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Broken Win/Loss Streak

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"The streak is over! SUSAN LUCCI!!"
Shemar Moore, announcing Lucci's first Daytime Emmy win after being nominated 18 times before

A run of consecutive losses by (say) the team the main character is on, or of consecutive wins by the team's rivals, or both, comes to an end.

Exceptions are when Failure Is the Only Option, or your would-be streak breakers get diabolically unlucky...or stupid. In other words, if the opposition wins, it's by luck rather than skill.

As this is a Victory and Defeat Trope, unmarked spoilers abound. Beware.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In a Halloween Episode of Hetalia: Axis Powers, America (whose only fear is the supernatural), finally defeats the occultist England after 87 losses in their competition of seeing who scares the other first. It was probably only because he enlisted Japan's help.
  • In Initial D, Takumi breaks the winning streak of Ryosuke Takahashi, who had previously been considered the best street racer around. In Second Stage, another opponent appears who had wanted that honor for himself.
  • When Subaru Mimasaka was introduced to Food Wars!, he is said to have won 99 consecutive shokugekis, and the count rose to 100 when he defeated Takumi in the Autumn Election's first round. He then attempted to do the same to Soma, who managed to defeat him during the semi-finals, and broke his win streak.
  • In the backstory of Mobile Fighter G Gundam, England's Gentle Chapman won the Gundam Fight an unprecedented three times in a row; the international tensions caused by England having control of the world government for twelve years running caused the next Fight to be put off for four years, and resulted in the other nations focusing on long-ranged combat (since Chapman was a Cold Sniper). But then in the 12th Fight, Master Asia defeated Chapman with martial arts, breaking England's streak and inspiring the other nations to focus on hand-to-hand combat again.
  • Pokémon: The Series:
    • Late in the Battle Frontier saga of Ruby and Sapphire, Ash only won against the final Frontier Brain, Brandon, during their third and last matchup; the previous two battles had Ash losing soundly.
    • When she decided to pursue a contest career, Team Rocket's Jessie suffered a long losing streak throughout the entire Hoenn and Kanto contest run. When she actually won a Contest during Diamond and Pearl, Jessie was convinced James and Meowth had helped her cheat, but they eventually tell her they played no part. Jessie continues winning ribbons and even makes it to the semi-finals of Sinnoh's Grand Festival.
    • Also from Diamond and Pearl, Dawn has had a losing streak in her Contest run (not even making it past the first round), breaking down and almost even made her consider changing careers. It took until the special Coordinator Tournament Arc, the Wallace Cup, for her to break her streak.
    • In Pokémon the Series: XY, Ash and Greninja had a losing streak starting with a no contest via Power-Strain Blackout against Alain, followed by losses against Sawyer and finally Wulfric, causing Ash to have a Heroic BSoD. After getting out of that funk and mastering Greninja's Super Mode, Ash would then beat Wulfric in their official rematch.
    • Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon had Ash FINALLY winning a Pokémon League after 7 generations of trying.
    • Pokémon Journeys: The Series saw Alain lose a match after winning nearly all of his matches since his first appearance in the first Mega Evolution special.
    • Perhaps the greatest example and just like in the games: Leon's long-lasting streak comes to an end thanks to Ash Ketchum here, with the battle being Ash's last greatest bout and the one that crowns him the World Champion.
  • In Girls und Panzer, Black Forest Peak High School, the reigning champions of tankery, had its nine-year winning streak end when Miho Nishizumi, then vice-captain of the team, abandoned her tank to help save the crew of another. With the flag tank vulnerable, Pravda fired on it, winning the match.
  • In Saki, Kazekoshi's long winning streak in the Nagano prefecturals of the national mahjong tournament was broken a year before the start of the story, when the newly formed Ryuumonbuchi team managed to win. Meanwhile, in Saki Achiga-hen, the protagonists break a 10-year winning streak by Bansei High School in the Nara prefecture, replicating their advisor Harue's feat from a decade ago.
  • Eyeshield 21 has the protagonist team, the Deimon Devil Bats, break two streaks: The first being the nine-year reign of the Shinryuji Naga in the Kanto region who the Devil Bats eliminate in the first round of the tournament. The second, and biggest streak, is their upset win over the Teikoku Alexanders, the perennial Christmas Bowl champions ever since its inception.
  • One Piece has the Whole Cake Island arc where Big Mom's Sweet Tooth Commander Charlotte Katakuri's never-losing streak is broken by Luffy.
  • Gamaran Shura: Iori's first opponent is the 95th Hyakken, Shiba Hien. During the last five years, Hien dueled many opponents and he never lost, to the point of getting known as the "Invincible Swallow" (Hien is written as "Flying Swallow"). Deconstructed, as the series of victories made him jaded and cold. Iori manages to defeat him, snapping him out of his mindset, but he's then killed before anything comes out of it.
  • Medaka Box: Kurokami Medaka's specialty is winning. Beginning with her winning the student council president election with 98% of the vote, her absurd talent and drive lead to every subsequent conflict ending with her victory, and what "losses" she does get are either self-inflicted or by-products of a greater victory. She's been winning so long that she can't understand the people she wants desperately to get along with, to the point that when Ajimu Najimi's arc rolls around, the goal of the story winds up being to make her finally, legitimately lose at SOMETHING so she can start maturing as a person. This goal is met when, with no whims of fate allowed to interfere thanks to Zenkichi's "Devil Style" Skill, and Zenkichi himself reaching the student body along with the five council candidates, Medaka loses that election with only 2% of the vote. Despite her effort to take it gracefully, being defeated like that was such a shock to her system that she lost her reason for living (making strangers happy). But this allowed her to learn how to live without being given such a reason.
    • Other way around for Kumagawa Misogi, the Minus who never wins. Nothing ever goes his way, and he paradoxically keeps trying to essentially win BY losing. Even after his "incomplete reform", he keeps on intentionally betting on the worst odds, assuming that all of his gambles will end in his perpetual defeat. In the endgame, he bets that Medaka will return from her trip to destroy the moon (long story) in time for the seniors' graduation ceremony, which of course indicates that he DOESN'T expect that to happen despite wanting it to. But then, right after his speech at that ceremony, Medaka bursts through the auditorium doors. Tearing up, Kumagawa, without his usual insincere speech patterns, states "At last, I "won"!"
  • Sasaki Kojiro in Record of Ragnarok never won a single battle throughout his time alive and he was killed the only time he ever actually wanted to win. His losing streak finally ends when he defeats Poseidon, which also ends humanity's losing streak against the gods after Lü Bu and Adam were killed.

    Comic Strips 
  • Peanuts: The losing streak of Charlie Brown's baseball team is legendary. Most of the times they start winning have been when he wasn't able to play for some reason, with the winning streak ending the moment he returned. One exception to that general rule was a winning streak caused by a bug going around that affected every team in the local league except Charlie Brown's, which ended the moment the other players recovered. Prior to that, they had won two games in a row after the other teams forfeited due to bad weather, and one when Charlie Brown stayed home.

    They did win on their own once in the early which point, one of their players was revealed to be a gambler. And so their win was stripped and given to the other team. They won again twice in the early 1990s against another team (with Charlie Brown hitting the winning runs, no less), but it was revealed later that the opposing team's pitcher had let them win because she thought that Charlie Brown was cute.
  • Funky Winkerbean: During the gag-a-day era (pre-1992), the Westview High School football team's losing streak was legendary in Ohio, often having an absurd number of consecutive losses, virtually every one of them completely one-sided (and providing fodder to Coach Jock Stropp's pre- and post-game talks). The team would win on occassion, usually as the storyline dictated, but the game would quickly be retconned by the following fall (when most of the football-related strips appeared), or somehow the team would have to forfeit for a (typically comic-of-the-era) reason. Today, Westview is a generally competitive team that wins more than it loses.

    Fan Works 
  • In Pokémon Reset Bloodlines, Ash is able to break A.J's 99-win streak this time around.
  • In Rivals Series, Yuuri finally beats Viktor's long-winning streak when he wins gold at the Winter Olympics.
  • Applies to both Kate and Sophie in Cadet Scrap. Sophie wins the sparring bout by knockdown, after Kate had previously beaten her in three graded matches for their freshman boxing class years prior and won the academy boxing championship against her earlier in the year.

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Mighty Ducks: Gordon Bombay's first game as a court-ordered pee-wee hockey coach happens to be against The Juggernaut Opposing Sports Team Hawks, whose home arena displays the unbroken string of black-and-silver banners the team has for winning the Minnesota State Pee-Wee Hockey championships going back decades...except for that one single yellow-colored second-place finish banner for 1973, when Gordon Bombay was on that team and could have won the championship if the penalty shot he got at the end of regulation had gone a quarter of an inch to the side to go into the net. His old coach Jack Riley's still coaching the team twenty years later, and when they happen to meet before the game they reminisce a bit about the past — specifically, Riley expressing a wish that that one second-place banner be taken down. One movie and half a season later, Bombay breaks the Hawks' championship streak again by coaching the Ducks to victory in the final.

  • Harry Potter:
    • In Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, the protagonists break Slytherin House's seven-year winning streak in the House Cup. Dumbledore gives the Golden Trio enough last-minute points to put Gryffindor in joint first place, and then awards Neville "Why is it always me?" Longbottom another ten for being brave enough to stand up to his friends (the same ones who taught him to stand up to people in the first place) when he thought they were making trouble.
    • In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry fails to catch the Snitch and loses a game of Quidditch for the first time in the series.
    • A more personal version in Order of the Phoenix: Gryffindor has limped its way to the Quidditch Cup final despite Umbridge kicking Harry and the Weasley twins off the team and Ron's year-long Performance Anxiety issues. No one's feeling optimistic, so when Hagrid asks Harry and Hermione to meet him in the forest during the match, they do so. When they hear what sounds like the Slytherins' 'Weasley is our King' song on their way back, they assume Gryffindor lost. Then they notice that the actual lyrics have changed a bit, and see Ron being carried across the field by his teammates...

    Live-Action TV 
  • 3rd Rock from the Sun: Harry makes an impromptu overhaul of a university football coach's strategy during their homecoming game...and then the team goes on to take the win.
  • Dawson's Creek: Also involving football.
  • Usually the protagonist is trying to break the streak. In the case of a Boy Meets World episode, Cory is trying to sustain Mr. Feeny's streak at a geography competition (the resident egghead is uninterested since they're not giving out the usual prizes this year). In the end, Feeny's streak is broken, while the winner spazzes out upon finding out she's getting a different prize from the norm. However, Feeny decides to pin up Cory's A on a geography test where his previous wins had gone.
  • Father Ted - where failure (to get off the island) is the only option - broke their losing such a fashion that Bishop Brennan was about to reassign them somewhere even worse. Therefore a success was required to maintain the status quo. They blackmailed the Bishop about his breaking his vows of celibacy.
  • Subverted in Only Fools and Horses. In one episode, Del constantly says to Rodney that the reason he keeps losing money to Boycie at poker is because he is on a "losing streak" which he feels is about to come to an end. It's actually because Boycie cheats. Del does end up winning a lot of money off of Boycie, but the reason he does so is by cheating better.
  • iCarly: iWas A Pageant Girl had Sam breaking the streak of the long-running champ of a beauty contest. Even though she completely screwed up everything but the final dance routine.
  • Cheers's yearly pranks with rival Gary's Olde Tyme Tavern always end with Gary triumphant - until the final season, when Harry "The Hat" Gittes tricks Gary into demolishing his own bar.
  • The ''Psych episode "65 Million Years Off" opens with Carlton Lassiter solving his 9th case in a row without Shawn's assistance. It gets broken in this episode as Shawn proves that the victim of the week was murdered and did not die in an accident, ending his hot streak.
  • In Ted Lasso, Ted begins his second season at A.F.C. Richmond with a dispiriting, record-setting streak of tied games. The team erupts in joy when they finally break the streak by losing.

