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Characters use superpowers to play sports.

This work is a proposed Trope, Tropers can vote and offer feedback in the comments section below.
Proposed By:
SirPellucidar on Mar 24th 2017 at 5:40:22 AM
Last Edited By:
DeemDeem52 on Jul 30th 2018 at 9:03:35 AM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

In this trope, characters with superhuman powers and abilities show them off by playing Real Life sports and achieving things that would be impossible in reality, like hitting a baseball into space or running a marathon in under a second.

This trope is often used in Video Games as a way to introduce novelty into them, often in the form of charged, superpowered shots (a la Mario Strikers or Head Sports).

This is often a Defied Trope, as many settings with powers bar said powers from sporting events.

Sub-Trope of Mundane Utility, and closely related to Improbable Sports Skills.


Examples

  • Aberrant: A background note is that the Olympics got reorganized to have a "nova" division... but when that wasn't enough to attract people, then the XWF (eXtreme Wrestling Federation—all of the Kayfabe of the WWF and a lot of extra collateral damage and bloodshed (courtesy of the Novas being able to survive that kind of stuff)) was born.
  • Dragon Ball Z: Yamcha starts using his Supernatural Martial Arts in becoming a major league baseball player.
  • Flubber: Brainard uses his "flying rubber" to give his school's basketball team a much-needed boost (in order to prevent his rival from winning a bet), letting them bounce across the court. As he puts it, it's not cheating, it's equalizing:
  • Head Sports: This is a main feature of the game. Players have "Power Shots", which are superpowered shots that are much harder to block than regular Kicks.
  • Inazuma Eleven: The whole point of the franchise is that soccer can create Enlightenment Superpowers in teenagers, which they use to play the occasional Absurdly High-Stakes Game.
  • The Incredibles: Dash wants to participate in sports, but his parents won't let him because he might publicly reveal his super speed. He eventually gets to go into track racing by the end of the movie, but must get 2nd place on purpose to hide his powers.
  • Mario Strikers Charged: Team Captains have what is called a Megastrike, a new move that fires off 3-6 balls at the opponent's goalie which, depending on how many balls are saved, can score anything between zero and six goals.
  • Smallville: Clark Kent wants to join football, but his parents fear his powers might cause problems. He does eventually join.
  • Spiderman: Peter Parker originally used his superpowers to moonlight as a wrestler for extra money.
  • Whateley Universe: Defied. Metahumans are banned from taking part in most physical competitions. But, by 2016, metahumans have invented their own sports.
  • X-Men: Evolution: One episode has the young mutants play a normal game of baseball. Then one person uses their powers, followed by everyone else following suit, and the game descends into anarchy.

Feedback: 23 replies

Mar 24th 2017 at 9:20:44 AM

  • Legend Of Korra: The presence of earthbenders, water benders and firebenders in the same city leads to the invention of probending, a complicated game involving all three types of bending to knock the opponent back on the court.
  • X Men Evolution: One episode has the young mutants play a normal game of baseball. Then one person uses their powers, followed by everyone else following suit, and the game descends into anarchy.

Mar 24th 2017 at 9:33:40 AM

The Incredibles; Dash wants to participate in sports, but his parents won't let him because he might publicly reveal his super speed. He eventually gets to go into track racing by the end of the movie, but must get 2nd place on purpose to hide his powers.

Smallville; Clark Kent wants to join football, but his parents fear his powers might cause problems. He does eventualy join.

Mar 24th 2017 at 9:47:26 AM

In one X-Men comic Wolverine and Rogue were playing basketball against Gambit and Jubilee. Gambit started playing suspiciously well and Rogue suspected he was using his secondary powers of enhanced reflexes and started flying, Jubilee blinded her while Gambit took a shot but Wolverine cut the hoop's post and made it lean. At that point all agreements to not use powers were declared null and void and Gambit energized the ball.

Mar 24th 2017 at 10:21:39 AM

Web Original:

Whateley Universe: Defied. Metahumans are banned from taking part in most physical competitions. But, by 2016, metahumans have invented their own sports.

Mar 24th 2017 at 1:33:30 PM

White Wolf's Aberrant: an important background note is that the Olympics got reorganized to have a "nova" division... but when that wasn't enough to attract people, then the XWF (eXtreme Wrestling Federation—all of the Kayfabe of the WWF and a lot of extra collateral damage and bloodshed (courtesy of the Novas being able to survive that kind of stuff)) was born.

Mar 26th 2017 at 2:59:27 AM

  • Capitalized the title.
  • Corrected punctuation (periods at the ends of sentences).
  • Blue Linked Wiki Words.
  • Created Examples section.

Mar 25th 2017 at 2:31:49 AM

  • In My Hero Academia, there was a whole arc devoted to this. Aspiring heroes compete at a school event to show off their powers. The first part was a race where students had to deal with obstacles and each other. The second part was a war-horse event where they split into teams and try to steal headbands worth different points. The final part was a standard one-versus-one elimination bout as students directly fought. And for all three events, students were given free reign to use their powers.

Mar 12th 2018 at 9:25:18 AM

In Head Sports, this is a main feature of the game. Players have "Power Shots", which are superpowered shots that are much harder to block than regular Kicks.

Mar 12th 2018 at 9:58:21 AM

  • In Spiderman, Peter Parker originally used his superpowers to moonlight as a wrestler for extra money.

Mar 12th 2018 at 11:59:47 AM

So, is this sports for superhumans, or any instance of superhumans in sports?

'Cause if it's the former, then WesternAnimation.The Incredibles doesn't count?

Mar 12th 2018 at 12:55:37 PM

Anime/Manga and Videogame example: The whole point of the Inazuma Eleven franchise is that soccer can create Enlightenment Superpowers in teenagers, which they use to play the occasional Absurdly High Stakes Game. The franchise eventually introduces a bunch of villains from the future that have come back Terminator-style to Make Wrong What Once Went Right (although they believe it's actually Make Right What Once Went Wrong) because the empowered teens and their descendants made an awful lot of ruckus with said powers as time went by.

Mar 12th 2018 at 2:54:07 PM

This is about superpowers being used in sports.

Mar 12th 2018 at 3:27:20 PM

Rename into Sporty Superhumans, then? 'Cause the current name would better fit Sports for Superhumans.

Mar 12th 2018 at 6:19:01 PM

I feel like the description needs a bit more buffing to distinguish it as a viable subtrope and not just Mundane Utility but for sports. Why sports in particular — does it look cool, is the physicality of the sport reminiscent of fight scenes, etc.., is it used in Breather Episodes?

Mar 12th 2018 at 6:20:51 PM

Laconic needs "or other mundane physical activities." removed, as that's getting into Mundane Utility full stop?

Mar 13th 2018 at 5:49:11 AM

Sporty Superhumans is also confusing, because it seems to suggest simply physically fit superpowered characters. If this proposal is limited to superpowered characters playing muggle sports, I would suggest Muggle Sports Super Athletes to highlight the contrast. If this is about sports that require superpowers to participate in, it could be called just Super Sports.

Mar 13th 2018 at 8:44:55 AM

  • Flubber: Brainard uses his "flying rubber" to give his school's basketball team a much-needed boost (in order to prevent his rival from winning a bet), letting them bounce across the court. As he puts it, it's not cheating, it's equalizing:
    You've seen the team, they should have their own Telethon.
It's actually the first application he can think of, despite having also used it to make a Flying Car.

Mar 14th 2018 at 8:31:31 AM

Closely related to Improbable Sports Skills.

In fact, you may wanna grab some examples from that page.

Mar 14th 2018 at 5:43:44 PM

Should this be launched?

Jul 29th 2018 at 11:54:59 PM

Korra's pro-bending one would be in Fictional Sport. (this draft specify muggle sports, right?)

Jul 30th 2018 at 3:26:24 AM

  • ''Twilight: The Cullens can only play baseball during a thunderstorm, because their superstrength means the crack of the bat sounds like thunder. They also gleefully use all their abilities to make the game exciting.

(Probably the only good scene in the whole movie.)

To expand on the Smallville example: Clark's parents are concerned about him playing football not only because he could easily injure or kill someone unintentionally, but also because even if he only uses his abilities enough to win, it's still a massively unfair advantage.

  • In Season 2 of Luke Cage, Luke finds himself in desperate need of money. A lot of his hot prospects have dried up since he was recently videoed getting one-hit KO'd by the season's villain. In the ensuing montage, he gets turned down by a sports team because his powers constitute an unfair advantage.

Jul 30th 2018 at 9:03:35 AM

Video Games:

  • TJ Combo from Killer Instinct remade illegally with Ultratech his arms with Artificial Limbs so he can win easily in boxing. Eventually this was discovered and he was banned. His story in the first game is about entering the Ultratech tournament to get some money.

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