Cold callers. Slow WiFi. Mosquitoes. Justin Bieber. Life is full of incredibly irritating things, and unfortunately video games are no exception. Sometimes our one escape from the real world becomes a terrible trap, thanks to a super annoying enemy type. Since the days of Super Mario Bros.' little hammer guys, we've had to swear and strop our way through some right a-holes. We asked the GamesRadar+ team for their peskiest foes.
This is the latest in a series of big questions we'll be interrogating our writers with, so share your answers and suggestions for topics with us on Twitter.
Tiny little buggers that scuttle
You know the ones. Most games has them. Tiny little bug-like creatures that scuttle along the floor and bite at your ankles, but you know they're coming. They've got a telltale ticking noise that their legs clickety-clacking along the floor. In Gears of War, they're tickers. In The Division 2 they're little little remote controlled cars that either a) explode or b) have deadly contraptions the likes of which Robot Wars entrants would be jealous of. They're horrible, they're icky, they're a pain in the ass to shoot, and they constantly fill me with the kind of panic a weak heart shouldn't be exposed to. Thankfully, I'm made of sterner stuff, but that doesn't mean being killed by one of these such creatures hasn't made me want to lob a controller through the screen. Sam Loveridge
Enemies that heal themselves
Firstly: how dare you. I've just whittled down your health and sure, I've knocked back a few health potions myself, but how dare you stand there are regenerate a third of your health bar. Those kinds of enemies have absolutely no respect for us players and the mere sight of their health regenerating is enough to send me into a micro-fit of rage at the unfairness of it all, especially if they have a bucket of minions whittling away my health and throwing area of effect explosives that mean I have very small windows in which to actually attack them. It's even worse if the baddies in question heal more than once, and then it's double worse if healing doesn't make them have any new attacks because then what the hell is the point? Yes, I know this is hypocritical as we all heal during boss fights too, but let's be realistic: there's one rule for us gamers and another for in-game characters. So don't you dare heal, enemy grunt number three. I'm watching you. Zoe Delahunty-Light
Enemies that poison you
The rats in Dark Souls. The ioprey in Monster Hunter. The slimes in Persona. The ioprey in Monster Hunter again because seriously screw them. All of them poison you, and all of them suck. Being poisoned is infuriating, especially when it's a minor enemy that does it, because that little ouch-dammit winds up dealing way more damage to you than it has any right to. Even if you kill the thing, you're already poisoned. That enemy has already won: you're about to take a ton of damage over time and there's nothing you can do about it. Watching your health tick down, your eye twitching with every hitpoint lost, is such a helpless feeling. And even if you can do something about your poison, you'll probably have to use one of your no-doubt limited curatives, and that's a whole other headache. Everyone knows that anti-poisons in video games exist not to be used, but to be hoarded in case you need to use them. Austin Wood
Bosses who have an extra life bar beneath their life bar
These guys are just taking the piss. The point of a life bar is that it's, you know, a quantifiable gauge of how much life an enemy has left. So when I'm using my last health potion to chip away at the final 10% of said bar, expecting the foe to go down upon its full depletion, the existential horror that comes from seeing a second life bar suddenly reveal itself behind the first is soul destroying to say the least. Not only that, but this nasty little trick is enough to make me lose any trust I had in a game whatsoever. When even your life bars are deceptive, who or what else in this world can I believe any more? Every established gaming convention is now up in the air and potentially illusory. And don't even get me started on bosses with a third life bar beneath their second life bar beneath their first life bar. Utter bastards, the lot of them. Alex Avard
Heavy enemies that shrug off your hits
Nothing pulls me out of a superhero power fantasy faster than punching a large-but-ordinary human with my extraordinary fists, then watching them shrug it off as they wallop me with a knockdown counterattack. Heavy enemies are a sensible inclusion as part of a diverse selection of enemies to fight, but when they're designed poorly, fighting them becomes such a fun-hampering drag. The most recent example that's still painfully fresh in my mind is the husky Heavy goon in Spider-Man PS4, who barely even flinches when Spidey clobbers him with a string of superpowered punches. These all-too-common thugs feel like they were included as a way to force you to use Spider-Man's largely unnecessary web gadgets, and it's always a bummer when they show up. Lucas Sullivan
Enemies that keep making more enemies
Before you start a fight you do some budgeting: how challenging you think the encounter will be, how many of your abilities you can afford to pop off, maybe even how long you have to play before you need to quit for the night. Then the one mook with an extra-pointy hat or whatever starts summoning more enemies and throws your budget out of the window. An unending river of skeletons or thugs or demons start flowing toward you and your only hope is to fight your way upstream to the source before they overwhelm you. When you finally kill the last one a half hour later you realize none of them even had the basic decency to drop loot. Why? Oh, because that'd be too easy to farm. Arrrrrggghhhh! Connor Sheridan
Enemies that suddenly learn new skills
What is this madness. Learning and unleashing new skills on the hop!? Err, no thanks. We all know the feeling: you’ve spent a while getting used to enemies or a boss, learning their tells and knowing their movements, being able to counter and plan out your strategy effectively. Then, abruptly their brain functions in a total bizarre, should-get-it-checked-out kind of way and they ‘remember’ they’ve got a whole set of other skills in their arsenal. Suddenly they remember how to call for mates as backup; suddenly they remember they can go invisible; suddenly they remember they have a new mega attack that you can’t dodge. Fist-shakingly unsporting behavior. Imagine if I suddenly learnt a whole new catalog of golf shots mid-round; or learnt how to bowl a trickster ball mid cricket-over. Total banter. I mean, who is training these guys and how do their brains work - and how do I get that trainer and that brain power. Absolute rotters. Rob Dwiar
Enemies who know exactly where you are, because reasons
You’ve spent a good twenty minutes sneaking around the facility in a crouch, doing your best not to be spotted by those armed thugs nearby. And then you knock over a bottle. Or breathe too loud. Or, I dunno, “the clap from your ass cheeks keeps alerting the guards”. It doesn’t really matter. Either way, everyone whips around and instantaneously knows your position. Even though you’re still crouched out of sight behind a crate. In other words, they’ve spontaneously developed X-ray vision like a bargain-bin Superman. This tears down any sense of immersion you had; the illusion is thoroughly broken. It becomes painfully obvious that you’re fighting a series of 1s and 0s, and they’re not even very smart 1s and 0s. I mean, look at the guards from Oblivion. They’d pursue you from fifteen miles away because you accidentally stole a pot and a cat saw it or something. They would then chase you for the rest of time, regardless of whether you swam to the bottom of the ocean. *shakes fist* Benjamin Abbott
Absolute Units with Shields
Yeah, so you've beaten 98 dudes without losing an energy bar… but what about this testosterone fuelled potato man WITH A SHIELD?! Not to put too fine a point on it, but TFPMWAS is in every super hero game, most notably Batman: Arkham Asylum or Spider-Man PS4, where his role primarily consists of forcing you to employ one extra key press before doing the same button mashing routine you employed to juice his buddies like packets of tomato sauce. You know the drill: Our hero snaps 7897 standard foes like a pack of breadsticks. Cue unexpected cut-scene. "GRRRR! I'm coming for you Hero Man!", cries an angry potato with a shield. An on-screen prompt implores you to 'TAP X TO LEAP TFPMWAS', usually in slow motion. Before any illusion of threat has been created, you tap X to jump over his head and punch some back. That's every shield wielder's weakness: the old spine. Whether you're jumping over his head, or sliding under his feet, his back is weak like a new born lamb's; although the shield could be hit by a train without taking a scratch. I don't even blame you TFPMWAS, but you and your brothers might be well-served to join a union and invest in some cushions for your trousers, or - get this - a shield you wear on your back. Radical, I know, but- this side of a move to secure spiked helmets - all Spider Man has left is a pogo-stick attack aimed flat on your bonce. Daniel Dawkins
Which enemy has made your life hell recently? Let us know on Twitter.