Follow TV Tropes


Joke Item
aka: Joke Weapon

Go To

"Ness used the Protractor!
Now, he can fairly easily figure out the angles of various things."

Finally! You braved the Bonus Dungeon, beat the superboss, and now you can claim the ultimate reward: the...Golf Club of Hilariously Low Damage? Seriously?

A joke item is a weapon or object that is so pathetically worthless that you can't help but smile. Typical joke items fall in to one of two groups:

  • The ones that are obviously stupid, such as a bouquet of flowers or a Nerf ball.
  • The ones that seem like they would be powerful, but aren't.

For the surprisingly powerful equivalent of the first type, see Lethal Joke Item and Nerf Arm. Characters that fill this role are Joke Character, and the attack equivalent is Joke Attack . Compare Improbable Weapon User, Scrappy Weapon, Useless Useful Spell, Fake Special Attack, and Useless Item. Contrast Infinity +1 Sword (which is Purposely Overpowered). Not to be confused with Weapons That Suck. If the item actually harms the player instead of just being useless, it's a Poison Mushroom.

Video Game Examples:

    open/close all folders 

  • Crimsonland has the Blowtorch. It's basically everything bad about video game flamethrowers taken to an extreme, with even shorter range than most flamethrowers(in a game in which being able to attack from a range is your primary advantage over the monsters). There's even an achievement for getting 50 blowtorches.
  • Hotline Miami: The fish mask, "Phil", has no positive gameplay effect and only translates the game's text into French. Poorly.
    • The training sword is appropriately blunt and light, making it proper for combat practice in the tutorial (and the occasional kind stranger in a duel server) but utterly useless for actual combat, with minimal damage on both swings and stabs. Getting a kill with it is an actual Achievement in the game.
    • Horse Turds, occasionally dropped by horses. Nothing gives you a reason to pick up a piece of crap and hit your enemy with it for minimal damage besides amusing yourself and taunting them, but nothing really stops you either. Enemies in Horde mode have an infinite supply though, leading to Death of a Thousand Cuts, but they only deploy it if you find yourself a place they can't get to.
    • Carving knives are cutlery rather than appropriate weapons, and while they strike very fast they're perhaps the only weapon in the game that cannot make an enemy flinch on impact. You can chop away all you want at that guy with the maul, but you're not gonna stop his swing from smearing you into the wall.
    • The lute. It's not a weapon, it's an instrument that the game actually lets you strum and play tunes with. You can use it as an Instrument of Murder too, but the damage is appropriately low when compared to actual weapons.
    • Most of the Peasant's arsenal is composed of working tools that are usually inferior versions of actual weapons at best, and utter trash at worst. There are a couple of Lethal Joke Weapons in there though, like the Scythe (which can reap unarmored heads with unnerving ease), the Sledgehammer (the poor man's Maul, and it drains enemy stamina like nothing else) and the Heavy Branch and Club (for when you really want to go full caveman on an enemy).

    Action Adventure 
  • Castlevania has many:
    • Castlevania: Rondo of Blood and its SNES port have the very situational Key, which is obviously meant to open doors but counts as a sub-weapon. Richter can use it to stab monsters, but while it does significant damage the range is minuscule and leaves him vulnerable. When used as an Item Crash, Richter dramatically leaps into the air for a while and then comes down wondering why he even tried. Again, the move costs nothing, is invincible and can deal good damage, but actually hitting anything is difficult and relying on it can be more trouble than it's worth.
    • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
      • The easy to find Alucart equipment—easily confused for your lost scattered Alucard equipment— have terrible stats, except if you equip all of them, you get a huge bonus to Luck. For an extra joke, it sounds close, if not exactly, to the phrase A La Carté, usually in reference to taking only pieces of an entreé or set. The joke becomes even more subtle in the Japanese version since the weapon's name is "アルカーソード", which looks very similar to "アルカーソード".note Also, if combined with the Shield Rod, it plays the Alucard Shield's special move animation only to have no effect. Alucard reacts the same way as Richter in the previous game.
      • And there's also the Tyrfing; a sword with attack power so pathetically low that it harmlessly passes through enemies until Alucard can level up enough to compensate.
      • The "Secret Boots". Their description: "Discreetly increases height!" Their actual function: They literally make your sprite ever so slightly taller. They have no other function. They can be used to reach several items that would ordinarily require a transformation to get to, but good luck figuring that out on your own.
    • Castlevania: Curse of Darkness has more than a few of these due to its weapon-crafting mechanic, including a frying pan (minor fire effect), a broom (a dash-sweep attack?), the ever-lovable Piko-Piko Hammer and even an electric guitar. In a Shout-Out to Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, it has the Alucart Mail. Description: "It's not what you think it is! It's also totally useless."
  • Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night carries on the tradition, with a number of shards and items being more silly than effective. The most popular is probably the Chair Mimic's shard, which summons a chair. The chair doesn't move, or do damage, or heal, or block attacks, or really anything useful. But you can sit in it. Doing so increases your MP regeneration rate, but it's not hard to restore MP through finding roses or save rooms. You can even upgrade the shard to summon more extravagant chairs, all the way up to a throne.
  • The Legend of Zelda series:
    • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask: The Circus Leader's Mask. Other than being required to obtain the Fierce Deity's Mask, the only use of Circus Leader's Mask is keeping the Gorman Brothers from attacking Cremia's wagon. However, you need to protect the wagon in the first place in order to obtain the mask, so its only potential use is in a future cycle, should you go through with helping Romani and Cremia a second time, even though there's no need to do so. Averted in the 3DS remake, as the mask (now renamed the Troupe Leader's Mask) is now crucial in obtaining a bottle.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker: Getting a certain number of points at Beedle's shop will earn you a "Complimentary ID". Using it at the shop will earn you... a compliment (which heals you). Leo of VG Cats fame finds himself on the receiving end and he is less than amused. This also happens in The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass. Notably, this is strictly averted in later games — his Members Club in Spirit Tracks gives discounts, a health upgrade and a valuable item, while his Costumer Appreciation Day in Breath of the Wild gives you a powerful, rare arrow capable of one-shotting almost every enemy in the game.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: The game has an extensive and varied inventory of weapons and shields, including some that deal very little damage and have very low durability, such as tree branches, soup ladles, mops, pot lids, and the arms of skeletal enemies. These are present partly to make the world seem a little more complete, and partly for the chance of beating up enemies in tricky but amusing ways.
  • In Cave Story you can find "Chaco's Lipstick" and "Curly's Underwear". They don't do anything, even when you talk to Chaco or Curly. Except in Cave Story+, where getting Curly's Underwear unlocks Curly Story. Also, if you fully level up the Nemesis (which is far too easy to do), its projectiles become rubber ducks that do 1 damage each. Fortunately, weapons lose XP and levels if you take damage, so it's reversible.
  • In La-Mulana, upon completing the optional area known as the "Hell Temple", your reward is... a skimpy swimsuit. Which serves no purpose whatsoever, but does come with a rather unflattering image of our male protagonist trying it on. This is a Shout-Out to the MSX version of Dragon Quest II, where the Princess of Moonbrook can be seen in a skimpy swimsuit of the same design. The developers of the game were also smart enough to hide it. The game's graphical assets are a bunch of PNGs that are readily viewable by any image program. However, one of them, which contains the entire tileset for your reward, is scrambled in a horrible mess. You could probably piece it together faster than you could complete Hell Temple, if you wanted to. In the remake, the main character also gets to wear the swimsuit in-game, which also changes his pause animations to be a lot goofier.
  • Dark Souls's starting items are all of at least some use in your early runthrough except for the pendant. Director Hidetaka Miyazaki told players to start with the pendant or nothing, leading the fans to believe there would eventually be some use for the pendant but so far none has been found, "When it comes to the pendant, I actually had a little bit of an intention to play a prank." There is also the running gag of the Xanthous Armor set (a set of bright pimpin' yellow armor in a series known for drab colors, with a headpiece that can only be described as a ball of cloth five times the size of your head) is not an example, as it is a decent set of light armor aside from the obvious problem. Dark Souls 2, on the other hand, adds the Moonlight Butterfly set, a similarly gaudy butterfly-themed costume with awful stats (it has the ability to inflict poison merely by standing around someone, but it's more likely to get NPCs mad at you than be any help in a fight), as well as a ladle... meant to be used as a mace, with all the power you'd expect from a kitchen implement. Both 2 and 3 also feature the Porcine Shield, a terrible-quality shield shaped like a pig head that even the in-game descriptions like to make fun of.
  • Dark Souls's cousin Bloodborne has exactly one shield in it. Its only purpose is for its item description to tell you that unlike in Dark Souls, Shields Are Useless in this game. The DLC adds a second shield that is good for blocking one specific attack from the upcoming boss but otherwise is even worse than the other shield.
  • Elden Ring's Spirit Ash system includes a large number of duds (letting you summon things like extremely basic Mooks, rats, and other weak allies) but the title of joke summon truly belongs to the Soldjars of Fortune. They already stand out by having a Punny Name in a game absolutely not known for that kind of comedy (worse, their name in other languages is often a pop-culture reference to The A-Team), and their combat prowess is... not much better, being a bunch of sentient exploding pots. They can actually do decent damage when exploding, but said explosions are not Friendly Fireproof and they blow up instantly on contact with fire, often making them more dangerous to use than the other "worthless" Ashes.

    Adventure Game 
  • Another Code: In the Recollection version of Journey into Lost Memories, you can buy several souvenirs and snacks in the Lake Juliet gift shop, as well as trade in any cans you find on the ground in for tokens (that can be used to get gumballs). Eating the food just gives you Ashley's thoughts on the flavor, and the amount of souvenirs you purchase will alter part of a conversation Ashley and her father have near the end of the game, but none of this actually impacts the plot whatsoever. However, the original Wii version of the game requires a gumball or a token to solve one of the puzzles.
  • Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers allowed you to pick up an Unstable Ordnance for 25 points, then put it back where you found it at a 20-point penalty, for a net gain of 5 points. If you did not put it back, you would explode when you dropped into the sewers.

