Narm / Yu-Gi-Oh!
has a lot of Narm
mostly from the fact that they made a children's card game
ridiculously important for everything. When you have people horrified by an opponent summoning a powerful monster, or crying after losing a game, there's already a certain level of silliness present. Then you get to these entries.
- The first episode, Anzu draws a "special sign" on everyone's hands - it's a giant smiley face. So they'll never forget their bond of friendship.
- In the dub, Téa's friendship speeches. Anzu's speeches in the Japanese are cheesy, but are more generally about determination, hope, never give up, etc. Téa on the other hand manages to rant about how awesome friendship is and somehow apply it to any situation.
- Yugi's hair. Even for anime, the large Duraflame cut-and-color is out there.
- The Big Bad Zorc Necrophades's phallic dragon head emerging from his crotch. This was all pointed out on Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series:
Zorc: "Oh, that's just my willie."
Marik: "Jeez, man! Put some ***king pants on, will you?!"
- It's ridiculous how Genre Blind the cast can be. A duelist purposefully lets a monster be destroyed? They can't possibly have a strategy in mind, they're just a terrible duelist. An opponent lets the hero get a lead without putting up much resistance? This duel is in the bag.
- Throughout the franchise, duelists judge monsters with low stats as worthless, seeming to forget that a look at the card text may reveal that monster has a really useful effect. In fact, any time a low-Level weak monster is mocked as useless, it almost always ends up being very powerful.
- Kaiba's reaction to the word "cooperation" is too over the top for its own good. Screenshots can be found here.
- There's a scene in the Duelist Kingdom arc where Kaiba grabs Jonouchi's wrist and tosses him into the ground. Then, as Yugi runs in to check to see if Joey is alright Bakura says this rather questionable line, namely "Check his pulse Yugi!"
- Yu-Gi-Oh subtitles often ruin the mood of serious scenes with Blind Idiot Translations that get the names of characters and cards wrong, use names from the dub, have bad spelling and grammar, or have other bizarre mistakes — for instance, having characters call Yugi "Mutou" in the subtitles when you can hear everyone call him by his given name). It's hard to take duels where lives are on the line seriously when you're busy counting all the errors in the translation.
- Kaiba is called a seahorse in the sub because he really was called a seahorse. 'Seahorse' = 'young dragon'. It's a cultural thing, so it still qualifies as Narm; if you approach it from outside of Japanese culture, your first thought may be about ''male pregnancy''. There's no excuse for grammar or names, natch...
- The translators are often unable to get the names in Gratuitous English correct.
- One sub translated a rather long sentence from Kaiba as "Power power power" - no punctuation.
- There's also some occasional blatant swearing in said subs that come off as very much extremely out of character for the protagonists. It is very hard not to crack up when Yami Yugi calmly says to an opponent "Fuck you" out of the blue.
- Some of cards have their names so badly mistranslated that you have to wonder if the translators even had the slightest idea of what they were doing. For example, the card known as "Heart of the Underdog" becomes " The Dignity of the Retarded". No, seriously.
- In a late episode, the group encounters Yami Bakura in the Pharaoh's tomb. Yami Bakura causes a Duel Disk to materialize out of thin air and challenges them to a duel. Yugi shouts "He's got a Duel Disk!" in the same tone of voice other people would use to shout "He's got a bomb!" Even in this 'verse, that might be overreacting.
- It's hard to take Pegasus seriously as a villain in the original Japanese version when he uses Gratuitous English in most of his lines - sometimes, almost the entire line.
"Welcome deeessu, Kaiba-boy."
- The ending of the duel between Yami Yugi and Raphael. Yami Yugi's over the top "AIBOOOOOOOOOOOOOUUU!" is hard to take seriously, especially when there's rock music blaring in the background. Though many fans find it heartbreaking... or both.
- After their rematch, while they are trying to leave the crumbling building, Yami Yugi yells "Raphael" 8 times consecutively.
- A Brainwashed and Crazy Jonouchi yelling, "I'M GOING TO @"£$!%^ FRY YOU!!!"
- The English dub of the Yami Bakura and Yami Marik duel. They keep going on about how they're going to send the other into the Shadow Realm. It's as if they were competing over who could be more evil.
- While season 4 is generally rather narm-tastic, nothing beats the way Kaiba's plane is prevented from crashing: The dragon cards "react" to the danger, the dragons materialise, grab the plane and land it more or less safely.
- Five words: Blue-Eyes White Dragon Jet. In the manga, it's a regular jet with a paint-job, but in the anime, it actually looks like the monster.
- Because waiting the few seconds it would take to summon a monster is too much to ask of Yugi.
Daimon/Lector: "You couldn't begin to imagine what monster lurks in my deck!"
Yugi: "TELL ME!"
Daimon/Lector: "Oh you'll find out, I'm about to summon it."
- "S'NOT HIM!"
- The first season has an entire episode centered around the students randomly drawing sandwiches from a bin as practice for drawing the cards they need during dueling, and a student has abandoned his dorm and gone to live in nature like Tarzan in order to better understand his deck and draw the exact card he needs. Although, since his name is Taizan, he's obviously a parody.
- Judai/Jaden's Totally Radical speech patterns in the dub. Particularly since no one else in GX talked that way. He insisted on referring to his monster effects as "superpowers" when every one else just kept saying "special ability," and his catchphrases came off as Forced Memes.
- The Reveal of the Big Bad "Light of Ruin" in Season 2 of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX failed miserably because it was little more than a Halloween ghost prop/evil semen stain of Doom. For an Eldritch Abomination, even by anime/4Kids standards, that's not intimidating.
- Neo-Spacian Aqua Dolphin talking to Judai... with just his head sticking out of the water.
- In the Japanese, Aqua Dolphin asks for Judai's help in fending off the Invader of Light. Judai asks what he can do, he has no weapons like a ray gun or something. A perfectly logical observation. Aqua Dolphin says they don't need guns, they just need Duel Monster cards. A perfectly absurd response.
- Seto Kaiba had a card design contest, and rather than make the winning designs into cards, he put them into a time capsule and launched them into space. The dub makes this even sillier with Kaiba declaring "if there is intelligent life out there, let's teach them how to duel!"
- Judai's Magic Poker Equation luck reaches absurd levels, even by the standards of Yu-Gi-Oh. Sure, every hero tends to be an Invincible Hero, but by the time of Season 3 it gets silly. Some franchises make it a plot point that the characters have the supernatural ability to draw the exact cards they need multiple turns in a row; Judai is just that lucky.
- CARD GAMES ON MOTORCYCLES. The meme aside, the idea remains silly. Fridge Logic reveals the motorcycles themselves serve no purpose; the uniqueness of Riding Duels is just the Speed World Field Spell and its effects, which could just have been done in normal duels on the ground. The motorcycles are usually on auto-pilot and held in closed arenas where there's no danger, anyway.
- Then Crow comes along with his flying motorcycle!
- The Yu-Gi-Oh franchise in general has a problem with doing things in the most overblown fashion possible when something subtler would have been more effective. One scene in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's involves someone dying in a car accident because they weren't paying attention. Instead of simply crashing, they go over the edge of a cliff Thelma & Louise style and into the ocean below.
- Dan Green once said in an interview that he used to push for less overblown Voice Acting because "if everything is at volume ten nothing stands out", but he was always just made to do the scene again.
- Placido's transformation. While the other characters are horrified and shocked, the audience is laughing at how ridiculous he looks. He even poses at the end of his Transformation Sequence!
- Jack Atlas' response to Mina/Mikage confessing her feelings to him in the dub, proving that 4Kids had either no idea of how to handle romantic drama or no desire to do it properly:
Mina: Jack, I must admit, I have feelings for you...
Jack: Of course you do, but we're talking about Carly right now!
- Or that could just be Jack's Awesome Ego at work on purpose.
- Jack, despite being very tall and powerful-looking, was voiced by Ted Lewis in the English dub. Nothing wrong with that...except that Ted uses a similar voice for Jack as for Ryou Bakura. Seeing this overly-tall tough guy speaking in a genteel Australian accent is amusing, especially if you've gotten used to how Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series portrays him.
- Some people found Kurosaki and Yuto to be hilarious in episode 21. Kurosaki barges in at the mention of LDS and ignores Yuzu until he mistakes her for Ruri, and Yuto knocks Kurosaki unconscious then picks up Yuzu's Polymerization card with Kurosaki on his shoulder.
- LDS using their Duel Disks as cellphones is this to some.
- Rune-Eyes Pendulum Dragon moves around by skipping, effectively. Odd-Eyes itself runs like a chicken. Hard to take it seriously in the dramatic second ending when it's skipping down the road.
- When Sawatari Pendulum Summons in episode 3, his ridiculous expression makes it look like he is having an orgasm. Being Sawatari, this might be intentional.
- In episode 39, when Yuya is taken over by the darkness inside him, he plays Performapal Turn Toad and Performapal Cheermole on the Pendulum Zones and Pendulum Summons Performapal Cameloose and Performapal Silverclaw, so he can overlay them to Xyz Summon Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon. Regardless how badass and terrifying Yuya looks, the appearance of his silly looking monsters takes some of the dramatic atmosphere away.
- While most consider Yuto's final pleading to Yuya to be one of the most touching moments of the whole series, the fact it's been repeated to death in flashbacks caused some backlash from fans tired of watching the same scene over and over again.
- Similar to the above, the early episodes got a lot of mileage out of Yuya flashing back to his father's words to break a Heroic B.S.O.D.. When a flashback has become Stock Footage used almost as much as the summon sequences, it gets silly. Thankfully this was dropped by the time the show got into the qualifying duels.
- Reiji's odd pose in Episode 51, straight out of JoJo.
- When Yoko was trying to make Yuya duel her in episode 52, it managed to be pretty serious through most of it. However, during a scene when she was chasing Yuya around on her motorcycle, the way the back part of the bike was positioned during it made it look like she wearing a fez.◊ Naturally, this made the scene a bit hard for some to take seriously.
- In an odd inversion, some found Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon's smiling face in episode 53 to be disturbing instead of funny.
- Episode 75 had the moment when Dennis had Antique Gear Chaos Giant attack Kurosaki's Raidraptor - Last Strix. After it's early attack on Kurosaki's Raidraptor - Revolution Falcon mere moments ago, which was most definitely not funny, how does it do this? By literally poking it. The resulting Mood Whiplash and the massive size difference between the two monsters ends up making the scene unintentionally ridiculous.
- Episode 76 had Sergey's Slasher Smile. It was intended to be creepy looking, and while some did find it that way, others found it incredibly, incredibly derp looking. And while most found Sergey's excitement at pain and destruction to be creepy, some of the fandom thought his exaggerated expressions during his duel with Yuzu to be ridiculous rather than scary.
- When Yuya finally summons Tuning Magician in a duel, he gets mocked by almost everyone watching for bringing out such a 'useless' monster - despite the fact her name is Tuning Magician, and he summoned her in the Synchro Dimension. This even extends to Melissa, who seems to commentate the Friendship Cup every year, and Shinji, who not only Synchro Summons, but uses several weaker monsters as part of his strategy. While the sub-plot involving the card was already a bit of a Recycled Script, this pushed it into being ridiculous for a lot of people.
- In episode 78, Yuya yells that it isn't the time to be dueling as Yuzu's life is probably in danger. Shinji's response to him is that he should send that message... with his dueling. Made funnier to fans that the protagonist is not the one treating card games as Serious Business for once. It's technically justified, but even so...
- In episode 88, Obelisk Force arrives at the Synchro Dimension... via bright orange hang-gliders. It looks so cartoony it kind of damages the weight the moment should have.
- Sergey pulls a Diabolus ex Machina in episode 92 and successfully kidnaps Yuzu. He then reveals that he has ''rocket boosters'' on his feet and flies into the night, leaving a trail of smoke. This all happens so fast, with little explanation, and right at the end of the episode, like some sort of bizarre joke.
- Sergey continues the trend in episode 93 when he inexplicably fuses with his D-Wheel. It was probably meant to be scary, but gets a bit ridiculous when you realize that it basically amounts to a grown man on a motorized unicycle with mechanical arms.
- Sergey's crazy facial expressions are always narmy... and sometimes charmy.
- Although he didn't know it, Dennis carding himself losing a bit of impact as Edo had told the Lancers a few episodes that carding can be reversed.
- The Sledgehammer (Ishijima) in full The Ahnold mode in the English dub. At times it's decently passable, but others, like in the opening shots in the first episode, it's so painful it circles right back around to being funny.
- Battle Beast is definitely one of the more menacing characters of the series. Shame that his name tends to get shortened to "BB", which not only sounds silly on its own but might bring to mind someone else entirely, completely ruining the effect.
- Odd-Eyes Raging Dragon appearing alongside with Smile World in the sixth opening is this to some people, since Odd-Eyes Raging Dragon embodies Yuya's fury and hatred. A dragon that is literally called "Supreme King Violent Dragon" is something that most people don't associate with smiles. See here◊.
- ARC-V continues the series tradition of really bad attempts at engrish spelling (not the fan translations, the text that appears on screen as it airs in Japan). This usually pops up with character names when a duel starts. Most of these only appear for a second or two, but with the sixth opening, some of them are immortalized forever.note Highlights include:
- Yuto = Ute
- Yuri = Joeri
- Yugo = Hugo
- Reira = Layranote
- Yusho = Yusyo
- When Shun finally reunites with Ruri, she reveals that she's Brainwashed and Crazy by... swiping her arm at him, which Shun catches, and she briefly struggles to escape his grip. Not exactly an imposing start.
- Poor Rin causes some of this when she is left out of mentions of the other three girls due to her nature as a Satellite Love Interest, and when the four girls are together, she gets stuck repeating what one of them said.
- Sayaka and Allen getting sucked into the dimensions to pop out during Kaito and Kurosaki's duel with Zarc. It served nothing and they don't even get to see the outcome, and then they are warped again.
- The scene of the Bracelet Girls reborn into Yuzu into the Standard Dimension ends while their respective counterpart Dragon Boys smile and locks eyes with each other. That include Selena and Yuri, who have had no interaction with each other besides contempt for the entire series.
- Pretty much every scene involving Smile World, mostly because it's an incredibly bad card by any sane standard, yet it's treated with an almost religious awe by the characters, especially Yuya.
- In general, any time Yuya slips into his Superpowered Evil Side while still using his cartoonishly designed Performapals.
- Zarc's entire post-revival character design. A universe-smashing entity, and likely the strongest duelist in the franchise up to this point, and he looks like shirtless gargoyle Yuya.
- Gongenzaka's ultimate monster, Superheavy Samurai Steam Train King, is essentially a train wearing a demonic mask. It doesn't help that it completely abandons the theme of his Superheavy Samurai deck in both appearance and playstyle.
- In regards to the Knights of Hanoi:
- Any viewer who is even remotely familiar with Vietnam might have a hard time taking the name Knights of Hanoi seriouslynote .
- Revolver certainly didn't help his cause get taken anymore seriously when he starts ranting to Playmaker about how the internet and social media will be the downfall of society.
- At the end of Episode 24, Baira and Faust defeat all 1000 AI duelists on their own in 30 seconds time, which comes out to each of them defeating 16.6667 AI duelists (or to round it up, 17 AI duelists) per second. This is intended to make them look badass, but the whole thing is just ridiculous, especially since they're outed by Blue Angel and Playmaker shortly after, in a Duel that clearly takes more than a few minutes.
- Spectre's backstory. He was abandoned as a baby in a tree in the mountain behind an orphanage, instead of at the orphanage itself, and the tree itself bent its branches to protect him from wolves. In addition, Spectre remembers all this from when he was a baby. Finally, the thing that turned Spectre against society was not being captured and tortured in the Lost Incident, which he enjoyed, but rather discovering that while he was gone the tree that had protected him had been cut down. Note that no other trees in the area were touched.
- When Revolver dueled Ghost Girl, he used an unseen trap card to destroy all of her monsters and win the duel. Then in his duel with Go Onizuka, he activates that same trap card, this time revealing that it is in fact, Mirror Force. This reveal is treated with the kind of awe and reverence on par with the Egyptian God Cards.