Save Our Team

    Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

    The plot of nearly every sports movie ever. There's a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits who all have weird idiosyncratic tendencies and no idea of how to work together. But then a magical, lifesaving coach appears and teaches them the value of friendship, teamwork, and how to use their weird neuroses to win the Big Game. The Big Game is usually played against their rivals, the Opposing Sports Team - super intelligent, rich, well-trained aristocrats who are 100 times better in every way. However, it doesn't actually matter if the misfits win or lose. If they win the championship, it's obviously great, but if they lose, they still learned the Power of Friendship or somesuch.

    And, just in case, when it's time to Save Our Team there Ain't No Rule against animals helping out.

    There's usually a new example of this trope each year.

    See also Team Spirit. For the classroom version, see Save Our Students.

    Examples of Save Our Team include:

    Anime and Manga

    • Parodied in Excel Saga with idiotic coaches and a star pitcher who beans everyone.
    • Eyeshield 21 is this at its core, but subverts a lot of the "wholesomeness" associated with this trope. The "magical coach" in this case is the trigger happy, scheming captain of the football team who puts them through merciless Training from Hell, most notably making them run from Houston, Texas to Las Vegas, Nevada WHILE pushing a truck (and shooting at them) in the course of a month. Three of the members were originally blackmailed into the team because the captain, Hiruma, beat them up, stripped them naked, and threatened to leak the picture.
      • On the surface their rivals, the Ojou White Knights, seem like the typical "privileged rich kids" opposing sports team, going to a private school with a prestigious football background where no expense is spared for the players (their training camps are in a friggin' castle in Germany that the school owns, for Pete's sake). On the other hand, they also show the stress of having to live up to such a reputation and that the White Knight's training is every bit as grueling as the Devilbats. Not to mention both teams have a great deal of friendship and respect for the other, despite being as different as can be.
      • Also parodied during Mizumachi's flashback to how he came to join the Kyoshin Poseidons. He was originally tricked into joining the swimming team by the captain telling Mizumachi the club would be shut down if they didn't win a swim meet.
      • The Devilbats Evil Counterpart, the Hakushuu Dinosaurs are a dark take on the trope. Team captain Marco improves the team all right—by letting Gaou off of his leash, turning Kisiragi into a Psycho Supporter, and advocating Unnecessary Roughness.
    • Rookies plays with this. The team originally doesn't even want to play baseball, and the "magical coach" Kawato doesn't even know that much about baseball.
    • The oneshot manga Portball! sees a girls' portball (which is a lot like basketball) team threatened with dissolution if they can't win an exhibition game against the boys' team. Long story short the entire team (such as it was - only three members, which isn't enough to actually field a regulation team) is expelled for various acts of indecency and/or violence committed during the game



    Fry: "I remember. They came last at the Olympics and then retired to promote alcoholic beverages."
    Hermes: "A true inspiration for the children."

    • Gridiron Gang
    • Little Giants, though they didn't stay for the whole movie
    • The Mighty Ducks
    • Sunset Park
    • Remember the Titans
    • We Are Marshall
    • Major League (first and third movies; the second was a depiction of the season after a Save Our Team plot)
    • Ladybugs[1] also has a sort of subversion: The company soccer team Rodney Dangerfield's character has been tasked to coach has already won last season's championship, but Rodney finds that the team members have been almost completely replaced (with just one holdover from last season).
    • Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story parodies this trope though still plays it mostly straight.
    • The Replacements, except less teamwork and friendship and more cheap shots and balls.
    • Semi-Pro is about the Flint Tropics, a bad ABA team trying to win enough games and attract enough fans to be one of the four teams that goes to the NBA after the companies merge. The "magical coach" is a player - a former benchwarmer for the Boston Celtics with a championship ring who was traded to the Tropics for a washing machine, and the owner/power forward is the best promoter in the league. They do it, sort of: the Tropics get to fourth place, don't go to the NBA because Flint is too small a market.
    • Glory Road


    • In a rare sci-fi version, Ender's Game, with Dragon Army.
      • Particularly unusual because the protagonist was the coach.
    • Played more-or-less straight when Mr Nutt becomes the UU's football coach in Unseen Academicals.
    • Outcasts United by Warren St. John is the Real Life story of a bunch of refugees who ended up living in Clarkston, Georgia (a small suburb of Atlanta), which became a resettlement center for refugees from war zones in Liberia, Congo, Sudan, Iraq and Afghanistan. These kids eventually start a soccer team, the Fugees, with the help of Luma Mufleh, an American educated Jordanian woman.

    Live-Action TV

    • Another sci-fi variation is the opening episode of Star Trek: Voyager, complete with the Rousing Speech from Captain Janeway assuring her banged-up crew and the newly added ex-convicts that they will put aside their differences and that together they'll find a way home.[context?]
    • Glee. Despite being a show choir rather than a sports team, all the makings of this trope are in place.
    • Giant Killing

    Western Animation

    • This trope was parodied within an inch of its life by (who else) South Park, in the episode "Stanley's Cup."
    1. The film, not the video game.