Created By: Forlong on April 14, 2010 Last Edited By: SwiftSeraph on February 9, 2017

Win Her A Prize

Bob tries to get Alice a prize but can't seem to do it on the first try.

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A giant chicken. I must be the luckiest girl in the world.
Raven, Teen Titans

It'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:

  1. Third Time's the Charm: It takes Bob at least three tries before he wins. Bonus points if Alice cheers him on.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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!

There are other possible outcomes, but these are the most common.

Carnival games used for this trope are usually strength tests, which amplify the hope Bob has to prove his manliness (hey, that's actually a real word). Games of chance are sometimes used as well.

See also: Girls Love Stuffed Animals

Examples:

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     Comics 
  • 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.

     Film 
  • 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.

    Video Games 
  • 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.

    Western Animation 

Community Feedback Replies: 30
  • April 14, 2010
    randomsurfer
    Olive Oyl with Popeye and Bluto on various occasions.
  • April 14, 2010
    TwentyOne
    Principal Skinner tries to win a prize for his Beloved Smother in an episode of The Simpsons.
  • March 31, 2011
    MikaruKeiko
    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.
  • March 31, 2011
    randomsurfer
    Often the setup will include Alice seeing some random extra walking by with a giant stuffed panda or similar, which her boyfriend obviously won for her.
  • April 1, 2011
    peccantis
    • One of the stock themes in Donald Duck comics. It's always about Donald attempting to make Daisy impressed and/or favourable, and the super lucky Gladstone is often included as a depressingly successful, sometimes highly unsportsmanlike, rival.
  • April 1, 2011
    MikaruKeiko
    Hot Fuzz: Nicholas uses his Improbable Aiming Skills with air rifles to win a large monkey for Danny.
  • April 1, 2011
    Jordan
    Peter did this for Liz in one episode of The Spectacular Spiderman. Naturally, the carnival was attacked by supervillains soon afterward.
  • April 1, 2011
    MikaruKeiko
    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.
  • May 25, 2011
    Windsong12
    Bump
  • May 25, 2011
    ChaoticDreams
    I've seen this before on Hey Arnold between Arnold and Lila.
  • May 26, 2011
    randomsurfer
    Played with in some fashion (Invoked?) on 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.
  • May 26, 2011
    arrowyn
    In the movie Remember Me, he ends up buying the stuffed animal for her. She thinks he cheated. He says he won.
  • May 26, 2011
    peccantis
    Is anyone willing to hijack?
  • May 29, 2011
    MikaruKeiko
    ^ I will for time being.
  • May 29, 2011
    foxley
    In a Cherry Poptart comic, Cherry's boyfriend tries to win her a stuffed animal at a shooting gallery. He fails and later gets beaten up trying to steal one for her. In the meantime, Cherry 'wins' a stuffed animal for herself by having sex with the carnival owner.
  • June 2, 2014
    Quill
    In the film Ladder of Swords Don De Marco wins a blue fluffy teddy bear for Alice.
  • June 2, 2014
    DAN004
    Does the guy really have to fail?
  • June 2, 2014
    DAN004
    Compare The Ladys Favor.
  • June 2, 2014
    SWFMax
    On an episode of 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.
  • January 18, 2017
    SwiftSeraph
  • January 19, 2017
    AHI-3000
    In 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.
  • January 19, 2017
    foxley
    In an issue of Cherry Comics, Cherry's date attempts to win her a teddy ear 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.
  • January 19, 2017
    FlyingDuckManGenesis
    Video Games
    • 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.
  • January 19, 2017
    SwiftSeraph
    Should we put the Cherry Comics examples on here? The pages were cut by the P5, so it must be very NFSW.
  • January 21, 2017
    SwiftSeraph
    Anyone want to help find some indexes?
  • January 21, 2017
    DrNoPuma
    There's Circus Index, for one. Despite its name, it includes amusement park tropes.
  • January 21, 2017
    SquirrelGuy
    In Archie Comics, Betty or Veronica have occasionally asked this of Archie.
  • January 22, 2017
    CactusFace
    • Invoked in Mr And Mrs Smith: John and Jane, two of the worlds 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 bullseye at first try a shooting contest ensures.
  • February 8, 2017
    SwiftSeraph
    Who would be interested in crosslinking examples after I launch?
  • February 9, 2017
    henke37
    • Pony Courtship Rituals has Chrysalis trying to win a doubly rigged game. It takes many tries, but eventually she overpowers the cheating by brute force.
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