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  • Adventure Time:
    • While "rot" might be a strong term, it's a common agreement that Season 5 (especially the second half) is not to par with the rest of the series quality-wise (this was around the time Rebecca Sugar, one of the show's most acclaimed writers, left to create Steven Universe). Featuring the breaking up of Finn and Flame Princess, the increased involvement of the increasingly creepy Lemongrabs in plots, Princess Bubblegum's moral ambiguity beginning to border on full-blown sociopathy and possible villainy, and Finn, of all people had Taken a Level in Jerkass, with his immaturity being played up to ridiculous levels. Thankfully, the season did recover during the last episodes with the debut of Betty and the reveal that Finn's father is still alive.
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    • Season 6 gets criticism for the lack of focus on its plotlines and ending in a fairly big anti-climax. It's also the point where many fans believe the show had lost sight of what made it so much fun in the first place, with the whimsical nature of early seasons giving way to more somber, introspective episodes like "Astral Plane" and "Something Big." The two-part season premiere, though, was well-received, if only for advancing the plot, Ron Perlman's sinister and chilling speech, and, after much foreshadowing, Finn losing his arm (although his arm is temporarily restored in "Breezy" only 4 episodes later).
    • The final season, especially after seasons 7 and 8 brought back those who abandoned the series. While it has a share of good episodes, some criticize episodes like "Always BMO Closing", "Ring of Fire" and "Blenanas" for being unnecessary and pointless, the half-assed conclusion to Jake's shapeshifter plot and Gumbald being a not very interesting villain compared to the Lich. The finale, while well received, also got some flak for feeling rushednote , leaving several loose ends unresolved, Finn being reduced to a secondary character and not giving him a romantic closure with Flame Princess or Huntress Wizard.note 
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  • While the show itself is pretty divisive to begin with, most fans of All Grown Up! say that it declined after Season 2 due to more drama and less comedy, Flanderization, an Art Shift, and more unrealistic plots.
  • Although many fans believe that American Dad! holds up better than Seth MacFarlane's other shows The Cleveland Show and Family Guy, the series has been said to have suffered a decline in the later seasons:
    • Many fans dislike Season 7 (the 2011-2012 season) for having less comedy and more drama as well as some characters' traits becoming more exaggerated (especially Roger, who becomes more and more of a Jerkass and an extremely blatant Hate Sink with each passing season). It's also disliked for having boring plots with glacier-slow pacing (including the multiple and repetitive Stan vs. Roger plots which would become cliche by the show's final FOX season, especially if said episode had them start conflicting with each other over the most minor and petty things), lack of central screentime for any of the main characters whose names weren't Stan or Roger and having most of the actual comedy reduced to over-the-top gore and bizarre big lipped alligator moments that you'd expect on Family Guy.
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    • While season 8 (the 2012-13 season) was seen as a slight improvement over the previous, what makes this season stick out to warrant its own entry was how many agreed that this was the season where Roger was Flanderized to the point where his psychopathic behavior could no longer be considered funny thus entering him into Scrappydom. The two episodes that most people point to for why they feel this way are "Love A.D. Style" & "Naked to the Limit, One More Time". Besides that, starting with this season several of the show's writers that were around since the beginning are either starting to leave or be laid off and replaced by more inexperienced first-time writers who likely view the show as the Family Guy clone that it did initially start off as thus continuing to emulate that show (even going as far as to have cutaway gags in "Naked to the Limit, One More Time") with episodes like "The Boring Identity" often being viewed as an episode of Family Guy just with the Smiths in place of the Griffins.
    • The TBS seasons tend to get this a fair bit, with frequent complaints including the Comedic Sociopathy getting amped up too far from its already high levels (with the infamous "The Mural of the Story" getting the most flack), sloppier and overly wacky storytelling compared to the more focused and intricate plotlines of previous seasons, and a general sense that the show's Family Guy influence is creeping in more and more and affecting the show negatively. However, many fans agree that "American Fung" was abysmal compared to the other TBS episodes of the series as that episode was criticized by many fans for having weak repetitive jokes, a complete absence of a plot, and the fact that Stan uncharacteristically puts Francine in an insane asylum because he forgot their anniversary. That said, the TBS seasons do still have their fans and are home to some acclaimed, well-loved episodes like "Rabbit Ears" and "Persona Assistant".
  • Animaniacs has always been considered a great show but many fans consider the show to have weakened after the Channel Hop from Fox to Kids' WB beginning with the third season, as not only did the writing seem to take a nosedive (most noticeably in the Warner Siblings' shorts, which often stretched thinner premises over longer runtimes), so did the animation, which went to weaker studios for the most part (even Wang Film Productions, once considered among the show's best studios, was beginning to weaken in quality; TMS Entertainment and StarToons weren't being used at all). The "spark" that made the Fox Kids seasons so special just didn't seem to be there to make many of the Kids' WB! episodes as entertaining. They also lost Pinky and the Brain due to it being spun off into a standalone series, which didn't help one bit.
  • Season 5 of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, which was largely after the writers were given free rein contentwise, meaning we got a ton of overtly gross-out storylines with rotting corpses, bestiality, and Master Shake microwaving a kitten. The zany absurdism of the earlier seasons gets phased out in favor of cramming as much gratuitous shock humor in as possible, which is never really what ATHF was about in the first place.
    • Season 6 was just as bad if not worse. Many episodes lacked the bite that the first 4 seasons had and there were some rather infamous episodes with the most notable being "Fry Legs" and "Last Last One Forever and Ever". The latter has gotten more of a pass, but fans seem to be in agreement that the former was terrible.
  • Archer gets accused of rot, although fans tend to disagree on what seasons are worse, or if the show is still good:
    • Season 5 (subtitled Vice) shook up the premise by shutting down ISIS and having the main characters become cocaine dealers. It also was the first season to have a season-long story arc. This was obviously polarizing to begin with, and it only caught more flack due to turning the fan-favorite Pam into The Scrappy by having her become addicted to cocaine, become extremely irritating, and constantly screw up the characters' plans. It also suffered from Failure Is the Only Option, since everything the main characters tried to do ended in failure. The season finale was very well received, however.
    • Season 6, which reinstated ISIS (although the name was dropped due to being associated with a real-life terrorist group) is generally seen as a return to form, but it still caught criticism for Malory being Out of Focus and placing more emphasis on Lana and Archer's relationship.
    • Season 7 once again shook up the show's premise by having the characters become private detectives. Although this was less polarizing than Vice, the season caught flack for centering around Veronica Deane, a dull Flat Character, and for a plot that never really went anywhere and left a great deal of loose ends hanging. Unlike Seasons 4 and 5, which got better as they progressed, Season 7 started off well but ultimately got worse as it progressed.
    • Season 8, (subtitled Dreamland) takes place in Sterling Archer's coma dream, where he is a Film Noir detective in the 1940s trying to investigate the death of his partner, Woodhouse. This season turned into a major case of divisiveness, due to the esoteric premise, being less comedic than previous seasons and for the fact that the cast tended to be separated for much of it, with Lana in particular being Out of Focus. The finale was also divisive — although it wrapped up better than the previous season, it still had a number of controversial elements, not least of which was the fact that Archer didn't wake up at the end. The short length didn't do it any favors.
    • Season 9 (subtitled Danger Island), another dream season which changed the setting to that of the 1930s where Archer is a seaplane pilot in the Pacific, had received an even more polarizing reception. While many appreciated its lighter, more comedic tone after the relative seriousness of Dreamland, it was criticized by many for dragging the coma dream conceit past its expiration date, and for spending too much time setting up the new setting and character dynamics which caused the narrative to meander (it's not until the 3rd episode that the season's major story thread is established). Add to that an ending which only served as set-up for yet another dream season, this one set in space, the majority of the cast outside of Pam and Archer being left Out of Focus and accusations of the show's trademark humor growing stale and it's no wonder fans are starting to compare Archer to other shows that ran too long for their own good like The Simpsons.
  • Arthur:
    • Season 5 is considered a low point by many longtime fans, primarily for having what many consider a large amount of weak and forgettable episodes, with quite a few plots feeling really forced. Season 6 is also considered by some of the other longtime fans to be a low point instead of Season 5, or sometimes both of them, due to the prevalence of episodes written by Dietrich Smith, this being the first time Arthur's VA is replaced, and just being fairly weak overall in a similar vein to 5.
    • Season 9 could also be another candidate, considering this was beginning of what some fans refer to as Arthur's "reverse puberty", as his voice continually grew higher, softer, and more childlike (which it had been starting to in season 7 or 6, depending on which version of the latter you saw), and is also debated as where the show really started having too many generic plots.
    • Season 16 might as well be another candidate, what with the changing of production houses to 9 Story, the switch to Flash animation (to the point where petitions were made to change the animation), the addition of Ladonna, and the episode "So Funny I Forgot to Laugh", where Arthur uncharacteristically bullies Sue Ellen.
  • While The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! has several great episodes in its second season, it also suffers from having more filler than the first, especially after Jeph Loeb and Man of Action Studios came on as executive producer and creative consultants, respectively. They created so much filler that subplots the original writers set up earlier went unresolved and/or unexplored by the time the show ended. Their run also saw most of the Avengers get pushed Out of Focus, and Out of Character Moments became more frequent. Plus, the animation in this season sometimes seems cheaper, and the awesome theme song permanently got ditched in favor of recaps of old episodes and a promo for the Avengers movie.
  • When Batman: The Animated Series was retooled as The New Batman Adventures, the character designs and visual style were altered to fit in with the emerging DC Animated Universe (particularly Superman: The Animated Series). Much of the hand-drawn charm and film noir flair were lost. While the final season still had several classic episodes, the writing was also rather hit-or-miss.
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold ended with its third season due to the show's creators wanting to avoid decay. That being said, the third season is still considered to have taints of this trope, due to contention about the quality of the plots.
  • Each entry in the Ben 10 franchise has its own seasonal rot:
  • Betty Boop went into a steep decline around 1934; first the Hays Office neutered the series' raunchier elements (downplaying Betty's sexual qualities and prompting the abandonment of her dog boyfriend, Bimbo), and then Max and Dave Fleischer began to incorporate ill-advised changes to the series to cuten it up, namely introducing rather dull characters such as the ever-cloying Pudgy, Betty's pet dog (who would often headline episodes by himself along with being a co star to Betty), and Fearless Fred, her one-note heroic boyfriend, and downplaying the series' once-wild animation and gags into much blander, down-to-earth premises. The series ran on fumes a few more years, and it was finally ended in 1939.
  • Some would say Big Hero 6: The Series fell into this after the "City Of Monsters" two parter in season 2, mainly due to the unengaging arc involving the team becoming fugitives, the team (excluding Hiro and Baymax) having rather minimal character development, plot lines involving characters like Trina that had potential but were executed poorly, and (thanks to executive meddling) season 3 having a shortened season and placing more emphasis on comedy over storytelling and character development.
  • Bob's Burgers:
    • Largely downplayed, as it's generally agreed that the show has yet to hit a massive drop in quality, unlike other long-running animated sitcoms like The Simpsons and Family Guy, but several fans consider season 10 to be a small decline, due to a lack of standout episodes and a large number of episodes that place the focus on Gene and/or Linda, who were divisive characters to begin with and only grew more divisive after episodes like "All That Gene" and "Flat Top-'O the Morning to Ya."
    • Season 11 is also seen as a continuation of the decline (due to an increase in cringe-inducing momentsnote , and more episodes that generally blend in morenote . That said, Season 11 at least has a partial excuse in that it was at least partly produced during the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing many of its voice actors to work from home and resulting in the actors generally being unable to do the in-the-room improv the show has gotten acclaim for.
  • The fourth and final season of The Boondocks is considered a severe drop in quality from the first three seasons, largely due to the fact that Aaron McGruder left the series to produce Black Jesus with television writer Angela Nissel taking his place who obviously had no idea how to write the characters note , several characters' voice actors leaving the show (like Ed the 3rd, Gin Rummy, and Thugnificent) causing them to be omitted entirely, Ruckus getting flanderized to the point where he isn't funny anymorenote , the increased focus on Grandad (which was already a criticism from Season 3) and the season having an overarching plot (the Freeman family being in debt due to Grandad falling for an obvious Internet scam) rather than standalone storiesnote . In general, it felt less like it was a show about black people, by black people, for black peoplenote  and more like a generic sitcom with occasional bouts of commentary on life for African-American people.
  • The Brak Show suffered rot near the end of Season 2 after the Brakstreet episode. The writing continued to deteriorate in Season 3 with impossible-to-follow plots, Thundercleese being turned into an utter buffoon, Mom just wandering around, Dad becoming more of a jerk than before and somewhat of a Creator's Pet, and Zorak appearing sporadically, leading to the show's cancellation and having the show be aware of it.

  • Season 3 of Castlevania has been criticized for its incredibly slow paced progression that lasts until the ninth episode out of ten as well as the increased depressing moments that ended up being Too Bleak, Stopped Caring, sudden Ass Pull moments near the end, and cruel treatment of certain characters that made people wish the show would focus on another Belmont already.
  • The 2nd and especially 3rd seasons of Chowder are often criticized by fans thanks to Flanderization of a number of characters (such as Chowder's lack of an indoor voice and smarts, Panini's stalker tendencies reaching disturbing levels, etc.), the Fourth Wall gags becoming overused, and in general just not being nearly as clever as the earlier episodes.
  • Clarence: Mostly for the 2nd half of the first season, has some fans that were divided with one having to enjoy the first half (the ones that were made with Skyler Page) than the second half (the ones that were made after Skyler left), as they complained how the 2nd half had caused the series to undergo from realistic, down-to-earth, and character-focused to unrealistic and imaginative, with a lack of any character development focuses, and filled with episodes that were lackluster or mixed. But however the series was meant to look as it focuses on a kid with an overactive imagination and a bizarre way of looking at the world, although that didn't help with one that doesn't seem to satisfy enough to those who want the series to focus on being realistic, until it was rectified in Season 2 that brought back what the first half had.
  • Code Lyoko fans consider Seasons 3 and 4 (or if not that, just Season 3) to be inferior to the first two story-wise (though far superior stylistically). While Season 2 involved and ended with an exploration into the computer's past and the progression of the major story arcs, the next two seasons shunted that to the side in favor of episodic filler, which was more often than not dedicated to the increasingly-unfunny escapades of the comic relief characters, particularly Jim.
  • Ctrl+Alt+Del: The Animated Series was near universally hated to begin with, but most people will admit that the second season makes the first look like The Lion King by comparison. The animation lost all shading and any scant traces of fluidity, animation errors became more and more common, and the episodes became considerably longer, leading to great heaping amounts of Padding.
  • Fans of Dan Vs. consider Season 2 to be weak, due to too much focus on Elise, a lack of Black Comedy, and making Dan into a Failure Hero (when one of the best parts of the show was watching him succeed). Season 3 is considered an improvement, but not by much, which is why the show didn't get renewed after that.
  • Season 3 of Danny Phantom suffered due to Executive Meddling. Nickelodeon ordered the series to be cancelled with the third season, abruptly fired all the original writers after the second season finale, and ordered only thirteen episodes for the third season, as opposed to the previous two having twenty each. This resulted in incredibly inferior writing, boring villains, a rushed plot with a rushed finale, and Danny and Sam falling in love without any development. Due to these issues, a large portion of the fanbase prefers to ignore anything from just the finale to the entirety of that season.
  • Daria: Fans are divided on when the rot took place.
    • Season 3 was somewhat scrutinized, particularly for the episodes "Depth Takes a Holiday" and "Daria!" (the former being significantly more infamous) tarnishing the show's realism. Then there's "Jane's Addition" which introduced the infamous Tom Sloane.
    • Season 5 as well for its poor character development as well as giving the fashion club an imprudent amount of screen time to the point where it seemed like Daria and Jane were almost afterthoughts (although the final episode, "Boxing Daria," is generally considered to be among the series' best).
  • The third and fourth seasons of Dexter's Laboratory were made after Genndy Tartakovsky left for Samurai Jack. While some of the writing was still pretty good, the art (particularly the character designs) were standardized into a simplified, blander style, the animation became less dynamic, and the production values in general felt rather cheap. Also not helping matters was Christine Cavanaugh retiring from voicing Dexter after only a handful of season 3 episodes, and whilst her replacement Candi Milo does a good job emulating the character, many viewers missed her presence.
  • While Drawn Together was a highly divisive show to begin with, even fans would not defend the first half of season 3, when the show became too dark for its own good and constantly gave Captain Hero screen time (a trend started since the middle of season 2). This, combined with an erratic airing schedule, resulted in the show dying an early death.
  • The Dreamstone's first season is often better-regarded due to its darker plotlines and character designs which are more loyal to Mike Jupp's original concept (along with suffering less from Executive Meddling forcing more side characters). The later seasons, however, do get credit for aspects such as more fluid animation and remedying some of the earlier episodes' flaws (e.g. giving the heroes more focus and downplaying their Unintentionally Unsympathetic facets against the Urpneys).
  • Duck Dodgers was originally supposed to run for only two seasons, with the finale having Mars sign a peace treaty with Earth and the Martian Queen Tyr'ahnee getting together with Commander X2 after learning that he loves her. The third season chose to abruptly restore the status quo by having Tyr'ahnee dump X2 at their wedding after deciding that she still has feelings for Duck Dodgers and she even revokes Mars' treaty with Earth when Dodgers continues rejecting her. To make things really aggravating, the final episode was just a faux-documentary with various characters being interviewed over how they felt about Dodgers rather than a proper Grand Finale.
  • Family Guy:
    • Seasons 3 and 4 were widely hated when they first aired, but Season 3 is now considered to be a part of the show's golden age by many fans, and Season 4 is regarded as the show's best season (mainly by people who started watching when the show returned).
    • Season 7, due to the amount of episodes focused on Brian's political views, as well as a few awkward episode premises, massive Flanderization of the whole main cast (i.e. Peter's reckless behavior in "Baby Not on Board"), and, of course, a three-minute long Conway Twitty cutaway. Part of the reason for this can be attributed to the 2007-2008 WGA strike that plunged a lot of shows into getting canceled, going on hiatus, or suffering through seasonal rot, along with FOX airing 3 episodes behind Seth MacFarlane's back during said strike, leading Seth to call out FOX for the network's "colossal dick move" and has grown apathetic for the series since.
    • There was a time between the 7th and 12th seasons where many said that Season 10 was the worst (and for some, it still is). Episodes that are prime examples of this include "Seahorse Seashell Party" (for having the worst example of Status Quo Is God), "Screams of Silence: The Story of Brenda Q." (portraying domestic violence totally straight on a show that makes a living out of doing it for laughs both before and since), "The Blind Side" (all blind people are gullible), "Be Careful What You Fish For" (mostly for the subplot with Brian and Stewie), "Tea Peter" (the plot can easily offend anyone who's studied politics and it contains a joke saying that autism is an excuse for kids to act ill-mannered), and "Internal Affairs" (for having Joe and Bonnie nearly break up, thanks to Peter). There's another side of the fandom that does say that it is (or was before season 12) the worst season but only because most of the episodes were completely forgettable.
