[[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.

->'''Q:''' Again, on the low budget problem, in Paradise Towers you have a monster that was two neon rings in a dark room...\\
'''Cartmel:''' We were lucky to have the neon rings! Thank god it was a dark room!
-->-- Script editor Andrew Cartmel [[http://doctorwho.org.nz/archive/tsv40/andrewcartmel.html#3 on]] ''Series/DoctorWho'', [[Recap/DoctorWhoS24E2ParadiseTowers "Paradise Towers"]]

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), [[ScrewedByTheNetwork 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/MadMax1'' 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, and we'll deal with them in the morning. Maybe then the appeal for more cash will have gone through...


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* 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]] However, 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 why some anime titles are 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 people's 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 of 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.]]
* ''Anime/KemonoFriends'' had a staff of only 10 people working over 500 days with a budget that was extremely limited and had to make [[ConspicuousCGI extensive use of CGI]], and even the director had no clue how it gained [[SleeperHit the kind of popularity that it did]] despite all of this.
* Joseph Lai's ''Animation/SpaceThunderKids'' is entirely made up of [[StockFootage stock animation]] from other low-budget anime titles that were made at the time, resulting in an incredibly bizarre and incoherent end result of a film.
* ''Anime/PopeeThePerformer'' clearly had little in the way of a budget considering the bare-basic backgrounds and character designs along with it's robotic animation and low quality sound mixing, take a look for [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJUP-UVvgLY yourself]].
* Subverted with ''Anime/OnePunchMan'' as the developers had to specify to the fans that, despite the show's highly cinematic animation, the overall budget isn't any different from most current anime.
* ''[[Manga/MrArashisAmazingFreakShow Chika Gentō Gekiga: Shōjo Tsubaki]]'', [[note]] which translates to ''Underground Projected Drama: Camellia Girl'' [[/note]] was [[AttentionDeficitCreatorDisorder solely developed]] by Hiroshi Harada over the course of 5 years after numerous anime studios turned down the project [[ViolenceIsDisturbing due to the extremely graphic]] [[NightmareFuel and disturbing nature of the manga it's based on]]. The final cut that made it to theaters was unpolished and very limited in terms of animation, along with characters' mouths either being obscured or failing to move at all when they talked. Regardless, the film became highly popular in the underground market [[LostEpisode with copies of the unedited cut being the most sought after]]. [[note]] [[NotSafeForWork WARNING! This film, and the manga it's based on, are both extremely graphic and should be avoided at all cost by anyone who is faint of heart]]. [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement It's best NOT to link this film on the website]]. [[/note]]

[[folder:Film - Animated]]
* ''Anime/MyNeighborTotoro'' had a sizable 410,167,200 Yen budget, which in turn translates to 3,700,000 U.S. dollars.
* [[http://www.snagfilms.com/films/title/alice_in_wonderland_3 This]] [[UpToEleven literal zero budget]] adaptation for ''Literature/AliceInWonderland'' speaks for itself.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheBraveLittleToaster'' was made on a budget of $2.3M, which was modest even for animated films at the time.
* ''WesternAnimation/BolivarElHeroe'': Produced in 2003, this Colombian animated feature remained lost for over 13 years until it was eventually uploaded onto [=YouTube=]. A [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51fyzTYIVws quick look]] at the movie makes it clear why the filmmakers may have tried to hide it in the first place [[UpToEleven since the animation would give Dingo Pictures a run for their money]].
* Creator/DreamWorksAnimation's [[WesternAnimation/CaptainUnderpantsTheFirstEpicMovie film adaptation]] of the ''Literature/CaptainUnderpants'' book series quickly made headlines in the industry for its $38 million budget, making it the studio's cheapest CG film to date [[note]]Aardman co-production ''WesternAnimation/TheCurseOfTheWereRabbit'' has the lowest budget of all DWA films, being made for $30 million[[/note]].
* ''WesternAnimation/TheChristmasTree'' is exactly this with its horrendous voice acting, writing, and overly sloppy animation. It was a no-brainer for video retailers and the USA channel to [[OldShame quickly brush it under the rug]] [[KeepCirculatingTheTapes after its first airing and video release]].
* Basically, every movie by Creator/DingoPictures.
** Same goes to their contemporary counterparts, ''Creator/VideoBrinquedo'' and ''Creator/SparkplugEntertainment''.
* '''WesternAnimation/FelixTheCatTheMovie'' didn't fare too well with its [[DerangedAnimation ugly-looking animation]] [[SpecialEffectsFailure and early]] [[ConspicuousCGI CG effects]], [[HellIsThatNoise along with its terrible sound]] [[DullSurprise and voice acting]]. It should come as no surprise that the film [[InvisibleAdvertising barely had any exposure]] when it finally came over to the states.
* ''WesternAnimation/NormOfTheNorth'' was produced on an $18 million budget and was slated for a straight-to-video release before Lionsgate decided to screen it in theaters at the last minute. Of course, even if you didn't know that, the film's overall quality would make it incredibly obvious.
* Subverted with ''WesternAnimation/TheThiefAndTheCobbler'', which started with a shoestring budget before director Creator/RichardWilliams ballooned it to $28 million during the film's [[DevelopmentHell thirty year production cycle]].
* Many TV-based animated features owe their success on the fact that they're produced on relatively smaller, modest budgets as opposed to the high price tags any major Hollywood animated film is made for.
** ''WesternAnimation/TheRugratsMovie'' proved to be a financial hit for both Creator/{{Nickelodeon}} and Creator/KlaskyCsupo as the film made over $140 million at the box office against a $24 million budget, kick-starting the wave of TV to big screen animated features throughout the early 2000s.
** ''WesternAnimation/TheSpongebobSquarepantsMovie'' was made in 2004 for a budget of $30 million and managed to bring in over $140 million, which paved the way for a stand-alone [[WesternAnimation/TheSpongeBobMovieSpongeOutOfWater sequel]] eleven years later.
** ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirlsMovie'' 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.
** Even Disney got in on this with ''WesternAnimation/DougsFirstMovie'', which was produced for $5 million and originally slated as a direct-to-video feature until Nick's success with Rugrats convinced them to screen it for theaters.
* Speaking of Disney, their Creator/DisneyToonStudios division was developed with the intention of producing low budget animated features for TV, theaters, and DVD; hence Doug's 1st movie along with their their infamous direct-to-video lineup during the mid 90s and 2000s.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSecretOfNIMH'' was reportedly produced on a budget of $7 million, which was said to have been around half the budget to any of Disney's animated features at the time. Regardless, the film was heavily well-received by critics with much of the praise being directed towards the animation, which was noted for surpassing the quality of Disney's at the time.
** Speaking of which: most of Disney's animated titles following ''Disney/SleepingBeauty'' are usually considered the black sheep in the company's filmography as the animation is a noticeably sharp down-grade from their previous (and later) works. ''Disney/RobinHood'' in particular had a budget so low that the animators were forced to reuse animation from [[Disney/SnowWhiteAndTheSevenDwarfs other]] [[Disney/TheJungleBook Disney]] [[Disney/TheAristocats films]], which is ''especially'' noticeable during the "Phony King of England" musical number.
* ''WesternAnimation/SitaSingsTheBlues'' was made for $290K; $50,000 was spent paying for the music copyrights.
* While nowhere near the quality of certain [[Creator/VideoBrinquedo other]] [[Creator/SparkPlugEntertainment studios]], Vanguard Animation's filmography still paled in comparison to the works of more major studios of the time, resulting in the company becoming the source of SnarkBait in the animation industry up [[CreatorKiller until their closing in 2010]].[[note]]However [[CareerResurrection they would later reopen their doors with the release of "Get Squirrely" in 2016.]][[/note]]
** While having no involvement with its production, the direct-to-video sequel for their second film, ''WesternAnimation/HappilyNeverAfter'', managed [[UpToEleven to look even worse than the first one]].
* 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 WesternAnimation/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.
** ''Most'' of Bakshi's films were produced on very low budgets, including ''WesternAnimation/FritzTheCat'' ($850,000), ''WesternAnimation/HeavyTraffic'' ($950,000) and ''WesternAnimation/AmericanPop'' ($1 million). He didn't get a multi-million dollar budget until ''WesternAnimation/TheLordOfTheRings'', which still only cost $4 million. All of the aforementioned films made back their budgets several times over.
** ''WesternAnimation/CoolWorld'' subverts this with its $30 million budget, but even then Ralph still had to cut corners when it came to mixing live action with animation, resulting in [[SpecialEffectsFailure the infamously cardboard cut-out set pieces]] and the poorly choreographed interactions between the actors and animated characters.
* ''WesternAnimation/DownAndDirtyDuck's'' shoestring budget of $110,000 [[note]] nearly one-eighth of Fritz's budget[[/note]] meant there was little in the way for an animation team, leaving director Charles Swenson having to animate most of the film himself along with co-stars [[Music/TheTurtles Flo & Eddie]] also having to function as the film's co-writers and co-composers respectively. Did we mention that Creator/RogerCorman was the producer?
* Jason Mewes and Creator/KevinSmith produced ''[[Film/TheViewAskewniverse Jay and Silent Bob's Super Groovy Cartoon Movie]]'' on a [[DoubleEntendre $69,000]] budget, which was even smaller than ''Dirty Duck's''. Much like that movie, it was only enough to hire one animator to make the film, and boy does it show.
* ''WesternAnimation/AnAmericanTail'' was produced in 1986 for $9 million, and went on to become the highest grossing non-Disney animated feature of the time with a $84 million return at box office. Compare that to Disney's competing animated feature, ''Disney/TheGreatMouseDetective'', which was produced on a $14 million budget with a box office return of $38.7 million.
** The film's TV spin off, ''Fivel's American Tails'', [[UpToEleven had it worst]] as it frequently suffered from OffModel character designs and stilted animation which was often riddled with errors. Because of this, and the numerous continuity errors [[WesternAnimation/AnAmericanTailFievelGoesWest from the sequel it's based on]], the show was quickly cancelled after 13 episodes.

[[folder:Film - Live Action]]
* ''Film/ElMariachi'' was so low-budget that Creator/RobertRodriguez and his crew had to participate in medical research to earn the money to make it. His method of budgeting is "Once you start spending money you won't stop, so don't spend money." 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]] and his book ''Rebel Without a Crew'', the director lists the at times crazy techniques used to make the film on such a low budget:
** The camera was a borrowed 16mm that came with no manual, so he needed to call a store in Texas to help identify the camera and teach him how to work it. To avoid spending too much money on film, everything was shot in only one or two takes (though he admits to spending more than expected because he only bought as much as he needed, keeping him from using bulk discounts). To give the illusion of multiple cameras, he would freeze the action after a few seconds and move to another spot to keep going.
** The film was transferred to 3/4" video, saving tens of thousands of dollars that would have instead been spent on making a film negative, and edited entirely on video. The resulting video copy is what got shopped around, and Columbia ponied up the money to make a 35mm film print for theatrical release.
** Incorporating bloopers into the plot in order to avoid retakes and simply cutting to another angle to disguise mistakes.
** All of the firing guns were real guns because he couldn't afford blank-converted ones from a rental armory (the submachine guns were borrowed from the local Mexican police!). Because the automatics would jam on the first round with blanks due to lacking a bullet to provide force working the action, he would copy the firing frames or cut away from the shooting while playing a canned machine gun sound effect and having actors drop handfuls of casings on the ground to provide the illusion of automatic gunfire. The guns that weren't real were water guns.
** The only non-natural light was a pair of 250-watt desk lamps with some improvised filters and reflectors.
** As the title of his book suggests, there was ''no crew''. Rodriguez did everything himself from the writing and filming to the sound recording and editing. Because actors would otherwise be standing around doing nothing, he had them act as extra hands when needed.
** The camera couldn't sync to a sound recorder and was too loud to record sound while filming anyway, so he shot the film silently and recorded dialogue and foley on set a few minutes later. When the dialogue didn't perfectly match the lip movements during post-production, he used cuts to other angles to take the mouth off-screen.
** They had two guitar cases: a black one for the mariachi's guitar and a brown one with the guns (modified with straps on the inside for the weapons). Unfortunately, the cases are ''both'' supposed to be black. Rodriguez would simply film the black case being opened and then cut to the already open brown case.
* ''Film/StepsTroddenBlack'' takes this trope UpToEleven, having been made with basically no crew entirely on a budget of less than a thousand dollars, using volunteer actors and borrowed equipment, getting by on the strength of its dialogue and some surprisingly good amateur actors. The complete lack of a budget makes the relatively high production values and competently produced visual and makeup effects even more impressive.
* ''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.
* Other than fiancial grants from the French government and producers who took interest in the film's premise, the 2016 Filipino romantic comedy ''Film/SavingSally'' was made in ''ten years'' on a ₱10,000 budget. That's around ''$200''! It did pay off as the film earned ₱27 million or roughly $600,000 to positive reviews, which while definitely not to the same level of fiancial success as a mainstream [[ChristmasRushed Metro Manila Film Festival]] feature, is still commendable for an independent production.
* Auteur Shane Carruth made ''Film/{{Primer}}'' with 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.
* 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.
* The films made by Creator/EdWood had very low budgets. [[SoBadItsGood It shows.]] ''Film/GlenOrGlenda'' (1953) had an estimated budget of 20,000 dollars. Creator/BelaLugosi agreed to play in the film for a salary of 5,000 dollars, although legend has it he only pocketed 1,000 dollars for his appearance. ''Film/JailBait'' (1954) had an estimated budget of 22,000 dollars. ''Film/BrideOfTheMonster'' (1955) had an estimated budget of 70,000 dollars. ''Film/Plan9FromOuterSpace'' (directed in 1956, released in 1958/1959) had an estimated budget of 60,000 dollars. There are no known estimates for ''Film/NightOfTheGhouls'' (1959). ''Film/TheSinisterUrge'' (1960/1961) had an estimated budget of 20,125-20,152 dollars (depending on the source). Little to no documentation exists for the feature films which Wood directed in the early 1970s.
* The British zombie film ''Film/{{Colin}}'' made some headlines due its reported '''£45''' budget.
* 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/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.
** ''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}}''.
** 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]]).
* 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 [[NoEnding ending]] used was partially because the team couldn't afford the one they had written. (They'd blown too much money on the pyrotechnic effects for the Tim the Enchanter 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.
* 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.
* 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.
** His later ''Film/LordOfTheRings'' [[TheEpic obviously]] doesn't count, but at least one scene in the extended edition of ''Film/TheTwoTowers'' does: after Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas meet up with the resurrected Gandalf, Aragorn and Gandalf have a conversation at night. Apart from the opening establishing shot, the whole conversation is tight close-ups and the background is absolutely pitch-black. [[AllThereInTheManual Apparently]] they shot that scene in a shed.
* ''Film/TwelveAngryMen'' partly counts as they could only afford enough film to record once, so no mistakes were allowed.
* 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}}''. Made for under $10,000. Where to even begin?
** The birds are played by low-quality [=GIFs=] of hawks and vultures with poor seagull cries. They tend to explode upon striking the ground. All explosion, fire, muzzle flash, and smoke effects are likewise extremely low-quality [=GIFs=].
** In an infamous scene, the protagonists fend off a bird attack with ''coat hangers''. They were scripted to use curtain rods, but the Motel 6 used for filming had no detachable curtain rods and apparently it would have been too much money to buy them.
** Many of the businesses appear to have been filmed in while closed for the night, such as the restaurant which is completely empty except for a waiter and a singer. Only a few corporate meeting scenes have an appreciable number of extras, leaving other scenes set in diners and restaurants conspicuously empty. Filming done near roads during the actual bird apocalypse shows traffic passing unimpeded and even real birds flying around.
** The whole film appears to have been shot on a low-quality video camera with little to no editing.
** One of the extremely few practical effects in the film (birds spitting acid) was done by hurling several cartons of orange juice from off-camera onto the actors. This could only be done in one take, as that was all the orange juice they had.
** Sound editing was almost non-existent. No room tone was taken and the background noise changes wildly between angles due to it. All sound was apparently taken off the camera's own microphone, with greatly varying levels and clarity.
** Except for a few songs, all of the music is royalty-free. The infamously long opening driving scene has a short royalty-free clip simply loop multiple times.
** Filming could only take place intermittently on weekends due to everyone having day jobs, causing the movie to take ''4 years'' to complete.
* 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 B-Movie, 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 UsefulNotes/{{Nollywood}} (the Nigerian film industry) movies are like this, and a lot of times it shows. But contrary to Bollywood, there is not even awesomeness in their cheapness. It is mainly silly stories about miracles, serving religious propaganda. And yet, it is the first cinematographic industry in volume. Quantity is not quality, definitely.
** Though, to their credit, a number of productions such as ''Film/TheFigurine'' and ''Film/TheWeddingParty'' avert this with more than decent production values, receiving critical acclaim overseas. Such films are considered to be part of a new wave called the ''New Nollywood'' movement, aiming to uplift the status of Nigerian cinema from a quantity-over-quality factory of lowbrow DirectToVideo fodder to a respectable industry able to keep up with those from industrialised nations.
* ''Film/ThanksKilling'' was made for $3,000.
* ''Film/ViolentShit'' was made over four weekends on a budget of $2,000.
* ''Woodchipper Massacre'' apparently had a budget of only $400.
* ''[=MonSturd=]'', another for $3,000.
* Anything made by the Polonia brothers, like ''Film/{{Feeders}}''.
* ''This Is Not A Film'' 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'''.
* ''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.
* The {{found footage|Films}} {{mockumentary}} horror film ''Film/TheLastBroadcast'' was made for only $900, and is notable for being one of the first films shot on video to get a theatrical release.
* ''Film/CryWolf'' is an interesting example. The producers had made a short film as a contest for Chrysler, and the prize was a million dollars. They used the money to make the film, along with quite a bit of conspicuous Chrysler ProductPlacement.
* ''Film/WhoKilledCaptainAlex'' takes the No Budget thing to the extreme, being made on a budget of roughly '''$200'''. For context, the film company that made the film lived in a slum in '''Uganda''', so you couldn't really blame them for the money issues. It makes up for it [[DoingItForTheArt with the sheer level of passion everyone put into it]].
* All three of Creator/ColemanFrancis' directorial works play this trope in the most literal ways yet. The same actors, same locations [[note]]What few there are since all three are shot outside[[/note]], non-existent makeup or effects, little to no props, terrible cinematography, and [[StockFootage stock material]] that never fits with the rest of the film. ''Film/TheBeastOfYuccaFlats'' takes it to an even bigger extreme by having next to no sound at all, that is unless an actor's face is obscured so that the dialogue wouldn't have to sync up with the mouth movements. [[note]]Supposedly the crew was unable to obtain any sound equipment at the time so Coleman improvised by shooting the film as it is to stay under budget.[[/note]] It's quite an accomplishment when you manage to make Ed Wood of all people look like a professional filmmaker in comparison.
* ''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 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 only if he cast Creator/DavidSchwimmer, Creator/JonStewart, and Creator/DrewBarrymore. 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. Said scene (depicting [[spoiler:Kip and [=LaFawndah's=] wedding, and Napoleon taming a wild stallion]]) wasn't even part of the original release; it was added for the wide release after the film's explosive popularity at Sundance.
** ''Film/UpstreamColor'' was made for about $50,000 and manages to both look and sound fantastic.
* ''Film/{{Ink}}'' was made for $250K.
* ''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]] Captain Kirk mask white.
** Creator/JohnCarpenter's cinematic debut ''Film/DarkStar'' was made on a shoestring budget of $60,000. And it shows.
* ''Film/MadMax1'' was made for $400K. The director ''donated his own car'' to get smashed up in a chase scene.
* Producer Jason Blum is famous for his low budgets and the high returns he gets off of them, which has earned him comparisons to Corman. His strategy is to give filmmakers a few million dollars (Blumhouse Productions had never made a non-sequel film with a budget exceeding $5 million) and near-complete creative freedom, and let them go wild. He's best known for his involvement in the horror genre; he made his name by producing the ''Film/ParanormalActivity'' series, and was also behind a number of other major horror films starting in the late '00s.
** Speaking of ''Film/ParanormalActivity'', the first film cost $15,000 to make (and that's after Creator/StevenSpielberg gave money for writer/director Oren Peli to shoot another ending!) and grossed $193 million worldwide. This success allowed the filmmakers to do a sequel with the comparatively high budget of $3 million.
** ''Film/{{Insidious}}'' cost $1.5 million and grossed $92 million worldwide. Notably, it was written and directed by Creator/JamesWan and Leigh Whannell, the people behind ''Saw'' (described below), and co-produced by Oren Peli, the maker of the aforementioned ''Paranormal Activity''.
** ''Film/TheGallows'', another film that Blumhouse picked up, was made for only $100,000. Since they didn't have the money for stuntmen, all of the actors had to do their own stunts.
* ''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.)
* 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).
* 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, winning three UsefulNotes/{{Academy Award}}s (including Best Picture), and became one of the most famous movie franchises ever.
* In 1962, ''Film/DrNo'' was made for just $1M, before the effects team asked for an extra 100K to do the climactic explosion. Film/JamesBond's watch was producer Cubby Broccoli's own, and when an art director found out his name wasn't in the credits, Broccoli gave him a golden pen, saying he didn't want to spend money fixing them. This results in the most subdued Bond movie.
* ''Film/BenAndArthur'' is practically the ''Birdemic'' of gay romance movies. Despite a budget of $40,000 (4 times that of Birdemic), it somehow manages to accomplish even less in scope.
** The diner Ben and Arthur work in is represented by a fast food chain restaurant.
** One of the pistols used in the film is obviously a water pistol painted black. The many gunshots have no special effects except for a stock "gunshot" sound effect and cutting back to the victim with a bloody injury.
** The church set includes a "stained glass" window that looks like it was made of thin paper.
** Shots of Ben and Arthur taking an airline were apparently made by going to an airport and filming the first plane to pass close overhead. The two planes used are a [=FedEx=] cargo plane and an Alaska Airlines plane (flying from California to Vermont).
** All of the music that isn't royalty-free is composed by Sam Mraovich, the star, director, writer, and overall creator of the film.
** A Sony [=VX2000=] camcorder with a tripod was seemingly the only camera setup used, making the film resemble a home movie. Two of the actors in the film were also credited as "cinematographers", suggesting that they hung around when not being shot to help manipulate the camera. The lack of a proper stabilizing rig makes any shots in motion very shaky and nauseating. All lighting is apparently whatever natural light was available, with one scene of Ben in a dark bedroom waking up being almost pitch black because of it.
* ''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.
* Creator/DarrenAronofsky's first feature ''Film/{{Pi}}'' had a budget of $60,000. He didn't pay to secure outdoor locations and had one member of the crew stand by to look out for cops.
* ''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.
* ''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. The AllStarCast actors apparently liked the script so much that they agreed to the Screen Actors Guild's minimum salaries.
* ''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 was an unscripted accident, so the damages were covered by their insurance policy. The second movie had ''twenty times'' the budget of the first (which is still 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.
* 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 Creator/BritMarling simply walked into a local prison claiming to be a yoga instructor, and then walked out again before anyone had time to realize 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.
* ''Film/HardcoreHenry'' was made on a budget of $2,000,000. This seems high for this page, but the film features action scenes involving fights against dozens of clones at once, with realistic blood and gore effects for every single death. Major highlights include a minigun shredding a van from the inside during a highway chase/shootout, the top floor of a building collapsing on a 2 dozen clone group, and a scene in which a man is decapitated by a cyborg eyestalk. What makes it even more impressive is that it was filmed entirely in first person. It also manages to have some very convincing sci-fi set design and FX work.
* ''The Kentucky Fried Movie'' cost only $650,000 to make and made $20 million at the box office.
* ''Film/TeenagersFromOuterSpace'' was made on a budget of US$14,000 (with inflation that's about $114,000 today). This is indicated by such things as a toy standing in for a death ray and an extended sequence featuring a lobster dangled in front of the camera to serve as a giant alien monster.
* ''Film/ANewHope'' is an interesting subversion. While the film's $11 million budget made it the cheapest of the Franchise/StarWars franchise along with being one of the cheapest films produced that year by 20th Century Fox, A New Hope still ended up going over budget as Creator/GeorgeLucas spent most of the money on the formation of "Industrial Light and Magic" for the movie's special effects along with numerous rewrites and re-shoots due to bad weather or because of technical limitations with Lucas's original ideas.
* ''Film/{{Alien}}'' was filmed on a budget of $10 million, which was nothing for an effects heavy movie like it. It's notable that one of the most prominent [[SpecialEffectsFailure special effects failures]] came from a prop foam head shrinking in the mold and literally having no budget to make another one.
* Pretty much the entire filmography for [[Creator/SeltzerAndFriedberg Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer]] qualifies under this. [[ShallowParody Due to the duo's habit of writing their "parody scripts" around trailers for unreleased movies]], and shooting their films within short deadlines, the end results are unsurprisingly less than you'd expect. There's a reason why these two are credited with [[GenreKiller killing the parody genre in theaters for a while]]. [[note]]Although with the success of ''Film/{{Deadpool}}'' and ''WesternAnimation/SausageParty'' among other titles, the parody genre [[GenreRelaunch seems to have been revived for the big screen to an extent]].[[/note]]
** Their filmography following ''Vampires Suck'' takes this further as the duo has now resorted to producing their movies on even tighter budgets than their Hollywood titles.
* Donald G. Jackson isn't called ''The Creator/EdWood of the Video Age'' for nothing.
** Don initially planned to produce his first movie, ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GfMZPrUwI4 The Demon Lover]]'', for $6,000 which was raised by co-director Jerry Younkins [[BodyHorror cutting his own finger off]] at the auto factory they worked at. But by the time pre-production was finished Jerry had already spent the money, leaving the film in DevelopmentHell for four years until its completion in 1977, by which point they had both lost their jobs and declared bankruptcy. Thankfully the movie managed to turn in a profit in the drive-in market... [[KickThemWhileTheyAreDown none of which they ever saw from the distributors of course]].
** For the wrestling documentary ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2T3uwu26FlE I Like to Hurt People]]'', Donald initially wanted to follow Wrestling/HulkHogan during his rise to fame in the industry, but later settled for Wrestling/TheIronSheik since he was willing to be documented for free. Even then the movie still had to be shelved since Donald couldn't cover the post-production costs, and it remained as such until 1985 when Creator/RogerCorman paid for the process along with the film's distribution rights.
* ''Film/OpenWater'' was produced for $500,000, with an additional 2.5 million spent by Lions Gate Entertainment to acquire the rights and another $8 million to promote and distribute it. It made $55 million worldwide.
* The 1991 indie comedy ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdXEXFw4GIM High Strung]]'' [[note]]starring Creator/JimCarrey and [[WesternAnimation/JimmyNeutronBoyGenius Jimmy Neutron]] producer Steve Oedekerk[[/note]] was mostly filmed on an apartment set-piece for only 13 days with a budget of $300,000.
* ''Film/KungPowEnterTheFist'' (2002) was made on a budget of $10 million by writer, producer, director [[AscendedCreator and star]] Steve Oedekerk who made the film using re dubbed StockFootage from the 1976 Hong Kong martial arts feature, ''Tiger and Crane Fist''.
* ''Film/MurderParty'', the first film by the director of ''Film/BlueRuin'' and ''Film/GreenRoom'', takes this trope ''literally''. Yes, as in "this movie was made for absolutely no money whatsoever". The cast and crew worked for free, most of the film's special effects were scrapped partway into production, and the creators even saved money by injecting themselves with actual needles filled with saline for a truth serum-centric sequence.
* ''Film/BattlefieldEarth'' is wildly scrutinized for, [[SoBadItsHorrible among other reasons]], it's low production values despite having a $73 million budget. Director Roger Christian later revealed that only $20 million went towards making the film, as the rest was either spent on the paychecks for producer/star Creator/JohnTravolta or kept by the movie's production company as part of a scam on their investors.

[[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 second 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 37-39 were accused of this, not entirely with the prizes offered but prizes being offered pretty much only as "show" and the pricing games themselves set so hard that, short of a lucky or exceptionally skilled contestant, nobody would win it.
** From at least Seasons 29-36 (2000-08) the pricing game win rate was between 46%-50%, with 36 posting the lowest amount of that group. Seasons 37-39 (2008-11) saw the win rate drop noticeably, with 39 in particular putting up just ''34.9%'' thanks in part to new game Pay The Rent.
** 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, leading to the FanNickname "That's Two Ninth!" in Season 37.
*** 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 can get 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.
** Car games offering compact or subcompact cars often worth less than $20,000 have steadily been on the rise despite inflation. It's gotten to a point where in Season 44, the show seemed to take pride in offering a Nissan Versa worth ''$12,815'' in games such as Spelling Bee or Let 'em Roll. Keep in mind, the average price of a new car these days is nearly three times that.
* ''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 November 1984 and the Winner's Big Money Game in December 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.
** The Winner's Big Money Game made the $50,000 ''ridiculously'' hard to get: the champ had to win the WBMG on their seventh day (to get the car), had to risk it and any preceding WBMG winnings to come back for an eighth day, win that game, then clear the subsequent WBMG to actually get the $50,000. By all indication, only one player won the $50,000 in this format, whereas quite a few won the Lot in the Shopping and Winner's Board eras.
** The 1980s syndicated version began with the Shopping format, but in November 1985 changed to the Winner's Board as well, played exactly the same way as on NBC. The change was rather noticeable since it was never so much as hinted at until the last segment of the last Shopping episode, when Jim announced it. The fact the Cash Jackpot continued to grow during the final Shopping week, even when it became obvious that nobody would get the $750 needed to win it, didn't help matters.
** When it was revived as ''[[Series/{{Temptation2007}} Temptation: The New Sale Of The Century]]'', the budget shrank even further. Prizes were in the $500-$1,000 range, less than 1/4th the typical value of the prizes in the 1980s version if you adjust for inflation. The grand prize was just a mid-range car, worth less than 1/8th the 1980s jackpot (again, adjusted for inflation). Also, Instant Cash started at $500 and grew by $500 per show (with a $5,000 cap) and champs were limited to a maximum of five days. If the shoestring budget had been any tighter, the prizes would've had to be literal shoe strings. Justified as according to host Rossi Morreale [[https://sb2tlopg.wordpress.com/2012/03/02/interview-with-rossi-morreale/ in a 2012 interview]], Creator/MyNetworkTV put [[ScrewedByTheNetwork no money at all into advertising the show.]]
* ''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 clue. The winner comes back on the next show with their winnings, while the loser goes home with $2,000. This situation first occurred on March 1, 2018..
* ''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 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 mid-August and mid-September 1989, and the removal of the Free Spin wedge on October 16, 1989 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]]...despite the fact that said prize has always been insured.
*** 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 (but vowels still cost $250), 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 the 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 the nighttime version has shown this even before the Million-Dollar Wedge was introduced to the show. The main-game 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 Caribbean islands). BonusRound prizes, on the other hand, are limited to cars and cash. Also, the BonusRound answers since the TurnOfTheMillennium have often been NintendoHard answers that are either random pairings of words or contrived phrases that no one would say (although this has been countered somewhat in Season 35 by now allowing the contestant to pick one of three categories).
** Interestingly, despite signs of budget problems, the Prize Puzzle is still a regular element on the show, currently offering 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.
** As of Season 35, SPIN IDs are only put into play when the $10,000 Mystery Wedge is won.
* According to a post by Buzzerblog's Alex Davis, the American version of ''Series/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 since 2001. Fast Money losses are ''still'' $5 a point, which has been the same since 1976. [[note]](The Ray Combs-hosted pilots from 1987 offered $10 a point, the only change outside of celebrity shows.)[[/note]]
* 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 celebrity panel but only two ever showed up, and host Dick Martin was introduced 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 £10.
* ''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.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* 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.
* UsefulNotes/NewZealand-produced TV show ''Series/BackOfTheY'' made up for its ultra-low budget by taking pure RefugeInAudacity.
* 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.
* In general, this applied to many shows on Creator/TheBBC in the 1960s-80s. As the ''YMMV/DoctorWho'' [[YMMV/DoctorWho 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, claimed that ''nobody'' liked the bad effects the show 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.
* 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.
* Public-access television is entirely this, seeing how the shows that broadcast here are produced and aired locally for free. With the rise of the internet during the mid 2000's public-access shows have begun to post their episodes on sites like [=YouTube=] following their TV airings.
** [[https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLJcsB9a3Oq8XnAx4udaFPNvG-hC-GdcXK Sprinkler's Clubhouse]], which airs on Chandler Educational TV on channel 99 [[note]] or at least if you're using Cox cable system [[/note]], is mostly set against a flat 2D backdrop with low-quality puppets and stock audio; and that's not even getting to the green screen effects.
** Then there's New York-based talent show ''[[https://www.youtube.com/user/stairwaytostardom Stairway to Stardom]]'', which The A.V. Club once called "one of the greatest shows ever to be on television."
* ''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/{{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 because it follows real police officers making routine arrests and talking to people. What little budget there is goes into the cameras and editing.
* The first season of ''Series/DoubleTheFist'' (8 episodes) was made for $250k, which is pretty impressive considering the amount of CGI effects used.
* The long-extinct [[Creator/DuMont DuMont]] network's programs were produced on low budgets due to their constant troubles as the perennial fourth place network. This resulted in shows with wobbly sets, improvised props (such as the "communicator" in ''Series/CaptainVideo'' made out of a regular telephone handset) and a soundtrack provided by just an electric organ. To be fair, they often made up for these deficiencies with good writing and excellent actors.
* ''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.]]
* 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.
* 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.
* 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]].
* 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.
* The pilot episode of ''Series/ItsAlwaysSunnyInPhiladelphia'' was reportedly shot for $85.
* ''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".
* ''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.
** Mind you, the "homemade" look was entirely intentional, to pay homage to the low-budget films they riff on.
* 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/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 of 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.
* The two ''[[Series/PowerRangersSamurai Power Rangers Super Samurai]]'' holiday specials [[HalloweenEpisode "Trickster Treat"]] and [[ChristmasEpisode "Stuck on Christmas"]] were done last-minute, allegedly due to a previously overlooked contractual obligation with Nickelodeon. With production of the series having already wrapped and the production of ''Series/PowerRangersMegaforce'' set to begin soon, those two episodes were made on a very low budget, with StockFootage running rampant. "Stuck on Christmas" mostly averts this by being a mixture of a BottleEpisode and a clip show; however, "Trickster Treat" was almost entirely made up of stock footage, mostly from the ''Series/SamuraiSentaiShinkenger'' DirectToVideo movie, unmorphed footage from previous episodes and some from an upcoming episode. Whatever little budget was available was spent on dubbing over the stock footage and editing the episodes.
* ''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).
* ''{{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/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.
* Nearly every show by ''Creator/SidAndMartyKrofftProductions'' was produced on a budget far lower than what the duo would asked from the networks. However these setbacks only added to [[WhatDoYouMeanItWasntMadeOnDrugs the bizarre and drug-induced charm of their shows]], seeing as how they went on to dominate [[note]]for live action that is[[/note]] the Saturday morning TV market during the late 60s and early 70s.
* ''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.
* 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 terrible as a result.
* 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.
* ''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.
* Series/TopGear has episodes where presenters have to buy cars for a very low price, e.g. Porsches below £1500 or vans below £1000.
* ''Series/{{MANTIS}}''[='=]s didn't have much of a budget and it showed, featuring frequent use of old footage, including footage from the original TV movie and ended with [[spoiler:the hero and his LoveInterest by killed whjile trying to stop an invisible dinosaur.]]

* In-universe in ''Literature/DiaryOfAWimpyKid: Double Down'', where middle school students Greg and Rowley try to make an indie horror film. Their low-end equipment is "borrowed" from their parents, the only actor is Rowley, and their "special effects" are gummy worms and ketchup.

* All tracks except "Avatar" on {{Music/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).
* The debut self-titled album by My Friend The Chocolate Cake was made on a minuscule budget of $800.
* Craig Minowa's (and by extension, Cloud Cults) debut album "The Shade Project" was made on a budget so small that he had to cut corners wherever possible and use any and [[EverythingIsAnInstrument all manner of substitutes for instruments]].
* All of Creator/DanielJohnston's albums prior to 1990 were recorded from his home without any professional equipment whatsoever. Other than music, Daniel also drew each individual album cover by hand before self-releasing them in his hometown of Austin, Texas. He eventually started signing to professional record labels in the 90s but continues to produce his music and album covers in similar conditions as to his early works.
* Music/{{Nickelback}}'s first EP, ''Hesher'', was recorded in a two month period between January and March of 1993 for $4,000 and was self-released by the group in their hometown. Only a thousand copies of it were made before the band ran out of money [[OldShame and decided the album wasn't worth keeping around]], making physical copies heavily sought after by fans.
* Creator/WeirdAlYankovic recorded his first song, ''My Bologna'', in the bathroom across the hall from his college's radio station because it wouldn't have costed him anything.
* Music/NineInchNails' first album, ''Pretty Hate Machine'', was solely recorded by front man Trent Reznor who initially began developing the album during down times as an over-night janitor for Right Track Studio.
* An interesting incident of this befell Music/{{NEU}}!, who ran out of money before they could record what would become side two of their second album, ''[=NEU!=] 2.'' Their record label refused to give them a dime, so they decided to add the songs from the previously-released standalone single, "Neuschnee/Super," and proceeded to repeat the two tracks at various playback speeds, including one repeat that sounds like a cassette being mangled. Critics dismissed the repetitions and manipulations as a cheap rip-off at the time, but nowadays some look to the result as a forerunner to the remix.
* Steve Lacy, no not the [[NamesTheSame Jazz Musician,]] became famous for this. He recorded and produced his first couple of songs ''on his phone in a Garageband App!'' Though, soon [[SubvertedTrope after gaining fame and money]] he kept choosing to make all his music on his phone making it more a StylisticSuck than no budget.

[[folder:Music Videos]]
* Many early music videos during the NewWaveMusic era were shot in a WhiteVoidRoom, in order to keep costs to a minimum, as well as in keeping with the [[ThreeChordsAndTheTruth stripped-back sensibilities]] of the music.
** The TropeCodifier is believed to be ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FabM1RJTkrY Pop Muzik']]' by M. The director, Brian Grant, [[http://goldenageofmusicvideo.com/?p=226 was on record saying]] that he was given a budget limit of £2000, so he had little choice but to produce the video on a 'white cyc' background and edit the video on the fly. The rest, as they say, is history.
* Music/OKGo videos, at least at their beginning in Website/YouTube. "[[http://youtu.be/M1_CLW-NNwc A Million Ways]]" is a good example. A lot of them feature props bought at the Dollar Store and Ikea.
* 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!
* Every music video by the comedy rock duo ''Ninja Sex Party'' was produced with next to no money using [[SpecialEffectsFailure cheap green screens]], [[DerangedAnimation crudely animated effects]], and whatever props and locations they could find at the time.
* Custom's video for "Hey Mister", directed by the artist himself: The initial concept stemmed from impromptu handheld camera footage revolving around him and his girlfriend going to a beach and writing the lyrics in the sand and on her body. The label liked the results and gave him money to finish the video, so scenes of the two speeding in a yellow Ferrari and shopping, gambling, and dining in Las Vegas were added; However, all of the budget was spent on renting the car and the trip to Vegas. so it was all shot on the same handheld digital camera.

* 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,
* Bally's 1983 ''Grand Slam'' was made as an "economy" game. Among its cheapness was many of them only supporting 2 players (the later units had 4-player support), and only having 6-digit score counters (when almost every game at the time had 7 digits).

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Big Japan Pro Wrestling's early years were basically propped up by two wrestlers who departed from Wrestling/{{All Japan|ProWrestling}}(Shinya Kojika and Kendo Nagasaki), and it showed. Their solution was to turn to GarbageWrestling, but even in that field they couldn't match the explosives of Wrestling/{{FMW}} or production of IWA Japan, inspiring some of their more "distinct" hazards such as "heat stones"(space heaters wrapped in barbed wire) and piranha tanks, which remained even after they could afford better due to GrandFatherClause.
* Ohio Valley Wrestling's "Shoestring Budget" has been affectionately mocked by everyone from Wrestling/JimCornette to Wrestling/RandyOrton, both of whom expressed disdain with the much more expensive facilities ran by the {{reviv|al}}ed FCW, believing OVW gets more done with so much less.
* When Wrestling/{{CZW}} isn't being rundown for {{Garbage Wrestl|er}}ing or for being a WretchedHive, other promotions are mocking its non existent budget, the joke usually being after some spectacular mess, [[SelfDeprecation often their own]], someone will decry that even budget less CZW did better.
* Wrestling/RingOfHonor was in this situation after losing their distributor, RF Video. While the company was eventually saved by Sinclair Broadcast Group, SBG basically let them run for over a year without a production budget, despite being, well, a broadcast group. ROH in fact threatened to overtake CZW as the punchline, though while production progress was slow, SBG did come to learn the value of talent and venue ''slightly'' quicker.
* Even by independent circuit standards Emi Sakura's Ice Ribbon stood out in this regard as it didn't even have a ring. Shows consisted of children straight from it's "dojo" wrestling on mats. With that said, the company has grown immensely from its humble origins to become one of the more recognizable women's feds since the fall of [[Wrestling/AllJapanWomensProWrestling Zenjo]] and GAEA, pioneering internet streaming, bringing pro wrestling to dead venues across Asia and attracting various big name talents, not just from pro wrestling and mixed martial arts but even the unexpected addition of actress Hikaru Shida, who proved to be very good in the ring once they could afford to maintain one.
* This is the most immediately noticeable difference between Chigusa Nagayo's first promotional effort, GAEA, and her second, Marvelous. Compare the elaborate outfits of Wrestling/LionessAsuka's Super Star Unit or Akira Hokuto's Las Cachorras Orientales with Infernal KAORU's W-Fix, who are identified by black t shirts. Still, a promotion run by [[LivingLegend Nagayo]] doesn't have much trouble getting names such as KAORU on its shows or attracting international attention when recruiting new wrestlers. The streaming service was a shakier endeavor, [[JitterCam sometimes literally]], but none the less proved to be a source of good matches.
* Wrestling/{{TNA}}'s budget went into a nosedive after they got cancelled from Spike and Panda Energy (the billion dollar company Dixie Carter's parents own) cut them off. By 2016 they were basically broke. They kept on paying their wrestlers and production team late, they were kicked out of their original headquarters and had to move into their merchandise warehouse, and they barely had enough money to do tapings. The annual ''Slammiversary'' PPV almost got canceled because they were so short on cash -- it's effectively the reason why Billy Corgan became minority shareholder. And even then Corgan only did so out of ignorance of just how true "no budget" really was and fled to the Wrestling/{{N|ationalWrestlingAlliance}}WA once he realized how hard TNA's recovery would be, Anthem of the Fight Network also having an interest in the company giving him a convenient way out.

* On Music/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 ''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 [[{{Theatre/Macbeth}} The Scottish Play]] has such a superstitions reputation, for two connected reasons:
** It's one of the cheapest plays you can put together if you can't afford safety equipment -- heck, the fact that most of the scenes are at night means you don't even need many ''light bulbs'' -- except it's one of the plays that most ''needs'' safety equipment.
** Because it's so cheap to put on yet such a famous crowd-pleaser, it's a tempting play for a troupe down on their luck to use as their swansong; the play gets blamed for being cursed and putting the troupe out of business, when the troupe was probably already bankrupt by the time the curtains even opened.
* ''Theatre/{{Finale}}'' was produced by two high school students. The budget almost entirely came out of pocket and from a (mostly unsuccessful) gofundme page.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VisualNovel/KatawaShoujo'' had about 20 international developers and no budget - they all volunteered 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.
* ''VideoGame/{{Segagaga}}'': According to developer Tez Okano, the game cost "100th of ''VideoGame/{{Shenmue}}''"[[note]]without adjusting for inflation, that'd be between $470,000 (1/100 of ''Shenmue'''s development costs) and $700,000 (1/100 of both development and marketing costs of ''Shenmue'')[[/note]] 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 little money left, as they wanted to break in the software applications industry under the name Mediagenic, but 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.
* Both Midas Interactive and Creator/PhoenixGames [[UpToEleven take this to the extreme]] as most of their titles barely qualify as games at all; rather they're poorly animated films [[note]]see Dingo Pictures below [[/note]] [[LazyArtist with slider puzzles and coloring pages slapped on in order to pass them off as games to the mass public]]. That, or they would publish games from unknown or smaller developers under a very limited budget and severely constrained schedule, often resulting in games like [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4gN-k6RXrM London Cab Challenge]] or [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIbDyHpbWGc Shoot]] for the [=PS1=] that were regarded to be some of the worst console titles ever made, if not for its obscurity compared to the likes of ''VideoGame/BigRigsOverTheRoadRacing''. Their low-budget business model even apparently extended to their advertising, as there is next to no coverage about them in major gaming publications.
* Both ''VideoGame/HotelMario'' and the Zelda games for the Philips CDI are notorious examples in the industry. The Zelda titles were both produced for around $500,000 each, with the infamous animated cut scenes for all three being handled by a small team of amateur animators who were brought into the U.S. to produce them within a five month period. As for games themselves, all three suffered from stiff controls and difficult/confusing game play which wasn't at all helped by [[LoadsAndLoadsOfLoading the frequent lags and]] [[ObviousBeta the rather poor and graphically outdated level design]]; And that's not even mentioning the atrocious writing and voice-overs.
* The first installment of ''VideoGame/FiveNightsAtFreddys'' was initially a Kickstarter project by creator Scott Cawthon to fund for its creation, [[EpicFail but after failing to attract]] [[HilariousInHindsight even a single investor for the game]], Scott decided to continue Freddy's development by himself with his own money and even had his kids act as beta testers for it.
** On the same subject, Scott's previous [[EarlyInstallmentWeirdness Christian and family games]] were also produced on shoestring budgets as many of them utilized pre-rendered graphics and in-program character models and props.
* Reportedly, ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcomInfinite'' was made on a ''very'' low budget for a Modern game with [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kanICweLFM estimates]] being at least half of the budget for ''VideoGame/StreetFighterV''[='=]s DLC - you read that correctly, a budget of half not the ''SFV'' base game, but that of ''its DLC seasons'' - and, as a result, many of the character models were pulled from ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom3'' and other older titles, with only slight changes to make them work in the new artstyle.
* While ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil'' was a bit rough around the edges, it was still a solid game that sold very well. However, the infamous voice acting came from the dev team running out of money during development and had to resort to hiring random people to do the voice acting. The voice actress for Jill was still in high school at the time of the game's development.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* 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 Original]]
* 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 WebVideo/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/TheClaymationCompilation: You'd believe that a thirty second animation of one clayfigure walking has literally no budget(Claymation Trailer). This is lampshaded in the same short by the ''trailer'' itself.
* The first season of ''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, but still impressive when you consider they made ''twenty-six'' entries with that budget alone.
** The same applies to most of the other Website/YouTube Slenderman 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 in the WebAnimation/StrongBadEmail "independent" is stated to be "[[UpToEleven lower than no-budget]]":
-->'''Strong Sad:''' I'm making the world's first faux-budget film! The entire thing's being financed with Monopoly money.\\
'''Strong Bad:''' [[DeadpanSnarker And best of luck to you]].
* 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]].
* The ''WebVideo/BenMcYellow'' [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37r2XHm4cIo&list=PL9fGHMcRLx6gU9ZLieogw3HJTU9C53HAA series]] is this, [[NotHyperbole literally.]] No equipment of any kind was purchased for the production, and everything was filmed around the writer/star's house with his brother and ''two'' high school friends, which forced them to make the best, or rather, the [[StylisticSuck worst]] of what they had.
* ''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.
* The Let's Play channel ''LetsPlay/AnalogControl'' is made using the simplistic tools possible. Lacking a traditional capture card, the show is recorded using VHS tapes and a beat up old VCR. The hosts usually reflect on this as a fun element of StylisticSuck.
* Episodes of the original ''WebAnimation/MakingFiends'' series were 3-5 minutes long and were solely developed by Amy Winfrey for her website in 2003. Backgrounds and characters were made using overlapping JPEG files with ugly color schemes and were crudely animated using flash. The Creator/{{Nickelodeon}} reboot differed with crew members and a bigger budget, [[StylisticSuck but still kept the sloppy and cheap look of the original web series]].

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Most animated TV pilots fall into this trope; the reason being that there sole intent is to get the creator's idea across to executives in hope that they invest into the show's production. This is why most pilots are never released to the public outside of test screenings [[note]] often becoming [[MissingEpisode lost]] in the process[[/note]], as they were never produced for general audiences to begin with.
* 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.
* Most detractors of ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitansGo'' believe this to be one of the reasons why it continues to be renewed; as the use of stock materials and simple character designs with flash animation allows the show runners to produce episodes much faster and cheaper then with traditional methods.
* Many studios that opened up during [[UsefulNotes/TheDarkAgeOfAnimation 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 from 1957 to 2001.
** ''WesternAnimation/TheRuffAndReddyShow'' had a budget that was tiny even by their standards, around $3,000 per short (even in 1958 that was paltry). Compare that to the last ''WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry'' shorts Bill and Joe made for MGM a couple years earlier, which had budgets close to $60,000! In this case, ''Ruff and Reddy'' (1957-1960) was the very first television series produced by the new company, and it is quite likely they did not have the funding for anything more ambitious. ''WesternAnimation/HuckleberryHound'' (1958-1961) didn't fare much better with its meager budget of $6,000 per short.
* Sam Singer, who's often referred to as ''[[SoBadItsHorrible The Ed Wood of Animation]]'', produced what many consider some of the cheapest cartoons ever made from the 50's and 70's through his studio Trans-Artist Productions.
** ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfPaddyThePelican'' resorted to looping uncolored cut-outs and rough animation which were frequently out-of-sync in each episode. Not to mention that sound effects are largely absent with the exception of some atrociously improvised voice acting and music, all of which were provided by Singer himself!
** His final cartoon, ''WesternAnimation/TubbyTheTuba1975'', was produced and developed [[DomesticOnlyCartoon in-house]] by The New York Institute of Technology under the direction of founder Alexander Schure, who had no experience in animation prior to this film. Singer was hired as the animation director for the movie but was fired a year into production due to Schure's frequent intrusions. After negative feedback from test audiences, Singer chose to have his name removed from the final cut.
* 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. In fact, when the studio first started [[UpToEleven the co-founders had to use a mannequin to pass off as a secretary]]!
* ''WesternAnimation/BattleForDreamIsland'': The series is full of this.
* 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.
* 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.
* ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4JaLTsUs38 Bands on the Run]]'' was produced under a year with a small crew of college students, one of which had to solely design and storyboard the film within two months. Due to the poor animation brought back from China they spent the final four months redoing the film by teaching themselves CG animation using homemade render farms. One member said the final product was the result of executives [[CreatorsApathy being more concerned about the film's completion during the silly band craze rather than the overall quality]].
* Every cartoon Don Hertzfelt created is this, especially considering that he animates [[UpToEleven stick figures]]. However he makes up for this with his humorous and [[note]][[GrowingTheBeard in later years]] [[/note]] existential writing along with the [[DerangedAnimation bizarre nature of his works]]. It also helps that he later began [[AnimationBump utilizing computers]] in his later later shorts.
* Joe Oriolo's made-for-TV WesternAnimation/FelixTheCat cartoons (the 1959-1961 Trans-Lux series) were made on very tight, shoestring budgets. The entire series only had a budget of $1,750,000 [[note]] which, despite what one would think, is '''NOT''' big money for a 260 episode animated series [[/note]] with $6,700 per episode, hence why there were rare instances of fully animated walk cycles and why many shots are background pans with stock music cues; there were even parts where they would slide the cels across the screen without any animation at all! To further limit costs, Jack Mercer [[TalkingToHimself had to voice every character in one take]] while enunciating his lines slowly to put less strain on the animators. Worse, they had to turn out three completed episodes per week with [[WritingByTheSeatOfYourPants mere hours to write the scripts for each one]]. [[note]] One animator was cranking out 150 feet--or close to two minutes worth of animation each week just to get the episodes done! [[/note]] John Canemaker's Felix book summed up just how frugal Joe Oriolo was forced to be on the show;
-->“One of his dictums became well known within the industry: scenes that could not fit under his office door, said Oriolo, held too many drawings.”
* The 2007 adaption of the novel ''Literature/{{Flatland}}'' [[note]]not the short film adaptation that came out the same year[[/note]] was developed over the course of two years by [[AttentionDeficitCreatorDisorder director, animator, editor,]] [[DescendedCreator and lead voice actor Ladd Ehlinger Jr]] using Lightwave 3D and After Effects among others. However this didn't affect the viewing experience for most audiences, as the minimalist animation lends itself to the novel's surreal and out-of-body nature.
* The b&w WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes directed by Creator/TexAvery and Creator/BobClampett had very small budgets of $3,000 (around $50,000 in 2016 money) and strict deadlines of four weeks to slam together each cartoon.
* When ''WesternAnimation/MightyMagiswords'' was picked up by Creator/CartoonNetwork it started as a web series for their online video service before being given the green-light for a full series. Even if viewers were unaware of this fact, the incredibly stiff animation is very much a dead give away.
* 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.
* ''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.
* Supposedly, the cast/crew for ''WesternAnimation/TheNutshack'' was almost entirely made up of amateurs with little to no experience in either writing, voice acting, or animation prior to getting the green light. Add that to the show's toilet humor and obviously minuscule budget, and you'll be wondering how any network exec would think this was a good idea.
* ''WesternAnimation/PickleAndPeanut'' was definitely made on a low budget. Many of the characters and effects are stock images, and the ones that aren't are usually drawn very simply.
* The first WesternAnimation/MickeyMouse cartoon, WesternAnimation/PlaneCrazy, was an independent short made after Creator/WaltDisney had lost the rights to his character WesternAnimation/OswaldTheLuckyRabbit. The short was made on a shoestring budget of roughly $1,700 ($23,655 in 2015 money), and was singlehandedly animated by Creator/UbIwerks in just two weeks -- he had to crank out 700 drawings per day just to get the film done. The entire film was animated in Walt's garage, and their camera wasn't even capable of doing a trucking shot, so they had to [[OffTheShelfFX stack books below the background to give the illusion of it.]]
* The Al Brodax {{Popeye}} cartoons had similar budget problems. They were farmed out to every studio across the planet, slamming together around 200 made for TV cartoons in just two years.
* [[WesternAnimation/TheRapsittieStreetKidsBelieveInSanta The Rapsittie Street Kids]] reportedly had a limited budget [[http://thenewpropaganda.tumblr.com/post/145891729831/i-told-the-story-of-the-production-of-rapsittie according to the producer's daughter]]. Regardless, the director never considered outsourcing the animation to another country and chose to blow the budget on the paychecks of the film's [[AllStarCast cast members]]; and that's barely scratching the surface to his con-artist reputation on the internet.
** The film's spiritual successor ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LExrzJtRMs4 Dinosaur Island]]'' didn't fare any better seeing how it suffered from similar production problems and failed to get a significant video release in 2004.
* Averted with shows like ''WesternAnimation/RegularShow'' and ''WesternAnimation/RickAndMorty'', which are animated with StylisticSuck to give the impression that they were produced on smaller budgets than they actually were; otherwise played straight with their pitch pilots.
** The same can be said for ''WesternAnimation/WhateverHappenedToRobotJones''
* John and Faith Hubley's filmography suffered from this after they were blacklisted from Hollywood when John refused to testify in front of The House Committee on Un-American Activities, leaving them to solely produce, animate, and distribute their cartoons and to hire their children and friends as voice actors. However these limitations only contributed to the duo's already DerangedAnimation as some of their most notable works like [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTgma3KJuSw Moonbird]], [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hV5P4egjbY The Cosmic Eye]], and [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_e17mS7VBY Everybody Rides the Carousel]] were made during this period.
* ''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.
** Speaking of The Simpsons, the country of Georgia produced their own CG animated [[ShoddyKnockoffProduct rendition]] called ''The Samsonadzes''. A quick glance at the [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dk9un9tR-g intro alone]] should be a clear indicator of the overall budget.
* ''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''.
** Speaking of ''South Park'' Trey and Matt were given $1,000 to make the Christmas short that later became a basis for the show. Of that, [[UpToEleven they spent $750 on actual production, with them pocketing the rest.]]
* Almost anything produced for ''Spike and Mike's Animation Festival''.
* MTV's first animated series, ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vo19qujXbnE Stevie and Zoya]]'', was noted for [[DerangedAnimation its extremely crude animation]] [[StockFootage and soundtrack made up of old movie and television scores]]. The title characters had next to no dialogue throughout its run and when they did speak [[ThrowItIn it was usually a flub left in the final cut]], giving the show an improvised feel. Despite this, the show quickly achieved a cult status among viewers due to its fast pace and short running time. [[note]]1-2 minutes per episode[[/note]]
* WesternAnimation/TomTerrific is probably as low-budget as a presentable TV cartoon can get; Creator/TerryToons had very little money for it, so as a cost-cutting measure the animation consisted of black line-art only, with no cel paint used (at least in the first season; in the second season they started painting the characters solid white).
* Nearly every cartoon ever produced by William Street falls under this.
** The studio's first show, ''WesternAnimation/SpaceGhostCoastToCoast'', was almost entirely comprised of [[StockFootage stock footage]] of the original cartoon by Creator/HannaBarbera that was animated using After Effects[[note]] [[UpToEleven an editing program no less]][[/note]]. On the plus side this added to the show's idiosyncratic humor and nature which helped to kick start Creator/AdultSwim a few years later.
** Taken UpToEleven with ''WesternAnimation/TwelveOunceMouse''. All the characters resemble UsefulNotes/MSPaint drawings, and there are few effects. The creator joked it would "cost five dollars and will take some of the paper sitting in the copier".
** Averted with season 5 of ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack'', as the animation was heavily praised for [[AnimationBump surpassing that of the original]]. Being co-produced by Creator/CartoonNetwork certainly helped.
* Subverted with ''WesternAniamtion/BluesClues'' which was intentionally produced with flash animated cut-out illustrations to give the impression of a children's book brought to life, but played straight with its casting budget which led [[DescendedCreator most of the crew and the co-creator herself]] into voicing many of the characters.
* ''WesternAnimation/ClutchCargo'' barely qualifies as a cartoon since Cambria Studios had to produce each episode [[UpToEleven with one-fifth of what it would cost Hanna-Barbera to make]]. To get around this, animators had to superimpose the lips of the actors onto their characters and substitute actual animation with real time movement.
** Speaking of Cambria Studios, [[SarcasmMode they were also the producers of such classics]] like ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKwzcI6t_AQ Space Angel]]'' and ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSiNE8kk3QM Captain Fathom]]'' which aren't any different in quality from Clutch. If Sam Singer was the Ed Wood of animation during the 50's, than Cambria co-founder Clark Haas was the Creator/ColemanFrancis of that decade.
* 2009's ''Dixie Dynamite'' clearly had no budget considering the stiff animation and poorly-rendered CG backdrops. Did we mention that one of the film's animators [[SpiritualSuccessor also worked on Rapsittie Street Kids]]?
* [[DomesticOnlyCartoon domestically produced cartoons]] inverts this rule, as it's much cheaper to outsource animation to another country than to produce it locally because of the difference in dollar values. As a result, domestically-animated projects tend to have lower production values than outsourced ones despite having the same budget, since producers have to pay more for local animators than for animators in Japan or South Korea.

* 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 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.
* The Artega GT was a sports car that had cost a bit over $10 million to develop, while competitor ones usually cost at least 20 times more. Despite the low budget, it was designed by the famed Henrik Fisker.

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