"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. Sometimes, childhood stories aren't even necessary; the parents' mere behavior, presence or lifestyle are all it takes to turn a casual scene into something terribly awkward. Especially if the parents are bent on proving how "hip" and "cool" they are. Older offspring whose parents are deeply embarrassing when their good friends are around just have to remember that Friends Are Chosen, Family Aren't. If the hero lets slip that he or she doesn't like their parent's behavior then the parents tend to be hurt. Due to the Rule of Drama, the situation will be contrived for maximum 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 the parents gaining empathy for their child. Also, Baby photos, middle names, and the Homemade Sweater from Hell are a must. Truth in Television, of course. You may actually have parents like this. Contrast Famous Ancestor.
open/close all folders
- 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.
- A follow up ad marketing the car to the kids, rather than either set of parents, the same brat is in the backseat when they pull up alongside another kid with embarrassing parents, who have been singing "Morning Angel" 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.
- A new Star Wars-themed Disney World ad involves a father walking through a hardware store with his kids. He dons a welding mask and picks up a long fluorescent light, quoting Empire Strikes Back, before swinging his "Lightsaber" around until he falls over. Lesson of the day? Go to Disney World to work these impulses out.
- ANY of the commercials in this campaign ("show us your Disney side") seem to imply that for adults, showing off their Disney side equals acting ridiculous, inappropriate, and immature almost to the point of mental illness. That grandfather who crashes the school play to act as though he's in The Lion King? IRL, there would be serious talk about needing a special care home for Grandpa, and lots of shame on the part of his family.
- In a 2011 San-Disk radio commercial, a mother asks her husband (the father) if he remembered to give their son the USB flash disk for his power-point presentation, and if he happened to edit out the baby pictures of him crawling around in diapers. The father tells her no, having her freak out then asking the time of the presentation and the current time, the father then suggests maybe they can put him in another school. It is done in a comical fashion, of course, but it is rather embarrassing because we can easily guess the outcome. The announcer ends by advertising this device with the slogan to keep the things you want to keep and take out the things you do not.
- A State Farm radio commercial from 2013 has a young man speaking to a female associate on the phone. He looks at the time and in response tells her that State Farm is there 24/7. His mother, on another line, at home, takes this literally, and asks him where were they when he needed to be changed, and tucked in (past the year of ten). The son, obviously, is very annoyed, tells her to hang up, and the female associate is flabbergasted that she tells him that she should end the phone conversation, but he pleads her not to disconnect.
Anime & 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...
- Ouran High School Host Club:
- Haruhi is embarrassed of her father.He's constantly trying to get her to dress more lady-like. Funny enough, the rest of the club seems fine with it. Oddly, she doesn't really care about the cross-dressing. Her views on gender identity are...relaxed. It seems to be more because Ryouji/Ranka, for all of his good heart, is both bumbling and overprotective.
- Yuzuru to Tamaki might qualify. Tamaki doesn't seem to approve of his father's actions, even though they're Not So Different in a couple ways.
- 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:
- Aburatsubo's ultra-affectionate and ultra childish 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 Fujinami from Urusei Yatsura is the girl in question, 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... but 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.
- Shinji Ikari Raising Project:
- The Neon Genesis Evangelion spinoff manga 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◊.
- Asuka's mother Kyoko is more subdued about it, but she still has moments of this. One that springs to mind is during a group picnic at the park, where she playfully needles Asuka about her & Shinji's relationship and jokingly (?) makes comments about their potential future children.
- Mako's eccentric mother from Wandering Son is constantly embarrassing her.
- Tenchi Muyo!:
- Queen Misaki towards her eldest daughter Aeka. (She gets along with Sasami just fine.) This is mostly due to the fact that Misaki still sees Aeka as a little girl, so she expects her to call her "mommy" and act adorable around her. Kind of zig-zagged, as Aeka actually enjoys the excuse to act childish instead of refined, just not in front of others. Such as Ryoko, who finds it 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 Masaki (not to be confused with Kiyone Makibi, one of the six girls vying for him). 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.
- Washu often does this to Ryoko—as if a Truly Single Parent has a responsibility to be twice as embarrassing.
- The Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha INNOCENT Alternate Universe version of Precia Testarossa is an extremely Doting Parent who is not ashamed to shower both of 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.
- In the main canon, we have Nanoha herself, sneaking into St. Hilde's to take pictures of Vivio while she's in class during the StrikerS epilogue and letting her Blood Knight personality shine through when Vivio introduces her to Einhart in ViVid.
