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Amusingly Awful Aim

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"What a terrible shot."
"Oh well, it's my programming."
Two battle droids, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, "Ambush"
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There are people with impossibly good aim. And then there are people with impossibly bad aim.

Some people have such atrocious aim that it becomes a joke that the safest place to be when they're shooting is where they're aiming at. Indeed, their projectiles (and these are by no means limited to bullets) may break the laws of physics to show how horrible their aim is.

To qualify for this trope, a specific character's lousy aim needs to be called out at least once and probably Played for Laughs. Doesn't necessarily need to be with a weapon.

Compare Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy, when mooks contractually can't hit the hero except when Rule of Drama intervenes (because if they did, the story would be over), and A-Team Firing, when shootouts go on at length without anybody being hit. If the atrocious aiming somehow saves the day, then it overlaps with Saved by a Terrible Performance. Will often result in an Epic Fail. Contrast Accidental Aiming Skills.

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Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • City Hunter: It's safer to give the bad guy a gun than let Kaori have one. It is eventually revealed that the reason she's so bad is because Ryo deliberately screwed up the sights of her pistol because he didn't want her to kill anybody and "taint herself" — she is a bit better when she is able to use a rocket launcher.
  • Doraemon: Nobita and the Galaxy Super-express: Doraemon and Nobita partake in a shooting contest on the Planet of Cowboys, alongside Nobita's new rivals, Ashton and his lackeys, Don and Jane, the challenge being to hit a minimum of two out of six targets using six bullets. While Doraemon, Nobita and Ashton both pass the challenge, Don scores no hits at all, while Jane accidentally hits the shooting range's referee with her first shot, leading to him angrily disqualifying her.
  • Eyeshield 21: Monta's inability to throw anything in a straight line is a Running Joke.
  • In Hellsing, the Major has an utterly atrocious aim, failing to hit a target that's mere feet away and walking towards him. The Doctor wonders how he managed to get as far as he did in the Nazi forces with such a disadvantage. In the end, however, he manages to score a hit with his last bullet, causing him to cheer at his final victory.
  • KonoSuba: Darkness manages to be this with swords of all things. The world's RPG Mechanics 'Verse rules require that the proper skill be purchased in order for any weapons to be wielded properly and Darkness only ever pours her skill points into defense skills, and she's dedicated to using a sword to keep up her image as a paladin rather than just use her bare hands or spend a few points on two-handed sword proficiency. This means that while she's strong enough to cleave through solid rock, she can't even hit a stationary target. Thus, the only utility she can bring to the party is being a Stone Wall, not that she minds.
  • Medabots: Cyandog's body is designed for ranged combat, but has an A.I. derived from a Monkey medal that was intended to use wrestling attacks. This makes it extremely difficult for him to shoot anything when robattling.
  • Naruto the Movie: Road to Ninja: Tenten is a weapons specialist whose fighting style involves pelting her enemies with a storm of kunais. Her Mirror Universe counterpart, on the other hand, is implied to be so inept she has somehow managed to throw a kunai at herself, with other characters noticing she is covered in scars and commenting how common it is for her to injure herself by accident.
  • Reborn!: Bianci is an accomplished hitman whose poisoning skills earned her the title of "The Poisonous Scorpion". On the other hand, her aim with any kind of firearm is horrendous, to the point it's almost a Running Gag. In chapter 13 Bianchi is trying to gun down Adult Lambo and Reborn remarks that the bullets could end up flying anywhere. This is in sharp contrast to her brother, who fights by throwing explosives at people with a surprising level of skill, accuracy and strategy.
  • Space☆Dandy: A Running Gag throughout the show is that Dandy almost never hits anything he shoots at with his Ray Gun, and in the rare occasion he does it ends up being ineffective.
  • Strike Witches: Milasha had to quit being a witch due to how awful her aim is. This is demonstrated in a flashback where she manages to paint around a stationary target board with an automatic rifle without landing a single shott on the target itself.
  • In Girls und Panzer, Momo Kawashima, treasurer of the student council, serves as the gunner in Turtle Team's tank, since Anzu Kadotani, the Student Council President and commander of the tank, can't be bothered to do it. Momo thus ends up missing virtually every shot she tries to take, no matter the distance(for example, she ends up shooting between St. Gloriana's four remaining tanks at point blank range), prompting vice-president Yuzu Koyama to quip, "Momo-chan, you missed." Eventually, Anzu replaces Momo, with much better results.

