Follow TV Tropes

Following

Film / Semi-Pro

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rsz_semipro_2891.jpg
Advertisement:

A 2008 sports-comedy, starring Will Ferrell, Woody Harrelson, and André Benjamin.

Jackie Moon, a One-Hit Wonder singer during the mid 1970s, is the owner/coach/player of the ABA's floundering Flint Tropics. Further problems arise, when the NBA and ABA announce a merger. The NBA want four teams from the ABA and the Tropics is not among them. With his team in danger of being dissolved, Jackie embarks on a publicity spree, to get into the playoffs, and save the Tropics.

Advertisement:

Tropes featured in this film.

  • Alternate History
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: One of the Tropics' more outlandish promotional stunts has Jackie wrestling a bear after a game. ABA teams actually hosted man vs. bear wrestling matches on game days to lure in fans.
  • Anachronism Stew: In one scene, the Tropics are playing against the Anaheim Amigos. In reality, the Amigos had relocated to Los Angeles and became the Stars in 1968. The name might have been used simply because it's funnier.
  • Artifact Title: Presumably the Flint Tropics started out in Florida before relocating to Michigan (this also counts as a Historical In-Joke, as many actual ABA and NBA teams switched cities during their existence and kept their names even if they made little sense, such as the Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans/Utah Jazz).
  • Advertisement:
  • Bears Are Bad News: Dewie the bear. "There will be no refunds! Your refund will be escaping this deathtrap with your life!" Dewie reappears at the very end when he mauls the Commissioner. "Everybody panic! It's just like the Titanic, but it's full of bears!"
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Jackie isn't particularly talented as either a player or a coach, but he is quite savvy in marketing.
  • But Not Too Black: Jackie Moon.
  • Dark Reprise: Jackie earned all his money that he bought the Tropics with using royalties from his song "Love Me Sexy." He later goes through a Heroic BSoD of sorts, and sings a variation of that song while lying in a dumpster. Yes, it's sad and drunken.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: While he suggests it primarily out of self-interest (he originally believed his team would be part of the NBA merger) and arrogance, Jackie's proposal that the "best four teams should go" rather than the ones who are the most marketable or are largely successful already is objectively a more fair way to determine which teams will avoid being dissolved while the season isn't over yet.
  • I Have Many Names: Clarence Withers has 4 nicknames. As follows: "Jumping" Johnny Johnson, Sugar Dunkerton, Downtown "Funky Stuff" Malone, and Coffee Black.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: At his lowest point, Jackie confesses that his mother wrote "Love Me Sexy" as a joke on a random napkin a few weeks before she died. And that his entire fledgling career as a musician and athlete was built on a song of hers that he took credit for, and it's been eating him up inside for years.
  • Fluffy Cloud Heaven: When Jackie sees his mother.
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: Cornelius seems amused by the fact that he was hit by a stray bullet while his friends were playing around with a gun they thought was unloaded.
  • It Will Never Catch On: Jackie uses some rather modern bombastic theatrics and stunts reminiscent of modern NBA halftime shows and marketing ploys to promote his team. They confuse his audiences more than anything .
  • Jive Turkey: Turns out calling some a "Jive Turkey" is a very rude insult among Jackie's circle. So much so, Jackie tries claiming Cornelius called Lou a cocksucker instead.
  • Juggling Loaded Guns: While playing poker, after the Jive Turkey incident, Lou pretends to threaten Cornelius with a gun as a prank, and says it's not loaded. Everyone at the poker table takes turns pointing the gun and pulling the trigger at each other. Predictably, the gun does have one round left; the bullet ricochets around the room and hits Cornelius's arm (it's in a cast). It's still played for laughs even though his arm is bleeding through the cast.
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • Ain't no rule says you can't play drunk. Well, there is a rule, but they can't enforce it. ("Remember those 30 free throws I did in Minnesota last year?" "Yeah?" "I don't.")
    • When they first use the alley-oop, the ref rules it a violation, although the protagonists are ready and throw the rule book at him. The ref is forced to allow it.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Cornelius gets shot in the arm (which had already been broken). He, along with everybody else, just laughs it off.
  • One-Hit Wonder: In-Universe: Jackie's disco hit "Love Me Sexy."
  • Open Mouth, Insert Foot: While Jackie and the referee are arguing and the referee, who also happens to be a priest, implies he believes that Jackie's mom went to hell when she died. Jackie goes into Stunned Silence and walks away, along with several others including the announcer who declares he's leaving Father Pat's congregation in disgust. Jackie did, however, start the argument by spewing vulgarities and death threats at Father Pat.
  • Reality Ensues: Even after everything the Tropics do to make it to fourth place the NBA refuses to take them as one of the merger teams because Flint is too small a media market to host a pro team.
  • Skewed Priorities: When Jackie is in the ring with a bear and the bear is all over him like a cheap suit, he implores, “Watch my hair! The only thing I care about is my hair!”
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: Even after Monix's training, Jackie's not a particularly good basketball player, but he excels at "granny style" free throws.
  • Wastebasket Ball: Ed Monix misses the wastebasket while being introduced as the team's new captain.
Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report