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The Setting

This week we bring you a battle for ocean supremacy: Flipper and Jaws in a battle to the death. The arena is a parcel of tropical ocean waters (about a square mile) from which all other sea creatures have been painstakingly removed (no distractions). Both contestants are highly motivated. Jaws is hungry--He hasn't eaten for days, and the chum in the water isn't helping. Flipper has been hypnotized by a leading dolphin hypnotist with a one word phrase: "kill." The two are simulataneously released in close proximity. Only one will survive.

Flipper (the TV dolphin) Jaws (the movie shark)




The Commentary

BRIAN: Is it just me or is this a complete no brainer? Flipper in a rout, Steve. Yes, Flipper has been sub-consciously programmed to kill, but remember he's still the smartest dolphin who has ever lived (and, if those people from Earth Day are correct, dolphins are the smartest animals on the planet). With cunning forethought and strategic military planning reminiscent of Patton, Flipper will lure Jaws closer and closer, both going at tremendously high speeds, descending towards the ocean floor (I know Flipper's an air breather, but if anyone can do it Flipper can). Then, just as the two are reaching interstate type velocities and are only a few feet away from the coral rocks below, Flipper unveils his greatest weapon. Two words: turning radius. Picture a Porsche making a hairpin turn at 50 mph followed by an 18 wheeler doing the same thing. Jaws will jackknife right into the coral reef (which is damn sharp I might add) and will be only slightly less disfigured then when he smiled with that air cannister in his mouth.

STEVE: Brian, when you're right, you're right. First of all, Flipper has the speed advantage. Only he will decide when and where each move is going to be made. Flipper will be calling the shots. Second, In addition to the intelligence you mentioned, Flipper also has the endurance advantage. His warm-blooded 4-chamber heart will keep him going well after 'ol Jaws is sucking wind (water). Third, Jaws isn't so tough. Sure, anyone can kill helpless people (land inhabitants) who are out of their element. It's like a bully picking on little kids. However, Flipper is at home in the sea. Jaws is in for an old fashioned ass-kickin'.

BRIAN: Finally, something we agree on! Of course, it took something pretty obvious for us to finally agree, but it's nice to see that it can actually happen. I mean, really, Jaws is nothing but a big fish. Flipper is a mammal!!! And, sure, Jaws may be real good at picking little kids off on the coastal villages of Connecticut, but who wouldn't be? I could do that. No one's ever gotten to Flipper!! He's the man! Why are we even discussing something so apparent? Why did you even ask this question in the first place, Steve?! What is you're next match-up going to be, Godzilla vs. Bambi?

STEVE: I liken this match to David and Goliath. Sure everyone's going to bet on the big guy, but the little guy will win it all and become king of the sea. Just remember, he's "Flipper, Flipper, faster than lightning" which means that Jaws (the proverbial "lightning rod") is in for the shock of his life. (Oh, the puns...)

The Results

Flipper (150)


Jaws (135)

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Voter Comments

Flipper does have the brain power advantage, but Jaws has a supernatural presence. That shark _is_ more than just a shark. Besides, Jaws has is a major motion picture star, in 3-D no less. Flipper never made it off the television screen. I say the shark will eat Flipper and his little human friends.


Flipper is the man! He'll let ol' Jawbone get in close, get up a head of steam, then casually glance back over his shoulder (or ventral joint, or whatever) and say, "Is that Roy Scheider?" When Jawsy turns to resume the ancient rivalry (four movies and counting), Flip'll give him the old bottlenose-in-the-gills bit. Anyone for sushi?


No contest, Jaws wins.

Sure, Flipper is smart, but Jaws has Steven Speilberg behind him. Financed by a jillion bucks, and also has ET, Indy Jones, and a bunch of cloned raptors to help him kick some dolphin tail.

Besides, Jaws has been harpooned, exploded, and electrocuted through four flicks and always comes back for more. Flipper only had to deal with 1960's style bad guys, and never dealt with any serious threats.

Look for Flipper in a tuna sandwich near you.


I dunno, guys. Can't say that I agree with you on this one. Any fish that can pull in a boat and bite it in half really isn't a match for a smart mammal. I think brute force wins here. Yes, Flipper will take Jaws down to the bottom, turn on a dime and make the shark go into the coral. But, what you didn't point out was that the coral will simply give way and shark's skin is many times tougher than you think. My hero Jaws will just brush off his nasty spill and continue the chase. Flipper will realize that it's futile running and die a horrible, violent, bloody death. I'm horrible, you say? Apparently you haven't seen the commercials for some Discovery channel video, like "Only the strong survive" or, more simply, "Bigger animals capturing and eating smaller ones". There, in that commercial, is the actual result, ON FILM of the result of this matchup. Jawsie with a Flipper tail hanging out of his mouth. Yuuuum.


i had to go with flipper cause flipper-mania is running wild in wwwf



#1 Flipper is mortal - Jaws is immortal: how many Jaws sequels were made???

