Amazingly Embarrassing Parents
"Your most important responsibility, as the parent of an adolescent, is to be a hideous embarrassment to your child.
Fortunately, most of us parents have a natural flair for this."
Children on TV live in terror of their parents ever getting a chance to interact with the other kids in school. This is for a very good reason - parents on TV seem to be on a quest to humiliate their children in front of their peers.
They always have a thousand and one stories about things their unfortunate offspring did when they were two years old, and they always seem certain that everyone wants to hear about them. They're perfectly right about that, of course, just not for the reasons that they think - the Alpha Bitch
and her ilk are just dying
to hear humiliating childhood stories, because they'll be able to tease the poor protagonist about them for years to come!
To add insult to injury, if the hero lets slip that he or she doesn't appreciate the parents' complete disregard for his or her right to privacy, the parents tend to be absurdly hurt and the hero is likely to have to spend the rest of the episode trying to make amends, with the whole thing ending on An Aesop
about not being ashamed of your parents. And never mind that it's usually not really a case of being ashamed of them personally, and more about them cheerfully walking all over your privacy and dignity
, middle names
and the Homemade Sweater From Hell
are a must.
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- Toyota has an ad campaign with an insufferably smug kid pointing out the parents who are hideous caricatures of aging baby boomers humiliating their children by merely existing and driving something that isn't the company's big honkin' SUV.
- Toned down a small amount in the follow-up ad: the same brat is in the backseat when they pull up alongside another kid with embarrassing parents, who have apparently been singing "Morning Angel" over and over again, 30 times in a row. He's embarrassed and traumatized by the singing, not the car; the apparent selling point is that the Toyota SUV comes standard with a back-seat monitor so the kid could have been able to drown them out. Such a better message.
- They also seem to be marketing the car to the kids, rather than either set of parents.
Anime and Manga
- One of Murai's friends in Great Teacher Onizuka is incredibly ashamed of his super unattractive mother, which happens to be the total opposite of Murai's own situation with his mom. Murai's mother also embarrasses him when they drop in on a hot, sweaty day by only wearing a tank top and shorts. No bra.
- The series Kamisama Kazoku demonstrates why you do NOT want these parents to be gods with Reality Warper powers and total omniscience. When the main character, Samataro, is in school and idly thinking about the school's banning of revealing gym shorts for girls, his dad picks up on the thought. Dad immediately has the male teacher express his love for them, and come from behind the podium wearing them, to the total shock of the class. Also, Samataro's mother surprises the boy when he comes home by having herself and his two sisters wear them! And then Dad himself comes out wearing them!
- It's a case of embarrassment all around in the fourth episode of the third season of Maria-sama ga Miteru when the cast's parents arrive for the school athletics carnival:
- Normally quiet and reserved Shimako curls up in a little ball and whimpers when her father (a Buddhist monk who has just come from presiding over a funeral and is still in his robes) is paraded in front of the entire school as part of the scavenger hunt.
- In addition to her other issues with her father, Sachiko finds his actions fit this when he meets Yumi, though her judgment may be clouded.
- Yumi is afraid her parents are going to do this to her when she introduces them to Sachiko for the first time.
- Yoshino's parents do do this to her in the novel that this episode was adapted from.
- When Tamaki's kendo team visits her house in the Bamboo Blade manga, her father wastes no time in breaking out the photo album, much to Tama-chan's chagrin.
- Then he brings put the video of her bathing as a child...
- In Lucky Star, normally Konata is perfectly okay with her dad's otaku tendencies, being as she's just as much one herself, but it would be nice if he toned down the lolicon aspects when visiting the school on sports day. Or with friends visiting note . Or while her younger cousin is living with them while she attends Ryou-ou...
- Haruhi on Ouran High School Host Club is embarrassed of her father. Not only does he cross-dress, but he's constantly trying to get her to dress more lady-like. Funny enough, the rest of the club seems fine with it.
- Otoha from Happiness!, who is prone to greeting her son Yuuma enthusiastically while at school. As a result, Yuuma tends to avoid the cafeteria where she works.
- The Prince of Tennis: Ryoma Echizen would be very grateful if his Retired Badass father Nanjirou also wasn't a meddling, smartass slob. He gets along better with his mother Rinko, even if he whines about how she cooks too much Western food for his taste.
- Magic User's Club has Aburatsubo's ultra-affectionate and ultra childish Hot Mom, Akiko. He does care for his mom, but is terrified at the mere prospect of her showing up at his school.
- Nanaka's mom is this too, once showing up to a school meeting while in her gardening clothes.
- If parental substitutes count, there's Yayoi from Koe de Oshigoto!, who reveals a few choice anecdotes about her little sister Kanna to their co-workers.
- Pokémon "Don't forget to change your—" "Alright, mom! Jeez!" Done regardless of who (friends, neighbors) or what (television cameras) is nearby, either.
- In the English dub, Delia is reminding Ash to change his underwear. In the original Japanese, she's reminding him to brush his teeth.
- Umi's Sickeningly Sweethearts parents in Magic Knight Rayearth. Their daughter is almost squicked when they act like 15-year-olds around her.
- You think these others have it bad? Try being a girl with a father who can summon waves out of nowhere, is a total spaz, insists you're a man, and lives in your school so you won't be able to get rid of him! Ryuunosuke Fujinashi from Urusei Yatsura has, and she doesn't like it.
- Ranma ˝: More than one of Fujinami-san's worst traits slipped into Genma Saotome. His son Ranma really, really hates him when he's in full Jerk Ass mode. Which, sadly, happens almost 24/7.
- Soun Tendo sometimes is like this too, but it's more about him being both very old-fashioned and very melodramatic. Oh, and arranging his daughter Akane's marriage to Ranma without really asking her first. Akane cares for him more than Ranma does for Genma, but such stuff won't be forgiven ever.
- The Planetes manga features several of them, as it concentrates on the lives and personalities of the characters.
- Tanabe's mom, Yukari, is very enthusiastic of her girl finally getting a boyfriend and is an avid Ai x Hachi shipper.
- Goro Hoshino, Hachi's dad, is a true Bunny-Ears Lawyer, being a huge Jerk with a Heart of Gold prone to amusing (and often violent) outbursts — his Running Gag, for example, is his constant rivalry with Hachi for the last piece of tonkatsu. But he's just that good as a spacecraft engineer.
- Sengoku Youko has main character Tama's mother Kuzunoha in a relationship with the Big Bad of the series. Needless to say, Tama is not very happy about it.
- The protagonist in one of the stories of Himitsu Kichi thinks of his father this way. He's a comedian who's So Unfunny It's Funny and he's always being silly, which his son hates.
- One of the few cases where this is Played for Drama is Oniisama e.... Mariko Shinobu's father Hikawa is a novelist... bvut not just any kind of writer, but a writer of erotic novels. While he donates quite the money to the Seiran campus, Mariko is looked down on by other students for being "the daughter of a pornographer". And specially by the local Alpha Bitch, Aya Misaki.
- The Neon Genesis Evangelion spinoff manga Shinji Ikari Raising Project casts Gendo in this role due him being an Accidental Pervert (how many times did he trip and groped Ritsuko in public?), his closet containing only copies of his usual outfit, being mistaken for a pervert every time he visits Shinji's school, and his way of showing paternal love being more like a Godzilla attack than anything◊.
- Mako's eccentric mother from Wandering Son is constantly embarrassing her.
- Queen Misaki towards her eldest daughter Ayeka in Tenchi Muyo!. (She gets along with Sasami just fine.) This is mostly due to the fact that Misaki still sees Ayeka as a little girl, so she expects her to call her "mommy" and act adorable around her. Which Ryoko finds funny... until Misaki goes Mama Bear on her... and childishly pulls on her cheeks, much to Ayeka's embarrassment.
- Then, there's Tenchi's own mom, Kiyone. Unlike his saintly Action Mom Achika in Tenchi Universe, it turns out that Tenchi's mom was actually a major prankster that even turned her own death into a gigantic prank.
- The Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Innocent Alternate Universe version of Precia Testarossa is an extremely Doting Parent who is not ashamed to shower her daughters with love, attention, and worry in front of their friends, much to her daughters' dismay. This makes the history of the Evil Matriarch Precia from the main continuity all the more tragic, as it gives us a glimpse of what could have been had the death of Alicia not broken her mind.
- Odin toward Loki in Twisted Toyfare Theatre.
Loki: Daaad, you're embarrassing me!
Odin: Nonsense! Now, gaze upon these naked baby photos of Loki.
Spider-Man: ...His horns have grown.
- In The Tainted Grimoire, Ensei is this sometimes, like when he eats so much food at public restaurants which usually earns stares from everyone else. His daughter Kanin is unhappy about this.
- In Misfiled Dreams (a Misfile fic), Ash's mother Marie joins in on the action when she cheerfully explains to her daughter the various pros and cons of a menage a trois. And then mentions that she's had three-ways with a man and another woman, as well as with two other girls.
- Jimmy Michaels of the Fruits Basket fic Jimmy & Kyo has a particularly bad case. Just mentioning his mom's occupation is enough to embarrass him to death. So what does she do? She's a Romance novelist! It's hinted his older brother Scott is just as embarrassed.
- The Hyuga family in A Growing Affection. Hiashi has Hinata wanting to move out after he goes to both Tsunade and Naruto to try to get Naruto to stop training with her. After he defrosts, he is just as embarrassed when his own father does the same thing.
- Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman. The main character, 'Fat Charlie' Nancy, is convinced that he's got the most embarrassing dad on the face of the planet. He's probably right. One could rightfully consider his dad, Anansi, to be a literal GOD of embarrassment.
