Follow TV Tropes


Old Shame / Live-Action TV

Go To

    open/close all folders 

  • Melissa George's time as Angel on Home and Away, based on this, may be a mashup of Old Shame and Berserk Button.
  • The Got Talent channels don't want to upload content from the Australian version (which has aired on-and-off since 2013, when a Channel Hop to Nine Network occurred, then was revived once in 2016 for a Britain's Got Talent-like rebrand and again in 2019 for a comeback to Seven Network), resulting in an odd case of it being impossible to find obscure content from the series.

  • Noted children's television hostess Xuxa tried at all costs to retrieve old pornographic material involving her, which is understandable. This includes a 1982 issue of Playboy that is consequently highly sought by collectors. There was also concern over a film she appeared in that saw her in, shall we say, a romantic interlude with someone who would have fallen within the same age demographic as her TV show. After the advent of the internet, Xuxa successfully sued a big auction website to stop sales of a soft-porn movie with her, as well as a widely-circulated newspaper for showing a half-naked picture of her.note 
    • Xuxa also has a downplayed example in the 1988 children's film, Super Xuxa Contra Baixo-Astral, that rips off Labyrinth and Captain EO copiously and only got a DVD release in 2017. On the movie's 30th anniversary, she admitted the thing is trashy and looks cheap, but likes that spread a message and struck a chord with fans.

  • Drake:
    • For a long time, he didn't like to talk about his days as Jimmy (or to some people, that black kid in a wheelchair) on Degrassi. This is a weird version of this trope of him, since that's pretty much the only thing he's known for other than rapping. When he was on MTV's When I Was 17, he didn't discuss it at all even though, again, Degrassi was the only notable thing he did when he was 17. His work is primarily distributed in the U.S., where Degrassi is far less popular than it is in his native Canada. It's actually quite understandable that he wouldn't bring it up given how his success as a rapper has largely overshadowed his acting career. He seems to have been more willing to embrace it in recent years, though. When Drake hosted Saturday Night Live on January 18, 2014, he admitted in his monologue that, yes, he was Jimmy on Degrassi (and that he was credited under his real name Aubrey Graham). If the video for his song "I'm Upset", which featured a full-on Degrassi cast reunion, is anything to go by, then any lingering shame he has about the show seems to have dissipated.
    • In another old shame admission from that same SNL hosting job, he admitted that was the one who came up with the "YOLO" meme and that he's sorry for it, since it led to a lot of annoying family members and coworkers harassing people with that phrase.

  • One episode of the TV series Ultraseven features Monsters of the Week who resembled atomic bomb radiation victims, complete with scars and welts. Their plot was to suck blood from women and children in order to rejuvenate their polluted bodies. In the only country in the world to have nuclear weapons used on it, this sparked an obvious backlash (especially from real radiation victims, who were already suffering severe discrimination). Similar to the Pokémon incident above, the producers' reaction was to strike the episode from the canon and act like it never existed.
  • Much like Danny Slavin, who was the Red Ranger in Power Rangers Lost Galaxy, the actor who played Ginga Red (the Super Sentai counterpart to Slavin's character), Kazuki Maehara, seems to feel the same about the role. He is also retired from acting and like Slavin he refused to appear in the Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger tribute episode to Gingaman, and only showed up when the cast and crew begged him to appear. As a result, he only shows up late in the episode. He seems to have gotten over it since; after the last episode of Gokaiger, he tweeted in-character as Ryouma that his ranger key had been returned to him.
  • For years, rumors persisted that Kamen Rider Kuuga star Joe Odagiri viewed the show as this, mostly thanks to a poorly-translated interview he gave after the show ended. The truth is that while Odagiri enjoyed his time on the show and formed good relationships with his co-stars, he was never really a Toku fan and mainly took the job as a favor to one of the producers, so while the show is an important part of his career, he doesn't feel any special attachment to it and considers his involvement with Kamen Rider to be over. Rather tellingly, when a rumor spread that he had Kuuga taken off of his resumé, Odagiri's official response was "Of course not! Don't say such unpleasant things!"
    • Rumors like this tend to pop up any time a Kamen Rider actor fails to return for anniversary events, usually accompanied by invented excuses. For example, rumors claimed that Masaki Suda (Kamen Rider W's Philip) got sick of the role because he had to dress in "girly" clothing; in reality, Suda's career took off like a rocket following that show, and more often than not he was just too busy to come back. When the Kamen Rider Zi-O movie Heisei Generations FOREVER was released, Suda posted online explaining that he really wanted to appear in the movie but was literally unable to do so because his schedule was booked solid for the next two years.
    • Presumably to head these rumors off, Kamen Rider Kabuto star Hiro Mizushima posted to Instagram to explain that he didn't appear in Heisei Generations FOREVER simply because Toei hadn't gotten touch with him and reassured fans that he's still fond of the show and considers it the starting point of his career. He later did a couple of episodes of his Youtube cooking show Hiro Meshi where his Kabuto co-star Yuki Sato showed up to share a meal and reminesce about old times.

  • One of Peter Davison's (aka The Fifth Doctor) early jobs was a guest shot on The Tomorrow People (1973), an episode known as "A Man For Emily." Let's just say it opens with a nearly nude Peter sagging against a wall and goes downhill from there. Peter expressed utter horror upon learning that the episode had actually been broadcast in the US.
