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"Welcome to Whose Line is it Anyway?, the show where everything's made up and the points don't matter. That's right, the points are kinda like Canada."
Drew Carey, Whose Line Is It Anyway?

The Panel Show format has been around for a long time — it's cheap to make and easy to film. But when it's aimed towards being funny or entertaining, the points cease to matter. What may have started as a quite a serious point system falls to the wayside, or maybe they don't care about points in the first place but liked the format. Add to this gratuitous editing which removes answers to questions or entire questions, and the viewer will have a hard time figuring out how that team is winning when they haven't answered a single question yet.

Sure, the person/team may still "win", but they don't get anything for it, and we have no idea how they did it.

Regardless, points seem to matter less the longer a series goes on.

When the points don't matter due to the last challenge determining everything, it's a Golden Snitch.

Akin to Scoring Points in video games. Compare Pinball Scoring, where point awards are subject to Ridiculous Future Inflation.


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  • In the opening episode of Baccano!, Gustav and Carol are discussing the immortals. Gustav awards Carol arbitrary points for her observations. These points have no meaning in the rest of the story. They're just a Running Gag.
  • Chrome Shelled Regios has the Queen grabbing the boobs of females around her, giving them a random score. For Leerin, she gives 10,000,000 points and for her personal servant, 20. Ouch.
  • In Queen's Blade, Alleyne gives Nowa, her apprentice, points on how well she handles a situation.

    Fan Works 

  • In The 13 ½ Lives of Captain Bluebear, Lying Contests have scores tracked in each round based on audience applause. Victory in Lying Contests is determined by concession; the points mostly serve to illustrate whose stories are more popular with the audience, and so are a measure of audience goodwill but not much else.
  • In Harry Potter, the House Points and the House Cup are fairly arbitrary to begin with since professors can award or deduct any number of points for any reason at any time, including giving points to the House they are in charge of or repeatedly taking points from a rival house. Despite this, they're treated as a massive deal in the first book, but by the third book, the results of the House Cup aren't even mentioned.
  • The Jeeves and Wooster short story "The Ordeal of Young Tuppy" centers around a rugby grudge match between small villages, where the players are more interested in inflicting violence and injuries then officially scoring points.

    Live-Action TV 
  • "Welcome to Whose Line Is It Anyway?, the show where everything is made up and the points don't matter! That's right, the points are like the plot of a porn movie!" Drew Carey would say something like this at the start of every episode of the U.S. version. He started doing this to show American audiences unused to Panel Games that no one is really playing for keeps; the points are a joke, like everything else. However, while the original British host Clive Anderson regularly awarded points (and deducted them for references to baldness), Drew never kept track of his points and stopped awarding them altogether (or just threw out "a thousand points for everyone" after the game ended). In any event, it was never practical to actually keep track of the points, as many times points were awarded for sketches that were filmed but cut from the final airing. The "points don't matter" line stuck around, but that was mostly just to make fun of something else that matters as much as the points. There are quite a few other jokes about how little the points matter:
    • In one outtake, Drew accidentally said "five hundred points a peach" instead of "apiece". Ryan and Colin quickly jumped on it, raising their hands and yelling, "I got a peach!"
    • Drew once gave away $100 bills instead of points.
    • Drew once declared Colin as having won the 1 millionth point ever awarded on the show. They celebrated with balloons falling from the ceiling.
    • After a Foreign Film Dub set in a beer garden, Drew gave away 100 beers instead of points.
    • Drew once brought a tape recorder of himself saying "One thousand points!" Wayne stole it during a commercial break and overwrote the tape with himself chanting "My ass... my ass... my ass..."
    • Drew goes all New and Improved:
      Drew: You don't get points for this round. Instead, you get the new mega-points — they're 25% bigger and worth 50% less.
    • Someone did in fact add up all the points each cast member accumulated, not that this led to any number you could make sense of. Drew occasionally joked about people like this keeping score at home; once he declared, "If you're keeping score at home, medical help is on the way," another time he told viewers to buy "the official Whose Line Is It, Anyway? scorebook... ya big dope," and another time he gave a score "recap" that went thus:
      Drew: Wayne: Who knows? Brad: Who cares? Colin: I forgot, Ryan: -73.
    • In any case, the only prize for allegedly getting the most points was the right to perform one last bit of improv comedy during the closing credits.
  • Have I Got News for You: This is a particularly bad (read frequent) offender: because of the amount of editing involved, the teams will end up with points without you seeing them answer the questions. Nobody cares about winning, but occasionally Paul will mention how often he's wonnote . He has mentioned on commentaries being more competitive than Ian, even jumping in with an answer Ian was about to give (during Ian's team's turn) and getting the points, but the lack of clarity on the points hardly matters so long as it’s entertaining.
    Angus Deayton: Good evening and welcome to the programme attacked this week by one viewer who wrote to complain about the random way the points are allocated, on the grounds that "the level of money wagered on the outcome of this show increases week on week," so our apologies to Mr. Joseph Wall of Newark, and one point to Ian.
    • A particularly clear example of this came when Anne Robinson hosted and gave one of them points whenever the other mentioned her husband. Hell, for all we know they deliberately cause Ian to lose.
    • When (famously rotund) MP Roy Hattersley had pulled out for the third time, at very short noticenote  his place with Paul was filled in by a tub of lard. In spite of the tub being unable to confer with Paul for any questions aimed at it, and all of their team's questions in the final round being given in foreign languages, it and Paul still won:
      Ian: It is getting rather sad that I can't win against Paul when he's accompanied by a tub of lard and the questions are in a foreign language... (trails off laughing)
      Angus: We did everything we could, Ian.
  • Never Mind the Buzzcocks: Captains have gotten moody about the random giving out of points in the past, moaning about giving over songs; perhaps the best examples are when the host deliberately prevents teams from winning. Donnie Tourette (a "punk") was mocked for caring about points, while Phill Jupitus once tried to end a game with zero.
    • Mark Lamarr would give extra points to guests he liked, such as Jimmy Cliff. He also gave a bonus point to Billie Piper for insulting Westlife.
    • In Series 28: Episode 8 Rhod Gilbert decided to deduct points from Noel's team because Paloma Faith stuck a ball in a sponge-cake. At the end of the show he didn't even read out the scores telling us who won because he was so distracted by his dog.
  • QI is notable for having a scoring system so ridiculous that even the host doesn't understand it:
    • The show rewards contestants with points based on how interesting they are (and deduct points for obvious wrong answers). Occasionally, the host will say they get points for it; but by the end, there are often looks of shock from the contestants over the score. Creator John Lloyd said that he himself doesn't understand the scoring system — they apparently just hire someone to sit in a room and record scores, and no one knows quite what logic he uses, if any. One rule that is clear though, is that 10 points are deducted for an answer that "everyone knows" but is wrong, such as Sweden having the world's highest suicide rate. note 
      Stephen Fry: I think we can all agree that nobody in this universe understands QI's scoring system!
      David Mitchell: What about the person who does QI's scoring? Wouldn't they now feel rather sad? They, at least presumably, are sitting there thinking that they know.
      Stephen Fry: His name is Colin, he's very brilliant; he works for Lumina, the scoring system people, and, he knows what he's doing, but it is a little bit of a puzzle to the rest of the world.
    • Lloyd and co-creator John Mitchinson have also noted that for all the inexplicable scoring, people are very pleased to win, unlike on shows like Have I Got News for You where no one except the regulars really cares apart from the very occasional guest (such as Bill Deeds, who according to Ian was furious with himself for not winning).
    • Apparently every point can be explained if the panelists wish (and they have the right of appeal if they believe their score is wrong). They never ask, but it is correct.
    • It is telling that the audience has won the show more than once. (They've also come in last at least once. They only win, however, if they actually score points during the show; if the audience has scored nothing while all panelists have negative points, the panelist with the best total is still the winner.)
    • The purpose of the score is for Alan Davies to get something in the realms of minus a hundred.
      • He's actually won more times than any other panelist. But that's more to do with him being in every episode than with him being any good at the game; he only is a winner (or tied for the lead at the end) in about one out of eight episodes.
      • On three occasions (once each in series A, H, and I) his buzzer sound was the klaxon which goes off when a panelist is being penalized, so he lost ten points without even opening his mouth.
    • Like HIGNFY above, at least some of the apparent randomness of the points is due to editing down two hours of material into a half-hour broadcast — if someone gets forfeits or right answers during this time, their points gained in the half hour can vary wildly from those shown at the end (most recently a panelist ended up with a score of -15 despite seemingly getting no forfeits at all), but of course, they can't change the points for the edit. It becomes clearer in the extended editions, but one presumes that even more is lost from the original recorded length.
    • Gets heavily lampshaded in series I episode "International" when they discuss points with Stephen basically pointing out nobody really knows how the system works other than the guys they pay to do it. Note that this is the very start of the show and when asked to recap the scores (before any questions), Bill Bailey (who first pointed this out) is winning by a whole 3 points... cue more mocking.
    • A few episodes later, in a show about "Inequality and Injustice" they gave the scores before the quiz had started, and (similarly unfairly) refused to read out the actual scores at the end.
    • QI will also award points deserved to a competitor in a later series, which confused the hell out of Sandi Toksvig until Dara Ó Briain explained the whole "triple point of water" scoring controversy.
    • In a series K episode they admitted that the answers to a lot of previous questions had since been proven incorrect and so back paid points depending on the number of shows the guests had been on. Naturally, Alan was owed a lot, and finished the episode with over 600 points.
  • Mock the Week: Can be quite confusing with the mix of what the host finds funny and correctly answering the questions. According to Andy Parsons, they record both sides winning and then arbitrarily decide which one to use in the edit.
    • Lampshaded by host Dara Ó Briain in one episode while introducing one round with "The winner is the performer I judge to have produced the best material, no, of course it isn't, it's random, stop e-mailing in."
    • In addition, Dara never explains how many points are awarded, instead just says "the points" or "the winners of this round are..."
    • There was a round where team captains, Rory Bremner and Hugh Dennis, provided the voices to a clip of film. When Bremner left they kept the round but using Dennis and Frankie Boyle — even though Hugh and Frankie were on the same team.
  • Some Swedish examples are Snacka om nyheter (Talk about news) and Så ska det låta (That's the sound of it).
    • There is also Intresseklubben (The Interest Club. It is a reference to a Swedish idiom), for the simple reason that it is the Swedish version of QI.
  • Shooting Stars had trick questions with only Vic and Bob knowing which way they were going to spin it. Oddly enough, they did refer to the points many times throughout the show, but mainly for the little segment of Matt Lucas, who worked the drums. In the end, the "winning" team would elect a member to take part in a challenge, sometimes winning as much as 10 pounds.
  • Averted by A Question of Sport — while it is a celebrity panel show and is both funny and entertaining, the panelists are all sportsmen and women and therefore ridiculously competitive...
  • On one occasion Spicks and Specks (Aussie music quiz/panel show) ended up with the audience with a considerable number of points for answering correctly.
    • This has happened at least once in QI, but mostly because the contestants tend to end up with negative points so a single point to the audience can "win" the game...
      • QI has even had a couple of moments when the audience has lost points.
  • Aussie show Rock Wiz shows the current score at the end of each round, but points are awarded quite arbitrarily, and this is often lampshaded by Julia Zemiro when one of the players complains about not getting points/the other team getting more points.
  • Technically, the points do mean something on Around the Horn... but they're completely prone to being randomly manipulated by the host in order to modify the outcome.
  • That's Numberwang! This game show does seem to have actual rules, and the host and the players seem to fully understand them. To the audience, scoring (and the occasional execution) seem completely arbitrary.
  • Lampshaded in Charlie Brooker's You Have Been Watching after Frank Skinner had won the episode by a large margin he title dropped this trope, leading Frank to get quite upset.
  • The Australian quiz show Talkin' 'bout Your Generation takes this approach, to an extent (mainly to make fun of Generation Y.) The host, Shaun Micallef, often gives a bizarre number of points that are in no way relevant to the number of questions answered correctly in a round. One time a contestant actually traded places with Micallef and reassigned points between teams. The points are doubly irrelevant — the last round awards the number of points needed for any of the teams to win.
    • In addition, on one notable occasion the teams began trading points in an effort to close up the gaps. Other such antics with the points include Generation Y insisting on getting 5/8s of a point for one question. They got it.
  • Norway's own news-mocker Nytt på nytt (News in a new way, but can be read as Again and again) has some fun with this. Points are awarded (in a way), with even a counter visible... for those in the studio. The shots used in the aired version NEVER show the points, discreetly pushing them off-screen, so the viewer is left guessing to what the score is until it's (apparently) summed up and a winner (and the loser) is awarded with something funny and news-related.
  • The only really memorable thing about Adam & Joe's game show parody "Quizzlestick" is it’s incomprehensibly complicated scoring system.
    • Isn't that the entire point of said parody?
  • In Good News Week, the amount of points scored seems a little erratic, assuming a question actually receives an answer. This is attributed to the Rule of Funny however. It does keep clear track of points, but is extremely casual about how they are awarded. Host Paul McDermott can be talked into awarding points for answering questions which weren't asked, for incorrect answers which are vehemently defended, and generally whenever it's entertaining. On one particularly bizarre occasion McDermott won.
    • He also once handed out points to both teams after one contestant chased a member of the opposing team into and through the audience.
  • The apparently Canadian comedy show Kenny vs. Spenny constantly features competitions between the two fellows, but the whole idea of the show is how Kenny always rigs the competitions some way. In the odd episode Spenny wins, it's usually because the joke's still on him, e.g. he races Canada's tallest stairs up by himself while Kenny takes the elevator.
  • Dave Chappelle held a quiz segment called "I Know Black People", selecting non-actors and genuinely testing them on whether they did "know black people". The points didn't matter for most questions, as some question gave points for any answer, and some where:
    Chappelle: "I don't know" is an acceptable answer! Even black people don't know that shit.
  • Would I Lie to You? generally averts this as the points are awarded on a very simple and straightforward basis, although not all of the questions make it through to the edit so sometimes it seems like a team is on top yet loses because the points the opposing team scored were cut. Both team captains (particularly Lee Mack) are quite competitive about the scores and who has won which series (in a series 5 episode, David Mitchell defied the trope by saying he did feel a genuine sense of competition about the game).
    • As of series 6 the producers are working out the final score from the edit and dubbing it on in post-production so the points reflect the half-hour highlights and not the full recording. Whether this has made the pointless more or less meaningful is debatable.
  • On What's My Line?, the points system consisted of ten cards at $5 each, and when the cards were all turned over, the panel had lost the game. However, the longer the series went on, the more likely it became for host John Daly to simply flip over all the cards if he thought the panel was taking too long, or to simply flip them all over anyway for the flimsiest of reasons, even if the panel did guess the occupation correctly. In the case of the Mystery Guest segment, the dollar amount on the cards meant nothing anyway, as mystery guests were paid an appearance fee of $500, though this was largely unknown to the general public.
  • Used car challenges on Top Gear often include a scoring board to keep track of a car's performance. The tally is often skewed by inordinately small, large, or negative points being awarded by one presenter to another. And sometimes, if one of the 3 presenters screw up something really big, they get enough negative points to have their score lowered back to zero, or -1000.
  • 7 Days is a New Zealand panel show where guests are placed into Team 1 or Team 2, and after each segment, the host Jeremy Corbett awards each team points based on numbers from that week's news. The overall winner gets the right to do a voiceover thanking NZ On Air for funding the show, but the winner of each segment doesn't always correspond to who got the correct answer, or even who was funnier.
    Guest: Hang on, hang on. How come they get more points than us when we got the right answer?
    Corbett: You foreigners with your "logic"...
  • @Midnight has nearly meaningless points that are frequently awarded on a whim and no prize to be competed for in the first place; the points' only actual function is to eliminate the lowest-scoring of the three panelists prior to the head-to-head final challenge. Host Chris Hardwick's cries of "points!" have somehow become a catchphrase anyway.
    • Occasionally, Chris will decide to let all three panelists go to the final round, which makes the points completely meaningless.
  • The Australian current affairs quiz show The Chasers Media Circus has one team called Team Australia (after a soundbite from the Prime Minister) and the other team named after something from the week (Team Ebola, Team Austria etc). Either team can win a round but at the end all the points are ignored and Team Australia is declared the winner.
  • Spanish musical contest Furor featured the minipoints: you had to get 3 to obtain a single point. Not that the points mattered that much as the host could randomly give points to any team whenever he felt like it.
  • RuPaul's Drag Race
    • Matching the celebrity contestants while playing "Snatch Game" means nothing since the goal is to do an entertaining celebrity impersonation.
      Ru Paul: And the winner is... who cares!
    • Ru notably announced the winner of a challenge involving the scantily-clad all-male Pit Crew as "every gay man and straight woman in America!"
  • Played with on Taskmaster, which — at first glance — tends to avert this trope. Unlike most British panel shows, the contestants actually are playing for prizes, and so whoever has the most points at the end of an episode or the series actually does matter. Furthermore, the points are often taken seriously; many tasks are based on measurable principles (who does something quickest, finds something first, etc.), and while there's a certain element of humour and freedom in how the host can award points in other cases, often it tends to be played quite straight. The "playing with" aspect comes in the form of the prizes the contestants are competing for; they're things that the contestants themselves bring in to form a "prize pool" and are based on tasks that usually require them to bring in odd, trivial or eccentric items. Furthermore, the contestants often bring things in for humour value as much as to win the round. So while the points may matter, in many cases the prizes those points are adding up to often don't. In one episode, for example, the contestants were competing over who got to win a bunch of vegetables which various celebrities had signed.
  • That's My Jam: Points of increasing amounts are awarded for each game and tallied up onscreen, but matter not at all to the outcome thanks to the last round of the last game being worth 200,000 points on its own—more than the rest of the episode combined. They mostly serve to track which team is better able to get into the spirit of the games.

  • From Steve Goodman's/Arlo Guthrie's "The City of New Orleans":
    Dealing cards with the old men in the club car
    Penny a point, ain't no one keeping score
  • While the points in the Eurovision Song Contest are very important they just often don't seem to be related to the quality of the songs or how well they have been sung.
    "And Cyprus awards maximum points to ... Greece!"

    Newspaper Comics 
  • In Calvinball, invented within Calvin and Hobbes, the points determine who's winning, but they're completely incomprehensible unless you're playing, of course.
    Hobbes: Okay, so now the score is oogy to boogy.
    Calvin: I already had oogy!

  • Mocked by I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, where the scorekeeper, the lovely and possibly sex-mad Samantha, is introduced at the beginning of each episode with more fanfare than the contestants — and then the score is never mentioned again. This is perhaps not a surprise, given that Samantha doesn't exist. Tis a shame.
    • Lampshaded in one of the episode in 1997, where Humph, the chairman, closes one round with "It's just occurred to me that Samantha hasn't given us the score... since 1981."
    • there is also a meta-joke about the “laser score board” (on radio...)
    • And yet, Humph frequently reminds the teams and the audience that "Points Mean Prizes!" Though we never hear anything more about the prizes either...
    • Humph was actually using one of Bruce Forsyth's catch-phrases. He called out, "And what do points mean?” to which the audience shouted back "PRIZES!" Humph was then usually heard muttering something like "Pathetic". ("Now go and invade Czechoslovakia.")
    • In earlier episodes, Humph would award points, but they never made sense and were never added up to a total. ("Right, well, it's level-pegging. We move on to...") Sometimes, he'd hand out points for groveling, sometimes for not groveling, points would routinely be reversed if someone on the leading team made an exceptionally lame joke... strangely enough, he stopped giving out points around the same time Samantha was introduced into the show.
    • And a different episode ended with Humph saying that there were winners: a pair of contestants who were listening from home.
  • You might expect Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me to be like this, but it actually keeps a fairly rigid scoring system. Subverted in that the prize is essentially bragging rights for the panelist. What does matter is how callers do — they get announcer Carl Kassell to record a message on their answering machine.
  • The BBC Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills is very fond of doing little game-show segments on his show. He gives out "Scot Mills Points" to the people in the studio and any listeners that got the question/guessed right.
  • The 99p Radio Show, a Whose Line Is It Anyway?/I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue type programme in which Sue Perkins hands out random amounts of small change at the end of each round.
  • The News Quiz works similarly to HIGNFY, its Sound-to-Screen Adaptation. Former host Simon Hoggart used to regularly offer "two points to somebody"note  or "two points to Jeremy for getting the right answer, and a bonus point to Alan for telling us what it was", and often ended with "And thanks to my unique scoring system, the winner is..." Before him was Barry Took, who gave points to Richard Ingrams if it looked like he might have once known the answer, or at least once known an answer. The last chair, Sandi Toksvig, deducted points for height jokes (although she herself would make them about Andy Hamilton). Thus far, there don't seem to be any notable irregularities in Miles Jupp's scoring. (Like HIGNFY and QI above, not all the awarded points make it into the on-air version anyway, making the final score seem a bit arbitary to the listener.)
    • In The Stinger to a 2019 episode, panellist Hugo Rifkind managed to get hold of the chairman's script, and noted that it says on the script which team wins.
    • In a 2022 episode, Hugo questioned how the score could be 4-all at the end of the second round, when it had been 4-all at the end of the first round. Andy Zaltzman explained that the point had been devalued, and the score remained 4-all until the end of the episode, at which point he announced that Hugo's team had just borrowed 4 billion points from the future.
    • In the first episode of 2023, Andy claimed at the start that the scorekeepers were on strike, and so the score remained nil-all throughout.
  • A That Mitchell and Webb Sound sketch once featured coverage of a game of "Football vs. Cricket", in which a team of eleven footballers battled a team of eleven cricketers, complete with most of the tools used by both sports, in a competition to finally determine which sport was better. As both sides were basically competing according to their various rule systems, things got pretty confusing on this front very quickly:
    Sports Presenter: So what's the score, Richard?
    Sports Reporter: Most people agree it's about 87-89 or around there.
    Sports Presenter: To whom?
    Sports Reporter: That's less clear.

  • In 2014, the LPGA Tour introduced a new award for its five major championships (the ANA Inspiration, the KPMG Women's PGA Championship, the U.S. Women's Open, the Ricoh Women's British Open, and the Evian Championship) called the Rolex Annika Major Award, named in honor of Annika Sorenstam, the greatest women's golfer ever. The points system used for this award is actually the same system used for the tour's Player of the Year Award, where points awarded for regular tour events are doubled for majors (in majors, a win is worth 60 points, second 24, third 18, fourth 14, fifth 12, sixth 10, seventh 8, eighth 6, ninth 4, and tenth 2; if players tie for a position in the Top 10, they are awarded the same number of points allotted by that position). Where this trope comes in is how the winner of the Major Award is determined. Having the most points really doesn't matter; you must win a major as well. Luckily, the first two winners of this award, American Michelle Wie, and South Korean Inbee Park, have scored the most points, in addition to fulfilling the "win a major" requirement.

    Video Games 
  • In online First Person Shooters and the like, the points earned by killing other players are purely for bragging rights in every game type except deathmatch.
  • In Portal 2 coop, the Science Collaboration (and Opportunity Advisement) Points Mean Nothing.
  • Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People features Strong Bad awarding you points for how well you make a Teen Girl Squad comic. Really, they're just Strong Bad making stuff up, and sometimes go into the negatives.
    • To elaborate: For the first one, you have a limited number of scenes to kill the girls, and each kill will draw either a big or small laugh from Strong Bad. You're judged based on how many big laughs you get, with a small laugh being worth half as much as a big one, and of course a perfect score requires four big laughs. The second one is the same except that there are a total of five possible big laughs (one after you've killed all the girls) and a small laugh is only worth a third as much. Results for the first one are -10, 0 (.5 BL), 12, 38, 211, and 5,000; for the second they're are -20, 0, 18, 41, 358, and 6,000.
  • While hardly classifiable as a game, Plumbers Don't Wear Ties has the narrator giving you a score after certain scenes. To rub salt in the wound, the highest you can possibly get is in the negative six figures.
  • Many arcade video games like Pac-Man give no rewards for points beyond a spot on a high scores screen, but don't say the points don't matter to hardcore fans.
    • Anybody who's playing a game just to finish it (if it has an end) will think this if the game keeps score of points.
  • In Eversion, the points really don't matter and when you evert to X-6 the score counter goes mad, and in X-7 and X-8 it disappears completely.
  • Video game platforms with achievement systems (such as Xbox Live's "Gamerscore") often hand out points for earning them. You can't do anything with these points; they just exist. Like Pacman above, they also have hardcore fans who see it as a sign of dedication and skill (or more cynically, how much money people are willing to spend on games that give easy achievements).
  • Mega Man has a point system, including a randomly generated point bonus for beating a level. This was dropped in all installments afterward, probably because it didn't have any purpose.
    • As there was no timer, and no forced advancement of any kind before passing the gate leading to the boss, it was possible to backtrack and kill enemies for additional points indefinitely. This made points completely useless even as the traditional measure of skill, as racking up a big score was more a matter of patience and the willingness to grind endlessly than anything else.
  • Distorted Travesty has Awesome Points, which you get for doing... well, just about anything. They do absolutely nothing.
  • Even Super Mario Bros. tends to play with this trope. While in some games points do have a purpose (such as letting the player continue in Super Mario Land or giving the player a crown in Multiplayer mode in Super Mario 3D World) most of the later games just have points around purely to give a player a sense of how close they are to getting a 1-UP chain from jumping off of enemies.
  • Frog Fractions keeps score in fractions (or, with a certain upgrade, scientific notation), but the score doesn't mean anything.
  • Yume Nikki allows you to collect money from characters that you stab, which isn't technically useless since you can in fact use the money at vending machines to buy food to raise your HP. Your HP, though, does literally nothing, so both are examples either directly or indirectly.
  • The Witch's House, because it was created in RPG Maker, gives the protagonist hit points. Besides counting down with your steps if you eat a bowl of poisoned soup, though, they do nothing. In the one case where they have any function, they're still useless since it's impossible to keep them from hitting 0 at that point.
  • Played for Laughs in the Rhythm Tengoku stage Quiz Show: The host will give the contestant an absurd amount of points if he can reach the final question and answer it correctly. He earns no points in any other part of the quiz show, meaning all that matters is whether the contestant's score is 0 or not.
  • In Might and Magic VI, at the end of the game, you'll be congratulated for saving Enroth, be shown the levels and classes of your party, and given a score based on how many in-game days it took you to complete the game. Unfortunately, the amount is rather arbitrary, and there's no indication as to whether your score is good or bad. By comparison, Heroes of Might and Magic not only gave you a score based on the difficulty of the map, the difficulty level chosen and how long it took you to win, but also gave you a rank based on an in-game unit; the stronger the unit you got was, the better your score was.

    Web Original 
  • Caught Chatting — amounts of points have included "Jones", "sine minus one ninety", and "Homestar Runner".
  • Speaking of Homestar Runner, in the Halloween cartoon Homestar Runner Pumpkin Carvenival, award ribbons with meaningless accolades were handed out by Homestar to the various pumpkin carvers. These include "2nd Place", "Worst Place", "Good Prize", "Not Last Place", and "Most Improved". Homestar also ranked two or three different pumpkins as "Last Place". Considering the contest was actually an elaborate prank by Strong Bad (disguised as Homestar), this is more or less justified.
  • Reddit: That Karma is essentially meaningless is a perennial joke on the site.
  • In Welcome to Night Vale the votes cast in the mayoral campaign are not actually counted; instead the mayor is chosen by interpreting the strange noises that emanate from Secret Gorge, resulting in the election of someone who was not even running.
  • CinemaSins is a movie-review show that looks at a movie and catalogues all of its "sins" (plot holes, filmmaking screw-ups, and stuff that just generally annoys the reviewer) and gives a final count of all the sins at the end. In the review of their own program ("Everything Wrong With CinemaSins"), Jeremy outright admits that the sin counts are essentially meaningless and that the sins themselves can be (and often are) stupid things that nobody would really care to notice.
    • It's worth pointing out that early videos had a stricter point system with films normally coming in under 70 sin points; mainly for for plot inconsistencies, bad editing, etc. As the show has evolved the point system (and the iconic *ding*) has become more of a joke in true keeping with this trope.
  • In Yuriofwind's Bullshit Creepypasta Storytime segment, sometimes he removes points from the stories he reads, which doesn't really matter, given that he doesn't score the stories at all.
  • On Roosterteeth's improv show On The Spot, points are often given out for meaningless reasons, such as: Points for asking for points, points for knowing random trivia, points for being liked by the host, etc. However, points are usually only given out the first time a random attempt for points is attempted in each episode.
  • In 2021, Jacksfilms, best known for his Audience Participation series, Yesterday, I Asked You (or YIAY for short), created and introduced "YIAY Tokens". Essentially, they're an imaginary virtual currency that he sometimes gives to or takes away from his fans based on how good or bad their YIAY submissions are. They're awarded and deducted completely arbitrarily, hold no practical value, and very obviously aren't meant to be taken seriously, but that hasn't stopped one dedicated fan from creating a YIAY Token Leaderboard.

Alternative Title(s): Pointless Points, Bogus Points