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Own Goal

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Geoff: Gavin wins it for Ray by erecting the Tower on Ray's place!
Gavin: NO!
Ray: YES!
Geoff: The Tower goes to Ray! Ray wins the Tower of Pimps!
Achievement Hunter Minecraft Series, "Episode 37 - Clouds"

It's a tiebreaker in the game that is being played, and it's up to the main character to score the winning point to win. He shoots, he scores!... into his own goal, that is.

A trope that sometimes occurs in any kind of sports genre where a character is given a chance to be a superstar for their own team, only for them to blow it so hard that they score in their own team's goal. It usually happens if the character is a Butt-Monkey, The Ditz, or an Idiot Hero within their own series that they accidentally do this.

This trope actually does happen in real life in many sports. It is what's known as an "Own Goal" and may occur near goals in melees where a player will accidentally score on their own goal from the ball ricocheting into it. Other factors may be from disorientation where it messes with the character's observational skills.

Usually Played for Laughs. Subtrope of Nice Job Breaking It, Hero. An example of Epic Fail. Related to Yank the Dog's Chain and may lead to a Downer Ending.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Captain Tsubasa: One of the many humiliations that befalls resident Butt-Monkey Ryo Ishizaki is when he scores an own goal in a game against the Hanawa team. He later redeems himself for it, though.
  • Kuroko's Basketball:
    • Seijuurou Akashi purposefully scores an own goal when playing against Shutoku to make his team get serious, as he thought they had gotten too relaxed after initially getting a large lead on their opponents, resulting in Shutoku overtaking them. He then promises that if they lose the game, he will pay for the own goal by quitting the team and ripping out his eyes.
    • The Generation of Miracles' last game in middle school concluded with one of them making an own goal. They did this for a lark, so that the scoreboard showed a score of 111-11 (with the Generation of Miracles winning). This is considered the height of the Generation of Miracles' arrogance and it is part of the reason why protagonist Kuroko left them and nearly quit basketball altogether.
  • Sgt. Frog: In Episode 42a, Keroro and his platoon are facing off Momoka's butler, Paul, and his team for a chance to win a trip to Momoka's private spa resort. During the last few minutes of the game, both teams are still tied 0-0. Realizing they still have a chance to win, Keroro's overconfidence and inflated ego get the better of him, as he uses his Finishing Move using his hands right into his own goal, therefore losing to Paul 0-1. Needless to say, Keroro is berated by his platoon for being so impetuous. It get worse in the dub, when he blames his error on his own teammates.
  • Slam Dunk:
    • Played for Drama during the final seconds of the match between Kainan and Shohoku, wherein the novice Sakuragi passes the ball to Vice-Captain Takasago (who, in fairness, kind of looks like Captain Akagi).
    • Played for Laughs when Sakuragi accidentally taps the ball into the basket of Ryonan during their InterHigh qualifiers match.

  • KikoRiki: "Soccer Game" has the cast play a soccer match to settle a debate as to whether strategy or attitude are more important in sports. Carlin (playing the gatekeeper) scores the very first goal this way; he got so distracted throwing the soccer ball between him and the opposing team's gatekeeper, Rosa, he didn't notice until too late that he accidentally shot it into his own goal.

    Comic Books 
  • Archie Comics: One story in Betty #105 has Archie shooting in the wrong basket and scoring for the opposing team during a basketball game. Narurally, this earns him a great deal of ridicule. Betty tries to help him out by making sure he avoids anything that remotely reminds him of basketball.

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes:
    • In one story arc, Calvin plays baseball at school. He gets assigned to play the outfield, and goes so far outfield that he doesn't even notice when it's his team's turn at bat (he can see the teams switching sides but nobody bothers to tell him to come in). Someone hits a fly ball in his direction, and he catches it to get an out—and only afterwards realizes it's his own teammate at bat. The rest of the team turns on him for this mistake (even though, again, nobody told him to come in), and Calvin quits the team in response.
    • In another Sunday strip, Calvin and Hobbes play a two-person football game, and keep introducing bizarre new rules to give themselves advantages. At one point, Hobbes claims that he swapped the two teams' end zones, so if Calvin scores a touchdown he'll actually earn points for Hobbes' team instead.
    • In another strip, Calvin is playing with a baseball and bat by himself when he hits the ball high into the air, then runs and actually manages to catch the ball. He celebrates his accomplishment for a moment before realizing that he's out.

