"Big Al syndrome" (also written as "pulling a Big Al") is an insider joke amongst the western fandom about related to certain Vocaloids. The term refers to a Vocaloid who is assigned a release date publicly and then ends up being delayed for one reason or another. Traditionally this term is applied to male Vocaloids only as the first few Vocaloids that were known to be delayed were male.
- It began with Big-Al, announce in 2007 when Sweet Ann was released, who had originally been set for release in 2008. However, due to the fact PowerFX felt the samples were not good enough, he was put back into development stage and was not released until late 2009 (after a shorter second delay occurred). This led Big Al to become the subject of a number of lateness related jokes, including his character item being proposed to be a pocket watch (inspired by the white rabbit from "Alice in Wonderland") because of his lateness as he seemed like he was taking forever to be released. For a while he was also conceived by the western fandom as having part of his "personality" related to lateness although this has since become less frequent.
- The joke continued with Tonio the following year (2010), whose release was delayed after the provider was reported to have come down with a sore throat. Since the western fandom had decided his character item should be martini, a few jokes related to it were also applied to Tonio's lateness. Since Tonio was the first Vocaloid released after Big Al, and was also male, the phrase "Pulling a Big Al" was labeled onto Tonio, also jokingly dubbed "Big Al's syndrome" by the fans, of which the general name comes from.
- At first this joke was only thrown at the lateness of the two English male Vocaloids, however in 2011 VY2, a "Male" (the VY series are regarded as having no set gender) Vocaloid from Japan was also included (be it at a much minor scale) in the joke. VY2 was originally set to be released in late 2010 after VY1 was released but was delayed due to quality related issues.
- Gackpoid was originally going to be release in June but ended up being delayed until July while a mascot was designed for him. Do note here that Big Al was announced before Gackpoid in 2007 upon Sweet Ann's release. However, the term wasn't invented then.
- A early report gave a 1st October release by PowerFX for Oliver. However, this was not a realistic release date and November was suggested by Anders eventually. Incidentally he has also passed by this date too; although as reported by VocaTones, the delay was owed to Yamaha and Oliver was completed and ready for sale in November hence why Anders give this as a estimated release.
- The UTAU community took this joke further beyond punctuality issues. Anyone whose voice is at par with Big-Al's "manliness" is also labeled as having the Big Al syndrome, most particularly with female voicebanks. There's also cases that an UTAU voicebank has pulled a Big-Al on both counts; a tardy release date, and a manly voice beyond what is intended.
- Ring Suzune was the first female to make it onto the list, having initially been announced to be released on the 12th of December 2011, when the list of winter releases was given by Yamaha, Ring was not amongst the listed Vocaloids. Her delay was owed to the development being handed over to Vocanext.
- Hibiki Lui; originally expected Spring 2012, there has been no such dtes released detailing when he is due since his inital unvealing.