[[quoteright:350:[[GogglesDoNothing http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/NostalgiaGoggles.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:The nostalgia goggles you get today are crap; they were ''so'' much better back in ''my'' day.]]

->''"Nostalgia is a seductive liar."''
-->-- '''George Ball''', American politician.

There is a tendency for adults and some teenagers to see newer material in a medium (be it music, film, animation, or comic books) as inferior to the older classics that they knew in their youth.

There are many causes for this. First, people's tastes are generally based on the art they knew as they grew up, and they continue to inform themselves on this basis. This is especially problematic when ValuesDissonance comes into play: Modern day art (be it music, film, television, etc.) may positively depict contemporary societal norms and developments that would have been frowned on when you were growing up. Second, tastes refine as one matures; what may have seemed brilliant to a child or teen would seem crude or laughable to most adults, but the memories of how great something from one's youth seemed linger long afterward, making the familiar examples seem better than more or less equivalent modern ones in comparison. Third, change in most art forms comes in waves, rather than developing continuously, and the transition from one wave to another can be jarring and unfamiliar -- while the periods between waves tend to be uninspired across the board.

However, it is likely that the most important cause of this nostalgia is a consequence of SturgeonsLaw combined with the passage of time: As new material is released, the vast majority will be of mediocre or worse quality, but over time, a powerful selection pressure causes all but the best material (and in some infamous cases, the [[SoBadItsGood worst]]) to be rapidly forgotten, leaving an increasingly inaccurate impression of the overall quality of the genre over time. This is known as "the nostalgia filter", and can be easily demonstrated by a careful review of the period works that are ''not'' remembered today.

The distance of time also compresses the memories of past eras, causing the best work to seem more continuous than it was, whereas "new" is a continually moving frontier: between this memory compression and the selective memories of "the good stuff", the past of the genre is remembered as a time when "it all was good".

The most impressionable time is during pre-adolescent, adolescent, and teenage years. These are the years where one is young and undistracted by the responsibilities of adulthood. For many, they are also years that lack significant distraction due to sexual matters. For boys especially, this may either be due to not "having discovered girls yet" or being "too nerdy" to appeal to girls. Apart from schoolwork, they simply could afford time to live and breathe for that "next episode", favorite rerun, new video game, or that new superhero movie opening next week and have them engrained into their psyche. But [[EndOfAnAge these days, you have a life.]]

One final possible reason: most developers/authors/artists/musicians/etc. create whatever is popular at that day and age. This means that what was popular last year isn't being produced in the same density. If a person's preference is for something that is out of fashion right now, they may have little choice besides 'hang onto the older version' or 'give up on it completely'.

Of course, this is certainly not to imply that newer is automatically better or that the Nostalgia Filter applies to every single case; just because a person prefers an older work to more modern things doesn't mean they only like it because of nostalgia. Sometimes the older work ''is'' better, or at least has its own appeal that the present things don't -- even beyond "Charm", which is often thrown around to describe stuff mostly to just mean "It's nostalgic".

Sam Viviano, art director of ''Magazine/{{MAD}}'', has a saying which defines the NostalgiaFilter: "''MAD'' was at its best whenever you first started reading it." A corollary to that is that, if you didn't like ''MAD'', it was at its best shortly ''before'' you started reading it.

You'll notice that this trope sometimes overlaps with the PeripheryHatedom. Almost always, when people complain about how new stuff sucks, they bring up examples of things which were marketed towards the youth of their own generation as examples of "good" or even "classic" works in the genre. Never mind that 20 years ago, when it was being marketed towards them, many of the adults back then were saying the ''exact same thing'' we are today. It's a neverending cycle. This trope also frequently overlaps with FutureLoser, where the individual (consciously or not) feels ''his own life'' was better in those days than it is now.

It must be mentioned that ''not every adult succumbs to this.'' While abuse of the NostalgiaFilter is a popular adult stereotype (particularly in media aimed at children or teenagers), there are also many RealLife adults who are perfectly up-to-date and culturally aware. This is especially true for those who are [[CoolOldGuy socially active]] and [[IntergenerationalFriendship hang around a diverse group of people]]. Whether the tendency to abuse this trope even applies to the ''majority'' of RealLife adults is debatable. However, one thing is for certain: [[VocalMinority Those who abuse it tend to be extremely vocal about it.]]

See also NothingButHits, TheyDontMakeThemLikeTheyUsedTo and NostalgiaAintLikeItUsedToBe. Another reason for this trope is that TrueArtIsAncient. Contrast DeaderThanDisco and TheyChangedItNowItSucks.

[[InUniverseExamplesOnly Please list examples of Nostalgia Filters worn in works]]. Pretty much any genre or form is subjected to this in RealLife, so such examples aren't really necessary. [[noreallife]]
----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Invoked in ''Anime/CodeGeass'', with a drug called [[http://codegeass.wikia.com/wiki/Refrain_%28Drug%29 Refrain]], that causes one to experience hallucinogenic flashbacks to past pleasant experiences.
* A common device in ''Anime/RevolutionaryGirlUtena''. The first we get is Miki, who yearns to return to his childhood, when he and his sister were musical prodigies. [[spoiler:In truth, his sister was a poor piano player and he was the real prodigy]]. The second is [[spoiler:Utena herself]], when we find out that [[spoiler:her childhood wasn't as fairy tale-ish as we're led to believe]]. The third is [[spoiler:Souji Mikage, the second arc's antagonist]], who longs to [[spoiler:return to the past when he lived happily with the Chida family.]]
* ''Manga/FairyTail'': Subverted where the titular guildhall, a simple two-story pub, gets demolished by an enemy guild and renovated into a much bigger, more lavish building. Natsu, a guild member by six years, is the only one put off by all the changes made (though in the dub, he does mumble out that he isn't good with change)--now there's a stage, an outdoor pool, a rec room, and [[HeelFaceReturn the guy who destroyed the old guildhall is a member]] ([[ReformedButRejected though]] ''[[ReformedButRejected everyone]]'' [[ReformedButRejected agrees with Natsu on this]])--but once a huge BarBrawl breaks out like it normally would, he quickly feels right at home.
* England from ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia'' has a tight pair on when it comes to his days as [[TheBritishEmpire an empire]]. Especially with America. England is often moping about how America was so cute and obedient when he was a child under his rule, unlike the brash and rude country he's grown up to be. Then we see flashbacks of adorable little colony America yelling "go to hell, Engwand!".
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* The ''{{Archie}}'' comic [[http://www.misterkitty.org/extras/stupidcovers/stupidcomics210.html "Nostalgia Gets Ya!"]] plays this trope obnoxiously straight, talking about how much better life was back in TheGayNineties when policemen were always treated with respect, women were put on pedestals, and nobody worried about pollution.
* ''{{Viz}}'' has a running joke about how it "isn't as funny as it used to be".
* The CrisisCrossover ''InfiniteCrisis'' basically revolves around this trope, which the surviving heroes of ''CrisisOnInfiniteEarths'' hold to with varying degrees of fanaticism; having decided that the universe that resulted from the end of the earlier crossover has gone wrong and that their more innocent worlds were 'better' than the current status quo, they have decided to change the state of affairs by any means necessary. It has been noted that this has a certain similarity to frequent fan-criticisms of the current DC Universe. In the end, while Superboy-Prime and Alexander Luthor ended up crossing the MoralEventHorizon because of this, Earth-2 Superman's belief in this trope and the 'perfection' of his universe was shaken and ultimately defied by an observation his alternate self made about the universe he came from:
--> '''Superman''': If you're from this world, it couldn't be perfect. [[NoPlaceForMeThere Because a perfect world doesn't need Superman]].
* ''TheFabulousFurryFreakBrothers'' had a mid-70s story where Fat Freddy is raving over how great the 1950s were. He fondly recalls a New Years teen party that we see from Phineas's perspective - everyone converges at his parents' house over his objections, people get stupid drunk, he and Franklin get beaten up by hoods who crash the party, and the house and family car end up destroyed just before the parents get home.
* In ''ComicBook/TheSandman'', there's a scene in the 1480s, where the immortal Hob Gadling, now about 130 or so, overhears an old man complaining about these newfangled chimneys, and reminiscing about the days when "we did have a good honest brazier in the house," when nobody suffered from "rheumes and cattarhs" and the smoke was "good medicine for the man and his family." Hob mutters to Dream about how foolish the old man is, and how back then everyone was coughing and wheezing from the smoke, and occasionally you'd find whole families that had asphyxiated in the night.
* ''LadyGaga #1'' has a middle aged man moping about how the music in the present is nowhere near as good as the music in his day (i.e. the second half of the 1970s).
* Toyed with in an issue of ''TheBraveAndTheBold'' dealing with Brother Power. The character fondly reminisces about how much "better" everything was in the 60's and 70's, before remembering the violence, racial unrest, and turmoil of the era.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* Inverted with Miho in ''Fanfic/NecessaryToWin''. As a result of the circumstances of her departure from her old school, Black Forest, she initially only has less than fond memories of that school, and of tankery in general. However, in the course of telling her story to her friends, she starts to realize that she had some good times there, and made some friends. She also comes to the realization that she never disliked tankery, but merely the [[SeriousBusiness Nishizumi approach to it]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* This is a big part of the plot of Woody Allen's ''Film/MidnightInParis''. The story features Gil, a writer played by Owen Wilson, who is writing a novel about a man that runs a nostalgia shop, and the writer himself has a nostalgic view of the 1920s in Paris as a sort of Golden Age, something that his fiance and her family constantly rag on him for. Eventually, Gil discovers a mysterious taxi cab that arrives every night at midnight and transports him back to a nostalgia filtered 1920s Paris, where he meets many famous authors and falls in love with Adriana, a woman who is at the time Picasso's mistress. As time goes on, the writer discovers that Adriana has feelings for him too and decides to live in the 1920s with her. However, soon after Gil confesses his love for Adriana, they are picked up by a mysterious carriage that transports them back to LaBelleEpoque of the late 1800s, where they meet various artists, writers, and other famous folk. Adrianna immediately proposes they stay here, as in her mind, '''this''' is the Golden Age of Paris. However, the artists of ''that'' era pine for the TheRenaissance. [[spoiler:Gil decides that despite the allure of the nostalgia filter, it's best to take the present for what it is, and decides to go back to the present.]]
* Fifties nostalgia was [[SubvertedTrope subverted]] by the film ''Film/{{Pleasantville}}'', which initially presented its idyllic '50s sitcom world through the nostalgia filter, then slowly stripped it away and highlighted the racism and sexual repression of the era.
* ''Film/StandByMe'' is nostalgic, but presents gritty truths as well. After all, the kids are out to find a stranger's dead body. Oh, and the main character's parents ignore him, not to mention his older brother had been recently killed.
** Also, all four boys smoke. At age twelve.
* ''Film/AChristmasStory'', with its nostalgia for old toys, radio programs, music, Christmas decorations and still believing in Santa Claus. But while it had all the great holiday memories, it didn't leave out the anger, disillusionment, disappointment, frustration, humiliation and other crappy things about being a kid at Christmas that most movies filter out.
* In ''Film/StarTrekGenerations'', Picard and the ''Enterprise'' command crew are holding a promotion ceremony for Worf on a holodeck version of HMS ''Enterprise''. Picard gets all nostalgic for the age of WoodenShipsAndIronMen. The ever-practical Riker, on the other hand...
--> '''Picard:''' Just imagine what it was like. No engines, no computers. Just the wind and the sea and the stars to guide you.\\
'''Riker:''' Bad food, brutal discipline, no women.
