* AcceptableTargets: Any Olympic "superpower", including the United States, Russia, China and especially the United States. Did I mention especially the United States?
** Norway, Germany, Canada, and Austria are considered "superpowers" in the Winter Games but they are not as ridiculed since they aren't as huge in the summer games as well in comparison to the countries mentioned above.
** Whatever country that is hosting the Olympics or the upcoming Olympics, as said country will always receive scrutiny about how they prepare for and host the games, alongside the fact that any political controversies the country has tend to be magnified during this period. This goes double for former and future "Olympic Superpowers", triple for current "Olympic Superpowers", quadruple if the United States is hosting.
** Canadians, as deemed by...Canadians in the 2010 closing ceremonies.
** The US Basketball team since the Dream Team era. If they didn't win big, then they're bashed for underperforming. [[MortonsFork If they win very big, then they're accused of running up the score]].
** Creator/{{NBC}}, for, among other things, [[OldMediaPlayingCatchup its tape-delaying]].
** And, of course, Berlin 1936 featured [[ThoseWackyNazis the most acceptable target of all]]. (To be fair to the IOC, the UsefulNotes/WeimarRepublic was still in power when the 1936 Games were awarded to Germany.)
** Russia has become this primarily due to the horror stories that came out from the journalists.
* BigLippedAlligatorMoment: In the otherwise music-dominated 2012 closing ceremony, there was a short skit where Del and Rodney from the British sitcom "Only Fools and Horses" dressed up as Batman and Robin crashing into a door then saying [[TheItalianJob "You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!"]]
* CrowningMusicOfAwesome: Over and over, but notably the "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4VN64q5vKk Bugler's Dream and Olympic Fanfare]]" commonly played on NBC.
** They're also very fond of music from ''PiratesOfTheCaribbean''.
** And don't forget the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZmSNpd-7GU Olympic Hymn]], which plays during the Olympic flag-raising for bonus AwesomeMomentOfCrowning-ness.
** Björk wrote and sang [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iM7q7_5aztU "Oceania"]] for the 2004 Athens Olympics, while her dress got spread through the ground, undulating.
** "Ode To Joy" is also played in every opening ceremony; it was downright inspirational (or [[Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion a bit odd]]) to see the ''Japanese singing along'' in Nagano.
** Your national anthem, when your nation wins gold. You know it's true.
** And now we have the official song of London 2012 "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68mw8AE9l_g&feature=related Survival]]" by none other than {{Muse}}. Who else could make such an '''EPIC''' rock theme for the games?
** Also from London, the original composition "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mec8GZkEpD4 Caliban's Dream"]] based on a passage from ''Theatre/TheTempest'' that was read at the beginning of the ceremony and played as young athletes caries the torch. Both a TearJerker and HeartwarmingMoment.
** Again, from London, the absolutely '''EPIC''' [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6NBHx80ovY "And I Will Kiss"]], written and arranged by [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/And_I_Will_Kiss Rick Smith and Underworld]] and featuring hundreds of amateur drummers led by deaf musician Dame Evelyn Glennie, which played during the "Industrial Revolution" part of the opening ceremony. The title also comes from ''The Tempest''.
** Yet ANOTHER London 2012 example, [[http://vimeo.com/47100629 Theme For Velodrome]] by TheChemicalBrothers, a frenetic, throbbing track with definite undertones of KraftWerk and their TourDeFrance soundtrack.
** As we know from his other works, JohnWilliams is the man, and so are all three of his Olympic themes: His original [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWdOFgDQIn0 Olympic Fanfare and Theme]] for the 1984 games, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckGB_mLrheM Summon the Heroes]] for the 1996 games, and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPV8ZwVqAJs Call of the Champions]] for the 2002 games, which being in Salt Lake City featured the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
** Wait, no ''Hand in Hand'' from the 1988 Seoul Games? Whether in [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tc2hWJ2EjQs English]] or in [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tRtueWf68c Korean]]?
* EnsembleDarkHorse: Curling.
** ''And'' Canada's skips for that sport, [[BaldOfAwesome Kevin Martin]] and Cheryl Bernard.
** The Vancouver Olympics gave us the Norwegian men's curling team ''[[http://ayyyy.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/Norwegian-curling-pants.jpg pants]]''.
*** By the time the games ended, those pants had their own Facebook page and {{Hatedom}}.
** Eric "the Eel" Moussambani in the Sydney 2000 games was a swimmer who didn't even make it into the semi-finals. Nonetheless, he became more remembered than the eventual gold medalist in the event.
* HarsherInHindsight: Doomed luger Nodar Kumaritashvili's last phone call to his father included the phrase "I'll win or die trying".
** During the 1976 Olympics, American swimmer [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shirley_Babashoff Shirley Babaschoff]] made a rather bad joke about the gold-winning East German swimming team and their members's records, commenting on their almost manly voices: she was accused of baselessly saying they were taking steroids and given the EmbarrassingNickname "Sour Shirley". After the fall of the Berlin Wall, however, it was revealed that [[http://www.wired.com/politics/law/news/2000/07/37631 East German female athletes of all kinds were unknowingly doped with steroids, which had among their side-effects the development of more irreversible traits that amount to "masculinization"]]. That had [[BreakTheCutie all kind of horrible physical/emotional effects]] [[TheWoobie on the ladies]]... and [[TheOneGuy on]] [[TransSexual one]] [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andreas_Krieger guy.]]
** As the U.S. war in Afghanistan drags on and on, it becomes more and more awkward that the U.S. boycotted the Moscow Games because the Soviet Union was being ''so evil'' by invading Afghanistan.
* HilariousInHindsight: [[http://resources0.news.com.au/images/2010/02/14/1225830/204968-tatiana-borodulina.jpg Australia's speedskating outfits]] looks a lot like {{Kick-Ass}}'s costume.
** Octuple-gold medalist Michael Phelps' rather large game-week diet, which was later "explained" as just a major case of the munchies.
** For some reason, having [[UsefulNotes/TheTroubles Ireland]] as a "buffer" between [[ArabIsraeliConflict Iran and Israel's]] flags/delegations.
*** For once, [[YesMinister Ireland made something better]].
*** While this does make sense ("Ireland" comes right between "Iran" and "Israel" in the list of IOC member countries), it remains particularly amusing to people who remember how things were in TheSeventies and TheEighties (Iran fighting a war with Iraq, Ireland undergoing UsefulNotes/TheTroubles, and of course Israel and Jordan, who didn't recognize each other at the time, are separated only by Italy, Jamaica, and Japan--thank God that those delegations tend to be quite large).
* InternetBackdraft: Rooting for your country (specially if you're from the USA). And let's not even get started about bids for or even hosting the Olympics for a city.
** Like the logo or mascots for London 2012? Don't bother voicing that over on the BBC Sport website.
** After racist criticism of the opening ceremony from London 2012 by the Daily Mail and the undesirable remarks from the odd Tory MP (who said that there should have been more of the Rolling Stones and less "multicultural crap"- ignoring the fact that the Stones were influenced by African-American jazz and the blues), the internet was quick to flood the mail with comments of well deserved abuse. The tabloid edited the online article, but later pulled the article in question after posters began to comment "this is what the article read BEFORE it was tampered with...".
** Mention the 2010 hockey gold medal game on a hockey forum. Make sure to have the fire department on speed dial.
*** What, hockey gold medal? Mention the men's artistic skating one, aka Evgeni Plushenko vs. Evan Lycasek. Was Plushenko just throwing a tantrum over Lycasek winning his gold fair and square? Was Lycasek unfairly favored by xenophobic judges who hated Plushenko for being Russian? '''Say your prayers and call your local mortuary'''.
*** And to add to that nice roast flavor of USA v. Canada to any meal, mention the 2012 Women's Soccer semifinal. For extra crispy dishes, comment on the length of time the Canadian keeper held onto the ball or the penalty given on the handball.
*** Do not talk about the 2014 ladies figure skating results to figure skating fans. For added fun, tell a Yuna Kim fan that Adelina Sotnikova's win was totally deserved! Retorts of the "urgh she STOLE poor little Yuna Kim's gold, THAT RUSSIAN BITCH! CONSPIRATION!!!111" will immediately come forth.
*** Sochi's figure skating couldn't seem to avoid controversy: Did American ice dancers Charlie White and Meryl Davis actually earn their gold, or did a conspiracy allow them to take gold over 2010's winners, Canadians Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue? Taking sides either way will probably earn a few nasty comments.
** In fact, there have been many [[ConspiracyTheorist conspiracy theories]] about the USA and Russia having secet agreements about which country would get which medals in Sochi. Mention them? There goes your life.
* MemeticBadass: Usain Bolt of Jamaica, who broke the sprinting record in 2008.
** Katie Taylor of Ireland, who won the gold medal in boxing in London 2012.
* MemeticMutation: "Misty May puts it away!"
** [=McKayla=]'s hilariously bitchy facial expression [[SecondPlaceIsForLosers while receiving the silver medal for women's vault]] gave rise to a "[[http://mckaylaisnotimpressed.tumblr.com/ McKayla Is Not Impressed]]" photoshop meme.
*** [[AscendedMeme It gets better.]] Not only are [=McKayla=] and the American gymnastics team aware of the existence of the meme, [[http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/olympics-fourth-place-medal/mckayla-maroney-gets-mckayla-not-impressed-meme-194637045--oly.html they've gotten in on the action as well.]]
*** ''Salon'' magazine referred to her, early on, as "a sleek little alien with one of the most wondrously haughty athletic bitchfaces of all time."
** Referring to the... ather special housing deals in Sochi 2014: "#SochiProblems"
** "Do you believe in miracles? YES!"
* MostWonderfulSound: "I officially declare the games open!"
* NarmCharm: The opening and ''especially'' the closing ceremonies.
** After the Bejing (2008) Olympics, this might end, considering their massive and very impressive opening ceremony.
** Vancouver ''embraced'' the Narm; besides, not many countries have ''thousands of soldiers'' they can spare for performances.
** London 2012 featured a giant Lord Voldemort being defeated by an army of Mary Poppinses.
** Sochi 2014 had the return of mascot Mischa the Bear (and his closing theme song "Farewell Moscow" by Alexandra Pakhmutova) from Moscow 1980, accompanied by Hare and Snow Leopard. He blew out the Olympic Flame and (as before) shed a single tear. Only in Russia...
* NoSuchThingAsBadPublicity: The rivalry between US figure skaters Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan during the 1994 Winter Olympics. Before the Games, Tonya allegedly had her then-husband hire an attacker to assault Nancy with a leadpipe to the knee (the "Whack Heard 'Round the World"), in hopes that Nancy would drop out of the competition. (Tonya has always claimed that it was her ex's idea ''and'' that he also was a DomesticAbuser who profitted from her until-then good fame.) Nonetheless, Nancy recovered in time to compete in Norway, and the ladies' showdown is one of the most watched tv moments in history. Not just for the Olympics or sporting events, but ''period.''
* OnceAcceptableTargets: Any Olympic "superpower" that has since dissolved or is not as a superpower in the Olympics as they used to. While they can still be ridiculed from time to time, they aren't as ridiculed as much as current AcceptableTargets are. The Soviet Union, France, Germany, and Great Britain are such notable examples.
* TheScrappy: NBC's coverage of the 2012 games, due to, among other things, its tape delay.
** NBC's hold on being TheScrappy has gone on for years before 2012. When you tape delay Olympic events that take place in the Pacific Time Zone, for people who live in the Pacific Time Zone, your Scrappy title is earned. The 2016 Games are one time zone to the east of Eastern Time Zone, somehow NBC will find a way to tape-delay that too.
** With modern media (Twitter, Tumblr, etc.) providing instant updates and coverage, it's nearly impossible to not be spoiled for events short of becoming a Luddite for two weeks. That NBC ''did'' provide live streams of the events as they occurred during Sochi did help mitigate their Scrappy status somewhat but not enough to make them lose the Scrappy status. (And that the Opening Ceremony was the only event not live streamed didn't help.)
** Their coverage of the opening ceremony was another big reason for their scrappy status. In addition to a widely criticized commentary by Meredith Viera and Matt Lauer, they deleted [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4As0e4de-rI&t=1h23m30s the part of the opening ceremony]] that was intended to be [[http://www.bagnewsnotes.com/2012/08/terrorism-tribute-cut-from-olympic-opening-ceremony-by-nbc-honored-2-u-s-servicemen/ a tribute to people who died in the July 7, 2005 terrorist attack]]. Their response as to why they didn't air it? [[http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/olympics/london/story/2012-07-28/NBC-tribute-to-victims-Michael-Phelps/56556494/1 "Our programming is tailored]] [[ThisLoserIsYou for the U.S. audience."]]
* TearJerker:
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BU3jfbb172E Derek Redmond]] is a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derek_Redmond#Athletics_career good story]] to start off with here. After running the best time in the first round and winning his quarter-final at the Barcelona 1992 games, he made a good start in the semi-final only for his hamstring to snap 250 meters from the finish line. He hobbled to a stop, collapsed in pain, and then ''got up again'' and began limping his way along the track in an effort to finish the race. His father Jim barged past security to help him through the last lap and across the finish line, to a standing ovation from the crowd of 65,000 spectators... but since his father helped him finish, he was officially disqualified and considered a "Did Not Finish."
*** More video [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFKpZnok10s here]] and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZlXWp6vFdE here]].
**** Read the description of the second video for an additional tear jerker.
** Emeli Sande's song [[http://youtu.be/FsVIzK1VLdo during the closing Ceremony of 2012]] may belong in Music, but the whole damn thing was so moving, it deserves to be here too, especially when you consider how messed up things are in the world these days, and how much the Olympics, in spite of innately being a competition, brings people together:
--->''Yeah we're all [[HumansAreGood wonderful, wonderful people]], so when did we all get so [[FearIsTheAppropriateResponse fearful]]?''
--->''Now we're finally finding our voices [[ThisIsNoTimeToPanic so take a chance]], come [[RousseauWasRight help me sing this]].''
** At the Vancouver 2010 games, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nodar_Kumaritashvili Nodar Kumaritashvili]], a Georgian luge athlete, died in a practice run mere ''hours'' before the opening ceremonies. The Georgian team marched in with black scarves, and the Georgian flag sported a black band on top for the duration of the games. Quite a few of the other teams (at least those at the beginning of the Parade of Nations) put a band of black tape on their arms in honor of Nodar. The other Georgian luger, who also grew up with Nodar, tried to get back in practice the next day but ultimately couldn't go on and dropped out of the games.
** U.S. speedskater [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Jensen Dan Jensen]] was heavily favored in 1988's 500 and 1000 meter races, but after finding out mere hours before the first race that his sister Jane had died of leukemia, he fell in both races in truly heartbreaking fashion. In 1992 he struck out again. However, in 1994, in the 1000-meter race, which was widely known to be his final shot at Olympic gold, he did better. He set a world record, dedicated the win to his departed sister, and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWYRH5jnQBo skated a victory lap holding his baby daughter]], who, in a final burst of tearjerker, was named Jane.
** Canadian figure skater Joannie Rochette's mother died two days before she could watch her daughter skate for the short-program. After [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome winning]] [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming the bronze medal]], she placed her medal on her mother's casket for a time.
*** See especially her expression when the thunderous applause starts at the end of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQYoyKBR9bM her performance]], when you realize that, from her point of view, it's a great big "you did wonderful, we are so sorry for what happened to you, and we love you" from the whole of the country.
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Munich_massacre The 1972 Munich Massacre.]] ABC sportscaster Jim [=McKay=]'s harrowing and iconic announcement to the tragedy sums it up very well:
---> ''When I was a kid my father used to say "Our greatest hopes and our worst fears are seldom realized." Our worst fears have been realized tonight. They have now said there were eleven hostages; two were killed in their rooms yesterday morning, nine were killed at the airport tonight.'' '''''They're all gone'''''.
*** What makes the Munich tragedy so much worse is that the organizers had gone out of their way to make this the ''antithesis'' of the "Nazi" Games in '36. These were the SugarWiki Games, "The Games of ''Peace And Joy''". The opening ceremonies were breathtaking, graceful, almost fairytale in color and feel. Lighthearted pop tunes instead of martial airs were played for the Parade of Athletes, and the Germans wore bright pastels. For the first time, the Olympic Flag was brought in by the athletes themselves instead of soldiers. Thousands of garlanded children -- ''Blumenkinder'' -- danced as a children's choir sang Karl Orff's setting of the medieval tune "Sumer Is Icumen In", and the Flame was brought in by a group of runners representing the continents and islands of the world. And at the closing ceremonies, in spite of everything, they still raised artist Otto Piene's installation, the Flying Rainbow...
** During the 2004 Olympic Games opening parade, when the country of Iraq was announced. The cheers that went up across the stadium easily trebled any that had come for the previous countries.
** Ditto for the 2008 Olympics, when they started singing "We're One World." Retroactively saddening that the athletes from Russia and Georgia walked in the opening ceremony side-by-side, and yet the next day their countries went to war.
*** Yao Ming carried China's flag in one hand and the hand of nine-year-old Lin Hao in the other. Lin was a child who'd saved the lives of two friends when the three of them were trapped in the Sichuan earthquake just a month before.
** In the happy tears category, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donghua_Li Donghua and Esperanza Li]]. Donghua was told that he would be forbidden from representing China in the Olympics if he married Esperanza: he gave up his gymnastics career in China for the woman he loved. He would later become a Swiss citizen and represent them in the Olympics.
** And in 2000, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-QivSECfj4&t=51m10s when North and South Korea walked in together under their "unification" flag, clasped hands held high.]]
** During the 2002 Winter Olympics, the German athletes asked a local man to carry their country's placard into the stadium. His name was [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gail_Halvorsen Gail Halvorsen]], the man who began dropping chocolate to children during the Berlin Airlift.
** Bela Karolyi carrying PluckyGirl Kerri Strug to the podium to accept her gold medal in the 1996 Atlanta Games.
** In the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, in the marathon, Tanzanian John Stephen Akhwari got injured and finished last. He in fact ran from Reforma Avenue until the Estadio Olímpico Universitario (i.e. a fuckload of distance), crossed the finish line and collapsed. He had this to say from his hospital bed the next day: "I don't think you understand. My country did not send me five thousand miles to start the race, they sent me five thousand miles to finish it".
*** Another one: In the gymnastics field, Vera Caslavska won 4 gold medals and 2 silvers for Czechoslovakia and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dykBBhaoczg turned her head as the Soviet anthem played]] because of the Prague Spring. That same year she got married in Mexico's Metropolitan Cathedral and received the nickname of "La Novia de México" ("The Bride of Mexico").
** The singing of "God Save the Queen" and accompanying flag-raising at the Beijing Olympics.
*** And then the later "God Save the Queen" anthem at the 2012 London Olympics with Queen Elizabeth in attendance.
** Every time the Olympic Flame dies. Made even more a tear jerker if there is a song playing just before it happens. Some examples include [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-MRc29_ihA this quintessentially Greek "Farewell to the Flame"]] at the end of the 2004 Athens games, the London 2012 closing ceremonies when Music/TakeThat performed [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhSGwPoHo6w "Rule The World,"]] and at the Vancouver 2010 closing ceremonies when NeilYoung performed [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iHilRqOLx8 "Long May You Run."]]
*** On that note, the IOC President's speech at the Closing Ceremonies: "And now, in accordance with tradition, I declare the Games of [insert year here] closed, and I call upon the youth of the world to assemble four years from now in [name of next host city]..." Partly sadness because the current games are ending, and partly heart-swelling hope for the next generation of Olympians. Or am I the only one?
** At the 2012 London Olympics, Mark Hunter and Zac Purchase, a British lightweight rowing duo, narrowly missed out on gold, getting silver instead. After the race was over, they cried in front of the cameras and apologised for letting down their country.
*** Paula Radcliffe's complete breakdown after the Athens 2004 marathon (she withdrew after 36k, due to a combination of a stomach upset and heat exhaustion - the latterly typically blamed on the race's start time of mid-afternoon to satisfy international TV demands; there's a reason these things are usually done early in the morning) was even worse.
* ToughActToFollow: Both Canada and Britain worried about how their opening ceremonies would compare to the spectacular ones in Beijing 2008 - but both are generally agreed to have done a good job, showcasing things about their country that are unique and displaying a little more levity and individualism than China did. Danny Boyle's London ceremonies mixed impressive spectacle (opening acts on the British landscape and the Industrial Revolution) with moments like James Bond meeting the Queen, Rowan Atkinson inserting himself into a performance of (and scenes from) ''Chariots of Fire'', and a giant dance party featuring about 50 years of the best of British music. And, of course, the famed "Mary Poppinses vs. Voldemort" scene, in a sequence that ''also'' saluted the NHS. So on the whole, it matched up pretty well.
** The daunting task that any future Olympic swimmer will have to face if they try to defeat Michael Phelps' record in Beijing 2008 of winning 8 gold medals in a single Olympics. And as of London 2012, with 22 medals (18 gold, 2 silver, and 2 bronze) to his name, Phelps is the most decorated Olympian '''EVER''' in any event.
** Any and every team or athlete from a country following a particularly successful era in a given sport or taking over from a very successful retiring athlete will potentially be subjected to the strain of living in the shadow of those past gold medalists in the national consciousness. The Australian swimming team suffered from this terribly in 2012, being pressured with very high expectations to live up to the very dominant period of Australians in the sport that had preceded them, to the point where it caused a huge media controversy.
** Leading up to the women's vault final, American gymnast [=McKayla=] Maroney was under tremendous pressure to repeat her astonishing, gold-medal winning vault from the team final. She was considered a lock for the individual gold, but fell on her second vault and had to settle for silver.
* ValuesDissonance:
** Olympic achievement can vary from different countries. In North America, you are considered great if you are able to reach the podium. But achievement-heavy cultures in East Asia can be [[SecondPlaceIsForLosers disappointed with anything less than gold]].
*** There is also a kind of MoralDissonance or DoubleStandard that can occur within a country between different sports. If it is a sport that your country is traditionally expected to do well at because they have a history of gold medals, then anything less than first may be regarded as a failure; whereas a competitor in a sport that has no national hype is likely to be lauded as a hero if they unexpectedly medal, or sometimes even if they just place in the top ten/finals. (From 2012, for instance, Beth Tweddle (women's gymnastics) won bronze on the uneven bars, to the ear-shattering screams of her countrymen; it was the first Olympic medal in women's gymnastics for Great Britain ''ever''.)
** This was evident in the American coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. The Russian ceremony showed the Soviet era as a GoldenAge, but the American commentators kept pointing out all of the political repression that went on during the time.
* WhatAnIdiot: Nancy Kerrigan being a SoreLoser after losing the gold to Oksana Baiul in 1994. Since the ceremony was taking more time than expected and there were rumors about the [[TearsOfJoy rather tearful]] Baiul applying more make-up (truth is, the organizators didn't have an Ukranian flag ''or'' a tape of the Ukranian anthem handy!), Kerrigan started whining off-stage about Baiul being a crybaby... [[IsThisThingStillOn and was caught on tape]]. [[SayingTooMuch DUH, "America's Sweetheart".]]
* WhatTheHellPlayer: The IOC to any Olympian who is caught cheating or admits to cheating. If drugs are involved, the World Anti-Doping Agency ([[FunWithAcronyms WADA]]), too.