Created By: WackyPancake on May 25, 2011 Last Edited By: WackyPancake on July 13, 2011
Troped

Fighting Clown

Goofy fighting game character plays reasonably well.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Seen It a Million Times, How Did We Miss This One??, Needs a Better Description, and, apparently, it also Needs a Better Title. Doesn't Need More Examples anymore, but feel free to tell us if you have one.

This is not the Joke Character, as those are characters that are purposefully bad, nor is it the Lethal Joke Character, which is when a Joke Character utimately has some hidden utility. This is simply a character that just look and act silly without being a bad character. They may look wacky, have cartoonish attacks, and a goofy voice, but otherwise they play as well as any other fighter.

Keep in mind that, in order to be considered a fighting clown, a character has to be either:
  • A) in a serious fighting game, a normally silly character.
  • B) In a silly fighting game full of wacky characters, a character even wackier than the other fighters.

If a game runs on Rule of Cool, this guys run on Rule of Funny. Basically, fighting clowns are those fighting game characters that stand out from the roster because they're sillier than the rest of the cast without being a Joke Character. Look for them in any fighting game, you'll usually find at least one character that stands out due to this (unless the role of the game's silly character is already filled by the Joke Character).

Many a fighting clown uses Confusion Fu as his/her/it's fighting style and/or is an Improbable Weapon User.

See also Lethal Joke Character

Examples

Community Feedback Replies: 43
  • May 25, 2011
    X2X
    Video Games
  • May 25, 2011
    hevendor717
    Super Smash Bros. may have several, but Wario especially.
  • May 25, 2011
    hevendor717
    Not the best title or picture, since literal clowns are often characters that fight.
  • May 25, 2011
    jaytee
    I can't decide if I think this is tropeable or not. In any case, it's highly subjective. Who would the "clown" characters in Super Smash Bros be? What about in Clay Fighter? Just how silly does someone's character model have to be to count as a "clown"?
  • May 25, 2011
    Damr1990
  • May 26, 2011
    WackyPancake
    To jaytee: The fighting clown character is not only decided by his/her/it's model, in fact, it has more to do with the way he/she/it behaves. take for example Tatsunoko Vs Capcom. Hakushon Daimao is a fighting clown of the "looks and acts goofy" variety, while Frank West doesn't look goofy, but he definitey acts goofy (what with the supermarket carts, the zombies, the baseball bats and all that). Clay Fighter doesn't have any fighting clown, or, at the very least, it's roster is composed entirely of fighting clowns. Super Smash Bros, however, does have them. Take for example Luigi and Olimar, they both look silly and their attacks (or at leasts Luigi's) are rather goofy. In contrast, Link nad the Fire Emblem characters are all rather serious: They don't have a cartoony model or any odd/wacky attacks. (By the way, sorry if there is any broken english at any point in this message, it's not my native language).
  • May 26, 2011
    jaytee
    ^Your English is excellent :)

    My real problem is that adding examples requires a subjective judgement on top of a subjective judgement. 1. Is the fighting game sufficiently "serious" enough that this character stands out and 2. Is the character silly enough to qualify as a clown?

    I mean, Primal Rage is a pretty silly game (giant dinos fighting giant apes, eating tiny humans, unrealistic attacks). On the other hand, there is one particular fighter whose attacks seem especially silly, involving farts and vomit and other bodily Squick. On the other, other hand, that character is treated with the same Serious Business attitude as the others, with a complete backstory explaining exactly why he is the way he is.
  • May 26, 2011
    Mozgwsloiku
  • May 27, 2011
    WackyPancake
    Jaytee: In my opinion, in order to be considered a fighting clown a character has to be either A) in a serious fighting game, a normally silly character. B) In a silly fighting game full of wacky characters, a character even wackier than the other fighters. Primal Rage, while i've never played it, seems to be a game that runs on Rule Of Cool, while judging by your description, that character you mentioned's attacks use a lot of gross humor and run on Rule Of Funny (Fartillery is a comedy trope after all). Thus, even though the game treats him seriously, he can still be considered a fighting clown. Basically, fighting clowns are those fighting game characters that stand out from the roster because they're sillier than the rest of the cast without being a Joke Character. Look for them in any fighting game, you'll usually find at least one character that stands out due to this (unless the role of the game's silly character is already filled by the Joke Character).
  • May 27, 2011
    dalek955
  • May 27, 2011
    jaytee
    ^^You've convinced me. I think you should add that same paragraph (or something similar) to the description. The part about Rule Of Cool vs Rule Of Funny seems especially pertinent.
  • May 27, 2011
    Sooku
    Most of the original Street Fighter characters have deeper motivation for fighting. Zangief, on the other hand, is a bear wrestler in a speedo who dances with Putin on his victory screen.
  • May 27, 2011
    Speedball
    So would Goofy in Kingdom Hearts count?
  • May 28, 2011
    WackyPancake
    ^Nope, it has to be character from a fighting game, and Kingdom Hearts isn't. Sorry!
  • May 28, 2011
    MiVaTh
    The Joker in Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe. Literal example and a good match. He fights using all kind of weird gadgetry, like boxing-glove-in-a-box-es and BLAM! guns.
  • May 28, 2011
    ArtisticPlatypus
    How is this different from Lethal Joke Character?
  • May 28, 2011
    WackyPancake
    ^A Lethal Joke Character initially looks like a Joke Character until you find out he has some hidden utility, while a fighting clown is just a character that looks and acts silly but is never presented as a Joke Character in the first place.
  • May 29, 2011
    TBeholder
    The title is not good. Given all the variants of Jester class in CRPG and RPGT, it's awful.
  • May 29, 2011
    WackyPancake
    ^That wasn't very nice, huh? Which title do you suggest then?
  • May 29, 2011
    TBeholder
    ^ Yet to the point. I'd tell if could make up something viable, obviously. Though maybe could if it was more articulate or wasn't limited to Fighting Game so far. Wgich is why my opinion on this was limited to the title.

    Looking at the description: this seems to be very close to Bunny Ears Lawyer on the one side, and on the other... The difference between this and Lethal Joke Character seems to be only that here the advantages are obvious and there they aren't - which is of course clear in extreme cases, but the middle ground can be blurry/subjective.
  • May 30, 2011
    FalconPain
    Regarding the Street Fighter example, by the time of Alpha, Blanka seems to have solidly taken over that role. Among other things, he has become The Unintelligible in the storyline, he befriended Dan, and one of his super moves is shaking fruit from a tree.
  • June 3, 2011
    Mozgwsloiku
    Also need a different name - there are plenty of actual clown fighters in various settings, who have nothing to do with videogames (for example, the Discworld fools' guild has its own martial art - one that involves spinning techniques with a bucket and a ladder).
  • June 4, 2011
    FalconPain
    Maria was a Lethal Joke Character in Castlevania: Rondo Of Blood. She fits this trope in Castlevania Judgment.

    It occurs to me that a lot of characters will need to be split off from Lethal Joke Character if this is launched, since they fit better here than there even though that was the best fitting trope before now. I'm looking at things like Taokaka and Bang from Blaz Blue. (There's also question of ambiguity. Which category does Shingo Yabuki best fit?)
  • June 4, 2011
    ElementX
    Going back to Street Fighter, we also have El Fuerte, a Chef Of Iron / Masked Luchador and Rufus, a loud mouth, obese American who may be a Shout Out to Beverly Hills Ninja.
  • June 12, 2011
    WackyPancake
    Bumpitty bump bump (I don't want my YKTTW to die!).
  • June 12, 2011
    Rolf
    Good work so far, just need to sort examples.
  • June 13, 2011
    Surenity
    Doink the Clown of WWF fame may be a Real Life example.
  • June 14, 2011
    SalFishFin
    Okay, here's the thing: A Joke Character is designed poorly on purpose for the lulz. Jigglypuff in Smash Bros. 64 was a Joke Character. She was the lightest, and her attacks were pretty weak with no knockback. A Lethal Joke Character is a joke character that's got a few devastating attacks up their sleeve. That's Jigglypuff again, in Melee. She has the same air and ground attacks, and a few extra grabs, same light weight, but her priority and recovery are frankly ridiculous (she can hover indefinitely, and her Rest Attack from 64 can KO virtually everyone at around 20% damage, when before, it was only a sure KO at around 50%. She's still a joke character, but she was tied for first with Fox and Falco in Melee.

    Now, Captain Falcon is a silly character. He's brash and loud, the only character who call his attacks, and is a friggin' powerhouse. Wario, as well, is a totally ridiculous Gass Hole, but he's pretty high tier in Brawl.
  • July 1, 2011
    WackyPancake
    Bumptastic!
  • July 2, 2011
    EnaiSiaion
    The various yordles in League Of Legends. A gnome in a tiny helicopter, an inventor with a giant mutated brain, etc.
  • July 2, 2011
    isaygoodsir
    Wiki Noob here - please be gentle... Would the characters featured in The Simpson's Wrestling count? We have Barney, who attacked with belching and throwing beer glasses; Krusty (who seems to represent this trope in a literal sense) threw cream pies, and we have The Bumblebee Man - armed with an angry Chihuahua...
  • July 2, 2011
    WackyPancake
    ^Given how Simpsons Wrestling isn't a very serious game, i'm sorry, but nope.
  • July 3, 2011
    MagBas
    Akari in The Last Blade.
  • July 4, 2011
    Ryuuma
    If other genres are allowed, then i'll suggest: Oichi and Okuni from Samurai Warriors. The former is a cute, Yamato Nadeshiko who beats enemies down with her Kendama toy and is pretty powerful. Okuni is a Cloud Cuckoo Lander beauty who carries around an umbrella but can mop the floor with her foes and go toe to toe against powerful enemy officers.
  • July 5, 2011
    WackyPancake
    Yay! Thanks for all the hats guys!

    Before I launch it, though, I'd like to know if you think the title is okay. Personally, I think it is, but some people have complained about it. And, if you don't like it, could you suggest another title, please? Thanks!
  • July 5, 2011
    Pyroninja42
    Possible titles:
    • That Red Nose Says Dangerous
    • The Jester Pugilist
    • Here's The Punchline
    • Badass Funnyman
  • July 6, 2011
    MagBas
    Comical Fighter?
  • July 7, 2011
    WackyPancake
    ^Too plain

    ^^I actually like the 2nd and 3rd suggestions, but they'll probably be complained at for ambiguity.
  • July 9, 2011
    MagBas
    Bump.
  • July 10, 2011
    WackyPancake
    ^Yay a free bump!

    Any more suggestions people?
  • July 11, 2011
    MagBas
    bump.
  • July 11, 2011
    AMNK
    Comical Fighter, seconding. Fighting Clown is too specific for a title of such trope.
  • July 13, 2011
    MagBas
    Bump.
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