laa la la la.♪
    Stan:Pum pum.
  • Enemy Eats Your Lunch: Stan and Ollie steal and eat a marshmallow from their neighbor's grocery store everytime they went inside to inflict some sort of revenge on him in their Escalating War. Hilarity Ensues when the marshmallows get spiked with alum.
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  • Failed a Spot Check: Stan and Ollie are so focused on their feud with the grocer next door, they completely overlook the shoplifter ransacking their own shop. Even when he's loading the entire contents into a removal van.
  • Forgotten Trope: The alum gag, in which Stan and Ollie suffer the lip-puckering effects of alum when they eat some marshmallows that Mr. Hall has sprinkled.
  • Jerkass: Even before recognizing the boys, Mr. Hall responds rudely when they come over to pay neighborly respects. Once their memories are jogged, Ollie clearly holds no grudges over their previous encounter and makes an offer of truce, but Hall rebuffs him, setting the tone for their interactions moving forward.
  • Malaproper: Stan as usual, this time completely botching a quote from Othello:
    Stan: He who filters your good name steals trash.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: Ollie escapes from the ledge by going through the Halls' apartment, which leads Mr. Hall to think his wife is cheating on him when Ollie and Mrs. Hall exit the residence laughing. It doesn't help when Ollie says "I've never been in a position like that before."
  • Refuge in Audacity: A thief walks into Stan and Ollie's store, in broad daylight, repeatedly. And says "How do you do?" to them when he sees them.
  • Running Gag: The cheerful fellow who steals something from Stan and Ollie's store every time they leave it, unlocked, to go and screw with Mr. Hall. In the end he backs up a moving truck and cleans them out completely.
  • Title Drop: How Ollie describes their little war, leading Stan to tip his hat when he mishears.

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