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Dan Hibiki: Street Fighter or streetest fighter?

"It is virtually worthless in terms of both power and speed. It is the most weak and pathetic Pokémon in the world."
The Pokédex on Magikarp, Pokémon FireRed, X, and Sword

Characters, often in the form of Easter Eggs, deliberately unbalanced in the negative sense. They mainly have a humorous value and the fandom often likes them due to their sheer awkwardness or strangeness. This kind of character has historically been associated with fighting games, but can apply to any game where the player has to pick between a large number of characters.

It might seem like bad design to include a deliberately bad character, but as usual, Tropes Are Tools. The joke character can create an interesting dynamic with players: appealing not to people who want to win, but to people who want to show their skill by winning using the absolute worst character in the game, earning some claim to fame. That said, the growing scope and audience of the games industry has caused this trope to fall out of use in multiplayer games: with more people playing games just for fun, not for fame, and on the other end, the rise of serious competitive fields like esports where more than just fame is at stake, it's become increasingly hard to justify the inflating costs of designing new characters just to make them perceived as a "wasted slot" to a grand majority of the playerbase. Even classic examples of this trope like Dan Hibiki and Pichu have been retooled to be closer to the other characters in power. Despite this, singleplayer games seem happy to keep the trope alive, as Competitive Balance is far less of a concern there.

Note this is not the same thing as an Easter Egg where the player's appearance simply switches (like a redone sprite) or a Fighting Clown (a character who simply looks silly but plays well). Part and parcel of Cherry Tapping. Compare Blessed with Suck, What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?, and Master of None. If this character happens to have some worthwhile utility, they're a Lethal Joke Character. If they take a considerable level in badass after a while, they have Magikarp Power. Sometimes, if this character becomes popular enough, expect the fans to turn them into a Memetic Badass and the developers to turn them into a Lethal Joke Character.

Part of Competitive Balance. See also Joke Item and Fake Special Attack (which they are likely to use). Contrast with Purposely Overpowered and Master of All, which are the opposites. Compare and contrast with the Low-Tier Letdown, who are also negatively unbalanced but usually unintentionally.

Not to be confused with Parody Sue. Can overlap with Plucky Comic Relief.


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  • The Wonderful 101:
    • One of the unlockable characters is Wonder-Future, Wonder-Red from the past. His special weapon is a Unite Hand that is already on fire and shoots two fireballs... but it's always in the smallest size. The fire-element is also made redundant with another secret character who can make bigger variants.
    • Wonder-Director, an Author Avatar of the game's director Hideki Kamiya. He dies in one hit when being played as, is the only character in the game with a slower running speed than anyone else, has a fairly weak Unite Morph, and even sounds bored to match the silliness.

  • The Can parts in Custom Robo for the GameCube are basically less powerful versions of the parts you start the game with. The Can Legs decrease all capabilities, while the Can body is ridiculously weak and easy to knock down.
    • The DS version has the Chick Robo. It's a baby bird with horrible stats, and all of its guns shoot chickens.
  • The nerd in Gauntlet: The Third Encounter has absolutely pathetic Strength and Missile stats, and only a lower-end-of-decent Speed stat. Makes sense, considering what sort of game it is.
  • Hollow Knight: When you face Zote in the Colosseum of Fools, he is a ridiculously terrible fighter. All he does is swing his sword around like a little kid and fall on his face while trying to do rolling jumps. If you get hit? It does no damage, because his sword (Life-Ender) is made of shellwood!

    Beat 'em Up 
  • PS2 beat-em'-up Urban Reign has William Bordin, who can take only two to three punches at most or a single submission hold before going down. Especially annoying, considering he's the Final Boss and the hardest character to unlock!
  • If you manage to beat Bayonetta's lost chapter Angel Slayer (big emphasis on if) you unlock Little King Zero, a legless skeleton with a beard (yeah…) who talks only in high pitched grunts. In combat, he's just as effective as Bayonetta and has the same powers and weapons. The problem is… there is no such thing as Scratch Damage with him. Any tiniest hit will take off his entire lifebar, leaving only his Last Chance Hit Point. Which means he can be instantly killed even by a single Decoration (the weakest among the weakest enemies)! Needless to say, beating the game above Easy Mode with him by using no items officially makes you a badass.
  • Most of the secret characters in Gourmet Warriors are worthless.
    • Jerk, Mr. Phlegm, and Acolyte's only attack is a Suicide Attack. You only have one life in this game.
    • Oh Damn is slow and can't attack at all.
    • Hand Knife and Appliance have only one attack and die in one hit. Appliance's one attack isn't even any good.
    • Swimmer can only move by hopping, making him very awkward to control.
    • Piko Piko would've been one of the better secret characters if it weren't for her poor recovery rate. If she's knocked down, she's as good as dead.
  • Saint Seiya: Sanctuary Battle has Unicorn Jabu, known for losing pretty much every battle he was in during the anime. In the game, while all the other characters have two or three Cosmo attacks, he has only one. It's pretty hard to aim, it's not very damaging and it's fairly useless during the actual stages, only being somewhat useful against bosses (and even then it's hard to connect it properly). He also has the worst stat growth in the game, gaining only 2 attack points per level up. That means that if the player doesn't feed him thousands upon thousands of Cosmo Points, even at Lv. 99 he'll have less than 300 Attack, less than a third of the cap and effectively being unable to damage any boss on any difficulty beyond Hard. And the kicker? He's a DLC character going for no less than $5.00 US.
  • The Puella Magi Madoka Magica fangame Grief Syndrome has Homura, who has the worst stats in the game, but some of the most useful abilities. However, as an Easter Egg, it allows you to play as Homura before the beginning of the series, who keeps the awful stats, and replaces the machine guns, rocket launchers, and mortars with a Deagle, a shotgun, and a golf club, and her pipe bombs don't explode on contact like Future Badass Homura's do, leaving her attacks with a slight delay. You can imagine how well this works in combat. She's not completely useless, largely thanks to Time Stop, but she has a much harder time finishing the game than any other character.
    • Another Easter Egg player character, available if more people are playing together than there are magical girls still alive, is... Kyuubey! It literally has no attacks, and can be attacked by the other players.

    Collectible Card Games 
  • In Chaotic, while there are some creatures that generally aren't good, Fivarth is probably the one most clearly designed to be terrible. He has an utterly pathetic 15 in every stat and no elements, meaning he dies in combat if the opponent looks at him too hard and most of the attacks in the game are completely useless on him, and his only remotely useful ability is reducing your Warbeasts' Recklessness damage by 5... which doesn't do much considering that Warbeast Recklessness starts at 10 and often reaches 20 or more, not to mention the other Conjurors that are much better at dealing with Recklessness. His only saving graces are his 2 Mugic counters (which, again, most Conjurors also have) and being untargetable by Mugic and abilities, which doesn't mean much when he does absolutely nothing on his own.
  • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft tries to feature at least one hilariously awful card per set, usually invoking Awesome, but Impractical to the point of being useless. The Hearthstone wiki even has a page dedicated to listing them.
    • Magma Rager. It's a 3 mana 5/1 with Memetic Loser status among the playerbase. Despite his impressive base attack, he simply dies. To everything. Your opponent can counter your entire turn three play with just a Hero Power and still have some leftover mana. The card is so bad, a whole group of cards exist purely to make fun of it, and most of them still suck despite being strictly better than Magma Rager.
    • Majordomo Executus is a 9 mana 9/7 that transforms your Hero into Ragnaros the Firelord on death. Ragnaros has a powerful Hero Power and is Ragnaros, but has only 8 health! Most players will just kill Majordomo then one-shot Ragnaros before you have a chance to even use his power. Majordomo is the only card in the entire game who can instantly make you lose from any position in the game. His uselessness seems to be a riff on Ragnaros's iconic "Too soon! You have awakened me too soon, Executus!" quote, which he announces upon transformation in this game. It's quite telling that the most common use for Executus by far is to cheese adventure bosses by giving him to the boss and then turning the boss into Ragnaros.
    • The Boogeymonster is generally considered the worst card in Hearthstone. Even Majordomo can be given to your opponent or combined with cards that increase your hero's health, but Boogeymonster has no such use. He has bad stats (6/7 for 8 mana) and the sole effect of gaining +2/+2 after successfully attacking and killing an enemy minion. That means he needs to stay alive for multiple turns and keep killing enemy minions without dying in order to become a big vanilla beatstick. For comparison, Gruul is a card that starts at a 7/7 for 8 and gains +1/+1 every turn passively. That means he's an 8/8 to your opponent and a 9/9 when it's your turn, ready to attack, and keeps growing. And even Gruul is considered bad.
    • Mayor Noggenfogger is a 9 mana 5/4 that makes ALL targeted abilities random. That means any attack can be sent anywhere, as long as the target is legal (friendly minions can't hit each other, but most spells could go anywhere). His stats are terrible, his effect is symmetrical, and he isn't likely to save you. Hot damn if he isn't hilarious, though.
    • The classic Angry Chicken. On the one hand, if it takes damage and survives it gains +5 Attack, which is really nice for a 1-mana minion... or would be if it had more than 1 health, meaning that any amount of damage will kill it immediately. You could simply buff the Angry Chicken's health and then ping it for a single point of damage before unleashing it on your opponent, but with the resources you spent buffing the chicken, you could've just played a better minion to begin with.
    • As if the Angry Chicken wasn't bad enough, we also got the Gurubashi Chicken. At least Angry Chicken only requires you to buff its health and make it take damage; Gurubashi Chicken requires you to buff its health and its attack, and then overkill an enemy minion and survive. And only on the next turn after that can you start making use of the attack buff. If this actually works in a game, you're probably winning by a mile and just rubbing salt in the wound at that point.
  • Magic: The Gathering is full of cards that seem underpowered or even useless.
    • The prize for "Worst Card In The Game" unquestionably goes to Wood Elemental, which requires you to sacrifice untapped forests to power up. Destroying lands sets you back hard. Destroying unused lands sets you back harder. Destroying unused lands to power a 4-mana cost creature (by only +1/+1, and it starts from 0/0) that can be killed by a 10-cent doom blade and has no other abilities is beyond idiotic. To make it even less useful, you can't even use this power-up ability after the card is in play; only while it's being summoned.
    • Steamflogger Boss was a card introduced in Future Sight that supported a mechanic that didn't exist yet, making it almost completely useless. It took over ten years for "assembling Contraptions" to be introduced in the joke set Unstable.
    • Zephyr Spirit is another strong contender for "worst card in the game" alongside Wood Elemental. A 6-mana 0/6 is an absolutely horrid stat total to begin with, meaning you're sinking a hefty sum of resources into a crappy blocker. Except Zephyr Spirit can't even do that properly, because whenever it blocks something, it returns itself to your hand, completely wasting the mana you spent on it. When Mark Rosewater, the game's Head Designer, was asked about how horrible this card is, his response is that it was entirely intentional; Zephyr Spirit was made to be so bad that even a new player can look at it and tell you how bad it is.
  • The Imakuni? cards in Pokémon. They have effects ranging from confusing your own Pokémon to forcing both players to sing as loud as they can. No, really.
  • In a similar vein, Yu-Gi-Oh! has an amazing number of cards that have no conceivable use, or that simply don't do their job well. Early sets were crammed with low-stat normal monsters that were irrelevant even at release, but even then, some went above and beyond. Witness Thousand-Eyes Idol, a monster with the lowest stats possible (0 attack and 0 defense) and no effect. (It technically does have the use of being Fusion material for the infamously powerful Thousand-Eyes Restrict, but is never actually used as such since any deck that wants to use Restrict - both now and back in the day - has ways of getting it out without having to run an otherwise useless monster.)
    • A notable one is Fusionist, a Fusion monster (requiring three cards to get out) that actually has less power than one of its pieces (which was already pathetically low) and no effect. And it's a rare! Hilariously, it turned out to be Not Completely Useless - as a Fusion Monster, it can be pulled with Instant Fusion without having to have its pieces in the deck, which makes it an on-demand Level 3 for an Xyz Summon.
    • It seems to be a tradition for sets, starting with Tactical Evolution's Broken Bamboo Sword (which is actually a Lethal Joke Item) to have one card with a completely detrimental or useless effect. Fine forces you to discard two cards, An Unfortunate Report lets your opponent attack you twice, Cold Feet makes it impossible for you to play Spells or Traps... Some of them are even inverted versions of famously good cards, such as The Forceful Sentry (which lets you look into your opponent's hand and knock a card of theirs back to the deck) becoming The Humble Sentry (which makes you reveal your hand and send one of your cards back to the deck). While you can potentially use these cards in very specific combos, they're complete dead draws otherwise.
    • Similarly, it's a tradition for releases of Normal Monsters connected to Joey to have their flavor text translated into a terrible Brooklyn accent. These cards weren't jokes when they were originally released, but the fact that many of them weren't exported for more than a decade left them well behind the curve of Power Creep. At this stage, it's not like anyone was gonna use Anthrosaurus or Meotoko anyway, so you might as well get a laugh.
    • Larvae Moth seems to be Yu-Gi-Oh!'s answer to Wood Elemental. It's a card with 500 ATK and 400 DEF (for comparison, Kuriboh has 300/200), and it requires setup - playing a Petit Moth, equipping it with Cocoon of Evolution, and protecting it for two of your turns, AKA four turns. This summoning requirement also means that Larvae Moth is an Effect Monster, so it doesn't get Normal Monster support (the sole redeeming factor for most Joke Character cards). It's also Larvae Moth's only effect. It's the only card where the wiki's "Tips" section actively suggests discarding it for a cost.
    • Skull Servant was considered to be unplayable due to being a normal monster with only 300 ATK and 200 DEF. The fact that he was so weak has allowed an entire culture of decks to be devoted around him and was influential enough to stimulate Konami to create cards like King Of The Skull Servants to make Skull Servant more powerful. Nowadays, he's become something of a Lethal Joke Character, though ironically the deck built around Skull Servant doesn't even use him most of the time due to the sheer number of other cards that can treat their own names as "Skull Servant."
    • Dark Artist — a monster with stats that were below-average in its time, and godawful at any time thereafter, and its only effect is that when it's attacked by a Light monster, it gets even weaker.
    • A lot of very early effect monsters seemed to have had effects created by random number generators, and the king of them all is Yado Karu. Its effect is that when it's changed to Defense Position, it lets you return any number of cards in your hand to the bottom of your deck. Put simply, there are only two situations where this is beneficial — when your opponent is playing a Mill deck and you need to put some cards in your deck right now or you will lose, or when you accidentally drew into one of the small handful of cards that can only be used from the Deck (such as Assault Modes). In any other case, all this card does is take cards you have immediate access to and then put them out of your reach. Just activating the effect is fairly cumbersome and slow, it has bad stats, and on top of that, it's not even unique; there are plenty of cards that let you send your own cards back into the Deck (Plaguespreader Zombie, Pot of Generosity, Transmigration Prophecy, Assault Teleport, Magical Mallet) with much greater efficiency.
    • True Exodia, like the rest of the Exodia-based monsters, offers an Instant-Win Condition. You must have it and the four Forbidden One limbs as the only monsters on the field to trigger this, and the card has no stats or upsides to offset this. For all that effort, True Exodia gives the victory to... its controller's opponent. It's clearly designed for laughs and trying to get a proper win with it (by switching its control) is more trouble than it's worth, though that hasn't stopped players from trying.
    • Some characters from the anime can fill this role when they're opponents in videogames, particularly characters who never dueled. Tristan and Mokuba tend to favor the aforementioned extremely weak Normal Monsters or suicidally bad strategies, but Dorothy in Tag Force seems to be an ongoing experiment in making unplayable decks. One of her decks has nothing but Level 5 or higher Normal Monsters, making it impossible for her to play anything. Another is a sixty-card (and therefore hugely inconsistent) deck based on bringing out the weakest Fusion Monsters in the game. Yet another is a deck that's nothing but drawing cards, causing her to deck herself out, and a fourth is a deck of nothing but detrimental cards like Burning Alga] or Fine. Some of her decks are actually illegal, by virtue of not complying to the banlist, meaning Dorothy is such a bad Duelist that she breaks the game to be worse at it. The anime seems to confirm this, as her only onscreen duel was her Summoning Marshmallon in ATK and then ending her turn, promptly costing the game for her partner. In Tag Force 3, though, she's a Lethal Joke Character when she's partnered with you: her Deck is nothing but Tuners and Synchro-based support cards with a powerful assortment of Synchros, but since Synchros need a Tuner and a non-Tuner, she can't summon any of them... but since you're partnered with her, you can just provide the non-Tuners.

