Calling Your Shots
In sports, sometimes a player will say or point to where his shot will go before he makes it. The point of this is to show your skill when you put it where you called it; if you don't make the anticipated shot it usually doesn't count. This is often a rule in some sports such as billiards. If it's not a rule of the game but you call the shot anyway, it can be just a way of showing off. Compare Calling Your Attacks (which isn't quite the same but does cross over a lot). Not to be confused with Calling Shotgun.
- A 1993 McDonald's commercial has basketball legends Larry Bird and Michael Jordan playing a variant of H.O.R.S.E. (first one to miss loses), calling more and more ridiculous shots.
Jordan (standing on top of the Sears Tower with Bird): Off the Expressway, over the river, off the billboard, through the window, off the wall... nothing but net.
- Invoked, lampshaded and then subverted in Major League. Early in the film when he first gets to the Indians' stadium, Jake Taylor (Tom Berenger) steps up to the plate and calls an imaginary home run. Near the end of the movie he pulls out this Chekhov's Gun during the Big Game (see inset photo, above), emulating Babe Ruth (see Real Life, below). Then he bunts.
Harry Doyle: What's this? Taylor is pointing to the bleachers! He's calling his shot! Nobody's done this since Babe Ruth in the '32 World Series!
- In the Babe Ruth Biopics The Babe Ruth Story (1948) and The Babe (1992) he is shown clearly calling his shot.
- In The Hustler, Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason are playing 14.1 straight pool and call their shots.
- Subverted in The Natural: The Whammer (a Babe Ruth expy) calls his shot in an impromptu showdown with young Roy Hobbs, but goes out on strikes.
- Practical Demonkeeping features a pool example. Travis cheats at pool by having his invisible demon, Catch, move the balls where he calls them. Usually.
Travis: "I said corner pocket!!!"Local pool hustler: "I heard you, stranger. Looks like you put a bit too much English on it.''
- At a slinging competition in the book High Rhulain, all the participants must declare what their targets are before slinging at a pinata-like target (the head is worth more than the legs which is worth more than the body). The heroine declares "two eyes and a head" and hits them, a never-before seen feat.
- In the Twilight Zone episode "A Game of Pool", Fats and Jesse call their shots in a game of pool. The most impressive shot is when Jesse calls the side pocket after bouncing off three banks and making it.
- Somewhat averted in a Quantum Leap episode where Sam leaps into a professional pool player. The game everyone plays is nine ball, and in nine ball the only ball you have to call before you sink is the 9.
- In an episode of The Brady Bunch Mike's boss gives the Bradys a pool table and Bobby becomes a pool hustler, even having an Imagine Spot where he pulls off trick shots on TV, calling each one before he does it.
- Some forms of street basketball, such as H.O.R.S.E., require the player to call their shot. If they fail to make the shot, the turn moves to the next player.
- In Billards, straight pool (14.1 continuous) requires you to call every shot. Eight ball rules make concessions for play either way; it's up to the players or tournament/league director to decide, but the final 8 ball shot is generally always called.
- Darts: In Gentleman's Cricket, the players have to call the number they are aiming at prior to throwing.
- In Curling, the Skip (the best player on the team) holds the broom where he/she wants the person delivering the stones to aim. This is called Calling the Shot.
- In Kendo, part of your score during matches is based on KI - "spirit" or intent - expressed by a yelling out of the intended target (kiai) at the *exact* moment of the strike. It's not quite like calling your shot in billiards (8 ball, corner pocket), but if you hit the wrist instead of the head and you had intended to hit the head, the strike would not result in a point.
- In Magic: The Gathering, the first step in casting a spell is to announce it which includes naming all its targets, costs and modes. Not announcing your spells properly is a rules violation since it is considered public information that you need to present to your opponent fully.
Cast Lightning Bolt on the Grizzly Bears
- A famous example of a Called Shot in Magic: The Gathering is Gabriel Nassif's Cruel Ultimatum from the quarterfinals of Pro Tour Kyoto in 2009. With no cards in hand and on the brink of losing the game, he picked up the top card of his library without looking at it and arranged his lands to produce two blue, two red, and three black mana: "My Cruel Ultimatum mana." Lo and behold, he flipped the card over to reveal...Cruel Ultimatum, the one card he needed to win the game and advance to the finals.
- There probably isn't a wargame where you can roll the attack before announcing which unit is attacking, its target, and the details of any options they may have when attacking.
- Team Fortress 2: The Scout's Home Run taunt has him imitating Babe Ruth's famous pose.
- In Escape from Monkey Island there are a couple of darts players so talented they'll hit any mark Guybrush names, including a doorjamb on the opposite side of the room or the player. This is part of a puzzle to hit a drunk's party balloon and startle him so you can steal his pretzels.
- The Simpsons
- When Homer becomes the star player on the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant softball team, at one point he points to left field calling his home run. Then he hits a homer to right field. He stands there looking silly for a moment, then retroactively calls his shot to right field instead.
- Parodied in a later episode when Crazy Cat Lady Eleanor Abernathy, who's given to cat-tossing, points over the roof to call a toss.
- Babe Ruth is shown doing this in game three of of the 1932 World Series in a newsreel clip near the beginning of Everyone's Hero.
- Babe Ruth famously did this just before hitting a home run in the fifth inning of Game 3 of the 1932 World Series, although opinions differ on whether or not Ruth was actually pointing to center field or merely gesturing towards the hecklers on the Chicago Cub bench. (Cub pitcher Charlie Root insisted that if Ruth had actually pointed to the bleachers and announced he was going to hit a homer, Root would have hit him with the next pitch.)
- In the middle of the 20th century, New York City banned all Pinball machines on the notion that the game were a form of gambling. The ban ended only when writer Roger Sharpe testified before a committee that pinball was not a game of chance, but required skill and finesse. The convincing demonstration came when he announced that he would launch his next ball through the center lane (out of five) at the top of the playfield, then proceeded to do exactly that.