Winnie the Pooh's Home Run Derby is a 2007 Japanese Flash baseball video game published at the Disney website. The player controls Pooh in order to defeat his eight friends in a baseball's home run challenge. The game won a cult following in early 2013 and became a viral hit due to its extreme difficulty.
The brutal difficulty, thanks to the Internet, has lead to the common interpretation that all of the pitchers are either sadistic assholes or supernatural beings comprised of pure evil. This is especially true with the final pitcher, Christopher Robin himself.
On July 4, 2019, it was announced that the Flash game will be officially discontinued in December 2020, which is the same time that Adobe Flash itself will be discontinued.
Disney released the official English version here.
This game provides examples of:
- Aluminum Christmas Trees: If you've ever seen a pro pitcher throw a knuckleball, you'll know that Owl's pitches (while unquestionably an exaggeration) aren't quite as impossible and "physics-defying" as most players assume.
- Always Night: Inverted. Night just never falls, not even as a challenge.
- Art-Style Dissonance: It's a cartoony Winnie-The-Pooh game. How hard could it possibly be?
- Beware the Silly Ones: You wouldn't expect stuffed cartoon animals to have superhuman pitching skills.
- Bizarre and Improbable Ballistics: With baseballs, not bullets. Rabbit's and Owl's pitches move in a blatantly physically impossible way, with Rabbit's pitches moving slowly and then speeding up, and Owl's pitches moving in a zigzagging manner. And yet, even they have nothing on Tigger's pitches, which in midflight become invisible.
- The Cameo: While on the overhead view, you can see Gopher as an umpire.
- Can't Drop the Hero: Pooh Bear is the only character you can actually play as. The rest are pitchers you must hit a number of home runs off of. Except Gopher, as stated above.
- Confusion Fu: Unpredictability is the mighty Christopher Robin's secret weapon.
- Difficulty by Region: In response to how everyone got angry at how hard the original game was, the English version was made easier to alleviate it. The internet was neither grateful nor amused, and anyone they see playing the English version is considered a a wuss (a la I Wanna Be the Guy).
- Difficulty Spike: The first three stages are fairly straightforward. It's when you get to Kanga when the erratic ball movements begin. And it only gets worse from there.
- Final Boss: Christopher Robin, who perhaps borders on True Final Boss due to being in the Special stage.
- Final-Exam Boss: Christopher Robin uses ball patterns taken from the previous bosses.
- From Bad to Worse: Happens each time you defeat an opponent and move on to the next one.
- Marathon Level: Winning a level requires hitting dozens of balls. And you must sit through the rest of the pitches even if the level becomes Unwinnable.
- Nintendo Hard: And how! It starts off really easy, but quickly escalates to a level reached only by few games in existence. What, you thought a game about Winnie the Pooh would be easy?
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: Pooh's friends may not have become villains, but their stages are sadistically hard to clear. Especially Christopher Robin.
- Reality Is Out to Lunch: The pitches get really weird on the later stages. Really weird.
- Reality Warper: Everyone from Kanga to Christopher Robin. And this isn't just our Running Gag either, it has to be seen to be believed.
- Serial Escalation: Each opponent is more difficult than the previous, with more and more difficult pitch patterns and styles, reaching yet again and again a new high in unfairness, until they transcend any and all rules of physics and logic.
- Sugar Bowl: Well, a sugar bowl with horribly difficult baseball games...
- Terrible Trio: Rabbit, Owl, and Christopher Robin.
- Time Master: Rabbit can control the flow of time, making it a lot harder to anticipate the timing.
- Wake-Up Call Boss:
- Kanga and Roo are the first to throw physics-bending pitches, unlike the first three opponents who throw simple fastballs.
- Piglet might not have the erratic pitches of the latter opponents, but he throws his balls much faster than Eeyore or Lumpy do, marking the first Difficulty Spike of the game.