There are games that you just don't wanna play
and some anime and western cartoons that you just do not wanna watch
. But don't worry, (most of) these titles are safe for playing and viewing. But probably not safe for listening to. Whether it's sleep-inducing boredom
or massive ear-grating
, these games are best played with the Mute function readily available, and these animes and Western 'toons best watched with a subtitle track.
Contrast with Superlative Dubbing
Merely being offensive in its subject matter is not enough to justify a work as So Bad It's Horrible. Hard as it is to imagine at times, there is a market for all types of deviancy (no matter how small a niche it is). It has to fail to appeal even to that niche to qualify as this.
Another Important Note:
We don't list entries on the basis of "Dubs gone wrong". If you are going to list someone, be sure that your entry isn't essentially boiling under "He/She's an English dub voice actor, therefore he/she sucks" or "Complaining about English dubs you don't like".
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- While the English dub of Vision of Escaflowne wasn't awful, it did have one or two dodgy performances that had long-time fans going rabid — most notably, the voice of Dilandau, whose Japanese and German actresses made him sound masterfully Axe Crazy, but whose English VA, Andrew Francis, gave him a chirpy little 9-year-old kid voice, making him sound more like a spoiled brat than a pyromaniac nutcase. The fact that it was Francis' first role ever, and that he was going through puberty at the time probably had a lot to do with this, and it's said that his voice acting got a little better as time went on. That, and he finally sounds less chirpy and more manly in the movie.
- Merle's English and German dub voices make her character sound way older than her character is supposed to be.
- Also, Zongi's German voice is much too high and normal, and doesn't make him sound creepy enough. hbi2k's Abridged Series gave him a much creepier and more suitable voice.
- As for Dilandau, his French voice makes him sound like an old lady...and that's NOT a good thing. That, and his actress in this dub clearly can't act or do convincing screams or giggles to save her life. Also, his Latin-American dub voice makes him sound like Raj Koothrapali. Not only that, he's voiced by SHINJI!!!
- Dragon Ball has wrestled with all manner of bad dubs:
- The AB Group dubs for both Dragon Ball Z,note with its beyond-shoddy translation and its small pool of voice actors who do several roles at once without sounding fit for any of their roles, or even deciding who does what character, and Dragonball GT, in which Vegeta sounds like he gargled with battery acid before recording and 18 has no emotion whatsoever. Kid Goku, Mr. Satan, Shenron and Baby are about the only four with decent voices, and everyone else either phones it in or hams it up.
- The French dub for Dragon Ball Z, which featured annoying, high pitched voices and a translation that went out of the way to not refer anyone by name, resulting in a confusing mess. Plus, the voice actors changed rather often, adding to the confusion. Some like it anyway, however.
- Many other European dubs get a bad rep for the same reasons. That's because oftentimes a series will be sublicensed from French or German distributors (which in turn may use a preexisting dub/sub as a base for their translation rather than going directly to the source), making the show a dub OF a dub. In the specific case of DBZ, aside from not naming several characters, the dub also introduced many new name changes that were often bizarre ("Genius Turtle" for Roshi or "Satan's Little Heart" for Piccolo) or plain generic ("Star Warriors" for the Saiyans or "Special Force" for Ginyu Force). Further, having been made for a young audience, the dub also came with an incredibly upbeat whimsical intro song, and was subjected to very inconsistent censorship and reediting. The German and Italian dubs are among the only European localizations that weren't based off the French version.note
- There is at least one exception. The Portuguese dub, mostly due to: (A) Having a (small) cast of professionally trainednote and somewhat already famous actors and comediansnote ; (B) Having the cast be mostly consistentnote ; (C) Making it a straight-up Gag Dubnote . This all made it into a case The Portuguese Love Dragon Ball.
- DBZ sounds just superb when compared to the pure awfulness that was Dragon Ball GT's French dub.
- The Singaporean English dub of Yu-Gi-Oh! is very useful because, unlike the 4Kids dub, it is a reasonably faithful uncut translation of the Japanese. However, it features some infamous choices for the voice acting. Most noticeable example: Seto Kaiba sounds like Nappa from Dragon Ball Z.
- Among the many complaints levelled against the 4Kids dub of One Piece, the worst aspect – other than the Bowdlerization and insulting scripts – has to be its voice acting and casting, the most notable one being David Moo as Sanji. Forgiving the fact that they gave him a Brooklyn accent (4Kids was based in NYC after all), they made him sound like those lollipops had given him a severe case of smoker's lung, ridding his voice of the suave quality the original and the redub have. And it wasn't just Sanji; many secondary characters were given weird accents, seemingly at random – Shanks was Irish, Krieg was sorta-German, Kuro was posh-English, and Robin was given a Texas accent… apparently because she wears a cowboy hat in her first appearance. 4Kids's loss of the series in early 2007 after 104 episodesnote is pretty much universally considered a Mercy Kill by the fans. Since Funimation has now held the show for over three times as long and dubbed over three times as many episodes as 4Kids did (including redubbing those early episodes), just about everyone is trying to forget the original dub ever existed.
- The poor voice acting in the 4Kids dub is particularly infuriating when one realizes that many of the main cast had done good or even excellent work in other shows.note Blame the directors and producers of the dub for those crimes against humanity. The actors were only doing what they were told.
- The Japanese version of One Piece Unlimited Cruise had a cringe-worthy performance where the giant Hulk-like Nightmare Luffy speaks in a ridiculously high-pitched helium voice. Luckily they realized how incredibly stupid that was, since when Nightmare Luffy debuted in the actual anime Mayumi Tanaka used a deeper, much more fitting tone.
- Odex's Singaporean English dub script is actually more accurate than the Funimation dub (which is itself a faithful translation), but had even worse voice acting than the 4Kids dub. Luffy's actor sounded like some stoned surfer dude, the recording quality sounded worse than a fandub, the cast had only a few actors on board (no pun intended) that voiced multiple characters and kept randomly changing as the series went on. Poor Nami went through three voice actors in the space of only 104 episodes. Thank god the mess only lasted those 104 episodes before broadcast was canceled.
