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Crapola Tech

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You just received some brilliant technology from your local Gadgeteer Genius (or on a more "unfortunate" scenario, Bungling Inventor). It's all neatly built and ready to go. And then you activate the damn thing...and it doesn't freakin' work. Ladies and gentleman, we got ourselves a piece of Crapola Tech on our hands, a slab of technology that, let's face it, either didn't have enough kinks worked out of it to ensure it performs its signature function or is just a plain old bad idea from the get go.


Compare Walking Techbane, when it's the user's fault that the gadget breaks. See also Infinity -1 Sword, should the technology in question be used for combat purposes. Often a Made in Country X product.


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     Anime And Manga  

  • In the very first episode of Medabots, Ikki felt this way about Medabee because he wouldn't start up during a battle. Medabee later on paid him back for the insult...violently.
  • In Please Teacher!, the Federation really should check the warranty on Marie. A little rough handling early on causes the supposedly self-repairing robot that controls the alien ship's tech to randomly go on the fritz whenever it's time to cause an embarrassing moment or a Moment Killer between the protagonists.

     Comic Books  

  • The infamous Zinco company from Hellboy. Similar to Acme Products from Looney Tunes, its a running gag how explosively unreliable they are. Of course, since the owner of Zinco is a pawn of Rasputin, this is likely intentional on the part of the company.
  • Paperinik (Donald Duck's superhero alter ego of Italian origins) has been a victim of this, either due Gyro's superweapons malfunctioning or Paperinik not reading the instruction manual. Then Paperinik New Adventures has the 'device 87 bis' of the Extransformer shield, a forced teleporting beam used exactly three times: the first time was an Epic Fail moment for our protagonist, the second time was an epic fail for the villain who had stolen the shield (followed by Paperinik pointing out it never worked), and the third time was when the villain started stomping the shield in a fit of rage and the device activated, giving him a bad burn after dumping him somewhere in the Hawaii Islands.



  • Gremlins. Randall Peltzer's inventions, such as the Bathroom Buddy.
  • The Suck Cut from Wayne's World. Wayne himself nailed the bulls eye when he said "It certainly does suck".
  • From Iron Man 2:
    Col. James 'Rhodey' Rhodes: I'm gonna bust his bunker with the Ex-Wife.
    Tony Stark: The what?
    (Rhodey launches the "ex wife" weapon, which bounces off Vanko with no effect...)
    Tony: "Hammer Tech?"
    Rhodey: [Looks dejected] "... Yeah..."
  • Schindler's List: Oscar Schindler, sabotaging his own factory equipment
  • Caractacus Potts from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang has a similar problem even with his Rube Goldberg Devices, it was so bad that it went all the way around to being good for his "toot sweets", which became edible dog whistles.
  • In Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Han is about to be caught by the Empire, but he grinningly engages his uber-modified hyperdrive— which fails. Han's borderline-insane modifications rendered his ship one of the fastest in the entire galaxy when everything works properly... but also a lot more likely to not work properly.
    • Narrowly averted a second time, when the Millenium Falcon just had its hyperdrive repaired, and so Lando engages it—- only to find that Darth Vader had it deactivated. (Fortunately good ol' R2 knew this, and fixes it).

     Live Action TV  

  • In Doctor Who, the Third Doctor built one of these, and when he (rather bluntly) admitted it didn't work, the Brigadier's reaction was priceless.
  • Red Dwarf has the Trope Namer, Crapola Inc (based in Taiwan), who were responsible for the creation of, among other things, Talkie Toaster, a toaster with obsessive artificial intelligence.

     Tabletop RPG  

  • Just about every piece of equipment a player-character is given in Paranoia for their latest Troubleshooting mission, the exact level of suckitude/lethality dependent entirely on the whim of the GM.
  • Anything made by Mad Scientists in Deadlands suffers from this.
  • Chipwell Armaments, an armor manufacturer in Rifts. They market themselves towards adventurers on a budget, selling equipmenmt that is priced far below their competitors. Unfortunately, they do this by cutting corners wherever they can. The result is equipment, that while functional, provides a fraction of the protection of armor made by just about anyone else. This has earned them the nickname "Cheapo Armor" among mercenaries.

     Video Games  

  • In EarthBound, you can donate money to the Orange Kid in Twoson, who claims that he will use for research. Eventually, he gives the player the Suporma ("Super Orange Machine"), which plays a song that is not heard, called "Ode to Orange Kid," and then breaks.


  • Riff builds several of these over the course of Sluggy Freelance. It's implied that other mad scientists in this universe do as well, as at one point water cooler security robots are fought which are not waterproof. An alternate-universe Riff also creates several of these for an evil invading horde of demons, even though this version of Riff is very competent. It turns out that when Lord Horribus demanded "Terrible inventions!", alt-Riff was interpreting him literally.


     Western Animation  

  • Some of Tracey McBean's inventions delved into this category.
  • The Acme Corporation in general has this.
  • Glitch Techs: All Hinobi consoles can still function as gaming devices, but the fact literally everything down to just staring at one funny can cause it to spit out very dangerous monsters makes you wonder how any of it got greenlit to market. One episode even reveals that there are games the company refuses to release because they're somehow more glitched than their usual offerings.
  • The prototype lightsaber #21 purchased from Dr. Venture during The Venture Bros. episode "Tag Sale, You're It!" It actually does produce a lightsaber just can't cut anything.
    • Another episode features The Monarch attacking Dr. Jonas Venture at Spider-Skull Island, using his "X-Ray cannon—" which fizzles, causing him to whine "Ah, the X-Ray cannon sucks!"
  • Krackus from My Life as a Teenage Robot specializes in building with junk, and it shows.


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