Ness used the Protractor!
Now, he can fairly easily figure out the angles of various things.
Finally! You braved the Bonus Dungeon
, beat the Bonus Boss
, and now you can claim the ultimate reward: the...Golf Club of Hilariously Low Damage
A joke item is a weapon or object that is so pathetically worthless that you can't help but smile. Typical joke items fall in to one of two groups:
- The ones that are obviously stupid, such as a bouquet of flowers or a Nerf ball.
- The ones that seem like they would be powerful, but aren't.
For the surprisingly powerful equivalent of the first type, see Lethal Joke Item
and Nerf Arm
. Characters that fill this role are Joke Character
. Compare Improbable Weapon User
, Scrappy Weapon
, Useless Useful Spell
and Fake Special Attack
. Contrast Infinity+1 Sword
(which is Purposefully Overpowered
). Not to be confused with Weapons That Suck
. Also not to be confused with The Killing Joke
. If the item's name is a misspelling of a more useful item's name, it's a Poison Mushroom
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- The easy to find Alucart equipment—easily confused for your lost scattered Alucard equipment— in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night have terrible stats, except if you equip all of them, you get a huge bonus to Luck.
- Castlevania: Curse of Darkness had more than a few of these due to its weapon-crafting mechanic, including a frying pan (minor fire effect), a broom (a dash-sweep attack?), the ever-loveable Piko-Piko Hammer, and my favorite: the Electric Guitar.
- The Legend of Zelda series:
- In The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, getting a certain number of points at Beedle's shop will earn you a "Complimentary Ticket"- using it at the shop will earn you...a compliment. Leo of VG Cats fame was on the receiving end once and he was less than amused.
- The compliment also heals you.
- It happens in The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, too.
- Beedle's back in The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks as well, but this time his Beedle's Members Club has some useful perks going for it - like a Heart Container! Buy the card on your first visit, pick it up in the mail, then go right back for the Bomb Bag and 50 points straight up.
- In Cave Story you can find "Chaco's Lipstick" and "Curly's Underwear". They don't do anything, even when you talk to Chaco or Curly. Except in Cave Story+, where getting Curly's Underwear unlocks Curly Story. Also, if you fully level up the Nemesis (which is far too easy to do), its projectiles become rubber ducks that do 1 damage each. Fortunately, weapons lose XP and levels if you take damage, so it's reversible.
- In indie PC game La-Mulana, upon completing the optional area known as the "Hell Temple", your reward is... a skimpy swimsuit. Which serves no purpose whatsoever, but does come with a rather unflattering image of our male protagonist trying it on.
- This is a Shout-Out to the MSX version of Dragon Quest II, where the Princess of Moonbrook can be seen in a skimpy swimsuit of the same design.
- The developers of the game were also smart enough to hide it. The game's graphical assets are a bunch of PNGs that are readily viewable by any image program. However, one of them, which contains the entire tileset for your reward, is scrambled in a horrible mess. You could probably piece it together faster than you could complete Hell Temple, if you wanted to.
- In the remake, the main character also gets to wear the swimsuit in-game, which also changes his pause animations to be a lot goofier.
- Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers allowed you to pick up an Unstable Ordnance for 25 points, then put it back where you found it at a 20-point penalty, for a net gain of 5 points. If you did not put it back, you would explode when you dropped into the sewers.
- The Soul Series has "Joke" weapons for every character, ranging from paper fans to mighty Bug Nets.
- These may count as Lethal Joke Item : In Soul Calibur 2, joke weapons were unblockable and made funny noises. In Soul Calibur 3, they were weak, but provided more skill points than ultimate weapons.
- Fist of the North Star's Shin has a suicide move which he can use on himself. It's a Call Back to how he died in the series, but otherwise...
- It actually has a use; it refills the meter that leaves you vulnerable to a One-Hit Kill if it's empty. Meaning your opponent can't instantly kill you next round.
- In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, certain items can backfire or just simply fail to work. For example, there's a small chance the otherwise highly destructive Golden Hammer item will end up instead being a Golden Squeaky Hammer, which deals no damage to those it strikes. In addition, we have the Pokemon Goldeen, which does nothing (an obvious poke towards Magikarp's famed Splash attack).
- Remember the regular Hammer that appeared even in the N64 version? In Melee and Brawl, it can sometimes lose its head. It's kind of averted as you can pick the hammer head up and then chuck it right at your foes, which also knocks them back surprisingly far... but that doesn't help the poor sucker who picked it up and is now stuck uselessly flailing the handle.
First Person Shooter
- The Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force Virtual Voyager mode allows you to pick up nothing but useless items - mostly Star Trek memorabilia.
- Call of Duty 2, in the first single player level, has you chucking potatoes as practice grenades to save money. You can later throw them at the attacking Germans, which does nothing except confuse them.
- Call of Duty 4 multiplayer has a joke weapon, the MP44. Considering the fact it's a World War 2 weapon in a Modern Warfare setting, it's outclassed by pretty much every other rifle and submachine gun, and its only minor advantage in aim sway is offset by the major disadvantage that it can't have any of the attachments any other assault rifle in the game can have, it being a World War II gun and all.note
- It actually was fairly useful in harcore mode, being a one hit kill at any range and no sway.
- The TimeSplitters series has...the brick. It's a brick. You chuck it at people, like a grenade. Due to its arc and the power at which it's thrown, its range is equal to or less than the game's shotguns, but it's incredibly satisfying getting a kill or even headshot with it. Takes a few hits to knock down anything but its awesome level is immeasurable. "Ha! I killed a fucking Robot! With a fucking Brick!"
- Also, it's possible to kill yourself with it. It's got lethal ricochet for a lump of brick.
- Team Fortress 2:
- The Holy Mackerel, which does absolutely nothing different from the default bat in terms of damage and swing speed, but tells how many times someone got smacked by the fish.
- It actually has an advantage when dealing with Dead Ringer spies. When the spy drops the fake corpse after being hit, the killfeed does not display FISH KILL!.
- The frying pan also counts. Same damage as the base weapons, but it makes a very loud noise when you hit something with it.
- Counter-Strike has several joke weapons:
- The UMP: It is the worst sub-machine and the worst automatic gun in the game. It suffers from low damage, low armour penetration, low ammunition capacity and slow rate of fire compared to all the other submachine guns, it's only advantages are a minor speed boost for the the user, and being more accurate on the move. It's also more expensive than the MP5, which outclasses it in every situation.
- The UMP is a correct weapon, the mac10 and it's ct counterpart on the other hand.
- The Dual Elite Pistols: Basically only included for Rule of Cool, they usually aren't worth wasting money to purchase except in situations where you want to look cool.
- Golden Eye 1997: The Klobb (named after Ken Lobb, one of the people who worked on the game), an incredibly inaccurate and weak weapon with a very small magazine. Urban Dictionary sums up its uselessness the best by calling it "A Soviet gun specifically designed to miss its target."
- Shogo: Mobile Armor Division has an optional level in which you find a doll which you then use to find and return a lost cat. Even the game's characters can't believe this is serious. Beyond calling the cat, the doll does nothing useful - it says "magic claw" if you squeeze it (a Shout-Out to a previous Monolith game), but this has no effect on enemies; it also permanently takes up a weapon number, getting in the way if you use the scroll wheel to change weapons.
- PAYDAY 2 has a joke melee weapon in the form of a stack of hundred-dollar bills. It does the least amount of damage of all weapons (a fully-charged swing does less damage than an uncharged punch), but it has the fourth-highest knockdown value and fully charges in only one second. It's still only useful for the comedic scene of bludgeoning armed SWAT troopers with a wad of cash.
- PlanetSide 2 has a variety of "flare guns", special secondary weapons that are only available for a limited time. The two fireworks launchers produce a dazzling display of lights and explosions, the Deep Freeze fires a snowball, and the Candycannon fires candy. All but the Candycannon are incapable of killing a player with one magazine, and they cost as much or more than a proper gun. During the Halloween 2014 event, you had to kill 35 players (who wearing Halloween masks) with the Candycannon to complete the Halloween Directive.
Hack And Slash
- Diablo II has Wirt's Leg, though this is not necessarily worthless as (it is used to gain access to the Secret Cow Level, and Cows provide very good drops for whatever difficulty level you're playing in at the time.) It can get some pretty strange and unusual enchantments, such as the very valuable +1/+2 to all skills enchantments or even sometimes an optional socket, so you can put a Perfect Skull to leech health.
- Sengoku Basara or "Devil Kings" had several joke items as top-level weapons for the characters. Some of them were Shout-Out to other games (Yukimura using two Sparda swords), but others were totally ridicolous, including a set of Tambourines for Kasuga, a Swordfish for Toshiie, leeks for Kojuuro and oversized fork&knife set for Mitsuhide.
- Final Fantasy XI has a bunch of fireworks and costumes that do nothing but look pretty. Thankfully, they only come from events and Item Crafting, not any endgame boss.
- Creating and completing mazes in Moblin Maze Mongers will earn you Moblin Marbles, which can be traded for things like a shovel or toy hammer, neither of which has anything remotely similar in the game. Oh, and the toy hammer actually makes squeeking noises when hitting targets :D
- Final Fantasy XIV has items and costumes in a similar vein. You also can't trade or sell the costumes.
- In RuneScape they create new Joke Items for the holidays as a gift for players. For example there is a Rubber Chicken weapon which has very bad negative stats, but which can be used to whack people around.
