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Western Animation / Baseball Bugs

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"Attention, please. Attention. There's been a slight change in the Tea Totaller lineup. Catching, Bugs Bunny. Left field, Bugs Bunny. Right field, Bugs Bunny. Pitching, Bugs Bunny. Third base, Bugs Bunny. Centerfield, Bugs Bunny. First base, Bugs Bunny. Shortstop, Bugs Bunny. Second base, Bugs Bunny."
PA Announcer

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

Bugs is a baseball fan taking in a game at the Polo Grounds between the Gas-House Gorillas, a team of burly roughnecks, and the Tea Totallers, a squad of fragile old men. The Tea Totallers are losing the game 95-0 when Bugs begins heckling the Gorillas, calling them "dirty players" and claiming he could "lick them in a ballgame with one hand tied behind my back... all by myself!" This leads to the Gorillas forcing Bugs to suit up and make good on his boast. Bugs, playing against the Gorillas alone, uses his typical schemes to win the game.

"Baseball Bugs" provides examples of:

  • 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.
  • Artistic License Sports: All over the place, but the ending deserves a special mention. Bugs makes the last out by throwing his glove in the air and catching the ball. Throwing your glove at the ball trying to catch it in such a manner is illegal and results in a three-base penalty. Not that it would have mattered, because, putting aside the fact that a tree was used as a bat in this case, once the ball left the field of play, it would have been declared a home run.
  • Baseball Episode: In this episode, Bugs single-handedly takes on the Gas-House Gorillas in a baseball game when he says that he could beat them with one hand behind his back.
  • 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 Brooklyn Dodgers in that era, when the Cardinals were called the "Gas House Gang." The Gorillas' uniform colors, dark gray and navy blue, also bear a resemblance to the road uniforms of the New York Yankees, an American League powerhouse and frequent opponent of both the Cardinals and Dodgers whenever one of them made the World Series in the 1940s and '50s.
  • 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 invoked by the Gorillas, as they call his bluff that he could beat them all by himself. Naturally being Looney Tunes, he is able to pull this off well.
  • 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, races after a towering Gorilla fly ball that rockets out of the ballpark, hails a taxicab to pursue it, and climbs the "Umpire State Building" to catch it 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.
    Umpire: One, two, three strikes, you're out! One, two, three strikes, you're out! One, two, three strikes, you're out!
  • 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 Sludge, 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.
  • Special Edition Title: This is only one of two shorts ending with Bugs coming out of the Looney Tunes drum, chomping a carrot, and saying, "An' dat's de end." (The other one being Hare Tonic.)
  • 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: In the outfield there's a billboard for "Mike Maltese, Ace Detective" (a nod to the short's eponymous story man), and another reading "Ross Co. Finer Footwear for the Brats" (referencing animator Virgil Ross).
  • Under Statement: Only a slight change in the Tea Totallers lineup.
  • 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):


Slow Ball

Bugs Bunny decides to perplex his opponents with his very literal "slow ball".

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / PainfullySlowProjectile

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