** One episode of the TV show, "Relics", has Picard and Scotty drinking together and reminiscing about their first starships (The Stargazer and the original Enterprise, respectively). Both bask in nostalgia for the earlier days and fondness of the old times, but Picard admits that the Stargazer is, in basically every aspect, inferior to the Enterprise-D, and Scotty eventually gets disgusted with himself for getting so hung-up on the past, realizing it's time he moved on.
* ''Film/GoodByeLenin'' plays with this for the old East Germany (the phenomenon [[TruthInTelevision known more broadly]] as [[WhyWeAreBummedCommunismFell ''Ostalgie'']]). The whole idea revolves around the main character, Alex, trying to pretend to his mother (who was in a coma and missed the fall of the Berlin Wall) that Communism still exists and there is no re-unification process going on, to the point of creating fake news broadcasts and putting capitalist products in old-style communist-brand packaging. Many of the older supporting characters (who have ended up losing their jobs and security) find the environment to be something of a refuge from the changes happening around them, and Alex himself begins to become almost nostalgic, not necessarily for the real East Germany (he is seen protesting in the beginning of the film) but for the country that could have been, and the ideals it claimed to represent. The film itself is careful to show the good and bad sides of both capitalism and communism (or at least, the former's absurdity).
* In ''Film/TheRef'', Caroline has this for the days when she and her husband Lloyd were a young couple living in New York, and she'll go on and on about it, especially when she's had enough to drink. Towards the end of the movie he finally calls her out on this, her SelfServingMemory, and blaming him for everything that has gone wrong their lives since.
-->I told you what moving here could mean, but ''you'' were the one who said we should consider it! Not the actual ''moving,'' just the ''considering.'' The actual moving ''in'' part was left to ''me!'' Why? Because you didn't know what to do. You were... confused, you didn't know if it was the right thing. But you were sure as hell sick and tired of living in a one-bedroom apartment in New York City, so don't hand me that 'it was the best of times' bullshit! You didn't want to work anymore and you didn't want any help with the baby because you wanted to do it all by yourself! And you ''hated'' New York because we weren't as rich as your college friends were to enjoy it! We couldn't afford a bigger place, and you were ''miserable'' being around people who ''could!'' AND... we were up to our EARS in debt!
* In ''Film/SnowWhiteAndTheHuntsman'', when William starts talking about how he used to follow Snow White everywhere and she inspired him, Snow White remembers it quite differently and mentions how they used to fight a lot. [[spoiler: In actuality, this was the first clue that it's not the real William but Ravenna in disguise.]]
* Eddie Felton in ''Film/TheColorOfMoney'' has this in regards to the present-day popularity of nine ball pool, which he thinks is simpler, faster, and easier than the straight pool he used to play.
-->'''Eddie:''' This ain't pool. This is for bangers. Straight pool is pool. This is like hand-ball, or cribbage, or something. Straight pool, you gotta be a real surgeon to get 'em, you know? It's all finesse. Now, every thing is nine-ball, 'cause it's fast, good for T.V., good for a lot of break shots.
* In ''[[Film/BackToTheFuture Back To The Future: Part III]]'', Doc Brown goes on about how the Old West in the 1880s is his favorite time period, but after a HideousHangoverCure due to [[CantHoldHisLiquor drinking a single shot of whiskey]], he mentions how much he misses Tylenol in 1985.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Famously lampshaded by Creator/CharlesDickens in the opening passage of ''ATaleOfTwoCities'':
-->It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way -- in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
** Or, as it is quoted in ''The Lawyer's Handbook'', "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the New York Times."
* In ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' there is an in-universe example: at the end of the series, Marco sees the years he spent fighting Yeerks as the "good old days". He remembers life-and-death battles as "cool, rock 'em sock 'em battles". He doesn't really seem to remember how much they scared the crap out of him at the time. But then, it's said that Marco has a much easier time adjusting to civilian life than the others, because he doesn't feel guilty about the things he's done.
* In the ''Satyricon'', published some time in the 1st century AD (and in the very, very strange Fellini movie), the poet Agamemnon complains about the failing quality of contemporary literature and poetry, compared to the good old days, making this at least OlderThanFeudalism.
* In Creator/RobertEHoward's ConanTheBarbarian story "Literature/ThePhoenixOnTheSword", the last king is viewed with this, especially by Rinaldo.
-->''"Now in Mitra's temple there come to burn incense to Numedides' memory, men whom his hangmen maimed and blinded, men whose sons died in his dungeons, whose wives and daughters were dragged into his seraglio. The fickle fools!"''
** The epigram from Chapter II of that story sums it up neatly:
--->When I was a fighting-man, the kettle-drums they beat,
--->The people scattered gold-dust before my horse's feet;
--->But now I am a great king, the people hound my track
--->With poison in my wine-cup, and daggers at my back.
* Creator/WilliamShakespeare's Sonnet 106 complains that the ancients, who did not see this beauty, could have expressed it worthily, but mere current day poets aren't up to it.
** This and the example from the ''Satyricon'' above are examples of this as applied to the field of linguistics. Language was always at its best when your grandparents were speaking it. You can trace a line of bitching critics from decade to decade to the fifteenth century in English alone.
* In ''Literature/TimeAndAgain'', Si Morley does his best to consider the ways in which life in New York in 1882 was inequitable and harsh... but after he goes back to the present (1970), he becomes overwhelmed by a preference for the lifestyle and people of 1882. Even though he's well aware of what working conditions are like for ordinary people, and his reason for returning was to escape from corrupt policemen who have not heard of Miranda rights...
* In at least two of his books, including his autobiography, Isaac Asimov recounts the following:
-->Mrs. Asimov: I wish we lived a hundred years ago, when it was easy to get servants.
-->Asimov: That would be terrible!
-->Mrs. Asimov: Why?
-->Asimov: Because we'd be the servants.
* ''Literature/GalaxyOfFear'': '''Big''' plot hinge in "The Hunger", the series' last book. [[spoiler: Due to nostalgia, the now-grown children of a doomed exploration team don't realize what a desperation move by their parents [[NoPartyLikeADonnerParty feeding them meat from the corpses of the deceased members]] of the team was. Thanks to the nostalgia filter, they view human meat as a cherished childhood dish. It takes a Force-induced restore and replay of the log record to show them the truth.]]
* In ''Literature/TheExtinctionParade'', the narrator describes [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malayan_Emergency the Emergency]] and the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/13_May_incident_(Malaysia) 1969 race riots]] in Malaysia through such a lens. They sucked for humans, obviously, but for vampires like her and Laila, they were a buffet, as the backdrop of war and civil unrest made it easy to get away with murder.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* The opening theme for ''AllInTheFamily'' has Archie and Edith singing about how ideal their childhood was. Thing is, they both grew up during the Great Depression.
* Savagely mocked in [[http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-january-5-2010/even-better-than-the-real-thing this]] ''Series/TheDailyShow'' clip which satirises conservative pundits harking back to a simpler, better America than the one they believe is being ruined. After interviewing several people from each of the periods pundits such as Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and Bill O'Reilly grew up in which they discuss how things weren't really that great, John Oliver comes to the "realization" that the reason these pundits constantly look back to these times as happier and less complicated times is because those were the periods when they were children, and the world ''always'' seems happier and less complicated when you're a child.
* How the Doctor chooses to remember the Time Lords in the new series of ''Series/DoctorWho''. Of course, viewers of the original series know they weren't sweetness and light, and when they [[spoiler:do turn up for a moment in the new series]], it's clear the Time War [[OmnicidalManiac disimproved them]]. Such that [[spoiler:the Doctor [[BatmanGrabsAGun takes up a gun]] immediately upon realizing their return]].
* In ''Series/GameOfThrones'', King Robert is fond of reminiscing about the good old days. His brother Renly eventually gets sick of this and asks him exactly which days he's talking about - the time when the entire country was plunged into a bloody civil war, the time when [[TheCaligula Aerys]] roasted people alive because of the voices in his head, or the time when dragons went around burning villages to the ground.
* ''Series/ItsAlwaysSunnyInPhiladelphia'':
** Dennis and Dee take a trip to the Jersey Shore because they have fond memories of visiting there during their childhood years. When they arrive, they are subjected to a series of painful and terrifying experiences that completely shatter their previous conceptions of the Jersey Shore.
** It was eventually revealed that Dennis was nowhere near as popular in high school as he made himself out to be.
** Also used in the Christmas special with Charlie and Mac. The two fondly tell each other about their favourite Christmas traditions from their childhood, but after the other hears about it they realize that they aren't in any way near as positive as they remembered: Mac's family stole Christmas gifts from other homes, while Charlie is horrified to realize that his mom was a whore who had sex with a bunch of men (poorly) dressed up like Santa.
* The show ''MadMen'' does a lot to show how with all the awesome music and fashions of the '60s came [[ValuesDissonance rampant sexism, racism, and homophobia]], and how the values of [[TheFifties the previous decade]] held over and were difficult to dismantle. Considering how saturated the culture was (and still is) with '60s nostalgia when the show first debuted, it was exactly what the doctor ordered.
** The show [[LampshadeHanging invokes nostalgia]] during Don Draper's best pitch ever, rebranding Kodak's slide projector as [[http://youtu.be/R2bLNkCqpuY The Carousel.]]
* ''Series/ColdCase'' was every bit as brutal as ''MadMen,'' but spanned a lot more eras. Often, the murderer was sympathetic, and the attitudes about race, gender, and sexuality were the ''real'' villains.
* ''SaturdayNightLive'': Dana Carvey's recurring Weekend Update character, the GrumpyOldMan, parodies this by being nostalgic for the ''bad'' things about the past, such as having no water filters, no air conditioning, no improved technology, and even no Christmas Caroling.
* ''TheTwilightZone'' episode "The Incredible World of Horace Ford" has a toy designer who keeps lapsing into daydreams of his idyllic childhood while ignoring his slowly collapsing present. [[spoiler:In the end, it turns out he was repressing the memory of the day the other kids beat him up because they weren't invited to his birthday party, and he's forced to come to grips with the brutal truth that his childhood wasn't nearly the fairyland he wanted to believe it was.]]
** A Season 1 episode had an advertising executive in Manhattan go back to the small town of his youth to relive parts of his childhood. While his childhood is shown as having been a happy time, his father tells him that it doesn't have to be the best time of his life and he can be equally happy with his current life in New York.
* ''TopGear'' did an episode where James May finally got to drive the Lamborghini Countach that had adorned his bedroom wall back in the day and found out that it was a truly awful car.
* This trope was deconstructed by Penn and Teller in the ''Series/PennAndTellerBullshit'' episode "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4LhfVzX2bo The Good 'Ol Days]]".
* A hilarious InUniverse case happens in ''Series/{{Rome}}''. Octavian asks his old friend Titus Pullo to accompany him on the invasion of Egypt, saying that it'll be just like one of their old adventures. Pullo gives a nervous smile because he remembers that the "old adventures" tended to include torturing and murdering people.
* ''Series/{{Continuum}}'' has an in-universe FantasticDrug Retrevinol or "Flash", first appearing in episode 'Second Thoughts', that causes hallucinogenic flashbacks to pleasant past experiences that are far more satisfying than was the actual event being remembered, meaning the drug "cannot be trusted".
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'': Sam goes how how things used to be simple back early on the show to which Dean replies: "Not really".
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Meta]]
* Nostalgia for the classical period of ancient Greece and Rome and the idea that the Middle Ages were 1000 years of Dark Ages was one of the things that inspired the Renaissance. Yeah, it's a real-life example, but still technically woven in works considering that it fueled a lot of the artwork at the time.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* "The Green, Green Grass of Home," with two popular versions country, by Porter Wagoner, and pop by Tom Jones abounding. The song begins with a picturesque homecoming, obviously after a long time away, with a man stepping off a train and being welcomed by his family and his girlfriend, Mary ("hair of gold and lips like cherry"). The young man walks through his hometown, and it hasn't changed a bit ... even the old oak tree he used to play on is still there, majestic in its glory. It sounds too good to be true ... because it is. The scene suddenly takes a dark turn as the man awakens from what's to be his final night in bed ... he was only dreaming, and he's staring at four dank, dark gray walls. He's in prison, presumably a prisoner of war and awaiting execution at dawn ("For there's a guard, and there's a sad old padre/Arm in arm, we'll walk at daybreak"). That he'll be laid to rest beneath that green, green grass of home gives him little comfort in his final hours.
* "20 Years Ago" by KennyRogers, who reflects on a simpler time the mid-1960s in his 1987 hit, noting about good times at the drugstore counter and the now-recently closed movie house, and noting that an ordinary dime had lots of buying power. However, the nostalgia is tinged with bitterness and darkness, particularly as he reflects on the death of a close high school friend who was killed in action in Vietnam.
* TheStatlerBrothers found great success with a number of songs reflecting on old times, sometimes fun -- "Do You Remember These," a 1972 top 5 hit reflecting on popular culture from the late 1930s through the end of the 1950s; and "The Movies," a 1977 country hit that was a roll call of all the great movies from the earliest days to the then-present -- and sometimes bittersweet, most notably "Class of '57."
* MerleHaggard: For as many songs he recorded that bitterly recalled certain memories, the "Okie from Muskogee" recorded many songs that recalled good times. Some examples:
