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Coach Carter is a 2005 film Based on a True Story about a high-school basketball coach who demanded academic excellence from his students. Think Lean On Me but with a basketball team and Sam Jackson.


Tropes featured include:

  • Adults Are Useless: Unless they are Coach Carter. The film plays this trope pretty straight, but eventually the parents come around.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: When Coach Carter berates the team for losing control at a party, one of them asks him that they won the game so what else did he want from them, which makes him realize that they were not understanding the values he was trying to teach them alongside the plays.
  • Bittersweet Ending: the team loses the last game, but the solidarity that they gained means more than winning. In addition, many of the team members went on to college and had successful lives.
  • Class Clown: Worm.
  • Delinquents: How the team is viewed, but Carter finds out that they just need some guidance and someone to think that they can do better than what is expected of them.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Coach Carter, but that's no surprise.
  • The Determinator: Surprisingly, Timo.
  • Down to the Last Play
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Junior and his mother.
  • Jerkass: Most of the team, at first. They get better.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Timo. Sure, he's an arrogant hothead, but most of it is to mask his fear of becoming great.
  • Large Ham: Samuel L. Jackson himself.
  • Mama Bear: Junior's mother. Justified because her other son lost his life and so she became incredibly protective of Junior as a result.
  • Meaningful Echo: "What is your deepest fear?"
  • N-Word Privileges: Deconstructed by Coach Carter in a rather eloquent speech.
  • Papa Wolf: Coach Carter in regards to his team.
  • Save Our Students
  • Scary Black Man: Samuel Jackson again!
  • Sucky School: Unbelievably so, and with a principal to match.
  • Token Minority: In this film, it's actually a white character on the basketball team, Jason, played by Channing Tatum.
  • Training From Hell
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