Narm Charm

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to: navigation, search
Moments like these are silly, but also just too heartwarming to laugh at.
"Part of Resident Evil's charm is that it still takes itself seriously, despite having the most atrociously written story and dialogue..."

During a dramatic moment, there is Narm: a line is said too emphatically, or the alien is obviously a guy in a rubber suit.

So why isn't the entire audience laughing?

Perhaps the rest of the work is so good, and they are too wrapped up in it to be bothered. Or what's cheesy is more the fun kind of cheesy, so they are grinning, not laughing. Or maybe Rule of Cool is working its magic. Or perhaps the Narm feels natural in the scenario presented (see image).

This is Narm Charm, something that by all reason should kill the drama, but doesn't. Of course this is subjective. Some people will still find the scene to be true narm. Others will find no narm. But to some, it's Narm Charm and all part of the fun.

If a remake does away with this, it can result in I Liked It Better When It Sucked.

Compare Camp, Ham and Cheese, So Bad It's Good (when something is liked because of the Narm).

No real life examples, please; this is an Audience Reaction trope, and as far as we know, Real Life does not have an audience.

Examples of Narm Charm include:


Do not state you disagree with an example, or that other people would. No example here is meant to be absolute.

Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Many English dubs from the 80s and 90s possess this for old-school fans, with just a few notable examples including Akira, Dragonball Z, and—in an interesting case of straddling the line between this and (in some people's opinions) Superlative Dubbing -- Neon Genesis Evangelion.
  • Lots of the dramatic scenes in One Piece are incredibly over the top even for Manga. Because the rest of the story is just as exaggerated and fantastic, and the characters and situations themselves are uniquely compelling, there's still a rather moving effect. All the snot, tears, and loud broken groaning are usually indicative of Narm(even the girls had them), yet here it makes the story more raw and emotional.
  • The first Vampire Hunter D movie. Hell yes.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. Many anime fans groan from usual Power of Friendship speeches. However, here they were pulled off with awesome.
  • G Gundam. It wouldn't be half the awesome it is if it wasn't corny.
  • "I'm one of the tomatoes!" Both pulled off surprisingly well, if you'd seen the rest of the series, but The Big O was all about Narm Charm in the first place. It's a show where a Batman Expy drives a giant robot and waxes philosophical before calling out In the Name of the Moon and beating the snot out of baddies.
  • The Narm from Trigun's Vash and Knives is entirely appropriate for their childlike, naive personalities. Vash is an idealist who honestly believes that all the evil and suffering of the world can be conquered by love and peace, takes harm on himself to spare others, and wants nothing more than for people to stop hurting each other. Meanwhile, Knives can casually kill anybody that he pleases -- including his brother whom he actually does love -- but collapses in incredible fear and confusion when he himself is hurt. This arguably makes Knives' psychopathy that much more terrifying, hating pain but happily inflicting it on everybody he considers "beneath" him, as though they were mere insects undeveloped enough to experience pain themselves.
  • Code Geass: "You fellas know full well what this Badass mother can do!"
  • Everyone makes fun of the infamous potato-chip scene in Death Note, or the somewhat "overexpressive" anime in itself. Still, it is a very popular and critically acclaimed show with a ton of fans.
    • This is especially evident in the final episode, in which the over-the-top fashion in which Light and Mikami break down runs a weird line between comical and horrifying.
  • The opening theme song of Black Lagoon is incredibly Engrish-ridden, barely even making sense... yet still sounds incredibly badass, and sets the tone for the show brilliantly.
  • Star Driver, similar to Gurren Lagann before it, is filled to the brim with this.
  • The official English translation of the Mahou Sensei Negima manga has some rough spots, but it's also responsible for several great lines from Negi, such as asking if he can have a cookie after getting wedged between Shizuna's boobs, and yelling "Damn my charisma!" upon getting mobbed by a group of high school girls who think he's the cutest thing ever.
    • Not to mention Evangeline's: "They who have the most guns, kick butt." and "Are you on CRACK?" [1]
    • Chisame's response to Jack Rakan's death in Mahou Sensei Negima would lean dangerously close to an unintentional parody if not for the fact that given who's talking, and who she's talking about, it fits the scene perfectly.
  • Princess Mononoke: "Forest Spirit, we give you back your head!"
  • In the first Pokémon movie we hear the two Dewgong crying in their ridiculously comical voices. But the fact that they're crying over Ash being killed stops it from being funny. It also helps that the next shot is of the Vulpix crying which is a genuinely sad sound.
  • It's over nine THOUSAAAAAAAND! Dragonball Z is a good example. Viewers stuck through all the grunting, multi-episode power up scenes, and ridiculous voice acting both because it was part of the appeal, as well as knowing they'd get to witness something genuinely awesome in the end.
    • The way Goku strains when trying to power-up or endure a lot of damage inflicted upon him.
    • Any of Frieza's "Am I male or female?" quotes.

"Having these balls gives me something that resembles joy, I think. I want to caress them"

    • In his first form, Japanese Cell frequently makes a strange "Bwaaaah" sound. It's a silly sound, but Norio Wakamoto makes it sound chilling.
  • The second episode of Darker than Black has a line where Mao comments that the protagonist's coat is "bulletproof, but only when he wears it." This is simultaneously inexplicable and really badass. This line was altered in the dub to be a statement that the coat is "not just a fashion statement".
    • It might make sense if Hei used his Contractor power to magnetize the coat somehow to deflect bullets. Not very scientific, but it's a setting with superpowers, and weirder things exist. But since he never uses his power in this way and the statement isn't really explained, the Woolseyism is probably for the best.
    • And then there's the ever so memetic NOW I'VE LOST IT/I KNOW I CAN KILL mantra just before the OP kicks in. Ridiculous? Maybe, but you're probably too busy gleefully chanting along to care.
    • In the beginning of the second season, as Suou narrates about how the world has changed since the Gate appeared, a very futuristic flying car briefly appears on screen. Kind of narmy because of how much of a cliche flying cars are as a symbol of the future, but it kind of works because weird Magitech and Black Box technology is a big part of the setting. And the fact that flying cars are just cool.
    • The scene in the second season where Ilya talks to/scares the crap out of those tourists might qualify. It's really hard to tell if that moment was meant to be somewhat humorous or not. If it was meant as a serious moment, they failed, but it works well as Black Comedy.
  • In Gundam 00, during the original Lockon Stratos's death scene, the little robot Haro crying "Lockon! Lockon!" was a tad bit narmy. At the same time, though, it was rather effective. I mean, come on, even the robot was sad!
  • In the first episode of the second Yu-Gi-Oh! series, Yugi summoning Exodia is narm charm enough. Then watch the uncut video, especially past 3:00.
    • The dub dialogue is on fire, helped by Dan Green's delicacy...

Kaiba: "Draw your last pathetic card so I can end this game!"
Yami: "My deck has no pathetic cards, Kaiba. But it does contain... the unstoppable Exodia!"
Kaiba: "Exodia? Impossible! No-one's been able to summon him!" [2]
Yami: "Exodia, OBLITERATE!"

    • Really, just the whole first series in general is this, not just the dub. Sure, people getting so dramatic about card games is hilarious, but you're often too busy crying or cheering to care.
    • Just, Yu-Gi-Oh!, in general. Even before the card game was introduced, the whole thing was so spectacularly, unashamedly over-the-top that it was difficult not to love.
    • The dub of the sequel series Yu-Gi-Oh! GX generally consists of general old Narm. One exception is when a character steals Yugi's deck and begins imitating his voice. We get an voice actor who is usually a Large Ham imitate Dan Green. And it's awesome.
    • In the second sequel series Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, the English dub always has to remove stuff. Naturally, they edit out weapons, text, add horrible puns to what should be relatively serious dialogue, but the main reason the dub is decent is simply because the Narm is so goddamn concentrated that it must be intentional. In one scene where the main character Yusei is in a motorcycle accident, when his friends go to help him he visibly has shrapnel sticking out of his chest. But not in the dub, no.They edited it out, and added the cheesy "Augh, my gut!" line instead. They turned what was supposed to be internal bleeding into "Thanks, Pepto Bismol!"
      • Also, because of the habit of ignoring most FATAL things a lot of issues were changed. Even though, by the time of a certain episode beginning to explain the plot, the season finale has occurred in Japan. And literally only 2 people STAY dead. Rex and Rudger/Roman Go(o)dwin. So to protect the children, the plot got so warped that they got a new "Shadow Realm" in "The Underworld."
  • Sailor Moon has a good example of this. One episode had Nephrite's death, and the line that comes next has Narm written all over it: "I'm so sorry, Naru... I guess I won't be taking you out for a chocolate parfait." It Makes Sense in Context, but still sounds silly when taken by itself. No one cared because they were sniffling...
    • There is plenty of Narm Charm in the dub: After apparently escaping Zoicite and her mooks Molly mentions the local Cafe makes exquisite Cholote Parfaits and asks if Nephrite if they could go have one sometime,which he agrees to. Then she asks him if he has "Holidays in that Evil Society of His." The sheer silliness of the second question,already silly in Japanese, gets funnier with Molly's goofy Brooklyn Accent, Nephrite and even Molly herself have a bit of a laugh about it. Instead of ruining the scene, it somehow manages to keep the drama and pathos of the Japanese version wonderfully.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. From the FAAABULOUS character designs, to the outrageous abilities (fighting with a bladed hat, putting zippers everywhere, turning rocks into mud, stopping time), to the characters themselves...then there are the manly tears, such as when Polnareff cried when Abdul took a bullet for him, to when Joeseph saw his daughter's stand turning on her, et cetera. Yet, somehow, Jojo manages to work.

The next thing you're going to say is ____.
Muda da, MudaMudaMudaMudaMudaMudaMudaMuda! vs OraOraOraOraOraOraOraOraOra!
Za Warudo!
Road roller/Tank lorry da!
WRYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!

  • Conan's use of broken English while telling his former idol, Ray Curtis that his circumstances do not justify turning to drugs and murder would otherwise be funny, but it, combined with the music and his facial expressions, effectively conveys how he feels, and Ray Curtis's response in perfect English makes it clear that the grammar mistakes are Conan's, rather than the writer's.
  • Zoids. The first series (Chaotic Century) in particular. The entire script is so laughably bad it's amazing that everyone keeps a straight face. (Van and Raven's exchange in episode 33 is a personal favorite example) But that's the reason it works. The whole universe speaks in narm and once you get used to it you realize that it's the language of the universe and it's a much more entertaining universe as a result.
  • Eureka Seven, episode 48. Anemone is on a suicide mission after having learned that Dominic has abandoned the military to stop the Big Bad's plan. Lines like "I want to live! I wish I didn't have feelings like this!" are tearfully screamed at full blast, with all the pretentious angst of a bad Goth band.[3] The viewers are just as likely to be crying themselves at this point.[4]
    • The entire PREMISE is built on this. The series is built on giant surfboarding robots, tons and tons of blatant counter-culture references (including one of the most disastrous incidents in recent history being called the Summer of Love), and an incredibly sappy romance at the forefront (hell, the main mecha of the series is practically POWERED by love.)
  • In Haruhi Suzumiya, many examples result from Engrish for English-speaking viewers.
    • Most notably, during Itsuki's rooftop talk with Kyon, after Haruhi has fallen asleep beside Mikuru, he suggests to Kyon that he should, "embrace Suzumiya-san from behind, and whisper 'I love you' in her ear." What the English audience hears is assorted Japanese, and then, "AI LAAV YU." What keeps it from falling into Narm is the heart-warming playfulness of the scene.
    • The Image Songs use a hefty pile of Grautitous English in their lyrics. Lost My Music has an entire chorus in English, while God Knows... appends English words to the ends of certain verses.
    • Christy Vee's translation of "Hare Hare Yukai" has her first line shouting (in the most high-pitched voice she can muster) "ALL RIGHT SOS BRIGADE, ASSEMBLE!" It's incredibly cheesy, but also incredibly hilarious and totally in-character for Haruhi.
  • When the ending of Umineko no Naku Koro ni's second arc was adapted to anime, quite a lot of people were collapsing in laughing fits over the "takomaria". However, there was a significant creepy factor to seeing her head rolling around like that, and in a series of over-the-top messed-up scenes like the banquet of the witch and Rosa's feast afterwards, to a certain extent, it actually fit pretty well.
    • OH DESIAH! In spite of the Narmy Engrish—or perhaps because of it—the song still manages to be totally epic.
  • In Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Satoko's breakdown in episode 10 involves her somehow throwing a guy twice her size all the way across the room, with the chair he's sitting on. The voice actor's delivery, combined with the music, is what makes the scene work.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist. Father's expression are often over the top, but he's still the main source of Nightmare Fuel of all the series... especially when he looked pregnant of Hohenheim after having just absorbed him... but his One-Winged Angel form was absolutely terrifying.
  • Episode 167 of Naruto Shippuden. Full stop. It goes into full-on Looney Toons action at various points, including the "hammer person into ground without killing them" and "Road Runner legs" effects. Yet, it can also be absolutely awesome.
    • Sasuke's Evil Laugh in Shippuden episode 214 and manga chapter 483 is Narm Charm. It's hilarious mainly because it's Sasuke but it also shows how far gone he is.
  • Two words: Weiss Kreuz. Genuinely interesting characters with great characterization, illogical plot points, So Bad It's Good animation, So Cool Its Awesome cinematography, music that ranges from forgettable to awesome, Rule of Cool villains, impossible unrealistic stuff, epic voice acting, ridiculous/awesome facial contortions, Rule of Cool weapons for Weiss... Weiss Kreuz is awesome.
  • The Intelligent Devices of the Lyrical Nanoha series have always spoken in rather questionably-translated English ("It can be done. As for my master.") Then The Movie came along and gave them proper English lines. Many English-speaking fans are not pleased with this, as they found the Devices' broken speech endearing.


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Golden-Age and Silver-Age Batman. One issue of the original Detective Comics focused around the tale of Batman Jones, a child named in honor of the Dark Knight who rescued his parents, who in turn became a giant otaku and tried desperately to join Batman and Robin in their adventures. (The only reason he stopped is because he found another hobby- stamp collecting) Even the iconoclastic Joker was presented as nothing more than a psychopathic clown with campy crime schemes. It wasn't until the late 1970's and '80's with tales like "How Many Ways Can A Robin Die?" and The Killing Joke that made it a truly engrossing series, presenting the characters with extreme psychological depth as never before.
  • Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen: considered the most Silver Age-y thing to have ever come of out of the Silver Age, and crammed with every single stereotype of the era turned Up to Eleven. It is by far the biggest supplier of nostalgic or affectionate Shout Outs in modern-age comics.
  • The Walking Dead: The Title Drop ("WE ARE The Walking Dead!") that comes after a speech about how the survivors (or at least Rick, giving the speech, displacing some guilt) are Not So Different from the zombies. Extremely Anvilicious, but nonetheless dramatic and effective.
  • Dark Empire: "Aren't I the master of all the Jedi? Your father was my apprentice." "Formless, I exist as pure energy. I am the dark side." Palpatine is just a huge ham.
  • Simon Furman's Transformers comics are well known for this. Many fans enjoy his rather distinctive dialogue.
  • Doom, for those who consider it So Bad It's Good. Love It or Hate It!

"Now I'm radioactive! That can't be good!"
"You're huge! That means you have huge guts!"
"RIP AND TEAR!"

  • Snowflame, a Super Villain from the The DCU who was powered by cocaine! No, really.
  • When Green Lantern tried to give a sympathetic Backstory to Dex-Starr, by all rights it should have fallen flat on its face. Dex-Starr's inherent comedy (he's a homicidal kitty-cat) should not mesh well with a tragic origin. It's not even a terribly good origin, it's standard "came from abusive family" stuff. But is something just terribly heart-wrenching about it that manages to make it work. "I good kitty."
  • Many "relevant" and "edgy" Bronze Age stories like the Green Lantern / Green Arrow team-ups featuring the evils of drugs, poverty, racism, etc, are hilariously over-the-top, Anvilicious, and two-dimensional, but the fact that the stuff was ground-breaking at the time, plus the writers' complete sincerity about the sentiments expressed in the stories, save them from most of the contempt usually afforded to such preachy PSAs.
  • With just one overwrought line and goofily gaping expression, the issue 23 cover of EC Comics' Tales from the Crypt manages to tell the most awesomely concise horror story ever...

LOCKED! I'm locked in this MAUSOLEUM with... with this THING!

  • In Doctor Strange: The Oath, a critically-injured and unconscious Strange has been carried through the doors of a hospital by his manservant Wong. Though they have obviously come in through a pouring rain, his Cloak of Levitation is at full billow. In fact, it has actually opened the door to let Wong in.


Fan Works[edit | hide]

  • This trope is the reason Half Life Full Life Consequences is utter hilarity from start to finish despite (or perhaps because) it is possibly the stupidest thing in existence. Five words: "BECAUSE YOU ARE HEADCRAB ZOMBIE."
    • JOHN FREEMAN: SAVER OF HUMENS. ;tear
    • Gordon Freeman's death. Especially true in dramatic readings. How can such a goofy scene, containing the word comFART, be taken seriously? This is how.
  • Doom: Repercussions of Evil, for mostly the same reasons. "No, John. You are the demons."
  • My Immortal: "goffs", terrible characters, a bad grip on Goth culture (or any culture), constantly arguing with the readers, waging war against spelling and grammar. It's a masterpiece of Bile Fascination.

"WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING YOU MOTHERFUKERS!" It was....................Dumbledore!"

Anonymous: "My Blowjob can't be this Psychological"


Film - Animated[edit | hide]

  • The game of peek-a-boo famously played during the Grendel fight in the film of Beowulf. It makes the whole scene slightly ridiculous, but that's kinda the point: Beowulf's ego makes him do silly things (unless anyone out there can think of a logical reason for fighting an insane, man-eating giant whilst in the buff).
    • He thought it would make him invisible.
    • Logically? He knew Grendel was so strong any armor he wore would be useless at actually protecting him, and would slow him down. Speed was his greatest ally. As for why he didn't at least wear breeches? Okay, that's gotta be ego.
    • He wanted no advantage against the creature, he was as pure a warrior as he could be.
  • Toy Story: "YOU ARE A TOY!" It Makes Perfect Sense In Context
    • During the ending of the third movie. Watching a college student play with a toy cowboy has never been so heartwarming.
  • Eric Idle's over-the-top Villain Song in The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue. It's the most idiotic thing one can do right after the supposedly dramatic twist that the villain is the hero's brother, but the song is so entertaining.
  • Cars 2 has Lightning's responses to Mater trying to get away from him in England, thinking that Mater is still sore about their fight when in reality it has nothing to do with that. Power of Friendship and how over the top the film is as a whole makes it work.

Mater: Stay away from me, or you could get hurt real bad!
Lightning: I know I made you feel that way, but none of that matters, because WE'RE! BEST! FRIENDS!

    • Lightning goes as far as to attach himself to Mater's tow cable to keep up with him. The following lines are exchanged twice:

Mater: Let go!
Lightning: NEVER!


Film - Live-Action[edit | hide]

  • Batman films have a fair amount:
  • Every line delivered by Schuler Hensley as Frankenstein's monster in the 2004 movie. Van Helsing is full of win.
  • Richard Roxburgh's Dracula is the same, to a slightly lesser degree.
  • Brian Blessed has fans who consider his Large Ham acting to be the best part.
  • The... same applies to... FANS... of... William Shatner.
    • Him screaming "KHAAAAAAN!" seems like Narm, unless you remember what Khan said to prompt that. And the fact that He was Narming it up on purpose to trick Khan.
  • The Evil Dead had a few Narm moments that were nonetheless forgivable because it was a student film and otherwise well-made. Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness actively cultivated Narm.
  • A lot of moments from the first three Spider-Man films may qualify,[5] such as the Green Goblin bombing the Parker residence and demanding Aunt May finish her prayer ("deliver us...deliver us...from evil!"), or when Peter embraces a normal life to the tune of "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head."
    • "We'll meet again, Spider-Man!!" Corny? Oh yes. But somehow incredibly appropriate for a Spider-Man movie.
  • Enchanted is essentially a combination of this, Willing Suspension of Disbelief, and Camp, with two heaping tablespoonfuls of Affectionate Parody for spice.
  • In For a Few Dollars More, the wonderful shooting contest scene. Monco walks around Mortimer, glaring at him; Mortimer walks around Monco, glaring at him; Monco steps on Mortimer's shoe, getting it muddy; Mortimer does the same to him, et cetera—until Mortimer proves himself to be the better shot by perforating Monco's hat, but up until then it's hilarious. Two little boys hang a lampshade on it: "Just like the games we know!"
  • There Will Be Blood's very popular line "I. Drink. Your. MILKSHAKE!"
  • In general, Arnold Schwarzenegger should be extremely narmful all the time because of his incredibly thick Austrian accent, but people have got so used to hearing it it barely matters anymore. To quote Jack Slater in Last Action Hero, "Vot accent?"
  • Parts of the 1973 film version of Jesus Christ Superstar are rather corny today, yes, but the corny lines in no way detract from the rest of the movie.
  • Lord of the Rings: "I am no man! AAAAAAAAAA!!!"
    • In that exact same scene: The Witch-King's ridiculously large mace. Everyone from the prop designers to the actor who had to swing it all thought it was the largest, heaviest, most ridiculous part of the scene, and yet Peter Jackson made. it. WORK. The look of horror on her face when Eowyn sees it is proof enough of that.
    • Denethor's death scene (where he goes nuts, lights himself on fire, and jumps off a cliff) in Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King. Your Mileage May Vary, as others just found it Narm at best, but mostly completely illogical and impossible. Then again, the last part is movie-only, as in the book he calmly burns himself in the Steward's tomb. ([6])
    • "I will draw you, Saruman, as poison is drawn from a wound!"
  • Star Wars, oh so much.
  • Ian McKellen's delivery in X-Men is full of this.
  • Godzilla. The 1998 American version, even more so.
  • Nero in Star Trek tends to be ridiculously over the top (see: his introduction as "Hi, I'm Nero" and "SPOOOOOOOOOOOCK"). It just makes the movie more fun. "FIRE EVERYTHING!"
  • Galaxy Quest: "By Grabthar's hammer... by the suns of Warvan... you shall be avenged." Though in that case the original line was trying to be silly in an Affectionate Parody sort of way for Star Trek. The context the line is delivered in is genuinely Badass and makes up for it. It helped that it was Alan Rickman saying the line.
  • G.I. Joe the Rise of Cobra. Over two hours of every action movie cliche turned Up to Eleven and Christopher Eccleston and Jonathan Pryce, clearly enjoying themselves. Joseph Gordon-Levitt embodies Ham and Cheese in that movie, apparently deciding to play Cobra Commander as "Starscream, by way of Darth Malak, with a touch of Dr. Strangelove." Pretty much the entire cast gets in on this, Ray Park manages to do it without ever saying a single word, that's impressive.
  • Logic doesn't get in the way of the narm-charmtastic climactic scene of the 1966 Italian film Dio, Come Ti Amo! The heroine Gigliola, played by Eurovision Song Contest winner Gigliola Cinquetti, taps into the p.a. system of an airport in order to sing a love song to Luis, her boyfriend who is departing on a plane that is on the runway about to take off. Her song is broadcast not only through the airport, but, in a quirk of Italian electrical engineering, also into the headsets of the ground crew and the pilots of Luis' flight. Sure, in reality the pilot, the ground crew and the airport's p.a. would probably not all share the same system, but that's besides the point. Adding to the inexplicit absurdity of the scene is the fact that her love song is also audible to the passengers on the departing plane, one of whom is Luis who disembarks from the plane to return to Gigliola. Yet for all of the gaps in plausibility, your heart can't help but be moved when Gigliola and Luis kiss on the tarmac.
  • 300. Especially, Gerard Butler's delivery of the iconic This Is Sparta line.
  • Scarface: "SAY HELLO TO MY LEETLE FRIEND!"
  • The entirety of Conan the Barbarian simultaneously manages to be incredibly cheesy and incredibly moving and beautiful at the same time.
  • Dario Argento's films run on this trope and Gorn Charm.
  • Titanic may have the typical movie cliches on the book, but it is so silly, yet so romantic!
    • Speaking of James Cameron, While certain scenes from Avatar may be narmy whenever Neytiri gets pissed off or cries (like when Jake revealed his secret to her, causing her to lose her trust in him), they are actually quite sad.
  • Gran Torino: The phrase "Get off my lawn!" may sound like a typical senior citizen phrase, but Eastwood being Eastwood, boy did he make it work.
  • Big Fish: "You become what you always were... a very big fish."
  • Most of the werewolf scenes in the 2010 remake of The Wolf Man, starting with their decision not to change the werewolf appearance from the black and white original.
  • A lot of The Road Warrior is Narm but especially this scene with Wez, the Lord Humungeous' dragon has Narm Charm. After the Feral kid's razor boomerang kills his lover, Wez goes nuts "NO! WE GO IN! WE KILL! Humoungous puts him in a sleeper hold to subdue and says "Be still my dog of war! I understand your pain! But we do it my way! We do it MY WAY!" Wez:"Losers! Losers wait!" before becoming unconscious. It should be just funny but it's somehow funny AND awesome. Even when the audio was used years later in South Park episode, "Eat, Queef and Pray" when a woman demonstrates a "Road Warrior Queef" "
  • The Hellboy films have quite a bit of this in small doses throughout, but they pull it off with deliberate bravado in the second film when Abe and Hellboy get drunk and sing the incredibly cheesy song, "Can't Smile Without You." Who hasn't gotten drunk with a friend and sung bad music to try and get through the blues?
  • George Bailey's friends and family spontaniously bursting out into Christmas carols at the end of It's a Wonderful Life should be Narmy ... but really isn't. At all.
  • The Mummy Trilogy. All three of them. Largely due to John Hannah.
  • In The Day the Earth Stood Still, the robot is less than convincing.
  • The Street Fighter movie, due in large part to Raul Julia's performance as General M. Bison.
    • "OF COURSE!"
    • Among his gems: "Every Bison Dollar will be worth five British pounds. For that is the exchange rate the Bank of England will set once I've kidnapped their Queen."
    • For you the day Bison graced your village was the most important day of your life but for me... it was Tuesday.
  • In Night at the Museum 2, Octavius tends to come across as almost constantly narmy, taking himself way too seriously and dramatically shouting/growling every other line. And he becomes all the more brilliant for it.
  • Fully half the movies scored by Ennio Morricone have a moment where first you think: "What the hell is this music," and immediately afterward, "Holy shit this is awesome!"
  • Peter Pan: "I do believe in fairies! I do! I do!"
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show is entirely about the great enjoyment one can have at the late night double feature picture show, a classic way to see the best in B-Movies.
  • The B-movie Zombie Blood Bath is so cheap and cheesy, with an almost nonexistent plot, by every definition it should be terrible. But the fact that it was produced by hundreds of town locals who volunteered to do it for fun makes it incredibly heartwarming to watch as zombies crack up while running.
    • What keeps Zombie Blood Bath from being so bad is the fact that it was basically a community project in which practically the whole town volunteered to take part completely for free, because they all liked the director's silly movies so much. We ended up with zombies stumbling around with their little zombie children, people trying not to crack up while they're being eaten, and people doing kung fu roundhouse kicks to zombie nuns.
  • IT: "Oh yes, Georgie! They float! And when you're down here with me... YOU'LL FLOAT TOOOOO!!!!!"
  • The King's Speech had this moment where Bertie is encouraged to talk about his childhood, and he tries to...but because of his stammer, he has to make himself sing parts of it. Hearing him suddenly sing something instead of speaking would almost be funny if he wasn't talking about how he was abused by a nanny, who would deprive him of food and hit him so he'd cry in front of his parents, and that his parents didn't notice what was going on for years.
  • The film Cast Away features a scene with the main character crying over his lost volleyball. By all means, it should not be heartbreaking, but somehow... it is.
  • Some of the actions in the fight scenes of Ip Man can easily be mistaken for Slapstick. However, the choreography was so good that such scenes fit right into the fights.
  • The films of Nick Zedd.
  • General Zod in Superman The Movie and Superman II is made of this. He's a titanic ham with lots of dialogue that could have been very painful, but he tends to come of as genuinely deranged and dangerous rather than goofy. It also helps that he can bounce back and forth between Large Ham and dangerously understated almost at will, as his introductory scene shows.
  • Titanic. Even with lines like "You must do me this honor, Rose. You must promise me to survive" - toward the end of the second half of the film audiences will be dreading Jack's inevitable demise.
  • According to the people who cast the film, the role of Buttercup in The Princess Bride was given to the only actress they found who could deliver the line "You mock my pain".
  • The live-action 2007 Transformers film. "I SMELL YOU, BOY!"
    • That line had such Narm Potential...but being as Hugo Weaving is awesome...and is Megatron...he made the delivery of that line terrifying.
  • Al Pacino's first scene with Johnny Depp in Donnie Brasco was noted on the Directors Commmentary as one that could have been pathetic, but worked due to Pacino's skill. Lefty's line, "In all the five boroughs, I'm known. I'm known all over the fuckin' world. Anybody asks anybody about Lefty from Mulberry Street..."
  • The only actor in history who could deliver the line "If it had to happen to one of us, why did it have to be you?" in An Affair to Remember was Cary Grant. Combine this with the explosive chemistry between Grant and co-star Deborah Kerr, and what could have gone down as one of the sappiest, glurgiest movies ever produced is instead one of Hollywood's most epic love stories.
  • The Syfy B-Movie Meteor Apocalypse has just what you'd expect of a B Movie—low budget, bad script. But for film shot in only 12 days, the acting (even through the badly-written dialogue) is actually pretty good.
  • The final scene of Dead Poets Society is almost universally considered to be a very powerful and moving ending to the film. But think of how it would sound written down on a script and what one would think it would end up like...
  • Troy: Achilles' captive Briseis wakes him up with a sharp knife to the throat. After imploring her to "do it" ("we all die some time") he grabs her and has his way with her, prompting her to drop the knife slowly out of her hand. ...Yeah. As one reviewer said: "Only Brad Pitt could do this (old-style Hollywood) scene and not have the audience burst into laughter."
  • Young Neil in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was cast because he could deliver "He punched the highlights out of her hair!" with the perfect mix of rage, disbelief and conviction. He went on to ad-lib several hilarious moments throughout the film.
  • The Neverending Story: When Artax starts sinking into the Swamps of Sadness, Atreyu's reaction is shameless and over the top... but damn if that isn't the key to making that scene work without viewers wondering what the hell the horse has to be depressed over.
  • Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is entirely composed of this trope. Nicolas Cage can take the credit for much of that.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • All of team Jacob and team Edward should be able to agree that despite what makes the whole Twilight Saga so good is its cheesyness.
  • X Wing Series: Certainly the newbie Tatooine pilot Gavin Darklighter's response to seeing Coruscant for the first time was narmy, but it helps illustrate just how young the kid is.

"It's just a city, the whole thing, one big, huge, really big city. It's all city."

  • To many, it's what makes the charm of The Count of Monte Cristo.
  • Frank Peretti, a Christian horror writer, is very adept at the use of Narm Charm. Apparently, he realizes that his plots are extremely outlandish, and in order to avoid Narm he cranks up the absurdity of it his situations Up to Eleven and lets you know it's okay to laugh through witty prose, thereby leading to situations—such as a town erupting into terrifying/hilarious chaos around a false Messiah—that are bizarre, hilarious, and somehow, really, really terrifying. Unfortunately, this does not translate well into the film versions of his work.
  • Little Women plots a course through Mary Sues, wildly extravagant and sentimental prose, Aesops (some of them rather questionable) in nearly every chapter... and comes out as a gripping romantic drama with a deserved place in the highest pantheon of American literature.
  • Discussed with an internal example in Star Trek: Klingon Empire. The old animated show "Battlecruiser Vengeance" is this for many Klingons (and it's a nice wink to actual fans of Original Series Star Trek too). One particular episode presents the Klingon hero repelling a Federation boarding party. The episode was produced during the height of tensions between the empire and the Federation, and the party consists of ridiculous, inaccurate computer-generated images of Federation member races. Specifically, the Andorian is more green than blue and has overlong antennae, the Vulcan's ears are too pointed, the Tellarite looks more like an actual boar, the Betazoid has fully blacked-out eyes instead of simple dark irises, the Human has eyes too large and a mouth too small, the Trill has spots covering her entire body, and the Denobulan has misplaced ridges. In the minds of many "modern" fans, the inaccuracy just adds to the joy of it.
  • Let's face it: Both the Harry Potter books and films can be quite narmilicious... but the thing is, the quality of it is just so good, it can easily be forgiven. One particular example is the ending of the fifth when Harry gives his Reason You Suck Speech to Voldemort; which basically boils down to "I have The Power of Friendship. You don't. I pity you (though I still want you to die)". This, coupled with the shots of Voldemort's kind of goofy poses in the visions Harry sees during the film, could be extremely Narmy... but it's not. The reason being that when you've spent all this time reading the books and/or watching the films, you'really do understand what Harry is saying no matter how corny it might be. This is doubly true for the movie, which also shows clips from all the previous ones before it, most of those clips being of other Narm Charm moments from the series. This trope can definitely also apply to the ending of the 7th book; After all the crap that The Trio has been through, you can't help but feel happy that everything turned out okay (for the most part) in the end... unless you're a fanatic Shipper and the ending defied your OTP; in that case, the ending of the series was your worst nightmare come true.
  • Nineteen Eighty-Four. This conversation was used in the climax of the story. At first it seems to be a trivial discussion about counting fingers, but it's actually about a man being tortured into changing his perspective in order to see things that aren't there. Some might say it's worse than Room 101 itself.
    • Room 101 is just a means to an end. Specifically, YOUR end...

O'Brien: "How many fingers am I holding up, Winston?'"
Winston: "Four! five! Four! Anything you like."

    • Room 101 itself works as an example. We've seen how lesser works have made the "your worst nightmare come to life" less scary than it should. Indeed, at first glance, the idea that, after months of the most devious psychological and physical torture known to man, the thing that breaks Winston is "give up your love, or get your face eaten by rats", still kinda sounds like something out of a Saw movie. But when you read it... it works, dammit.
  • "THAT! IS! NOT! MY! COW!"
  • Pellaeon, in the New Jedi Order, delivering a Shut UP, Hannibal that ends "You may win the occasional battle against us, Vorrik, but the Empire will always strike back."
  • From Lord of the Flies, the line "Roger sharpened a stick at both ends" should, by all rights, be laughable (what, is he going to trip and fall on it or something?) In context, however, it's the sign of the boys' complete degeneration into unbridled savagery.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Ugly Betty is more or less one long deliberate attempt at creating this.
  • As is Pushing Daisies.
  • Glee is the same, so very much. Brittany seems to be the queen of this. Giving a friend, whose father suffered a heart attack, a report on heart attacks to show sympathy, nosing a meatball around (in heartbreak) like in Lady and the Tramp, being a high school student who still believes in Santa Claus. Only Heather Morris can make this work out.
    • Finn singing "I'll Stand By You" to a sonogram. For anyone else this would be the narmiest moment in television; but because it's Finn, big, stupid and oh-so-sweet Finn, it's a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming
    • Blaine's confession of love to Kurt could count, as the dialogue is like something from a chick flick, but the way he says it is so heartfelt that you can't help but Squee as he says it. Even the people who don't like Blaine admit that they're glad something was finally going right for Kurt.
  • Many, many scenes in Stargate SG-1 containing Goa'uld, especially with O'Niell's constant Lampshade Hanging.
  • Doctor Who is the inverse of Special Effect Failure, as noted on that very page. The cheesy effects are so loved, that the new seasons deliberately keep the effects from being too polished to retain that feel. The new series seems to thrive on Narm Charm in all it's forms.
    • Not to mention the Daleks' famous "EXTERMINATE!" line is clearly Chewing the Scenery, except they usually come across as unstoppable, merciless genocidal maniacs (so much that a Cambridge University academic wrote a paper about the Daleks' Narm Charm.). So that line gives more chills than snickers.
    • The Daleks' "Exterminate" is a bit Narm Charm in itself, especially in its more modern incarnations. Case in point: The Daleks transmit a single word message of their famous catchphrase across the whole earth during The Stolen Earth and pretty much every one of the Doctor's earthbound former companions just about needs to change their pants upon hearing it and realising who it is. Including Sarah Jane Smith and a man who can't die.
    • And, from "The Stolen Earth", "DALEKS DO NOT ACCEPT APOLOGIES!"
    • "Victory Of The Daleks": "WOULD YOU LIKE SOME TEA!?"
    • Classic Series Who also had "Ghost Light" with a policeman reduced to primordial soup then served for dinner. Turning an Incredibly Lame Pun into Nightmare Fuel.

"The cream of Scotland Yard"

    • In "The End of Time", we have The Master Race. Fun to watch? Yes. Hilarious? Oh hell yes! Terrifying and dramatic? Errr...
      • The parts where he was eating or flying were especially good.
    • Then there's Timothy Dalton, showing the scenery no mercy as Rassilon. "I! WILL! NOT DIE!!!"
    • Matt Smith's tenure has kicked off in fine form. Giant eyeball aliens in snowflake spaceships! So cheesy, they're awesome. cheesesome?
    • The horrible fates of The Family of Blood. Trapped in the edge of every mirror for eternity? Thats so stupid its cool.
    • In his first serial, "Terror of the Autons", The Master causes someone to be smothered to death by a chair. Smothered to death by a chair. And it is awesome.
    • And then, he makes guys in ridiculous bobblehead costumes handing out daffodils terrifying.
    • The pointless chase scene which takes up pretty much the entirety of episode two of "Planet of the Spiders", where Jon Pertwee and John Dearth pretty much drive or fly every combustion-engine-powered vehicle known to man with the exception of locomotives and jet fighters, and which ends with the villain vanishing anyway at the end of it, is still awesome in its own right. Of course it helps that Barry Letts wrote the sequence as a going-away gift for Pertwee, who had a deep interest in motor vehicles of all kinds and relished scenes where he could get behind the wheel.
    • The production staff can be forgiven the hideous monsters from "The Three Doctors", and Omega's scenery-chewing, as the interplay between Jon Pertwee, Patrick Troughton, William Hartnell and Nicholas Courtney make up superbly for it.
  • Power Rangers: Silver Age comic super-weirdness and Doctor Who-style fondness of Special Effect Failure all in one package. Linkara put it best: "It's Power Rangers: it's supposed to be cheesy!"
    • Jason is the master of Narm Charm. For one example, screaming "OH MAN, HE FROZE THE ZORDS. WE'RE HISTORY!" in Lord Zedd's debut is utterly ridiculous, but it still hammers home how dire the situation is.
    • Bulk and Skull calling the people of Angel Grove to help in the final battle of Power Rangers in Space. Corny, yet awesome.
    • When Saban ran out of footage of Bandora from Zyuranger to use for Rita Repulsa, they made their own. Despite Rita now being played by an American actress, she was still given a Hong Kong Dub because it had become an iconic part of the character. This also holds true in the higher-budget movie.
    • For that matter, nearly all Tokusatsu (with a couple of exceptions such as Garo) is unbelievably silly and weird, with all sorts of unrealistic tropes that are used completely shamelessly, and episodes that follow a strict formula. The People in Rubber Suits especially are a relic from another time, and frequently expose their flaws: the Fangire from Kamen Rider Kiva come to mind as something that should be ridiculous, and would be treated as such in any non-Japanese property, but somehow stuntmen in sophisticated Halloween costumes and voice actors make for compelling, amusing, cool, scary, dangerous, real characters. Stuff like that is why people like tokusatsu in the first place.
  • Walker, Texas Ranger. The plots are ridiculous and the solutions are generally roundhouse kicks combined with moralizing speeches, but it's still great fun to watch.
  • The Brady Bunch more or less in its entirety with some stand-outs: the "mom always said not to play ball in the house" episode, the Johnny Bravo episode, the "Time to Change" episode, the Hawaii special with Don Ho and Bobby having a nightmare about robbing his own family in the Wild West.
  • On Charmed, the ridiculous costumes that most supernatural beings (and frequently the sisters themselves) end up in were considered a part of the show's charm to many fans, and occasionally lampshaded.

Phoebe: (having just been turned into a genie with flowing blonde hair) Why do I always end up in the blonde wig?!

  • Star Trek: The Original Series embodies this. A stuntman crouching under a pizza has never been a more sympathetic character. And when there is appropriate contrast, even a wildly overacted scene becomes downright touching. Then, of course, there's the ridiculously over-the-top and bombastic music. Only this show could take this piece and make it the most iconic fight music in television history.
    • This is the reason that even the legendarily bad episodes (like, say, "Spock's Brain") are So Bad It's Good instead of completely unredeemable. TOS episodes that were heavy on the Narm were always entertaining. Compare actual bad episodes that are dull and full of Padding, like "The Alternative Factor". People will go for "Brain and brain, what is brain?!" every time.
  • Then there's Star Trek: The Next Generation which occasionally also runs on pure cheesiness. It's the series outright honesty and belief in itself, and its writers' (and actors') refusal to shy away from uncomfortable subjects, which means it gets away with a lot of it (when you have characters living in a future when humans are, supposedly, a much more reasonable, understanding bunch, and got there the hard way via a couple of near apolcaypses and one helluva lot of personal growth, then an audience can't help but appreciate their passion and dedication to their ideals. Even if they are pointing about dramatically and occaisonally doing flying leaps).
  • CSI: Miami: It may sound hilarious...but I...[puts on shades] make it cool. YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!
  • There's a scene in the fourth season of Angel where Cordelia, posessed by Jasmine, is sending telepathic messages to Angelus, using an incredibly cheesy "evil overlord" voice. Somehow, the way the scene plays out makes the voice only add to the creepiness.
    • Then there's the memorable scene from season 3's "Loyalty" where Wesley seeks out information from the Loa, an ancient, godlike spirit of knowledge with glowing red eyes and a booming voice. The Loa berates Wesley, confirms his worst fears, and delivers an incredibly ominous warning of doom to come. Oh, and the form that the Loa takes happens to be a giant, talking, hamburger-shaped drive-in speaker. Somehow, the conversation with the giant, shouting hamburger is hilarious while still being the dramatic peak of the arc.
  • Most speeches in Babylon 5 the series are full of Narm. On the other hand, Mira Furlan and Andreas Katsulas were such great actors, any speech delivered by Delenn or G'Kar still managed to be utterly compelling.
    • Bruce Boxleitner, on the other hand, got away with being a Large Ham by virtue of the fact that John Sheridan was also a Large Ham.
  • Batman is probably the Trope Maker. The Camp is kicked Up to Eleven, and the special guest stars (the villains) are the hammiest hams that ever hammed, yet Adam West delivers every line with a completely straight face.
    • Probably why it is the truest adaptation of the Gold and Silver ages of comic books into ANY medium.
  • Somewhere there is a video where the creators of Lost admit to giving the character Ben Linus narmy lines because they feel that Michael Emerson can make them sound awesome.
    • Also, from the season 6 premiere: The line: "I'm very disappointed... in all of you!" shouted by none other than Faux-Locke/The Monster after he beats the crap out of Richard while everyone watches. It's just so bizarre and creepy that the sheer silliness of the line can be ignored.
  • The House episode "5 to 9" focuses on Cuddy's position as Dean of Medicine. She suffers a stressful day of fighting with medical insurers, a sociopathic medical technician, and (of course) House's antics (not to mention, getting called a "bitch" by every character possible). When the medical insurers cave and agree to her "outrageous" medical costs, she has a Big Yeah complete with the camera pulling back to show everyone in the lobby react. The rest of the episode features a montage of an abundance of good things happening to Cuddy—it comes off like a commercial for Prozac. But the events of the episode were so stressful on Cuddy, you don't mind how corny things get at the end after she fought hard for her victories.
  • Little House On the Prairie features a great deal of people caught in unbridled moments of passion. On one hand, an actress expressing such outright rage at injustice that they cry while yelling for the camera can be cheesy; on the other hand, that does take a good deal of talent, and perhaps just a spark of genuine conviction.
    • Quite a few other CBC shows have had Narm Charm, comedies included.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 employed this with several scenes that make fun of shmaltz and over-the-top acting. See if you can listen to "Clown In The Sky" (6:10) without getting a tear in your eye.
  • Law and Order Special Victims Unit is a deeply silly show pretending to be a deeply serious show. Somehow, this is still awesome.
  • The A-Team could go back and forth between this trope and straight-up Narm, all within the same episode. And it's entertaining as hell.
  • The characters on Gossip Girl are prone to dream sequences which easily fall under this category, as the actors seem to be in competition over who can ham it up the most. Current trophy holder is probably Ed Westwick after his performance in Chuck's season three nightmare.
  • iCarly generally plays it's hammy moments 'straight'. Occasionally, they do a parody and fall from the usual webshow Narm into Narm Charm. An example is Carly's delivery of a Big No from iBeat the Heat and, and the teen movie parody Kelly Cooper: Terrible Movie is so over-the-top it's hilarious.
  • In Smallville, when Clark tells Lois, "I'm the blur!" and she tackles him in a fit of passion. Also, at least a good 30% of everything entertaining in Smallville.
  • LazyTown is ridiculously cheesy and suffers from a major case of cross-cultural weirdness, but fans can't help but love every minute of it.

Robin: "We have forever, my love."
Marian: "I hope we have forever in heaven, because we didn't get enough time on earth."

    • Topped only by their Together in Death scene at the very end of the series, which echoes their parting words:

Robin: My wife...
Marian: Now and forever, my love.

  • The creators of The Weird Al Show note in the commentaries that Brian Haley as The Hooded Avenger had the unenviable task of delivering the majority of the show's Anvilicious morals. But his Adam West style utter conviction to the part makes it work.
  • Bea Arthur, in The Star Wars Holiday Special, is able to take her usual Deadpan Snarker persona and apply it to good effect during her song-and-dance sequence in the Cantina on Tatooine, though she's helped in that it's just about Non Sequitur Scene Episode|the only scene in the entire special that makes the least bit of sense]].
  • The hilarious, homoerotic, and oddly charming Long Underwear Boxing scene in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson.

Music[edit | hide]

  • Perhaps the only reason people listen to The Automatic is for their hilarious hyperactive shrieking keyboardist Alex Pennie. Without him, this song would just be another substandard "Gold Digger" cover, but thanks to Pennie, it becomes grade-A Narm.
    • In fact, when Alex Pennie left the band before the band started recording their second album, the band almost immediately became another generic alternative band and was quickly forgotten. Aside from their first single without him, "Steve McQueen", the band has yet to have another song reach the Top 40 in the UK
  • Rhapsody of Fire for sure.
  • "Ride Forever," a song by Paul Gross of Due South and Slings and Arrows fame. The lyrics are undeniably cheesy, but the song manages to be genuinely stirring at the same time.
  • Bollywood musicals.
  • Anything by Manowar. ANYTHING.
  • Megadeth. Dave Mustaine's lyrics can be really cheesy and silly ("Peace Sells" and "So Far, So Good", for example, or his Breakup Songs), and let's not forget his nasal, Donald Duck vocals, but their music is so face-meltingly awesome and Epic Riff-laden (not to mention epic solos!) it makes one think if they're using it to compensate for the words and vocals...
    • People who criticise Mustaine's vocals tend to be the ones who say Megadeth's recent albums are the best of their career. There's a simple reason for this. His vocals on these albums are quite annoying, he probably provided his best vocals on Countdown To Extinction, Youthanasia and Cryptic Writings. Many Megadeth fans like his vocals as they aren't over the top or too aggressive, unlike many other metal singers.
    • 2001's "Promises", a beautiful ballad, is made quite narmy by Mustaine's angsty vocals.
  • For some fans, Opera.
    • And "Neapolitan songs" (canzone napoletana), most of them composed pop tunes which have become indigenous, similar to the songs of Irving Berlin or George M. Cohan. Italian singers can deliver "O Sole Mio" (My Sunshine), "Funiculì, Funiculà" and "Santa Lucia" with passionate sincerity.
  • The storyline behind My Chemical Romance's Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys as well as the music videos based on it seem to be intentionally going for this. And succeeding. Oh yes.
  • King Diamond's "Welcome Home" when the lyrics are considered. It being King Diamond, he's either snarling or screaming his balls off, and then there's lines like "We're going to repaint the front door soon".
  • Japanese remixer Hyadain's remix of Bubble Man's Theme from Mega Man 2 is made of this. Despite the grating use of Gratuitous English and the fact that it's pretty much about about Bubble Man's love for Mega Man, the song works anyway, because it's very well arranged, has nice vocal work and, well...it's not on the Tear Jerker page for nothing.
    • All of his Robot Master remixes are about confessing love—More or less subtly—towards Mega Man.
    • Heat Man's recent theme tops Bubble Man's in this. In it, Heat Man (very passionately) describes what it's like to spend a night making love with him. It has even more Gratuitous English as well.
  • "Infection" by J Rock band D'espairsRay. This song should have been horrible: The imagery was cliched, the grammar was bad, some of the lyrics made no sense and the rest were drenched in Engrish—but somehow, it still worked and could be considered a tearjerker.
    • The PV for REDEEMER. Just... the PV for REDEEMER.
    • "Death Point", which is made of Engrish (not to mention, Hizumi repeating over and over, "death point, death point, death point!"), yet still so catchy...
  • Simple Plan's Welcome To My Life is adorable. Aww, poor little pouty Emo Teen...(giggle)
  • Nightwish is made of this. They combine the most epic of rocking with questionable English, cheesy themes, Truck Driver's Gear Change, and Word Salad Lyrics. Doesn't matter one bit.
  • Radiohead: Thom Yorke's singing style is one of both the easiest and toughest things to make fun of at the same time. Especially after listening to "Idioteque".
    • The live performances of "Idioteque" take it up to eleven—Yorke gets so involved in the music that half the time he's screaming the lyrics rather than singing them, but the song itself is just inherently cool enough that it doesn't really matter.
  • Dream Theater's "The Count of Tuscany" has some of the most ridiculous lyrics that the band has ever written, yet it's one of the most popular songs from Black Clouds and Silver Linings, probably because of the cheesiness. (Or because the rest of the lyrics on that album are even worse. Or because the music on that song is just that good.)
  • Meat Loaf practically defines this trope. Over the top enough that he probably ended up on the moon? Yes. Totally awesome'? Also yes. Combine it with Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann and the result might just implode the world from awesome.
  • German band Welle: Erdball thrives on this, but they seem to invoke it intentionally. I mean, a recurring figure in their songs is called Commander Laserbeam. The strange accent doesn't help much.
  • William Shatner's duet with Joe Jackson on a cover of Pulp's "Common People". It's So Bad It's Good taken Up to Eleven. Watch it here.
    • Possibly the best thing about it is the way it seems that Shatner's distracted "singing" style can't handle the more emotive parts of the song, so Joe Jackson has to cover for him.
  • The metal band Bal-Sagoth take many tropes Up to Eleven, including Grim Up North, Proud Warrior Race Guy, Cosmic Horror and Purple Prose. It is incredibly over the top, which is part of what makes it great.
  • Heavy Metal fans can simultaneously celebrate Dio's "Holy Diver" as a great old-school Metal standard, while realizing that the lyrics make no sense and and the music video is ridiculous in a So Bad It's Good way.
  • Dragon Force (video game), the hardest metal known to man, better known as Dragonfarce.
    • "Heart of a Dragon" somehow manages to sound rather triumphant despite sharing a melody with the children's song "Three Little Speckled Frogs".
  • Heino. Anything by Heino, especially if it refers to "letzten Abendrot," cowboys, or involves clapping.
  • The Muse single "Uprising" is, by itself, a really catchy Queen-style revolutionary anthem. That is, until you notice that the music video, the CD and the vinyl single artwork all seperately portray teddy bears rising up from a field in revolt. It might've been meant to symbolize the seemingly harmless and ubiquitous masses suddenly proving that they're Not So Harmless, but the image should still be pure Narm. Except that listening to the song and hearing the lyrics as a call for downtrodden teddy bears to rise up in righteous rebellion against their human oppressors just adds a whole new, BLAMmy charm to it.
    • From the same album, "Guiding Light". It's basically a full-on '80s Power Ballad, complete with seemingly endless drum reverb (which fits nicely with the jet engine segue at the beginning); a Queen-inspired guitar solo is the icing on the cake. For a band that's often accused of taking itself too seriously these days, it's a refreshingly clear-cut "just enjoy this" moment on the album.
    • And while we're at it, "Knights of Cydonia" needs a mention, doubly so when you consider the music video. It combines an overt political Take That with overly sincere "fight for your right" chants, Wild West imagery, kung fu, unicorns, laser beams, and a heavy dose of Epic Rocking; and the end result is somehow legitimately chilling.
  • "The Final Countdown" by Europe. Hugely stupid hair metal anthem that's firmly in Guilty Pleasure territory, but awesome.
  • Sarah Brightman. Dear god, she could sing the telephone book and make it sound profound. For example, we have "Fleurs de Mal" (Flowers of Evil), "A Question of Honor" and "How Can Heaven Love Me?" And the lyrics are even goofier than the titles...
  • Michael Crawford was the original lead in the musical The Phantom of the Opera; Brightman was the original Christine, and he may be her male counterpart in terms of Narm Charm between that and his subsequent albums. His Large Ham delivery is effectively what every comic spoofing the delivery of stage musical actors post-1986 is making fun of, and he's often used it in the service of overblown ballads—he's done whole albums devoted to Andrew Lloyd Webber, Disney, and Christmas Songs—but he does it with an amazing tenderness and sincerity that cuts through the clutter.
  • Everything by Journey.
    • JUST A SMALL TOWN GIIIIIRRL, LIVIN' IN A LONELY WOOOOOORLD... SHE TOOK THE MIDNIGHT TRAIN GOIN' ANYYYYWHEEEEERRRREEEE...
  • "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida," by Iron Butterfly, is completely ridiculous. Yet awesome. Yet ridiculous.
    • Oddly enough, the rest of its parent album, also titled In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, could also qualify. What else would you expect from an album that has a song called "Flowers And Beads"?
  • "Du Hast" by Rammstein is so filled to the brim with ludicrous levels of Teutonic Badassery that it's impossible to take it seriously. It's wonderful.
  • The two actual songs on famous stuntman Evel Knievel's record Evel Speaks To The Kids (the rest of the record consists of one press conference and one question and answer session with children). "Why?" is a poem written and recited by Knievel himself over music: The rhymes are often cliched or painful ("Success is a term that has broad use, for you and I to have none in life there's no excuse"), but the sincerity in his voice and schmaltzy backing music somehow do still make it oddly affecting. Meanwhile there's the country song "The Ballad Of Evel Knievel" by John Culliton Mahoney (which is on the record despite having nothing to do with Knievel beyond it being about him): the arrangement is just as melodramatic, the vocals waver all over the place, and the lyrics are oddly preoccupied with the idea that Knievel could die while attempting his stunts, but it's still kind of a tearjerker.
  • The song "Last Kiss" is so earnest with its subject matter it pretty much gets by on this trope.
  • Peter Cetera's "jaw singing", specially in the video for "Glory of Love". It makes what would've been just yet another of these Silly Love Songs if performed by anybody else but him, into condensed narm charm.
  • YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU...! YOU GOT WHAT I NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED!! But you say he's just a friend... but you say he's just a friend—oh, baby, YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU...
  • Jewel has a lot of this, especially in her debut album.
  • Vitamin String Quartet runs on this. They specialize in string quartet covers of popular songs, ranging from the predictable "My Immortal" to "Through the Fire and Flames" and "Animal I Have Become" (What?). This should be totally cheesy. And yet, due in part to amazing arrangements and great musicianship...it's not.
  • "Mana" by Equilibrium (Part 1 Part 2). Most of their music is pretty straight folk metal, but this is a sixteen minute instrumental rock epic, complete with choirs, flute solos and a retro video game sound-effect breakdown. It sounds like something from a mid-90s JRPG, and revels so gleefully in it's own ridiculous grandeur that you can't help but love it. Found in two parts here and here.
  • Two-Ton Paperweight is awesome precisely because it takes a subject like a crappy car and makes it worthy of suicide, murder, and obscene amounts of violence, all to a rockin' tune. It helps that anyone who's ever had a shitty car can totally relate. "My. Car. Is a PIECE OF SHIT!"
  • Centipede by Rebbie Jackson (the relatively well-adjusted gracefully-aged eldest sister of Michael Jackson). It was her only real hit and is certainly memorable, but those lyrics... Fortunately, it was The Eighties, and Rebbie's voice could deliver just about anything. The funniest part is that Michael wrote and produced the song.

"When the centipede is hot, you're bound to feel the fire."

  • Ultravox's "Dancing with Tears in My Eyes" is listed under Narm, but it and the rest of the band's output while Midge Ure was their leader (which could also be considered narm-y) still have fans with people who are in love with that overarching, melodramatic European synthpop element to this band's music. It does also put that era of the band's existence at odds with the John Foxx era, which was more detached and punk-oriented, but one can still hear elements of the older Ultravox in 1980's Vienna and it's not uncommon for one to be a fan of both the Foxx and Ure eras of Ultravox.
  • Kanye West spent the better part of a year alienating fans and non-fans alike with his Jerkass behaviour. We all agreed that Kanye's first step should be to apologize for the Taylor Swift incident and then get back to rapping. He's gone back to rapping, but we were fools to think he would apologize. And when he can spout lines like "Screams from the haters, got a nice ring to it/I guess every superhero need his theme music" and "I don't need yo pussy, bitch, I'm on my own dick" with that much sincerity, well... more power to him.
  • Lady Gaga. It's what she does and will continue to do. Marry The Night makes this certain.
  • Kate Bush.
  • The Queen song "Somebody to Love." It's a good song, despite—or perhaps because of—the fact that the other three guys sound like the background singers from the older Disney cartoons.
  • From a certain point of view, Death's logo, particularly in its original, more elaborate version, looks a lot like something that would be on a homemade Halloween party invitation. Load up enough "evil" iconography into five letters and it starts becoming oddly adorable.
  • Rock Sugar. One of their most famous songs is a cover of "Don't Stop Believing", which qualifies under its own merits, mashed up with "Enter Sandman". And it is awesome.
  • Jeff Lynne has said this much of his music: "Some of these songs are so over the top it's amazing."
  • Grim Reaper.
  • Oh Warlock, you're so cheesy, but you put your hearts into it and that's why we love you.
  • "Down With The Sickness" by Disturbed. That child-abuse segment is so over-the-top, crosses the line in so many ways, is so unabashedly screamy and raging and yet while it's going you may as well forget all that because in the context of the song, does it ever work.
  • Van Canto. Their recreations of classic metal songs with nothing but a drummer and lots of vocal effects are both awe-inspiring and a bit silly.
    • Singing the song titles as lyrics definitely tops the silliness: "bataree, baa -- taree, bataree baa -- taree..."
  • By nature, a very large number of award bait songs epitomise narm charm—sparkly synth, Tastes Like Diabetes lyrics, over-the-top vocal histrionics—and yet, everyone comes back for more. And it's not like this only happened in the 80s and 90s. Case in point is "Love Lives", a solo effort by Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler, for the Live Action Adaptation of Space Battleship Yamato (2010).

I looked at you, you looked at me,
I knew it then, but you couldn't see it,
And now you've come around.
I walk away, you stay behind,
But I've got the memories to remind me,
Of how you used to...
Hold me so tight, be by my side,
And make it alright...

  • "Celtic Rock" by Donovan. On paper, it borders on self-parody, as the guy tries to do hard rock in the style of a stereotypical Celtic tune. Nonetheless, you can't stop bobbing your head whenever it plays. Summed up best in another tune of his, "Roots Of Oak":

Let me not hear facts, figures and logic,
Fain would I hear lore, legend and magic!

  • "Let's Get Rocked" by Def Leppard. Using "rock" as a radio-friendly substitute for "fuck" makes the song hilarious fun, resulting in lines like "LET'S GET THE ROCK OUT OF HERE!" Same goes for the gratuitous strings when the singer discovers that his girlfriend only likes classical music.
  • Army Of Lovers (a Swedish dance group) made a brief career out of this. They were deliberately so over the top, baroque, hypersexual, kitsch and camp that it was something amazing to behold. Which was exactly what they wanted.
  • The bulk of Linkin Park's first two albums. Their lyrics showed as much maturity and depth as a twelve-year old's LiveJournal, but damned if Chester's screams didn't have you singing along.
  • "Ice Ice Baby" is known for having some slightly goofy lyrics and an especially goofy music video, but it managed to become a big hit.
  • "Bring Me To Life" by Evanescence, the sound of overblown histrionic angst from the band that inspired the worst fanfic ever. But it's done with such bombastic, agonised gusto you have to love it. Go for broke, emo girl!
  • Pretty much the entirety of Arthur Brown's peak period (1967 to 1973), with "Fire", where he dances around clad in face paint and donning a flaming helmet, his most triumphant example.
  • "People Who Died" by Jim Carroll would probably not be even half as memorable if it weren't for Carroll's over-the-top performance and such lyrical gems as "But Tony couldn't fly! Tony died!"
  • Love's album Forever Changes. Between the easy listening-style arrangements (heavy on the strings and Tijuana Brass-like horns) from a band that had been one of LA's hard rock pioneers, Arthur Lee's twee vocal stylings and his out-there lyrics (like opening a song with the line "Oh, the snot has caked against my pants"), the album simply should not work at all, and a lot of people have been underwhelmed by it. But it managed to capture the darker side of The Summer of Love and The California Dream better than any other album of its era, while its odd sound gave it a timeless feel that managed to appeal to future generations.
  • The more dramatic works of Tim Minchin tend to do this on purpose - the metaphors and lyrics he uses tend to be so bad that they swing around into brilliant. You Grew On Me, in particular, would be a hilariously bad love song comparing the narrator's love with a tumor, if he didn't sing it with absolute conviction.
  • MacArthur Park is infamous for some truly Narmy lyrics, but Richard Harris sings it so well and so beautifully accompanied that it more than crosses the line into this trope.
  • "Killer" by Van der Graaf Generator. You'd think a song where Peter Hammill expresses sympathy towards a shark while singing in an over the top manner would garner nothing but ridicule. And yet, it happens to be one of the band's most beloved tunes.
  • How To Touch A Girl by Jojo is delightful cheesy in it's honest literalness.
  • Believe Again by Delta Goodrem falls into this to the fans who love the song.
  • Here's what the song The Christmas Shoes is about: The narrator is standing in a checkoutline with some last-minute shopping on Christmas Eve, but is not feeling the holiday spirit. The customer in front of him is a little boy dressed in wornout clothes whose only item is a pair of women's shoes. The boy tells the cashier that he wishes to buy the shoes for his ill mother so that she may look her best if she meets Jesus later that night, as she is dying of cancer. The cashier informs the boy that he does not have enough money to buy the shoes, which prompts the boy to ask the narrator for help saying that although his family is poor, his mother always did her best to make Christmas special for her family. The narrator pays for the shoes, and as the boy thanks him and walks away, the narrator realizes that the little boy helped him understand the true meaning of Christmas. The reason the attempt at sadness in The Christmas Shoes is so contrived is that everybody seem to be actively trying to make sure things are as sad as possible. It's a ridiculously sentimental song that lends itself to a thousand Imelda Marcos jokes, and the narrator realizing the true meaning of Christmas doesn't help the kids much, does it? Mom will still be dead. The song was featured in the book I Hate Myself And I Want To Die, which is about songs that try to be moving but are just stupid, and to top things off, the shoes don't matter a bit in the long run. All it's really about is that there were these kids, and their Christmas present this year was a dead mom. For once, a couple of consumers buying things didn't help. And wouldn't it be better if the kid was with his mom, instead of going to buy some shoes she'll never wear? Keep all this in mind when you listen to The Christmas Shoes, and you're still going to cry like a baby during the chorus. You will.
  • The "Ooka Chaka Ooka Ooka Ooka Chaka" from Blue Swede's Hooked on a Feeling. It sounds so strange, but so right.
  • "Warmness on the Soul" by Avenged Sevenfold. It's a silly love song and M. Shadows sounds like he's in downright pain while he's singing, and yet whether it's because it's cute or because it's one of the only happy songs the band has, you can't help but like it at least a little.
  • The song "Burning" by Mia Martina is sooooo ridiculously silly and cheesy... And yet strangely it works. The cheesy sax and the generic lyrics (fill me up, fill me up, fill me up, your love is like a drug) are so ridiculous but you can't help but smile.


Other[edit | hide]

  • Roger Ebert, in his review of Star Trek: Nemesis, gave a half-hearted insult to the material through a compliment to Patrick Stewart (or vice-versa): he noted that Stewart has a talent for making completely ridiculous dialogue riveting.

Ebert: "It is always said of Stewart that his strength as an actor is his ability to deliver bad dialogue with utter conviction. I say it is time to stop encouraging him."

  • Every single "F*cking Short Version" video found on YouTube.
  • Disney Theme Parks.
  • Black Phoenix Alchemy Labs descriptions. One of their more popular perfumes is described as "The scent of sexual obsession, slavery to sensual pleasure, and the undercurrent of innocence defiled utterly. Amber and honey with a touch of vanilla." Completely overdone, but it damn well sells.
  • The final launch of the Space Shuttle has a moment of this. "On the shoulders of the Space Shuttle, America will continue the dream." That is an incredibly cheesy line by ANY standard, NASA, so why is it working so well?
    • Also the final launch of Discovery. "The shuttle now rolling over on its back for the eight and a half minute ride into orbit. Discovery now making one last reach for the stars."


Professional Wrestling[edit | hide]

  • Zack Ryder following his arrival in ECW and his subsequent gimmick change. Oh, radio, tell me everything you know...
    • And let's be honest, a lot of smarks loved him for it, because up until then he had no personality and was a sub-par wrestler. Since the change, he's had two or three really good matches (mostly with Christian) and even retired Tommy Dreamer.
  • The '80s and '90s (between the time of Hulkamania and the Attitude Era) was home to some of the most ridiculous gimmicks in pro wrestling history. Many are best forgotten. But some, due to the wrestler's commitment to the gimmick, are now regarded as Legends.
    • Sgt. Slaughter, Repo Man, Doink the Clown, Irwin R. Schyster, and (to a lesser extent) The Goon are all prime examples.
    • Even The Undertaker, regarded for over twenty years as one of the WWE's top stars, is no stranger to unintentional hilarity; especially during the time he was managed by Paul Bearer's shrill voice and goofy facial expressions.
  • Not even Ring of Honor is immune: See Rhett "The Thrust... is a Must!" Titus, basically "Ravishing" Rick Rude with more obvious comedy and sexual references. The reason the fans essentially took his side in the Titus-Daizee Haze-Delirious love triangle was because of this. His wrestling wasn't the "best in the woooooorld!" but the sheer lulz and his sheer enthusiasm/sincerity more than made up for it.
  • To some fans, this is kinda the point of pro wrestling. Pretty much everyone is a Large Ham, sometimes the moves look fake,[7] the writing isn't usually much better than any other Sitcom aimed at the Lowest Common Denominator, but if your Willing Suspension of Disbelief remains unbroken, and if someone named Vince doesn't book something incredibly stupid, it's actually not bad (except maybe in the kind of way that makes it good).


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

The Sisters Repentia, that is those who have deemed themselves to have "failed" in some way, charge into battle virtually naked, with maybe a few scraps of cloth, prayer votives nailed into them, and a blindfolding hood (along with a six foot long chainsword) and are lead/chastised into battle by what can only be described as a Dominatrix in Power Armor that is Dual-Wielding electric whips...

    • Really, the whole setting could be summed up by saying its Warhammer in space with deliberate over the top Grimdark black comedy and Narm Charm.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • The only line spoken by the player character in System Shock 2 is a response to SHODAN's We Can Rule Together. It's "Naaah."
  • Warcraft has a truly atrociously written story, with cardboard-cutout characters with perverse amounts of power accorded to each (whenever the plot demands), extraordinarily poor attempts at generating drama and some pitiful attempt at moral relativism within the whole Horde/Alliance conflict. Not to mention some really, really hammy voice acting. It still manages to have its moments of entertainment.
  • In Persona 3, Aigis has apparently finally tuned in to human emotions and confesses her love for the hero. This kind of touchy-feely dialogue is endemic to anime and JRPGs and it always turns out sounding gut-wrenchingly corny in English. Not this time. Could be considered a Crowning Moment of Dubbing, but it's really no surprise considering the excellent quality of the rest of the dub.
    • Persona 3 managed to make the line "Let's put a smile on everyone's face." sound cool.
  • Sonic Adventure 2's Last Story's ending is considered very memorable, with mostly good dialogue, but Tails' "we all did it together" line is considered notoriously cheesy even apart from the Accidental Innuendo.
  • Demon Lord Ghirahim's would be ridiculous, what with his gaudy outfit and oddly casual lines...except he's also so damn crazy that it makes him come off as Creepy Awesome.
  • The super Super-Deformed look in Final Fantasy VII got noticed even when the game was raking in accolades. Yet it was an understandable consequence of Square getting to know the system. And even the game's detractors rarely use that as a negative against the game.
    • Aerith's death. The dialogue is nonsense, but between that music and the scene of Cloud gently letting her body fall into the pond, it still manages to make people sob into their controllers.
    • Similarly, when Final Fantasy IV was rebuilt for the Nintendo DS, several things got changed: the score was updated to match the style of the current Final Fantasy soundtracks, cutscenes, as well as CG graphics for the overworld map and voice acting for the cutscenes were introduced. The opening cinematic, as well as some of the cutscenes Paladin Cecil fighting his former Dark Night self looked like this. But a majority of the cutscenes look like this, with plenty of the Narm. Yet, it still manages to keep the philosophy of Anyone Can Die, all the best Tear Jerker-ing and heartwarming moments are still kept in, the battle system is true to its core, and it makes for great nostalgia fuel.
  • The ridiculous simlish mumble in Banjo-Kazooie was so well loved that by the time Rareware had the money and technology to do full-on voice acting in the up-and-coming sequel, the fans wouldn't hear of it. The corny mumbling was part of what endeared the Banjo series to them. Rare noted the fans' remarks, and opted to keep the mumble.
    • Similarly, Okami has a gibberish language for all of the characters, but for many this fits the game's painterly style of graphics. Oh, and also because all human characters don't have mouths, and instead their heads stretch and squash to indicate that they're speaking.
  • People in Metal Gear Solid fandom who complain about the guy covered in bees, the fourth wall breaking, the possessed arm, Big Boss being defeated by an aerosol can and a lighter or the "poison Zanzibar hamsters" (or even the endless melodramatic dialogue) are usually quietly resented (read: pitied) by the other people in the Metal Gear Solid fandom, who love the games because they're really quite silly. Check out Video Game Narm, and notice the sheer proportion of the page dedicated to Metal Gear, and you'll get some idea.
    • When the creator is notoriously irreverent of his creation, the best response is to be a totally irreverent fan. It all becomes quite charming with that mindset.
  • House of the Dead is well known for its bad voice acting. ("Suffer like G Did?"). The latest game in the series, House of the Dead OVERKILL, took the Narm football, ran it back for a touchdown, and ended up with a perfectly corny narrator, a Bond One-Liner dropping agent, and a Cluster F-Bomb dropping detective. Not to mention the deliberate grindhouse B-Movie look for the game and cutscenes...
  • On that note, Devil May Cry, which seems to run on Campy Narm nearly as much as it does the Rule of Cool.
  • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is a classic for many reasons, one of which is the hilariously over-the-top voice acting. This is so well-loved that some fans actually complained about Konami redoing the dialogue scenes when the game was ported to the PSP as part of Dracula X Chronicles.
    • Castlevania is often like this. Many of the bosses call their attacks in ridiculously overdramatic ways, and it is so epic.
      • DIE MONSTER, YOU DON'T BELONG IN THIS WORLD!!
    • From Order of Ecclesia: "DIE SHANOA! HOW DARE YOU...EVEN FORGETTING...WHO RAISED YOU...YOU...STUPID DISCIPLE!!
  • Star Fox 64 is considered far superior to all the Star Fox games in the series that came after. There are several reasons, but chief among them is the awesomely corny voice acting.

"Are you gonna listen to that monkey?"
"DO A BARREL ROLL!!!"
"Can't let you do that, Star Fox."
(Famous Last Words) "You're not so tou-- What the heck?" *static*

    • This Let's Play contains, among other things, every single ridiculous line in the game, from Falco continuously calling Fox "Einstein" to Slippy's impassioned scream of "FOOOOOOX!" to Fox propositioning Falco to Andross being the brainiest brain to brain the brainlat. Interestingly, the one with the highest Narm ratio is General Pepper ("There's an enemy base there?!" "So you're going to attack the enemy base? Great idea, Fox!").

Slippy: I HAD NO IDEA THAT SO MUCH OF THE ANDROSS ARMY REMAINED INTACT!

    • Heck, just about everything Slippy says.
      • The 3DS version even had the original voice actors re-record their lines. And it's still wonderfully cheesy.
  • One of the songs featured in the Jet Set Radio Future soundtrack yells at you to: " Understand the CONCEPT of LOVE!" What saves it is the extreme enthusiasm the MC shows while yelling it.
  • Persona: "Mark danced crazy!"
  • Eternal Sonata is a game that ran on narm. It was didactic, pretentious, and overflowing with irritating characters who had the common sense of a carton of bricks. But the ending, where Fredric dies, and his soul rises from his body, slowly sitting down to play the ending theme Heaven's Mirror, while his final visitor rises to sing somehow loops around and becomes heartbreaking.
  • The comm officer of the Colossus during the "Their Finest Hour" mission of FreeSpace 2 delivers some horrific Narms, but somehow the shock and horror of the pride of the Galactic Terran-Vasudan Alliance being destroyed right before your eyes outweighs terrible voice acting.
  • Duke Nukem: Nobody steals our chicks... and lives!
  • Every Silent Hill game contains what can perhaps be best described as lacklustre voice-acting coupled with some truly silly lines, the first game being by far the worst offender ("Huh? Radio?") although the second is certainly not bereft either ("You're not friends with that red, pyramid thing, are you?"). The charm comes from a combination of the characters being steadily and constantly Mind Raped (and/or completely fucking nuts to begin with) and thus one can hardly expect them to be particularly articulate, the slight reprieve it provides from all the Nightmare Fuel, and that it makes the important scenes, most of which are completely devoid of Narm, all the more effective by comparison (see anything involving James and Mary in the second game).
  • A rather silly plot, low production values, spotty acting, and it being Full Motion Video made a lot of the story in Crusader endearing at best... but occasional moments, such as Ely chewing you out if you fail the mission where Andrews dies, have real emotional resonance.
  • If videogame music can have Narm Charm, then the music for Daytona USA definitely qualifies. The Engrish makes it so hard to take seriously, but it sounds so adorable nonetheless. Come on everybody: DAAAAYYTOOONNNNNNAAAAAAAA (let's go away)!
    • "Brue brue skiiiiies!"
  • The Dynasty Warriors series would be a LOT less fun to play if they ever got rid of the outrageously hammy voice acting, the atrocious pronunciation of Chinese names, the anachronistic dialogue and the across-the-board commitment to What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome? moments.
    • COW COW.
    • From around about Warriors Orochi onwards they've started getting that one right. Shame.
    • Also: COW PEE.
    • Cao Ren's line in DW6, "Our allies have arrived!", sounds less like a beseiged general trapped in a flooded castle, than a guy noting the arrival of his dinner party guests.
    • Zhao Yun's cry for help in DW6 "Someone! I am in NEED of ASSISTANCE!" leaves it unclear whether the player should save him from enemy troops or bring him his Xanax, but remains highly amusing either way.
  • The Chronicles of Riddick: "I think you're gonna need backup."
  • Even Super Robot Wars has this. The opening to Super Robot Wars Alpha shows the robots looking so chibified that at first it's impossible to take seriously, which isn't helped by the music (voiced in what sounds like slightly lisped English). Once the music picks up, it immediately swings right around to being kickass, and everything some found rather stupid becomes rather charming (especially the parts where a Chibi EVA-01 goes completely berserk, and the AVF's from Macross avoiding Massive Macross Missile Massacres.
  • As noted by Yahtzee on the quotes page, this is one of the reasons why fans love Resident Evil. You'd expect a zombie game to have a basic plot that says "Zombies! Shoot them!" but Resident Evil has a winding detailed story that makes little logical sense. Combine this with characters ripped from B movies, awkward dialog and even more awkward voice acting. Then put it all in between two slices of self-unawareness and you've got a delicious Jill, er, Narm sandwich.

"Complete. Global. Saturation."
"CHRRIIIIIIIIIISSSSSSSS!!"

    • When one of the bad guys exclaims, while morphing into his One-Winged Angel form, that he just got an "Extreme Makeover" you know Capcom's in on the joke that is Resident Evil, and they're loving every minute of it.
  • The first Baten Kaitos game. As abysmal as the voice acting was, the plot still manages to be both interesting and enjoyable.
  • John Cleese as "Sir Roderick Ponce von Fontlebottom the Magnificent Bastard" (but not really) kind of stole the show in Jade Empire, at least during the chapter in the capital, because he is such a magnificently overdone interpretation of the Chinese view of Western Imperialists.
  • The Lusty Argonian Maid play from The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, written (In-Universe) by the perverted politician Crassius Curio, was so amusingly out-of-place and corny that one can't go far in an Elder Scrolls discussion without someone referencing it.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), Mephiles is given some pretty bad dialogue, but Dan Green manages to make it work.
    • Most Sonic dialogue falls under this. This narm is awesome narm. (Especially Sonic Adventure narm.)
    • Sonic Adventure does this in Sonic's final boss battle. (GET A LOAD OF THIS-GET A LOA-GET A LOAD OF THIS, etc)
    • Shadow the Hedgehog, what with lines like:

Where's that, DAMN fourth Chaos Emerald?!
Find the computer room!
The more the Merrier! The more the Merrier! The more-- (and it goes on).

      • The strange, over-the-top expression in Shadow's various "I Am" Speeches, particularly "THIS is WHO I AM" underscores his mental instability. So does his whining, five-year-old like protests to Rouge about his identity in Sonic Adventure 2 and his lame puns in Sonic Heroes.
    • Espio's stereotypical ninja lines in Sonic Heroes come off as Narm Charm. His voice actor at the time made them sound cool. These lines include:

"DASHAAAAA!"
"Behold, ninja power!"
"Evil must die! Beware my ninja power!"
"Spirits unite!"

Roxas: No! Xion! Who will I eat ice-cream with?

  • Tales of Symphonia: After Lloyd gave her so many speeches about what you are not changing who you are, you're still you never mind how much of your humanity you lose, Colette reciprocates and reminds him he's still the same Lloyd, never mind who his father is. You've had about a hundred of those speeches by then but it's still touching, especially given the situation and Lloyd's current Heroic BSOD.

Mithos, voice dripping with chilling sarcasm: Wow. That was an amazingly corny speech.

"HOW DARE YOU PENETRATE MY TEARITORY? YOU HAVE ROBBED EVERYTHING I POSSESSED. YOU KNOE,WHAT YOU'VE DONE TO ME IS JUST UNFORGIVABLE. I'LL PUNISH YOU MYSELF AND SEE TO IT THAT YOU'LL DIE A MISERABLE DEATH BY MY AWESOME WEAPON. DIE,MAGGOTTS."

  • The Mega Man series can be seen as silly for many things, including the awkward translations, some Robot Master designs, and Dr. Wily's eyebrow-wiggling and plot-monopolizing. Yet, for many, the wackiness is all part of its charm.
  • Beatmania IIDX: "IIDX GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLD!!"
  • Travis Touchdown's intro in No More Heroes, which ends with him storming Rank 10's gate and screaming "Fuckhead!".
  • Ketsui: "Approach your target and attack! Your mission starts now. Are you ready?" Moreso if you're playing Ketsui Death Label, in which you get to hear it far more often.
  • The voice acting in Arc Rise Fantasia is absolutely hilarious. Its verges on sounding like Bad Bad Acting at times, and it is spectacular.
  • Ghost Trick constantly plays the line between silly and dramatic, but at the end, Missile-Prime says that he protected Lynne over a ten year period because "That's what doggies do!" It easily could be Narm, but it ends up as a Heartwarming Moment.
  • While it is the original Survival Horror and revolutionary for its time, the original Alone in the Dark trilogy is filled to the brim with Narm like a flask of sweet liquor. The polygonal graphics are extremely cartoonish, contrasting with the darker environments of more modern survival horror games and making the appearance of the Off-Model characters more frightening than the monsters. The soundtrack, while great listening, isn't what you'd expect from a survival horror nowadays. While the first game focused on puzzle-solving and evading monsters inspired by the Cthulhu Mythos, the other games went in more action-oriented and absurd directions: the second game included the hero gunning down zombies with a Thompson while dressed in a Santa Claus costume while the third had Carnby mowing down cowboy zombies with a Gatling gun. The cherry on the cheesecake is easily the So Bad It's Good voice acting: almost every text is read by an over-the-top narrator, often with overblown drama and ridiculous accents.


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • From That Guy With The Glasses:
    • Invoked with That Dude in the Suede' Let's Play/Review Show series Suede Played, were he plays his favourite silly games.
    • Kickassia (That Guy With The Glasses's second year anniversary video)) THRIVES off this. Almost everyone overacts, scenes are over the top and goofy, and yet it's awesome. Part 4 has some good plot developments, and an honestly creepy scene where the Critic explains what the dynamite is for. And it's because you're not supposed to take anything seriously that you're able to enjoy what happens in it.
    • Also appears in The Nostalgia Critic's "Commercials Special" with a few over-dramatic lines like "I'm a wreck!" and "You were right, director of My Pet Monster.". But somehow it still managed to be a Tear Jerker overall and you just wanted to tell him that it was going to be okay. And it was.
    • Linkara is able to use Narm in order to make even the most ridiculous sentences sound badass. "I AM A MAN!" is the most prominent example, but it's worth mentioning that he did it even with the words "I'll kill you to death!" in his Countdown to Final Crisis review.
      • The whole Lord Vyce arc is made of this. A bunch of geeks running around shooting at each other with toy weapons, complete with hammy overacting and dime-store special effects shouldn't be nearly as awesome as it is.
    • The Nostalgia Chick's "Dark Nella Saga" was this all the way. Nella left no scenery unchewed, Lindsay's acting is... not the best ever and that's still awesome, both because she knows this and Nella herself can actually act legitimately scary while still being funny.
  • There Will Be Brawl brings us the famous "Well, excuse me, Princess", said by Link himself. However, the way he delivers it, dead serious and even menacing during a falling out with Zelda, definitely make it fit this trope.

Webcomics[edit | hide]

  • In Questionable Content, the big Reveal—that Faye's dad committed suicide in front of her—is so dramatic that even the big, cartoony sound effect "BLAM!" doesn't ruin the scene.
  • The bits of comedy that Megatokyo contains post-Cerebus Syndrome often slip into this. For example, in this recent strip, Ed is taunting and tormenting Ping with text messages while planning to kill her; meanwhile he strikes up a pleasant conversation with our favorite Cloudcuckoolander Largo and (among other things), complements him on his Nice Hat.
  • Nuzlocke Comics are designed to be way too over-the-top and silly to be taken seriously, but due to the nature of the challenge it's hard not to feel something for the guy whenever a Pokémon faints.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Who could ever expect a Battle Cry of "Let Justice prevail!" to sound anything but Narmy? However, when the Justice Guild of America chants their battlcry as they leap to the rescue of the Justice League, knowing victory will cost them their lives but choosing to fight anyway, it just works. Narm or not, that scene has charm, and when they all fade away after the battle I just... I just... excuse me, I have something in my eye...
    • A less prominent example from the same scene is the other catchphrase "In Seaboard City, crime doesn't pay" spoken by one of the Guild members. Like the aforementioned battlecry, it sounds perfectly corny in its own right, yet the context of the scene combined with the VA's delivered makes it almost Tearjerking. You can hear the resignation in his voice as he says it, knowing he's dooming himself by fighting the villain.
    • That entire two-parter runs on Narm Charm. It revels in Silver Age silliness, and is incredibly entertaining, all while it slowly turns into a genuinely creepy mystery with a Tear Jerker ending.
  • Ace Lightning was just one big constant dose of Narm Charm for its fans. Mostly from the CGI characters (who were really supposed to be narmy, since they came from a videogame and were deliberately based on stereotypes) and from the... occasionally dry acting of over enthusiastic humans.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: "Prepare...To... DIE!" is one of the most Narmish things to say. Somehow Ozai makes it work.
    • The fact that while he said it to the person while engulfing him in fire probably helps.
    • Also the following line from Zuko in "Bitter Work":

"It keeps blowing up in my face... just like everything always does!

    • And, when he starts yelling at the sky in "Bitter Work" about how it's always thrown hardship at him, but lightning won't strike him now. He's so conflicted, he can get away with that.
    • Zuko has a couple of those. The main Avatar page lists "You're so beautiful when you hate the world" as Narm, but it and the next two lines ("I don't hate you." "I don't hate you, too.") are very sweet.
  • The kids in the Peanuts TV specials were voiced by kids who were too young to understand—or sometimes even read—their lines, but their delivery somehow seems to fit the precocious nature of the characters.
    • The first special, A Charlie Brown Christmas, features poorly mixed sound, choppy animation, and sloppy editing, but that's part of what makes it a beloved Christmas classic. In fact, director Bill Melendez was embarrassed to see it repeated every year and wanted to "fix" it years later, but Charles Schulz vetoed the idea.
  • The Stop Motion Christmas specials produced by Rankin/Bass are full of these. At one point in Santa Claus is Comin' to Town, a character is looking at her reflection in a fountain... which is a cardboard cutout of the character placed under the fake water.
  • Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!! has narm charm almost every episode, intentionally. It even gets away with playing The Chosen One completely straight, Star Wars style.
  • Captain Planet and the Planeteers lives and breathes this trope. Missing the mark on its beloved Green Aesops with every line, it instead creates a level of awesome simply because it's hysterical to consider a supervillain with nothing better to do with his time but dump a tub full of oil into the ocean because he hates the environment. Also, any episode that attempted to deal with an issue difficult to explain to children, let alone to adults.
    • "AIDS stinks!"
      • And the green mullet. Good God, the mullet.
  • Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends: In the middle of Wilt's Cluster Big No in "Where There's A Wilt There's A Way," he throws in a teeny, tiny little "NUH-UH!!" for no apparent reason. This never fails to make me giggle, nor does it distract from the awesomeness of the scene.
  • AQUAMAN from Batman the Brave And The Bold is the embodiment of this trope.
  • Street Fighter has DELICIOUS narm charm! YESSSSSSSSH! YESSSSSSSSSH!
    • The "Final Fight: Double Impact" X-Box Live Arcade port includes episodes of the show where the Final Fight characters appear. This trope is the only possible reason why.
  • Fievel and Tanya's rendition of "Somewhere Out There" in An American Tail has this, because they cast untrained children to voice the song. But despite how their voices crack at points, it adds a kind of genuine feel to the song that is missing in Linda Ronstadt's version (which turns it into a romantic ballad).
  • In the My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic episode "The Return of Harmony, Part 2", after Twilight Sparkle has lost both her friends and all hope and is walking home sadly, it's hard to decide whether to cry... or laugh, at the ridiculous things Discord has done to Ponyville. Pies fall into the sky, a pony walks along the top and side of the screen, there are dancing bison in tutus, and the whole world is plain old messed up.
  • While some of the voices in My Little Pony may sound really goofy but they typically work well for the characters.
  • The scene where Kid Flash screams Artemis's name when she supposedly dies, and then later has a yelling fit complete with slamming his fist on the bioship console in the Young Justice episode "Failsafe" may qualify as Narmy, but the drama of the previous event plus the fact that Kid Flash has NEVER reacted like this to ANYTHING, makes it touching, and even a Tear Jerker.
  • In the 2003 incarnation of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Shredder's catch phrase of sorts is "None of you will leave here alive". In the two parter "Rogue in the House" he actually utters the phrase "None of you will leave this boat alive". For an otherwise serious take on Shredder, this line seems corny, even cartoonish, but it somehow manages to work.
  • The ThunderCats (2011) version of Lion-O resently pulled this off, perfectly.
  1. Her reaction when Negi asks her if he can be her disciple.
  2. Yeah, there wasn't a whole lot of search back then. Shut up.
  3. Note: This makes sense, given how this character is a severely emotionally crippled and confused teenager.
  4. If not, they're probably saving up the tears for the happy reunion of Dominic and Anemone a few minutes later.
  5. (surprise surprise, they were directed by Mr. Evil Dead himself, Sam Raimi)
  6. LotR V, ch.7: "Then Denethor leaped upon the table, and standing there wreathed in fire and smoke he took up the staff of his stewardship that lay at his feet and broke it on his knee. Casting the pieces into the blaze he bowed and laid himself on the table, clasping the palantír with both hands upon his breast." [...] Gandalf in grief and horror turned his face away and closed the door. For a while he stood in thought, silent upon the threshold, while those outside heard the greedy roaring of the fire within. And then Denethor gave a great cry, and afterwards spoke no more, nor was ever again seen by mortal men.
  7. well, yeah, they kind of are, but that's not the point