    Fighting Games 
  • Street Fighter:
    • The most famous Joke Character is probably Dan Hibiki. He was created as a joke about SNK's Art of Fighting games, whose protagonists borrowed heavily from the Street Fighter games. Dan, in turn, can be summed up as Robert Garcia's head on Ryo Sakazaki's body (albeit with a pink gi instead of an orange one) and his attacks are almost completely ineffective (much like when a player tries to use special moves in AOF with a depleted Spirit Gauge). This status would largely persist until Street Fighter IV and its updates, in which Dan becomes a freaking beast.
      • SNK later would make fun of him (and themselves) in SVC Chaos, namely by making Dan parody even more of Ryo's moves and a Running Gag of nearly everyone—including Dan himself—mistaking him for Robert, along with ascending him to the mid-boss range.
      • Even Demitri of Darkstalkers hates Dan and wouldn't even take a sip of blood from him. "Only the beautiful and strong can serve me. You fail on both counts!"
      • The Chairperson from Rival Schools apparently took weekend classes in Dan's martial art, Saikyo. And it shows. Unless she's your assistant instead of your main fighter, that is.
      • Dan Hibiki also has the most useless drop pattern of the entire Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo cast: His pattern is all red. Bear in mind that clearing a gem also clears all adjacent gems of the same color, and all gems of the same color adjacent to those, and so on... Basically, the instant Dan's counter gems hit zero, a single red crash gem can completely counter every attack Dan has sent since the last such counterattack. However, he does have the special attribute of sending 150% as many counter gems. Used well, you can bring a quick end to your opponent; used poorly, and you set yourself up for massive damage.
      • This also carries over to Super Gem Fighter. Dan can only make red gems pop out of his opponent when he connects, meaning the only thing he's capable of maxing out on its own is the Gadoken. If you want to power up the Koryuken or the Dankukyaku, you have to either hit the treasure chest that appears at the start of a match or use the gems the opponent is hitting out of you.
      • Dan makes an appearance as a Spirit in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and the joke continues; he's got the worst power out of any Primary Spirit, to the point that not even equipping good Support Spirits can balance him out with the next-worst Spirits, and you start the fight with 30% damage and no trade-off benefit.note  Pretty much the only reason anyone has to use him is the fact that starting up the game gives you a random Spirit; Supports can't be equipped on their own, and you don't get a Primary in Adventure Mode until your second fight, so if Dan was your random, having an awful Primary is technically superior to having no Spirits at all.
    • The Street Fighter III series gives us Sean, Ken's student, who has the unique distinction of starting off as one of the most powerful characters, but as Capcom Sequel Stagnation takes effect, he's downgraded over time into becoming a joke character. Sean has trouble beating regular people, let alone trained fighters. His ending in 3rd Strike has him lose to a random fighter in a Curb-Stomp Battle in the qualifying rounds. Ironically, as a few of his quotes indicate, he hates Dan with a passion and strives never to be like him.
  • Capcom vs.:
    • Norimaro from Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter is probably the only character that could make Dan Hibiki look like a badass. Not only does he look extremely pathetic, his attacks are also comedic. His projectile attack is him panicking and swinging a random item out of his bag, and his hard kick is him slipping on a banana peel. One of his hyper combos is him switching between a variety of poses recounting his memories, such as flipping an egg, dressing up as Mega Man, playing with a teddy bear, and singing karaoke. For his taunt, he holds out a pen and paper and asks the opponent for their autograph. Even though most of his lines were translated into English, he was Dummied Out from the international versions of the game, which was apparently done because Marvel didn't want him in the game.
    • In the original Marvel vs. Capcom and its sequel, Roll is the Joke Character. Based on a character who's normally a Damsel in Distress or Neutral Female at most, Roll basically plays like Mega Man (who's already nothing special) but worse in just about every single way. Pitiful damage, low health, laggy attacks... her only advantage is being fairly small, which can help her avoid attacks (especially against certain bosses). Most tier listings give her a special ranking, with "Roll Tier" being a common term in the fighting game community for extremely bad characters.
      • Subverted in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, where she is actually a viable anchor character owing to her strong assist and ability to heal herself and her partner (if they're a robot), as well as some surprisingly decent fighting ability in her own right; she can chain together some very uninterruptable combos.
  • Hercule/Mister Satan in the Dragon Ball Z: Budokai series. In the first installment, his attacks and special attacks can do reasonable damage to any other character, pinning him in the same tier as other decent fighters and even receiving a bonus story featuring him fighting his way through the Cell Games. In the third installment, he's the only character in the game whose base ki only goes up to two bars instead of three or more, he can't shoot ki blasts, and often his special attacks are actually things like him tripping and accidentally headbutting the opponent. Furthermore, in the Tenkaichi/Sparking series, the damage dealt by his melee attacks is far lower than any other character, he hurls short-ranged rocks and grenades instead of Ki blasts, and his Ultimate Attack will either cause a somewhat reasonable amount of damage (around a regular character's "Blast 2" damage, which is still pretty bad for a UB), or do 1 point of damage! In Budokai Tenkaichi, characters don't even flinch from his melee attacks, making them incredibly hard to pull off, and making it nearly impossible for him to take on Oozaru who are immune to all of his special moves. Equipping an item that makes the enemies flinch when hit will pass him into a "usable" category, making him at least a good option to fill a slot in a Dragon Points Battle, since he only uses one point.
    • Mr. Satan is also notable for this in The Legacy of Goku II. After Goku dies in the Cell Games, he becomes a playable character. If you get him up to level 50, you can view an alternate ending where instead of watching everyone summon the Dragon and stuff, Mr. Satan appears on a Talk Show talking about how awesome he is.
    • Skinny Tiencha in Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2. Even the most basic attacks consume massive energy, and he is unable to perform Tiencha's special moves (he coughs if you even try).
    • The Tenkaichi games have a lot of these, since their gimmick is having tons of characters. Just about everyone from Dragon Ball is a lot weaker than the Z characters - their attacks don't hit very hard, a lot of them can't fly at all, and they lack the general raw power, speed, and durability of their counterparts (with a few, like King Piccolo, Arale, and Nam, being passable, and a few others, like Spike and Yajirobe, being Lethal Joke Characters). There's also a number of characters designed as Mooks, including Frieza Soldiers, Saibamen, and Cell Juniors, which are appropriately unimpressive, with generic moves and poor damage.
    • Xenoverse and Xenoverse 2 also have the aforementioned Mooks playable, and on top of having low stats and access to only the least effective Ultimate Skill in the game, all damage they take is tripled.
  • Hyena in The King of Fighters Maximum Impact 2 moves erratically and has several... odd attacks. Most notably, his super move "The Century's Most Fearsome Acting!" has him walk at the opponent, fake being KO'd if hit... and then spring back up with a powerful kick. But if they throw him, which is quite likely given his pace, he really gets KO'd...
  • Fighting Vipers and later Fighters Megamix feature Kumachan and Pandachan, two happy bears that have no connection to anything. Neither have animation frames, so they fight like balloons. Megamix also has two model swaps of them in Mr. Meat and Palmtree - a chunk of meat with a bone through it and the palm tree from AM 2's logo, respectively. There's also Deku, a cactus in a mariachi outfit who is easily the game's weakest fighter.
  • Mace: The Dark Age has Ned, the Almighty Janitor and Pojo... a literal chicken.
  • Pichu in Super Smash Bros. Melee is a weakened, baby version of Pikachu. It damages itself when it uses electrical attacks, it's lighter and easier to knock off, has drastically inferior range, and often has to use its head in the place of Pikachu's longer, more powerful tail. There are some advantages, such as it being a little faster, having higher knockback, and possessing a tiny hit-box, but most would agree that that doesn't make up for all of the disadvantages. In fact, Pichu's own trophies blatantly admit that it's worthless, going so far as to describe it as the weakest character in the game, and that it's better suited as a handicap for experienced players fighting newer, unskilled players. People were legitimately vexed when it turned out that Pichu was a Lethal Joke Character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate instead of perpetuating the joke.
  • Kon and Bonnie in Bleach: Blade of Fate both qualify. Kon has one special move and takes more damage than any other character in the game, and Bonnie has no normal attacks. One is a stuffed animal and the other is a giant boar.
    • Another in Hanataro in Bleach: Shattered Blade for the Wii. Hitting an opponent with your sword actually heals them, leaving him dependent on headbutts and a trip/roll attack for damage.
    • Amusingly, Bleach: Dark Souls sharpens Kon and Bonnie's claws slightly. Kon gains three more special moves and has actual supers now, while Bonnie retains her original movelist but gains basic attacks. Hanataro joins the cast, but he only has one move that uses his sword. The real joke character is Yuichi, the little boy Chad protects early on - he has zero range, dies in five hits, and his moves are him panicking.
      • Dark Souls also has one of the highest joke character counts of any game, with 8-13 characters of the 44 member cast qualifying. This is due to every generic mook from the story mode being playable, from generic Shinigami to nurses to the familiars a near-joke character summons.
  • In Magical Battle Arena, the final character you can unlock after a downright brutal battle is... a Gadget Drone. Yup, the grunt-type Mecha-Mook from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha that every character beats up for their first stage. With only two special attacks, no supers, and pathetically low HP, its powers are truly fearsome.
  • The Neco Arc characters in Melty Blood. With their chibi designs, ludicrous attacks, and rather bizarre origins, you're clearly not supposed to take them seriously. The main Neco Arc is definitely the most conventional one, with her nonexistent range, low durability, and one of her main attacks being focused on flipping the controls of both players—the Crescent version can be something of a Lethal Joke Character if she can get a hit in and start a combo, but otherwise, she's pretty useless.
  • In the Naruto: Ultimate Ninja series (starting with the third entry), you can unlock Konohamaru, the Third Hokage's grandson... and he's about seven years old. His attacks are freaking hilarious. Good luck trying to beat someone with him.
    • In Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2, we have the Big Guy of Naruto's generation, Choji Akimichi. Despite being reasonably powered in both the anime and manga (even helping Kakashi take on PAIN of all people, helping take down Kinkaku during the War....then Taking It to a Level of Badass when he masters Calorie Control, soloing a battle the allies were having trouble with), in the game he's rather worthless unless he's chosen as support. His attacks are so slow that they can be dodged easily even on higher difficulties, he can't run (only stomp around like a Sumo wrestler), his Ninja Dash is the slowest in the game, and his attacks, while they hurt when they land can be broken easily. This was completely changed in Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3. With the ability to instant awaken, Choji's easily one of the strongest fighters in the game in his War Arc costume. He becomes a Lightning Bruiser which can hit as hard as Kyubi Chakra Mode Naruto, is as fast as most of the other fighters now since he doesn't roll everywhere and uses a standard dash, and finally can KO most enemies in FOUR HITS easily before his awakening runs out.
    • From Naruto Shippuden Clash Of Ninja Revolution 3 we have Nine-Tailed Naruto. He's pretty much average Naruto except that he takes at least double damage from opponent attacks.
  • This is a rather interesting case with Nanase from Under Night In-Birth. While she's a decent fighter in gameplay, the trope fits her storywise as she quickly jump to conclusions when it's not even necessary to do so at all. Nanase developed a huge crush on Hyde Kido, but responded to that by chasing him across the city claiming he had done something perverted to her because she thought In-Birth powers were transmitted through sex. Instead of being endearing or having heartwarming moments with her dere side, she only causes trouble for Hyde by making his female friends believe he actually did molest her, and when the misunderstanding is cleared up, it's clear they have little patience left for her. While still Played for Laughs, it's clear her antics lands her this trope.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny: Alliance vs ZAFT II gives us...the ZAKU Warrior Live Version. For those not familiar with Destiny, this is a Humongous Mecha painted pink with heart decals to serve as a giant mobile stage for Idol Singer Meer Campbell. In battle, the ZAKU prances instead of walking, throws grenades as if it's blowing kisses, performs one-hit melee attacks that resemble dance moves, and its unique ability involves Meer coming out onto its hands and singing, "donating" your Super Meter energy to your ally. While it can be effective if used properly, and carries a whole lot more grenades than any other ZAKU that has them as a weapon (TWENTY grenades compared to eight carried by Lunamaria's Gunner ZAKU or four for the regular ZAKU Warrior, with or without the Gunner Pack), it's generally easier and better to use an actual combat machine.
    • Built on in SD Generation Wars where her Zaku literally has no attacks of her own and simply consist of her ordering other Zakus to attack before waving. Unlike the one in RvZII, this version is not viable in actual combat because its single attack has an absurdly low hit rate and damage.
  • The flash Mascot Fighter Newgrounds Rumble has Henchman, a character obtained by clicking Hank's sunglasses in the selection screen. He has Hank's moveset, but only about 40 health, in a game where average health is around 300. This is made even worse by the fact that Hank is designed as a Mighty Glacier — and Henchman does less damage, to boot. This is deliberate, since he's a Madness Combat character famous for having mooks which are Made of Plasticine.
  • In the English version of the Zatch Bell! game Mamodo Battles, Ponygon is this. In the Japanese version he has a partner, but to avoid spoilers Ponygon doesn't have one in the English version. What does that mean? Since a partner is required to use a spell, Ponygon can only use melee attacks, and while they serve decent damage, spells are the main damage dealers.
  • Guilty Gear Isuka has the Goon Squad. Three generic enemies you fight by the hundreds in the side-scroller part of the game. How useless they are? Well, their moves are so limited, some of them can't even jump.
  • Hong Meiling in Touhou Suimusou ~ Immaterial and Missing Power is a martial artist, just like in canon, and as such, has somewhat limited projectile options and focuses mainly on her melee game. Unfortunately, this is a game where every other character focuses heavily on projectile attacks that practically cover the entire screen, and her melee game isn't remotely good enough to compensate. She's the worst character in the game, but she's not totally unusable. It's more that Meiling's strengths don't work in this game. Playing as China has the feel of trying to kill Spiderman by dropping him off a cliff.
  • M.U.G.E.N:
    • The Kid from I Wanna Be the Guy. He's a One-Hit-Point Wonder that plays just like he does in his original game. He can get spikes, the moon, and delicious fruit to help him out, but they all can kill him as well.
    • Lester from Lester the Unlikely has weak stats and a "move" where he runs away from his opponent in fear.
    • The NES Silver Surfer, modeled after the game with the same name. He's weak, can't turn around, gets killed by anything up to and including the edge of the screen, and the game even shows you the game over image from his game whenever he's knocked out. At least he's faithful to what he's based on.
    • Several "Punching Bag" characters have been made to simply beat up. Sandbag from Super Smash Bros. is one such character, purely existing to be a sandbag to train on.
      • There’s also Kyubey, who possesses very little in terms of attacks since he’s supposed to be the mascot- but boy, is it sure fun to constantly beat him up!
      • Barney the Dinosaur is probably the most prominent example. He barely has any attacks and is incredibly weak and easy to hit. Several other characters from preschool shows such as Dora the Explorer and Peppa Pig are included as well with similar qualities.
  • In the SNES version of Punch-Out!! there are the two initial Minor Circuit Boxers, Gabby Jay and Bear Hugger. One is a weakling old man whose motto before the fight is "Let me Win! I lost so many times I forgot [sic] how winning feels like" and has 1 win by knockout and 99 losses, while the second, with slightly better stats of 17 wins - 12 losses pretty much just stands around waiting for you to beat him up until he taunts, or if you punch him in the face he will go for a "bear hug" attack that is pretty much easily dodgeable and opens up his guard.
    • That being said, come the Wii version, Bear Hugger got a little more threatening with an unpunchable stomach and and a tricky hook that requires you to dodge in one direction only, not to mention the "bear hug" is now a much more dangerous move.
  • Fighters Destiny lets you unlock Robert, the dummy from the game's Training Mode. He has little comboing ability and most of his moves are slow and heavily telegraphed, making him a very difficult character to use effectively.
    • He returns for the sequel too, albeit with a new name: Samurai.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Heritage for the Future:
    • Khan is based on an absolute nobody of a villain (a possessed barber who got his hands on Anubis) and it shows. He is fairly easy to learn and has decent air mobility, but aside from that, his combo game is awful, his moves are easy to punish, with only one particularly good move in his whole kit, he lacks the game's signature Stance System or Puppet Fighter tricks, and you have Chaka and Black Polnareff who do everything he does and do it better.
    • Alessi essentially weaponizes this trope. If he hits someone with his Stand, Sethan, they turn into a child version of themselves. Said child version has a very limited arsenal of attacks, can't block, and can't call out their Stand, which allows Alessi to bully them easily. In some versions, beating the story mode with Alessi unlocks "Child Mode", where you can only use these characters.
  • Captain Ginyu weaponizes this trope in Dragon Ball Fighter Z. Normally, Ginyu is a decent character who has the entire Ginyu Force at his disposal, which basically allows you to overwhelm your opponent by filling the screen with attacks. He also has his Body Change super, which allows you to swap characters and health bars with your opponent. The catch is that your opponent gets a heavily nerfed version of Ginyu, who doesn't have the Ginyu Force nor Body Change and is literally the worst character in the game.note 
  • Eternal Champions: Challenge from the Dark Side on Sega CD has a couple different flavors of joke characters. On the "parody but functional" side, there's the Senator, a Head Swap of Larcen who lampoons the various Senate hearings regarding violence in video games in the 90s. On the "just for laughs" side, there's a whole slew of small animal fighters who have few special moves, but their tiny size coupled with some perks exclusive to them can make them a nightmare to fight against. At least in Hooter's case, their presence can still be considered canon, too.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy game allows you to unlock the generic Mook characters you've been beating up throughout the game. When used, they only have a couple (laughably weak) basic attacks and can't pick up items or other characters.
  • The Flash game American Dad! vs. Family Guy Kung-Fu II features both main families as playable characters, but just Chris (for comparison, Meg has mutant superpowers) where 95% of his moveset involves non-damaging jumping jacks/peeing his pants while his only damaging move is an ordinary Super-Scream that deals a modest amount of damage. His finishing move doesn't even hurt the opponent; he just pathetically tells them to go away, which they do out of disgust.

    First/Third-Person Shooter 
  • Resident Evil 2 includes a Bonus Level which tells the story of Hunk, one of the Umbrella commandos who is knocked unconscious and forced to fight his way out of the Raccoon Police Department after the events of the main game (now thoroughly overrun with enemies). The truly hardcore can play that level again as Tofu, truly Exactly What It Says on the Tin, a block of bean curd with a knife. Unlike Hunk, Tofu only carries a knife and 3 mixed herbs, which means you have to spend time avoiding enemies instead of taking them on, but you're compensated for the lack of gear by having extremely durable defense.
    • Rumor has it Capcom added Tofu as a Take That! to people who beat RE1 under an hour only using the knife. Capcom denies this, stating Tofu was not originally envisioned to be a playable character or even a tofu, rather it was a block the developers made to test hit detection for the game. They decided to take the joke and run with it after main development was done.
  • In most game modes in Team Fortress 2, The Engineer is an impossibly valuable teammate for his area-of-denial sentry, health/ammo dispenser, and teleporters. In Medieval Mode, where he isn't allowed any of these things, he becomes a joke character nobody plays as except when they're trolling, due to his low speed and health. He does get a saving grace with his special melee weapons, such as the Gunslinger (which gives him extra HP and causes an automatic critical hit when striking thrice in a row), the Southern Hospitality (which causes bleed on hit and has its secondary weakness nullified by a lesser amount of fire) or the Eureka Effect (which lets him teleport back to spawn).
    • Speaking of fire, Pyro. While his role in the main game is hotly contested (and his role in Mann vs Machine even more so), he is considered an overall lesser pick in Medieval Mode because, like Engi, his main abilities (flanking and fire damage) are gone. He is slightly better than Engineer, seeing as he has more health and a number of his melee weapons have decent uses; the Sharpened Volcano Fragment sets people on fire with every swing, the Axtinguisher can crit people who are set on fire by a Huntsman-wielding Sniper, and the Backscratcher deals more damage and heals Pyro more from the small health kits everyone drops on death (and sometimes the Hot Hand if they're just messing around). Otherwise, Pyro has a history of questionable melee weapons, not a good start for a gamemode where they and arrows are your only means of attack.
  • The Osiris in MechWarrior Living Legends was long considered to be a joke character, owing to its... unfortunate appearance (likened to a buttplug with legs), nonexistent armor and pathetic armaments. However, the final update completely revamped the Osiris, making it a Lightning Bruiser among light mechs. Its joke role was taken over by the Solitaire, a mech so far down the Fragile Speedster path that its entire body has less armor than the arm of an assault mech; it packs an enormous Shoulder Cannon but it's attached to the fastest chassis in the game paired with the worst firing arc, making it all but impossible to circle-of-death with, forcing the user to perform suicidal jousting charges.
  • Tachanka in Rainbow Six Siege, a rare example of a character who became this. He was meant to be balanced against the other characters, but it turned out his ability to set up and man a stationary turret was a death sentence in Siege's highly mobile and flank-focused metagame. This resulted in him becoming a Memetic Badass for his uselessness, and the developers actually admitting they have no plans to majorly improve Tachanka, because him being useful would ruin the joke. His one major buff including writing his community nickname of "LORD" on his turret seems to confirm him as this.

  • In the third GrailQuest book, Gateway of Doom, if you attack the old gardener you automatically get the first strike due to having surprise on your side, and he has so few LIFE POINTS that this may well be enough to kill him. Even if it isn't, he needs to roll an 8 or better on two dice to hit you and his weapon of choice (a blunted pitchfork) scores no extra damage at all. The book lampshades how incredibly unlucky you would have to be for him to kill you.

  • Forum Warz lets you pick a character class after completing the tutorial... or you can continue as a Re-Re, without any free stat bonuses and only gaining a fourth of the abilities that other classes do. Reaching level 10 allows you to advance to "Permanoob."
  • Baby Classes in Ragnarok Online: no transcendence, 75% HP/SP of their counterparts, and 50% success rate in alchemy/smithing. Combine with a super novice, and you get a big joke class.
  • The Lord of the Rings Online allows you to play as a Level 1 Chicken.note  First you stay in the (mostly) peaceful Shire, but then you get sent into areas where enemies are level 36-40 and kill you with a single hit. Ouch...
  • Technically, there aren't really Joke Characters in Kingdom of Loathing. However, players can take familiars to assist them, and here we find joke characters. Most familiars heal you, increase your stat gains, meat gains, or item drops, or attack your enemies. The Pet Rock... does absolutely nothing. Neither does the Crimbo Log or Bulky Buddy Block. The ultimate joke familiar, though, is the O.A.F., or Optimal Ascension Familiar, created as a Take That! against players who deem familiars with any nonessential features useless - it actively works against you, even more so than the Black Cat (and the Black Cat was designed for challenge runs).

  • Mega Man ZX Advent has the unlockable "Model a". Note the lowercase a, not to be confused with the default Model A, since the "a" stands for "ancient". Model a is an 8-bit version of the main character's default mode, and has exactly two powers: a shot, the weakest attack in the game (or at least on par with the basic attack), and a slide. It also moves slowly compared to every other form in the game, including unarmored, has a low jump, can't wallslide... just there for the nostalgia.
  • The Robot Buddy duo Heavy and Bomb in Knuckles Chaotix. Since your partner is selected via crane game, there's about a 1-in-3 chance you'll pick up either one of these two. Heavy inhibits your movement by slowing and weighing you down, even when using the rubber-band speed boosts, and Bomb will explode if it gets hit, costing you all of your Rings if you get caught in the blast (and you most likely will). Playing as Heavy or Bomb, however, can turn them into Lethal Joke Characters, as they're invulnerable to enemy attacks, destroying common enemies by merely touching them. They just have a limited range of movement.
  • Super Meat Boy gives us Tofu Boy, a Take That! aimed at PETA; you play him by typing "PETAphile" at the character select screen. He can't even complete most levels due to being slow and barely able to jump.
  • Grey Ogmo in Jumper Three is slow, jumps low, has a special ability that only slows him down, and you get him very late in the game. Plus, you need to commit suicide when you actually get him. He has the highest skid-jumping in the game, but that's not going to be useful for the next two stages.
  • The various LEGO Adaptation Games pride themselves on this due to their feature of making every character who appears in each game, good or bad, available for free play. Yes this includes the useless Gonk Droid and the Penguin Minion. One notable subversion however is Mr. DNA, who is a firm Lethal Joke Character with access to almost every character ability in the game.

  • Among the many unlockable characters in Chocobo Racing, Cactuar and Jack (of The 3-D Battles of WorldRunner fame) are easily the worst. Their top speed is so atrocious (barely half of what even the slowest story characters can achieve) that winning any races is basically impossible. The S.S. Invincible of Final Fantasy III fame has the opposite problem; it's ridiculously fast but has no cornering or handling ability whatsoever, so you fly off the track constantly (ironic considering it was the slowest of the three airships in its native game).
  • Most Gran Turismo games have at least one car so ludicrously underpowered its only use is to laugh at its slowness. The first game is rather low key, with the 86 HP Mazda Demio being the weakest car, but GT2 started playing this one with the 32 HP Daihatsu Midget and the 25 HP Fiat 500R. The fourth game finally upped (downed?) the ante with the Benz Motorwagen and the Daimler Motor Carriage, the first internal combustion vehicles in history, both of them barely reaching a SINGLE horsepower!
    • Adding to that is the Ford Model T. Although it's not as underpowered as the Motorwagen and Motor Carriage, to unlock the Model T, you have to receive ALL GOLDS in the super license tests- one of which requires you to do an almost perfect lap around the Nordschleife.
    • Of course, these aren't necessarily there for the humor value. The franchise is marketed as "the ultimate driving simulator", and the target audience (especially hard-core motorheads) may appreciate the opportunity to get behind the wheel of one of the Great Old Ones (no, not those Great Old Ones!).
  • Wangan Midnight: Maximum Tune has a secret code that allows one to select the Toyota Celsior, also known as the Lexus LS 400 in North America. While the car itself isn't a joke at 250 stock horsepower, it's a luxury car and not a racing car, and its basic tuning has useless "ricer" parts and comments such as "Chrome tails confuse the enemy!"
    • WMMT2 also has a code to select the Toyota HiAce van/bus and the Corolla coupe.
    • WMMT3 has another code to select a kei car. It begins with 64 stock horsepower, and after one tuning step it, like other cars, jumps straight to 300 horsepower. In other words: adding a turbo to the car adds 236 horsepower.
  • Initial D Arcade Stage has the Toyota AE85 Levin, which is basically a crappy version of the AE86.
    • Arcade Stage 6 AA also adds a Prius, which doesn't belong in a game about drifting. AT ALL.
    • In Arcade Stage 7 AA X, the Suzuki Cappuccino, a vehicle which was previously the lightest and one of the fastest vehicles in the game (but balanced out with poor acceleration), received loads of nerfing in its speed, classifying it as a Joke Character.
    • The Honda Civic EG6 can also be considered this in the first game, where it suffers from poor acceleration after 160 km/h and understeers frequently. It was later buffed in Version 2, where it's one of the best vehicles in the rain, and later nerfed in Version 3, where it's pretty much only all that useful on Happogahara.
  • Burnout has a city bus as a vehicle. It's as long as three regular cars, in a game that is all about tight cornering and zipping nimbly through gaps in traffic.
  • Mr. EAD in the F-Zero games. Oh, yeah, he's got an A grade boost, but an E in body and a D in grip, meaning he can't keep speed, he can't take hits, and he doesn't corner very well either. All of his stats are practically nonexistent, as well. His machine, the Great Star, was designed with utter disregard to pilot safety because Mr. EAD is a robot, so it's not that big a deal, but damn is it fragile.
    • The Great Star is also a Flying Brick (Not to be confused with Superman's Super Powers) at its weight, and with that terrible Grip, it's gonna go wall ramming. Using EAD? Good luck.
    • Daigoroh's Silver Rat has one thing going for it, and that's acceleration. On the other hand, it has the lowest top speed in the game. Its boost may be A-ranked, but it lasts for such a short time that it's not any good anyway, and every one eats up a huge portion of the Silver Rat's already very small energy bar.
    • The Golden Fox in the first game. Just like the Silver Rat, it has excellent acceleration but the lowest top speed in the game. On the higher difficulties, some races are Unwinnable when using it because you literally can't catch up to the AI drivers even if you play perfectly.
  • The classic PS1 game 3Xtreme had aliens, monsters and toy cars as joke characters.
  • The Bugatti Veyron in Need for Speed: ProStreet. In real life, this is the second-fastest car in the world (253 MPH top speed) and they put it in a sim-racing game that's mainly about racing tuned Golfs and RX-7s and even GT-spec Aston Martins, Porsches and Lamborghinis. It is also only obtainable through a hack (formerly buyable DLC) in the PC version or by buying the car online for the console versions. So you put down the cash and... it handles like a freaking land barge. Due to simulated physics, you can go fast in the straights, but good luck getting the car to turn. Oh, did I mention that you can't actually tune it? And that this is a tuner game? Whoops.
    • The Veyron averts Joke Car status in Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2012) by virtue of its extreme speed and weight making it a great battering ram for taking down opponents (the boat-like handling is still there, though). Instead, this game has as its Joke Car the Ford Focus ST. In a game all about driving and crashing half-million-plus dollar exotics capable of 200+ MPH, this car is...a rather ordinary four-door hatchback. Like the ones you see on the road everyday. It only gets better when you consider that you have to earn it first by winning 5 events in Ford vehicles.
  • Carmageddon II has the unlockable vehicle "Flower Power", driven by Moon Child. It's a hippie van with tank treads in a game all about vehicular carnage. Fittingly, it's fragile, lightweight, handles poorly, is top-heavy so it tips over constantly and has a Strength rating of -1 out of 5.
  • Re-Volt has the Pest Control. Sure, it is a Semi-Pro class vehicle and has one of the highest top speeds in the game, but it has boat-like handling and grip, can get pummeled by weapons easily, and its acceleration is abysmal. In fact, if the A.I. ever is seen with this vehicle, they are usually STRUGGLING to keep up with the much faster vehicles, including some BELOW its vehicle class.
  • Hydro Thunder has a hovercraft (which is very difficult to maneuver), a military boat, a fishing boat with an outboard motor and "The Tinytanic".
  • Forza Motorsport 4 features several cars which have absolutely no reason to be in a racing game, like the Toyota Prius, Nissan Leaf, and Chevrolet Volt, Ford Pinto, and AMC Pacer. Most are incapable of being competitive even with the game's extensive customization system. On the other hand, a few become Lethal Joke Characters with careful upgrade choices, such as the Pinto becoming a Leaderboard car.
    • Forza Horizon 4 includes the Peel P50 and Trident, two three-wheel microcars that only have a measly 4 horsepower and, naturally, three wheels. While the engine can be upgraded, their tiny frames and mono-rear-wheel drivetrains make them liable to spin out and tip over if they go higher than 70 mph.
  • In Jet Moto, the Butterfinger team members all have hideously poor performance.
  • The console versions of Crash Nitro Kart have Fake Crash, who is 2/7 in top speed, acceleration, and handling. This is in contrast to the Game Boy Advance and N-Gage versions, where he has near-perfect stats, and his depiction in Crash Team Racing and Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled, where he has the same stats as Crash.

  • Ioti, the protagonist of Abomi Nation, is not normally recruitable as an actual Abomi. However, she can be recruited on the Total Chaos randomization mode... but she has 1 in every stat, making her completely useless. This would explain why she never participates in battles despite being an Abomi herself.
  • The Binding of Isaac: This is a tradition for the game's various Secret Characters, which provide difficult twists on how the game normally functions. The exception is The Forgotten, who is unique but also quite powerful.
    • ??? (Blue Baby) cannot use red hearts, the most plentiful health source, instead relying on rarer soul hearts. Any items that give permanent Heart Containers instead give plain soul hearts. This makes taking Devil Deals costly and health management in general take a lot more care. To add to that, his starting item is The Poop, which lets him poop once a room.
    • The Lost takes the above a step further - he has no hearts at all. One hit and the run is over. This makes a comical number of items literally worthless, although thankfully he can take Devil Deals for free. Completing the game as The Lost unlocks some of the best items, and Afterbirth lets you unlock the Holy Mantle as his starting item, giving him a once-per-room hit protection.
      • Repentence goes a step further by adding Tainted Lost as an alternative character. All the same problems as normal Lost, and he starts with a Holy Card instead of the Holy Mantle. To offset this, Tainted Lost has an inherent 30% damage multiplier, there's a 10% chance that any card drop is rerolled into another Holy Card, and any items that would be completely useless to him (such as HP ups, items that grant flight or spectral tears, items that have effects when the player takes damage, and active items that deal damage to the player on use) are automatically rerolled. However, many of the items that get automatically rerolled are items that would be incredibly useful but have a component that involves one of the "banned" effects, like the Holy Mantle, Pyromaniac, Psy Fly, and Dead Cat.
    • The Keeper swaps out the standard health system for coins, which can be replenished with money pickups instead of hearts. However, each coin heart is lost in one hit no matter what, he can't use soul hearts at all, and he can't gain more than his starting two. They also still count as red hearts, so he doesn't even get the side benefits the other two have with items that require you to have no red hearts. He's also slow and has triple tear shots with a long delay, making surviving harder for him. To add salt to the wound, the majority of the unlocks are only minor buffs to him instead of items - for beating the brutally hard Bullet Hell Superboss Hush, he starts with one freaking penny. The one upside to him is that once you unlock the Wooden Penny as a starting item, he can function as a decent Item Caddy.
      • Edmund McMillian has noted he designed the character to be harder than the previous "challenge characters", which is why he was woefully underpowered. Repentance gave him some significant buffs, namely giving him a small speed boost, making him pay for Devil Deals instead of sacrificing hearts, removing most health down items from his drop pool, and the aforementioned single penny now unlocking a third coin heart container.
  • Brutal Orchestra has Arnold. His character title is "the Failure," and all of his abilities are pathetically weak and have self-deprecating names which, unlike other abilities which become more flattering as the character ranks up, merely become less insulting. His gimmick is that his abilities make each other more powerful with every use, which could theoretically turn him into a Lethal Joke Character, but even setting aside the fact that taking any damage makes him lose all the buffs, this is still horribly inefficient.
  • The Goatperson monster class in Desktop Dungeons was designed to be as unfair to the player as possible. It has no positive traits, only three incredibly bad ones. They don't heal on level up, they randomly switch worship to a new god every level up and aren't allowed to convert or desecreate altars to work around this, and they require food to explore tiles, which means you are forced to kill a monster every couple of tiles in order to not die. Winning even a normal difficulty dungeon with the Goatperson isn't impossible, the odds are just very heavily stacked against you.
  • Streets of Rogue has a very literal joke character in the Comedian class. They have horrible stats and lack any starting items or traits that would compensate for it. They do however have the special ability to tell jokes to people which can shift their alignment to gain free followers... or upset them enough to become immediately hostile. It's completely random which outcome you get, so it's entirely possible for this already disadvantaged character to have a run where their only "advantage" is getting people to murder them. They can be upgraded to Lethal Joke Character status by taking a yellow trait that improves the odds of your jokes succeeding and then upgrading that trait with an augmentation booth to guarantee that every single joke is successful and thus turn the entire city into loyal allies.

    Role-Playing Game 
  • Pokémon has a few:
    • While Magikarp is usually helpful due to being able to evolve into Gyarados, Pokémon Platinum and Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 allow them to be found at Level 100, which prevents them from evolving into Gyarados and leaves the player with a useless Pokémon (unless they are transferred to Pokémon Sword and Shield, in which case they can evolve when a Rare Candy is used on them).
    • Luvdisc has a Base Stat Total of 330, the sixth-lowest in the game of any fully evolved Pokémon, and most of that is in Speed. When you're fully evolved and your only stat that's better than a Bulbasaur is Speed, something is going dreadfully wrong. The only final-stage Pokémon with lower base stats have gimmicks that make up for them - the closest thing Luvdisc has to a gimmick is that it's a comparatively easy source of rare Heart Scales, and even then, there are often other ways to obtain them. Other than that, its typing, movepool, and abilities are some of the most generic in the game. In X and Y, an NPC at a Pokémon Center will also trade a freaking Steelix for a Luvdisc. A powerful giant steel snake for a heart-shaped fish. Luvdisc got its rawest deal yet in Scarlet and Violet where Heart Scales don't even appear (and wouldn't be useful except as low-grade Shop Fodder even if they did), taking away its one gimmick and making it more or less entirely useless in that game aside from taking up a Pokédex slot.
      Generation 5 introduced Alomomola, which also happens to be a heart-shaped fish with a similar color and design. When it was first revealed, fans everywhere thought it would be an evolution for Luvdisc and it would finally be good for something. As it turned out, Alomomola had no evolutions or pre-evolutions and Luvdisc remains useless to this day.
    • Spinda, which has a similar problem, only without the decent Speed. It probably says something about Luvdisc that Spinda's attack strength is double that of Luvdisc...and still horrible. Spinda's primary purpose in the game is similar to the below Unown's, although it's not nearly as well known: each and every Spinda has a unique pattern of spots. (Well, okay, technically there are only 4,294,967,296 different Spinda spot patterns.) One new Ability in Black and White, Contrary, reverses stat changes for the Pokémon, and Spinda is one of the few to have this Ability. Doesn't really put it in Lethal Joke Character status, as it doesn't really have any good moves to use it with...but at least it has Skill Swap, which lets it gain a niche in doubles granting this ability to stronger Pokémon (most frequently Arcanine).
    • Chimecho, who was a massive Guide Dang It! to find when it was first introduced in Ruby and Sapphire. It has a 2% chance of appearing at the summit of Mt. Pyre, a story location well off the beaten path that you aren't likely to go back to, in a patch of grass you have to be actively looking for. You'd think it's some great rare Pokémon, or at least has some Magikarp Power, right? Nope. Its only decent stat is Special Attack, and that's not enough to redeem its limited movepool and bland typing. Compounding this is the existence of Gardevoir, Alakazam, and Grumpig, three much better Psychic types whose pre-evolutions are available much earlier, and are much easier to find. The only attention it got in later games was a "baby" pre-evolution, Chingling, which lets it be found much earlier but still doesn't make it any stronger.
    • Unown, whose only learned move, Hidden Power, is of unknown type, determined by an intricate number manipulation involving values to which you normally wouldn't have access. And it comes in 28 different flavors! Collectors can seek out all 28 forms (about all they're good for), but they probably won't be used for battle. And lest you make the mistake of believing that Unown is potentially worth using for that move (the move's main use is obtaining odd move types on a mon that could not otherwise learn, and even then it is so much of a pain to set up that it only gets used in simulators where it can be picked from a menu instead of excessive inbreeding), every Pokémon in the game capable of using TMs can learn it too, and the only Pokémon aside from weak species like Magikarp that can't use TMs are gimmicky things (like Unown) anyway. Not to mention that Unown isn't the only Pokémon that can learn it without a TM. Shellos and Gastrodon can do that as well, the difference being that it isn't the only move they can learn. If you were to catch an Unown that gets a Psychic-type Hidden Power (for STAB), optimum IVs and EVs to power it up, and a held item to increase it would still suck. For some extra salt in that wound, they also suffer from some serious Gameplay and Story Segregation regarding their power levels; in battles they're useless, but outside of battles they're shown to be able to change reality itself, even assisting Arceus in creating a new version of Dialga, Palkia, or Giratina in one event.
    • Farfetch'd, which has exactly two things going for it: a personal item that greatly increases its chance of getting a critical hit, and the fact that it looks cool. The personal item really doesn't matter, considering its stats are so bad that it will still be a weak hit even with a critical, and that's if it can survive long enough to hit anything. In the original Red and Blue versions, you can only get Farfetch'd by trading with an in-game character for it. As fans of the series know, a Pokémon obtained via trade cannot have its nickname changed. For this reason, until the release of Yellow, no one in the entire country owned a Farfetch'd that didn't have the inane nickname "DUX".
      As of the sixth generation, Farfetch'd's Stick (the personal item mentioned above) has been vastly buffed, now giving Farfetch'd a whopping 50% chance of a critical hit. There are moves that have twice the normal critical hit rate, and Farfetch'd gets four of these of different typings; combine the two and this means every hit with Farfetch'd will be a critical, making it into a Lethal Joke Character if you can get around the fact that its stats are still awful. (Although, seeing as you can get it right before the first Gym - which is Bug-themed - and it knows Aerial Ace - it might be very useful right there.)
      Pokémon Sword and Shield finally gives Farfetch'd a long-awaited evolution in Sirfetch'd, but it's technically only the evolution of its regional variant Galarian Farfetch'd, meaning base Farfetch'd is still stuck as a gimmick character.
    • Delibird seems to be an experiment by Game Freak to create the worst Pokémon of all time. Its Ice/Flying type leaves it with only two resistances and one immunity, compared to four weaknesses (including a 4X weakness to Rock). Its base stat total is the same as Luvdisc. It only learns a single move by leveling up (and it's a terrible move with low accuracy and variable damage, with a chance to heal the opponent). This means that it has to rely on TM, move tutor, and egg moves alone. It barely learns any special moves outside of Ice type, meaning it has to rely on its inferior physical attack. Abilities? It gets one that lowers accuracy to get a boost in attack, and two abilities that prevent sleep. Which means it can't heal up with Rest (but why would you when your defenses and HP are only 45?). Not to mention it's also a bitch to catch (although the only people who would want to are those trying to complete the Pokédex) in Generation II because it has a 50/50 chance of fleeing every turn and rarely appears in one cave. The one saving grace it has is that it can learn Aerial Ace (combined with Hustle, it's boosted without the chance of missing). In Generation VII, it gains the ability to learn Drill Peck via level-up, possibly in an attempt to make it slightly more useful. It's like Game Freak regrets adding this guy to the game or something...
    • Nearly every Joke Character in Pokémon has some sort of strange gimmick. Chatot interacts with the DS microphone with its move Chatter by copying anything the player says (or at least used to, that feature was dropped since Gen VI in exchange for a much deserved buff), Smeargle can learn any move in the game through Sketch, Plusle and Minun have an interaction in double battles, etc. Sometimes a gimmick allows one of these to be a Lethal Joke Character; most of the time, they are stuck being the Low-Tier Letdown.
    • Delcatty has one thing going for it: the ability to paralyze Ground-types using Thunder Wave, and that's where any use it has ends. Other than that, it has dreadful stats (with Speed being the only one above 70, and that's after it got a Balance Buff), a less-than-desirable movepool, and an ability that turns all of its move into Normal-type moves, rendering it utterly useless against Ghost-types.
    • In a case of a specific incarnation of a Pokemon being one of these, there's the Plusle you get from Duking in Pokémon Colosseum. Normally, Plusle is a Quirky Bard, requiring to pair up with Minun in order to reach its full potential, but outside of that, is a Fragile Speedster. In Colosseum, however, not only is Minun not available in the game itself (the only way you can get one being through trading from one of the Gen III games, which is locked until you beat the main game), but the Plusle's stats are horrendous, and on top of that, right outside of the building Duking gives you him is a trainer with a Shadow Flaaffy, which has much better stats.
    • While the Pikachu-colored event Pichu obtainable in HeartGold and SoulSilver can evolve if you remove its Everstone, allowing you to give its powerful Volt Tackle to Pikachu or Raichu, the Spiky-eared Pichu you can meet by bringing the former to Ilex Forest has no such luck. It can't be traded or even evolve (explained as time-travel shenanigans by Professor Elm), so despite its unique moves and appearance, it's stuck with Pichu's awful base stats for the entire game. It may look cute, but that's about all it can do.
    • In the first generation, Ditto was considered literally useless, as it took a full turn to use Transform (its only move). As it had horrible stats all-around, it was very likely that it would die before it even got a move off, and once it had, you were basically now a copy of your opponent but with terrible HP (between Ditto's own terrible HP and no doubt taking a hit already). A solo run with Ditto was considered effectively impossible. On top of that, Mew received Transform as well, so Ditto wasn't even unique in that niche. The second generation made it Not Completely Useless by giving it odd breeding properties, and the fifth buffed it into a Lethal Joke Character by giving it the Imposter ability (which makes Ditto transform immediately upon entering battle instead of having to waste a turn using Transform and praying that it doesn't immediately get KO'd).
  • Power Quest has BOROT, a character who not only lacks any special attacks but is incapable of performing basic maneuvers like blocking, jumping and crouching.
  • Edward from Final Fantasy IV has pitiful stats in everything except speed; then again, one of his character abilities is to run and hide. The DS remake improves him to the point where he's legitimately as useful as characters like Rosa and Yang.
    • And in the sequel, with the right equipment and some leveling, he'll be your fastest character, hitting as hard as your tanks (or harder) from the back row, and able to heal the whole party almost instantly to full health (his HP and defense still stink, though). And with a little luck, Bardsong can either buff your whole party or debuff the enemies, all for 0 MP with no charge time. His secretary Harley, on the other hand, takes over the joke character slack that Edward left behind.
    • The GBA version lacks the inherent usefulness of Bardsong that the DS remake has...but late game, where you can pick Edward up again, his stats explode rapidly, to where he'll be one of your fastest characters and one-shotting most Dragon-type enemies you'll encounter.
  • Granblue Fantasy has Ludmila, who's charge attack is based on whatever animation the game decides to play. Only two of its five possible outcomes will actually do anything beneficial for the player.
  • Star Ocean: Till the End of Time had Adray Lasbard and Mirage Koas - again, both powerful characters who were nonetheless clearly identifiable as bonus characters added to the original release; they came so late and at such a low level they were a lot of trouble to bother leveling up. This was enhanced by the fact that both of them were slightly stat-fiddled versions of previously existing characters (Sophia and Cliff, respectively) who were just as good or better and were gotten early in the game.
  • Depending on which version of Robopon 2 you have, most battery combinations will yield either a Gear or a Bulbot. Both of these monsters are worthless because they have weak stats, and unlike Magikarp and Feebas, they don't get any better at all.
  • Every monster from the Monster Rancher series has a joke sub-species.
  • EarthBound (1994) has several joke characters that join the party for brief periods, most notably Picky and Pokey in the very beginning, who basically do nothing but waste time during battle with dopey moves that do nothing (though Picky at least tries to help, which is more than what could be said for Pokey).
  • Salsa from Mother 3. He has atrocious attacking power, low defense, and very mediocre abilities, with only one having any real use. He's also the character you control for the entirety of chapter 3, though you thankfully have more competent characters backing you up whenever you need to battle.
  • Halcyon 6 gives you Bucky Rogers the Super Soldier. His primary distinction is the fact he cannot pilot any ship except for the weak and useless Shuttle. He does have a decent selection of ground-based powers, but then again your regular officers will gain those as they progress (and since most of an officer's experience is gained via space combat, Bucky will be outleveled by anyone unless you grind him intensely with station tasks or the starbase gets invaded often enough to give him more chances to gain Experience from ground combat).
  • Fallout 2 has the companions Davin and Miria. A brother and a sister, they're recruited automatically in a Shotgun Wedding if the player sleeps with one of them. They have bottom-level stats, can't be given orders, and don't level up. Pretty much the only way they'll survive the events of the game is either divorcing them or selling them into slavery.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • Dragon Quest III: Jesters like to waste turns telling jokes and fooling around instead of doing whatever you actually told them to, and the chances of them goofing off rises along with their level. There are times when their antics actually result in something useful, though. They count more as Magikarp Power, however, as upon reaching level 20, they can class change to the Sage without needing a certain item.
    • Dragon Quest IV: Torneko. Once you have the full party, he becomes more useful for what he can do outside your party (appraisal and treasure finding) rather than in combat. In Chapter 5, he begins doing random goofing-off much like the Jesters of Dragon Quest III. Unlike the Jesters, however, Torneko's goofing-off nearly always results in something beneficial. However, he may occasionally stare off into space or scare off metal slime types.
  • Kenshi:
    • Beep's a Hive Worker Drone who was kicked out of his Hive for being "annoying". He has 1 or even negatives in all of his stats (in a game where stats cap at 100 apiece), and as a Hive Worker Drone he has 75% as much durability as other races in each of his limbs, including his head, chest, and stomach. Oh and he wants to be the World's Strongest Man and has a Brave personality, meaning he will aggro into any enemy he sees. And likely cause his limbs to go flying off in the process.
    • Exaggerated with the Error Code 0xFFFFFFF units. They're a squad of 25-30 Soldier Bots who instantly ally with you the second they see you. The catch? They wear no armor, they're armed with the non-lethal-focused Jite, and they attack anything they see. Your enemies, your allies, or even neutral parties. And as Soldier Bots they have huge detection range. Plus, since they ally with you instead of joining your party, you have no ability to give them commands, change their gear, move them through allied/neutral territory, or otherwise make them more useful without exploiting the pick-up mechanics
  • The Persona series gives us Decarabia, who, in the fourth and fifth games is weak to physical attacks, meaning any enemy can knock you down for extra turns if you use it. While it can be fused to resist or nullify physical attacks, its other attributes aren't anything to write home about (aside from having the very useful Tetrakarn skill), so it'll probably end up being fusion fodder for other, better Personas.
    • The main Shin Megami Tensei series also has more than its fair share of Joke Demons, most of them appearing early in the game. For example, the Slime in Shin Megami Tensei IV is weak to everything except Gun and Dark attacks, including basic physical attacks.
    • Persona Q has Teddie. In his home game he had a good spread of offensive, healing, and support skills, but in Q he only learns Ice skills and single-target revival skills while having terrible stats in all but Luck (including the worst Speed in the game). Luck is admittedly a good stat in Q, but Naoto and Ken have equal or better Luck and have better skills and stats elsewhere. And while his Signature Move has the useful benefit of fully healing the target while removing all of their status ailments, like Recarm and Samarecarm, it is single-target only (and inferior to Orpheous Telos's Healing Harp, made better by the fact that this Persona is free DLC).
  • In every Geneforge game, there is a hidden, usually hard to reach canister that teaches the player to create an Ornk.note  It has by far the lowest movement speed in the game, which makes it not just slow to catch up with the player out of combat, but also able to move a much shorter distance in combat than any other creation can with the same AP count. Not one of its stats is even decent, sporting some of the lowest health, attack and defense of any creation. You would need to pour countless extra essence points into it to give it a fighting chance, and even then, you'll end up with an only mildly strong creation that can still barely move a few feet before its turn ends.
  • Most FromSoftware games that allow character customization have at least one option that is designed for challenge runs. The name depends on the game (in Bloodborne, it's the "Waste of Skin"; in Dark Souls III, it's the "Deprived"), but the basic elements are the same - it starts with pathetic stats, no armor, and the weakest available weapon. The challenge option's one saving grace is its lower level, allowing it to gain a few levels cheaper than the other options... and even this is a joke, because its stats are so weak that you'll use up those "free" levels catching up to the other choices, and it starts with a lower amount of the game's currency, meaning you'll have to work just to get to where everyone else starts.
  • LISA the Painful has Fardy Hernandez, who joins your party after you save him from the Men's Hair Club. His stats are pitiful and all of his moves are Powerful, but Inaccurate attacks with heavy emphasis on the "inaccurate". Before you gain access to the truck, all Fardy can do is use the move "Weep", which restores SP but inflicts him with the "crying" debuff. Notably, you gain him right before two sections where it's possible to permanently lose party members, with the game nudging you subtly to kill him off so as to not lose any valuable members.

    Shoot 'em Up 
  • Touhou Project:
    • Merlin Prismriver in Touhou Kaeidzuka ~ Phantasmagoria of Flower View. Horrible stats, the worst scope in the game, slanted shots that only make it difficult to hit things, and her only half decent attack is the one you can't control. The good news is that she doesn't have a storyline, so she's mostly there as a handicap for experienced players.
    • Sakuya may have been a Game-Breaker in Touhou Youyoumu ~ Perfect Cherry Blossom, but the nerf she got for Touhou Eiyashou ~ Imperishable Night is ridiculously excessive. Very weak firepower even at maximum, encouraging the player to get close to the bosses in a bullet hell just to deal decent damage - and even then, only Alice and Reimu have less firepower.note  Her focused speed is the fastest in the game and her unfocused speed is the slowest, when the ideal is the reverse. Her only redeeming quality is her ability to cover a wide area... except that Yuyuko can do the exact same thing without any of the above drawbacks. And unless you're playing extra, Yuyuko gets more bombs than Sakuya, just to rub it in further.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Battletech allows players to build their own 'mechs, giving you a near infinite leeway to build your very own joke 'mechs. Still, there are also a few stock 'mechs that go beyond the simply 'subpar'.
    • The 30-tonne Urbanmech is the most well-known example of this trope in the fandom, even if it technically is more of a Situational Sword than outright worthless. It is a light 'mech that inverts the classic role of a light 'mech, being extremely slow and (relatively) well-armoured and armed for its weight. Sadly, its complete lack of speed, subpar usage of its available space and weapon selection makes it practically worthless outside of Urban Warfare. At least the Urbanmech has the advantage of being fairly cheap Battle Value-wise.
    • The 80-tonne Charger is described In-Universe as "an abject failure of 'mech design" and it's not hard to see why. A foil to the aforementioned Urbanmech, the Charger is an assault 'mech that uses two thirds of its weight to mount an oversized engine and the rest on armour, giving it impressive ground speed and armour but an armament of five small lasers (the smallest, weakest weapon in the game). The Charger is little more than an oversized paperweight, and completely worthless outside of melee combat.
  • In Bleak World you have the Werefish. It has all the weaknesses of a standard frog, and none of the advantages. To date, their weaknesses include: Not being able to change into human form, not being able to breathe underwater, having to spend 12 hours a day in water, and only being able to mate with human women. Their available skills? Strength, Magic, and Poison.
  • The tabletop fantasy football game Blood Bowl (and its PC adaptation) has several, all sitting at the bottom of the tier lists and being a Butt-Monkey in the game's Flavour Text:
    • Halflings are certainly treated as the worst team ever in the game's fluff and are one of the worst teams in gameplay. About every halfling game mentioned in the rulebook involves downright slaughter of the entire halfling team, and one particularly famous incident had a halfling team failing to win a match against an opponent who didn't show up. Halflings are so bad, they can't even win by default. The PC adaptation treats merely managing to coach a team of halflings through a game without every single one of them being killed as a feat of coaching excellence on par with, if not exceeding, leading a more conventional team to victory.
    • Goblin teams are treated almost equally badly. Not only are they a complete gimmick team that tends to hurt themselves as much as they hurt the other team, in the fluff the main consensus of the Blood Bowl community is that they're only allowed to play because the alternative (leaving the goblin teams, coaches and supporters with nothing better to do) would probably be worse for society at a whole.
    • Previous editions of the game had the snotling teams. Snotlings have strength 1 (the lowest possible by the game's rules) and armour 5 (not the lowest possible, but the lowest default on any player in the game), will die if another player so much as looks at them funny, and are treated lorewise as the ones even goblins look down on. Their advantage was that snotlings cost 10,000 gold each and each snotling only took half a player slot, allowing you to field 22 snotlings at any time. In the current edition snotlings have teamed up with the ogres for a team, ogre teams themselves being a (borderline) example of this trope that can barely outplay halflings and goblins and being mostly famed for having two players who weren't complete garbage (Bob and Morg'n'Thorg).
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • It's a common meme among players that no matter how silly or ridiculous you make your character, there is always the chance that they will end up in some deeply tragic or epic situation while still having the most ridiculous name and design possible. The party may laugh at Dildo Baggins, the halfling rogue who wears a clown outfit at all times, but just wait until Dildo heroically sacrifices himself to save the world from the Lich-Queen, dying in the arms of his lover as his closest friends are gathered around him.
    • The Temple of Elemental Evil features three joke characters, Ted, Ed and Ed. They are hopelessly weak, being first level in the 'final' area and having 3 Hit Points between them.
    • From Dragonlance, practically any gully dwarf character. Gully dwarves are the half-breed children of dwarves and gnomes, missing everything that makes dwarves cool. Gully dwarves have no land of their own and often live in refuse heaps, sewers and backalleys in the more run-down cities of other races, and most of them are so stupid that they can barely count to two (some can count to three; these tend to be the shamans and leaders among the gully dwarves, though these individuals are still stupid enough to be often found licking ale off the tavern floors). Stupid, cowardly, hideous, obnoxious and generally unpleasant to be around, it's quite baffling why anyone would want to roll a gully dwarf unless they clearly just wanted a laugh at the game.
    • 3.x has its NPC classes - adept, aristocrat, commoner, expert, and warrior. As the name suggests, they aren't meant for player use and are instead meant to represent noncombatants, apprentices, Mooks, or just anyone without real adventuring training. They lack any class features (aside from the adept, which has a weak spell list and a familiar) and only have their base attack, HD, and skill progression to go on, and even those are usually subpar. It's still possible to play one, but anyone doing so is either doing so for weird roleplay purposes or Cherry Tapping. The weakest of the bunch is the commoner, which has the worst possible numbers in HD, skills, base attack, and saves, and no unique abilities to back it up (unless your DM lets April Fools material fly at the table).
    • 5th edition has the Wild Magic subclass of Sorcerers. While it gets some slight benefits, its main gimmick is having a chance of rolling on a d100 table any time it casts a spell, most of the table's results being increasingly bizarre effects such as turning yourself into a potted plant, ageing forward or backward 10 years, poisoning everyone around you, summoning a group of Flumphs that are afraid of you or growing "a long beard made of feathers that remains until you sneeze, at which point the feathers explode out from your face". Oh, and the DM has the option to make you roll on this table whenever they want. Probably not meant for serious play, but great for comedy.
  • In the Games Workshop Middle-Earth strategy game, this role falls to Sharkey's Rogues. They have some of the worst stats of any infantry in the game, terrible morale, and really lackluster options in general; their only advantage is being cheap, and other factions can pull off a Zerg Rush far better. Sharkey himself is rather far gone from his glory days, and is on par with generic orc shamans as a caster—and he comes as a package deal with Worm, who is a terrible fighter and has a sizeable chance of turning on Sharkey and backstabbing him if Sharkey is wounded. It being Impossible Allies with all other evil factions also means that it's unusually difficult to shore up on its weak points. Considering that the army was routed in its only known engagement by an impromptu muster of hobbits, this is all pretty clearly intentional.
  • In Pathfinder, one Alchemist archetype, Blazing Torchbearer, trades three very useful class features (crafting potions, using poisons, and one Discovery) for the incredible ability to... make torches last forever (where the loosest of change would buy you a supply to last the entire game), increase the lighting radius of torches (at a level where you'll have better light sources anyway), produce a flash which turns everyone around him blind (including the one who produced the flash in the first place) once per day, and make melee attacks which inflict less damage than he would do with a bomb — which as an alchemist he has a large supply of and can use them at range. The manual does specify that this archetype is meant for torchbearing Non-Player Characters, who don't even see much combat to begin with.
  • In the Vampire: The Requiem Sourcebook Bloodlines: The Legendary, there is a Mekhet bloodline called the Players. They're essentially one giant Take That! at vampire groupies - their origins lie with a vampire who was obsessed with Hollywood. Their weakness is monstrously crippling - it's much easier for them to get dramatic failures on mental-based Disciplines (of which all but four qualify), and if they do, the target is permanently immune. On top of that, their Viniculums, eternal blood slave bonds, last a ridiculously short time. They're such jokes, in fact, that other vampires are mildly scared of them - something that weak and laughable could not be an accident...
  • The Warhammer franchise has the Chaos Spawn; humans that devolved into beasts which are used as cannon fodder or kept as pets. Due to being insane, they move randomly, wandering around the map at various (mostly slow) speeds until they hopefully stumble into enemy units... and on top of that, they have a high point cost, lowish stats, and aren't particularly good in melee, so even if they do manage to engage the opponent, they usually suck against them. Indeed, it was calculated that the only unit a Chaos Spawn could make up its point cost against through melee combat are Fire Warriors, and even then, not always. They did get a major buff in the 6th edition of 40K, making them a Lethal Joke Character.

    Turn-Based Strategy 
  • Broderbund's Ancient Art of War series always features one of these as a potential opponent. Crazy Ivan, Thor Foote and Helmut Von Spike are all portrayed as buffoons — and offer minimal (if any) challenge. In fact all of them react with disbelief if you offer to surrender.
  • The Disgaea series' Majin class has been utterly destroyed from its second installment upwards. In Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice, the Majin is unlocked post-game with poor stat-aptitudes across the board and growth to match. All of its Evilities are designed to hamper it in some way sans its final Evility "Violence,"which gives it a bit of a the cost of another handicap. Having incredible base stats doesn't matter when it can't even grow very far.
    • Its Gender Flip variant in Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten, the Android, has the same horrible stats and same horrible Evilities. It says something that the fifth installment did not make an elite class in this vein going forward.
  • The original Shining Force (a TBS game where you control a dozen fighters out of a pool of 30 or so) has a number of characters that can be found or missed during your travels. One is a character called Jogurt the Yogurt. Jogurt is a hamster with a helmet. He only talks about his helmet. Jogurt has 1 hit point, his attacks do 1 damage each, and he has a magic ring that turns adjacent allies into hamsters like him - and then breaks, every time. If, somehow, you have Jogurt kill enough enemy units to level him up, he remains at level 1 and gains no stats or abilities. Jogurt can also be promoted right away - again, with no increase in stats.
    • Penn from Shining Force III is a secret character that requires the player to spend the whole game doing stupid things with chickens and eggs until you can finally get him. However he starts at level one, can barely do scratch damage to the enemies you're currently facing and will die in one hit. Did I mention he also doesn't speak? He just repeats his name, so you won't even get any cool backstory or conversation out of this. It is possible to level grind him if you baby sit him in a training area but it isn't really worth the effort.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem features Samto/Samuel, a Mercenary who is stated to be impersonating the more famous swordsman Navarre. He has downright pathetic stats and growths, especially next to the other Mercenary at that point, Ogma, and is even more outclassed when the real Navarre joins in the next chapter; his only good growth is Speed, and he compensates by being really slow at base for a character in a Fragile Speedster class. The game's design does allow him to potentially catch up to the rest of the army, though.
    • Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War has Arden, who seems to be a bit of Self-Deprecation on the series's historical issues with Mighty Glacier units. In a game where you can't carry allies and featuring the largest maps in the franchise, Arden, the only playable Armor unit, tends to struggle with just keeping up with his allies, much less getting to fight anything. As a result, about half his dialogue is just him grumbling about how slow he is and how he could definitely pull his weight if they wouldn't all run ahead of him. He does obtain the power of Pursuit, but most players just give the ring to someone else.
    • Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 has Shannam (not to be confused with Shannan), who is loosely based on the above Samto as a guy impersonating an actually skilled warrior. He has completely horrible stats, and he accidentally teaches Mareeta how to use Astra... which is a skill that he doesn't even have in the first place. He does, however, come equipped with the Bargain skill, allowing him to purchase items at half price in the very few shops remaining in the game.
    • While Ross, Amelia, and Ewan, the "trainee" units in Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, are intended to be Magikarp Power, playing through the game after having beaten it once lets you access another possible promotion path for them, informally named the "Super Trainee." While this class does have some tertiary bonuses (a crit boost for Ross and Amelia, being able to use all three offensive magic types for Ewan), it doesn't upgrade their terrible Constitution at all, and its stat gains are no better (if not worse) than the "real" classes they should promote into. It's especially useless on Ross, who can gain a crit bonus through an actual good class, and uses extremely heavy axes that makes him want to leave his terrible base Constitution as early as possible. Funniest of all, the "Super Trainee" keeps the animations of the original class, meaning you can train them up fully and see them clumsily flailing around and struggling to lift their weapons even while taking down giant monsters.
    • Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn has Oliver, a boss from the previous game who was somehow Not Quite Dead and does a Heel–Face Turn note  so inexplicable Ike outright lampshades it. He's got pretty bad stats, but he has a unique (fat) combat model, a unique theme that plays every time he attacks and unique dialogue with each of the end-game bosses, most of which are simply going "what the hell, Oliver, what are you even doing here?"
    • When you lose so many of your units that you don't have enough to fill up the queue in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon, the game generates a batch of them to fit the void. They all lack portraits and any kind of conversation, and have generic class bases and growths, making them essentially just fodder mooks that you can incidentally control. Even their names are pulled from a list, and most of those names are just numbers. Nailing it home further, the North American release added names like Wymp, Auffle, and Lucer to the pool.
    • Fire Emblem Heroes introduced Merlinus from Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade to the roster of playable characters. He has high HP and decent Speed, but the rest of his stats are low to mediocre, including 20 Attack, the lowest in the game. As such, Merlinus struggles to deal meaningful damage even with heavy offensive investment. His saving grace is that he comes with four valuable skills to inherit to other units: Smoke Dagger+, Reposition, Wings of Mercy, and Distant Guard.
  • Spiritual Successor TearRing Saga has Maerchen. His statline would be okay at best for a level 1 unit with above-average growths... and he joins at level 15 with some of the worst growths in the game and no promotion. His only selling point aside from being a spare thief is his Mug skill, which lets him steal the equipment of enemies he defeats... at the cost of lowering the hit and avoid rates of everyone around him by 50%. Apparently, this is because even his own allies hate his guts.
  • Early Super Robot Wars games tend to put some of the early Super Robot support units in this category, such as Boss Borot, Aphrodite A and Getter-Q, mostly because they'd either be around for one stage, just be re/re units (basically healers and re-suppliers), be completely pathetic stat-wise or all three. As Banpresto started to move away from this, the units got better - Boss Borot, for instance, took many levels in badass throughout the Game Boy Advance era of games - Super Robot Wars Advance gives Boss the Borot Pressure Punch, which gives him a ranged attack. With each succeeding game, he gets it earlier and earlier. Then came Super Robot Wars Judgment which shifts him to his Mazinkaiser counterpart and makes him so much better.
  • Heroes of Might and Magic: Peasants in the first three games have the lowest stats possible in all categories and absolutely no special abilities. The third game in particular rolls with their loser status, with the manual stating that "To know a peasant is to dread knowing a peasant" and their idle animation has them literally Face Palm. The manual even goes on to advise you to never recruit peasants, unless you're playing as Necropolis and have a Skeleton Transformer built.
  • Jagged Alliance:
    • The first game features Unusually Ruthless Reuben, who has terrible stats and terrible starting equipmentnote , with his only redeeming factor being an insanely low daily cost. Given that the game limits you to 8 mercenaries at a time, he only exists to be laughed at, or to send into an ambush to be killed.
    • The second game has several joke characters. The mercenaries you can hire through AIM are all varying degrees of helpful in some way or another, but the mercenaries offered through MERC are by and large hot garbage: Biff, the so-called star of the line up, has stats well below acceptable and a low wisdom score, meaning that his stats take longer to increase. He also might randomly quit if he kills someone, and panics very easily. The other mercenaries are no better, with Flo and Gumpy the only potentially useful offerings because of their very high wisdom stats, which mean they can improve quickly, but still require a lot of investment before they are anywhere close to par.
  • The joke Civilization Game Mod BalanceGoldPrime++ is known for making just about every civilization Purposefully Overpowered by multiplying all their traits by 10 - meaning that, for instance, America now sees halfway across the map and gets money back for buying tiles, and the Zulus now instantly promote their units to the maximum level. And then there's India, whose trait was decreased unhappiness for city population... and increased unhappiness for number of cities. Because of this, India's single starting city generates enough misery to put the population in revolt. Sure, they now gain happiness for higher population, but as one of the downsides of low happiness is decreased population growth, and since all your neighbors are now basically gods, you're not exactly likely to get there.
  • Advance Wars 2 and Dual Strike have Flak and Jugger, both of whom are regarded as Dumb Muscle Starter Villains in their debut games. In the game, one statistic is "dispersion" - basically, whenever you attack, your attacks do a random, very small amount of damage greater than the predicted amount (maxing at 10% more). Flak and Jugger both have a much higher dispersion, meaning that their attacks have a chance to deal much greater damage... or much less damage. And their CO Powers just make that spread even bigger; sure, you can take down a tank with an infantry, but you can also attack an infantry with a tank and lose the tank. Playing with Flak and Jugger is basically a catastrophic failure waiting to happen. And on top of that, Nell, an unlockable CO, has the exact same ability, only in exchange for having a lower spread than either, she never does less damage than predicted, meaning she basically does the same thing but better.
  • The Battletech video game features the Cicada CDA-2A, a medium 'mech with a ridiculously oversized engine. It is capable of outrunning everything in the game short of a Locust, but the sheer weight of the engine leaves it with a mighty six tonnes of weight available for everything else. The Cicada is physically incapable of maxing out its armour capacity or to mount the full amount of weapons that it has hardpoints for, nevermind getting even a decent amount of either... Especially given that one of its hardpoints is a ballistic hardpoint, with the lightest ballistic weapon weighing exactly six tonnes without ammunition. To add insult to injury it cannot even use its great speed to work as an evasion tank or a melee combatant, as its medium chassis and lack of arms means it's outdodged and outgunned by even the Spider, a 15-ton lighter 'mech.