- Kingdom of Loathing has the items from the Summon Hilarious Objects spell, which include "yellow snowcones," "clown hammers," and "fake hands." The vast majority of these are detrimental, though a couple can be useful.
- One Guild Wars quest rewards you with a scythe with a banana for a head. It's actually a decent weapon for a starting dervish (no attribute requirements and better damage than starting scythes), but by time you get a hold of it, even if you have a use for a scythe at all, you've probably got a much better weapon.
- At the end of the first bonus dungeon added after the release of the game you had to fight an enemy called "The Darkness". After defeating it it would drop a few unique items, most of them very good and useful. And an Ogre-Slaying Knife. Damage: +9 (vs. Ogres). There aren't even many ogres in the game, and the base damage is 1-4, to simulate rolling a d4. For reference, starter swords in GW deal 3-5 base damage.
- World of Warcraft has scores of these, many of which are gained through the TCG spinoff. Some also fall in the category of Vendor Trash but some players keep them for pure entertainment. The probably most straight example is an epic item from a daily quest in Wrath of the Lich King, the Pa'Trolla Badge. While the item has an "equip" (Shows everyone how awesome you are) atttribute, it does absolutely nothing.
- Most notable of these vendor trash items are Pitchfork, Kobold Mining Shovel, Farmer's Broom, "The 1 Ring" (+1 to each primary stat) and of course "The Stoppable Force" which name is a pun of an epic weapon. Players have been seen putting expensive enchantments on them.
- The Red Defias Mask and Blood Elf Bandit Mask which can be worn in the head slot. No armor, no stats; they just makes your character look cool. It should be noted, however, that they become available at level 15 and level 5, respectively, while other statful head-slot items don't start showing up until mid-30s.
- Gnomish X-Ray Specs make it appear that all other player characters in view are running around in their underwear.
- Piccolo of the Flaming Fire, a flute that drops off a rare spawn in Stratholme that makes all players in radius dance when someone plays it.
- There is also a type of fish you can get while fishing and equip as a weapon. Then go around slapping people with it.
- Blizzard, once they made it so Blinding Powder wasn't necessary for Rogues perform a certain move in World of Warcraft, made the items players still had into this, changing the description to justify said move. They've also released a grenade item that turns the heads of those caught in the radius into...a Night Elf Mohawk.
- Pretty much everything from the TCG loot cards, like the turtle mount that doesn't actually make you move faster, or the party grenade that makes people dance.
- Battle Stations tends to hand these out as gifts on special occasions. One, the April Fools Day pie launcher, was eventually used as a crafting requirement.
- Forum Warz, among a variety of amusing Vendor Trash, has suicide pill items, that kill you. Of course, it comes in a pack of ten.
- Phantasy Star Online has this in spades. A frying pan, a paper fan, a wok and ladle, and a toy hammer to name a few. Its Spiritual Successor Phantasy Star Zero also has these.
- In Lord of the Rings Online game there are some weapons like Shovel and Butter Knife are gained after a player gets high enough standing with some factions or enough tokens from high-level instance.
- City of Heroes has an annual Halloween event that involves "trick or treating" at doors. Generally, this results in either a "treat" (a minor but genuine goodie) or a "trick" (monsters come out to attack you.) Occasionally, in an homage to It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown...you get a rock. The rock can be thrown (once) at an enemy to do a very small amount of damage.
- Twilight Heroes has weapons that give bonuses to the wrong type of damage (ranged vs. melee, for example) and computer programs that would make your computer more effective, if you could use your computer for anything else but running that program.
- Billy Vs SNAKEMAN has Novelty Bullcrap, which gives "+0 Gen Levels, +0 to All Ranges, +0 Stamina per day."
- EVE Online contains a wide variety. These include the Free Samplenote obtainable in drug-related exploration sites, the famous Devicenote used in a mission, and the holiday gifts based upon eve memes.
- Earthworm Jim 2 had the Bubble Gun, a toy that just shot ordinary soap bubbles.
- Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones had a few of these you could unlock with codes or playthroughs - including a telephone and a swordfish.
- The Crow Feather in Psychonauts. In a few areas, you can use Clairvoyance on it to find hidden items. This doesn't work in every area with those types of items (the brains of your campmates), so it mostly just lets you...Tickle people.
- Plok has a number of power up parcels planted throughout it. You walk Plok across the parcel and he is given a new, usually temporary outfit with enhanced asskicking capabilities. But one of them kits you out in a cowboy suit with a flag gun. That said, the flag does do normal damage (just with minimal range!) and when you transform back, you have all your limbs restored.
- The Wide Gun in Bionic Commando is a nearly useless Short Range Spread Shot.