  • The progression of super-lengthy consecutive No. 1 hit streaks on Billboard magazine's country chart dates back only 50 years. Prior to Buck Owens (when only A-sides are considered), lengthy streaks were a rarity. For instance, Eddy Arnold, who for years held the overall record for most No. 1 country songs at 28 (from 1968 until broken in 1982 by Conway Twitty), never had more than five No. 1 hits in a row. Other contemporary artists – including the Judds, Ronnie Milsap, Brad Paisley and others – never had more than 11 No. 1 hits in a row. So the progression is as follows:
    • Owens, who first hit No. 1 in 1963 with "Act Naturally" (later covered by The Beatles). During the next four years, Owens released 14 more singles, all of whom had their A-sides — and among them one B-side (1964's "Together Again," the B-side to "My Heart Skips a Beat") — reach No. 1. The final song in the streak came in September 1967 with "Your Tender Loving Care." The following up to "...Care," "It Takes People Like You (To Make People Like Me," stopped at No. 2 in January 1968, held out by Bill Anderson and Jan Howard duet "For Loving You" and Merle Haggard "Sing Me Back Home." note 
    • Sonny James, who began a 16-song streak — one better than Owens — in May 1967 with "Need You." Every song released reached No. 1, with No. 16 in the streak coming in November 1971 with "Here Comes Honey Again." The song breaking the streak was "Only Love Can Break a Heart," which stopped at No. 2 in March 1972, held out by Tammy Wynette's "Bedtime Story" and Freddie Hart's "My Hang-Up Is You."
    • Alabama blew past Sonny James in August 1985 when they had their 17th non-holiday/non B-side No. 1 hit "40 Hour Week (For a Livin')." The Fort Payne, Ala.-based band of cousins began their streak five years earlier with "Tennessee River," and their streak eventually reached 21 in April 1987 with "You've Got 'The Touch'." The follow-up single to "...Touch," "Tar Top," stopped at No. 7 in November 1987, ending the streak.
      • That said, some critics contended that Alabama's streak never came close to matching James'. They point to the 1982 holiday single, "Christmas in Dixie," peaking at No. 35. However, Billboard magazine officially declared "40 Hour Week" having set a new standard, and James — also an Alabama native and supporter of the group — was there to celebrate with Randy Owen, Teddy Gentry, Jeff Cook and Mark Herndon.
      • Although he never topped Alabama, Portsmith, Ohio-native Earl Thomas Conley quietly established a lengthy streak of No. 1 hits of his own, scoring 16 in a rownote . The streak began in August 1983 with "Your Love's On the Line," and No. 16 in the streak came in June 1989 with "Love Out Loud." A song called "You Must Not Be Drinking Enough" was a flop in the fall of 1989, stopping at No. 26.
    • Blake Shelton began his streak of 17 No. 1 country hits — starting with the all-encompassing Hot Country Songs chart, and extending to the Country Airplay component chart — in February 2010 with "Hillbilly Bone" (a duet with Trace Adkins). Shelton's streak continued to June 2016 when he peaked with "Came Here To Forget," his 17th No. 1 song. In the late summer of 2016, his wordplay song "She's Got a Way With Words" peaked at No. 7, ending the latest super streak. This is because some stations objected to the line "she put a big FU in my future" and thus refused to play the song.
      • While all of these lengthy No. 1 streaks are impressive, it should be noted that Joel Whitburn and his Record Research group, as the official Billboard magazine statisticians, disregard certain single releases, such as Christmas releases, duets and separately-charted "B" sided records (unless they, too, reach No. 1). During each of their streaks, all of the above-named artists – Owens, James, Alabama, Conley and Shelton – each released holiday songs, some of which never charted and others barely reaching the top 40.
  • Brad Paisley:
    • Between 2005 and 2009, he had a hot streak of ten consecutive #1 hits on the country charts. Then in 2009, after the mega-hit "Then", both "Welcome to the Future" and "American Saturday Night" stalled out at No. 2.
    • He had two more streak-breakers in the 2010s. "Camouflage" (2011), the last single off This Is Country Music, became his first song since 2000's "Me Neither" not to hit Top 10, and both the third and fourth singles off the polarizing Wheelhouse ("I Can't Change the World" and "The Mona Lisa") failed to make Top 10 either. The former didn't even make Top 20!
  • Dierks Bentley had his streaks broken twice. The two singles off his bluegrass-tinged 2010 New Sound Album Up on the Ridge (the title track and "Draw Me a Map") were his only two singles since 2003's "My Last Name" (second release from his debut album) not to reach Top 10. And again in 2013, "Bourbon in Kentucky", the lead single to his 2014 album Riser, failed so badly that it didn't even make Top 40, leading to the album getting pushed back. (However, he quickly got back on track, as the other three singles off the album all went to #1.)
  • Carrie Underwood had an uninterrupted string of Top-3 hits on the Billboard country charts dating all the way back to her first official single, "Jesus, Take the Wheel". The streak broke in 2018 when "Cry Pretty" stalled out at #9, and followup "Love Wins" at #11.
  • Canadian Country Music singer Charlie Major sent his first nine singles to #1 on the RPM country charts. The streak was broken by "Waiting on You" in 1996, which stopped at #2, followed by "This Crazy Heart of Mine" at #8. After re-releasing the seventh of those nine #1 hits in the US only to see it not chart there, he had one last #1 in 1997 with "I'm Feeling Kind of Lucky Tonight" plus a couple more chart entries before RPM folded in November 2000.
  • Eddie Rabbitt, a Brooklyn native who became one of country music's most prolific singer-songwriters of the 1970s through early 1990s, had a string of 32 consecutive top 10 hits on the country chart between 1976 and 1988; the streak would have been extended by two more at the beginning, but the 1975 releases "Forgive and Forget" and "I Should Have Married You" just barely missed the top 10. The streak breaker – "That's Why I Fell In Love With You" – flopped, barely making it to No. 66 in the spring of 1989.
  • Rascal Flatts' 2008 single "Bob That Head" broke an 18-streak song of consistent Top 10 country hits dating all the way back to their debut single "Prayin' for Daylight" in 2000; it was also their first song not to enter the Hot 100. (Note that this discounts their 2006 cover of "Life Is a Highway" from Cars, which only got to #18 because it was never officially a single — it was merely an album cut that a lot of stations chose to play alongside their then-current single "My Wish".)
  • One Direction's streak of albums debuting at #1 was ended at Made in the A.M., when Justin Bieber's album Purpose debuted at the pole position for the week of November 13, 2015. It's especially ironic because Bieber was coming back from a massive popularity drop — one that began by 1D's meteoric rise to fame and takeover of Bieber's tween/teen demographic. Another streak of theirs that got snapped earlier in the year was their Teen Choice Awards winning streak — they went in 19-0 and lost two of their ten nominations to Super Junior. Despite that, they became the biggest winning act in the show's history, and won all the nominations they got the following year.
  • Tracy Lawrence had a #1 smash in 1991 with "Sticks and Stones", the first of 19 consecutive top 10 hits for him. But after some domestic dispute issues and an ensuing lawsuit, radio dropped him like a hot potato, blunting his 1997 single "The Coast Is Clear" at #26. While he did spordically return to the charts afterward, his momentum was gone.
  • Jess Glynne's "Ain't Got Far to Go" only reached #45 on the UK charts before falling off immediately, making it her first single to fail to reach the Top 10 and ending the 8-song streak of her doing so.
  • George Strait:
    • His 1992 cover of "Lovesick Blues" was his first single ever not to hit the country Top 20, stalling out at #24...
    • His 2000 Self-Titled Album broke a 19-album streak going back to his debut of his albums being certified platinum or higher, as it only went gold. Only one other studio album after that (2009's Twang) failed to go platinum until the next one, Here for a Good Time, which didn't even reach gold.
    • 2001 became the first year since 1982 where he failed to have at least one single release reach No. 1 hit within the calendar year, after a span of 19 consecutive calendar years of at least one chart-topping tune. ("Don't Make Me Come Over There and Love You" reached No. 17 early in the year, while "If You Can Do Anything Else" was a No. 5 hit that summer.) Strait went on, however, to have eight more No. 1 hits, so it still wasn't all that bad.
    • 2012's "Drinkin' Man" became his first not to hit the Top 30, peaking at #37...
    • ...after which "I Believe" only a year later became his first single not to crack the Top 40...
    • ...after which "Let It Go" (no, not the song from Frozen — or even the James Bay song) became his worst performing lead single ever, at #46.
  • Clint Black led off his career with four straight #1 hits in 1989-1990, making him one of the only artists in any genre to do so. His streak of Top 10 hits got up to 24 before the #11 "Still Holding On" snapped it in 1997.
  • Keith Urban sent 37 consecutive singles into the Top 10 of the country music charts between 2000's "Your Everything" (his second solo American single release) and 2017's "The Fighter". But in 2018, the streak was ended when "Female" stalled out at #12.
  • Cole Swindell's first seven singles all went to #1 or #2 on the country charts, then "Stay Downtown" stalled out at #28 to break the spell.
  • Starting with third single "Live Forever", Oasis always got to the top 10 of the UK charts, until "I'm Outta Time" narrowly missed it with a #12. (to make it worse, follow-up "Falling Down", which was also the band's last before they broke up, got to #10)
  • Disturbed's streak of five #1 albums snapped in 2018, when Evolution debuted at #4.
  • Arctic Monkeys' streak of six #1 albums in the UK ended in 2022, when The Car debuted at #2, behind Taylor Swift's Midnights.
  • Kid Rock's streak of US top 10 albums that started with Devil Without a Cause, his 1998 Breakthrough Hit, ended in 2022, when Bad Reputation stalled at #124 on the Billboard 200.
  • Following their debut single "Sound of the Underground" topping the UK charts in 2002, Girls Aloud had every single of theirs reach the Top 10. That streak ended with "Untouchable" in 2009, which would just miss out at #11.note  Following a three year hiatus, the group reformed, and after their comeback single "Something New" reached #2, the follow-up "Beautiful 'Cause You Love Me" fared even worse, only reaching #97.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Goldberg's 173-win streak (the longest in the history of pro wrestling at the time, though Asuka has since surpassed it) finally ended when he got tasered behind the Easily-Distracted Referee's back, courtesy of Scott Hall and opponent Kevin Nash and Nash's new booking superpowers. The losses he suffered before the streak storyline begun were retconned.
  • The Undertaker had made his appearance at WrestleMania twenty-seven times before his retirement. After about the tenth time, everyone started making a big deal about who would be the first to beat him. Brock Lesnar finally broke it at WrestleMania XXX (2014), leaving Taker's record at 21-1. He won his next two matches, however, but then lost to Roman Reigns before winning a Squash Match against John Cena. While he didn't appear at WrestleMania 35 (2019), he did appear the following year at WrestleMania 36, where he defeated AJ Styles in a cinematic Boneyard match. This would prove to be his final WrestleMania match, as he retired later that year, with a final record of 25-2.
  • In 1995, jobber Barry Horowitz finally won a match (he had supposedly lost over 500 straight matches), defeating Chris Candido (aka Skip of the Bodydonnas). (In reality, Horowitz had some non-televised wins in the WWF, usually against fellow jobbers, as well as a win or two at the major arenas (Madison Square Garden, Philadelphia Spectrum, etc.) that were televised; the lengthy losing streak was used to put over Horowitz's gimmick as the perpetual loser.)
  • Asuka has amassed a massive win streak of 214 victories, lasting over 900 days. It's gotten to the point that nobody could ever beat her for the NXT Women's Championship, and she had to vacate it during a kayfabe injury. On the main roster, Asuka managed to beat all of her opponents until WrestleMania 34, where she lost to Charlotte Flair.
  • Kelly Klein had a long undefeated streak in Women of Honor, until Karen Q defeated her by countout. It was Goldberg-like, since the commentators would talk about how long she was undefeated.
  • After returning to WWE in late 2016, Curt Hawkins (best known as Zack Ryder's former tag team partner) was said in 2017 to be in the middle a 100+-match losing streak, which would end in 2019 at 269 matches, reuniting with Ryder to defeat The Revival for the Raw Tag Team Championship in the WrestleMania 35 pre-show.
  • Triple H's WWF Championship win at WrestleMania 2000 broke a win streak starting from Wrestlemania 1 of the face winning the main event.
  • Downplayed example Wrestling, but Roman Reigns suffered his first loss during his Tribal Chief/Bloodline gimmick at the final Smackdown of 2022, where he lost in a tag-team match with Sami Zayn against John Cena and Kevin Owens. It's downplayed in the sense that while Roman himself wasn't pinned, it was noticeable since Roman hadn’t lost a match for over three years at that point. Roman is so unnerved by it that he refuses to accept it and starts pinning the blame onto Sami Zayn and accuses him of trying to usurp his top spot, setting up the latter's eventual Heel–Face Turn.

    Video Games 
  • Final Fantasy X gives you the option of ending the Besaid Aurochs' multi-year losing streak on Wakka's last game as team captain (the only thing it affects is if Wakka holds the trophy in the following cutscene).
  • Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune hands out special titles for defeating a player with a sufficiently long victory streak. Additionally, it hands out a title for losing in Story Mode after winning the first 40 stages without a single loss: "First Black Mark".
  • Call of Duty multiplayer modes often reward players with additional experience for ending other players' killstreaks or their own lose streaks, with a Buzzkill award for the former and a Comeback award for the latter.
  • In Yandere Simulator Raibaru Fumetsu, the former Martial Arts Club leader, had a perfect undefeated streak, with no one unable to defeat her, until her protege Budo Masuda surprisingly challenged-and defeated her. Raibaru is actually relieved by this, as she wanted to retire from martial arts to pursue other interests, but felt obligated to stay on as club leader due to her 'Indestructible Rival' reputation. She promptly passes the leadership on to Budo and leaves the club, soon befriending the first rival, Osana Najimi, making her a formidable obstacle for Yandere-chan to get around if she wants to eliminate Osana.
  • In Pokémon Sword and Shield, anyone taking on the Gym Challenge has getting to the Champion Cup and facing Champion Leon in order to break the winning streak he's held since he did his first Gym Challenge. The player ends up doing at the end of the game.
  • In Inazuma Eleven, Teikoku Gakuen/Royal Akademy has won the Football Frontier championship for fourty years. Their winning streak is broken when Raimon defeat them in the final match of the national qualifiers, but as the previous year's champions, they qualify for the nationals. However, they don't make it to the final because Zeus defeats them for good.
  • An odd example in Just Cause 3. Flavor text mentions that Big Bad Di Ravello has a twenty-three year winning streak at Medici's annual fishing derby. With his death at the end of the game, the streak dies with him.

    Visual Novels 
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney:
    • Phoenix Wright has broken the winning streaks of Miles Edgeworth, Manfred Von Karma and Franziska Von Karma, while his mentor Mia broke the winning streak of Winston Payne. (Godot lost in his first case)
    • And depending on what ending you get in the last case of Justice for All you can end up breaking Phoenix's winning streak as well. Note that the good ending actually has Phoenix losing, because saving Maya and putting the guilty man behind bars is much more important than a perfect record.
    • You can also subvert this, in that the good ending also allows you to save Maya and still get a "Not Guilty" which point your guilty-as-sin client willingly pleads so and goes behind bars anyway, since the alternative was being marked for death by a world-famous assassin.

    Web Original 
  • The main joke of Among Us Logic was that no matter how hard he tried, Player could never win a single game of Among Us without cheating. Then came Episode 33, where he manages to win legitimately, and is congratulated by the other game participants.
  • In DEATH BATTLE!, this can be common over the franchises in the series. Highlights include:
    • Donkey Kong winning against Knuckles marked the first time the Mario franchise won against the Sonic franchise.
    • Sephiroth beating Vergil marked the first victory for Final Fantasy VII since Season 1.
    • Ryu taking the win over Jin ended the five year long loss streak that the Street Fighter series had been suffering.
    • Johnny Cage losing to Captain Falcon ended Mortal Kombat's 5-year winning streak.
    • Red Ranger Jason Lee Scott's victory over Leonardo breaks not only the Rangers' six year losing streak, but also the Turtles franchise's winning streak as a whole, as well as Leo's own winning streak.
    • "Danny Phantom VS American Dragon: Jake Long" had a twofer. In a meta sense, Danny's VA in the episode had played 4 characters who had lost, with Danny being his first role as the winner. As for Jake, he's the third in-house character owned by Disney, following Goliath and Scrooge McDuck, and is the first to lose.
    • "Zuko VS Shoto Todoroki": Zuko is the third Avatar character, following Toph and Aang, as well as the fourth in-house Nickelodeon character, following Danny Phantom. His loss ended the winning streak for both. It also breaks the win streak between Western Animation vs. Anime characters for the former.
    • Shadow's win over Ryuko Matoi not only ended his losing streak against both Vegeta and Mewtwo, but also ended the Sonic franchise's 3-episode losing streak.
    • Reverse-Flash's victory over Goku Black not only ended Dragon Ball's six year long winning streak, but also ended the year long losing streak DC had been having (though also continues the series long win streak DC has over non-Marvel characters).
    • "Akuma VS Shao Kahn" ends 2 losing streaks. Not only does Shao Kahn's victory end Mortal Kombat's losing streak since Johnny Cage VS Captain Falcon, but also ends the losing streak of voice actor Gianni Matragrano, who previously lost 5 times, with Shao Kahn being his first victory (although this episode continues Mortal Kombat's winning streak over Street Fighter).
    • Jinx's victory over Harley Quinn provides what is quite possibly the biggest example in the series by finally ending DC's series long (i.e. over 10 years) win streak against non-Marvel characters.
    • After Carol Danvers losing to Android 18 and Hulk losing to Broly, Thor vs Vegeta ends with the God of Thunder being the first Marvel character to defeat a Dragon Ball character.
    • The Bonus episode of Excalibur vs Raiden not only makes the latter the first Konami owned character to lose since Bomberman in season one, but his loss denied the Metal Gear series a third victory (with Raiden previously defeating Wolverine and Solid Snake taking the first win over Sam Fisher).
    • The fight between Xeno Trunks and Archie Silver plays with this. Their canon selves faced off against each other in both 1 Minute Melee and DBX, with Trunks winning in both instances. However, when their more powerful Alternate Selfs were pit against each other, it was Silver who stood victorious over Trunks, finally scoring a victory for the psychic hedgehog.
    • Frieza vs Megatron ended a three-episode losing streak that started with the aforementioned Goku Black vs Reverse Flash, as well as the first character voiced by Tom Schalk to lose since his voicing the Kool-Aid Man two seasons prior.
  • After winning his Movie Fights eight times in a row, Dan Murrell finally loses his title of "Undefeated Movie Fights Champion" during the "Jurassic World — Fun or Failure?" battle. Since that particular round wasn't a Title Bout, however, he'd remain as the Movie Fights Champion for some time.
  • In SMPEarth, nearly every battle Business Bay takes part in is a loss... that is, until they defeat JoshA20 in the God War.

    Western Animation 
  • Hey Arnold!:
    • "Road Trip": Helga's mom needs $500 to repair her car. Enters bull-riding contest with $500 prize. Rival has won 5 years running. Turns out she was state bull-riding champion, and she takes the money.
    • "Tour De Pond": Not only is it a case of Feuding Families, but Rex Smythe-Higgins the 3rd has also won this race a couple years running.
  • In the Peanuts movie Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown, the title character, as he is leaving for France, tells Schroeder to take care of the baseball field, whereby Sally bluntly tells him that "the last time you went away, our team won three games in a row."
    • The only time Charlie Brown's baseball team had a winning streak where Charlie Brown himself wasn't benched for some reason, it was because a bug was going around that made all the other teams too sick to play. Said streaks invariably ended when Charlie Brown returned to the game or the other teams recovered.
    • There was also the time he had a two-game winning streak, but that time it was because both opposing teams couldn't make it, and thus forfeited.
  • In the Codename: Kids Next Door episode "Operation: C.A.K.E.D.-F.O.U.R." Tommy breaks his family's Tube-a-Thon Losing streak, despite his brother losing (everybody except him had actually tied for first place).
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Friendship Games: After a consectutive string of losses in the titular games against Crystal Prep, Canterlot High doesn't lose that year's games. Granted they don't win either due to some magical shenanigans and the reveal that the Principal of Crystal Prep, Abacus Cinch, flat out tried to cheat when she found human Twilight had been unwittingly collecting magic. But they're more then happy to take a tie. Even better it's a fitting punishment for Principal Cinch who prided herself on having a spotless winning streak.
  • In the Littlest Pet Shop (2012) episode "Pitch Purrfect," Zoe loses an audition for the first time, and in singing, which is her forte no less. However, it's not because there was a better singer, but because Zoe is a dog and tried out for a cats-only audition.

    Real Life 
  • Awards Shows:
    • Susan Lucci's run of Daytime Emmy losses for Erica Kane ended in 1999. This 28-year streak included 21 nominations, with Lucci only winning for her 19th nomination.
    • Kevin O'Connell was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Sound Mixing 20 times between 1983 and 2007 without ever winning. In 2016, he finally won on his 21st nomination for Hacksaw Ridge.
    • Ted Danson, despite starring on the incredibly popular sitcom Cheers, started to become known for consistently losing the Lead Actor in a Comedy Series race at the Primetime Emmys, to the point where his co-star Kirstie Alley made jokes about it at his expense when they presented together. He finally won for Cheers for the 8th season in 1990, on his 9th overall career nomination (8 for Cheers and 1 for Something About Amelia).
    • Despite winning the Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series 4 times in a row, Mad Men always had difficulty winning an Emmy for any its main cast members (whether they were lead, supporting, or guest stars). As time went on, it became especially notable about Jon Hamm, who was credited for helping to carry the show on his back and who would often show his range by jumping back and forth between Mad Men and appearances on comedy programs like Saturday Night Live or 30 Rock (occasionally earning Emmy nominations for the latter without ever winning either). Matthew Weiner would frequently talk about how surprised he was that Hamm would never be able to take home the prize, and the losses came in spite of Hamm winning the Golden Globe, TCA Award, and Critics Choice prize for his performance while the ensemble won the SAG Award for Best Ensemble in a Drama multiple times. It finally came to an end for the show's final season, when Jon Hamm won on his 8th nomination for Don Draper (and 16th career nomination). It was also the only acting win for Mad Men out of 37 nominations throughout its run.
  • The most famous streak in Game Shows, Ken Jennings' 74-game Jeopardy! win streak, came to an end in November 2004 after he missed a Final Jeopardy clue which competitor Nancy Zerg got right. The cut to Zerg's look of shock as Jennings' wrong answer was revealed is now known as the "Zerg Cam" by the J! Archive.
  • Comics:
    • Pearls Before Swine creator Stephan Pastis was nominated for the Reuben Award every year from 2008 to 2018, only to lose each time. Pastis finally won in 2019, breaking the losing streak after a decade.
    • Housepets! won the Ursa Major Award for Best Anthropomorphic Comic Strip every year from 2010 to 2018 (nine years in a row!). The streak was finally broken in 2019, when it didn't even get nominated.
  • Movies/Television:
  • Sports:
    • The longest winning streak in the history of any sport is the one held by the Americans in the America's Cup yacht race. The American yacht won every race held between 1851 (the year of the original America's Cup race) and 1983 (132 years of consecutive wins) when the Australian yacht Australia II won the race. The Americans won the cup back in the very next race, and have continued to be the dominant force in yacht racing (winning six of the eleven America's Cup races since 1983), but since 1983, no single nation has been able to establish the same sort of win record since the American streak was broken. Note that this is technically an inversion of the trope for Americans, but straight for every other nation.
    • The Gotham Girls Roller Derby All-Stars won every sanctioned game they played from November 7, 2010 to November 7, 2015 when the Rose City Rollers Wheels of Justice defeated them by a score of 206-194, two weeks after the death of longtime team coach, Rob Lobster. The team posted to Twitter, "We did it, Robin," sending the entire Derbyverse into an Ugly Cry.
    • Major League Baseball:
      • The Philadelphia Phillies joined the National League in 1883. Their first championship of any kind, World Series or otherwise, finally came in 1980, almost a century later, by which time all fifteen of the other original sixteen MLB teams had won at least one World Series.note 
      • The Boston Red Sox broke the "Curse of the Babe" and won the World Series in 2004, a drought that had lasted 86 years and through numerous close calls.
      • The Chicago White Sox won their first World series in 88 years just one year after the Red Sox broke their title drought. They had only even reached the World Series once since the infamous "Black Sox" World Series of 1919, losing in six games to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1959.
      • The San Francisco Giants snapped their 56-season rut in 2010; their last win had been three years before moving to California from New York.
      • On June 1, 2012, Johan Santana pitched the first no-hitter in New York Mets history against the St. Louis Cardinals, ending their 8,019-game streak (roughly 50 seasons) without one.
      • The Pittsburgh Pirates in 2013, broke their streak of 20 straight seasons with a losing record. They also broke the streak of not making it to the playoffs during that time span.
      • As noted below again, the Chicago Cubs hadn't won the World Series in 108 years since their win in 1908...up until the 2016 World Series, where after several close calls (ending Game 4 with Cleveland one game away from winning the world series, losing a 6-3 lead in the 8th inning of Game Seven), the Cubs managed to pull ahead by two runs in the top of an overtime 10th Inning, and kept a one run lead to claim the title of 2016 World Series Champions.
      • The Texas Rangers made their first playoff appearance in 1996, but it wasn't until 2023 when they finally win a World Series title for the first time, after being formed in 1960.
    • National Hockey League:
      • The longest title drought break in the NHL belongs to the New York Rangers, whose Stanley Cup win in 1994 was their first in 54 years (including the entirety of the Original Six era from 1942-67, when they were one of only six teams in the league). The only ones who can surpass that are the Toronto Maple Leafs, who broke 55 years since the 1967 title in 2022.
      • The 2018 Stanley Cup by the Washington Capitals not only broke a much tortured existence (filled with blown 2-0 and 3-1 leads), but was the first time a D.C. Big Four team had gotten past round 2 since 1998 (those same Capitals before a finals loss) and the first title for the capital since 1991 (the Redskins' third Super Bowl).note 
      • The following year, the St. Louis Blues also broke a tortured losing streak by winning the Cup - which also made them the last surviving team of the 1967 expansionnote  to win it all.
    • January 5, 1971: the Washington Generals beat the Harlem Globetrotters 100-99, bringing the Globetrotters' winning streak to an end at 2,495.
    • Sussex won cricket's County Championship for the first time in 2003, after 164 years of trying.
    • ASM Clermont Auvergne finally claimed its first French rugby union championship in 2010 after 99 years, with 10 previous seasons ending with title-game losses.
    • The Detroit Lions lost nine Thanksgiving Day football games in a row, ending the streak in 2013.
    • As noted below in the Exceptions section, Cleveland has had an infamous streak of sports championships as a whole since the Cleveland Browns won the NFL championship in 1964. That is 52 years of futility, close calls and heartbreak. It had gotten to the point that sports columnist Bill Simmons as well as beleaguered Cleveland fans sending him fan letters made a Running Gag in his columns about how God hates Cleveland whenever the Browns, Cavaliers or Indians were mentioned, especially when it comes to decades of mediocrity in which the city has been mired for all these years or sad memories surfaced in said years. Finally, LeBron James rallied his teammates around him and came back from a 1-3 series deficit to defeat the Golden State Warriors in the 7th game in dramatic fashion to win the NBA championship. James finally delivered on his promise of winning a major title for Cleveland. This gets bonus points because it happened on Father's Day, of all days and James himself is a father of 3 kids!note 
    • Michael Waltrip had his losing streak of 462 races broken by winning the 2001 Daytona 500, where his brother, Darrell, was cheering him to the checkered flag in the announcers' booth. It was overshadowed, however, by Dale Earnhardt's death in the same race.
    • Until pulling off a stunning 27-10 upset in 2015, Temple hadn't beaten Penn State in football since 1941 in a very one-sided rivalry. Penn State hasn't lost again to Temple.
    • The Tampa Bay Buccaneers launched their inaugural season in 1976 losing all 16 regular season games (their only win per se being a preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons).The season after saw the Bucs win their first regular season game, in week 15 against the New Orleans Saints, 33-14. This precipitated Saints fans to wearing paper bags over their heads and using the derogatory nickname the Ain'ts.
    • In Association Football, the "Golden Team" of Hungary spent five years and 31 matches (32 counting a friendly that is considered unofficial) undefeated, a streak that included a gold medal at the Olympic Games and two historical defeats of England (their first to a non-Brit team, and a supposed rematch that Hungary won 7-1). Then they lost the most important game of all, the 1954 FIFA World Cup Final against a West Germany team they had handily defeated in the group stage... because the German coach deliberately rested players or put them out of position knowing losing would pay off, as demonstrated with the Germans with a full strength team clawing a 3-2 comeback against the favorite Magyars. The impact on Hungarian football was massive, specially once the 1956 revolution made many good players leave the country.
    • The annual Congressional Baseball Game:
      • The first ever Republican victory in 1916 broke the Democrats' 6-game winning streak.
      • The Republican victory in 1955 broke the Democrats' 7-game winning streak.
      • The Democrat victory in 1975 broke the Republicans' 11-game winning streak.
      • The Democrat victory in 2009 broke the Republicans' 8-game winning streak.
      • The Republican victory in 2016 broke the Democrats' 7-game winning streak.
  • Theatre: From 1993's Mystčre onward, all of Cirque du Soleil's shows enjoyed indefinite runs in one venue or another. This streak of successes ended in 2010 when Banana Shpeel, a Genre Throwback to Vaudeville, bombed in New York City and couldn't make a go of it as a tour — ushering in a gloomy few years in which several other shows (most of which premiered in 2008 or afterward) were also shut down.