  • Blake's 7: Unlike the other surviving actors, Josette Simon (Dayna Mellanby) would rather forget her time on the show. While, to date, nothing negative has ever been mentioned about her working relationship with fellow cast members, she felt that she was young and naive and that her role was demeaning both sexually and racially. To date, she has never participated in any B7 cast reunions or audiodrama stories.
  • Doctor Who:
    • To the shock of many fans, Douglas Adams viewed the unfinished but legendary Doctor Who story "Shada" as this, publicly stating that he'd only signed the release to allow the 1992 VHS issue of what was made to go ahead because he hadn't noticed that it had been included in a folder with a bunch of other routine paperwork.
    • Robert Holmes has said that "The Power of Kroll" was the least favorite serial he'd written for the show. He never liked doing "scary monster" stories, so right from the start he was wary of the premise that script editor Anthony Read gave him. He found the finished product dull and shakily executed.
    • Steven Moffat has regrets about the second episode he wrote during his tenure as executive producer, "The Beast Below". He's called it "a bit of a mess", citing the fact that he had too many ideas that would have been fine on their own, but having them all packed into a short 45-minute runtime didn't give them all enough time to properly stew or be focused upon.
    • Speaking of Doctor Who, Martin Clunes is very embarrassed about his guest role in the 1983 serial "Snakedance".
    • Peter Kay has called his guest spot as the Abzorbaloff in 2006's "Love & Monsters" the one thing in his career that he regrets. While he had fun making it, he was disappointed by the finished product ("I'm a big green lizard running around Cardiff? Is that it?") and is aware that the episode is considered by some fans to be one of the worst ever.
    • While Peter Capaldi does not per se view his award-winning work on the sitcom The Thick of It as an "old shame", ever since taking on the family-friendly role of the Twelfth Doctor, he has worked hard to separate Malcolm Tucker and the Doctor, rarely speaking about Malcolm and generally refusing requests to swear and do other Malcolm-esque things. He is also on record as stating he doesn't expect to ever play Malcolm on screen again.
  • Martin Shaw didn't get on well with Lewis Collins, his co-star on The Professionals (and vice versa), and he also hated the show itself to the extent of blocking repeats for years. He later relented upon learning that the widow of the late Gordon Jackson (who played their boss) was having money troubles; the series has subsequently been shown frequently on British cable television. (Shaw and Collins also later smoothed things out.)
  • If you want to stay on Jane Leeves' good side, never ask her about her appearances on The Benny Hill Show.
  • Every episode of Before They Were Famous hosted by Angus Deayton opened with an advert that Deayton would rather pretend didn't exist. Most of the other clips were, presumably, Old Shames for the people involved as well, although we don't learn their reactions (except for a few In-Universe; The Stinger of the first episode showed Nick Hancock accosting Deayton in the BBC carpark and punching him for repeatedly showing a particularly goofy moment from Hancock's early role in a series of cheesy beer ads, while the second episode ended with Martin Clunes hiding in Deayton's car to strangle him for showing a clip from the Doctor Who serial "Snakedance" in which he wore a very silly pseudo-Roman costume (which he also wore to strangle Deayton).
  • The BBC would love to disassociate themselves from any show that starred TV presenter Jimmy Savile (who was posthumously revealed to have been a serial child molester and rapist) in it. This is particularly bad for Top of the Pops, where not all of Savile's introductions can be simply cut away, and Jim'll Fix It, a children's show where most of the funny and amusing footage will forever be tainted by memories about the person who presented them. (This has also crossed over into the Doctor Who franchise as BBC Worldwide was forced to withdraw the DVD release of one story in order to remove a Jim'll Fix It instalment in which the Doctor appeared, which had been added as a special feature. The DVD in question was then re-released without the Savile clip.)
    • Even references to Savile have been banned. A repeat of an old episode of the children's show Tweenies in which one of the characters dresses and acts like Savile was accidentally shown again and caused a stir among viewers. The BBC apologized for the broadcast and vowed to never show it again.
    • Louis Theroux, who did a documentary on Savile in the early 2000s, admitted in a 2016 follow-up documentary that he felt ashamed about not being able to see Savile for who he really was, and that in retrospect it was one occasion where his style of questioning was completely inadequate.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus: John Cleese once said he felt that too many episodes in the series were recorded cheaply and quickly, while they could have been a lot better. Therefore he isn't particularly fond of most of them. This also shows on the DVD "Monty Python: John Cleese's Personal Best" where the amount of sketches he seems to like is far lower, compared to the "Personal Best" DVDs of his fellow Python colleagues. The other Pythons are far more proud of the series in general. It must also be mentioned that Cleese felt particularly bored with the format, even in the first season, gradually getting worse after the third one. So many of his embarrassing feelings might stem from the fact that he didn't enjoy it that much anymore near the end. In "Life and How To Survive It," Cleese also said that only after Graham Chapman died he suddenly realized, remembering the series, that he never had so much fun during a project in his life.
  • The presenters of Top Gear apparently didn't think much of the India special episode, and James grimaced when he dropped it in convo.
  • Verity Lambert regarded Adam Adamant Lives! as a severely-flawed flop, and was somewhat bemused when it developed a fandom in later decades.
  • Rowan Atkinson, Tony Robinson and producer John Lloyd have made no secret of the fact that they consider the first series of Blackadder to be complete garbage, and to this day are amazed that the BBC ever agreed to fund a second series (though less surprised that they forced a Retool and a massive cut in the budget).
  • While Red Dwarf co-creator Doug Naylor has defended the basic idea behind the "Remastered" versions of the series released in the late 1990s, he's admitted that in terms of execution it was a complete misfire, and that the time, budget and effects technology weren't anywhere near enough to achieve what he aimed to.
  • P J Hammond has said that he agrees with the generally negative fan opinion of the Sapphire and Steel story "Assignment 3", believing that he let his enthusiasm for the story's Green Aesop override his normal self-evaluation abilities.
  • While the show has already been criticised for exploiting the lives of its participants, with some likening it to a form of human bear-baiting, ITV took down all social media accounts for the The Jeremy Kyle Show along with its official website. This was following the apparent suicide of 63-year-old Steve Dymond, who had been found dead after his appearance in the show's polygraph test where it was determined that he was being unfaithful to his partner. A number of individuals, MPs and organisations called for the show to be banned, which eventually led to the series' cancellation.

  • Game Shows have their own page.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 refused to re-air KTMA episodes after they left that station and requested Comedy Central cease airing Season 1 episodes shortly before Season 4. While some of these (especially the KTMA eps) had to do with the legal issues surrounding the movies in use that has plagued the series to this day, they admitted to this very trope in the Amazing Colossal Episode Guide, likening it to becoming a famous writer and then having an old classmate publish one of your shameful high school works. It's worth noting that several movies from the KTMA era were reused (with the rights properly attained this time around), essentially giving Best Brains a chance for a do-over. Now that the franchise is dead, gone, and crystallized as a cult classic, series owner Jim Mallon has become a lot more liberal about putting KTMA snippets on the MST3K website and official DVD releases, likely because the odds of it doing any harm to the show's rep are minimum and fans are quite fascinated by them. Similarly, no prejudice is held against season one episodes when it comes to the DVDs and about half the episodes have been released. In fact, as of July 2014, every Season 1 episode has been on DVD (at least at some point).
    • While still embarrassed by the quality of the KMTA episodes, Joel Hodgson allowed the inclusion of the first two KMTA episodes as special stretch goal rewards for the Bring Back MST3K Kickstarter.
  • This post from Jack Coleman of Heroes, aka Noah Bennett, may utterly define this Trope.
  • Tina Fey apparently feels this way about the first episode of 30 Rock, saying "if I never see that pilot again, it will be too soon."
  • Joss Whedon has made every effort to ensure that the unaired pilot of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is never seen.
    "Ow! That was my favourite spine!"
    • Whedon doesn't have fond memories of Roseanne, either. The eponymous star was apparently on her worst behavior, and the whole crew bore the brunt of it.
  • Sarah Michelle Gellar would like to burn all the tapes from Girl Talk, a show she did when she was little.
  • In several episodes of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart refers to his previous film career in this manner. He seems particularly regretful over Death to Smoochy, as he said in his opening speech at the Oscars:
    "Tonight is the night when we celebrate excellence in film - with me, the fourth male lead from Death to Smoochy."
  • Good luck getting Comedy Central to acknowledge the first host of The Daily Show, Craig Kilborn, or any of the episodes he hosted. Might be justified, since the show got insanely popular once Jon Stewart took over. Seems as though Stewart's farewell show was one of the only times that it was acknowledged that Kilborn once hosted the show.
  • Facts in the matter are sketchy, but supposedly, George Reeves hated playing Superman in the old series from the 50s. He thought such a role was beneath him, and he wasn't thrilled with being associated with such a role on an international level. (While not confirmed, there's a story about how an audience at a test screening for From Here to Eternity the audience would recognize him as Superman in every scene he appeared.) It probably wasn't helped that Reeves wasn't paid what he likely deserved for the role, due to the shoestring budget, or that he had to appear on cereal commercials as a result due to product tie-ins.
  • Stargate-verse:
    • The Re-Cut of Stargate SG-1's pilot was the result of Brad Wright viewing it again and realizing how much Old Shame was in it. To wit:
    • The SG-1 Season 1 episode "Hathor" is viewed by both fans and the writers as one of the worst episodes of the series, not just for bad writing but for the Squick factor of the content. The events of the episode are never brought up again, except in meta jokes about how much the episode sucked; everything about Goa'uld physiology the episode revealed was quietly Retconned, except for the fact that Goa'uld Queens exist; and Hathor herself was unceremoniously killed off in her very next appearance.
  • Bob Saget feels this way about his family-friendly roles in the late 1980s and early 1990s on Full House and America's Funniest Home Videos. He has since cultivated an image as an edgy, dark comic and has made a career out of Adam Westing his previous family-friendly persona by portraying a fictionalized version of himself that is drug abusing, foul-mouthed and sexually deviant in his stand-up. While most of the actors who starred in Full House don't particularly care about the show, Bob Saget is definitely the most vocal about it. However, that didn't stop him or any of the other actors from reprising their roles in the Netflix revival Fuller House.
    • Mary Kate Olsen has been vocal about how she hated having grown up as a child star and apparently refuses to do anything with Full House anymore—she apparently even told Ashley to turn off the TV when she saw her watching an episode once. As the Olsen twins were the only regulars who didn't return for the revival, that story may well be true. Ironically, it was Mary-Kate's view on Full House that softened over the years. While Ashley had said upfront that she does not wish to participate in Fuller House, Mary-Kate did later extend an olive branch by saying that she's interested in possibly making a return if her schedule is clear.
  • Going back to America's Funniest Home Videos, that show has disowned the time from 1998 to 1999 that John Fugelsang and Daisy Fuentes hosted it (and brought it to just this side of cancellation, then demoted to a "special" show with rotating hosts, before returning as a regular series with Tom Bergeron). This disownment is evidenced by a retrospective episode of the Bergeron era, which brought back Saget but didn't even mention Fugelsang, along with it only being offered in syndication to WGN America.
  • And speaking of Bergeron, he's ashamed of Fox After Breakfast, an attempt by Fox to bring his earlier morning show, Breakfast Time, which aired on FX (when it was chock-full of live programming and classic TV reruns). The show was subject to much Executive Meddling which stripped Breakfast Time's good qualities and saw the departure of Bergeron and others, turning into The Vicki Lawrence Show before being canned in 1997. He says as such in the foreword to What Were They Thinking? The 100 Dumbest Events In Television History, where it ranks at #23.
  • Teri Garr guest starred as Roberta Lincoln in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode/Poorly Disguised Pilot "Assignment: Earth". She had a very uncomfortable time during filming (which included sexual harassment), to the point that she refuses to discuss Star Trek in any way and does not attend Star Trek conventions.
  • Everyone on the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation feels this way about "Code of Honor", an episode so charged with racial stereotypes and Unfortunate Implications and outright racism that it's kind of hard to watch. The plot is that there is a planet of aliens who look exactly like humans of African descent and dress in a mix of stereotypes of what Shaka's warriors might wear and leopard-skin hot pants. This would be bad enough. However, the leader of these tribes is a somewhat sexist man who falls for blond-haired Lt. Yar, kidnaps her, and tries to get his "number one wife" killed via a duel with Yar. Their society actually follows tribal-style concepts of status and honor, including a "counting coup." And the Enterprise crew can't simply decide to have no part in any of this nonsense because the people of this planet have a vaccine which is vital to the survival of another planet, but are so wrapped up in their contests of honor that they will not release it until the Enterprise crew plays along. So you have African stereotypes kidnapping a pretty white woman to marry her, necessitating the pretty white woman's companions to try to save her while she has to fight an enraged, jealous African female. Who the hell thought this was a good idea?
    • For what it's worth, the aliens weren't written to be black in the script. Wil Wheaton explains that it was because the director was such a horrible racist, when they found out, they quickly replaced him.
    • At the 2013 Edmonton Expo, Garrett Wang (known for playing Ensign Kim on Star Trek: Voyager) claimed that the reason he didn't watch TNG was because of that episode. He had missed the first few episodes because he was just starting college at the time the show premiered, and the first episode he saw was "Code of Honor." He was so offended and appalled by it that he decided not to watch it again. Every time he tried to catch the show in its run, the episode that played was "Code of Honor." He would end up watching the entire show later as Voyager began production.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • Ira Steven Behr is responsible for many of series' best-loved episodes, but also some of its most-reviled episodes. Of the episode "Meridian" in particular (essentially Brigadoon IN SPACE!), he later said, "I am a moron."
    • Chase Masterson, who played the busty Dabo girl Leeta, recalled meeting the show's star for the first time and repeatedly being addressed as "Kathy." It wasn't until she finally corrected him that Avery Brooks cited her virtuoso performance as "Kathy" in... an infomercial for a treadmill exercise machine.
      Chase: I got paid for being in it; what were you doing watching it?
  • Brannon Braga, writer of the infamous Star Trek: Voyager episode "Threshold", acknowledges it to probably be the worst Trek episode he ever wrote, referring to it as a "royal steaming stinker", though he was quick to point out that he'd also written over 100 Trek episodes and could be forgiven just one bomb. Despite this, the episode won an Emmy...for makeup. Braga had previously written and co-written some of the best episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation (such as "Reunion", "Birthright", "Frame of Mind", and "All Good Things..."), so it wasn't a trend.
  • Tina Louise did not play Ginger Grant on Gilligan's Island. Don't even try to talk to her about it. She was the only surviving cast member to refuse to participate in the animated series or the reunion movies, which naturally resulted in her being portrayed in Surviving Gilligan's Island as a vapid bitch while everyone else had no negative traits at all. In fairness the heading for her official Twitter account describes her as "Still living on an island (Manhattan)," so maybe she's made peace with it.
  • The Star Wars Holiday Special, a quick exploitation TV one-off produced a year after the original movie was released. George Lucas has gone on record to say he would hunt down and destroy every last copy of the Special if he had the time and money, and virtually every actor who appeared in it (most notably Harrison Ford), just about refuses to admit it exists. Carrie Fisher did at least acknowledge that it existed (she asked for, and received from Lucas, a copy of the special in exchange for her recording a DVD commentary — she used it to drive out party guests who'd overstayed their welcome, apparently), but claimed to have remembered very little about making it. Sadly, this may well be much closer to truth than hyperbole given her well-documented struggles with drug addiction.
    • Patty Maloney is an exception, as evidenced by this interview.
    • Bea Arthur also reportedly enjoyed her role, but that may be because her scene in the bar was the only watchable part of the entire thing and she wasn't actually aware until after it was released that it had anything to do with Star Wars. Besides the animated short introducing Boba Fett, of course.
    • Lev Mailer apparently also has some fond memories of the special. Though it helps that his scenes were in Saun Dann's shop (the "groomer" sketch) and that getting to ad-lib alongside Art Carney is a little like having Chuck Berry invite you to jam with him.