- Mikoto's mother in the Indexverse, who provides advice on improving her bust size. In front of Touma.
"Put plainly, eat a lot and get bigger"
- Downplayed in Servant × Service. Kanon doesn't mind her father Kenzou's stuffed bunny avatar too much. She won't however acknowledge him around her friends.
- Soul Eater: Maka's Bumbling Dad Spirit. Deep down, he's a good person who really cares for Maka, and a very powerful Death Scythe, but his tendency to shamelessly hit on anything with a skirt (to the point that his wife finally divorced him over it) pisses her off to no end.
- Chi-Chi from Dragon Ball Z can be this at times. In the Bojack Unbound movie, she does a clumsy cheerleader routine, while cheering for Gohan to fight at the tournament, obviously embarrassing him. Also, in a filler episode called "He's Always Late", when she's dancing, Trunks remarks "Your mom's obviously as cool as your outfit, Goten." Goten them asks Gohan if he thinks her (Chi-Chi's) outfit is cool. Gohan couldn't give a straight answer, as he was embarrassed. Then again, in Chi-Chi's defense, she was raised in seclusion, so she probably lacks good social skills and probably doesn't know she's being embarrassing.
- Subverted in Dragon Ball GT: Vegeta's teenage daughter Bulla tells Vegeta "Dad, that mustache has got to go! It makes you look like a total geek!" and Vegeta is so horrified, either by the idea of looking like a geek or by the idea of his daughter not approving of him, that he immediately shaves the mustache off.
- High School DXD:
- Issei's parents appear normal at first, having to be magically calmed down after finding him naked in bed with Rias... and then it later turns out the fruit has not fallen far from the tree. His father is openly supportive and playfully jealous of his son's Harem Seeker aspirations, and his mother introduces Asia to the Naked Apron, and then tell Issei point-blank she doesn't mind him having sex in the kitchen as long as they clean up afterward.
- Rias' family is close to the only thing (short of hurting Issei) that can break her calm and polite exterior. Everyone with eyes might know she fancies Issei, but her father telling Issei to call him "Dad" is enough to make Rias choke on her food and then flee the room.
- After she accepts to take part in the radio show, Ichigo from Sore ga Seiyuu! realizes that not only has her father started following her on Twitter, he's sharing it with the entire family and posting pictures of when she was in kindergarten.
- In Your Lie in April Kaori's parents show Kousei old pictures of Kaori, including the ones of her naked as a baby, to her great embarrassment.
- In a more sinister vein, Hild sometimes does this as part of her Affably Evil shtick by acting overly affectionate with her daughter Urd. However she is the Daimakaicho so as often than not, its part of a (not necessarily evil) plot.
- Akihito's mother in Beyond the Boundary is a Cloud Cuckoo Lander who likes to cosplay as animals and often wear provocative clothing. On parent's day in elementary school, she dressed up as a panda and pretended to be one of the students.
- Goro's mom in Squid Girl. She's quick to admit that she's doing it on purpose.
- One episode of Yo-kai Watch has Nate trying to avoid his friends seeing him going grocery shopping with his mother. There's nothing really embarrassing about that, though Nate is a child so his overreaction is understandable. The really embarrassing part is when Nate's mom starts talking about his underwear in front of his friends (including his crush Katie). She mentions that he needs new ones because his old ones are full of holes. This causes Nate to collapse from embarrassment.
- 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.
- Father Brainstorm of Calvin and Hobbes: The Series is eager to share humiliating stories about his children, much to Jack's amusement.
- Kushina in Kitsune no Ken: Fist of the Fox is this for Naruto, especially when combined with her tendency to snark about his relationships with girls. And there's also her fan-girl attitude toward the in-universe comic book series Shadow Fox, including having a cosplay costume, which causes Naruto to do a double-take the first time he sees her wearing it while she's cooking dinner.
- The Wrong Reflection: Eleya's mother asking her 29-year-old daughter if she and Gaarra are being safe. In the middle of her sister's wedding reception.
Eleya and Teri: Mother!
- "Scrub Daddy," the made-up lyrics for a song in Splatoon, seems to be about a clumsy father and someone, unable to take it anymore, requesting him to go away:
The dad's dropping chilled wood.I cannot do this.Please daddy leave this.Scrub daddy's kept up.Pleased to be going.
- Discussed in The Second Try when Asuka and Shinji talk about throwing a birthday party for Aki so they can embarrass her in a few years with the photos. Fortunately for Aki, the pictures were left behind when they all got sent back in time.
- Advice and Trust: Misato loves embarassing her wards Shinji and Asuka (although to be fair, they have it coming most of the time). After telling them they're allowed to sleep together as long as they have no sex again until they're at least fifteen, Misato demands details about their sex life:
She grinned and looked at Asuka. "So... does he 'berserk' in bed?"
Asuka's jaw dropped. "What?!"
"You've been 'entangling your AT-Fields' for weeks. Having fun? Enjoy 'firing the Positron Cannon'?"
"Misato, what the Hell happened to 'we're too young for this'?!" Asuka was turning red. Shinji was turning red faster.
Misato just grinned wider. She finished the beer, tossed the can at the recycling bin, and grabbed another. "The cat's out of the bag, we just finished the official business part, and now it's time for your big sis Misato to embarrass the Hell out of you both. I get my payback."
- In "Christmas in Kansas", part of the Sorrowful and Immaculate Hearts series, Clark Kent invites Bruce and Diana home for Christmas, and his mother shamelessly tells them a string of embarrassing stories about Clark's childhood.
- In Integration, Flash Sentry's mother is one for him due to her obsession to have grandchildren. She even stole the spark plugs to Flash's car to try to get Princess Twilight to spend the night at their house. Flash came to terms with his mother being crazy years ago.
- In The Bridge, Azusa Gojo is usually the wise, kindly, adoptive mother of Godzilla Junior. When she starts cheekily complimenting Junior's friendship and small Ship Tease with Luna, it runs right into this.
Films — Animated
- The Disney Animated Canon, and Disney animated films in general, have some examples:
- Roo thinks of his mother Kanga this way in The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and Winnie-the-Pooh (the 2011 movie).
- In a brief scene where he's cleaned by his mother, Sarabi for Simba in The Lion King.
- Aladar is horrifyingly embarrassed of his adoptive lemur parents once they go full-on Fish out of Water in Dinosaur.
- Goofy in A Goofy Movie (and its sequel) is this to Max, and in Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas Max brings home his girlfriend Mona to meet Goofy only for his dad to embarrass him by doing such things as showing off a huge baby picture of Max. See Goof Troop for more examples.
- The Trolls are essentially a family of this to Kristoff in Disney's Frozen. Especially when they meet Anna and start a sudden wedding for the two right when they first meet.
- Hercules: 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.
Films — Live-Action
- Mrs. Witwicky in Transformers 1 and 2. Specifically in 2 she snacks on pot brownies at Sam's college (she thinks they're regular brownies) and gets high.
- One of the less obnoxious habits of Bridget's family in Bridget Jones's Diary.
- The plot of the Australian film The Rage in Placid Lake, about a kid so embarrassed by his hippie parents (who among other things send him to his first day of school in a girl's uniform) that he deliberately becomes the ultimate conformist.
- The Klumps in The Nutty Professor.
- Real Genius: Mitch Taylor's parents.
Jordan: Are you going to take me home to meet your parents?
- After speaking with them at the science fair, Dr. Hathaway asks them if, by any chance, Mitch is adopted.
- An exchange late in the movie between Mitch and his new girlfriend Jordan:
Mitch: (horrified) No!
Jordan: Why?! Are you ASHAMED of me???
Mitch: No, them!
- In the second live-action Death Note film, Light's dad Soichirou gives him the bollocking of a lifetime, right in front of his girlfriend and all his work colleagues. Although that's not really the most important thing on his mind at the time, hyuk hyuk...
- Particularly cruel version from Truffaut's The 400 Blows: Once Antoine's parents learn that he's been skipping school, they decide to punish him in the most humiliating way imaginable to a preteen boy — by going down to school, storming into his classroom, slapping him in front of all his classmates, and letting him (and everyone else in the room) know, in no uncertain terms, that there's more to come once he gets home. They then leave him to stew in terror and suspense for the rest of the school day.
- The core plot in Meet the Fockers.
- Played to a "T" in the Sylvester Stallone comedy vehicle Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot.
- Fire and Ice: Necron's actor, Sean Hannon, talked about how upset he was when he learned of the idiotic characterization of Juliana, Necron's mother. He was actually embarrassed by it, and then realized what an interesting dynamic it created. He incorporated that embarrassment into Necron's character, explaining why Necron was so impatient with Juliana.
- Adam Sandler's parents in Click. They constantly joke about his small penis. Is anyone surprised he becomes effectively an asshole thinking only about his career and completely forgetting his family about it?
