|Quotes • Headscratchers • Playing With • Useful Notes • Analysis • Image Links • Haiku • Laconic|
Oh no! Picture day is coming and, unfortunately for you, you're in a sitcom. You'll probably have to duck through a Food Fight to stay clean, or go to drastic measures to fix the unholy mess your hair has become, or find a way to change out of the lame outfit your mom made you wear. Either that or you are simply faced with the pimple OF DOOM.
Either way, you are screwed.
Many shows about kids or set in school will eventually have a plot based around Picture Day and a character's best efforts to not have an embarrassing photo of himself or herself taken for publication, because not only will the photographer will 'never' take more than one photo, but the Yearbook editor is always your nemesis who will make sure that your picture will be as humiliatingly noticeable in the book as possible.
May result in a character being Forced Into Their Sunday Best.
- In Calvin and Hobbes, Calvin has Hobbes use Crisco in his hair to give him big hair spikes "like... like... Astro Boy."
- The subject of several FoxTrot strips. One of the best has Peter ending up with a faceful of mud while retrieving his trademark baseball cap.
- In Europe, we have no yearbooks: class pictures are collective. You can still play with that single picture as in "Le Petit Spirou" (Little Spirou), the Spinoff Babies of Spirou and Fantasio. The day the photographer came, he found the class costumed in ridiculous fancy-dresses. On purpose.
- Used in a chapter of the Horrible Harry series of books.
- One of the early Babysitter's Little Sister books had heroine Karen getting glasses shortly before picture day...and so did her nemesis Ricky Torres.
Live Action TV
- Lizzie McGuire also had an episode based around Picture Day. Lizzie wanted to find a way out of being forced to wear the hideous green unicorn sweater her grandmother gave her for Christmas, and Kate had a classmate throw paint at Miranda because she didn't want her to be photographed wearing the same trendy outfit she was. Lizzie Took The Bullet, metaphorically speaking, and ended up posing in the paint-splattered blouse she had borrowed while holding up the sweater. Her parents reluctantly admitted that she did have the sweater in the photo, and at least they'll be able to save money on buying prints this year. Lizzie saying that being a good person instead of good looks was quoted by Gordo. No wonder most middle school girls disliked unicorns as much as they disliked Lizzie! Jo and Sam would have evicted all of Lizzie's schoolmates if they forced her to wear another top, which she did despite that in a fan fiction story (unknown as of July 2016) that she would have borrowed either a pink, purple, or blue shirt from Gordo's locker.
- An episode of Ned's Declassified dealt with Picture Day. Among other items, he points out that it's unnecessary to dress up from the waist down.
- Unfabulous also had an episode based on Picture Day, where the main character messed up her hair while trying to dye it.
- Degrassi Junior High had one.
- Clarissa Explains It All had an episode like this where Clarissa wanted to wear her trademark cool clothes instead of the conservative navy cardigan, pleated skirt and knee socks all the girls were required to wear.
- On Even Stevens, Ren was excited to get her braces off on picture day. Unfortunately, some dental medication caused her cheeks to swell up enormously.
- Malcolm in the Middle did this.
- In That 70s Show, the picture day showed the gang's history. And Eric got a zit.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: all regular characters are shown striking characteristic poses for the photographer... except for the heroine herself, who is busy Slaying and ends up left out of the yearbook altogether.
- Cordelia was supposed to tell her it was picture day but didn't, which lead to Buffy competing against her for the Homecoming Queen crown.
- Freaks and Geeks: The opening credits, although the effect comes from the characters' facial expressions rather than their actual appearance.
- Raising Dad had an episode set on Picture Day but instead of being the main setting, it led into a plot about Sarah being uncomfortable about her appearance and considering getting a nose job.
- In Sister, Sister, Tamara wakes up with a blotchy face due to an allergic reaction to a new face cream she tries out. Not wanting to be "the beast" like last year (she sneezed just as her picture was being taken), she asks Tia to take her place. The usual shenanigans ensue.
- Stephanie on Full House obsesses over taking a perfect school picture in season three, remembering how the previous year she'd sneezed just as the photo was shot. True to sitcom form, she ended up with a broken nose the day before.
- Homestar Runner has a particularly odd example: in the 14th "Teen Girl Squad", we learn the yearbook picture was scheduled for the same day as "Tape-a-dead-thing-to-your-face day".
- But oddly enough (and it even says this in the wiki), the other pictures don't have a dead thing taped to their faces.
- This strip of Loserz.
- In Ozy and Millie, Millie tried to dye her hair band because she didn't like the color for Picture Day, and ended dyeing her entire face black (which, Millie being Millie, she thought was COOL).
- In El Goonish Shive, Sarah was stuck as a catgirl during picture week. This was never seen, merely referred to as the Noodle Incident, and only much later explained.
- Recess had one where Gus tried to remain clean long enough to take his first class picture. The episode becomes a grand send-up to bodyguard films as his friends try valiantly to protect him through the day.
- Dexter's Laboratory had a humorous variant where Dexter gave himself a wax face to look good. He grew so vain with the lighting in his picture that the face melted off under the heat of the lamps.
- Done on Arthur, based around Muffy's attempts to keep Francine neat and tidy for Picture Day. However, it seems Francine is unable to resist playing kickball.
- Code Lyoko has one in episode "Missing Link", complete with Sissi pretending to be Yumi so that the latter isn't absent on the photo.
- Kim Possible has one that naturally involves a Clingy MacGuffin turning Kim into a monkey.
- Which winds up even worse than it sounds: Ron, knowing Kim is turning into a monkey, guides an actual monkey to the camera. So the picture in the yearbook isn't even Kim-as-a-monkey.
- In Braceface, the heroine's braces broke the camera.
- It also turned up on The Simpsons a few times.
- Bart had lice and Milhouse got some disease from being bitten by a monkey...
- Not to mention Lisa's archaic braces in "Last Exit to Springfield". "There is no God!"
- South Park has Butters getting grounded for putting a stupid face. Initially, you think it's because his Idiot Hair sprung up at the wrong moment. Then you find out that's because his dad thinks Butters' face is stupid by default.
- It's also the first time we see Kyle's Jewfro.
- SpongeBob SquarePants: In fact, SpongeBob is perpetually failing boating school simply so they can use it for School Tropes.
- The episode with the same name as this trope involves SpongeBob trying to stay clean, unsuccessfully of course, for his Boating School class photo.
- Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy, "Smile for the Ed": Eddy tries to get a good school picture, so his mom will let him move into his big brother's old bedroom. Unfortunately, an ill-timed cry of "Dork!" from Jerk Jock Kevin puts a crimp in his plans.
- An episode of Ozzy and Drix involves the titular characters to kill the acne causing germ in order to prevent the human host, Hector from getting an embarrassing school photo with a pimple on his forehead.
- Doug was afraid to get his picture because he thought he had a big nose.
- As Told by Ginger has Ginger and her friends wanting to look more mature for their school photos, but their parents won't let them wear makeup. They try to get around this by blending berries and spices together to create "fakeup" and apply it in the school bathrooms just before picture time. The results are... not pretty.
- The Life and Times of Juniper Lee episode literally called "Picture Day" features the usual problems of the trope (zit on the forehead, etc.) with evil clones of June and her friends and her younger brother dressed as Abe Lincoln for his photo. neither of which was unusual for the Urban Fantasy it takes place in. Ray-Ray apparently has a history of acting up on picture day, like most days.