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 for 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 Developers' 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.
- 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.
- Ghost Stories was a commercial flop in Japan, so Aniplex and Studio Pierrot gave ADV Films free rein with the script, as long as it sold. This, of course, gave us the iconic Gag Dub that keeps only the character names and basic plotlines the same.
- 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 otherwise. This led to 4Kids putting minimal effort into the English dub until they could legally drop the license. Given the damage the show left on the company, it's safe to say their plan worked a little too well.
- Much like the One Piece example above, Saban Brands also had very little interest in handling Smile Pretty Cure! and DokiDoki! Pretty Cure, 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.
- 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 games 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Several voters for the 86th Academy Awards openly admitted that they didn't bother watching any of the nominated Best Animated Features for 2014, as many of them didn't consider animation to be real cinema. Those who did actually vote had their kids watch the films and pick the one they liked best instead.
- 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 he was playing what amounted to an invulnerable planet-killing god.
- 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 have 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: As production dragged on, professionalism just fell apart. Most of the crew were convinced the film would never be seen by anyone. Greg Sestero, who played Mark, admitted to phoning in his performance. Entire scenes were out of focus because they didn't bother to check the lens. Greg's own book about the production of the film, The Disaster Artist, chronicles this.
- Director Uwe Boll, as well as allegedly purposely creating bombs to exploit a tax loophole for under-performing films, is very open about his hatred of video games, hatred of video gamers, hatred of anyone who wants to see movies about video games and boasts about making them as bad as possible because he does not want gamers to see his films, citing they'd just download it. He wants a "real" audience... whoever they might be.
- 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.:
- While the directors did play the game for research, they admitted to being uninterested in the franchise and gaming in general and only took the job in order to adapt their script of a parallel dinosaur world into a feature but with the Mario Bros slapped on it.
- Co-stars Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo stopped memorizing their scripts due to the daily rewrites and would often show up to the set drunk in order to get through their scenes. The only reason Hoskins stayed on the project was because his kids were fans of the game and wanted to see it become a movie. Likewise for Dennis Hopper, who accepted the film for the same reason, along with the paychecks for doing it.
- 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 regards 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 then 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.
- Rooney Mara admits that her infamously dull performance in A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) came from the lack of passion she had about the movie, saying that she hated it so much that she considered quiting 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 soley 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:
"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."
- This Woman is Dangerous, which she did solely for the paycheck.
- 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 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).
- 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.
- 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 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."
- Shake it Up star Bella Thorne admits 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.
- 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 talkshow The 700 Club as part of its regular programing 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.
- Robert Beltran was very vocal about his displeasure at the inconsistent writing, and would demand more money at the end of every season hoping they'd just let him go, only to be thwarted every time. His performance as Chakotay gets noticeably more wooden as the series goes on. Jeri Ryan almost bailed on the final season entirely since her contract was up by then, but her mother was diagnosed with cancer and she stayed on to pay for her treatment (fortunately, she made a full recovery).
- Toonami co-creator Jason DeMarco states that he and the block's crew were completely uninterested with Wulin Warriors and voiced their distain 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 Wulin 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.
- In 1994, Prince took the rough recordings of his untitled 1987 Black Album (which he originally abandoned due to being unhappy with its quality) and quickly had it finished and released in an attempt to end his contract with Warner (Bros.) Records faster due to their Executive Meddling. To show how little he cared for the album, not only did he leave a brief message to fans in his Alphabet St. music videonote to not buy it, but shortly after its release he quickly had the album pulled from store shelves and replaced it with his more passionate endeavor Lovesexy.
- The members of Deftones have been quite open about their distaste for "Back to School (Mini Maggit)", stating that they never wanted the song to be on White Pony and solely wrote it to shut their label up about the album's lack of a surefire hit; which it wound up being. While the song still shows up on their setlists, the group overall prefers to distance themselves from it.
- 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 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.
- 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 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 cartridge 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.
- 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".
- 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.
- 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.
- Avalon's original four-year run ended up suffering a bad case of the Schedule Slip as its creator, Josh Phillips, struggled with worsening depression and took long periods of time away from it as a result. Eventually, Phillips gave up drawing the webcomic after a year without any updates and simply wrote the ending out instead.
- 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!
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!
- For example:
- Pan notes in his review of the Mega Man episode "Curse of the Lion Men" that it served as the final writing credit for Gary Greenfield which, combined with the its poor quality, led him to believe that Gary put little effort into writing the episode since he was going to retire soon.
- He also mentions in another video that The Transformers episode "Child's Play" is filled to the brim with animation errors and explains how most animation studios during The '80s didn't care much for consistent quality in their cartoons; and that since this episode was meant to be filler, the producers likely wanted to preserve their resources for more important episodes.
- Pan was originally going to review the final season of Danny Phantom due to its poor reception amongst fans, but eventually decided to focus on the TV movie finale Phantom Planet instead, admitting in his review that he simply didn't feel like watching the entire season as planned. Granted the Creator Breakdown he was recovering from at the time probably didn't help.
- 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.
- 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.Director: Oh god who gives a shit!?
- 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 or had anything to do with it. He said it was because of this he started wearing the same hoodie everyday 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.
- 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.
- Donald F. Glut has stated in many interviews over the years that he had little regards 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- After Hallmark bought out Filmation'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.
- John takes it further with his scathing review of Animaniacs which he wrote note for Wild Cartoon Kingdom in 1994. He described the show as "the absolute worst use of animation" for its outdated use of vaudeville humor and embarrassing voice acting... all while admitting that he never actually watched the show.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 the show during its production, but enjoyed the time they spent with each other.
- Part of why the Samurai Jack movie never happened was because the crew was burned out after making the show for four straight years and felt that they were too creatively exhausted to give the series the ending it deserved, deciding it was more respectable to leave it open-ended. They were unaware, however, that picking it up again would take as long as it did.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- Paul Terry was blunt about the lack of quality control from his Terrytoons studio. He openly admitted that his studio was Woolworths to Disney's Tiffany.
- 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.