10 Movies That Were Ruined By Their Comic Relief Characters, According To Ranker

10 Movies That Were Ruined By Their Comic Relief Characters, According To Ranker

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness had a lot of doom and gloom, but it didn’t go without its comedy. Throughout the movie, audiences rode the rollercoaster of Wanda’s moral compass, ultimately seeing her sacrifice herself and (possibly) die. However, Bruce Campbell’s cameo and the post-credits scene allowed the movie to end on a positive note, ensuring that the tragic events of the final scenes didn’t leave the final impression.

This has been common in Marvel movies, which work hard to balance the drama with just enough comedy to keep a positive perspective on the franchise. Of course, this doesn’t always work out as well as moviemakers hope. There is typically a narrow margin in which a comic relief character must exist, and if they stray too far from this with bad jokes, they become annoying. Fans on Ranker voted to determine which comical sidekick ruined their film for audiences.

Note: Ranker lists are live and continue to accrue votes, so some rankings may have changed after this publishing.


10 Willow (1988)  – Rool And Franjean

Rool and Franjean from the movie Willow

A new generation has discovered Willow and fallen in love with the classic fantasy movie. The revival of the film led to the announcement of a sequel series on Disney+, which will start streaming in November of 2022.

While there are several charming aspects of the movie that fans hope to see in the new show, certain types of comedy should be left behind. The two characters, Rool and Franjean, are brownies that assist Willow and Madmartigan on their quest and provide some foolish, slapstick-style comedy that makes it difficult not to skip over their part in what is an otherwise incredible journey.

9 Eternals (2021) – Kingo

Kingo preparing for battle in Eternals.

While MCU movies are almost universally praised, Eternals was a superhero movie that critics hated. This could have been due to the sheer number of characters the movie tried to introduce in such a short time, but the writing for Kingo especially did nothing to produce anything but cheap laughs.

With a great comedian like Kumail Nanjiani billed, audiences expected a hilarious character. However, the “cocky to a fault” trope has been done so often that Kingo’s jokes didn’t hit home and quickly became annoying instead.

8 Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings (2021) – Katy

Katy watching Shang-Chi fight in underground club.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is another MCU movie that brought the action in all the right ways. However, its most significant mistake was minimizing a great character to a comic relief role and then struggling to present her as an essential person to the protagonist.

Katy is introduced as a wild character who makes puns at every turn, and with the performance from Awkwafina, it could have been enough. However, her character ends up playing a pivotal part in the main plot, and her relationship with Shang-Chi makes the entire movie. This made her comedic role seem completely disjointed and cheated a great character and film out of what they could have been.

7 Clash Of The Titans (2012) – Ozal And Kucuk

A cover image from the film Clash of the Titans

Clash of the Titans had a lot going for it, including its star-studded cast (how could Luke Evans, Ralph Fiennes, Liam Neeson, Mads Mikkelson, Gemma Arterton, and Elizabeth McGovern possibly do wrong?), and overall, the film performed fairly.

The movie had the mood audiences would expect from a story about Greek gods and mythology, and the excitement and action, while over the top, totally delivered. However, the characters Ozal and Kucuk, who served as comic relief during Perseus’ journey, didn’t seem to mesh at all with Clash of the Titans’ tone. They had the bumbling comic relief of a children’s film, without the child audience.

6 Cloverfield (2008) – Hudson

TJ Miller as Hud in Cloverfield

Cloverfield was released during the popularity of “found footage” thrillers, performing perfectly within its genre. Audiences were sufficiently horrified, and the movie inspired an entire Cloverfield franchise that has continued for over a decade. However, there was still a significant way that the parent movie dropped the ball.

Screenwriters for horror movies need to think long and hard before including a comic relief character, but there are several ways to do it right. The issue with Cloverfield is that this character, Dane, was the one holding the camera. Had he been a side character, this might have worked. But since audiences were taking Dane’s perspective, the comedy felt poorly placed.

5 Sixteen Candles (1984) – Long Duk Dong

Sixteen Candles will always be a classic and one of John Hughes’ shiniest gems. However, as the decades roll by, several aspects of the film begin to look less flattering under a modern microscope. The most prevalent example is the character Long Duk Dong, whose name speaks for itself as to why he might have been problematic.

The foreign exchange student character is a simple caricature of every harmful Asian stereotype combined. What’s worse is that he wasn’t even necessary, as there were several other great comedic aspects to Sixteen Candles already.

4 Godzilla Vs. Kong (2021) – Bernie

Characters including Bernie Hayes looking shocked in Godzilla vs King

The comedy is far from the focal point of any Godzilla or Kong movie, and in a film that combines the two, all audiences are really looking for is an excellent face-off between the beasts from Godzilla and King Kong. Regardless, Kaiju films still need human characters to fill in the story.

A common character trope in this genre is the conspiracy theorist whom no one believed until it was too late. In Godzilla vs. Kong, this role belonged to Bernie, but his jokes and quirkiness contributed very little to the film. When audiences are more interested in monsters than humans, Bernie is just an annoying character who distracts from what everyone wanted to see. In addition, comedy surrounding neurotic behavior has become a little tone-deaf, so expecting audiences to laugh at a man with paranoid tendencies in 2021 just wasn’t the right move.

3 Judge Dredd (1995) – Fergee

Fergee in Judge Dredd

Judge Dredd is a campy action movie that wasn’t trying too hard to be anything more. While it was ludicrous at every turn, it also had great stars like Sylvester Stallone and Diane Lane, so it managed to pull itself together as an entertaining guilty pleasure.

However, given its eccentric nature, Judge Dredd really did not need a comic relief character, and Fergee just took things too far. Making him even more cowardly and talkative than he needed to be just pushed an already silly movie past the breaking point.

2 Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen (2009) – Skids And Mudflap

transformers skids and mudflap

Transformers did well enough when it was released in 2007, so there was a fair amount of confidence in the film’s sequel, Revenge of the Fallen. Unfortunately, this installment did not meet expectations for many reasons, and when it came to comedy, the second Transformers movie seemed aimed at nine-year-olds.

The movie might have survived with comedy like Sam’s mom accidentally eating pot brownies, but the sibling Autobots, Skids and Mudflap, achieved nothing other than making audiences uncomfortable. They depended on a combination of slapstick and “buffoon” comedy and seemed little more than racist caricatures. Thankfully, they were left out of the subsequent films, leaving room for Transformers’ more recognizable cars, but the damage had been done.

1 Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)- Jar Jar Binks

An image of Jar Jar Binks pulling a tongue in Star Wars

The original Star Wars trilogy did comic relief just right. C-3PO could have quickly become annoying, but when combined with the exasperated chirps of R2-D2, the duo wound up balancing each other nicely. They may not have been everyone’s cup of tea, but they didn’t get on the nerves of those trying to enjoy the other aspects of the films.

The same cannot be said for Jar Jar Binks. There has been a lot of debate about the quality of the prequel trilogy, but one thing even Star Wars fans can agree on is that Jar Jar was comedy done entirely wrong. It’s especially frustrating, considering C-3PO and R2-D2 were in these films as well, so there was no reason to add another comic relief character to step in dung piles and get his tongue numbed.

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About The Author

Angel Shaw
(198 Articles Published)

Angel is a Senior List Writer at Screen Rant. She is deeply in love with any form of storytelling, whether it be books, movies, TV Shows, or video games. In her free time, Angel can typically be found binge-watching comfort shows, playing any Zelda game, or teaching her three sons about the fantastical worlds of fiction.

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