YMMV: King's Quest V: Absence Makes The Heart Go Yonder!

  • Deader Than Disco: Even in a genre that already fits this trope, the game stands out. While King's Quest V was one of the most popular games ever for a while, it is generally the least liked in the series these days even among fans, both for the confusing puzzles and that annoying owl. The voice acting in the CD-ROM version is also notorious, though Josh Mandel's performance as King Graham was good enough that he reprised the role in King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow and the fan remakes for both King's Quest I and II.
  • Ear Worm:
    • The ants' song while searching for a needle in a haystack! Seriously, you Can't Unhear It!
    • Good luck getting the town theme out of your head!
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: The bear. Retsupurae keep calling for it to return during their MST of the game, and no wonder - the damn ursine punches out Graham!
  • Fridge Brilliance: Mordack only wanted the Royals, so it makes sense, that he probably waited for a specific holiday in which everyone in the castle got the day off. (Probably a festival in town) leaving only the Royal Family inside. If it was a holiday it would explain why Graham was taking a walk instead doing of his royal duties.
  • Funny Moments:
    • One of the possible deaths is getting punched out by a bear. Yes, you read that right.
    • Also, after shipwrecking at Mordack's island, it's possible to fall off the stairs and drop 6 feet to your death. You even get Graham screaming like in his other falling deaths, except it lasts for about half a second before he hits the ground.
    • Defeating a yeti by throwing a pie in its face is so stupid it's hilarious.
    • The DOS version using the Windows CD below.
  • Good Bad Bugs: Play the DOS version with the CD for the Windows version in your disc drive. The game will try to read the audio files off of the disc... the wrong audio files. You'll get entirely the wrong dialogue being played with entirely the wrong scenes, turning the plot into gobbledygook, in addition to sound effects replacing dialogue, dialogue bits replacing sound effects, songs from nowhere, hammers going "boo-boop" and rivers telling you to quit.
  • Hell Is That Noise: The sound a mouse makes when gnawing at the ropes that hold Graham! Sounds a bit like a static blowtorch, but seriously, WTH?
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: There's a scene in the 2006 remake of The Wicker Man where Edward dresses up as a bear and punches someone.
  • Idiot Plot: The entire first half of the game is spent trying to solve a single puzzle — find a way to get the snake out of the way of the mountain path. Seriously, Graham couldn't, I dunno, throw a stick at it? Throw a lute at it? Crush it with a sled? No, he absolutely has to get rid of it by shaking a tambourine at it? Seriously?
    • Actually, the snake was added later to prevent Sequence Breaking, though its a crude, rough, quick fix. Still, you need a scepter, a genie's magic lamp, a witch's gems, honey, and elf shoes to get a single hammer!. And none of these actions give any indications that Graham even remembers his family's kidnapping. Retsupurae said it best, he could've solved the game in half the time if he just went to a supply store.
    • To be fair, Graham doesn't have a single cent on him when he starts the game (nor can he get any, since his chest of infinite gold was likely in the castle when it was taken,) and if he were to walk into a store in a distant land and proclaim himself to be the king of Daventry and they should give him everything he needs for free he'd likely be laughed right out of the store. That said, actually getting some money would've been much less of a hassle.
  • Memetic Badass: The bear that punches out Graham and the POOOOOIsonous snake which manages to take up half of the game just by sitting on a random road.
  • Memetic Mutation: The POOOOOIsonous snake.
    • The fact that the game was made on a One Million Dollar Budget is frequently brought up to snark the game.
  • Most Annoying Sound: Anything that comes out of Cedric's beak can make a player's ears bleed.
    • The town music is horrific. And, really, any voice belonging to a small animal, thanks to raising their voices eight octaves.
  • Narm: Nearly every spoken line in the game. That or Dull Surprise.
    Cedric: OH NO GRAHAM! WATCH OUT!
    (Graham lets out a hilarious scream as he falls to his death.)
    Narrator: Uh oh. That last step was a doozy!
  • Porting Disaster:
    • You can't say the NES version wasn't ambitious, but it was a far cry from what Jaleco accomplished with Maniac Mansion on the same platform.
    • The CD-ROM version and its amateur voice cast. Aren't you glad you got a CD-ROM drive?
  • The Scrappy: Cedric. The. Owl. He gives useless information, he leaves when anything dangerous happens, he slows down the action (you have to wait for him to land on something and then speak before moving, on every screen), his voice is high-pitched and ridiculous, the only time he gives useful advice is after you can do anything about it, and he is so. Fucking. Annoying.
    • So much reviled that, in an Easter Egg of the VGA remake of King's Quest II, an old King Graham runs after the damn owl with his sword ready to strike. And in Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist, an official game released by Sierra, you see him wandering in the desert, and later find vultures picking at his bones.
    • For extra humor, Space Quest IV turns him into a target that you're able to hit and score 50 points from in Ms. Astro Chicken.
    • Even in this game, by the time Graham reaches Mordack's island, he's audibly becoming annoyed with Cedric.
  • That One Level: The desert (although the mountain path and the dungeon maze are pretty bad, too).
  • That One Puzzle: Several but probably the most infamous is the Mouse puzzle, which has gone down in history as one of the biggest "Screw You" moments in gaming. At one point in the game you randomly see a cat run after and catch a mouse in the foreground. If you don't throw something at the cat and save the mouse in a matter of seconds than you end up setting yourself up with a Non-Standard Game Over many hours later in the game when you find yourself tied up in a basement without you being any the wiser.
    • Mordack's castle is full of these, but the most prominent is the weird blue alien thing and the piece of moldy cheese. You actually have to let yourself be caught by the alien thing and thrown in prison, where you then have to notice a tiny rat crawling into a barely-noticable hole and get a piece of moldy cheese from it, which you need for a later puzzle that gives you absolutely no indication that it's the right thing to use. Also, Cassima only comes to rescue you from your cell once, so this is your only chance to get it (not to mention you have to find a way to incapacitate the blue alien thing next time it appears, or else it'll toss you in prison a second time for a game over.)
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: This game was huge in the mid-nineties, and lots of people have fond memories of it, but it really hasn't aged well.
  • Stop Helping Me!: Cedric the Owl. It should noted that the only time he does anything even remotely useful in the game is when he takes a shot from Mordack meant for Graham during the finale. It's not even a Heroic Sacrifice, he just accidently flies in the way of the shot while trying yet again to hide behind Graham.
  • Unfortunate Character Design: Graham's character was designed in 16-color EGA for the earlier games. This is retained in the VGA game, and looks rather odd.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Lampshaded in Paw's Let's Play. The CD-ROM version of the game was voiced by Sierra employees, with varying degrees of success. Sierra learned their lesson, and pioneered the concept of Hollywood actors voicing computer games. (That being said, developer Josh Mandel was good enough to stay as Graham for VI, and Mandel has been gracious enough to lend his voice to the Fan Remakes.)