Created By: chicagomel on March 22, 2013 Last Edited By: Paradisesnake on July 24, 2013
Troped

Hockey Fight

Any work involving hockey, especially ice hockey, WILL have a fight.

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Trope
We've probably all heard the old joke. "I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out." Most of the time, if a work has a scene involving the characters playing hockey or attending a hockey game, a fight will break out somewhere along the line. Ice hockey is the most prone to this, as fans of professional hockey can likely attest. Truth in Television, although most professional leagues do have rules against getting too violent and will hand out punishment if they have to.

Tends to be more of an American trope than Canadian, as many Canadian programs focus more on the beauty, patriotism and romance of the sport, and any violence will be used a a plot point.

Not to be confused with Crowd Hockey.

Compare Rugby Is Slaughter

Examples of this trope:

Film
  • Inverted in Batman & Robin. You wouldn't expect the dynamic duo, who are associated with fighting, to play an impromptu hockey with a diamond.
  • The Tooth Fairy features a hockey player nicknamed "The Tooth Fairy", mostly because anytime he plays, somebody's tooth is going to get knocked out. He gets so brutal, the penalty box has become his home away from home. He ends up getting sentenced to be a real tooth fairy for a week.
  • Slap Shot. A down-on-its-luck hockey team hires three brothers that do nothing but prompt Unnecessary Roughness and beat up the opposing team players to help the team win. The final game of the movie is done between the protagonist hockey team and an Opposing Sports Team made of the most brutal players that have ever played (some even banned for life). The ensuing (and quite bloody) riot is only stopped by one of the players deciding to strip-tease right there on the game zone (and that Makes As Much Sense In Context).
  • Several Canadian films are based on a true hockey story and feature a notable fight.:
  • The Rocket, about legendary Montreal Canadiens player Maurice Richard, has the New York Rangers bring up a minor league tough guy specifically to take out Richard. It fails when Richard delivers a Curb-Stomp Battle.
  • An early scene of Networth has Detroit Red Wings' Ted Lindsay and Toronto Maple Leafs' Jimmy Thomson getting into a lengthy and brutal fight on the ice. However, they later team up to fight the real enemy: the NHL's corrupt management. The film's tagline even references this: "The bloodiest fight in the NHL wasn't on the ice."
  • Keep Your Head Up: The Don Cherry Story, a biopic of the Hockey Night in Canada commentator, begins with his career as a minor league tough guy. Naturally he gets into many fights, most notably right before meeting his future wife's parents.
  • Strange Brew: The inmates at the insane asylum connected to the brewery play hockey games that are directed by musical cues to be all-out brawls, something Bob and Doug have a lot of fun with when they stumble on it. This turns out to be a major plot point as the inmates have been fed beer laced with mind-control drugs.

Literature
  • Referenced in Animorphs, where Marco says of Blood Knight Rachel that if they were a hockey team, she'd be the goon, always looking for a fight.

Live Action TV
  • CSI NY had one in the episode 'Reignited'. The NYPD and FDNY were playing a charity game, and as the game winning play is made, a fight breaks out. One of the instigators is Danny, who's known for his quick temper throughout the series.
  • Original CSI had 'Primum Non Nocere', where a player was found dead after a pileup and fight during an amateur game. However, even though he did have a slash on his throat, it was actually a drug the team doctor intentionally gave him earlier that really killed him.
  • A Saturday Night Live Parody Commercial for Buddweiser [sic] stars guest host Robin Williams and cast member Joe Piscopo as rival hockey players; Piscopo gives Williams an uppercut with his stick during the opening puck drop*, and it escalates from there.
  • On Bones a murder suspect won't voluntarily give a DNA sample and they can't get a warrant. The suspect is on an amateur hockey team in the same league as Booth's team, so Booth instigates a fight in order to get the suspect's blood.
  • Warehouse 13 has an episode in which the team investigates a hockey player who is somehow able to heal instantly from the many, would-be career ending injuries that he has received during games.
  • Murdoch Mysteries: Detective Murdoch investigates a murder of a hockey player. Dr Grace concludes that the murder weapon must have been a hockey stick, so the Detective has all the sticks tested if they have blood on them. It turns out they all do.
  • Friends: In one Thanksgiving episode, Ross and Joey go to see an ice hockey match. They feel guilty because they promised Monica they would come early for the celebration. They agree to leave the match before it finishes. Only -- they will wait for one more goal. Or no, they will wait for one more fight. The match is exciting and after all, they come late to Monica and Chandler's.
  • In an episode of Due South a videotape of a hockey game where a fight broke out is an important clue; Fraser & Ray bring it to a friend of Fraser's, who can (somehow) determine which chair someone yelling was sitting in.

Music
  • "Hit Somebody! (The Hockey Song)" by Warren Zevon is the ballad of a Canadian hockey player who was best at beating other players up but who would rather score goals if he could.

