->''"He was so giftedly bad that he backed unwittingly into genius."''
-->-- '''Stephen Pile''' on William [=McGonagall=]

'''Giftedly Bad''' refers to someone, typically an artist, who plies his trade with intense passion, infinite drive, supreme self-confidence, and absolutely no talent whatsoever. If they are actors, they're melodramatic [[LargeHam hams]]; if they are singers, they [[DreadfulMusician warble and screech]]; if they are poets, they're masters of the PainfulRhyme. In general, their work will have what one person associated with the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Museum_of_Bad_Art Museum of Bad Art]] (an exhibition of this trope in visual media) has called the "''Oh my God'' factor" (as in, ''Oh my God, what do they think they're doing?'')

What makes someone giftedly bad is not just their extreme lack of talent, but two other factors. First, the subject must be absolutely convinced that they're the best there is at what they do. And second, pretty much every other person must believe that they're as terrible as they really are (although they might not admit it to them to spare their feelings).

A giftedly bad artist often sees some level of severe CriticalBacklash; he treats this criticism with SelectiveObliviousness and continues working undeterred, believing all his critics to be wrong and misguided. He'll occasionally throw out a TakeThatCritics and tell them he'll be VindicatedByHistory. It's not all bad, though; a giftedly bad artist could also be considered SoBadItsGood, and thus become as celebrated and revered as a genuinely talented artist, but only out of the kick people get out of seeing an earnest and enthusiastic artist producing utter crap.

SoUnfunnyItsFunny is a SubTrope. SoBadItsGood is often a by-product, but not a necessary condition; while an artist whose entire ''oeuvre'' is SoBadItsGood is almost always GiftedlyBad, the reverse isn't necessarily true, and no giftedly bad artist is ''trying'' to be SoBadItsGood.

It's also a surprisingly common trope in RealLife, thanks to the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning–Kruger_effect Dunning-Kruger effect]], which states that the skills necessary for being good at something are also necessary for assessing one's talent at something. This means that someone who's ''really'' untalented doesn't know enough to know how untalented he is, and he thus believes himself to be better than he really is.

Related tropes include HighHopesZeroTalent (the artist is aware of how bad he is but keeps trying nonetheless); SmallNameBigEgo (who overestimates himself in every other aspect of his life); MuseAbuse (where an artist exploits people in his real life for inspiration); BunglingInventor and TerribleArtist (natch); and BileFascination (explaining why people are so interested in the GiftedlyBad).

Finally, '''please remember the above criteria when adding examples:'''
* The artist must be objectively, ''universally'' bad -- so don't add an example just because you personally think he's bad
* The artist must be totally deluded into believing he's really good -- so don't add an example of an artist who's just bad
* Administrivia/NoRealLifeExamplesPlease

[[noreallife]]
----
!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Advertising]]
* A Subaru commercial involves a 30-something man getting an easel from his wife for his birthday. He enthusiastically brings it with him in his Subaru as he drives through increasingly punishing terrain to get the best view for his painting. But for all his enthusiasm (and the car's capability), he still can't paint better than a 5-year-old. He's very proud of his artwork, while his wife can't tell top from bottom on her "favorite" painting.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In ''VisualNovel/{{CLANNAD}}'', Kotomi is completely oblivious to the fact that her violin playing is [[DreadfulMusician so atrocious]] that it shatters glass and leaves everyone who hears it lying on the ground in a fetal position clutching their ears in pain, although she played the violin pretty well when she was younger.
* In ''Manga/{{Onidere}}'', Saya is completely oblivious that the food she cooks is probably the [[LethalChef most lethal thing to have ever existed]].
* In ''Takama-ga-Hara,'' Yamato loves drawing manga more than anything else in the world and hopes to win a Tezuka Award one day. His latest attempted entry is so bad that it inflicts physical pain on anyone who tries to read it, injuring his brothers, who are accomplished fighters, and nearly killing his classmates, who aren't.
* In ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'', Akane Tendō is [[LethalChef bad at cooking]]. She does know she's not great at it. But she [[BerserkButton is offended by criticism]] and always tries to "improve" her recipes. Her relatives treat her cooking as some sort of disease or a curse.
* In ''Manga/LoveStage'', protagonist Izumi Sena aims to be a mangaka one day, not seeing that there's anything wrong with what he produces. Everyone in his class thinks his drawings are terrible. Even the family manager, [[BigBrotherMentor Rei Sagara]], tells him bluntly that his drawings suck.
* In ''Manga/{{Nichijou}}'', Yukko cannot tell a joke to save her life, no matter how much she believes she can.
* In ''Manga/HayateTheCombatButler'', Nagi is convinced that she's an amazing manga writer. Only one other person can even understand her bizarre over the top storylines, let alone appreciate them. When she eventually sees an actual professional's manuscript and realizes just how bad she really is, she's absolutely devastated on realizing she doesn't even know how to do the one thing she thought she had a talent for.
* Naga from ''LightNovel/{{Slayers}}'' is giftedly bad all across the board. From her fashion sense to her magic, she views everything she makes or selects as a thing of elegant beauty, even though everyone else sees it as a source of absolute horror. She even creates a dragon golem that destroys most of a town simply trying to keep its poorly-balanced body upright, and her only response is that some people have no appreciation for art.
* Sousuke of ''Anime/{{Classicaloid}}'' is a budding musician of the desktop music variety, but [[DreadfulMusician his music has caused glass to crack and objects to fall]] (even when it's not particularly loud). When he tries to sing, it causes people to collapse.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Cacofonix the bard from ''ComicBook/{{Asterix}}'' thinks he's a great musician, but his singing and harp-playing scares off small animals and has been known to cause rainstorms. He has to be restrained about OnceAnEpisode from performing, usually by Fulliautomatix the blacksmith.
* ''ComicBook/GastonLagaffe'' is giftedly bad at [[DreadfulMusician music]], [[BunglingInventor inventions]], [[MadScientist science]], and [[LethalChef cooking]]. Notably, Gaston (and his LoveInterest Miss Jeanne) thinks the music he plays on his gaffophone is great even though it causes ''plants'' to commit suicide.
* In the ''Franchise/GIJoe'' comic, Major Bludd has a rather deservedly dismal reputation as a poet. People tend to not bring it up to his face because he's a cold blooded killer, so he believes himself to be a peerless poetic genius.
* ''Franchise/TheSmurfs'' has [[IronicName Harmony Smurf]], the [[DreadfulMusician village musician]]. He has a wide collection of instruments, but can't play a single one of them, and tends to blow off the others' complaints as jealousy. He's so bad that it verges on the supernatural, as he can make a ''music box'' play awfully bad simply [[BeyondTheImpossible by holding it]].
* Destruction from ''ComicBook/TheSandman'' spends his days making new recipes, paintings, and sculptures, all of which are mediocre at best. This might be because he's the AnthropomorphicPersonification of destruction.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* In ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'' Snoopy seems convinced that he's a famous writer. [[http://goldfishbroth.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/authorsnoopy.jpg He isn't]]. On at least one occasion, he received a publisher's rejection letter telling him [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech they wouldn't publish his work if he paid them]], which he dismissed as a simple form letter.
* ''ComicBook/TheSmurfs'': Trumpet Smurf is always silenced by the other Smurfs.
* ''ComicStrip/DickTracy'': Tonsils has a loud, clear voice and nothing else going for him as a singer. He's initially not sure about a musical career, but his manager "Dude" is convinced Tonsils will be a star. It turns out that audiences love Tonsils' SoBadItsGood singing, and he gets a swelled head. Unfortunately for Tonsils, this is a crime story, and things rapidly go downhill from there.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Gamebooks]]
* The Poetic Fiend in the ''Literature/GrailQuest'' series, encountered once a book, is a horrifically bad poet, yet convinced he's the best of the best. However, it's in the player's interest to always praise his work, since the Fiend is also a nigh-unstoppable vampire who can kill an adult ''TyrannosaurusRex'' with one bite. His poetry can also be useful to you as a weapon; in the last book, he teaches you a cringingly bad poem that will neutralise instant-death powers used on you.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Twilight in ''WesternAnimation/LegendOfTheGuardiansTheOwlsOfGaHoole'' is a self-styled "poet warrior" whose poetry is dreadful. (He's not so bad on the lute, though.)
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/ArizonaDream'', Paul raves about acting throughout the movie and gives impromptu renditions of whatever he's watching on TV, but the only two times we actually see him perform are bombs. The first time, he hops on stage at the cinema and starts acting along with the characters in front of the screen, only to everyone to boo him and throw popcorn at him. The second is at a talent show where he attempts Cary Grant's cornfield scene from ''Film/NorthbyNorthwest''; all the judges [[HoldUpYourScore rate him a "1"]].
* ''Film/TheGreatMcGonagall'' is based on the RealLife giftedly bad Scottish poet William Topaz [=McGonagall=], considered in some circles to be the worst poet in the English language, and yet utterly convinced of his greatness.
* ''Film/EdWood'' is about the RealLife giftedly bad movie director Creator/EdWood, widely considered a man of limitless enthusiasm for filmmaking -- and zero talent.
* ''Film/TheProducers'', being about an attempt to deliberately make a terrible work of art, naturally has several characters like this, as the eponymous producers try to hire the worst artists they could find. They come up with:
** Franz Liebkind, an unashamed Nazi who writes the incredibly tasteless ''SpringtimeForHitler'' (and who in the musical was also the original choice to play Hitler before breaking his leg and is as good an actor as he is a playwright);
** Roger de Bris, a CampGay director who knows nothing about the Nazis (or really directing) and turns a love letter to Hitler into a ridiculous flamboyant production;
** Lorenzo St. [=DuBois=], [[TheStoner a stoner hippie]], who plays Hitler accordingly.
* Withnail of ''Film/WithnailAndI'' is an out-of-work LargeHam who has ''some'' talent, but it's entirely obscured by his drinking, drug abuse, unreliability, overbearing personality, and his inability to accept that anyone doesn't recognize his absolute genius. He genuinely has no idea why he never seems to win any parts:
-->''"Bastards! You'll all suffer! I'll show the lot of you! I'm gonna be a STAAAAAAAAAAARRRRR!"''
%%* Edward Lionheart (played by Creator/VincentPrice) in ''Film/TheatreOfBlood''.
%%* The Cobra Dance in ''Film/BrideAndPrejudice''.
* In ''Film/{{Amadeus}}'', Antonio Salieri is portrayed as giftedly bad, at least in comparison to someone genuinely talented like Creator/WolfgangAmadeusMozart.
-->'''Salieri:''' Did you my work please you?
-->'''Mozart:''' ...I never knew that music like that was possible!
-->'''Salieri:''' ''[not fooled]'' You flatter me.
-->'''Mozart:''' ''[insincerely]'' No, no! One hears such sounds, and what can one say but... Salieri!
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* In the ''Literature/VorkosiganSaga'', the Imperial Security HQ was designed by an insane architect (a relative of Mad Emperor Yuri). The building is so uncomfortable to be in, as either prisoner or actual staff of [=ImpSec=], that it verged on AlienGeometries -- to a point [[TheSpymaster Simon Illyan]] once offhandedly remarked that he was never so close to emigrating as when he saw the beautiful glass tower that housed Escobar's Investigatif Federale.
* ''Literature/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'' describes the three worst poets in the universe, all of whom are giftedly bad to some degree:
** The protagonists only encounter the third worst, the Vogons, who hook them up to "poetry appreciation devices" which make them [[SuckinessIsPainful physically feel how bad the poetry is]]. The Vogons seem to be aware how bad they are and take pride in it; when Arthur tries to compliment the poetry (a thought that had never ''occurred'' to the galaxy-savvy Ford), the Vogon poet gets pissed off and chooses to [[ThrownOutTheAirlock throw them out the ship's airlock]].
** The second worst are the Azgoths of Kria, whose most prominent poet was so oblivious to how bad his poetry was ("four of his audience died of internal haemorrhaging, and the President of the Mid-Galactic Arts Nobbling Council survived only by gnawing one of his own legs off") that he was strangled to death ''by his own intestine'', which had become sentient in a desperate attempt to get him to stop.
** The worst poetry in the universe, naturally, came from Earth, courtesy of "Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings of Greenbridge, Essex, England." This is, in fact, a reference to a RealLife terrible poet who went to school with Creator/DouglasAdams (and who's named for real in the original radio series as "Paul Neil Milne Johnstone of Redbridge" -- he asked for the name change not to protect his reputation so much as to obscure his identity and address). He freely admits now that he was an awful poet as a teenager, but at the time, he was GiftedlyBad. The "dead swan" poem shown in the TV series is in fact one of his actual works from that period.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}''
** Bloody Stupid Johnson embodies this trope. He was such a [[BunglingInventor poor architect and inventor]] that people commissioned him just to see what he'd come up with. Indeed, it became something of a status symbol to own something designed by BS Johnson. His genius was that the final product was brilliant, often in some way ''completely unrelated'' to the original intent. Some of his creations warped time and space, such as his terrace rows and an omnitemporal mail sorting machine containing circles where pi equals 3. His particular specialty is the [[DoubleEntendre Johnson Organ]], which actually plays music as intended (although with strange voices like "farm animals" and "young ladies screaming"); his most famous example there is the Great Organ at Unseen University, which includes a 128-foot long "Earthquake pipe" and is so complicated that only the Librarian (who's an orangutan) has enough flexibility to play it.
-->''If you wanted a small surface-to-air missile, you asked Johnson to design an ornamental fountain. It came to pretty much the same thing in the end.''
** In ''Discworld/MakingMoney'', Igor "cures" a MadArtist by switching his brain with a turnip. He's upbeat, calm and terrifically proud of everything he does -- but it looks like a five-year-old drew it. Moist has to tell Igor to change him back, both because he needs the art skills and because he was never really happy with the idea in the first place.
** Though it's less clear when he appears in ''Discworld/TheLastHero'' -- where it seems like he's doing ContractualGenreBlindness more consciously -- ''The Discworld Companion'' reveals Evil Harry Dread to be a giftedly bad EvilOverlord. He tries his hardest and wonders why he's not successful; it's because everything he does "right" is basically every mistake warned against on the EvilOverlordList.
* In ''Literature/TheGraveyardBook'', one of the ghosts is a poet whose response to a bad review is to vow never to publish his poetry again, his logic being that people would one day discover his poetry and revere him as a genius, making the reviewer look foolish. On Creator/NeilGaiman's blog, he says that the poet's epitaph was "Swans Sing Before They Die", in reference to a verse from Coleridge:
-->''Swans sing before they die - 'twere no bad thing\\
Should certain persons die before they sing.''
* Creator/JorgeLuisBorges' short story "El Aleph" features a poet who is obsessed with his own mediocre poetry, and believes that as soon as anyone of importance will read his epic poem, he will be immediately regarded as the greatest poet of his time. During the story, he is attempting to write a poem describing in minute detail the entirety of the Earth.
* In Creator/DavidEddings' ''Literature/TheTamuli'', the minor antagonist Elron spends most of his free time composing his ridiculously lengthy poem "Ode to Blue" (yes, the primary color) which, according to the protagonist unlucky enough to be forced to hear a part, is the most awful dreck ever allowed to sully a paper. When another character presents him with a starkly poetic (and entirely spontaneous) description of the steel-grey light of a harsh Rendorian dawn, Elron actually flees. This is also true of his villainous persona, "Sabre". While Elron/Sabre clearly ''wants'' to be a MagnificentBastard, and may even think he is one, he doesn't actually have the first clue how to do it. The result, rather than being badass and intimidating, is such a ClicheStorm that the heroes, upon seeing him for the first time, are utterly amazed he's actually for real.
* In ''Literature/GoodOmens'', Newton Pulsifier is passionate about electronics but manages to [[WalkingTechbane destroy everything he touches]]. His ham radios black out entire districts. He always buys a computer that doesn't work. His car ([[TheAllegedCar if you could call it that]]) is so dysfunctional that its airbags would randomly deploy. But when he puts together a circuit that's ''designed'' not to work, he ends up with a fully functional transistor radio that appears to be picking up communications from Russia.
* ''Literature/ThreeMenInABoat'':
--> ''It is one of Harris’s fixed ideas that he can sing a comic song; the fixed idea, on the contrary, among those of Harris’s friends who have heard him try, is that he can’t and never will be able to, and that he ought not to be allowed to try.''
* Lapis-Trubetskoy from the Russian novel ''TheTwelveChairs'', whose poems are filled with [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment inane tautologies]]. Ostap Bender, one of the two protagonists, calls him [[FreudianSlip Lapsus]]-Trubetskoy when they first meet. Later he is seen trying to sell poetry to several different magazine editors, changing the subject matter every time; for example, he calls his submission to a medical journal "The Ballad of Gangrene."
* Creator/PGWodehouse wrote one ''Literature/JeevesAndWooster'' story about a friend of Bertie's who wanted to be a portrait painter. He couldn't get any commissions until he had painted some portraits, and he couldn't paint any portraits until he fulfilled some commissions, so he spent his time doing commercial artwork. His uncle, who financially supported him, commissioned him to paint a portrait of his new baby. The portrait was so monumentally bad that his uncle cut him off completely, in a huff (or a minute and a huff). Jeeves, however, saw an opportunity to use the ugly portrait as the basis for a comic character, Baby Blobb, and the friend went on to become rich, drawing comics of ''The Adventures of Baby Blobb''.
* ''Literature/TheDisasterArtist'' is an account of actor Greg Sestero's work in ''Film/TheRoom'' and his relationship with the film's director/producer/writer/star, Creator/TommyWiseau. ''The Room'' is widely considered SoBadItsGood, to the point where people believed [[PoesLaw it had to be a parody]]; Sestero reveals that it was an earnest work of art by a singularly motivated individual, who just happens to be terrible at filmmaking.
* The novel ''The Planet for Tyrants'' from the cycle ''Literature/AliceGirlFromTheFuture'' features Underwater Bull, an [[CivilizedAnimal alien frog]] from a society where social mobility depends on [[BlueAndOrangeMorality how well you could sing]] (well, croak). Underwater Bull was born tone-deaf, and he is completely disenfranchised by society -- so he [[PlayedForDrama organizes a coup]], installs himself as dictator, forces everyone to listen to his terrible singing, and tries to present his non-existent talent as the new, mandatory art form (to the point of banning everyone else from singing and enforcing the prohibition by [[TongueTrauma cutting out offenders' tongues]]). He gets ousted himself and taken to the eponymous [[CrapsaccharineWorld rehab planet for former tyrants]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literary Criticism]]
* The TropeNamer (quoted above) is a piece of criticism regarding William [=McGonagall=]'s poetry. Virtually everyone agrees that [=McGonagall=] was the worst English-language poet of the 19th century (a century full of bad poets), if not of all time, at least among those who actually published their work professionally.
* Creator/MarkTwain went on at considerable length to describe just how awful he thought James Fenimore Cooper's works were in ''Literature/FenimoreCoopersLiteraryOffences''.
* An essay by Creator/IsaacAsimov mentioned a correspondent of his that Asimov described as "an unappreciated national treasure," because on every issue the man was so (as Asimov put it) ''mastodonically wrong'' that Asimov felt that on matters of public policy, a sound approach would be to first find out this man's opinion and then [[AntiAdvice do the exact opposite]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Friends}}'':
** Ross and his "wordless sound poems" which everyone (except Phoebe, who skirts this trope with her original songs), hates, and Joey's show ''Mac and CHEESE'', where the other characters had to argue over what little good there was so they could compliment it for Joey's sake.
** Joey believes the term "abysmal" signifies something very positive, since his critics use it so much when describing his work.
** Monica gives terrible massages, which she struggles to accept due to her drive to be the best at everything. Chandler convinces her that she would technically win the award for worst massage, making her the best at being the worst.
* Sophie Devereaux from ''Series/{{Leverage}}''. Among her more interesting performances are a [[LargeHam hamtastic]] rendition of [[Theatre/{{Macbeth}} Lady Macbeth]], a soap commercial where she viewed the dirt "as a metaphor for sin," and an unseen performance of ''Theatre/DeathOfASalesman'' where she played Willy Loman. In a twist, she actually ''can'' be a great performer... as long as she's conning someone.
-->"Never before has a performance of ''Theatre/TheSoundOfMusic'' made me root for the Nazis."
** And her [[SerialEscalation singing is even worse]]!
* Britta Perry of ''{{Series/Community}}'' believes herself to be a talented photographer, but the only good picture she takes is by accident.
