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Western Animation / Baseball Bugs

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Baseball Bugs is a 1946 Looney Tunes cartoon directed by Friz Freleng and starring Bugs Bunny.

In this cartoon, Bugs is watching a baseball game at the Polo Grounds between the Gas-House Gorillas, a bunch of burly roughnecks, and the Tea Totallers, who are all fragile old men. The Tea Totallers are losing 95-0 when Bugs, who is a fan, starts heckling the Gorillas. The Gorillas in turn force Bugs to play against them in the game. Bugs, playing all by himself, uses his typical schemes to defeat the Gorillas.

Listed in the 2010 book The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes, and a runner-up on The 50 Greatest Cartoons list.



  • Added Alliterative Appeal: "Watch me paste this pathetic palooka with a powerful paralyzing perfect pachydermous percussion pitch."
  • Alliterative Title: "Baseball Bugs".
  • Animal Athlete Loophole: Ain't No Rule says a rabbit can't play baseball! Although this is an unusual example in that the opposing team forces Bugs to play.
  • Baseball Episode
  • Bland-Name Product: The Gas-House Gorillas are a thinly veiled and unflattering caricature of the St. Louis Cardinals, a National League powerhouse and rival to the Dodgers in that era, when the Cardinals were called the "Gas House Gang."
  • Cigar Chomper: Several Gorillas, especially the pitcher.
  • Circling Birdies: After Bugs tags out one of the Gorillas, the guy has angelic baseball players playing catch over his head.
  • Crew of One: Bugs is forced to play every position for the Tea Totallers, even playing pitcher and catcher simultaneously, which requires him to outrun the ball and catch his own pitch! Justified and Enforced by the Gorillas, as he said earlier that he could beat them by himself. Naturally being Looney Tunes, he is able to pull this off well.
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  • Distracted by the Sexy: The catcher is waiting to tag out Bugs, but Bugs holds up a pinup poster to distract him. Bugs is safe.
  • Down to the Last Play: Bugs, leading 96-95 in the bottom of the ninth and with a runner on base, climbs the "Umpire State Building" to catch a Gorilla fly ball for the final out.
  • Duck Season, Rabbit Season: Bugs uses his patented rapid contradiction argument to get the Gashouse Gorilla (disguised as the umpire) that had originally called him out to instead call him safe. This example came five years before the trope namer, "Rabbit Fire".
  • Exact Words: Bugs heckles the Gorillas, saying he can beat them one hand tied behind his back, all by himself. The team calls him bluff and make him a Crew of One. That said, he doesn't have to play with one hand.
  • Follow That Car: Bugs hails a taxi to "Follow that ball!" after a Gorilla hits a ball out of the Polo Grounds. Unfortunately for Bugs, the driver is another Gorilla.
  • Gretzky Has the Ball: Well, it's a cartoon; in Real Life you can't hail a taxi to chase down a fly ball. But the ending is still interesting—Bugs flings his glove into the air to catch the ball for the last out. Throwing your glove at the ball is illegal and results in a three-base penalty.
  • Humiliation Conga: a literal example: the Gorillas score so many runs at one point that they perform a conga line around the bases!
  • Instant Gravestone: One Gorilla goes back chasing after a fly ball, yelling "I got it! I got it!". He gets plowed in the ground by the ball and a tombstone pops up saying "He got it."
  • Let's See YOU Do Better!: How Bugs ends up playing in the game, since he brought it on himself.
  • Living Statue: After he makes the game-winning catch, the Statue of Liberty sides with Bugs on the call.
  • Loophole Abuse: Bugs stretches the rules of baseball a bit. To be fair, so do the Gas House Gorillas. A conga line of constant home runs?
  • Not My Driver: That taxi driver plays for the Gorillas.
  • Oh, Crap!: The Gashouse Gorilla disguised as an umpire upon realizing that Bugs tricked him into calling him safe.
  • Opposing Sports Team: The Gashouse Gorillas. As is standard, they have a build that fits the name and a brutality on the field to match.
  • Painfully Slow Projectile: Bugs' "slow ball", which manages to strike out three players in succession before even reaching home plate.
  • Pinball Gag: Bugs hits a line drive that bounces off all the outfielders, causing each to light up as he's hit. The scoreboard then displays a "Tilt" message.
  • Shout-Out:
    • One of the Tea Totallers says "I'm only ninety-three-and-a-half years old", a variation of the Lou Costello line "I'm only three-and-a-half years old", a favorite of the Termite Terrace crew.
    • One of the billboards advertises Filboid Studge, a fictional food product from a Hector Hugh Munro story.
    • A Gorilla outfielder crashes into a billboard asking, "Does your tobacco taste different lately?" This was a real-life slogan for Sir Walter Raleigh brand tobacco.
    • The Statue of Liberty and Bugs going "That's what the man said, that's what he said, you heard what he said, he said that, that's what he said, you heard what he said, etc." is a reference to Rochester from The Jack Benny Program.
  • Spiritual Successor: Gone Batty (1954) follows a similar story as this one, where a cute animal athlete tries to pull off a miracle rally against a team of husky bullies similar to the Gas House Gorillas.
  • Telephone Polearm: The very last Gorilla to take the bat hacks down a whole tree to use as a bat, wanting to make REALLY sure he doesn't miss.
  • Tuckerization: There's a billboard for (story man) "Mike Maltese, Ace Detective".
  • Visual Pun:
    • The bat boy has bat wings.
    • When a "screaming liner" is hit, the ball is literally screaming.
  • Wartime Cartoon: Released five months after World War II ended, actually, but after tagging out a Gorilla, Bugs holds up a sign saying "Was this trip really necessary?". This was a wartime slogan meant to encourage fuel conservation.


Video Example(s):


Baseball Bugs

The trope namer wasn't the first time Bugs pulled a fast one.

How well does it match the trope?

4.86 (28 votes)

Example of:

Main / DuckSeasonRabbitSeason

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Main / DuckSeasonRabbitSeason