Follow TV Tropes


YMMV / America's Next Top Model

Go To

  • Anvilicious: Multiple:
    • The "inspiring" work the girls are doing by modeling cannot be understated according to the show. Tragic backstories are played up at every opportunity, too.
    • In accordance with its theme, Cycle 13 was renamed America's Next Top Petite Model because all the models were 5'7" and under. While it's true girls that short are not common in the modeling world, the girls' height was beaten over the audience's head all the time.
      • To wit, the first two photoshoots the girls of Cycle 13 did? Recreating baby pictures (because babies, like all of the girls of the cycle, are tiny!), and then posing (topless and with Godiva Hair) with horses and jockeys. You know. Because jockeys... are short.
      • And, despite all of this, the tallest girl wound up winning - Nicole Fox, at 5'7". She not only wasn't even the shortest winner in the show's history at that point in time (that title goes to Eva Pigford of Cycle 3, at 5'6.5" - still the shortest winner to this day), but her height was right at the minimum requirement to compete on a typical cycle of ANTM anyway. Considered justified by many, however, due to the fact that Nicole was far and away the clear frontrunner of the pack, both by the judges and viewers.
  • Awesome Music: Multiple:
    • The show's theme song.
    • Tyra's song in cycle 2, "Shake Ya Body".
    • Cycle 17's songs.
    • The British girls' song in Cycle 18. Sophie's winning price song count as well.
  • Badass Decay: Some of the returning girls during the All-Star cycle suffered from this.
    Nigel: (To the panel) "Cycle 1, I looked at all pictures of her (Shannon) and there's this fire. Now, she just gone bland."
    Tyra: (To Shannon) "You were a great model. But when you came to All-Stars, you just became a good model. Go back to the great you once were."
    Tyra: (To Kayla) "I think Miss Kayla is melting away."
    Tyra: (To Bre and Alexandria) "Both of you are losing the strength you had from your original cycles."
    Mr. Jay: (To Camille) "Right now you're just giving 60% of what you can give me. I want Camille back!"
  • Catharsis Factor: Generally when a girl who has been bullied in the house unfairly delivers a great photo and is universally praised for it, this trope occurs, or it happens when the resident bitch is called out on her horrible behaviour, for example:
    • Monique getting eliminated early on after her insane, diva-ish behaviour tyrannising the other girls.
    • Advertisement:
    • In Cycle 24, Jeana ignoring the child model during the final runway had the judges finally calling her out on her self-centeredness, one of them commenting that Jeana would run into a burning building to save a Chanel bag, not the child.
  • Crazy Awesome:
    • Some of the runway challenges.
    • Cycles 7 and 17's respective winners CariDee English and Lisa D'Amato are this trope personified.
  • Creator's Pet: There are contestants every cycle that Tyra and the judges loves gushing at. It can be argued that the alleged predetermined winners are this by default.
    • Basically the first 2 cycles when guys were introduced, where Tyra didn't hide the fact that she wanted a guy to win. The reason why the first backfired was Jourdan turned out to be too good at modeling. Though the second was acceptable since the Top 2 (Both male) were deserving of the win. With that said, however, Tyra lavished attention on eventual winner, Keith, and some believe that the suspension of fan vote in the finale (that caused the elimination of fan favourite, Lenox) was to ensure his victory.
    • Advertisement:
    • Many feel that Saleisha (cycle 9 winner) and Whitney (cycle 10 winner) were especially egregious examples of this; Saleisha had worked with Tyra in the past (and was mediocre at best, despite being given high praise). Whitney was the plus-sized winner Tyra had been craving forever, and landed the title with only one "best of the week" photo and four bottom 2 appearances... over someone with five "best of the week" call-outs and no bottom 2 appearances.
    • Many fans view Ann Ward of cycle 15 as a creator's pet. Despite having strong potential and a high fashion look (as this was the "high fashion" cycle, where Italian Vogue was a prize for the first time), it was obvious from the beginning that Ann was going to win, and the judges made no secret of their favoritism towards her, calling her first five weeks in a row, even when she did not do particularly well and there were stronger photos in the bunch.
