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A group of friends are outside playing a sport, most often baseball or soccer in Europe/South America. A particularly unlucky character throws/hits/kicks the ball. Cue the ball promptly flying through a window. A closed window. This can branch off to a few different situations:
- A: The glass shatters and everyone begins to panic. They attempt to find a place to hide or just try to escape before the landlord comes to have a talk with them.
- Note that one character (Butt Monkey or not) could remain with a confused expression. The situation could transfer to Situation B.
- B: The glass shatters, but the adult is already there. Can result in a You Are Grounded situation.
- C: No one comes out to inspect the damage, but then the one who lost the ball is forced to go retrieve it, whether it's in the Haunted House, the home of the Crazy Cat Lady or anything of the sort. Compare Scare Dare.
- D: After impact, the owner comes out of his/her house. (Holding the ball is optional.) Oblivious to the damage, the group asks for the ball back. The owner will either be a Grumpy Old Man and keep it, or give it back.
Compare with Window Pain, in which the window breaking is not entirely accidental.
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints released an all-singing PSA in which an elderly man angrily inquires who hit the baseball that broke his window. A young boy steps forward to confess, leading to the ad's "You told the truth/I told the truth" coda.
Anime & Manga
- This happens twice in Clannad, whilst the cast are playing baseball. It's Akio's fault both times.
- At one point in Yotsuba&!, Yotsuba kicks a soccer ball through a window by accident. Her dad spanks her. Later, in a similar situation she breaks a couple of dishes by bouncing a yoga ball around. This time dad is more concerned about her lying about it, and when she claims it was the fault of a "lying bug", he takes her to a somewhat scary "lying bug eating statue" so that she'll tell the truth.
- Happens to Edmund in The Film of the Book of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The children's attempt to hide leads them into the Wardrobe, which sends them to Narnia. (In the book, they were hiding from the housekeeper conducting a tour of the Big Fancy House).
- The plot of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids kicks off like this, with Ron Thompson hitting a baseball through the window of the Szalinskys' attic, which lands on the machine which Wayne Szalinsky has been working on. When Ron and Nick, Wayne's son, go to get the ball back, they are shrunk by the machine, followed by Russ and Amy when they go up to check on their siblings.
- In Monster House, DJ is expected (and forced) to retrieve the ball after it is lost on the then-villain's yard.
- Type C occurs in The Sandlot. Of course, the "haunted house" the kid has to get into (past the "mean" dog) has many other treasures in store.
- An Encyclopedia Brown chapter involves kids playing ball in the house and accidentally throwing the ball out the window. To avoid getting in trouble, they put a rock on the floor in the room and told their mother that someone had thrown the rock in; that's how the window got broken. The mother figured it out EB-style: If the rock had been thrown in, there would be glass in the room, but there wasn't, only glass on the ground outside.
- Comes up in Soup, when Rob and Soup are "whipping apples" -- spearing them on the ends of sticks and swinging them so they fly off. Soup bets Rob he can hit the bell in a church tower and make it ring, and instead he hits a window. "Breaking a pane of plain old glass wasn't stylish enough for Soup. It had to be stained glass. Even the sound of that stained glass shattering had color in it."
Live Action TV
- In an episode of The Brady Bunch Peter is playing ball in the house and breaks Carol's vase. Hilarity Ensues
- In the 8th Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, "Justice", Wesley Crusher receives the death penalty for breaking a greenhouse on an idyllic planet while running for a ball, just as the local death-dispensing authority arrives for a checkup. Fortunately (or not, depending on your point of view), it doesn't stick.
- In the US Dennis the Menace US, Dennis and his friends do this to Mr. Wilson's house sometimes, usually resulting in a Type B or D outcome.
- This is the result of rathergood.com's attempt to build a rocket out of bacon.
- This happens in an episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender. A few kids are playing with a ball, and a window is broken. Iroh appears and the following dialogue occurs:
Iroh: It is usually best to admit mistakes when they occur, and to seek to restore honor.
A large man appears inside the house
Large man: When I'm through with you kids, the window won't be the only thing that's broken!
Iroh: But not this time! Run!
- One episode of The Powerpuff Girls plays out like this - the girls throw their ball through the window of Mojo Jojo, who tries to use it as an excuse to destroy them while pretending to be looking for their ball. After the girls continue to do more damage in the house, he instead just gives them the ball back so that they will leave. He receives the So Once Again the Day Is Saved credit because he returned their ball.
- The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy and Kid vs. Kat would be two C examples.
- The Simpsons has a variation on Type C with a radio-controlled plane instead of a ball. Bart (although it was technically Nelson and Milhouse who crashed in) goes to get it and gets caught, setting off the episode's A plot of Bart working in a burlesque house).
- My Life as a Teenage Robot begins this way, as does the original pilot, "My Neighbor Is A Teenage Robot".
- Johnny Test goes through all of these variants when he accidentally ticks off the crazy cat owner in one episode, and goes through a variety of completely pointless and ever more complex plots trying to get the ball back. Turns out all the man wanted was an apology, for the kids to turn the baseball diamond around, and to join in with the kids. Of course, when the diamond is turned around, the first thing that happens is the ball goes through a window of Johnny's house, prompting the only form of this trope that hadn't been seen up to that point (Type B).
- On Family Guy Chris breaks Herbert's window playing baseball in the streets.
Peter: Chris, you have damaged this man's property, and until you pay off the debt, you'll do whatever job he wants you to do. And if at the end of the day you're exhausted and your face is dripping wet, well that just means you did a good job.
Herbert: That sounds just fine.
- On Shaun the Sheep a football is kicked through a farmhouse window. One of the sheep is delegated to retrieve the ball. Following various sounds of rummaging, the ball is kicking back out of the farmhouse, breaking another window.