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1. Earthworm Jim
Earthworm Jim feels like an artifact from another time. Back when every company had to have a colorful mascot, Earthworm Jim stood out with great gameplay and a truly weird sense of humor.
But look closer, and you see some weird stuff: Earthworm Jim launches cows to their deaths and becomes a mass shooter in every world he visits. It doesn’t help that the old Earthworm Jim ad featured an old lady eating worms and then becoming completely insane.
And it really doesn’t help that Earthworm Jim’s creator outed himself as a racist anti-trans dude who praises Hitler. Twitter did cancel him and basically canceled Earthworm Jim retroactively.
2. Sonic the Hedgehog
The Sonic the Hedgehog games are amazing fun. And Sonic himself quickly became the face of Sega. But behind that face lurks some dark, dark secrets.
The biggest controversy is Sonic’s love of chili dogs. Even though he makes a big show of freeing his little animal “friends” from Dr. Robotnik’s clutches, Sonic spends his spare time consuming their flesh for his own sick pleasure.
No matter how fast you go, Sonic, you can’t outrun judgment for your cannibalistic sins!
It seems primitive now, but Killer Instinct was once the pinnacle of arcade technology. And it combined the manic combo-mania of games like Street Fighter II with the ability to pull off cool fatalities like in Mortal Kombat.
One popular character is the female fighter Orchid. And her fatality move is to...show her boobs to someone until they die. No, seriously.
Long story short? The feminists of Twitter would absolutely eat this woman alive!
Kirby is usually considered a cute and family-friendly character. He’s big, fluffy, and pink and his games are colorful and fun.
But the core mechanic of Kirby is that he eats people and assumes their abilities. This “cute” character is basically walking around with the skin of other people. And nobody can actually stop his insatiable hunger as he consumes living creature after living creature.
Basically, if Kirby wasn’t an NES platformer hero, he would 100% be a horror movie villain.
5. Dr. Light
Dr. Light is the man behind the scenes in Mega Man. He created the Blue Bomber and sends him out to defeat the plans of the evil Dr. Wily. But there is also something a lot darker with his character.
After all, Dr. Light uses his big brain to basically create a series of robot slaves for the world. And Dr. Wily nearly takes over the world because he finds a way to reprogram these slaves. To stop them, Light builds a little robot child soldier.
From slavery to child endangerment, Dr. Light is doomed to be canceled.
6. Soda Popinski
Part of the fun of Punch-Out!! comes from all the different characters. You never know what wild moves or strange stereotypes will be coming at you from these fighters.
One of the standout bad guys is Soda Popinski. While Nintendo’s localization team tried to make it seem like this dude is drinking “soda,” it’s very clear he is just crushing beer after beer between rounds.
Throw in the fact that he is a tough fighter and Nintendo seems to be sending a different message: that the best performance-enhancing drug is the beer in your dad’s fridge!
7. Dr. Mario
In the world of the Smash games, Dr. Mario is a separate character from Mario. Which is fine, because “Dr.” Mario would get canceled in his own right.
As near as we can tell, this guy never went to medical school. And he keeps throwing out “Megavitamins,” which sound a bit like the fake brain pills Ben Shapiro is always shilling for.
Finally, never forget that the viruses in Dr. Mario get out because one of his own experiments goes wrong. This is basically the Wuhan lab conspiracy come to life, and Dr. Mario is unleashing a pandemic on an unsuspecting world.
It may not be surprising to see Bowser on this list. After all, he is the primary villain of the Mario franchise. Still, there are a surprising number of terrible things he has done.
Sure, he’s constantly kidnapping Peach. But he also turned all of the Mushroom Kingdom into blocks and plants. And in the lesser-known games and media, he tried to turn Dinoland residents into fossil fuel and later tried to flood the planet!
Even by the standards of Final Fantasy characters, Cloud is pretty weird. He’s cool and tough in battle, but an emotionally stunted and mentally confused character with his friends and allies.
Why would Cloud get canceled? Well, he goes from working for the fascist Shinra organization to working for environmental terrorists. Along the way, he treats his childhood girlfriend like crap. Ultimately, the truth is that Cloud just isn’t a good dude, and Twitter would be quickly calling for his head.
In Devil May Cry, Dante plays the ultimate early-2000s idea of a tough guy. He’s got anime hair, a big trenchcoat, and he spouts off silly one-liners in between a rock’n’roll soundtrack.
But his early interactions with Trish in the first game are what would likely get him canceled. While she is a cool character, she also bears a strange resemblance to Dante’s mother. That means he spends a fair amount of time flirting with a recreation of his mom.
Paging Dr. Freud! Sorry, Dante: nobody gets to be Oedipally horny on main like that.
To this day, it’s insane to remember that Conker’s Bad Fur Day came out on the Nintendo 64. Back when the “Big N” still had a family-friendly reputation, Nintendo unleashed a foul-mouthed alcoholic squirrel on the world.
Honestly, there is no end to what would get Conker canceled. The game has an endless stream of sexual innuendos, foul language, and the immature humor of a South Park episode. Sorry, Conker: you’re destined to get canceled, little guy.
12. Solid Snake
By the time Metal Gear Solid came out, Solid Snake was like a stereotypical 80’s action hero. And that meant he had several moments that would get him quickly canceled by the Twitter mob.
When he’s not sneaking around and choking bad guys, Snake is hitting on Mei Ling and making Dr. Naomi Wolf promise to strip-search him. Later, he ogles Meryl’s butt before chasing her into a women’s bathroom. Moments later, he’s beating the hell out of her to snap her out of the clutches of Psycho Mantis.
Altogether, that’s a bad look, Snake!
Wario is kind of a natural pick for this list. After all, he is a greedy capitalist and a bully who alternates between punching and farting on his enemies.
To make things worse, gamers project some weird ideas on Wario. When Mario Kart 8 came out, for instance, Wario has a line where he says “sick car.” But countless fans thought he was actually saying “Sieg Heil.”
An offensive capitalist that sounds a bit like a Nazi? Oh yeah, that dude is getting insta-canceled.
We mostly think of Mario as the happy Italian plumber trying to save the princess. But he actually has a fairly dark history.
In Donkey Kong Jr., we see Mario as a cruel man who captures and whips gorillas. And in Super Mario World, he beats Yoshi to make the dino stick his tongue out. Oh, and let’s not forget all the blocks he is busting in Super Mario Bros. used to be people, making Mario a mass murderer by the end of the first level!
15. Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker made for a great game. And both the arcade and Genesis versions offered a killer player experience.
But Michael himself is a troubling figure. He channels his musical power into energy blasts that allow him to murder his enemies. And he has the ability to control everyone’s minds and make themselves dance to death. This is when he isn’t transforming himself into an unstoppable killer robot, of course.
For these reasons, Jackson would most definitely be canceled. Without these things, Twitter could probably never come up with a reason to cancel someone as free of scandals as Michael Jackson….right?