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It's Not Supposed to Win Oscars

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"A film that aims low should not be praised for hitting that target."

Complaining About People Not Liking the Show comes in many different flavors. Criticisms of reviews can be overwhelmingly vicious, with statements ranging from death threats to accusations that the reviewer is just being stuck up. However, some defensive arguments can be a bit ...far-fetched. Somewhere along the line, you will be accused of not getting it. You see, whatever you criticized was supposed to suck.

"The context of why the movie was made justifies what you consider to be poor quality and bad execution of the work. As such, you didn't understand what was going on to appreciate the work enough to realize that. If you were expecting something glorious and spectacular, you came to the wrong movie."

This is a line that fans have started using to deter negative criticism of their favorite works (a common alternative seems to be "Just turn your brain off and enjoy it"). Depending on the case, this defense can be justified if the reviewer/critic genuinely lacks familiarity with the work. It's true that critics can on occasion be overly harsh. However, fans can get carried away with this regard as it is mostly used to defend their favorite works in general from any and all forms of criticism, even if a reviewer/critic happens to like said work and even (or especially) if the criticism is not without merit.

The first problem with this defense is that it is on the surface quite paradoxical; a bad movie does not cease to be bad just because it was apparently supposed to be bad. Quite the opposite, in fact. Another is that regardless of the intentions of its producers, ultimately the final product has to be judged on its own merits. The producers of a film might not be trying to make True Art and may be trying to 'just' make an entertaining movie, but that doesn't mean they can't fail at being entertaining. Furthermore, there's a suggestion here that producers of creative works that aren't intended to be True Art should only be held to the lowest possible standards. The problem here is that quality and entertainment aren't mutually exclusive, and just because something isn't supposed to be High Art doesn't mean you've got a license to be lazy or sloppy with it. Of course, there's the obvious question of why you would want to deliberately make something terrible to begin with.

This is not to say that there's anything wrong with purely escapist entertainment or that all works should aspire towards the loftiest heights of 'worthy' True Art, just that making escapist entertainment isn't itself an automatic 'Get Out Of Criticism Free' card for producers and fans of said entertainment. Fans who take this view can be deliberately invoking any or all of the Animation, Sci-Fi, and Comedy Ghetto tropes. This might seem contradictory of the usual purpose of these tropes (i.e. trying to get these films out of said Ghettos), but the point is that different genres should be held to different standards.

While not exactly aimed at this phenomenon, 'Ebert's Law' as coined by noted film critic Roger Ebert — "It's not what a movie's about, but how it's about it" — has some relevance here. The idea is that he can rate a supposedly 'no-brainer' action movie higher than a serious and supposedly 'worthy' drama not because the action movie is artistically more complex or inherently superior to the drama (although it could be), but because the action movie is better at being an action movie — and, by extension, a more satisfying cinematic experience — than the drama is at being a drama. By this logic, the inverse is also true; just because an action movie isn't necessarily aiming to provide its audience with the same things as a drama does not exempt it from criticism entirely. What it does do is exempt it from criticism on the grounds of not being enough like a drama.

When creators invoke this trope, it often betrays a belief that Viewers Are Morons.

Compare with Springtime for Hitler, Moff’s Law, Deliberate Flaw Retcon, Parody Retcon, and Critic-Proof. Contrast Intended Audience Reaction, in which the creator of a work is deliberately doing something audiences normally don't like, for what they think is a good reason. Hopefully, they're right. Knowing the differences between Fact/Opinion/Argument will also help. Contrast with Oscar Bait, which is supposed to win Oscars.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Osomatsu-san: Invoked in-universe in Osomatsu's "Dayoon's Counseling Room" segment, where he wants the show's genre changed to "Anime at One's Own Responsibility" to relieve his stress from starring in comedy. Unlike a lot of examples, he's deliberately using this to shift the blame onto the viewers, so if the show's jokes don't land, it's entirely on them for not finding it funny.

