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Seasonal Rot

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Bart: Dad, how come they're taking The Cosby Show off the air?

Homer: Because Mr. [Bill] Cosby wanted to stop before the quality suffered.

Bart: Quality, schmality! If I had a TV show, I'd run that sucker into the ground!

Homer: Amen, boy. Amen.

Homer and Bart Simpson, from an April 30, 1992 rerun of the Simpsons episode "Three Men and a Comic Book"
Hey look! It's the same show, but not the same as it was before.
Seasonal rot in a nutshell.

“Seasonal rot” is a phrase used for any long running series that experiences from a gradual drop in quality after several seasons, to either later becoming really bad or not as good as originally and before even though the show can still make good episodes and stories, even if they are gone from grace or just if they didn’t make as much good episodes and made more duds/bad episodes and stories as possible.

Background

Every now and again, there are some fantastic shows. However, if a show runs long enough, seasonal rot always sets in and writers should always consider the best time to end the show (in a good or bad way) or bring it back on track while it's still good, or the show can simply start a new writing team to improve the series and make everything better in the future.

Sometimes it's a transitory slump from which the series recovers by bringing in new writers (who either don't know anything about the original material at all or are really terrible) or by disregarding all of the previous events of the weaker or finest seasons. At times, it is permanent it and develops with each subsequent season when the series "jumped the shark" or lost it’s allure.

This can include flanderization of really lovable characters (characters becoming out of character), making a few or a ton of filler/bad episodes, animation changes (even though the animation can still be good or sometimes even improve, but can also go downhill), coming up with really stupid and inexcusable plots, taking gross-out jokes to go horribly wrong, making the characters take a step too far, making episodes that don't even try on something, dragging on everything for far too long, overusing the unfunny/poor comedy and jokes, making up poor attempts to go in a new direction and declining production values, throwing in the three strike formulas used in every episode to make it as bad as possible, making the characters never learn their lesson, and also making the episodes recycle the same story.

There are some ways to avoid (or end) seasonal rot. One way is to temporarily postpone the series and come up with more ideas at a slow pace, keep the show as fresh and strong as possible, or just come up with new inspirations.

Making a seasonal rot worse is if the creator of the show is still heavily involved.

