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Tier Lists are rankings of playable characters in a variety of video games based on their performance within the highest level of play, typically in competitive tournaments. The lists weigh the abilities of each character against the rest of the playable cast and ranks them under the assumption that each is controlled by equally skilled players. However, since the rise of these types of lists within gaming communities, they have been used as modes of parody, criticism and jokes, ranking non-video game-related subjects, as well. These lists generally follow the designations "God Tier," "Top Tier," "Mid Tier" and "Shit Tier"
Tier Lists have existed in most, if not all, competitive gaming communities, most notably among fans of fighting games like Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, and Super Smash Brothers.
Tier list rankings are often a point of contention among gamers, many of whom argue that they are inaccurate or that each character's strengths and weaknesses balance each other out. As such, tier lists have been met with negative reception by casual players, while experienced players argue that tiers do exist at the highest level of competitive play and that it would be impossible to perfectly balance a roster consisting of unique characters. Higher level players also state that tier lists do not apply to casual play.
While these lists have likely existed prior to its posting, the earliest available list was posted on the video game Tekken resource website tekkenzaibatsu.com on March 25th 2005 by user Nothing (shown below).
Four years later, on May 8th, 2009, anonymous 4chan  user posted the "Idolmaster Tier List V.3" on the /jp/ forum (shown below, left).
On May 17th, Urban Dictionary  user Yello River defined the top tier "God Tier." They wrote, "Skills that are almost god like." The post received more than 330 upvotes in 10 years (shown below, center).
The following year, on August 28th, 2010, FunnyJunk user scrumpulate posted a tier list of college disciplines (shown below, right).
Tiers R 4 Queers
Tiers R 4 Queers is a derogatory phrase said by casual players in response to the mentioning of tiers or a tier list. This phrase represents the overall negative perception new or casual players have in regards to tiers or tier lists. The phrase has also been infamously used in Super Smash Brothers animated parodies such as Brawl Taunts and Smash Kingdom.
"Tires Don Exits"
Tires Don Exits is an infamous phrase originating from a now deleted thread on message board Smashboards in regards to tier lists. The humorous misspelling of the phrase and overall whiny mood of the thread became a meme inside the Smash community and is often cited in an ironic manner in tier discussions within the Smash community. Other ironic phrases within this context include "A skilled Roy can beat any Fox," a phrase often regarded by misinformed players, specifically with the Super Smash Brothers Melee community, who believe tiers are nullified when a low tier character beats a top tier in tournament, in this case Roy (who is a low tier character in the game) beating Fox (commonly agreed as the best character in the game).
Parody Tier Lists
Because of the polarizing and controversial view and nature of tiers, there have been many cases of parody tier lists being created. While not necessarily for potential of the characters, these lists have been created with arbitrary goals and categories included with the nature to anger and/or please a subgroup of people in a community.
Smash Ultimate Tier Lists
Smash Ultimate Tier Lists refer to parodies of Tier Lists ranking the characters of Super Smash Brothers Ultimate by various qualities that often have nothing to do with their abilities as fighters.
TierZoo is an "edutainment" YouTuber who specializes in teaching about animals and their roles in habitats using Tier List parodies categorizing the animals as if they were class builds and planet Earth was an MMORPG. In the span of a year the has quickly grown in popularity, with videos consistently reaching millions of views and the channel accumulating over 800,000 subscribers in total. Videos on this channel are recognizable for their audiovisual references to the game Runescape.
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