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Your most important responsibility, as the parent of an adolescent, is to be a hideous embarrassment to your child.Fortunately, most of us parents have a natural flair for this.
Children on TV live in terror of their parents ever getting a chance to interact with the other kids in school. This is for a very good reason - parents on TV seem to be on a quest to humiliate their children in front of their peers.
They always have a thousand and one stories about things their unfortunate offspring did when they were two years old, and they always seem certain that everyone wants to hear about them. They're perfectly right about that, of course, just not for the reasons that they think - the Alpha Bitch and her ilk are just dying to hear humiliating childhood stories, because they'll be able to tease the poor protagonist about them for years to come!
To add insult to injury, if the hero lets slip that he or she doesn't appreciate the parents' complete disregard for his or her right to privacy, the parents tend to be absurdly hurt and the hero is likely to have to spend the rest of the episode trying to make amends, with the whole thing ending on An Aesop about not being ashamed of your parents. And never mind that it's usually not really a case of being ashamed of them personally, and more about them cheerfully walking all over your privacy and dignity.
- Toyota has an ad campaign with an insufferably smug kid pointing out the parents who are hideous caricatures of aging baby boomers humiliating their children by merely existing and driving something that isn't the company's big honkin' SUV.
- Toned down a small amount in the follow-up ad: the same brat is in the backseat when they pull up alongside another kid with embarrassing parents, who have apparently been singing "Morning Angel" over and over again, 30 times in a row. He's embarrassed and traumatized by the singing, not the car; the apparent selling point is that the Toyota SUV comes standard with a back-seat monitor so the kid could have been able to drown them out. SUCH a better message.
- They also seem to be marketing the car to the kids, rather than either set of parents.
Anime and Manga
- One of Murai's friends in Great Teacher Onizuka is incredibly ashamed of his super unattractive mother, which happens to be the total opposite of Murai's own situation with his mom. Murai's mother also embarrasses him when they drop in on a hot, sweaty day by only wearing a tank top and shorts. No bra.
- The series Kamisama Kazoku demonstrates why you do NOT want these parents to be gods with Reality Warper powers and total omniscience. When the main character, Samataro, is in school and idly thinking about the school's banning of revealing gym shorts for girls, his dad picks up on the thought. Dad immediately has the male teacher express his love for them, and come from behind the podium wearing them, to the total shock of the class. Also, Samataro's mother surprises the boy when he comes home by having herself and his two sisters wear them! And then Dad himself comes out wearing them!
- It's a case of embarrassment all around in the fourth episode of the third season of Mariasama ga Miteru when the cast's parents arrive for the school athletics carnival:
- Normally quiet and reserved Shimako curls up in a little ball and whimpers when her father (a Buddhist monk who has just come from presiding over a funeral and is still in his robes) is paraded in front of the entire school as part of the scavenger hunt.
- In addition to her other issues with her father, Sachiko finds his actions fit this when he meets Yumi, though her judgment may be clouded.
- Yumi is afraid her parents are going to do this to her when she introduces them to Sachiko for the first time.
- Yoshino's parents do do this to her in the novel that this episode was adapted from.
- When Tamaki's kendo team visits her house in the Bamboo Blade manga, her father wastes no time in breaking out the photo album, much to Tama-chan's chagrin.
- Then he brings put the video of her bathing as a child...
- In Lucky Star, normally Konata is perfectly okay with her dad's otaku tendencies, being as she's just as much one herself, but it would be nice if he toned down the Lolicon aspects when visiting the school on sports day. Or with friends visiting. Or while her younger cousin is living with them while she attends Ryou-ou...
- Haruhi on Ouran High School Host Club is embarrassed of her father. Not only does he cross-dress, but he's constantly trying to get her to dress more lady-like. Funny enough, the rest of the club seems fine with it.
- Otoha from Happiness, who is prone to greeting her son Yuuma enthusiastically while at school. As a result, Yuuma tends to avoid the cafeteria where she works.
- The Prince of Tennis: Ryoma Echizen would be very grateful if his Retired Badass father Nanjirou also wasn't a meddling, smartass slob. He gets along better with his mother Rinko, even if he whines about how she cooks too much Western food for his taste.
- Magic Users Club has Aburatsubo's ultra-affectionate and ultra childish Hot Mom, Akiko. He is terrified at the mere prospect of her showing up at his school.
- Nanaka's mom is this too, once showing up to a school meeting while in her gardening clothes.
- If parental substitutes count, there's Yayoi from Koe de Oshigoto!, who reveals a few choice anecdotes about her little sister Kanna to their co-workers.
- Pokémon "Don't forget to change your—" "Alright, mom! Jeez!" Done regardless of who (friends, neighbors) or what (television cameras) is nearby, either. (this example though, seems to be DUB ONLY)
- Umi's Sickeningly Sweethearts parents in Magic Knight Rayearth. Their daughter is almost squicked when they act like 15-year-olds around her.
- You think these others have it bad? Try being a girl with a father who can summon waves out of nowhere, is a total spaz, insists you're a man, and lives in your school so you won't be able to get rid of him! Ryuunosuke Fujinashi from Urusei Yatsura has, and she doesn't like it.
- Ranma ½: More than one of Fujinami-san's worst traits slipped into Genma Saotome. His son Ranma really, really hates him when he's in full Jerkass mode. Which, sadly, happens almost 24/7.
- Soun Tendo sometimes is like this too, but it's more about him being both very old-fashioned and very melodramatic. Oh, and arranging his daughter Akane's marriage to Ranma without really asking her first. Akane cares for him more than Ranma does for Genma, but such stuff won't be forgiven ever.
- Planetes manga feature several of them, it concentrating on the lives and personalities of the characters.
- Tanabe's mom, Yukari, is very enthusiastic of her girl finally getting a boyfriend and is an avid Ai x Hachi shipper.
- Goro Hoshino, Hachi's dad, is a true Bunny Ears Lawyer, being a huge Jerk with a Heart of Gold prone to amusing (and often violent) outbursts -- his Running Gag, for example, is his constant rivalry with Hachi for the last piece of tonkatsu. But he's just that good as a spacecraft engineer.
- Sengoku Youko has main character Tama's mother Kuzunoha in a relationship with the Big Bad of the series. Needless to say, Tama is not very happy about it.
- The protagonist in one of the stories of Himitsu Kichi thinks of his father this way. He's a comedian who's So Unfunny It's Funny and he's always being silly, which his son hates.
- Odin toward Loki in Twisted Toyfare Theatre.
Loki: Daaad, you're embarrassing me!
Odin: Nonsense! Now, gaze upon these naked baby photos of Loki.
Spider-Man: ...His horns have grown.
- In The Tainted Grimoire, Ensei is this sometimes, like when he eats so much food at public restaurants which usually earns stares from everyone else. His daughter Kanin is unhappy about this.
- In Misfiled Dreams (a Misfile fic), Ash's mother Marie joins in on the action when she cheerfully explains to her daughter the various pros and cons of a menage a trois. And then mentions that she's had three-ways with a man and another woman, as well as with two other girls.
- Jimmy Michaels of the Fruits Basket fic Jimmy & Kyo has a particularly bad case. Just mentioning his mom's occupation is enough to embarrass him to death. So what does she do? She's a Romance novelist! It's hinted his older brother Scott is just as embarrassed.
- Mrs. Witwicky in Transformers.
- One of the less obnoxious habits of Bridget's family in Bridget Jones's Diary.
- The plot of the Australian film The Rage in Placid Lake, about a kid so embarrassed by his hippie parents (who among other things send him to his first day of school in a girl's uniform) that he deliberately becomes the ultimate conformist.
- The Klumps in The Nutty Professor.
- Real Genius: Mitch Taylor's parents.
- After speaking with them at the science fair, Dr. Hathaway asks them if, by any chance, Mitch is adopted.
- An exchange late in the movie between Mitch and his new girlfriend Jordan:
Jordan: Are you going to take me home to meet your parents?
Mitch: (horrified) No!
Jordan: Why?! Are you ASHAMED of me???
Mitch: No, them!
- In the second live-action Death Note film, Light's dad Soichirou gives him the bollocking of a lifetime, right in front of his girlfriend and all his work colleagues. Although that's not really the most important thing on his mind at the time, hyuk hyuk...
- Particularly cruel version from Truffaut's The 400 Blows: Once Antoine's parents learn that he's been skipping school, they decide to punish him in the most humiliating way imaginable to a preteen boy -- by going down to school, storming into his classroom, slapping him in front of all his classmates, and letting him (and everyone else in the room) know, in no uncertain terms, that there's more to come once he gets home. They then leave him to stew in terror and suspense for the rest of the school day.
- The core plot in Meet the Fockers.
- Played to a "T" in the craptacular Sylvester Stallone vehicle Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot.
- Fire and Ice: Necron's actor, Sean Hannon, talked about how upset he was when he learned of the idiotic characterization of Juliana, Necron's mother. He was actually embarrassed by it, and then realized what an interesting dynamic it created. He incorporated that embarrassment into Necron's character, explaining why Necron was so impatient with Juliana.
- Adam Sandler's parents in Click. They constantly joke about his small penis. Is anyone surprised he becomes effectively an asshole thinking only about his career and completely forgetting his family about it?
- Inverted with Jason's parents in Mystery Team. He's an embarrassment to THEM.
- Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman. The main character, 'Fat Charlie' Nancy, is convinced that he's got the most embarrassing dad on the face of the planet. He's probably right. One could rightfully consider his dad, Anansi, to be a literal GOD of embarrassment.
- There's an Israeli children's book that's all about this: the kid's embarrassing, stay-at-home dad has his Crowning Moment of Awesome when the kindergarten has a moms' baking contest and his apparently bland cake explodes into fantastic sugared roses. Awww.
- Mrs. Bennet in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice is sort of a version of this trope; her relative lack of breeding and unsubtle attempts to set her daughters up with prospective husbands -- and in the case of Mr. Bingley and Jane, to act as if they're already engaged after they've just met -- prove mortifying to her two older daughters at least (the younger ones are equally embarrassing as their mother). The consequences of this are more serious than usual, since Jane's embarrassing family is one of the major reasons Mr. Darcy persuades Mr. Bingley not to marry her.
- Honor Harrington has a father who is a dignified former naval doctor from a well-thought-of family... and her mother makes up for it in sheer embarrassing abilities. The very first thing she does onscreen is observe how nice the ass of Honor's second-in-command is, and telling her she needs to tap that.
- Kingdom Keepers hints at this with Finn's parents. When his mother first meets Jez, she gushes about Finn meeting "a cute girl", earning a look.
- In the very last Manly Wade Wellman Silver John novel, Voice of the Mountain, the main villain Ruel Harpe is described after embarassing a young witch in his service as being rather like "one of those parents who enjoys embarassing their children on purpose.
- Susan Heffley from Diary of a Wimpy Kid causes their sons a lot of embarrassment and ruins their fun with her bit trait of a Cloudcuckoolander and her tendency to pop up at Greg's school when he has left his bag or lunchbox at home.
- Mr. and Mrs. Harris from How to Get Suspended and Influence People and Pirates of the Retail Wasteland are food disaster hobbyists and gave their son the middle name "Noside."
- In Gene Stratton Porter's Freckles, Freckles, a Door Step Baby, at one point longed to know his parents. But at the novel's end, he dreads the prospect of embarrassing his beloved with possibly criminal relations.
- Played straight and subverted in Gone with the Wind. Wade Hampton (Scarlett's son from her first marriage) is forced to admit that he's been facing bullying and ostracism at school because of Scarlett's unladylike behavior of owning her own businesses, and Rhett's apparent lack of a War record. Rhett, partly motivated by compassion for him, and for step-daughter Ella, and partly motivated by fear that his own biological daughter, Bonnie, might face the same treatment when she's old enough to start playing with other children, starts changing his outward behavior and trying to fit in with the Old Guard social set of Atlanta. Scarlett, however, scoffs at the idea of children's social life being of any importance whatsoever, and keeps right on doing as she pleases.
- Stephanie Plum's mother and grandmother (especially Grandma Mazur) are so embarrassing that even Stephanie's father can barely stand it. As an example, when Stephanie's mother set her up on a blind date in one of the books, Grandma Mazur pulls out a gun during dinner and accidentally shoots the main course while showing it off. Stephanie often begs them to calm down to no effect, while her father, being The Quiet One, merely mutters "Christ" under his breath when they get particularly bad.
Live Action TV
- Lois and Hal in Malcolm in the Middle.
- In The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Uncle Phil's mother is like this. Bonus point for the fact that Phil is middle-aged, and she manages to humiliate him in front of his children. They all think it's hilarious, of course.
- The kids all love Grandma Banks, because she's a Cool Old Lady; embarassing the stew out of Phil (whom she still calls "Zeke", and gleefully recounts stories of his childhood on the farm) is just the icing on the cake.
- Paul's father in Mad About You is another example of a parent who is so embarrassing that he can torment his son even after he's grown up. He at one point published naked baby pictures of Paul in the newspaper. At another point he told an entire theater audience about the time he caught teenage Paul masturbating. Patricide would have been perfectly justifiable.
- And when on one occasion he called his father out on it, it made its way into the newspapers turning all of New York City against Paul, to the point that random bystanders would spit on him on sight.
- Likewise, Everybody Loves Raymond has Marie and Frank continuing to torment Ray and Robert into their adulthood.
- A skit in That Mitchell and Webb Look had a boy in the hospital from severe embarrassment from his parents, with only a few months to live. His parents try to speak to him, but only end up killing him.
- An early episode of the sitcom Roseanne played with this trope, when an uptight Becky prepares to go meet her first boyfriend Chip in public, and her parents Roseanne and Dan jokingly threaten to come along, all the while picking their noses, turning their hats around backwards, etc.
- Roseanne once invoked this as punishment for her kids. She dropped little DJ off at school in the most embarrassing manner possible, by wearing a set of hideous patchwork dungarees, a huge floppy hat with a flower, and slowly, deliberately, applying bright red lipstick in front of him so she could send him off with a biiig sloppy kiss...
Roseanne: Now hurry up. I don't want to be late to walk your sister to college.
- The Closer. Poor, poor Brenda...
- Pretty much the entire point of the Australian kids show Mortified. Of course, given her father styles himself as the Underpants King (he runs an underwear store named this) and drives around in a van with this painted on the side, Taylor Fry may actually have a case.
- Stella in Sugar Rush (TV). Childish, self absorbed, caught banging the decorator on the kitchen table, later entices her husband to a swinger's club, only to be caught by her daughter... You don't know whether to laugh or cry, she's so horrifying.
- Many years ago there was a one-off British TV play, not played for laughs, about a boy who is so embarrassed by his mother's erratic hyperactive behavior that eventually he can't even bring himself to tell people she's his mother and calls her "a sort of aunt".
- The entire point of the aptly-named "Embarrassing Dad" sketches by UK duo Punt and Dennis, most of which had the character at some point end up in a venue with music playing and their teenage children present, and proclaim "It's got a good beat" whilst dancing horribly.
- Still Standing, 8 Simple Rules, etc. Name a sitcom revolving around a family with at least one parent and at least one child and there's a good chance that the parent(s) is/are amazingly embarrassing.
- Friends has it from time to time: Jack with sex-related comments (e.g. asking his daughter's husband if he's able to give her an orgasm), but particularly Chandler's folks: his mother is a gorgeous sex-driven blond who even kisses one of his best friends, and his father's a transgendered Las Vegas cabaret entertainer.
- At one point, Chandler was worried that he was turning into his parents. Ross asks him:
Ross: Did you put on a black cocktail dress and drunkenly hit on me at your wedding?
Ross: Then you are neither of your parents!
- Duncan's mom in The Class joins him at Yonk and Nicole's house for Thanksgiving, and as she leaves to look at Yonk's trophies, Duncan has to tell Yonk that "I know she's my mom and all, but, uh, she steals."
- Not to mention the phone calls.
- Frank and Estelle Costanza in Seinfeld.
- During the series premiere of Cougar Town, Travis's mother becomes the town's official MILF and his father takes a job mowing the high school's lawns (shirtless!), setting him up for plenty of parental embarrassment in episodes to come.
- My Parents Are Aliens has this happen quite a lot (partly due to the fact they're both Fish Out of Water and don't quite understand human society). Although the only example I remember was when Brian wanted to be a magician, and decided to take his magic show straight into the kids high school, despite not actually knowing how to perform any magic tricks in the first place.
- Robbie Ray from Hannah Montana has moments like this, sometimes unintentionally such as when he brought an embarrassing kitty sweater for Miley's birthday, and sometimes intentionally such as announcing to all of her classmates that she failed her driving licenses and needed daddy to drop her off as punishment for lying and ending up in jail.
- Trey's parents from an early episode also qualify. They're amazingly snooty rich people who spend their entire episode looking down their long, snobbish noses at Miley for being 'a bumpkin' until Trey finally tells them that he's ashamed of them.
- In Star Trek: The Next Generation we have another case of a parent who never ceases to embarrass her daughter in Lwaxana Troi, whose flirtatious and forceful personality causes endless grief for her daughter Deanna. Whenever she comes on board the ship, she's likely to condescend to Deanna every chance she gets, butt into other people's affairs, and try to score with an equally-irritated Captain Picard.
- Worf's adoptive parents embarrass him too, but they're not as bad as other examples on this page. It has more to do with Worf's uptight nature than their behavior.
- Bashir's parents in the first half of the Deep Space Nine episode "Dr Bashir, I Presume?" Although the second half reveals he has problems with them that go beyond simple embarrassment.
- The Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode where everyone's worst nightmares were coming true had a typical tough-guy/juvenile delinquent student visited by his babying, over demonstrative mother in front of his friends.
- What about Buffy's mum sleeping with Giles in "Band Candy" and the fallout thereof? She's definately embarassed...
- "What's a stevedore?"
- What about Buffy's mum sleeping with Giles in "Band Candy" and the fallout thereof? She's definately embarassed...
- Simon's dad in The Inbetweeners. He constantly tells Simon about his sex life to the point where it makes Simon physically ill. To a lesser extent is Will's mum, who is quite awkward at times.
- Happens at least once, and more likely multiple times, to Kevin in The Wonder Years. Most memorably, his mother took him to the mall shopping for clothes and had him try on a new pair of jeans, right as some kids he knew from school happened to be walking by. After he steps out of the dressing room, Kevin's mom conducts an up close and personal inspection,
concluding sayingtrumpeting for all to hear that the jeans "need more room in the crotch".
- Taken to a near abusive level in The Hard Times of RJ Berger. In just one example, his mother shouts encouragement to him from the next room as he makes out with his girlfriend, and then ENTERS THE ROOM to remove said girlfriend's bra for him.
- Married... with Children: Kelly would rather people think Sticky the Clown is her father instead of Al; Peggy prefers telling people her husband is dead. Also, Bud and Kelly are both excited when they think Al's going to prison.
- Fringe's Walter Bishop is clinically insane from having part of his brain cut out, and frequently goes off on tangents about how the shaved head of the corpse that they are experimenting on looks just like Peter's bare bottom when he was a baby.
Walter: Uh oh.
Walter: I just got an erection. Oh, fear not, it's nothing to do with your state of undress. I think I simply need to urinate.
- Alan and Amy Matthews on Boy Meets World were usually just Good Parents however they delved into this on occasion. For example, in one episode Amy decides to take a creative writing class at the local university and happens to enroll in Eric's class. She proceeds to write artsy short stories about her and Alan's wedding night and Eric's birth.
- When Rita asks Michael Bluth about his family, the "previous girlfriends" montage reveals the depths of embarassment his family has caused him, so he simply blurts out the lie "I have no family."
Michael: (to himself) Why didn't I think of this before?
- It Got Worse when they found out about Rita anyway. They end up kidnapping her, knocking her out and abandoning her on a bench by the road when they think they accidentally killed her.
- CSI Sara to Grissom, via Skype. "Your mother is talking about our sex life." 'Nuff said.
- The Episode 10 family in Los Simuladores.
- "Just call us Monroe's mom and dad."
- Connie and Walt in the comic strip Zits both drive Jeremy crazy by doing this. There is no Aesop, though, and Jeremy drives Connie and Walt crazy in plenty of other ways, so it evens out.
- Zits also exaggerates the trope at times by making Jeremy embarrassed by his parents' innocuous actions:
Jeremy: My parents seem to be on a personal quest to humiliate me at every turn.
Walt: [pokes head into room] Hey, guys, how's it going?
Jeremy: I rest my case!!
- Jeremy takes some extreme measures to avoid parental embarrassment, to the point where when his father was still driving him to school Jeremy got out to walk the rest of the way at the end of their driveway.
- Played with a twist on Sifl and Olly. Olly had Sifl's mom call their show and tried to get her to tell embarrassing childhood stories about Sifl. She did... except the stories all actually ended up being about something Olly did.
- A wonderful "Revenge of the Kid" occurred in On the Fast Track when Melody was showing Laurel's baby pictures to Bob. Melody excused herself briefly; Laurel followed her out, there was the sound effect of a flash bulb and a piercing scream, and Laurel came back to hand Bob a Polaroid photo with the words, "My mother on the throne." Cue another piercing scream from out-of-frame.
- Older Than Steam: Shakespearean plays
- In Romeo and Juliet, while the Nurse is technically not one of Juliet's parents, she otherwise fits this trope to a T. She's filled with embarrassing stories about Juliet as a toddler, and she loves to tell them at great length long after her audience has lost interest. Juliet has to beg her to shut up on more than one occasion.
- Gloucester in King Lear loves to parade his illegitimate son about and tell all and sundry about the fun he had with his mother.
- The alt text in this Xkcd.
- Ash's dad in Misfile is a gynecologist who treats several of her friends - and will happily talk shop over the dinner table when said friends have come over. Taken to a whole new level because he has a terrible memory for faces, but never forgets a vagina.
- Meanwhile, Ash's mom Marie is a former lingerie model who has appeared in her fair share of racy catalogs. Ash notes that trying on bras would be awkward enough even if there wasn't a large poster of her topless mother hanging in the fitting room.
- The webcomic/book Diary of a Wimpy Kid takes this to extremes: The protagonist's mother is rather stupid, utterly oblivious to Greg's troubles, and goes out of her way to humiliate him in public. The father follows the philosophy of Teens Are Monsters and tries to ship Greg off to military school when he turns thirteen.
- Not just Greg's parents. Rowley's parents are the sort who won't allow their son to watch anything rated above "G". Which might account for Rowley's current state of mind.
- Just recently, in David Willis' Shortpacked!, the surly, misanthropic Mike's parents (who he continually denounces to his girlfriend Amber) are revealed to be extraordinarily understanding parents who appear to be straight out of a fifties sitcom. Which explains just why Mike was so keen to keep Amber as far away from them as humanly possible.
- It's never stated whether they were always like this or whether this is their reaction to Mike dying at the end of It's Walky and coming back a year later with no explanation.
- Girly: Cloudcuckoolander Winter's parents manage to embarrass even her. "ANYONE would be embarrassed by parents who go out in broad daylight to smack each other with bats while wearing penguin suits!"
- In Everyday Heroes, Steve Mighty and Lee Free Sr. are discussing classic rock artists such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and The Grateful Dead ... then Mr. Mighty starts talking about his favorite bands.
- Kria Soulstealer, seen here flirting with her enemy in front of her own daughter.
- Kria is quite possibly the most embarrassing parent ever. Other highlights include:
- Taking her daughter on a nature walk and eating their guide.
- Killing a gardener in the belief that he was an assassin.
- Smashing into the wrong changing rooms looking for her daughter.
- Suggesting that her daughter is lesbian because she hasn't tied a "hot" male friend to her bed... while standing right in front of said friend.
- Making an innuendo-laden announcement about her boyfriend's "impressive sword" at a press conference.
- Kria is quite possibly the most embarrassing parent ever. Other highlights include:
- Questionable Content:
- Dora's parents, Peter and Elssa Bianchi, are serious stoners, prone to massive over sharing. Plus, Peter shares Dora's taste in porn (who happens to be her boyfriend Marten's mother).
- Marten's mother herself; she is a former porn star who helped Dora discover her sexuality, and she constantly asks Marten about his sex life in public.
- Cloud from Sandra and Woo probably won't go to a restaurant together with his parents anytime soon again.
- Eerie Cuties had another variety. Maria Delacroix is a nice lady who knows when to act hands-off and when to lay down the law, and is a very supportive and non-intrusive mother. The only problem is that her attempts to put at ease Layla and her friends fail - Maria can be very worldly and relaxed about things like Brooke having a bite mark on the inner thigh after some noise from Layla's room or her own "related" fond memories of Chloe's mother, while the girls visibly aren't ready to discuss such matters.
- Lois and Peter in Family Guy. Especially where Meg is concerned.
- In the episode "He's Too Sexy For His Fat":
Lois: Will you keep your voice down? You're embarrassing him! [Chris]
Peter: What are you talking about? If I wanted to embarrass him, I'd do something like this. Hey, hey everybody, hey look what Chris Griffin's father, Peter Griffin's doing! (sucks his own nipple)
- The episode where Meg tricks the family onto the Jerry Springer-like talk show.
- Randy Marsh is the crowning example of this trope in South Park even when accounting for the other degrees of uselessness of the adults. Stan often uses a variation of the Face Palm where he closes his eyes and pinches the bridge of his nose in response to his father's stupidity.
- He gets drunk at every little league game and gets into fights with other dads.
- Gets caught drunk driving, thinks alcoholism is an incurable disease until getting his 9 year old son to drive him to a religious miracle to get cured of his alcoholism.
- Quits his job repeatedly to chase the new dream of the week, be it a reality show gourmet cafeteria chef or a worker at Walmart.
- Along with the other adults, sends the kids away to keep them from being abducted. When several days later and a Mongolian demolition of the city wall occurs, he thinks the kids have become Mongolians.
Stan: Jesus they've done some stupid crap before, but Jesus Christ.
- Convinces the town that the town's spending has made the economy, a sentient being, angry and that the town must repent by forgoing any spending and wearing bedsheets as clothing.
- Creates the word "timecist" to describe people who are intolerant towards the people from the future. Then, after a future person takes his job, becomes the spokesman for the big pile of men having gay sex with each other to try to un-breed the future people.
- Kim Possible has parents like this. On the other hand, the Alpha Bitch and Big Bad Dr. Drakken's mothers are like this too.
- The Mother's Day episode is a train wreck of social awkwardness. And does not mark the only appearance of any of the Mothers.
- Professor Wakeman humiliates Jenny in My Life as a Teenage Robot and Jenny is miserable about it until Brad tells her part of being a teenager is enduring mortifying embarrassment at the hands of their parents. At which point Jenny feels a lot better, knowing all teenagers go through it. "Teenagers. One moment they're operating efficiently, the next moment they're tossing off body parts and calling you a dweeb." -- Prof. Wakeman
- American Dragon Jake Long: For one episode it was both parents tucking annoying little rhyming Post-It notes on his person that people would find and read. But for the duration of the series, except for the Father's Day episode in the last season, Jake's father was not just embarrassing by the old stories ? he had embarrassing nicknames and behavior.
- To quote Jake when Rose asks if they can practice their lines for the play at his house: "My house is being fumigated."
- Daria did a variation of this in one episode: Daria quite deliberately told embarrassing anecdotes about Quinn to the "cool crowd".
- Frequently comes up in The Simpsons. One episode had Bart and Marge shopping for clothing and she does things such as suggest he try on some cute underwear when other kids were around and opening the door to the changing room without warning while he was still getting dressed. It came off as less of 'Marge is embarrassing' than 'Marge is a Cloudcuckoolander Jerk'. Then again, they don't object to much of what Homer does because he is at least frequently called on it, even though everything snaps back by the end.
- Averted in Doug, who is terrified his older sister will tell everyone about his secret crush when she does a poetry recital at his school. (She doesn't.)
- Played straight when Doug's father shows up at his first party...dressed as a party clown. "The cheese stands alone! The cheese stands alone!"
- Then played straight again in "Doug's Sister Act" when Judy is afraid that her family is too boring for her new boyfriend Kyle, so she dresses up the folks and writes them a script.
- In Goof Troop, Goofy is generally this towards Max. Of course, Max is at times characterized as generally ashamed of Goofy in general, so it's not just one-way.
- Spinelli's parents in Recess. They are actually revealed to be very famous and skilled secret agents, though Spinelli herself is unaware of this, leading one to wonder whether they really are like this or if they are faking being your 'normal ultra-embarrassing parents' as part of their secret identity.
- Jack and Maddie in Danny Phantom, though there are frequent times both Danny and Jazz admire them and their abilities.
- One of the biggest extreme would be in "Forever Phantom" when the two are on a search and rescue mission for their son. One of their methods is announcing to the entire city of Amity Park to keep an eye out for their son AKA "the cutest, sweetest son in the world." They later add their further desire to "shower him with hugs and kisses".
- Though, to Jack's credit, after Maddie says this he quickly does some damage control.
- Invader Zim's "parents" are Amazingly Embarrassing for a unique reason: they're robots meant to aid in his disguise as a human being. Unfortunately, they're not very good at it. In the episode "Parent Teacher Night", Zim tries reprogramming his robot parents so that they act more human (and don't attack random passersby). Due in part to Gir's meddling, this had disastrous results.
- The Powerpuff Girls has the episode "Powerprof" in which their father Professor Utonium, wanting to spend more time with the girls, builds a power suit so he can fight crime alongside them. He then proceeds to embarrass them by being highly overprotective and casually revealing to the public gathered that Bubbles was wetting the bed until recently.
- In the newer The Addams Family cartoon, Wednesday and Pugsley's friend Norman has a father who prides himself on being the best underwear salesman ever, and his mother is a rather spacey Stepford Smiler. It doesn't help that his parents absolutely hate the Addams and tend to end up embarrassing themselves in their schemes to get them to leave.
- The Kids from Room 402 has this with Cody's mom, who doesn't seem to grasp the fact that her son's bathroom habits aren't the sort of thing to be discussed in public, let alone in front of Cody's peer-group.
- Starlee's parents from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fast Forward.
- Ben 10's parents Carl and Sandra are New Age Retro Hippies who don't really embarrass him in public in front of others - they're just embarrassing on principle.
- Peggy Hill of King of the Hill can be like this to Bobby, he mostly finds it embarrassing in public or when he's around his friends.
- What can you say other than poor... poor Timmy on Fairly Oddparents. If they're not ignoring him, they're very embarrassing.
- And when he got Cosmo and Wanda to appear human to pose as his parents to meet Crocker for parent-teacher night, Hilarity Ensued.
- This drives the plot of an episode of Birdz. Eddie is embarrassed by his dopey father, but they quickly grow to bond after getting lost on a scavenger hunt.
- Milo's parents on The Oblongs. At a parent-teacher conference, his mother gets stuck in a desk and his father plays the piano...despite having no arms or legs.
"Helga, I want you to take this compass and drive it deep into my forehead."
- Hercules's foster parents fell into this trope when it was the day parents visited their children at Hercules' school. To their defense, Hercules would be disappointed anyway since he expected his birth parents to show up.
Me: "Oh, are you having a party soon?"(I noticed condoms along with the other party items the mother is buying)
Mother: *nods* “My little James is growing up. He’s going to have an orgy with all his little friends, aren’t you Captain Muffinpants?”
Me: *suppresses laughter* “Will that be all?”
Son: “YES! YES THAT WILL BE ALL!” *runs to car*
- A lot of long-suffering teenagers (and grown-ups) have found this to be Truth in Television with their own parents.
- If you've ever suspected that your parents sometimes embarrass you INTENTIONALLY, if they are perhaps doing it out of a sense of vengeance for the dirty diapers, the vomit, the lost sleep and, oh yes... let's not forget all the coitus interruptus... You're right. We are. And if you don't clean your room your girlfriend WILL get to hear about your toilet training.
- Not to mention how many times you've probably embarrassed them through the years (throwing tantrums in public, getting calls home from school, saying private/inappropriate things to other people, etc.)
- It's all relative: Billy Joel once stated that the only thing he had to do to get his teen-aged kids to behave in public was to threaten to start singing.
- And a Dave Barry column quoted Joel, then went on to show how Barry trumped all of them. Being a humor columnist, he managed to show up to pick his son up from school once in the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile. There's a picture in the book. It is, if anything, more ridiculous than it sounds. Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/1994/04/03/1483213/revenge-of-the-dorks.html#ixzz1gC0T0G2l
- According to him, embarrassment is the ultimate weapon for parents. He even suggests using it as legal punishment:
Judge: Young man, this is your third offense. I'm afraid I'll have to ask your mother to get on the court karaoke machine and sing "Copacabana".
Defendant: NO! NOT THAT! SEND ME TO JAIL! PLEASE!
- MTV's True Life: I Have Embarrassing Parents featured a wannabe rocker dad, a couple of nudists, and a Star Wars fanboy dad. The tale of Star Wars Dad and his son is quite touching: Dad is a staunch believer in The Force while his son is an avid hunter, something dad doesn't really approve of. The son grudgingly agrees to go to a Star Wars 'con (possibly the 'con, "Celebration"). In the end, father and son are seen walking together in understanding, with dad in his Jedi robes and son... in Storm Trooper armor.
- Another True Life episode, True Life: I Have a Hot Mom followed two teenage girls dealing with a specific form of this trope.
- Neil Gaiman once described it in his own philosophical way: "The trouble with parents, and this is speaking as a parent, is that by our very nature we embarrass our children... You could be King, you could be President, and your own children will still say, 'Oh my God, Dad, just stop singing. We're in public. It's so embarrassing. And put that down...'"
- On his elder son's 13th birthday, Jeff Tweedy of Wilco brought the kid up on stage at Madison Square Garden and got the crowd to sing "Happy Birthday" to him, sending him off stage afterwards with "It's all downhill from here, kid."
- Astronaut Scott Parazynski did a Darth Vader impression and told his son "Luke, I Am Your Father"... from orbit. The fact that his son was actually named Luke raises the possibility that he was planning this for a very long time.
- Are we sure this doesn't qualify as a Crowning Moment of Awesome instead?
- Alice Roosevelt Longworth, daughter of Theodore Roosevelt, who was notorious for her antics (keeping a snake, putting a tack on a gentleman's seat...) probably was this for her daughter Pauline. It didn't end happy: Paulina became depressed and an alcoholic.
- This family whose elder members have fallen for a doomsday prophet but the kids aren't buying it.
- Dressing up in costumes to wave at the school bus every day, for the win.
- This is a major theme in the blog STFU Parents, which documents real-life incidents of parents sharing too much information about their kids over Facebook. Even though a good portion of the kids are too young to see said posts, you can't help but feel sorry for some of them.
- Considering that on the internet no information ever dies, you can't help but wonder if in a decade or so scouring Facebook for embarrassing childhood stories will become a standard bullying tactic.
- In her autobiography Fierce, Kelly Osbourne speaks of being embarrassed by her father on numerous occasions as part of her experiences growing up. In one notable case, Ozzy wasn't terribly amused when he found out his wife Sharon had bought then-teenaged Kelly thong underwear as a present, and then proceeded to cut up the thong - in front of her friends.
- More recently, it's Kelly's mom Sharon that seems to be distressing the young star, as Kelly has expressed embarrassment at her mother's willingness to overshare on The Talk.