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Unwinnable Joke Game

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Nobody has won. Nobody ever will.

"This is the Impossible level, boys. 'Impossible' doesn't mean 'very difficult'. Very difficult is winning the Nobel Prize; impossible is eating the Sun."

An Unwinnable Joke Game is a game that has a clear win condition, but this condition cannot be reached, and this is intentional on the part of the designer. These are almost always meant as a joke.

Compare Unintentionally Unwinnable, where the game cannot be won because of a design flaw or programming oversight, Unwinnable by Design, which is a serious game that is designed so that certain circumstances will render it unwinnable, as well as Endless Game and Wide-Open Sandbox, which don't have a win condition in the first place, and Unwinnable Training Simulation if it's meant as a practice run. For games (including joke games) that are horrendously difficult but have a win condition that is intended to be actually achievable, the trope you're looking for is Nintendo Hard (or, in very extreme cases, Platform Hell).

Certain gambling machines may fall under this trope, though most countries in the world have laws against such machines, on the grounds that gambling is a game of chance, even if the odds are low of winning there are still odds at play that let the gambler actually win the jackpot; the gambler is not throwing away money to play something that is literally unwinnable. Otherwise, the gambler may as well just throw money into an open fire to get the same result.


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    Video Games 
  • Antimatter Dimensions NG Very Minus is a mod for Antimatter Dimensions that starts you off with 9 antimatter but none of it is being generated per second, so you can't even buy the first dimension for 10 antimatter and progress.
  • Beep Boop Bitcoin presents itself as an Idle Game where you mine as many Bitcoins as possible and make money off them. It only presents a means to obtain Bitcoin, but not a way to change it back into normal dollars: The trading exchange has delays sending out payments and then shuts down, the bitcoin investment is a Ponzi, and when you manage to get Bitcoins from your miner, it catches fire and causes your house to burn down. There is a "victory condition" after that, but...note 
  • Curse of the eastern god: When the curse is active, the player is subject to Ratchet Scrolling. At a certain point, the player is designated the sacrifice and starts Auto-Scrolling through a platforming maze. Although players can get through the hazards, the end is a brick wall for the inevitable death. There's the option to retry the auto-scolling level, but doing so enough times eventually redirects the player to the GameJolt website, because the gods are already full with your repeated sactifices.
  • The infamous Scary Maze Game is an online Screamer Prank where your goal is to manuever your way through a maze, but the third level is impossible to beat as, when you get to a certain point in the third level, a close-up image of Regan from The Exorcist pops up and screams. Though if you can manage to not jump like crazy, you can still make it to the end.
  • In Steamshovel Harry, the Earth will be destroyed by a missile in ten minutes, and only you can stop it! The tutorial is far longer than that, causing you to lose immediately afterwards.
  • Super Kingio Bros on Homestar Runner is a version of Super Mario Bros. with the King of Town replacing Mario. Unfortunately, he can't jump high enough to pass the first Goomba, so it's probably just as well that you don't actually get the three lives shown.
  • Zephyr Skies: The Winter Sage starts out as a typical RPG, but then it glitches and turns into playing tetris/matching up pictures. It may actually be winnable in terms of getting perfect score, but the results don't change and the game repeats in an infinite loop.
  • The creators of The Room: The Game released what appeared to be the equivalent for The Hunger Games ... on April 1st. It becomes a test to see how many times a player can take one of Clove's throwing knives to the head before giving up. See it for yourself here.
  • The Interactive Fiction Suspended becomes this if you play on Impossible mode, where the sun goes nova in two turns.
  • Penn and Teller's Smoke and Mirrors:
    • The "Smoke & Mirrors" game has its own Impossible Mode, where Lou Reed appears and kills the duo by shooting lightning from his eyes, then tells the player, "Impossible doesn't mean very difficult. Very difficult is winning the Nobel Prize; impossible is eating the Sun."
    • Many of the other games in the unreleased collection are pranks set up in favour of player one, making them Unwinnable Joke Games for player two.
  • In Castle Smurfenstein, a hacked version of the original Apple II Castle Wolfenstein, the game was deliberately modified so that it's impossible to get past the first level.
  • I-Mockery's Tetris: Charity Edition.
    • The intro screen promises that I-Mockery will donate money to charity for every player that clears 20 lines or more in A-Type mode (no such promises for R-Type mode). However, once you breach the 15-line mark, NES characters fall instead of Tetris blocks. They can't fit together in any line-clearing fashion. Then the game's ending chastizes you for not even being able to clear twenty measly lines. This is, truly, one of I-Mockery's cruelest April Fools' Day jokes of all time. It's still possible to sneak in a Tetris after you clear line 16, if an I piece is next, clearing 20 lines total. However, you still do not advance to level 3, as the game refuses to recognize that last cleared line, and sticks the counter at 19.
    • Its R-Type mode is equally unbeatable, since the Advancing Wall of Doom eventually moves too fast for you to destroy quick enough.
  • A recurring Minigame in The Simpsons video games, "Larry The Looter", is completely unwinnable. Immediately after looting the electronics store (the only store it's possible to loot), Larry is gunned down by the angry store owner.
  • Mond Cards is presented as unwinnable. The game is to draw three symbolic cards and pick one, is explained as who's cards come out on top as the winner for the round, and the result is having the cards moved around seemingly arbitrarily. The opponent declaring himself the victor at each of the three rounds. Subverted at the end because of a glowing speck, but it would otherwise remain unwinnable in-work without Deus ex Machina.
  • Pippin Barr's games are usually more like critical commentary than actual games, and "Zorba" is no exception; you can't win, because the computer-controlled character will never make a mistake.
  • The hilarious game hack Uwe Boll's Punch Out!! allows you (as "Little Tax") to take on Uwe Boll in the boxing ring. Punches score points but do no damage and you can't run out the clock since it's not running. Possible subversion: if Little Tax survives long enough, Uwe Boll does eventually run out of moves. Then the game crashes.
  • Pump It Up has a few charts that are not meant to be possible. Bee (Another) (Nightmare) is one such example, in addition to using the arrows to spell out developer names. Ditto RAW. Similarly, some Stepmania charts that were clearly made as jokes are so insane, even the autoplay fails.
  • There exist several Danmakufu troll scripts. These troll scripts usually combine Unwinnable Joke Game with Stylistic Suck because the patterns wouldn't be very good even if the difficulty were reasonable.
  • On April Fools' Day 2011, the Trophy Maker in Kingdom of Loathing sold a trophy to players for having less than 10,000 meat in their inventory. The trophy was only available to players who currently fulfilled the condition. Trophies cost 10,000 meat to purchase, and the meat can only come from the player's inventory.
  • Segway of the Dead, a game by the creators of Road of the Dead, was presented as the latter game's sequel. Just one problem: no matter how fast you get the segway going, you cannot possibly break through the crowd of zombies. Never trust a game that comes out on April Fool's Day. The creators later put out a video of the angriest reviews Segway of the Dead got.
  • Warcraft II includes a joke custom map in which the player only controls a single peasant surrounded by dozens of AI enemy controlled units. Predictably, it ends with a defeat after a couple of seconds. The unwinnable status of the mission is even lampshaded in its file name ("Suicide") and ingame description ("If you win, you're Warcraft god" or something like that). It is possible to win it if you can enter the invincibility cheat quickly enough.
  • Hate Plus has an achievement that is absolutely impossible to achieve: Level Four Revive Materia. According to the description, you must finish the game with ONLY the version of *Mute that you started with. However, *Mute is Driven to Suicide at the end of Day 2, and the rest of the game is spent with the older version of *Mute that you restore, and there is no way around this. (Using the Harem version, while allowing *Mute to survive, doesn't fulfill the conditions, as it said only.) There isn't even any code to activate the achievement, even if you could somehow avert the suicide.
  • Shortly after Brazil was trampled 7-1 by Germany in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, a Brazilian programmer decided to enhance the Self-Deprecation with "Gol da Alemanha Simulator". There, the player controls a Brazilian attacker, while one of the other players is a literal traffic cone and the other nine have extremely incompetent AI; on the other hand, the opposing German team actually knows what it's doing.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has the Marathon Man challenge, presented as a legitimate competition. No matter how fast you run, he will always beat you by exactly one second, even if you use a cheat device to lock the timer at 0 seconds.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, if Link asks Mila's father for funds before going to the Forsaken Fortress for the second time, he will toss three red Rupees into his mansion's vases. Even if the player can correctly guess where the Rupees are and smash the vases to get them, Mila's father will still demand payment for the broken vases. The only way to "win" is to save and quit the game after getting the Rupees so they can't be docked.
  • Retro City Rampage has the Hastings Betting Zoo's "Donkey Race", where the player can bet money on a donkey racer. Except the donkey the player has chosen will never win, no matter how much money is bet on it. To further lampshade that, most donkeys are named with mocking names, like "Badluck", "Youlose" & "Thxfoyomoney".
  • The Riddle School series' fourth game is like this. You try to do anything and you promptly die. Which is actually the point.
  • The French equivalent of The Onion, called Le Gorafi, hyped up a mini-game called Super Gorafi News Turbo on their Twitter, in which the player could experience the day of a Gorafi journalist by collecting microphones and verified sources and beating some bosses at the end of the levels. Several screenshots were even published on the satirical website's Twitter account, and it was announced that the game would contain dozens of levels. When the game was released, it appeared that it was impossible to jump over the first hole in the first level. Hacking the source code in order to pass these holes revealed that the level consisted of these two holes and then... nothing. Worst of all, some people on Twitter jumped on the bandwagon by bragging how some of the bosses were hard to beat — and Le Gorafi even retweeted them! Considering that the game was made by a professional graphic designer, why the hell would he put any effort into coding a full-fledged game if he couldn't get any income from it?
  • Iji has a hidden difficulty "reallyjoel's Dad". Supposedly, you have two minutes to kill all the enemies and get to the exit or you explode. Not only is killing all the enemies in two minutes completely impossible, but the source code reveals that the laser barrier blocking the exit won't open even if you do. Unless you're reallyjoel's Dad.
  • Some Creepypasta style games are intentionally impossible to beat. Sonic.exe for example has you playing as Tails, Knuckles and Dr. Eggman in order, but no matter what you do, you'll always end up being killed by Sonic.exe himself at the end of each level.
  • Red Carpet Rampage is a flash game where you play as Leonardo DiCaprio trying to win an Oscar. The game is programmed to keep getting harder and harder until you lose, making it unwinnable. The developers have stated that if DiCaprio himself ever contacts them, they'll give him a cheat code to a special ending.
    • Averted, now that Leonardo DiCaprio actually won an Oscar, they programmed in an ending and a boss fight.
  • Super Releasio 64 is a joke hack of Super Mario 64 made by Kaze Emanuar, the creator of both Super Mario 64: Last Impact and Super Mario 64 Chaos Edition. Its sole reason on why it was made was due to the fact that everybody was constantly bugging him about when the former would release. In this game, both this trope and Unwinnable by Design are in full effect here, as you play as Toad... who speeds up incredibly fast, making the game all but unplayable unless you carefully (and we mean carefully) move him. Somebody has documented how Toad(io) in the game works, which you can see here. Other changes include most (if not about all) of the textures have been replaced by Toad's face, all of the text in-game being changed (typically to some sort of variation of Toad), Toad's head and his face are constantly moving around the screen like snow, and all of the instruments for the music have been replaced by Toad's voice from Mario Kart 64. Besides that, it's the same game as Super Mario 64... mostly.
    • A brave user by the name of MadeForReleasio Toad has subverted the trope and managed to upload footage of them beating the majority (if not the entirety) of the game via legit means. However, this becomes double subverted when the game crashes on him on the ending... and then subverted again as the ending plays on an edited version of it.
      • "What...? No... NO! WHY?! WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS?! No! I refuse! I REFUSE! For all I went through, THATS MY ENDING?! NO! I DESERVE that cake! I can't let it end like this...I have to do something..."
  • Super Releasio Brothers is a fanmade sequel to "Super Releasio 64", and much like it, it's completely unbeatable under normal means as Mario (who has the top part of his head replaced with a mushroom) will speed up far too fast with the inability to slow down at all. He even runs so fast that the game glitches up because Mario's not supposed to go that fast, which causes part of the levels to loop over, can put him in solid objects, run right into a pit or an enemy, etc. However, you can still go fairly slow and try not to intentionally speed up. You could beat the game like this... if it weren't for the fact that the timer wasn't removed, so you wouldn't reach the end of the level by doing that unless you froze the timer or went at the normal (for Releasio) speed. It didn't help that in the original version, level 7-4 was actually impossible to beat, as the game couldn't tell if Mario went through the right path or not due to how quick he was going, causing the level to loop endlessly. There's also even its own version of Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels called Super Releasio Bros: The Lost Toads, making Nintendo Hard into Nintendo Almost Impossible. Much like before, Made For Releasio Toad has played, observed the physics and made tool assisted runs of both games, which you can see here and here.
  • Ethan White (the guy who made Super Releasio Bros. and Super Releasio Bros. 2: The Lost Toads) and Shadow Mario made another hack called Super Releasio Bros. 2u, which is a hack of Super Mario Bros. 2. MadeForReleasio Toad (again) played through it and made videos documenting it.
  • Creating one of these in Super Mario Maker is deliberately meant to be impossible, with Nintendo instituting a few layers of Developer's Foresight - you have to be able to complete the level yourself, and the jump-boosting randomly-spawning Weird Mushroom is disabled while you try. Nonetheless, a few players find workarounds, such as making a level that is only winnable if you don't have a Weird Mushroom and then spawning hundreds of potential Weird Mushrooms at you, or installing the game at its buggy launch state, completing a level through some long-patched bug, and then updating the game and uploading the level.
    • The sequel, Super Mario Maker 2 is a lot better about this. For one, downgrading to an earlier version of the game is nearly-impossible. Unlike the Wii U, deleting your data for a game does NOT delete the patch data on the Switch. Once you've installed a later version of a game onto a Switch, playing an older version on that Switch can no longer be done through any means. You need to either buy a whole new Switch, or go into the system settings and factory reset your entire console, wiping out all of your save data on ALL of your Switch games. And even so, doing this is All for Nothing, because Developer's Foresight kicks in and you learn how much Nintendo learned since the first game: any levels uploaded on an older version of Super Mario Maker 2 are now played using that older version, meaning all the glitches that have since been patched out will still work in these levels, it's just impossible to recreate the glitches in a newly-uploaded level on a newer version of the game.
  • Guitar Hero games are another popular target for fake levels in the form of impossible songs only bots can play, let alone win flawlessly (and even then if the programming isn't tight enough bots can still flub parts of these songs). The idea is to see how difficult it can truly get, how many notes you can fit into a song, how many points you can earn, etc. Often, songs from artists like Buckethead are synced up with the impossible note track even though since the multitracks are never involved this doesn't result in the screeching fast guitar solos dropping out if any notes are missed. When an already existing song is deliberately turned into this, it's typically considered an "Overchart", meaning that there are notes in the chart which do not actually correspond to any real note or sound in the song. A smaller group of these "impossible songs" are those who are not actually overcharted and are instead truly composed to be exceedingly difficult. A well known example of this would be Soulless 6 by ExileLord.
  • During the 2016 summer Olympic games, Irish boxer Michael Conlan was eliminated by Russian Vladimir Nikitin under controversial circumstances. RTÉ quickly released a flash game based on the fight. Nikitin will stand still while Conlan beats on him, only for Nikitin to always win by one point no matter what.
  • WarioWare: Twisted! includes several bonus mini-games based on table hockey, one of which is entitled "Eternal Wario Hockey". Wario is your opponent, and he will never fail to deflect the puck from his side, no matter how well you play.
  • Fallout 4 has a small version of this with the Port-A-Diner machines scattered throughout the Commonwealth. The player's chance of success is based off of factors like their Luck stat and the number of times they've tried in the past, ranging from a 1/50 chance at best to 1/1000 at worst. And your "prize" for winning is a piece of pie that's somehow been perfectly preserved for 200 years (and gives an embarrassingly low amount of HP).
  • Waiting for Godot: The Game, never advances past its loading screen.
  • Subverted with Sisyphus: The Video Game. Contrary to the myth, you can roll the boulder to the top of the hill, giving the player one point, at which point they are then smote by Zeus and sent back to the bottom. As such, it's really just a regular arcade game. This maybe be a case of doubly subverted though, as in a sense ALL arcade games where the player is shooting for the highscore are unwinnable, but they just aren't joke games like this is. Sisyphus by George Prosser is a more straight forward take, which is also high score based, but the hill has no top in his version. This game is not to be confused with Sisyphus by Love-From-Tom, which is a more normal game that just happens to be named after the myth.
  • Hatetris, a variant of Tetris that is programmed to always provide you with the worst possible pieces. Most of the time, this means handing you an endless stream of S and Z blocks, but crucially not enough S and Z blocks to actually start clearing lines with them. Like many unwinnable variants, it is actually possible to clear lines in it.
  • In the DOS Missile Command clone Anti Ballistic Missile, the highest difficulty is called "Mission - Impossible", and is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. The enemy missiles come in too fast for your sluggish keyboard-controlled crosshair to keep up (being released in 1982, there was no mouse or trackball support), and can wipe out all of your cities with the first volley.
  • Rhythm game Rotaeno has the April Fool's 2023 notechart for "RUSH E", which is a comically absurd but still sensible flood of notes that makes it impossible to sightread. It's even jokingly rated at "Level E". That didn't stop players from trying to score decently at the chart regardless. Watch it here if you want to witness the insanity.
  • The PSP/PS3 Minis puzzle game Shift Extended rewards you for completing every stage with a final obstacle where you can do nothing except grab a powerup that removes the floor you were standing on and drops you into a pit of instant-death spikes, followed by a snarky message about readying the next test subject. It would be a cute little gag if you hadn't just finished 120 puzzles of increasing length and difficulty, but instead it feels more like a giant middle finger to the player for bothering to spend their money and time on the game.
  • In EZ2ON REBOOT : R, "Sudden Death" is a song in which the gimmick is that the song has the same quantity of 144 notes on each difficulty, but each difficulty has unusually strict timing windows and lifebars, the latter of which also punish any hit judgement below "KOOL". Its Hard and Super Hard charts notably have zero leaderboard entries (ranking in not only requires a score, but also to clear the chart), and playing them reveals why: Whereas the Easy and Normal charts have difficult but doable timing windows of ±10 and ±8 milliseconds, respectively, for a KOOL, that timing window shrinks down to ±4 ms for Hard and just plus-or-minus TWO milliseconds on Super Hard, and the lifebar damage for a non-KOOL is increased accordingly, to the point where on Super Hard, a single non-KOOL hit takes away 99% of the lifebar. There isn't anything mechanical that makes the Hard and SHD charts unwinnable, it's just that they are engineered to require far more accuracy and precision than what a human being can muster. The developers admitted in a stream that the point of these charts' leaderboards is to catch cheaters, i.e. anyone who does manage to put a score in could not have done so legitimately.

    Game Shows 
  • Truth or Consequences: Virtually every time, a T or C stunt or skit was set up with one of these, a riddle that either is impossible for any reasonable person to answer, or a time limit that elapses so quickly that no one has a chance to even begin the process of answering.
  • Sam Reich did this to Brennan Lee Mulligan in one episode of Game Changer. The setup of the game was that Sam asked one question repeatedly the entire episode: yes, or no, after which Reich would dole out points according to a rule only he knew, and victory was granted to whoever could figure out the rule. After twenty minutes of gags, acapella singing, at least one guest, and a rather epic rant, the rule was figured out: No matter what happens, Brennan couldn't win.

    Other Games 
  • One of the earliest computerized examples is El Ajedrecistanote  from 1914, a game against a chess automaton in which a human player plays a bare king against the automaton's king and rook. As any chess player with some knowledge of the endgame will tell you, the player cannot win or force stalemate, and will inevitably be checkmated.
  • Inverted with this self-solving Chess problem as being an unloseable joke game. Its goal is to mate the black king in six moves, however all of white's legal moves lead invariably to checkmate after six moves.
  • The "Countdown Ending" in The Stanley Parable sees the Narrator start a two minute countdown for going against his story. There are multiple buttons and doors around the room nearby. You’d think one of them would stop it, or would allow for a way out. Nothing does. The Narrator even knows this, and reveals the whole thing is pointless and that he will enjoy watching you die in perhaps his most sadistic act in the whole game.
  • The Self-Parody release Monopoly: Longest Game Ever is designed to be impossible to finish in anything resembling a reasonable amount of time.

Fictional Examples

  • Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies: "The Ducksters", a 1950 cartoon starring Daffy Duck and Porky Pig, a parody of the then-popular Truth or Consequences. The questions are even more ridiculously impossible than the real life show (e.g., "Who, mind you WHO, was the referee for the New Zealand heavyweight championship fight in 1726"). Although Porky is able to avert the trope several times with unexpected correct answers (for instance, he successfully answers "Arbuckle Dreen" to the New Zealand boxing match question), other times the question is just plain intentionally impossible to answer, resulting in Porky suffering brutal punishment. One example has Daffy asking Porky to identify Ms. Shush (a parody of a recurring T or C contest) from only a horribly scratched record (which Daffy claims is Shush "brushing her teeth on Wednesdays"), before taking him to meet "her" (actually Mamie, an ill-tempered gorilla). Eventually, Porky is able to turn the tables on Daffy when he takes the prize money Daffy gives him to mollify his temper, buys the radio station, and gives Daffy an impossible question of his own.
  • xkcd has a strip about Tetris, which provides the page image. Predictably, someone on the internet made a game like that. And some managed to score lines in it.
  • South Park has "Heroin Hero", it's a game that is supposed to relieve anyone of stress, there's no score or time limit. The objective of the game is to chase a pink dragon through a magical enchanted forest while injecting simulated heroin. Except the dragon can never be caught.
  • In the Brit Com Mr. Don and Mr. George, the two title characters are shown playing a board game, which George is winning by declaring a series of increasingly bizarre moves. It is then revealed that Don never gets any moves, and the game is called "George, You're Simply the Best."
  • In The Wheel of Time, there's a board game called Snakes and Foxes, which is usually played by children who haven't realized that it's impossible to win without cheating. In-universe the game is a reference to the Aelfinn and the Eelfinn – if you enter their land through the Tower of Ghenjei you cannot escape without violating the treaty against using fire, iron or music, and even then it's very hard. Olver somehow wins the game when Mat, Thom and Noal rescue Moiraine from the Aelfinn and the Eelfinn. The game is never described in much detail, just that it's a circular board with a web of lines across it, some of which restrict movement to one direction. There are ten Snakes and ten Foxes, represented by small discs with wavy lines or triangles, respectively. The player, represented by a black disc, begins in the center of the web, and the objective is to have the player reach the outside of the web and then return to the center. Each disc moves in turn, based on a roll of a (presumably six-sided) die, and the Snakes and Foxes may only move by the shortest possible route toward the nearest player. Unless there's some quirk to the board design or rules that is never explained to the reader, it doesn't sound 'impossible' to win, just obscenely unlikely. In essence, you have to have Mat's luck to pull it off.
  • In Rugrats episode "Ice Cream Mountain", Stu, Drew, and company go to a miniature golf course, and are promised free games if they get a hole-in-one on the final hole, the titular Ice Cream Mountain. Problem is, the golf course owner Earl Skaggs had deliberately rigged the mountain so it would be impossible for any player to get a hole-in-one, as unintentionally revealed by the kids, who sneak into the inside of Ice Cream Mountain (under the impression that it's made of ice cream) and remove the paper cover that blocks balls going into the mountain from exiting through the chute that results in a hole-in-one. As a result, they end up accidentally inverting this trope, causing every player's ball to go into the hole for holes-in-one, much to the dismay of Skaggs.
  • A darkly humorous folklore game is Russian Roulette with a semi-auto pistol. For those who aren't gun nuts: a revolver, the type of handgun you usually play Russian Roulette with, has several chambers (traditionally six, occasionally five or seven for different size bullets), one of which is loaded. So your chance of survival after a round of Russian Roulette is 5/6 (or 4/5, or 6/7, depending on the model of revolver). A semi-auto pistol has only one chamber. The bullet is fed into that chamber automatically. Playing the game will kill you with 100% probability (or 99%, depending on the gun quality).
    • One man who did this ended up in the Darwin Awards.
    • There was a tabletop RPG player describing a Spacemaster (Rolemaster In Space) game where one of the players at the table won such a game. The character put the gun to his head, and rolled a critical failure, jamming the gun. Then, he passed it to the Big Bad, who checked that yes, the gun was truly jammed, and played his turn. The Big Bad rolled a critical success, unjamming the gun and blowing his head off. The story is on "Le Domaine de Saladdin" (in French) if you want to read it.
  • In Bimbos of the Death Sun, protagonist Jay Omega is asked to DM the celebrity Dungeons & Dragons game since the original DM, Appin Dungannon (author of a series of Conan-esque novels), was murdered; Jay rewrites the campaign to be unwinnable, not as a joke, but in order to ferret out the murderer. Jay puts Dungannon's hero Tratyn Runewind in the game as an NPC, but puts him through a Humiliation Conga that climaxes in a battle where Runewind is killed by an enemy wielding the Evil Counterpart of his magical sword. This causes the resident Runewind fanboy to go ballistic, admitting that he killed Dungannon to "save" Runewind (he broke into the author's hotel room and saw a joke chapter in which Runewind got killed), and then he steals a gun from the detective overseeing the investigation and tries to "save" the hero again by killing Jay. It doesn't end well for him.
  • One special of Gaki no Tsukai ya Arahende has Tanaka being tasked to complete a Super Mario Maker level. When he gets past Bowser and goes into the Warp Pipe behind him, Mario is dumped into a bottomless pit, and the blocks over the pit spell out "TANAKA THAI KICK", and Tanaka subsequently gets a Thai kick in the butt.
  • Family Guy features an African American version of Monopoly called Two Decades Of Dignity, where all the cards are punishments. When asked if anyone ever wins at the game, Cleveland notes that "you don't win, you just do a little better each time."
  • Polandball has Partition 2, “the ultimate Pole-playing game”, a Skyrim-esque RPG where the lowest difficulty is Legendary and the first enemy (Imperial Germany) kills you instantly.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus gives us the beauty pageant-esque Summarize Proust Competition, in which contestants are given 15 seconds to summarize the seven volumes of Marcel Proust's sprawling philosophical novel À la recherche du temps perdu. Naturally, they all run out of time, and the emcee proclaims, "I don't think any of our contestants this evening have succeeded in encapsulating the intricacies of Proust's masterwork, so I'm going to award the first prize this evening to the girl with the biggest tits."


Video Example(s):


Homestar Runner

"Super Kingio Bros." is a version of "Super Mario Bros." with the King instead of Mario, but the game is impossible because you can't jump over the first Goomba.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / UnwinnableJokeGame

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