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"Making something that is bad on purpose — and not bad inadvertently, which is my usual process — is a whole-body thrill. It goes hard against every natural instinct to write this way. It has the delicious and irresistible texture of sin."
Jerry Holkins from Penny Arcade about this strip

Where a work is made in an intentionally bad style. Some examples of this trope are In-Universe cases, where a Show Within a Show looks bad, while in other cases the entirety of the work is like this. The most conspicuous aspect of this is the dialog, in which one can expect the characters to speak in a stilted, mechanical tone for no apparent reason at all.

Can often be So Bad, It's Good due to the hilariously bad nature of a lot of these works.

A Super-Trope to:

For In-Universe examples, it's been suggested by various movie critics that this is done solely because it would be irritating to the viewer and humiliating to the writer if the story within was a lot more interesting than the story around it (though an enterprising author could release it as a spin-off, not unlike the real-life Radioactive Man comics), so they do what they can to kill it while retaining its purpose.


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  • This commercial for Lotso-Huggin' Bear. Which is actually a Viral Marketing campaign created by Pixar.
  • The 2012 commercials for the Toyota Yaris are made to look like they had No Budget. The spokesman has trouble projecting and stumbles on his lines, the script is tacky, and overall it looks like a live weather report where the speaker and the special effects guy aren't in sync. Now combine all that with Our Slogan Is Terrible and Our Product Sucks, for a final result of "Toyota Yaris: It's a car!"
  • This ad for the French supermarket brand Monoprix, titled "The Worst Song in the World", fittingly has a song that's deliberately meant to be annoying, with features including an obnoxious-sounding lead singer, a grating saxophone solo in the middle of the song, a random rap verse that doesn't fit with the rest of the song at all, and the singers inexplicably switiching to Gratuitous Spanish for a verse, all of which the song gleefully lampshades, even asking why the young woman who's listening to it why she can't just skip it. It turns out she can't because she's carrying groceries in both her hands, to which Monoprix implores viewers to use its delivery service so that such a situation won't happen to them.

    Anime & Manga 
  • One episode of Carole & Tuesday has the leads buy a (very cheap) AI online to help direct and edit a music video for them. As expected for a cheap, poorly-reviewed robot, the video ends up being a disaster: their upbeat song is riddled with Special Effect Failure such as visible greenscreening issues, many shots are out of focus, several scenes feature zombies, fighting robots and explosions, and animated and CGI effects horribly Off-Model.
  • The first (in airing order) episode of Haruhi Suzumiya's anime adaptation, "The Adventures of Mikuru Asahina", is a gloriously bad student film made by the main characters, with a plotline that makes no sense, random scene changes, flat characters, appalling acting, shoddy directing (the conversation where both characters are facing right springs to mind), really badly animated special effects (with one exception — that happens to nearly take out the cameraman) and an opening song which sounds like it's being sung at gunpoint. And Kyon commenting on all this. An early fansub added to this by applying subtitles and karaoke that were reminiscent of those you'd find on old fansubs, complete with Comic Sans and a static karaoke with notes.
  • The unnamed alien soap opera watched by the whole household in the original Tenchi Muyo! OVAs is poorly written and badly acted, and yet enthralls everyone who watches. Mihoshi is also obsessed with a badly-made anime called Space Police Policeman, which is ironic considering she's a real Galaxy Police officer.
  • Genshiken's Show Within a Show, Kujibiki♡Unbalance, was intended to be like this, an intentional Cliché Storm that contained every absurdity ever to appear in manga and anime (particularly cliches related to the Moe boom of the early-to-mid 2000s, which Genshiken was first published). A few episodes of the show were included as extras on the Genshiken anime's DVD release, and real viewers loved it so much it became a real, full length series. The TV series diverges quite a bit from the one within Genshiken, both in art style and in plot.
  • Nadesico had the Show Within a Show Gekiganger 3, which has become somewhat legendary among fans. The dub adds an extra layer by intentionally mismatching the character's mouth-flaps.
  • In the Strawberry Marshmallow manga, Miu tries her hand at making a Shoujo manga herself. Her style is not that much inferior to the original, which is actually pretty good for a twelve-year old. Her storytelling leaves something to be desired, though.
  • The Uraon DVD specials from K-On!. The art style borders in So Bad It's Horrible.
  • An episode of Kirby: Right Back at Ya! features this hilarious Amateur Film-Making Plot where Dedede tries to make an anime, recruiting more or less the entire cast to do the work. Between Executive Meddling, a ridiculously tight schedule and a low budget, and most of the staff having no idea what they're doing (especially Kirby), it starts out as a parody of the show itself and gets very steadily worse. And funnier.note 
  • The entire premise of the Excel♡Saga anime is based on this. Each episode, there's a scene of the director forcing the writer to put his 'stamp of approval' on that episode's script, which is invariably a haphazard attempt to shoehorn his characters into a variety of inappropriate genres.
  • Rozen Maiden:
    • Rozen Maiden features a puppet crime show with anthropomorphic animals and plots vaguely inspired by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's novels, Detective Kun-Kun, which is quite unexceptional and bland (complete with exaggerated acting, stiff, low-budget puppets, weak twists), yet all the dolls living in Jun's house are enthralled by it, screaming to warn the character of traps or betrayal, and genuinely shivering when a "scary" scene is happening, to the point of having Shinku in love with the title character, a pipe-smoking dog dressed as Sherlock Holmes (Jun even uses it to win an argument); yet this might also be to show that despite their age and occasional wisdom they all are little girls, and react as such, to tone down the many creepy and downer moments of the series.
    • The Detective Kun-Kun OVA presents an episode of the television show from the point of view of the Rozen Maiden dolls watching it: as a theatrical masterpiece complete with red curtain.
  • In Hayate the Combat Butler Nagi's greatest dream in life is to become a famous Mangaka. Too bad the only people capable of understanding the completely nonsensical plot of her manga are herself and her friend Isumi.
  • The parts in the Twin Spica anime in which Asumi talks about her childhood dreams or shares astronomical knowledge (usually in the beginning) are drawn in a very primitive, childish style.
  • Sensei and Ninomiya-kun, a soap opera in Minami-ke. It's an utter Cliché Storm with horrible acting, and yet the protagonists seem to like it.
  • Sgt. Frog has the Five-Man Band attempt to create an anime movie. The characters were little better than doodles, nothing moves and the voice acting has nothing to sync to. Only the (pirated) backgrounds looks good.
  • Pretty much the entire "169th Friends Concert" in 20th Century Boys. Lampshaded by the protagonist. It's made even more obvious in the live-action movie adaptations, where you actually have to hear "Ai Rock Yuu" in all its horrific sucky glory.
  • Gintama:
    • In episode 183, the opening is redone to look as though it was drawn in MS Paint after an in-universe example of Died During Production leaves the show without an animator.
    • There's also an episode where Gin and a prison inmate (from a previous arc) attempt to create a shounen manga but basically end up with a mix of super saiyan style shoulder pads, a Chage Note and blatant harem cliches. Plus rough children's illustrations. It doesn't even make sense in context.
  • Despite the fact that he's supposedly a best-selling and award-winning novelist, the extracts from Usagi's yaoi novels in Junjou Romantica are full of Purple Prose and cliched dialogue; the Junai Romantica novels, which are supposedly the novels that he wrote, are similarly prone to Cliché Storm and weepy uke syndrome, but are hilarious to read because of the mismatch between Usagi's fictionalized versions of the characters and how they really are.
  • Even a Monkey Can Draw Manga uses this both for innate humor and to parody the stereotypical art styles of every major genre of manga.
  • The opening of Gundam 00: A Wakening of the Trailblazer depicts a Movie Within A Movie that recreates the events of the Mobile Suit Gundam 00 TV a hammy, Super Robot-esque affair that bears almost no resemblance to the actual show. Getting in on the gag, at least one fansub group gave the movie cheesy subtitles with different colored text for each character and several words left in Japanese with translation notes explaining what they mean and then saying there's no good English translation (a Take That! against a certain fansub group that does this un-ironically).
  • In Bleach, whenever Rukia uses her hand-made drawings to explain the spirit world and Hollows to Ichigo, they look as if they were done by a six year old. Ichigo never fails to point out how much her art style sucks. And usually gets hit because of it. Apparently Byakuya has a very similar art style.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
  • Perfect Blue has "Double Bind", a detective drama that has many plot elements directly lifted from popular works of the genre. It's implied that the writer has no plan whatsoever and throws things like rape in because they are his Author Appeal.
  • Baby Beel's drawings in Beelzebub are given criticism as if they were true works of art, when he's actually a toddler who can do little more than scribble.
  • The manga and some supplementary materials for Hatoful Boyfriend have Anghel's manga clearly made with more enthusiasm than skill and are in a much more scribbly style than the rest of the manga. Ryouta says there's a high stroke count and he respects Anghel, but Anghel can't get anyone very interested in his stuff; an editor says there might be something there but it lacks an "adult feel".
  • One-Punch Man:
    • Saitama's intentionally drawn like his artist had just phoned it in and scrawled a generic guy, in heavy contrast to the beautifully detailed art everyone else gets. This reflects the man's own bored, lackadaisical approach to just about everything, and is dropped whenever he starts getting serious, undergoing a one-man Art Shift to start matching the rest of the characters.
    • On another level, Saitama's appearance provides a meta-context to his perception by other characters: he's regarded as a Ridiculously Average Guy and seldom noticed until he starts busting up the scenery. As such, he's drawn with the level of care an artist might give to a tiny background figure who is of no importance to the scene.
    • Tatsumaki is possibly the only person who gets it worse than him. ONE draws her consistently in a sucky fashion in the original webcomic, with the highlight probably being her head growing out of the (pretty large) panel, and even Murata occasionally draws her as a midget. This fits her, given her personality.
    • Most of ONE's work is like this, as both the original comics for One-Punch Man and Mob Psycho 100 are drawn in a deliberately sloppy and amateurish style, allowing them to not only fit a much more comedic tone, but to make it much more impressive when the action and ONE's art get more serious.
  • On the above-mentioned subject, a frequent sight gag in the anime of Mob Psycho 100 is characters expressing dumbfounded shock by reverting to half-assed sketches of themselves. Similarly, the second season's eyecatches are animated to resemble amateurish black-and white pencil drawings pulled out of a sketchbook.
  • In You and Me, the boys try to make an amateur manga for a club activity. They each draw a page and the quality keeps on changing throughout the story. One of the twins draws a very good adventurous page, while his brother made the knight wear a t-shirt and jeans because his costume too complicated and killed off the other two characters. Shun's page is very shoujo-esque with huge eyes which the others mock, and he inexplicably introduces a love interest. Chizuru just right out changes the genre from a fantasy to a school drama, blatantly self inserts himself and his crush as the main characters, and has them randomly get married. Kaname's art skills are just so bad that the others can't even focus on the sappy ending where they have a kid.
  • One Blue Seed omake is a parody of old monster movie trailers. The English dub arguably makes it funnier by having improperly emoted voice acting that doesn't always match up with the lip movements as a nod to the earliest dubbing attempts of anime.
  • The first episode of the anime for Barakamon spinoff Handa-kun begins with the Handa Force being shocked to learn that 1) there is a Handa-kun anime, and 2) they missed the first episode. They call the anime studio to get a copy but are ignored, so the Handa Force decides to make their own, running through a truckload of anime tropes before putting together their painfully bad Handa-kun anime.
  • Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo can fuse together with Don Patch to become BoboPatch. However, one episode has them attempt this while in a theme park ride that causes everyone in it to turn into kids. The end result is a fusion that looks like it was drawn by a kid, but is somehow more powerful, to the point that he beats the villain they were fighting in one hit.
  • Pop Team Epic's anime adaptation has the "Bob Epic Team" segments, where everything is deliberately drawn and animated Off-Model to the point that it dips into Deranged Animation. To top it, according to the producer the final result we see in the episodes are the artists' first drafts.
  • Megalo Box is a subtle example — while the animation itself is high-quality, the whole thing has been post-processed to make it resemble a decades-old anime that was upscaled from a lower resolution. This technically makes it look worse, but evokes nostalgia for the classic fighting anime it's based on.
  • Frequent in Shuukan Shounen Hachi: since a good chunk of the series focuses on aspiring mangaka with below-average skills, some in-universe characters are drawn with awkward or simplistic designs − especially those drawn by Hachi. Inverted with characters drawn by Mikeya or Handa, who have very stylish and sophisticated looks that nonetheless look nothing like Masuda's own style.
  • Kaguya-sama: Love Is War:
    • Up until Chika teaches trains him to do so, Shirogane is pretty much this when it comes to his singing and rapping skills. Especially with his rapping skills up to the point it causes the listener to almost lose consciousness.
    • In chapter 62, after Kaguya realizes that she drew her picture of Shirogane too pretty which would reveal her feelings for him, she then makes her picture as ugly as possible while keeping the physical traits that she likes about him to counterbalance it. It backfires on her every time, as even making Shirogane look like he went through a garbage compactor, she still finds him attractive.
  • Nui's introduction and fights with the Elite Four in Kill la Kill feature lots of intentionally cardboard animation, with Nui and her opponents frequently being reduced to single frames being moved and rotated around the screen, both to add to Nui's creepy nature and to accentuate just how utterly trivial she considers fighting the Elite Four to be.
  • Ninja Slayer is an Affectionate Parody of ultraviolent 90s Cyberpunk anime like Genocyber, with over-the-top fight scenes, a threadbare plot that exists purely to justify ninjas slaughtering each other, cartoonish amounts of gore, and loads of Fan Disservice. The anime is a Compressed Adaptation that relegates entire plotlines to a crappy Clip Show and has hilariously inconsistent animation, swinging wildly between obnoxious over-animation and sliding animation cells around to replicate fighting.
  • Bofuri: I Don't Want to Get Hurt, so I'll Max Out My Defense. does this relative to a lot of other anime focusing on a Fictional Video Game. Much of the comedy focuses on the fact that New World Online, while undoubtedly high-tech, is kind of a mess, with terrible balance, massive design flaws, and laughably easy-to-activate exploits. In fact, the inciting incident of the series is the main character doing what the title says and only putting her skill points into defense, managing to stumble across a Game-Breaker build largely by accident, and then doing so repeatedly, as every time the devs try futilely to patch it out, she just stumbles across another ridiculous exploit.
  • The "heta-uma" movement in manga art makes use of this trope. According to The Other Wiki, the style's hallmark is "a work which looks poorly drawn, but with an aesthetically conscious quality, opposed to the polished look of mainstream manga."
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury features an in-universe student film advertisement that Earth House made for GUND-ARM Inc. and it… well, it looks about how you'd expect for something made by a bunch of college students with no filmmaking experience whatsoever. It features a strange, off-key choir song performed by the class as music, Suletta can't act to save her life and moves really awkwardly (clearly taking great effort to hit her marks), the footage is very obviously edited together from different takes because Suletta couldn't do her whole routine in one go despite the video only being about thirty seconds long, a goat wanders into frame repeatedly, the audio is poorly edited, and Ariel is badly green-screened into the shot, with her movements being wildly out of sync with Suletta and the rest of the video.

  • While much of the composition of Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe could be considered amateur, what makes it different is that Manet purposefully made these errors. The woman in the pond is too large for how far away the painting implies her to be, with her thumb lining up with the man on the right's thumb to collapse the illusion of depth. The nude woman is depicted with an absence of contrast you would see from nudes in other paintings, with critics commenting that the lighting looks as though it was done in a studio. What few shadows there are depicts them as stark compared to her light skin, the shadows almost outlining her figure. While the figures have impressive attention to detail, the grass and other details in the background look poorly-detailed and unfinished, something that would later define other Impressionist painters.

    Audio Plays 
  • The trailer for the Dalek movie at the beginning of the Big Finish Doctor Who audio drama "Jubilee" is ridiculously over-the-top and involves a lot of very large explosions, as a send-up of Hollywood movies.
  • Timothy West's short play This Gun That I Have in My Right Hand is Loaded is a case study in how not to write a radio drama, with deliberate overuse of As You Know-saturated conversations, dialogue slowing down unnaturally to allow for fading between scenes, a child's voice very obviously provided by an adult actor, and overdone and/or badly executed sound effects (such as a character's piano performance suddenly cutting off into silence in a way that makes it obvious someone has pressed Stop on a recording).

  • Kent Pietsch's airshow comedy act is an example of aeronautical stylistic suck. He throws his 1942 Interstate Cadet aircraft around the sky in ways that would make any pilot cringe, creating the illusion that a terrible pilot is clowning around at the controls. His aircraft loses vital parts like ailerons in flight. He even drags the wingtip against the ground at one point.

    Comic Books 
  • Zoot Sputnik is a comic-within-the-comic written by one of the characters in 'Mazing Man. The art was by Fred Hembeck.
  • In Supergirl stories:
    • In the mini Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade, when a character is trapped in the second dimension, the art intentionally looks like children crayon doodles.
    • Bizarrogirl: In Bizarro World, newspapers include children crayon doodles instead of pictures, fitting with the backwards nature of the Bizarros.
  • Whenever the Fish And Bicycle Theatre group pop up in Y: The Last Man, their productions are like this: a play about a man surviving the Gendercide (and later dying because the world doesn't need him any more), an action movie, a comic book called X: The Last Woman. All Anvilicious and pretentious Cliche Storms.
  • V for Vendetta contains many references to the fictional show Storm Saxon — a misogynistic, racist and homophobic action/adventure series, as well as the opinion news show "Voice of Fate" (which was eerily prescient of Bill O'Reilly). The filmmakers appear to agree with that last point, since he's a clear parody of Bill in the film.
  • X-Men Noir features a series of backups prose stories parodying old pulp sf stories. ("The Sentinels" by Bolivar Trask) Thomas Halloway reads them, and even uses them to interrogate Professor Xavier. Considering the style and subject this is almost certainly a reference to the Iron Dream mentioned below. (Ironically, Trask comes across as rather egalitarian by 1930s standards, in his story the "perfect race" is formed by combining racial characteristics, and the mutant underclass turns out to be misunderstood. This is also ironic when you consider that in the main Marvel universe, Bolivar Trask was the bigoted scientist behind the mutant-hunting Sentinel robots.)
  • Jhonen Vasquez's comic Johnny the Homicidal Maniac has the comic-within-a-comic Happy Noodle Boy. Interesting in that they don't suck too bad at first, but get progressively worse as Johnny slowly loses his sanity.

    Comic Strips 
  • Peanuts: Snoopy's novelist alter ego writes stories that are filled with melodramatic dialogue, cliched characters, and ridiculous plot lines that don't really go anywhere. The stories often begin with It Was a Dark and Stormy Night.
  • In FoxTrot, Roger once wrote a spy novel with a Marty Stu self-insert as the lead character. One week of strips consists of hilariously-bad quotes and over-the-top scenes, plus his wife's reaction to the same (for instance, a Big "NO!" when the character is faced with a Wire Dilemma involving 173 wires and cuts the right one). It's even funnier when one realizes that his wife is (ostensibly) a professional writer.
  • In Bloom County, one Sunday Strip was written by upper management due to a writer's strike. The text consisted of a crude Take That! against unions, full of typos and positioned badly.
  • In a Calvin and Hobbes Sunday Strip, Calvin is Art Shifted into his own sketch of himself and is horrified by the anatomical deformities caused by his poor drawing technique.

  • The famous nihonbuyou number Fujimusume ("Wisteria Nymph") features a scene where the spirit dances for her Love Interest in order to try and make him interested. Later, the spirit has drunken some sake and performs the exact same dance, only "a bit wonky". The scene is both very amusing for the audience, and very demanding for the dancer, who must appear wobbly and out-of-rhythm while actually staying in rhythm and keeping the dance recognisable.
  • Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake, which features all-male swans (among other innovations), features a ballet-within-a-ballet that parodies the conventions of Romantic ballet in general and the original Swan Lake in particular.
  • The Mistake Waltz, a part of the ballet The Concert, features multiple obvious and intentional gaffes, with dancers ending up in the wrong place and hastily correcting, sometimes physically reminding their fellows to stop their current movements.

    Eastern European Animation 
  • The goat's music from The Goat Musician has a general vibe to it that goes all over the place with an incomprehensible mood to boot. That's not even mentioning the theme he used for his work, which is taken from a Russian folk song that ends with a goat getting eaten by a pack of wolves. The ending implies this is what happened to the goat musician as well after walking off with the wolf into the woods.

    Fan Works 
  • Prinz von Sommerhoffnung has the character Ywiu, who speaks mainly in Singlish. It looks like genuinely bad writing at first, until one point where she code-switches to standard English and shows that the "bad English" is used deliberately. (At least if you somehow miss the fact that most of the others speak standard English.)
  • Used in Troll Fics by authors such as Peter Chimaera and Squirrel King.
  • The Fantendo fic Sunny and the Mushroom: THE END OF THE WORLD in which a guy explodes and blood goes EVERYWHERE and EVERYBODY DIES.
  • The entire SHPDMBGWL 4 series. Although, the third one is actually somewhat decent.
  • Hunter Truf: Ace Attorney and later Justices Memoirs on Ace Attorney Online feature an easter egg in which Martin Summers (hotel dusk)'s real "talent" is revealed.
  • Chapter 59 of You Got HaruhiRolled! imagines what the Haruhi Suzumiya series would be like had the anime adaptation been dubbed by 4Kids Entertainment. It's the most saccharine thing ever.
  • In-Universe in Calvin & Hobbes: The Series — Calvin is forced into a competition to impress a girl by Andy, and he creates a poem that falls into Painful Rhyme. She likes his poem more than Andy's because she believes Calvin was trying to aim for this.
  • Balenaproductions's Sonic Zombie series, a Garry's Mod-made video set about Sonic and friends fighting zombies, has this trope all over. Loads of Special Effect Failures (the gun used to move objects around is visible in several scenes, characters don't walk so much as get dragged, the interface is visible multiple times, and at once point the in-universe maker has to actually spawn some tacos because he forgot to do so earlier), the plot's loaded with Giant Space Fleas From Nowhere, the final villain of the third part is a dragon-thing that's supposed to be Satan who sounds like a stoner, everyone has an exaggerated, OOC personality, and Wreck-It Ralph appears out of nowhere just to die in the "origins" story.
  • Fractured Infinity's Breather Episode features Dark Guild attempting to make a movie to brainwash the masses into obeying them. What little we see of the script is incredibly awful, with forced exposition in the dialogue, blatant lack of medical knowledge (two males got breast cancer) and the scene ends with the leader of the heroes beating the villains off by himself and then giving a lecture about teamwork and friendship.
  • There is one Team Fortress 2 animation called "Every TF2 Animation You've Ever Seen" meant to throw a jab at overused cliches in Team Fortress 2 videos, with a lot of the animation quality of the characters being wooden and using derivative jokes that many would already be familiar with (the always familiar sentry-sapping, for example). All of this, however, is meant to hide the creepier elements seen later in the video.
  • The Homestuck fan-adventure Trol Seasson starts with naming the main character Anger Crabman. Things just get worse/better from there.
  • A meta-example in Red Dead Witchdemption, by John Egbert. John Egbert is trying to write a crossover fanfic, and is doing a terrible job at it.
  • Ducktalez is a series of Flash movies parodying DuckTales (1987). The first episode was released in 2003, and in the time between that and the latest episode in 2013, the designs for the Ducktales characters have remained just as terrible (aside from being made into 3D in later episodes) in a self-referential parody of itself. It utilizes the same amateurish, static character designs for the DuckTales (1987) characters from the first episode through the seventh, which stands out compared to other characters like Vegeta, who, by episode 7, were animated in professional-looking CG.
  • ZXInsanity et al's parody series of the Equestria Girls movies, known as EQUESTRIA GIRLS (capitalization intentional), is full of this. Characters are animated as if invisible hands are manipulating dolls... which is fitting considering the actual purpose of Equestria Girls. The main characters are all low resolution model poses from the very first batch of leaked images. All other characters are fanmade vectors (the art quality of most of them is poor). Everything else is stock clipart. Facial expressions are either nonexistent or obviously edited in MS Paint. And all the voices are computer-generated text-to-speech programs, mostly from GoAnimate.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series had an episode in which Tristan watches Naruto: The Abridged Series, that has nothing but Naruto telling Sasuke he is an emo over and over again.

  • In The Hamilton Mixtape, Jimmy Fallon's "You'll Be Back" opens with him intentionally exaggerating his breath for comic effect. As the song continues, he begins to sing more legitimately.
  • Harry Nilsson's marvelously irreverent album Son of Schmilsson includes the song "Joy", a country-music parody built around an Incredibly Lame Pun, awkward pauses, repetitive lyrics, and more obvious rhymes than you could shake your ... thyme ... at. Yeah.
  • The Human League's "(Keep Feeling) Fascination" is intentionally like this, being a parody of the new wave genre. This is why the synth sound is out of tune, and the happy mood of the song is in huge contrast with most of their music. Presumably because most people didn't get the joke, they left it off their album Hysteria (although it was included on a Fascination! EP of non album material)
  • Much of Frank Zappa's parody work, particularly his early material. The most obvious example of this is America Drinks where the song is generally played as if the band are a very bad bar band.
    • The album "Cruising With Ruben & The Jets"(1968) was a stylistic parody of cheesy doo-wop songs, so accurate that you could almost mistake it for being a real doo-wop album.
  • Microdisney's B Sides towards the end of their career were like this because the band were growing tired of recording new material for them. "Little Town in Ireland" and "I Can't Say No" are both intentionally bad parodies of the Celtic Folk and Country genres respectively.
  • Camille Saint-Saëns's Carnival of the Animals has a movement titled "Pianists", in which the two pianists tediously perform five-fingered exercises and scales... as if they were beginners. This goes even further in some performances, with the pianists intentionally going out of synch or playing like they forgot the key signature.
  • The entire discography of Anal Cunt is this trope turned up to twelve and beyond.
  • Varg Vikernes of Burzum deliberately used the cheapest microphone he could find to record "Filosofem"
  • The Punk Rock movement invoked this trope by bashing out simple songs. In particular, Johnny Rotten invoked this trope with deliberate avoidance of "good" singing for the maximum possible shock value. This also extended to the fashion sense of punk, including ripped clothes, safety pins through the ears, etc.
  • "My Humps" by the Black Eyed Peas was supposed to be this, a parody of overtly sexualized songs sung by female artists flaunting their figures. It didn't work. Then Alanis Morissette covered it and it worked spectacularly well.
  • David Bowie:
    • The Title Track of Diamond Dogs is so full of reverb, judders and crackling that, even remastered, it still sounds like an old phonograph, tying in with the Nineteen Eighty-Four-inspired dystopian setting.
    • Bowie wanted a "garage band" feel to "Boys Keep Swinging", but felt his band were playing too proficiently... so he got them to swap instruments.
  • Country music parodist Cledus T. Judd did this on his first few albums, as he often sang in a deliberately off-key voice and sometimes had the instruments intentionally miss notes. His later albums (about Juddmental onward) toned this down.
  • The Bonzo Dog Band:
    • "Jazz, Delicious Hot, Disgusting Cold" made fun of the band's roots in trad jazz. In order to play bad jazz on purpose, the band members swapped their instruments around and only recorded one take. Has to be heard to be properly appreciated.
    • Not to mention the hilariously awful guitar solo on "Canyons of your Mind".
    • Neil Innes has also used this trope deftly in his solo career, especially with the delightfully terrible "Protest Song." It's even better/worse on the Live at City Center album.
      "I've suffered for my music and now it's your turn."
  • On The Swirling Eddies Cover Album Sacred Cows, all the songs are either deliberately bad (like DeGarmo and Key's "God Good, Devil Bad" performed as if they were recovering from head injuries) or wildly out-of-genre (like a lounge jazz version of DC Talk's "I Luv Rap Music").
  • The Puppini Sisters made a well-arranged cover of "Spooky," but the video is loaded with homages to old, poorly-made horror films, complete with bad effects and silly screaming expressions.
  • Lil Wang is made of this trope. He parodies other rappers, he just does it... terribly. That's really all there is to say on the matter.
  • A large part of the appeal of The Moldy Peaches and similar 'anti-folk' bands and artists.
  • Intermittent Explosive Disorder's "Stop Killing People (you twats)" is a parody of over-earnest campaigning charity songs like "We are the World".
  • Music historians are still debating whether Mozart's A Musical Joke, a divertimento for two horns, two violins, viola, and double bass, is an example of this or an excuse for Mozart to experiment. A popular version of the former theory holds that Mozart was parodying musicians in local ensembles who wrote pieces to show off their own (modest) skill but knew only what the great composers did and not why they did it; specifically, the fictional bad composer is imagined to be a violinist with more ambition than talent who, among other things, has no idea what to do with the viola and no understanding of how to write for double bass or horn.note 
    • The first movement tries to follow a paint-by-numbers sonata allegro but can't fit its trite melodic ideas into the mould properly. Phrases go on for too long or not long enough, modulations try to gather steam but fall back on themselves, and several passages feature accompanying figures with no melody over the top.
    • The second movement minuet includes jarring parallel fifths, a mistuned passage for horns suggesting they have the wrong crooks,note  a disproportionately long trio that climaxes with the melody running out of accompaniment, and a loud and awkward final gesture better suited to a march.
    • The slow third movement tries to showcase the first violin, only to bypass introducing the main theme in favour of going straight into mindless decorative filigree, so that by the time the violin gets a solo cadenza, it has run out of ideas and just saws away to pad things out, ultimately climbing so high up its register that it goes horribly out of tune (and re-centres itself with an incongruous single pizzicato low G and poorly executed trill, possibly to suggest a broken string).
    • The finale follows the first movement's lead in trying and failing to fit its banal musical ideas into a sonata allegro structure. Contrapuntal passages never get off the ground, the horns have to sustain notes for a ridiculously long time while the strings repeat the same fragment ad nauseam, the "Alleluia" from Mozart's own motet Exsultate, jubliate is (mis)quoted, and the final measures are a polytonal mess as the four string musicians play in different keys to each other and to the horns.
  • Invoked by Igor Stravinsky and subverted by time. In The Rite of Spring, the famous opening melody is given to the bassoon. It was a line that was more suited for a clarinet and was written out of the common range of bassoonists at the time; Stravinsky intended it to sound broken and strained. Now, ironically enough, the piece is so famous that the bassoon melody is a must-know for bassoonists, who've gotten significantly more proficient at their instruments when the "Rite" improved the PR of their instrument. Now every performance of the piece has the opening melody played beautifully and expertly.
  • The Statler Brothers' comic alter ego, Lester "Roadhog" Moran and The Cadillac Cowboys, which began as a sketch on one of their albums and later spun off into a full-length album of their own. A small-time country band with minimal musical proficiency and off-key vocals, who also has a tendency to forget songs right in the middle of playing them.
  • Donny Benet's deliberately outdated brand of lounge-synth, particularly obvious in the video for his main single 'Don't Hold back'.
  • In 1997, artist duo Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid once took a massive poll of Americans' taste in music, down to very specific criteria (what type of instruments were liked and disliked, what type of tempo, what type of lyrics, etc.). Using this data, they then decided to create the most statistically "wanted" and "unwanted" songs in America. The "Most Wanted Song" is a Glurgey R&B ballad that acutely reflects the spirit of the times. The "Most Unwanted Song", however, born from average Americans' distaste for musical elements as diverse as opera, cowboy songs, rap music (!!), accordions, tubas, commercial jingles, bagpipes, children's voices, abrupt changes in tempo, extreme length, and "intellectual stimulation", must be heard to be believed. Did we mention that it's over twenty minutes long? To put into perspective: this song features an opera singer rapping about cowboys and Ludwig Wittgenstein to the accompaniment of a drum machine, tuba, and bagpipes. Yes.
  • The music video for Stone Temple Pilots' "Big Bang Baby" was intentionally shot to look like the band had No Budget, with a White Void Room performance, video-grade greenscreen effects, and other cheese. It's meant to be a stylistic parody of MTV videos from the early 1980s.
  • Faith No More's "Everything's Ruined" video, which was inspired by video booths at county fairs, and had the band miming in front of various Chroma Key Stock Footage — particularly funny moments have them "swimming" in front of an underwater backdrop, or fleeing from a giant tortoise. The band really didn't have much of a budget, having spent most of it on the other two videos for the album Angeldust, so they deliberately went for something as silly and cheap-looking as possible.
  • Nirvana's video for In Bloom may qualify. Though this may be more of a case of Retraux since the video is a parody of early 60s music variety shows whose terrible productions were the norm for that era.
  • Pearl Jam's "Olympic Platinum", an overblown Power Ballad about the Olympic Games. Written by one of the mixing engineers, it features ridiculous music, backing vocals, and lyrics (at times Eddie Vedder can't even hide that it's a joke — "I'll sing like Whitne-eeeee"). Even the cover for the fanclub-only single indulged in this.
  • "Hardcore Judy" by The dBs, where the band turns their own three minute Power Pop love song "Judy" into a minute and a half of sloppy, unintelligible Hardcore Punk.
  • Miley Cyrus's performance at the 2013 VMAs was certainly this, but it's impossible to tell whether it was Stealth Parody of the industry, Stealth Parody of her Former Child Star self, an attempt to invoke Cool, but Stupid or No Such Thing as Bad Publicity Trolling.
    • Her performance at the EVMAs later that year was even more deliberately sucky, featuring her singing her Power Ballad single about a failing relationship with an Ice King, in front of a backdrop video of a poorly-photoshopped Cute Kitten lipsyncing to her and crying. This one was definitely Trolling, considering the internet's love of cats.
    • The cover of her album "Bangerz", which is intentionally badly photoshopped and styled like the stuff from the 1980s that did not age well. And this one is definitely Cool, but Stupid, since the aesthetic makes it look nothing like anything else on the shelf and has an undeniable style to it, albeit an ugly one.
    • Her Instagram edits as of 2014 (and those of her fans she post on her account) are very deliberately poorly photoshopped and filled with surrealistic humor, in an extension of her Bangerz-era artwork/tour graphics. She seems to delight in riling up trolls and cyberbullies on social media this way.
  • The KLF's single under the pseudonym "The Timelords", a deliberately lazy proto-Mash Up of a Gary Glitter song with the Doctor Who theme and the Sweet song "Blockbuster", featuring some Harry Enfield and Chums sound clips processed to sound like Dalek voices. The video was even worse, featuring a Cool Car as the TARDIS and a couple of cardboard boxes covered in tinfoil as a Dalek.
  • Garage Rock is an entire genre that often lends itself to this with purposefully out of tune guitars and simplistic riffs.
  • The title track to Hootenanny by The Replacements sounds like a terrible blues-rock bar band. When the band recorded it, they swapped instruments with their co-producer, Paul Stark, as a way of messing with him.
  • The guitar solo in Dr. Hook's "The Cover of the Rolling Stone" is hilariously bad.
  • The online record label PC Music has stylistic suck down to an art. The label's head, A. G. Cook, has said in interviews that he particularly enjoys "recording people who don't normally make music and treating them as if they're a major label artist." Cheesy electro-pop fun ensues.
  • SOPHIE, an associate to PC Music acts above, has a similar-sounding take on pop music, which occasionally plays up 2000's-era radio and bubblegum pop clichés, with heavy emphasis on synthesizers and vapid, repetitive and unspecific lyrics (a good example being "JUST LIKE WE NEVER SAID GOODBYE"). The end result ends up so exaggeratedly polished and artificial that it ends up sounding surreal and almost kind of creepy.
  • After H&M created a line of clothing bearing the logos of fake metal bands just to look cool, Henri Sorvali of Finntroll and Moonsorrow decided to create some bands to fit the logos. He went the extra mile with trolling H&M and got others in the Scandinavian metal scene to record songs for each of the fake bands, and post them on YouTube. They made sure to make the songs as awful and/or offensive as possible.
  • The genre of lo-fi deliberately uses low-fidelity production techniques as a protest against the modern recording industry. Pavement are generally considered the Trope Codifier for this, although they really only used it on their early EPs and to a lesser extent their first album Slanted and Enchanted. And it's not always deliberate. Guided by Voices, arguably the gods of lo-fi, started using lo-fi techniques because they didn't have enough money to use a proper studio.
  • "Love Song" by Alice in Chains, much like the David Bowie example above, had the band members switching instrumentsnote . The result must be heard to be believed.
  • Matt Smith of Theocracy fame once recorded a hilarious "tribute" to Metallica's St. Anger, using a folding chair for a snare drum and deliberately singing off-key.
  • Black Metal bands also frequently use lo-fi production (although the term "raw" is generally preferred here), and for similar reasons as bands in the lo-fi genre, although some of them are likely also using the production style as a throwback to the early days of the genre, when many bands simply didn't have the budget for a better recording quality. The most frequently cited example of this in black metal is Darkthrone's Transilvanian Hunger, although Ulver's Nattens madrigal is also sometimes cited. Notoriously, Varg Vikernes of Burzum recorded his vocals on Filosofem with the cheapest microphone he could find and didn't even bother using a guitar amp, instead micing his guitar with a distortion pedal through a stereo receiver. This tendency is less common amongst avant-garde and progressive black metal bands, who tend to prefer for their complex arrangements to be clear to the listener, but even some of them have used it; Sigh's Scenes from Hell is a good example (although it has received an alternate mastering by Maor Appelbaum that does not fall under this trope).
  • Deliberate examples of the Loudness War also fall under this trope by definition.
  • Matt Mulholland's cover of "My Heart Will Go On" intentionally sounds as if it's played by someone who doesn't know how to play a recorder.
  • Depending on who you ask, the music video for Journey's "Separate Ways" may have been this. Steve Perry notoriously hated the medium of music videos, dismissing the bands popularized by them as "fashion music." So, when their label told them "make one or else," they aimed to make one so terrible that the record company would never ask again. The song ended up becoming a hit instead.
  • The "Discovery" portion of Rush's "2112" begins with a deliberately out-of-tune and simplistic acoustic guitar solo that slowly becomes more complex and competent, representing the narrator teaching themself the newly-found instrument.
  • The "Guardians Inferno" music video slavishly follows the visual codes of '70s television, including laughable "aliens" and "spacemen" costumes, painfully obvious Chroma Key and other crappy special effects, over-the-top shots and camera moves, etc. Seriously, it's so "bad" in a well-done way and faithful to the tropes of the times, without knowing the context it's almost impossible to guess it's not a 40-year-old music video.
  • They Might Be Giants: The music video for "Dog" is a slide-show of deliberately-terrible drawings of dogs made by illustrator Joanna Neborsky. The song itself features heavy use of microtones that make the song sound almost, but not quite, off-key.
  • Paul Hindemith arranged the overture for Richard Wagner's The Flying Dutchman for string quartet in 1925... except the string quartet he had in mind was an unskilled spa quartet sight reading the work by the village well at 7am. The results are comically terrible, with the four musicians frequently playing wrong notes or glossing over passages that are too difficult, entering late or early or otherwise getting out of time with each other, and, near the end, sliding off into Émile Waldteufel's Les Patineurs waltz for a page or so (and doing a much better job of it than they were of the Wagner!).
  • Puccini's opera Il tabarro includes a barrel-organ waltz where the second flute is playing off-key most of the time.
  • On Devin Townsend's YouTube channel, he released "Devin Townsend LUCKY ANIMALS (Unofficial Video) =]", a video of him dancing in his backyard to the song "Lucky Animals". There are no cuts, no special effects, not one else there with him. It's about as low-budget as a music-video could possibly be.
  • Sonic Youth side project Ciccone Youth released a cover of Robert Palmer's "Addicted To Love" that was really just Kim Gordon singing over a cheesy karaoke instrumental. To add to the deliberately amateurish effect, the official video was made for $25 in a department store "make your own music video" booth, and consists of Kim lip syncing and dancing over green screen stock footage
  • Biz Markie's "Just A Friend" is intentionally off-key.
  • The Surfsiders were a group of studio musicians hired in 1965 to rush out an album of Beach Boys covers to cash in on the Beach Boys' growing fame: said album was regarded as So Bad, It's Good among record collectors and Beach Boys fans due to the off-key barbershop harmonies and chintzy production. In 2012, a group calling themselves The New Surfsiders formed to parody the album by exaggerating the flaws of its performances and arrangements for comic effect: The Surfsiders' album added the same saxophone riff in different keys to two different Beach Boys songs, so The New Surfsiders incorporate this same riff somewhere in every song as a Running Gag. The Surfsiders did an inappropriately cheery-sounding version of melancholy ballad "The Warmth Of The Sun", so The New Surfsiders did an uptempo, twist-style version of the even more melancholy ballad "Till I Die".
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic:
    • "Girls Just Wanna Have Lunch" was made deliberately bad as a form of Writer Revolt. The label was dead against releasing the album without a Cyndi Lauper parody, so Yankovic deliberately made the song as unlistenable as possible: the lyrics are repetitive and nonsensical (the only joke being "women are obsessed with eating lunch and only lunch"); Al sings in a harsh, grating Simpleton Voice that sounds as if he's constantly on the verge of throwing up; and the song is occasionally punctuated with repulsive chewing and slurping sound effects set at a high volume in a rare audio version of Gross-Up Close-Up.
    • Another, much more polished song, "Eat It", got this treatment as a response to the train wreck that was Gal Gadot's cover of John Lennon's "Imagine". Those involved are similarly annoying and putting in as little effort as possible, all as part of a Take That! against the genuinely horrible video it was imitating.
    • The music video for "Handy" is filled with bad green screen and overacting to emulate the look of a handyman's Kitschy Local Commercial.
  • "Music to Delight" by Kevin Mac Leod sounds terrible and totally off-key but that's no accident.
  • Jean-Michel Jarre:
    • While some say that Équinoxe sounds more grown-up than the milestone album Oxygène, there is "Band In The Rain" which is the first half of "Equinoxe Part 8". It is made deliberately to sound somewhat like played on an electronic home organ in stark contrast to the rest of the album. It doesn't sound bad, it's just nowhere as sophisticated as the rest of the album.
    • "Magnetic Fields Part 5", also known as "The Last Rumba", was actually played on an electronic home organ in one go in a trolling attempt targeted at the music industry. Magnetic Fields is otherwise known as Jarre's first album to incorporate Sampling.
  • Captain Beefheart's Trout Mask Replica, a cacophony of jumbled instrumentation, odd lyrics, and terrible singing that sounds like it was recorded in a basement by a group of high schoolers who don't even know how to play their instruments. Turns out that Captain Beefheart wanted it to sound that way on purpose, as he had his band meticulously rehearse the album to a disturbing degree to sound terrible.
  • The British parodic "beat maker" Distant Cry has produced over twenty different hip-hop beats, all titled "Worst Beat Ever Created", and as the name implies each one is intentionally designed to be as comically incompetent as possible, including the use of generic or poorly-selected samples, off-key melodies, frequent use of what he calls "advanced syncopation" (i.e. the drums not sticking to any kind of metre or pattern, meaning some of the beats would be impossible to actually rap to) and a generic computer-voiced producer tag. See an insight into his creative process here.
  • The video to "Kimi Ni Mune Kyun" by Yellow Magic Orchestra is this, consisting primarily of the group's three members (all respected synth and rock musicians who were, at their youngest, just over 30) doing the barest minimum token effort to look like a boy band through the medium of bored, resentful dorky dad dancing.
  • Harry Chapin's "Six-String Orchestra" is about a Giftedly Bad guitarist with fumbling guitar play to match.
  • H. Jon Benjamin recorded and released a comedy jazz album titled Well, I Should Have (Learned to Play the Piano), with the joke being that he's performing on the piano despite having no experience with the instrument and very little affinity for jazz music. He's accompanied by a talented and professional backing band, so the experience of hearing an otherwise well-composed, well-performed jazz number getting intruded on by the clumsiest piano solos you've ever heard is nothing short of jarring and hilarious.
    • His followup The Soundtrack Collection is a movie and tv theme Cover Album, and is more based around synthesized instrumentation, but still focuses on his inept piano or keyboard playing for comic effect. The opening track also has him singing Kenny Loggins' "Danger Zone" offkey — only for Loggins himself to stop the music and engage in a staged Studio Chatter argument about its stylistic suck nature, then leave in disgust.
  • With their 2022 re-release of "Three Lions" for that year's World Cup (played in Qatar, late in the year), David Baddiel and Frank Skinner were completely open about the fact that both Christmas songs and football songs are typically incredibly tacky, and, like a double-negative, combining the two genres would make the song so tacky as to wrap around and become an instant classic.
  • Queen: According to Rick Rubin, the 1991 remix of "We Will Rock You" was deliberately made as ridiculous as possible, hence why the subtitle says that it was "ruined by" him. Among other things, the song features slapped-on Hip-Hop beats, an intro where a crackly needle drop of the 1977 mix is cut off by a Record Needle Scratch, a distant-sounding air raid siren sound effect looping in the background for two full minutes, a breakdown that consists predominantly of a looped sample of James Brown shouting "tramp," and an outro where a goofy, growling voice shouts "this stuff is really fresh!" Rubin stated that he took such an approach specifically to protest the idea of remixing classic songs, considering the original version of this one "a perfect record."
  • Jon Lajoie is a legitimately good rapper, despite all his songs being comedic. His persona of MC Vagina, on the other hand, delivers nothing but Piss-Take Rap, with his nasally voice and lack of rhythm, droning out inept lyrics like "I buy a lot of expensive things because I have a lot of money" and "I'm invincible, like Bruce Willis in the movie Invincible/I'm invisible, like... well, I'm not really invisible."

  • In the 70s sci-fi world from the Gemini arc of Sequinox, everything resembles a bad tv set, from visible boom mics to a Screen Shake occurring rather than actual damage to their ship, to Gemini and the Gemmies looking like people in bad costumes.
  • Sleep With Me is nothing but an old guy going on long-winded tangents in a dull voice that would put anyone to sleep...and that's exactly what it wants to do.
  • The Neighborhood Listen: In the theme song at the beginning of each episode, co-host Burnt Millipede (played by Paul F. Tompkins) sings with a humorously flat voice as he tries to harmonize with Joan Pedestrian {played by Nicole Parker).


    Professional Wrestling 
  • At the beginning of the nWo angle, WCW produced a series of deliberately cheap commercials with the disclaimer, "the following announcement has been paid for by the nWo." They were all in black and white and often featured recordings of Hogan yelling taunts, selective editing of the bad guys wiping out heroes, and sometimes action figures being destroyed. Likewise, the first "Souled Out", billed as a PPV financed and organized by nWo, was also deliberately cheap.
  • Generally, one of the ideas behind the concept of a jobber is that they are sub-par wrestlers in their respective league. When promoters want to show off the in-ring prowess of a certain wrestler that they want to turn into a star, they put them into easily-won matches with jobbers, who are designed to look mundane and easily beaten in comparison to the hopefully soon-to-be star. This makes the wrestler that the promoters are trying to, well, promote look like a competent and powerful character by having him handily dispose of the sucky wrestler. Some jobbers aren't portrayed as actually being "sucky wrestlers" as much as they are "wrestlers hopelessly out of their league". Some explicitly are shown to be terrible, however. Also, when an on-screen non-wrestler personality (like a dastardly manager or an evil executive authority figure) is thrust into the ring with an actual wrestler, the non-wrestler will play up being clumsy and just plain bad. Behind the scenes, though, they usually have a bit of wrestling training or are even former wrestlers; Captain Lou Albano (former tag team champion), Mr. Fuji (who was a champion in several promotions), and the legendary Bobby Heenan are good examples.
  • WWE's revival of ECW began with the 2005 and 2006 ECW One Night Stand pay per views, both serving as ECW reunions. True to the original ECW, they were extremely lacking in the special effects and gigantic elaborate stages that WWE was known for. To add to this, it was held at one of ECW's old stomping grounds: the Hammerstein Ballroom, which is a tiny venue capable of seating capacity a mere 2,500, whereas most WWE PPVs are held in arenas that accommodate roughly 10,000). In 2007, One Night Stand would entirely drop the ECW theme for good to become a standard WWE pay-per-view with extravagant production values and conventional matches in a much larger arena; Joey Styles remarked on camera that it seemed inappropriate.
  • Mick Foley as Dude Love. To drive home how different this persona was from Mankind and Cactus Jack, Foley would make his performances as Dude Love as boring as he could. One way included repeatedly putting his opponent into headlock after headlock after headlock. Dude Love's TitanTron was a perfect example of So Bad, It's Good, and it was entirely intentional.
    • Likewise, when he became an anti-hardcore heel in ECW, he quickly realized that he wasn't getting the desired response by preaching against hardcore-style wrestling while still wrestling in said style. So he dropped everything exciting from his moveset and started doing nothing but boring headlocks. Soon, ECW fans were booing him out of the building.
  • Southpaw Regional Wrestling, a series of videos made by the WWE, is an Affectionate Parody of low-budget, independent wrestling promotions from the 80's, and they did their best to make it look like one.
  • Two words: Orange Cassidy. His entire schtick is that he's the laziest wrestler on the planet, regularly doing moves with his sunglasses on and hands in his pockets, while delivering the slowest chops and kicks which the wrestlers taking them almost always No-Sell (and when they don't, it's usually also because of this trope). Meanwhile, the audience and announcers hype it up as if it were Daniel Bryan or Kenta Kobashi delivering them, or as if the career of the one taking it was in jeopardy. Which makes it all the more shocking when Cassidy suddenly starts breaking out actual wrestling moves.
    • This also extends to his entrance, where his titantron video is just his name written in sharpie on a blank white background and his pyro is an uncoordinated sputter of smoke, and even his merchandise, which consists of a plain white t-shirt with only an uncropped photo of himself printed on it.

  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1978): In the second series, we hear the anthem of Sirius Cybernetics Corporation, which in keeping with the company's ethos is sung by robots... a flattened fifth out of tune. After the song plays, out of key and with bizarre lyrics ending with "go stick your head in a pig", the Guide assures listeners that the actual anthem is worse.

  • Instagram and Hipstamatic are iOS apps that apply filters to the pictures they shoot to replicate wonky optics, aged film, and other characteristics of old film cameras to produce pictures that look like old Polaroids and the like; they in turn were inspired by the current popularity of Retraux cameras, particularly cheap film cameras like Russia's Lomo or China's Holga, whose notoriously crappy build quality and quirky optics create uniquely random effects in the finished pictures. On top of that, many camera companies (particularly Canon and Sony) have included "toy camera" modes that attempt to duplicate the same effects to compete with the phone apps. (Ironically, the starting picture quality of most digital cameras on the market since about 2009 means that it's actually nearly impossible to get the photos to look bad enough in camera. For truly godawful quality out of a cheap digital camera, you need Photoshop.)
  • One explanation given for poorly-written scam emails: Those which are well-written might "accidentally" snare people who would waste time before later backing out. The badly written email filters out all but people who would believe nearly anything. Or else to provoke people who aren't as clever as they think they are to respond correcting the errors or snarking about their grammatical superiority. This way the scammers know they have a live email address together with useful data about the sender. note 
  • There are several programming languages designed to be as obtuse as possible — Examples include INTERCAL and the dreaded Malbolge
  • The Stephen Glass scandal, dramatized in Shattered Glass, got subject to this. In trying to cover the tracks to hide evidence of fabrication in his "Hack Heaven" piece, Glass created an amateur AOL webpage and tried to pass it off as the official site of the fictitious "Jukt Micronics". The movie ended up using the actual page Glass created in real life, as no Hollywood exaggeration of its ineptitude was needed. Even though the scandal broke in the relatively early days of businesses adopting the Internet as a tool, even by those standards it was still bad; Adam Penenberg, one of the Forbes Digital reporters who was responsible for first exposing Glass's fabrication — and someone who would know a little something about the Internet back then — was incredulous that this could be the website of a supposedly big-time software company.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Aspect: Fire sourcebook quotes The Doom Of The Emperors, a Dragon-Blooded propaganda novel. It is every cheesy Evil Overlord story you've ever read, which is what makes it awesome.
    The Anathema chuckled darkly from the opal throne on which he reclined and tossed a fragment of doves’ liver to the leopards that crouched at his feet.
  • The card game "We Didn't Playtest This At All". Lots of instant win and instant lose cards, all played for laughs.

  • "Don Juan Triumphant", the opera that the The Phantom of the Opera writes and extorts into production in the Andrew Lloyd-Webber production, is hideously overwrought and cliched even by the standards of opera.
    • All three of the "operas" within the show (the other two being the Meyerbeer-esque "Hannibal" and the opera buffa pastiche "Il Muto") would count here.
  • "The Midas Touch" from Bells Are Ringing is a rather bad nightclub song written by dentist Joe Kitchell. (This character was fictional, but the notion of a dentist moonlighting as a songwriter was not. A week after Bells Are Ringing opened on Broadway in 1956, the Ethel Merman vehicle Happy Hunting opened; its widely-panned score was composed by a Real Life dentist named Harold Karr.)
  • "Robbin' Hood" in the musical Curtains!
  • "Over the Moon," Maureen's absurdly pretentious (even for performance art) one-woman show/protest in RENT.
    • About half the audience thinks that the fact that most of the works of art we're shown (Mark's movie, Maureen's performance art, Roger's "In Your Eyes", Collins' "fighting the power" consisting mainly of breaking into ATMs and putting a virus on a college's computers) kind of suck is intentional, and that the play is making a point about fighting for even low quality art. The other half thinks that this was unintentional. It's best not to think about this too much.
  • The 1929 play June Moon parodied the sort of bad songwriters who thought they were the first to notice that "June" and "moon" rhyme.
  • William Shakespeare included several examples in his plays.
    • The plays within a play in A Midsummer Night's Dream (Pyramus and Thisbe) and Hamlet (The Murder of Gonzago) feature stiff and awkward (and, in the former case, outright silly) prose compared to the play proper. The former gets an additional nod for hilarity because it also was a Take That! against Macekre-style editing in order "Not to offend/frighten anyone".
      • Pyramus and Thisbe was also the inspiration for Romeo and Juliet (which Shakespeare is believed to have written concurrently with Midsummer), and its interpretation in the play can be viewed as a parody of Shakespeare's own tragic version of the story.
      • The Shakespearean stage directions also work with the stylistic suck of Pyramus and Thisbe; in Shakespeare's time, stage directions were woven into the dialogue (since, for example, they did not have the technology to raise and lower lights and change scenery for different times and places), and the scene setting in Pyramus and Thisbe all occurs long after it is meant to have happened, meaning the actors have to run around and generally look stupid to make up for it.
      • Unlike Pyramus, Gonzago was played by a professional acting troupe. However, Hamlet's weaponising it in his desire to expose the king meant the play became a victim of Executive Meddling.
      • A Bug's Life has a scene that deliberately calls reference to the Midsummer play. The schoolchildren act out a play of how the "warriors" are supposed to fight the grasshoppers. Dot's final line in that play — "I die, die, die, die, die, DIE," complete with overblown acting — is taken directly from the end of the Midsummer play.
    • Orlando's love poetry in As You Like It also qualifies; Touchstone mocks it openly with his own Stylistic Suck parody.
  • The hat of Mischief Theatre. All of their shows feature shoddily built sets, Bad "Bad Acting", stagehands being visible when they shouldn’t be, bad takes of recording and pre-filmed inserts and every actor manages to ruin their parts through their own quirks (Robert’s Milking the Giant Cow, Sandra over sexualising every character she plays, Max breaking character to mug, Dennis forgetting his lines and so on). Zigzagged with the plots themselves, as while they make coherent sense, there is a lot of padding in the dialogue and staging requirements that almost kill the cast.
  • Siegfried has a scene in which Siegfried tries to imitate a significant bird call by plucking a reed and playing on it. The sound heard is that of an out-of-tune English horn.
  • The Real Inspector Hound by Tom Stoppard is about two critics watching an incredibly poorly written sub-Agatha Christie thriller (clearly, to anyone familiar with the original, parodying The Mousetrap).
  • Tom Stoppard's play The Real Thing features a playwright asked to rewrite a play by a young political agitator. The brief dialogue we hear from the play is utterly awful.
  • The eponymous Show Within a Show from The Drowsy Chaperone goes into this territory frequently, most obviously in the song "Bride's Lament" in which the heroine compares her wayward groom to a monkey on a pedestal. It makes sense in...actually, it really doesn't; that's what makes it so funny.
  • Both of Conrad Birdie's big performance numbers in Bye Bye Birdie, "Honestly Sincere" and "One Last Kiss," as well as "The Telephone Hour," are such obnoxiously (and brilliantly) simplistic and repetitive parodies of 1950's teenybopper pop ("Goin' steady! Goin' steady!") that people frequently forget how sophisticated and melodic the rest of the show is, lumping it in with pure camp shows like Grease.
    • But "Honestly Sincere" isn't that bad of a song, and in The Movie it actually proves to be Awesome Music (causing every person in the square except Hugo Peabody to faint).
  • In Wonderful Town, Ruth, in an effort to prove herself as a talented and sophisticated writer, leaves a pile of story manuscripts on a magazine editor's desk. Her stories, depicted in vignettes, include bad knock-offs of Ernest Hemingway ("For Whom the Lion Roars") and Dorothy Parker ("Exit Laughing"). (Comden and Green were the real writers of these vignettes, though they were credited only for lyrics.)
  • "Gliding Through My Memoree" from Flower Drum Song makes a transparently terrible attempt to pass off Chinese-American Chorus Girls as exotic beauties from Ireland, Sweden, etc.
  • Archibald Grosvenor and Reginald Bunthorne's poems in Patience are delightfully abysmal parodies of aesthetic poetry.
    • Bunthorne's poem high-flown, grandiloquent poem "Oh, Hollow! Hollow! Hollow!" refers to "amaranthine asphodel", "calomel" and "the amorous colocynth" that "yearns for the aloe". These are all laxatives.
  • Baby June/Dainty June's vaudeville numbers in Gypsy are intentionally written to be cloying, cliche-ridden and insipid, to show that while Mama Rose might be persistent and determined to succeed (through her daughters), she clearly lacks talent. It also underscores how hopeless her attempts are to force her daughters to succeed in a dying art form.
    • The strippers who perform "You Gotta Get A Gimmick" are all deliberately bad singers to emphasise that they have "no talent" and are relying on their themes and gimmicks to impress the in-universe audience.
  • Cyrano de Bergerac: Ragueneau's theme for a poem is a recipe in verse. All of his audience are poets who obviously are praising him only to eat free, but Ragueneau is taking his poem with all seriousness.
    Ragueneau: [who has put himself ready for reciting, cleared his throat, settled his cap, struck an attitude] A recipe in verse!...
    Second Poet: [to first, nudging him] You are breakfasting?
    First Poet: [to second] And you dining, methinks.
    Ragueneau How almond tartlets are made.
    Beat your eggs up, light and quick;
    Froth them thick;
    Mingle with them while you beat
    Juice of lemon, essence fine;
    Then combine
    The burst milk of almonds sweet.
    Circle with a custard paste
    The slim waist
    Of your tartlet-molds; the top
    With a skillful finger print,
    Nick and dint,
    Round their edge, then, drop by drop,
    In its little dainty bed
    Your cream shed:
    In the oven place each mold:
    Reappearing, softly browned,
    The renowned
    Almond tartlets you behold!

    The poets: [with mouths crammed full] Exquisite! Delicious!
    A Poet: [choking] Homph!
  • The Retool of Carrie: The Musical. Hot-blooded, indeed.
  • The song "Bianca" in Kiss Me, Kate, which is supposed to be a bad poem Bill wrote for Lois.
  • In Leading Ladies, Jack and Leo perform a mash-up of Shakespeare plays to compensate for them only having two actors. It's laughably bad, and gets them booed off stage.
  • I and You: Anthony's poster presentation for his project is so awful that when Caroline sees it she feels compelled to help out of sheer pity. Only partly explained by the fact that he put it off until the last minute, and the fact that Anthony realized halfway through that he might be colorblind.
  • In Godspell, the parable of the Good Samaritan is told as a play-within-a-play, often intentionally overacted as a terrible community theater production or a grade school play.

  • The Sucklord (born Morgan Phillips), a New York-based pop artist, manufactures unlicensed action figures that are styled after cheap bootlegs. “Instead of hiding and glossing over the suck factor, I decided to market it as a feature of the product,” the Sucklord said in an interview.
  • Funko's ReAction line deliberately emulates the cheap action figures available around the 80s.

    Web Animation 
  • Da Amazin OT Advenchr:
    • The series plays this trope straight. Even the episodes are renamed to “Appisotes”.
    • Subverted in Appisote 18, when Lite and Deine start seeing Art Evolution around them.
  • The Homemade Intros series remakes the intros of your favorite cartoons and TV shows into a very crude Clipart Animation, complete with barely-comprehensible singing and instrumentation. The 3D ones have very horrid and crudely-animated models.
  • Flicker: The two frames in the first episode of Elaina's investigator dad are crudely drawn by a different artist.
  • Homestar Runner:
    • The website hosts several "Powered by The Cheat" cartoons, which are badly-drawn, badly-voice-acted, and badly-animated Flash cartoons made by The Cheat, many of which feature other characters randomly heaping praise on him.
      "The Cheat is a millionaire! A parade for The Cheat!"
    • "Dangeresque" is a Show Within a Show created by Strong Bad. It's a series of home-made action movies about the eponymous Cowboy Cop, Dangeresque, that are rife with bad acting, clumsy editing, and crude cardboard sets and props.
      Renaldo: Dangeresque, it's Renaldo. I need you back here away, right? I mean, right away.
    • Teen Girl Squad was also meant to be this, but became unexpectedly popular on its own merits and became a regular feature of the site.
    • The creators also made a website for imaginary game company Videlectrix. Almost all their games are based on the most repetitive or unplayably dull gaming styles of the 1980s. Despite this, some of them are legitimately fun.
    • Strong Bad's personal website (revealed in, of course, "website") is a pitch-perfect parody of old Geocities webpages — the formatting is bad, there's an overlong Flash intro, and most of the site is just random looping gifs and pictures of his pet. Strong Bad himself admits that he didn't have any reason for making one; he just felt he should have one and then made it about The Cheat for lack of a better idea. However, it's at least a few tiers above Homestar's personal website, which consists entirely of a repeating background of a Homestar picture run through several Photoshop filters, a broken piece of formatting for a title, and the words "helscome my wedsite. its not done. this page is best viewed using Nedscape 1.0 or lower"
  • Almost the entire premise of Disaster Labs' Arfenhouse series of RPGs and cartoons.
    • Disaster Labs' related parody cartoon, 8-Bitch Fyve, is crammed so full of deliberate badness (including garbled audio and video, Bad "Bad Acting", Instant Message windows cluttering up the background, and two characters stealing each other's parts every other word) as to be almost unwatchable.
  • The Baman Piderman animations are made of this.
  • The animations by bob from Weebl & Bob feature extremely crude art and a reliance on Surreal Humor.
  • All of Girl-chan in Paradise is meant to imitate a low quality anime series that is poorly dubbed, with frequent Lip Lock and Off-Model animation.
  • Jerry Jackson is a thirteen year old boy who posts peurile, badly made flash animations on Newgrounds. Except that he's actually Salad Fingers creator David Firth trolling the internet by being terrible on purpose.
  • Octocat Adventure, prior to the Animation Bump.
  • The Demented Cartoon Movie isn't high quality animation and lampshades it, but one part that stands out as lame even in context is the dancing figure, which looks and sounds like something an amateur might have developed on an early-model Apple Macintosh.
  • All of Coconut Buyer's videos are this.
  • This Game Grumps Animated Adaptation.
  • Matt 'n' Dusty plays with this to a degree with its animation, even Lampshading it on multiple occasions.
  • In Tomorrow's Nobodies when David takes over animation at the end of episode 5 it changes from the series usual style to a squiggly, poorly drawn style. Anytime a commercial, TV show, or movie is shown it will be this.
  • All of the videos by seinfieldspitstain has primitive CG animation and bland backgrounds. Just the artist needed to make an Animated Adaptation of sweet bro and hella jeff.
  • Every episode of The Moker Mowss Sho is this.
  • Dutch web video series Kud has one episode in which one of the main characters (The Green One) makes a video parodying Dutch ice skater Sven Kramer, who infamously took the wrong lane during an ice skating tournament. The video consists of a stick-figure Sven Kramer being sodomized by a badly drawn brontosaurus.
  • Parody animator Roger van der Weide, creator of Kingdumb Hearts and numerous Sonic the Hedgehog parodies, animates pretty much all his videos in the same limited style, often accompanied by squeaky, high-pitched voices. Some of his earlier videos actually state in the loading screen that they're supposed to look terrible.
  • Fin Punch! looks just like a bad anime, complete with Bishie Sparkle.
  • The YouTube channel "Really3D" consists of 3D animations that fit this trope, such as this 20th Century Fox logo parody.
  • Red vs. Blue:
    • The Lopez love song, which The Blues perform and broadcast to force the Reds to shut of their Radios. According to Sarge, "It sounds like the feral cry of a retarded Mexican sasquatch!"
    • Lopez in general is a good example—he can only speak Spanish, but it's terrible Spanish. By all accounts, this is entirely intentional by his voice actor, Burnie.
    • Another example are the deliberately terrible special effects in the machinima portions for the sake of comedy, where various objects have quite obviously been added in after the fact. Of special note is that certain additions (Donut's housewarming gift, the pile of stuff Blue Team won from the Reds, etc.) originally looked too good and had to be made worse!
  • Many, many Garry's Mod Machinima. Characters are capable of fairly realistic animation and facial movement (and in The G Mod Idiot Box's case, well-done stop-motion animation,) but why bother when wild ragdoll flailing and deranged, physically impossible expressions are so much funnier?
  • A Father Son Story relates a soul-crushing tale of murder, secrets, lies, and infidelity that rip a family to pieces... animated in GoAnimate.
  • The CGI Palz! episodes of Two More Eggs parodies early attempts of using CGI in cartoons.
  • Emily Youcis uses the Microsoft Voice Sam to voice George Bush in the Alfred Christmas special, among using bad jokes in general.
  • Harvey Rothman, who has proven to be a skilled animator before, made "The Spongey Show", which has very intentionally crude animation.
  • The Light of Courage is a series of fan animations based on The Legend of Zelda done in a deliberately blocky and polygonal style to imitate the low quality of the fan script they are based on.
  • TheJevoski makes parody videos which consist of this trope.
  • The Carl Chronicles is made with an outdated, very limited software for kids, and that's one of the things that makes it hilarious.
  • Terrible Writing Advice relies heavily on this. As the name implies, the narrator will give intentionally bad advice and treat it as the best writing advice to give viewers, and any genuinely good advice he gives, he says is terrible on the grounds that it would be boring or take too much effort on the writer's part.
  • The Misadventures of R2 and Miku uses this extensively. Many of the backgrounds are drawn poorly in MS Paint, the animation is generally quite limited (the characters are usually still images that only really "animate" when they talk) and whenever there's actual voice acting it's usually flat and poorly recorded.
  • The beginning of the first installment of TUBEPOOP: Storymode is styled after late-2000s YouTube Poops.
  • Garfielf could easily be summed up as an experiment for how far into this trope can one go while still preserving Garfield's core jokes. The spelling and grammar is abysmal, Deranged Animation abounds, the dialogue is entirely Text To Speech and frequently jumps up and down in volume, the music is off-kilter and creepy, and the "narrative" is an entirely unstructured sequence of Running Gags with no clear punchlines and an Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist.
  • Animations made by Synth Cool fit into this category. The Beter Show is a really good example.
  • Roger van der Weide's animations, such as the Sonic In X Minutes series, are this, with the deliberately crude art style.
  • SPARKLE ON RAVEN is an Affectionate Parody of fanime that began in 2022, made to look like the kind of thing you'd see teenagers put together on YouTube in the late 2000s. The animation is drawn in MS Paint and rendered in 480p; the only colors used are the default palette, and there is occasionally visible anti-aliasing from use of the fill bucket tool. The voice acting is all over the place, and some actors have really bad microphone quality to the point of being nearly inaudible. Despite this, there are flashes of great animation and voice acting, which make it clear that the amateur quality is deliberately done out of love for the style.

    Web Video 
  • The Ballad of the N-Word: The maximum resolution of this video is 360p, and the audio is recorded in the most shoddy and cheap way possible, in order to further its gamer aesthetic.
  • "Beaches in Poland be like" by Karolina Zebrowska: Content creators usually try to avoid the sound of wind roaring across the microphone. In this video, the sound of the wind roaring is the whole point.
  • Dream Machine: Usually when a moment from one of the in-universe shows is depicted, it is intentionally ridiculous in satire of the original property it's referencing.
  • Dr Glaucomflecken: Part of the joke in some of the videos is that a lot of the props are silly-looking and are not at all realistic. Examples include a bagel with a bag tie on it to depict a surgical knot, a spatula to depict a surgical retractor, and a Chex box with two toilet paper rolls on top to depict a microscope.
  • Lasagna Cat's adaptation of 12/04/1980 renders Garfield and Odie's fight as a filmed action scene of the sort that would be created by a pair of immature teenagers trying to look badass. Among other things, the whole fight happens in someone's backyard, the choreography is inept at best, and the effects work is clearly done in Windows Movie Maker, with blatant errors being left in. One version of it, uploaded to Garfield's in-universe channel, goes so far as to have visibly lower video quality, implying that the video has been poorly compressed in the process of being shared and uploaded.
  • Treatsforbeasts: A Horror series on YouTube that purposely utilizes Microsoft Paint and Windows Movie Maker in order to look homemade, and to create an obscure atmosphere.
  • In The Unlucky Tug's video "EVERY Thomas Movie Ranked", while explaining how he'd attempt to rewrite Misty Island Rescue, he suggests having Diesel rescue Thomas at the end. The accompanying visual shows an image of a Diesel toy pasted on top of Whiff, complete with a chequered transparency background.
  • WayneRadioTV: All the folks over at Radio TV Solutions generally appreciate this form of humor and use it often, but Moupi takes this trope and takes it to its most logical conclusion by making streams so low quality its near impossible to understand whats even happening the majority of the time.

    Real Life 
  • This is basically the point of Lomography, which manufactures cameras and film designed to produce artistically flawed images, often with intentionally faulty color and/or focus.
  • Metasonix, a company which makes guitar pedals, amplifiers, and other music-related audio equipment with vacuum tubes not intended for audio purposes, is all about this, to the point of making devices with such names as Scrotum Smasher, Wretch Machine, and The Fucking Fucker.
  • The unofficial mascot for Stanford University is the Stanford Tree. The current tree creates the costume for next year's incoming tree, and invariably the tree costume is made to look as stupid as possible, featuring googly eyes, buck teeth, a stupid smile, and an overall disheveled, thrown-together appearance.
  • Achievement Hunter made the Garbo mug. Michael Jones claims it's the most hands-on they've ever been with creating a piece of merch. The result is a coffee mug that is nearly impossible to drink from without spilling, has a handle too small for use, and holds only about a shot glass's worth of coffee. They wanted it to be even worse, with an uneven bottom so it would break itself easily and a hole in the bottom so it would slowly leak, but they literally couldn't economically produce a coffee mug that was that bad.

Alternative Title(s): Artistic Suck


Wacky Delly

Ralph Bighead has Rocko and his friends produce a cartoon in an attempt to get him fired. Easily one of the most funniest Rockos Modern Life episode ever.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / StylisticSuck

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