I know I probably forgot something on this list, but oh well.
(originally posted on my tumblr)
10) The Patient Red Shell
There you are driving along dragging a banana when your red shell warning light comes on. "Ha" you say, "Tis no concern of mine!" Then you go off a ramp as it approaches only to see just before you land that it's waiting for you right where you're about to land. It hits and there's nothing you can do about it.
Why it's so annoying: There's nothing you can do to prevent it from happening: you were just at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Why it's not so annoying: It happens fairly infrequently.
9) Mario Kart TV Fails You
You just had the most unbelieveable finish. You and another guy were neck and neck on the 2nd to the last turn. You take a chance and fire your green shell which bounces from wall to wall before landing smack-dab into your opponent's face. It's the shot of the century: surely, this warrants uploading! You go to Mario Kart TV and view your replay. Regardless of your settings, you find that you absolutely cannot get the shot to appear in any format that will let you upload it. It did get that clip of you tossing that banana nobody ran into though…and from different angles!
Why it's so annoying: It was a moment worth sharing and you spend nearly hours trying every combination of setting trying to get it only to find you can't upload it. If you could upload whole races, it would be fine.
Why it's not so annoying: It's not a feature that will cost you any races.
8) The Poor Get Poorer
How could things go so wrong? You were minding your own business in first when that cursed blue shell came. It knocked you off course. You got put back on only for that fatass Wario to bounce you right back off again. Now, here you are in 10th. You finally limp to an item box, waiting to begin your revenge…and you get a coin. Or maybe a single green shell. GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR COMEBACK, BUDDY!
Why it's so annoying: You can't even use the damn things because everybody around you is either invincible from stars or boosting away from you. There's no chance for a comeback.
Why it's not so annoying: It happens rather infrequently.
7) SNES Donut Plains 3 Gets Picked Online
You and your racing party just had the most epic race on Rainbow Road. It was a hard fought match between the most elite racers in the pack that came down to the wire. You all get ready for the next exciting match when the worst happens: that one guy with 900VR picks Donut Plains 3. And it gets picked. The Item Clusterfuck begins in 3…2…1…
Why it's so annoying: The track is so short and awful that there's almost a 0% chance of having a race where the best person actually wins.
Why it's not so annoying: Almost 0% is not 0%. Every once in a blue moon, there's a chance of a good race. Also, it's more of an enabler of other issues, not the issue itself.
You're just behind first and you've got a green shell on the final lap. "Here goes nothing…" you think as you hurl the shell. It bounces around over and over until WHAM! You see first spin out. As you begin to celebrate, you see the horrible truth: they continue driving as if nothing happened. While your game said you hit them, theirs did not. You go to the next item box and try to get another item quickly with a red shell closing in. You mash the item button repeatedly and seconds go by, but alas, it spins and spins and spins. You get hit and you finally get an item after another few seconds. Curse you, lag!
Why it's so annoying: You get tricked into decisions without having accurate information. It's also way more problematic than in Mario Kart 7.
Why it's not so annoying: It's not unplayable (usually) and can sometimes work to your advantage if someone lags into your item.
5) Random Green Shell Of Death
You hear it behind you: the sound of that shell bouncing back and forth over and over. You hear it out of your left speaker. Then it's on the right. Finally, it bounces in front of you…and then into you, costing you the race.
Why it's so annoying: It happens rather frequently and there's little you can do to stop it.
Why it's not so annoying: Sometimes what appears to be random isn't: it could be that someone really just made the shot of a lifetime…and you might even be impressed they hit you.
4) One Shell Two Shell, Red Shell Blue Shell
Here comes that blue shell again. You throw the item you're dragging since it'll be destroyed in the blast, but hey, at least you're so far ahead it won't make much of a difference. Of course, now you're defenseless and the guy in 2nd just so happens to have a red shell…
Why it's so annoying: You're a victim of circumstance and there's no way to fight back. It's often a catalyst for further item spam.
Why it's not so annoying: Blue shells are quite a bit rarer in this game and if you were far enough ahead to begin with, you may not be that affected. Plus, if you're the guy in 2nd, you're thrilled.
3) Coin in 1st
"Gee thanks", you say to the game. You really needed another coin. Sure, you already have 10 and there's a red shell closing fast and this is the 5th item box in a row to give you a coin, but hey, at least you'll only have a net loss of 1!
Why it's so annoying: You have no way at all to defend yourself and it's not even your own fault. It's also alarmingly common.
Why it's not so annoying: There's at least SOME benefit to the thing. It does help you bounce back a bit from a hit.
You're hit by that stupid red shell because once again, you got coins in 1st. "Oh well, I can come back!" you say to yourself…and then 3rd hits you with a green shell. "Ok, there's a chance at 2nd" you say but before you can even put your foot on the pedal, WHAM! There's that boomerang! "Ok, this is just bull crap." you say as 9th comes up and hits you with a star. "Alright, fuck this game" you say as you now it in 11th.
Why it's so annoying: Not only are you continuously being hit: you're a sitting duck and don't even have the ability to move. You have almost no chance of a comeback.
Why it's not so annoying: If you're one of the other racers, you're feeling pretty great. Also, it happens to everyone and you can still get your revenge on at least some of the people provided number 8 doesn't happen to you. Also, it's basically become status quo in Mario Kart since Wii.
1) Triple Red Shells In 2nd
Ok, a coin again in 1st. Great. Oh hey, here comes the red shell. BAM! You start to move again before your worst fear is realized: you hear the warning again. 2nd place has triple red shells. There's absolutely nothing you can do now but pray to the Mario Kart Gods to somehow make them miss. They don't of course. Good-bye, victory.
Why it's so annoying: It's totally and completely unfair to 1st to have no chance at blocking more than 1 out of 3 (and typically, little chance of blocking any at all). It also happens alarmingly frequently and there's nothing more annoying than having victory in hand and the game ripping it away from you and handing it to some guy who got lucky.
Why it's not so annoying: No, screw that, it's the worst. Seriously, the "coins in 1st" thing wouldn't be nearly as annoying if it weren't for this completely breaking it. As GameXplain put it in its review of Mario Kart 8, "If you get a coin in first, Triple Red Shells may as well be Triple Blue Shells". Even when I'm in 2nd and get triple red shells on the final lap, I don't even feel good about passing 1st. I just feel like the game gave me something I shouldn't have.