A character who has an extremely aggressive treatment of competitive events, ranging from important goals to even light-hearted pastimes. "It's just a game" will always go over this person's head as he or she insists on being the best at any minor challenge placed in front of them. As far as they're concerned, Second Place Is for Losers. They are a Sore Loser and not a humble winner, rubbing it in with Unsportsmanlike Gloating.
While the trope is often Played for Laughs, serious interpretations can exist. In most cases, expect them to have an Inferiority Superiority Complex or Freudian Excuse as to why they constantly insist on proving themselves or being the best at everything they do.
The Rival is often a case issued against a single competitor. See also Blood Knight and "Stop Having Fun" Guys. If you really want to crank up the annoyance factor, combine with Scrub. May also overlap into X Must Not Win or Nobody Calls Me "Chicken"!.
The ultimate extreme of this (comedic or serious) is the character who makes such Serious Business competitions out of things that would not ordinarily be competitions at all. (Being the first to go down a flight of stairs or open a door for someone, etc.)
- Bud Light's "Real Men of Genius" ads had one saluting "Mr. Overly-Competitive-Touch-Football-Game-Player."
Announcer: A little friendly competition never hurt anybody, unless that anybody happens to be the person you're covering.
- Black Star from Soul Eater. Particularly if someone else is getting more attention than he.
- Ranma of Ranma ½ is eager to prove his martial arts skills wherever possible, even in fields that won't normally involve fighting. Sometimes he's compelled to compete by external circumstances, but he'll still be proud to win for its own sake. This includes at least one battle where he must prove he has better feminine sex appeal. Often lampshaded by bystanders.
- Tomo from Azumanga Daioh, though mainly in her first appearance. She's kind of terrible at everything she tries...
- A number of characters in Yu-Gi-Oh! exhibit extreme competitiveness, but Yami Yugi and Seto Kaiba especially, making them natural rivals. Kaiba is willing to do terrible things to get a hold of rare/powerful cards, while Yami Yugi will do almost anything to win, even if it means his opponent dies, until Character Development kicks in that is.
- Kaiba's level of this gets taken to the ridiculous extremes in "Dark Side Of Dimensions". Wanting to defeat the Pharaoh once and for all, he first develops an AI based on the Pharaoh. When that turns out to be too easy to beat, he excavates the Pharaoh's tomb seeking to assemble the Millennium Puzzle and defeat him for real that way. This is one of the main parts of the movie's plot. In the end, when Yugi puts in the final two pieces of the puzzle, the Pharaoh is still not returning, because his soul is at rest. Kaiba then decides to travel 3000 years back in time to Ancient Egypt, just to duel the Pharaoh. To reiterate, the guy is such a sore power that he invents time travel for the sole purpose of fighting his rival one more time.
- Arima's mother is like this in High School Ninja Girl, Otonashi-san. When Otonashi's brother Yoichi visits, they perform various activities and she gets angry when he goes easy on her (arm wrestling) or when he actually wins (she angrily unplugs the video game they were playing).
- Kashima Yuu of Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun will start very hotblooded competitions for some of the most minor things, including pillow fights, telling ghost stories, and crossdressing. Unlike most examples though, her friendly, positive nature prevents her from falling too hard into either the sore-winner or sore-loser camps.
- Batman has Damian Wayne, who constantly seeks to prove himself as better than any previous Robin to his father, especially against Tim Drake, who he constantly demeans whenever Tim slips up and Damian manages something slightly better than him. This came to a head in the storyline War of the Robins where Damian went after Tim, Jason, and Dick individually to beat them and claim a prize from each as proof he was the superior Robin in an entirely-self-imposed challenge. He beat Tim and Jason, but Dick just gave him a prize and pointed out "you're the one with the R on his chest now".
