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The Red Ball is the third episode of the third season of the Adult Swim original series The Boondocks. It aired on May 16, 2010.


Ed Wuncler is forced to gamble all of Woodcrest's economic futures on a kickball tournament against the Chinese.


To pay off his debts, Ed Wuncler, Sr. bets everything he owns, including the town of Woodcrest, against a Chinese businessman, Mr. Long-dou, on a kickball game between their two teams at the Woodcrest Kickball Stadium . Wuncler persuades Granddad into trying to talk Huey (described as the Tiger Woods of kickball "before the wife-cheating thing") into playing the game. Initially refusing to play, after Huey meets Long-dou's granddaughter Ming Long-dou, captain of the Chinese team and a formidable kickball player herself, he agrees to play. When Wuncler's hand-picked team consisting of Dominican immigrants are deported and Blackwater mercenaries go on a mission to save POW's is disbanded, Wuncler puts Huey in charge of assembling a new team within two days.

Huey gathers players from the neighborhood: Tom Dubois, Granddad, Ed Wuncler III, Riley, Cindy McPhearson, a Tibetan named Jingmei who wishes to humiliate the Chinese, Butch Magnus, and Mrs. Von Heusen. Wuncler is furious over these choices, but Huey says that they are the best Woodcrest has to offer. During the match, the Woodcrest teams suffers from corrupt officiating when the referee goes onto the Chinese side. But when Gin Rummy sneaks into the game and kills the referee by strangling, throwing him off a bridge into a river and drug overdose, Wuncler replaces him with a new referee for the game, Uncle Ruckus.

Meanwhile, Ming tells Huey she will be tortured if she doesn't win the game. This works until Huey overhears two Chinese mocking him for falling for a ruse (Revealing Huey can speak perfect Mandarin), which causes Huey to brutally kick the ball into their faces. After the brutal incident, the game quickly devolves into a brawl as each side brutally assaults the other. By the end of the game, all the Woodcrest and Chinese players are incapacitated except for Huey and Ming. With the score tied 8-8 in the last inning, Huey throws his most powerful pitch, which she kicks directly back toward him, shattering her leg. He catches it, causing his wrists to break and the ball to pop. As she tries to crawl to first base, Huey gets up and tags out her out with the remains of the ball after this he faints. Woodcrest is declared the winner, and Wuncler, praised by Ruckus for his "great white leadership," leaves Huey's team to bask in whatever glory they can find.


Cultural references[]

  • The episode is very similar to the Samurai Champloo episode "Baseball Blues." Each episode involves a high-stakes ball game between a team of foreigners and a team of reluctant locals. The games end in the same way, with every player but one injured and unable to play. Other scenes (e.g. the ball flying into the background and felling a tree) appear in both episode as well.
  • Wuncler's ancestor is named Prescott Rothschild Wuncler, a reference to Prescott Bush and the Rothschild family.
  • In the episode, Ed Wuncler voices his complaint that one of the Wushung players is clearly overage due to his massive physical built. However, Long-dou assures that he is only 12 years old and an aid behind him holds up a birth certificate to verify this. This is a reference to the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing and the controversy surrounding the ages of the Chinese gymnastics team members, particularly He Kexin.
  • Jingmei's face is painted with the Flag of Tibet.
  • Riley's "calls" a home run, a reference to Babe Ruth's called shot.
  • The crowd sings "America the Beautiful"


  • The scene at the end of the game is highly reminiscent of the famous anime series Dragon Ball.
  • This is the episode with the most injuries; it is also the only episode where Butch Magnus is injured.
  • This episode is the first since the pilot in which Ed Wuncler speaks directly to his grandson Ed Wuncler III.
  • Ms. Van Heusen, Butch, Gin Rummy and Cindy do not speak at any time in the episode.
  • The name Long-dou could be from Chinese 龍鬥 (lóngdòu, "dragon fight").
  • The city of Wushung is in Chinese 武雄 (Wǔxióng, "martial hero").
  • Many of the exaggerated super-speed and super-powered kickball moves, especially Huey's final kick and his catch, are influenced by the Chinese comedy movie Shaolin Soccer.
  • Uncle Ruckus, as referee, cites a racist line from Blazing Saddles when Huey knocks out the kicker at bat.
  • Despite the fact that the Woodcrest Team are declared the winners, the score remained tied at 8-8 after the final play.
  • Ming Long-dou is the daughter of Mr. Long-dou, which is not generally how Chinese names work. Almost all modern Chinese names have one syllable for the family name and two for the personal name, with the family name said first, as in "Mao Zedong."
  • Dante Basco (best known for portraying Zuko in the Nickelodeon series Avatar: The Last Airbender) makes a cameo appearance as Jingmei in the episode.


"I admit I am envious of you. In China, if you lose 20 billion dollars, they shoot you. Here, they give you another 20 billion dollars!"
Long-dou at the very beginning of the episode.
"We ain't go out like no bitches."
Riley at the end of the episode.