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Disproportionate Celebration

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Hooray! He's finally done it! Look at him jump! Look at him yell! Look at his victory dance! At long last, he's finally... won fourth place in a tic-tac-toe tournament?

Disproportionate Celebration, usually Played for Laughs, is when a character treats a minor achievement as much more impressive than it actually is, and congratulates themselves profusely and/or expects a massive reward. Other characters may also participate in the gag by joining them in their revelry, whether sarcastically or sincerely. This is often Justified by the character being so incompetent at something that even a small achievement in that field is genuinely a massive step forward for them.

Sub-Trope of Comical Overreacting. Compare Small Name, Big Ego and Wants a Prize for Basic Decency. Often crosses over with Unsportsmanlike Gloating if said achievement was winning at a competition. A common response to receiving a Mundane Luxury. Compare Serious Business, where a whole society and/or the work itself portray a trivial activity as extremely important.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • Played for Drama in the manga version of Rurouni Kenshin, where a minor antagonist celebrates when he manages to inflict a negligible wound on Kenshin. Based on this, Kenshin concludes that all the guy's tough talk about how A Real Man Is a Killer and the antagonist's claims of being an experienced swordsman who has slain many people are all false. As Kenshin explains, someone with such a background would actually be disappointed in only managing to inflict such a minor injury instead of celebrating that he managed to wound his opponent at all. Soon afterwards, Kenshin is proven right, and his opponent descends into a Villainous Breakdown.

    Comic Books 
  • In Asterix the Gaul, Getafix and Asterix are captured by Crismus Bonus and are forced to brew their legendary Super Strength-inducing magic potion for him. Instead, they brew a dud potion. Deciding to test if the potion worked, he tries to lift up a fallen tree, only to fail. Thinking he set his sights too high, he tries and fails to lift successively smaller and smaller objects until he finally lifts a small rock with his natural strength, then begins to cheer, thinking he's obtained super strength.

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes:
    • In one comic, Calvin gets an A on an assignment. He pictures the entire city celebrating his achievement with a parade, with the mayor even presenting the key to the city to him. Justified, as Calvin usually performs horribly in school in subjects other than writing.
    • In another strip, he sees the first robin of spring and excitedly tells his mom to call the paper while running around in circles, expecting a front page write up, a civic ceremony, and enough prize money for a trust fund. Unfortunately, not only does his mom tell him that it doesn't work that way, it turns out Hobbes already saw a robin the previous day!


    Live-Action Television 
  • In the Deep Space Nine episode "Take Me Out to the Holosuite," the Starfleet "Niners" lose 10-1 against the Vulcan "Logicans." However, since their only run was made of an accidental bunt by Rom, Sisko ends the game and the team celebrates at Quark's. Solok, captain of the Vulcans, accuses Sisko and company of manufacturing a celebration when they actually lost the game. Sisko agrees whole-heartedly with him, but accuses Solok of the emotion of frustration and offers to allow him to sign the game ball.

    Religion and Mythology 
  • In The Four Gospels, in a parable about repentance, there is one about a woman who lost a coin. When she found it after hours of searching and cleaning, she tells her neighbors about it, and they celebrate with her. It comes across as this trope to modern audiences who don't realise how valuable the coin in question was - it was worth a day's wages for a male worker, and for a poor woman in a time with little disposable income it would be a significant amount of savings to have lost.

    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 
  • Discussed in Double Homework. Johanna expresses pride in the protagonist for leaving his room after months inside, but the protagonist himself notes that other people leave their rooms all the time.
  • In SHUFFLE!, when Nerine got upgraded from Lethal Chef to One-Note Cook, her father wanted to make it a holiday for his people.

    Web Original 
  • The 1491s: "Honor Song" pokes fun at the Dakota reputation for performing honor songs for very small actions, such as picking up litter and lending a friend a single dollar.
    Dallas: Dude! What are you talking about? We don't sing honor songs for everything!
    Ryan: Yeah, your people are always doing that for shit they should've been doing in the first place.
  • The "Bronze Medal" reaction meme, originally by Russian artist 3palec, features an example that's over-the-top even by the standards of this trope.

    Western Animation 
  • Ben 10: Alien Force: In "Double Or Nothing", when Albedo causes destruction throughout the city as Ben, Ben tells Gwen and Kevin that he was studying for a test as an alibi. When the tests come back, Ben receives a C+ and goes out for smoothies to celebrate, considering it a massive achievement by his standards. Gwen is genuinely impressed by his score and apologizes for doubting him.
  • The Spongebob Squarepants episode "Big Pink Loser" has Patrick trying to open a jar, and idiotically failing to do so, but Spongebob is there to help him. Spongebob suggests Patrick that he do exactly what he does, and when Patrick opens the jar, both him and Spongebob celebrate for it, complete with Patrick screaming "TOUCHDOWN!" and slamming the jar through the floor.