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Who Needs Overtime
When we scored ... Joe Thornton said, "We don't do overtime!" I said, "Thank God we don't do overtime." We were getting ready for the overtime.
Ron Wilson, ice hockey coach in response to this game

It's nearing the end of regulation of a sports contest the main characters are in, and it's a close game. Someone makes a comment that the team could tie it up, and beat the opposition in overtime. They end up doing one better by getting the job done in regulation.

A subtrope of Down to the Last Play. Not be confused with someone who refuses to pay for extra hours worked.


Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • Eyeshield 21: The Deimon Devilbats score a last-second touchdown to trail the Shinryuuji Naga by 1 point with no time remaining, not having gone for the XP attempt yet. Realizing that Sena is at the limit of his stamina and won't be able to last through overtime, Hiruma makes the call to go for 2 on a fake field goal attempt, giving Deimon a one-point victory.
    • Justified since most (if not all) of the players are exhausted, Sena himself nearly damaging his knee. Playing with only 11 regular members and 4 borrowed sports club players is not advisable, but hey, if that's all you can get...
    • Later averted in the final game. Team America and Team Japan tie the game, and no overtime is given because the people hosting the tournament thought America would wreck the tournament like always. Unhappy with a tie (As Bud Walker puts it, it's like kissing your sister.) the teams continue playing despite being told not to. It's assumed that Team America won, but Team Japan doesn't mind.
  • CLANNAD's Baseball Episode ends on the last inning in the anime. However, the game in the original Visual Novel from which said Baseball Episode is based on actually ends on the extra inning. This is of course justified by the fact that Visual Novels aren't restricted by a 25 minutes time limit.

Film
  • The Mighty Ducks. Happens several times. In the Ducks' final regular season game, Coach Bombay pulls Goldberg to give the Ducks six attackers and a chance to win the game in regulation, as a tie would not have been enough to qualify for the playoffs. It works.
    • Possibly averted, as Bombay's exclamation that "Ties aren't gonna help us. We need the win!" make it appear that such a game would end tied with no overtime played.
    • During the final game against the Hawks, Charlie Conway is awarded a penalty shot after time expires in regulation with the game tied. He scores to win the championship for the Ducks.
    • In the flashback scenes in The Mighty Ducks, we learn that the coach's big shame, the reason why he gave up hockey, was when he missed a tiebreaker penalty shot. He then mentions that his team went on to lose in overtime. And the coach blamed him for losing the game!
    • Averted in D2, when a shootout is required to separate Team USA and Team Iceland in the final match of the Junior Goodwill Games.
    • In D3, goaltender-turned-defenseman Goldberg scores the only goal of the JV/Varsity Showdown just as time expires in regulation.
  • Happy Gilmore. Despite having a fallen TV tower between his ball and the hole and being advised to take two strokes and go to the tiebreaker, Happy uses his mad puttin' skillz to win the match outright.
  • The Replacements: With a trip to the playoffs on the line, the Washington Sentinels, a team of scabs due to a strike, are trailing a powerful Dallas team that crossed the picket line earlier in the week. Nigel Gruff, the placekicker, goes on to kick the field goal and tie the game, but because he's threatened with losing his pub if he saves the game for the Sentinels, Falco, the QB and holder, changes the play, takes the ball for himself and rushes into the endzone for the game winning TD. Subverted, however, when a holding call negates the TD. Played straight however, when they try for the win on the next play and get the TD, earning the Sentinels a playoff spot (of course, Nigel was injured on the fake anyway and couldn't have kicked the field goal).
  • Necessary Roughness: Averted in that (at the time) college games didn't go to overtime, but the Armadillos still opted to go for the win over the tie against the number 1 team in the nation.
  • The Waterboy: Only one more play is allowed in the championship game the score is 24-27, the Mud Dogs trailing, instead of kicking a field goal, Boucher and Grenoille opt for a halfback option pass play which is successful.
  • In the Adam Sandler remake of The Longest Yard, The Convicts had just scored a touchdown on a trick play with no time left, putting them one point behind the Guards. They could have just kicked the extra point and sent the game into overtime, but instead, after a team vote, decided to go for two and the win. They succeeded.
    We always go all the way.
    Yeah and that's why most of us are in here.

