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Creator's Apathy

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"Lisa, if you don't like your job, you don't strike. You just go in every day and do it really half-assed. That's the American way!"
Homer Simpson, The Simpsons, "The PTA Disbands"

Imagine if you will: you're watching an extremely mediocre film. The lighting is so bad you can see the shadow of the boom-mic on the wall. The zippers and seams are visible on the People in Rubber Suits. The editing looks like someone playing with the wipe feature on Windows Movie Maker. There are times when you really start to wonder what is going wrong with a movie; in theory, they should be trying to make the best product they can, right?

But that's not what happens. A strange lack of enthusiasm and/or optimism sabotages the production. The creators were completely apathetic, and they admit it.

Examples of this "Creator's Apathy" are all about the production values. It is possible to be apathetic to other aspects of making a story, but we have another set of tropes for that.

Also worth remembering is that while the quality of any work given as an example has likely suffered horribly from its makers' apathy, this apathy itself is not necessarily all bad. As many an artist and writer can testify, any work for which the publisher's editors and executives have a complete lack of concern can be an opportunity for the creator to put whatever he or she wants in it, as their superiors' apathy provides a kind of de facto Protection from Editors. From a business perspective, some works simply have no target audience, or sometimes the concept underlying them is just so bad that no one should ever have approved any budget or other resources for its creation in the first place. When such an abomination makes its way down to the production crew, sympathetic souls in middle management will often warn everyone involved not to waste too much talent or money making it. On the critics' end, works for which even the creators showed no concern can have some Narm Charm, be So Bad, It's Good, or at least inspire some Bile Fascination.

Compare Stylistic Suck, Artistic License, Who Writes This Crap?!, Money, Dear Boy, Creator Breakdown, and Contractual Obligation Project. Contrast Developer's Foresight and Doing It for the Art. You might be looking for Shrug of God, which is when creators don't have an answer to fan/interview questions and don't come up with one, responding with indifference.

All examples that are not In-Universe require Word of God confirming that the creators didn't care.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Delicious Party♡Pretty Cure is themed around food and cooking with the main Cures having engagement with the culinary arts in some capacity, whether it be food reviews, cooking, or eating. Despite this, lead writer Sawako Hirabayashi revealed in Animage January 2023 that she doesn't like cooking and saw no reason to put effort in that aspect. This also resulted in the Cures getting stifled in character development while Rosemary gets the bulk of the focus instead.
  • Dragon Ball Super: Broly director Tetsuya Nagamine, during an interview, was quite critical of Toei Animation's direction of Dragon Ball Super before Broly, calling them out for their indifference over the series.
  • Pokemon:
    • Michael Haigney of 4Kids Entertainment admitted to half-assing some of his Pokémon voices on the basis that, with over a hundred-and-fifty to get through, it was likely that some Pokémon would never be seen again. This rapidly backfired when he applied it to Charmander which is 1. a starter Pokémon, i.e., one of the first Pokémon kids receive, 2. featured and spotlighted in a fairly early episode, and 3. captured by the protagonist, all of which should have been clear signs that it would become a recurring character, which it did.
    • Tom Wayland, former voice director for the anime after 4Kids lost the license, has admitted to just letting the voice actors do what they want.
  • While not the creators of the show, when Sonic X was acquired and dubbed by 4Kids Entertainment, many of the key elements that are present in the Sonic franchise were often either misinterpreted or mislabeled in the 1st season. Michael Haigney, who also produced the dub of Pokémon, in addition to Sonic X, stated, "I've never played the game, seen the series, or read the comics." as the reason for the lack of research.
  • 4Kids wanted nothing to do with One Piece as they felt it was too violent and mature to be edited for children, but were forced to accept it as Toei wanted the show to air in the U.S. as soon as possible and wouldn't give them the rights for Ojamajo Doremi and Ultimate Muscle otherwise. This led to 4Kids putting minimal effort into the English dub until they could legally drop the license.
  • Much like the One Piece example above, Saban Brands also had very little interest in handling Smile PreCure! and Doki Doki! PreCure, but were forced to run them anyways if they wanted to keep the Digimon license from Toei. This also resulted in the executives giving as little attention to the series as possible before ultimately returning the Pretty Cure license back to Toei, though the damage wasn't as great as 4Kids' example.

    Comic Books 
  • When Grant Morrison was working on Animal Man initially, they admit to having treated it almost purely as a job: the assignment being, revamp this character nobody really cares about into something workable for future writers in four issues. Morrison did the job, largely by copying the style DC had hired a surge of British writers to copy (that is to say, being a whole lot like Watchmen), and then had no interest in continuing what they saw as yet another story about an angsty vigilante musing on what it is to be superhuman. When the editors turned the book into an ongoing, Morrison proceeded to write a story so offbeat and weird that they thought it would surely torpedo the book. When that story became a success, though, Morrison decided to stop holding back their stranger ideas, and grew to genuinely enjoy their time on the book, looking back fondly on even the earlier issues.
  • Ken Penders, former head writer of the Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) series, claimed that in stark contrast to how mandate-riddled the later comics got, Sega were very hands-off with the early comics and gave him very little direction on what to do with them during his run (not that they didn't lay down rules, such as how to handle Sonic and Sally's relationship or stopping him from killing off Sally in the Endgame arc, or rejecting many of his Sonic-centered story ideas, they just didn't give him much instruction on what to do besides that save for pushing for things to be more focused on the games later on) and were reluctant to share any reference material that would have helped him out story-wise (for example, the Archie staff had to import their own untranslated Japanese copy of Sonic Adventure for story reference and wing it based on whatever they could make sense of from the game's footage)—he was effectively given carte blanche on the Knuckles solo comics specifically because of this lack of communication on their part. He said the closest he got to it was receiving a copy of the Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM) series bible by the time he was writing the EndGame story arc.

    Fan Works 
  • In an in-universe example, the Lemony Narrator of Equestria: A History Revealed, who is supposedly writing the whole thing, has a very lax approach to essay writing, getting drunk towards the beginning of Chapter 3, not wanting to write any more praise for Princess Celestia, and instead, inserting her self-authored haikus in their place, and literally admitting to lying to her professor and cursing him in-text (while simultaneously submitting it in to him later for marking).
  • Dakari-King Mykan, author of The End of Ends and My Brave Pony: Starfleet Magic, has admitted to not caring about the originality of his stories and doesn't bother with characterization.
  • MF 217 has stated he only truly cares about proper grammar and spelling when the fic is already fully complete, and a remaster of the fic will fix all of the original Rouge Angles of Satin while hopefully not adding any new ones. MF217 admits, however, that he feels immense pressure on himself simply trying to keep his update schedule more consistent, which more or less is why the grammar is an afterthought much of the time. He's such a big Nervous Wreck about actually updating his stories period that he'll gladly throw grammar checking out of the window if it means an update will happen. That said, he's still consistent with his statement of making remastered versions of his completed work that have the grammar fixed altogether, as he is indeed currently working on such a remaster for his first entry in Citadel of the Heart.
  • MiniJen, the author of Universe Falls has admitted that the chapters "The Cool Kids" and "Evergreen Inn" were rushed out and only meant to quickly adapt their respective episodes from Steven Universe and Gravity Falls. These are still among her least favorite chapters in the whole story.
  • While initially relatively invested in his work alongside Nathanoraptor in writing Prehistoric Earth, Drew Luczynski eventually stopped caring about how the story turned out after both becoming tired of the behind the scenes arguments over characters and plot direction that he'd often had with Nathanoraptor and taking note of just how much the story was starting to derail away from his initial vision for the story in favor of what Nathanoraptor felt would work better.

    Films — Animation 
  • Beowulf (2007) director Robert Zemeckis said up-front that he hated the original epic poem and didn't care at all about making an accurate adaptation, which explains why the movie is so In Name Only and viciously insults tales of heroism like Beowulf as lies.
  • As revealed by Pan Pizza, no one involved with Bands on the Run had any passion for it. The American crew knew the movie was going to be awful but accepted the project anyways for experience, the Chinese animation studio commissioned for the film scammed the production when they sent back horrendous animation after two months of work, and the movie's producers were reportedly more concerned about completing the film while the Silly Band craze was still going rather than its overall quality.
  • The reason Yellow Submarine was made into an animated feature was because The Beatles didn't want to make another movie since they weren't happy with their previous one, but by having it animated they could exploit a loophole in their contracts (which said they had to star in another movie, yet didn't specify that it actually had to be them on screen) which, other than a live-action appearance at the end, would allow them to continue touring India while their animated counterparts were voiced by sound-alikes instead.note  It wasn't until they saw the finished film that they fell in love with it, and in the years after their breakup, the surviving band members still consider it to be one of their favorite projects to be involved with.
  • Orson Welles self-admittedly disliked his role as Unicron in The Transformers: The Movie, and seemed to consider it a career low for him. In one letter, he proclaimed "You know what I did this morning? I played the voice of a toy." Oddly, him sounding incredibly bored is often judged to have worked well, since an apathetic, exhausted tone made a world-eating God of Evil all the more terrifying.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In the DVD Commentary for The Amazing Bulk, the director admits to outright not caring about the Random Events Plot resulting from Off-the-Shelf FX (literal chunks of the movie were done using stock effects found on the Internet, most infamously a lengthy chase sequence near the end), nor about the extreme inconsistencies in tone or constantly echoing audio.
  • The writer of Dragonball Evolution, Ben Ramsey, admitted in a 2016 apology letter to having gone into the film "as a businessman" and "not a fan" of Dragon Ball (whether this means he was a fan and just didn't care, or he was not a fan, period, isn't entirely clear).
  • The Mummy (1999): According to the audio commentary with the director of the movie, Stephen Sommers, as well as his editing partner, Bob Duscay, there was a little debate about the coloration of how the Mummy looks when the coffin is opened (darker and literally black) vs. how he looks when he's woken up by Evey reading the Book of the Dead (tan-ish). In the end, they did nothing to correct this goof as they believed the audience wouldn't notice. note 
  • The Room (2003): As production dragged on, professionalism just fell apart, and most of the crew were convinced the film would never be seen by anyone. Among other examples, Greg Sestero (who played Mark) admitted to phoning in his performance, and entire scenes were out of focus because no one bothered to check the lens. Greg's own book about the production of the film, The Disaster Artist, chronicles this.
  • Director Uwe Boll has been very open about his hatred of video games, people who play video games, and people who want to see movies about video games. He boasted about making his movies as bad as possible because he didn't want gamers to see his films (claiming they'd just download it) and rather wanted a "real" audience... whoever they might be. On top of this was his alleged practice of purposely creating bombs to exploit a tax loophole for under-performing films.
  • Because his directorial style has his films operating on a visual level first, George Lucas has admitted to not putting much effort into writing dialogue (which he acknowledges is often wooden), calling it "just part of the soundtrack."
  • Super Mario Bros. (1993):
  • While most of the technical goofs in Ed Wood's movies were because of his own incompetence, it was usually the most blatant ones that were caused by his refusal to do a retake. Even when his producers requested one, he'd make the flimsy excuse that audiences wouldn't pay attention to such things in regard to the overall story. This attitude may have stemmed from the tight budgets and deadlines he was given to finish each film.
  • Italian filmmaker Joe D'Amato based much of his career around this thought, saying that he was often more concerned with the box office results of a film rather than its artistic merits. Regardless, he gained a sizable cult following in the U.S. with fans apparently lining up by the hundreds for his autograph, much to his disgust and confusion.
  • As revealed by Marina Sirtis when it came to Star Trek: Nemesis, director Stuart Baird hadn't even seen Star Trek before and when he was told by the cast that their characters wouldn't do things he was telling them to do, his response was "I don't care! Just do it anyway!"
  • When Constantin Pictures greenlit The Fantastic Four in the 90s they wanted it to be a $40 million Hollywood production, but after hitting several dead ends and the film license about to expire they gave up trying to make a high-quality feature and hired Roger Corman to quickly produce them a much cheaper movie than intended so they could keep the film rights from returning to Marvel Comics. Despite what Stan Lee claims however, Constantin had every intention of releasing the movie if the poster and trailer indicate anything.
  • Godzilla (1998): Director Roland Emmerich was never a Godzilla fan, and didn't expend much energy to make his version faithful to the Toho original.
  • Much like with Ed Wood, Rick Sloane admitted that he shot Hobgoblins as quickly as possible and didn't bother fixing any inconsistencies because of its No Budget.
  • John Penney was contractually obligated by the Screen Actors Guild to give Zyzzyx Road a theatrical U.S. release before releasing it internationally. Rather than finding a distributor, John instead chose to fulfill the bare basics of his contract by screening the movie in one theater he rented out for the week without any promotion; leading it to become the lowest-grossing movie in U.S. history with a $20 return on a $2 million budget. note 
  • Adam Sandler confessed on Jimmy Kimmel Live that he chooses movie scripts based primarily on where he'd like to go on vacation rather than interest in the movie itself.
  • Dakota Johnson claimed that she and Jamie Dornan found the Fifty Shades of Grey films to be hard to get through, owing to the Hostility on the Set between the book's writer and the film's creative team. In an interview in the run-up to the second film, she claimed that she usually prepared for the sex scenes with a shot of whiskey and mints, and in at least a few scenes in the finished product, it's really not hard to tell she was drunk.
  • Rooney Mara admits that her infamously dull performance in A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) came from the lack of passion she had for the movie, saying that she hated it so much that she considered quitting the industry altogether once filming had wrapped.
  • While Charlton Heston didn't quite hate the film, he wasn't all that interested in doing Beneath the Planet of the Apes and only participated as a personal favor and under the condition that they kill his character off in the first reel. As a compromise, he disappears at the end of the first reel and reappears near the finale to die in the last reel.
  • Gorilla, Interrupted: In the making-of documentary, How Not to Make a Movie, director Mike Stoklasa admits that he was so unmotivated to finish the film once principal photography had wrapped that he filmed all the remaining scenes with the aliens as quickly, cheaply and lazily as possible. He points to one scene in which the camera starts panning away from an alien because Stoklasa had grown bored of filming the take. The Stylistic Suck of the scenes, which would become a hallmark of RedLetterMedia's web videos, ironically make them some of the best in the film.
  • Donald G. Jackson said that he hated making The Demon Lover for its satanic subject matter, and that it was solely a passion project for co-director and financer Jerry Younkins. Don stated that he stayed on the project after funding fell through out of obligation, as he already had a finished script and equipment ready by that point.
  • Fantastic Four (2015): In an interview with Polygon, Jeremy Slater alleged that he tried to sell director Josh Trank on the idea of doing a comic-accurate take on the superhero team, citing The Avengers (2012) as a point of reference. Unfortunately, Trank was not interested, and he lost enthusiasm for the story once the team got their powers in the second act. Because of this, the shooting script lacked a third act, and 20th Century Fox had to hastily cobble one together during reshoots.
  • The screenwriter of The Seeker freely admitted to not reading the source material (he read the summary and a few pages and called it "a slog"). The director likewise admitted he hated the fantasy genre. The result is a mess that was eviscerated by critics (it has an abysmal 14% on Rotten Tomatoes) that at one point held the record for the largest theater dump, as well as the second-weakest opening of any movie ever.
  • Kristen Stewart has admitted her apathy for the Twilight series, explaining her wooden performance in the movies. Proof here...
  • Joan Crawford has two such cases:
    • This Woman is Dangerous, which she did solely for the paycheck.
      "I did this awful picture that had a shoddy story, a cliche script, and no direction to speak of...I suppose I could have made it better, but it was one of those times when I was so disgusted with everything that I just shrugged and went along with it."
    • She apologised for her performance in her final film Trog, admitting that she only did it as a favour to a director friend. While there were some scenes in which she appears to be trying, it was considered a low point for her.
  • Tim Robbins once described working on films directed by Clint Eastwood as "You're in no earlier than Nine. He only shoots one take and complains if he has to do more. And you usually go home right after lunch". Oddly enough, it works, since the result is usually nothing to sneeze at, and both producers and actors are usually delighted to work with Eastwood, the former because he's one of the few filmmakers that can consistently deliver projects on time and within budget and the latter because of the relaxed and spontaneous atmosphere.

  • When William Middleton was hired to illustrate The Three Railway Engines, the first book of The Railway Series, after Reverend Wilbert Awdry's own illustrations were deemed unacceptable for publication, he wasn't convinced that children would like stories about "dirty old locomotives", leading him to apparently use coins as templates for the smokebox faces and otherwise put absolutely zero effort into his artwork, exacerbating existing artistic incompetence. The result was illustrations so terrible that Reverend Awdry would ask C. Reginald Dalby, The Railway Series' first long-term illustrator, to completely redo the illustrations for The Three Railway Enginesnote .
  • An in-universe case in Mansfield Park when Tom Bertram and his friend Yates decide to put on some home theatricals and settle on a risque play called Lover's Vows. Only Tom and Yates actually care about doing some real acting. Maria and Henry are using their roles to flirt outrageously under the nose of Maria's fiance, Edmund is there to keep Mary from having to act in a romantic role with a stranger (and to flirt with her), while Mary is there to flirt with Edmund. The only ones who see this for the impending disaster it is are Fanny and Julia (although the latter is mainly resentful that she didn't get Maria's part).

    Live-Action TV 
  • iCarly Jennette McCurdy confirmed in her biography "I'm Glad My Mom Died" that she had no interest in acting whatsoever and only ended up doing acting because her mother pushed her into doing it because of her own failed dreams. This, combined with her unpleasant interactions with Dan Schneider and disliking how her character Sam was written with a Running Gag of always eating due to her real-life eating disorder brought on by her mother, led to her disliking the show and saying "it was like the corniest thing". She wasn't a fan of the spin-off Sam & Cat either, as she had to deal with an ugly break-up with an ex who leaked racy photos of her leading to criticism from Nick execs, along with having to deal with them ordering more episodes then anticipated leading to further stress on her and the rest of the cast. Nevertheless, she always made time for young fans of the show, never taking issue with fans enjoying it and maintained a good relationship with her co-stars.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Joss Whedon has confirmed that by the time of the seventh season, everybody — cast and crew — was exhausted and eager to move on to new projects. Whedon and much of the writing staff returned to the franchise in comic book form a few years later with considerably renewed enthusiasm.
  • Game of Thrones: Co-creators David Benioff and Dan Weiss turned down HBO's offers to keep the series going and instead wrapped up in two shortened final seasons, citing exhaustion and not wanting to "draw things out." note  Both the original author GRRM and HBO executives admitted they pushed hard for more seasons but were unsuccessful. The result was an incredibly rushed final story and one of the most divisive endings in TV history.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 provides an interesting case of "in-universe". The famous, formerly Trope Naming skit regarding how in Attack of the Eye Creatures "they just didn't care" ends with a character that the Mads claim is director of that week's movie, Larry Buchanan (clearly not the actual Real Life Buchanan)—who, the Mads conclude actually just didn't care about the flaws in the movie.
  • Power Rangers:
    • Reportedly, Disney weren't too enthusiastic about the franchise, which was a part of their purchase of Fox Kids and related assets, do it's it's violence contrasting heavily with their family friendly image. This played a part in Power Rangers Wild Force nearly being the last season until it was decided to switch filming to New Zealand to save money. This apathy was at it's peak during Power Rangers Operation Overdrive, widely regarded as the weakest of the Disney seasons; reportedly, one executive asked why they couldn't just dub the original show. Tellingly, they would end up selling the rights back to Saban just a couple of years later.
    • Power Rangers Super Megaforce is generally considered to be one of the worst seasons in terms of writing, which felt as if no effort was put into it. Actors Ciara Hanna and Cameron Jebo revealed in their No Pink Spandex interview that the lack of effort was a pervading thought from the producers. Whenever an actor or writer brought up something they felt didn't make sense, they would be told "Who cares? The audience is five years old."
  • Parodied in That Mitchell and Webb Look with two TV writers who outright state that they can't be bothered to do any of the research that their work needs, whether it's a medical drama, courtroom drama, or science fiction.
  • Shake it Up star Bella Thorne, much like Jennette McCurdy, admitted that she never wanted any part of the show nor to become a Disney actress, but her parents forced her to audition because they were financially struggling at the time. She also didn't like that she was pitted against Zendaya by execs which resulted in the two of them not becoming real-life friends until season 2. Unlike Jenette however, Thorne did grow to actually enjoy doing the show as evidenced by the great chemistry she had with Zendaya.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: Patrick Stewart only joined the show for a paycheck after his agent insisted the show wouldn't last past a season; this is why he never bothered with Picard's French accent and simply used his regular voice. However, he grew to love the show and cast as the show progressed and the scripts improved.
  • Freeform begrudgingly airs the conservative Christian talk show The 700 Club as part of its regular programming due to a contract clause the show's host made with Fox that Disney execs failed to notice when purchasing the channel. The network even states in the notices before the show that they don't care whether or not you watch it.
  • The writers of Star Trek: Voyager were apathetic about being consistent in their writing, resulting in characterization, particularly Janeway's, shifting dramatically from episode to episode. It was enough for Ronald D. Moore, one of modern Trek's mainstays, to simply walk out after a few weeks.
  • Toonami co-creator Jason DeMarco states that he and the block's crew were completely uninterested in Wulin Warriors and voiced their disdain for the show to executives after it was picked up against their wishes. This is especially noticeable with how immediate the block was in cancelling it the moment negative reviews started coming in, airing only two of its 14 episodes by that point.
  • Saturday Night Live:
    • Frank Zappa was banned from ever appearing on the show again after his one and only time as a guest host. Zappa (a vocal Straight Edge) frequently clashed heads with the cast and crew over their more lax stance on drug use in their skits and decided to get back at them by giving an abysmal performance as a host by frequently mugging into the camera and informing audiences whenever he was reading from cue cards.
    • Since the series was unionized, The Land of Gorch skits from Jim Henson were left in the hands of the show's unenthused writing team; who often tried to avoid the skits as much as possible due to the stigma of Puppet Shows being children's material. Head writer Michael O'Donoghue made his feelings for the skits clear when he was tasked with developing them:
      Michael: I don't write for felt.


    Professional Wrestling 
  • Gail Kim was famously fed up with the poor treatment of WWE towards giving its women airtime on TV. Her final match in the company was a battle royal where she was told that everyone had to be eliminated within a minute before the next commercial break. Gail visibly eliminated herself and walked backstage to tell the office she quit.
  • Chyna hated being in the women's division in 2001 and put very little effort into her matches - which were essentially squashes. She was not quiet backstage about how she felt the division was beneath her.
  • Emma was being prepared to get repackaged as Emmalina, a prissy model-type character. The debut kept being delayed for weeks at a time because they felt she wasn't playing it right. Reportedly she didn't want the character, and eventually appeared in a segment where she announced she would be going back to her original Emma persona.
  • The general badness of the segments in the initial weeks of the Bella vs Bella feud in 2014 was admitted by Nikki Bella to be because she and Brie hated the segments they were being forced to do - as she had pitched many ideas that were turned down in favor of segments that were embarrassing for her. Her infamously Narmy delivery of the line "I wish you'd died in the womb" came about because she didn't want to say it and was literally forced into it.
    "At the end of the day, I don't write the show."
  • Sable once her Playboy cover sold millions began to look at breaking out into the mainstream - appearing in film and television outside of wrestling. As she had signed a three-year contract only a few months previously and WWE refused to release her, she would repeatedly turn down many storyline ideas, eventually stopped appearing on television altogether, and even showed up on an episode of WCW Nitro. When that didn't get her released from her contract, she filed a massive $142 million lawsuit that was eventually settled out of court. When she returned to the company four years later, things were more amicable.
  • Notice how many of the above are women wrestlers? Vince McMahon is well known for his disdain for women's matches, and many of the workers he hired were intended as fanservice alone, and in some case, deliberately held back from developing as athletes. Michelle McCool talked in an interview about a particularly infamous incident following a very good (especially for the time) match she'd had against Melina at Night of Champions 2009 (including a brutal spot where Michelle gave Melina a DDT into the barricade) where the two women got bawled out backstage for having the temerity to "look too good", apparently out of fear that they'd show up the male wrestlers, causing Chris Jericho to come over and stick up for them. It was only in 2015, when the Four Horsewomen of NXT showed the WWE Universe that women's matches could be as legitimate as men's (which fans of the indies and of Japanese wrestling had known for decades), and by 2018, the most over worker in the company was Becky Lynch, who had survived every one of the management's attempts to bury.
  • Katey Harvey and Kazza admitted that there was a point in the mid-2010s when they were the only two active female wrestlers in Ireland, and ended up wrestling each other so frequently that they got creative burnout and put very little effort into their matches. When Over the Top Wrestling took off, and Kazza adopted her Session Moth Martina gimmick (as well as more female wrestlers like Raven Creed, Aoife Valkyrie and Debbie Keitel emerging) - they wrestled with a renewed energy and ended up feuding over the promotion's inaugural Women's Championship.
  • For their Wrestlemania match, Jon Moxley reported a distinct lack of enthusiasm from his opponent Brock Lesnar (who was planning a return to MMA and didn't want to do anything that might risk a major injury), and wasn't interested in anything besides a Squash Match. This led to Moxley reconsidering his place in the company and when his contract was up, he didn't waste time jumping ship.

    Tabletop Games 
  • According to the designers of Warhammer 40,000, this was the main reason for the Squats being Exiled from Continuity for a long period: every time it came down to the idea of updating them, they'd end up putting it off, as they'd grown to dislike the Squats and didn't have any real ideas on how to fix them. They eventually just admitted they were kicking the can down the road and wrote them out.

    Video Games 
  • Alan Walton, co-founder of Latitude and one of the developers of AI Dungeon 2 infamously stated on Discord that he does not care if the game will crash and burn when dealing with the backlash during the new filter fiasco dropped near the end of April 2021, even offering other AI-related products for the disgruntled players that dislike the game's direction. Other choice words are compiled in the following Reddit post.
  • Blacksite: Area 51, infamous as it is, turned out to be troubled from the very beginning, as lead designer Harvey Smith admitted he simply wasn't excited about the project, and the Troubled Production on top of it (such as the fact that this was one of two projects he was overseeing at the time, having to go from concept to finished levels in less than a week, etc.) exacerbated these feelings; about all he liked from the finished product was its political message, even if it left the result heavily dated.
  • After Bubsy creator Michael Berlyn left Accolade over creative differences, Bubsy 2 and 3 were left in the hands of another crew who openly hated the first game and cared little for the quality of its two sequels. Berlyn mentioned that during a visit at the office he saw several Bubsy plush toys hung from the ceiling like an execution and another with a pencil stabbed through its head.
  • The Christmas Tree: The Recruitment Campaign buyable does not work, which the developer is aware of and states so in its description, but the game is balanced around that fact and they are not willing to touch the code again.
  • The Highlander Licensed Game released by Ocean Software for the ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, and Amstrad CPC was deliberately made as bad as possible because they wanted to make it so that nobody would buy the game after discovering they would have to pay royalties for each copy sold.
  • According to the game's Community Coordinator, a lot of the LittleBigPlanet Karting developers didn't care about the game, and some even hated making games in general.
  • Madden '06 infamously suffered from a Game-Breaking Bug that not only prevented players from completing the game but would also wipe their save files. When this came to light, instead of doing anything to fix the problem, Electronic Arts simply stated "Deal with it!", indicating that they didn't care about the game's crippling glitch and were not going to patch it.
  • Skullgirls: Annie's story involves her dealing with a bad case of this. She started the kids' show Annie of the Stars to inspire kids to do better and to stop wishing on the Skull Heart, but when her audience grows up, they dismiss her show as Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids! and go back to bad habits (exemplified by Ms. Fortune, who watched the show when she was little, wanting to use the Skull Heart to wish for her friends back), and she's gotten a little cynical about the whole thing. The irony being that the events in the show were actually based on her real life; Annie really is an eternally youthful Magical Girl Warrior who's opposed the Skull Heart for centuries.
  • Spanish For Everyone: According to an article by Hardcore Gaming 101, the developers at Humagade knew that they were making a budget game meant for the Nintendo DS, so they deliberately crafted an absurd story assuming that nobody was going to play it.
  • Sonic Heroes: One of the developers of the game contacted Arin Hanson while he was playing the game on Game Grumps, revealing that the reason for the numerous amount of glitches in the game (especially the PS2 version) was because in order to get the game out by the end of the year, Sega made a mandate that they couldn't fix glitches unless they were game breaking ones, saying for players to just "push through them".note 
  • Tomb Raider Chronicles: The developers openly admitted to putting little effort into making it, having been burned out after the first three installments, explaining the game's... lack of innovation, to put it politely. The only reason they made it in the first place was that no one else would.
  • Few members of Silicon Knights particularly cared about X-Men: Destiny, with it being an open opinion around the office (largely from Denis Dyack) that they were only making it to give them some kind of work after Too Human drove away business, and they were openly diverting resources from it into a sequel to Eternal Darkness. Reportedly, most of them weren't even fans of the property, which caused the design to be scaled back heavily and many errors to be made with the franchise's lore. One example recounted by a major project lead claimed that at one point, the team submitted a boss fight involving the Juggernaut (a character whose entire concept is being completely impossible to harm conventionally) where the player simply beats him into submission. When he pointed out that Marvel would never accept this and suggested an alternative, they more or less told him that it didn't matter; as it turned out, Marvel did take exception to the idea. Unfortunately, this backfired, as the incredibly poor reception to Destiny, when combined with a lawsuit that went south, proved their Creator Killer.

    Web Animation 
  • In-Universe example in the CollegeHumor video "The New iPhone is Just Worse", where the narrator, a parody of Apple's chief designer, Jonathan "Jony" Ive, praises the "innovation" of removing features for allowing him to leave work early.
    Jony: I wanted to make it an impenetrable glass brick, but Tim said no.
  • One of the animators for DEATH BATTLE! deliberately made the Mewtwo vs. Shadow video in mediocre fashion as he was reportedly sick of animating for the series.


    Web Original 
  • An In-Universe example in the RiffTrax of Birdemic: Shock and Terror. They often comment on how little the crew cared during the making of the film with the obvious mess-ups, poor editing, and apparently only doing everything in one take.
    • For example:
      Rod: Watch football. Especially the 49ers. Part-timesnote  Eagles fan.
      Mike: (as Rod) Oh, hang on. I said "part-times Eagles fan."
      Kevin: (as movie director) Keep rolling!
    • Then:
      Rod: You're right, he is cute. So, you're a cats lover.
      Bill: (as Rod) Hold on. I said "cats lover".
      Kevin: (as movie director) Keep rolling!
    • In one particularly bad example of director James Nguyen refusing to ever do a second take:
      Nathalie's Mom: Look, keep me... (stumbles badly on the dialog) uh, er, eh, you... know, keep me informed.
      Kevin: (as Mom) I screwed up a line.
      Bill: (as movie director) Keep rolling.
      Kevin: (as Mom) But it was really bad!
      Bill: (as movie director) KEEP rolling!
  • Ignoring the controversial production history, Channel Awesome's Pop Quiz Hotshot was hindered long before filming started as the crew members brought on board for it had little interest in developing a game show. They only agreed to the production out of obligation as "Hotshot's" creator was Channel Awesome CEO Michael Michaud.
  • To Boldly Flee had a few examples of this, which did little to help it's Troubled Production.
    • Rob Walker reportedly refused to fix minor continuity errors during shooting, specifically responding to MarzGurl with, "Oh well, Plot Hole!" and laughing it offnote .
    • Allison Pregler had zero passion for the project, attributing this to her hatred of the script. In particular, she was extremely critical of a subplot of Todd in the Shadows repeatedly asking her out for a date despite her clear disinterest, which was originally played sympathetically on Todd's part. Though her complaints did get Doug to tone it down a bit (portraying Todd as more of a loser), the subplot ended with her promising to date him just to free him from Mechakara's control, much to her real life displeasure.
    • Both Lindsay Ellis and Lewis Lovhaug hated doing the scene where Mechakara assimilates The Nostalgia Chick, largely because of it's heavy rape subtext and Doug Walker's obliviousness to such, despite multiple people pointing it out. Lindsay even claimed she had to be pressured into doing ADR for the scene.
  • An apology video reveals that seasons six and seven of The Music Video Show were this trope. This was after season five was made out of anger, depression, and suicidal thoughts. All of which drained her energy and made her stop caring through the next two seasons.
  • In-universe with The Nostalgia Critic's review of The Pest, where a Running Gag involves the director questioning whether or not to fix any of the film's numerous technical errors; only to be reminded by the producer of the movie he's making.
    Director: Hmm...I don't know if that helps the pacing in what I'm trying to accomplish here. Oh, what movie am I directing again?
    Producer: The Pest.
  • In part eight of Grumpcade's playthrough of Sonic 3 & Knuckles, Ross O'Donovan recounted how the reality show writers for "Heroes of Cosplay" tried to get him involved in an episode's competition when he neither cared nor had anything to do with it. He said it was because of this he started wearing the same hoodie every day in order to annoy the crew while filming.
  • Lindsay Ellis admits that she only became The Nostalgia Chick because she needed the money after the 2008 recession and was doing "the bare minimum" in her videos. She resented from the start that she was just there as the Distaff Counterpart to The Nostalgia Critic and wanted to do legitimate critical analysis as opposed to comedic nitpicking. Now that her Channel Awesome days are long behind her, she tells fans not to watch anything she made before 2015.
  • Defunctland host Kevin Perjurer believes this to have been the case for Disney CEO Michael Eisner towards Disneyquest. Eisner was strongly against the arcade when first presented to him and (unlike the company's other ventures at the time) would only take part in its promotion when he was required to. Kevin also noted that Dreamworks Animation had partnered with Sega to form Gameworks at the time, and believes Eisner only greenlit Disneyquest to try and one-up his rival in the arcade industry.
  • An In-Universe version appears in Joueur du Grenier (based on one of the XPerts developers, whose name appears in the credits): David Goodenough, who has a, well, "Meh, good enough" attitude to whatever mediocre half-baked pile of code is passed to him for approval. Amusingly enough, when the actual David Goodenough found out about it, he pretty much agreed with the critique of the games.

    Western Animation 
  • While Allen Gregory's short run is often attributed to its negative reception, it was revealed by one of the show's artists on RebelTaxi that Fox had little faith in the show from the start. On top of cutting the show's budget from the pilot, Fox execs only commissioned seven episodesnote  for the show to serve as filler between seasons of Family Guy with full intent to cancel Allen afterwards. The artist also mentions that he and the rest of the animation staff hated working on it as well, but enjoyed the time they spent with each other.
  • According to Craig McCracken, no one at Cartoon Network was excited about the Cartoon Network Invaded! Cross Through event, which went though Troubled Production due to Kraft Cheese, who originally sponsored the event, backing out at the last minute for unknown reasons, and both he and Maxwell Atoms had extended talks over how everyone knew this event was a bad idea. The five shows involved (Foster's Home, Ed, Edd n Eddy, My Gym Partner's a Monkey, Camp Lazlo, and Billy & Mandy) played with the concept of cheese-obsessed aliens invading Earth very fast and loosely, with the only episode feeling even remotely complete being "Billy & Mandy Moon the Moon" (only because Atoms recycled a completed script originally titled "Billy & Mandy VS The Martians").
  • Animation historian Jerry Beck believe this to be the reason why his 1999 Nickelodeon pilot Curbside failed. While the project was initially headed by him, he left just as Nickelodeon secured the rights to the characters. In his place, the network hired a crew who, as Beck remembers, knew and cared nothing about the original Terrytoons shorts (with the exception of director Robert Taylor, who had worked at the original studio in its twilight years), only doing the pilot for the money. This is evident in the way Tom Terrific is depicted in particular, going from a plucky Kid Hero who could solve many of his problems with his magic hat to a helpless little kid whom Mighty Mouse and other characters would have to rescue (much to the displeasure of the character's creator Gene Deitch).
  • Jason Alexander only took the lead role in Duckman because he assumed it would have been a one-off role and didn't bother memorizing the character's name during the audition, even doing a voice much different from his. He ended up loving the role and his character but refused to reprise his role for the video game adaptation because of fear of destroying his voice.
  • Butch Hartman says he fired board artist Bernie Petterson from The Fairly OddParents! for this very reason. He revealed how Bernie was blunt about accepting the job because the actual show he was hired for wasn't picked up yet, and that he intentionally turned in poorly drawn storyboards for him to fix before demanding a raise on his only episode.
  • The third installment of Family Guy Presents: Laugh It Up, Fuzzball, "It's a Trap!", opens with the family clearly not interested in doing a third Star Wars parody, and the opening crawl flat-out tells the audience to lower their expectations for the special, because Seth MacFarlane and his crew did not want to make a parody of Return of the Jedi but were pushed by FOX executives into doing it anyways. The rant may seem like a joke at first, as Family Guy itself frequently uses Self-Deprecation, but the special's DVD Commentary reveals that the creators were completely serious about it.
  • Filmation:
    • After Hallmark bought out the studio's library, they proceeded to destroy the original broadcast versions of their cartoons following their PAL transfers, with the intention of releasing them in Europe only rather than in America. Hallmark was reportedly open about their disdain for the Filmation library and were said to have reacted negatively to fans of these shows when questioned by them.
    • John Kricfalusi has been very open about his disdain for Filmation's strict on-model policy and his time working for them. He admitted on his blog that he would often xerox character frames directly from their model sheets since it was easier than simply redrawing them.
    • He-Man writer J. Michael Straczynski was pretty blunt in an interview with a He-Man fan site about how little he regarded his job writing for the cartoon, saying it was purely a 9-to-5 job that gave him no creative inspiration.
  • Donald F. Glut has stated in many interviews over the years that he had little regard for his work as a writer for 80s cartoons (the little-seen syndicated Spider-Man series excepted), saying he often submitted first drafts as final scripts and that he did them purely for the money it would give him.
  • Hugh Harman disowned nearly his entire filmography in an interview with Michael Barriernote , explaining how his perfectionist attitude would drive him to rework a cartoon multiple times until he'd become sick of it to a point where he'd turn in whatever he felt was passable.
    Hugh Harman: That's always been a weakness with me, that I get so fed up on it at the end of a picture that I would just as soon turn it over to the Girl Scouts to make.
  • The Legend of Zelda: While Nintendo of America still paid attention to the Zelda episodes and signed off on aspects like Tomboy Princess Zelda, story editor Bob Forward noted (to his joy) that the actual producers of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! — the series that the Zelda cartoons aired as a part of — were so focused on the main Super Mario animated and live-action segments that his creative team was left completely alone to adapt the games as they saw fit.
  • Looney Tunes: Famously, Jack L. Warner, one of the original Warner Brothers and head of the studio during The Golden Age of Animation, openly didn't care about his company's cartoons or its animation department, seeing their popular shorts as just an extraneous service to sell to theaters who wanted a full program and having no idea where the animation studio was even located. (Not that his brother Henry was much better, believing that they were the ones who made Mickey Mouse.) In a lack of foresight, Warner sold all of his company's pre-1948 shorts for $3000 a piece. Biographer Bob Thomas would later remark that the sold shorts "have since earned millions, but not for Warner Bros."
  • Fans of the original run of The Powerpuff Girls cited a decline in the show's writing when creator Craig McCracken left the show to work on Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. PPG animation director Randy Myers explained tongue-in-cheek that the staff was simply burning off what they called their "jump the shark" scripts just to meet series quota.
  • This trope is played up In-Universe for humor and parody in The Ren & Stimpy Show episode "Stimpy's Cartoon". The plot is that Stimpy wants to make a cartoon for his hero, the godfather of animation, Wilbur Cobb. Ren is bitter about this, so Stimpy crowns him producer. However, it turns out that Ren just doesn't care about the cartoon and his only role is to work Stimpy to the bone while presenting impossible challenges, taking month-long vacations, ripping up storyboards and tossing them in the trash, price gouging on art supplies, forcing Stimpy to shave logs for animation cels, etc. In the end, Stimpy's cartoon is a poorly drawn, poorly animated, inept, and nonsensical romp called "Explodey the Pup" (or "I Like Pink"), which demonstrates the very definition of this trope.
  • Paul Terry was blunt about the lack of quality control from his Terrytoons studio. He openly admitted that his studio was the "Woolworths to Disney's Tiffany".
  • In 1975, when Joe Barbera was pitching a Tom and Jerry spinoff during what was a low point in the animation industry, he would show network execs a few of the original shorts to give them an idea of what he wanted the new show to be like. While these shorts were loved by the execs, they ultimately didn't want to bother making the show in the same quality, since they also didn't want to deal with Moral Guardians of the time either. The result? The Tom and Jerry Show, which is often regarded as one of the franchise's lesser installments for dispensing with the series' slapstick, formula, and even Tom and Jerry's rivalry for the most part.
  • The writers for The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat held contempt towards Felix's then-owner Don Oriolo when he decided to shift the series to be more script-heavy between seasons and to include characters from the '60s show his father made. So in retaliation, they'd take swipes towards him and his father's version whenever possible while writing season two, which not only angered Don, but also added to the Troubled Production which caused the second season to flop harder than the first.

Alternative Title(s): They Just Didnt Care