Lots of the dramatic scenes in One Piece are incredibly over the top even for manga. Because the rest of the story is just as exaggerated and fantastic, and the characters and situations themselves are uniquely compelling, there's still a rather moving effect. All the snot, tears, and loud broken groaning are usually indicative of Narm (even the girls had them), yet here it makes the story more raw and emotional.
The Narm from Trigun's Vash and Knives is entirely appropriate for their childlike, naive personalities. Vash is an idealist who honestly believes that all the evil and suffering of the world can be conquered by love and peace, takes harm on himself to spare others, and wants nothing more than for people to stop hurting each other. Meanwhile, Knives can casually kill anybody that he pleases — including his brother whom he actually does love — but collapses in incredible fear and confusion when he himself is hurt. This arguably makes Knives' psychopathy that much more terrifying, hating pain but happily inflicting it on everybody he considers "beneath" him, as though they were mere insects undeveloped enough to experience pain themselves.
Many other scenes already described under Narm also tend to have the Narm Charm effect, such as Euphemia's smiling face and cute personality mannerisms even while ordering the deaths of Japanese people near the end of the first season.
Everyone makes fun of the infamous potato-chip scene in Death Note, or the somewhat "overexpressive" anime in itself. Still, it is a very popular and critically acclaimed show with a ton of fans.
This is especially evident in the final episode, in which the over-the-top fashion in which Light and Mikami break down runs a weird line between comical and horrifying.
The opening theme song of Black Lagoon is incredibly Engrish-ridden, barely even making sense... yet still sounds incredibly badass, and sets the tone for the show brilliantly.
The official English translation of the Mahou Sensei Negima! manga has some rough spots, but it's also responsible for several great lines from Negi, such as asking if he can have a cookie after getting wedged between Shizuna's boobs, and yelling "Damn my charisma!" upon getting mobbed by a group of high school girls who think he's the cutest thing ever.
Evangeline's: "They who have the most guns, kick butt" and "Are you on CRACK?" note Her reaction when Negi asks her if he can be her disciple.
In Pokémon: The First Movie, we hear the two Dewgong crying in their ridiculously comical voices. But the fact that they're crying over Ash being killed stops it from being funny. It also helps that the next shot is of the Vulpix crying which is a genuinely sad sound.
In the same film, a lot of Mewtwo's dialogue sounds comically overwrought and stereotypically villainous if you walk in after the start of the movie, which shows his seriously sad childhood and growing distrust of humans.
The way Goku strains when trying to power-up or endure a lot of damage inflicted upon him.
Any of Frieza's "Am I male or female?" quotes.
"Having these balls gives me something that resembles joy, I think. I want to caress them"
In his first form, Japanese Cell frequently makes a strange "Bwaaaah" sound. It's a silly sound, but Norio Wakamoto makes it sound chilling.
And that bizarre sound he makes when walking. It makes it seem like he has shock absorbers in his legs or something, but considering he's an engineered life form it fits.
The second episode of Darker than Black has a line where Mao comments that the protagonist's coat is "bulletproof, but only when he wears it." This is simultaneously inexplicable and really badass. This line was altered in the dub to be a statement that the coat is "not just a fashion statement".
And then there's the ever so memetic NOW I'VE LOST IT/I KNOW I CAN KILL mantra just before the OP kicks in. Ridiculous? Maybe, but you're probably too busy gleefully chanting along to care.
In the beginning of the second season, as Suou narrates about how the world has changed since the Gate appeared, a very futuristic flying car briefly appears on screen. Kind of narmy because of how much of a cliche flying cars are as a symbol of the future, but it kind of works because weird Magi Tech and Black Box technology is a big part of the setting. And the fact that flying cars are just cool.
The scene in season 2 where Ilya talks to/scares those tourists might qualify. It's really hard to tell if that moment was meant to be somewhat humorous or not. If it was meant as a serious moment, they failed, but it works well as Black Comedy.
In Gundam 00, during the original Lockon Stratos's death scene, the little robot Haro crying "Lockon! Lockon!" was a tad bit narmy. At the same time, though, it was rather effective. I mean, come on, even the robot was sad!
In the first episode of the second Yu-Gi-Oh! series, Yugi summoning Exodia is narm charm enough. Then watch the uncut video, especially past 3:00.
The dub dialogue is on fire, helped by Dan Green's delicacy...
Kaiba: "Draw your last pathetic card so I can end this game!"
Yami: "My deck has no pathetic cards, Kaiba. But it does contain... the unstoppable Exodia!"
Kaiba: "Exodia? Impossible! No-one's been able to summon him!" note Yeah, there wasn't a whole lot of search back then. Shut up.
Yami: "Exodia, OBLITERATE!"
Really, just the whole first series in general is this, not just the dub. Sure, people getting so dramatic about card games is hilarious, but you're often too busy crying or cheering to care.
Just Yu-Gi-Oh!, in general. Even before the card game was introduced, the whole thing was so spectacularly, unashamedly over-the-top that it was difficult not to love.
The dub of the sequel series Yu-Gi-Oh! GX generally consists of general old Narm. One exception is when a character steals Yugi's deck and begins imitating his voice. We get an voice actor who is usually a Large Ham imitate Dan Green. And it's awesome.
In the second sequel series Yu-Gi-Oh 5Ds, the English dub always has to remove stuff. Naturally, they edit out weapons, text, add horrible puns to what should be relatively serious dialogue, but the main reason the dub is decent is simply because the Narm is so goddamn concentrated that it must be intentional. In one scene where the main character Yusei is in a motorcycle accident, when his friends go to help him he visibly has shrapnel sticking out of his chest. But not in the dub, no.They edited it out, and added the cheesy "Augh, my gut!" line instead. They turned what was supposed to be internal bleeding into "Thanks, Pepto Bismol!"
Also, because of the habit of ignoring most FATAL things a lot of issues were changed. Even though, by the time of a certain episode beginning to explain the plot, the season finale has occurred in Japan. And only 2 people STAY dead. Rex and Rudger/Roman Go(o)dwin. So to protect the children, the plot got so warped that they got a new "Shadow Realm" in "The Underworld."
Sailor Moon has a good example of this. One episode had Nephrite's death, and the line that comes next has Narm written all over it: "I'm so sorry, Naru... I guess I won't be taking you out for a chocolate parfait." It Makes Sense in Context, but still sounds silly when taken by itself. No one cared because they were sniffling...
There is plenty of Narm Charm in the dub: After apparently escaping Zoicite and her mooks Molly mentions the local Cafe makes exquisite Cholote Parfaits and asks if Nephrite if they could go have one sometime,which he agrees to. Then she asks him if he has "Holidays in that Evil Society of His." The sheer silliness of the second question,already silly in Japanese, gets funnier with Molly's goofy Brooklyn Accent, Nephrite and Molly herself have a bit of a laugh about it. Instead of ruining the scene, it somehow manages to keep the drama and pathos of the Japanese version wonderfully.
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. From the FAAABULOUS character designs, to the outrageous abilities (fighting with a bladed hat, putting zippers everywhere, turning rocks into mud, stopping time), to the characters themselves... then there are the manly tears, such as when Polnareff cried when Abdul took a bullet for him, to when Joeseph saw his daughter's stand turning on her, et cetera. Yet, somehow, Jojo manages to work.
The next thing you're going to say is ____.
Muda da, MudaMudaMudaMudaMudaMudaMudaMuda! vs OraOraOraOraOraOraOraOraOra!
Road roller/Tank lorry da!
Detective Conan: Conan's use of broken English while telling his former idol, Ray Curtis that his circumstances do not justify turning to drugs and murder would otherwise be funny, but it, combined with the music and his facial expressions, effectively conveys how the poor guy feels, and Ray Curtis's response in perfect English makes it clear that the grammar mistakes are Conan's, rather than the writer's.
Zoids. The first series (Chaotic Century) in particular. The entire script is so laughably bad it's amazing that everyone keeps a straight face. (Van and Raven's exchange in episode 33 is a personal favorite example) But that's the reason it works. The whole universe speaks in narm and once you get used to it you realize that it's the language of the universe and it's a much more entertaining universe as a result.
Eureka Seven, episode 48. Anemone is on a suicide mission after having learned that Dominic has abandoned the military to stop the Big Bad's plan. Lines like "I want to live! I wish I didn't have feelings like this!" are tearfully screamed at full blast, with all the pretentious angst of a bad Goth band. note This makes sense, given how this character is a severely emotionally crippled and confused teenager. The viewers are just as likely to be crying themselves at this point. note If not, they're probably saving up the tears for the happy reunion of Dominic and Anemone a few minutes later.
The entire PREMISE is built on this. The series is built on giant surfboarding robots, tons and tons of blatant counter-culture references (including one of the most disastrous incidents in recent history being called the Summer of Love), and an incredibly sappy romance at the forefront (hell, the main mecha of the series is practically POWERED by love.)
During Itsuki's rooftop talk with Kyon, after Haruhi has fallen asleep beside Mikuru, he suggests to Kyon that he should "embrace Suzumiya-san from behind, and whisper 'I love you' in her ear." What the English audience hears is assorted Japanese, and then, "AI LAAV YU." What keeps it from falling into Narm is the heart-warming playfulness of the scene.
The Image Songs use a hefty pile of Grautitous English in their lyrics. Lost My Music has a chorus in English, while God Knows... appends English words to the ends of certain verses.
Christy Vee's translation of "Hare Hare Yukai" has her first line shouting (in the most high-pitched voice she can muster) "ALL RIGHT SOS BRIGADE, ASSEMBLE!" It's incredibly cheesy, but also incredibly hilarious and in-character for Haruhi.
When the ending of Umineko no Naku Koro ni's second arc was adapted to anime, quite a lot of people were collapsing in laughing fits over the "takomaria". However, there was a significant creepy factor to seeing her head rolling around like that, and in a series of over-the-top messed-up scenes like the banquet of the witch and Rosa's feast afterwards, to a certain extent, it actually fit pretty well.
OH DESIAH! In spite of the Narmy Engrish — or perhaps because of it—the song still manages to be epic.
In Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Satoko's breakdown in episode 10 involves her somehow throwing a guy twice her size all the way across the room, with the chair he's sitting on. The voice actor's delivery, combined with the music, is what makes the scene work.
Fullmetal Alchemist. Father's expressions are often over the top, but he's still the main source of Nightmare Fuel of all the series... especially when he looked pregnant of Hohenheim after having just absorbed him... but his One-Winged Angel form was absolutely terrifying.
Episode 167 of Naruto Shippuden. Full stop. It goes into full-on Looney Toons action at various points, including the "hammer person into ground without killing them" and "Road Runner legs" effects. Yet, it can also be absolutely awesome.
Itachi's epic freak out may be ridiculous in the manga though since it was an act, this may have been the point; it's also seemingly the terrifying instant when a normally emotionless, albeit already evil, character reveals his true nature as a complete and utter psychopath. In the anime, both Hideo Ishikawa and Crispin Freeman's respective performances are so utterly bone-chilling that the scene becomes much less ridiculous than it was in the manga.
The Intelligent Devices of the Lyrical Nanoha series have always spoken in rather questionably-translated English ("It can be done. As for my master.") Then The Movie came along and gave them proper English lines. Many English-speaking fans are not pleased with this, as they found the Devices' broken speech endearing.
Hellsing's hamminess and over-the-top violence should be ridiculous, but many fans love the series because of it.
Belldandy from Ah! My Goddess continues to call Keiichi "Mister Keiichi" even tough they have lived together for a pretty long time. And she is just an overly melodramatic sugarqueen in general. But you just can't hold it against her when it comes with that weapons-grade smile.
Many aspects of the show count as Narm Charm—the relationship between the two leads, the frequent use of Japanese Stock Phrases, the campy costumes and the theme of friendship being noticable examples. Tiger & Bunny 's particular flavor of Narm Charm is actually rather simililar to that of Code Geass—both shows contain seemingly ridiculous amounts of drama and camp, but manage to achieve some really touching moments regardless.
The Engrish opening and ending themes to the Berserk anime manage to be both hilarious on account of their mangled pronunciation and borderline-nonsensical lyrics (and a completely straight-faced use of the line "I can get it off!") and awesome on account of being damn good songs regardless.
The Manga Bible; as noted in World of Ham article, the characters are so dramatic, the anachronism so blatant (calling someone "punk" in 1500 BC, think about it), but it still manages to keep the Original Flavor from the source while maintaining it as entertaining reading (for everyone, averting the Confirmation Bias trope).
Demon King Daimao has Kena Soga, who, depending on the dub version, either has a certain charm to how her voiced is portrayed. Aki Toyosaki has a more wacky and cartoony route for her, while Melissa Davis makes her overly-dramatic and goofy.
The fight between Masako and Yuri in Episode 15 is so ridiculously over-the-top (it involves Yuri swinging ping-pong paddles to swat Masako's slingshot balls, for crying out loud!) that it warps back to ridiculously awesome.
The whole scene where Ringo remembers her parents eventually deciding to split up is reenacted via stuffed animals. It's ridiculous, but considering she was a young child at the time it actually works and conveys how traumatic it was for her. And by the same token, most of Ringo's Imagine Spots are so over the top ridiculous that you can't help but laugh, but they also managed to convey just how screwed up the girl is.
For an unexplained reason, Ulquiorra's release has him in a dress and waist-length hair. It stops being cute about 15 seconds later when the Arrancar nearly cuts Ichigo's head off with a pointed pole made of energy.
The English dub of Revolutionary Girl Utena is kinda dorky, and often sounds like a high school drama club performance (Nanami especially), but somehow it seems to work in the show's favor, adding to the general strangeness of the show.
Sankarea is all about a boy who revives a girl as a zombie and their ensuing relationship. It's full of Camp and over-the-top drama, sometimes verging into So Bad, It's Good territory. The later episodes involving the girl's parents (particularly her father) get especially ridiculous. But despise all the silliness, it still manages to be a genuinely funny and entertaining series.
Toriko, the Ou Shoku Bansan/Dinner of Kings. It's literally a giant Pac-Man Energy Ball that eats everything in its path, and it is AWESOME!
Golden-Age and Silver-Age Batman. One issue of the original Detective Comics focused around the tale of Batman Jones, a child named in honor of the Dark Knight who rescued his parents, who in turn became a giant fanboy and tried desperately to join Batman and Robin in their adventures. (The only reason he stopped is because he found another hobby- stamp collecting) Even the iconic Joker was presented as nothing more than a clown with campy crime schemes. The Bronze Age and especially The Dark Age of Comic Books moved away from this, but the Adam West-era Batman and Batman: The Brave and the Bold certainly have their followings.
The Walking Dead: The Title Drop ("WE ARE THE WALKING DEAD!") that comes after a speech about how the survivors (or at least Rick, giving the speech, displacing some guilt) are Not So Different from the zombies. Extremely anvilicious, but nonetheless dramatic and effective.
Dark Empire: "Aren't I the master of all the Jedi? Your father was my apprentice." "Formless, I exist as pure energy. I am the dark side." Palpatine is just a huge ham.
When Green Lantern tried to give a sympathetic backstory to Dex-Starr, by all rights it should have fallen flat on its face. Dex-Starr's inherent comedy (he's a homicidal kitty-cat) should not mesh well with a tragic origin. It's not even a terribly good origin, it's standard "came from abusive family" stuff. But is something just terribly heart-wrenching about it that manages to make it work. "I good kitty."
The origin story is Batman in cat form, except without the "heir to the vast Wayne fortune" part: Dexter was raised from a kitten by a woman who was later murdered when some thieves broke into her house. He leads an increasingly desperate life as a stray until he's eventually placed in a bag, tormented, and thrown into a river. It just so happens that this was exactly the time when the ring forces were actively recruiting during the Darkest Night arc, and since the force behind the Red Lanterns is rage... And yeah, it's as Narm-tastic as it sounds, but it really works. Dex-Starr good kitty.
Many "relevant" and "edgy" Bronze Age stories like the Green Lantern / Green Arrow team-ups featuring the evils of drugs, poverty, racism, etc, are hilariously over-the-top, Anvilicious, and two-dimensional, but the fact that the stuff was ground-breaking at the time, plus the writers' complete sincerity about the sentiments expressed in the stories, save them from most of the contempt usually afforded to such preachy PSAs.
With just one overwrought line and goofily gaping expression, the issue 23 cover◊ of EC Comics' Tales from the Crypt manages to tell the most awesomely concise horror story ever...
LOCKED! I'm locked in this MAUSOLEUM with... with this THING!
In Doctor Strange: The Oath, a critically-injured and unconscious Strange has been carried through the doors of a hospital by his manservant Wong. Though they have obviously come in through a pouring rain, his Cloak of Levitation is at full billow. In fact, it has hooked around the crash bar and is holding the door open.
Watchmen: The words "exploding psychic teleporting squid alien" should never appear in the plan of any villain who expects to be taken seriously, but seeing how masterfully said plan was carried out and the horrific aftermath turns it into pure Nightmare Fuel.
This trope is the reason Half-Life: Full Life Consequences is utter hilarity from start to finish despite (or perhaps because of) it being possibly the stupidest thing in existence. Five words: "BECAUSE YOU ARE HEADCRAB ZOMBIE."
My Immortal: "goffs", terrible characters, a bad grip on goth culture (or any culture), constantly arguing with the readers, waging war against spelling and grammar. It's a masterpiece of Bile Fascination.
"WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING YOU MOTHERFUKERS!" It was....................Dumbledore!"
Anonymous: "My Blowjob can't be this Psychological"
Film - Animated
The game of peek-a-boo famously played during the Grendel fight in the film of Beowulf (unless anyone out there can think of a logical reason for fighting an insane, man-eating giant whilst in the buff).
He wanted no advantage against the creature, he was as pure a warrior as he could be.
Toy Story 3's ending. Watching a college student play with a toy cowboy has never been so heartwarming.
Eric Idle's over-the-top Villain Song in The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue. It's the most idiotic thing one can do right after the supposedly dramatic twist that the villain is the hero's brother, but the song is so entertaining.
In Disney's take on Sleeping Beauty, Maleficent awesomely delivers the line "and now shall you deal with ME, oh prince, AND ALL THE POWERS OF HELL!"
Fievel and Tanya's rendition of "Somewhere Out There" in An American Tail has this, because they cast untrained children to voice the song. But despite how their voices crack at points, it adds a kind of genuine feel to the song that is missing in Linda Ronstadt's version (which turns it into a romantic ballad).
And the Joker's socks when he's sitting in his cell. Helps that both they and Heathy are Made of Win.
Batman's infamous "Bat-voice". In a lesser movie it would end up killing the drama of every scene Bat's talks in. However, The Dark Knight is so well staged that it's not uncommon at all to joke about Batman's voice and yet still highly praise the film.
Batman Returns: "The heat's gettin' to me... I'll murder you momentarily after a nice cup... of... water" The Penguin dies right then and there, but what really makes it work is the guard of penguins doing the burial and Danny Elfman's score.
Naturally the film of the Adam West series Batman: The Movie continues the campy glory it was known for.
Speaking of The Dark Knight Rises, there's Bane's voice to some people. His voice is full of Vocal Dissonance and is quite silly, but at the same time it can still roll into a horrifyingly unexpected variation that utilizes Narm to it's advantage: the Narm of it all makes you have to tell yourself that Bane is a Neutral EvilKnight Templar with a false politeness that can really catch you off guard if you don't look past the Narm.
A lot of the enjoyment found in Batman & Robin is from this and Freeze's puns.
A lot of moments from the Spider-Man Trilogy may qualify note (surprise surprise, they were directed by Mr. Evil Dead himself, Sam Raimi), such as the Green Goblin bombing the Parker residence and demanding Aunt May finish her prayer ("deliver us... deliver us... from evil!"), or when Peter embraces a normal life to the tune of "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head."
"We'll meet again, Spider-Man!!" Corny? Oh yes. But somehow incredibly appropriate for a Spider-Man movie.
Many a viewer waited reluctantly for the typically-cheesy scene of a dying family member (Uncle Ben, in this case) giving an inspirational speech to the protagonist before kicking it. But instead of a speech, all we got was "...Peter..." While still cheesy in its own right...damn.
In the wonderful shooting contest scene, Monco walks around Mortimer, glaring at him; Mortimer walks around Monco, glaring at him; Monco steps on Mortimer's shoe, getting it muddy; Mortimer does the same to him, et cetera — until Mortimer proves himself to be the better shot by perforating Monco's hat, but up until then it's hilarious. Two little boys hang a lampshade on it: "Just like the games we know!"
Another one from Mortimer, when he spots a wanted poster of his nemesis. And looks at it very hard.
Arguably, anytime their conflict turns physical is somewhat ridiculous. It makes sense in the context, though: Daniel doesn't want it to look cool, he wants to bitch-slap/kill the fucker!
In general, Arnold Schwarzeneggershould be extremely narmful all the time because of his incredibly thick Austrian accent, but people have got so used to hearing it it barely matters anymore. To quote Jack Slater in Last Action Hero, "Vot accent?"
Parts of the 1973 film version of Jesus Christ Superstar are rather corny today, yes, but the corny lines in no way detract from the rest of the movie.
In that exact same scene: The Witch-King's ridiculously large mace. Everyone from the prop designers to the actor who had to swing it all thought it was the largest, heaviest, most ridiculous part of the scene.
People who actually like the Prequels can feel this way about them (especially if you are from the younger generation and grew up on them). The Original Trilogy gets this too, for the same reason Star Trek: The Original Series does: the special effects can be so bad, but the story so good.
Those who saw the Original Trilogy when it first came out were amazed at how good the special effects were. There's a reason Industrial Light and Magic were the go-to guys for exceptional special effects for decades, and that simulation sequence during the rebel pilot briefing, while laughable by today's CGI standards, was done on a computer graphics system that was at the time cutting-edge State of the Art. The original trailer, on the other hand, was narm in its purest form.
The international dubs for the japanese movies are hilarious and charming in their own way. To a lesser extent, there's also the official english dubs produced for someofthemovies' original theatrical releases.
Galaxy Quest: "By Grabthar's hammer... by the suns of Warvan... you shall be avenged." Though in that case the original line was trying to be silly in an Affectionate Parody sort of way for Star Trek. The context the line is delivered in is genuinely badass and makes up for it. It helped that it was Alan Rickman saying the line.
It also didn't hurt that a visibly long-suffering Rickman had earlier delivered the variant "By Grabthar's hammer ... *sigh* ... what a savings" while doing a publicity appearance at the opening of some Big Box Mart.
Logic doesn't get in the way of the narm-charmtastic climactic scene of the 1966 Italian film Dio, Come Ti Amo! The heroine Gigliola, played by Eurovision Song Contest winner Gigliola Cinquetti, taps into the p.a. system of an airport in order to sing a love song to Luis, her boyfriend who is departing on a plane that is on the runway about to take off. Her song is broadcast not only through the airport, but, in a quirk of Italian electrical engineering, also into the headsets of the ground crew and the pilots of Luis' flight. Sure, in reality the pilot, the ground crew and the airport's p.a. would probably not all share the same system, but that's besides the point. Adding to the inexplicit absurdity of the scene is the fact that her love song is also audible to the passengers on the departing plane, one of whom is Luis who disembarks from the plane to return to Gigliola. Yet for all of the gaps in plausibility, your heart can't help but be moved when Gigliola and Luis kiss on the tarmac.
Titanic may have the typical movie cliches on the book, but it is so silly, yet so romantic!
Even with lines like "You must do me this honor, Rose. You must promise me to survive" - toward the end of the second half of the film audiences will be dreading Jack's inevitable demise.
Speaking of James Cameron, while certain scenes from Avatar may be narmy whenever Neytiri gets pissed off or cries (like when Jake revealed his secret to her, causing her to lose her trust in him), they are actually quite sad.
Gran Torino: The phrase "Get off my lawn!" may sound like a typical senior citizen phrase, but Eastwood being Eastwood, boy did he make it work.
Most of the werewolf scenes in the remake of The Wolfman (2010), starting with their decision not to change the werewolf appearance from the black and white original.
A lot of The Road Warrior is Narm but especially this scene with Wez, the Lord Humungeous' dragon has Narm Charm. After the Feral kid's razor boomerang kills his lover, Wez goes nuts "NO! WE GO IN! WE KILL! Humoungous puts him in a sleeper hold to subdue and says "Be still my dog of war! I understand your pain! But we do it my way! We do it MY WAY!" Wez: "Losers! Losers wait!" before becoming unconscious. It should be just funny but it's somehow funny AND awesome. Even when the audio was used years later in South Park episode, "Eat, Queef and Pray" when a woman demonstrates a "Road Warrior Queef"
The Hellboy films have quite a bit of this in small doses throughout, but they pull it off with deliberate bravado in the second film when Abe and Hellboy get drunk and sing the incredibly cheesy song, "Can't Smile Without You." Who hasn't gotten drunk with a friend and sung bad music to try and get through the blues?
George Bailey's friends and family spontaniously bursting out into Christmas carols at the end of It's a Wonderful Lifeshould be Narmy ... but really isn't. At all.
It might be more accurate to say that since Narm is what the movie is made of, this scene doesn't stand out as particularly Narmy in comparison until the kid pops off with the line about bells and angels, which is pure distilled essence of Narm.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show is entirely about the great enjoyment one can have at the late night double feature picture show, a classic way to see the best in B-Movies.
The B-movie Zombie Bloodbath is so cheap and cheesy, with an almost nonexistent plot, by every definition it should be terrible. But the fact that it was produced by hundreds of town locals who volunteered to do it for fun makes it incredibly heartwarming to watch as zombies crack up while running.
What keeps Zombie Bloodbath from being so bad is the fact that it was a community project in which practically the whole town volunteered to take part completely for free, because they all liked the director's silly movies so much. We ended up with zombies stumbling around with their little zombie children, people trying not to crack up while they're being eaten, and people doing kung fu roundhouse kicks to zombie nuns.
It: "Oh yes, Georgie! They float! And when you're down here with me... YOU'LL FLOAT TOOOOO!!!!!"
The King's Speech had this moment where Bertie is encouraged to talk about his childhood, and he tries to... but because of his stammer, he has to make himself sing parts of it. Hearing him suddenly sing something instead of speaking would almost be funny if he wasn't talking about how he was abused by a nanny, who would deprive him of food and hit him so he'd cry in front of his parents, and that his parents didn't notice what was going on for years.
The film Cast Away features a scene with the main character crying over his lost volleyball. By all means, it should not be heartbreaking, but somehow... it is.
Some of the actions in the fight scenes of Ip Man can easily be mistaken for slapstick. However, the choreography was so good that such scenes fit right into the fights.
General Zod in Superman The Movie and Superman II is made of this. He's a titanic ham with lots of dialogue that could have been very painful, but he tends to come of as genuinely deranged and dangerous rather than goofy considering on that Earth, he can cataclysmically make good on his threats with his bare hands, or simply by blowing. It also helps that he can bounce back and forth between Large Ham and dangerously understated almost at will, as his introductory scene shows.
Likewise, Superman's lines like "Don't thank me, Warden. We're all part of the same team!" for almost any actor would have come off as naive and trite, but Christopher Reeve had the consummate acting skill and sincerity to make it feel charming.
According to the people who cast the film, the role of Buttercup in The Princess Bride was given to the only actress they found who could deliver the line "You mock my pain".
Al Pacino's first scene with Johnny Depp in Donnie Brasco was noted on the Director's Commmentary as one that could have been pathetic, but worked due to Pacino's skill. Lefty's line, "In all the five boroughs, I'm known. I'm known all over the fuckin' world. Anybody asks anybody about Lefty from Mulberry Street..."
The only actor in history who could deliver the line "If it had to happen to one of us, why did it have to be you?" in An Affair to Remember was Cary Grant. Combine this with the explosive chemistry between Grant and co-star Deborah Kerr, and what could have gone down as one of the sappiest, glurgiest movies ever produced is instead one of Hollywood's most epic love stories.
The SyfyB-MovieMeteor Apocalypse has just what you'd expect of a B Movie — low budget, bad script. But for film shot in only 12 days, the acting (even through the badly-written dialogue) is actually pretty good.
The final scene of Dead Poets Society is almost universally considered to be a very powerful and moving ending to the film. But think of how it would sound written down on a script and what one would think it would end up like...
Young Neil in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World was cast because he could deliver "He punched the highlights out of her hair!" with the perfect mix of rage, disbelief and conviction. He went on to ad-lib several hilarious moments throughout the film.
The Neverending Story: When Artax starts sinking into the Swamps of Sadness, Atreyu's reaction is shameless and over the top... but damn if that isn't the key to making that scene work without viewers wondering what the horse has to be depressed over.
It's a little less Narmy when you realize the actor got caught in the elevator that was lowering the horse and nearly drowned. When they brought him back up he was already unconscious, had to be rushed to a hospital, and took two days to recover.
Also, Bastian's over the top reactions to what he's reading.
Let's face it: Both the Harry Potter books and films can be quite narmilicious... but the thing is, the quality of it is just so good, it can easily be forgiven. One particular example is the ending of the fifth film when Harry gives his Reason You Suck Speech to Voldemort; which boils down to "I have The Power of Friendship. You don't. I pity you (though I still want you to die)". This, coupled with the shots of Voldemort's kind of goofy poses in the visions Harry sees during the film, could be extremely Narmy... but it's not. The reason being that when you've spent all this time reading the books and/or watching the films, you really do understand what Harry is saying no matter how corny it might be. This is doubly true for the movie, which also shows clips from all the previous ones before it, most of those clips being of other Narm Charm moments from the series.
Starcrashis Narm Charm. The endearingly bad acting (thanks in no small part to Joe Spinell as the villain Zarth Arn), the obvious fake ships, the ridiculous clothes, and the never-ending sound effects make it tons of fun to watch from start to finish.
Eight Legged Freaks lives off this with corny characters and cornier monsters (Seriously, the spiders make grunts and squeaks and throw in a 'wee' at times) but it's all extremely good fun.
The Wizard of Oz. The backgrounds are obviously painted backdrops, everyone's in rather silly costumes, and the villain is defeated by pure Deus ex Machina but for some reason none of that matters because the acting has such pathos and a lot of people grew up watching it. It's to the point where no film studio has the guts to do a remake (though other Oz movies have been made), for fear of a I Liked It Better When It Sucked reaction.
Just the names make this film overblown. When telling a story where STACKER PENTECOST tells his men to assemble at THE SHATTERDOME to power up GIPSY DANGER so it can battle KNIFEHEAD, one can either mock that to death or take it completely seriously. Pacific Rim takes the latter approach, and thus is all the better for it.
The Basil Rathbone-Nigel Bruce Sherlock Holmes films have a bit of this. Some of the plots are a bit ridiculous, and Bruce's comedic portrayal of Doctor Watson can cross the line into buffoonery at times. (Memetically so.) Yet they're still classics of Holmes on film with memorable performances from the lead actors and genuine suspense.
Frank Peretti, a Christian horror writer, is very adept at the use of Narm Charm. Apparently, he realizes that his plots are extremely outlandish, and in order to avoid Narm he cranks up the absurdity of his situations Up to Eleven and lets you know it's okay to laugh through witty prose, thereby leading to situations — such as a town erupting into terrifying/hilarious chaos around a false Messiah — that are bizarre, hilarious, and somehow, really, really terrifying. Unfortunately, this does not translate well intothe film versions of his work.
In the Czech movie, Koyla, part of the plot involves Koyla's grandmother dying, Louka tells him that she is only sleeping as the boy is only five years old at the time. Later in the movie, there is the scene where Kolya is in the bath, uses the shower head like a telephone and tries to speak with his grandmother. It seems a bit ridiculous, but is genuinely sad because of how very upset he.
Discussed with an internal example in Star Trek: Klingon Empire. The old animated show "Battlecruiser Vengeance" is this for many Klingons (and it's a nice wink to actual fans of Original SeriesStar Trek too). One particular episode presents the Klingon hero repelling a Federation boarding party. The episode was produced during the height of tensions between the empire and the Federation, and the party consists of ridiculous, inaccurate computer-generated images of Federation member races. Specifically, the Andorian is more green than blue and has overlong antennae, the Vulcan's ears are too pointed, the Tellarite looks more like an actual boar, the Betazoid has fully blacked-out eyes instead of simple dark irises, the Human has eyes too large and a mouth too small, the Trill has spots covering her entire body, and the Denobulan has misplaced ridges. In the minds of many "modern" fans, the inaccuracy just adds to the joy of it.
Harry Potter: This trope can definitely apply to the ending of the 7th book; after all the crap that The Trio has been through, you can't help but feel happy that everything turned out okay (for the most part) in the end... unless you're a fanatic Shipper and the ending defied your OTP; in that case, the ending of the series was your worst nightmare come true.
And the ever-famous, ever-badass, "NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!" courtesy of Molly Weasley.
Harry has a speech in the first book where he asks Ron and Hermione if Voldemort will leave their families alone if Gryffindor wins the House Cup, which is mostly irrelevant to the rest of what he was saying and somewhat sticks out from the rest of the serious speech.
1984. This conversation was used in the climax of the story. At first it seems to be a trivial discussion about counting fingers, but it's actually about a man being tortured into changing his perspective in order to see things that aren't there. Some might say it's worse than Room 101 itself.
O'Brien: "How many fingers am I holding up, Winston?'"
Winston: "Four! Five! Four! Anything you like."
Room 101 itself works as an example. We've seen how lesser works have made the "your worst nightmare come to life" less scary than it should. Indeed, at first glance, the idea that, after months of the most devious psychological and physical torture known to man, the thing that breaks Winston is "give up your love, or get your face eaten by rats", still kinda sounds like something out of a Saw movie. But when you read it... it works, dammit.
From Lord of the Flies, the line "Roger sharpened a stick at both ends" should, by all rights, be laughable (what, is he going to trip and fall on it or something?) In context, however, it's the sign of the boys' complete degeneration into unbridled savagery.
Live Action TV
This is the reason why Sesame Street continues to be so popular today, even among adults. Seeing humans act alongside puppets and treating them as if they're real sounds like it'd be hard to take seriously, but the puppets have so much personality and the humans go along with them so believably that you're inclined to believe it with them too. The skits are also preschool level simple so children can understand them, but it's oddly charming to watch Patrick Stewartwondering "B? Or not a B?" or Liam Neesonemotionally counting to 20.
Ugly Betty is more or less one long deliberate attempt at creating this.
Glee is the same, so very much. Brittany seems to be the queen of this. Giving a friend, whose father suffered a heart attack, a report on heart attacks to show sympathy, nosing a meatball around (in heartbreak) like in Lady and the Tramp, being a high school student who still believes in Santa Claus. Only Heather Morris can make this work out.
Finn singing "I'll Stand By You" to a sonogram. For anyone else this would be the narmiest moment in television; but because it's Finn, big, stupid and oh-so-sweet Finn, it's a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming
Blaine's confession of love to Kurt could count, as the dialogue is like something from a chick flick, but the way he says it is so heartfelt that you can't help but Squee as he says it. Even the people who don't like Blaine admit that they're glad something was finally going right for Kurt.
Series/Community took this to a level that is safe to call it "Narm Charm, the series". It turned paintball, pillowfight, blanket fort and puppet-therapy into serious business and/or heartwarming moments. One of its best episodes is about a pen some character has lost in a room.
Doctor Who is the inverse of Special Effect Failure, as noted on that very page. The cheesy effects are so loved, that the new seasons deliberately keep the effects from being too polished to retain that feel. The new series seems to thrive on Narm Charm in all its forms.
Not to mention the Daleks' famous "EXTERMINATE!" line is clearly Chewing the Scenery, except they usually come across as unstoppable, merciless genocidal maniacs (so much that a Cambridge University academic wrote a paperabout the Daleks' Narm Charm.). So that line gives more chills than snickers.
The Daleks' "Exterminate" is a bit Narm Charm in itself, especially in its more modern incarnations. Case in point: The Daleks transmit a single word message of their famous catchphrase across the whole earth during The Stolen Earth and pretty much every one of the Doctor's earthbound former companions just about needs to change their pants upon hearing it and realising who it is. Including Sarah Jane Smith and a man who can't die.
To be fair, Jack's not scared for himself, he's scared for Ianto and Gwen.
And, from "The Stolen Earth", "DALEKS DO NOT ACCEPT APOLOGIES!"
The Dalek's appearance: they look like a bumpy salt shaker with a plunger for a hand and a ray gun shaped like an egg beater. By all rights, this should make them hilarious. Instead, it enforces how utterly inhuman they are, adding to their scare factor.
In "The End of Time", we have The Master Race. Fun to watch? Yes. Hilarious? Oh hell yes! Terrifying and dramatic? Errr...
The parts where he was eating or flying were especially good.
The horrible fates of The Family of Blood. Trapped in the edge of every mirror for eternity? That's so stupid it's cool.
In his first serial, "Terror of the Autons", The Master causes someone to be smothered to death by a chair. Smothered to death by a chair. And it is awesome.
And then, he makes guys in ridiculous bobblehead costumes handing out daffodils terrifying.
The pointless chase scene which takes up pretty much the entirety of episode two of "Planet of the Spiders", where Jon Pertwee and John Dearth pretty much drive or fly every combustion-engine-powered vehicle known to man with the exception of locomotives and jet fighters, and which ends with the villain vanishing anyway at the end of it, is still awesome in its own right. Of course it helps that Barry Letts wrote the sequence as a going-away gift for Pertwee, who had a deep interest in motor vehicles of all kinds and relished scenes where he could get behind the wheel.
The production staff can be forgiven the hideous monsters from "The Three Doctors", and Omega's scenery-chewing, as the interplay between Jon Pertwee, Patrick Troughton, William Hartnell and Nicholas Courtney make up superbly for it.
Blake's 7 was even worse. They were getting by on Doctor Who's leftover props and set pieces (sometimes after the duct tape peeled off), the acting veered wildly between awesome and awesomely stupid, the fight scenes had all the coordiation and grace of roadside sobriety tests, and Snark-to-Snark Combat was the order of the day. The show's two finest characters (Avon and Servalan) were completely unrepentant LargeHams. Add the fact that it was much Darker and Edgier than any TV sci-fi until 2005, and it was glorious.
When Saban ran out of footage of Bandora from Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger to use for Rita Repulsa, they made their own. Despite Rita now being played by an American actress, she was still given a Hong Kong Dub because it had become an iconic part of the character. This also holds true in the higher-budget movie.
For that matter, nearly all Tokusatsu (with a couple of exceptions such as GARO and Shin Kamen Rider) is unbelievably silly and weird, with all sorts of unrealistic tropes that are used completely shamelessly, and episodes that follow a strict formula. The People in Rubber Suits especially are a relic from another time, and frequently expose their flaws: the Fangire from Kamen Rider Kiva come to mind as something that should be ridiculous, and would be treated as such in any non-Japanese property, but somehow stuntmen in sophisticated Halloween costumes and voice actors make for compelling, amusing, cool, scary, dangerous, real characters. Stuff like that is why people like tokusatsu in the first place.
Tommy's Evil Laugh as the Green Ranger could count as well.
Walker, Texas Ranger. The plots are ridiculous and the solutions are generally roundhouse kicks combined with moralizing speeches, but it's still great fun to watch.
The Brady Bunch more or less in its entirety with some stand-outs: the "mom always said not to play ball in the house" episode, the Johnny Bravo episode, the "Time to Change" episode, the Hawaii special with Don Ho and Bobby having a nightmare about robbing his own family in the Wild West.
On Charmed, the ridiculous costumes that most supernatural beings (and frequently the sisters themselves) end up in were considered a part of the show's charm to many fans, and occasionally lampshaded.
Phoebe: (having just been turned into a genie with flowing blonde hair) Why do I always end up in the blonde wig?!
Star Trek: The Original Series embodies this. A stuntman crouching under a pizza has never been a more sympathetic character. And when there is appropriate contrast, even a wildly overacted scene becomes downright touching. Then there's the ridiculously over-the-top and bombastic music. Only this show could take this piece and make it the most iconic fight music in television history. Ultimately, this is the reason that even the legendarily bad episodes (like, say, "Spock's Brain") are So Bad, It's Good instead of completely unredeemable. TOS episodes that were heavy on the Narm were always entertaining. Compare actual bad episodes that are dull and full of padding, like "The Alternative Factor". People will go for "Brain and brain, what is brain?!" every time.
Star Trek: The Next Generation occasionally runs on pure cheesiness. It's the series outright honesty and belief in itself, and its writers' (and actors') refusal to shy away from uncomfortable subjects, which means it gets away with a lot of it (when you have characters living in a future when humans are, supposedly, a much more reasonable, understanding bunch, and got there the hard way via a couple of near apocalypses and a lot of personal growth, then an audience can't help but appreciate their passion and dedication to their ideals. Even if they are pointing about dramatically and occasionally doing flying leaps).
On the cheerier side we have "Captain's Holiday", a bizarre Indiana Jones-type adventure with a Ferengi in a Hawaian shirt, two time-travellers and lots of flirting. Dear gods, the flirting. A ridiculous plot with enough cheese to make a pizza the size of a planet, saved and made golden by the fact that Captain Picard (and probably Patrick Stewart) is clearly having the time of his life.
In the fourth season, there's a scene where Cordelia, posessed by Jasmine, is sending telepathic messages to Angelus, using an incredibly cheesy "evil overlord" voice. Somehow, the way the scene plays out makes the voice only add to the creepiness.
Then there's the memorable scene from season 3's "Loyalty" where Wesley seeks out information from the Loa, an ancient, godlike spirit of knowledge with glowing red eyes and a booming voice. The Loa berates Wesley, confirms his worst fears, and delivers an incredibly ominous warning of doom to come. Oh, and the form that the Loa takes happens to be a giant, talking, hamburger-shaped drive-in speaker. Somehow, the conversation with the giant, shouting hamburger is hilarious while still being the dramatic peak of the arc.
Most speeches in Babylon 5 the series are full of Narm. On the other hand, Mira Furlan and Andreas Katsulas were such great actors, any speech delivered by Delenn or G'Kar still managed to be utterly compelling. Bruce Boxleitner, on the other hand, got away with being a Large Ham by virtue of the fact that John Sheridan was also a Large Ham.
Somewhere there is a video where the creators of LOST admit to giving the character Ben Linus narmy lines because they feel that Michael Emerson can make them sound awesome. Also, from the season 6 premiere: The line: "I'm very disappointed... in all of you!" shouted by none other than Faux-Locke/The Monster after he beats the crap out of Richard while everyone watches. It's just so bizarre and creepy that the sheer silliness of the line can be ignored.
The House episode "5 to 9" focuses on Cuddy's position as Dean of Medicine. She suffers a stressful day of fighting with medical insurers, a sociopathic medical technician, and House's antics (and getting called a "bitch" by every character possible). When the medical insurers cave and agree to her "outrageous" medical costs, she has a Big Yeah complete with the camera pulling back to show everyone in the lobby react. The rest of the episode features a montage of an abundance of good things happening to Cuddy — it comes off like a commercial for Prozac. But the events of the episode were so stressful on Cuddy, you don't mind how corny things get at the end after she fought hard for her victories.
Little House on the Prairie features a great deal of people caught in unbridled moments of passion. On one hand, an actress expressing such outright rage at injustice that they cry while yelling for the camera can be cheesy; on the other hand, that does take a good deal of talent, and perhaps just a spark of genuine conviction.
MST 3 K employed this with several scenes that make fun of shmaltz and over-the-top acting. See if you can listen to "Clown In The Sky" (6:10) without getting a tear in your eye.
The A-Team could go back and forth between this trope and straight-up Narm, all within the same episode. And it's entertaining.
The characters on Gossip Girl are prone to dream sequences which easily fall under this category, as the actors seem to be in competition over who can ham it up the most. Current trophy holder is probably Ed Westwick after his performance in Chuck's season three nightmare.
iCarly generally plays it's hammy moments 'straight'. Occasionally, they do a parody and fall from the usual webshow Narm into Narm Charm. An example is Carly's delivery of a Big "NO!" from iBeat the Heat and, and the teen movie parody Kelly Cooper: Terrible Movie is so over-the-top it's hilarious.
Smallville: at least a good 30% of everything entertaining.
In the second season, during the death scene of Marian. On the one hand, the build-up involves a confusing and contrived sequence of events, and the death scene itself is drawn out to an utterly ridiculous extent in which Marian has a sword in her stomach and yet is able to carry on a completely coherent conversation for several minutes; on the other hand, Maid freaking Marian is dying and the Emotional Torque is Over Nine Thousand and no one can believe it's really happening and it's the most horrible, devastating thing that's ever happened on any Robin Hood retelling ever.
Robin: "We have forever, my love." Marian: "I hope we have forever in heaven, because we didn't get enough time on earth."
Topped only by their Together in Death scene at the very end of the series, which echoes their parting words:
Robin: My wife... Marian: Now and forever, my love.
The creators of The Weird Al Show note in the commentaries that Brian Haley as The Hooded Avenger had the unenviable task of delivering the majority of the show's Anvilicious morals. But his Adam West style utter conviction to the part makes it work.
Watch Leonard Nimoy's In Search Of. The narration on the wild theories of all kinds of mysteries, complete with Leonard Nimoy rocking a 70's 'stache, makes this show ridiculously wonderful to watch.
'Allo 'Allo! is just so hammy and cheesy you can't fall in love with it. It really tells you something that the show was popular throughout Europe despite the fact that it made fun of all of them, but it did it in such a way it was impossible to take offense at it.
While "Faith of the Heart", the theme song for Star Trek: Enterprise, is often berated for being a pop song in a franchise whose themes have usually been orchestrated- plus the very schmaltzy and somewhat overwrought lyrics-, the song is an excellent articulation of the themes and messages that lie at the heart of the entire Star Trek franchise.
When people talk of Christmas variety specials, there's only one more likely to be brought up than The Star Wars Holiday Special — in fact, it's inevitably brought up. That special is Bing Crosby's Merrie Olde Christmas (1977), solely because of the segment in which the "White Christmas" crooner and David Bowie trade contrived banter and sing the duet "Peace on Earth"/"Little Drummer Boy". There were a lot of crazy team-ups in the Variety Show genre as a whole in its prime, but none were quite this crazy...or became so sincerely beloved, because it is a warm, well-performed song. Even in The New Tens, it's a popular radio request when the season rolls around.
Sleepy Hollow is wall-to-wall narm charm. The majority of critics like it not despite, but because of the fact that it's stupid, silly and completely insane, cramming a season's worth of nonsensical plot twists and supernatural crap into 40 minutes each week.
Perhaps the only reason people listen to The Automatic is for their hilarious hyperactive shrieking keyboardist Alex Pennie. Without him, this song would just be another substandard "Gold Digger" cover, but thanks to Pennie, it becomes grade-A Narm. In fact, when Alex Pennie left the band before the band started recording their second album, the band almost immediately became another generic alternative band and was quickly forgotten. Aside from their first single without him, "Steve McQueen", the band has yet to have another song reach the Top 40 in the UK
Megadeth. Dave Mustaine's lyrics can be really cheesy and silly ("Peace Sells" and "So Far, So Good", for example, or his Breakup Songs), and his nasal, Donald Duck vocals, but their music is so face-meltingly awesome and Epic Riff-laden (and epic solos!) it makes one think if they're using it to compensate for the words and vocals... People who criticise Mustaine's vocals tend to be the ones who say Megadeth's recent albums are the best of their career. There's a simple reason for this. His vocals on these albums are quite annoying, he probably provided his best vocals on Countdown To Extinction, Youthanasia and Cryptic Writings. Many Megadeth fans like his vocals as they aren't over the top or too aggressive, unlike many other metal singers.
And "Neapolitan songs" (canzone napoletana), most of them composed pop tunes which have become indigenous, similar to the songs of Irving Berlin or George M. Cohan. Italian singers can deliver "O Sole Mio" (My Sunshine), "Funiculì, Funiculà" and "Santa Lucia" with passionate sincerity.
The storyline behind My Chemical Romance's Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys as well as the music videos based on it seem to be intentionally going for this. And succeeding. Oh yes.
King Diamond's "Welcome Home" when the lyrics are considered. It being King Diamond, he's either snarling or screaming his balls off, and then there's lines like "We're going to repaint the front door soon".
All of his Robot Master remixes are about confessing love — More or less subtly — towards Mega Man.
Heat Man's recent theme tops Bubble Man's in this. In it, Heat Man (very passionately) describes what it's like to spend a night making love with him. It has even more Gratuitous English as well.
"Infection" by J Rock band D'espairsRay. This song should have been horrible: The imagery was cliched, the grammar was bad, some of the lyrics made no sense and the rest were drenched in Engrish — but somehow, it still worked and could be considered a tearjerker.
"Death Point", which is made of Engrish (and Hizumi repeating over and over, "death point, death point, death point!"), yet still so catchy...
Radiohead: Thom Yorke's singing style is one of both the easiest and toughest things to make fun of at the same time. Especially after listening to "Idioteque".
The live performances of "Idioteque" take it up to eleven — Yorke gets so involved in the music that half the time he's screaming the lyrics rather than singing them, but the song itself is just inherentlycool enough that it doesn't really matter.
Dream Theater's "The Count of Tuscany" has some of the most ridiculous lyrics that the band has ever written, yet it's one of the most popular songs from Black Clouds and Silver Linings, probably because of the cheesiness. (Or because the rest of the lyrics on that album are even worse. Or because the music on that song is just that good.)
German band Welle: Erdball thrives on this, but they seem to invoke it intentionally. I mean, a recurring figure in their songs is called ''Commander Laserbeam''. The strange accent doesn't help much.
William Shatner's duet with Joe Jackson on a cover of Pulp's "Common People". It's So Bad, It's Good taken Up to Eleven. Watch it here. Possibly the best thing about it is the way it seems that Shatner's distracted "singing" style can't handle the more emotive parts of the song, so Joe Jackson has to cover for him.
Heavy Metal fans can simultaneously celebrate Dio's "Holy Diver" as a great old-school Metal standard, while realizing that the lyrics make no sense and the music video is ridiculous in a So Bad, It's Good way.
Heino. Anything by Heino, especially if it refers to "letzten Abendrot," cowboys, or involves clapping. Heino is probably the king of this trope.
The Muse single "Uprising" is, by itself, a really catchy Queen-style revolutionary anthem. That is, until you notice that the music video, the CD and the vinyl single artwork all seperately portray teddy bears rising up from a field in revolt. It might've been meant to symbolize the seemingly harmless and ubiquitous masses suddenly proving that they're not so harmless, but the image should still be pure narm. Except that listening to the song and hearing the lyrics as a call for downtrodden teddy bears to rise up in righteous rebellion against their human oppressors just adds a whole new, BLAMmy charm to it.
From the same album, "Guiding Light". It's a full-on '80s Power Ballad, complete with seemingly endless drum reverb (which fits nicely with the jet engine segue at the beginning); a Queen-inspired guitar solo is the icing on the cake. For a band that's often accused of taking itself too seriously these days, it's a refreshingly clear-cut "just enjoy this" moment on the album.
And while we're at it, "Knights of Cydonia" needs a mention, doubly so when you consider the music video. It combines an overt political Take That with overly sincere "fight for your right" chants, Wild West imagery, kung fu, unicorns, laser beams, and a heavy dose of Epic Rocking; and the end result is somehow legitimately chilling.
Sarah Brightman. Dear god, she could sing the telephone book and make it sound profound. For example, we have "Fleurs de Mal" (Flowers of Evil), "A Question of Honor" and "How Can Heaven Love Me?" And the lyrics are even goofier than the titles...
Michael Crawford was the original lead in the musical The Phantom of the Opera; Brightman was the original Christine, and he may be her male counterpart in terms of Narm Charm between that and his subsequent albums. His Large Ham delivery is effectively what every comic spoofing the delivery of stage musical actors post-1986 is making fun of, and he's often used it in the service of overblown ballads — he's done whole albums devoted to Andrew Lloyd Webber, Disney, andChristmas Songs — but he does it with an amazing tenderness and sincerity that cuts through the clutter.
Everything by Journey. JUST A SMALL TOWN GIIIIIRRL, LIVIN' IN A LONELY WOOOOOORLD... SHE TOOK THE MIDNIGHT TRAIN GOIN' ANYYYYWHEEEEERRRREEEE...
"In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida," by Iron Butterfly, is completely ridiculous. Yet awesome. Yet ridiculous. Oddly enough, the rest of its parent album, also titled In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, could also qualify. What else would you expect from an album that has a song called "Flowers And Beads"?
The two actual songs on famous stuntman Evel Knievel's record Evel Speaks To The Kids (the rest of the record consists of one press conference and one question and answer session with children). "Why?" is a poem written and recited by Knievel himself over music: The rhymes are often cliched or painful ("Success is a term that has broad use, for you and I to have none in life there's no excuse"), but the sincerity in his voice and schmaltzy backing music somehow do still make it oddly affecting. Meanwhile there's the country song "The Ballad Of Evel Knievel" by John Culliton Mahoney (which is on the record despite having nothing to do with Knievel beyond it being about him): the arrangement is just as melodramatic, the vocals waver all over the place, and the lyrics are oddly preoccupied with the idea that Knievel could die while attempting his stunts, but it's still kind of a tearjerker.
"Tell Laura I Love Her" is another example, because there's no other way a Teenage Death Song could possibly be a straight-up hit with that inexplicably cheery bass line: "[Bum bum bum bum] Tell Laura I love her [bum bum bum bum] tell Laura I need her [bum bum bum bum]".
Peter Cetera's "jaw singing", specially in the video for "Glory of Love". It makes what would've been just yet another of these Silly Love Songs if performed by anybody else but him, into condensed narm charm.
The band Big Daddy is another example. Their shtick is that they were on a USO tour when their plane crashed on a desert island, and when they were finally rescued in the late 70s they tried to cover currently-popular songs but only knew the late 50s/early 60s styles. Imagine Superfreak as a slow love ballad, or Help Me Make It Through The Night to the tune of Yackity Sax (or, for that matter, Welcome to the Jungle with the background singers going "a-weem-a-wop-a-weem-a-way"). That's Big Daddy. Their cover of Dancin' in the Dark (to "Moody River") is arguably superior to Springsteen's original.
"Mana" by Equilibrium (Part 1Part 2). Most of their music is pretty straight folk metal, but this is a sixteen minute instrumental rock epic, complete with choirs, flute solos and a retro video game sound-effect breakdown. It sounds like something from a mid-90s JRPG, and revels so gleefully in it's own ridiculous grandeur that you can't help but love it. Found in two parts here and here.
Two-Ton Paperweight is awesome precisely because it takes a subject like a crappy car and makes it worthy of suicide, murder, and obscene amounts of violence, all to a rockin' tune. It helps that anyone who's ever had a shitty car can relate. "My. Car. Is a PIECE OF SHIT!"
"When the centipede is hot, you're bound to feel the fire."
Ultravox's "Dancing with Tears in My Eyes" is listed under Narm, but it and the rest of the band's output while Midge Ure was their leader (which could also be considered narm-y) still have fans with people who are in love with that overarching, melodramatic European synthpop element to this band's music. It does also put that era of the band's existence at odds with the John Foxx era, which was more detached and punk-oriented, but one can still hear elements of the older Ultravox in 1980's Vienna and it's not uncommon for one to be a fan of both the Foxx and Ure eras of Ultravox.
Kanye West spent the better part of a year alienating fans and non-fans alike with his Jerkass behaviour. We all agreed that Kanye's first step should be to apologize for the Taylor Swift incident and then get back to rapping. He's gone back to rapping, but we were fools to think he would apologize. And when he can spout lines like "Screams from the haters, got a nice ring to it/I guess every superhero need his theme music" and "I don't need yo pussy, bitch, I'm on my own dick" with that much sincerity, well... more power to him.
Lady Gaga. It's what she does and will continue to do. Marry The Night makes this certain.
The Queen song "Somebody to Love." It's a good song, despite — or perhaps because of — the fact that the other three guys sound like the background singers from the older Disney cartoons.
From a certain point of view, Death's logo, particularly in its original, more elaborate version, looks a lot like something that would be on a homemade Halloween party invitation. Load up enough "evil" iconography into five letters and it starts becoming oddly adorable.
Van Canto. Their recreations of classic metal songs with nothing but a drummer and lots of vocal effects are both awe-inspiring and a bit silly. Singing the song titles as lyrics definitely tops the silliness: "bataree, baa — taree, bataree baa — taree..."
I looked at you, you looked at me, I knew it then, but you couldn't see it, And now you've come around. I walk away, you stay behind, But I've got the memories to remind me, Of how you used to... Hold me so tight, be by my side, And make it alright...
"Celtic Rock" by Donovan. On paper, it borders on self-parody, as the guy tries to do hard rock in the style of a stereotypical Celtic tune. Nonetheless, you can't stop bobbing your head whenever it plays. Summed up best in another tune of his, "Roots Of Oak":
Let me not hear facts, figures and logic, Fain would I hear lore, legend and magic!
"Let's Get Rocked" by Def Leppard. Using "rock" as a radio-friendly substitute for "fuck" makes the song hilarious fun, resulting in lines like "LET'S GET THE ROCK OUT OF HERE!" Same goes for the gratuitous strings when the singer discovers that his girlfriend only likes classical music.
Army Of Lovers (a Swedish dance group) made a brief career out of this. They were deliberately so over the top, baroque, hypersexual, kitsch and camp that it was something amazing to behold. Which was exactly what they wanted.
The band have said that the record company pushed them into angsty music to capitalise on the popularity of nu-metal, and that they were always more about the programming side of things. This is evident from their later albums where they regained artistic control, albeit not always as exciting.
"Ice Ice Baby" is known for having some slightly goofy lyrics and an especially goofy music video, but it managed to become a big hit.
"Bring Me To Life" by Evanescence, the sound of overblown histrionic angst from the band that inspired the worst fanfic ever. But it's done with such bombastic, agonised gusto you have to love it. Go for broke, emo girl!
Arthur Brown's peak period (1967 to 1973), with "Fire", where he dances around clad in face paint and donning a flaming helmet, his most triumphant example.
"People Who Died" by Jim Carroll would probably not be even half as memorable if it weren't for Carroll's over-the-top performance and such lyrical gems as "But Tony couldn't fly! Tony died!"
Love's album Forever Changes. Between the easy listening-style arrangements (heavy on the strings and Tijuana Brass-like horns) from a band that had been one of LA's hard rock pioneers, Arthur Lee's twee vocal stylings and his out-there lyrics (like opening a song with the line "Oh, the snot has caked against my pants"), the album simply should not work at all, and a lot of people have been underwhelmed by it. But it managed to capture the darker side of The Summer of Love and The California Dream better than any other album of its era, while its odd sound gave it a timeless feel that managed to appeal to future generations.
The more dramatic works of Tim Minchin tend to do this on purpose - the metaphors and lyrics he uses tend to be so bad that they swing around into brilliant. You Grew On Me, in particular, would be a hilariously bad love song comparing the narrator's love with a tumor, if he didn't sing it with absolute conviction.
MacArthur Park is infamous for some truly Narmy lyrics, but Richard Harris sings it so well and so beautifully accompanied that it more than crosses the line into this trope.
"Killer" by Van Der Graaf Generator. You'd think a song where Peter Hammill expresses sympathy towards a shark while singing in an over the top manner would garner nothing but ridicule. And yet, it happens to be one of the band's most beloved tunes.
How To Touch A Girl by Jojo is delightful cheesy in it's honest literalness.
Believe Again by Delta Goodrem falls into this to the fans who love the song.
Here's what the song The Christmas Shoes is about: The narrator is standing in a checkoutline with some last-minute shopping on Christmas Eve, but is not feeling the holiday spirit. The customer in front of him is a little boy dressed in wornout clothes whose only item is a pair of women's shoes. The boy tells the cashier that he wishes to buy the shoes for his ill mother so that she may look her best if she meets Jesus later that night, as she is dying of cancer. The cashier informs the boy that he does not have enough money to buy the shoes, which prompts the boy to ask the narrator for help saying that although his family is poor, his mother always did her best to make Christmas special for her family. The narrator pays for the shoes, and as the boy thanks him and walks away, the narrator realizes that the little boy helped him understand the true meaning of Christmas. The reason the attempt at sadness in The Christmas Shoes is so contrived is that everybody seem to be actively trying to make sure things are as sad as possible. It's a ridiculously sentimental song that lends itself to a thousand Imelda Marcos jokes, and the narrator realizing the true meaning of Christmas doesn't help the kids much, does it? Mom will still be dead. The song was featured in the book I Hate Myself And I Want To Die, which is about songs that try to be moving but are just stupid, and to top things off, the shoes don't matter a bit in the long run. All it's really about is that there were these kids, and their Christmas present this year was a dead mom. For once, a couple of consumers buying things didn't help. And wouldn't it be better if the kid was with his mom, instead of going to buy some shoes she'll never wear? When you listen to The Christmas Shoes, you're still going to cry like a baby during the chorus. You will.
The "Ooka Chaka Ooka Ooka Ooka Chaka" from Blue Swede's Hooked on a Feeling. It sounds so strange, but so right. Apparently it's Swedish onomatopoeia for the sound an ape makes.
"Warmness on the Soul" by Avenged Sevenfold. It's a silly love song and M. Shadows sounds like he's in downright pain while he's singing, and yet whether it's because it's cute or because it's one of the only happy songs the band has, you can't help but like it at least a little.
The song "Burning" by Mia Martina is sooooo ridiculously silly and cheesy... And yet strangely it works. The cheesy sax and the generic lyrics (fill me up, fill me up, fill me up, your love is like a drug) are so ridiculous but you can't help but smile.
Many of Live's songs, but "Waitress" takes the cake as an impassioned, howled plea to...be compassionate and leave a tip for a rude, but acceptable waitress.
Iron Maiden can be considered this in a nutshell (Bruce Dickinson could sing the back label of a toilet bowl cleaner bottle and it would sound profound), as several of their songs are either cheesy or goofy but the emotion of the songs still work (and the songs are still so friggin' badass, it hurts) however, "Coming Home" from their 2010 album The Final Frontier is this in spades. The song is incredibly corny and the lyrics are cheesy, but painful and passionate playing from the band members and Bruce's powerful vocals, man. They make the lyrics bring a tear to your eye.
"The Alchemist" which follows right after. The lyrics sound like they were ripped straight from a history book, but the song is still extremely badass.
Guy Sebastian can have moments of these. For example, "Get Along" can easily be interpreted as a ham-fisted attempt to spread the aesop that we should forget our religious ties and just "get along". But Sebastian can sing, and his sincerity is hard to ignore. The production certainly helps in giving the narm its charm, too.
Geri Halliwell's music video for "Lift Me Up". The plot is that she is nearly robbed by a group of aliens and instead she ends up having fun with them. The premise is ridiculous and full of potential Narm but yet the scenes with Geri and the aliens bonding are so friggin adorable. And you're bound to feel either a little sad or the WAFF at the end when the aliens say goodbye to her.
The music of Flight of the Conchords generally involves invoking Narm for comedic effect. However, their Charity Motivation Song for Cure Kids, "Feel Inside (And Stuff Like That)", invokes this trope instead. The lyrics were produced from conversations with actual kids and has some wacky ideas about money that you would expect from children, like encouraging listeners to steal money from their fathers' wallets for donation and claiming that the economy works by the queen, the prime minister and the bank all getting money from each other ("the craziest financial system that I've ever seen"). But the song is still genuinely touching and quickly reached #1 on New Zealand's chart.
Nine Inch Nails in general can get pretty narmy, with Trent's overly dramatic and angsty lyrics and over the top screaming...but that's what makes the band awesome.
Hollywood Undead has this in spades - having started out as a MySpace band with a fanbase comprised mainly of scene kids, it comes as no surprise. Although many songs are comedic, the occassional Wangst bomb (be it in the form of laughable over-the-top screaming or a lyric so cliche it's hard to believe) almost sounds like enough to ruin the song, but it ends up working very well in most cases, like "Knife Called Lust", "Mother Murder", "Black Dahlia", "The Loss".
Deliberately invoked by the Kursaal Flyers’ hit single “Little Does She Know,” a gloriously over-the-top spoof of 60s teenage pop-rock about seeing an old flame in a laundromat. They even throw in the Hallelujah Chorus over the ending fade!
J-Rock band Guitar Wolf are noisy and not likely to impress you with their mastery of their instruments, but they can still make screaming "CYBORG KIDS! CYBORG KIDS!" sound insanely awesome and awesomely insane.
And honestly, a lot of smarks loved him for it, because up until then he had no personality and was a sub-par wrestler. Since the change, he's had some really good matches and retired Tommy Dreamer. In fact, thanks to an internet series, he eventually became a major Ensemble Darkhorse.
Much like Zack Ryder, there's Robbie E in TNA, though admittedly this is on a much smaller scale and much more dependent on YMMV. When he stared off as a blatant ripoff off Jersey Shore (and possibly attempting to follow the lead Zack Ryder started,) he was immediately despised by... everybody. However, Robbie E's surprising devotion to the whole gimmick (his physics-defying hair for example) is very commendable.
Wrestlicious has a fan-base that are fully aware it has a horrible commentator, ridiculously corny skits and silly characters...but are willing to overlook all of that for the quality of the wrestling.
Lay Cool - two exaggerated Alpha BitchValley Girl parodies whose catchphrase is "Famous and Flawless". Storylines included making fun of another woman's weight, insinuating one was really a man and claiming another had bad hygiene problems. Yet Layla and Michelle somehow made it work.
The Boogeyman. The idea of a guy running around thinking he's some kind of boogeyman, wearing Darth Maul-inspired makeup and having live worms sticking out of his mouth, is thoroughly ridiculous, yet Marty Wright, and his partially-toothed Slasher Smile, was so into the gimmick that it was vastly entertaining to watch.
The Undertaker is the pinnacle of this trope in Professional Wrestling. Some sort of undead zombie, getting strength from an urn and wielding mystical powers? Mark Calloway played all that straight, and became a main eventer within a year of his debut and stayed that way for over two decades and counting.
Taker's most famous rival, Mick Foley, actually came up with a gimmick that invoked this trope: Dude Love. A Shawn Michaels ripoff (his finisher was called "Sweet Shin Music"), who dressed in tie-dye shirts, wore old-school sunglasses and spoke in corny lingo that would've been out of touch in 1969. It was an absurd, bush-league persona, and fans just loved Mick Foley that much more for it.
In Persona 3, Aigis has apparently finally tuned in to human emotions and confesses her love for the hero. This kind of touchy-feely dialogue is endemic to anime and JRPGs and it always turns out sounding gut-wrenchingly corny in English. Not this time. Could be considered a Crowning Moment of Dubbing, but it's really no surprise considering the excellent quality of the rest of the dub.
Persona 3 managed to make the line "Let's put a smile on everyone's face." sound cool.
The super Super-Deformed look in Final Fantasy VII got noticed even when the game was raking in accolades. Yet it was an understandable consequence of Square getting to know the system. Even the game's detractors rarely use that as a negative against the game.
Aerith's death. The dialogue is nonsense, but between that music and the scene of Cloud gently letting her body fall into the pond, it still manages to make people sob into their controllers.
Similarly, when Final Fantasy IV was rebuilt for the Nintendo DS, several things got changed: the score was updated to match the style of the current Final Fantasy soundtracks, cutscenes, as well as CG graphics for the overworld map and voice acting for the cutscenes were introduced. The opening cinematic, as well as some of the cutscenes Paladin Cecil fighting his former Dark Knight self looked like this. But a majority of the cutscenes look like this, with plenty of the Narm. Yet, it still manages to keep the philosophy of Anyone Can Die, all the best Tearjerker-ing and heartwarming moments are still kept in, the battle system is true to its core, and it makes for great nostalgia fuel.
The ridiculous simlish mumble in Banjo-Kazooie was so well loved that by the time Rareware had the money and technology to do full-on voice acting in the up-and-coming sequel, the fans wouldn't hear of it. The corny mumbling was part of what endeared the Banjo series to them. Rare noted the fans' remarks, and opted to keep the mumble.
Similarly, Ōkami has a gibberish language for all of the characters, but for many this fits the game's painterly style of graphics. Oh, and also because all human characters don't have mouths, and instead their heads stretch and squash to indicate that they're speaking.
People in Metal Gear fandom who complain about the guy covered in bees, the fourth wall breaking, the possessed arm, Big Boss being defeated by an aerosol can and a lighter or the "poison Zanzibar hamsters" (or even the endless melodramatic dialogue) are usually quietly resented (read: pitied) by the other people in the Metal Gear fandom, who love the games because they're really quite silly.
Which is why the game fills our souls with liiiiight.
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is a classic for many reasons, one of which is the hilariously over-the-top voice acting. This is so well-loved that some fans actually complained about Konami redoing the dialogue scenes when the game was ported to the PSP as part of Dracula X Chronicles.
Castlevania is often like this. Many of the bosses call their attacks in ridiculously overdramatic ways, and it is so epic.
ThisLet's Play contains, among other things, every single ridiculous line in the game, from Falco continuously calling Fox "Einstein" to Slippy's impassioned scream of "FOOOOOOX!" to Fox propositioning Falco to Andross being the brainiest brain to brain the brainlat. Interestingly, the one with the highest Narm ratio is General Pepper ("There's an enemy base there?!" "So you're going to attack the enemy base? Great idea, Fox!").
Slippy: I HAD NO IDEA THAT SO MUCH OF THE ANDROSS ARMY REMAINED INTACT!
Everything Slippy says.
The 3DS version even had the original voice actors re-record their lines. And it's still wonderfully cheesy.
Eternal Sonata is a game that ran on narm. It was didactic, pretentious, and overflowing with irritating characters who had the common sense of a carton of bricks. But the ending, where Fredric dies, and his soul rises from his body, slowly sitting down to play the ending theme Heaven's Mirror, while his final visitor rises to sing somehow loops around and becomes heartbreaking.
The comm officer of the Colossus during the "Their Finest Hour" mission of FreeSpace 2 delivers some horrific Narms, but somehow the shock and horror of the pride of the Galactic Terran-Vasudan Alliance being destroyed right before your eyes outweighs terrible voice acting.
Duke Nukem: Nobody steals our chicks... and lives!
Every Silent Hill game contains what can perhaps be best described as lackluster voice-acting coupled with some truly silly lines, the first game being by far the worst offender ("Huh? Radio?") although the second is certainly not bereft either ("You're not friends with that red, pyramid thing, are you?"). The charm comes from a combination of the characters being steadily and constantly Mind Raped (and/or completely fucking nuts to begin with) and thus one can hardly expect them to be particularly articulate, the slight reprieve it provides from all the Nightmare Fuel, and that it makes the important scenes, most of which are completely devoid of Narm, all the more effective by comparison (see anything involving James and Mary in the second game).
A rather silly plot, low production values, spotty acting, and it being Full Motion Video made a lot of the story in Crusader endearing at best... but occasional moments, such as Ely chewing you out if you fail the mission where Andrews dies, have real emotional resonance.
From around about Warriors Orochi onwards they've started getting that one right. Shame.
Also: COW PEE.
Cao Ren's line in DW6, "Our allies have arrived!", sounds less like a beseiged general trapped in a flooded castle, than a guy noting the arrival of his dinner party guests.
Zhao Yun's cry for help in DW6 "Someone! I am in NEED of ASSISTANCE!" leaves it unclear whether the player should save him from enemy troops or bring him his Xanax, but remains highly amusing either way.
Even Super Robot Wars has this. The opening to Super Robot Wars Alpha shows the robots looking so chibified that at first it's impossible to take seriously, which isn't helped by the music (voiced in what sounds like slightly lisped English). Once the music picks up, it immediately swings right around to being kickass, and everything some found rather stupid becomes rather charming (especially the parts where a Chibi EVA-01 goes completely berserk, and the AVF's from Macross avoiding Massive Macross Missile Massacres.
As noted by Yahtzee on the quotes page, this is one of the reasons why fans love Resident Evil. You'd expect a zombie game to have a basic plot that says "Zombies! Shoot them!" but Resident Evil has a winding detailed story that makes little logical sense. Combine this with characters ripped from B movies, awkward dialog and more awkward voice acting. Then put it all in between two slices of self-unawareness and you've got a delicious Jill, er, narm sandwich.
When one of the bad guys exclaims, while morphing into his One-Winged Angel form, that he just got an "Extreme Makeover" you know Capcom's in on the joke that is Resident Evil, and they're loving every minute of it.
When Liz dies in Resident Evil 6, her father lets out a wailing sob that manages to be both narmy AND heartbreaking at the same time. Despite how silly and over the top it is, you feel so bad for him that all you want to do is hug the poor guy.
Resident Evil has an entire zoo of zombie animals. We've had zombie dogs, spiders, snakes, plants, crows, lions, wasps, piranhas, monkeys (Yeah, zombie monkeys) and even a zombie elephant, not to mention the animalesque bosses. At first it seems hilariously silly but then when you realize these animals are much more dangerous than any human zombie it's too late.
The first Baten Kaitos game. As abysmal as the voice acting was, the plot still manages to be both interesting and enjoyable.
John Cleese as "Sir Roderick Ponce von Fontlebottom the Magnificent Bastard" (but not really) kind of stole the show in Jade Empire, at least during the chapter in the capital, because he is such a magnificently overdone interpretation of the Chinese view of Western Imperialists.
The more the Merrier! The more the Merrier! The more— (and it goes on).
The strange, over-the-top expression in Shadow's various "I Am" Speeches, particularly "THIS is WHO I AM" underscores his mental instability. So does his whining, five-year-old like protests to Rouge about his identity in Sonic Adventure 2 and his lame puns in Sonic Heroes.
Espio's stereotypical ninja lines in Sonic Heroes come off as Narm Charm. His voice actor at the time made them sound cool. These lines include:
"Behold, ninja power!"
"Evil must die! Beware my ninja power!"
Any music with lyrics in the Sonic franchise tend to be cheesy at hell, yet strangely catchy. Sonic Adventure 2 is probably the biggest example of this with the memetic Escape From The City and Knuckles' rap themes.
The Japanese and P Al versions of Sonic CD bring us the track to Metallic Madness (Bad Future), featuring a robotic voice (presumed to be Robotnik's) telling you, "You can't do anything, so don't even try! Get some help!" Yes, the voice sounds like Microsoft Sam. But the track also reminds you that youscrewed up.
The phrase "It's super effective!" not only made it into the original Pokémon games, but is still the standard For Massive Damage line over a decade later, enough so that the Pokemon Trainer's final smash in Super Smash Bros Brawl references it with no gameplay need to do so. For similar reasons, variations on the "I like shorts!" kid appear in many of the games.
A Pokemon example that's sad rather than cool is Tectonix on Five Island in Pokémon FireRed And LeafGreen. A kid's propped up a chain of rocks to honor his dead partner; the rocks may even be the Onix just sticking out of the ground (not exactly the most respectful mode of burial), but the delivery is genuinely sorrowful.
Ōkami: You'd think that God herself getting shrunk to the point where brooms are deadly and The Thing That Goes Doink is usable for platforming would be sillier than it is, yet it works. Even when you have to jump down the Emperor's throat while he snores and fight a boss in his stomach.
Tales of Symphonia: After Lloyd gave her so many speeches about what you are not changing who you are, you're still you never mind how much of your humanity you lose, Colette reciprocates and reminds him he's still the same Lloyd, never mind who his father is. You've had about a hundred of those speeches by then but it's still touching, especially given the situation and Lloyd's current Heroic BSOD.
Also it's pretty funny that Lloyd's response to this is "You stupid jerk!"
Tales of the Abyss: Some of Asch's quotes right before the final confrontation with him are just beautiful, beautiful Narm. And yet, a line like "Shut up! This isn't about logic!" is surrounded by heartfelt declarations of identity and independence wrapped in Tear Jerker, so the scene overall is painfully sad...up until the extremely infamousBig Word Shout: " RRRREPLICAAAAAA!!" But then? Cue Meaning of Birth and Duel Boss awesomeness.
Being a World of Ham, BlazBlue is naturally full of this. Special mention goes to Terumi. He goes on constantHannibal Lectures and nearly every word out of his mouth is incredibly overacted. This does not make him any less effective as a villain.
The Tiberium series, not so much... Though it's interesting to see that a few of Tiberium's cutscenes fall into straight Narm so hard that one might wonder if Red Alert had the right idea.
Final Fantasy IV. "You Spoony Bard!" It's a silly and mistranslated line, but so well loved that it's preserved in all remakes and sequels.
Fans of archaic slang have pointed out that calling Edward "spoony" is technically correct, since he was indeed sentimental and hopelessly in love. That it happens to also be a really, really funny thing to call someone is just lagniappe.
Most fans of Final Fantasy V cite the generally upbeat characters, silly dialogue, "save the crystals" Light Warriors plot and the game's tendency to lean on the Fourth Wall as the reason they love it... in other words, the very reasons many fans of "Classic Final Fantasy" (before Square ruined everything) seem to ignore it. Which is not to say the game is devoid of seriousness, because in certain scenes there may well be something in your eye...
Special mention goes to the GBA port, whose English translation Punched up the dialogue with some great cornball lines, while keeping the original intent intact. And you've gotta love Gilgamesh saying "It's morphing time!" and "Now we fight like men, and women, and women who dress like men!"
The 7th Guest — with the narrator's ghoulish puns and Cryptkeeper-style delivery, the lame lines spoken hammily by obvious non-actors, the honky-tonk closing sound track... So Bad, It's Good, and though it chased away any potential for horror, it managed to leave the mystery intact.
Bayonetta is a rare case of just being so hyper-sexualized to the exact point where it becomes delicious Narm, but before it becomes just porn.
How about the fact that everyone on the stand reacts to the revelation of problems in testimony like they were physical attacks? Or the fact that no one seems to take these things as out of place (most of the time)? The simple fact that Apollo gets away with calling out the scar on the back of Kristoph's hand turning into a demon face in court as part of his proof and it's accepted by all involved might be Narm in concept, but leads in to such well done scenes that you won't care.
The infamous scene in which you cross-examine a parrot is another good example. It's even treated as a stupid idea in-universe, but it's near the climax of one of the series' best cases, and somehow it doesn't take away from the drama
The fact that nearly every killer has a Villainous Breakdown or a Motive Rant doesn't seem all that silly if you're not paying attention...but in Justice For All, when Adrian Andrews is wrongly accused of being a killer, the witness doesn't break down and confess, and everyone in the court is so confused that the witness isn't abiding by their cheesy tropes. But still, it seems more like a moment of self-awareness than clumsy writing.
In the same case, the way the attorneys dance around not using gendered pronouns for Adrian Andrews results in some remarkably cheesy sentences, but it's a vital detail that helps expose Shelley de Killer's lies.
Final Fantasy X No matter how heart-wrenching the scene where Tidus finds out what being a summoner entails, his voice actor fake-cried as well as Daniel Radcliffe does in Prisoner ofAzkaban in that scene.
The romance between Yuna and Tidus was narmy, with some spotty voice acting in places, but at the same time it had a kind of innocent storybook charm, like two shy schoolchildren awkwardly starting a relationship.
The original Sin and Punishment is a shining example as well, with the voice acting being very lazy and underwhelming. Especially narmy with the crude N64 graphics. But it works, giving the game a cheesy atmosphere that compliments the awesome gameplay.
Saki: "So you're the leader of these killers!
Airen: "Well, commander, now I'll avenge my friends!"
Everything that the tiny cat-thing, Leda, says. "Thinking of reee-vveng-ge?"
The plot of the original is also hilarious, in that it doesn't make any damn sense. But who really gives a damn when you're suddenly turning into a giant kaiju with little to no explanation, or fighting the final boss, who transforms into a 1:1 copy of the Earth?
Mega Man X4's memetic "What Am I Fighting For ARRRRRGHH" is this. Zero had to Mercy KillIris, and screams this as he loses it. People remember this line because of how poorly delivered the entire death scene is. It strengthened Zero as a character, because people will NOT forget it.
Ghost Trick constantly plays the line between silly and dramatic, but at the end, Missile-Prime says that he protected Lynne over a ten year period because "That's what doggies do!" It easily could be Narm, but it ends up as a Heartwarming Moment.
Elite Beat Agents is positively powered by this. You're part of the EBA, a Men in Black organisation who go around helping the helpless through the power of dance. Songs include Sk8er Boi, Y.M.C.A. and Material Girl. Missions range from helping a magician save the casino he works at from robbers, to helping a ludicrously rich Texan get his fortune back, to helping a baseball player recover his confidence so he can save a theme park from a gigantic golem (complete with a ridiculous catchphrase - "YOU BET, KID!"). You'd think the one serious mission, in which you help a little girl deal with the death of her father, would avoid this, and it does... except she comes back in the final mission to help you save the world from invading aliens through the Power of Rock. And yet, despitebecause of this, you'll be cheering along the entire time.
Agents are... GO!!!
Every last person in Albion have either British or Irish accents and they're very stereotypically exaggerated.
While it's universally agreed that the sex scenes in Dragon Age: Origins are incredibly cheesy—thanks in no small part to the hilariously awful underwear everyone's wearing—the romances themselves are pure heartwarming (and heartrending, with the right choices).
The sex scenes are made even more awkward by a certain bug that results in the player character still wearing full plate armor. There's also the fact that Morrigan, who clearly wears no undergarments under that outfit of hers, apparently puts on underwear to have sex.
Dawn of War: Soulstorm is near-universally accepted as this, given the World of Ham nature of the setting. How can you not laugh at lines like "Our enemies hide in metal BAWKSES, the cowards, the fools!"
Underrated masterpiece Cold Fear gives us what are obviously American voice actors doing Russian accents and speaking lines which would be narmy enough already. Since the game is so downright creepy and epic at the same time, it's dedicated fanbase loves every second of it.
The original congratulatory text for killing a boss in Dark Souls: YOU DEFEATED
Jade Cocoon for the Sony Playstation. It's a mons game with a Native American...ish(?) theme, a story that goes nowhere and makes little to no sense, voice-acting that ranges from surprisingly serviceable to SERIOUS narm, only 8 levels, and a final boss that, while manages to be properly set-up, and STILL make no sense. Somehow though all of this adds up to create a weirdly charming world to explore, and to this day it's remembered fondly as a classic and has a considerably large fan-following.
Kikinak the Bird Man: His voice actor sounds like a 15 year old kid trying to recite lines from a tv show he saw last night, but it fits the character's personality so well that it works.
Similarly, Frederick's Love Confession to Sumia is horribly cheesy on paper... but since this is the already sappy and romantic Frederick we're talking about, it comes off as incredibly heartfelt. Sumia's cheerful and also super adorable acceptance is the icing on the cake.
If you're romancing Tali at the time of the Citadel DLC for Mass Effect 3, she can sing along with one of the musical numbers from her favourite movie. The words aren't all that good and while Tali's accent is cute in speaking it's really not suited for singing, but the result still works because Tali was already Adorkable and there's enough sincerity in the performance to make it at least believable.
In Questionable Content, the big reveal — that Faye's dad committed suicide in front of her — is so dramatic that even the big, cartoony sound effect "BLAM!" doesn't ruin the scene.
The bits of comedy that MegaTokyo contains post-Cerebus Syndrome often slip into this. For example, in this recent strip, Ed is taunting and tormenting Ping with text messages while planning to kill her; meanwhile he strikes up a pleasant conversation with our favorite Cloudcuckoolander Largo and (among other things), complements him on his Nice Hat.
Nuzlocke Comics are designed to be way too over-the-top and silly to be taken seriously, but due to the nature of the challenge it's hard not to feel something for the guy whenever a Pokémon faints.
Kickassia (That Guy with the Glasses's second year anniversary video) THRIVES off this. Almost everyone overacts, scenes are over the top and goofy, and yet it's awesome. Part 4 has some good plot developments, and an honestly creepy scene where the Critic explains what the dynamite is for. And it's because you're not supposed to take anything seriously that you're able to enjoy what happens in it.
Also appears in The Nostalgia Critic's "Commercials Special" with a few over-dramatic lines like "I'm a wreck!" and "You were right, director of My Pet Monster.". But somehow it still managed to be a Tear Jerker overall and you just wanted to tell him that it was going to be okay. Anditwas.
The whole Lord Vyce arc is made of this. A bunch of geeks running around shooting at each other with toy weapons, complete with hammy overacting and dime-store special effects shouldn't be nearly as awesome as it is.
The Nostalgia Chick's "Dark Nella Saga" was this all the way. Nella left no scenery unchewed, Lindsay's acting is... not the best ever and that's still awesome, both because she knows this and Nella herself can actually act legitimately scary while still being funny.
There Will Be Brawl brings us the famous "Well, excuse me, Princess", said by Link himself. However, the way he delivers it, dead serious and menacing during a falling out with Zelda, definitely make it fit this trope.
The meme Israel loves Iran, Iran loves Israel, because this campaign was practically asking for sarcastic and cynic replies, but then Israeli and Iranian citizens decide to it really serious and call for peace between the two countries.
NES Godzilla Creepypasta: 'I'll tell you a secret... I KILLED MELISSA. Narmy? Oh god yes. Terrifying? Just as much. Sad? Yes.
A less prominent example from the same scene is the other catchphrase "In Seaboard City, crime doesn't pay" spoken by one of the Guild members. Like the aforementioned battlecry, it sounds perfectly corny in its own right, yet the context of the scene combined with the VA's delivered makes it almost Tearjerking. You can hear the resignation in his voice as he says it, knowing he's dooming himself by fighting the villain.
That entire two-parter runs on Narm Charm. It revels in Silver Age silliness, and is incredibly entertaining, all while it slowly turns into a genuinely creepy mystery with a Tear Jerker ending.
Ace Lightning was just one big constant dose of Narm Charm for its fans. Mostly from the CGI characters (who were really supposed to be narmy, since they came from a videogame and were deliberately based on stereotypes) and from the... occasionally dry acting of over enthusiastic humans.
"It keeps blowing up in my face... just like everything always does!"
And, when he starts yelling at the sky in "Bitter Work" about how it's always thrown hardship at him, but lightning won't strike him now. He's so conflicted, he can get away with that.
Zuko has a couple of those. The main Avatar page lists "You're so beautiful when you hate the world" as Narm, but it and the next two lines ("I don't hate you." "I don't hate you, too.") are very sweet.
The kids in the Peanuts TV specials were voiced by kids who were too young to understand — or sometimes even read — their lines, but their delivery somehow seems to fit the precocious nature of the characters.
The first special, A Charlie Brown Christmas, features poorly mixed sound, choppy animation, and sloppy editing, but that's part of what makes it a beloved Christmas classic. In fact, director Bill Melendez was embarrassed to see it repeated every year and wanted to "fix" it years later, but Charles Schulz vetoed the idea.
The Stop MotionChristmas specials produced by Rankin/Bass are full of these. At one point in Santa Claus is Comin' to Town, a character is looking at her reflection in a fountain... which is a cardboard cutout of the character placed under the fake water.
While some of the voices in My Little Pony may sound really goofy but they typically work well for the characters.
The scene where Kid Flash screams Artemis's name when she supposedly dies, and then later has a yelling fit complete with slamming his fist on the bioship console in the Young Justice episode "Failsafe" may qualify as Narmy, but the drama of the previous event plus the fact that Kid Flash has NEVER reacted like this to ANYTHING, makes it touching, and a Tear Jerker.
In the 2003 incarnation of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Shredder's catch phrase of sorts is "None of you will leave here alive". In the two parter "Rogue in the House" he actually utters the phrase "None of you will leave this boat alive". For an otherwise serious take on Shredder, this line seems corny, even cartoonish, but it somehow manages to work.
Phineas and Ferb was able to pull this off with the death of a balloon. Imagine this if you will: A balloon with an Uncanny Valley face painted on it and attached to a robotic body just rescued an "evil" scientist, a panda bear, and a teal platypus in a fedora from an army of flying robots with lasers, after previously appearing to be on the bad side but changing his mind. As the evil scientist is happily gushing about all the good times they can have now and things they need to catch up on (Him and the balloon used to be best friends), one of the robots, not quite destroyed, sits up and just manages to shoot the balloon before collapsing. The robotic body falls to the ground as the scientist lets out a series of Little Nos, begging him not to leave him a second time. And as he holds the balloon's limp, rubbery remains in his hands and cuddles them up to his face, he finishes the scene with the following words: "I can feel my heart...popping." Goofy? Yes. Bizarre? Completely. Possibly the most heartbreaking thing the show has ever done? Absolutely.
Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab descriptions. One of their more popular perfumes is described as "The scent of sexual obsession, slavery to sensual pleasure, and the undercurrent of innocence defiled utterly. Amber and honey with a touch of vanilla." Completely overdone, but it damn well sells.
The final launch of the Space Shuttle has a moment of this. "On the shoulders of the Space Shuttle, America will continue the dream." That is an incredibly cheesy line by ANY standard, NASA, so why is it working so well?
Also the final launch of Discovery. "The shuttle now rolling over on its back for the eight and a half minute ride into orbit. Discovery now making one last reach for the stars."
In-universe: in an advertisement for the American version of The Voice, the four hosts are driving together in a truck. They argue over the music and keep changing it; it reaches Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart". Adam Levine says "talk about corny." Cut to an exterior shot, then back in the truck, where they're all singing along.
This does happen in real life, though it's sometimes not to dwell on it depending on the situation. A situation will occur where a person will think to themselves that in any other situation this would be funny.
As parents know, a toddler with a sore throat can have the cutest little whispery-raspy voice - but the poor kid isn't feeling well, either.
School plays- particularly Nativity plays- are full of this. Small children in badly made costumes, and making it obvious from the way that they recite their lines that they have no idea what they're saying. Aww.