    Film — Animation 
  • Early Man: The first time Dug ends up on the pitch (via a case of mistaken identity) he manages to get possession of the ball and kicks it into his team's goal. As the opposition celebrate, Dug is dragged in front of the Lord of Bronze City and his identity as an outsider exposed.
  • Rio 2: When Blu accidentally breaches a territory rule between the blue macaws and their rival tribe, the scarlet macaws, while looking for a gift for Jewel, the birds decide to go to "war" against each other to settle the dispute of ownership of the territory he intruded upon, with "war" being a match of air soccer. Blu is substituted for one of the players near the end of the game, and seems to make a winning point... until he finds out all too late that he scored for the scarlet macaw team's goal, losing the blue macaws both the game and the territory. Jewel's father Eduardo in particular, who already sees him as a poor choice for his daughter's husband due to being formerly domesticated, is furious with him for this mistake, adding it to his growing list of reasons for considering him unwelcome among the wild blue macaws.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In the Abbott and Costello film Here Come the Co-Eds, Oliver (Costello) makes a shot at goal in a basketball game that bounces off the backboard, flies the full length of the court, and lands in the opposition's basket.
  • Narrowly averted in Kenny & Company. Kenny starts running in the wrong direction with the football, but Doug runs after him, grabs his shirt, and says, "Other way, dummy!"
  • In The Odd Life of Timothy Green, Timothy's parents wished for a child who would score the winning soccer goal. They didn't say for which team.

  • One story in Isaac Asimov's George and Azazel has George ask the Azazel to make his friend a better basketball player. The demon adjusts the reflexes to the point that the ball always flies into the basket as soon as it touches the guy's hands... problem is, George, while explaining the rules, forgot to mention that you're only supposed to hit one of the baskets. Once the coach almost strangles the poor player, he's forced to quit.
  • In Lily and Dunkin, Dunkin goes off his meds in order to improve his basketball skills, but during his manic episode, he makes a basket for the other team.
  • Mindblind: During Nathaniel's short-lived attempt at soccer when he was seven, he kept running in the wrong direction no matter how many times his father tried to explain where the goal was.
  • In Ratburger, Zoe smuggles her rat Armitage to school and he climbs onto her head in class. This incident is listed in a comedic list of other strange, embarrassing things that could happen at school, one of which is "You score a goal at soccer and walk around high-fiving your classmates only to be told by the coach that it is, in fact, an own goal."
  • In Unseen Academicals, scoring own goals is one of the title team's many problems as they're learning to play Foot-the-Ball. Hilariously, when the goalposts are switched between teams at halftime, one of the wizards attempts to argue that the already-scored goals should be transferred between the teams as well.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Friends: After Joey refuses to accept money to cover his bills Chandler attempts to deliberately lose at foosball as a way of giving him the money anyway. The plan goes well until the final double-or-nothing round where Joey hits the ball only for it to bounce off the wall and back into his goal.
  • In the Full House episode, "Wrong Way Tanner", Michelle is so excited about her first soccer game that she kicks the ball the wrong way and scores the winning goal for the opposing team, thus earning the titular nickname from her teammates.
  • The Partridge Family: In "Days of Acne and Roses," it's mentioned that an awkward boy with a crush on Laurie lost a game this way, causing the opposing team to carry him out on their shoulders.


  • One line in Paul McCartney's song, "We Got Married", refers to this trope.
    Working hard for the dream/Scoring goals for the other team

American Football
  • American football has seen a remarkable incident of an "own touchdown", on October 25th 1964 during a game between the Minnesota Vikings and the San Francisco '49ers, when the Vikings' defensive end Jim Marshall lost his sense of direction, ran the ball 66 yards down the field into his own end zone for a "touchdown", and threw the ball away in celebration, scoring a two-point safety against his own team.
    • A slightly less stupid version of this is kickoff returners taking the ball out of the endzone and then changing their mind and trying to down it, either because they didn't realize they crossed the goal line or they forgot that that's not legal. While none of these plays will still be making lowlight reels 60 years later like Marshall's botch they still result in the same two point safety and loss of possession.


  • Strictly speaking, own goals don't exist in the NHL. If a team manages to score on their own net, credit for the goal is given to the last player on the opposing team to have touched the puck. Several goaltender goals were achieved in this manner:
    • The very first NHL goal attributed to a goaltender was a result of Colorado Rockies defenseman Rob Ramage making a pass back to the defensive blue line while in the offensive end after a save by New York Islanders goalie Billy Smith on November 28, 1979. The pass missed the intended target, and, as a result of the Rockies goaltender being pulled as part of a delayed penalty callnote  slid into the empty net, with the goal being attributed to Smith.note 
    • On January 2, 1999, Ottawa Senators goalie Damian Rhodes was credited with a goal after New Jersey Devils Lyle Odelein attempted to pass the puck to fellow defenseman Scott Neidermayer. Neidermayer failed to stop the pass, and, as the Devils goalie had been pulled due to a delayed Senators penalty, the puck ended up in the Devils net.
    • On February 14, 2004, after a save by Buffalo Sabres goalie Mika Noronen, Toronto Maple Leafs forward Robert Reichel attempted a pass from behind the net, only to miss completely. The Leafs had pulled their goalie for an extra attacker in an attempt to tie the game with roughly a minute left, and the puck sailed into the empty net.
    • On April 15, 2006, after a save by Nashville Predators goalie Chris Mason, Phoenix Coyotes forward Geoff Sanderson accidentally missed a pass and sent the puck into his team's empty net on a delayed penalty call.
    • On December 26, 2011, while in the offensive zone and while his team had pulled their goalie for an extra attacker, New Jersey Devils forward Ilya Kovalchuk attempted to pass the puck back to defenseman Adam Henrique after a failed shot on goal. The pass went wide, bounced off the boards, and ended up in the empty net. Carolina Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward was credited with the goal.
    • Devils goalie Martin Brodeur scored this way twice in his career:
      • February 15, 2000: In a game against the Philadelphia Flyers, Brodeur launched the puck into the other side of the ice. The Devils took a delayed penalty before the Flyers retook control of the puck. On the way out of their defensive end, forward Daymond Langkow was checked by a Devils forward, and accidentally knocked the puck toward his own empty net as he tried to keep his balance.
      • March 21, 2013: In a game against the Hurricanes, a breakaway attempt was stopped by Brodeur in a play where the one of the Devils' defensemen took a delayed penalty call. In the resulting play, a behind-the-net pass from forward Jordan Staal missed the defenseman and landed in the Hurricanes' net.
  • There are a few very infamous own goals in the Stanley Cup Playoffs:
    • In the 1986 Smythe Division Final, the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames were tied 2-2 in the third period of Game 7 when Oilers defenseman Steve Smith skated out from behind his net and passed the puck off his own goalie's skate into the net. The Flames would go on to win the game 3-2 and series 4-3, denying the Oilers the chance to be champions for a third straight year.
    • In Game 5 of the 2007 Stanley Cup Final between the Ottawa Senators and the Anaheim Ducks, with the Ducks leading the series 3-1 and the game 2-1 late in the second period, Senators defenseman Chris Phillips lost control of the puck while skating from behind his own net and the puck was accidentally put in by goaltender Ray Emery. The Ducks would go on to win the game 6-2 and the championship. This makes Chris Phillips the only player in NHL history to score a Cup-winning goal for the opposing team.


  • In soccer, an own goal typically happens in multi-player melees near the goal, when a defender tries to tackle an offensive player, or make a pass back to his own side, and accidentally knocks the ball into the net. It's also regarded as an own goal if a shot bounces off a defender into the goal, or if a defender or goal keeper manages to touch a shot but fails to stop it before it goes into the goal.
  • In the 1994 FIFA World Cup, Colombian soccer player Andres Escobar's own goal contributed to their loss against the United States, resulting in him being shot dead by disgruntled gamblers a week later. It was reported that his killers shouted "Goal!" after each shot.
  • In the 1994 Caribbean Cup qualification match between Barbados and Grenada, Barbados needed to win the match by two goals in order to advance to the next round but were only leading by one (2-1) near the end of the match, so they purposely scored an own goal to force extra time. They did so because of an unusual rule put in place for the tournament that a goal scored in extra time counted as two goals. It worked, Barbados won 4-2 and advanced.
  • In the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, dark horse team England saw their cup run end rather tragically this way in the semifinal against Japan. The game went into stoppage time 1-1, at which point a Japanese player crossed the ball into the final third and English player Laura Bassett attempted to clear while sliding, but got the angle wrong and sent it into her own goal off the crossbar. They went on to defeat Germany in the 3rd place match.
  • The 2001 UEFA Cup Final match between Liverpool and Deportivo Alavés is a rare occurence where an own goal is the deciding factor that determines the winner. Liverpool got a free kick in extra time, and Gary McAllister, their best dead-ball kicker at the time went on to make a shot. Alavés' player Delfí Geli attempted to block the shot with a header, but he accidentally put the ball into his own net. Liverpool ended up winning the match after that, thanks to the golden goal rule.
  • A lapse in judgement or miscommunication between the defence can also result in an own goal as seen in the Australia vs. Uruguay exhibition match in 2006 whereby the Australian defender miskicked backwards to his goalkeeper and into the net.

    Video Games 
  • CouncilRyS RPG: One of the strongest physical attacks that Ceres Fauna can learn is "Soccer Smash", the description of which notes that using it to deal high damage also results in Fauna scoring in her own goal - a Mythology Gag to when she accidentally did exactly that in a stream of Nintendo Switch Sports.
  • In International Superstar Soccer Deluxe, not only is it possible to kick the ball into your own team's goal, the announcer has a shocked voice clip for this specific event: "Oh no! Own goal!?"
  • Super Soccer for the SNES allows you to kick the ball into your own goal. This results in a brief audio clip of the words "oh no", while your goalkeeper is shown on his knees looking despondent, with a player giving him a pat on the back.

    Web Animation 
  • AstroLOLogy: In "Tricks & Flicks", after being allowed to substitute in a soccer match, Aries scores a winning kick... in his own team's goal. All Sagittarius (their goalie) can do is glare at him, while Scorpio (their coach) falls face-first to the ground.
    "Aries may often have all the tricks and flicks, but seldom the direction."

    Western Animation 
  • The Buzz on Maggie: In one episode, Maggie coaches Pupert for various sports in hopes of getting him to beat their brother Aldrin at one of them after he humiliates Pupert. After losing in all of them, Maggie invents a sport called "Fun Ball" where scoring involves having fun when shooting the balls into baskets. At the end, Pupert gets bored of playing, tosses the ball, and manages to make a goal... In Aldrin's basket.
  • Dennis the Menace (1986): In "The Longest Half-Yard", Dennis and his friends play a football game against a rival team. When Joey has the ball, one of the players from the other team turns him around as he runs towards their goal, resulting in him ending up scoring a touchdown for them.
  • Jimmy Two-Shoes: In the episode "Bend It Like Wreckem", Jimmy fills in for soccer star Wreckem and tries to score the winning goal, only for the ball to ricochet and fly into the wrong goal, decimating the cheese monster goalie who already had a hole shot through him.
  • Kid vs. Kat: In "Kat To The Future Part 1", Coop becomes disoriented from getting tackled by the other team after showboating too much and kicks the ball into the wrong goal, with everyone in town, including his past self, calling him out on how badly he screwed up. Luckily, he manages to fix this mistake using Kat's time machine when he tells his past self about it.
  • Legends of Chamberlain Heights: This happens to Grover in the Season 1 finale episode "25th Hour." After he makes the winning throw to send the Black Holes to the playoffs and receives fame from it, they lose the next game by 118 points (12 - 130) and Grover himself only manages to score two points, in the wrong basket.
  • Miraculous Ladybug: The episode "Penalteam" has Chloé get herself akumatized during a class soccer game so she can bully everyone else out of playing, forcing Ladybug to assemble her own team of Miraculous wielders to stop her. Things hit a bit of a snag when she finds out that Adrien/Chat Noir is terrible at soccer, as proven when, playing as Adrien in the casual class game, he picks the ball up with his hands instead of kicking it. Things only get worse when he as Chat Noir plays against Penalteam, wherein he scores the first goal for his team... into their own net. He does get better as the match progresses, but it's telling that his best contribution to the match is when his Miraculous begins timing out during overtime, giving the heroes the idea to stall Penalteam out with their respective powers until she gets fed up and calls it quits.
  • Molly of Denali: In "Turn On the Northern Lights," During basketball practice, Tooey dunks into a hoop...on the other side of the gym, and not where his team's hoop is. Thank goodness it was just practice.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In "Common Ground", Quibble Pants and Rainbow Dash spend most of the episode attempting to win over Wind Sprint, the daughter of Quibble's new lover Clear Sky, by convicting her he's a sporty sort of person. This culminates in them playing a buckball match against Ponyville's team, buckball being a sport where earth ponies attempt to buck a ball past the opposing team's pegasus into a basket held by their team's unicorn. Being so Athletically Challenged, though, he flubs his first two scores in a rather humiliating manner, but then manages to make a perfect score... in the wrong basket. He tries to Rules Lawyer his way out of this by pointing out that the official rules don't strictly specify which basket an earth pony needs to kick a ball into to score a point, but Wind Sprint leaves the match in disgust before a ruling can be made. This is what prompts Clear Sky to eventually convince Quibble to give up on pretending to be good at something he obviously isn't.
  • In OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes Enid does this when playing for the Point Prep Ultra Football team because she both doesn't really understand the game and is too distracted playing with Rad to care, though at the begining of the match rather than the end of it.
  • Almost happens in Rocky and Bullwinkle during the "Wossamatta U." arc, Boris' team was cheating by using lethal weapons and combat tactics. The referee only allowed it because they had a mook standing behind the referee with a loaded rifle and a bayonet pushed against his back. To counter this, our heroes use some old Confederate battle plans from the the American Civil War. At one point, Bullwinkle is given the ball but he insists on literally interpreting the battle plan in which he is to run north, which would have him performing this trope. Fortunately, the referee blew the whistle ending the quarter, which according to Boris, meant the teams switch sides and thus now Bullwinkle is running the right way.
  • Schoolhouse Rock!'s segment on interjections has a football player getting spun around in a scrum, resulting in his tossing the ball the wrong way and breaking a 7-7 tie for the opposing team, leading to some choice interjections from the crowd.
    The game was tied seven all,
    When Franklin found he had the ball,
    He made the connection, in the other direction,
    and the crowd started shouting some, interjections!
    Aw! You threw the wrong way!
    Darn! You just lost the game!
    Hooray! I'm for the other team!
  • Invoked in the Wacky and Packy episode, "The New York Sweats"; when the titular caveman and wooly mammoth are roped into the titular football team, the team's star player, Bowery Joe Creameth tries to make Wacky look bad by tricking him into running in the direction opposite of what the coach told him. Packy soon catches on and uses his trunk to suck Wacky up, then blow him in the right direction, leading to the New York Sweats winning the game.
  • Takes place in the first Gobbowl match in Wakfu, courtesy of Idiot Hero Sadlygrove. With a hilarious epic buildup, at that. He whines afterward that it was still a beautiful goal, while Ruel has to be restrained by their teammates from strangling him.


Video Example(s):


Blu Scores The Wrong Goal

The Red and Blue Macaws a.k.a Spix's Macaws get into a soccer-like game using nuts after Blu accidentally breaches a territory rule between the tribes and use the game to settle things. Blu joins in on the game and seems to make a winning point (though Roberto had tried to warn him that he was going for the wrong goal and Eduardo had shouted to him to pass the ball to Roberto) until he's told he scored for the Red team's goal, losing the Spix's Macaws the game much to their dismay with Eduardo being especially disappointed and angry in Blu.

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Example of:

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