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So Bad, It Was Better
aka: I Liked It Better When It Sucked

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The Uncanny Valley of writing.

"The Lamborghini; what you're saying is it would be better, if it were a bit worse?"
Clarkson to Hammond on Top Gear.
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So Bad, It's Good can be popular to the point that a whole fandom can arise out of a mocked work. This is the magic of Camp, in that even if the writers weren't trying to be tacitly absurd, it's still possible to get a lot of legitimate enjoyment and laughs out of it if the writing is bad enough.

Sometimes, though, a copyright holder will try to fix the image of the So Bad, It's Good franchise by trying to give it a Reboot. The purpose being, hopefully, to make what once was Camp serious drama. When this falls by the wayside, the viewers get a poor result. The show is no longer So Bad, It's Good, but now it's So Okay, It's Average. In other words, a thorough "meh". Still bad, but not so bad that it's fun to mock anymore.

This is also a common reaction to the patching of bad games that had a saving grace in the form of Good Bad Bugs. More often than not, said bugs are the easiest things to fix, and so the fun to be had in thoroughly breaking the game is removed by the patch, while the more deeply ingrained mediocrity of such a game often remains. Even good games can get this reaction if the bugs were fun enough to play with, resulting in that aspect of the game falling into this trope.

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This is only for fans who honestly felt the original sucked So Bad, It's Good. If the fans didn't think the original sucked, or if they honestly liked features that were removed on their own merits — or if nostalgia means that they just hate change — then that belongs under They Changed It, Now It Sucks! and Nostalgia Filter instead.

This is, to a great extent, incredibly subjective. Note that the perceptions listed here are general perceptions of a work as a whole.

Contrast Narm Charm. This is the lack — more specifically, the loss — thereof. Also see Surprisingly Improved Sequel, when a bad work is followed up by an improved sequel that actually is more enjoyable.

Compare It's Popular, Now It Sucks!


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Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • With the switch from traditional to digital animation, it became much easier (and cheaper) for animation studios to fix mistakes. Nowadays, anime series will often have scenes - or on rare occasions entire episodes - cleaned up in the time between TV broadcast and the home video release. Fans usually welcome this. But, sometimes there's a show like Musashi Gundoh, whose popularity is based entirely on how hilariously awful it is. When the animators go back and fix the mistakes, fans complain because they considered the terrible animation a big part of its charm.
  • The Latin American dub of Saint Seiya had a completely different (and worse, and much more fun) opening. When the series was re-released, the opening was changed to a translated version of "Pegasus Fantasy". Old-school fans (90% of the whole) didn't like it.
    • Even if you don't speak Spanish, compare: So Bad It's Good Intro and So Ok It's Average Intronote 
    • That does not hold true of the Portuguese dub, however. Especially since the "Pegasus Fantasy" version that eventually ended up in the opening was sung by Angra's Edu Falaschi.
  • The English dub of Angel Blade gives all the women rounded even tones... including Karin, which isn't ravingly bad per se, but it loses its narmy goodness in the process.
  • The Ocean dub of Dragon Ball Z has a huge number of fans, despite its strict adherence to Never Say "Die". The BGM and Vegeta's hammy voice (and Memetic Mutation) are what make people prefer it.
    • The Funimation dub of the same series, which was of similar quality (at least in its early days), also has its defenders compared to the much more polished dub of Dragon Ball Kai by the same company.
    • The original German dub produced by the TV company airing it had Vegeta voiced by the same voice actor who also dubbed "Family Matters" original Steve Urkel. Yeah, in the very same whiny, high-pitched voice. (Just imagine: *planet explodes* "Did I do that?")
  • At one time, Netflix had the Japanese versions of the first four seasons of Digimon but they were soon removed, as most American fans prefer the cornier, Bowdlerized versions from Saban.
  • The Viz Media dub of Sailor Moon is victim to this from people who watched the DiC dub in their childhoods. If you watch some of the sample clips on YouTube, you'll see complaints such as Mamoru calling Usagi "bunhead" instead of "meatball head," or Luna not having a British accent. While several appreciated the re-dub with a pretty faithful translation, professional voice actors, keeping the original music, and no Cut-and-Paste Translation, many of the aforementioned purists decry the Viz Media dub as much less fun to watch. Where's the overly hammy voice acting? Where's the ridiculous American slang? The clumsy censorship? The unfitting voices? For some, the awkward localization of the original dub ironically added a whole new level of Narm Charm to a show that was already over-the-top to begin with, and it's just not Sailor Moon without it. One of the major points of contention is that the show is largely a comedy on top of being a Magical Girl Warrior adventure, and those who prefer the 90's dub argue that while the Viz dub is more faithful, the dialogue and voice direction is not as funny or memorable compared to the improvisations and liberties added by DiC. The biggest thing that fans actually miss however is the soundtrack, which even the biggest critics of the DiC dub admitted was pretty awesome.
    • Sailor Moon Crystal invoked this reaction in many fans of the 90's anime (both original and dub fans). Despite the former's promise of being truer to the manga, said fans found it boring without the sheer amount of camp and silliness of the original anime.
  • Some fans of the tamer, pun-laden dub of Pokémon, were disappointed by the straight video game adaptation Pokémon Origins for not being cheesy.
  • The US finally got a DVD release of Transformers Headmasters... with only subtitles. Many fans of the original god-awful Hong Kong Dub (aired on Star TV in Asia) hated this, as it was considered the best reason to watch Headmasters... otherwise many just found the show dull and repetitive.
  • The original Ghost Stories English dub isn't really accurate to the show, but is full of pop-cultural references and dark humor that made the show popular. However, there was a more accurate dub made later on, that aired in Southeast Asia. This dub isn't really considered as interesting, as Ghost Stories was considered a mediocre horror anime without the dub.