Notable Offenders

Major

  • The Simpsons (Season 11-31; 1999-2020 – This series became one of the longest declines for any American television series. Although these seasons are not as bad as post-Season 7 of Family Guy, the episodes are still very hit-and-miss.)
  • Pokémon (Season 14-16; 2010-12 — See what the problems are with Black and White by clicking on the link right there.)
  • The Fairly OddParents (Season 9 & 10; 2013-17 — This show completely ran out of ideas altogether, had loads of bad episodes, abandoned continuity, suffered from lazier, generic, and unoriginal writing primarily because of them often rehashing older plots, and the characters themselves had all either been dumbed down to their stereotypes or demoted to extras. Aside from all that, Season 9 introduced a pointless new main character, Sparky. But due to negative reception, he was removed without explanation in Season 10, only to be replaced with yet another new main character, Chloe Carmichael, who was even worse. The show's budget was also slashed, forcing Frederator to switch animation studios from South Korea to Canada. This saw the shift to low-quality flash animation in the last seven episodes of Season 10. Overall, the failure of these seasons are a result of executive meddling and the declining talent among the writing team, even the series creator Butch Hartman himself ended up getting the series cancelled.)
  • Johnny Test (2005, Season 4-6; 2009-14 - The animation became much more choppier looking, and episodes mainly started becoming very repetitive and not to mention how a bunch of the characters were also exaggerated and flanderized as the show went on too.)
  • The Andy Griffith Show (Season 6-8; 1965-68 - After the fifth season, Don Knotts (Barney Fife) left the show, which led the show into being less funnier than it was. Some characters have also been flanderized into huge jerks too.)
  • SpongeBob SquarePants (Season 6-8; 2008-12; — Massive flanderization of practically every character (expect for Gary, Fred, Mermaid Man, Barnacle Boy, and a few others), and an over-usage of mean-spiritedness, gross-out humor, disturbing imagery, and boring filler.)
  • Family Guy (Season 8-present; 2009-present — This show has been going massively downhill since Season 7's "Not All Dogs Go to Heaven" and has not recovered due to heavy flanderization, terrible and hurtful morals, tons of mean-spirited moments and over-usage of cutaway gags, pop culture references and gross-out humor. In addition, and in a desperate and shallow rating grab, the show killed off Brian in "Life of Brian" only to bring him back three weeks later in "Christmas Guy".)
  • American Dad! (Season 11-13; 2014-17; — Beginning with the fourth episode of Season 11, the first three seasons of when the show was moved to TBS would see several flanderization from Stan, Francine, and Roger. Not to mention, the flanderized characters would act like clones of characters from Family Guy. The seasons would try to have attempts at being edgy much like the later seasons of Family Guy and had several recycled plots from previous episodes. However, unlike Family Guy, the show has returned to form once Season 14 rolled around.
  • The Office (Season 8 & 9; 2011-13 — The show went downhill after Steve Carrell left)
  • At the Movies (2008-10 — After the departures of both Roger Ebert, who lost his ability to speak due to cancer, and Richard Roeper, who left after failed contract negotiations, they were replaced by Ben Mankiewicz and Ben Lyons. While Mankiewicz wasn't too bad, Lyons was inexperienced and very bland compared to Ebert and Roeper, as well as the late Gene Siskel. In addition, the set was changed to drop the prior balcony theming, the theme was changed and gimmicks uncommon during the Siskel & Ebert and Ebert & Roeper days were used constantly, in addition to the prior replacement of the "Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down" system with the far less memorable "See It/Rent It/Skip It" towards the end of Ebert's run. These changes caused ratings to drop, and after one season, Mankiewicz and Lyons were replaced by Ebert fill-ins A. O. Scott and Michael Phillips; while they were much better and the theme arrangement used in the Roger Ebert & the Movies incarnation was reused, it wasn't enough and the series ended in 2010.)
  • Fireman Sam (Season 6-present; 2008-present — after the switch to CGI beginning with Season 6, the show went completely downhill due to many problems such as flanderization of several characters, horrible CGI animation in season 6-10, poor attempts of modernization and terrible new voice acting. As of now, the show still hasn't recovered from any of its flaws.)
  • Thomas & Friends (Sharon Miller era (Season 12-16), Big World! Big Adventures! era (22-24); 2008-12, 2018-21 — The Sharon Miller era suffers from repetitive and formulaic plots, loads of bad episodes and flanderization of the characters, except for the Sir Topham Hatt, James, Spencer, Whiff and a few others who haven't been suffering from flanderization. The Big World! Big Adventures! on the other hand, retool also suffers from unfunny and stupid humor, boring plots, lack of realism, and uninteresting and badly written characters.)
  • Two and a Half Men (Season 9-12; 2011-15 — Following Charlie Sheen's infamous meltdown, the series replaced him with Ashton Kutcher. This aged badly with fans of the first 8 seasons.)
  • Oggy and the Cockroaches (Season 5-6; 2017-18)
  • Archer (Season 8-10; 2017-19 — The premise of Archer being put into a coma and having bizarre dreams wasn't too well-received by fans and many criticized these seasons for serving nothing but pointless filler.)
  • Barney & Friends (Season 9-14; 2004-10—Season 9 introduced segments with Barney, BJ, and Baby Bop on a white background. As a result, the kids were given little to no screen time. Season 10 introduced Riff, as well as some more conflict-driven plots. Unlike in previous seasons, BJ and Baby Bop would constantly need Barney's help with learning morals. Barney himself even occasionally needed to be taught the lesson he could have taught the kids, like in the episode "Pistachio". Most of all, Baby Bop forgot how to count in the episode "Counting".)
  • Dora the Explorer (Season 5-8; 2008-19—Season 5 dropped the Explorer Stars.)
  • Total Drama (Total Drama All-Stars and Total DramaRama; 2014, 2018-present)
  • Dexter's Laboratory (Season 3 & 4; 2001-03 — Continued after Ego Trip, which sounded like a good series finale. Thankfully, the series did end with a decent/good episode, "2Geniuses 2Gether" (in production order).)
  • The Powerpuff Girls (1998, Season 5 & 6; 2003-05 — Continued after the departure of creator Craig McCracken)
  • LEGO Ninjago (Season 7, 10, and 11; 2017-19)
  • The Smurfs (1981) (Season 9; 1989 - This season had the Smurfs time travelinginstead of stopping Gargamel due to NBC's wishes. As a result, several fan favorites characters were removed, and there were many mean spirited moments and jokes.)
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy (Season 5 & 6; 2005-08 — Season 5 was okay, but Season 6 was too short since that season had only two episodes without a reason or rhyme.)
  • Johnny Bravo (Season 4; 2004) — The slapstick and self-deprecation that made the show's humor the main highlight was downplayed, reducing it to just Johnny interacting with people with little-to-no humor being given off and all of Season 2 and 3 were ignored. Making things worse, the series finale, "Back on Shaq" was terrible and a huge insult to Hanna-Barbera because Huckleberry Hound was in it and used in a not-so-good manner.)