- Dark Kuyumaya of Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness tends to take sports games quite seriously. Back in Act I, during a gym class game of dodgeball, he actually hit his own teammates with the ball just to get a shot at Tsukune himself, and in Act VI chapter 52, during the big baseball game the gang rigs up for Complica, he actually tries to hit people with the ball when up at bat.
- Multiple competitors become this in the Touhou M-1 Grand Prix and even a guest judge who gave bad marks because they didn't want a contestant to beat them in a contest they weren't even competing in.
- The Documentary Special When Lit has Sean Grant, a.k.a. "The Storm", a Pinball tournament player who incorporates angry screaming fits into his game.
"What's really important when you play pinball at the tournament level is to have your mentality straight to be sharp and to have a killer instinct."
- The protagonists of Game Night bonded over their mutual competitiveness and eventually married before the start of the movie. At the end of the movie, they agree to have a baby as an outgrowth of this.
Max: Think about all the dum-dums that have kids, right? And think about how much better our kid is gonna be than their kids. It's gonna beat their kids at everything.
Annie: It's taken you this long to see that? Our baby is gonna crush every other baby.
- In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Violet Beauregarde takes her gum-chewing seriously, achieving a record by chewing a single piece of gum "for over three months solid." She took an interest in the Golden Ticket search for the glory she'd get if she found one more than a desire for the actual prize. Due to Values Dissonance over the habit of gum-chewing as a vice, the 2005 film adaptation plays up this trait to make her punishment less disproportionate to her behavior; at her mother's urging she is highly competitive in all sorts of activities and thus looks down her nose at her fellow Golden Ticket finders, even calling poor Charlie a "loser" at one point when he innocently asks her why she sticks with chewing one piece of gum at length. In the 2013 stage musical, this trope is crossbred with Shameless Self-Promoter and Small Name, Big Ego to turn her into a parody of vapid celebrity.
- In the Chinese gaming light novel The King's Avatar a girl named Tang Rou thinks the MMORPG Glory is boring and not at all a challenge, up until the main character repeatably wipes the floor with her in PVP. At that point, she becomes obsessed with learning the game just so she can beat him.
- Monster of the Month Club: Burly, the May Selection, is a real sports nut. His card states that he "Doesn't like to lose".
- The Mummy Monster Game: In book 1, Josh is rather obsessed with proving himself better than others at games. He grows out of it when he comes to realize that this attitude is a danger to them all.
- Monica Geller often becomes extremely intense and controlling over any minor game the gang takes part in.
Monica: I made this game what it is.
Chandler: Not fun anymore?
- Ross Geller can be just as bad as Monica under the right circumstances. In "The One with The Football" it's revealed their mother banned them from playing touch football as kids after Ross ended up with a broken nose. They decide to try playing again, reasoning that now they're adults they can control themselves. The game quickly devolves into a fierce competition that ends with them wrestling over the ball long after the others have given up and gone for dinner.
- Monica's season three Love Interest Pete Becker is a very driven, highly competitive tech guru who doesn't back down from failure. On the positive side this led to him successfully building his company and becoming a millionaire in his twenties. The problem comes when he decides to join the Ultimate Fighting Championship and refuses to quit even though he loses every time. Monica finally breaks up with him because she can't watch him getting hurt anymore.
- Monica Geller often becomes extremely intense and controlling over any minor game the gang takes part in.
- Barney from How I Met Your Mother will often take an innocent remark as a challenge and respond with "Challenge accepted!". Hilarity Ensues.
- Jane from Happy Endings feels the compulsive need to win at all costs. Highlighted to great effect in the episode 'She Got Game Night', Max says they don't do couples' game nights anymore because of how crazy she gets. Also shown when she and Max compete over who has better Zombie Apocalypse survival skills, or who deserves to keep a sweater they both claim.
- Never Have I Ever:
- Devi can be "a bit of a psycho" when it comes to her rivalry with Ben Gross.
- Ben learned a whole new language just to spite Devi.
