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Inept Talent Show Contestant
A character or a collection of characters decide, ill-advisedly, to enter a song contest or talent show (in a Britcom, usually the Eurovision Song Contest or a ripoff thereof) despite the fact that Fred can't sing, Bill can't write songs and John can't play the ukelele. He, she, or they will either:
  1. Fail to win, in the most excruciating and humiliating way imaginable or
  2. Appear to fail to win in the most excruciating and humiliating way imaginable, and then come in first place.

If there's a whole series of these, it's a variant of Terrible Interviewees Montage.

Please stick to in-universe examples for this page.

Examples

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     Comic Books  

  • The Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi story "Kaz Superstar" (Cartoon Network Block Party #24) lampoons William Hung's appearance on American Idol in that the girls' manager goes on an AI-type talent show, is unilaterally kicked out of the studio, but becomes a sensation that even overshadows the girls.

     Live Action TV  

  • Previously named for comedy The High Life, where the characters perform a song called "Pif Paf Pof".
  • Father Ted did this too, with "My Lovely Horse". Notably, done specifically to lose the contest for Ireland, which is tired of hosting.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus: the winning entry from Monaco in the Eurovision Song Contest is a nonsensical ditty called "Bing Tiddle Tiddle Bong".
  • 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.

     Pro Wrestling  

  • 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.

     Video Games  

     Web Original  

     Western Animation  

  • 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.


Forced Prize FightCompetition IndexNo-Holds-Barred Contest
Indulgent Fantasy SegueComedy TropesInflationary Dialogue

alternative title(s): Pif Paf Pof
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