The fortieth episode, both of the first season and overall, of Tiny Toon Adventures. "The ACME Bowl" sees ACME Looniversity's football team, facing off against Perfecto Prep's team.
ACME Loo's football team, the Toonsters, hasn't won a single game all season, and everyone is dreading the game they will be playing against their biggest rivals; namely the undefeated Perfecto Prep. Fortunately, all is not lost, as Buster has been signed onto the team as their new quarterback, and he has brought with them a new book of plays that he hopes will ensure ACME Loo's first victory. However, this move is still very much a Hail Mary, so to speak, and no one is still quite sure that ACME Loo will bring it home.
The problems don't end there, either. Plucky wants to defect to Perfecto, and steals the new play book for them. Now Plucky must help make sure Perfecto wins the game so they'll accept him. How will it all end?
This episode provides examples of:
- Academy of Evil: Perfecto's status as this is really driven home in this episode, to the point that the interior design of their main building makes them come off like a cult.
- Animation Bump: Jon Mcclenahan's animation of the pep rally in the first act, and some of Glen Kennedy's animation in the third act (like the cheerleaders in a war zone, or Plucky dressing in drag.)
- Batman Gambit: It turns out that almost the entire plot, from Plucky wanting to defect to Perfecto to many of their actions out on the field, was all an elaborate scheme by Buster and Plucky to score ACME Loo's first win of the season.
- Broken Pedestal: Throughout the episode, Lil' Sneezer cheers for Plucky, his favorite player, at every opportunity and calls him his hero. Needless to say, Sneezer is heartbroken when he finds out about Plucky's plan to throw the game and transfer to Perfecto. It's ultimately subverted when it turns out that Plucky was never planning to, as it was part of the plan to get ACME Loo's victory.
- Credits Gag: Homecoming Queen: Jean MacCurdy
- Dropped Glasses: Babs loses a contact lens while she's running a play. The entire Perfecto Prep team stops to help her look for it. She takes advantage of the distraction to run in for a touchdown after popping her lens back in.note Buster is merely surprised to learn she actually has brown eyes (to Babs' chagrin).
- Flat Joy: The rather subdued cheering from Perfecto's cheerleader squad."Perfecto. Rah."
- Gretzky Has the Ball: Babs doesn't know the slightest thing about football, encouraging them to go out and "hit a home run" when she and the other cheerleaders take to the field to help fill out the roster in the climax.
- Head-Turning Beauty: Plucky goes absolutely bananas upon meeting Margo from Perfecto Prep.
- In with the In Crowd: Plucky seemingly desires to transfer to Perfecto Prep as they always seem to win. A line from Danworth Duck makes it clear that Perfecto is planning on screwing Plucky over when they win the football game, though. And then subverted when the final play reveals it was all a setup to get Plucky a clear run for the decisive touchdown.
- Lustful Melt: Twice, first Buster in reaction to being hugged by Babs early on, and later Plucky in reaction to just seeing Margo.
- Off-Model: With Kennedy Cartoons animating, it's bound to happen...
- Calamity looks like a miniaturized Wile E. Coyote in this shot◊ of the football team.
- Sam Sheepdog's unnamed Junior Counterpart has an oddly drawn duplicate of himself on the field◊ in one shot.
- A strangely drawn and miscolored Daffy◊ can be seen among several spectating Looney Tunes characters near the end.
- At times, Roderick Rat's ears are drawn pointed instead of round, making him look somewhat like a cat.
- Reverse Mole: Plucky, as it turns out.
- Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Perfecto Prep doesn't intend to honor their deal with Plucky when he pretended to betray Acme Looniversity.
- Rule of Three: At the beginning of the episode, the ACME Looniversity football team loses to three rival football teams; The University of Woodpeckers, the Santa Anna Barbarians, and the Metropolis Marvels, in that respective order.
- Running Gag: After finding out about Plucky, Sneezer begins showing up in random places to ask Plucky: "Say it ain't so, Plucky!"
- The Running Gag of Sneezer asking plucky to "Say it ain't so" is a reference to Eight Men Out, and the famous (but apocryphal) story that "Shoeless" Joe Jackson was confronted by young fans in the wake of the Black Sox Scandal.
- Sneezer giving Plucky his soda after winning the game, and Plucky in turn giving him his jersey, is a nod to the famous Coca-Cola commercial featuring "Mean" Joe Green.
- Ship Tease:
- Buster confesses in an early scene that the only reason he took the quarterback spot was to score a date with the head cheerleader (Babs).
- Fifi hugging Hamton at the game's end.
- Spit Take: Throughout the big game against Perfecto Prep, whenever Sylvester talks, his spit fills up the booth that he and Porky are in, gradually flooding it.
- Suddenly Fluent in Gibberish: When Dizzy arrives on the field to serve as ACME Loo's secret weapon, he has trouble understanding what they want him to do until Buster explains the plan to Dizzy in Dizzy's dialect.
- Take That!: The University of Woodpeckers, the Santa Anna Barbarians, and the Metropolis Marvels are parodies of Woody Woodpecker, Fred Flintstone, and Superman, respectively.
- Threatening Shark: Sylvester's spitting as he talks as he commentates on the game floods the booth, and soon Porky is fighting off one of these.
- Toothy Bird: Non-avian example; The elephant student at Perfecto Prep, who, like Sappy Stanley in "Who Bopped Bugs Bunny", speaks through his trunk.
- Torso with a View: Dizzy spins and leaves a hole in one of Perfecto's players as he chases the football during his time on the field.
- Visual Pun:
- The halftime show is provided by Wackyland's rubber band.
- "The second half of the ACME Bowl has turned out to be quite a battle!" (cue Stock Footage from a World War II movie)
- Wham Line: The true nature of half the episode's plot is revealed once Plucky answers Sneezer's desperate questions:Lil Sneezer: (teary-eyed) Say it ain't so, Plucky..."
Plucky: It ain't so, Sneezer.