- Inverted with Jason's parents in Mystery Team. He's an embarrassment to THEM.
- Frank Gilbreth in Cheaper by the Dozen
- Patrick Winslow is embarrassed of his stepfather Victor Doyle in The Smurfs 2.
- Actually invoked by Mama Boucher in The Waterboy. During lunch with Vicki Vallencourt, Mama constantly brings up embarrassing facts about her son Bobby, such as how much he wets his bed and how much his feet smell. After Bobby becomes so embarrassed he walks away saying "Excuse me, ladies, while I go hang myself...", Mama says "Now, you see what you did?".
- Life of the Party has Michael's mother, Evelyn, who attempts to boost his self-esteem by telling everyone in the intervention about how he was classroom monitor on his first day of school... on account of having soiled his pants.
- Played for tragedy in Stella Dallas, as Stella's brassy, uninhibited manner embarrasses her daughter Laurel when they're hanging out with the smart set. Stella's outrageous outfits and pancake makeup and general brassy demeanor make her the laughingstock of the fancy resort she took Laurel to, embarrassing Laurel and leading Stella to decide to give her daughter to Stephen and Helen.
- In La Famille Belier, Gigi and Rodolphe Bélier really embarrass their daughter when she brings home Gabriel, the classmate she loves secretly.
- In Marmoulak, Faezeh's mother confides her son-in-law's moral and physical shortcomings to Reza quite frankly, which mortifies her daughter.
- Jesus comes upon a crowd preparing to stone a young adulteress. He interrupts them, crying, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone!" After a moment's silence, all of the townsfolk shamefacedly drift away. Satisfied, Jesus turns to leave, when suddenly a rock flies from behind him and hits the woman square in the jaw. She falls over, clutching her face, as Jesus spins around in surprise. "Mo-om," he groans. "You're embarrassing me!"
- A variation of this had the rock fall from sky, with Jesus rolling his eyes. "Daaaaad... I was trying to make a point!"
- 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.
- There's an Israeli children's book that's all about this: the kid's embarrassing, stay-at-home dad has his 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.
- The 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 embarrassing a young witch in his service as being rather like "one of those parents who enjoys embarrassing 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.
- 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.
- 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 the first book, 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 "Parents should not be cooler then their children."
- In Betty Macdonald's Onions in the Stew a recurring theme is how embarassing Annie and Joan find Betty & Don.
- Referenced in Jingo, when two fishermen from rival nations start arguing over fishing rights and claim to the newly-risen island of Leshp. Their sons, who are about the same age and couldn't care less about either issue, trade a look that conveys a lot of mutual understanding, starting with the sheer galactic-sized embarrassment of having parents.
- You'd be as embarrassed to bring girls home as Radar from Paper Towns if your parents owned the world's largest collection of Black Santa Memorabilia consisting of 1200 pieces.
Live Action TV
- Lois and Hal in Malcolm in the Middle.
- In one episode, it's revealed that Lois accidentally (or simply unconcernedly) humiliating him in front of other people all his life with her wisecracks, rants, and aggressive confrontations has caused Francis to become totally immune to hazing.
- In another, when Malcolm is driven home by the parents of the children he babysits, arriving while Hal and Lois are having a half-naked screaming match in the front yard while Dewey and Reese root around in the mud like animals, Malcolm tries to claim he actually lives on the next street over.
- In the pilot, Lois answers the door topless, not minding at all that she's showing everything... to Malcolm's teacher.
- In the first episode of Season Five, it emerges that Malcolm didn't tell Hal and Lois about an awards ceremony (and a ceremony that was apparently a big enough deal for the mayor, news crews, and every single person at his school to attend, at that) because he was afraid Lois would embarrass him as he received his prize. Instead of being played for laughs, the episode treats the matter seriously. Lois is emotionally devastated by this, and Malcolm spends the rest of the episode trying to make it up to her.
- 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: Now hurry up. I don't want to be late to surprise your sister [at college]. I'm going to dance for them.
- The outtakes from that scene are particularly funny, as John Goodman was hamming it up so much that Roseanne repeatedly blew the take by laughing.
- 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...
- The Closer. Brenda's parents are good people, but they embarrass her by being so stereotypically Southern and so unaccustomed to the Los Angeles environment where she works.
- 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:
- Ross and Monica's father Jack has sex-related comments (e.g. asking his daughter's husband if he's able to give her an orgasm)
- Chandler's folks: his mother is a gorgeous sex-driven blonde writer of erotic novels 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.
