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Special Effect Failure
aka: Special Effects Failure

"Godzilla is either breaking the laws of physics or he's throwing around an empty rubber suit!"

When a special effect looks really cheap and dodgy, to the point of pulling the audience out of the narrative, you have a Special Effect Failure. All-too-common prior to 1980, and still with us today despite relatively inexpensive digital effects that look realistic.

The audience's expectations for effects have grown up with the media. For example, it is obviously a dummy being thrown from a train in The Great Train Robbery — but since it was filmed when filmmaking itself was in its infancy (1903 to be exact), people forgave. If, however, it was an obvious dummy thrown off in a 2003 remake, they would not be kind.

Sometimes a Special Effect Failure is caused by resorting to Off-the-Shelf FX. Many examples are just plain Bloopers (a literal failure of the effects).

Sometimes cheesy FX are regarded as part of the So Bad, It's Good charm of a work.

Examples With Their Own Pages

Other Examples

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  • The Eagleman! No clue how the EagleMAN lays an egg.
  • The Bush's Homestyle Chili advertisement featuring the Chili Changer had a pan across bowls of chili near the end, with some cans of the product tossed in for good measure. Sounds pedestrian in itself, but once you actually see this moment in the commercial, you'll notice that the cans are actually photos added to the shot in an unconvincing matter. It seemed like they wasted most of their budget making Duke the dog's mouth move (which they always do in these commercials). Just watch the failure in action.
    • Interestingly, there's this alternate version in which the Chunky and Original cans are swapped. It's as if, in the other version, the ad agency tried to CG the updated can design into the commercial but failed horribly at it.
    • Wait, every single can in the commercial is a cut-out photograph, even the ones being held. Were they trying to prevent the actors from accidentally dropping the cans on their feet or something?
      • This is done in an attempt to make the ad modular, so if they change the label or add a new product line, all they have to do is swap a few files in the digital archive and bam, new ad. This is quite common (look how many late-night infomercials use the same payment info screen, with just different text, art and video slotted into the same space), but just done really, really cheaply.
  • A commercial for TurboTax online software got the point across about its free service with one example at a gas station. The scrolling numbers for the pump rolled up for the gallons, and "rolled" up to zero for the price. Problem was, the numbers were also digital.
    • All gas station displays are digital these days (meaning they display values using a series of digits rather than a needle pointing to value on a scale). The display in this commercial was a seven-segment display.
  • Sleep Centers of the Southwest advertised its services using this abomination of a van flipping onto its roof with ridiculous smoke effects.
  • Pops up frequently with supermodel Carolyn Murphy. Murphy has a large tattoo of a Koi fish on her right hip. If she's facing the camera or turned with that hip facing it, they airbrush the tattoo away, in most cases. However, if she's turned in the other direction however slightly, they don't bother, even if the tattoo is still visible. This makes her very large tattoo disappear and reappear several times in the same photoshoot.
  • Cracked has a list of 8 political ads filled with these.
  • This McDonald's commercial from Pakistan advertising Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog Happy Meal toys from 2004. What the hell have they done to you, Rouge?!! Granted, Pakistani censorship laws necessitated the removal of her... assets, but...
    • They made her a mouse too.
  • Max from BlueTax, who falls straight into the Uncanny Valley. The other people in the ad don't fare much better, coming off as models from the PlayStation One era.
    • The General's commercials aren't much better than the above . While the animation has gone through some hefty Art Evolution lately, it's debatable how much better that makes the effects.
  • In this Budweiser commercial, while there's nothing wrong with the tortoises, the beer bottles one of them throws are obviously (and quite poorly) composited.
  • Done intentionally in this Dr. Pepper TEN commercial with an obviously robotic snake.
  • In the infamous ad for Ojai Valley Taxidermy (of Chuck Testa fame), there is absolutely no way anyone could mistake any of those animals for being alive, no matter what Chuck Testa would have you believe. The first time the pheasant appeared, you can very clearly see the hand holding the rod supporting it as it "flies," the deer is clearly just a mounted head, and the coyote is just being pushed around.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds' suffers from this when it displays the CGI models of the D-Wheels/Duel Runners, in which the character riding the D-Wheel/Duel Runner is rendered as well, resulting in a plastic model-esque look. Particularly annoying, as when this is in 2D it looks much better.
    • Oddly, though, the monsters look pretty cool (Stardust Dragon's Shooting Sonic attack animation in Ep 41 looks pretty damn good for CGI).
  • Referenced in a manga chapter of Keroro Gunsou where Wet-traman is shown to have a very large zipper on his back, a reference to how Ultraman involves a guy in a rubber suit.
  • Part of the Stylistic Suck hodgepodge of The Adventures Of Mikuru Asahina. The Eye Beams suck, plain and simple. Except for the first one, which, thanks to Haruhi, actually shoots Frickin' Laser Beams. Hilarity Ensues.
    • You only really know this if you read the second novel or watch the second series. Otherwise you just see Yuki basically attacking Mikuru as what is definitely not part of the "script".
  • The main failing of the CGI used for the Transformers themselves in Transformers Energon is that it renders them utterly incapable of emoting beyond combinations of "eyes closed/open/slightly more open" and "mouth open/closed". Never do they feel like the have weight, and even such simple movements as turning around are accomplished by the robots' stiff CGI models spinning around on their vertical axis, without moving their limbs.
    • Also, their outlines are never rescaled, making them look more like massive blobs of... something.
    • There was one weird instance when one of Scorponok's eyes was actually rendered over his visor, while the other was behind it. And his visor isn't meant to be see-through.
    • Another famous instance involved Ironhide. As Kicker walks by, we at first only see the lower half of his body. But as the camera slowly pans up, Ironhide's supposedly out-of-frame parts continue to be missing, and he's revealed to be a cropped 2D image made up of legs and a lower torso.
  • The Blue Water dub of Dragon Ball had this as its opening. Ignoring the fact that the song could give any of 4Kids Entertainment songs a run for their money (it was translated from the French dub). The non-Anime sequences are marred with horrendous-looking CG.
  • Parodied in Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt: when the titular girls destroy the Monster of the Week, it cuts to a live-action model being blown up with dynamite. It could also be considered to serve as a homage to the Heavy Metal example in the Animated Film section below.

    Asian Animation 
  • The Chinese animated series The Adventures of Kiki and Qeqe have several animation errors; for example, one of the titular characters in the air appears frozen.

    Fan Fic 
  • In-Universe from Calvin & Hobbes: The Series, combined with Nightmare Retardant:
    Hobbes: Bumper cars are fine when there aren't ghosts constantly flying down in your face!
    Calvin: They were paper and on fishing line!
  • The “destruction” of Munich terrorist facility in James Bond fan film Diamonds Cut seems to intentionally go for the Camp factor with what seems like a really bad photoshop. Absolutely nothing collapses and the only signs of destruction are little tongues of flame with thin tendrils of smoke at the forefront.
  • Essentially all of the special effects in the animated version of The End of Ends, but Count Logan's dragon form breathing fire stands out.

    Films — Animation 
  • In The Nightmare Before Christmas, you can actually see where the bats are held up by strings. It would have been very easy to erase them in post-production, so their inclusion in the final film is likely an intentional choice.
  • The Iron Man animated movie looks like it was made in a cave. With a box of scraps! All the suits as well as the elemental gods are done with poorly applied cel-shaded effects, which jar horribly with the traditional animation. Their animation is also clunky and weightless compared to the pretty decent animation of the non-CG characters.
    • In one scene, Iron Man is supposed to be lying on the ground. Except he looks like he's floating a foot above it.
  • Team America: World Police mostly has pretty solid puppetry, but it's a medium hilariously unsuited to the action movie genre and the creators know that as much as anyone, so several of the special effects are deliberately off.
  • Parodied in the Hilarious Outtakes Pixar did for A Bug's Life, where in one scene an ant "actress" accidentally knocks over one of the "extras" in a crowd scene, which is revealed to be a cardboard cut-out.
    • Another outtake has the bird suddenly malfunctioning in mid-take, complete with metallic creaking and pneumatic actuator noises.
  • Given their Direct-to-Video nature, the mediocre CGI used in the BIONICLE movies can be forgiven, however there are a handful of errors that could have been easily avoided:
    • Mask of Light:
      • While dashing into the stadium, Jaller clips through the camera, and you can see the insides of his CGI model in full detail for a moment.
      • There's an odd bit during the Kolhii match when they forgot to move Hahli forward, so she runs in place.
      • After the crowd stops shouting "All hail Jaller!", one Matoran in the background, only halfway visible, remains frozen in cheering position. Generally, most characters in all three Miramax movies are left unanimated when they're not the focus of the shot.
      • Blinking animation is also messed up. At the end of the Kohlii game, Hewkii has his eyes closed when they should be open, and instead of blinking, he opens and closes them quickly. Later, Jaller's eyes are not fully in sync.
      • The floating mountain slope. As Kopaka braces for the Rahkshi's attack, one of the mountains in the background seems to be made up of only one slope, with the snow magically clinging onto its sides.
      • During Pohatu's speech in Onu-Koro, a lot of the Onu-Matoran are represented by blocky, detail-lacking pre-render models. When Takua arrives, all of them are replaced with such models.
      • The "tiny Nuju". As the Turaga and Toa are discussing what to do, Turaga Nuju, who should have been animated behind the crowd (thus his apparent size) suddenly pops up in front of Turaga Vakama's layer.
    • Legends of Metru Nui was full of faulty, unfinished animation. For starters, lip-sync (no, lip-movement) was a rarity. The screen would pixelate at parts, and the movements would suddenly very choppy. Some of the Kikanalo's texturing didn't move in unison with their bodies, and at one point, the red glowing effect of their eyes shifted to the side. The final scene has noticeable clipping errors, the most obvious being the top of Jaller's head protruding through his solid mask.
    • Web of Shadows has Visorak spiders clearly walking in air, and never once touching their webs. In a particularly badly animated shot that doesn't even look finished, one of the spiders is floating in the air upside down and another one is freakishly deformed, as if someone had been playing around with its animation model. Other failures include Keetongu being visible from behind a wall as a tiny spot as he scales the Coliseum, Roodaka's catcher claw passing into her motionless arm (which should be shaking wildly with it), and in one of the slo-mo shots, as the camera angle changes, Matau being revealed to be a 2D image.
    • The Legend Reborn:
      • Being animated by a different companynote , fared better with sharp-eyed fans. Still, there are issues, like when Kiina's animation model jumps out from behind her darkened silhouette. More famously, the introduction scene with Mata Nui's giant robot body and the ocean is flawed in every aspect: the rendering of the water, the physics, the scale, and the movements and textures of the robot itself are all sub-par.
      • The Skrall squad running in place at the start of the final battle scene.
      • Berix's poorly and inaccurately animated shadow when he's running in the Hot Springs.
      • When Mata Nui cuts Kiina and Berix's cage down, it plummets to the ground, lands visibly intact, and kicks up a large cloud of dust. When the dust clears, the cage is almost completely destroyed.
  • The makers of the animated film of Dragonlance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight made the strange decision to make the dragons and dragonkin CGI in what was otherwise a (poorly-done) cel-animated movie. At best, it looks jarring and ugly.
  • Heavy Metal: Following the climax of the Taarna segment when the Loc-Nar explodes and takes the whole house with it, the house that blows up is just a small model simply filmed with a blue filter.
  • The animated film Samson and Sally: The Song of the Whales has some sync fails where the characters' mouths don't match with the words they're saying. note 
  • The deer from Epic appear to have come from a different film altogether.
  • Invoked in The Lego Movie. When Vitruvius comes back as a ghost, he is literally just a ghost minifigure being dangled on a string. This is one of the few times where a Special Effect Failure is justified, given that the entire movie is set within a real-life kid's imagination while playing with his father's LEGO set.

    Game Shows 
  • A compilation of prop and animal screw-ups can be seen here.
  • Two examples of this on The Price Is Right:
    • During the dreaded "Drewcases" era of the show (first half of Season 37), the graphics for trips were briefly replaced by green screens. Fremantle Media had promised that they would instead be replaced by video walls, but they supposedly instead chose green screens because they were cheaper. This is actually a subversion of this trope, as the change was almost universally hated by fans on ALL sides of the show's Broken Base not because it looked bad on TV, but because it looked bad in the studio. Since the contestants and audience wouldn't be seeing exactly the same thing the viewers at home saw, and since contestants couldn't be accommodated the same way that, say, a meteorologist doing a weather forecast could, the change was very jarring. So hated was the change that, on the episode airing February 12, 2009, Fremantle finally sucked it up and implemented video walls!
    • When Clock Game was played for the first time after the Turntable change in March 2003, the producers discovered that the chroma key area (where a headshot of the contestant appears) was the exact same shade of blue as the blue spot in the pink, purple, and blue Turntable wall. Their first solution was to put a yellow circle background behind the game, but when that didn't work either, they just repainted the game. In May of 2003, Clock Game redebuted with a somewhat ugly-looking yellow border and a green chroma key box. As of November 2005, the game's border is now a much more tolerable...light blue!!!
  • There were actually a few times in which something broke in the American version of Big Brother. One challenge had to be repeated because someone's machine was malfunctioning.
    • There were also a few in Big Brother 8.
      • Supposedly, Jameka's machine in the final veto challenge was malfunctioning, but nobody seemed to notice.
      • During the first part of the final 3 head of household, the contestants had to hold onto their keys and jump over a spinning rabbit (while water was pouring down on them). Unfortunately, one of them (probably Danielle, since she did hit it when she was eliminated) accidentally kicked or landed on the rabbit as it came by (at least several times) and the machine broke. This meant that Zach and Dick (the two left after it broke) were more or less just standing there.
  • This one from Catch's hard to believe this was an accident.
  • Password, Password Plus and Super Password has actually had this happen quite a bit. There were a few moments in which the other passwords that have yet to have been played were accidentally revealed, another moment where the wrong word was revealed at the start of the puzzle.
    • There's the time where one of the celebrity contestants couldn't quite see the password. Whoops.
  • In Countdown Carol suddenly has a stagehand's hand appear from behind the letter cards.
    • The same thing happened with a puzzle board on the last episode of Body Language.
  • Wheel of Fortune has some pretty sloppy editing across the board. To wit:
    • On a 1988 episode, a round was thrown out and re-shot. However, they didn't remove all of the thrown-out round, so you got "Our category for this round is Phrase..." (10 seconds later) "...once again, our category is People."
    • In fall 1989, some of the puzzles had zeroes instead of O's. These were blatantly obvious, as they didn't match the rest of the letters at all.
    • When the show still had returning champions, the contestant backdrops would display the contestant's running total for their combined episodes. These displays held five digits, but one particularly lucky contestant was north of $100,000 by her third day, so host Pat Sajak taped a "1" to her backdrop.
    • Back when the board was still mechanical, both Vanna White and predecessor Susan Stafford sometimes turned letters so hard that the letters themselves slid partway off the trilon (the little three-sided boxes they turned).
    • Similarly, with the electronic board, sometimes a letter just won't reveal itself when Vanna touches it. She's had to wait as long as 10 seconds to get the stubborn letter to reveal.
    • Sometimes, the camera over the Wheel doesn't catch it as it stops to show what the contestant landed on. As a result, a spin from another episode may be dubbed in. Most of the time this is very obvious, as the spin may come from a different round, or show the different episode's Prize wedge still present.
    • This is also present during the Final Spin. If Pat hits Bankrupt or Lose a Turn, they edit it out and he spins again. Sometimes, you can tell that the original spin was re-shot, because the Wheel will suddenly jump to a totally different spot as it comes to a stop.
      • In the past, when Pat did the final spin and it hit either Bankrupt or Lose A Turn, he'd quip "Vowels worth nothing, consonants will be worth...not a darn thing, either!", after which he'd simply spin again.
    • On several occasions, the graphic showing the puzzle category has disappeared, or the wrong one has been put up.
    • At least twice, a letter was revealed in the Bonus Round that the contestant did not call. On both instances, it led to a win, and it was decided to let the contestant keep the prize.
  • Every so often, the crew would engineer the entryway to the Match Game set not opening as a prank to Gene Rayburn. On one memorable occasion, Rayburn smashed right through.
  • While Ray Combs was host of Family Feud, the electronic portion of the game board (which displayed the show's logo in the intro and going into commercial, and the answers in Fast Money) was prone to errors. In one instance, it erased the "FE" from the opening logo, leading to Ray and one family making several jokes about the "Family Ud".
    • In the 1994-95 season (when original host Richard Dawson returned), the board was a chyron over an actual board. However, they often forgot to put the chyron up.

  • In a rare auditory example, the Laugh Track skips at one point on the third verse to Ray Stevens' "The Streak".
  • The Beatles' "Magical Mystery Tour" features a stock sound effect of a bus driving between the stereo channels. However, the stock sound effect ended with the bus skidding and crashing, which it actually does on one occasion where the faders are brought down too slowly. (On another occasion, the sound effect is cut off suddenly before the crash with an audible click.) Cue Paul Is Dead jokes....

    Music Videos 
  • The bike morphing into a pimpmobile from Coolio's "Fantastic Voyage" video. THAT IS NOT HOW MORPHING IS DONE. It's so bad the copyright owner is embarrassed.
  • Invoked in the video for "Jurassic Park" by "Weird Al" Yankovic. Most of the video is done in Claymation, but when the park's gates are shown a second time, one of the torches has gone out - so an arm reaches in and lights it with a lighter.
  • The effects for ZZ Top's music video for "Doubleback" are pretty bad.
  • The poorly Photoshopped bus stop sign in the "Friday" music video by Rebecca Black. [1]
  • Played for Laughs in the Tenacious D music video for Rize of the Fenix, done up to look like a video that hasn't been dropped yet, with hastily-edited duplicate shots of fans, weird-looking disembodied heads of Kage and Jables on swords and devilish snakes to represent critics, too many explosions (and explosion fails), horribly animated bats, superfluous green-screen shots, shoddy CG supertitles, and many VFX screens and clipart images reading "Stockpic," "Unrendered," and "Missing Media."
  • Pretty much all of Randy Travis' "Before You Kill Us All" has bad chroma-key. Most obviously, there's a constant mask around Randy's mullet, and his guitar clips the background a few times.
  • Billy Joel's "Pressure" has some very obvious matte lines in certain scenes.
  • The borderline Body Horror 'floating' effect from Blancmange's 'Lose Your Love' music video. Not to mention it failed as soon as it started, unless it was intentional.
  • The Beastie Boys music video for Don't Play No Game I Can't Win is all a bunch of dolls/action figures and other toys in an action movie-like adventure. You can clearly see the wires, hands, and dowel rods used to maneuver everything.
  • The music video for Brainbug's Nightmare is intentionally full of this, mainly as homage to the 50's.
  • Spoonfeedas' Attack of the Hadedas includes a giant bird that looks like it just stepped out of Birdemic.
  • The music video for Will Smith's Men In Black features a poorly done dancing aliennote  midway through. The practical alien body parts towards the beginning don't fare much better.
    • The music video for "Nod Ya Head" (from the second film) features a glaring amount of very obvious CG.
  • It's Raining Men... through crappy green screen effects. The sets are also quite cheap-looking.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Within the industry, "botch" is often used for when someone screws up during a match. This can mean anything from a wrestler falling down before their opponent's move connects, or missing a cue, or lacking the strength/dexterity/technique to complete a maneuver. Often it just looks foolish and is generally harmless, but less fortunate occasions have lead to serious injury and even death.
  • Many a wrestler have been unintentionally caught on camera "blading," which is when a wrestler secretly (when it goes right, anyways) nicks their forehead with a razor blade to create the illusion that they've been cut by one of their opponent's attacks. Usually this happens thanks to the camera being on them at the wrong time. "Caught red-handed" indeed.
  • It's not uncommon for the audience to be able to occasionally overhear wrestlers giving instructions to their opponent so they can get ready to act out the next move.
  • During the WWE Summerslam 1997 match between Mankind and Hunter Hearst Helmsley, Mankind, at one point after getting beaten down, suddenly ripped his shirt off, then had a My Name Is Inigo Montoya comeback, leaving fans wondering what was going on. Mick Foley (aka Mankind) later shed some light on the subject in his autobiography: turns out, there was supposed to be a heart-shaped tattoo on his chest, symbolizing his transformation into his former fantasy persona from his high school/college days, Dude Love (who fans had been introduced to through a series of Worked Shoot interviews in the weeks before the match). Unfortunately, Mick forgot to get the tattoo done, and didn't realize it until he was due to make his entrance for his match. Thinking quickly, he scrawled the heart on his chest with a magic marker; unfortunately, by the time of The Reveal, it had sweated off. Oops.
  • And then there's the big unmasking of Kane at the hands of Triple H. Kane's backstory had him as a childhood burn victim, so naturally, this was a big deal. Unfortunately, the burn makeup under the mask completely failed to hold up through the match, so when Kane did unmask, he didn't look like a victim of a horrible house fire so much as a victim of an attack by a psychotic Mary Kay lady and a deranged barber with a thing for Larry Fine. Thankfully, rather than press on with the storyline, the next week, Kane appeared without makeup, but still claiming to be terribly burned, thus making the false scarring yet another dimension of his uniquely psychotic delusions.
    • There have been some theories as to why Kane's make-up job was so horrific. The most popular one was the heavy black eyeliner Kane wore under his mask started to run. Thus when he unmasked, his face was covered in black make-up splotches. It also did not help that when he removed his mask, it was revealed that Kane was completely bald on the top of his head save for the hair on his sides. The long locks he sported for years were actually part of the mask itself and he grew out what hair he had left. The WWE quickly reacted to this; having Kane lose the make-up, shave himself completely bald and have him wear a towel over his head for a few weeks afterwards before making another reveal.
    • Well, they tried to continue it. For a while when they showed video of the unmasking they slowed the tape down, added a silly sound effect that was supposed to be ominous or something, and used a cheesy effect to distort his face. To point out how bad it was, when something is simply too cheesy for Vince McMahon...
  • Shockmaster. You really need to watch it, but lets give a rundown of what happens. 1. Explosions go off. 2. Shockmaster trips and falls through the wall. 3. Shockmaster's mask, a purple-silver spray-painted Star Wars Storm Trooper one, falls off, revealing the bald head of Fred Ottman, AKA "Tugboat". 4. Everyone present starts cracking up (clearly dropping a couple f-bombs on live television), including the announcers 5. Ole Anderson, providing the voice of the Shockmaster, desperately tries to salvage the segment and fails, due to the voice modulator sounding like a cardboard tube. (Bonus points: after the fall, you can clearly hear Ole, having forgotten to mute his mic, laughing and muttering, "Oh god.")
    • What makes it worse is that the only part of this that could have been salvaged was the "trip and fall" part. Ottman had actually had a few practice-runs and everything had gone fine, but when it came time to do it live, an extra cross-beam was added he didn't see until he was already mid-jump. If things had gone off without a hitch, it would have been a really bad-ass entrance. The costume and voice, however, still would have been atrocious.
  • During one WWE PPV, The Undertaker's entrance made it appear as if he was floating down to the ring. This would've looked cool, except the cameras filming the entranceway were angled completely wrong and revealed the board he was standing on.
  • During CM Punk and Chris Jericho's 2012 feud, Jericho would assault Punk with bottles of alcohol. On at least one occasion, he squeezed a sugar glass-made whiskey bottle while swinging it at Punk's head, causing it to explode in his hand.
  • During Hulk Hogan's infamous WCW match with The Ultimate Warrior, Hogan was supposed to blind the Warrior with some flash paper. Unfortunately, it went off in Hogan's hand, burning him instead.
  • Whilst making his entrance at the Elimination Chamber 2010 PPV, The Undertaker stood on the rampway as the flames beside him onstage went off. What Taker didn't expect was for one to go off right underneath him, and he was very briefly engulfed in flames. If it weren't for the heavy leather coat he typically wears to the ring, Taker would have suffered serious burns all over his body. Calaway reportedly went ballistic about it backstage after the match had ended.
    • A separate and much more serious incident occurred on a January 2008 episode of SmackDown. Jeff Hardy was making his entrance for an interview segment when the stage pyro went off with too much force and sent sparks into his eyes*. He fell to the ground in pain and rolled right onto the section of grating where flame pyro erupted from beneath just seconds later. The segment was cut short, Hardy was hustled onto a stretcher, and even his on-screen opponent Edge hustled up the ramp to show concern.

  • Stuff like this has been known to happen during a play. Even professionally trained actors can probably tell you of a story where something either went wrong during the rehearsals, performances, or even Opening Night! Generally it's best to just improvise.
  • Not to fear little children, I will hel-"
  • In A Very Potter Sequel, Joey Richter (as Ron) fails to take down a Taylor Lautner poster from Umbridge's office (It Makes Sense in Context) while switching scenes. He tries to play it off by saying it was held on by magic, and in the next scene "They're all over the school!" Twist? It was done on purpose as they needed a reason to have a Taylor Lautner poster in both Umbridge's office and the room they end up in. They couldn't think of an In-Universe reason so they decided to make it seem like a quickly-improvised mishap.
  • Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark had a first preview that didn't go so well.
  • Referenced in The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, where Sally has to badger the stage crew to start the ocean wave effects.
  • In Nerds, Bill Gates threatens Steve Jobs with a plastic lightsaber, and makes the sound effects by buzzing his lips. Jobs mocks the lightsaber and calls it an obvious fake. So Gates cuts off the clown's arm with it.

    TV News 
  • Quite a few examples exist of two main failures: putting up the wrong headline or accompanying image (the small pics appearing next to a news anchor's head for each story) and someone who decided to wear the wrong shade of blue or green, causing the clothing to pick up images or video meant for the green/blue screen behind the anchor. Weather forecasters are particularly prone to the second one, given all the use of this type of imaging in their segments.

    Video Games 
  • Everything Fades is a common bad special effect. Rather than dying or leaving even a pile of bones, the character just winks out. This can be confusing if he instead flees, joins the party, etc.
    • The early Breath of Fire games are particularly egregious in this regard. Some characters would just disappear, and it was unclear that they were actually defeated for good or merely wounded, since some of them would show up later on.
  • In Star Control 3, there is a race called the Harika/Yorn. The Harika are a race of green goblin-like aliens, while the Yorn is a rodent species they use as food. As with most aliens in Star Control 3, they are played by puppets. At one point, the Harika captain you speak to eats one of the Yorn... which is done by having the Harika open his mouth, the Yorn puppet slide in an incredibly awkward fashion up the Harika's chest, go into his mouth, and sit there for about thirty seconds before the screen abruptly cuts to the original shot of Harika with Yorn in pocket.
    • For that matter, pretty much all of the aliens fall under this trope. It was actually marketed as a feature that they were 3D (this being about the time when 3D computer graphics were the "Next Big Thing" and thus had to be used regardless of whether it was a good idea or not) but the models (Animatronic puppets in this case) were so poornote , that they all looked considerably worse than the stylized animated 2D pictures used in SC2.
  • The original Twisted Metal has, in its endings, a picture of Calypso... played by an actor with burn makeup that looks like a community theater version of Freddy Krueger. This is a holdover from the nine-different-levels-of-failure original FMV endings, which feature such highlights as Needles Kane played by a man in a pathetic clown mask. Understandably, the series used animated or CGI endings until...
    • The 2012 PS3 game decided to revisit the live-action FMV concept. Although they're not a complete failure like the scrapped cutscenes of the first game, they're still rife with Special Effect Failure. Although they tried to go for a So Bad, It's Good grindhouse vibe, the end result clashes with the grimdark feel of the game itself, making the FMVs just straight up crappy.
  • The Command & Conquer series usually has decent cutscenes, despite them being largely FMVs on a greenscreen. But in Tiberium Sun, there would be scenes where real actors would be talking to noticeably CGI armies of soldiers.
    • Emperor: Battle for Dune wasn't all that better. The actors' skin will occasionally have green highlights when there is no green light source nearby. The imperial crown is also very clearly made of rubber, and characters may occasionally stretch it out when placing in on their heads.
  • The Force Unleashed 2 had amazing graphics for the most part. Of course, if you start blowing up barrels, the barrels in the three-dimensional world look like some two-dimensional thing out of the Nintendo 64.
  • Lost Odyssey, which sported very sharp visuals, nevertheless fell victim to this trope in one dungeon. There was one dungeon which had some shallow pools of water, which they wanted to throw a ripply reflection of the characters as they moved in and around it. While the ripples are quite nice indeed, they cheated on the reflections rather badly. Instead of showing a true reflection, the water simply duplicated the character as he appeared onscreen before applying the ripple effects. This could even still work if they had inverted the reflection, having it appear upside down "below" the character, but they put the reflection BEHIND the character right-side up. The net effect made the "reflecting pool" into a mirror you could look into and see the back of your own head.
  • Oracle Of Tao has a weird mix of Stylistic Suck and a few actual animation glitches. When you defeat one boss, he is supposed to fall down dead with an animation. But since this animation typically doesn't activate until the next turn, this typically results in you targeting an empty screen before the animation suddenly creates a dying animation.
  • In the infamously unpolished Ultima IX, a cutscene has the Guardian chucking a fireball at Samhayne. The fireball misses the victim by a yard, upon which he spins in the wrong direction (from how he would have spun if the spell had actually made contact) and collapses.
    • Not to mention, when you poison Lord British with bread, he grabs his neck and falls...then stands right back up...then falls down again. Similarly, in the very beginning, the Avatar will get out of bed, then teleport back into bed, then get out again to step away. After a screen transition, you may appear in the next room nude for a moment. On some occasions, the camera may enter the character model of whoever you're speaking to.
      • Mind you, all of these instances are cutscenes rendered with in-game models by the game engine. This, understandably, often has the limitations of stock character movements and timing cues, which may fall out of sync depending on the speed of the computer you're playing on. The game's pre-rendered cutscenes, however, have no such excuse. In one scene, Raven throws a knife at Lord Blackthorne. It very obviously passes frighteningly, but nonetheless harmlessly, right by his face. Despite having clearly not been wounded, though, he wears a bandage over his eye in later scenes.
  • In the Starcraft cinematic at the end of the Zerg campaign. When the Overmind rises after crashing into Aiur, you see fire at the edge of the crater it created. However, for the last few frames, while everything else is moving, the fire just... 'freezes' into place. It isn't all that noticeable, but once you've seen it...
  • One scene in Xenogears has Citan and Sigmund drinking tea on the Yggdrasil during one cut scene. As they drink, their sprites do not move at all, while the tea cups simply float to their mouths. They messed up tea cups...
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Despite having some of the best graphics ever seen in a video game, there's this bit: the cheap, looping fire animations on the sides of the bridge between Skingrad and Skingrad Castle. It's made even worse by the fact that there's two rows of about twenty of them, all identical and looping in sync.
    • For that matter, The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind had a similar problem with the glowing weapons that looked more like they were wrapped in saran-wrap, and enchanted robes that looked as though you'd got dressed in christmas wrapping paper.
    • In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, to become a werewolf, you have to undergo a ritual where you drink a werewolf's blood. The werewolf has her arm cut... and the knife goes straight through her wrist, as blood just suddenly appears in the ceremonial bowl.
    • Blacksmith forges usually have a water trough nearby. The water looks as if it were frozen in time.
  • Burn:Cycle features live actors projected against pre-rendered backdrops. These environments don't always correspond to the actors' line of sight, especially the wide angles. When Sol his companion arrive at the hotel, the characters are projected at an extreme slant; Sol exits the frame by literally marching up the wall.
  • Streets of Rage 3 has some sounds mysteriously go mute during game play. This was mostly due to glitches in the programming. One example of this is the boss of round 5 is supposed to laugh around 3 times before he fights you. However, his laughter can be either off cue or not heard at all due to the glitches.
  • Star Wars: Super Return of the Jedi had a sound glitch with the boss of level 2 in Jabba's Palace. When you reflected the boss' shots back at him, his hurt voice clip is the same one of the character you are using.
  • In Rune Factory 2, there are some maps that are presented with a top-down camera angle, and others (like areas of the town) that are closer to the ground with more of a side-view camera angle. The problem is when it rains, it's simply an overlay of the rain animation on top of the screen. It looks okay in the top-view, but in the side-view you'll see the rain fall and splash on the sky itself. And sometimes NPCs will cut corners on the street and end up walking on top of the sides of buildings...
  • The Fallout: New Vegas add-on Dead Money pushes the limits of the Gamebryo engine when in dialogue with Christine. For the first half of the mission, she is unable to speak, so her conversation is a bracketed description of her physical responses to your dialogue. The game tries its best to have her character model imitate what the text says, to jarring results, especially when a "nod" is her expressionless face looking down and then up very quickly.
  • Opening Remake 101: When remaking the Dragon Ball Z opening in CG, there's three things one should never do - make the characters look like arthritic Lego people that barely emote, have Chaozu look like he stepped out of the Uncanny Valley, and make sure that when Gohan flies past; not to 'noclip' through his head. Sadly, the opening to Budokai does all three.
  • The 2010 Medal of Honor game has something to this effect. Basically, every time a level starts, the whole map is generated, having different levels of detail depending on the distance. What happens is, after a cutscene, the game will load every texture in the farthest resolution and then add detail depending on the distance (sort of like a detail implosion-shockwave-thingy). While plenty of games do this, most other games get around this by loading the nearest ones first and then generating the rest of the visible environment. Here it takes around 5 to 10 seconds for the gun to gain detail. Ten seconds. Ten, immersion ruining, seconds.
  • One stage late in the original PS1 Medal of Honor features a curator trying to reason with the player character over an intercom, and eventually is shot by his Nazi captors. It would be an effective Kick the Dog moment if it were a single scripted occurrence, but instead the audio-only scene is added into the BGM, so every time the soundtrack loops you'll hear the poor guy fussing over stolen artwork and getting killed again.
  • The Sims 2: Seasons suffers this. Rather than creating the rain with particles (A technique which has existed for years) they decided to just overlay an animation of rain falling over the screen. This technique often looks fine, but not in a game with a freely movable camera. Half the time it looks like it's raining indoors, and when you zoom in on an indoor area and look out the window it's pretty clear that rain isn't falling outside. And worst of all, this makes the game lag like hell.
  • Halo 2 really pushed the limits of the Xbox's graphics rendering engine, and it shows, mostly in the cutscenes. They sometimes took up to a minute to completely render, leaving the graphics fuzzy and indistinct, characters not appearing where they should be or most jarringly of all missing body parts. It's quite amusing when for about thirty seconds, you get told how awesome those indistinct blobs of the Orbital Defense network cannons are by a headless Sgt. Johnson, who is speaking to a floating helmet and arm.
    • Averted in Halo3 where the explosions look beautifully rendered, especially in Theater mode. Bungie HAD to make the game look good because of Theater, since now the plyaer was allowed to examine the landscape as long as he wanted, wherever he wanted. The fact that they had to use so many cheats in the first Halo game is the reason why Theater wasn't included in the Anniversary re-release.
  • Knights of the Old Republic 2 had Kreia's flashback about her last days as Dark Lady of the Sith. When Sion grabs her head and slams her against the wall, his arm briefly runs through the camera.
    • In the original, Mission pleading with the player to help her brother Griff could easily be spoiled if, for example, she was holding a vibroblade. Because she never actually puts down her weapons before begging, she proceeds to ram about three feet of vibroblade through her own head. This can also happen if you are holding a vibroblade and a civilian may walk through it.
  • Similarly, there is a cutscene in Silent Hill: Homecoming where a character's hand clips briefly, yet noticeably, through the camera's perspective.
  • Lara's teenager model in Tomb Raider Chronicles has a slight error when she holds a torch. Her hands are normally rendered as open palm, but when Lara holds a torch, the hand that is used to hold it suddenly switches to the hand from the adult Lara model, which is rendered as a closed, blocky fist and has a glove on it. This was most likely done in an attempt to save time on changing parts of the model with little effort.
    • Tomb Raider III has laser traps of different colors in one level. On the PC version, playing the game on high resolution monitors can make the lasers nearly invisible due to them not being properly rendered for high resolution screens. Likewise, the HUD is rendered in squinty vision in the PC version when playing on high resolution screens.
  • Star Fox Adventures has some very broken effects-heat distortion, water reflections, and floor reflections are incorrectly programmed, marring the graphics of an otherwise-graphically-impressive game.
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker uses environment mapping for the flat surface of a shallow lake inside a boss room. The room, summoned enemies, and the boss itself are correctly reflected, but Link, the player character, is not visible at all in the reflection. Then again, by the time the developers got to that boss room, they were hastily trying to finish the game before the deadline.
    • The game also features very impressive distortion effects that are marred by one flaw - anything near the point of distortion is reflected. This does not apply to heat-based distortion, which is perfect.
  • Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse has impressive graphics for the most part, but there's one little scene in Episode 1 where Sybil's box of belongings fall down into the sewer, and as Sam and Max look down the hole, the view below isn't even rendered in 3D, it's a pre-rendered 2D image.
  • Playing a PC game with a screwy graphics card can count towards this.
  • Several Sega Dreamcast games fall victim to this. Some examples:
    • In Sonic Adventure 2, the scene where the Tornado flees the exploding island. The explosion is a pre-rendered video, and the Tornado is a 3D model put in front of the video. Its prequel did something similar as well.
      • Also, in cutscenes, the mouth movements hardly match the characters' words, and some characters might close their mouths before they're even through talking.
      • This is more the localization teams being lazy. Set the language to Japanese, and the mouth movements match the words perfectly.
      • The HD port of Sonic Adventure 2 does the game justice, but there's one cut scene that the dev team glossed over: one scene shows Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles conversing with each other while Amy comes in a moment later. Because the cut scene was originally created in the 4:3 ratio and not 16:9, you can see Amy standing to the side in T pose with a really weird facial expression. This was likely Sega's quirk in loading character models that were needed for a scene, but with a wider screen, the quirk looks bad.
    • In Jet Set Radio, at Shibuya-Cho there are some areas that you have to go through in order to get to the next area of the city, in which they put a pre-rendered 2D image of city buildings in front of it. It makes you feel like you're Blue and Steve, how they "skidoo" into pictures.
    • In the first Space Channel 5, all backgrounds and areas are pre-rendered videos, while everything else is 3D models placed in front of the videos. This will sometimes cause Ulala and the others to look as if they are walking on air or hovering above ground. This was fixed in the sequel, in which all backgrounds and areas are rendered in real-time, rather than pre-recorded videos of 3D areas.
  • Singularity has a picture of a Soviet newspaper in one Info Dump scene. Looking closely at its text reveals that it's actually random strings of Latin characters, instead of actual words in Cyrillic.
  • In one mission in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, you have to follow Caesar to meet up with everyone else for some illegal street racing. CJ's sister, Kendl, is seen riding with Caesar in the cut scene. During the actual game play, Kendl's model is strangely replaced with a female NPC.
    • In one cutscene during the mission "The Shootist" in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Tommy enters a shooting competition that sees him stepping up to a shooting booth, getting ready to fire. Instead of the gun being in his hand, it ends up floating nearly half a foot in front of it.
    • During the Paleto Score heist in Grand Theft Auto V, someone turns to shoot out a security camera with a shotgun when storming the bank. Said camera remains completely undamaged, even after sustaining a point-blank shot.
  • In Escape from Monkey Island in the cutscene, where Elaine and Guybrush discuss their course of action right after arriving to Melee island, the camera frequently is placed inside a monkey. Fortunately, most of the monkey is transparent, only its muzzle and several torso polygons are visible.
  • In Super Smash Bros. Brawl's Subspace Emissary, Pokemon Trainer is not CG-rendered like the other characters and instead just uses his ingame model. As a result he looks extremely out of place in the otherwise very well-designed cutscenes.
  • Super Mario 64 has the Chain Chomp enemy whose mouth is colored red. On the Virtual Console version, the red was strangely changed to purple, giving the enemy a purple mouth. Some people thought Nintendo was trying to censor the game, but it turns out that it was just a glitch with the game's emulator.
  • Lodge Massacre, at one point, has a ghostly, disfigured face floating past a window — which is literally just the memetic photo of Brian Peppers with a blue filter applied. Unfortunate Implicationsnote  notwithstanding, the comments of the Retsupurae video indicate that the use of this face fooled absolutely nobody.
  • Cutscenes in Final Fantasy VII tend to shift between low-poly models and CGI movies. Needless to say, it's pretty jarring. And as if this weren't bad enough already, half of these movies render the characters with realistic proportions, whereas their field models use, by contrast, a Super-Deformed style. So you see Cloud randomly shift between his short, low-polygonal field model with Popeye arms and his detailed CGI rendition that actually matches his character artwork in the middle of cutscenes.
  • This is all over the place in Call of Juarez: The Cartel. Vehicle collisions have no weight or impact, the subtitles are usually either misspelled or don't match the dialogue (like, at all), characters jump around between cutscene and gameplay (most frequently to dump the player into the driver's seat of a car since the AI won't drive), facial animations are painfully limited, and game scripts and AI pathfinding are so buggy that a player-controlled Kim will most likely have to do most of AI Ben and Eddie's work for them in one level when they split up to cover a meeting.
  • Harvester is well-known for two things: being really, really, really messed up, and having hilariously bad FMV special effects during cutscenes.
    • The worst example is during one of the most notorious scenes: when your baby sister's eyes pop out. MS Paint would have improved on that.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) is chock full of these thanks to its Obvious Beta status (and even some that would've stayed even if the game had been finished properly,) from giant towers toppling over at lightning fast speeds with absolutely no sense of weight to them, to enemies clipping through scenery and getting Tele Fragged when picked up with psychokinesis, to the creepy Uncanny Valley humans and their wild, over-the-top talking animations.
  • Mass Effect: Listing every clipping glitch in the Mass Effect games would break this wiki in half. You can also get some very strange arm, hand and head movements, especially in the third game, where the skeleton used for everyone concerned apparently has a much less restricted neck joint than human anatomy actually possesses. For a very special kind of hilarity, there's your fish tank in 3, in which the fish are not actually restricted to the boundaries of the tank and can occasionally be seen "swimming" through the air, or the wall underneath the tank, or in extreme cases on your desk, three feet away from the glass.
  • The least of the barely finished BIONICLE: The Game's problems are goofs during which parts of the character models become plainly see-through, mostly under their armor pads and the back of Onua's head during his first cutscene. Pohatu's eyes also have a tendency to disappear. Most of the movements are jerky or humorously overdone, and there's clipping everywhere. Oddest of all, on the PC version of Gali's level, Nokama has some of her texturing messed up, leaving her with a red smudge for a face, and even the animation bones are visibly poking through her model.
  • The So Bad, It's Good Sniper: Path of Vengeance is another Obvious Beta. Among all the deforming, contorting characters and ludicrous clippings, some of the more famous goofs are the bus that clips through the prison gate before it opens, enemies regularly walking through doors, and the final cutscene, where the guns are missing and the characters enact a shootout by pointing with their fingers.
  • Many HD ports or enhanced ports of older games like Silent Hill 2 and Metroid Prime look great with the touch ups, but sometimes other effects are lost in the transition. For example, Silent Hill 2 was known for having very atmospheric fog effects, but the HD port lost most of the fog effects, causing the game to lose its creepy atmosphere. This may be because most of the fog in the original game was due to the PlayStation's low draw distance.
  • Final Fantasy X has a lot of cutscenes, and they're all pretty. Most of the plot-important ones are rendered in FMV, but the rest are regular engine-rendered. In Bevelle, there's a long series of plot-important cutscenes back-to-back. Some are in FMV, some aren't. The difference is very noticeable.
  • Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People Episode 4 - Dangeresque 3 features an In-Universe example. In one scene, Strong Sad walks in in a Mo Cap costume... at which point Strong Bad stops the movie and rebukes the Cheat for his terrible editing.
  • The "Infinite Worlds" trailer for the otherwise amazing looking No Man's Sky has a brief one where the player-character emerges from an alien ocean... to look out at scenery from an earlier pre-release of the game. (It even says Planet1 in the Heads-Up Display!) Kind of jarring for a trailer with much better-looking content for the game.


    Web Original 
  • In a combination of this trope and Revealing Coverup, in this video of a beer-bottle domino experiment, it's quite apparent that the π sign 40 seconds in is a CG coverup of a rather more infamous symbol in the original footage due to the jitter of the sign.
  • Homestar Runner poked fun of these with the Dangeresque films, with such things as scaling a skyscraper that's really a piece of cardboard on the ground with the camera tipped to one side. And then Homestar drops his glasses on the cardboard.
    • Perhaps taken as far as possible in Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective, in which Strong Sad wears a motion capture suitnote  and shouts "Raaah! I'm a scary monster!" Strong Bad pauses the movie at this point to yell at The Cheat for not bothering to actually add in the special effect. He says he'll do it in post, even though they are at the premiere of the film.
  • Lampshaded in Kickassia when N. Bison begins to levitate using superconducting electromagnetism.
    Dr. Insano: do realize you're just standing on your tippy-toes, right?
  • This live-action RPG here. The cartoon graphics go with the live action ones in most horrible way known to man, but dear God the 'combat'. Cartoon enemies flying around randomly sometimes not even on the ground, animation that looks like puppets where used and the live action guy flailing a fake rubber sword around like a lunatic. Thankfully, the video links to the Retsupurae version, which at least has funny commentary.
  • Played for laughs in My Immortal: The Series, in which (among other things) the Slytherin common room is a suburban living room, Ebony's drink of human blood is cherryade and Draco's "666" numberplate is handwritten.
  • In this little number, you can tell pretty quickly that the interior shots are separate models that are either sunk separately, or just had a bucket of water dumped in, and in one shot it's clear that the model is sunk twice. Still, good effort for a $0 budget and a justification of "bordom."
  • This fantastically bad Slender Man Mythos video, inventively titled "SLENDER MAN", features quite possibly the worst costume of the titular character in existence. Since they also managed to mess up video distortion effects, it's all the more obvious.note 
    • Made even more painful by the fact that the costume was apparently really expensive to make, according to Word of God.
    • The movie Windigo, also based on the Mythos, has rather decent effects throughout... until Slendy's final appearence, in which he is seen throwing a poorly rendered CGI truck across the screen and Slendy himself seems to be animated via Stop Motion. Especially blatant as other Mythos videos have special effects ranging from ok (Marble Hornets) to exceptional (Tribe Twelve).
    • The single most common Slender Man halloween costume is a simple black suit and a morphsuit mask, which looks convincing from a distance or at night, but not so much up close, in addition to the fact the masks - in some cases - shine in bright light. Similarly, a full-body morphsuit designed to resemble Tall, Thin and Faceless... would not look convincing from a distance, at night, to a man with bad eyesight.note 
    • And the examples go on too much to list, in no small part due to the fact Sturgeon's Law is very, very much in effect due to the ludicrous number of stories, side-stories, fan-films, games (special note should go to the original Slender, in which Slendy looks like a blowup-doll) and so on.
  • Deliberately invoked in the machinima portions of Red vs. Blue, where things such as wrenches, cakes, and wedding dresses have extremely obviously been added after the fact. More serious uses of animation and the all-CG sections of later seasons look significantly better and are nearly seamless at times, to the point that some of the special effects had to be made worse in season 10 for the sake of comedy (in particular, the pile of stuff the Blues have collected as a result of beating Red Team so many times).
  • The character models in RWBY tend to clip through each other rather frequently. Particularly when it comes to long-haired characters.
  • One of the many complaints against the first episode of Steam Train was that the recording software made the game they were playing run about half as fast as it should be.
  • Lampshade hung in the puppet band segment of the Key of Awesome "Behind the Awesome" video for their Somebody That I Used To Know parody. The segment in question featured five puppets of various types playing a guitar...less than convincingly.
    Dog Puppet: No-one is in contact with the strings/Yet somehow I can hear everything.
  • TedCrusty purposefully uses cheap effects to add to the humor of his videos. Like, just having a stuffed shirt on the ground being called a dead body.
  • The "fight" against a possessed Star Whistle in Dusk's Dawn. The amount of wind physics failures goes beyond Artistic License.
  • Played for laughs in Third Rate Gamer. In his Little Nemo The Dream Master "review", he escapes the police by bike. It's shown by showing obvious clip art of a kid on a bike (with his face plastered over it) that still has a white background moving in an obviously-fake manner over another picture of a house.
  • More of the Sonic The Hedgehog Fan Film's budget appears to have gone into hiring Jaleel White and various Internet celebrities for the cast than its special effects:
    • Robotnik's airships barely look any better than the Egg Carrier's original Dreamcast model.
    • His E-series robots are modeled pretty well, but move so slowly and clumsily as to seem weightless.
    • Whatever weapon the GUN troopers in the forest were using appears to have been made out of plastic.
    • When an explosion occurs, nine times out of ten it's a translucent 2D graphic overlaid on the screen.
    • Sonic himself lies firmly in the middle of the Uncanny Valley, and not only are his facial expressions basically limited to "eyes open/eyes closed, mouth open/mouth closed", he jumps out of the letterboxing at one point.
    • Sonic hijacks a missile launched at him by Robotnik... a missile with flat-color textures.
    • Towards the end, we're "treated" to an absolutely atrocious CGI rendition of Green Hill Zone.
    • When Knuckles appears, he is rendered with individual fingers, instead of his usual spiked boxing gloves.
  • Epic Rap Battles of History takes a knock at Doctor Who's tendency towards this. The rap battle is between the Tenth Doctor and Doc Emmett Brown, and Brown makes a comment to the effect of "I don't know what's lamer about you: your fans, or your special effects!" Meanwhile, the TARDIS can be seen flying across the background; not only are the strings visible, but very briefly the hand holding the strings can be seen at the top of the screen.

    Western Animation 
  • Parodied in the Futurama episode guest starring (and spoofing) Star Trek, where the energy-being Melllvar looks like the standard bad effect used in the original 1960s series. He even Lampshades this when told that he looks like a cheap effect by screaming that he's not and electrocuting a redshirt. Again.
  • In the Finale of Avatar: The Last Airbender, the airships are Conspicuous CG rendered at a noticeably low and choppy framerate that gives the impression of a Super Nintendo Entertainment System Super FX game.
    • Sequel Series The Legend of Korra doesn't escape either. In "Turning The Tides", the Humongous Mecha are incredibly slow-moving and poorly-rendered CGI. The mecha had appeared in previous episodes and looked fine, and their deficiencies only became obvious when they were attacking in broad daylight as opposed to a darkened corridor. This is especially bad given the exact same episode had traditionally-animated airships that looked quite good.
  • In an episode of Muppet Babies spoofing Star Trek, Captain Kermit gives orders to activate the Warp Drive. The dialogue implies that the warp drive is warping everything else, but for some reason somebody forgot to warp the video.
  • Like the CG in Winx Club wasn't mostly mediocre and overused already, sometimes it even showed bad technical failures. Examples taken from the second season follow.
    • In one of the earlier episodes, we see a shot of Sky and Brandon riding their motos to Alfea, and the trees on the sides of the road disappear suddenly, before "going down" the horizon.
    • When some of the characters go to Sky's home planet to save Diaspro, there's a shot of their ship practically going through two asteroids from one animation frame to the next.
    • When the fairies go to Cloudtower, and the Trix take temporary control of the school (which is basically a living castle), the entire building shakes and even rotates slightly. When doing this, it blends with the rock of the mountain it's built on.
    • In the last episode of the season, there's a scene with rocks falling in water, rendered in an atrocious way.
  • Batman: The Animated Series has one noticeable one. In the episode "Clock King", there's a scene with Batman and Alfred in a Rolls Royce, normal quality animation except the only thing visible through the car windows is pure white. This is a failure for two reasons — no background and the series was known for having backgrounds created on black paper.
  • Despite the otherwise high quality of the show, Justice League Unlimited had moments where it was quite obvious that CGI was used. Most notably where the Batplane was trying to Intercept a Nuclear Missile over the ocean — creating a very jarring scene because of the sudden change of aesethics, and the poor effects over all.
    • It was made especially bad by how low-framerate and ugly the CGI was.
    • The CG intro for the first season was pretty jarring and, frankly, just outright ugly. Later seasons used more traditional animation and better CG effects.
  • Parodied in an episode of Freakazoid! that introduced the invisible Egyptian wizard Invisibo: The narrator announced that the special effects aren't very scary, and asks the viewers to pretend they are. For the next couple of minutes, Invisibo is represented by a rod suspended by very obvious strings. After this goes on for a while, the narrator announces that they've embarrassed the network executives into giving them a bigger special effects budget, after which Invisibo's rod actually floats and glows.
  • Voltron The Third Dimension had pretty lame CG already, but it actually had a disturbingly glaring flaw kept in the Stock Footage! When the Lions' control sticks slide into place, you can actually see them clip through the pilot's knees, and they kept this everytime the sequence is shown!
  • ''Life with Loopy'': You could see the wires and stuff for some of the puppets, but it could probably just be Stylistic Suck though.
    • It could also be for Nickelodeon pacing the production company for the short (all the shorts for the show are made in separate studios, save for Action League Now and the Henry and June shorts, which were made in-house), causing them to have less time to edit in order to get the finished short to Nickelodeon on time.
  • The infamous crash scene from the Thomas the Tank Engine episode "The Flying Kipper". Pay very close attention during the scene when they show Henry crashing into the freight train head-first.
    • The show seemed to have some problems with putting on the face models at times, as scenes occasionally have them slipping off or using the wrong emotion (eg. scenes of an engine narrated as being worried or cross while having a cheerful face on). This was more prominant in early seasons, where budgets limited the number of models more.
  • Deliberately invoked by the 1947 Tex Avery cartoon Lucky Ducky; during one chase scene, the two dimwit hunters and the duck they're chasing run past a "Technicolor Ends Here" sign, beyond which the characters and scenery lose all their color. One of the hunters gets run over by the other one right next to the sign as the chase resumes, leaving him half in monochrome and half in color.
  • Rollbots has had a few.
    • Anytime Spin runs the training course, at the end he throws four laser cuffs, but one of them disappears before hitting a target.
    • At several points in Prophecies and Guesstimates, once Spin's Eleventh Hour Superpower activates, Spin is not glowing when supposed to be.
      • In the same episode, when Bunto confronts Spin, the blockade he's set up disappears after a few seconds.
    • In Vett, when Spin and Vett are fighting at Xendover Stadium, at one point Vett is knocked onto his back by a hit but flips up instantly, in a very broken-looking moment.
    • The Ajax Trax from Ajax make no sense whatsoever, with a vague, choppy sort of teleportation.
    • In Inferno, Macro's flamethrower flames seem very solid...
    • The crazed Zurasho who attacks Spin and Octo in #044 has the same problem in her blowtorch that Macro had with his flamethrower.
    • Botch's laser from Scorched seems very choppy.
  • While Transformers Energon may have had some very ugly CG on its own, Beast Wars (The first fully CG Transformers entry) also had several. The most glaring examples appeared throughout season 1, in which the models most of the animal forms were nothing more than separate body parts, Dinobot also had a very visible seam in his Velociraptor form's chest, and each time Megatron bent his knees, the kneecaps got distorted. There was also an obvious lack of shadows throughout most of the show's run.
    • The other seasons may (and do, at some points) fare better, but they too have their own share of failures. Such as Rattrap in his pre-Transmetal body at the end of Code of Hero, Rampage's disappearing tank treads in Transmutate and him swapping legs with Depth Charge in Changing of the Guard. It also (somehow) manages to slide into Conspicuous CG as a couple of characters (namely Rhinox, Waspinator and Inferno) never receive any upgrades (in-universe or behind the scenes) between seasons.
    • Transformation sequences, especially for the original characters, turned out particularly bad-looking in a few shots. Dinobot's may be the worst: at times, his robot torso simply sprouted out of his beast mode, while his robot and beast limbs all clipped through each other, and his raptor head floated down to form his chest-plate. But sometimes, he just deformed into all sorts of weird shapes.
      • Rhinox's is equally bad — no wonder, they only faintly resembled their toys, so their transformations cheated a lot. In Rhinox's case, this involved his rhino mode's back legs deforming into giant shapeless blobs before being replaced by his robot legs.
    • One closeup of season 1 scenery (episode Possession) had leaves, branches and random tree-parts floating in air. They could have focused the camera on a better rendered tree easily.
      • In the same episode, when the Maximals "surrender" to Starscream, Optimus' head is stretched out and his mouth doesn't move as he talks.
    • In the episode Double Dinobot, Dinobot runs "into" the camera, and for a brief moment, you can see his "inner head". And during the scene of the two Dinobots fighting, they randomly have strange bulges coming out of the bottom of their animation model. The character actually suffers from animation failures a lot, because his dinosaur design isn't well suited for all the wild movements he has to make, and often even such simple motions like rearing his head back can reveal these shortcomings.
    • Dinobot II, in Feral Scream part 2, has his normally solid beast-mode crotch-plate stretching in unison with one of his legs.
  • The sequel Beast Machines generally fared much better due to the heavily stylized CGI. At the same time, light and fire effects tended to cast shadows and behave like solid objects (see the torches carried by the proto-humans in Waspinator's flashback), and there is an infamously lousy shot at the end of the final episode when the reformatted Transformers appear to be sliding across the landscape as they run.
  • Transformers Prime, being made close to a decade after the end of Beast Wars fairs a lot better, butit still has some very clear times when the animators screwed up. One of the better examples can be found in Darkness Rising: Part 1 in which the Autobot logo on the floor of the Autobot's base was the movie's. However, unlike most examples, this was fixed for future airings. Bumblebee's eyes and Arcee's pink accents change constantly throughout the series as well.
    • One Shall Rise Part 2 has Miko being dragged away from the base with very jerky animation and poor lighting.
    • The most horrifying goof comes from the S2 episode Orion Pax, Part 2: Deformed Ratchet. The animators apparently forgot to turn on a couple animation layers, resulting in the Autobots missing random parts of their bodies. Among others, Bumblebee lacks his chest-headlights, Arcee is bare-chested note , and Ratchet is missing his face, but his teeth and eyes are still floating there. It's a split second thing... thankfully!
  • G.I. Joe: Renegades has horrible effects to show slow moving falling debris around the start of the Tomax & Xamot episode. It's very embarrassing.
  • Parts of Captain N: The Game Master episode "How's Bayou?" were not completed when it first aired, and as a result, several shots were missing their backgrounds, effects were missing, and some dialogue and animation seems off. Reruns of the episode were the final product, with the backgrounds intact, effects added, dialogue that seemed rerecorded, and a redone music score. Oddly for some reason, the DVD set with the episode uses the original, unfinished version, as does the version found on Jaroo (the "Hulu for kids' shows" site).
  • In the Family Guy episode "He's Too Sexy for his Fat", Chris in one scene is grabbed by a bear from its mouth and is shaken repeatedly. The bear and Chris are seen in the reflection in the river and there's a difference in the animation speed between the characters and the reflection; the reflection's animation is at normal speed while the animation of the bear and Chris suddenly doubles and is out of sync with the animations in the reflection because of it.
    • Another episode had Peter being chased around by a dog before he climbs up a wall and into a window. The dog keeps up with Peter but then the dog suddenly runs slower than normal, making it look like Peter was able to outrun the dog by miles.
  • In the South Park episode "Faith Hilling", when the cat leader is shown inside a cage, you can clearly see the background from the video inside the cage. But then again, this is South Park, so it's probably just Stylistic Suck.
    • A few episodes have parts of the character remain on screen after leaving the scene.
    • Parodied in "Spookyfish"; whenever Cartman and his alternate counterpart share the screen together, a line is seen dividing the screen in two and the background is uneven on both sides. This is a jab at the old film-splice effect of having one actor appearing as two people onscreen (where an obvious seam can easily be visible if the effect isn't properly done).
    • Also parodied with the San Diego commercial at the end of "Butterballs", where mayor Jerry Sanders is surrounded by a green blur in a parody of cheap greenscreen effects.
  • Disney's The Little Mermaid uses CGI to display ships. Most of the time, the CGI is just barely Conspicuous CG, but there is one, easily missable error with one of the ships. At the climax, Ursula raises some sunken ships from the bottom of the ocean to show her power over the ocean. In one scene where Eric, the prince that Ariel is in love with, is piloting one of these raised ships to kill Ursula, one of the CGI-rendered ships disappears for a split second before the camera shifts to Ursula.
  • Hercules & Xena: The Battle For Mount Olympus sports animation that would have embarrassed Hanna-Barbera in the '60s - skies changing colour between shots, chronic scale problems between creatures and people, character design that somehow makes Gabrielle ugly...
  • Redakai had a scene in episode 10 where Lokar supposedly shows off amazing dodging skill by dodging a series of shockwaves sent his way. However, a closer look shows that he is dodging into the blasts, rather than away from them.
  • The Simpsons: Parodied in the episode 'Last Tap Dance in Springfield' when Lisa is watching short films of Vickie Valentine from the 1940s. Vick and her butler begin dancing, which supposedly "cures" her cat's illness. The cat reacts by rubbing her eyes, which are clearly off-camera hand props waving around in front of the cat's eyes. This is likely a reference to the bare bones special effects of early-1900s film.

Special Effect BrandingSpectacleSphere of Power
Special Effects EvolutionSpecial EffectsStyrofoam Rocks
Silence Is GoldenFilm TropesSpiking The Camera
Some Anvils Need to Be DroppedAudience ReactionsSpoiled by the Format
Skepticism FailureIndex FailureSpringtime for Hitler
Porting DisasterThey Just Didn't CareTyop on the Cover
Shoddy Knockoff ProductImageSource/InternetTwo Decades Behind
Always MaleImageSource/Live-Action FilmsA Mighty Wind

alternative title(s): Special Effects Failure; Visual Effects Of Suck
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