40 Shark Tank Ideas That Failed Miserably

A child’s red tricycle. Credit: Pixabay

Toygaroo

Kids get bored with their toys and continuously want something new to play with. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a service for renting toys? That’s what the founders of Toygaroo thought, but they were wrong.

The Sharks thought the idea was odd, but it ended up getting an investment. Sharks Mark Cuban and Kevin O’Leary teamed up to invest $500,000 for a 40 percent stake in the company. Unfortunately, business fizzled due to multiple issues. It was hard to ensure that the toys were clean and safe for kids to play with, therefore creating a sticky situation. Also, many children did not understand the concept of renting toys and were unwilling to part with them as a result.

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NoPhone

In the digital age, so many of us are attached to our cell phones 24/7. It’s hard to go a few minutes without scrolling through social media or apps for many people. Because of this problem, the creators of NoPhone came up with an idea to help people wean off their beloved smartphones.

They pitched a fake cell phone to the Sharks. It looked exactly like a phone, but it didn’t have any functions. The Sharks thought it was a joke and found no value in the fake phone idea. Instead of being a way for people to cure their cell phone addiction, the Sharks saw it as a gag gift like a pet rock. Not surprisingly, none of the Sharks wanted to invest in NoPhone as a result.

A pair of fuzzy, striped socks on a wood floor. Credit: Pixabay

Throx

It can be frustrating to go put on a pair of socks to find out that one is missing. Many people have a drawer full of single socks that are missing their other half. That’s what the founder of Throx thought, so he created a solution due to this common issue.

Throx is a line of socks that come in packs of three. If you lose one sock, you still have a pair left. The third sock was added to the duo for no additional cost. The Sharks saw Throx as just a novelty item and didn’t want to invest in the company. They figured that since this idea couldn’t be patented, big sock companies would take the approach and crush Throx as a result.

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Squirrel Boss

In some parts of the United States, squirrels can be a real problem. They cause property damage and taunt dogs and cats. The inventor of the Squirrel Boss found a potential solution to that problem.

The Squirrel Boss is a bird feeder that also works to repel squirrels. The owner of a Squirrel Boss is equipped with a remote to emit a static shock to the feeder when a squirrel gets too close. The Sharks were amused by the function of the product but did not see it as a worthwhile long-term investment. No deal was made, and the product currently has low sales due to its mixed reviews.

Syrup on a Belgian waffle. Credit: Pixabay

Wired Waffles

Many people need an energy boost when they wake up in the morning. Because of that, most of us tend to grab a hot cup of coffee after waking up. Would you instead like to get an energy boost from your food?

That’s what the creator of Wired Waffles believed. He pitched Belgian style waffles filled with energizing ingredients that are a unique alternative to coffee and energy drinks. They were gluten-free, but also dry and lousy tasting as a result. Unsurprisingly, the Sharks were not impressed and no deal was made. We won’t be seeing Wired Waffles next to the Eggos in the frozen food aisle anytime soon due to its failure on the show.

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Cougar Energy

Speaking of energy, energy drinks and supplements are extremely popular. Brands like 5 Hour Energy, Monster, and Rockstar sell hundreds of thousands of cans per year to people looking to get a boost. One inventor decided to enter the market with a specialized energy drink.

Cougar Energy was marketed towards older women who like to date younger men, also known as cougars. A man invented this product after wanting to give his girlfriend, who was 11 years older than him, more energy to keep up with him. The Sharks saw this product as a novelty and didn’t think women would be interested, so it got no offers due to its rather limited target demographic.

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The Skinny Mirror

For those of us who want to lose a few pounds, it can be hard to look in the mirror every day. The inventor of the Skinny Mirror aimed to change how you view yourself. This mirror was designed to flatter the body so you look 5 to 10 pounds thinner.

With the Skinny Mirror, retailers could put it into their stores so when customers try on clothing, they look better in the outfit than they actually do. This can cause an ethical problem since it’s essentially false advertising. Because of this, none of the Sharks offered a deal and the Skinny Mirror owner walked away empty-handed. The Skinny Mirror is only available to be bought in bulk, starting at the high price of $295.

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Elephant Chat

Elephant Chat is one of those pitches on Shark Tank that is unbelievably unnecessary. This idea is a stuffed elephant that couples can use to communicate. When one person wants to talk about a problem, they take a stuffed elephant out of a glass case and put it where their spouse can see it.

