Created By: Topazan on May 12, 2011 Last Edited By: Topazan on October 22, 2012

Happy Ending Wager

The Big Bad will undo all his evil if you beat him at his favorite sport

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Do We Have This?

Everything seems lost for our hero. The villain has outsmarted him at every turn and made every effort to make him as miserable as possible. There's only one way to make things right: a game.

"If I win," our hero says, "You will return everything you stole, apologize to everyone you bullied, and use your money and influence for good."

The villain will, of course, not be able to resist one last chance to humiliate the hero, and will agree.

A common Sports Story trope. Related to Absurdly High-Stakes Game, Big Game, and Go-Karting with Bowser.

See Chess with Death for one common variant.


  • Disney Channel original movies used to love this trope. Two specific examples are Johnny Tsunami and The Luck of the Irish.
  • Happy Gilmore
  • Space Jam
  • The bosses of the criminal gangs in Pokémon are like this.
  • Every duel against the Big Bad in YuGiOh. No exceptions. Of course, the wager the hero has to make is usually something like his soul, his Millenium Item, and the fate of the world.
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