    Comic Books 
  • The Transformers (Marvel): Bob Budiansky uses this to dismiss fan criticism that his stories were more juvenile than those of his successor, noting that he was targeting his stories for prepubescent boys.

    Films — Animation 
  • John Lasseter was at the premiere of Cars 2 in Paris to assert that he "doesn't make movies for critics" and that it was one of the most fun movies he's ever worked on, which doesn't automatically make it a good viewing experience for others.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Kevin Smith:
    • Said that Jersey Girl wasn't for critics. His later attempts to clarify (it was meant for his daughter) didn't help.
    • He took it even further after the release (and critical drubbing) of Cop Out, saying that films, in general, aren't for critics but for fans. Mark Kermode responded by saying he would quite happily accept that films aren't made for critics and not get free screenings if film-makers would respond by not using any favorable quote he made about a film as advertising material.
  • Maryann Johanson on the film adaptation of Marmaduke:
    Johanson: This is one of those movies that we're not supposed to complain about because it's "for kids," as if kids aren't smart enough to recognize shit. Or as if we wouldn't mind serving our kids shit. I wouldn't want my kids, if I had any, anywhere near this, unless I actually wanted to inculcate in them scream-inducing 1950s gender stereotypes. Which I wouldn't.
  • Roger Ebert often made a point of condemning a Viewers Are Morons line of thinking with regards to children's movies — i.e. just because a movie is intended for children/families doesn't mean it can get away with lower production values, script quality, etc. than "adult" fare, and that believing kids don't care about quality insults their intelligence. Reviews that bring up this topic include Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and Beauty and the Beast, both of which he felt defied the "kids don't care" mindset beautifully, and The Jungle Book 2, which he saw as a product of this mindset.
  • When someone wrote in to Roger Ebert that he should've given The Mummy Returns a pass because it was just summer fluff, he responded that there's still a difference between good summer fluff and bad summer fluff, using the first film (which he adored) as an example of the former, and Returns an example of the latter.
  • Shawn Levy, director of Real Steel, used this argument in defense of his movies. He claimed he didn't really care about what critics and snobby award shows thought of his movies and was glad that audiences had a great time watching his work.
  • The Room was immediately panned as one of the worst movies of all time when initially released. After it became extremely popular as a So Bad, It's Good film, writer/director/producer/star Tommy Wiseau started saying that he always intended it to be a black comedy, which doesn't exactly work as the funniest scenes in the film are clearly intended to be serious, including Tommy's "You are tearing me apart, Lisa!", a character casually dropping that she has breast cancer, only to be ignored, one actor being switched out for another, and even the sex scenes.
  • Moviebob expressed his disapproval of the notion that just because a movie "isn't trying", that makes it immune to criticism. He gave the example of The Expendables, saying that its problem wasn't that it was a big dumb action movie, but that it was a bad big dumb action movie.
  • Seltzer and Friedberg defenders often use this excuse. "I know they're stupid lame jokes, they're supposed to be stupid lame jokes." Ignoring that there can be a right and a wrong way to do even lame humor and that if the audience can't tell you're doing it on purpose, it can still be judged as having failed.
  • Rotten Tomatoes's "critics' consensus" system does this sometimes. Chances are, if a movie turns out bad (but not below 10% bad), but is catered toward a specific demographic (children, fans of the source material, etc.), the consensus will be written along the lines of, "This movie is bad, but at least its target demographic will enjoy it." For example, the consensus for Thunderbirds is, "Live-action cartoon for kids." Which, in cases where the target demographic actually hated it this comes across as quite insulting. An exception was made for Doogal where the consensus read: "Doogal is too simpleminded even for the kiddies."
  • The Michael Bay Transformers movies get this a lot, with complaints about their humor, characters, plot, and so on met with, "Look we're just here to see giant robots beat each other up, what do you expect?". Granted, "We're just here to see giant robots beat each other up!" is also a major complaint against the humor, characters and plot, which take up a very large chunk of the usually lengthy runtime. The production crew has in fact outright admitted that their goal is not to rival other movies that may be released around the same time as the Transformers flicks, but to provide an alternative for fun free-time activities such as theme-park rides.
  • Almost any film that Adam Sandler has ever made save for Punch-Drunk Love, Reign Over Me, Funny People, The Meyerowitz Stories and Uncut Gems tends to get this argument.
  • When promoting Return to the Blue Lagoon, Milla Jovovich told reporters that the film was meant for teenagers, not critics. Though she doesn't view that movie in a positive light now, so she probably took that back.
  • The producer of The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure made the exact excuse that "this wasn't made to win the Academy Award." Bafflingly, he said that the measly box office returns didn't bother him either.
  • Extreme example: When Freddy Got Fingered was nominated for five "awards" at the 2001 Golden Raspberry Awards, Tom Green actually showed up to accept them (the first performer to do so in the show's history, but the second recipient to do so, following director Paul Verhoeven for Showgirls in 1995) saying when he did, "When we set out to make this film we wanted to win a Razzie, so this is a dream come true for me".
  • A Swedish movie reviewer rated the fourth The Fast and the Furious movie four out of five. While he didn't think the movie's plot was anything to write home about, he felt that this was unimportant since the plot's not why people go to see this kind of movie anyway.
  • Print ads for David Spade's Joe Dirt touted "0 Golden Globe Nominations!"
  • Many Christian filmmakers tend to use the notion that critics don't get the heart of their faith-based movies, especially taking into account that their target audiences responded much more favorably to them. A noted exception to this rule was Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas, where his attempt to ask audiences to endorse it in response to a critical backlash only resulted in the audience backlashing as well.
  • In the documentary Porn Star: The Legend of Ron Jeremy, Ron Jeremy makes an argument of this nature about the quality of acting in pornography. While he acknowledges that the acting in his movies isn't ever going to be on the level of Lawrence Olivier, he points out that Olivier was never actually having penetrative sex with any of his co-stars while he was trying to act.
  • Lost Highway advertised Siskel and Ebert's "two thumbs down" review as "Two more great reasons to see" it. This is in spite of the fact that Lost Highway is a divisive avant-garde film by David Lynch rather than cheap schlock by a hack filmmaker aiming for a quick buck.
  • After Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was panned by critics, Warner Bros. and Zack Snyder claim that DCEU movies are designed specifically for DC Comics fans... Even then, the argument that the DCEU is meant for DC fans falls apart as not only do the movies have to appeal to non-fans to earn a profit, but also that many hardcore DC fans like Angry Joe and Moviebob, still pilloried the films for not capturing the spirit of the source material. Snyder's DC films (at least until Zack Snyder's Justice League) faced some criticism for being both borderline incomprehensible to non-fans and taking such a radically different approach that a lot of fans were turned off.
  • Julia Roberts may be to actresses what Michael Bay is to directors. In her own words, she's "an ordinary person with an extraordinary job", and makes it no secret that she came to Hollywood specifically to make mindless, escapist popcorn flicks. Naturally, her films tend to get mixed-to-negative reviews from critics who accuse her of pandering to the Lowest Common Denominator, but the box office returns say otherwise. She has however won critical acclaim in Closer (in which she went against type as a more flawed character), Steel Magnolias and Erin Brockovich (for which she did claim a Best Actress Oscar).
  • Cracked listed this among the 6 Common Movie Arguments That Are Always Wrong (#6).
  • Robert Altman defended Pręt-ŕ-Porter against the negative critical reaction on its initial release by describing it as a "silly little film" that wasn't meant to be taken seriously. In his later years, he took a more critical view of the film, saying it was an experiment that didn't quite work.
  • A Wrinkle in Time (2018) director Ava DuVernay responded to criticism with statements that the film was made for "young people and people young at heart". Brie Larson also singled out the movie as an example of white male critics criticizing something that "wasn't for them". While the latter did have a point in that female critics did seem to give the film a slightly warmer reception - she found herself getting plenty of criticism for implying males were incapable of enjoying a story about female empowerment, or that females had lower standards for entertainment.
  • Chris Stuckmann found himself on the receiving end of this statement when attempting to criticize Black Christmas (2019) on both a filmmaking level and for its Anvilicious message that "it wasn't made for you" and was made only for women.
    "I don't understand the notion of alienating an entire gender from a movie. I think that if you want to have a message heard...wouldn't you want men to understand? To relate? To feel empathy? To feel some connection, where they can leave the theatre and go 'oh, I completely understand'."
  • According to Polygon, this appears to be a reasonable argument for the mediocrity of many Disney Live-Action Remakes.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Glee fans can fall back on this when encountering any criticism of the show's unlikely plot points or character interaction. "It's supposed to be unrealistic and silly. It's a parody of musicals!" TIME reviewer James Poniewozik explicitly rejected this in one review, not because he dislikes the show, but because he thought so highly of the first season that he expects greatness from the rest of it: if a show is trying for genuinely emotional moments or Aesops and fail to deliver them effectively, a Parody Retcon is an insult to both the viewers and the creators.
  • iCarly had an in-universe Author Tract that was Leaning on the Fourth Wall to say that the webshow (and by extension, the actual real-life show), was just a "stupid pointless comedy" and looking for deeper moments or any kind of continuity or emotional moments was pointless and against the intention of the authors. An interesting example as it wasn't directed at outside critics, but at fandom and its desire to turn the show into a Shipping drama. Its spin-off, Sam & Cat ran into the exact same criticism — and ironically enough it was compared as a pale imitation of iCarly.
    • The problem in iCarly's case is that the first 3 seasons before that episode came out had a good number of episodes that expressly fueled shipping and other things through having genuinely heartfelt moments and continuity, so it felt like either Dan Schneider saw the show very differently than everyone else, or he was lying through his teeth and punishing people for watching and paying attention. Even afterwards, the show genuinely tried for some more heartfelt moments and used continuity very effectively.
  • An interesting variation happened as True Blood encountered accusations of Seasonal Rot in its third and fourth seasons. When critics who liked the show's first two seasons complained of Aborted Arcs etc. they were told that not only were they wrong to apply such standards to Supernatural Soap Opera, but that the show had always been like this - retroactively undermining critical praise for True Blood's early run.
  • In an interview with Comic Book Resources, Jed Whedon, producer of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., said the show's disappointing viewership shouldn't be expecting so much, because it's a TV show being compared to movies. It doesn't have the same budget and it works in a different medium.
    • Which walked around or outright ignored fans complaints, namely that other than names and a brand there was little connecting the show to the movies (which was the main hype point of the show, that it and the movie universe were connected), the stories it was telling were bland, monster-of-the-week fodder, and budget or not was overall lacking for something bearing the "Marvel" name.
      • The second half of season one, however, namely the reveal and the biggest connective thread the show has ever had - that in Captain America: The Winter Soldier Hydra had been infiltrating SHIELD for decades, they had no idea who they could trust in their own organization, and that Grant Ward, one of their own, was Hydra himself - brought a lot of people back onto the show's side, making them re-look at the first half with different eyes. This goodwill only lasted so long, as the show fell back into the same rut of complaints as before.
  • After Iron Fist (2017) became the most-panned TV show in the Marvel Cinematic Universe thus far, star Finn Jones claimed that Marvel made it not for the critics, but for the Iron Fist fans.
  • Drew Carey, host of The Price Is Right, insists that his name be kept out of contention for Outstanding Game Show Host when the Daytime Emmys are handed out.

  • When George Harrison was sued for plagiarism (the "He's So Fine"/"My Sweet Lord" comparison), he invoked the trope lampshading it with a verse from his 1976 tune "This Song":
    This riff ain't tryin' to win gold medals
    This riff ain't hip or square, well-done or rare
    May end up one more weight to bear

    Puppet Shows 
  • The Muppets fansite Tough Pigs received criticism for its negative review of Jim Henson's Mother Goose Stories, with the point being that the Tough Pigs crew were adults looking at a show aimed at young children. They replied that no-one ever used that defense for Sesame Street or Fraggle Rock, because they didn't have to; those shows were good.

  • Parodied on Knowing Me Knowing You With Alan Partridge where Alan Partridge stated that his recently self-published book 'Alan's Book Of Sporting Anecdotes' was 'Just a toilet book. It's not going to win the Booker nice if it was nominated though'.

  • A woman who attended the final weekend of the New York City staging of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory tried to argue that the show was "a grand success" — but not because it made money, was a Long Runner, was critically acclaimed, or won significant awards, since by her own admission it did none of those things. She said that it qualified as a success simply because it made the children in the audience she was with happy. When she posted a link to the article at's message boards looking for comments from other theatergoers, a common response to her piece was that many things make children happy but that in and of itself doesn't make them successful; moreover some responders had seen the show earlier in the run and were forced to put up with kids who were bored and/or disruptive, or even personally knew kids who hadn't enjoyed it when they had enjoyed other family-friendly musicals. (As a note the far more elaborate London version of the show, which came first, managed a far longer run along with better reviews, though it wasn't a critical blockbuster.)

    Video Games 
  • Many of the criticisms heaped on No More Heroes, notably the rather empty overworld, bad driving physics, and generally low-scale environment assets, were deflected by the fanbase by saying that the creator meant to lampoon games like Grand Theft Auto by deliberately making a clunky overworld. It's not certain how true this explanation actually is since in the PlayStation 3 port, part of the overworld is actually blocked off because absolutely nothing happens in that particular section.
  • Inverted: This is a complaint about Saints Row: The Third: While it's only meant to be a mindless, over the top affair of action and violence, many, especially fans of Saints Row 2, criticized the plot since it doesn't have anywhere near the quality of context and narrative of its predecessor that served to contrast and semi-justify the batshit insanity, making it that much more fun and rewarding. The Third was an incoherent mess in comparison. Saints Row IV, thankfully, returned to reasonably good writing.
  • Runic has often had to trot out a similar response to players demanding that Torchlight II have X successful feature or that it be released on time to crush Y competing game in sales (X is usually a Diablo II or MMORPG feature and Y was commonly Diablo III but now tends to be Guild Wars 2). The oft-repeated Word of God is that TL2 is simply meant to be an all-around improvement over TL1 and a testbed for some MMO concepts that interest the developers.
  • Fans of Duke Nukem Forever often use this defense against the game's many critics. Enough that several critics wrote special editorials addressing it.
  • Defenders of Enchanted Arms justly referenced this trope when it got attacked by critics complaining that it had a linear storyline, and strategic combat, both of which are perfectly standard for a jRPG. So their complaints boiled down to that it was a jRPG that played like a jRPG, instead of playing like a western RPG. Penny Arcade, of course, was on the scene.
  • PAYDAY 2 had gained a lot of criticism for producing DLC that makes the game look and feel more like Team Fortress 2 or Saints Row in regards to over the top weapons (flamethrowers, rocket launchers, katanas, etc.) and silly heists (stealing goats, forcing grown men in Christmas elf costumes to make coke, etc.), saying that the game has become too silly and not serious like the first game was built upon. Fans defending the game say that PAYDAY 2 is not meant to be taken seriously since it's a video game and not a movie.
  • A common reaction to criticism of Tank Controls, especially in Survival Horror game, is to assert that they are purposely bad so they would "deprive the player the ability to act like an action hero".

    Web Animation 
  • Zero Punctuation: In his review of Batman: Arkham Asylum, Yahtzee, while generally favorable to the game, criticized the writing. He acknowledged that one could argue that you shouldn't expect much from a game based on a comic book, but then immediately countered that with the argument that just because it's a comic book, it doesn't mean that it has to have bad writing.
    Yahtzee: Was Watchmen just comic book writing? Was Schindler's List just a bunch of flickery lights on a wall?

    Web Original 
  • The Spoony Experiment:
    • The Spoony One acknowledges this in his Twilight:New Moon Vlog, saying that he has to judge it on whether it does what it sets out to do well. He says that insofar as it seeks to show the audience shirtless Native Americans, it sort of does, but it fails at everything else it attempts to do. And with that, couldn't they just find it on the net?
    • He revisits this idea in his review of DOA: Dead or Alive, following twenty minutes of mockery with an admission that it's actually a pretty good adaptation. After all, the DoA games are best known for being about sexy women in martial arts fights, and the movie is mostly about sexy women in martial arts fights. It's a dumb movie, but it knows exactly what its audience wants and delivers on its premise (and after the other fighting game movies he did that month, one can see how important that is).
    • He also touches upon this point in his Saints Row IV and The World's End vlog, stating his dislike of this trope's use as an excuse in the case of the two subjects of the vlog.
  • The Nostalgia Critic:
    • The Critic passes the low quality of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! and The Legend of Zelda (1989) cartoon off on the fact that they were intended for children; however he does comment that just because something is for kids doesn't really give its makers an excuse to be lazy with it.
    • Also, in his review of Independence Day, he says that people tell him that it's a "Popcorn movie", but he insists on criticizing the movie anyway.
    • Despite his seething hatred for The Care Bears Movie, he still recommended it for children from the age of one to... one. In the commentary for that review, he and his brother admitted that five-year-olds and younger generally would like it (as they did at that age), and that it at least had the merit that it didn't resort to violence in defeating the villain (which in his opinion would've broken its own Aesop) and that the children resolve the conflict themselves.
    • In his review of A Troll in Central Park, he claims that one of the reasons he makes the videos is to try and convince studios that they shouldn't just resort to padding and pandering when making kids movies when great and memorable films could be made instead.
  • The Nostalgia Chick went on a similar rant at the end of her "Worst Disney Sequels" review, saying that it was negligent parenting to not care how idiotic your child's entertainment is.
  • Mike and Jay sarcastically invoked this trope when reviewing Movie 43 for Half in the Bag.
  • SF Debris brings up this trope in his review of the Doctor Who episode "Fear Her". In the first two minutes he parodies this, by stating that those who will be offended that he tears this episode a new one are not the intended audience—mocking writer Matthew Graham's shrugging off the criticism of the episode itself. He then discusses the flaws of this attempted deflection of criticism, and points out that his own children (the purported target audience, as opposed to traditional Whovians) didn't like the episode, finding it boring.
  • The Cinema Snob addressed this in his review of The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure, citing that "a small child will probably like it, in that they'd like anything with bright colors; but that doesn't mean that's all you have to show them!" He then goes on to add "as education, it teaches nothing, as a comedy, it's lowbrow, and as a potential franchise; it's cynical and manufactured as hell!"
    It's the kind of movie a parent would show their child when they have zero respect for them, but it's the kind of movie an internet series would feature because we have no respect for ourselves.
  • Caddicarus addresses this in his review of Dalmatians 3, where at one point, he notes that some might call his review unfair, due to it being for kids, to which he immediately objects, since, while kids are easy to entertain, they are not stupid.
  • Parodied in Epic Rap Battles of History when Michael Bay crashes a battle between Steven Spielberg, Alfred Hitchcock, Quentin Tarantino, and Stanley Kubrick in his signature style:
    "If there's one thing I've learned, bitch, this game is about motherfucking money! ...
    I give the people what they love, while the critics say I'm evil! Got no time to read reviews when I'm working on the sequel!"
  • The Mysterious Mr. Enter hates this argument as far as cartoons are concerned. In his own words, "It boils down to 'This is supposed to be bad, you're wrong for wanting it to be good.'"

    Western Animation 
  • Used to counter complaints about Family Guy, as it's a show that "doesn't have to try and have morals or life lessons to be learned. It's supposed to be funny above all else." This argument is not altogether unfamiliar in comedy but it doesn't work too well with, for instance, episodes that are message-heavy at the expense of humor like "Not All Dogs Go to Heaven". At the same time, much criticism comes from people inherently against the use of Overly Long Gags used as Padding.
  • Looney Tunes: Leon Schlesinger, the original producer of the shorts, was quoted as saying about his cartoons "Let Disney make chicken salad and win awards. I'll make chicken shit and make money."
  • South Park:
    • In-Universe with Chinpokomon, a Show Within a Show that the boys like. After watching an episode Randy notes that it's not horribly violent or vulgar, but Sharon objects that it's incredibly stupid, which could do just as much damage to a child's psyche. It's also brainwashing them to bomb Pearl Harbor, but that's a whole different can of worms.
    • Later, we have The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs, which directly addresses this, using the offensive book as a stand-in for South Park itself, saying that it uses Vulgar Humor just because it's funny, and that there aren't any hidden morals or messages in it.
  • The typical argument used by Ultimate Spider-Man's creators, especially, Man of Action Studios, to defend the show against the many complains about its lack of quality, is that it's intended to be a kid's show. Usually, this kind of argument only results in the fans being even more pissed off. As Brian Michael Bendis pointed out, the show does quite well with younger demographics, who are Disney's target audience to begin with. The adult fans complaining on the message boards aren't the ones Disney and the toy companies are after, which is sadly one of the reasons The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes (which did well with adults but not as well with kids) was not renewed.
  • Used on occasion by the producers behind Teen Titans Go!, which is heavily disliked by some adults, especially fans of the 2003 Teen Titans series. The creators have noted multiple times that the juvenile, Widget Series nature of the cartoon is the entire point, and that it isn't supposed to be the story arc-heavy action/drama that its predecessor was. Some episodes use the "kids show" defense when poking fun both at itself and at its massive Hatedom. Though, in an ironic example of this trope, this show actually managed to get two Primetime Emmy nominations.
    Robin (to Control Freak): "Ooh, I'm so sorry that you didn't get any precious golden statues or industry accolades, BUT WE DON'T CARE!"
  • Deliberately spoofed In-Universe in season 2 of Bojack Horseman, where BoJack repeatedly asks Abe, the newly-assigned director for Secretariat, why he doesn't ask for second takes, especially when things in the first take actually go wrong. Abe brushes those off by saying "Hey, we're not making Casablanca." BoJack just assumes that Abe doesn't care too much about the project and, later, casually refers to it as "shit," only to discover that Abe literally meant they weren't making the 1942 Humphrey Bogart movie. Offended, Abe then forces BoJack to do as many takes as possible of each scene just to spite him.
    • BoJack has also an utterly pragmatic and completely sincere defense of his one-hit wonder Sitcom from the mid-nineties, today mostly remembered as In-Universe Sarcasm Fodder
    Interviewer: People still see you as the guy from that sucky show from the '90s.
    BoJack: Horsin' Around was NOT a sucky show! It lasted nine seasons! Its whole purpose was for people to watch it so the Network could sell ad time, so the show could make more money than it cost to produce. It did that well. It was a good show!
    Interviewer: ... yeah, but it sucked.
    BoJack: IT DIDN'T SUCK!
  • Danger Mouse: As DM proceeds into a dark hallway:
    DM: Come on, Penfold. You'll have people laughing at you.
    Penfold: (to us) So what does he think this is...King Lear?