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Western Animation / The Screwball

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So... trying to get in on your nerve, eh?note 
The Screwball is a 1943 short directed by Alex Lovy, starring Walter Lantz's batty bird, Woody Woodpecker.

A baseball game for the Droops and the Drips is currently in session, but Woody is kicked out by a local policeman before he can enter due to not paying to see said game. However, he manages to sneak in and get into a series of baseball hijinks.


  • Agony of the Feet: When Woody manages to get into the baseball game, he finds a folded up seat with a sleeping audience member's feet underneath it. He gets up on the seat and tries to get it open by bouncing on it, and when he does, said audience member is pulled up, cries out in pain and demands that Woody get off. The woodpecker obliges, leaving the audience member with bent feet.
  • Animal Athlete Loophole: Woody participates in the baseball game itself without any repercussions.
  • Artistic License – Sports: Just like the Looney Tunes cartoon, Baseball Bugs (despite The Screwball predating it by three years), the short is riddled with this all over, and one scene has Woody even tossing his glove at the ball to catch it, which would result in a three-base penalty.
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  • Baseball Episode: Need we say more?
  • Eye Scream: At the beginning of the short, a guy bores a hole into the fence to peek through and see the game, only to be poked in the eye by the policeman's baton. The officer then does the same to some other people, but eventually has his baton pecked into a stake by Woody.
  • Kick the Dog: The policeman sticking his baton through several holes and into the eyes of people peeking through.
  • Impact Silhouette: Woody makes his entrance by pecking an outline of himself in the fence and opening it like a door to walk inside, only to be caught and evicted by the policeman.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: After all of the mischief Woody has caused, he finally gets his just desserts when he is assaulted by a barrage of baseballs, three of which are even impaled through his beak.
  • Literal-Minded: When the pitcher demands that Woody toss him "the lil' apple", Woody assumes that he means an actual apple and tosses one at him.
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  • Loophole Abuse: When Woody realizes that kids can get a free admission into the game for returning baseballs, he grabs a cannonball and hands it to the policeman, allowing him to sneak in while the officer is driven into the ground by the cannonball's weight.
  • Morton's Fork: Near the end of the short, Woody runs away from the policeman, only to find some baseball players charging towards him, and when he looks back, the officer is now hot on his tail. Eventually, he manages to find a way out by flying towards the baseball players and pecking their bats in half.
  • Painfully Slow Projectile: The pitcher tosses a ridiculously slow-moving baseball that Woody fails to hit and is caught by the catcher.
  • Rule of Three: Woody's beak gets three baseballs skewered through it at the end of the cartoon.
  • Soda Can Shakeup: Woody is about to drink a bottle of soda when he is suddenly confronted by the policeman from earlier, so he shakes the bottle and hands it to him, resulting in the officer getting a faceful of soda.
  • Suddenly Shouting
    Policeman: So... (laughs) trying to get in on your nerve eh? Well YOU'RE GOING OUT ON YOUR EAR!
  • Title Drop: Almost. When Woody first participates in the game, the catcher pushes a button on his baseball mitt that causes it to display "SCREWBALL".
  • The Worst Seat in the House: Woody relocates to a different seat after his first choice leaves an audience member with a feet injury, only for a cowboy with a massive hat to come in and take the seat in front. Woody has trouble seeing the game as a result, so he asks the cowboy to remove his hat. The cowboy nonchalantly obliges, but his hair is revealed to be just as big underneath, so Woody ultimately uses a lawnmower to shave the middle part of the cowboy's hair off, allowing him to get a good view again.
  • Would Hurt a Child: One of the many people who gets poked in the eye by the policeman is a young boy.