    Wrestling Games 
  • WWE Video Games have a history of joke wrestlers like Jim Ross, Mike Chioda, Lillian Garcia, Michael Cole, Jonathan Coachman, Fred Durst and Al Snow's mannequin head.
    • The legendary No Mercy made the added characters like Linda McMahon repositories for all of the moves that didn't get assigned to regular characters. This turns Linda into an MMA powerhouse, and her daughter Stephanie has the legendary Tiger Driver '91 as her finishing move because no one else was using it.
    • No Mercy does have some joke moves however. One of the specials is a move where the target hits the user, who falls over and pleads for mercy, and then sucker-punches the target in the gutnote . The move takes long enough to run out the special meter in all likelihood, and is ranked "G" for power (the lowest for any move, special or not).
    • In WWE: SmackDown vs. Raw 2006, Jimmy Hart has all of Rhyno's moves, but none of his strength.
    • In WWE: SmackDown vs. Raw 2011, winning every challenge match in every Road to Wrestlemania route unlocks a hooded man called a Druid (seen during a Mind Screw battle royal segment in the "Vs. Undertaker" route). In a game where every wrestler has about 80 average, the Druid has only 55.
  • Virgil in Season 1 of WWE Supercard. He only appears in the common tier, and is wildly overmatched against almost any card within his tier, much less everywhere else.

    Other Video Games and Media 
  • Evolve Idle has two, both of which are the focus of challenges:
    • The first is the Valdi, who star in the "Genetic Dead End" scenario. Referred to as "genetic rejects" by the game themselves, they have a litany of negative traits which severely impact gameplay, on top of all four challenge genes being enabled. Reaching Mutually Assured Destruction nets you an achievement named "Euthanasia", whose description reads "Put the Valdi out of their misery" and whose flavour text states "Darwin would approve". Their sole saving grace is that they can remove their many negative traits once they gain access to Genetics.
    • The Sludge, who star in the "Failed Experiment" challenge, have it even worse. In addition to having every single negative trait in the game, they have a unique Major Trait named Ooze, which weakens the effect of Mastery and Theology bonuses alongside inflicting a penalty to workers. They are also incapable of using the MAD reset, and can only remove only one of their many negative traits via Genetics (said removal costs 10x as many Genes as normal, and cannot remove Ooze)
  • Smashy Road: Wanted takes this to subvert Power Equals Rarity. Four out of the first five epic cars are completely horrible to use, such as Drag Racer, who is fragile and has mediocre control, Hovercraft, who has slippery turning and can't float on water like it should on real life, Dr. Drift, who always drifts every turn, making turning very hard, and Alien, a UFO who turns too fast and slows down while doing it. The 4X4 is the only one out of the five to actually be decent, with its only real weakness being that it's a large target.
    • An update added in Stealth Drag, who is basically another Drag Racer, Rocket, who is basically a faster Drag Racer, and Power Tractor, who has a very slow turn.
  • The Thing-Thing crossover Moron Marathon has the Meat character. After trying to move by mashing the two keys, it turns over and the game ends with a quote stating "What did you expect...It's meat."
  • The Sixty Whiners from Mutant League Football are the weakest team in the game. They're composed entirely of fragile skeletons with piss-poor skills and mediocre audibles.
  • Mutant League Hockey teams are rated on a scale of 0-5 Skulls, and the Mighty Weenies are the only team rated 0. Most teams' reserve players (fourth-stringers who can only enter the game when everyone ahead of them on the depth chart is dead) are better than the Weenies' starters. There's also the one-skull teams, the Shrimps and the Derangers.
  • The "'88 Ice-Cream Van" from Destroy More Cars. It's slow, it tends to backflip off of jumps and land on its roof, and on top of all that, it plays an incredibly discordant jingle, which glitches and fails when it crashes.
  • Several in the Tony Hawk series, though the most obvious and fitting is Benjamin Franklin (the Benjamin Franklin) in THUG 2, who has the lowest stats out of any playable character. There's also Paulie "Wheels of Fury" Ryan (a ten year old boy in a body cast and wheelchair), Jason "Wee Man" Acuna (a little person best known for being a cast member on Jackassnote ), Jesse James (of Monster Garage, riding on his souped-up segway), a cowardly Spanish Matador, an Australian Aborigine in a go-kart, Bigfoot, a Cajun voodoo priest on a rocket powered tricycle...
  • The boxing game Knockout Kings has a history of joke characters like rappers Jermaine Dupri and Q-Tip, shoe designer Marc Ecko, comedian Marlon Wayans, basketball player Tim Duncan, referee Mills Lane, a baby, a clown, a bulldog, and a bear.
  • Don't Starve has Wes the Mime. Wes cannot examine anything verbally (being a mime, of course), has 75% the base stats of the other characters (excluding Wolfgang) in every category, and his hunger meter drains slightly faster than everyone else's. According to Word of God, Wes's sole purpose in the game is to challenge players who find the core game too easy.
  • Jeff from Maniac Mansion. He's a surfer dude who, like the main hero Dave, he has no way of getting past Purple Tentacle at the endgame. His only special skill is to fix the phone, which can also be done by the much more useful Bernard. (A poster included in the box seems to imply he gets clairvoyant flashes when he sustains an electric shock, which may have given him some wider use, but this was never implemented in any version of the game.)
  • Jorge Garcia of the Backyard Sports series, who always has below average stats in the first few games. A few years after they increased his stats to make him less of a Joke Character, but he still ends up as one of the worst.
  • Mafuyu in Student Council's Discretion compares herself to one of these in an attempt to explain how she doesn't really stand out. Yeah, it's that kind of show.
  • Gundam Assault Survive has the Zudah; if you boost while your boost meter is empty, you take damage, leading to many deaths. This reflects the Zudah's depiction in Gundam IGLOO, where its powerful but highly unstable engine lead to several test units suffering from Explosive Overclocking.
  • The Gundam franchise as a whole has the Acguy, an amphibious assault unit that unfortunately happens to look like a giant teddy bear. It's quite beloved among franchise fans, despite being a silly-looking Mook that gets annihilated in droves.
  • Ace Combat:
    • Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War has the Hawk T.1 fighter. Worse still, there is a mission that forces you to use it. It does get the Quick Air-to-Air Missiles, so there's a bit of redeeming value. Although the forced mission has no redeeming value since you're A) unarmed and B) stuck following Pops.
    • Ace Combat: Joint Assault has the WWII A6M Zero and F6F Hellcat fighters. Appropriately enough, these two have no missiles.
    • However, they have nothing on the Boeing 747. Yes, a big, fat, slow airliner in a combat game. If that wasn't bad enough, the level it's exclusive to in campaign mode is That One Level, perhaps because of this plane.
    • The World War II props get an upgrade in Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy. They're very agile, and their machine guns are the most powerful of all aircraft.
  • Megane in Inazuma Eleven is a rare example of a joke character that you start out with on your team. This was probably an intentional move by Level-5 to train players to swap out team members and avoid settling into Complacent Gaming Syndrome. This is taken even further in the anime adaptation, where it's repeatedly lampshaded that his two primary contributions to the team are naming hissatsu techniques and acting as a Combat Commentator. And he gets upset and cries whenever someone else steals his thunder and fulfills one of those roles instead of him. He does score one goal in the entire series... by letting the ball hit him in the face to redirect it into the goal.
  • Twisted Metal: Head-On lets you unlock one of Cousin Eddy's easily defeatable ATV-driving mooks, and he doesn't fare much better as a playable character. Not only does he have even less health than Mr. Grimm, he has a pathetic special weapon which consists of two buckshot blasts that have terrible range and even worse damage. While you can upgrade the special to a far stronger bundle of dynamite, you better hope you can hold on to it when you're playing as a vehicle that will go down in flames when it gets sneezed on. The best reason to play as ATV is if you find the game too easy.
  • The GameFAQs Character Battles always have one - CATS, Weighted Companion Cube, MissingNo... and the most glorious example, the L-Block from Tetris, who managed to even win a contest in 2007!
  • The OTAS Sirokos in X3: Terran Conflict and X3: Albion Prelude is one of these. It's the games' poster boy for Crippling Overspecialization: it can carry ten more marines than any other M7M (30 instead of 20), at the cost of only being able to fire boarding pods and Mosquito missiles. It works fine for capturing TL-class ships (slow lumbering transports with enormous cargo bays capable of transporting space stations), but since it lacks offensive weapons (other than ramming) it can't really do anything else. The Goner Ranger is a completely unarmed fighter-sized ship used by the Goners. It's slow, doesn't carry that much cargo, and cannot use internal docking bays used by carriers and military transporters - and it's the default ship for the "Goner Witness" alternate gamestart.
  • Caveman Ugh-Lympics has characters such as Thag, Ugha, and... Vincent. If you play as Vincent, don't expect to win: he's a nerdy Cro-magnon whose strengths include mastery of several numbers (including nine) and getting beaten up by the other competitors.
  • Vector Thrust, with its goal of adding every single production, concept and fictional plane under the planet, naturally boasts several Joke Characters. Examples include the F-15 Streak Eagle and P-42, extremely fast aircraft capable of our-climbing a rocket, but which carry no weapons of their own and go down in flames if so much as sneezed as. Other aircraft include the AFTI, a concept aircraft without any wings. It works as well as you'd expect it to.
  • Showderp has Specs Weedle. Take an unevolved Com Mon with a total of four learnable moves and the fourth lowest base stats in the game, and then give it an item that limits its movepool to one of those moves while providing a boost to its single lowest stat. It's typically used to show disgust at a particularly bad champ. There are plenty of utterly useless sets out there, including ones that make it outright impossible to attack, but Specs Weedle seems to be the most (in)famous. However, it does get a kill or two once in a blue moon.
  • The fifth mission of Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 has a few (semi-)hidden areas featuring fenced-in units that you can free by blowing up the explosive barrels at one corner of the fence. One occasion gives you four veteran GIs and an Elite Grizzly tank... the other gives you three cows. Slow-moving cows that are incapable of attacking anything. That said, they work pretty well as scouts - better than the Spies the mission expects you to use for that, in fact, as the enemy won't attack them unless you leave them in the path of their attack dogs for too long.
  • Airforce Delta Strike has Jamie, an old man who insists on flying prop planes (meaning pathetic stats, limited selection of planes, and no air-to-air missiles or afterburners) in a game where everyone elses fly modern jets. Using him is pretty much a Self-Imposed Challenge.
  • In Dead by Daylight, giving Michael Myers the addons Judith's Tombstone plus the Vanity Mirror creates a conflict that disables Evil Within progression and also adds tremendous movement speed penalties. Presto, Burger King Myers - for when the Shape is out of shape.
  • Kamen Rider:
    • Kamen Rider Agito has G3 Mild, who stat-wise, is among the weakest of all Riders ever.note  It's worth noting that the form in-universe is a prototype version of a mass-production model of the G3 System...except unlike other rider-like Mooks (i.e., Riotroopers, Kurokage Troopers), the form doesn't even get the distinction of being mass-produced, since they end up using the regular G3 (or in some cases, G3-X) system as mass-produced riders near the end of the series.
    • Kamen Rider Ryuki has Masashi Sudo/Kamen Rider Scissors, who is a Memetic Loser amongst the fandom. He has the worst advent deck of all the riders - aside from the Advent (Which summons Volcancer, his Mirror Monster) and his Final Vent card he only had a Strike Vent card (which was a rather ackward weapon to use, and his wasn't even a ranged attack!), a Scissors Vent (which was a shorter version of the Sword vent) and a Guard vent card - he lacked any unique cards, such as Gai's Confide or Raia's Copy, and his cards had very low AP. Of all the riders in the series, he's the only one who gets killed by his own Mirror Monster, and he's the first to die, dying in the second episode he appears in.note 
    • Interestingly enough, when Kamen Rider Gaim, a series whose riders all had similarities to the riders of Ryuki, aired, the status of joke character went not to Scissors's Gaim counterpart, Hase/Kurokage, but rather, to the show's expy of Imperer, Jonouchi/Gridon; thanks to Gridon being absolutely incompetent in combat despite having slightly higher stats. Gridon's New Generation Rider counterpart, Sigurd, wasn't much better either, lacking the firepower, versatility, and combat experience that were possessed by Duke, Zangetsu Shin, and Marika, and being the only rider to fight Kouta intending to kill him and lose.
    • In general, Kamen Rider shows that use Multiform Balance will sometimes give their Riders a weaker form that is largely useless in combat.
      • Kamen Rider Kuuga has Growing Form, the first form Yusuke transforms into. A white version of the regular Kuuga suit with smaller horns, it has all of the weaknesses of Kuuga's other forms, none of the strengths, lacks its own weapon, and its Finishing Move, the Growing Kick, is so weak that it needs to be used three times in a row to destroy just one monster. In contrast, some of Kuuga's other forms are so powerful that their finishing moves can wipe out entire city blocks and his strongest form, Ultimate Kuuga, apparently had the capacity to destroy the entire planet.
      • Kamen Rider Den-O has Plat Form (Get it? It's a train themed series). Den-O's other forms has Ryotaro cede control of his body over to the Taros so that they can use their strength and powers to fight the Imagin, but Plat Form is one of two forms where he remains in control (the other being Liner Form) and is the only one where he must rely entirely on his own skills and abilities—which is to say, none at all. Ryotaro assuming this form always ends with him receiving an asskicking. It's worth noting that technically, all Den-O riders have this form, but Ryotaro is the only one who spends significant time in said form due to lacking a strong enough personality - all the other riders only transform into Plat Form for a few seconds before assuming their regular forms. Additionally, Ryotaro's Grandson From The Future, Kotaro Nogami, uses the same belt, yet is able to access Strike Form, suggesting that if Ryotaro had a stronger personality, he'd go straight into Strike Form as opposed to being forced to use Plat Form.
      • Although other series have similar pre-transformation forms (Gaim has the Ride Wear, Kamen Rider Ghost has Transient), they generally only appear during the Transformation Sequence. The only other series with a form similar to Plat Form that the rider spends a notable amount of time in is Kamen Rider Ryuki, which has the Blank Form. Unlike the aforementioned Plat Form, however, the form can only be used if you don't have a contract with a mirror monster, or if your contract card is stolen. The form has only been shown for the titular Rider, Knight (which wasn't shown in-show, but was revealed in an art book) and Ouja (his version was seen in The Movie). While you can use the cards from the deck, they're much weaker than cards from the deck of a rider who's contracted with a mirror monster - the form is strong enough to prevent you from immediately disintegrating in the Mirror Dimension, but that's it.
      • In Kamen Rider Decade, the first time Tsukasa tries to use Den-O's forms, he quickly discovers that their Attack Ride cards don't do anything except make him perform each form's associated catchphrase and pose. Subverted in a later story arc where Tsukasa gains Kintaro's strength while using Den-O Axe form and has an Attack Ride card that does an actual attack (though it doesn't help against the current threat).
  • Super Sentai:
    • Gekisou Sentai Carranger zig zags this trope with Radietta Fanbelt, a fan of the Carrangers who uses her magical abilities to transform into a fake Sixth Ranger called White Racer, but she has no combat abilities other than being able to throw riddle bombs, which explode if you don't answer her riddle. This only works because the enemies she faces are too stupid to realize they can just throw the bomb away instead. Her only other useful ability is being able to disguise herself as other people with her magic. Since Carranger is a parody season her limited abilities actually do help the Carrangers win in her first appearance. In her second appearance she takes a level in badass by gaining the ability to turn her car into a remote-controlled Mini-Mecha that can send enemies flying with one punch but runs out of power in one minute. Even after upgrading her mecha even further in her third appearance she still never becomes a full ranger so she is stuck as only being a support character.
    • In Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger, Emri frequently tries to help out the team as "AbarePink"—and even makes her own Ranger suit in one episode—but since she lacks any powers, her effectiveness at best. Later, she returns in Gokaiger and presents Ahim with the AbarePink Ranger Key—which naturally possesses no special powers and just puts Ahim in Emri's homemade costume when she uses it, forcing her to sit out the ensuing fight.
    • A villainous example comes in the form of Jark Sentai Goindaver, from Uchu Sentai Kyuranger. Normally, the type of team that the Goindavers would fall into would give the heroes a very hard time, and would normally be an Arc Villain at the very least. Here...not only do they last less than 1 episode, but the heroes don't even need to transform to beat themnote .
  • Saturday Night Live spoofed this in the Tiffany Haddish/Taylor Swift episode of 2017. One sketch had Haddish playing such a character named "Boo Boo Jeffries" in a Mortal Kombat like game. The character is a stereotypical black woman whose attacks consist entirely of her insulting her opponent or performing dance moves while repeating "Rihanna" or "Beyonce". She doesn't do well against her opponent. Unfortunately, the player (Keenan Thompson) is forced to use her because he chose her by accident.
  • Fate/Grand Order has a few examples:
    • The Rider-class servant Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard - considering he's the most famous pirate in history, you'd expect him to be at least a 4-star story locked servantnote ... instead, he's a two star you can summon from the friend point gacha. Admittedly, it's worth noting that stars alone do not determine how good a servant is, but stat-wise, he's an extremely watered down version of Francis Drake, being the same class and having a similar Noble Phantasm, but he's so watered down that he doesn't even get the distinction of being seen as a budget version of her (like Lu Bu to Heracles).explanation The game's story and events lampshade this, having him be a Butt-Monkey in many scenes (his interlude has him searching for doujins of the aforementioned Francis Drake; during Saber Wars, his crotch is on the receiving end of Saber Lily's Caliburn).
    • Of course, Angra Mainyu is even more of a joke than Blackbeard - he's an Avenger-class servant, yet he's easily one of the weakest servants in the game - both in comparison to other Avenger-class servantsnote  and other servants in general. He's also the rarest thing you can roll in the friend-point gacha, yet stat-wise, he's no better than a two star (his actual star rating is zero). His Noble Phantasm in particular highlights this - you'd expect the NP belonging to all the worlds' evils to be one of the most powerful... yet it stuns him and requires the enemy to damage him; if all enemy servants spend the turn using skills or deal more damage to him than he can take, it's worthless. This is a bit of Gameplay and Story Integration, as well. In the lore of the series, Angra Mainyu was said to be so hideously weak that he barely even counted as a Servant, as in life he was basically just an unlucky peasant who got sacrificed because his village designated him as "all the world's evils." The one time he was ever summoned, he got killed almost immediately (which ended very badly, as no matter how weak he is, tossing the spirit of an embodiment of evil into your magic wish-granting device is a bad idea).
    • Saber Lily herself is a bit infamous for being a relic of a very bad early design choice: namely, it was planned that the four-star "welfare" Servants given out for free would be worse than other Servants of their star rating. Thankfully, the whole idea was scrapped and most welfares since have ranged from decently strong to gamebreakingly strong, but that still left poor Lily with worse ATK and HP than three-star Sabers like Bedivere, Fergus, and Caesar, while also having the attendant risks of a four-star like higher party cost and requiring rare materials to level up. On top of that, she's saddled with very lackluster skills and abilities, and as players were initially only given one of her, her Noble Phantasm couldn't be raised past its first level. The Saber Wars event was essentially one long lampshading of how unimpressive she was, though it gave her a small buff in the form of finally letting her max out her Noble Phantasm.
    • The Assassin Mata Hari has abysmal stats for a 1-star, no passive skills, and her active skills aren't very good. She even seems aware of this, since she's given up on having her wish granted by the Holy Grail. On the other hand, she's actually one of the best choices against the final boss of the first story arc due to the fact that, as an Assassin, she deals bonus damage,note  and her third skill can seal the buffs that the boss gives himself.
    • Rider-class servant Boudica does slightly better than the other 3 examples from this game, due to having the mildly useful Battle Continuation skill and high HP...the problem is that she has very poor attack (it's higher than Edward Teach's by 100 points), her first skill is pretty much useless out side of the singularity she debuts in,note  and while her NP would point to her being a good Stone Wall, the problem is that it's essentially a watered down version of Mash's — who not only is the first servant you get in the game, but she costs 0 MP to use. As a result, she's often considered one of the worst servants in the game, to the point where some fans have been asking for another version of her in a different class to make up for her in this class. However, with the release of Romulus-Quirinus, a Servant with the ability to induce the "Roman" attribute as a Status Effect, Boudica would later find a niche as a support for that one single character (who ironically enough is the deified founder of Rome itself).
  • Tofu from Resident Evil 2 is a sentient block of tofu who was originally a character made to test hitboxes during development. He playable in his own version of "The 4th Survivor" called "The Tofu Survivor", and in the original game, he had a ridiculous unlock requirement that requires you to beat the game with an A rank in under 2 1/2 hours six times in a row. While Hunk comes loaded with many guns and recovery items, Tofu's loadout consists of a few herbs and nothing but combat knives. The remake adds unlockable "flavors" and loadouts for Tofu, all with other unusual sets of items, such as the one with literally nothing except 36 hand grenades.
  • Smash Bros. Lawl has two of them:
    • The Irate Gamer has Power Copying in his Plagiarism ability, but they are weaker than the original skill: For example, The Angry Video Game Nerd has the F-Bomb, which fires a cartoon bomb forward, while the Irate Gamer shoots a small firecracker that travels in a short arc. The rest of his attacks are pretty mediocre and more often than not end up hurting himself. Word of God has said outright that he's a joke character because he loves characters like Dan Hibiki.
    • Best Hercules, from a So Bad, It's Good animated Hercules movie, has a whole moveset where all his attacks have a ridiculous amount of starting lag and if he whiffs, he ends up falling to the floor, defenseless. And his Final Smash will carry him offscreen if he fails to hit anything. In the official Tier List he even has the very bottom tier all for himself: Best Tier.
  • In Green Lantern, we have G'nort, a dog-like alien who is the worst Green Lantern in existence. An incompetent moron who can barely use his power ring, his fellow Lanterns can't stand him and they often send him away on missions to isolated, lifeless sectors of space where he can't cause any trouble. This also carries over to his appearance on Batman: The Brave and the Bold where he needs a cheat sheet in order to remember the Green Lantern Oath.
  • 100% Orange Juice!: has the playable versions of the enemy units: The Chicken, Seagull and Robo-ball have 3 HP, and two of their stats are -1, making them easy targets for the other players; However, they can compensate with +1 in their third stat (+1 DEF for Robo-ball. +1 EVA for the Chicken, and +1 ATK for the Seagull), and unlike normal units who give one half of their stars and 2 wins if defeated, the enemy units only give one quarter of their stars and 1 win.
  • There is a Cat unit in The Battle Cats named Killer Cat who is just as strong as the very first cat you get,note  except he costs $7500 to spawn in battle (in a game where, if you fully upgrade your Worker Cat in battle, get wallet upgrades through the Cat Capsule and get all the treasures which increases your max wallet capacity, the maximum capacity of your wallet is $16500) making him a huge waste of cash should you try to use him in a battle. However, its True Form, Radical Cat, is a massive improvement and pulls it out of this status.
  • TierZoo, a web series that explains biology through gaming terms, has two cases of this.
    • Surprisingly, the supposedly Nigh-Invulnerable tardigrade/water bear is considered this. It's stated that it sacrificed all its stats and other traits in favor of taking huge amounts of heat, cold, vacuum, radiation and pressure resistances... without taking the extremophile trait, meaning that it has to go into "hibernation mode" if in extreme condition. All this, and the fact that it doesn't have resistance to physical damage, which most players use, makes it a bottom-tier character.
    • Modern-day tree sloths are considered the worst build in the game. Any hostile encounter is practically a death sentence since they are extremely slow and have almost no attacking power. Their stealth ability is poor and only works when they're stationary in tree foliage. They need to descend to the ground in order to defecate, which makes them vulnerable to predators. Finally, they specced into (read: evolved to use) gut bacteria to allow them a nutrient-poor diet of leaves, and said bacteria die if temperatures drop low, causing the sloth to starve to death even on a full stomach. Harpy eagles even intentionally leave sloths alive so that their fledglings can use them as target practice. However, being a Joke Character did give them an advantage against humans as compared to its top-tier cousin, the giant ground sloth — since humans took no interest in hunting smaller arboreal animals, they didn't bother to hunt the tree sloths while the huge prehistoric sloths were hunted to extinction.
    • Domestic sheep are also considered this, due to having such low intelligence they can even be defeated by bramble bushes. Tier Zoo even remarks that "If you're a herbivore player and you get beat by your prey, you should probably choose a new main."
  • The Easter Bunny in Epic Rap Battles of History. Even The Announcer can't get enthusiased about him, and the ensuing rap battle against Genghis Khan is hilariously one-sided with Genghis simply laughing off his first verse.
  • Ben from Puffin Forest tend to play a lot of these. Most of the time they end up exactly how you'd expect.
    • His most famous character is probably Abserd, a character with a level in every class. Because his level in each of those classes is so low, he can't really do anything. The justification for how this is possible is that his voice is so annoying that he keeps getting kicked out of every group he joins.
    • Michele the Gnome Monk manages to buck the trend and become a Lethal Joke Character. Ben's brother, Will, wanted a completely useless character that sucks at everything, so Ben gave him the worst character he had, a gnome monk. Michele ended up being the Sole Survivor of the party's clash with the villain Malikar and the one who came closest to beating him, and Will ended up playing him through three separate campaigns.
    • Ben also created a character called Chadwick Strongpants who is a Fake Ultimate Hero to punish his brother for not bothering to make his own character for a superhero campaign. Chadwick has no powers at all and is completely average in every way, but whenever he shows up the bad guys panic and accidentally defeat themselves.
  • In Major League Baseball, a mystery pitcher or "joke pitcher" is a position player sent to the pitching mound, even when they have little to no training in throwing pitches. Sometimes (in extra innings) this is because the team's out of pitchers and has to make do, but more often it's because the game is lost already and the manager doesn't want to waste a good pitcher's arm for a lost cause. And it's not unheard of for mystery pitchers to win.
  • In the SiIvaGunner King For a Day tournament, Ajit Pai was one, having only one promotional rip and dying to the hands of Thanos. Averted in the sequel tournament, where he becomes ressurected as a Humongous Mecha and is treated as a legitimate competitor.
  • In Dino Park Tycoon, the Vegasaurus is a potential dinosaur to purchase for your park. It's not a real dinosaur, and prefers air-conditioning and room service to dino food. If you actually buy it, the robot arm that pulls it out of its box will drop it, causing it to break open and the species to be labeled extinct.
  • In The Battle for Middle-earth, Mordor can recruit Gollum as a hero. He can't level up, he has no activated abilities, and his stats are on par with individual infantry units, meaning he dies if the enemy so much as breathes on him. His only advantage is that he's cheap and can stealth when not moving like the hobbits, meaning he can be mildly useful as an expendable scout in the early game (and Mordor's options are so limited that it may end up using him anyway).
  • You can capture humans in Palworld using Pal Spheres just like the eponymous Pals but doing so will net you one of the most useless "Pals" in the game.They only have one attack (a simple punch), even if they were armed before capture; poor stats; can't be taught additional attacks via skill fruits; lack Pal abilities; and have only the handiwork skill (at level 1). This applies to almost every human except the Syndicate Elite who normally wields a highly devastating rocket launcher. While they will still use the punch attack, it hits as hard as their rocket launcher.
  • Even the world of computing has a few joke characters.
    • Esoteric programming languages are bizarre languages designed to test the limits of what constitutes a programming language at all, and are not usually intended for serious use. Examples of esoteric languages include Chef, whose programs look like recipes; Piet, where programs are represented as images that look like abstract art; and Brainfuck, an extremely minimalist language with only eight characters.
    • Among sorting algorithms, there's bogosort. It is among the least efficient sorting algorithms possible, even beating out other slow algorithms like bubblesort. Its method is simple: if the set is not sorted, randomize it until it's sorted. Fans of bogosort like to claim that it's a Lethal Joke Character, as it's theoretically the most efficient sorting algorithm possible... if you get astronomically lucky.
  • Wizards with Guns: Mitch from Fight Boys 4 is a wimp pooping on the toilet who can't move, speaks exclusively in whining, is knocked-out in one hit and literally dies of fright, shitting himself in the process. If the player loses with him and goes back to character select, they'll see that he's still on the toilet, dead.
  • Spooky's Jump Scare Mansion: Unknown Specimen 2/Otto the Otter is an enemy version of this. In contrast to the threatening monsters that stalk the eponymous mansion, he is a goofy-looking animatronic with slow speed that deals low damage, and even has a tame game over screen. The player will have to be trying to get killed by him. He was added because fans kept asking the developers to make a Five Nights at Freddy's-inspired monster despite them stating they did not want to, so the developers eventually made an unscary monster that sucked out of spite.


Video Example(s):



Mitch from Fight Boys 4 is a wimp pooping on the toilet who can't move, speaks exclusively in whining, is beaten in one hit and literally dies of fright, shitting himself in the process. If the player loses with him and goes back to character select, they'll see that he's still on the toilet, dead.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / JokeCharacter

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