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Think awesome only exists in fiction? These moments should change your mind...

  • Emergency Broadcast - warnings of emergencies and disasters that have saved lives or property.

Animals

  • The Japanese Giant Hornet is an abhorrent monstrosity that can spray flesh-melting poison and can rip apart 1,000 honeybees all by itself. The Japanese honeybee... doesn't really have a lot to its name. Except, of course, for the fact that 500 of these bees will happily band together to roast one of these very same hornets to death.
  • Orcas (aka killer whales) can disable, kill and eat great white sharks, the feared predators of the deep.
    • The way they do this is incredibly smart. They deliberately flip the shark upside down, causing it to go into tonic immobility (it becomes unconscious and/or paralyzed until it can right itself) and then hold the shark that way until it suffocates.
    • Entire populations of Great White Sharks have been known to disappear from an area once an orca starts hunting and killing them. That's right -- Great Whites run when orcas develop a taste for shark meat (especially the liver).
    • Orcas do the same 'flip and hold upside down' trick with stingrays, in order to subdue them and make them easier to eat.
    • Hell, the orca will ram into sharks and hit them in such a way that the internal organs explode.
  • The octopus is smart enough that it can escape fishnets and supposedly secure tanks. Its lack of bones also plays a part in this however. They can also be taught to open jars, although they have short memories and have to be taught again the following day.
  • Wolverines are not very impressive-looking creatures. They are compact little blobs of dark shaggy fur rarely weighing more than forty pounds (18kg for the metrically inclined). They are the largest extant members of family Mustelidae, and can therefore be thought of as giant weasels (to which they are evolutionary cousins), with the weasel's distinctive trait of manic berserk bloodlust combined with impressively powerful, bone-crushing jaws. A forty pound wolverine can kill a caribou weighing half a ton, and then successfully defend the carcass from a pack of two dozen wolves, any of which is three times its size, or from a polar bear weighing more than the car you drive. Other predators know the wolverine's scent and avoid it by instinct except in the gravest extreme, because it's never worth it. It is bad luck to provoke a wolverine.
    • If we're going to talk about badass mustelidae, how about the Ratel-more commonly known as the honey badger. It may not eat zebras, but they are known for being able to tangle with lions. How does it manage to do this? Groin Attack. With teeth.
  • The King Cobra. It can kill elephants. A snake can kill an elephant!
    • And the Mongoose kills the King Cobra. And not even for food, but just because it apparently thinks that the King Cobra needs to occasionally be taken down a peg.
    • Speaking of mongoose, a couple of million years ago, a few mongoose from Africa ended up on Madagasgar. Lemurs had no natural enemies, so were easy prey for the mongoose. But after a while, the lemurs started taking to the trees when one showed up, where the mongoose could not follow. So did the mongoose starve? Hell no. They turned into cats.
  • A house-cat treed a black bear. Twice. [1]
  • Dinosaurs. They completed dominated the scene for 160 million years (to put it into context, humans have been around for only 200,000 years, not even 1 percent of the time) and it took a GIANT ASTEROID to finish them off.
    • Except the ones that didn't die, which happened to be the ones that had LEARNED TO FLY.
      • One the other hand, humanity has only been around for 200'000 years compared to their 160'000'000 years, and we managed to get to space. Take That dinos!
  • Technically speaking, humanity. We're average-strength at best, had an average lifespan of 20-something years. Yet, we've managed to go all the way into space, inhabit 6 of the 7 continents with impunity, and pwn just about every other species out there. All within mere millennia!
    • When you consider what humanity looked like in 1011 to now, I think it's safe to say that we humans are pretty damned badass as a collective whole.
    • Don't forget the fact that the only reason (non-scientist) humans aren't living in Antarctica is the Antarctic Treaty. We're so awesome, we have to set limits on our awesomeness!
  • Baboons will fight to reclaim what is theirs and can give less of a crap if it's a pride of lions or not. Those rocks are theirs damn it!
  • This praying mantis fought off a Spectral Tarsier 100 times its own size. No wonder they inspired their own martial art!