They can also say that there is “an elephant in the room.” When a couple decides to sit down and have a chat, the person holding the elephant is the only one who gets to talk. Selling a basic stuffed elephant in a plastic case for $60 is ridiculous, and not many people would be willing to make a purchase as a result. It’s no shock that everyone on the panel hated the product, and none of the Sharks invested in Elephant Chat.

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Nootrobox

When a company’s founders approach the Sharks seeking $2 million for just 5 percent of their company, you would think the idea is a surefire winner. In the case of Nootrobox, that was not accurate. Nootrobox is a company that sells nootropic supplements and chewable coffee pods.

The Nootrobox coffee gummies had enough caffeine to equal one cup of coffee. The products offered by Nootrobox didn’t impress the Sharks, who didn’t think the company was worth $40 million. None of them invested in the company, but today Nootrobox is still making products, having branched out to sell ketone energy drinks.

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Original Man Candle

Does your husband, boyfriend, or father need to maintain a manly vibe in their home while masking odors? That’s where the Original Man Candle supposedly came in. This company sells candles in “masculine” scents like a golf course, popcorn, pot roast, draft beer, and barbecue.

These weird candle scents did not appeal to the Sharks. They considered it to be a novelty item that would appeal to tourists and not get many return customers. The Sharks likened the Original Man Candle to the Pet Rock. Eventually, the Original Man Candle company went bust and the founder ended up filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

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UroClub

Just because a doctor creates an idea, doesn’t mean it’s a good one. The UroClub is a specialty golf club designed by a urologist. He claimed it filled the need of millions of American men who loved to golf but had to urinate frequently.

The UroClub is a golf club that can also be used as a urine receptacle. This weird item comes with a towel for privacy, so golfers can pee into it while on the golf course. The Sharks saw the UroClub as being a gag gift type of product and were unsure how to market it. But Shark Kevin Harrington made a deal for 75 percent of the company for $25,000. It seems like the UroClub is still for sale for only $19.99.

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Wake ‘N Bacon

If you have a hard time waking up in the morning, perhaps the delicious smell of bacon could help. That’s what the founder of Wake ‘N Bacon believed, at least. He developed an alarm clock that starts to cook bacon when your alarm is about to go off, so the smell of bacon slowly wakes you up.

The pig-shaped contraption holds two to three pieces of pre-cooked bacon and begins heating it 10 minutes before the alarm is supposed to go off. The Sharks were concerned about the selling power of the alarm clock as well as the potential to start fires. None of the Sharks took the deal, and it seems that the Wake ‘N Bacon has flopped as a result.

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Pavlok

Pavlok was a device designed to help people cure their bad habits by emitting a shock every time they did something they shouldn’t. Initially, the inventor asked the Sharks for $500,000 for 3.14 percent of the company. He used the psychology of Pavlov to design a self-training device.

The Sharks laughed at the concept of the product and didn’t believe it was effective. Shark Mark Cuban even went so far as to call the inventor a con man. The device cost $200 and required the user to push the button for an electric shock themselves. Pavlok received no deal, and the founder walked away upset.

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No Fly Cone

Not even a celebrity connection could help the No Fly Cone get a deal. The No Fly Cone is a fly trap that is shaped like a cone. The cone is then placed over dog poop to attract flies naturally. The flies then stick to the cone, which can be thrown away.

The founder enlisted the help of Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane to get the Sharks interested in his product. Unfortunately, that didn’t convince the Sharks to invest. They were grossed out by having to use dog poop to attract flies. None of the Sharks made a deal, and Seth MacFarlane’s presence made the product fail spectacularly. It’s no surprise that the No Fly Cone is out of business.

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Attached Notes

Also known as Flip-n-Notes, Attached Notes was a device designed to help organize sticky notes and keep them on your computer. It hooks onto a laptop screen and can hold up to 9 sticky notes or photographs. The founder wanted $100,000 for a 20 percent stake in the company.

The Sharks were extremely unimpressed with Attached Notes and considered it one of the worst products they’ve ever seen. Additionally, they were not happy that zero products had been sold, and the inventor couldn’t explain why. All she could talk about was how many laptops are sold around the world. As of today, Attached Notes is dead in the water.

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The Ionic Ear

The Ionic Ear is to date one of the wackiest pitches seen on Shark Tank. The founder of the Ionic Ear appeared on the very first episode of Shark Tank to pitch his idea for a surgically implanted Bluetooth earpiece. He wanted $1 million for a 15 percent stake in the company.

Since this product required a customer to undergo a surgical procedure, the Sharks weren’t into it, especially after they learned that a cotton swab-sized charger to be inserted into a person’s ear canal every night. None of the Sharks made a deal, and as of now, the Ionic Ear has not become a mainstream product.

Children in a ballet class. Credit: Pixabay

Baby Loves Disco

Dance parties are fun and a great way to burn off some energy. That means that throwing a disco for children would be a no brainer, right? The founders of Baby Loves Disco thought so.

Baby Loves Disco was started to throw fun parties filled with music, dancing, and an age-appropriate rave-like atmosphere with balloons and glow sticks. The Sharks saw a little potential in the concept of Baby Loves Disco but were confused by the business model. None of the Sharks made a deal, and the founders walked away empty-handed. Baby Loves Disco has fizzled out and is not producing events anymore.

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Black Magic Tattoo Removal

For those who have gotten a tattoo they regret, getting it removed is a goal that can be hard to achieve. Tattoo removal is costly and very painful. That’s why the founders of Black Magic Tattoo Removal figured they had the perfect invention.

Black Magic Tattoo Removal was a device that worked like a more expensive type of halogen and laser tattoo removal system. It was much smaller and cost just $249, plus it came with a one-year money-back guarantee. The Sharks immediately saw that this product was ripe for liability lawsuits, and all of the bowed out. The company continued, but the device is not FDA-approved and users have reported being burned and injured by the device.

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CATEapp

It’s hard to believe that a product like this made it onto Shark Tank. The CATEapp helps people being unfaithful in their relationships wipe their phones, so their secretive messages are not visible to their spouses. A West Palm Beach police officer developed it. Initially, he invented the app after a colleague got divorced because his wife saw text messages between him and his mistress.

The founder of CATEapp claims he didn’t set out to sell a cheaters app, but marketing for the app includes the word mistress and advertises tools to block calls and texts so your spouse doesn’t see them. Sharks Kevin O’Leary and Daymond John teamed up to invest $70,000 for a 35 percent stake in CATEapp. Today, the app is no longer running.

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Magic Moments

The idea behind the Magic Moments smartphone app doesn’t seem too bad at first. Users use the app to upload pictures that they’ve taken and then turn them into fun products like shirts, mugs, and phone cases. Users can also take the creations they’ve made and sell the items for a commission.

The bad part about this concept is that a person needs to get permission from someone before they use their likeness on a product for sale. That means that if you want to sell a shirt with an image of several people, all of them have to sign a release form. The Sharks saw no value in the company and none of them made an offer. Today, the Magic Moments app is no longer available on the App Store and their social media profiles are inactive.

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Tie Try

For men who wear ties every day to work, it can be hard to find a variety of stylish ties that fit their style. The founders of Tie Try developed a subscription service to help men find ties that can be worn and then exchanged for new ones. It’s an interesting concept in a niche market.

The Sharks were concerned about the rate of men who were canceling their subscriptions. When they made their pitch, about 15 percent of their customers had canceled the service, which was not promising. Most of the panel felt that the concept wasn’t strong and that the business model for Tie Try was inadequate. No deal was made.

A man during a motorbike race. Credit: Pixabay

Track Days the Movie

It’s rare to see a pitch about a movie on Shark Tank, but Track Days the Movie made an appearance on the show in its fourth season. This movie was supposed to be about motorcycle racing, which the creators said was the second most-watched sport in the United States, yet no movies had been made about the subject. They were looking for a $5 million investment from the Sharks for a 34 percent stake in the film.

The only thing the creators had to show for the movie was a short, flashy trailer. There was no script, no actors, and very little planning put into the film. The team hoped to put the funding into an escrow account and not make the movie until the investors were satisfied with the calculated risk. All of the Sharks dropped out, and the creators of Track Days the Movie walked away empty-handed. It’s safe to say this movie will most likely never be made.

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Sullivan Generator

The Sullivan Generator is a machine straight out of a supervillain’s plan to take over the world. Mark Sullivan appeared on Shark Tank to promote his generator design in the third season of Shark Tank. He claimed it could harness the Earth’s rotation and in doing so, generate electricity.

Sullivan wanted a $1 million investment for just 10 percent of his business. He insisted that more than $100 million worth of gold would be found in the waste products produced by this machine. The Sharks did not believe in the Sullivan Generator, so none of them made a deal. This outlandish machine has yet to be built.

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LifeCaps

LifeCaps appeared on Shark Tank in season five of the show. The inventors claimed that one small capsule contained all of the vital vitamins and minerals a person needs to survive. That way, if a person was stranded in the wilderness with just water and LifeCaps, they would be fine for days or weeks.

