Down to the Last Match

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Last matches.jpg

When fictional characters desperately need to light something with a match, they will likely find only three or so remaining in the matchbook or box. All but the last will be duds or blow out, and the last will probably do its share of flickering but stay lit.

Not to be confused with Down to the Last Play, which is still a similar trope. See also Going by the Matchbook, Tentative Light, One Bullet Left.

Examples of Down to the Last Match include:

Literature[edit | hide]

Live-Action TV[edit | hide]

  • One of the earliest episodes of Gilligan's Island (from the black-and-white days) plays with this, in that there aren't very many matches left and most of them were ruined in the storm that wrecked the boat. The second-last match worked, but the fire went out quickly because of poor air circulation, so the Skipper told Gilligan to blow on the fire once it was started. The Skipper lit the last match... and Gilligan followed the Skipper's order to the letter, immediately blowing out the match.

Video Games[edit | hide]

  • There's a brain teaser about this, which was used in Professor Layton and the Curious Village but has appeared elsewhere: "You are stuck in a remote cabin in the woods, with only one match. You see a stove, an oil lamp, a fireplace and a candle in the cabin. What should you light first?" The answer, of course: The match!

Western Animation[edit | hide]