Little Giants

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to: navigation, search

American sports film released in October of 1994 starting Rick Moranis and Ed O'Neil.

Becky O'Shea (Shawna Waldron) wants to try out for the local pee-wee football team, the Cowboys, and goes through a tryout under coach Kevin O'Shea, her uncle (O'Neill). Unfortunately, she is overlooked for being a girl and proceeds to form her own football team with the other players not deemed good enough to make the Pee Wee Cowboys team. They manage to get Danny O'Shea (Moranis) as their head coach, name themselves "The Little Giants", and inevitably go up against the Cowboys in a game to decide which team gets to stay as the town's correspondent in the Pee Wee League as two teams can't play from the same town.


Tropes evident in Little Giants include:

  • Absurdly High Stakes Game: Danny and Kevin make it into one by putting their businesses on the line: Danny's gas station versus Kevin's car dealership.
  • Actor Allusion: More like Actor Disillusion. Kevin is the polar opposite of Al Bundy -- an accomplished pro-football star, a hot wife with adoring kids, loved by everyone in town, and now running a successful car dealership.
  • Big Game: Happens exactly as described when the Giants take on the Cowboys.
  • Black and Nerdy: Somewhat subverted as the lone black player on the Little Giants simply can't catch the ball... but he's considered weak because of it.
    • He later gets better by imagining the ball as a roll of toilet paper, which he practiced with to help improve his game.
  • The Cameo: Happens when coaches and players from the NFL like John Madden, Emmitt Smith, and Tim Brown show up off a bus and talk to several players of the Little Giants.
  • Chick Magnet: Devon Sawa's character Junior Floyd to the point that Becky becomes a cheerleader, thinking he'll notice her more.
  • David Versus Goliath: Especially when the Giants are a team of misfits and kids off the street or front porch compared to a Cowboys team that was handpicked by Kevin O'Shea.
  • Down to the Last Play: The Annexation of Puerto Rico.
  • Fake Rabies: Alka-Seltzer tablets were used this way for the purpose of "intimidation".
  • Friendly Enemy: Invoked here, as Danny O'Shea and Kevin O'Shea are brothers but they remain friendly to each other despite making a bet on the big game.
    • Despite his hard views on winning and losing Kevin has standards in playing, such as his reaction to foul play mentioned below, and he genuinely does love his niece even when she's playing for the opposing team.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Besides the main stars, John Madden makes an appearance in the movie (And the announcer is Harry Shearer from The Simpsons).
  • Hometown Hero: How Kevin O'Shea is treated for his success as the head coach of the Pee Wee Cowboys team due to past college achievements as a player.
  • Groin Attack: During the game, the team's punter runs up for the kick off, but misses and kicks the squatting spiker in the crotch.
  • Ironic Echo: When Danny and Kevin make their wager above, Kevin immediately says "There'll always be a place for you at the full-service pumps." At the end, Kevin asks if Danny will hold him to the bet. Danny seems to relent, but then he says "There'll always be a place for you at Danny O'Shea Chevrolet!"
  • Jerk Jock: Pretty much all of the players on the Cowboys team.
  • Miracle Rally: No surprise seeing as its a kids sports flick.
  • Missing Mom: Danny O'Shea's wife left him and Becky.
  • Nice Guy: Danny O'Shea.
  • Oh Crap: When Becky's love interest, Junior Floyd, is injured by a underhanded hit from Spike. She drops her pom poms, dons a uniform and joins in to replace him.

Spike's Dad: Whats that cheerleader doing with a helmet on?
Kevin: That's no cheerleader. That's my niece, Becky. She's pissed.

  • Ordered to Cheat / Unnecessary Roughness: Spike's dad tells his son to take Junior out. He does after the whistle, only getting a 15 yard penalty for it (and no ejection). Kevin O'Shea severely dresses down Spike's dad afterwards. Kevin points out to Spike's dad as soon as Becky walks on the field that she's pissed because of that.
  • Plucky Girl: Becky O'Shea gets rejected by her uncle and even quits to try and be a cheerleader at one point but ends up helping win the big game anyway.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Well, of course.
  • The Red Stapler: The game-winning play at the end of the movie inspired Michigan State Spartans coach Mark Dantonio to make a similar one, faking a field goal for a touchdown in their September 18, 2010 matchup against Notre Dame, bringing them a 31-34 victory rather than a 31-31 score that would have brought the game into a second overtime. After the game, Dantonio said, "By the way, the name of that play is 'Little Giants'."
    • And it happened again on December 18th, 2011, when the Carolina Panthers called the play and fullback Richie Brockel scored on a seven-yard run. The Panthers won 28-13.
    • A few years after this movie, the real-life New York Giants (whom the Little Giants were named after) introduced a solid-red alternate jersey similar to the ones their pee-wee namesakes wore.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Becky goes on this against Spike after Junior is injured.
  • Second Place Is for Losers: The attitude of Kevin O'Shea and he still carries that feeling when the Cowboys lose to the Giants.
  • Start My Own: The Little Giants were started by kids who were not chosen to play for the Cowboys.
  • Team Spirit: At one point, most of the team quits but gets a pep talk from pro players and decide to continue playing through teamwork.
  • Tomboy: Becky "Ice Box" O'Shea is considered one.
  • Turncoat: Spike Hammersmith when he leaves the Little Giants and plays for the Cowboys after initially joining the Giants because Danny fibbed and said he was Kevin. Considering how he was tricked into joining the Little Giants in the first place, can anyone really hold it against Spike?
  • Underdogs Never Lose
  • You Go, Girl!: The entire reason why Danny decided to field his own team was because Becky didn't make his brother's team for the sole reason that she was a girl.