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Scrappy Mechanic

"Blue Shells Ruin Everything"

A sub trope for The Scrappy. It describes a game play mechanic in an otherwise fun/enjoyable game that generates a sizable hatedom. Perhaps it's out of character to the game, its quality is lower than the rest of the game, or it really exposes the problems in the game. Also related to Unexpected Gameplay Change and Gameplay Roulette. Gameplay tactics do not count unless it's the exploitation of glitches and hacks. Otherwise, that's just abuse of an otherwise fair and good mechanic that causes the game to be played in a way that it's not supposed to. That One Boss is only related to this if a boss villain's status under that trope is solely because of a game play mechanic.

Compare to Disappointing Last Level. Despite appearances, this trope is not to be confused with a machinery technician who picks a lot of fights, nor is it about Slippy Toad, who is merely a Scrappy who happens to be a Mechanic. Can also cross with Oddball in the Series where that one game that differentiates itself from the others in the series may stand out due to the Scrappy Mechanics it uses.

For a sometimes overlapping Sister Trope, see That One Rule.


    open/close all folders 

  • Any game (looking at you, Evergrace II) where all the characters you play have a shared life bar. This leads to frustrating moments, especially if some of the characters you control are played by the computer!
  • Quitting PC Games. Games for the PC seldom have an "Exit Game" option in the pause menu. Typically you have to quit your current game, wait for it to load, go to the title screen, then hit "Exit Game" from there. Some games even force you to watch the intro cinematics again, prompting a lot of users to just use task manager to quit their game more quickly.
  • Motion control on the PS3. Having to suddenly jerk the controller around runs counter to most gamers' instincts, and its detection is inconsistent and random, but first-party titles continue to shoehorn it in because it is a system feature and must be showcased.
    • Every console with motion sensing (PS2 with Eyetoy, PS3 with Sixaxis and the Wii's Remote to name some) seem to have developers who love to "utilize" it in an entirely half-assed way that's simply a less functional version of traditional controls than rely on it as their selling gimmick.
    • It's not just motion sensing. The analog buttons on the PS2's DualShock 2 had the same issue, such as in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty where pushing the look button hard in a locker caused you to bang Raiden's head into the locker door and alert any nearby guards. Incidentally, Metal Gear is probably the only non-flight sim series that actually takes advantage of the "analog" part of the analog buttons.
    • Metal of Honor: Frontline did it as well in an equally annoying fashion. They made the dumb decision to make the fire button analog, so if you didn't press it hard enough your gun would not fire! Many players ran around the first level wondering if their controller was broken because this 'feature' was not mention anywhere.
    • Flower did it well.
      • Also, games that use it in moderation and don't force it on you, like Heavenly Sword, are generally better thought of because it's not the thing about the game. Kai's level not included.
  • To some, Quick Time Events are a horrible implementation that interrupt the gameplay at the most inappropriate times just to activate a glorified cutscene. Yahtzee may have something to do with it, since it is one of his pet peeves.
  • Tank Controls are severely divided by two factions. On one side, those who believe tank controls are a challenging feature; and on the other, people who believe tank controls are a lumbering dinosaur that should be long obsolete thanks to much more refined controls. The latter hates them for feeling clunky and making the character act all sluggish especially when trying to escape the thing that's trying to kill them.
  • If you try to play the Blizzard Entertainment games Diablo III, StarCraft II or World of Warcraft in an internet cafe when the Internet at home is down, your Blizzard account will sometimes be locked due to different login sequence. You will have to answer the safety question or enter the serial number to unlock your account. This is made for safety reasons, but most other players find it extremely frustrating.
    • Google has gotten in on this too, making it annoying at best and impossible at worst for people to access their e-mail or Google Docs at home after logging into it at school or work (or vice-versa).
  • Shall I Repeat That? becomes a Scrappy Mechanic if the cursor defaults to "Yes, I do want to hear that again" after a long monologue conversation, as a player mashing the "A" button to skip the NPC's text as quickly as possible will accidentally make the NPC repeat himself/herself over and over and over again until they scroll down and select "No, I don't want to hear that again". Kaepora Gaebora from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is most notorious for this, since he actually varies between "Do you want to hear what I said again?" and "Do you understand?", and the cursor does always default to whichever one makes him repeat everything.
  • Somes forms require you to fill out your zip/postal code, yet some countries do not use them.
  • Friend Codes on Nintendo's consoles/games (Wii, 3DS, and any DS game with online play). Both people having to share a randomly generated combination of 12 numbers with each other before being allowed to play with each other kind of annoyed a lot of gamers... especially when they had to put in a new code for each and every game. Made slightly better with the 3DS, which shares one Friend Code for all games and the console itself. As of the Wii U, the friend codes are gone and replaced with adding your friend's usernames instead.
  • Anything in a game that costs actual money to acquire, particularly outside of MMORPG games, especially in app games.
  • Any game where the text scrolls slowly can get on the player's nerves pretty quickly, as it will take several seconds to get through each line of monologue/dialogue, unnecessarily wasting a lot of time. Examples include the aforementioned Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (though the 3DS remake has much quicker text speed) and Xenogears. See also Scrolling Text.
  • Escort Missions. While these can be done well (Resident Evil 4 is considered one of the few ways to do this right), almost every escort mission sucks. They're often bogged down by the escort being controlled by an AI that is so mind-bogglingly stupid, you're left wondering if it's trying to get itself killed. The sections are often filled with some of the most powerful enemies in the game. The escort is often given no means of self-defense. Said escort usually has a frighteningly low amount of health, and you often have no way to restore it. Thankfully, developers seem to be getting wise to this, as escort missions began to steadily decline with games released in The New Tens, or at least given some way to mitigate some of the more annoying issues associated with this mechanic.
  • Every game ever made that has a time-limit for no justifiable reason. Admittedly this is was a throw-back from arcade games (which the home versions were based on) intended to keep people feeding more quarters into the machine by forcing them to waste lives by not allowing them to take their time to plan out their actions and thus make more mistakes, park their character into a safe spot so that they could take a break or make use of Infinite One Up tricks, all of which could drive away other potential players due to having them get tired of waiting for their turn or alternatively giving the player a chance to get enough lives to beat the game on a single credit regardless of how recklessly they play, but there is still no valid reason whatsoever for Mario to just abruptly drop dead because you didn't get through World 8-1 fast enough.
  • Stun mechanics, or crowd control in PVP environments. One or two isn't bad - but when there's no way to reduce the time spent stunned (or otherwise locked down), or the effects could be easily chained? Oh, and the only counter to them takes up a precious inventory space and isn't all that useful for the character you're playing? Cue keyboard breaking.
  • Region Coding, particularly on video game systems. The idea is to prevent people from cheating their own markets out of revenue by buying a game available for their home region from a different region, especially if their home region receives the game later. But region locking quickly becomes a royal pain when you consider that thousands of games never leave their home regions. The only legal and safe option is to buy a system of the region of the game(s) you want. Modifying one's own system will violate warranties and can brick or physically damage it (and since you broke the warranty, your only options are third-party repairs), and piracy can not only cause serious trouble depending on where you live, but some games have measures to thwart it.
    • When the Nintendo 3DS was revealed to have region locking, this caused a lot of uproar. With previous Nintendo handhelds, if you travel to another region (e.g. from North America to Japan or to Europe) and buy games there, you can play them on your system, no questions asked. Even Nintendo Power acknowledged the region-free and travel-friendly properties of the Game Boy Advance, which was released ten years prior to the 3DS, when a reader asked them about traveling and purchasing games. 3DS? No chance.
    • Similar to region locking, IP checks that keep you from accessing online services outside your region and credit card address checks that don't allow you to pay with a credit card which is not for the same region as the online story you are trying to access. IP locks have forced players to take roundabout measures such as VPNs just to play region-exclusive games such as Phantasy Star Online 2 and Kantai Collection.
  • Xbox Live introduced security proofs, which basically means adding an alternate email address and/or phone number to your Xbox Live account. However, this resulted in gamers being pestered by messages asking for their password as well as prompting them to add more proofs. Throw in security codes being emailed all over the place, and the process of signing into an Xbox Live account turns from something that took a few seconds at most into a giant hassle. God help anyone who attached their gamertag to an old Microsoft account whose password is long forgotten.
  • A lot of modern commercial PC games do not accept game controllers that are not recognized as Xbox 360 controllers. In some cases, third-party tools such as x360ce will allow you to get a non-360 controller working, but in other cases, you're out of luck.
    • Conversely, some doujin PC games do not natively recognize Xbox 360 controllers. Even if they do, they generally do not recognize the D-pad as directional input, as the directions on a D-pad are recognized as POV hats rather than directional control. If you're using an Xbox 360 arcade stick, for instance, you will need to either use tools like JoyToKey or set your stick to left stick mode, which is notorious for being laggy due to the way it is implemented.
  • Nintendo's practice of tying your digital purchases to your console which means you need to send the console back to them if its broken if you want to move your games to a new one and that you lose your games forever if your console its stolen.
  • Miiverse, the social network Nintendo made, has been given a new rule—it's now impossible to make multiple comments on ANY post outside the user's own for three minutes at a time.

  • The vegetable picking in Putt-Putt Enters the Race. First off, it's a puzzle designed like a gigantic maze. What makes it annoying is that some foods take ages just to get to, and once you make it to them, you have to retrace your steps, so that needlessly doubles the amount of time it takes. Even worse, you have to be right next to the vegetable in order to get it or get ready to be told you can't pick it over and over again. It doesn't help at all that the movements cannot be skipped at all, unlike the rest of the game.
  • Instead of the classic wrong-choices-mean-death approach, Time Hollow makes Game Overs possible with a health meter. It can only be refilled by wandering the game looking for "chrons" and watching an unskippable cutscene each time you find one. But you're unlikely to even need this, as you only lose health for "digging" in the wrong place, and most of the digging puzzles are very simple — making the whole thing pointless.
  • Despite being a point-and-clicker, Harvester has a real-time combat system. It is extremely clunky, hard to aim at a target, and it makes the main character walk in a goofy fashion while wielding a weapon.

  • Streets of Rage 3 gives you a star every 40,000 points, up to 3 stars. Each star powers up your "blitz" attack. However, 40,000 points is a very non-trivial amount of points, and if you die, you lose a star. Expect to never see a single star if you can't last very long on each life. There's an alternative way to perform any level "blitz" attack with a specific input, but it requires a 6-button controller to do.

    Card Battle Game 

  • Ringouts (knocking your opponent out of the arena and into an auto-DQ zone), or any other means of winning a round without actually zeroing out your opponent's health bar are pretty universally reviled. The Virtua Fighter and Soul Calibur series generally include ringouts on most if not all stages. Soul Calibur also heavily features juggling and several notably claustrophobic stages where accidental self-ringout is an actual possibility. Dead or Alive, on the other hand, put a more enjoyable spin on this, transforming most ringouts into events more to the order of 'you knocked him off the building and down through the flashy neon sign and into the pavement, but then you jump down after him and keep fighting down there.'
  • For a lot of people who would otherwise play Tekken, juggling is exactly this. A large section of the fandom who thought 2 or 3 was the best in the series often find any game past 4 bordering on unplayable. One word - walls. Getting trapped by Eddy or Christie in the corner of the map has been known to break controllers.
  • Super Smash Bros..:
    • Tripping in Brawl. Whenever a player breaks into a run, they may, by completely random chance, trip over and leave themselves vulnerable. The mechanic doesn't go away in Sudden Death. Even though tripping gives you invincibility frames, you could pretty much do the same thing but better with sidestepping. It's supposed to be to limit overuse of dashing, but casual and competitive players alike agree that this mechanic has no good reason to exist. Fortunately, the mechanic will not be returning for the fourth game.
    • For the Pokémon Trainer, the stamina mechanic which punishes you for trying to rely on one of the Mons by reducing your stats when you use one specific one for too long (and to a lesser degree how the current mon automatically switches when you get KOed). You can tell when this happens when your Pokemon starts to act tired in their idle animation and move around more sluggishly. This despite the fact that Sheik/Zelda never needed any handicap on multiple forms besides lacking an Down-B move.
      • The Pokemon Trainer's Pokemon are also affected by Type Effectiveness, meaning certain types of attacks do a bit more damage and knock a particular Pokemon further away than usual. This ends up making the Trainer's Ivysaur, a Grass-Type, susceptible to attacks from over half of Brawl's roster due to the abundance of characters that innately use fire-based attacks, making Ivysaur less durable than it should be.note  Both this and the stamina mechanic mentioned above were introduced to emulate the mechanics of the main Pokemon gamesnote , which only sounded good on paper in the end. It should be noted that only the Pokemon Trainer's team are affected by these mechanics, so the standalone Pokemon such as Pikachu play like the other characters in Brawl's roster.
    • For a large group of players (read: those who don't play in tournaments), this applies to every kind of "dashing" (except running) and "canceling" technique in Melee, the previous game. The fact that they were nearly completely removed in Brawl was seen as a breath of fresh air for some of those who didn't base their playstyles on physics exploits nor intentional advanced techniques. On the other hand, their removal was a huge cause to the very Broken Base, especially since many already-nerfed characters were nerfed even more as a result.
    • Brawl's random multiplayer. You're pitted against 1-3 anonymous opponents, and when someone quits, they're taken over by a CPU. Without notifying you. Most annoyingly, this feature was even touted on the official website. Unless you know the AI well enough, you'll never know whether your match was spent entirely with living, breathing humans or that awesome finish you pulled off in the final moments of the match was against the CPU.
    • Brawl's Final Smashes have also contributed heavily to its Broken Base. If items are in play, there's a chance of a Smash Ball appearing, and if you break it, you can unleash a super attack that will pretty much knock out enemies instantly. The main problem is that while you can dodge the super moves in some way, most of the time, you won't be able to (especially if the level is tiny and hard to maneuver around) and thus the user practically gets a free kill or two. What's also worse are "Pity" Final Smashes that occur when a player is severely lagging behind in points and respawns with a Final Smash already in standby.
    • In the games where you can play with a GameCube controller, mashing the C-stick is a very useful way to easily perform smash or aerial attacks, unless you're playing Melee's single-player modes, where the C-stick zooms the camera in and out. Since the default camera placement already gives you the best view of everything, this feature serves no purpose but to restrict your view and to make many techniques much harder.
  • In Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, when someone ragequits in an online match, it counts as a loss for the person who was still online, who likely would have been winning. And this even happens if the final hit was registered.
  • SmackDown vs. Raw:
    • Since the 2006 edition, gender restrictions have been placed (no more intergender matches). In SvR2K10, the Mixed Tag match was introduced, which pits two teams of one male and one female against each other. The problem with the match is that if a man and woman are legal in the ring, the ref starts a five count and the illegal partner has to make a tag or automatically gets disqualified. Worse still- and not just in this match but in any match- the men get disqualified for hitting the women, even if it's by accident while the women, on the other hand, are allowed to attack them as much as they please (If countered, they'll win automatically by DQ). Unfortunate indeed, but this is a reflection of the current "rules" in the WWE, which is sort of the point of Smackdown vs Raw. Thanks to PG and other things, men cannot hit women, and the five count is an accurate reflection of tag rules, as it has to be girl on girl and thus if the others tag it means that you also tagged.
    • The grappling system in SVR2011, which removed the modifier for strong and weak grapples. Weak grapples could only be performed on non-groggy opponents, while heavy grapples were restricted to groggy opponents.
  • The older GameCube title Day of Reckoning 2 introduced a new "stamina" system that left your wrestler completely helpless and at the mercy of an opponent if they ran too much or used too many moves in succession. You could also run out of stamina if you got beat up too badly, and while that normally only happens to characters with low stats, it makes comebacks difficult if it does. In one way, it added more strategy to matches, but it also made it harder to beat opponents with higher stats.
  • Marvel vs. Capcom 3:
    • X-Factor is this for some. It's a power-up that can be activated by any character in the game once per fight that increases in power as more characters of your team die off. The reason some say it is this trope is that the strength and speed boost it gives your character is so big that it breaks the game. Every character gets access to easy 100% combos upon using it and can easily decimate entire teams after one mistake, completely overturning the momentum of a match. And that's not even getting into the fact that activating it cancels instantly from ANY move.
    • Even better; Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 now allows you to activate X-Factor midair.
    • The inclusion of ground/wallbounces and really common OTGs in order to make combos as long as inhumanely possible is detrimental to the overall fun level for whoever isn't the winner. MvC3 is decidedly not a game that's fun at all if you're losing, if only because you have to watch completely helplessly for upwards of 20–30 seconds of pummeling that you have absolutely no control during if you make a mistake.
    • The match-search system for online has become notorious for being utterly broken. In theory, setting "Player Rank" to "Same" should pair you against players similar in skill to you. In practice, nobody has any clue what formula the game uses, but it likes to pit Amateur (the second-lowest rank) against Lord (one of the highest) and other such blatantly-lopsided fights. Expect to get into a lot of fights you just can't win.
  • Counters (or holds as they're properly known as) in the Dead or Alive series, especially in 4 where they're believed to have degenerated the game into pure guessing.
  • Deadliest Warrior:
    • The stamina bar embodied this trope to the max; even heavily armored warriors like Knights and Spartans could have their blocking ability momentarily disabled or their arm broken due to their shield being punched but not to being shot by a Blunderbuss.
    • Most characters have ranged weapons. Only some characters, however, have ranged weapons that aim for the head by default, and it's a One-Hit Kill if they connect. Worse still, there's no restrictions on when you can and can't use them, which means a round can end in a single solitary second just from someone chucking a spear into your skull at the very start of the match.
  • The tests of strength in the Fire Pro Wrestling series, which become impossible for a player to win above level 5, and occur with increasing frequency in the higher difficulty levels. Generally agreed by fans to be the worst aspect of the game.

     Party/Casual Game 
  • Arkanoid. Golden bricks. In a game that's all about destroying every last brick, the game suddenly throws indestructible ones at you... usually in the most inconvenient place possible. Almost every level which has them consists of walls of the things caging in all of the breakable bricks, making it so that you have to get the ball into a tiny little opening and hope it doesn't just bounce back out. Sure is fun bouncing the ball around for five whole minutes accomplishing nothing. Playing 2-player? Watch your friend fall asleep from boredom.
  • Mario Party:
    • Chance Time, for its tendency to screw over more skilled players with forced redistribution of coins and stars. On that same note, among more skilled players, and especially "Stop Having Fun" Guys, luck/excessive chance is always the Scrappy (one of the few things where it's possible for them to agree with Scrubs on something). Chance time was removed after Mario Party 6 to cut back on the excessive luck.
    • On the opposite end of the spectrum, Bonus Stars. For a while, players who earned the most coins in mini-games would get one bonus star. Another star was given if a player also collected the most coins at one time during play. Those two bonus stars were usually won by one person since a skilled player who can win a lot of mini-games would also wind up getting another bonus star for having the most coins as well, making them win 2 extra stars and most likely win the game because of it. The series added other types of bonus stars in the mix in order to encourage more diverse playstyles and reduce the amount of players sweeping the bonus stars effortlessly.
    • "Rotating the Control Stick" minigames too, as seen above. Hard enough for many, they ended up causing various blisters, other painful side effects, damaged the sticks, and ended up eliminated from future Mario Party games.
    • The cheating AI in general. It gets worse as the series progresses to boot.
    • Bowser Time! in Mario Party 7. Every 4 turns, Bowser shows up to cause trouble such as taking a picture of the characters and forcing everyone to pay or temporarily destroying one of the orb shops and setting up his own buisiness where he would sell the first person a Golden Bowser Statue (which has absolutely no impact on the game) or a Koopa Kid orb (both of which get stolen immediately and regarding the latter, adds another Koopa Kid space on the board) to making some changes to the board's environment like destroying bridges either forcing players to take a different route or ending their turn as soon as they reach the bridge.
    • The original Mario Party had 2 boards where Toad and Bowser would at times switch places. A player could be near Toad only to have someone step on a Happening Space, and end up meeting Bowser instead, losing quite a number of coins. Wario's Battle Canyon and Peach's Birthday Cake were also more luck based than usual as the former causes players to be blasted out of cannons and land on another island, the problem is that it's difficult landing in just the right spot causing players to potentially land after Toad while the former forces the players to pay a lottery when they reach the board's only split path to determine whether they meet Toad or Bowser.
    • Mario Party 3 had Game Guy, who would force you to bet all of your coins in a luck based minigame that would double them if you win or take them all away if you lose. There was also the rare Lucky Charm item that would force another player to play a Game Guy minigame.
    • The main issues with Mario Party 5 are the lack of shops forcing players to rely completely on the luck of the draw from the capsule machine, and the fact that you can be hurt by traps you set yourself.
    • The fact that all the minigames in any game (except Mario Party 9) are locked at first, having to be randomly unlocked as the players play through the boards.
    • Any game with secret star chests. Basically, there is a random chance that at some point (sometimes more) in the game, one player will randomly be given a star. Similar to Chance Time above (but not nearly as extreme) it's frustrating to players to suddenly go from winning to losing because somebody else got something off of pure luck, particularly on maps where getting a single star is a lot of work.
  • The hunger system in Minecraft when it was introduced in beta 1.8. Before this, food instantly restored your health. Once hunger was introduced, food no longer were instant heals (Potions of Healing covered that), but instead, food takes about 3 seconds to fully consume and they restore hunger points instead. Keeping your hunger full gives slow health regeneration but letting the meter fall too low prevents you from sprinting and letting it go fully empty will damage you and even outright kill you if playing on Hard difficulty. What makes it worse is doing too much physical stuff (running, mining, etc) will make you hungry more quickly and every piece of food has different amount of saturation, which determines how full you stay until the hunger meter starts to drop again. Naturally, you aren't told of this.
  • The entirely random terrain generation and explosive death-causing trap placements (and sometimes player positions) in any Worms game can screw players both skilled and unskilled. But mostly just the skilled players.
  • In newer Tetris games (for example, Tetris DS) it is possible in single player for a player to keep a piece from locking in place by hammering at a rotation button, or nowadays, shortly delaying the lock. Yes, even the square. Tetris Worlds was the first to be criticized for it. The rationale is that it helps beginners, but doesn't affect more competitive players.