    • Some say that Season 12 is the current low point for the series, with the main reason being Brian getting killed off in "Life of Brian" only to be brought back three weeks later in "Christmas Guy" in a ratings grab so desperate and shallow that it caused several longtime fans to lose whatever respect that they still had for the show by that point. Other episodes that played a big part in why the season is so reviled include "Peter Problems" (for the scene of Peter accidentally eviscerating a live whale while trying to push it back into the ocean using a forklift), "Brian's a Bad Father" (the main plot being Exactly What It Says on the Tin and the subplot ending with an overly-gory scene of Quagmire shooting Peter in the head), "Fresh Heir" (which features a barrage of disturbing jokes, mainly jokes revolving around incest in the form of Peter trying to marry Chris), and "Herpe, the Love Sore" (Brian intentionally gives Stewie and Chris herpes when he becomes blood brothers with them and the subplot involving Peter, Joe, and Quagmire which has one of the worst, if not THE worst Unfortunate Implication from the show).
    • Season 13 has many characters acting at their most unlikable, with Brian swindling Quagmire in "Brian the Closer", Jesus tricking Peter into letting him sleep with Lois in "The 2,000 Year Old Virgin", and everyone making transphobic jokes in "Quagmire's Mom". The negative reception was further exacerbated by episodes that had downright bizarre premises ("Stewie is Enceinte" has Stewie giving birth to human-dog hybrids) and by the notable increase in Peter-focused episodes, leaving almost every other major character Out of Focus.
  • The early Famous Studios cartoons are generally agreed to have been quite good, but they began to deteriorate in quality by the late 40s and really became apparent by the mid 50s due to becoming increasingly formulaic. The introduction of Herman and Katnip (blatant clones of Tom and Jerry) didn’t help. Even their more popular series (namely Popeye, detailed below) suffered pretty big hits in quality.
  • For The Flintstones, there are generally considered to be two instances of the trope coming into play, but the one that's deemed to be the bigger instance is a subject of debate. Some consider the introduction of Pebbles at the end of Season 3 to be the show's downfall as the series became much more childish with the introduction of an infant into the cast. For others, the final season's addition of the Great Gazoo is what pulled the show down, seeing putting a goofy alien trickster in a show that was originally intended to be akin to a prehistoric version of The Honeymooners.
  • Futurama:
  • Gargoyles fell into rot after Greg Weisman left at the start of Season 3. Xanatos and Fox became full good guys and nearly every villain was a Card-Carrying Villain with little to no depth. Not helping matters was that the season's Big Bad was basically a male, human version of Demona, but while Demona's reasons for descending into villainy were understandable, fleshed out and even sympathetic, this guy's reason for turning evil is entirely selfish on his end, runs on Insane Troll Logic, and doesn't get nearly as much detail as Demona's Start of Darkness did. The 2006 comic continuation by Greg Weisman ignores the third season, besides loosely re-telling its first episode (the only one Weisman was involved in) in its first two issues.
  • The post-movie seasons of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, which changed animation studios, writers, and replaced almost all of the voice actors from the Sunbow seasons with ones from Vancouver. The animation's budget was much lower than Sunbow, and the plots became even sillier than the early episodes.
  • For Gravity Falls, Alex Hirsch confessed his worries about this trope after he got burned out during season one, and almost considered leaving the show at a cliffhanger. Jon Stewart convinced him to finish, but Alex opted the show to have only two seasons instead of the planned three. After the ground-breaking "Not What He Seems" episode, the second half of Season 2 still received some criticism for underdeveloped or rushed plotlines, Mabel growing more divisive, and holding weaker episodes on average. Things improved by the Grand Finale, which was regarded as a great send-off, and the season was overall considered something far from a "rot".
  • The 80s revivals of The Jetsons and Jonny Quest are considered to be weaker than the original 60s runs by many. Considering the fact that Hanna-Barbera's Golden Age had ended a long time before their revival, this becomes very noticeable when the 80s episodes are placed alongside the originals. For the former, the introduction of Orbitty was a major source of gripe while the latter saw an extreme tone-down of the violence and upping of the "kid-friendliness".
  • Many Jimmy Two-Shoes fans believe the second season suffers from a downgrade in animation quality (as the change from Toon Boom to Adobe Flash meant a change of animation studios) and writing quality, with many feeling that the show lost its original Black Comedy charm and poorly handled its characters (especially Ensemble Darkhorses like Heloise and Saffi). That said, Season 2 is still said to have its perks, namely the new intro and theme song.
  • Johnny Test: The show is infamous for its extreme unpopularity, but the first season is generally seen as decent. After it finished its run, the show changed producers from Warner Bros. Animation to Cookie Jar Entertainment, which led to the entire production staff working on the show being replaced and consequently the show's animation changing from traditional to Flash. It is generally agreed that the second and third seasons, while taking a hit in animation quality, are still at least watchable, but when the show was revived for a fourth season, everything went to hell. The animation went from "mediocre but passable" to "more suited for internet than television", the sound effects became cheaper (the infamous whipcrack noises were never used in the first season), and Flanderization ran rampant to the point where most of the characters were barely likable. It's quite easy to see why the show is universally hated when one compares Season 1's quality with Season 6.
  • During the third and fourth seasons of KaBlam!, the production company for Sniz & Fondue went bankrupt and more one-shot shorts were produced, with mixed to negative receptions among the fandom, though the remaining regular shorts were claimed to be even better that season.
  • Kaeloo: A lot of fans think that the show's third season wasn't as good as the other ones, due to the sadistic humor being turned down, Mr. Cat being nicer, and the lack of cynicism.
  • Many King of the Hill fans consider Season 9 the show's nadir, due in large part to the massive retcon of Peggy in the premiere "A Rover Runs Through It" and the widely-disliked Lucky becoming a regular cast member ("Care-Takin' Care of Business"), the latter of which led to a sub-plot where he effectively contributed to Luanne reverting a great deal of Character Development she had from the first seasons. These along with ongoing Flanderization (especially of Luanne) and a lack of well-regarded episodes make it a season few fans stick up for. While season 10 is not considered much better (it consisted mostly of holdovers from season 9's production cycle), the show is said to have recovered afterwards for its final few seasons, although fans argue how much.
  • While Book 1 of The Legend of Korra was divisive but has its fans, Book 2 is more widely criticized. From Studio Pierrot animating most of the first half instead of Studio Mir, the wasting of potential storylines with the Grey-and-Gray Morality political intrigue of the first half's civil war plot being cast aside in favor of a generic "save the world" plot, the Big Bad being derailed from a Visionary Villain who actually raised several valid points about the Water Tribe to a generic Evil Overlord, the reduced role of Asami, the constant unfunny abuse of Bolin, and the increased focus on Mako to the brink of being a Creator's Pet on top of another love triangle plot involving Mako over Asami or Korra. There's also the two-part origin story for the Avatar as a whole that, while originally considered to be a fantastic addition to the franchise, later became increasingly contested for apparent continuity errors. Book 2 wasn't a complete loss, as it produced many fan favorite characters such as Varrick, and had strong character arcs for Tenzin and Korra that greatly improved fan opinion of them, but the flaws worked heavily against the rest and ultimately tainted the general opinion of the series as a whole to the point that there's a Broken Base over whether the much better Books 3 and 4 manage to make up for all this season's shortcomings.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • While opinions in the fandom vary on when the cartoons began to lose steam, most fans will say the series suffered a major hit in quality in 1964, when DePatie-Freleng Enterprises took over after the Termite Terrace shut down. These shorts had Limited Animation, Flanderized versions of Daffy Duck and Speedy Gonzales hogging the spotlight (with some Rudy Larriva-directed Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner shorts on the side, and those are similarly considered inferior to the shorts directed by Chuck Jones, who was working on Tom and Jerry at the time), a bizarre rendition of "The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down", and weaker gags. It didn't help that most of the classic-era characters were missing (yes, even Bugs Bunny).
      • A few fans say that the cartoons began going downhill as soon as 1962, which is when Chuck Jones was fired for violating his exclusive contract and Milt Franklyn died of a heart attack while scoring The Jet Cage (with his successor, Bill Lava, being a divisive figure among Looney Tunes fans for his atonal scores).
    • The DePatie-Freleng era was succeeded by the Seven Arts-era in 1967, which is considered even worse. Alex Lovy joined the crew and created new characters like Cool Cat, Merlin the Magic Mouse, and Bunny and Claude, who all proved unpopular and unmemorable among audiences (didn't stop the former from cameoing in every episode of The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries, though). On top of using a rendition of "The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down" even odder than the aforementioned one, the declining animation quality made the shorts resemble late 50s/early 60s Hanna-Barbera cartoons. Meanwhile, Daffy and Speedy were still co-starring in cartoons, culminating in the much-maligned "See Ya Later Gladiator". More shorts were planned beyond 1969, but the unpopularity of this era forced the studio to go belly-up shortly after "Injun Trouble (1969)" was released.
    • The shorts made immediately after Harman and Ising left the studio (late 1933 to early 1935) are also considered blatantly inferior to those before it (which themselves are pretty base-breaking). Because the studio lost the rights to Bosko, they cooked up a new star, Buddy. Buddy was impossibly bland, and the cartoons’ general saccharine tone didn’t help. The studio would recover after the introduction of Porky Pig in 1935.
  • The Loud House:
    • Season 3 has seen a somewhat mixed response among the fandom. While certain episodes such as "Roadie to Nowhere," "Head Poet's Anxiety," and "Really Loud Music" have received near-universal praise for their Character Development, others are more polarized, with many fans accusing them of recycling plots from earlier episodes ("Scales of Justice" having been compared to season 2's "Frog Wild," for instance) and just not being as funny or creative as those from earlier seasons. This is likely due to the firing of series' creator and showrunner Chris Savino, as other instances of this trope happened due to the creators having little or no input like they did before.
    • Season 4 have come under criticism from some fans, who think that Lincoln's character has undergone Flanderization, accentuating his most negative characteristics and making him more selfish and clumsy, and more likely to attract bad consequences for himself and those close to him (citing "Kings of the Con" and "Stall Monitor" as examples). Like with season 3, some have also made claims of plots being recycled, such as "The Last Loud on Earth" being compared to "The Price of Admission".
  • Due to the show's Merchandise-Driven nature, the second season of M.A.S.K. switched formats from "heroic M.A.S.K. agents vs. evil VENOM terrorists" to 'M.A.S.K. and VENOM as rival racing teams." Many fans were turned off by the sheer illogic of the change.
  • While hardly bad, season 3 is often considered the weak point of Metalocalypse, due to a rather severe Myth Arc stall and the series not being allowed to use its traditional Gorn due to the network fearing it would be perceived as too similar to Superjail!. The gap that the lack of bloody violence left was filled with a noticeable increase in Vulgar Humor. Season 4 was much more in the spirit of the first two seasons. The episodes were also twice as long (half-hour instead of quarter-hour), which while a good idea in theory, resulted in very noticeable pacing issues. Along with that the Charles Ofdensen fans weren't too happy about his severe lack of appearance.
  • While Season 2 of Milo Murphy's Law isn't seen as terrible, a number of fans deem it inferior to Season 1. The integration of Phineas and Ferb characters like Dr. Doofenshmirtz came off to some as a Spotlight Stealing Crutch (while also throwing away a good deal of the character development they made in their own series), which was not helped by the feeling that the main characters (particularly Milo himself) were becoming underdeveloped to the point of being secondary characters in their own show and that the jokes were becoming excessively self-referential (notably an increase in fourth-wall jokes) or annoyingly random (like Recurring Raccoon).
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
  • Phineas and Ferb remained popular to the end, but there are some fans that believed that the series had started to decline:
    • There are many people who think that the show's quality went downhill during Season 3. More accurately, the episodes from the middle of the third season just aren't as good as episodes from the second season and the first half of the third. That said, the show remained quite good - it just seems to have peaked in quality sometime around the Big Damn Movie, Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension.
    • Some people cite the downfall of the show as far back as Season 2, due to more emphasis on formula and redundant jokes as opposed to the show's first season which was a Slice of Life show mixed with comedy. In other words, it was Family Guy meets Hey Arnold! in its first season.
    • A few fans felt the show got stale around the time Season 3 came around due to more emphasis on the formula and the writers had stopped developing the characters. Coincidentally around this time, many of the show's original writers left to work on Regular Show and Adventure Time.
    • In addition, the Phineas and Ferb plotline started to become more and more the B-story, with more of the original plot lines going to the Doof and Perry plots. This is very evident in the episodes titled after the Doof and Perry plots ("Sidetracked", "Road to Danville", "Doof Side of the Moon", "Primal Perry", "Live and Let Drive", etc.). Some saw this as an improvement, considering the relative dullness of the two main characters, while others preferred the original premise of kids building cool things in Summer.
  • Popeye:
    • By the mid-1940s, the Popeye shorts became increasingly formulaic and stale, and the timing and animation took a hit in quality. By the 50's, the series went through such a clear budget crunch that they were forced to make an excessive amount of Clip Show episodes or remakes of older shorts. Roughly 17% of all Popeye theatrical cartoons from both Fleischer and Famous Studios were either remakes, semi-remakes or clip shows; that's roughly 38 cartoons in all! However, roughly only 3% (4 total) of the Fleischer cartoons qualify, whereas a whopping 28% (roughly 34) qualify for Famous Studios.
    • The post-Famous Studios shorts (mainly directed by Al Brodax) were not much of an improvement. Granted, there were far fewer clip shows and some halfway decent shorts squeaked by, but in most cases the timing and animation were even worse than Famous Studios at their very worst, with most shorts being painfully slow and the animation either looking stiff and static even for the time or flat-out sloppy and unpolished.
  • Due to Craig McCracken heading off to make Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, the post-movie episodes of The Powerpuff Girls, particularly seasons 5 and 6 (or just season 6), are not so well-liked. Several characters were flanderized, the show became a cheap gag comedy and more emphasis was put on gross-out and Toilet Humour.
  • The retooling of The Real Ghostbusters into "Slimer! and the Real Ghostbusters" (third and fourth season) was almost universally panned, being perceived as too childish and cartoonish. The Executive Meddling by Bill Murray which got Lorenzo Music kicked off the show (complaining that Peter sounded too much like Garfield, which is ironic given later developments) only helped towards the downward spiral.
  • The last season of Recess is often criticized for being too Anvilicious.
  • Regular Show:
    • Season 4 suffers from recycled and/or dull plots, the Romantic Plot Tumor of Mordecai and Margaret, and Muscle Man becoming a one-man Spotlight-Stealing Squad. Season 5 did resolve most of the issues from Season 4 by restarting a new romance plot with CJ from season 3, removing all Muscle Man centered episodes to give him only one or two episodes like "Tower Power", and using most new plots and giving some more character development for lots of main characters.
    • Season 6 has several new issues; while it thankfully had only a few recycled plots, it also had infamous plots, like removing Thomas from the show, Benson and Audrey breaking up for seemingly no reason, and a pointless Love Triangle from seasons 4 and 5 that was quickly fixed in a couple of episodes later, as well as holiday specials painfully shoehorned in.
    • The 8th and final season where the cast went into space was accused of its problems as well, particularly for how it borrowed heavily from other animated sci-fi comedies like Futurama and Rick and Morty when the show was previously more original. Fortunately, the series had regained its edge as it built up to its Grand Finale, which fans hail as a suitably epic and emotional send off. Lampshaded in the final season's episode "Meet The Seer" where the gang meet the eponymous character and she discusses the aforementioned tumors that plagued the show and the recent Halloween specials becoming weaker and diluted. While she's upset that she'll miss Regular Show, it's best to end the show with a bang than drag on as a rotting zombie.
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show:
    • The show is said to have lost much of its luster after John Kricfalusi's dismissal and his animation studio Spumco was replaced by Games Animation (later known as Nickelodeon Animation Studios) for Season 3 onwards. While the new showrunners made a valiant effort to preserve the gross and bizarre humor that characterized John K's run, the show completely lost its edge by the time Season 5 rolled around, resulting in its cancellation.
    • Of course, this is nothing compared to the hatred for the show's revival by Spike TV in 2003 as Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon". Due to a combination of Executive Meddling and John K. receiving greater freedom in writing (there are conflicting reports on just what went on behind the scenes between creator and network), the show became far too gross and vulgar for its own good and began indulging in over-the-top violence and Toilet Humour well beyond that of the original series. It also saw the Flanderization of its main characters, particularly Ren, who became abusive and psychopathic compared to his previous hot-tempered character in the original series. These factors led to the show's cancellation after only three episodes were aired, although all six produced episodes later showed up on the Ren & Stimpy: The Lost Episodes DVD.
  • Rick and Morty: Fans near-unanimously regard the first two seasons as some of the best tv airing at the time (in spite of a few lesser episodes in the second season, like "Interdimensional Cable 2" and "Get Schwifty") but have wildly varying opinions on the ones that come after.
    • Despite critical acclaim and the series moving from cult status into mainstream popularity, Season 3 is quite divisive among fans: some consider it the best one yet for its character development and darker turn (especially where Morty is concerned), while others consider it the worst, due to contrived drama, Beth and Jerry remaining a drain on the show despite having divorced, and an increase in gross-out humor. In particular, episodes 2-4 of the season, "Rickmancing the Stone," "Pickle Rick," and "Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender" are polarizing among fans, some of whom dislike them for their gimmicks, the imbalances between the A and the B Plot, and the darker tone, while others like it for just that same reason. The season is generally considered to have improved afterwards, with "The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy", "Rest and Ricklaxation," and "The Ricklantis Mixup" receiving near-universal acclaim as some of the best and most insightful episodes of the series, with "The Ricklantis Mixup" in particular a contender for the best episode of the series. Sadly, the season finale, "The Rickchurian Mortydate," had torn down much of the goodwill the season had built up for many, as it served as a rushed an unsatisfying Status Quo Is God ending to the season's Story Arc.
    • After a two-year wait, season 4 would prove similarly divisive. While the 'back to basics' approach (alluded to at the end of the previous season) managed to win back several fans who were disappointed with season 3, some have criticized this batch of episodes for its over-reliance on meta humor ("Never Ricking Morty" being the biggest offender in this regard), and episodes that relied heavily on repeating a single joke for their duration and revisiting ideas already explored in seasons 1 and 2, causing some to fear the series is running out of steam. The five-month long hiatus between the season's first and second-half, on top of the already long wait for the first five episodes certainly didn't help, only making its flaws stand out more. That being said, the season finale, "Star Mort: Rickturn of the Jerri", which unexpectedly featured Call Backs to seasons 2 and 3, is widely regarded as a far stronger payoff than the previous season finale.
    • After a strong start, both fans and critics seem to consider season 5 a dip in quality, due to Rick, the 'smartest man in the universe,' having been taking down a peg, often coming across as unprepared and helpless against the likes of characters like the President who previously posed no threat to him, and the infamous episode "Rickdependence Spray," which quickly became the most hated episode in the show's history due to the show's boundary pushing crossing the realm into the gross and uncomfortable culminating in the birth of Naruto Smith, Morty and Summer's giant incest baby, as well as many other episodes relying on randomness and pop references at the expense of actual jokes. That said, the season is said to have gotten back on track with the eighth episode, Rickternal Friendshine of the Spotless Mort, which revealed some shocking truths about Rick and the Smiths, leading into a mind-blowing 2-Part finale that ended the season on a high note.
  • Robotboy: Seasons 3 and 4 (collectively known as series 2) where Bob Camp of The Ren & Stimpy Show fame and Heath Kenny took over as director are considered weaker then the first (partially season 4) for several reasons. Weaker and simpler animation (Superactivated Robotboy was mostly drawn without the lines on his arms and legs), a Retool that can be described as going from an action show with comedy elements to a Denser and Wackier comedy show with action elements, considerably weaker writing, less action (fight scenes usually didn’t last long and mostly were lower in stakes), more gross-out humour and less superactivation.
  • Robot Chicken has three fan-noted cases: Season 2, which is considered weaker than the sublime first season (though fan opinion of it has gotten better over time) and the infamous Season 5, which saw the show's usually witty humor go completely out the window in favor of gorn for gorn's sake, crude Toilet Humour, and too many Dude, Not Funny! moments to count. Apparently either the writers were listening or replaced, because Season 6 took a sharp turn in the other direction, much to the delight of the fans. Season 9 would later be seen as another step back for the series due to many of its sketches coming off as unimpressive and/or having too much heavy-handed political satire.
  • Rocko's Modern Life:
    • It's generally considered to have averted rot and stayed good from beginning to end, culminating in a 4th season hailed by many fans as the show's best in spite of the Bowdlerization imposed by the network.
    • There's an In-Universe example when Rachel Bighead decides to take over writing of Wacky Delly, which gets the show cancelled. Later, she's seen in the desert after completing her masterpiece. A man walks up to her and asks her if she's seen Wacky Delly.
    Man: "The first season, that is, before that new guy ruined it.
  • While not as much as the Un-Canceled SpongeBob episodes, when people say Rugrats went through seasonal rot, it leads to a Broken Base. Most people say it's either after they added Dil or Kimi. Some people say after it got Un-Canceled, due to more emphasis on Toilet Humour due to Arlene Klasky not letting Paul Germain (the showrunner of the first three seasons) know that the show was coming back and the show lacking his influence.
  • Schoolhouse Rock!: Earth marked the first time in seven years that the crew released new songs. Unfortunately, almost none of them, if any, hold up against the classic songs; Disney+'s SHR roster stops right before Earth. When counting only the seasons that aired on ABC, Scooter Computer and Mr. Chips would get deemed the weakest. It didn't even get a home video release until Disney started releasing Schoolhouse Rock songs on DVD.
  • Among Scooby-Doo fans, the general consensus is that two series fit this trope:
    • The Richie Rich/Scooby-Doo Hour, which made the bold move of completely changing the show's premise and in doing so fell flat on its face. Fred, Daphne, and Velma were inexplicably gone, the series was switched to a Three Shorts format, and the mystery-solving plots and "Scooby-Doo" Hoax were jettisoned in favor of slapstick chase scenes featuring Scooby, Shaggy, and Scrappy running away from real monsters for five straight minutes (the real monsters, incidentally, don't seem to have been part of the problem, as later installments featuring real ghouls were received much better).
    • Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue!, which also tossed out the mystery premise and Fred, Daphne, and Velma, but not only that, got rid of the distinctive Hanna-Barbera art-style and horror elements entirely, in favor of, of all things, a spy thriller.
    • Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo sometimes gets lumped in there too for introducing... well, guess.
  • Sealab 2021, with the second half of its third season and fourth seasons. One major culprit of the show's decline was the removal of Captain Murphy (due to the death of his voice actor), who was seen by many fans to be the heart and soul of the show's Golden Age. Without Murphy anchoring the episodes, the writing turned cruder, the character interactions didn't work anywhere near as well, and the writing significantly ramped up the amount of Take That, Audience! jokes, particularly at anime fans. The show openly acknowledged the decline in quality by the time the final episode aired.
  • The Simpsons: Most fans of the show consider the first eight seasons to be the best, but they have wildly varying opinions on the later seasons. In many respects, a decline of some kind was inevitable, due to the large turnover in writers and creators over the course of the seventh through twelfth seasons, and the team's belief that the show was going to run out of ideas any day now, which can't be good for motivation.
    • Season 9, the first with Mike Scully as showrunner, is usually seen as the point where things started to go off the rails, thanks to generally flimsier storylines and humor and overly mean-spirited episodes like "Miracle on Evergreen Terrace", and the infamous "The Principal And The Pauper". The latter episode is generally held as a particularly abrupt low point, thanks to the nonsensical and Continuity Snarl-heavy twist that Principal Skinner was an imposter the entire time and that his real name was "Armin Tamzarian". Most of the staff hated the episode and it was declared non-canon basically the second after it aired, but the damage was done. It's also where Flanderization started creeping in more obvious ways and Homer in particular started to become more and more of an outright Jerkass, though it wasn't too noticeable by this point. That said, the season as a whole is still usually considered to be good in spite of its flaws, and many fans will still consider it as part of the show's "golden age."
    • Season 10 is where the flaws of 9 became a lot more obvious. While it's similarly not considered bad, it's still frequently thought to be where the show's golden age ended. The aforementioned mean-spirited humor went into overdrive far more frequently, "Jerkass Homer" became Homer's default mode of operation, celebrity cameos became massively overused and started to turn into guest-star shilling, the episode quality became really hit or miss, and in general its where the show's Denser and Wackier shift started to go overboard with bizarre, over-the-top storylines present throughout.
    • Seasons 11 made things worse — it was the least grounded and realistic season to date, adding to the problems of Seasons 9 and 10 with outlandish plots and nonsensical Twist Endings. Among the things they did — they killed off Maude Flanders for real, had Barney give up drinking, resolved Apu and Manjula's fertility struggles by giving them octuplets, and indulged in whimsically self-referential episodes like "Saddlesore Galactica", "Missionary: Impossible", and (the admittedly well-loved) "Behind the Laughter". Season 12 was better, but not by much, and it contained one of the most despised scenes in the history of the show - namely, the infamous panda rape scene in "Homer Vs Dignity." It was at this point that most fans of the original Simpsons stopped watching.
    • Season 13 saw Al Jean return as a showrunner, and it was a partial return to the classic, less wacky Simpsons era. But it was also the point at which the show became a Franchise Zombie, with labored plots, Recycled Scripts, weaker jokes, and Flanderization of virtually the entire cast (most of whom had already been Flanderized at some point). This was quite disheartening for fans to see; while Seasons 9-12 were tonally off and unfunny, Season 13 showed that the Original Flavor was running dry and the showrunners were having a hard time staying motivated. Opinions vary as to whether Seasons 13-15 are actually an improvement on Seasons 9-12. Most fans agree that since Season 15, there's been a steady decline as the show firmly entrenches itself as a Franchise Zombie; the only real high point was the Season 18 release of The Simpsons Movie.
    • The Halloween Treehouse of Horror Three Shorts specials, a mainstay since Season 2, started out as witty comic adaptations of famous horror and Twilight Zone-style sci-fi stories, mixed with clever original plots putting familiar horror tropes in the Simpsons setting. But one segment of Season 11, "Desperately Xeeking Xena", though well-regarded at the time, is more a parody of a superhero Saturday Morning Cartoon. From this point on the specials have had fewer horror sendups in favor of Shallow Parodies of whatever was popular at the time and/or just plots the writers felt were too fantastical to consider for canon episodes, even as they were now doing non-canonical Three Shorts episodes for other themes. The nadir is Season 23's "Treehouse of Horror XXII", reviled for Homer communicating by farting in a parody of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and a two years late spoof of Avatar.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM): Season 2 is commended for its more developed continuity-based plot, but has multiple story criticisms compared to Season 1, often concerning both Sonic and Robotnik's increased incompetence, overabundance of cheesy comic relief, the inexplicable introduction of Dulcy The Dragon and the show ending on a sour note. Also, Season 2 was written near entirely by Ben Hurst, making for a more consistent dynamic, albeit to the point of being streamlined greatly, with Hurst's preferred characters and interpretations taking over (eg. Sally and Antoine were prominent in every episode, and were simplified to their positive and negative traits respectively, while fan favorites such as Rotor and Bunnie were demoted to extras).
  • South Park:
    • Season 2, while not disliked by fans anywhere near as much as it is by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, is still considered the weakest of the show's early seasons due to many episodes being Whole Plot References to other works (including two being lifted wholesale from Star Trek: The Original Series alone), and a lot of the other episodes just being generally forgettable. However, the season laid a fair bit of the groundwork for South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, and also gave rise to a lot of the show's best-remembered memes (particularly anything to do with the Underpants Gnomes), which helps it in retrospect.
    • Season 6 suffered from a backlash against Parker and Stone retiring Kenny and their plans for Butters being the new Butt-Monkey being changed by Comedy Central and fans rescuing Butters from the Scrappy heap. Needless to say, ever since that season, Parker and Stone have openly threatened to quit production of the show (to the point that Parker almost bailed entirely midway through season eight). Fan opinion of it has warmed up a bit after time, but it's still considered one of the weakest "golden age" seasons.
    • Seasons 15 onwards are attacked by many fans for changing the characters' personalities, becoming more political and almost feeling like an entirely different show to the point where some people actually hate everything after Season 4.
    • Season 17 is criticized for its short length, bad characterization (especially in regards to characters such as Cartman, Kyle, and Stan), and overly topical (to We're Still Relevant, Dammit! levels) plots and humor. The only thing generally liked about it is the "Black Friday" 3-parter, but even that has its open detractors. Season 18 was criticized for the exact same reasons, though the Story Arc and better attempts at continuity got it a little praise.
    • Season 19, some love it for its emphasis on its Story Arc and its topicality (specifically, its jabs at political correctness), while others hate it for the exact same reasons.
    • Season 20, the third of the serialized seasons, had an unusually complex and topical Story Arc with Loads and Loads of Characters: Gerald becoming an online troll, Cartman becoming more "sensitive" to woo a girl, Mr. Garrison's presidential campaign, the Nostalgia Filter-inducing Member Berries, and a brewing war between Denmark and the rest of the world were the main storylines. It was already proving hard for the show to juggle all of this in just ten episodes before Donald Trump, whom Mr. Garrison was the SP Universe's Expy of, was elected President of the United States. As Parker and Stone hadn't prepared for that possibility, the remaining four episodes of the season had to be rethought on the fly to remain topical, culminating in a Season Finale that left major plot threads unresolved and several key characters suddenly Out of Focus.
    • Season 21, which downplayed the serialization of the past three seasons in favor of returning to the show's original episodic format, is seen as a partial return to form for long time fans, but still caught some flack for maintaining the heavy topicality which plagued the aforementioned seasons (despite Parker and Stone originally claiming that they wouldn't even bring up Garrison/President Trump; it's possible they thought he and American society would settle down once he was in office but again thought wrong), as well as the subplot revolving around Cartman and Heidi which quickly wore out its welcome.
    • While Season 22 fixed a few isues by lessening the serialization even further and removing the Trump jokes, it replaced them with new problems: The first few episodes of the season relied on repetition of one joke for an entire episode while later episodes seemed to rely more on "clapter" (straight-up making statements on hot button issues, assuming the audiences shared their point of view) than actual jokes, and were completely lost on fans who were unfamiliar with the topics. The ManBearPig two-parter, while better received than most episodes of the season, had a rather jarring case of the creators backtracking on their past mistakes which felt very out of place. Lastly, the show seemed intent on cramming in as many 2018 references as they could into each episode, making many feel like cluttered messes as opposed to having a straightforward plotline.
    • Season 23 made the popular Tegridy Farms subplot from the previous season, and by extension Randy Marsh, the center of the show for the first six episodes, causing major Arc Fatigue. The next three episodes were welcomed for breaking away from it and giving the kids more to do, only for Tegridy Farms to return to the forefront for the season-ending Christmas Episode. Tegridy also ended up being central to the first of the double-length COVID-19 Pandemic specials that have run in lieu of an actual Season 24 as of 2021 (given that the show is not that difficult to produce even under pandemic circumstances, this suggests Parker and Stone are struggling to come up with storylines that won't quickly be dated).
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: Many believe that the show was never the same since after the movie. note  During these seasons, the show became much more grotesque compared to the earlier seasons — these seasons have Vulgar Humor, massive flanderization of various characters (with some being flanderized into ditzes and designated heroes), occasional dark humor, creepy Nausea Fuel and overall less charm.
    • The general consensus is that Season 4 is the start of the rot, although this season has since been Vindicated by History to a number of fans.
    • Season 5 has by far the most mixed reception among fans. The good episodes are generally better-received than the ones from Season 6-8, but the bad episodes include some of the most reviled episodes of the show.note 
    • Seasons 6-8 in particular are a noticeable downgrade from other seasons. This is where many problems from Seasons 4 and 5 got worse, and a lot more noticeable. The animation quality also took a drop, as it became much duller and more restricted with a washed-out color scheme compared to other seasons.
      • Season 6 is a major offender, as the Grossout Show status the show began to develop reached its peak and (along with Seasons 7-8) being the season where Patrick's jerkassery reached its high point. Prime examples of this in action include "The Splinter" (for being 11 minutes of Nausea Fuel with scenes of Patrick being a Jerkass shoehorned in), "Choir Boys" (where SpongeBob intentionally torments Squidward when the latter just wants to join a choir and gets away with it), "Shuffleboarding" (for being one of the worst examples of They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot), "Gone" (for having one of the worst Cruel Twist Endings of the series), "Truth or Square" (for being the most infamous Ratings Stunt in Nickelodeon history) and "House Fancy" (for the scene of SpongeBob accidentally tearing off Squidward's toenail while attempting to move the latter's couch).
      • Season 7 is often considered to be the lowest point of the series, with the main reason being Mr. Krabs's Jerkass qualities being amped Up to Eleven and the poorly-handled drama turning the Jerkass Ball into a hot potato. Other episodes that made this season so reviled include "One Coarse Meal" (for Mr. Krabs driving Plankton into a suicidal depression and getting away with it), "A Pal for Gary" (SpongeBob firmly grasps both the Idiot Ball and the Jerkass Ball throughout the episode, even after Gary saves his life), "Stuck in the Wringer" (where Patrick acts like a selfish Jerkass and ultimately victim blames SpongeBob, with everyone else agreeing with him), "Someone's in the Kitchen With Sandy" (for rehashing the plot of "Imitation Krabs" and being outright sadistic towards Sandy), "Yours, Mine and Mine" (for Patrick's exceedingly selfish behavior and becoming a total Hypocrite in the end) and "A Day Without Tears" (SpongeBob's Prone to Tears status becoming full-blown Wangst).
      • While Season 8 is considered to be a slight improvement over Seasons 6 and 7 with a closer to mixed reception among fans, it is still yet another offender, with the flanderization and gross-out humor continuing, as well as such reviled episodes as “Demolition Doofus”, “Are You Happy Now?”, “Pet Sitter Pat”, and “Face Freeze!”.
    • In turn, most people agree that Season 9 is a major improvement on Seasons 6-8, with most of the episodes being praised, especially after the release of the second movie when creator Stephen Hillenburg returned along with many of the original writers. The exceptions being "SpongeBob You're Fired", "Squid Baby" and "Little Yellow Book" which are all in the first half of the season. Fans often consider the episodes produced before the second movie to be "Season 9A" and the episodes produced afterwards to be "Season 9B".
    • Season 10 onwards likewise continues to be pretty well-regarded by the fanbase as well and has a number of new fan favorite episodes such as "My Leg!," "Moving Bubble Bass", and especially "Mimic Madness," which is a fan-nominated contender for best episode of the show, period. However, the slight Art Shift to a more Denser and Wackier artstyle that these seasons employ has a bit of a Broken Base among viewers and there is still the occasional stinker (such as "Cuddle E. Hugs" and the infamous "Ink Lemonade".
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil:
    • The first half of season three note  was received as this. In no small part, this was due to Romantic Plot Tumor and confusing Ship Tease suddenly sinking and teasing random ships, intensifying the already rather large Ship-to-Ship Combat in the fanbase. This was specially true due to the fact that the heavily advertised and hyped Eclipsa Arc was put in the back burner in order to make more romance focused episodes, with the titular Eclipsa becoming an Advertised Extra until the more well-received second half of the season.
    • Season 4 is lackluster in comparison to its previous seasons for a variety of reasons, starting with the continued ignoring of the Myth Arc in favor of shipping drama being the big one, as the season would repeatedly set up potential plot lines only to abandon them soon after. Add in episodes in which the characters come across as Unintentionally Unsympathetic and/or lacking in common sense, episodes that (even when entertaining) come across as filler in the greater narrative, lackluster writing, the final villain of Mina Loveberry coming across as a Big Bad Wannabe compared to Toffee and Meteora before her, and the polarizing Grand Finale, which has Star solve all her problems by destroying all magical beings in the multiverse and raises more questions than answers, and you have a final season that feels like a total mess. Notably, for Season 4 the show's crew did not receive a week-long grace period to address last minute notes and suggestions from the executives before production like they did for the previous two seasons due to budget constraints, possibly explaining the season's very poor quality at least in part.
  • Steven Universe:
    • Season 4 split the fandom with what is perceived by some as pacing issues. Specific problems include more episodes focused on the humans of the cast (who are generally considered less interesting than the Gem characters), a lack of development with Peridot and Lapis, and the main plot involving Homeworld coming to a hold after "Bubbled" resulting in a Myth Stall. The show was not very fast-paced and had episodes devoted to the humans from the beginning, only that was before the series revealed that it had a greater plot. Once it did, a section of fans generally wish that the series did not return to its roots in that manner. The show's long and frequent hiatuses don't help. Fortunately, the season's second half starting with StevenBomb 5 had managed to regain fans' interest by returning to the main plot and placing the focus back on the central cast.
    • The final Stevenbomb is heavily debated within the fandom. The series' ending is at best considered to be very rushed, with the Diamonds being redeemed almost immediately and with little previous foreshadowing (barring Blue Diamond) despite their horrific intergalactic crimes spanning across thousands of years.
    • The Movie is considered by most to be a return to form and was well received, only for Steven Universe: Future to divide the base all over again, in part due to its jarring change in direction from the original series; it has no major antagonists to speak of and is instead largely meant to wrap up a couple of threads which were still hanging while discussing mental health issues in a frank manner. Some episodes were considered excellent, while others were considered poor. A Very Special Episode is particularly maligned for being little more than a strange Filler episode in an already rushed epilogue series.
    • In-universe, both Steven and Peridot consider season 5 of Camp Pining Hearts to be garbage, despite the latter being a major fan of the show.
  • Superjail!:
    • Season 2 is usually vocally met with scorn and invocations of this, if not just disappointment. Criticisms ranged from the animation being "too fluid", the characters suddenly having backstories revealed, some changes with the characters' personalities, and the story formulas changing. Most notably, the episodes no longer all had wild bloodbath sequences, and some had a pun or a spoof Aesop tacked on to the ending.
    • While Season 3 is looked at a little more fondly due to the crew attempting to merge the styles of both previous seasons, the change in animation studios (necessitated by Augenblick bowing out to work on Ugly Americans) and the Warden becoming too childish are still subjects of criticism.
  • The first season of The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries lived up to its name by being a legitimate mystery series. The other two, while not terrible, eventually devolved into being regular Sylvester and Tweety cartoons that just happened to have a mystery going on in them.
  • Teen Titans:
    • In Season 3, they changed the Big Bad from the awesomely-creepy Slade, who was Robin's archrival but still had a personal beef with the rest of the Titans, to Brother Blood, who started off perfectly menacing but spiraled into Villain Decay quickly and had limited interaction with any of the Titans besides Cyborg, and having a weak story that only got two episodes and a two-part finale worth of exposure when other arcs usually had one or two more.
    • And, to a lesser extent, Season 5, probably due to it coming directly after the extremely well-received Season 4. It's still generally accepted, though, mainly due to its awesome Grand Finale (the two-part final battle, not the controversial Mind Screw of an actual last episode).
  • Teen Titans Go!:
    • The second half of Season 2 suffers from the Titans' personalities becoming increasingly juvenile, idiotic, and obnoxious as well as the deterioration of the show's writing causing episode plots to become more bizarre with nonsensical and often abrupt endings. note  Even a portion of those who were fans of Season 1 have started to lose faith in the show. The season also contains some of the most controversial episodes such as "Let's Get Serious" note , "Truth, Justice, and What?" note , and the infamous "The Return of Slade" note . The latter of the three was particularly scorned for being both another jab at the show's critics and a shallow and transparent Ratings Stunt that shamelessly lied to its fans, causing many to lose whatever respect they had for the show by that point.
    • Season 3 divided fans with more emphasis being put on the Titans' mean-spirited nature, overuse of ´80s pop-culture references and predictable fourth wall gags, interesting episode plots being wasted for the sake of comedy such as in the episode "Two Parter" note , and the show in general becoming more self aware, with the characters themselves literally Breaking the Fourth Wall to directly mock the critics of the show like in the episode "The Fourth Wall" and the 5-part "Island Adventure" special.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
    • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987):
      • The final three seasons (Seasons 8, 9, and 10, also known as the "Red Sky Seasons"), which retooled the show, removed many characters, replaced the main villains, and was Darker and Edgier in many ways, though some considered the Red Sky seasons an improvement over Season 7.
      • Even fewer fans liked the "Vacation in Europe" side-season, which had cheap animation and barely fit in with the series' continuity.
    • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003):
      • Season 6, Fast Forward, is generally considered the weak point of the series, due to being much Lighter and Softer than previous seasons, sending the Turtles to the future for no apparent reason, introducing a supporting cast member in the form of April and Casey's Child Prodigy great-grandson, replacing the original theme song with a generic (and badly sung) techno rap theme, and, oh yeah, the fact that, on the order of the toy company executives, the writers were forced to skip directly from Season 4 to Season 6 due to the executives feeling Season 5 wouldn't sell toys as well. This was particularly painful because Season 5 contained the resolution of the show's Myth Arc. And once Season 5 did finally come out to much acclaim, the executives' orders seemed even more nonsensical; wouldn't characters like the Acolytes, the true forms of the Foot Mystics and Ninja Tribunal, the Tengu and his demonic minions, and the Turtles' dragon forms have made great toys?
      • While the sixth season, despite its weaker quality, does have some fans, the same can't be said about the 7th and final season, Back to the Sewers. Despite returning the show back to its present-day roots and bringing April and Casey back into the picture, it adopted a new art style that turned off many viewers, an unpopular focus on the Turtles going into cyberspace, and whatever seriousness that was still left over in the show from Fast Forward was thrown out altogether to make the show even goofier.
    • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012):
      • The third season has been regarded by many as weaker than the first two. The reasons are due to its Arc Fatigue (with the Turtles being stuck at April's farm), the sudden change of Leonardo’s VA, and the Romantic Plot Tumor between Donatello, April, and Casey coming back after it was seemingly resolved at the end of the second season. Not to mention the show completely ignoring the Kraang invasion plot. Most of the first half of the season was literally nothing but filler involving the characters in space, almost explicitly ignoring the cliffhanger from season two in favor of largely hated Monster of the Week episodes. Even when the Turtles finally returned to New York, the Kraang were barely brought up until the mid-season finale, with the whole resolution coming off as rushed to many. The second half of the season did little better; as while the Turtles again focused on combating the Shredder, little was done to advance the overarching story until the finale... which put that on hold for the Turtles to focus on the Triceratons for the following season.
      • The fifth and final season very much so feels like a Post-Script Season. Gone is the Story Arc nature of the previous four seasons, in favor of bringing back previous villains for one more appearance. It doesn't help that Splinter and Shredder died last season, giving the series a feeling of less direction. While the latter does show up, it's only for the first five episodes and is barely relevant. It didn't help that the (intended) Series Finale was meant to effectively render any continuation of the series nearly impossible.
  • There are a lot of fans of Thomas & Friends that have diverse opinions on when the series went downhill:
    • Some say it was when the show deviated from Rev W. Awdry's original stories. Awdry himself disowned the show following Season 3, when writers took more liberties with his stories and also started created their own, which sometimes disobeyed railway code and had inaccuracies to the story mythos. After Season 4, adaptations of the original novels ended altogether.
    • Others say it was when the show became overwhelmed with the addition of new characters as well as some Replacement Scrappies replacing popular minor characters.
    • Seasons 9-16, Sharon Miller's run as head writer, is considered the low point of the show, due to many continuity errors, Flanderization, stories being aimed towards much younger audiences, rampant rhyming and alliteration, the narrator always explaining actions as if the audience can't figure it out on their own, one-off characters being introduced for the sake of merchandising, the most evident amount of railway inaccuracies, very poor writing ("His firebox was on fire" comes to mind immediately), and worst of all, it became clear that HiT Entertainment saw the series as nothing more than a marketing machine, and it effectively became a 30-minute toy commercial. It wasn’t until Season 17, where the series was taken over by Andrew Brenner and reverted to more mature storylines, that the series broke out of the rot... only to be sealed back in once the Big World, Big Adventures! series began in 2018.
  • The reception of the post-Hanna-Barbera Tom and Jerry shorts has varied massively, with fans to this day debating which ones were better, or how they stacked up to the originals.
    • It is generally agreed that Gene Deitch's shorts were a major downgrade. These cartoons wrecked the formula by giving Tom a Jerkass owner who beats the stuffing out of him whenever he slips up, whilst additionally amplifying Jerry's more malicious side to further push Tom into a needlessly tormented Butt-Monkey. Moreover, it suffered a lot of animation errors, incredibly stiff movement and sparse, tinny background music (all immense comedowns from the fluid animation and lush, vibrant score of the MGM shorts) populated by obnoxious electronic sound effects.note .
    • MGM was quick to catch on and handed the series off to Chuck Jones (who had recently been fired from Warner Bros.) after producing only 13 cartoons under Gene Deitch's team. However, while Chuck Jones' cartoons were better received than Deitch's, there was still contention over the quality of the plots (some of which were recycled from classic Hanna Barbera shorts), as well as changes brought about by Jones' signature style that long-time fans found difficult to come to grips with.note .
    • The 1975 TV series suffers from predictably low-budget animation and the show's main premise of Tom and Jerry (thanks to the omnipresent influence of Moral Guardians during production) becoming friends, which surgically removed both the slapstick and conflict from a series formerly devoted almost entirely to slapstick and conflict, which many fans believe left little more than an empty shell of dull shenanigans in its place.
    • The Filmation Tom and Jerry, despite the return of traditional cat-and-mouse formula, tends to be disliked due to each episode reusing the same music and repetitive slapstick. It started the trend of other MGM cartoon characters entering into the franchise, but it seems people think it was better handled later.
    • Even the original Hanna-Barbera shorts are considered by some to have gone downhill in 1955, around the time Fred Quimby stepped down as producer and Hanna and Barbera themselves took his place. Common points of contention are a notable increase in rehashed plots (such as "The Vanishing Duck", which has the same plot as "The Invisible Mouse" a decade earlier), cheaper looking animation/backgrounds, and simplified character designs. Not helping is shorts like Blue Cat Blues (which is extremely controversial among fans for its depressing tone and ending) and the final short, Tot Watchers (which is disowned by fans for being a copy of Busy Buddies two years earlier, the lack of Slapstick, and the mean-spirited ending with Tom and Jerry being accused of baby-napping and arrested).
  • Every Total Drama season following the first has been accused of its problems, but only three are almost universally loathed:
    • The second season, Action was received quite poorly by its viewers, and half the original fan base of the original Island don't watch it at all. Why? Well, for starters they removed almost half of the original cast, including popular characters (at the time) Cody and Noah, completely flanderized the remaining characters, kicked off most of the fan favorites (again, at the time) such as Gwen and Bridgette (who were also flanderized, though special mention goes to Bridgette and Geoff, as the only joke throughout their first and only episode is that they make out a lot. That's it.) early, over saturated Owen again, and had Chris become such a huge Jerkass that it wasn't even funny anymore. It was considered by many as the black sheep of the franchise prior to All-Stars and it seems that even the creators feel this way since almost all of the plots and characterizations (aside from Gwen and Trent's breakup which was the result of Executive Meddling, Chef's secret alliance with DJ, as well as Geoff's brief derailment into being a Chris clone) have not been referenced since that season ended.
    • Many say that the fifth season, All-Stars was just as bad as (if not worse than) Action making it the new black sheep of the franchise in the eyes of many. Reasons include wasted developments like Gwen and Courtney's friendship (which is suddenly undone over the course of one episode and rendered most of the season pointless), the return of the shortened season length of only thirteen episodes (this time, pretty much every plot line was dropped after about 2 or 3 episodes) as well as introducing a chopped up version of the theme song that is only about 20 seconds long compared to the full minute long version, inconsistent continuity, characters like Gwen and Heather holding the Idiot Ball in order to justify the terms of their eliminationsnote , 3 episodes (one of which being "Sundae Muddy Sundae" which broke up the Gwen and Courtney friendship) were written by first time writer Ed MacDonald who has since become the most hated writer on the show, once again Flanderizing characters such as Lindsay and Sierra, putting center spotlight on Zoey, who is considered by some to be a rather undeveloped character, Duncan's Badass Decay, and the finale featuring next to no focus on any of the eliminated contestants who weren't already part of the show's Spotlight-Stealing Squad due to being trapped in fart-filled balloons and left flying off at the sun with no indication if they survived until Word of God said otherwise, the Big Bad being literally defeated at the push of a button, and Camp Wawanakwa sinking officially renders the entire season pointless.
    • For the sixth season known as Pahkitew Island, which while some see as an improvement to All-Stars, others called it the worst one yet. The season was produced simultaneously along with All-Stars and you can pretty much tell. Criticisms for it include the even higher amount of gross out humor (mostly due to Sugar, who was heavily reviled for essentially being the embodiment of everything that's wrong with the TD franchise), most of the cast being overly gimmicky and barely counting as one-dimensional, the petty, one-sided feud between Ella and Sugar, some of the more interesting characters either being eliminated too early or having plotlines that were either wasted and/or hastily concluded (Scarlett), the plotline of Dave and Sky's ultimately failed romance which concluded in such a way that it basically rendered most of the season pointless and once again it's short length.
  • Transformers:
    • Season 3 of The Transformers isn't as well remembered among fans as the first two seasons and the movie. Taking place after the movie, it is a radical departure from the previous two seasons, with most of the action taking place in space, many old characters popular with fans disappearing with new ones taking their place (a few like Optimus Prime, Ironhide, Ratchet, Prowl, and Starscream were outright killed off onscreen in the movie), Rodimus Prime stepping up as the new leader of the Autobots to mixed results, the already poor-quality animation largely getting worse (mainly due to most of the season's episodes being animated by AKOM, rather than Toei) and the Decepticons sometimes being downplayed as villains in favor of other villains such as the Quintessons. However, a few episodes of the season remain some of the best-written and best-animated of the series, such as "Call of the Primitives", "Webworld", "Dark Awakening", "Dweller in the Depths", and "Chaos".
    • Season 2 of Transformers: Prime is generally considered to be the weakest out of the three. Due to the writers combing two seasons of storylines into one, the season came out very cluttered and rushed. Plotlines that were considered interesting (like M.E.C.H, or Bulkhead's near-fatal injuries) were not given enough episodes to properly develop before they were quickly resolved. Several fan-favorite characters were also killed off for the sole reason of proving that Anyone Can Die, even if there were still stories that could be mined from them (in particular Breakdown and Dreadwing). While there was enough stuff that was worth watching, overall the poor pacing really turned a lot of fans off. Season 3 was considered an improvement over Season 2, mostly for the better pacing.
    • Season 3 of Beast Wars is often seen as a drop in quality compared to Season 2. The mostly serious but occasionally healthily zany tone became very inconsistent, with overly dark moments leading straight to corny slapstick gags. A lot of episodes were devoted to introducing new characters or upgrading older ones, leading to pacing problems and no sense of an overarching plot. The season undid Inferno's on-screen death at the end of Season 2, without giving him a reason to continue existing (other than being Flanderized more). Optimus Primal was made too powerful and had to be written out of most episodes, making him come off as a wimp most of the time. A planned dark, story and character-centric episode was even replaced by a humorous yet pointless filler that lead to something of a plot-hole in the series finale. Despite these, and despite many fans thinking that Simon Furman's script for the final episode "missed the mark" on the show's tone, the series finale is still often regarded as one of the best in the franchise, and visually, this season had the best graphics.
  • Van Beuren Studios cartoons are generally considered to have gone downhill in 1934 when Burt Gillett took control of the studio. While the animation improved tenfold, the cartoons themselves became saccharine Disney clones (as was standard in that era), straying away from its surreal Fleischer-esque roots.
  • Depending on who you ask, VeggieTales started to decline either shortly after the first theatrical movie when the episodes became much more self-aware, filled with pop-culture references, focused less and less on Biblical stories and flanderized much of the cast, or around the early 2010's when the animation budget was slashed in half thanks to Big Idea being purchased by DreamWorks and outsourcing the animation to cheaper studios, and many episodes' plots were rehashed from previous episodes. The Denser and Wackier revival series VeggieTales in the House and VeggieTales in the City haven't helped matters.
  • Although still good, the fifth season of The Venture Bros. was considered disappointing by some fans. It was a short season so they didn't really have a chance to flesh out some of the plot points. A part of the reason is also because the show is praised for massive changes and character development, while this season undid some of that and made certain things go back where they started. The Monarch had a smaller role too.
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender:
    • While not nearly as contentious as the below examples, season 3 is where many started to see cracks in the narrative, with plot threads and hooks established in the previous seasons suddenly dropped completely or given rushed, anticlimactic resolutions, and many seeing the Lion Swap as contradicting the established lore and rules about the Lions.
    • Season 7 got a rather cold reception due to a mixture of Bury Your Gays, the Lion Swap returning with a vengeance, and a number of weaker episodes, with many blaming behind-the-scenes trouble and the show's producers taking tighter control.
    • Season 8, the final one, had by far the worst reception of any season, between extremely messy treatment of most of its characters, the deaths of Allura and Lotor (the former for being needlessly depressing and laden with Unfortunate Implications, the latter for being needlessly gruesome and killing an Unintentionally Sympathetic character), the poor quality of a number of other episodes, and a Distant Finale that left many baffled. An attempted Author's Saving Throw for the above Bury Your Gays instance largely didn't work, especially in a year that included the positive LGBTQ+ representation in the finale of Adventure Time, the wedding special of Steven Universe, and the premiere of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. There are more than a few accounts of Troubled Production and Executive Meddling, to which few are surprised.
  • The Wild Thornberrys: Season 3 to the final episode began to focus less on the animals and locales. It's really evident when one compares the series premiere, "Flood Warning" which has Eliza interacting with lions in Africa, to "Eliza Unplugged", the final episode of the series, which has the plot revolving around Eliza's crush.
  • Winx Club:
    • Though season 4 was divisive, seasons 5 and 6 did not have this benefit and were downright panned. Low points included the retconning of important continuity points (the major one being that Daphne wasn't actually dead but cursed into becoming a spirit), characters having their evolution undone (Stella and Tecna get the worst of this, basically losing all the Character Development they had gotten over the series) or being flanderized into acting like children (despite having already at this point graduated Alfea College — which, for some reason, they are still attending), unnecessary, jarring, and downright ugly shifts to computer graphics (sure, the movies weren't ever Pixar quality, but it at least didn't look like they came out of the lowest depths of the Uncanny Valley), and, to top it all off, an utterly pathetic villain, Tritannus (essentially, a petulant child having an prolonged temper tantrum yet being built up as a threat to the entire magical universe).
    • Though Season 7 was considered at least better than the previous seasons, it was still considered a mediocre at best season. Characters were still flanderized, the girls are treated like they're 16 year old high school students, and anything set up to the contrary — the graduation, Bloom's engagement — is quietly ignored and forgotten. Butterflix was also not a popular transformation, with fans feeling the outfits were generic, and a boring transformation sequence that used with an overlong dance sequence Once per Episode. Finally, while it wouldn't be official until the next season, this is where fans felt the franchise had become a preschool show.
    • Season 8 started off on the same level as Season 7, but by the end it was as reviled as seasons 5 and 6. Not only was it where the franchise officially became a preschool show, it suffers from a sudden change in animation style, making them all look really childish despite the fact that at this point, they should all be in their early twenties, and somehow getting Flanderized even more. Plots are also very childish, and worse, many Ass Pull instances, such as the return of Valtor and the Trix despite the former dying back in season 3, the latter getting sealed away twice which were supposed to be permanent, and then there's the retcon of the Trix's backstory, particularly Icy's. It feels as if the entire season is a giant Retcon itself.
  • Woody Woodpecker is said to have gone through a steep decline around 1955. The animation became cheaper, Woody himself was toned down from his popular Karmic Trickster persona into a more generic hero, and the humor in general just wasn’t as fast and on point.
  • Season 3 of Young Justice is considered much weaker than its previous seasons by most of the viewership. The structure changed dramatically to practically mimic a live action show, abandoning its previous recon tone. While Season 2 marked the start of members of the team being out of focus, it only truly started negatively affecting the quality in season 3. The team is Demoted To Extras, while most of the focus shifts to the newcomers, which is arguably considered to be very inefficient, with characters who were given the spotlight all throughout the season still coming off as underdeveloped. Impulse, and Blue beetle, even M'gann were Out of Focus. A lot of Fanservice served to hurt the series further. And at some point it simply feels like the show is some twisted parody of itself (i.e. Garfield having Teen Titans Go! hallucinations, or Wally West unnecessarily appearing in hallucinations.) The series also starts ahnding out its Idiot Ball, with characters, even like Batman making questionable choices (i.e. allowing Jace, a civilian who was knowingly doing questionable acts such as tar-ing two of the markov siblings, was allowed to overhear much of the heroes development, even the compartmentalization plot. And, with none of the Bat-family detectives figuring out that Tara and Jace had been leaking information to The Light.)
  • Season 3 of Xiaolin Showdown is considered weaker than the previous seasons by some, especially season 2 which is considered the highest point of the series by many. In the last season, all the main villains suffered from Villain Decay once Hannibal Roy Bean was introduced, who was never a very interesting or threatening villain to begin with and ends up being one of the most despised characters in the show. There's also the fact that most of the Shen Gong Wus introduced in this season have rather lame powers by comparison.
  • Season 2 of X-Men: Evolution is derided for its over-focus on romantic side plots, less focus on their battles and less action, though the ending managed to fix that with The Unmasqued World, leading to it Growing the Beard in season 3.

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