Sweet Bro: dog........ i AM SO JEALOUS you KNOW i love the the the big game.
The Big Game is the end all and be all of existence. The Opposing Sports Team is prepared to win, and everything is riding on the Ragtag Bunch of Misfits. There's some bet riding on the game where the orphanage/family restaurant/park/camp can only be saved by winning the Big Game. Alternatively, winning the Big Game may inspire the Littlest Cancer Patient to live. Or it may represent the third and final game in the Story Arc that characterizes' the Misfits' journey.
Typical formula for a Big Game:
- The first half of the game consists of the Opposing Sports Team ripping our heroes to shreds, building up a huge lead.
- At the halftime break, the rest of the team has just about given up when the coach or team captain comes in with a heroic speech inspiring his team to greater heights against the unstoppable juggernaut. That, or they put in the one player who can make the difference.
- The second half is the Miracle Rally; the fired-up underdogs close the gap to tie the game, usually with the help of a montage.
- Finally, it comes Down to the Last Play; the game is tied, or the Opposing Sports Team is just slightly ahead. There's just enough time for one more play, shot, or run. The entire game rides on this one. I'm sure we can all guess what happens next; the game is won in the most spectacular fashion possible.
Not to be confused with a football game played by a couple California universities, or a trademark-dodging phrase to describe the Super Bowl. Compare The Big Race.
- The Bolt Chronicles: The Bolt fanfic "The Baseball Game" concerns itself with one. In the final Single-A World Series game, Bolt is pressed into playing duty while serving as honorary team Mascot. He scores the winning run as a pinch runner for an injured player, and later clinches victory when he pulls off a triple play manning second base despite lacking a glove and the ability to throw a baseball properly.
- Supermarioglitchy4's Super Mario 64 Bloopers: The entire point of the episode "Smexy Soccer".
Films — Animation
- Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Dunk for Future: The premise hinges around Team Defenders struggling to find the motivation to practice for the city basketball game after one of their previous matches with Team Tiger doesn't turn out so well. The film ends with them having a match with Team Tiger once more.
Films — Live-Action
- American Underdog: The climax is Super Bowl XXXIV.
- Angels in the Outfield and all of its remakes/sequels/spin-offs.
- As One: A movie about table tennis, climaxes with the two former bitter rivals competing as doubles partners for the table tennis world championship.
- Back to School with Franklin: A big soccer game is featured. It ended in a tie.
- The Bad News Bears and its remake famously subverted this by having the team of the title lose in the end as they realized the game was more about fun and self-respect than winning.
- Bend It Like Beckham: The team is not a bunch of ragtags. They were one of the best teams in the league and if not the favorite to win that game, they certainly weren't a huge underdog.
- The Big Green
- Blackbeard's Ghost: The big track and field competition in the climax that the team of Godolphin has to win lest it wants to cease to exist. Coach Steve Walker also risks losing his job on it. Luckily, there's a certain ghost to help them.
- Friday Night Lights: Both in the original film and several times in the subsequent TV series.
- The Freshman: It has nerdy Harold playing for Tate College in the big game at the end of the football season against State U.
- High School Musical: In The Climax of the first movie and the beginning of the third.
- Hoosiers: It has the Big Game between tiny little Hickory High and powerful South Bend Central for the state championship.
- Horse Feathers
- Johnny Be Good: The plot begins with Johnny's football team at the state championship, which will determine what college scholarships the players are offered.
- Kicking & Screaming
- Leatherheads: Although the protagonists ultimately win by cheating. Although since the real antagonists are those attempting to add and enforce rules in football, this is treated as a good thing.
- Little Giants follows this trope almost to a T.
- The Longest Yard: In both versions, as well as Mean Machine, the Foreign Remake.
- Lucas: Lucas doesn't catch the ball (though it was ruled a fumble apparently since the play was not whistled over.) and we never see the ending, though it is implied that they lose.
- Major League and sequels. The first puts a memorable spin on the typical Down to the Last Play ending.
- The Match
- The Mighty Ducks and its sequels.
- Mystery, Alaska: Although the protagonists ultimately lose the game by one goal.
- Necessary Roughness: Subverted. Despite fitting this trope to a T, the final game is simply the last of the season, and the only stakes on the line are to win just one game (though it is against the top-ranked team in the nation).
- Not Another Teen Movie: It parodies this, specifically parodying both Varsity Blues and Lucas.
- Possums: A very unusual example is this 1998 indie film. The protagonist team is totally thrashed by the rivals but scores their first touchdown in over ten years and leaves the field, cheering and holding the scoring player aloft like a hero, leading the opposing coach to ask the referee if his team had actually won.
- Remember the Titans
- The Replacements (2000)
- Rookie of the Year
- Saratoga: It ends with a climactic horse race. If Duke wins he has enough money to leave the bookmaking business and rebuild Grandpa's ranch. If Hartley wins, Duke is wiped out.
- Slap Shot: Although it skips the Miracle Rally part. The Chiefs win when the other team is disqualified after one of their players punches the referee.
- Space Jam
- Special When Lit: The 2005 PAPA (Professional and Amateur Pinball Association) World Championship is framed as this in this Documentary.
- Thunderstruck: It features two Big Games in two days, one for the high school team and one for the NBA team, both to qualify for the respective playoffs.
- Varsity Blues
- The Waterboy
- Whip It: Subverted. The teams are tied pretty much all the way through, and the Hurl Scouts lose.
- House of Robots: Robots Go Wild!: Sammy sets one up with Dean Schlipp of Notre Dame College between Professor Hayes' robots and Dr. Ignalls'. If Professor Hayes' robots win, Professor Hayes keeps her job. If Dr. Ignalls' robots win, he takes over her job. Professor Hayes' robots win once E shows up.
- That Mitchell and Webb Look: It affectionately parodies the genre in a sketch about a down-and-out pub cricket team who go on a quest to 'win the Ashes' and turn around the fortunes of their town. The sketch is deliberately entirely inaccurate in its depiction of the sport, such as a coach who 'trained the Manchester United team when they won the European Cricket Cup'.
- The College Widow (1904): Built up over the first act, the match against Bingham finally arrives mid-way through the second act. The players have been carefully chosen to create a first-rate team for Atwater and Jane has finally convinced Bolton to join it. It's time they show their rival what they are made of.
- Bully: This is when Jimmy takes on the Jock clique, after some initial preparation alongside the nerds.
- SC2VN: The climax is a Big Starcraft Game.
- A Trailer for Every Academy Award Winning Movie Ever: It's parodied, like all other tropes in it.
- Arthur: The titular team in "Muffy's Soccer Shocker" has one against Mighty Mountain Elementary. It ends with a tie.