     Racing Game 
  • Wipeout:
    • Eliminator mode in the various games is almost universally imbalanced, requiring mostly luck to get the right weapons and not so much player skill. The weapons were balanced for regular racing, so many didn't even do damage or very little, and some were grossly overpowered in a game mode where you didn't have to bother with speed. Wip3out was the worst offender since almost nothing did any noticable damage except for Energy Drain and Plasma Bolt, both a one-hit kill. It got better in later titles, but then participating in this mode became required to beat the game.
    • Shooting a competing ship in the first Wipeout game would cause it to stall and you to crash into it. This was changed in the sequel so that shooting a ship would flip it up, enabling you to pass underneath. The frustration factor was cranked up again in the [[Sequelitis degraded sequel]] Wip3out which reduced the flip duration so you would probably collide with the target anyway unless you fired at point blank range. And on a killing blow the disintegrating ship would stay at ground level and grind to a halt, bringing you to a very frustrating stop if you were unable to move out of the way quickly. And there was the Force Wall weapon which covered half of the track ahead of you and bounced opponents backwards... in your face, catapulting you back at high speed. Add to this the chance to blow yourself up if the target deployed a last second Reflector and it becomes clear that using weapons on opponents you don't particularly care about (ie. everyone but the opponent in first place) was more likely to hurt you than to help you.
  • Initial D Arcade Stage 4 sets arbitrary "speed limits" on turns. If you go over this speed limit, depending on whether you're playing version 1.2 or 1.5, then either your steering will lock up, causing you to crash into the outer wall unless you execute a "brake cancel" technique, or you will oversteer like hell. And if you hit a wall or suffer said understeer, your acceleration is permanently gimped and can only be fixed with brake cancelling. Which is done on a straightaway. But that's not where the problems end. To get to the tuning shop, you have to eject your card three times. Not continue three times, you have to pick "NO" at the continue screen for it to count. This means that if you're playing several rounds in a row, then you'll be wasting chances to tune up your car if you continue each time—you have to spend about 2-3 minutes between sessions ejecting your card, putting it back in, and going through all the menus. These sorts of mechanics are contributing to the downfall of the IDAS scene.
  • Burnout Revenge gave us "Traffic Checking". The idea being that your car can shunt small vehicles that are stationary/going the same way you are, out of the way. The problem however was that this also gave you boost. Normally boost was rewarded for risky driving, but Traffic Checking had no risk attached to it, unless you couldn't tell the back of a car from the back of a bus. Naturally smart players would change their strategy from trying to stay in oncoming where possible, to driving going the right way and shunting cars about in the process.
  • Mario Kart:
    • The Blue Shells, Lightning Bolts and POWs. All of them all but undodgeable and all of them far too commonly occurring given their power (particularly in the Wii offering, due to the greater number of racers). This shifting baseline has caused what used to be items that occurred twice in a 4 race circuit to appearing in concurrent pickups. They can be mostly cut out in Mario Kart Wii by choosing the "strategic" item set, but only for local multiplayer—hence, to beat the Grand Prix, you will need to just bear up. The Blue Shell can be used to take out other racers, if you're in first place. Slam on the brakes at the right time and the explosion will hit a few other racers. If you're going to drop 5 or 6 places, may as well take someone with you. Another aspect of the Blue Shell that can drive you crazy is that once it closes in on the leading racers (who haven't yet finished the race), it will fixate onto the leading racer of that specific moment. So if you get hit a half second after it locks on you and fall backward a few places, it will hit you anyway, meaning you'll likely fall even further back and give whoever replaced you for the lead a free pass. Finally, if you throw a Blue Shell and then get into first before it locks on (a rare situation, but it happens, especially in one-on-one races), you can be hit by your own Blue Shell. Mario Kart 8 seeks to fix the issue with the introduction of the Super Horn, which causes a shockwave when used that stuns all nearby racers and destroys all projectiles in the same area when used, including the Blue Shell.
    • The weird thing is that most people assume that the mechanic that gave the trailing racers better items debuted in MK64. It didn't. It was actually a feature in Super Mario Kart, but only for the players since computers didn't use items at all. All 64 did was allow the computer racers to use items rather than their predictable and avoidable attacks. And as for Wii, Red Shells are a valid item drop for even first place, with Mushrooms being given to second place.
    • Mario Kart Wii's upping the racer count from 8 to 12 turned out to be quite the scrappy mechanic because it increases how often annoying items are used. There have been horror stories of players getting hit by multiple blue shells in rapid succession, or taken down by a blue shell, a lightning bolt, a POW block, and a Blooper one after the other.
    • The Bullet Bill is a big one: It turns you into a super fast giant torpedo that you DON'T EVEN HAVE TO STEER. Plus, anyone you hit bounces TWICE, guaranteeing that they are catapulted off the stage on smaller levels. You'll only get it when you're nearly dead last, so it's not an issue for guys in first and second place. However, tell that to the player in 5th place who just got passed because the game decided to reward the 12th place player for being worse at the game.
    • The Rollcage Leader Missile didn't do this, but instead you got missiles that would lock on to buildings (instead of opponents) and bring them down on your own head.
    • In Mario Kart 7, the Blue Shell now takes the worst parts of the versions from the earlier games: it flies along the floor until it reaches the first place player, then flies up and blasts them to pieces. Unfortunately, both of these 'attacks' can really easily screw someone up; the players at the back due to them being in the middle of the track on a narrow course (guess where the Blue Shell travels, and you have about four seconds to move out the way or get obliterated) and for the person in the lead, it seems the impact of being hit is random, you fly to the side in some almost arbitary direction and likely fly off the track. If a Blue Shell gets fired on SNES Rainbow Road, someone racing will pay dearly for it.
    • And then there's the coin system in the SNES and GBA Mario Kart games. The more you get (up to 10 for best effect), the faster you go. Falling off the track, bumping into people, or being attacked makes you drop coins and you go slower. Have no coins? Just bumping anyone makes you spin out. Because of this, coins are also offered as an item, which is good to have if you are not good enough to pick up coins on the track, but this is more of an annoyance if you got enough coins or are looking for an item to defend yourself with. If that wasn't bad enough, for the GBA version, you had to collect a lot of coins in order to qualify for star grades at the end of a cup (along with your race times).
    • Mario Kart 7's version of the coin system is more forgiving; the only benefit to having them is a boost in top speed, and not having any will simply keep your kart performing normally. Additionally, you can only lose coins by falling off the track or being attacked by an item, and simply bumping into another kart will let you keep your coins. However, it turned the Lightning Bolt into one of the most hated items in the entire game, as it instantaneously makes every single other racer lose about 4 coins in addition to stopping, shrinking, and slowing them down.
    • Mario Kart 7, being like any other game in the series, can get crazy with items. There can be several races where you can go from 10 coins down to 2 due to being hit by several items in a row. Combine this with unlockables requiring coins to be unlocked is a nightmare waiting to happen.
    • Mario Kart Wii introduced the Thunder Cloud which caused a lot of misery for players since it can be picked up in any position, even in last place. The contempt for this item is so great that a lot of fans are glad that it hasn't been in any other Mario Kart since then.
    • Mario Kart 8 does tone down the Blue Shells and Lightning, and introduces the Super Horn. Unfortunately, items are now awarded based on distance from the leader, not position in the race, meaning even second- and third-place racers can get really awesome items. First place? Expect a lot of coins to come up in that roulette.
    • Also, you can now no longer claim a new item from an item box while dragging a shell or banana peel behind you. While one can see what they were aiming for, this means that the first-place racer approaching an item box has to make the excruciating decision to drop the banana peel he's using to block red shells in the hopes of getting a Super Horn... or hold on to it in case s/he would get some useless coins instead.
  • Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing allows the race leader to get Missiles, which act like the Red Shell in the Mario Kart Series (homing attack against the racer ahead). However, not only are the missiles far more precise, when the leader gets one, he can shoot it backwards and it will lock on the second racer! That means if you are trying to reach the leader, you'll have to focus on the hazards of the track, avoid the mines dropped by the leader and pray that, if he gets a missile, the next item box gives you a shield, a KO Glove, or another missile. Oh, the leader will also get Speed Shoes every now and then.
  • R4: Ridge Racer Type 4 gives you new cars during GP Mode, the cars you get depending on your performance in the last few races. If you place first in every race, you'll get the best cars for your team/sponsor combo, but winning every race in 1st only unlocks a fraction of the cars. To unlock the rest, you have to Do Well, But Not Perfect and place 2nd or 3rd to unlock the lower-tier cars, which is annoying because it means sandbagging races as well as getting some pretty disparaging remarks from your team for not finishing in first.

     Real Time Strategy 
  • MOBA games like League of Legends and Defense Of The Ancients are full of mechanics that may or may not have originated as a bug or engine limitation. For one, a number of spells go through spell immunity for no reason other than the limited Warcraft 3 engine on which the original Dota is built. This flaw was faithfully ported to the standalone sequel and is frustrating to be on the receiving end of.
    • Runes in League of Legends. Runes are stat bonuses for your ingame champion, which you can buy in the cash shop. Luckily, you can only buy them for Influence Points which are gained by playing matches, not for real money. Unluckily, you will spend about 150 matches worth of IP on runes before you are anywhere near competitive, and they are neither weak enough to not be mandatory in ranked games nor strong enough to make you feel good when you finally max out your runepages (which themselves also cost tons of IP or real money beyond the first two while there are five roles in the game). In short, expect to dedicate the next couple of months grinding IP for runepages instead of buying actual champions with that IP. Hope you enjoy the free champions or have a fat wallet to buy them for real money. To add some salt to the wound, Runes come in three tiers depending on your Summoner (account) level. Tiers one and two are worthless, and any experienced player will tell a newcomer to ignore them until Tier 3 runes become usable. And if you wasted some precious IP on some anyway? Well, you can convert them to a higher tier... at a horrifyingly inefficient 5-to-1 ratio, and you don't even pick what you get.
    • Flash in League of Legends, which is basically a free short distance instant teleport on a long cooldown. The problem is that this ability can be used to foil ganks. To ensure the success of ganks. To escape from certain death. To chase enemies. To seize objectives. To dodge skillshots. To position for abilities. In fact, it's good for pretty much everything. Out of over a hundred champions, there's a scant handful who don't take Flash almost every match, and no one would blink if you took it on them too. The devs noticed this and toned Flash back a bit as of season 3. While still a staple (being a safe pick if one doesn't have a strategy for the other spells), it's not quite so universal anymore.
    • In Dota 2, there is a rune that spawns randomly in one of two spots every 2 minutes. This includes right at the start of the match. Guessing correctly and getting a free double damage or illusion rune before the game even starts is somewhat annoying for the enemy. On the other hand, proper teams tend to ward and prepare for the rune spawns, so acquiring the rune is less 'guessing' and more 'preparation'.
    • A mechanic held over from the first Dota is gold loss upon death. This is either a fair reward for someone for taking out the opponent, or an unfair punishment that's Adding Insult to Injury, and lengthens the gap in what may already be an uneven match.
  • For a series which has been around as long as it has, the Total War series has largely managed to avoid these. One particularly notable case, however, is the "Realm Divide" mechanic in Total War Shogun 2. Basically, once your clan controls about 15 provinces (out of 65,) every other clan will ally against you. You're given a severe diplomatic penalty, meaning your former allies will abandon you and you'll be unable to establish trade relations, killing your economy. Then, every clan that is against you will be given large stacks of veteran units every turn.
  • Sins of a Solar Empire:
    • The Open Rebellion event for Stellar Phenomena. If allegiance drops to less than 30% on planets, a sizable fleet of rebels, complete with their own Capital Ships, will attack the planet, destroy everything they can, and automatically destroy the colony regardless of health upgrades. Since planets more than 5 phase lanes away have a maximum of 35% loyalty, and Deliverance Engine signals guarantee at least a 10% drop, playing against an Advent player is an exercise in futility as the colonies are overthrown faster than you can restore them. Not even TEC Rebels, who are "assaulted" by fleets of non-combative forces, are immune to this.
    • Culture can be this. You may be doing well militarily only to have your planets slip from your control. Especially bad if you're doing a military research only run for the Achievements or don't have enough slots to spare for Broadcast Centres.

  • In general, combo-based scoring systems, due to how a single mistake can completely ruin one's score and force a restart if one is trying to get a high score.
  • Guitar Hero III:
    • A Boss Battle mode, where periodically through the main career mode, the player will have to guitar-duel famous guitarists such as Tom Morello, Slash and the Devil. It's exactly what you'd expect to happen when incorporating Mario Kart-esque powerups into a Rhythm Game: The AI opponents play flawlessly, and depending on the player, the difficulty of the matches ranges from trivial to absolutely impossible, thanks to being almost completely dependent on getting the right powerups and using them at the right time, and if the AI can do the same to you. It should already be telling that the first guitar duel is said to be the hardest, simply because your opponent's notechart simply doesn't have enough consecutive notes for you to reliably defeat him with anything but a specific powerup. Later installments in the franchise have eased this mechanic by making the guitar duels less dependent on random chance, but the damage was already done in Guitar Hero III.
    • The Whammy Bar is annoying to players and observers alike. Not only is it required to max out points on some songs (darn that Star Power meter), but it ruins notes that were never meant to be whammied. That, and you have to take your hand off the strum bar to use it, so on shorter notes or staggered chords, it can be a nightmare.
  • The PS1 port of Dance Dance Revolution 1st Mix brings us Arrange Mode, which is essentially the same as normal mode, with one key difference: if you step on a panel when you aren't supposed to, instead of nothing happening, you instead get an "OUCH!!" judgment, which drains your Life Meter even moreso than a Miss. So if you have a crappy pad, or you like freestyling, or you step on panels when nothing's happening to keep the beat...
    • DDR X introduces shock arrows; if your foot is down when they reach the target zone, your combo breaks, your health takes a hit, and the whole chart goes invisible for about a second. Even worse is how they're placed: while mines in In The Groove / Pump It Up Pro // StepMania can be placed in one or two columns at a time if one wishes, shock arows ALWAYS fill all of the columns. This means you'll have to jump completely off the pad every time they come. And you'll be doing a LOT of said jumping, especially in "Horatio". They come back in X2, where every Challenge chart to contain them is EXACTLY THE SAME as Expert, only with the shock arrows replacing certain steps.
  • Minigames in the Patapon series. The main gameplay uses player-entered rhythm based musical sequences that call for a variety of attacks, and then every single minigame is a call-repeat rhythm game that uses a single button (or TWO for a minigame in Patapon 2). These minigames are sometimes the only way to get top level weapons.
  • Spinners in Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan and Elite Beat Agents are what set the dedicated players apart. Partway or at the very end of a song, you're meant to stop tapping beats and instead draw really fast circles on your DS screen while a timer counts down. Do well and you'll gain tons of bonus points - do poorly and you'll lose a sizable portion of your health meter. Towards the end of the harder difficulties, the spinners get so demanding that no matter how flawless a player's rhythm is, they'll live or die based solely on the dexterity of their wrist. Naturally, those who fail to meet the expectations of the later spinners will quickly grow to hate them since they alone make the final songs near-unbeatable or at least impossible to score a Perfect on, putting the higher ranks out of reach.
    • The scoring system is pretty frustrating. Each note has a base value of up to 300 points, depending on how well you time the note. Seems pretty standard for a rhythm game. Then comes the combo multiplier; by the end of the song, a single note can be worth tens of thousands of points. In other rhythm games, missing a note simply means you lose a few points. Here, missing just one note will completely botch your score, especially if said miss is in the middle of the song.
    • And if you're playing the popular OTO/EBA clone osu!, you get all of the above, plus multipliers for using modifiers as well. One particular modifier doubles the speed of the song. This means to obtain a top-tier score on a song, you not only need to not miss a single note ever, you also need to double the song speed, which makes the chart much more difficult and will probably make the song sound terrible.
  • DJMAX Technika's unlock system. On completing certain missions in Platinum Crew mode, you'll unlock a song (or in the case of one mission, a course)...but you can only use that unlocked song or course 3 times before you have to unlock it again. Thankfully, this is being revised for Technika 2 where you gain unlocks by simply going onto the Platinum Crew website and purchasing the unlocks once using your in-game currency. The one flipside to this is that unlocks are fairly expensive, especially for the more difficult songs.
  • Beatmania IIDX 17 Sirius:
    • Backspin Scratches, in which you continously spin the turntable in one direction until the end of the note, then spin it the other way at the very end. It's awkward to keep spinning the turntable, and even moreso to spin it back at the end, especially if there are key notes between the start and the end of the scratching.
    • DJ Hero fans share your pain. Scratch up-up-up—up-up-up-up—up-up-up—up-up-up-up-up
  • Rock Band:
    • A bug in drumming called "squeezing", which is a scrappy for those anal about the scoring. If you hit the crash on a fill a little early, and then in the next split-second hit what would have been there if the fill wasn't in the way, you get the points for the hitting those notes. This means you have to memorize what to hit and finish fills a little awkwardly for extra points. Usually not enough to make a difference unless both players are doing perfect, but can cause a rift between Scrubs and "Stop Having Fun" Guys.
    • Drum fills in general are slightly controversial among Rock Band players, in that choosing not to trigger Overdrive can allow drummers to coast through parts of songs that might otherwise prove deviously hard. It does hurt your score to do this though, and it's basically a useless strategy in Rock Band 3, where no-fail mode does not disqualify.
  • Project Diva:
    • In the first game, scoring is greatly increased during a single section of each song called Chance time. A single perfect hit normally awards 500 points, with up to 250 points of combo bonus. In Chance Time, the combo bonus raises 20 times faster and caps 5000 points higher, meaning a single Chance Time commonly awards more points than the entire rest of the song, despite being less than twenty seconds long. This meant that unless you are gunning for a perfect score, 90% of the game is almost completely irrelevant.
    • It works in reverse, too. There are some songs that are scored so harshly that missing even one note in chance time pretty much guarantees a rank of STANDARD. Frustrating if you're trying to unlock the extra models.
    • The timing windows in both games in general are fairly harsh by typical Rhythm Game standards. This is compounded by any judgment below FINE (the second highest out of 5 possible note judgments) being a combo break; compare to IIDX where a GOOD (the 3rd highest out of 5 judgments) will maintain a combo, or Dance Dance Revolution where a GOOD (again, 3rd highest) will break a combo but the timing windows are looser. This wouldn't be much of a problem for those just wanting to beat songs, but you are required to hit a certain percentage of notes with combo-maintaining judgments to clear the song (80% in Diva 2nd, varying depending on difficulty level in Diva Arcade) on top of keeping your Life Meter above 0 during the song.
  • Theatrhythm Final Fantasy kicks the difficulty of the already stylus-burning Dark Notes up a notch on the higher levels. Remember the slide triggers with arrows on them? On the higher levels, they rotate. Many Bads will ensue.
  • jubeat saucer was infamous for its "song swap" system; every month through updates carried out via Konami's e-Amusement network, some songs were cut out while other songs are introduced or revived; this mechanic made many players unhappy, and was a source of memes for some players. This made it the first BEMANI game to delete songs through online updates. However, as of February 1, 2014, almost all previously-removed songsnote  have been revived, and song swap DID NOT come back in jubeat saucer fulfill.
  • In O2Jam:
    • The same speed mod is applied to all players in a multiplayer room. This is a huge problem for players who have different preferences in speed modifiers for the same song.
    • Several level up missions require the usage of modifiers such as Hidden and Sudden to complete. However—and this is where the game's Freemium aspect rears its ugly head—modifiers come in the form of "rings" that each only last for one song and must be purchased with in-game currency that is bought with real money, which is unfair to players who don't have a way to purchase rings. The problem can be mitigated somewhat in that the player does not need the ring themselves; if they are in a room hosted by another player, one who has the necessary ring, they can still complete the mission without having to pony up cash.

     Shoot 'Em Ups 
  • Raiden Fighters has the Micluses, little blue critters that spit out medals and then explode to give you a point bonus. Not too bad at first, if it weren't for the fact that nearly all Micli are hidden in nondescript locations or require obscure conditions.
  • In Mushihime-sama Futari, bombing takes 1,500-2,000 from your counter/multiplier, and dying takes off 1/3 of your current total, so it's in your best interest to bomb if you're in danger. But in Futari Black Label, it's roughly the other way around; dying takes off 1,500-2,000 and bombing takes off about 6,000-8,000. So if you wanna cash that huge 30,000 multiplier in God mode, but dying appears to be inevitable (which for inexperienced players is most of the time)...
  • Want to score high in Ikaruga? Prepare to spend endless hours practicing and memorizing chains, giving yourself absolutely no freedom as to how to play.
    • Its Spiritual Predecessor Radiant Silvergun is worse. Not only can a chain consist of only one color, forcing you to leave roughly 2/3 of enemies intact and allowed to attack you, but while scoring in Ikaruga is completely optional, in Radiant Silvergun it's mandatory. Why? Because your points are used to level up your weapons, and if you can't score well, your weapons will be underpowered and you'll be unable to rapidly damage later bosses, which can lead to a very quick Game Over.
  • Parodius features a powerup roulette (called Blizzard in Europe),which is triggered by a random power capsule in the game.The mechanic wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the existence of the !?/OH (MY GOD)! "powerup" on the power meter, which nullifies every powerup you have. Woe the players who raged when they hit that so-called "powerup".
  • Touhou:
    • Embodiment of Scarlet Devil's rank system, in which the longer you go without dying, the faster and denser the bullets get. Max-rank Patchouli is harder than the final boss.
    • Perfect Cherry Blossom and Imperishable Night have non-spellcard patterns highly resistant to bombing. Less bad in IN, since relatively few of these patterns are difficult, and a Last Spellnote  will still deal significant damage, but PCB has a number of very long, very difficult nonspells, and no way to deal with them other than toughing them out.
      • Scoring systems in Touhou games are generally a pain to figure out, but Imperishable Night in particular is pretty bad. To put it simply: Main body of stage? Don't focus, ever. Bosses? Don't un-focus, ever.
    • The Faith system in Mountain of Faith, where scoring high means no deaths, and exclusively deathbombing (and even then, only at certain points). This wouldn't be too annoying, but extra lives are only given upon reaching high scores, essentially forcing players into a scorerun (in a fandom where the number of players who play for score can be counted on one hand) if they want more lives.
    • The continue system introduced in this game in which continuing snaps you back to the beginning of the stage with a mere two lives, beside being incredibly frustrating to redo 4-5 minutes of gameplay, you also can only practice levels you've beaten making every difficult moment in the game a solid wall, and most Touhou players would be aiming for a continue-less run anyway without the momentum-killing snap-back. Thankfully, Double Dealing Character has fixed this particular mechanic, returning to the old continue system.
    • The weather system in Scarlet Weather Rhapsody is generally okay, but Typhoon Weather eliminates hitstun and blocking for about 45 seconds. Spring Haze Weather prevents both players from using physical attacks. River Mist Weather moves the characters back and forth, screwing up tons of combos and attacks that require certain spacing. Amusingly enough, River Mist is representative of Komachi, the character who requires the most precise spacing to fight well, and whose in-canon power is defined as "manipulation of distance." Spring Haze was nerfed to near pointlessness in Hisoutensoku, thoughnote .
    • Undefined Fantastic Object's UFO system is actually quite nice, but most of the UFOs change color periodically. It's not uncommon to need one more UFO in a sequence, then have it change color right before you get it, screwing up your whole plan. Trying to collect a quickly-moving token randomly floating around the screen in the short time frame that it's the correct color doesn't exactly mix well with Bullet Hell. To make things worse, it's the only way to gain lives or bombs.
    • Ten Desires spirit system for gaining lives and bombs is moderately irritating on it's own, since they don't fall down the screen like regular items. The real scrappy mechanic, though, is the trance system. You build up a meter by collecting spirits (most of which don't act as bomb/life fragments), and when full can activate it for a Super Mode. Two problems: First, it also doubles the effect of bomb and life spirits, and, second, you automatically use it if you die. This essentially means that your denied from using a powerful attack as an actual attack, you need to memorize the best places to use it, and dying generally throws off your rhythm for around a stage.
    • Double Dealing Character and its system for gaining additional lives and bombs. Basically, you go to the Point of Collection to auto-grab every item on screen, and the game gives you a multiplier for the score from these items and drops a live/bomb fragment depending on how many of those items you grabbed. On one hand it makes collecting lives simple and quick, on the other trying to do so in Bullet Hell-heavy sections is almost impossible, and every time you do get to the top of the screen there is a chance of getting slammed into by surprise by something that just entered the screen.
  • Battle Garegga's rank system. Want to keep the last two stages possible? Don't power up and don't trigger special option formations! The rank scale for enemy aggressiveness is capped in the last two stages to playable levels, in a rare show of mercy by the developers. However, if you raise the rank to extremely high levels beforehand, there is no such cap, and you are treated to literally undodgeable patterns, especially on the Stage 4 boss and Stage 5 midbosses.
    • This is a trait seen in games programed by Shinobu Yagawa, resulting in a Broken Base (some love this, some don't). The association has rendered CAVE games with these traits black sheep.
  • Darius Gaiden's rank doesn't get as retarded as Garegga's, but its implementation is worse. Each of the 7 tiers of stages has a "default rank", which the game sets to when you collect a powerup on that tier. And once you raise the rank, there is no way to decrease it. Ideally, you want to stop powering up after the 4th stage. Wait, what's that? You lost a couple lives on the last stage and took a big hit in shot power? Too bad! Either deal with it or face a Difficulty Spike!
  • Dangun Feveron never shows your total score during gameplay; it's only shown at the end of each stage, as well as after getting a high score and ending your game, which wouldn't be as big of a problem if the lowest default high score of 1.2 million wasn't difficult to obtain for new players. This caused a huge problem at a shmup tournament where many players who couldn't get on the in-game high score table either manually calculated their scores by hand or simply didn't bother to submit scores.
  • Guwange has you collect coins to raise your score, while shooting enemies to keep the coin collection timer from running out (at which point your coin count drops to 0). And the chain timer is more lenient than DoDonPachi's, so chaining in this game shouldn't be as big of a pain in the ass, right? Well, here's where the game kicks you in the face: your coin count carries over between stages, meaning that in order to obtain a very good score, you need to keep your coin timer from resetting at all throughout the entire game. Have it reset halfway through the game? Time to Rage Quit!
  • Heavy Weapon for the PC. Your tank aims using the mouse cursor, that's fine. The problem is that it also moves towards the mouse cursor, making it annoying to dodge attacks while aiming. This makes facing enemies like Bulldozers (which move towards you and One-Hit Kill you if you brush against them) a complete pain. Thankfully, Pop Cap realized this mistake and made aiming and moving separate in the PS3 and Xbox360 releases.
  • In RefleX, using a continue will let you keep your score, but it will be nullified afterwards. Now penalizing a player for using a continue is fine, but this means if you set a record score on your first credit, and you decide to continue (e.g. to practice or unlock later stages), then the game will invalidate your score. The worst part is, the developer knows this, as there is a line of text stating that your score will not be saved in such cases. This is in contrast to the other two games in The Tale Of ALLTYNEX series, where using a continue will still allow you to save the score you got on your first credit.
    • In RefleX and ALLTYNEX Second, the stage select will only let you practice up to the highest stage you cleared. So that stage you're struggling to clear? To be allowed to practice it, you have to clear it in a full run in the first place!
  • Like with RefleX above, using a continue in Ether Vapor also renders your score null and void.
  • Sine Mora gives you a primary weapon, a secondary weapon, and a special Time Capsule skill that will do things such as activate Bullet Time, reverse time (even after you die, thereby allowing you to negate death), or reflect bullets, a feature well-touted by the game. However, if you are playing for score, your character (which determines your secondary weapon) and your choice of Time Capsule don't mean anything, because using either of these resets your multiplier, in a game that touts time manipulation as one of its primary gimmicks.
  • Eschatos can be extremely annoying to play for score:
    • In Original mode, your multiplier builds up as you destroy enemy waves. However, for each enemy that escapes, your multiplier decreases by one. If you die, you also suffer the same penalty...but during the time it takes for your ship to respawn, a whole wave of enemies may leave the screen, and depending on how high your multiplier is that means five to ten past minutes of hard work thrown completely out the window.
    • In Advanced mode, the penalties for enemies escapting is more lenient, but there's a new Scrappy Mechanic in town: Collecting a bomb item immediately clears all enemies and turns bullets into purple tetrahedrons that boost your score...but it also reduces your multiplier and reduces your shot power by one level. Collecting multiple bombs in succession is a good way to damage your multiplier and severely weaken yourself. Therefore, Advanced turns into a game of avoiding not only bullets, but also items.

    Simulation Game 
  • Naval Ops: Warship Gunner, the first game in the series, forced the player to travel to the edge of the map after completing mission objectives. While this rarely takes more than a few minutes, that can be a very long time when damaged and under fire.
  • Dwarf Fortress is very much a work in progress, so most of these examples are temporary. It's just that the development cycle is so long that they really don't feel temporary:
    • The Dwarven Economy, not to put to fine a point on it, didn't work. It was generally accepted that it's best to turn it off, and failing that never mint any coins. If nothing else, keeping track of all those little objects will slow your computer to a crawl. It was Dummied Out completely with the update to v0.31 and will not be returning until all its issues have been resolved.
    • Hospitals. Don't bother putting together a trauma team: your medical staff will take their sweet-ass time even if you assign no other duties and keep them strictly limited to their hospital area. This can be gotten around somewhat by making all dwarves capable of taking medical treatment jobs, as a dwarf will never fail to complete a job due to a lack of skill. All dwarves will plunder thread and cloth many times over the inventory maximum you set for the zone, and will even go far from the stockpiles sitting ready in the area, to grab the most expensive dyed silks. Meanwhile the gypsum powder, splints and crutches, of which there may be plenty, still aren't getting filled to the maximum because thread and cloth have a stranglehold on the inventory space of the numerous planted containers. If surgery and crutches aren't broken enough, many beast sicknesses will break the rest of the procedure. And without that, only one doctor can work on one patient at a time, and each stage of a multi-part procedure still takes way too long for having the necessary equipment within 20 tiles.
    • The new military system in and after 0.31 is a considerable improvement in many ways but its interface is virtually impenetrable without reference to the wiki.
    • Come to think of it, the user-interface in general is not especially consistent or accessible. A complete top-to-bottom overhaul is promised shortly after the game enters beta-testing... in another five years or so.
    • Strange moods. They are often beneficial to the player, but that all depends on the whim of the Random Number God: the dwarf may be possessed, in which case he will not receive any experience. They may request some material that isn't available at the site, which results in certain death unless a trader happens to bring said material. And of course, more often than not, the resulting artifact has no practical use. There's an option to turn them off in the config files.
    • Vampires. They are a cool concept, showing off how the game system and proliferate curses and the like and how a vampire can move from settlement to settlement to preserve themselves, and how dwarven justice now involves and investigation and accusation element on the part of the player. All interesting concepts, except the player is almost guaranteed to have a vampire join their fortress at some point, and attempts to prevent them from feeding unobserved (such as shared sleeping space and windows so that passers by might notice) rarely work. There are even instances of vampire's feeding in the middle of a crowded hall without anyone else noticing.
  • The Commodore 64 game The America's Cup, included a game mechanic that was supposed to duplicate the real-life experience of rigging a sailboat. In practice, this meant wiggling the joystick from left and right until your hand was tired. Not only was this annoying, but a very good way of ruining your joystick. Some cynics suggest this might have been why the game came bundled with many C64s sold in the mid 80s.
  • Blazing Angels includes the infamous "Desert reconnaissance" level, which consists of flying around in a sandstorm looking at an all-yellow screen and listening to Morse code beeps to find the enemy. Maybe the idea was to provide a break from just flying around and shooting at things — but if you don't like flying around and shooting at things why are you playing this game?
  • Some of the disasters in SimCity can get this way, but even more so is when "Residents demand a stadium."
    • Traffic congestion. There is no way around it. You can put in boulevards three spaces across everywhere, put in mass transit systems, and you will still have huge traffic issues. The game computes traffic according to how much road there is. They keep releasing SimCity games as if sorting out traffic issues was the most interesting and enjoyable part of the game. Then they make it more complicated by only letting you put in one-way streets and highway onramps with specific conditions.
    • Bridges. In 3000 and SimCity 4 sometimes the game refused to put a bridge in unless the land surrounding the spot was perfect, and the game refused to auto-terraform the land around it, requiring you to micromanage the land around it.
    • Water structure placement in general in SimCity 4. Some, like beaches, have lenient enough parameters that they're not so bad. Others, like marinas, require you to waste thousands on pinpoint terraforming, and even if you somehow get it right a minor glitch may cause the structure to appear submerged.
    • SimTower has a requirement for reaching a 4 star rating: A VIP can randomly show up at any time, and in order for them to approve of your tower, they have to first be able to park in an open VIP parking space in the parking garage, then they had to stay in a clean hotel suite. To keep them cleaned, you have to put in a hotel service room, and the maids will do their job. The problem is: it's IMPOSSIBLE to remove these rooms after they've been placed (even the subway station, which takes up an entire level, can be destroyed and removed.) They serve no other purpose than to clean the rooms. You can increase your hotel's population and revenue far more with other room types you already have access to, rather than sticking with hotel rooms. At least the security guard stations (which also can't be removed) serve a purpose of protecting the tower against bomb attacks, which can destroy sections of multiple floors.
  • Each of the Nintendo DS editions of the Harvest Moon series have had at least one of these:
    • DS and DS Cute had the draconian penalties in friendship points for littering. You couldn't even throw stuff away on your own farm, with no one else around, without incurring a large loss of friendship points across the board. Even with villagers that technically weren't even in town at the time. There's also the frequently recurring animal care touch-screen mini-games that are virtually required to raise your livestock's love points and produce higher quality products in any sort of timely matter. The more animals you possessed, the more of a grind the mini-games became. DS Cute actually eased up on the frequency of the mini-games.
    • Island of Happiness had both the Weather/Crop system (where too much rain or sun could kill crops with no recourse from you) and the cooking system, where every recipe had to be bartered for from the town diner or cafe (or gained from the Harvest Goddess at the bottom of the mine). The experimentation and enhancement aspects of previous games' cooking mechanics were gone. The sequel, Sunshine Islands, retained both mechanics, but eased up on the harshness (there was more leeway in what conditions would kill crops and the diner and cafe were there from the game's start).
    • Grand Bazaar altered the series' tried and true storage system (One unit for tools & seeds, one for food, one for everything else, along with separate bins for building materials and animal feed) for an all-in-one unit that would quickly run short of space — especially if you were storing items to sell at the Bazaar. Also, if two of the same type items (say, gold ore) had a different quality ranking, each ranking got a separate storage slot, eating up the precious storage slots even faster. The game also got rid of the shipping bins, so you have to hold on items to sell them at the bazaar (again, eating up storage slots) or tediously sell them to Raul (usually at a loss for what you'd get for them at the bazaar).
    • The Tale of Two Towns restored the shipping bins and the more experimental cooking system, as well as expanding the all-in-one storage system. But then it went and altered the farm expansion/upgrade system: You could only order one farm expansion and one tool upgrade per month. (In Grand Bazaar, it was once a week, and in earlier games, you could order every available upgrade, one after the other as long as you had the required resources). And the tunnel expansion request would override them, so that you couldn't get any more farm expansion until that particular tunnel expansion was completed. You also couldn't simply jump between the farms to complete the requests two at a time: you can only move at the end of the month and the new requests wouldn't appear until the beginning of the next. Getting 100% upgrades on both farms, plus opening the mines and the mountain hot springs takes at least twelve in-game years.
    • A Wonderful Life had the animal barn. There was only one, and you couldn't buy any more. It had 8 slots for animals. In order to get milk from cows, they had to have given birth, requiring a free barn slot present at pregnancy to put the calf into. This meant you had to sell and rotate animals carefully to ensure you always had something producing something, but typically there'd always be some wasted slots that were either empty (awaiting future calves) or taken up by animals not producing anything (the calves). But the worst part was the goat. It produced milk for one year... and then nothing ever again. And you couldn't sell it. Essentially, you either had to let it waste one of your precious 8 barn slots, or... kill it.
    • Spin off game Rune Factory allows you to cook food items that restore HP and RP (stamina) in addition to temporarily buffing your stats. The problem is that as long as you have a buff from eating, you cannot eat anymore until the buff ends. This makes restoring your RP (which is consumed whenever you attack, and starts draining your HP instead if empty) during battles annoying, as you must focus on dodging attacks for a long time until the buff ends. Fortunately, later games in the series allow you to eat multiple food items in a row, with only the buff from the latest item eaten applying.
  • RollerCoaster Tycoon has the rather infamous (station) brake failure. Now, ride failures are nothing rare at all in the game, and for almost every case it's usually nothing horrible and if you have a decent number of mechanics, you just let them take care of it and everyone is happy again. Not so much with the brake failures — it happens on the roller coasters and is a failure where the brakes that slow down incoming coaster cars stop functioning. If your cars were coming in at high speeds and you didn't anticipate this failure, your cars are going to crash and kill whoever was in them, and nobody will want to ride your coaster anymore because it's now "unsafe." Even though there are ways around this, it's very frustrating to see a coaster you tested multiple times and were very sure was working blow up out of complete nowhere. Even worse, some of the game's prebuilt coasters were built without this in mind, most famously Agoraphobia. The second game added failproof block brakes at least, but all in all it's very easy to see why this mechanic was axed from the third game altogether.
  • In the first Zoo Tycoon game, the excessive amount of time given to complete some scenarios. In some cases, it's so bad you will spend more time waiting for the time to pass than actually doing the stuff required to complete the scenario! Fortunately, you can make the game play in windowed mode so you can leave it running while you do other stuff, but it's still annoying and ridiculous.
  • In Zoo Tycoon 2: The adoption system in Challenge Mode.
  • In the Xbox One and Xbox 360 Zoo Tycoon reboot, the zoo limit. It's ridiculously low. They give you huge maps, and you can't even fill up 40 percent of them.

