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Bile Fascination

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Razputin: If you hate the show so much, why don't you just leave?
Jasper: I just can't take my eyes off it! It's like watching the scene of a horrible car accident... A car accident where the victims can't act, and the paramedics forget their lines!

There's Hype Aversion, when numerous people's rabid touting of the latest masterpiece deter you from rushing out and buying it. And then there's the reverse phenomenon, when numerous people's rabid panning of the latest uber-stinker, complete with detailed lists on why you should never, ever, ever buy this piece of dung actually fill you with the masochistic urge to rush out and buy it just to see if it's that bad.

It's like hearing about the train wreck of the century: Your better sensibilities are repulsed at the thought of it, and yet part of you wants to see that wreck in all its magnificent destruction. You want to see just how gloriously terrible it must be for all the high-profile people to be expressing their horror over it.

Don't feel ashamed about it; it's the natural foil to our obsession with the best of the best. Just as we want to know how high in brilliance art can rise, we also want to know how low it can sink in sheer awfulness. Plus the fact that reviews spewing bile over the many ways something stinks tend to be far more entertaining to read than reviews extolling the virtues of the latest Oscar Bait.

This feeling is sometimes the basis of So Bad, It's Good. What differentiates Bile Fascination from So Bad It's Good, is the fact it is interesting to discuss the work, even if the consuming the work itself is not enjoyable at all, even in So Bad It's Enjoyable way. Perhaps it is interesting to discuss how the authors thought this work was a great idea. Or all the conditions that caused that work to be made in the first place.

Distinct from No Such Thing as Bad Publicity in that the criticism is concerning the quality of the work, rather than the content. Compare and contrast Just Here for Godzilla and Watch It for the Meme. Can make the film in question become a Guilty Pleasure for some and, if enough people disagree with the majority, a Cult Classic. Similar to but not quite Schmuck Bait.


    open/close all folders 

Real works:

  • The main reason people watch Cryptoland is to see if it really is as bad as people say.
  • The infamous GrubHub "Delivery Dance" commercial has been memed to Hell and back by people who abhor the commercial's lacklustre 3D animation, cringeworthy dancing, and irritating soundtrack.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Abunai Sisters received universally negative reception owing to its low-quality 3D models, grating voice acting (which is in English only and has all of the voices pitched up to the point where everyone sounds like they're on helium), and over-reliance on the Boob-Based Gag, which end up as Fetish Retardant due to the aforementioned graphics and voice acting. The main reason why anyone watches it is to see if it's really that bad.
  • Astro Ganger: The only reason most people are interested in it is to see if it's bad as the other infamous Knack Productions work, and the janky animation, Unintentional Uncanny Valley and flat characters don't help.

    Comic Books 
  • Cerebus the Aardvark is largely remembered only for this, thanks to creator Dave Sim's Creator Breakdown and later issues of the comic devolving into a mess of anti-feminist ranting.
  • Countdown to Final Crisis was the followup to the well-received 52, meant to lead in to Grant Morrison's Final Crisis. However, Countdown was extremely slow-paced despite being a weekly book, the continuity between issues was almost nonexistent, the actual storylines were weak, and the story branched off into tie-in issues so often that many stories never finished within the book. It failed at its mission so thoroughly that Final Crisis ignored everything in the book, and everything was turned into Canon Discontinuity. The only reason for anyone to read it anymore is to see just how bad it really is.
  • Heroes in Crisis had loads of this, even while it was coming out. With each issue, more people checked out the book just to see why it was so hated by everyone. What they found was a series full of padding, terrible handling of the topic of mental illness, and turning a beloved character into a mass murderer because of Executive Meddling. Immediately after it ended, the series was retconned and undone so that the mass murders never happened in the first place.
  • Marville would be completely forgotten if not for this trope. Written by then-president of Marvel Bill Jemas (who had essentially no comic writing experience before this) on a bet, it starts as an unfunny parody of the American media business in the early 00s, becomes an unfunny parody of superhero comics, then turns into a highly-inaccurate Author Tract on science, organized religion, and the story ends claiming to have solved world peace. The comic continues with a recap issue, which comes across as a Take That! at comic editors (when this comic itself clearly had Protection from Editors because of being written by the president of the company), and the series finally ends with a submission guide for Marvel's revival of the Epic Comics label, designed to give other creative voices the chance to publish for Marvel with similar creative freedom. That line ended after about a year and the only comic of note it produced was Trouble (Marvel Comics), another comic that fits this trope. In the end, all the comic accomplished was gaining the notoriety of being one of the worst comics ever made.
  • Some of the later works of Frank Miller have little to recommend them except this trope:
    • All-Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder is an absolutely bizarre story where Batman kidnaps Dick Grayson Age Twelve, as soon as his parents are killed, forces him to live off of rats captured in the Batcave, calls him "retarded" for not knowing he's the "goddamn Batman" and "queer" for not liking the name "Batmobile", Black Canary is an Irish ninja who travels across the country to meet Batman because she idolizes him, the entire Justice League is made up of absolute idiots to show how much better Batman is than them, and it ends randomly in issue 10 (of the planned 12) because Schedule Slip just got too bad. And this is just scratching the surface of the problems with this book.
    • Holy Terror is a book where a Captain Ersatz Batman and Catwoman take on Al-Qaeda, originally meant to be a parody/callback to World War II-era propaganda comics, but due to a combination of Frank Miller's Creator Breakdown and changes made during the Schedule Slip of the book (originally meant as a Batman story until either Miller changed his mind or DC told him they wouldn't publish it) turned it into the type of angry, racist story that it was supposed to be a parody of. Add in the absolutely bizarre artwork, terrible pacing, and the story completely losing touch with reality when suddenly Al-Qaeda starts to resemble the Illuminati, and there are few people will defend this book for anything but the Bile Fascination of reading it.
  • Brian Michael Bendis only wrote Legion of Super-Heroes (2020) for roughly three years, but it quickly became the most critically lambasted version of the Legion to date. While veteran fans argued a fresh start was needed following years of retcons and reboots, it gradually became clear Bendis had little to no understanding of why people loved the Legion due to nonexistent character development, rambling dialog, plots that ended up going nowhere, and big amounts of racist subtext. By the end of Justice League Vs Legion of Super-Heroes, the only reason fans bother to look at any of the issues written by Bendis are to see if they really are as boring as people have been saying they are.
  • Trouble (Marvel Comics) was Marvel's attempt at reviving 1950s romance comics... by focusing on the teenage sex lives of Peter Parker's parents and his Aunt May and Uncle Ben. The covers feature photos of possibly underage girls in bikinis giving suggestive looks to the readers, and the book inside is no better due to the flat and unlikeable characters. The story eventually takes a turn for the melodramatic, featuring a teen pregnancy plot, where abortion is considered and handled with all of the misaimed Darker and Edgier Black Comedy that Mark Millar is capable of, and reveals that Peter Parker is actually May's son, not Mary's, reaction to which veers from confusing (the timeline makes absolutely no sense) to the offensive (possibly implying May raising Peter means more because he's her biological child, not "just" her nephew by marriage).
  • The Unfunnies: What is the book that so embraces Darker and Edgier Black Comedy that even Mark Millar has tried to pretend that it never happened?

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • On several occasions 365 Days has been described as "an even worse version of Fifty Shades of Grey". Considering that Fifty Shades is already notorious, some people just had to check out 365 Days to see if it was really that bad. The same applies to the books, especially after they were translated from Polish, as well as the sequels This Day and The Next 365 Days.
  • Battlefield Earth: It's not because of its relationship with L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology, it's not because of its radioactive levels of Narm, it's not because of its horrid effects and bloated, knuckle-dragging plot, it's all of the above at once.
  • A Certain Sacrifice: Infamous for being Madonna's film debut and having No Budget (it was thrown together to capitalize on her fame in 1985, and she immediately disowned it). It can charitably described as "slice of life vignettes meets rape-revenge thriller," yet there exists a subset of viewers who nonetheless appreciate it for her performance and the look at New York City at the end of The '70s.
  • The Day the Clown Cried: This is considered one of the holy grails of lost media aficionados. It was never released to the public and currently remains in the hands of several film companies and celebrities as a morbid curiosity. Why is it so bad, you ask? Because it holds the dubious distinction of having one of the most alienating premises in cinema history: It's about a clown that entertains Auschwitz. If you are really that desperate to watch this, you have to wait until the Library of Congress releases it in August 2025.
  • Deck the Halls: It has become a classic example of a "bad Christmas movie" among many moviegoers, which has naturally gotten a fair share of people watching to see why it's become so reviled.
  • David Lynch famously disowned his adaptation of Dune, though many viewers have enjoyed it nonetheless — ironically or otherwise. It's too bad to be a good film, but it's too good to be a bad film. Having Sting play a hamtastic villain in a wing-shaped speedo certainly helps. Curiosity about this loveable trainwreck has multiplied tenfold after the release of Denis Villeneuve's significantly better and more successful two part adaptation.
  • Hobgoblins is only notable now for the legendary way in which it was splattered all over by Mystery Science Theater 3000.
  • The Human Centipede: This isn't so much of a movie as it is an endurance test. Specifically of your gag reflex. And the same goes for its sequels.
  • Ishtar is a famously awful film, being about lounge singers that get tangled in an international conflict. While most people will gladly watch this terrible movie to see how bad it is, some have found it genuinely enjoyable. Most famous of all being Gary Larson himself.
  • The Last Airbender: Those who joined the Avatar fandom after the release of this movie can't help but be curious to know why it was panned to kingdom come.
  • Plan 9 from Outer Space. To a legendary degree. It is synonymous with So Bad, It's Good, and it holds the distinction of being the most iconic B-movie in cinema history.
  • The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure. Everything about it, from its staggeringly inane premise, baffling marketing gimmicks and its eccentric marketer. (Yes, marketer - not creator). The end result was the mother of all box office bombs and a car accident of a film that its few viewers just couldn't look away from.
  • The Room (2003). This incredibly bad film has come to be considered an ironic masterpiece, thanks in part to a disastrous premiere in Hollywood that had half of the audience asking for refunds before the first thirty minutes!
  • Troll 2, like Plan 9 before it, is so So Bad, It's Good that there's a cast-led-and-featuring documentary called Best Worst Movie celebrating, defending and completely missing the point about why it is so enjoyably terrible.
  • Like God's Not Dead and Saving Christmas before it, atheist/secularist viewers and Trump's critics like to watch The Trump Prophecy because of how unintentionally funny the movie is.

    Live-Action TV 

  • The 120 Days of Sodom: For the worst of reasons. Its age and sour reputation (helped in no part by its infamous author) has inspired morbid curiosity in readers who want to see if it really is as depraved as it is said to be. Turns out it is.
  • 365 Days: After the better-known 2020 film adaptation gained infamy over accusations of romanticizing rape, kidnapping and organized crime, some people began seeking out the original novels to see how they compared. Many readers have opined that, in addition to the questionable writingnote , the films are tame compared the books' outrageous content.
  • Alfie's Home: Pretty much the only reason anyone would read this would be to see if its homophobic messages are really as bad as everyone says.
  • Empress Theresa: The book is a literary chemical spill in and of itself to begin with, but when you introduce its very imbalanced author and his obsessive defense of the title, you get a modern-day freak show and a case study in egomania. People who took the time to read this book (or at least about it) are unanimously floored by its staggeringly imbecilic plot.
  • The Eye of Argon: So much so that it's become a parlor game.
  • Happyslapped By A Jellyfish is not a bad book, but its...unique author is more than enough of a selling point.
  • The Legend of Rah and the Muggles: Barely even a blip on the radar were it not for the author's ill-fated infringement lawsuit against J.K. Rowling. And that's not getting into the ridiculous plot and grotesque character designs.
  • The Lightlark Saga: After early reviews for Lightlark came out and were generally critical of the novel and the way it was marketed (with some calling it "The Fyre Festival of Booktok"), some people picked up the book mostly to see if it was really that bad. The same applies to Nightbane, with even readers who thought Lightlark was bad admitting they wanted to read the sequel out of morbid curiosity over what crazy direction the series would go in (less cynically, a few readers wanted to see if the author could actually build upon Lightlark's redeeming qualities).
  • Org's Odyssey is considered the furry community's answer to The Eye of Argon. The few to have read the book say that it really is as awful as people say it is.
  • Reaper's Creek, Stones To Abbigale and This Is Why I Hate You are all horrible books, but what makes them so morbidly fascinating is the man behind them: Onision. Yes, that Onision. Readers of this trilogy unanimously agree that they serve as a look into the mind of a potential mass murderer.
  • It's likely the only reason anyone's even heard of the Save the Pearls duology (a YA dystopia that tries to tackle racism via a Persecution Flip) is due to people wanting to check just how bad the portrayal of racism is, after it got huge amounts of criticism for it. It would probably just have been overlooked as one of many teen dystopian novels published at the time if it weren't for this.
  • The Turner Diaries is a book written by a white supremacist. Actually, that's putting it lightly; it's a violent white supremacist Power Fantasy, in which our "heroes" carry out mass genocide. Despite being supressed, if not illegal, in several countries for obvious reasons, many people are interested in the book to see how horrific it really is. Especially the FBI, who use it as a way of identifying white supremacist rhetoric, culture and tactics (with its most infamous case being the Oklahoma City Bombing). Even if you (somehow) look past its hateful rhetoric and blatant neo-Nazi propaganda, it's an hilariously badly written book with stilted dialogues, paper-thin "characters", a contrived plot, in which the neo-Nazi protagonists are only able to win because their opponents act like idiots, and an Esoteric Happy Ending, in which the entire world is nuked into oblivion and the "white paradise" is created in an irradiated hellhole. Yay?
  • Victoria is another military-political Power Fantasy, this time by a reactionary paleoconservative, in which a group of Right Wing Militia Fanatics go to war against Strawman Political enemies. Despite the fact that it's completely serious, the book reads like a satire along the lines of Judge Dredd, Warhammer 40,000, or (movie) Starship Troopers for being so over-the-top. For example, the author refers to gangsters as "orcs" and calls New York City "The Babylon on the Hudson".

  • This trope (along with OneyPlays) is the sole reason anyone still remembers the L33tStr33t Boys. Their music and lyrics appeal to anime and gaming culture so aggressively that newcomers couldn't believe the band's sincerity and lack of self-awareness. Reading the lyrics will have you laughing, cringing or cringe-laughing.
  • 6ix9ine's "GOOBA" became the biggest debut for a rap song on YouTube of all time note  due to it being the first single 6ix9ine recorded after snitching on the Bloods. The fact that the song is of him bragging about snitching while his face morphs into an animoji of a rat - after saying in court that his 6ix9ine persona was just something he did to sell records, then coming right back to it - landed the song on many a 'worst songs of 2020' list. It also hit 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. NME called 6ix9ine "the most hatewatched man in rap."
  • Farrah Abraham's My Teenage Dream Ended is a Cult Classic of an album that's become infamous for existing in a reputation between this and genuine critical admiration. The debut album of a nascent artist who knew very little about music and enforced... questionable creative direction to producers, it was widely lambasted for just how bizarrely it mangled its attempt at being a sharp dance pop album, filled with ridiculously atonal instrumentals amidst heavily auto-tuned vocals that never properly mixes together. This actually ended up being a point that critics quickly became fascinated with — Abraham and co were so off course that it shot the moon and accidentally became an intriguing bit of avant-garde outsider music, which has been enough to earn it a degree of sincere prestige and placements on "best-of" lists. Even if you aren't into the Accidental Art angle, it's still experimental and weird enough to have drawn a long-term audience of varying levels of irony.

    Tabletop Games 
  • F.A.T.A.L. is known solely for being a theatrically egregious example of how not to make a roleplaying game. Complete with bafflingly convoluted and self-contradictory rules, vicious misogyny and racism, and extreme amounts of sexual deviancy of every stripe and sort. If you look up any discussion about the game, it's usually about how bad it is.
  • Racial Holy War is basically The Turner Diaries in RPG form. Without combat rules. Many people, especially of the anti-fascist sort, use it as evidence of how hateful, evil and just plain stupid Neo-Nazi culture really is.
  • The earliest editions of Warhammer 40,000 featured artwork that was less "grimdark" and more "it came from the 1980s." Beak-shaped helmets, ludicrously massive guns and the biggest mohawks you will ever see await you. Longtime fans always like to look back at these just to see how far the franchise has come, though some miss that era and think the new material takes itself too seriously.

  • This trope was the major reason why the Cherry Sisters were popular during the 1890s: Because their act Something Good, Something Sad was so terrible, it looped back into being entertaining for audiences. This was also the reason why the Olympia Music Hall managed to save itself from bankruptcy: According to Willie Hammerstein in an interview, "I've been putting on the best talent, and it hasn't gone over...I'm going to try the worst.". Sadly, their last recording was destroyed in the seventies, so all we can really do is imagine how bad it was.

    Video Games 
  • Action 52 is widely considered the worst game (Or compilation of games?) of all time, and many people download the "ROM" or buy a copy of the game to see if it's that bad.
  • Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing because it is considered one of the best examples (if not the best example) of an Obvious Beta.
  • Bubsy 3D: A series of contested quality to begin with decided to go for innovation for its third instalment. It succeeded somewhat, at least initially - at the time the only other games of a similar scale were Super Mario 64 and Crash Bandicoot, both of which released around the same time, with the former also (naturally) being a Nintendo 64 exclusive and the latter having gameplay closer to a 2D platformer (think something along the lines of Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island meets Donkey Kong Country, but with more polygons!) - but then almost immediately afterward the Video Game 3D Leap really started to take off, and plenty of developers were quick to show how it's really done. It wasn't long before the game started looking horribly garish in comparison, and the retrospective was brutal. Condemned by History is putting it mildly. Of course, all that is the main reason why most people are interested in this game nowadays.
  • CrazyBus: This is the reason behind why the game is so popular in the first place despite being something someone bored could've coded up one lazy afternoon. It's a tech demo, a sample application provided with a third-party compiler toolchain and you're supposed to study the game's source code and learn how to program using the toolchain from there. And yet all people are after is the ROM generated by the compiler. And then there's its annoying theme.
  • Custer's Revenge for the Atari 2600: Despite having a very Audience-Alienating Premise where the player accumulates points by raping a Native American woman tied to a cactus while dodging arrow fire, the game still managed to sell a decent 80,000 copies approximately in its day, mostly because people first heard about it from the protests enacted by feminists and anti-racist activists, and were curious as to just how bad it really is. The general consensus reached, however, is that the game really is that bad, not only for its cringe-inducing premise but for its repetitively barebones gameplay, even by the standards of Atari 2600 games.
  • The NES version of Ghostbusters. While the original Commodore 64 game, as well as the Atari 2600 and Sega Master System versions, were all considered decent games in their time, the NES version has earned itself an overwhelmingly negative reputation for an unfortunate combination of being difficult and boring, leaving curiosity as to just how bad it is as the only reason to play the game. The only positive thing that can be said about this version is the unintentionally hilarious "Blind Idiot" Translation that is its ending, which has become memetic.
  • Ethnic Cleansing: If the name alone doesn't put you off then the details will. It's pretty much a video game adaptation of Racial Holy War, all the way down to the fact that it's an Obvious Beta. It was made by neo-Nazis and hammers its ideas home - for starters, blacks make monkey noises when you kill them.
  • The Frontier: Hoo boy. This Fallout: New Vegas mod gets all its publicity and attention from the maelstrom of controversy that surrounds the game like a dense fog. Spectators to this disaster are treated to unfortunate implications, Canon Defilement, unsettling fetishistic undertones, poor writing, developer scandals and a behind-the-scenes civil war.
  • Japanese fan demand lead to two unofficial remakes and a Nintendo Switch port of Hoshi wo Miru Hito. And let's just say that it isn't known as the "densetsu no kusoge", or "legendary shitty game", for nothing...
  • The Last Resurrection is an indie RPG from the early 2000s, and it reeks of the early 2000s. From the poor spelling to the bad art style to the ham-fisted anti-Christian message, it's attracted an audience for being that bad. Jesus is a Card-Carrying Villain who leads the Nazis and wants to kill everybody. Yes, really.
  • The Lord of the Rings: Gollum was first announced in 2019 with little fanfare, but upon its eventual release in 2023, it rapidly caught word-of-mouth attention in the worst way imaginable due to being utterly eviscerated by critics and casual players alike, with audiences — even those who aren't interested in Tolkien's Legendarium — flocking to see how bad someone would have to botch a game based on a beloved IP for it to earn immediate "potential worst game of the decade" status.
  • Michigan: Report From Hell: What keeps people coming back to this otherwise obscure game is its astonishingly bad voice-acting.
  • Ninjabread Man: The only reason most people have any interest in this game. That and the title.
  • The Atari 2600 version of Pac-Man: The Trope Codifier for Porting Disaster. Hilariously in Hindsight, the Atari 2600 ports of Ms. and Jr. Pac-Man were Polished Ports. Add the many re-releases of the original Arcade version on multiple platforms, as well as fan-favorite Pac-Man Championship Edition DX, and there's absolutely no reason to play Pac-Man on the Atari 2600 other than curiosity as to how bad it is.
  • Paper Mario: Sticker Star: Given its reputation as the weakest Paper Mario, some have played just to see if Sticker Star is really that bad.
  • Ride to Hell: Retribution: The hordes of glitches both amusing and annoying, repetitive and shallow gameplay, paper-thin story, laughable voice-acting, pointless sex scenes where the characters keep their clothes on the entire time, and the illogical and dickish actions of the main character (most famously the scene where he blows up a power plant just to shut off an electric fence) have led to the game becoming renowned as a masterpiece of awfulness that gamers play solely to see how bad it can get.
  • Skull Island: Rise of Kong: The game is a low-effort licensed shovelware that does a huge disservice to its source material and is clearly just a forgettable cash-grab, but it garnered a lot of attention upon its release due to just how rushed it was, with many considering it a strong candidate for worst game of 2023, and a number of people checked out the game solely for that.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (2006): People who play this game today play it to see if it really is that bad.
  • Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League was already fraught with a ton of bad publicity prior in the months-turned-years before release for a multitude of reasons, from concerns over the game being a follow-up to the beloved Batman: Arkham Series as well as the controversial live-service gameplay model alienating fans, with many expecting to only approach the game from a distance. However, general animosity turned into this trope when the game was finally released and word got out of just how bad its plot actually was, with the game's handling of genuinely killing off the Justice League, including Batman in what was advertised as the late Kevin Conroy's Swan Song for the character drawing such backlash that more fans flocked to see if it really was as baffling and tone-deaf as claimed.
  • Superman 64 is infamously known for its laughable story, the "kryptonite fog" used as an excuse for the game's terrible draw distance, the shoddy controls, the massive amount of levels that amount to just flying through rings, and the many bugs and glitches that can be either hilarious, a game breaker, or game breaking hilarious. ProtonJon covered the game so that no one else would have to play it and he tried to discourage people from playing it, but they went and bought/tried the game anyway just to see for themselves how bad it really was.
  • Nintendo Switch cartridges are very small and could present a choking hazard if a child put one in their mouth. To avoid this, they're sprayed with denatonium benzoate, a harmless chemical that tastes horribly bitter... which led to a brief fad, shortly after the system's initial release, of people licking Switch game cartridges just to see how bad it was.
  • The Walking Dead: Destinies: Having been touted as an ambitious game where players could rewrite the most important events of The Walking Dead (2010), the game turned out to be a broken mess with graphics more appropriate for a budget smartphone game, frustrating and repetitive gameplay, and mountains of bugs. It wasn't long before dozens of videos were being made about the game's low quality, which led to morbidly curious gamers seeking it out just to see it for themselves.

  • Billy the Heretic: Notable for being possibly the first webcomic made by neo-Nazis for neo-Nazis, pretty much the only reason anyone reads the comic is to see how bad it really is.
  • Sinfest: Following the infamous "Sisterhood" arc and subsequently increasing Filibuster Freefall to a virtually incomprehensible degree, the number of non-ironic followers of the series has dwindled to a tiny fraction it had prior, note  with the majority of its readers nowadays only reading to see how nonsensical it's gotten.
  • Most readers of Sonichu do so in order to see the shockingly bad artwork, the graphic content existing side-by-side with juvenile plots, and its completely convoluted story. And that's without mentioning how it was heavily influenced by the life of its notorious creator.

    Web Original 
  • Dusk's Dawn is considered by many Bronies to be their subculture's answer to The Room (2003).
  • The Red Ape Family immediately gathered infamy and had many memes and YouTubers making fun of it. There were many reasons for it: 1) It was entirely based on Non-Fungible Tokens (specifically the "Bored Ape" collection), a controversial and widely hated technology; 2) the voice acting is poor and it is barely animated; 3) The Twitter account for it was overhyping the show to the point of delusion, calling its first episode "already a masterpiece". It's a dumpster fire and many, many people were eager to watch it smoulder.
  • A variation whereby the creator themselves isn't bad, but the stuff they present is; New England Wildlife and More gained popularity for his presentation of decades-old food products; people flocked to his channel to see how awful the food is after several decades.

    Western Animation 
  • With how hated Allen Gregory is to the point where Fox has tried to bury it, many still seek it out to see how bad it really is.
  • Big Mouth has landed a spot on its page because of the controversy over its premise as an edgy, no-holds-barred comedy about puberty. Those who decided to take a chance and see for themselves are divided into two camps: those who have found it to be the funniest cartoon in years, and those who were unimpressed by its unusual art style, crass humor and uncomfortable subject matter.
  • Viewers who lost their appetite while watching The Brothers Grunt were hard-pressed to imagine that this was made by the same minds behind Ed, Edd n Eddy.
  • Being a blatant knockoff of Bluey and made by a conservative right-wing media company, Chip Chilla has elicited this reaction from many.
  • Downplayed with Family Guy. Although it's been, for the most part, well-received, from season seven and onward, the show slowly began to suffer from Seasonal Rot and the later seasons have received mixed-to-negative reviews from fans. Those who decided to see for themselves why this was the case found it difficult to believe that they were written by sane, decent human beings.
  • Some people only watch Mega Babies just to see how strong their stomachs are. Others in disbelief that it was by the same people who made the vastly superior Swat Kats.
  • Thanks to its appearance in countless memes and just as many countdowns of the worst cartoons (and its infamous theme song), The Nutshack has made quite the name for itself.
  • Rapsittie Street Kids: Believe in Santa: Long considered lost for several years, this trainwreck only aired once on The WB. Viewers are unanimously awestruck by how this steaming heap managed to make it on NATIONAL TV.
  • The Powerpuff Girls (1998):
    • Fans tend to watch the absolutely despised "Town and Out" (for its realistic nature) and "Moral Decay" (for Buttercup grasping the Jerkass Ball quite hard) just to see how bad they are.
    • To a further extent, fans of the original just watch the reboot just to pick apart everything wrong with it for how it changed everything about the original show.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • After hearing about the universal hatred for the episode "A Pal for Gary", many people found themselves wondering just how awful it could be, watched it themselves and immediately regretted it afterwards.
    • Many watched "One Coarse Meal" to see how bad it is, and many also regretted watching it. It says something when even many of the cast members of the show say they've regretted making this episode.
  • The South Park episode "Stanley's Cup" has received tons of backlash from many fans, often making it to many "Worst South Park Episodes" lists. Because of this, many people became curious as to why the episode was so bad, decided to watch it themselves, saw the point and immediately regretted it afterwards.
  • There are only two reasons why anyone would willingly watch Velma: One is that they’ve never heard of its reputation and viewed out of pure curiosity due to its association with the Scooby-Doo brand. The other is that they do actually know of its reputation and just wonder why it has been panned every which way.
  • Yo Yogi!: It's Totally Radical to the point of self-parody, it nearly killed most of Hanna-Barbara's original intellectual property and it's a spectacle to see.

In-Universe works:

    Fan Works 
  • Ace Lives: In Chapter 19, despite the increasing amount of embarrassment and humiliation everyone is feeling, no one can find it in themselves to stop Whitebeard and Kaido from airing all the dirt they have on each other from their time together on the Rocks Pirates. It's explicitly compared to a slow-motion ship collision that you can't look away from, no matter how much you want to.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Liar Liar, this is the only reason Judge Stevens allows Fletcher to call Samantha Cole to the stand. He's completely and utterly fed up with how much of a joke the trial has been, and pretty much already made up his mind that Samantha's ex-husband will win the case, but he just has to see what Fletcher is going to do next.
    Judge: Mr. Reede, it is out of sheer morbid curiosity I'm allowing this... freak show to continue! Mrs. Cole? If you dare.
  • Star Trek: Generations: After installing the emotions chip that Dr. Soong made for him, Data tries a drink for the first time. He finds the drink unagreeable, but can't get enough of it.
    Guinan: Well, it looks like he hates it.
    Data: ...yes, that is it! I hate this!
    Geordi: Data, I think the chip is working.
    Data: (takes another swing) UGH! Yes! I HATE this! It is REVOLTING!
    Guinan: More?
    Data: Please!


    Live-Action TV 
  • In Cobra Kai, this is more or less the primary reason the Sekai Taikai moderators allow both Cobra Kai and Johnny and Daniel's combined dojo compete. When made to choose between the two they almost immediately decide that Cobra Kai is the superior dojo, but as they've never seen a dojo quite like the combined Miyagi-Do and Eagle Fang, they are so bemused and morbidly curious of what it could bring to the Sekai Taikai that they allow them to compete as well. The secondary reason being Johnny manages to bond with the German moderator over their shared love of Rocky IV and bad-assery.

  • In the musical version of The Producers, the opening song implies that the only reason people still go to see the shows Max Bialystock produces is to see for themselves just how much of a disaster it's going to be.

    Video Games 

    Web Animation 
  • Zero Punctuation:
    • Yahtzee genuinely recommends buying Ride to Hell: Retribution since it's so bad it has to be played to be believed.
      "It's bad. It's explosively, apocalyptically bad, and you should totally buy it. I'm serious, you have to see this shit! Where to start?!"
    • He also claims the only reason Daikatana was released on Steam was so people could see how bad it is, adding that the description should have been "roll up, roll up, everyone come and see the freak."


    Web Video 
  • In Atop the Fourth Wall: The Movie, Linkara ultimately comes to an epiphany that despite all the crap he's gone through, the thing that gives him purpose in life is reviewing bad comics and learning about the creative decisions that led to them getting made.
  • BIGTOP BURGER: Zomburger is a Lethal Eatery that deliberately makes poor-quality burgers in order to garner negative reviews, which in turn drives more customers to eat there just to see if the menu is as bad as they claim.
    Frances: The worse the food, the better the sales!

    Western Animation 
  • DuckTales (2017): In "Louie's Eleven!," Dewey is convinced yo-yo tricks are the next big thing and hopes to perform them for hit-maker Emma Glamour. When Glamour's party is overtaken by mercenaries, Dewey jumps at the chance to create a distraction. He's terrible and fails at even the simplest of tricks, but Glamour and the mercenaries can't pull their eyes away from the spectacle.


Video Example(s):


"Bad food sells burgers"

An In-Universe example. Zomburger intentionally make their food as bad as possible to boost sales.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (23 votes)

Example of:

Main / NoSuchThingAsBadPublicity

Media sources: