Yu-Gi-Oh is an enduring franchise that encompasses everything from manga and anime to trading card games.
Kids gather around the TV to watch the long-running cartoon, while gamers gather in comic book shops and libraries to participate in real live duels.
It’s obvious that this franchise is much-loved, but there are plenty of aspects about this series that just don’t make any sense.
Of course, with the internet being what it is, there are lots of memes out there that are more than happy to point them all out.
The memes in the list will dive into some of the most burning questions out there surrounding the ubiquitous Yu-Gi-Oh franchise.
It’s time to answer questions like: Why are so many cards regarded with such high esteem when there are obviously better options out there? Why does the fate of the world so often hinge on a simple card game? And what is in the Heart of the Cards, anyway?
From confusing rules to Yugi’s wild anime hair to silly cartoon censorship, here are the 20 Memes That Show Yu-Gi-Oh Makes No Sense.
20. An Incredibly High Stakes Card Game
Yu-Gi-Oh is a show about a bunch of kids playing a trading card game… but the stakes are often absurdly high.
These players have faced off in duels with the actual fate of the world at stake. Shadow Duels would literally cause the players to feel the damage their cards were inflicting, which is quite insane when you think about it.
In some iterations of the duels, players would become soulless husks if they lost their match. What and why? What parent is buying these cards for their children?
The loss of their own lives isn’t the only danger these kids face when dueling, as most of the time, the entire world is on the line.
19. A Solid Role Model?
Yugi’s grandfather, Solomon Muto, has decades of experience under his card playing belt. He even once had a winning streak so prolific, he made a bet against himself, just to keep things interesting.
His analytical skills are so impressive he even outsmarted the dangerous traps protecting the Millennium Puzzle.
Yet, Grandpa Muto is a pretty darn weak card player. He’s constantly losing to Yugi’s less experienced friends.
The entire inspiration for Grandpa’s card shop is born out of his self-induced punishment for losing a game in his younger days. A disguised “Apdnarg Otum” (Grandpa Muto backward) lost to Joey in the KaibaCorp Grand Prix.
18. Everybody Loves That Dragon Card
Blue-Eyes White Dragon is a cool card. It is a menacing, whitish blue dragon with tons of attack and decent defense.
This card is sought after by lots of new Yu-Gi-Oh duelists. Many will create a dragon deck just so they have a reason to keep this card in their rotation.
Surely, Kaiba’s popularity and his three Blue-Eyes White Dragon cards only add to this card’s popularity.
However, a quick trip to any top ten Yu-Gi-Oh Cards list will show that there are lots of cards out there are either more powerful or more useful, than the Blue-Eyes White Dragon.
17. Throw Out The Canon
This meme plays on two different aspects of Seto Kaiba’s backstory. Seto’s first appearance in the fourth volume of the Yu-Gi-Oh manga, “Kaiba’s Revenge” depicts a different looking character.
In the books, Kaiba has ordinary brown hair. His hair is a similar chestnut color in other versions of the cartoons.
However, in the Toei version of the series, his locks are an eye-catching green in the animated series.
Aside from Kaiba’s change of hairstyle, this meme could also be a reference to the character’s vendetta against Yugi in the Toei version of the series.
Kaiba became so upset over tying a duel against Yugi that he was driven to create an awesome theme park and rendered Yugi’s grandfather unconscious in an act of revenge. All of this was over tying a card game.
16. A Split Personality
Tristan Taylor is somehow both the most mature and the most immature Yu-Gi-Oh character at the same time.
Tristan is a great friend who would do anything to support the people he cares about. However, that often leads to some questionable choices, including outright lies.
Tristan cared for his friends so much he would often concoct lies designed to benefit them. Despite his efforts, Tristan’s friends were always disappointed with him when they discovered the truth.
Tristan lied to Joey Wheeler’s sister, Serenity, telling her he had trained Joey because he had a crush on her. He lied to her about a duel Joey was participating in while Serenity was in the hospital.
15. The Trump Card
Most beginners to the card game franchise will try various plans that have a tendency to fail. Silly tactics like relying on one big move or not anticipating the other player may have a trap or magic card lying in wait.
It’s similar to the draw 4 cards from Uno. It’s super helpful when you have it but you can not bank on it being there to help you win.
Every once in a while, you can blow your opponent away with such a card, or at least put them into a losing position.
In the show, you can see these horrible battle tactics in action. Seto Kaiba relies on his Blue-Eyes White Dragon or Blue- Eyes Ultimate Dragon, while Yami Yugi relies on Exodia and wins completely by luck.
14. The Heart Of The Cards Is Awfully Convenient
The Heart of the Cards is a Deus Ex Machina that ensures that no matter how powerful or skilled their opponent may be, the protagonist is going to win, no matter what.
They draw a card and there is a high probability it’s going to be exactly what they need in order to win, no matter how badly they were losing just moments before.
Yugi is an avid proponent of this mystical force, often chiding his losing opponents for not believing in the cards hard enough.
It’s as if Yugi is practically willing his deck to be arranged just the way he needs it to win… or he’s cheating and came up with this magical essence to throw off his opponents.
13. Duel Time, All The Time
It’s always Duel O’Clock on Yu-Gi-Oh. Training, world saving, or simply wasting time, there’s never a shortage of reasons for these kids to bust out their trading cards and square off against each other.
These duelists are so excited about their game, they even have a catchphrase, “It’s time to duel!” It’s often yelled by Yugi before a battle begins.
The catchphrase was given a cheesy update in the opening sequence for the animated series.
A catchy, fast-paced beat repeatedly places emphasis on the “D” creating the iconic lyric, “It’s time to d-d-d-d-d-d-d-d-d-d-d-duel.”
The phrase is such a well-known trope that the meme has found its way to YouTube. A user by the name of Kipper uploaded a 10-hour video that skips on that emphasis “D” throughout nearly the entire video.
12. How Do You Play This Game Anyway?
There are so many loopholes and exceptions in the actual card game of Yu-Gi-Oh it seems almost impossible to actually keep track of the rules.
Naturally, this can lead to long arguments over whether or not a player is using a card properly. However, as this meme points out, even if the duelist is using the card wrong on purpose, they can just pretend they didn’t know the rules.
It can also be difficult to know what is and is not allowed in the game based on how frequently the banned card lists are updated.
11. What If They Dueled … On Motorcycles?
Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s takes the absurdly dangerous card game to even more ridiculous heights. Not only is the Duel Monsters game just as dangerous as it was before, but now everyone is hurtling at top-speed on top of specially designed motorcycles at the same time.
This iteration of the popular anime features dragons, evil immortal beings, and a time traveler bent on the destruction of New Domino City.
The stakes are truly higher than ever in this version, and once again, it’s up to card playing youngsters to set things straight.
Some fans give this seemingly silly series credit for its underlying themes and heavy topics. This adaptation explores the link between the past and the future and how there are consequences for all of our actions.
10. All Powerful Wizard?
How is it possible that the Dark Magician is the ultimate wizard in terms of attack and defense when there are multiple spellcaster type cards out there with better attack and defense superior to that of Yugi’s Dark Magician?
For example, if you tribute the Dark Magician you can summon the Dark Sage, who possesses an attack power of 2800 and defense of 3200.
Another fantastic example is the Magician of Black Chaos, who boasts a whopping 2800 attack and 2600 defense (even Yugi knows this is better than just the Dark Magician). Or what about the Dark Mage who has 3000 attack points and 2800 defense but also has an effect that boosts his attack and defense by 300 for every spell card on the field?
9. The Star Is Instantly Recognizable
This meme playfully points out the exaggerated hairstyles often adorned by the protagonists of several different anime series.
Even when every other character has completely normal clothes and hair, the main character will often have brightly colored coifs that defy gravity.
Yugi is an infamous example of this trope, with his triangular black hair with its hot pink edges and floppy blonde bangs.
Not only does Yugi have some pretty outstanding locks, his clothing is also fairly noteworthy. It’s obvious that people in his universe wear relatively normal styles, yet Yugi wears a colorful suit and dress shirt, along with a buckled collar, much of the time.
8. Everyone Has The Same Face
Based on the photos in this meme, all the characters seem to have incredibly similar facial structures. Their noses are all thin and pointed, and the same goes for their chins.
They all have large eyes and long hair, but there are a few key differences here that make the bad guys look innocent.
In the above meme, all the bad guys have a wide-eyed, almost angelic look on their faces. While the actual heroes both look incredibly angry.
Of course, we know, that the good guys are simply determined. They will push themselves to win no matter what.
For the heroes, winning often means saving the world. However, with such similar faces and only these facial expressions to judge off of, it would be very easy to confuse who is friendly and who is a Big Bad.
7. Great Skill? Or Great Luck?
Yugi Muto is such a prolific card player, he has earned the title of “King of Games” but it seems like he just gets lucky all the time.
Yugi is constantly hoping that the next card he draws is the one he needs to win. He’s often struggling to fight back against his clearly stronger opponents’ attacks, but his unwavering belief in the “Heart of the Cards” always sees him through.
To be fair, Yugi often has a solid strategy in mind when he enters into a duel. Howeer, due to the nature of the game, he’s constantly left on the defensive.
Each time his opponent takes a turn, Yugi could be in danger of rethinking his entire plan. No matter how many times Yugi is forced to start all over from the beginning, it seems like his deck is always stacked in his favor.
6. Twins, But Not Really
What’s interesting about the Cyber Twin Dragon, is that it can be created using two dragons that are indeed identical.
This card can be created using two Cyber Dragon cards. Because they are the same card, not only do the two cards look the same, they have the same attack and defense to start.
Yet, after the two cards fuse, the two dragons get a makeover. In the above image, one of the supposed twin dragons has a sort of helmet on its head, while the other has a glowing yellow eye.
One of the dragons seems to have tubes running down its neck. Their spikes are laid out differently, as well.
5. All-Powerful Pharaoh Doesn’t Know His Own Name
Pharaoh Atem is a powerful and intelligent ruler. He sealed his own soul inside the Millennium Puzzle and he’s highly knowledgeable in the rules of the Dueling Monsters game.
After Yugi Muto solves the puzzle and frees the Pharoah’s spirit, Atem becomes Yami Yugi, a spirit residing inside Yugi himself.
Yami Yugi has an undeniable skill when it comes to the Dueling Monsters game. He’s constantly relied upon to help Yugi find success even in the direst of moments in his epic battles.
Yet, Yami Yugi had no idea who he really was. He completely forgot about his previous life as Pharaoh Atem. Yugi helped the Pharaoh to uncover his locked memories to return the favor of the Pharaoh aiding him in his duels.
4. The Best Things In Life AREN’T Free
The phrase in this meme began as a parody, being used in the satirical riff on the Yu-Gi-Oh series, Yu-Gi-Oh: The Abridged Series.
The series mocks the anime, poking fun at the character tropes found within the show. In this instance, it’s Kaiba’s surly attitude and rich kid status that has come into focus.
In the anime, Kaiba started out as an orphan, but he grows to become a successful businessman and Duel Monster player.
His drive to succeed and sometimes thoughtless behavior made him stand out in a series usually filled with supportive and friendly characters.
Take, for example, Kaiba’s battle against Yugi’s Grandpa, in which he wins Grandpa Muto’s Blue-Eyes White Dragon. Kaiba had no use for the card, already owning three. He simply destroyed the card so nobody else could use it.
3. Everybody Hates Pegasus
Yugi Muto may be the main character of the Yu-Gi-Oh franchise, but Maximillion Pegasus is the guy everyone is aiming for.
Everything about this character simply makes him a target. He was cheated other characters while dueling, he owned rare and powerful tech, and he was the creator of the Duel Monster cards with access to cards never released to the public.
Over the course of the show, several people have attempted to assassinate Pegasus. One of these potential hitmen, Paradox, did actually succeed in destroying Pegasus.
However, Yugi was granted the ability to go back in time and prevented his demise. Despite Pegasus being a villain and cheater when he first arrived in the series, he eventually became an ally to Yugi and his friends.
2. Nothing Matters Anymore
It seems no matter how badly Yugi Muto may be losing, there will always be a way for him to come back from the brink.
Fusions are discovered for the first time in seemingly dire moments. Summons are pulled off where they may have failed before.
Also, of course, there are always super convenient trap cards that take advantage of the exact way Yugi’s opponents happen to be winning. And let’s not even get started on the total bias of the Heart of the Cards.
This meme pokes fun at the seemingly arbitrary rules of the Duel Monsters game and the fact that they always seem to be changing. It compares the card game to a round of improv, where the actors are given a few prompts and just sort of make things up on the fly.
1. Censorship Gets Silly
The manga is much, much darker than the anime. How much darker? Well, Pegasus manipulates an attempted assassin into committing suicide, for one.
When he kidnapped Yugi’s grandfather he trapped his soul in a videotape, kind of like an anime style Ringu, for two. There were many cases where the manga went much further than the anime would ever dare.
The Japanese anime made a few changes to the brutality of the anime, but once Yu-Gi-Oh was dubbed for America, the censorship became even more strict.
The Japanese manga and anime depicted several instances of characters attacking others with guns.
In the American version, every time a character held a gun, the weapon was edited out of the scene, leaving the characters angrily pointing their fingers at their targets instead.
Can you think of any other Yu-Gi-Oh memes that point out obvious plot holes? Sound off in the comments!