- One Piece's first French dub clearly lacked motivation. Luffy being voiced by a man was already guaranteed to raise some eyebrows but the big problem was the obvious limited number of actors available: all the villains sounded the same and Zoro and Sanji clearly shared the same actor (the only thing done to differentiate them was giving Sanji a painful scratchy voice) so it was cancelled after 50-ish episodes, missed by none. It's telling when the subsequent dub, done by Belgians (often viewed as the poor man's voice actors) was considered a vast improvement.
- The Italian dub of Fist of the North Star falls flat because all the voices sound similar. A fan joke is about how the roles are supposedly shared by the studios — "You do Hokuto, you do Nanto, you do fat guys, you do thin guys and women".
- Most French dubs of anime tend to be pretty bad, much more so than America, even though they've been dubbing anime there since the seventies and eighties.
- Lovely Complex: the voice actor for Suzuki gave him a voice that makes him seem as lively as wallpaper paste. It's so bad, it destroys your Willing Suspension of Disbelief; you can't conceive a situation where a girl as snarky and self-aware as Koizumi would hang around him for even a minute once he opens his mouth.
- Not to mention the fact that henote voiced Inui, of all people.
- Soichiro Hoshi's crying in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED. To put it charitably, it makes even Baby Kira Yamato cry.
- Adult!Nel keeping her toddler voice in the original Japanese Bleach. She was supposed to have a lisp and all, but come on! The English dub seems to have fixed this at the expense of making Toddler!Nel sound older.
- And it just makes it worse that she cries out "ITSYGO!" [sic] every two minutes, more when he's getting his ass kicked. At least the dub has her say his name correctly. It's supposed to sound cute, but not after forty freakin' episodes of it.
- The original Japanese dub of BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad features numerous problems. For one, Ryusuke and Maho are supposed to be fluent in English, and their VA's... aren't. That at least can be forgiven. What can't be forgiven is that main character Koyuki is supposed to be an amazing singer, and the Japanese go so far as to get a separate guy for Koyuki's singing parts... and he can't sing – he's nasal, he has no breath control, and his English is even worse than the other two. Maho's VA isn't a great singer either.
- Compare to the English dub, which went out of its way to get actors who were trained singers and musicians.
- The Japanese voice of Byakko in YuYu Hakusho. Seriously, have you heard his pathetic "roars?"
- Cyberdramon's "roars" (Japanese version) in Digimon Tamers are just as bad.
- If you think Cyberdramon's roars are bad, listen to Lucemon Satan/Shadowlord Mode's roars in Digimon Xros Wars! They're so narmtastic it's unbelievable!
- Given the proximity between music and anime industries in Japan, with many seiyuu also having a singing career under their belt, is not surprising that many singers would eventually try their hand at voice acting. In some cases the transition worked, giving us some good voice actors, while other times it just didn't:
- The 1985 movie Bobby ni Kubittake (aka Bobby's in deep) is very divisive in the anime fandom, with people dismissing it as a pretentious mess and others praising its beautiful and at times incredibly creative animation. One thing on which they'll all agree however is that Hironobu Nomura, the singer on whose popularity this movie was supposed to cash in, couldn't act at all.
- The already terrible OVA adaptation of Art of Fighting boasts the guest-starring of Ayumi Hamasaki, one of the most famous and respected pop singers in Japan. Her acting here is pretty bad and it's no surprise that this is the only voice acting role in her long career.
- The OVA for Marimo no Hana guest stars two members of the pop idol group AKB48. The huge difference in quality between them and the professional voice actors is, to put it charitably, very noticeable. At one point the main character, voiced by one of them, is supposed to be speaking with a Kansai accent but it's barely noticeable, when not barely comprehensible.
- Momoko in the Wonder Momo anime sounds like the Bible Black(see below) voice actors if they're actually speaking Japanese. It's horrendous beyond belief. Just because she sings badly in the webcomicnote doesn't mean her voice acting needs to be terrible to match... This becomes so bad that it affected the series reputation with the present and future audiences.
- Himegoto already wasn't a good anime by any means (it's in the anime page for a reason), but the voice acting is unbearable, with everyone having a screechy and high-pitched voice, and zero effort into making the male characters actually sound anything like boys. Unsurprisingly most of the cast were complete newbies, and it showed.
- The Hungarian dub for Jetix's version of Naruto started out as this, thanks to the incredibly-annoying voice the title character received, and the fact that the supporting cast switched their voice actors around a lot... but then came the second dub by Animax, taking the original Japanese anime as its basis, with an arguably better translation and a hell of a lot more consistence in its voices. There was... still some complaining, but less.
- It's been generally agreed on that the Hungarian dubbing of Sailor Moon had great voice casting, but the translation work was, in turn, horrid (it was translated from the French version, by someone who has admitted to being bad at even that language), and considering the episodes have been dubbed out of order, it's no wonder the actors reportedly had no clue what was going on in the story.
- The dubbing of Captain Tsubasa mainly had problems with lip-sync and consistency — often, the voices of characters changed within a single episode, and occasionally multiple characters were dubbed by the same person, using the same voice... even when they were talking to each other! This made the series a very confusing watch.
- Almost all of the Direct-to-Video anime releases from the 80s and early 90s suffered from bad translation work, a handful of voices dubbing every character, and not even the faintest effort went into trying to match said voices with the mouth-movements.
- The Malay dubs of anime depends on the era and the type of anime itself. The 90s is considered The Golden Age of Malay Dubs with Crayon Shin Chan, Doraemon and Digimon, among others, before slowly diminishing in quality (but still good) in the early 2000s; they then went downhill in the very late 2000s. From 2010 onwards there are only select few of these dubs and most of the local channels prefer to air either English dubs or Western cartoons instead. Note that while Malay dubs are not as frequent as twenty years ago, they actually put some (not much but still) effort into their dubs. The horrible ones either give incomprehensible accents to the characters (Mobile Suit Gundam 00, One Piece and School Rumble)note or very low voices that the story is hard to follow (Digimon Tamers and Fruits Basket). Some voices for different characters sound exactly alike, implying that only 2-3 people worked in the dubbing studio. Special mention goes to Digimon Adventure 02, where while the plot is translated well, Davis, Jun and Yolei sounded like 40-year old women (some may realize that Davis is the same person who voice as Nobita's mom from the Doraemon Malay dub) while T.K.'s voice is too high pitched even for his age that he sounds like a 12 year-old girl.
- It should be noted that the Malay dubbers don't care about the dubbing quality as long as the show is translated to their language for the convenience of the viewers (as the majority of them are kids, Animation Age Ghetto is strong in Malaysia unless they're 3D). It may also be that they're simply obligated to do it in order to satisfy Malaysia's bizarrely strict language laws.note Kind of ironic since in the more recent years Malay dubs have decreased in quantity as the language enforcement laws get stricter.
- However, in Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny, in one of Meer Campbell's singing performances, she sings in Japanese. The problem here is that the audience cheering has been completely removed, creating a bizarre situation where an entire audience is going wild, with their mouths wide open, but not making any noise.
- The RTM 1 dubs of the Transformers series Headmasters, Victory, and Super-God Masterforce were done in Malaysia by a cast with little knowledge of the source material. It doesn't help that characters are given bizarre new names — Spike is called "Sparkle", Metroplex is "Phillip", etc. More info at TFWiki here.
- Added to that, the cast sounds like they came right off the set of Space Thunder Kids given that some of the characters sound suspiciously similar. (Sixshot sounding like the Dark Emperor, Brainstorm sounding like one of the Space Thunder Kids, etc.) overall some of the performances have their good or at least decent moments but for the most part its so absurd that it goes right into being So Bad, It's Good.
- The Latin Spanish dub of Kaleido Star only did one thing wrong. Unfortunately, that thing was casting the most high-pitched actors available and amping their voices to unlistenable levels. This dub not only made the series flop and killed any interest on the rest of the franchise in the region, but also gave Colombian dub studios the (not totally unfair, see below) fame of producing the worst dubs south the Rio Grande.
- While otherwise the Mexican dub of Cardcaptor Sakura goes into the realm of Superlative Dubbing, there is one huge dark spot on it: the voice of Kero, at least on his plushie form, too weird and nasal for the character. The voice actor was probably aiming to whichever Mexican equivalent of the Kansai accent was, but instead he sounds like he's on drugs. Part of the problem was that the dubbing studio decided to use the same actor to voice both for Kero the Plushie and Kerberos the Guardian, when the original voice job (and most dubs) had separated voice actor for each role despite being technically the same character, and the actor chosen hasn't the vocal range to do mascot-like voices.
- This dub for a film called "Hard Gun".
- The Hungarian dub of Beetlejuice. Where to start? It is a Hong Kong Dub, and as such, the lip-sync is generally off, at times with the characters just flapping their mouths without saying anything (the worst offender being the third "Beetlejuice" cry at the end, which is simply omitted). Random grunts and shouts can be heard whenever the voice actors felt like paying attention, but no effort was made to conceal how terribly they stood out from the audio track. What more, the title character received Power Echoes, which, along with his fast-talking and low-voiced dubbing actor, made him difficult to understand. He doesn't even sound the slightest like the original — imagine Dr. Finklestein mumbling in an echoing cave: that is the Hungarian Betelgeuse. To top it off, the dialog also offers examples of mistranslation (giving a toast became giving a bread toast), and the music and sound effects are so silent, you can barely hear them over the voice track. How... how could they screw this up so bad?
- As another TVTropes page put it, "Transformers in Hungarian is screwed beyond comprehension", and the dubbing of the Transformers Film Series played a big part in prompting this observation. Though mostly the first movie's. On a positive note, it used the original Transformer names introduced in the G1 comics, but apart from that, it was just cheap and lazy. The voice actors of Sam and Lennox sound way too young, their voices are almost comically high. The translation work is a mess – Michael Bay films are infamous for their generally shallow dialog, but here, it's even more watered-down. A handful of lines are missing (what little intelligible dialog Frenzy originally had was either cut or left in English), while what is there tends to be off by half a second or so. And Ironhide's VA simply sounds bored out of his mind. So much, that he says his famous line about exterminating Sam's parents only after the other Autobots have reacted to it. Thankfully a lot of these shortcomings were dealt with in the sequels, but sadly those continued in the trend of randomly omitting lines, and left various names in English in several scenes.
- Many cheap dubs of Asian martial arts movies have horrible American voice dubs, which often take you of the Asian atmosphere because the American accents are so thick that you have the impression some Texan cowboys are playing the roles.
- Oh god, the Ultraman Eighty English dub. The voices were done by Malaysian actors who sound like they were randomly pulled off the street. The previous Malay Ultra dub of Ultraman Taro comes close with the wannabe British narrator, but Eighty's dub takes the cake. Thankfully, only 10 known episodes were dubbed in English, the rest in Mandarin Chinese.
- The guy who did the promos for The Hype on The WB's "All-New HYPE NIIIIIIIGHT!" It was the same guy who did everything for Disney in the 1990s, and was the voice of that EXTREME bubble tape in that one ad.
- Hungary's Top Gear dub, if it can even be called a "dub". Initially, they had a very small cast with only two or three actors voicing everyone besides the main trio... and even the voices the presenters got didn't quite suit them. All that changed at around Season 5 or 6, when the entire voice cast was recast. But that was the only change. The voice timing and lip sync...way off. Much of the entertainment value of the original...lost.
- In B-Fighter Kabuto, the character Mac Windy was an American character played by American actor Reuben Langdon. Perhaps the producers did not trust his ability to speak Japanese, but for some reason, they overdubbed his lines even when he was speaking English. No parties will be getting crazy with the overdub actor, that's for sure.
- It's very rare that video games will have the entire voice cast present during dubbing. In dubs where the ADR director isn't doing his job, this will often result in hilarious/awful sequences where a voice actor knows his line, but not how the character saying it is supposed to be feeling or what the line is a response to. As an example, reading "Nice Job Breaking It, Hero" as a congratulation, so one character ends up reacting glumly to being told off while the other thanks him heartily for breaking it.
- Samurai Warriors (and Koei's Warriors games in general) has never been known for amazing voice acting, but there was a particularly horrible example in the case of Ranmaru Mori. The Japanese voice actor for Ranmaru was blatantly female and made no attempt to hide the fact. This still beat the English voice actor's frog-in-throat annoyance.
- The German dub of the first Metal Gear Solid game was just horrible in every way. No wonder the following games and the remake stayed English.
- The same applies to the Italian dub as well. The worst offender was Campbell, whose voice suddenly turned from a common adult voice to a deep-sounding one with a very thick local accent.
- The French one is the go-to-go example for bad video game dubs. Despite a few rather good voices (Otacon, Naomi and Mei Ling being the "best"), it's full of failures and quirks : Meryl and Wolf have the same actress (differentiated only by Wolf sounding a tad rougher and Meryl squealing like a rubber toy when she gets hit), Ocelot hams like it's going out of fashion and so are Raven, Liquid and Mantis (the three are grating, but not as ridiculous as Ocelot), the intended gruff Campbell sounds terribly fake and Snake switches from "muscleheaded moron" to "Christian Bale's Batman mentally challenged twin". Why they kept the American voices for later installments is no mystery. Years later, during an interview, Emmanuel Bonami (Snake's VA) expressed both a wish for french VG dubs in general to go one step above "laughable" and interest in a possible French dub of Metal Gear Solid 4. Not only that, he did a fan redub of the MGS4 intro with a much better voice ; not really fitting for old Snake, but would've worked rather well with Young Snake.
- The Spanish dub of Kingdom Hearts II was actually pretty good...except for a particular case: Roxas. Seriously, man, if you're falling into a dark abyss of nightmare, at the very least you could put a bit of emotion into your scream. Which is weird, considering there were other scenes where Roxas' voice actor nails it. For example, his conversation with DiZ. So it could be more a case of wrong voice direction than wrong voice acting. For that matter, there's Goofy in the Japanese version. Actually, Japanese-dubbed Goofy in his other appearances would probably qualify here to some people.
- Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance featured some irritatingly-bad voice acting throughout. However, it was especially glaring during the Battle of Endor, where much of the dialogue was a word-for-word re-recording of lines from Return of the Jedi, which sounded nothing like the lines from the film. How bad was it? Let's put it this way — the next time Lando Calrissian showed up in a video game, Billy Dee Williams himself was hired to voice the character.
- The French version had some excellent voices (Aemon and Emkay stand out), but the rest of the cast varied between mediocre and outright stupid...like that Imperial officer who started a sentence, ended it halfway, then hurried to add the forgotten second half.
- For the most part, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion had some pretty impressive voice acting. However, the male Imperial voice sometimes sounds cheesy and exaggerated, and the actor for the female Redguards sounds like she wasn't even trying.
- The French dub has one actor doing the voices of both the Argonian and the Khajit males and one doing the females. And the voice actor is the French VA of the frakking Captain Haddock.
- And then there's the voice actress of the female Bosmer, Dunmer, and Altmer. It would have been fine if she just did the voice of a few female Elves, but no, she had to do the voice of all of the female Elves in the game! Seriously, half the time, she sounds like she has something stuck in her throat! It's jarring, to say the least!
- Oh, and let's not forget this obviously failed take that was kept, unedited, in the English dub.
- Teddie/Kuma's Japanese voice in Persona 4. His English voice is okay, but his Japanese voice is seriously painful to listen to. Fortunately, it changes slightly when he's in human form and becomes more tolerable, but in his Shadow form it's really high-pitched and annoying.
- Rise's Japanese voice is really high-pitched and grating, and once you defeat Shadow Teddie, you have to listen to it in every damn battle.
- On a related note, Persona 2: Eternal Punishment'snote English dub comes under this at times. Voices can sound narmy and sometimes there's emphasis on the wrong syllable. Metal Jun's voice in particular comes to mind, as the actor sounds like he was told to play as a wimpy nerd, and Tatsuya's VA could give Jason Dohring a run for his money in terms of Dull Surprise. Maya's voice, on the other hand, is simply so obnoxious that you will be very, very glad she's a Heroic Mime and only has occasional soundbites for combat and other situations.
- The Pajama Sam series, once bought out by Atari, had a very sad excuse for a voice actor for Sam. He sounded like he aged three years backwards, and it gets on your nerves very quickly. Some of the other voice acting was also widely hated, particularly the sponge and the Leavins n' Squeezins guy near the end.
- The Russian bootleg for the first game by Fargus Multimedia manages to do even worse. Sam's voice actor sounded like a bored 40-year old adult deciding to dub a random game. Yes, a 40-year old voice for a kid who is supposed to be six years old. His mother actually sounds younger than him.
- The Dutch version of Earth 2140, the obscure predecessor of Earth2150 had the unit's voices dubbed in Dutch. This is already odd, as games not aimed at children below the age of 6 generally keep the English voices. But what made this odd was the spectacularly bad job they did with all the cloned super-soldiers being voiced in the most wooden, monotone, stilted voice that by a man who sounded like he was in his 50's and worked in a nursing home with easily excitable heart attack patients. After the humor wore off, you'd switch to the UCS campaign, since all their soldiers were machines and only made bleeping noises.
- Professor Layton: Pandora's Box was translated into multiple languages for its European release.The German and Spanish voice acting wasn't so bad, but the Dutch one... Your ears will burn.
- The Polish dub of Jagged Alliance 2.5: Unfinished Business replaces original voices with atrocities most probably recorded by an ensemble of small-town winos. Most of the voices don't even resemble the originals!
- The Polish dub of a Russian Jagged Alliance rip-off titled Brigade E5 is just atrocious and coupled with a "Blind Idiot" Translation just to give you that extra kick in the nuts. The horrid imitations of various accents (especially one of the selectable main characters, a French woman who says French words with a Polish accent or Punny Named Swiss guy Cheez and his annoying pseudo-German "rrr") top the So Bad Its Horrible list.
- The Polish translation of Far Cry. "Blind Idiot" Translation, synchronization thrown out the window, and worst of all, most (if not all) of the voices don't fit the characters at all (for starters, they made Jack Carver sound like a Bishōnen!). The dub was so bad, its Polish publisher redubbed it and released the corrected translation as a patch. It was still far from perfect, but at least straddled the line between So Bad, It's Good and So Bad Its Horrible this time around.
- Another thing, mostly about the applying the voice acting itself — they forgot to translate some of the lines and the enemies spoke in English at times.
- The Polish dub of Rainbow Six: Vegas is just as mind-rapingly bad as the Far Cry example above, mostly because it was made by the same company and shares at least part of the actors. First, thanks to bad translation, all the military jargon sounds fake. Second, Logan's gasping when he's wounded easily qualifies as the Most Annoying Sound. Third, Spanish voices have been left intact and whenever the enemies are supposed to speak English (or Polish in this case), the voices barely match. Fourth, Mission Control is voiced by the resident "tough grrrrl!" voice actress.
- Schizm: Mysterious Journey is a particularly bizarre example. Produced and developed in Poland, all of the characters are depicted by (amateur) live actors, who delivered their lines in English, and then had them re-dubbed by professional English actors in The Netherlands. What makes the voice acting bad is that the English dubbing actors had to accommodate all of the pauses and in-fluencies done by the Polish actors to facilitate synchronism, resulting in some very odd utterances. Examples can be seen here. Still, at least the game makes up for it with the graphics.
- Afterfall: Insanity takes the cake. Even with professional actors, the dubbing is still unbearable. The characters sound either emotionally stunted or very confused - this could be excusable, since a lot of them are at least slightly disturbed people, but the main character's delivery might as well be a shopping list. Examples include: Defending himself from accusations of sabotage and blaming his superior for it: mild irritation. A (still powered) neon sign almost dropped on his head: mild surprise. Unleashing a Cluster F-Bomb when pushed to his limits: you'd expect an explosion of rage, but it sounds more like frustrated muttering. His girlfriend is aiming a gun at him and accusing him of betrayal: dull surprise. And unlike many other characters, Albert is voiced by a relatively popular drama actor (who also played Geralt in the live action adaptation of The Witcher... which should explain a lot.).
- The French dub of Kessen 2 for the PS2 was also a (quite obscure) source of hilarity. Mostly because the voice actors had an extremely strong accent from the region of Marseilles. Let's just say it had the same effect as having Roman warriors talking with a Cockney accent.
- The German dub of the original The Force Unleashed was okay (not that great with pronouncing Coruscant as "CorusAAAAHN" and Vader sounding nothing like in the movies) but Tatooine turned it down to zero with Obi-Wan and Palpatine being 20-ish dudes...and Palpatine having the worst impression of him in all of existence.
- The DLCs make no attempt at doing their jobs right. A dialogue from the Jedi Temple DLC has the character talking when his mouth is shut and him being silent when he moves his lips.
- Darth Vader is justified, as the voice is more or less identical to the classic American Vader. The German dubs before TFU were always content with Vader speaking a little like when you put a plastic cup on your mouth with breathing in the background.
- Assassin's Creed is rather well made in Germany, though there are a handful of characters that stand out like the occasional civilian, and in Assassins Creed II, La Volpe (probably same 20ish dude as The Force Unleashed Obi-Wan from above) where the latter thankfully got a fitting actor for Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. The Bonfire of the Vanities dub is a milestone as they apparently didn't record the mob voices, which leads to Ezio and Savonarola shouting "SILENCIO!" to an already completely silent city.
- Men Of War is a very good game, but the voice actors are apparently all Swedish trying to sound like a German trying to sound like an Italian who is trying to sound Russian. One of the best voice actors in the game is Russian and whilst all his peers have awful Russian accents, his is British.
- Dragon Age: Origins' official Russian dub. Not a single blunder has been edited out.
- The Italian dub of Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance 2. And that's not self-deprecation. Bland, emotionless voices and bad acting. The final blow is Lyran the Lich: in English he has a deep voice, the Spanish one sounds like chalks on a board but at least is fitting and scary, but the Italian one... dear god.... he has an extremely high-pitched, ridicolous voice who's pure Narm and totally kills the mood.
- The "Neutral Spanish" dub for Halo 2. After the Latin Americans complained about the Spaniard dub job for the first game, Microsoft decided to provide a single "Neutral Spanish" dub for both Spain and Latin America, and to this purpose, they commisioned a dubbing studio in Miami to do the job. Except that the studio seemingly was staffed by Cuban and Puerto Rican ex-pats who then tried to mimic other Latin American and Spanish accents. The final product ended up having a lot of glaring translation mistakes, strange sentences, odd phrases, undefinable-sounding accents, even worse acting and unfitting voices. Fortunately, Microsoft learned from this experience, and from Halo 3 and on, they did a dub for the Spaniards and one for the Latin American market (most of them dubbed in Mexico nowadays), with better results.
- The Simpsons: Across the globe in all foreign dubs there's one character that nobody but the original seems to do justice: Marge! Every foreign actress who tries to dub her voice makes her sound like a growling witch, almost like a bad amateur imitation of Julie Kavner's voice.
- Whatever your opinion on Angela Anaconda is, the title character's voice makes Nails On A Chalkboard a half appealing alternative.
- The Latin Spanish dub marginally improves her voice, making her listenable... as long as she is talking. The intro song, sang in character and with her voice, goes beyond chalkboard screeching and into rotary drill on your skull.
- How about Titanic: The Legend Goes On? The one with the mice with wildly-varying accents (probably supposed to be Yiddish)? And one of the weirdest examples happens when the ship is sinking — a lady says "You had a tiger on board?" (don't ask). Throughout the entire movie, she'd spoken with a proper, upper-class, British accent. For that one line and that line only, she had a freaking man's voice! And then has her normal voice back by her next line. It's clearly a man imitating a woman's voice there, did the original voice actress have to leave for the bathroom while they were recording or something?
- The Continental Spanish dub is just as bad, if not worse. Taking They Just Didn't Care to the max, they seem to have only two, maybe three, voice actors winging their roles. Also, they didn't bother dubbing the music, the notorious rapping dog included.
- Another example from the English dub, just before the dog starts rapping, the mouse thanks the dog and says "If it hadn't been for you, I would be now in someone else's digestion!" Did they just paste the script into Babelfish and not bother proofreading it before they started recording?
- Try listening to the main character of Rock-A-Doodle. Hell, try watching any scene that has him in it and see if you want to tear out your eardrums from his insistent Elmuh Fudd Syndwome and general mangling of the English language.
- The German dub of Robot Chicken. It seems like they only have like five voice actors for the whole show, which would be no problem for America with every actor having different impressions, here our actors have only one voice. Especially bad when it comes to the Star Wars specials, where Palpatine has a falsetto voice and several other unfitting ones for Luke and Lando. A complete DarthWiki.Wall Banger considering that the TV station ordering the dub could have hired the studio which dubbed the original Star Wars movies and Clone Wars shows instead of this dilettantes.
- The 2nd Russian dub of The Brave Little Toaster is pretty lazy; as the songs vary between a mix of dubbing a few lines, using a Voiceover Translation, and leaving some parts in English. Also, most of the character voices either sound too quiet or not expressive at times.
- The French dub of Family Guy. Peter sounds even more retarded than in the English version, says "ho lŕ ho lŕ ho lŕ ho lŕ" every five seconds, and has the most annoying laugh in all of existence. Chris starts out with a fairly okay voice, but he now sounds like a mentally-challenged circus clown. Meg, on the other hand, now has a tolerable voice after sounding like like nails on a chalkboard. Worst of all is Herbert; instead of his creepy effeminate whistle, he now talks in a deep, gruff tone. And on top of all that, the dub has one of the worst cases of Reading Foreign Signs Out Loud of any foreign-dubbed cartoon - for example, a "do not pull" sign being shown three times in a row and being read out loud each time (ruining a gag that partly depended on silence), and "Fin" (which is already in French) being read out loud as "Ze-end". Although it still airs in France, in Quebec the show was completely overshadowed by the not-too-bad local dubbing of The Simpsons on the same network; even in France itself, it's no wonder that they like American Dad! better.
- On the subject of French dubs, there's also Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. Most French Cartoon Network dubs are pretty bad, but for some reason they worked extra hard on this one and gave Bloo an immensely irritating scratchy falsetto for no good reason. At least Terence sounds decent.
- The French dub of The Fairly Oddparents has slowly fallen into this over the past 9 years. After the dubbing moved from Belgium to France, every last voice actor was replaced, including Cosmo's (whose dubber had moved to France after the recast and failed to reclaim his role). The new voices are particularly miscast, such as Wanda having an insanely childish voice.
- Both Hungarian dubs of the 1986 Transfomers movie. Issues found in both versions — embarrassingly-small casts; the characters' voices constantly changing; glaring translation errors (Unicron became UniCORN?); ignoring already established, official name translations (in the first dub, the Decepticons are called "Toads", while Hot Rod became "Fishing Rod"). On the other hand, even though it left out about half of the dialog and shortened every sentence as much as possible, the first dub had some very witty and clever translations, and the cast was composed of well-known, really talented voice actors. As for the second dub, it was technically more advanced and a number of actors showed actual enthusiasm in their line delivery. But the negatives far, far outweigh the positives.
- The first dub could hardly even be called a synchronization, as the dialog only rarely matched up to the mouth movements. Many, many silent seconds pass without anyone saying anything, even though they're clearly talking or shouting. And at times, sentences spoken by multiple characters got combined into one! The whole "dub" was essentially just five actors reading a badly (if in places wittily) translated script and trying to follow what they saw on screen, but rarely succeeding. Arguably, it might qualify for So Bad, It's Good, simply for being so hilariously bad. Such lines really make one smile:
is the best. The rest are dumb!note
- Also the first Italian dub of the G1 Series. Season 1 and first 6-7 episodes of Season 2 are well done, after that... The whole dubbing cast changes. The characters have random accents or sound like total morons. The worst offender is French Metroplex, but also Retarded Skywarp, Whistling Broadside, Siren-like cadence First Aid, Rhyming Blaster, and Rodimus Prime is Principal Skinner. That was repaired with the 2008 redub of the first two seasons... than Season 3 was redubbed in 2011. And with "redubbed" we mean "fandubbed by the hosts of a TV show for kids aired only in a few places just for the sake of having a new dub to air in their show, since the old one is no more available". Galvatron is the only one good.
- Germany's second TF: The Movie dub is about on the same level as the second Hungarian one. While the first one had its share of problems, it did an okay job of adapting the film to German audiences. The later DVD dub is however pitiful in every respect — shrill, annoying voices, badly translated, unnatural sounding dialog, and cheap voice-altering effects layered on top of amateurish VA performances. Optimus Prime even starts out tal-king like a life-less ro-bot. See here for a comparison between the original English and the two German dub variations.
- KaBlam!!: JUNE'S. VOICE. IN. THE. DUTCH. DUB. She sounds like a dying cat. here's a clip.
- Also, at the beginning of that clip, seems like that the person who says "KABLAM!", now has a weird accent, and thanks to how sometimes in Dutch dubs the different accents cause words to change into a more absurd version, that person now says, "KUUUUUUUUBLOM." Let me guess, it'll become a meme any second now.
- Through no fault of the voice actors, the 2006 American version of The Magic Roundabout's CGI film, titled Doogal, was one of the worst gag dubs in animation. It's bad enough that the original cut being in English as well rendered this redundant; what was once the adventure of a dog and his animal friends saving the world from an evil entity was now chock full of stupid pop-culture references and banal jokes — all very poorly synched. It foreswore all but two members of the original English cast in favor of American big-names such as Kevin Smith (whose character was silent in the original) and Jon Stewart, (who broke out laughing when his role as The Big Bad was brought up on The Daily Show) The film has a 2.5 IMDB score, a 23 Metacritic score, an F from Entertainment Weekly, and its own episode on Infamous Animation.
- It could have been avoided — it used to be well handled, has major fans, the voice actors themselves love working on it, some even volunteer to correct the translation goof-ups during recording — but the Hungarian dub for The Simpsons has fallen into this category, especially in the later seasons. It already started out as a relatively low-budget production with limited technical backup (meaning if someone accidentally erased part of the voice track, they couldn't retake the scene, left the goof in, and handed it over to the TV station). Over time, as the show gained popularity and went through a number of various dubbing studios, the quality of the dub somehow sank even further. Lip-sync is a rarity nowadays, the voices and name translations change constantly (at times, quite jarringly, within the same episode), and the overall translation itself ranges from half-decent to downright nonsensical. It's as if all the worthwhile translators were Seth Mac Farlane fans, because his shows receive darn good dubs, and The Simpsons had to make do with only the most under-payed hacks. Never mind that merely a fraction of the gags survive (in part due to the on-screen translator/narrator actually talking over the dialog), even basic, straightforward sentences get horribly mangled (like "couch gag" becoming "a coach named Gag", or "my bad" becoming "me bad"). Worse, the translators seem to be completely ignorant towards pop-culture, with no idea of how to make the gags work for a non-American audience, and so translate a huge amount of jokes word-for-word, thereby completely rendering them pointless. The alternating voice cast doesn't always manage to salvage what's left either: if characters speak with their non-regular voice, it will almost always be some irritating, too high or low-pitched "cartoon" voice that doesn't even mimic how they are supposed to sound.
- There seems to be no improvement in sight — they even mess up the music tracks. In a particularly notable screwup, they cut the original English vocals from the credits of one ep... which wouldn't have been that noticeable, were it not for the sing-along subtitles that still showed up at the screen's bottom.
- Phineas of Phineas and Ferb has a very poor singing voice in the Latin American dub. Just hear how he sings "Gitchie Gitchie Goo", and that was just the second version. The first version showed how much the dubbers cared.
- While not flat-out horrible, the french dub of Justice League clearly wasn't on par with the excellency of Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series', replacing the very popular Richard Darbois on Batman with a considerably lesser known voice actor, whom most viewers found his voice too nasal and irritating, received the most flak with some occasionally unfortunate casting choices (Music Master and Kragger sounding like teenagers being the most obvious for this troper). But everyone agrees that things really went downhill with Justice League Unlimited: while Batman's voice being once again replaced was mostly considered an improvement, they also replaced the well-liked Emmanuel Jacomy on Superman with a man who clearly had no experience in voice acting and who therefore made the Man of Steel sound incredibly dull and flat (so much that his kid version exhaled way more charisma). Even worse, inexperienced flat sounding voices seemed to be the qualification to get a job on the series so many characters sounded just horrible, Wildcat and Stargirl for an example not sounding older and younger than in their 30's respectively. Aquaman also suffered from a unconvincing new voice despite his previous (and actually good) voice actor being still around voicing the Atom among others. Especially sad considering the voice director was the man behind the very good local dub of Superman: The Animated Series.
- Most of their DC Animation french dubs tend to be average, having both their strong and weak points. But for Batman: Under the Red Hood, it seems that everyone has been given a word to do their worst. First, there's Nightwing, whose actor voiced exactly like he voices Robin, making him sound like a hyperactive teenager. Black Mask is pretty menacing when he is subdued but then he raises his voice (which he does a lot) and evokes all the menace of a little girl throwing a tantrum. The Joker and Ra's al Ghul sound exactly like in Batman: The Brave and the Bold, i.e. cartoonish, annoyingly nasal for the former and ridiculously raspy for the latter. And then, you got the Hood himself, who did get Eric Cartman's voice actor... and delivery. He sounds like a troll. True, the actor tries at least to play it more seriously when the character appears as Jason but the damage's been done.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has been dubbed into no fewer than a dozen different languages, and the dubs run the gamut from pretty good (coming close to one-upping the English original) to mind-breakingly bad, depending on the language or even individual characters.
- The Brazilian dub is infamous for giving Rainbow Dash a male-sounding voice; the French dub, while otherwise good, gave Pinkie Pie a oddly low pitched voice that doesn't convey her hyperactivity at all; the Japanese version, while for the most part awesome, made Ahuizotl sound like a gruff high school aged football jock; the Romanian dub can never find the beat in the songs (and Rarity can't sing); etc.
- But it's the Czech dub that's legendary for its sensory-raping badness – the songs are badly sung (except for the Cutie Mark Crusaders Theme, which sounds better than their other efforts, even though that song is supposed to sound terrible), the voice actors for all the characters sound weird, and pretty much everything else you shouldn't do when dubbing a show.
- The Hungarian dub has some nasty casting calls as well: Spike sounds like Bugs Bunny, Rainbow Dash sounds like an old woman, Shining Armor's first voice is too young, and Derpy Hooves, Photo Finish, June Bug, and even Babs Seed are obviously all voiced by men.
- Swedish Pinkie Pie. While her acting itself is decent, she has a really false, jarring and annoying laughter; accompanied with an absolutely terrible singing voice. Which is funny, when you take into account that Pinkie Pie is the pony who sings the most, and all the other Swedish singing voices in the dub are really good.
- There's this unknown movie called The Christmas Tree, and...the voice acting is just stiff, wooden, and completely emotionless. Nobody even TRIES to throw any emotion in it at all, and the only decent voice in the movie is the old evil orphanage lady, and even then she sounds battier than your normal hysterical woman. All but one of the child characters are voiced by actual children (note that the term "child ACTOR" was not used in the preceding sentence). Many of the children's lines are so slurred you can't understand what they're saying! Nobody had the sense to say, "Cut! Retake this scene!"? Not that this is the only thing wrong with this movie, though.
- In Captain N: The Game Master, the voice acting is generally not very good - however, the highlight has to be Mega Man's smoker voice.
- An Animated Adaptation of the comic strip Pearls Before Swine has been made, with some... rather questionable casting choices. While Rat, Pig, and Zebra sound decent (though Rat's deep voice and Pig's really high voice could be a case of Love It or Hate It), Goat has a British accent for no real reason, possibly to highlight his intellect, but it sounds very out of place and makes him sound like a pompous douche, which doesn't fit his personality at all. Guard Duck also has a deep, gravelly voice that makes him sound like he has a severe case of smoker's lung, and the crocs... dear God, THE CROCS.
- One of the few things fans and haters of Johnny Test agree on is that the voice acting is atrocious, with everybody constantly screaming everything at the top of their lungs and even the veteran voice actors in the cast giving very phony, overdone and irritating performances (Johnny's in particular will make your ears bleed). It's pretty much the auditory embodiment of They Just Didn't Care.
- While the voice acting for Beverly Hills Teens ranges from So Okay, It's Average to So Bad, It's Good (given its age and low budget), the character Jett's whiny and nasal Valley Girl accent is utterly painful to listen to, to the point that many of her lines are actually difficult to understand.
