- Fail to win, in the most excruciating and humiliating way imaginable or
- Appear to fail to win in the most excruciating and humiliating way imaginable, and then come in first place.
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Live Action TV
- Previously named for comedy The High Life, where the characters perform a song called "Pif Paf Pof".
- Father Ted did this with Ted and Dougal entering Eurovision with "My Lovely Horse". Notably, they entered specifically to lose the contest for Ireland, which was tired of hosting it.
- Monty Python's Flying Circus: the winning entry from Monaco in the Eurovision Song Contest is a nonsensical ditty called "Bing Tiddle Tiddle Bong".
- The All-England Summarize Proust competition yielded no worthy contestants, so the award was given to the girl with the biggest tits.
- In Scrubs, the Janitor told Elliot he was part of an a capella band, and that it was the best employee band in the hospital. This angered Ted's band who challenged him to a showdown. The result was that Elliot said they were both really good.
- In the "Hype Pressure" episode of The Goodies, Graeme and Bill form a folk duo called 'the Twofolk'. They appear on Tim's cruel talent show 'New Faeces' and perform a hideous song called "The World Is Full of Women and Men". Despite being booed by the audience, they are a hit with the supposedly unscrupulous panelists, who admire the song's naďveté and purity. Tim's "theatre of cruelty" series is cancelled as a result.
- Carol Burnett, as her "Eunice" character, has a spot on The Gong Show and is so convinced that her singing talent will be her ticket away from her family that she does a lot of bridge-burning before the show. Bad idea.
- The entire premise of The Gong Show.
- WWE will occasionally have "talent competitions" that specifically play to a babyface's strengths. Always, the heel will wind up fitting this trope.
- John Cena vs. the Big Show in a rap battle.
- Stacy Keibler vs. Molly Holly in a dance-off.
- R-Truth & Eve Torres vs. Ted DiBiase Jr. & Maryse in a "song and dance" competition.
- Tracey De Santa in Grand Theft Auto V, whose "audition" for Fame or Shame is essentially a striptease, which causes her father, Michael, to have a Brain Bleach moment before attacking Lazlow, the show's host. Subverted in that Lazlow is a fan of her (mainly because he's sleeping with her) and manages to get her through to the finals.
- Remember "Elektronik Supersonik", one of the Internet's first Viral Videos from the pre-YouTube era? What you might not know is that it was a tie-in with an entire Borat-esque mythos about the fictional Ruritanian nation of Molvanîa, and was, In-Universe, the country's entry in the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest. Or that they also made a follow-up entry in 2005, "I Am the Anti-Pope".
- Also done in an episode of The Fairly Oddparents, where Timmy's homemade, crappy film is recognized as a great comedy (though it wasn't intended as such).
- In Family Guy, Peter and Lois formed a hippie-esque folk duo, A Handful of Peter, when they were younger and decide to revive it for a talent show. The problem being that that they get stoned out of their minds because they don't think they're creative without it. At the talent show they perform a song called "In God's Eyes We Are All Hot", but afterward we learn that they lost, and we see that their actual performance was nothing but atonal screaming.
- Ron Stoppable in Kim Possible's talent show episode showcases a lot of unusual if not low quality talents, especially compared to Bonnie's amazing ballet but somehow wins.
- In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Show Stoppers", the Cutie Mark Crusaders enter a talent show hoping to find their cutie marks. Their performance is a complete disaster (the set literally collapses around them). They end up winning first prize...for best comedy act.
- The Beetlejuice episode "Stage Fright" has Claire Brewster sabotaging Lydia's tryout in a school production of "Romeo and Juliet". Claire gets the Juliet role, which Beetlejuice uses to take over her body and make a ruckus of the play. Miss Shannon, the school's teacher, is aghast but the school's headmaster loved it.