A giant chicken. I must be the luckiest girl in the world.
—Raven, Teen TitansIt's a classic. Bob and Alice are at the carnival on a date...or not. They see one of those popular carnival games, and Alice starts eying one of the prizes, usually a stuffed animal. Bob realizes that he has a chance to prove how manly he is and give her a present at the same time. It's a win-win! The catch? The Rule of Drama says that Bob can't get it on the first try. There are four possible outcomes to this trope:
- Third Time's the Charm: It takes Bob at least three tries before he wins. Bonus points if Alice cheers him on.
- Epic Fail: Bob wastes all his money trying to win the prize. Alice just giggles, kisses him on the cheek, and thanks him for trying.
- She wins the prize: Bob tries and tries, but can't seem to get it. Alice gives it a shot and wins on the first try!
- The rival wins the prize for her: Oh, this is the lowest of the low. Bob tries to win it, then Charlie comes along and wins it for her!
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- In Archie Comics, Betty or Veronica have occasionally asked this of Archie.
- In an issue of Cherry Comics, Cherry's date attempts to win her a teddy bear at a shooting gallery at a carnival, but loses due to the game being rigged. He later attempts to steal one for her and gets beaten up for his efforts. Cherry, meanwhile, obtains a teddy bear by sleeping with the guy who own the carnival.
- Darkman - while the main character Peyton and his girlfriend visit a carnival, he plays a game to try and win a pink elephant doll for her. However he argues with an employee over whether he rightly won the prize or not, which results in Peyton gruesomely twisting the carnie's fingers.
- Played for laughs in Despicable Me where Agnes wants a unicorn plushie they have on display. The girls try twice and fail - Agnes even hits the target once but was unable to knock it down. When Gru tries it, he takes out his laser blaster and blows up the stall. Agnes gets her unicorn.
- Hot Fuzz: Nicholas uses his Improbable Aiming Skills with air rifles to win a large monkey for Danny.
- Invoked in Mr. & Mrs. Smith: John and Jane, two of the world's best assassins, visit a funfair for a date, where John tries to win a price for his girlfrend at a shooting gallery. Because he tries to keep his cover, he deliberately misses his first shot. But when Jane hits the bullseye on her first try a shooting contest ensures.
- In the movie Remember Me, the male lead ends up buying the stuffed animal for his girl. She thinks he cheated. He says he won.
Live Action TV
- In Lois and Clark when the title characters were "not on a date", Clark did this. Before you think he was being a jerk pretending to be weak, he was suffering the aftereffects of being exposed to kryptonite for the first time.
- Played with and possibly invoked on an episode of the The Andy Griffith Show, Opie complains to Andy (who is both Opie's father and the local sheriff) that the carnival shooting gallery is rigged so Andy goes in undercover with Thelma Lou, pretending to be a local yokel trying to win a prize for his gal.
- During Shizune's Act 1 ending in Katawa Shoujo Hisao is "persuaded" by Misha and Shizune to try his luck at ball and bottle game at the Festival and tries to win the two girls a pair of stuffed cat dolls. He eventually wins one for Shizune but is forced to stop when his arrythmia acts up.
- In the cutscene that plays when you first enter the Carnival room of Stay Tooned!, Fiddle tries to win a prize for Katrina at the bottle toss game. When he fails miserably after just one try, Katrina tries and succeeds at knocking both the bottles and Fiddle down every time. The cutscene ends with Katrina having won many stuffed animals and having Fiddle hold them for her.
- As the quote from Teen Titans indicates, Beast Boy won a prize for Raven in one episode. She was less then thrilled and discarded the prize at the first opportunity five seconds later. It wasn't romantic in nature...no really, it wasn't!
- Gravity Falls - Dipper tries to win a stuffed animal for the girl he has a crush on, Wendy, by knocking down glass bottles with a baseball. He knocks them down, but the baseball hits her in the eye. Then, Robbie, Dipper's rival who also likes Wendy, shows up with a sugar cone to help ease the pain in her eye while Dipper was getting ice.
- Olive Oyl has Popeye and Bluto win her prizes on various occasions.
- Principal Skinner tries to win a prize for his Mother in one episode of The Simpsons.
- Peter did this for Liz in one episode of The Spectacular Spiderman. Naturally, the carnival was attacked by supervillains soon afterward.
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