This is not the Joke Character, as those are characters that are purposefully bad, nor is it the Lethal Joke Character, which is when a Joke Character ultimately has some hidden utility. This is simply a character that just looks and acts silly without being a bad character. They may look wacky, have cartoonish attacks, and a goofy voice, but otherwise they play as well as any other fighter.
Keep in mind that, in order to be considered a fighting clown, a character has to be either: A) in a serious fighting game, a normally silly character. B) In a silly fighting game full of wacky characters, a character even wackier than the other fighters.
If a game runs on Rule of Cool, this guys run on Rule of Funny. Basically, fighting clowns are those fighting game characters that stand out from the roster because they're sillier than the rest of the cast without being a Joke Character. Look for them in any fighting game, you'll usually find at least one character that stands out due to this (unless the role of the game's silly character is already filled by the Joke Character).
See also Lethal Joke Character.
- Tekken has tons of these, and then some. Debuting in 1, we have:
- Yoshimitsu. Both of them. Eccentric Robin Hood-esque Ninja/Samurai/something who is almost always clad in odd getups. A master of Confusion Fu who will destroy you if you don't take him seriously. Also, Kuma, Heihachi's pet, a fighting bear, and Wang Jinrei, with his Noblewoman's Laugh and Dirty Old Man tendencies.
- Debuting in 2 we have the Roger Family (and Alex), a genetically engineered Boxing Kangaroo, his wife, and her son and boxing utaharaptor respectively.
- In 3 we have Ling Xiaoyu, a childish Genki Girl, a Cute Bruiser, and a Cloudcuckoolander, and her pet, a panda called Panda who is a Palette Swap of Kuma, with the only difference being the species (Kuma is a grizzly) and the fact that Panda is female. There is also Mokujin, a living wooden training dummy who awakens when it senses a great evil and communicates through wooden noises, and Gon, a little orange dinosaur and the main character of a manga of the same name, who breaths fire and uses farts as a weapon. Dr. Bosconovitch, meanwhile, is more of a Lethal Joke Character.
- In 4 we don't get one, with the possible exception of Combot, a Ditto Fighter with a Punny Name who is just there to replace Mokujin.
- And, finally, in 6 we get Bob, a morbidly obese American.
- Voldo and Dampierre in Soul Calibur.
- Voldo is equal parts creepy and silly. After having spent so long in complete darkness, his eyes no longer function properly and his skin is pale-white. He also dresses in what can only be described as "some sort of bondage gear" and is the only character in which crab-walking (crawling face-up on one's hands and feet) is a large part of their fighting technique. Apparently he's gotten so good at it that he can easily and rapidly cover ground with it.
- Practically all of Dampierre's moveset places him squarely in this trope. Some attacks cause him to land face first into his "Poker Bluff" stance and a particular kick can put him into the "Fake Pain" stance - both at random. To the uninitiated, this makes him seem like a throwaway character as it puts him in undesirable situations - until one finds out that's how he launches his most powerful attacks. If he wasn't silly enough, he has a throw were he spanks the opponent (regardless of gender), a Russian kick dance that causes him and the opponent to go up in the air, and moonwalks whenever you move back with him.
- Faust in Guilty Gear
- Super Smash Bros. may have several, but Wario and Mr. Game & Watch especially.
- Most of the original Street Fighter characters have deeper motivation for fighting. Zangief, on the other hand, is a bear wrestler in a speedo who dances with Gorbachev in his ending.
- Regarding Street Fighter, by the time of Alpha, Blanka seems to have solidly taken over that role. Among other things, he has become The Unintelligible in the storyline, he befriended Dan, and one of his super moves is shaking fruit from a tree.
- In Street Fighter we also have El Fuerte, a Chef of Iron / Masked Luchador and Rufus, a loud mouth, obese American who may be a Shout-Out to Beverly Hills Ninja.
- Dan started out as a Joke Character with occasional hints of Lethal Joke Character, but since he was made more balanced in Street Fighter IV he's been leaning more towards a Fighting Clown.
- In Tatsunoko vs. Capcom there are four of these characters. One in the Tatsunoko side, and three in the Capcom side. In the Tatsu side we have Hakushon Daimao, a fat, comical genie that comes from a comedy anime instead of an action/mecha one, looks much more cartoonier than his other fellow Tatsunoko characters, fights with a hand on a stick, and one of his supers involves farting on the enemy. In the Capcom side we have Viewtiful Joe, Roll, a robot modeled after a little girl who fights with a broom, and Frank West, a photographer whose attacks involve baseball bats, supermarket carts, zombies, among many other things.
- Marvel vs. Capcom 3 brings Deadpool into the mix. While his moves are only slightly unorthodox, the voice clips that accompany them are hilarious. As of Ultimate, we also have Frank West returning, and lastly Phoenix Wright, who doesn't do anything you would expect from a fighting game character. All of his attack animations are of lawyery stuff, like reading documents. Even his level 3 hyper is merely accusing the opponent of a crime. They still do damage, though, and in the case of the latter it's the single most damaging move in the game.
- The Joker in Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. Literal example and a good match. He fights using all kind of weird gadgetry, like boxing-glove-in-a-box-es and BANG Flag Guns.
- In Mortal Kombat we have Bo'Rai Cho (a pun on the Spanish word "borracho", which means "drunkard"), a pudgy Old Master who gets drunk in order to fight well and is Toilet Humour personified. He has an attack where he vomits on the enemy, and a fatality where he, yup, you guessed it, farts, only this time he lights his fart, which is so massive it engulfs the opponent in fire.
- There's also Mokap, a guy in a motion capture suit who attacks by throwing little white balls at people.
- Maria was a Lethal Joke Character in Castlevania: Rondo of Blood. She fits this trope in Castlevania Judgment.
- Akari in The Last Blade.
- Goblins in World of Warcraft have always been a wisecracking race of mad bombers and mad scientists who are relatively weak in combat, full of AI characters who offer you fetch quests while being liberal with jokes. As playable characters, they can now be as capable and hardcore as any other race, and are now parts of Horde raid groups taking down every Big Bad that has ever threatened Azeroth.
- The Dancing Banana from MUGEN. It looks and sounds like a joke character, but actually plays like a normal one. He does use bananas as weapons while spouting "Peanut Butter Jelly Time" noises, though.
- Shannon from Ougon Musoukyouku is half this half Barrier Warrior, with her basic attacks involving attacking with cleaning implements, or doing things like dropping a tea-set on the enemy after tripping, and girly slaps and pushes, she can even call seagulls to help her in combat. She's still has effective as any other character, and doesn't has any problem in going against the witches or their familiars.
- In the Touhou Project fighting games we have Yukari Yakumo, Suika Ibuki and Suwako Moriya. All of them have attacks and animations that are almost comical. It probably says something that they're all boss characters. It also probably says something that Yukari and Suika are Reality Warpers, while Suwako is a Physical God.
- Shaco in League of Legends
- Bonkers, of Clay Fighter, is both a literal clown, and is the wackiest character in the game. From Balloon Dogs to Teeter Tots, he'll make you laugh and cry.
- Peacock, from Skullgirls. She's a malevolent, violent Toon with a wicked sense of humor. Her movements are funny and exaggerated and she drops jokes and references left and right, but her attacks are nothing to be sniffed at. Peacock utilizes a moveset chock-full of deadly keepaway toys designed to make the opponent pull their hair out in frustration.
- Quina Quen in Final Fantasy IX; looks like a human-sized Polly Prissy-Pants and wields a giant dinner fork as a weapon. S/he also has one of the best attack stats in the game, as well as the always game-breaking Blue magic.
- In My Little Pony Fighting Is Magic, Pinkie Pie's attacks seen so far include waving a giant foam finger, inflating her body, licking her opponent and raining cupcakes on her opponent for her super attack.
- Kefka (fittingly) conforms to this role in the Dissidia Final Fantasy games. Most of his moveset Robotechs unpredictably upon attacking, his walk animation is exaggeratedly silly enough to gain access to the Ministry, and, in the first game, he would sometimes hum the game's victory music to himself! Hell, his character title is 'Mad Mage'.