- Mega Man games usually have at least one weapon per game that is situationally useful; but, either due to rarity of said situation, the situation not being all that difficult, or the fact that other weapons do the same job better, end up falling into this. Examples include:
- Mega Man 1: The Hyper Bomb, with its limited range and blast radius, and the fact that it is a very slow weapon to use.
- Mega Man 2: The Time Stopper, which would completely deplete itself after one use and wouldn't allow Mega Man to attack while it was in use.
- Mega Man II for Game Boy: The Sakugarne, received from the penultimate boss. It's a pogo stick.
- Mega Man 3: The Spark Shock, since it did zero damage (except against Magnet Man and the Wily Machine) its effects (stunning foes) would end if the weapon was switched. Also the Top Spin, which required perfect timing for when to activate it and when to stop using it to defeat a foe without taking damage and/or depleting its entire energy after one use (if you do have the perfect timing, however...).
- Mega Man 4: The Skull Barrier, which was very weak (except against Dive Man, but trying to use it against him can make the battle harder!)
- Mega Man 5: The Power Stone, because it was slow, weak, and essentially had a slow reload time. The Charge Kick as well, since it required sliding to use and Mega Man would take collision damage if it didn't one-shot a foe. The Gravity Hold as well, since it only worked on foes not touching the ground, and simply removed foes from the field without item drops.
- Mega Man 6: The Blizzard Attack was extremely weak.
- Mega Man 7: The Wild Coil, which had such random bouncing effects that it was literally the hardest weapon to aim in the entire series. And it was the Final Boss's Weaksauce Weakness.
- Mega Man 8: The Mega Ball, which relied on rebounds and was a general pain to aim. Nonetheless, it is required to defeat the first Wily Tower boss.
- Mega Man 9: The Concrete Shot, which was more useful to make situational platforms rather than attacking foes (particularly as clever use of Rush was frequently just as effective in that regard).
- Mega Man 10: The Thunder Wool, which only hit a precise area in front of where it was launched, and anything hitting the cloud before it struck would cause the cloud to disperse.
- The ROM hack Rockman 4 Minus Infinity had the Skull Amulet, which is obtained by finishing off Skull Man with Recycle Inhaler. Originally, it cursed Hell Wheel, making it really slow. The 00.1 release subverted it by making it give you a Last Chance Hit Point instead.
Real Time Strategy
- The final Alliance mission in Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne had "Wirt's other leg".
- Ancient Domains of Mystery has the Potion of Stun Recovery and Scroll of Cure Blindness. Too bad you can't drink potions while stunned or read scrolls while blind. It also has the Potion of Uselessness, which rewards you with a random artifact if you find its one and only (super obscure) use.
- ADOM has a lot of these. The Scroll of Literacy Check is another joke item; if your Literacy skill is higher than 90, it reads, "If you can read this, you must be pretty good!". Reading it below that level just reveals parts of the message.
- NetHack has the Cheap Plastic Imitation of the Amulet of Yendor. Sadistically, they're actually called "Amulet of Yendor" until identified (thankfully they stack with other fakes).
- Among the many varied weapons to be picked up in Izuna 2: The Unemployed Ninja Returns, Izuna and friends are able to use leeks as offensive weapons, which have weak attack power and only two talisman slots (as opposed to 3-5 for normal weapons).
- They're also a nutritious snack for a laughably low amount of HP recovery.
- One of the special weapons in Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures is the useless Rock from Friday the 13th.
Role Playing Game
- Final Fantasy appreciates the softness of gold by giving golden weapons exactly one attack, making them the weakest in the game; however, it notes the other property of gold by having them sell for a huge amount.
- Final Fantasy VII had a gag weapon for each character. Their stats were actually very high for that stage in the game, but the trade off was that they had no materia slots, meaning that if you used them, you'd actually be less powerful in the long run. Cloud had a nail bat, Tifa had a pair of gardening gloves, Aeris had an umbrella, Barrett had a Rocket Punch, Yuffie had a rubber ball, Vincent had a squirt-gun and Cid had a push mop. Cait Sith had a conch, but then his weapons were megaphones anyway.note
- Final Fantasy XII and Final Fantasy Tactics A2 have Knots of Rust, which is just chunks of rocks you throw at enemies. They seem to do very little damage at first, but they get more powerful the more you use them, making them almost a Lethal Joke Item. Then there's also Dark Matter, which does little damage like the Knots of Rust at first. The Dark Matter gains power the more you use the rusts. With these items, it's possible to be Cherry Tapping bosses with chunks of rock.
- Knots of Rust also have a slightly more obscure use. Shemhazai's Limit Break attack, Soul Purge, does damage equal to the combined damage from the Knots of Rust and her Devour Soul attack. The damage cap on this is 60000. It's the second-strongest attack in the game at full charge.
- Also, they do have a very good use before you buff damage in A2. A few status can only be cursed with enuthisa, and you don't have that early, or getting hit. Thus, one of the easy ways to get rid of them is to use knot of rust to do 1 damage, curing them.