* Dave Lister from ''Series/RedDwarf'' is an abysmally bad guitar player, but believes himself to be the next Hendrix. This ultimately saves his life when a form-copying Psiren invades the ship and takes Lister's form. The rest of the crew is unsure which one to shoot, so they hand the copy a guitar, who plays it brilliantly, (Because Lister himself believed he could play it brilliantly) revealing it as the fake, whom they thusly shoot on sight.
-->'''Lister:''' How did you know that wasn't me?
---->'''Cat:''' 'Cause that dude could play.
-->'''Lister:''' He wasn't any better than me.
-->'''Kryten:''' That's how you ''believe'' you play, sir. That's why, when the Psiren read your mind, he shared your delusion that you are not a ten-thumbed, tone-deaf, talentless noise polluter.
-->'''Lister:''' Are you seriously saying you think he was better than me?
-->''Lister picks up the guitar and plays several dissonant, atonal notes.''
-->'''Lister:''' If anything, this is slightly better.
* Tobias Fünke of ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment'' believes himself capable of getting a career as an actor, responding to a statement that he should stop wasting time with it by agreeing that he should land a major movie role. On the rare occasions he did get a job, he neglected to read the script.
** Gob as well. He just isn't a very good magician (his props constantly fail, he kills his animals, he often fails at simple sleight of hand, and his method for getting a yacht to disappear is to sink it while nobody is looking) but not only does he continue to vigorously pursue it, he insists upon his [[strike: tricks]] ''[[InsistentTerminology illusions]]'' being [[SeriousBusiness taken seriously]].
* Part of the {{backstory}} for Spike on ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' was that he was a GiftedlyBad poet. Becoming a vampire seems to have cured him of the notion that he was a poet, however.
** He gets applause when he reads one of his old poems in a modern setting, with the implication being he was ahead of his time (mixed with a bit of EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas as he read a poem about his mom to a group of badass bikers).
*** Either that or people enjoyed him on a SoBadItsGood level. Some people shown from William's party (when he was still human) discuss how bad he is:
---->'''woman:''' They call him ''William the Bloody'' because he writes bloody bad poetry!
---->'''man:''' I'd rather have a railroad [[MeaningfulName spike]] [[TemptingFate driven through my head]] than listen to one of his poems!
** Creator/JossWhedon actually validates the trope in [[DVDCommentary DVD commentaries]] when he talks about how difficult it is to write "[[StylisticSuck good]]" bad poetry.
* The main character in the KoreanSeries ''Series/OhMyLady'' is the world's worst actor.
* Franchise/TheMuppets thrive on this trope, especially in ''Series/TheMuppetShow.'' Fozzie Bear is probably the most pure example, but he's only one among many.
** A debatable instance, though, because once in a while he came up with something good.
*** Even a broken clock is right twice a day.
*** [[CatchPhrase Waka waka!]]
* ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' has Marshall Eriksen, who has a lot of impressive talents, like winning every boardgame invented (and then triumphantly saying that game's name). However, stand-up comedy is not one of those talents.
* ''Series/KamenRiderDouble'' has one-shot character Jimmy Nakata, whose singing causes physical pain to its listeners and knocks birds out of the sky. And he's winning an ''Series/AmericanIdol'' style show in spite of this (because the MonsterOfTheWeek is rigging the contest). In a slight subversion, when the [=MotW=] is dealt with and Jimmy sings again, the judges say it was bad, but they can't disparage anyone who sings [[ThePowerOfLove from the heart]].
* The Scouse woman in the second episode of ''Series/BlackMirror'' is convinced she can sing. She's so sure of herself she paid 15 million merits to even enter the contest and then waited for over 2 months to be seen. She's on stage for all of a minute after which she's told she's rubbish. She isn't convinced.
** Kind of a deconstruction though; it is presented as if she's genuinly talented instead of imagining it, and the problem of her not being appreciated truly lies with her judges and public, who are just too shallow to appreciate anything genuinly pasionately due to the extreme CrapsackWorld she's living in.
*** YMMV, but anyone who's not deaf can tell she sings extremely off-key. She's passionate, but talentless.
* ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' had Elaine and her dancing skills, which George likens to "a full-body dry heave set to music."
* ''The WB's SuperstarUSA'', a parody of ''Series/AmericanIdol'', was built around this trope. The show used the same "series of auditions, then on to Hollywood" format, but purposely picked the ''worst'' performers to advance, while showering them with praise. The singers weren't told until the very end that they were actually picked for being terrible.
* Jack from ''Series/WillAndGrace'' practically lives and breathes this trope. Mostly due to the fact that he's so wrapped up in himself and has to be the center of attention.
* Subverted on the teen comedy ''Series/CityGuys'' as Cassidy is to perform at a big New York audition night with Chris and L-Train. However, her bad singing convinces them they'll be a laughingstock if they do this so they let her perform by herself. At which point, Cassidy reveals she's a fantastic singer and was faking being bad in order to trick the two into letting her go solo.
* A common trait in ''Series/PeopleLikeUs'', but particularly "The Photographer" (played by Bill Nighy) who thinks himself much more talented than he actually is.
* Trina Vega in ''Series/{{Victorious}}''. How she got to be a student at the Hollywood School of Arts is anybody's guess - she can't sing, she can't dance, she can't act. In fact, there is a second season episode wherein almost all the other main characters [[LampshadeHanging discuss how she could've possibly been accepted in the first place]]. Even one of the teachers who was on the select committee isn't sure...
