Follow TV Tropes


This Is a Competition

Go To

...and I'm here to win.

If you've watched any competitive reality shows, you've undoubtedly heard one or more contestants utter this line at least once. Maybe they've watched too many reality shows themselves, or maybe they were fed this line by the show's crew members... Either way, reality contestants always feel the need to remind their fellow contestants or the viewer (via the Confession Cam) that they are in a competition and they will do whatever it takes to win.

Interestingly, this line also shows up in shows where the contestants have absolutely no say in who gets eliminated that week and have to rely on their own personal performance to stay in the game. Those same contestants usually don't make any sort of attempt to sabotage the other players' efforts either.

Usually comes after I'm Not Here to Make Friends and sometimes before. Interestingly, the characters who announce that this is a competition and they're here to win? Rarely seem to win.


    open/close all folders 

  • My Little Eye: Rex's state of mind throughout the film. It's clear that he really wants to win the one million dollars.
  • Played for drama in Rocky. World Heavyweight Champion Apollo Creed is fighting Rocky Balboa as a publicity stunt and doesn't take it seriously, saying he'll take Rocky down in three rounds. Apollo's trainer takes him to task over this attitude when Rocky is still standing after his second round. "He doesn't know it's a damn show! He thinks it's a damn fight!"
  • Starter for 10: The attitude of Patrick, who takes it all very very seriously:
    "Excuse me! This man has been sent from the offices of UNIVERSITY CHALLENGE!''

  • The Witch of Knightcharm: LaTasha, a rookie witch who used to perform on a dance-themed reality show, is able to draw upon this principle when she learns that her new magic school's 'orientation' is a giant Death Course where the students race (and are allowed to attack) each other. When other witches begin distracting her she points out that the only thing which matters at that moment is surviving the racing competition, then focuses on the task at hand.

    Live Action TV 
  • In The Amazing Race, using "This is a race," is usually not an indication the team is going to lose, and (especially later the series) is generally used to show the team is actually running the race and not holding Honor Before Reason. Also quite possibly the most quoted non-Phil line in the series.
    • You can actually see the how this attitude changes in the US version, where early on teams who held a competitive attitude over a friendly one were seen as unlikable or villainous by the other teams, and alliances were seen as a necessity by a lot of the teams. The shifting towards a more general competitive attitude was a major plot-line in Season 10, where the teams who valued friendship over the competition were portrayed as inept, while the most competitive team, Dustin & Kandice, were seen by the other teams and portrayed by the editing as the villains, but were wildly popular and are still seen as one of the best teams to ever run the race.
    • Interestingly enough, this was a driving force of conflict between a team in season 26. The season was an experiment with teams who’d never met each other, this time with half the teams as “blind dates”. Bergen and Kurt (both men) decided quickly that there was no spark between. While Bergen wanted to keep going, the lack of chemistry basically made Kurt give up about a third of the way through the season. Bergen wanted to keep competing because there was a million dollars on the line and he wanted to pay off his original student loans and get a masters’ degree. Kurt came from a rich family and didn’t need the money. He only did the show because he was from a small town, which limited his dating pool. He just wanted to meet a guy. Kurt made them quit a task in Germany that incurred them several penalties they’d never be able to overcome and got a Mercy Kill.
  • America's Next Top Model: No less than four different girls will remind us of this fact every. single. episode.
    • After the first elimination, this trope is probably the strongest in use. And the contestants are surprised about the fact.
      • 'Okay, this really became a competition after [insert model here] went home. This is actually a competition.'
  • Fear Factor
  • In The Glee Project, this was one of Season One's Lindsay's Stock Phrases.
  • The more competitive teams in My Kitchen Rules make this statement whenever they perceive the other teams getting too comfortable with each other. Among the 6th season's first group, there were Ash and Camilla, the self-professed food snobs who found that the menu Robert and Lynzey was serving in their Instant Restaurant was too simple/homely, and said that they should really get out of their comfort zone and make something more refined, because "this is a competition, not having friends over for dinner".
  • Project Runway: Most notably used by Season One's Wendy, who portrayed herself as the Team Mom in order to manipulate her peers because, well, This Is a Competition.
  • RuPaul's Drag Race: "This isn't Rupaul's School for Girls!"
    • see also "This isn't Rupaul's best friends race!"
  • Survivor: "This Is A Game" got used so many times during All-Stars it practically became the season's Arc Words.
  • There's at least one competitor like this in almost every season of Hell's Kitchen. They have a tendency to last pretty long in the competition, too, probably because the producers are able to capitalize on the drama they create.

    Video Games  
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel has a rare positive example. Your characters are all members of Class VII, a special group of students within the Thors Military Academy who are special experiment by being a blended group of nobles and commoners, the two groups having a long-simmering conflict that is on the verge of reaching boiling point. Part of their curriculum involves field studies in which the students explore separate locations in the greater world of Erebonia, split into two groups: Group A and Group B. From the beginning, Jusis Albarea (son of a high-ranking Duke) and Machias Regnitz (son of a commoner governor) are at each other's throats and during their first field study constantly dog Group B with their bickering. When the two are placed in Group A for the second field study, it looks like it's going to be more of the same. Then, on the train to the destination, Rean Schwarzer cuts through their sniping at each other, pointing out that in the previous field study, their group got an E, which is a low failing grade on a paper exam. He then points out that the structure of their field studies is such that it places them directly in competition with Group B and asks if they like idea of losing again. Both express surprise at the idea of him being a competitive type, but admit that he has a point and concede to at least trying to work together and seeing the other's point of view. Of course, it's not all smooth sailing, but by the end of the field study, Jusis actually joins the group in rescuing Machias, who has been illegally jailed by his father, and the two form their first successful combat link.

    Visual Novel 

    Web Animation 
  • In The Leet World, various characters state this, especially Cortez in the first half of season one and Westheimer in the second half.

    Western Animation 
  • Total Drama is a parody of competitive reality shows. Naturally, some characters, especially antagonists, take this position. When Izzy objects to a suggestion to vote Owen off, and goes on about how much fun he is. Heather replies "This is an elimination game, not a dance. We need to vote someone off if we want to stay in the game".
  • Fry in the Futurama episode "The Duh-Vinci Code", when he competes in Who Dares To Be a Millionaire?. He loses in the first question.
    Morbo: Are you ready to play?
    Fry: I didn't come here to play, I came here to win. Now let's play.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: "A Trivial Pursuit" centers around Twilight Sparkle's attempt to keep her winning streak in Trivia Trot alive. Her OCD gets the better of her when Pinkie Pie unexpectedly joins the game and throws off her calculations. Spike tries to get Twilight to calm down, but Trivia Trot is Serious Business to Twilight.


Video Example(s):


A Common Enemy

In "The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel," Jusis Albarea and Machias Regnitz's petty bickering has already detailed a field study for one group and is threatening to do the same for another. Rean Schwarzer cuts through to the heart of the matter, pointing out that the Group A and Group B structure of their field studies is such that it places the two groups directly in competition with each other. When Jusis says that he didn't take him for a competitive type, he admits that he cares just as much about winning and losing as the next guy. He cites the example of their recent battle against their instructor, Sara, that he knew she was insanely strong and they had no chance of winning, but that they could have at least evened the odds a little more with better teamwork. "This is a competition" as a motivational tactic. Who knew?

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / ThisIsACompetition

Media sources: