Master Tang: I must apologize for Wimp Lo. He is an idiot. We have purposely trained him wrong, as a joke.
Wimp Lo: If you've got an ass, I'll kick it!Characters, often in the form of Easter Eggs, deliberately unbalanced in the negative sense. They mainly have a humorous value and the fandom often likes them due to their sheer awkwardness or strangeness. This is mainly a trope of fighting games. Joke characters are sometimes used by especially proficient players to beat other players, mainly for bragging rights. Note this is not the same thing as a Easter Egg where the player's appearance simply switches (like a redone sprite) or a Fighting Clown (a character who simply looks silly but plays well). Part and parcel of Cherry Tapping. Compare Blessed with Suck and What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?? If this character happens to have some worthwhile utility, they're a Lethal Joke Character. If they take a considerable level in badass after a while, they have Magikarp Power. Sometimes, if this character becomes popular enough, expect the fans to turn them into a Memetic Badass and the developers to turn them into a Lethal Joke Character. Part of Competitive Balance. See also Joke Item and Fake Special Attack (which they are likely to use). Contrast with Purposely Overpowered, which is the opposite. Not to be confused with Parody Sue. Can overlap with Plucky Comic Relief.
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- The Wonderful 101:
- One of the unlockable characters is Wonder-Future, Wonder-Red from the past. His special weapon is a Unite Hand that is already on fire and shoots two fireballs... but it's always in the smallest size. The fire-element is also made redundant with another secret character who can make bigger variants.
- Wonder-Director, an Author Avatar of the game's director Hideki Kamiya. He dies in one hit when being played as, is the only character in the game with a slower running speed than anyone else, has a fairly weak Unite Morph, and even sounds bored to match the sillyness.
- The Can parts in Custom Robo for the Gamecube are basically less powerful versions of the parts you start the game with. The Can Legs decrease all capabilities, while the Can body is ridiculously weak and easy to knock down.
- The DS version has the Chick Robo. It's a baby bird with horrible stats, and all of its guns shoot chickens.
Beat 'Em Up
- PS2 beat-em'-up Urban Reign has William Bordin, who can take only two to three punches at most or a single submission hold before going down. Especially annoying, considering he's the Final Boss and the hardest character to unlock!
- If you manage to beat Bayonetta's lost chapter Angel Slayer (big emphasis on if) you unlock Little King Zero, a legless skeleton with a beard (yeah ) who talks only in high pitched grunts. In combat, he's just as effective as Bayonetta and has the same powers and weapons. The problem is… there is no such thing as Scratch Damage with him. Any tiniest hit will take off his entire lifebar, leaving only his Last Chance Hit Point. Which means he can be instantly killed even by a single Decoration (the weakest among the weakest enemies) ! Needless to say, beating the game above Easy Mode with him by using no items officially makes you a badass.
- Most of Gourmet Sentai Bara Yarou's secret characters are worthless.
- Jerk, Mr. Phlegm, and Acolyte's only attack is a Suicide Attack. You only have one life in this game.
- Oh Damn is slow and can't attack at all.
- Hand Knife and Appliance have only one attack and die in one hit. Appliance's one attack isn't even any good.
- Swimmer can only move by hopping, making him very awkward to control.
- Piko Piko would've been one of the better secret characters if it weren't for her poor recovery rate. If she's knocked down, she's as good as dead.
- Saint Seiya: Sanctuary Battle has Unicorn Jabu, known for losing pretty much every battle he was in during the anime. In the game, while all the other characters have two or three Cosmo attacks, he has only one. It's pretty hard to aim, it's not very damaging and it's fairly useless during the actual stages, only being somewhat useful against bosses (and even then it's hard to connect it properly). He also has the worst stat growth in the game, gaining only 2 attack points per level up. That means that if the player doesn't feed him thousands upon thousands of Cosmo Points, even at Lv. 99 he'll have less than 300 Attack, less than a third of the cap and effectively being unable to damage any boss on any difficulty beyond Hard. And the kicker? He's a DLC character going for no less than $5.00 US.
- The Puella Magi Madoka Magica fangame Grief Syndrome has Homura, who has the worst stats in the game, but some of the most useful abilities. However, as an Easter Egg, it allows you to play as Homura before the beginning of the series. "Moemura" keeps the awful stats, and replaces the machine guns, rocket launchers, and mortars with a Deagle, a shotgun, and a golf club, and her pipe bombs don't explode on contact like Future Badass Homura's do, leaving her attacks with a slight delay. You can imagine how well this works in combat. She's not completely useless, largely thanks to Time Stop, but she has a much harder time finishing the game than any other character. Then again, she can hit her pipe bombs like golf balls.
Collectible Card Games
- Magic: The Gathering is full of cards that seem underpowered or even useless, such as One With Nothing and Norin the Wary, that exist solely for Player Archetypes who like to try and make a workable deck out of such cards.
- The prize for "Worst Card In The Game" unquestionably goes to Wood Elemental, which requires you to sacrifice untapped forests to power up. Destroying lands sets you back hard. Destroying unused lands sets you back harder. Destroying unused lands to power a 4-mana cost creature (by only +1/+1, and it starts from 0/0) that can be killed by a 10-cent doom blade and has no other abilities is beyond idiotic. To make it even less useful, you can't even use this power-up ability after the card is in play; only while it's being summoned.
- In a similar vein, Yu-Gi-Oh! has an amazing number of cards that have no conceivable use, or that simply don't do their job well. Witness Thousand-Eyes Idol, a monster with the lowest stats possible (0 attack and 0 defense) and no effect. Then again, some of these cards eventually become Lethal Joke Characters...to wit, Thousand-Eyes Idol. Fuse him with Relinquished, and you get the (now banned in advanced format) Thousand-Eyes Restrict, which FREEZES EVERY MONSTER ON THE FIELD, and steals whichever of your opponent's monsters you want to copy its stats. (Granted, most people used other methods to get Thousand-Eyes Restrict out rather than intentionally putting a monster in the deck that can't do anything on its own.
- Shapesnatch due to his "horrible power". Ironically, it is among the best when it comes to low-stat normal monsters, and certainly scores points for his jaunty bow tie. This is in contrast to his first appearance in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Duelists Of The Roses, where he was an Immortal.
- In general, the early sets were loaded with relatively low-stat normal monsters—nowadays it's rare to even see anyone using a normal monster unless they have other cards that require them.
- A notable one is Fusionist, a Fusion monster (requiring three cards to get out) that actually has less power than one of its pieces (which was already pathetically low) and no effect. And it's a rare!
- It seems to be a tradition for sets, starting with Tactical Evolution's Broken Bamboo Sword (which is actually Magikarp Power) to have one card with a completely detrimental or useless effect. Fine forces you to discard two cards, An Unfortunate Report lets your opponent attack you twice, Cold Feet makes it impossible for you to play Spells or Traps... While you can potentially use these cards in very specific combos, they're complete dead draws otherwise.
- Similarly, it's a tradition for releases of Normal Monsters connected to Joey to have their flavor text translated into a terrible Brooklyn accent. These cards weren't jokes when they were originally released, but the fact that many of them were victims of No Export for You for more than a decade left them well behind the curve of Power Creep. At this stage, it's not like anyone was gonna use Anthrosaurus or Meotoko anyway, so you might as well get a laugh.
- Of course, the fact that the game contains nearly 7000 usable cards means that very few cards are outright useless. Take Shapesnatch, for instance: it's a Level 5 Normal Monster with 1200 ATK, which makes it a viable target for cards that boost Normal monsters, cards that boost high-level monsters, and cards that boost monsters with weak ATK - for instance, you could play Chaos-End Master, Summon a Shapesnatch from your Deck, then play Inferno Reckless Summon to bring out two more, giving you ample material for Synchro or Xyz Summoning. Not an ironclad strategy, but functional enough.
- Larvae Moth seems to be Yu-Gi-Oh!'s answer to Wood Elemental. It's a card with 500 ATK and 400 DEF (for comparison, Kuriboh has 300/200), and it requires setup - playing a Petit Moth, equipping it with Cocoon of Evolution, and protecting it for two of your turns. This summoning requirement also means that Larvae Moth is an Effect Monster, so it doesn't get Normal Monster support (the sole redeeming factor for most Joke Character cards). It's also Larvae Moth's only effect. It's the only card where the wiki's "Tips" section actively suggests discarding it for a cost.
- Skull Servant was literally considered to be unplayable due to being a normal monster with only 300 ATK and 200 DEF. The fact that he was so weak has allowed an entire culture of decks to be devoted around him and was influential enough to stimulate Konami to create cards like King Of The Skull Servants to make Skull Servant more powerful.
- The Imakuni? cards in Pokémon. They have effects ranging from confusing your own Pokémon to forcing both players to sing as loud as they can. No, really.
- Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft tries to feature at least one hilariously awful card per set, usually invoking Awesome, but Impractical to the point of being useless.
- Magma Rager. It's a 3 mana 5/1 with Memetic Loser status among the playerbase. Despite his impressive base attack, he simply dies. To everything. Your opponent can counter your entire turn three play with just a Hero Power and still have some leftover mana. The card is so bad, three cards (Ice Rager, Am'gam Rager, and Shadow Rager) exist purely to make fun of it.
- Majordomo Executus is a 9 mana 9/7 that transforms your Hero into Ragnaros the Firelord on death. Ragnaros has a powerful Hero Power and is Ragnaros, but only 8 health! Most players will just kill Majordomo then one-shot Ragnaros before you have a chance to even use his power. Majordomo is the only card in the entire game who can instantly make you lose from any position in the game.
- Yogg-Saron was supposed to be another useless but cool card. That... didn't work out so well. See his entry on Lethal Joke Character.
- Mayor Noggenfogger is a 9 mana 5/4 that makes ALL targeted abilities random. That means any attack can be sent anywhere, as long as the target is legal (IE: friendly minions can't hit each other, but most spells could go anywhere). His stats are terrible, his effect is symmetrical, and he isn't likely to save you. Hot damn if he isn't hilarious, though.
- The most famous Joke Character is probably Dan Hibiki of the Street Fighter series. He was created as a joke about SNK's Art of Fighting and The King of Fighters games, whose protagonists borrowed heavily from the Street Fighter games.
- SNK later would make fun from him on SVC Chaos, along with ascending him to the mid-boss range.
- Even Demitri of Darkstalkers hates Dan and wouldn't even take a sip of blood from him. "Only the beautiful and strong can serve me. You fail on both counts!"
- The Chairperson from Rival Schools apparently took weekend classes in Dan's martial art, Saikyo. And it shows. Unless she's your assistant instead of your main fighter, that is.
- Dan Hibiki also has the most useless drop pattern of the entire Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo cast: His pattern is all red. Bear in mind that clearing a gem also clears all adjacent gems of the same color, and all gems of the same color adjacent to those, and so on... Basically, the instant Dan's counter gems hit zero, a single red crash gem can completely counter every attack Dan has sent since the last such counterattack. However, he does have the special attribute of sending 150% as many counter gems. Used well, you can bring a quick end to your opponent; used poorly, and you set yourself up for massive damage.
- This also carries over to Super Gem Fighter. Dan can only make red gems pop out of his opponent when he connects, meaning the only thing he's capable of maxing out on its own is the Gadoken. If you want to power up the Koryuken or the Dankuu Kyaku, you have to either hit the treasure chest that appears at the start of a match or use the gems the opponent is hitting out of you.
- And then in Street Fighter IV Dan becomes a freaking beast. His martial art style Saikyo-ryu (which literally translates into the "Strongest School") was presumably meant in ironic jest. Not so funny anymore, is it? Ken's ultimate attack is the Shoryuken. Ryu's is the Hadoken. Dan doesn't need either one: When his ultimate attack connects, he just pounds you mercilessly. It helps that his moves have deceptively high priority. In other words, quite a few moves of his when trading blows, even against some Ultras, have a tendency to beat them out completely.
- The Street Fighter III series gives us Sean, Ken's student, who has the unique distinction of starting off as one of the most powerful characters, but as Capcom Sequel Stagnation takes effect, he's downgraded over time into becoming a joke character. Sean has trouble beating regular people, let alone trained fighters. His ending in 3rd Strike has him lose to a random fighter in a Curb-Stomp Battle in the qualifying rounds.
- Meat from Mortal Kombat is a hidden character that was like this. It initially served as a skin, created by art director Tony Goskie, for each fighter in Mortal Kombat 4. The name "Meat" was simply a designation given to the model so it could be used in the game. It was later decided to make him a playable character as part of a hidden Easter egg, albeit one with an almost nonexistent backstory (pretty much nothing other than being a one of Shao Khan's failed experiments). For a long time, whether he was a real character at all was debated among fans, and it came as a big surprise then he was actually included later in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon (with somewhat more of a story, but still not much of one).
- In the original Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes, Roll is the Joke Character. Servbot joins her in this category in the sequel. Somewhat helped by the fact that Servbot is so hard to hit! He's unbelievably small, which makes hitting him problems for people whose attacks travel in lines and don't connect with the floor. He's also fast, though weak. He can mainly be used to stall for time for a time over victory. Some hyper combos also cancel out because the first move into the combo goes right over Servbot's head! It also helps that while Servbot's own hyper combos can be weak, one of them has rather insane chip damage. The opponent gets hurt more when BLOCKING the attack. Roll retains this status for both editions of Tatsunoko vs. Capcom. Like Servbot, however, her height (half as tall as most other characters) makes many attacks miss her completely, and her speed helps balance her general weakness.
- Hercule/Mister Satan in the Dragon Ball Budokai series. In the first installment, his attacks and special attacks can do reasonable damage to any other character, pinning him in the same tier as other decent fighters and even receiving a bonus story featuring him fighting his way through the Cell Games. In the third installment, he's the only character in the game whose base ki only goes up to two bars instead of three or more, he can't shoot ki blasts, and often his special attacks are actually things like him tripping and accidentally headbutting the opponent. Furthermore, in the Tenkaichi/Sparking series, the damage dealt by his melee attacks is far lower than any other character, he hurls short-ranged rocks and grenades instead of Ki blasts, and his Ultimate Attack will either cause a somewhat reasonable amount of damage (around a regular character's "Blast 2" damage, which is still pretty bad for a UB), or do 1 point of damage! In Budokai Tenkaichi, characters don't even flinch from his melee attacks, making them incredibly hard to pull off, and making it nearly impossible for him to take on Oozaru who are immune to all of his special moves. Equipping an item that makes the enemies flinch when hit will pass him into a "useable" category, making him at least a good option to fill a slot in a Dragon Points Battle, since he only uses one point.
- Mr. Satan is also notable for this in The Legacy of Goku II. After Goku dies in the Cell Games, he becomes a playable character. If you get him up to level 50, you can view an alternate ending where instead of watching everyone summon the Dragon and stuff, Mr. Satan appears on a Talk Show talking about how awesome he is.
- Skinny Tiencha in Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2. Even the most basic attacks consume massive energy, and he is unable to perform Tiencha's special moves (he coughs if you even try).
- Hyena in The King of Fighters Maximum Impact 2 moves erratically and has several... odd attacks. Most notably, his super move "The Century's Most Fearsome Acting!" has him walk at the opponent, fake being KO'd if hit... and then spring back up with a powerful kick. But if they throw him, which is quite likely given his pace, he really gets KO'd...
- Pichu in Super Smash Bros. Melee is a weakened, baby version of Pikachu. It damages itself when it uses electrical attacks, it's lighter and easier to knock off, has drastically inferior range, and often has to use its head in the place of Pikachu's longer, more powerful tail. There are some advantages, such as it being a little faster, having higher knockback, and possessing a tiny hit-box, but most would agree that that doesn't make up for all of the disadvantages. In fact, Pichu's own trophies blatantly admit that it's worthless, going so far as to describe it as the weakest character in the game, and that it's better suited as a handicap for experienced players fighting newer, unskilled players.
- Fan game Super Smash Bros. Crusade has Weegee. His sole reason for being in the game is due to a gag during development. His entire moveset is one big memefest. The dev team claims that they were intending to remove Weegee from the roster, but he stuck, making him the only exception (besides Goku) to the "characters featured on Nintendo consoles only" rule when deciding the character roster.
- Kon and Bonnie in Bleach: Blade of Fate both qualify. Kon has one special move and takes more damage than any other character in the game, and Bonnie has no normal attacks. One is a stuffed animal and the other is a giant boar.
- Another in Hanataro in Bleach: Shattered Blade for the Wii. Hitting an opponent with your sword actually heals them, leaving him dependent on headbutts and a trip/roll attack for damage.
- Amusingly, Bleach: Dark Souls sharpens Kon and Bonnie's claws slightly. Kon gains three more special moves and has actual supers now, while Bonnie retains her original movelist but gains basic attacks. Hanataro joins the cast, but he only has one move that uses his sword. The real joke character is Yuichi, the little boy Chad protects early on - he has zero range, dies in five hits, and his moves are him panicking.
- Dark Souls also has one of the highest joke character counts of any game, with 8-13 characters of the 44 member cast qualifying. This is due to every generic mook from the story mode being playable, from generic Shinigami to nurses to the familiars a near-joke character summons.
- In Magical Battle Arena, the final character you can unlock after a downright brutal battle is... a Gadget Drone. Yup, the grunt-type Mecha-Mook from MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha that every character beats up for their first stage. With only two special attacks, no supers, and pathetically low HP, its powers are truly fearsome.
- Then again, its special attacks, while not very powerful, have a very high priority, and quick loading time. So much that only 1 character had a higher priority melee special, and only 1 character had a quick ranged special that could beat it. While not exactly a Lethal Joke Character, if played well by a player skilled in interruption tactics, it can be a real nightmare. And it can defeat Hayate pretty easily because of said interruption ability.
- In the Naruto: Ultimate Ninja series (starting with the third entry), you can unlock Konohamaru, the Third Hokage's grandson... and he's about seven years old. His attacks are freaking hilarious. Good luck trying to beat someone with him.
- In Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2, we have the Big Guy of Naruto's generation, Choji Akimichi. Despite being reasonably powered in both the anime and manga (even helping Kakashi take on PAIN of all people, helping take down Kinkaku during the War....then Taking It to a Level of Badass when he masters Calorie Control, soloing a battle the allies were having trouble with), in the game he's rather worthless unless he's chosen as support. His attacks are so slow that they can be dodged easily even on higher difficulties, he can't run (only stomp around like a Sumo wrestler), his Ninja Dash is the slowest in the game, and his attacks, while they hurt when they land can be broken easily. This was completely changed in Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3. With the ability to instant awaken, Choji's easily one of the strongest fighters in the game in his War Arc costume. He becomes a Lightning Bruiser which can hit as hard as Kyubi Chakra Mode Naruto, is as fast as most of the other fighters now since he doesn't roll everywhere and uses a standard dash, and finally can KO most enemies in FOUR HITS easily before his awakening runs out.
- From Naruto Shippuden Clash Of Ninja Revolution 3 we have Nine-Tailed Naruto. He's pretty much average Naruto except that he takes at least double damage from opponent attacks.
- Taokaka was supposed to be BlazBlue's version of Dan, though she ended up just being a Cloud Cuckoo Lander.
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny: Alliance vs ZAFT II gives us...the ZAKU Warrior Live Version. For those not familiar with Destiny, this is a Humongous Mecha painted pink with heart decals to serve as a giant mobile stage for Idol Singer Meer Campbell. In battle, the ZAKU prances instead of walking, throws grenades as if it's blowing kisses, performs one-hit melee attacks that resemble dance moves, and its unique ability involves Meer coming out onto its hands and singing, "donating" your Super Meter energy to your ally. While it can be effective if used properly, and carries a whole lot more grenades than any other ZAKU that has them as a weapon (TWENTY grenades compared to eight carried by Lunamaria's Gunner ZAKU or four for the regular ZAKU Warrior, with or without the Gunner Pack), it's generally easier and better to use an actual combat machine.
- Built on in SD Generation Wars where her Zaku literally has no attacks of her own and simply consist of her ordering other Zakus to attack before waving. Unlike the one in RvZII, this version is not viable in actual combat because its single attack has an absurdly low hit rate and damage.
- The flash Mascot Fighter Newgrounds Rumble has Henchman, a character obtained by clicking Hank's sunglasses in the selection screen. He has Hank's moveset, but only about 40 health, in a game where average health is around 300. This is made even worse by the fact that Hank is designed as a Mighty Glacier — and Henchman does less damage, to boot. This is deliberate, since he's a Madness Combat character famous for having mooks which are Made of Plasticine.
- In the English version of the Zatch Bell! game Mamodo Battles, Ponygon is this. In the Japanese version he has a partner, but to avoid spoilers Ponygon doesn't have one in the English version. What does that mean? Since a partner is required to use a spell, Ponygon can only use melee attacks, and while they serve decent damage, spells are the main damage dealers.
- Guilty Gear Isuka has the Goon Squad. Three generic enemies you fight by the hundreds in the side-scroller part of the game. How useless they are? Well, their moves are so limited, some of them can't even jump.
- Hong Meiling in Immaterial and Missing Power. She's the worst character in the game, but she's not totally unusable. It's more that China's strengths don't work in this game. Playing as China has the feel of trying to kill Spiderman by dropping him off a cliff.
- The Kid from I Wanna Be the Guy. He's a One-Hit-Point Wonder that plays just like he does in his original game. He can get spikes, the moon, and delicious fruit to help him out, but they all can kill him as well.
- Lester from Lester The Unlikely has weak stats and a "move" where he runs away from his opponent in fear.
- The NES Silver Surfer, modeled after the game with the same name. He's weak, can't turn around, gets killed by anything up to and including the edge of the screen, and the game even shows you the game over image from his game whenever he's knocked out. At least he's faithful to what he's based on.
- Several "Punching Bag" characters have been made to simply beat up. Sandbag from Super Smash Bros. is one such character, purely existing to be a sandbag to train on.
First/Third Person Shooter
- Resident Evil 2 includes a Bonus Level which tells the story of Hunk, one of the Umbrella commandos who is knocked unconscious and forced to fight his way out of the Raccoon Police Department after the events of the main game (now throughly overrun with enemies). The truly hardcore can play that level again as Tofu, truly Exactly What It Says on the Tin, a block of bean curd with a knife. Unlike Hunk, Tofu only carries a knife and 3 mixed herbs, which means you have to spend time avoiding enemies instead of taking them on, but you're compensated for the lack of gear by having extremely durable defense.
- Rumor has it Capcom added Tofu as a Take That! to people who beat RE1 under an hour only using the knife. Capcom denies this, stating Tofu was not originally envisioned to be a playable character or even a tofu, rather it was a block the developers made to test hit detection for the game. They decided to take the joke and run with it after main development was done.
- In most game modes in Team Fortress 2, The Engineer is an impossibly valuable teammate for his area-of-denial sentry, health/ammo dispenser, and teleporters. In Medieval Mode, where he isn't allowed any of these things, he becomes a joke character nobody plays as except when they're trolling. He does get a saving grace with his special melee weapons, such as the Gunslinger which gives him extra HP and causes an automatic critical hit when striking thrice in a row, or the Eureka Effect which lets him teleport back to the spawn.
- The Osiris in MechWarrior Living Legends was long considered to be a joke character, owing to its... unfortunate appearance (likened to a buttplug with legs), nonexistent armor and pathetic armaments. However, the final update completely revamped the Osiris, making it a Lightning Bruiser among light mechs. Its joke role was taken over by the Solitaire, a mech so far down the Fragile Speedster path that its entire body has less armor than the arm of an assault mech; it packs an enormous Shoulder Cannon but it's attached to the fastest chassis in the game paired with the worst firing arc, making it all but impossible to circle-of-death with, forcing the user to perform suicidal jousting charges.
Hack and Slash
- As part of a Take That! from Capcom to Koei, Kanetsugu Naoe in Sengoku Basara is introduced into the series as one of these. According to a line by Keiji Maeda in the third game, he even gets beat up by kids.
- He becomes something of a Lethal Joke Character in the expansion of fourth game, Sumeragi, where it's possible to temporarily transform into him if you activate a roulette roll. His attacks primarily consist of unimpressive sword swings and he can only take a single direct hit at which point you transform back into your character, but he can kill all human enemies with a single hit, including bosses.
- Forum Warz lets you pick a character class after completing the tutorial... or you can continue as a Re-Re, without any free stat bonuses and only gaining a fourth of the abilities that other classes do. Reaching level 10 allows you to advance to "Permanoob."
- Baby Classes in Ragnarok Online: no transcendence, 75% HP/SP of their counterparts, and 50% success rate in alchemy/smithing. Combine with a super novice, and you get a big joke class.
- The Lord of the Rings Online allows you to play as a Level 1 Chicken. First you stay in the peaceful Shire, but then you get sent into areas where enemies are level 36-40 and kill you with a single hit. Ouch...
- Technically, there aren't really Joke Characters in Kingdom of Loathing. However, players can take familiars to assist them, and here we find joke characters. Most familiars heal you, increase your stat gains, meat gains, or item drops, or attack your enemies. The Pet Rock... does absolutely nothing. Neither does the Crimbo Log or Bulky Buddy Block. The ultimate joke familiar, though, is the O.A.F., or Optimal Ascension Familiar, created as a Take That! against players who deem familiars with any nonessential features useless - it actively works against you, even more so than the Black Cat (and the Black Cat was designed for challenge runs).
- Mega Man ZX Advent has the unlockable "Model a". Note the lowercase a, not to be confused with the default Model A, since the "a" stands for "ancient". Model a is an 8-bit version of the main character's default mode, and has exactly two powers: a shot, the weakest attack in the game (or at least on par with the basic attack), and a slide. It also moves slowly compared to every other form in the game, including unarmored, has a low jump, can't wallslide... just there for the nostalgia.
- The boss for the DLC extra stage in Mega Man 9 is...no, not Evil Counterpart Bass, not Mega Man X's Zero...it's Fake Man! Yeah, the phony police robot that arrests Dr. Light at the start of the game. Let's refrain from obvious jokes about using Donut Man's weapon, shall we?
- The Robot Buddy duo Heavy and Bomb in Knuckles Chaotix. Since your partner is selected via crane game, there's about a 1-in-3 chance you'll pick up either one of these two. Heavy inhibits your movement by slowing and weighing you down, even when using the rubber-band speed boosts, and Bomb will explode if it gets hit, costing you all of your Rings if you get caught in the blast (and you most likely will). Playing as Heavy or Bomb, however, can turn them into Lethal Joke Characters, as they're invulnerable to enemy attacks, destroying common enemies by merely touching them. They just have a limited range of movement.
- Meat Boy gives us Tofu Boy, a Take That! aimed at PETA; you play him by typing "PETAphile" at the character select screen. He can't even complete most levels due to being slow and barely able to jump.
- Grey Ogmo in Jumper Three is slow, jumps low, has a special ability that only slows him down, and you get him very late in the game. Plus, you need to commit suicide when you actually get him. He has the highest skid-jumping in the game, but that's not going to be useful for the next two stages.
- The various Lego Adaptation Games pride themselves on this due to their feature of making every character who appears in each game, good or bad, available for free play. Yes this includes the useless Gonk Droid and the Penguin Minion. One notable subversion however is Mr. DNA, who is a firm Lethal Joke Character with access to every character ability in the game.
- Most Gran Turismo games have at least one car so ludicrously underpowered its only use is to laugh at its slowness. The first game is rather low key, with the 86 hp Mazda Demio being the weakest car, but GT2 started playing this one with the 32 hp Daihatsu Midget and the 25 hp Fiat 500R. The fourth game finally upped (downed?) the ante with the Benz Motorwagen and the Daimler Motor Carriage, the first internal combustion vehicles in history, both of them barely reaching a SINGLE horsepower!
- Adding to that is the Ford Model T. Although it's not as underpowered as the Motorwagen and Motor Carriage, to unlock the Model T, you have to receive ALL GOLDS in the super license tests- one of which requires you to do an almost perfect lap around the Nordschleife.
- Of course, these aren't necessarily there for the humor value. The franchise is marketed as "the ultimate driving simulator", and the target audience (especially hard-core motorheads) may appreciate the opportunity to get behind the wheel of one of the Great Old Ones (no, not those Great Old Ones!).
- Wangan Midnight: Maximum Tune has a secret code that allows one to select the Toyota Celsior, also known as the Lexus LS 400 in North America. While the car itself isn't a joke at 250 stock horsepower, it's a luxury car and not a racing car, and its basic tuning has useless "ricer" parts and comments such as "Chrome tails confuse the enemy!"
- WMMT2 also has a code to select the Toyota HiAce van/bus and the Corolla coupe.
- WMMT3 has another code to select a kei car. It begins with 64 stock horsepower, and after one tuning step it, like other cars, jumps straight to 300 horsepower. In other words: adding a turbo to the car adds 236 horsepower.
- Initial D Arcade Stage has the Toyota AE85 Levin, which is basically a crappy version of the AE86.
- Arcade Stage 6 AA also adds a Prius, which doesn't belong in a game about drifting. AT ALL.
- In Arcade Stage 7 AA X, the Suzuki Cappuccino, a vehicle which was previously the lightest and one of the fastest vehicles in the game (but balanced out with poor acceleration), received loads of nerfing in its speed, classifying it as a Joke Character.
- The Honda Civic EG6 can also be considered this in the first game, where it suffers from poor acceleration after 160 km/h and understeers frequently. It was later buffed in Version 2, where it's one of the best vehicles in the rain, and later nerfed in Version 3, where it's pretty much only all that useful on Happogahara.
- Subverted with the Yamasa Raggio in Ridge Racers 2. While in real-life, it's a little quicker than any stock Honda NSX, it's the fastest car in the game with 390 kph/242 mph.
- Burnout has a city bus as a vehicle. It's as long as three regular cars, in a game that is all about tight cornering and zipping nimbly through gaps in traffic.
- Mr. EAD in the F-Zero games. Oh, yeah, he's got an A grade boost, but an E in body and a D in grip, meaning he can't keep speed, he can't take hits, and he doesn't corner very well either. All of his stats are practically nonexistent, as well. His machine, the Great Star, was designed with utter disregard to pilot safety because Mr. EAD is a robot, so it's not that big a deal, but damn is it fragile.
- The Great Star is also a Flying Brick (Not to be confused with Superman's Super Powers) at its weight, and with that terrible Grip, it's gonna go wall ramming. Using EAD? Good luck.
- Daigoroh's Silver Rat has one thing going for it, and that's acceleration. On the other hand, it has the lowest top speed in the game. Its boost may be A-ranked, but it lasts for such a short time that it's not any good anyway, and every one eats up a huge portion of the Silver Rat's already very small energy bar.
- The Golden Fox in the first game. Just like the Silver Rat, it has excellent acceleration but the lowest top speed in the game. On the higher difficulties, some races are Unwinnable when using it because you literally can't catch up to the AI drivers even if you play perfectly.
- The classic PS1 game 3Xtreme had aliens, monsters and toy cars as joke characters.
- The Bugatti Veyron in Need for Speed ProStreet. In real life, this is the second-fastest car in the world (253 MPH top speed) and they put it in a game that's mainly about racing tuned Golfs and RX-7s, with a few exotics here and there. It is also only obtainable through a hack in the PC version or by buying the car online for the console versions. So you put down the cash and... it handles like a freaking land barge. You can go fast in the straights, but good luck getting the car to turn. Oh, did I mention that you can't actually tune it? And that this is a tuner game? Whoops.
- The Veyron averts Joke Car status in Need for Speed Most Wanted (2012) by virtue of its extreme speed and weight making it a great battering ram for taking down opponents (the boat-like handling is still there, though). Instead, this game has as its Joke Car the Ford Focus ST. In a game all about driving and crashing half-million-plus dollar exotics capable of 200+ MPH, this car is...a rather ordinary four-door hatchback. Like the ones you see on the road everyday. It only gets better when you consider that you have to "ear"n it first by winning 5 events in Ford vehicles.
- NASCAR Rumble has things like a golf cart, a tow truck and an RV.
- Re-Volt has the Pest Control. Sure, it is a Semi-Pro class vehicle and has one of the highest top speeds in the game, but it has boat-like handling and grip, can get pummeled by weapons easily, and its acceleration is abysmal. In fact, if the A.I. ever is seen with this vehicle, they are usually STRUGGLING to keep up with the much faster vehicles, including some BELOW its vehicle class.
- Hydro Thunder has a hovercraft (which is very difficult to maneuver), a military boat, a fishing boat with an outboard motor and "The Tinytanic".
- Forza Motorsport 4 features several cars which have absolutely no reason to be in a racing game, like the Toyota Prius, Nissan Leaf, and Chevrolet Volt, Ford Pinto, and AMC Pacer. Most are incapable of being competitive even with the game's extensive customization system. On the other hand, a few become Lethal Joke Characters with careful upgrade choices, such as the Pinto becoming a Leaderboard car.
Role Playing Game
- Pokémon has a few:
- While Magikarp is usually helpful due to being able to evolve into Gyarados, some generations will allow them to be found at Level 100, which prevents them from evolving into Gyarados and leaves the player with a useless Pokémon.
- Luvdisc. The only fully-evolved Pokémon with lower base stats have gimmicks that make up for them; Luvdisc lacks even that. Luvdisc actually did have a gimmick in the third-generation games - Heart Scales, which are used to re-teach moves Pokémon have already forgotten, could only be found attached to wild Luvdisc. In the fourth-gen games, however, it's much easier to just dig up Heart Scales in the Underground, making poor Luvdisc completely pointless once again. It is made even more pointless when the Pokewalker is in play because one of the few areas there allows you to get Heart Scales with ease. It becomes useful again in the sixth-generation games, where they become easily catchable with an Old Rod in a few locations, allowing easy farming of Heart Scales if you have a Pokémon with Thief or Covet on you. In X/Y, an NPC at a Pokémon Center will also trade a freaking Steelix for a Luvdisc. A powerful giant steel snake for a heart shaped fish.
Generation 5 introduced Alomomola, which also happens to be a heart-shaped fish with a similar color and design. When it was first revealed, fans everywhere thought it would be an evolution for Luvdisc and it would finally be good for something. As it turned out, Alomomola had no evolutions or pre-evolutions and Luvdisc remains useless to this day.
- Spinda, which has a similar problem, only without the decent Speed. It probably says something about Luvdisc that Spinda's attack strength is double that of Luvdisc...and still horrible. Spinda's primary purpose in the game is similar to the below Unown's, although it's not nearly as well known: each and every Spinda has a unique pattern of spots. (Well, okay, technically there are only 4,294,967,296 different Spinda spot patterns.) One new Ability in Black/White, Contrary, reverses stat changes for the Pokémon, and Spinda is one of the few to have this Ability. Doesn't really put it in Lethal Joke Character status, but it's funny seeing some players experiment with combos involving Spinda of all the Pokémon.
- Chimecho, who was a massive Guide Dang It to find when it was first introduced in R/S/E. It has a 2% chance of appearing at the summit of Mt. Pyre, a story location well off the beaten path that you aren't likely to go back to, in a patch of grass you have to be actively looking for. You'd think it's some great rare Pokémon, or at least has some Magikarp Power, right? Nope. Its only decent stat is Special Attack, and that's not enough to redeem its limited movepool and bland typing. Compounding this is the existence of Gardevoir, Alakazam, and Grumpig, three much better Psychic types whose pre-evolutions are available much earlier, and are much easier to find.
- Unown, whose only learned move, Hidden Power, is of unknown type, determined by an intricate number manipulation involving values to which you normally wouldn't have access. And it comes in 28 different flavors! Collectors can seek out all 28 forms (about all they're good for), but they probably won't be used for battle. And lest you make the mistake of believing that Unown is potentially worth using for that move (the move's main use is obtaining odd move types on a mon that could not otherwise learn, and even then it is so much of a pain to set up that it only gets used in simulators where it can be picked from a menu instead of excessive inbreeding), every Pokémon in the game capable of using TMs can learn it too, and the only Pokémon aside from weak species like Magikarp that can't use TMs are gimmicky things (like Unown) anyway. Not to mention that Unown isn't the only Pokémon that can learn it without a TM. Shellos and Gastrodon can do that as well, the difference being that it isn't the only move they can learn. If you were to catch an Unown that gets a Psychic-type Hidden Power (for STAB), optimum IVs and EVs to power it up, and a held item to increase it further...it would still suck.
