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Pinball / Whoa Nellie! Big Juicy Melons

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"Who don't like big juicy melons?"

Whoa Nellie! Big Juicy Melons (usually just called Big Juicy Melons or Whoa Nellie!) is a single-player Physical Pinball Table, the first pinball machine from WhizBang Pinball.

In 2009, sensing a growing interest in "boutique" pinball games, industry veterans Dennis Nordman (design) and Greg Freres (art) reunited at Seattle's Northwest Pinball and Gameroom Show. The two soon formed WhizBang Pinball, with Big Juicy Melons as their first project.

Instead of a modern game, Melons is an electro-mechanical table that was made by reusing the components of a 1957 Gottlieb Continental Cafe on an all-new playfield, wrapped up with new art and current lighting and imaging techniques in an original theme. Three other machines were similarly made using a modular solid state system called "PinKit", and the result is a retro throwback that remains true to the integrity of the electro-mechanical era while weaving in modern sensibilities.

The game was publicly unveiled at Pinball Expo 2011, and all four tables were quickly sold for a hefty price. Some die-hard fans have since taken to creating their own tables, with Greg Freres sharing the cabinet art and Classic Playfields selling playfield plastics.

The creation of Big Juicy Melons is documented on WhizBang Pinball's blog.

In October 2014, Stern Pinball announced an agreement with WhizBang to mass-produce Whoa Nellie! tables, using a blend of electro-mechanical and solid-state components such as mechanical score reels, real bells, a digital soundtrack, and modern serviceability features while retaining the original's look and feel. The tables were released in early 2015 for $6,500 each.

A digital version is available in The Pinball Arcade and Stern Pinball Arcade.

Whoa Nellie! Check out these tropes!

  • Alcohol Hic: There's a very drunk guy in the lower-left corner of the playfield whose sole line of dialogue is full of hiccups.
    "*Hic* The brest band *Hic* best brand *Hic* ever!"
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Melony and the twins. Melony has blonde hair, Hellen has medium-brown hair, and Ellen's hair is almost completely black.
  • Boyfriend-Blocking Dad: The Mellon patriarch wields a shotgun to deter would-be suitors (or worse) from his daughters.
    Dad: "Hands off the twins!"
  • Cap: The score caps at 9,999 points, as there are only four scoring reels in the backbox. However, the Stern release has a miniature DMD below the left flipper that can display higher scores.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: The "Thumpin'" feature, achieved by lighting all four bumpers, then shooting the center hole. The first time you collect it, it turns off all of the bumpers, at which point relighting them makes them worth 20 points instead of 10 for the rest of the ball. If you can somehow manage to pull it off twice in one ball, it also doubles the value of lit targets, from 200 to a massive 400. This is incredibly risky not only due to how difficult it is to relight the bumpers, but also the fact that you have the potential to set yourself back significantly if you drain with fewer bumpers lit than you started (since lit bumpers are by far the easiest and safest way of scoring points in this game). If you can pull it off, however, you unlock the potential to achieve truly massive scores that are virtually impossible otherwise.
  • Double Entendre: The game is filled with sexual innuendo, usually involving the girls and big melons.
    Hick: (pointing at a flock of geese) Look at them honkers!
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: Out of all the Mellon sisters, the one featured on the backglass, the promotional materials, and on The Merch is the blonde Melony.
  • Farts on Fire: A bucking horse on the playfield gets its flatulence lit by a match, forming a fireball (score light).
  • Gonna Need More X: One of the playfield plastics has a photographer who comments, "I need a bigger... lens."
  • Head-Turning Beauty: On the backglass, Melony is standing while holding a pair of melons, oblivious to the lustful farm workers (and horse) completely distracted behind her.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Melony and her sisters are busty Farmer's Daughters; their attractiveness is key to the game's humor, as they're surrounded by men who're taken in by their appearance and various Double Entendres about their "melons".
  • Officially Shortened Title: Nordman and Freres often shorten Whoa Nellie! Big Juicy Melons to WNBJM in writing.
  • Retraux: The game was made with cannibalized parts from old electromagnetic pinball games, despite being made in The New '10s.
  • Skill Shot: Soft plunge the ball so that it goes into the blinking lane near the shooter lane exit to score 200 points and light one of the bumpers. Notably, this can be repeated any time the ball re-enters the shooter lane.
  • Toilet Humour: One of the playfield plastics shows a horse shooting a green melon out of its posterior.
  • Visual Pun:
    • The horse with its fart on fire is a "hot ass".
    • On the backglass is a collie dog playing with a melon; maybe he's feeling melon-collie?

"Nice action! And the melons ain't bad either."

Alternative Title(s): Big Juicy Melons, Whoa Nellie