Whether it’s Mass Effect’s gripping romances or the secret crush we definitely didn’t have on Princess Toadstool in Super Mario 64, romance and video games have been together for quite some time.
Sometimes, romance goes beyond the virtual threshold, and players fall in love in the real world through the lens of a video game or shared fandom.
For many couples, regardless of how they met, they choose to get married and spend the rest of their lives together, and, on occasion, hardcore video game fans incorporate their obsession into the marital proceedings. While many of these moments are cute… sometimes they come with a dose of cringe, and it’s typically from the initial proposal.
With today’s list, we’ve compiled a list of the 20 Cringiest Ways Men Proposed Through Video Games, so you can see the failures, successes, general cringe and… yes, even some cuteness… for yourself.
20 A Proposal So Bad, It Almost Got Patched
Recently dubbed “the saddest Easter Egg of all time,” this well-intentioned marriage proposal found within the brilliant Spider-Man game on PS4 has descended into madness.
The proposal itself, which is found on a theater marquee, was a decent enough idea, but after the intended recipient said “no,” things got increasingly weird, from disturbing details emerging about the “relationship” in question, and the fact that Insomniac offered to patch the Easter Egg out of existence.
19 A Secret So Hidden It Almost Didn’t Get Found
Unlike the majority of this list, this is a sweet story and the clever proposal in question is actually really, really cool. The cringe comes with the fact that it was so elaborate and secretive that it almost didn’t get discovered.
The message was hidden in the GBC version of Klax by one of its programmers, Mike, hoping his girlfriend would discover it… but she didn’t.
Years later, with the help of a gaming magazine publishing the code, she FINALLY saw it and said yes. Quite the happy ending!
18 Getting GLaDOS To Participate
There was a period of time where the Portal games were a widespread obsession, and much of the devotion was dedicated to GLaDOS, the series’ unsettling AI antagonist.
So what happens when a Portal-obsessed couple is thinking about marriage? The male half of the duo decides he’ll get a custom Portal level made, and has the voice of GLaDOS herself popping the question.
17 Hacking An Otherwise Perfect JRPG Classic
Chrono Trigger is arguably one of the greatest JRPGs ever created, telling a compelling story about time travel that continually bucks trends and features some of the most well-rounded characters in the genre.
Of course, none of that means anything if you decide to go tinker with it, which is exactly what a gentleman known as TheRealPfhreak did.
To be fair, he had attempted to do a far less nerdy proposal, but when plans fell through, he had no other choice but to insert his own scene into Chrono Trigger.
16 Surrounded By Hordes Of Zombies
Overall, the zombie fad seems to have had far less vitality than the undead creatures it features, but during its height, EGBTMagus used the popular Left 4 Dead series to pop the question.
By means of a custom map maker, EGBTMagus and his girlfriend went through a level specifically designed to unexpectedly transition from co-op zombie survival to very serious, life-altering questions.
15 The Laziest Use Of Digital Currency
We’ve all played (and made) Super Mario Maker levels that are barely excusable as rudimentary testing grounds. Then again, we’ve also played (and maybe made) a ton of extremely clever and complex levels that change the very way we think about the series.
Regardless, we can all agree that writing a marriage proposal out of coins in a Mario level isn't exactly elaborate or exciting.
To be fair, this was in the original Super Mario World and NOT Maker, so it wasn’t exactly easy to create, but still… coins? Come on.
14 Using A Nintendo Switch Screenshot
Throughout this list so far, there have been a number of elaborate proposal methods on display, many of which are genuinely impressive (despite the inherent cringe), but there have been a few that are just barebones and lazy (like the previous entry.)
This might be the lowest of the low, though: using the Switch’s limited screenshot and editing functionality.
Covertly snapping a shot of their Mario Kart characters facing one another, the hopeful groom added the proposal text to the image and… yeah, we’re cringing even as we write this.
13 A Diamond Or Bejeweled Ring?
We’ve all played Bejeweled once or twice (or more) in our lives. It’s a simple but addicting puzzle game that’s been around for nearly two decades at this point, but for one particular couple, it became a tool to solve a different kind of jewel-related puzzle.
Creating an entirely custom version of Bejeweled, p3ng’s unique take on the game showed an engagement ring on the screen after a certain score threshold.
12 Finding Love In The Borderlands
The irreverent Borderlands series might not seem like the best for a marriage proposal… and it’s probably not… but that didn’t stop Ben from making it happen.
He and his girlfriend, Tora, both adored the series, especially its co-op, so it seemed fitting to make the proposal part of the Borderlands world.
Instead of just doing something typical, Ben got Gearbox themselves involved, and ended up getting a foul-mouthed Claptrap to ask Tora the question.
Uncouth, yes, but still kinda sweet.
11 Only Foozles Fall In Love
Foozle, an iPhone puzzle game, played a critical role in Joe proposing to his long-time girlfriend.
Going in the same direction as Ben and Borderlands, Joe sought out the help of Foozle’s developer, who was happy to help.
The plan worked, Joe’s girlfriend said yes, and all Foozle’s developer wanted was a video of the event!
10 At Doom’s SNES Gate
To be fair, this one doesn’t exactly feature a “proposal,” per se, but it’s still worth discussing.
DOOM’s SNES port existing at all was already weird, but one programmer took things even further into bizarre territory.
Outside of the game’s boundaries, beneath the mountains featured on the sky texture, is a rainbow colored declaration of love that wouldn’t seem out of place carved into a tree… except this one is found in a game filled with demons, blood, gore, non-stop visceral violence, and giddy space marine who delights in using a chainsaw to chop people up. How romantic!
9 A Custom-Made Shovelware App
The App Store is filled to the brim with “shovelware,” which are basically incredibly poorly made apps and games.
We’re probably being too harsh on the actual app that Bryan created to propose to his girlfriend, Jeannie (particularly considering that it only existed to give her clues for a real-life scavenger hunt,) but, while still cool, it’s hard not to cringe at the “<3” that the scavenger hunt’s route creates.
8 Using Google Plus, Of All Things
Remember Google Plus? Nah, we don’t either, but, apparently, this unloved and defunct social network played a key role in a decidedly cringey marriage proposal.
Using the Google Plus online game, Crime City, the player known as Mihai asked the game’s creator to help him propose to his girlfriend, Miruna.
Thus, a virtual engagement ring was crafted and, by all accounts, Miruna said yes.
7 An Entirely Too Obvious Custom Level
What makes this LittleBigPlanet proposal so cringey is that it’s blatantly obvious where the creator’s custom level is going (it’s called “Love and Marriage,” after all,) and yeah, the whole thing seems kind of staged.
Whether it’s staged or not doesn’t really matter at this point, but man, could you have done any better to build up the tension or at least make the level itself clever?
6 Puzzlingly Designing An Entire Game
We’ve seen a few entries on this list that could be considered “going above and beyond,” but A Mobius Proposal be the ultimate example of the concept.
Matt Gilgenbach didn’t simply create a custom level for his proposal, he created an entire game. And make no mistake: this isn’t some low-level creation, it’s an insanely well-done puzzler.
Nonchalantly featuring “proposal” in its title, the whole, high-quality thing was really made to ask his girlfriend to marry him.
5 The Ultimate Key Item
The very first Zelda game was a revolutionary title when it released, and although it’s fallen somewhat out of favor in recent years (due to its vague objectives and high difficulty), it still holds a special place in the hearts of many gamers, such as the couple in this story.
Both adored the original Zelda, so the groom-to-be decided to mess with the code of the game to insert his proposal, and then getting his beau into discovering.
You know what? We don’t even have anything snarky to say; this one’s pretty awesome.
4 Minecraft’s Endless Potential Being Wasted
While Minecraft isn’t as popular as it once was, it’s still a beloved and groundbreaking game that continues to enrapture legions of fans. Part of Minecraft’s allure is the ability for players to create virtually anything they wish, from simple castles to full-scale replicas of the Enterprise.
So what does this guy do for his marriage proposal? He writes “will you marry me” in lava, and then built a ring. We’re not trying to be overly critical, but in a game where people have made legitimately functional computers, this dude went for something a six year old could have done.
3 Crafting A Legitimate NES Game
This incredibly elaborate proposal isn’t exactly what we’d consider “cringey.” In fact, we’ll openly admit that we think it’s pretty awesome. Where the cringe comes in, however, is in how overly elaborate this process was.
We have nothing against making an 8-bit game from scratch and then physically producing a functional cart to play it on but, this is a ton of time and effort being poured into something that didn’t exactly have a 100% chance of success.
We can still appreciate it, though.
2 WoW! A Character Select Screen
Marriages (or basically any other real life event) and World of Warcraft haven’t exactly been a good combination in the past, but this “proposal” is so low effort and appallingly shallow that it almost makes it worse than the infamous griefing during a legitimate funeral. Almost.
Upon logging into the game, the bride-to-be found a selection of odd characters awaiting her on the main menus. Their names were “WILL,” “YOU,” “MARRY,” “ME,” and “QUESTIONMARK.”
The cringe is real.
1 StreetPass. Yes, StreetPass
The 3DS’ StreetPass feature was a quirky and fun extra (and one that we’d really like to see Nintendo bring to the Switch in some form) but to Andrew Hannay, it was much, much more.
Yes, Andrew actually used StreetPass (StreetPass!) to propose to his girlfriend… and she actually said yes.
We’re happy for them both but… StreetPass? Good grief.
Sources: Wired.com, Kotaku.com, nintendoenthusiast.com, tcrf.net