The pills are supposedly for use in emergency situations, but the Sharks recognized that they were really just diet pills. They were not happy that no clinical trials for LifePills had been done despite selling more than $400,000 worth of pills. The Sharks decided that there was no market for these pills and bowed out. LifeCaps are still on the market, but they have received mixed reviews.

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Energy Bits

Energy Bits is an algae-based nutritional supplement that is designed to eliminate hunger and fatigue. Algae is known as having the highest concentration of protein on earth, but it’s not edible when raw. That’s where these easy-to-digest tablets come in.

The only problem is that a bag of 100 tablets costs $120 and is only a one-month supply. That means an adult has to take 30 Energy Bits tablets per day, which is excessive. In six years, Energy Bits had only made $1.5 million and was not turning a profit. The Sharks lost all interest and none of them made a deal. Despite that, the product is still available for purchase.

A stethoscope and blood pressure cup. Credit: Pixabay

Rolodoc

Rolodoc appeared on Shark Tank in the season five premiere and was pitched as a sort of social media app for doctors. The founders wanted to create a database where patients could access a directory of doctors in their area and communicate with them. It was sort of like a LinkedIn website for doctors and patients.

The problem was that the pitch was extremely vague. They had no answer for how they planned to get doctors and patients to join the website or how they were going to use social media to help the business. Worst of all, there was nothing determined on whether or not the site was secure for keeping medical records confidential. The Sharks went out quickly, and Mark Cuban yelled that it was the worst pitch he’d ever seen. Rolodoc was abandoned when the founders returned to their regular jobs.

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BirdDogs

Here’s another weird one. BirdDogs are pants with underwear built inside them so men can go commando. Inspired by his underwear bunching up on a plane and making him uncomfortable, the founder quit his job as an IBM sales executive and decided to start a business.

This line of men’s gym shorts was designed to give men the free feeling of walking around without underwear. The Sharks not only did not like the concept of BirdDogs, but they were not fans of the arrogant pitchman. After a heated discussion, all of the Sharks dropped out. BirdDogs are still for sale, but the reviews have been mixed.

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Licki Cat Brush

PDX Pet Design founders appeared on Shark Tank in the eighth season to pitch several of their pet products. One of those items was the odd Licki Cat Brush. With this brush, a cat owner holds it in their mouth and uses the tongue-shaped brush to brush their cat. The inventors claimed that it was ideal for creating a strong bond between a cat and its owner.

Not surprisingly, the Sharks were not into this product. They thought it was valued too high and were not willing to part with $300,000 for a 15 percent stake in the company. None of the Sharks made a deal, and the founders walked away empty-handed. Licki Cat Brushes are still being sold and seem to be somewhat popular with cat people.

A drawing of a cat. Credit: Pixabay

I Want to Draw a Cat for You

Speaking of cats, this next business is quite unique. The founder appeared on Shark Tank’s third season, promoting his cat drawing business. He has a website where customers can write to him, describe a cat and a setting, and he’ll draw it for them and send it to them in the mail.

This idea did not appeal to most of the Sharks who didn’t feel like it was worth it to invest in an artist. Surprisingly, Mark Cuban was a fan and offered up a $25,000 deal for a 33 percent stake in the company. The amateur drawings are not exactly fine art, but they appeal to a certain number of people.

A relaxed cat. Credit: Pixabay

Cat Wine by Apollo Peak

Another weird cat business that made it onto Shark Tank was Cat Wine by Apollo Peak. The founder loved wine and spending time with his cat, so he created a wine that was safe for cats to drink. The cat wine is made with catnip and beet juice.

Supposedly the cat wine causes cats to become more mellow and calm. It also costs $16 for a 12-ounce bottle. Surprisingly the product received a $100,000 deal from Shark Kevin O’Leary and is still on the market. It’s such a niche product that it’s hard to see why it would make a lot of money.

Designing a smartphone app. Credit: Pixabay

BeSomebody

A former Procter & Gamble executive appeared on Shark Tank in its eighth season to pitch his idea for BeSomebody. This company produced an app where you could find people who are interested in a particular field and pay them to share their experiences with you. Sound kind of weird, doesn’t it?

The creator ended up giving a messy pitch that was vague and full of platitudes. The Sharks saw right through it and hammered him with questions. They realized that letting people teach whatever they want on the app, no matter how dangerous, would lead to lawsuits. BeSomebody was not offered a deal. As of 2017, the app was permanently shut down.

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The Sub Safe

When you go to the beach or have a barbecue in the park, you typically bring a cooler full of snacks and drinks with you, so everyone stays nice and hydrated. Have you ever tried to pack a sandwich and found that by the time you went to eat it, the bread was mushy and soggy? The creators of the Sub Safe took that problem and tried to fix it.

They created a plastic container designed to keep a sub sandwich chilled but remain fresh while in a cooler. The Sub Safe retails for $18, which is a lot of money to spend on a product that only has one purpose. After pitching to the Sharks, Mark Cuban made a deal for $100,000 for a 25 percent stake in the company. Who knows if many people will find an $18 Tupperware for sandwiches a good purchase.

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UnPack

The idea behind UnPack came from two businessmen who travel extensively for work. They found that they weren’t able to do laundry that much on the road, and they ended up looking haggard. That’s when they developed a rental service that provides a suitcase with rented clothes and toiletries delivered right to your destination. All you need to bring are socks and underwear. When you’re done, you get to keep the toiletries but have to return the clothes and suitcase.

The Sharks weren’t fans of this idea because they didn’t see how it would make money. Although the creators claimed it would save people from having to pay to check a bag, that wasn’t entirely true since they still had to pack socks, shoes, and other essentials. None of the Sharks made an offer, and since the show aired, UnPack’s website is down.

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The Body Jac

Many exercise tools and techniques have made it into Shark Tank, but some of them aren’t exactly winners. One of those is The Body Jac. This was pitched by a charismatic guy who did not impress the Sharks much.

Cactus Jack brought his exercise machine that was designed to make pushups easier on the arms and shoulders to Shark Tank. The Sharks were skeptical of the device because its developer was somewhat overweight. Shark Barbara Corcoran made a deal with Cactus Jack that if he lost 30 pounds, she would invest in him. He ended up losing the weight. But the deal ended up going nowhere, and The Body Jac is out of business.

Someone working on a knitting project. Credit: Pixabay

Freaker USA

Freaker USA was pitched on Shark Tank during its fourth season. This business was inspired when the founder took a knitting class and decided to make a line of knit beverage containers. It was marketed as a sweater for wine bottles, water bottles, and more.

The owner of Freaker USA was an eccentric guy who made a lot of whooping and beeping sounds that threw the Sharks off. His personality was too out there for any of them to make a deal, so he walked away empty-handed. Apparently, Freaker USA is still running and they now make socks called Freaker Feet.

A latte with a pen and notebook. Credit: Pixabay

Legal Grind

Have you ever gone to get a cup of coffee at Starbucks and thought, “I wish I had a lawyer with me right now”? We didn’t think so. Legal Grind was pitched on the first season of Shark Tank. It was intended to be a coffeehouse that offered legal advice to its customers.

The Sharks did not like the idea and didn’t see a future for franchising Legal Grind. They also didn’t want to cough up the $200,000 investment for 15 percent of the company that the founders were asking for. In the end, Legal Grind didn’t make a deal and only has one open location.

Children playing together. Credit: Pixabay

Squeeky Knees

In Shark Tank’s fifth season, toddler clothing line Squeeky Knees was pitched on the show. Clothing made by the brand features squeakers sewn into the knees of pants to protect a toddler’s knees as they play and move around the house. Since the pants squeak often, parents can always know where their child is.

The Sharks were not impressed with Squeeky Knees and thought the idea was terrible. They also didn’t think the founders were dedicated to the business enough. No deal was made, and it looks like Squeeky Knees is no longer in business as its website and social media pages are out of date.

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Cropsticks

Cropsticks made an appearance on Shark Tank in its eighth season. These are chopsticks made from sustainably harvested bamboo that are also completely compostable. The idea behind this company is to move away from the 36 billion wooden chopsticks sold every year into something more environmentally friendly.

This idea wasn’t bad, but it was going to take a lot of work to get people to abandon wooden chopsticks. The price point was also not great. Restaurants are not going to pay more just because an item is sustainable. The Sharks did not jump at the chance to invest in Cropsticks, and no deal was made. In the end, CropSticks has had some success but will still have a hard time replacing regular chopsticks.

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Esso Watches

In Shark Tank’s third season, Esso Watches were pitched to the Sharks by entrepreneur Ryan Naylor. Naylor claimed his watches were beneficial to a person’s health because of negative ion technology. It’s supposed to help wearers maintain good health and feel more balanced on their feet.

Although Shark Lori Greiner felt an improvement in her balance while wearing an Esso watch, the other Sharks were skeptical. Without being tested, the negative ion watches were a significant liability issue. Shark Mark Cuban called Naylor out for being a scam artist and wanted nothing to do with the business. If Naylor admitted to it being a scam, Shark Kevin O’Leary would have invested, but he refused. Esso Watches ended up going out of business.

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