- The nickname "Fat Charlie" was bestowed on him by his dad, and just stuck all those years, even though he's not really that fat, because Dad's a Physical God and Reality Warper.
- There's an Israeli children's book that's all about this: the kid's embarrassing, stay-at-home dad has his Crowning Moment of Awesome when the kindergarten has a moms' baking contest and his apparently bland cake explodes into fantastic sugared roses. Awww.
- Mrs. Bennet in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice is sort of a version of this trope; her relative lack of breeding and unsubtle attempts to set her daughters up with prospective husbands — and in the case of Mr. Bingley and Jane, to act as if they're already engaged after they've just met — prove mortifying to her two older daughters at least (the younger ones are equally embarrassing as their mother). The consequences of this are more serious than usual, since Jane's embarrassing family is one of the major reasons Mr. Darcy persuades Mr. Bingley not to marry her.
- Honor Harrington has a father who is a dignified former naval doctor from a well-thought-of family... and her mother makes up for it in sheer embarrassing abilities. The very first thing she does onscreen is observe how nice the ass of Honor's second-in-command is, and telling her she needs to tap that.
- Kingdom Keepers hints at this with Finn's parents. When his mother first meets Jez, she gushes about Finn meeting "a cute girl", earning a look.
- In the very last Manly Wade Wellman Silver John novel, Voice of the Mountain, the main villain Ruel Harpe is described after embarassing a young witch in his service as being rather like "one of those parents who enjoys embarassing their children on purpose."
- Susan Heffley from Diary of a Wimpy Kid causes their sons a lot of embarrassment and ruins their fun with her bit trait of a Cloudcuckoolander and her tendency to pop up at Greg's school when he has left his bag or lunchbox at home.
- Mr. and Mrs. Harris from How to Get Suspended and Influence People and Pirates of the Retail Wasteland are food disaster hobbyists and gave their son the middle name "Noside."
- In Gene Stratton Porter's Freckles, Freckles, a Doorstop Baby, at one point longed to know his parents. But at the novel's end, he dreads the prospect of embarrassing his beloved with possibly criminal relations.
- Played straight and subverted in Gone with the Wind. Wade Hampton (Scarlett's son from her first marriage) is forced to admit that he's been facing bullying and ostracism at school because of Scarlett's unladylike behavior of owning her own businesses, and Rhett's apparent lack of a War record. Rhett, partly motivated by compassion for him, and for step-daughter Ella, and partly motivated by fear that his own biological daughter, Bonnie, might face the same treatment when she's old enough to start playing with other children, starts changing his outward behavior and trying to fit in with the Old Guard social set of Atlanta. Scarlett, however, scoffs at the idea of children's social life being of any importance whatsoever, and keeps right on doing as she pleases.
- Stephanie Plum's mother and grandmother (especially Grandma Mazur) are so embarrassing that even Stephanie's father can barely stand it. As an example, when Stephanie's mother set her up on a blind date in one of the books, Grandma Mazur pulls out a gun during dinner and accidentally shoots the main course while showing it off. Stephanie often begs them to calm down to no effect, while her father, being The Quiet One, merely mutters "Christ" under his breath when they get particularly bad.
- Played with in John Moore's Heroics For Beginners. The main character thinks back to how he once snuck out of the castle to take his then girlfriend to a small jazz club, only for his father, King Eric the Totally Cool, to show up with his trademark shades and a saxophone so he can jam with the band. As the hero puts it "Parent's should not be cooler then their children."
- In Creator/Betty Macdonald's Onions in the Stew are recurring theme is how embarassing Annie and Joan find Betty & Don.
Live Action TV
- Lois and Hal in Malcolm in the Middle.
- In The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Uncle Phil's mother is like this. Bonus point for the fact that Phil is middle-aged, and she manages to humiliate him in front of his children. They all think it's hilarious.
- The kids all love Grandma Banks, because she's a Cool Old Lady; embarrassing the stew out of Phil (whom she still calls "Zeke", and gleefully recounts stories of his childhood on the farm) is just the icing on the cake.
- Paul's father in Mad About You is another example of a parent who is so embarrassing that he can torment his son even after he's grown up. He at one point published naked baby pictures of Paul in the newspaper. At another point he told a theater audience about the time he caught teenage Paul masturbating. Patricide would have been perfectly justifiable.
- And when on one occasion he called his father out on it, it made its way into the newspapers turning all of New York City against Paul, to the point that random bystanders would spit on him on sight.
- Likewise, Everybody Loves Raymond has Marie and Frank continuing to torment Ray and Robert into their adulthood.
- A skit in That Mitchell And Webb Look had a boy in the hospital from severe embarrassment from his parents, with only a few months to live. His parents try to speak to him, but only end up killing him.
- An early episode of the sitcom Roseanne played with this trope, when an uptight Becky prepares to go meet her first boyfriend Chip in public, and her parents Roseanne and Dan jokingly threaten to come along, all the while picking their noses, turning their hats around backwards, etc.
- Roseanne once invoked this as punishment for her kids. She dropped little DJ off at school in the most embarrassing manner possible, by wearing a set of hideous patchwork dungarees, a huge floppy hat with a flower, and slowly, deliberately, applying bright red lipstick in front of him so she could send him off with a biiig sloppy kiss...
Roseanne: Now hurry up. I don't want to be late to walk your sister to college.
- The Closer. Poor, poor Brenda...
- The point of the Australian kids show Mortified. Given her father styles himself as the Underpants King (he runs an underwear store named this) and drives around in a van with this painted on the side, Taylor Fry may actually have a case.
- Stella in Sugar Rush. Childish, self absorbed, caught banging the decorator on the kitchen table, later entices her husband to a swinger's club, only to be caught by her daughter... You don't know whether to laugh or cry, she's so horrifying.
- Many years ago there was a one-off British TV play, not played for laughs, about a boy who is so embarrassed by his mother's erratic hyperactive behavior that eventually he can't even bring himself to tell people she's his mother and calls her "a sort of aunt".
- The entire point of the aptly-named "Embarrassing Dad" sketches by UK duo Punt and Dennis, most of which had the character at some point end up in a venue with music playing and their teenage children present, and proclaim "It's got a good beat" whilst dancing horribly.
- Vala's Con Man father makes an appearance in a late episode of Stargate SG-1, showing up on Earth requesting asylum. Vala is the only one not taken in by his claims that he's trying to reform while running embarrassingly-bad scams around the clock and eventually leaving Earth aboard a stolen cargo ship supposedly full of Naquadah. Thankfully the team was convinced in time to help Vala double-cross him and keep the Naquadah.
- Still Standing, 8 Simple Rules, etc. Name a sitcom revolving around a family with at least one parent and at least one child and there's a good chance that the parent(s) is/are amazingly embarrassing.
- Friends has it from time to time: Jack with sex-related comments (e.g. asking his daughter's husband if he's able to give her an orgasm), but particularly Chandler's folks: his mother is a gorgeous sex-driven blond who even kisses one of his best friends, and his father's a gay transgender Las Vegas cabaret entertainer. At one point, Chandler was worried that he was turning into his parents. Ross asks him:
Ross: "Chandler, have you ever put on a black cocktail dress and asked me up to your hotel room?"
Ross: "Then you are neither of your parents!"
- The worst example would have to be Mrs Bing proving how good a mother she is by revealing she bought Chandler his first condoms. On the Jay Leno show.
Chandler: (watching)..."And then he burst into flames."
- Duncan's mom in The Class joins him at Yonk and Nicole's house for Thanksgiving, and as she leaves to look at Yonk's trophies, Duncan has to tell Yonk that "I know she's my mom and all, but, uh, she steals." Plus the phone calls.
- Frank and Estelle Costanza in Seinfeld.
- During the series premiere of Cougar Town, Travis's mother becomes the town's official MILF and his father takes a job mowing the high school's lawns (shirtless!), setting him up for plenty of parental embarrassment in episodes to come.
- My Parents Are Aliens has this happen quite a lot (partly because they're both Fish out of Water and don't quite understand human society). When Brian wanted to be a magician, he decided to take his magic show straight into the kids high school, despite not actually knowing how to perform any magic tricks in the first place.
- Robbie Ray from Hannah Montana has moments like this, sometimes unintentionally such as when he brought an embarrassing kitty sweater for Miley's birthday, and sometimes intentionally such as announcing to all of her classmates that she failed her driving licenses and needed daddy to drop her off as punishment for lying and ending up in jail.
- Trey's parents from an early episode also qualify. They're amazingly snooty rich people who spend their entire episode looking down their long, snobbish noses at Miley for being 'a bumpkin' until Trey finally tells them that he's ashamed of them.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation
- We have another case of a parent who never ceases to embarrass her daughter is Lwaxana Troi, whose flirtatious and forceful personality causes endless grief for her daughter Deanna. Whenever she comes on board the ship, she's likely to condescend to Deanna every chance she gets, butt into other people's affairs, and try to score with an equally-irritated Captain Picard.
- Worf's adoptive parents embarrass him too, but they're not as bad as other examples on this page. It has more to do with Worf's uptight nature than their behavior.
- Bashir's parents in the first half of the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine'' episode "Dr Bashir, I Presume?" Although the second half reveals he has problems with them that go beyond simple embarrassment.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- The episode where everyone's worst nightmares were coming true had a typical tough-guy/juvenile delinquent student visited by his babying, over demonstrative mother in front of his friends.
- Buffy's mum slept with Giles in "Band Candy".
- Simon's dad in The Inbetweeners. He constantly tells Simon about his sex life to the point where it makes Simon physically ill. To a lesser extent is Will's mum, who is quite awkward at times.
- Happens at least once, and more likely multiple times, to Kevin in The Wonder Years. Most memorably, his mother took him to the mall shopping for clothes and had him try on a new pair of jeans, right as some kids he knew from school happened to be walking by. After he steps out of the dressing room, Kevin's mom conducts an up close and personal inspection,
concluding saying trumpeting for all to hear that the jeans "need more room in the crotch".
- Taken to a near abusive level in The Hard Times of RJ Berger. In just one example, his mother shouts encouragement to him from the next room as he makes out with his girlfriend, and then ENTERS THE ROOM to remove said girlfriend's bra for him.
- Married... with Children: Kelly would rather people think Sticky the Clown is her father instead of Al; Peggy prefers telling people her husband is dead. Also, Bud and Kelly are both excited when they think Al's going to prison.
- Fringe's Walter Bishop is clinically insane from having part of his brain cut out, and frequently goes off on tangents about how the shaved head of the corpse that they are experimenting on looks just like Peter's bare bottom when he was a baby.
Walter: Uh oh.
Walter: I just got an erection. Oh, fear not, it's nothing to do with your state of undress. I think I simply need to urinate.
- Alan and Amy Matthews on Boy Meets World were usually just Good Parents however they delved into this on occasion. For example, in one episode Amy decides to take a creative writing class at the local university and happens to enroll in Eric's class. She proceeds to write artsy short stories about her and Alan's wedding night and Eric's birth.
- When Rita asks Michael Bluth about his family in Arrested Development, the "previous girlfriends" montage reveals the depths of embarassment his family has caused him, so he simply blurts out the lie "I have no family."
Michael: (to himself) Why didn't I think of this before?
- It only got worse when they found out about Rita anyway. They end up kidnapping her, knocking her out and abandoning her on a bench by the road when they think they accidentally killed her.
- CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Sara to Grissom, via Skype. "Your mother is talking about our sex life." 'Nuff said.
- The Episode 10 family in Los Simuladores.
- LampShaded by the hosts in an episode of Wipeout. They even nicknamed her "Embarrassing Mom".
- There was a recurring sketch on MADtv that used this, except the parents weren't embarrassing but the girl acted like they were.
- Jane Rizzoli's mother Angela has a noted tendency to show up at her daughter's work.
Angela: I promise I won't embarrass you.
Jane: Thirty years of experience says otherwise.
- All of the four main characters of The Big Bang Theory have embarrassing parents, Howard's mother being featured most prominently.
- A recurring sketch in Scottish comedy show Chewin The Fat involved a teenager with his parents, who cheerfully announce to anyone they meet that their son has just started masturbating.
- "Just call us Monroe's mom and dad."
- Connie and Walt in the comic strip Zits both drive Jeremy crazy by doing this. There is no Aesop, though, and Jeremy drives Connie and Walt crazy in plenty of other ways, so it evens out.
- Zits also exaggerates the trope at times by making Jeremy embarrassed by his parents' innocuous actions:
Jeremy: My parents seem to be on a personal quest to humiliate me at every turn.
Walt: [pokes head into room] Hey, guys, how's it going?
Jeremy: I rest my case!!
- Jeremy takes some extreme measures to avoid parental embarrassment, to the point where when his father was still driving him to school Jeremy got out to walk the rest of the way at the end of their driveway.
- Played with a twist on Sifl And Olly. Olly had Sifl's mom call their show and tried to get her to tell embarrassing childhood stories about Sifl. She did... except the stories all actually ended up being about something Olly did.
- A wonderful "Revenge of the Kid" occurred in On the Fast Track when Melody was showing Laurel's baby pictures to Bob. Melody excused herself briefly; Laurel followed her out, there was the sound effect of a flash bulb and a piercing scream, and Laurel came back to hand Bob a Polaroid photo with the words, "My mother on the throne." Cue another piercing scream from out-of-frame.
This even shows up in the Bible:
- Mrs. Zebedee does this to her sons, the Apostles James & John, when she asks Jesus to give them most favored status in the Kingdom.
- Mary does this to Jesus twice. First at the Finding in the Temple, second at the Wedding at Cana.
- Older Than Steam: Shakespearean plays
- In Romeo and Juliet, while the Nurse is technically not one of Juliet's parents, she otherwise fits this trope to a T. She's filled with embarrassing stories about Juliet as a toddler, and she loves to tell them at great length long after her audience has lost interest. Juliet has to beg her to shut up on more than one occasion.
- Gloucester in King Lear loves to parade his illegitimate son about and tell all and sundry about the fun he had with his mother.
- The alt text in this xkcd.
- Ash's dad in Misfile is a gynecologist who treats several of her friends - and will happily talk shop over the dinner table when said friends have come over. Taken to a whole new level because he has a terrible memory for faces, but never forgets a vagina.
- Meanwhile, Ash's mom Marie is a former lingerie model who has appeared in her fair share of racy catalogs. Ash notes that trying on bras would be awkward enough even if there wasn't a large poster of her topless mother hanging in the fitting room.
- The webcomic/book Diary of a Wimpy Kid takes this to extremes: The protagonist's mother is rather stupid, utterly oblivious to Greg's troubles, and goes out of her way to humiliate him in public. The father follows the philosophy of Teens Are Monsters and tries to ship Greg off to military school when he turns thirteen.
- Not just Greg's parents. Rowley's parents are the sort who won't allow their son to watch anything rated above "G". Which might account for Rowley's current state of mind.
- In David Willis' Shortpacked!, the surly, misanthropic Mike's parents (who he continually denounces to his girlfriend Amber) are revealed to be extraordinarily understanding parents who appear to be straight out of a fifties sitcom — except that they are equally extraordinarily frank about their sex life and willing to give advise. Which explains just why Mike was so keen to keep Amber as far away from them as humanly possible. However, it's never stated whether they were always like this or whether this is their reaction to Mike dying at the end of It's Walky and coming back a year later with no explanation.
- Girly: Cloudcuckoolander Winter's parents manage to embarrass even her. "ANYONE would be embarrassed by parents who go out in broad daylight to smack each other with bats while wearing penguin suits!"
- In Everyday Heroes, Steve Mighty and Lee Free Sr. are discussing classic rock artists such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and The Grateful Dead ... then Mr. Mighty starts talking about his favorite bands.
- In Dan And Mabs Furry Adventures, Kria Soulstealer, seen here flirting with her enemy in front of her own daughter.
- Kria is quite possibly the most embarrassing parent ever. Other highlights include:
- Questionable Content:
- Dora's parents, Peter and Elssa Bianchi, are serious stoners, prone to massive over sharing*. Plus, Peter shares Dora's taste in porn (who happens to be her boyfriend Marten's mother).
- Marten's mother herself; she is a former porn star who helped Dora discover her sexuality, and she constantly asks Marten about his sex life in public.
- Cloud from Sandra and Woo probably won't go to a restaurant together with his parents anytime soon again.
- In a Naruto comic Naru/Hina, Shikimaru's mother appears to be one of these. this page says it all.
- The queen of this in Girls Next Door is Jareth's mother Jadis. Highlights include: Routinely calling him a "waste of genes". Telling the effects of cold air on guys in Painted On Pants (his favorite clothing) in front of his friends. Writing Christmas cards to him in nothing but insults and innuendos. Forcing his unwilling love interest to participate in their family events. And getting together with the guy he loathes most.
- And this is a Mega Crossover 'verse that has two Ax Crazy murderers with family issues. Todd and Nathan, who both showed their embarrassing parent side in Roommates (on their first meeting they swaped stories and baby pictures). Also let's not forget Morgan who took pictures of her son and his boyfriend kissing in the name of fanservice in Superintendent.
- Spinnerette has Mega Milf, whose superhero name both A. calls attention to the fact that she has kids, and B. calls attention to the fact that she's a near-exhibitionist for whom being a superhero is largely a sexual fetish. If we have yet to see the kids, in can only be because they are in hiding.
- This example from Not Always Right:
(I noticed condoms along with the other party items the mother is buying)
Me: "Oh, are you having a party soon?"
Mother: *nods* "My little James is growing up. He’s going to have an orgy with all his little friends, aren’t you Captain Muffinpants?"
Me: *suppresses laughter* "Will that be all?"
Son: "YES! YES THAT WILL BE ALL!" *runs to car*
- Dragon Ball Abridged: King Cold is this to Freeza.
Trunks: If you want a Super Sayian, I can fill the part.
Freeza: Oh, you hear that, daddy? "I can fill the part". It's like a five-year-old trying to play police officer.
King Cold: Or how you play Pretty Pink Princess.
Freeza: Daddy! Not in front of the opponent!
King Cold: But it's so cute when you do it!
Freeza: I haven't done that since I was eight!
- Lois and Peter in Family Guy. Especially where Meg is concerned.
- In the episode "He's Too Sexy For His Fat":
Lois: Will you keep your voice down? You're embarrassing him! [Chris]
Peter: What are you talking about? If I wanted to embarrass him, I'd do something like this. Hey, hey everybody, hey look what Chris Griffin's father, Peter Griffin's doing! (sucks his own nipple)
- The episode where Meg tricks the family onto the Jerry Springer-like talk show.
- All of the parents in South Park, with the possible exception of Sharon.
- Kim Possible has parents like this. On the other hand, the Alpha Bitch and Big Bad Dr. Drakken's mothers are like this too.
- The Mother's Day episode is a train wreck of social awkwardness. And does not mark the only appearance of any of the Mothers.
- Professor Wakeman humiliates Jenny in My Life as a Teenage Robot and Jenny is miserable about it until Brad tells her part of being a teenager is enduring mortifying embarrassment at the hands of their parents. At which point Jenny feels a lot better, knowing all teenagers go through it. "Teenagers. One moment they're operating efficiently, the next moment they're tossing off body parts and calling you a dweeb." — Prof. Wakeman
- American Dragon Jake Long: For one episode it was both parents tucking annoying little rhyming Post-It notes on his person that people would find and read. But for the duration of the series, except for the Father's Day episode in the last season, Jake's father was not just embarrassing by the old stories ? he had embarrassing nicknames and behavior.
- To quote Jake when Rose asks if they can practice their lines for the play at his house: "My house is being fumigated."
- Daria did a variation of this in one episode: Daria quite deliberately told embarrassing anecdotes about Quinn to the "cool crowd".
- On a couple of occasions, Helen has threatened to embarrass Daria or Quinn in order to get them to cooperate with her.
- Frequently comes up in The Simpsons. One episode had Bart and Marge shopping for clothing and she does things such as suggest he try on some cute underwear when other kids were around and opening the door to the changing room without warning while he was still getting dressed. It came off as less of 'Marge is embarrassing' than 'Marge is a Cloudcuckoolander Jerk'. Then again, they don't object to much of what Homer does because he is at least frequently called on it, even though everything snaps back by the end.
- Averted in Doug, who is terrified his older sister will tell everyone about his secret crush when she does a poetry recital at his school. (She doesn't.)
- Played straight when Doug's father shows up at his first party...dressed as a party clown. "The cheese stands alone! The cheese stands alone!"
- Then played straight again in "Doug's Sister Act" when Judy is afraid that her family is too boring for her new boyfriend Kyle, so she dresses up the folks and writes them a script.
- In Goof Troop, Goofy is generally this towards Max. Max is at times characterized as generally ashamed of Goofy in general, so it's not just one-way.
- Spinelli's parents in Recess. They are actually revealed to be very famous and skilled secret agents, though Spinelli herself is unaware of this, leading one to wonder whether they really are like this or if they are faking being your 'normal ultra-embarrassing parents' as part of their secret identity.
- Jack and Maddie in Danny Phantom, though there are frequent times both Danny and Jazz admire them and their abilities.
- One of the biggest extreme would be in "Forever Phantom" when the two are on a search and rescue mission for their son. One of their methods is announcing to the entire city of Amity Park to keep an eye out for their son AKA "the cutest, sweetest son in the world." They later add their further desire to "shower him with hugs and kisses".
- Though, to Jack's credit, after Maddie says this he quickly does some damage control.
- Invader Zim's "parents" are Amazingly Embarrassing for a unique reason: they're robots meant to aid in his disguise as a human being. Unfortunately, they're not very good at it. In the episode "Parent Teacher Night", Zim tries reprogramming his robot parents so that they act more human (and don't attack random passersby). Due in part to Gir's meddling, this had disastrous results.
- The Powerpuff Girls has the episode "Powerprof" in which their father Professor Utonium, wanting to spend more time with the girls, builds a power suit so he can fight crime alongside them. He then proceeds to embarrass them by being highly overprotective and casually revealing to the public gathered that Bubbles was wetting the bed until recently.
- In the newer The Addams Family cartoon, Wednesday and Pugsley's friend Norman has a father who prides himself on being the best underwear salesman ever, and his mother is a rather spacey Stepford Smiler. It doesn't help that his parents absolutely hate the Addams and tend to end up embarrassing themselves in their schemes to get them to leave.
- The Kids From Room 402 has this with Cody's mom, who doesn't seem to grasp the fact that her son's bathroom habits aren't the sort of thing to be discussed in public, let alone in front of Cody's peer-group.
- Starlee's parents from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fast Forward.
- Ben 10's parents Carl and Sandra are New Age Retro Hippies who don't really embarrass him in public in front of others - they're just embarrassing on principle.
- Peggy Hill of King of the Hill can be like this to Bobby, he mostly finds it embarrassing in public or when he's around his friends.
- What can you say other than poor... poor Timmy on The Fairly OddParents. If they're not ignoring him, they're very embarrassing.
- And when he got Cosmo and Wanda to appear human to pose as his parents to meet Crocker for parent-teacher night, Hilarity Ensued.
- Butch Hartman must really love this trope cause this happens in almost every series he has made.
- This drives the plot of an episode of Birdz. Eddie is embarrassed by his dopey father, but they quickly grow to bond after getting lost on a scavenger hunt.
- Milo's parents on The Oblongs. At a parent-teacher conference, his mother gets stuck in a desk and his father plays the piano...despite having no arms or legs.
"Helga, I want you to take this compass and drive it deep into my forehead."
- Hercules's foster parents fell into this trope when it was the day parents visited their children at Hercules' school. To their defense, Hercules would be disappointed anyway since he expected his birth parents to show up.
- The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Family Appreciation Day" had Apple Bloom noticing all the embarrassing things her Granny Smith did once the resident Alpha Bitch pointed it out to her.
- Rarity's parents seem to be this at first glance. Their manner of dress, speech and preference for eating badly-made food indicate they're nothing like their elegant and high-society daughter. However, the main plot of the episode brushes them aside before we're shown if Rarity does feel ashamed of them or not.
- Roger Baxter is this to his daughter Blythe in Littlest Pet Shop (2012), especially in the episode "Helicopter Dad".
- A lot of long-suffering teenagers (and grown-ups) have found this to be Truth in Television with their own parents.
- If you've ever suspected that your parents sometimes embarrass you INTENTIONALLY, if they are perhaps doing it out of a sense of vengeance for the dirty diapers, the vomit, the lost sleep and, oh yes... all the coitus interruptus... You're right. We are. And if you don't clean your room your girlfriend WILL get to hear about your toilet training.
- Plus all the times you've probably embarrassed them through the years (throwing tantrums in public, getting calls home from school, saying private/inappropriate things to other people, etc.)
- It's all relative: Billy Joel once stated that the only thing he had to do to get his teen-aged kids to behave in public was to threaten to start singing.
- MTV's True Life: I Have Embarrassing Parents featured a wannabe rocker dad, a couple of nudists, and a Star Wars fanboy dad. The tale of Star Wars Dad and his son is quite touching: Dad is a staunch believer in The Force while his son is an avid hunter, something dad doesn't really approve of. The son grudgingly agrees to go to a Star Wars 'con (possibly the 'con, "Celebration"). In the end, father and son are seen walking together in understanding, with dad in his Jedi robes and son... in Storm Trooper armor.
- Neil Gaiman once described it in his own philosophical way: "The trouble with parents, and this is speaking as a parent, is that by our very nature we embarrass our children... You could be King, you could be President, and your own children will still say, 'Oh my God, Dad, just stop singing. We're in public. It's so embarrassing. And put that down...'"
- On his elder son's 13th birthday, Jeff Tweedy of Wilco brought the kid up on stage at Madison Square Garden and got the crowd to sing "Happy Birthday" to him, sending him off stage afterwards with "It's all downhill from here, kid."
- Astronaut Scott Parazynski did a Darth Vader impression and told his son "Luke, I Am Your Father"... from orbit. The fact that his son was actually named Luke raises the possibility that he was planning this for a very long time.
- Alice Roosevelt Longworth, daughter of Theodore Roosevelt, who was notorious for her antics (keeping a snake, putting a tack on a gentleman's seat...) probably was this for her daughter Pauline. It didn't end happy: Paulina became depressed and an alcoholic.
- This family whose elder members have fallen for a doomsday prophet but the kids aren't buying it.
- Dressing up in costumes to wave at the school bus every day, for the win.
- This is a major theme in the blog STFU Parents, which documents real-life incidents of parents sharing too much information about their kids over Facebook. Even though a good portion of the kids are too young to see said posts, you can't help but feel sorry for some of them.
- Considering that on the internet no information ever dies, you can't help but wonder if in a decade or so scouring Facebook for embarrassing childhood stories will become a standard bullying tactic.
- In her autobiography Fierce, Kelly Osbourne speaks of being embarrassed by her father on numerous occasions as part of her experiences growing up. In one notable case, Ozzy wasn't terribly amused when he found out his wife Sharon had bought then-teenaged Kelly thong underwear as a present, and then proceeded to cut up the thong - in front of her friends.
- More recently, it's Kelly's mom Sharon that seems to be distressing the young star, as Kelly has expressed embarrassment at her mother's willingness to overshare on The Talk.
- Actor/comedian Ray Romano often lampshades his status as this in his comedy routines and used to do so on Everybody Loves Raymond as well (though on the show he usually makes more fun of his own Amazingly Embarrassing Parents). In one memorable real life incident, Ray won the award for best comedy lead at the Emmy's during ELR's final season, and invited his then-teenaged sons onto the stage. Being that they were teenagers, they were ultra-embarrassed and refused. Ray being a comedian, he then decided to substitute them by bringing Angus T. Jones of the then-new Two and a Half Men on stage instead, resulting in a HUGE Crowning Moment of Funny for everyone involved. Check it out on Youtube, it's definitely worth watching.
- Some intactivists might fall into this when boasting their children being intact.
- Renzo Bossi, son of the Italian politician Umberto Bossi, is universally known as The Trout (Il Trota in Italian) due his father calling him an idiot and a trout on tv for failing school the third time.
- This one needs a little clarification. In Italy the heir or designed successor of someone is often called 'dolphin', from the Dauphin of France (the heir to the French throne during the monarchy, translated in Italian as 'Delfino di Francia', meaning literally 'Dolphin of France'). After the third time Renzo failed school, a television journalist snidely asked Bossi if Renzo was really his dolphin, prompting Bossi to reply: "That idiot there? At best he's a trout!".
- World’s Most Embarrassing Mom Makes Peruvian Government Hunt Down Her Son When He Stops Posting on Facebook