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Top 25 Bad Subtitles: The Most Epic Subtitle Fails Ever

Subtitles are great, they help viewers around the world enjoy popular TV series, shows, and movies. Good subtitles overcome language barriers and make characters and movies universally known and loved. But there are times when subtitles fall a bit short of the mark, leaving viewers baffled and confused. Sure, it can be frustrating for movie lovers to notice that some things get lost in translation. On the other hand, some subtitle fails are so hilarious you can’t even be mad at them.

To help you look on the bright side of bad subtitling, we’ve put together the most epic subtitle fails that have ever been caught on screen. Whether you look at big movie franchises, popular TV shows, or news channels, you’ll find that one bad subtitle to rule them all. Without further ado, let’s count down the worst subtitles that the internet has ever based memes on.

Contents: The Most Epic Subtitle Fails Ever

In case you’ve ever wondered how to speak “Spaceship”

Picture1 PewPew


Captain Obvious would be proud of this one. Well, at least it’s not because they didn’t try. Although this one is probably a fan-made subtitle, you have to admire the commitment they had when they made it. Not everybody speaks “spaceship”, ok?


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Not quite what George Lucas had in Mind!

Revenge of the Sith

We're not certain George Lucas would have had the same success with a film about about the battles that rage between the swim teams throughout Americas west coast. Jabba the Hut in a speedo? Not a pretty sight!


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The Exact Moment This Subtitle Maker Gave Up

Picture3 Speaking Thai

You can actually visualize the moment when this subtitle maker just gave up on his job. Dear viewer, I know you can’t understand what they’re saying but it’s probably just some run-of-the-mill Thai chit-chat. Don’t worry your pretty little head about it, whatever they said there can’t be relevant to the plot in any way. It’s just in the movie for no reason.


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There's Something Fishy About This One

Picture4 This Fish

We won’t even try to explain what went wrong with this harmless fishing scene. If you can’t figure it out, you’re way too young to read about it anyway. Suffice to say that some things are better left uncaptioned. In this particular case, our advice is to watch the episode without turning on the subtitle option.


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That Was Very.... Thorough

Picture5 Ooh

Well, you get 10 extra points for the enthusiasm, Jim, but I don’t think you had to caption EVERYTHING. Good work ethic, though, you could teach that guy at number 3 a few things about commitment. We really didn’t know that there was a second “o” in that last “ooh”, total game changer!


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Stay Inside Today, Ok? Don't Ask Why, Just Do It!


Picture6 Chances of Rape


Leave it to news channels to spread panic among the suburbs. We’re going to go out on a limb here and assume somebody got fired after this news report aired. News stations have a rich and delightful history of making hilarious captioning errors, but it’s still shocking when you come across such a grim weather forecast. Don’t worry, though, meteorologists have gotten it wrong before.


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WTF Did She Just Say?


Picture7 WTF


We can’t really pick on anime fans for poorly translated phrases, they’re doing the best with what they’ve got. But it’s still hilarious when they flip out over confusing scenes like this one. At least this guy is staying honest. Sometimes you just don’t know wtf she’s saying.


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Some Things Can't Be Left Unsaid


Picture8 Angry Bow Tie


Apparently the acting in this scene was so great that the subtitle writers just had to highlight the intensity of this performance. Maybe it was an Oscar-worthy moment that needed this extra touch and we’re just being cynical. Nope, we thought about it. It’s useless.


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That Really Is Breaking News


Picture9 Trully Breaking News


Firefighters truly are real-life heroes. We’re not nearly thankful enough to these brave men and women for their efforts. Not everyone could put out a fire surrounded by all those people ejaculating in the middle of the road at the same time.


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Whatever Makes You Happy, I Guess…


Picture10 Smoking Nuts


This is probably just another misunderstanding. After all, what respectable anime character would eat nuts that have clearly been overcooked? If the caption is accurate, we’re just going to assume that smoking nuts are an acquired taste.


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The Son Of Alfred


Picture11 Son of Alfred


This one seems to be the brilliant product of a bootlegged version of The Lord of the Rings. If you’re going to pirate a movie that really is worth the money you’d spend on a cinema ticket, at least, get the captions right. Tolkien deserves better than this!


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Alien Languages Are Really Difficult To Master


Picture12 Alien Language


You know the subtitle writers are getting desperate when the best solution they can come up with to caption a scene contains the words “alien language”. You will, of course, forgive the poor quality of this translation, as alien languages are very hard to learn.


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Instructions Unclear, Lost My Anime Narrative


Picture13 The Intruder


We don’t exactly know what’s happening in the next scene, but this is starting to get interesting. It may be worth doing a bit of digging to find out how these characters worked their way out of that particular pickle. We can only suspect that a late-night lecture of the famous Schrodinger paradox managed to somehow influence these subtitle writers.


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Science Rocks!


Picture14 Goth Scientists


There’s nothing like chemistry to soothe a dark, lonely, poetic soul. More and more goth kids are considering a slow descent into madness by way of a career in scientific research. Don’t trust these captions? That’s because you’re a poser. Lab coats are super-goth. That’s why such an important part of our research grants go towards buying eyeliner.


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That Scene Really Needs Some Clarification


Picture15 Clarification


That moment when you decide Trainspotting just isn’t graphic enough and you need to document every part of the protagonist’s bowel movement. It’s not like the rest of the movie is particularly PG13, but you don’t have to make it worse for everyone by getting into the nitty-gritty details. Thank you for keeping it classy, subtitle makers.


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Gandalf, Did You Spike Bilbo's Pipe Again?


Picture16 Bilbos Pipe


Is that what “Halfling’s Leaf” meant? Because that would explain why all the hobbits went on those crazy adventures. Tolkien’s Middle Earth saga just became a completely different story. It’s sad, you know? You think you live in this magical universe but it turns out that some hippie calling himself Gandalf spiked your pipe tobacco and you’ve been tripping for the past three days.


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Friendship Goals?


Picture17 Its not what you think


Ok, this looks bad, we’ll admit that, but it’s really not what you think. You really need context for this one. They’re just friends. It’s kind of a fighter thing. They’re like colourful soldiers or warriors, or ninjas, or something. Look, we swear it’s not what it looks like. Naruto is actually a lot of fun. That’s not what we meant! Get your mind out of the gutter!


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When YouTube's Auto-Caption Has A Stroke


Picture18 Iraq Was a Cat


This glorious train wreck of a caption could only be computer-generated. No man could ever reach such heights of incoherent cat-centred stroke-like extravaganza. We’re only human after all. Let’s take a moment to appreciate the fine work that YouTube’s auto-captioning system does for the good of humanity on a daily basis.


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What? Why? That's Not Even.... Never Mind



Picture19 TikTak


Whoever came up with the brilliant idea to close-caption the sound of the tennis ball being hit deserves a special place in Hell. As if watching tennis tournaments wasn’t frustrating enough without constant ticking… And why caption it “Tik Tak”? Tennis balls don’t 'tik', ok? This is outrageous! You’re only supposed to use “Tik Tak” captions for the crocodile scene in Peter Pan, everybody knows that.


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What Kind Of Cooking Show Is This?


Picture20 Cooking Show


Brought to you by the good people of the YouTube community in collaboration with a pretty pathetic attempt at auto-captioning, this unique Japanese cooking show will teach you how to shape Onigiri into a triangle, negotiate with the divinity by reciting psalms and, if all else fails, how to safely use some bombs. You know, whatever it takes to get that sushi recipe just right!


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The Profound Wisdom Of Bootlegged DVD Subtitle Writers


Picture21 Bootlegger Wisdom


One cannot argue with the life lessons taught by bootlegged DVD subtitle writers, not when faced with such deep and truly wise conclusions. Hollywood may have the glitz and the glamour, but Chinese movie bootleggers will always have the truth.


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Oh, It's Probably Nothing


Picture22 Highly Unlikely


Every fairy tale romance starts with a great first date, love at first sight, or that one o of a kind happenstance that you normally wouldn’t dream of experiencing in real life. This is a prime example of a very considerate young man inquiring about a girl’s well-being after she’d just taken a small tumble. Don’t upset yourself, kids, it’s a fairy tale so she’ll probably get away with just a scratch.


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And Don't Skip On The Butter


Picture23 Gimlis Battlecry


It’s probably because The Lord of the Rings franchise is so incredibly popular that it has so many bootlegged versions with so many delightfully bad subtitles. In this particular case, we can witness the heroic endeavour that Gimli and Aragorn are attempting: toasting one with dignity without telling the elf.


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That Time The Mets Really Ovulated, That Was A Great Game


Picture24 Ovulating Mets


You know you’ve missed the game of a lifetime when your favourite baseball team ovulates on a real hot streak and you’re not there to watch it. A true baseball fan never really recovers after missing something like that. It’s very likely that actually seeing it would require some recovery time as well.


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Written These Subtitles Master Yoda Has


Picture25 Created these captions Master Yoda has


Star Wars is one of the most popular movie franchises in the world so it’s no wonder that there are a lot of bootlegged DVD copies of the famous movie saga out there. It’s all fun and games to pirate famous movies until the bootlegged versions you get have subtitles so twisted you’ll think Master Yoda wrote them himself. And trust us, if twisted sentences don’t come from an adorable, elderly, green Jedi Master, they’re not funny to watch for two hours straight. Oh, let’s not forget, Master Yoda was wise and insightful. These subtitles… they’re just sad.

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