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"Godzilla is either breaking the laws of physics or he's throwing around an empty rubber suit!"

When a Special Effects looks really cheap and dodgy, to the point of pulling the audience out of the narrative, you have a Special Effect Failure. All-too-common prior to 1980, and still with us today despite relatively inexpensive digital effects that look realistic.

To be a true Special Effect Failure, it must fit one of two criteria:

  1. It has to have looked bad (and remarked on as such) by the standards of the time it was made. For example, it is obviously a dummy being thrown from a train in The Great Train Robbery--but since it was filmed when filmmaking itself was in its infancy (1903 to be exact), it's not this trope. If, however, it was an obvious dummy thrown off in a 2003 remake, then it fits.[1]
  2. It can also be where the special effects actually just don't seem to work and no attempt is made to fix them.

Sometimes a Special Effect Failure is caused by resorting to Off-the-Shelf FX. Sometimes, the creators try to justify it with the dangers of Showing Off the Perilous Power Source (no one can see it as it is). Many examples are just plain Bloopers (a literal failure of the effects).

Sometimes cheesy FX are regarded as part of the So Bad It's Good charm of a work.

Compare Uncanny Valley, Fight Scene Failure, Stock Footage Failure, Styrofoam Rocks, Conspicuous CG, and Off-Model. See also Narm, a frequent consequence. Contrast Visual Effects of Awesome. Often caused by No Budget. This can be an Invoked Trope when aiming for Stylistic Suck.

Examples of Special Effect Failure include:


Advertising Edit

  • The Eagleman! No clue how the EagleMAN lays an egg.
  • The Bush's Homestyle Chili advertisement featuring the Chili Changer had a pan across bowls of chili near the end, with some cans of the product tossed in for good measure. Sounds pedestrian in itself, but once you actually see this moment in the commercial, you'll notice that the cans are actually photos added to the shot in an unconvincing matter. It seemed like they wasted most of their budget making Duke the dog's mouth move (which they always do in these commercials). Just watch the failure in action.
    • Interestingly, there's this alternate version in which the Chunky and Original cans are swapped. It's as if, in the other version, the ad agency tried to CG the updated can design into the commercial but failed horribly at it.
    • Wait, every single can in the commercial is a cut-out photograph, even the ones being held. Were they trying to prevent the actors from accidentally dropping the cans on their feet or something?
  • A commercial for Turbo Tax online software got the point across about its free service with one example at a gas station. The scrolling numbers for the pump rolled up for the gallons, and "rolled" up to zero for the price. Problem was, the numbers were also digital.
    • All gas station displays are digital these days (meaning they display values using a series of digits rather than a needle pointing to value on a scale). The display in this commercial was a seven-segment display.
  • Sleep Centers of the Southwest advertised its services using this abomination of a car flipping onto its side with ridiculous smoke effects.
  • Pops up frequently with supermodel Carolyn Murphy. Murphy has a large tattoo of a Koi fish on her right hip. If she's facing the camera or turned with that hip facing it, they airbrush the tattoo away, in most cases. However, if she's turned in the other direction however slightly, they don't bother, even if the tattoo is still visible. This makes her very large tattoo disappear and reappear several times in the same photoshoot.
  • Cracked has a list of 8 political ads invoking this.
  • This McDonald's commercial from Pakistan advertising Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog Happy Meal toys from 2004. What the hell have they done to you, Rouge?!! Granted, Pakistani censorship laws necessitated the removal of her... assets, but...
    • They made her a mouse too. Evidently their censorship necessitates a removal of bats as well.
  • The Quiznos "5,4,3" commercials featuring singing and "trumpet playing" kittens. Not only is it obvious that they are cat heads on puppet bodies but you can can actually see them licking the trumpets. It's even more obvious in this remix. To say noting about the cheap flash/animatronics (or the ideas in general) of their other ads...
  • This old Scanimate (A precursor to modern CG) demo reel shows us what happens when you film a circuit board with light blue Capacitors with dark blue highlights against a blue-screen that's a similar color to said highlights - it's at 4:30 in if anyone's curious.
  • Blue Tax. It speaks for itself, really.
  • The General isn't much better than the [2]. It's gone through some hefty Art Evolution lately however it's debatable how much better that makes the effects.


Anime & Manga Edit

  • All examples of Off-Model, this also applies to American animation and a few other projects (The Live-Action Transformers movies for example).
  • Yu-Gi-Oh 5 Ds' suffers from this when it displays the CGI models of the D-Wheels/Duel Runners, in which the character riding the D-Wheel/Duel Runner is rendered as well, resulting in a plastic model-esque look. Particularly annoying, as when this is in 2D it looks much better.
    • Oddly, though, the monsters look pretty cool (Stardust Dragon's Shooting Sonic attack animation in Ep 41 looks pretty damn good for CGI).
  • Referenced in a manga chapter of Keroro Gunsou where Wet-traman is shown to have a very large zipper on his back, a reference to how Ultraman involves a guy in a rubber suit.
  • Part of the Stylistic Suck hodgepodge of The Adventures Of Mikuru Asahina. The Eye Beams suck, plain and simple. Except for the first one, which, thanks to Haruhi, actually shoots Frickin' Laser Beams. Hilarity Ensues.
    • You only really know this if you read the second novel or watch the second series. Otherwise you just see Yuki basically attacking Mikuru as what is definitely not part of the "script".
  • The main failing of the CGI used for the Transformers themselves in Transformers Energon is that it renders them utterly incapable of emoting beyond combinations of "eyes closed/open/slightly more open" and "mouth open/closed".
    • Also, their outlines are never rescaled, making them look more like massive blobs of... something.
    • There was one weird instance when one of Scorponok's eyes was actually rendered over his visor, while the other was behind it. And his visor isn't meant to be see-through.
  • The Blue Water dub of Dragon Ball had this as its opening. Ignoring the fact that the song could give any of 4Kids' songs a run for their money (it was translated from French after all). The non-Anime sequences are marred with horrendous looking CG and even worse Scanimation (which unfortunately, also affects a few of the scenes from the Anime).
  • Parodied in Panty and Stocking With Garterbelt: when the titular girls destroy the Monster of the Week, it cuts to a live-action model being blown up with dynamite. It is a possible homage to the Heavy Metal example in Animated Film.


Films -- Animation Edit

  • In The Nightmare Before Christmas, you can actually see where the bats are held up by strings.
  • The Iron Man animated movie looks like it was made in a cave. With a box of scraps! All the suits as well as the elemental gods are poorly done cel-shaded effects, which jar horribly with the traditionally animated background. They also have clunky and weightless animation in comparison to the pretty decent animation of the characters.
    • Iron Man is supposed to be lying on the ground, except something's just off so that he looks like he's floating a foot above it.
  • Team America: World Police probably has the best puppetry any of us will see in our lives, but it's a medium hilariously unsuited to the action movie genre and the creators know that as much as anyone, so several of the special effects are deliberately off.
  • Parodied in the Hilarious Outtakes Pixar did for A Bugs Life, where in one scene an ant "actress" accidentally knocks over one of the "extras" in a crowd scene, which is revealed to be a cardboard cut-out.
  • Given their Direct to Video nature, the mediocre CGI used in the Bionicle movies can be forgiven, however there are a handful of errors that could have been easily avoided with simply paying attention to the animation. The most notable offenders are:
    • The floating mountain slope in Mask of Light. As Kopaka braces for the Rahkshi's attack, one of the mountains in the background seems to be made up of only one slope, with the snow magically clinging onto its sides.
      • Blinking animation is also messed up. At the end of the Kohlii game, Hewkii has his eyes closed when they should be open, and instead of blinking, he opens and closes them quickly. Later, Jaller's eyes are not fully in sync, and one blinks faster than the other.
      • The "tiny Nuju". As the Turaga and Toa are discussing what to do, Turaga Nuju, who should have been animated behind the crowd (thus his apparent size) suddenly pops up in front of Turaga Vakama's layer. The shot is repeated later.
    • The second movie, Legends of Metru Nui was full of faulty animation. For starters, lip-sync (no, lip-movement) was a rarity. The screen would pixelate at parts, and the movements would turn very choppy. The metal pattern on the Kikanalo's bodies didn't move in unison with them, and at one point, the red glowing effect of their eyes shifted to the side. It is also noticeable that the characters, after completing their required set of motions, simply turned stiff.
      • The final scene is full of errors as well. The most obvious is the top of Jaller's head protruding through his solid mask.
    • Web of Shadows has Visorak spiders clearly walking in air, and never once touching their webs. In nearly every freaking shot that had them crawling "on" webbing. In a particularly badly animated shot that doesn't even look finished, one of the spiders is floating in the air upside down and another one is freakishly deformed, as if someone had been playing around with its animation model.
      • Other special effect failures include Keetongu being visible from behind a wall as a tiny spot as he scales the Coliseum; Roodaka's catcher claw passing into her motionless arm which should be shaking wildly with it; and in one of the slo-mo shots, as the camera angle changes, Matau being revealed to be a 2D image.
    • The fourth film, The Legend Reborn, being animated by a different company[3], fared better with sharp-eyed fans. A lot of attention was paid to the worn and scraped look of the characters' armor, and overall to the texture of their world. Still, rocks tended to look like huge polygons, large plains like empty, flat, monotone surfaces, Kiina's animation model clearly jumped out from behind her darkened silhouette, and the introduction scene with Mata Nui's giant robot body and the ocean... lets be honest, was utterly terrible in terms of animation -- not because of one large goof, but because every aspect of the scene is flawed to a degree: the rendering of the water, the physics, the scale, and the movements and textures of the robot itself are all noticeably messed up.
      • Also, the Skrall squad running in place at the start of the battle.
      • Barix's poorly animated shadow when he's running in the Hot Springs.
      • When Mata Nui cuts Kiina and Berix's cage down, it plummets to the ground, lands visibly intact, and kicks up a large cloud of dust. When the dust clears, the cage is almost completely destroyed.
  • The makers of the animated film of Dragonlance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight made the strange decision to make the dragons and dragonkin CGI in what was otherwise a cel-animated movie. At best, it looks jarring and ugly.
  • Heavy Metal: Following the climax of the Taarna segment when the Loc-Nar explodes and takes the whole house with it, the house that blows up is just a small model that was simply filmed with a blue filter.
  • The animated film Samson and Sally: The Song of the Whales has some sync fails where the characters' mouths don't match with the words they're saying.

Films -- Live Action Edit

  • Birdemic has killer eagles which appear to be animated gifs-- they are two-dimensional and frequently out of scale relative to the background, and hardly move their wings. See here.
  • Turkish Star Wars. Ever single special effect (excluding the ones stolen from Star Wars) looks cheaper than cheap. Most notable are the hilarious costumes of the various monsters.
    • Internet humor writer Seanbaby points out exactly one glorious aversion: in one of the movie's several training montages, Turkish Luke kicks a rock so hard it hits a wall and explodes. Slow-mo replay reveals that the "rock" is actually a live grenade, thrown at a wall so a cameraman standing just outside the blast radius can film it. Solving SFX problems with More Dakka? We salute you, Turkish George Lucas!
    • The funniest has to be the Big Bad's death: torn in half. How do we know this? Because the camera showing his face has a piece of cardboard on the right half, then on the left half, both sides having the whole nose. Special Effects Failure doesn't begin to describe it...
  • The Mighty Gorga......
  • Here is a quick example of Ed Wood's nudie flick One Million AC/DC. (censored nudity, but still likely NSFW) (Note that the dinosaur in this is the same puppet pictured above.)
  • The Giant Claw outsourced its special effects to a small-time Mexican company, with results that were highly embarrassing even in its time. Look up its trailer.
  • Plan 9 from Outer Space. Toy flying saucers. Flashlights for rayguns. Plastic skeletons. Cardboard gravestones. The worst abuse of Stock Footage imaginable, with a few exceptions.
  • A*P*E, a Korean King Kong rip-off said to have some of the worst models ever. At one point, the giant monster steps over a toy cow. By the way, did you know this was in 3D?
    • Anybody who's seen Jaws 3D knows that being filmed in 3D doesn't guarantee good effects work.
  • The Shark Attack TV movie series are examples of the aforementioned junk Jaws rip-offs, especially Shark Attack 3: Megalodon. Awful rubber sharks and ludicrous green-screen-meshed-with-stock-footage appears.
    • The titular Megalodon is frequently seen rising up out of the water to grab victims in its mouth. This is accomplished by superimposing footage of the victim over the mouth of footage of a shark head. The (main) problem is that the superimposed victim is always the same size relative to the shark head, whether said "victim" is a person, raft full of people, or entire boat, leading to the impression that the shark can change size.
  • The eponymous Godmonster of Indian Flats. Umm... doesn't look so godlike to me.
  • Attack of the Eye Creatures had so many failures that when it was featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000, Joel and the 'Bots catalogued a thorough list of them as evidence that the filmmakers "just didn't care!" Not the least of which was a night scene that was clearly filmed in broad daylight. As Tom Servo put it, "You couldn't have picked a nicer day to film a night sequence!"
    • The Eye Creatures themselves have heads draped casually over their shoulders and visible zippers.
  • Robert L. Lippert's King Dinosaur. The numerous alien life forms of the planet Nova are all clearly animals from Earth. The eponymous dinosaur is just an iguana on a miniature set... which would be tolerable had one of the characters not claimed that it "resembles the Tyrannosaurus Rex of Earth's prehistoric past."
  • Reptilian, a 1999 Korean Kaiju film made to cash in on the 1998 Godzilla remake, and somewhat of a Yongary (See below) remake, has to have some of the absolute worst CGI EVER. And the sad part is, it is apparently an upgraded version, so it may have looked worse.....
  • Yongary, a Korean version of Godzilla, has, at the very least, a visible nozzle during a close-up of the the title monster's head as it was breathing fire and a visible fifth wheel to prop up the rear half of a jeep the monster had sliced in half with a laser shot from its horn.
  • Basically anything toted as a "Sci-Fi/Sy Fy Original". Particularly bad in Sci-Fi (or Syfy, for the move VD inclined) sequels to big-budget theatrical releases. Dragonheart had the main dragon splendidly rendered, scale by scale, while its sequel had a scale textured but smooth and shiny skin on the Mary Sue replacement.
  • Santa Claus Conquers the Martians had lots to complain about in this area, but what stood out the most was the "polar bear" that was obviously a man in a cheap costume.

 Joel: Aw, you can see the head piece draped over the body!

  • Once Upon a Time In Mexico stands out for this. Many effects, from muzzle flashes to Antonio Banderas climbing a wall, were done near-perfectly...so it's all the more embarrassing when nearly every instance of blood or fire is painfully obvious CG on the level of a 1992 cartoon.
  • This Thai children's film called "The Magic Lizard".....
  • The Final Destination uses CG deaths for a lot of the kills, and for all of the premonitions. Whereas the prosthetics and physical special effects are on the whole convincing, the cartoon blood, organs and other kibble are more reminiscent of a mid-90's video game cut scene.
  • The Mummy Returns has two instances. The Rock's CGI form as the Scorpion King looks like something out of a videogame cinematic, and when the armies of Anubis attack, many of the jackal soldiers in the background phase through the actors, or die without having been attacked.
    • Interestingly, the scorpion parts of the Scorpion King's body look very good. The human parts...not so much.
    • In the series' next installment, The Mummy Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor, Jet Li, along with his entire army, vomits up clay which covers him then fires itself, resulting in the Terra Cotta Army. The quality of the sequence is just atrocious.
    • There are also Yetis who know kung fu.
    • Jet Li's character transforms into several things made of bad CGI, including a hydra-like three-headed-dragon.
  • Highlander lets you clearly see the cable Christopher Lambert is suspended from during the final quickening in two shots.
    • The whole final quickening scene could qualify as this, with what looks like sketched cartoon demon faces surrounding Christopher Lambert.
    • The scene immediately before is worse: as the remnants of the Silvercup sign fall, you can see thick white cables on either side pulling it down for several seconds.
  • The Medallion has plenty of bad green screen, Wire Fu, and a scene where Lee Evans pokes Jackie Chan with a knife, and light shines out of the wound-because Jackie is now immortal, see.
  • A similar film where Jackie Chan uncharacteristically relies on CGI is The Tuxedo, which had a bigger budget than The Medallion because it was a Hollywood film. The rapid "dehydration" is plenty Nightmare Fuel, but the insects that cause this, the striders, look fake as can be. Granting Jackie Chan superpowers seems to be, most of the time, simply a matter of speeding up his movements digitally.
  • Bats on strings in old Dracula films, from Universal Horror to a late Hammer Horror film.
    • Plus the "rats" actually being armadillos and opossums in the 1931 version...
  • The Cyclops, a 1957 film. Just watch this review to see some of the "fantastic effects".
  • Despite being touted as "the most realistic effects to date", the CG para-surfing scene in the James Bond movie Die Another Day was criticized as being easily recognized as fake, especially in comparison with other, more realistic CG effects of fellow blockbuster smash, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Particularly jarring since Die Another Day starts off with a very well-done surfing sequence. (done with actual waves in Hawaii...)
    • This is not the only dodgy effect in the series. Live and Let Die features a particularly bad shot of a man being killed by an inflating bullet.
    • The bluescreening for Jaws jumping between the cablecars in Moonraker.
    • The outer space sequences in You Only Live Twice are laughable, especially considering that the movie was made around the same time as 2001: A Space Odyssey.
      • This extends to almost any rendering of satellites in the franchise, particularly in Diamonds Are Forever.
    • Ursula Andress is clearly wearing a flesh-colored towel when she steps off the conveyor belt "nude" in Dr. No.
    • Bond knocks a ski goon off a cliff in On Her Majesty's Secret Service. A dummy with skis attached to its feet falls off, with some dude yelling "aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh" simultaneously.
    • May Day's spectacular parachute jump off the Eiffel tower in A View to a Kill is achieved with a (very visible) ramp.
      • In the same movie, the very obvious dummies that are thrown from the zeppelin. Their extremities buckle in several places.
    • In Goldfinger the statue decapitated by Oddjob's hat has a clearly visible break at the neck, and the head starts falling off BEFORE the hat makes contact.
      • This is especially strange because the Myth Busters James Bond special proved that knocking the head off a plaster statue for real is almost trivially easy.
  • The movie Driven had most of its racing scenes actually filmed with real cars, but a few are CGI, and it shows. The CGI quality is actually pretty good, and it would have been marvelous in a space setting where nobody expects battleships to be too realistic. But since Driven had real-life subjects, the contrast between real and CGI scenes made the latter really jump out.
    • Two Fast Two Furious has the same problem. On the DVD commentary, John Singleton points out which cars during the two races are real and which are CGI. They're actually pretty obvious, so he didn't have to do that.
  • Lampshaded in I'm Gonna Git You Sucka, where Ma Bell's stunts are obviously performed by a man wearing her dress and hairstyle. He even has a mustache.
    • A joke also used in the previous year's Spaceballs.
  • A similar gag appears in Epic Movie. During a fight scene, camera angles make it gradually more obvious that Fred Willard's stunt double is a much younger, Asian man. At first, it isn't even clear that the revealing is deliberate -- it looks like genuinely bad editing.
    • Now, now, Epic Movie had some pretty awful Special Effects Failure on its own. One Egregious one was when Captain Jack Swallows is breaking Edward out of prison, where he pretty much just swings a plastic brown dummy with a featureless brown head around. The Agony Booth had a field day with this.
    • Hell, just about every movie these two have made include cheap special effects.
  • Apocalypto has some very good, fairly disturbing effects of headless bodies bouncing down steps, people being stabbed, and generally horrifically bloody action. Other shots of panther puppets being thrown at their victims, are frankly adorable.
  • Some special effects failures actually improve the film: the mechanical shark in the first Jaws movie worked so badly and looked so fake on camera that Steven Spielberg shot most of the film without it. Not having a monster to occupy camera time, he substituted suspenseful direction, in-depth story-telling, memorable musical cues, and plenty of good acting and dialog. None of the sequels and almost none of the movie's imitators reached this level of quality.
    • Parodied in an episode of Robot Chicken, where Jaws is re-released with CGI special effects, including the shark dodging a harpoon by leaping into the air in a multiple rotation somersault and giving it actual dialogue, claiming that it "adds a new dimension to the shark's character".
    • An infamous scene in Jaws 3D had an obviously fake shark slowly advancing towards the window of a tank... and that was supposed to be scary because the 3D was meant to make it seem like the shark was swimming at the audience. In theory, this might have worked. In execution, however, the "shark" in question moved towards the audience much too slowly to evoke fear. It seemed more to float in the audience's direction, lacking any sort of motion to show swimming or, indeed, basic vital signs.
    • Parodied in Back to The Future Part II, where Marty stands near a movie theater in the future when a holographic projection of a cartoony, poorly-rendered shark emerges and advances towards him. Marty at first freaks out and ducks, but when the hologram disappears, he straightens up and comments, "The shark still looks fake."
  • Occurs all the time in the Evil Dead series. The first Evil Dead suffered from it, but Evil Dead 2 was more lighthearted and Army of Darkness was pure comedy, so it didn't matter so much. Indeed, it's arguable that in Army of Darkness, this was the point.
  • Zaphod Beeblebrox's second head in The Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy. The fans refer to it as "The Pez Dispenser". It's... pretty bad. Thankfully it gets removed about halfway through the film.
    • Though at least it wasn't a mannequin head on a stick shoved onto his shoulder...
  • In Harm's Way was praised for its excellent acting and storytelling, but is infamous for the extremely fake-looking model ships used in the sea battle scenes. In fact, starring actors John Wayne and Kirk Douglas were embarrassed at how badly the naval scenes compared to the rest of the movie. It's rather sad, really, considering how much they tried to avoid another trope.
  • An especially absurd example: The film by Uwe Boll very loosely based on the House of the Dead video game series intersperses actual gameplay footage from the games. In a live action film.
    • By the way, it wasn't even true gameplay footage, it was footage of the demo run from the arcade version, with the "insert a coin" message blinking! Apparently, the two quarters required to actually play the game would have tripled the film's budget.
  • Megaforce has some awful moments. See this review.
  • Godzilla. The monster king's movies have featured quite a few notable special effects... flaws. But it's notable that wires holding up puppets, like Mothra, are all but invisible in most movies. Then came Godzilla vs. Megaguirus. The villainous monster, Megaguirus, is a spectacularly menacing-looking monster. Except that in the big reveal scene, Megaguirus takes off, she is held up by incredibly obvious strings. And this is in a movie made in the year 2000. It is very jarring.
    • It can partially be blamed on Sony's handling of the film. When they put it on DVD, they used a brighter version of the print. The strings weren't visible in Japanese prints as those particular shots were too dark for the strings to be visible.
    • On a non-monster note, one scene in Destroy All Monsters features a Kilaak-controlled man jumping out of a window to his death. However, the actual fall is portrayed by a stiff-legged dummy with its arms firmly at its sides, as if someone's accidentally dropped a well-dressed mannequin.
    • The King Kong suit from King Kong vs. Godzilla is just horrid. Take a good look. The one in King Kong Escapes is a lot better, but still strange looking in the eyes and mouth.
    • The suit in Godzilla vs. Gigan is the Soshingeki-Goji suit (from Kaiju Soshingeki or Destroy All Monsters). In the '70s, Toho stopped spending money on making a new Godzilla costume for every movie, so the 1968 suit ended up getting used for THREE MORE MOVIES. The suit would be falling apart anyway, since it's made of rubber, but all the fights it went through only adds to this, so Godzilla's skin is slowly falling off over the course of the film.
      • If you thought the Goji suit was bad in Gigan, wait until you hear this. At one point, Gigan is rampaging across Tokyo. You see the inside of the building that is going to be crushed by the monster in mere seconds. Inside stand two Kelly dolls, just staring at each other, and are soon crushed by the monster's claw. Now they probably were intended to be store mannequins, but the place does not exactly look like a store, and why they would even bother including them is not known. What's even worse is that they stand there for well over a second, as if the camera is focusing on them.
      • In the same sequence, Gigan steps on a toy car, and its bumper simply pops off, revealing the hood to be hollow.
      • At one point in Godzilla vs. Gigan, a bright orange subcompact car is blown up by the bad guys. In the later Terror of Mechagodzilla, the hero drives a bright orange muscle car. When it's blown up, they use the subcompact footage from Gigan. No muscle cars were harmed in the making of this movie.
      • Terror of Mechagodzilla has surprisingly good effects for a 70s Godzilla movie. Except for one part. It only appears for a few seconds, but an alien machine is clearly made from Lego blocks.
    • The full CGI Godzilla swimming in Godzilla 2000 looks pretty bad, considering it was made 2 years after the American remake.
    • The Showa-era films often had vehicles (military or civilian) running on tracks, held up by supports in such a way that their tires didn't even reach the ground.
    • The 1967 suit used for Son Of Godzilla is widely considered to be the worst suit in the entire series. It's abnormally long neck, googly-eyes, and wide-mouth frog-like face makes it considered by most fans to be the worst suit used in the franchise.
    • The 1955 film Godzilla Raids Again uses a poorly-made hand-puppet for close-up shots of Godzilla, who suddenly has very crooked teeth for some reason.
    • In the 1991 film, Godzilla VS King Ghidorah, they don't even bother making Ghidorah's wings flap (they hardly flap at all, in fact) when he first appears. Odd, considering that they were able to make a Ghidorah with flapping wings in the 1960s.
      • Speaking of Ghidorah's wings, by 1972's Godzilla vs. Gigan, Ghidorah's costume, used since 1964, was in such poor shape, a new model had to be quickly built for the flying scenes, resulting a non-articulate toy with glowing eyes. Ghidorah's costume was still used however, but due to its poor shape, lots of Stock footage ended up being used for his action oriented scenes, as he otherwise did nothing.
    • 1994's Godzilla vs. Spacegodzilla has okay effects, but one scene featuring Spacegodzilla and a giant robot battling in an asteroid field is just awful. For one, the asteroids barely move. Also, they are clearly made from Styrofoam, and appear as if they are in a space themed kid's bedroom. Even worse is that this was 14 years after The Empire Strikes Back's fantastic asteroid field scene.
  • Frankenstein vs. Baragon, a Kaiju film from the creators of Godzilla, has some cheesy moments, espcially when Baragon attacks a farm, and clearly knocks over a horse doll.
    • Earlier in the film, the giant Frankenstein tries to catch a toy warthog. Strange why they couldn't just get a real one, considering he never even touches it.
  • The entire Showa Gamera franchise has some pretty poor effects, often even worse than Godzilla films can pull, due to their low budgets.
  • The otherwise very good Where Eagles Dare had three: the first was when an obvious dummy plummeted down a cliff to impact the bottom, the second a shot showing badly faked smoke added to the skyline of a castle that supposedly had multiple fires burning, and the third when a vehicle exploded and rolled off a road, with really obvious dummies sitting in the seats burning just before the roll.
  • Kurt Russell's surfing scene in Escape From L.A.. John Carpenter made us used to cheap effects, but this one was especially ambience-breaking.
    • As well as the part where Snake lands his motorcycle on Cuervo Jones's car. Something definitely didn't look right, there...
    • Hell, most of the film is filled with them.
  • The effects on Attack of the 50 Foot Woman are bad even by '50s B-Movie standards. Most of what we see of the giant Nancy is a floppy papier-mache hand. Apparently, that one hand ate up most of the effects budget, since all of the process shots are done with double exposure rather than Chroma Key, resulting in see-through giants. To cap it off, when Nancy finally gets even with her no-good husband, his stand-in dummy is not made to scale.
    • The previous year's The Amazing Colossal Man (and its sequel the year after) had both the double-exposure issue and the prop hand problem. The hand was especially noticeable near the end of the first movie, where Glenn, in a state of delirium and rage, is supposedly holding up his fiancee as she screams at him to put her down. Thanks to the editing of his hand, his fiancee, and his head, he looks more like he's holding his right fist up to the side of his head much like one would hold a phone while he stares intently off into the distance.
  • The crash of the eponymous aircraft in Air Force One. The 1997 CGI looks like something out of a video game from that same year. Which is too bad because the effects so far had been fine against the night background, and only become obvious when the sun rose in the movie.
  • Hulk, while its engine was actually impressive, and the depiction was quite faithful to the comic book, still left most viewers unprepared for what a 3D version of that Hulk would have looked like in real life. Some remarked that he looked like Shrek, and others wished he'd been played by Lou Ferrigno (despite Ferrigno being human sized). The 2008 Incredible Hulk movie followed up on these concerns, giving the character a darker green complexion and a lot more veins and wrinkles, more in line with the '90s drawing style of Dale Keown.
    • In the Ang Lee film, he pulls the gun turret off of a (CGI) tank at one point, and there's no hole on the tank where the turret detached.
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen was particularly bad in this respect. The scene near the beginning with the house in Africa blowing up had obvious flame effects matted onto a real house, Mr Hyde did not reach even the lower standards established by the first The Incredible Hulk movie (see previous entry)...
    • ...and the scenes where Venice was being destroyed were embarrassingly bad, where it was obvious that a model city had multiple visuals overlayed on top of it, and that the visuals had apparently been done by different groups with different lighting sources and different ideas of the scale of the model. Never mind the fact that the Nautilus kept changing size, where it was wide enough to have full sized dining rooms and be huge in the open ocean, but tiny enough to navigate the canals of Venice.
    • The worst offender in that film was the CGI water, which was supposed to be overwhelming the Nautilus crew but was obviously just overlaid with footage of them running through it.
  • The Matrix Reloaded also had numerous instances where Neo was clearly not in the scene and the entirety of his body was computer-generated. While not necessarily a Special Effects Failure, it didn't look very convincing, and the fact that the film cut to slow motion every five seconds only served to drive the point home.
    • The first fight with the clones of Smith, the Burly Brawl, early on in The Matrix Reloaded looks especially horrible.
    • Also note that the filmmakers and studio touted the sequels' "virtual cinematography" as a breakthrough on the level of the first movie's "bullet time".
      • And then to make it worse, when Morpheus is fighting on the semi they screw up a basic "bluescreen" Job. Good job taking it to the next level when you can't even handle THIS level.
      • When they did use CGI for that scene there were still failures, making Morpheus and Agent Johnson look like battling plasticine figures. Johnson's earlier jumping off a car is similarly something that - well, if they hadn't done the shot in slow motion they might have got away with it for at least one viewing.
  • Flash Gordon has a lot of effects that look very shaky, probably due to the sheer volume of effects shots needed in the movie.
    • It's part of the appeal (Roger Ebert noted in his review that they could have left a tube of model glue in some of the shots, and he LIKED the movie).
  • Despite having arguably the best model-based effects outside of Star Wars, not even Blade Runner was immune to this. During Gaff and Deckard's drive to the police headquarters, we're treated to visible wires (when the spinner takes off), an obvious matte painting (buildings supposedly in the far distance moving and scaling at the same speed as buildings that are much closer), and shaky model work (the parked spinners on the building's roof aren't even painted). Thankfully, these are the only examples of this trope in the entire film, and the wire issue was digitally corrected for the Final Cut. (Originally, they would have been painted out, but the film was too far over-budget by then for that to be feasible.)
    • At least two matte paintings have noticeable perspective issues.
  • The infamous flying scenes in The Pumaman, ripped apart by Mystery Science Theater 3000:

 Mike: He has the power to rear-project major cities!

    • It's worth noting that there's some debate over whether Pumaman was intended to be a parody or not... the awful flying scenes lend a lot of weight to the parody argument.
    • Both Indian Superman and Turkish Superman had the same effect, but worse.
    • The appallingly bad effects in Superman IV.
  • In Altered States, (early '80s) director Ken Russell films some wildly effective, vicarious hallucinatory experiences that the main character undergoes as he searches for a greater truth within himself, but then when William Hurt de-evolves into a primitive hominid from combining mushroom trips with sensory deprivation tank studies, the ridiculous fur suit he's wearing nearly ruins the film.
  • In Manos: The Hands of Fate Torgo was supposed to be a satyr, but this failed rather spectacularly because he was wearing the leg construction backwards. It made him look like he just had huge knees.
  • One of the three versions of The War of the Worlds released in 2005 was set during the same period as the book, and claimed to be the most faithful adaptation. While the quality may be up for debate, the quality of the effects is not. The heat-ray was straight out of a '90s video game, the tripods clattered along independently of the surfaces that they were standing on and the nighttime was represented by superimposing starry night sky over some of the visible blue afternoon sky while being filmed in bright sunny daylight.
  • Straight-to-video movie Earthquake in New York is an example of CGI that was not just terrible, but also unnecessary. For those unfamiliar with this movie, an earthquake happens in New York, trapping some kids in the Statue of Liberty. Whenever we cut to a scene featuring said kids, we get an Establishing Shot of the statue, which is a computer-rendered graphic, slowly rotating against a background of grey mist. Not only does it look terrible and unrealistic, but they could have just used actual footage of the statue instead. The idea is that the statue is slowly falling apart (and each scene shows more damage), but if they'd just dispensed with using an Establishing Shot altogether, they could have avoided their movie looking like a 12-year-old knocked it up on a laptop.
  • The creature (a murderous alien) in Alien 3 runs at ridiculous speeds through tunnels, and the effects look dodgy and dated.
    • In a similar vein, the final action sequence in Aliens has Bishop, an android who helped Ripley, ripped in half by the Alien Queen and left on the floor while Ripley dukes it out with the creature using a power loader. When Ripley opens up the docking bay hatch, and everything not bolted down in the bay starts getting sucked into space, Bishop's upper torso is pulled along towards the hatch, before he grabs onto a vent. The otherwise unique and interesting effect of Bishop's upper torso is ruined when he reaches out to grab the little girl Newt, and the audience can see that the FX team cut a hole in the floor for Lance Henriksen to stand in. The carefully orchestrated effect is ruined in the most climactic moment.
    • The cringe-worthy "swimming xenomorphs" of Alien: Resurrection.
    • In Alien, as Ripley repairs Ash, who has been revealed to be an android, the cuts between Ian Holm's head and the dummy's head used are very jarring.
    • Worse still is the fact that the cut was intended to be seamless from dummy to live actor, with no change of camera angle or an in-between shot. Made even worse later when Parker sets the (now dummy again) head on fire which blows off its skin, revealing a white plastic head underneath without a hint of mouth, nostrils, defined eyes or indeed anything to suggest that it's something other than a piece of solid plastic. Couldn't they just cut the shot a few seconds early?
      • Also in Alien: the chestburster darting across the table after its grand entrance, and the full-grown alien once it's been thrown out of the shuttle (allowing us to get a good look at the entire creature).
      • The bizarre TRIPLE explosion that was meant to be the Nostromo going up. (The novel explains this: the towing vehicle goes first, followed by the much larger refinery section.)
  • Star Wars Episode I - The Phantom Menace has good special effects in most cases. However, when Obi-Wan kills Darth Maul, you can clearly see Maul bounces sides of the pit it falls into like he was a rubber model.
    • Episode II - Attack of the Clones has some pretty poor moments, for instance when Anakin and Padme are on Naboo and he's rodeo-riding a big-assed herd animal before getting bucked off.
    • Even worse is the scene when Anakin and Padme are infiltrating the foundry of Geonosis, Anakin's head clips through the metal door.
    • In Episode IV - A New Hope, similarly to the aforementioned Jaws, the creature in the garbage compactor wound up looking so awful that it was filmed as little more than a bunch of tentacles reaching from the water -- and was arguably much scarier for it.
      • While fan-outcry against Greedo shooting first had more to do with messing with Han's character than anything else, it doesn't help that they illustrated the change by using the "Nudge" command in Photoshop to twitch Han three inches to his left and back again. It looks completely unnatural and happens at ridiculous speed. Thankfully, they corrected this in the re-re-release.
      • The special edition also introduces a scene where Han meets Jabba, originally shot with a human actor in a fur coat and now replaced with the most poorly animated and rendered version of Jabba the Hutt imaginable. When Han walks behind Jabba, the Failure is complete. Fortunately that was also fixed in the latest Special Edition version, where the awful CGI Jabba was replaced with the much better one from Phantom Menace and the interaction done more believably.
      • In the older editions, look closely at the edges of the screen when the ceremony at the end of the film is getting underway. As the heroes are entering the hall, the nearest three or four ranks of soldiers standing at the entrance are clearly painted cutouts. So is the entrance itself in fact. It wobbles visibly over the actual footage. Fixed in later versions of the film.
        • In the original Star Wars Cantina scene, there is a wolf like creature named Lak Sivrak, who is quite obviously a mask from a store. Thankfully, the digitally replaced him with a new alien for the 1997 release.
      • In the establishing shot of Jabba's barge floating over the dunes in Jedi, they added a human walking across the deck, probably to give it scale. They shouldn't have, because it was spectacularly bad, with the guy seeming to teleport three times as he's "walking".
        • This was replaced with a real person greenscreened in the Special Edition. It is perhaps the least-noticed change made to the trilogy.
      • Force Kick. More of a Fight Scene Failure, but still pretty stupid.
        • This was averted in The Phantom Menace via CGI—behind-the-scenes promo webisodes showed Ray Park Force-Kicking Ewan McGregor, and a post-production guy at ILM picking Obi-Wan up via computer and moving him about a foot closer.
      • Although not as much as a failure, during the scene when Han is running away from the shield generator on Endor, a reflection of him can be seen from the ballistics glass.
      • In a scene where Luke leaps off a platform, ostensibly to the floor below, he can briefly be seen bouncing back up again off a trampoline just before the scene cuts.
    • In Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, during the fight when Count Dooku drops part of the walkway on top of Obi Wan, it looks really fake. Obi Wan was just moved down on the screen when it fell on him without any of his limbs reacting to the impact. Even The Game did that scene better than the damn movie did.
      • And yet again when Mace Windu and Palpatine face off. Ian McDiarmid puts in a tremendous effort, but still moves like a man in his sixties. Then he backflips up some stairs.
  • The introduction of CGI to the Indiana Jones franchise in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull had mixed effects. Notably, the car chase in the jungle had some really dodgy green-screening.
    • To say nothing of the Shia LaBeouf Tarzan sequence. Not everything is better with monkeys. Actually, let's extend it to everything involving animals in the film, because there are some of the fakest prairie dogs ever committed to film. And there have been a lot.
    • CGI had appeared briefly in the 1989 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, to depict -- amongst other things -- a Zeppelin. Despite being a prime subject for computer realisation, with flat sides and limited animation, full-length shots of the Zeppelin were obviously matted into the sky.
  • The elevator crash in Earthquake was considered laughable even in 1974. It probably would have been laughed at in 1934, for that matter.
    • For those unfamiliar with the movie, a full elevator is caused to plummet by the earthquake. After several seconds of people screaming on the way down, to show that it's hit the ground, the camera lens is 'splattered' with cartoon looking blood that's bright red.
  • An extremely bizarre shot in Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes has Mark Wahlberg's gun, hitherto a space ray gun, briefly turn into a nickel-plated M1911 and back again when the bad monkey is waving it around in a bad monkey fashion.
    • There's also the very brief scene where one of the Gorillas is giving a speech which ends with simply roaring. The inside of his mouth was noticeably lighter than the shadow inside of the actor's mouth.
  • The special effect failures in Volcano have more to do with poor direction than effect quality, but the post-production effects often simply don't match the actors' reactions to them, such as people failing to notice a skyscraper-sized plume of ash and lava.
  • Hancock has the scene where the protagonist throws a whale back in the ocean.
  • Catwoman adds special effects failures to its litany of other ones. In fairness, it's probably technically superior to the Spider-Man films, but as they're trying to model different layers of costume and skin and imposing clearly inhuman motion on a human figure it's more glaringly bad.
    • Add to that the final fight being mostly CGI when it merely involves two human characters who (some wall-crawling aside) don't do anything a good pair of stunt-women couldn't do.
  • Waterworld has a couple of moments of blatant rear projection and some rather wonky physics in the model work. Compared to most of the stuff on this list, it actually looks decent enough. So what makes it worthy of being here? The final budget: 175 million dollars.
  • In High School Musical 2, during the song "Bet on It", Troy looks at his reflection in the water, and the "reflected" image is the same as the original, i.e. it's not mirrored. You might not notice it the first time, but it still looks ridiculous.
    • At the very least, you will most likely notice that Troy's "reflection" is quite plainly a CGI image pasted onto the water.
  • The Return of the King, despite otherwise great special effects, has a somewhat shaky CG Legolas during the famous "elephant climb" scene, although most people were willing to forgive it because of how awesome that scene was. The beginning of the movie also has a not-quite-perfect CG Deagol when he falls into the river. The entire climactic sequence on Mount Doom is a bit dubious as well, especially whenever the scene requires the appearance of lava... however, it is understandable, as the post-production crew were working 72-hour days in a desperate attempt to finish those scenes in time for the film's premiere.
    • The army of the dead swarming the Pelennor Fields.
    • Also, in Fellowship of the Ring during the Mines of Moria, that one bit where we see Gollum's hands and eyes looks weird.
      • The Gollum scene was made before the final CGI model was created as seen in the other two films (Andy Serkis had, in fact, been cast contrary to previous reports as his voice is plainly heard during the torture scene just before Frodo leaves the Shire).
      • The animation in the cave troll fight scene in Moria is so bad that it's been used as an example in computer graphics courses of what suspension of disbelief-breaking animation looks like.
    • At the end of The Two Towers, As Gollum argues with himself about what to do with the Hobbits, he angrily twists the branch of a dead pine tree. There is a sound of bark breaking off, but the branch is visibly unaffected. More jarring still is the fact that we can easily see that the pine needles he is walking on do not move, even slightly.
    • Theoden's fellow riders are often swinging at nothing at the end of The Two Towers because the CGI orcs have already fallen by the time they get to them.
  • Much of the action in Space Mutiny takes in a building with visible bricks and sunlight, and this movie is supposed to take place in a space ship.
  • In Labyrinth, when David Bowie (as Jareth) is singing "Dance Magic Dance" -- it's one of the best and most memorable scenes in the movie... and worth of RHPS-style callbacks when you can go "It's a baby -- it's a doll -- it's a baby -- it's a doll!"
    • And the obviously fake bubbles turning into a glass bauble... Yeah.
    • When they're looking out on Jareth's "kingdom", Sarah say it doesn't look that far. And it really doesn't:

 The Nostalgia Chick: "It's only a matte painting!"

  • The sequels to Starship Troopers have horrendously worse effects compared to the original year movie. The effects of the original was the best you could have in 1997, while the sequels, both made in the 21st century, are worse than dodgy 90's CG cartoons. It is especially jarring because you hardly ever see the arachnids being affected by the "supposedly more advanced" weaponry while in the '97 original it was hard to see an arachnid and not see it being blown to pieces by automatic fire. The booby prize, however, probably goes to the explosion of the Q-Bomb at the end of Starship Troopers 3.
  • Back to The Future twice featured chroma-key footage that was poorly executed and looks pasted-in: when the fire trails appear around Doc and Marty when the DeLorean is first seen disappearing into the future, and when Marty's hand starts fading out toward the end. The creators have stated that they refuse to remaster these scenes for future home-video releases, which is too bad since they're really the only effects shots that would be considered cheap even by modern standards.
    • The train in the third movie. Dear god, the colored smoke and subsequent explosion looked fake.
      • Not to mention that, in all of the shots where Doc Brown is talking Clara through getting to the front of the train, you can clearly see that the train is going closer to 10MPH than 88MPH.
    • Also from the third movie, it is incredibly easy to tell they used scale models for the DeLorean and train crossing just after Marty goes back to the present.
    • Part II isn't immune either. Watch the vents on the back of the DeLorean when it lands for the first time after the opening titles. You can clearly tell it's a subpar model they used for some of the shots, as the vents are the wrong shape and all the gadgetry on the back end looks like cardboard.
  • The quality of special effects in Star Trek V the Final Frontier is noticeably worse than in the earlier Star Trek the Original Series movies (in particular, a shuttlecraft launch that is clearly a two-dimensional cell pulled across the frame).[4]
    • In the extended TV edition of Star Trek the Motion Picture, after Spock leaves to go inside V-Ger and essentially trip on acid, Kirk decides to head out after him. As Kirk leaves the Enterprise in a space suit, the entire top fourth of the screen isn't actually the Enterprise... but the top of the set! Though some viewers mistakenly believe this shot was in the original theatrical release, it was actually from an unfinished sequence of Kirk and Spock taking the spacewalk together, which was cut due to effects problems and replaced with the solo-Spock spacewalk in the final film. The TV edition restored portions of this sequence to lengthen the film, but merely cut in the unfinished footage of Kirk's exit without the intended matte painting that would have hidden the visible wooden beams of the set. Note also that Kirk's spacesuit in this restored footage is different from the spacesuit he wore in the footage from the theatrical edition. So in the ABC version of the film, not only does the Enterprise consist partly of wooden beams, but Kirk's spacesuit has shapeshifting powers.
    • Star Trek II the Wrath of Khan, Star Trek III the Search For Spock, Star Trek IV the Voyage Home, and Star Trek VI the Undiscovered Country contracted the special effects to Industrial Light and Magic. Star Trek V fell victim to ILM being booked up. With a writer's strike on, it was never going to get the extra time in post it needed before being punted out to starving theatres.
    • Though the climactic battle between Kirk and the Klingon commander in Star Trek III does very little to hide that the Genesis planet is, in fact, a soundstage.
    • Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country has its own effects problems. Many of the visuals featuring the Enterprise look like the film was made for TV, and a couple of shots are just plain awful. In particular, the pan across the ship as Chang recites Shakespeare, and the "slowly warping through space" shot after the Kirk / Spock chat in his quarters.
    • Worthy of mention here: Star Trek Generations stole the Klingon ship effects from The Undiscovered Country. Not necessarily a Special Effects Failure, as they are good effects, but definitely an uncharacteristically cheap decision.
      • Made more jarring by the fact that Riker clearly orders a full spread of torpedoes to be fired because "we'll only get one shot." When the Klingon ship begins to decloak, the Enterprise only fires a single torpedo despite his order, because only one was used in Star Trek VI.
  • Mortal Kombat Annihilation had a climactic fight scene that was too badly done to describe with words.
    • This review nominates the animation of a "velosphere" rolling into a tunnel as "quite possibly the single most inept special effect to hit the screen in the last twenty years of theatrical cinema."
  • Even in 1972, Night of the Lepus' use of cute little bunnies filmed on a scale-model set didn't exactly produce the intended scare.
  • Meet the Spartans has a particularly confusing example of this: In a scene where Leonidas addresses the fat Spartan who just had his eyes punched out by an enraged opponent in a Yo Momma joke contest, the fat Spartan's eyes are chroma-keyed out of the picture... and you can clearly see the stone wall behind him through his eye holes, which would imply he's missing the back of his head as well... except he isn't, because just one shot ago the audience has a clear view of the back of his head, and he looks fine.
  • The Man without a Face at one point shows a cat mauling a person, achieved by intercutting shots of a real cat with an incredibly unrealistic animatronic cat.
  • Tim Burton's Batman had the cartoon Dark Knight on the Cathedral rooftop at the beginning, the cartoon Joker falling to his death in the climax, and the wobbly Gotham sky the Bat-Signal is projected on at the end.
    • Also that's a nice wire on Batman's back as he crashes through the glass into the art museum
  • Batman and Robin has a number of bad effects, most notably the rubber icicles.
  • Zu Warriors -- the 2001 version, not the 1979 cult classic film. Awful, eye-burning effects that belong on a 1995 screen saver and the characters farting purple fireworks as they "fly" (read: get blatantly pulled along by thick, obvious wires).
  • The "ninja fight" from Blade 2. Even Guillermo del Toro hates it, and it's his damned movie.
  • Steven Seagal movie Under Siege 2 is notable for the least convincing CG flame effect.
    • There's also the brief scene where a still image of Eric Bogosian's character pulls himself up from a cliff at about three frames per second. See here (at 1:57; clip also contains the aforementioned "flame" effect starting at 3:11)
  • Deep Blue Sea. No more words to describe it, other than hilarious.
  • There is one special effect shot in Reds; a ship tossing on a stormy sea. Not only is it a blatantly poor miniature, it's also a very unusual shot for the film which was otherwise always in the actors' faces.
  • Probably done deliberately in Taoism Drunkard with the Watermelon Monster costume, with memorable results.
  • Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory: The Wonkavision scene, when the Wonka bar and, later, Mike Teavee, appear on the screen after being teleported there via Wonkavision. The podium holding the teleportee is clearly visible.
    • Earlier, when Augustus Gloop is sucked up the tube in the Candy Room, the effect of him being sucked up by... suction force is very clearly done via stop-motion. The chocolate river surrounding the tube also reveals that the video was visibly sped up for said scene.
      • The "molten chocolate" looked more like brown water or sewage. (Appropriately enough, it was brown water.)
      • And Charlie and Grandpa in the Fizzy Lifting Drinks sequence are clearly cartoons.
      • As pointed out in the Riff Trax, the bubbles around the two almost hide the strings.
      • Blueberry Violet doesn't look very genuine.
  • It Conquered the World (later remade as Zontar, the Thing from Venus) The monster... suffice it to say that the scene where it strangles the heroine had to be shot several times because the actress, Beverly Garland, kept bursting out laughing.
    • Believe it or not, this is because the creator of the monster was actually trying to make it work as a believable alien creature -- it looks like an angry ice-cream cone crossed with a crab, yes... but it was supposed to be a being from a high gravity world. He tried. Even he admits he didn't succeed, but he tried.
    • Initially, it was supposed to be much more squat, as part of the "high-gravity origins" idea. Then Beverly Garland walked up to the outfit during a break, shouted, "Try to take over my planet, huh? Take THIS!", and kicked it over. They added the three feet of head.
  • In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the effect used to depict Emma Frost's diamond form pops out for its low quality. Also, though Wolverine's bone claws were well done, his adamantium claws, particularly in the bathroom scene, inspired much derisive audience laughter. You'd think in a movie explicitly about a mutant with metallic claws, that would get more CGI attention than anything, especially when incarnations in previous films (by the same FX studio, even!) were pretty good quality.
    • How about Professor X's cameo at the end of the movie? Let's just say that if the CGI technique to make Patrick Stewart look younger looks worse than the third movie (which predates Wolverine by three years), you're doing something wrong.
  • Beginning of the End, a black-and-white fifties monster movie, had giant locusts invading Chicago. It was painfully obvious that it was really grasshoppers crawling over photographs of Chicago, because you could see that the perspective was wrong. Also, when they destroy the locusts by luring them into Lake Michigan to drown, we discover that Lake Michigan has a white porcelain bottom.
    • When the locusts are attacking the photograph of Chicago, several of them walk off the buildings and begin crawling into the sky.
  • The 1976 movie Logan's Run has some of the worst miniature work ever. The 'domed city' looks like a tabletop diorama made by school children.
  • All three RoboCop films have had their climactic moments ruined by shoddy effects work:
    • During the final minute of the original film, when Murphy shoots Dick Jones (causing him to fall out of a window), the top-down shot of Jones falling downwards out of the building to the street below is an obvious model miniature that has comically-large arms. It's much more noticeable than the rest of the effects for the film (which had some of the greatest practical effects ever used in a movie up to that point), precisely because of how shoddy it looks.
    • Robocop 2 (shot in 1990) was the last film to use stop-motion FX - and it shows. Badly. This is most noticeable in the final fight sequence of the film - the shots where RoboCain tries to shake Murphy off of him look oddly stilted and jittery.
    • The explosion of the OCP building in the third film. In what should have been an amazing shot that finally saw the end of the megalomaniacal corporation that tried to bulldoze Old Detroit, the footage looks five years older than the rest of the film, and shows a poorly made miniature pathetically breaking apart. Of course, this comes after a climactic scene where the wires on Robocop's rocket pack are visible on-screen.
      • Just before this, Robo incinerates McDaggett's legs before flying off with a woman and child. The shot just after Robo flies through the OCP building begins with McDaggett falling down - his legs are visible and are not burned in the slightest as he crawls, and the only aftereffect of Robo turning on his jets full-force on the floor is a light puff of smoke that disappears.
    • Additionally, any scene which uses stop-motion animation to create ED-209 as opposed to having a real-life animatronic prop. The OCP board meeting with the "drop your weapon" demonstration failure looked great. ED-209 falling down the stairs... not so much.
  • Kunoichi Lady Ninja. Vagina tractor beam. 1982-ish special effects.
    • Let's also include the shocking attack, complete with wobbly camera and transposed background.
  • There are a few in the original A Nightmare on Elm Street, particularly the extended arms bit with Freddy and the obvious stunt double when he's on fire during the climax.
    • There's another scene when somebody jumps out a window... on to a horribly obvious mattress.
    • In the commentary, one of the producers comments on the shot where Freddy is chasing Tina, only to appear right in front of her. The "first" Freddy was a double, but far shorter than the genuine article. It looks like Freddy has briefly become four feet tall.
  • Most of Hitchcock's The Birds used actual birds and remains terrifying fifty years later. However, there is one shot of a bird breaking a window into the house that obviously could not be done with a real animal, with stilted puppetry and close up camera angle.
  • The extended cut of David Lynch's Dune film is made of footage that was cut before the final effects work was done so the Fremens' eyes will go from glowing blue to normal between scenes, and sometimes during the same scene.
    • Far worse looking is the hilariously bad shield scenes, where the actors look like they're dressed up in holographic cardboard Halloween robot costumes. (This was one of the first uses of CGI in a movie, however.)
  • Prancer was billed with the tagline "Come see Prancer fly." It is about a poor little girl on an apple farm and a reindeer in a pen who may or may not be Prancer. The reindeer does not fly until the very end when he is shown leaping only to cut immediately to a twinkling dot flying up to join other twinkling dots. Puma Man had better special effects than this movie...
  • The movie Signs was actually pretty tense and frightening with its aliens until you actually saw the stupid things.
  • John Carpenter's Vampires features some of the worst "burning vampire" effects ever committed to film. Vampires pulled into sunlight don't burst into flame, but instead appear to light Roman candles up their coat sleeves. Seriously, that's it. This is especially pathetic in light of the fact that filmmakers had been setting stuntpeople on fire for decades, to the point that there are stunt performers who specialize in being on fire.
  • In John Carpenter's original Halloween film, when Michael smashes one of Marion's car windows, he obviously has a wrench taped to his hand.
    • There is also one scene in Halloween H20 where Michael's mask is CGI. Really, really bad CGI. Word of God says that the director decided well into production to go with a different mask, so certain scenes with Michael had to be re-shot. However one scene couldn't be re-shot, so the mask had to replaced with CGI, frame by frame.
  • Remus Lupin's werewolf form in the film version of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is a particularly horrific example.
    • Although the biggest issue with Suspension of Disbelief was not the less-than-excellent effects, but the fact that the thing didn't look remotely like a wolf, but rather like a giant monkey-man-were-chihuahua.
    • There are also the atrocious "captives" during the Second Task in Goblet of Fire, which are very clearly some sort of mannequin. Ron is all right, but Cho in particular ends up looking more like a BJD than anything human.
    • The Chroma Key effects in the first film were pretty poor. When the Trio talks to Hagrid outside his hut near the end of the film, it's particularly obvious that the view of Hogwarts behind the Trio has been pasted in. The quality of the film's Quidditch match also suffered for this reason. Fortunately, they fixed these issues on the second film and the Quidditch match in that film looks much better.
    • In the eighth movie's "19 years later" epilogue, the makeup and costuming used to make the characters look older... left a lot to be desired. Harry and Ron looked about five years too young, Ginny looked about ten years too young, and Hermione looked exactly the same.
  • In the film Teenagers from Outer Space, they apparently couldn't even afford a decent prop for the gargon monsters, so they just used a lobster's shadow.
    • Pause when they "scan" the planet. Look closely. Yeah, the scanner is a guitar amp, filmed upside down.
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit? was innovative when it came out in 1988, and still holds up today. However, there's one scene when Eddie is in the alley in Toontown and there are several shots where, due to time and budget concerns (see the DVD Commentary for more information), they had to opt out of rotoscoping out the fiberglass prop gun standing in for Eddie's toon gun and replace it with animation. Sticks out like a sore thumb among the rest of the film's effects.
    • One really good example of a more "accidental" Special Effect Failure is when Roger pleads for the director Raoul to let him do another take, Raoul's coat sleeve goes up to Roger's hand, instead of Roger grabbing it himself.
  • Robert Pattinson's "sparkle" in the first Twilight movie? It looks like he's sweating. The part where they rip James apart. It was obviously foam.
  • Monster a Go-Go! when it bothered to even attempt effects (as opposed to dodging effects scenes altogether with exposition) tended to do them badly as in the scene where the crashed space shuttle is found:

 (Mystery Science Theater 3000 crew laughs)

Tom Servo: Douglas was very short, pear-shaped, and stood the whole way.

  • The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl had this in spades, plus crappy greenscreen effects to sweeten the deal. Keep in mind, though, that most of the film is set on a planet where dreams become reality, and so was likely never intended to look realistic in the first place.
  • Though groundbreaking with its visual effects, Ghostbusters flubbed it a bit with plain old-fashioned prop work. When broken bits from Dana's roof come raining down into the street during the face-off with Gozer, one of the chunks clearly bounces off a police barricade, revealing itself to be foam, not concrete.
    • When the ground in front of the building breaks apart and some parts rise and some fall, you can see one part bounce a little after it stops - revealing that the section is on a spring of some sort. The edges of the chunks of road are also obviously hanging fabric instead of solid - you can see it flapping in the breeze!
  • The Dead Zone has one scene of Christopher Walken lying in a bed that's on fire. He's clearly sticking through a hole in the bed, although the shot is brief enough that you barely notice unless you pause it.
  • In the 2000 adaption of The Great Gatsby, Myrtle's corpse is pretty clearly a dummy. Legs just don't sever cleanly like that after being hit by a fairly slow-moving car.
  • The Creature From The Haunted Sea had a hilariously bad monster costume, even by 1950s B-movie standards. It was a weird fuzzy creature with tennis ball eyes complete with ping-pong ball pupils. And it wore diving flippers.
  • Alone in The Dark has, at one point, our hero shoot a possessed woman that's attacking an ally from behind. The shot is CGI and misses her by a good four feet. The sad part is that someone had to add that shot in during post-production... and not give a shit that it comes nowhere near hitting her.
  • The Stop Motion photography used to animate Sardo Numspa's demon form in The Golden Child looks absurdly cheesy, even for 1986.
  • The Arnold Schwarzenegger film Commando has A LOT of this. Not only is it possible to tell Arnie apart from his stunt double whenever he's called upon for a shot, the catapults used to launch stuntmen through the air after being hit by "grenades" are clearly visible. When the Big Bad's island compound is blown up, the entire set has clearly been replaced with miniature scale model buildings and wooden/plastic standee mercenaries for the explosion shots.
    • ...and when Arnold catches up to Sully, there's a part where his convertible crashes into a telephone pole. In slow motion, one can spot that both Schwarzenegger and Rae Dawn Chong were replaced in the car by dummies...and the head of the dummy filling in for Rae Dawn comes off and flies up into the air during the end of the shot. Shortly after, when Arnold is holding Sully over a cliff by his ankle, the wire that's really holding Sully up is clearly visible in the shot.
    • Also, said convertible ends up on its side with a lot of damage on that side of the car. After Arnie drops Scully, he flips the car back down onto its wheels. As he drives away in the convertible, the damage is gone.
  • Seabiscuit. The far-shots all featured the jockeys on real horses, but the close-ups featured Tobey on an obviously fake horse with horrendously exaggerated neck movement that didn't at all line up with the movements of the jockeys on the real-life horses.
  • Reptilicus involves the monster spewing a stream of green slime. The slime is so poorly animated in stop motion. The rest of the movie didn't fare much better; whenever the monster ate somebody, the effect was similar to the ones in the Shark Attack movies mentioned somewhere above, only about a million times worse. Perhaps the single worst effect is when Reptilicus devours a farmer whole. This is represented by the worst animation you will ever see in your life.
  • Terminator 2: Judgement Day. Yes, the movie that would bring you the T-1000's morphing, Ahnuld with half his body blown away to reveal a T-800 endoskeleton, Ahnuld receiving amateur 'brain' surgery in the director's cut, and the most realistic depiction of being caught in a nuclear blast...starts with a bar fight wherein the smoke jets meant to create the effect of a biker getting fried on a diner's grill are clearly visible. One scene also clearly shows a stunt double riding Arnie's bike.
    • Whenever special effects were used in the first Terminator movie, they failed. Most noticeable being the pale rubbery Ahnold head when he cuts out his injured eye, and all scenes involving the (largely Stop-Motion) übercool chrome-plated killing skeleton that moved somewhat like an arthritic zombie. Truly, less would've been much more.
    • Stan Winston Studios, the special effects studio in charge of all the physical effects for Terminator and Terminator 2 (As well as Jurassic Park, Aliens and Predator to name a few) later admitted the difficulties in making a realistic dummy that could have its skin cut off for the repair scenes while still looking fairly realistic for close up shots. This is most apparent in the sequence in T2 where the T-800 walks towards the SWAT officers shooting at him - several show the dummy model walking awkwardly towards the officers.
    • Arnie is replaced with a super-obvious dummy during the scenes when the T-1000 attacks him with an I-beam.
  • In the Roman Polanski version of Macbeth, a spotlight is shown at characters that are holding lit torches to illuminate a circular area around them. In one such scene, there's a very visible shadow on a wall on the same side of the character as the torch in question.
  • Battlefield Earth has a few scenes that fall under this trope. But the most infamous example would be when Terl demonstrates his weapon to his human workers by shooting the leg off a cow. It's clear that when Terl does this it's just a leg being pulled off a model cow by an invisible string.
  • I Am Legend: The CG vampire zombies featured throughout are blatantly obvious digital effects.
  • The film In The Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale" had one in the climactic battle scene, no less. The arrows that the archers use are obvious CGI.
  • Part of the infamous blood-test scene in The Thing, where the Palmer-Thing splits its own head open and uses the halves to grab Windows' head. Windows' body is clearly a dummy - it looks much lighter and smaller than Windows. Also, Palmer's clothing briefly changes from a denim vest to a green t-shirt.
    • Also, during one shot after Copper's arms are pulled off his face looks bizarrely stiff and unnatural as he screams. That shot was actually of an arm-less double who was wearing a mask of the actor.
      • Apparently John Carpenter was well aware that it might look crappy, but reasoned that no one would be looking at the dude's face anyway.
  • The two Lara Croft Tomb Raider films have examples of this. In the first, there are the stone monkeys in the Cambodian temple and the deconstructed Husky dogs (and various other objects) in the time storm. The second however seems to be far worse. The underwater sequences at the start of the film feature bad CGI fish, but the most triumphant example has to be when Lara Croft is rescued by a submarine, and the matte work of the sunset in the background is just awful. Elsewhere in the film, we have the studio backlot as a bad substitute for a Kazakh prison, rancor lookalikes that emerged from the shadows, some clumsy Wire Fu involving a fight on top of the heads of terracotta warriors, and the Big Bad melting in acid.
  • Tombstone: Morgan Earp dies, and the music picks up as Wyatt stumbles out into the street with his blood on his hands, weeping, during a rainstorm. The wide shot makes it obvious that the "rain" is only falling within a twelve-foot radius around Kurt Russell.
  • Damnation Alley features an uber-cheesy motorcycle vs. giant scorpions scene that looks like it was done as a 4th-grade summer-school project. What's truly mind-boggling is that this wasn't a B-Movie -- it was made the same year as Star Wars and its budget was 50% higher.
  • Ocean's Twelve suffers from this in any scene involving the laser net at the art gallery. Some of the statues in the scene where Toulour reveals how he used someone with mad acrobatic skills to get past it are this as well.
  • Death Wish 4 The Crackdown has one scene guilty of this. When Paul Kersey kills the two mob members with the wine bottle bomb, the two mobs are obviously still shot dummies just before the explosion.
  • Misery: During the big fight scene, just as Annie Wilkes (played by Kathy Bates) falls to the floor and hits her head on the typewriter, the actress is replaced by a really bad looking Kathy Bates dummy.
  • The Day After Tomorrow: The CG wolves. At a million dollars a wolf, they could have gotten some trained real wolves.
  • There's a lot of bad special effects through the Bill & Ted franchise, but one particularly glaring example is in Bogus Journey, when Bad Robot Ted is holding onto Bad Robot Bill's head, which alternates between the actual actor in close-ups to... a very unconvincing prop in wider shots.
  • Anytime something is set on fire in a film from The Asylum. The fire looks rather like an animated gif pasted over the film. This is of course without mentioning the failure evident in just about every other effect.
  • This is almost a given with many low-budget films made today by studios such as The Asylum. The CGI is especially chintzy, lacking any sense of mass and often badly composited into the film. Watch any of their films: Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus, Mega Piranha, Transmorphers, Alien vs Hunter, and you'll see just how shameful it is.
    • In fact, the CG in Transmorphers is really bad that even the founder of the visual effects studio that worked on it thinks the overall result is crap.
  • The 1997 film adaptation of Spawn is filled with a lot of poorly-executed CGI effects, despite being directed by a special effects artist who worked on Jurassic Park. The main offender is the demon Malebogia, who looks like he stepped out of a video game cutscene-his mouth doesn't even match what he's saying, it just occasionally moves up or down. Hell and the tunnel that leads into it are jarringly fake, and Spawn's cape is very textureless. This is a pity as the physical makeup and animatronic effects were done quite well.
  • Parodied in Orgazmo - in the middle of an otherwise believable fight scene, G-Fresh gets thrown onto a table, and it's very clearly a poorly painted wooden dummy wearing his clothes.
    • Don't forget the shots of the burning mansion at the end of the movie - it's VERY obviously a miniature on fire, with the complete lack of effort to hide this fact making it another parody.
  • An awful lot of the CGI work in Van Helsing is shockingly bad. The 'swing on a rope' scenes where they just veer off to the side for no reason. The 'Anna falls on the roof' scene. Way too many of the monsters. And what was in this film except CGI (and Hugh Jackman in too many clothes)?
  • In The Ten Commandments, when Rameses leads his chariots out of his palace, everyone's shadows point to the right. However, Nefertiri is watching them from a balcony, and her shadow is facing to the left. It's actually pretty glaring.
  • In the 1970s horror movie Kingdom of the Spiders (starring William Shatner), the heroes board themselves inside a building to keep themselves safe from the killer arachnids. At the very end, they uncover one of the windows to look outside... Only to see that the building they're in, as well as the entire town, has been covered in spider webs. The scene would be genuinely scary... If the webbed-up town wasn't a cheap-looking matte painting. What makes matters worse is, is it's not even like they showed it briefly and then moved on. They show the painting and freeze on it, keeping it up through the entire ending credits.
  • In The Ice Pirates, Wendon (played by Bruce Vilanch) is decapitated by Roscoe and his severed head is carried around for a bit. Because Wendon literally is nothing more than a head, this is not fatal, and some scenes required him to speak while as a head. Most of the time this was done by having Wendon's head on a table (with Bruce's body underneath), but in one scene, when he's being carried, you can clearly see Bruce's body for a brief moment, and he appears to be wearing a t-shirt.
  • Clash of the Titans has some impressive stop motion monsters... and some downright terrible bluescreen effects. Particular offenders are the scenes with Poseidon RELEASING THE KRAKEN! and any time Bubo flies.
  • Asian Films use a lot of CGI. The tight budget shows. Here is an example, from the Chinese Movie Kidnap. Watch 40 seconds into the clip, then laugh as the car appears...
  • During the locker room scene after the titular character's first game in Juwanna Mann, one of his/her fake breast forms flies out of under his/her shirt and onto the window. It looks obviously CGI, and in one shot it disappears on the last frame.
  • About the only thing that makes Let the Right One In near-perfect instead of completely perfect is the terrible looking cat attack scene.
  • In the Hammer Horror cheapie The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb, a character empties a revolver into the mummy's chest at point-blank range. The slugs appear to evaporate at some point between the end of the barrel and the mummy, because the filmmakers declined to include any impact effects...including sound effects. Especially jarring if watched back-to-back with Hammer's The Mummy, in which a similar scene results in chunks of the mummy's body being blasted off.
  • For the most part, The Frighteners has excellent special effects that hold up well. The Director's Cut DVD, however, reinserts a few deleted scenes. These are pretty well done and look as good as anything from the theatrical version, but one scene has Frank and Judge in the car together, with Frank driving like a madman. There's a reaction shot of Judge looking terrified, and the composite makes him look extremely flat and unconvincing compared to the other ghost effects in the film.
  • Independence Day features, for the most part, very well-done special and visual effects that hold up to scrutiny even today. However, there is a jarring moment where one of the giant alien spaceships is shown hovering just above the White House, tourists can be seen milling about and taking no notice whatsoever of the giant ship. Also, actors' marks are visible on the floor in many scenes, and during the alien's rampage in the operating room, you can see the legs of the puppeteer beneath the alien body. When the alien is shot, the wires that pull it back are also clearly visible.
  • The green screen effects from The Room are pretty bad, though compared to the rest of the film, they are almost passable.
  • The Nicolas Cage-starring film Knowing contains a fair bit of Conspicuous CGI, including the forest animals on fire and several of the disaster sequences. The train crash sequence doesn't seem to possess any sense of weight.
  • A 1999 straight-to-video film called Avalanche (or Escape from Alaska) definitely falls into this trope. During the climactic scene when an avalanche strikes a town, you are treated to such special effects wizardry like people running away from an obviously superimposed white mist and models that fail to convince in every way imaginably from problems with scale to lack of convincing detail. The movie is actually worth watching for these scenes alone (including one in which a woman stands stock still in the middle of the frame staring pointedly at the camera while people run around her in a panic).
  • Not a specific instance, but this trope is what caused CS Lewis to forbid any non-animation movie from being made of The Chronicles of Narnia. He believed that it was simply impossible for special effects to match up with the fantastic world in his stories, and it wasn't until recently that anyone was able to convince his estate that doing so was now, in fact, possible.
  • In Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, there is a character who is accompanied everywhere he goes by a swarm of trained flies. The wires connecting the flies to the actor's body are painfully obvious in every shot they are in.
  • Here's a film you wouldn't expect to see on this list: Inception, which won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. The effects in the film are almost entirely spellbinding and very well executed - except for one tiny instance when Arthur sends the elevator flying up to initiate a kick, and the passengers floating inside thud down to the floor in a very artificial manner.
  • In The Name of the Rose, Salvatore is brutally tortured and both arms are broken and dangling limply. This would have been a traumatic scene if Salvatore didn't mistakenly end up with two left hands in this scene.
  • Another film you wouldn't have expected on this list: Transformers. While the effects are most often believable (So much so that everyone complained when The Golden Compass won the Visual Effects award) There are two instances when the CGI doesn't match up with the live action elements - The scene when Ironhide steps out of the pool and the scene where the Predator drone is over the desert during the Skorponok battle, revealing that these two are separate CG elements.
    • This also applies to Revenge of the Fallen, but on a much larger scale. Pay very close attention throughout the third act and you'll find Shoddy compositing, half baked CG models that look like an Asylum film than Industrial Light & Magic and a lack of motion blurring that, while makes the characters easier to tell apart from one another, makes them less believable on screen.
    • Another example from the first film is when Optimus Prime picks up Sam and Mikaela. The two teens are fairly-obviously shaking unnaturally when being picked up, revealing the scene as a very elaborate green/bluescreen shot.
    • This also occurs in Dark of The Moon, mostly with the horrendously rendered heads of JFK and Nixon. What's worse is that this movie used some of the best 3D since Avatar, making the heads look more like crap then they should have been.
  • The 2003 live-action adaptation of Peter Pan has this in about 90% of the scenes between the obvious green-screening and the CGI.
  • Blue Crush: The triumphant scene at the end where Kate Bosworth is standing on a surfboard that is obviously sitting on the floor, in front of a green screen, is one of the silliest examples ever.
  • Mighty Morphin Power Rangers used CGI for the Ninjazords because they didn't want to use the original props or costumes for the film. And boy do the CGI ones look bad. They're a poor match for the correct designs too. The Ninja Mega Falconzord is the biggest offender, being based not off the full-sized toy but a smaller special edition with the wolf's head uncovered and the cover for the Ape hand being able to hold a sword (a large version of one of the Ape's Ninja-to, but the artists interpreted it as the Shogun Megazord's fire saber. Ouch.) Finally, they botched the head.
    • There's also the scene where Ivan launches the Ninja Megazord through a building and it's extremely obvious the Megazord is a model (or perhaps even the figurine) being launched through it.
  • In the movie Gunslinger, a poorly designed door leads to this humorous exchange when it was shown on Mystery Science Theater 3000:

 Crow: Hey, doors don't open like that... there's a number... he's in the hall!

  • In the movie Braveheart, carefully watch the scene where William Wallace rides into a manor on a horse and assassinates one of the treasonous Scottish lords. Pay special attention when he rides the horse out of the barn door opening and into the lake. Doesn't seem to be a very lively horse for dropping twenty feet into a body of water, does it?
    • You know towards the beginning, when Wallace and Hamish have the throwing-rocks-at-each-other contest? Just as the big rock passes Wallace's head, there's a continuity cut. It blatantly switches sides. Everyone's willing to forgive a certain amount of that kind of thing, but... you have to wonder how hard it would have been to reshoot a chunk of gray Styrofoam soaring gently through Mel Gibson's closeup.
    • The most horrible one must be a shot during the Battle of Stirling Bridge, when the English cavalry charges the Scottish lines to impale themselves on hastily raised pikes. The cut moves to a P.O.V. shot from the pikeholders' point of view as very obvious animatronics horses crash into the pikes. That wouldn't be so bad, except it's also quite obvious the horses are standing on a wheeled platform - their legs don't move at all. During a charge. And then, just before the next cut, the platform rolls ever so slightly backwards...
      • Perhaps it's obvious in some shots, but some of the shots of horses being impaled on spikes were so realistic that Mel Gibson was subject to an investigation by the ISPCA.
      • And in the battle scene where the Scots turn round and wave their arses at Longshanks, one pasty Celtic bum has quite clearly already got an arrow sticking out of it (presumably intended for the next shot, when the archers fire; either that or the character prepares for battle by stabbing himself in the ass with an arrow).
    • In the scene where Campbell's hand is cut off, you can quite easily see that his entire arm is fake since it seems to be not only extremely long but also unnaturally bent.
    • In the final shot of the film look closely at Hamish's axe. It's flopping around like it was made of rubber, and probably is.
  • The movie Thunderpants covered the main character's birth. He ends up farting, propelling himself out of the birth canal, up into the air, and into the arms of a doctor. While in the air (and, might it be added, at an impossibly steep angle), we get a close up of the new-born baby. It's obviously a doll, complete with hair, painted eyes, and not even being the right size.
  • In the first scene of Casino, Robert De Niro rather conspicuously transforms into a mannequin just before his car is blown up.
  • In Disney's Babes in Toyland, you can spot a couple. Such as the Blooper of an extra accidentally closing her nightdress into the door as she walks inside...or a more literal example where one of the trees' eyebrows falls over as they walk away.
  • A debatable example is Dawn of the Dead's bright, pinkish blood, as director George A. Romero stated himself that it's meant to appear cartoony on purpose in order to give the movie a comic book feel.
  • The cheetah-riding scene in Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle has a hilariously fake background, and the CGI cheetah looks very cheap and poorly-designed.
  • Stargate's Blu Ray edition deserves a mention. The picture quality is so much higher than when the movie was filmed that you can see the wires holding up the death gliders during close-ups on their pilots.
  • Ditto the Blu Ray version of The Sound of Music. During the eponymous musical number, you can tell that the grass was painted green, which you couldn't in previous releases.
  • The Thing Below features laughable CGI. When was the movie made? 2004.
  • The fight scene at the beginning of Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse Of The Black Pearl between Jack and Will, where Will throws a sword and it embeds itself at the door? Take another look at the sword. It's obviously plastic.
  • Considering that the for-real animal action in Hotel For Dogs is amazing, the sight of a building rendered with crappy CGI is a shocker.
  • Beneath The Planet Of The Apes, the first Planet of the Apes sequel had this problem. In one shot, the pullover orangutan masks of the background apes are easy to make out (this was due to budget constrains on makeup).
  • The kill effects in The Summer of Massacre are so terrible the film makes Birdemic look like Avatar.


Game Shows Edit

  • A compilation of prop and animal screw-ups can be seen here.
  • Two examples of this on The Price Is Right:
    • During the dreaded "Drewcases" era of the show (first half of Season 37), the graphics for trips were briefly replaced by green screens. Fremantle Media had promised that they would instead be replaced by video walls, but they supposedly instead chose green screens because they were cheaper. This is actually a subversion of this trope, as the change was almost universally hated by fans on ALL sides of the show's Broken Base not because it looked bad on TV, but because it looked bad in the studio. Since the contestants and audience wouldn't be seeing exactly the same thing the viewers at home saw, and since contestants couldn't be accommodated the same way that, say, a meteorologist doing a weather forecast could, the change was very jarring. So hated was the change that, on the episode airing February 12, 2009, Fremantle finally sucked it up and implemented video walls!
    • When Clock Game was played for the first time after the Turntable change in March 2003, the producers discovered that the chroma key area (where a headshot of the contestant appears) was the exact same shade of blue as the blue spot in the pink, purple, and blue Turntable wall. Their first solution was to put a yellow circle background behind the game, but when that didn't work either, they just repainted the game. In May of 2003, Clock Game redebuted with a somewhat ugly-looking yellow border and a green chroma key box. As of November 2005, the game's border is now a much more tolerable...light blue!!!
  • There were actually a few times in which something broke in the American version of Big Brother. One challenge had to be repeated because someone's machine was malfunctioning.
    • There were also a few in Big Brother 8.
      • Supposedly, Jameka's machine in the final veto challenge was malfunctioning, but nobody seemed to notice.
      • During the first part of the final 3 head of household, the contestants had to hold onto their keys and jump over a spinning rabbit. (while water was pouring down on them) Unfortunately, one of them (Probably Danielle, since she did hit it when she was eliminated) accidentally kicked or landed on the rabbit as it came by (at least several times) and the machine broke. This meant that Zach and Dick (The two left after it broke) were more or less just standing there.
  • This moment from Catch Phrase....it's hard to believe this was an accident.
  • Password, Password Plus and Super Password has actually had this happen quite a bit. There were a few moments in which the other passwords that have yet to have been played were accidentally revealed, another moment where the wrong word was revealed at the start of the puzzle.
    • There's the time where one of the celebrity contestants couldn't quite see the password. Whoops.
  • In Countdown Carol suddenly has a stagehand's hand appear from behind the letter cards.
    • The same thing happened with a puzzle board on the last episode of Body Language.
  • Wheel of Fortune has some pretty sloppy editing across the board. To wit:
    • On a 1988 episode, a round was thrown out and re-shot. However, they didn't remove all of the thrown-out round, so you got "Our category for this round is Phrase…" [10 seconds later] "…once again, our category is People."
    • In fall 1989, some of the puzzles had zeroes instead of O's. These were blatantly obvious, as they didn't match the rest of the letters at all.
    • When the show still had returning champions, the contestant backdrops would display the contestant's running total for their combined episodes. These displays held five digits, but one particularly lucky contestant was north of $100,000 by her third day, so host Pat Sajak taped a "1" to her backdrop.
    • Back when the board was still mechanical, both Vanna White and predecessor Susan Stafford sometimes turned letters so hard that the letters themselves slid partway off the trilon (the little three-sided boxes they turned).
    • Similarly, with the electronic board, sometimes a letter just won't reveal itself when Vanna touches it. She's had to wait as long as 10 seconds to get the stubborn letter to reveal.
    • Sometimes, the camera over the Wheel doesn't catch it as it stops to show what the contestant landed on. As a result, a spin from another episode may be dubbed in. Most of the time this is very obvious, as the spin may come from a different round, or show the different episode's Prize wedge still present.
    • This is also present during the Final Spin. If Pat hits Bankrupt or Lose a Turn, they edit it out and he spins again. Sometimes, you can tell that the original spin was re-shot, because the Wheel will suddenly jump to a totally different spot as it comes to a stop.
    • On several occasions, the graphic showing the puzzle category has disappeared. And at least three times, they've put the wrong one in.
    • At least twice, a letter was revealed in the Bonus Round that the contestant did not call. On both instances, it led to a win, and it was decided to let the contestant keep the prize.
  • Every so often, the crew would engineer the entryway to the Match Game set not opening as a prank to Gene Rayburn. On one memorable occasion, Rayburn smashed right through.
  • While Ray Combs was host of Family Feud, the electronic portion of the game board (which displayed the show's logo in the intro and going into commercial, and the answers in Fast Money) was prone to errors. In one instance, it erased the "FE" from the opening logo, leading to Ray and one family making several jokes about the "Family Ud".


Live Action TV Edit

  • The original Land of the Lost was basically one long Special Effect Failure, except for the surprisingly well-done stop-motion dinosaurs.
  • The entire Ultraman series was infamous for having quite cheesy special effects, especially Ultraman Taro.
  • According to Steve, you will find it in every single scene of Double the Fist.
  • The White Collar season 1 finale ends with a parked airplane exploding. It's painfully obvious it was either CG or a really sloppy matte job, though to be fair the show is a relatively low budget comedy-drama that normally uses basically no special effects.
    • Not only there. When Tiffani Thiessen was pregnant during season 2, they pretended her character was in California. Ridiculous green screening of the Golden Gate Bridge ensued.
  • Leverage used ridiculous green screen backgrounds of world landmarks such as pyramids in Egypt and the like while Gina Bellman was pregnant. Needless to say that nobody bought it.
  • The pilot episode of Memphis Beat had a glaringly out-of-place neon marquee for a radio station slapped on top of a building (In reality, the building in question is the headquarters of a local newspaper and the radio station in question went off the air in 1966.)
  • The History Channel Miniseries America: The Story of Us at times. A few that particularly stick out include the steamboat that went by Abraham Lincoln's little raft, the log jam, and Lady Liberty's construction. Granted, they did saturate the series in CG, but it's not that conspicuous unless there's non-CG elements like people in the same frame.
  • Pops up several times in Pushing Daisies.
  • The talking deer in the Japanese drama Shikaotoko Aoniyoshi (The Amazing Deer-Man) is almost always CG-animated. While the deer simply standing and speaking is actually astoundingly realistic-looking (especially for a deer that's capable of moving its lips and tongue to effect human speech), any standard movement shots are hilariously disconnected and the deer itself is low-detail and Off-Model.
  • One of the episodes in The Mentalist centered around a bomb blowing up a building. When there is a vision of the bomb blowing up... the CGI was painfully obvious.
  • A Nickelodeon special on the making of The Last Airbender showed a car is pulling into the parking lot of what is presumably M. Night Shyamalan's studio. In a gratuitous misuse of CGI, a pair of poorly rendered gates swing open from the otherwise real background to let the car in.
  • The BBC Sci Fi series Moonbase 3 was criticized for its cheap-looking props and sets. Ironically, this was caused by efforts to be as realistic as possible; it is much more difficult to create a realistic-looking rocket, spacesuit, and what not than to simply use a salt shaker as a futuristic device.
  • Starhunter had rather awful CGI for its spaceships and their weapons. The effects were on par with or worse than what was available nearly 10 years before production started.
  • The DVD release of Babylon 5 has awful-looking CGI. The series was shot widescreen with the intent to letterbox it for high definition broadcasts and DVD later (though it was broadcast in 4:3 originally). The creators intended to re-render all the CGI to match the DVD's letterbox presentation, but the models for the CGI were lost, so they had to resort to cropping the standard-def graphics. As a result, there is a noticeable drop in picture quality whenever there is a CGI element on screen.
    • The video release was also very obvious with its CGI, especially for the earlier seasons. Although this may have been an accurate demonstration of how it went when it was naturally broadcast.
    • A minor example from the original run is Londo's "star laces", alien flowers he uses to woo his mistress, which look like fairy lights attached to beer can holders.
    • N'Grath, the insectoid crimeboss who made a few appearances in the first season sometimes had the very human legs of the actor playing him appear in the frame, since the suit only went down his tighs. They had smoke and coloured lights cover this up, but it only worked some of the time.
    • The version of the Drakh that appears in one scene in Season 4 is never seen again, and for good reason: it looks like someone got ahold of Rick Moranis's Dark Helmet costume and spray-painted it to look like Skeletor. Even filming it through a deliberately blurred lens can't make it look like a living creature, and not a hunk of rubber or plastic.
  • The original Doctor Who television series, particularly in its early years, brought home the cliche of "Incredibl(y Cheap) BBC Special Effects" to entire generations of fans, such as the use of Dalek action figures for scenes featuring a Dalek army. (Which might have worked, except they were very bad Dalek action figures.) The shoestring-budget look has become one of the most warmly remembered parts of the show, and a major fear of many fans prior to the premiere of the new series is that it would look too well-done.
    • It was still generally good for its time (compare other sci-fi from the same time period), except for the earliest seasons and the seasons made during the UK recession of the late '70s.
      • As well as the final two seasons from 1988-1989. By the time Doctor Who had ended, a minute of the show cost one-fifth as much as a minute of Star Trek the Next Generation.
      • In addition to being lovable because of its Special Effect Failures, there were times when the inability to properly articulate humanoid aliens or robots put them squarely in the Uncanny Valley.
    • Even the new series sometimes has Special Effect Failures. The Slitheen and the Jagrafess are two good (that is, bad) examples.
    • In "The Stolen Earth" the TARDIS tows the earth across the Dawn of War loading screen.
    • Colin Baker's response to the people who "loved" the poor special effects is that you didn't love them: you tolerated them, you forgave them. Claiming otherwise is just your Nostalgia Filter operating.
    • Tom Baker once said of the "The Talons of Weng-Chiang", "The BBC is very good at period drama but not very good at giant rats."
    • "Invasion of the Dinosaurs" is thrilling when you read the script -- but on the screen, the dinosaurs make the aforementioned giant rats look convincing by comparison.
    • Even compared to the other creatures that have appeared on Doctor Who, the beast that menaces Romana in "The Androids of Tara" looks utterly atrocious.
    • "Planet of the Dead" has this. One of the aliens that they meet is killed by a monster that apparently drops straight onto it and they give no sign of the thing even biting him. It's like there was a tube inside the monster that the alien just slides into, as if he were swallowed whole.
    • And then there is the memorable Creature of the Pit which bore and uncanny resemblance to a giant penis and scrotum - how BBC effects missed this is a mystery.
    • In The End of Time, you can see the point at which the Vinvocci's rubber cap joins their heads very clearly. It's particularly noticeable with the female actress, who has a tendency of furrowing her brow while the top of her forehead remains suspiciously immobile.
    • In the otherwise beautiful "Enlightenment", there's the scene where Turlough gets rescued after throwing himself overboard. Cue green screen background of a ship with Mark Strickson hanging from wires in front of it while a net is brought over to scoop him up. Fortunately, many of the bad special effects were fixed when a special remade version was released on DVD along with the original episode.
    • The impact (no pun intended) of Adric's demise in "Earthshock" is unfortunately lessened when you see the actual freigher "crash" and realize that it isn't even moving. And the explosion itself seems to have been inspired by Atari games.
    • "The Vampires of Venice". Most of the effects are great, such as the aliens. But for some reason, something as simple as a backdrop as the Doctor climbs a tower looks incredibly fake. Huh?
    • The Monster of the Week in "The Lazarus Experiment" would have been much more frightening was the CGI quality not in line with World of Warcraft.
    • "The Power of Kroll" features what could have been a decent effect turned into one of the show's worst-ever ones thanks to incompetent execution. The model of the titular Kroll (a gigantic squid-like beast) was actually pretty good by the standards of when the episode was made, but the production crew decided to insert it into the location footage by just chopping the frame in half and sticking the model footage on top, which resulted parts of the landscape and actors magically vanishing whenever Kroll showed up.
    • The most egregious example of this may have been The Ark In Space where a mid-stage version of the Wirrn is literally an actor wrapped in green bubble-wrap. In fairness, bubble-wrap was new at the time.
    • The Daleks went through a phase of using fire extinguishers as their main weapon. The initial effect was cool - this weird alien could that just causes people to die, like an ersatz flamethrower. Unfortunately, it lost its menace whenever the camera focused on the corpses and they were soaking wet.
  • Its spinoffs aren't immune either.
    • The creature in the Torchwood episode "Meat" looked embarrassingly fake in places.
      • It's bad enough that Abaddon looks like something from a video game, but the way that he's integrated into the live-action shots is just laughable.
    • In The Sarah Jane Adventures, the entanglement shells from The Warriors of Kudlak looked so much like jellybeans.
  • Then there's Blakes Seven, which makes Doctor Who look lush and over-produced. According to the crew, the special effects budget for the show was £50 per episode. Granted, this was the late 1970s, but still...
    • The third season episode The Harvest of Kairos is particularly exemplary. The better of the two main types of aliens seen is modelled by a rock.
      • The Harvest of Kairos can only be enjoyed as comedy.
  • In The Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy, an animatronic second head was made for Zaphod Beeblebrox. Unfortunately, it rarely worked, and for most of the series it just sat lifelessly on actor Mark Wing Davey's shoulders. The series tried to Hand Wave it early on, with the actor ordering his second head to "go back to sleep".
  • Star Trek itself was resilient to this syndrome, given its budget for the time, but still occasionally fell down.
    • The aliens at the end of the 'Catspaw' episode are clearly puppets with very visible strings.
      • Also, Sylvia becoming a giant cat is pretty obviously enlarged stock footage of an average housecat.
    • They actually lampshaded it in the Corbomite Maneuver. The alien on the viewscreen looked like a big puppet, and then when Kirk and co beamed over to the mini craft to offer help after blasting it, they discovered that it really was a big puppet.
    • And then there was the windsock dipped in cement. Mind, two different companies did remastered versions of "The Doomsday Machine", but neither really captured the essence of the Planet Killer with CGI. A cement-covered wind sock is actually the best effect in this case.
    • The first appearance of wide-beam phasers, in "The Return Of The Archons", is quite ropey even for its time and budget. They appear to end arbitrarily rather than hit their targets, and a beam going behind Doctor McCoy's arm has a gap in it much wider than said arm.
    • A frequent stock shot of the Enterprise has part of one warp nacelle grainily dropping out of the image to reveal the stars behind.
    • A guy falling to his doom off the balcony of a floating city is represented by a black blob moving across a satellite photo. Yeah.
    • In the Next Generation episode "Conspiracy", a truly horrific sequence involving phasering a guy's face off is wrecked when a hideous monster bursts from the remains of his chest... and it is the weakest, saddest, muppet-looking thing ever. Plus, the way they blue-screened it into the scene couldn't possibly be more obvious.
    • The episode Coming of Age has a matte painting that's supposed to look like it's a hallway going on for a while...instead, it looks like someone's painted a hallway on the wall.
    • Then there was the case of the Type 7 shuttlecraft, whose mockup did not match to it's model counterpart.
  • Wizards of Waverly Place loves this trope. Nearly every episode succumbs to this syndrome, whether it's flying carpets, chandelier-swinging, giant seamonkeys, or random trips to China.
    • Correction: The Disney Channel loves this trope. Almost all scenes in the sky feature blatant blue/greenscreen, especially noticeable considering the characters' outlines, and how they move at a completely different framerate from the clouds/city, etc. Another Waverly Place example is when they go into Alex's journal. It looks like the editors were testing Adobe Premiere Elements when they go inside of it. One of the characters also falls behind a wall painted like water (there wasn't even a splash!).
    • While the Wizards Made for TV Movie still isn't immune to this trope (the sequence where Mr. Russo makes the steel drums play themselves is especially noticeable), as a whole it has a much higher budget than the series proper.
  • Hannah Montana doesn't use special effects often (except when driving cars), but when it does, you can expect it to fall under this trope. One blatant example is from an early episode, where Miley/Hannah blows the fakest-looking bubble gum bubble imaginable.
  • The Disney Channel show Shake It Up does not use special effects much either, but the streets are quite obviously crude sets, and green screen is used at times to show driving, which looks terrible.
  • The fourth season CSI episode "The Turn of the Screw" opened with a rollercoaster car flying off its tracks. Inevitably, they showed a POV shot from the back seat of the car as it flew through the air, and it was rather obviously superimposed footage of a normal rollercoaster ride - emphasised when one of the passengers in the front seat turned around and was clearly screaming in exhilaration rather than terror (for a start, she was smiling, which seems an odd reaction to have to impending certain death).
    • A Season 11 episode, "Cold Blooded", features the Walking with Dinosaurs live arena show. In the shots of the audiences' perspective of the show, it is blatantly clear that they are not watching a live show, mostly because of the perspective. It ends up looking like they are watching a movie screen instead. The CSI filming crew was clearly allowed access to the show and the animatronic dinosaurs.
  • Similarly, NCIS, with a car plunging into the water. This example was less explicable, as the stunt (a car going into the water off a dock) would be trivial and cheap to do in live-action. Apparently, CBS received firesale pricing on bad car crash computer effects.
    • That's not the only time. In the episode where Gibbs quits because the SEALs are ordered to take down the boat with the terror suspect on it despite his advice. The suspect promptly blows himself and the ship up. Cue another diabolically bad CGI explosion. What happened to physical special effects? Or is the entire point for these "whizzkids" to show us "Hey Ma, look what I can do on my computer!"
      • Worst of all, the team was watching the ship on satellite: if the CGI wasn't up to the task they could have simply shown the blast in low-res background shots.
  • The Benny Hill Show did this on purpose; one of their most notorious Running Gags involved some random character falling from a great height -- they would pitch an obvious dummy dressed in the actor's clothes over the edge, and then Jump Cut to the actor getting up from the spot where the dummy had fallen.
    • Married... with Children did the exact same thing (usually on the episodes where Al has to fix something on the roof of the house and he ends up falling).
    • As did The Goodies, frequently.
    • Family Guy paid homage to this, despite being animated.
    • As did Homestar Runner in the sbemail stunt double, again despite being an animation. (Although technically it is within the context of a movie being made by the characters; see below.)
    • Done in the Melee a Trois Colbert/Stewart/O'Brien Crossover, when an obvious stunt double of each host is thrown down the stairs by the other two. Conan lampshades it by jumping into frame too early and asking his double if he's okay -- upon which Colbert and Stewart realise they've been tricked and give chase.
    • SCTV used obvious dummies quite a lot, to hilarious effect.
    • And Saturday Night Live (whose show has been filled to the brim with Special Effects Failure since 1975. It's been toned down ever since the show switched to high-definition in season 31 [5]), but it does crop up -- usually in the form of horrible chroma-keying or props that look cheap and breakable).
    • Monty Python often used this gag.
    • Stuntman extraordinaire Super Dave Osborne would almost invariably be horribly injured and mutilated when his stunts went awry... or rather, a completely obvious dummy would be (often it seemed they simply stuffed an empty jumpsuit with rags, considering how it flapped and twisted in the wind as it fell from great heights).
    • Hell, even the Three Stooges did this at least once (but it was rather cutting-edge then).
    • Pretty much every Disney Channel sitcom has a dummy used every once in a while.
  • Inversion: The costumes for the Power Rangers SPD version of Doggie Cruger, as well as Fowler Birdie and Sergeant Silverback were much more elaborate and high-tech, using similar animatronics to bring them to life as the title characters in the live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies. However, this is part of a series made infamous for its use of Stock Footage, Off-the-Shelf FX and People in Rubber Suits, so they stuck out like a sore thumb to fans, being decried as too "Muppet-like" for the series. The fursuit-esque costumes of its Super Sentai counterpart, Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger, ironically, were considered better-constructed and more appropriate. However, the They Changed It, Now It Sucks factor must ever be considered, as it is an American version of something Japanese.
    • While we're on the subject of Super Sentai, Seijuu Sentai Gingaman/Power Rangers Lost Galaxy featured, for its Humongous Mecha, a quintet of very rubber-looking giant animals that transformed into more traditional mecha. Worse, while the lion, falcon/dragon thing and the ape were still rendered as costumes/puppets/whatever in robot mode, the wolf and wildcat had been made as stiff, unconvincing models. In order to get them moving across the landscape during the Transformation Sequence, they were rendered together as utterly rubbish CGI models. The scenes where the mechs operate as individuals look like they came from something twenty years older.
    • Samurai Sentai Shinkenger is a FANTASTIC looking series... except for when they kill the giant monsters. For some reason, instead of a huge fiery explosion we get a pathetic little piffle of sparks.
      • Even worse in the teamup movie with Engine Sentai Go-onger, where the big robo finishing attack isn't a gigantic CG bullet barrage or stampede of the individual mecha, but simply a few normal-looking blasts with pyrotechnics usually reserved for auxiliary weaponry.
    • The toy version of the Power Rangers Mystic Force Titan Megazord's Mystic Dragon mode is extremely cool. The suit costume on the show... well, because the red Mystic Titan rides the dragon, it's essentially the Red Mystic Titan's torso wearing the dragon's legs and with the rest of the dragon around its belly like an inner tube. It's really embarrassing to see the rest of the dragon flop around when it lands after an attack.
    • And of course, there's the usage of the Bandai of America toys of the Ninja/Shogun Zords in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Season 3 with the toy of Titanus. It's made worse by the White Shogun Zord being pink in the US toyline (due to a pink Ranger in MMPR whereas Ninja Sentai Kakuranger, the source of the footage, had a white one, and Bandai not wanting a Frivolous Lawsuit) Also, the toy version has different logos on the Zords than the show version. This means there are some very noticeable changes in the Zords between original footage and sentai footage. The Ninjazords don't escape entirely, either (the Crane's red markings were changed to pink, for the same reason). Also, for some reason, Titanus has the otherwise-unseen Dragonzord's chestplate now.
      • There is a reason for that. Dragonzord's chestplate was mounted there in the original Ultrazord formation, and they were trying to make it as similar as possible.
      • That, and repositioning Titanus' head for the Ultrazord configuration would otherwise have left a big, unsightly gap.
    • Power Rangers Wild Force: The episode "Forever Red" features a horrible, undersized, miscoloured-in-half-the-shots, CGI version of Serpentera. Off-the-Shelf FX would have been a huge step up from this.
    • Back to Super Sentai, the final battle of Dengeki Sentai Changeman. It may have been The Eighties, but there is just no excuse for a fight against the insides of a Planet Eater being represented by the Megazord imposed over stock footage of cells dividing.
    • One that frequently affects Power Rangers involves the fact that you have three people playing the same person: the actor, the suit actor/stunt double, and the Japanese suit actor from the stock footage. It was lampshaded/handwaved with Justin of Power Rangers Turbo, who apparently shot through 6 years of puberty every time he morphed, but there are some other examples which stand out:
      • She's a Man In Japan creates a frequent problem for Yellow Rangers, namely Trini, whose (male) Japanese suit actor was rather... gifted. Proof. (Additionally, most suit actors in Japan were male, even for female rangers. Those skirts on Pink Ranger costumes served a practical purpose of cover-up.)
      • A kind of inverse happened during Lost Galaxy. The male Yellow Ranger in Gingman was turned into the female Lost Galaxy Ranger, who was played by the rather buxom Cerina Vincent, who flattened every time she morphed. Apparently, ranger spandex is more effective than any sports bra.
      • Aljin Abella was the shortest member of the Power Rangers Jungle Fury cast, yet was cast as the Blue Ranger, who was the tallest in Juken Sentai Gekiranger. Theo grew about a foot every time he morphed.
  • The intentionally So Bad It's Good Garth Marenghi's Darkplace is full of this sort of thing. A quote from the show's "producer" Dean Learner (played by Richard Ayoade):

  "An eagle-eyed viewer might be able to see the wires. A pedant might be able to see the wires. But I think if you're looking at the wires, you're ignoring the story. If you go to a puppet show, you can see the wires, but it's about the puppets, it's not about the string. If you go to a Punch and Judy show and you're watching the wires, you're a freak."

    • The quote was in reference to a sequence where the protagonists were being chased by supernaturally animated everyday objects suspended from incredibly obvious wires. Another memorable sequence in the same show was a motorbike chase in which they were on pedal bikes with motorbike noises dubbed in and against an incredibly obvious "POV behind moving vehicle" blue screen.
  • The wires holding Apollo and Starbuck up during a spacewalk scene in the Battlestar Galactica Classic episode "Fire in Space" probably weren't visible in the original broadcast in 1979, but they're blatantly visible in the remastered DVD release -- so visible, in fact, that one wonders why they weren't airbrushed out during the remastering.
    • They probably also didn't realize at the time that the "space suits" didn't cover the skin where the sleeves and gloves didn't come together.
    • In "Hand of God", the final episode, the view through a porthole window is very obviously a matte painting behind the set. It would be far less noticeable, however, if the scene didn't open up with the camera zoomed in on it.
    • Additional failures in Galactica:
      • In the pilot movie, there are scenes where Zac's spaceship is missing the left side of the cockpit shortly before he's killed by Cylons.
      • Several times throughout the series, when someone needs to use the joystick inside the Vipers, the hand on the joystick is Boomer's (a black man), even when the pilot is white.
      • In a scene where Starbuck's Viper is hit, sparks shoot out of the cockpit, but fall through the empty hole where the cockpit glass is supposed to be, never mind that he's supposed to be in space, so the sparks shouldn't fall anyway.
  • Speaking of Galactica, the re-imagining has excellent special effects but still has its moments of failure:
    • In the season 1 episode "Water", the water gushing out of the punctured containers reeks of bad CGI.
    • In the season 3 episode "Rapture", when the sun goes nova, the characters see it framed between the natural pillars of the Temple of Five. Moment of symbolic significance... except the sunlight on the Temple comes from a source to the left and slightly behind the camera, not from the nova in the dead center of the screen. Though in the above 2 cases the Rule of Cool means it doesn't really detract from the effect.
  • Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future: Leaving aside just how badly the then-state-of-the-art computer graphics have aged, any aerial battle between Hawk and Soaron inevitably features a moment when Soaron shoots at Hawk, but is unable to keep up with him. Soaron's laser beams, missing their target, instead hit the air behind Hawk, as if he were running on the ground. Said laser beams explode on impact. With the air.
  • Animorphs was infamous for, among other things, particularly bad special effects. You can see the weave in Visser Three's tailscythe.
  • The Neverwhere miniseries was low-budget but looked fine until the dramatic appearance of the dreaded Beast of London, which was very clearly a Highland cow in silhouette.
  • The 1960s Batman's infamous wall-climbing sequence. Arguably, every special effect in the show qualifies; it was intentionally high Camp.
  • A scene in one Red Dwarf episode called for Rimmer to accidentally trigger an ejector seat and be flung out of a parked spaceship. The wires involved were so obvious on screen that they added a little aerial to Rimmer's peaked cap in an attempt to disguise the line. It didn't work.
    • Red Dwarf is full of this kind of thing, but in earlier seasons nobody minded. Then came season eight, where Cat made a shuttle tap-dance. Poorly.
    • In the late '90s, they "remastered" the first three series, which didn't actually improve anything, as the CGI effects were no better than the originals. This wouldn't be a problem, except that they cut several minutes from various episodes to make room for them.
    • Series 6 and 7 were shot around the time the BBC began to fall in love with CG effects, and the model shots were combined with early-to-mid-90s computer models. The mix is incredibly jarring. By the time series 8 rolled around, all the effects were digital and had improved slightly.
  • Dark Shadows can be consistently fakey-lookin'. The special effects suffered horribly when actors (usually allowed only one take) fumbled their props or reacted at the wrong moment to the Green/Blue-screen menace.
  • The Tonight Show with Jay Leno used distorted lenses to create the characters of Iron Jay and Mr. Brain, and also for the headless effect with Beyondo. Since it started using HD, those characters have rarely been seen.
  • Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and later O'Brien's run of The Tonight Show ran a Show Within a Show telenovela named Noches de Pasion con Senor O'Brien. Each episode lampshades this trope when "Conando" beats up a few guys and throws them off-screen, immediately cutting to stock footage of a completely different person falling out of a random window.
  • The fully-CGI Terminator endo-skeletons in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles are arguably less convincing than the fully-mechanical muppet used in the climax of the original Terminator film.
    • But definitely more convincing than the stop-motion used in that film.
  • Oz turning into a werewolf on Buffy the Vampire Slayer wavered in quality. The first time ("Phases") there was a pretty good werewolf suit, but the second time ("Beauty and the Beasts") it looked like a scary tiki mask glued onto a gorilla costume.
    • In fact, this costume became much reviled on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, to the point where, when the spin-off Angel decided to do werewolves, the costume designers were given this note: "Don't make it look like a gay possum."
    • "Fake the Snake" from Season 5 episode "Shadow", which was either being represented by sub-par CGI or a big, motionless rubber model trundling along on a truck.
    • The Watcher's Council building explosion in Season 7, an effects shot so embarrassing it was allowed only a split-second of screen time.
    • Angel's big failure was the attempt at redesigning vampire makeup in the pilot episode. They quickly went back to the Buffy-style stuff.
      • There's one scene in "Spin The Bottle" where David Boreanaz and Vincent Kartheiser's stunt doubles are clearly visible, and another in one of the Pylea eps where the bulge of Amy Acker's microphone pack under her costume is seen.
  • The 90's series Werewolf was a Fugitive clone featuring a young man on the run because he got bitten by a wolf, and every full moon after that... well, you get the idea. The actual werewolf costume looked pretty scary and menacing -- as long as it was seen in the dark, slightly out of focus, in hand-held shots and with rapid cutting. Unfortunately in later episodes the werewolf suit was fully-lit, and appeared totally lame.
  • The 2002 Taiwanese television series Wind and Cloud received an unfortunate reputation in Finland because of this. It featured an infamous magical-sonic-beam-attack of a sort... Which was basically created by having the user throw a bunch of hula-hoops at the opponent. Other special attacks were fairly similar in quality, too.
  • Knight Rider: The obligatory Turbo Boost sequences were frequently convincing, but were just as frequently lame, including at least one instance where, rather than a stunt car, what we see is plainly a matchbox toy being tossed over a miniature set -- an effect made worse by the fact that, like most Knight Rider merchandise, the matchbox car had the words "KNIGHT 2000" printed on it in large red letters.
    • Even if a stunt car is used in a Ramp Jump or Turbo Boost scene, one can often see through the empty engine compartment. The landings aren't always cut away properly either, so parts of K.I.T.T. can frequently seen come off and fly away.
    • Pretty much every episode of Knight Rider has a multitude of special effect failures. Besides the visible ramps and cheap car bodies used for jumping scenes, every time K.I.T.T. is supposed to be driving really, really fast is actually just a sped-up scene, which becomes obvious when the vehicle is making unrealistically sharp turns at full speed. Theres also a stunt driver that looks nothing like David Hasselhoff (mainly due to his big head/hair), the console in the car and car windows disappearing and reappearing in outside shots, a clearly visible "ghost driver" wearing a weird flour-bag to conceal himself driving K.I.T.T. when the car is on autopilot, and many, many more. There was even a whole german website just listing every instance of this trope for Knight Rider.
    • While the new series has been rather more impressive (if a bit Uncanny Valley) with its Turbo Boost and metamorphosis sequences, it seems to have a harder time with effects nowhere near as special: watch the rear window during driving scenes shot from inside KITT. The color saturation is so far off one expects to see Wile E. Coyote chasing after the Knight 3000.
  • Goosebumps was a kids TV series, which already means it'll have a low budget. But combine that with the fact it's a horror anthology and you get some of the most awful special effects this side of the live-action Animorphs. Of course, kids watching it won't notice, but when watching it as an adult for nostalgia reasons... yeah.
  • Parodied in A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift Of All, which is every cheesy Christmas trope you can think of turned Up to Eleven eleven. Elvis Costello is amazed when Stephen reveals that the "reindeer" hired for the show are actually just goats with antlers. "Well, you can't tell!" Cut to a miniature goat with a pair of toy antlers tied to its head.
  • An episode of The Professionals had a car going off a cliff in slow motion -- which only highlights the fact that it's driven by crash-test dummies. Even if a short-sighted audience member was fooled, one of the driver's heads falls off for no apparent reason.
  • Happens in Lost during the scene in which Locke is falling out of a building after his father pushes him. The green screen/CGI is pretty blatant.
    • Also happens any time one of the polar bears is shown closely. They look like they were modeled on a 10-year old Macintosh.
    • A rather unfortunate submarine in the fifth season is conspicuous, especially since they usually have good or at least passable effects, especially since the entire shot may have been CG and looked like a screensaver or something.
      • The worst part of that effect was that it was completely superfluous, and seemed to be showing off.
      • In a way, the CGI to tell the viewer where a certain scene takes place. Really, his apartment has a view over the Eiffel Tower? This backyard somewhere outside of the town really has an unobstructed view of the Kremlin? Your band practices in an alley directly next to the Tower Bridge? Did you go for a walk to see the Sydney Opera House, even though you've been living in this city for years?
    • The freighter explosion doesn't really look that convincing, especially when watched on Blu-ray. Usually the production values are pretty high though...
    • Compared to other underwater scenes, the Island underwater in the Season 6 premiere looks like an old screen saver.
    • Ben's smoke-induced vision in "Dead is Dead" was terrible.
    • The source from "Across the Sea" looks like a bad photoshop.
  • Space: 1999 had some superb model shots, but was sometimes let down by lousy matte paintings.
    • In "The Testament of Arkadia", a landing Eagle spaceship is supposed to swoop down out of the sun. Instead, the sun behaves like a small disk inside the planet's atmosphere, and the Eagle appears from behind the disk.
  • Any time Booth and Brennan are driving to a scene in Bones is obviously a shot of the actors in a prop car in front of a backdrop.
    • In the dead astronaut episode, both of them do some unconvincing freefall gymnastics on board NASA's "Vomit Comet" plane. When freefall ends, Booth's feet are shown slowly settling to the floor, right next to a pen and index card which are sitting on the floor already. Possibly it's a visual lampshading of how very bad these "zero gravity" scenes were, as there's no logical reason to show these objects alongside his feet except to poke fun at how contrived the scene looks.
  • Charmed. The basic energy effects they figured out how to do pretty well, but anything that required more advanced CGI than that quickly became cringe-worthy.
    • Some might also consider the ridiculous costumes a form of this, if they don't fall under Narm Charm.
    • The pilot sticks out for this. An evil warlock demonstrates his power to create fire, by lifting a papier mache hand into shot with what appear to be normal disposable lighters embedded in the fingers... now take how bad you imagine that looking and make it 10x worse.
  • The pilot for Sarah Michelle Gellar's new show Ringer had some spectacularly bad green screen of the ocean, of the boat, and of the background while character's were in the boat. Couldn't The CW have worked on it after getting it from CBS?
  • As a Sci Fi Channel original series, Sanctuary runs into this with the goofy-looking muscle suit that a lead actor wears when he's turned into a hulking freak.
  • On the subject of Kamen Rider...
    • The monsters in the first series are laughable, even for the time. They're basically just guys in Halloween masks.
    • Also, many monster attacks on civilians involved victims disintegrating. At least, that's what we gather from the people's absence after these sequences. What are we supposed to make of beads placed in a vaguely humanoid pile being pulled apart and away from offscreen?
    • The monster explosions in the first few series, where the monsters basically just turn into smoke bombs. It wasn't until Kamen Rider Super-1 when they finally got the idea to add fire.
    • Kamen Rider Amazon had the most rubbery monsters in Toku history. The scene where Amazon is wrestling with an alligator monster is especially hilarious, due to its rubber snout and tail constantly bending and flattening.
    • Kamen Rider X was a nice, serious show, giving us some good plot and Starfish Hitler... and then you get to the final battle with Apollo Geist, where his "ultimate attack" is a spare Apollo Geist suit being set on fire and rolling down a hill at X-Rider. Witness it here.
    • Going to the Heisei era, the terrible, terrible CG monster explosions in Kamen Rider Kuuga and Kamen Rider Agito. On the occasion when they did use actual explosive instead of CG, it looked ten times better.
    • Kamen Rider Kiva has the Buron Booster, an add-on for Kiva's Cool Bike, which looks way too big to stay upright and is accompanied by a mediocre CGI Kiva riding it. This is especially jarring since the show's other major CG elements, like Kiva's dragon castle and IXA's mechanical counterpart, are pretty well done on the whole.
      • The Zanvat Sword's sliding hilt isn't perfectly snug and visibly shakes when it is handled. Not to mention the thing is one of the most plastic looking weapons in the Heisei series, especially with the sparkle-imbued blade.
    • In Kamen Rider Decade, Kivaara has gone from her CGI rendering to being a toy from episode 8. No attempt is made to show her lips moving or her wings flapping; we only hear the sound effect of her wings moving and the camera is simply shaken back and forth. She got better though.
      • When Natsumi transforms, it's a very dramatic scene, sadly ruined by the suit forming being a good distance off-center from the body.
    • Kamen Rider Double: For the death of the Weather Dopant, the Jump Cut from the character dying to the explosion is disgustingly obvious.
      • Spoofed in the net videos for The Movie, where when Kirihiko gets mad and starts beating up on Right-Hand-Cat Mick, it turns into an obvious cat puppet. Then Mick changes into his monster form and gets revenge, with Kirihiko turning into a dummy in a suit with a photograph of his face taped to the head.
    • Kamen Rider Den-O: In Chou Den-O Trilogy: Episode Yellow the scene where the past and present versions of Kaitou meet and interact is done with surprisingly bad greenscreening. This is especially jarring since both Den-O and Decade used green screen effects, and in those instances the effect was much better.
    • Kamen Rider OOO: The last episode. Full stop. Oh sure, there was some bad effects before in the series. Like Sha U Ta's debut. Or the zerg-like little fish Yummies in episode 5. But those were given contexts. The awkward "flying" in the last episode, and the pseudo-Yummy pile in the same episode takes the cake for the entire series.
  • The werewolf transformation sequences in Being Human are excellent. The werewolf post-transformation... is rather less so.
  • Not even the Super Bowl is safe from this. In Super Bowl XIII, the crowd penetrated through the shirts of NBC broadcasters Curt Gowdy, Merlin Olsen, and John Brodie.
    • NBC's sports and news divisions had a lot of these problems during the late 1970s. During coverage of the inauguration of Jimmy Carter, notice just before the beginning of the first commercial break at about 11 seconds in, you can see the graphic penetrating through then-TODAY show anchor Tom Brokaw's hair.
    • Also a problem during the Canadian rebroadcasts of the Superbowl: when Global had the rights they digitally swapped any billboards appearing in the stadium with billboards advertising their own programs. This effect usually worked. If the camera moved anything other than purely horizontal, it looked horrible.
  • 24 normally has some of the best special effects on TV. But in Season 4, when Habib Marwan died by falling off the side of a Parking Garage was an obvious horrible looking Blue Screen shot.
    • An episode of Season 2 suffered from a shockingly bad computer-rendered plane that clashed very badly with the show's general adherence to believable practical effects.
    • A suitcase nuke going off early in Season 6 looked pretty obviously fake, but then, it's understandable; they couldn't exactly film an actual nuclear weapon exploding.
  • Merlin -- pick a monster. Any monster. It's easier to pick out which effects don't fail (basically, the teleportation scene in the first episode). The worse offender by far, however, is Nimueh's death scene, which looks very much like the same two CGI shots repeated a few times.
  • The 1996-1998 TV series The Adventures of Sinbad came in just as CGI effects started to get somewhat affordable. Alas, cheap CGI effects were still horrible, and to make matters worse, any CGI monster they had would be recolored re-used (same animations and all) at least a couple of times throughout the show. Couple this with a nearly fetish-like love for making the heroes fight giant, badly bluescreened animals, and you've got a show that's so bad it's good.
  • Raven tries not to use special effects all that much, but when it does, it smashes into this trope -- hard. It includes such things as "floating" orbs of fire, "demons", who look exactly like what's playing them (namely blokes standing around in robes), and people "disappearing", or being "brought back" in flashes of light.
  • Dexter has one particularly bad sequence in season 3 where the camera moves up over a graveyard, riddled with open graves. Not only do the graves look like CGI, the movement is also not synchronized with the camera movement, making the holes float above the ground.
  • Any episode of the '70s series The Six Million Dollar Man that involved our hero flying a fighter was pretty funny to watch. Due to the use of stock footage, he would fly in as many as 5 different planes during a single flight.
  • That Mitchell and Webb Look parodied this with the Helivets.
  • Parodied on Eureka with Sheriff Andy who comes out of the box with a lot of ridiculous looking CGI armor... which immediately falls apart revealing a Ridiculously Human Robot.
  • Parodied in one of Monty Python's funniest moments, the "Scott of the Antarctic" sketch in Monty Python's Flying Circus. The whole sketch revolves around bad moviemaking techniques:
    • To save money, the movie about Scott's Antarctic expedition is shot on an English beach. That's painted white. Except that when they realize this, they switch the setting to the Sahara. Only they still shoot it with the ocean in the background. And they're using a dog sled pulled by various house pets, and wearing winter clothes.
    • To make the main character seem tall, the actor initially walks on boxes while the female love interest acts out of a trench. They eventually realize that this is a problem.
    • Scott gets to fight a lion, since it's in his contract, again despite the fact that the movie was set in the Antarctic. So when we finally see the trailer for the movie, the scene is started by footage of a lion moving past the camera, followed by a lion doll getting tossed onto the beach. Scott wrestles with it for a while before it's replaced by a guy in a bad lion costume, who then starts a fistfight with Scott, eventually dragging a chair from off-camera and then pulling a knife. Then Scott knocks him out with a punch, and blood goes "pshhhhht".
      • In slow motion.
    • Scott's Eskimo partner also gets to fight a giant electrical penguin with tentacles. Blood goes "pshhhht".
      • In slow motion.
  • The Starlost, sometimes called the worst science fiction series ever made, boasted a new video process that was to allow the most spectacular visual effects ever. This process, called "Magic Cam" was a simple greenscreen effect that allowed almost all of the show's sets to be created from miniatures or matte paintings. Promotional material hailed the way that Magic Cam prevented any sort of visible matte line or haloing. This turned out to be entirely false. Matte lines, halos, wires, boom shadow, basically, if there was something you could do to ruin a visual effect, The Starlost did it.
  • In the Fawlty Towers episode "Basil the Rat", most of the shots of Manuel's pet "filligree Siberian hamster" used a real rat, videotaped separately from the main action and edited in. In a scene where the rat scurries across the floor it's obviously a model pulled by a nylon cord, but the main fx failure occurs in the final scene in which the rat pops its head out of a biscuit tin that Polly is presenting to the health inspector. In this scene the rat is a very unconvincing puppet with a rotating head which is operated from beneath the tin by actress Connie Booth.
    • An equally unconvincing rat puppet appears as a Cat Scare in the third installment of the Rose Red miniseries. Its gaping mouth in close-up is obviously plastic, and doesn't even have a rodent's buck teeth. To make matters worse, the real rat shown scampering away from the scene is a different shade of gray-brown.
  • In the 1950s show The Adventures of William Tell, the famous crossbow bolt that pierces the apple in the first episode is quite obviously riding a very visible wire. This wouldn't be so bad if that shot hadn't been used in the opening credits every single week.
  • The early seasons of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys were among the first on TV to use CGI (it was about 1993). They were cheap, and REALLY bad. Lampshaded some seasons later in a 'behind the scenes'-esque episode where Ares looks out a faux-moving car screaming "Cheesy blue-screen effects!"
  • One of the powers associated with becoming a werewolf on Big Wolf on Campus is apparently growing a sixth finger on each (rubber) hand. Additionally, Tommy's later less lupine appearance is a result of actor Brandon Quinn being allergic to the original make up.
  • The X-Files usually made their effects fairly believable, but the episode "Piper Maru", which featured a submarine that could not have been more obviously fake.
    • The same could be said for the "monster" in "Arcadia" and the cat that attacks Mulder in "Grotesque".
    • And the cat that attacks both Mulder AND Scully in "Tesos dos Bichos". It was a cat puppet, but because Gillian Anderson is allergic to cats, they had to use rabbit fur -- which Anderson reports often shed and got stuck to everything. (Presumably the crew even agreed it looked silly -- the blooper reel for that season features a clip of Mulder fighting the cat puppet set to the theme of George of the Jungle.
    • In "Shapes" the onscreen transformation was great, the two times the werewolf actually appeared it looked laughably fake. To their credit, they seemed to realize this limitation and kept it offscreen almost the entire episode; Even during its two actual appearances it was either out of focus or only briefly seen running across the screen.
  • Jason of Star Command is rather notable for the quality (relative to its time and the fact that it was a Filmation production) and quantity of its model shots and space footage, but in the very first episode, Jason goes on a spacewalk (Protected only by an invisible force field) to rescue his commander (Played by James Doohan!). The role of "space" is played by a black curtain with shiny spots on it. You can see over the top of space. You can even see space's curtain rod!.
  • Law and Order had an odd one when a religious fanatic defendant, upon being convicted, turned to his followers and held up his hands, which bled like Christ's wounds. The guy was actually faking it, but that was nothing compared to the special effects failure, which made it blatantly obvious they were using a green-screen. Why they even needed to I can't imagine; he was just standing in the courtroom, like he had been a moment before.
  • Law and Order LA once had 10,000 acres of badly CGI'd/cloned pot, which somehow looked even worse as a photoshopped image.
  • Blackadder: The Cavalier Years briefly features a baby who is an obvious doll. Why they didn't just have it wrapped in cloth is a mystery.
  • Are You Afraid of the Dark?: Due to the low budget, practically every episode. The one that stands out the most was an episode where a bunch of kids were kidnapped onto an alien spacecraft and forced to eat a horrible alien food product... which was clearly and obviously lime-flavoured jello in a bowl.
    • This ended up being beneficial in ways as episodes often had to use frightening ideas and imagery (e.g. a girl suddenly standing on the other side of the window in the middle of the night) rather than special effects, which made it scarier.
  • Walking with Dinosaurs and its sequels had impressive special effects for a documentary, especially upon the first viewing. However after a closer inspection, it is baffling how the SFX team didn't catch some of the clearly obvious goofs. The biggest ones are:
    • The shocking shift between the CG and the animatronic Postosuchus from the first episode.
    • Messed up water reflections from the second episode, also, Diplodocus drinking from a bush.
      • The baby Sauropods supposedly disturb a lot of branches on the ground, however the CG dinosaurs have been animated elsewhere, so the branches are moving on their own.
    • In the third episode, the "skin" of the Ophthalmosaurus is clearly peeling off, and the chunks continue floating in the water.
    • Episode four is basically a goof reel:
      • The long fingers of the Pterosaurs clip through their leather wings all the time.
      • Although it is not as severe as in the picture on the top of the page, you can see that the Iguanodon puppet could have been made with a longer neck
      • CG Iguanodons walking in air.
      • The sequence of the raptors bringing down the Iguanodon has so many clipping errors, it is not funny (watch their hands and legs).
      • When the Utahraptors open their mouths, their "inner surface" becomes visible, and it has the same pattern as their outer skin.
      • And the mating ground, which has messed up shadows and layering issues, see-through pterosaurs, animals repeating the same set of motions at the same time, and the wires clearly hanging out of our main hero's neck.
    • Episode five: the attacking Koolasuchus doesn't open its mouth. The fleeing Leallynasaura however does, and we can see the background through its head.
      • The "allosaur", after it kills the lead female, twists its head in a very painful manner, and its jaws sink into its stiff neck.
    • At the start of the final episode, a Didelphodon tries to rob the nest of a T. rex. As it bounces up and down, its hind legs completely sink into its torso.
      • The large frills of the Torosaurus clip into their shoulders at times.
  • WWD special, The Ballad of Big Al brings us:
    • See-through dinosaurs during the epic Diplodocus hunt and Al's clash with the female Allosaurus.
    • Diplodocus teeth that stretch when the animal opens its mouth.
    • Some very fake-looking interaction between props and CGI.
  • Walking with Beasts:
    • In the first episode, sometimes the actions of the animals don't correspond with the disturbed leaves on the ground.
    • The second episode gives us glimpses of the puppeteer's jeans and shoes as the Andrewsarchus tries to kill an obvious rubber turtle. Meanwhile, the Moeritherium has an impressive collection of wires hanging from its neck. For some reason, they forgot to cover them up with a CG body. Also, the dead calf looks it's made of rubber.
    • The shadows in the third episode don't always match the animals' actions. For instance, the shadow of the Hyaenodon leaning into the carcass of the chalicothere makes it look like the predator's floating.
      • Another scene has a large white prop "hidden" behind the Paraceratherium calf's head.
    • Episode four: the legs of the yawning Dinofelis clip through the tree.
    • The fifth episode has an awfully wooden looking Smilodon head puppet (complete with some unintended dirt sticking to one of its fangs), and clipping errors regarding the CG Smilodon's teeth.
    • The last episode showcases a very awkward looking shot of a bellowing mammoth, whose tusk merges with his trunk for a long moment. The antlers of the fighting Megaloceros also sink into each other.
  • In Walking with Monsters, a gorgonospid brushes against a bush, with the bush sticking INSIDE of it while it chases a scutosaurus.
    • And during the fight between the female Dimetrodons, they too pass through each other once.
  • In the episode in season three of Sliders, the one that ripped off the movie Species, Quinn jumps into the vortex which is off screen... then he can clearly be seen standing up and walking away.
    • Some monsters in Sliders are painfully obvious CG. The dinosaurs aren't the worse; there were also a huge spider, a giant beetle and "spider-wasps" that are looking really out of place in a live-action series.
      • And then there was the worm...
    • The "rip in the universe" effect in the episode As Time Goes By was awful.
  • In the Christmas episode of Corner Gas, Oscar and Emma's car has been digitally added into the exterior shots of the house.
  • The Brittas Empire has an episode with an Emu or Ostrich running wild in the centre, which leads to several amusing effects failures. They actually managed to get a live version of the animal, but presumably it was too dangerous to let the actors interact with it. So you either get a live ostrich/emu running down a corridor dragging an obvious dummy, or human actors interacting with a hand puppet sticking over a bathroom stall. To their credit, the people involved seemed to realise this problem so the shots with the fake ostrich/emu are so obviously fake that it actually adds to the comedy.
  • Farscape is known for its rather impressive special effects, but there's just one scene in which it fails miserably. In the Die Hard episode "I Shrink Therefore I Am", which is filled with (mostly) very well-done effects in which people are shrunk and grown and interact with each other, a glimpse we get through a viewscreen of Noranti floating out in space rather clearly indicates the strings holding her up. Given that the scene is Played for Laughs, though, it may or may not be deliberate.
    • Not to mention the episode "Beware of Dog" where a creature brought on board Moya has two forms: the first a very convincing animatronic puppet, and the second a goofy looking costume that the cast and crew took to calling the "Tandoori Chicken."
    • Rygel's CGI form is strikingly bad compared to the outstanding puppet normally used. Especially glaring in the miniseries where an incredibly well composed and rendered space battle is followed by a rather hokey-looking scene of Rygel swimming.
  • The Troop uses this like there's no tomorrow. The monster effects are so cheap, it can be hard to take the show seriously, even on what was supposed to be tense moments. The fact that the show was made in 2009, only adds to the cheesiness. However, this show is supposed have the charm of old 1990's Nick shows, though it's still hard to cope in this year.
  • For the 50th Anniversary of Coronation Street, the makers planned a huge event based around a catastrophic tram crash on the street. This was generally impressively done, with a huge explosion to damage the track, with large, fiery sets and rubble following the crash. However, the actual moment of the tram crashing onto the street was mired by the incredibly goofy looking CG used for the tram (complete with the driver comically pasted into the front as it comes towards the camera).
  • A clip from Walker, Texas Ranger featured Walker jumping out of a plane which then blows up. Or rather, features an explosion badly pasted over footage of the airplane. When shown on Late Night, Conan's reply was "I thought the special effects on this show were bad until I saw that plane explode on Walker Texas Ranger. They just took footage of a plane and had someone hold a match in front of it."
  • Psych generally doesn't have much in the way of special effects. Shawn notices things while wearing a funny face. But in the second season, Shawn and Gus are trying to save a dare devil's life, and one stunt takes place on top of a tower, and the green screen is painfully obvious.
  • While The Greatest American Hero never did have the Greatest American Special Effects, some episodes were downright painful. In one, Ralph has to stop some Soviet agents from getting picked up by a sub, so he collides with the sub to scare it off. The collision with the "conning tower" is laughably bad (the clearly wooden structure shakes), and it obviously takes place inside on a soundstage.
  • At the climax of the second-season premiere of the 80's War of the Worlds, the Blackwood Project team and mercenary John Kincaid run to escape their home, which had been rigged with enough explosives to completely destroy it. The resulting explosion as the characters reach safety is an obvious model miniature that looks poorly designed and flimsy, with thin pieces of cardboard flying around as the "building" explodes.
  • Have I Got News for You often introduces incredibly cheap props or animations for one-off bonus rounds.

 Paul Merton: "The visual effects on this programme are so stunning, we're almost doing radio."

  • Gilligan's Island has its share of failures:
    • In Season 3, When they use the bamboo car, you can often see the rope pulling the car.
    • In the episode where Gilligan is invisible, When Mary Ann holds a glass of milk for Gilligan to drink, the milk appears to be disappearing through a straw, but you can see the tube coming out of her sleeve and into the bottom of the glass.
  • Invoked in Hello Cheeky's parody of disaster movies, The Blazing Bedsitter. An underlying joke throughout the whole sketch is that the actors make up disasters going on outside the room, because they don't have any other set.

 John: (looking out the window) And oh my god, here comes a tidal wave! (is splashed with water -- deadpan) We are all going to drown.

  • The 1980s revival of Mission Impossible would have been justified in disavowing some of its special effects. Example: the fight on Sydney Harbour Bridge in "The Golden Serpent, Part 1" combines actual footwork shot on location with studio-bound green-screen work which was unconvincing even in 1989. Now... well...


Music Edit

  • In a rare auditory example, the Laugh Track skips at one point on the third verse to Ray Stevens' "The Streak".


Music Videos Edit

  • The Car morphing into a pimpmobile from Coolio's "Fantastic Voyage" video. THAT IS NOT HOW MORPHING IS DONE. It's so bad the copyright owner is embarrassed.
  • Invoked Trope in the video for "Jurassic Park" by Weird Al Yankovic. Most of the video is done in Claymation, but when the park's gates are shown a second time, one of the torches has gone out - so an arm reaches in and lights it with a lighter.
  • The effects for ZZ Top's music video for "Doubleback" are pretty bad.
  • The poorly Photoshopped bus stop sign in the "Friday" music video by Rebecca Black. [1]
  • Pretty much all of Randy Travis' "Before You Kill Us All" has bad chroma-key. Most obviously, there's a constant mask around Randy's mullet, and his guitar clips the background a few times.
  • Billy Joel's "Pressure" has some very obvious matte lines in certain scenes.
  • The borderline Body Horror 'floating' effect from Blancmange's 'Lose Your Love' music video. Not to mention it failed as soon as it started, unless it was intentional.


Pro Wrestling Edit

  • During the WWE Summerslam 1997 match between Mankind and Hunter Hearst Helmsley, Mankind, at one point after getting beaten down, suddenly ripped his shirt off, then had a My Name Is Inigo Montoya comeback, leaving fans wondering what was going on. Mick Foley (aka Mankind) later shed some light on the subject in his autobiography: turns out, there was supposed to be a heart-shaped tattoo on his chest, symbolizing his transformation into his former fantasy persona from his high school/college days, Dude Love (who fans had been introduced to through a series of Worked Shoot interviews in the weeks before the match). Unfortunately, Mick forgot to get the tattoo done, and didn't realize it until he was due to make his entrance for his match. Thinking quickly, he scrawled the heart on his chest with a magic marker; unfortunately, by the time of The Reveal, it had sweated off. Oops.
  • And then there's the big unmasking of Kane at the hands of Triple H. Kane's backstory had him as a childhood burn victim, so naturally, this was a big deal. Unfortunately, the burn makeup under the mask completely failed to hold up through the match, so when Kane did unmask, he didn't look like a victim of a horrible house fire so much as a victim of an attack by a psychotic Mary Kay lady and a deranged barber with a thing for Larry Fine. Thankfully, rather then press on with the storyline, the next week, Kane appeared without makeup, but still claiming to be terribly burned, thus making the false scarring yet another dimension of his uniquely psychotic delusions.
    • There have been some theories as to why Kane's make-up job was so horrific. The most popular one was the heavy black eyeliner Kane wore under his mask started to run. Thus when he unmasked, his face was covered in black make-up splotches. It also did not help that when he removed his mask, it was revealed that Kane was completely bald on the top of his head save for the hair on his sides. The long locks he sported for years were actually part of the mask itself and he grew out what hair he had left. The WWE quickly reacted to this; having Kane lose the make-up, shave himself completely bald and have him wear a towel over his head for a few weeks afterwards before making another reveal.
    • Well, they tried to continue it. For a while when they showed video of the unmasking they slowed the tape down, added a silly sound effect that was supposed to be ominous or something, and used a cheesy effect to distort his face. To point out how bad it was, when something is simply too cheesy for Vince McMahon...
  • Shockmaster. You really need to watch it, but lets give a rundown of what happens. 1. Explosions go off. 2. Shockmaster trips and falls through the wall. 3. Shockmaster's mask, a purple-silver spray-painted Star Wars Storm Trooper one, falls off, revealing the bald head of Fred Ottman, AKA "Tugboat". 4. Everyone present starts cracking up (clearly dropping a couple f-bombs on live television), including the announcers 5. Voice-over guy who desperately tries to salvage the segment and fails, due to the voice modulator sounding like a cardboard tube.
    • What makes it worse is that the only part of this that could have been salvaged was the "trip and fall" part. Ottman had actually had a few practice-runs and everything had gone fine, but when it came time to do it live, an extra cross-beam was added he didn't see until he was already mid-jump. If things had gone off without a hitch, it would have been a really bad-ass entrance. The costume and voice, however, still would have been atrocious.
  • During one WWE PPV, The Undertaker's entrance made it appear as if he was floating down to the ring. This would've looked cool, except the cameras filming the entranceway were angled completely wrong and revealed the board he was standing on.


Theatre Edit


Video Games Edit

  • The Call of Duty series could be a certain offender of this, since certain effects in multiplayer looks 2D contrary to today's gaming which features full around 3D explosions.
  • In Star Control 3, there is a race called the Harika/Yorn. The Harika are a race of green goblin-like aliens, while the Yorn is a rodent species they use as food. As with most aliens in Star Control 3, they are played by puppets. At one point, the Harika captain you speak to eats one of the Yorn... which is done by having the Yorn puppet slide in an incredibly awkward fashion up the Harika's chest, go into his mouth, and sit there for about thirty seconds before the screen abruptly cuts to the original shot of Harika with Yorn in pocket.
    • For that matter, pretty much all of the aliens fall under this trope. It was actually marketed as a feature that they were 3D (this being about the time when 3D computer graphics were the Next Big Thing and thus had to be used regardless of whether it was a good idea or not) but the models were so poor that they all looked considerably worse than the stylised animated 2D pictures used in SC2.
  • The original Twisted Metal has, in its endings, a picture of Calypso... played by an actor with burn makeup that looks like a community theater version of Freddy Krueger. This is a holdover from the nine-different-levels-of-failure original FMV endings, which feature such highlights as Needles Kane played by a man in a pathetic clown mask. Understandably, the series has used animated or CGI endings ever since.
  • The Command and Conquer series usually has decent cutscenes, despite them being largely FMVs on a greenscreen. But in Tiberium Sun, there would be scenes where real actors would be talking to noticeably CGI armies of soldiers.
    • Emperor Battle for Dune wasn't all that better. The actors' skin will occasionally have green highlights when there is no green light source nearby. The imperial crown is also very clearly made of rubber, and characters may occasionally stretch it out when placing in on their heads.
  • The 2006 teaser video for Duke Nukem Forever had sequences showing nothing more challenging than Duke doing arm curls with a dumbbell; after ten years, they couldn't accomplish this without badly clipping his arms.
  • The Force Unleashed 2 had amazing graphics for the most part. Of course, if you start blowing up barrels, the barrels in the three-dimensional world look like some two-dimensional thing out of the Nintendo 64.
  • Lost Odyssey, which sported very sharp visuals, nevertheless fell victim to this trope in one dungeon. There was one dungeon which had some shallow pools of water, which they wanted to throw a ripply reflection of the characters as they moved in and around it. While the ripples are quite nice indeed, they cheated on the reflections rather badly. Instead of showing a true reflection, the water simply duplicated the character as he appeared onscreen before applying the ripple effects. This could even still work if they had inverted the reflection, having it appear upside down "below" the character, but they put the reflection BEHIND the character right-side up. The net effect made the "reflecting pool" into a mirror you could look into and see the back of your own head.
  • In the infamously unpolished Ultima IX, a cutscene has the Guardian chucking a fireball at Samhayne. The fireball misses the victim by a yard, upon which he spins in the wrong direction (from how he would have spun if the spell had actually made contact) and collapses.
    • Not to mention, when you poison Lord British with bread, he grabs his neck and falls...then stands right back up...then falls down again.
  • In the Starcraft cinematic at the end of the Zerg campaign. When the overmind rises after crashing into Aiur, you see fire at the edge of the crater it created. However, for the last few frames, while everything else is moving, the fire just... 'freezes' into place. It isn't all that noticeable, but once you've seen it...
  • Both Guitar Hero and Rock Band neglect to give their characters guitar straps, likely to make it easier for them to easily swing around in grandiose fashion, if not for technology limitations. However, the problem is that they're still motion-capped as if they're wearing them, so you'll see several moments of guitars floating in front of their musicians or just plain being held as if they're there.
  • One scene in Xenogears has Citan and Sigmund drinking tea on the Yggdrasil during one cut scene. As they drink, their sprites do not move at all, while the tea cups simply float to their mouths. They messed up tea cups...
  • For some, the mirror flipping of sprites can be a special effects failure. It usually isn't a big deal, but can be significant, such as in The Legend of Zelda series, where Link is canonically left handed (the Wii release of Twilight Princess notwithstanding), but switches to being right handed when facing the right direction in his sprite incarnations.
    • Another great example is in the 2D Mega Man games, in which Mega Man's gun arm will switch from his left arm to his right arm depending on which direction he's facing.
  • Golden Eye 1997 for the N64's big special effects failures are in the horribly unrealistic reloading. While reloading often isn't portrayed perfectly in games (or even movies), in GoldenEye, all that happens is the guns are lowered off screen, then brought back onscreen, all loaded.
  • The Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion. Despite having some of the best graphics ever seen in a video game, there's this bit: the cheap, looping fire animations on the sides of the bridge between Skingrad and Skingrad Castle. It's made even worse by the fact that there's two rows of about twenty of them, all identical and looping in sync.
    • Try running diagonally.
    • For that matter, The Elder Scrolls III Morrowind had a similar problem with the glowing weapons that looked more like they were wrapped in saran-wrap.
  • Mass Effect 1 had infamously slow-loading graphics, sometimes taking several seconds for the patterns to fully load and leaving everything looking unpleasantly fuzzy and indistinct even as the cinematics continued to play. Mass Effect 2 has instances of clipping (such as the Council meeting scene when Udina's eyelids are always clipping through his eyeballs) or characters leaning on air during dialogue scenes (such as when Shepard is chatting with Garrus on the Normandy).
    • Due to the fact that all of the cutscenes are in-engine, several serious moments in Mass Effect 2 are ruined by clipping problems - this is most evident during the Suicide Mission. If Garrus is selected to be the Second Fire Team leader and dies during the mission, his death scene ends with his head clipping into the damaged section of his bulky Turian armor (or, if he's wearing the alternate appearance DLC, clipping straight through it). During the post-Reaper battle, when Shepard struggles to stand up, a weapon holstered to his/her back will clip through the beam they're trying to lift off.
    • The same clipping issues occur in Mass Effect 3 as well as a few others. In some cutscenes, Shepard may be carrying a sniper rifle but will be holding it like a pistol, since a pistol was supposed to be in her/his hands but the rifle showed up there instead.
  • Burn:Cycle features live actors projected against pre-rendered backdrops. These environments don't always correspond to the actors' line of sight, especially the wide angles. When Sol his companion arrive at the hotel, the characters are projected at an extreme slant; Sol exits the frame by literally marching up the wall.
  • Streets of Rage 3 has some sounds mysteriously go mute during game play. This was mostly due to glitches in the programming. One example of this is the boss of round 5 is supposed to laugh around 3 times before he fights you. However, his laughter can be either off cue or not heard at all due to the glitches.
  • Star Wars: Super Return of the Jedi had a sound glitch with the boss of level 2 in Jabba's Palace. When you reflected the boss' shots back at him, his hurt voice clip is the same one of the character you are using.
  • Mario Party 8 has this for its wide screen mode. Only the menus and the game boards are displayed in wide screen. The mini games themselves are displayed in standard mode (4:3) with colorful borders on both sides to fill in the gaps if one is playing in wide screen mode.
  • Dragon Age II can have odd graphical failures appear for seemingly no reason, such as any fire animation being replaced with white pixelation, and Orsino and Meredith's outfits being rendered as unfinished grey. It's not a widely reported problem, but it happens.
  • In Rune Factory 2, there are some maps that are presented with a top-down camera angle, and others (like areas of the town) that are closer to the ground with more of a side-view camera angle. The problem is when it rains, it's simply an overlay of the rain animation on top of the screen. It looks okay in the top-view, but in the side-view you'll see the rain fall and splash on the sky itself. And sometimes NPCs will cut corners on the street and end up walking on top of the sides of buildings...
  • The Fallout: New Vegas add-on Dead Money pushes the limits of the Gamebryo engine when in dialogue with Christine. For the first half of the mission, she is unable to speak, so her conversation is a bracketed description of her physical responses to your dialogue. The game tries its best to have her character model imitate what the text says, to jarring results, especially when a "nod" is her expressionless face looking down and then up very quickly.
  • Opening Remake 101: When remaking the Dragonball Z opening in CG, there's three things you shouldn't do - make the characters look like arthritic Lego people that barely emote, have Chaozu look like he came from the Uncanny Valley, and make sure that when Gohan flies past; not to noclip through his head. Sadly the opening to Budokai does all three.
  • The 2010 Medal of Honor game has something to this effect. Basically, every time a level starts, the whole map is generated, having different levels of detail depending on the distance. What happens is, after a cutscene, the game will load every texture in the farthest resolution and then add detail depending on the distance (sort of like a detail implosion-shockwave-thingy). While plenty of games do this, most other games get around this by loading the nearest ones first and then generating the rest of the visible environment. Here it takes around 5 to 10 seconds for the gun to gain detail. Ten seconds. Ten, immersion ruining, seconds.
  • The Sims 2: Seasons suffers this. Rather than creating the rain with particles (A technique which has existed for years) they decided to just overlay an animation of rain falling over the screen. This technique often looks fine, but not in a game with a freely movable camera. Half the time it looks like it's raining indoors, and when you zoom in on an indoor area and look out the window it's pretty clear that rain isn't falling outside. And worst of all, this makes the game lag like hell.
  • Halo 2 really pushed the limits of the Xbox's graphics rendering engine, and it shows, mostly in the cutscenes. They sometimes took up to a minute to completely render, leaving the graphics fuzzy and indistinct, characters not appearing where they should be or most jarringly of all missing body parts. It's quite amusing when for about thirty seconds, you get told how awesome those indistinct blobs of the Orbital Defense network cannons are by a headless Sgt. Johnson, who is speaking to a floating helmet and arm.
    • Averted in Halo 3 where the explosions look beautifully rendered, especially in Theater mode. Bungie HAD to make the game look good because of Theater, since now the plaer would allowed to examine the landscape as long as he wanted, wherever he wanted. The fact that they had to use so many cheats in the first Halo game is the reason why Theater wasn't included in the Anniversary rerelease.
  • Knights of the Old Republic 2 had Kreia's flashback about her last days as Dark Lady of the Sith. When Sion grabs her head and slams her against the wall, his arm briefly runs through the camera.
    • In the original, Mission pleading with the player to help her brother Griff could easily be spoiled if, for example, she was holding a vibroblade. Because she never actually puts down her weapons before begging, she proceeds to ram about three feet of vibroblade through her own head.
  • Lara's teenager model in Tomb Raider Chronicles has a slight error when she holds a torch. Her hands are normally rendered as open palm, but when Lara holds a torch, the hand that is used to hold it suddenly switches to the hand from the adult Lara model, which is rendered as a closed, blocky fist and has a glove on it. This was most likely done in an attempt to save time on changing parts of the model with little effort.


Web Comics Edit


Web Original Edit

  • In a combination of this trope and Revealing Coverup, in this video of a beer-bottle domino experiment, it's quite apparent that the π sign 40 seconds in is a CG coverup of a rather more infamous symbol in the original footage due to the jitter of the sign.
  • Homestar Runner poked fun of these with the Dangeresque films, with such things as scaling a skyscraper that's really a piece of cardboard on the ground with the camera tipped to one side. And then Homestar drops his glasses on the cardboard.
    • Perhaps taken as far as possible in Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective, in which Strong Sad wears a motion capture suit and shouts "Raaah! I'm a scary monster!" Strong Bad pauses the movie at this point to yell at The Cheat for not bothering to actually add in the special effect. He says he'll do it in post, even though they are at the premiere of the film.
  • Lampshaded in Kickassia when N. Bison begins to levitate using superconducting electromagnetism.

  Dr. Insano: ".....you do realize you're just standing on your tippy-toes, right?"

  • This live-action RPG here. The cartoon graphics go with the live action ones in most horrible way known to man, but dear God the 'combat'. Cartoon enemies flying around randomly sometimes not even on the ground, animation that looks like puppets where used and the live action guy flailing a fake rubber sword around like a lunatic. Thankfully, the video links to the Retsupurae version, which at least has funny commentary.
  • Played for laughs in My Immortal: The Series, in which (among other things) the Slytherin common room is a suburban living room, Ebony's drink of human blood is cherryade and Draco's "666" numberplate is handwritten.
  • In this little number, you can tell pretty quickly that the interior shots are separate models that are either sunk separately, or just had a bucket of water dumped in, and in one shot it's clear that the model is sunk twice. Still, good effort for a $0 budget and a justification of "bordom."
  • This fantastically bad Slender Man Mythos video, inventively titled "SLENDER MAN," features quite possibly the worst costume of the titular character in existence. Since they also managed to mess up video distortion effects, it's all the more obvious.

Western Animation Edit

  • Parodied in the Futurama episode guest starring (and spoofing) Star Trek, where the energy-being Melllvar looks like the standard bad effect used in the original 1960s series. He even Lampshades this when told that he looks like a cheap effect by screaming that he's not and electrocuting a Red Shirt. Again.
  • In the Finale of Avatar: The Last Airbender the airships are Conspicuous CG rendered at a noticeably low and choppy framerate that gives the impression of a Super Nintendo Entertainment System Super FX game.
  • In an episode of Muppet Babies spoofing Star Trek, Captain Kermit gives orders to activate the Warp Drive. The dialogue implies that the warp drive is warping everything else, but for some reason somebody forgot to warp the video.
  • Like the CG in Winx Club wasn't mostly mediocre and overused already, sometimes it even showed bad technical failures. Examples taken from the second season follow.
    • In one of the earlier episodes, we see a shot of Sky and Brandon riding their motos to Alfea, and the trees on the sides of the road disappear suddenly, before "going down" the horizon.
    • When some of the characters go to Sky's home planet to save Diaspro, there's a shot of their ship practically going through two asteroids from one animation frame to the next.
    • When the fairies go to Cloudtower, and the Trix take temporary control of the school (which is basically a living castle), the entire building shakes and even rotates slightly. When doing this, it blends with the rock of the mountain it's built on.
    • In the last episode of the season, there's a scene with rocks falling in water, rendered in an atrocious way.
  • Despite the otherwise high quality of the show, Justice League Unlimited had moments where it was quite obvious that CGI was used. Most notably where the Batplane was trying to Intercept a Nuclear Missile over the ocean -- creating a very jarring scene because of the sudden change of aesethics, and the poor effects over all.
    • The CG intro for the first season was pretty jarring and, frankly, just outright ugly. Later seasons used more traditional animation and better CG effects.
  • Parodied in an episode of Freakazoid that introduced the invisible Egyptian wizard Invisibo: The Narrator announced that the special effects aren't very scary, and asks the viewers to pretend they are. For the next couple of minutes, Invisibo is represented by a rod suspended by very obvious strings. After this goes on for a while, the narrator announces that they've embarrassed the network executives into giving them a bigger special effects budget, after which Invisibo's rod actually floats and glows.
  • Voltron The Third Dimension had pretty lame CG already, but it actually had a disturbingly glaring flaw kept in the Stock Footage! When the Lions' control sticks slide into place, you can actually see them clip through the pilot's knees, and they kept this everytime the sequence is shown!
  • Life with Loopy: You could see the wires and stuff for some of the puppets.
    • This is probably just Stylistic Suck though.
    • It could also be for Nickelodeon pacing the production company for the short (all the shorts for the show are made in separate studios, save for Action League NOW and the Henry and June shorts, which were made in-house), causing them to have less time to edit in order to get the finished short to Nickelodeon on time.
  • This scene in Spark Plug Entertainment's Spiders Web A Pigs Tale speaks for itself.
  • The infamous crash scene from the Thomas the Tank Engine episode "The Flying Kipper." Pay very close attention during the scene when they show Henry crashing into the freight train head-first.
  • Deliberately invoked by the 1947 Tex Avery cartoon Lucky Ducky; during one chase scene, the two dimwit hunters and the duck they're chasing run past a "Technicolor Ends Here" sign, beyond which the characters and scenery lose all their color. One of the hunters gets run over by the other one right next to the sign as the chase resumes, leaving him half in monochrome and half in color.
  • Rollbots has had a few.
    • Anytime Spin runs the training course, at the end he throws four laser cuffs, but one of them disappears before hitting a target.
    • At several points in Prophecies and Guesstimates, once Spin's Eleventh-Hour Superpower activates, Spin is not glowing when supposed to be.
      • In the same episode, when Bunto confronts Spin, the blockade he's set up disappears after a few seconds.
    • In Vett, when Spin and Vett are fighting at Xendover Stadium, at one point Vett is knocked onto his back by a hit but flips up instantly, in a very broken-looking moment.
    • The Ajax Trax from Ajax make no sense whatsoever, with a vague, choppy sort of teleportation.
    • In Inferno, Macro's flamethrower flames seem very solid...
    • The crazed Zurasho who attacks Spin and Octo in #044 has the same problem in her blowtorch that Macro had with his flamethrower.
    • Botch's laser from Scorched seems very choppy.
  • Transformers Energon may have had some very ugly CG, Beast Wars (The first fully CG Transformers entry) had several of its own. The most glaring were in season 1, in which the models for Cheetor and Tigatron's animal forms were nothing more than floating body parts, Dinobot also had a very visible seam in his velociraptor form's chest. There was also a visible lack of shadows. The other seasons fare better, but also have their own share of noticeable failures (Such as Non-Transmetal Rattrap at the end of Code of Hero, Rampage's disappearing tank treads in Transmutate and him swapping legs with Depth Charge in Changing of the Guard). Also somehow slides into Conspicuous CG as several characters (Rhinox, Waspinator) never get any upgrades during the technology bumps between seasons.
    • Transformation sequences, especially for the original characters, turned out particularly bad-looking in a few shots. Dinobot's may be the worst: at times, his robot torso simply sprouted out of his beast mode, while his robot and beast limbs all clipped through each other, and his raptor head floated down to form his chest-plate. And sometimes, he just deformed into all sorts of weird shapes.
    • One closeup of season 1 scenery (episode Possession) had leaves, branches and random tree-parts floating in air. They could have focused the camera on a better rendered tree easily.
    • In the episode Double Dinobot, Dinobot runs "into" the camera, and for a brief moment, you can see his "inner head". And during the scene of the two Dinobots fighting, they randomly have strange bulges coming out of the bottom of their animation model. The character actually suffers from animation failures a lot, because his dinosaur design isn't well suited for all the wild movements he has to make, and often even such simple motions like rearing his head back can reveal these shortcomings.
    • Dinobot II, in Feral Scream part 2, has his normally solid beast-mode crotch-plate stretching in unison with one of his legs.
    • Transformers Prime, being made close to a decade after the end of Beast Wars fairs a lot better, but still have very clear times when the animators screwed up. The best example of this can be found in Darkness Rising: Part 1 in which the Autobot logo on the floor of the Autobot's base was the movie's. However, unlike most of the other examples, this was fixed for future airings. Bumblebee's eyes change constantly throughout the series as well. Consistancy, what's that?
    • One Shall Rise Part 2 has Miko being dragged away from the base with very jerky animation and poor lighting.
  • G.I. Joe: Renegades has horrible effects to show slow moving falling debris around the start of the Tomax & Xamot episode. It's very embarrassing.
  • Parts of Captain N the Game Master episode "How's Bayou?" were not completed when it first aired, and as a result, several shots were missing their backgrounds, effects were missing, and some dialogue and animation seems off. Reruns of the episode were the final product, with the backgrounds intact, effects added, dialogue that seemed rerecorded, and a redone music score. Oddly for some reason, the DVD set with the episode uses the original, unfinished version, as does the version found on Jaroo (the "Hulu for kids' shows" site).
  • Batman: The Animated Series has one noticeable one. In the episode "Clock King", there's a scene with Batman and Alfred in a Rolls Royce, normal quality animation except the only thing visible through the car windows is pure white. This is a failure for two reasons - no background and the series was known for having backgrounds created on black paper.
  • In the Family Guy episode "He's Too Sexy for his Fat", Chris in one scene is grabbed by a bear from its mouth and is shaken repeatedly. The bear and Chris are seen in the reflection in the river and there's a difference in the animation speed between the characters and the reflection; the reflection's animation is at normal speed while the animation of the bear and Chris suddenly doubles and is out of sync with the animations in the reflection because of it.
  • In the South Park episode about internet memes, when the cat leader is shown inside a cage, you can clearly see the background from the video inside the cage. But then again, this is South Park, so it's probably just Stylistic Suck.

Notes

  1. Unless it's used deliberately as a Homage
  2. he essentially looks like the offspring of Max and a character from Star Wars: The Clone Wars at best
  3. At least on the American end. CGCG, who worked on the trilogy was still utilized
  4. It was such a Special Effects Failure that Associates And Ferren were never allowed near a major movie - or, indeed, a movie - again.
  5. The 2005-2006 season; the one featuring the debuts of Bill Hader, Andy Samberg, and Kristen Wiig -- who didn't appear on the show until the episode hosted by Jason Lee

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