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Goddamnit, you showed them the picture of me with the dildo, didn't you.
Martin Reed (to his mother), Questionable Content

An old photo album is opened up, and you're enjoying some reminders of your past...

Until "it" shows up. You didn't realize it at the time, but that picture makes you want to crawl under a rock. Worse, everyone else loves it, having plenty of laughs. Fortunately, this rarely has any lasting effects aside from everyone having a chuckle at your expense. If you're lucky, you are the only one with such a picture. This can apply to home videos and slideshows as well.

Can be used to show that I Was Quite a Fashion Victim.

For some reason, "Embarrassing baby pictures" almost always consist of the subject lying naked, butt-up on some kind of fur rug.

Amazingly Embarrassing Parents will rush to show their kids' friends these.

Compare Old Shame.

Examples of Embarrassing Old Photo include:

Anime & Manga

  • Keroro Gunsou: At the start of an episode Aki, is showing everyone some old photos of Natsumi and Fuyuki when they were kids. She shows an old photo where after having wet the bed, Fuyuki has been hung on the washing line next to the blanket he soiled. Fuyuki quickly tries to cover up the photo.
  • Ranma ½: Genma shows embarrassing photos of Ranma to Ukyô and Akane as part of Ranma's training at one point. (Ranma is supposed to be learning how to keep his cool.)
  • Mina has access to a bunch of these of Akira in the Dance in the Vampire Bund manga.
  • In Working, Hiroomi has several pictures of Sôta as a child where Sôta is dressed as a girl. (As Sôta had only older sisters, and most of his clothes are hand-me-downs).
  • In Kyou Kara Maou, Jenny (a.k.a. Miko) is always showing pictures of Yuuri from childhood. She used to dress him up like a girl because she wanted a daughter (but instead got sons).

Films -- Animation

  • In Kung Fu Panda 2, Po's father, Mr Ping, packs a bundle for him to take away on his next adventure. Among the things he packs are paintings of Po during his childhood, including one of Po taking a piggy-back ride on his back. Po's True Companions are amused.

Films -- Live-Action

  • In Bad Boys, we see Marcus wearing a fro.
  • There's a scene in a French movie from the '70s where one of the character has an embarrassing old photo on his driving licence. His friends laugh at him but stop when they have to show theirs, which are even worse.
  • During the party in the first quarter of The Descent, Juno brings out a photograph of her, Beth and Sarah; in it, they're obviously fresh from mountain-climbing, and sporting utterly manic grins. In the laughter that follows, even Beth mutters "look at the state of us." And then Sarah starts reminiscing on something her dead husband used to say and suddenly the scene isn't quite so funny anymore.
  • Averted for the leading actors of Titanic. To commemorate a century of the ship's sinking, Kate is invited to the 3-D premiere of the movie and the second she saw herself in it, she was mortified at her acting and deemed it so embarrassing she practically begged to stop the movie right then and there.


  • In the book Penn and Teller's How to Play with Your Food, Penn & Teller have a cruel trick to avoid your parents showing embarrassing Halloween photos to your future dates.
  • In Judy Blume's Fudge novels, Peter's parents have one of him as a toddler, naked and holding a broom.

Live-Action TV

  • In a House episode, there's a photo which shows House as a cheerleader in high school. When Cuddy sees it, she dismisses it as fake; however, at the end of the episode, it's revealed to be real.
  • On Friends the friends are looking at photos from Ross and Monica's childhood. Joey says he's found "Monica naked!" Ross, embarrassed, admits "No, no, that would be me again."
  • In the Cold Case episode "Stand Up and Holler", Dets. Vera and Miller are showing each other pictures of themselves from high school during the Medley Exit.
  • Criminal Minds
    • One of these is used to prove that yes, Emily Prentiss used to be a Goth. With terrible Eighties Hair.
    • In the episode "I Love You, Tommy Brown", Garcia is desperately trying to get Morgan to pick up the phone and one of the voicemails she leaves is:

  Garcia: Derek Morgan, this is the 67th message I left you. If you don't answer I will be forced to show everyone that nude photo of you from art class, and not the good one either. I'm being serious.

  • An early episode of Gilmore Girls has Lorelai hiding several of these from her daughter's boyfriend.
  • On Community, Jeff's cynical campaign for school office is derailed by opponent Annie, who publically airs an old audition video he'd done for MTV's "The Real World" where he's playing George Michael.
  • Not super-embarrassing, but an episode of Power Rangers Dino Thunder has Kira and Dr. O going through his old Ranger stuff. She finds a picture of him from ten years ago and teases him about his long hair. Dr. O responds "Hey, it was in style at the time!" Of course, this is funnier for long-time fans, since the picture is a promotional image from Power Rangers' second season and depicts Tommy as the White Ranger.
  • In White Collar, the infamous time when Peter grew a mustache. As a Continuity Nod, when there's a Whole-Episode Flashback to that time period, Peter has the mustache until he's convinced to shave it off.

New Media

Pro Wrestling

Video Games

Web Animation

  • Homestar Runner
    • Strong Bad watches this trope play out on TV. He even describes it as such: "Oh, this is the one where the guy's mom shows the guy's girlfriend the pictures of the guy when he was a baby."
    • In an early e-mail, Strong Sad waits for Strong Bad to leave before showing the audience a video of a young Strong Bad performing a very awkward stand-up comedy routine.

Web Comics

Western Animation

  • An embarrassing photo of SpongeBob SquarePants at the Christmas party can be found in Patrick's secret box.
  • Kim Possible
    • Whilst clearing out Ron's garage, Kim finds a video labelled "Ron's Big Day", which Ron begs Kim to take her hands off. At the end of the episode we discover why -- the tape is of a young Ron using the toilet.
    • Kim, on the other hand, has a fair few that knock her magical-girlfriend god-mode-sue status down a peg.
  • Biker Mice From Mars. In the episode "A Scent, a Memory, a Far Distant Cheese", Charley, Modo and Throttle get a hold of Vinnie's very embarrassing baby picture. Oddly plot relevant, as it is used to help defeat that episode's villains.
  • The Simpsons
    • In an episode, Bart is watching a video of embarrassing things that have happened to the family in years gone past. Bart says that he wants to take it to school... until he sees his younger self on the toilet.
    • In a later season, Bart and Lisa use an old camera to take a picture of a forest fire for a contest to see what will go on the cover of the new phone book. When Marge develops the roll of film, she finds an old picture of toddler Bart and Lisa sharing a toilet. That one wins the contest.
    • Double Subversion in "Barting Over", an even later episode. Lisa found a video tape which she thought was labeled "Bart Sad", but turned out to be "Bart's Ad". It was still enough for Nelson to mock him about.
    • A tie-in book called "The Simpsons' Family Album" did, indeed, feature a much younger Bart naked, butt-up on a bearskin rug. As the cover illustration.
    • Inverted in the episode where Marge presents an Embarrassing Old Person picture of a nude Mr. Burns in public.
  • Truth in Television: An embarrassing baby photo became the basis for Tweety's character design.
  • One episode of Doug has a subversion. Patti is at his house and Doug's mom is showing her photos while Doug is in another room, only able to hear the reactions. It turns out the photos aren't of him, but of his dog.
  • Subverted in the series finale of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Katara, wanting to cheer everyone up, attempts this. It doesn't work, and in fact ends up bringing the mood down further, because...

 Katara: I was looking for cooking pots in the attic, and I found this! (flourishes a scroll with a painting of a baby next to a sandcastle) Look at Baby Zuko! Isn't he cute?

(everyone croons; Zuko scowls)

Katara: Oh, lighten up, I was just teasing.

Zuko: (flatly) That's not me. It's my father.

  • In Code Lyoko episode "Cold Sweat", thanks to Odd an embarrassing photo of Yumi ends up in the school newspaper. As pictured above, it shows her disguised as a fairy for Halloween, with a blonde wig and pink dress. Pink really isn't Yumi's color.
    • LIGHT pink isn't her color. Dark pink suits her as we can see in her Lyoko form as it consists of black with dark pink and light purple trim and a touch of yellow.
  • Home Movies
    • Brendon and his mom go to dinner at the Funny Foreigner kid's house to make up for Brendon's making fun of him. Everyone there is laughing it up at an old video Brendon's mom had sent to a contest, that shows little Brendon peeing himself. It made the evening news.
    • In another episode, Brendon makes a "Behind the Music"-style documentary of Duane's band -- including a standard naked-on-bearskin-rug baby picture of Duane, with the same cap-over-eyes sullen face.
  • Phineas and Ferb has This gem. Doofenshmirtz will never live it down. It's also a bit of a Continuity Nod because he mentions the video was lost. In a previous episode, a lot of his junk was dumped out of his aircraft.
    • Also, the recurring photo that the OWCA use as his ID. "Yeah, that picture's gonna haunt me."
  • An episode of Jimmy Two-Shoes centers on Jimmy and his friends finding an embarrassing old video of Lucius. Heloise, being the sadist she is, not only puts it up on Spew Tube, but makes sure it's shown at a rally for all of Miseryville to see.
  • Happened a few times on Ka Blam!, one example being June's dad showing Henry and his mom (and since they're on a show, EVERYONE) pictures of June as a baby.
  • The Powerpuff Girls have a good laugh after viewing Mojo Jojo's baby photos.
  • In the Futurama episode "The Prisioner of Benda", we see Amy Wong's employee of the year photo from 2997. She was quite fat back then. It's also a Continuity Nod to "Teenage Mutant Leela's Hurdles", where the teenage Amy is depicted as being pudgy.

 Amy: (to Farnsworth) Would you please take that down? It's making me hungry.

  • In the Parents Day episode of Recess, Spinelli's parents show the gang a picture of her as a baby naked with her butt sticking in the air.
  • In the Rocko's Modern Life episode "An Elk For Heffer" Heffer willingly shows Elkie some embarrassing photos of himself as a child.
  • In the My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic episode "Call of the Cutie", Cheerilee shows a picture of herself from around the time she first got her cutie mark, and the kids all laugh at her outdated 80s fashion.

 Cheerilee: Yes, I know, but honestly, that's how everypony was wearing their mane back then.

    • In "Ponyville Confidential", Apple Bloom tries to interview Granny Smith for a story for the school newspaper, but Granny Smith is more interested in going over old family albums, including a few embarrassing baby pictures of Apple Bloom.

Real Life

  • Non-fictional example: There was one You've Been Framed video where a little boy having a bath is having an argument with his mother. The mother tells the boy that one day she will show this video to his girlfriend.
  • Jack Coleman discussing the most embarrassing roles of his past (complete with a picture of his mulleted 80's haircut) on TelevisionWithoutPity's "The H.R.G. Blog"
  • Eva Longoria in high school (a.k.a. The Joker).
  • The Ellen De Generes show has a segment called "Bad Paid-for Photos", where viewers send in or showcase live their embarrassing old photographs. Most of these are studio or school photos, and tend to be "bad" because of 80s hair, glasses, sweaters or a combination of a few. One of the staffers on the show was dressed up as a girl by his mother when he was a child, because his mother really wanted a daughter. Squick.
  • Colin Baker did a series of cheesy photos for... something in the Seventies. One of them became a mini-meme. Say hello to Seventies Porn Colin.
  • The blog Awkward Family Photos revolves around this trope.
  • Averted for the leading actors of Titanic. To commemorate a century of the ship's sinking, Kate Winslet is invited to the 3-D premiere of the movie and the second she saw herself in it, she was mortified at her acting and deemed it so embarrassing she practically begged to stop the movie right then and there. Same goes for Leo, as confirmed by Cameron's testimony. As he put it, watching himself as a green-horned punk who barely started acting was extremely embarrassing and Leo felt like he wanted the earth to just swallow him up right there.
    • It's even worse watching it all in 3-D.....
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