- Turk of Scrubs has a tendency to turn regular activities into competitions. Eating steak becomes an Eating Contest called Steak. Walking across the cafeteria? This is now a game called Ankles, where you do it with your pants down and the winner who goes the longest without getting embarrassed. Turk was always a jock with an ego, but this competitive aspect of his personality came to the fore when he became a surgeon (a profession where statistics matter).
- The whole hospital has games like this, like bedpan racing (you wear them on your feet and run from start to finish; other than that, there are no rules) and wheelchair balancing (whoever falls or touches more than two wheels to the ground is out; the senior staff have evidently become so skilled at this that they can form an impromptu drill team). At Sacred Heart, decisions seem to be settled in this manner sometimes.
- In Wilfred, the neighbor's boyfriend is shown to be uber-competitive. This was used in an episode where Ryan challenges the boyfriend to a game of table tennis, hoping that he could beat the boyfriend in front of the neighbor. However, the boyfriend ends up beating Ryan. All is well though because the neighbor is turned off by the boyfriend's gloating.
- Zeke of Zeke and Luther is so competitive he'll even get into "Are not!" "Am too!" arguments just to win them through sheer refusal to quit.
- The Office: Both Andy Bernard and Dwight Schrute from the U.S. version have this as one of their defining traits.
- The Better Off Ted episode "Win Some, Dose Some" is all about how the entire cast (except Linda) fits this trope. Ted goes meta with it in the opening narration when he proudly asserts, "No one's more competitive than me and Veronica."
- In a first-season episode of Will & Grace, Grace is shown to be a competition freak, to the point that neighbors won't even play charades with her anymore.
- Top Gear: Jeremy Clarkson. He must win at everything, not just car related competitions, but every competition on the show even if it really shouldn't be something to get competitive over (eg, finding edible roadkill, Clarkson finds a cow because it's biggest). Played for Laughs naturally as Clarkson's over the top approach brings disaster as often as victory.
- Full House. Danny often gets like this, notably in the Series Finale.
- Jay from My Wife and Kids is this to a T. This is because she was once her school's star soccer goalie who got thrown off the team because someone else wanted a turn. She insisted on winning every competition since.
- The Competitive Dad from The Fast Show, who spends every game and activity with his young sons proving that he can outperform them. We eventually find out that his own father was the same.
- The Eradicator from The Kids in the Hall, a masked man who refuses to tell anyone his real name and is extremely serious about "climbing the squash ladder" at a gym, to the other players' bemusement. He turns out to be terrible at squash.
"Do you want to unmask me? It's your right."
- In an episode of Seinfeld, three generations of Mandelbaums throw out their back trying to show up Morty and Jerry Seinfeld in weightlifting. Anything Jerry says to diffuse this is met with accusations that he thinks they're better than them.
- Bernadette in The Big Bang Theory is extremely competitive. This makes it hard for people to work with her in things like scavenger hunts, as Leonard discovers.
- Karen in Outnumbered is determined to beat her classmates at everything. Particular examples include making herself a "best in class" badge and refusing to look at the non-WW2 parts of the museum on HMS Belfast as it won't help her with her history project competition...whose prize is a visit to HMS Belfast.
- Rose in The Golden Girls is this despite her Cloud Cuckoo Lander personality. Regardless of event, once Rose enters it, she's obsessed with winning. For example, she once enters a contest repeatedly until she wins the prize offered in it (a honeymoon trip to Paris, despite Rose not being a newlywed), not for the prize itself, but for the thrill of winning, as she claims. Then she starts describing in detail about how she beat the odds as if she was giving a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, which alarms Dorothy enough to make her stop Rose from further description.
Rose: I like to win, all right?
- Rimmer in Red Dwarf can be like this, usually to his own detriment. When he was sharing quarters with a duplicate of himself in "Me2" their exercise and work regimes became horribly self-destructive, because every time one of them suggested something, the other had one-up the first by suggesting they get up earlier, work longer, exercise harder and so forth. Which in turn would lead the first, not wanting to be outdone, to escalate by suggesting an even more grueling regime, and so on, making the whole thing a Vicious Cycle.
- In It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, the Gang tends to turn against one another when they're competing against one another. In one case, they turn an Escape Room meant to be a wholly cooperative activity into an exercise in pointless powerplays when they not only lock Dee (who knew the answer beforehand) in Dennis' room but spend almost the entirety of the time limit simply determining who gets to unlock the first clue.
- Odd Squad:
- Opal, being The Perfectionist, is very competitive when it comes to her and the Mobile Unit, and when she does get competitive, it's hard for her teammates to talk some sense into her. The episode "Mr. Unpredictable" reveals that she's aware of this flaw, but at the same time, she denies it when called out on it.
- Oprah can get like this under certain circumstances. "The Jackies" has her attempting to score Precinct 13579's very first win in the eponymous event against Orville, the Odd Squad Director in a nearby town who has won every single Jackie Award since the event was first created back when cavemen existed, to such a point that she sends every single Investigation agent out onto the field just to find and eradicate oddness. "Shapely University", on the other hand, has her competing against Olivia, another Odd Squad Director from the next town over who insults Oprah by saying that her precinct is better, leading the two girls to develop an intense rivalry with each other at the cost of their employees, who are rivals but aren't overly competitive.
- Whenever Oren competes with someone, especially if that "someone" is Olive and/or Otto, expect him to go all out in making sure he beats them, even if he has to resort to cheating to do so. And if he loses, expect him to be a very Sore Loser.
- Invoked by Odd Todd in "Disorder in the Court" during Olive's trial, where he cites Olive not being able to bear losing the Agent of the Month award to Orson as evidence towards her stealing the town museum so that she could get one more case solved and secure the award. In actuality, not only would stealing an entire building be an unreasonable way to solve most any sort of case, but Olive isn't shown to be competitive to such a point that she would resort to doing such a thing anyway, as evidenced by her shocked and disgusted reaction.
- "The Ghost of Vince Lombardi" by Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine deconstructs and criticizes this mindset, claiming it's "poison" that permeates American society and damages kids worse than TV or video games.
The ghost of Vince Lombardi, where dirty tricks are coolSomeone's gotta win and someone's gotta loseThe ghost of Vince Lombardi rules the marketplaceHe who dies with the most toys winsThis is why this country has no soul, has no sense of community
- Dave, a one-off character in the radio version of The Lenny Henry Show, is an office worker who treats every conversation with his co-workers like this. If they're talking about how many books they read during lockdown, he read fifty a day, then wrote one, then got it made into a Netflix series. If they made a salad, he invented a new vegetable. When one of his co-workers tells him not everything is a competition, his response is "I know that. In fact, I knew it before you did!"
- Dark Sun half-elves like this. They even got a personal XP award for besting a human or elf in some or other traditional activity. Just because they want to be accepted and it always involves one way or another showing that they "aren't worse at this".
- Fire Emblem Fates: Selena strives to be the best at everything, and in her supports she eagerly challenges others purely to prove her superiority. In her supports with Peri, she is constantly challenged to ridiculous or horrifying things like fake crying, and to her chagrin she keeps losing and being very bothered by it. When Selena refuses to accept a challenge to a murder-off, Peri declares herself the best and winner of the competition by default, which Selena immediately grouses bothers her far more than it should. This is even reflected in gameplay with Selena's personal skill, Fierce Rival — if she supports another unit in Attack Stance and said unit lands a Critical Hit, Selena is guaranteed to make a critical hit as well during her follow-up attack.
- In the Ace Attorney series a lot of the more evil prosecutors (and some attorneys) seem to only care for their win-loss records, not for actually seeing justice done. There's even a Prosecutor of the Year award they can receive for having a better record! Snapping out of this mentality was key to Miles Edgeworth's character growth, and the fact that Klavier Gavin never did this in the first place makes him stand out as unusual among the game's rivals.
- The most extreme example is Manfred von Karma, who took pride in being undefeated for the entirety of his 40-year-long career but was infuriated at a tiny blemish on his perfect win record from taking a single penalty against Gregory Edgeworth in court. Enough to murder Gregory, adopt his son, raise little Miles to become the antithesis of everything Gregory stood for, and then finally frame Miles for murder.
- Mr. Bandages from Halloween Otome gets quite worked up about the competition, which fuels some of the plot.
- Azai Kanon in The Devil on G-String is obsessed with being the first in every figure-skating competition, she spends every waking moment thinking about skating competitions and she will not stop telling everyone that she is the best figure skater in the whole world and never loses. Except it turns out her mother conditioned her to think this way, and she's actually suffering because of it.
- CollegeHumor portrays Brennan Lee Mulligan as this in a few skits, including one where he wants to "win" at fun. The Game Changers series revealed that it's an Actor-Inspired Element, with one game designed specifically so he can't win, and another forcing the contestants to reveal deeply personal facts in order to win.
Brennan: There is no corner of my heart I would not turn over to the world for five points.
- SpongeBob SquarePants: A recurring plot line for many characters. Sandy and SpongeBob himself are perhaps the most notable examples.
- Recess: Vince is extremely egotistical about winning any game he takes part in. The others become irritated by this and dare him to last a day without winning once, at which point he becomes drunk on losing at every game he plays.
- South Park: Used to parody U2's Bono, having won a ridiculous number of achievements and becoming ridiculously protective of his "Biggest Crap Award" (to the point of cheating to reclaim it from Randy). The reason for this is revealed that Bono is the original Biggest Crap, constantly trying to be Number One in everything, but never managing to shake off he is actually a "Number Two".
Stan: Dude, don't you have enough? I mean, you got tons of money, a jet, and the biggest rock band in the world, a hot wife, and, you've been knighted. I mean, at some point, can't you just kind of... fuck off?
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
- Rainbow Dash is this trope.
- The Great And Powerful Trixie is Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better.
- Applejack due to being a Stubborn Mule has her moments as well. And when she and Rainbow Dash compete...
- In the Equestria Girls spinoff series, Sunset Shimmer takes competitions very seriously and becomes a Gamer Chick later in the series. Given shes an ex-villain with a Hair-Trigger Temper, if a game starts going badly for her, it tends to result in fireworks.
- Stan Smith of American Dad! insists on winning at every sport and game he tries. The first time he lost, he attempted suicide.
Steve: Don't you think that's a bit of an overreaction. So you lost. Nobody cares.
Stan: I care! I know I lost, and I couldn't bear to carry that shame around for the rest of my life.
- Parodied in the Family Guy episode "Running Mates" after Peter becomes obsessed with beating Lois in an election for school board president.
Brian: Peter, are you sure you wanna run against Lois. You know how competitive you get.
Peter: Hey, I can be just as non-competitive as anyone. In fact, I am the most non-competitive, so I win!
Brian: I've seen how competitive you get. You can't even handle losing a game of checkers. (cue Cutaway Gag)
Joe: Ah, I remember the first time my son beat me at something. I gave him a congratulatory punch on the arm. And then I gave him another. And another. And then things got kinda hazy and he had to go live with a foster family for a while...
- Joe is implied to be this as well, to a somewhat violent extent.
- Rather unsurprisingly, Princess Azula from Avatar: The Last Airbender. Her reaction to winning a beach volleyball match:
Azula: Yes, we defeated you for all time! You will never rise from the ashes of your shame and humiliation! (Beat) Well, that was fun.
- Otto from Rocket Power is this in spades. In one episode he went too far trying to prove to his sister Reggie that he is the better snowboarder and broke his leg in the process, and in another episode he tried to become a professional surfer just after his 11th birthday, only to wipe out miserably, just to name a couple of examples.
