[[quoteright:210:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/horrible_sweater_grandma_made.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:210:It truly is.]]

->"''Gee. I hope this package doesn't have a bomb or a monster in it. GASP! IT'S EVEN WORSE THAN MY MOST HIDEOUS FEARS! It's another sweater for me from Jon's mother.''"
-->--'''ComicStrip/{{Garfield}}''', [[http://garfield.com/comics/vault.html?yr=1983&addr=830308 March 8, 1983]]
%% One quote is sufficient. Please place additional entries on the quotes tab.

The Homemade Sweater From Hell is a sweater that is one step from being pixelated if it's on television - or otherwise garish. The sleeves might be different lengths, initials might be knitted into it in a bizarre fashion, it might be an awful color or an awful mix of colors, it might be a childish pattern in an adult sweater, or it might just be tacky. It might even be awfully itchy. And it was a gift from someone who picked it out or knitted it specially ([[AmazinglyEmbarrassingParents most often parents and grandparents]]), so even if the character normally has taste, he'll have to wear it.

Sometimes it will actually look like a perfectly wearable sweater, but most characters will react to it as if it were the most hideous thing ever - an [[{{Informed Ability}} Informed Attribute]] that's like a distant inanimate relative of HollywoodHomely.

This happens most often during {{Christmas Special}}s, since that's when most homemade sweaters from hell are worn in RealLife. But it doesn't have to be Christmas. A character with a sufficiently bad sense of style or financial problems might wear them all year, weather permitting.

With a hint of {{Irony}}, tacky Christmas Sweaters [[http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20804249 briefly became high fashion]] in December 2012

A SubTrope of UnwantedGiftPlot.

Compare ImpossiblyTackyClothes.

Contrast SweaterGirl.
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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Advertisements and Commercials]]
* In an advertisement for some credit card, a couple is inspired to throw an Ugly Sweater Christmas Party (with purchased sweaters, rather than actual homemade ones, but the awfulness of the sweaters still fit the spirit of this trope) upon seeing a couple at an ice rink wearing this kind of sweater.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
* ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'': More like the Homemade Scarf from Hell in this case...
--> '''Akane:''' Here. It's, uh, for you. It's kind of a Christmas present. It's not very fancy but...
-->'''Ranma:''' I-It's a shawl. No- No, I see. It's a fishing net.
-->'''Akane:''' It's a scarf, you lame-brain! I made it myself!
* The ''Anime/TenchiMuyo'' OVA had Ayeka attempt to knit on as a gift for Tenchi. She gets lost in a daydream and knits the thing so much longer than it should have been. She's never shown trying to give it to him, though.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books]]
* Given by Wally West (TheFlash) to his wife one Christmas- not to be worn, but as a reminder of her speech of what really mattered in giving.
-->'''Linda''': Not that it's not lovely, but...
-->'''Wally''': But it's so not. I know. It's repugnant. Wear it, and I'll claim I don't know you. And yet interestingly enough... not the point.
** The sweater is actually store-bought, and a running joke in the story is wondering who buys the hideous things.
* One {{Scamp}} story has the Tramp trying to deal with an embarrassing dog sweater his owners made for him. He literally gets stuck in it trying to get it off, until Scamp shrinks it off using cold water. Unfortunately, it shrinks small enough that Lady makes Scamp wear it instead.
** This story appears to be adapted from the animated short ''Pluto's Sweater'', where Minnie gives Pluto a sweater and Figaro ends up getting it after it shrinks. (And by the way, ''it'' was turned into a comic too. Interestingly, the original short wasn't set at Christmastime, but the comic adaptation was.)
* [[http://coa.inducks.org/story.php?c=I+PK+++42-3 This Disney comic]] features an old, senile woman who knits sweaters for everyone, but isn't very knowledgeable about such things as, say, making sure the sleeves are the same length. [[spoiler: Which is ObfuscatingStupidity, since she's actually a ClassyCatBurglar in disguise.]]
* Played with in ''ArchieComics'' stories.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Fan Fiction]]
* Many WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom fanons that involve ghost puberty or Danny receiving his powers for the first time involve Danny having to hide glow spots or his jumpsuit with an ugly Christmas Sweater. It's ironic since Danny hated Christmas before ''The Fright Before Christmas'' in the canon.
* Do '''not''' let Louise start knitting in ''Fanfic/TheHillOfSwords''. Whatever she knits invariably will come alive at some point and attack either her or the person wearing the article of clothing. ''And she keeps trying''!
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film]]
* Colin Firth's character in ''[[Literature/BridgetJones Bridget Jones' Diary]]''.
* ''Film/ThreeAmigos''. On El Guapo's birthday, his bandits give him an ugly two-tone sweater as a present. See it on [=YouTube=] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChLa6buF05M here at about 6:55]]. Hilariously, despite getting something as useless as a butt-ugly sweater in the Mexican badlands, El Guapo ''likes'' it and he wears it like a mantle for the rest of the scene.
* The Grinch is forced to wear one of these when he attends the Christmas Eve festivities in the live-action ''Film/HowTheGrinchStoleChristmas''.
* Alluded to in ''Film/HomeAlone''. Kevin tells the snow-shoveler that his grandma gave him a hand-knit sweater with a giant bird on it, which he refused to wear because of a fear of getting beaten up at school.
* In the film ''BetterOffDead'', Jenny gives her husband Al a truly horrific hooded aardvark suit for Christmas, complete with ears and a snout. He makes [[DeadpanSnarker the comment]] that everyone will be wearing one next year, then goes outside and finds his neighbor is indeed wearing one as well.
* The classic French comedy ''Le Pere Noel Est Une Ordure'' ("Santa Claus Is A Bastard"): One of the characters is offered as a Christmas present such an ugly homemade sweater, he initially thinks it's a mop.
* A RunningGag in Disney's ''TheSantaClause'' films, where Santa's son's stepdad wears nothing but these kind of sweaters.
** One elf wonders if they made one particular sweater and checks it.
* One is worn by the Television Director in Music/TheBeatles ''Film/AHardDaysNight''. The Beatles specifically comment on how awful it looks. This was the actor's own sweater he had received as a gift. He later made the sweater itself a gift to a fan club who asked him for it.
* In the film ''MakeTheYuletideGay'', the mom seems to wear nothing but them.
* In ''ArthurChristmas'' the titular character wears one, and if the production notes are to be believed, has one for every day of the year.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature]]
* ''Literature/HarryPotter'': Mrs. Weasley tends to knit jumpers for all the children for a two-fold purpose: to show the Weasleys have very little money and because she's so motherly. No-one complains because she's so nice and jolly and they don't want to hurt her feelings. Then again, after the last book showed [[MamaBear what she is]] [[Awesome/HarryPotter capable of]], perhaps they are too scared. It's mostly Ron (who mainly complains because every year it's maroon, his least favorite color) and Percy who complain about their jumpers, rather than all the children. It's also a bit of heartwarming for Harry. He tends to be given them as presents as well which not only makes him an unofficial member of the family but it's also the first regular Christmas presents in his entire life since his biological family pretty much don't give him presents for any occasion (and when they do, it's 'gifts' like a single paper clip).
** Also, while some of the Weasley siblings are more or less horrified at the thought of getting and wearing these jumpers, Harry himself never reacts negatively. It's probably partially because of the heartwarming aspect, but it may also be because the Weasley siblings have simply grown tired of getting a jumper every Christmas or just don't like jumpers in general (even the well-knitted ones). At least, the jumpers don't seem to have many of the tacky traits in the trope description.
* Mrs. Whitlow, [[{{Literature/Discworld}} Unseen University's]] fearsome housekeeper, is noted to knit these kinds of sweaters. They always end up in donation bins, but Ankh-Morpork being Ankh-Morpork, there's at least ''one'' person who can wear them.
** John "Not a Vampire at All" Smith, president of the Uberwald League of Temperance, is infamous for his dreadful pullovers.
* Mark Darcy (Colin Firth's character) in the first Literature/BridgetJones book.
* A Jurby, in ''Literature/TheMeaningOfLiff'', is an article of clothing knitted by an incompetent aunt which reaches to the knees and has at least three armholes.
* From the poem "Christmas Thank Yous" by Mick Gowar:
-->Dear Auntie\\
Oh, what a nice jumper\\
I've always adored powder blue\\
and fancy you thinking of\\
orange and pink\\
for the stripes\\
how clever of you!\\
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV]]
* ''XPlay'', when Adam Sessler and Morgan Webb were wearing sweaters like this, Adam said the antler hat didn't emasculate him. Morgan agreed because "It's the ''sweater'' that makes you look gay".
* In an episode of ''PushingDaisies'', Emerson Cod complains to the Coroner about the Christmas sweater the Coroner is wearing and how a Christmas sweater is a stupid gift to get for Christmas, since you can only wear it ''on'' Christmas.
* ''Series/ICarly''- the [[HollywoodNerd sweater vest]] that Freddie's mom [[MyBelovedSmother picked out for his first date]].
* One early ''Series/HannahMontana'' episode had Miley get a sweater with what looked like a stuffed cat in the front and back... AND it meows!
** In the same episode, Oliver mentions that he got the puppy version for Christmas. It barks [[EarWorm Jingle Bells]].
* From ''{{Series/Firefly}}'', Jayne's "Cunning Hat" may not be a sweater, but it surely must qualify, considering that it's ridiculous-looking, knit, and made by his mother. Subverted in that he gives every indication that he ''loves'' the hideous thing.
-->'''Wash:''' A man walks down the street in that hat, people know he's not afraid of anything.
** Ironically, the hat has taken on a life of it's own, becoming a symbol for the fandom and a rather popular [[TheMerch merch]] item.
* An episode of ''Series/LizzieMcGuire'' revolved around Lizzie's reluctance to wear a bright green homemade unicorn sweater in her Yearbook photo.
* In a recent ''Series/MikeAndMolly'', Mike ''buys'' a repugnant green sweater from his partner's cousin.
* On ''Series/TheSuiteLifeOfZackAndCody'', Maddie rigs the Secret Santa so that London draws her name, hoping for an expensive gift. However, London, after being told that homemade gifts are more thoughtful, knits Maddie a sweater... in the loosest sense of the word "sweater", since it has three arms and no neckhole.
* Creator/BillCosby of ''Series/TheCosbyShow'' wears these all the time, coining the phrase "Cosby sweater."
* The above was hilariously referenced in an episode of WhiteCollar; when Peter's in-laws are coming to visit, he wears the sweater his mother-in-law knit for him, prompting Diana to call him "Dr. Huxtable."
* In the ''Film/SantaClaus'' episode of ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'', Gypsy gives Mike a sweater with "JOIKE" embroidered on it. (She started making it for Joel, but then he escaped in a [[DeusExMachina convenient plot device]]. Mike actually likes it though.
* Regina knits one of these for Steve to celebrate their one-month anniversary on ''TheSteveHarveyShow''.
* An episode of ''Series/LeaveItToBeaver'' was about Beaver giving his mother a sweater that she ''really'' didn't like, but was too nice to tell him about it. And then he suggested that she should wear it to a parent/teacher meeting.
* Harold and Hilda of ''Series/EverDecreasingCircles'' wear ''matching'' homemade sweaters in every episode. It never turns up in the script, but it's heavily implied that Hilda hand-knit these herself.
* On ''[[LongRunner The Late Late Show]]'' in Ireland, Christmas jumpers are SeriousBusiness. Current presenter Ryan Tubridy caused real controversy when it was hinted that he might not wear one for his first [[ChristmasEpisode Toy Show]]. The maroon jumper he eventually appeared in was auctioned off for charity, for a price of 1,050. The next year he caused outrage ''again'' by suggesting on Twitter that he wouldn't wear one. The nation loves the jumpers, the man, it would seem, does not.
* On ''Series/That70sShow'', Hyde is given one of these by Kitty on his eighteenth birthday.
* UK TV presenter Noel Edmonds is known for wearing these, especially on ''[[ChristmasSpecial Noel's Christmas Presents]]''. And when he presented ''[[SaturdayMorningKidsShow Multi-Coloured Swap-Shop]]'', he wore a jumper that fitted the title.
* Repeatedly subverted in ''Series/TheAddamsFamily'': Morticia knits sweaters that look horribly malformed, but will in fact fit one cousin or another perfectly.
* One of Series/{{Sherlock}}'s deductions hinged on the assumption that a man would only wear the uncomfortable, hideous Christmas sweater in an effort to please his mum, who presumably was the one who gave it to him.
* ''Series/LateNightWithJimmyFallon'' has an annual holiday tradition: "12 Days of Christmas Sweaters". Every night for 12 consecutive weeknights [[note]]Well, as consecutive as you can get with weekends getting in the way[[/note]] Jimmy gives away an ''incredibly'' tacky Christmas sweater to a randomly selected audience member as a form of a joke contest.
* In ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'', Leonard has a red, itchy sweater from his aunt. Sheldon makes him wear it with nothing underneath as part of an InAnotherMansShoes scheme (he wants to show Leonard how not having closure is like an itch in his brain), and it gives him a terrible rash (causing Penny to ask "Is it made of bees?).
* On the ''Series/PawnStars'' ChristmasEpisode, the Old Man gives Corey one of these. Then makes Corey wear it for the whole day.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Music]]
* The Dutch yearly musical program ''Kinderen voor Kinderen'' (Children singing songs about world problems and other things that occupy children's minds) had the song ''Kriebeltrui'' (''Itchy Sweater'')
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Newspaper Comics]]
* In ''CulDeSac'', 4-year-old Alice knocks herself silly by running to give her mother a hug while her mother is wearing one of these.
* ''{{Garfield}}'' often gets these as Christmas presents from Jon's mother, and is forced to wear them by Jon. An early strip ([[http://www.mezzacotta.net/garfield/?comic=426 1981-12-27]]) shows the cat tying a loose end to a post and running to [[AllClothUnravels unravel his way out]].
** And when she finally [[http://garfield.com/comics/vault.html?yr=2012&addr=121227 gets it right]], Jon and Garfield [[OOCIsSeriousBusiness freak out]].
* In the ''Grand Avenue'' [[http://assets.amuniversal.com/5e176f6043fd013151df001dd8b71c47 strip for December 19th 2013]] the three main characters all wear matching sweaters they received in a past Christmas. Michael says "Frightening!"
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games]]
* Phoenix had a pink sweater with P inside a heart, made to him by his girlfriend in ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorney: Trials And Tribulations''. As Mia puts it, "That P doesn't stand for Phoenix, anyway". In the Japanese version, the heart has Ryu written on it instead of P (as in '''Ryu'''uichi Naruhodou).
* One mission in ''VideoGame/{{Bully}}'' had Jimmy receiving a terrible Christmas sweater from his mother, and had to walk all the way back to the dorm to change it.
* Even ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' has these. Behold the [[http://wowroleplaygear.com/2011/12/24/gaudy-winter-veil-sweater/ gaudy Winter Veil sweater]]!
* The "Itchy Sweater" upgrade from ''VideoGame/CookieClicker''. Supposedly, it makes its wearer feel like you're wrapped in a dead Sasquatch.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Animation]]
* In ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'', the stairway of the Brothers Strong's house has pictures of Strong Mad and The Cheat wearing hand-made holiday sweaters, implying some relation knits Christmas sweaters for all four residents, despite their....unique physiques making for some weird measurements. Also, Homestar receives one as a [[YouMeanXmas Decemberween]] gift from Marzipan's parents in [[http://www.homestarrunner.com/xmas08.html "A Death Defying Decemberween"]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Comics]]
* Nanase from ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' often wears a cutesy heart sweater to please her mother. She changes out of it whenever possible, because it tends to subvert the badass image she likes to project.
* [[http://www.hereville.com/webcomic/?p=180 This]].
* Kankri of ''WebComic/{{Homestuck}}'' wears a lurid candy-red turtleneck, which was a gift from Porrim which she hoped would conceal his even uglier high-waisted pants.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Original]]
* [[DoctorSteel Dr. Steel]] gets one in the ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVfSJPKA0VM Dr. Steel Christmas Special]]''.
* In 2013 Website/YouTube comedy channel JASH had several of its member comedians (Creator/SarahSilverman, Creator/TimAndEric, Reggie Watts, MichaelCera) don these for a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iX_0DBTcnhM cancer charity texting campaign]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation]]
* Brian gets one of these on ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' in "A Very Special Family Guy Freakin' Christmas":
-->'''Lois:''' Brian, you're not wearing the sweater I made you.
-->'''Brian:''' Well, y'know, it's a little warm in here ...
-->'''Lois:''' [[HaveAGayOldTime Don we now our gay apparel]]!
-->'''Brian:''' * puts on the (very flamboyant) sweater* [[DeadpanSnarker It doesn't get much gayer than this.]]
* In the ''{{Garfield}}'' Christmas Special, Jon gets a Christmas sweater that flows far past the tips of his fingers.
** He also gets some of these in the strip. On one occasion, he got one that didn't even have a hole for his ''head''.
* WesternAnimation/{{SpongeBob|Squarepants}} once made Squidward an itchy sweater made from his own eyelashes. To make up for it, he makes another sweater out of tears.
* Averted nicely with WesternAnimation/{{Gravity Falls}}. Mabel makes her own sweaters, and fans agree they actually look comfortable and some fans would wear them, given the chance.
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'', J'onn J'onzz (MartianManhunter) is visiting the Kents ({{Comicbook/Superman}}'s family) one Christmas. Martha gives him a sweater but it's too large. J'onn is pleased with the gift though and says he can grow into it, and promptly uses his shapechanging abilities to do just that.
* Among the many presents gifted to Bloo from ''WesternAnimation/FostersHomeForImaginaryFriends'' by his stalker-girl Berry, includes a dumb-looking sweater. Inverted in that he actually likes it, since it fits him so well. Being inhuman, he probably does have a hard time finding clothes that "fits really well across the chest".
* Implied in ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode "Miracle on Evergreen Terrace":
-->'''Bart''': (holding one of Lisa's presents) Hocus pocus, mucus pukus! My powers tell me you're getting a homemade sweater-possibly yellow!
-->'''Lisa''': Mom, make Bart stop!
-->'''Marge''': Bart, put down that yellow sweater.
** Dr. Hibbert also frequently wears one when he's off-duty, since his family is frequently a parody of ''Series/TheCosbyShow''.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/KaBlam'' had a scene where Henry's mom gives him an embarrassing purple sweater with a train on it.
* WesternAnimation/KimPossible's [[NeverMessWithGranny Nana]] presents her with a rather bulky wool sweater (in Florida, in the summer). Taking it off messes up Kim's hair worse than any fight or DeathTrap ever did.
* On ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' [[OneBadMother Mother Mae-Eye]] has Starfire wear an oversized green sweater with a red stripe.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/RegularShow'' episode "The Christmas Special," Benson wore a tacky reindeer sweater that even Santa himself insulted.
-->'''Santa''': Benson, you should've tossed that thing into the lava pit.
* AquaTeenHungerForce gives us one with extra {{Squick}}:
-->'''Meatwad''': I made you this shirt, Frylock. It's 100% pubic hair. I made it extra large because it'll shrink in the washer. That's right. I want you to wash this with the rest of your clothes.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Life ]]
* [[http://www.standup2cancer.org Stand Up To Cancer]] has an annual [[http://uglysweater.su2c.org ugly sweater fundraiser]] during the holiday season.
* [[http://wilwheaton.typepad.com/wwdnbackup/2005/12/if_you_want_to_.html Wil Wheaton's horrific clown sweater]] has become the stuff of MemeticMutation.
* Among the knitting community, there's a superstitious belief that knitting a sweater for your romantic other will lead to the end of the relationship.
[[/folder]]

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