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy (Season 5 & 6; 2006-07 — These seasons are where the show started to become more cruel and gruesome than usual as well as the two title characters suffering from flanderization.)
  • Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil (Season 2b; late 2011-12 — Greatly reduced the numbers of stunts, adventures and action and focused more on Buttowski family slice of life instead of what the show intended to be, as well the flanderization of the titular character, Buttowski family members and Kendall Perkins)
  • The Boondocks (Season 4; 2014 — Season 4, the final season, was made without McGruder, and as a result, was poorly-received due to Granddad getting too much focus, a poor overarching plot, the elimination of several popular characters such as Gin Rummy, Thugnificent and Cindy McPhearson, poor plots, the fact the season was aired out-of-order, Uncle Ruckus undergoing a crapload of Flanderization and the plots being unfunny in general.)
  • Game of Thrones (Season 8; 2019 — The overall story is a disjointed and clichéd mess. The way the season concludes various plots felt either very rushed or were never concluded at all.)
  • Celebrity Deathmatch (Season 5 & 6 - The show mostly lacked substance without Eric Fogel's involvement.)
  • Cheers (Season 11; 1992-93)
  • Danny Phantom (Season 3; 2006-07 — Another victim of executive meddling, mostly due to the firing of head writer, Steve Marmel, after the first episode "Eye for an Eye", as he wanted the show to become a lot darker and edgier in this season onward. As a result, series creator Butch Hartman became more involved with the writing than he did in the first two seasons and most of the continuity and subplots from said seasons were ignored in favor of building Sam up to be Danny's love interest by the end, several characters like Danny and Vlad became inconsistently portrayed, and pacing issues within the episodes in question, even in the finale "Phantom Planet", due to Nickelodeon reducing the budget for the series. Thus, there are only 13 episodes compared to 20 in each of the first two seasons, and the series ended up being canceled despite Hartman wanting to do more episodes.)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003, Season 6 & 7; 2006-09 — Thanks to executive meddling, the series continued on in Season 6 with a complete change in tone as 4Kids demanded the show to be a lot more light-hearted. Season 7, while an improvement, also received criticism for the redesigns to resemble the 2007 TMNT movie and rushed story-line. Thankfully, Turtles Forever ended the series on a high note.)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987, Season 9 & 10; 1995-96 — The series was already on a decline in Season 8 when the series attempted to be more dark but that season was decent but the show worsened in Season 9 with the removal of Shredder and Krang with replacements of both Carter and Lord Dregg. This is considered the moment when the series jumped the shark.)
  • Teen Wolf (Season 4-6; 2014-17 — Season 4 to 6 were not well-received by many fans due to their questionable writing, many actors leaving the show without explanation, underwhelming villains like Meridith and the Dread Doctors, storylines such as Stiles's father and Scott's mother struggling with money that went nowhere, and many filler episodes.)
  • The Promised Neverland (Season 2, 2021 — A lot of chapters were skipped and the ending can be seen as quite lackluster.)
  • Space Ghost Coast to Coast (Season 10 & 11; 2006-08 — The episodes felt more actually awkward rather than funny awkward.)
  • Grojband (Season 1b; 2014-15 — The second half saw the mass flanderization of many characters.)
  • Winx Club (Season 5-8; 2011-19 — When being revived by Nickelodeon, fans didn't take kindly to these seasons.)
  • The Price is Right (Season 31-38; 2002-10 — These seasons experienced bad directing, mediocre announcers following Rod Roddy's 2003 death (not long into Season 32), bad pricing games, such as On The Spot, below average hosting from Bob Barker in Seasons 34-35 due to his advanced age (which led to his retirement in 2007), two long-time staffers being fired (Roger Dobkowitz and Kathy Greco) and also dropped many of its classic clues in favor of inferior ones.)
  • Looney Tunes (1933-35, 1962-69 — The Buddy era cartoons were poorly received due to their blandness and the classic era would experience a decline after William Lava took over as the music composer, which would worsen once the Termite Terrace studio closed and was outsourced to DePatie-Freleng Enterprises and Warner Bros.-Seven Arts.)
  • Tom and Jerry (1955-58, 1961-62 — This show went downhill after Fred Quimby retired and worsened when the series was outsourced to Rembrandt Films.)
  • Saturday Night Live (Season 6, 11, and 20; 1980-81, 1985-86, 1994-95)
  • Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (Season 7-17 of the US syndicated version and series 22—30 of the UK version; 2008-19, 2007-14)
  • Betty Boop (1934–39)
  • Popeye the Sailor (theatrical cartoons) (1949-57)
  • The Pink Panther (1978-80)
  • Ben 10 (2016) (2016-20 — The reboot problems that were carried from the original 2005 series of the same name with these seasons would be that they have a very poor grasp of source material despite being made by Man of Action, the creators of the original Ben 10.
  • The Loud House (Season 4-present; 2019-present — Major flanderization of characters like Lincoln and Leni Loud, and the plots becoming a lot more nonsensical over time.
  • Bunk'd (Season 3-present; 2018–present — This show removed several characters and replaced them with new, unnecessary characters.)
  • South Park (Season 20; 2016 — The show went downhill during this season for various reasons, such as serialization, overuse of anti-Trump humor, storylines being scrapped in Season 20 due to Trump's shock election victory.)
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show (Season 3-5 and Adult Party Cartoon; 1993-96, 2003 — The show went downhill in the Games Animation era (1993-96) after John Kricfalusi got fired from Nickelodeon for inappopriate things in 1992 and Bob Camp replacing him in the control of the series as creative director and supervising director. Due to this, the show suffers from more restricted animation and less clever plots and writing, as well as spawning some horrible episodes.)
  • SuperMarioLogan (2017-present — Since the infamous and controversial episode "Jeffy's Tantrum", the series went horribly downhill. It got worse after the Human Puppets were introduced.)
  • Nicky, Ricky, Dicky and Dawn (Season 3 & 4; 2017-18)
  • Regular Show (Season 5 & 6; 2013–15 — These seasons began to look more on relationships for Mordecai and they could get annoying at times, but these seasons are good and have little-to-no bad episodes.)
  • Super Sentai (Season 11 of the Showa era; Hikari Sentai Maskman 1987-88; Season 13-14, Season 19, Season 22, Season 25 and Season 37-39 of Heisei Era; Kousoku Sentai Turboranger 1989-90; Chikyuu Sentai Fiveman 1990-91; Chouriki Sentai Ohranger 1995-96; Seijuu Sentai Gingaman 1998-99; Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger 2001-02; Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger= 2013-14; Ressha Sentai ToQger 2014-15; Shuriken Sentai Ninninger 2015-16)
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil (Season 3 & 4; 2017-19 — The show started to focus more on romantic drama, the fantastical racism against monsters in Mewni became the series' new main plot right after Toffee's was killed off, and every episode had too many writers working on it, resulting in both old and new ideas being cut and mostly never used again as a result.)
  • Postman Pat (Special Delivery Service; 2008-17 — It was generally not as well-received as the first two seasons and seasons 3-5 (to some extent) due to the fact that it carries many of the same flaws that Seasons 3-5 had, a poor mix of source material, repetitive formulaic storytelling, a lack of slice-of-life stuff, Pat being forced away from his postal route in Greendale to deliver every parcel to other places that are called "special deliveries", and the series itself being turned into a lengthy toy advertisement.)
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender (Season 7 & 8; 2018 — Season 7 and 8 were not well-received by audiences due to mass flanderization, serious plot-holes and the killing-off of Allura in the final episode.)
  • Doug (Season 5-7; 1996-99 — Tom McHugh as Doug didn't live up to Billy West's performance; there were also pointless changes such as Honker Burger being replaced with a cheap French restaurant called Chez Honque and the Beets disbanding.)
  • The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss (Season 2; 1998 — As a response to a focus group thinking the show was for much younger kids in its first season, some viewers complaining about how scary the first season was, and to compete with Bear in the Big Blue House, the show moved to Nick Jr. in 1998, dropped its storybook-esque anthology format, and shifted to only aiming at preschoolers/younger audiences instead of families/older audiences like most Dr. Seuss books.)
  • Naruto (Season 4 & 5; 2005-07 — The infamous "post-Sasuke" filler arcs saw the comedy being ramped up to 11 and the mass flanderization of many characters, especially Sakura)
  • Rugrats (Season 7-9; 2001-2004 — Regarding the show going downhill, there are continuity errors like with how the babies first met and Angelica's first walk, as well as plots being recycled to shoehorn in Dil and Kimi.)
  • Naruto Shippuden (Season 3, 5, 9, 11, 13-14, 17-21 — These seasons were riddled with filler episodes like the last two seasons of the original series, except they now have the nasty tendency of interrupting major story arcs.)
  • The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat (Season 2; 1996-97)
  • Dragon Ball Z (seasons 1-7) (Season 7-9; 1993-96)
  • VeggieTales (2010-18 — Around the early 2010s, the CGI animation budget was cut in half thanks to Big Idea being purchased by DreamWorks and outsourcing the CGI animation to cheaper studios. Many episodes' plots were also rehashed from previous episodes. The revival series VeggieTales in the House and VeggieTales in the City didn't help matters.)
  • Woody Woodpecker (1962–72 — The animation became cheaper and Woody himself was toned down into a more generic hero)
  • The Real Ghostbusters (Season 4-7; 1988-91)
  • Happy Days (Hollywood, Part 3: Fonzie's Spots; 1977-84 — The trope names for "Jumping the Shark".)
  • Angry Birds Toons (Season 3, 2015-16 — The writing has gone downhill, a numerous number of characters have been flanderized and these seasons resulted in many bad episodes.)
  • Turbo F.A.S.T (Season 3; 2016 — The writing has been downgraded to dull and lazy, having a big amount of filler episodes, some of the characters have gotten flanderized, overuse of gross-out jokes, and having the same 7 amount of writers working on it as the second season compared to the first season which had 10 writers.)
  • Jeopardy! (Season 20-present; 2003-present — The show's five game cap was removed in Season 20, and as a result Ken Jennings' run would last for nearly two seasons. Season 31 removed the co-champion rule, which allowed players who finished tied to compete again on the next show. As of Season 34, all ties are decided with a tiebreaker clue; the winner plays on and keeps their winnings and the loser goes home with $2,000. The show has also seen an increase in poorly-worded and/or misleading clues, thanks to executive producer Mike Richards, who was eventually fired. Not long into Season 37, Alex Trebek died of pancreatic cancer and a rotation of guest hosts took his place for the rest of the season.)
  • Tamagotchi! (Season 1B — There was a major flanderization of some characters, many bad/mediocre episodes, and the characters became considerably blander.)
  • Sunny Bunnies (Season 5 & 6, 2020 — This show had massive flanderization of some characters, downgraded CGI animation, & tons of mediocre episodes.)
  • Turma da Mônica (Season 6-present; 2009-present — Severe flanderization of the characters, stiff animation, and many bad episodes.)
  • Annoying Orange (mid-2014-present — The channel started to decline after the TV show as Orange's voice got more annoying, going from millions of views to only a couple thousand, and becoming a channel just for kids.)
  • Sealab 2021 (Season 3 & 4; 2003-05 — They were when the show officially jumped the shark, shifting it into being more mean-spirited; especially with season 4 being the overall worst season of the show.)
  • Something Special (Season 3-present; 2008-present — This show jumped the shark in Season 3 with the introduction of the "Out and About" format and hasn't recovered since.)
  • Gen:LOCK (Season 2-present; 2021-present — The series debuted in 2019 and was praised for its visuals, story, all-star cast, and its unique take on mechas. Unfortunately, however, it quickly went on a seasonal rot with the second season due to it’s rushed pacing, killed off major characters, absence of Battle Tapes, and the use of edgier content like blood and gore, excessive profanity, as well as overuse of sex scenes with full frontal nudity, and was critically panned by fans because of it.)
  • El Chavo Aminado (Season 3-7; 2009-14 — The show felt more like a preschooler show rather than an animated adaptation, the animation declined in Seasons 6, More childish and fantasy-ish plot (Even more so than in Season 2), Season 7 also didn't end the show any better.)
  • Wheel of Fortune (Season 21-present; 2003-present — The show took a noticeable dive in quality due to the introduction of Prize Puzzles, unfair gimmicks to keep the show fresh, the death of long-time announcer Charlie O'Donnell, the lower budget and bonus puzzles being too quirky for it’s own good.)
  • Titeuf (Season 4; 2016-17 —This season is an example of executive medding because instead of continuing where season 3 ended, they decided to change everything in order to try to approach comics in addition to flanderized certain characters like Titeuf or Nadia.)
  • Noveltoons (late 1955-67)
  • Angelo Rules (Season 3b & 4; — Has deteriorated sharply due to a huge lack of originality, completely unrealistic plots and the flanderization of many characters.)
  • Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir (Seasons 3 to Present)
  • Robotboy (series 2 (seasons 3-4))
  • Among Us Logic (2021)
  • Zig & Sharko (season 3; 2019 — Even if the show started to deteriorate from season 2 because of the flash animation and the humor that had become poor, it was still correct unlike season 3 which flandered the characters like Zig or Sharko who became meaner than before. )
  • Beyblade Burst (Turbo and Surge, seasons 3 and 5)

Minor

Shows that experienced a minor decline in quality but aren't bad enough to have a page on here. Therefore, these seasons from those shows are hereby forbidden from having a page at any cost.

  • KaBlam! (Season 3 & 4; 1998-2000 — Sniz & Fondue ceased production and was replaced with more one-off shorts, though the remaining shorts were still good)
  • Beavis and Butt-Head (Season 5-6 and 8, 1994-96 and 2011) — Season 5 devotes more time and emphases on the music video segment, resulting in the main segments being weaker in terms of plot and prevents from something interesting to happen, Season 6 does the same but with more creative and structured plot, Season 8 in the other hand, was noticeably even worse than the former 2 seasons, by skipping the music segments, but while Season 5-6 and to a greater extent, Season 8 are the weakest seasons, the show still remained great)
  • Doraemon (1979, 1996-2005 — The show went downhill after the death of Fukijo F. Fujio, not horribly though. Many episodes rehashes older plots with only a few changes)
  • Family Guy (Season 6 & 7; 2007-09 — While there were stinkers, they are generally considered the last two good seasons, especially Season 6, before all hell broke loose starting in Season 8. There are some bad episodes such as "Not All Dogs Go To Heaven", which was considered a "jump-the-shark" moment. (Despite being from Season 7, some fans tend to see that this made the decline even more notable than before.)
  • The Cleveland Show (Season 3; 2011-12) — This season is a bit worse than Season 2 as there are bad episodes and the characters acting very out of character in several episodes, especially Cleveland and Rallo. However, this season is good nonetheless and is better than Season 1 despite flaws.
  • The Fairly OddParents (Season 6-8; 2008-12 — While Poof was a sign that they would add more new characters later on, the seventh season is where the show truly started to decline in quality following the debut of Ray DeLaurentis as head writer and co-executive producer, along with Butch Hartman's declining talent or supposedly loss of interest in his own work. Despite this, these seasons, especially Season 6, are still considered good, until all hell broke loose in Seasons 9 & 10.)
  • Family Matters (Season 9, 1997-98 — The show went downhill in quality when it was moved to CBS.)
  • Yo-Kai Watch (Season 2 & 3; 2015-18 — These seasons are responsible for the decline in viewership of the show, with the increase of toilet humor, the derailment of several popular Yo-Kai from the games, Flanderization of several characters, and replacing the entire English voice cast due to budget issues.)
  • The Big Bang Theory (Season 9-12; 2015-19)
  • King of the Hill (Season 9-13; 2004-10 — The general consensus on the show's decline is believed to be in Season 9 when they retconned Peggy's early life, horribly flanderized her into an unlikable, annoying woman, and introduced Lucky. The later seasons paid a lot less attention to staying consistent with continuity and Lucky was a pretty one-dimensional stereotype. The show still remained good however, despite these seasons' flaws.)
  • Ben 10: Alien Force (Season 3; 2009-2010 — There were a few very noticeable moments in this season where Ben acted out of character, along with a few dull plots. This season is still good though, despite its flaws.)
  • Futurama (Season 6 & 7; 2010–13 — Even though they are still considered to be good seasons, they weren't as good as the original 1999-2003 run due to minor flanderization of some characters, the occasional bad episode and continuity errors. However, these seasons are still considered good by fans and they do have great episodes such as "The Late Philip J. Fry", "The Prisoner of Benda", "Game of Tones" and "Meanwhile".
  • Thomas & Friends HiT model era (Seasons 8-11); 2004-07, — Seasons 8-11 introduced a retool for the series after Britt Allcroft, David Mitton, Mike O'Donnell, Junior Campbell and Phil Fehrle left after Season 7, and HiT bought out the show in 2002. Although Seasons 8-11 aren't too bad, they have its share of problems, such as inconsistencies, and minor flanderization of some characters. There are also inaccuracies and some bad episodes here and there like "Emily's Adventure". There the last good seasons though, before all hell broke lose in Season 12, though the show eventually redeemed itself in Season 17. Also, the lighting and visuals have greatly improved.)
  • Rick and Morty (Season 3, 2017 — While still a good season, a lot of the writing was not as simple as it once was, but Season 4 did improve the series.)
  • Family Feud (1992-06)
  • iCarly (Seasons 5-6, 2011-2012) - Started to focus on romance instead of its main purpose, comedy, and also had a few bad episodes. These are still good seasons though, and Season 6 is an improvement, despite still having a few flaws itself.
  • Wheel of Fortune (Seasons 21-37 and 39-present of the syndicated version; 2003-20, 2021-present—introduced Prize Puzzles.)
  • Doctor Who (Season 22-24 of the classic series; 1985-87 and seasons 6-8 and 10-present of the relaunch series; 2011-14, 2017-present)
  • The Amazing World of Gumball (Season 6; 2018–19 — It went downhill a bit in Season 6 as it tries to be hip and cool with the kids, and some episodes have confusing plots. This is still a good season though.)
  • Danger Mouse (2015) (Season 2; 2017-19)
  • SuperMarioLogan (2016; This year can be considered the weakest of this era as it introduced Jeffy and it kick-started tons of problems that will become a norm since 2017, such as it showing early flanderizations of several characters and has few more bad episodes than the previous years, such as "Mario The Babysitter", "Cody's Birthday", "Jeffy's Bad Word", "Jeffy's Favorite Song" and "Locked Out".)
  • Talking Tom & Friends (Season 4-present; 2019-present — While the show took a slight quality drop, Seasons 4-5 are still considered to be good seasons and the new character designs are decent.)
  • Angry Birds Toons (Season 2, 2014-15, although some characters suffered from flanderization, their flanderization didn't really hit Rock Bottom yet. And there are still a handful of decent episodes.)
  • Jeopardy! (Seasons 14-19; 1997-2003 — video clues were introduced in Season 14. The Clue Crew made their debut in Season 18, which worsened this problem.)
  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (Season 6; 1995-96 — During production for Season 5, Will Smith announced that Season 6 would be the last season of the show and many fans tend to agree that the last season was arguably the weakest and when the show was beginning to go downhill in quality thanks to the fact that the show was running out of ideas and had a lot of bad episodes. Despite that, this season is decent and has great episodes such as "Viva Lost Wages" and "I, Done".)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012, Season 5; 2017 — this season is good and has good episodes like "Wanted: Bebop and Rocksteady", "When Worlds Collide" and "Yojimbo", but it felt unnecessary. The Season 4 finale could've been the series finale.)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987, Season 8; 1994) — the Season attempted to be very edgy and dark like the 2003 series, while the show began to go downhill, it was not as bad as how Seasons 9 and 10 were.
  • Gladiators (Series 5-7; 1996-98)
  • GamesMaster (Series 5-7; 1995-98 — the show became less about video-games and more of a sketch show for host Dominik Diamond and his friends.)
  • Kaeloo (Season 3; 2018 — Made Mr. Cat nicer)
  • Barney & Friends (Seasons 3-8; 1995-2004 — the show became a bit too lighthearted and preachy for its own good, going so far as to sugarcoat certain issues as if they weren't serious; Barney also became even more kind and excited than usual and his voice became more dopey-sounding. Season 7 replaced the school set with a park set and Dean Wendt took over as Barney, with the character being given an older sounding, more nasally voice as a result. However, these seasons are still considered good before all hell broke lose in Season 9.)
  • Dora the Explorer (Seasons 3 & 4; 2003-07 — the original computer intro from Seasons 1 & 2 was replaced, thus affecting the show's format. These were still considered good seasons before all hell broke lose in Season 5.)
  • SpongeBob SquarePants (Seasons 4 & 5; 2005-09, Season 9a; 2012-15 — A number of fans agree that these seasons are when the series started to go downhill. However, these seasons are still considered good, despite some inconsistencies with the characters' personalities and a few bad episodes until all hell broke loose in Season 6 until the show started to improve in Season 8, and Season 9a was decent before the show fully recovered in Season 9b onward.)
  • The Simpsons (Seasons 9 & 10, 32-present; 1997-99, 2020-present – Many fans mark the infamous episode "The Principal and the Pauper" as when The Simpsons started to go downhill. However, despite this episode, Seasons 9-10 are still good, and many fans still consider these seasons part of the "Golden Age" for the show before all hell broke loose in Season 11. While Seasons 32-present received mixed-to-positive reception and while average, these seasons are still considered to be not as good as the first ten seasons due to the writing.)
  • Saturday Night Live (Seasons 28, 30, 33, 35, 38, 39, and 44-present; 2002-03, 2004-05, 2007-08, 2009-10, 2012-14, 2019-present)
  • Blue's Clues (Seasons 5 & 6; 2002-04 — introduced Joe. Not long after his introduction, the show underwent some major retooling. A new feature where the clues magically drew themselves in Joe's Handy Dandy Notebook and became sentient was introduced. This was used in most episodes towards the end of the fifth season but became permanent the following season and was used in almost every episode. Then Blue was given the ability to talk in Blue's Room.)
  • The Angry Beavers (Season 4; 2000-01)
  • Sesame Street (Seasons 33-37, 40-present, despite going downhill, the show is still amazing)
  • The Loud House (Season 3; 2018/2019 - This season has a handful of problems that were or weren't present in the first two seasons, plus the series is becoming more overly cartoonish than being slice-of-life, which is the show trying to "jump the shark".)
  • ChuckleVision (Series 18-21; 2006-09 — the show began to lose steam during the final four series with phoned-in acting and insane, nonsensical scenarios.)
  • Adventure Time (Season 5b-6 and Seasons 9-10; 2013-15, 2017-18 — many fans believe these seasons have occasional misfires, several filler episodes, and rushed plot points like Jake's shape-shifting arc, but these seasons are still considered good, the finale was very well-received and Seasons 7 & 8 are considered a return to form)
  • Arthur (Seasons 5; 12-14; 16-25; 2000, 2008-11, 2012-22 — the show changed production houses to 9 Story and then to Oasis Animation, became more cheaply animated, and introduced Ladonna. Arthur was also somewhat flanderized, going from an average kid with an active imagination to a super serious character with almost no personality. Barely any episodes focus on him now because of this, and when they do, he often acts even more out-of-character. He is now often used as a voice of reason for his friends. In Season 5/12-14 there has been a lot of forced and boring plots, plus Seasons 12-14 had weak animation when the show was moved to Animation Services (HK) Ltd., such as when Binky would alter between Fat and Skinny)
  • All Grown Up! (Seasons 2-5; 2004-08 — while the show itself is pretty divisive to begin with, some fans say that it declined due to more drama and less comedy, an art shift, flanderization, and more unrealistic plots)
  • Monster Rancher (Season 3; 2001 — this season is significantly more light-hearted than the rest of the series, with wackier villains, no real stakes until the end, a fair amount of filler, and a rushed (if still epic) climax. It doesn't help that some popular characters are reduced to one-episode appearances and Holly becomes mostly useless. It definitely still has a lot of fans though, with many saying that while the overall story is weaker the season still contains some of the best episodes in the whole anime and gave the series a more satisfying conclusion.)
  • The Flintstones (Season 6; 1965-66 — the addition of the Great Gazoo is often cited as the series jumping the shark, but Season 6 isn't awful and has some good episodes, but it was a downgrade to the series.)
  • Dragon Tales (Season 3; 2005 — introduced Enrique.)
  • Cyberchase (Season 9-present; 2013-present - the main topic of the show switched entirely from math to environmental science, making the main characters more bland and generic. Not to mention the flash animation became more stilted, Season 13 being the worst offender.)
  • Postman Pat (original series; Seasons 3-5; 2004-06 — these seasons didn't have as much of a relaxing and calming feel like the first two seasons had, they focused way more on the kid characters and some of the main characters were cut entirely, some of the flaws that these seasons had would later be carried over to "Special Delivery Service". Despite the flaws, these seasons are still quite decent and are nowhere near as bad as "Special Delivery Service").
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force (seasons 5 & 6; 2008-09)
  • Sailor Moon (SuperS and Sailor Stars; 1995-97 — While great, these seasons are usually regarded as some the weakest of the series (mostly SuperS) even though they have some of the best animation. In addition to leaving out the highly-popular Outer Guardians introduced in the previous seasons, SuperS consists of mostly comedic filler episodes and deviates from the manga's corresponding, dramatic "Dream" arc. It also doesn't help that they spend much more time on Chibiusa and Helios the Pegasus than on the main heroine. The final season also leaves out vast chunks of the manga compared to previous seasons, Sailor Cosmos and many Sailor Animamates do not appear at all in the Stars anime, though the reason could be as they wanted to develop their character instead of having more Animamates. The fact that the Outer Guardians returned only to be demoted to extras didn't help. Though there are some fans who regard Sailor Stars as the best season in Sailor Moon as it has less filler, more likable characters and a more interesting and dark plot.)
  • The Venture Bros. (season 5; 2013 — While still good, this season was considered disappointing by some fans. It was a short season so the show wasn't really given a chance to flesh out some of the plot points. The show is praised for massive changes and character development, while this season undid some of that and made certain things go back where they started.)
  • ¡Mucha Lucha! (season 3; Gigante; 2004-05; - the show itself is still very fun to watch, and the animation has gotten better. While the new music isn't bad, and neither is Jason Marsden as Rikochet, it's almost less of the same without Carlos Alazraqui or Michael Tavera.)
  • The Wild Thornberrys (seasons 4 & 5; 2001-04 — these seasons focus less on animals and locales than the first three, especially with "Eliza Unplugged", the final episode of the series, revolving around Eliza's crush.)
  • Steven Universe (season 4; 2016-17 — there is more focus on the human characters than the Crystal Gems. Fortunately, the season's second half had managed to regain fans' interest by returning to the main plot and placing the focus back on the central cast.)
  • Phineas and Ferb (seasons 3 & 4; 2011-15 — while still going well, throughout these seasons, there was more emphasis on the plot formula and redundant jokes as opposed to the show's first two seasons, which had a slice-of-life feel to them)
  • Animaniacs (1993; seasons 3-5; 1995-98 — the writing took a nosedive and so did the animation, which went to weaker studios for the most part. TMS Entertainment and StarToons weren't being used at all, and Wang Film Productions was beginning to weaken in quality. The show also lost Pinky and the Brain, later controversially retooled into Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain, due to it being spun off into a standalone series.)
  • Bear in the Big Blue House (season 4; 2002-06 — although the show was still great, it focused more on Woodland Valley than the Big Blue House in its final season)
  • Drawn Together (season 3; 2006-07 — the show became too dark for its own good and constantly gave Captain Hero screen-time, although this trend had started since the middle of Season 2.)
  • The Jetsons (seasons 2 & 3; 1985-87 — introduced Orbity)
  • One Punch Man (Season 2; 2019 — the animation quality dipped a little in quality but however, Madhouse left and J.C.Staff handed it)
  • Hey Arnold! (seasons 4 & 5; 1999-2004 — Started focusing a lot more on Helga than Arnold, who's defining character trait at this time was being a voice of reason to his friends. However, these seasons are still good and the animation has massively improved.)
  • Xavier Renegade Angel (season 2; 2009 — Just like Jimmy Two-Shoes, the second season suffers from some scenes that was very questionable, the main character got flanderized as he got more annoying, and has questionable special guests like Bill Hader and Snoop Dogg.)
  • The Animals of Farthing Wood (series 3; 1995 — the third series suffered from a downgrade in animation, a greater emphasis on slapstick comedy over drama, and a less solid plot.)
  • The Mr. Men Show (season 2; 2009; Underwent only four changes and fewer problems that are not too major. The show lost Mrs. Calamity due to Chorion's dislike for the character, Mr. Happy's suddenly changed his UK voice from Simon Greenall to Robert Rackstraw, the newer characters (except for Little Miss Giggles and Little Miss Magic) for the second season got little to not much screen-time, focused more on with Mr. Bump, Fussy and Quiet that resulted in them becoming punching bags, Mr. Rude's fart sounds changed from cartoon horns into real flatulence gas sound effects and Mr. Pernickety's name was changed back to his original name from the books as Mr. Fussy, and Mr. Fussy is flanderized from a perfectionistic but sympathetic character to a total control freak).
  • 3-2-1 Contact (seasons 6 & 7; 1987-88—many segments from the first two seasons were recycled, the show relied on individual hosts rather than a team, and the Bloodhound Gang was absent for the most part)
  • Johnny Test (2005, Season 3; 2007-08; While season 2 switched to flash animation, Season 3 was when the show began to decline in quality, with the episodes starting to get repetitive. Also, it introduced the whip crack, an infamous sound effect that would be used more and more often throughout the series. But the season is considered by many to be the last good season of the show before it went majorly downhill in seasons 4-6.)
  • Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. (Seasons 4 & 5; 1967-69; Episodes started focusing less around the marine base, with some plots becoming a little more nonsensical than in the first three seasons. Though the seasons still received positive reception despite this.)
  • My Hero Academia (seasons 4 & 5; 2019-21 - Some arcs in these seasons like the Joint Training Battle arc, the Provisional Hero Licensing Exam arc, U.A. School Festival arc, and the Shie Hassaikai arc are considered weak compared to the previous arcs on the previous seasons; The visuals and animation also dropped the quality (especially the season 5), mostly because the studio was more focused on making the films.)
  • The Price is Right (season 39; 2010-11 — While the audition period of this season was pretty lackluster, the season managed to drastically improve itself later on and stayed that way from Season 40 onwards.)
  • STA Studios (season 2; 2021-present; While there was some characters who got flanderized and the increase of Friday Night Funkin', as well as some bad mediocre or average videos, it is still generally considered good.)
  • Numberblocks (third quarter of series 4-present; August 2019-present; jumped the shark in the third quarter of series 4 by going for the big numbers, despite this, the series is still good.)
  • Teen Titans (season 5, 2005-06)
  • Om Nom Stories (seasons 5-7, 2016-17 — These were the first few seasons to not be based on the games, and in seasons 6 & 7 the candy only gets somewhat referenced their. Plus Om Nom & Om Nelle were minorly flanderized in these seasons and they were introducing characters that would be fairly questionable in the world of Cut the Rope. Despite that, these seasons are still good with not a lot of the episodes falling into the outright bad category, plus these season's problems would get far worse when hell broke loose at season 8 and onwards)
  • El Chavo Aminado (season 2, 2007-08, The writing has gotten weaker, especially in the the original episodes that are not remakes from the original El Chavo Del Ocho, this season is not bad and is still decent until all hell broke lose in the third season)
  • Liv and Maddie (season 4, 2016-17)
  • Angry Birds Stella (season 2, 2015-16, There were a lot more bad episodes, plus the season has poor pacing, as the true plot only happens at episode 9, which is WAY to late in the season. It also felt very rushed and had tons of filler episodes, despite all of that the season is not considered bad as it has a handful of good episodes, and it had good ideas that it executed well)
  • Max & Ruby (seasons 6 & 7; 2016-19)
  • Home Movies (seasons 3 & 4; 2003-04)
  • Franklin (seasons 4-6; 2001-04)
  • Peep and the Big Wide World (seasons 3-5; 2007-2010)
  • Unikitty! (season 3; 2019-20)
  • Little Bill (season 4; 2002-04)
  • 24 (season 6; 2007, This is unanimously considered to be the show's worst season, even by the creators due to it being bogged down by a complex, ridiculous family drama filled with plot points ripped haphazardly from previous episodes. It got the lowest ever ratings, prompting Fox to retool the series.)
  • Angel (season 4; 2003, Many consider this to be the worst season of the Buffy-verse due to its darker tone, nonsensical and convoluted story arc, Connor being utterly unlikable and Cordelia's character being utterly derailed as a result of Charisma Carpenter's pregnancy. There were some bright spots, such as Wesley's character growth, the hilarious "Spin the Bottle", the return of Angelus and Faith and Willow crossing over from Buffy. The fifth season was a re-tool of the show that was much more well-received.)
  • The A-Team (season 5; 1987, The final season saw a change to the show's format with the A-Team being caught and forced to work for the government, taking their orders from Robert Vaughn's General Hunt Stockwell. It also saw the addition of Frankie Santana, an annoying comic-relief mechanic who added nothing to the series, but minimized B. A.'s role. The iconic theme tune also got an unnecessary makeover.)
  • Miami Vice (season 4; 1987-88) - This is widely considered to be the show's worst season due to its lighter tone and shifts into science-fiction and comedy, such as "The Missing Hours" and "The Cows of October", which are widely seen as the show's worst episodes, giving the show a very jarring tone. There's also Tubbs' role being reduced and Jan Hammer's musical contribution noticeably reduced, with many of his cues from earlier seasons simply being recycled.)
  • Angry Video Game Nerd (season 12-present, 2018-present, the show took a minor wound in quality when Screenwave began to get involved.)
  • Nostalgia Critic (2013-present)
  • The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show (season 2; 1985–86, the season is still even good and the new theme song "Let's Have a Party with Charlie Brown and Snoopy" is decent.)
  • Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! (season 2; 2008-2010, introduced Daizy, though the season is still decent.)
  • Pinky Dinky Doo (season 2; 2008-2011)
  • ChalkZone (season 4; 2008)
  • Team Umizoomi (season 4; 2013-2015, the season is still good and decent.)
  • Bob the Builder (Ready Steady Build/CGI-era; 2010-2012)
  • Pingu (HiT era/seasons 5 & 6; 2004-2006, the era for the last two seasons is still very good.)
  • Super Why! (seasons 2 & 3; 2012-2016, introduced Woofster.)
  • Bewitched (seasons 6-8, 1968-72)
  • Seinfeld (seasons 8 & 9; 1996-1998, While still good, the main cast would get involved in more unrealistic scenarios that wouldn't be relatable to viewers.)
  • SMG4 (2022-present; while it’s still good, GMOD is overused, and so as the new OC characters and the lack of old ones. One other complaint is the flanderization of characters most notably Mario who turned from a stupid but generally liked person to a major butt-monkey that is constantly abused by everyone for the smallest problem and also having more infamous episodes compared to the previous years.)

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