Catch Phrase | 五毛特效(wǔmáo tèxiào)

Writer: Yang Mei  |  Editor: Stephanie Yang  |  From: Shenzhen Daily 


“五毛” means “50 cents” and “特效” means “special effects.” As nowadays one yuan won’t even buy you a bun in a supermarket, 50 cents is almost useless.

Coined by Chinese netizens, “五毛特效” is used to criticize poor special effects in some movies and TV shows, as some people say they are “worth less than 50 cents.” If too little money is invested into special effects, it will lead to poor films, which viewers will not buy.


A: 你看国产玄幻剧吗?

Nǐ kàn guóchǎn xuánhuànjù ma?

Do you watch Chinese fantasy TV series?

B: 不看。因为我无法忍受电视剧里的五毛特效。

Bù kàn。Yīnwèi wǒ wúfǎ rěnshòu diànshìjù lǐ de wǔmáo tèxiào。

Not really. I cannot stand the poor special effects in those shows.