Yo dawg, this may be painful to hear, but a lot of the Pimp My Ride episodes were actually a TV disaster. Of course, the show gave the audience many gifts, like rapper Xzibit memes that just keep giving. And while fans will treasure the show forever, Pimp My Ride car fails are alarmingly common. Many contestants still regard the auto body shop from Seasons One to Four, West Coast Customs, as garbage reality TV people who aren't the real deal.
The truth is that behind the scenes, Pimp My Ride was a very different show. Most fans would like to believe that cars with terrariums, cotton candy machines, and pull-out movie theaters exist in real life, but this isn't the case. MTV has faked things before (like people lying about their homes in Cribs), and they'll fake things again. It's all for the drama. From fat-shaming to faulty additions, check out how things went horribly wrong behind the scenes of Pimp My Ride.
Everyone really wanted to believe that the insane upgrades given to cars were kept there. Sure, it's not really practical to drive with a fish tank in the back seat of your car, but people wanted to believe someone out there would do it regardless. Unfortunately, many of the show's upgrades were removed as soon as Pimp My Ride finished filming, either because they weren't street-legal or road-safe (like the drive-in movie theater contraption installed in one episode).
Not all the upgrades were removed, though - some were replaced with street-legal versions. According to the co-executive producer, Larry Hochberg, something like "24-inch spinner rims" looked awesome on TV, but "out of abundance of caution" they swapped them for "beautiful 20s for daily driving."
MTV didn't actually audition a number of contestants on the show. Brooke Siegel, a contestant who had her Chevy Cavalier pimped, ended up meeting the producers of Pimp My Ride through a mutual friend. They gave her the gig, but the producers made her act in a scene, begging to have her car pimped. They gave her an entire fake backstory, saying she was a 22-year-old film aficionado. In reality, she was a "25-year-old cocktail waitress."
Seth Martino, a contestant on Pimp My Ride, had LED lights, a cotton candy machine, and a robotic arm added to his car. He admitted that some of the show's upgrades were totally faulty. He ended up having to remove the awesome LED lights installed on the seats because they would get dangerously hot. The cotton candy machine was completely non-functioning and a total mess because it didn't come with a lid. If you used the machine, it shot cotton candy all over the place.
As for the robotic arm, Martino said it was "controlled by commands that were entered into a laptop by the spiky haired guy off screen." In reality, the arm was completely fake and didn't work at all.
Much like MTV's show Cribs, the contestants' houses on Pimp My Ride weren't actually their houses. Contestant Brook Siegel admitted that when Xzibit showed up to her house to tell her she'd been chosen, they didn't even use her real home for the shot.