• Dude, Not Funny!: Many of the "jokes" from GSN's Mystery Science Theater 3000 "attempt" "Faux-Pause," most notably mercilessly ridiculing Hot Potato for its set. Part of the set emitted steam whenever host Bill Cullen said the show title, and the hosts claimed this was "smoke" from a chain smoker who smoked a bunch of cigarettes at once to let off that much smoke. More than a few fans were outraged, particularly those who had loved ones who were killed by lung cancer and other illnesses caused by cigarette smoking. (Cullen himself was a smoker, and it resulted in lung cancer that killed him in 1990.)
  • Network Decay: Oy.
    • In October 1997, the network lost the rights to every show from the Mark Goodson-Bill Todman library except The Price Is Right and the 1994-95 season of Family Feud (where Richard Dawson returned). This time was called the Dark Period (after a station ID used during the era with a light-colored logo against a dark background), and to be fair it resulted in several lesser-known games being aired (The Diamond Head Game, Juvenile Jury, Pass The Buck, etc.) that the network didn't really show otherwise. The Goodson-Todman shows returned in April 1998, but there was less variety for a while on the daily schedule and some programs remained MIA.
      • Faux Pause, an original series during the Dark Period, attempted to be "Mystery Science Theater 3000 does bad Game Shows" and fell on its face. Two Jerkass "hosts" who clearly didn't know or care about game shows mocked either classics or cult favorites by way of "jokes" that were usually corny and sometimes went into offensiveness (the Hot Potato episode being a particularly egregious example). Had they not shown a few genuine rarities (the 1975 Hollywood Connection pilot, an episode of the 1980 Camouflage, two episodes of Bullseye, and a still-shot of the slate from the only surviving episode of Winning Streak), this travesty would've been long since forgotten.
    • Then came an onslaught of lame original programming (Extreme Gong, Throut and Neck, D.J. Games) plus the beginning of credit crunches and editing out fee plugs, which would go on to continue to plague the network for classic game show fans. The rights to Price would be lost for good in April 2000, and vintage black-and-white shows of the 1950-69 era became rarer still. The quality of the network has been fluctuating ever since.
    • The March 15, 2004 switch from Game Show Network to GSN, which led to reality, casino, and other "games" quickly debuting on the schedule.
    • The 2009 Game Show Awards, hosted by Howie Mandel with Rich Fields as announcer, invited a metric ton of game show celebs and attempted to play up the cheese factor (walking the shag carpet!). Unfortunately, several factors made sure it didn't improve most game show fans' opinion of GSN:
      • Before the special was taped, Bob Barker said he wouldn't show up to receive his Legend Award if Betty White was there (they had gotten into an animal-rights argument over where a particular elephant should be living). While GSN pandered to him, Betty appeared in a pretaped message paying tribute to Mark Goodson.
      • The opening segment, where Mandel meets Barker, has the latter supposedly being God (an idea which provided some fun for game show fans) and Howie waking up to see Bob in bed next to him. While filming the bedroom scene, Barker joked (we hope) that "This is how my Beauties got their jobs!" Damn, Barker.
      • The results were very obviously rigged, with awards typically going to whomever GSN could get to show up. While it was mentioned on the voting page that the producers had final say on the winners (itself idiotic), fans cried major foul when Mandel/Fields got Best Host/Announcer and Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? beat out the veterans for Best Game Show.
      • Minigames were interspersed throughout, but had the dumbest people as contestants, particularly the mess that was "Name It/Claim It"
    • A 2010 poll on GSN's website asked viewers whether they wanted to see A) Wish-Fulfillment Reality Shows or B) Decades-Old Reruns of Game Shows. Clearly, no bias was present.
    • The debacle that was Big Saturday Night, consisting of 20Q, The Money List, and a bunch of wraparound segments hosted by people who had no idea how to host a game show. Including some painfully unfunny skits that seemed to insult the genre's fans. Not even condensing the wraparounds into its own half-hour slot worked.
    • There are constant debates on what should and shouldn't be on the schedules (search for "GSN Dream Schedule").
      • All of this helped enforce the Game Show genre's current Dork Age, and Fremantle Media finally begin broadcasting their own game show channel, Buzzr, which currently features the classic shows GSN hasn't really broadcast in a while except for mornings. It remains to be seen if GSN's Network Decay threatens to derail their position with Buzzr now in the equation as a competing channel.
    • The highlight of the current GSN's Decay lies in the "Survivor"-style reality shows like Skin Wars and Window Warriors. At least its over-reliance on Family Feud uses a game show, and it has been good at airing older and creating new game shows, though their quality is iffy.
  • We're Still Relevant, Dammit!: Emogenius, an emoji-based game show (which wound up premiering the same season as the release of, yes, The Emoji Movie), is a pretty shameless attempt at this right down to having a minor YouTube celebrity as its host note .