Anyone who grew up in the early 2000s has seen an episode—or is at least familiar with—MTV’s Pimp My Ride. It was a major TV show that for six seasons raised the profile of reality car shows, even if many don’t consider it part of that category in the first place.
For better or worse, Pimp My Ride was a cultural phenomenon even casual viewers can’t resist recalling without a grin forming across their slightly embarrassed faces. Even if the show was a joke, many imagined what it would be like to have Xzibit show up to their front doors and say, “Yo, I came today to pimp your ride.”
Yet for all its flash and appeal, the show had some obvious problems no one can deny. We’re going to look at major issues below that viewers admit to whenever they watch the show.
15 The Upgrades Were Absurd
One of the biggest appeals of Pimp My Ride also happens to be one of its biggest flaws: the upgrades.
They were always so over the top, which is why it managed to get attention and draw in such a massive audience. With such exaggerated builds, however, the novelty of it never stood the test of time.
14 Pimped Cars Attracted Cops And Carjackers
A colorful paint job, a slot machine on the side of a van and a fireplace may look like cool additions on TV, but they’re cop magnets in real life; not to mention carjackers who want to own a car that a hit TV show made famous.
In the end, many suspect these cars only brought unwanted attention.
13 It Was More About Entertainment Than It Was The Rides
No show before Pimp My Ride had ever done those kinds of mods on cars before. It was the first time people saw builds like that and it felt new and outside the norm.
Then again, this made the focus of the show more about what they could cram into cars than it was about the cars themselves.
12 The Mechanics Weren’t Car Experts
Try to look at the mods for what they were, and it appears clear that they were just add-ons instead of improvements.
As Global Grind points out, the mechanics—if that’s the best title that fits the cast—added TVs and new coats of paint, but did little to actually fix the cars, which were already in dilapidated states.
11 Contestants Should’ve Looked More Surprised
It’s common for viewers to call into question the authenticity of reality TV shows these days. When we look back at some of the recurring interactions and beats of episodes, like when Xzibit shows up to tell contestants their rides are getting a makeover, it never seemed convincing.
That may be due to claims that MTV rented the houses and staged them to look like they belonged to contestants, as per Vibe.
10 They Ruined Some Amazing Cars
Most of the cars didn’t start out really great—which may support recent claims by contestants who say the producers made the cars look worse than they really were (The Huffington Post).
Some, however, such as the Cadillac Sedan Deville, wasn’t all that bad to start with, and lost any value after it got “pimped” out.
9 Car Enthusiasts Never Took The Show Seriously
Pimp My Ride always rubbed car enthusiasts the wrong way. While these shows have their own problems in and of themselves, real gearheads would rather watch a show like Top Gear or Monster Garage.
For a show like that’s largely about cars, Pimp My Ride failed to include some real mechanics and it really alienated the gearheads.
8 It Felt Like They Made It Up As They Went
It’s not exactly clear who came up with the builds on the show, or whether there was a plan for each episode. As Global Grind suggests, they may have just been putting all those random features on cars simply because they could.
If true, it wouldn’t surprise viewers to learn this considering how it felt watching the builds play out in episodes.
7 The Upgraded Cars Looked Like Headaches For Owners
The hot tub they added to a car looked like something out of a music video. The site Junkee even reminds readers that the Pimp My Ride crew put in a TV so people could watch while they soak.
In reality, though, the hot tub just doesn’t seem practical and was probably just a big headache for its owner instead of a dream car.
6 It Spawned Other Awful Shows
It may not have had any direct spinoffs, but there were plenty of copycat shows to come out in the wake of Pimp My Ride.
The Guardian points out several shows, such as Hair Battle Spectacular, Ace of Cakes and Trick My Truck as examples that tried to capitalize on MTV's success with unoriginal versions of their own.
5 Getting A Car Pimped Was More Like Getting Punk’d
There was a common saying on the show that goes, “You’ve officially been pimped!” (TV Tropes).
When viewers saw the final product though, it made us feel like that catchphrase wasn’t completely accurate. Perhaps it would’ve been more appropriate to say, “You’ve officially been Punk’d!” instead, echoing another popular reality show at the time.
4 The Show Got In The Way Of Xzibit’s Music Career
In 2000, Xzibit released the hit track “X,” which got to the 32nd spot on the Billboard chart (Billboard.com).
While he followed it up with other hits, he didn’t seem to reach the same heights again after hosting Pimp My Ride. Seems like the show may have affected his career for the worse.
3 Car Mods Were More About Looks Over Functionality
A pool table instead of a truck bed; a van with a hot tub for its interior; a chandelier in place of a sunroof—these were all gimmicky mods added for shock value. In essence, they didn’t really improve the driving experience because all of them were so impractical.
Do you think the owner of the Ford Econoline van really filled up that hot tub with water after production wrapped?
2 Some Cars Shouldn’t Have Been Worked On At All
The concept behind Pimp My Ride was genius. FHM distills the idea of taking old and junky cars and turning them into snazzy vehicles people wanted to go for a ride in. There’s only one problem: many of the issues these cars had going into the show never got addressed or fixed.
So really it was as if the crew buried the cars’ many problems underneath a bright paint job.
1 The Builds Didn’t Even Make Sense
There are some who see a BBQ inside of a coffin in the back of a Hearse and want one. Then there are others who look at it quizzically with mouths ajar, speechless.
Cool or not, a coffin that’s a grill makes zero sense and comes off as random and less as a clever reference to anything in pop culture.
Sources: Global Grind, The Huffington Post, The Guardian, Junkee, Vibe, TV Tropes, FHM