->''"All right, yeah, it gets six miles to the gallon on the highway, and three miles around town... y'know, the air conditioner doesn't work so well, and it's not very comfortable, um... but I just look so damn good in it, y'know what I mean?"''
-->-- '''Clem''', ''Series/{{Reno 911}}''

In the future we will have {{Ray Gun}}s, space-food and all other manner of things replacing current day technologies. Sadly, they will also be far less efficient than what we have today, raising the question of [[ArtisticLicenseEngineering why people invented them]] [[ItSeemedLikeAGoodIdeaAtTheTime in the first place]]. Sometimes they don't work as well as what we already have, sometimes they work as well or better but require too much additional work, sometimes they're just annoyingly prone to PhlebotinumBreakdown.

Such technology is never useless in the show or movie's universe, and seeing it in action defines this trope. Sometimes its shoddiness serves to add drama to the plot; at other times, the only reason for it being there is to look cool and futuristic.

This is not in the least helped by a tendency not to do the research; futuristic rayguns also tend to lack some of the most common sense [[KineticWeaponsAreJustBetter niceties of modern firearms.]] The most frequent mistake is the lack of a trigger guard, which would guarantee that phasers and blasters go off when incorrectly carried or set away. Just as common is a lack of anything vaguely resembling sights, a shoulder stock, or anything else to give you an edge over just firing from the hip. It doesn't help that almost no protagonist has [[ArtisticLicenseGunSafety any clue whatsoever about basic firearm safety]], frequently keeping their fingers on the triggers, waving loaded guns around like feather dusters, and never, ever applying the safety catch, if there even is one.

Sci-fi spacecraft, in general, tend heavily to fall into this trope. Wings, fins, streamlined designs, and pointless projections stud the outside of spacecraft never intended to enter an atmosphere. Most modern portrayals are savvy enough to at least [[JustifiedTrope justify]] streamlined spacecraft. ''Franchise/StarTrek'' leaves gaping voids in the middle of their spaceships, but in-universe, this is because the warp fields generated by the nacelles necessitate them being kept at some distance to the rest of the ship. Likewise, the Alliance ships in ''{{Series/Firefly}}'' look nice because of their vertical ship alignment, but the placement of the engines is to keep the ships from ripping themselves apart every time they accelerate. Alternately, one could build along the lines of ''2001 A Space Odyssey'''s Discovery.

Notice that this ''is'' TruthInTelevision, as several armies through history have used awesome but inefficient weapons to lay fear among enemy ranks. See Zack Parsons' book ''My Tank is Fight!'' for some examples.

See also AwesomeButImpractical ([[CanonicalListOfSubtleTropeDistinctions which is where there actually is a genuine advantage to using the stuff, but the added drawbacks are substantial as to limit its usefulness]]) and CoolButStupid. Compare UselessSuperpowers. Contrast BoringButPractical.


[[folder:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* The Air Corps and the Aqua Corps from ''Anime/{{Steamboy}}'' qualify, certainly.
* ''Anime/TigerAndBunny'' has Good Luck Mode, a "super mode" that does fuck all when it comes to actually enhancing the title duo's abilities -- but doesn't it just look so ''cool?''
* The Omni-Directional Movement gear from ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'' is a unique example of this. It's the only consistent way to bring down a Titan, and it looks pretty badass in the right hands. Problem is, it's about as useless mittens to a snake in the flatland areas outside the wall. It also runs on a quickly depleting supply of gas, and the cables they use to get around are often snagged by the Titans, leading to the users end.

* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jBE_GXeyc0 This Orbitz commercial.]] "Why didn't you just mail it?" "Because we have a hovercraft."

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* The ''ComicBook/RemoTheDestroyer'' comic featured at one point (in the hands of the bad guy) a prototype gun, intended by the manufacturers to be a standardized field weapon, that fired a ''nuclear'' explosive. Blast radius? 5000 meters. Range of a shot? 1800 meters... maybe... with the wind in the right direction. Suffice to say, it didn't sell.
* In ''Comicbook/{{Fables}}'', magical artifacts native to the Homelands are capable of powerful and varied effects such as the Vorpal Sword being able to cut through anything or the Mirror on the Wall being the perfect spying device while on the same plane. However they cannot be mass produced and mundane weaponry is a serious threat to the Adversary's regime. The Adversary is well aware that mundane technology is BoringButPractical by comparison, but eschewed it because allowing the spread of technology that could allow a peasant to kill a mage would have been all but inviting massive rebellion.
* One of the stormtroopers in ''ComicStrip/TwistedToyfareTheatre'' built a three sided lightsaber. He ended up accidentally cutting his own hand.
* Every RubeGoldbergDevice from Rube Goldberg's comic strips. Even moreso because of the need to create the darn things in the first place.
* In ''ComicBook/TheLeagueOfExtraordinaryGentlemen'', Mr. Hyde helpfully points out Lesson Three to the inhabitant of a Tripod - whilst the whole 'three-legged tripod of death' thing ''looks'' awesome, should something happen to one of the legs (like, say, a superpowered psychopath physically wrenching one of them off), then good luck remaining upright with only two.

* Sci-fi from ''Franchise/StarTrek'' to ''Franchise/StarWars'' and everything in between tends to have spiffy, future weapons (phasers, blasters, etc.) if they're so inclined. For all their technology, these guns seem useless when you actually have to kill someone who matters. Guns shown before to vaporize inanimate objects now only leave a nasty burn or push people back a few feet. And that's disregarding all the situations where energy weapons don't work or are defeated by defenses that wouldn't even slow a bullet. Which is somewhat justified (at least for ''Franchise/StarTrek'') in that phasers have more than one power setting. Still, needing to shoot a man hiding behind a rock should be easy enough for something which should be able to shoot THROUGH it if you don't care what happens to him on the other side.
** Phasers are in fact so badly designed that even their holsters suffer. In the modern world, our holsters are ergonomically designed, with all manner of flaps and clips to keep the weapon as snug, safe and easy to draw as possible. The phasers on the first series of The Next Generation however resemble handheld vacuum cleaners and as such their holsters can be charitably described as a ''slot''. In Star Trek Nemesis, even though the weapon is vastly smaller and neater than this version, the holster has barely changed and a ''light tumble'' across the bridge on Picard's part causes him to lose the weapon without his knowledge and nearly gets him killed when his rifle breaks. It is no exaggeration to say that we were using better equipment in the 18th century than the Federation is using in the 24th.
* This is exploited in ''Film/StarTrekFirstContact''. The Borg bad guys can develop immunity to their energy weapons, but Captain Picard kills two of them with holographic bullets fired from a holographic tommygun from a historic holodeck simulation. Even when they're not real, our guns are still better. Unless the drones simply hadn't adapted yet. Worf kills several with a sword, though a random RedShirt tries to phaser rifle butt a drone and is handed his ass. Data manages to throw a bunch of drones around in Engineering, but they quickly throw him behind a forcefield for his troubles.
* ''Franchise/StarWars'':
** It perpetrates the same problems as ''Trek'' when it comes to force fields, like with forcefields replacing regular ''spacedoors''. In this case, power failure would lead to explosive decompression of all landing bays. However, as ''Revenge of the Sith'' shows, there are typically emergency metal doors that quickly close in the event of such a power failure.
** Perhaps the most garish example of CoolButInefficient technology is the Buzz Droid Missile in ''Film/RevengeOfTheSith''. A missile is deployed which tracks its target, ''flies ahead of the target'' and then explodes to disperse small droids which then must attempt to tear apart an enemy starfighter ''from the outside in''. Exactly how this is more efficient than simply packing the missile with high explosive and ''letting it hit the target first'' is not explained. While useful if you're trying to capture the target, they were not.
** ''Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack'': As a giant ''WalkingTank'' with four long legs, the AT-AT Walkers have two things going for them; they have extremely good terrain-crossing capabilities and they are ''[[WeaponForIntimidation goddamn terrifying]]'' if you're an infantryman watching them advance on your position. But they're slow (easily being outrun by tiny snowspeeders), have no maneuverability, and are vulnerable to attacks to the legs. There's also the fact that ''every single weapon'' on an AT-AT is attached to the head, and none of them are mounted in a way that allows them to hit anything that isn't directly in front of the cockpit.
** The lightsaber, which, while lethally effective, suffers the same drawback that rendered metallic swords obsolete when firearms came along: its maximum effective range is one yard plus the length of your arm. It ''is'' more effective in the hands of the people that favor them, considering their extreme reflexes and their ability to reflect your shots back at you... but only because their enemies are using the AwesomeButImpractical FrickinLaserBeams instead of bullets despite knowing they can be reflected.
** The Doublesided Lightsaber, which despite being more powerful and giving more slaughter-per-swing, is utilised by very few Jedi and Sith due to how insanely difficult it is to master. Without extensive training how to wield it, it's more likely the person using it will accidentally kill ''themselves'' rather than their enemies, by either [[ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice impaling]] or [[HalfTheManHeUsedToBe bisecting themselves]]. The ExpandedUniverse once included a passing mention of a lightsabre that could suddenly double the length of the blade at the flick of a switch, which has similar problems.
* In ''Film/DemolitionMan'', the plasma gun used by Simon Phoenix is a subversion. At first it takes minutes to recharge; Simon uses it anyway, because he likes to see things blow up. However, this was because it had been in storage in a museum and had to reachieve fusion first. Once it had recharged itself it was firing plasma bolts as fast as a pump-action shotgun would be firing slugs.
* ''Film/TheIsland'' featured weapons that fired barbed hooks, like a taser, used to stop escaped clones. Except the hooks were bigger and looked more painful, and the thing didn't give an electric charge to subdue the struggling victim, now in horrible pain from having two huge anchors shot into his skin.
* ''Film/RoboCop1987'':
** Acknowledged with the ED-209. The OCP Vice President Dick Jones mentions that he doesn't care whether or not ED-209 works, rather that it is marketable enough to be purchased by the military. ED-209, while deadly, is extremely faulty; it is unable to distinguish a surrendering "hostile" (really an OCP employee in a demonstration), thus brutally killing the man, its arm cannons can swivel enough to blast each other off, its large feet render it impossible to maneuver down stairs, it has a big vulnerable air intake at its front, and BOTH OF ITS HANDS ARE GUNS. What else did you expect it to do? Designer Craig Davis claims he intentionally designed ED-209 to make it look like its fictional designers were more concerned about making it look cool than making it work well-- "[[TakeThat just like an American car]]".
** The 6000-SUX car is top of the list when a small time criminal demands a new car which has reclining leather seats, goes really fast and gets really shitty gas mileage. The commercial for the 6000 SUX specifically notes - 8.2 mpg!
* ''Film/GalaxyQuest'' lampshades this. The ship that they use is based off the ship from the ShowWithinAShow, and it's designed with giant fans, fire pits, and gratuitous explosions. Why? To make it harder to get from point A to point B, for plot purposes.
* Taken ''literally'' with ''Film/BackToTheFuturePartIII'', when Marty helps Doc with a massive steam-powered machine built in the old west - that creates a single dirty ice cube.
* ''Film/RepoTheGeneticOpera'' has translucent sheets of plastic for paper. One wonders how exactly you can read only the top page and not the stuff underneath.
* In ''Film/IronMan'', the arc reactor that powers Stark Industries is {{implied}} to be this, kept only as a publicity stunt, until Tony Stark is able to build a much more efficient prototype [[MemeticMutation in a cave! WITH A BOX OF SCRAPS!]]
* [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] in ''Film/WithoutAPaddle'' when one of the murderous rednecks advises the other against using a meat cleaver to try to kill the main characters. "The cleaver is scary, but inefficient".
* ''Film/JackTheGiantSlayer'': The castle portcullis consists of two metal gates that slide together--which means it takes longer to close, and is much easier to force open, than a normal portcullis.

* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' [[ExpandedUniverse EU]] emphasizes this point with the SPARTAN-II program. Of the 75 children conscripted, 30 were killed during the augmentation process and 12 were severely crippled. Factor in training time from age 7 to about age 14 and the costs of building and maintaining the [[PoweredArmor MJOLNIR armor]] (each suit is said to be on par with the cost of a small starship), plus the very exclusive restrictions placed on candidates, and the Spartans are cool, but extremely inefficient, especially during the Human-Covenant War. Nonetheless, their exceptional effectiveness in ground ops is the ''only'' real edge the UNSC has for much of the war, but there are just too few of them to go around.
* In the [[Franchise/HarryPotter Potter Verse]], the wizards tend to insist on doing everything by old-fashioned means and by magic, even though modern technology would often work better even than the magic.
** Given the relative ease with which wizardly means of communication (owls, fireplaces) can be tampered with, it's astonishing that they don't just use telephones and email. Eventually the series does attempt to justify this through a combination of claiming that large amounts of magic will interfere with electronics and that enchanting technology that's too modern makes {{Masquerade}} breaches far more likely, but still... And owls for communication, how can that be anything but RuleOfCool?
** [[WordOfGod Rowling has explicitly stated]] in an interview that the reason for the {{Masquerade}} is more or less that a muggle with a shotgun will beat a wizard with a wand almost every time. Which is also explored in [[http://www.sluggy.com/daily.php?date=080425 this]] ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' parody.
** Most of the magic-using folk are shown to be highly ignorant of the modern world. Magic has allowed their culture to stagnate at a far less-modern level; they haven't modernised because they haven't needed to. A lot of them pity people who don't live as they do -- leading to a broad spectrum of opinions ranging from 'ahh, bless!' to 'do what you like with them -- they are inferior'. Even Voldemort does not concern himself with 'Muggles' (they even have a derogatory word! How very White Wolf of them), just the domination of the magical community. The overall impression is of a self-important culture that thinks itself in charge; what would happen if the {{Masquerade}} were ever broken and the witches and wizards found out what the modern world has achieved in terms of death and destruction?
** [[AllThereInTheManual Check the dates given for some major events:]] the most obvious examples are the birth and death dates [[spoiler: on the graves of Harry's parents]]. Also, Harry's date of birth. In-universe, the events take place in the '90s and early '00s; the [[PresentDay clock starts]] with ''Literature/HarryPotterAndThePhilosophersStone'', published in 1997. Back then, phones were the size of tablets, computers couldn't do even ''one tenth'' of the things they can do now, there was no Facebook, no Twitter, no Internet... Alright, there was Internet, but you needed a modem to access, so... But the worst part was that [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking computers still used floppy disks]]. If you don't know what that is, look it up. In that light, the lack of technology is not so surprising.
* That is defied in ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' -- and getting muggles involved is something akin to nuclear strike in the supernatural community, and has been even back when humans waved ''torches and pitchforks'' around. Now, with powerful weapons; broad communications and mobilization; and fast, effective, heavy-duty transport humans are a force to be reckoned with. A lot of technology will fail in the presence of powerful magic, but a bullet can kill a wizard or a gibbering monster just as easily as a ball of fire. (In the case of said monsters, sometimes ''many'' bullets.)
** More directly, sparks and other special effects are a sign of inefficiency in handling magic. Harry remarks that, while his damaged-focus-based shield dripping sparks could look a little cool and his staff dripping [[spoiler:Hellfire]] could look pretty impressive, all of the supernatural crowd knows that to be a sign of poor form.
* ''Literature/WorldWarZ'':
** Lampshaded when an angry veteran of the [[ZombieApocalypse zombie war]] blames the loss of the Battle of Yonkers partly on the flashy, high-tech weapons used: Incendiary weapons and shrapnel were far less useful against zombies who could only be killed if their brain was destroyed. This is then subverted later on, where a number of energy weapons become the subjects of propaganda films which boost the morale of the surviving humans. Though they have no strategic value, they make a huge psychological difference.
** The most effective weapon in the war turns out to be "The Lobotomizer"--a cross between an entrenching tool and a battleaxe, invented by Marine infantrymen.
** One chapter mentions a kid on rollerblades, trying to fight zombies with a meat cleaver on a hockey stick. It probably looked very cool in his imagination. The actual fight didn't work out quite as well.
** The ''Zombie Survival Guide'' cautions against many of the more photogenic resorts. Motorcycles, cars and guns are noisy, flamethrowers and machine guns are designed to combat targets that stop moving when their muscles are destroyed, Kevlar vests only cover the torso, and more. It's interesting to read that the person with the greatest chance of surviving is an unarmored man on a bicycle with a crossbow and crowbar.
* In Creator/ArthurCClarke's short story "Superiority", one side in an interstellar war comes up with a series of cutting-edge [[SuperweaponSurprise technological breakthroughs]]. Unfortunately, they are rushed into production before the bugs are worked out, and the resulting fiascoes more than cancel out the military benefits. The last straw comes when a device to stretch space around a ship (putting it far away from the rest of the universe, thus making it invisible and untouchable until the device is switched off) turns out to subtly distort everything on board, to the point where the fleet's parts are no longer interchangeable. The enemy (which has continued producing tried-and-true warship designs) then overruns their logistically crippled fleet.[[note]]We should note here that this is in part a parody of UsefulNotes/NaziGermany and its superweapons and overengineered tanks, with the enemy being a fairly transparent reference to the Allies, and in particular the Americans and Soviets, who just pumped out scads of boring traditional armour; the narrator is basically a conservative Wehrmacht officer complaining about having to share a cell with UsefulNotes/WehrnerVonBraun.[[/note]]
* In the ''Literature/ChildeCycle'' stories by Creator/GordonRDickson, this trope is subverted by the standard rifles: They are extremely refined bolt-action rifles, powered by mechanical springs and levers. This is explained as they are the most reliable and tamper-proof weapon imaginable, as anything higher-tech opens the opportunity for higher-tech countermeasures.
* Creator/PoulAnderson's ''Literature/TheHighCrusade'' took this subversion even farther: upon voyaging into space, medieval Earth knights find that the best weapon for sniper battles between space-suited infantry is their old reliable bow and arrow. It has no giveaway flash like a laser, it's a lot harder to patch a holed suit when there's an arrow sticking out of it, and the recoil sends the archer moving backwards after a shot, out of line of retaliatory fire.
* In the ''Literature/{{Deathstalker}}'' series by Creator/SimonRGreen, energy handguns take ''two minutes'' to recharge after ''one shot''. They're actually used ''because'' they're inefficient; the monarchy banned and hid knowledge of bullet weapons, since they were cheap enough to be used in uprisings.
* This can also be used with the cool technology being 20th century. In Creator/NealStephenson's ''Literature/SnowCrash'', guns have become so dominant that everyone worth killing wears kevlar and uses metal-detectors. Anyone ready to use glass knives and bamboo spears can quickly qualify as the "ultimate badass". In a subversion, it is ultimately shown that these weapons aren't inherently superior and are effective only because [[DidntSeeThatComing no one expects them.]] Nevertheless, only a handful of characters learn either lesson... but one who does leads to a DoubleSubversion [[spoiler:by breaking the enemy {{Bad Ass}}'s glass arsenal with a sonic-boom shooting skateboard... then finishes him off with an old-fashioned shaving razor]].
* The Martian Tripod machines from ''Literature/TheWarOfTheWorlds''. Yeah, they were scary and wreaked havoc on mankind, but their heat rays can only do so much damage at once. Though they do use chemical weapons as well (black smoke) and it's mentioned that they started building flying machines before succumbing to disease. One wonders why they didn't just use planes from the start.
* In ''Literature/{{Dune}}'', the onset of field-generator-shielding makes lasguns ''so'' Cool But Inefficient (firing a lasgun at a shield causes a small nuclear explosion) that nobody uses them. The fact that shields effectively stop normal ballistic weaponry ''as well'' means that all warfare needs to be conducted [[SchizoTech with swords]]. For that matter, even swords will be blocked by the shields if they are swung too fast.
* The whole point of "Literature/TomorrowTown", the short story by Creator/KimNewman -- an experimental community based on a 70's sci-fi vision of the future, full of impressive-looking but useless technology: 'nutritious' food pills that leave you hungry, modes of transport that travel at walking speed and often break down, a cleaning robot that's outclassed by any standard vacuum cleaner, and a MasterComputer that can solve mathematics and technical problems but not the complexities of humanity and politics.
* Every raygun, robot servant, health-enhancement device and motive-vehicle in ''[[http://www.wetanz.com/holics/raygun-directory.php Doctor Grordbort's Contrapulatronic Dingus Directory]]'' is made to sound impressive through SesquipedalianLoquaciousness advertising, but is either completely useless or highly dangerous to the user (sometimes both).
* In the first Literature/HonorHarrington novels a weapon is introduced that can bring down an enemy ships shields, which would be an in universe game-breaker, if its range wasn't so absurdly short that you're considered to be in 'point blank' energy range at roughly four times its firing range. And that doesn't even factor in the missiles which have orders of magnitude more range anyway.
** She then proceeds to win an impossibly unbalanced fight with it. However, that is less because of the weapon than because it's Honor, who would really have preferred a full missile broadside instead, and she is quite annoyed when the developer attempts to use this event in their favor.
** It is later revealed that the person who ordered Honor's ship outfitted with these weapons never expected it to be used in an independant deployment, and that the ship was just the testbed for using it as part of combined-arms tactics.
** In a much later book, [[TheFederation the Solarian League's]] [[{{Trope 2000}} Fleet 2000]] program to modernize their fleet does provide some improvements in technology, but many of the changes are merely to make the tactical and astrogation displays more photogenic, which also impairs the actual usefulness to the SLN personnel trying to read them while in battle.
* Similar to the ''Dune'' example, in SergeyLukyanenko's ''LordFromPlanetEarth'' trilogy, most weapons are rendered inert by [[AppliedPhlebotinum neutralizing fields]], resulting in armies armed with {{Absurdly Sharp Sword}}s. Strange that no one thinks of using chemical or biological warfare, although given that said fields also stop destructive nuclear fission, fusion, and matter/antimatter annihilation, it isn't too farfetched to assume it also blocks these as well. Along comes a typical human male, who spent a few tours of duty in war zones on modern-day Earth, and almost immediately comes up with primitive weapons that still work in the field, such as a DeadlyDisc and a gun that shoots small versions of it powered by a mix of compressed air and a magnetic coil. Cue the horrified reactions of HumanAliens used to [[HonorBeforeReason honorable duels]], when one such disc takes a man's head clean off. Definitely a case of HumansAreWarriors.
* A very literal interpretation in the ''Enchanted Forest Chronicles'' is the use of magic by wizards. Any lights or smoke that is not being used to produce the intended effect is excess magic that's being wasted. The more amazing and flashy their magic is, the less ''efficient'' it is, and thus the weaker their spells are. The deadliest wizards don't whirl away in a twinkling of light; they simply disappear.
* In ChristopherAnvil's short story "Ghost Fleet", the 'disrupter' weapon matched this trope: it required bulky and complex equipment, and could easily be counteracted. It hasn't been used in centuries... [[SubvertedTrope which means that modern spaceships no longer carry defences against it]].

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'''s got examples by the ton:
** ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'':
*** An episode centers around a firearm Starfleet was planning to use when their [[CoolButInefficient phasers]] wouldn't work. The weapon was quite versatile: The person using it could not be found by normal means, and it was modified with a microtransporter so that it could ''shoot through walls''. Even though the gun was shown to be incredibly efficient, they found a way around the phaser problem, so all work on it was dropped.
*** Another episode included Major Kira explaining why the Bajoran Resistance wasn't interested in Federation-made phaser rifles, instead opting for the Cardasian disruptor rifle. While the phaser rifle has all kinds of cool, neat gadgets and add-on features, in the field (when you don't have proper maintenance facilities and spare parts and the like) that's just more things to go wrong with it. A Cardasian disruptor rifle only has stun and kill settings, but you can lean it against a tree and leave it for ten years and it'll still work without trouble.
*** They introduced a holographic communicator (and extension of holodeck technology) to replace the viewscreen communicators, which sounds cool until you realize it needed a special podium retrofitted to send and receive from and having a person just blink into existence on the bridge or ready room gave everyone including [[MemeticBadAss Sisko]] a serious case of the UncannyValley creeps. It was quietly dropped as even the viewer could see that it offered no improvement over the viewscreens already in use.
** ''Franchise/StarTrek'' has also shown that forcefields are the primary means of keeping prisoners in their cells. There's no indication that a solid door wouldn't work just as well and there's no reason they couldn't use both forcefields ''and'' physical doors, like shuttle bays do.
** ''Film/StarTrekFirstContact'' also features at least one Forcefield Window, though wisely covered with a shutter when not in use.
** The Federation is not alone in this. The Romulans strongly favor a "warbird" motif in their starship design (their ancestors were dissident warrior Vulcans known as "Those who march beneath the raptor's wings"). Thus their ''D'deridex'' and ''Valdore'' class warbirds are actually larger than even Starfleet's ''Galaxy'' class. But much of that size is taken up by "wings" which are not needed in space and seemingly serve a purely aesthetic purpose. In terms of speed they are actually a bit slower than comparable Federation starships. They also tend to place an emphasis on FixedForwardFacingWeapon emplacements, rather than following Starfleet's adoption of phaser arrays which can fire in virtually any direction for which they have line-of-sight.
* ''Series/StargateSG1'':
** Goa'uld staff weapons are highly inefficient. Eventually, we're [[LampshadeHanging explicitly told]] that they're created for terror, not for efficiency; humans find firearms (or zat guns) more useful. One episode even features a demonstration for the benefit of rebel Jaffa.
** There's an impractical prison that works by shifting the gravity horizontally and turning a long room into a deep pit. It has no door, fails during a power outage and could be escaped from by having a friend lower you a rope. But, dammit, it looks so ''cool''!
** The Goa'uld also use force fields instead of glass for windows on their spacecraft, which they attempt to [[JustifiedTrope justify]] as being necessary because glass would not hold up under the strain. Glass would at least ''try'', unlike a force field in a power failure.
* ''Series/StargateAtlantis'':
** Averted by Ancient holding cells, which do have an energy barrier but also, the common sense precaution of real bars... If only they'd been so sensible the rest of the time...
** When the team finds a group of living Ancients in between galaxies, the reason they're still alive is that they've been in relativistic travel at 0.99999 times the speed of light for the past 10,000 years. [=McKay=] comments that flying that fast is a ''really'' impressive feat... but also not very useful in a universe where FTLTravel exists, as demonstrated by the fact that it took them 10,000 years just to get outside their starting galaxy.
* ''Series/{{Firefly}}'':
** A run-down bar in an episode has holographic windows that don't even provide any sort of forcefield. This makes for the "window" is used as a parody/homage to the traditional cowboy movie barroom brawl, allowing the protagonist to be [[SoftGlass thrown through it without resistance]]. The [[FridgeLogic advantage of making a hologram of something that's supposed to be transparent]], though...
** In a later episode there's a holographic set of pool balls which seem to be slightly less reliable than a real set. (In-universe example of RuleOfCool? Proprietor got tired of the regular sort [[ImprovisedWeapon getting thrown at people's heads]] every time there's a BarBrawl? [[RiddleForTheAges We may never know.]]) Presumably in both cases it was more about setting the scene, particularly in the window example which is at the beginning of the first aired episode which Joss explains in a commentary track was all about frantically trying to explain what was going on.
** Laser guns apparently. One villain shows up with a fancy laser pistol that he uses to some effect, then it runs out of power partway through a fairly short fight. It's probably worth noting that neither most independent citizens nor Alliance soldiers bother with hand-held laser weapons, and this character was established as a rich idiot who liked to show off.
* ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003'':
** Mostly inverted, as the series deliberately uses pragmatic old-fashioned technology. The ShinyLookingSpaceships turned out to be far too vulnerable to hacking and were blown up right at the start. The choice of starship weaponry drew particular attention for its freshness and originality: it uses machine guns.
** Played straight with the cornerless paper. Sure, it looks cool, but how do you store large quantities? On Earth, we put our cornered paper in rolls, what do they do? Although this might be more ''Alien but Inefficient''. (Ron Moore stated in an interview that after several seasons of having to cut corners off every single sheet of paper shown in the series, which is a lot considering the ship can't use computers, he was ready to murder the art director who came up with the idea for the miniseries.)
* Averted in the original ''Series/BattlestarGalactica1978'' series, which happily indulged in the use laser technology on a regular basis. Laser pistols were common among both Colonial warriors and Cylon Centurions, and unless they were damaged beyond repair. Could always be counted upon to preform properly.
* Spoofed in the ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' episode "Terror From the Year 5000": The Observers tell Mike that they've evolved beyond food, and get all their nutritional requirements from a tiny pill. It eventually gets revealed that they have to eat ten large bowls of them each day.
* In ''Series/DoctorWho'', the title Doctor is joined by the ex-time Agent [[MrFanservice Captain Jack Harkness]] who proceeds to show off his cool sonic gun which can even blow exactly square-shaped holes into whatever blocks its path, which impresses Rose, much to the Doctor's disdain. Ironically, its many extras make the gun run out of energy in a crucial moment, leaving the Doctor and his [[BoringButPractical sonic screwdriver]] to save the day.
* ''Series/BlakesSeven'' had a weapon called the IMIPAK (Incipient Molecular Instability Projector And Key), a ray gun which [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin induced incipient instability in the molecular structure of the target]], after which you have to whip out and activate the Key to convert it to actual instability and thus destroy the target -- except that if the target is a living being and noticed you firing the gun at him, you never get the chance because long before then, he's zapped you with his own less acronymic but far more practical weapon. It makes an ''excellent'' ExplosiveLeash, but as a sniper weapon it leaves much to be desired.
* Some of the myths tested by the ''Series/MythBusters'' result in builds which fall into this category (those builds that don't qualify for this trope ''usually'' fall under AwesomeButImpractical). One of the best-known examples is the Lead Balloon--sure, you can build a balloon out of lead foil and have it float, but aluminum foil is stronger, lighter, safer to work with, and easier to get a hold of.
* In ''Series/{{Castle}}'', the murder of a lottery winner leads the detectives to have a conversation about what they'd buy if they won the lottery, during which Detective Esposito says he'd buy a Ferrari. Castle, a millionaire mystery writer, points out that he has one, and it's not as great as you'd think. When Esposito insists that they're "hella fast", Castle points out that in rush hour traffic it's just as fast as any other car. Esposito and Ryan -- not being millionaires -- still frequently badgers and barters with Castle to get a turn driving the car [[RunningGag at every possible opportunity]].
* The [=PPGs=] (Phased Plasma Guns) of ''Series/BabylonFive'' look cool especially when firing, but lack trigger guards, don't appear particularly accurate, and emit an audible whine when powering up (eliminating any possibility of stealthy approach). Indeed, several characters are alerted to an ambush over the course of the series by hearing the power-up whine. Hand weapons such as the Minbari pike or GoodOldFisticuffs are generally more effective at catching people unawares. However, the weapon does have some practical use in that it can do a lot of damage to organic targets and can be set to cut through reinforced doors, but its standard setting won't risk punching through the hull, unlike conventional bullets. Bullets are stated to be still be in use, but it's mainly private citizens and the occasional security force that live and operate planetside.
* ''Series/{{V 1983}}'': The state of the art laser weaponry carried by the aliens in the original miniseries simply does not work. Throughout the course of the show we see people hit in the heart, the back, the side, the arm and the leg; and with the exception of a fairly impressive pyrotechnic display on impact, the only result is a grizzly looking but nonetheless unimpressive little flesh wound that often fails to even slow the target down let alone kill them. Fans have tried to hand wave this as being some kind of never before mentioned stun setting, unfortunately if that were true it would qualify as an IdiotPlot as even during the final battle when the aliens are clearly attempting to murder the humans their weapons are still useless. It is not an exaggeration to suggest that the bows used by Alexander the Great three thousand years ago had more stopping power, had more range judging by the firing distances employed, and fired projectiles that were significantly faster as the laser bolts are laughably slow compared to arrows or bullets.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Traveller}}'' uses good old-fashioned [[KineticWeaponsAreJustBetter slug throwers]] (guns with bullets) even in far future society. There are lasers and plasma rifles, but good old-fashioned guns are as good as the former, and the latter are big and heavy and require battle armor to use.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'':
** It's in love with this trope, although it has some spectacular cases of boring but practical as well. [[BattlefleetGothic Huge spaceships made to look like cathedrals]]? We got them. [[HumongousMecha 300-meters-tall walking robots]] with castles on their shoulders? Elite close combat troops armed with chainsaw swords and 'shuriken pistols'? [[TankGoodness Tanks]] with guns so big they have other, smaller, guns strapped to them? Armies made up of 95% CannonFodder and a few good units and vehicles? Hordes of unarmed civilians supported by about 6 daemons? Oh boy, do we ever got them. Some armies even go as far as to make up reasons why these things have to be like this. For instance, the Chaos Marines (badass evil army whose cannon fodder is capable of withstanding a black hole) Codex explains that they only have weird symbols on walls and sharpened teeth because they feel cooler when they do. Also, asking them WHY they are evil is answered with "why not?" The Imperium of Man, meanwhile (they of the giant cathedral spaceships), lost all knowledge of why their technology works so long ago that a religion has built up to fill the void. They go and make everything super-ornate to please the "[[MachineWorship Machine Spirit]]" who animates their technology and think that if they lay off the pomp, everything will break.
** The standard sidearm for military officers of the Imperium is the Bolt Pistol. It fires .75 caliber depleted-uranium rocket-propelled grenade rounds instead of bullets. Space Marines use the same gun but in the form of a ''[[MoreDakka sub-machine gun]]''.
** Larger weapons in ''40K'' tend to take this to ridiculous extremes, as do alien weapons. The assault cannon is more or less an armor-piercing rocket-launching minigun, Necron gauss weapons strip the target's molecules away layer by layer, allowing them to punch through the heaviest armor as well as grant them the name "gauss flayers", chainsaw swords are ubiquitous among Imperium forces from longsword varieties to types longer than their wielder is tall, the larger Imperium vehicles don't so much fire a cannon as they do a broadside, and then there's the Shokk Attack Gun...
** Well, then there are the guns that [[AbnormalAmmo shoot plants, clouds of micro filament wire, giant death guitars]], laser miniguns, and it just gets better.
** Better yet, the Eldar and Tau take those insanely huge tanks, [[RuleOfCool and make them ''fly'']] (or at least {{hover|Tank}}).
** The {{Space Marine}}s, {{Super Soldier}}s taken UpToEleven are an example of what happens when a faction is this trope. They have bullet-proof chests and corrosive saliva, can live on a healthy diet of concrete and metal, wear PoweredArmor better than most tanks, have lifespans in the centuries or even millenia, land on a planet via drop pods jettisoned from an orbiting vessel directly to the surface without slowing [[DependingOnTheWriter (much)]], and have weapons including but not limited to aforementioned automatic armor-piercing rocket launchers larger than an average person and hammers capable of killing an EldritchAbomination.
** And that isn't even getting into the [[EvilCounterpart Chaos Space Marines]], whose ranks include such delightful characters as Obliterators, Marines who've spent so much time in [[HyperspaceIsAScaryPlace the Warp]] that they've fused to their armor, Plague Marines, Marines "blessed" by Nurgle with every disease in existence to the point where they're in so much pain they can't feel any other pain, and Noise Marines, Marines that make their enemies' heads explode with ThePowerOfRock.
** Everything in the 40K universe operates by the principles of RuleOfCool and MoreDakka (being the TropeNamer for the latter); with realism chucked right out the window at every opportunity.
** The Tau are actually fairly practical (at least in comparison to the other races), the only real problem being their CripplingOverspecialization in ranged combat.
* ''TabletopGame/TheWitcherGameOfImagination'' has this relation with most of the combat maneuvers for ranged weapons and some of the signs used by witchers. But nothing can compare with OneHitKill moves - they use more Combat Points than some characters can even have. For a single attack. That can be dodged. Or simply miss.
** [[AvertedTrope Averted]] in the case of spells. At first glance ''all of them'' are ridiculously overpriced, often costing more Arcane Points that it's possible to have, turning spellcasting into a highly inefficient playstyle. [[ReadTheFreakingManual But if you carefully read the rules]], they also show how high skill and additional successes during hit rolls reduce the intake of Arcane Points to almost nothing, or at least to bearable amounts.
* In the ''D20'' RPG based on ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' series: Shocklances, supposedly the front line infantry weapon from the War of the Shadow, are statted out with huge damage, but only eight shots. They're not reloadable, either. Each shot comes back on its own, after an hour.
* The HumongousMecha from ''TabletopGame/MachoWomenWithGuns'' is described as "...dominated the battlefields until people realized what a ridiculous idea they were."
* In the ''TabletopGame/IronKingdoms'' Colossals were giant mechs that were made into smaller warjacks as they proved inefficient after the repelling of the Orgoth threat.
* The ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'' universe has a long and intricate history that attempts to justify why they bother at all with giant robots instead of conventional combat vehicles - in this case it's because of the flexibility of a humanoid form, and the durability of their modular design. They're regularly used in civilian work as well, so there isn't a shortage of competent pilots. The old Star League got past this trope and ended up nuking themselves back to the to the point where three centuries later much of their most advanced achievements still haven't been rediscovered, so most 31st century combat is deliberately kept like this to limit collateral damage. The rare incidences where nukes show up demonstrate why this is a good thing.
* ''TabletopGame/HeavyGear'' actually lampshades how the titular Gears are unstable, easily damaged, and limited in striking power compared to tanks, but so much of Terra Nova's terrain is high mountains, swamps, and soft, sandy deserts that tanks just don't work in that they're worth the effort.

* [[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Gold_Plastic_Syndrome Gold Plastic Syndrome]] is a fairly infamous term, which refers to certain Franchise/{{Transformers}} toys. Essentially, certain batches of metallic plastic from 1989-1998, usually used in big, impressive toys, tended to degrade over time and fracture with ease. The end result? [[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Image:G2_Electro_toy.jpg Pretty-looking, shiny toys]] [[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Image:Electrogoldplasticsyndrome.jpg that would shatter while being taken out of the box.]]
* Similar to the above, Toys/{{Bionicle}} had a similar fiasco with lime-green socket joints, which due to a cooling error with the batch caused them to break far easier than any other pieces, usually you couldn't even move them after assembling the models before they would just shatter in your hands. This managed to sour consumer relationship with so many sets afterwards (not to mention it seemed like the problem migrated to just about every type of joints regardless of color) that Lego had to completely drop the old ball-socket system for a new design. It didn't help that some of the most popular sets during this time were lime-green (especially the limited edition Lesovikk).

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'' equipped the player with the Gravity Gun, which is used to hurl garbage at people (instead of, we don't know, bullets). This is a lot more fun than it sounds, and you're unlikely to run out of ammo. On the other hand, Alyx makes a point of saying that the Gravity Gun is a tool used for carrying large and hazardous material, and wasn't meant as a weapon.
** In the Ravenholm level, it can be useful for saving ammo, as the zombies can only melee, and if you get yourself a radiator, a saw, or a razor blade, you can hold your ground against them without firing a shot. Headcrabs too, as they're small enough to be blasted directly with the Gravity Gun, with no need to hurl something at them. Now, against the fast zombies and poison zombies on the other hand...
*** There's even an achievement for going through the whole level using only the Gravity Gun.
** The ending of the ''Half-Life 2'' and the beginning of ''Episode 1'' has the gun become super charged, and allows it to kill enemies by itself, but it is still limited by range, which can be a hassle when you have soldiers attacking you from a distance. You can't loot their weapons either, as guns in the Citadel vaporize when dropped.
** In of ''Episode 2'', the Hunter has very tough armor that can soak multiple magazines from any of your conventional weapons, even tanking a hit from the rocket launcher. But, internally, they're apparently very weak, as a strong physical impact will take them down in short order. The Gravity Gun and debris are useful for this, but what's even more useful is the fact that [[CarFu you have a car...]]
** Arguably everything but the Shotgun, Magnum and Crossbow/Railgun Sniper are this. Most of the weapons have a horrible spread, for example the Combine Assault rifle which sprays its bullets all over the place if not fired in "semi-auto"[[hottip:*:which isn't a selectable fire mode; you have to lightly tap the shoot button]].
* In ''VideoGame/ZoneOfTheEnders 2'', the Vector Cannon was the coolest weapon in the game. Unfortunately, outside of a few isolated instances (destroying the battleship engines, the shield around Aumaan and as a spectacular ending to the final Anubis fight if your aim was good), the weapon was practically useless due to its long recharge time, the requisite that your mech's legs be touching the ground or another stable surface during the charging, and the inordinate amount of subweapon energy consumed by firing (though the latter was negated if you played as Naked Jehuty, which had infinite subweapon energy).
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'' gives you The Treaty-Blade and The Sword of Kings. These swords have the power to cut [[GreenRocks Nethicite]], but, more importantly, have been bequeathed by the Gods themselves. Naturally, these swords'll be amazing, right? Wrong. They each have 30 attack. To give you an idea, the maximum attack a weapon can have is 150 - the kind of weapon your fighters will have at the time will have between 50 and 70. Admittedly, the swords good for dodging, but other than that, it's there to look pretty.
* Hymir's Finger in ''VideoGame/{{Drakengard}}'' is a literal {{BFS}} in a game which has done a good job of keeping the weapons relatively realistic, or as far as one can in a medieval-[[FunctionalMagic fantasy]] world. It is long enough to qualify as a jousting lance, and it does a lot of damage, enough to mistake it for the InfinityPlusOneSword. Cool, but it takes forever to swing. If you time your attacks right, you can wipe out whole squads of enemies, but the sword requires too much work to use properly. And the actual InfinityPlusOneSword is so much better.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Crusader}}'' games feature dozens of neat little death effects caused by exotic weapons that use molecular inhibition fields, chemical catalysts, microwaves, and so on... but when you get down to it, you're better off with the automatic shotgun and the rocket launcher, if only because there's a lot more ammo. Also, unlike the exotic weapons, standard ballistic weapons such as the automatic shotgun or submachine gun did not completely destroy an enemy's body, meaning you could search them for items and ammo afterwards.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Civilization}} 4: Beyond the Sword'', the entry in the in-game encyclopedia for the assault mecha in the Next War official mod lampshades this, stating that the widespread use of the inefficient, unstable war machine instead of giant tanks is a result of its cool appearance, since awed politicians would be more likely to grant a budget to impressive-looking projects.
* Cool but inefficient describes all the Big Guns in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}''. Though they all have a higher damage rating, they either have a high spread or low rate of fire.
** The Rock-It Launcher is the coolest of the bunch, and relatively efficient in that it can load any random junk and deal a hefty punch with it. It also suffers in that before a player can build one, they must first buy rather expensive plans. By the time most players have enough caps to make the purchase they have normally killed, looted and leveled enough that they now own more conventential weapons then they know what to do with.
** The Gatling laser is like a laser minigun and is nearly the highest damage weapon in the game. But it is incredibly inefficient due to rarity of ammo (you can buy ammo for it eventually which costs a lot), near inability to land critical hits (a one-shot critical on a target's head will usually kill it, even from a small weapon; and big guns have a painfully low critical hit chance), and the gun breaks down fairly quickly from extended use: Each shot reduces a weapon's condition which lowers its damage per shot. The Gatling laser has a blindingly fast rate of fire which also makes it deteriorate blindingly fast.
** The Alien blaster is a unique weapon you can find that has an extremely high base damage and a 100% chance to land a critical hit with every shot. However it has an extremely limited ammo supply that cannot be replenished. Also, every shot will make it deteriorate by a sizable chunk until it becomes useless and the gun can only be repaired by [=NPCs=] which is expensive and very few [=NPCs=] can repair it up to 100% of its condition.
*** The Alien Blaster returns in ''[[VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas New Vegas]]'' when you choose "Wild Wasteland" as a trait. As such, you only get the blaster and whatever ammo you can scrounge up off the captain of the spaceship. Even when you can repair it with the perk "Jury Rigging", the lack of ammo severely limits it's use. It's better to get the YCS/186 Gauss rifle due to being easier to repair and having ammo you can buy.
** The [[InfinityPlusOneSword Experimental MIRV]] is a missile launcher that fires [[MacrossMissileMassacre 8 mini-nukes]] at once. In addition, [[HoistByHisOwnPetard you could get caught in the blast.]] And the chances of actually ''needing'' to fire 8 mini-nukes in one shot are pretty low, if at all. The strongest in-game enemies can take around 2-3 mini nukes before going down, some of them like the Feral Ghoul Reaver can appear inside buildings or quickly close the gap between the player and them.
*** The standard variant, The Fat Man, is also this. Sure you can kill tough muties in a couple of hits, but the mini nukes are all hidden away across the entirety of the Capital Wasteland with only 70 in the main game and an extra 28 from all the DLC. The second problem is how it fires it's payload; it lobs them. Like a mortar cannon, it's difficult to aim over long distances and can't be fired indoors without blowing yourself up in the process. It's ultimately cheaper, if more difficult[[note]]These are the toughest monsters to kill in game, and only Behemoths can be called "boss" monsters[[/note]], to kill Behemoth and Overlord Super Mutants, Feral Ghoul Reavers, and Albino Radscorpions with conventional firearms.
** The standard variant of the Experimental MIRV, the Fat Man, returns in ''[[VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas New Vegas]]'' and it's still [[AwesomeButImpractical very impractical]] to use in the base game with a meager amount of mini nukes (14, or 12 with "Wild Wasteland"). The Fat Man becomes this trope, however with ''Gun Runners Arsenal'' (and by extension ''Lonesome Road''[[note]]The automated vendor system can sometimes sell them.[[/note]]) installed, as you can buy mini nukes along with it's 4 other variants such as Low Yield[[note]]longer range for a smaller explosion.[[/note]], Big Kid[[note]]bigger explosion for shorter range.[[/note]], Tiny Tots[[note]]9 tiny nukes fly at the target for cluster bombing[[/note]], and Timed[[note]]The mini nuke has a 5-second timer, allowing you to ricochet it off objects or bean people in the chest with it for extra laughs.[[/note]] though the new nukes require you to buy the ''GRA'' version of the gun. While you can eventually get the cash to buy them, vendors barely have any in stock and very few enemies require that amount of fire power to take down, and the ones that do are ''2'' of the 5 Legendary creatures [[note]]The Legendary Deathclaw which has 1000 hit points and the DLC only Legendary Bloatfly which has 2000 hit points.[[/note]] and the [[spoiler:X-42 giant robo-scorpion]]. They all live in tight caves (reducing launch distance) and can tank a shot from it, especially [[LethalJokeCharacter the Legendary Bloatfly]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 4}}'' follows the proud traditions of its predecessors:
** Most of the heavy weapons featured above in the Fallout 3 section return and with many of the same disadvantages. New ones however are:
*** The [[FreezeRay Cryolator]]. Its a cold version of the flamethrower. However it uses fairly rare ammo and its ability to freeze enemies sold is unreliable at best. Can be upgraded to fire solid slugs of ice instead but these travel fairly slowly, making its almost impossible to hit far off or quick enemies.
*** The Boradsider is a man portable circa 1700 navel cannon that shoots cannonballs. Very powerful, but slow to reload, uses ammo that can only be found in shops (apart from a handful you can find a specific locations) and its projectiles have a noticeable [[NoArcInArchery arc]].
*** The Gamma gun fires concentrated radiation at its targets and kills them through increasing their rads, rather then dealing any damage to them. Against heavily armored humans this is exactly as lethal as it sounds. Unfortunately humans only make up a about 25% of all the enemies you will fight in the wasteland, and against everything else it either does nothing or actually _heals_ them.
*** The mini-gun faces a new problem that makes it this trope: in addition to chewing through ammo like its going out of style, because of the way damage reduction is calculated it will deal half damage to most creatures you meet after about the first 5 hours or so, meaning it will take even more ammo to take things down.
** [[PoweredArmor Power Armor]] alternates between this and bordering into a [[GameBreaker Game Breaker]]. Unlike previous games Power Armour functions more like an actual suit of armor your character climbs into and pilots, and while it does turn you into a walking tank with incredibly high strength it also needs repairing, is expensive to upgrade (and become more expensive to repair once you have) and making sneaking much more difficult. It also requires the expensive to buy/hard to find Fusion Cores to run.
* The [[XtremeKoolLetterz Krimzon Guard]] Hellcat cruisers in ''[[JakAndDaxter Jak II: Renegade]]'' easily qualify. On first sight, they're a flying tank, what's not to like? ...They're so large and slow they're nearly impossible to miss, they maneuver like a quadriplegic cow, their gun is no deadlier than that on the far nippier Guard speeder bike, and if you steal one, you'll piss off every Guard in the city. Just as an additional bonus, these annoyed Guard will come after you on speeders, crash into the back of your stolen Hellcat, and thoughtlessly explode, taking you down in an antigrav pileup... and if you're going along the ground, expect to have a dozen of these bikes hanging over your head raining fire while you try and fail to steer it around a corner without scratching the paintwork.
* Long polearms in ''VideoGame/MountAndBlade'' fall under this trope. From horseback, lances are able to one-shot almost anyone with a couched charge, and in an open field, one can cleave down dozens of enemy soldiers with a halberd or bardiche. Of course, once a single infantryman gets in your face, you can't land any good blows because your huge polearm has just become a big clumsy stick. This echoes real life, as most long polearms are fairly worthless in close-quarters melee.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Unreal}}'' series has several weapons which are potentially more harmful to you than the enemy (Razorjack/Ripper, Biorifle), and a Gatling gun (Minigun) that depletes your ammo after a few seconds.
* ''Franchise/MetalGear'':
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2'' features the giant battleship [[spoiler:Arsenal Gear]], which despite being sleek, enormous, nuclear capable and carrying a whole complement of [[HumongousMecha MGs]]; without full land, sea, and air support, it's little more than "a gigantic coffin", as [[spoiler:Solidus]] says.
** In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3'', Ocelot carries a revolver with detailed, ornate carvings...which, as Snake is quick to point out, offers him absolutely no tactical advantage unless he wants to sell the gun as a collector's item.
* ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' games preceding ''Symphony of the Night'' often have a pocketwatch as one of the subweapons. It [[TimeStandsStill stops most non-boss enemies from moving for a few seconds]], but almost any time it appears, it eats 5 hearts instead of 1 like the other subweapons do, except in ''Haunted Castle'' where it only consumes 2 hearts.
* The ''VideoGame/{{STALKER}}'' series has the Gauss Rifle, an incredibly powerful weapon capable of killing nearly anything in one hit. On the downside of things, it has an incredibly low rate of fire, the ammunition is rarely found, and the few you can acquire are in such poor condition you only have a magazine or two worth of shots before it breaks.
** ''Clear Sky'' dumbs it down even further by turning it into a prototype weapon that can only damage one specific enemy. Using it on the horde of fanatical mooks between you and him only gets you killed, very quickly.
** ''Call of Pripyat'' compensates by making the Rifle a genuine one of a kind weapon which you pry from a miniboss's dead hands. But you need to go through a rather lengthy series of sidequests in order to make it usable, and once you can use it, the repair cost alone is worth a couple high quality artifacts, and you only get 10 shots for the cost of another artifact. Even better, the damage is now low enough that certain mutants will usually survive more then a direct hit, and some special {{mooks}} in the end-game level can take a round to the chest. When they attack in packs of 6 or more and you can only fire one round every 3 seconds, the Gauss Rifle starts to become a cool looking liability. Therefore, don't try using it as a close-quarters weapon. It does have the best handling of any sniper rifle, which can be [[NoScope surprisingly useful]], and it's by far the best choice for the only sniper mission in the game. It's still inferior to the VSS Vintorez and/or Dragunov SVD in most cases though, in terms of reliability and firing rate. The Gauss Rifle isn't terribly inefficient though: [[spoiler: the mechanic at the wrecked ship in Zaton can give you six homemade batteries, at the steep price of 2000 rubles each]]. This legitimately turns it into an InfinityPlusOneSword in the game, so the inefficiency argument is made moot. It actually gets ''more'' efficient on higher difficulties, due to the way the game handles difficulty settings. On the max difficulty, you can kill just about anything you want with a shot or two. [[EleventhHourSuperPower Unfortunately by the time you get it,]] you'll probably have more weapons than you can reasonably use anyway.
** Bandits are commonly seen wearing {{Badass Longcoat}}s instead of actual armour, because (as an in-game PDF message will tell you) they honestly just think they look cool. Bandits also, funnily enough, drop like flies when a gunfight breaks out. [[WhatAnIdiot Hmmm, wonder why.]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Prototype}}'s'' Snap-Kick Launcher. Treats anything smaller than a Leader Hunter as a soccer ball. Now if only a single maxed Musclemass boosted Snap Kick would just send that annoying supersoldier to his death rather than having to go after him to repeat the process. In fact, most unlockable attacks qualify, as the majority of them are designed to do massive damage to a single target, when even basic attacks with the protagonist's BladeBelowTheShoulder can cleave through a tank without effort. A large number of endgame attacks exist to cause [[TheresNoKillLikeOverkill ridiculous overkill]] in the name of RuleOfFun.
* ''Dirge of Cerberus Final Fantasy VII'' has the last level as Chaos. Chaos himself is very useful. All of his abilities are upgraded, and he uses the only weapon stronger than the Ultima Weapon. The thing is, the enemies are designed specifically to handle that weapon. That means, while your new melee combo is fancy, about twice as many hits in half as much time, and ends with a neat little mini-explosion, you're never going to hit anything with it. Even if you get close enough to try, you'll be pumped full of lasers, and the combo will be interrupted.
* ''VideoGame/MaxPayne 3'': The LaserSight attached to some of the weapons actually makes your aim actively worse. It may be [[MisaimedRealism realistic]] to have the laser jumping around when shooting, but still.
* ''Tibia'' has a tendency to introduce new gimmicky mechanics and then completely forget about them. A notable example, the enchanting system allows you sacrifice a gem to turn a weapon into a FlamingSword or a weapon of some other element. Sounds awesome until you learn that the enchantment doesn't actually net you any significant increase of DPS, has unnecessary class/level requirements, and only a very small list of weapons can be enchanted. On top of it, the game ''discourages'' you from wielding your new flaming spiky sword by making the enchantment wear off after a certain number of hits. After six years of regular patches, the system still hasn't received any attention from the developers, not even expanding the list of enchantable weapons. Players still only enchant their weapons to create cool decorations for their house.
* ''VideoGame/SonicGenerations'': [[SuperMode Super Sonic]]. Costing 100 Skill Points(Of 100) to equip and burning rings at a significantly higher rate than he does in his other appearances, this golden wonder ends up doing more harm than help. His special ability-an auto-pilot flying boost-ends up screwing you over or not being of much use do to how quickly it eats through even the largest stocks of rings and replacing the basic boost in all but a few areas, which absolutely neuters Super Sonic's speed unless you want to use all of your rings in a matter of seconds. Thankfully, game mods have popped up that alter Super Sonic's ring consumption rates [[GameBreaker allowing his true potential to shine through,]] but even so, you're better off just [[BoringButPractical setting up a bread and butter skill set]] if you want to set any good times.
* Sabata's dark gun from ''VideoGame/{{Boktai}}'' looks badass and is the ''only'' weapon in the game to offer both S-level attack and stun while being a projectile. Unfortunately since it's dark-based it can't even stun, let alone harm, any dark based enemies, which make up over half of the menagerie out to get you. True it ''trashes'' all other kinds of enemies, but that's nothing using their elemental weakness against can't accomplish, and you ''will'' have all the other lenses since you need to find them all to beat the game, they carry over, and it takes four playthroughs to earn the dark parts. Finally you can't interchange gun parts or use spare batteries.
* In ''VideoGame/KingdomsOfAmalurReckoning'', a lot of charged attacks. They leave you wide open while charging, and a single hit cancels them. And getting hit usually leads to an enemy proceeding with their own combo that leaves you stunlocked for a couple seconds (or longer, if another enemy is lining up for their turn too). Plus, while the charged attacks for melee weapons can result in a flurry of blows, they're often much weaker than regular hits, making the entire thing a waste of time. Charged attacks also guarantee an elemental proc and usually include a full blown stagger or knockdown. A lot of them look pretty, though.
* In ''VideoGame/SaintsRowIV'', you can get some really awesome vehicles, soup them up, equip them with pop-out Boadicea spikes and so on...but ultimately you will spend vastly more time using your super-speed and super-jump to get around, with vehicles mostly relegated to missions where you lose your superpowers and occasional trawling for collectibles.
* In ''VideoGame/ArcStyleBaseball3D'', it feels so good to groove the strike zone with a fastball, but half the time it's hit for a home run on Hard difficulty (and powerful teams in general, like the Crystals). The same goes for slowballs, which can mess up the batters' swing timing but otherwise are easily hit.
* A lot of the ChargedAttack versions of the Special Weapons in the ''VideoGame/MegaManX'' series fall under this. While certainly flashy and effective while going through stages, against bosses they often do only one more point of damage than an uncharged shot, and even for the ones that take twice as much damage from a charged attack, it's often quicker and more efficient to fire two uncharged shots over wasting time charging up one shot.

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* In ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'', Remnant's communications network is dependent on four central relay towers, one in each kingdom. If even one goes down, the entire network goes with it. As Professor Ozpin points out in the "World of Remnant" short explaining the system, the setup makes for a powerful metaphor about cooperation being necessary for humanity's survival. However, the metaphor seems to be the only upside; if any of the towers goes down, it's probably because something ''very'' bad is happening, which makes real-time communication over long distances even more important. There's a reason engineers try to build redundancy into just about everything in real life.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Cited and [[http://narbonic.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2003/06/030607.jpg made symbolic]] in ''{{Narbonic}}'':
-->'''Mell:''' Catch me if I'm wrong, but this looks like an energy weapon that loads like a flintlock pistol. This crazy moon crystal drops into the chamber, it goes poom, and a mean little laser shoots out. Thing is, it doesn't work as good as a normal gun. What's awesome is this gun is like you! Like you and Helen and [[spoiler:probably Dave someday]]! It's totally mind-blowingly brilliant, but on a common-sense level it's dumb as a box of rocks!"
* Averted in ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'', in which it is specifically mentioned that conventional firearms are frequently preferred, as they are less likely to cause Explosive Decompression in an on-ship fire fight. Schlock himself uses a massive antique of a plasma gun instead of far more efficient modern handguns, specifically for the glow in the barrel and the ommmmmmmminous hummmmmmmm as it charges. At one point Schlock obtained a pair of impressive {{BFG}}s from his enemies, then sawed off half the barrel to make them fit within his mouth and triple wielded them with the plasgun. The result was quite intimidating, especially to anyone who recognized how likely it was to blow up in his face.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Lampshaded in the ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond'' episode "Shriek", where Walter Shreeve, a sound expert, demonstrates his powerful sound weapon to the corporate head, Derek Powers. Shreeve finds he has a tough job selling his technology when Powers notes that for regular tasks like demolition, conventional tools like dynamite are just as effective and cheaper than some exotic new technology.
* Also subverted in the famous ''WesternAnimation/JonnyQuest'' episode, "The Robot Spy". In that episode, Quest is working on a new weapon called a "Para-Power Raygun", which, he hopes, gives a practical new military option: the ability to paralyse enemy war machines by removing their power from a distance, thus allowing them to be captured intact, or at least neutralize mechanized units efficiently. However, the gun is used to shoot down the robot, and destroys it. Quest is disappointed, considering that, in being that destructive, the gun is merely an exotic artillery piece that's impractical considering the external generator involved.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/CodenameKidsNextDoor'' episode "Operation: T.R.I.C.Y.C.L.E." the KND attack the Tommymobile by using the biggest ketchup bottle ever seen. The kids at the moon base drop ketchup on it using a giant hand to slap the bottom of the bottle. It looks awesome, but does absolutely nothing. It's immediately lampshaded by one of the operatives attacking the bike from a plane.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' has the Canyonero:
-->''Can you name the car with four-wheel drive,''
-->''Smells like a steak, and seats thirty-five?''
-->''Canyonero! Canyonero!''
-->''Well it goes real slow with the hammer down.''
-->''It's a country-fried truck endorsed by a clown.''
-->''Canyonero! Canyonero! Hey, hey!''
-->''Twelve yards long, two lanes wide,''
-->''Sixty-five tons of American pride!
-->''Canyonero! Canyonero!''
-->''Top of the line for utility sports,''
-->''Unexplained fires are a matter for the courts!''
-->''Canyonero! Canyonero!''
-->''She blinds everybody with her super high-beams.''
-->''She's a squirrel-squashin', deer-smackin' drivin' machine.''
-->''Canyonero! Canyonero! Canyonero!''
* In a ''WesternAnimation/RobotChicken'' sketch with ComicBook/RichieRich, we get a tour of his house where he stated he now owns a hybrid. The hybrid of it being a Bentley and a Monster Truck which got 3 feet to a full tank of gas.
* Lampshaded in ''WesternAnimation/EdEddNEddy'' in the episode Ed, Ed and Away, when at the beginning of the episode the Eds are selling bikes. They manage to catch Kevin's eye with an impressive-looking 3-wheeler, which he quickly takes out for a spin, only for it to quickly fall apart because it's made from hand-me-down kitchenware.
-->'''Double-D:''' He can't do that, Eddy! You said he wouldn't do that! You said build a bike that ''looks'' good! That's it! That's all!
-->'''Eddy:''' Looking good is what it's all about, Double D. You just ''lie'' about the other stuff.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Companies have always been sending spam everywhere and to everyone to boost their profit, using the infamous spambots to do so. Recently it turned out a bunch of Chinese people could do it cheaper and more efficiently.
* The large expensive robots required to automate some of the boring drudgery in molecular biology, protein purification etc. A bunch of Chinese people can do it cheaper. Apparently two European people with a multi-pipetter could also do it cheaper, but it's easier to get a million Euros for a machine than for 15 years employment.
* Late in UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, the Germans tried to develop "super weapons" to turn the tide of the war. A lot of them were expensive, inefficient, and had surprisingly short operational lifetimes.
** The Vengeance weapons, the V1 cruise missile and the V2 theatre ballistic missile. The V1 was fairly effective for its day, but by the time it was operational the Allies had radar-equipped fighter aircraft and almost complete air superiority, and the majority were shot down long before reaching their targets. The V2 by contrast was impossible to intercept, but wasn't accurate enough to hit anything smaller than a specific city, making it strategically useless. The Nazis essentially paid several times more for a weapon that did less damage than a conventional formation of bomber planes.
** The Me-262, the first jet fighter in active duty, which arguably ''could'' have affected the course of the war if the Germans had had the fuel to operate them or the time to train the pilots properly, additionaly their engines were horribly maintenance-intensive and they needed a huge runway to take off on. [[WhatAnIdiot Hitler]] actually further slowed down the production of these, because he wanted them to be used offensively instead of as interceptors.
** The Me-163 ''Komet''. A rocket powered fighter [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome which could fly nearly-supersonic in 1944]], but since the fuel it used was both [[EveryCarIsAPinto explosively unstable]] ''and'' toxic -the same stuff was used to run the aforementioned V2- it ended up [[ArmoredCoffins killing more of its own pilots]] than the enemy.
** The Sanger Silbervogel, an unbuilt orbital bomber which was intended to bomb the US. It was meant to launch by using a large cluster of V2 engines to hurl it down a lateral track fast enough to get it into orbit. If the g-forces from the initial acceleration didn't kill the pilot, he'd simply burn up on reentry, because the designers severely underestimated the effects of atmospheric shock heating on the airframe.
** An explosive-driven sonic cannon that would use compressed air blasts to shoot down planes was researched -- and the only working model had a range of a few dozen meters.
** The P 1000 Ratte tank. The '1000' was to be the tank's weight, in ''tons''. To compare, the largest tank ever built, the Panzer VIII Maus, another [[ThoseWackyNazis Nazi]] wonder weapon, weighed in at 188 tons. If you want an idea of how the thing would look, just imagine a Baneblade from ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'', and you wouldn't be far off (actually the P 1000 would've even ''bigger'' than the Baneblade, which is described at around 500-700 tons depending on the source). The tank was to have two 280 mm naval guns for main armament, with one 128 mm anti tank gun, two 15 mm autocannons, and eight flak guns. It was also to be powered by maritime diesel engines used in U-Boats. The thing would have been a disaster. As slow as an arthritic turtle, lacking in anti-air defenses -- target practice for B-17 bombers. Even if the thing was able to defend itself from such attack, all you'd need to do to stop the tank in its tracks is knock out the enormous convoys of fuel tankers it'd need constantly following it. Albert Speer canceled this and the even larger P 1500 Monster, which would at least have been the largest self propelled artillery in history.
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schwerer_Gustav Schwerer Gustav and Dora.]] Two 80-cm rifled artillery guns, each weighing over 1000 tons and firing 7-ton shells. They required twin sets of parallel train tracks to even move around, which sometimes had to be built in front of them. They were designed to be used against the Maginot Line, so they were rendered irrelevant very early in the war, but they each actually saw action in the Soviet front. However, the enormous cost of building, arming and fueling the guns was way out of proportion to the amount of damage they ever did. Still, the guns were arguably useful as some targets in the Siege of Sevastopol were invulnerable to all other types of artillery besides the enormous 800mm guns, such as the "White Cliff" ammunition magazine located 30 meters under the sea, with at least 10 meters of concrete protection. As such they could be said to have played a crucial part in bringing a siege that was tying up valuable units needed elsewhere to a quicker conclusion.
** Speaking of German railroad artillery, perhaps the Paris Gun of World War I? It was an incredibly advanced piece of technology for its time--it had a range of some eighty miles, still a record for gun-type artillery, and its shells were the first man-made objects to reach the stratosphere--but was also tremendously expensive. The barrel (the longest ever on an operational gun) whipped around each time it was fired, the extreme muzzle velocity caused so much barrel wear that each shell needed to be slightly larger than the one before it, and it was impossible to aim at a specific target. A single lucky shot caused the roof of a church to collapse on the Good Friday congregation beneath, but aside from that it caused very little damage, randomly dropping shells (containing only fifteen pounds of explosives) all over Paris. Some German officers of interwar years (among them Heinz Guderian) wondered why the Germans didn't develop and build some more tanks of their own (the A7V, the only German tank of World War I, was built in very small numbers very late in war and it was not very good) instead of this.
** Perhaps the ultimate in ridiculous Nazi superweapons is the ''Sonnengewehr'', or "Sun Gun": A 100-meter wide magnifying mirror made of metallic sodium orbiting the Earth that would focus the sun's rays and vaporize entire cities like anthills. A crew of astronauts would operate the whole thing wearing magnetic boots to overcome microgravity, with onboard pumpkin patches providing food and air. It never made it past planning stages.
** You don't even have to look at their superweapons, but just as their regular tanks. Until Speer took over, every time the engineers came up with a new improvement in a tank design they would change the production line. While in theory this resulted in better tanks, in practice it was a mess because a unit could have tanks that didn't have interchangeable parts, making logistics a nightmare, even though the tanks would supposedly be the same model. Making this even worse was the German tendency to develop machines that were "more efficient, more elegantly designed, and needing five times as many parts". The Allies adopted a more logical approach, allowing proposed changes to accumulate until there was enough to justify a new model, and keeping things as simple as possible.
** Even their own mass production vehicles suffered this issue. German tanks are infamous for their inter-weaving wheels, which was meant as a way to getting more axles onto a smaller tank (and thus not only allow it to carry more weight on a smaller frame, but also ensure the ride was smooth and with less bumps, as well as be essentially extra armor). This is all good for an operational tank, but repairing them were a nightmare since you had to remove the outer wheels first, effectively doing up to three times the work depending on how deep the damage was. Combined with the above (where each tank was unique in design) meant that German repair crews often didn't even have ''enough parts'' to fix any one specific tank due to logistics not being able to ship enough of them fast enough to the front lines.
** The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fliegerfaust Fliegerfaust]] was to be used as a personal anti-air rocket launcher that launched nine rockets at a time. It never saw combat use since its spread was too great and it never reached the desired range. [[Anime/StrikeWitches Sanya]] likes it though.
** The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FG_42 FG-42 early model]] had most possibly the coolest design of any UsefulNotes/WorldWarII small arm and it had been designed to combine the machine gun and rifle into one unit small enough to be carried by a paratrooper (it was as short as a modern AK-74, but had a 50cm barrel and fired full-power 7.92x57 ammo). Most of its cool features proved useless: it was too light to keep steady when firing full-automatic (half the weight of a BAR), too awkward to aim at distant targets (it was much shorter than a rifle), had too small a magazine for use as a machine gun, needed expensive alloys, and it could not mount a true bayonet, only a metal spike instead of it.
* The Nazis weren't alone in their crazy plans.
** The Allies once tried to develop a large aircraft carrier [[http://amasci.com/amateur/pykrete.html made mostly out of frozen mulch]]. That's right, a gigantic ship made of icy wood pulp. It was designed to be much more resistant to German torpedoes and other hull breaches, since a block of frozen wood pulp is surprisingly resilient.
** Another example of bizarre weapons on the Allied side is Walther Christie's ...unconventional... [[http://www.roadabletimes.com/roadables-modular_Christie.html contribution]] to airborne warfare.
** British scientists also played around with a grenade design that shot poisonous needles everywhere instead of standard shrapnel. It was scrapped early on due to the incredibly large sadism-to-usefulness ratio, and the fact that its use probably flies in the face of dozens of tenets of UsefulNotes/TheLawsAndCustomsOfWar.
** The Soviets in turn, featured swimming and airborne tanks (which however, due to weight constrains, proved to be too lightly armed and armored to be useful, though in the context of behind-the-lines partisan warfare/recon for which the tank was intended those factors were not actually that much of a problem, leading to the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMD-1 BMD]] line of airborne armored vehicles). As well as the [=MiG-3=], an interceptor only effective at 3km altitude or higher (useful against high-altitude strategic bombers, but the Germans never managed to make any).
** The Americans not only made a swimming version of the M4 Sherman, they actually used it at the Battle of Normandy. Granted, a number of them quickly sank as soon as they lumbered off the landing craft, but imagine you're a German machine-gunner [[OhCrap watching a tank drive out of the ocean and aim its 75mm gun right at you]] and you can understand why they were used, despite the difficulties.
** And just to prove that ThoseWackyNazis don't have a monopoly on ridiculous tank designs, there's the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TOG2 TOG.]] Armoured better than some small warships, a main gun that could reliably punch a hole in even the legendary Tiger... and a top speed of about eight miles an hour.
* It is an old saw that the M-16, for all its precision, is not remotely as reliable as the less-accurate Russian AK-47 (as aficionados will point out, a properly-maintained M-16 works very well, and a AK-47 -- not a knock-off -- with good-quality ammunition will shoot quite accurately; however, this remains the common perception). Most of the focus in the discussion was the Vietnam war, where most of the problems with the M-16 were because of several issues: First, it was put into production way too early (as such they were using a prototype,) they said the gun was self-cleaning (which it wasn't) and therefore didn't distribute ''any cleaning kits'', the chrome plating on the barrel bore (which would've helped keep it clean) was [[ExecutiveMeddling eliminated as a cost-saving measure]], and the casings were packed with the wrong kind of propellant. All this combined with the harsh conditions soldiers had to drag them through led to a slew of reliability problems.
* The Persian [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scythed_chariot scythed chariot]] was an average war chariot with sharp blades mounted on the axles; the crew just had to plow through the crowd and the scythes would cut in half everyone within 1-2 meters. It wasn't very efficient, as casualties could be greatly avoided by letting it pass, and it could only work in open flat country with enough room to maneuver, but damn, there was nothing as awesome as seeing dozens of soldiers sliced by its might!
** This was demonstrated on the "Persian Immortal vs. Celt Warrior" episode of ''Series/DeadliestWarrior'', where the Celt warfare experts simply said that it's pretty easy to jump over the scythe, which is exactly what the Celt warrior does in the final simulation before using a sling to take out the chariot driver. [[spoiler:The Persian still wins, though]].
** The scythe chariot lasted through no more than one engagement with Alexander the Great. He invented the Mousehole, a simple modification to the formation of his heavy infantry that allowed them to easily trap one when it was driven at them, then kill the driver. Combine that with the fact that heavy infantry was already pretty resistant to the damn thing and Alexander's armies included enough archers to kill horses and crew well before the impact...
** It was inefficient off the battlefield, as well. Besides the driver, it needed at least one person to maintain the chariot and someone to look after the horses, making it far more expensive to build and operate.
** The ultimate humiliation for the scyted chariot (and the war chariot in general) came when it was deployed against the Romans, with Roman generals apparently getting off on inventing worse and worse humiliations every time they faced them. The first time (Magnesia) they limited themselves on [[DeathFromAbove hitting the charioteers and the horses with thousands of arrows and javelins]], but at Chaeronea Sulla dealt with them by having his soldiers ''[[CrazyAwesome charge at them, stop and redeploy in a shield wall right before impact]]'' (the Roman soldiers reached the chariots when they were still slow and accelerating, and thus the result was that the chariots were stopped dead by the shield wall and the Romans ''asked for more to play''), and at Orchomenus he had his soldiers ''move away and let the horses driving the chariots impale themselves on the posts behind them'' (that was the plan B. Plan A was to dig a ditch and force the chariots in a ''swamp'', but the enemy general realized what was happening and attacked right as the Romans started digging). All of this happened when the Romans were for some reason without [[MundaneSolution caltrops]] to throw in their path (they had invented them due the Celts of Northern Italy using a different model of chariot, and were so efficient that by Caesar's time the only Celts who still used it were the more isolated Bretons, who apparently had not yet gotten the memo).
* The [[CoolPlane MiG-19 fighter]] was cutting edge for 1954 due to supersonic speed, [[MoreDakka multiple heavy cannons]], long range and [[FragileSpeedster good handling]], yet it could not go above Mach 1.5, could overheat its own fuel tanks in the fuselage, was tremendously hard to maintain or repair due to fuselage construction (very closely spaced ribs and small engine bays meant all work had to be done through small hatches above them).
* The F-104 could fly at above Mach 2, was cheap, was the closest thing to breaching the sound barrier by strapping a rocket at your back, and crashed down so often to earn such unflattering nicknames as "lawn dart", "flying coffin" and "widow maker". Amazingly enough, Italy managed to create a working and reliable aircraft from this mess...
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_pig Flaming.]] [[ Pigs.]]
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-tank_dog Anti-Tank.]] [[http://www.soviet-empire.com/1/military/anti-tank/dog_mine/ Dogs.]]
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bat_bomb Bat Bombs.]]
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Pigeon Pigeon missiles.]]
** One can add war elephants to this, once the Romans worked out how to stampede them into the user's own armies. Hannibal was the only one, after the first two encounters, to successfully use elephants against the Romans, with the first success happening because the Romans were completely caught by surprise at seeing a squadron of elephants ''coming down from the Alps'' and the second because ''the elephants getting slaughtered was actually part of his plan''.
* Trying to use chainsaws as weapons, instead of as tools like they were designed for. Yes, [[ChainsawGood they're very awesome]] and can hack through trees and such, but try swinging around something that's big, loud, heavy and just plain messy and you'll probably severely injure/kill yourself. Should the chain get jammed or caught on anything, it can snap and whip out into your ''face''. Furthermore, while you're busy deafening yourself with a gas engine, you're giving away your position to the enemy and making it much easier to sneak up and use something quieter, like a bat or a brick. [[WhyDontYouJustShootHim Or a gun.]]
* If you have a micromanaging boss, they probably obsessively order you to do your job in a Cool But Inefficient fashion, while bitching about how your productivity sucks.
* Ladies and gentlemen, we give you the [[http://airbornecombatengineer.typepad.com/airborne_combat_engineer/2005/01/the_thunder_50_.html Thunder]] and [[http://airbornecombatengineer.typepad.com/airborne_combat_engineer/2005/01/the_maadi_griff.html Maadi Griff]] .50 BMG handguns. Yes, ''handguns''.
* One trick that Chinese archers used was to tie small fireworks to their arrows. This would increase the range and speed of the arrow, but make it unbelievably inaccurate. On the other hand, it added to how terrifying it was, which fit exactly with the way the Chinese used gunpowder in combat: as a means of scaring enemy horses and breaking cavalry charges.
* The virtues of lasers as a weapon system are ''heavily'' debated, with innumerable threads on forums, the old Usenet, etc. filled with heated discussions of their flaws, virtues, and relative expense versus shooting bits of metal at high speed. See KineticWeaponsAreJustBetter.
** One plausible use for lasers might just be to take advantage of the fact that a laser beam is just coherent, high-intensity light and ''blind'' your target(s). As in, quite possibly for good. That'd still be a far cry from having a proper futuristic ray gun. More of a terror weapon, in fact... to the point that the [[TheLawsAndCustomsOfWar Geneva conventions]] [[http://www.un.org/millennium/law/xxvi-18-19.htm specifically prohibit]] the use of lasers in this way.
* Also consider the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyrojet Gyrojet]]. Replacing regular bullets with small rockets meant the projectiles needed to travel something like 60 feet before they actually do any damage. In addition a manufacturing defect made them wildly inaccurate, the four angled jets spin the projectile through the entire flight instead of just in the barrel so early tests were ''more'' accurate than rifles but in later runs one of the jets was partially blocked off by accident.
* Stealth air superiority fighters. Invisible to radar... well, depends on distance, radar's type and wavelength. VHF and HF radars can detect them at tactically useful ranges. IRST can detect them as well, and are passive - so if stealth fighter uses IRST to detect the enemy, it looses any advantage in detection range and if it uses radar, it is detected by enemy radar warners. They are also heavier and typically carry less payload than comparable non-stealth fighters (compare F-22 and F-15, F-35 and F-16, PAK FA and Su-27), as well as very costly and very hard to maintain.
* There was once [[http://demonstrations.wolfram.com/SquareHoleDrillInThreeDimensions/ a drill bit which drilled square holes]] (the cross-section was a Reuleaux triangle, a rounded triangle of constant diameter). The trouble with it was, it needed a template to be affixed to the drilling site ''and'' a special floating chuck to spin the bit. For most purposes, drilling a circular hole (or set of holes) and sawing/filing out the rest is a lot more practical.
* "Fisher's Follies", a group of light battlecruisers built on the orders of Lord Fisher during World War I. Combining armor that was light even for battlecruisers of their size with few but very heavy guns, they were intended for operations in the Baltic Sea (which in the event proved unfeasible) and the heavy guns caused structural damage to the ships themselves when fired. HMS ''Glorious'', ''Courageous'' and ''Furious'' (nicknamed "Uproarious", "Outrageous" and "Curious") were eventually all converted to aircraft carriers, serving as such in World War II.
* The firearm itself for a long time. It took over a century after their development before they were considered battleworthy and another century-plus after that before they fully replaced the bow and arrow. The cannon earned its keep much quicker.
* The ''Spruce Goose,'' which was the largest heavier-than-air aircraft in the world at the time of production. It was only an 'aircraft' in the technical sense once, and then only for a few hundred yards. Very pretty, though.
** The reason it flew only a few hundred yards was the guy behind it, Howard Hughes, was trying to prove that it could, in fact, actually fly during Congressional hearings into the money he'd extracted from the US government to build it (and one criticism was that it wasn't able to fly). It wasn't a bad idea, it just turned out to be too late and not needed. During WWII, it was not always clear that it would turn out to be possible to stop U-boat attacks on Allied convoys sufficiently to keep supply shipments to Britain going, so Hughs proposed giant transport aircraft instead. The Spruce Goose was the prototype. As things went, it wasn't ready for testing until years after the war ended and a whole bunch of things made U-boats themselves fall into this category before the end of the war anyway.
* The legendary [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buick_GNX#Grand_National.2C_T-Type_and_GNX Buick Grand National / GNX]] was the revenge for the DorkAge of automotive design of TheEighties, able to run from zero to 60 in just 4.7 seconds, [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome faster than a Ferrari Testarossa]]. Which also proved its factory quoted horsepower were bullshit, it's mathematically impossible to run a heavy brick-shaped car so quick with just 276hp, the real figures might have been in the 330-370hp range. However, owners reported it was more like a "one-wheel drive", which would twist and raise rear wheels sideways upon launch, one by one like cartoon cars do.
* The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beech_Duke Beech Duke]]. Reasonably fast (for a piston twin), pressurized, and damn but it's pretty. It's also horribly unreliable and costs approximately the GNP of a small country to maintain. But [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnCT24qod4M you'd look cool in it]].
* Again, that ''Superiority'' short story? One university had it as [[GenreSavvy required reading]] for engineers in training.
* Gas-turbine-powered railway vehicles. Sure, a turboshaft engine produces ''way'' more power in comparison to a diesel engine of the same size. But they also consume a lot more, and they do not consume notably less at idle in comparison to full throttle. So in order to operate a gas turbine economically, you have to run it at full throttle as much as possible and shut it down whenever you don't need it. However, in railway uses, a gas turbine spends only very little time at actual full throttle, namely while accelerating, and frequently starting it up doesn't do a gas turbine good. Cheaper, lower-quality fuel may reduce operational costs but at the same time harm the turbine more, and it isn't really "cheap" anymore nowadays anyway. Not hard to guess why almost everyone's back to piston diesels today.
* Steam locomotives. You have to admit that they're pretty cool. But you also have to admit that [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin their thermal efficiency is round about one-digit]].
* During UsefulNotes/WorldWarI Italy produced the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Villar-Perosa_aircraft_submachine_gun Villar-Perosa submachine gun]]. Designed for infantry use (for the usual logistical issues of Italy at the time, the infantry version was put in service ''after'' the modified version for aircrafts), it had two guns firing 1,500 rounds per minute ''each''. Sadly it only had 25 rounds per gun, and its ergonomics were ''terrible'' (seriously, just click on that link, look the picture and try to imagine how you can fire it). In a silent acknowledgement of this, most Villar-Perosas were disassembled in their component guns, fitted with rifle stocks and modified to fire slower, obtaining a more usable weapon.
** The aircraft version was just as bad. The ergonomics were not a problem anymore, but the combination of 25 rounds per gun and extreme rate of fire meant they could only fire for an incredibly short time. To make it worse, they used the 9mm Glisenti round, basically a weaker 9mm Parabellum round designed for the frail Italian semiautomatics of the time that would ''bounce'' on enemy aircrafts.
* The Ingram MAC-11 machine pistol. While it admittedly has tremendous rate of fire (up to 1600 rounds per minute), said ROF can quickly empty its 32 round magazine in an instant. Additionally many variants were sold with a 16 round magazine instead; better for concealment, but even less practical given the blistering rate of fire. Due to its short barrel, light weight, and heavy bolt, it is also [[ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy horribly inaccurate]].
* Black camouflage; the quintessential staple of Hollywood and video game special forces teams for decades. Unfortunately that's because in fiction their enemies are only as vigilant as the script writer commands them to be. In real life it is quite possibly one of the worst shades you could wear short of something stupid like shocking pink. This is due in large part to the fact that there are very few blacks in either nature or man-made environments meaning that in daylight you stand out just about everywhere and at night colors such as dark blue or green work just as well if not better. Generally speaking the only way to make black genuinely useful is to pair it with something else; for example white and/or grey. In real life, black fatigues do have their uses, such as security, riot control, breaching/raid teams and the like, but note that these are all applications where the wearer ''wants'' to be seen, hopefully to scare troublemakers into complying.
* This is regarded as one of the main reasons why we don't have even a single piece of corroborated evidence as to the existence of extra-terrestrials. Even to a race immeasurably superior to our own technologically; the problems inherent in funding, building, powering, designing, stocking, defending and accelerating an interstellar (let alone an intergalactic) spacecraft are so hilariously large that any attempt to do so would probably be far more trouble than it is actually worth. One could also levy this exact same reasoning as to why we aren't being constantly bombarded with travellers from the future or from other universes assuming that either of those things are possible/exist obviously.
* [[ShotgunsAreJustBetter Shotguns]] and [[RevolversAreJustBetter revolvers]] are this with regards to the needs of a modern military. While they see significant civilian use, in most militaries both weapons are considered to be situational arms compared to the near ubiquitous assault rifle/carbine and the semi-automatic pistol.
* Although much has been made of the impractical nature of German weapons of the Second World War, their allies on the other side of the globe, the Japanese Empire, had plenty of these as well. Many of these never made it past the drawing board, or saw limited numbers.
** The [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I-400-class_submarine I-400-class submarine aircraft carrier]]. The I-400 series of submarines were designed for clandestine attacks utilizing three floatplane fighter-bombers, stored in a pressurized hangar built into the submarine's hull. The idea was to create an aircraft carrier that could attack a target and vanish without being detected. However, several problems kept these from being practical attack options. To start with, the I-400's were not that stealthy. The large size of the subs gave them an equally massive radar signature and made them easier to see from the air. They also took longer to dive than other submarines; roughly 54 seconds, which was almost twice the speed of U.S submarines, leaving them vulnerable in an emergency. Their small rudders made them difficult to maneuver and they could be blown off course in strong winds or waves when on the surface, while under the waves they had to be steered slightly starboard to go straight. By the time the war ended, of the eighteen planned I-400's, only three were made, with the last being converted to a tanker, never being used for their intended function. Despite the relative lack of use, they were an impressive feat of engineering and awesomely huge. Reportedly, when the I-400 surrendered to a destroyer of the U.S Navy, the destroyermen were in awe of the size.
** Although the "cool" aspect is debatable, given that it was designed as a [[SuicideAttack human-operated flying bomb]], the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yokosuka_MXY7_Ohka MXY7 "Ohka"]] might still qualify. Powered by rockets, the "Ohka" was loaded with several hundred pounds of explosives and launched at enemy ships from the underside of a "Betty" bomber. Screaming at their targets at over 500 mph in a dive, the "Ohka" was intended to be too fast for Allied ships to target effectively. However, because the rockets were difficult to steer, the effectiveness of Allied anti-aircraft fire, and the potential for the much slower "Betty" bombers to get shot down before the "Ohka" were even launched meant that the overall damage to Allied ships was negligible. Of the about 20 to 40 "Okha" deployed in combat, they only managed to sink or damage seven U.S ships.
** The [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_97_automatic_cannon Type 97 automatic cannon]], [[{{BFG}} a man-portable semi-automatic anti-tank cannon]]. Of course, "man portable" is probably pushing it, given that with a protective shield included (to protect the two-man crew from the ''gun'', not the ''enemy'', it should be noted) it weighed 68 kilograms (150 lbs). Firing 20mm rounds semi-automatically from a seven-round box magazine, it was capable of an impressive amount of firepower. Of course, all this awesomeness was rendered moot thanks to developments in tank armor. By 1942, it was obsolete. It was also the basis for the Ho-1 and Ho-3 aircraft cannons.
** One of the more interesting (and disturbing) Japanese weapons development avenues was research into what we would now consider "microwave" weaponry. Inspired by Nikola Tesla's theoretical "death ray" weapon, the "Ku-go" was a projected "microwave cannon" that utilized magnetron technology. Exact details are scant, but the weapon was apparently tested in laboratory conditions, with some reports suggesting it was used on lab animals. The ultimate goal of an area-denial weapon would have likely been impossible or impractical, given the technology of the era. Only recently have any developments in microwave weapons been considered practical, or even feasible.

* [[http://www.cracked.com/article_16983_11-most-retarded-fictional-weapons.html The 11 Most Idiotic Fictional Weapons.]]
* In the words of [[WebAnimation/ZeroPunctuation Yahtzee]]:
-->'''Yahtzee:''' ...the world's largest pie couldn't honestly be called a good pie because it's uneconomical and probably wouldn't fit in an oven.