Laurel and Hardy's bid for a quiet evening of checkers and pool is constantly interrupted by their squabbling brats little Ollie and little Stanley.



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Complete credited cast:


Stanley and Oliver are trying to spend a relaxing night at home playing checkers, but the antics of their mischievous sons keep interrupting their recreation. Exasperated, the fathers send their misbehaving offspring to bed and start in on a furniture-destroying game of billiards. Upstairs, the kids continue to cause a ruckus and leave the bathtub faucet running full force. Finally, Oliver asks if they'll go to sleep if he gives them each a drink of water, then heads for the bathroom door. Written by Paul Penna <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy remained at home to take care of the children -- Their wives had gone out to target practice.


Comedy | Short | Family


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

22 March 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das Kind in der Wanne  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


A German version was made, but is not known to have survived. See more »


The bathtub fills completely up with water in under 15 seconds. See more »


Ollie Sr.: Will you brats keep quiet? How do you expect me to concentrate?
See more »


Spoofed in The Dukes of Hazzard: A Little Game of Pool (1982) See more »


Go to Sleep, My Baby
Sung by Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Rare subversiveness in comedy
4 March 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Brats may be not only be one of the most subversive Laurel and Hardy shorts ever made but also one of the most subversive black and white shorts of the 1930's. Focusing on Laurel and Hardy looking after their young children, making sure they do not wreak havoc on the house while their wives are away, the short has Laurel and Hardy playing their younger selves, scaled down in size thanks to an entirely modified, recreated set with larger furniture. It's obvious that Laurel and Hardy were simply shrunk down to look the part in terms of physical size, but it's undoubtedly the harder, costlier way to go about this process rather than hiring two child actors to play the performers' children.

With this, Brats utilizes Laurel and Hardy's children quite vividly and frequently, not making them momentary, cameo characters, but centering the entire short around them. We see director James Parrott and writers Leo McCarey and H.M. Walker explore the possibilities of having these characters function as children, interacting with their elders and embracing their own level of mischief akin to their parents. The illusion of Laurel and Hardy being child-size comes from modifications in the set design, where oversized furniture, staircases, and rooms were constructed to give Laurel and Hardy the appearance of being small when surrounded by much bigger items. This effect is ingenuous, especially for the time period, and the fact that an easy, albeit less believable, way could've been done for a fraction of the price just shows the dedication of the film crew at hand.

Brats is a lot of fun, heavy on slapstick, but pleasantly so, as we have an original, innovative idea at hand and a nice focus on Laurel and Hardy rather than a bunch of occasionally distracting side characters. The short furthers my opinion that radicalism in film has always been present in a sense of finding out what you can do with the medium and pushing that boundary a bit further, and to see it exercised in a genre that didn't need or call for any enormous technical or production modifications whatsoever shows the power and ambition of those who work on a film.

Starring: Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. Directed by: James Parrott.

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