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Video Game / QWOP

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You are Qwop, our small nation's sole representative at the Olympic Games.
Use the QWOP keys to move your legs.
Ideally you will run 100 metres...
...but our training program was under-funded.
Remember, it's not about whether you win or lose.
Title screen for Qwop

QWOP is a Flash-based Sports Game by foddy in which you must get Qwop to run 100 meters without falling over. Uniquely, you control Qwop's individual thighs and calves. It is much harder than it sounds. It has a two-player sequel named 2QWOP.

Despite the game first coming out in 2008, it achieved massive internet popularity and Memetic Mutation in December of 2010 after Ray William Johnson showcased a Let's Play video of it.

A related game also by foddy is Winner vs. Loser which is likewise based on track & field, and its Spiritual Successor is GIRP for the idea that controlling basic human motions is difficult. Foddy has since made a true successor to QWOP called CLOP, which has you controlling a Unicorn.


QWOP has examples of the following:

  • Abnormal Limb Rotation Range: Only seen when Qwop falls.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Doing hop-splits to get to the goal should logically do awful things to your joints, but hey, seeing a struggling athlete doing everything he can to avoid falling onto his head is the whole point.
  • A Winner Is You:
    you ran to the end of the track and jumped!
    In the end, you went:
    X metres
  • Bonus Round: When you finally hit 100 meters, you hit a long jump pit. In this case, it's more like a long stride pit, but still.
  • Boring Yet Practical: Hold down W and P, tapping Q occasionally, and vibrate to victory.
  • Centipede's Dilemma: The whole point of the game is to see what happens when you have to think about the movements of each individual muscle to perform even the most basic action.
  • Advertisement:
  • Deconstruction Game: On complicated controls.
  • Determinator: To an extent, both the player and the player character. No matter how many times you flip 720 degrees and crack your skull, you just keep trying for those 100 meters.
  • Dungeon Bypass: You're supposed to jump over the hurdle at 50 meters, but you just knock it over and keep running.
  • Epic Fail:
    • It is possible to walk backwards behind the starting line, not only achieving a negative distance but also slamming into a wall behind you. Assuming you don't fall through the ground.
    • In-universe, Qwop's training program is so woefully underfunded that basic muscle memory apparently doesn't fit on the budget. Let's put it this way: the game congratulates you and calls you a winner for running at all. Even if, as just mentioned, you walk negative meters.
    • If you end up with Qwop balancing on one leg, your best choice is to Rage Quit and just slam his head into the ground to restart. Depending on how exactly he's balancing and your familiarity with which leg moves with which buttons, you may end up failing to do that.
  • Face Plant: If you don't fall on your back, your run will generally end like this.
  • Foreshadowing: One of the bullet points in the hints says that there's a surprise at 50 meters and one at 100 meters.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: One of the results of failure is a headline saying “QWOP Arrested!”
  • Gravity Screw: The low gravity makes running at more than about 1.5 meters per second impossible, so don't expect to break any world records.
  • Guide Dang It!: You probably won't figure out that the right way to move forward is to alternate pressing Q and P together, then W and O together without looking it up.
  • Hand Wave: Qwop's questionable motor abilities are the result of his nation's poorly-funded training program.
  • Have a Nice Death:
    showing real courage, you ran:
    X metres
    everyone is a winner
    • The game will even "congratulate" you for going a negative distance.
  • Heroic Mime: Qwop says nothing at all.
  • Leitmotif: get Qwop up to speed and you'll start hearing the intro to the Chariots of Fire theme.
  • Meaningful Name: Qwop's name refers to the keys you use to control him, Q, W, O, and P.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: When you finally run/hop/crawl those 100 meters, the game congratulates you as if it were a difficult task, no matter how long it took you. Although, after all, it kind of was...
  • Nintendo Hard: No checkpoints. You fail with the slightest brush against the ground, including landing on a knee too hard. It's possible for the game to end just because one of Qwop's hands brushed the ground.
  • No Budget: In-Universe; Qwop's training is so underfunded that he doesn't even know how to walk.
  • Parodies of Fire: The Chariots theme plays when you start running. Make that IF you start running.
  • The Pratfall: The difficulty of the game makes these nearly inevitable.
  • Ragdoll Physics: Featured along with the slight Gravity Screw.
  • Rhythm Game: It will very quickly turn into this once you learn how to actually start moving.
  • Sickening "Crunch!": Whenever Qwop falls over hard enough, including hitting a knee with too much force, there will be a CRUNCH, then the game over message.
  • Silly Walk: If you manage to get Qwop to move, you'll generally cause this.
  • Slow-Motion Fall: The physics and gravity in this game makes every fall slow.
  • Some Dexterity Required: Used intentionally.
  • Sports Game: Track and field.
  • Standard Snippet: The first few seconds of "Chariots of Fire" loop if Qwop manages to go forward long enough.
  • Shout-Out: The slow running at a track-and-field event is a shout-out to Chariots of Fire. The theme plays if Qwop manages to run for a few steps.
  • Wacky Sound Effect: If Qwop falls lightly, his collision with the ground will make a soft "euh" sound.
  • Yet Another Stupid Death: Or rather, another stupid backflip.

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