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Consider this section as a dumping ground for places and things that we know suck, but don't fit into any other category (warning: Nausea Fuel coming up).

Important Note: Any additions need to be considered objectively horrible. A restaurant or infomercial product with a few bad reviews and mostly average reviews doesn't qualify. Also, don't include products that have been mentioned on other pages, such as toys. Bad infomercials do not belong here; place those into the Advertising page instead. Likewise for bad automobiles and theme parks; they should go onto the The Alleged Car and Crappy Carnival pages under the Real Life folder.



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In fan conventions, there are pros and cons... and then there's these, which, at worst, are nothing but cons.
  • BotCon was the world's largest Transformers convention for decades until it was discontinued and replaced by HasCon, a convention dedicated to all Hasbro franchises. BotCon 1996 was the first and only BotCon overseen by Men In Black Productions. Despite initial plans (and advertisements of) an abandoned Pulp Fiction theme, there was no official theme. There was, however, a celebration of the 10th birthday of Transformers: The Movie, including a screening on a TV and cake... but the VHS copy of the movie didn't work, the cake had no forks, and the only drink was water. Attendees didn't get any lanyards or anything, identification was done with generic "Hi My Name Is..." stickers. These were of course easy to forge, but even that would be unnecessary since Men In Black managed to run out, leading to people being able to walk in from the street. has more info here.
  • DashCon was a convention organized in 2014 by and for community members and artists on Tumblr. The convention was first conceived the previous year after successfully raising $4,000 in donations. Approximately 1,000 attendees were present on the first day, only to see the convention descend into farce:
    • Right off the bat, several high-profile guests cancelled their appearances due to not receiving their fees. This limited the highlights of the convention to a "games room" which contained nothing but a single TV and console, and a "ball pit" - a blue kiddy pool filled with colorful balls - and a bounce house in a large, mostly-empty room. Even more outrageous is the emergency donation the convention had to hold in order to avoid being thrown out of their hosting hotel on the very first night. They successfully raised the $17,000 needed to keep it going, but it also led to speculation that the entire convention was a quick money-making scam (an assumption not helped by the hefty $65 weekend pass cost).
    • Later, the organizers offered refunds to everyone who'd helped raise the $17,000. However, in light of all the confusion surrounding the process—nobody got any written proof they'd chipped in—there's no reports of this having ever happened.
    • The failures of DashCon have been chronicled on various websites, including KnowYourMeme, Daily Dot, and by the Internet Historian (video). Sarah Z analyzed the con, recapping the shady nature of the whole event and putting it in the context of the Tumblr culture at the time.
    • You know a convention is a huge disaster when a) the restaurant Denny's makes fun of DashCon and b) people start cosplaying AS DashCon.
    • It is possible the fallout from the con even helped kill the entire Superwholock fandom,note  or at the least made it undesirable to publicly claim affiliation with it, as people began to notice after the con that the presence of the fandoms on the site dropped considerably, something that was apparent because it was notoriously a very vocal fanbase. While there were likely other factors at play, DashCon seems to have been the turning point. See here for further analysis.
    • In the Real Life subpage in our Troubled Production trope page are some of the sordid details on how this disaster of an event came to be and how badly it evolved.
  • Fortnite Live was held from February 16-17, 2019 in Norwich, UK. It was to feature activities like dance battles, archery and rock-climbing, and a bank of computers available to play Fortnite on. Tickets were priced between £12-20 note , and just below 3,000 attendees showed up, many of whom were children, with hundreds waiting hours just to be let into the event. There was also a big lack of activities, with only one rock wall that only three people at a time could climb up. Attendees quickly realized that you had to pay money to actually play Fortnite at the convention, something that can be done for free at home. There was not enough staff employed at the event, and it wasn't even licensed by Epic Games, who later filed a lawsuit against the organizers. The event was more of a scam than anything, with many angry parents of disappointed kids wanting refunds. Massively Overpowered looks at it here.
  • GamerCon was a generically-named Irish gaming convention which was the first attempt to run a professional gaming convention in Ireland, and one which failed miserably. For starters, it quickly became notorious for sheer overcrowding. Despite the convention hall only supporting 9,000 people, they inexplicably decided to sell 24,000 tickets. The results were predictable, with long lines of families being stuck for hours outside - and to make matters worse, there was a heavy downpour in Ireland that day. The problems went beyond that, too: According to one volunteer eyewitness account, when people started coming in every game needed an update because nobody thought to check for that, and nobody thought to actually buy copies of Street Fighter V for the tournament they were meant to have, either, leaving them having to try to download 12 copies of the game on wi-fi being used by thousands of people. That volunteer was also one of only five trying to manage an entire convention filled with thousands, and they ended up abandoning the entire convention the day after. Kotaku has more details of the entire affair.
  • Throughout the 1930s, the town of Hollister, California had run an annual Gypsy Tour over the Fourth of July weekend, a motorcycle rally sponsored by the American Motorcycle Association designed to boost tourism. While the event had been suspended during World War II, in 1947 Hollister and the AMA brought it back into town. Unfortunately, the popularity of motorcycles had grown dramatically since the end of the war, with returning veterans picking up used military surplus bikes on the cheap, and while previous Gypsy Tours had been relatively sedate affairs, this year the town was faced with roughly 4,000 motorcyclists at an event that had been planned for less than half that. Hollister was plagued for three days with a swarm of drunks who trashed bars and storefronts, ran street races, got into fights, left litter all over town, and slept on sidewalks, in parks, and on people's lawns because all of the hotels in the area were booked solid, with the town's seven-man police force helpless to stop them and the California Highway Patrol eventually having to step in with tear gas. A photo of a man sitting on his motorcycle with a bottle of beer in each hand and a bunch of broken bottles at his feet was immortalized as the defining image of the event when it was published in Life magazine. 60 people were injured, all of them visitors, local and later national press soon sensationalized the gathering as the "Hollister riot", and the All Bikers Are Hells Angels trope was birthed overnight, with the AMA forced to distance themselves from the 1947 Gypsy Tour and the 1953 film The Wild One being loosely based on it. Later rallies in Hollister, fortunately, would be far less troubled, the town having learned hard lessons in how to properly manage such gatherings, and they would even host a 50th-Anniversary event in 1997 to commemorate it.
  • Las Pegasus UniCon, a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic convention, was organized in Las Vegas in February 2013. It promised to be a huge event with over 22 special guests from the show, including John de Lancie, Tara Strong, and several of the show's writers and musicians, and promised dealer room and artist alley vendors a crowd of over 2,000 attendees. It took place at the Riviera, a rather old, rather dumpy Vegas Strip hotel best known for its nude showgirl revues. It became infamous pretty damn quick for overworked, underprepared staff, an attendance of 1,200 at most, lack of respect for the special guests (Tara Strong was served food she was allergic to, and Nicole Oliver was forgotten at the airport), and its cheaply-made, error-filled convention program. On Sunday, the convention collapsed totally from lack of funds. Thus, neither the hotel nor the special guests got paid for their efforts, and vendors and artists lost money on the deal. Artist alley patrons were ripped off as they were offered to use the fictional currency Pony Bits. Eerily mirroring the scene from The Simpsons episode "Itchy & Scratchy Land" where Homer bought Itchy and Scratchy money because it was "more fun", people found out that they couldn't trade Pony Bits for real money because the organizers had already left. Funds earmarked to go to charity went missing, and some ticket holders got double-charged for rooms they thought they were getting for free. It took a huge community outreach to save face and ensure the fandom stayed in Hasbro's good graces, one which involved multiple other convention organizers. The event quickly became memetic, and not in a good way - it pretty much killed any chance of there being another brony convention in Las Vegas (though High Roller Pony Con had its one and only year at Las Vegas in 2018, and was much more successful). A more detailed account of the fiasco can be read here, with a first-person account from an artist alley vendor available here. RebelTaxi and Saber Spark (who was present at Unicon alongside his friend Final Draft) also dissected what went wrong here.
  • Pokémon GO Fest was Niantic's first convention for the game. Despite its gradual decline in popularity, the game still maintained an active player base. The event promised the ability to obtain rare Pokémon like Unown, and even the promise of being able to catch the first Legendaries of the game to be released. Unfortunately, while the concept for the event sounded good on paper, when it came to the execution everything just went completely awry: Massive, poorly-managed lines, not being handicap-accessible to the point they were rejecting people for having life-saving medication, complaints over the warm July weather in the Chicago park the con took place in, and the game simply refusing to load due to the heavy demand and overwhelmed cell service providers all led to pissed-off players booing the CEO of Niantic, tossing water bottles at one of the other emcees, or just leaving the event early. Niantic attempted to save some face by expanding the scope of the event to a two-mile radius outside of the park the con took place in, refunding everyone's cash note , giving players $100 in Coins, and even giving everyone a free Lugia, but it was too little, too late, and the convention was still considered a total wash. The app and developer's already-shaky reputations only just barely survived the incident. The Verge has more details. Some attendees filed a lawsuit against Niantic, demanding refunds for the ticket prices, wanting Niantic to pay a $1.5 million settlement to said irate attendees. This eventually succeeded.
    • John Hanke, the CEO of Niantic himself, would later admit that the event was a flop, the only upshot of which was that they learned what not to do the following year. Further Go Fests and similar events have indeed been successful for the most part.
  • RainFurrest was one of the most popular furry conventions on the west coast, based in Seattle. However, the 2015 iteration deserves mention here. The convention was plagued from the get-go with characters too unsavory to realistically be described here, openly wearing all manner of fetish gear; in one case, a congoer repeatedly called it "a fetish con" when anyone asked questions. Unfortunately, this wound up being the least of the con's problems. The attendees pretty much went to town on the hotel; they wreaked havoc on the plumbing, to the point of flooding an entire floor, getting the pool shut down and getting the hotel frequent visits from the local repairmen. The parking lot was overrun by vandals and druggies, and two people got arrested for assault (one regular and one sexual). Another two were hospitalized after overdosing on psychedelic mushrooms, and a few more were also taken to the hospital after drinking too much. The fire department got called twice, and one attendee nearly singlehandedly ended the con by tampering with his room's smoke detector. Amidst four arrests, thousands of dollars worth of damage, and constant complaints from patrons outside the convention, the Hilton hotel took matters into their own hands: they kicked the entire con out and banned its staff outright. The next year's convention, and then the convention on the whole, were cancelled completely, as organizers could not find a hotel willing to do business with them afterwards. Internet Historian made a video on this convention, and one of its organizers wrote a very damning post-mortem detailing the events that led to it being such a disaster.
  • In 2018, vlogger Tana Mongeau founded TanaCon, a competitor to YouTube's VidCon, out of spite. She made the decision only a month in advance, when she was denied a Featured Creator pass. The convention promised panels and meet-and-greets with numerous prominent YouTubers (including people who were already booked at VidCon), a rare public appearance from Shane Dawson, and top-of-the-line catering, among other things. Congoers waited for hours in the blazing Los Angeles sun to pack into the Anaheim Marriott—a few were hospitalized. The halls were barren, without even food or water. The actual functions were few and far between; less than 200 were allowed into any of them, through an almost completely arbitrary process. Several guests just didn't turn up, citing scheduling conflicts and safety concerns. General admission was free, but VIP passes were $65—the latter included a gift bag with a promised value well above that. Said gift bag only held cheap fashion accessories, a shopping guide, stickers, and a convention-branded condom. It also ran out very quickly. And despite the con's promises, they both had to wait in the same line. Six hours in, the entire convention was cancelled outright, despite the promises of Mongeau and convention staff. Mongeau immediately resorted to damage control, even Blatant Lies, to save her own image and that of the con.
  • The very first tournament for the Yu-Gi-Oh! Official Card Game, held on August 26, 1999 at the Tokyo Dome, very quickly turned into a disaster, for one reason: Konami increased interest for the event by announcing that an exclusive pack of cards would be sold only at the tournament, and never be sold again, meaning that anyone who didn't show up would lose access to its cards forever. They also revealed that one of the cards in the pack would be the final piece of Exodia the Forbidden One, allowing players to use its Instant-Win Condition for the first time, but only if they were at the tournament. This led to 65,000 people showing up at the Tokyo Dome, 10,000 over capacity (which hadn't happened before even when Michael Jackson had performed there) almost all of whom were not even tournament participants but just wanted to buy the cards. Of course, Konami had not expected anywhere near such turnout, and for some reason only had a single vendor selling the cards, so the prospective buyers were waiting in line for hours, and the poor vendor was totally unable to keep up with demand. In an attempt at damage control, Konami blocked off the line for hours, and then declared that they had sold out and everyone had to go home. Predictably, this only made things worse, as the attendees, who had stood in line in sweltering heat for two hours at this point, started a riot. Riot police had to be called in, and two people had to be hospitalized. As for the tournament itself, not only did the actual participants have to wait inside for two hours not dueling while Konami decided what to do with the disgruntled spectators, but after the riot police got called in, the event was cancelled before the semifinals could begin. Since two people had been sent to the hospital, this became the Darkest Hour for the whole Yu-Gi-Oh franchise, and considered the franchise's equivalent of Pokémon's seizure incident, except worse, because people got hurt due to malice instead of ignorance. The OCG almost died then and there due to players quitting the game in disgust at the fact that people were hospitalized over a children's card game. Konami then went out of its way to never speak of it again, and people outside Japan only found out about it about twenty years later. More information can be found in this video on the history of Japanese card games, at around the halfway mark.

  • Haribo, in an attempt at being health-conscious, released a sugar-free version of their famous gummy bears. The problem is that the sweetener they decided to use to replace the sugar was lycasin, a sugar subtitute that the human body cannot digest properly. Thus, if too much of it is consumed, it can cause heavy diarrhea or flatulence, and sometimes even Potty Failure. Despite the warnings on the packaging, people still had horrible experiences with it; if some of the reviews are true, it even caused hospitalization. The only positive thing is that it works as an impressive colon cleanser and weight-loss treatment. It also led to many hilarious Amazon reviews. You can watch professional stunt eater L.A. Beast eat an entire 5-pound bag of it (to predictable results) here. Or this video by Illuminaughtii, which is a dramatic reading of one of its most famous reviews.
  • In 1996, the FDA approved selling food made with Olestra, a modified fat whose molecules are too large for the intestine to absorb, that could completely replace the fats and oils in many foods. Unfortunately, the idea soon proved too good to be true: Because Olestra still has the physical properties of fat, it robs fat-soluble vitamins from the diet until it's passed out of the body. Also, again because none of it is absorbed, eating much of it has all the effects of eating more grease than your body can digest—abdominal cramping, gas, and loose bowel movements. Olestra is not approved for use in several countries including Canada and the U.K., but despite this, it remains on the FDA's approved list, and the initial warning labels were even removed in 2003. Time magazine included Olestra in its list of the 50 worst inventions. It did eventually find another market though... as a firearms lubricant and a remedy for certain chemical exposuresnote .

    Household Products 
When we watch infomercials, we're never sure if the products are as good as they claim to be without a second opinion. While there are in fact several products which are quite useful and worth the price, these... aren't. Here are a few examples.

  • The Abox TV is a digital TV streaming box that promises the ability to watch cable & satellite channels and newly released feature films for free at home. The catch is that the way the box does this is by containing illegal Chinese apps that stream pirated copies of newly released films as well as pirated streams of cable & satellite channels. The use of these apps alone could very well enough have put a user in serious trouble with U.S. copyright laws but that was the least of the problems with the device. The device has also been known to overheat and freeze or fully crash and power down when livestreaming content even if it is being watched legally and even legal content would wind up freezing to buffer often times or reduce video quality to the absolute lowest possible. Not helping is the fact that the family who sells Abox do so most often at home improvement and electronics floor shows and at an outlandish price of $300 note  and the company who sell it are under constant surveillance for fraudulent or illegal business including selling the boxes at a gouged price, refusing customer refunds, and not to mention bundling the boxes with the aforementioned illegal apps.
  • The AutoCool is a small, solar-powered air conditioning gizmo that you're supposed to attach to the window of your parked car to cool down the interior during the summer. Despite the claims made by its advertisers, the device only lowers or even raises the temperature inside your car by a few degrees, while the TV commercials claim it can lower the temp to 30 degrees. The manufacturer also admits that the AutoCool is not recommended for use in cars with automatic windows, even though 1) cars with manual windows are almost extinct in the wild, 2) the commercials do not mention that the device is not suitable for automatic windows, and 3) the commercials clearly show the AutoCool being used on automatic windows.
  • The Emery Cat is a cat toy that is basically a rest with an emery board on it and filled with catnip, advertised as being designed to prevent pet owners from having to clip their cats' nails all the time. A great idea... that's very poorly executed. The board is very flimsy and is easily breakable, the emery board isn't scratchable enough, a strong kitten can break off the "playful toy" mounted on the side and carry it triumphantly away, and the whole thing can just flip over very easily.
  • The Handy Heater is advertised as a mini-stove designed to be as powerful as a heating fan or radiator and sold for $30. It is advertised that it would heat up rooms up to 5 square meters, but in reality it would struggle to heat even a closet. The problem is that it uses a lot of voltage and tends to overheat and turn off. It won't even work as a hair or hand dryer, and Freakin' Reviews agrees.
  • HeadOn, which is known for its infamously obnoxious ads, being deliberately unclear about its purpose but considers itself a homeopathic medicine, is almost entirely paraffin wax. You would get the same result applying a candle directly to your forehead, and you wouldn't be rubbing something made with a toxic plant extract on your skin — though as it's homeopathic, "made with" might be giving it too much credit.
  • The Infinity Razor claims to be a razor which never requires replacement or sharpening. In reality, it's an overpriced disposable razor that dulls quickly and doesn't even last a week, let alone forever. Perhaps the product being offered in a "2 for 1" deal should have been a tip-off to its quality.
  • The Juicero, a cold-press juicing machine that promised to be a game-changer for the way households bought and processed vegetables. It folded just a few months after officially launching, and was laughed at by virtually everyone, including industry advocates and those who bought their juicers. Here's why:
    • The $400 (originally $700) device had a needlessly-complex setup procedure. To start with, there's online DRM on a juicer. Those who bought the juicer were required to set up an account and connect to a cloud-based service in order to activate it in the first place. Don't have easy access to an internet connection? Too bad. It was speculated by Bloomberg News and other sources during the machine's launch that the user information was being harvested by co-developer Google as a condition of funding the juicer in the first place.
    • The machine itself is not actually a juicer, but a large press. The machine only worked with pre-approved, overpriced packets that, it was stated, would average to $10 per day—and that this was somehow "cheap". The packets had to be ordered from Juicero's website and had a limited shelf life of less than two weeks. Not only were you paying more for the machine, but you had to sign up for a subscription plan. In the event that you couldn't, or didn't, buy the packets, the machine became functionally useless.
    • A QR code on each packet had to be scanned into the machine when you used it. The QR codes served to make sure people didn't use any unapproved packs, their excuse being that it prevented you from using spoiled juice packs. If you attempted to scan a QR code from an "expired" juice pack, the machine would brick and simply not work. Questions about how the codes would function in the event of a sudden food recall or other extenuating circumstance were never fully answered by the company.
    • The company's fate was sealed when Bloomberg put out a damning feature in April 2017 showing that it wasn't even necessary to own a Juicero to get juice out of the packs. Merely squeezing the packs by hand is enough to get the same amount of juice out, and faster than the machine would do it. CEO Jeff Dunn was roundly mocked for claiming that people who were squeezing the packs were "hacking" the product. Even Juicero's own investors didn't know what was happening, with two publicly claiming that they didn't realize the problems until they were highlighted by the media. Funding dried up within days, and the company quickly started hemorrhaging $4 million per month. By September 1, 2017, Juicero officially shut down and offered refunds to those who bought the product.
    • The reason why it was so expensive is made clear by examining the hardware - the machine is filled with custom machined parts, expensive steel gears, a completely custom power supply, expensive molded plastic for the sleek outer shell, and a needlessly complicated design—it took over 23 parts just to hold the door closed. A lot of this is also due to the odd design choice of extracting the juice by spreading the force over the entire bag, like closing a book. Anyone with any knowledge of high school physics knows that pressure is inversely proportionate to surface area, meaning you need a lot more force and thus a much more powerful mechanism to provide the same amount of pressure, hence why the bags can be squeezed by hand. If it weren't for this textbook example of overengineering, the Juicero could have easily been sold for a fraction of the price.
    • Cr1TiKaL highlighted everything wrong with the Juicero while watching its instructional video.
  • The MXZ Pocket Saw is an "As Seen on TV!" product that claimed to be able to cut through anything, including brick, glass, tile, and drywall. To its credit, it can... provided you have the strength and endurance of a dozen men and don't mind working at it for a long time. The commercial for it was deceptive to the point of false advertising: a careful eye could spot that several of the items it was supposedly sawing through had already been cut. As Attack of the Show! demonstrates, it's not even useful for cutting through a lamb's head. Most importantly, the blade can be switched out for regular reciprocating saw blades, which is perfect for finishing the more tricky cuts.
  • The Package Shark is a tool claimed to be able to cut open clamshell packages. However, many reviewers say it doesn't work and describe it as little more than an overpriced razor blade. You know something's bad when it comes in the same kind of package it's supposed to open.
  • The Pocket Hose claims to be an innovative water hose that is very long and compresses back into a smaller size once shut off. A novel concept that sadly has a wide variety of issues: The construction of the hose is made of cloth webbing and plastic, which means despite the retractable aspect, it's not as durable as a regular hose and it can easily burst open, develop holes, and/or leak a lot. Even worse is the fact that it's attached to two plastic levers. After a flood of negative reviews on Amazon, Telebrands responded by making a "3x stronger" version... which gained just as many negative reviews. They then made another version which replaced the plastic connectors with brass. It still didn't change a thing.
  • Smooth Away is a hair removal system where the user takes a pink buffing oval thingy and rubs it against needed areas, and is supposedly intended to remove hair without any sort of pain or chemicals. Unfortunately, it doesn't work. The buffing system is better at removing dead skin cells rather than hairs, and the "skin exfoliation" it does is actually done by leftover crystals from the buffer. Most egregiously, the product can irritate or even swell certain areas. It takes forever for it to start actually removing hair from skin...and as Attack of the Show! shows us, the pain it causes makes it not even remotely worth it.
  • The ZaanU Headphones aren't even really headphones at all, so much as they are an over-head shell built as cheaply as possible and designed to stick Apple's Ear/Airpods into. Those aren't exactly audiophile quality to begin with, and sticking them in these destroys the audio so badly that ZannU's official instruction manual outright gives instructions on how to max out the equalizer on mobile devices and Spotify, because they're so quiet that's the only way to even make them audible. While this would be stupid but slightly forgivable if they were, say, $5, the MSRP is $40 - money which can instead be used to buy much, much better sounding headphones that are also actual headphones. Watch DankPods skewer them here.