- There's also Farfetch'd, which has exactly two things going for it: a personal item that greatly increases its chance of getting a critical hit, and the fact that it looks cool. The personal item really doesn't matter, considering its stats are so bad that it will still be a weak hit even with a critical, and that's if it can survive long enough to hit anything. In the original Red and Blue versions of Pokémon, you can only get Farfetch'd by trading with an in-game character for it (Yellow Version however lets you catch them in the wild, as do Gold, Silver, and Crystal). As fans of the series know, a Pokémon obtained via trade cannot have its nickname changed. For this reason, no one in the entire country owned a Farfetch'd that didn't have the inane nickname "DUX".
As of the sixth generation, Farfetch'd's Stick (the personal item mentioned above) has been vastly buffed, now giving Farfetch'd a whopping 50% chance of a critical hit. There are moves that have twice the normal critical hit rate, and Farfetch'd gets four of these of different typings; combine the two and this means every hit with Farfetch'd will be a critical, making it into a Lethal Joke Character if you can get around the fact that its stats are still awful. (Although, seeing as you can get it right before the first Gym - which is Insect-themed - and it knows Aerial Ace - it might be very useful right there.)
- Delibird seems to be an experiment by Game Freak/Nintendo to create the worst Pokémon of all time. Its Ice/Flying type leaves it with only 2 resistances and one immunity, compared to four weaknesses (including a 4X weakness to Rock). Its base stat total is the same as Luvdisc. It only learns a single move by leveling up (and it's a terrible move with low accuracy and variable damage, with a chance to heal the opponent). This means that it has to rely on TM, move tutor, and egg moves alone. It barely learns any special moves outside of Ice type, meaning it has to rely on its inferior physical attack. Abilities? It gets one that lowers accuracy to get a boost in attack, and two abilities that prevent sleep. Which means it can't heal up with Rest (but why would you when your defenses and HP are only 45?). Not to mention it's also a bitch to catch (although the only people who would want to are those trying to complete the Pokedex) in Generation 2 because it has a 50/50 chance of fleeing every turn and rarely appears in one cave. The one saving grace it has is that it can learn Aerial Ace (combined with Hustle, it's boosted without the chance of missing). In Generation VII, it gains the ability to learn Drill Peck via level-up, possibly in an attempt to make it slightly more useful. It's like Game Freak regrets adding this guy to the game or something...
- Nearly every Joke Character in Pokémon has some sort of strange gimmick. Chatot interacts with the DS microphone with its move Chatter by copying anything the player says (or at least used to, that feature was dropped since Gen VI in exchange for a much deserved buff), Smeargle can learn any move in the game through Sketch, Plusle and Minun have an interaction in double battles, etc. Sometimes a gimmick allows one of these to be a Lethal Joke Character; most of the time, they are stuck being the Tier-Induced Scrappy.
- Cosmog and its evolution Cosmoem in Pokémon Sun and Moon. Cosmog is hopelessly useless and pathetic, as it can only learn two whole moves period, and neither one does anything worthwhile (Splash and Teleport). Cosmoem is a bit better, getting massive defenses and Cosmic Power to boost them, but it still cannot do anything, so why should you bother using them at all? Well, they are the first pokemon that can evolve into the legendary Pokemon Solgaleo and Lunala (depending on the version), giving them the ultimate Magikarp Power.
- Power Quest has BOROT, a charcter who not only lacks any special attacks but is incapable of performing basic maneuvers like blocking, jumping and crouching.
- Edward from Final Fantasy IV has pitiful stats in everything except speed; then again, one of his character abilities is to run and hide. The DS remake improves him to the point where he's legitimately as useful as characters like Rosa and Yang.
- And in the sequel, with the right equipment and some leveling, he'll be your fastest character, hitting as hard as your tanks (or harder) from the back row, and able to heal the whole party almost instantly to full health (his HP and defense still stink, though). And with a little luck, Bardsong can either buff your whole party or debuff the enemies, all for 0 MP with no charge time. His secretary Harley, on the other hand, takes over the joke character slack that Edward left behind.
- The GBA version lacks the inherent usefulness of Bardsong that the DS remake has...but late game, where you can pick Edward up again, his stats explode rapidly, to where he'll be one of your fastest characters and one-shotting most Dragon-type enemies you'll encounter.
- Cactuars. They look very out-of-place compared to other enemies, have very limited animation, and they're weak against water in VI and VIII despite being plant monsters. However, their signature attack, 1000 Needles, puts them in another category entirely... When they get around to use it, that is.
- Star Ocean: Till the End of Time had Adray Lasbard and Mirage Koas - again, both powerful characters who were nonetheless clearly identifiable as bonus characters added to the original release; they came so late and at such a low level they were a lot of trouble to bother leveling up. This was enhanced by the fact that both of them were slightly stat-fiddled versions of previously existing characters (Sophia and Cliff, respectively) who were just as good or better and were gotten early in the game.
- Depending on which version of Robopon 2 you have, most battery combinations will yield either a Gear or a Bulbot. Both of these monsters are worthless because they have weak stats, and unlike Magikarp and Feebas, they don't get any better at all.
- Every monster from the Monster Rancher series has a joke sub-species.
- Salsa from MOTHER 3. He has atrocious attacking power, low defense, and very mediocre abilities, with only one having any real use. He's also the character you control for the entirety of chapter 3, though you thankfully have more competent characters backing you up whenever you need to battle.
Shoot 'Em Up
- Merlin Prismriver in Phantasmagoria of Flower View. Horrible stats, the worst scope in the game, slanted shots that only make it difficult to hit things, and her only half decent attack is the one you can't control. The good news is that she doesn't have a storyline, so she's mostly there as a handicap for experienced players.
- Sakuya may have been a Game Breaker in Perfect Cherry Blossom, but the nerf she got for Imperishable Night is ridiculously excessive. Very weak firepower even at maximum, encouraging the player to get close to the bosses in a bullet hell just to deal decent damage - and even then, only Alice and Reimu have less firepowernote . Her focused speed is the fastest in the game and her unfocused speed is the slowest, when the ideal is the reverse. Her only redeeming quality is her ability to cover a wide area...except that Yuyuko can do the exact same thing without any of the above drawbacks. And unless you're playing extra, Yuyuko gets more bombs than Sakuya, just to rub it in further.
- Mortasheen has The Devilbird of Sloth. While the other Devilbirds are like a combination of demons and The Heartless, with all sorts of truly nasty Mind Rape abilities that leaves them open only to higher level players, Sloth... is just an egg. That does absolutely nothing.
- The Temple of Elemental Evil features three joke characters, Ted, Ed and Ed. They are hopelessly weak, being first level in the 'final' area and having 3 Hit Points between them.
- In the Vampire: The Requiem Sourcebook Bloodlines: The Legendary, there is a Mekhet bloodline called the Players. They're essentially one giant Take That! at vampire groupies - their origins lie with a vampire who was obsessed with Hollywood. Their weakness is monstrously crippling - it's much easier for them to get dramatic failures on mental-based Disciplines (of which all but four qualify), and if they do, the target is permanently immune. On top of that, their Viniculums, eternal blood slave bonds, last a ridiculously short time. They're such jokes, in fact, that other vampires are mildly scared of them - something that weak and laughable could not be an accident...
- Halflings in the tabletop fantasy football game Blood Bowl (and its PC adaptation) are certainly treated as the worst team ever in the game's fluff and are one of the worst teams in gameplay. About every halfling game mentioned in the rulebook involves downright slaughter of the entire halfling team, and one particularly famous incident had a halfling team failing to win a match against an opponent who didn't show up. Halflings are so bad, they can't even win by default.
- The PC adaptation treats merely managing to coach a team of halflings through a game without every single one of them being killed as a feat of coaching excellence on par with, if not exceeding, leading a more conventional team to victory.
- Goblin teams are treated almost equally badly. Not only are they a complete gimmick team that tends to hurt themselves as much as they hurt the other team, in the fluff the main consensus of the Blood Bowl community is that they're only allowed to play because the alternative (leaving the goblin teams, coaches and supporters with nothing better to do) would probably be worse for society at a whole.
- Monopoly gives us a few examples.
- Mediterranean Avenue. When it has a hotel, it only earns you $250 if someone lands on it, which is only 80% of what you payed for it. At least Baltic Avenue is somewhat better, earning you 145% of what you paid for when fully upgraded. However, because so many players view them as worthless joke spaces, they can be picked up relatively cheaply in trade and used to stash cheap houses for when the housing shortage hits later in the game.
- The Utilities. If you have both, the rent is 10x what is shown on the dice. Too bad that maxes out at $120, barely half of what it cost to purchase both properties in the first place, and cannot be upgraded in any way.
- In Bleak World you have the Werefish. It has all the weaknesses of a standard frog, and none of the advantages. To date, their weaknesses include: Not being able to change into human form, not being able to breathe underwater, having to spend 12 hours a day in water, and only being able to mate with human women. Their available skills? Strength, Magic, and Poison.
- The Warhammer franchise has the Chaos Spawn; humans that devolved into beasts which are used as cannon fodder or kept as pets. They did get a major buff in the 6th edition of 40K, making them a Lethal Joke Character.
- The Tyranid Pyrovore is by and large useless. It's designed as a close-assault unit, with a template weapon to take out enemy units hiding in cover... provided it ever gets there, as it moves far too slowly for a dedicated assault army (which is the bread and butter of the 'Nids). Its close-combat abilities are subpar (worse than unaugmented humans), it can easily be killed by small arms fire, and it has the unfortunate tendency to violently explode and kill any friendly models that happen to be too close. Finally, the Pyrovore is an Elite choice, competing with the psychic powerhouse Zoanthropes and tank-killing Hive Guard (among others), many of which are considered staples in Tyranid lists. The only saving grace of the Pyrovore is that its model looks cool, causing players to use the models to proxy for the silly looking (but infinitely more useful) Biovore.
- From Dragonlance, practically any gully dwarf character. Gully dwarves are the half-breed children of dwarves and gnomes, missing everything that makes dwarves cool. Gully dwarves have no land of their own and often live in refuse heaps, sewers and backalleys in the more run-down cities of other races, and most of them are so stupid that they can barely count to two (some can count to three; these tend to be the shamans and leaders among the gully dwarves, though these individuals are still stupid enough to be often found licking ale off the tavern floors). Stupid, cowardly, hideous, obnoxious and generally unpleasant to be around, it's quite baffling why anyone would want to roll a gully dwarf unless they clearly just wanted a laugh at the game.
Turn Based Strategy
- Broderbund's Ancient Art of War series always features one of these as a potential opponent. Crazy Ivan, Thor Foote and Helmut Von Spike are all portrayed as buffoons — and offer minimal (if any) challenge. In fact all of them react with disbelief if you offer to surrender.
- The original Shining Force (a TBS game where you control a dozen fighters out of a pool of 30 or so) has a number of characters that can be found or missed during your travels. One is a character called Jogurt the Yogurt. Jogurt is a hamster with a helmet. He only talks about his helmet. Jogurt has 1 hit point, his attacks do 1 damage each, and he has a magic ring that turns adjacent allies into hamsters like him - and then breaks, every time. If, somehow, you have Jogurt kill enough enemy units to level him up, he remains at level 1 and gains no stats or abilities. Jogurt can also be promoted right away - again, with no increase in stats.
- Penn from Shining Force III is a secret character that requires the player to spend the whole game doing stupid things with chickens and eggs until you can finally get him. However he starts at level one, can barely do scratch damage to the enemies you're currently facing and will die in one hit. Did I mention he also doesn't speak? He just repeats his name, so you won't even get any cool backstory or conversation out of this. It is possible to level grind him if you baby sit him in a training area but it isn't really worth the effort.
- Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 has Shanam (not to be confused with Shanan.) He has completely horrible stats, and he accidentally teaches Marita how to use Astra...which is a skill that he doesn't even have in the first place. He does, however, come equipped with the Bargain skill, allowing him to purchase items at half price.
- Radiant Dawn has Oliver, a boss from the previous game who was somehow Not Quite Dead and does a Heel–Face Turn note so inexplicable Ike outright lampshades it. He's got pretty bad stats, but he has a unique (fat) combat model, a unique theme that plays every time he attacks and unique, hilarious dialogue with each of the end-game bosses.
- Early Super Robot Wars games tend to put some of the early Super Robot support units in this category, such as Boss Borot, Aphrodite A and Getter-Q, mostly because they'd either be around for one stage, just be re/re units (basically healers and re-suppliers), be completely pathetic stat-wise or all three. As Banpresto started to move away from this, the units got better - Boss Borot, for instance, took many levels in badass throughout the Game Boy Advance era of games - Super Robot Wars Advance gives Boss the Borot Pressure Punch, which gives him a ranged attack. With each succeeding game, he gets it earlier and earlier. Then came Super Robot Wars Judgment which shifts him to his Mazinkaiser counterpart and makes him so much better.
- Several of these exist in the fan-made Kinnikuman game Kinnikuman Muscle Fight. The most notable is King Cobra, who moves slowly and does very little damage, even if he manages to build enough meter to use a super attack. There's also a series of Street Fighter-patterned characters, whose movesets are limited and not very damaging and feature unimpressive supers (if any at all).
- Eric Bischoff in WCW nWo Revenge has pitiful strength and stamina and is the only character in the game who can't grapple (justified, as he's not a grappler in Real Life). His high speed is the only thing going for him.
- WWE games have a history of joke wrestlers like Jim Ross, Mike Chioda, Lillian Garcia, Michael Cole, Jonathan Coachman, Fred Durst and Al Snow's mannequin head.
- Subverted in the legendary No Mercy, as some of the added characters like Linda McMahon are repositories for all of the moves that didn't get assigned to regular characters. This turns Linda into an MMA powerhouse, and her daughter Stephanie has the legendary Tiger Driver '91 as her finishing move because no one else was using it.
- No Mercy does have some joke moves however. One of the specials is a move where the target hits the user, who falls over and pleads for mercy, and then sucker-punches the target in the gut. The move takes long enough to run out the special meter in all likelihood, and is ranked "G" for power (the lowest for any move, special or not).
- In WWE: SmackDown vs. Raw 2006, Jimmy Hart has all of Rhyno's moves, but none of his strength.
- Virgil in Season 1 of WWE Supercard. He only appears in the common tier, and is wildly overmatched against almost any card within his tier, much less everywhere else.