    Live-Action TV 
  • A Minute With Stan Hooper: The titular newsman wants change in the town he's moved to (it doesn't even allow women to vote), and decides to run for mayor against the 20 year incumbent, a bait shop owner who happens to have a political aide backing him. After spending a better part of the ep drumming up support, he ends up getting just 2 votes: himself...and the mayor's aide.
  • Gilmore Girls, "They Shoot Gilmores, Don't They?". Lorelei is desperate to break Kirk's winning streak (and her own streak of futility) at a dance marathon and almost does it (just like last year), but her partner / daughter Rory runs off the floor with 15 minutes left after breaking up with her boyfriend Dean (the real important event in this eppy), leaving Lorelai with yet another 23rd-hour loss as Kirk outdances the others to win his 5th in a row.

  • Used in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, when Rosencrantz spends the first ten minutes of the play desperately trying to break a streak of turning up heads every single time he flips a coin. He can't. It's their first clue that reality is warping, and that they're stuck in something powerful that they might not be able to escape from by following any of the usual rules.

    Western Animation 
  • The telefilm The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones: Looks as if Nate Slate is about to end his losing streak to a rival in a pig-catching contest...time for Dino and Astro to come in and inadvertently help sustain the rival's streak. Naturally, this also results in Slate berating Fred Flintstone.
  • In The Fairly OddParents!, this is how the Bronze Kneecap became the Crimson Chin's Arch-Nemesis. He was once a jai alai player famous for a continuous streak of 3rd-place finishes, never quite being good enough to win. During a charity game, he was moments away from winning and finally breaking his streak when he tripped over the Crimson Chin, broke his kneecap, and came in 3rd once again. He vowed revenge on the Crimson Chin and has been fighting him as the Bronze Kneecap ever since (with equally little success). Also of note is that Bronze Kneecap only continues being a villain because, according to him, Crimson Chin never said he was sorry about being the cause of his loss. Also becomes a Chekhov's Gun later in the episode this story comes from when Timmy apologizes to a teacher who became a villain.
  • South Park, "Big Gay Al's Big Gay Boat Ride": QB Stan is looking for his gay dog Sparky, while his football team continues its decades-long losing streak against Middle Park without him. Fortunately, the denizens of South Park were more interested in beating the 60-point spread, and Stan shows up in time to at least do that.
  • As Told by Ginger, "Next Question": Ginger's school Lucky Jr. High is up against 9-time winner Furnace Brook in a televised quiz contest. Ginger asks her quiz team coach out on a date (!) right on the air (!!), resulting in Furnace Brook continuing their streak.
  • Randy Cunningham: Ninth Grade Ninja: Norrisville High's Chess Team has defeated Flackville High's eleven times in a row. When they tried the twelfth time, Hannibal McFist replaced one of Flackville's players with a robot that broke that streak, making several Norrisville students depressed enough to be stanked by the Sorcerer. The students reverted back to normal when Howard Weinerman, who knows practically everything about chess except for the pieces' names, defeated the robot.
  • Dick Dastardly holds a perfect 0-34 record on the original Wacky Races. The closest he ever came to winning was in the second episode, but the win was overturned due to him extending the Mean Machine's nose over the finish line.

    Real Life 
  • The Boston Red Sox... in 1986. Bottom of the 10th, two outs, Sox lead 5-3. Then: single, single, single for a run, pitcher switch, wild pitch for the tying run, grounder through Bill Buckner's legs for the Game 6 win by the Mets, losing in Game 7 two nights later.
  • The Chicago Cubs in 2003. Almost made it to the World Series, which they hadn't won since 1908 and hadn't even been to since 1945 (according to superstitious fans, because of a Curse by a vengeful goat-owning tavern owner). Despite holding a 3-1 series lead and having their two best pitchers on the mound for Games 6 and 7 and holding the lead twice, they still lost Games 5, 6, and 7 of the NLCS against the Florida (now Miami) Marlins. Many fans blamed a fan named Steve Bartman, who reached out and deflected a foul ball in Game 6, with the Cubs suffering a massive collapse and giving up 8 runs straight afterwards.
  • Karl Malone moved to the Los Angeles Lakers hoping to finally win the NBA title. He reached the finals but lost, leading to retirement instead.
  • Steve Carell's performance as Michael Scott on The Office (US) was immensely acclaimed throughout his run on the show, and he earned Emmy nominations every year he was a regular from Season 2 onwards, only to continuously be overshadowed by competition that included Tony Shalhoub from Monk, Alec Baldwin from 30 Rock, Ricky Gervais from Extras, and Jim Parsons from The Big Bang Theory (most of whom would go on to win multiple times in the category by the time their shows ended). Come Season 7, and he was widely expected to finally win. Not only was it publicly known that it was his final season on the show as the series lead, but his episode submission "Goodbye, Michael" was considered an impeccable and emotional showcase for him and the character. Instead, Jim Parsons won for the second year in a row, closing the chapter on Carell's tenure without a Lead Actor win. He did make one additional appearance as the character in the show's series finale but opted out of submitting it for a Guest Actor nomination.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Broken Streak


The Streak is Over

The Undertaker's winning streak was one of the most celebrated and most-watched moments in WWE history. When it was broken by Brock Lesnar in WrestleMania XXX, the world reacted with shock and awe.

How well does it match the trope?

4.67 (15 votes)

Example of:

Main / DefeatingTheUndefeatable

Media sources: