Unfortunate Character Design
That's supposed to be his knee. Supposed to be.
You may have noticed that one of the Yo Gabba monsters is a flexible salami-like creature with one gaping eye at the top. I'm pretty sure I sketched the original design for that in the margin of a chemistry textbook back in 1985.
Let's face it, some characters look odd. Something about their design makes them look ugly, or freaky, or... phallic.
Please note that this trope only applies when:
- The design is obviously unintentional (or at least probably not intended by the majority of the creators), and not meant as a Parental Bonus or Getting Crap Past the Radar.
- The offending part is pretty obvious (if you think you're the only one who ever noticed, it probably doesn't count).
- The character looks so distracting that it can never be unseen.
See also: Freud Was Right
, Nude-Colored Clothes
, Accidental Innuendo
. Will often be Nausea Fuel
Anime and Manga
- Digimon: The Savers redesign of Yatagaramon also suffers from this. He has a white mane that really stands out thanks to his mostly black and purple design. Said mane is braided into a single rope that dangles freely with a bell to each side of it. Guess we should call the savers version the four legged crow.
- Near end of Yakitate!! Japan, Kirisaki transforms into a giant hulking bread monster made of all the breads the Pantasia team has ever made over the course of the series...with Suwabara's turtle bread covering his crotch. Even better, when he's finally defeated, he shoots his crotch-turtle at Azuma as a Desperation Attack.
- Zorc from Yu-Gi-Oh! has a head on a long snake-like neck protruding from his crotch.
- For Yu-Gi-Oh!, guess where the biggest drill on Drillago is.
- Magic: The Gathering has Uktabi Orangutan, a.k.a. "Sex Monkey." The flavor text even does some Lampshade Hanging on the position of the two monkeys in the background and a later parody card shows the two monkeys again, but now one of them is pregnant.
- The art on Gorilla Titan prompted the creators to give it the flavor text "I want a banana this big."
- Ekundu Cyclops depicts a female figure riding what appears to be a giant phallus (with the twin moons in the background as testicles).
- In a crossover with Unfortunate Implications is the Ninth Edition version of Paladin en-Vec, which depcits a knight wearing what appears to be a KKK hood. Even worse, it's a white knight with protection from black.
- A completely G-rated examplenote : Hazel in Saga is a baby with nubby little horns, who's usually got a white blanket covering her head (over the horns) and a blue blanket covering her body. It makes her look like Finn from Adventure Time, which the artist regrets.
- Gary Larson was flustered when a reader pointed out that an old woman he drew for the cover of In Search of the Far Side looked like a giant phallus. His editor responded, "So?"
- The alien in Alien Trespass is... well, phallic. The director, in an interview with Fangoria, stated that he pointed this out to the art designer, who answered "I was afraid you'd say that" and put tentacles at the top to try to counteract this. Its spaceship looks like the female counterpart, as well - and again, the art designer's response when called on it was "I was afraid you'd say that!"
- Bill Corbett on the Romulan ship in the Star Trek reboot movie: "Look, a giant space sphincter!"
- The Last Airbender: Many reviewers commented "The princess has penis hair!"
- While the costume design in The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure is shoddy as-is, Toofie's is especially bad, as his eyes◊ make him appear as a meth addict.
- The Dream Demons from Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare resemble sperm.
- Yo Gabba Gabba: Muno is a one-eyed monster who... looks like a giant red dildo.
- Doctor Who has had more than a few unfortunately designed monsters, but the most famous is probably the ambassador from Alpha Centauri◊. The cloak he's wearing is a last minute attempt to cover it up. The complaint simply changed from "It looks like a giant dick," to "It looks like a giant dick with a cloak on." Then there's the Vervoids◊ which look like either a, uncircumsized dicks or b, vaginas with prominent clitorises.
- Don't forget the infamous Creature from the Pit, with its many... protuberances. Bad enough, except there was the scene where, while trying to communicate with it, the Doctor picks up a longish, fleshy... thing from the Creature's midsection, looks it up and down, massages it slightly and then puts the end of it in his mouth, sucking and blowing on it. It is probably Accidental Innuendo but knowing Tom Baker's notoriously morbid sense of humour it may have been an intentional attempt at Getting Crap Past the Radar.
- In "The Web Planet", there's a scene where a biological tentacle on a wall (called a "bio-gun" in the novelisation) squirts a sticky white web at the Doctor and Vicki before slowly going flaccid and shrinking.
- An episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus featured a scene where a man comes into an apartment to sign a man's severed leg. The reveal of the leg was from the knee down, making it look like a giant bell-end. Executive Meddling was mentioned in one of their documentaries.
- The Blessing from Torchwood: Miracle Day is revealed to be a fissure underground which some have remarked looks like a vagina.
- An in-universe example occurs in How I Met Your Mother, where a Running Gag in Series 2 is that Ted's boss is completely unaware that the skyscraper design he wants to present to their clients happens to be incredibly phallic, complete with a bell-end roof and two spherical entrance halls at the base, which are surrounded by wild foliage.
- In The Far Side by Gary Larson, there was a comic of a sleeping dog dreaming of having caught a car and howling atop it, called "When dogs dream". Larson said later he drew in the car's transmission box where it was supposed to be, and the editor cleared it to be published when he was inundated with mail from people thinking the dog was having sex with the car. The caption has been changed to "When car chasers dream" to rectify this.
- A really surprising number of the 1980s Battle Beasts figures were like this, with their cybernetic armor sporting crotch fins, guns, sliding panels, or just highly suspicious protrusions.
- It's quite common for a Transformer to have some sort of unintentionally amusing crotch design. A particularly unfortunate example is Scattershot◊. That silver-bordered black shape? That's a heat-sensitive sticker that you're supposed to activate by rubbing. The original toy of Megatron◊ is likewise infamous for having a trigger on his crotch. There are also a good number of Mini-Cons that have unfortunately-placed Powerlinx connectors.
- Transformers toy designers don't seem to be all too familiar with dinosaur anatomy, as at least two such figures have gimmicks located in unpractical places. The Beast Wars Dinobot mold (and its repaints, remolds) has a rod sticking out of its cloaca that you have to push in to activate a feature; while Transformers Cybertron Beast Megatron has a Cyber Key slot in the same place.
- The figure of Beast Machines Obsidian has a tiny machine gun dangling under his cockpit. Since the cockpit is his chest in robot mode, this means that the gun ends up hanging down from between his legs... Thankfully, the toy's more cartoon-accurate configuration, in which his legs are "fused" together, makes this far less obvious.
- A good number of planes, such as G2 Smokescreen, have a design where the front part of the plane becomes the upper body, leading to a plane canopy in their chest and the nosecone on their crotch, but it's not especially noticeable. Beast Machines Ultra Jetstorm, meanwhile, has a long, flexible cockpit with a bulbous head, designed to "look around" in vehicle mode. In robot mode, it's tucked between his legs, but still has working joints and can hang low or point forward with relative ease. Yep, it's the first Transformer to have an articulated wang.
- TJ Omega released a video called Top 5 Inappropriate Transformers on this subject, featuring a variety of questionable designs, misbehaving gimmicks and oddly placed kibble.
- Beast Machines Silverbolt, a figure widely regarded as one of the least successful Transformers figures ever, turns into (what is said to be) a condor, but the robot head isn't hidden in the least, and remains visible between the legs. The head also has a tall, thin, tubular shape, and can easily swivel forward, making it look like the condor has a grinning erection. Even if you transform it according to the instructions, it's clearly a head coming out of a condor's butt. This could easily have been avoided, as the toy has a big torso-piece which the small head could have retracted into.
- Kingdom Hearts II: This Dusk looked a little happy to see our keyblade hero.
- Yoyo's battle sprite from Bahamut Lagoon makes it seem like she has a giant chin, due to her clothes' neckline making her neck look like it's part of her face. (Thankfully, gets a better sprite halfway through the game.)
- With Final Fantasy XII's character design being extremely realistic, Vaan's drawn-on chest... shadow... things seem very much out of place.
- Most golems in Baldur's Gate wear loincloths that look just a little too much like giant flapping dongs.
- Ganon's sprite design in the original The Legend of Zelda has confused a lot of people with some of his poses. Is he pretending to be a catgirl when Link walks in?
- This same game attempted to give Link irises and pupils. Actually, since each eye is two pixels high, he just looks like he has four eyes, which is talked about here.
- Bucha◊ the Kikwi elder from Skyward Sword is shaped like a scrotum.
- Really, the Kikwis as a whole look like scrotums, but Bucha most of all.
- On the subject of strange 8 bit sprites, Big Mario in the original Super Mario Bros. has eyes shaped like letter "L"s. It's possible they were supposed to look like they were reflecting light, but that doesn't excuse the fact that his head is permanently twisted at a 90 degree angle to the rest of his body.
- In Final Fantasy Tactics Ramza's sprite changes from chapter to chapter. His last costume contains pants that, due to the sprite artwork, look like they are totally skintight and riding quite far up his butt crack. Fans of the series have affectionately dubbed the disturbing garments the Buttpants◊.
- Garnet's trance form in Final Fantasy IX has some design elements that bear an unfortunate resemblance to a bare bottom. Made all the worse by how lovingly well-rendered her (tightly) clothed bottom is even out of trance.
- Daryan Crescend from Ace Attorney, with his oversized, phallic pompadour with a patch of white on the tip◊. It's supposed to tie into his shark motif, but many fans like to joke that it just reinforces the fact that he's a dick.
- Infamous Pokémon example: Cloyster. (Looks a bit like a vagina with horns stuck on it) Also, Palkia.
- Although Cloyster may be intentional. Because, come on.
- Perhaps so; in Heart Gold/Soul Silver, there is a young couple Trainer duo who use Cloyster and Onix. Coincidence?
- Jynx' original design was so controversial that Nintendo actually had to redesign her. Just compare her original look◊ to her new one.◊
- Back when the FurAffinity boards allowed people to publicly report potential site violations, a perfectly innocent and accurate drawing of a Floatzel◊ was reported for not being marked as mature content.
- Reshiram has an unfortunately-placed tuft of fur.
- Beartic, too, though not as extreme. (Though the fact he evolves from a cute little teddy bear might make it a little worse.)
- Registeel has his right arm raised in a Nazi salute.
- However, this only happened in generation four, and was fixed in Platinum and later versions.
- Some people have noticed how Keldeo's official artwork◊ makes it look like it has a butthole.
- Speaking of buttholes, male Torchic have tiny black spots on their rear ends in an... unfortunate location.
- Combusken resembles a penis◊. Humorously, it doubles as a Visual Pun.
- Eusine's official art◊ for Crystal. Look carefully at his right hand... looks kind of like he's flipping us off, doesn't it?
- Many people have commented on how Oshawott's seashell◊ resembles a penis.
- Probopass is based on the Moai of Easter Island, and also resembles an Anti-Semitic caricature.
- One of Golem's attack animations in Pokémon Stadium and 2 is to roll over onto its back, leaving its legs pointing forward at its opponent It uses this animation when it's commanded to use Mud-Slap, an attack which involves spraying brown gunk at the enemy and— yeah...
- In King's Quest III, because of the limitations of the graphics, the protagonist's sprite has, for eyes, a solid line of red pixels, making him look like Cyclops.
- In the Xen level of Half-Life the Gonarch's egg-sack looks like a huge scrotum. That said, with such a name, it definitely is intentional, at least according to Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar.
- This◊ Metal Gear Solid 4 promotional statue. Snake's outfit is not unfortunate unless you're allergic to shameless female-aimed fanservice, but the placement of that lamp seems to be trying a bit too hard.
- The dragons in Adventure look less like dragons and more like freakin' ducks.
- In Final Fantasy VI, Kefka Palazzo's final form is clothed in nothing but a waistwrap. Unfortunately, one of the folds ended up in the wrong place, which makes Kefka seem like he's a little too happy to see you. This was promptly acknowledged by many, many people.
- This may have been subtly referenced in Dissidia: Final Fantasy, after using his Ex-Burst, Kefka goes "That was titillating", implying he is actually getting off on the destruction.
- The Orc Chasm in Kingdom of Loathing is shaped quite a bit like a vagina, though given the name this was probably intentional. The valley beyond it was originally represented by two mountains a short distance apart from each other with a row of trees at the bottom, looking uncannily similar to two knees and pubic hair. This was allegedly accidental on the artist's part, and it was eventually edited to use the same graphic as its predecessor. The level 9 quest was revamped again in August 2012, and the Valley of Rof'lm'fao was split off into a separate zone that used the original graphic.
- This article should tell you everything about what's wrong with the box art for Touch Detective 2 1/2.
- Sakura's character select artwork in Street Fighter IV: Just try to unsee this image (site is NSFW).
- Barricade from Transformers Universe, according to TFWiki, has a crotch shaped like Bonecrusher's face.
- Pokey's sprite in Earthbound made him look like a cyclops due to his real eyes being obscured by his hair.
- Yellow Devil MK-II in Mega Man 3 looks like it has a pair of boobs.
- The Condor in Ice Climber looks more like a pterodactyl.
- Invoked in this Penny Arcade comic, based on a real conversation between the artist and writer. The image is no longer on the site, but Tycho showed a vertical banner meant to be hung in one of their convention halls. Gabe was positioned below Tycho, giving a thumbs up, but his hand happened to be placed exactly on top of his crotch, making it look like Gabe was giving Tycho an eager handjob.
- Frequently lampshaded in Homestuck where the characters's sprites have no arms.
- A crucifix in the St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Warr Acres, Oklahoma, depicts Jesus with a distended stomach and abs - which some critics say looks a bit too much like an erect penis and scrotum. The clergy response was basically "whatever," and they refuse to discuss the controversy any further.
- Nearly all reconstructions of Tsintaosaurus depict it with a vaguely phallic-shaped unicorn-crest on the head, although some modern theories speculate it had nothing of the sort, and what people believed to be a horn-like crest was in reality only a fragment of a totally different-shaped head-ornament. But if that wasn't enough, some old illustrations (and an infamous toy) also gave it two, inflatable sacs at the base of said crest.