Sports films are generally bad. Save for a few titles, sports films tend to lean towards a sensationalized depiction of the games we love rather than realism.
While silly efforts like Varsity Blues, Rookie of the Year, and MVP: Most Valuable Primate have provided us with some of the goofiest and over dramatized sports scenes in the history of cinema, it’s non-sports movies that often give us the most truly awful instances of sports on film.
Below are 22 of the worst sports scenes, from non-sports films, to ever hit the screen.
Hosers Bob and Doug MacKenzie have fallen under control of evil Brewmeister Smith at the Elsinore Brewery, which just so happens to be attached to the Royal Canadian Institute for the Mentally Insane. With some help from former NHL star Jean “Rosie” LaRose, the boys enact a plan to escape, but not before participating in a Star Wars-esque game of hockey that mostly involves opponents slamming into each other without a puck in sight.
Was this the first time Halle Berry ever saw a basketball? Has director Pitof Comar ever watched humans play basketball? Catwoman (2004) is one of the worst films of all-time, and this impromptu game of one-on-one is quite possibly the worst example of sports being being played on film. Selina Kyle drops a long distance dunk like no one has witnessed since Tom Chambers dropped a double pump in EA Sports’ Bulls vs Lakers and the NBA Playoffs.
A game of rooftop hockey gets cut short when an errant slap shot finds its way down the street and into the sewer. Good game, guys.
Scott Howard, played by Michael J. Fox, wolfs out publicly for the first time during one of his woeful Beavers high school basketball games. Teen Wolf’s teammates and the handful of fans in attendance find nothing odd about a man transforming into a wolf after he’s won them all over with a an uncontested dunk, steal, and a layup.
Teen Wolf Too
A boxing montage set to an Oingo Boingo soundtrack… what could go wrong? Everything. One look at Jason Bateman’s werewolf boxing skills and one quickly gains an appreciation for how Teen Wolf Too is widely considered one of the worst films of all-time.
Back to the Beach
Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello reprised their iconic beach party roles from the 1960s in the 1987 film Back to the Beach. As Avalon, The Big Kahuna, takes on the Humonga Cowabunga from Down Unda in the film’s climax, which serves as a reminder that some things are best left in their own era.
Easily one of the worst films ever made, The Room features several scenes of the boys tossing a football around in comically pathetic fashion.
Teenaged vampires playing baseball. It’s every bit as awful as you would expect, and then some.
Along Came Polly
The late great Philip Seymour Hoffman makes it rain in this intentionally bad basketball scene from Along Came Polly. Ben Stiller taking a face full of hairy, sweaty man boobs for all the laughs.
It’s 1980s peak homoerotic imagery as Tom Cruise engages in some beach volleyball sans shirt and in a pair of jeans. Sexy, sweaty, shirtless dudes spinning balls and diving in the sand… it’s terrible volleyball but you know you want some more.
Forget Love & Basketball and all the others. Romance on the court has never been quite as steamy as this scene from Dhoom 2. All the rain soaked travelling and poor ball handling you could ever ask for.
Romeo Must Die
Jet Li’s character Po Sing takes his lumps from the fellas in this friendly game of football, and then uses martial arts to kick and flip his way to the end zone. Pretty sure Po Sing downed himself by contact after his first flying kick/head scissors combo, but whatever.
The Amazing Spiderman
Another example of why basketball and superheroes should never mix, Peter Parker gives us his best Jason Richardson impression before travelling his way to the hoop for a backboard shattering dunk.
Nothing says ‘The Future’ quite like arena football and JOFA hockey helmets.
The Last Boy Scout
Bruce Willis’ career as an action star was in full swing when The Last Boy Scout dropped in 1991. The film opens with a football scene in which Billy Cole (Billy Blanks) is forced to score a touchdown at all costs to keep himself out of gambling trouble. Cole pops some pills at halftime, takes a gun onto the field, and starts blasting his way to the end zone before turning the pistol on himself. “Ain’t life a bitch…” Realistic!
“Matilda is a boxing movie,” you might say. It’s a Kangaroo movie, and unforgivably awful.
The schoolyard bullies meet their match on the asphalt here, as they’re no match for a couple of young ninjas. The first rule of bad sports scenes is martial arts training = otherworldly athletic skills, apparently.
A cloned Ripley throwing down a two-handed dunk looks about as natural as Donatella Versace.
Although Kristen Wiig, Rose Byrne, and Co. all appear capable of launching high velocity, accurate serves, no one here can return anything. So we’re left with nothing but bruised breasts.
Hard Ticket to Hawaii
Just your average disc toss with about eight feet between participants and then BAM, the old razorblade frisbee trick. Great job catching that disc with your throat, cheesy 80s bad guy.
Hard Ticket to Hawaii’s legendary frisbee scene is only outdone by its botched skateboard assassination attempt scene.
Sudden Death is set against the backdrop of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks. Jean-Claude Van Damme plays a fire marshall who fends off terrorists and you better believe he ends up in the Penguins net with the game on the line.
Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn engage in a game of Harry Potter-inspired quidditch in The Internship because they will do anything for money.
It’s your boys Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn at it again, this time mixing it up with a hybrid game of American football meets rugby.