[[caption-width-right:270:Sorry, we can't afford a page image. Even this caption was just borrowed from a friend in exchange for a walk-on.]]

%% This is how the quote formatting is suppose to look: One indent, then dialog, then two indents, then the source. Don't mess with it.
->''"What few actual sets they use are barely serviceable blank walls. There's barely even any furniture! Most of Sheridan's half of the episode is filmed in the middle of a completely black room occupied only with a pair of small chairs, because the Minbari are "minimalists." Uh huh."''
-->-- '''[[WebVideo/TheSpoonyExperiment Noah Antwiler]]''' [[http://spoonyexperiment.com/babylon-5-the-lost-tales/ on]] ''Series/BabylonFive: The Lost Tales''

Oh--uhm, hello! Sorry about the mess, uh, we couldn't afford hiring cleaners, and the light, well--one lightbulb should be enough, right? No pesky {{lampshade|Hanging}}s blocking the light, too, although this is [[Administrivia/WelcomeToTVTropes TVTropes]], so I suppose no lampshades isn't really appropriate, eh? Heh--oh, uh, [[{{Pun}} manager says we can't afford jokes like that]].

And... uh, manager says we can only afford two-three paragraphs, so I got to cut short. But basically, a show with No Budget is ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin — it lacks budget entirely. Symptoms may be reusing sets, props, costumes, only having a small number of actors, and so on. If it's a comedy show, it's often {{lampshade|Hanging}}d. It mostly happens in film and television, for obvious reasons. There are a lot of reasons for No Budget: [[ExecutiveMeddling mistakes were made while dividing the money]], a PointyHairedBoss wanted to pinch pennies in every way, the money was blown too early (leading to {{Bottle Episode}}s), the execs want to see failure from someone they don't like, and so on.

In animated and CG shows, it can cause OffModel, SpecialEffectFailure, and OffTheShelfFX - although keep that splurging at a hush-hush, manager would ''flip'' if he knew we were getting so many related tropes...

Sometimes the filmmakers are good enough to make the best of it and produce a good work out of it. For instance, ''Film/MadMax'' was a cheap 1979 Australian film that proved a [[ScienceFiction Sci Fi]] action classic that made the ''Guinness Book of World Records'' for the most profitable film ever, until topped 20 years later by ''Film/TheBlairWitchProject''.

Uh... manager says we've gone [[SelfDemonstratingArticle over budget now]]. Please put your examples below (categories abbreviated, please; text's expensive), and we'll deal with them in the morning. Maybe then the appeal for more cash will have gone through...


* Anime in general is actually made on half or less of a western cartoon's budget.[[note]] Anime tends to average about $123,000 per episode, whereas western cartoons tend to run about $300,000 per episode.[[/note]] But the last two episodes of ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' show what happens when even ''that'' runs out; the action-packed ending is later made into a movie and the TV series is rounded out with StockFootage and [[ContemplateOurNavels philosophical exploration]] of the characters' inner psyches, the representation of [[spoiler:instrumentality from the characters' and then Shinji's perspectives]].
* On the North American side, if you are curious as to why voice actors don't get paid much in working anime compared to doing [[WesternAnimation pre-lay]], and some anime titles being released [[NoDubForYou without dubs]], this is mainly because those who work to release the anime in North America are given limited budget because anime in general is a very niche nerd interest when compared to Marvel and DC comics, largely because of [[PublicMediumIgnorance peoples' perception towards anime]][[note]]The AnimationAgeGhetto will make people think that it's for kids and kids only when clearly it isn't; The AllAdultAnimationIsSouthPark will make people think that animation aimed at older audiences will only work if it's a vulgar, raunch-filled comedy; and the AllAnimeIsNaughtyTentacles will make people think that anime's nothing but sordid, lecherous hentai[[/note]] ''unless'' if you are talking about {{Cash Cow Franchise}}s such as Manga/{{Naruto}}, Manga/{{Bleach}}, and Manga/DragonballZ). If a title needs around 3,000 units to break even (and this is ''without'' an English dub), then it gives you the idea on how limited anime budget tends to be in North America (as opposed to many popular video games like Franchise/CallOfDuty and even niche jRPGs where units can sell ''tens of thousands'' or even ''millions'').
* ''Anime/RevolutionaryGirlUtena'' was made on a limited budget. However, the creators embraced their limitation with stock footage, stylised animation and surreal environments, making it one of the most visually distinctive animated series.
* ''Anime/KillLaKill'', in spite of the series' stellar AnimationBump and SugarWiki/AwesomeArt moments, was made on a rather tight budget compared to similar shows that premiered around the time, resulting in many LimitedAnimation moments (episode 4 and 22 being the biggest cases). Nui Harime actually uses this to show how ''[[UncannyValley inhuman]]'' she is.
* ''Anime/LostUniverse'' was made during the southeastern Asia financial crisis of 1998, and most animation studios that year were given meager budgets to begin with. Also, a fire partially destroyed the studio that animated the episodes, resulting in the first bunch of them being of a sketchy, poor quality (since they had been completed, they couldn't have been fixed after the fire). The fourth episode had to be animated in South Korea for this reason[[note]]the other episodes had also used studios in South Korea, but not to the same extent[[/note]], and it was so OffModel that the episode title became synonymous in Japan for bad animation.
* ''Manga/ViolinistOfHameln'' has the nickname "Slideshow of Hameln" for this reason, as the budget only allowed for animation in non-action scenes. Most of the money that ''should'' have gone towards the animation instead went towards purchasing the rights to use the classical music pieces that Hamel and Raiel play.
* ''Anime/MusashiGundoh'', to the point that it became a CultClassic purely based on its terrible animation. Much of the OffModel-ness was cleaned up for the DVD release. [[ILikedItBetterWhenItSucked Fans were not pleased.]]


