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Narm / Gotham

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It's a comic book that was translated to screen. There will be some unintentionally funny moments.


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    Season 1 

  • Young Bruce's Skyward Scream is a realistic sounding yell—but the screeching of a small child doesn't always lend itself well to drama. Perhaps because of this, it's not as loud in the show as it was in the trailer.
  • Fish Mooney aggressively adjusting her weave after beating Cobblepot half to death.
  • The in-your-face frontal camera angles sometimes used during a chase scene.
  • A fugitive Cobblepot killing a fisherman for his sandwich, then having a Scare Chord play over him eating it messily instead of the murder itself.
  • Selina Kyle's constant crouched down slinking around, as well as a scene where she bats a trinket like a cat playing with a toy. She might be a Catwoman in the making but that doesn't mean she needs to constantly walk on all fours. In the first season finale, she also nuzzles up with Fish like an actual cat.
  • The ease with which Oswald Cobblepot murders his way through the series, picking off random people and limping casually away.
  • After Gordon shoots one of the child kidnappers in "Selina Kyle", the man falls into a Bottomless Pit. Nightmare Fuel, yes. But the man was screaming all the way down.
  • The homeless man that was killed at the start of "Selina Kyle" was a veteran. Probably meant to make his death more poignant, but really all it does is add a touch of anvilicious to it.
  • From "The Balloonman" (already pretty funny as the episode title and the name of the villain):
    • Sure; in practice the act of a man tying a helpless person to a large balloon, and then letting them float up into the stratosphere until either they die from cold and lack of atmosphere or the balloon bursts and they fall screaming to their deaths, is pretty scary. But, on paper (or screen), it just sounds/looks like such a goofy and over-the-top way of killing someone that it's impossible to take seriously.
    • The Special Effects Failure of the shot of the first victim being pulled up into the city skyline certainly doesn't help (his complete lack of movement makes it very obvious that it's not actually a person.)
    • The very idea of a person being crushed by a falling body is rather hard to take seriously. It doesn't help when said collision (itself an example of Special Effects Failure) is punctuated by the victim (an old lady) exclaiming "oy." What is this, a Mel Brooks movie? The lead-in to this scene is an interrogation where Bullock and Gordon have to be told that balloons eventually pop after floating away. How did they make it to adulthood without figuring that out?
    • Reporter: "Now that the Balloonman is gone, who will defend the people of Gotham?"
  • While the villain of the series' fourth episode, Richard Gladwell, is a genuinely sinister bad guy, the way he offs his first victim is downright laughable. Meeting a Genre Blind politician and his aide in a dark parking lot, Gladwell claims to be a "big fan" of the politician who wants to show him his "invention." He doesn't just straight up-murder them with it, though. Instead, he hands it to the politician's aide and tells him to look into the barrel and press the button! The aide actually does it, with predictable results.
  • Liza, the auditioning singer in "Arkham". Fish adds a rather unorthodox bit to her job interview—to seduce Fish (the point being that she's actually hiring a Honey Trap, not a lounge performer). Judging from Fish's reaction, Liza's attempt is obviously meant to be much sexier than the previous girl who tried out, but the actual execution is blatantly awkward and unsexy, and Liza's lackluster performance would imply that she wants to be anywhere else. Her acting lessons in "Viper" similarly fall flat, since Fish praises improvements in her inflection that don't actually happen.
  • Selina's cameo in "Viper," where not only does she try to pickpocket right in front of Gordon and Bullock in broad daylight, but she approaches the mark by leaping onto a car hood and sliding down it, which no one notices. And to top it off, the scene adds absolutely nothing to the ongoing story, and feels like they were worried we'd forget that a teenage Catwoman is still running around somewhere.
    • Immediately after Isaac Steiner's out of nowhere Face-Heel Turn, he immediately pulls out a miniscule bottle of viper, inhaling the green fumes in the most over-the-top way you can imagine, before beating the ever-loving crap out of Gordon and Bullock. Keep in mind that Steiner was an elderly man using a cane to move himself around prior.
  • Episode 6, "Spirit of the Goat," is full of Narm right from the title. The episode concerns a serial killer who called himself "the Spirit of the Goat" and claims he will rise again if killed, he cuts open his victim's scalps and sews a penny under their skin for no given reason (and the cops lampshade they don't understand it), the news segment covering the murders is called "Goat Watch", and the episode is full of cutaways to Nygma rearranging the filing system at the police station and Oswald spending time with his mother, including a sponge bath. The episode is so silly it's surreal. (Of course, given the fact that it was written by Ben Edlund, creator of The Tick, this is probably one of the few times the silliness has been intentional.)
  • Victor Zsasz, from "Penguin's Umbrella", could have been played by Nicolas Cage. SO much ham!
  • Selina Kyle robbing a store in broad daylight and doing a bad job at it.
  • In "Harvey Dent", Harvey's face seems to be perpetually half covered in shadow, a reference to his future identity as Two-Face.
    • The first appearance of his split personality is pretty effective at first...and then the camera lingers on a shot of Nicholas D'Agosto trying to make his eyes pop out of his skull.
  • The attempts to make Bruce sound older than he is wind up coming across stilted and unnatural.
  • Selina tries to compare her and Bruce's sneaking around to being "like smoke," but ends with:
    Selina: Smoke doesn't make phone calls.
  • Selina using "Cat" as a nickname. It's as if they thought that 1% of viewers wouldn't get who she is, and just went all out. Just think if Bruce called himself "Bat".
    • Or Nygma drinking from a coffee cup with a question mark on it. Really, this show's near constant and blatant references to who is going to be what is massively narm.
  • Gotham is obviously a REALLY screwed up city from the outset, but just how screwed up continues to mount with each passing episode to such an excessive degree it becomes ridiculous. Gordon sticking around after all this just becomes more and more unbelievable as well.
  • Barbara calls the penthouse looking to talk to Jim, and is not being able to identify Ivy's voice as that of a child's. Because of this, she screams down the phone and throws it across the room in a jealous rage. Overall, the entire scene is very silly.
  • The Conspicuous CG floating newspaper at the start of "What the Little Bird Told Him," almost feeling like the show has become Forrest Gump.
  • In "Welcome Back, Jim Gordon", Penguin gets drunk in a pointlessly overdone sequence that it's hard not to find funny. And this was after we see his mother's reaction to seeing that he's now in charge of Mooney's club.
  • It's not merely enough for Gordon and Leslie to have The Big Damn Kiss, but it's accompanied by swelling music and everyone else in the GCPD stopping what they're doing to watch. It's like something out of a cheesy romance film.
  • At the end of "The Fearsome Dr. Crane," Fish Mooney sees an unknown mercenary enter her room. The two of them enter a Primal Stance and charge towards each other like a pair of football players before the episode ends.
  • In the same episode, the titular Dr. Crane menacingly approaches his next victim, holding...a piglet? OK, the man's phobia was about pigs, but it still comes off as incredibly silly.
    • Plus, Dr. Crane's goon tortures said victim with a pig mask on while surrounded by more pigs. That makes the second pig mask in the series. That said, this part is over pretty quickly so it only counts for some.
  • The dopey expressions on the scarecrow hallucinations may be this for some.
  • Maroni calling someone a "son of a motherbitch" just begs the question of why they even had him swear in a TV-14 show to begin with, or why they didn't go with "son of a bitch".
  • The sheer fact that, in order to win Gordon back, Barbara is taking fashion tips and dating advice from a pair of pre-teen girls who are squatting in her apartment. The mind boggles.
    • And then in the next episode, she decides that she should return the favor and teach them how to use their appearance to get what they want. Yes; Barbara - who acted on tips from two pre-pubescent girls who broke into her house - now regards herself as a femme fatale. Selina herself points out how ridiculous the whole premise is.
  • Morena Boccarin goes a bit over the top in her Agent Mulder scenes from "The Blind Fortune Teller," acting more like someone whose religion has been insulted. Just how fragile is Thompkins' ego?
    • If her reaction to Barbara's kidnapping is anything to go by, very fragile indeed. Instead of thinking her boyfriend's doing his job in trying to stop a serial killer who happens to have his ex hostage, Leslie immediately gets worried Jim might re-develop feelings for Barbara. She sees that as something more worrisome than, oh say, a serial killer murdering this particular woman.
  • Also in "The Blind Fortune Teller", after Gordon completely randomly figures out that Jerome killed his mother and Cicero is his father, he says that he can do DNA testing to prove it and it will be ready in a half hour. The part that seems narmy?
    Gordon: "Save yourself a needle." (said with way too much pathos)
    Cicero: "I do hate needles." (actually kinda funny)
  • The scene in "Everybody Has a Cobblepot" where Gordon and Bullock get into a firefight with a murderous elderly couple. The old woman attempts to escape Gordon's line of fire, only to abruptly trip and clonk her head, knocking her out cold. It sounds quite cruel, but it comes off as more of an Epic Fail, and a hilarious one at that.
  • Also from "Everybody Has a Cobblepot", we see the results of one of Dulmacher's victims. It's supposed to be a horrific sight, but the awful CGI makes it impossible to be taken seriously.
  • In "The Anvil or the Hammer", Barbara's reaction when serial killer Jason Lennon reveals he's a serial killer. She gets the most over-acted look of shock on her face and faints, collapsing out of the the shot while Lennon just calmly stands there. Not only is it rather comically filmed and executed, it just seems like a very strange reaction after she already knew he was a killer in general. For the rest of the episode, she's supposed to have experience a Heroic BSoD, but due to lousy acting she comes off more as a vacant, brain-dead bimbo.
  • The season 1 finale is chock full o' narm:
    • In the Season 1 finale, Cobblepot stands on a rooftop and shouts "I'm the king of Gotham!" If that doesn't sound quite silly enough on its own, there's Dramatic Thunder as he says it too. Not helping matters is the fact that the entire scene feels like it was ripped straight out of Titanic. You know what we're talking about.
    • Fish's triumphant return to Gotham is supposed to be... well, triumphant. But instead it just looked silly. The Contrived Coincidence of Selina being there didn't help. For a presumably large city, characters just keep running into each other randomly, and it's pretty funny.
    • Fish's Evil(er) Makeover is utterly ridiculous, like something a 10-year old would imagine to be "Badass" and "Punk." Only adding to the silliness is how randomly and abruptly she gets it, with no explanation at all.
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    Season 2 

  • The very first episode of season two gives us Barbara Kean waltzing around Arkham Asylum in a prison-patterned dress. It's twofold because the guards don't event attempt to segregate the female and male prisoners, and also because the dress is obviously designed to be as fanservice-y as possible. Low cleavage, tight bodice and a long flowing skirt, which is the complete opposite of standard prison wear. There's even the fact that Arkham decided to even have such gendered clothing in the first place.
    • It should be noted that subsequent episodes set in Arkham show the female inmates, and none of them are seen wearing the above. Either the creators saw the reaction to Barbara's dress and made changes...or they just made that dress for Barbara alone.
  • Most of Tabitha Galavan's Dark Action Girl actions are supposed to make her seem intimidating and feral, but she's so over-the-top that it's laughable instead. The first instance of this is her killing of Sionis. Her brutal killing of him is supposed to show how she's deadly and ruthless, but it instead winds up being funny.
  • The fact that the thinly disguised Maniax were able to waltz into the GCPD, even though Gordon had shared their mugshots with the entire force and the city is supposed to be on high alert. Made even worse when Barbara brazenly walks in to taunt Gordon, not even bothering to disguise herself!
  • Theo Galavan's "heroic" speech towards Jerome's hostages, even looking to the TV camera. All the more amusing that he's in on the scheme and likely prepared the speech.
    • Everything Theo Galavan ever says while pretending to be good. He's so blatantly acting that it's hilarious. Naturally, everyone in Gotham finds him completely trustworthy.
    • In that same episode following Jerome's death, it is shown that he merely inspired the potential Joker's as seen with a montage of several people laughing maniacally. The scene is meant to be terrifying and hammer the point home that anyone could become the Joker, but it comes off as laughable.
  • Penguin's screaming fit at the end of Strike Force. He's supposed to be a villain in a helpless rage ... he sounds like a kid throwing a tantrum.
  • Butch's high-pitched scream after Penguin chops off his hand.
    • On a similar note, Butch with a mallet for a hand. Something about that imagery cannot be taken seriously. Thankfully it doesn't last long.
  • In "By Fire," Edward accidentally killing Ms. Kringle is tragic and all, but the close-ups make it obvious the actor isn't actually putting any pressure on her neck while he's supposed to be strangling her, making it harder to take seriously.
  • Barbara's nightmare at the start of "Tonight's the Night" started out genuinely scary... Then a little bird flew out of her mouth.
  • Lucius Fox emerging from the Batcave in "Worse Than a Crime" saying he's finally finished the computer as if he's been there since episode 2 of the season.
  • Every interlude to Penguin's time in Arkham between "Mr. Freeze" and "This Ball Of Mud And Meanness". If the 50s caricatures of mentally ill patients didn't put you off beforehand, it's all turned Up to Eleven at this point. The "ice cream test", in which supposedly serious antagonist Dr. Strange gives Penguin some ice cream at lunch to enrage another patient with comical speed, is the worst offender by far.
  • The Maniax fan club in "This Ball Of Mud And Meanness", from the lifeless music to their lead singer's gaudy Joker outfit and bizarre accent.
  • Karen Jennings slowly and dramatically revealing her hand has been replaced with... what appears to be a turkey leg.
  • Strange and Peabody going back to talk to Mr. Freeze in "Pinewood" was probably supposed to be dramatic, but the massive parkas they are wearing the whole time makes them impossible to take seriously.
  • Penguin and Butch showing up to Save Jim, Alfred, and Bruce from Azrael. With an RPG. The loud rock music playing in the background doesn't help. On the other hand, though, it was pretty cool.
  • The entire scene with a cornered Riddler screaming as a chained-up and jagged-tooth Cornelius Stirk is reaching towards Ed trying to eat him. It's presented like it was straight out of a Tom & Jerry cartoon and not scary in the slightest. In fact, it's absolutely hilarious.
  • Clayface's LUDICROUSLY bad attempt to impersonate Gordon. Just... all of it. You will watch and wonder how the hell it took Bullock so long to realise something was up.
  • Barnes' Big Entrance is somewhat marred by his voice audibly cracking before he's even finished introducing himself.

    Season 3 

  • The Indian Hill "monsters." Not only are most of them not even monsters as much as they are people in weird costumes or possessing minor deformities, but the noises they make are very silly and surely not something that would come from a human being.
  • Alice Tetch's death. After falling backwards out of a window, she somehow gets impaled on a pole that was at the exact same height as the window, and facing away from her. Admittedly the pole could initially have been straight until she fell on it and then bent under her weight, but it still looks ridiculous.
  • Dr. Simon falls several stories after getting shoved through a brick wall. You'd think that would be instantly lethal, Car Cushion or no Car Cushion, but no, he still manages to name his attacker with his dying words.
  • Isabella's death through train meets car is rather comical, with her screaming profusely until signing off with a hilariously deadpan "Oh dear.", followed by a crashing sound effect over the skyline of Gotham so cheesy it might as well be a Loony Tunes cartoon.
  • Captain Barnes standing in a straitjacket in a big empty room yelling "GUILTYYY" over and over was silly enough before turning around and bending over to yell it into the camera
  • Barnes again, when the Court of Owls puts him in what amounts to bondage gear, complete with inexplicable face makeup, and sends him out to "judge Gotham". Try not laughing when he walks into scenes shouting about "passing judgment" while Michael Chiklis' rather portly frame jiggles and bounces in said bondage gear. We dare you.
  • What should be a devastating scene of Bruce attacking Alfred in grief-filled rage after Alfred killed the League of Shadows agent who brainwashed him, is made hilarious by his simply swatting at Alfred ineffectually and looking like a five year old throwing a tantrum.
  • Almost everything about Jim and Lee after they are infected by the Tetch virus, particularly Lee's Excessive Evil Eyeshadow and both of their completely random and out-of-place looking use of Sunglasses at Night when they are escaping the city. It's just so bizarre and over the top it's impossible to take seriously.
  • In the closing moments of the Season 3 finale, Bruce's first foray as a vigilante. It would seem more awesome if not for the fact that he's a kid dressed up more like a mugger than a hero of any sort, meaning that when the actual mugger is getting hit, viewers see his reaction to the hits, but the assailant is out of view. The effect seems as though he is basically getting hit by thin air. Furthermore, Bruce seems to indulge in Offscreen Teleportation on such a scale that, lacking gadgetry, the only real excuse would be magic.

    Season 4 

  • Jonathan Crane's look as the Scarecrow in Season 4, mostly due to the fact that his eyes are clearly visible. He looks less like a demonic scarecrow (as Cillian Murphy managed), and more like a kid in a Halloween costume. The effect the mask has on his voice certainly doesn't help.
  • The two orderlies who dump Butch's body so he can become Solomon Grundy are portrayed as insanely over the top and prone to an Evil Laugh at the drop of a hat, for absolutely no reason.
  • In "Things That Go Boom" Jim tells Penguin he'll bring down "the full force of the GCPD" on him he doesn't cooperate in taking out Sofia, but given how the GCPD is constantly shown to be incompetent and corrupt to the point where this is something recognized in-universe and something Penguin himself has used against them multiple times, it comes off as pretty laughable that Jim thinks it's a credible threat.
    • Professor Pyg slipping into a Southern accent is meant to be dramatic and surprising, but considering how suddenly it happens and the way that Southern accents are generally pretty funny means the scene is kind of laughable.
  • The victim of Ivy's toxin suffers a most horrifying death, violently shaking, skin turning green, all while his family is Forced to Watch helplessly... and then a small plant sprouts from his mouth. Even realising that this means the plant actually grew inside him it still looks like he just performed a magic trick.
  • After three and a half seasons of buildup, it turns out Bruce becomes Batman because...he tripped balls for a while after Ivy infected him and happened to see a bat figure during it.
  • Beginning with "One of My Three Soups," Scarecrow has started using fear puns. So he's dressed like a Nolanverse villain, but he's acting like a 1960's TV show villain.
  • In "To Our Deaths and Beyond", Bruce angrily tells Selina that she has a lot of nerve returning to Wayne Manor after what she just did - which was hand over a ceremonial knife to Barbara at gunpoint. Really, what choice did he think Selina had? Granted, he may have been more miffed about how she left with the other Sirens, even after Babs threatened her.

  • In the season finale, each villain takes over part of Gotham. It's dramatic and suspenseful, until it gets to Barbara, who essentially rants about why all men suck, and then puts a sign up saying "No boys allowed". It's also hilariously out-of-touch with reality, given that women in the show (Fish Mooney, Poison Ivy, Silver St. Cloud, Tabitha, Barbara herself...) are portrayed to be just as capable of evil as their male counterparts.

    Season 5 

  • In "Trespassers," "The Witch" is being held prisoner by a bunch of nervous men with British accents, who sound, look, and act like a misplaced Torches and Pitchforks Mob from a Universal Monsters movie. Just...bwa?

  • Nyssa al Ghul's sole purpose seems to be to give excessively verbose diabolical monologues which are often overdramatic and it sounds like she's about to burst into evil laughter at any given moment.

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