    Comic Books 
  • Archie Comics: Some issues have a joke about how Veronica's aim in snowball fights is so lousy that she hits everybody except her target. The comic usually ends with her throwing at somebody completely different, hitting their intended target.
  • De Argonautjes: Atalanta, the only female member of the heroes, uses a bow and arrow as her weapon of choice. Despite this she never, ever, manages to hit her intended target. Whenever she does save her teammates with her archery, it will be completely by accident since she was actually aiming for something else entirely.
  • The DCU: There's a minor villain called Mr. Terrible, who is an Evil Counterpart to Mr. Terrific. While Mr. Terrific represents the pinnacle of human perfection and is incredibly skilled at any activity you can imagine, Mr. Terrible is the exact opposite. Everything he tries to do turns out bad. Case in point: In one issue of Villains United, he attempts to kill someone by throwing a knife at them. He was aiming for the head — it hit them in the leg.
  • Lucky Luke:
    • One story has the titular hero training a wannabe crimefighter, who's such a lousy shot that even standing directly behind him is not a guarantee of safety.
    • "The Rivals of Painful Gulch" has Luke dealing with two Feuding Families, who will fire without warning at their rivals, or anyone they think is associated with their rivals. Unfortunately, their extremely bad aim makes them a danger to any bystanders rather than the actual target. At one point Luke tries to negotiate with them and they chase him off, with Luke himself admitting that he only survived the encounter because they are such lousy shots.
  • Monica's Gang: In the parody of The Avengers, Hawkeye is made into a complete buffoon who inexplicably misses a shot even when the target is standing directly in front of his bow. Loki exploits this and simply walks up to him during their "battle".
  • Rahan: One story has a teenage girl being a terrible shot with the bow. When in the final battle she shoots dead a guy who would have brained Rahan, she's quite surprised, and one of her younger sidekicks snarks that she managed to shoot right for once.

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes: One strip has Calvin throw a flurry of snowballs at Susie, none of which make contact. Susie mocks him, saying he couldn't hit the ground if it wasn't for gravity.
  • Doonesbury: One strip has Uncle Duke meet with an NRA official in Duke's bar. Duke shows him the handgun he carries with him, and it discharges while pointed at the man's stomach. The official Screams Like a Little Girl, but is unhurt. "Relax," says Duke. "It's Italian-made. Not accurate past six inches." Off-panel, someone else in the bar falls over with a thud.
  • Figaro: In one strip, Figaro insults a man who turns about to be a noted gun duelist and is challenged by him to a showdown at high noon. Figaro tries to practice for the showdown by shooting a revolver at a large tree that is also much closer than "Slim" will be during the duel, only to comically miss with all six shots, prompting his gang to start planning his funeral. Figaro manages to get the duel called off by getting a gunsmith to weld a twenty-foot extended barrel onto his pistol so the duel would start with the end of the barrel actually touching his opponent meaning, he couldn't miss.
  • FoxTrot: The baseball coach wants to move his car so Peter doesn't hit it with the ball again. The coach drives it right into center field.
  • Modesty Blaise: Willie Garvin has such bad aim with handguns that someone once says of him that if he shot at the ground he'd miss. However, he is uncannily good with throwing knives. (In one story, he finds himself facing a mook with only a handgun for a weapon, and opts to throw it at the mook rather than risk trying to shoot it.)
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    Fan Works 
  • Pony POV Series: Shining Armor is competent in general, but an absolutely terrible marksman, double-subverting "can't hit the broad side of a barn."
    Shining Armor: This wasn't to say I can't hit the broad side of a barn. The problem was, I can and I did. And our archery range was three miles from the farm I hit.

