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  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: The season Mighty Little Defenders had a troubled development for half a year. The National Radio and Television Administration forced Creative Power Entertaining to edit the fighting scenes to make them more suitable for kids. They also forced CPE to change the weapons. This caused the season to come out much later than expected.

  • The AMC Pacer was intended to be the compact car that would keep American Motors going through The '70s, the company anticipating that small cars would be a growing market. Instead, its problem-plagued development had a major hand in killing the company.
    • Development started on the Pacer in 1971. The seeds for its problems came in AMC's smaller size and budget compared to the "Big Three" Detroit automakers (General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler), forcing it to rely on outside suppliers for many parts rather than its own internal supply chains. Regardless, many of its design features were quite innovative — it was extremely wide for a small car (comparable to a full-size Cadillac Eldorado) so as to create more interior room, it was designed with aerodynamics in mind for fuel economy purposes (presaging the Ford Taurus by fifteen years), the passenger-side door was longer than the driver-side so as to make it easier and safer to load the backseats in the two-door car, it was only the second compact car (after the Ford Pinto) to have rack-and-pinion steering, and it featured early versions of many safety innovations that, later in the decade, would become mandatory in American cars.note 
    • The problem came with the engine. AMC had originally designed the car to run on a Wankel rotary engine, initially sourced from Curtiss-Wright and later from General Motors, in order to reduce weight and increase performance. However, in 1974, just before the car was to enter production, GM canceled its rotary engine project due to reliability issues, fuel consumption, tooling costs, forthcoming emissions regulations, and concern that its performance dynamics (rotaries tend to need high revs to reach their full power) would scare off Americans accustomed to low-revving, high-torque engines. By that point, AMC had poured $60 million into the project, too much money to cancel it, and so they hastily redesigned the Pacer to accommodate their existing straight-six engine. With much more weight under the hood, the Pacer only got 18 mpg in city driving, compared to the mid-20s for its competitors with smaller, four-cylinder engines.
    • The Pacer arrived in showrooms in 1975, and initially sold like hotcakes as one of the few credible American compact cars that hadn't been tarnished by poor reliability (like the Chevrolet Vega) or safety issues (like the Ford Pinto). While American Motors initially expected to sell 80,000 Pacers that year, high demand saw production boosted such that, ultimately, 145,528 were sold, nearly double expectations. However, this massive ramping up of production led to problems with build quality and fit and finish. Furthermore, the car's massive windows led to an unforeseen problem: plastic parts and leather seating slowly fell apart through constant exposure to direct sunlight. As competition stiffened, the Pacer's flaws and its controversial styling slowly killed it and gave it an unflattering reputation as a "nerd car". The Pacer's long-term failure, after the princely sum that American Motors had spent on it, helped throw the company into a death spiral in the late '70s, culminating in it getting bought out by Renault and later Chrysler in The '80s. The car has become something of a classic since then, but a Cult Classic more than anything, remembered as a symbol of '70s kitsch that was just a bit too far ahead of its time.
  • The Bugatti Veyron supercar, as this article by Raphael Orlove on Jalopnik lays out. Ferdinand Piëch, the CEO of Bugatti's corporate parent Volkswagen, had issued an executive mandate to Bugatti to make the Veyron the fastest production car in the world, capable of topping the record of 252 miles per hour, more as a Bragging Rights Reward than anything. It was a very difficult task — even discounting all other problems, the Veyron pushed the upper limit of what was physically possible with the technology of the time. And then you get into those problems.
    • Set to be launched in 2003, Bugatti's plans went horribly wrong after the Veyron's debut drive for journalists at Laguna Seca ended with the pre-production test model spinning out and almost crashing due to its handling problems. Since Bugatti operated outside Volkswagen's engineering structure, critical design flaws were never caught until they had already built a prototype for testing.
    • The car's release was delayed for two years after its inauspicious debut. During this time, its suspension, brakes, and aerodynamics were all adjusted, while its Y-layout, 18-cylinder engine, which they couldn't get to make more than 555 horsepower, was replaced with a W16. All of this occurred without the original designer's input, since he had retired from the company.
    • The new project manager, Bernd Pischetsrieder, took a hopefully-final version of the car for a test drive... and he hated it. Sending the car back for further refinement, an all-new steering rack had to be designed.
  • Piëch had another one of those with Volkswagen Phaeton. Intended to thrust VW above Mercedes-Benz and BMW in terms of luxury (despite VW already owning two major luxury marques, Audi and Bentley), it was built with Piëch's demands in mind. Most famously, it was supposed to be capable of being driven all day at 300 kilometres per hour (186 mph) with an exterior temperature of 50 °C (122 °F) whilst maintaining the interior temperature at 22 °C (72 °F) (even though its top speed was limited to 250 kph and this kind of driving would require frequent refueling stops). This led to delays and development costs going out of control. Ultimately, customers were largely unwilling to look beyond the VW badge and styling too reminescent of the mass-market Passat, which led to sales lower than expected (which was bad news, considering even with sales expected by Volkswagen the Phaeton project would fail to break even). In later years, it became somewhat of a Cult Classic for being as luxurious and more rare than its counterparts while being very inconspicous and relatively cheap (since new Phaetons depreciated very steeply).
  • Porsche experienced a minor and unfortunate case of this in March 2019 when a freighter carrying, among other vehicles, four 911 GT2 RSes to customers in Brazil caught fire and sank off the coast of France, taking all its cargo with it. Porsche had to put that model (whose production run had ended in February) back into production in order to meet their orders.

  • The entirety of the Millennium Dome project seemed like this, from its constantly-delayed boondoggle of a construction, to the lack of planning about what exactly it was meant for, to underwhelming attendance figures, to confusion as to what exactly to do with the thing after the millennium celebration had concluded. It's quite difficult to improve on Andrew Rawnsley's description of the Dome as "a magnificent shell enclosing a vacuum of banality" and "a vacuous temple to political vanity" that embodied the worst features of its age: "the vapid glorification of marketing over content, fashion over creation, ephemera over achievement".
  • The Big Dig is the most famous construction project in Boston's history for all the wrong reasons. It was simple enough on paper: Reroute Interstate 93 under the central part of the city into an underground tunnel and tear down the Central Arterynote , a notoriously ugly elevated roadway that cut the historic North End off from the rest of the city, and then use the newly opened space to create a park and new entertainment venues and attractions. Initially planned to be completed in 1998, it wasn't until 2007 that it was formally finished and only after a series of events that included escalating costs, scheduling overruns, leaks, design flaws, charges of poor execution and use of substandard materials, criminal arrests, and one fatality (caused by a faulty ceiling panel collapsing on a car and killing a passenger) and an estimated cost of $14.6 billion, an overrun of 190% of the initial calculation of $6.0 billionnote . And even today the tunnels are plagued with problems that require nearly constant repair, such as an estimated 25,000 light fixtures that will eventually have to be replaced to the tune of $54 million. The entire clusterfuck has made Bostonians wary of any big projects since then, and may have had a hand in dooming the Boston 2024 Olympic bid (see the sports page for more details) and the Grand Prix of Boston. While everyone agrees the end result did accomplish its intended purpose, the process of getting there was a disaster.
  • Along with the Big Dig there was the Deer Island Tunnel, one of the longest and deepest tunnels in the world, which was designed as part of a court-ordered cleanup of Boston Harbor (made famous by The Standells' song "Dirty Water") and the final piece of the Deer Island Waste Water Treatment Plant. It took over a decade to be completed while a federal judge breathed down their neck to get it done, and after a back-and-forth series of arguments with OSHA over worker safety a series of safety plugs were put in place at the farthest end of the tunnel to protect the tunnel workers in the unlikely event of an accidental influx of ocean water. The problem was then getting the plugs out once the tunnel was done, so the construction firm decided to hire commercial divers to remove the plugs, but the catch was this could only be done after all the life support equipment for the workers had been removed due to said wrangling with OSHA, necessitating the divers to bring their own oxygen. During the removal the gas mixer the team used (which the horrified manufacturers, who were unaware of what it was being used for it, said was intended for use in food packaging instead of human life support) malfunctioned and caused two divers to die of asphyxiation nearly 10 miles underground and leaving the three survivors with severe PTSD. See here for the whole saga.
  • Another for Boston was the site of the former flagship store for Filene's in Downtown Crossing. After Filene's was bought by and converted to Macy's, the latter chain opted to sell the Filene's store (as they had been present in the former Jordan Marsh store downtown since the 90s). The store was torn down and the property was bought by Vornado Realty Trust of New York with a plan to build a 39 story tower consisting of a hotel, restaurants, stores and residences. But then the project ran out of money in the aftermath of the 2008 economic crisis, leaving the original Filene's facade halfway standing as a shell of its former self and a gaping hole right in the middle of one of the busiest sections of the city. After an ugly tug-of-war between the developers, Mayor Thomas Menino and city officials that went on for years the city finally revoked their permit in 2012 and another firm took over and began construction in 2013 of a 60 story building that was eventually finished in 2016, renaming it the Millennium Tower.
  • The California High Speed Rail has gradually shaped into this over the many years it's been in development. Initially voted in with promises of a trip to from Los Angeles to San Francisco and back within a day, the project's budget ballooned from $9.89 billion to $67 billion and had slowed to a halt due to repeated litigation and other assorted forms of resistance from NIMBYs, as well as difficulties in acquiring the land needed to build tracks, tunnels, and stations. In addition, over the years it's been in existence, people voted into governmental office in some districts have been making serious attempts to dismantle the entire project altogether to allocate the money into building and repairing conventional roads, who have been increasingly gaining power as the rail has continued to be caught in Development Hell and little is getting done. As Barack Obama gave the project $2 billion to get it going, it wound up in the crossfire from people who dislike Obama. By April 2017, the CEO of the project, Jeff Morales, had stepped down. In short, the California High Speed Rail has gotten caught in a statewide altercation between rail advocates and car advocates.
  • Tijuana's SITT ("Sistema Integral de Transporte de Tijuana", translated as Integral Transport System of Tijuana), it went from a promising project that would fix many of Tijuana's ailments with the city's public transportation, which even today, it is notorious for being the worst and the most expensive public transportation system in all of Mexico (with terrible service given in poorly-maintained vehicles which have been modified to forego safety features to cram more people inside, rude drivers, redundant routes that oversaturate many areas and leave others without service, poorly defined routes that end up causing confusion to its users, and said drivers have even ran over pedestrians with their reckless driving just to squeeze more people into the vehicles) into a political quagmire that almost laid it low for a decade before being done, albeit in a drastically watered down service. It all started in the year 1998 with an initiative by then-mayor Francisco Vega de Lamadrid, who envisioned a light tram running from La Presa (which at that time was the east end of the city), run around one of the main arteries of the city, and lastly unto the San Ysidro border crossing and then to the downtown of the city. Then, his successor, José de Jesús González Reyes sought to build it albeit now as a bus rapid transit line, and when he started construction of the first station, the transportation companies of Tijuana banded together to block avenues so that their interests were not threatened (which weren't, as the route did not overlap with them). And then, his successor, Jorge Hank Rhon, decided to just play nice with the transportation companies and sent this project to languish in obscurity. The project was revived, again as a local BRT system, under mayor Carlos Bustamante Anchondo in 2013 as a single main route and made compromises with the transportation companies. However, once the construction started in 2015 under the tenure of Jorge Astiazarán Orcí, the transportation companies banded together again to attack the construction workers, vandalize the stations, and launch failed grassroots protests against the construction of the BRT system. However, the municipal government decided to continue with this, and threatened to destroy the cab and bus companies that continued to engage in this behaviour. The project was finished in early 2016, but due to the pressure by the aforementioned companies against this project, the official launch was delayed until the start of the tenure of the new mayor, Juan Manuel Gastélum. However, he made again more compromises with the cab and bus companies to get the line running, until the buses were attacked by one of the transportation companies; while Gastélum contemplated to shut down said companies, he decided to just slap a fine on them and call it a day. And as of 2018, while the BRT is working, it is doing so at a diminished capacity, the buses get stuck in traffic constantly due to ignorant drivers and cabs willingly violating the rapid transit lines, the innovation of using prepaid cards to pay for the service were never implemented, and the stations get constantly vandalized by goons from the cab and bus companies, causing many inefficiencies and waste of resources on trying to keep the stops safe and illuminated, due to many of them lacking interior illumination at night.
  • In 2018, Florida International University in University Park, Florida erected the FIU-Sweetwater UniversityCity Bridge over Tamiami Trail in order to connect the campus to the town of Sweetwater, where many students lived, after a student was run over and killed trying to cross the busy road. Just five days after it was put up, the bridge collapsed and killed six motorists. Subsequent investigation revealed that the bridge had been subjected to multiple delays and cost overruns that were just asking for a disaster to strike.
    • A key component of the bridge was that it was built in a revolutionary new construction style called accelerated bridge construction (ABC). Instead of being built conventionally, which would have caused traffic delays on the Tamiami Trail, the central span of the bridge was to be built next to the road and then lifted into place, away from traffic. In addition to the bridge's practical benefits for the campus, FIU hoped that the project would establish them as a leader in bridge architecture and construction, with FIU President Mark Rosenberg praising the bridge as capable of standing for a hundred years and withstanding a Category 5 hurricane. (Any similarities to proclamations that the Titanic was "unsinkable" are purely coincidental.)
    • Problems began in late 2016, when the Florida Department of Transportation requested that they move the bridge's northern pylon in order to allow for future widening of Tamiami Trail. The pylon was moved 11 feet to the north, a change that raised the cost of the project by over $600,000 and, more importantly, required revisions to the plans. Even seemingly minor changes can invite errors if every last detail is not accounted for when making these changes, and a number of engineers who looked at the collapse said that a change of this sort was ill-advised, with Robert Bea, an emeritus engineering professor at UC-Berkeley, saying that moving the pylon further out, forcing it to support more weight than it was designed to carry, may have caused it to flex. Video of the collapse showed that it started on the north end of the bridge, the side whose pylon had been moved.
    • Federal budget cuts, meanwhile, forced the US Army Corps of Engineers to delay the approval of permits for the bridge as they pushed through a backlog of such.
    • The two firms involved in the bridge's construction, Munilla Construction Management (MCM) and the FIGG Bridge Group, both had recent safety complaints related to bridges they had built. MCM in particular had been sued just ten days prior to the collapse, after a TSA worker at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport said that a temporary bridge they had built there had collapsed under his weight, while FIGG had been fined $28,000 in 2012 after four workers were injured when a portion of a bridge that they were working on fell apart.
    • Two days before the collapse, an engineer flagged cracks in the bridge.
    • It was fortunate that FIU was on spring break when the bridge collapsed. The incident happened at 1:47 PM on a Thursday, a time when students likely would've been traveling around the campus and to their homes on the other side of the bridge, meaning that, if school had been in session, the tragedy likely would've been far greater.
  • The World Trade Center Transportation Hub, built to replace various rapid transit stations around the World Trade Center that were destroyed on 9/11, has been dubbed one of the world's most expensive train stations, or the world's single most expensive station, for its massive reconstruction cost of approximately $4 billion. It came in 10 years later than originally projected and overbudget:
    • The station was designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, known for building many train stations, bridges and other buildings around the world. His plans for the rebuilt PATH station was something called the Oculus, which would be larger than Grand Central’s main concourse, with a roof of two movable wings that could open to the sky. Calatrava likened it to a bird taking flight.
    • Calatrava designed the rest of the hub, too — the underground mezzanine, train platforms and connecting concourses. What concessions he could not gain with his considerable charm were often won by obstinacy.
    • The Port Authority’s board authorized a $2 billion project in 2004 — $1.7 billion from the Federal Transit Administration and $300 million from the authority.
    • The Bloomberg administration upended the project in 2005, when the NYPD did a security assessment that compelled significant revisions. To improve blast resistance, the Oculus had to have twice the number of steel ribs. The birdlike structure began to resemble a stegosaurus.
    • In 2005, the Port Authority finally authorized a construction contract with a joint venture called Phoenix Constructors. But the two sides could not agree on a guaranteed maximum price for the overall project, so Phoenix was allowed to sign subcontracts that cumulatively drove up the price. The Federal Transit Administration would cite this as a crucial failure. And in 2008, the Port Authority rejected money-saving suggestions worth over $500 million.
    • When plans were dropped in 2005 for a building at Fulton and Greenwich Streets that would have allowed daylight to reach the hub mezzanine, Calatrava proposed an expanse of skylights set into the pavement. At night, they would glow from below.
    • The Bloomberg administration strongly opposed the plan. It wanted a landscaped corner for the National September 11 Memorial instead. The administration prevailed, so the mezzanine roof had to be re-engineered to support the greater weight of trees, topsoil and irrigation.
    • As the costs of labor, materials and fuel climbed rapidly — in part because so much construction was underway simultaneously in New York — the authority was told in 2007 the final budget for the hub might reach $3.4 billion.
    • Consistent direction was rendered almost impossible by constantly changing leadership: four New York governors who appointed five executive directors of the Port Authority, and five New Jersey governors who appointed four chairmen.
    • Complicating matters even more, different projects were undertaken within inches of one another at Ground Zero. For a time, a plastic tarp was all that separated the Hub from the National September 11 Memorial Museum.
    • Contributing to the bloat in the budget was the authority’s practice of using it as a catchall for any related work performed on abutting sites, on common passageways and on shared mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems — over $400 million in all. The authority did move to trim costs in 2008 by reducing the size of the Oculus and eliminating the movable roof, but these weren't enough.
    • The Port Authority rebuffed suggestions from independent engineers and architects that the Oculus be even smaller, that parts of the temporary station be reused and that columns, rather than a bridgelike structure, carry the IRT Broadway Seventh Avenue Line across the hub’s interior. Calatrava and his partners insisted that the impact and utility of the Oculus would be diminished if it were shrunken further, that the temporary station did not meet requirements for circulation of air and pedestrians, and that columns would interrupt visitors’ movement and provide a potential target for bombers.
    • At this point, Mayor Bloomberg assailed the hub as “too complicated to build” and demanded that the memorial be completed by September 11, 2011, the tenth anniversary of the attacks. Bloomberg's prodding hastened the project but made it more complicated. With the deck for the 9/11 Memorial in place, cranes could not lower materials and equipment to the hub mezzanine below, so the authority had to use flatcars hauled in via PATH tracks instead.
    • In 2010, under orders from the Port Authority and its steel contractor, a Spanish steel manufacturer called Urssa began operating its factory around the clock to speed up delivery of parts needed at the hub. In all, Urssa racked up about $24 million in extra costs for accelerating the work, according to a lawsuit it filed against a contractor and the authority over payment disputes. When it had not been fully paid by early 2011, Urssa ordered that a shipment of steel to New York be halted at Southampton, England, and returned to Spain. Urssa later moved to dismiss the lawsuit.
    • Several hundred million dollars more were added to the costs by damages from Hurricane Sandy.
  • The Lotte World Tower in Seoul, South Korea was derided as a vanity project and caused more than a little anger as Lotte Group was thought to have used undue influence on the government (among other things, Lotte got the Republic of Korea Air Force to change how planes land at a nearby airbase rather than adjust the building's design) to force approval of its construction without proper surveys and inspections.
    • This was borne out as workers were killed by crumbling sections of the structure and exploding pipes.
    • Cracks became conspicuously visible on the floor of the tower's shopping section. Lotte dismissed these as being "decorative".
    • Major water leaks became serious safety hazards as water seeped into the important electric junctions. What's more, the tower's aquarium's water tank to spring leaks after it was open to the public. This led to the public sections of the tower being closed for months as repair work was done.
    • Sinkholes formed in the surrounding neighborhood and a nearby lake's waterlevel began decreasing, leading to speculation that the tower was being built on land that was too soft to support its weight.
    • Despite all this, construction was forced through to the very end both because Lotte Group staked so much into the building and because an abandoned construction project of this scale would have been a propaganda coup for North Korea.
    • The tower's troubled construction resulted in people staying away out of fear that something might collapse. It took months before people started trickling in in larger numbers.
    • In the end, the project proved to be a success, with the tower becoming a major landmark visited by droves of people everyday.
  • Berlin Brandenburger Airport stands as likely the most famous troubled construction project still ongoing in Europe today. The idea is to replace Berlin's three ageing airports (Tegel, Schönefeld and Tempelhof) with a single new one, combining some of Schönefeld's existing infrastructure with a brand new airport, creating what would be the third busiest airport in Germany. The idea originates from German unification in 1990, and construction finally began in 2006, with Tempelhof being closed in 2008 in anticipation that Brandenburger would open in the next few years. It still isn't, thanks to a massive list of technical issues and construction flaws; most famously, the building's unique fire suppression system is designed to counterintuitively funnel smoke under the building for aesthetic reasons. Complexity Addiction might be fun in theory, but not when it comes to maintaining and replacing things in such a complex building. A regional rail and S-Bahn station that serves the airport has been fully complete since 2011, but remains unused, with empty trains periodically running through the tunnel to prevent it from getting too humid.

Fan conventions tend to attract these as they're often run by people without experience in event planning or logistics.
  • Dashcon, a fan-run Tumblr convention held in Schaumburg, Illinois, became an infamous epic failure overnight. Among the many reasons:
    • The initial name of the event was TumblCon, which they were forced to change when Tumblr itself forbade them from using the name of the company. The fact that no one apparently considered this ahead of time was a sign of things to come.
    • From the beginning, the event was plagued by poor organization. Anyone and everyone was invited to form a committee for a fandom, no questions asked or experience needed. This, combined with little communications from the moderators and event managers, led to several committees being dissolved and heavy competition between the others for representation, with SuperWhoLock, the heavily overlapping fandoms of Supernatural, Doctor Who, and Sherlock, having a strong bias with the admins. Committees were asked to submit the names of people they wanted as guests, and most of those submitted were far too ambitious for a first-year con to even attempt. These posts go into more detail in regards to the various problems that plagued the pre-event management.
    • Extremely poor organization during the convention itself: cartoonist GingerHaze was forced to moderate her own panel when her intended moderator didn't show up, and hotel mints were offered as rewards for events being held. Security was also poor, with a member of 4chan's /pol/ board being able to walk in without identification and film the event with impunity.
    • Projections for the number of people attending turned out to be extremely off the mark: the managers expected over 5000 people to be attending, with the actual amount being estimated between 500 and 1500 at best. A majority of those attending also turned out to be teenagers between the age of 13 and 16.
    • Steam Powered Giraffe was touted as a musical guest until the first day of the con, with them continuing to sell tickets for it even though the group itself had announced that they had cancelled on their website months ago.
    • Welcome to Night Vale took time out of their tour only to find out that they were not going to be paid or have their travel expenses reimbursed as agreed upon, and responded by saying Screw This, I'm Outta Here!. Attendees were forced to wait in a conference hall for over an hour before being told, with their compensation being one extra hour in a (pathetically small) ball pit. Those who purchased tickets for the cancelled event were also told they would not be refunded as the rules were changed during the con to prevent this. Within hours, the image of the ball pit in an empty hall became infamous for symbolizing the complete catastrophe that was the entire convention as much as the shot of the cheese sandwich symbolized the Fyre Festival, and ball pits by themselves have since become a punchline that even other cons have referenced.
    • Panelists GingerHaze and The Baker Street Babes were forced to pay for their hotel bills, which Dashcon was supposed to cover. The latter were ignored by the management staff when they tried to contact them initially. While they were both reimbursed eventually, it took several days to sort out, and GingerHaze was unable to pay for more than one night and wound up having to sleep on the Ikea couch of one of the Night Vale writers who took pity on her. The only panelist who didn't report any problems was Doug Jones, who apparently received payment without issue and went on record as having greatly enjoyed his event, thereby making him the luckiest man alive.
    • Mark Oshiro, of Mark Does Stuff fame, also was in the event as both panelist and moderator. After the clusterfuck finished, he wrote a post in his blog where, while he claimed that he didn't realize how bad the thing was while it was running, it was because he was constantly running panels (so he didn't see the drama and the clusterfuck evolve). Furthermore, he was the only invitee accustomed to paying for his own expenses, this con not being the exception, so he didn't get involved in the payment drama pointed above.
    • The con had to raise $17,000 in two hours to keep their reservation at the hotel (which the hotel has since denied ever happened), and while they managed to raise it, it took days for them to offer an explanation for where exactly it went (the official explanation is it was to cover parts of the bill that they claimed had not been immediately obvious to them, which just raises further questions). In the meantime, the internet rumor mill speculated on everything from the money being pocketed by unscrupulous staff members to wondering if they'd simply lost it. And while they did eventually offer to refund the donated money to those who asked, they gave only a small time window to submit claims, and many who donated wouldn't be able to prove they had even done it since much of the money was collected on the floor in the form of cash with hardly any receipts or documentation. In a video of the "donation drive", one mother can be heard yelling "This is extortion!", and it's hard not to agree with her.
    • To top it off, the fact that the con played movies and TV episodes without express consent from the copyright holders, as well as the fact that the con turned out to be a registered LLP only in Ohio, not Illinois where it was actually held, means that large parts of the con were illegal and could have easily resulted in legal action against them.
    • Proving they learned nothing, the organizers then attempted a prime example of trying to Polish the Turd by rebranding it Emoti-Con — and somehow racked up another $120,000 in debt and ultimately cancelled that con before it could even get off the ground. See here for the whole sordid saga.
  • Austin-based anime convention IKKiCON and its subsidiaries have had to deal with some of these, being a small, indie convention organization and all.
    • The 2009 iteration had voice actor (and regular guest) Greg Ayres suffer a mild heart attack, causing everyone to panic. Thankfully, Greg immediately got proper treatment and walked out of the convention feeling better.
    • Anime Overload, a subsidiary summer convention owned by IKKiCON, became more of a behind-the-scenes mess each year, with disorganized staff members and volunteers, and the main panelist leader/organizer being so bad at his job, he was fired and never brought back. All of these problems led to IKKiCON pulling funding from the event, causing the con to resurrect itself as AnimeCTX in 2017 with a different staff. Thankfully, CTX didn't suffer the same problems under the new staff, and was seen as a success.
  • Before there was Dashcon, there was Tentmoot. It was supposed to be part of a year long series of events sponsored by a popular Tolkien fan group called Bit of Earth (BOE) that would perform community service projects and culminate in, supposedly, the largest Tolkien con ever held. Like Dashcon, it fell apart due to poor management. Unlike Dashcon, it inspired a tell all book and an honest criminal investigation. This article goes into a lot more details, but highlights include:
    • The fan community was really led by a man named Jordan Wood and his girlfriend Abby Stone. Wood was known for telling wild stories (like how he was being chased by the IRA) and most commented on his feminine appearance. He claimed he had a disease that prevented testosterone from being absorbed into his body properly. (Keep this in mind, it will be important much later.)
    • The enthusiasm of the community started out strong. BOE held a community service project that saw fans planting a children's reading garden in front of a literacy center. The event even managed to attract Sean (Samwise) Astin, who was very enthusiastic about seeing fans perform community service. BOE also claimed to raise money for a literacy program through screenings of the then brand new The Lord of the Rings films. After these successes, Wood stated there would be more events, including a summer music festival and the aforementioned Tentmoot.
    • Friends from the community, including Jeanine Renne, were impressed by the garden project. They moved in with Wood and Stone to help plan the events. Soon after, their home was foreclosed on.
    • The summer music festival also collapsed. No bands were reportedly booked and Elijah Wood, the supposed celebrity guest, didn't show up. Also, the organizers donated money to help the festival go on (one donated $800 from their college fund) but the check to the park still bounced.
    • Somehow, the other two events still went ahead. Wood dispatched someone to Los Angeles to film greetings from LOTR for the film festival. Jordan Wood assured everyone that he had arranged meetings with LOTR actors, but no one had heard of any such arrangement.
    • Also, Wood and the planners moved to L.A. in the fall (even though the convention was still scheduled for December in Portland). Wood claimed that he was from the area, but had trouble finding living arrangements or even navigating the city.
    • Tentmoot lined up several actors from LOTR, including Jed Brophy. (This was at a time when the films were still being released, so some of the actors were understandably not available.) Supposedly, BOE had an arrangement with Air New Zealand to fly everyone over. At the last minute, Wood contacted Renne and claimed the arrangements had fallen through. Renne paid for the tickets, but after realizing there was no documentation of the arrangement, she cancelled them. It was too late for Brophy, who had already checked in to his flight in New Zealand. There was also no hotel arrangements for the actors, so Brophy ended up sleeping on Wood's apartment floor.
    • The convention center was also screwed. Wood had talked down their prices and didn't even pay a deposit. He did so partially by promising that 1,500 people would show up. With days to go before the convention, only 21 passes had been sold.
    • A few days before Tentmoot was scheduled to start, Wood attempted suicide. This, combined with the low pass sales, ended the convention before it started.
    • And... it doesn't end there. While still trying to get the airline tickets worked out, Renne contacted the Oregon Department of Justice to investigate. The DOJ found out that most of BOE's charity activities were a fraud. There was no record of any large donations to the literacy program they were supposedly supporting. They weren't even incorporated and the money that had been raised at other events had vanished.
    • And it STILL doesn't end there. As the planning of the convention was happening, a man named Michael Player showed up at the Salem police headquarters. He had received a suicide note from his daughter Amy, who claimed that the love of her life, Abby Stone, had run off with a man named Jordan. The police found a picture of Michael's daughter. When they showed it around to others, they all identified the person as... Jordan Wood.
    • In the end, Jordan admitted he was in fact Amy and that the whole thing was a sham so he could try to build a new identity ("Abby Stone" was his deadname). Police told him never to come to Oregon again or face arrest. He eventually was caught (while waiting in line to see Return of the King in Portland), but the DA declined to press charges. After a number of unrelated shanenigans, Jordan eventually underwent gender confirmation surgery, legally changing his name to Andrew "Andy" Blake. Andy then moved to the Harry Potter fandom, where he became a Big Name Fan after his fic Dumbledore's Army and the Year of Darkness became popular. He was later involved in a triple homicide that claimed the life of one of his friends. He survived, but used the incident as an excuse to solicit donations to travel to New Zealand.
  • Brony Conventions get this a lot.
    • Las Pegasus, held in Las Vegas in February 2013, was beset by difficulty. Announced in Q3 2012, it was met by cries of oversaturation of Brony conventions in the US. It also announced three special guests, highly ambitious for a first con. Soon it was apparent the con was plagued by financial difficulty after overshooting their costs, resulting in the #LasPegAssist fund after the con.
      • Other problems included long lines, no direction given to artists or vendors on where to set up, absenteeism from staff members, sponsors getting "junior suites" instead of executive suites, the introduction of "Unicon Bits" (fake money being given in exchange for real money, which upset con merchants), misspellings of names on official placards, promises to ticket holders of a free buffet that never eventuated and Tara Strong being served eggplant at a VIP dinner (which she is allergic to).
      • On top of this, the turnout was far lower than expected; only 400-1000 people showed up as opposed to the expected 4000. Tara Strong has since openly regretted appearing at Las Pegasus - she missed her son's karate tournament.
    • Around six months after Las Pegasus, a convention in Australia, called Bronycon Sydney, was announced with Andrew Francis as a special guest. Many Bronies felt that one convention (the long-established Ponycon AU) was enough and a second convention would oversaturate the market. Their website, which had just gone live, also featured a Flickr stream showing pictures of Ponified underwear.
      • After a few weeks, the convention changed its name to Sydneigh after discussion of checking trademarks arose on several forums. During this time the executive team announced a Pozible campaign to get Michelle Creber and her band to play at a nighttime concert, however the target was not reached and the event was cancelled. Though the executive team were open about their low ticket sales and financial hardship, they announced Ashleigh Ball some months later.
      • A month before the convention, PR confirmed the convention was still going to take place, despite doubts from many con-goers as they announced the cancellation of Andrew Francis to keep the convention financially solvent - after this, many people from interstate and neighbouring New Zealand booked flights, accommodation and paid $65 for a weekend pass to the convention. However, three weeks after the announcement, their PR manager stepped down due to Creative Differences and the convention was cancelled due to "unexpected costs", and ruled out full refunds (which is illegal under Australian Consumer Law), instead promising only 70% of refunds with the rest going into liquidation costs.
      • The venue, Australian Technology Park, was also revealed to be not fully booked or paid by the company for the weekend of September 27th and 28th 2014, the weekend the convention was due to be held. Morale got so bad that a group of Bronies independent from the Sydneigh team planned an emergency convention to house ticketholders, panelists, Ashleigh Ball (who had been fully booked and paid for flights and an appearance at the convention for autographs and photos), and vendors (who had paid upwards of $200 for a table).
  • Spooky Empire, a major horror convention in Orlando, Florida, suffered a minor case of this in 2016 when Hurricane Matthew forced them to cancel their October event, with media guests unable to reach the convention due to all flights in and out of Orlando being canceled. Fortunately, they eventually managed to reschedule to December.
  • The Polish "New Face" Demoscene party, which took place in Poznań in July 1994, became infamous for barely taking off the ground. It's not clear what exactly happened (as various articles and reports disagree with each other), but apparently the organizers had royally screwed up the arrangements, causing the party to extend until after the closing hours of the hosting venue. In any case, the party ended on the first day with all participants being forcibly escorted out by police... and finding themselves stranded at night in an unfamiliar city while toting around heavy, valuable computer equipment.
  • The 1st Annual Pokémon GO Fest — held in Chicago's Grant Park on July 2017, organized by developer Niantic Labs, and meant to celebrate the game's one-year anniversary — infamously went awry.
    • Over 20,000 players crowded the park, with others standing in mile-long lines outside for as much as four hours. Organization with giving out scannable wristbands was poor — an issue which previous concerts at Grant Park never had, despite large attendances.
    • However, congested cellular networks, crash bugs, and authentication issues prevented the game from functioning (and players from capturing rare Legendary Pokémon). Waiting in the sweltering ninety-degree heat for Niantic to address this, angry fans chanted "Fix the servers!" and "We can't play!" The crowd could be heard during the event's live stream, though the hosts initially seemed to downplay or be oblivious to it.
    • Niantic CEO John Hanke took the stage, attempting to quell the masses, but he was met with boos and further chants. Someone also lobbed a water bottle at the hostess (which missed).
    • Eventually, to appease everyone for their patience, Niantic began offering a full $20 ticket refund, $100 worth of Pokécoins, and a free collectable Pokémon. The event continued nonetheless, with its radius extended two miles outside Grant Park out of apology. Despite this, many furious people had already shelled out plenty for airfare, rental cars, and hotels, resulting in many of them suing Niantic over paying so much for what was ultimately a rather lackluster experience. Most of them agree, though, that at least Pokémon GO Fest was nowhere near as disastrous as the Fyre Festival from months prior.
    • Future GO Fests since have pointedly made strides to avoid the problems that made the first one a disaster, such as making sure the servers and phone providers can handle thousands of players being on at once in one place and having the events take place in bigger, wider, and well-shaded areas, to reasonable success. That being said, the third GO Fest was temporarily halted when a sudden severe thunderstorm outbreak blew into Chicago and forced players to have to be evacuated out of the park . Niantic, in response, added an extra day to the duration of the in-game events to be held the following weekend for GO Fest attendees in GO.
  • GamerCon Dublin, a gaming convention held in Ireland, in March 2017, was intended to be Ireland's first major gaming convention, but it was plagued with problems from the get go. The event was scheduled to take place in the National Convention Center for two weekends, and promised exclusive Playstation VR gameplay, gaming contests, cosplaying, and the like. The problem? Around 25,000 tickets were sold, yet the NCC was only capable of holding a maximum of 9,000 people, which left many people struggling to find access in an over-crowded hall, and the raining weather Ireland is infamous for only making matters worse. The problems even went beyond the tickets - The management (which consisted of only five volunteers) forgot to make sure gaming consoles had downloaded or updated the games or content being shown off, which left people waiting long periods to play their games due to the Wi-Fi access being slowed down by mass usage. The event was cancelled the next day, and GamerCon Europe was left out of cash refunding angered customers their money.
  • Fandomfest, an annual comic convention in Louisville, Kentucky, was hit with this in 2017. Only two weeks before the festival started, the venue was abruptly changed from the Kentucky Convention Center to an abandoned Macy's at Jefferson Mall, presumably due to the organizers failing to secure a contract. In addition, a vast number of celebrity guests pulled out at the last minute, including headliner "Weird Al" Yankovic. According to reports, the former Macy's was not suitable for a convention, as most of the store fixtures were still left behind and the elevators were not functional. Making matters worse was the fact that people who had paid to meet specific celebrity guests were denied refunds. Also, the fire marshal declared that the former department store space was unsuitable for more than 1,700 people at a time, despite the con's projected attendance of 30,000.
  • RainFurrest was a Seattle-based furry convention that quickly emerged as one of the most popular on the west coast. However, after a string of successful years, its infamous 2015 iteration at the Hilton SeaTac hotel wound up being its last. Internet Historian made a comedic video regarding it, and one of RainFurrest's founders discussed the matter at length.
    • It was immediately apparent that the con had a huge drug problem; two attendees were hospitalized due to drug overdose, and a RainFurrest security staff member was seen using marijuana. Following the event, over 2,000 discarded nitrous oxide cartridges (having been used as an illegal inhalant) were found.
    • Then there was the vandalism. An attendee broke an elevator's inner door cable after trying to force it open. The hot tub shut down after the drain and pump were plugged with towels. Half-eaten food was found in the Hilton gardens and stairwell. A toilet bolt was loosened, causing the next person who flushed it to flood the entire bathroom with two and a half inches of water...directly above the hotel's basement server rooms. Posters advertising the con were stolen or vandalized. The worst was somebody tampering with a guest room smoke detector, which almost caused the entire con to be booted halfway through.
    • RainFurrest's organizers never did any background checks on its volunteer staff members, and the head of convention operations refused to revoke a single badge whatsoever. Two members wound up committing assault (one normal, and one sexual). Communication was so poor that, in one case, it had taken two hours for such news to reach the Hilton's staff.
    • Security was inconsistent, with claims that the aforementioned problems were ignored or outright allowed, as well as allegations of harassment.
    • By the final night, the Hilton had become exasperated to the point of threatening con-goers eviction over single noise complaints. They later sent RainFurrest's organizers a letter announcing their refusal to ever host the con again. Other hotels from Seattle to Bellingham responded similarly, the event's infamy now spreading like wildfire; Trapa, one of Rainfurrest's founders, alleged that said hotels had received letters from a vandal from the convention.
    • A different venue for RainFurrest 2016 was secured at the Spokane Convention Center in Spokane, Washington, only for the news to drop less than a week later that the event was cancelled. Furries were redirected to Furlandia in Portland, Oregon. A post-mortem analysis of the debacle by a former RainFurrest board member was later posted.
  • Universal FanCon was in the works for two years, and billed specifically as a place welcoming to women, LGBTQ, disabled, and persons of color. Then just a week before it was set to launch, the organizers abruptly announced they didn't have enough funds to do the event like they wanted and it would be postponed. This left everyone who'd been planning to attend with useless and non-refundable travel plans, and many called out the announcement for having an overly flippant tone like they didn't care at all how much inconvenience they'd caused, in some cases putting people's finances in serious jeopardy as they'd been planning a big sale of their work.
    • In addition, when sending out the announcement via email, the organizers forgot to BCC in at least two cases, leaking thousands of email addresses. (Luckily, nothing too bad seems to have come of it, but still.)
    • One of the con board members was Thai Nam Pham, who was allegedly connected with several failed conventions, Pride Con and what might be Akihabara Con, both of which played fast and loose with backer money. Pham's Linked In profile at one point listed one of his tasks on the board as "collaborate with finance team to ensure event is within budget", which it was not.
    • Several board members resigned suspiciously quickly, or, in the case of Jamie Broadnax, the head of Black Girl Nerds, demoted herself to "member" and claimed ignorance, which many saw as facetious as Jamie had previously described herself as a cofounder.
    • Compounding this was that many, many fans from marginalized groups now feel they were scammed by their own, lured in with promises that Universal Fancon would fix the bad experiences they'd had at other cons, which made it all the more heartbreaking when things went wrong.
    • However, at least one good thing happened: people pulled together and managed to run a pop-up con called #WICOMICON, so vendors were still able to sell and no one's plane fare, time off, etc was completely wasted.
  • Botcon 1996 is infamous in the Transformers fandom for being completely mismanaged by convention organizers Men In Black Productions (who for no apparent reason, themed the entire convention around Pulp Fiction). Tfwiki has a write up of everything that went wrong here and MIB Productions obviously weren't brought back for any future Botcons—though this didn't stop them from trying to form their own unofficial Transformer fan conventions in '97 and '98, both of which went just as ineptly as their Botcon had.
  • TanaCon was an event hosted in June 2018 by social media celebrity Tana Mongeau after a bad experience at VidCon 2017, where her requests for a "featured creators" badge (and the added security that comes with it) were declined, which led her to try and start her own YouTuber convention with big names like Bella Thorne and Shane Dawson joining her. At TanaCon, everybody would be a "featured creator" and fans' interests would be taken to heart. It would be held at an hotel in Anaheim, not far from the convention center where VidCon was held, on the same weekend.
    • As detailed in this article by Julia Alexander for Polygon, it spiraled into disaster—not surprising, given that, by all accounts, it was thrown together in two months, even less time than the previous year's colossal event failure, the Fyre Festival, to which TanaCon was often compared.
    • The first sign of trouble was the "sale" of the first round of free tickets in May. Two minutes after they were made available, they were gone. No one at the actual con ever recalled seeing anyone with one.
    • Expecting 5,000 people for her first convention, at a hotel whose ballrooms were capped at 1,150, organizers planned to rotate the crowd in and out of the building. On the first morning, however, an alleged 20,000 showed upnote  Many had hoped to purchase tickets at the gate and stood in long lines outside in the heat for hours without getting in. Photographs of their sunburn became the defining social media image of TanaCon, joining the sandwiches from the Fyre Festival and the ballpit at DashCon. Those who finally made it to where they could pay the $65+ admission found that their heavily-anticipated gift bag had only a condom and some stickers. The former were frequently blown up for use as beachballs by the crowd. Many were given VIP passes, but only because that was the only ticket available.
    • It was little better inside, where a big part of the marketing push was that the YouTubers in attendance would mingle with the crowd rather than having to wait in line for a limited number of expensive meet-and-greets. However, that had been abandoned without informing the attendees. And worse, the meet-and-greets were only available to those who had RSVPed online—something few fans had been informed of. Lastly, the meet-and-greets were subject to caps because of fire-code rules, so many had already been fully RSVPed before (again) attendees even found out.
    • Those who missed out on this found themselves largely confined to a hall with none of the promised creators available, no vendors and little food. They were told that if they left the building they would not be allowed back in. But at least they had their condom beach balls. Ultimately, the fire marshal had to shut everything down, with Dawson promising refunds out of pocket in case Mongeau wasn't able to.
    • Some eager fans returned the next morning, buoyed by reports that Tana was getting things together, including a new venue. Again there were long lines in the parking lot, but at least this time those in them learned this early in the day ... hours before Tana officially announced it. The announcement led to a small-scale riot as disgruntled attendees threw their gift bags at the registration tent and demanded refunds. Tana's arrival in person also sparked an outburst; many fans were mollified when she promised refunds.
    • After its cancellation, a police report filed June 26 revealed the actual number of attendees to be about four-to-five thousand, as was planned to attend, and that the venue holding the convention could only hold a little over a thousand people. Considering many are starting to see this as a huge scam, and at least one person was taken to the hospital for injuries from the crowd, Tanacon was doomed from the start. More info can be found here.

  • Unwilling Service, a Pokémon fanfic series currently spanning three simultaneous fics, barely managed to see four chapters between 2011-14 before author Economy (formerly McKnight and then SeaRover1986) declared it dead. He revived it in May 2016, to take his focus off of another project that wasn't going anywhere, but while he managed to put out a chapter for each of the three fics in quick succession, his beta-writer, someone referring to himself as Jake, encountered one problem after another, especially in light of a burglary in October that year, which required him to move back in with his family and endure a hectic lifestyle. Economy continued to hold out on him until he caved in and revealed how he really felt about the story. Things didn't fare much better when the author took to Upwork, and the resulting frustration led to increasing animosity between him and Jake, whom he had also been friends with for over a decade; most people who proposed to take it up either failed to understand what he expected of them (even after getting Jake to summarize what he did before), went silent, had to back out, or lost interest by the time he got back to them after putting them on hold in favor of those before them. This spanned three attempts before he pulled the plug early in last said attempt and even wrote something on his blog that he retracted upon being called out, but which still led their friendship into a bitter multi-month decline. Even the two and only freelancers who actually did follow through with a chapter or so eventually stopped responding to his messages, leading him to Freelancer instead when he posted the project one last time on Upwork, contacted multiple other Freelancers recommended to him, and had the project taken down for content violations. At this point, Economy has already decided just to commission outright for an initial draft of the whole story instead. (And that wasn't a decision he made lightly; originally, he planned for the project to be some kind of personal game for himself, especially regarding his plans for the Pal Park and both of the Battle Frontiers, having once loved the actual games but since realizing one thing after another about them that rubbed him the wrong way.)
    • Jamie (now Jimmy) having muscles sparked a major dispute towards the end of 2012. Economy asked Jake at least three times not to buff him up, which he ignored as he proceeded just to do things his way and then tell him to redo the relevant scenes himself. He did redo some of them after being called out for his disobedience, but not before justifying himself first and arguing with him, and even then, there were still some things left that only muscles could explain (which he only managed to get rid of years later by having someone else do the whole chapter over). Eventually, this was one of the few things he cited when asked multiple times to cite what he came to hate about the story itself.
    • There is also the issue of the PokeWalker, one of Economy's favorite aspects of a pair of games that Jake very outright hates to this day.
    • As for the two authors' relationship, it's been dead in the water since February 2018. While Jake's bailout marked the beginning of the end between them, actual tensions began when Economy stated a refusal to help him with any of his fanfiction until he deliver a make-up assignment of some sort. It was not long after that Economy got some answers out of Jake regarding what he actually hated about the story, but even when he offered concessions on two such aspects, things went nowhere from there in terms of winning him back, which led Economy to believe that he just wanted to be catered to and to do whatever he'd damn well please and was now being a poor sport over not having had his way through and through to begin with. Soon thereafter, Economy offered Jake a break from it all, but then impulsively demanded more answers about the situation, going on to tell him on his blog to go fuck himself when he thought he was ignoring him, before he revealed he was actually on a family trip and decided right then and there that that was it. Starting with a botched apology in response, things went on and off for months, and seemed to take a better turn for their friendship itself when Economy offered at least not to talk about his fetishes or a certain show Jake also hates, before deciding to let more time go by before he'd express his actual issues outside of but related to Jake's departure. Only a month went by as Economy proceeded to elaborate in a WordPad file meant for much later on, before he broke down and expressed the toll such a thing was taking on his mental health, at which point Jake urged him, more out of guilt and despair than frustration, just to forget about him altogether.
      What I wanted to make sense of, was why he requested all kinds of stuff to make happen in Unwilling Service if he actually hated it so much. He wanted Mewtwo to Mega Evolve a certain way (can't remember between his X or Y forms), he wanted Dawn to try being a nudist like the protagonists and to participate in the Pal Park, he wanted Jamie to be naked upon meeting each of the Pokemon Idols, and even when he admitted his lack of interest in gym quests, he still went on to suggest ways to make it more interesting, asked to see my first entry about the story, requested a trial run of the Pal Park, and asked that each of the mains have a rival to compete against for that event. All of that, on top of requesting that I go through my blog to tag each entry where I talked about Pokemon, mentioning someone who found the premise amusing, sharing certain things with me like that tabletop game and something about parallel universes, and before I previously abandoned it, asking me to find it within me to care about it again. He even said yes when I asked if he'd ever be interested in a hypothetical visual adaptation of some sort. That's what I mean when I talk about any interest he displayed up until telling me he can't do it anymore, not just because of his lifestyle, but because he couldn't stand all the halfway measures we had to make. Can you say, "two-faced hypocrisy?"
  • The Conversion Bureau: The Other Side of the Spectrum ran into this problem in 2016 and the first half of 2017. The main driving cause was Creative Differences, with the co-authors (specifically VoxAdam, Sledge115, and JedR) clashing with the head writer Redskin122004 over the direction of the story and characterizations. The main points of contention stemmed from the depiction of Queen Chrysalisnote , the fate of Queen Celestianote , and an incident in which the story's protagonist Marcus would've been forced to shoot a pregnant woman in the heat of battlenote . These creative disagreements soon spilled over into becoming personal disagreements. As Sledge and another co-author, Kizuna Tallis, explained in their own recollections on the matter, the 2016 US Presidential Elections in particular further drove a wedge between the rest of the group and Red, with the former expressing worry and disapproval over Donald Trump's campaign and win and the latter dismissing (if not outright mocking) their concerns. These problems came to a head in May 2017, where an explosive argument between Red and the other writers over the direction of the last story arc culminated with both sides deciding they had enough and threw in the towel, with an acrimonious split to top it off. Since then, Red took a long break from writing to collect his thoughts (as much of his behavior at the time had been caused by an especially severe case of Creator Breakdown) and ultimately left Fimfiction permanently to focus on other non-MLP projects while the other writers decided to launch a Continuity Reboot titled SPECTRUM and start over fresh.
  • The Pony POV Series ran into similar problems, due to the sheer size and scope of this fic, combined with issues in outsourcing for the G2 Dreams/Nightmares arc. Specifically, head writer Alex Warlorn and co-writer LZ0291's friendship became heavily strained over the years due to Creative Differences, leading to disagreements between the two that ultimately caused the Shining Armor Arc to be frozen in Development Hell for a time. On top of this, LZ developed clinical depression at some point in production (which certainly didn't help his deteriorating relationship with Alex). The fighting between the two led to another co-writer, Kendell2 temporarily departing from the project, as he didn't want to get caught up in the drama and be forced to choose sides. Although Alex and LZ did come to a truce in order to finish the Shining Armor Arc, LZ ultimately decided to leave as the fic and his strained relationship with Alex was causing him too much stress, leaving only Alex to finish the fic.

    Shopping malls 
  • Forest Fair Mall/The Shops at Forest Fair/Cincinnati Mills/Cincinnati Mall/Forest Fair Village in suburban Cincinnati, Ohio may be the best example in the history of retail.
    • Australian-based developers LJ Hooker acquired the land for Forest Fair Mall in the mid-1980s. Originally it was going to be just a location of local hypermarket chain Bigg's, but LJ Hooker chose to make that store the anchor to a 1.5 million square foot mall. It would be the second largest shopping mall in Ohio at the time, despite being just one exit away from Northgate and Tri-County malls, the latter of which was also undergoing an expansion at the time. The other anchor stores were to be Higbee's (based out of Cleveland) and four other upscale regional department stores (Bonwit Teller, B. Altman and Company, Parisian, and Sakowitz) that LJ Hooker bought controlling interest in, just to force them into the mall. Right after the first wing of the mall opened in 1988 (comprising the stores surrounding Bigg's), Higbee's backed out of the project, so B. Altman was hastily moved to their intended spot and Dayton-based Elder-Beerman took B. Altman's original place. Even before the mall opened, many analysts felt that the four upscale department stores that Hooker had purchased were poor choices, due to both their unfamiliarity with the market (Bonwit Teller and B. Altman were both based in New York City; Parisian in Birmingham, Alabama; and Sakowitz in Houston) and the more blue-collar demographics of the neighborhoods around the mall. Despite the cards being stacked against it, Forest Fair fully opened in 1989, featuring such lavish tenants as an Australian brewery, the first licensed day care center in a US shopping mall, a huge arcade/entertainment center called Time Out, and a sprawling food court.
    • LJ Hooker made a myriad of ill-fated retail decisions in the States that ended up bringing them to bankruptcy in 1990. Among these was reconstructing the Richland Mall in Columbia, South Carolina into a similarly opulent megamall which also failed right out of the gate; it was later converted to a Verizon call center which has since closed as well. They also built smaller malls in Denver, Colorado and Louisville, Kentucky which both wound up getting redeveloped less than a decade into their existence. Megamalls were also planned in Orlando, Tampa, Raleigh, Charlotte, and Atlanta, but none came to fruition. The bankruptcy also took down the B. Altman, Sakowitz, and Bonwit Teller chains (Parisian survived largely unscathed, and persisted until it was sold to Belk in 2006). With both its original developer and three of its major department stores gone, Forest Fair quickly went into a tailspin.
    • A group of lenders took over the mall, and managed to attract a few new tenants which included replacing the B. Altman space with a nightclub and Cincinnati's first Kohl's department store. After another owner took over in 1996, the mall seemed to be on an upswing, particularly when the closure of Parisian made way for a Bass Pro Shops. Many of the new tenants at this point were outlet and big-box stores, such as Burlington Coat Factory, Off Fifth (the outlet division of Saks Fifth Avenue), Babies "R" Us, and Guitar Center. In 2002, it was sold again to Mills Corporation, a company known for developing similar discount malls throughout the country. They renamed the property Cincinnati Mills to fit their Theme Naming and held a grand reopening in 2004. While it was initially successful, its sheer size and market saturation made it hard to keep filled. Also, the gradual decline of the retail sector after the Turn of the Millennium wiped out many anchor tenants such as Media Play, Steve & Barry's, Bigg's, and Elder-Beerman while also doing a number on both Tri-County and Northgate. Mills itself was financially struggling (and under scrutiny by the SEC) by the time it sold most of its portfolio to Simon Property Group, the largest mall company in the US, in 2007.
    • Simon quickly passed the mall on to a series of other developers, none of whom seemed interested in doing anything to it. In addition, the retail sector had shifted further north in the intervening years, with newer shopping malls in Hamilton (Bridgewater Falls), Liberty Township (Liberty Center), and Monroe (Cincinnati Premium Outlets) pulling away most of the tenants from Forest Fair and Tri-County alike. Later developers had grandiose plans to add an ice rink and a Candlewood Suites hotel that never materialized. Bass Pro Shops also proposed to move out of the mall as early as 2013 in favor of a new store in nearby West Chester Township, but the chain's merger with Cabela's (which also has a store in West Chester) stalled those plans. The mall, with no internal guidance and nothing replacing its vacated anchor stores, withered away to nearly nothing by The New '10s, leaving a hulking, pristine, yet ghostly behemoth with only five tenants as of 2018: Bass Pro Shops, Kohl's, a gym, an arcade, and a children's play place. Despite this, a Christian media company out of Nashville expressed interest in converting part of the mall to office and studio space.
  • Blackhawk Plaza in Danville, California, on the far east side of San Francisco. It was built as a small upscale outdoor mall with a fancy design, meant to serve a neighborhood of McMansions. The originally planned anchor stores were an upscale grocer and Bonwit Teller, but the latter went out of business before the store opened, and its space became a museum instead. The upscale grocer closed and became a small Saks Fifth Avenue, which lasted only six months before being converted to local department store Gottschalks. They were then kicked out in 2006, and the space once again became a supermarket. Once all the major stores stopped swapping around, however, the mall finally settled into a blend of local bistros and shops, and upscale stores such as Anthropologie, well serving its market.
  • Another troubled mall was Eastland Mall, now Eastgate Metroplex, on the east side of Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was to have been opened in the 1970s, but sat half-finished for years due to a myriad of problems, including a worker falling to his death during construction of a Dillard's department store, and developers who pulled funding. It finally opened in 1984 and was initially successful, but in 1999, anchor store Service Merchandise went out of business, ultimately becoming a family entertainment center for a short time. J. C. Penney closed in 2001, starting a mass exodus of stores from the interior mall, while Mervyns closed all three of its Tulsa stores in 2006 (they would go out of business entirely in 2008) and Dillard's, by then downgraded to a clearance center, closed as well. The mall was quickly passed among several owners, and by 2007, it was converted almost entirely to an office complex, retaining only a couple eateries and small service shops for use by office workers. The mall's short life was due not only to its troubled beginnings and poor anchors, but also a bad location. It was put on the far east side of town, a direction that development just never followed — the mall building is still largely surrounded by fields, and literally the only peripheral development was a single strip mall that also wound up converting largely to non-retail use. It also didn't help that nearby highway expansion provided easier access to the other, more successful malls in the Tulsa area.
  • There's also Illinois Centre Mall in Marion, Illinois. When it was built in 1991, nearby Carbondale already had a fairly succesful mall called University Mall, whose Sears relocated to join the newer center. Many retail analysts thought that the newer mall would win out with its proximity to Interstate 57, along with the fact that its other three anchor stores (Dillard's, Target, and Phar-Mor) were all new to the market. Instead, the newer mall struggled for many years. The first blow was when Phar-Mor went out of business after only two years; as it was at the back of the mall and had poor visibility, the owners had to resort to converting it to offices. Although a few businesses built on the periphery, the interior mall constantly struggled due to its sprawling, awkward floor plan. The original developers sold it off after five years, and it was only 60% leased by 2000. Despite a rename and another change in ownership in the noughties, it continued to bleed tenants — it didn't help that many of its remaining stores were chains that were either going under entirely or scaling back locations. Also not helping was that Illinois Centre Mall had very poor visibility from both Interstate 57 and Illinois State Highway 13. A 2015 newspaper article revealed that three of the five new owners had been jailed for violating the Sherman Antitrust act; the leasing company was completely unresponsive to inquiries from the tenants; and leasing was further complicated due to the parking lot and each anchor store having its own ownership. Sears closed in spring 2018, and the few remaining tenants were evicted in fall 2018 (except for Target, Dillard's, and the businesses in the old Phar-Mor space).
  • Fashion Mall, in the Fort Lauderdale, Florida suburb of Plantation, was built in 1988 as an upscale mall. However, it struggled right out of the gate, maintaining low occupancy due to the existing Broward Mall just across the street. It still managed to stay afloat until anchor store Lord & Taylor closed all of its Florida stores in 2003, while Hurricane Wilma destroyed Macy's and part of the mall proper in 2005 (Macy's stayed in the area by buying out Burdines, which had a store at Broward Mall, in the same year). Tenancy plummeted and the mall was shuttered in 2006. The first redevelopment plans in 2008-09 were crushed by the recession, and later redevelopment was stalled by a myriad of legal issues, including a developer that filed for bankruptcy. Demolition finally began in May 2016.
  • Perhaps the most famous "dead mall" of all is Dixie Square Mall in the Chicago suburb of Harvey:
    • Built in 1966, the mall was initially successful with a fairly typical lineup for the era, including J. C. Penney, Montgomery Ward, Woolworth, Walgreens, and a Jewel supermarket. An expansion in 1970 added Turn Style, a short-lived discount department store then under the same ownership as Jewel. However, Dixie Square was quickly plagued by crime and poverty, with many shootings and other incidents occurring. The incidents, combined with the failure of Turn Style, sent the property into a tailspin, and the stores gradually closed off between 1976 and 1978, except for Walgreens which stayed until the following spring.
    • A school later used the former Turn Style building for a short time after the mall closed, but its most famous use was in the movie The Blues Brothers, where the former J. C. Penney wing was fitted with fake storefronts for the Signature Scene in which Elwood and Jake drive a car through a mall while being chased by police.
    • The abandoned mall quickly became a haven of vandalism and crime, despite a police station being built in the parking lot. The city of Harvey was unable to get the building demolished, so it sat well into the first decade of the 21st century, at the mercy of harsh Midwestern winters, scrappers, urban explorers, and vandals. Fires were also started in the former Woolworth and a space once occupied by a nightclub, further compromising the structure's integrity. The area around the mall continued to decline as well, leaving it surrounded by blight.
    • The first redevelopment plans were announced in 2005, at which point the mall was to be demolished for "big box" retail such as Costco, with a home goods store moving into the former Montgomery Ward space. However, this was scuttled when it was discovered that the mall was loaded with asbestos, and the company that had begun demolition did not acquire a permit.
    • The mall's power plant was demolished (still illegally) one night, and accidental demolition of the Montgomery Ward building had also begun until the mayor of Harvey happened to drive by and stop them.
    • Over the next several years, the property passed from developer to developer while the proper permits were acquired for demolition, but another fire had also started in the former J. C. Penney. Finally, after years of legal wrangling, the property was fully demolished and cleared in 2012.
  • The American Dream Meadowlands megamall in East Rutherford, New Jersey, part of the vast Meadowlands Sports Complex that includes MetLife Stadium (home field of the New York Giants and Jets) and the Meadowlands Arena (former home of the New Jersey Devils and the then-New Jersey Nets), was first proposed in the early '00s by the Mills Corporation as the Meadowlands Xanadu, described as "a new standard for bringing lifestyle, recreation, sports and family entertainment offerings together in one location." This would be no ordinary mall — it would have an NHL-sized Ice Hockey rink, a minigolf course, an indoor water park and theme park, an twelve-story, 800-foot indoor ski slope, a 26-screen movie theater with an outdoor lounge overlooking Manhattan, a concert hall, an aquarium, a LEGOLAND Discovery Center, and to top it all off, the Pepsi Globe, a 287-foot-tall Ferris wheel. This profile in GQ describes it as something "ripped from the pages of David Foster Wallace's dystopian novel Infinite Jest." The project was announced in 2002 and ground was broken in 2004, with expected completion in two years. It did not open until late 2019, with the $5 billion that has been sunk into it making it the most expensive retail project in history.
    • The first problem arose when the Mills Corporation was hit by the Securities and Exchange Commission for financial chicanery, forcing them to sell the mall off to Colony Capital in 2006 before declaring bankruptcy the following year. Meanwhile, as the original timetable for completion proved laughably unrealistic for a project of this scope, opening day kept getting pushed back.
    • Many people in the area thought that the complex, with its colorful checkerboard-and-stripe outer appearance, was butt-ugly, feeling that it looked like shipping containers. Among those who agreed was the original architect, David Rockwell, who claimed substantial Executive Meddling from his original design and quit the project.
    • The real disaster came with the onset of the Great Recession. When a subsidiary of Lehman Brothers (the firm whose collapse started the whole mess) missed its payments in 2009, other lenders started pulling out, causing the Meadowlands Xanadu to lose half a billion dollars' worth of funding. The mall, about 80% finished at the time, would likely miss its opening day (pushed back to 2010 by this point) again, causing retailers who had leased space inside the mall, including big anchors like Cabela's, to shelve their plans to open their Meadowlands locations. Related to this, three of the proposed major tenants (Borders, Circuit City, and Virgin Megastore) filed for bankruptcy and went out of business.
    • In 2010, having missed yet more deadlines, Colony Capital gave up and handed the mall over to a group of five lenders. The state of New Jersey stepped in, and the following year it was announced that the Triple Five Group (owners of the Mall of America and the West Edmonton Mall) would be taking over the project, renaming it to American Dream Meadowlands. Triple Five added the indoor water park and the DreamWorks theme park to the plans — a move that was fiercely opposed by the New York Giants and Jets, who filed a lawsuit to get them to drop the expanded plans, citing traffic concerns and claiming that the complex was now far larger than what they agreed on. A settlement was reached in 2014 allowing the expansion to go forward, but it held up construction even further.
    • January 2011 broke snowfall records in the area, with the vast quantity of snow and ice dumped on the mall causing a large section of the eastern wall to buckle and collapse in early February.
    • In 2016, Universal bought out DreamWorks Animation. This presented a problem, since the theme park was going to be DreamWorks-themed, and Universal, which already operates its own theme parks on the East Coast, had little interest in cannibalizing its business by supporting a competitor, causing them to pull out of the project. Nickelodeon subsequently acquired the rights to the mall's theme park, hoping to create a new Nickelodeon Universe location like the one at the Mall of America. (The water park, however, would remain DreamWorks-themed, as Universal's East Coast water park Volcano Bay is a much smaller part of its business.)
    • The mall finally met completion in the last quarter of 2019. Many have come to view the American Dream Meadowlands as one of the biggest boondoggles in New Jersey's history, its equivalent of the Big Dig given how much public money in the form of loans, bonds, and tax breaks has been given to the developers, especially given how many malls already exist in northern New Jersey. Five separate state governorsnote  have overseen the project, and it has become a joke akin to Duke Nukem Forever or Chinese Democracy within the state, such that Terrence T. McDonald, a reporter for the Jersey Journal, suggested on Twitter that a future New Jersey governor will be saying that "voters elected me in 2077 to get this thing done and we're just about there."
  • City View, a shopping center in the Cleveland, Ohio suburb of Garfield Heights. It was built in 2006 on the site of a former landfill, which immediately caused problems. Walmart closed abruptly after only two years due to methane leakage, sewage backup, and settling floors. The issues caused by the site abruptly aborted construction, to the point that several outbuildings were left only half-finished, or in the case of a few restaurants and Home Depot, never even begun. With Walmart gone, the other stores in the center trickled out over time (including Circuit City and AJ Wright, both of which went out of business entirely), leaving just a small cluster of stores on safer ground closer to I-480, a Giant Eagle supermarket all the way at the other end, and several buildings in various states of abandonment/incompleteness in between.
  • Oviedo Mall, formerly Oviedo Marketplace, in the Orlando suburb of Oviedo. The mall opened to great fanfare in 1998 with department stores Dillard's and Gayfers, Major tenants included a movie theater, Bed Bath & Beyond, and "superstore" locations for both FYE and Foot Locker. However, its small size and poor freeway access meant that it never got above 80% occupancy. Also, the Gayfers anchor underwent several changes within the first few years: Dillard's bought out the Gayfers chain only seven months after the mall opened, so their store was sold to Parisian. This lasted only two years due to the store's unfamiliarity in the market, so it was hastily converted to Burdines in 2000 — only for Burdines to sell to Macy's in 2003. However, Sears joined as a third anchor in 2000. Occupancy continued to dwindle as shoppers preferred other, larger, and easier to access malls nearby. In addition, many of the other key tenants left as well: FYE closed its large store due to record stores falling out of favor, Foot Locker left as it began to phase out its superstores, and Bed Bath & Beyond moved out because its store was too large, ultimately becoming a gym. One large space originally intended for a restaurant was never even tenanted until a Paul Mitchell cosmetology school opened there in 2012. Macy's closed in 2017 and Sears in 2019.
  • Kyova Mall, formerly Cedar Knoll Galleria, just outside Ashland, Kentucky. Due to a lack of foresight, Ashland ended up getting two malls built in the same year by competing developers: Ashland Town Center was built on the edge of downtown in a still thriving retail core, while Cedar Knoll Galleria was built on a remote lot far southwest of town with almost no development surrounding it. (Both were preceded by the much larger Huntington Mall across the Big Sandy River in Barboursville, West Virginia.) Cedar Knoll struggled right out of the gate, losing Phar-Mor almost instantly and Kmart in 2002. Two more anchor slots were proposed but never built out, meaning that two of the mall's hallways dead-end in grassy lots. Still, it hung on with about 50% occupancy, anchored by Sears and Elder-Beerman. A major restaurant in the mall closed due to issues with liquor licenses, creating another huge vacancy. Both Target and Meijer had expressed interest in anchoring the mall, but neither came to fruition. The Kmart later became a flea market and then a short-lived Steve & Barry's sportswear store, but after the latter went out of business, the mall only continued to lose tenants, and not even the name change to Kyova Mall helped any. Jo-Ann Fabrics and many other inline tenants moved to Ashland Town Center. While a movie theater and restaurant moved into the former Phar-Mor and a Rural King farm supply store filled the former Kmart, the mall has continued to grow increasingly vacant, never having been anywhere close to full occupancy and still surrounded almost entirely by forest. Sears finally closed there in 2014, while Elder-Beerman's parent company The Bon-Ton went out of business in fall 2018. Meanwhile, both Ashland Town Center and Huntington Mall continue to thrive.
  • Scottsdale Galleria in the Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale went through this very quickly. It opened in 1991 as an upscale mall featuring an IMAX theater, an aquarium, and all sorts of other amenities. However, originally planned anchor store I. Magnin backed out, leaving the mall with no major department store (not that it mattered, since I. Magnin went out of business soon afterward). Also, the nearby Scottsdale Fashion Square expanded, luring away potential tenants. After only two years, the mall was foreclosed on and largely closed except for the theater and a TGI Friday's, while plans were drawn up to turn it into a sports complex. These plans failed, as did plans to turn it into a planetarium and a museum. Scenes from Tank Girl were also filmed in the complex during its long period of abandonment. It was finally converted to offices at the Turn of the Millennium.
  • Brandywine Town Center was first proposed for Wilmington, Delaware in 1983, and was slated to be built on the site of an abandoned racetrack. The mall was supposed to have brought upscale merchants to the area, such as Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom. However, the property was hotly contested for years, as many felt that such a mall would have killed the existing Concord Mall down the road, and analysts pointed out that such upscale stores would have performed poorly in Delaware, especially since most of them already existed across the border at King of Prussia Mall in Pennsylvania. By the time construction began in the late 1990s, Target and a Regal Cinemas movie theater were chosen as the anchors, while most of the mall space was taken up by "big box" stores, including both Home Depot and Lowe's, along with Bed Bath & Beyond and Dick's Sporting Goods. A large arcade/entertainment center owned by Regal Cinemas was abruptly closed, leaving a vacancy that was later filled by a call center before closing as well. Several of the "big box" stores in the center closed within a couple years (including Cost Plus World Market and a furniture store), leaving more glaring vacancies. The actual mall concourse consisted of only about a dozen stores, most of which were never tenanted. As a result, the concourse was eventually removed entirely in favor of a different furniture store, while other large pieces of the sprawling complex remain vacant.
  • Newmarket North Mall in Hampton, Virginia eventually fell hard into this.
    • The mall opened in 1975 as the largest shopping center - along with the nearby Mercury Mallnote  and Coliseum Mallnote  - in Hampton, part of the northern section (called the Peninsula) of the Tidewater or Hampton Roads region of Virginia, with anchors including a Sears, Miller & Rhoadsnote  and Leggettnote .
    • Things went relatively well for the mall until a string of developments began taking its toll on the mall. First came the 1987 opening of Patrick Henry Mall in nearby Newport News. Both Coliseum Mall and Newmarket North Mall attempted to counteract with remodeling, with pastel colors replacing the original earth tones decor, and by 1990 the mall was renamed Newmarket Fair Mall.
    • The next shoe to drop came when the Miller & Rhoads chain folded in 1990, which along with the early 1990s recession and the 1992 opening of the Monitor Merrimac Bridge-Tunnel (allowing easier access to malls in Norfolk and Virginia Beach)note  added to Newmarket's rapidly growing list of woes, to the degree that the mall had a vacancy rate of almost 40% by early 1994.
    • Following attempts to convince local start-ups to move in with no success and the Leggett being downgraded to an outlet store, By 1997, non-retail use for the increasing number of vacant spaces were being considered.
    • After Thomas Nelson Community College and Colonial Downs turned down offers, Bell Atlanticnote  moved into the vacant Miller & Rhoads, where it remains. Shortly after buying out the numerous partnerships, Belk left the former Leggett location. Other large spaces would be occupied by AMSEC, an engineering firm for the U.S. Navy, and training facilities for the nearby Newport News Shipyard by 2003, with the property eventually renamed NetCenter. The office buildings that currently occupy the former store spaces are closed to the public, with the only spaces remaining available to the public are the Sears location (due to Sears owning the property) and a Piccadilly Cafeteria, with Sears Holdings' October 2018 Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection announcement resulting in that Sears location being set to close; leaving Piccadilly Cafeteria (which would be the lone remaining remnant of Newmarket North Mall operational once that Sears location closes its doors) with a very uncertain future.
  • Going back to Kentucky: Lexington Mall (in the city of that name) opened in 1974 and quickly became the area's leading shopping destination, despite being smaller than its main competitors, Fayette and Turfland Malls. It benefited greatly from its location—it sat next to some of Lexington's most exclusive neighborhoods, and it was noticeably more accessible to shoppers in outlying counties to the east than Fayette and Turfland were. The popular radio commercial jingle "Lexington Mall has it all" rang true until the 1990s, when...
    • First, Fayette Mall added a food court and a large new wing early in the decade, seriously cutting into Lexington Mall's traffic.
    • Turfland Mall underwent a lesser renovation in the mid-1990s, and drew several popular restaurants.
    • Starting in 1997, notorious horse farm owners and socialites Preston and Anita Madden turned most of their farm into the big-box shopping mecca of Hamburg Pavilion. Unlike the urban core of Lexington, or any of the city's existing malls, Hamburg had direct interstate highway access, making it much more accessible to shoppers from outlying counties who used to flock to Lexington Mall.
    • The year before the Maddens got into the game, The Home Depot planned to build a new store immediately to the east of Lexington Mall. The mall owner, Saul Centers LLP, wanted the store built as part of the mall in the parking lot of a former supermarket next to the mall. Home Depot instead built a free-standing store on the former supermarket site, which was in fact on a separate piece of property from the original mall. The dispute led to a meeting of Lexington's planning commission that became a shouting match. The commission basically told the parties to "grow up"... they didn't. Saul then filed suit—and became so obsessed with winning the case that it lost sight of the fact that virtually all of the mall's tenants got tired of the mess and left. By the time the legal action was over in 2004, the only significant retailers left in the complex were a Dillard's (which pulled out the next year) and the same Home Depot that triggered the legal mess (which remains open to this day).
    • The final chapter: Lexington megachurch Southland Christian Church, whose main worship center is in adjacent Jessamine County, bought the former mall in 2010, tearing out most of it to build a satellite worship center that opened in 2013. Only the Dillard's space remains from the original mall, and even that portion was gutted to turn it into support facilities for the worship center.
  • North Towne Square on the north side of Toledo, Ohio was also a troubled mall. Built right below the Michigan border in 1980, the mall originally included local department stores LaSalle's and Lion Store, along with Montgomery Ward. However, LaSalle's was rebranded by parent company Macy's in 1982, and then closed and sold to Elder-Beerman only two years after that. While the mall initially held its own, it quickly lost traffic when Frenchtown Square (now Mall of Monroe, and now very dead in its own right) opened across the border in Monroe, Michigan in 1988, followed by an expansion of nearby Franklin Park Mall in the early 90s. Elder-Beerman closed in 1997 during its first bankruptcy (they also had a store in Monroe at the time), and Dillard's bought out Lion Store only to close it a year later, leaving just Montgomery Ward until they went out of business in 2001. A gym took the former Montgomery Ward space, but the other two department stores remained vacant, with the mall itself closing in January 2005. An attempt to build a Walmart on the site in 2007 was shut down by city council, so the building sat and decayed. In 2010, the city mayor issued a condemnation notice due to leaking roofs and broken pipes on the vacated property, along with $86,000 in back taxes owed by the building's last owners. The property was finally torn down in 2013 except for the gym.
  • Stones River Mall in Murfreesboro, Tennessee (southeast of Nashville) managed to recover from a rough start. Already delayed from an originally-planned opening of 1984, it remained a vacant lot for several years after that thanks to financial difficulty of the original developers. The mall's original anchor stores (Sears, Walmart, and Goody's) opened in 1989, but other than an Applebee's restaurant, the mall was kept from opening for nearly three years due to said developers going bankrupt. When another company took over and opened it in 1992, much of the mall space was not yet occupied, including a slot for a fourth department store (Anderson's) that went out of business before the mall opened, and a food court that ultimately never took off and got removed. In addition, Walmart moved to a supercenter next to the mall after only six years. However, things began to turn around when local department store Castner Knott (which soon got bought out by Dillard's) moved into the former Walmart building and J. C. Penney took the last anchor slot. Combined with Murfreesboro's strong economy and the decline of the next-nearest mall in Nashville (Hickory Hollow Mall in Antioch), tenancy quickly rose, to the point that both Dillard's and J. C. Penney built newer, larger stores to free up their older locations for further mall expansions. Not even the opening of an outdoor "lifestyle center" mall up the road in the early noughties seemed to harm Stones River significantly.
  • Worcester Center in downtown Worcester, Massachusetts, went through this twice. A large urban renewal project in the early 1970s, an attempt to revitalize the then-dying downtown district, cleared out 34 acres of downtown for a massive, three-story shopping mall with Filene's and Jordan Marsh as the anchor stores. Although it opened in 1971 to great fanfare, it was constantly described as struggling; as early as 1973, there were doubts to its long term success. It had a reputation for crime, and its downtown location was inconvenient relative to malls that were already being built in the suburbs, while its size and positioning made for inconvenient traffic patterns downtown (particularly for pedestrians). Still, it limped along until the early 1990s, when Jordan Marsh went out of business entirely and Filene's closed due to declining sales. A developer took over and reopened the mall in 1996 as an outlet center, bringing in a myriad of new "big box" and outlet stores, including Bed Bath & Beyond, Media Play, and Sports Authority. While initially successful, it still suffered from the same logistical problems as its predecessor... and it quickly lost footing when an outlet mall opened in Wrentham in 1997. A rapid decline in tenancy ensued, with nearly all the anchor stores closing in 2004, and finally the mall itself between 2005 and 2006 for redevelopment. The building sat abandoned for years as new developers attempted to secure funding for a new development. Finally by the 2010s, demolition began on most of the property (except the former Filene's-turned-Media Play, which became a CVS/pharmacy and some city offices), with many office and retail buildings having displaced most of the former mall's site.
  • Avenue Mall in downtown Appleton, Wisconsin is a lesson in not building malls in downtown districts. It was proposed in the mid-1980s to link two existing downtown department stores, Gimbels and H. C. Prange Company (Prange's). The mall opened in 1985, requiring the demolition of two city blocks. However, Gimbels went out of business only a year later and sold their store to Marshall Field's. The mall was extremely sparse on opening day, with only about 20 tenants open for business. Not helping matters was the opening of Fox Valley Mall out in the suburbs around the same time. Noticing the lack of tenancy, the owners of the Prange's chain announced that they would close the downtown store by 1989 in favor of the Fox Valley store unless Avenue Mall's occupancy reached 70% — and sure enough, downtown's store was closed in 1989 as promised. Marshall Field's closed in 1991 when the parent company opened a branch of Dayton's over at Fox Valley (which itself would assume the Marshall Field's name in 2001, and become a Macy's in 2006). The downtown mall was already facing foreclosure, but still managed to snag Herberger's in the former Marshall Field's space in 1993, only for then-parent company Saks to rebrand the store to Younkers in 1997. Since Younkers had also gotten into Fox River by taking over Prange's, they closed the downtown store in 2001, leaving the now almost entirely vacant Avenue Mall with no anchors. As a result, the building was renamed City Center, and both former department store spaces were sliced up for offices and ground-facing retail. The mall structure still exists, but it is largely barren except for the occasional office suite.
  • Also in the Orlando market was Interstate Mall in Altamonte Springs. Opened in 1974, it immediately got outmoded by the larger Altamonte Mall across the street, and was plagued by poor access from nearby highways. An A&P supermarket which served as one of the anchor stores closed after only two years, and the mall was foreclosed on due to its unprofitability. It was bought by a lender in 1977, and passed on to his sons a year later when he died in a car crash. The new owners did some fixing up in the 1980s, replacing the A&P with Orlando's first TJ Maxx in 1984, while the Montgomery Ward was turned into their discount division, Jefferson's... only for that division to go under in 1985. After a Dallas developer backed out on redevelopment plans in 1986 (which would have included putting home improvement chain Builder's Square in the former Jefferson's), the Jefferson's was turned back into a Montgomery Ward. A Phar-Mor drugstore was added to its east, but it quickly went out of business. The mall was finally put out of its misery in 1995, with the enclosure removed for "big box" stores, and only a small hallway leading to the still operational movie theater in back. But it didn't stop there — the Montgomery Ward closed again in 1997, and became a Burlington Coat Factory with a Gold's Gym on the upper level. Many of the replacement stores such as CompUSA, Linens 'n Things, and David's Bridal all went out of business, TJ Maxx moved to a new store, and Gold's Gym abruptly closed in 2015, leaving the redeveloped center to struggle a second time.
  • Rolling Acres Mall in Akron, Ohio is another one that has been widely documented. It got off to a slow start, as it had been planned as early as 1971, but difficulty in excavating and developing the land set it behind schedule to the point that the city of Akron nearly withdrew building permits. On opening day in 1975, only 21 stores were open for business, despite plans calling for more than 120. By 1977, the mall had filled out to full capacity, with four department stores (J. C. Penney, Sears, Montgomery Ward, and O'Neil's), and nearly all of its 140 stores filled. It also boasted a movie theater and food court on the second level. While Montgomery Ward closed in 1986 due to declining sales, it was quickly replaced with Higbee's, which in turn became Dillard's in 1992. O'Neil's was renamed May Company Ohio in 1989, and again to Kaufmann's in 1993.
    However, in 1991, the mall owners enacted a cost-cutting measure by hiring "rent-a-cops" instead of off-duty police officers as security. This backfired massively when a riot broke out at the movie theater after a falling metal sign was mistaken by mall patrons for a gunshot during a screening of New Jack City. This negative publicity, combined with the theater's smaller size, caused it to close in 1993. While mall owners managed to attract Target as a fifth anchor in 1995, both J. C. Penney and Dillard's downgraded their stores to clearance centers, and the mall had gained a reputation for being a lower-class "urban" mall, compared to the much nicer Summit Mall to the north in Fairlawn. Rolling Acres was sold off several times, and by 2001, it was owned by Heywood Whichard, a Raleigh, NC-based group known for buying struggling malls at rock-bottom prices just to let them deteriorate. While it was sold off again, the mall's reputation for crime and blight had only exacerbated, to the point that a homeless man was found living in a vacant storefront with over $30,000 in stolen goods from mall merchants. Between 2006 and 2008, Dillard's and Macy's (which bought out Kaufmann's) closed, while Target moved to a new location. Due to an inability to pay for power, the entire mall was shuttered at the end of 2008, with every tenant getting evicted except for Sears and the J. C. Penney outlet.
    But the problems didn't end there. The vacant mall was auctioned online in 2009, but attracted no buyers. A company bought the building in 2010. Sears closed in 2011, and J. C. Penney Outlet in 2013, leaving the structure fully abandoned except for a storage facility in the old Target. Throughout The New '10s, the abandoned mall was repeatedly broken into by vandals, scrappers, and urban explorers, including one man who was electrocuted to death when attempting to steal copper wiring. The then-owners stopped paying for security, and blocked attempts by the city to auction it off. It was auctioned off in 2016, but again found no buyers, so ownership was transferred to the city of Akron. The mall was finally torn down in 2017 except for the former Sears, which houses a recycling facility.
  • Bellevue Mall, also in Nashville. It was first planned in the early 1970s, but shifts in developers, difficulties in rezoning the land, and failure to find suitable anchor stores doomed it almost from the start. Taubman Centers had joined development in 1981, but the mall did not open until 1990. Unusually for a Taubman mall, it had only two anchor stores: Dillard's and local chain Castner Knott. The hopes were for the mall to spur southwesterly development into the suburb of Bellevue, and that the upscale stores offered would give incentive. Instead, the exit at which Bellevue Mall was located remained sparsely developed, as suburban sprawl instead pushed due south into Franklin, where CoolSprings Galleria (which also had both Dillard's and Castner Knott among its anchor stores) opened a year later. Still, Bellevue managed to hold on for a while. Attempts were made to lure in more anchors, but the only other interested party was Sears which joined in 1999; in addition, after Castner Knott was purchased by Dillard's, their store became Proffitt's, Hecht's, and then Macy's within the course of five years. But perhaps the biggest blow was the much older Mall at Green Hills just to the northeast: originally an unassuming strip mall built in the 1950s, it was aggressively expanded into a much larger mall with much of the same posh offerings. Bellevue quickly resorted to temporary tenants such as libraries and churches to fill its increasing vacancies. Lack of surrounding development and redundancy to the other area malls quickly sent Bellevue Mall into a tailspin: Dillard's bailed in 2007, the mall itself closed in 2008, and Macy's a year after that, leaving only the Sears attached to a vacant property. It remained that way until 2015 when the property was finally torn down — all after a mere 18 years in business, a short life for a massive suburban megamall. A much smaller, more compact outdoor mall opened on the property in 2019.
  • Raceland Mall, a small community mall in Louisville, Kentucky, went through this as well. Originally planned for a 1970 opening, it was held up for many years following an attempt to sell the then-unfinished mall to another developer, after which the original developer went into receivership with the mall 95% finished. Raceland Mall finally opened in 1975, by which point anchor store W. T. Grant had already been open for two years. However, Grant's went out of business that same year, and their store was sold to Britt's, only for them to go out of business in 1979. By this point, only 19 out of 33 spaces in the mall had been filled, with much of the blame being placed on the slow start and inability to secure an anchor store, along with poor store selection and highway access. Ownership changed multiple times, with one owner attempting to sue the previous one for a mortgage. The former Britt's became local department store Consolidated Sales in 1980, only for them to go out of business as well in 1985. Their replacement, and the mall's fourth anchor store in less than a decade, was a Pace warehouse club store; however, unlike its predecessors, Pace did not retain an entrance to the mall itself. By 1990, the mall was entirely closed except for Pace and a supermarket. Yet another batch of new owners renamed the mall to Creekside Pavilion and promised redevelopment plans, which fell through when the supermarket and Pace both closed. After being put up for sale for the tenth time, the entire mall structure was converted to a Ford dealership in 1996.
  • Valley Green Mall in Newberry Township, Pennsylvania, halfway between York and Harrisburg, was a very quick example. A local developer built the mall in 1987 in hopes of attracting more stores, but they never came. Major points of contention were difficulty in access (the center is all but impossible to get to from southbound Interstate 83, and access northbound is easier but still impacted by poor visibility) and a lack of major stores. So quick was the mall'a decline that it was "de-malled" — that is, turned from an enclosed property to an open-air one — only five years into its existence. It was also at this point that the center was renamed Newberry Commons. After that, Jamesway went out of business in 1995, so their store and much of what was left became corporate offices for Rite Aid.

  • Microsoft Windows Vista was the product of one of these that took twice as long as a typical Windows release cycle.
    • In the time they took to release Vista, Microsoft originally planned to release 2 operating systems; the first was Longhorn, which would include modest improvements over Windows XP, and the second would be Blackcomb, which would be a more major overhaul of Windows that Longhorn would pave the way for.
    • However, Microsoft's designers lost sight of this idea, and began packing more and more major complex features in to Longhorn, the supposed minor update, which caused it to fall way behind schedule since it lacked a clear direction in which to go.
    • It soon became clear that Longhorn would not meet its intended release date, which prompted Microsoft to abandon their two-release plan and combine Longhorn and Blackcomb into one, which would be long overdue by the time it arrived. However, Longhorn had by then become so unworkable that most of the work that had been done was scrapped, forcing the team to start over from scratch, leaving them with just over 2 years to complete the major overhaul of Windows that would be expected by then.
    • While all this was happening, a series of major high profile malware attacks caused Microsoft to pull staff way from the Vista project in order to improve the security of Windows XP. In addition, having announced just after XP's release that Internet Explorer would no longer receive stand-alone version updates, Microsoft were forced to spin the team developing Longhorn's web browser off into a new Internet Explorer team after it turned out that Internet Explorer 6's security and standards compliance were both horrendously broken on a fundamental level, leaving the new team to develop an Internet Explorer 7 that plugged up the major holes, while in the longer run creating an Internet Explorer 8 that was built on an entirely new code-base.
    • Another thing that made life difficult for Microsoft was the fact that the 20+ year-old x86 architecture had clearly reached its limit, leading to a war between Intel's IA64 and AMD's AMD64 as to which would get to be the new industry standard. Microsoft, meanwhile, were caught in the middle of this and forced to devote resources to maintaining separate x86, IA64 and AMD64 codebases for Windows XP and potential Longhorn betas, which strained things even further. By 2004 it became evident that IA64 was a colossal failure, leading to Microsoft terminating their support for the architecture and basing the rebooted Longhorn on the AMD64 version of XP, which had the fortunate side-effect of plugging up a lot of security holes. However, this left all the development work on the older betas essentially useless.
    • In 2005, Apple unveiled their new version of macOS, Mac OS X Tiger, which introduced many features that had long been thought impossible on desktop computers, and of course Microsoft had to have these in their new operating system, putting further pressure on the Vista development team and reintroducing the feature creep that had caused the project to become so unworkable in the first place.
    • When it was eventually released in 2006/2007, it was criticized for being bloated, slow, incompatible, and full of new features that were more annoying than anything.

    Space Programs 
  • Alexei Leonov is famous as the first human to ever perform a spacewalk, which occurred during the Voskhod 2 mission in March 1965. As Cracked has noted, it's probably a miracle that Leonov made it back to Earth alive as the mission pretty much devolved into a disaster once the spacewalk was finished.
    • Leonov was temporarily unable to enter the Voskhod module when his spacesuit inflated from being in the vacuum of space, forcing Leonov to let out some of his oxygen while suffering from heatstroke and the bends. By the time he made it back into the module, he was literally up to his knees in sweat inside his spacesuit.
    • The Voskhod module itself was a logistical nightmare. It held three occupants for this mission, even though it was based on an earlier spacecraft design which called for only one. This deprived the cosmonauts of any means of escape in emergency situations, and forced them to crane their heads at 90 degree angles just to read their instruments.
    • As could be expected from such a feat in engineering, the module's automatic landing system failed on re-entry. And thanks to the myriad design flaws, Leonov's crewmate Pavel Belyayev had to lay down across the module's three seats to reach the navigation panel while being cosmonaut held in place.
    • While he tried to land the thing manually, Belyayev asked Leonov to check their altitude. That move cost them time and landing accuracy, forcing them to land 800 miles off-course in a heavily forested part of the Ural Mountains where no rescue helicopters could land. The crew spent two days cutting firewood and fending off wolves before they were rescued.
    • To say the Voskhod program was a mess is an understatement. The aim of the program was simply to one-up the United States instead of work towards the goal of a moon landing like NASA did with Project Gemini. To that end, both of the Voskhod spacecraft were simply surplus Vostok spacecraft haphazardly modified first to carry a crew of three, then to carry a crew of two and an inflatable airlock.
  • Also mentioned in that same Cracked article is the early Soyuz program, the USSR's answer to Apollo. The space race was reaching its climax by 1967, and the Soviets cut a lot of corners to ensure that they put their man on the Moon first. Unfortunately, unlike Voskhod 2, this did not end with the cosmonaut coming home alive.
    • Like the Voskhod spacecraft, the Soyuz 1 capsule was designed as a Rube Goldbergian death trap. (For example, unlike Apollo, traveling from the orbiter to the landing craft required a spacewalk.) When cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was called in to inspect the capsule, he found 203 structural deficiencies and recommended that the program be postponed. He was rebuffed by the Soviet higher-ups.
    • To add a huge Tear Jerker element to this, Gagarin discovered that his close friend Vladimir Komarov was expected to man the flight, with Gagarin ordered to be his potential replacement. Neither man wanted to back out and force the other to go on what they agreed was a suicide mission, but in the end (despite Gagarin showing up at the launch pad pleading to take Komarov's place) Komarov was sent up in Soyuz 1.
    • Almost immediately, things went From Bad to Worse. Once Soyuz 1 reached orbit, its solar panel failed and Komarov's systems went with it. Then the orientation detectors froze, further crippling the craft. Then the automatic stabilization system died with the manual system only partly working. After thirteen orbits around Earth, the mission was aborted and Komarov was ordered back home.
    • Then things took a turn for the terrifying when the Soyuz 1's parachute failed to deploy on re-entry, causing the capsule to crash to the ground and kill Komarov in the process. This is all that was left of him afterwards.
  • Then there was the Soviet analogue of the Saturn V rocket, the N1. An overcomplicated jumble of thirty engines, and the Soviets decided to save on the ground tests. The result? Four failed launches, including one sub-nuclear level explosion.
  • The Galileo and Cassini missions to Jupiter and Saturn respectively for different causes:
    • Galileo, a probe designed to be launched from the Space Shuttle, had its launch date delayed several years due to the Challenger disaster. Due to safety issues, it also had to use a less powerful rocket to be launched from the shuttle, meaning it took more time to reach Jupiter, and as its lubricant eroded away during the years-long journey that the main antenna did not fully deploy, meaning less data could be transmitted back.
    • Cassini suffered budgetary cuts that forced its redesign, the contempt of NASA's administrator at the time who called it derisively "Battlestar Galactica" due to its size and high cost, and was close to be cancelled several times. The only thing that saved it was the fact that the Huygens lander, designed to land on Titan (Saturn's largest moon), was European-built; it was worried had the mission been cancelled the resentment felt by Europe after having expended so much money on said lander could extend to other areas beyond space exploration. Despite all those troubles, both missions were great successes at the end, especially the latter.
  • Speaking of Challenger, its doomed flight was caused by this trope, mostly thanks to NASA not heeding its own safety instructions.
    • The shuttle launch was supposed to occur at 2:42 PM Eastern Standard Time on January 22, 1986. However, a series of delays caused them to push it back until January 28th. These included delays from a previous mission, bad weather at a Transoceanic Abort Landing site at Dakar, numerous bad weather moments and problems with its exterior access hatch.
    • On January 27th, engineers for Thiokol, the company who made the O-rings that would contribute to the shuttle's destruction, realized that the launch date would be unsuitable as the O-rings were not rated for a launch temperature so low (they were rated at 40 degrees F, while launch day would only have it at 30) and desperately called NASA for a conference call to beg the group to delay the launch until it got warmer. NASA refused, most likely due to Thiokol's hastily-made presentation. Thiokol tried again, but only with the management of the two groups. Amazingly, Thiokol management gave the thumbs up for it, with one shocked engineer admitting to his wife that Challenger would be destroyed.
    • The day of the launch, Rockwell International, the main contractors for NASA's shuttles, was aghast at the amount of ice on Challenger and feared that build up could damage the shuttle upon ascent. As well, the temperature that day was colder than most launches, at about 28 degrees F. Rockwell tried to warn NASA to scuttle the mission, but they ended up only delaying until around 11:38 AM.
    • Everything went swell until, over a minute after launch, everything fell apart, hot gases escaped from a hole created from the damaged O-rings as well as sudden wind sheer, causing a series of cascading failures that lead to the shuttle's sad destruction on live television.
    • Various investigations were launched as to what happened to cause Challenger to fail. Ultimately, blame was to placed at NASA and Thiokol's feet for their blatant disregard to the warnings laid out by many. On a lesser note, these investigations also said Challenger disintegrated; it did not explode, though many media outlets continue taking a layman's perspective instead of doing actual research.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Exalted third edition has had certain issues. In particular, delays due to attempting to get a robust foundation for everything in place were aggravated by one of the writers leaving the team and a developer suffering from persistent health issues. Editing on the corebook also took an extremely long time. The net result was that the finished core product of a kickstarter from 2013 took until 2017 to be sent out to backers. In addition, the developer with health issues had to deal with further problems in his life, resulting in him and the other developer leaving the game and a new developer team taking over.
  • Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine ran into issues with the publisher, Eos Press. While the product itself was released fairly swiftly in the delay-ridden environment of tabletop publishing, the printed hard copies from Eos Press never materialised, with the printing money having apparently been taken and spent on other projects; a print-on-demand run for backers was eventually funded by an extremely generous supporter. "Eos" has since become a low-key curse word among kickstarter backers, and the game's author, Jenna Moran, has essentially cut ties with them.
  • Nobilis, also by Jenna Moran, has faced this two editions running. Second edition became one of those rarely seen legends among the public because when the first publisher dissolved, the responsibility of printing fell to Guardians of Order, which decided to stop sending them out and, in Moran's own words, "lie curled like a serpent around the dark heart of the world". Fast-forward a few years to third edition, and there were considerable delays late in the process when it turned out one of the artists had been tracing Touhou fanart, forcing swift and ad-hoc replacement that left the final product somewhat disjointed aesthetically.

  • Gaming Paradise 2015, a Counter-Strike and Dota 2 e-Sports event in Slovenia, wound up degenerating into a disaster, as detailed in these articles from Kotaku and HLTV.
    • The first problem was that the person who was supposed to deliver the tournament PCs didn't show up, and when the organizers finally got some working computers, it was found that they were missing graphics cards. Because of this, the tournament's Sunday kick-off had to be pushed back ten hours.
    • The hotel accommodations were so substandard that some players had to sleep on the floor.
    • The broadcasts were plagued by technical issues. Some of the computers they dug up ran better than others, to the point where players' performance on the lesser computers was affected. The problems got so severe that the Dota 2 portion of the tournament had to be canceled entirely, leaving the teams that showed up for it with nothing to show for the trip they made to Slovenia.
    • Three members of one Counter-Strike team fell ill.
    • The kicker came when it was discovered that the organizers of Gaming Paradise failed to pay the expenses for the hotel, the venue, and the production equipment, resulting in equipment being confiscated along with the players' passports (since they were now on the hook for food and lodging). This left many players unable to attend another tournament in Dubai scheduled for later that week. All the while, the tournament went on, with some players wondering if there was any prize money left.
  • Cardmageddon, a Magic: The Gathering invitational tournament held in Las Vegas. Upon announcement, it was claimed to be the first in a series of tournaments managed by a company named CardAgain. An eye-opening prize pool of "at least $25,000" was also boasted. Needless to say, it fell flat.
    • The most serious blow to the tournament — and the root of most of the problems that beset it — was the dismal attendance. Most assumed that the player turnout would be large, given the aforementioned prize pool. However, only 67 players showed up. In turn, this guaranteed that the prize pool was going to be nowhere as advertised when players paid $42 each. Because they didn't have enough people, the management cancelled the Modern division. According to one Twitter post, one unfortunate player had driven all the way from California to participate, only to find out what had happened.
    • The tournament had stiff competition with other Magic competitive gaming events running over the same weekend, which included Grand Prix - a series of very popular worldwide competitions — and SGC Invitational in Columbus, Ohio — again, another well-established alternative with a sterling reputation for extremely organized events.
    • Another flub came with the Cardmageddon's marketing, which wrongly portrayed it as an invitational-only event — yet another contribution to the middling amount of players that actually arrived.
    • Reportedly, CardAgain had spent over $40,000 on advertising alone. This included contacting about 1500 card shops to each hold mini tournaments, along with sending a free packet containing a free voucher to the event to the winner. Numerous shops refused the offer, another contingency of them had failed to actually run a tournament (instead offering the packet as a prize for an already-existing tournament), or outright taking full advantage of the opportunity. This was all overshadowed by immense budgets for running advertisements on sites including Facebook, Google, Reddit and Twitter.
  • The Runaway Guys' first Thrown Controller panel at PAX East 2012 was this is spades. A gameshow-esque panel filled with prizes and gameplay, the panel itself started 20 minutes late due to technical difficulties involving their laptop and projector. When they were able to work, the program could not be fullscreened and ran very slowly. While the gameshow itself ran smoothly, it wasn't until the end when things really started to hit the fan. While trying to end the panel due to loss of time, Jon's laptop ended up crashing right when he was about to bring the final event up, causing him to have to reboot it in front of 700 people. And the entire buildup led to a mighty Anti-Climax. Needless to say, Jon and the rest of the guys didn't like this panel, with Jon feeling very disappointed. Later Thrown Controller panels were reworked into a style that ran way more smoothly and faced far less technical problems.
  • While the The Notorious B.I.G. biopic Notorious didn’t have any problems, the same couldn’t be said about its press junket, as recalled by MartinLeonThomas:
    • 20th Century Fox flew a whole bunch of film critics and journalists to New York, where the temperature was below freezing. First was a bus tour involving Biggie Smalls’ mother, Voletta Wallace, guiding people to specific spots. Problem was, the tour was behind schedule due to crazy slow Manhattan traffic. It didn’t help that the temperature on the bus was high, resulting in the reporters all bundled up for the cold sweating and overheating. During all this, a kid threw a big rock at the bus. What also didn’t help was Voletta’s very soft voice, which was often drowned out by the traffic and reporters’ chatting with each other.
    • The next day was the press screening and cast interviews, where the real problems started to arise. Already behind schedule, the cast interviews were conducted in a three story recording studio that was far too small for everyone the film reps invited. The elevator holding numerous journalists ended up getting stuck for almost an hour, leaving them in a small, tight space with no ventilation, meaning the event had to be pushed back even further until the elevator was fixed. At this point, employees were panicking, while journalists immediately declared the experience to be the worst, most disorganized press junket they've ever attended.
    • The interviews themselves were handled via roundtable discussion, but due to schedule conflicts, each interview was very short (around 12 minutes, and decreasing), with six questions asked per session (in a room full of 12 interviewers). To make this worse, there was one guy who kept asking repeat questions, which wasted both everyone's time, and the interviewers' possible questions.
    • What made the junket awkward was Voletta's reaction to seeing the movie for the first time, where she got to witness her son on the big screen selling crack to pregnant women, cheating on and abusing his girlfriends, and abandoning his kids. All of which she had no idea about.
  • After the success of "We Are the World", Ken Kragen, the president of the USA for Africa organization, decided to turn his attention towards the issue of hunger and homelessness in his home country. This time, however, a mere Charity Motivation Song wasn't enough. To go along with it, he came up with a far more audacious publicity stunt: Hands Across America, a chain of millions of people holding hands from New York City to Santa Monica, California on May 25, 1986, hoping to raise at least $50 million for the cause. Whereas "We Are the World" was a smashing success, Hands Across America was a failure.
    • The first problem came with the obligatory charity single to promote the event. While the event as a whole boasted the participation of Bill Cosby, Lily Tomlin, Kenny Rogers, and baseball star Pete Rose, Kragen couldn't find any superstar artists for the tie-in song, save for Toto doing the instrumentals while anonymous studio singers handled the rest of the music. The real problem, however, emerged when it came time to premiere the song. It was meant to premiere at the Super Bowl XX halftime show, only to immediately face protest from Michael Jackson over concerns that it would upstage "We Are the World", causing it to be quickly yanked and replaced with a commercial featuring Cosby and Tomlin. Needless to say, the song flopped when it was eventually released.
    • The question of the route the human chain would take also became a source of controversy. In Massachusetts, Senator Ted Kennedy and Representative Ed Markey protested over the fact that the New England states were not included in the route, and similar concerns were voiced in the South, the Upper Midwest, and the Pacific Northwest. In Hawai'i, Tom Selleck and Senator Daniel Inouye staged a "Hands Across Hawaii" event to remind people on the mainland that Hawaiians were Americans, too.
    • The participation of President Ronald Reagan in Hands Across America came in for criticism, as many activists blamed his cuts to poverty assistance for the problems that the event was designed to raise money and attention for. It didn't help matters when, just days before the event, Reagan made comments indicating that the only reason people were going hungry in America was because they didn't know where or how to get assistance, comments that were widely seen as dismissive of those problems.
    • The event went off mostly without a hitch, with about five million people joining the human chain and another million creating smaller chains elsewhere in the US. However, the American Southwest created major logistical problems, as that region of the country was sparsely populated and filled with unforgiving geography. Out there, gaps in the chain were unavoidable, and had to be filled with ribbons and banners; some cattle ranchers found a creative solution by lining up their steers to take part.
    • Afterwards, it became apparent that, as a fundraiser, Hands Across America had almost completely failed. Once the large amounts of money spent on the promotion were accounted for, only $15 million was raised for charity, coming in far short of the $50 million that Kragen was hoping for. However, it did succeed in raising awareness for the cause of homelessness, such that it has been credited with leading to the passage of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 1987, which provided a billion dollars a year for the funding of programs to help the homeless. Its profile would also be raised years later thanks to the 2019 horror film Us, in which it played a prominent role.
  • The Fighting Game Community's premiere tournament, Evolution Championship Series, didn't become THE tournament without troubles along the way. Just about every Evo since it was known as the B series has had difficulties, ranging from lacking equipment, power outages, and sheer dumb luck. No matter the odds, the team behind Evo always pulled through. However, the one event that barely made it completion was Evo Japan 2019.
    • Evo Japan 2018 went off without a hitch (the only complaints being the venue being somewhat cramped and hot contrasted against an abnormally cold Tokyo winter). After the dust settled, it was revealed that went over a million dollars in the hole. Many questioned if Evo Japan would return for 2019, but sure enough later that year Evo Japan 2019 was announced.
    • The first sign of trouble was the confirmation that the location would change from Tokyo to Fukuoka. Logic being venues would be cheaper there and the close proximity to Korea and other South East Asian countries would increase international participation, but what Evo didn't expect was a major BTS show happening at the same venue in Fukuoka right before Evo Japan. This meant that lodging was difficult to find.
    • The second issue was the extremely long time for any announcements for Evo Japan 2019. Usually the official games for any Evo are announced a good 6-7 months in advance so competitors will know what games to practice and for developers to finalize any patches before the event. The final game lineup wasn't announced until December 2018, nearly two months away from Evo Japan's start date. The roster was expected but solid (Street Fighter V, Tekken 7, Soul Calibur VI, Guilty Gear Rev 2, BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle, and The King of Fighters XIV), yet there were two notable exceptions. Dragon Ball Fighter Z note  and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate note  were not at Evo Japan 2019 as official games. With such a long time for the official lineup to be announced attendance figures for all games were considerably lower than Evo Japan 2018's.
    • When the event started, there several issues that would persist the whole weekend. The venue (Fukuoka Convention Center) was far out of Fukuoka's city center and transportation was limited to just buses, meaning competitors were frequently late. And the venue was just too small for an event like Evo. The tournament was cramped, it was hard to move around the venue, and it got hot very quickly. Evo also encouraged competitors to stay up to date with the brackets by using the free wifi provided, but it was spotty.
    • The tournament structure was also criticized. Normally large fighting game tournaments are ran with a pool system, as in there are smaller, 16 person brackets and the top two/three from any given pool moves up to a larger bracket. Evo Japan 2019 was ran like a giant double elimination bracket. Some competitors noted having to wait up to two hours just to play their loser's round match and many simply disqualified themselves instead of waiting.
    • Probably the thing Evo Japan became the most known for (maybe other than Arslan Ash's Tekken run, more on that below) was the infamous "Core Values" incident. A Dead or Alive 6 exhibition got a little too steamy for Evo, and they pulled the plug on the exhibition. Evo founder Mr. Wizard stated in a now deleted tweet that the DOA6 stream "didn't represent Evo's core values." Unfortunately, this ended up blowing up in Mr. Wizard's face as it went viral instantly. Mr. Wizard and the other staff behind Evo kept a low profile in the aftermath of the exhibition, not even showing up on the main stage for finals day.
    • Arslan Ash's Tekken 7 win needs to be noted, as it wasn't an easy one. Multiple flight delays and visa issues blocked his path, and by time he got to Japan he had difficulties exchanging money. As soon as Ash got to Fukuoka he had to play cold, but he persevered and put himself and Pakistan on the map for Tekken.
    • Overall, Evo Japan 2019 was regarded as a hot mess by all who attended. Once again, Evo Japan's future was put into doubt, but sure enough Evo Japan 2020 was announced at that year's Evo in America. By all accounts, the Evo team learned their lessons and Evo Japan 2020 went MUCH smoother than 2019.


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