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The Game Plan is a 2007 Disney family comedy film directed by Andy Fickman starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

NFL quarterback Joe Kingman (Dwayne Johnson) is living the perfect bachelor lifestyle when he discovers that he has an 8-year-old daughter he's never known about named, Peyton (Madison Pettis). Hilarity Ensues when she comes to stay with him as Joe struggles to be a parent while also juggling his sports career.


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This film is an example of:

  • Chekhov's Gun: When Joe says he's allergic to cinnamon, Peyton says she's allergic to nuts. She accidentally ingests nuts in a dessert, which provides the impetus for the film's final act.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Monique can be seen to get rather flustered by Joe's, erm, athletic physique during ballet training while he's not looking.
  • Down to the Last Play: What else? It's a family film with sports.
  • Dumb Blonde: The nanny they originally hire is quite ditzy and is more concerned with being picked by "The King" instead of taking care of Peyton.
  • Every Year They Fizzle Out: Joe is by far the most famous and popular footballer, yet he's never actually won the championship. This is averted by the end of the film.
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  • Everybody Is Single: Except for Sanders, and he's initially teased for going home early to his wife and kids.
  • Fictional Pinball Game/Personal Arcade: Joe Kingman has a "Kingman" pinball gamenote  in his apartment.
  • Glorified Sperm Donor: Joe. To be fair though, he didn't actually know he had a daughter until she showed up on his doorstep.
  • I'm Going to Disney World: Part of a subplot in the movie where Joe would make a lot of money by saying something similar about an In-Universe burger franchise should he win the championship game. Upon winning, he instead opts to say that he's taking his daughter home.
  • Ironic Echo:
    • "Looks like someone lost their man card."
    • "'Stupid' is a mean word!"
  • Jerk Jock: Joe starts off as a professional version of this, although after Peyton comes into his life, he eventually softens up.
  • Love Interest: Throughout the course of the film, Joe falls for Peyton's ballet instructor, Monique Vasquez (played by Roselyn Sánchez).
  • Luke, You Are My Father: After Joe finds a little girl named Peyton on his doorstep, she reveals to him that since he used to be married to her mother, Sara Kelly, she is his daughter.
  • Manly Tears: After Peyton gets taken back by Karen, Joe cries after finding a letter from Peyton's mother explaining the situation, who he just learned had died six months prior.
  • Meaningful Name: Hmm, a football movie with a character named Peyton... One can only wonder if she was born on the 18th.
  • Missing Mom: Peyton claims that her mother is in Africa helping sick children, accounting for her absence throughout the film. This is later played horribly straight as Sara was said to have died in a car accident six months prior.
  • Parental Abandonment: Peyton grows up without her dad. Accidental in this case since Joe never knew about her existence.
  • Plot Allergy: Peyton's nut allergy.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Joe and Peyton's ballet recital.
  • Red Herring: When Peyton was being interrogated by Joe and his manager about her legal guardian (as Peyton stated her mom was currently in Africa), Joe thought of Karen, Sara's sister, only for Peyton to state that she has passed away. We see later on that Peyton has been in contact with an adult female in Africa who she appears to be close to, and assume the woman to be her mother. However, it is later revealed that Peyton lied and the woman was in fact Karen, Sara's sister, while Sara was the one who had died.
  • Scary Black Man: Subverted with the one of Joe's teammates, Clarence Monroe. He scares Peyton at first, but softens up throughout the course of the movie, giving her high fives and crying during her ballet recital.
  • Sink-or-Swim Fatherhood: Joe is a professional football player who suddenly is stuck with his 8-year old daughter who he didn't know existed until she showed up on his doorstep. He doesn't take it well.
  • Speech Impediment: Kingman gets one after Peyton gives him a cookie with cinnamon. He's allergic to cinnamon, and it makes his tongue swell up. Hilarity Ensues.
  • The Cast Showoff: The Rock is quite the singer, guitarist, and ballet dancer.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Between Kingman and Peyton's ballet instructor Monique.
  • Wham Line: Peyton delivers two of these to Joe. The first is her introduction.
    Peyton: My name is Peyton...I'm your daughter.
    • The second is accidental:
    Peyton: No, I have to get back before she does.
    • Also, this sad exchange between Joe and Karen.
    Karen: She didn't tell you, did she? Joe... Sara died in a car accident six months ago.


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