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[[quoteright:300:[[Manga/DetectiveConan http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/professor_agasa.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300:"Heh...well, back to the drawing board."]]
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->''"Music, landscape gardening, architecture -- there was no start to his talents."''
-->-- ''Discworld/{{Hogfather}}'' (on Bungling Inventor "Bloody Stupid Johnson")

A trope that started out as a subversion of the GadgeteerGenius, but is now a trope in its own right, the Bungling Inventor is a scientist (often a MadScientist) whose inventions never seem to work properly. In fact, they're prone to truly spectacular cases of PhlebotinumBreakdown. The inventions might do something entirely different than what they were supposed to (like [[StuffBlowingUp explode]], or play "Yankee Doodle Dandy"), or they might seem to do their primary function but have some subtle flaw, or they might work a little ''[[GoneHorriblyRight too]]'' well (like a security robot that [[LiteralGenie throws]] ''[[LiteralGenie everyone]]'' [[LiteralGenie out of a house]], including the people it was designed to protect).

Perhaps the strangest thing about the Bungling Inventor is that he is ''so'' bad at inventing that [[MiraculousMalfunction he occasionally accomplishes by accident]] [[AchievementsInIgnorance what the world's most competent inventor could not do on purpose]]: he may be trying to fix a television and inadvertently create a device which [[RefugeeFromTVLand brings fictional characters to life]]. Strangely, it never occurs to anyone that he's anything other than a failure: the fact that he's created a working time machine does not make up for the fact that he has totally failed to make a machine that produces ''toast''.

Needless to say, this trope is typically found in comedy works, though there are exceptions.
Some characters who are usually GadgeteerGenius, MrFixit or TheProfessor dip occasionally into this trope.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Manga/BlackJack'': The eponymous Jack created an artificial life form while and possibly because he was ''drunk''.
* ''Manga/DetectiveConan'': Professor Agasa is introduced to us as he blows a hole in his house and his neighbor goes to help him out. Over the course of the series, he does manage to make many useful devices, but is also shown to bungle lots of inventions.
* ''Manga/DGrayMan'': Komui Lee, whose defective inventions are the show's RunningGag.
* ''Manga/DoctorSlump'': Senbei Norimaki is a classic example. Arale, the RobotGirl he invented, was designed with flawed eyesight and literally [[SuperPoweredRobotMeterMaids Earth-shattering super-strength]], and she's such an extreme CloudCuckoolander that the one time a literal ''bug'' ended up causing her to malfunction, she started acting perfectly ''normal'' (by human standards). Other inventions of his are also prone to flaws in design, or simply falling into the wrong hands.
* ''Kokoro'': Kocha, who, in a quest to cure a fatal genetic disorder, has created flying plants, temporarily cured insanity, [[PlotRelevantAgeUp aged up]] a co-worker, and turned herself pink. No one knows exactly how her mind works, [[WordOfGod not even her creator,]] or the connection between these would become clear.
* ''Manga/ToLoveRu'': A female example is Lala, this on top of her MagicalGirlfriend and InnocentFanserviceGirl qualities. Lala's inventions were originally made for pranks, and have a tendency to either backfire or succeed in the wrong way. For example, her Warp-kun device can teleport the user(s) - but not their clothes.
* Clemont in ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' builds inventions that tend to malfunction and/or explode.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/{{Superboy}}'' and ''Franchise/{{Superman}}'': Professor Phineas Potter -- Lana Lang's uncle.
* ''ComicBook/LeonardLeGenie'' will every so often invent something that either fails spectacularly to do what it was intended to do, or is just plain useless.
* ''ComicBook/GastonLagaffe'' is an amateur inventor whose designs frequently malfunction. Especially when chemical experimentation is involved.
* ''Franchise/{{Tintin}}''. When the protagonists first meet Professor Calculus he fits this trope; for instance his shark submarine breaks in half when he sits in it. He gets better though.
* ''ComicBook/{{Cubitus}}'': Sémaphore (Professor Dingy) from the Franco-Belgian comic (which was adapted into an anime as ''Wowser''), who epitomizes this trope to the extreme. Most of the stories revolve around one of his inventions going wrong.
* Gilbert Ratchet in ''Viz''. Played with in that his inventions often work perfectly, after a fashion, but there was no sane reason for Gilbert to design it with a harmful mode in the first place.

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}}, especially in the earlier strips before the comic became almost entirely office humor. Though a fair number of times his inventions worked perfectly, it was just that outside forces conspired against him.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* [[TheSmartGuy Sherman]] and [[MadScientist Dr. Brainstorm]], from ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeries'', seldom invent something that doesn't [[StuffBlowingUp explode]] or simply not work.
* [[BrainyBaby Tilly]] in the ''Fanfic/MegsFamilySeries'' is almost as much of a genius as her uncle Stewie (minus the 'evil' part), but her inventions tend to either a) fail, or b) cause some sort of destruction.
* ''FanFic/FacingTheFutureSeries'': Jack, just as in canon, creates inventions that harm everything ''except'' enemy ghosts. Most notably, he unleashes a BrownNote, and later causes a BigBlackout with a weapon that was supposed to drain ghost energy. Unusually, it is reconstructed when [[spoiler: he is able to use these weapons against the Guys in White when they kidnap Danielle]].
* ''Fanfic/AndersonQuestKillingVampiresAndWerewolvesAndLeprechuans'' frequently complains about the sheer incompetence of [[VideoGame/{{Bloodborne}} Yharnam]]'s chief architect. [[spoiler:To absolutely no one's surprise, it turns out said idiot is none other than Bergholt Stuttley Johnson himself.]]

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast'': Subversion of sorts: Belle's father Maurice appears to be one of these, as implied by the fact that all of their neighbors think he's crazy. Yet the only invention shown in the movie, while being more than a little peculiar in design and execution, does in fact work.
* Flik in Disney's ''WesternAnimation/ABugsLife''. He invents an object that can throw grains... and it ends up destroying the food meant for the grasshoppers, setting the plot of the movie into motion. When he's being tried for it, they discuss what to do with him, but they can't decide because he's made mistakes elsewhere too. Flik's inventions actually '''do''' work, he's just a klutz, and the rest of the colony doesn't like change and '''think''' he's the Bungling Inventor. None of his inventions we see in the movie break (the telescope, the bird, and his harvester), are brilliant successes and the telescope and harvester are widely used by the end of the movie after they realize he's actually smart.
* Hiccup is portrayed as this at the beginning of ''WesternAnimation/HowToTrainYourDragon''. Though everything we see him invent through the 2 movies tends to be quite brilliant and work (most being adopted by the entire village). It's unclear if prior to the movie his inventions blew up causing the destruction he's "famous" for or if he was just a klutz. Either way, he got better.
* Flint Lockwood in ''WesternAnimation/CloudyWithAChanceOfMeatballs'' struggled since childhood to make a successful invention, with such gems as "spray-on shoes" which he could never figure out how to remove, a "remote-control television" that [[AIISACrapshoot quickly went rogue]], and a formula for [[NeverTrustAHairTonic "hair un-balder"]] that [[GoneHorriblyRight worked far too well]]. Flint finally seems to hit pay-dirt with the Flint Lockwood Diatonic Super Mutating Dynamic Food Replicator, a device that can make it rain food, but then people start abusing it... [[spoiler: At the end of the movie, he eventually starts marketing the "spray-on shoes" as a powerful sealant.]]
* Lewis in ''Disney/MeetTheRobinsons'' is one of these. [[spoiler:He gets better, and goes on to become the brilliant inventor Cornelius Robinson, whose inventions practically create an Utopian world.]]
* Jumba Jookiba of ''Disney/LiloAndStitch''. His most notable creations are living creatures ranging from "dangerous" to "apocalyptically powerful," but they frequently don't turn out as intended. Notable examples include: 010 Felix, who was intended to be a [[NeatFreak cleaning experiment]] but turned out to consider all other life forms dirt, and after being "fixed" [[TrashOfTheTitans spread garbage everywhere instead]]. 177 Clip, who was supposed to eat [[Unobtainium Uburnium]], but instead eats hair. 625 Reuben was a failed prototype of Stitch with the same powers, but is obsessed with making sandwiches. And, of course, Stitch, the titular NighInvulnerable city-destroying monster, lasted about two days in the real world before learning empathy, having an existential crisis, and abandoning his original purpose in favor of staying with his adopted family.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/BackToTheFuture'': the 1955 Emmett "Doc" Brown. No doubt he gets better at inventing as time progresses, until he finally invents the time machine.
-->'''Doc:''' It works. It works! [''grabs Marty''] I finally invent something that works!\\
'''Marty:''' You bet your ass it works.
%%* ''Film/ChittyChittyBangBang'': Caractacus Potts.
%%* ''Film/TheGoonies'': Data and his father.
%%* ''Film/{{Gremlins}}'': Randall Peltzer.
* ''Film/{{Primer}}'': Abe and Aaron. They were trying to make an anti gravity machine, and made a time traveling device instead.

* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'':
** Bergholt Stuttley Johnson, from Creator/TerryPratchett's novels. Johnson earned his nickname "Bloody Stupid" by constructing such things as misproportioned landscaping projects (like a trout pond 150 feet long and only an inch wide), monuments (like the inch-high "Colossus" of Ankh) and household items (like a cruet set where the pepper-pot was eventually used as a grain silo). His most spectacular failures are so badly-designed that [[AlienGeometries they damage the fabric of time and space]] (like the Sorting Engine from ''Discworld/GoingPostal,'' [[note]]He somehow managed to change the radius to circumference ratio of its sorting wheel to exactly three, because the normal three-and-a-bit was ''untidy''. He ''redefined pi''.[[/note]] and the houses at Empirical Crescent in ''Discworld/{{Thud}}''). He did a good, if slightly insane, line in pipe organs. And a rather good bathroom once. Linking said bathroom to the nearest pipe organ, however, was ''not'' such a good idea... And there's a tap you ''don't'' want to touch while taking a shower. The one marked "Old Faithful."
--->'''Archchancellor Ridcully:''' Ye gods, I've never felt so ''clean''.
** Leonard da Quirm has a similar record, albeit due to understandable faults, such as lack of proper materials. He's had a few humdingers, but they've mostly been weapons, or [[NoPlansNoPrototypeNoBackup one-shot devices]]. One of the main causes of his one-shot devices is his tendency to start making one thing, and have it turn into something completely different by the time he's finished because he got distracted. He's easily distracted.
* In ''Literature/GoodOmens'', which Creator/TerryPratchett co-wrote with Creator/NeilGaiman, WalkingTechbane Newton Pulsifer is so incompetent at electronics that when he tries to put together a circuit especially designed for people like him - it's not supposed to do anything - [[SpringtimeForHitler it picks up Radio Moscow]]. [[spoiler:In the climax, Anathema [[ExploitedTrope Exploits]] this very trait when they're faced with a seemingly unstoppable nuclear launch device, simply by having Newton "fix" it.]]
* The ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}}'' saga has an entire race of bungling inventors: the gnomes. In fact, being able to make something that works the way it was intended is the surest sign of insanity in gnomes. Some of their failed inventions are fairly spectacular, such as a failed water dowser that finds gems or a failed batch of pesticide that is actually invisibility spray.
** This was referenced in ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights'' (despite being [[TableTopGame/ForgottenRealms part of a different campaign setting]]) with a gnomic suit of armour that was supposed to repel metal and instead ended up repelling magic.
** The tinker gnomes' ineptitude is so bad that it actually contributes to the setting's FantasyGunControl. In short, almost nobody from any other race wants to study or learn about science, since the tinker gnomes' bungling has caused every other race to assume science is inherently worthless compared to magic. The gnomes themselves can make guns, quite easily in fact, but tend to overcomplicate them and make them useless like they do everything else.
* ''Literature/ProfessorBranestawm'': Branestawm from the novels by Norman Hunter. Some of the professor's problems stem from his inventions working too well and his failure to include features such as an off switch. For example, in "The Screaming Clocks", he invents a clock that doesn't need winding up, but the omission of an important component ("I forgot to put a little wiggly thing in") means the clock doesn't stop at twelve but continues striking thirteen, fourteen and so forth until it can't keep up with itself. Many of the other troubles that the professor experiences are the result of his inventions rebelling, showing anthropomorphic personalities. For instance, the phrase "No Branestawm invention was going to stand for that" occurs several times in the series. Branestawm inventions frequently object to anyone using them in ways that they were not designed for.
** He did manage to design a successful underground car park. Then it flooded, which he was the first to point out wasn't his fault.
* ''TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms'': The Harpells, introduced in R.A. Salvatore's novels, are a bunch of bungling inventor ''wizards'', who apply the same sort of attitude to their magic. In an unusual variant, though highly eccentric and prone to bizarre ideas, they often ''make them work''. One Harpell breeds a "puddlejumper" steed by crossing a horse with a frog. The family routinely stores livestock in specialized cages with mass shrinking spells. In one novel, a Harpell even avoids death at the tentacles of a [[BrainFood brain-eating]] [[{{Cthulhumanoid}} illithid]] by using a specially created polymorph spell that temporarily switches the positioning of his brain and his lower intestines -- so it attempts to pluck out his brain, and instead gets... yeah.
%% * Henry Branwell from ''Literature/TheInfernalDevices''.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Professor Pepperwinkle from ''Series/TheAdventuresOfSuperman'' is a prime example. Pretty much anytime he invented something, criminals would take advantage of his naivete to use his creations for evil.
* Art Fortune from ''Series/BigBadBeetleborgs'', he's not only good at artwork he's also good at designing weapons and transport and has resident phasm Flabber to help with making them a reality- mainly because of Flabber's magic.
* Doc from ''Series/FraggleRock''.
* ''Series/KidsIncorporated'': Riley the Soda Jerk in the first half-dozen seasons, who was often berated for his failed inventions. Even if that RobotBuddy he'd created was a bit of a jerk, let us not forget that Riley ''had'' licked the problem of artificial sentience. Worse yet, on at least one occasion Connie, one of the group members, actually managed to pull off at least one invention that actually worked!
* ''Series/TheMuppetShow'': Doctor Bunsen Honeydew. He frequently is coming up with inventions that are absolutely unnecessary, or downright dangerous. His assistant, Beaker, was introduced in the show's second season to further emphasize how dangerous some of his inventions were.
* The 'Invention Exchange' sequences at the beginning of most early episodes of ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' often parodied this. Part of the premise of the series was that Dr Forrester, Dr Erhardt and TV's Frank were all incompetent {{mad scientist}}s who were jealous of Joel Robinson's inventions, and so shot him into space (apparently they weren't ''that'' incompetent) to subject him to 'experiments', and would 'reward' him by exchanging ideas for new creations. Joels were usually benevolent and succeeded, Most of the Mads' inventions usually failed in violent and improbable ways.
** However, inevitably, a few of them were actually good ideas.
** At least one of said good ideas was one they ''stole'' from Joel, and when called on it basically replied: "So what? You can't sue us from orbit"
* ''Series/TheRedGreenShow'': Red Green -- duct tape, anyone?
* ''Series/StargateSG1'': Jay Felger. His last spectacular failures were an energy gun that instead caused a blackout throughout the SGC and a [[EverythingIsOnline computer virus]] that temporarily brought down the entire Stargate network, thanks to some meddling by Ba'al. The second one wasn't his fault though. Felger's virus worked fine, until computer genius Ba'al got his hands on it and altered its programming.
* ''Series/ThatMitchellAndWebbLook'' has a medieval inventor who creates things that aren't exactly useless so much as totally misplaced. Such as a trackball mouse, a windscreen wiper, and of course, the Sky digibox. Unfortunately he hasn't quite managed to come up with the things that would make these devices useful.
--> '''Inventor:''' ''[Brandishing a scroll with 'Anti Virus Software' on it -- in binary]'' It was all so clear to me this morning when I scribbled it down, but now I just think I've gone a bit mad.
** There's also Cheesoid's creator.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In ''TabletopGame/GeniusTheTransgression'', any of the eponymous Geniuses will appear to be one of these, since their Wonders [[PhlebotinumBreakdown fail]] (at best they'll stop working, at worst they'll [[AIIsACrapshoot go insane]] or something) whenever a normal person comes in contact with them or circumstances in general conspire to screw things up. The reality is? [[TheUnsolvedMystery Less definite.]]
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Paranoia}}'', the scientists assigned to Research and Design constantly build stuff even ''more'' malfunction-prone than typical shoddy Alpha equipment. And this stuff shows up ''all the time''; one of the classic ways to distract the [=PCs=] with multiple simultaneous duties is ordering them to field-test a few experimental devices in the course of carrying out their primary mission of the moment.
** The instructions are [[TheKeyIsBehindTheLock above your security clearance]]. Asking for them is [[AllCrimesAreEqual treason]].

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'': Tails is quite a capable GadgeteerGenius. However...
** The ending to his DayInTheLimelight game ''VideoGame/TailsAdventure'' shows him building a large scale version of the remote robot complete with [[StuffBlowingUp a few humorous setbacks]].
** In ''VideoGame/SonicColors'', he creates a translator that lets him and Sonic talk to [[StarfishAliens Wisps]]. It... [[EitherWorldDominationOrSomethingAboutBananas doesn't work very well]]. (See [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UmwdJzGQ1g this cutscene]] for an example.) He does manage to make it work properly by the end of the game, though.
** Marine the Raccoon is this in ''VideoGame/SonicRushAdventure''. She does get a little better at the end though.
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'': Gnomish Engineers as a whole work like this. Pretty much anything engineers can make with Gnomish in the name can have spectacular malfunctions. The Shrink Ray for example can either shrink its target as intended, or backfire on the entire party or make the entire party ''grow''. Goblin inventions on the other hand are surprisingly reliable, but then again they also focus on blowing stuff up rather than gadgets. An Engineer who bought a camera to a picnic nearly started a riot among the party-goers with the flash, who thought they were under attack.
** Goblin engineers actually do a fair bit of bungling, it's just that they adapt better to different results than expected. If a gnome creation belches a stream of fire, they'll try to fix it. If a goblin creation belches a stream of fire, they'll patent and sell it as a portable deicer.
* In ''VideoGame/EarthBound'', the Orange Kid is an acclaimed and self-proclaimed GadgeteerGenius, but all he does in the game is giving a useless machine to the party (which only spouts off some more Orange Kid promotion and explodes afterward) and researching on unboiling an egg. His neighbour, Apple Kid, who is called a loser among other things, gives the player many useful things if properly funded, many of them necessary for beating the game.
* Professor Quadwrangle of VideoGame/QuantumConundrum
* Kyle from ''VideoGame/{{Atelier Annie|Alchemists of Sera Island}}''. Whenever his inventions don't work, it always ends up ''really'' annoying people.
* ''VideoGame/HarvestMoon'' had a family line of these. The original is the original Ann (who appeared in the first two UsefulNotes/GameBoy game, the [[VideoGame/HarvestMoon1 first game]] in the series, and ''VideoGame/HarvestMoonMagicalMelody''). Next is her grandson, Rick in ''VideoGame/HarvestMoon64'', though not in other games as he is instead a chicken farmer outside of ''64''.
* According to Clank in ''VideoGame/RatchetAndClankFutureToolsOfDestruction'', Ratchet has a long history of lethally stupid inventions that includes such items as bathroom toys made of antimatter and a nuclear-powered rocket sled.
-->'''Clank:''' And let us not forget about the electro-shock undergarments you invented last fall.\\
'''Ratchet:''' Stunderwear! Huge seller on Umbris.\\
'''Talwyn:''' <worried expression>
* In ''VideoGame/ScrapMechanic'', it's fully expected of the player to become one of those every once in a while, since the game is all about building impractical, elaborate inventions and machines from scratch.
* In ''VideoGame/EndlessSpace'' and ''VideoGame/EndlessSpace2'', the [[TheGreys Sophons]]. They get science bonuses, but their curiosity doesn't always work out. [[DetonationMoon Their planet used to have a moon]], for instance, but [[NoodleIncident the Sophons apparently changed that]].

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Ethan from ''Webcomic/CtrlAltDel'' has been known to accidentally invent a few things, like transforming his Xbox into a sentient robot, and creating a time machine powered by a stick of butter and paper clips.[[note]]Though that one turned out not to work, though Lucas and Scott managed to convince Ethan it ''had'' worked for long enough to have a lot of fun at his expense.[[/note]] He also invented a chair that would prevent him from getting up or falling asleep during a week-long festival of gaming, but accidentally engaged it a week early.
* ''Webcomic/DanAndMabsFurryAdventures''
** Jyrras has created ''two'' artificial lifeforms, by accident.
** Apart from this, though, Jyrras is actually a very competent scientist and inventor. In fact, his numerous patents have made him the richest member of the main cast.
* Some sparks in ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' seem to fit this pattern. Most prominently, most of Master Payne's Circus of Adventure consists of these. The explanation is that this is ''why'' they're all in a circus together- it's a kind of protective coloration for people who are Sparky enough to draw the attention of bigger, more powerful sparks, but not ''nearly'' Sparky enough to survive it.
** Agatha was one herself, before her locket was removed.
* The professor from ''Webcomic/AModestDestiny'' fits this trope to a T. He even built his own house. Thrice. In his own words, Don't kick, pound, break, cuddle, lick, or [[Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus threaten his inventions with pointy sticks]]. It's the only way to be safe.
* Most likely a parody in ''Webcomic/RPGWorld'', where Machine Guy builds a time machine, saying "It was supposed to be a toaster, but I got carried away." Interestingly enough, the machine is still able to make toast as well.
* Occurs infrequently in ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'' with local MadScientist Kevyn Andreyasn - less due to incompetence than having faulty materials. Ultimately, he's able to get the company fabber to build what he wants it to, but as an added bonus resulting from earlier experiments [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/d/20040613.html everything will also be able to make toast]].
** There was also that one time he made his new ship drive open-source and started a pan-galactic war.
* Riff from ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance''. He's actually got quite a few inventions that work (or at least work well enough), but just as many of them have a huge flaw or backfire completely. Happens so often that saying "Let me check my notes" after an invention goes wrong became Riff's CatchPhrase.
* ''Webcomic/UmlautHouse'': Saundra. thought she made a high-speed toaster. [[StableTimeLoop Her future self]] corrected her. Also carelessness when repairing her {{gaydar}} can result in an explosion that has 0,03% (actually, since it's a webcomic, 100%) chance of blasting you into an alternate dimention.
* ''Webcomic/{{Zap}}'': The Stickles. Any invention that actually works the way it was supposed to goes to the Stickle Hall of Fame, where it is put on display and never used again.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''Literature/WhateleyUniverse'': Several of the gadgeteers and devisers fall into this trope at the [[SuperHeroSchool Whateley Academy]]. Mega-death may be the best example. His inventions have a tendency to misbehave violently at any inopportune moment. It doesn't help that Mega-Death has Diedrick's syndrome, which means that every so often, he starts ranting like Doctor Doom on a bad day. In a subversion, he's a very nice guy when he takes his medication. Even more of a subversion, he takes his medication regularly!
** Delta Spike, however, has no excuse. Her inventions blow up often, and she's infamous amongst the gadgeteers. Even using her IMAGE on an invention can produce problems. [[spoiler: In fact, the person who tried to use her image in a 'make myself powerful and pretty' device ended up an insane BodyHorror, as Karmic Transformation.]]
** In both Mega-death's and Delta Spike's cases, it's been hinted that there are outside forces interfering with their work, so at least some of the accidents may not be their faults.
* ''Literature/{{Worm}}'' has Leet, a [[GadgeteerGenius tinker]] who can build practically anything, but if he ever tries to make the same invention [[ItOnlyWorksOnce more than once]] it backfires horribly. He's considered something a joke in the cape community as a consequence.
* In 2009 when the Brazilian forum ''Forum UOL Jogos'' changed its software, the users faced many glitches and some glitches still come up to this date, at one point, there was even a night where the forum became really unstable, the programmer that developed the software was [[MemeticMutation memetically turned]] into one of these, the users since then made many funny images and gifs about that programmer being responsible for failures and historical disasters.
* Sniffles from ''WebAnimation/HappyTreeFriends'' is a mixture of this and GadgeteerGenius. He does come up with some amazing inventions, but they usually end up killing others, himself included, due to design flaws or him using them unwisely.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Ludwig Von Drake started out as an AbsentMindedProfessor on ''WesternAnimation/WaltDisneyPresents'', but eventually became a Bungling Inventor in his later appearances, such as on ''WesternAnimation/{{Bonkers}}'', ''WesternAnimation/MickeyMouseWorks'', and ''WesternAnimation/HouseOfMouse''.
* ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales1987'': Gyro Gearloose (created by Creator/CarlBarks in his comics), whose unreliable inventions included a variation of the aforementioned robot. Though he is actually a good inventor, and most problems come from his absent-mindedness. And of course, half the time his inventions ''do'' work as they're supposed to, but he's such a WideEyedIdealist that he never thinks of the possibility of his inventions being used for nefarious purposes (the teleporting spray/ray gun combo and the "key ray gun" capable of opening every lock on Earth come to mind).
** As a rule, in the comics, he lends his latest invention to Donald at a moment's notice, who then proceeds to misuse it in the worst way possible, either due to his laziness, temper, or combination of both. Even Gyro lampshades it in one of the comics, musing to himself just why he keeps doing it.
* ''The Alvin Show'': Clyde Crashcup is a Bungling Inventor who kept trying (and failing) to "invent" things that [[ItsBeenDone had already been invented]].
* Frylock from ''WesternAnimation/AquaTeenHungerForce''. Among the failures were a robotic babysitter that terrorized Meatwad and then abandoned him to go shopping, an experimental toilet that destroyed Carl's body from the neck down when he used it, and a cloning machine that produced unstable copies of the original that would explode/spew blood/gain sentience. Like the examples above, those that aren't outright failures usually end up causing problems because he doesn't seem to ''get'' that his immature/irresponsible roommates can't be trusted with them.
* ''WesternAnimation/FiremanSam'': Sam was this whenever he wasn't on duty as a fireman for the first five series, then mechanic Joe Sparkes took over the role in Series 9.
%%* Numbuh 2 from ''WesternAnimation/CodenameKidsNextDoor''.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'': Dr. Venture occasionally falls into this category. Among his failed inventions was a security robot which, as described above, didn't differentiate between friend and foe, and a security force field which refuses to deactivate, trapping the protected inside until the power runs out. (The source of said power being a nuclear isotope with a half-life of hundreds of years.)\\
Unlike most examples of this trope, Dr. Venture's experiments don't usually fail out of incompetence, but rather because Doc is so lazy and greedy that he often rushes to show off his new inventions without thoroughly testing them. In one episode, he's about ready to send a half-finished teleporter to Congress before it malfunctions and transports his body to three separate locations at once. [[SnapBack It gets better, though]].\\
Another case in point of not testing: The force field mentioned before? It can be dissolved '''''[[MundaneSolution with club soda]]'''''. Granted, it'd take forever for people to normally figure that out, but that's a pretty pathetic weakness with club soda being such a common product.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** During a WesternAnimation/TreehouseOfHorror episode, the Simpsons used the above example of a failed toaster repair almost verbatim with Homer Simpson... he even starts his "repair" job by opening the toaster up by holding an electric drill against it, and hitting it on the end with a big rock.
** Homer becomes an inventor in "Wizard of Evergreen Terrace". His first inventions are generally terrible, unless that is anyone out there feels the need for [[spoiler: an everything's-OK-alarm]], [[spoiler: a make-up shotgun]], or [[spoiler: an armchair toilet.]]
** Recurring MadScientist character Professor Frink also deals with this trope, although DependingOnTheWriter his inventions will either work properly or go completely nuts. The auto-dialing machine Homer used for his electronic panhandling scheme worked quite well. The automatic tap shoes he invented for Lisa and the radio-controlled airplane that was carrying his baby son... not so much.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'': Prof. Farnsworth has had his share of bungled inventions, including a machine that made glow-in-the-dark noses while also producing an enormous amount of unusable toxic waste. Also, he nearly destroyed the fabric of space-time by creating and then artificially aging a team of genetically engineered basketball players.
* Stu Pickles in ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}'' and ''WesternAnimation/AllGrownUp'', a tireless inventor of kiddie toys that never quite worked the way they should have. Apparently, though, he was non-bungling enough to be the family's co-breadwinner off of this.
* Olaf the Lofty, court inventor in ''WesternAnimation/TheSagaOfNogginTheNog'', whose inventions have mixed results; some work, some partly work and some do the opposite of what he wanted.
* Timmy's dad in ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddparents'' - whose already dangerously unstable creations would occasionally get made ''worse'' by Timmy wishing for "improvements".
* [[http://www.seanbaby.com/superfriends/bizarro.htm Seanbaby]] says Bizzaro from ''WesternAnimation/SuperFriends'' can build impressive Death Rays, irradiates the world's gold supply and could single-handedly defeat those infernal heroes. But since any attempts to tell people what any of his machines would actually do [[BizarroUniverse would just end up confusing them]], everyone ignores them as hunks of junk.
* Grizzle from ''[[WesternAnimation/CareBears Adventures in Care-a-Lot]]''. His inventions rarely work the way he wants them to (including the 'robot kicking him out of his own lair' variation), and even if they do, they are easily thwarted by the Care Bears. Grumpy occasionally falls into this, too, but his inventions work often enough to put him in GadgeteerGenius territory.
* In the original ''[[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles]]'' animated series, Donatello would fall into this category whenever the writers deemed it amusing. When it was important for the plot, he would inevitably pull together exactly the tech the team needed, but if he ever called the family together to unveil his latest invention, it always ended with [[HilarityEnsues something going haywire]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Transformers}}'', Wheeljack, the resident MadScientist manages to be this, constantly creating devices that manage to explode or malfunction. However, it is also somewhat subverted by the fact that when he succeeds, he manages to create truly amazing machines, such as the Dinobots.
%%* Isaac Sumdac in ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated''.
* ''WesternAnimation/WallaceAndGromit'': Wallace. Most of Wallace's inventions actually do what they're supposed to. [[GoneHorriblyRight Usually too well.]] His Recyc-O-Matic, for example, was very good at recycling things...then he gave it arms so it could feed things into its own gizmos, and it proceeded to run amok in town recycling everything in its path...yeah, definitely qualifies.
* ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'': Dr. Doofenshmirtz. Sure, most of his "-inators" actually do what he wants them to do, but his bungling nature frequently causes them to go haywire, break down, or self-destruct. (Or, in the case of one, he uses it as a planter but forgot to unplug it first.)
* One episode of the ''[[WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfZelda Legend of Zelda]]'' cartoon featured a character named Doof, who was introduced as the castle handyman. He was also a Bungling Inventor in his spare time, and thus became part of the plot.
* Typically, in WesternAnimation/RescueRangers, Gadget's inventions work out okay, but when they ''do'' fail it's usually quite spectacularly and often attributable to her [[AbsentMindedProfessor absent-mindedness]] and CloudCuckooLander tendencies.
%%* Klunk from ''WesternAnimation/DastardlyAndMuttleyInTheirFlyingMachines''.
* Holden Thong from ''WesternAnimation/TheFlaminThongs''. When his inventions work at all, they intend to be a case of GoneHorriblyRight.
* Blukic and Driba from ''WesternAnimation/Ben10Omniverse'' are complete idiots by the standards of their race. However, since they are Galvans, this still means they are tech-savvy enough to [[NormalFishInATinyPond get by as Bungling Inventors on Earth]].
* ''WesternAnimation/MiaAndMe'': Phuddle's inventions rarely work the way he intended them to, but sometimes they have other unexpected effects that aid the heroes, the best example probably being the trumptus, a trumpet-like musical instrument that proves to be the most effective weapon against the villains of the first season.