-> ''"Good God, this is like that desperate porno a celebrity does before he becomes famous!"''
-->-- '''WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic''', ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIwECikupYg reacting]]'' to Creator/DanielCraig appearing in ''Film/AKidInKingArthursCourt''.

The classic stock excuse for the discovering of OldShame, usually if it's either loaded with {{Fanservice}} or is so lame or [[TastesLikeDiabetes cutesy]] that it may ruin someone who thinks what they were involved in is beneath them. Usually given for a lot of mainstream models and actresses once their past in "glamour photography" or low-rent soft-core pornography or sexploitation is discovered.

This doesn't necessarily have to be sexual -- it's just as likely to be a cheesy-as-hell children's show or a terrible sci-fi movie -- just something the performer saw as a humiliating but necessary stepping-stone to their current career. In these situations, the character might outright state that they sincerely ''wish'' they had done some kind of pornography instead, because they find the job to have been an even more embarrassing and degrading experience.

Compare MoneyDearBoy, which is when the performer's ''current'' choice of work is so bad that he or she is only in on it to get money from it. Compare also BleachedUnderpants for a cartoon version.


[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In Roleplay/DCNation, Hotshot's teammates discover that he "starred" in a film called [[BiTheWay "Bi The Shore"]] while in college. The females on the team rent it out and have a screening, playing it for all the SnarkBait it's worth.
* In violet-quill's Harry Potter fic, ''Wolf Masterson in The Naughty Professor IV: Prefect's Revenge'', Remus Lupin once made films. Naughty, naughty films.
* In multifandom parody vid [[http://go-devil-dante.deviantart.com/art/L-is-sick-of-walking-19823583 L is sick of walking]] by GoDevilDante, [[Anime/SamuraiChamploo Jin]] posed for "ukelicious" nude photos because [[MemeticMutation he needed the monies]].
* Yamcha's excuse for his "Cat loves food" song in ''WebVideo/DragonBallZAbridged''. "And no, it was not worth it."

* This becomes a scandal for Creator/JuliaRoberts' character in ''Film/NottingHill''.
* The phrase is used by Jane in one of ''Film/TheNakedGun'' movies, but that's not what Frank Drebin was looking for.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* {{Played for Drama}} on an episode of ''Series/{{Monk}}'' - Sharona posed for nude pictures when she was in her late teens, because she needed money to support herself and her son Benjy. When the photos are unearthed by a suspected murderer in an attempt to blackmail her and Monk into not pursuing his case, she is forced to explain to Benji about the photos and [[IDidWhatIHadToDo why she did what she did]]. She then says that she and Monk are planning to pursue the investigation anyway, which will result in the photos being sent to newspapers and Benjy probably [[KidsAreCruel getting made fun of at school for it]]. Benjy's response? [[HeartwarmingMoments Not to let a bad guy get away just because he might have a bad day at school]].
* ''Series/{{Friends}}''
** Joey was once in a porn movie because he was 'young, and needed some money'. When he couldn't go through with it, they let him play a guy who walks in during a sex scene to watch the couple have sex on the photocopier. [[SpearCarrier At least he had a speaking bit]], "You know, that's bad for the paper tray." But, being Joey, he seems genuinely proud of his role and quite happily sits down to watch it with the gang and point out his appearance.
** In another episode, Joey tells his agent that he's frustrated that she hasn't been getting him any good jobs lately. She replies, "Well you're just going to say no again, but ''gay porn?''"
* In ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' Robin uses this to explain her past career. Of course, Barney slap bets Marshall that it's porn, resulting in Robin revealing the whole truth by saying "Porn? I wish, it would be less embarrassing." Turns out she was a teenage, pseudo-'80s, Canadian pop star.
* Played with in ''Series/StarkRavingMad'': an episode focused on Ian's extreme reluctance to discuss what he was doing during a particular year and a half of his life, going so far as making up a cover story about having spent it in a mental institution. After insistent prodding by Henry, he finally snaps and starts closing all his blinds, orders Henry to lock the door, warns him that what he's about to see "will disgust [him]" and produces a tape that he's "deeply ashamed" of and that he only keeps as a "reminder of how far [he] can fall". And when the tape starts playing we see that it's... [[spoiler:a cheesy musical]].
-->'''Ian''': ''[[spoiler:The Grinning Americans]]''. I was living in Florida. Flat broke. No direction. I saw an ad in the newspaper. They were holding auditions, it was fast money. You get sucked into the life, Henry. Now you know.
-->'''Henry''': So wait a minute, you would rather have people think you were in a mental institution than...\\
''[Cut to more [[spoiler:musical]] scenes]''\\
'''Henry'''...I understand.
* From ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'', "My Best Friend's Baby's Baby":
-->'''Jordan:''' Nice job, Perry. Your son just asked me if ''my'' vagina's ever been on television.\\
'''Perry:''' And, did you tell him not since the '80s when you were trying to make it as an "actress"?
* Apparently Wilson, from ''Series/{{House}}'', was in a porno back in college. He swears that [[HurricaneOfExcuses it wasn't a porno when they were shooting it, and he was doing it as a favor to a friend that he had]] ''no idea'' would become an ''actual director'', [[HurricaneOfExcuses and said friend added some scenes in afterwards so he could release it as a porno...]] The fact that Wilson is entirely absent from all the sex scenes does lend credence to his story. House just wanted to see him squirm.
--> '''Young Wilson:''' [[Funny/{{House}} Be not afraid. The forest nymphs have taught me how to please a woman.]]
* Creator/StephenColbert was once a male prostitute, but classy. Actually, that was his street name: [[{{Pun}} Butt Classy]].
* Melanie from ''Series/QueerAsFolk'' appeared nude in a magazine to get money for college after her parents had cut her off for being gay. They apparently changed their minds after about three weeks, but by then she had already paid that year's tuition and the next.
* ''Radio/GoodnessGraciousMe'' parodied this trope in a sketch where Bollywood superstar Chunky Lafanga is exposed as having starred in "a hardcore porn film" (using the exact phrase "I was young and needed the money" to justify his actions.) We then see a clip from the film in question, the joke being that because this was Indian cinema, the scene is more like saucy ''Film/CarryOn''-style innuendo than explicit porn.
* Played lightly in ''Series/DowntonAbbey'' where Carson is blackmailed over an apparently scandalous secret from his past. It turns out that he used to be a pierside entertainer, which is amusing to the rest of the household but cringemaking for him.
* Another example, in ''Series/GreysAnatomy'', Izzie gets humiliated when Alex discovers pictures of her as a lingerie model. However, it turns out that those photo shoots paid for med school - so she comes out on top.
* Unsurprisingly, Karen on ''Series/WillAndGrace'' once starred in an adult film called ''Next to Godliness'' in which she plays a neat-freak dominatrix.
-->'''Karen:''' Well, I was just out of college. I was broke. It's the oldest story in the world. Boy meets girl, boy wants girl to do dominatrix film, girl says, "naked?" Boy says, "yeah." Girl says, "forget it." Boy says, "ok, then just wear this rubber dress and beat the old guy with a scrub brush." Girl says, "how hard?"
* [[Series/{{Castle}} Detective Kate Beckett]] worked as a teenage model once.
* Erin in ''Series/BlueBloods'' worked as a cocktail waitress at Roxy's (a famous NYC nightclub). She told her parents she worked at a roller skate rink. The part about wearing roller skates was true...
* Cam of ''Series/{{Bones}}'' was strapped for cash starting at med school and so agreed to play a role in the low-budget "The Invasion of the Mother Suckers". It's hard to tell whether the film was more embarrassing or the fact that it featured her in 70's clothing with an afro.
* Parodied on ''Series/InLivingColor'', during the "Anton at the Recruiter" sketch.
-->'''Recruiting Corporal''': I am in the business of signing up real-life soldiers, maggot!
-->'''Anton''': [[SustainedMisunderstanding Maggot? I ain't no maggot!]] Hey, I ain't never been with another man before! Who told you that? Clarence? He's lying! He's lying! I'm telling you--alright once, I was desperate, I needed the money, I was drunk and dying out! Don't hold it against me...
* ''Series/BombGirls'' has Kate who, having recently gotten a job at the factory after escaping her abusive father, needs fake documents to keep her job since she has assumed a false identity. She poses for racy pictures that are to be sold to World War II Soldiers overseas.
* The killer in the ''Series/{{Elementary}}'' episode "The Long Fuse" turns out to be the female CEO of a PR firm, who was being blackmailed by one of her employees with the secret video of them having sex many years ago, while she was in college and worked as a prostitute on the side. Franchise/SherlockHolmes admits that he sees nothing wrong with prostitution, as sex is just a commodity. However, he's fully aware that most people don't see it that way.
* In an episode of ''Series/SteptoeAndSon'', Harold finds an old ''What the Butler Saw'' machine. The nude couple in the film are Albert and his sister-in-law.
* Rebecca's sister in ''Series/{{Cheers}}'' is okay with the low-budget slasher movies she ''currently'' stars in, but there's at least ''one'' she isn't proud of.
* This is what was behind Catherine Willows being a stripper in her younger years on ''Series/{{CSI}}''.
* One episode of ''Series/{{Borgen}}'' has a hyped-up political scandal when lingerie modelling shots of a (fairly young and attractive) female minister are rediscovered by the press. She brazens it out with almost literally this response.
* PlayedForDrama in an episode of ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'', where a female college student makes rape fantasy porn videos to pay for college; she ends up being raped for real, with video proof, but the rapist's defense attorney uses her porn career to cast doubt on her accusations, saying "the only difference between this video and the rest is you weren't being paid". [[spoiler:The judge ends up throwing out the rapist's guilty verdict based on this, which causes her to vault headlong over the DespairEventHorizon, becoming a porn star full time with the sobering remark "at least here, when I say stop, they stop".]]

* Used in the Music/SteveTaylor song "Cash Cow" as a line setting up the following:
--> I was young and I needed the money\\
I had money, but I needed more money\\
I was filthy rich; all I needed was love!\\
...and a little more money!

[[folder:Stand-Up Comedy]]
* Creator/BillHicks claimed that this was the only valid reason anyone other than Music/WillieNelson could have for doing a commercial. Willie was excused for his $24 million tax bill.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'', your companion [[Creator/FeliciaDay Veronica]] will say this when you talk to her sometimes. Used as a joke, because she always cuts off whatever you were going to ask.
** This in turn was a nod to a line from ''VideoGame/Fallout2'', in regards to the player's choice of becoming a porn star.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''Webcomic/UserFriendly'', this was Greg's justification for once having worked for [[AcceptableTargets Microsoft]].
* Ray from ''Webcomic/{{Achewood}}'' paid major hush money to cover up his past as... a hip-hop dancer.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Gloria in ''Blog/OffThePageAndIntoLife'' gives this excuse for having done nude photos for a magazine in college. Her best friend, Emily, gently teases her about it, but otherwise doesn't seem to care. (College is expensive, after all.) But considering how conservative Pageson is, you can't blame Gloria for wanting to keep it under wraps.


[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In the first Halloween episode of ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'', Cartman claims to his friends that the reason why his mom posed for ''Crack Whore'' magazine was because "...she was young and needed the money," but Stan points out that the photographs were taken just the previous month--granted, Cartman's mom doesn't seem to have any source of income beyond whoring herself.
* Part of a chain of excuses in ''WesternAnimation/TheLooneyTunesShow'' when Daffy markets Bugs' design for an automatic carrot peeler.
* In one ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond'' episode, [[FemmeFatale Inque]] reveals to her daughter Deanna this was the reason she left her (even saying that she was younger than Deanna was at the time).
* On ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', [[TheAhnold Rainier Wolfcastle]] is getting rid of old stuff in his home, and Homer spots the old porn movies he did years ago. He notices that there's only gay porn, and when Homer asks if there's any hetero stuff, Wolfcastle simply replies, [[ItCantBeHelped "What's there is there."]]
* Death himself (as in, the Grim Reaper from ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'') claims he once "did some films I'm...not especially proud of" when he was young.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* When it was brought up on ''Radio/GetThis'', these were Ed Kavalee's exact words about an old film project of his, ''Meat Pie'', in which he played a teenager who has sex with a meat grinder and gets a penis transplant. Kavalee's comment was, "After seeing it, people look at me differently. They ask things like, 'Were you in some kind of trouble? You could have asked me for money!'"
* This is how Creator/JackieChan justifies having once appeared in a porn flick (if ''Website/{{Cracked}}'' is to be believed, which it may not be). He's actually unashamed of it and points out that [[Creator/MarlonBrando Brando]] took his clothes off on camera.
** He started doing his own stunts because of this, but it became his calling card as he gained fame.
* Legendarily, Creator/MarilynMonroe (although it was just nude pictures, which happened to be featured in the first issue of Playboy).
* Creator/SylvesterStallone, who made his acting debut in a porn flick ''Party at Kitty and Stud's'' (better known under its alternative title, ''Italian Stallion''). How much did he need the money? He had been evicted from his apartment and had been sleeping in an NYC-bus station for three weeks. He later said he was so desperate, it was either "do the movie or rob someone."
** The film's creators later edited the film and re-titled it [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Md9lCfO-lo Italian Stallion]] to cash in on Stallone's newfound fame.
* Simon Rex acted in a few porn films.
* When Creator/DaveBarry ran for President (long story), this was a common answer on the Q&A forum.
* The wrestler Wrestling/SherriMartel got in a spot of bother when some magazine leaked old nudies of her... right before a televised PPV. Fortunately Wrestling/{{WWE}} turns a blind eye to softcore porn.
* Maya Angelou was an exotic dancer. ''[[GrannyClassic Yes, that one]]''.
** Same deal with Channing Tatum (who, in one magazine interview, did it because -- true to the trope -- he was young and needed money after dropping out of college. This period of his life served as the basis for ''Film/MagicMike'').
** Rapper/actress Eve is another celebrity who worked as a stripper before becoming famous.
* Vanessa L. Williams's ''Penthouse'' photoshoot was explained as such. She still lost her Miss America crown over it, however. The issue featuring Vanessa Williams' photoshoot ended up being banned as the centerfold (Traci Lords) was revealed to be underage at the time she posed for her picture, rendering all her porno pics and films child pornography.
* Danny Slavin, who played Leo Corbett in ''Series/PowerRangersLostGalaxy'', only did it because he needed money for law school. Understandably, it took a lot of convincing to get him to return for the 10th anniversary ReunionShow (not helped by the fact that, during the filming of the ReunionShow between ''Lost Galaxy'' and [[Series/PowerRangersLightspeedRescue its successor]], the producers tried to screw the actress who played ''LG'''s BigBad out of her paycheck; Slavin walked off the set in protest and only returned for the 10th anniversary as a personal favor to one of the producers). Surprisingly, he ended up returning for the finale of ''Series/PowerRangersSuperMegaforce'' years later.
* Tom Morello (of Music/RageAgainstTheMachine fame) was a male stripper for a time.
* Up until about 1991, Music/{{Merzbow}} (yes, ''that'' [[HarshNoise Merzbow]]) made soundtracks for [=S&M=] porn flicks.
* Subverted by Jessica Biel, who did a topless magazine shoot in late 2003. She didn't need the money at all, having just come off of the very successful remake of ''Film/TheTexasChainsawMassacre2003'' and also having signed onto ''Film/BladeTrinity'', but her '''agent''' (who she fired not long afterwards) apparently negotiated a very nice chunk of the money for himself. Biel did it mostly for PlayingAgainstType (she was on the end of her long stretch on ''7th Heaven'') and to go for some indie cred.
* The ex–''Daily Mirror'' political editor and UK political adviser [[MagnificentBastard Alastair Campbell]], New Labour titan and inspiration behind [[Series/TheThickOfIt Malcolm Tucker]], gives this as an excuse for his first journalistic appointment: Writing (possibly autobiographical) pornography for ''Penthouse Forum''.
* Sasha Grey, now an actress and avant-gardist, spent five straight years in the porn industry. She's known just as much for one as the other nowadays. She's not ashamed about it, though.
* Back before [[Creator/SquareEnix Enix merged with Square]], among the projects it had under its belt were at least two really old H-games.
** This has happened a lot with Japanese game makers, the hentai industry there is not nearly as stigmatized as its equivalent is in the United States, though usually once a company makes it big they no longer go back to making hentai.
* Thin Lizzy's forgotten Deep Purple tribute album under the name Funky Junction was explicitly done for the money. Similarly, the song I Need You (B Side to The Farmer) was recorded as part of a deal for studio time, the song being written by the studio's owner.
* Peter Steele of Music/TypeONegative posed for Playgirl in the '90s. Whilst it certainly got him more female fans, he quickly regretted it because it made people think he was gay. In his case, he had been in music for about 16 years when it happened, so being young is not exactly an excuse.
** Similarly used by Wrestling/ShawnMichaels in the [[Wrestling/DGenerationX DX]] reunion on Wrestling/WWERaw 1000 to explain why he posed for Playgirl.
* An out-of-universe WWE example would be Wrestling/MickieJames and her multiple, explicit nude shoots while trying to make it in wrestling.
* Creator/NeilGaiman, now an award-winning fantasy author, got his first published book with a decidedly non-literary biography of Music/DuranDuran. Worse yet, the publisher folded shortly afterward and he didn't even get the money. He says it taught him that selling out isn't worth it. On the plus side though the band itself said that they thought it was their favorite biography.
* Actually inverted for actress Valerie Leon, who appeared in several ''Film/CarryOn'' films and other cheeky British comedies in the Seventies; she steadfastly refused to appear nude, but has said in some recent interviews that she actually regrets that she was too shy to do so, because she understands now what a great figure she had back then.
* Creator/LeonardNimoy once gave this answer word for word when asked about ''Zombies of the Statosphere''.
* Ask any former drug dealer, nine times out of ten, they will respond with this trope.
* Creator/ChanningTatum says this is why he ended up doing ''Film/GIJoeTheRiseOfCobra''. He signed a lucrative studio contract after ''Film/CoachCarter'', thinking it'd help his career, but didn't realize until later that this meant he'd be unable to pass on certain stinkers.
* {{Creator/Sierra}}, one of the biggest players in gaming during TheEighties. Known for being (for the most part) family friendly. But it was the early '80s, computer gaming was in its infancy, and they badly needed some cash to get started. The game that gave them enough money to actually ''make'' their signature family-friendly games? A text adventure called ''Softporn Adventure''. They re-tooled it, [[PlayedForLaughs added some gags, and played the whole plot as a comedy]] – then sold it as ''VideoGame/LeisureSuitLarry''.
* Creator/SibelKekilli starred in some pornographic movies when she was first starting out.
* In 2004, it was revealed that Japanese baseball player Tadano Kazuhito, who had signed with Cleveland Indians minor league team, [[http://www.espn.com/mlb/news/story?id=1720362 had starred in a Japanese gay porn years ago]]. He literally used this quote to explain why he did it in a press conference.
* Creator/ChrisEvans was [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHa7RFYuJ6A mildly embarrassed]] when an interviewer brought up one of his earliest gigs as one of the heartthrobs featured in the board game ''Mystery Date''. Evans was surfer dude Tyler, despite having no idea how to surf.