** A later episode answers the question. All the select committee had to leave for something else and let Sikowitz judge her alone, then he drank spoiled coconut milk and just saw a [[MushroomSamba beautiful performance full of colors.]]
* Echo from ''Series/MrYoung'' is a terrible singer. The titular Mr Young spends the episode about her singing trying to either improve her voice or hide it. By the end he saves her public embarrassment by performing a duet with his own amazing voice. Echo then believes that the horrible voice is the duet was his and the amazing one was hers.
* Tim Taylor from ''Series/HomeImprovement'' is a giftedly bad handyman. If he'd only limit himself to just making repairs or actual reasonable home improvements, he'd be all right, as has been shown repeatedly on the show... except that his ego means that Tim can never settle for 'repaired' when he can go all the way to 'improved,' usually via the eponymous TimTaylorTechnology. His show, Tool Time, is half comedy, half workshop show--Tim's bumbling excess provides the comedy, while Al is his HyperCompetentSidekick and provides the actual useful repair tips. Tim's convinced he's a home improvement genius and is jealous of the more sensible but also far more popular and well-known handyman Bob Vila. Comically, several instances in the show reveal that Tim is actually a competent ''cook'' and can handle himself just fine in the kitchen (when he isn't trying to overclock an appliance). Notably, Tim is the first person to accidentally launch a BBQ grill into low orbit by trying to break a grill lighting speed world record with rocket fuel.
* On ''Series/GirlMeetsWorld'', Maya is a very talented artist. Riley, not so much. She pretty much paints purple cats in a style one might get from a kindergarten student.
* Rik The People's Poet from ''Series/TheYoungOnes'' is firmly convinced that he is a left-wing ideologue, TheCasanova and the voice of a generation of kids and punks and skins and rastas. He is spectacularly wrong on all counts. His poetry is howlingly wretched, and believe it or not, is actually ''better'' read than recited.
--> "Pollution! All awound!
--> Sometimes ... up! Sometimes ... down!
--> But always ... awound!
--> Pollution, are you coming to my town ... or am I coming to yours?
-->HA! We're on different buses, pollution ... but we're both using petwol!...BOMBS!!"
* Cordelia Chase in ''Series/{{Angel}}'' is so bad at acting that her colleagues debate yelling "Fire" to get out of her play. They reason that isn't a crowded theatre so it's OK.
* Madam Edith in ''Series/AlloAllo'' is such a terrible singer that she makes customers stick cheese in their ears, if not outright run away.
-->'''Lt. Gruber:''' Madam Edith has an unusual voice, René. Was it trained?
-->'''René:''' Oh, yes. But it escaped and returned to the wild.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* Music/PDQBach, the last, and certainly the least, of Music/JohannSebastianBach's children. (Fictionally speaking.)
* [[Music/{{Gorillaz}} Murdoc Niccals]] [[TakeOurWordForIt has never canonically been heard to sing onscreen]] except for the growling-whispering rap in "White Light", but his singing has been described as sounding "like someone treading on a duck". He insists the world is merely too small-minded to appreciate his genius and he needs 2D's more "conventional" voice for the albums.
** Possibly averted with the release of Demon Days, where supposedly he sang (Or whispered, more accurately) the words to the harder, punk track "White Light."
** As of phase 3, we have heard him sing, but contrary to what the characters and WordOfGod said in ROTO, [[{{Retcon}} his voice is actually not bad.]] Though that may be an oversight on the management, so who knows.
* Music/MariaCross, the worst singer in all of VisualKei either as zis persona or as zis style. Adopted an Oshare style look, never mind zis music being an affront to the subgenre, and is known best for street performances in Tokyo where NoIndoorVoice meets with ScreamsLikeALittleGirl, MetalScream, and other such tropes to create a [[HellIsThatNoise hellish sound]] that somehow could be workable grindcore or noise, at least until the police end the performance because zhe has no permits for the amplified sound. The entire persona is ''possibly'' a StealthParody aimed at trashing Oshare Kei as a subgenre or parodying the very concept of VisualKei itself, which makes it enough of a not real life example to be put here (though if it turns out to be serious, the example can be removed)
** In fact, it's pretty likely Maria Cross is some sort of a parody, because zhe is actually capable of singing in ways that ''aren't'' absolute crap, and the way zhe flips between relatively ordinary for VisualKei cleans/screams to HellIsThatNoise hints at StylisticSuck - someone who does know what they are doing and is messing it up on purpose.
* Music/HarryChapin's "Six String Orchestra" is about a would-be musician continuing to pursue his dream in the face of humorously harsh criticism.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theater]]
* ''Theatre/CyranoDeBergerac''
** Montfleury thinks he is a dramatic actor capable of romancing the ladies. Everyone else (except maybe his protector the Duke of Candale) disagrees: the bore calls him “a shame for theater”, Theatre representant, Jodelet, thinks the public came to see him to laugh at him, nobody really tries to help when Cyrano bullies him out of the scene and everyone calls him a coward.
** In Act II Scene IV, Baker Ragueneau, who wants to be a poet, declaims his poem (a recipe in verse) to his friends, the poets. He is totally serious about his poem, but it's StylisticSuck.