    Films — Animation 
  • The LEGO Movie: In contrast to his usual depictions, Batman is shown to have poor throwing skills when he tries to hit a switch with his batarangs and misses several times, shouting "first try!" when he finally succeeds.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Caddyshack II: Jack Hartounian has a comically bad slice when he swings that makes the ball go on the order of 90 degrees or more off where he aimed it. In the climactic golf match, his caddy has him turn around to take advantage of it and send the ball where it's supposed to go.
  • Dumb and Dumber: Harry manages to waste all his ammo shooting around the Big Bad despite being roughly 2 to 3 feet away. Then again he had a really weird aiming posture. Lampshaded by Lloyd.
    Lloyd: Harry, you're alive... and you're a horrible shot.
  • El Dorado: Alan Bourdillion "Mississippi" Traherne is hilariously inept at using guns. At one point, he tries to shoot a mook, and instead shoots a sign hanging above the mook, smacking the mook in the head with it.
  • Hudson Hawk: While Eddie and the butler are fighting, Anna Baragli tries to shoot the butler but misses, hitting Eddie's belt buckle instead.
    Eddie: Stop Helping Me!!
    Anna: Sorry!
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: Indy's father tries to use their biplane's machine gun to shoot down the attacking Nazis, but wrecks their own plane instead. When asked what's wrong, he claims that their attackers were responsible.
  • Lake Placid 2: Jack Struthers loves to remind his employee Ahmad about the time he saved him from a lion when he was a teenager. When Ahmad finally gets tired of Struthers's insensitive treatment and taking credit for Ahmad's work, he tells the part of the story that Struthers doesn't like to be reminded of: that it took Struthers four shots at point-blank range for him to hit the lion, two of which ended up hitting Ahmad instead.
  • A Million Ways to Die in the West: Stark is so bad at shooting that he can't hit a beer bottle even when he's standing close enough to just swat it off the fence in frustration after wasting all of his ammo. He eventually becomes just good enough at the climax to hit Clinch Leatherwood (or being more specific, just nick him in the arm), but knowing that he'll never be any good he decided to lace his bullets with rattlesnake venom.
  • Once Upon a Time in Mexico: Subverted. After Agent Sands is blinded he is faced with two mooks. He starts shooting left and right, not anywhere near the mooks, in order to make them laugh, letting Sands know precisely where they are so he can shoot once again — this time accurately.
  • Pulp Fiction: After Vincent and Jules kill Brett and his associate, another guy comes out of the bathroom and opens fire on them. The man misses all six shots and everyone just stands around perplexed before Jules and Vincent return fire. The incident causes a rather amusing argument between the two as to whether or not they were saved by divine intervention.
  • What a Girl Wants: Lady Jocelyn Dashwood has such poor aim when clay pigeon shooting that she ends up taking the head off a statue, the top off a birdhouse, and would have taken a cat off a tree branch if the animal hadn't possessed quick reflexes. Her granddaughter Daphne might have better aim (not clearly shown) but is obviously not used to the recoil of the gun and lands flat on her back (to the amusement of them both).

