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Home Field Advantage

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"There's no way to anticipate every danger; you need a backup plan for when things go wrong. That's why home-court advantage is so important."
Michael Westen, Burn Notice

In a Real Life Sporting Event, a Home Team or Home Field Advantage refers to the slight edge given to a team playing on their own turf in a match. This exists because of the subtle differences between various sporting venues and the home team already being accustomed to their own court or field or rink, and also because the crowd at a game will usually overwhelmingly support the home team, thus presenting a psychological advantage. While it can give a slight boost to the home team or bring the away team down by a small margin, usually this is not enough to make much of a difference in the game's outcome.

But, in fiction, something so mundane would be boring or require some over the top effects to work like they want. So what do you do? It can be as simple as taking the above mentioned subtle differences and making them such large alterations that it throws the away team off completely. Perhaps the psychological advantage is huge, rather than small. Perhaps the game awards points based on popularity. Perhaps the game and field are complex enough that every field is unique (like golf) and/or deadly (not like golf).

You could set the playing field itself against them (again, like golf, only it's alive and maybe trying to kill you). All that matters is that whoever is battling on their own turf has a serious advantage that poses a legitimate threat to the other side's winning chances. Often involves Geo Effects, taking advantage of the terrain.

Of course, this isn't just about sports. If the bad guys attack the hero in his hometown, or their base of operations, he's bound to have a few tricks up his sleeve along with whatever allies he happens to be fighting alongside in defense of their home. Even if he doesn't have anything prepared, who knows his home better than he does? Perhaps you're a local hero and everyone supports you, actively or clandestinely, in your fight against the rampaging killbots. Perhaps you're a Physical God, and your home is literally part of you. Perhaps you can even change the local laws of physics to confound attackers. The possibilities are endless.

In military history, this is Truth in Television. From antiquity to the present era, Guerrilla fighters from La Résistance who know their home region's terrain and environment are able to outfox better-equipped conventional armies.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Accel World: One of the benefits of being a member of a Legion is real world legion territory. As long as you're physically within your legion's territory, you have the right to refuse any Brain Burst challenges made of you, meaning you can recoup if you're low on burst points. Since anyone using the internet can be challenged, and not being on-line makes life anywhere from difficult to nigh unlivable, joining the legion that controls the territory you live in is almost a necessity unless you are VERY good at battling.
  • The main thing about being challenged to a parts war in Air Gear is the challenged team know their own territory and can also set traps and use the environment against the opposing team.
  • Henry Legolant from Black Clover can't survive outside the Black Bulls hideout, but inside it he can wield enough power to defeat a zombie created from two Magic Knight captains. Gauche provides the exposition — a mage can invest mana into a specific location they have a strong connection to, and the longer they stay there the more mana they can invest. Since Henry has lived in the mansion long before it became the Black Bulls' hideout, he has a tremendous amount of power stored there.
  • Doraemon: Nobita's Great Battle of the Mermaid King have the main villain, Bulkin, getting his hands on the powerful Mermaid Sword which can create tidal waves and tsunamis with each swing… but only useful when underwater, while on land it's just an ordiniary (if somewhat pimped-up) sword. So for the final battle, the gang uses Doraemon's "Underwater Pump Simulator" to trick Bulkin into going on dry land, where he's then easy pickings.
  • Fate Series:
    • The Unlimited Blade Works spell (and indeed any and all Reality Marbles) basically invokes this trope, turning the battlefield into one that's perfect for Archer or Shirou to battle in.
    • In fact, the power of a Servant varies depending of how much it's known and/or revered in their current location. For example, Word of God states that Lancer of "Black" (Vlad the Impaler) could completely destroy Berserker (Heracles/Hercules) and Saber (gender-flipped King Arthur) from Fate/stay night, two Servants whose identities are known world-wide, because he was summoned in his home country of Romania, close to his native city to boot, and has a Skill that lets him secure a certain amount of land as his own and boost his power as long as he remains within the bounds of that land (which fittingly enough, is at the headquarters of the Yggdmillennia). This dual-layer homefield advantage is enough he's able to fight toe-to-toe with Lancer of "Red" (Karna) when normally he would be completely crushed by his Gilgamesh-leveled opponent. This is what ends up happening when he is forced to sacrifice said advantage to fight on the enemy's home turf.
    • Caster Servants have a Skill called Territory Creation, which lets them designate an area as their "Workshop". Inside the Workshop, they are able to gather Mana from the environment (Servants normally need to get Mana from their Masters) and have some control over the surroundings.
    • Fate/Grand Order:
      • Quetzalcoatl becomes more powerful inside her shrine.
      • Ereshkigal is invincible in the Underworld and the Underworld saps the strength of other gods and spirits. In the living world, she can make small areas simulate a weaker version of the Underworld's effects.
      • Oda Nobunaga becomes more powerful when the area is on fire.
      • Saint Martha, Captain Nemo, Archer Jeanne, and Mysterious Alter Ego Λ all become more powerful around the ocean.
      • Due to being blessed by Poseidon, Caenis is invulnerable as long as she is around the ocean.
      • The Oprichniki become more powerful within Moscow's borders.
  • Fairy Tail has Tenrou Island, the holy land of the eponymous Guild where any mage with the Fairy Tail crest is given a large boost in magic power as long as they're on the island. Well, it WAS that way anyway...
  • In YuYu Hakusho, the first of the 4 Sacred Beasts, Genbu, can use his powers over earth to meld with the stone that composes the castle and move freely through it.
  • In Reborn! (2004), the Melone Base is one for Shoichi and his forces because the base itself is his box weapon and he can rearrange it as he chooses.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS has the Saint Cradle, which gives an edge to the combat cyborgs because they aren't affected by the huge magic dampening field all around the ship.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Babidi's base can simulate various environments and his henchmen use it to their advantage (although it fails spectacularly when a Heavy Worlder henchman tries increased gravity against Vegeta, a Heavy Worlder himself used to much higher gravity).
    • Magetta, one of the Universe 6 tournament fighters in Dragon Ball Super, has the ability to super heat the battlefield as a side effect of his Hulking Out. Due to Magetta drinking and being filled with molten lava, this naturally has no effect on him, but tires and overheats his opponent. Unlike the above version with Babidi, this actually does assist him.
  • One Piece:
    • Crocodile puts his sand powers to best use in the desert of Alabasta. The desert is also where he is least likely to encounter his Kryptonite Factor, water.
    • Fishmen in general become much stronger and faster while underwater.
    • The fact that the war between the Whitebeard Pirates and the Marines happened at the latter's HQ allowed the Marines to set up several obstacles in order to gain the upper hand through most of the war.
    • Pica of the Donquixote Pirate has the ability to assimilate himself with rock, thus his powers reach max potential while in a naturally rocky island such as Dressrosa, the base of his crew.
  • In Bleach, spiritual entities (Soul Reaper, Hollow, Quincy, etc.) are at their most powerful in worlds where reishi (spirit particles) are densest. This means that the spirit worlds of Soul Society and Hueco Mundo are where these beings are at their most powerful.
  • Takumi from Initial D has a massive one in the form of Mt Akina. The probable best-known part among non-fans is that Akina has five consecutive hairpin turns, which ordinarily would not allow for recovery. This means Takumi has developed a very rare skill.
  • The various dueling arenas in the Yu-Gi-Oh! universe often have House Rules that cater to specific strategies. There's also the Geo Effects associated with the "Field Power Bonus" in Duelist Kingdom, where duelists would build decks for specific fields and wait for opponents to come to them.
  • In Assassination Classroom, a group of highly trained mercenaries is hired by the world governments to occupy the mountain around Class E in order to ensure that nobody can get to Koro-sensei, who's been trapped in the area around the classroom. However, Class E is able to curb stomp the mercenaries once they're given time to prepare. One of the factors contributing to this is the fact that the mercenaries are unfamiliar with the area while Class E has spent the past year training on the mountain to the point where they know the layout like the back of their hand, and setting traps for Koro-sensei that they can now re-purpose against the mercenaries.
  • Purposedly invoked in World Trigger. In rank wars, the lowest ranked teams can choose battlefields, including the place, time, and weather, to give them advantage. This privilege is used to great effect by the teams, ranging from reducing snipers' sight, limiting enemies movement, isolating powerful enemies, to pitting enemies against each other.
  • Inverted in Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid when Tohru has to storm a Harmony Faction temple to rescue Elma from an Arranged Marriage. Due to an enchantment on the place that forces dragons into their human forms, she's the only one that can actually fight at full power because most dragons avoid being in human form as much as possible due to a combination of pride and the fact that compressing all their mana into a tiny body is uncomfortable, while she is almost always in human form during the series proper (plus the several decades she traveled with Elma in the backstory).

