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Unintentionally Hilarious Bugs and Silly Moments in Gaming

Games are steering more towards gritty realism with every step the industry takes. A market that once flourished with cutesy platforming titles now does so with hardcore shooters and dark fantasy settings. This makes it even better when hilarious, glitchy incidents or unexpected scenes and lines of dialogue find their way into a game that otherwise takes itself seriously, as it catches you off guard and completely topples over the tone the rest of the game sets. Let's take a look at some Unintentionally Hilarious Bugs and Silly Moments in Gaming.

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    It's no secret that Bethesda is pretty infamous when it comes to making slightly unhinged builds. There's a countless number of glitchy mishaps that can occur in most of the Elder Scrolls titles, but one that caught the attention of a lot of gamers was the result of an encounter with a giant early on in the game.

    For those not familiar, giants are formidable foes that can easily bring their tree-sized bone clubs down right onto your head for an instant-kill if you're not sufficiently leveled, but that's not the best (worst?) part. After you get crushed by the business end of the club and you die, your body rockets into the sky at a very high velocity, sending you into orbit. Not only is this incredibly funny, it's also easily repeatable, as the developers liked the odd physics bug so much that they neglected to fix it.

    Of course, this is one of but a myriad of exploits and engine malfunctions in the world of Tamriel, but nevertheless, it's still quite a classic. Remind me not to go golfing with a giant in the future.


    In this prequel to the critically-acclaimed Deus Ex, you find yourself wandering around the streets of Detroit as a man with cybernetic implants working as a security officer for the company that makes said implants. There's a plot to this game, and there's dialogue trees, and all kinds of neat little things to do, but the thing I remember most vividly about Human Revolution was the Takedown mechanic.

    One of the buttons assigned to your controls is the 'takedown' button. This move allows Adam Jensen to instantly incapacitate his target(s) in one swift motion in a cutscene. Normally, this mechanic is used to knock out guards or get rid of an adversary quickly... but the catch is, this move can be initiated on almost EVERY NPC in Detroit. Armed guard? Sure! Your boss? He had it coming! Old ladies and prostitutes? Hey, if it breathes, right? And if you're feeling particularly sadistic, you can hold down the takedown button instead and slice up your unfortunate victims with your giant arm-mounted wrist blades, killing them instantly. How wonderful!


    Team Fortress 2 became a breeding ground for memetic potential right out of the gate, with each playable class receiving its own trailer and custom weapons. It's hard to forget how the Scout frequently mouths out his bat sounds, or how much the Heavy Weapons Guy really digs his sandvich, but one of the oldest glitches in the game stems from the Spy class.

    Already having been born from a glitch in the previous games, the Spy can use his disguise kit to shapeshift into the appearance of any one of his foes and strike at unaware enemies when their backs are turned. Well, that's the intended use of the disguise kit, anyway. Most of the time, you'll look around the spawn and you'll see Spies crouching and walking around with their disguise kits held above their heads. Due to some odd programming of the Spy's world-model animations, whenever a Spy does this, it looks like he's walking around like a crab on a beach holding its claws in the air, hence the term 'Spycrab.' The bug soon became a phenomenon, and not only did Valve refuse to patch it because of its hilarity, they also added a class-specific taunt to the Spy that pays homage to the glitch and plays 1 out of every 10 times you taunt with the disguise kit open.

    Yes, truly, the Spycrab is a marvelous beast, and one might say it is at the top of the food chain of Team Fortress 2 bugs.


    This would have been the dream feature for me when I was a kid. I was always amused by ragdoll physics, and when the Euphoria physics engine came along and spruced up the realism, I was absolutely awed. NPCs reacting to outside forces and trying to keep their balance instead of just flopping over? What kind of sorcery is this?

    That was part of the reason I loved GTA IV so much as a kid - I didn't focus so much on causing chaos as I did flinging myself out of moving vehicles and watching Niko bounce around on the pavement. GTA V, naturally, took this to the next level with some subtle changes. Firstly, accidentally missing a jump or jumping towards a wall makes you collide with it and fall down, which makes for some funny failed getaways. The best change, however, was the addition of a button that makes your character flop over after jumping into the air. It's exclusive to single-player, unfortunately, but it more than makes up for it in sheer hilarity. Making Michael flop into his pool or having Trevor jump down a hill almost never gets old, but falling down on NPCs and jumping onto people's hoods to mess with them makes for hilarious moments as well. To add insult to injury, you can use the environment to your advantage and tackle people into garbage cans, mailboxes, or even set them ablaze by knocking them into a campfire.

    It's such a simple and stupid feature, and yet it never fails to make me keel over laughing. Sure, you could be killing cops and murdering innocents, but if you're looking for an equally-entertaining alternative, try flopping!


    I always wondered why Wonder Woman's main weapon of choice was a lasso. After goofing around with one in Red Dead Redemption, however, I can definitely see the appeal.

    You come across quite a plethora of weaponry as you progress through the game, but not many tools are quite as fun to screw around with as the lasso. While it can be used for practical herding purposes, players will soon learn that the lasso can also be used foes and common bystanders. After roping someone up, you have plenty of creative freedom as to what you do next - you can pull them across the ground and off of high places, hogtie someone and place them next to various environmental hazards, and if you're feeling particularly savage, you can rope someone up and drag them across the desert on your horse, watching in awe as their body flops and smacks around on the ground behind you. It's even used to rope in bounties, and you even get an achievement for tying a woman to a railroad track and running her down with a train!

    Who would have thought that all you needed to satisfy your cathartic needs was a section of coiled rope? Man, the simple things in life really are the best.


    Much of GTA IV is spent driving around Liberty City and only a handful of the missions involved you piloting helicopters and taking to the skies, so how do you rectify the game's lack of aerial activities? By launching your vehicle hundreds of feet into the air, of course!

    But how do you do that, might you ask? Well, in one of the playgrounds on the starting island, there exists a seemingly-ordinary swingset in a small playground. Looks like a normal background prop at first... until you drive the front end of your Infernus into it at the right angle. Since the swingset is hinged to the ground but still has physics properties to it, you may find yourself on the receiving end of a violent physics bug that catapults your car sky high! Much like the above-mentioned Giant glitch from Skyrim, however, your options as far as approaching solid ground are, 95% of the time, limited to an explosive and fatal ending. On rare occasions, however, your vehicle may actually survive the fall, or even better, land on top of a building, which otherwise is a nigh-impossible feat on most buildings.

    You'll notice a growing trend in this list that glitches that end up launching you miles into the air are pretty much comedy gold. In GTA IV, it's especially the case - you don't even have to be riding in a vehicle to trigger the launch if you do the glitch just right. Yahooie!


    Luigi seems like a really fun-loving guy when you describe him. While he isn't as surly or courageous as his elder sibling, he has more personality and he's just as kindhearted, if not moreso. So why is it that he takes the most recent iteration of Mario Kart so seriously?

    To explain, Luigi has been a staple of the Mario Kart series since the very beginning, and he's generally had a pretty decent attitude towards the hobby in most of the games. In 8, however, he has a menacing scowl on his face, in contrast to his usually complacent nature. This makes watching replays with him as the featured racer absolutely hilarious. If he gets hit by a shell, it fits with him being pissed and eager for revenge. If he passes up racers, he stares at them with that deep glare, as if he's assuming his primal dominance as the alpha male of Mario Karting.

    All those years of being second fiddle must have really gotten to poor old Luigi. Best be careful when riding his coattails in Mario Kart 8... he looks like a loose cannon that's ready to blow.

  • I... I'm sorry, I really can't narrow it down to one thing. Dead Rising may have a coherent story that seems somewhat grounded in reality, but in all other senses, there are so many absurd and wacky things to do throughout all three titles, you would think this was a parody game of sorts. To wit:

    - Your protagonist - either Frank, Chuck, or Nick - has the potential to dress up in a variety of silly costumes and outfits, not limited to summer dresses, tube tops, Servbot heads and freakin' banana hammocks

    - The various psychopaths (which serve as boss battles) that inhabit each game include a children's mascot on roller skates, a Bengal tiger, at least two gimps, and a large old lady on a mobility scooter

    - Your arsenal consists of, among other things, toy Mega Busters, tennis rackets, katanas, a swordfish, REAL Mega Busters, and with the added ability of combining weapons from the second game onward, laser swords, electric wheelchairs and lizard masks stuffed with live fireworks

    - You can, if you feel so inclined, absolutely mow over crowds of zombies on a tricycle

    Really, just take your pick on this one. The Dead Rising franchise is essentially a whole buffet line of ridiculous, off-the-wall moments and features, and I've barely scratched the tip of the iceberg.


    Yes, as much as I would have liked to put Wadsworth's incredibly corny jokes on this list, there's another feature that provides just as many laughs.

    It's self-explanatory, really - the game allows you to choose to be more stealthy in your approaches, including giving you the ability to loot other humans by pickpocketing them. This is a good way to score some ammo and equipment, of course... but the real meat and potatoes comes in when you realize you can pull the pin on a frag grenade, shove it down an enemy's back pocket, and watch from a distance as they run panicking before exploding in a violent red mist. This applies even if the enemy in question does not have any pockets (let's just say you stuck it under that Radroach's wing and call it a day) and it never stops being funny. Just be sure to back off before the grenade goes off, lest the joke turn on you - or your gibs, for that matter.


    Yes, the entire console had its own unintentionally hilarious quirk, and while it had the potential to break your games, a lot of kids in the early days (besides me, because my N64 has always been an overly-fidgety piece of shit that won't allow it) noticed a trick where playing an average game and tilting the cartridge slightly would result in many weird things happening, due to the system misinterpreting data on the cartridge. Such random occurrences range from player and enemy models flailing about wildly like a Garry's Mod ragdoll, textures being corrupted into some horrible-looking monstrosity, and other catastrophes.

    Even better, certain emulators have been designed with this kind of corruption in mind - certain programs allow you to alter a few bits and doodads in a ROM's coding, which can result in some seriously messed-up results. Distorted music, misplaced textures, even changes in the scripting of the game can occur as a result of repeated corruption. Just as a forewarning, however, you may want to create a few backup copies, first, lest your game saves be stuck on an unusable, broken file.

    This is probably the only list item I'd recommend you avoid trying to perform, but if you're careful, the possibilities are endless.


    The high-level CPU AI in Melee, while formidable, makes plenty of notable mistakes in its AI routine, but none are as glaring as Ness's on the Jungle Japes stage.

    The scenario? Pick Ness as your opponent, set his difficulty level as far up as it will go, and play a normal, 1-stock match on Jungle Japes. You'll spawn on opposite sides, and Ness will attempt to jump over to you - only to fall in between the narrow platforms into the water, washing him away to his death. Mind you, you don't even have to move an INCH - the CPU does this all on its own. To its credit, it tries to recover with PK Thunder - it's just the thunder in question is a player-controller bolt that you have to guide into Ness to shoot him back up, and when Ness fires his PK Thunder, he tries to guide it under him - only to have it dissipate by hitting the platform next to him, leaving him helpless.

    While there are other quirks in the AI programming in Melee that can be quickly memorized and countered, none are as glaringly flawed - and funny - as Ness's suicide. It even has a practical purpose, too - if you're willing to do it over and over, completing this match a set number of times eventually lets you fight and unlock all of the hidden characters, including Mewtwo, who is a bitch to unlock otherwise. Yes, you can have Ness die over and over again for the greater good of your save file.

    You sick bastard.