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A character gets squished into the shape of a ball and played with. Often times it's into the size of a basketball, and the person who did the squishing bounces and shoots or slam dunks the victim into a hoop.

Not to be confused with Rounded Character. See also Accordion Man, Squashed Flat, Rolling Attack.

Examples of Be the Ball include:

Anime and Manga

  • Kinnikuman gets rolled up and kicked around by his enemies in the second opening. Also, Benkiman does to his larger opponents to compress them into a more easily-flushed shape.
  • Berry Good, a Marine captain in One Piece, combines this with Detachment Combat. He can transform into several small floating balls that he controls at will.
  • Majin Buu in Dragon Ball Z performs his ball attack when fighting Gotenks.
  • Whenever they are not fighting, Bakugans will actually compress themselves into tiny spheres.

Comic Books


  • A rare example of a LIVE person occurs in Space Jam, with Michael Jordan.
  • The fat kid in Hook can do this. How clever.
  • Another live action example is in Kazaam with Shaquille O'Neal during the climax when Shaq's character uses his genie magic to turn the villain into a ball and slam dunks him into a garbage chute, since, you know, he's a basketball player.
  • In Sky High, the kids of Superhero parents are divided into those with the abilities of heroes and those of sidekicks. One girl's power is to turn into a giant rubber beach ball. The unimpressed Coach kicks her away shouting "SIDEKICK!"
  • It was also done in The Toxic Avenger Part II, with a midget.
  • Occurs in Godzilla Final Wars in which Godzilla and King Seesar have an imprompteau soccer match using Anguirus as the ball.


  • In the book Harry Sue, the main character was thrown from her family's apartment by her father when she was five, and since her dad played basketball, he squished her into a ball first and launched her out hard enough that she landed in a nearby tree instead of falling straight to the ground.
  • Hedgehogs are famously used as croquet balls on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

Newspaper Comics

  • Garfield has been known to do this to Odie on occasion.

Tabletop Games

Video Games

  • Mario & Luigi series:
    • In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, the Bros. move Knockback Bros involves Luigi hammering Mario into a ball, which is then hammered towards the enemy.
    • In Mario & Luigi: Partners In Time, one move allows Mario and Luigi to form a ball shape together which allows them to get to places they couldn't get before.
    • One of Bowser's special moves in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story involves Bowser getting rolled up into a ball and being pulled back like a slingshot pellet by Shy Guys.
  • The enemy Wendigo in Final Fantasy VIII does this to a random party member as an attack.
  • Another Final Fantasy example, but IX this time. The Mimic enemy does this in it's "Eat" attack, but instead of playing around after squishing them to a ball, it chomps down it's victim into it's big gaping treasure chest mouth, crunches a few times and then belches them out whole with some random gold coins.
  • One boss in the Wario Land games is all about this. In Wario Land 2 you face him in a basketball game- each player tries to jump on the other one and throw them into the basket for points. In 3, it's a soccer game instead.
  • Ball Kirby
    • Kirby: Canvas Curse has this as the entire gimmick--Kirby's been reduced to a sphere, and it's up to the player to guide him through the stage via magic ink.
    • Kirby's Pinball Land, the third game in the series, already had him in a nigh-permanent ball shape; Kirby's Dream Course and Kirby's Block Ball did this as well.
  • Mario Pinball Land. Exactly What It Says on the Tin, Mario gets turned into a ball in a fairground game, and has to save Princess Peach from Bowser by being used as a living pinball.
  • The Orat monster can do this to the player character in Space Quest I. This being SQ1, it's lethal.
  • Samus' Morph Ball.
  • Lord Raptor from Darkstalkers has a special move named Hell Dunk, where he transforms the opponent in a ball and next slam dunks them into a hoop provided by his partner Le Marta.
  • Turning into a ball is a Sonic staple. Sonic Spinball is a full game based around him acting as a pinball, and other games have pinball-themed zones.
  • Strike Man from Mega Man 10 literally turns himself into a ball as one of his attacks. He cannot be harmed when he's in this phase.
  • Yooyuball from Neopets.
  • A commercial for Pokémon Pinball: Ruby and Sapphire actually showed Treecko being launched into a pinball machine
    • The Pokemon Sandshrew, Sandslash, Donphan, Miltank, and at least a dozen more can do this willingly.

Western Animation

  • In Dexter's Laboratory, Dexter, with his robot suit, finally gets even with the bullies who have been pounding him in dodgeball all the previous week. One of them is squeezed into a basketball and slam dunked.
  • There's a variation in The Powerpuff Girls. In the episode featuring the return of the Rowdyruff Boys, the poor girls get squeezed into a hockey puck instead of a ball.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants makes himself into a ball shape for Pearl to shoot into a hoop.
    • In another episodes, he turned himself into a ball on the beach so that everyone can continue to play volleyball after he was tricked into destroying an actual volleyball.
  • Not human, but in one episode of Wacky Races Dastardly loses the basketball he was going to trigger one of his traps with and has to use Muttley instead.
  • This happens to Dojo in Xiaolin Showdown. Unfortunately for him, he has about two seconds to realize it.
  • The Legion of Super Heroes' Bouncing Boy has this as his superpower.
  • In the Schoolhouse Rock video "Naughty Number Nine", the cat known as no. 9 uses the mouse as a billiards ball, twice!
  • In the Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends Pilot Movie, while a little girl was trying to adopt Bloo before Mac could make it to the house to see him, Wilt, Eduardo, and Coco tried to keep Bloo away from the girl to keep her from adopting him. During the following chase scene, Wilt turns Bloo into a ball and handles him like a basketball.
  • I'd bet a nickel that this occurs somewhere in the Harlem Globetrotters Animated Series ouvre.
  • In the Sam and Max Freelance Police cartoon, Sam rolls Max up as a bunny bowling ball.
  • Happens to Jimmy in Jimmy Two-Shoes when he suggests a game to Lucius.
  • Timmy plays football in gym class with a bunch of older-looking kids, and when the coach shouts out their positions, he literally gives Timmy the position of "ball." Timmy is then slammed into the ground and gets a big block of earth stuck to him for apparently the rest of the day.
  • According to a joke he told to a little boy at the end of Monsters, Inc., Mike Wazowski was actually once used as a dodgeball.
  • During the end credits of Finding Nemo, Bloat the puffer fish is actually used as a volleyball by Gill, Gurgle, and Jacques after they and the rest of the Tank Gang are finally released into the ocean.
  • The Omnidroid from The Incredibles could do this.
  • On The Road to El Dorado, Miguel and Tulio are playing a Mayan ball game to prove they're gods. They switch the regular ball for a rolled-up armadillo, which then scores all their goals for them.
  • In the Looney Tunes short "I Taw a Putty Tat", Tweety hides from Sylvester in a can of shuttlecocks, resulting in his being hit back and forth during a game of badminton.
  • In an episode of Underdog, the title character got cursed by the Flying Sorcerers to this.
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