  • While this show has been around a long time and fans have differing opinions on what seasons are considered good or bad, there is one thing Saturday Night Live fans can agree on: Season 6 (the 1980-81 season spearheaded by Jean Doumanian) was generally bad. So much so that, outside of a 60-minute Comedy Central rerun and a full 90-minute rerun on NBC, Season 6 hasn't aired in full anywhere in America, except for when it premiered in the early 1980s (Canada, on the other hand, did air all the episodes from Season 6) and it's highly unlikely that the episodes will be released on DVD now that Seasons 1-5 are out.
    • Season 11 (1985-86) also qualifies as an Old Shame, at least to current Simpsons writer George Meyer, ex-Simpsons writer Jon Vitti, and NBC executives. It was bad enough that the cast was written out at the end of the season by being trapped in a burning room, and Season 12 opened with Madonna (who hosted the Season 11 opener) declaring the past year "a horrible, horrible dream". Of the Season 11 cast, only Jon Lovitz, Dennis Miller, Nora Dunn, and feature player/writer A. Whitney Brown were retained, while Al Franken returned to the writing staff and re-emerged as a feature player in Season 13.
    • Season 20 (1994-95) could be considered this in the eyes of Janeane Garofalo, who left mid-season after putting up with the "unfair boys' club" attitude of the cast and writers (in a comedy special, she compared being on SNL as being the Indian who gets the smallpox-ridden blanket from the white settlers) and Lorne Michaels (who cites the season as the closest he's ever been to being fired and having his show canceled).
    • All this said, you can watch the above seasons and all the other ones on Netflix, if you're so inclined. Unfortunately, the episodes are heavily edited, and some run less than 30 minutes.
  • Disney really doesn't want to be reminded that they have to continue giving Pat Robertson and his 700 Club three hours a day on Freeform (formerly ABC Family), along with one day in January for his yearly CBN telethon, just because some underling of Rupert Murdoch couldn't persuade him to give up the network completely. The network airs the show very reluctantly, putting disclaimers on before it stating that they don't support Robertson's views and refusing to put up anything identifying the channel. They also air the show at the most out-of-the-way, least likely to be watched times they can, and refuse to do any promotion for it (their website only makes mention of the fact that it's a show that exists, and what times it airs). When Disney rebranded Freeform in 2016, they offered a $42 million buyout to remove the show, only for Robertson to demand an "astronomical" amount.
    • Why not just shut down the channel and debut a new channel with the exact same programing, slightly altered in times, on the same day? Well, this was in fact Disney's original intention, to re-brand the then-Fox Family as an ABC rerun farm and young-adult channel called XYZ. However, when they saw Robertson's contract stipulations were iron-clad, they realized the only way to break them was to completely start over and build XYZ from the ground up, which would put them in the very bad position of having every single contract with providers null and void, then having to renegotiate with every cable system to get back on, which for any basic cable network would be a disastrous proposition. There might be room for a bit of Loophole Abuse though; Freeform has tested the edges of the agreement in the last few years as far as marketing the network, since it technically applied only to the analog era version of the channel, while the HD version could be considered an entirely new network under different carriage agreements.
  • Sally Field hates The Flying Nun, dismissing it as I Was Young and Needed the Money.
  • Evangeline Lilly of Lost, The Hobbit and The Hurt Locker once did quite a few ads for LiveLinks, hilariously mocked here. As soon as she hit it big on Lost, the company ran with it and seemed to air those ads far more frequently than they might have otherwise.
  • Cartoon Network pretty much disowns all of their live-action series. Not only they were all flops, but by the time the network returned to an all-cartoon line-up, they eventually erased all traces of these shows on their website overtime, are no longer on any streaming service, and will most likely never be referenced in the history of the network in the future.
  • Disney and the time that they owned Power Rangers. The cheesy, bright kids show franchise was part of the package when they bought up Saban Entertainment, Fox Kids, and The Family Channel, and they clearly never were proud of it, to the point that they had no real problem eventually selling it back to Haim Saban and Shuki Levy. Several ABC affiliate groups like Hearst and Allbritton (the latter of whom was later bought and merged with Sinclair) outright refused to carry it on their stations because of lack of educational value.
    • Interestingly, despite its Loads and Loads of Characters, there are very few actors who actively treat it as such. Danny Slavin is the biggest case; he only took the job to pay for law school and hasn't even thought about it since. Among those who have distanced themselves from the show include:
      • James Napier (who saw it as just a job and hasn't been interested in returning)
      • Emma Lahana (in more recent years has became annoyed by fans who keep referring to her by her character's name when meeting her)
      • Michael Taber (who drunkenly posted, then later deleted, a Tweet calling his time on the show "horrible" note )
      • Camille Hyde (who has deleted all references to the show off her social media accounts and failed to show up for an appearance at Power Morphicon 2018 with no explanation, despite being announced as an attending guest months prior).
    • Others have felt some embarrassment but most have come around to some degree:
      • Steve Cardenas (who originally refused to even mention it, but has since warmed up to it, to the point that he eventually reprised his role as Rocky in Ninja Steel)
      • David Yost (who didn't hate the show, but was understandably upset about the homophobic bullying he had to put up with behind the scenes)
      • Eka Darville (who remembers his season fondly, but has moved on to much bigger projects and has emphatically stated that he'd never return to the franchise)
      • Rose McIver (enjoyed her time with the show but is unlikely to return due to her career taking off with iZombie)
      • Amy Jo Johnson (she did go through a period of genuine Creator Backlash for several years due to how she hated that it hindered her chances of being taken seriously as an actress, but she seems to have softened up a bit over time, enough to even make a cameo in the 2017 movie; however, between a phobia of large crowds and past issues with stalkers, don't expect to see her at any large conventions anytime soon).
    • The above mentioned Michael Taber and Camille Hyde were—according to Brennan Meija in his react video—willing to do a voiced Role Reprise for the dinosaur team up in Power Rangers: Beast Morphers, even though they didn’t film anything on camera with everyone else.
    • Slavin's case is interesting; as detailed on Lost Galaxy's Trivia page, there was a lot of Executive Meddling (especially for the team-up episode with Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue) that understandably rubbed him the wrong way. Initially Slavin refused to return for the 10th anniversary episode "Forever Red", but changed his mind at the last minute as a favor to the producers. After this, though, he effectively retired from acting and has turned down numerous invites to Power Morphicon. In light of all this, the news that Slavin agreed to reprise the role of Leo for Power Rangers Megaforce was especially surprising. Granted, he could've had less than noble reasons for that, but that, along with a Facebook page dedicated to his career, may mean he's started to move on...
    • The main reason a lot of former Ranger actors choose not to return to the franchise is because many of them are SAG members now and Power Rangers is a non-union show.
      • Though Eka Darville was able to do a voice only reprisal for the team up between RPM and Samurai by using a pseudonym, which Alex Heartman revealed several years later during a convention panel.
  • Apparently, just about every one of the live actors involved with ALF, mainly since the puppet was treated better than the actors (the numerous trapdoors that they would use were time-consuming to reset, which gave the option of either exhausting your actors, or risking their safety by leaving them open). So much, that after the final scene of the final episode was shot, actor Max Wright simply walked to his car, drove off, and never spoke to any of the cast members ever again. Wright seemed to soften a bit in the following decades; in 2006, he was quoted as saying "It doesn't matter what I felt or what the days were like, ALF brought people a lot of joy." However, a 2018 interview with his partner in the German magazine Stern suggested that he had gone back to refusing to even acknowledge the series due to the damage it did to his credibility as a stage and dramatic film actor.
  • Despite many fans who remember him in this role from the 1970s, Morgan Freeman prefers not to talk about his time as Easy Reader on The Electric Company (1971) or about being on that show in general. This didn't stop the Golden Globes for airing this before Freeman came up to get his DeMille award.
  • CBS seems to try to ignore the existence of the first season of Big Brother as much as possible, to the point of actually asking contestants in later seasons to not discuss it while on the show. Interestingly enough, this was the only season that was close to the original rule set of the show (and wasn't as dependent on gimmicks as later seasons were). It changed in season two to keep in the interesting people in the cast as long as possible.
  • Saved by the Bell:
    • Seems to be the case with Dustin Diamond. When the cast did a reunion for a magazine shoot sometime in early 2011, he was the only one who didn't participate (even Dennis Haskins, AKA Principal Belding, was there) and instead released a book bashing the show. In an interview with TV Guide, Tiffani Thiessen said she thought this might have just been anger since he wasn't doing anything major at the moment, while the rest of the cast (except Lark Voorhies) were. Diamond claimed in one interview that he didn't feel like he fit in with the rest of the cast, being the youngest of the actors playing students.
    • Another example would be Mark-Paul Gosselaar, although for him it would be one particular episode of the series. His favorite episode initially was "Running Zack", but in a November 2016 interview, he now admits to being ashamed of the episode and apologized for it, stating how insensitive it is to Native Americans.
  • Drew Carey is still extremely embarrassed by Geppetto, his 2000 TV movie musical adaptation of The Adventures of Pinocchio, which the American Whose Line Is It Anyway? cast frequently mocked him for.
    • The Drew Carey Show lampshaded this during a live episode, where the kid that played Pinocchio showed up in costume and asks how come he never wants to hang out with him anymore.
    • Speaking of Whose Line, performers Ryan Stiles and Colin Mochrie have said they don't watch their earliest appearances on the British edition because of how awkward and unfunny they were.
  • In a 1989 "decade in review" special MTV News named The Monkees as "most unnecessary comeback" of the 80s, despite the fact that it was MTV's airing of the sitcom's reruns that led to the Monkees' comeback in the first place. Though this may well be sour grapes — MTV indeed had been instrumental in the band's comeback, but were enraged that, due to miscommunications, The Monkees failed to appear on a MTV Super Bowl special in 1987.note 
  • Vanna White of Wheel of Fortune fame starred in a 1988 TV movie for NBC called Goddess of Love. When Wheel host Pat Sajak brought it up on an episode, Vanna just about physically tried to stop him from saying any more about it.
  • Dave Chappelle absolutely hates Buddies, the short-lived Spin-Off of Home Improvement that he starred in as a young man. He even bashed it during an episode of Chappelle's Show, calling it "irrelevant and not funny." (It didn't help that Executive Meddling saw the chemistry vanish when Jim Brewer was replaced.)
  • Some performers are fine with their work for Sid & Marty Krofft Productions being brought up. And then there are Deidre Hall (Electra Woman and Dyna Girl) and Jim Nabors (The Lost Saucer)...