#2 Jaws is a combination of man and machine and animal: Jaws consisted of a montage of Jaque-Cousteauesque footage of actual sharks combined with footage of mechanical JAWS OF DEATH controlled by calculating movie key grips. Bottom line: flipper is outnumbered by mechanical and actual killing machines.

#3 Flipper can do no evil: killing goes against all the goodness which he represents, he would rather reason with and tame jaws than deliver the final death blow.

#4 How many hockey teams are named after dolphins: Hockey is a much more violent sport than football: Marino can't win superbowls, hence they are intrinsically weak. The San Jose sharks have been surprisingly good for being such a young team.But I digress.

#5 In the underwater battleground, Flipper has the inherent weakness in that he needs to get to the surface for air. Jaws has no such weakness he can hold Flipper in the vise-like grip of his jaws and suffocate him before ultimately preying on his warm-blooded flesh.

'nuff said Jaws in a cakewalk.

-Bill and Shung

Are you kidding? flipper rules and jaws drools (ar ar ar). drool, get it? underwater? naaaaah. My "friend" here says I'm deeply confused, but hey, she voted for flipper too. She thinks he (she) is "cuuuute," and besides, don't dolphins beat up sharks in the wild? Can't you see 'em, ganging up on some hapless mako or hammerhead, taunting it, throwing bottles, flipping cigarette butts, pulling little dolphin switchblades? Cool. Dolphins: Gangstas of the sea.


Flipper will be the easiest piece of tail landed since Anna Nicole Smith looked in that Texas millionaire's wallet. And Jaws has already proven tough in the face of the Reaper by dying repeatedly and regenerating himself in several cheesy sequels. Jaws by four fins and a gill.

-Torey L.

Give it up, Flipper! This isn't the happy lagoon! This is the open ocean, baby! And that's thirty-five feet of ship-sinking, buoy-crushing, teenager-shredding death headed straight for your jugular! One bite and the party's over, baby!

But let's study this rationally. First, you've got to wonder about Flipper's motivation. Can you really count on his hypnotic compulsion to kill? Flipper's a pretty peaceful, fun-loving guy (or gal) and probably wouldn't be able to take a life no matter how well conditioned. And can you find a psychologist with enough insight into the workings of the marine mammal mind to do the job appropriately.

Second, take a look at the theme music. Nobody, and I mean nobody, is going to be intimidated by the theme from Flipper. But the Jaws music strikes something primal. A definite psychological edge to ol' Bruce.

Third, Jaws has got the physiologic edge as well. Especially if there's no time limit. Flipper's an air-breather, so that means frequent trips to the surface, while Jaws can just cruise slowly underwater. Flipper is warm blooded, so if he doesn't eat enough to maintain body temperature, its hypothermia time. And since all the other creatures have been cleared from the combat zone, Jaws can just sit back and wait for Flipper to turn blue. Not very sportsmanlike, but what do you expect from a Great White?

Flipper's only hope is to renegotiate this battle into a tag-team contest between Jaws and the powerhouse trio of Flipper, Darwin, and the Incredible Mr. Limpet. Darwin has proven himself in his bout with the Giant Prehistoric Aquatic Fire Lizard of Doom, and if nothing else, Don Knotts would be irritating enough to attract Jaws's attention so the other two slam him from behind.


Flipper is cute, that's true, but cute won't cut it in the squared circle of water. From the comfort of my beachside Barcolounger (tm), while munching on a tuna-safe dolphin sandwich, I'll be privy to the slaughter of the century: Jaws will make dolphin casserole out of Flipper in less than an hour. The formerly crystal blue water will now be an ominous shade of purple, tainted by the blood of a dolphin pretender (how did Dan Marino get into this discussion?). Unlikely you say? I offer you George Foreman as proof that the fat, old, lazy, and cheeseburger-laden CAN be world champions. Jaws is the George Foreman of the sea, and Flipper wil be the chicken of the sea.


If you liked this match, check out these other past matches:

Tarzan v. Aquaman
A Rottweiler v. A Rottweiler's weight in Chuihuahuas
Cockroaches v. Rats

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