Give me your Underdog stories!
August 1, 2014 7:17 PM   Subscribe

I decided today that I absolutely love underdog stories. I love rooting for the little guy to come out on top. I love following along with their journey. Think Silicon Valley the TV Show or Halt and Catch Fire or the Bad News Bears, Mighty Ducks etc. What are your favorite underdog stories in books or film? Fiction is preferred for books, but either is fine for visual media.
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith to Media & Arts (21 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Trust me: you want Breaking Away! (Jackie Earle Haley from the BNB is even in it.)
posted by scody at 7:22 PM on August 1, 2014 [5 favorites]

posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 7:23 PM on August 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

Hairspray, either the 1988 original or the 2007 musical.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 7:49 PM on August 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: It's currently showing in travelling limited release and not out on DVD quite yet, but if you've got Netflix you might want to chuck the recent movie 50 to 1 into your queue. It tells the story of 2009 Kentucky Derby longshot winner Mine That Bird. It's a pretty cool upset because it combines the double whammy of a 50-to-1 underdog and an incredible come-from-behind race.
posted by drlith at 8:03 PM on August 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

(I will preface this by saying that to me, "coming out on top" doesn't necessarily mean winning in the strict definition, but triumphing in some way):

Hoop Dreams
The Insider
Seabiscuit (the book - it's nonfiction, but just as captivating as fiction)
posted by sallybrown at 8:06 PM on August 1, 2014

Best answer: Shikofunjatta. It is called Sumo do, Sumo don't in English.
posted by CtrlAltD at 8:41 PM on August 1, 2014

Charlie and the chocolate factory
posted by to recite so charmingly at 9:02 PM on August 1, 2014

Best answer: I really love Moneyball. It's smart and a good story.
posted by kat518 at 10:04 PM on August 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Juzo Itami's films Tampopo, about a woman who struggles to create a ramen booth, and Supermarket Woman, about a woman whose expertise as a housewife aids a failing supermarket, are wonderfully comedic underdog stories about domestic issues.
posted by lunch at 10:13 PM on August 1, 2014

October Sky.
posted by stennieville at 10:29 PM on August 1, 2014

Do you mind anime? I LOVE the anime "Girls und Panzer" and so has everyone else who has taken my recommendation and watched it.

You can buy it here.

You can download it from this torrent. (And this one, for the OVA.)

It's a pretty classic example of an underdog-sports-story, except that the sport in this case is tank combat as a varsity sport for high school girls. It's called senshadou. (And no one ever gets hurt.) Believe me, the show is better than that makes it sound. It was the breakout hit of 2012, catching everyone by surprise.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:50 PM on August 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Major League!
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 10:57 PM on August 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

I love the movie Stand And Deliver.
posted by christinetheslp at 11:12 PM on August 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

Slap Shot. There is so much good stuff in this movie, but the Hansen brothers. MAN!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 4:51 AM on August 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

Independence Day manages to make all of humanity into the underdog.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:31 AM on August 2, 2014

Sidney Poitier film festival!

To Sir, With Love
In the Heat of the Night
posted by SemiSalt at 6:31 AM on August 2, 2014

Best answer: If you like "Silicon Valley," you'd probably love Robert Cringely's 1996 PBS series "Triumph of the Nerds: The Rise of Accidental Empires," which focuses on the early tech companies.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 6:55 AM on August 2, 2014

Cool Runnings?
Become a Cleveland sports team fan?
posted by kathrynm at 8:13 AM on August 2, 2014

Best answer: Hoosiers
posted by sigmagalator at 12:37 PM on August 2, 2014

Meatballs. For the win.
posted by Mchelly at 8:23 PM on August 2, 2014

I really like "My Cousin Vinnie".
posted by HiroProtagonist at 9:05 PM on August 3, 2014

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