    Media Formats/Storage Media 
The home video revolution had some failed formats. Some, such as Cartrivision, Betamax, CED, VHD, and HD-DVD (as well as V2000 in the UK), still have quite the cult following to this day; however, even the most hardened home media junkies will want to steer clear of these technological terrors that even Betamax and HD-DVD (the two most notorious failed formats) will not touch with a ten-foot pole:
  • DIVX note , short for Digital Video Express, is a video format marketed by Circuit City that was flawed from the word "go". DIVX was marketed as an alternative to DVD rental at a time when the format was still new. Unfortunately, just about everything went wrong. For starters, you had 48 hours to watch the movie after your first payment. On top of that, you had to pay a continuation fee to "renew" the disc for 48 hours more and set up an account with DIVX over the phone. The disks themselves were content-anemic DVDs that weren't even compatible with regular DVD players, and compatible players were mostly low-quality budget models with DIVX circuitry added. Could you believe this format was once plugged positively by big companies like DreamWorks, 20th Century Fox, and Paramount?note  Furthermore, the player itself is dubious; the thing was rumored to spy on people through its "Dial-home" feature. Many people rejected it, and most retailers, other than Circuit City itself and five other smaller stores, stuck with DVD. The DIVX's death knell came with Blockbuster Video refusing to carry anything DIVX-related. Though far from the only reason, DIVX was a contributing factor in Circuit City's financial problems and eventual 2009 bankruptcy. Sadly for collectors wanting to find one of these for purposes related to archival and viewing, all the discs that weren't destroyed were effectively bricked midway through 2001 when the DRM server went down. There hasn't been a single effort to crack DIVX, either. It only sold 85,000 players and 535,000 discsnote , and PC World listed it as a dishonorable mention in their "25 Worst Tech Products of All Time" column. Watch Ben Minnotte of the Oddity Archive shred the format in the last three or four minutes here and here. Chadtronic laughs at its promo video here. A deeper analysis of the DIVX format's failure can be read here.
  • The Flexplay format can be considered a Spiritual Successor to DIVX, and fared little better. The idea was that after opening the disc's sealed packaging, the user would have 48 hours of unlimited viewing before a chemical compound that coated the surface of the disc would react with oxygen in the air, theoretically rendering it unreadable. Like DIVX, it was positioned as an alternative to rental stores, and it at least had the advantage of being compatible with regular DVD players, but it came with a host of issues that prevented the idea from ever catching on. Oddity Archive covered the format alongside DIVX here and proved that even the destruction mechanism didn't work as intended, while Technology Connections dedicated a video to it here. For a textual explanation of what went wrong:
    • Needless to say, from an environmental perspective the idea of disposable DVDs was a tough sell to consumers. Flexplay attempted to alleviate this concern by offering recycling bins in stores, as well as shipping labels to return the discs to be disposed of. Both of which completely defeats the point of having a "no-return rental" in the first place. Environmental impact aside, the format made little sense from a consumer standpoint, as their main competitors in the convenient rental market both offered services that worked out to be cheaper: Flexplay sold its only-good-for-two-days discs for around $5 each, while Netflix was offering unlimited rentals for $10 a month and Redbox offered its rentals for $1 per day. If you were looking to rent a movie, Flexplay was overall the most expensive and least appealing option you had.
    • Aside from the consumer, another touted advantage of Flexplay was that it would allow convenience stores to sell movie rentals without needing to worry about tracking their inventory. This was likely the best thing Flexplay had going for it, but as Technology Connections argued, Redbox fulfilled the same niche while offering a service that made far more sense to consumers. In the format war between the two, Redbox won handily. Not to mention, if businesses are expected to take care of Flexplay's recycling bins, that defeats the appeal of Flexplay as a product you merely need to stock and sell.
    • Despite the odds stacked against it, Flexplay somehow managed to earn two leases of life. In 2003, Disney trialled the format under the name EZ-D, and it lasted less than a year before they cancelled it, largely due to pressure from environmental groups. After a few years of sporadic limited releases, in 2008 Flexplay managed to license movies from Paramount, Warner Brothers and Starz, alongside an agreement to sell the product in stores such as Staples and a range of travel retailers. It didn't do much better, and the format was dead for good by 2013. Today, Flexplay stands as a perfect example of a decent-on-paper idea that made zero sense to either consumers or businesses, and was pushed despite all evidence pointing towards failure.

You'd have a hard time getting even the most hardcore of fans to purchase these pieces of merchandise. Not unless you lied to them about the product's quality. See also the Toys section.

  • Fallout 76's gameplay already gave it a bad reputation, and the many failures in producing The Merch did not help one bit:
    • The Power Armor Edition cost $200 and included a number of Feelies, most of which weren't that bad: a wearable Power Armor helmet replica, a glow-in-the-dark map of the game world, codes for in-game items, and a bag of Army Men-like figurines. But most infamous of all was another item: a canvas bag, which made many things go wrong:
      • For a start, shipment of the items were delayed, so game codes had to be given out to its purchasers so they could still play the game while waiting for it.
      • When the items arrived two weeks after the game's launch, the bags were made from nylon instead of canvas. According to another source, the bag in the promotional image was a prototype and they only found out afterward that it would be too expensive to manufacture - showing a complete lack of planning on their part. Not only did Bethesda not tell purchasers this at all, their official response to complaints was "We hope this doesn't prevent anyone from enjoying what we feel is one of our best collector's editions," and in a support email they responded to the complaints with "We aren't planning on doing anything about it." Some buyers are actually threatening legal action under false advertisement laws, with the general consensus being that they have an open-and-shut case—Bethesda advertised a product, then shipped something else without notifying anyone at any stage.
      • They finally gave an apology a few days later, but it consisted of 500 Atoms, a non-refundable in-game store currency, which is worth exactly $5, costs Bethesda nothing to give out, and isn't even enough to buy the in-game skin that gives your character a canvas bag. Also, if you accepted the petty 500 Atoms, it left you unable to accept later, more substantial offers.
      • To add insult to the above injury, a different style of canvas bags was given out to Fallout 76 influencers at a promotional event a month prior. This suggests Betheseda was fully aware of the low quality of nylon bag that would be going out, and obviously had none of the advertised bags to hand out after the initial promotions were over.
      • Bethesda announced a few weeks after that they'd be shipping out real canvas bags to people who bought the Power Armor edition for free. The replacement canvas bags would apparently take about six months to ship out according to emails that Bethesda's customers received about the issue, proving that Bethesda never had any original intention of making or distributing them; six months is about the length of time it would take to hire a company to both gather the materials and then make enough canvas bags for everyone who bought the Power Armor Edition, considering the primary part of the design was already done. To make things even worse, when Bethesda finally set up production for the canvas bags, they needed Power Armor Edition owners to submit their address and other sensitive information for validation and delivery. However, they accidentally leaked the personal information of thousands of players. This was arguably the point where the whole Fallout 76 affair went from "fiasco" to "farce".
      • But wait, there's more for those that purchased the pack from Gamestop instead! If anyone purchased the Nuka Cola Helmet Edition from Gamestop instead of the regular Power Armor Edition, the unlucky people would get a red and white colored variant of the Fallout Power Armor helmet... which could include mold festering inside of it after a while! Thankfully, only a limited amount of those editions were ever sold directly to any unlucky customers (with most, if not all of them recalled back and refunded to those that bought it in the first place), but the fact that it made people question whether their regular helmets might have also been affected in a similar manner says quite a lot about the aftermath of it, never mind how ripped off those people might have been to hold a shoddy bag and a moldy helmet in their special edition version of Fallout 76. Jim Sterling touched upon that subject here, as did Angry Joe here and YongYea in multiple videos.
    • Nuka Dark Rum. Bethesda sold what they claimed was a "premium-grade" rum in authentic, frosted glass Nuka Cola bottles. Right from the beginning the product reeked of sloppiness with a store description copy-pasted word-for-word from the fan-wiki, followed by a sudden several month delay in deliveries that took over a week to be addressed. When the rum finally arrived, the promised glass bottles turned out to be cheap, store-brand glass bottles in a cheap, easy to break plastic shell, with the label consisting of a cheap paper sticker. The "rum" itself barely even qualified as swill, with several tasters who made videos of their sampling of it openingly gagging on it. Of course, this was assuming you were even able to drink the damn thing at all, as the bottle's lip was so thick that you were more likely to spill the rum inside the shell than actually get it into your glass. All this, on top of costing around eighty dollars on release—compared to the bottles you could get on Etsy or some other craft site for 20-40 dollars, it's a wonder anyone thought this was ready for sale.
  • The Infinity Gauntlet oven mitt by LootCrate, based on Thanos' Iconic Item, is a poorly-designed oven mitt that could burn one's skin. While stated to be resistant to temperatures up to 500 degrees, in reality attempting to use said mitt at 425 degrees will destroy the mitt and burn your hand, as demonstrated in this article. Thankfully, LootCrate recalled them due to these major safety flaws.
  • So Rich Lipstick turned the first line of beauty YouTuber Jaclyn Hill's much-hyped "Jaclyn Cosmetics" makeup brand into a huge failure. Customers reported their lipsticks coming in smudged or chunky, or even finding small fibers, human-like hairs, and black dots suspected (and in at least one case confirmed) to be mold on the lipstick. While Jaclyn Hill initially denied that her products were contaminated or expired, the company later recalled the lipsticks and offered full refunds to everybody who purchased them. Jaclyn Cosmetics released more successful products later on, but has yet to fully shake the bad reputation it got from the lipstick controversy.
  • In November 2017, vlogger Zoe "Zoella" Sugg released the Zoella Lifestyle Advent Calendar. For the exorbitant price of £50, fans would get a pathetic 12 items, half the amount of regular advent calendars. Given the ratio of items to cost and the existence of expensive, high-end advent calendars, the items themselves must be high quality, right? Nope. Instead, you get such things as a small pouch of confetti, a set of seven stickers, a pen, and a small notebook that would have been disappointing to get in a cheap calendar. The highlights of the calendar are a pencil case/makeup bag, a spray bottle of air freshener, and a pair of scented candles, but they don't come close to justifying the cost, since similar items bought separately on Amazon would cost a mere £21. Zoella was accused of exploiting her young fanbase for money, and after mass outrage the price was halved, but it was too late. JaackMaate takes a closer look here.

    Mobile Devices 
  • The Airphone No.4, a ripoff of the iPhone 4, belongs to a category that only hasn't been blanket added because Examples Are Not General, but even by those standards, it's absolutely awful. The box is filled with lies about its capabilities. The touchscreen responsiveness can potentially rapidly deteriorate to the point of forcing the user to hunt for a random stylus they have lying around. It's almost useless as an actual phone, with dropped calls and the phone bugging out if there's a SIM card installed. Worst of all, however, the "apps" are mostly spun off from the Multimedia and Settings apps, with a number of them repeated on different pages or, in one case, on the same page, in order to make it seem more feature-rich than it actually is. Stuart Ashen reviews it here and sums it up thus:
    It doesn't do anything well at all; in fact, it barely does anything compared to the amount of apps it lies to you at.
  • Facebook and HTC's HTC First was a phone dedicated to being used for Facebook. The default Facebook Home interface was unintuitive, the phone itself was cheaply made, and compared to the Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone that was released around the same time, it was far too restrictive and lackluster in terms of its specifications. Initially released with an MSRP of $99, the device sold so poorly that AT&T dropped the price to less than $1 before pulling the plug on it.
  • The Kodak Ektra smartphone exemplifies the idiom "You had one job". It was billed as a smartphone for photography enthusiasts, with a DSLR-quality camera. In functionality, the camera app was slow and unintuitive, and the camera itself took very crappy pictures that appeared washed out in ideal lighting, and struggled with low-light surroundings. The phone portions of this smartphone did absolutely nothing to compensate for the camera. CNET's review of the device is simply titled "Kodak shouldn't have made this phone." Canoopsy also talks about the phone here, and concludes that he can find no good reason to recommend it to anyone.
  • The TwitterPeek is a baffling product: a handheld electronic device that could access Twitter, do absolutely nothing else, was inferior in every way to the Twitter app available on pretty much every single smart device ever, and was more expensive than a regular smartphone. Regardless of your opinion of the social media platform, it was a hard sell from the start, especially considering that it was sold for a whopping $200, and you had to pay a subscription after six months to use this device to access a platform that was completely free to use on virtually every other electronic device created before and since. The device's screen is also too small to display entire messages at once, and requires extra steps to get images to display. Unsurprisingly, the TwitterPeek crashed and burned, and Peek sank in 2012, three years after releasing this utter dud.

Specific examples only:
  • The U.S. version of Kitchen Nightmares reached almost memetic status when it featured Amy's Baking Company, a bistro in Scottsdale, Arizona owned by Amy and Samy Bouzaglo. The restaurant is a perfect example of how not to run a business in nearly every way possible: The Bouzaglos are spiteful egomaniacs who believe everyone is conspiring against them and have no respect for their staff or customers. They've picked fights with customers who complained about the awful service they received, to the point where the police had to be called in. Over 100 staff members have been hired and fired since the restaurant's opening, many of whom were culinary school graduates who had more cooking experience than the owner. One girl was fired in front of the camera because she dared to question Amy (she was actually asking Amy to confirm the table the meal was supposed to go to). Samy tried to defuse the situation by telling her that she isn't fired, the only nice thing he did in the episode).

    The Bouzaglos also employed deceptive tactics such as stealing pictures of food off the internet to put in their menus and filling their shelves with desserts bought from other bakeries. Samy even confessed to pocketing every tip meant for the waitresses, an action that is illegal in the U.S. To top it all off, Amy herself is an incredibly incompetent chef, taking hours to poorly cook a meal for a single customer. To date, it remains the only episode in the history of the U.S. version where Gordon Ramsay called it quits and left before he could even begin to fix the place. If you're wondering how they managed to get customers at all, it was because they were right next to a movie theater.

    Since the episode aired, some customers became curious if it was actually that bad. It actually was. In fact, due to the nearly memetic response, the show went back to the bakery at the start of the following season. Keep in mind that they dedicated an entire episode to revisiting Amy's; this has never happened before as revisit episodes feature multiple restaurants. In this case, however, Ramsay did not come along, which was probably for the best because it looks like nothing changed at all. In July 2015, Amy's finally closed, but the owners intend to go into other cooking-related ventures... Amy also had a now-closed YouTube channel, where her comments (where not disabled) showed she is still incapable of taking criticism.note 

  • Purr Cat Café was a short-lived cat café based in Boston, Massachusetts. It was doomed from its very inception due to very poor management, lack of funding and employees, and most importantly, lack of cats. The café's management was unable to maintain good business relationships with the local animal shelters, missed several opening dates, and ran into legal hot water multiple times for operating without a license and attempting to work with an unlicensed shelter. When it did open, it was criticized for its poor living conditions for the cats that did live there who seemed scared and hissed at customers, the layout of the building not being designed with cats in mind, its wildly inconsistent business hours, and the eccentricities of the owner. The café closed two years after opening due to low visitation, and the landlord would sue the owner for unpaid rent and win. The location would later be leased out to a cat shelter. Watch Fredrik Knudsen's video chronicling the fiasco here.


Disney Theme Parks:

  • When Disney's California Adventure was in the planning stages, one of the attractions in development was a standard dark roller coaster themed around Hollywood. The plot of this ride was that the rider had to get to Grauman's Chinese Theater to meet then-CEO Michael Eisner without getting caught by the paparazzi. This would result in a high-speed chase from the vicious snappers, forming the basis of the roller coaster. Then Princess Diana died under similar circumstances while the project was being installed, and the paparazzi concept was scrapped for fear that it would be seen as being in very poor taste. So, without either the time or resources for a replacement, the ride was forced under a massive Retool. The end result? Superstar Limo, widely considered the Black Sheep of the Disney Parks. In this version, the ride slowly inched its way to a "Superstar Premiere" where they pass through scenery that wouldn't be out of place in a cheap pop-up book, bad joke after bad joke, and most notoriously, barely-moving animatronic caricatures of B-list celebrities from contemporary ABC shows, none of which would be impressive at a rinky-dink county fair, let alone at the park that pioneered animatronic movement in the first place. Suffice to say, feedback on Superstar Limo—as with every part of California Adventure at launch—was swift and scathing. Worse yet, in spite of negative reception all around, Eisner went on record to defend the ride, calling it one of his favorites on more than a few occasions... even though even the Imagineers disliked the ride. The ride was closed in January 2002, less than a year after opening the previous February, and sat vacant for several years before ultimately being replaced with the current attraction Monsters Inc: Mike and Sulley to the Rescue. Defunctland goes into more detail on the situation here. Disney themselves considers the attraction an Old Shame if Disney+ original The Imagineering Story is anything to go by, with episode 4 briefly mentioning its shortcomings.
  • By far the worst change as part of the late 90s revamp of Epcot was the transformation of the beloved icon Journey into Imagination into a needlessly cynical romp known as Journey Into YOUR Imagination. Right from the get-go, the old ride had been gutted and many parts auctioned or even thrown away. The ride opens, in a way that gave it lower capacity than the original, with the insulting of the audience’s intelligence, by insinuating that they lacked imagination. The ride had been cut down to a measly 5 minutes of boring exhibitions hosted by the unlikeable Nigel Channing, played by Eric Idle. Almost every element from the original is gone, with Figment reduced to a blink and you’ll miss it cameo. This ride only lasted all of two years before being retooled into the comparatively better current incarnation, Journey Into Imagination with Figment, but the scars of this version remain, such as the shortened length. Yesterworld looks at it here.
  • When Paul Pressler performed the controversial redesign of Tomorrowland, he green-lit a replacement for the low-capacity Peoplemover; the result, known as the Rocket Rods, was easily the most unsafe ride Disney had ever developed. The rickety vehicles used had uncomfortable seating, were exposed to the elements, and were very obviously never meant to be on a slow track, which was very obviously never meant for a thrill ride. The inconsistency of the ride was illustrated when it speeds up at the start with an annoying revving sound before quickly and roughly slowing down for a turn. It kept on doing this, turn after turn, making for a bumpy ride. The vehicles and track were very prone to malfunctioning, leading to fluctuating speeds and system failures. Not even a slight revision three months later could fix things, and they remained completely unreliable. It was unceremoniously closed in 2001, and quietly announced to be a permanent closure. To this day, the Peoplemover track stands unused, likely as a consequence of this disastrous ride. Its only saving grace is that it would eventually receive Spiritual Successors in Epcot's Test Track and California Adventure's Radiator Springs Racers, which would vastly improve on the concept of a fast-moving slot-car ride with a specially designed track for withstanding stress and keeping a more consistent pace throughout the ride.
  • Ever wonder why Disney hasn't made any Original Generation characters in the American parks for a while? You can blame the original iteration of Habit Heroes, an attraction at Innoventions that opened in 2012 with an original cast of heroes and villains, the latter of which represented bad habits. Seems innocuous, right? Well, it would be... if the attraction hadn't initially concentrated on fat-shaming, right during a time when it was beginning to be recognized as an unacceptable way to combat obesity that either didn't work, resulted in eating disorders, or (in severe cases) caused suicide. All three main villains were obese caricatures that were so bad that they were replaced almost immediately. A tie-in online game did include a wider variety of villains representing other habits, but this only brought up more Unfortunate Implications, such as classifying uncontrollable mental health issues like high stress and insecurity as "bad habits." The attraction itself wasn’t very interesting either, as it was a watered-down "interactive" attraction that had been done better by Toy Story Mania, starring uncharismatic Disney Channel reject hosts that were hoping to get riders fit, alongside appallingly ugly computer-animated villains and environments that were a decade out of date when it was new and downright shameful by Disney standards. Despite being revamped in 2013 to be less insensitive (and getting much better reception from the public), the negative reaction to the original version caused the attraction to be closed down forever in 2016, with Innoventions itself being taken down three years later. Since then, every American attraction made has been tied to a pre-existing property, rather than having original characters.
  • What was both the shortest-lived permanent Disney attraction and first one to become permanently closed? The answer is Phantom Boats, a ride featuring ugly little futuristic boats in a lake. These boats were poorly insulated and prone to overheating and spewing noxious smoke, especially when riders tried to make them go as fast as possible. They also had a shockingly low capacity, with only 2 or 3 people per each boat. The ride required about fourteen Cast Members on hand to maintain it, towing the boats back to the dock over and over again. Due to these problems, an attempt at fixing the ride was made, where the noxious smoke was reduced and Cast Members were made to drive the boats. Sadly, this was ultimately polishing a turd, and it was the first Disney attraction to actually lose money, and it was the only opening day ride in Tomorrowland, the other attractions mostly being temporary exhibits on various products, and it was a massive letdown. They were shuttered after less than a year, and nowadays are rarely mentioned by Disney.
  • Another real stinker amongst the day 1 Disneyland attractions was Canal Boats of The World. Originally, it was planned to be part of “Lillputianland”, featuring miniature cities and people, but the animated figures were cancelled, and then the miniature sets were also left unfinished as the ride was rushed to release. The result was that passengers rode past ugly, boring mud banks (called “Fantasyland Hills”), in a sharp contrast to the rest of Fantasyland. The boats were also prone to overheating, making the experience even more of a slog. It was closed after only two months of operation to be completely overhauled into Storybook Land Canal Boats, a far superior ride.

Other Parks:

  • Casino Pier has run the gamut from Crappy Carnival fare to Six Flags-caliber rides, and Pirates Hideaway set the former threshold for the park. Built as a replacement to older coaster Wizards Cavern around the same basic partially-indoor coaster idea, Pirates Hideaway is a children's coaster themed around pirates, with heights and speeds that would be palatable for children. Sounds innocent enough, except the ride is also painfully rough; with each drop, sharp turn, and brake run slamming the riders every which way, despite the ride going at a relatively slow speed in a tiny footprint. The pirate facade is just that; while the exterior is vibrantly decorated with pirate-themed paintings and décor shaped around the initial drops, and the pirate ship-themed trains are nice to look at; the interior is a completely barren, warehouse-like room with no decor or attempts to hide the layout to speak of, which completely nullifies the surprise and Willing Suspension of Disbelief indoor rides aim for. Theme Park Crazy compares the ride to "being locked inside a pirate ship's bathroom in the middle of a hurricane". Meanwhile, Theme Park Review gives their commentary while on the ride; the riders' pained tones and palpable disappointment at the rough ride and total lack of effort beyond the initial window dressing afterward are enough to ensure this ride's spot on this page.
  • In 1992, Busch Gardens Williamsburg opened Drachen Fire and unintentionally created one of the most notorious flops in amusement park history. The trouble started almost as soon as it was conceived; the original idea was for the hot new Swiss design firm Bolliger & Mabillard to design it as well as a sibling to Busch Gardens Tampa's then-upcoming Kumba, but B&M simply did not have the resources to take on two major projects at the same time, and so the park went with established manufacturers Arrow Dynamics as a Plan B. Arrow did their best to emulate B&M's stylistic hallmarks, but did so in a way that exemplified all of Arrow's most glaring design flaws; namely their janky, abrupt transitions and rough ride experience made even worse by not using their regular methods. The ride's soft opening on April 3, 1992 was a harbinger of things to come: after about six successful runs, the train stalled on the lift hill and forced an evacuation, followed by the next train doing the same thing and ending the ride's operations for the day. After the initial rush of riders when it opened to the public, the ride swiftly gained a reputation for being excruciatingly rough — thanks to the aforementioned awkward transitions that were made much worse by Arrow's attempts to emulate a B&M layout — to the point where the park strongly advised riders to remove clip-on earrings before riding because of the extreme and violent headbanging. The corkscrew that immediately followed the mid-course brakes was quietly removed shortly before the 1995 season to reduce the roughness, but the issues were so pervasive that it was little more than a bandaid. A 1996 theme park special on E! where Alex Winter rode it and then commented that he felt as if his vertebrae had been broken was another blow to the ride, and by the time the ride was finally closed in 1998, ridership had dwindled down to almost nothing and at least one personal injury lawsuit may or may not have been filed. Attempts to sell it were made, but no parties were interested, and the ride sat unused until it was finally demolished in 2002. Though still memorialised by the park, who sell t-shirts bearing the ride's logo to this day, Drachen Fire was an example of a good idea implemented very poorly; serving as an effective cautionary tale regarding the dangers of trying — but failing — to copy the talents of others instead of focusing on your own. Get the whole story from Defunctland here.
  • In 1997, Knott’s Berry Farm opened Windjammer Surf Racers. Built by TOGO, this was a surfing-themed duelling coaster that was intended as a tribute to the beloved but by-then dated Wacky Soap Box Racers coaster that it replaced. However, when the ride opened, everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong. Firstly, the ride would have a habit of continuous breakdowns. And ironically, it was especially prone to breaking down in winds as low as three miles an hour. But even when it did operate, the ride was nowhere near a pleasant experience; despite the duelling feature being a large part of the ride’s appeal, the trains almost never raced. Not to mention, the attraction was incredibly rough with tight restraints and jittery track, the layouts were very dull beyond the loops above the water; with lots of long, slow turns and precious little airtime or forces to speak of. Riders would spend less time enjoying the ride and more wondering if the train was going to fly off the track. Upon opening, the ride was immediately hated by park-goers and coaster enthusiasts. This all culminated in Knott’s suing TOGO for the coaster’s poor engineering. Finally, in 2000, Windjammer was closed for good — much to the sadness of no one — and after being torn apart for scrap, would soon be replaced by the Xelerator in 2002. Needless to say, the new launched coaster received a far more positive reception than its predecessor; and the park would eventually revisit the idea of a surfing-themed thrill coaster, opening the considerably more successful HangTime in 2018.
  • In 2000, King's Island (then owned by Paramount Parks) opened Son of Beast. As the fastest and tallest wooden coaster in the world, and the only one to feature an inversion, it was an ambitious ride. The problem was that none of that actually translated into a good ride experience. The issues started before it had even been completed, as its manufacturer, Roller Coaster Corporation of America (RCCA) was fired during construction, and when the ride opened, it closed after two days for repairs and did not open again until almost two months later. While initial reviews were fairly positive, the ride deteriorated rapidly over the course of the year, and Paramount Parks would go on to sue RCCA and some of their contractors for poor work and materials. Over the following years, the ride gained a reputation for being so horrifically violent and rough that people would step off in a great deal of pain, and ridership steadily declined, while Son of Beast in enthusiast circles became shorthand for "shit". Two incidents sealed its fate. The first was in 2006, when a damaged support section created a dip in the track that violently jolted the train and sent 27 people to the hospital, got the ride closed down for the rest of the season, and got its trains (which were notoriously large and heavy, and created much undue stress on the track) replaced with much lighter trains (which also forced the removal of the loop, as the new trains could not navigate it). Ridership did not pick up and was still almost non-existent when it reopened the following year, and after a woman reportedly had a brain aneurysm in 2009 (which was found to be unsubstantiated, but the damage was done), the ride closed for good and mouldered until 2012, when it was finally demolished and replaced with the infinitely better-received Banshee in 2014. However, King's Island has not tried erase the coaster from history. Banshee's queue has a memorial with the Son of Beast's logo on it, topped off with an eternal flame.
  • Professor Burp's Bubbleworks was a Cult Classic dark ride which opened in 1990 at Chessington World of Adventures, taking guests on a humorous tour through a whimsical soda factory. It closed in 2005 and reopened the following year as simply Bubbleworks, sporting a new soap factory theme with sponsorship by British toiletries company Imperial Leather. The revamped version, which was developed without the original design team's involvement, was derided for several alterations to its predecessor's theme, story, and humor to suit the Imperial Leather brand; the majority of the animatronics becoming static; the dubbing of annoying rubber duck quacks over most of the original music; and the excessive Imperial Leather branding dominating everything throughout. John Wardley, the original ride's producer, refused to ride the new Bubbleworks and attend its 2016 closing ceremony.
  • While the roller coaster models designed by Italian manufacturer Zamperla tend to be a bit of a mixed bag among enthusiasts, one thing almost all of them can agree on is that their Volare (To Fly in Italian) model is just dreadful beyond belief. Designed to be a low-space, traveling budget version of the classic flying coaster design, it's designed around a spiral lift hill, sharp turns and inline twists, and lay-down cars designed to have unimpeded views of what's ahead. In practice, the claustrophic, cage-like cars cause very painful head-banging on top of not even being able to see much out of them, which isn't helped by a jerky, uncomfortable layout that somehow manages to be both boring and too intense; due to a generally shoddy build quality — even for a traveling coaster — that many riders have even gone on record saying they felt unsafe on.
  • Opening in 1998 at the small M&D's Theme Park in Scotland, Tornado was an especially infamous ride that gave new meaning to the word "painful". One of only two RC70 model coasters built by Pinfari, it was their largest model; packing in several swooping turns and three inversions — two loops and a corkscrew — in a compact, portable layout. However, even at its debut, it was known for being notoriously bad with its rough ride and hard, high over-the-shoulder restraints leaving painful headbanging more-or-less unavoidable regardless of your height. The corkscrew in particularnote  was infamous for being one of the most horrific inversions ever put to a coaster, to the point it was removed and replaced with a banked curve in 2006; the fact that the only known POV of it outright caused the camera to violently glitch should tell you everything. A major 2016 incident involving another coaster in the park (Tsunami) sealed Tornado's fate there, when a flawed inspection lead to its train derailing and crashing, injuring 10 people. It was not-so subtly covered up by a travelling funhouse and left standing but not operating for a long time, before eventually being dismantled and sold on to a French travelling fair in 2020. Needless to say, it wasn't missed too much.
  • Submarine Quest was planned as the flagship attraction for SeaWorld San Diego's new "Ocean Explorer" realm in 2017. The ride was originally conceived as an elevated track with dark ride portions through aquariums, with a touchscreen game on the cart encouraging riders to note the creatures they saw around them. Despite the massive hype for the attraction, guests were disappointed to discover that this "submarine" ride was not underwater, but mostly took place in broad daylight, and most of the "animal life" consisted of props or electronic displays. Most of the effort had gone into the cart and its touchscreen game, but the game's controls were confusing and didn't actually affect the ride (for example, there's a button riders can press to open a hatch... which opens immediately after getting the instruction, before you can even press anything). The ride also saw frequent technical difficulties that got increasingly worse, so by the end of its run, it barely operated at all. Submarine Quest received negative reviews from both riders and news publications, leading to a rebrand specifying that the ride was only for very young guests. This didn't do much good, as it quietly closed less than a year after opening. CEO Joel Manby cited it as the one true disappointment of his run, stepping down from his position not long after its closure. Defunctland unravels the history of the ride here. To top it off, competing park LEGOLAND California later opened Lego City Deep Sea Adventure, an underwater submarine ride with a similar touchscreen game and real sea creatures; many fans drew comparisons to Submarine Quest, remarking with surprise that the LEGO ride ironically had more to do with ocean exploration than the SeaWorld ride.

  • cpedia was a bizarre attempt by failed Google competitor Cuil to combine a search engine with an encyclopedia. Basically a search engine that would format the results as wiki-like pages, cpedia's pages were little more than incomprehensible, schizophrenic messes. Cuil, and by extension cpedia, has since been put out of its misery, but many reports of its failure remain. But at least we got a meme out of it.
    "I threw up a little in my mouth trying to decipher the results for Batman Returns, which according to Cpedia includes such characters as Heath Ledger and Edward Scissorhands."
  • Microsoft Bob was a shell for Windows 3.1 designed for people new to computing. The desktop was designed as one of several rooms, with each application represented as an item in said room, and a "guide" character talked the user through whatever they were trying to do. The problems here were severalfold, but the most important: there were multiple complaints that the concept itself treated the user like a child, condescending to them in every way. What's more, Windows 95 debuted soon after Bob's release, proving to be just as (if not more) user-friendly than Bob without the childish overtones. Bob's only real legacy was the "guides", which used an early version of Microsoft Agent — the technology behind the notorious Office Assistant characters (including Clippy) and BonziBuddy — as well as, according to Raymond Chen, being included in the Windows XP setup CD as a means of slowing down the download of illegal copies. note  On top of all this, putting your password in wrong three times in a row would result in the system unlocking and recommending you change your password, which made having a password in the first place pointless. It was a flop, particularly due to its hardware requirements note , which most home computers at the time were not able to meet. Lazy Game Reviews takes a look at Microsoft Bob here, and while he doesn't believe it's as bad as most people think it is, he still has little positive to say about it.
  • Microsoft's Windows operating system has had its ups and downs; however, some troughs are deeper than the rest:
    • Microsoft Windows ME (Millennium Edition): In addition to being a pointless stopgap Windows version between Windows 98 and Windows XP that was developed in just one year, this OS was a bug-ridden mess with terrible security,note  horrible stability,note  and very poor compatibility with older software.note  Its failure resulted in its much-better designed companion OS Windows 2000, originally intended for servers, businesses and power users, becoming more widespread among the general public. Not surprisingly, Microsoft quickly abandoned Windows ME once Windows XPnote  was released, with all support for ME being terminated on the same date as Windows 98 (July 11, 2006),note  and it's now considered by many technology publications and critics to be one of the biggest misfires in computing history, to the point that a common nickname for it is "Mistake Edition"). The Science Elf defends Windows ME in this video, calling it "ahead of its time" and cites all of the multimedia features it introduced before Windows XP. He takes it all back in the end because of how many times the OS crashed while recording the video and then says that it really is as bad as people make it out to be.
      • The main cause of the infamous BSOD in Millennium Edition was due to it being a transitional OS, supporting both the older VxD driver types and the newer Windows Driver Model DLL system we all know today. It could individually support either of these adequately... but if a process called for both, it shat itself in spectacular fashion, resulting in a bluescreen and byzantine error code that often referred to the aforementioned VxD. A good deal of the reason that 2000 and XP were significantly more stable, even while buggy on launch, was because they rejected the old system outright - old hardware and programs simply not running on a new OS is a bummer, but it upsets people much less than an OS claiming compatibility with old hardware and programs and then killing itself entirely from trying. That said, this is even more damning when this is exactly the sort of thing a transitional OS should be designed to handle, especially as Windows 98 featured similar support for both legacy and more modern drivers.
  • SoftRAM was a product that, from the get go, sounded too good to be true: it was sold as a cost-effective way to double a computer's random-access memory without having to buy additional RAM sticks or another computer altogether. At the time, Windows 95 was about to hit the shelves and not everyone had the 4 megabytes of memory to install the OS, and SoftRAM's developer Syncronys pushed the product heavily for users who didn't want to spend additional money. However, it was too good to be true, as it didn't even attempt to touch a computer's memory. Instead, the closest thing SoftRAM did to alter the system in any way was to increase the size of Windows' page file, which a typical user can easily do with absolutely no cost whatsoever and would provide a minimal performance improvement at best. The Federal Trade Commission and dozens of customers sued Syncronys into bankruptcy for false advertising for both this and other failed products, and the product was unceremoniously pulled from stores in December 1995. Nowadays, SoftRAM's the definitive example of snake oil software, and PC World named it the third worst tech product of all time in 2006. Watch Nostalgia Nerd trash the product here, and Digital Trends has an article outlining the whole scheme. Michael MJD also talks about it here.
  • The Sony BMG copy protection rootkit scandal is perhaps the textbook example of how low a music corporation will go to enforce copyright law at the consumer's expense. Thinking that they had found the solution to combating digital piracy of music, Sony placed certain forms of copy-protection software in over 22 million CDs that, when inserted into a PC, would enable a form of digital rights management (DRM) that would tamper with the operating system to stop a user from attempting to burn an album to another CD. But it did more than that: it installed a rootkit that would give Sony access to information on the user's listening habits, taking privacy violation Up to Eleven, and would hide itself to where it was impossible to uninstall easily. Even worse, the software would install the moment the computer read the CD, even if the user didn't agree to the licensing agreement, without any warning or prior notice. Oh, and the kicker? The software didn't even work as intended: people could still copy the music to blank CDs, and instead left people who weren't interested in copying music vulnerable to scores of malware. That was bad enough, but then Sony tried to mitigate the damage by releasing an "uninstaller" for the software....that didn't actually uninstall anything and instead collected the user's e-mail address among other additional security vulnerabilities. To compound the failure, the developers of Extended Copy Protection, the more common rootkit, forgot that Microsoft Windows is not the only operating system in the world, meaning people with Linux, a Mac, or other Windows alternatives were avoiding it by virtue of their operating system, and even with MediaMax CD-3, whose developers remembered that Macs exist, macOS has required user permission to install software since it became UNIX-like, meaning that when it came to Macs, this rootkit relied on Schmuck Bait that few users fell for. Even on Windows, both rootkits relied on autorun, which could be temporarily disabled by holding down the left Shift key as a CD was inserted, rendering the rootkits effective only at screwing up computers and angering consumers regardless of whether or not it screwed up (or even could screw up) their computers. Sony found itself in the crosshairs of a massive public relations disaster note , forcing the company to recall all CDs with the copy-protection software and face numerous lawsuits and criminal investigations for consumer privacy violations. No other music corporations have bothered putting copy-protection software on CDs since the scandal, and Sony has never recovered from the fallout. This article goes into detail over just how badly Sony botched the copy-protection scheme and its impact for both the company and cybersecurity as a whole.

    Vanity Plates 
Nope, not even vanity plates are safe from being horrible. Despite their short lengths, many logos exist that would make one stunned as to how they ever came from a well-meaning, caring company. Even stranger, they always seem to be spotted in similar places to one another.note 
  • Boyd's Videos and Video Films, whose only known releases are The Mandarin Magician and Puma Man, used perhaps the most amateurish, incompetent vanity plate ever created. It's literally two slides kept up for way too long on what appears to be an office projector, separated by a pink screen, resulting in a logo which could have easily lasted a few seconds taking almost a minute. Both slides are zoomed in way too far initially, forcing whoever was filming to zoom out slowly and awkwardly. The pink doesn't cover the whole screen, meaning that you can see the slides being swapped, revealing that this was all done in one take. Even for a low-budget home video company, this is completely absurd.
  • There are three logos from the UK in the pre-cert days that use the same basic design - ATA Video, Mega Video, and Temple Video, who all clearly got their hands on the exact same BASIC script. The three are so similar that it was once thought they were the same company. The only differences are the music and color scheme; ATA Video's logo is yellowish-green and uses "Triumph (Edit (B))" by Richard Harvey, Mega Video's logo is green and uses "The Appliance of Science" by Keith Mansfield, and Temple Video's logo is darkish pink and uses "Superstar Fanfare", also by Mansfield. The basic design is quite literally just a bunch of lines forming onscreen with the company name in the middle, the trail pausing to allow the company name to form and continuing as a trail of white lines. It was supposedly made using a BBC Micro, and very much looks it.
  • Yet another horrible British pre-cert logo, that of Cyclo Video, has been given to us courtesy of 1980s computer technology. It is basically two terrible logos, both created with no effort what-so-ever. The first logo is just the company name being written with dots in a matter that makes it look like something out of a bad Commodore 64 game. The second logo has more to offer, but it isn't any better. It involves a barely moving 8-bit sunshine being made until it starts disappearing to reveal the company name. The only remotely good thing about this is the music, which is the same "Superstar Fanfare" stock piece used in countless other pre-cert logos.
  • The logo for Argentine home video company Class Video forms very slowly, without too much movement and emotion being added into it. The logomark takes one full minute to come together—add the magic of some dated computer animation and poorly-added music that isn't clearly audible most of the time (possibly due to auto-tracking), and the result is one of the worst things to come from a VHS tape.
  • Producciones Video Home has a logo born out of pure laziness. It's simply a slideshow set against a rainbow background with the company name sliding down as if it were paper. Making matters worse is that the logo uses the music from the 1970s Gaumont logo, almost certainly without permission.
  • Argentina seems to have a dreadful track record when it comes to home video logos, but the one Enterprise Producciones used takes the cake. It's literally another logo, that of Prism Entertainment, except it's paused near the end for Enterprise Producciones' logo to come onscreen with very cheap computer animation, all while the awkwardly looped music from the original logo plays. It's such blatant theft that it defies intelligent description.
  • An Aizawl-based film company named FADYO (short for "Film and Drama Youth Organization") used this masterpiece. Stolen here are Universal's 1990 logo and two Beatles songs, a copyright infringement worth thousands of dollars for one of these items alone. Poor editing and odd sound design abounds, exemplifying all the other issues present. And all that without even mentioning that the logo itself is rendered in such a way that it looks less like an opening logo and more like a GIF.
  • The vanity plate for the bootleg VHS company The Video Bancorp, a company most known for forgetting to erase a porno from tape stock they used for a Popeye release, is literally an off-screen photo of the logo as drawn on MS Paint, complete with the CRT computer monitor bulge and the program's interface clearly visible on the sides. Interestingly, the Closing Logos Group initially misinterpreted the "thanks you for using our product" text as a grammatically incorrect sentence due to poorly thought-out formatting.
  • Greece has many awful home video logos, most of them relying on subpar CGI effects and/or scanimation and stolen music. However, the logos of Photo Video, a Super-8-to-VHS transfer service, are trainwrecks even for the standard:
    • The first logo has no order, and mostly consists of random effects. The fireworks B-roll is unnecessary, the animation is very primitive, and the end result looks more like a twisted arcade game than anything else. The music, an excerpt of "Equinoxe, Pt. 5" by Jean-Michel Jarre, is in very bad quality, though this may be due to the age of the tape itself.
    • The second logo actually manages to be even worse than the first. The presentation is extremely dated for the time period (about 1993), there's a clear jumpcut between the black background and space background, and the logomark backing away from the background does so very slowly, lasting 20 seconds (moving back once every second) when it could have been much quicker. The harbor stock footage used in the final quarter looks severely wavy on the sides (possibly due to generation loss or tape deterioration), and the text plastered over it is in a very basic font. The only redeeming quality is that "Equinoxe, Pt. 5" sample sounds a lot better.
  • Greek company Carrey Video's logo is almost as horrible and unprofessional as both of Photo Video's. First off, the logomark, text, and animation have been stolen from another logo, specifically that of the similarly-named British distributor Carey Home Video. It looks as if they put more effort into the music than the animation, though they did a rather poor job of plastering it over the original logo's music as you can still hear it. The overlaid text "Carrey Video" is also not centered well with the logomark, and fades out faster than it.
  • The South Korean logo for Home Game logo is yet another copyright violation plastered onto already-infringing bootleg tapes. It takes an old commercial bumper for Showtime and uses an image of Pac-Man to cover up the original bumper's blue ball, of course awkwardly failing to do so. At the end, it shows Pac-Man and the text "HOME GAME" next to each other, but despite there being room for both translations, the English text changes into a Korean version of itself. Perhaps they tried to show-off with the materials they were given?
  • The Pioneer Films logo used for the film Manilla Boy is merely just the 1987 Motion Picture Corporation of America logo, and while they were generous enough to use new sound effects, it still is blatantly unoriginal. Amusingly, you can still see the trademark sign of the original logo!
  • Golumbia Video's logo looks like it was made with a very primitive form of Adobe Flash. Visually, the logo looks on par with VHS (this logo is said to be from around 2010), and the stock guitar music sounds both out-of-place and compressed. In context, it almost checks out (Golumbia Video was a video store in Brampton, Ontario), but this one is still an odd duck.
  • There exists a rare variant of the Walt Disney Home Video logo used on various live-action titles. Despite making sporadic appearances for about six years, it feels like a placeholder that accidentally made it onto a finished tape. There's no animation of any sort, and it doesn't even use the corporate logo, instead using a boring generic font. Why this was used when they could have used the regular logo, which existed at the same time and used the same music, is a Riddle for the Ages.
  • Aligator Video Enterprises is yet another bad logo from the Greeks. It seems like a simple concept to get right: the company name appearing word-by-word on a generic space background via trail effect. Yet the words are badly centered on the screen and the overall aesthetic looks uninspired, not to mention the music is stolen from the early-80s PolyGram Video logo (repeated twice). "Alligator" isn't even spelled right, which can't even be chalked up to a language barrier since the Greek αλλιγάτοραςnote  is a direct loanword.
  • "Slog" would be a good description of the logo used by Selena Studios, a 2 minute and 23 second 4 FPS slideshow of nothing. It's so long that Lazy Game Reviews - who uploaded the capture of the logo and reviewed the edutainment games it came from - reported that the screensaver triggered during the logo. And nothing even warrants it being that long - the initial animation lasts 45 seconds, followed by the world's slowest shooting star a minute in, then nothing for the last minute, as if it was rendered at the wrong speed. Even more bafflingly, the music—widely considered the only redeeming quality of the logo—is actually 2 minutes and 23 seconds long, which means at least one person actually saw the animation and thought "this is acceptable to put in a commercially-sold product".
  • The usual vanity plate for MTM Enterprises is one that many in the 70s and 80s would recognize: a cutesy parody of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer logo that replaces the iconic roaring lion with Mary Tyler Moore's cat Mimsie. There were several variations of the logo depending on the specific show or episode, but the only one that is remotely close to bad is the one used on the St. Elsewhere series finale. The series' closing theme played one last time over a static image of Mimsie on her side, eyes closed, with an IV drip and an EKG monitor hooked up on either side of her. The EKG flatlines with a harsh high-pitched sine tone as the MTM logo fades in. This was considered to be in extremely poor taste as not only was the series' end particularly controversial, but the actual Mimsie died of old age soon after. It was only used once, with syndicated versions plastering over the end credits (and the MTM logo) in favor of the standard St. Elsewhere variant.
  • It's a wonder that UNC-TV (aka University of North Carolina Television) managed to get their third logo onto a PBS affiliate, and it's particularly baffling that the logo lasted for the better part of the 1970s, for the simple reason that it's eye-searingly ugly. The font is horrendous and nearly illegible, and the green and yellow shadows don't complement the purple letters at all. As for the jingle, the weird medieval-sounding synth-harpsichord and bassoon is at least tolerable, but still nothing special.
  • The (once again Argentinian) logo for Bujotoon Magic Video is yet again literally another logo, music and all - the second Cinehollywood logo. The editing is amateurish, with the music abruptly skipping when the scene changes. What new additions are here aren't even interesting; it's just blue text with white outlines and nothing else.

  • Even if the logo for the 2012 London Summer Olympics didn't feature Accidental Innuendo,note  it is still considered ugly and unpleasant to look at. The logo is supposed to be the number "2012", but is so jagged and crudely drawn that it's hard to tell. There was even animated footage of the logo that triggered seizures in people with photosensitive epilepsy. Many British Newspapers even ran contests asking readers to come up with a better logo. While the logo ultimately remained in use for the Olympics that year, it is considered to be not just one of the worst Olympics logos, but also one of the worst logos period.
  • McKamey Manor, at first, was a fairly typical haunted house experience that was popular in its neighborhood for many years, with a dog food entry fee to be donated to a dog shelter. In 2013, after the success of Blackout Haunted House due to its Refuge in Audacity and expansion to Los Angeles, the man running it, Russ McKamey, retooled it with a focus for patrons to "experience a real horror movie". Like Blackout, guests signed a waiver releasing them of legal liability-except there was a huge difference. Whereas Blackout, while being physical and having themes of sexual assault, took the patrons' safety seriously, McKamey Manor hyper-focused on extremity to the point where very few people have experienced the whole haunt, especially when it's 4-7 hours long. They are also not allowed to leave freely. note  This retool was divisive, but also gained a cult following. However, it only got more and more extreme, with its 2016 iteration The Chamber being where it went too far. It took everything to downright unethical extremes, such as waterboarding, forced haircuts, legit punching and choking, and much worse. Severe injuries, up to bone fractures and one person getting knocked unconcious, were reported. Several people accused it of "legal torture", and its reputation was worsened with Russ going on the warpath against its detractors, losing almost all supporters left as a result. In 2017, Russ moved to Tennessee and used gofundme to move the manor with him, and announced it with a twist, a $20,000 dollar reward for whoever makes it through the entire thing. note  However, due to a combination of the State of Tennessee severely restricting the new version and seemingly being out of money, this version was so pathetic that Russ McKamey resorted to a "You're not fit to continue" excuse to not pay anyone. Primink made an in depth retrospective on its rise and fall here.
  • The Italian Pokémon-themed magazine Pokémon World over the years passed many iterations, many name changes, and a Dork Age that spanned for four years, but in recent times had issues twice:
    • First, the last issue of the original iteration, renamed Pokémon Mania at the time. While the actual last issue of the magazine is the March 2014 issue, after that the entire team behind it was fired for no reason from the publisher which made a final "issue" with no experience on the matter whatsoever: All the multi-parter articles that were still going on from last issue were stopped and replaced with stuff blatantly copy-pasted from the web (including an article leaving in a "click here and wait for the image to load" line), the belief that "Flash Fire" is not the name of an ability but the new name for the Fire Pokémon type (as in, "Vulpix is a Flashfire-type Pokémon"), a third of the magazine being occupied by a bunch of super-easy trivia questions written in a large font in order to fill more pages than it should, and generally half-assed everything.
    • After the accident described above, they made a two-issue comeback from a different publisher named Pokémon Mag in 2015, and later they came back in full strength as Pika Mania in 2016 under yet another publisher. But then, the Pokémon Mag publisher decided to revive its iteration of the magazine... and it's very bad. It suffers the same issues as the April 2014 issue of Pokémon Mania described above, but even worse: they give news that are already old like they were the latest thing (the September 2016 issue explained how Pokéstops work two months after Pokémon GO's release and talked about Solgaleo and Lunala as a brand-new thing shown here for the first time, four months after they were unveiled) and the magazine also suffers of GIS Syndrome (many pictures found in the magazine either don't match the article - such as DVD covers in articles about the Trading Card Game - or are thumbnail previews taken from YouTube videos, not to mention that they keep using fanart taken from DeviantArt, including fanmade Mega Evolutions and alternate forms being used in every issue, passing them off as real stuff). Also, they keep giving aids on how to cheat at Pokémon Go, basically helping kids to get banned from the game as soon as possible.
  • Tele1st was an attempt by ABC, through Chicago affiliate WLS-TV, to launch a pay TV service built around recording the programming overnight on a 4-hour VHS tape, trialling it in Chicago with plans to eventually roll it out nationwide. However, the gimmick meant you couldn't watch programming live because the tape itself was scrambled and the decoder was to descramble the tape, and also meant the tape was useless when the codes changed. If you fast-forwarded or rewound the tape, the decoder had to catch up with itself, causing the descrambling to temporarily fail and you to miss what you wanted to return to. You also had to fine-tune the decoder yourself. So there must have been amazing content that made this hassle worth it for the average Chicagoan, right? Nope. For $25.95 a month—$65.83 in 2020 dollars—plus the cost of multiple blank tapes that could record four hours, you could only watch four movies a month, that you picked in advance, and these were often box office bombs the studios were trying to recover from. Not every night had movies, either, and even when there was a movie, movies don't tend to run for the four hours a Tele1st broadcast lasted, meaning the runtime was padded out with miscellaneous crap like children's programming and cheap cooking shows. And before you say "surely you could see when the movie was supposed to start and just record that", important information was in the countdown that started each broadcast, meaning you had to record the entire broadcast—Titus Chan's Flavors of China and all. A ridiculous, utterly impractical idea with insufficient content to compensate for the inherent hassle, and which only 4000 Chicago households subscribed to, the service never expanded beyond the Windy City before being discontinued on June 30, 1984, less than six months after its launch. Oddity Archive looks at it here.
  • Warner Home Video's Rental Library program seemed like a good idea at the time it was conceived, but when it was formally announced, it became quite clear how tone-deaf it really was. In its first incarnation, which was essentially an extreme, more restrictive version of Walt Disney Home Video's already divisive rental policy and is unanimously considered its worst in retrospect, Warner recalled all unsold product by October 12, 1981, to be repackaged and sent back out for a six-month period, after which the tapes would be permanently recalled regardless of any revenue the rentals had generated. Plus, you had to pay high fees and fill out massive amounts of paperwork to access any of their titles in the first place. Dealers were outraged immediately—John Vinwoodie of Video Specialties in Houston voiced his disenchantment based on both previously-mentioned flaws—and two notable defectors were Nickelodeon, based in Los Angeles, and Video Station, owned by George Atkinson, who is considered the father of video rental, which further drives home how bad an idea it turned out to be. Queen notably began a label switch in the United States because of it, as their Greatest Flix release would go out through market newcomer Thorn EMI Video instead. While the newer titles were successful rentals according to the charts, the reality was that the program as a whole was, in the long run, a failure, doomed from the start based on initial dealer reactions. Even revisions to the program in early 1982 to be less restrictive in its presentation failed to do much, if anything, to mollify the detractors, and the Warner program ultimately collapsed at the end of the year and became a Role-Ending Misdemeanor for president Mort Fink—he resigned near the start of 1983, just after the last rental titles had been converted to sale titles. Today, all surviving stock involved in the fiasco, especially Superman II, have become highly-prized collector's items, but the program itself has been rightly relegated to the ash heap of history and, when mentioned, is almost always held up as the reason why rental-only failed in the United States—though, as the mere existence of our Media Formats/Storage Media folder is more than happy to demonstrate, some later companies evidently didn't take the Warner lesson to heart, capsulizing the policy into entire home video formats that themselves failed for their own reasons.
  • Landry's Downtown Aquariums are heavily polarizing among zoo fanatics and tourists alike for their mediocre exhibits, high price, for profit touristy nature compared to other Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) facilities, and possible ties to the mafia. Not even fans of the aquariums however would defend the Houston location's White Tigers of Maharajah Temple exhibit, widely considered the nadir of AZA-accredited zoo and aquarium exhibits. Themed to the style of a temple, the tigers were permanently kept indoors in a hideous concrete enclosure, with more effort spent on widely-considered-ugly theming than creating a natural home for the tigers. Not, only that, but a sign claims that white tigers occur in the wild, a blatant lie, as they are obtained through incestuous breeding between different tiger subspecies. Animal rights activists and zoo enthusiasts alike were enraged, with animal rights activists upset with the horrendous conditions and threatening to sue Landry's, and zoo enthusiasts hating the ugly theming in addition to the sad husbandry. Fortunately, the enclosure broke a husbandry rule with the AZA stating that tigers be preferably kept outside, forcing the facility to relocate the tigers to an outdoor exhibit.
  • Since the Turn of the Millennium, the Gibson guitar brand (famous for their Les Paul model electric guitar) has been struggling to keep up due to high prices, the addition of unnecessary, controversial, and just plain gimicky features, and a lack of interest from younger guitar players. This all cumulated in 2011 with the Gibson Firebird X, a modern re-imagining of their classic Firebird model, and is a hideous amalgamation of everything wrong with Henry Juszkiewicz-era Gibson and frequently cited as one of the worst electric guitar models of all time. What it was aiming to do was basically provide an all-in-one solution for electric guitar tones with on-board effects and Bluetooth control pedals. However the controls are so convoluted that many users didn't know how to utilize these effects properly. Not to mention that the effects on the guitar are not the greatest (nor did the pickups themselves), and can easily be outdone with a Line 6 POD and an Epiphone guitar for a small fraction of the price. Worse is that it was outfitted from the get go with Gibson's downright infamous Robot Tuners, a small device mounted behind the headstock that would automatically tune the guitar strings to pitch. The problem was that it would often tune out of pitch, malfunction with non-standard string gauge configurations or for no reason at all (indeed, according to one YouTube guitarist's account, on one robot-tuner equiped guitar, one of the tuning pegs began perpetually detuning a guitar string. This was on an all-stock instrument at a Gibson showroom), and if the guitarist wanted to tune the instrument manually (and they often would), the Robot Tuners made it harder to do so. Most egregiously is the entire guitar is battery-powered, which wouldn't be bad on its own if it weren't for the fact that if the battery died, you could not use the guitar until you recharge it, with no analog bypass setting to just get the signal from the pickups into the amp. So heaven forbid that your guitar's battery dies in the middle of a show. What really doomed it is its $5,500 price tag, driving away any novice players who might be interested in not having to set up a bunch of FX pedals (if they can figure out the complicated control scheme), while professional guitarists ignored the model completely. It was discontinued the next year and is rumored to have sales numbers in the single digits, with Guitar Center employees actively discouraging customers from buying the guitar, it was that terrible. In 2018, coinciding with the company filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy, Gibson did away with any and all models containing any semblence of the Firebird X's feature set. The guitar was so unsalvageable that Gibson was forced to destroy their remaining inventory valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars, with it and the rest of the post-2000s Juszkiewicz era becoming an Old Shame for the company.

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