    • Jeana was literally spared from elimination because the guest judge liked her and wanted her to walk in his show - something that has never happened on the show before, and Jeana had already been eliminated and then brought back two weeks previously.
    • Cycles 3 and 4 of the Australian version were also quite bad about this. While all the judges of the show have their own personal favorites, then-Host Jodhi Meares was downright incapable of being unbiased in regard to her own favorites, lavishing Steph H. (Cycle 3), Demelza (Cycle 4), and, to lesser extents, Rebecca/Alyce (Also Cycle 4) with near-endless praise even when they completely bombed challenges and photoshoots. She also refused to ever entertain the idea of her top favorites Steph/Demelza being in the discussion to be eliminated, even on weeks where they truly blew it.
  • Discredited Meme: The infamous scene where Tyra yells at Tiffany when she was eliminated. At the time, people saw it as Tyra righteously snapping at an ungrateful contestant for throwing away her opportunity for fame. However, as time has gone on, more people have looked at the episode in more detail and have realized that the main reason Tyra was upset was that Tiffany was choosing to leave with dignity rather than break down in tears over being kicked off the show like Tyra expected her to. Not helping matters is that, according to Tiffany, the show edited out a moment where Tyra insulted her in front of everyone.
  • Elimination Houdini: Has their own page.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Every cycle has at least one. For the show as a whole, there's Miss J.
    • Elyse Sewell in Cycle 1.
    • Mercedes Scelba-Shorte in Cycle 2.
    • Amanda Swafford, Norelle Van-Herk and Toccara Jones in Cycle 3.
    • Kahlen Rondot, Brittany Brower and Michelle Deighton in Cycle 4.
    • Nik Pace and Kim Stolz in Cycle 5.
    • Nearly the entire cast of Cycle 6, though the most notable mentions include Danielle Evans, Joanie Dodds, Jade Cole, and Furonda Brasfield.
    • The Babin twins and AJ Stewart in Cycle 7.
    • Natasha Galkina and Samantha Francis in Cycle 8.
    • Heather Kuzmich and Jenah Doucette in Cycle 9.
    • Anya Rozova, Fatima Siad and Katarzyna Dolinska in Cycle 10, all of whom were so talented that some people refer to them as the "big three" or "trinity". How three strikingly modelesque girls lost to someone like Whitney is still a mystery to fans.
    • Analeigh Tipton and Lauren Brie Harding in Cycle 11.
    • Allison Harvard in Cycle 12, who's so wildly popular that she possibly qualifies as a darkhorse for the whole franchise.
    • Nicole Fox and Laura Kirkpatrick in Cycle 13.
    • Raina Hein, Alexandra Underwood and Jessica Serfaty in Cycle 14.
    • Kayla Ferrel and Jane Randall in Cycle 15.
    • Molly O'Connell and Hannah Jones in Cycle 16.
    • Dominique Reighard in Cycle 17 (All-Stars). Allison, Laura, Kayla and Brittany are here too, but Dominique surprisingly becomes a fan-favorite this cycle.
    • Sophie Sumner, Catherine Thomas, AzMarie Livingston and Ashley Brown in Cycle 18.
    • Leila Goldkuhl, Nastasia Scott and Brittany Brown in Cycle 19.
    • Cory Hindorff in Cycle 20.
    • Will Jardell, Lenox Tillman and Ivy Timlin in Cycle 21.
    • Nyle Dimarco and Lacey Rogers in Cycle 22. Also, while he didn't get much spotlight and his portfolio was otherwise decent, Justin Kim is one of the most well-liked contestants (not just for this cycle) for being a good-looking reasonable Nice Guy.
    • India Grants, Courtney Nelson and Justine Biticon in Cycle 23.
    • Jeana Turner, Khrystyana Kazakova and Coura Fall in Cycle 24.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • During Cycle 1, Elyse won a challenge earning a visit from a loved one. Her boyfriend was allowed to stay for a short period of time at the contestants' hotel room, where they shared some cute scenes. Around 2008, said boyfriend allegedly assaulted her in a hotel.
    • Janice kissing Tyra in Cycle 4. As of now, they hate each other.
    • Cycle 4 runner-up Kahlen was told by Jay Manuel that she looks like supermodel Carmen Kass. After the show, Kahlen had a hard time booking jobs because of her Celebrity Resemblance which lead her to eventually leaving the industry.
    • During the All-Stars Cycle, Dominique laughed at the idea that her curse is being photographed by resident judge Nigel Barker (She was referring to her boot in Cycle 10 where he was the photographer. Nigel photographed the girls earlier). At the end of the episode, she wasn't laughing at all.
    • During the tenth episode of Cycle 11, Elina tells Sheena that she had a dream about the two of them crying, which Sheena laughs off. They end up in the bottom 2 at judging and Sheena is eliminated.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Despite being treated as a joke in the American media, it has managed to spawned at least 120 International Versions, and produced working models.
  • Ham and Cheese: Jay Manuel was this in Cycle 14 (episode "America's Next Top Vampire").
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Adrianne's victory. Especially showing how proud Tyra was on it.
    Tyra: "Adrianne is the present. Adrianne is the future."
    Adrianne: "I'm gonna have a good life now. My family's gonna have a good life now. A lot is going to change, and it kicks so much ass."
    • The lyrics of "I'm Here", Angelea's Leitmotif during the All-Stars Cycle, was about her being a Plucky Girl most of her life. At the cycle's finale, she was disqualified and wasn't even present during final judging. What's even worse for her is that she's also the alleged winner. These are words from the song..
    • Ditto Alexandria's. Hers was titled "Go, Go, Go!", which was a Punny Name on about how she plans to go further in the competition. Alex was eliminated at the end of the episode (over Angelea).
    • In one Cycle 8 episode, Jael finds out the sad, tragic news that a friend of hers has died of a drug overdose. During the course of the episode, while Whitney consoles her and holds her while she was crying and prays for her and her friend, Renee is disgusted and says that the last thing Jael needs is "all these bitches up in her face pretending to be her friend", all the while not doing a thing to console her herself. Several years later, both Jael and Renee are addicts.
      • As of late 2016, Jael reports being three years sober, working at a rehab clinic and helping others overcome addiction. Renee, however, has not been so lucky, but Jael has also stated that she and Renee engaged in a brief relationship post-show.
    • Also in Cycle 8, Jael posing as a dead woman in the "murdered models" photoshoot is a lot harsher in the wake of her death in 2018 (albeit from breast cancer), as does her posing as Ill Girl Rebecca Epley a few shoots later. (The caption "I guess I AM drop-dead gorgeous!" in the latter picture doesn't help.)
      • In addition to that, during the casting episode of Cycle 8, Jael makes the following comment:
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Multiple:
    • During Cycle 4, Michelle and two other girls note  lost a challenge and had to sleep outdoors as consequence (the challenge winner will choose two contestants to take with her to spend the night at a luxury cottage). Michelle had no qualms about it, saying she watches Survivor. About three years later, Michelle will marry Survivor's infamous villain Johnny Fairplay.
    • Elyse Sewell's Elimination Statement in Cycle 1.
    Elyse: "I'm going back to med-school. Modeling is not for me."
    • During the pilot episode of Britain's Next Top Model Cycle 5, Sophie Sumner was wearing the US flag as a cape during a runway challenge.
    • Taye Diggs shows up for a challenge with the girls in Cycle 3 and the following conversation becomes hilarious today as the woman he was married to at the time (Idina Menzel) is now much more of a household name:
    Ann: Taye Diggs wants me.
    Eva: Taye Diggs is so married.
    Ann: He's married?
    Eva: So married.
    Ann: To who?
    Eva: To his wife!
    • Analeigh Tipton was praised for having the best commercial in America's Next Top Model history. After she was eliminated, she's moved on to acting!
  • Hollywood Pudgy: One has to be at least size 12 to be considered plus-size, usually size 16-24. The "plus-sized" contestants might not be as Hollywood Thin as the other girls, but aren't big beautiful women yet either.
    • Case in point: Cycle 10 winner Whitney, who mentioned more than once that she's a size 10. Alexandra from Cycle 14, Kasia from Cycle 16 and Louise from Cycle 18.
    • Arguably, host Tyra Banks herself.
    • Poor Keenyah in Cycle 4 after she puts on a few pounds, which is barely noticeable. During the Deadly Sins photoshoot she is chosen to portray Gluttony, in the South African photoshoot where they portray different local animals she is chosen to be an elephant, and they make sure to show her eating as much as they possibly can.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Anamaria's pretty unpleasant to be around, but she has an obvious eating disorder. The way the judges treat her about it by eliminating her rather than trying to seek her proper help, just to use her as an example does not do them many favors.
    • Renee can be a real bitch, but she admitted her abusive father was a big part of why she was so hard-nosed.
      • Plus she was even eliminated simply for looking "too old" in her Covergirl pic!
    • It's hard not to feel for Alexandria in her appearance on the first live judging in Cycle All-Stars, where she is cussed by someone. And being dissed by most recap sites (Notably Homorazzi & Buddy Tv) despite being friendly with the contestants in this season.
    • Chris H. manages to rub every other contestant the wrong way at some point during C20. But you can't help but feel sorry for him when you learn of his past, which involves an abusive mother and undoubtedly not enough love.
    • While Jayla in cycle 5 is a largely un-likeable contestant and an Elimination Houdini, one cannot help but feel she was sabotaged in the Bollywood photo shoot. While the other girls were placed in the center of their photos and given large, colorful costumes and long hair extensions, she was placed on the side for her photo, and given a short Cleopatra-type wig and darker clothing, just so the judges could complain about her "not standing out" and giving her a reason to finally eliminate her.
  • Les Yay: With girls living on the same house for over a month, it's quite inevitable to be "close". Some of the more obvious examples over the years include Adrianne and Elyse from cycle 1, Eva and Anne from cycle 3, Kim and Sarah from cycle 5, Clark and Elina in cycle 11, Analeigh and Marjorie in cycle 11, Celia and Allison from cycle 12, etc.
    • Eva more-or-less confirmed this in the True Hollywood Story.
    Eva: There was a lot of action going on behind closed doors. A lot. Some tomfoolery.
    • Jael and Renee from cycle 8 were both closeted at the time of their cycle (Renee being married to a man at the time) and, after coming out post-show, engaged in a brief relationship. Also overlapping with Foe Yay since they couldn't stand each other during the season.
  • Memetic Mutation: Say it with me:
  • Moe: Kari Schmidt. Brooke Miller. Allison Harvard. Laura Kirkpatrick. Jessica Serfaty. Kayla Ferrell. Khrystyana Kazakova. Jaclyn Poole.Among others.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Bre crosses it in Cycle 5 after one of her granola bars goes missing. She decides Nicole did it (without any evidence except that she finds Nicole annoying) and pours her Red Bulls down the drain. She then tells Kim and Nicole that she's done discussing the matter, but eventually talks it over with Nicole and claims that she didn't steal her Red Bull because stealing means something goes missing and you don't know where it is - Nicole knows where her Red Bull is, even if it is down the drain. Later she tells Kim, who caught Bre in the act and confronted her about it, that she's not going to win the competition because she's got an ugly soul and God doesn't like ugly. Which are strong words, especially given the situation. She also complains that she's tired of people acting indecent. Many people had a hard time liking her after all this went down. To her credit though she did own up to what she did and apologized to Nicole, which must have taken guts given the situation.
    • Tyra with the infamous Tyrade against Tiffany in Cycle 4.
  • Mis-blamed: Lisa got a chunk of hate for Allison's second defeat. If it's not her, it's Tyra.
    • Bre in Cycle 5 blamed Nicole for eating one of her granola bars. Apparently it was Lisa.
  • Narm Charm: The show delights in this. There's a lot of crying going on, and so over the top that it's downright charming.
  • Overshadowed by Controversy:
    • Saleisha "Scandaleisha" Stowers must have had a hard time enjoying her win of Cycle 9. Despite being pretty, bubbly, delivering mostly good and decent pictures and being far from that cycle's Alpha Bitch (a title which belongs to Bianca), most people only remember her history with Tyra.
    • In 2020, the show came under fire as fans began examine it more closely and took notice of a number of insensitive scenes and episodes. Notable moments called out were the blackface photoshoots in Cycle 4 and Cycle 13, Tyra insulting Danielle Evans over the gap in her teeth, and Tyra criticizing Kim Stolz for being open about her sexuality among many others.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
  • The Scrappy: There are many...
    • Monique in Cycle 7. Despite her short stay on the show, she left quite the impression. Although in the first episode, she came off as a shy, sweet girl who had been bullied by her older sisters for being darker than them, the next episodes she makes a 180. When she was one of the two girls left without a bed, she took Eugena's bed, poured water on it, and pretended that she had peed on it, saying she was "marking her territory". During a challenge in which she had been disqualified, she then hogged the phone from everyone else for over three hours, despite other girls needing it (especially Melrose who needed to talk to her landlord). Later, she wipes her dirty underwear on Melrose's bed, while she is sleeping in it. In the recap episode, after another girl supposedly eats her Doritos, she throws everybody else's food in the garbage. Thankfully, her run on the show did not last long, as she fell ill and decided not to participate in that week's photo shoot, getting eliminated, while the rest of the girls (especially Melrose) were pleased about this.
    • Natalie from Cycle 12 is this all over. She explained to Teyona and Aminat that she grew up in "a different place than they did," and wasn't used to chores . Later, on the episode where she was eliminated, she complained about how "ugly" Brazil was, and while others were happy about doing a photoshoot in a Brazilian ghetto, Natalie complained about the poor people.
      • She tried to play the "they took my words out of context" card post-show quite a bit, but just made it worse for herself. For example, in the first episode, she bragged about having never worked a day in her life. Post-show, she argued that they cut out that she had never worked a day because she chose to focus on school — something most poorer people don't exactly have the privilege of choosing to do. Oh, and she firmly believed that Tyra liked Aminat and Teyona more because they were black.
    • The Elimination Houdini always get this treatment, especially those with lackluster performances who advanced over consistent and fan-favorite contestants. Ann over Toccarra and Norelle in Cycle 3, Whitney over Katarzyna in Cycle 10 and Angelea over Dominique and Laura in All-Stars are examples.
    • Tahlia from Cycle 12 is almost universally hated by fans for her whiny personality and lack of modelling skills, though that didn't stop the fans from calling out Celia for telling Tyra during panel that Tahlia should go home.
    • Jeana in Cycle 24 for being arrogant, selfish and constantly copying or sabotaging the other girls, like deliberately picking a wig the exact colour of Khrystyana's or carrying one of the child models after the photographer did it during the final runway despite ignoring her partner earlier.
    • Among the winners, Saleisha (cycle 9) and Whitney (cycle 10) are by far the most hated. While both are often regarded as Creators Pets who outlasted and won over several fan favorites of their respective cycles, both are hated for different reasons. Saleisha is hated hated by fans not only for her seemingly "fake" bubbly personality and mediocre photos, but mostly for her pre-existing relationship with Tyra (having attended her "T-zone" camp years ago), having more previous modelling experience than the rules allow (having appeared in a national campaign for Wendy's) and actively participating in bullying Heather at times.
      • Meanwhile, Whitney is also hated for various reasons. While also having mediocre photos and a "fake" personality, many feel she won simply for being a plus-sized model rather than for actual talent (however, being only a size 10, she would normally be considered too small to be plus-sized). Some fans also perceive Whitney as low-key racist, and when Dominique called her out on this, she replied with "My best friend is BLACK!".
    • Judge Kelly Cutrone isn't well liked by many fans not only because of the Louise incident, but because she underrates and unappreciative of some contestants talents (Annaliese and Catherine. AzMarie at the time of her boot). Turning her back on Laura, her favorite contestant, in the Cycle 18 finale didn't help either.
    • On the Australia side, Demelza, Rebecca and Alyce in Cycle 4 are this for their vicious bullying of Alamela. The fact that Demelza won that season also doesn't help either, nor does their subpar modeling.
    • Cassi from Australia 5 for her rude, uneducated demeanor and constant anger issue. The fact that she took the final 2 spot away from fan-favorite Clare doesn't help.
    • Host Jodhi Meares on the Australian version already had an uphill battle due to being a glamour model compared to the other hosts. She quickly proved completely inadequate as a host, having little charisma and screen presence, being truly egregious when it came to favoritism (Steph H in Cycle 3, Demelza and Rebecca in Cycle 4... who were scrappies themselves). To top it all off, she humiliated herself at both finales, in Cycle 3 by having a meltdown live on-stage and actually insulting one of the clients/sponsors, and in Cycle 4 by bailing mere hours before the finale began.
  • Seasonal Rot: Cycles 5, 12, and 14 are pretty much revilved across thbe board.
    • 17 (All Stars), despite the returning "Fan Favourites note ", the majority of the photo shoots rather weak for All Stars. Worst of all, most the girls defrosted and were usually nice towards each other, so the infighting between them were generally low note . It is also the rot where they shifted from pretense of high fashion 2 cycles ago to relying on gimmicks.
    • Some fans said early as cycle 8, or even cycle 7, as that was when the show switched networks from UPN to The CW.
    • Cycles 9 and 10 are largely disliked by fans, largely because of the winners of those cycles winning over seemingly more deserving contestants.
    • Cycles 12 and 14 are also disliked by fans, and while the winners of those cycles are more liked (with 12's being well-regarded and 14's being divisive), the overall casts and photo shoots of those seasons are not as popular or well-liked as previous seasons.
    • Cycle 19 had a complete change from the previous cycles, ditching long time sponsor Cover Girl from their prize package, hiring an all-new judging panel, and introducing the social media scores into determining the winner.
    • Cycle 21 is one of the least favorite cycle since All Stars.
  • Shocking Elimination: In most cases, they had better careers over the contestants who made it further than them, including the winners.
    • Elyse Sewell from Cycle 1, who later had a notable career working in Asia.
    • Toccara Jones and Norelle Van Herk from Cycle 3 (Former once had a spread in Vogue Italia).
    • Lisa D'Amato and Kim Stolz from Cycle 5 (the former will come back with a vengeance by winning the All-Stars Cycle)
    • Mollie Sue Steenis-Gondi and Nnenna Agba from Cycle 6.
    • AJ Stewart, Anchal Joseph, and Michelle Babin from Cycle 7.
    • Jennah Doucette from Cycle 9.
    • Katarzyna Dolinska and Fatima Siad from Cycle 10, both went on to have notable fashionable careers (with the former once worked in Christophe Josse Haute Couture show in Paris and latter once worked in Herve Ledger for Spring/Summer 2012)
    • Lauren Brie Harding and Analeigh Tipton from Cycle 11.
    • Brittany Markert from Cycle 13.
    • Bre Scullark, Dominique Reighard and Laura Kirkpatrick from Cycle 17 (All-Stars).
    • AzMarie Livingston and Catherine Thomas from Cycle 18.
    • Nastasia Scott from Cycle 19. Also Leila Goldkuhl, who was brought back by social media.
    • Nina Burns from Cycle 20.
    • Chantelle Young from Cycle 21.
  • So Bad, It's Good: Best enjoyed MSTed.
  • Squick: In Cycle 7, Monique's crazed, bullying behavior is made downright gross by her methods of doing so - which consist of sticking her hand into her crotch (while she only had a wet towel on) and then shoving said hand into a girl's face (with said girl commenting that it smelled like a "rotting, spoiled pumpkin"), and then later on taking off her bikini bottoms and rubbing them on the same girl's bed when she was asleep. And according to Word of God from the producers, that was the stuff she did that they could show - some of the other stuff was considered illegal.
    • Subverted with one of her other antics - she claimed another girl's bed by saying she peed on it, so it was hers now... but in reality, she just poured water on it. It does say a lot, though, that nobody actually questioned her story.
  • Strawman Has a Point:
    • Even though Catie from cycle 2 was portrayed as being in the wrong for getting upset over the critique that Simon Dooley of Barney's gave her over her outfit (to the point that some of her fellow contestants sided with him and called her immature) and he trying to invoke that she Can't Take Criticism, there are a few things that work in her favor. Aside from being 18 at the time and a lot more sheltered than the other girls, she had a right to be upset due to a) she put together an outfit that she worked hard on, she believed would be seen as modelesque and represented her personal style, only for him to write off as looking like a prostitute and b) the fact that he humiliated her in front of her friends and on national television (which she lampshaded saying that the criticism would have been accepted by her if it were done in private).
    • Tiffany, the girl who is known for getting yelled at by Tyra, has a point. While Tyra was right to chew her out for not taking the competition seriously, Tiffany was right about how she shouldn't cry so much about getting eliminated because there was nothing she can do about the decision and throwing pity parties wouldn't have helped her case. Also giving her more credence is the alternating reasons as to why Tyra yelled at her (with the aforementioned "she's wasting her opportunity" and "Tyra was stressed out from getting her talk show off the ground" being the most popular).
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: It is universally agreed that Cycle 2 was superior to Cycle 1. Then comes Cycle 3, which is arguably an Even Better Sequel to the former. In fact, majority of the succeeding cycles are considered superior to Cycle 1, though it has become a Cult Classic to the show's fans.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Cycle 17 front-runners Dominique and Laura were eliminated in favor of the resident Elimination Houdini who was ultimately disqualified.
    • Twiggy was a pretty knowledgeable judge (a given how she was one of the defining supermodels of the 1960s) and was pretty fair and likable as well. Yet to the average fan, her reception was more along the lines of "Waaah! Make her more like Janice!"
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: In relation to the above, Cycle 17's final five consisted of the four front-runners and the resident Elimination Houdini. Guess who made it to the top three and got disqualified.
  • Unnecessary Makeover: Usually on Makeover Day, there's at least one. Most of the time, they do try to find hair colors and styles that better compliment the girls' complexions and bone structure, but every once in a while, a girl that already had a really pretty and flattering hairstyle will have it completely changed simply for the sake of every girl having equally drastic makeovers at the same time.
  • Vindicated by History:
    • Cycle 3 fourth placer Ann Markley is the series' first notable Elimination Houdini. After the show, she improved on her being photogenic and had a great modelling career.
    • Cycle 7 had Eugena Washington, who had a shaky start in the beginning of the season, and although she improved during the show, she was never really the strongest of the bunch, many believe she coasted to the top 3 based on her model potential rather than a strong portfolio. However, since then she has worked consistently as a model, been in lots of commercials, and eventually becoming Playmate of the Year in 2017.
    • Dominique Reighard made it the top 4 in Cycle 10, outlasting fan-favorite Katarzyna Dolinska. However, she largely redeemed herself during Cycle 17, consistently turning out strong photos and becoming a fan-favorite in her own right during that season.
  • What an Idiot!: When given the opportunity to meet a major fashion designer, Nicole Panattoni declined, because she did not feel like it.
    • Cassandra quitting the show because they wanted to cut her hair. And she had already had most of it cut off, but when Tyra said it was not the style she had asked for and wanted to cut another inch, which was apparently the final straw.
    • Victoria thinking it was a good idea to continuously snap at and be rude to Twiggy, a judge, which is what gets her kicked out.
    • Jael continuously bugging 50Cent at the party challenge even when he makes it clear he wants her to leave him alone. When she pushes him too far, he throws her in the pool!
      • Even better, Natasha jumps in after her! (Though to be fair, Natasha probably didn't know what was happening.)
  • The Woobie:
    • Cassie Grisham was suffering from bulimia. And her dad was a Jerkass too.
    • Kahlen's friend died and she had to pose inside a coffin immediately. Sure she won best photo, but it's hard not to feel like hugging her during that episode.
    • Natasha is the victim of some nasty bullying when the models go to Australia, where the three remaining girls call her the weakest model in front of the judges. It backfired on them enormously, Tyra called them out for ganging up on her and Dionne got sent home.
    • Tyra (and the panel) liked to pick on Katarzyna and mispronouncing her name. Just watch Cycle 10.
    • Nicole constantly got called "weird" or "creepy" by the other girls and was often seen sitting alone, though her winning the competition does sweeten this somewhat.
    • Isis, especially when the girls are hanging out in the hot tub and Hannah physically pushes her away when she gets too close.
    • Ann Ward.
      • Kayla. She had to pose, in her underwear, with the word "queer" written all over her, then later admitted that she was sexually molested as a child. Ouch.
    • Ondrei Edwards' brother died just a few months before she got in ANTM.
    • Allison Harvard due to being Always Second Best.
      • Also for what happened to her in the All Stars Cycle. The contestants were challenged to write lyrics for their own song and perform it in a video. Allison wrote a song about her feelings about her father's death... only to find out later that footage of Tyra dancing around with a feather boa would be spliced into the video and she had to add the words "pot ledom is top model spelled backwards" into the song. Ouch.
    • Khrystyana admitting she was molested by her father's business associate at eleven years old and she'd never told anyone before. The judges and quite a few of the contestants were in tears at that.
    • Heather Kuzmich, who was often bullied by the other girls for being socially awkward (since she has Asperger's Syndrome)- to the point where she broke down while telephoning her mom, and even excluded her from having a bed in Shanghai, China. While she was well liked by most of the fans, had great photos, won two challenges (even winning a shopping spree with Chantal in Shanghai) and continued to be Cover Girl of the week even after she was eliminated, it's still very heartbreaking to see how cruel and immature many of the other girls were to her- mostly in the earlier episodes.
    • Anchal Joseph, one of the most beautiful contestants of Cycle 7, who was continuously fat-shamed (especially by Melrose), to the point where a challenge judge even told her "you're body's not in the right shape for the runway," which led to her being extremely insecure about her potential.
    • Jaeda Young when she has to kiss a male model in a commercial shoot who made a racist remark towards her. And because she lost all her confidence when they cut all her hair off, which made her feel "unfeminine," and was never able to regain her confidence.
    • Amanda Swafford, simply because she revealed on the show that she had retinitis pigmentosa (a degenerative eye condition) that led her to become completely blind at age 30. Even the other contestants felt sorry for her.
    • Brooke Miller, who was eliminated on the night she was supposed to graduate from high school- therefore missing the ceremony and losing the competition all at once.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: While the show did have some pretty fashionable and unique photoshoots, some of them went beyond the realm of modeling and made people ask, "What were they thinking when the came up with that?!":
    • Cycle 3 had the dual personality challenge where the contestants had to portray an average side and a glamorous side. The fact that almost none of the women had a desirable photo between them (with the exception of Eva and Ann) speaks volumes.note 
    • Cycle 4's "Got Milk?" ethnicities is one of the most infamous shoots in the series' history. Aside from the controversial decision of putting some of the women in blackface, brownface and yellowface, the added stress of them holding a child for their picture, having to carry on the fashion and the ethnicity and sporting a milk mustache reminds one of the old adage of "less is more".
    • Cycle 5's premiere photoshoot of the contestants as superheroes is another example. Unlike Cycle 2's similar shoot where the women were wearing couture outfits while suspended in the air, the women were dressed as goofy, color-clashing crime-fighters while also in harnesses.
    • Cycle 7's celebrity couples is a particularly bad one. While some of the couples looked like their counterparts, most of the outfits made the women barely look like the celebrities in question. The Whitney Houston outfits just had Jaeda stuck in a bad wig with no concept of the superstar, CariDee's Brad Pitt looked more like Justin Timberlake and the fact that Tyra herself took umbrage with how little the Oprah and Stedman costuming looked like them is noteworthy (and is made even worse because most of the featured couplesnote  have since broken up).


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: