Borderlands has always been a controversial franchise when it comes to the humor. Some people think its one of the funniest games they've ever played, and others might think it's pure garbage. Or, you can be like us and find it pretty middle of the road, with the gameplay being more than enough to make up for it.
Personally, we think Borderlands 3 combines the higher quality writing of The Pre-Sequel with the best genre of jokes from Borderlands 2. But, that's not to say its without tons of flaws, both from a writing and technical aspect. So, let's discuss the worst of the worst.
10 The Entire Killavolt Quest
There aren't many missions in the game that we overall abhor, but the Killavolt mission is one of them. The entire time, we constantly had to listen to Moxxi's horribly shallow "adult" humor combined with the most stereotypical cliche over-masculine guy Killavolt bragging about his manhood over and over.
Then, it culminates in one of the more annoying boss fights in the game (especially when it was bugged). Lastly, as a real garnish on top, his rare-drop Legendary is awful! There are parts of it we like, but most of this mission accentuates what we dislike about the franchise.
9 Moxxi's Forced Sex Appeal
And while we're on the topic of Moxxi, we're not the biggest fans of hers. Now, whenever she's actually contributing to the story and using her vast array of skills, she's great! But, when the game forces her to serve us only as a sexual symbol, that's when she feels incredibly two-dimensional.
The example we can't stand occurs whenever she first appears in any of the games. These scenes force the player character to drool all over her and spout a line of dialog that usually flies in the face of their personality. Moxxie could easily be a powerful female role-model if Gearbox didn't insist on hiding said personality 90% of the time.
8 What You Got Gate?!
Up until now, we've been talking about certain types of humor in BL3 as opposed to singular or individual jokes. But, no longer. Now it's time to summarize our problems with Ava in just one joke. This series of "What you got BLANK? jokes while raiding the cemetery with her on Athena serve as nothing more than to show Ava's overly spunky/rebellious nature.
Which would be fine, if it was actually funny or charming. Instead, it comes off as unnecessary aggression or rebellion against something she doesn't need to be rebelling against, which is Ava's biggest flaw.
7 The Psycho Screams, Both Good And Bad
Let's just start by saying, the Psycho screams in this game are the best in the franchise, which is a bit of an odd sentence. But, throughout the 4 games, Psychos have always had a chance of screaming one of a few random quotes upon dying. These can range from the random "BLOOD MEAT" type words to truly clever one-liners. Our personal favorite from this new game is "My chili recipe...dies with me!"
But, not all of them can be winners like that. About half of the newest ones fall back on that "so random" humor that we personally hate. Stuff like "I can hear you with my teeth," and "Another story to sing to the cages at home," are what stop Krieg from being our overall favorite character. And it gets a little tiresome listening to them over and over, especially in the new Mayhem 4 mode.
6 Rhys' Pleasure Sphere
For the most part, Rhys is one of the stronger comedic characters in BL3. He doesn't make jokes too constantly, but when he does, his material stays centered towards his personality. And, we love the idea of a bumbling idiot that manages to bring a multibillion-dollar corporation like Atlas back from bankruptcy. Seriously, the "state of the art" added before all of his product names had us in stitches.
But, one bit that Rhys really stuck to during the invasion of Katagawa's moonbase is the Rhys Ball stuff. We get it, it's a ball used for pleasure! That joke almost immediately got old yet we had to listen to it for the next half an hour. And they even kept it rolling with the Katagawa ball boss fight.
5 Vaughn And His Abs
Here's the thing, we love Vaughn. He was one of our favorite characters in Tales of the Borderlands and even more so in BL3. But, they're basically two separate characters now, at least in terms of their writing. The way Vaughn acted in Tales compared to the BL2 DLC or BL3 is so radically different.
Now, this ex-accountant is literally obsessed with his own fitness, especially his abs. It's funny for the first little bit, but once you realize that's the only jokes Vaughn can make, they start to fall flat pretty quickly. Especially since 99% of the males in the game are more muscular than he is. But no one rocks whitey-tighties quite like he does, that's for sure.
4 The Toilet Humor Everywhere
One of the biggest insults towards Borderlands is their reliance on memes, randomness, and crass jokes. You know, the low brow stuff. While we agree that a lot of their stuff is low-brow, that's not necessarily a bad thing! Claptrap's "my ass is full of stars" joke at the beginning of the game is a side-buster, especially coming from someone usually so unfunny like Claptrap.
But, after that, Borderlands 3 mostly falls back onto poorly thought out poop jokes. We're talking poop-themed gun skins, sidequests centered around a portapotty, and a literally fecal-matter rocket launcher. Clever.
3 The Jabber Matting Call
B.A.L.E.X is one of the new characters in Borderlands 3 and for the most part, we love him! Ice T does a fantastic job voicing him, which we wouldn't have expected. And, luckily, it seems like he'll be sticking around as the new voice of the Sanctuary 3! Still, during the Family Jewel mission where we first encounter B.A.L.E.X, there's a joke from his rival GenIVIV that really annoyed us.
This AI ex-girlfriend uses mating calls to summon jabbers during a part of the quest, which is chuckle-worthy, at least for a second. But, the problem is she keeps making these noises for the next 5 minutes! The joke already landed, but they just keep the voice actress yodeling on and on for way too long.
2 Tyreen's Food Jokes
So the main villains Tyreen and Troy, otherwise known as the Calypso Twins, are quite the pair. They aren't on the same level of cleverness as said Handsome Jack, but they don't need to be. Tyreen, in particular, is the cheekier of the two with her constant jokes about absorbing people's life force.
Basically, she equates it to eating. And, the first few little jokes about it are funny! But, then the game doesn't really get more creative with them and keeps pumping them out, leading them to get tiresome pretty quickly. A big flaw with Gearbox's writing style is that they find a joke or theme that lands, then they overuse it until its dead in the ground. Hopefully, they'll fix that in future titles!
1 Tiny Tina's Pizza Analogy
And finally, let's end things on our least favorite character in the franchise, Tiny Tina. Well, she's back in Borderlands 3, for better or for worst. She's grown up a bit now, thankfully, and is no longer making crass adult humor as a child. But, now that she's aged, you'd expect her humor to have grown up a bit as well, right?
Wrong. Teen Tina still has the same tired material and nowhere is this more grating to our ears than with the pizza analogy. Right off the bat, Tina sends us to get explosives and with every part we grab she comes up with a new way to compare it to pizza. It's the purest form of surface-level randomness that makes us mute the game from time to time, and we wish they'd just tone it down a tad.