    Comic Books 
  • For the Green Lantern comics, the living planet Mogo is a planet sized Home Field Advantage. At least, while it was still alive.
  • Played with by Superman and other Kryptonians, who have a Home Field Advantage anywhere near a yellow sun. For most Kryptonians, this is technically an away field advantage, since their own sun was red, but Clark Kent was raised in Kansas, so Earth is as much his home as it is ours.
    • Long time supporting character Traci Thirteen specializes in "urban magic", tapping into the magic field of a city to perform spells, meaning she is most useful inside a city.
  • Some characters have special advantages in the water, such as Tiger Shark and Namor the Submariner in the Marvel Universe and Aquaman in the DC Universe.
  • Characters with control over the earth (such as Terra in The DCU) are very powerful near the ground and almost helpless when away from it, such as if they're high in the air, in outer space, on the ocean etc.
  • The Sandman (1989):
    • The Endless are nearly all-powerful within their own domains, since they also are their own domains. Fortunately, most of them are also big on Sacred Hospitality.
    • This isn't limited to the Endless; during the story of Emperor Norton, the owner of the Cobweb Palace (apparently human, but true nature and powers unknown) has no fear of the King of Pain, Desire's undead servant: "He will not harm us. Not us. Not here."
  • An important factor in Swamp Thing. Swampy is able to defeat a nearly omnipotent enemy while in his Place of Power in the swamps, and he has a definite advantage anywhere he's in contact with "the clean Earth" (i.e., anywhere that nature is strong, especially anywhere that has a lot of plants - the evil coven that tried to fight him in a rain forest made a very bad mistake).
    • In contrast, when Swampy fights other supernatural beings in their places of power, he risks getting his ass thoroughly kicked, as he did when fighting an aquatic vampire underwater or a werewolf powered by feminine rage in her own neighborhood. In both cases, he had to grow himself a new body and reassess his tactics.
  • Crucially important in Gravel. A magician is nearly unassailable in their Place of Power, and a group of arrogant magicians only realize how scary Gravel really is when they discover that he's managed to take the entire city of London as his Place of Power.
  • Defenders: Beyond: In issue #3, the Beyonder admits that most of the time he could take the Phoenix Force, but when they're in the White Hot Room, the Phoenix's resting place, it could probably beat him.

    Fan Works 
  • Along Came a Spider has Clans fighting their way into the Federated Commonwealth only to find worlds that have been fortified for decades in anticipation of bleeding them dry.
  • In The Bridge:
    • Xenilla chooses to reside in the Crystal Empire since he can absorb energy from crystals and sense others through them.
    • King Sombra has a massive advantage in the Crystal Empire because he's memorized the city's entire layout, including secret passages, traps, and hidden armories.
    • Princess Luna's homefield is the Dream World and she's much stronger there, and she's already pretty dang strong. She's so strong there that she can even give Grand King Ghidorah trouble there, and even drive him out with Celestia's aid.
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami plays this straight. All Keepers have significant advantages in their own domain. Including, but not limited to: many complex traps, the corruption effect of the Dungeon Hearts, and the ability to cast magic anywhere, instantly. In addition, they basically see and know everything that happens in their own dungeon and can even press the wills of mindless animals into their service, within their zone of influence.
  • Fate/Harem Antics:
    • On the group's first night out as a team, Archer advises they move the fight to the river, where she has an advantage (she's a pirate, so she has a few abilities related to water, especially her Noble Phantasm). Saber agrees, as she also has an advantage with water (she was blessed with a Walk on Water ability). Everyone turns to Rider... who just shrugs and says it doesn't make a difference to her.
    • As in canon, Servants can get a hefty power boost from being in their home country. Fiore's Servant Gunner is Japanese, giving her an advantage. Illya's Berserker is also Japanese, which might be why she was able to overpower three Servants at once, but it's not stated outright.
  • In Fate/Long Night, Queen Nymeria Martell's Bloodline Relic, called "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken", causes the battlefield to experience the sweltering heat of the Dornish deserts. As a native of Dorne, it doesn't really bother her, while her opponents will quickly become exhausted and thirsty.
  • In Guardians, Wizards, and Kung-Fu Fighters, it's established that a Heart's power is significantly enhanced (to Reality Warper levels) when the bearer of the Heart is in its native world.
  • In Imaginary Seas, Percy gets a massive power boost while in water. In addition to raising his overall fighting prowess, it bumps his Magic Resistance up to A, and he has an additional layer of Nigh-Invulnerability so long as he's near the sea. However, in an inversion of this trope, Percy loses the Curse of Achilles in Rome or areas conceptually defined as Rome because of how the Little Tiber washed it away in The Son of Neptune.
  • Inaccurate Legends: The Witch becomes more powerful when she is in nature. She has Green Thumb powers and can simply overrun a city with plant life to make it her territory and be almost invincible.
  • Kokuten: The conflict being a Civil War would grant this to both sides, effectively nullifying it. Nonetheless, Konoha is a ninja village (i.e., heavily militarized) which means there are restricted zones only select groups of ninja can access on a normal basis.
    • The Uchiha Clan compound's layout might be fairly well-known by all of the Konoha shinobi but not that of the Police Headquarters and the Naka Shrine (where they have private Clan meetings). This proves to be a problem for Kakashi when he plots to retrieve kid!Naruto. He exploits the advantage by asking an Uchiha ANBU (aka Fukurou) for help. She provides little-used entrances and the needed location but further invokes the trope by saying it's not a joke "all the Uchiha look alike", so he'll get lost in a place full to the brim of them. Fortunately, Kakashi has kid!Sakura, who saw and thus can recognize the person that kidnapped Naruto and Ino, on his side.
    • Similarly, the ANBU headquarters and most of the ANBU operatives' abilities are secret to the general population. Seeing there are at least two ANBU clan members (Fukurou and Itachi), the Uchiha Clan would be able to counteract this. Unfortunately, the two of them are Konoha-loyalists acting as moles for the village.
  • In Opening Dangerous Gates, the demon Xiphias Gladius' strength and stamina is constantly replenished as long as he's in the sea, not to mention he has control over water. Unfortunately for him, Tier Harribel easily usurps his control over the sea and then knocks him onto land, making him easy pickings for the heroes.
  • In Pony POV Series, The Blank Wolf is more powerful in the land where he was born. He's able to ignore some of his usual limitations like being unable to come near a god.
  • Run At The Cup plays this realisticially, being a sports story. Pretty much every team is assumed to have an advantage in a home game. Noxus, Zaun, and the Void are known for being particularly rough on visiting teams. This goes double whenever the Piltover Lone Stars play in Zaun, given the longstanding animus Zaunites have for Piltover.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Space Jam the Looney Tunes have the game in their world, which means they have free reign to use all of their wacky and dangerous antics to help them out.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Name-dropped in Avatar when the heroes are trying to formulate a plan before the third act. Knowing the RDA will be coming to bomb the Tree of Souls that would all but decimate the Na'vi and their culture, pilot Trudy points out that the human research crew and Na'vi will be severely outgunned. Jake lays out their "home-field advantage" in that when the RDA navigate through the floating Hallelujah Mountains by air to reach The Tree, they'll be flying blind and have to fire line-of-sight, as the area's flux vortex will interfere with the RDA gunships' electronic instruments. In turn, the Na'vi and their banshees, along with Trudy (who unlike most pilots has flown the mountains) and her gunship, can use their experience with the layout to get the drop on the RDA, and attacking from above will give the Na'vi arrows the proper velocity and angle to penetrate the weak points of the gunships.
  • The Cell: In the climax, Catherine remodifies the neural link machine to send Carl into her mind instead of the way around. This way she can overpower the demon aspect of Carl's psyche and give him the Mercy Kill he wants.
  • The Pirates of the Caribbean series has at least two enchanted ships that give this. Davy Jones from Dead Man's Chest and At World's End can move through the Flying Dutchman at will, while Blackbeard from On Stranger Tides or rather, whoever has his sword, can manipulate the Queen Anne's Revenge and, if Barbossa's exposition is to be believed, any other ships they encounter, at will.
  • O'ren certainly has the advantage in Kill Bill. Part of that advantage is her personal army and right-hand The Dragon.
  • Deconstructed by A History of Violence (as it deconstructs most violent tropes). When murderous mobsters come knocking on your door, your house is just a house.
  • When the bad guys come calling in Conspiracy Theory, Jerry's prepared. Not only does he have numerous warning systems, he also spent a great deal of time turning his home into an instant firetrap, allowing him to escape, but which was set up in such a way that it didn't spread to other apartments.
  • Every Home Alone movie involves a little kid laying traps in a building he knows inside and out, while the adult criminals don't. In the third movie, the criminals are a team of professional international thieves.
  • The Matrix Revolutions. The Trainman is much more powerful than normal in the underground subway area he controls. He's even more powerful than The One (Neo).
    Trainman: You don't get it. I built this place. Down here I make the rules. Down here I make the threats. Down here, I'm God.
  • In A Nightmare on Elm Street, Freddy Krueger is virtually unstoppable in the dreamworld, as it houses his spirit.
  • In the Friday the 13th series, Jason knows the area around Camp Crystal Lake quite well, though he adapts pretty well when he gets away from it (though in Jason X a VR Crystal Lake is quite the distraction to him.)
  • Freddy vs. Jason: Lori and her friends take both Freddy and Jason to Camp Crystal Lake for their showdown with this trope in mind for Jason. Subverted earlier in the film, when Jason in the dreamworld gets reverted to his childhood, invoking the trauma of his drowning in the lake and throwing him for a loop.
  • Skyfall: James Bond retreats to his old family estate and sets up a series of traps in preparation of Silva's inevitable assault. This is effectively the only time in the film where Bond is able to choose where he fights Silva.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • The Avengers: The film's finale takes place in New York City. Captain America, being a native New Yorker, (even if 70 years out of his native time), is able to quickly formulate battle plans and issue orders as the battle develops.
    • In Thor: Ragnarok, Hela's power increases the longer she stays in Asgard. Note that even on Earth, she's already strong enough to lift Thor's hammer despite being unworthy and then crush it like it is made of glass. On Asgard, she's pretty much unstoppable. Thor realizes fighting her is futile, and resorts to calling upon Surtur to unleash Ragnarok, which destroys Asgard and takes Hela with it.
  • In Star Trek, Chekhov suggests using their knowledge of the local Solar System to their advantage, formulating a plan that involves the Enterprise dropping out of Warp within Titan's atmosphere and using the interference from Saturn's rings to mask their approach from the Narada's sensors.
  • One of the consistent themes of all the Spider-Man films has been that he's the "friendly, neighborhood Spider-Man", and no matter J. Jonah Jameson, the people of New York know Spidey's on their side, and they help him out when times are tough.
    • In the first Tobey Maguire film, they pelt Green Goblin with bricks and stuff after Spidey Takes a Third Option on his Sadistic Choice.
    • In the second, after Spidey collapses stopping a runaway train from going off the tracks, the people inside pull him on board, hand him back his mask, promise they won't say anything, then try to stand between him and Doctor Octopus.
    • In the Andrew Garfield film, after he's injured fighting the Lizard and needs to get across town as soon as superhumanly possible, construction workers (led by the father of a little boy Spidey saved) line up their cranes to give him a clear path, and a news chopper spotlights it for him so he can't miss it.
  • In the first "Crocodile" Dundee sequel, Dundee protects Sue from Colombian drug dealers by taking her back to Australia's Northern Territory which he knows better than anyone. Also, the local guide they hire immediately quits when he learns who they're hunting.
  • In Ladyhawke, the monk character is living in a monastery ruin. When he befriends the Mouse character, he warns him upon crossing the board bridge into his home to walk on the right, but doesn't explain why at the time. Later when the troops of the evil Cardinal arrive they cross the bridge and of course, fall through the weakened or probably sabotaged timbers into the gully below.
  • In Furious 7, the team invokes this trope by stating that they should face their adversaries on the streets they know best: Los Angeles.
  • In Patriot Games, an assassin attempts to attack Jack within eyesight of a pair of armed Marine sentries, all but guaranteeing an immediate armed response. Later, the film's climactic battle takes place in the Ryans' home.
  • The first hit squad that comes after John Wick attacks him in his own home. They outnumber him a dozen to one, but between his skills still being sharp and this trope, they don't stand a chance. The villains try to invoke this later, making John come to them. It doesn't work.
  • The resistance forces from Outcast have an advantage over the ruthless Black Guards thanks to their familiarity with battling in the hill terrains and mountainous regions, where they can effectively trick their enemies into using narrow overpasses and remotely trigger booby-traps. But the moment the Black Guards breaches the mountain pass, the battle immediately turns against the resistance's favour.
  • In Soldier, after Todd is replaced by the superior Soldiers, he's discarded on Arcadia 234, where he lives for several weeks with the survivors of a crashed colony ship. They teach him how to survive against the planet's hazards, including deadly sandstorms and poisonous snakes. When the new Soldiers arrive and start attacking, Todd uses the terrain and environment to his advantage, and despite their superior strength and weapons, he kills them all.
  • In Aquaman, the first duel between Arthur and his half-brother Orm is in Orm's favor due to this. Arthur has spent most of his life on land, and though he was trained in the ways of Atlantean combat by Vulko, he's still a relative novice at fighting underwater. Orm on the other hand has spent his whole life underwater and has been trained since childhood to be a master of fighting underwater. Arthur is able to hold his own for a bit, but it becomes painfully clear that he has no chance of winning. Mera's intervention is the only thing that saves Arthur's life. In their rematch, Mera advises Arthur to take the fight to his home turf, so Arthur forces them to the surface. Orm is not used to fighting on the surface, while Arthur is, allowing Arthur to defeat him.

  • At the end of Tom Clancy's Clear and Present Danger, the American Special Operations team initially slaughters the cartel soldiers sent to kill them. However, the cartel soldiers wise up and start using their superior numbers (and ability to reinforce) to their advantage against the cut-off soldiers, and turn the tide.
  • In Quidditch Through the Ages it's mentioned that this is the reason baskets were banned and standardised iron hoops were brought in to replace them. Before this, Quidditch teams would cheat on their home fields by making their own goalposts too small, while the opposing goals were too large.
  • In the Iron Druid Chronicles druids are wise about this. Atticus has some very powerful enemies looking for him so he spent at least a century setting up his defenses. He befriended all the local nature spirits, allied himself with the local vampire lord and the local werewolf pack and put multiple layers of magical and mundane protections on his home and workplace. His ultimate home field advantage comes from an arrangement he has with Morrigan, one of his pantheon's Death Gods. As long as any battle he is in takes place under the jurisdiction of that god, Atticus cannot die in it. Unfortunately his enemy goes to extraordinary lengths to nullify all those advantages including making sure that the final battle happens where Morrigan has no jurisdiction and cannot interfere.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • In the novels, every human home has a threshold. Entering it without permission from the home's owner is difficult for supernatural entities. It also makes mortal wizards leave a chunk of their power at the door. The more "lived in" the home, the larger the home field advantage. However, keeping a business in the house, where people are constantly invited in, degrades the power. For this reason, while Harry's threshold was weak, he didn't keep his business there for fear of destroying what he had all together. Also some supernaturals, like The Fair Folk, can bypass the threshold so long as they abide by Sacred Hospitality and not cause the house to be worse off than when they arrived.
    • After Turn Coat, Harry has this while on the island Demonreach, due to bonding with the resident Genius Loci.
  • In Dune, the Fremen have lived their entire lives on the harsh desert world of Arrakis (AKA Dune). They have intimate knowledge of the desert and have learned how to ride the gigantic Sand Worms. Meanwhile, The Empire has the Sardaukar, who are rightfully considered to be the best soldiers in the galaxy due to their own Death World (although that one is a radioactive wasteland due to nuclear bombardment). However, they're also experienced with using personnel shields, which require a specific form of blade fighting. Since using shields on Arrakis is suicide (they attract the worms and drive them crazy), the Sardaukar end up being slaughtered by the Fremen, although not without inflicting casualties of their own (usually at 3-to-1 ratios). Subverted in the sequels, where it's mentioned that the Fremen have somehow managed to conquer most of the known worlds despite wildly different climates.
  • The Terrans in the StarCraft Expanded Universe would benefit greatly from this were they not at war with one another. Lampshaded thusly:
    The Liberty Manifesto: We had the advantages of interior lines of supply (that's military for "surrounded") and familiar terrain (that's military for "we're fighting them in our own living rooms")...
  • The Parshendi in The Stormlight Archive can jump over the chasms that cover the Shattered Plains, while the humans can only cross them on bridges. Thus, the Parshendi have a huge mobility advantage in the Plains, which is why they retreated there after killing the human king.
  • In military thriller Victoria, the rebels make skillful use of this in the military sense in their struggles with federal law enforcement agents and military forces, taking full advantage of such factors as knowledge of terrain, sympathetic locals and overextended enemy logistics.
  • In The Camp Half-Blood Series, Percy Jackson gets a boost to his reflexes, strength, and speed while standing in water on top of a small Healing Factor. The boost is especially pronounced when he's standing in the ocean, allowing him to stalemate even Ares, the god of war, in a one-on-one sword duel, despite being an untrained twelve-year-old at the time.. He abuses this when tested at camp, dousing himself with saltwater before exams to make things easier for himself.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The 100 initially gives the Grounders the home field advantage, since they've been hunting and fighting in the woods their entire lives, while the 100 have never been outside of the Ark space station before. This gets flipped around during the Big Badass Battle Sequence at the end of the first season, as the 100 have had time to build up their camp's defenses. When the Grounders attack it, they're met with barricades, landmines, and flaming exhaust from the dropship.
  • The Japanese automotive video magazine Best Motoring is known for favoring JDM cars like the Skyline GT-R and Honda NSX over European or American cars. Drivers will routinely shift-miss in circuit battles or not push very hard, to allow the Japanese cars to win. This is also evident in its Spiritual Successor, Best Motor TV.
  • The ninth season finale of Bones has this in spades. Having made some very powerful and very bad people very desperate, Booth and his team are targeted. Booth spends ~30 minutes preparing an ambush in his and Bones's home against three Delta Force operatives sent to murder him, while Angela defends the Jeffersonian against a hacking attempt.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • The third season finale was one huge HFA. The mayor is giving the commencement address at Buffy's graduation, which is also where his Ascension is going to occur. In response, the Scoobies organize the entire senior class to fight off the Mayor's vampires and hold the Mayor at bay until Buffy lures him into the library, which they've already filled with explosives. "Well, gosh!"
    • In a sixth season episode, a demon breaks into the Summers home and proceeds to trash it while attempting to kill Buffy. She slowly maneuvers it into the basement where there's less stuff to break, and also a convenient weapon (in the form of Full! Copper! Repipe!).
    • The hell mouth gives people living above it superpowers. Demons and other mystical beings are drawn to its energy, and Word of Joss is that Warren was taking advantage of it for his robots and other super science.
  • Michael Westen takes advantage of this a number of times on Burn Notice, and often mentions it in his narration.
    • In the first-season episode "Wanted Man", Michael takes advantage of knowing Fiona's home better than an intruder, and waits for him to trip over something Michael tripped over earlier.
    • In the first season episode "Hard Bargain", Michael takes advantage of the fact that a meeting is in his loft, and so when it goes bad, is able to get his hands on a weapon.
    • The last two seasons invert this by having Michael attack others while they have home field advantage. He counters their advantage through planning, surveillance, and slight of hand.
  • Chuck Bartowski often takes advantage of his knowledge of the Buy More, its employees, and their traditions in order win the day. Occasionally subverted, as when he tried to lock a giant mook in a broken security cage, only to learn that it had been fixed since that morning.
  • Invoked in Forged in Fire. The contestants use their home forges to make their blades for the final round for this reason.
  • Game of Thrones: The North has this as any invading army from the south would have to deal with the North's harsh climate. Northerners are used to fighting in the cold, but southerners are more greatly affected by the snow and cold. For example, when Stannis Baratheon's army prepares to march on Winterwell, Ramsay Bolton notes his men will have the advantage because they know the land and are used to moving and fighting in winter, while Stannis' men are not.
    • House of the Dragon: During the War of the Stepstones, the forces of the Crabfeeder are well-entrenched and have caves to retreat in in case the Dragon Riders come in, which doesn't make things easy for Daemon Targaryen and the Velaryon forces.
  • Medabots AX: Metabee and Rokusho: Medabots with the Smacker (Male) and Purple Fin (Female) parts have an easier time moving underwater. Other legs parts like Ace Hooves (Male) and Queendresser (Female) are unaffected by slopes or other landforms.
  • In an episode of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, the Oyserizer's power source was a pearl that was underwater. The Oysterizer can fight just fine underwater, but the Megazord was not built for underwater combat. Thankfully, the Dragonzord can fight just fine underwater, and was able to send it back on land.
  • In the series finale of Mortal Kombat: Conquest, Shao Kahn endures a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown from Raiden, only to reveal that in doing so he has tricked him into entering his enemy's territory, where he is powerless.
  • Frank Castle loves this, when he's not just powering through bad guys screaming in rage. He likes to set up ambushes and can be very effective even against highly trained teams given an hour or two of prep time. In the first season he does this at his and Micro's base against an ANVIL team, stashing guns all over. In the second season, he takes out a small group of former elite soldiers by prepping his hotel room and the room next door.
  • Sometimes happens on RuPaul's Drag Race During the "Lipsynch For Your Life" portion, if the song is more suited to one queen's style than the other's. For instance, in the first UK season, Cheryl Hole is a professional Cheryl Cole impersonator and naturally did well when she had to lipsynch to a Cheryl Cole song. But in the following episode, she was up against Baga Chipz to an Amy Winehouse song, and since Winehouse was a huge influence on Baga's drag, Cheryl's pop-based dance moves don't save her since Baga was better able to embody the artist and sends Cheryl packing. It's an Open Secret that production will sometimes deliberately choose a song that favors the style of the queen they'd prefer to keep.
  • In Supergirl, Rama Khan is Earth's guardian and can therefore sense anyone in the world and can bend the very earth to his will. However, since the Fortress of Solitude is not of Earth, he can't sense anyone inside it (although he can use that to find someone by the process of elimination). As soon as Supergirl figures out that he draws his strength from his connection to the earth, she seals the cracks in the Fortress's floor, weakening him, using her own HFA.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess: In "Them Bones, Them Bones", Alti attacks Xena and others in their dreams, where she seems all powerful. The heroes figure out this is because Alti has been drawing them into her dream world, where she has the advantage. They manage to draw Alti into Xena's dream world, where Xena has the advantage and defeats her.

    Multiple Media 
  • MonsterVerse:
    • Godzilla is a lumbering Mighty Glacier on land, but he's surprisingly fast when swimming in the ocean. In Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019), he takes advantage of this when he drags King Ghidorah underwater during their second fight. Godzilla can fight easily in the ocean, while Ghidorah is hampered by his massive wings. Similarly, during his first encounter at sea with Kong in Godzilla vs. Kong, Godzilla is able to nearly kill Kong (who, as an ape, is poorly suited for the water) very quickly by just dragging him underwater to drown him.
    • Conversely in regards to Godzilla vs. Kong, when Godzilla and Kong face off a second time in Hong Kong, the big ape can rapidly swing between the skyscrapers and more easily dodge Godzilla's attacks.
    • In the tie-in graphic novel Kingdom Kong, Camazotz takes full advantage of being a Giant Flyer whilst fighting Kong, a versatile but ultimately land-bound Titan who doesn't really have anything his size to swing off of. It's when Kong has Camazotz on the ground that the latter is in trouble.
    • Two-way in the animated series Skull Island (2023). Kong and the Kraken are at odds for supremacy over Skull Island — to say nothing of the fact the Kraken murdered Kong's friend and an entire village of people that were under Kong's protection just because it could — but they've been at a stalemate for years. Kong has the homefield advantage on land, and the Kraken knows it and therefore never comes onto land; the Kraken has the homefield advantage in the water, and Kong knows it and therefore never wades into the island's bays. The stalemate ends with Kong entering the sea in the finale.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Alcyoneus (a character from Greek mythology who also appears in The Son of Neptune) has the ultimate home field advantage — he's immortal while in his homeland. His enemy being Heracles with advice from Athena, he gets shot with a poisonous arrow that makes him wish he could die and then he's dragged out of the border while he's writhing in pain.
  • Antaeus, another opponent of Heracles, is a son of Gaea and gains strength and stamina as long as he is touching the ground, so he recovers every time he is floored in a wrestle, effectively cheating in this traditional Greek sport. It took Heracles a few tries to figure this out, after which he won by holding him in the air instead.

  • The advantage in sports isn't all psychological. Sometimes it's an advantage from familiarity with the field itself, or the training conditions it provides.
    • Even a cursory glance at the standings page of any in-season sport quickly reveals just how massive the difference is between records of teams at home (it's not unusual for playoff-caliber NFL teams to run the table at home during the regular season, and the 1986 Boston Celtics hold the NBA record with a record of 40 wins and only one loss at home while going 27-14 on the road.) Rare indeed is the team that is better away.
    • Golf is proverbially not against the other players, but against the course. Ergo, if one player knows the course better, he has an advantage.
    • Training in the mountains has its advantages. The air is rarefied, so it's harder to breathe. Your body produces more blood cells as a result. Thus, when you go down to sea level you're like a Charles Atlas Breather, which can cause problems if your blood becomes too thick, but otherwise you're just better adapted for endurance sports. The inverse is true as well, if you're accustomed to sea level, merely being at a high altitude can be difficult, rarely fatal, and high altitude teams have a definite advantage at home. It's the reason (along with the beautiful weather) why many Olympic swimmers have been known to spend their summers training in sleepy little Flagstaff, Arizona, some seven to eight thousand feet above sea level depending on where in town you are.
    • In international sporting events, climates can vary wildly even in the same country. A team unused to say, the sweltering heat and high humidity of the tropics coupled with the constant rains of a monsoon season, would have a distinct disadvantage.
    • In American college basketball, Vanderbilt is claimed to enjoy a unique home court edge because of the unusual configuration of its court. The Commodores' current home of Memorial Gymnasium, which opened in 1952, was designed with the team benches at the ends of the court, instead of along the sidelines. At that time, this setup was not uncommon, but Memorial is now the only NCAA Division I arena whose benches aren't along the sidelines. The edge for Vanderbilt is that opposing coaches aren't accustomed to directing their teams from the basket area, especially when the team is at the other end of the court.
  • On the subject of American college basketball, Home Court Advantage is officially recognized in the NCAA Evaluation Tool (officially known as the "NET"), which debuted in the 2018–19 men's season and in 2020–21 for the women: An individual result's weight in the rankings gets a +0.4 bonus if it's a Road game for the team in question, and a -0.4 penalty if it's a Home game. The distilled "quadrant system" also had the quadrant boundaries shifted based on whether a game was played at home, at a neutral site, or on the road.
  • American Football:
    • Cold-weather teams tend to hold a certain advantage in late-season and postseason games held in December and January, as they may be more accustomed to games in freezing conditions than warm-weather teams. The New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers (with their mythological "frozen tundra" of Lambeau Field) in particular have had historically good success in these conditions, leading to success closing out regular seasons and into postseason football.
    • When building Metlife Stadium to replace the old Giants Stadium, the New York Giants and New York Jets decided not to give the new stadium a roof (even though doing so would give them the ability to generate revenue from indoor venue events outside of football) because they liked having the advantage of visiting teams quarterbacks and kickers having to adapt to the swirling winds of the New Jersey Meadowlands.
    • Lumen Field in Seattle, Washington, is known as one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL, as a result of the fans, and the roof of the stadium reflecting crowd noise onto the field, resulting in a higher than average number of false start and delay of game penalties being comitted by visiting teams. Lumen field had claimed the Guiness World Record for the loudest NFL stadium in 2013 with a noise level of 136.6 decibels, only to be outdone by the crowd at Arrowhead Stadium at 137.57 decibels. Seahawks fans reclaimed the record in 2014 with a noise level of 137.6 decibels, only to be surpassed yet again by Chiefs fans at a noise level of 142.2 decibels, which has since stuck.
    • In addition to the venue- and weather-related advantages for American football teams, one historically recurring trend is West Coast teams struggling in early games on the East Coast, even if it's a mismatch on paper. The theory goes that the 1 p.m. start time for East Coast "early" games does a number on West Coast players, in which their bodies are still feeling like it's 10 a.m. Pacific time and have trouble getting "game ready" three hours earlier than they are typically accustomed to.
    • An attempt to avert this trope is why the Super Bowl is played at what is aimed to be a "neutral" site, the only one of the major sports to do so. It's not impossible for a home team to play a Super Bowl in its own host city, but the odds are stacked high — only a handful of cities are in the hosting rotation due to the league preferring warm-weather cities or ones with indoor stadiums to not only accommodate media and promotions, but to also prevent poor weather conditions from affecting the outcome. In fact, the first 54 Super Bowls did not have a team playing in its own stadium, then amusingly, it happened in two consecutive years, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV and the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LVI; both "home" teams won.
  • Baseball. At higher levels of play, home teams try to gain an advantage over visitors by altering the field conditions. For example, if the opposing team has fast base runners the home team will heavily water the infield to slow them down.
    • Unique to the sport, the playing dimensions are distinct at every stadium. Outfield fences are not uniform in either their shape or distance from home plate - they only need to be some minimum distance (and even then Boston's Fenway Park, which would otherwise be in violation of these regulations, is grandfathered in due to the park's age), allowing teams to construct their angles and dimensions for practical reasons or to be intentionally quirky. Teams will tailor their rosters to take advantage of these quirks - Yankee Stadium, for example, has traditionally had a pretty short right field, so lefty power hitters often hit a lot of homers in that direction. Supposedly, this was intentional - Babe Ruth, a lefty and probably the first player to be known for his big bat, was already a Yankee when the first Yankee Stadium was built in 1923. Incidentally, the Yankees often have a high proportion of power hitters that can hit lefty (either naturally or as a switch-hitter) on their roster.
    • In addition, the outdoor elements impact a home field as much as the fence dimensions. Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles is enveloped at night by the Pacific Ocean's marine layer, making it more difficult for fly balls to penetrate it for distance than a neutral park, giving the advantage to pitching, which is why the Dodgers are typically near or at the top of the league in fewest runs allowed every year. On the flip side, Coors Field in Colorado is a mile above sea level, and the thin air exponentially boosts fly balls to incredible degrees, even with the somewhat deep field dimensions. This, in effect, has turned the Colorado Rockies franchise into baseball's perpetual Glass Cannon; no matter the roster, they will be atop offensive categories in the league and at the bottom in pitching. While the Rockies have no trouble developing or signing hitters, developing or convincing pitchers to come there is a whole other story. This forces Colorado into simply bludgeoning teams to win at home, and can even the odds against teams with superior pitching, who will be negated by the altitude of the park.
    • In an MLB game, the home team bats second in an inning, giving them a slight advantage. If they are ahead at the middle of the 9th, they automatically win. If behind, they have one last chance to tie the game (going into extra innings) or win by pulling ahead.
  • Association Football team Hereford United have a pitch which is actually on a slope. The slope is slight and almost un-noticeable - but it is still a slope. Visiting teams unaware of this are frequently disorientated by the behaviour of the ball as they kick it—it will travel faster and further downhill and slower and shorter uphill. This has allowed Hereford to collect the scalps of many fine teams, including Manchester United and Liverpool.
    • Football Association rules also dictate the maximum possible length and width of a football field, but allow for variations of plus or minus twenty yards. The lower division side Shrewsbury Town have the longest football pitch in England—it was even larger than the old Wembley Stadium—and its sheer size both disorientates and tires visiting teams.
    • It's also possible to "customize" a pitch in order to favour a club's general playstyle. Spain's FC Barcelona, for example, tends to water the grass of the Camp Nou before matches in order to make the ball travel faster on the ground, allowing for faster passing.
    • In South America, teams situated on the Andes, be it national squads or clubs, are usually feared because the altitude hinders team performances. The situation is inverted in away games, as the Andean teams show their technical deficiencies at sea level.
    • The World Cup usually helps the hosts, at least for the men. Out of the eight world champions, only Brazil and Spain never won a title at home (including France's first Cup and England's only Cup). Other standout performances: Sweden's only final, Chile and South Korea's only semifinals, Mexico's only quarterfinals (twice), and Switzerland's last quarterfinal (and only in the group-and-knockouts format). Russia reaching quarterfinals at home was their best achievement since 1982, when the Soviet Union reached the second group stage and placed seventh in the tournament. Only two teams subverted this and fell in the group stage, South Africa in 2010, who at least beat France, and an Epic Fail by Qatar in 2022, losing three matches and finishing last overall!
      • This was subverted in 2014, where Brazil was going strong through the tournament and didn't lose any matches, scoring 10 goals and conceding only 4... until the semifinals, where even playing at home couldn't help a team without two of its best players, leading Brazil to be slaughtered 1-7 (0-5 in the first half alone) by Germany, which was promptly followed by a 0-3 loss against the Netherlands.
      • However, in the women's version, only the USA (won in 1999, third in 2003) and Australia (fourth in 2023) have ever advanced to the semifinals or beyond at home. Every other host has lost in the quarterfinals.
    • A number of stadiums are noted for their particularly intimidating atmospheres, in which the fans become 'the twelfth man'. Particularly notable examples are:
      • Stamford Bridge, home stadium of Chelsea FC, where they sustained an 86-game unbeaten run from 2004 to 2008, and another 77-game unbeaten run a few years later.
      • Anfield, home stadium of Liverpool FC, respectably sized at 54,000 seats after a recent expansion, has been a little less consistent about this thanks to the team's own inconsistencies, but on better runs has been referred to as 'Fortress Anfield' - a nickname that became so ubiquitous, a major fansite was named after it. And at times, it has most definitely been justified: throughout the 1970's, Liverpool only lost 11 home games in total. This included the beginning of an 85 game unbeaten run from 1978 to 1981 which was only eclipsed by Chelsea 25 years later. While it hasn't reached that level since, the current Liverpool side went the entire 2017-2018 season unbeaten at home. It's most famous for its iconic home stand, the Kop, which is usually the noisiest part of the ground and gives its name to Liverpool fans, who are usually referred to as 'Kopites'. The power of the Kop was perhaps most aptly summed up in 2018 by Thomas Tuchel, whose star-studded PSG team had just lost 3-2, a scoreline that was much closer than the match itself. Tuchel, who'd also lost two years before when his similarly star-studded Borussia Dortmund came up against Liverpool, who recovered from 2-0 and 3-1 down to win 4-3, simply said after the defeat: "This is Anfield. This is what they do."
      • Also of note is the fact that local rivals Everton haven't won at Anfield in 17 years (even in years that they finished above Liverpool in the league) and English football's new superpower Manchester City have only won once at Anfield in the Premier League era, back in 2003, and not once since they were taken over by Sheikh Mansour in 2008, having been thrashed in almost every visit since.
      • Old Trafford, home stadium of Manchester United (arch-rivals of the above mentioned Liverpool), dubbed 'the Theatre of Dreams' by club legend Sir Bobby Charlton, was the basis for two decades of dominance of the English game. It helps that with a capacity of over 75,000, it's the largest club stadium in Britain, second largest stadium as a whole in Britain and ninth largest in Europe. The phenomenon of "Fergie time" has often been remarked upon; there was a distinct tendency for even the referee to be intimidated both by the size of Old Trafford, its vocal home support, and the tendency of United's players to be vocally and intimidatingly dissenting of decisions that went against them. Something their manager Sir Alex Ferguson turned a seriously blind eye to. Referees were also horribly aware that a bad match report from a manager of the biggest and most financially powerful team in the Premiership could well be held against them in their own performance reviews. Too many negative reports from team managers, and a referee risked losing his status as an official in the top flight. Quite often injury time might stretch out for an unfeasibly long, long, time past the official ninety minutes, and it was remarked upon how quickly the games then ended after United scored an equaliser or a winning goal at home. Not that the ref was ever being intimidated by the ground, the team, or by Fergie the manager, of course!
      • In 2015/16, Leicester's King Power stadium developed a reputation as a near impossible place to win, the team losing only once (2-5 to Arsenal in September), as they won their impossible title.
      • Outside of England, there's Barcelona's Camp Nou, seating 99,000 spectators, Real Madrid's Bernabeu, which seats 81,000 and Borussia Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park (better known as the Westfalenstadion), which also holds 81,000, including the legendary 'Yellow Wall' home stand. All three have a reputation for being indomitable and absolutely terrifying places for opposing teams to go.
      • In the Netherlands, De Kuip, the home stadium of Feyenoord Rotterdam has this reputation. Feyenoord's fanbase, nicknamed Het Legioen (The Legion), is considered the most fanatic in the Netherlands. Just as with Liverpool, it is not impossible to snatch a victory for opposing teams thanks to the disappointing results of Feyenoord. However, the atmosphere is that intimidating that even home players crumble under the pressure of playing there, making it a disadvantage. Moreover, the Royal Dutch Football Association admitted that when young referees are being groomed to become full members of the referee squad, the atmosphere in De Kuip is taken into consideration. First, referees are only allowed to lead matches on lower levels in small stadiums. Then they progress to bigger stadiums for higher ranked teams. Leading a match in Rotterdam is considered the final step.
  • Wikipedia tells us that this is considered so important that important games like playoffs or elimination matches are either held at a neutral site, or with multiple games played on both teams' home venues. It also provides numerous examples of the strength of the advantage.
  • Camp Nou has nothing on US college football. Barça, we'll see your 99,000... and raise you by eight. That's the number of college stadiums that hold over 100,000.note  All have reputations as difficult for visitors. And atmospheres that are equally intimidating, or even more so, can be found even in noticeably smaller college venues.
  • In international cricket, the pitches are often prepared in such a way as to suit the home team's playing style. For example, pitches in India and Sri Lanka are usually suited to spin bowling, while those in the West Indies are suited to fast bowling.
    • The pitch at Lord's has a slope (some six feet in height difference across the whole width of the ground). If a bowler is used to it (i.e. plays for Middlesex), it can be used to create deliveries that just can't be bowled anywhere else. If a batsman is used to it, it can create some incredible scoring opportunities playing ground running shots down the slope for four runs.
  • Some old news articles mention sports teams win because of a "home hemisphere advantage".
  • Sometimes a sport can have a time-zone disadvantage. One factor in why the Los Angeles Kings fairly easily handled the New Jersey Devils in the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs was theorized to be the fact that the NHL's Western Conference (which the Kings play in) had cities in four time zones (Pacific, Mountain, Central, and Eastern), while the Eastern Conference only had a single city (Winnipeg) outside the Eastern Time Zone. The Kings were therefore used to playing at very different times when on the road compared to the Devils. Following the 2013 NHL realignment, the Eastern Conference now contains only the sixteen teams in the Eastern Time Zone, while the Western Conference contains the fourteen teams in the other three time zones.
  • NHL hockey even builds in a procedural advantage for the home team with the "Last Change" rule. After a stoppage in play, the visiting team is required to be the first to make any desired changes to the players it has on the ice. The home team then makes its changes after the visitors have done so—effectively giving the home coach the chance to create the matchups he wants on the ice at the restart. This often includes choosing a center likely to win the faceoff over the opposing center, or using strong defensive players to shut down the opposition's top scorers.
    • Although all NHL arenas today feature a standardized 200’x85’ rink, until the mid-1990’s, three teams played in old buildings with smaller ice. They were the Chicago Blackhawks (Chicago Stadium, 188’x85’, closed in 1994), the Boston Bruins (Boston Garden, 191’x83’, closed in 1995), and the Buffalo Sabres (Memorial Auditorium, 196’x85’, closed in 1996). The odd dimensions of these rinks had an effect on the flow of the game and could be a significant advantage against teams used to standard ice.
    • The boards around the rinks may be more "lively" or "dead", affecting how the puck rebounds after hitting the boards. The home team knows that better, which can work to their advantage in all zones of the ice.
    • In addition to having the crowd on their side, the construction of the arena can affect the volume on the ice, making it even more difficult for visiting teams.
  • In Australia, teams based in the eastern states can be at a significant disadvantage when playing against teams based in Perth, which is two hours behind (or three if it's during daylight saving and they're not from Queensland). The only other major city in a different time zone to the east coast is Adelaide, which is only half an hour behind.
    • Some Australian sports competitions also feature a team from New Zealand, which is two hours ahead of the Australian east coast (three hours ahead of Queensland during daylight savings). This puts all Australian teams at a disadvantage. Perth teams have a significantly larger disadvantage as the four- or five-hour time difference is enough to cause jet lag.
    • In the National Basketball League, the "Doomsday Double" is when an eastern states team plays a double-header against the Adelaide 36ers and Perth Wildcats. It is exceedingly rare for a team to win both games.
  • The Commonwealth of Nations' own version of the Olympics, the Commonwealth Games, has seventeen sports: ten compulsory sportsnote  and seven optional sports which the host nation chooses. Cue host nations picking optional sports they know they can win gold medals in.
  • The book Scorecasting uses a large volume of statistics to argue that virtually all of home-field advantage in sports in due to the effects of the crowds on the subconscious perceptions of the game officials. The book notes that, for example, the statistical "strike zone" formed by charting the path of each pitch, and whether it was a called ball or strike, is consistently slightly larger for home teams. It also notes that certain things which are completely objective and officials don't have a subjective determination to make (whether a unblocked field goal attempt is made or missed in American football, whether a free throw is missed or not in basketball, etc) happen at the same percentage for home and road teams.
  • Australian Rules Football: At Kardinia Park in Geelong, the opposition coach's box faces west, resulting in the sun being in his eyes late in the afternoon on sunny days.
  • In Rugby Union, New Zealand are the dominant national team with a winning record against every team they've played, regardless of where the match is held. However, this trope is played bizarrely straight in Rugby World Cups, where every time they faced a solo host nation (South Africa in 1995, Australia in 2003, France in 2007 and 2023), they have lost. New Zealand themselves also play this straight, having won both World Cups which they have hosted or co-hosted.
  • In the Canadian Football League, the Grey Cup championship game is held at a predetermined location; however, with only nine teams in the league and six of them making the playoffs, it's not uncommon for a team to play for the Grey Cup in their home stadium.
  • The Olympic Games require the host country to field athletes in every sport, and thus the combination of more chances and a supporting crowd leads to higher medal counts... although Canada in 1976 managed the underwhelming feat of doubling its tally (5 to 11) but not winning a single gold!
  • Any sports team based in Denver. The Mile-High City's extreme elevation means its air is thin, requiring more labored breathing for anyone not acclimated. Naturally this means that players who live there will have an easier time than rival teams who only arrived on game day. In all American major leagues except hockey, it was noted that Denver teams are the most likely to win home games for this exact reason, and even in hockey, the Avalanche are still pretty high on the list at #7.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Champions supplement Enemies III: The villain Red Rapier knows he isn't really powerful enough to take on superheroes by himself, so he tries to even the odds by luring them onto his own turf. He tries to trick a hero (or heroes) into entering a building he has filled with tricks and traps.
  • Chaotic:
    • Location cards often have just as much of an impact on battle outcomes as creatures and attacks. In addition to possessing abilities of their own that affect Creatures in combat, Locations also have an Initiative label that determines who gets the first hit. Ideally, you want your deck to have Locations with abilities that synergize with your creatures and Initiative checks that your creatures can reliably win.
    • Magmon in particular is infamous for the Lava Pond giving any of his cards a free Fire 5. Thanks to the Lava Pond already giving 5 extra damage on all fire attacks, combined with base Magmon's preexisting Fire 5, Retalitator's additonal 5 damage to all M'arrillians/minions (Or additional 5 damage to non-M'arrilians if brainwashed), or Engulfed's ability to grant all of your fire creatures Fire 5 (And Recklessness 5), fighting Magmon on his home turf can be a very brutal experience.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Deities are always more powerful while on their home plane(s) than they are on other planes. For example, in older versions of the rules deities had control over who could cast Wishes on their plane(s).
    • In the Ravenloft setting, Darklords are extremely powerful and almost undefeatable inside their own domain. In the Masque of the Red Death campaign expansion this applies to the powerful minions of the Red Death when they're in their lairs.
    • In Eberron this applies to a number of factions, which helps contribute to the Cold-War-esque stalemate between them:
      • Jaela Daran, The Speaker of the Flame, gains a staggering 15 levels while inside Flamekeep (she's normally level 3). The same thing applies to her Evil Counterpart.
      • This is said to be the main reason Erandis d'Vol is still alive; while within her sanctum she can perform magical feats of such absurd power (one of the given examples being "summon Future Badass ghosts of anyone who enters the sanctum, under her control") that even if they know where it is, the more heavyweight factions of the setting don't consider it worth the trouble to attack her.
      • The Wardens of the Wood take this to its logical extreme: their leader Oalian is a level 20 druid... but also a tree, making him incapable of leaving his home field at all.
    • In 5th Edition, some monsters have access to "Lair Actions" while on their home turf, effectively wielding their environment against their enemies in addition to the monster's own actions for the turn. This is enough of an advantage that these monsters usually have a higher Challenge Rating when encountered in their lairs.
  • Gamma World adventure GW6 Alpha Factor: Jeremiah Coot has filled his base Mindkeep with all sorts of traps, including false vines that cause any opponent who tries to swing on them to fall.
  • Paranoia adventure Send in the Clones: In the Absurdly-Spacious Sewer where he lives, Zhon-B-VLJ has set up many traps to bedevil anyone who tries to find him. He uses them to herd and capture the PC Troubleshooters.
  • In Pathfinder, similarly, most demigod-level outsiders (Demon Lords, Archdevils, etc.) receive various additional benefits when fought within their personal realms.
  • From Sentinels of the Multiverse, the Baron Blade, whom normally goes down easily, becomes a massive threat if you fight him in his home environment of Mordengrad, due to the way his keywords and the keywords on the Mordengrad deck interact.
  • Shadowrun
    • Shadowrun Companion: The Home Ground edge gives a character a bonus on using skills on his home turf. This could include the building where the character lives or a computer system with which a decker is very familiar.
    • Tir Na Nog: Followers of the Ways and the Paths gain bonuses to magic use if they are within the part of Ireland associated with their Path. For example, followers of the Northern Path (Path of the Warrior) gain a bonus die for magic when in the province of Ulster.
    • The Grimoire: Druids gain a bonus to summoning and banishing spirits when within a certain distance of their sacred circle.
    • Deckers gain advantages when within computer systems they're authorized to use. Their programs always execute properly, they can gain access anywhere they need to go and they don't have to worry about IC attacking them.
      • This goes double for AI. As beings made of code, the Matrix is already their home field. The node where their code runs? Don't even try it.
  • The Chaos Gods of Warhammer Fantasy Battle, Warhammer 40,000 and all those other spin-offs, are omnipotent in their own realms. Outside of it, they're still extremely powerful but now limited and vulnerable - so much so that Slaanesh, a god who destroyed entire space sectors of an interstellar alien empire, was beaten up and kidnapped by elven gods when s/he was outside of home in Warhammer: Age of Sigmar.
    • The Asrai/Wood Elves in the Fantasy version of the game are able to maintain their power base despite having neither the numbers or industry to compete with surrounding factions, by having a sentient forest that seeps in ancient magic and deliberately confuses any intruders with ever-shifting labyrinthine pathways; the Asrai have a pact with the spirits that dwell inside Athel Loren and have had centuries to learn the layout of their forest home. The forest itself often and fights alongside them. Thus, any army marching directly into Athel Loren during the spring and summer months is effectively committing suicide; however in winter, the forest goes dormant and the Asrai cannot rely on its help.
  • The World of Darkness:
    • Most characters in the Chronicles of Darkness can buy some form of "Safehouse" merit. Upgrading the Security rating of the Safehouse penalizes attempts to break in. Most supernatural characters also have abilities that can make attacking a safehouse very difficult, such as Werewolf warding Rituals, Sin-Eater Boneyard Manifestations (which overlap with Field Power Effect), or various Mage tricks (Wards, Bans, spatial distortions, spirit or ghost guardians, Life-altered guard animals, Golems, contingency-triggered spells, etc).
    • In the Old World of Darkness, mages can also create a Sanctum where their magick works better while conflicting paradigms tend to break down.

    Video Games 
  • Age of Empires IV: The English are a well-rounded, Simple, yet Awesome beginner-friendly faction whose bonuses lend themselves well to a turtling, defensive playstyle. Their "Network of Castles" feature grants additional attack speed to units in close proximity to Town Centers, Outposts, Towers and Keeps, and they are masters of archery - their unique Longbowman unit has superior range even compared to the fully-upgraded archers of other civilizations, and if that wasn't enough, their Town Centers shoot more arrows at approaching enemies and their villagers also carry bows for self-defence. Anyone who tries to raid and take the fight to an English town in the early game is probably going to wind up pin-cushioned.
  • Akanesasu Sekai De Kimi To Uta: Each character is native to a country within the game's universe, and employing them in battles taking place in that country will grant them buffs as well as bonus experience points. For example, Abe no Seimei is from the Miyabi country, so bringing him to a battle in that country makes him more powerful and gives him more experience points.
  • In Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2, the second Acolyte is an extremely powerful sorcerer whom even Dracula cannot face in a fair fight. So Dracula lures the overconfident Acolyte into following him into Castlevania, a Mental World that is the embodiment of Dracula's power and memories. Castlevania's power weakens the Acolyte enough to give Dracula a chance to defeat him.
  • Civilization:
    • Several civs' unique units, like America's Rough Rider cavalry in VI, and Morroco's Berber Cavalry in V, get a combat bonus within friendly territory, while the French Foreign Legion in early versions of V inverts the trope by getting a bonus outside of France's borders. And the Mapuche Malon Raider plays with this trope by getting a combat bonus near their borders, allowing them to do short-ranged raids into enemy territory as well as play defense.
    • Ethiopia in V has the Mehal Sefari infantry for its unique unit, which gets a combat bonus that increases the closer it is to the national capital. This stacks with Ethiopia's "Spirit of Adwa" ability, which gives all of its units a combat buff when fighting a civ with more cities than Ethiopia. This can make conventional fights against the Ethiopians a brutal meatgrinder
    • In V, the Iroquois' "Great Warpath" unique ability lets them treat any unimproved forests in their territory like roads (and later railroads!), letting their units run circles around any invaders who venture into the woodlands. The Shoshone meanwhile get the "Great Expanse" unique ability that not only gives all their units a combat bonus inside their borders, but makes each newly-founded Shoshone city have over twice as much starting territory under its control as normal, to maximize that combat bonus.
    • Vietnam in VI is led by Lady Triệu, whose leader bonus that gives all Vietnamese units a speed and combat boost in jungles, woods and marshes, bonuses that are doubled in Vietnamese territory. Given that Vietnam's base civ ability encourages it to settle in such terrain, and gives its workers the ability to plant new forests as early as the Medieval Era, this means that any would-be invaders are going to end up slogging through dense, green terrain while Vietnam's units come speeding out of the jungles to deliver an overwhelming counter-attack.
  • In Freelancer, the Gas Mining Guild's main strategy in the 80 Years War was to lure the Rheinlanders into the Crow Nebula (the GMG's home turf), and then use their detailed knowledge thereof to trick them into explosive gas pockets and radiation fields and so on.
  • Hearts of Iron IV has the Division Attack on Core Territory and Division Defense on Core Territory modifiers, which grant armies bonuses to attack and defense respectively when fighting in provinces where their country has a core, a.k.a their homeland.
  • In Heroes of Might and Magic III, each castle has its own native terrain, on which its heroes are more mobile than the enemy heroes and their units receive a bonus to their attack, defense, and speed in combat.
  • In Kaiju Wars, Megalodonkus gets multiple advantages on heavily forested maps thanks to its Wily ability. If it starts its turn on a forest tile, its movement range is increased for the turn. If it ends its turn on a forest tile, it has Damage Reduction against non-counter attacks. And whenever it destroys a building, it can shift into an adjacent unoccupied forest tile for free. All of these traits make Megalodonkus difficult to pin down on such maps.
  • In Mortal Kombat, Scorpion's power increases indefinitely as long as he's in the Netherrealm. Thus, one of his favorite tactics is to grab his opponent and take them there. If they don't have any way to leave, victory is only a matter of time.
  • Overwatch: Junkrat quotes this word for word when he gets a kill on Junkertown. Some characters are naturally better at some maps than others (Widowmaker is better when there's a lot of high ground and long sightlines, for example) but this trope doesn't seem in force at all.
  • Pokémon Conquest: There is a kingdom in Ransei for every Pokémon type (save the Fairy-type, which was introduced next Generation), and many of the kingdom battlefields are designed to offer a benefit to Pokémon of that kingdom's type.
    • Ignis has a giant pool of lava in the middle, with criss-cross bridges over its breadth, and several places where pillars of fire appear and disappear seemingly at random. Fire-types can pass through the lava and fire without difficulty, but most other Pokémon have to do maneuvering.
    • Fontaine has a river cutting the battlefield in half. Two switches activate floodgates to stem the river or let it flow; if the gates are open, only Water-types can cross.
    • Violight has just about every other tile of the battlefield containing an electrical field, divided into four segments, with a button on each segment to trigger a surge on the opposite corner for Electric-type damage. Electric-type Pokémon can walk through the voltage without trouble, but other types have to follow the paths.
    • Avia consists of a set of floating islands, with springboards that will propel any Pokémon that stands on them to a fixed destination on another island. Flying-types (and Pokémon with Levitate) can't use the springboards, but can freely fly between islands if they have enough Range - including to an island that cannot be stopped on by non-Flying-types.
    • Viperia has several puddles of poisonous goo scattered around the battlefield, inflicting Poison status on any non-Poison-type Pokémon that have the misfortune to stand in them.
    • Nixtorm has two patches of snow on either side of a massive frozen lake, with a couple of ice floes in small rivers that serve as fixed lifts. Any Pokémon that isn't Ice-type will slide uncontrollably across the ice and have their Range reduced by one tile while on snow.
    • Dragnor really takes this home — several "nodes" are scattered throughout the battlefield such that it is impossible to be three tiles away from one. They randomly vary between healing, dealing Grass-type damage, Fire-type damage, dealing Water-type damage, or dealing Electric-type damage to any Pokémon that comes to a stop perpendicular to a node. Dragon-type Pokémon resist all four of those types. One does not simply walk into Dragnor and expect to come away with a victory.
  • Saints Row: The Third has Matt Miller, an emo-goth-cyberpunk master hacker and boss of his own emo-goth-cyberpunk gang, meeting The Boss in a duel which takes place in the gang's usenet, which looks like a TRON-eque cyberspace. While The Boss advances through the virtual reality, Miller constantly changes the laws of physics to slow his/her advance and mocks The Boss with quotes of how he controls the very fabric of this world. In the end, when he meets The Boss at boss fight arena, he takes a form of giant dragon-demon and boasts "Do you understand? I AM A GOD HERE!" Then Kinzie copies the avatar's code and applies it to The Boss...
  • In StarCraft, the Zerg have the advantage that when they're fighting on creep (the stuff their buildings grow on) their units heal faster. In Starcraft II, Zerg Units also receive a speed boost when walking on creep.
  • The Hoonan of Star Ruler 2 - a race of cyborgs- become more effective at fighting when their fleets are near friendly Mainframe data hub stations, while weaker when far away.
  • In Super Paper Mario, Dimentio attempts this by warping himself and the heroes to Dimension D, where his strength is multiplied by 256. What he didn't realize is that this power boost applies to everyone who enters, not just him, so it didn't really change anything.
  • Sword of the Stars: Fighting in your own system gets you support from defence platforms, planetary surface-to-space missiles and, in the second game, System Defence Boats. On the flipside, it also opens your planets up for Orbital Bombardment.
  • In Ten Minute Space Strategy, any planet with "ancient defences" trait gives in-battle effectivity bonus to any of your fleets on said planet.
  • In Total War: Warhammer almost all factions gain some kind of advantage for fighting in areas they control and can boost it in various ways through character effects and buildings, typically gaining greater benefits in better established territory. The Wood Elves are unusual both for gaining many benefits for fighting in a forest regardless of if they currently own it and the high quality of those boosts. They have an unusual territory mechanic that revolves around gaining control of scattered magical forests, with minimal benefits for holding regions outside their immediate vicinity, and thus can reliably expect to be fighting over forested territory much of the time.
  • In Touhou, native gods (that is, gods worshiped only in a small region) can surpass wide-ranging and high-ranking gods in power as long as they are within their area.
  • Similarly to the aforementioned Zerg, the Undead race in Warcraft III receives a health regeneration boost when standing on blighted ground, which is generated by their buildings. In fact, undead units can only regenerate health passively on blighted ground, but do so faster compared to the races.

    Web Comics 
  • Champions of Far'aus: Realms created by one or more deities are so strongly tied to them that other deities who had no part in it’s creation can be forced out & barred from entering it by the ones who did, and any changes made to a realm by visiting deities can be easily reversed by the creators of it.
    • Lizabeth notes that while she could technically enter the dreamscape to help the group after they get trapped there by Hypnoron, because she had no part in creating it, Hypnoron would be be able to immediately undo her work, and force her out.

    Web Videos 
  • The Kua-Toa of Tales From My D&D Campaign are truly amphibious, able to breath air or water with equal ease. This is arguably their biggest single advantage in their war against humanity, for it means that they may attack humanity at will, but we can never attack them back.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Earthbenders have an advantage when they have access to, well, earth, and the Fire Nation exploited this by creating a prison of an offshore rig made of metal which they could not bend.
    • Waterbenders also have an advantage at their homes at the polar ice caps and the swamp where there is an abundance of ice, snow, and water to draw from. The Fire Nation formed prisons where there was limited access to water and the air was kept dry to help combat this. Waterbenders are also more powerful at night, due to the influence the moon has on the tides — and even moreso during the full moon. Zhao tried to combat this by killing the Moon Spirit's physical incarnation, essentially killing the moon.
    • Airbenders, of course, can bend anywhere there is air, which is part of the reason that the Fire Nation started the war by committing a surprise genocide against them.
    • Firebenders are more powerful in daylight, when they have the heat of the sun to draw upon. Firebenders also get more power in temperate regions, since they use their own heat to create their fire. Firebending political dissidents against the Fire Nation find themselves in a giant icebox.
  • In The Batman episode "The End of the Batman", Wrath and Scorn invade the Batcave and start blowing everything up. Wrath boasts that Batman and Robin are finished, but Batman says, "You forgot one important thing: home court advantage." He uses a device to summon a swarm of bats that overwhelm Wrath. Meanwhile, Robin gets a training robot to surprise attack Scorn.
  • In one episode of Cyberchase, the gang visit Radopolis and compete in a skate-off with the villains, where they are losing at first because the competition rink is different from the practice rink, due to Hacker's villainous meddling.
  • Miraculous Ladybug: In the episode "Syren", the titular mermaid villain floods Paris. The underwater environment causes issues for Ladybug and Chat Noir who can't breathe underwater. This is remedied by special potions which grant them aquatic abilities.
  • Primal:
    • The Raptors refuse to pursue Spear and Fang into the territory of the giant bats after sundown and return to the field of tall grass but when the bats are lured into the same field at sunrise, they have no qualms about attacking them and seem to have the advantage.
    • The Night Feeder hunts ravenously at night where it tends to blend within the darkness where any "tresspasser" is unable to make out what the beast even looks like and goes in for the kill. When Spear and Fang are in the middle of a foggy location, it can also be seen as an accidental death sentence where the Night Feeder seems to have depth perception of where its enemies are located.
  • Inverted in Steven Universe with Lapis Lazuli, who has hydrokinesis. A projection of the Homeworld's intended terraforming of Earth and Peridot not even knowing what rain is implies the Gem Homeworld has little to no water. If true, Lapis is nothing hot on Homeworld, but on Earth (which is primarily covered in water), her powers make her near god-like.

    Real Life 
  • Militaries deliberately take advantage of terrain wherever they are. Nations' borders have historically been drawn by geography determining where it would be too difficult for one side or the other to cross into, take, and hold enemy territory. Usually at rivers and mountains. In campaigns, the home field advantage is based on the fact that the aggressor has to move into hostile territory and then either find supplies (often destroyed by the defender) or bring them in over the long distance from home through said hostile territory, where they could easily be destroyed by the defender.
    • One main military strategy that's always been extremely popular is the strategically offensive/tactically defensive campaign: force the enemy on to a battlefield of your choosing and then force them to be the ones making the (costly) initial attack.
    • Subverted with the Battle of Hastings. The English were on their home turf facing off against the invading Norman mercenaries and possessed the superior position at the top of Senlac Hill. Not only that, but William's offensive tactics (archer screen softens the English infantry, then his own infantry engages, then his cavalry breaks through and routs them) weren't as effective as he'd hoped, due in part to the English shield wall blunting his archers' effectiveness and the English ranks maintaining strength and cohesion. The Norman charge was thus ineffective and became mired in fighting when the English withstood it (and taking heavy casualties on the way up the hill), forcing him to commit his cavalry sooner than anticipated, which splashed off the English shield wall with minimal impact. The Norman left flank broke and fled, forcing the rest of the Normans into retreat. The English army then began to pursue, only for the Normans to regroup and slaughter most of the knights. With the loss of English cohesion and the successful regroup, the Normans managed to turn the tide and win the day. The English had every advantage and if they hadn't abandoned their superior position to chase the fleeing Normans, they would have won. Never bring foot-soldiers to a horse-race.
    • Home field advantage is why a resistance/insurgency is so dangerous: the occupying force is in a foreign land, generally far from logistical support, and depending on the nature of the occupancy, possibly among hostile locals. The insurgents/resistance fighters, on the other hand, have familiarity of terrain, diverse logistics, and depending on the popularity of the uprising, an entire population of help.
  • Historians generally agree that the American Revolution was Britain's Vietnam (though they may never use those words). They won most conventional battles, but they had no real hope of winning the war. America was on the other side of the world, meaning they couldn't respond quickly or meaningfully to events on the ground, and every victory cost them hearts and minds. Hell, the mere presence of "foreign" troops in the colonies was one of the first causes of the conflict! (See also: virtually every conflict in which an underdog has held off a vastly superior invading army.) It also didn't help that Britain wasn't using her best troops (which were stationed elsewhere in the Empire).
  • There are home field disadvantages. If one's own army is invading then the other side's peasants will be the victims of Plunder whereas your own will be safe to provide revenue. Furthermore one's own Puppet States will have no support if they choose to defect whereas the enemy ruler while being invaded will have to deal with this. These were many times in the past a strong consideration before the days of nationalism made the general population identify enough with their government to have a high probability of taking sides with the home team instead of just getting out of the way.
  • In Hoplite battles there was a considerable home field advantage simply because a Greek soldier's gear was heavy. Also, for a long time most cities were defended only by militia who had to get back to their crops and had a limited interest in politics to say the least.
  • Modern military bases can try to be very subtle about this. One of the more advanced tricks of modern security is to arrange the geography of the base so that intruders (not necessarily invading armies, but even individual thieves) are encouraged to take certain paths, thus making them easier to spot by security personnel. This involves building hills, placing trees, etc. and taking advantage of known human proclivities.
  • Happened thrice in Russia, during Sweden's invasion, Napoleon's invasion and World War II. The Russians choose to dig in, hoping to grind their opponents in a slow war of attrition. The invaders were forced to keep moving with their supply lines stretched thin and had to survive the Russian winter, which slowed them down and killed some of their forces, while the Russians were able to regroup and rearm themselves for a counterattack. They also employed guerrilla and scorched earth tactics (e.g. burning Moscow to the ground to keep it out of Napoleon's hands). The only time this didn't work is when the Mongols invaded Russia when it was still a collection of squabbling princedoms.
  • Averted for Egypt during the Six Day War. Despite being heavily backed by the USSR, the Egyptians performed poorly in fighting the Israelis in the Sinai desert, and were driven all the way back to the Suez Canal.
  • In a somewhat more specific application of this trope than most, one factor contributing to Prussian success at the Battle of Leuthen was the fact that part of the battlefield had been a Prussian parade ground in the past, ensuring that many of the soldiers there would be quite familiar with the terrain already.
  • This is the basis of the 15th Stratagem: that at least one enemy and one ally will derive their strength from their position. While still useful to attempt to "lure the tiger from the mountain," it's also wise to protect the mountain on which your own tiger rests. If the enemy manages to make it there, your ally will not have to travel far to complete the kill.
  • Crocodilians might as well have this as their modus operandi for hunting. When targeting land animals, they often rely on lunging out of the water, grab onto the prey, and drag them under the surface where the target can't swim away and likely starts drowning ontop of getting attacked. When targeting large fish, they often grab and take the conflict to shore and deprive the fish of water to breath or swim away through.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Home Turf Advantage



Syren floods all of Paris, giving herself a huge advantage over Ladybug, who can still suffocate despite her Miraculous.

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