- Rachel's parents. Her father is an overbearing man who isn't a smooth tipper and is very easily irritable, but her mum take the cake. She's like a girl who never grow up, asks Rachel and girls what's new in sex, and is unable to accept a sincere apology.
- 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. Another example of parents so bad that they still embarrass their grown-up son.
- 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.
- Hannah Montana:
- Robbie Ray 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 Original Series: Amanda is scolded by Sarek for embarrassing their son by describing his childhood pet as a "fat teddy-bear". McCoy is gleeful until Spock calmly informs him that the "teddy-bears" on Vulcan are "alive and have six inch fangs".
- Star Trek: The Next Generation
- 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. She's supposed to be an telepath who reads thoughts and emotions.
- 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. They are actually rather sweet.
- Subverted by Bashir's parents in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Dr Bashir, I Presume?" The second half reveals he has genuine problems with them that go beyond simple embarrassment. Namely, that he is the product of illegal genetic manipulation.
- 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". On the hood of a police car. Twice.
- All four main characters in The Inbetweeners have one. Will's mum treats him like a child and is lusted after by all his friends, Jay's dad constantly belittles him in front of his friends and has extremely irritable bowels, Simon's dad won't shut up about his sex life, and Neil's dad is Mistaken for Gay by pretty much everyone.
- 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. trumpeting for all to hear that the jeans "need more room in the crotch". In his embarrassment, he imagines hearing that announced over the store's PA.
- 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 embarrassment 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 Sara to Grissom, via Skype. "Your mother is talking about our sex life."
- The Episode 10 family in Los Simuladores.
- Lampshaded by the hosts in an episode of Wipeout. They even nicknamed her as such, "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.
- Rizzoli & Isles: 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.
- Most of the main characters of The Big Bang Theory have embarrassing parents, Howard's mother being featured most prominently. Sometimes it's the case of Parents as People. Or the guys feel they would like to swap families because the grass is greener...
- Howard has a typical overbearing Jewish Mother with raspy voice who treats him as a young teenager. She treats the guys as kids who came to play etc., but to be fair, Howard clearly depends on her to take care of him as though he's a child; this and his complaining amounts to a lot of mixed signals.
- Bernadette's mother is supposed to be overbearing (that's how she and Howard bonded), but when she was later actually on-screen, she was quite normal, except she wasn't much of a talker and Howard didn't feel welcome in their home.
- Leonard's mother is an iceberg of a woman. However, Penny manages to get her drunk once, and boy, is she embarrassing! She even attempts to make out with Sheldon.
- Sheldon's mom has shades of this trope, but she's generally the favorite parent of the group. She comes from rural Texas and tends to make racially insensitive remarks; when the guys get uncomfortable, she thinks it's Political Correctness Gone Mad. Sheldon considers her a religious nut.
- Raj's parents embarrass him through Skype sometimes. Their emphasis on traditions is perplexing and their opinions on romantic and sexual life are extremely dated. Though once, when they wanted to berate Rajesh, they told him to take his laptop somewhere private.
- 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.
- In the drama Wizards of Waverly Place, Alex seems to think this about her parents (and Justin has gone there himself, but not without cause).
- In Cranford, Miss Mary Smith's stepmother is a matchmaker from hell who desperately tries to marry her off to anybody would make an offer. She comments on her appearance (why didn't she curl her hair?) and forces her to hold a baby in order to make Mary appear more feminine and domestic, even though Mary clearly doesn't want to.
- Finn Nelson's dad in My Mad Fat Diary.
- Subverted in Sherlock, where both Sherlock and Mycroft act like their parents are mortally embarrassing, yet they're actually quite mundane. The boys are so eccentric that their normal parents are on a completely different wavelength. The third season does, however, reveal that their mother was quite brilliant in her day. She chose family over the career of a brilliant mathematician. Mary also guesses that Sherlock's father is also secretly intelligent, who immediately reciprocates.
- Subverted in Orange Is the New Black, where it turns out that Crazy-Eyes is embarrassed by her very normal, upper-middle-class adoptive parents. She acts like a sulky teenager when they visit.
- While Freddie's mother is also a smotherer on iCarly, Mrs. Bensoin becomes extremely embarrassing in "iMoveOut". First, she interrupts an iCarly webcast to bring Freddie the asparagus he didn't eat for supper, making him eat it while singing her childish vegetable song. This is done on camera in front of the iCarly audience. She later shows students at school his baby pictures.
- Played with a twist on The Sifl and Olly Show. 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.
- Dan from One Tree Hill is seen practicing dancing with his iPod in his ears, much to the embarrassment of Nathan who catches him.
- Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt:
- Kimmy's stepfather is a slack-jawed moron, which is all the more alarming given that he's a law enforcement officer.
- Subverted by Jacqueline's parents, who are perfectly normal people, but she's ashamed of them simply because they're Lakota Indians.
- Henry Danger: Henry's mother has no problem talking to him about his underwear in front of his friends.
- Even Snow White and Prince Charming are not above mortifying their daughter on Once Upon a Time, especially when said daughter's relationship with a pirate is involved.
- "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.
- One Sunday strip had Jeremy and his friends swapping stories about their parents' embarrassing habits, such as Hector's dad going outside to get the paper in his underwear every morning. As they're talking, Connie and Walt come in wearing gaudy gardening outfits, with Connie saying "Jeremy, if you need us, we'll be out tending to the arugula, dressed like this in broad daylight." Cue Jeremy declaring "Checkmate," and his friends conceding defeat.
- Zits also exaggerates the trope at times by making Jeremy embarrassed by his parents' innocuous actions:
- A wonderful "Revenge of the Kid" occurred in On The Fastrack 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.
- Then throw in that this is Shakespeare, many of her rambling stories included double-entendres about how Juliet is expected to have sex and become pregnant very soon.
- Gloucester in King Lear loves to parade his illegitimate son about and tell all and sundry about the fun he had with his mother.
- 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.
- In Baldur's Gate, CHARNAME's adopted parents, the monks of Candlekeep, include a few of these, but the two best examples have to be Theodon and Jessup, who, if not dramatically cut off, will happily ramble on to CHARNAME and their party about what a cute little nudist toddler they were, regaling them with a story of one incident when CHARNAME stole the cloak of Khelban Blackstaff and made it into a cape, giving it back only when Khelban used a spell to catch them, and commenting on how they wished they had a chance to show off some of CHARNAME's baby pictures.
- EarthBound: In literally his first sentence to the main party, Jeff's father Dr. Andonuts blurts out that his son still wets the bed sometimes.
- In Fire Emblem Awakening, Nah loves her mother Nowi but considers her as such since she's very child-like in behavior (or so it seems) and in looks.
- In Reflections on the River, Ah Niu is not actually related to Zheng, but describes himself as a good source of embarrassing childhood stories about Zheng anyway. However, his comments are actually more than just embarrassing — the very fact that he can tell stories about Zheng's childhood reveals that Zheng's claim to be magically ageless is a fiction.
- In Final Fantasy XV, before Noctis leaves for the roadtrip, his father asks Noctis' friends/bodyguards to guide his "wayward son" and care for him. Since Noctis is 18 and surrounded by his Vitriolic Best Buds at this point, he finds this quite embarrassing. (Other scenes show that Noctis hates the caution and formality everyone in his family has to act with.)
- The alt text in this xkcd involving Totally Radical.
- 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. She's also prone to embarrassing questions.
- 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 advice. 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 Mab's 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:
- Taking her daughter on a nature walk and eating their guide.
- Killing a gardener in the belief that he was an assassin.
- Smashing into the wrong changing rooms looking for her daughter.
- Suggesting that her daughter is lesbian because she hasn't tied a "hot" male friend to her bed... while standing right in front of said friend.
- Making an innuendo-laden announcement about her boyfriend's "impressive sword" at a press conference.
- Kria is quite possibly the most embarrassing parent ever. Other highlights include:
- In Sabrina Online, you have R.C.'s parents, Conrad and Rainwater Conrad. They are serious hippies, and very socially accepting. Conrad once said he was beginning to suspect R.C. was gay before he met Sabrina, Not That There's Anything Wrong with That. Conrad apparently once grabbed Zig Zag's ass as well.
- Questionable Content:
- Dora's parents, Peter and Elssa Bianchi, are serious stoners, prone to massive over sharingnote . Plus, Peter shares Dora's taste in porn (who happens to be her boyfriend Marten's mother).
- Marten's mother herself; she is a high-profile fetish model and professional domme 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 Super 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.
- Zeus' Godly Goodtime portrays Zeus as this. His constant pestering embarrasses his son Kratos. At one point, Zeus even asks if he can join Kratos in bed!
- Bar'd has Caek's parents reminiscing about the one time she had an octopus girlfriend. To the man she recently tied the know with. In the middle of their wedding reception.