  • Ellen DeGeneres has several segments on her show that highlight the old shames of audience members, notably "bad paid-for photos" and "hot glam, girl!" featuring embarrassing studio photographs and glamour shots, usually taken in the 80s and early 90s.
  • Fox celebrated its 25th Anniversary in April 2012, which doesn't seem too out-of-place except for the fact the network actually debuted six months earlier (October 9, 1986) with The Late Show starring Joan Rivers. Okay, so the show had a rather tumultuous history until it was canned in mid-1988, but ignoring the first six months of your network to establish a "fake" start date falls squarely into here. However, only the O&O's actually tried to promote that show, while the network struggled to string enough affiliates between October 1986 and April 1987 to get the network going before the primetime launch. There were even cases where seeing the iceberg ahead, some stations like WCGV in Milwaukee would only affiliate with the network if they didn't have to air The Late Show, while Omaha's KPTM outright refused, not wanting to endure the wrath of local legend Johnny Carson (who blacklisted Joan Rivers from Tonight, a rule that lasted until Jimmy Fallon buried the hatchet in 2014, months before her death). Desperate to have as many affiliates as possible when the network launched in primetime, Fox allowed stations to avoid carrying it. Most sources thus call April 1987 the actual start of the network, and regard The Late Show as a Fox syndicated production instead before then.
    • There was also no mention of Fox Kids or its shows in any way, shape or form. This was less due to shame and more to do with Disney owning most of the programming that aired there (though many affiliates— particularly ones that switched to Fox since they got the NFL— not bothering to carry the block once they switched to Fox since it would interfere in their plans to run cheap syndicated programs and more newscasts also played a major role).
  • When you star in a TV series that has your name in the title — for the sake of argument, let's call it David Cassidy: Man Undercover — and you still don't discuss it in your autobiography... yeah, shame of oldness. David did, however, discuss the series in his VH1 Behind the Music special, claiming he felt embarrassed at his talk-show appearances promoting the show, humorously lampooning his attitude that he be taken as a "SERIOUS artist".
  • Meanwhile, two other members of The Partridge Family weren't too proud of the show - Susanne Crough (Tracy) once described the (fictional) group in an interview as "the original Milli Vanilli". (Susan Dey absolutely refused to take part in any reunions.)
  • Nickelodeon:
    • Nick has tried to deny the existence of Cry Baby Lane in the past, a movie that was banned due to its terrifying content. However, that didn't stop TeenNick from airing the movie on Halloween 2011, thanks to growing hype from a Creepypasta written about it; a representative from Nickelodeon claimed that the movie was never actually banned, and a lot of viewers felt it just wasn't that scary, or at least no more than a typical episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark?. The Old Shame spiel could have been just for hype, or something else entirely.
    • The network has also denied requests to release their first major show (Pinwheel) on DVD due to the rights issued involved with the original animated shorts used on the show.
  • The very first pilot for The Aquabats! Super Show! in 1998 is regarded as an old shame by the band. "No one wants it, not even The Aquabats". The Aquabats! have never made the 1998 pilot available for public viewing, and probably never will.
  • Kirk Cameron really feels bad about getting Growing Pains castmember Julie McCullough fired for posing for Playboy due to his religious views, as well as the controversy surrounding it, which he blames on lack of maturity.
  • Denis Leary admitted that he made a big mistake by arguing with Greg Giraldo on Tough Crowd With Colin Quinn.
  • Larry Hagman admitted to disliking the Dallas reunion movies, as did Patrick Duffy. When the show was revived in 2012, the continuity of the movies was mostly ignored.
  • One of David Letterman's first TV roles was on The Starland Vocal Band Show, an embarrassingly bad show made to cash in on the success of the band. Reportedly Letterman (as well as the SVB for that matter) left the show off his resume.
  • Jimmy Fallon has said he views his infamous The Tonight Show interview he did with Donald Trump as a setback.note  He's also said not getting out in front of the controversy was a massive mistake on his part.
  • Dana Carvey said that he thought One Of The Boys (the sitcom he did with Mickey Rooney) was terrible!
  • James Cromwell does not look back on his tenure on 24 with much fondness. He hadn't seen the show beforehand and only took the job at the urging of his agent, claiming it would make him more-well known, and because he was being offered a lot of money for it. He hated how the show glamorized torture for information, and hated playing a character with no redeeming qualities.
  • Nick Kroll has made fun of Cavemen in his stand-up.
  • Rob Schneider said he didn't care for his sitcom, Rob, and thought it could have been executed better.
  • The creators and cast of Farscape acknowledged the poor quality of the first season episode "Jeremiah Crichton" to the point that some DVD issues include a commentary entirely devoted to apologising for it and trying to explain how it got so bad.
  • J. Michael Straczynski has offered to personally apologize to all Babylon 5 fans for the episode "Grey 17 is Missing". He claimed that a lot of the episode sounded better on paper.
  • Carol Burnett did not have fun making Stanley, mostly because Buddy Hackett kept stepping over all of her lines.
  • Angus T. Jones felt regret over doing Two and a Half Men because he felt they made too much light out of serious issues in the world — he even made a whole video criticizing the series.
  • Tom Chapin, brother of musician Harry Chapin, recalls his series Make a Wish which aired on ABC Sunday mornings as "a show for six-year-old speed freaks."
  • Jason Momoa is not proud of his stint on Baywatch because it prevented him from getting any good work for a long time.
  • Tim Burton regrets the TV movie adaptation of Hansel and Gretel he made back in the early 80's and refused to release it until just recently.
  • Though Christina Applegate credits portraying Kelly Bundy on Married... with Children with starting her career, and doesn't appear to regret the role, a low point for her must have been an ad by the then-fledgling Fox Network in which she danced to "Foxy Lady" in tight jeans and a red halter top.note 
  • Bobby Lee says he does not like MadTV, saying that working on it felt like a sweatshop. He also says he doesn't know how it stayed on the air so long seeing as "nobody watched it".
  • Mariah Carey doesn't look back too fondly on her experience as a judge on American Idol Season 13, especially due to her stormy relationship with fellow judge Nicki Minaj, which the network played up considerably. She once said "It was like going to work every day in hell with Satan," and later called it the worst experience of her life.
  • A few of the actresses on Charmed didn't hate the show itself - but rather the increasingly skimpy outfits the sisters would have to wear. Alyssa Milano got the worst of it and actually went to producers before the final season to protest against them. Rose McGowan named her least favourite episode as the nymphs one, solely for the costume she had to wear. Kaley Cuoco also burst into tears when she saw the outfit Billie would have to wear in "Battle of the Hexes". It apparently was meant to have a cape as well - but Cuoco refused to wear it.
  • Rebecca Mader - better known as Charlotte on Lost or Zelena on Once Upon a Time - has this attitude to her modelling career. She's said that she only did modelling as a way to break into acting, and was overjoyed when she didn't have to do it anymore. She's ashamed of the L'Oreal commercials she did but pokes fun at them too.
  • Peter Pan Live! seems to have become this for NBC. Its ratings seemed drastically lower than those of their telecast of The Sound of Music the previous year, and it also became made fun of by the Internet community. This reception prompted producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron to call adapting Peter Pan "a mistake", figuring they realized too late that it seemed too outdated and/or Adaptation Overdosed.
  • Scott Baio, perhaps best-known as Chachi on Happy Days, expressed regret for starring in its short-lived Spin-Off Joanie Loves Chachi, due to a semi-Troubled Production that involved being stuck with writers unfamiliar with the Happy Days characters, as well as "chemical use" among certain members of the staff.
  • Pernell Roberts was not proud of his time on Bonanza, and eventually left the show because he felt its writing was juvenile (he especially chafed at having to play a man in his thirties who still lived with his father and listened to him like a kid) and his talents were better used elsewhere. However, he had nothing against his co-stars. When Lorne Greene, Dan Blocker, and Michael Landon eventually died, he would sometimes watch reruns of Bonanza so he could see and remember his old friends.
  • John Wesley Shipp had fond memories of his time on The Flash (1990), but he disliked the Flash costume because it was uncomfortable and goofy.
  • While neither he, Keanu Reeves, or George Carlin starred in it (one of the show's many problems), Alex Winter has still made it very aware of his disdain for the Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventures live action TV series. He even appeared on The Arsenio Hall Show and flat out said "it stinks" before the series even made it onto the air.
  • Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki have been known to tease each other about their old shames: Devour for Jensen and New York Minute for Jared.
  • Angela Bettis hated the 2002 made-for-TV version of Carrie, in which she played the title character. She described it as "Carrie meets 90210" and said that she only took the role (after turning it down three times) so that she could have the money to keep doing indie films, and that, had she not starred in it, she never would've watched it and probably would've instead been one of the fans of the 1976 film furiously denouncing it sight unseen. Regarding the planned TV series that the film was a Pilot Movie for (which ultimately never got off the ground), she had a similar Money, Dear Boy attitude, saying that she was reluctant to do it but that everybody has a price. Ironically, her performance as Carrie is generally agreed to be one of the best parts of the film, even by those who hated it.
  • The short-lived Roseanne revival quickly became this for many involved after Roseanne Barr posted a tweet about Valerie Jarrett that many found racist and Islamphobic, with many involved condemning Barr including Sara Gilbert and Barr's ex-husband Tom Arnold; producer Wanda Sykes and actress Emma Kenney both quit in disgust—and ultimately ABC cancelled the show before the day was out, with Hulu pulling it and the original from their service, and reruns of the original were pulled as well.
  • The Discovery Channel has walked-back on their Shark Week special Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives, a Mockumentary that claimed that the Megalodon was still alive. For the 30th anniversary of Shark Week, they released Megalodon: Fact vs. Fiction where scientists pointed out the original special's inaccuracies, as well as taking potshots at the bad acting and visual effects.
  • Edward James Olmos all but pretends his time on Miami Vice didn't happen, despite winning an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his performance as Lieutenant Castillo.
  • Stephen Talbot, who became a left-wing radical who heavily protested against The Vietnam War and later a journalist and documentary producer, has often been embarrassed when his childhood role as the Beaver's mischievous best friend Gilbert Bates in Leave It to Beaver has been brought up.
  • Kelsey Grammer found Hank to be such a boring show that he personally asked for it to be cancelled.
  • Erinn Hayes was let go from Kevin Can Wait after the first season so CBS could usher in Leah Remini as the new female lead. Hayes has nothing nice to say about her experience on the show which got cancelled after Season 2. She was even tickled when she heard AMC was developing an unrelated series called Kevin Can F*** Himself.
  • Daniel Levy recalls his early appearance as the villain in a Lifetime Movie of the Week as terrible, but he did use it as inspiration for Moira's career on Schitt's Creek.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: