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.
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. Its 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.
- 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. 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, 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.
- Rio 2: The Red and Blue 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... until he's told he scored for the Red team's goal, losing the blue macaws the game.
- 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.
- 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 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 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 her 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.
- 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 but were only leading by one (2-1) near the end of the match, so they purposely scored an own goal to force overtime. It worked, Barbados won 4-2.
- 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.
- 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.
- Several of the goals attributed to goaltenders have been the result being the last opposing player to touch the puck before an own goal:
- 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 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.
- The Buzz on Maggie: In one episode, Maggie coaches Pubert for various sports in hopes of getting him to beat their Aldrin at one of them after he humiliates Pubert. 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, Pubert gets bored of playing, tosses the ball, and manages to make a goal... In Aldrin's basket.
- 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.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In "Common Ground", Quibble Pants' and Rainbow Dash's attempts to win over Quibble's prospective stepdaughter Wind Sprint by convicting her he's a sporty sort of person culminate in them playing a hoofball match against Ponyville's team, hoofball 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. After flubbing his first two scores in a rather humiliating manner, he 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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, when Boris switches the football team's game plans with Confederate battle plans from the Civil War. They actually start winning with the plans, until Bullwinkle realizes that he should be running towards the north, which would have him scoring towards his own goal. Fortunately, Rocky is able to set him straight.