- Da-Jeong's father in The Friendly Winter is a well-meaning but immature Man Child. He also treats and dresses her like a little kid when she's nineteen, though that has to do with her looking like a seven year old
- Ménage ŕ 3: Takeru hasn't said much about his daughter Yuki's childhood (yet), but his first reaction on Gary being introduced to him as Yuki's new boyfriend was to start talking marriage and babies in faintly creepy terms. And Yuki would doubtless be embarrassed by his porn manga work if she didn't simply hate it.
- Savestate: This page demonstrates the trope quite well.
- 21st Century Fox: Jack is staggering into the kitchen when he discovers that not only his parents, but Jenny's parents as well as a crowd of relatives have arrived here.
- 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 Z 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 malcontent!
King Cold: But it's so cute when you do it!
Freeza: I haven't done that since I was eight-eight-eight-eight-my Quinceañera!
- Kevin's Dad in Kev Jumba's videos. His dad is a strict and incredibly stereotypical Chinese father.
- A lot of the mothers from The Most Popular Girls in School.
- CollegeHumor: In "The Six Ways You'll See Your Dad", one of them is 'The Clown', where the son starts to see his father as a unfunny dork.
- Whenever the LPer Masae Anela's mother (under the alias 'MomAnela') guest stars in one of her videos (generally for Mother's Day specials), she seems to enjoy embarrassing her daughter with inappropriate comments. Most frequently, she'll make teasing remarks about Masae's bust size, though it's not unheard of for her to go further than that...
MomAnela: [Mr. Game & Watch] would make a good tattoo. Where would you put that? Okay, where would you put that tattoo, on your body? I'd like to know. Tell me right now; time is ticking. Let me know.
Masae: My... my shoulder.
MomAnela: [disappointed sigh]
MomAnela: Okay, go on.
MomAnela: Right here, by your right-
MomAnela: You know, right above your-
Masae: No! Anyway, what number was that again, sorry?
MomAnela: Even the lip of your-
- Lois and Peter in Family Guy. Especially where Meg is concerned.
Lois: Will you keep your voice down? You're embarrassing him! [Chris]
- In the episode "He's Too Sexy For His Fat":
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.
- South Park:
- All of the parents, with the possible exception of Sharon.
- Randy Marsh is the show's crowning example of this trope, when accounting for the other degrees of uselessness of the adults. Stan often uses a variation of the Face Palm where he closes his eyes and pinches the bridge of his nose in response to his father's stupidity.
Stan: Jesus they've done some stupid crap before, but Jesus Christ.
- He gets drunk at every little league game and gets into fights with other dads.
- Gets caught drunk driving, thinks alcoholism is an incurable disease until getting his 9 year old son to drive him to a religious miracle to get cured of his alcoholism.
- Quits his job repeatedly to chase the new dream of the week, be it a reality show gourmet cafeteria chef or a worker at Walmart.
- Along with the other adults, sends the kids away to keep them from being abducted. When several days later and a Mongolian demolition of the city wall occurs, he thinks the kids have become Mongolians.
- Convinces the town that the town's spending has made the economy, a sentient being, angry and that the town must repent by forgoing any spending and wearing bedsheets as clothing.
- Creates the word "timecist" to describe people who are intolerant towards the people from the future. Then, after a future person takes his job, becomes the spokesman for the big pile of men having gay sex with each other to try to un-breed the future people.
- Sheila Broflovski, Kyle's mother, is easily a close second. An on-and-off Moral Guardian (taken to full-blown Knight Templar levels in The Movie) completely oblivious to the disproportional ways she treats her son vs. the rest of the world (seeing fit to control his every behavior while letting Cartman walk all over him). Oh, and she's also from New Jersey.
- The McCormick parents joined a doomsday cult of Cthulhu for free beer and are crackheads. They also have a meth lab in an open shed in their backyard.
- Ms. Cartman is apparently a famous enough porn star to end up on the cover of Crackwhore Magazine.
- This is weaponized by the parents when they find out that Chinpokomon is brainwashing kids into becoming terrorists. They know the surest way to get their kids to stop liking Chinpokomon is to pretend to like it themselves, because anything parents like is automatically uncool and embarrassing for the sole reason that parents like it.
- 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."
- There was 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.
- Subverted when Doug is terrified that 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.
- Slightly subverted in House of Mouse. Max was afraid his father Goofy would embarrass him on his date when the rest of cast did it for him.
- 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.
- Butch Hartman must really love this trope cause this happens in almost every series he has made:
- 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.
- 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".
- 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. The Professor also used outdated slang.
- 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. Notably in one episode, his father was doing a 'history of underwear' for school career day, making Norman hold up said historical undies.
- 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. Usually the trope is inverted; Hank is extremely embarrassed of Bobby.
- 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."
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
- The 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".
- The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius episode "How To Sink a Sub" had this when Jimmy sends all his teachers into outer space and all the kids' parents decide to fill in for them, putting this trope into effect. Judy at one point shows all of Jimmy's classmates his baby pictures.
- The New Mr. Peabody & Sherman Show has Mr. Peabody's foster parents who are non-anthropomorphic dogs. The embarrassment is so bad the normally unfettered Mr. Peabody suffers a complete nervous breakdown.
- Will's mother calls her by the Embarrassing Nickname "Pink Perky Pookie Pumpkin" at least once.
- Irma's parents are this way to her. They have brought cookies to Parents Night, which is mildly embarrassing enough for Irma, but they also have called her a pet-name from her infancy around her friends. Episode 4 has her trying to avoid her parents embarrassing her at a party she's hosting. When she leaves them in charge to go out for a moment, she later returns to find out they actually did the opposite and made the party more fun.
- In Beetlejuice, the title character's parents are so dull, their pictures are in the Netherworld Dictionary, under "Boring". Literally. They still manage to embarrass him.
- 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.
- A Dave Barry column quoted Billy Joel, then went on to show how Barry trumped all of them. Being a humor columnist, he managed to show up to pick his son up from school once in the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile. There's a picture in the book. It is, if anything, more ridiculous than it sounds. Read more here.
- According to him, embarrassment is the ultimate weapon for parents. He even suggests using it as legal punishment:
Judge: Young man, this is your third offense. I'm afraid I'm going to have to give you the maximum sentence.
Youthful Defendant: No! Not...
Judge: Yes. I'm going to ask your mom to get up here on the court karaoke machine and sing "Copacabana".
Youthful Defendant: NO! SEND ME TO PRISON! PLEASE!!
- According to him, embarrassment is the ultimate weapon for parents. He even suggests using it as legal punishment:
- 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 named Emily Spinachnote , putting a tack on a gentleman's seat, riding in cars with men at a time when this was seen as scandalous and placing bets with bookies at the White House...) probably was this for her daughter Paulina. 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.
- And then there's the time Sharon had backup while they were on television. It might not have been too painful if the backup hadn't been Marilyn Manson. On the bright side, he managed to embarrass Sharon, and the three of them embarrassed Ozzy and Jack, too.
- 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 People Choice Awards in 2006, 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 funny moment for everyone involved. It's definitely worth watching, check it out on here.
- Renzo Bossi, son of the Italian politician Umberto Bossi, is universally known as The Trout (Il Trota in Italian) thanks to his father. 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;'note ). 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!".
- The mother of the Woodhouse brothers, two political pundits with opposing viewpoints, called them in the middle of a show to chide them for their constant bickering.
- In an interview, US President Barack Obama stated that he and his wife Michelle had decided to weaponize this trope. They promised their daughters Sasha and Malia that if either of them ever got a tattoo, both parents would get the exact same tattoo, in the exact same place on their bodies, and would show it off at every opportunity, calling it a "family tattoo". By all accounts, the threat worked perfectly.
- Then there was the time he semi-jokingly threatened the Jonas Brothers with a drone strike.
- John Dickens, father of Charles Dickens tragically so. He was notoriously financially irresponsible throughout his life and at one point while Charles was still a child, John was sent to debtor's prison and Charles had to drop out of school and go to work at a factory to help get his father out of debt. It got worse when Charles became a famous author, and John would send letters to his son's friends and associates begging for money.
- A Very Senior General in the British Army took the passing-out parade for a squad of newly-minted junior officers, who included his own daughter. Knowing her father's dubious sense of humour, she steeled herself for the ordeal. The general passed down the ranks, commenting and complimenting, attended by the squad's CO and the RSM. Finally he arrived at his own daughter. Pretending not to know her, he turned to the RSM, who played along and prompted him.
Underofficer Brown-Windsor, SAH!
(General Brown-Windsor, pretending to have his memory jogged) Oh yes. you seem familiar from somewhere. Believe I might have met your mother once? (pauses, reflects that he also has a son) Probably ''twice'', come to think about it...