Sports

  • Secretariat, a big chestnut Thoroughbred colt who rose from the ashes of a fallen-from-grace racing stable to take home the Triple Crown for the first time in twenty-five years. He came from behind in the Derby; he came from behind in the Preakness; then he went to the Belmont Stakes, where he broke first out of the gate, thoroughly dominating the rest of the field. How majestically did he dominate the race? He took the Belmont - and the Triple Crown - with a thirty-one-length lead. He also set the record for the fastest running of the Belmont Stakes - a record that has yet to be approached - and went on to set a track record for the mile and five-eighths - as he was coasting out from under the wire. Did we mention that he ran not only the fastest Belmont in history, but the fastest mile-and-a-half on dirt run anywhere in the world?? And that that record hasn't been broken yet, either? Oh, and during his Triple Crown campaign, he ground every relevant race and track record to dust under his neatly polished hooves. He was Sports Illustrated's Athlete of the Year 1973, named one of the 25 greatest athletes of the 20th century in 2000, and to this day is widely considered the greatest racehorse to ever live.
    • Well, not every record. He doesn't own the official track record at Pimlico (the Preakness track) because the timing clock malfunctioned.
  • Hello, Ruffian, Queen of the Fillies, winner of the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Two-Year-Old Filly, with an average winning margin of 8.5 lengths, running the fastest 6 furlongs by any two-year-old colt or filly, which remains untouched! Did we mention that she only lost the last race she'd ever run? Seriously, the filly wouldn't stop running, even if it killed her. Though it borders Tear Jerker, she was one awesome horse.
  • The whole Sherpa tribe. They start out as obscure peasants living up in the mountains, and they all of a sudden decide that climbing to the top of Mount Everest was a handy way to make a living. As a result they carry tons of cargo up high cliffs, thousands of feet on their backs through atmosphere that is so thin that people have to wear oxygen tanks. Today they are famed throughout the world and on at least one expedition it was Europeans who actually competed for the honor of just getting to be the porter for a famous Sherpa climber, thus reversing traditional roles.
    • Tenzing Norgay Sherpa. Started as a porter, then earned the respect of his employers until he and Hillery were the first two that got to the top-neither of them saying who was first because it would strain the team.
  • Let's just say all of the Olympics and the Paralympics. Whether it may be the Opening and/or Closing Ceremonies or some of the unbelievably amazing and (sometimes unexpected) wins that happen, the Olympics are simply a bundle of awesome, heartwarming and tearjerkers.
    • Canada in the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. After never winning a gold medal on home soil, the Canadian athletes were determined to put an end to that drought. And they did. While saving the 14th and best gold medal for last (breaking the record for most gold medals won at a single Winter Olympics and being the first host country to lead the gold medal count) for the Men's hockey, where Canada defeated the United States in overtime and the entire country erupted in celebration.
    • Going on the example of the 2010 Olympics, Slovenian cross-country skier Petra Majdic takes a brutal spill in practice, falling about ten feet down a hill into a gully. She comes out for the qualifying run and qualifies collapsing in pain and unable to stand after. After returning from x-rays at the hospital, she wins her quarterfinal, then gets a lucky loser spot in the semis to qualify for the final, all in abject agony. Four races, five broken ribs, and one pneumothorax later, she came out of it all with a bronze medal.
    • The fact that the games happened at all. It was one of the warmest winters on record, in a city already given to mild winters, and to even make some of the the events possible, snow had to be brought in by trucks and helicopters from snowy peaks as much as a hundred sixty kilometres (100 miles) away.
    • The Beijing 2008 Opening Ceremonies.
    • While many people will forever remember Michael Phelps winning a record eight gold medals, the greatest feat of aquatics in the history of swimming goes to Jason Lezak. In the 4x100 freestyle relay, the Americans were favored just slightly ahead of the French. The French, namely Alain Bernard, decided to talk some trash (note, the following is paraphrased)"We're going to smash them like guitars." After the third leg of 100 metres in the four man relay, Alain Bernard had a one body length lead on Jason Lezak. In the last 25 metres of the total of 400 metres race, Jason Lezak came back and won the race by 8/100ths of a second. Here it is.
      • Another from 2008, the win of Matthew Mitcham. China had been bragging about sweeping all of the diving competitions, and came very close. Matthew, after a less than stellar dive, ending up somewhere around 7th place. After an amazing dive (and a less than amazing dive by the Chinese diver) he shot up to 2nd. Another near-perfect dive (which achieved the highest score in Olympic history), and he took the gold.
      • As a country, Togo doesn't have much going for it. Enter Benjamin Boukpeti, a slalom canoer who was leading 2008's K-1 Kayak Single event through the final round. While he dropped to third in the end, he nonetheless earned his country their first ever Olympic medal. And There Was Much Rejoicing not just in Togo, but around the world just from seeing him hang on to a podium finish. Seeing him triumphantly snap his kayak in two just showed how awesome this moment was.
    • In the 2006 Turin Olympics, Chinese figure skater Zhang Dan fell while attempting a quadruple salchow jump during the free skate program, injurying her leg as a result. But her and her partner Zhang Hao decided to continue the program and they had enough points to finish with a silver medal.
    • Also at the 2006 Winter Olympics -- Canadian cross country skiier Sara Renner broke a ski pole during the Women's Team Sprint event, and finished only because she was quickly handed a replacement ski pole -- by the coach of the Norwegian ski team, Bjørnar Håkensmoen. Because of this supreme act of sportsmanship by Håkensmoen, Renner and fellow skier Beckie Scott won the Silver medal in the event. Adding to the significance of this act, their silver medal finish meant that the Norwegian team ended up finishing fourth in this event, instead of winning a Bronze medal.
    • Gymnast Kerri Strug was the last gymnast to vault on the American team rotation in the 1996 Atlanta Games. She was following up a two-fall showing by Dominique Moceanu -- and she proceeded to fall on her rear on her first vault. Well, Kerri wasn't about to stand for that. Despite injuring her ankle on her first vault, she calmly walked back to the end of the runway, vaulted again, and stuck her landing on one foot because she'd sprained her ankle when she hit the mat. Her courageous vault sealed the first US women's team gold in Olympic history.
  • The 1972 Miami Dolphins are, to this day, the only team to finish an entire NFL season without ever losing a game. They went a perfect 17-0, capped by a 14-7 win over the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII.
  • Laird Hamilton riding "The Wave" at Teahupo'o reef, regarded by many as the heaviest, most dangerous wave ever ridden.
  • English Football team Arsenal going an entire league campaign without losing back in 2004. When you consider an average season in England for a top club is 38 league games, with two domestic cups and European competition as well as players going on international duty, that's no mean feat. They had another moment of awesome 15 years prior in 1989 when they scored a goal in the last seconds of the last match to win the title.
    • Though with the caveat that they did lose games in the aforementioned domestic cups and European competition.
  • The Miracle on Ice. All of it. Greatest moment in sports. Ever.
  • The greatest ice stating moment would have to go to Torvill and Dean (1984 for GBR). They have been the only team to ever get full sixes across the board. Well deserved.
  • The 2010 UK Championship in snooker. Earlier that year, John Higgins was suspended from the sport, over match-fixing allegations of which he was ultimately cleared. Everyone assumed he would have difficulty getting back into the game due to being out of practice, but he made it to the final and then faced Mark Williams, one of the all-time greats. Williams at one point led the first-to-10 match 9-5, but Higgins fought back to 9-9, including one frame in which he came back from the "snookers required" stage. In the deciding frame, Higgins made a strong break that meant he would win if he potted one more ball, but he missed a red and then Williams made a strong comeback but could not pot the brown. The skirmish over the brown ended when Higgins doubled it into the far corner pocket, a shot that the commentators had not seen was possible until he played it. Now that is how to return to a sport in style.
  • The 2004 MLB ALCS. The Red Sox were down three games to none after a soul-crushing 19-8 loss to their hated rivals, the New York Yankees. They pulled out a Miracle Rally in the twelfth inning to win Game 4 - then they took Game 5 (in 14 innings), and six, and finally Game Seven, which they won, becoming the first team in MLB history to rally from a 3-0 series deficit in the process. They went on to sweep the World Series in four straight games - and brought the title home to Boston for the first time since 1918. Arguably the greatest moment in baseball history.
    • It should also be noted that, at the time, only two teams in American profession sports history had ever come back from three games down in a seven-game playoff series (in 1942 and 1975, both in the NHL). It had never been done in over a century of American baseball (and as of 2012, still hasn't been repeated)
      • To further illustrate how monumental this comeback was, only two teams in the history of baseball had even forced a Game 6. And the Sox became the only team to even make it to Game 7. This troper's grandfather, born in 1920 and died in 2003, was a lifelong Red Sox fan who never got to see them take home the big win. When the Sox finally did it, this troper's father wept.
    • Better still, the Red Sox winning the World Series was sandwiched between two back-to-back Super Bowl victories by the New England Patriots (only two/three years after their first-ever Super Bowl victory), and later followed up by both the Boston Celtics (2008) and Boston Bruins (2011) taking home their respective championship trophies, for the first time in over 20 years and nearly 40 years, respectively. The eleven-year period between 2001-2011 saw all four Boston teams banish a collective 192 years of drought with seven championship wins.
      • Seven victories in eleven years across all four major leagues. The closest range of the three (non-NFL) Boston teams winning it before that? 32 years. (Bruins in 1972, Celtics five times from 1974-1986, [1] and the Sox championship of 2004)
  • The following season, the Chicago White Sox ended their own curse, winning the World Series for the first time since 1917 (meaning their wait was actually two years longer than the Red Sox) and did it in particularly dominant fashion. From Opening Day until the end of the regular season, they maintained first place in their division, though late in the season their play began to lag and they nearly dropped from first. In the playoffs, they first proceeded to sweep the defending champion Red Sox 3-0 in the divisional series, and then went on to beat the Angels 4-1 in the championship series. In the World Series, they swept the Astros 4-0. With 11 wins and 1 loss in the playoffs, the White Sox tied for the second-best playoff percentage in MLB history (the 1976 Cincinnati Reds are the only team to post a perfect playoff record, though they only had to play seven games to win). Their entire run, from Opening Day until the final out of the World Series, was one of the most dominant seasons in MLB history.
  • As they went into Game Seven of the 1960 World Series, the underdog Pittsburgh Pirates trailed the mighty New York Yankees in every offensive category except for games won: the series was tied three-all. Game Seven seesawed back and forth between the two teams, and was tied as the Pirates came up to bat in the bottom of the ninth inning. Leading off was the Pirates' number-eight batter, the great-fielding but weak-batting Bill Mazeroski. On the second pitch, he cracked a home run, and became the first batter in World Series history ever to win the series with a game-ending homer.
  • While TCU's victory over Wisconsin in the 2011 Rose Bowl was pretty cool in its own right, the true CMoA came off the field, with an epic Take That to E. Gordon Gee, president of the Badgers' conference rival Ohio State, in reference to some disparaging remarks he made about the quality of opponents faced by non-AQ schools such as TCU and Boise State.
  • 1999 UEFA Champions League Final. Manchester United vs. Bayern Munich. Bayern scored first, in the 6th minute, and after the standard 90 minutes had elapsed, it looked like it was all over bar the shouting. United then goes on to score two goals, in INJURY TIME, to win the match and the championship- literally at the last possible moment. UEFA president Lennart Johansson had left the stands a few minutes before United equalised, and did not see either goal. When he walked out with the trophy, he said, "It cannot be. The winners are crying and the losers are dancing."
  • 2005 UEFA Champions League Final, AC Milan vs. Liverpool. AC Milan had won the tournament two years previously and entered the final overwhelming favourites with a side that featured seven players who had been named in the previous year's FIFA 100; Liverpool, who had no FIFA 100 players on their roster, had not won the tournament since 1984 and had barely scraped through the qualifying and group stages. AC Milan took the lead in the first minute of the match and completely outplayed Liverpool to finish the first half with a 3-0 lead. Eight minutes into the second half, Liverpool managed to score three goals in six minutes (including a rebound from a missed penalty) and held their ground through extra time to force a penalty shootout, in which Liverpool goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek saved two penalties and a third missed the goalmouth to give Liverpool a 3-2 win. The match has since become known by Liverpool fans as "The Miracle of Istanbul".
  • The 2011 Daytona 500: in his second Sprint Cup start and only racing a partial schedule to focus on NASCAR's second-tier Nationwide Series, 20-years-and-one-day-old Trevor Bayne (whose best Nationwide Series finish prior was only third) wins the "Super Bowl of NASCAR" for his first career Cup victory. In doing so, he demolished Jeff Gordon's record as the youngest Daytona 500 winner (by five years) and brought the famed Wood Brothers #21 (with the throwback paint scheme) back into the winner's circle for the first time in nearly ten years. A reminder that this is the biggest event in stock car racing.
    • The Troper of the Trevor Bayne post adds this: The season ended with Tony Stewart coming from winning none of the first 26 races and barely making the Chase to winning four of the first nine Chase races. His slight inconsistency was enough for Carl Edwards (who finished no worse than 11th in those latter nine races) to take a three point lead into Homestead. With Edwards on the pole and dominating early, Stewart roared from the back of the lead lap twice due to grill damage. Stewart won the race, Edwards led the most laps and finished second, but Stewart claimed the championship on a 5-1 race wins tiebreaker--the first time a major NASCAR season has ended with a tie at the top of the standings. AJ Foyt (whose number Stewart's carried since he owned his own car) later called it Stewart's greatest drive.
      • Speaking of Crowning Moment of Awesome at a Daytona 500, how about in 1994 when Sterling Marlin, making his first start with a new ownership team, gambled on fuel mileage and won his first Daytona 500 and also his FIRST RACE in 279 starts, holding off a fueled up Ernie Irvan. Marlin had come close to victory many times, including in the 500 in 1991, but had never gotten over the second place finish hump. Made all the sweeter when EVERY PIT CREW came to high-five him as he drove to victory lane and the very same driver he held off, Irvan, had been the one to beat him in the 1991 500.
  • The 2000 Indianapolis 500. Juan Pablo Montoya was criticized by other drivers for not treating the track as it is. What did he do? He led over 80% of the race and won. On his first try.
  • Joe Paterno, former coach for the Penn State Nittany Lions for 61 years. Not only was he the longest serving coach in NCAA history (beating out the now-retired Bobby Bowden), he also achieved 409 career wins, 24 bowl wins and two national championships. He also funded the overhaul of the Penn State library system, with the main campus's main library now bearing his name. Notable about Paterno was his commitment, to the point that he stood as close to the sidelines as he could to be as close to the action. On several occasions, he was hit by players, including breaking his leg, and needing hip replacement surgery two years later after trying to demonstrate onside kicks during practice... at eighty-one years old. Unfortunately, Paterno's reputation has now been sullied by his involvement in a sex abuse scandal, since he failed to report the fact that one of his assistants was raping children to the police. As a result, he was fired.
  • Don Larsen was nothing more than a so-so journeyman pitcher for his Major League career. Except for Game 5 of the 1956 World Series, where he went out and tossed a 27-up, 27-down perfect game. In Yankee Stadium. Against the Yankees' hated cross-town rivals, the Brooklyn Dodgers. As the lead in the New York Daily News put it "The imperfect man pitched the perfect game."
    • Also consider that, for 54 years, it was the only postseason no-hitter ever pitched in MLB.
    • And while we're on that subject, Roy Halladay deserves a double-helping of awesome, for that second postseason no-hitter...and his first earlier in the 2010 season. Only four other pitchers in history have pitched more than one no-hitter in the same season: Johnny Van der Meer (who is extra awesome for pitching them in consecutive starts), Allie Reynolds, Virgil Trucks, and Nolan Ryan (who is extra awesome for pitching seven no-hitters total).
  • The 2010 Green Bay Packers, especially when you read about their season leading up to their Super Bowl win. Defines The Determinator, indeed.
  • The San Francisco Giants winning the 2010 World Series. No one thought they would win. Polls showed only California had hopes for the Giants. All the newscasters scoffed and said the Giants would never win. Still, the Giants pushed on and ended up winning the World series. Definitely a crowning moment of awesome, especially considering the Giants hadn't won a world series since they moved from New York to San Francisco in 1957.
  • The Minnesota Twins winning the 1991 World Series, which 20 years on is still remembered as one of the greatest of all time. Both teams had been last in their division on the last day of the 1990 season, and through some very astute offseason moves, a certain amount of good fortune in avoiding injuries on the field and simply winning a lot (the Twins put together a 15-game winning streak from late May to mid June, essentially putting the lights out in the AL West before the All Star Break). The series was already awesome when it returned to Minneapolis with the Twins staring down elimination after Game 5. In the bottom of the 11th inning of Game 6, Kirby Puckett hit a walk-off home run, etching Jack Buck's call of "We'll see you... tomorrow night!" in the memories of everyone watching. In the decisive game 7, Jack Morris pitched a 10-inning shutout for the Twins, before Gene Larkin hit a soft fly ball over the infield's heads to score Dan Gladden for the only run of the game. This World Series was rated by ESPN as the greatest of all time.
  • Steven Bradbury winning gold for speed skating at the 2002 Winter Olympics.
  • A brilliant moment in Formula One came from Button in Canada 2011 (which also got the title as the longest Formula One race in history) due to various issues Button ended up last (21st) and had thirty laps to go with everybody extremely spread out. He was even so far behind the driver in front of him the commentators predicted he would probably only reach them with a few laps to spare to work his way up the field. In twenty laps he had made his way up to forth and he went to win, overtaking the leader on the very last lap. In one race he had to deal with two collisions, a drive-through penalty, having a second investigation (which could have taken the win from him), having to go through the pits six times... he proved anybody who doubted he deserved his 2009 Championship wrong.
  • How about some tennis love? Wimbledon 2011, Men's Quarter finals, Roger Federer vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Federer takes the opening two sets and breaks Tsonga's serve in the third. Tsonga then plays some stunning tennis, breaks back and breaks Federer's serve, winning the set. He goes on to win the next two sets 6-4. To repeat, Tsonga, seeded twelve (Roger was 3, but considered a favourite for the title), beat one of the best tennis players of all time from 2-0 and a break down. This is also the first time in Federer's entire career that he has lost from 2-0. That sort of awesome deserves a medal all of its own.
  • Another Wimbledon 2011 example in Bernard Tomic. An 18 year old Australian, he had to fight in the qualifiers to even get to Wimbledon. In the first round, he beats the 29th seed Davydenko, in round 2 comes back from 2-0 to beat Andreev, in round 3 beats 5th seed Robin Soderling in straight sets, then does the same to Malisse in the 4th round, reaching the quarter-finals. That makes him the youngest player since Boris Becker in 1986 to reach the Quarters, and not only that, but he went on to take a set from Novak Djokovic, the world number two, pushing him right up until the end of the 4th set, which Djokovic won 7-5. He's come out of nowhere to become Australia's number one. AWESOME.
    • Speaking of Boris Becker, let's mention him. Youngest Wimbledon champion ever at seventeen in 1985, coming out of nowhere to win that years Queen's tournament and then go on to take the title. He took the title again the next year, 1986. In short, tennis is full of awesome!
  • Hugo de León lifting the trophy from Copa Libertadores 1983 for Grêmio Football Porto Alegrense. Blood dropping from his forehead, in a spartan look after beating Peñarol with a 2x1 score.
  • Johnny Hoogerland. In stage 9 of the 2011 Tour de France, a five-man breakaway including Hoogerland and Juan Antonio Fletcha had a sizeable lead on the rest of the race. Due to his performance in the breakaway, Hoogerland had reclaimed the King of the Mountains (best climber) jersey, and it waited for him at the finish. Then, disaster - a TV car, trying to pass them and avoid a tree at the same time, sideswiped Flecha. Flecha met the pavement... and turned out to be the lucky one. His bike slammed into Hoogerland, sending Hoogerland flying through the air and into a barbed wire fence. The fence destroyed his shorts and left him with deep lacerations on his legs and bottom. And what did he do? He disentangled himself from the wire, got a new pair of shorts, got back on his bike, and kept riding while the medics patched him up with every bandage they could find. He finished 15 minutes behind everyone else and was in visible pain as he stood on the podium to accept his jersey and "most aggressive ride" prize (poor consolation for what had happened, but the best the organizers could do). Only then did he go to the hospital, and he ended up needing 33 stitches to close the cuts on his legs. He's still in the race, and doing quite well despite his injuries. The man is badass.
  • For Virginians, the VCU Rams moving on to the NCAA Final Four for the first time in the school's history is a crowning moment of itself. Even more? The coach that brought them there had been in the school's basketball program for not even two years. That a young and inexperienced coach had done something that no one in the program's history says something. They may not have won, but for one week, everyone was a Ram.
  • The UEFA European Championships of 1992 was a huge CMOA for Denmark. From not even having qualified, Denmark was given the spot in the tournament due to the civil war in Yugoslavia. After drawing England losing against the hosts and eternal rivals from Sweden, Denmark beats France and advances to the semi finals. Netherlands is beaten on penalties, which leads to a final against Germany, which was won 2-0. This was a team that didn't qualify, hadn't trained for the tournament and was without the biggest star.
  • Queensland's rugby union team The Reds had its Crowning Moment of Awesome in 2011 when it won its first Super Rugby title of the professional era, despite the state itself producing more Wallabies in that period than any other. Despite being a dominant force in the Super 12 Rugby competition in the mid to late 90s, the Reds never won a game in the knockout section of the competition. Between 2003 and 2009, the team did not once win more than 5 games in season, with their highest overall finish at 8th (of 12). In 2009, at the darkest point in the club's history, management began proceedings for filing for bankruptcy, the team was to be without a major sponsor for the next season and was coachless. The next season, a desperate team rallied, beating both teams that would end up in the Grand Final, and only missed out on the finals themselves by one team. The next year, The Reds were the Champions of the world's premier provincial Rugby competition, winning 13 of their 16 games, and setting a new Super Rugby attendance record for the final game of the season. After their performance, many long-time Reds supporters switched from the typical "We are Red" chant to saying "We are Redeemed".
  • And after twenty-two years... RAYMOND BORQUE!
  • The 2002 Super Bowl. The Patriots were tied with the heavily-favored Rams at 17-17 after the Rams had scored on a touchdown drive with 1:30 left on the clock in the fourth quarter. The Patriots had no time-outs remaining, and John Madden was recommending they run out the clock and win in overtime. After returning the kickoff, Tom Brady threw three passes to get to the Patriots 41-yard line with a mere 33 seconds remaining. An incomplete pass, a short post pass to the tight end, and a 6 yard rush put the Patriots on the Rams 30 yard line, where Brady spiked the ball to stop the clock. There was time for literally one more play (3 seconds left on the clock), and the Patriots call in Adam Vinatieri, the kicker, who boots it as the clock runs out. The ball just barely splits the uprights, and the Patriots win the game at the latest possible moment, beating the 14-point spread against them for the biggest upset in football history, and making the New England Patriots a force to be reckoned with in American Football for the next decade.
  • Saints vs. Seahawks, 2011 playoffs. The first team in NFL history to win a division with a losing record against the reigning Super Bowl champions. After falling behind early 10-0, the Seahawks fight back and take a 34-20 lead going into the fourth quarter. The Saints cut the lead down to 34-30 and seem poised to retake the lead - until Marshawn Lynch uncorks one of the greatest plays in franchise history, a 67-yeard touchdown where Lynch sheds eight tackles on the way to the end zone. Seahawks go on to win the game 41-36. And if you still don't think that run was CMOA-worthy, consider this: the fans in the stands went so crazy during the play that they caused a friggin' earthquake.
  • Vince Young in the 2006 Rose Bowl. After a month solid of hearing how great USC was, the entire state of Texas was ready to knock some Cali heads in the National Championship Game. Late in the game, down 12 points, Young puts the team on his back and scores a touchdown to pull within 5, the defense held tight and forced a turnover on downs, Young drives the offense down the field, and on fourth and five, less than thirty seconds left with literally everything on the line, Young takes the ball himself and runs across the goal line untouched for the game winning touchdown, sending the entire state (with the possible exception of College Station) into a frenzy, then to put the icing on the cake, scores the two point conversion himself. Regardless of college affiliation, a great moment for the state of Texas.
  • On August 25th, 2011, the St. Louis Cardinals were 10 and a half games back in the NL Wild Card race. In just a month's time, they managed to go 22-8 and, thanks to a 9-17 September collapse by the Atlanta Braves (and a good luck necklace given to manager Tony LaRussa by Carlos Santana), they drew even with the Braves with one game to play.
    At the same time, the Tampa Bay Rays, who were 9 games back of the then Division leading Boston Red Sox on September 1st, won 6 out of 7 games against the Red Sox that month (they went 10-9 otherwise) which, along with the Red Sox's 7-19 (Tampa Bay games included) collapse, also brought the AL East rivals even heading in to the final day.
    September 28th itself had two games with Miracle Rallies, plus one inversion:
    • The inversion was the aforementioned Bravos, leading 3-1 after 6 innings. At that point, the Philadelphia Phillies showed why they got 100+ wins by cobbling together single runs in the 7th and 9th innings, and another with two outs in the 13th. The 3-6-3 double play in the bottom of that inning capped off the Card's Miracle Month (having won their game almost an hour earlier).
      • This was win #102 for the Phillies, breaking the previous franchise record of 101(-61) set in 1976 (and also in 1977).
    • As for Boston, they led the Last-Place Baltimore Orioles 3-2 after 6 and a half innings and about one-and-a-quarter hours of Rain Delay. After nothing doing on Baltimore's part for two innings[2], the Red Sox were 1 out away from at least living another day. But then, the Orioles hit two consecutive doubles (one of them Ground-Rule) and then an outfield single, for two runs, and the win, on that last out.
    • Which wouldn't have mattered seeing as how the AL-leading New York Yankees were up on the Rays 7-0 after 7. Then, in the 8th: Single, Double, Hit-By-Pitch, Walk (1), Hit-By-Pitch (2), strikeout, sac Fly (3), Evan Longoria Home Run (4-6).
      In the 9th, however, the first 2 Rays got out, leaving them down to, at the time, their last out of the season (Baltimore was still in Rain Delay at this point). Cue Pinch Hitter Dan Johnson, who hit a solo-shot, forcing extra innings.
      12:02 AM EDT: Baltimore polishes off its 2-run Rally, putting Boston on the canvas.
      12:04 AM EDT: The Baltimore Rally Win shows up on the Tampa Bay scoreboard.
      12:05 AM EDT: Longoria strikes gold again in the 12th inning; capping both a Miracle game and a miracle month.
    • While calling September 28th "the day of the Miracle Rally" is a bit of a stretch[3], the Awesomeness of this date is acknowledged even by Braves Fans[4]. ESPN assembled the timeline of events here[5] Who Needs Day 163[6]
    • First afterthought: The races for 2nd place (and Home Field) in both Leagues also came down to this last day, with Texas and Milwaukee ahead of Detroit and Arizona respectively by 1 game each going in. With Milwaukee taking care of business, Arizona attempted (and failed) 9th inning rally would not have mattered[7]. As for the AL race (and the right to put off the Yankees for 3 games): Detroit traded blows with Cleveland but still won with a solo-shot in the bottom of the 8th which Cleveland couldn't answer. However, it was for naught as Mike Napoli of the Rangers broke a 1-1 tie against the Angels in the Top of the 9th with a two-run shot that the Angels could not answer.
  • 11th July 2010. Johannesburg. It's the final match of the South Africa 2010 World Cup. The contenders: Spain and Netherlands. Neither have won yet a World Cup title. It's Spain's first World Cup final, and Netherlands' third. Both teams play very well, but Netherlands employs very aggressive tactics against the Spanish players (the most notorious one was Nigel de Jong's kick on Xabi Alonso's chest, which is the image for Unnecessary Roughness) that throw off Spain's game. Casillas and Stekelenburg, the keepers for Spain and Netherlands, are showing how good they are in stopping the opposite team's attacks. The ninety minutes of normal game pass, and it has to go to extra time. Netherlands has one of its players expelled after a rough kick. Time reaches minute 115, five remaining till it has to be decided on a penalty shootout. And then... Jesús Navas sprints with the ball into Netherland's half-field, and initiates a series of passes. The ball ends up reaching Cesc Fábregas, and he makes a long pass to Andrés Iniesta, who is in the Dutch area. He controls with his chest, lets the ball fall to the floor, and shoots towards the goal, in such a way that Stekelenburg is unable to reach the ball. Four minutes later, the Spanish squad becomes the World Champion of FIFA 2010 World Cup.
  • But the greatest moment in the history of all sports. EVER. Was the babe calling his shot.
    • Not so much, actually. It's questionable where he was pointing in the first place (some accounts have him pointing at the Cubs' bench), it was in the fifth inning and not a game-winning hit (if it weren't for Lou Gehrig's home runs following this, the Yankees would have lost the game), and it gave the Yankees their third win (out of four) in a series where, for every game but this, the Yankees were at least doubling the Cubs' score every game.
  • Often considered one of the most memorable goals in hockey, Paul Henderson scores the game winner in the final match of a series that an entire country practically shut down to watch. It's one of the most frequently viewed goals and one of an extremely limited number of goals considered more influential on the sport than Crosby's overtime winner.
  • In 1903, a hockey team called the Kenora Thistles, from a town no one had heard of, in a part of Ontario that no on cared about challenged the Ottawa Silver Seven, the world's best hockey team, for the Stanley Cup. They lost. They challenged again in 1905, and lost. By this time, they had gained a reputation for fair play and brave tactics. Still, no one thought seven teenagers from a frozen wasteland like Northwestern Ontario would ever win the cup. Cue 1907, when Kenora beats Montreal, 4-2 and 8-6. Little kids from the Northwest can still see the cup the Thistles brought back to the boonies in the Hockey Hall of Fame, complete with "Kenora Thistles, 1907" engraved in the side. Kenora remains the smallest town to ever win the Cup.
  • As a postscript to the above, the St. Louis Cardinals, after getting to the 2011 World Series (and beating the favored Phillies and Brewers to do so), twice were one strike away from losing in Game Six in the ninth and tenth, and both times managed to tie it. And then Hometown Hero David Freese, who had tied it, manages to win it with a walk-off homer in the eleventh to tie the Series. Busch Stadium practically EXPLODED after that win. Then Freese, in Game Seven, managed to tie it after the Rangers took the lead in the game, made a foul catch at the rail in the crowd to deny Josh Hamilton another pitch, and the Cardinals go on to win the World Series, their eleventh win.
  • David Freese also gets one for winning both the World Series MVP and the League Championship Series MVP in the same season.
  • Alex Zanardi's return to the Eurospeedway Lausitz in 2003 to complete the 13 laps he missed after a serious crash almost two years prior. Zanardi lost both his legs in the crash and was forced to drive with the throttle, clutch, and gear shifter on the steering wheel and controlling the brakes with his prosthetic leg. He not only completed the laps, he later returned to professional motorsport in the World Touring Car Championship and actually won races.
    • The kicker on his accident is that the Lausitz race was the first sporting event held anywhere in the world post-9/11.
  • Superbowl XLIV. The most-watched event in television history, where the New Orleans Saints, still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Katrina, pulled off a stunning upset to win their first championship.
  • Shawn White getting the first perfect score (100) in the 2012 Winter X Super Pipe.
  • The Miracle at the New Meadowlands. The Philadelphia Eagles, after trailing the New York Giants 31-10 with 8:17 remaining in the 4th quarter, orchestrated a Miracle Rally to tie the game 31-31 with 1:16 remaining. The Eagles defense then forces a 3-and-out by the Giants, who drain the clock down to 0:14 before calling time out. On the ensuing punt the ball is snapped high to rookie punter Matt Dodge. This forces him to rush the punt and is unable to direct the ball away from returner DeSean Jackson, who takes the punt 65 yards for the game winning touchdown with no time remaining. Final score: Eagles 38 Giants 31. Jackson's touchdown was also the first of its kind in the history of the NFL (game-winning punt return TD with :00 remaining in regulation).
  • In the last moments of the 1982 NFC Championship game, the San Francisco 49ers trailed the favored Dallas Cowboys by 6 points. After leading a drive close to the endzone, the 49ers had two downs left. Quarterback Joe Montana took the ball, and, under pressure from the Cowboy's defense, threw into the endzone... where wide receiver Dwight Clark jumped as high as he could and caught the ball with fingertips, landing for a touchdown. The 49ers won the game, and proceeded to their first Superbowl, which they won. The moment is known in NFL lore simply as "The Catch". Adding to the awesomeness, as the crowd went wild, Cowboy's defensive end Ed "Too Tall" Jones said to Montana "You just beat America's Team." Montana replied "Well, you can sit at home with the rest of America and watch the Superbowl."
  • The Miracle on The Mat. Rulon Gardner, was never a legend in American wrestling up to this point, he was good but never great but through sheer hard work found himself in the Olympic Final against the legendary Alexander Karelin, a man who had not lost in international competation for 13 years and had already won 3 Olympic Golds. I believe he hadn't even been scored on for 7 years. This video shows the resulting match perfectly http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXDXl3Vo84g
  • The 2011-2012 English Premier League ended as a competition between Manchester City and Manchester United, the former fighting its first championship on 44 years. During the last match vs the Queens Park Rangers, the Manchester City arrived to injury time losing 2-1, result that made them give up the title. In minute 90 Edin Dzeko scored the tie and four minutes later Sergio "Kun" Aguero scored the victory goal in a beautiful team play. Victory, miracle and first championship in decades.
  • The 2005 Gibsonburg High School baseball team went 6-17 during the regular season. In Ohio, all baseball teams went to the playoffs, however, and Gibsonburg pulled off the miracle, winning eight straight games to win the Ohio state championship. To date, they are the only high school team in any state in any sport to win a state championship with a losing record. And yes, someone did buy the movie rights.


Other

  • The makers of The Dark Side of Chocolate, the documentary about the widespread use of child slaves in the cocoa industry, asked some companies to view their film but they refused. So what did they they do? They went to the headquarters of Nestle, the biggest giant in the industry, erected a giant screen right in front of it, and played their film. You can just imagine the corporate fat cats squirming in their seats. See it here.
  • Walter. Elias. Disney. Anyone who takes his reputation and what he accomplished for granted don't realize just how much crap he went through early in his life. First, he went through two unsuccessful attempts at making his own studio--then, when he finally got a hit star, it was stolen right out from under him, along with almost all of his animators by a greedy coporate scumbag. But did he give up? HECK NO. Walt simply quit the studio and decided to become his own boss from there on out, taking with him the only three people who didn't leave his side--his partner Ub Iwerks, and the two apprentice animators Les Clark and Wilfred Jackson. From tiny acorns do mighty oaks grow, indeed. Then they went on to make Mickey Mouse, then later on the Silly Symphonies which constantly pushed technical boundaries and subject matter unheard of in animation, and then proved that feature length animation was viable, then went on to pioneer theme parks...the guy just kept finding ways to keep topping himself, driven by his perfectionism. If he had just lived longer, who knows what more he could have contributed to the world?
  • Alexander Fleming. He basically provided humanity with a weapon against one of its most dangerous (and possibly most numerous!) enemies.
  • Michael Moore crashed a Westboro Baptist Church protest with a mobile filled with proudly gay men and women. He and his gay friends exposed the protestors' bigoted views and embarrassed them so much that Fred Phelps called off the protest and sent his supporters home. See for yourself.
  • Moon landing. That is all.
    • That is not all. Not by a long shot. This is all: NASA put a man on the moon using technology less sophisticated than what is in your average cell phone. In 1969, before the advent of the Internet or modern computers. That is the crowning moment of awesome.
    • On that note, the entire flight of Apollo 13 was one big Crowning Moment of Awesome for both the astronauts and NASA.
      • "Putting a man on the moon was easy, compared with getting Concorde to work." - NASA
  • Terry Pratchett received a knighthood, and made his own flippin' sword. With part of a meteorite!
  • In 1987, at a party held by fashion designer Fernando Sanchez, the philosopher A.J. Ayer, then 77, confronted Mike Tyson, who was forcing himself upon the (then little-known) model Naomi Campbell. When Ayer demanded that Tyson stop, the boxer said: "Do you know who the fuck I am? I'm the heavyweight champion of the world," to which Ayer calmly replied: "And I am the former Wykeham Professor of Logic. We are both pre-eminent in our field. I suggest that we talk about this like rational men." While Tyson was thus distracted by Ayer, Campbell slipped out.
  • Operacion San Lorenzo - the rescue operation for the 33 miners trapped underground by a cave-in at the San Jose Mine in Chile in 2010. At least six foreign countries aided in the rescue effort - the capsule was designed by NASA, the drill for the main shaft was provided by Canada, and the drill which made the pilot hole through which supplies were passed was South African. In the end, all 33 miners were rescued in remarkably good health. During the first 14 days, they were presumed dead.
  • Martin Luther King and the entire civil rights movement. Not only did they endure all of the crap the south could dish out, they did it without fighting back, earning popular support. Granted, they were helped by the south collectively holding the Idiot Ball...
  • Any time a large-scale humanitarian effort goes underway: e.g. Hurricane Katrina, Haitian earthquake, Chinese earthquake, etc.. Regardless of the niggling BS that can surround these, generally done by someone with their head up their ass on the issue, there are countless Crowning Moments of Tears, Heartwarming, and Awesome... sometimes enough to spawn a series of "comic" strips regarding the heroism of those involved.
  • Humanity succeeding in wiping out the smallpox virus. The vast reduction of other potentially crippling and/or lethal illnesses via vaccine (such as Polio and measles) is also pretty awesome.
    • Also, the recent eradication of rinderpest.
    • The development of the rabies vaccine is also worth mentioning, given the horrors one goes through if they contract the disease. See the entry on the Real Life Nightmare Fuel page for more details about that.
    • Not to mention we're making headway on cancer, HIV AND AIDS. Let it be known that for all Humanities faults, if there exists something that wants us dead? We will find a way to eradicate this.
  • The response of this teenage waitress when confronted by a violent, angry customer. Serious Badass, with a side order of Nerves of Steel. Her response to her cowardly boss immediately afterwards is a Crowning Moment within a Crowning Moment.
    • The lone bystander who could be bothered to help her also deserves props.
    • How about this one?
  • Graeme Taylor. When his teacher threw two students out of his Ann Arbor, Michigan classroom -- one for wearing a Confederate flag, the other for bashing gays -- he was suspended without pay. Graeme responded by speaking out at the school board meeting, urging them to reinstate the teacher and give him his pay. Graeme is openly gay and fourteen years old. He is clearly destined to become a Memetic Badass. You can agree or disagree with the teacher's actions, but man, awesome speech.
  • A pilot pulls his plane out of a 7,000 foot drop when the co-pilot bumps the control stick. Airline officials have said that if the plane hadn't pulled up, it would have broken apart.
  • Nearly every clip in this video is a crowning moment of awesome.
    • He... he just walked on water...
      • That isn't possible by base physics. I'm not saying its cool, but there's something to that or he has boards under the water. The Hell!?
        • They're wearing water-resistant shoes, the guys were featured on the History channel, and they're trying to run on water. The faster they run, the extra few inches they get before plunging into the lake, and the hopes are that eventually they'll cross the entire thing. Hell, just getting 10 feet across on water already qualifies them as Jesus.
          • Too bad that segment was faked, because the rest of the video has some impressive stuff.
            • Aside from the Myth Busters' exhaustive busting of the video, look carefully at the man's feet. He's not running on water, he's running on something about an inch below the water's surface.
  • How could we get this far without mentioning childbirth? Each counts as a huge CMoA for the lady doing it.
    • The father too. Becoming a parent is a Crowning Moment Of Awesome all of us can achieve without the need to, say, become an astronaut or an Olympian.
    • In Greek (or was it Roman?) mythology, a woman who dies in childbirth ends up in Elysium -- where HEROES end up because of their great deeds.
    • Viking women only went to Valhalla -- heaven for heroes -- if they died in childbirth.
  • Newark Mayor Cory Booker had already developed a reputation as a "hands-on" mayor when he started shoveling the driveways of citizens who asked him to -- no small task in a city with 277,000 people. But his CMoA came when he literally ran through a wall of fire to save a woman from a burning building.
  • Eliezer Yudkowsky winning the AI-Box Experiment.
  • US Airways Flight 1549 -- often referred to as "The Miracle on the Hudson". A ten-year-old Airbus A320 jetliner taking off from La Guardia Airport in the middle of New York City struck a flock of Canada geese at 3,200 feet (980 m) that wrecked both engines, nearly eliminating all power for the pilots and leaving insufficient range to reach any runway, even the one they took off from. What resulted was at least four separate CMoAs, each of which almost certainly saved lives:
    • One for the Airbus design team, for, over thirty years before, deciding on a fly-by-wire design which kept the plane in control and flying with optimum lift, leaving the pilots space to think about higher-level decisions like where to land;
    • One for Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, a lifelong pilot, Air Force veteran, safety expert, former glider instructor pilot, and his co-pilot Jeffrey B. Skiles, another lifelong pilot with decades of experience, for keeping the plane in the air as long as possible as they abbreviated an engine recovery procedure designed for high altitude (including Sully's addition to this procedure: activating the auxiliary power, which kept the electrical systems fully running while the engines fell apart), and then for managing a near-textbook water landing despite never recovering sufficient power to fly;
    • One for the passengers and flight attendants, for apprising the situation and coming together to prepare for the crash (including several passengers protecting children with their own bodies, and one passenger watching the window to alert them all to the moment of impact), then successfully and quickly evacuating through the exits onto the inflated slides (which were acting as rafts) and wings;
    • And one for the local commercial, police, fire, and Coast Guard vessels who responded almost immediately to pick all 155 occupants of the plane out of the water alive.
  • The crew of the Titanic. While the ship was sinking, they stayed at their posts, right up until the very end. Hell, the engineers who stayed at their posts, in the bowels of the ship, providing power for the lights and wireless right up until the ship broke in half, deserve extra praise just for that, as they were allowed to leave, and still kept at their jobs. There's a reason why most of the crew didn't survive, and it wasn't just due to lack of lifeboats.
    • Special mention for the ship's band, who played bravely all through the sinking to help maintain calm, right up until the slant of the deck made it impossible to hold the instruments steady.
  • "England expects that every man will do his duty."
  • Your mileage WILL vary somewhat, but in the Manson family trials, mention must be given to Linda Kasabian standing down a group of killers threatening the same to her, all the while maintaining enough composure to give her testimony (albeit through tears). After already having an emotional breakdown as a result of said killings. When a Manson family member screamed, "You're killing us!" she shot back, "I'm not killing you! You've already killed yourselves." Whatever you think of her, you've gotta hand it to Linda: That was excellent.
    • In addition, she unintentionally had the defense attorney's plan to discredit her backfire through her dramatic and human response to pictures of the murders. At one point, she looked at the family members and said, "How could you do that?" Their answer? They giggled like schoolgirls. The attorney doubted her, considering that she had done LSD and could have easily been a part of the killings as well. Her answer? "I don't have the capacity to do something that animalistic." ...Yeah. Linda Kasabian received four Crowning Moments of Awesome just by being calm.
  • The Lenski Affair. Professor Richard Lenski had been working on an experiment to study how evolution works for 20 years (as of 2008) with the help of several students and other professors, and published the results on the article "Historical contingency and the evolution of a key innovation in an experimental population of Escherichia coli". Andy Schlafly, infamous editor of Conservapedia, sent him an e-mail asking for all the data about the experiment and casting aspersions on Lenski's character. The professor patiently and respectfully directs him to read the article, and also corrects several misconceptions Andy had asked about in the first letter. Schlafly then replies with yet another request for all information and data, again making the same misconceptions and even implying that Lenski may have engaged in fraud. Lenski's next answer becomes, as Lenski says, "less polite" in answer to Schlafly's lack of politeness. In a very long and comprehensive letter, Lenski completely shows that Schlafly isn't acting in good faith, completely pwns him and teaches everyone who reads it a bit of what he did, and concludes it with a P.S, a P.P.S, a P.P.P.S and a P.P.P.P.S. which show that, indeed, Lenski is far more open minded than Schlafly has ever been in the Real Life sense of the word (note that, in Conservapedia, "open minded" is Spy Speak for "I completely agree with Schlafly's opinions, even if they are the most stupid ones possible"). It gives you a nice feeling inside.
  • "The British Empire and the French Republic, linked together in their cause and in their need, will defend to the death their native soil, aiding each other like good comrades to the utmost of their strength. Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old."
  • Norman Borlaug. He saved a billion lives.
    • If anyone doesn't know who he was, please look up his article on The Other Wiki, because this man had multiple Crowning Moments of Awesome in his lifetime (yes, a Crowning moment is supposed to be that one singular thing that is more awesome than anything else, but he did so many awesome things that to weigh one as better than another would be tantamount to sacrilege. That is just how awesome he was, and his legacy will be felt for generations).
  • Maurice Hilleman. He saved five hundred million lives
    • As with Borlaug, see The Other Wiki for a full account of Hilleman's awesomeness. Briefly: he developed the first seasonal flu vaccines and the vaccines for measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B, among others.
  • A retired Gurkha soldier on the way home on the train takes on 40 robbers by himself. And wins. Even better, the reason he risked his life? They were going to rape a 18 year old girl on the train. If they had just taken the cash and other valuables he wouldn't have killed 3 of them, injured 8 and drove all 40 off. His only weapon? A kukri knife. Thier weapons? Swords, knives and thankfully non-working guns.
    • The Gurkha soldiers and even the Nepalese themselves have a long history of awesomeness. Even as far back as the early 16th century, the Gurkha soldiers were elite and brilliant soldiers. The entire East Indian branch of the English Army tried to subdue Nepal, but the Gurkha soldiers were so good, and all the regular people (or peasants as they were known back then) were so indomitable and brave that not only did they force England into a stalemate, with England having only gain nominal control over them, the English were so impressed and so respected them that they made Nepal a protectorate. They ended up contracting the Gurkha soldiers out as mercenaries, giving them officer ranks, respected them immensely as great soldiers, and treated them with a type of equality that was never heard of even until the 1960s in America! [8] These soldiers were so good and valuable that in World War One more than 200 000 Gurkhas served in the British army, with only 20 000 casualties, and receiving nearly 2000 gallantry rewards! That is how awesome these soldiers are.
    • On June 14, 1982, elements of the 1st/7th Duke of Edinburgh’s Own Gurkha Rifles were poised to attack Mt. William, held by Argentinian troops. The Argentinians caught wind of the Gurkhas' presence and promptly retreated, leaving Mt. William to the Gurkhas without a shot being fired.
    • Former Chief of Staff of the Indian Army Sam Manekshaw said it best:
Cquote1

 "If a man says he is not afraid of dying, he is either lying or is a Gurkha."

Cquote2
  • Criss Angel exposes Jim Callahan and Uri Geller at the same time with one little envelope, gives a picture perfect "The Reason You Suck" Speech, and almost clobbers Callahan. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMZeJVqAu3E
    • P.S. In case you're wondering, what was in the envelope was a card with "9/11" written on it, because in the event that anyone there did prove psychic enough to know what was in the envelope the question would remain: why didn't they put it to good use and do things like warn us about 9/11 on 9/10?
  • The passengers of United Flight 93. On September 11, 2001, after a flight scheduled to fly from Newark, New Jersey to San Francisco, California was hijacked by four al-Qaeda terrorists, the passengers of Flight 93 called their loved ones to inform this event. After learning about the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, they decided to rush the cockpit as a group in order to regain control of the cockpit. They successfully prevented the hijackers from reaching their destination of Washington, D.C., where it is believed they would have hit the United States Capitol Building or the White House. United Flight 93 crashed in a field outside of Stonycreek Township near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Sadly, there were no survivors on United 93.
    • Every single passenger on that plane deserved a medal. What they did was truly remarkable. They were ordinary people. Ordinary people placed in an extraordinary situation leading to extraordinary tragedy. Facing extraordnary odds and extraordinary perils, they performed extraordinary deeds and became heroes. God Bless The Passengers of Flight 93.
    • It's debated exactly happened aboard the flight, but United 93 is a good example of terrorism's limits. Terrorists, like despots, rely entirely on their victims' fears of what will happen to them. But if the worst is already going to happen, and there's a chance to spare others at the cost of your own life, it's hero time.
  • Your Mileage May Vary (a lot), but for those who didn't like Jerry Falwell, Christopher Hitchens's remark to Sean Hannity after his death was one of these: "If you gave Falwell an enema he could be buried in a matchbox."
  • Six men decided to rob a jewelers in Northampton, England. Everybody is too scared to approach... except one granny with a handbag. Take a wild guess what happens next...
  • Steven. Slater. Upon landing in New York JFK airport on a JetBlue flight, when a passenger dissed him, he ran to the PA, cussed him out, took two beers from the galley, opened the emergency exit, and made his grand escape on the emergency slide. C'mon, hasn't everybody dreamed of doing that at least once in their lives?
  • Woman chases away tiger with ladle. Holy crap.
  • In 2008, Dave Carroll witnessed his guitar, among others being thrown around on the tarmac by the baggage-handling crew of United Airlines. He arrived at his destination to find his guitar with a broken neck, then went through nine freakin' months of trying to negotiate with United, to no avail. So what did he do? He wrote not one, not two, but three epic "United Breaks Guitars" songs, here, here, and here. And the first one got 150,000 views on the day he posted it. And just to make Dave's revenge a little sweeter, since that day, there have been zillions of people sharing stories about what United did to their luggage - don't think anyone in their right mind would fly with United after seeing those. And all of this just for a guitar. Way to go, Dave - best Take That ever.
  • John Smeaton of Glasgow was just a luggage handler on his break when the 2007 Glasgow International Airport attack occurred, when two men tried to drive an explosive-filled jeep into the airport terminal. What does he do? Thinks "that's not right" and goes over and helps the police in making sure they didn't get away, in typical Glasgow style (i.e. shouting "fuckin' mon, then!" and kicking one of the drivers in the head). Apparently there were other people there as well who had thought the same thing and they were kicking the shit out of the terrorists. Glasgow; if you're trying to be a suicide bomber there, make sure you die because if you don't you'll bloody well wish you were. It just goes to prove, you don't fuck with Scotland! (And if you try to, they'll break your legs and probably call out your footy team.)
  • Woodrow Wilson suffered a stroke during presidency on a cross-country speaking tour. This would have been devastating to America, right? Well, if the First Lady at the time, Edith Wilson, didn't step in for him and take over all his duties, it would have been a mess. This technically also made Edith the first woman president, if only for a few months at most.
  • Whoopi Goldberg: "There's a black lady on TV and she ain't no maid!"
  • Casey Heynes, the kid who's had enough of a bullies who have been harassing him for years. Just... see for yourself.
    • The call him the Zangief Kid.
      • As someone who gets bullied for being ginger, a serious bookworm, what friends describe as "cuddle-sized" and having glasses, that boy. Is now. My hero. End of story.
    • And the bully ended up being bullied worse than he'd bullied Casey. He was tracked down by Anonymous and they started cyberbullying him, and so on. Standing up to bullies; good; smashing bullies to crumbly pieces; bad. So this is a matter of taste.
  • One person's bone-headed post on Something Awful the same day as Japan's devastating earthquake/tsunami somehow led to $70,000 in charity ($28,000 in the first 24 hours!), $1,750 in shaved heads and 30 pints of donated blood... and counting. All because someone said "I'll donate $10 to charity if this idiot's banned" and someone else added "I'll donate $20 if it's permanent!"
  • Shortly after the Japanese earthquake/tsunami, fans started posting watch pages to let people know when Japanese celebrities were confirmed safe. In particular, Norio Wakamoto hadn't been heard from for several days. Just when people started really getting worried, confirmation came in: he sent a message to a friend, saying that he was alright and asking them to pass word along to his other friends and family members, and that he was going back to personally help in the rescue efforts. There's a reason people worship this man.
  • Yet another fabulous way to screw over the Westboro Baptist Church.
  • Philippe Petit aka Man on Wire. Walked a tightrope between the Twin Towers. At the very top. Illegally. With no safety net, harness or anything. They made a film about him, and quite rightly too. When asked why, he replied "There is no why." Awesome.
  • A guy posts a joke on Twitter about blowing up an airport, and gets arrested for making a bomb threat. The public's response? Thousands repost the joke verbatim on Twitter. With the hashtag #iamspartacus.
  • A Nepali soldier fights off 30 Taliban fighters single-handedly.
    • That link is broken, so there's a working link: [2]
    • Ghurka again. As I recall from the original article about it, he was largely annoyed that he had forgotten his khukri that day. He made up for it by beating several enemies to death with a fucking machine gun tripod. Which are incredibly awkward at the best of times, essentially a three pieces of two-inch steel pipe with hinges.
  • This kid's valedictorian speech. (Scroll near to the bottom to see a few lines from his graduation speech.)
  • A guy decides to do the right thing when he finds $17,000 in cash.
  • The entire video for DJ Fresh's Louder.
  • The Muslim man in this video. He is surrounded by a mob of angry Christians, chanting and throwing crosses at him. And what does he do? He ignores them completely. Instead, he simply carries out his prayers. And it turns out that he prayed for the families of the mob.
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  "He was last seen on the tenth floor of the World Trade Center, headed up. Of the 2,700 people he had been charged with protecting, all but 6 survived the terrorist attack."

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  • A local Bank of America branch in Florida tries to foreclose on a couple who don't even have a mortgage (they paid for their home in cash). The couple takes the matter to court and wins. The bank is ordered to pay the couple's legal fees (somewhere in the $2500-$3000 range). When the bank fails to pay, the couple and their lawyer get the sheriff and a two-man moving truck company and foreclose on the bank branch. The Daily Show covered it wonderfully here.
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 Jon Oliver: I feel bad for 'em. But... fuck 'em!

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  Stephen Colbert: Well, that's just hiding in plain sight! It's the oldest trick in the book.

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  • How about Yuri Gagarin's flight? Come on, he said "Let's go" and smiled and then boldly went where no man has ever gone before in a two-meter coffin of metal and machinery. Makes one wonder how they managed to fit his MASSIVE BALLS in a starship that small.
  • The protests against SOPA and PIPA which brought a previously guaranteed-to-pass, but highly controversial bill to a dead standstill, is a moment of awesome for the entire online community. Millions of people signed petitions. Hundreds of online companies blacked out in protest on the same day (Wikipedia blocked their screens out), and thousands of emails clogged up the inboxes of supporters and government officials. You know how if enough people call with a complaint about an issue it is noted in official record? I think it has to be about six calls, or so? Yeah, the protesters beat that by a couple of thousand. That's not even including the real life protests, where thousands gathered in New York. Several companies were convinced to end their previous support of SOPA when their users boycotted them and sent calm, but firm emails. It was the biggest online protest of all time, possibly one of the biggest in history, and the internet may never be the same. Game. Changed. Here's hoping they can do the same thing with ACTA. Only bigger.
    • Eh, it's not that much bigger, and many of the companies who opposed SOPA did not participate in the ACTA protests, as it was not a threat to them. Still, the ACTA protesters deserve a special mention for this as well, as they were able to defeat and push back the bill without the support of large internet corporation that opposed SOPA as that itself is a awesome moment on it's own.
    • Now there's CISPA, and it seems like We're on our own now. We will still be more powerful, even when the companies aren't at our sides. WE! WILL PREVAIL! (sorry for being a Large Ham just now.)
  • Back in 1865, a Tennessee colonel asked his former slave to work on his farm again.The response was epic.
  • In 1957, Dwight D Eisenhower, sent the 101st Airborne of the U.S. Army to enforce the desegregation of Little Rock Center High.
  • Jeremiah Denton was forced to do a TV interview in Vietnam while he was a POW, so what did he do? He calmly answered the interviewer's questions while doing morse code by blinking. He spelled out T-O-R-T-U-R-E, telling American Intelligence that he and his fellow prisoners were being tortured. He ended up getting promoted to captain while he was STILL imprisoned.
  • The Roman emperor Caligula was told that he had a higher chance of crossing the gulf of Baiae with his horse than becoming emperor. Not known for his sanity, Caligula, who by all accounts was not a nice guy, had the Roman navy create an enormous row of boats stretching from one side of the gulf to the other after becoming Emperor, after which he did cross with his horse. Of course, this nearly drove Rome bankrupt, in typical Caligula fashion.
  • One Macy's Day Thanksgiving Day parade featured the cast of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends singing "With a Little Help from my Friends" by The Beatles. Awesomeness ensues.
  • After recieving one too many posts over the span of a year from one troll on Twitter constantly calling her "selfish" and "not caring about her fans" for not posting more on her account, when the star was attending college and writing up a mid-term paper (and recording a third album and filming a new movie not long ago), former Hannah Montana star Emily Osment took to the site to post this response in March 2012. The troll quickly deleted her account after that.
  • During the tornados in Missouri, a woman protected her kids by placing a blanket over them and using her body as a shield when the tornado struck down. Her kids walked away fine and while she lost both her legs, she's just very happy to have been able to protect her children.
  • In 1976, Alabama State Attorney General Bill Baxley re-opened Birmingham's 16th Street Church bombing case (the basis for Spike Lee's 4 Little Girls and a turning point in the American Civil Rights movement). He received threatening letters from the state's still-powerful Ku Klux Klan chapter. Baxley's full written response, on official state letterhead:
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 My response to your letter of February 19, 1976 is — kiss my ass.

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  • Operation Entebbe, immortalized as the Entebbe Raid. Anti-Israel terrorists take a plane hostage and single out the Jewish passengers. They then land it in the Uganda of Idi Amin, who gladly gives the terrorists the assistance of the Ugandan Army, holding them hostage at Entebbe International Airport. Israel refuses to negotiate. Instead, they send 100 commandos to execute an operation that took a week of meticulous planning. Defying the odds, they got 102 of 105 hostages out and lost only one commando. The enemy loses? Every single hijacker and 45 Ugandan soldiers. And as a final insult, the Commandos blew up most of the Ugandan Air Force on the runway on the way out to cover their escape.
  • Jack Churchill, who fought in World War II with a longbow and a broadsword.
  • A male chauvinist wrote to a newspapers decrying Pakistani military uniforms worn by women soldiers and doubted whether the women were anything but eye candy.A response from two military officers, one of them a female captain lived this trope.
  • The infamous Titanic's elder sister ship Olympic also had her share of collisions, but unlike her hapless sibling, absolutely refused to go down. The first two cases were incidents with a tug and a cruiser, but the third one is where it gets awesome. Olympic was drafted into service in WWI as a troop ship, and once engaged a German submarine. The sub fired a torpedo at the ship but missed. Olympic in return rammed the submarine and sank it.

Notes

  1. the Patriots in 2001, 2003, and 2004,
  2. If it wasn't for two hits-by-pitch in the 7th, the Orioles would've been 0-6 for the 7th & 8th
  3. Due in part to the Philly-Atlanta inversion, as well as Texas' similar and Arizona's opposite inversions below
  4. Or, at least, by this Braves fan
  5. Wherein they forgot to Carry the One.
  6. Or a 2nd Wild Card for that matter? Besides the AL Central and West?
  7. plus, it was against the Dodgers, who were just barely above .500. You could say that the Dodgers' prevention of Arizona's rally was Heroic
  8. they were still subordinate to any British officer, but they were treated as valued members of the English army when in America anyone who wasn't white was still in slavery and treated as subhuman. That is pretty goddamn impressive!
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