    Literature 
  • The titular character of the children's book Broadside Ben and the Big Brass Cannon is a pirate whose nickname comes from his terrible aim — he can't even hit the broad side of a barn.
  • Cain's Last Stand: One of Cain's cadets has a reputation for being a lousy shooter. However, this comes across as more like an Informed Flaw — the one time we see him shooting, he easily hits the heretics.
  • Doctor Who New Adventures: Future police officer Roz Forrester's inability to hit the proverbial side of a barn is mentioned in multiple novels.
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
    Narrator: They were supposed to be practicing the opposite of the Summoning Charm today — the Banishing Charm. Owing to the potential for nasty accidents when objects kept flying across the room, Professor Flitwick had given each student a stack of cushions on which to practise, the theory being that these wouldn't hurt anyone if they went off target. It was a good theory, but it wasn't working very well. Neville's aim was so poor that he kept accidentally sending much heavier things flying across the room — Professor Flitwick, for instance.
  • Jedi Academy Trilogy: When the prototype Death Star finally leaves the Maw Installation, it is flown by a mixture of scientists and petty politicians, none of whom have the relevant skill to use it (they could probably do a decent job of redesigning the station from scratch, but they're hopeless at flying it). Their first test shot with the superlaser misses the targeted planet, destroying its moon instead. The senior administrator brushes it off as an unimportant detail.
  • Konosuba: Lalatina Dustiness "Darkness" Ford falls victim to this with a sword of all things on account of living in an RPG Mechanics 'Verse which requires people to get the relevant skill (i.e. the two-handed sword skill) to be able to use the weapon with any degree of accuracy. It's not a case of Never Bring a Knife to a Fist Fight, because she doesn't often get disarmed, she just can't ever hit anything due to pouring all her XP into her defense stat and never picking up the two-handed sword skill. This results in her being Unskilled, but Strong, meaning that Darkness' sky-high strength is usually meaningless, so her only use to the main party is as a Stone Wall, partly because she's Made of Iron, and partly because she's Too Kinky to Torture.
  • Mailed Fist: John Foley and his tank crew have escaped death in a blazing tank only to find themselves cornered by a British retreat and a corresponding German advance. Foley, a junior officer who has won pistol shooting competitions, runs into a German infantry section trying to get a machine gun into position. He tries to get them with his sidearm from possibly ten yards away... and misses. Fortunately, the Germans are scared enough by being shot at to drop the MG and run away. Foley then reflects that there's a world of difference between firing at paper targets on the range, and doing it for real. Mortifyingly, his crew then nickname him "Deadshot Dick" and reassure him not to worry as he is not the one in charge of shooting the tank's gun.
  • The Silver Chair: Puddleglum suggests that he and the children would be safer if the giants of Ettinsmoor were throwing rocks at them, instead of each other.
  • One of the examples for the sarcastic wit of the philosopher Diogenes of Sinope given in Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers by Diogenes Laertius relates that Diogenes, watching the practicing of a lousy archer, sat down right next to the archer's target "so he would not get hit".
  • In Reaper Man, Bill Door is so bad at darts that he bounces the darts everywhere, including in another man's drink. In actuality, Bill Door has perfect aim; he just realized that being bad at pub games helps him make friends.
  • In the Prince Roger series, Erkum Pol can usually hit what he shoots at if it's within five meters. Beyond that, he not only can't hit anything, but is unable to admit to his poor marksmanship. For extra hilarity Pol is big for a Mardukian (who normally stand 3 meters tall) and he prefers to shoot a BFG of the sort normally intended as a vehicle-mounted weapon.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Flash: The Season 2 episode "Welcome to Earth-2" features the Earth-2 version of Floyd Lawton Central City police detective. In stark contrast to his Earth-1 counterpart, Earth-2 Lawton is shown to have atrocious aim.
  • Firefly episode "War Stories": Simon is given a gun when the crew boards Niska's Space Station to rescue Mal, prompting this exchange during the denouement:
    Mal: So. I hear you all took up arms in that little piece of action back there. How you faring with that, Doctor?
    Simon: I don't know. I, uh... I never... never shot anyone before.
    Shepherd Book: I was there, son. I'm fair sure you haven't shot anyone yet. [Mal chuckles, wincing at his injuries]
  • F Troop: Private Vanderbilt is in charge of the cannon and is legally blind. Whenever he fires it, he is infinitely more likely to hit the lookout tower than whatever he is aiming at.
  • Hard Time on Planet Earth: After Jesse joins the USA Army, Corporal Curtis takes him to see the Bravo Team who are engaged in target practice. Their poor aim prompts Curtis to comment that the target is the safest place in the camp.
  • How I Met Your Mother: "Legendaddy" reveals Lily has awful aim, illustrated with Marshall asking her to toss him a beer and her somehow throwing it over his head and across the room.
  • Intelligence: In "Athens" the team breaks out of a Hostage Situation, during which scientist Nelson gets a hold of a gun and opens fire.
    Nelson: [shocked] I just killed people.
    Agent Jameson: No, you didn't. [gestures at the ceiling vent Nelson shot up]
  • Malcolm in the Middle: The episode "Bowling" has the dual stories of the family at bowling night. In Lois's version, Malcolm fails to get a single strike, even with a lighter ball. Frustrated by Lois's vain attempts to motivate him, Malcolm walks down the lane, stops short of the pins, yells at Lois that "here's your stupid strike", and heaves the ball at the pins. He misses every single pin, despite being two feet away from them. The entire bowling alley laughs at Malcolm's terrible aim.
  • The Mandalorian: "Chapter 8: Redemption" has a comedic bit where the two scout troopers who killed Kuiil and took the Child get stuck awaiting orders outside of town. They start taking potshots at a bit of trash with their blaster pistols to pass the time, missing several times at a dozen paces.
  • Red Dwarf: In "Quarantine", Lister is injected with a "luck virus", and shows off by pulling all the aces out of a deck of cards. He's then called on to hit a dartboard on the wall behind him, left-handed. However, the dart ends up in the back of Kryten's head.
    Kryten: Huh. I think that indicates the virus has worn off.
  • Reno 911!: Garcia's godawful marksmanship is a Running Gag.
    Junior: [after Garcia empties the magazine of a G36 with an extended magazine attached at some targets and hits nothing but air] That's got to be some kind of goddamn RECORD.
  • Top Gear: The Winter Olympics episode has a moment where the hosts are tasked with participating in a marksmanship challenge. Jeremy decides to bring a military-grade machine gun, which prompts Richard to comment that Jeremy's aim is so bad that the safest place to be when he has a gun is directly in front of him. Sure enough, Jeremy empties every round he has and doesn't hit a single target; he somehow manages to instead fell a tree that was directly behind one of the targets.

    Theatre 
  • Possessed In The West: The sheriff has such legendarily bad aim that he was known to wing people standing behind him.

    Toys 
  • Transformers: Generation 1:
    • The aptly-named Decepticon Misfire is the absolute worst shot in the Decepticon ranks, having flunked out of their military academy more than four thousand times and was only able to graduate on a technicality because the academy was destroyed in an Autobot attack. His Targetmaster partner, Aimless, is just as bad. Whenever these two are on the battlefield, their comrades try harder to avoid their line of fire than they do with the Autobots'.
    • The 2005 IDW Publishing comics portray the Autobot metallurgist Swerve as being an atrocious shooter. When a berserk Fortress Maximus takes the psychologist Rung and Whirl hostage, Swerve happens to be in a position to take a shot to disable Maximus and buy time for a breaching team to break into the room. He not only misses Maximus completely, he instead manages to near-fatally shoot Rung in the head despite Maximus being almost five times larger than Rung. Later in the series, Brainstorm creates a special gun for him named "My Little Blaster", which is programmed to offer him encouragement whenever he misses and praise whenever he actually hits something.

    Video Games 

    Web Animation 
  • Red vs. Blue: Church's aim is so terrible that he can't even hit a stationary target. One instance from season 6, episode 15 has him somehow empty an entire pistol clip at a guard standing two feet away and miss every single shot. Possibly justified, as Church is actually an AI based on a man who was not considered skilled enough to join the frontlines of the UNSC.

    Webcomics 

    Web Original 
  • Le Donjon de Naheulbeuk: The Elf's ineptitude with her bow is a constant Running Gag of the series. While she may hit something with her arrows, it is very rarely something she was aiming at. One time, she accidentally shoots the Ranger's leg and he assumes the troll they were fighting was what shot him, even though the troll didn't have a bow. In another instance, she shoots one of the dwarves the party was rescuing from a squad of orcs; at least they can blame the orcs on this one, thanks to the Enchantress silencing the Elf in time.

    Web Videos 
  • The Nostalgia Critic: The Critic accuses General Esperanza's entire battalion of being guilty of this trope in his review of Commando.
    Critic: Look at this — it's an entire army and they can't stop this one guy. How hard is it to hit one giant Austrian man? He's the size of a mountain! If anybody says "you can't hit the broad side of a mountain", this is the mountain they're talking about!

    Western Animation 
  • Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog: "Magnificent Sonic" shows Sonic to be such a bad shot with a laser gun that he quite literally can't hit the broad side of a barn when he's standing right next to it.
  • The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin: Tweeg regularly bombards Newton Gimmick's house with a cannon from his tower. However, Tweeg's aim is so bad that there is a neat, clean ring of cannonballs all around Newton's house.
  • Evil Con Carne: Ghastly grabs a machine gun and opens fire on Hector after he calls her fat. She somehow misses every shot despite her target being a giant bear confined in the back seat of their car, which he lampshades.
  • Fairly OddParents: In "Most Wanted Wish", Wanda and Cosmo are forced to compete against all of the other fairies in fairy world to be Timmy's Fairy God Parents, which involves having to shoot the other fairies in the butt to eliminate them. Cosmo ends up trying to shoot one of the fairies that Timmy has distracted but hits his target in the ear instead and even admits he was the worst shot in Fairy Academy leaving it up to Wanda to win the contest for them. Subverted in the end when he and Jurgen are the only ones left and he manages to land a hit on him and win the competition.
  • Family Guy: In "Believe It or Not, Joe's Walking on Air", Joe Swanson regains his ability to walk again, but also becomes more of a jerk. His wife Bonnie repeatedly shoots Joe in an attempt to make him a paraplegic again, hoping to make him more humble. She injures him everywhere except his spine, prompting him to cripple himself just to make her stop.
    Bonnie: Joe, I'm so sorry! I'm a terrible shot!
    Joe: For God's sake, just give me the gun! I'll do it myself!
  • The Flintstones: Big Sparkle, the villain of "Fred's New Car", is first seen playing a game in which he attempts to shoot a can on the head of his underling Shorty who is understandably nervous about his boss missing. Sparkle fires and the sound of a body falling to the ground is heard, prompting this exchange between Sparkle and another underling named Linko.
    Linko: You missed.
    Big Sparkle: So I did. Tsk tsk tsk.
  • Futurama: As a cyclops with awful depth perception, Leela's aim with projectiles is sometimes played for laughs. In "A Leela of Her Own," she becomes a famous blernsball player because she's such a godawful pitcher, constantly hitting the batters in the head.
  • Johnny Test: Susan and Mary's shooting skills are consistently depicted as bad, usually leaving Johnny or someone else to operate anything involving projectile weapons.
  • Knuckle Heads: Satasha the elf's poor archery skills are a Running Gag in the two-part episode "The Googoos". Even when given an arrow that never misses its target, she still winds up hitting the wrong thing.
  • Looney Tunes: In "Daffy Duck and Egghead", Egghead tries to shoot Daffy, with Daffy teasing him by putting an apple over his head a la William Tell. However, Egghead misses every single shot, even as Daffy steps closer with each shot. When Egghead misses at point-blank range, Daffy puts sunglasses on him, hangs a sign that reads "blind" around his neck, hands him some pencils to sell, and walks away sighing, "Too bad."
  • Ninjago: In "Wishmasters", Lloyd inflicts this on Flintlocke using one of his wishes, causing Flintlocke to miss his targets every time even at point blank range. Flintlocke gets better thanks to a Rousing Speech from Jay in the finale.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: In "Ambush", a battle droid tries to shoot down Yoda's escape pod and misses by a mile. Another droid calls him out, to which he replies "Oh well, it's my programming." In "Shadow of Malevolance", another droid (or possibly that same one) complains that he still can't hit anything even with the targets disabled, to which Grievous angrily smashes his head.

 
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Heavy

Heavy tries to snipe a target, but misses. He then tries again, only to miss again and end up killing someone.

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