The Best/Worst of Video Game Character Fidgets!


You know what they are. You’re happily playing your game and just for a moment you decide to grab a swig of that soda, and maybe a couple of pretzels. You’re in a safe place where no baddies are going to pound you, so you go ahead. But by the time you finish the game has shown its impatience with you by having your character twiddle his fingers on the handgun (1st person shooters only). Some of these fidgets can be extremely clever, and some don’t make a lick of sense. SO place your best and worst ones here:

My nominations:


Captain Video: A very old game for the Apple II, perhaps having what might have been the first video game character fidget. Essentially a scroller, if you had CV out of his ship and didn’t move or do anything the fidget would start after a few moments. First CV would look left, then right, tap his foot (all of this in 8-bit animated glory), and finally pull out a yo-yo and play with it. A sequence hilarious enough that anyone who played it would stop the action just to see the fidget.


Fallout: For heavens’ sake, if you fail to move for one second and your character is carrying a firearm, the fidget happens. What is it? Your character plays with his or her firearm seeming to do some kind of jam clearage. Now this is no big deal, except that this is post-apocalyptic society where every tiny bit of metal is of value. Yet everytime you character fidgets with the gun, a piece of the gun, or a valuable bullet flies off and is never to be seen again. It doesn’t affect your inventory, but it just doesn’t make sense.

Place your nominations.

Grand Theft Auto San Andreas
When you leave the main character unattended after awhile he starts looking around.
He zooms in on girl’s behinds or on cops giving chase.
As the camera follows what he looks at, you really get to see how alive the city is.

I usually don’t pay attention that much, nor do I even bother to let my game sit that long very often. But I remember when I was younger letting Earthworm Jim stand around to try and see all the fidgets. Stuff like shooting his gun, tapping his foot, there’s even one where he even pulls himself out of his suit and uses himself as a jumprope* (how does that one work?). I’ve never had a copy of the game, so I can’t remember what all the fidgets are, but some of them are quite amusing. I think he does the yo-yo as well.

*Oh yeah, I nominate this one for best.

I’ll second Earthworm Jim. That game was brilliant all around. The fidgets added to the general atmosphere of lunacy.

And it worked because he was an earthworm in a robot super suit. Duh. :smiley:

Maybe it’s just that I tend to play older games, but I don’t see this that often. I do notice that in Civilization III, the various units do it. I think the best one there is the Settler taking a swig from a bottle.

These don’t really count as “fidgets,” but the best idle behavior I’ve ever noticed came from repeatedly clicking on units in Warcraft or Starcraft. After a few iterations of “yes, sir!” or “by your command, my liege,” the units get kind of antsy.

“‘Join the army,’ they said. ‘See the WORLD,’ they said…”
“We got a real loony here!”
“I’m MUCH funnier in the registered version!”

other amusing Warcraft ones…

Do you touch the other Elves like this?

Dark Knights had an attitude…
Stop that!
I warned you!
Don’t make me run you through

of course, there’s the classic Sonic the Hedgehog fidget, where Sonic looks at the player, raises his eyebrows in exasperation and begins tapping his foot impatiently

There’s also “Don’t ask. Don’t tell.” :smiley:

For best:

Commander Keen: I think this was onyl on Commander Keen 4 (the best one.) Normally, if you just awit around for a while, he will pull out a boo, sit down, and start reaing. However, if you were in the Temple of the Moon, and were motionless while standing on a certain part of the fllor (the part with a picture of the moon) then Keen will turn around, pull down his pants, and moon you.

In Halo 2 there’s a part where you, as The Chief, are supposed to jump down a multi-story shaft. If you stand around too long, Cortana starts teasing you:

“After that stunt on the Cairo, I KNOW you’re not afraid of heights.”

I believe she also offers to “get out and push” or something along those lines.

Half-Life: If you’re using the Snarks and sit still for a while, you try to tickle the Snark. Then you learn something about a Snark’s mouth.

The Simpsons: Hit & Run has a different fidget for every different costume you buy. It’s nicely done.

X-Men: Legends has one that really made me laugh. If you stand motionless long enough the character says something along the lines of “Ahhhh, nothing to do. Guess I’ll just stand around.” The delivery of the line is just excellent. Of course I can’t recall which character it was, though I’m thinking Cyclops or Iceman.

This sounds much more interesting than mooning! :eek: :wink:

I’m going to have to third Earthworm Jim. That was an awesome game, and the fidgets were a big part of it. I loved his random burst of song, where he’d put his hand on his chest, throw his head back, and drawl, “LA LA LA!” Or one of those 5-10 second gigantic belches, from which he’d always excuse himself: “Pardon me.”

Silly. But effective. The sheer randomness of it was enough to make you laugh.

In one of the Rayman games he takes his torso and dribbles it like a basketball … .

I’m currently playing Voodoo Vince, and his fidgets make me laugh. He’ll look over his shoulder at you and shrug, like, “Well?” And sometimes he yo-yos.

There was one in the original Mario 64, as I recall, that involved stationing him by a tree with his back to you. After a few seconds, you’d hear what sounded like a zipper, followed by Mario “watering the tree”.

Sonic would even lie down after a good long time. He’s the best.

The 7Up spot also yo-yo’d, I believe.

And Link’s pretty cool to watch when he isn’t doing anything.

Argh. I remember there being a fidget in Zombies Ate the Neighbors, but I can’t remember what it is!

In Dungeon Keeper, if you let the game sit - even while paused - long enough, the narrator would say,

“The very rock yawns in anticipation of your next fascinating move.”

That’s verbatim. I can still hear his smarmy voice.


Best: National Lampoon’s Chess Maniac 5 billion and One. Haven’t been able to play this in a long time but I remember a dog would pee on the board and your maniacal opponent will cheat if you don’t catch him in time. I’m sure there are plenty of other bits that I don’t remember.


That “LA LA LA!” is still part of my circle of friends’ daily vocabulary.