    Beat 'em Up 
  • Double Dragon Neon
    • The hair pick, which does a whopping 1 damage when it hits someone, and then notably sticks to their hair. Using it on every enemy will get you an achievement/trophy. When used on Skullmageddon (which will net you another achievement), it pins his hat to his head (which he lampshades when he tries to remove it).
    • Keys are completely useless as weapons, as whacking people with a key not only barely does damage, but causes the hero to become very vulnerable as he tries to open thin air and then wonders aloud what he's even trying to do. Actually defeating anyone with this is also worth an achievement.
  • During the Optional Boss fight with Jo Amon in Yakuza 0, he's able to pickpocket Majima throughout the fight, slowly replacing his items with Amon-branded pocket tissues and a knockoff brand of Staminan Spark (which normally maxes out your HP and Heat meters) called Staminan Spork, which has the exact same look and description but causes massive damage and drains your Heat meter instead.

    Edutainment Game 
  • In later editions of The Oregon Trail, there are useless "supplies" that you're supposed to avoid, most famously (or infamously) grandfather clocks. More sarcastic LPs often feature the purchase of several grandfather clocks just for the heck of it.
  • In The Yukon Trail, you can purchase a bicycle, which the seller says will help you on your journey. Should you purchase it, it gets thrown off the side of the ship you travel on to Alaska by two sailors, who laugh at the idea of using a bike on the trail. It doesn't help the fact your partner will suggest buying it in the first place, depending on who you picked.
    • An even worse joke item is the gold-sniffing gophers. They run off as soon as you open the box and never help you find any gold. Scams are Truth in Television; naive prospectors in the gold rush often bought anything that promised to give them an edge, however shoddy or ludicrous.

    Fighting Game 
  • The Soul Series has "Joke" weapons for every character, ranging from paper fans to mighty Bug Nets. These may count as Lethal Joke Item: In Soul Calibur II, joke weapons were unblockable and made funny noises. In Soul Calibur III, they were weak, but provided more skill points than ultimate weapons.
  • Fist of the North Star's Shin has a suicide move which he can use on himself. It's a Call-Back to how he died in the series, but otherwise...It actually has one use; it refills the meter that leaves you vulnerable to a One-Hit Kill if it's empty. Meaning your opponent can't instantly kill you next round. Of course, even in this sense, it requires a lot of meter and your opponent to not interrupt Shin as he slowly staggers to his death.
  • In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, certain items can backfire or just simply fail to work. For example, there's a small chance the otherwise highly destructive Golden Hammer item will end up instead being a Golden Squeaky Hammer, which deals no damage to those it strikes. In addition, throwing a Poké Ball may sometimes summon Goldeen, which does nothing (an obvious poke towards Magikarp's famed Splash attack). The fourth games further the joke by allowing Goldeen to pop out of Master Balls, which usually contain legendary Pokémon only.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • The Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force Virtual Voyager mode allows you to pick up nothing but useless items - mostly Star Trek memorabilia.
  • Call of Duty 2, in the first single-player level, has you chucking potatoes as practice grenades to save money. You can later throw them at the attacking Germans, which does nothing except confuse them.
  • Call of Duty 4 multiplayer has a joke weapon, the MP44. Considering the fact it's a World War 2 weapon in a Modern Warfare setting, it's outclassed by pretty much every other rifle and submachine gun, and its only minor advantage in aim sway is offset by the major disadvantage that it can't have any of the attachments any other assault rifle in the game can have, it being a World War II gun and all.note  However, it's actually fairly useful in hardcore mode, being a One-Hit Kill at any range and no sway.
  • The TimeSplitters series has...the brick. It's a brick. You chuck it at people, like a grenade. Due to its arc and the power at which it's thrown, its range is equal to or less than the game's shotguns. Also, it's possible to kill yourself with it. It's got lethal ricochet for a lump of brick. It's incredibly satisfying getting a kill or even headshot with it. Takes a few hits to knock down anything but its awesome level is immeasurable. "Ha! I killed a fucking Robot! With a fucking Brick!" That said, the final game in the series, Future Perfect, turns the Brick into a Lethal Joke Item, due to the game's more modern aiming system and farther throwing range, making it less of a chore to kill people with.
  • Team Fortress 2:
    • The Holy Mackerel, which does absolutely nothing different from the default bat in terms of damage and swing speed, but tells how many times someone got smacked by the fish.
      • It actually has an advantage when dealing with Dead Ringer spies. When the spy drops the fake corpse after being hit, the killfeed does not display FISH KILL!.
    • The frying pan has the same damage as the base weapons, but it makes a very loud noise when you hit something with it.
    • The Hot Hand is a Pyro melee that is easily one of the least practical melee weapons in the game, if a fun Cherry Tapping tool. While it grants a brief speed boost on hit and attacks twice in a row, it has lower DPS when direct melee combat for Pyro is already rarely relevant given this is the range where a Pyro can easily do much more consistent and rapid damage with their flamethrower and combos. Most of Pyro's other melee weapons are better in either utility or combat potential, leaving the only real use of this weapon the entertainment value of slapping someone to death.
    • The Demoman's Ullapool Caber melee weapon is a stick style grenade that explodes when you hit someone with it. It explodes on impact dealing massive damage to anyone nearby, including yourself, meaning you're just as likely to blow yourself up as you are your opponent. And if you do survive, you're left with the stump of it that has worse damage and firing speed than any of the Demoman's other melee weapons, and the only way to restore it it to run back to your base and touch the resupply locker. While it does have the potential to take out a group of enemies, it doesn't do it any better than the Demoman's other two weapons, and so it's mostly used as a last-ditch Suicide Attack where you hope that one hit will take your opponent with you.
  • Counter-Strike has several joke weapons:
    • The UMP: It is the worst sub-machine and the worst automatic gun in the game. It suffers from low damage, low armour penetration, low ammunition capacity and slow rate of fire compared to all the other submachine guns, its only advantages are a minor speed boost for the user, and being more accurate on the move. It's also more expensive than the MP5, which outclasses it in every situation. In Global Offensive, the UMP received a massive buff, making it the most-used SMG in the game and even being used to play against rifles. It's basically become the Global Offensive version of 1.6 and Source's Deagle.
    • The Dual Elite Pistols: Basically only included for Rule of Cool, they usually aren't worth wasting money to purchase except in situations where you want to look cool. Source and Global Offensive give it some considerable buffs in the form of better recoil control, making them ideal for close-range combat.
    • In Global Offensive, the PP-Bizon took the UMP's status of "worst gun in the game", as it takes ten shots to the body to kill an armored enemy, and it's more expensive than the far more useful UMP (now Buffed to the moon) and MAC-10/MP9. In some situations, even the knife is more useful than the Bizon. It's pretty much only used for Cherry Tapping and by Smurfs who don't want to go into "tryhard" mode.
  • GoldenEye (1997): The Klobb (named after Ken Lobb, one of the people who worked on the game), an incredibly inaccurate, slow-firing and weak weapon with a very small magazine. Urban Dictionary sums up its uselessness the best by calling it "A Soviet gun specifically designed to miss its target." For perspective, if enemy and player health are both reduced to 0% in 007 mode, the Klobb is the only gun that won't always kill with one shot.
  • Shogo: Mobile Armor Division has an optional level in which you find a doll which you then use to find and return a lost cat. Even the game's characters can't believe this is serious. Beyond calling the cat, the doll does functionally nothing useful - it says "magic claw" if you squeeze it (a Shout-Out to a previous Monolith game) and it causes a pain animation to any enemies you target, but without actually causing any damage. It's theoretically possible to bypass a single enemy without killing them by stunlocking them with the doll, but nowhere in the game is this a viable or useful tactic. It also permanently takes up a weapon number, getting in the way if you use the scroll wheel to change weapons.
  • Battlefield 1 has the Kolibri pistol, a pitiful 2.7 mm pistol that's smaller than the character's hands and takes roughly four headshots to kill point blank range.
    • Battlefield V one-ups the Kolibri by having the Liberator, which is a three-shot kill up close. That is, assuming you can land three shots with a staggering fire rate of nine rounds per minute. Best part? It can't one-shot people with a headshot.
  • PAYDAY 2:
    • A stack of hundred-dollar bills. It does the least amount of damage of all melee weapons (a fully-charged swing does less damage than an uncharged punch), but it has the fourth-highest knockdown value and fully charges in only one second. It's still only useful for the comedic scene of bludgeoning armed SWAT troopers with a wad of cash.
    • The Lumberlite L2 Chainsaw, included in the Ultimate Edition of the game. note  You'd think a chainsaw would be a pretty powerful melee weapon, but apparently not. On release, it had the same uncharged damage attack of the weapon butt, except slower!. The damage was boosted to be a bit more useful in a later update, but it still retains its slow swing speed, meaning it can't be used with Sociopath, a perk deck designed around making melee weapons viable.
  • PlanetSide 2 has a variety of "flare guns", special secondary weapons that are only available for a limited time. The two fireworks launchers produce a dazzling display of lights and explosions, the Deep Freeze fires a snowball, and the Candycannon fires candy. All but the Candycannon are incapable of killing a player with one magazine, and they cost as much or more than a proper gun. During the Halloween 2014 event, you had to kill 35 players (who were wearing Halloween masks) with the Candycannon to complete the Halloween Directive.
  • Borderlands 3 has the Shoddy from the "Bounty of Blood" DLC, which is a "Fakobs" shotgun with pellets that immediately fall to the ground upon firing. It's the focus of a sidequest where a conman sells it to your character and your goal is to get some figurative and literal payback.
  • Cruelty Squad's Zippy 3000 is based on the infamously unreliable USFA ZiP .22, and is appropriately useless. It has a 1/3 chance of actually shooting a bullet when you fire it, and is just as likely to either not fire, or outright damage you instead.
    • The higher-level pieces of equipment that give you extra armor have unbearable side-effects that make them borderline useless; The Level IV Body Armor halves damage in exchange for slowing you down to a crawl and effectively rendering you unable to jump. Meanwhile, the Level V Biosuit provides almost as much protection but obscures most of the screen instead, including the HUD elements for your health, ammo, and showing when you're in an enemy's line of sight. In either case, you die so quickly that the damage reduction is fairly moot.

    Hack and Slash 
  • Diablo II has Wirt's Leg, though this is not necessarily worthless as it is used to gain access to the Secret Cow Level, and Cows provide very good drops for whatever difficulty level you're playing in at the time. It can get some pretty strange and unusual enchantments, such as the very valuable +1/+2 to all skills enchantments or even sometimes an optional socket, so you can put a Perfect Skull to leech health.
  • In the cathedral in Diablo III one can occasionally find the Black Mushroom, which was a quest item in the first game and is absolutely useless here. The flavor text is a misquote from Griswold saying that he knows as much about giant mushrooms as about red herrings.
  • Sengoku Basara or Devil Kings has several joke items as top-level weapons for the characters. Some of them are Shout Outs to other games (Yukimura using two Sparda swords), but others are totally ridiculous, including a set of Tambourines for Kasuga, a Swordfish for Toshiie, leeks for Kojuuro and an oversized fork & knife set for Mitsuhide.
  • Path of Exile has a certain variety of fishing equipment, which provide fantastic percentage bonuses to fishing drops. These would probably be more useful if fishing were actually an in-game activity rather than a Running Gag.
  • Titan Quest has texts written by various characters, as random item drops. Such as a diary entry and letters. They contain jokes, sometime a dose of Lampshade Hanging and provide a cheap laugh. Otherwise, they are completely worthless. They can't even be sold for gold.

    Idle Games 
  • The Incrementali Tree: The Incremenkeeper boosts incrementy gain when upgraded. Sounds useful, until you realise you're producing incrementali, which can be easy to get fooled with thanks to the similar name.

  • Final Fantasy XI
    • There's a bunch of fireworks and costumes that do nothing but look pretty. Thankfully, they only come from events and Item Crafting, not any endgame boss.
    • Creating and completing mazes in Moblin Maze Mongers will earn you Moblin Marbles, which can be traded for things like a shovel or toy hammer, neither of which has anything remotely similar in the game. Oh, and the toy hammer actually makes squeaking noises when hitting targets.
  • Final Fantasy XIV has items and costumes with no stats (or pathetically low stats given the level of content you're playing to earn them). You also can't trade or sell the costumes. What you can do is apply its appearance to another piece of equipment using the Glamour system, thus giving you the option to avert (or exaggerate) Rainbow Pimp Gear at your own discretion.
  • In RuneScape they create new Joke Items for the holidays as a gift for players. For example, there is a Rubber Chicken weapon which has very bad negative stats, but which can be used to whack people around.
  • Kingdom of Loathing:
    • The items from the Summon Hilarious Objects spell, which include "yellow snowcones," "clown hammers," and "fake hands." The vast majority of these are detrimental, though a couple can be useful.
    • The "pie man was not meant to eat", dropped randomly from the crazy winos in the Haunted Wine Cellar of Spookyraven Manor. It requires 100 stomach to eat, when the most a character can ever hope to have is 40. It's Not Completely Useless on a couple of Challenge Run paths - it can be eaten in Two Crazy Random Summer (where everything is randomized, including fullness requirements), and in Kingdom of Exploathing, where food items are used to speed up killing hippies in the War, its high fullness requirement means it will take out the maximum number of hippies per use.
  • Guild Wars:
    • One quest rewards you with a scythe with a banana for a head. It's actually a decent weapon for a starting dervish (no attribute requirements and better damage than starting scythes), but by the time you get a hold of it, even if you have a use for a scythe at all, you've probably got a much better weapon.
    • At the end of the first bonus dungeon added after the release of the game you had to fight an enemy called "The Darkness". After defeating it, it would drop a few unique items, most of them very good and useful. And an Ogre-Slaying Knife. Damage: +9 (vs. Ogres). There aren't even many ogres in the game, and the base damage is 1-4, to simulate rolling a d4. For reference, starter swords in GW deal 3-5 base damage.
  • World of Warcraft has scores of these. Some fall in the category of Vendor Trash but some players keep them for pure entertainment.
    • The probably most straight example is an epic item from a daily quest in Wrath of the Lich King, the Pa'Trolla Badge. While the item has an "equip" (Shows everyone how awesome you are) attribute, it does absolutely nothing.
    • Most notable of these vendor trash items are Pitchfork, Kobold Mining Shovel, Farmer's Broom, "The 1 Ring" (+1 to each primary stat) and of course "The Stoppable Force" which name is a pun of an epic weapon. Players have been seen putting expensive enchantments on them.
    • The Red Defias Mask and Blood Elf Bandit Mask which can be worn in the head slot. No armor, no stats; they just makes your character look cool. It should be noted, however, that they become available at level 15 and level 5, respectively, while other statful head-slot items don't start showing up until mid-30s.
    • Gnomish X-Ray Specs make it appear that all other player characters in view are running around in their underwear.
    • Piccolo of the Flaming Fire, a flute that drops off a rare spawn in Stratholme that makes all players in radius dance when someone plays it.
    • There is also a type of fish you can get while fishing and equip as a weapon. Then go around slapping people with it.
    • Blizzard, once they made it so Blinding Powder wasn't necessary for Rogues to perform a certain move in World of Warcraft, made the items players still had into this, changing the description to justify said move.
    • There's a grenade item that turns the heads of those caught in the radius into... a Night Elf Mohawk.
    • A recurring NPC named Griftah sells magical items that grant the amazing powers of Gameplay and Story Segregation that all player characters already have, such as the ability to respawn after death or stay clean without ever bathing.
    • Pretty much everything from the TCG loot cards, like the turtle mount that doesn't actually make you move faster, or the party grenade that makes people dance.
  • Battle Stations tends to hand these out as gifts on special occasions. One, the April Fools Day pie launcher, was eventually used as a crafting requirement.
  • Forum Warz, among a variety of amusing items, has suicide pill items, that kill you. Of course, it comes in a pack of ten.
  • Phantasy Star Online has this in spades. A frying pan, a paper fan, a wok and ladle, and a toy hammer to name a few. Its Spiritual Successor Phantasy Star Zero also has these. And they're back in Phantasy Star Online 2 with new additions including a giant Tuna and its Christmas only variant...a frozen giant Tuna...among many other joke weapons. Some joke weapons actually have minor uses as they tend to have lower requirements to equip and fewer class restrictions.
  • In The Lord of the Rings Online there are some weapons like Shovel and Butter Knife are gained after a player gets high enough standing with some factions or enough tokens from high-level instances.
  • City of Heroes has an annual Halloween event that involves "trick or treating" at doors. Generally, this results in either a "treat" (a minor but genuine goodie) or a "trick" (monsters come out to attack you.) Occasionally, in an homage to It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie get a rock. The rock can be thrown (once) at an enemy to do a very small amount of damage.
  • Twilight Heroes has weapons that give bonuses to the wrong type of damage (ranged vs. melee, for example) and computer programs that would make your computer more effective, if you could use your computer for anything else but running that program.
  • Billy vs. SNAKEMAN has Novelty Bullcrap, which gives "+0 Gen Levels, +0 to All Ranges, +0 Stamina per day."
  • EVE Online contains a wide variety. These include the Free Samplenote  obtainable in drug-related exploration sites, the famous Devicenote  used in a mission, and the holiday gifts based upon eve memes.
  • In The Legend Of Pirates Online, the Tree Branch was an event Broadsword with an attack value of 0note  and no extra abilities distributed on April Fools Day 2018. It was passed off as a free distribution of the Lost Sword of El Patron, which is... considerably better.

    Platform Game 
  • One of the special weapons in The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures is the useless Rock from Friday the 13th.
  • Earthworm Jim 2 has the Bubble Gun, a toy that just shoots ordinary soap bubbles.
  • The "Hessian Por Homme/Femme" Downloadable Content items in LittleBigPlanet, cologne and perfume, respectively. They serve no purpose other than to make Sackboy do an animation as he applies the cologne or perfume. But it's justified, considering what holiday happens near the time that the DLC gets put up.
  • Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones has a few of these you can unlock with codes or playthroughs - including a telephone and a swordfish.
  • The Crow Feather in Psychonauts. In a few areas, you can use Clairvoyance on it to find hidden items. This doesn't work in every area with those types of items, the brains of your campmates, so it mostly just lets you tickle people. Admittedly, you can get some funny responses from Chloe and Sasha, who do not laugh when tickled.
  • Psychonauts 2: Some of the pins you can get are silly, but ultimately useless. The Beastmaster Pin allows you to gently pet wild animals with your telekinesis, while the Bobby Pin allows you to do Bobby Zilch's weird taunting dance from the first game if you stand still long enough.
  • Plok has a number of power-up parcels planted throughout it. You walk Plok across the parcel and he is given a new, usually temporary outfit with enhanced asskicking capabilities. But one of them kits you out in a cowboy suit with a flag gun. That said, the flag does do normal damage (just with minimal range!) and when you transform back, you have all your limbs restored.
  • The Taunter from Ratchet & Clank (2002). It's classed as weapon but on its own it's completely useless against enemies as it does nothing to them. It can destroy boxes (including explosive ones) from a distance and it increases range of mines from Mine Glove if they are deployed in place with enemies nearby and Taunter is used, but honestly it's easier to just smash crates (or use comet strike for explosive ones) and just shoot enemies than to bother with Taunter + mines combo. It is handy for luring enemies at spots, which is required for getting Gold Bolt and Skill Point, though.
  • The Wide Gun in Bionic Commando (1988) is a nearly useless Short Range Spread Shot. It does have a use in the overhead stages, where the short range is less of a complication, and the four-shot wide spread is helpful at defeating enemies quickly...but the Rocket Launcher is still vastly superior.
  • The ROM hack Rockman 4 Minus ∞ has the Skull Amulet, which is obtained by finishing off Skull Man with Recycle Inhaler. Originally, it cursed Hell Wheel, making it really slow. The 00.1 release changed it to give you a Last Chance Hit Point instead.
  • The Dual Pistols in Super Crate Box, which gives you two of the crappy pistol that you start out with. And you can only fire them to the left and right of yourself, so you can't even use your second one to concentrate your fire. The Disc Gun also counts to a lesser extent, as while it can kill small enemies in one hit (and larger ones in two) and bounces off walls, the projectile is incredibly small and hard to aim if you try to fire while jumping, and it's the only weapon in the game you can kill yourself with. The message you get when you unlock it even tells you "We are very sorry."
  • The Sleep ability from the Kirby series, which makes Kirby...fall asleep, and then wake up. Aside from the occasional Healing Factor, the ability has always been pretty much entirely useless...up until Kirby Battle Royale, which turned it into a full-fledged ability, and a pretty lethal one, at that.
  • In the Beetlejuice video game (the one based on the film), the B guy can find a roll of toilet paper while exploring the Deetz house. It serves absolutely no purpose whatsoever, but picking it up and taking it with him falls pretty well in line with the "hero's" sense of humor.
  • In Broforce, Double Bro Seven has an assortment of spy gadgets which he rotates between at random as his special attack. The Jetpack lets him fly up, damaging everything nearby, the Disguise makes him invisible to enemies for a short period, the Omega Wristwatch is a powerful long-range laser... and then there's the Martini, which is him drinking the martini and then tossing it at the enemy. It has pitiful range, a slight arc, and does much less damage than nearly every other weapon. If he manages to drink three, he gets tipsy. Still, you can actually kill a mook with it, if you hit them in the head.
  • Shantae: Half-Genie Hero: The Blobfish Dance is a purchased dance which is much weaker than even Shantae's regular form, and acquired by trading in a strong ranged attack of the Obliterate Dance.

    Racing Game 
  • Snowboard Kids
    • The Ice Board. The bottom of the board is so slick that it can barely even turn, even when you're snowboarding down a snowy mountain. In addition, trying to turn on the Ice Board will cause the rider to swerve in that direction without actually turning much, which can cause them to lose their balance and fall over. That being said, it is still perfectly capable of winning races in the single-player modes. You just have to hope the AI is just that dumb.
    • The Poverty Board, introduced in Snowboard Kids 2, will continuously deplete your money as you use it (though it cannot go below 0, and it can only remove money earned during that race). Its stats are all middle-of-the-road, meaning there is no visible benefit to make up for it draining your funds.

    Real Time Strategy 
  • The final Alliance mission in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne has "Wirt's other leg", playing off of Wirt's Leg from Diablo II. It drops from an abomination named The Butcher, which itself is a reference to the first Diablo.
  • In both Command & Conquer: Red Alert and Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 the Allied Forces can build Gap Generators. These structures can basically hide your units and buildings by creating an artificial black shroud. That being said, they don't fool anyone, human or A.I., and even a modestly skilled player with a decent attack force can sweep aside any "ambushes" with ease. Also, Gap Generators are expensive and consume a lot of power.
  • Pikmin 4: The Extra Hand piece of gear lets the player character carry an item just like the Pikmin, the first time in the series a non-dog leader can do so. What brings it in to joke territory is that the commander only has a carrying strength of 1, and it is the reward for completing a lengthy series of sidequests locked behind the Final Boss that requires backtracking through all six areas in the Playable Epilogue. Not only is it not that useful, but it is likely there is not much left in the game to use it on by the time it is obtained.
  • The Can Head in Scrap Metal Heroes is a Downplayed example. In terms of stats, it's pretty bad- having low HP and a debuff to damage and range to boot. The Flavor Text doesn't do it much favors either, calling it "nearly useless". However, it is pretty resource-cheap, so even though there are much better options out there, it can be used seriously.

  • Ancient Domains of Mystery has a lot of these:
    • The Potion of Stun Recovery and Scroll of Cure Blindness. Too bad you can't drink potions while stunned or read scrolls while blind.
    • The Potion of Uselessness, which rewards you with a random artifact if you find its one and only (super obscure) use.
    • The Scroll of Literacy Check is another joke item; if your Literacy skill is higher than 90, it reads, "If you can read this, you must be pretty good!". Reading it below that level just reveals parts of the message.
  • The Binding of Isaac:
    • The worm trinkets mess with your tear patterns in different ways, sometimes very bizarrely. While there are some synergies with some of them (such as Brimstone and Technology effectively just getting a size increase), they mostly exist for kicks. These are some of the more deliberately bad ones:
      • Wiggle Worm makes tears move in a squiggly line, making it very hard to hit enemies unless you have a tear size upgrade. This one is less bad than others since it also comes with a sizable attack speed boost, but deserves a spot since it's a passive item in the original game, meaning you can't ditch it.
      • Ring Worm causes tears to travel in unpredictable spirals, mirroring the infamously awful weapon from Fester's Quest for the NES.
      • Tape Worm doubles your range but halves your shot height, effectively cancelling itself out. This does have interesting but niche interactions with items that ignore one of those stats, however.
      • Hook Worm makes tears shift from side to side in a straight line as they travel, forming a path of right angles.
      • Ouroboros Worm makes tears fire in a wide impossible-to-aim loop, even wider than Ring Worm, with the "added bonus" that some shots are homing... and the homing isn't strong enough to overpower the trinket's main effect.
    • Butter Bean is an active item that lets you fart every four seconds, pushing away enemies very slightly. Not only does it take up your active item slot if you want to use it, it has a puny range and isn't even guaranteed to push away enemies in a helpful direction. Afterbirth+ mocked (and inadvertently buffed) the item with a secret item called Wait What?, which has the same sprite as Butter Bean but unleashes a damaging rock wave along with the fart. You can obtain it by putting down and picking up Butter Bean rapidly.
      • Playing off that, Butt Penny is even more useless. All it does is make you fart after you pick up a coin, which is incredibly funny if you have a room with tonnes of money but practically worthless.
    • The Poop lets you poop once per room. Pretty useless, except for the very minor benefit of digging through it for a chance at hearts or money, or using it to make a bridge by blowing it up. The only reason it exists is because it's the starting item of ???. However, it still has some use in ???'s hands because he'll get a blue fly every time a poop is destroyed, meaning that if a player saves all their poops until the end of the floor, they can have an army of expendable flies.
  • Dicey Dungeons:
    • The Precious Egg's counterpart in the Parallel Universe and Bonus Round is called the Rotten Egg, which gives you a random scrap item after opening it. Its contents are even worse if you "upgrade" it before opening it.
    • Exaggerated in the Inventor's Halloween Episode, where all of her equipment are terrible. However, she can turn them into gadgets that are actually useful, if not powerful enough in battle.
    • The Rubber Duck in the Halloween Special does absolutely nothing, and turning it into a gadget will leave you with a Broken Gadget, which doesn't do anything either. Not even upgrading it makes it better, as it just makes it take up twice the space.
  • Among the many varied weapons to be picked up in Izuna 2: The Unemployed Ninja Returns, Izuna and friends are able to use leeks as offensive weapons, which have weak attack power and only two talisman slots (as opposed to 3-5 for normal weapons). They're also a nutritious snack for a laughably low amount of HP recovery.
  • Luck be a Landlord: While the normal Guillotine item kills Billionaire symbols, the only effect the Guillotine Essence item has is to destroy you if you collect a billion coins. Achieving this results in a joke ending that makes the screen go black for a few seconds, then cut back to the main menu. By the time you have that many coins, you've already won the level and are deep into the endless mode. This is all the Guillotine Essence does, making it pretty much useless. The only reason you'll be picking it up is to unlock some achievements that require you to use it.
  • NetHack has the Cheap Plastic Imitation of the Amulet of Yendor. Sadistically, they're actually called "Amulet of Yendor" until identified (thankfully they stack with other fakes).
  • Sunless Sea: The Stymphalos-class Steam Launch is basically a lifeboat with an engine. Pathetic cargo capacity in a game where trading forms a huge chunk of income, crappy speed even compared to the starter ship, a One-Hit-Point Wonder in a game where the most fragile speedster has about fifty, and absolutely wrecks your offensive capacity just by being in it. Boarding it is either a huge Self-Imposed Challenge or (slightly) prolonged suicide.
    Description: "Possibly there's a reason you might want to set to zee in a boat the size of a dining-room table. Possibly."

    Role-Playing Game 
  • Chrono Trigger has the mop, a weapon for Crono with an attack power of 1.
  • In the adaptation of Code Lyoko's episode "Missing Link", Ulrich has the option to grab Yumi's purple cat-like plush toy, but you cannot get rid of it, nor give it back to Yumi if you are near her later.
  • The "Victim of Fashion" amulet in Dragon Age: Inquisition gives you one point of cunning... in exchange for reducing every single defensive stat by 100%. It's a riff on the Chainmail Bikini trope.
  • Dragon Quest series:
    • Dragon Quest VII and VIII have dung as an item. You read that right. Played straight in VII, where it sells for a single gold which is still awfully generous and has no real use. Turns into Solid Gold Poop in VIII; it can be used as a component in alchemy recipes.
    • The Gum Pod in Dragon Quest IV has no use whatsoever except for being sold for a single gold.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Morrowind:
      • The Scrolls of Icarian Flight zigzag between this trope and Lethal Joke Item. The Scrolls let you jump all the way across the continent In a Single Bound. While at first glance they appear straightforwardly awesome, they wear off after only a few seconds, meaning you'll no longer have the ability to land safely. (As the wizard who created them found out the hard way. You naturally loot the scrolls off of his fallen corpse.) They can still be utilized if you use them in conjunction with a Slowfall spell, a Levitation spell, land in deep enough water, or use a second scroll just prior to landing (though be warned, you only get three). The scrolls have been used in a speedrun, for jumping way the hell up Red Mountain much sooner than you could normally get there.
      • Morrowind also has the "Fork of Horipillation" — a, well, dinner fork which the player is tasked with killing a giant netch with. Of course, the quest-giver is the God of Madness...
      • Then there are the "Boots of Blinding Speed", which you receive as a reward for an Escort Mission. They do Exactly What It Says on the Tinincrease your running speed several times over, and make you completely blind. (If the player is capable of dispelling blindness, however, the boots actually become a useful item instead.)
      • One of the bandit caves near the starting area in Morrowind has a Fat Lute. It's not very phat lewt though — it's heavy and not worth much.
    • This is Sheogorath's schtick; the Daedric Artifact he gives out in Oblivion is the Wabbajack, a Magic Staff that is just as likely to turn a rat into a daedroth as vice versa, and heals anything it is used on. It can be used on the Final Boss in the game who is otherwise unkillable, but doing so breaks the final mission of the main quest.
    • Skyrim has the Wooden Sword from the Hearthfire DLC. It's meant to be a toy for a child, but you can beat a bandit to death with one all the same. It can also be turned into Lethal Joke Item if you decided to apply enchantments onto it. Odd considering you can give your adopted children real daggers as gifts. Dawnguard also allows you to dual-wield a knife and fork.
  • In Eternal Sonata, you can find a note in Andante telling you to look by the waterfall. When you do, Allegretto discovers a note which reads "Here's my address, big boy. Come on by and we'll have some fun!" The game then states you have "acquired some guy's address." There is a sound of paper shredding and then you get another message— "Tore up some guy's address."
  • EXA_PICO: The Ar tonelico, a miniature version of the reactor that powers the tower of the same name that can be used as a hand grenade. It is quite lethal, but, in a subversion of Slap-on-the-Wrist Nuke, it kills your enemies, your party, and everything in a hundred-mile radius.
  • Fallout:
    • A recurring weapon in the series is the BB Gun. It has a large clip size and decent range, but abysmal damage. A critical shot from the BB Gun is worse than a regular shot from the starting pistol. While the regular BB Gun is genuinely pathetic in combat, it often has a Nerf Arm or Lethal Joke Item variant, meaning the guns do have some value in the sense that you can crack them open to find the fairly uncommon BB ammo. Its appearances are usually accompanied by A Christmas Story references.
    • Fallout 2 has a ghoul make you perform some chores for him before he tells you where he buried his secret treasure — it turns out to be 10,000 bottle caps. While these were quite valuable in the previous game (and later games) — at the moment...
      Narrator: You've heard that at one time they were used as money, though you suspect it's only a story.
    • Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel has the Chauchat, a French machine gun from World War I which was notoriously unreliable. Modern experts often describe it as perhaps the "worst machine gun" ever fielded in the history of warfare. The in-game version can be equipped but does not fire.
    • Fallout 3 has the AntAgonizer and the Mechanist Costumes, which provide OK damage resistance, but have low durability. However, wearing one will lead to a random encounter with a kid asking for your autograph, as well as give you new dialogue options.
    • Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas both contain rolling pins as melee weapons, which is the second-weakest weapon in Fallout 3 (though the one in the Tranquility Lane simulation deals much higher damage) and the worst in New Vegas thanks to pool cues being buffed. The Point Lookout add-on for Fallout 3 includes a toy knife that is even weaker and more fragile than the rolling pin.
  • In Faria, the Paper Sword, which you can buy from a special hidden shop, is less powerful than the cheaper of the two weapons you can buy in the First Town.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Many games in the series appreciate the softness of gold by giving golden weapons exactly one attack, making them the weakest in the game; however, they have the other property of gold by having them sell for a huge amount.
    • Final Fantasy VII has a gag weapon for each character. Their stats are actually very high for that stage in the game, but the trade-off is that they have no materia slots, meaning that if you use them, you'll actually be less powerful in the long run. Cloud has a nail bat, Tifa has a pair of gardening gloves, Aeris has an umbrella, Barrett has a Rocket Punch, Yuffie has a rubber ball, Vincent has a squirt-gun and Cid has a push mop. Cait Sith has a conch, but then his weapons are megaphones anyway.note 
    • The "Potoin" (sic) from Dirge of Cerberus, which only restores 1 HP.
    • Final Fantasy XII and Final Fantasy Tactics A2 have Knots of Rust, which is just chunks of rocks you throw at enemies. They seem to do very little damage at first, but they get more powerful the more you use them, making them almost a Lethal Joke Item. Then there's also Dark Matter, which does little damage like the Knots of Rust at first. The Dark Matter gains power the more you use the rusts. With these items, it's possible to be Cherry Tapping bosses with chunks of rock. Knots of Rust also have a slightly more obscure use. Shemhazai's Limit Break attack, Soul Purge, does damage equal to the combined damage from the Knots of Rust and her Devour Soul attack. The damage cap on this is 60000. It's the second-strongest attack in the game at full charge. Also, they do have a very good use before you buff damage in A2. A few status can only be cursed with enuthisa, and you don't have that early, or getting hit. Thus, one of the easy ways to get rid of them is to use a Knot of Rust to do 1 damage, curing them.
    • The Running Gag joke item, the "Excalipoor" sword (occasionally written as "Excalipur"), which has absurdly low attack power any time it's equippable (though some games give it a high listed attack power, but the property of ignoring that calculation and dealing 1 damage). It's most commonly associated with the recurring character Gilgamesh, who used it (to poor effect) in the item's first appearance in Final Fantasy V. It's actually a Lethal Joke Item in Final Fantasy V when used right (some attacks, most noticeably Goblin Punch, use its listed attack power but skip the "always do 1 damage" code, or when used against insanely evasive, but very fragile Skull Eaters), but in other games, it's exactly as "poor" as advertised.
      • In Final Fantasy VIII, the summon Gilgamesh chooses randomly between 4 swords, the weakest naturally being the "Excalipoor", which does 1 HP of damage to all enemies.
      • Excalipoor makes a return appearance in Dissidia Final Fantasy as a trade item. Statistically Speaking, it's 1 point stronger than the real Excalibur, but with the drawback of causing all your physical attacks to do 0 damage. It doesn't, however, say anything about magical attacks.
      • In Duodecim, it's one of the eight weapons Gilgamesh randomly draws when attacking. While the Excalibur doubles the damage he deals, the Excalipoor naturally reduces it to 1. It's even his Limit Break; if you draw the Excalibur, he deals the most damaging EX Burst in the entire game, but if he draws the Excalipoor, he just adds a measly 4 damage to the initial burst damage, making it the weakest (but not completely worthless) EX Burst. And then the final part of that animation serves as a callback to the original game, where he throws the sword and can deal HP damage (the Excalipoor is one of the strongest items for the Throw command in Final Fantasy V), with the opponent having a surprised '!' and acting their blown back animation.
      • Excalipoor shows up yet again in the GBA remake of Final Fantasy VI, where its only purpose is for wagering in the Colosseum in order to fight one of the game's exclusive bosses. note 
      • It can be also acquired in Zodiac versions of Final Fantasy XII after completing a specific hunt (again, no points for guessing who are you tracking). It has 1 attack - for reference attacking barehanded gives you 12 attack. It gives 20 to evade though, has relatively low charge time and might be fairly usable to poach low-level enemies.
      • In Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, Gilgamesh finally figures out the trick to making Excalipoor into a Lethal Joke Item: it always does 1 damage, no matter how fast or shallow his swings, and Gilgamesh can swing it thousands of times per second.
    • The "Training Ring" in Dissidia Final Fantasy. A fairly expensive accessory that reduces all damage you take and give to 0, and reduces your initial brave to 0. It's no good for actual battles, but it can be used for (what else?) making a pseudo-training mode.
    • Final Fantasy VI has an accidental joke item in the form of the Goggles, which were meant to serve a valid purpose but due to a glitch do nothing. The only time they are even useful is when trying to learn new Lores with Strago.
    • Final Fantasy XIII-2 has a sidequest in Bresha Ruins where a "fortune" is promised to whoever can solve a paradox involving monsters, a computer, and a giant hand. For the player, the various Fragments collected during the solving provide enough CP to be worth their time. For the time-travelling characters, the "fortune" turns out to be not only worthless, but useless; the paradox happens 100 years after Serah's home time, 400 years before the time she intends to settle in, and 700-some years before Noel was even born.
      Mog: No one needs ten years worth of toilet paper, kupo! No one!
    • Final Fantasy IX: The Southern Tropical Outfits are eight (one per character) sets of equippable armor; namely Aloha T-Shirts, Straw Hats, Pearl Armlets and Sandals. They actually reduce the characters' stats when equipped, and make them weak to elements. They only serve as a in-joke towards the fact that much of the game was developed at Square's now-defunct USA branch in Honolulu, though they do sell for a decent amount of money.
    • Final Fantasy IV: The After Years: In the last chapter, "Small Tail" items can be found, which are used to make some of the most powerful items in the game. But you can also find "Small Tale," "Smell Tail," and "Small Fail" items. These do absolutely nothing, existing only to troll players.
  • In Icewind Dale 2, you can find a dead cat in the starting town, which was a quest item in an earlier game that used the same game engine.
    • You can ask several NPCs in the town if they are missing a cat, which gets you a number of hilarious replies about why you would run around with a dead cat and showing it to random strangers.
      "If I were you — thank the Gods I'm not — I'd get out of the cold before your brain freezes anymore than it has. When a fool goes to carrying a dead cat around, that's when you need to start asking yourself some serious questions."
    • This turns into a Brick Joke if you bring it all the way to the final dungeon, where you can use it against one of the bosses there (provided you didn't kill him earlier):
      Yquog: Uh... Why are you carrying around a dead cat?
      Player Character: Doesn't everybody carry around a dead cat? It's soft, and furry — well, parts of him are still furry — it's low maintenance, and the smell is rather cleansing, once you get used to it.
  • Kinder has the Smile item, which is free to purchase from the vending machines. Using it will only result in revealing it's a picture of real-life actress Toki Shiozawa, and how the protagonist thought she was the devil.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix gives Donald and Goofy the Plain Mushroom and Joyous Mushroom, a staff and shield with stats similar to their initial weapons. They are won by winning the Mushroom XIII mini games with the lowest score possible.
    • Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days features two joke weapons for the entire Organization in the multiplayer. One of the weapons is a useless one and one is a not-so-useless one: Xemnas has fans and a heart shaped light saber, Xigbar has hairdryers and a trumpet (they make honking sounds when you reload), Xaldin has brooms and six sticks with dragon heads on them, Vexen has a pot lid and a round shield with a snowman on it to match his element, Leaxus has a squeaky mallet and a Moai Head, Zexion has a giant sandwich and a white laptop (which looks like a Mac), Saix has a giant banana (and yes, it unpeels when he goes nuts) and a cute bunny and spaceship claymore, Axel has pizzas and two giant ninja stars, Demyx has a tennis racket and a big broom, Luxord wields CDs and several Four Leaf Clovers, Marluxia has a ladle and a giant bent water lily with a long stem, Larxene has dragonfly hair clips and eight lightbulbs, and Roxas and Xion share an umbrella, and very spiky and absurdly fast key. As a bonus, some of those weapons include a Shout-Out or two: Xaldin's brooms look awfully familiar, and his Wyvern isn't a subtle difference from a Heartless of the same name, Lexaeus' above-mentioned Moai head, Axel's pizza weapons are called "Puzza Cut", Demyx's Prince of Awesome racket, Luxord's very obvious Finest Fantasy 13 CDs, Roxas' Umbrella...
  • The late-game Slap spellcard in Last Scenario. The Crisis spell that comes with it at least raises the party's Strength, but the base spell is an unavoidable attack... for 1 damage. Pretty useless, until you realize that attacking characters who are under the Sleep and Berserk status effects is the only way to snap them out of it, at which point it at least becomes a handy method of doing such without dealing too much damage.
  • In Mega Man Starforce upgrades in RJ/BA for Omega-Xis can add animal sound effects for buster shooting and humorous dialogue for the talk (L) button.
  • Mitadake High has the Red box of meat. It's a nice reference, but it has no real use.
  • Mother:
    • The Insignificant Item in EarthBound (1994). Using it gets you the message, "By using this item, you had a very fruitful experience that cannot be understood by one who does not do something insignificant." However, the Insignificant Item does have one use; it can be traded to an NPC from earlier in the game for an ever-useful Magic Truffle, and is, in fact, the first opportunity to acquire one in the game outside of extreme luck in enemy drops.
    • EarthBound has a plethora of these. Things like rulers and protractors that have literally no use — they don't even make good Shop Fodder — and chickens, which will eventually hatch if you carry eggs around. They do make good Shop Fodder.
    • The Cup of Coffee is one that's lampshaded and justified. Restoring a paltry 12 hit points, they are outright useless even from the beginning of the game as they are immediately outclassed by the more effective and more readily available hamburgers. The Flavor Text explains that it's not very good and that it "must be an adult thing", implying it's only so ineffective because you're children.
    • There's also the Super Orange Machine, or Suporma, which you get from the Orange Kid. If you use it, then it plays the 'Ode to Orange Kid' and breaks immediately afterwards.
    • Mother 3 has a Brick Joke item. It's the doorknob that came off of Flint's house in Chapter 1. You acquire it after you beat the game.
  • Octopath Traveler: You can steal or buy Candy from children, which are HP healers. While the concept is humorous, the actual item predictably heals a minuscule 30 HP, meanwhile the Healing Grape (the most basic healing item), heals 500 HP. Tree Nuts are the SP equivalent and heal a whopping 8 points of SP.
  • Persona:
    • Some of Elizabeth's most irritating quests in Persona 3 involve hunting down rare enemies or rare items. The reward? Weapons with 100 power and 99 accuracy like a bone, a toy bow, a broom...What's even funnier is that the first one you can get (the toy bow) is pretty powerful around the time it's first available (most weapons at the time have 50 power).
    • There are multiple ways to acquire joke weapons in Persona 4:
      • The NPC student known as Artisan Apprentice can trade you silly weapons in exchange for the mysterious and mythical weapons you pick up in the TV world. The weapons he trades to you have identical stats to the ones you trade to him, meaning the boots of the Norse god Vidar give the same effect as a pair of fuzzy animal slippers.
      • Given the right materials, Master Daidara can make two for Yosuke (a pair of trout and two ears of corn) and one for Kanji (the Guardian, a massive goldfish).
      • At Shiroku pub, you can trade gemstones for weapons like a beach parasol for the protagonist, a tambourine for Yukiko, a Christmas wreath for Kanji, and a water gun for Naoto.
      • Fishing at the beach during winter can net you a bus stop sign for the protagonist, a pair of pinwheels for Yosuke, and a frisbee for Yukiko.
  • Pillars of Eternity has The Disappointer, a pistol with all-around terrible stats and a background story describing how terrible it is, including mocking those who hold on to it in hopes of discovering if it has any secret potential. It doesn't.
  • Pokémon:
    • The Lucky Punch, a held item which increases the holder's chance to get critical hits by two stages. This would make it a great item if it weren't for the fact that it only works for Chansey, a Stone Wall with the lowest base attack stat in the entire series (5, when the "average" for any stat is 70-80) and nowhere-near-as-bad but still abysmal special attack (35), meaning it isn't going to wreck anything even with extra crits. It also doesn't work for its evolution Blissey, who could have gotten niche use out of it due to its okay 75 special attack.
    • In the same vein is Metal Powder and Quick Powder. The former gives a big increase to both defense stats of the holder, while the latter doubles the holder's speed. Both of these only work for Ditto, whose specialty is transforming into its opponent. Since a transformed Ditto doesn't count as a Ditto anymore, the items are useless after it uses Transform (its only move). They aren't even useful before transforming, as Ditto's stats are so low that the boosts won't help it survive a strong hit or outspeed an opponent. Meanwhile, Dittos with Imposter transform as soon as they're sent out, so the powders won't work at all.
    • Pokémon Black and White introduced various "Wing" items that you can find on bridges which slightly increase a Pokémon's stats depending on the type of Wing (Muscle Wing increases attack, Health Wing increases HP, etc.). One of these Wings is simply known as a "Pretty Wing", which does absolutely nothing. The item description lampshades this.
    "Though this feather is beautiful, it's just a regular feather and has no effect on Pokémon."
    • Most of the Imakuni? cards in the Game Boy Pokémon Trading Card Game. Though they did have some strategic uses, they were mostly just... weird. The original Imakuni? card confuses your own active Pokémon, though it can become a Lethal Joke Item if used on Dark Primeape, which benefits from being confused, in the sequel.
    • The held item Everstone. While it is helpful when trying to breed Pokémon, it's main use (and the only one stated in the item description) is to stop a Pokémon holding it from evolving. Since you can prevent a Pokémon's evolution just by pressing a single button anyway, it barely even counts as a time-saving convenience. In addition, evolved forms are almost always more powerful overall, so you're unlikely to want to stick this item on them to begin with. Finally, if you do want prevent a Pokemon from evolving, it's because you want it to hold something like Eviolite, which grants a 50% boost to defense and special defense for unevolved Mons. Outside breeding, the item might be best-known for how you receive it in Gen IV: you get it via in-game trade... held by a Pokémon that would otherwise evolve when traded.
    • The Beast Ball is a special Poké Ball designed to be used on Ultra Beasts found in Pokémon Sun and Moon and Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. Against an Ultra Beast, it is 5 times as effective compared to a regular Poké Ball, but against anything else it is only 1/10 times as effective, making it next to useless for catching. In Pokémon Sword and Shield and Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, Ultra Beasts do not appear at all outside of Dynamax Adventures in the former's Crown Tundra DLC, rendering them the worst Poké Balls in the game outside of guaranteed catches.
    • Some of the Pokémon in Pokémon Ranger, such as Kecleon and Porygon, have neither a Poké Assist nor a field move, making them completely useless and purely there for collection. Fixed in the sequels, where every Pokémon has a Poké Assist and almost all of them have field moves.
  • In tri-Ace's Star Ocean series, the "Tri-Emplem" is a decent but unremarkable accessory, especially by the time you get them. "Tri-Emblems", however, are extremely powerful accessories that can only be found in the Bonus Dungeons. In the fourth game, the former can be made into a Lethal Joke Item by taking advantage of its high number of slots, and synthesizing eight of the latter into it.
  • The HK droid Pacifist Package in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II – The Sith Lords is a waste of several thousand credits, but you get some awesomely hilarious dialogue when you install it in HK-47. It also gives him a small stat boost, so it's not completely useless, but the boosted stat is Wisdom which HK, as a pure combat droid who can't ever use Force powers, has little to no need for.
  • Tales of the Abyss has a number of these, acquired throughout the game: there's the Fork, Knife, and Spoon, which count as spear, sword and staff weapons, respectively. Jade also gets the Pointer (a cartoony gloved pointing hand on a stick) and the Deck Brush, and Anise gets to wield a giant Lollipop.
  • The 1990s Macintosh RPG TaskMaker is loaded with these. Among these are "Butter Knife" as a weapon; several useless items such as "Old Empty Chest" and various early Macintosh models; and various potions that hurt the player instead of helping them. The Tomb of the TaskMaker takes it a step further by having joke armor ("Rotted Shield", "Stinky Boots", "Ring of Constriction", etc.; it also has "Hard Rock Bands" which gives maximum protection but deafens the player).
  • Undertale has an interesting variation of this with the Genocide Route exclusive Real Knife and Locket. On paper, they're great, having the highest stats out of any equipment in the game by far with 99 ATK and 99 DEF respectively. However, by the time you can actually get these items, the only fight left in the game, and the only fight where you can possibly use them in, is against Sans, who completely negates any and all equipment since he dodges all of your overpowered attacks, and his attacks ignore your defense and invincibility frames. Even then, Sans only has 1 attack and 1 HP, so the player's defense and attack power wouldn't make any difference regardless, and he's scripted to die in one hit when you actually get the ability to hit him. You don't even get to use them after the fact either since Asgore and Flowey are killed automatically in a cutscene after encountering them.
  • In Unleash the Light, the description for the Sparkly Badge says that all it does is make the wearer sparkle in battle, unlike the other badges, which have actual benefits. The only use it has is for a Sidequest in Pyrope's World, which only rewards you with a Super Star Fruit and a random charm, while in Rose's Room, it can at least be sold for Light Bits.
  • A Very Long Rope to the Top of the Sky: There are a few for sale in Silver Spring: The Fun Sword line, with Fun Sword and Fun Sword Deluxe, which give no ATK, but the Fun Sword Deluxe has a different sound effect when it attacks, which matches its Flavor Text.
    They added realistic slashing sound effects
  • West of Loathing includes several Power Up Foods that increase various stats for the rest of the day... as well as the goblin "guffin", which "increases your nothing by zero", presumably because you're not a goblin.
  • In Xenoblade Chronicles 1, after beating the Optional Boss of a long sidequest arc (a level 78 enemy mind you), the party gets two weapons. One of them is the Monapon, which has a damage range of 1-1, and whose only good quality is having a 30% Critical Hit rate. The other weapon on the other hand looks like an oversized half-eaten fish, and is one of Riki's best weapons.

    Shoot 'Em Up 
  • Fantasy Zone has the Rocket Engine, the highest level of speed power-up, which makes Opa-Opa almost uncontrollably fast. Word of God admitted the developers threw it in as a gag to trick unwise players into wasting money. It sees some use in tool-assisted speed runs, but human players will likely die quickly (and then be eaten alive by the Unstable Equilibrium).

    Simulation Game 
  • Dwarf Fortress lets you craft your own joke weapons. Silver edged weapons and adamantine hammers are the traditional examples — silver can't hold an edge to save your life, and adamantine has the density of balsa wood. They're Not Completely Useless, though; giving an adamantine hammer to the Hammerer significantly increases the odds of your dwarfs surviving if they're convicted of some Felony Misdemeanor, and silver edged weapons were the training weapon of choice in older versions before proper wooden ones were added.

    Stealth-Based Game 
  • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater has camouflage items that fall under this category (though some were only available as Downloadable Content or through Updated Rereleases).
    • The "Fly" camouflage prevents guards from getting too close to you because it's stinky and it draws flies. Its design consists of piles of poo.
    • The "Cold War" camouflage seems like this at first. While the Soviet flag design on the front causes the Russian enemy soldiers to hesitate to shoot you, the moment you turn your back to them and expose the American flag design there, they'll open fire. However, this camo is actually quite useful on the rail-shooting portion of the game, especially if you're going for a Pacifist Run.
    • The various flag face paints provide no real in-game benefit and are pretty much there just for the player's amusement.
    • There are also some unlockable camouflage outfits (formerly downloadable in the original game, unlockable in the rerelases) such as "Santa", "Mummy", "Anubis", and the Japan-only "E-DEN" (hippie outfit) and "WonderGOO". Few have any particular in-game benefits ("Mummy" helps prevent serious injuries; "Grenade" provides infinite grenades).

    Survival Horror 
  • Silent Hill 3 has the Gold and Silver Pipes, which can be earned during a New Game Plus by (unintuitively) throwing your regular pipe into the sewers and confronting the sewer fairy. They deal the same kind of damage as the regular pipe, they just look prettier.
  • The Resident Evil series has a long standing tradition of having a knife that is useless to varying degrees, seemingly only added so you always at least have some means of attack (as the amount of ammo in the game is finite). To wit:
    • Resident Evil, the knife is semi-useful early on, due to the limited ammo and a Good Bad Bug that lets you stab zombies if they are caught behind something, like say a statue or a banister. Beyond that it's not worth using.
    • Resident Evil 2 the knife is completely useless, doing pitiful damage to any enemy that isn't already a one hit kill to any other weapon.
    • Most players are unlikely to notice because of how plentiful guns and ammo both are, but the Resident Evil 3: Nemesis knife is actually incredibly versatile, being able to stun lock a Cerberus, take down a zombie in as little as four hits, and even kill Nemesis in the police station due to the corner bug. There are also a couple of Environmental Hazards the knife can be used on to save a few rounds of ammo. For whatever reason, this only applies to the knife when it's in Jill's hands; it's not nearly as effective for other playable characters.
    • Resident Evil – Code: Veronica, the knife is upgraded to full on Lethal Joke Item, due to its ability to hit a monster multiple times in one slash. Most later games would similarly make the knife much more useful.
    • Resident Evil 4 lets you throw eggs at the Ganados. And, if you don't want to shoot Ashley, you can throw eggs at her.
    • Doing this in Resident Evil 5 gives you an achievement. And throwing a rotten egg will kill a Majini.
  • Various characters in Eternal Darkness can acquire a crossbow, but between its pitiful damage and its lengthy reload time, it's much easier to just stick with their melee weapons.
  • Most of the Killers in Dead by Daylight have an add-on for their power that either does nothing but waste an add-on slot, or outright makes them weaker in some way. These always come with a bonus to end-of-game rewards for playing well, making them useful for players skilled enough to offset the handicap.

    Third-Person Shooter 
  • P.N.03 has the Prima Guardian suit, which is definitely the most useless. Sure, it has high barrier and energy, as well as autofire, but very wimpy palmshot and energy drive attacks.
  • The Water Pistol, from Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. It can actually be used to startle enemies and short-circuit electronics, but it's not nearly useful enough to be a Lethal Joke Item. During the fight against the Man on Fire in Mission 20 it can be used to extinguish his flames despite Miller's protests, but it takes about 90 shots at close range to put him out once.
  • Warframe pushed Flawed Mods into this state with the Abyss of Dagath update, where their obtainment in the tutorial was replaced by the real deal mods. Flawed Mods were variants of normal mods with a cracked appearance and under-half of the upgrade capacity and stats of the real ones. They’re still obtainable in Iron Wake in a dumpster full of them, if you really want one for the slightly lower mod capacity they take up.

    Turn-Based Strategy 
  • Shining Force II has the Chirrup Sandals, which cause the wearer to make a funny sound when walking, allegedly makes the wearer more likely to be attacked, and if equipped then unequipped by Slade or Bowie, may learn a dummy spell known as Higins, which looks like and uses the same MP as Heal but does absolutely nothing (although it does give a small amount of EXP, making it slightly useful since there's a finite amount of enemies to kill).
  • Fire Emblem
    • The series noticeably didn't have any until New Mystery of the Emblem. A veritable torrent of the things ensued through randomly-obtained online content, including a toy bow, a laundry pole, a healing staff called "Mediocre", a previously-used healing potion...and a frying pan.
    • Awakening also added a tree branch, a ladle, and a log for sword-, axe- and lance-wielders respectively—all described by the game as "weak and ill-suited for combat". There's also a joke staff and bow (called the Kneader and Slack Bow, respectively). The Miniature Lance and Missiletainn play with it a bit, as the Miniature Lance has 1 might but a rather good critical rate, and Missiletainn is decent but not much better than the generic Steel Swords you can buy in armories (it's also probably a reference to Excalipoor).
    • Fates outdoes its predecessors with such examples as the Broom ("A spear with a thousand tiny points." ), Stale Bread (which counts as a knife and restores the user's HP each turn), plates and trays which supposedly belong to your party's Maid and Butler units, a Quill Pen ("Not actually mightier than the sword" ), and a paper carp streamer classified as an axe/club. Notably, those weapons are Not Completely Useless, as they usually posess some unusual and situationally useful attributes (for example Arthur really appreciates the Frying Pan due to its boost to Critical Evasion). The Pine Branch (a lance) however, is a Lethal Joke Weapon with a higher base damage than Steel weapons. Admittedly, being run through with a tree branch would be quite painful.
    • Engage:
      • There is a joke gift by the name of Horse Manure, and it's almost completely useless aside from triggering unique dialogue from the ally you're giving it to, and chances are they'll be revolted by it.
      • Starting with version 1.3, the introduction of the Ancient Well brings back joke weapons in the form of sweets, which are pathetically weak and unrefinable, and the only thing they have going for them is that they can be eaten to restore HP at the cost of losing them permanently, though more copies of these weapons can be obtained.
  • Disgaea 2 has the Supremacy sword weapon, obtained by stealing. They also have the Almighty Armor, in which is stolen from the same person who uses the Supremacy weapon. The armor's description says it's an armor with the word "Almighty" on it.

    Visual Novel 
  • The Ace Attorney series has the Attorney's Badge "evidence". The item is almost always available in the first slot of your inventory. Throughout the series, the number of times it's actually useful can be counted on one hand. However, presenting it to various people during the Investigation phases usually results in some humorous dialogue. The spinoff games have their equivalents, like the Prosecutor's Badge or the Armband. They're just as useful as the Attorney's Badge.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • In Just Cause 2, if you go to the Lautan Lama Alpha Communications Outpost and look south-southwest from it, you will see a field of white-leaved trees with a bell tower in the middle. On top of this bell tower is the Bubble Blaster. It is a purple kids Bubble Gun toy which does absolutely no damage to anything you fire at. If you fire this weapon close to a civilian, the Panauan police will take it as a crime and try to kill you. It DOES, however allow you to hold around triple the normal amount of ammunition for the Sub-Machine Gun due to a possible glitch.
  • Dead Rising:
    • This game features many, many weapons, as literally anything can be used to smack zombies around. Most items are somewhat damaging or useful. Then you have the stuffed teddy bears, the Mega Buster that shoots nerf balls, and the water pistol. These have the exact same effect: they make zombies flinch. Nothing else (except the Mega Buster, which does tiny amounts of damage). Still, it's absolutely hilarious to see protagonist Frank lugging a huge teddy bear around a mall full of zombies. Several of the Joke Items give you +Humor points when you take photographs involving them.
    • If you press the button to throw or shoot while not holding anything, you will spit at the zombies. This can actually be lethal if you drink the Spitfire mixed drink.
    • Dead Rising 2 lets many of these items make a reappearance, but now several of them can be used as crafting material for the very powerful combo weapons, potentially making them Lethal Joke Items.
  • Grand Theft Auto:
    • The Dodo in Grand Theft Auto III. It's the only plane in the game that you can fly - but it's also so unstable that it might as well be groundbound. It's not for no reason that the thing's ingame model has wings that barely extend past its hull; the developers were actually surprised when people managed to glitch the thing enough to keep it airborne for more than about five seconds.
    • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas:
      • There is a dildo you can obtain relatively easily and use as a melee weapon. It's possible to kill people with it, but it's almost as weak as punching someone with the beginning game stats.
      • The vibrator is hard to find and does the same amount of damage as the dildo so it's more of a novelty.
      • The flowers, which can be found all over the place and useful to give to girlfriends like all the above items. The flowers are a surprisingly effective melee weapon. Not lethal, but about as good as a baseball bat and ten times as funny to blow up a car with.
    • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City has several of these, including a screwdriver and a golf club. The golf club alone is worth it just for the animation of you hitting someone with it while they're down.
    • The Tractor in Grand Theft Auto V. It's the slowest vehicle in the game and it can barely go up steep roads. It is such a joke that one of the rewards for a sidequest is a cleaned-up Tractor with a license plate.
  • There are at least two versions per class of weapon that fulfill this in the Monster Hunter series of games. To wit, shishkabob Dual Swords and a parasol Gunlance in just Monster Hunter Portable 3rd.
  • In Minecraft, any item can be held, though only tools help in a fight. It's not uncommon to "tickle" things to death with a feather for fun.
    • With the enchantment system, you can turn any item into a Lethal Joke Item. Want to attack zombies with raw fish enchanted with Smite V? You can.
    • The golden sword and golden armor set plays the trope straight; the gold sword isn't any stronger than an iron sword and the gold armor isn't any stronger than iron armor, but the gold counterparts wear down twice as fast as leather armor and wooden swords. They, however, are the best for enchanting purposes. Subverted when gold armor was given an additional utility purpose with the Nether update, where wearing it makes Piglins neutral toward you.
    • The Game Mod 'Tinker's Construct' lets you make your own weapon out of varying parts and materials. Naturally, this can lead to some incredibly powerful weapons... or this trope, but a few standout examples:
      • Sponge gives a large boost to durability and silk touch... but makes the tool deal zero damage, even less than punching with your bare hands.
  • The Simpsons Hit & Run has the Monorail Car, the secret vehicle of Level 2. It is the front car of the ruined monorail train from "Marge Vs the Monorail," and even with the game's Wrench items it cannot be fully repaired. Fittingly, it has some of the worst stats out of any vehicle of the game, with poor speed and no major durability to make up for it. It stands out when compared to the other secret vehicles, which include a car with a rocket jet, a boat with wheels, and a monster truck.
  • Terraria:
    • The Angel Statues. The tooltip even says "It doesn't do anything." The 1.4.4 update gave it a use, but only in being transformed in to a decorative item when transmutated with Shimmer.
    • The Whoopie Cushion, which is very rare and produces a farting noise when used. The update added an interesting use for this item as a crafting component.
    • The confetti gun in 1.2, meant to celebrate being the 1000th item added to the game.
    • There's a squirt-gun drop in 1.2.3 that does nothing but fire a harmless stream of water, as well as a beach ball that you can only push around to demonstrate some basic physics. 1.2.4 adds the junk items you can fish up, like lumps of seaweed, old shoes, and empty tins. As of 1.3, the Squirt Gun does have a small purpose—it can trigger the "wet" buff for the Fishron Mount.
    • The Celebration, dropped from the Moon Lord is usually seen as only a novelty weapon. It deals good damage and has large splash, but the 2 projectiles it fires travel a short distance before exploding like fireworks, and its fire rate is so-so. The Snowman Cannon is a much better rocket launcher weapon. In the 1.4 update it was demoted to a post-golem novelty item from the Party Girl, and replaced as a drop by Celebration MK.II, a very much non-joke item.

    Collectable Card Game 
  • The entirety of the Un- expansions (Unglued, Unhinged, and Unstable) for Magic: The Gathering are nothing but these, some useful, some not, some deadly. They're not legal in any serious tournament, since most of them feature mechanics that are decidedly not part of standard play. A few examples include a card that requires you to tear it apart, a card that has your opponent buy you a drink, or a card that destroys itself if you bend your elbows.
  • The xXxenophile Card Game includes the card Nik, Fodunk of the Glass Sveege. Popping the card has this effect: "Splee three frooKs, biffle preden7ine mass." No, none of that means anything in the context of the game either. Furthermore, the card lacks the usual matchable symbols at the edges (meaning you can only pop it via the special abilities of other cards) and is worth no points - there's an unreadable symbol where the number denoting point value should be.

    Tabletop Games 
  • BattleTech: The Listen-Kill Missile is effectively this. Listen-Kill Missiles are a special type of ammunition that can be used by both Long-Range Missile launchers and Short-Range Missile launchers. They get a bonus to accuracy against mechs and tanks but are highly succeptible to jamming- they were developed for the War of 3039 and by 3040, the countermeasure that canceled out their accuracy was widespread among all factions. So they effectively are no different from normal missiles.
  • Salvage Hidden Treasures has the Rusty Anchor. It is consumes a whopping five weigh units (which is half a boat's capacity), isn't worth a dime and cannot be sold at the bank. However, it can end up as a Lethal Joke Item in specific circumstances, as rare events allow you to pass one treasure of yours to other players, severely impairing their own treasure hunt.

    Tabletop RPG 
  • The first edition Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Realms of Sorcery has Erik's Sword of Confusion:
    This was made for Erik the drunkard, a notorious Norscan mercenary. While in the cups he foolishly commissioned a wizard to make him a sword that could "cut through things like butter." The wizard was as good as his word. Against normal targets, the sword has Damage -3, but it cuts through dairy products with the efficiency of a fine cheesewire. The wizard who made the sword was later found drowned in a vat of yoghurt.
  • The Paranoia adventure "WMD" surprises players at about its halfway point with bizarre additional skills (Expensive Soaps, Quality Theater). At first it seems to be just more Paranoia weirdness, but it actually foreshadows that the player characters have all been mindwiped. They are remembering skills from their previous lives as rich, successful citizens.
  • Many joke items have appeared in Dungeons & Dragons, simply because DMs enjoy messing with players. For example:
    • The Wand of Wonder, which produces random magical effects — many of which are useless, or affect the wielder instead of the target.
    • The Bag of Tricks, which randomly produces various animals that obey your commands and will fight your enemies — but what use is a rat or a weasel?
    • The Ring of Contrariness — which, as you might have suspected, merely forces the wearer to disagree with everything anyone says. A prime example of some wizard wasting his time by crafting it.
    • This post contains a few examples worth a chuckle.
    • Many items featured in the April humor issue of Dragon, such as the Invisible Ring (when you put it on, it turns invisible. You don't.)
    • A legendary tabletop story tells of the Head of Vecna, a random severed head that supposedly worked like the real artifacts called the Hand and Eye of Vecna (You cut your body part off, then attach Vecna's to the stump. Do the math on what happens when you try to use the head...). The original was made up by half a party to prank the other half, but writers found the story so funny they put a real Head of Vecna in a joke module. This head has to be placed on a living headless body, and if it's magical at all (it could be just some random severed head a group of previous adventurers passed off as a relic) the powers it grants are basically useless.

Non-Video Game Examples:

  • Homestuck:
    • There are a few Kind Abstratii that seem like they're jokes, like spoonKind, bunnyKind, and umbrellaKind, but they've all been shown to be useful in-universe and no one actually mocks them as weapons. However, the line is apparently drawn at fancysantaKind, a weaponset made entirely out of porcelain Santa figurines. One of the characters wants to see if fancysantaKind can actually be used effectively, but doesn't have any luck.
    • The SORD......., a Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff-themed weapon that is, appropriately, not only completely useless, but so shitty it's hard to even hold it.
    • Equius' strife specibus used to be bowkind, until he turned out to be just too STRONG to handle a bow without breaking it in half, giving him the completely useless 1/2bowkind. So he just punches everything to death instead.
    • Rose's strife specibus are needles. As in, knitting needles, that are about as useful as they sound. They can also reduce physical things to subatomic levels using pure Eldritch power granted to her by the dark gods that call to her in her sleep, though only later on in the story. Jane's also deserves a special mention, being kitchen cutlery.

    Web Original 
  • There are numerous Impossibly Cool Weapons in Farce of the Three Kingdoms, but minor character Chen Ying uses a flying fork. It's a fork. He throws it at people. His fight against Zhao Yun does not end well for him.
  • Jet Lag: The Game:
    • One of the curse cards in Season 5 is to force the other team to have to listen to Tom Lehrer's "The Elements Song" on repeat until they reach their next challenge, which does nothing to actually hamper the other team, but which is very annoying. Ben and Adam force Sam and Toby to do it from Kaikoura to Christchurch, a roughly two hour and twenty minute trip.
    • Season 6:
      • The Mud Tower could be considered this. It does nothing except force any opponents in its radius to only walk sideways. Ben and Adam use it at the end of the third round to mess with Scotty since they're stuck where they are and about to be tagged anyway.
      • In The Layover, they explained that they initially thought of the Pizza Tower as this, not having realized that it could force opponents off their trains if placed down while the opponent was in range.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Joke Weapon


Toilet Paper Coupon

In "Final Fantasy XIII-2" your reward for defeating the Kalavinka in the Bresha Ruins and resolving the paradox is a measly 4000 CP and a coupon good for ten years worth of toilet paper, much to the chagrin of Mog, who was expecting a big payday. The Toilet Paper Coupon becomes a Key Item in in your inventory.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / JokeItem

Media sources: