In Hitman: Absolution, Lenny Dexter had a member in his gang called Darian, who attempted to swindle Lenny's father for some money. After he was caught, he apparently was subjugated to brutal torture methods that involved heavy loss of blood and a painful death from his injuries. If the player pulls out a baseball bat in front of Lenny, he whimpers and begs 47 to not do the same thing that happened to Darian.
In Deadly Rooms of Death: The City Beneath, Beethro encounters a guy in the City dealing with the fallout of one of these. He tries to explain, but Beethro cuts him off when it becomes apparent that the story will be long and boring. Anyway, the result was that this guy had to nail every chair in the Rooted Empire to the floor, because of a horrible accident involving two serpents, an orb, and a tar baby.
In The Last Express, we learn early on that Robert Cath is upset with Tyler Whitney over an incident in Cuba. It is never explained what happened: while Anna Wolff says she remembers that Whitney was trying to raise money to start a revolution in Cuba, Cath, who is posing as Whitney at the time, avoids the subject by saying "Mexico, and it wasn't me".
Deus Ex: Human Revolution: Two Belltower soldiers can be heard talking about the Red Dust Operation. The Texas Secession is mentioned in the Sarif Lobby, which was a Noodle Incident, until Word of God explained it here.
Return to Zork had various characters making reference to a "boar in the forest" joke, which was always interrupted at inconvenient times. One could make the argument that the blacksmith's interruption, "Did you hear the one about the boar in the forest? Ooops, greasy fingers" was the whole joke, as it did gain laughs from the audience when you told it at Chuckles Comedy Club. Eventually the player encounters a statue of a boar in The Forest of the Spirits which must be struck by a sword to uncover one of the missing pieces of the Disc of Frobozz.
Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves: Murray mentions that his master, The Guru, doesn't live in his hut anymore because of something Murray calls "the unspeakable". All known is that there's purple smoke, and that Murray had to apologize for a whole month before he was forgiven for what he did.
In Star Control 2, the Orz displaced the Androsynth who were apparently conducting experiments with other dimensions. This made them visible to the Orz. Somehow this led to the Androsynth disappearing, leaving their cities behind in ruins. The Orz are/is very sensitive about the Androsynth, and will fight if pressured to tell about their fate. According to the Arilou, even knowing too much about other dimensions makes one vulnerable to extra-dimensional dangers, such as the Orz, and the Arilou suggest that this is what happened to the Androsynth.
Arilou: If I tell you more, you will be able to look where you never could before, and while looking you can and will be seen. You do not want to be seen. The Androsynth were seen, and there are no Androsynth now. Only Orz.
In Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Sully tells Nate that they should follow a hose that leads to a campsite, in which Nate remarks, "You always follow the hose. Remember back in Montreal?" Sully answers, "You'll never let that go, will you?" with no explanation as to what happened in Montreal.
Sully has a few of these.
Sully: I'm sweating like a hooker in church. Nate: ...You brought a hooker to church? Sully: Why not?
Much of Nate's past exploits with Sully and a few other characters are briefly mentioned as Noodle Incidents through banter during the levels. In addition to the one above, memorable ones include getting lost in Peru and winding up in jail within a year of Nate meeting Sully, and winding up behind the Taj Mahal naked while taking a shortcut with Dante. For those who didn't play Drake's Fortune, the references relating to bailing out of Sully's plane and worrying about the parachutes also turn into this.
F-Zero has a "great accident" that is mentioned in every other character profile in GX. All that's known is that Pico played some major role in it, and it was apparently such a nasty event that the F-Zero Grand Prix was shut down for several years because of it. Given that the race routinely involves racers dying in crashes without comment, one has to wonder what the scope of this incident was...
The comic that was featured on the F-Zero X website (and came with certain editions of the game) mentions another great accident in F-Zero's precursor, F-MAX, that killed a great number of people, including The Skull (he got better) and a royal scion racing in it and caused the sport to get shut down.
Half-Life 2 has a "cat incident", involving two teleporters, Dr. Kleiner, Barney Calhoun and a cat.
Barney: You mean [the teleporter]'s working? For real this time? Because I still have nightmares about that cat. Alyx: What cat? Dr. Kleiner: Now, now, there is nothing to be worried about, we have made major strides since then. ...Major strides. Alyx: (louder) What cat? (later as Alyx is stepping into the teleporter.) Dr. Kleiner: (checking the readings) Conditions could hardly be more ideal. Barney: That's what you said the last time. Alyx: (in the teleporter) Hey uh, yeah, about that cat... (One in-game week later.) Barney: Did you hear a cat just now? ...That damn thing haunts me.
However, the "microwave" incident mentioned by Dr. Magnusson in Episode Two is a Brick Joke; it's something that you can do in the original Half-Life. For the curious, before the plot starts in earnest, you can fiddle with a microwave until the casserole inside it (and the microwave itself) catches fire and explodes.
There is a Steam achievement in Half-Life 2 that you can get for breaking a small test-teleporter during that scene. It's titled...you guessed it: "What Cat?"
Metal Wolf Chaos gives us a Noodle War in the form of the Arizona Conflict/Insurrection that Michael, Richard and several others are veterans of.
In the Castlevania mythos, the titular castle was sealed within an eclipse, and its master was Killed Off for Real, in a climactic battle in 1999. However, that's all we know of the event — it is only ever referenced in the Aria and Dawn of Sorrow games set after that battle, where the reappearance of Castlevania is cause for much concern. As of this writing, IGA has expressed reluctance to tackle the issue, as fan expectations about exactly what happened in 1999 have only increased over the years.
Portrait of Ruin also mentions the battle of 1999, despite taking place before it. At one point the characters mention a prophecy that Dracula will be finally defeated for good in a battle in 1999. This prophecy is cited as the reason why PoR's main character Johnathan Morris has the Vampire Killer whip, which is usually used only by members of the Belmont family. In order for the prophecy to come to pass no Belmont is allowed to touch the whip until 1999.
In the Telltale episodes, the duo constantly refer to events that happen in other cases without getting into the specifics. Examples:
Max: Great, now what am I going to do with the buckets of sea monster blood?
Sam: Remember our old car, Max? Max: I said I was sorry!
Sam: (looking at a dartboard with one dart in it) Someday we're going to finish that game. Max: I'm still trying to get the rest of the darts out of the police impound.
This is also present in the first game, Sam & Max Hit the Road. Early in the game you can...not go upstairs. When you try...
Sam: We don't go upstairs. Max: Not since the accident.
These blend impressively seamlessly with references to older games; for someone who hadn't played the earlier games, things like the man locked inside their closet and Max's election to the presidency seem nearly as noodley.
And then there's the intense, bizarre phobia of porcelain.
Tales of Monkey Island starts at the end of an adventure we don't get to see. Apparently, it involved LeChuck being reincarnated as a walrus.
The Secret of Monkey Island includes a long scene where Guybrush tries to get the Idol of Many Hands from the Governor's mansion, almost all of which takes place outside of camera range, though the action prompts still pop up, saying things like "Hypnotize quarrelsome rhinoceros", and "Use staple remover on tremendous dangerous-looking yak".
After the Gainax Ending of Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge, series creators Ron Gilbert and David Grossman left Lucasarts, which means they weren't around to explain where they were going with it when the time came to make a sequel. So The Curse of Monkey Island opens with Guybrush lost at sea in a bumper car, having somehow escaped LeChuck's "Carnival of the Damned".
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption had the Horus Rebellion that was mentioned by two Federation members. Nothing else was mentioned about it besides the fact that it was apparently as bad as the events of the game.
The manga adaptation depicts the "executions" as a rage-fueled super-powered blast of ice magic, leaving several characters frozen even in the midst of a hot springs. This is actually alluded to in the game itself if you talk to your party members after the Kyoto field trip, and Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth also alludes to it when Mitsuru threatens Akihiko and Shinjiro with freezing them when they are arguing while shrunken.
The opening video shows bits of Kanji's beatdown of the bikers.
It's never revealed what Adachi did to get sent to Inaba. Considering his actions later on in the game, it's probably something really bad.
Adachi gets his own social link in Persona 4 Golden, which gives a bit more insight into his character and what might have happened. While bright, Adachi is also a big time slacker; he's unmotivated, tries to wiggle out of assignments, takes shortcuts when he can't escape said assignments, and uses every opportunity he can to goof off. Presumably, this attitude is what got him reassigned to the boonies.
In Mass Effect 2 there are various including missions Jacob and Miranda went on (which are explained in the IOS game).
Jack's list of entertaining crimes including dropping a starbase on a moon and hijacking a military craft. While she explains the starbase, sort of, the incident with the military ship is never explained other than "Shouldn't have left the thing unlocked. Besides, parades are boring. I helped."
Then there's Mordin mentioning how he's killed people with guns, knives, drugs, tech attacks, "once with farming equipment," but never with medicine! Mind you, in the DLC, you find out just what the farming equipment was. He killed a krogan civilian farmer by stabbing him in the face with a pitchfork during a black-op to spread a manufactured disease.
A minor one from the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC: Thane's dossier mentions that he was responsible for an event on Omega called the "One-Hour Massacre".
The setting has an entire Noodle War in its background with the Morning War between the quarians and the geth. Exactly what happened during the war is unclear, and we only get a vague understanding of how it was fought. All we really know is that the quarians panicked when the get began developing sentience and tried to destroy the entire synthetic race before it could rebel and destroy them, and the geth fought back. Many quarians tried to protect the geth and died during the war, and the conflict ended with only about sixteen million surviving quarians who the geth deliberately allowed to escape because they didn't judge themselves able to accurately judge the consequences of causing the extinction of another species. (By comparison, two other major wars in the setting's background, the Rachni wars and the Krogan Rebellions, are more extensively covered by the setting's lore). This makes sense: the Morning War only involved the quarians and the geth, and the quarians don't like to talk about it (as for the geth, well, they kill anyone entering their territory). Naturally the rest of the galaxy does not have detailed information on it.
In Mass Effect 3, it was explained that the war was not because the geth were attaining sentience, but because one quarian freaked out when one geth asked "Does this unit have a soul?" This was not the first time such a question had been asked, but it was the first time that a quarian had freaked out because of it
Kaidan mentions in Citadel that he once had an encounter with the vorcha mafia at a casino. His only elaboration is that he got 5000 credits and a bottle of whiskey out of it.
Then there was the time Garrus killed two mercs with one bullet. Rumor had it it was actually three mercs, but what actually happened was, "The third guy had a heart attack. Not fair to count him."
Matriarch Aethyta uses a noodle incident to impress on Shepard why s/he shouldn't eat anything dextro-based.
In Kasumi's loyalty mission, you can find the original Locust, infamously known as "the gun that killed two Presidents." Once the mission is over you can view the full story of the event in the codex.
In BioWare's Dragon Age: Origins, some of your party members will reference various noodle incidents — such as Zevran's mention of the stages of lanthrax poisoning ("I watched a man go through all seven once!"), Alistair's childhood ("I locked myself in a cage once, when I was a child, for an entire day. Ahh, good times..."), and the time Leliana rode on the vanes of a windmill.
Isabela is behind a few noodle incidents, such as a bar fight that turned into a twenty person brawl in the streets and a letter apologizing to Hawke because she was "expecting treasure, not spiders". Hawke can mention the last time she was certain she'd found the Relic, leading them to spend most of the day searching the Wounded Coast, only to find a chest containing "several badly written poems... and an old boot". In Legacy, she misunderstands Fenris' attempt to ask her about the time she freed some slaves and informed him that she didn't ask for the goat, and the fire was accidental.
Party banter between Isabela and Anders implies a possible Forgotten First Meeting and drunken liaison, as both frequented the Pearl back in Ferelden during the Blight and Isabela vaguely remembers hooking up with an apostate at one point. Then she starts fondly reminiscing about Anders' "electricity thing", prompting Hawke or Varric to cut that conversation short.
Most of Hawke's first year in Kirkwall becomes this, due to Varric not actually meeting them until Act I. We never find out the circumstances of how Hawke met and became friends with Lady Elegant, Tomwise and Worthy.
Why did Varric name his crossbow Bianca? "There was a girl, and I made a promise." It's the one story he can never tell. (On the other hand, it may be coming up in the comics continuity...) It still applies in-universe:
Varric gives a bit more detail when Bianca's namesake shows up in Dragon Age: Inquisition. The two of them almost started a clan war, which just raises more questions.
A Female Hawke can open a letter meant for Carver, where a girl named Peaches alludes to an illicit rendezvous they had in her father's barn back in Lothering. Isabela also mentions seeing Carver "and his chin" regularly in the Blooming Rose, chatting up one of the prostitutes he has a crush on.
If Merrill is romanced, it's mentioned that she apparently swings on the chandeliers in the Estate, destroys cupboards whilst climbing on them (both usually with Sandal as her partner in crime) and Hawke has to routinely apologise to their various neighbours when Merrill wanders into their gardens with no shoes on, starts picking flowers, before cooing at their attack dogs.
In both games, it is a big mystery how Sandal keeps showing up alone and surrounded by the corpses of Darkspawn or demons and abominations.
Sandal: Enchantment? The Warden: You're surrounded by Darkspawn corpses! What happened here!? Sandal: Enchantment!
In Dragon Age: Inquisition, the player is given the option of sharing a backstory specific noodle incident that involved a rabbit and was so scandalous that the Inquisition would be ruined if it became public knowledge.
A human warrior or rogue did something at an Antivan opera that got their aunt to stop speaking to them for three months.
Dorian bemoans the bizarre ideas that people outside of Tevinter have about his homeland, including cows flying over the Imperium's capitol. Then he remembers that that one did actually happen, and specifies that the cows didn't have wings.
One of the mercenaries under the Iron Bull's command is a dwarf who was exiled for blowing up part of the Shaperate.
Blackwall was once sent on a disastrous search-and-rescue mission to the Silent Plains. After enduring a two day Mushroom Samba because they lost their food to a flash flood and they were left with nothing except wild berries that turned out to be hallucinogenic(Blackwall thought a ring of nugs was singing sea shanties), they awoke to find themselves surrounded by ghasts, who had stolen their weapons and armor. Blackwall's response to the Inquisitor asking how they got out of that one is simply...
Blackwall: You'd be surprised what a man armed with a rock and a headache can do.
During the peace meeting in Orlais, the Inquisitor can overhear a dowager talking about how her various husbands died. The first eight had clear, if increasingly bizarre, causes of death, but all she says about her ninth and thus far final husband is that it was the most violent tailoring accident anyone had ever seen.
A conversation between Cullen and a messenger refers to a training exercise the Iron Bull carried out that required every shield in the armory.
Medic: ...It gets better! Vhen ze patient woke up, his skeleton was missing, and ze doctor was never heard from again! *laughs* Anyway, zat's how I lost my medical license.
BLU Spy's severed but still living head is also being kept in the Medic's refrigerator for some reasonnote a later released animated storyboard reveals that the Spy was decapitated during an attempt to infiltrate the base and then rendered immortal by a prototype Medigun.
Spy: Kill me.
In the 2011 Smissmas comic, the BLU Soldier acts the Scout's court-appointed lawyer. When Miss Pauling asks the BLU Spy how that happened:
Soldier's past seems to carry several of these, including a nazi-killing spree he had well after WWII was over, becoming a priest in Guam, and becoming a park ranger with enough authority to evict his roommate to keep his castle. Madness takes you to odd places, it would seem.
Cold Day in Hell suggests that the Soldier has been naked and covered in honey on at least two separate occasions, with a joke Clue from Ed. suggesting that one of those occasions lasted 37 issues, and the other was during a double date with Scout.
The Naked and the Dead reveals more comics detailing Soldier's naked adventures: one issue of Naked Soldier and Clothed Scout Adventures, 145 issues of All-Nude Tales of Valor, and one million issues of Full Frontal Bravery.
Finally, we have issue of the Pyro's gender, which Valve is keen to tease about. Their official stance: it's one of those questions "that get asked so often that they become, in a sense, unanswerable."
ARMA 3' had something go down involving Private Nelson◊ and goats in the first campaign mission...
Disgaea: At some point, Laharl is blackmailed with an "embarrassing photo", but we're never shown what it is. Laharl, Etna, and Flonne have some interesting reactions to it, though.
In Dwarf Fortress, dwarven crafts, engravings, and statuary frequently represent events from the world's randomly-generated history. Unless you have a spare copy of that world to look at in Legends Mode, you'll end up with a bunch of images of some random creature you've never heard of doing something irrelevant.
General consensus among the fans is, if your Dwarf Fortress experience doesn't leave you with at least one story like this, you haven't been playing long enough.
Reddit user: I had a game where a kitten killed a cyclops, but beyond that my experience mirrors yours.
It's especially likely to give such a treatment to yourself if you start playing the game again after a long time with an already up-and-running fortress◊. Perhaps you had a reason to have senseless walls, far too many gorillas in far too tiny a pasture, over thirty caged troglodytes, your fortress mayor chained up, someone's pet also tied up at the edge of your territory, four squads trying to kill a parrot that's underground for some reason and your best carpenter hospitalized with shattered kneecaps, but you are probably not going to remember what it was.
In Far Cry 4Yogi and Reggie mention being unable to return to India after an incident with "so many cows" that ended up receiving at least ten million hits on YouTube. Reggie also mentions Yogi being put in an ambulance after a mishap at a Spiral Tribe party.
In the Red Leaf High event of MapleStory, AthenaPierce will occasionally say "...And that was the time I ate an entire donkey."
In Left 4 Dead 2, Ellis tries to regale his new friends with stories about his buddy, Keith, who apparently has a tremendous misfortune and frequently becomes involved in fantastical acts of self-endangering stupidity. However, Ellis is most often interrupted with "Is now really the time?", so we don't get to hear how Keith survives. If Ellis' tall stories are to be believed, Keith...
Suffered from third-degree burns to the majority of his body (on two seperate occasions; making fireworks and deep frying a turkey).
Was tear gassed by the police (the effects of the gas blinding him for a whole year).
Snuck a paintball gun on a rollercoaster to invent a new sport. Also falling off the coaster and having to dodge carts because the carny wouldn't stop the ride.
Was buried alive after falling down an open manhole.
Was nerve gassed and cluster-bombed by the US Military.
Ran himself over with a riding lawnmower he fashioned into a bumper car.
Received an "I'm a Moron" tattoo on his forehead for a $200 dare.
Ate three pounds of raw chicken (the resulting salmonella paralyzed his right foot and obliterated all memory of his brother, Paul).
Tried to stage a recreation of a colonial war in his garden, but only ended up with a raccoon fight.
Lived in a graveyard for a year after he was kicked out of home. He was stabbed and robbed by a man wearing a bedsheet, pretending to be a ghost.
Nearly drowned in a Tunnel of Love.
Broke both of his legs after plunging his car over a cliff.
Tried to jump his car over a river while the bridge was raised.
Joined a couple in matrimony despite not being a minister. (He would have been married himself, had he not run away from his own wedding.)
And according to Word of God, Keith is not imaginary. To be specific, the producer said that Keith is an imaginary character, "but this is a video game, so aren't they all?"
In the opening Asuran quests (the Synergetics questline), your character refers often to a "sewer incident" involving his krewe's invention, a teleportation device.
In Hoelbrak a brief snippet of conversation is overheard where a Norn tries to apologize for accidentally setting his wife's mother on fire at a moot.
In The Silver Lining, Hassan explains that he was almost executed and can no longer enter the Isle of Wonder. When Graham asks what he did:
Hassan: Er... well, let's just say I had two gold earrings, Sire, and I'm not likely to get the second one back any time soon.
Fallout: New Vegas had Incident Playtime with cyberdogs involved which took a sizable chunk out of the budget of the Big Empty. Given the fact the female cyberdog was in heat, lets just say that it was mating season and a lot of sterilization (of both the cyberdogs and the resulting mess) was involved...
Not to mention the fact the Big Empty, AKA Big Mountain, used to be an actual mountain with underground facilities underneath it, instead of a gigantic crater, until an incident that isn't quite elaborated upon. SCIENCE leads to this kind of thing often, seems like.
With no established personal history, most of the Courier's backstory is this. Various dialogue can mention various places they may have visited such as New Reno and male Courier's with the Lady Killer perk can imply they fathered a child in Montana, but these are entirely optional.
Pete, the historian of the ordnance-obsessed Boomers, will tell the player that the Boomers 'haven't detonated any atomic warheads since before [he] was born'. There's no option to ask him to elaborate on this, and he doesn't do so on his own.
Jak II: Renegade: Who knows what happened with the wumpbee nest on Jak's ninth birthday?
In Chrono Cross, the rise of Porre as a military superpower and the fall of the Guardian kingdom came across as this to many players, especially since Crono, Marle, and Lucca returned home after beating Lavos in the first game. Even the DS Updated Re-release of Chrono Trigger, which reveals Dalton as having masterminded the fall of the Guardia, sheds only a little bit more light.
At the end of Super Mario Galaxy 2, Lubba actually tells Mario that he met Rosalina before. However, it's never explained when the two last met, and Lubba isn't even in the first Super Mario Galaxy game at all.
And speaking of the first Galaxy game, in the prologue, just right before she is captured by Bowser and is carried off into space, Peach can be seen with a little white Luma in her hands (who will then help Mario save her from Bowser). However, it's never explained how, where, or when she got that Luma in the first place.
The "Baconslicer Incident" from Fantasy Quest leaves even grizzled ogres trembling.
In series' lore, the Republic of Hahd was such an incident in the early 3rd Era for the Sumerset Isles and the Empire.
Every game in the main series except for Daggerfall has the Player Character start off as a prisoner. Only Arena bothers to explain why you were in prison to begin withnote You were a member of the Imperial court in the way of Jagar Tharn's plans. This still leaves open what crime he put you in prison for, and whether he framed you or took advantage of something you'd done., though Skyrim does at least suggest that you were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. (Why you were in that "wrong place" is still left up to the player's imagination.) Oblivion has has a dialog option that states the Player Character (that deserves repeating: the character you play as) doesn't know either.
The "A Night to Remember" Daedric quest relies heavily on this trope, as you traverse half the map trying to figure out just what the hell happened when you were blackout drunk. All you get out of the NPCs is that it was something involving a magical staff, a wedding to a hagraven, and some poor farmer's goat in Rorikstead. Even going all the way through the quest never fully reveals what occurred.
A particular radiant conversation amongst Dark Brotherhood members seems applicable: "But really. A horker, some twine, three wood elves, and a hatchet? Points for creativity, if nothing else."
One quest involves being handed the item "Pelagius's hip bone" (yes, it is an ACTUAL pelvis) from an apparent beggar who is asking you to look for his master (who is on "vacation"), and entering a forbidden wing of the Blue Palace because said master is speaking to an "old friend" there, then suddenly getting a loading screen after making their way through the wing before being plopped into a mysterious misty forest clearing, where Sheogorath (the equivalent of a God of Madness) is in conversation with Pelagius (the same man who's hip bone... yeah its his pelvis). In this conversation, he says this:
"You are far too hard on yourself, my dear, sweet, homicidally insane Pelagius. What would the people do without you? Dance? Sing? Smile? Grow old? You are the best Septim that's ever ruled. Well, except for that Martin fellow, but he turned into a dragon god, and that's hardly sporting... You know, I was there for that whole sordid affair. Marvelous time! Butterflies, blood, a Fox, a severed head... Oh, and the cheese! To die for."
Famous Explorer, in Famous Explorer's Correspondence Course, mentions East Fricana, where the game is set, but also mentions West Fricana, North Fricana, South Fricana, East LA, the Limpopo River, the Zezeboo Desert, and that time he met a girl named Boopsie, went exploring with Trudy Trueheart, and discovered the Great Lost City of the Brass Bikini.
Arne Saknoosen the earth pig has more stories to tell about things that are not in the game, such as the activities of the Aardvark Alliance, and how ants are quite the delicacy.
At the Welcome Inn, looking at a table will reveal it is The Fabled Table of Babel.
Beirut in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. This may have to do with Soviet special forces operation in Beirut in October 1985, but all the player as Soap hears about it is:
Kamarov: Hm... I guess I owe you one. Gaz: Bloody right you do.
Planescape: Torment has one in the form of party banter. Various party members will ask Morte, a floating skull, what happened to his body, but he refuses to answer beyond "It's a long story and it involves the Head of Vecna." note He's lying; you learn later that his soul was condemned to the Pillar of Skulls when he died for telling a lie that resulted in someone else's death. The real Noodle Incident is the circumstances under which that occurred; they may or may not have involved you. Morte himself doesn't know.
There's also whatever your first incarnation did that got you into the huge mess that is the Nameless One's plight. The only thing we know is that it was unimaginably horrible, enough that the Practical Incarnation, who might we remind you faked loving a woman so she'd stick around as a ghost after death, doesn't even come close. Whatever it was, it was apparently so horrific that reality itself declared This Is Unforgivable!
In the MMO Rift, during one of the Storm Legion dungeons a boss states he hasn't "Had this much fun since the Blood Tornado Incident"
Iris Heart racks up quite a few of these, partially as a result of being prone to acts that can't be shown without raising the game's rating. She even has one before her first on-screen appearance: we never find out exactly why Noire wants to stop Plutia transforming at all costs, just enough hints it's almost surprising when Iris Heart suggests Noire has virginity left to lose.
Another early one (and her first appearance, natch) has her arrive to bail her friends out after a Hopeless Boss Fight, carrying two Plot Coupons and dragging the unconscious mouse/rat/Pikachu-knockoff thing that had them behind her. The villain tells her not to be so proud she beat the items out of a rat, to which Iris Heart replies she didn't just take them, they were payment for services rendered. It isn't revealed what happened between her transformation and arrival, but from what wefind outabout her, the implications are... unsettling.
When the Blacker Baron first appears in Anarchy Reigns, Jack notices he's wearing a pair of flaming gloves, which he notes were taken from a "pyromaniac sex freak" they hunted down. "You... do know where those have been, right?"
Eggman's explanation in Sonic Generations involving his defeat in Sonic Colors definitely comes off as this to those who had not played Colors, especially because far more people have played Generations than they have Colors.
In Sonic Lost World, Tails mentions having once built a television set out of paperclips and having reprogrammed a supercomputer with nothing but dishwashing detergent and a toothpick.
In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity, the seemingly mellow and laid-back Quagsire gives Scraggy some manner of punishment for his crimes that was terrible enough in the latter's eyes to make him obey his directions without question, on top of panicking if the former so much as emits a 'Hmm?" in his direction. He goes on to note that he was once famous in the underworld, and Virizion also makes mention of him being quite the character back in his glory days, though specifics are never brought up.
Rune Factory 3: No one will explain to Micah what happened the last time Blaise drank wine. Whatever it was, it was public, it was embarrassing and Blaise swore off wine because of it.
Skylanders: Giants has a scene in which Captain Flynn needs some supplies and sends you to get them because "Unfortunately, due to a 'misunderstanding', I'm not allowed to set foot on this island. Heh, it's a long story." Later, after you have taken down an entire tribe of evil, elvish beings called Drow and taken a magical compass that they have been worshipping.
Flynn: Wow, that went way better than when I tried it. Cali: Wait, you tried getting this before? Flynn: Hey, I said it was a long story!
In Saints Row IV, there's whatever reason Kinzie had for rescuing Keith David first. All she says is that he "was on the way" and cuts Keith off when he tries to explain. Keith just responds "Oh. Ohhhhhhh" and drops the subject.
A homie conversation between Shaundi and Fun Shaundi will have them recall "that time at the North Pier with Randall and Jackie". It involved fireworks and fuzzy handcuffs, apparently.
After creating your character, a cutscene plays where Pierce and King chew out the Boss for a problem that "alienated part of America / crazy people" and caused approval ratings to drop to (not by) twenty points.
In a homie conversation between Kinzie and Asha, we learn that the Boss has forbidden Kinzie from using the word "sisters" for some reason.
Peter: No names, Ray. I don't want to get too attached to this kid. Remember what happened to the last one?
Along with other lines, the implication is that the last test subject, I mean rookie, was testing something potentially dangerous and ended up in New Jersey. Possibly by explosion.
GoldenEye007 has one mission where (on the higher difficulties) Bond has to plant explosives in a missle silo and get out before the automatic timer reaches zero. On of the pre-mission briefing files talks about having to work quickly once the first set of explosives is planted - that particular memo ends with "remember what happened to 004 in Beirut."
Out of the 100+ heroes that are in Dota 2, hardly a single one has a bio that isn't chock full of them.
In World of Warcraft, two NPCs walking around Stormwind (a human and a dwarf) will have randomly generated conversations about noodle incidents while they were at war. They can go something like this:
Aedis Brom:Less than a hundred of us, and over a thousand orcs. Only a handful of us managed to walk away from that one.
Christoph Faral: Course I remember that night. Two inches to the left and you'd be drinking with that elf, Morris. That was my best shirt, too.
Aedis Brom:You are constantly surprising me with what a person can live through.
During the first night of Five Nights at Freddy's, you get a call from a co-worker telling you that the robot mascots tend to wander around at night, and haven't been allowed to roam during the day since "the Bite of '87". "It's amazing that the human body can live without the frontal lobe..." The fourth gameseems to present an explanation...but according to Word of God, what we're actually seeing is a different incident; we still don't know what exactly went down in 1987, other than some vague hints near the conclusion of the second game.
The original game has the aforementioned bite, as well as the Phone Guy's explanations about the animatronic's behavior, implying that the player's predecessors didn't exactly meet a pleasant end. You can also find hints about an incident involving the murder of several children, giving a potential explanation of why the Fazbear animatronics are out to get you.
Five Nights at Freddy's 2 drops hints that there was another restaurant before the two, but gives no details about why it closed down. The murders happen before Night 6, but the player isn't given the details beyond the murderer using a spare costume, "a yellow one", and that now the animatronics are acting upnote the killscreen minigames and the Night 4 interlude hint that The Puppet had something to do with the latter. When you finish Night 6, you're shown a newspaper article detailing the Toy Animatronics getting scrapped, heavily implying the Bite of '87 occurred and the player was either an observer or the victim of the whole affair.
Five Nights at Freddy's 3 reveals 'yet another incident happened sometime before the original game which led to Fazbear Entertainment's recently introduced Animatronic/costume hybrid suits getting boarded up in safe rooms that the animatronics couldn't enter, and both being stricken from the record. It's a major bit of Foreshadowing of Springtrap's true nature.
The Touhou print work Perfect Memento in Strict Sense tells of a rampage by vampires when they first entered Gensokyo. The only detail about this rampage we are given is that they were defeated. The author doesn't even tell us if the vampires in question are the resident Scarlet sisters or some other unknown persons. Strange Creators of Outer World later confirms that Remilia was the culprit behind the vampire incident.
Several incidents in All There in the Manual don't give any detail except for the most basic. The formation of the Underground society only explained as the Ministry of Right and Wrong lacked budget to maintain that Hell, but never elaborate other than few throwaway lines of connection between Yamaxanadu with the Komeiji family. The reason why the Four Deva disbanded and the Oni left the Youkai Mountain is even more mysterious except for the Oni's boredom at the lack of challenge from humans. But the most glaring lack of detail is the very creation of Gensokyo itself; the youkai sages (which only member we have know the identity of is Yukari) made a pact with a dragon, that's it.
Conker's Bad Fur Day: The Panther King constantly threatens his subordinates by telling them "Don't make me take out the duct tape again".
We Happy Few: A rare case of this trope played seriously in a DARK direction. Whatever the citizens of Wellington Wells did to drive off the Germans is only ever described as the "Very Bad Thing". What we do know is, it worked, and the Wellies hated having to doing so damn much they drugged themselves into oblivious bliss, and basically rebuilt their entire society around ignoring the fact that it happened, because they were greatly worried their society would simply collapse from sheer guilt otherwise. In essence, the entire city is deliberately invoking this trope by using Joy to keep the Noodle Incident a Noodle Incident. It's made even worse when you find out exactly what the Very Bad Thing was; it wasn't a dreadful act of desperate resistance, but cowardly capitulation to the demands of a German Empire that was barely in any state to enforce its demands.the full story The Germans approached Wellington Wells with seemingly an entire Panzer division, threatening to raze the entire town to the ground if they did not turn over their children to be Germany's latest generation of Child Soldiers. Believing that any amount of resistance would be crushed, the town gave up their children...and only discovered later that the "Panzers" menacing them were nothing but cardboard and plywood replicas. And then to further twist the dagger, all the Wellington Wells children died anyways when a bomb destroyed the train they were on. It's no wonder that it was feared the sheer despair felt by the city threatened to cause it to collapse.
Fallen London: Plentiful, as the game's narration loves to leave details up to the player's imagination, but some of the most important ones are "Whatever happened in the Second City?" (don't ask the Masters about this one, it pisses them off), "Why do the Masters hate Egyptian stuff?", "What the hell is wrong with Neath-snow?" (attempts to investigate tend to go wrong, and one microscope used in these endeavors can be found at the Museum of Mistakes, only the lenses were anywhere close to intact), and "Who is Mr. Eaten?" (A good question. Not a wise one).
In Bayonetta 2, the demon Alraune is absolutely enraged to see that Bayonetta's contract is Madama Butterfly and goes on a rant about how much she detests Butterfly, mentioning that even the "passing millenia" did not quench her hatred for her. What Madama Butterfly did to Alraune is anyone's guess. Lampshaded by Bayonetta:
Bayonetta: I don't know what you did to piss her off, but whatever it was, nice.
Batman: Arkham Knight: During a conversation between militia members, one mentions seeing Joker on TV when he apparently ran for president of the United States prior to the events of the series. According to other members of the militia, "They never found out how he got on the ballot".
Peregund: ...And that was a bigger mistake than that time I allowed a cipher to court me.
The game world in Nexus Clash is dotted with Exploration Badges, little notes on backstory events that one can find by searching certain places on the map hinted at in the lore. Since they grant Character Points, most people go looking for them eventually. The game's backstory is pretty exhaustive, so most of them are at least partially explained or linked to other pieces of the lore, but there are a few that are there to invoke this trope.
Flavor text for Mikleo's default hairstyle in Tales of Zestiria mentions Sorey isn't allowed to touch Mikleo's hair, not after the incident.
Elise hears a rumor that Benny eats mountains, and asks him whether or not this is true. His response is "Not anymore since the accident."
Sophie asks Hisame for help learning how to use chopsticks, since she somehow managed to burn her house down the last time she tried. How exactly she managed to do this goes unexplained.
Grand Theft Auto V has a number of noodle incidents the player can find Trevor in the midst of when switching control to him, including (but not limited to) being chased by the police, waking up drunk in strange locations, chasing a burning car while apologizing for flashing the driver, tying businessmen to the underside of a pier while criticizing trickle-down economics, waking up on a mountain in a bloodstained dress, and waking up in the middle of the desert in his underwear while surrounded by corpses.
At the end of Um Jammer Lammy, Lammy discovers her bandmates have gone through similar misadventures while trying to make it to the concert. Katy is dressed up in jungle camo, and Ma-san is wearing a fez and riding a camel.
Shadowrun Hong Kong: Poetry slams are forbidden on the Shadowlands message board after an incident only known as "the Laughing Man debacle of '55". Apart from the implication that Harlequin was involved ("Laughing Man" is one of Harlequin's more well known aliases), nothing is known. Granted, Harlequin is exactly the type of character who would do something to get poetry banned from an online forum either as part of something bigger or just for the lulz, but still...
In the "Claptastic Voyage" DLC for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!, you discover that Claptrap has - at some point - burned down a church. The dialogue afterwards reveals that no less than four of Claptrap's fellow Vault Hunters have, in unexplained circumstances, done the same.
The only exception is Wilhelm, which might at first seem odd since he has no morals whatsoever and only cares about getting paid, but that's actually why it makes sense for him to be the exception. Money is his sole motivation to do anything, so if nobody has paid him to burn down a church, then he won't.
Apparently, one time, someone asked the villain Sweet Tooth their gender and didn't come back with the answer. All we know is that they were the last person to ask, they're still hospitalized, and they're "wearing a gobstopper".
When Dr C Fingz, a psychic creature, suggests that he save the day by singing a "Cosmic Harmony", the others say it is too dangerous because of what happened last time, which is never revealed.
Randal's Monday: Too many to count. Randal and Matt have gotten into a lot of shenanigans.
Randal: Like what? When I gave that car load of nuns directions to a lesbian bar?
In Animal Crossing, a Peppy villager may tell you that something in your house reminds her of something. "Let's just say it involved me and a pan and a really angry chef, and leave it at that!"
In Ravensword: Shadowlands, the reason that Lamil is the former apprentice of the Archmage is that he once turned the Archmage's pet frog into a five-legged goat.
In Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance, one of the Nether News reports is on a Sea Angel, whose interview was canceled due to a "grotesque sight". The only hint as to what happened is the report telling viewers to look up "buccal cones".
The Council references many of Louis and his mother's past adventures- most commonly "that time in Venice", which they promised never to talk about again. Apparently they delivered, and then kidnapped, Lord Mortimer's newborn son. (The mother died in childbirth.) Why they couldn't get an actual doctor to help, or where the baby went after that, is never explained.
Besides that the year is 2057 and the events are implied are set after or during World War V and, so far, that's about it, as we don't really know what happened. However, we get a clue as to what may have happened to the V.I.E.W employees (or a number of them), with the signs warning about the Husks (specifically that they can kill).
How the Witch came to be. While we do know Cognitive Transfer program lead to her being, we don't know if she was a variant or if her's was botched, somehow, as she doesn't look too much like Husks (but speaks for them) and the other half of her essence is stored in Cecily Newman. However, Cecily's chart at the beginning of the game seems to imply the latter but how that happened isn't clear, either.
Dragon Ball Fighterz: During a conversation with Goku, Cell will remark he also got stronger in Hell, which makes Goku ask what Hell was like for Cell. Apparently, it wasn't pleasant, as the bio-android refers to it as "a place full of sorrow and misery" that also had "...other things" he refuses to elaborate on. Given what we know about Frieza's personal hell, the possibilities over what could make Cell want to avoid the subject entirely are endless and highly amusing.
Limbo: The kid and his sister are dead. We find that out in the ending and title screen. But how did they both die, and why is the rope ladder on their treehouse broken? Maybe it's best we don't know.
In Dear Esther, we do know that the titular Esther passed away in some kind of accident but it's not exactly said what lead up to said accident, however, it's implied drinking (may have) had something to do with it.
Endless Space 2:The Sophons apparently accrued a list of these in their ascent to their stars, according to their prologue. While crashing test rockets and setting off artificial earthquakes in the name of science probably has its goals, it's hard to imagine what kind of experiment they were running that ended in accidentally blowing up their moon.