- And let's not forget the Running Gag joke item, the "Excalipoor" sword (occasionally written as "Excalipur"), which has absurdly low attack power any time it's equippable (though some games falsely claim it's higher). It's most commonly associated with the recurring character Gilgamesh, who used it (to poor effect) in the item's first appearance in Final Fantasy V. It was actually a Lethal Joke Item in Final Fantasy V when used right (some attacks, most noticeably Goblin Punch, use its listed attack power but skip the "always do 1 damage" code), but in other games, it's exactly as "poor" as advertised.
- In Final Fantasy VIII, the summon Gilgamesh chooses randomly between 4 swords, the weakest naturally being the "Excalipoor", which does 1 HP of damage to all enemies.
- Excalipoor makes a return appearance in Dissidia: Final Fantasy as a trade item. Statistically Speaking, it's 1 point stronger than the real Excalibur, but with the drawback of causing all your physical attacks to do 0 damage. It doesn't, however, say anything about magical attacks.
- In Duodecim, it's one of the eight weapons Gilgamesh randomly draws when attacking. While the Excalibur doubles the damage he deals, the Excalipoor naturally reduces it to 1.
- There's also the "Training Ring". A fairly expensive accessory that reduces all damage you take and give to 0, and reduces your initial brave to 0. It's no good for actual battles, but it can be used for (what else?) making a pseudo-training mode.
- Excalipoor shows up yet again in the GBA remake of Final Fantasy VI, where its only purpose is for wagering in the Colosseum in order to fight one of the game's exclusive bosses. note
- The "Potoin" and "Exilor" (sic) from Dirge of Cerberus.
- Final Fantasy VI has an accidental joke item in the form of the Goggles, which were meant to serve a valid purpose but due to a glitch do nothing.
- Mother series:
- The Insignificant Item in EarthBound. Using it gets you the message, "By using this item, you had a very fruitful experience that cannot be understood by one who does not do something insignificant." However, the Insignificant Item does have one use; it can be traded to an NPC from earlier in the game for an ever-useful Magic Truffle, and is, in fact, the first opportunity to acquire one in the game outside of extreme luck in enemy drops.
- EarthBound has a plethora of these. Things like rulers and protractors that have literally no use—they don't even make good Vendor Trash—and chickens, which will eventually hatch if you carry eggs around. They do make good Vendor Trash.
- There's also the Super Orange Machine, or Suporma, which you get from the Orange Kid. If you use it, then it plays the 'Ode to Orange Kid' and breaks immediately afterwards.
- Mother 3 has a Brick Joke item. It's the doorknob that came off of Flint's house in Chapter 1. You acquire it after you beat the game.
- The HK droid Pacifist Package in Knights of the Old Republic 2 is a waste of several thousand credits, but you get some awesomely hilarious dialogue when you install it in HK-47. It also gives him a small stat boost, so it's not completely useless.
- Most of the Imakuni? cards in the Game Boy Pokémon Trading Card Game. Though they did have some strategic uses, they were mostly just...weird.
- Chrono Trigger has the mop, a weapon for Crono with an attack power of 1.
- The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind:
- There's the Scrolls of Icarian Flight. They grant a massive Acrobatics bonus, allowing you to jump huge heights and distances, then land safely — well, except for the land safely part, as the bonus wears off in mid-jump. You find them on the corpse of their inventor after he falls from the sky. However, if you land in water, you don't take damage. This can be used to take a jump to the ocean, and if you aim it right, it can get you to places you shouldn't be yet. The scrolls have been used in a speedrun, for jumping way the hell up Red Mountain much sooner than you could normally get there.
- Morrowind also has the "Fork of Horipillation" - a, well, dinner fork which the player is tasked with killing a giant netch with. Of course, the quest-giver is the god of madness...
- This is Sheogorath's schtick; the other artifact he passes out in Oblivion is the Wabbajack. That tool is just as likely to turn a rat into a daedroth as vice versa, and heals anything it is used on. It is still a Lethal Joke Item in the unpatched game, since it's the only thing that can kill his fellow god Mehrunes Dagon.
- Then there's the "Boots of Blinding Speed", which you receive as a reward for an Escort Mission. They do Exactly What It Says on the Tin - increase your running speed several times over, and make you completely blind. (If the player is capable of dispelling blindness, however, the boots actually become a useful item.)
- There are many more practical ways to achieve extreme speeds in Morrowind, so the Boots of Blinding Speed are better off as Vendor Trash.
- One of the bandit caves near the starting area in Morrowind has a Fat Lute. It's not very phat lewt though - it's heavy and not worth much.
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: The Wooden Sword from the Heartfire DLC. It's meant to be a toy for a child, but you can beat a bandit to death with one all the same. Odd considering you can give your adopted children real daggers as gifts. Dawnguard also allows you to dual-wield a knife and fork.
- Fallout 3 has the AntAgonizer and the Mechanist Costumes, which provide OK damage resistance, but have low durability. However, wearing one will lead to a random encounter with a kid asking for your autograph, as well as give you new dialogue options.
- The Talon Company Combat Armor has less damage resistance than the standard Combat Armor, despite having the same weight. There is a better unique version worn by Lag-Bolt, but it's not obtainable until near the end of the final story quest (with the Broken Steel DLC).
- The base game's T-51B Power Armor has the highest damage resistance of any armor(tied with the Broken Steel Hellfire Armor), but degrades quickly and can never be repaired to full capacity, since it is one of a kind. It also lacks the Strength boost of the T-45d and Enclave armors.
- The armor breaks fast and you can't repair it right? But you get at full health too, so just give it to your companion and he/she will enjoy his high damage resistance without risks of breaking it. It's still the strongenst non-DLC armor in the game, and even better for your partners, i wouldn't label it as a joke item.
- Mothership Zeta has the Alien Destabilizer, an automatic version of the Disintegrator, but which does far less damage per shot and only fires semi-auto in VATS. This latter note is only to those who use VATS a lot to churn their way in the game; otherwise, it's still a good weapon outside of VATS and especially for gamers who play the PC version, so this point is moot.
- Fallout 2 has a ghoul make you perform some chores for him before he tells you where he buried his secret treasure - it turns out to be 10,000 bottlecaps. While these were quite valuable in the previous game (and later games) - at the moment...
Narrator: "You've heard that at one time they were used as money, though you suspect it's only a story."
- Fallout Tactics has the Chauchat, a French machine gun from World War I which was notoriously unreliable. Modern experts often describe it as perhaps the "worst machine gun" ever fielded in the history of warfare The in-game version can be equipped but does not fire.
- The 1990s Macintosh RPG TaskMaker was loaded with these. Among these were "Butter Knife" as a weapon; several useless items such as "Old Empty Chest" and various early Macintosh models; and various potions that hurt the player instead of helping him. The Tomb of the TaskMaker took it a step further by having joke armor ("Rotted Shield", "Stinky Boots", "Ring of Constriction", etc.; it also "Hard Rock Bands" which had maximum protection but deafened the player).
- In Icewind Dale 2, you can find a dead cat in the starting town, which was a quest item in an earlier game that used the same game engine. You can ask several NPCs in the town if they are missing a cat, which gets you a number of hilarious replies about why you would run around with a dead cat and showing it to random strangers.
"If I were you — thank the Gods I'm not — I'd get out of the cold before your brain freezes anymore than it has. When a fool goes to carrying a dead cat around, that's when you need to start asking yourself some serious questions."
- This turns into a Brick Joke if you bring it all the way to the final dungeon, where you can use it against one of the bosses there (provided you didn't kill him earlier):
Uh...Why are you carrying around a dead cat? Player Character:
Doesn't everybody carry around a dead cat? It's soft, and furry - well, parts of him are still furry - it's low maintenance, and the smell is rather cleansing, once you get used to it.
- Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days features two joke weapons for the entire Organization in the multiplayer. One of the weapons was a useless one and one is a not-so-useless one: Xemnas has fans and a heart shaped light sabers, Xigbar has hairdryers and a trumpet (they make honking sounds when you reload), Xaldin has brooms and six sticks with dragons heads on them, Vexen has a pot lid and a round shield with a snowman on it to match his element, Leaxus has a squeaky mallet and a Moai Head, Zexion has a giant sandwich and a white laptop (which looks like a Mac), Saix has a giant banana and a cute bunny and spaceship claymore, Axel has pizzas and two giant ninja stars, Demyx has a tennis racket and a big broom, Luxord wields CDs and several four leaf clovers, Marluxia has a ladle and a giant bent water lily with a long stem, Larxene has dragonfly hair clips and eight lightbulbs, and Roxas and Xion share an umbrella, and very spiky, and absurdly fast key.
- Mitadake High has the Red box of meat. It's a nice reference, but it has no real use.
- Dragon Quest VII and VIII have dung as an item. You read that right. Played straight in VII, where it sells for a single gold which is still awfully generous and has no real use. Turns into Solid Gold Poop in VIII; it can be used as a component in alchemy recipes.
- The Gum Pod in Dragon Quest IV has no use whatsoever except for being sold for a single gold.
- Some of Elizabeth's most irritating quests in Persona3 involve hunting down rare enemies or rare items. The reward? Weapons with 100 power and 99 accuracy like a bone, a toy bow, a broom...What's even funnier is that the first one you can get (the toy bow) is pretty powerful around the time it's first available (most weapons at the time have 50 power).
- Tales of the Abyss has a number of these, acquired throughout the game: there's the Fork, Knife, and Spoon, which count as spear, sword and staff weapons, respectively. Jade also gets the Pointer (a cartoony gloved pointing hand on a stick) and the Deck Brush, and Anise gets to wield a giant Lollipop.
- In Tri Ace's Star Ocean series, the "Tri-Emplem" is a decent but unremarkable accessory, especially by the time you get them. "Tri-Emblems", however, are extremely powerful accessories that can only be found in the Bonus Dungeons.
- In the fourth game, the former can be made into a Lethal Joke Item by taking advantage of its high number of slots, and synthesizing eight of the latter into it.
- In Pokémon Black and White you can get various "Wings" in the bridges which slightly increases the Pokemon's stats depending on the type of Wing (Muscle Wing increases attack, Health Wing increases HP, etc.) but you can also get a "Pretty Wing" which does absolutely nothing. This was lampshaded, not surprisingly.
- In Mega Man Starforce upgrades in RJ/BA for Omega-Xis can add animal sound effects for buster shooting and humorous dialouge for the talk(L) button.
- The late-game Slap spellcard in Last Scenario. The Crisis spell that comes with it at least raises the party's Strength, but the base spell is an unavoidable attack... for 1 damage. Pretty useless, until you realize that attacking characters who are under the Sleep and Berserk status effects is the only way to snap them out of it, at which point it at least becomes a handy method of doing such without dealing too much damage.
- In Xenoblade, after beating the Bonus Boss of a long sidequest arc (a level 78 enemy mind you), the party gets two weapons. One of them is the Monapon, which has an impresive damage range of 1-1, and whose only good quality is having a 30% Critical Hit rate. The other weapon on the other hand looks like an oversized half-eaten fish, and is one of Riki's best weapons.
- In Faria, the Paper Sword, which you can buy from a special hidden shop, is less powerful than the cheaper of the two weapons you can buy in the First Town.
Third Person Shooter
- Jet Force Gemini features the Fish Food. It "provides sustenance to fish. That is all".
- Although enemies will still react to Fish Food the way they would a thrown grenade.
- And "roach" enemies will come up and eat it...leaving them wide open. Plus, certain drones are fascinated by it. Kind of a Lethal Joke Item once you work out its uses.
- P.N.03 has the Prima Guardian suit, which is definitely the most useless. Sure, it has high barrier and energy, as well as autofire, but very wimpy palmshot and energy drive attacks.
Turn Based Strategy
- Shining Force II has the Chirrup Sandals, which cause the wearer to make a funny sound when walking, allegedly makes the wearer more likely to be attacked, and if equipped then unequipped by Slade or Bowie, may learn a dummy spell known as Higins, which looks like and uses the same MP as Heal but does absolutely nothing.
- If memory serves, using Higins gives a small amount of XP, and doesn't depend on having an effect like Heal does. This hardly seems worthwhile until you consider that there are a finite number of enemy creatures in the game, limiting the amount of XP you can get...unless you have a spell like Higins.
- Fire Emblem noticeably didn't have any...until New Mystery of the Emblem. A veritable torrent of the things ensued through randomly-obtained online content, including a toy bow, a laundry pole, a healing staff called "Mediocre", a previously-used healing potion...and a frying pan. Awakening also added a tree branch, a ladle, and a log for sword-, axe- and lance-wielders respectively—all described by the game as "weak and ill-suited for combat".
- Awakening also has a joke staff and bow (called the Kneader and Slack Bow, respectively). The Miniature Lance and Missiletainn play with it a bit, as the Miniature Lance has 1 might but a rather good critical rate, and Missiletainn is decent but not much better than the generic Steel Swords you can buy in armories.
- Disgaea 2 has the Supremacy sword weapon, obtained by stealing. They also have the Almighty Armor, in which is stolen from the same person who uses the Supremacy weapon. The armor's desription says it's an armor with the word "Almighty" on it.
Wide Open Sandbox
- In Just Cause 2, if you go to the Lautan Lama Alpha Communications Outpost and look south-southwest from it, you will see a field of white-leaved trees with a bell tower in the middle. On top of this bell tower is the Bubble Blaster. It is a purple kids toy which does absolutely no damage to anything you fire at.
- However, if you fire this weapon close to a civilian, the Panauan police will take it as a crime and try to kill you.
- It DOES however allow you to hold around triple the normal amount of ammunition for the Sub-Machine Gun due to a possible glitch.
- Zombie-bashing game Dead Rising features many, many weapons, as literally anything can be used to smack zombies around. Most items are somewhat damaging or useful. Then you have the stuffed teddy bears, the Mega Buster that shoots nerf balls, and the water pistol. These have the exact same effect: they make zombies flinch. Nothing else. Still, it's absolutely hilarious to see protagonist Frank lugging a huge teddy bear around a mall full of zombies.
- While the nerf ball Mega Buster is technically capable of incapacitating zombies if they are shot in the head enough times, it takes about a third of the weapon's magazine to do so. Because of this, it still firmly falls under the Joke Item territory.
- Don't forget spitting, which actually becomes lethal with the right powerup.
- Several of the Joke Items give you +Humor points when you take photographs involving them, as well.
- In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas there is a dildo you can obtain relatively easily and use as a melee weapon. It's possible to kill people with it, but it's almost as weak as punching someone with the beginning game stats. The vibrator is hard to find and does the same amount of damage as the dildo so it's more of a novelty. The last one is flowers, which can be found all over the place and only real use is to give to girlfriends like all the above items.
- The flowers are a surprisingly effective melee weapon. Not lethal, but about as good as a baseball bat and ten times as funny to blow up a car with.
- Grand Theft Auto: Vice City has several of these, including a screwdriver and a golf club. The golf club alone is worth it just for the animation of you hitting someone with it while they're down.
- There are at least two versions per class of weapon that fulfill this in the Monster Hunter series of games. To wit, shishkabob Dual Swords and a parasol Gunlance in just Monster Hunter Portable 3rd.
- In Minecraft, any item can be held, though only tools help in a fight. It's not uncommon to "tickle" things to death with a feather for fun.
- With the enchantment system, you can turn any item into a Lethal Joke Item. Want to attack zombies with raw fish enchanted with Smite V? You can.
- The golden sword and golden armor set plays the trope straight; the gold sword isn't any stronger than an iron sword and the gold armor isn't any stronger than iron armor, but the gold counterparts wear down twice as fast as leather armor and wooden swords. They, however, are the best for enchanting purposes.
- Terraria has a few largely useless items, like the Whoopee Cushion (a rare drop which doesn't do anything but produce rude noises when used) and the party supplies sold by the Party Girl. Some of them can be crafted into more useful items, however; the Party Girl's confetti can be crafted into cheap yet effective Party Bullets.
Collectable Card Game
- The entirety of the Unglued and Unhinged expansions for Magic: The Gathering are nothing but these, some useful, some not, some deadly.
- Gold as an Allomantic metal. Other metals do things like giving you Super Senses or Combat Clairvoyance, but gold just shows you who you could have become if you'd made different choices in the past.
- And even more so aluminum, whose only function is to erase all your other metal reserves.
- Duralumin, on the other hand, is something of a Lethal Joke Item. Burning duralumin vastly multiplies the power of every other metal you're burning, which means that it is useless to Mistings (who only get to burn one metal) but deadly in the stomach of a Mistborn (who can burn all of them).
Tabletop RP Gs
- Mortasheen has the Garbage Monsters, the Mons version of this. They're basically what happens when you screw up making a monster, or what happens to some of the spare biomass when you're creating one of the more powerful monsters. They're nigh mindless and pointless creatures, although some of them can eventually become the immensely powerful Garbage Beasts
- In the first edition Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Realms of Sorcery had Erik' Sword of Confusion:
This was made for Erik the drunkard
, a notorious Norscan
mercenary. While in the cups he foolishly commissioned a wizard to make him a sword that could "cut through things like butter." The wizard was s good as his word
. Against normal targets, the sword has Damage -3, but it cuts through dairy products with the efficiency of a fine cheesewire. The wizard who made the sword was later found drowned in a vat of yoghurt.
- In the Paranoia adventure "WMD" surprises players at about its halfway point with bizarre additional skills (Expensive Soaps, Quality Theater). At first it seems to be just more Paranoia weirdness, but it actually foreshadows that the player characters have all been mindwiped. They are remembering skills from their previous lives as rich, successful citizens.
- In Homestuck, there are a few Kind Abstratii that seem like they're jokes, like spoonKind, bunnyKind, and umbrellaKind, but they've all been shown to be useful in-universe and no one actually mocks them as weapons. However, the line is apparently drawn at fancysantaKind, a weaponset made entirely out of porcelain Santa figurines. One of the characters wants to see if fancysantaKind can actually be used effectively, but he hasn't had any luck.
- More specifically, there's the SORD......., a Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff-themed weapon that is, appropriately, not only completely useless, but so shitty it's hard to even hold it.
- Equius' strife specibus used to be bowkind, until he turned out to be just too STRONG to handle a bow without breaking it in half, giving him the completely useless 1/2bowkind. So he just punches everything to death instead.
- Rose's strife specibus are needles. As in, knitting needles, that are about as useful as they sound. They can also reduce physical things to subatomic levels using pure Eldritch power granted to her by the dark gods that call to her in her sleep, though only later on in the story. Jane's also deserves a special mention, being kitchen cutlery.