* One of the most memorable scenes from Creator/{{Moliere}}'s ''Le Misanthrope'' comes when Alceste, the title misanthrope, thrashes the poetry of Oronte, an obsequious nobleman who desperately wants to be his friend. Alceste finds Oronte's poetry cloying, pretentious and devoid of meaning, and even says it is "meant to be taken to the cabinet" -- [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar "cabinet" having a secondary meaning of "outhouse" in 17th century French.]] He then responds with a poem he finds of high quality, a simple medieval country ballad.
* While not an intended part of the plays in which he appeared, 18th-century actor Robert 'Romeo' Coates was so terrible, yet utterly confident in his acting, that his shows would sell out from sheer curiosity.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* May in ''VideoGame/DragonNest'' is a fairly typical example. She genuinely believes that she is amazing at painting, cooking, managing her small business, fashion, and everything else, and she believes herself to be smart, sophisticated, and attractive, but in reality, she is so stupid and terrible at everything that other townsfolk begin to wonder if she's cursed after a while. This is compounded by her endless quests that tend to create problems rather than solve them. It's almost a wonder she isn't chased out of town with torches and pitchforks.
* ''VideoGame/NoOneLivesForever'' gives us Inge Wagner, a BrawnHilda whose StartOfDarkness began when her parents pressured her into becoming an opera singer, ignoring that she was completely tone deaf. The combination of reassurement, ridicule, pressure, and resentment drove her mad, and she eventually fell in with [[NebulousEvilOrganization H.A.R.M.]] She runs a cover operation as a nightclub in Hamburg, where her responsibilities as a hostess extend to singing for her patrons. [[DreadfulMusician Badly]]. Yet the club remains popular with beatniks, who think that she does so deliberately as [[TrueArtIsIncomprehensible an avant-garde rejection of conventional taste]] in music. [[AchievementsInIgnorance She is completely ignorant]] that [[SoBadItsGood this is why they enjoy her singing]].
--> '''Patron''': "Anyone can sing a melody. It takes a true artist to ''defy'' a melody!"
** According to WordOfGod, Wagner is based on [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florence_Foster_Jenkins Florence Foster Jenkins]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}'' gives us Cave Johnson, CEO of Aperture Science, a man with great enthusiasm, vision, and commitment to [[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: [[For Science Science! ]]
]], but next to no common sense, much less business acumen. Inventions include Repulsion Gel, which allows objects to bounce off of it without losing any momentum, thereby enabling a perpetual motion machine. It was originally marketed as a dietary aid replacing pudding so that the food would bounce right out of people's stomachs. Aperture's most famous invention is the Handheld Portal Device that can create wormholes and is powered in part by a miniature black hole. Johnson's original intent for it was to be used for shower curtains. It goes without saying that either of these inventions could have changed the world, but Aperture instead became obsessed with trying to get them to function in their original roles, and became trapped in an endless cycle of cube and button-based testing.
** "[[TractorBeam Excursion funnels]] are part of an investigation into how well test subjects can solve problems while traveling through a churning funnel of liquid asbestos. Results so far have been highly informative: [[InferredHolocaust They cannot]]."
** Wheatley himself fits the profile. [[spoiler:He's designed to be the dumbest moron who ever lived, but his chaotic actions make him utterly impossible to predict and [[TooDumbToFool almost impossible to outwit]]]].
--> '''Wheatley''': '''[[BerserkButton I! AM NOT! A MORON!!!]]'''
* ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'': Yukiko, Chie, and Rise have the utmost confidence in their cooking schools and are seemingly oblivious to the fact that they're [[LethalChef absolutely horrible at it]], no matter how many times they're told as such and how many times their meals have made the others sick. Yosuke even lampshades it in ''VideoGame/PersonaQShadowOfTheLabyrinth'', outright asking them ''how'' they haven't realized how badly they suck at cooking.
* Saber in ''VideoGame/FateExtra'' believes herself to be the pinnacle of the arts, a creative savant on par with the gods. In reality, her skills are below-average at best. In her past life as [[spoiler:Nero Caesar]] she even built a personal theatre devoted specifically to her performances, and when people started to leave in the middle of her first recital, she ordered all the exits sealed.
* In ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'', there is Lurbuk, an Orc bard working in the Moorside Inn in Morthal. He is a notably terrible bard who hasn't been kicked out only because there are no customers around to complain. However, he is apparently so bad that there is a Dark Brotherhood contract out on him, which you get to fulfill if you are a member.
** If you talk to Nazir about the contract, he states that there were multiple contracts on him, so they had to hold a lottery to see which one would actually be honored.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Cyril The Bard in ''Webcomic/TheFourth'' is not a very good musician, yet he doesn't seem aware of this.
* Tom and Izzy from ''Webcomic/HomeOnTheStrange'' [[http://www.homeonthestrange.com/view.php?ID=110 visit an art exhibition]], and everyone they encounter is one of these.
* In ''Webcomic/MenInHats'', Jeriah likes to [[http://www.meninhats.com/d/20040324.html think he's an underappreciated great artist]]. He characteristically maintains that TrueArtIsAngsty, but his own efforts come across more as [[http://www.meninhats.com/d/20040322.html just plain ridiculous]].
* Caliborn from ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}''. His first drawings are incomprehensible (think three-year-old discovering MS Paint), and only mildly improve after several years. When he has the chance to use a ''Learn How To Draw'' book, rather than actually practice the drawings in the book, he cuts them out and uses them for his own shitty comic.
* Count Legato [[spoiler:actually a nerdy kid named Panpipe using a [[ItmakesSenseInContext stolen magic contact lens]]]] of ''Webcomic/CucumberQuest'' writes and stars a play that is atrocious by just about any standards. Not only is it poorly-written and possibly even less well acted, it's also incredibly self-serving to the point of creepiness. He is so deluded that he thinks it's a work of brilliance and only realizes how bad it is when he's called out on his behavior and his writing in front of the audience, whereupon he promptly has a pseudo-VillainousBreakdown.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* WebVideo/MirandaSings
* ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'''s resident [[DreadfulMusician dreadful]] [[PissTakeRap white rapper]] Coach Z. Notably, he's pretty decent when he's had time to set up and practice but his preferred style is free-style and he sucks at it.
* Website/{{Cracked}} gives us "[[http://www.cracked.com/article/170_5-people-who-failed-their-way-to-fame-fortune/ 5 People Who Failed Their Way to Fame And Fortune]]".
* Rusty from ''WebAnimation/PokemonRusty'' believes he is destined to be a Pokemon master, despite clearly being one of the worst, most ignorant trainers in the world who shouldn't be allowed to take care of anything let alone Pokemon, and everybody but him knows it.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Squidward Tentacles from ''WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants'' is not as good at music as he thinks he is. He does have his moments though. The trope is zig-zagged depending on [[RuleOfFunny whether it would be funnier]], at the moment, if Squidward were an unappreciated talent or GiftedlyBad.
** When Squidward actually gets ''passionate'', his clarinet playing is pretty good. However, he normally plays just to ''tone out'' the stupidity of his neighbors... which doesn't really require a proper melody.
** SpongeBob himself is a notoriously incompetent driver, having failed well over a million times on his driver's test. Each time normally leads to him reducing Bikini Bottom to ruin through his manic driving habits, which has led Mrs. Puff to deem SpongeBob ''unteachable''. This however never sways him and he remains obliviously optimistic even as he has driven his instructor deeper into insanity.
** Like with Squidward and his clarinet, SpongeBob's incompetence varies, and can be a competent driver through unorthodox, though unfortunately illegal means that would otherwise also be deemed unsafe. In the first movie, he is shown to drive the Patty Wagon quite competently without the need for a license, saying such a thing is not needed to drive a sandwich.
** Plankton is determined to destroy Mr. Krabs with his rival restaurant at the Chum Bucket, trying to market chum-related products to his customers even as he's trying to acquire the Krabby Patty formula. It has been shown that the food Plankton offers is simply ''unfit for consumption'', driving away anyone who isn't already scared away by his cruelty. Plankton tries numerous ways to convince his customers his food is just as good as that of the Krusty Krab, but it usually only sickens whoever works up the nerve to try it.
* Brian Griffin of ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' is a dedicated, passionate, confident writer... whose book was such a flop that the unsold copies were sent back to him packed in shredded copies of his book. The one time he writes a hit is supposed to be a TakeThat to the trend of awful self-help books, which he writes in a day. When he's suddenly well-known, he rolls with it until Creator/BillMaher utterly destroys him on his show.
* ''WesternAnimation/RockyAndBullwinkle'' has Captain Peter "Wrong-Way" Peachfuzz, the worst sailor in the world. Despite having wanted to be a sailor since childhood, he's totally incompetent at it (mainly because he has NoSenseOfDirection). He only captains a ship because he inherited a huge sum of money, bought a cruise liner, and hired himself as its captain. The rest of his crew has a conspiracy to keep him from actually controlling the ship: they disconnected all the controls on the bridge, and the ship is actually steered from a secret control room he doesn't know about. This plan fails when he blunders his way into the real control room by accident while trying to get to the fake one.
* From ''WesternAnimation/{{Daria}}'', Trent and his band "Mystik Spiral" [[RunningGag (although they're thinking of changing their name)]] are pretty poor musicians in general, but Trent is absolutely ''abysmal'' at writing lyics. The lyrics of "Oh, my nose! Oh, my face!" have to be heard to be believed.
--> '''Daria:''' It has a beat, and you can dance to it if you have no shame.
* Throughout ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'', whenever the Cutie Mark Crusaders attempt a new scheme to get their cutie marks, it usually goes wrong in a particularly spectacular fashion. Their attempt at performing a rock ballad in "The Show Stoppers" is probably the best example. It ends up winning them an award... for best comedy act. All of this despite being told multiple times by multiple different characters that they're going about getting their cutie marks the wrong way. [[spoiler: It takes them until season five to finally get their cutie marks, in the episode "Crusaders of the Lost Mark".]]
* Leela from ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' became a major-league blernsball player in "A Leela of Her Own". Her complete lack of depth perception combined with a very strong throwing arm made it quite dangerous to be on the receiving end of her pitches. She did, however, provide a strong boost to ticket sales, as people would show up just to see how many batters she would "bean" during the game. It took her most of the episode to discover that she was really nothing more than a publicity gimmick.
* WesternAnimation/{{Kaeloo}} draws like a kindergartener, but considers herself to be a great artist (not that anyone else does).
[[/folder]]

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