Live-Action TV

Western Animation
  • Hey Arnold!!, "Benchwarmer": With his team down by two with nine seconds remaining, instead of simply sinking the two free throws he's given and playing overtime, Arnold decides to deliberately miss the second freethrow to score a basket to win.
    • That actually gets used in real life (although in practice only when down by 3 or more). The only problem is that he has to clank it in such a way that a teammate can get his hands on the ball first. Not an easy task under the best of circumstances, and this isn't the kind of skill that most players work on, so this definitely counts as a desperation move.
  • Subverted in Rocket Power, "Power Play": Roller hockey match. Score, 3-4, Rockets down, with NHL pros game on the line. 12 seconds left. Dialog:
    Raymundo: They can do it. Tito. Tie it up and win in overtime. Overtime is not extra paddling. It's... Tito: I know what overtime is, bruddah.
    • Otto takes the puck from Sam with 3 seconds to go and shoots from afar, but the goal is waived. Big Downer Ending, folks.

Real Life
  • Thus far, this has been true for the Super Bowl. In 48 years, not one Super Bowl has gone into overtime.
  • Manchester United scored twice in the last three minutes to win the 1999 UEFA Champions' League.
    • Apparently, Manchester United assistent manager Steve McClaren had asked his boss Sir Alex Ferguson whether United would return to 4-4-2 (from 4-3-3) in extra time. Ferguson replied "We'll win it before."
  • In the 2003 Rugby World Cup, a last second winning drop-goal in extra-time from Jonny Wilkinson, replying to a last minute penalty from Elton Flatley of Australia, averted rugby union's first ever sudden-death third extra-time period to win the tournament for England.
    • But they were already in extra time (Commonwealth English for "overtime").
  • In one of the most famous plays in NFL history, the Green Bay Packers defeated the Dallas Cowboys 21-17 in the 1967 NFL Championship (better known as the "Ice Bowl") on a last-second quarterback sneak from the goal line for a touchdown, when a short field goal would have tied the game and sent it to overtime. (They then advanced to the Super Bowl, which they also won.)
    • Similarly, the announcers (and most others) thought the New England Patriots should run out the clock in Super Bowl XXXVI and go to overtime after the St. Louis Rams tied the game late, but instead they drove for the winning field goal.
  • An example from before overtime existed: In the 1984 Orange Bowl, Nebraska scored a touchdown to pull within 1 point of Miami. Rather than call for the extra point kick and a tie and almost certainly the National Championship, coach Tom Osborne called for a 2-point conversion play (which would win the game but is significantly riskier). The conversion failed and Miami won the National Championship. (Also averted. See the Necessary Roughness example below.)
    • Subverted, then played straight with a variation in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl featuring Oklahoma and Boise State. After Oklahoma rallied to tie it up late, Boise State got the ball and attempted to drive for the winning score—and immediately threw an interception, allowing Oklahoma to take their first lead of the game, 35-28. Boise State scored a touchdown on a trick play with 7 seconds left, settling for the extra point and overtime. Oklahoma got the ball first in OT, and future NFL superstar Adrian Peterson ran 25 yards for a touchdown on its first play. The Broncos then required a second trick play to get a touchdown, but rather than kicking the extra point and trying to win in double-OT, they pulled yet another trick play out of the playbook and got the 2-point conversion to win it 43-42 in OT—thus, a variation, "Who Needs Double-Overtime?"
  • In the 1988 World Series, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda knew that star slugger Kirk Gibson was too banged up to play in the field or run the bases; the only way he could be of any use to the team was to go to the plate and hit a home run. With the Dodgers trailing the Oakland Athletics by one run with two out in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game One, rather than send Gibson to the plate with a chance to tie the game, he sent utility player Mike Davis to the plate instead. After Davis worked a walk, Lasorda then sent Gibson to the plate with a chance to win the game. Up against the league's best closer, Dennis Eckersley. And if you don't know what happened next, you obviously are not a baseball fan.
  • Turkey pull this trope three times in a row at the Euro2008, reaching the semi-finals this way.
    • In fact, they toyed with the trope in four straight games, but only one really fits the trope. In their second game, they did score a late winner, but had equalised with over 30 minutes left (and in any case the game couldn't go into overtime). Their third game fits the trope perfectly; they came from behind to beat the Czechs with two late goals, thus avoiding a penalty shoot-out. In the third game, Croatia went ahead very late in extra time, only for Turkey to equalise and win on penalties (so they *did* need overtime). Then in the fourth game they managed the late equaliser, only to *lose* (to Germany) in the last minute before overtime!
    • This trope is also invoked by the manager of Turkey's team, Fatih Terim, when he didn't train his team for the penalties on purpose against the Czech Republic.
      • They got to the semi final having led for 9 minutes of the 390 they'd played.
  • The LSU football team notably used this trope in the 2007 game against Auburn. One point behind they went for the touchdown instead of a field goal. The play was completed with 1 second left on the clock. There's a reason fans were talking about selling "Les Miles defibrillators" that year.
  • In 2010, the Philadelphia Eagles had just tied it up against the New York Giants with 14 seconds left on the clock and the Giants punting the ball. The snap was high and the punt instead of going out of bounds went right to DeSean Jackson who burned the entire Giants punt unit and scored a touchdown to win the game with no time left on the clock. Interestingly, besides winning the game for the Eagles it's also considered the most important plays for the Packers on their run to the Super Bowl, as the Giants' loss allowed the Packers to sneak into the playoffs ahead of them.
  • September 28, 2011. The Divisional Races are decided, but the Wild Cards, thanks to plucky efforts by St. Louis and Tampa Bay, and the respective collapses of Atlanta and Boston, enter this day tied. St. Louis and Tampa Bay won, Atlanta and Boston lost, meaning that no "extra game" would have to be played. Ironically, two of the four relevant games averted this Trope, with Tampa taking 12 innings to win, and Atlanta taking 13 innings to lose.
  • Manchester United found themselves on the receiving end of this trope at the close of the 2011-12 Premier League season: going into the final day, they were level on points with crosstown rivals Manchester City, but their lower goal difference placed them second. After 90 minutes, City were down 2-1 to Queens Park Rangers but had five minutes of stoppage time still to play, while United were leading Sunderland 1-0 and had three minutes of stoppage time. City equalised two minutes into injury time, and mere seconds after the final whistle blew at United's match, City scored again to win 3-2 and earn their first championship since 1968.
  • The 1983 NCAA men's tournament final between underdog North Carolina State (coached by the late Jim Valvano) and "Phi Slama Jama" from the University of Houston (which had two future NBA All-Stars in Hakeem Olajuwan and Clyde Drexler) came down to the last possession tied at 52. NC State player Dereck Whittenburg launched a long shot with 3 seconds to go, but his attempt fell far short of the rim... right into the hands of teammate Lorenzo Charles, who rose up to dunk it just as time expired.
  • According to croquet enthusiast Jeff Soo, The United States Croquet Association, for a time, dropped the "if needed" game of their double elimination championships blending this trope with Golden Snitch. It has since gone on to play "face-off draws", much like the NCAA Baseball Tournament, having each half of the field play a double-elim (with the if needed game restored), with the winers of those two tournaments playing in a final showdown.
  • The United States Soccer teams seem to be making a habit of this, particularly in the summer events. Note that, in non-knockout matches, there is no overtime. The 2011 Women's World Cup example does not count, as their late goal equalized and sent them to penalty kicks, as opposed to winning the match before that.
    • 2010, at the World Cup. At 90'+1', Landon Donovan put in a goal that won their match vs Algeria and sent the USMNT onto the Round of 16 against Ghana (which they lost).
    • 2012, at the Summer Olympics. This game actually did go into overtime, but if it remained tied, it would have gone into penalty kicks. At 120'+2', Alex Morgan put in a header against Canada to send the US Women to the Gold Medal match against Japan (which they won).
    • 2013, during the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers. The US Men vs Jamaica. At 89', Jamaica put in a goal to tie the game at 1-1. This game would not have gone into extra time, as it was merely a qualifier and not a knockout game, but at 90'+3', Bradley Evans put in a goal that won the US the match, earning three points and winning their first of three June World Cup Qualifiers (all of which they won, putting them at the head of the hexagonal; in the end, Team USA finished atop the group).
  • The World Cup had a few other than the USA one above, such as Italy winning the 2006 round of 16 over Australia with a penalty kick at the last minute. The "actually in overtime" variant ("Who Needs Penalties") like the Olympics example above happened twice as well, England 1-0 Belgium in the 1990 round of 16, and Italy 2-0 Germany (yes, 2 goals, at 119' and 121) in the 2006 semifinal.
  • In the 2013 Iron Bowl, the Alabama Crimson Tide were ranked number 1 in the nation, and they were playing their rivals, number 4 Auburn, for the first winner-to-the-SEC-Championship Iron Bowl in history. Following an Auburn drive that scored a touchdown, tying the game 28-28 with only 34 seconds to go, Bama took over in their territory. Auburn stopped them from scoring and even forced a player out of bounds just as time expired, which stopped the clock. The play was reviewed, and one second was put back on the clock. Alabama attempted a 57-yard field goal. If it missed, the game would just go to overtime. Their starter had missed three earlier that game, so they put in the backup. He kicked the ball well, but it fell short, where Auburn returner Chris Davis waited. Davis then took the ball all the way back to the Alabama endzone to win the game 34-28.
    • This play can be viewed here.


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