Video Games
  • Blades of Steel on the Nintendo Entertainment System was one of the first hockey video games to feature fighting, and the loser gets sent to the penalty box.
  • Another hockey game for the Nintendo Entertainment System, simply dubbed Ice Hockey, likewise could have fights break out. This happens when two characters fight too much for control of the puck. A huge melee breaks out and whoever lost the fight (the winner is the player who pressed the A button more often) gets sent to the penalty box.

Western Animation
  • Several episodes of The Simpsons showcase hockey games that devolve into brutal fights (inside the gaming zone) and/or full-on riots (by the audience).
    • A fairly memorable fight turned to riot happens on the end sequence of "Lisa on Ice"
    • A throw-away gag on a later season is a Mortal Kombat-esque fighting videogame called "Hockey Dads", which features... well, pee-wee hockey player dads beating the crap out of each other (even having a kid player yelling out a plea to his dad to stop since "It's already assault, don't make it murder!". The player can choose to press a button to disregard the kid).
  • Played Up to Eleven in the Goofy short Hockey Homicide. For starters, the team captains spend the entire game in the penalty box because they can't stop fighting each other the moment they step onto the ice. The poor referee keeps getting run over by the players, to the point that he resorts to wearing a suit of armor. At the climax all hell breaks loose, the sheer chaos intensified by the use of random Stock Footage from previous cartoons (even a guest appearance by Monstro). By the end the spectators join in on the melee, while the players sit on the stands watching.
  • In Animalympics, ice hockey is literally depicted as war, complete with explosions. It also depicts field hockey; it's not as rough, but a referee does get Squashed Flat when body slammed between two players.

Community Feedback Replies: 28
  • March 22, 2013
    chicagomel
    I don't like posing a trope with only one example, but I know we've seen this one in places besides actual games. I think there's a trope here somewhere.
  • March 22, 2013
    marcoasalazarm
    • A Saturday Night Live Parody Commercial for Buddweiser [sic] stars guest host Robin Williams and cast member Joe Piscopo as rival hockey players; Piscopo gives Williams an uppercut with his stick during the opening puck drop*, and it escalates from there.
    • On Bones a murder suspect won't voluntarily give a DNA sample and they can't get a warrant. The suspect is on an amatuer hockey team in the same league as Booth's team, so Booth instigates a fight in order to get the suspect's blood.

    * or whatever it's called - the hockey equivalent of basketball's Jump Ball.
  • March 30, 2013
    Prfnoff
    Compare Rugby Is Slaughter.

    • "Hit Somebody! (The Hockey Song)" by Warren Zevon is the ballad of a Canadian hockey player who was best at beating other players up but who would rather score goals if he could.
  • March 31, 2013
    WackyMeetsPractical
    • The Tooth Fairy features a hockey player nicknamed "The Tooth Fairy", mostly because anytime he plays, somebody's tooth is going to get knocked out. He gets so brutal, the penalty box has become his home away from home.
    • Warehouse 13 has an episode in which the team investigates a hockey player who is somehow able to heal instantly from the many, would-be career ending injuries that he has received during games.
  • March 31, 2013
    XFllo
    • Murdoch Mysteries: Detective Murdoch investigates a murder of a hockey player. Dr Grace concludes that the murder weapon must have been a hockey stick, and the Detective has all the sticks tested if they have blood on them. It turns out they all do.
    • Friends: In one Thanksgiving episode, Ross and Joey go to see an ice hockey match. They feel guilty because they promised Monica they would come early for the celebration. They agree to leave the match before it finishes. Only -- they will wait for one more goal. Or no, they will wait for one more fight. (The match is exciting and after all, they come late to Monica and Chandler's.)
  • March 31, 2013
    marcoasalazarm
    Several chapters of The Simpsons showcase hockey games that devolve into brutal fights (inside the gaming zone) and/or full-on riots (by *the audience*). A fairly memorable one happens on the end sequence of 'Lisa On Ice' (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Recap/TheSimpsonsS6E8LisaOnIce).

    A throw-away gag on a later season is a Mortal Kombat-esque fighting videogame called "Hockey Dads", which features... well, pee-wee hockey player dads beating the crap out of each other (even having a kid player yelling out to his dad to stop since "It's already assault, don't make it murder!". The player can choose to press a button to disregard the kid (Comedic Sociopathy)).

    Another example would be Slap Shot. A down-on-its-luck hockey team hires three brothers that do nothing but prompt Unnecessary Roughness and beat up the opposing team players to help the team win.

    The final game of the movie is done between the protagonist hockey team and an Opposing Sports Team made of the most brutal players that have ever played (some even banned for life). The ensuing (and quite bloody) riot is only stopped by one of the players deciding to strip-tease right there on the game zone (and *that* Makes As Much Sense In Context).
  • March 31, 2013
    StarSword
    Page quote:
    "It's not hockey unless there's blood on the ice."
  • April 2, 2013
    XFllo
    Bumping and "zero editing"
  • April 3, 2013
    Waterlily
    Several Canadian films are based on a true hockey story and feature a notable fight.

    The Rocket, about legendary Montreal Canadiens player Maurice Richard, has the New York Rangers bring up a minor league tough guy specifically to take out Richard. It fails when Richard delivers a Curb Stomp Battle.

    An early scene of Networth has Detroit Red Wings' Ted Lindsay and Toronto Maple Leafs' Jimmy Thomson getting into a lengthy and brutal fight on the ice. However, they later team up to fight the real enemy: the NHL's corrupt management. The film's tagline even references this: "The bloodiest fight in the NHL wasn't on the ice."

    Keep Your Head Up: The Don Cherry Story, a biopic of the Hockey Night In Canada commentator, begins with his career as a minor league tough guy. Naturally he gets into many fights, most notably right before meeting his future wife's parents.
  • April 3, 2013
    Chabal2
    Referenced in Animorphs, where Marco says of Blood Knight Rachel that if they were a hockey team, she'd be the goon, always looking for a fight.
  • April 3, 2013
    TonyG
    Played Up To Eleven in the Goofy short Hockey Homicide. For starters, the team captains spend the entire game in the penalty box because they can't stop fighting each other the moment they step onto the ice. The poor referee keeps getting run over by the players, to the point that he resorts to wearing a suit of armor. At the climax all hell breaks loose, the sheer chaos intensified by the use of random Stock Footage from previous cartoons (even a guest appearance by Monstro). By the end the spectators join in on the melee, while the players sit on the stands watching.
  • April 3, 2013
    DRCEQ
    • Blades of Steel on the Nintendo Entertainment System was one of the first hockey video games to feature fighting, and the loser gets sent to the penalty box.
  • April 3, 2013
    TonyG
    In Animalympics, ice hockey is literally depicted as war, complete with explosions. It also depicts field hockey; it's not as rough, but a referee does get Squashed Flat when body slammed between two players.
  • April 3, 2013
    MaxWest
    Another hockey game for the Nintendo Entertainment System, simply dubbed Ice Hockey, likewise could have fights break out. This happens when two characters fight too much for control of the puck. A huge melee breaks out and whoever lost the fight (the winner is the player who pressed the A button more often) gets sent to the penalty box.
  • April 24, 2013
    randomsurfer
    WWE had a wrestling hockey player named The Goon, who had been kicked out of every league he had been in for fighting.
  • May 10, 2013
    Waterlily
    I've noticed a big difference in how American and Canadian pop cultures portray hockey violence. It seems that every time hockey is mentioned in American media, it is in reference to how violent it is. It's usually played for laughs and often exaggerated too.

    Canadian media has that too but there's also a lot about the romance, beauty and patriotism of the game (sometimes to ridiculous levels). The first two minutes of this is a good example: http://youtu.be/Qa01SPXWEGQ When violence is portrayed, it's more likely to be treated seriously and become a crucial plot point.

    I don't know enough about European media to know how it's portrayed in countries like Russia and Sweden though. That would interesting to know.

    I don't know if this information would be useful for the topic but I thought I'd bring it up anyway.
  • May 31, 2013
    chicagomel
    I'll probably add a couple notes the next time I edit...will wait and see if there's another example or two and do it all at once. And thanks.
  • May 31, 2013
    randomsurfer
    In an episode of Due South a videotape of a hockey game where a fight broke out is an important clue; Fraser & Ray bring it to a friend of Fraser's, who can (somehow) determine which chair someone yelling was sitting in.
  • June 1, 2013
    GeminiSparkSP
    Inverted in Batman And Robin. You wouldn't expect the dynamic duo, who are associated with fighting, to play an impromptu hockey with a diamond.
  • June 3, 2013
    XFllo
    Description might need some help, but other than that this looks fine. Definitely a trope and we've collected lots of examples.
  • June 12, 2013
    chicagomel
    OK,, what tips do you have for the description? I did add the comments about Canadian/US differences.

    Batman and Robin, the link is the redirect...is that the serial movie or one of the comics?
  • June 12, 2013
    arbiter099
    ^ Batman And Robin, the really cool one that left audiences cold and put the film franchise in the cooler until The Dark Knight Saga came along to thaw it out.
  • June 12, 2013
    AP
    • All of The Mighty Ducks movies featured quick altercations on the ice. Since they are family movies involving children playing hockey, the fights are little more than heated shoving matches, don't last long, and are almost always started by the opposing teams.
  • June 12, 2013
    spacemarine50
    ^^Add to the example: The Big Bad and his mooks are ready to oblige to a quick game of hockey.
  • July 11, 2013
    XFllo
  • July 11, 2013
    eowynjedi
    • Strange Brew: The inmates at the insane asylum connected to the brewery play hockey games that are directed by musical cues to be all-out brawls, something Bob and Doug have a lot of fun with when they stumble on it. This turns out to be a major plot point as the inmates have been fed beer laced with mind-control drugs.
  • July 24, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    That Batman And Robin example links to a disambiguation page, so you should probably Name Space it.

    EDIT: Fixed a broken Pot Hole.
  • July 24, 2013
    XFllo
    Launch? The OP hasn't shown up for more than a month.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=6rt6o8jlc3yu5twb8nysb8d8&trope=HockeyFight