- Of course, the only one who rivals Otto for this is Twister's brother Lars, who is Otto's fiercest competitor.
- Total Drama:
- Courtney's Go-Getter Girl attitude makes her incredibly determined to succeed at everything and come in first no matter what it takes. However, it's deconstructed, as her perfectionistic Determinator attitude tends to come at the cost of her friendships and relationships.
- Passionate Sports Girl Sky is similar to Courtney in that she is very obsessed with coming in first due to her aspirations of becoming on Olympian athlete. While she is usually nicer than Courtney, she still faces the same consequences of this attitude that Courtney does.
- Josee from Total Drama Presents: The Ridonculous Race is this to such an extreme that she believes placing anywhere other than first to be totally shameful. She throws psychotic tantrums when she and her partner don't take gold and started smashing up Central Park when they eventually came third.
- Stephanie easily lets her competitive spirit get to her head, becoming extremely aggressive and violent as the race continues. She soon starts threatening, berating, and abusing her boyfriend Ryan for his mistakes and failures whenever it costs them competition progress, causing their relationship to fall apart.
- Teen Titans - Robin becomes this in "Winner Take All" when he and a bunch of other heroes are drafted into a tournament. When Cyborg (who beat him in a card game earlier) tries to voice his suspicions about the whole thing, he assumes it's an attempt to sabotage him. After breaking Speedy's bow in order to win their match, he gets asked if it was really worth it and seems to realize it wasn't.
- Exploited on Teen Titans Go!, when Robin assembles a team of himself and three other Robins. The other Titans quickly realize that the Robins are all hyper-competitive, and can be tricked into doing anything just by saying it's what "the best Robin" would do.
- In DuckTales (2017), Scrooge McDuck can be intensely competitive. This even translates to regular games. In "The Most Dangerous Game... Night!", he is absolutely eager to take up Louie's suggestion of a game night. Those who know Scrooge, however, are less than thrilled. Duckworth gets the heck out of dodge, Mrs. Beakley accepts Launchpad's offer to be her partner only because it means they lose quickly, and Donald's response to Scrooge partnering with him and threatening to take him out of the will if they lose isn't shock at the threat but surprise he was even in the will in the first place.
Mrs. Beakley: You know how competitive he gets when he's trying to best an enemy. On Game Night, we are the enemies.
- The Loud House: Lynn Loud pretty much embodies this trope. She will find a way to turn literally any activity into a competition, much to her family's dismay (especially in "Lynn-er Takes All," pictured above).
- In the Thomas & Friends episode, "Grudge Match", Raul the Brazilian tank engine becomes this after losing to Thomas in the Shunting Competition at the Great Railway Show. He challenges Thomas to two races and a strength competition to prove that he is better at them than Thomas is, but as a result of trying to win the strength competition, he breaks away from his train and nearly falls off the dock and into the water. He and Thomas become better friends after Thomas saves him, and Raul also becomes a better sport as a result.
- Elena of Avalor: Elena sometimes shows shades of this. When trying to make peace with a rival neighboring kingdom, she gets caught up in trying to one-up the visiting princess, and in one of the shorts, she and Mateo get carried away with magic training when they turn a test of aim into a competition.
- Netossa is revealed to be very competitive in She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, going so far as to keep score of her bot kills versus Spinnerella's. In Season 5 this actually becomes a huge advantage for The Rebellion: when several princesses fall under mind control, Netossa reveals that she keeps a detailed set of notes on the weaknesses of all her allies they can use to subdue the mind-controlled princesses. Bow points out that it's a bit disconcerting that she's clearly spent a lot of time thinking about this, but it appears more that Netossa just sees battle as another game to win.
Netossa: Contingency plans are how you win, and I always win.
- Ready Jet Go!: Zerk always wants to be the best at everything and openly gloats about his victories. Especially in "Whole Lotta Shakin'", where he's highly competitive to Jet in regards to building moon towers.