    Comic Books 
  • The character of Frank Drake in 1970s Marvel Comic The Tomb of Dracula was originally an emasculated neurotic and certified wimp when it came to women and anything else for that matter. His more mature self, as seen in the 1990s Nightstalkers, is your typical sanest member of the group. But that's because he's a cardboard Ghostbuster clone without the comedy part. Actually without a personality of any type.
  • Speedball was a '60s comic character created in the '80s, with all the Narm you could shake a stick at. His power was just being able to bounce really well, and the less said about his costume, the better. Mocking him was par for the course among fans. Then came the "Civil War" storyline, in which his inability to save a school full of kids led him to change: his powers were now activated by pain and he changed his name to Penance, complete with an Iron-Maiden-like costume, becoming a full-on '90s Anti-Hero. No one liked it, and after a while, the old, silly Speedball returned.
  • Since the book's rediscovery, there have been a number of attempts to "revive" the cult-favorite public-domain superhero Stardust the Super Wizard. These attempts usually aren't very popular with Stardust fans, since when you take out the badly-proportioned artwork, nonsensical plots, and the protagonist's love of wanton murder and needlessly elaborate punishment, you just have a generic superhero story where the main character has a really ugly costume. Even writers who do try to recreate those elements rarely tune into whatever insane wavelength Fletcher Hanks was on, and just come across as trying too hard to match the original.
  • A funny case of this applying to an individual character's name: C-list Marvel villain Peter Petruski debuted under the name "Paste-Pot Pete." A few issues later, he changed his name to "the Trapster." The general view among fans is that "Trapster" is a better name, but it's not good, and it's also nowhere near as hilariously bad. It's a major reason the name is a Never Live It Down moment for ol' Pete, because "he used to be called Paste-Pot Pete" is pretty much the only memorable thing about him.

    Comic Strips 

    Fanfiction 
  • Star Trek Fan Fiction writer Stephen Ratliff once wrote an update to his Marissa Picard story Time Speeder called Athena Prospects. Anyone who has read both stories knows that Athena Prospects is a much better story than Time Speeder, although it's still pretty bad. Time Speeder, by contrast, is way more fun to read because all the incredibly stupid stuff is in it. Such as the two villains checking into hotels as James Kirk and Jean-Luc Picard. In a universe where all the Star Trek shows are accurate foretelling of the future (!) or when Saddam Hussein takes over the entire Middle East in a throwaway line.
  • The chapters of The Prayer Warriors written by Thomas are chock-full of embarrassing spelling errors, unbelievably awkward dialogue, heavy-handed and rather disturbing preaching slapping the reader in the face every other word, and just plain lazy writing. The chapters written by Ebony are... kinda okay, with a little less religious themes, slightly improved spelling, and actually listening to bad reviews instead of just screaming about the fires of hell. The chapters written by Thomas are a lot more fun to read because of this.
  • The Neon Genesis Evangelion fanfic Neon Genesis Evangelion II: DELTA Invasion is an honored favorite among the community for how nonsensical and shameless it is. When the author pulled it from the sites it was hosted on and replaced it with "Gates of Oblivion", it was just as poorly written and self-serving, except it no longer had the spelling and grammar errors and sheer audacity that made the original so much fun to read.
  • Transformers Beast Wars fanfic author William A. Renfield was quite popular for his early Echowarrior fanfics on the TF usenet group alt.toys.transformers in the late 90s...mostly because they were horrible self-insertion schlock. Hey, he was 12. Fast forward to WAR's material 6-7 years later now as a young adult, which had settled into the mediocre range...and zero people caring about it.
  • There's a side story of sorts to the infamous My Immortal, called I'm Not Okay and supposedly written by Tara's beta reader, Raven (whether it was written by a real person named Raven, an imitator, or the same writer as My Immortal is impossible to determine). It's very similar to My Immortal (obsession with goth culture, In Name Only characterization, short chapters, extremely obvious Mary Sue protagonist), but a considerable step up in terms of spelling, grammar, fidelity to the source material, and overall coherence. It ends up feeling a bit like the sort of story that My Immortal was intended to be. It's also nowhere near as famous, as said step up is only into the realm of half-functional mediocrity rather than incomprehensible failure. It didn't help that it became a Dead Fic only a few chapters in, while its counterpart made it past 40 chapters; one theory about its abandonment is that it simply wasn't as fun to write or attracting as much attention as My Immortal.

    Film 
  • Birdemic is terrible to a legendary degree. Awful acting, awful scripting, awful effects. It's a disaster in every possible way, and it's perhaps the perfect movie for people who like movies that are the exact opposite of perfect. Then, a couple of years later, a sequel came out. Unlike many examples on this page, Birdemic 2: The Resurrection is actually really terrible, as well. However, Birdemic 2 is terrible on purpose. Now that he had an actual budget, James Nguyen was clearly spent it all trying to make the sequel equally bad, but it just ended up feeling forced and overly self-referential, and it was a lot less fun to watch.
  • The Ang Lee-directed Hulk tried to be serious, but some people felt it had cheesy lines, poor acting, an awful pace, and dodgy effects (such as bouncy tanks) which to them, made the film become a humorous example of So Bad, It's Good. Then the second film actually didn't suck and was instead... watchable. Good if you're a fan of the film, not so good if you enjoyed laughing at it. Then again, a similar argument could be made for those who preferred the charm of the low-budget TV series over the first big-budget movie's excesses.
  • The original Death Race 2000 was great, schlocky, over-the-top Roger Corman-esque fare, perfect for MST3K-style ribbing. Death Race, the remake, was a watchable action flick (and featured the presence of Jason Statham) but felt like the soul had been ripped out of the concept.
  • Likewise, if you can find it, the Roger Corman The Fantastic Four film from the early 1990s is So Bad, It's Good, compared to the two So Okay, It's Average 2000s films.
  • A similar sensation exists for Street Fighter and Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li. Neither one is considered a good movie, but the former was clearly shooting for Ham and Cheese absurdity and camp, while the latter attempted an uber-serious prestige drama with any camp kept to a minimum. Chun-Li is probably the better-crafted film, but it's nowhere near as goofy, and ends up being far less charming or fun to watch while also being nowhere near actual quality.
  • While in real life, Star Trek (2009) was a hit among Trekkies and layfolk, the new movie's slick production values combined with this to make a great Onion News Network piece.
    • That brings us some amusing comments from viewers complaining about the dazzling action scenes and fast-paced writing. "Where's the heavy-handed moralism and political commentary? Why aren't the fights more like two out-of-shape guys in rubber suits doing lame karate chops at each other? The bridge is supposed to look like it's made out of cardboard and plywood!"
  • The notoriously trashy 1992 Hong Kong production Naked Killer originally sported hilariously badly-translated English subtitles (featuring such unforgettable lines as "When I saw Kitty, I had priapism!") which many viewers felt enhanced the delirious experience of the film. The "digitally restored and remastered" DVD featured newly (and apparently, more accurately) translated subtitles, which rather spoiled the fun for fans of the original version.
  • The film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey took a lot of heat for toning down the book's more outre elements, including getting rid of the "Inner Goddess" bits entirely. Turns out that when you try to make this story more respectable, there's nothing of interest left.
  • The first set of chapters to R. Kelly's infamous hip-hopera Trapped in the Closet are about as gut-bustingly melodramatic as a feature-length R&B ballad music video gets, and are legendarily hysterical as a result. Then Kelly and the filmmakers became serious party poopers and made the second set of chapters a borderline straightforward comedy.
  • The Lost in Space movie toned down the Camp and replaced the cheesy special effects with CGI. The TV show was So Bad, It's Good, but the movie was just So Okay, It's Average at best.
  • When the trailers of Sonic the Hedgehog first dropped, it showed off a design of Sonic for live-action that looked terrible in just about every way. Reception was so bad that the studio actually delayed the film to rework it. When new trailers dropped showing off a different Sonic design, the response was generally that the new design looked great. This proved disappointing for a handful of people who thought the film didn't look promising otherwise and hoped a hideous Uncanny Valley protagonist would push it into So Bad, It's Good territory.
  • The Michael Bay directed Transformers Film Series ended up on both sides of this. Firstly, they were adapting a beloved cartoon/toy franchise from the 80s beloved for its ridiculousness and campy, fun appeal (noted below in Western Animation), and instead turned it into a self-serious Alien Invasion Disaster Movie franchise with 'realistic' robot aliens, constant high stakes, complex lore that took itself far more seriously than it should. While it became a Gateway Series for the larger Transformers franchise, it was hated by the majority of existing fans for missing the appeal while failing to actually be good on its own merits. When Bumblebee came out, a major point of praise was that it remembered this was a family-aimed franchise and so instead of being a self-serious high-stakes action film, its mostly a fun family picture with Coming of Age A Boy and His X plot. However, while Bumblebee received warm praise from fans and critics, a number of fans who got into the series from the movies harshly rejected the loss of the 'Bayhem' and hated the character driven nature of the film, and despite being far more critically beloved, its the lowest performing movie of the franchise. Basically, while some fans want the 'bad' campy fun stuff, others want the 'bad' Rated M for Manly stuff, and neither side think particularly highly of the other.

    Literature 
  • In an Italian short story, there's an in-universe example. A third-rate writer hires an incredibly incompetent typist, in the hope that her typos will turn his trite works into surreal humor masterpieces. It works, and in little time the author is hailed as a comic genius. That's when the typist, seeing her employer's success, decides he deserves better and takes typing lessons, leading to his downfall.
  • Tyra Banks's novel Modelland is so bad that most positive reviews agreed it needed additional editing before being released. However, the parts that aren't horrible and confused are just... dull. The book is a mix of so-bad-they're-good parts and mediocre, forgettable parts.
  • Maradonia and the Seven Bridges was edited and split into two books. The new versions have a few improvements, such as removing some of the stupidest elements in the original. This ended up ruining much of the unintentional hilarity that made the book fun to read at times, and didn't even come close to turning it into a legitimately good work. With that said, the new versions did introduce a couple of new stupid moments.

    Live-Action TV 
  • One of the (many) reasons that Battlestar Galactica (1978) fans were unimpressed by the re-imagined series was the eschewing of the cheesy storylines and character designs for a tone that was deadly serious. The silly names were now just call signs. The Cylons had upgraded to look human, and even the foot-soldiers didn't speak, thus no "By your command!" And Baltar was a scientist rather than a scenery-chewing villain.
  • The Sci-Fi Channel original series update of Flash Gordon suffered from this as well, turning Ming (who is hardly Merciless) into a milquetoast Corrupt Corporate Executive IN AN ALTERNATE DIMENSION!, the Hawkmen into vagrants who only THINK they can fly, etc. This from a franchise whose most recognizable entry was the most gleefully campy movie since the 1966 Batman movie (curiously, both by the same writer).
  • The Eurovision Song Contest is better when the acts are crazy, nonsensical and generally bad. The 2009 contest failed in some respects because most of the acts were neither truly good nor so bad they were good.
    • There's a very good example of the difference between 2008 (ridiculous) and 2009 (serious business) by ways of Estonia on that page.
  • Invoked in one episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, where Crow and Tom spend a segment complaining about the antiquated encyclopedias on the Satellite of Love (so old, in fact, that they include a picture of Stonehenge under "construction"), only for the encyclopedias to be replaced with a brand new set featuring an internet uplink for constant updates... which fails to satisfy Crow and Tom, who thought it was much more fun to mock the old encyclopedias.
  • Invoked by Doug Naylor when fans tell him that they preferred the first two series of Red Dwarf because of the dull grey sets and cheap props and costumes. He and Rob Grant never intended the show to ever look cheap but were stifled by a lack of money for anything better.
  • A lot of fans brought up on the original Doctor Who initially rejoiced that it was coming back, but... were turned off by factors including the vastly improved sets and glossy American-styled production values. This massive Fan Discontinuity will happily accept the original series was marked by low budget, unconvincing costumes and cheap wobbly sets - but will insist they preferred it that way, so why did the BBC ruin it by trying to make it better, to the point where it isn't really Dr Who any more?

    Music 
  • The Portsmouth Sinfonia was an orchestra founded in 1970, made up of people who didn't know how to play their instruments (really, that was one of the requirements - they would allow musicians to join, but on the condition that they were unfamiliar with the instrument they chose). Well-known songs were given them to play, and the results were hilarious. Nearly a decade later, everyone had learned to play those instruments and the popularity of the symphony declined as it lost its novelty factor. The orchestra ceased performing in 1979.
  • The Shaggs were awful musicians when Philosophy of The World, their most famous album, came out. Later recordings show them to be much more experienced with their instruments, and actually listenable, if not quite good. The band was even booked to play at dances in their native New Hampshire. These later recordings are nowhere near as well known as Philosophy is, owing to them being fairly non-descript and somewhat bland. The group wasn't particularly unique once they were able to play with some level of competence. Dot Wiggin is a much better musician than when she was a teenager, and a few of her songs are actually quite good, though it's unlikely she'll ever make it out of obscurity.
  • The Most Unwanted Song was created by surveying people on their most-hated musical genres and elements. The Other Wiki describes it as containing "bagpipes, cowboy music, an opera singer rapping, and a children's choir that urged listeners to go shopping at Walmart." Its flip side, the Most Wanted Song, contains "guitar, bass, piano and drums, and lyrics about love." Not only does the former have about seven times as many views on YouTube, but many people have judged it as much better to listen to: the Most Unwanted Song sounds genuinely unique and hilarious, while the Most Wanted Song just sounds like a generic mediocre love song straight out of the most boring parts of 90s easy listening. Which was, indeed, the entire point.

    Radio 
  • One episode of This American Life entitled "Fiasco!" explicitly discusses this. The interviewee describes seeing a catastrophic stage production of Peter Pan, and admits there was a tipping point after which the crowd had turned on the performers and wanted the show to continue to fail. As he admits, had the show gone off flawlessly from that point, he would have been extremely disappointed.

    Theater 
  • The Broadway musical version of Little Shop of Horrors got poor reviews. The most common critical opinion was that the appeal of most productions was their low-budget intimacy, and the crazy special effects and massive stage of the Broadway production just felt wrong.
  • The original run of the musical version of Carrie was best remembered for two things: the astronomical amount of time and money poured into it and its spectacular awfulness it resulted in. Twenty-some years later, a revival, which amended many of the original's shortcomings, was dismissed for being completely forgettable.
  • The incredibly self-aware Screen-to-Stage Adaptation of the ironic classic Xanadu was dismissed by hardcore fans who felt that all the show did was explain the joke.

    Video Games 
  • When Final Fantasy Tactics received an Updated Re-release for the PSP as War of the Lions, fans lamented the loss of much of the game's Narm Charm derived from poorly translated lines. Additionally, some fans felt that the original translation, while quite spotty in several areas, was still far from the incomprehensible mess some people make it out to be, and that the excessive Purple Prose used in War of the Lions translation is thoroughly unnecessary, makes the game harder to understand, and makes a lot of the dialouge feel sterile and emotionless.
  • A chunk of the original Resident Evil's fanbase was put off by the GameCube remake of the game from 2002, which significantly "improved" the original's hammy acting and rather hastily translated script ("You were almost a Jill sandwich!") and replaced it with a more natural, sometimes genuinely scary script ("A second later, you would have fit nicely in a sandwich!"). Usually, for these fans, the choice between the PlayStation and GameCube versions comes down to whether you want cheesiness or actual horror.
  • The House of the Dead series used to be known as a rich source of weapons-grade Narm Charm and Memetic Mutation. The quality of the voice acting improved dramatically in part 3 and it's even within a hair's breadth of actually being good in the fourth game. Enough people missed the endearingly god-awful dialogue from parts 1 and 2 that the next game, Overkill, employs Stylistic Suck and deliberately aims for a grindhouse B-movie approach.
  • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and its remade dialogue in Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles. The original dialogue was totally cheesy, but a rich well of Narm Charm and a Fountain of Memes. The new one? It's better dialogue, but it's not nearly as hammy or fun to listen to.
  • Similarly, Chrono Trigger's original SNES translation had some glaring mistranslations and Woolseyisms, particularly Frog's Ye Olde Butchered English accent, who nobody else in the entire game had. When the DS remake came out, the entire script was retranslated, excising Frog's accent entirely. While the retranslation in general is seen as positive, this particular loss has fans divided, as many thought his old way of speaking was part of his charm, even if it was inaccurate and inexplicable.
  • Some fans of Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake prefer the hilarious borderline-Engrish fan translation of the MSX version, complete with Comic-Book Fantasy Casting digitised portraits of celebrities, to the official translation included on the Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence disc.
  • Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing series:
    • A patch for the game does very little to improve the gameplay (the opponent which used to not move now moves very slowly, but still doesn't reach the finish line), but what it does do is take the iconic "You're Winner!" image and replaces it with "You Win!". Yay.
    • Big Rigs has a sequel, named Midnight Race Club: Supercharged! It's barely remembered, mainly because there's actually collision detection and a moving opponent. It's mostly considered very mediocre.
  • Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon, the western developed spin-off of the notoriously campy Earth Defense Force series, made many improvements to the controls, graphics and framerate. They also hired top-tier voice talent like Steve Blum and Cam Clarke. Many fans disliked the changes as they came at the cost of the cheesy B-movie absurdity and shoddy production values that gave the series its cult status.
  • Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric was patched to remove Good Bad Bugs such as the infamous Knuckles infinite jump glitch. It also fixed some actual gameplay problems, but it's still regarded as an unenjoyable game. Previously, Rise of Lyric was an Obvious Beta that was more fun to break than to actually play, then the game was patched, significantly cutting what entertainment value there was in it, and is now considered a resoundingly boring, mediocre game.
  • There have always been bugs of all kinds in Minecraft, the most infamous ones being lighting and world generation bugs. As much as they sucked, fans came to grin and snark alike when they came across them — until they slowly began to be fixed. A lot of people were nostalgic about the loss of these hilarious Epic Fail bugs. So much, that some of them were put back in the game due to popular demand.
  • Princess Maker 2 was translated into English twice, due to the original publisher falling through. The original dialogue was a bit of a mess, but it was cheesy and fun to read. Many players dislike the new translation for fixing such mistakes as Wendy's fixation on "Magician Girls!"
  • The creators of Rainbow Six Siege have stated this of Tachanka. Widely seen as the worst character by a wide margin, he also happens to be the most popular, and much of this popularity comes from what an absolute joke he is; in a game all about mobility and flanking, his unique trick is to park himself in one spot and become a sitting duck. Add in his Husky Russkie personality and giant machine gun, and you have a recipe for a Memetic Badass and a Memetic Loser at the same time. They could probably rework him to be more useful or more fitting Siege's design, but then he wouldn't be LORD TACHANKA anymore.
  • The English names of the Maverick bosses in Mega Man X5 were changed to be references to Guns N' Roses members, which was a contentious decision back then, but the names, particularly the incredibly silly-sounding Duff McWhalen, grew on the fanbase. When the Mega Man X Legacy Collection changed their names back to the original Japanese versions, a subsection of the fanbase voiced their displeasure that Duff McWhalen was reverted to the more generic-sounding "Tidal Whale."
  • Fans of Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 were a little displeased when the creators of the Project Exile translation decided that Orsin's Weapon of Choice was meant to be named after a real-life weapon called the Bhuj. Previous fan translations had written it as "Pugi", which was a lot dumber and a lot more fun to say, especially when the Pugi was the game's Disc-One Nuke and essential for beating the very difficult early maps. Hardcore Challenge Gamer-types rambling about the greatness of a weapon that sounded like a nickname you'd give a very stupid dog just wasn't an experience you got anywhere else. This applies to a lot of early translation quirks in that fandom, such as silly transliterations or that one time a Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series reference slipped through the cracks.
  • Drakengard has cacophonous music, pug-ugly graphics, monotonous and grindy gameplay, a hilariously edgy tone, a nonsensical plot, absurd concepts, and approximately one-fourth of a likeable character in its entire cast. It was all these traits that earned it a strong cult following who saw it as a fascinating trainwreck like few others in its genre. Drakengard 2 got rid of the first game's director, and it shows: the graphics look better, the plot is more understandable, and the characters are less hideously unlikable. However, these changes weren't enough to push it into Surprisingly Improved Sequel status. Instead, they only raised it up from "fascinating trainwreck like no other" to "generic JRPG you rent once, beat in a weekend, and then never play or think about again". As a result, the fandom has mostly ignored it.

    Web Original 
  • TV Tropes. Before the policies on this Wiki changed (specifically, before the implementation of a far stricter Rule of Cautious Editing Judgment, a stricter ban on Natter, and the YMMV tab) there were lively debates and conversations on some of the entries, although they could easily descend to tiring arguments. Some tropers are still nostalgic for the older version of the website.
  • Doug Walker mentions this in one of his out-of-character Twilight film reviews: the first two movies were So Bad, It's Good, but Eclipse was actually pretty competent and thus not as fun.
    • Doug's own work came under this. After briefly retiring The Nostalgia Critic, he tried to make an original series Demo Reel, that flexed his writing and acting abilities more and had a higher production value. The show ended rather quickly in large part because it just wasn't as popular as the Nostalgia Critic, so he revived the character and show, but kept the production value of Demo Reel as well as the hired actors. There was a heavy Broken Base as a result of this, and many prefer when the show was just Doug sat in his basement in costume yelling tirades at the camera.
  • Discussed by LAG TV's hosts when fans asked them to play more Minecraft after three years of silence. A large part of the fun was watching Maximus Black failing and dying in hilarious ways, all while Screaming Like A Little Girl; however, in the intervening time Jeff got better at the game, so he and Adam outright told the viewers that they wouldn't enjoy new Minecraft videos nearly as much as the old ones for this very reason.

    Western Animation 
  • Happens In-Universe in the Rocko's Modern Life episode "Wacky Deli": Ralph Bighead hires Rocko, Heffer, and Filbert to create the worst possible show ever in an effort to get out of his contract. Of course, it becomes a hit...until Ralph decides to actually put thought and effort into it, at which point it's swiftly canceled.
  • The original Biker Mice from Mars series' dub became popular in Finland because it was filled with double entendres and overall silliness. When the new series started airing in Finland, fans weren't happy with its new toned-down dialogue.
  • Super Friends is notorious for being, at times, aggressively anti-logical. The incoherent plots and ridiculously cookie-cutter nature of the characters is what makes it fun to watch. So when the show was retooled in the mid-eighties, well, it just wasn't as much fun anymore. The show was still bad, but now it was just generically bad like any other '80s cartoon. No more plots about Brainiac trying to steal the world's supply of credit. No more Aquaman accidentally destroying the entire Asian Pacific seaboard and using the same "Oh no!" tone of voice he uses when Gleek makes a stupid joke. No more crazy feminists mind-controlling all the women in the world into turning men into data on microchips. It just wasn't the same.
    • At some point in the '90s, the Wonder Twins were re-integrated into the DC Universe and given a Darker and Edgier backstory which made them into oppressed slaves. Wrap your head around that. Serious Wonder Twins? What's the point?
  • The original Scooby-Doo had bad dialogue, low quality animation, bad jokes and ridiculous plots as the "monster's" reason for being there and that memorable line "I would have gotten away with it too, if it hadn't been for you meddling kids." So even after when aired years after the time it's set in, it is fun to watch. But then multiple remakes came along removing these charming factors and making it a lot less fun. It's felt that a number of later installments lack the original's lasting charm because of this.
  • This is considered the reason why the "Red Sky" Retool seasons for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) flopped. All the goofiness and stupidity of the '80s cartoon was removed... and what we got was a generic mid-'90s action cartoon that took itself too seriously.
  • A good chunk of Masters of the Universe fans take this view towards more modern interpretations. The 80s cartoon was solid cheese and flatly ridiculous, as a near-platonic ideal of the stupid 80s cartoon, with its blatant toy advertisement, thick Ho Yay, nonsense plots, and lovably pathetic villains. The reboots, such as the comics or the 2000s series, remove as much of this as possible... and the result is a generic piece of Sword & Sorcery about a very serious generic muscled dude with a sword fighting a very serious generic Evil Overlord, only everyone's still got names like Stinkor or Fisto.
  • The Transformers features ridiculous plots like Megatron trying to knock the moon out of its orbit so that he can flood a canyon or Optimus Prime playing basketball, Megatron and Starscream act Like an Old Married Couple, and the animation is more frequently Off-Model than not. The end result is an absurd and often-stupid cartoon that many remember fondly. Many works that try to pull directly from the cartoon in the modern day like the Dreamwave comics, Deviations, and Wings of Honor tend to get fairly lukewarm responses, as they usually end up bland instead of hilariously-corny.

    Real Life 
  • The takeover of Škoda by Volkswagen, leading to their cars becoming actually good. Annoying for budding comedians, as suddenly Skoda jokes didn't work (well, other than the ones in the adverts that went "It's a Škoda. Honest.").
  • "Ken Lee", a garbled pronunciation of "Can't Live" from Mariah Carey's cover of the Badfinger song "Without You", as sung by Valentina Hasan, was an internet meme, almost in the sense of a reverse Buffalax. But much of the fun was lost as she worked to correct her pronunciation, as seen in the live performance. The So Bad, It's Good silliness was lost and it became So Okay, It's Average.
  • Many New Yorkers think that Times Square was more fun when it was a seedy haven for porno theaters before Rudy Giuliani cleaned it and the city as a whole up in The '90s. This is the reaction of many longtime residents of gentrified cities in general.
  • This can be seen as a phenomenon in sports; especially in football (the sort played by eleven men a side with a round ball). Teams like Manchester United and Manchester City, paradoxically, lost some fans when they stopped being underachievers, and began to actually win cups and championships, with monotonous and robotic regularity. Pointing to the "old days" when Man U were a struggling side mired in mediocrity and - incredibly - financial problems (but who showed occassional flashes of erratic genius), a former fan said "It's no fun now they're actually winning every week. I enjoyed it more when you came out of the ground despairing. They've taken the uncertainty out of it."


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Alternative Title(s): I Liked It Better When It Sucked

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