- Agapio Racing Team (a Finnish dubbing company) was legendary for its awfulness. One would think they had just hired a bunch of stoned teenagers off the street, shoved scripts in front of their faces and forced them to dub the show live at 7 in the morning, without even the courtesy of giving them some morning coffee. Their voice actors, often known under different company names such as Golden Voice, were the bane of children's programming for years, until their dub for Digimon garnered enough complaints to warrant firing the group, and they haven't produced a single thing since. See their work on Digimon here, and a notorious musical number from My Little Pony here.
- The Digimon dub has a wonderful assortment of emotions — fury, sadness, and joy.
- In Brazil, there was a time in which certain companies, to cut costs, would outsource dubs to Miami, where they would be done by local Brazilians - people with no experience whatsoever in the acting field, no control over accents, etc. The result, predictably enough, were dubs with an amateur-sounding cast, laughably-bad performances, different accents everywhere, terrible directing and so on. Fortunately, the practice died over time...for a while; recently, Viz Media decided to dub the (admittedly mediocre) Blue Dragon anime in Miami. The end result started to become a meme among the fandom mere days after the broadcast of the first episode. It's that bad. Check it out here and here (naturally, more recommended if you know BR-Portuguese).
- Spanish dubbers have also been known to do this; however, the voice actors tended to be South American expatriates (as they're the ones who got hired more often) who made no effort to hide their native accents. Results ranged from So Bad, It's Good (The Fairly Oddparents) to really ear-grating (South Park).
- Odex, a Singapore-based dubbing company. They've produced a lot of English dubs over the years for Animax-Asia, but towards the end of the anime bubble, US-based studios would occasionally use them due to their being incredibly cheap (especially compared to the increasingly-expensive LA recording studios). Beneath their belts are butcherings of such shows as Zipang, Fantastic Children aaaaand...
- The English dub of Karin. Karin's voice (played by American expat Chelsea Curto) is tolerable for a while — far moreso than most of the other actors — but when she starts crying (which is common), it gets super high pitched and grating. And because we don't have a separate section for bad scripting, the English dub has one particularly-grating moment. "I'm gonna avoid that new transfer student! ...but if I can't my peaceful life is going to be turned upside down!" So. Cliche.
- "Time for talk is over! I challenge you to DYOOOOOOL!"
- Ranma ˝ suffers from this by Animax, the characters' voices are so low and same-y that it is difficult to keep up what is actually going on. The only thing that can pass as hear-able is Akane constantly spamming "MORON" to the audience and Ranma.
- Another English-language offender is Arvintel Productions, based in Southern California. They are known for being probably the cheapest dub studio in North America, and have the (total lack of) quality to back them up. Oftentimes it seems like they give their actors only one take per line, and if the actor didn't quite get it, oh well. Their dub of Green Green is especially notorious, but they have other disasters under their belts as well, like Ah My Buddha (not to be confused with a far better series that is known for its fantastic dubbing) and Eiken.
- In Portugal, the TV stations don't bother with editing and keep the original background music, which is nice. However, the voiceovers are made by adults who have no idea how a child sounds. The adults (occasionally) sound good, but anything under the age of 18 will sound, if you're lucky, retarded. If you're unlucky, it's torture. In ascending order of pain — Digimon Tamers, Naruto, One Piece. Don't worry, the last one gets worse.
- Studio Loudworks, an English-to-Serbian dub company. The voices can be utterly grating at some parts, and even when there isn't, there's still the matter of their glaring blind idiot translations—They consistently (and very stupidly) translate word-for-word from English, resulting in a difficult (when possible) to understand script.
- Most (mind you, not all!) of the Hungarian dubs released by the Romanian "Zone" dubbing studio. With only a handful of actors and actresses, most of whom suffer from horrible nasal and guttural voices, and a less than firm grasp on the language's grammar, it's no wonder that a number of their works had to be redubbed (most notably Star Trek: Voyager) due to the viewers' outcry.
- The Hungarian movie dubs on the MGM station, made by the same studio but with proper Hungarian voice actors, qualify as well. Most of voice actors working on them are fine, that's not a problem, but the same cast dubs every movie, using the same voice, and sounding like they do not give a damn about acting. It gets on a person's nerves to hear the same couple of voices over and over again in every freaking movie. Some of the more classic films they play actually have older, perfectly passable dubs, yet the TV station still re-dubs even those, save for such isolated cases like Beetlejuice, whose dub has been described above (it seems it had a quiality low enough to meet their standards). Some claim this is because the actors have fun doing these dubs, and the studio is very cost efficient, so it can churn out as many dubbings as it wants within a given amount of time, but this is a horrible, horrible case of taking quantity over quality.
- While Spanish dubs tends to be good, there's some real stinkers and some real inept voice acting, depending the country or studio involved:
- Practically anything dubbed in the city of Monterrey, Mexico (like Recess) tended to be so awfully dubbed that the Recess direct-to-video movie was dubbed in Mexico City instead (with better results). Needless to say, they only dubbed a few series before disappearing from the voice acting industry later on.
- In the same way, most stuff dubbed in Cuernavaca, Mexico was pretty awful to hear on screen (with some exceptions, like Gundam Wing, Martian Successor Nadesico, and many animated stuff).
- Until recently, almost anything dubbed from Colombia was from being So Bad, It's Good (Rurouni Kenshin, Super Doll Licca-chan, Mikan Enikki) to really franchise-destroying levels (the awful dub of Kaleido Star destroyed any chance to bring the rest of the franchise in Spanish).
- Almost every single (but not all) Malay dub were this. We have a bunch of awful dubs like Mobile Suit Gundam 00, Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny, Get Backers, School Rumble and Dragon Ball Z, the list goes on and on.......
- Mind you, the original Malay dub of Dragon Ball and DBZ is pretty good(heck, it's one of the better local dubs next to Doraemon), they do messed up the names of the characters. For example, Piccolo Jr. was named Majumiya, a corruption of his pseudonym in the Martial Arts Tournament, Ma Jr., Yamcha and Krillin's names are tragically shortened to Mu and Ki (though Chinese translation in-between is to blame here) and Goku was given a different name until he grew up when they finally give Goku his name and that's just to name a few.
- The Latin American dub of all the History Channel. It seems there is only 10 voices for the whole channel.
- One of those voices is Luis Pérez Pons, the Spanish voice for Mr. Krabs. So there have been parodies about Mr. Krabs talking about aliens.