Once in a while, a work turns out to be so bad, it creates a disruption in the badness continuum, and wraps right around to good. Rather than it unintentionally Breaking the Fourth Wall like usual, something about the specifics of the work in question instead cause an enjoyable, though equally unintended, emotional response in the viewing public. Maybe the hubcap-on-a-wire flying saucers are cute, or the spontaneous brothel scene goes on for so long it's hilarious, or the technically oriented find humor in the way the hacker can suborn the traffic lights of New York with no perceptible effort.
Whatever the reason, a truly horrid piece of work can become an unintentional riot and even get its own fandom for its very lack of quality. This can well be an ongoing process as attitudes change, budgets grow, and cynicism increases.
Keep in mind that even when something is So Bad, It's Good, it's still bad. For most (if not all) entries on this list, there will be an almost unanimous opinion that they fail entirely at having the sort of appeal they intended. Far less unanimous will be the opinion that they have a sort of appeal that is unintentional. Where the line lies between simply bad, this effect, and So Bad, It's Horrible, is also controversial (you can read the Cracked analysis of the difference between good-bad and bad-bad here). In general, among the very large reserve of things that can be classified as "bad," works that get labeled so bad it's good tend to be loaded with unintended Narm and ludicrously Crazy Awesome factors, while So Bad, It's Horrible is the place for works whose badness only makes them boring or offensive, or even when unintentional suckiness or Stylistic Suck falls flat as comedy.
The difference between the three is essentially a bad movie is painful to watch but at least you can try to get into the story because there's something that's keeping you watching, a So Bad, It's Good movie is one that's so bad that you can't suspend your disbelief enough to not laugh at it so you watch it just to riff on it and laugh at it, So Bad, It's Horrible is where not only is suspending your disbelief impossible, but it's not even fun to laugh at and merely watching it, even just to riff on it, is painful. Nonetheless, don't be surprised when you come across some items that wound up on both lists, such as Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing or Soulja Boy's song, "Anime." On occasion, the writers may intentionallytry to pull off this trope. Of course, this almost never actually results in something that fits because it's hard not to "wink at the camera", so to speak — though it's often still funny. Sometimes a work may fall on the fence of the other line between bad and so bad it's good, most of these are box-office bombs with a strong cult following.
Something which is So Bad It's Good has a high probability of becoming a Cult Classic and, in this day and age, a Fountain of Memes. Many are heavy on Camp, therefore falling far onto the silly side of the Sliding Scale of Silliness Versus Seriousness, and are often considered Guilty Pleasures, although neither is necessary. See Narm Charm. This is also often seen in Memetic Mutation, when people combine two or more horrible things (or pieces thereof) into something good. Leeroy Jenkins, for example.
If someone just keeps on churning out work that's So Bad, It's Good, they're probably Giftedly Bad. Of course, it could also be a result of Springtime for Hitler.
Compare Stylistic Suck and So Unfunny It's Funny, which play this trope for laughs.
Note: Since Tropes Are Not Bad, this page is not meant to showcase individual Tropers' opinions on works, despite the title. Only add a work to a subpage if there's a fairly unanimous consensus outside TV Tropes that the work is of poor quality, or at least that elements of it are. (For example, the early Mega Man games have boxart widely considered to be hilariously ugly, while the games themselves are thought of as some of the best platformers ever made.)
The Burnside Fountain of Worcester, Massachusetts. Affectionately known as the "Turtle Boy Love Statue", it apparently depicts a nude young man having improper relations with a sea turtle.
Many who dislike British conceptual artist Damien Hirst see him as this; there's just something disgustingly delightful about factory-made 'artworks' that were paid for in thousands of pounds just for the sake of making a splash. Really, one of his most famous 'works' is a skull studded entirely with diamonds. What's not to love? A review of the diamond-studded statue also did a pretty good job of showcasing art politics, claiming that if anyone else made it, it would be horribly tacky, but because Damien Hirst made it it's a work of genius.
It's debatable that kitsch is So Bad, It's Good. It typically refers to cornball works aimed at the lowest common denominator, and often so broad as to be completely unremarkable, apart from the irony of appreciating something so trite and banal. So Bad, It's Good refers to a work that is so remarkably bad that you find yourself surprised, mystified, or hypnotized by the staggering depth of its inadequacy. It is not merely a failure; it's a compelling failure.
An elderly woman tried to restore an ancient Spanish fresco of Jesus, only to end up making "a crayon sketch of a very hairy monkey in an ill-fitting tunic." The woman was a trained painter, but was found out and interrupted before she could finish the restoration.
The currently removed Omega Edge 29 let's play of Kaizo Mario 64. The quality of the video is very good. Sadly, it seems that he's playing on the video a hack that's too hard for him, leaving him screaming and shouting at the game, whilst needing many tries only to get 1 star. Compare this with the oversensitive soundbox (because it registers his typing all the time) and you have something hilarious to watch. But the best thing about all of this is that he made Kaizo Mario 64. It's also been retsupuraed here.
The promotional video for the Demolition Man pinball, which attempts to duplicate the atmosphere and special effects of the movie on a shoestring budget, while hyping up the game's gun-grip controllers, all intermixed with actual film clips. It fails spectacularly, but retains an innocent appeal, like watching an eight-year-old trying to to duplicate a Michael Bay film in his backyard.
WWE wrestler the Boogeyman is an almost-bald Scary Black Man with his entire head painted red with black spots, who walks like he's having a seizure, smashes giant antique clocks over his head, speaks almost entirely in singsongy nursery rhymes, eats worms by the handful, and his catchphrase is, "I'm... THE BOOGEYMAN! And I'm comin'... TO GETCHA!" The whole thing is as hilariously awful as it sounds.
His backstory actually lampshades the ludicrousness involved — an actor for a show that didn't materialize who snapped (falling too deep into method acting) and became the Boogeyman, but was sicced onto WWE's WWE SmackDown! brand anyway to see what would happen and because he was still under contract. Seriously.
Even more hilariously awful is the time in one skit with DeGeneration X, he appeared from underneath the ring, and told Triple H and Shawn Michaels: "I'm...THE BOOGEYMAN! And I'm comin' to - (briefly sans Boogeyman gimmick) - see if I can join DX."
The fact that he lisped his lines made all the better.
The Coal Miner's Glove (a leather glove, covered in metal studs) was a supposed to be a Shout-Out to an even worse match from before the Monday Night Wars era. Going into the WCW Halloween Havoc 92 PPV, held on October 25, Sting was feuding with Jake "The Snake" Roberts, who devised that they "Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal" a match where various gimmick matches were on a giant wheel, and whatever it landed on would be the match they would face off in. However, the wheel itself wasn't gimmicked, and it landed on the worst possible option — a "Coal Miner's Glove" match. Whoever retrieved the glove from the pole first, would be allowed to "use" it on his opponent. The match wasn't much and Jake, due more to personal issues than bad booking decisions, was gone right after.
Mick Foley deliberately went for this while wrestling as Dude Love in order to separate the gimmick from his other personae (the sadistic Cactus Jack and the psychotic Mankind). It wasn't the first time he had done this. During his "anti-extreme" gimmick in ECW (a promotion that prided itself on high-quality, high-risk wrestling), Mick (as Cactus Jack) reduced his entire moveset to one move: a headlock. Thus, his matches would consist of nothing but ten straight minutes of assorted headlocks, gaining incredibleheat from the quality-hungry ECW fans.
The Undertaker One of the best big men in the wrestling business, and a solid WWE worker for over twenty years doesn't change the fact that he's a Satan-worshipping, gravedigging zombie cult leader Death Incarnate who was a biker for a while back at the turn of the century. It's even more Narm Charm in modern times, when most wrestlers are less cartoonish, yet the Undertaker still is portrayed as a supernatural force.
Episode 4 would up the ante even further by introducing CM Punk on commentary, reprising a role he once played in early Ring of Honor shows. Punk would play the role of Deadpan Snarker to perfection, even delivering a Crowning Moment of Funny when he pointed out that he wasn't wearing any pants (he had his ring gear on covered by a sports coat), and then pointed out that he watched NXT every week without pants. When Punk closed the show by announcing that he would be returning the next week, the five people that still watched the show rejoiced.
Sadly, that would turn out to be Blatant Lies. However, Cole, Josh, and Matt Striker still bring the awesome every week.
WCW's San Francisco 49ers Match between Jeff Jarrett and Booker T is one of the most hilariously stupid matches of all time. It's a glorified pole match (something Vince Russo was fond of) with 4 wooden boxes at the end of each pole; 1 contains the WCW World Heavyweight Championship belt and the other 3 contain "weapons:" a blow up doll, a framed picture of Scott Hall, and a coal miner's glove. It began with an old lady trying to smack Jarrett with a shirt Booker T gave her and ended with Beetlejuice (not thatBeetlejuice, the Wack Packer from The Howard Stern Show) giving Jarrett 5 "high blows". The title fell out of the box, and Booker T became the WCW Champion. When the belt fell out, David Penzer had to hand it to Booker. Thankfully, Russo wasn't sharp enough to change the finish and award the title to Penzer instead.
Wrestlicious which is exactly what it sounds - pink ring ropes, outlandish characters, camp factor Up to Eleven, a commentator that sounds like Stan Lee and a Hurricane of Puns during every match. Yet also features the top women wrestlers in the country as characters. It's safe to call it the Batman & Robin of indie wrestling.
Every Christmas/New Year holiday break, Radio New Zealand goes "mufti day" and hosts the "Matinee Idle" radio show, where bad, campy and novelty music is played back for laughs.
British radio presenter Sarah Kennedy presented the early breakfast show on BBC Radio Two for ten years. She was notorious for gaffes, fumbling, non-PC comments, political bias, and sometimes turning up for work in a state that the uncharitable might mistake for "drunk". (She blamed it on prescription medication). On one occasional her long slurring rambling alerted the station to the fact that something was seriously wrong and her show abruptly ended after twenty-five minutes. A relief presenter took over and she was sent home to sleep it off. Sir Terry Wogan, who presented the following show, once famously quipped that "Sarah's been pouring the old gin over her cornflakes again!" People used to set their alarm clocks to wake them up earlier in the hope of catching another Kennedy classic. She no longer works for the BBC.
A beloved complete failure in the sport of horse racing is the 18th Duc of Albuquerque (Beltrán Alfonso Osorio), famous for entering the Grand National steeplechase seven times and never being able to complete the course. Each and every time he'd fall off the horse at one of the fences, and the bookmakers eventually caught on to this fact — resulting in the Duc making history in 1963, when the bookies began offering odds of 66-1 against his managing to stay on the horse for the entire race. He never gave up, though; in 1974 he fell off the horse during training and entered the race itself with a broken collar bone and a leg in plaster. Amazingly enough, this turned out to be the only time in his career when he actually finished the race without falling off.
Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards, a British ski jumper who qualified for the 1988 Winter Olympics because every country was (at the time) allowed to be represented in any given discipline, and he was the only British applicant. Edwards had the disadvantages of weighing 9 kg more than the next man in his category and being extremely far-sighted, and his general skills were less than stellar to say the least. Nevertheless, his sheer determination and love of the sport endeared him to audiences everywhere. The Olympic Committee was less enthusiastic about someone "making a mockery of the sport", however, and the rules for qualification were changed next time around, largely to prevent another such case from happening.
There's even a mini-meme attached to him. Every single youtube video featuring him has, as one of the top rated comments "Legend".
Featured at the same Olympics were the Jamaican bobsled team who inspired the movie Cool Runnings five years later. Though they haven't competed in the Olympics recently, the Jamaican bobsled team did place as high as 14th (ahead of the USA, Russia, France, and one Italian sled) in the 1994 Winter Olympics.
Similarly, Eric "The Eel" Moussambani, a swimmer from Equatorial Guinea, qualified for the 2000 Summer Olympics through a wildcard draw designed to encourage developing countries lacking expensive training facilities to compete. He had never even seen a 50 metre pool before competing, having only taken up swimming eight months beforehand and having previously having trained in a 20 metre pool. In his qualifying heat, his two opponents were disqualified for jumping the gun, leaving Moussambani to compete on his own. He set the national record for Equatorial Guinea despite taking over a minute over the world record.
Hammadou Djibo Issaka of Niger became a media darling in the 2012 Olympics after becoming a wildcard development entry. He was beyond terrible in the single sculls (a full minute behind the second worst athlete in an event slated for about seven minutes), but the fact that he only started rowing three months before the Olympics gained him a lot of popularity.
Stanford's band occasionally has the same reputation, but not for their music, which is quite good. Their conduct is what gets them recognized. For starters, they (since they're not a traditional marching band) don't wear uniforms in the same way that other bands do. What gets them the most attention, though, is their shows, which have earned the ire of some universities, since they have contained performances that others might find somewhat classless. The Other Wiki has a listing.
Stanford University's "mascot", the Stanford Tree. Despite Stanford not officially recognizing the Tree as its mascot, the Tree is allowed to dance around during games, and there is a special student committee that determines who gets to be the Tree each season. Whoever is the Tree has to design the costume, hence the varying quality of the Tree each year.
The 1962 New York Mets, whose 120 losses remain the post-1900 Major League Baseball record, remain one of the more beloved teams in history. Similarly, in games like football where it's a lot easier to lose every single game (because there aren't that many), it's not uncommon for fans to cheer their team for a "perfect" losing season. (The 2008 Detroit Lions are a good example.)
While the rest of the book and its mechanics aren't so bad, the fact that they named the new stat for metaphysical corruption in Heroes of Horror "Taint" is pretty damn giggle-worthy.
In Magic: The Gathering, some cards that are bad in terms of gameplay and power level may become loved and appreciated for their goofiness and quirkiness. Examples are Chimney Imp and Storm Crow, which have both become memes in the Magic world.
Strike Legion is what Limbo of the Lost wants to be: Something that ripped off so many sources it digs right out of the barrel-bottom of absolute shit and becomes hilarious awesome. Have a MST and mind the picture load.
To many, World of Synnibarr qualifies. While the mechanics are terrible and the setting incoherent, it's still a game with a "midnight sunstone bazooka", mechanics that affect the next character you roll up, and an actual Deus ex Machina roll to see if your patron deity turns up to save your life.
The Musical adaptation of Stephen King's Carrie has acquired this reputation. Its commercial failure on Broadway became so notorious that it was the inspiration for the book Not Since Carrie, a chronicle of Broadway musical flops of the latter half of the twentieth century. (King himself reportedly liked it, though.) Within the show itself, the pinnacle of accidental hilarity has to be "Don't Waste the Moon", a retread of the old "girls want relationships, boys want sex" chestnut with awesomely lame lyrics like "We would go bowling if you really cared / But you don't! ("I do!") You don't!"
The revival is a little better, with reworked songs and an official recording, plus better special effects, but it's still delightfully silly.
Doggie Doo, in which you push on an air pump to make a plastic dog poop yellow play-doh; see it in it's glory here. It's notable for becoming an internet sensation in Germany, and instantly became a meme when it arrived in America.
GoBots Rocklords. Think Transformers, but instead becoming something cool like a car, a dinosaur, a plane, or a tank, they became rocks! You could choose between granite, quartz or shale amongst others!
The really stupid bit is in GoBots movie - they transform and roll out and slowly clump away down the road like bricks turning under their own power.
Parodied in the Tom Hanks movie Big, where Hanks - playing a kid who has been transformed into a grown-up - is shown a new toy that his employers are working on. It's an immobile skyscraper that turns into a giant robot. "So what's so fun about playing with a building? That's not any fun!" He then goes on to propose "a big prehistoric insect with maybe like giant claws that could pick up a car and crush it like that!"
In 2006, to coincide with the new film, Jakks Pacific put out a line of Rocky action figures, with characters from the entire series... and several extremely bizarre creative decisions throughout, to the point where it just becomes laughably absurd. Even though the figures were made at a six-inch scale, almost all of them used real fabric clothes, and it's impossible to make clothing thin enough to look good at such a small scale, so they invariably either made the figures look bloated or didn't line up, particularly Adrian. What really sends this into surreal hilarity, though, was the idea to release the slab of meat Rocky trains on as its own action figure sold separately from anything else.
AnimationFilms1212, who doesn't know the difference between "making cartoons for children" and "dumbing down everything". The "animation" is both hilarious and creepy. The voice acting's amateurish at the very best, and the "jokes" are extremely predictable. And it manages to be unintentionally hilarious. While every single animation deserves to be here, "The Bunny Rabbit Movie" deserves a special mention, but no mere description will do it justice. It has to be seen to be believed.
They have a second channel called AnimationVideos21 for their "edgier" material. They try to do Getting Crap Past the Radar -style jokes, but there's no radar to dodge, the "adult" humor is incredibly obvious (Children say "damn", "Jesus", and "effing" in the Halloween special, a character called "Spank the Monkey", a Pedophile Priest joke and excessive blood in the Halloween special). It's definitely not for adults either, as the writing in these shows are just as insipid as Animation Films 1212's ones.
In Assignment2, we read excerpts from main character Stanley Brown's novels, which are titled Lance MHS and His Adventures in Bigface's Castle Boat (With His Awesome Bass) and The Gift Horse Who Saved. Both are ridiculously stupid, almost on My Immortal levels. But without the eye-gouging spelling atrocities. A sample:
“You!” shouted Yeevil. “You killed my father!” “Kind of, but I didn’t mean to,” answered Hemmingway. “How dare you,” shouted Yeevil quietly. “I DO WHATEVER I WANTED TO BE DOING!” muttered Hemmingway silently.
Referenced in Todd van der Werff's reviews for The AV Club: he has said that he considers a D grade to be worse than an F, because an F is so extraordinary in its horribleness that it is almost worth watching for that achievement, whereas a D is merely forgettable and dull.
Azneyeswhitedragon's series oflowratedduelists. Yes, it's basically 2 terrible duelists fighting against each other, but after facing off after so many pro decks it's just such a welcome break, because it features some amazingly hilarious combos and errors (not to mention by some that their fanboyness towards the anime is hilarious, to the point where their decks are based on it).
The rap album I Hate Birds by Sam Brass Knuckles. "Fuck Pigeons" is one of the more tolerable examples.
There are those that watch the Irate Gamer for this reason.
The Life of Death Sword, a story about a fight between some guy named John Swords, also known as Death Sword, who was born missing many body parts, including half his brain, so they just got replaced by "alien machine parts from another world." He fights against his enemy, Death Screw, and then the gods interfere for some reason. Such a ridiculous plot, so badly written, and yet, so hilarious.
Nuttymadam3575 is an obsessed fan of Twilight whose videos trying (and failing) to defend the franchise from the wrath of the hatedom as well as her reactions to the Breaking Dawnmovie trailers make for a good laugh.
The Facebook page Shrek is love, Shrek is life is known for its "Shrektexts", vignettes that take the style of 4chan's "greentexts", feature poor spelling and grammar, and usually end with Shrek raping the narrator.
Something Awful would occasionally have a "Page of Shame" sub-feature at the end of their "Photoshop Phridays". They're usually classified as So Bad, It's Horrible, but there are quite a few occasions that are considered as this trope:
The Sonic Amigos, an plush-based web show featuring characters such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Homer Simpson, Super Mario, and others getting into various adventures. It has to be seen to be believed. Here's the Youtube channel, if you're interested.
TGWTG/Channel Awesome runs on this, it's a bunch of people doing webshows on shoe-string budgets, and they love to play up the Narm of it.
Pimpinmast3r DX is considered to be one of the worst ranters out there, but his commentary on Just Keep That In Mind is just outstanding. Rather than talking about how bad this guy is he talks about how good he is. Best of all, it was live recorded, to the point that even his computer screen is visible.
Practically 98% of Go!Animate videos are this, with their effortless drag-and-drop animation, unappealing artstyle that looks like it was ripped directly from Seth McFarlane's cartoons, robotic text-to-speech voices that always mispronounce things, a limited amount of animation sets (i.e. Kissing is always done with two characters sticking their tongues out at each other), and a majority of the videos having a cut-and-paste plot of "so-and-so doing such-and-such and getting grounded for it". There's even a Tumblr blog that collects screenshots from many of these videos.
Christmas sweaters embody this. Uncomfortable and hilariously ugly. A relatively recent Irish tradition known as "The Twelve Pubs Of Christmas" is basically a pub crawl while wearing one of these ungodly items of clothing. Clothing shops have caught on and sell intentionally bad jumpers for this purpose.
In Indonesian language, a 'jayus' is a joke that's so bad it's good.
In Japan, there's a yearly award for books which are "amusing from a perspective that differs from what the author intends".
Some genius made a mashup of a Justin Bieber song with a Slipknot one. Neither artist is exactly the best in its genre in the opinion of many. When you put the two songs together, it sounds weirdly catchy. Just... watch it.
Best (or worst) thing about it is that there are FAR too many people in the comments going "Anyone who likes this song isn't a true Slipknot fan!" "This is terrible, Bieber sucks!" etc. It's pretty funny to watch.
The Louis Tussauds Waxwork Museum, in Great Yarmouth, has been described repeatedly as such because the waxworks are dubbed the worst ever made. It was paraded on a Series 44 episode of Have I Got News for You, where the guests had to guess who the waxwork was supposed to be.
This trope is usually cited for Pabst Blue Ribbon's adoption by the hipster subculture. Hipsters in general are particularly known for adopting this as their aesthetic, with a fetish for "irony."
The amazing part was that it still managed to get a 61%, one point above failing, possibly because it still technically contained a correct overview of the story of Oedipus the King.
"In the version which must have been the favorite of Sophocles's Athenian audience, Oedipus found sanctuary at Colonus, outside of Athens. The kindness he was shown at the end made the city itself blessed. Which was the gayest ending ever."
The iPhone app SimStapler. The app just involves poking the stapler on the screen, and every ten times there is a voice that says "Splendid!". The stupidity of the app has garnered it a fanbase.
When the iPhone just started, there was an app called "I'm Rich!" that cost $999 (the Cap for app pricing) and showed a ruby that would flash when you clicked on it. That's it. Humor was derived at: having enough money to burn on this app and b: schadenfreude in people failing to Read the Freaking Manual and blindly buying it without checking the price.
Two pieces of Sonic the HedgehogFan-Art have become much more famous and well-known thanks to their amateurish and poorly drawn quality than they could ever have been if they would have been mediocre or decent quality:
This article discusses the So Bad It's Good phenomenon, only just stopping short of referencing the trope by name.
Scientists and science enthusiasts often find crank theories like Time Cube hilarious.
The Trabant, the epitome of The Alleged Car and everything that was wrong with East Germany (and the Iron Curtain in general), still manages to have a cult following. Seriously.
Likewise, the Reliant Robin, an ugly three-wheeled "car" which did a barrel roll if you so much as looked at a sharp turn is a cherished (if often parodied) part of British culture, complete with enthusiast conventions and racing circuits.
An in-verse example from the Vorkosigan Saga is the ImpSec building on Barrayar whose ugliness is such a Running Gag that children's cartoon characters are made out of its gargoyles.
Any Popsicle modeled after an iconic character. Such as this◊, this◊, and this◊.
Poorly designed and outdated websites that look like they are stuck in the 90s often embody this trope, however LINGsCARS takes the cake for being the embodiment of everything that's wrong with these webpages with a downright nauseating wall of advertisements. It's just hilarious.
This website is another example. Bonus points for the "You are possible not secure in your own personal faith" security message and epileptic rainbow background. The abrupt cat meow and tacky, saccharine music complete the mix.