Other Video Games and Media
- Smashy Road: Wanted takes this to subvert Power Equals Rarity. Four out of the first five epic cars are completely horrible to use, such as Drag Racer, who is fragile and has mediocre control, Hovercraft, who has slippery turning and can't float on water like it should on real life, Dr. Drift, who always drifts every turn, making turning very hard, and Alien, a UFO who turns too fast and slows down while doing it. The 4X4 is the only one out of the five to actually be decent, with its only real weakness being that it's a large target.
- An update added in Stealth Drag, who is basically another Drag Racer, Rocket, who is basically a faster Drag Racer, and Power Tractor, who has a very slow turn.
- The Sixty Whiners from Mutant League Football are the weakest team in the game. They're composed entirely of fragile skeletons with piss-poor skills and mediocre audibles.
- Mutant League Hockey teams are rated on a scale of 0-5 Skulls, and the Mighty Weenies are the only team rated 0. Most teams' reserve players (fourth-stringers who can only enter the game when everyone ahead of them on the depth chart is dead) are better than the Weenies' starters. There's also the one-skull teams, the Shrimps and the Derangers.
- Several in the Tony Hawk series, though the most obvious and fitting is Benjamin Franklin (the Benjamin Franklin) in THUG 2, who has the lowest stats out of any playable character. There's also Paulie "Wheels of Fury" Ryan (a ten year old boy in a body cast and wheelchair), Jason "Wee Man" Acuna (a little person best known for being a cast member on Jackass), Jesse James (of American Chopper, riding on his souped-up segway), a cowardly Spanish Matador, an Australian Aborigine in a go-kart, Bigfoot, a Cajun voodoo priest on a rocket powered tricycle...
- The boxing game Knockout Kings has a history of joke characters like rappers Jermaine Dupri and Q-Tip, shoe designer Marc Ecko, comedian Marlon Wayans, basketball player Tim Duncan, referee Mills Lane, a baby, a clown, a bulldog, and a bear.
- Don't Starve has Wes the Mime. Wes cannot examine anything verbally (being a mime, of course), has 75% the base stats of the other characters (excluding Wolfgang) in every category, and his hunger meter drains slightly faster than everyone else's. According to Word of God, Wes's sole purpose in the game is to challenge players who find the core game too easy.
- Jeff from Maniac Mansion. He's a surfer dude who, like the main hero Dave, he has no way of getting past Purple Tentacle at the endgame. His only special skill is to fix the phone, which can also be done by the much more useful Bernard.
- Jorge Garcia of the Backyard Sports series, who always has below average stats in the first few games. A few years after they increased his stats to make him less of a Joke Character, but he still ends up as one of the worst.
- Mafuyu in Seitokai no Ichizon compares herself to one of these in an attempt to explain how she doesn't really stand out. Yeah, it's that kind of show.
- Gundam Assault Survive has the Zudah; if you boost while your boost meter is empty, you take damage, leading to many deaths. This reflects the Zudah's depiction in Gundam IGLOO, where its powerful but highly unstable engine lead to several test units suffering from Explosive Overclocking.
- The Gundam franchise as a whole has the Acguy, an amphibious assault unit that unfortunately happens to look like a giant teddy bear. It's quite beloved among franchise fans, despite being a silly-looking Mook that gets annihilated in droves.
- Ace Combat:
- Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War has the Hawk T.1 fighter. Worse still, there is a mission that forces you to use it. It does get the Quick Air-to-Air Missiles, so there's a bit of redeeming value. Although the forced mission has no redeeming value since you're A) unarmed and B) stuck following Pops.
- Ace Combat: Joint Assault has the WWII A6M Zero and F6F Hellcat fighters. Appropriately enough, these two have no missiles.
- However, they have nothing on the Boeing 747. Yes, a big, fat, slow airliner in a combat game. If that wasn't bad enough, the level it's exclusive to in campaign mode is That One Level, perhaps because of this plane.
- The World War II props get an upgrade in Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy . They're very agile, and their machine guns are the most powerful of all aircraft.
- Megane in Inazuma Eleven is a rare example of a joke character that you start out with on your team. This was probably an intentional move by Level-5 to train players to swap out team members and avoid settling into Complacent Gaming Syndrome. This is taken even further in the anime adaptation, where it's repeatedly lampshaded that his two primary contributions to the team are naming hissatsu techniques and acting as a Combat Commentator. And he gets upset and cries whenever someone else steals his thunder and fulfills one of those roles instead of him. He does score one goal in the entire series... by letting the ball hit him in the face to redirect it into the goal.
- He has a bit of a Lethal Joke Character in himself, too: in fact, in all iterations, he can learn some of the most powerful moves of the games, if the player is patient enough to level him up to the max. Doesn't stop him from screwing up due to his low stats...
- The GameFAQs Character Battles always have one - CATS, Weighted Companion Cube, MissingNo... and the most glorious example, the L-Block from Tetris, who managed to even win a contest in 2007!
- In the boxing video game Fight Night: Champion, players have the option of fighting as Butterbean, a (real) 400lb boxer/wrestler/MMA fighter. The game does not use his real name ('Butterbean' is used as his last name and he has no first name), and he is among the lowest-rated boxers in the game.
- The OTAS Sirokos in X3: Terran Conflict and X3: Albion Prelude is one of these. It's the games' poster boy for Crippling Overspecialization: it can carry ten more marines than any other M7M (30 instead of 20), at the cost of only being able to fire boarding pods and Mosquito missiles. It works fine for capturing TL-class ships (slow lumbering transports with enormous cargo bays capable of transporting space stations), but since it lacks offensive weapons (other than ramming) it can't really do anything else. The Goner Ranger is a completely unarmed fighter-sized ship used by the Goners. It's slow, doesn't carry that much cargo, and cannot use internal docking bays used by carriers and military transporters - and it's the default ship for the "Goner Witness" alternate gamestart.
- Caveman Ugh-Lympics has characters such as Thag, Ugha, and... Vincent. If you play as Vincent, don't expect to win: his highlights include mastery of several numbers (including three!) and getting beaten up by the other competitors.
- Destroy the Godmodder has had several. The first was the creepy dummy near the beginning of the first game. It got an upgrade in the second game.
- Vector Thrust, with its goal of adding every single production, concept and fictional plane under the planet, naturally boasts several Joke Characters. Examples include the F-15 Streak Eagle and P-42, extremely fast aircraft capable of our-climbing a rocket, but which carry no weapons of their own and go down in flames if so much as sneezed as. Other aircraft include the AFTI, a concept aircraft without any wings. It works as well as you'd expect it to.
- Showderp has Specs Weedle. Take an unevolved Com Mon with a total of four learnable moves and the fourth lowest base stats in the game, and then give it an item that limits its movepool even further while providing a boost to its single lowest stat. It's typically used to show disgust at a particularly bad champ. There are plenty of utterly useless sets out there, including ones that make it outright impossible to attack, but Specs Weedle seems to be the most famous.
- The fifth mission of Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 has a few (semi-)hidden areas featuring fenced-in units that you can free by blowing up the explosive barrels at one corner of the fence. One occasion gives you four veteran GIs and an Elite Grizzly tank... the other gives you three cows. Slow-moving cows that are incapable of attacking anything. That said, they work pretty well as scouts - better than the Spies the mission expects you to use for that, in fact, as the enemy won't attack them unless you leave them in the path of their attack dogs for too long.
- Airforce Delta Strike has Jamie, an old man who insists on flying prop planes (meaning pathetic stats, limited selection of planes, and no air-to-air missiles or afterburners) in a game where everyone elses fly modern jets. Using him is pretty much a Self-Imposed Challenge.