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Flash: So, Jeeves, do you come with the place or does "Master Bruce" rent you for parties?

Alfred: I've been in service here since the master was in diapers.

Flash: Now there's an image.

I was describing tropes here while you were in kindergarten.

For some old people, looking back at their past achievements is not a sign they are over the hill, but a sign that they've been awesome all along, and that the awesome just compounded over the years. This trope comes into play with them saying to younger people that they were doing awesome things when those younger people were too young to do anything great, often in the form of "I was doing X while you were in diapers".

Cultural Posturing often involves this kind of statement, except that it's "my culture was awesome when your culture was still in diapers".

Compare When I Was Your Age, Years Too Early.

Contrast Glory Days.

Examples of While You Were in Diapers include:


Comic Books

  • Batman comics and other adaptations often have Alfred invoke this trope. In the Justice League animated series, Alfred tells the Flash that he had been working for the Wayne family "since Master Bruce was in diapers", and on several occassions when Batman brushes off Alfred's assistance or gets frustrated with him, Alfred is quick to remind Master Bruce that he was an MI 6 agent before he was born, or something to the effect of "I powdered your bottom, I can very well do (X)!"

Film

  • "I made my bones while you were dating cheerleaders!" snarls Moe Greene in The Godfather.
  • Stryker says this to Senator Kelly (or who he thinks is Kelly) in X 2 X Men United.
  • In Star Trek Generations, Kirk says this about Picard's grandfather being in diapers. The problem that many fans noticed was the context of the line was why he should enjoy a form of retirement, which directly contradicts scenes both before and after this, within the very movie.
    • And in one TNG episode, Scotty angrily remarks to Geordi that he was repairing warp drives when LaForge's great-grandfather was in diapers.
    • In the TNG episode "Unification Part 2", Picard describes Spock's dealings with the Romulans as "cowboy diplomacy" and tells him that the Federation won't tolerate it. Spock retorts that he was involved with such cowboy diplomacy before Picard was even born.
    • In the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Message in a Bottle," Voyager 's EMH tells the Prometheus's EMH Mark II that "I was saving Voyager from annihilation when you were only a gleam in your programmer's eye!"
  • Sheriff Teasle does this to illustrate why he's so determined to find and kill Rambo after the latter had accidentally caused his asshole deputy's death:

 Teasle: Look, goddamn it! That's Art Galt, boy; me and him were friends when your mama was still wipin' your nose!!

  "While you were still learning how to spell your name, I was being trained to conquer galaxies!"

  • In Blue Thunder, Braddock says he's was in the police force when new recruit Lymangood was "watching cartoons" and "eating a fudgesical".
  • A variant of this occurs in Point Break with Gary Busey telling Keanu Reeves " I was takin' shrapnel in Khe Sanh when you were crappin' in your hands and rubbin' it on your face!"
  • From O Brother, Where Art Thou?

 Vernon T. Waldrip: I can't switch sides in the middle of a campaign. Especially to work for a man who lacks moral fiber.

Pappy O'Daniel: Moral fiber? Why, you little pasty-face sumbitch. I invented moral fiber! Pappy O'Daniel was displaying rectitude and high-mindedness when that egghead you work for was still messing his drawers!

Literature

  • In Show Boat Windy McLain tells Sheriff Ike Vallon, "I was keel-boatin' while you was runnin' bare-foot 'round the landin'."
  • In Neuromancer, the Finn wearily observes "I gotta pair a shoes older than you."
  • In The Candy Shop War, Nate tells Mr. Stott that Belinda White has claimed that Hanaver Mills is her ancestor. Mr. Stott's response? " Belinda White has been using magic since Hanaver Mills was in diapers."
  • The Junk and the Dhow by Rudyard Kipling, as a friendly reminder to his compatriots that being kings of the sea currently doesn't mean they gave baby Poseidon his first trident. While sailors around Europe still used steering oars, someone already got ships optimised so far there was very little to add for centuries after.
  • In Northanger Abbey, Catherine is surprised to discover that her love interest Henry Tilney shares her enjoyment of Gothic novels. He cheerfully replies that given how much older he is, he's almost certainly read lots more of them than she has.
  • In Anne's House of Dreams, Miss Cornelia uses this to crush an obnoxious minister.
  • In the Star Trek Deep Space Nine relaunch, the Ferengi politician Kain has the following retort when criticized by a colleague: "You watch it, boy. I was cheating Yridians when your mother was too young to chew food".
  • In the Warrior Cats series, Mudclaw is told to show more respect to his dying leader, Tallstar, because Tallstar was leader when Mudclaw was a kit mewling in the nursery.
  • River Song: "This guy fought fires when you were still sucking on your mother's ***."
  • The Saga of Darren Shan - Mr Crepsley, while saving the life of one of Darren's friends (in exchange for Darren becoming a vampire), tells Darren to "have some faith in someone who was doing this long before your grandfather was born."

Live Action Television

  • Subverted in Just Shoot Me. Nina tries to do this with Adrian, but Nina names a specific year, and Adrian says she wasn't even born then. Nina instantly breaks down.
  • On Mama's Family, Mama says to Iola "I was making booties before you had feet!"
  • Artie in Warehouse 13 "Like I don't know how to improvise an electromagnet. I was doing this when MacGyver was still trapped in his crib!"
  • During the Celebrity Deathmatch between Ozzy Osbourne and Rob Zombie, Ozzy threatened Rob not to mess with him, saying "I was worshipping the devil when you were still in black leather diapers."

Video Games

  • One of Cranky Kong's quotes in Donkey Kong Country is "Last time I saw you, you were in diapers!"
  • Mass Effect 2: During Grunt's loyalty mission, if Gatagog Uvenk gets too uppity with the Shaman, the Shaman will remind him that "I was a warrior before your mother was born!"
    • Later done in Mass Effect 3 with Javik, resident Last of His Kind former Precursor Popsicle, who is fond of mentioning what the dominant species of the current cycle were like in his time: humans lived in caves, hanar were like minnows in the ocean, yahg were small and salarians spent ate flies and often licked their own eyes.

Web Comics

 Riboflavin: "Please! I invented this cloak design when your great great great great great grandpa was a larva, and nobody knows how it works but me. We're fine!"

Western Animation

  • Captain Rescue took offense at being called an 'oldtimer' by Sonic in the episode 'Over The Hill Hero', retorting that he had been saving mobius from bad guys since Sonic was a 'hedgehoglet'.
  • In one episode of Cow and Chicken, a new school bully starts picking on the kids that the previous bully picked on. The after the new bully twists the noses of two kids, the original bully tells him:

 Original Bully: Isn't nose-twisting a little old? My granny taught me that when I was still in diapers!

New Bully: Oh, just this morning then?

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