Created By: Michael on August 6, 2011 Last Edited By: Michael on August 8, 2011
Troped

Severed Head Sports

A casual ball game with a head instead of a ball

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Do We Have This

After violence, either to emphasise how much one character glorifies in it, or to lighten the mood, one or more characters will kick around a severed head as if it were a soccer ball. Alternatively, if there's a hoop conveniently nearby they may try to throw it in like a basketball. Other options are only limited by the number of ball games requiring something close to the size of a head.

Often also a side-effect of certain video game physics engines is to allow you to do this.

Examples

Film
  • The second Hostel film ends with a group of juvenile delinquents playing soccer with the head of the woman that betrayed the protagonist and her friends to an organization of serial killers.
  • Night of the Demons: Basketball variety.
  • 13 Assassins

Live-Action TV
  • Drop the Dead Donkey: After Damien finally convinces Helen that there is a lighter side to his nature, it emerges that he has done so while editing footage of some soldiers playing football with a man's head.
  • Vyvian from The Young Ones does this with his own severed head after it talks back to his body.

Webcomics
  • Looking for Group: Two undead children after a battle are seen in the background playing soccer with a soldier's head.

Video Games
  • Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines: An easter egg is to be found by picking up the severed head of a serial killer's victim and throwing it through a nearby basketball hoop.
  • At the end of Banjo-Tooie, Banjo and Kazooie, along with Mumbo, Humba, and Jamjars, go back to the scene of the final battle, and play with Grunty's skeletal head (which has been detached from her body) like it was a ball. See for yourself.

Community Feedback Replies: 30
  • August 6, 2011
    Aielyn
    Two suggestions:

    1. Generalise it to any sport played with a severed head for this purpose. While soccer is undoubtedly by far the most common way for it to work, I'd say there's examples of basketball (well, hoop-shots from basketball), for instance, which may as well be counted in this trope.

    2. Name it something like Severed Head Sports. Even Severed Head Soccer would work, if you want to use it as the trope namer. But it needs the "severed" part, to make it clear that you're not talking about soccer players heading balls a lot, or about the most important ("head") soccer, etc.
  • August 6, 2011
    Michael
    Good call on the word severed.

    I'd be interested to see other sports examples. I'd say the main reason I've only seen soccer is simply that heads are heavy, so throwing one will be a lot harder than making it roll around a bit. Though that needn't affect comedies at all really.
  • August 6, 2011
    CptSqweky
    IN Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines, you can find a murder scene where the guy has been decapitated. There is also a basketball standard in the crime scene. Do the math.
  • August 6, 2011
    Meeble
    Film
    • The second Hostel film ends with a group of juvenile delinquents playing soccer with the head of the woman that betrayed the protagonist and her friends to an organization of serial killers.
  • August 6, 2011
    Michael
    I had completely forgotten the Bloodlines easter egg. A sound of a crowd cheering plays if you get the head through the hoop
  • August 6, 2011
    Aielyn
    Let's not forget this great one:

    Video Games
    • At the end of Banjo Tooie, Banjo and Kazooie, along with Mumbo, Humba, and Jamjars, go back to the scene of the final battle, and play with Grunty's skeletal head (which has been detached from her body) like it was a ball. See for yourself.

    For anyone who might be concerned about spoilers, I'll point out that nothing seen from the part of the youtube video I linked to contains anything really significantly spoily - it's pretty obvious that you beat Grunty in the end, and otherwise, nothing is really given away.
  • August 6, 2011
    fluffything
  • August 6, 2011
    robybang
  • August 6, 2011
    HandsomeRob
    In Shin Mazinger, Boss, Macha and Nuke play a round of soccer with Count Brocken's head. It was played for laughs since Brocken is still alive despite this, and was not happy about it. As one image board put it:
    Brocken Ball! The game where everyone wins! Except the ball, which is Brocken.
  • August 6, 2011
    Aquila89
    In an old EC Comics story "Foul Play", an evil baseball player is murdered by the members of the opposing team. After killing him, they play a game where they use his head for as the ball, his leg as the bat, his intestines to mark the base liner and his organs to mark the bases.
  • August 6, 2011
    TempusFrangit
    Don't really know if it totally fits this troper, but in Unseen Academicals there is a rule explicitly stating that any object that has been kicked by at least three players in a row during an official football match is to be considered the ball. Guess which kind of object triggered the creation of this rule...
  • August 6, 2011
    aurora369
    Blood lets you kick zombie heads and even has a deathmatch map dedicated to head football.
  • August 6, 2011
    DarkConfidant
    Real Life: Several Mesoamerican cultures played a game of sport similar to soccer using human skulls as the ball.
  • August 6, 2011
    SleetWintergreen
    ^^^^ They even use his scalp to dust off home plate. Waste not, want not!
  • August 6, 2011
    Michael
    Do they use anything for a pitcher's glove?
  • August 6, 2011
    Jordan
    In The Man Who Would Be King, people in Kaffiristan are shown playing soccer (I think?) with the head in a bag of a chieftain who was deposed. Part of the reason the narrator takes his friend's severed head with him, is so that he avoids his dishonor
  • August 6, 2011
    LobsterMagnus
    The end of a Simpsons episode which was spoofing MMORPGs shows Marge's player character playing with the head of Moe's.
  • August 6, 2011
    SKJAM
    Another EC Comics story, a bigamist is found out by his golf and bowling-playing wives. I think you can tell where this is going.
  • August 6, 2011
    Bishop22
    Possible page picture? [1]
  • August 6, 2011
    AFP
    Supposedly, this was how the various sports now known as football got started in Europe, as a sort of Decapitation Presentation to blow off steam after a victorious battle. Some would say that the sport has only gotten slightly less violent since then.
  • August 6, 2011
    Stratadrake
    From the title and description, I immediately thought of this: [1]
  • August 6, 2011
    Winterwhip
    Although in this example the heads aren't severed, Labyrinth has the fire-starters who remove their heads and use them to play something akin to volleyball. While singing. Naturally, this concerns the protagonist. She gets even more concerned when the they try to remove HER head.
  • August 7, 2011
    Stratadrake
    ^ That would fall under being Played For Laughs. (Especially "while singing...")
  • August 7, 2011
    Minkovsky
    Literature: Harry Potter universe has several games ghosts with detachable heads can play.
  • August 7, 2011
    MasterHand
    Played for laughs in a The Far Side cartoon about the invention of (I believe) basketball - one caveman notes that no one brought a ball, and one of the bystanders has a round, bulbous head...
  • August 7, 2011
    undefined
    In The Nightmare Before Christmas, the vampires are seen playing hockey with a shrunken head.
  • August 7, 2011
    JoeG
    In Mystery Men, the Bowler (Janeane Garofalo's character) has her dead father's skull and spirit embedded in the magical bowling ball she uses as a weapon.
  • August 7, 2011
    Auxdarastrix
    Real Life
    • The Romans had Equus October, a festival of the god Mars, in which the right hand horse of the winning Chariot Race team was sacrificed the inhabitants of two competing neighborhoods would fight over possession of the severed horse head.
  • August 7, 2011
    Stratadrake
    ^^ Not an example.
  • August 8, 2011
    Frank75
    Trolls on Disc World play football with a human head.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=8shcpz3napk865eke6ur1af5&trope=SeveredHeadSports