[[quoteright:305:[[WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/death_1970s_1920.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:305:TheGrimReaper in TheSeventies[softreturn][-"I can't believe I thought that looked good. I must have been high."-] ]]

->''Lookin' back now, I can see me''\\
''Oh man, did I look cheesy''
-->-- Music/MarkWills: "Nineteen Somethin'"

When an old, embarrassing outfit is spoofed InUniverse.

People can get caught up in the fashions of a certain time, and just cringe thinking about it later on. This can be any time, but usually it's about the decades immediately before most present day works. So for a while, TheSeventies and TheEighties were the most popular subjects for this, and now [[TheNineties The 1990s]] and [[TurnOfTheMillennium The 2000s]] are quickly becoming this.

Sometimes it's the character acknowledging how dumb he/she looked, but just as often it's their friends laughing at how dumb he/she used to look and that character not denying it, or we see the character back then and get a good laugh out of it.

Often shown during a {{Flashback}}, home video, or EmbarrassingOldPhoto.

This is virtually universally TruthInTelevision for people looking back on their younger days. Remember, people: whatever you think is fashionable and stylish today will look ridiculous to the next generation, or yourself some years later.

Compare OldShame, FashionDissonance, DeaderThanDisco, OutdatedOutfit, ImpossiblyTackyClothes.

Contrast IWasQuiteALooker (when a character looked better in the past).

* In one of [[Series/DoctorWho the Fifth Doctor]]'s Big Finish audio plays, ''There's No Place Like Home'' (which came as a free gift with ''Magazine/DoctorWhoMagazine''), he actively tries to keep Erimem from seeing the velvet jackets and frilled shirts of his third incarnation, and is mortified when she discovers them.

* Nowadays Superheroes tend to do this, although how much of it is the characters or the writers is up to debate. An especially famous case happened to ComicBook/BlackCanary, who, after a stint with a cringe-worthy costume, actually ''set it on fire'' on [[http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3332/3620592838_166b9e21be_b.jpg the cover of an issue]]. In an issue of ''ComicBook/BirdsOfPrey'' she and Oracle go to a mall. Upon seeing a display of dolls featuring her 80s costume and having the clerk explain that they can't even sell the things, she buys up all of them so that no one else can see how bad it looked.
* Silk Spectre II mentions it in ''Comicbook/{{Watchmen}}''.
* [[Comicbook/{{Nightwing}} Dick Grayson]] from Franchise/{{Batman}} does this a lot, with regards to both his scaly green underoo Robin costume and his first, disco-ish Nightwing costume.
* There's a reason ComicBook/{{Luke Cage|HeroForHire}} just wears a t-shirt and jeans these days. Take this exchange from ''ComicBook/CableAndDeadpool'':
--> '''Deadpool:''' Did I mention I was a huge fan of the yellow silk shirt and chains?
--> '''Luke:''' Me too. Drawback: couldn't even shout-out all the bloodstains.
* In an issue of the '90s ''Comicbook/WonderMan'' series, Wondy makes a list of his top ten villains. Number 2 was "everyone who's designed one of my previous costumes."
* Discussed in ''Savage Wolverine'' #12: ComicBook/KittyPryde is teaching a class on costume design at the Jean Grey institute, and shows off her old costumes, including the {{Impossibly Tacky|Clothes}} Sprite costume ([[RummageSaleReject gold lame, leg warmers, and roller skates!]]). One student, [[{{Jerkass}} Quentin Quire]], razzes her for it, and she simply notes "It was a more innocent time." Mind you, Quentin's pink mohawk isn't exactly [[HypocriticalHumor timeless...]]
* In IDW's authorized comic book ''[[Series/DoctorWho The Forgotten]]'', the Tenth Doctor and Martha discover a museum exhibit displaying several of the Doctor's past looks. Martha's reaction to Six's jacket: "Were you trying out for [[Theatre/JosephAndTheAmazingTechnicolorDreamcoat Joseph]]?"

* Parodied in ''Film/TheMuppets'': While they're tidying up the studio, Fozzie finds an EmbarrassingOldPhoto of him with EightiesHair ... or so he says. In fact, he looks exactly the same as he does now.
* ''Film/DeadPoetsSociety'': Some of Professor Keating's students show him an old yearbook from when he was still a student, asking him what the "Dead Poets Society" was. Keating is suitably horrified at his yearbook photo.
-->''"Thank you for this trip down amnesia lane. (hands them back the yearbook) Please burn this."''

* In ''Literature/TheBerenstainBears and the Dress Code'', most of the students are trying stranger and stranger clothing styles, including one wearing a tiny miniskirt that prompts Miss Glitch to send her home to change. This prompts vice-principal Mervyn "Bullhorn" Grizzmeyer to try to institute a school dress code, which the students promptly rebel against through LoopholeAbuse, up until Mr. Grizzmeyer sets the rules as "If I don't like your outfit, you go home and change". The matter is ultimately settled by a public debate with Mr. Grizzmeyer, Miss Glitch and Papa Bear on one side and the cubs on the other, which the cubs (Brother in particular) win without saying a single word: they simply show three slides they got from Grizzly Gran (Papa's mother), Mrs. Grizzmeyer (Mr. Grizzmeyer's wife) and Miss Glitch's mother of the adult trio in various bizarre outfits, including Papa in bellbottoms and Mr. Grizzmeyer in a zoot suit and a wide-brimmed hat. The dress code is promptly discontinued, and having made their point, the students largely abandon their stranger outfits for more normal ones.
* Briefly mentioned in ''Literature/AMurderIsAnnounced'' -- Miss Blacklock's niece Julia mentions being amused by pictures of Miss Blacklock as a young woman in the fashions of TheRoaringTwenties. Julia's brother remarks that in [[TheEighties thirty years' time]], it'll be Julia's turn to cringe at [[TheFifties what she's wearing now]].
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** In the "Power of the Daleks" novelisation, the Second Doctor (on first regenerating) starts going through his jewellery box and finds a large earring, telling Ben and Polly that he used to wear it when he was younger. "Very fashionable once."
** In the book ''[[Literature/DoctorWho11Doctors11Stories The Roots of Evil]]'', the Fourth Doctor encounters a statue of his Eleventh self and despairs that he will someday think wearing a bow tie is a good idea, insisting that he hates them and that [[BowtiesAreCool they are not cool]].

* ''Series/{{Friends}}'' did this any time (mainly with Chandler and Ross) there was a flashback to when they were teens or in college:
** Ross spent much of his time in college looking like Lionel Richie.
** Chandler sported Music/AFlockOfSeagulls hair and once entered a Music/VanillaIce look-alike competition and ''won'' (Ross entered too, but he only came in fourth).
** And in one of the Thanksgiving flashback episodes, Ross and Chandler turn up dressed like [[Series/MiamiVice Sonny Crockett]], complete with nonsensical posing and rolling up their sleeves. They also acknowledge their previous looks as embarrassing, [[HypocriticalHumor failing to realize that they still look ridiculous.]]
* Subverted in ''Series/BetterOffTed''. A flashback to Phil's first day shows Phil with long hair and a tie-dye shirt and Lem with an afro and purple glasses. Then Lem says, "It's too bad your first day had to be during Sixties Week."
* In 2010, when Creator/SigourneyWeaver hosted ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' for the first time in nearly 24 years, she showed a still of herself when she hosted in 1986 (on the first episode featuring a new cast after the season 11 fiasco that almost got the show canned for good), [[http://barbarism.net/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/sigouneyweaver_snl.jpg wearing this outfit]]. Things have changed a lot since then, she acknowledged; she "wears a bra now."
* Emily Prentiss in ''Series/CriminalMinds'' is [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZyzGxU0brw revealed to suffer badly from this]] in one of the [[Funny/CriminalMinds more hilarious]] moments of the series.
-->'''Garcia: '''You're seriously trying to tell me you don't remember rocking that look?
-->'''Reid:''' Perhaps your lack of recognition stems from a dissociative fugue suffered in adolescence. Say, at a Siouxsie and the Banshees concert?
* Cordelia from ''Series/{{Angel}}'', while studying her own photo album to get over her amnesia:
--> '''Cordelia:''' Hmmm. Cute... [flip] cute... [flip] hot... [flip to JustForFun/{{egregious}} afro haircut] Yikes!!
** Angel himself sported a rather horrifying ''mullet'' (yes, ''mullet'') in the seventies. He's still a residual fanboy of Barry Manilow.
* This trope is a staple of ''ILoveTheExties'' shows.
* In ''Series/PowerRangersDinoThunder'', Kira sees a picture of [[CoolTeacher Tommy]] in his ''Series/{{Mighty Morphin|PowerRangers}}'' days and makes fun of his long hair. Tommy counters that in the '90s [[LampshadeHanging everyone thought it was cool]].
* In ''Series/TheFreshPrinceOfBelAir'' the whole family sees Phil and Vivian on an episode of ''Series/SoulTrain'' sporting Afros and Bell bottoms and other wacky 70s styles.
* ''Series/TopGear'''s tribute to the now-defunct Saab included a clip from the old format of the show, featuring a much younger Jeremy Clarkson, complete with atrocious 80's hair and clothing.
--> ''We would like to apologize for the music...and the shirt, and the jacket and the hair...''
* In ''Series/TheNanny'' episode "The Kibbutz",the '70s flashback scenes show Fran Fine wearing ''10''-esque cornrows, Maxwell Sheffield wearing a leisure suit and PornStache, and C.C. Babcock with long, black Music/YokoOno-esque hair.
* In the first episode of ''Series/TheChrisRockShow'', Creator/ChrisRock claims he's actually the second Chris Rock, much like how [[TheOtherDarrin there were two Lionels on]] ''Series/TheJeffersons''. He shows a picture of "the original Chris", which is a picture of himself with [[EightiesHair a jheri curl hairdo]].
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': The Doctor has made all sorts of short-sighted fashion decisions over the years, making this a frequent theme whenever he recalls his early behaviour or meets himself:
** When the Seventh Doctor debuts in ''[[Recap/DoctorWhoS24E1TimeAndTheRani Time and the Rani]]'', having finally shed the Sixth Doctor's... interesting... clothing, he remarks "I'm glad to see I've returned to a sense of ''haute couture''"
** In the 1993 ''[[Recap/DoctorWhoS4E3ThePowerOfTheDaleks The Power of the Daleks]]'' audio reconstruction, with narration provided by the Fourth Doctor, he audibly cringes when recalling his decision to go around wearing the First Doctor's clothes, even though they no longer fit him:
-->I looked like a clown. I will never understand why I thought this ensemble was acceptable garb for a Time Lord.
** In some of the OfficialFanSubmittedContent about the Ninth Doctor on Clive's CharacterBlog, the Ninth Doctor is reported to have been spotted at the dump throwing away frilly shirts, long scarves and a multicoloured coat in the name of '[[SoLastSeason a clear-out]]'.
** In the charity special ''[[Recap/DoctorWho2007CiNSTimeCrash Time Crash]]'', the Tenth Doctor is delighted with Five's cricket gear, but has a harder time complimenting the stick of celery. "But fair play to you; not a lot of men can carry off a decorative vegetable."
** In ''[[Recap/DoctorWho50thASTheDayOfTheDoctor The Day of the Doctor]]'', the Eleventh Doctor snipes at the Tenth Doctor's "sand shoes" and even remarks negatively on his taste in TARDIS décor, saying it was his "grunge phase" and telling the War Doctor that he'll grow out of it.
** In ''[[Recap/DoctorWhoS34E1DeepBreath Deep Breath]]'', the Twelfth Doctor announces that he needs a new outfit with a really long scarf, then quickly changes his mind about the scarf because it'd look stupid - although not because the scarf itself looks stupid, but because the look is too young for him to pull off (the Fourth Doctor was about 750, and the Twelfth is over 2000).
** In ''[[Recap/DoctorWhoS34E5TimeHeist Time Heist]]'', the Twelfth Doctor allows a psychic alien to feast on his memories, telling it, "Big scarf... bow tie... embarrassing."
* In ''Series/TorchwoodMiracleDay'', Jack, when approached about a picture of him with a bushy PornStache, simply responds "The Seventies". His clothing, however, averts this trope as [[AwesomeAnachronisticApparel he still wears his World War II greatcoat.]]
* ''Series/OnlyFoolsAndHorses'': Most people tend to look back on what they wore during the 80's with embarrassment. Mickey Pierce on the other hand, averts this by ''never'' changing his look at all... leaving his wardrobe stuck TwoDecadesBehind by the end of the series.
* In ''Series/{{Lost}}'', during a round of "I Never" Kate gets Sawyer to admit that he once wore pink. Sawyer just replies with "It was the Eighties!"

* In a ''Magazine/DoctorWhoMagazine'' interview about costume design, Creator/TomBaker summarised an imaginary scene of his Doctor shaving, getting dressed, pulling one of the Third Doctor's frilly shirts off the rack, looking at it for a second, and then tossing it to the floor in total disgust. Coincidentally, this is quite similar to a scene in the Target novelisation of the Fourth Doctor's regeneration story, "Robot", where the Doctor has just woken up out of a post-regeneration coma to find UNIT has prepared a change of clothes for him ("a velvet jacket, checked trousers, and a frilly shirt") which he refuses to wear, commenting in his internal monologue that they are far too fancy - "What sort of a chap would go around dressed up like that?".

* ''Guitar World'' magazine had a monthly feature where guitarists would answer reader-submitted questions. Alex Lifeson of Music/{{Rush}} was questioned on the band's stage clothing in their early years, and he responded, [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome "We're hardly the only band to regret what we wore in]] TheSeventies."

* Creator/DenisLeary notes that drugs had to be the reason for platform shoes and bellbottoms.
-->There we were in the middle of a sexual revolution, wearing clothing that ''guaranteed'' we wouldn't get laid.
** Though he also notes that people born after the '70s may not understand just how hard it was to find clothes on sale that ''didn't'' look like that. Clothing like that goes on sale (with big discounts) for a reason.

* When looking through a photo album during ''InTheHeights''.
-->"You can tell it was the 80s due to the volume of their hair."

* In ''VideoGame/SpiderManWebOfShadows'', Spidey encounters Luke Cage, who has the temerity to joke about his full-body-spandex costume. Spidey, of course, retorts with a full critique of Cage's original costume... ya know, the one with the tiara. Cage's defence is, of course, "It was the '70s! What's your excuse?"
** Spidey's excuse, given to Ezekiel in the comics:
-->''I was fifteen, gimme a break.''

* There's an ongoing story in ''Webcomic/IrregularWebcomic'', concerning a time-traveling younger version of the Mythbusters-crew... from the 80's. Complete with ridiculous big hair.
* Flashbacks in the modern arc of ''Webcomic/ArthurKingOfTimeAndSpace'' occasionally show Merlin in his hippy days.
* A piece of [[http://www.commanderkitty.com/2013/01/20/space-memories/ filler art]] for ''Webcomic/CommanderKitty'' has the [[SimilarSquad Velvet Knight crew]] commenting on how terribly they used to dress after finding an old magazine with them on the cover.

* Death from ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' dressed horribly in TheSeventies, as seen in the picture.
* Many people in flashbacks in ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', but particularly Dr. Hibbert (who had an afro when Bart was born, beaded cornrows when Lisa was born, and a Mr. T-style mohawk when Maggie was born.)
* In the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' episode "Call of the Cutie," Cheerilee shows a class of young ponies a picture of herself when she got her cutie mark, and her 80s clothes and hair gets a laugh.
--> "Yes, I know, but honestly, that's how ''every''pony was wearing their mane back then."
** Doubly hilarious, because some prior My Little Ponies actually looked like that. Bonus points: Cheerilee is one of the few characters directly ''named'' after an existing pony. The "Neigh Anything" story in [[ComicBook/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicIDW the comic books]] shows she did indeed wear her mane like that, along with a group of other like-minded ponies.
* The Mayor on ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'' was blackmailed by Vicky with pictures of him from the 70s. Even though he still succumbs to the blackmail, he makes a strong claim that it was fashionable back then.
* Done in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Birdz}}'', with Mr and mrs Storkowitz (Mr. Storkowitz is far more embarrassed).
* ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko''
** One episode involves Odd publishing in the newpaper an old picture of Yumi dressed in a ridiculous pink fairy costume for a party (in her defense, she was forced to dress like that by her parents). Yumi is not amused.
** In another episode, Odd and Yumi switch bodies following a materialization bug. While at Yumi's house, Odd finds colourful provocative clothes and decided to dress in it, much to Yumi's embarrassment.
* In the Disney ''WesternAnimation/{{Hercules}}'' series finale, Hercules gets a hold of Meg's yearbook which we don't get to see...
--> '''Hercules:''' Look at your hair!
--> '''Meg:''' That was the style of the time!
* Parodied in ''WesternAnimation/{{Clerks}}'' where Dante and Randall get locked in a freezer, and remember the first time they met each other at the Quick Stop, with Randall commenting on how he still can't believe how they looked back in the day. The flashback clearly takes place in TheEighties so you'd expect them to be wearing some ridiculous 80's clothes, but they're dressed exactly the same as they are in the present day.

* Creator/DaveBarry has noted that he distinctly remembers looking normal in high school, and was horrified to see that his yearbook photo shows a very stereotypical nerd.