* ''Film/ElMariachi'' was so low-budget that Rodriguez and his crew had to participate in medical research to earn the money to make it. The sequels, ''Film/{{Desperado}}'' and ''Film/OnceUponATimeInMexico'', had no such problems. In [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4UOa7tkByrw The Robert Rodriguez]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLxqNwc1oYU 10 Minute Film School]], the director lists the at times crazy techniques used to make the film on such a low budget, including shooting everything in one take to save on film, incorporating bloopers into the plot in order to avoid retakes, using toy guns for fight scenes (or even at times ''real'' guns), using desk lamps for lighting, and using no actual film crew; Robert Rodriguez directed, produced, wrote, shot, edited, scored, and provided the sound and special effects all on his own.
* ''Film/HardwareWars'' was, relative to its budget, one of the most profitable films of all time, making over $1M on a budget of $8,000.
* ''Film/{{Clerks}}'' is famous for having been made on a budget of $27,575, boosted to $250K after Miramax bought the rights to it and added music. It was filmed at night in the Quick Stop where Creator/KevinSmith actually worked, and most of the actors are his friends and relatives, several of them playing multiple roles. Smith [[WordOfGod stated]] that he maxed out eight credit cards to make the film.
* Kevin Smith made ''Film/ChasingAmy'' for $250K. Initially, he was given a budget of $3M, but [[ExecutiveMeddling only if he cast]] DavidSchwimmer, Creator/JonStewart, and Creator/DrewBarrymore. [[DoingItForTheArt He didn't.]]
* ''Film/TheBlairWitchProject'' holds the world record for budget to box office performance. The cost to create the film itself has been listed as between $25,000 to $750,000. It went on to make $250 million. However, it did receive a $25 million advertising budget.
* ''Film/NapoleonDynamite'' was made for $400K. Half of it was for the after-the-credits scene.
* Auteur Shane Carruth makes extremely smart films on extremely low budgets.
** ''Film/{{Primer}}'' had a budget of $7,000, most of which was spent on the film stock. It received strong reviews, but critics complained that the dialogue was made even more impenetrable by the terrible sound quality in some scenes.
** ''Film/UpstreamColor'' was made for about $50,000 and manages to both look and sound fantastic.
* Creator/ChristopherNolan's first feature film, ''Film/{{Following}}'' cost about $6-$7,000. The cast and crew were all employed full-time, so everything was filmed on weekends. Every scene was extensively rehearsed, because they didn't have enough film stock for more than two takes. Nolan used his friends' and family's homes for location shooting, and had to film with natural lighting.
* ''Film/{{Ink}}'' was made for $250K.
* The films made by Creator/EdWood had very low budgets. [[SoBadItsGood It shows.]]
* ''Film/{{Halloween 1978}}'' was shot on a budget of $200K, bringing in $35M (today equal to over $100M). Creator/JohnCarpenter spent most of the budget on getting anamorphic lenses (to hide its low budget), so they didn't even have enough money to make a mask. Instead they just painted an [[OffTheShelfFX off-the-shelf]] Creator/WilliamShatner mask white.
** Creator/JohnCarpenter's cinematic debut ''Film/DarkStar'' was made on a shoestring budget of $60,000. And it shows.
* The British zombie film ''Film/{{Colin}}'' made some headlines due its reported '''£45''' budget.
* ''Film/ParanormalActivity'' cost $15,000 to make (and that's after Spielberg gave money for the director to shoot another ending!) and grossed $193M worldwide. This success allowed the filmmakers to do a sequel with the high budget of $3M.
* There's an [[WhatCouldHaveBeen unproduced]] Creator/JimHenson script titled ''The Cheapest Muppet Movie Ever Made'', in which the director (Gonzo) blows most of the budget on the TitleSequence, forcing the cast to make do with what little they have left.
* ''Slashers'' was shot on a single handheld camera in a paintball arena. This was an appropriate choice, since the cameraman was also a character, hired by the titular game show to keep a live image of the contestants as they attempted to survive the killers.
* ''Film/MadMax'' was made for $400K. The director ''[[{{Determinator}} donated his own car]]'' to get smashed up in a chase scene.
* ''Film/TheCastle'' was made on a budget of AU$19,000. Not only that, but it was filmed in 11 days because the budget didn't stretch enough to cater anymore.
* Every Creator/RogerCorman movie ever made.
** Constantin Film had to make a ''[[Film/TheFantasticFour Fantastic Four]]'' movie quickly to retain the film rights. They handed Corman $1.4M, and [[Film/TheFantasticFour it was made]] [[AshCanCopy (but not released)]].
** ''Film/TheLittleShopOfHorrors'' was filmed in less than 48 hours. It was even shot on sets from another movie, before they were dismantled.
** ''Film/TheTerror'', which was made '''as''' said sets were dismantled. A film that didn't even have a script, but they had Creator/BorisKarloff and Creator/JackNicholson and built from there!
** And then Corman handed Peter Bogdanovich footage from ''The Terror'' and the last two days Karloff was obliged to film for him and said "Make a movie." The result was ''Film/{{Targets}}''.
* Mike Jittlov's original ''Film/TheWizardOfSpeedAndTime'' short had no budget and was created entirely by Mike.
* ''Film/AFistfulOfDollars'' was made on the set of a much crappier SpaghettiWestern called ''Guns Don't Talk'' as an attempt to recoup its budget. The actors had to provide their own costumes.
* ''Film/MontyPythonAndTheHolyGrail'' (most of the money came from rock groups such as Music/LedZeppelin, Music/PinkFloyd, and Music/{{Genesis}}). The [[GainaxEnding ending]] used was partially because the team couldn't afford the one they had written. (They'd [[{{Pun}} blown]] too much money on the pyrotechnic effects for the Tim the Enchanter [[TheReveal scene]].)
* You can tell the makers of ''Film/ForbiddenZone'' had way more ambition than they had budget to pull it off, as one can tell by the sometimes outrageously cheap-looking sets. But, given that the film is so damnably surreal, it kind of works at recreating that strange, Fleischer-cartoon feel they were going for. Plus, it helps that the director was related to Music/DannyElfman and able to get him to compose a really awesome soundtrack.
* ''Film/AfterLastSeason'' is a {{subver|tedTrope}}sion: despite looking cheaper than [[strike:most]] every single damn last one of the films on this list, it was made with a $5M budget ($40,000 which was dedicated to produc-er, renting a warehouse and a crappy video camera, the rest to post-er, hiring an editor whose services they apparently didn't use, and a college kid with a rudimentary knowledge of Blender to make the special effects.)
* Subverted by ''Film/TheRoom''. Extremely limited sets, very few location shots, crappy blue screen effects. Final cost? ''$6M.'' Tommy Wiseau wasted money like crazy, buying two cameras to film every scene side-by-side in film and HD. He spent a fair amount on buying the copyright so the characters could sing "Happy Birthday". Some people speculate that the film was a money laundering scheme, which would be where most of the supposed budget went.
* UsefulNotes/{{Bollywood}}. Which also contributes to its sheer awesomeness.
* According to [[Wiki/{{Wikipedia}} The Other Wiki]], ''Film/SawI'' was made for $1.2M and grossed over $103M worldwide. ''Film/SawII'' was made for $4M, and grossed over $147M. After that, they started getting an actual budget (roughly $10M per film), which probably accounts for the amped up {{gor|n}}e in the later sequels (more money for special effects = more gore).
* Creator/PeterJackson's first film ''Film/BadTaste'' was filmed by just him and a few friends over a few years, in which their lack of budget led to things like several actors playing two or more roles, making latex moulds in the kitchen oven, and various other (sometimes quite ingenious) solutions.
* ''Film/TwelveAngryMen'' partly counts as they could only afford enough film to record once, so no mistakes were allowed.
* Since Creator/UnitedArtists wanted a famous protagonist in ''Film/{{Rocky}}'' but Creator/SylvesterStallone sold his script on the condition of being the star, the studio only lent $1M for production. The producers had to mortgage their houses in order to get an extra $100,000 and finish the movie. It ended up grossing $225M worldwide and winning three UsefulNotes/{{Academy Award}}s (including Best Picture).
* In 1962, ''Film/DrNo'' was made for just $1M. When an art director found out his name wasn't in the credits, producer Cubby Broccoli gave him a golden pen, saying he didn't want to spend money fixing them. This results in the most subdued Film/JamesBond movie.
* In-universe example: ''Chubby Rain'', from ''Film/{{Bowfinger}}''. Bobby Bowfinger says the $2,184 spent are the actual budget for every blockbuster, but UsefulNotes/HollywoodAccounting inflates it to a million-dollar figure.
* ''Film/{{Birdemic}}''. The birds are played by low-quality [=GIFs=] with poor seagull cries.
* The whole reason ''Film/ManosTheHandsOfFate'' was even made was because the director had a bet going that he could make a movie based on a shoestring budget. He ''technically'' won...
* ''Film/MonsterAGoGo'' started filming as a BMovie, but ran out of budget partway through. After being shelved for a few years, it was finished in a way so cheap as to be insulting.
* Many {{Nollywood}} (the Nigerian film industry) movies are like this, and a lot of times it shows.
* ''Film/HardCandy'' was made for $950K, mainly to avoid ExecutiveMeddling due to the [[VigilanteMan controversial]] [[PaedoHunt topic]]. It was filmed in 18 days, in chronological order, in the director's own house, and used a bare minimum of takes.
* ''Film/ThanksKilling'' was made for $3,000.
* ''Film/ViolentShit'' was made over four weekends on a budget of $2,000.
* ''Film/{{Insidious}}'' cost $1.5M and grossed $92M worldwide. The film's producer and director are no strangers to this list, as the producer directed ''Paranormal Activity'' and the director did ''Saw''.
* ''Woodchipper Massacre'' apparently had a budget of only $400.
* Creator/DarrenAronofsky's first feature ''Film/{{Pi}}'' had a budget of $60,000.
* ''[=MonSturd=]'', another for $3,000.
* ''Film/SLCPunk'' cost just $600K to make, even after its cast of familiar names, soundtrack of classic punk tracks and the use of anamorphic lenses.
* Anything made by the Polonia brothers, like ''Film/{{Feeders}}''.
* ''Film/ThisIsNotAFilm'' was... [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin not actually a film production]]. It's a personal video diary by UsefulNotes/{{Iran}}ian political prisoner (and "former" high-profile film maker) Jafar Panahi, filmed partially on his iPhone in his own apartment. A good part of it is Panahi summarizing the story of a couple movies his government did not let him make [[LoopholeAbuse because he was banned from directing, screenwriting, and interviews but not acting]]. The video was smuggled out of Iran ''[[JailBake inside a birthday cake]]'', and screened internationally in movie theaters to critical acclaim. Its actual budget is rather difficult to factor — how much did the birthday cake cost?
* ''Amateur Porn Star Killer'' — '''$45'''.
* ''Film/MarginCall'' was made on a $3M budget and made almost $20M. 90% of the film was shot on a single floor of a recently vacated trading firm.
* ''Film/TheEvilDead1981'' was shot for over a year with less than $375,000.
* ''Film/AttackOfTheKillerTomatoes'' was made on a budget of $100K. The only reason they were able to afford the helicopter crash scene was because it wasn't actually in the script, so the damages were covered by their insurance policy. The second movie had ''twenty times'' the budget of the first (Which still is pretty small for a movie). It doesn't show (It also has a RunningGag of blatant product placements because they allegedly ran out of money partway through the film and needed an extra source of funding).
* The original ''Film/{{Cube}}'' was produced for $400K. All the CG was done for free as a DoingItForTheArt moment.
* ''Film/RepoChick'' was originally budgeted at $7M, which left one line producer wondering how (and where) they were going to secure a California Zephyr railroad car that was central to the plot. When the original financing fell through, director Alex Cox decided to shoot the actors almost entirely on green screen over 10 days, and composite in HO-scale model trains and sets in post-production. Final budget? $180,000.
* The original ''Film/NightOfTheLivingDead1968'' was done on a budget of $114,000.
* ''Film/TheBoondockSaints'' had a meager budget of $6 million to work with, which sounds like a lot until you hear Troy Duffy explain how it would cost three times that much just to include certain song tracks in the picture.
* According to Website/IMDb, ''WebVideo/DoomHouse'' was filmed on a meager shoestring budget of only [[http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0496277/business $60,000 (estimated).]]
* For years, the "official" shooting budget of the original ''Film/DawnOfTheDead1978'' was listed as $1.5 million. It wasn't until 2004, when the "Ultimate Edition' DVD box set was released, that producer Richard Rubenstein revealed (on one of the commentary tracks) that the real number was closer to $500,000; they'd inflated the cost to make the film seem more impressive while marketing it to potential distributors.
* ''Film/{{Monsters|2010}}'' was made on $500,000 in spite of the massive, Hollywood-quality CGI monsters that play a small but vital role in the film. The locations, including monster-smashed landscapes and various exotic South American locales are also pretty impressive. The director, Creator/GarethEdwards, made all the CGI on his home computer, most of the locations were stolen, and many supporting characters were simply bystanders recruited to improvise scenes on the spot. The boats and trucks in trees were probably left there by previous hurricanes.
* ''The Last House on Dead End Street'' was made for $800. The budget was originally $3000, but the creator spent most of that on drugs.
* ''Film/{{Manborg}}'' had a budget of $1000, and is all the more awesome because of it.
* Subverted by Creator/AdamSandler's recent comedies, which would use cheap sets and crappy green screening if they weren't shot on locations like national parks or people's homes. The final budgets that go into them are usually around ''$80 million each''. Some theorize that most of it goes into paying Sandler's co-stars.
** His first film, Film/GoingOverboard [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] this trope in the opening shot.
--> "This is a No Budget flick. Not a low budget, but a no budget!"
* Any movie by Creator/TheAsylum typically doesn't go over the $1 million mark when it comes to budgets.
* ''Film/FrozenDays'' was made on a $25,000 budget, which the creators had to raise themselves.
* ''Film/{{Absentia}}'' was a project on Website/{{Kickstarter}}, resulting in a $70,000 budget - this led to liberal use of NothingIsScarier.
* ''Film/AnotherEarth'' was made for about $100,000. When they needed a scene of the protagonist getting out of jail, actress Brit Marling simply walked into a local prison claiming to be a yoga instructor, and then walked out again before anyone had time to realise that she wasn't, while the director filmed it all from outside.
* ''Film/AllSuperheroesMustDie'' was made on a budget of $20,000. Several scenes were modified as the list of places they could affordably film shrank.
* ''The Kentucky Fried Movie'' cost only $650,000 to make and made $20 million at the box office.

[[folder:Game Show]]
* This became something of the standard in {{Game Show}}s after the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1950s_quiz_show_scandals Quiz Show Scandals]]broke in 1958 and people became very distrusting of high-reward games. After that, games switched focus from "winning" more to "playing", which resulted in quirkier shows with lower budgets where the focus was more on having fun instead of big payouts. Big-money shows didn't really return until ''Series/WhoWantsToBeAMillionaire'' in the late 1990s.
* ''Series/BlanketyBlank'', the British version of ''Series/MatchGame'', had nearly '''all''' {{Undesirable Prize}}s because they could never afford prizes someone would actually want. This was frequently {{lampshade|Hanging}}d via SelfDeprecation; one RunningGag was for host Les Dawson to claim their prizes were fire-salvaged.
-->'''Les Dawson''': And for the benefit of anyone who hasn't got an Argos Catalogue, here's some of the rubbish you might be saddled with tonight.
* The Taiwanese version of ''Series/CashCab'' is so cheap, they deduct the cab fare from contestants' winnings. Early episodes also had extremely paltry prize amounts — the grand total given away on the premiere, after cab fare deductions? '''Less than US$1.'''
* ''Series/ThePriceIsRight'': Seasons 37 onward have been accused of this, not with the prizes offered but prizes being offered only as "show" and the pricing games themselves set so hard that, short of a lucky or exceptionally skilled contestant, nobody will win it.
** While this was a common practice prior to Roger Dobkowitz's departure from the show, it was less criticized because while the games were still set to be more difficult than usual, they could still be won by good contestants because Roger believed in not "cheating" the person who was playing — he refused to put the right choice of That's Too Much in the 1st-2nd or 9th-10th slots, or the money of Half Off in [[ThirteenIsUnlucky Box 13]]. The subsequent regime ignored both.
*** A common example is Stack The Deck, in which the object is to select five out of seven available numbers and use them to form the correct price of the car. The contestant is only allowed up to three free digits by correctly pricing all three grocery products in play. The trope applies if any of the products are set up to be incorrectly priced.
** With the more recent offerings of $20,000+ level '''trips''' and very easy pricing game setups (such as Secret X set up for a diagonal win), some have also wondered if trips are even part of the show's budget or if they are furnished by hotels/travel companies.
* ''Series/SaleOfTheCentury'': The 1980s NBC version originally began with a shopping BonusRound, where contestants could buy sometimes-opulent prizes such as a $25,000 precious commodities package or a $20,000 Oriental rug. The show switched to the Winner's Board in late 1984 and the Winner's Big Money Game in 1987, dropping the super-expensive prizes in favor of more standard game-show fare in the $1,500-$5,000 range, and moving its car prizes from full-sized Cadillacs and top-end Porsches to mainstream cars such as the Ford Taurus, entry-level luxury cars such as the Mercedes-Benz 190 or BMW 528i, or compact convertibles including the Chevrolet Cavalier (although the occasional Chevrolet Corvette and Cadillac [=DeVille=] was offered). Some say this was a cost-cutting move, but contestants could still win more than $70,000 cash ($50,000 as the top prize, plus other cash bonuses along the way) for a successful stay. Still, the big-ticket items, such as [[http://www.veoh.com/watch/v1059457FEX3JAX9 $13,000 European tours and $21,000 cabin cruisers]], were gone.
** When it was revived as ''[[Series/{{Temptation2007}} Temptation: The New Sale Of The Century]]'', the budget shrank even further. Prizes were in the $500-$1000 range, less than 1/4th the typical value of the prizes in the 1980's version if you adjust for inflation. The grand prize was just a mid-range car, worth less than 1/8th the 1980's jackpot (again, adjusted for inflation). If the shoestring budget had been any tighter, the prizes would've had to be literal shoe strings.
* ''Series/{{Jeopardy}}'': Averted until Season 31. Until then, the show allowed players who finished tied to keep their winnings and play again on the following game. However, the producers circumvented this after four occurrences in Fall 2014. Now, all ties are decided with a tiebreaker question. The winner comes back tomorrow with their winnings and the loser goes home with $2,000.
* ''Series/WheelOfFortune'', when the daytime version moved from Creator/{{NBC}} to Creator/{{CBS}} in Summer 1989. The show adopted a play-for-cash format (as its [[LongRunners still-running]] syndicated companion did in October 1987), but the Wheel's dollar values were slashed, sometimes by more than half, with $50 and $75 dotting the Rounds 1-2 layout and the top value in Rounds 4+ being a very modest $1,250. (Conversely, nighttime used a $1,000/$2,500/$3,500/$5,000 layout {formerly $1,000/$1,000/$5,000} rather than the daytime $500/$500/$1,000/$1,250 {formerly $750/$1,000/$2,000}.) Also, the CBS-era Bonus Round prizes included $5,000 cash and subcompact/mini-compact cars, as opposed to the $25,000 cash and super-expensive luxury/hand-built/exotic sportscars common in nighttime. Even worse, the price of a vowel dropped from $250 to $200, then further to $100. While the budget improved slightly over the last two years ($50 and $75 were ousted between late August and mid-September 1989, and the removal of the Free Spin wedge on October 16 resulted in a $400 boost), it was still cheap. While the front-game and Bonus Round prizes increased in value as the series went on, the Wheel became static when Free Spin became a token.
** Still, despite the comparatively-lower budget, the daytime bonus prizes were generally more practical/desirable game show fare as opposed to nighttime's [[UndesirablePrize "other" prizes]] such as precious gems, log cabins, trips to private islands, $50,000 silver coffee-and-tea services, rooms full of lavender-colored furniture that didn't fit any average suburban home, and tickets to the year's top sporting events.
** Subverted in Season 26: The $10,000 Wedge was replaced by the current Million-Dollar Wedge, which only awards the chance of taking it to the Bonus Round, and the contestant must avoid Bankrupt before the game ends. The only envelope that is replaced in the Bonus Round is the $100,000 envelope, with the other 23 left unchanged. Of course, [[Awesome/WheelOfFortune if the contestant can pull it off…]]
** However, with each time the $1,000,000 has been won, the budget has been [[DoubleSubvertedTrope noticeably tighter]].
*** After the first win occurred within a month of the wedge's introduction, the changes introduced in Season 27 made it more difficult to take the wedge to the Bonus Round. The second Bankrupt became permanent throughout the whole game with said space always adjacent to the top dollar amount and the Jackpot Round moved to Round 1, decreasing the value of potential wins.
*** After the second occurred near the end of Season 30, the Bonus Round got much cheaper the following season with the minimum value being landed just over 50% of the time. The $100,000/$1 Million envelope wasn't even landed on until the fourth-to-last week of the season. Also, the cash bonus for winning a car in the Bonus Round decreased from $5,000 to $3,000. Meanwhile, the Jackpot Round was retired, not helped by its high win rate the previous season.
*** Season 32 saw the show making steps to get back on its feet despite the new $32,000-bonus round minimum being offered on almost three out of every four shows. The minimum dollar value on the wheel increased to $500 and the cash bonus for winning a car in the Bonus Round also increased back to $5,000. However, all that went out the window with the $1,000,000 being won again just three shows into that season. For Season 33, ''Wheel'' chose not to tape any road shows, citing high production costs though the Sony email leaks may have also factored in their decision to do so. Also, two of the Wheel's values decreased with a third being lowered in every round except for one. Furthermore, the show stopped giving cash with cars in the Bonus Round and the 1/2 Car tags were removed for Round 1. Again, it didn't help that the 1/2 Car was won frequently in Season 32.
** Some would argue that nighttime version has shown this even before the Million-Dollar Wedge was introduced to the show. The main-game and BonusRound prizes since about 2002 have almost always been trips, cash bonuses or sponsored shopping sprees. And even then, the trips are usually within the US or the Caribbean islands.
** Interestingly, despite signs of budget problems, the Prize Puzzle is still a regular element on the show which currently offers a $6,000+ trip to the player who solves the puzzle. However, they stopped giving out the $50,000 cash award to Sony Rewards card holders in Season 29. In Season 30, they switched to awarding a flat $5,000 to Spin ID members.
* According to a post by Buzzerblog's Alex Davis, the American version of ''WhoWantsToBeAMillionaire'' had only $10,000 left in the prize budget for the last episode of its Clock format, suggesting that the Shuffle format was introduced for budget reasons.
* ''Series/FamilyFeud'':
** Until 1992, families played for cash. With the introduction of the Bullseye Round, families played for points instead. Plus, the Fast Money prizes of $5,000 or $10,000 depending on the version (which were already cheap by early 90s standards) were replaced with base amounts of $2,500 or $5,000. The 1994 Bankroll version had this even worse with the most families could play for being either $7,000 or $14,000.
** It's more blatant on the current syndicated version which also has families playing for points instead of cash. Its ratings have quadrupled since Steve Harvey became host but the Fast Money prize of $20,000 remains unchanged. Fast Money losses are ''still'' $5 a point which has been the same since 1976.
* Parodied on ''Series/TheCheapShow'', a pseudo-game show created by Chris Bearde. The prizes were intentionally cheap (except in the bonus game), the set had a three-person panel but only two ever showed up, and host Dick Martin was referred as "the only man we can find who'll work this cheap".
* The 1981-82 Canadian import ''Series/{{Pitfall}}'' originally offered a $5,000 prize package in the bonus game with $100 cash awarded for every "zone" crossed. Later in the run, the prize package was halved and the cash replaced by a small prize for crossing the fourth zone.
** Later contestants were stiffed of their prizes, and host Alex Trebek's salary check bounced (he has it framed on a wall in his office), all because Catalena Productions, makers of the show, went belly-up.
* ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quicksilver_(Irish_TV_show) Quicksilver]]'' was an Irish quiz show that ran from TheSixties to TheEighties. Players competed for laughably small cash prizes, ranging from 2 pence to the [[SarcasmMode dizzying heights]] of ten pounds.
* ''Series/{{Inquizition}}'', airing from 1998-2001, was by design stripped clean of anything that might imply any sort of a budget. The contestants stood behind podiums that performed the bare minimum of functions- locking in an answer and showing a score- and looked it. They competed in an empty sound stage green-screened to look like an abandoned airplane hangar that gave its own implications of cheapness. The prize for winning was a whopping $250, though later on they got '''really''' crazy and upped the prize to $500.
* Letters and Numbers, the Australian version of ''Series/{{Countdown}}'', doesn't feature any celebrity guests and the prize for everyone is a Macquarie dictionary whether they lose the first round or win eight in a row.

* ''Series/{{Cops}}'', which is "filmed on-location with the men and women of law enforcement," as it says at the beginning of every show. The show is completely unscripted, mostly following around real police officers making routine arrests and talking to people. What little budget there is goes into the cameras and the editing.
* ''Series/RutlandWeekendTelevision'' was '''notorious''' for this, as they were given a '''far''' smaller budget than intended. ("We were given a shoestring budget, and someone else was wearing the shoe.") {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d, often--they even got a cheap song about it, once!
-->'''Host''': Hello, and welcome to ''Rutland Weekend Television''. We've got a really great show lined up for you... not that you can tell, mind you. I mean, for instance... look at this suit. It's ''rubbish''! Feel the quality of that, hm? It's not even theirs! Everything's hired.
* In general, this applied to many shows on Creator/TheBBC in the 1960s-80s. As the ''[[YMMV/DoctorWho Doctor Who YMMV]]'' page puts it: "Creator/TheBBC was somewhat notorious for giving the set and costume designers of Series/DoctorWho a shoestring budget; that is, a bundle of shoe strings that they were expected to make fifteen monsters out of." Creator/TomBaker, who played the Fourth Doctor on ''Series/DoctorWho'', claimed that ''nobody'' liked the bad effects ''Doctor Who'' had during this period and you just bore with them. Anyone who says otherwise is looking through the [[NostalgiaFilter nostalgia-glasses]].
-->'''Creator/StephenFry''': ''[holding bubble wrap]'' [[Series/WhoseLineIsItAnyway Look, erm, Vince, either the BBC believes in]] ''Series/DoctorWho'' or it doesn't, but how am I going to make seventeen monsters out of ''[[OffTheShelfFX this]]''?
** While not quite as bad as it was in the seventies, budget constraints occasionally hold the show back even today.
** One episode of ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'' had Creator/TheBBC run out of money. The credits were written on scraps of paper, and the heat turned off in the flat they were renting as a studio.
** Fans of many BBC shows have a common saying that goes similar to: BBC: 15 ACTORS, 8 PROPS, 3 SHOOTING AREAS, AND ONE STORYLINE
** This persisted well into the eighties where children's programming was concerned. The ExcitedKidsShowHost and their NonHumanSidekick (usually TheVoiceless, probably also to keep costs down) would actually have to do their thing in the booth where the {{Continuity Announcement}}s were made, even having to personally press the button to cue up the next cartoon. This booth was nicknamed "The Broom Cupboard", and with good reason (most people old enough to remember this might have been surprised to learn that it wasn't an ''actual'' cupboard), which is probably why [=CBBC=]'s presenters tended not to be ''quite'' as [[NoIndoorVoice loud]] and [[LargeHam hammy]] back then; there wasn't space.
* One episode of ''Series/HeadOfTheClass'' had an InUniverse instance: Mr. Moore was directing ''Theatre/LittleShopOfHorrors'' as the SchoolPlay, for which he was given zero budget. He talks the principal into being in the show as Mr. Mushnick, then explains his concept for production. (Quote not guaranteed exact; we couldn't get someone to search it out.)
-->'''Mr. Moore''': You heard of Japanese [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noh Noh]] theatre? No sets, no costumes, no props. Because, you know... [[{{Pun}} no money]].
* ''{{Series/Roundhouse}}'' functioned on a very small budget. It used recycled actors, about two boxes' worth of props (mostly cardboard), and two "sets" that were just wheelable walls loaded with random stuff that was probably bought from a garage sale. The only impressive thing they had was their motorized recliner. The simple "improv" look, combined with their humor, singing, and dancing skills, was a good deal of their charm.
* ''Series/SpaceCases'' was a sci-fi show filmed on almost no budget (it was both a cable show and a kid's show, two strikes against it money-wise). Aside from putting [=CDs=] on the sides of chairs and handheld video games for control panels, they had the one advantage of being on Nickelodeon: recycling props, most notably from ''Series/AreYouAfraidOfTheDark''. Fans tend to agree that this adds to its charm.
* ''Series/RedDwarf'' was deliberately written and designed to be as cheap as possible ''before'' they started scrimping on models (the first Starbug was made out of a discarded lawnmower).
* The two [[Series/PowerRangersSamurai Power Rangers Super Samurai]] Holiday specials "Trickster Treat" and "Stuck on Christmas" were done last minute allegedly due to a previously overlooked contact obligation with Nickelodeon. With production having already wrapped and production set to begin on ''PowerRangersMegaforce'' very little money was used to create them.he Latter mostly averts this by being more of a bottle episode/clipshow however "Trickster Treat" was almost entirely made up of stock footage, mostly from a straight to DVD movie from ''Series/SamuraiSentaiShinkenger'' and a mix of previously used stock footage as well as some from a yet to be aired episode. What very little money used was allocated to sticking the actors in a voice booth and editing together the episode.
* ''Series/BlakesSeven'' was allocated the same budget by the BBC as the much cheaper show it was replacing. The per episode effects budget, for example, was £50. Expect to see plenty of sets, costumes, and props nicked from ''Series/DoctorWho'', or perhaps some baking tins stuck on the walls. The special effects designer spent his budget for the ''entire series'' on the first episode to be filmed, "Space Fall", because ''Franchise/StarWars'' was debuting at around the same time. The actual first episode, "The Way Back", went so far over budget it affected the rest of the season — and became one of the best stories in the series.
* ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' started with a tiny budget on its first (KTMA) season, which is what spawned its very homemade-looking props. Subsequent seasons actually had a decent budget, but they had to spend most of it on film rights, so the host segments continued to look very homemade.
* The first season of ''Series/DoubleTheFist'' (8 episodes) was made for $250k, which is pretty impressive considering the amount of CGI effects used.
* ''Series/PJKatiesFarm'' is defined by its utter lack of budget. Everything is done by the eponymous PJ Katie — the characters were literally made by her out Crayola Model Magic, there are no writers (the scripts are all ad-libbed by PJ Katie), there is [[ManOfAThousandVoices only one voice actor]] and she is the same person as the puppeteer. The only other person on set was the cameraman. At one point a Danish, which was obviously PJ Katie's lunch, was used as a prop to represent a flying saucer and you can see her eating it during the credits.
* Said to be the reason for the strange shape of sheets of paper in ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003''. When the pilot was made, they were apparently told to "cut every corner" as far as the budget went, and so cut the corners off the paper as a bit of a joke. Of course, once the series was picked up and given rather more of a budget, the paper was subjected to FridgeLogic and just looks a bit silly. Not to mention a continuity nightmare for the props department.
* Early public access producer ''Paper Tiger Television'' used any camera they could get ahold of, often shooting shows in both color and black and white. Cameramen would also be shown in shots to show the community aspect of the programming. These shooting techniques were copied endlessly by outfits that did have a budget, including MTV for much of the 1990s.
* ''Series/TheLateLateShow'': Although this is commonly joked about, Craig Ferguson has said in interviews that the reason they rarely do sketches is a lack of money for props. The show only purchased one puppet and got the rest for free from the company who made them, and when the show went to Paris, they couldn't afford to rent a studio (although this resulted in charming scenes of him and Creator/KristenBell wondering around Paris landmarks interviewing guests [[WalkAndTalk on the move]]). It got a little bit better when Ferguson's new contract with the accompanying new larger studio kicked in, though new no budget items such as the 'fireplace' with a still of a fire keep the show's cheap charm strong.
* ''Series/TheMightyBoosh'' runs on a notoriously small budget, and as the show progressed the BBC actually cut the budget smaller and smaller as the poor quality of the costumes and sets only served to make the show funnier. During one early episode, Vince [[BreakingTheFourthWall draws attention]] to some serious SpecialEffectFailure and Howard quips "we spent the budget on your hair".
* The early 1970s science-fiction series ''Series/TheStarlost'' didn't have much of a budget to begin with, and most of it was blown trying to get a fancy special-effects camera to work. Most of the sets and special effects are resultingly terrible.
* This is among the many things spoofed by the ''Series/StargateSG1'' episode [[ShowWithinAShow "Wormhole X-Treme!"]]. The guy playing Jack O'Neill's {{expy}} asks Martin what color the beam from his blaster is. Martin tells him they can't afford a beam; they're just using sound effects.
* The ShowWithinAShow on ''Series/GarthMarenghisDarkplace'' suffers from this, being funded mostly out-of-pocket by Marenghi and Dean Learner. This leads to some epic {{Special Effect Failure}}s such as a motorcycle chase done on bicycles with engine noised dubbed in. Of course, it's exaggerated considering the actual show does have a small but reasonable budget.
-->'''Dean Learner''': He had a very ambitious script. I said: "Garth, this is a very ambitious script for the money we've got. Seeing as we've got no money, it's extremely ambitious." We were filming it in my garage. I had a big garage, but still it was ambitious to film a TV show in a garage.
* ''Series/SuperhumanSamuraiSyberSquad'': Low budget might as well be an excuse for reusing battle scenes with as much regularity as that show did. Also, there were a grand total of five sets (School cafeteria, school hallway, Sam's room, Malcolm's room, newsdesk.) Pretty much anything not in those locations is ''[[Series/DenkouChoujinGridman Gridman]]'' footage, right down to the overwhelmingly-black-haired factory workers and such, if the monster affects the outside world before it impacts anyone we know.
* UsefulNotes/NewZealand-produced TV show ''Series/BackOfTheY'' made up for its ultra-low budget by taking pure RefugeInAudacity.
* Creator/USANetwork tried to [[NetworkToTheRescue rescue]] ''Series/{{Airwolf}}'' without accounting for the price tag. They had to use [[StockFootageFailure painfully obvious stock footage]] to cover up the fact that they didn't actually have the helicopter. They couldn't afford the actors, either.
* ''Series/{{Animorphs}}'' had no budget whatsoever, and it shows, particularly when they're showing any sort of Andalite (not that they did this very often). It's just one of the many reasons most fans of [[Literature/{{Animorphs}} the books]] hated it.
* The novel ''Literature/IClaudius'', and its sequel, were big sprawling epics, with a few large battles, lots and ''lots'' of circuses and gladiatorial games, and the occasional riot. The [[Series/IClaudius TV adaptation]] manages to stage the whole thing without ever having a crowd larger than a meeting of the Roman Senate. (The battles all occur off-camera, with perhaps an aftermath scene in the general's tent; the gladiatorial games consist of a close-up camera on the Emperor's box.) Hey, the BBC ain't made of money.
* ''Series/TheEricAndreShow'' is a parody of low-rent, DIY public access shows. To help make it look authentic, [[http://splitsider.com/2012/07/talking-with-eric-andre-kitao-sakurai-and-andrew-barchilon-about-the-eric-andre-show-311-kombucha-and-more/ Adult Swim gave the creators $60 for the first season.]]
* Parodied in one episode of the Israeli sitcom ''[=HaPijamot=]'' featuring the same basic premise in various WhatIf scenarios. The last two were ‘The Story that Would Have Happened if We Had NoBudget’, featuring the eponymous band replaced by work immigrants from China, and ‘The Story that Would Have Happened if We Had NoBudget at All’, in which the apartment they live in was empty.
* The pilot episode of ''Series/ItsAlwaysSunnyInPhiladelphia'' was reportedly shot for $85.
* Belgian television is notorious for being very low-budget, which is why [[AudienceAlienatingPremise it turns a lot of people off]]. The highest viewer rating ever seen on Belgian TV however was 1,9 million, so it's not really unexpected. The biggest budget ever put in a Belgian television show was ''De Kavijaks'' with 3,35 million dollars. Even so, there are a few cases that stand out.
** Maurice De Wilde spent all of the budget he got for his documentaries on research. He still produces spectacular television though if you consider TalkingHeads to be spectacular. This was intentional however as he did not want to rely on special effects to tell what really happened, which makes all of his documentaries all the more informative.
** ''2013'' is perhaps the only show in television history to be deliberately filmed with amateur cameras. In this case to give the impression that it is all really happening. It works though.

* All tracks except "Avatar" on Grottomatic's first album, [[http://grottomatic.bandcamp.com/album/on-no-budget On No Budget]], were made on Tim's personal computer. He composed the album art with Microsoft Paint. He was living in poverty at the time.
* Music/{{Nirvana}} recorded their debut album ''Bleach'' for barely over $606 ($1200 in 2015).

* Music/OKGo videos, at least at their beginning in Website/YouTube. "[[http://youtu.be/M1_CLW-NNwc A Million Ways]]" is a good example.
* Music/{{Beyonce}} filmed two of her videos, "If I Were a Boy" and "Single Ladies", back to back, and wound up spending a lion's share of the budget on the former and forcing her to take a minimalist approach with the latter.
* CountryMusic artist Sarah Buxton said that the video for her single "Outside My Window" was filmed by one of the song's four songwriters on a budget of $80.
* The video for Hizaki Grace Project's "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=to7geDYUxYs Philosopher]]" is a good example of a VisualKei music video where it's painfully obvious that they spent ''the entire budget'' on the band members' costumes. The result is a video, apparently shot with a 10-year-old camera (the video was made in ''2006''), which consists almost entirely of the band members performing alternately in front of a wrinkled curtain and on a staircase, interspersed with shots of them posing pensively in various places around the mansion they rented. [[CostumePorn But at least they all look gorgeous!]]
* Music/DavidLeeRoth once bragged that the music video for Music/VanHalen's "Jump" cost around $600--at a time when other bands were spending upwards of six figures on their videos. Both the song and video helped make an already popular band ''HUGE''.
* Voivod's "Ravenous Medicine" is probably one of the cheapest, lamest, and {{Narm}}iest metal video you will ever see, but let's just say [[SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic it makes up for it]] [[EpicRiff big time.]]
* "Big Bang Baby" by Music/StoneTemplePilots is a {{homage}} to the bare-bones music videos of the late '70s and early '80s, which already followed this trope. It was made in 1996. You can probably guess how much it must have cost at that point.
* Lampshaded in the video for "Hey Man Now You're Really Living" by Music/{{Eels}}. It starts with the singer apologizing for having no money, and then the rest of it is just him and his dog singing along to the song.
* Anthony Kiedis revealed in his autobiography that the music video for "Jungle Man" was shot on a $200 budget of their own money, comprised solely of footage of the Music/RedHotChiliPeppers singing the song in clubs, because EMI refused to give them any money for music videos.
* Music/DavidBowie's 2013 video for "Love Is Lost" cost only $12.99 according to the [[http://www.davidbowie.com/news/watch-bowie-s-1299-love-lost-video-here-now-52201 official press release]]! Those life-sized puppets? They were created for an unreleased 1999 video, and he just took them out of mothballs. The three-person crew included himself!

* Invoked by ''Pinball/TimeFantasy,'' which was made to provide a low-budget item for Williams' marketing and distribution departments.
* ''Pinball/AsteroidAnnieAndTheAliens'' was made in order to use up some outdated leftover components,

* On RickDees [[TheEighties Top 40]], "No budget" was a CatchPhrase, the source of a RunningGag (example: Dees explained about a problem with receiving mail, as because there was [[CatchPhrase "no budget"]], the show could not afford a letter opener), and the name of a [[FictionalMedia fictional record label]].
* Creator/{{NPR}}'s news/quiz show ''Radio/WaitWaitDontTellMe'' had such a low budget during its first few years that the only "prize" they could afford to give out was a voice mail greeting done by game's announcer Carl Kasell. The prize became such a famous part of the show that it was kept even after the show was given a higher budget.

* Happens all the time, mainly because many shows don't really have a budget to begin with. This doesn't apply to, say, Broadway, (most of the time,) but there are far more theaters out there than what's on Broadway, as well as many colleges that produce productions, and many of them (both college productions and actual theatrical productions,) are run on a shoe-string budget. This can get to the point where all you might have are cheap costumes, a bare-bones set, and minimal lighting. And some productions don't even have that. But in a field where, on average, only 2% of the US go to see shows, it can only be expected, unfortunately.
* ''Theatre/TheFantasticks'' spent around $1,000 for set and costuming. This helps keep its production costs low, enabling it to become a record-breaking {{Long Runner|s}}.
* An ancient example of the trope - Aristophanes, in his ''Frogs'', has the chorus come on dressed in the filthy torn rags of Bacchic celebrants, and has them joke openly about how this choice of costume helps to keep down the expenses. Athenian theatre was funded by the liturgy system - the compulsory largesse of the wealthiest men in the city - but the Frogs was put on at the height of the Peloponnesian War, when everyone was feeling the financial strain and liturgy money was desperately needed to pay for mercenaries and triremes instead. Which makes this OlderThanFeudalism.
* This trope is actually the reason TheScottishPlay has such a high actor body count. It's one of the cheapest plays you can put together if you can't afford safety equipment, except it's one of the plays that most ''needs'' safety equipment.

* ''VisualNovel/KatawaShoujo'' has about 20 international developers and no budget - they're all volunteering in their spare time to make a [[FreewareGames free game]]. They didn't even accept any donations, although they have sold some very limited physical goods.
* This is the reason behind many indie games using {{Retraux}} graphics rather than being in 3D. 2D pixel art is easy to attempt on your own if you can't afford an artist, although doing it ''well'' is another matter, and doesn't require fancy hardware or software.
* ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'', ''VideoGame/CaveStory'', and various other one-person efforts.
* ''VideoGame/SinsOfASolarEmpire'' is a non-indie PC game with a budget of $1M. For comparison, average PC game cost is $18-28M.
* ''VideoGame/KatamariDamacy'' was made by a group of 10 in less than 18 months on a budget of under $1M, leading to the Lego-like art style that's now a series staple. (Yes, it was successful enough for a series). The original also included many large levels, multiplayer, etc.
* ''VisualNovel/PlumbersDontWearTies'' was very cheaply shot even for a 1990s FullMotionVideo game, and most of the time it fails at being full-motion. Low production values are evident even in the game interface (what there is of it, anyway).
* ''VideoGame/HyperdimensionNeptunia'' had an extremely limited budget, yet garnered the highest amount of sales of any game by Compile Heart, which led it to become [[VideoGame/{{Neptunia}} a larger series]] (with a proper budget, obviously).
** This gets a LampshadeHanging when the main character complains about having to start in a dinky dungeon fighting boring enemies with no cool moves. Another character points out that [[NoFourthWall if the developers started out with all the cool stuff]], they'd run out of content too quickly.
* The original ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'' had a very limited budget and little promotion, as the project was initially a simple side project by Masahiro Sakurai that Satoru Iwata let him do on weekends. After Sakurai presented the partial product to Iwata, he asked if he could use several Nintendo characters in an effort to make it more original. The game's [[SleeperHit surprise success]] led to the sequels having a much more lavish budget, as seen in the much bigger cast, stage selection, and more complex moves.
* Almost all {{Game Mod}}s rely on a almost non-existent budget and typically are not allowed to sell their finished game/mod for money (Flight simulators are one notable exception). Even total conversion mods like ''[[Videogame/MechWarrior MechWarrior Living Legends]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/BlackMesa Black Mesa]]'' - mods which are essentially their own triple-A games - are developed on a budget that that only covers the cost for server upkeep and tool licensing, such as [=3DS=] Max.
* Depending how you look at it, ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress'' is either a straight example or a notable aversion. The studio's annual operating budget is about US$35,000; for a game that's coded by one guy and which started out as a pure hobby project, that's pretty high. For a game that's won a large stack of awards, spawned [[FollowTheLeader at least three or four imitators]] from much larger and better-resourced studios, been the subject of a feature article in the New York Times, and been on display in the Museum of Modern Art, it's astonishingly low. Also worth mentioning is that the budget is entirely donations. [[FreewareGames The game is entirely free.]]
* ''VideoGame/TheFoolsErrand'' and its sequel ''The Fool and His Money'' were both coded, illustrated, written, and produced entirely by one man named Cliff Johnson. ''The Fool and His Money'' in particular was funded entirely by money out of Johnson's own pocket and donations from "True Believers", which goes a long way towards explaining why it took ''nine years'' for the game to be completed.
* SeGaGaGa According to developer Tez Okano, the game cost "100th of Shenmue" and was developed mostly in secret over two years. When its sale was approved, Sega gave him a $200 marketing budget, of which half was used by Okano to buy himself a wrestling mask. Appearing at games stores in disguise, he was able to get enough buzz going to spur online orders and eventually a retail release.
* The majority of crowd-funded video games (whose title isn't "''VideoGame/StarCitizen''") are produced on budgets drastically humbler than what traditional publishers invest into projects of comparable complexity. Since this money is usually spent on programming and assets, crowd-funded projects usually skimp on marketing (compensated by word of mouth) and quality assurance (compensated by a rapid post-release feedback and patch cycle).
* ''VideoGame/AgeOfConan''. Very apparent when the game first launched in 2008. Most of the world segments were beautifully designed and the storyline and quests were masterful up until level 40, at which point it became obvious to players that the money to develop the game had simply run out. There were practically no quests or playable content between level 40 and level 70 with a smattering of endgame quests filled out. This problem was alleviated by "Rise of the Godslayer" and further expansions that filled out the sorely needed mid level content.
* Many of Creator/TaroYoko's games fall victim to having to be made with a shoestring budget as well as often having an inexperienced crew under him often leads to lackluster graphics and gameplay. His games often use atmosphere and story in center in order to get by instead.
* All of the games made by Mediagenic. The reason why is because back then Activision had very few money left is because they wanted to break in the software applications industry under the name Mediagenic, but they ended up lacking in success there. That was compounded by an 1988 court decision that found Activision guilty in a multi-million dollar patent infringement suit by Philips regarding its previous cartridge games. They were however still an old and respected name in the video game industry and so were given confident launch titles to last by both Sega and Nintendo for their respective 16-bit consoles. Eventually they crashed, were taken over by an investment group led by Bobby Kotick and filed for chapter 11 reorganisation in 1992 and changed their name back to activision, which allowed them to do high-budget games once again.

[[folder:W. Anim.]]
* Much like how an episode of an Anime costs less than an episode of a cartoon, the latter is made with a considerably smaller amount of money than an animated film.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheBraveLittleToaster'' was made on a budget of $2.3M, which was modest even for animated films at the time.
* WesternAnimation/TomTerrific is probably as low-budget as a presentable TV cartoon can get; TerryToons had very little money for it, so as a cost-cutting measure the animation consist of black line-art only, with no cel paint were used (at least in the first season; in the second season they started painting the characters solid white).
* Many early TV cartoons suffered from having meager four digit budgets, such as Joe Oriolo's tv cartoons of FelixTheCat, and the Al Brodax {{Popeye}} cartoons.
* Creator/RalphBakshi's ''WesternAnimation/{{Wizards}}'' was made on a $1M budget--on the DVD commentary, Ralph admitted that the ''only'' way he was even able to complete the film was because he got veteran TomAndJerry animator, Irv Spence, to animate 75% of the ''entire movie''. [[DerangedAnimation It tends to show]] [[SpecialEffectFailure more often than not]], but Bakshi's studio was quite famous for cranking out animated films for less money than many movies spend on catering alone.
* ''WesternAnimation/SitaSingsTheBlues'' was made for $290K; $50,000 was spent paying for the music copyrights.
* One of the theories behind why ''WesternAnimation/MyLifeMe'' has such jarring animations. The company that originally produced the show declared insolvency during production, causing it to have to resort to Adobe Flash-quality animation.
* Creator/{{Filmation}} was notorious for making all of their series with absolutely no budget whatsoever. This was due in part to their policy of never outsourcing animation jobs, which was expensive.
* Many studios that opened up during the first 15 years of commercial TV churned out many cartoon shows with the most threadbare of budgets. Creator/HannaBarbera has been widely chided for this practice during its tenure (1957 to 2001), but many shows were hammered for their premise more than their cut-rate animation.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' has this happen a lot in-universe. The show itself definitely averts this, as its voice actors alone cost more than most cartoons budget for entire episodes.
** When the IntimidatingRevenueService seized 95% of Krusty's estate and future earnings until his debt was paid and controlled his show, they renamed it "Hershel Krustofsky's Clown-Related Entertainment Show" and removed anything fun from it. There wasn't money even for a pie to be thrown at someone's face. Or someone other than Krusty to be targeted.
** When Kent Brockman uttered a swear word on TV and the network got a $10M fine because of this, they couldn't afford voice actors or any sound effects for Itchy and Scratchy.
** So much was spent to have Music/KatyPerry appear in a ChristmasEpisode there was only one hound to answer Mr. Burns' usual "release the hounds" command.
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'''s minimalist geometric art style (originally spawned from cardboard cut-outs), casting (almost all the voices are done by creators Creator/TreyParkerAndMattStone and a pair of female voice actors) and use stock effects allows episodes to be done by a small team of under 20 people assuming multiple roles, ''all within the course of a single week''.
* Take away the licensing fees for the music video segments and ''WesternAnimation/BeavisAndButtHead'' would definitely be this. LimitedAnimation, grade schooler-level backdrops that look to have been made with crayon and colored pencil, and [[TalkingToHimself almost everyone is voiced by]] creator Creator/MikeJudge. Which perfectly fits the [[IdiotPlot wonderfully crude idiocy]] of the show.
* ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'': "Tri-Stone Area" had the characters' pre-historical counterparts grunt. The episode was occasionally interrupted so [[WordOfGod Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh]] would explain details. Povenmire mentioned limited budgets as an explanation for the low quality of their scenes.
* ''WesternAnimation/BattleForDreamIsland'': The series is full of this.
* ''The PowerpuffGirls Movie'' was originally budgeted at $25 million. It wound up being made for $10 million and it grossed $15 million domestically. What Warner Bros. did with the rest of the budget is anyone's guess--it sure didn't go towards promoting the film.
* Any films by Creator/BillPlympton is this. Plympton maintains that his budget is about $1,000 per minute of animation, which is very low by the industry standards. In addition to doing most of the work himself (with only a small number of crew helping out), he [[LimitedAnimation animates in threes]], giving his animation a choppy look that became his signature style.

* A short arc in ''Webcomic/OzyAndMillie'' invoked this with a "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" parody "Who Wants To Be A Seventeen Cent-aire?" The grand prize was, as is mentioned in the title, seventeen cents.
* Each arc of ''Webcomic/TheBMovieComic'' is a B-movie made of this principle (with occasional behind-the-scenes interviews). The producer is even named Nolan Nobucks, and one of the actors is a kid actor paid little to nothing.

[[folder:Web Orig.]]
* Many internet webseries run the line from shoestring to no budget whatsoever.
** Particularly the Website/ThatGuyWithTheGlasses anniversary specials. Most of what little budget they had was spent on getting the key players ''there''.
** It's more visible with [[WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall Linkara]]'s {{Wham Episode}}s. Surprisingly, they still work.
** The original run of ''WebVideo/ClassicGameRoom'' had a weekly budget of $50.
** Most of Creator/RedLetterMedia's old stuff were shot in places like their old apartments with old VHS cameras. Their stuff nowadays is better funded but it's still barebones.
* ''WebVideo/MarbleHornets'' was made on a budget of about $500. Since it's essentially ''Film/TheBlairWitchProject'' taken UpToEleven and released on Website/YouTube (there's a DVD now), this isn't too surprising.
** The same applies to most of the other Website/YouTube Slender Man stories that followed in its wake. It's not uncommon for a series to go on hiatus while the creators scrounge up the resources to create the next entry.
* Apparently most of WebVideo/{{Manwhores}}' costs were in film, with all the actors donating their time and various people donating the sets. It still manages to have pretty varied settings.
* The tendency for Christian movies to do this is parodied in "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeIRQol52HU A Trailer For Every Christian Movie Ever]]". The cast is the producer/writer/director, his high school sweetheart, and his best friend.
* Occasionally done in-universe in ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'', especially in the case of "Dangeresque" or "Space Captainface". Strong Sad's independent film is stated to be "faux-budget", which is apparently "[[UpToEleven lower than no-budget]]" (it's financed with Monopoly money).
* Indy Mogul, a web show on Youtube, explains how to do Hollywood-style special effects on a low budget.
* The LetsPlay group LetsPlay/SuperPlayify points this out in the games it reviews while being an example itself, as they exclusively play ten-dollar bargain-bin games they've never heard of.
* ''WebVideo/TheAutobiographyOfJaneEyre'': Word of God says they have zero budget and that they shoot the scenes at their home.
* A ''Website/{{Cracked}}'' Photoplasty considers what would have happened [[http://www.cracked.com/photoplasty_622_if-40-famous-movies-had-2450-budgets/ If 40 Famous Movies Had $50 Budgets]].
* ''WebVideo/BradJonesDemoReel'' notes this InUniverse, which is why they can't try doing ''Film/{{Hook}}''.
* ''WebOriginal/StarsInBlack'' started this way. And remained so.
* ''WebVideo/TheVeronicaExclusive'' has no budget whatsoever, which is mainly due to the fact that it's a fan project coordinated by a bunch of teens and twenty-somethings, most of whom live on separate ends of the globe from one another.

* Most [[TheMockbuster Mockbusters]].
* The [[http://www.v48hours.co.nz/2011/ V 48 Hours short film competition.]]
* There are a wide variety of such competitions, generally along the lines of "Here's a camera, here's 24/48 hours, make a movie!" A disproportionate number of them are named after Creator/EdWood.
* Multimedia students at universities can rent cameras for free, but that's it; everything else is down to them. Students being students, your [[BadBadActing actors]] are likely not to turn up, and your "props" will be whatever your roommates have lying around. Having someone in the group who is good with editing and special effects can help disguise the fact that the movie consists of you and your aunt acting in the woods behind the main campus. It's even worse for independent filmmakers: they don't even give you the camera.
* Nowadays, good quality recording is easy, AND CHEAP. Even integrated soundcards have much better audio quality than old recording gears. You don't have to use Apple computers; regular Windows [=PCs=] are fine too. If you buy a cheap professional sound card, it's unlikely to not to get some recording software amongside it, free [=VSTs=] are mostly useable. Or [[DigitalPiracyIsEvil they can be pirated]]. The only problem is to get instruments, microphone, and talent.
** For the visual part there're many cameras able to record HD, even cheap point & shoot ones. As above, talent is the thing to find.

Well, that's our page. Hey, turn out the light when you're done - let's keep costs down.