Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Tit For Tat (1935)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Tit For Tat (1935)

In Laurel and Hardy's slapstick, Academy Award-nominated comedic short - a direct sequel to their film Them Thar Hills (1934):

  • the set-up: two side-by-side stores - Stan and Oliver's newly-opened electrical supply store ("Open for Big Business"), next to Mr. Hall's (Charlie Hall) grocery store
  • an accident while screwing in light bulbs in his electrical store's marquee sign left Oliver stranded on the grocery store's 2nd story outdoor window ledge (as he sarcastically told Stan: "I'm waiting for a streetcar!"); Oliver was forced to enter the window of the apartment above the store, with Mrs. Hall's (Mae Busch) permission; as he descended the stairs and entered the main floor, grocer Mr. Hall overheard Oliver's risque line to his wife: ("I've never been in a position like that before!") - causing Mr. Hall to assume sexual shenanigans and accuse Oliver of fooling around with her
  • the sequence of mutual, back-and-forth property destruction ("tit for tat" - although Stan misinterpreted the phrase as "Tip me hat") between the disgruntled proprietors, as Stan and Oliver repeatedly hung a "Will Be Back Soon" sign on their door as they proceeded next-door to wreak havoc and mayhem, and vice-versa: (1) a hot electrical curling iron pinched and burned Oliver's nose; (2) a faceful of white stickey mashed potatoes (?) was flung into Mr. Hall's face; (3) Hall destroyed about six watches from a circular store display by grinding them up in a milkshake blender; after calmly watching the damage, Stan picked up a spinning wheel (one of the damaged watch parts) and put it into his overalls pocket; (4) honey was poured into Mr. Hall's cash register; (5) the top of Ollie's hat was severed by Hall's deli slicer; (6) a bucket of Rex pure lard was dumped over Hall's head; (7) Stan and Oliver ate marshmallows from a bin spiked with alum powder; (8) Hall's rampaging in the electrical store - he destroyed all of the overhead light fixtures, and broke the front window; (9) both Stan and Ollie were hit with a faceful of the mashed potatoes; (10) Hall was placed bottom-first into a crate of eggs, while another crate of eggs was poured over his head
  • meanwhile, there was the running gag of a shoplifting-customer (Bobby Dunn) repeatedly entering and stealing items from the electrical store as the pair left each time, although always exchanging pleasantries; first, he carried things out, then used a wheelbarrow, and finally culminated with backing up a moving truck to completely empty the store during the many reprisals
  • the final gag: a policeman (James C. Morton) who urged the two feuding parties to apologize to each other, non-chalantly grabbed one of the marshmallows (covered with alum) and suffered the consequences


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