They ain't had any learning.
Still they're happy as can be
Doin' what comes naturally (doin' what comes naturally)."
A 1946 musical developed by Irving Berlin and siblings Herbert and Dorothy Fields, under the supervision of producers Rodgers and Hammerstein. Ethel Merman originated the title role, and sang many a classic standard, including "There's no business like show business." A film version, with Betty Hutton in the lead, was released in 1950. The musical has been revived several times since on Broadway, most recently starring Bernadette Peters, Reba McEntire, and Susan Lucci (All My Children).
It follows the tale of one Annie Oakley: sharpshooter, and the man she'll one day marry, Frank Butler: sharpshooter. They meet when he's the star of Buffalo Bill's Circus, but it's rivalry, not love, at first sight. It's going to be hard, but eventually, they do finally get together in the end.
This show features examples of:
- Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better: The Trope Namer. Annie and Frank argue over who is the better shot, the better singer, best knitter etc.
- Butt-Monkey: Dolly Tate. She is constantly mocked by everyone, especially Charlie, but Annie and Frank get in on it too. Justified in that she is a mean-spirited, bigoted snob who hates everyone regardless.
- Incredibly Long Note: "Anything You Can Do" - specifically, "Any note you can hold, I can hold longer." She can.
- List Song: "I'm An Indian, Too" lists many American Indian names of this type.
- Men Act, Women Are: Inverted for most of the musical, where Anne is doing all the acting and Frank is not. The reason she gets the guy is because she holds back on her competition (courtesy of a rigged gun).
- No Guy Wants an Amazon: Why Annie sings "You Can't Get A Man With A Gun."
- Right in Front of Me: When Annie meets Frank, she not only doesn't know who he is, but she calls him a "big swollen-headed stiff."
- She Cleans Up Nicely: Annie puts on a formal gown for the reception before the merger and Frank takes it as a sign that she's becoming a lady.
- Terms of Endangerment: Pawnee Bill and Buffalo Bill refer to each other, respectively, as "you big bandit" and "you old pirate". They may or may not mean this lovingly.
- Very Loosely Based on a True Story: Annie and Frank were real life show shooters and they got married but much of this story is fabricated.