    Sports Game 
  • Tony Hawk's Pro Skater:
    • The on-foot mechanics were widely reviled by fans and critics alike. Many will note that the first four games (no on-foot anything) happen to be the best reviewed of the series- games 5-9 on the other hand (which all feature the on-foot mechanics) have gotten middling to poor reviews.
    • On foot was made worse for Tony Hawk's American Wasteland, with the addition of Parkour. In theory a good idea, in practice a bailproof way to add another 500 points and at least another three numbers to your multiplier.
    • Tony Hawk's Underground allows you to drive cars. These vehicles had all the handling of a pinball in a table made of ice. Aside from the goals, use of them is redundant, as they reset back where they started in a level when you're done, meaning you can't even create a new combo line with them.
    • Tony Hawk's Underground 2 then gave us more vehicles—not cars, vehicles you can do tricks with, such as a motorized skateboard, a tricycle, a go-kart, and a bucking bull on wheels. They all had about four tricks, and most of them were so very anti-intuitive to use due to not being able to stop. The last three examples were implemented so poorly they were removed from the sequels.
    • Tony Hawk's Project 8 then gave us Nail the Trick, where the analogue sticks control your feet. It was an entirely alien control scheme that stuck around into Tony Hawk's Proving Ground, where it's only useful for the specific goals, and is otherwise unusable in a regular combo.
    • Grinding in the original Tony Hawk's Pro Skater was incredibly difficult due to the hypersensitive controls that required you to mash left and right on the d-pad to balance yourself. It was quite a feat to be able to grind for more than a couple of seconds without falling on your ass.
  • Mario Super Sluggers;
    • The game has the star power mechanic, where the pitcher and the batter can use special powers to gain an advantage, such as tossing the ball really fast or hitting the ball with the bat and splitting the ball in two to confuse outfielders. To get more star power points, up to 5 max, you have to make successful strikes or successfully hit the ball without the ball being caught for an out. However, Mario Kart rears its ugly head for this mechanic where the losing team will gain more star points, thus they can effectively spam their special moves over and over again until they can catch up.
    • There's also the robbing home runs with two players with good chemistry teaming up and robbing your home runs in the more difficult challenging levels. It's really frustrating if you're looking for a clean game but a competent computer opponent.
  • NCAA Football has a despised system for making phone calls to recruits which basically spins a roulette wheel of topics, allowing you the option of pitching your school's merits on that topic or discrediting your rivals on that topic. It's obnoxious enough that you, the head coach, can't choose to pitch whatever you want. This can lead to the bizarre result that the coach of Stanford might never get to sell his school's academics or the coach of Miami can never sell the school's gorgeous campus. However the roulette wheel sometimes stops on topics that you know the player doesn't care about leaving you forced to try and pitch him anyway. This has been removed for NCAA 13.
  • NHL Hockey has the goaltender controls which tend to not allow the free range of motion necessary to replicate real life goalie positioning. The worst offender being the hug post command which can frequently make you hug the wrong post and get stuck to it until you release the trigger, which will give the opposing player plenty of time to score on a wide open net.
  • Besides the play mentioned above, Madden NFL has had a few:
    • The mobile version of Madden 12 has a mechanic that makes an open receiver on a go route virtually impossible to tackle if you're playing man coverage. It can be especially annoying if your opponent keeps throwing 80 touchdown passes.
    • Madden 06 had the infamous "QB cone". Basically, your quarterback had a vision cone extending outwards from their bodies, and they could only throw accurately to receivers in that cone. The size of the cone was determined by the QB's awareness stat: top-tier quarterbacks like Brett Favre, Peyton Manning, and Tom Brady had huge cones, whereas backups had tiny slivers. It was frustrating to use and in some ways counterproductive, since a smaller vision cone could be used to fake defenders off of a receiver you actually wanted to pass to. The feature was gone by Madden 08.
    • The QB cone made the game damn near unplayable on the PC version. Previous installments had the player aim with the mouse and throw by left clicking while using standard WSAD keys (and those directly around them) for moving the QB. However, once the vision cone was implemented, you still aimed with the mouse but needed to press a separate key on the leopard in order to actually throw the pass to that receiver. Trying to do that while moving your QB away from pressure seemingly required a 3rd hand. It's little wonder that the PC version of the game stopped being made shortly thereafter...
  • ESPN MLB 2K5 had a gimmick mechanic called Slam Zone; if a pitcher screwed up badly in delivering a pitch or a batter guessed location and pitch correctly, the game would break into a mini-game in which the pitcher and batter tapped the buttons as fast as possible, while the pitch was zoomed in on in slow motion. If the batter won the duel, he would uncork a home run. Not only did it break the immersive TV-like presentation, but was also very much un-sim for a baseball simulation. It wasn't brought back after the one-year experiment.
  • NBA 2K14 giving you a technical foul for swearing when your X-Box One's Kinect or your Playstation 4's Camera recognizes the word or words said. This means that the game gives a free throw to the opponent for the player swearing in the comfort of their own home. Thankfully, it can be turned off by disabling voice commands. Youtube user randomfrankp does not take it well.

    Stealth Action 
  • From Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, there's the psyche gauge (due to how fast it depletes) and the stress meter (due to how fast it rises), both odd cases considering how well the stamina gauge from MGS3 was handled.
  • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, for many people, the CURE mechanic was highly annoying. The concept itself was alright; if Snake suffered a serious injury (broken limbs, burns, gunshot wounds, ect.) you would go into the CURE screen and select the appropriate items to heal your wound, or else face a lowered healthbar. This rapidly got annoying during the late game boss fights, who can usually do a serious injury to Snake in a single hit, forcing the player to constantly pause and go through the CURE screen if they wanted any chance in winning the fight.
    • So too is the camouflage system, as you needed to constantly pause the game to change camo colors in order to max out your Camo Index and maintain your stealth. As you travel through a range of environments, this becomes tedious after awhile. In a reversal to the stamina/psyche gauge issue, MGS4 fixed this with its Octocamo - just press a button to automatically blend in.
  • The sword gameplay in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. Especially annoying since it was introduced very late in the game, giving you about one minute to practice before an hour of shooting giant robots/cutscene and then final boss swordfight.

    Survival Horror 
  • Mostly at the beginning of Resident Evil 6 (But still found throughout) the game will decide to disable certain actions of your character. For example, during a tense scene you'll lose the ability to open your inventory or make your character run, instead forcing you to walk ever so slowly across the wide sprawling room.
    • The "Health Tablets" as well. When you pick up a herb you can't just use it, you have to convert it into a health tablet first then use a separate button to eat the tablet and restore health. Figuring this out is a major Guide Dang It for a lot of players, and many players never figure out how to use the First Aid sprays at all.
  • Towards the latter half of Fatal Frame 3, a door is opened that releases miasma into the rest of the house. In order to dispel it (and be able to see things more clearly), you must light purifying candles. So now, you not only have to worry about random ghost encounters while you're running around this mansion of horrors and trying to progress the storyline, but you've also got to keep an eye on your candle level, because once that candle runs out, the entire setting will change to a grainy black-and-white and Reika Kuze will show up to relentlessly chase you down until you find another candle and top up your light. Those candles are: a) rare (there are only three or four of them in the game, though they respawn during each new Night), b) spread out from each other, and c) finish very quickly. Oh, and that house you're wandering around in? Is enormous (easily the largest of any single one of the Fatal Frame houses) and very easy to get lost in.
  • The item system in Parasite Eve 2. Parasite Eve 2 made it where only items attached to your armor is what you can access during a battle. So if you attached 4 healing items, used them all up in a fight and need to get more, you're out of luck. Attaching items to your armor didn't free up any space in your main inventory.
  • Silent Hill: Downpour has several moments where you nearly fall to your death and lose all your items. All your items. Yes this includes the guns you got from the green lockers and from doing That One Sidequest, your ammo, and even your flashlight. You even lose the first-aid kits you were saving for that upcoming Void chase.

    Web Tournaments 
  • The SaiMoe tournament has not one but two Scrappy Mechanics, and they make each other more Scrappy to boot. To sum it up:
    • First, the seeding is completely random. So you can end with 3 very popular girls in the first match while an entire divison may be full of jobbers and C-List Fodder. Or worse, a division with Jobbers, C List Fodder and some popular girl, who then gets a free pass to quarters. The thing, there's a nomination process and a classification round before the final bracket, so they could use proper seeding if they wanted to.
    • Second and worse, it's the rule to determine if a series is eligible to enter the contest or not. To summarize, at least 50% of your running time must have been between last year's July and the current year's June. In theory, it's to avoid having the same girls every year. However, in practice means girls from Twelve Episode Anime with closed endings get only one shot, while Long Runners with several seasons or seasons placed in the middle of the year can get many, many chances (Hayate the Combat Butler and Higurashi Nonaku Koro Ni in particular have been in FOUR years in a row), making the rule worthless. Worse, with the Random rule from above, the girls from said 12 ep anime might end paired off against a bunch of strong girls and lose in the first or second round, while the one who has been doing well for 2-3 years already gets some easy fights and lands on the final rounds again. Of course, this could be avoided by simply not letting girls who got to the Top 8 or have been in for 2 years in a row enter the next year, just for the sake of having some variety. But that would be too hard.
      • However, characters from Long Runners or shows with multiple seasons tend to fare worse than newcomers. Characters whose popularity doesn't significatly degrade with each year are rare, and the number of series they originate from is in the single digits.

     Game Shows 
  • The Price Is Right has "$X+1" and "$1" bids, where you bet $1 (hence the name) or $1 over another bid. If you're not last, Laser-Guided Karma would dictate that the next person bid $X+2 or $2.

  • The flick of fencing qualifies. Some background: the flick is an attack made by snapping the wrist so the blade whips and bends to strike the target with the tip. It takes advantage of the unrealistic flexibility of a fencing weapon, necessary for safety. Fencers can be roughly divided into three kinds. Historical fencers try to keep alive historical fighting styles and will use weapons and movements which are not allowed in the sport. Classical fencers follow the rules of the sport as they were originally designed, mimicking something which sort of, kind of approximates a duel. Sport fencers, or competitive fencers, are more than willing to break with tradition in order to gain an edge in a game which involves swords, regardless of whether it would make sense in a sword fight. Generally, historical and classical fencers hate flicks and sport fencers use them whenever they might be an advantage. Taken to extremes, you have Scrubs and "Stop Having Fun" Guys in each camp. Flicks became so extreme, the sport's governing bodies changed the timing of electric fencing to make the flick less practical, but it is still a viable, competitive tactic. And cause a classical fencer to rage.
    • Another aggravating part of the flick's viability comes from right-of-way rules. The person who starts an attack (in a normal lunge done by straightening the forearm just before moving) has right-of-way, meaning that if an opponent responds by trying to hit them first but gets hit too the attacker is the one who gains a point. This is based on the idea that doing nothing to defend yourself from a sword thrust qualifies as Too Dumb to Live and should not be rewarded. Flick attacks don't use this motion, being well, flicks, and only straighten their arm at the furthest extension of the downswing, if at all. However, right-of-way is usually granted to them the moment they begin the downswing. A possible interpretation of the rules would be that flick attacks do not generate right-of-way, or do so only at the furthest extension, since they don't use this motion. After all, the rationale for the rule is that one is being faced with serious injury or death if the blow isn't blocked. But a flick attack would be unlikely to cause any serious harm if it connected, and so the basis for the rule does not apply to it.
      • The flick is only possible because a foil and an epee are much less rigid than a smallsword and a rapier, respectively. A flick just wouldn't work with a real weapon. If foil right of way rules are supposed to resemble the logic of a sword fight, then flicks make no sense at all. If foil right of way rules are about a sport, then the FIE needs to make a ruling about priority. Right now, judges seem a little divided. And epee has no right of way rules at all, so the question isn't right-of-way, but should flicks even be in the game? Granted, epeeists are -much- more sparing than foilists in the use of the flick, mostly because the stiffness of the epee and the high chance of a time hit (no, not that or attack in preparation. Thanks for showing me your forearm, sucker!
  • Faking injury in football. The fact that the referee has got to stop the game, but not the clock (!) when a player calls for medical attention has made this a heavily relied upon tactic employed by any team that is happy with the current score. Generally reviled by the fans as it can make the game unwatchable, it's so wide-spread that it has become a prominent feature of the game.
    • American Football had a similar problem with fake injuries, until most organizations installed rules to nullify any advantage in time stoppage: On the NFL level, an injury time-out costs a full time-out (if it occurs in the last two minutes of a half), and if the injured team is out of time-outs, the game clock is automatically run forward ten seconds (but only if the opposing team wants the time run off). And the faking player must come off the field for at least one play. Also, two injuries with no timeouts remaining in the last two minutes of the same half results in a five-yard Delay of Game penalty.
    • Lacrosse has a rule in which if a player goes down long enough for the referee to stop play, that player must leave the field. Getting back up means you must have been faking it, and lacrosse refs don't put up with it the way Soccer refs do. Leaving the field temporarily isn't a terrible problem, though, as lacrosse has the fastest substitution system of any sport.
    • Still on lacrosse, the refs also have a very strict view on "unsportsmanslike conduct" or talking back to the ref, unlike refs in other sports.
  • The designated hitter has been a controversial mechanic since the early 1970s in baseball. The fact that the National League is forced to use this mechanic during Interleague games when they're the visiting team (and conversely, the American League has to send their pitchers up to bat when they're the visitors) doesn't exactly help things either. Mentioning the designated hitter and why it's controversial draws lots of flames, even if it's been in the league for almost 40 years.
  • "Icing the kicker" in American Football: A team calling "time out" right before an opponent's last-second field goal attempt. An even more controversial recent variant is flagging down an official so the time out can be called at the last possible split-second, so that the play is stopped as the kicker is actually going through the kick. The idea is that given more time to think about the impending kick, the kicker will psych himself out and miss. Fans and critics hate the maneuver due to breaking the dramatic flow of the game - bringing the game to a screeching halt at a crucial moment for a miniscule chance at making the kicker fail. The "last possible second" variant has also seen more instances of the kicker missing the aborted kick and nailing the re-kick than missing the re-kick.
  • The Drag Reduction System (DRS) in Formula One, especially at tracks with more than one activation point, a long straight, or both (Shanghai).
  • The tandem draft at restrictor plate superspeedways in NASCAR, whereby one car locks itself on the back of another car and "pushes" the leading car around the track, thus significantly boosting the speed of both relative to the more traditional pack racing. Starting in 2012, NASCAR made changes to the aerodynamic and cooling systems of the plate cars to make it pretty much impossible to perform in Sprint Cup, and banned it outright starting in 2014 in the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series.
  • Intentional fouls in basketball. They instantly stop the clock to make players take free throws, and slow down the pace of the most exciting part of the game.

    Real Life 
  • "Dealer Qualifying" rules in certain casino games based on Stud Poker. How it works: If the Dealer's hand is not strong enough, (i.e. below an Ace high with a king in Caribbean Stud), all players automatically win their ante bets and their play bets are returned to them. However, antes only pay even money, whilst Play Bets, if they beat the dealer, have increased payouts for better hands. the dealer qualification rule is the Casino's ticket out of paying these higher wins. (as opposed to determaining their mathamatical edge by simply altering the payouts). Some games, like Three Card Poker, compensate by paying bonuses on the ante bets as well even if the hand loses, but the bonus is still not as large as the bonus on a play bet.
  • A recent rule change in poker tournaments known as the "first card off the deck rule" has brought with it mixed reviews, with those who don't like it considering it this. The rule is thus: If you aren't in your seat at the table when the first card is dealt, your hand is dead (meaning you lose antes and blinds automatically). This was a change from the rule being "last card off the deck" (where if you weren't in your seat when everyone had their cards, your hand was dead). Time will tell if players adjust to the new rule or if it fades into this trope more and more.
  • Some people view rules in general as this. Who hasn't complained, or heard someone complain, at some point in their lives that rules were stupid and people should be able to do what they want?
  • Most languages have their share of Scrappy Mechanics, too:
    • A particularly infamous one in English is the rule against split infinitives, which many English language guides no longer bother objecting to. 19th century educators loved being prescriptive, that is, establishing rules about how English should be written/spoken. Frequently they took these rules from Greek and Latin grammar for reasons that can only be described as snobby. Modern linguists tend to be more descriptive, tracking the way the language is actually used. Thus mechanics like the split infinitive prohibition (or the ban on ending sentences with prepositions) are slowly disappearing. The 'ban' (which is irrelevent for most purposes— outside of formal writing, you're doing it right as long as you can be understood) on split infinitives would apply if English had a Romance grammar. It doesn't. English grammar is Germanic, it's just that something like fifty percent of the vocabulary in English comes from Romance roots. The "rule" never existed, it was just invented by elitists who thought that English should have a Romance grammar because Latin was the "learned" language. Even worse, the reason that Romance languages don't allow split infinitives is that you can't split infinitives. For example, while the infinitive "to jump" is two words in English, it's a single word (saltare) in Latin.
    • Another one in English is Irregular verbs. Most people can never remember "proved" versus "proven". It's bad enough in English, whose verbs never take more than eight different forms note , and in practice, you usually only have to memorize the infinitive, simple past, and past participe because the remaining tenses are regular or almost regular. Languages in which each verb has dozens of forms, on the other hand, don't have the same luck.
    • Tonal languages such as Mandarin or Cantonese, where words have different meaning depending on what tonal pattern is applied. This makes speech unintelligible in loud environments (even for native speakers) and whispering or lip reading is outright impossible.
    • A non-English mechanic involves nouns with grammatical genders. It's typically loosely (see below) based on natural gender, but inanimate objects and abstract concepts have arbitrary grammatical genders as well. The word "Auto" is masculine in Spanish, feminine in French and neuter in German, and means the same thing in all three languages ("Car"). The worst part is that grammatical gender is usually worthless (just look at English, which doesn't have it and is completely fine). In addition, if you use the wrong gender on a noun, you'll most likely end up with more than one error. The potential mistakes vary between languages, but may or may not include the following: incorrectly inflected adjectives, incorrectly inflected determiners, incorrectly conjugated verbs, substituting the wrong pronoun for the noun, and using the wrong meaning of a noun (In French, the noun "tour" can be masculine or feminine, but changing the gender changes the meaning)
    • To non-native speakers, German genders can seem particularly arbitrary. Mark Twain's reaction on learning that a German tomcat was feminine and a German fishwife was neuter, was... not charitable. This is true for cats and dogs (where the generic word is masculine, but there's a specific word for a female dog), and is played more evidently with less common animals where there may not be a gender-specific word. Incidentally, despite not really having gendered nouns, English has this a little bit with some species where the common name technically refers to a specific sex ("cow").
    • When Latin-based languages have gendered articles (for example, el and la in Spanish singular, los and las in Spanish plural), for a collection of nouns to be addressed with female plural nouns, all nouns in the collection must be feminine or female. If there is so much as ONE male or masculine noun, even in a collection of a thousand female and feminine nouns, you have to use male plural nouns instead. Not only is this confusing, especially when it's hard to tell if any nouns in a collection are male or masculine, but it also carries Unfortunate Implications that are best not discussed here.
    • Mutations in Celtic languages, where the first consonants in words change according to how they're used grammatically and on the noun's gender (which like noun gender in German, French, and other languages isn't self-evident). For example, in Welsh "daith" (journey) can become "taith" if it's following a preposition like "ar" (on). Needless to say, for people learning the language this makes looking words up in a dictionary far more difficult than you'd think.
    • Subject-verbal agreement in a foreign language can be tricky when it's absent in one's native language. It's even worse when the subject looks like it's in the singular, but is in the plural (or the other way round).
    • When you're bilingual, the fact that a word or phrase that exists in one of your languages may not exist in the other is deeply annoying.
    • False friends, between any two languages: words that look similar and may even be pronounced the same but have completely different meanings. For example, "sympathetic" in English and "sympathique" in French.
    • When word X in language A may mean both Y and Z in language B, and Y and Z are very different. It's easy to choose the wrong translation by accident.
  • Arabic has a pretty intuitive root system: two to four base letters (might be vowels depending on the diacritical marks) outfitted with affixes to reflect changes in grammar and meaning. The "standard root" follows what is commonly transliterated as "F-3-L" (ف ع ل, meaning "do") which is used as placeholders for triple-root terms. It's not so much the changes in roots that are the Scrappy Mechanic (they're rather predictable in verbs) as are the plurals. While English only requires generally adding an "s" and possibly some spelling changes Arabic requires adding and/or omitting long vowels, short vowels, suffixes that change depending on case, suffixes that change depending on gender, masculine nouns that have feminine endings and vice-versa, words that lose part of their root, plurals with different structures that are the same word but used in a different context (eg. "Trees" in general has a different word than "trees that you are specifically referring to"), or some other rules. And none of these rules are entirely consistent, meaning you can't reliably derive singulars from plurals or plurals from singulars, and many words have more than one plural, as well as duals (thankfully, they're not used much or at all outside of the Qur'an). If you ever plan on learning Arabic, be warned.
  • Regarding languages: There are actually two literary forms of Norwegian, Bokmål and Nynorsk, both of which are official languages in Norway. All Norwegian pupils that don't have learning disabilities and whose native language is Norwegian are forced to learn both variations (there's a debate going on about whether this system should be ended, but it doen't look like it will be). Because the two forms are mutually intelligible, many pupils feel that learning to write both is a waste of time. As the majority of Norwegians use Bokmål, Nynorsk gets this treatment the most. Here are a couple of annoying problems that may arise when you try to learn the form that isn't your first:
    • In Bokmål, the feminine gender is optional, and quite a few feminine nouns almost always get masculine declension. In Nynorsk, the feminine gender is mandatory. This is mainly a problem for Bokmål users, as they have to write many feminine forms they're not used to. For most nouns that are feminine in Nynorsk, feminine declension is also usable in Bokmål, even when it's not commonly written. For many Bokmål-using Norwegians, this isn't so bad because their spoken dialect often uses the feminine gender even when they don't write it. Thus the dialect becomes a useful resource. However, if your dialect is for instance the Bergen dialect, which never uses the feminine gender, you're pretty much out of luck and have to either re-learn the grammatical genders, or look them up every time.
    • Also, some nouns outright change genders between the two forms, such as "fornuft" (sense, reason), which is masculine in Bokmål and feminine in Nynorsk.
    • Bokmål's optional feminine can be annoying because you don't have to use feminine declension and inflection consistently if you choose to use it (not using it at all or using it all the time are both allowed, but rare). There are rules about which inconsistencies are and aren't allowed.
    • For non-neuter nouns in the singular, Bokmål has two sets of pronouns; one for persons and one for non-personsnote . Nynorsk uses the same set for everything. To Bokmål users, that looks like writing "he" or "she" about a non-person (and having to make sure they use the right grammatical gender, lest they use the wrong pronoun). Nynorsk users get another pronoun they have to remember to use. Nynorsk's system does exist in many Norwegian dialects, but even to people used to hearing such dialects, it may look odd in writing.
    • For more pronoun weirdness, Bokmål's word for "they" means "you" (plural nominative) in Nynorsk. Heck, Bokmål's pronouns have more in common with Swedish's and Danish's than Nynorsk's.
    • Vocabulary differences when the words look nothing like each other. Fortunately, this isn't too common.
    • Some verbs have regular conjugation in one of the forms, and irregular conjugation in the other. Also, some verbs are regular in both forms, but use different conjugation patterns.
    • Certain constructions and formulations are common in one of the forms and uncommon in the other. A typical example is the s-genitive, which can be used on pretty much everything in Bokmål, but has a far more restricted use in Nynorsk.
  • Bokmål and Danish look very similar on papernote . Massive Bilingual Dialogue potential? Think again. In speech, they're different to the point of being mutually incomprehensible for many speakers. Norwegians tend to understand Swedish better, even though written Swedish is a lot more different from Bokmål than Danish is.
  • Typical Japanese speech has two different levels of politeness when speaking: plain (verbs use the form as shown in dictionaries when talking in the present tense), and polite (verbs use the -masu forum, resulting in slightly longer speech. This isn't too bad; it's similar to using contractions in English. However, then there's respectful speech (keigo), typically used to talk about individuals of higher status than you, and humble speech (sonkeigo), used when you're talking about yourself to such higher-status individuals. Nouns are often prefixed with o- or go-, which is fairly simple, but verbs? Many verbs in the polite form will use significantly different words in honorific speech. As an example, "to see" is miru (見る) in dictionary form, go ran ni naru (ご覧になる) in respectful form, and haiken suru (拝見する) in humble form. That is only ONE example.
  • Chinese is a very tonal language. Speaking with the wrong tone can result in a completely different sentence from what you intended.
    • There are thousands of characters in Chinese that need to be known before one is considered fluent—that is to say, able to read a newspaper in Chinese. Japanese also uses Chinese characters; though it uses a subset of them, you still need to know a few thousand to achieve fluency. By contrast, Western languages usually have no more than 30 characters in their alphabets. Oh, and thanks to some various political whatevers from the 20th century, there's two sets of Chinese characters: Simplified and Traditional. Good luck!
  • Articles. Words that come as naturally as breathing to English speakers (the, a, an) are an endless source of confusion to speakers of languages that don't have them, like Russian.
  • Some think that death is a Scrappy Mechanic, seeing as how it not only permanently removes the person it happens to, but also dramatically affects everyone else.
  • Some people regard Sleep as this, as they feel they could accomplish more if they had the extra X amount of hours.
  • Farting. A perfectly normal function of the human body that everybody will hate you for if you let one rip.
    • Inverted if you've had surgery recently. Hospitals will not let you eat until you fart (it's a sign the digestive system and GI tract is up and running).
  • For many children, school, as they feel it is a waste of 8 hours. It doesn't help that they will almost inevitably find at least one subject they hate and think will be completely unnecessary in the future.
  • The second law of thermodynamics. The one that means that the universe will continually trend towards extinction and there's nothing we can do about it.
  • Relativity. Everything in the universe is limited to the speed of light, which is agonizingly slow compared to how far away other stars and galaxies are. Even real-time communication becomes untenable if your recipient is more than a couple million miles away.
    • To be honest, the amount of energy needed to get a reasonable-sized spaceship up to even 10% of lightspeed is measured in hundreds of gigatons of TNT equivalent; relativistic effects don't make much difference in achievable energies. It's more reasonable to say that having distances in space be so damn big is the scrappy mechanic.
  • Parallel parking. It's practically required in cities but absolutely annoying to get it right if you don't do it frequently enough. It's also required to Watch the Paint Job of not only your car but the cars you're parking between.
  • Dodgeball in gym class - essentially free rein for your violent classmates to physically injure you, though in some schools they discourage this sort of playstyle (headshots disqualify the thrower rather than taking out the person who was hit, etc).
  • CAPTCHAS. Some of the stuff that has to be typed is sometimes borderline unreadable. Sure, you can always reset the picture until you get a readable one but even that can take a while.
    • At least you can have some fun by trying to interpret the commands of Inglip.
  • The Analysis button on TV Tropes. Found on EVERY SINGLE page, most of which don't actually have an analysis written. The only ways to tell are if the button's border is slightly darker, which can be difficult to figure out and to notice, or to look at the subpages list.
    • While we're biting the hand of our unholy master, TV Tropes has a bug in it's search engine that causes some annoyance. You'll search for a trope and find a result that sounds exactly like what you were looking for, only to go to it and get this message:
    "We don't have an article named [[YOURARTICLEHERE]]. If you want to start this new page, just click the edit button above. Be careful, though, the only things that go in the Main namespace are tropes. Don't put in redirects for shows, books, etc.. Use the right namespace for those."
  • The panic button on car door remotes. The only thing it has ever done is be bumped by accident and go off at an inopportune time, thoroughly embarrassing or annoying you in the process. On many remotes the button used to unlock the trunk is also used to activate alarm. Hold down that button too long any you can't use your car until the alarm resets.
  • Car alarms are exceptionally loud and, in areas with lower crime rates, are known to go off accidentally more than as a result of an actual vehicular crime. In fact, some have argued that car alarms increase the chances of break-ins and carjackings because people tend to instinctively ignore car alarms and assume any instance of such is a false alarm, even if it isn't.
  • Many people consider Daylight Savings to be a complete waste and screws up everyone's schedules since they must now remember to adjust their clocks and adhere to adjusted time. Spring Forward is especially hated since it adds one hour to the clock, meaning any deadlines you have to meet like school and work are suddenly one hour sooner. This was exacerbated by the fact that 9 months out of the year, most of the US just throws out whatever time zone they're supposed to be in. To make matters worse, not every place in the world follows it, making time zone adjustments a real pain. Woe be unto you if your traveling within one time zone and still have to change clocks as a result of DST.
  • The continued lack of directional and enter keys included on nearly all DVD and Blu-Ray players, over fifteen years after the proliferation of the basic technology model. Can't find the remote? Well, no special features, closed captions or episode selections for you.
  • Parking meters. Hope you brought some coins/loose change with you cause you will need them if you want to be able to park at a meter (some meters also accept credit/debit cards as an alternative).
  • Menstruation, especially for women who don't plan on getting pregnant.
  • While we're on the topic of unwanted bodily functions: getting an erection at the worst possible time and its Distaff Counterpart, getting erect nipples from the cold.
    • Involuntary public erections are horribly embarrassing at best, and they could get you put on the sex offenders register if it happens in the presence of children, even though they can be caused by a variety of things other than sexual arousal, such as a full bladder or friction from clothing.
  • The autocorrect feature when implemented poorly. At best it does little to help, at worst it twists completely innocent phrases into hideous innuendo. Made worse when the autocorrection makes absolutely no sense, such as changing a word that fit fine into a word that breaks the rules of grammar just by existing (or a word that seems to have been made up on the spot: in one case, "autocorrect" got changed to "autocorrjey").
  • Anything that uses speech recognition technology. More often than not, you'll find yourself speaking loudly and slowly just so the program can understand what you're trying to say. This is just as bad for programs that converts speech to text since, like the autocorrect problem, the program may use words that do not even remotely sound like the words you were speaking.
  • Twitter, in 2013, overhauled its API, introducing a variety of Scrappy Mechanics, one being that the API limits each application to 100,000 authentication tokens (or, to put it in more layman terms: 100,000 accounts using the application). This is pretty harsh on more popular applications, as newer users won't be able to use them.
  • Pennies, or any equivalents, are universally seen as completely useless in every economy. It's so despised that Canada actually stopped making pennies altogether and simply rounds up prices to the nickel, tax and all. You Know Whats Bullshit had a field day with this.
  • Bandwidth caps. Nothing spells frustration like spending every minute trying to analyze your data usage so that you don't go over your limit, which means having very limited time for playing online video games or watching HD videos. Did you go over the cap? Hope you enjoy reduced speeds and/or surcharges for your next bill! Some people view 3G/4G in general as one. The fact that Wifi is free doesn't help.
  • The Hiccups. The sound it makes is annoying, it's hard to get rid of, and it's easy to get them, not to mention that it's a pointless bodily function that we have. At least we fart for a reason.
  • Going to the bathroom. When nature calls, your body stops what it's doing in order to head for the nearest toilet and relieve itself. You could have accomplished other things in the time it takes to use the bathroom. Poop especially deserves a mention. It's is gross, smelly, and can clog up toilets. If the latter happens, you're in a shitty situation. Have fun unclogging your toilet; it's going to be tough getting the poop down.

The ScrappyAnnoyance TropesSmall Annoying Creature
Porting DisasterError IndexScript Breaking
Save ScummingVideo Game CultureScript Breaking
Sampled UpYMMVScrappy Weapon
Replacement ScrappyScrappy IndexScrappy Weapon
Sampled UpYMMV/Home PageScrappy Weapon
The ScrappyUnexpected Reactions to This IndexSmurfette Breakout
Overdrawn at the Blood BankImageSource/Web ComicsTeam Rocket Wins

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