** "Okie From Muskogee": A 1969 song paying homage to small-town life, where conservative values were the norm and outsiders with ideals contrary to the established way of life e.g., patriotic values, with residents not using drugs, adopting hippie lifestyles, attempt to dodge the draft or challenge authority.
** "The Roots of My Raising" and "The Way It Was in '51": A two-sided hit from 1976 which played upon the values of home and growing up in a carefree era. "The Roots of My Raising," about a young man who visits home for the first time in several years, reflects on such childhood memories as the one-room schoolhouse, the homestead, father and bankers who had absolute faith in their customers' ability to repay loans. "The Way it Was in '51," which became a minor hit of its own in 1978 (and still gets classic country airplay today as a "B"-side) spoke about a now middle-aged man's teenage years, before rock music and Interstate highways, when camaraderie was found amongst small town residents and neighbors and Hank Williams and Lefty Frizzell were unquestionably the most popular singers of the day. "The Way it Was in '51" made a reference to the Korean War, and the line "servicemen were proud of what they'd done" was perhaps a sly reference to the Vietnam War, where not all veterans were "proud" of their service and they were shunned when they got back.
* The song "I used to love H.E.R" by Common just reeks of this trope. In this case Common is reminiscing about how Hip-hop changed with the times, but at a certain point it's clear he feels saddened by what it eventually became.
* The Futureheads song "Christmas Was Better in the 80's".
* Music/BobSeger basically built his career on nostalgia, with songs like "Old Time Rock and Roll" and "Night Moves".
** And "Against the Wind" and "Like a Rock" and "Still the Same" and "Main Street." Pretty much every song is about how awesome things were when Seger was younger.
* "Summer of '69" by Music/BryanAdams could be considered to use this in response to the GloryDays trope.
** Also "Boys of Summer" by Don Henley.
* The most popular interpretation of DonMcLean's epic "American Pie" is a tribute to the rock 'n' roll of the 1950s, and an indictment of where rock music had gone astray from there by the early 1970s.
* TheKinks would often wax nostalgic for a bygone England that possibly never existed, but could also show some perspective, like "Where Have All the Good Times Gone", heard [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnB3CHwPipU&feature=related here]].
* MeatLoaf, kinda. From ''Bat out of Hell 3'' is the song ''The Future Just Ain't What It Used to Be''. So, [[CaptainObvious all about how the future looked brighter when he was younger]].
* "From a Dead Beat to an Old Greaser" by Music/JethroTull has the main protagonist, Ray Lomas, bump into a man waxing nostalgic about his beatnik days. Lomas takes no interest in the beat's stories, saying "I didn't care, friend. I wasn't there, friend". If the comic from the sleeve of the song's parent album, ''Too Old to Rock 'N' Roll: Too Young to Die!'', is any indication, Lomas is just as prone to this, especially in the title track.
* Averted by Music/BillyJoel's "Keeping the Faith":
-->You know, the good old days weren't always good, and tomorrow ain't as bad as it seems!
* "All Summer Long" by Music/KidRock looks back at the summer of 1989 as a carefree time of young love and having fun down at the lake.
* "The Way We Were" by Music/BarbraStreisand.
-->Memories can be beautiful, and yet\\
What's too painful to remember\\
We simply choose to forget...
* Some of FuneralForAFriend's fanbase complained when the band went slightly poppier for their second album Hours, and even more for their progressive third album Tales Don't Tell Themselves. The band realised this and have based the subsequent part of their career around 'getting back to their hardcore roots', specifically their first two EPs and first album. They like to remind people of this with playing their first two EPs live in order, calling the four songs recorded for their best of 'an EP's worth of new songs', bringing back screamed vocals, releasing an independent EP called The Young And Defenseless, of which two songs went on the album and two didn't (mirroring their EP Four Ways To Scream Your Name). Their album Conduit is a return to the hardcore roots they had before they even recorded an EP. Despite this, some fans still say they aren't as good as those early works, even though they've produced many songs in that style since.
* Music/BowlingForSoup's song "1985" is about this. A middle-aged suburban soccer mom can't cope with the fact that it's not TheEighties any more, that she's not going to be a star, or that the musicians she grew up listening to are now played on the oldies and classic rock stations, and she wants to go back to when she was a teenager.
* Music/BoardsOfCanada's music, despite being entirely instrumental (with the exception of [[{{Sampling}} occasional voice samples]]), is suffused with a sense of vague nostalgia, frequently described by both reviewers and listeners as sounding like hazy, half-forgotten memories or something along those lines.
* One of many things mocked in "God Save The Queen" by Music/TheSexPistols, which basically says that there is no future if you try to use a Nostalgia Filter to solve your problems.
* "Back in the Day" by Ahmad, a hip-hop song that's filled with syrupy nostalgia. It's arguably the poster child for nostalgia in the hip-hop community, along with songs like "T.R.O.Y." by Pete Rock & CL Smooth, and "Passin Me By" by Pharcyde.i
* In "Put Your Hand Inside the Puppet Head", by They Might Be Giants, the first verse touches on this, with lines such as "It was not, not, not so great"
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* Parodied in a ''ComicStrip/FoxTrot'' series in which Andy has to pick a strip in the newspaper she works for to cancel. Roger is incensed that she picked "Captain Goofball," because it was his favorite strip as a kid, even though it sucks now.
* Lampshaded in a comic strip of ''ComicStrip/{{Zits}}'' where the Duncans take a trip to a cabin where Walt went when he was younger. Jeremy ''hates'' it, but Walt, for some reason, has all these pleasant memories of the place. Yet, Jeremy finds a tree into which Walt had carved, "I hate this %^@&% Dump!!" and Walt mentions, "Wow, time has a way of blurring things, does it?"
** In another strip, Walt gets angry at a song Jeremy is listening to, resulting in this exchange,
--> '''Walt''': Did I hear what I think I just heard?!
--> '''Jeremy''': Dad, it's just a song lyric.
--> '''Walt''': Don't give me that! I'm sick of this new music that's [[MoralGuardians nothing but drugs and sex]]!
--> '''Jeremy''': You mean like, "[[BobDylan Lay Lady Lay]]", "[[Music/TheBeatles Lucy in the Sky]]", "[[JimiHendrix Purple Haze]]", "[[Music/TheRollingStones Brown Sugar]]"?
--> '''Walt''': [[MoralMyopia Hey, that's different! Those are classics!]]
--> '''Connie''': Ouch. Score one for the teenager.
* ''ComicStrip/TomTheDancingBug'' advanced a theory that popular culture was at its height when you, the reader, were twelve years old.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Other]]
* The four audiobook volumes of ''The Alan Cross Guide to Alternative Rock'', based on the author's radio series ''The Ongoing History of New Music'', appear guilty of this: most of the bands are from the 1980s or early 1990s, several are from the 1960s and 1970s, and the ones from the 2000s that are covered are treated briefly. Cross, a history major, averts this by noting it's far easier to objectively measure the cultural impact of older artists, while for most newer artists it's too soon to tell if they'll be influential.
* ''When I was a kid, my mother would send me down to the corner store with a dollar, and I'd come back with five pounds of potatoes, two loaves of bread, three pints of milk, a pound of cheese, a packet of tea, and half a dozen eggs. You can't do that now. [[spoiler:Too damn many security cameras.]]''
* When Windows XP came out, people reacted to the new user interface in the same way, as they did now to the Windows 8. Endless rants were on forums and computer magazines about how childish it was, its impact on system performance was even worse (that time, only a minimal graphic acceleation was used for the GUI, most of it was done by the CPU). But well, first you could turn it off, second it followed the god-awful Windows ME, third it was a long runner and almost everybody forgot about it.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Religion]]
* Literature/TheBible alludes to this at Ecclesiates 7:10, making this OlderThanDirt.
-->"Do not say: 'Why has it happened that the former days proved to be better than these?' for it is not due to wisdom that you have asked about this."
[[/folder]]


[[folder:Print Media]]
* The ''Rolling Stone'' magazine article: "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time." Written in 2004, it included only 3 songs from the 2000s and a truly ''massive'' number from the 1960s and early '70s, roughly coinciding with the rise of the magazine itself. Probably 400 or so of those songs (and their artists) were probably [[PopularityPolynomial regularly]] [[VindicatedByHistory panned]] by the magazine when they were [[ItsPopularNowItSucks the Top 40 of the day]].
* Similarly, ''TV Guide'' compiled a list of the greatest TV shows in history. It was revealed later that the hardest decision they had was which of two shows should be named #1: ''ILoveLucy'' or ''{{Seinfeld}}''. They decided go with ''Seinfeld''. The decision was met with quite a lot of backlash.
* In these two cases, they were probably justified for the reasons given above in the introduction. It's far too early to be able to pick out what the good songs, or good TV shows of today are. The half century old songs and shows that are bad are forgotten so the ones that are remembered are, most certainly, among the best ever.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theatre]]
* ''Theatre/AvenueQ'': "I Wish I Could Go Back To College" is this combined with GrowingUpSucks.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In general, gaming systems that are highly regarded in retrospect tend to be subjected to this. For example, the {{Super N|intendoEntertainmentSystem}}ES is now considered to be one of the greatest gaming systems of all time. However, many people either forget or simply don't realize that, during its time, it was criticized quite a bit by the video game community, with the SegaGenesis being seen as more American-friendly due to Sega's looser censorship and greater support from Western game developers. Granted, the Japanese game industry was still the dominant force in gaming at the time (this wouldn't really begin to change until the {{Xbox}} came out), but the comparable lack of support from big name Western developers like Electronic Arts was considered a major drawback to the [=SNES=] at the time (its support from Japanese developers, on the other hand, was almost unparalleled).
** It seems Nintendo consoles in general have this happen at some point, given that Nintendo is the only console manufacturer from the '80s that is still making consoles today. The {{Nintendo 64}}, despite costing Nintendo some valuable third party support due to its expensive cartridges, is now fondly remembered for its lineup of first- and second-party games. The {{Nintendo GameCube}} is also now fondly remembered, despite being Nintendo's lowest-selling home console in history (the Xbox, despite being a total newcomer at the time, managed to outsell the [=GameCube=] by a few million units), if only because a decent number of its games have been VindicatedByHistory as being cult classics[[note]]Most notably, ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker'' got an HD remake on Nintendo's WiiU console because of this[[/note]]. This can happen to Nintendo's handhelds too, but not to the same degree, given Nintendo's longtime dominance of the handheld market.
* In ''[[VideoGame/SamAndMaxFreelancePolice Sam & Max]]: The Devil's Playhouse'', Sam comes across a bucket of fish from the original Lucasarts game ''Hit The Road'' and fondly remembers how much simpler things were back then. Max quips that things were [[NintendoHard a LOT more complicated back then]].
* ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountry'': SelfDemonstrating/CrankyKong ''is'' this. Three-fourths of the time, he's grumping on how better much games were back in [[VideoGame/DonkeyKong his]] day, and how overrated our current gaming features are.
** Not to say he hasn't good reason to be bitter; he's supposed to be the the original VideoGame/DonkeyKong from the arcade game.
* ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIV: [[VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIVTheBalladOfGayTony The Ballad of Gay Tony]]'' has the eponymous Tony Prince, an aging, [[CampGay flamboyantly gay]] nightclub entrepreneur who grew up back when the gay rights movement was still on the fringes of social discourse. In one scene, he longs for the days when most [[TheTwink young gay men]] were runaways and exiles from a disapproving [[FlyoverCountry middle America]] who were lost in the big city and easier to seduce, and claims that gay culture has lost its touch now that growing numbers of LGBT people are settling down, getting married, raising kids, and becoming "normal".
* Likewise, ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoV'' has the song [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwM5qouf3Ns "I Like Things Just the Way They Are"]] by Samantha Muldoon, who performs it during her appearance on [[Radio/GTARadio Blaine County Talk Radio]]. It's a DeconstructiveParody of the use of this trope in modern CountryMusic, with its idealization of small-town Americana barely concealing a vicious streak of [[BreadEggsMilkSquick reactionary politics, racism, and militant Christian nationalism]].
* Arthur Geis of Rebel FM stated that the XboxLiveArcade game ''[[VideoGame/PerfectDark Perfect Dark HD]]'' was what gamers ''remembered'' what the original version of ''Perfect Dark'' was like.
* ''VideoGame/MegaMan9'' and ''[[VideoGame/MegaMan10 10]]'' were designed to look and play similar to the original ''Franchise/MegaMan'' games to cater to this.
* IGN's [[http://www.ign.com/articles/2014/07/11/another-world-20th-anniversary-review strongly critical review]] of the 20th anniversary rerelease of ''VideoGame/AnotherWorld'' claims that, while it was a classic game in its time, the only reason why it's still a classic ''today'' is because of this trope, and that time and nostalgia have caused people to forget about the game's poor controls and frustrating gameplay.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* Webcomic/PennyArcade summed it up pretty well in [[http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2010/4/21/ one strip.]] "It's the job of young people to make things which old people despise. It's the job of old people to denigrate the work of the young. That is the system. Someday, we will hate them ourselves."
* ''Webcomic/NotInventedHere'': Desmond feels like a kid again when his first computer is mailed to him by his uncle Lou. He snaps out of it when Geordi mentions every remaining computer of that model working together would roughly equal the computing power of one iPhone, but use way more electricity.
* ''Webcomic/TheWhiteboard'': Sent up in the paintball domain [[http://www.the-whiteboard.com/autotwb1143.html here]] and in the next strip, comparing paintballing in the past to that in the present.
* Parodied in [[http://explosm.net/comics/3363/ this]] ''Webcomic/CyanideAndHappiness'' strip. The old man misses the "good old days" ''because'' of the [[RacistGrandma rampant intolerance]]. His younger relative cheerfully claims this is why he never visits.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Original]]
* Mocked in ''TheOnion'', where a cantankerous old man writes the editorial: "[[http://www.theonion.com/articles/in-my-day-ballplayers-were-for-shit,10792/ In My Day, Ballplayers Were For Shit]]"
** "[[http://www.theonion.com/articles/area-man-always-nostalgic-for-four-years-ago,1392/ Area Man Always Nostalgic For Four Years Ago]]"
** "10 Things That Will Make You SUPER Nostalgic For [[TheNineties The '90s]]" is a 2013 slideshow of real photos of all the great times/things of the era -- starting with Rwandan genocide corpses and going on to {{Columbine}}, the Oklahoma City bombing, Somalian refugees, etc. (plus, for some reason, Alan Alda)!
* WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic's job is showing the world that the '80s and early '90s had their fair share of utterly terrible shows and movies, as you can guess by his name. The Nostalgia Filter attitude was also mocked in the end of his ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}: [[TheMovie The First Movie]]'' review, where after spending a good portion of the review complaining about the weirdness of the premise, comes to the realization that popular eighties cartoons like ''WesternAnimation/{{Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles|1987}}'', ''WesternAnimation/AlvinAndTheChipmunks'', and ''WesternAnimation/TheCareBears'' had pretty ridiculous premises themselves before shouting "THOSE WERE THE DAYS!".
** In a video where he watches the first few episodes of the 80's Ninja Turtles cartoon, he's forced to admit that the whole thing is kind of dumb, [[RuleOfFun but that doesn't make it any less fun]].
** WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick does this too, just with girly movies and the occasional male-geek-adored CultClassic like ''{{Dune}}'' and the ''{{Transformers}}'' film.
* In the ''Gundamn!'' podcast's segment on ''TransformersTheMovie'', they mention that most of the fanbase's regard for ''TransformersGeneration1'' really comes from the movie, rather than the TV series, which was pretty formulaic ("What stupid plan will Megatron come up with to steal more Energon cubes? How will Starscream try to betray Megatron and fail ''yet again?''")
* ''Website/{{Cracked}}'' devoted an entire article to this trope: [[http://www.cracked.com/article_18983_5-complaints-about-modern-life-that-are-statistically-b.s..html "5 Complaints About Modern Life (That Are Statistically B.S.)."]]
* [[{{Imageboards}} "Remember when /b/ was good?"]] [[MemeticMutation "/b/ was never good."]]
** For those who don't speak internet; the imageboard /b/, [[SmallNameBigEgo the source of most memes]], is full of people who have matured to the point where the rather immature, gross-out and horrible humor of /b/ no longer amuses them, and complain about the new users, claiming that they are the "cancer that is killing /b/."
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_APoSfCYwU As SMBC points out,]] nostalgia has been a staple of humanity since before it ''was'' humanity:
--> Biggest rock is best rock
--> But sometimes small rock is good rock too
--> Don't give me that liberal bullcrap.
** [[http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=2253#comic And again.]]
* Skewered [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bx0DsbxZHa0 here]] by WebVideo/{{Benzaie}}, who alleges that all the problems that gamers complain about today ([[FollowTheLeader genre oversaturation]], {{Mission Pack Sequel}}s, etc.) were just as present in TheNineties, the "golden age" of gaming.
* This [[http://twitter.com/#!/Discographies/status/5687865124069376 tweet]] by Discographies on Music/{{Journey}} sums up the phenomenon perfectly.
* ''DarthWiki/CandleCove'' starts out playing this trope straight, but then we learn about all the gory details.
* Pitchfork of Socks Make People Sexy is quite guilty of this; tasked with doing a Final Fantasy Retrospective, he started with declaring his blind admiration for classics and then to...well, let's just say that ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' didn't help. At all.
* Any [[http://www.sporcle.com/games/category/music Sporcle music quiz]] regarding recent music (Billboard year-end lists, United States of Pop, #1 hits...) will be filled with comments both blasting today's songs and praising the ones from their age.
* {{Moviebob}} has discussed his own (quite strong) nostalgia filter for '80s and early '90s gaming on several occasions.
** Played straight and averted, respectively, with his treatment of TheEighties and TheNineties. Bob is ''not'' a fan of the latter decade, frequently accompanying mentions of it with a stock photo of [[TheWrestler Randy "The Ram" Robinson]] with the caption "The '90s sucked", and he has little love for most of the pop culture trends of that era ({{Nineties anti hero}}es, [[PostModernism post-modern]] teen horror, et cetera). On the other hand, he loves the '80s, cheesiness and all. He states that this was because the '90s were his awkward, schlubby teen years that came in between his wondrous childhood in the '80s and his present-day success as an internet personality.
** Averted, and examined, with [[http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/the-big-picture/5140-The-Simpsons-Is-Still-Funny-Pt-1 his treatment]] of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''. While going over the older seasons, Bob noticed that most of the episodes he thought were comic gold as a kid didn't age well, while the episodes he thought were boring when they first aired became much better now that he was [[ParentalBonus old enough to appreciate the humor]]. He concludes that ''The Simpsons'' didn't jump the shark like its fans thought it did, but rather, its fans grew up and their tastes in humor changed, and the show didn't change with them. Plus, there's the fact that the show, a broad satire of the greater pop culture, is [[UnintentionalPeriodPiece a relic]] of a time stretching from roughly 1950-2000 when pop culture was largely monolithic[[note]]As in, most mainstream Americans, apart from those on the cultural fringes, watched the same three or four TV {{networks}} and the same movies, received the same news, listened to the same music, read the same books, et cetera.[[/note]] the early '00s, the time most commonly cited as when ''The Simpsons'' "stopped being funny", is also the time when the internet and cable television fragmented pop culture into a million little shards and {{subculture}}s.
** He's [[http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/columns/moviebob/9204-Advice-From-a-Fanboy-Akira argued]] that, while ''Manga/{{Akira}}'' is a good movie, the reason why most Americans view it as a classic is because of this trope, saying that it was most Americans' first "real" experience with {{anime}} that hadn't been [[{{Macekre}} watered]] [[{{Bowdlerise}} down]].
* Parodied in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pa6SGYWADU this YouTube video]] by user Ukinojoe about "90s Kids."
** This sort of thing is also skewed by [[WebVideo/RebelTaxi Rebel Taxi]] in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uWKkndwrCs this video]].
* Discussed in [[http://kotaku.com/5983704/two-major-features-every-retro-game-service-needs this article]] on Kotaku about how to improve "retro" gaming services like the PlayStation3's [[PlayStation PSOne Classics]].
-->"This week, thanks to the big ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' sale, I bought ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX FFIX]]'' on PSN to play on my Vita. I wanted to play it again with fresh eyes. Problem is, when you play a game with fresh eyes, you suddenly start to notice problems that you forgot about over the years, like the ridiculous random encounter rate and the 5-10 seconds it takes for the 'disc' to load before each battle even starts. I put 'disc' in scare-quotes because, remember, there is no PS1 disc. This is an emulator on my Vita running the game."
* [[http://makingstarwars.net/2013/08/star-wars-episode-vii-cgi-versus-practical-effects/ This article]] examines the special effects from the ''Franchise/StarWars'' franchise, focusing on the backlash against the use of CGI throughout the Prequel Trilogy, noting that the methods used [[NotSoDifferent are ultimately not that different]] from those of the Original Trilogy.
-->"The thesis that limitations lead to genius is just flat-out illogical. If we gave Music/TheBeatles crappier guitars or we gave your new favorite band vintage equipment, would they make better music? No. They would make music with the tools at their disposal."
* WebVideo/BennettTheSage Discussed this in his Anime Abandon Videos. He feels that Anime was at its best in the nineties, but also at its worst, which is where a good backbone of the show comes from.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* This trope is played with in ''WesternAnimation/{{Recess}}'', when Vince apparently does not notice that his brother (who was revered by Vince's peers around his age) was a stereotypical nerd, remembering instead how "cool" he used to be. The other kids later realise that it only made sense since no 'cool' older kid would ever have willingly played with them when they were younger.
** He's still cool in his own way. When a bully that Vince stopped brought his older brother, Vince's own brother threatened to quit being his tutor. He backed off immediately.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'': In one episode, Timmy's dad constantly speaks of his fond childhood memories of spending time in an Old West town, and Timmy goes through the trouble of making sure it doesn't get torn down for his dad's sake. However, actually being there again makes Timmy's dad realize how much his childhood sucked and has the place demolished for a few bucks.
** And another episode, in when Timmy and his dad were cleaning their attic, Timmy finds his dad's tiny box of dreams. He picks it up and it breaks. Timmy's dad was OK with it though, because his dreams were crushed many years ago.
-->'''Timmy''': How ''many'' years ago?
-->'''Mr. Turner''': How old are you?
* ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'': Phineas reflects on the little kiddie rides outside of the mall, leading to an exciting scene of young Phineas flying into space and shooting lasers off with Ferb. Cut to him riding it in reality...
-->'''Phineas:''' You know, in retrospect, I may have over-romanticized those memories...
* This attitude is called out in one episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheRealGhostbusters'', where Ray is talking about how the fifties were a much simpler time. Egon points out that there's no inherent proof of that, as each decade has its own individual challenges.
* In the BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheGrimAdventuresOfBillyAndMandy'', Billy's dad wants to relive his high school days. He soon realizes it wasn't as good as he thought it was.
* Given a quick jab in the ribs from ''WesternAnimation/TheOblongs'', as Bob wonders fitfully about his children being sold drugs.
-->'''Bob:''' This stuff wasn't around when we were kids.
-->'''Pickles:''' Bob, we grew up in the sixties. Drugs were everywhere.
-->'''Bob:''' ...No, I think you're wrong.
* WesternAnimation/{{Daria}} once called a guy Jane was dating out on this.
-->'''Nathan:''' Well, I've always dug the beauty and elegance of post-war American design. People had a sense of timeless style and civilized decorum back then.
-->'''Daria:''' Well, yeah. But you also had the timeless style of Cold War conformity and the civilized decorum of segregation.
** Another example occurs when Jake finds some old home movies from back when he was a kid and is eager to see them despite Helen's failed attempts at reminding him that his childhood wasn't that great. The truth comes rushing back to him once he watches them however. Helen later lampshaded this tendency in Is It College Yet.
--> '''Helen:''' Your father needs to maintain certain illusions about his youth in order to function. It's... cute...
* In the ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' episode "You're Getting Old", as soon as Stan turns ten, he ends up hearing and seeing all the "[[YoungerAndHipper new and hip]]" stuff around him to be literally "shitty," ranging from tracks from band called "Tween Wave" featuring nothing but funky beats with fart sounds in the background to seeing turds in movie trailers and in various parts of the town. [[spoiler: It completely alienates him from his friends.]] In the second part to this episode, [[spoiler:he has to resort to taking alcohol in order to stop seeing things as shit.]]
** Also makes up the plot of "4th Grade". After moving up a grade in class, the boys dislike it and wish they could still be in the 3rd grade instead as things were so much better back then. At the very end, Kyle realizes that it's a load of bull and they hated the 3rd grade just as much as the 4th.
** Also briefly mocked in "Osama Bin Laden Has Farty Pants", the first post-9/11 episode. It opens with the boys at the bus stop wearing gas masks. Kyle remarks, "Remember when life used to be simple and cool?" To which Cartman replies, "... Not really."
* Mocked in the ''{{Doug}}'' episode "Doug's Shock Therapy," when a temporarily insane Mr. Bone mis-remembers his own childhood as (literally!) a "magical time with rainbows and lakes of hot chocolate."
* Toyed with in the ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'' episode "Legends," where the team meets a [[CaptainErsatz pastiche]] of the [[JusticeSocietyOfAmerica JSA]]. It's all about the fondly-remembered "GoldenAge" but also includes casual sexism and racism Comicbook/GreenLantern encounters.
* One episode of ''AmericanDad'' features a CIA holodeck machine that scans memories of people and projects them into the holodeck. The machine has a literal NostalgiaFilter. When Stan revisits his childhood with the filter on, it's bright, warm, comforting, and his dad is a nice person. Turned off, the place is a dump and his father is cruel, as it really was. (not that Stan is bothered by it)
[[/folder]]

->''This page was so much better back in the day. But today...it just sucks.''